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1,137 Norwegian (NCL) Boston Cruise Reviews

I have been on 5 cruises previously with 4 different cruiselines (including Disney, Princess, and Royal Carribean). My experience on Norwegian Gem was by far the worst. 1. The stateroom is poorly designed, with no outlets near the ... Read More
I have been on 5 cruises previously with 4 different cruiselines (including Disney, Princess, and Royal Carribean). My experience on Norwegian Gem was by far the worst. 1. The stateroom is poorly designed, with no outlets near the head of the bed. Family members with CPAP machines had to run extension cords across the entire room to be able to use their medical device. 2. Stateroom did not seem fully stocked. I found out halfway through the cruise that hand/body lotion is readily available but was never stocked in my room for no clear reason. 3. The food was one of the biggest disappointments. Many dishes came out cold, and the portions for the appetizers are laughable. The food taste was mediocre at best. In particular, the quality of the food at Orchid Garden is not tasty at all. The buffet has poor variety. Despite having a large space, each food station is duplicated, so there is really only half the selection. And attempts at cost-saving were obvious... other cruises have smoked salmon, and this cruise had salmon spread. The tikka masala was always some vegetable rather than chicken. Just a few examples. 4. Having to tender to ports is terrible, and I left with the sense that my cruise experience was diminished due to cost-saving decisions by the cruiseline. 2 ports were cancelled due to weather preventing safe use of tender boats, but other cruise boats were able to dock at those ports on the same day as their cruiselines booked the pier rather than resorting to using tender boats. At one of the ports we actually made it to, delays in the tendering process led to our group having to wait 3.5 hours after our arrival time to actually make it onto a tender boat, so the time available to actually enjoy the port was lessened. 5. When ports were canceled due to weather, the cruise staff revised the activity options. But all I could see were more sales and charged activities (wine/whisky tastings). It's bad enough to miss out on a port, but then to have the cruiseline only open up activities that you have to pay more for is ridiculous. 6. My cruise benefit was to save $50 per port on shore excursions, and I was unable to use that benefit as half the ports were canceled. I had unused "non-refundable" credit that I asked be applied to the service charge since I was unable to use it on a shore excursion, and I was told that wasn't allowed. If a port is canceled, I would hope the cruiseline would go out of their way to try and improve the experience rather than make it more frustrating. 7. The cruise staff was overall friendly but one staff member (female cruise staff member from USA) was rude. She was managing elevator use while it was restricted for 4 hours due to tender boats. 8. The layout of the boat is poorly planned. With disabled members in our party, it was frustrating to have to take elevators up to a certain floor to walk across the boat and then take another elevator down to get to the main dining hall (which is a location we needed to get to 1-2x every day). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The whole point of this trip was to see Canadian ports. Norwegian massively let us down. Although there was only supposed to be one tender port, without explanation, there ended up being three, two of which the captain claimed the weather ... Read More
The whole point of this trip was to see Canadian ports. Norwegian massively let us down. Although there was only supposed to be one tender port, without explanation, there ended up being three, two of which the captain claimed the weather was too rough to visit. It didn't seem that windy or wavy to the passengers, and everyone on board was bummed out and bored. Other cruise ships were docked at the ports in these locations, but apparently Norwegian didn't consider this a priority. We would not have booked this cruise if we knew such an outcome was a possibility, yet other than a half-hearted apology, Norwegian has as of yet done nothing to compensate us for a ruined voyage. This ship was not made for three consecutive days at sea. All the dining venues were severely over-crowded, old people were eating at the buffet standing up, good luck getting a drink at the bars even with the drink package, and the only additional activities they added were for-pay ones such as shopping and gambling. Every spot on the ship was a zoo, as passengers were meant to be away on excursions instead of being corralled on board with nothing to do for an endless period. The food was edible but uninspiring. I didn't even gain weight as there was no temptation to overeat. We did enjoy Teppenyaki, Le Bistro and Moderno that were a small cut above regular dining.The entertainment was quite good, other than two of the evening shows being by one man, an Irish singer who was only mildly comedic the first time. I thought we were supposed to see Blazing Boots, but it didn't happen. The staff were almost universally nice, and our room had a lot of storage with a very comfortable bed. I could have been quite happy if they hadn't cut the itinerary in half. The highlight of our trip was getting off the boat in Quebec city. After three days without stepping foot on dry land, we practically kissed the grimy ground of the port terminal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First time cruising in many years. Very impressed with friendliness of staff on board. Food was excellent t (I only ate in the dining room). No real concerns with waiting around in line. Generally short lines everywhere other than boarding ... Read More
First time cruising in many years. Very impressed with friendliness of staff on board. Food was excellent t (I only ate in the dining room). No real concerns with waiting around in line. Generally short lines everywhere other than boarding in Quebec City. Quebec I chose this itinerary as it features some excellent ports for bike riding. Connected with local bike shops in Charlottetown and Sydney to rent a road bike. Did a 70km route along the Confederation Trail in Charlottetown and 50km route Along the coastline in Sydney. E-bike tour in Halifax and mountain biking in Bar Harbour. On board environment is what you make of it. Want laid back, head to thermal suite or join a trivia session. Want late night activities head to Spinnaker lounge. Production shows very good. Others perfectly fine. The Gem is not the newest ship with loads to do for young families, but recent updates give it a new modern look. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The timing of the cruise fit within our schedule so NCL was chosen. This was our 2nd cruise, 1st with NCL and probably the last with NCL. One reason we won't go NCL again - is it's too old of a clientele. The comedian has it ... Read More
The timing of the cruise fit within our schedule so NCL was chosen. This was our 2nd cruise, 1st with NCL and probably the last with NCL. One reason we won't go NCL again - is it's too old of a clientele. The comedian has it correct. It's a floating nursing home. At 50, we were the youngest on the boat ! Expect most to turn in at 10 pm or earlier. You'll also be stuck behind many walkers in the many lines. While the hurricane wasn't their issue, they could have communicated it better. We had to hear on the local new (we're from Maine) that the ship would be re-routed to Portland due to Dorian. NCL had not told us yet. We called the customer service # and they still had no information yet. So we traveled from Portland to Boston, just to head back to Portland - oh well. They gave us a port charge credit of $10 each. Halifax closed their port so we had to skip that port. So it was a day at sea instead. Still waiting to hear about a port charge credit for Halifax. Several calls/emails still nothing. Cabin was on deck 4 (4553) Inside. Good for us. Less movement. Never met the steward but he/she did a good job. It was just the 2 of us so this fine. Dining - The pay restaurants - Japanese place, french place were too close to the Casio and cigar bar so they stank of smoke. We passed on those. We did eat at the restaurant - grand pacific (included in your cruise fare). Service was excellent. Food needs improvement. Meat (Prime Rib) was excellent, but the corn cob was so overcooked, was not edible. The steak, also good, was served with shoestring fries (Really ?) way to take the ambiance down - serve french fries with a quality steak. No local seafood? No lobster.. we were in Maine? really? Scallops also were no larger than your fingernail. Tiny. No Blueberries that I could find. Again, this is the area for it. Buffet - we ate there a lot. Seating was at a premium though and our ship was not fully booked. Lots of choices - including vegetarian. So real creative designs with fruit carvings Entertainment = we thought it good. Shows were worth going to. One we actually went to twice. They have them at 7 and 9 pm. Dancing - I appreciated that the professional dancers came out to dance at the clubs to get the party started. They missed the Latin night unfortunately, which my wife and I went to. We had the floor to ourselves. Excursions - Dorian caused some damage. Many areas had no power. Not NCL's issue but they cancelled some of the tours and the other ones quickly became overcrowded. Alcohol - packages not worth it. Not even if they are "free" as you still pay the service fee. Do the math. You'd need to drink about 5 drinks each day (for every one in your room) to break even. That's including the first day when they leave port at 5 pm. Skip the packages, and just pay by the drink. We did the "drink of the day" which had a reduced price. They do tack on 20% already, so don't add another tip unless you're really generous. Plenty of free booze around - each night they gave out sample to taste. Hit them up ! Casino also has a "learn" night with free booze. It was the first night was relatively free from smoke and smell. We just took the drinks and walked :) . The art show also has free champagne. Take some, browse for a bit, and walk if you want. Again, would not use NCL again. Customer service on the front end desk is often contradictory. One person would say one thing. If you come back and talk to another person you'd get a different answer. After the cruise, good luck in getting any response - we're still waiting. Average age of our boat I'g guess was mid 70s as well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Had such a good experience with NCL on our Hawaii cruise we thought we would book for New England with them. Called NCL and booked through their agent. We had two issues with NCL booking: 1. Booked an extra day for sight seeing for the ... Read More
Had such a good experience with NCL on our Hawaii cruise we thought we would book for New England with them. Called NCL and booked through their agent. We had two issues with NCL booking: 1. Booked an extra day for sight seeing for the plane tickets. When we got the tickets the flight back was out of Montreal, not Quebec where the cruise ends. I called customer service and was told "they don't change flights". All I wanted was to know how I was supposed to get to Montreal. "Your problem" is a direct quote. I attempted to escalate the issue and was told by NCL that I had to talk to Alexander who booked the cruise. I said..."he works for NCL".. they said it didn't matter. Called him, he told me thats the way they do it. I demanded he find out how I am supposed to get to Montreal. He said he would call back...never did....and wouldn't return my future calls. We eventually found out there is a bus 1/4 mile from the dock we took to Montreal. So disappointed that NCL couldn't take the time to help us once we paid them. 2. The recommended room 11600 which we booked was right below the kitchen for the garden cafe......they clean that place every night until midnight and start every morning around four. I know, I heard them every day. Once on board we found the ship to be clean and well maintained, though a little dated. Staff was nice and the stops were just gorgeous. We really enjoyed the shows put on by the NCL crew (Swing and Blazing Boots). and most of the activities aboard ship. Ship internet stinks (but every ship I have been on stinks) so nothing new there. Spent alot of time dining (who doesn't). On board restaurants (free) were both very nice. Good service and decent food but nothing to really write home about. Found the cafe food to be about the same but the level of service to be a little lacking. there was plenty of table clearing going on but was a little difficult to order drinks from the table. we dined in the Japanese Steakhouse. Food was very good and unbelievably plentiful. Overall, not the experience I was expecting. We did disembark in Quebec and took the Orleans bus to Montreal. Stayed in the Bonaparte Hotel in Old Montreal, I would highly recommend it (had a blast in Montreal!) Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Have never been to any part of Canada, was hoping this would be an opportunity to see whales etc. and wildlife. Boston departure was ok, ship dock located in a typical big city port area, mostly industrialized, pick up at airport was ... Read More
Have never been to any part of Canada, was hoping this would be an opportunity to see whales etc. and wildlife. Boston departure was ok, ship dock located in a typical big city port area, mostly industrialized, pick up at airport was easy once we identified the ship's folks handling transfers....no sign or anything, noticed ladies had name badges, assumed, correctly, they were with Norwegian transfer. Cabin was fine, ship was a little dated, main dining room was a disappointment from the menu changing very little from day to day........service was very slow (one hour wait for Breakfast...really two eggs, bacon?), waiter told my wife the reason they took so long is "Busy, busy"! Best Food was in Buffet, and Best Service was O'sheehans (spa?) Loss of two best ports, due to storm was very disparaging, replacement (Portland) was ok, but not on my list. Balance of Ports were Beautiful places, with very little to do or see, unless you jumped on a tour, mostly available from ship. Saguenay was pretty, but, required a $50 shuttle to main part of town, which was eleven miles away......Port area was very minimal shopping, however, there was a seaplane or Helicopter ride readily available next to ship dock....Beautiful Fjord area! Departure was very poor, we opted for walk off early with luggage, due to early flight (airport in Quebec ws 30 min. cab ride), ship allowed most of us to leave at about 7:15 AM, except me, (wife and I were 10 the in line to leave, was stopped at exit, due to red flag on my account......it was due to me having a $51 credit on my Sea pass account.....had to go up to Customer service and "wait" in line 15 mins(no notation on the bill which I received the night before to go down to Customer Service, close my bill out by collecting my $51....finally returned to debarkation line and was allowed to break the line to exit, and was stopped again, saying I still had a red flag...showed my receipt, noting my account was cleared, necessitated a call to CS, before allowing me to leave! My wife was just ahead of me when we started down ramp, when I was stopped, had no idea what was going on, however, she did not panic, and waited on dock for 15 minutes till i exited.....than the fun began: walked about three blocks thru warehouse to Cab pick up, then we were told by personnel at door, it would be at least an hour before we might "see" a cab! wow! so much for early departure.....we were about halfway back to fence gate, maybe 100th in line when this announcement was made...also, we were told it was a 10minute walked to train station, with luggage, where we might find a cab? Not very impressed, wife and I stayed in line, from 7:45AM until 9:10AM, when we were able to join another couple in a cab to Jean Lesarge Int'l airport, made it, checked luggage, Kiosk were not working, were told a luggage check in we had 15 minutes to get to gate for our flight....fortunately we made it! Note: Some of the folks we were chatting with, while in line to depart ship, opted to return to ship and take the cruise shuttle, we noticed they were arriving at airport after we had processed our luggage.....Our Departure Flight was scheduled for 10:25 AM! Very dissapointed with departure operation...... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise as it was going North during hurricane season and bought trip insurance thru NCL. We believed the cancel for any reason. When we wanted to cancel the trip due to hurricane, we found we should have read the small print ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was going North during hurricane season and bought trip insurance thru NCL. We believed the cancel for any reason. When we wanted to cancel the trip due to hurricane, we found we should have read the small print carefully as weather was not included. The weather caused an itinerary change from Bar Harbor to Portland, ME. Halifax closed the port so we could not dock. Ship spend additional day at sea. I felt there should have been more activities available for at sea days. There were many older passengers so there should have been more activities focused on this group. Dining in main restaurants and Le Bistro was great. Buffet seating was always an issue. Entertainment was okay--ranged from really good sing/dance troupe to not very good individuals. Atrium was always loud. Service in sit down restaurants was very good. White Zin is NOT rose wine. Try explaining that to a limited English bar tenders. Several limited English employees in bar/waiter positions. Menus were in English so even pointing did not always help. Do not waste your money on unlimited internet. It is really not unlimited as you cannot access it easily and only one device can be used at a time. Notice on screen in Atrium said to be patient about getting online due to many users! Also, it does not include internet phone calls. In spite of it all, I will probably give NCL another try but I do not feel the value for payment was in my favor on this trip. Blame it on Mother Nature. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this ship because of the dates and the ports it was supposed to visit. As it turns out, Hurricane Dorian was coming towards the New England and Canadian coasts. We had to go to Portland, Maine rather than Bar Harbor and then ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the dates and the ports it was supposed to visit. As it turns out, Hurricane Dorian was coming towards the New England and Canadian coasts. We had to go to Portland, Maine rather than Bar Harbor and then they skipped Halifax altogether due to the port being closed. The next 2 stops, at Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island - both areas had been affected by the hurricane and were coping with loss of electricity and many downed trees and related damage. I was disappointed to miss Halifax and although it could not be helped, I wished that we had added an additional day in Portland, letting the storm get well ahead of us, or add Bar Harbor back in after the storm had passed by there. Instead, they put in an "at sea" day, which is great I guess with some people, but it is also more of a money making opportunity for the cruise line, with nothing really being handed out to the passengers to compensate for missing one port entirely and having to adjust to Portland instead of Bar Harbor. I went on this cruise with my two grown children and their spouses, plus my husband and sister in law. We had fun because we enjoyed the opportunity to be with each other, rather than anything in particular on the ship. Of all the dining on the ship, Cagney's, the steakhouse was far and away our best experience. It had the best food, best service, best atmosphere, etc. The Teppanyaki hibachi restaurant food was good, and the chef was entertaining, but it was very crowded seating and very loud, The regular buffet dining on deck 12 was good and we ate there for lunch and breakfast most of the time, most of the time getting our food and then moving outdoors to the aft deck. The evenings we were mostly in the Grand Pacific dining room, and other than confusion about "reservations", it was pretty good with good service. We did not go to really any entertainment or activities; did not hang out at the pool which seemed to be closed a fair amount of the time; the hot tubs enjoyed a fair amount of activity, but not from us. The rope climbing area which I had thought my son in law would enjoy was closed most of the time - I don't know for what reason. Several of us used the gym equipment and enjoyed walking the deck. Two of us used the spa for a massage and enjoyed that. We planned virtually all of our own shore excursions, although two of us did enjoy the Celtic music show at Sydney right there in the cruise port area. I would say that there are problems with the "tender" process, especially because they expect you to climb this giant step to get on and off the tender boat. This was a stressful and dangerous situation for anyone who had anything less than great mobility. The ship personnel there wanted to feel like they were handling all the problems with people getting on and off and they did not want the person's able bodied family members assisting in any way, just telling them to stay out of the way. This was just not a good situation. So, all in all, we had a good time because we were together. It was not really because of the ship or the activities or the ship's personnel (most of whom were very friendly and helpful). It was our first time on Norwegian and I picked it due to the itinerary and the dates that it sailed - I don't know that I would be looking to sail Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise. We always wanted to see the beluga whales in the st.lawrence seaway and to see Nova Scotia and PEI. This sounded perfect. Unfortunately, due to hurricane Dorian, two of the stops were rerouted and we ended up ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We always wanted to see the beluga whales in the st.lawrence seaway and to see Nova Scotia and PEI. This sounded perfect. Unfortunately, due to hurricane Dorian, two of the stops were rerouted and we ended up spending an extra day at sea. That was out of NCI’s control we understand. But the ship went thru the st.lawrence seaway at night, so no belugas to speak of and we arrived too late in sanguanay to go on an excursion to see them. I would have expected NCI to plan that better. As far as the cruise itself went, we enjoyed it but there were things that weren’t so great. Like paying for an all inclusive drinks plan, but having to pay extra for coffee and tea. And the WiFi was ridiculous. We paid an extra $170 for the week for ONE device. Another annoyance was constantly being upsold on everything. There were good things too: dinner at the extra cost restaurants was great. The spa was beautiful. The housekeeping staff made ship sparkle. Our cabin attendant, Berlin, was friendly, conscientious, and super helpful. All in all, maybe we’d try another cruise, but probably with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was attracted to the Boston departure in early September 2019, I wrongly thought we would enjoy more pool time and sun - instead we dodged hurricane Dorian and missed Bar Harbor and Halifax on our first leg. The service was ... Read More
I was attracted to the Boston departure in early September 2019, I wrongly thought we would enjoy more pool time and sun - instead we dodged hurricane Dorian and missed Bar Harbor and Halifax on our first leg. The service was outstanding, the ship was easy to navigate, and public areas and activities were never crowded. The late show in the theater was never more than 2/3 full so you could show up last minute and get a great seat. Guests were older than other NCL cruises I have taken, with average age approx. 70. The itinerary was not as exotic and kids were back in school, so maybe half dozen kids onboard, few if any Europeans or Asian tourists, 80% US and 20% Canadian. The entertainment surprised me, the dancers and singers were just outstanding on the first leg - a new cast came on the second leg from Quebec to Boston and they were excellent also. The comedians were very good, but the cover band and solo musicians in the lounges were just average. Unfortunately we had very few sunny days to enjoy live music at the pool in the late afternoon. The late evening bars and entertainment are hardly attended, literally no one came to karaoke. Not the cruise for those who like to party. While the service on the ship was excellent, the dining room food is just ok. I started eating KETO and the protein choices in the main dining rooms are limited. After 14 days in the same dining room without carbs I paid for specialty dining on my next NCL cruise. Overall, sort of like a floating retirement home. Very good value for money if booked last minute, staff and ship are first class. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Took cruise because of ease of access from Boston. Overall a very sad ship. Food was lackluster at best. ( except Cagney’s ). Everything is dated and worn. Young crew very helpful but leadership invisible. Worth driving to NYC to get a ... Read More
Took cruise because of ease of access from Boston. Overall a very sad ship. Food was lackluster at best. ( except Cagney’s ). Everything is dated and worn. Young crew very helpful but leadership invisible. Worth driving to NYC to get a different ship Buffet was undersized but food was fair to good. Dining rooms were dark and food very salty. Cafeteria quality food Pools are not sufficient to support ship and deck furnishings uncomfortable. Activities seemed few and far between. Shopping areas almost non existent and staff barely competent. Tried to buy item on sale and was told this item can’t be sold because of computer error. When we tried to get a resolution were told management was in a meeting and could not be disturber. This was at nine pm. This ship would be fine at half the ‘discounted’ prices and you had never cruised before. STAY AWAY Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because it was from Boston to Bermuda. We live about an hour from Boston,so it was convenient. We went with another couple who had been on the Dawn and really liked that ship,so thought this would be similar. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was from Boston to Bermuda. We live about an hour from Boston,so it was convenient. We went with another couple who had been on the Dawn and really liked that ship,so thought this would be similar. We had a balcony cabin. The hallways were narrow, the bathroom was small,especially the toilet area. Our room steward was great,can’t remember his name-cabin 9636. The food in specialty restaurants was great,atmosphere in LeBistro the best, found Cagneys to be loud and chaotic since we were near kitchen with food for the Brazilian grille also constantly going by. The main dining rooms service was slow, food pretty good,not great. Entertainment was fair-the best shows were the ones with audience participation. Also,there were a few sea days and activities need improvement-origami and towel folding? There was trivia and bingo,but we spent a lot of time on balcony due to lack of decent activities. One tip-if you want to do painting,sign up as soon as you get on ship-it fills up fast. Two outdoor pools only-always very crowded unless you went at 8am,which we did. The Bali Hai bar near pool is only smoking section and seemed to be loudest-people way overindulging!! Overall,a decent trip,but not sure would cruise Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to go to Bermuda and this was a different ship for us, so we went. Overall, we had fun and Bermuda is awesome. Our stateroom was a forward balcony and was nice, clean and the room steward was very friendly and good. However, the ... Read More
We wanted to go to Bermuda and this was a different ship for us, so we went. Overall, we had fun and Bermuda is awesome. Our stateroom was a forward balcony and was nice, clean and the room steward was very friendly and good. However, the service in the dining rooms was horrible every night except once. The food was sometimes good sometimes bad. We would have to ask 3 times for a drink and 40 minutes later it would finally come. (Every night). I have never received such poor service in the dining room or mediocre food like this on any other cruise line. The music was So loud everywhere on the ship. In the atrium you couldn’t go to customer service and ask a question and hear the response because the music or whatever was on, was as loud as it could be. In the Orchid restaurant and Sheehan restaurant, you could hear the bands playing from nearby and it was so loud you couldn’t enjoy your meal at either place (so we never ate there) That and the fact that service was so poor in dining room with only so-so food anyway, meant that our dining experience wasn’t that good. We have definitely had better food and service on other cruise lines. The excursion to Clearwater beach was very nice (but expensive for what you got). Horseshoe Bay beach is great. Maybe we just had bad luck with the service in the dining room and the mediocre food. Maybe someone will realize that the amplifiers don’t need to be on FULL blast ALL the time... then maybe we will fell like cruising on the Gem again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Restaurants, Shore excursions, entertainment were excellent. This was my 16th time going on Norwegian to Bermuda. This was my friend's 5th time The service up on the deck was very poor it was very Hard to get a drink ... Read More
The Restaurants, Shore excursions, entertainment were excellent. This was my 16th time going on Norwegian to Bermuda. This was my friend's 5th time The service up on the deck was very poor it was very Hard to get a drink from any of the service staff as they were very sparse We had a balcony room With people on both sides of us smoking on the a balcony and we had to file a Complaint. The Norwegian gem was definitely not our best experience. The smoking continued for 2 nights before the people beside a stopped and they denied smoking but it was billowing in our room. The specialty restaurants , Cagnes and Le Bistro were terrific but we had an experience at La Cucinas the food came out cold. The Magnum restaurant was great. Very leary to travel on the Gem again. Having traveled on Norwegian 16 cruises to Bermuda this is the 1st negative review I've ever written. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The major reason for choosing this cruise was because of how convenient it was...however after sailing with NCL I will def choose this cruise again for a variety of reasons. The Gem is a smaller/older ship but very "user" ... Read More
The major reason for choosing this cruise was because of how convenient it was...however after sailing with NCL I will def choose this cruise again for a variety of reasons. The Gem is a smaller/older ship but very "user" friendly, esp. when traveling with older people. Our our balcony cabin was a little on the smaller size but always clean, towels replaced, etc. The Grand Dining Room was very good, we did however purchase 3 night specialty pkg, Le Bistro was amazing, Hibatchi was delicious and although we enjoyed Cagney's it had the feel of the buffet with the people were dressed, noise level, etc. Entertainment was very good but the activities around the pool were a bit odd. We didnt do any excursions through NCL... we did rent a Twizy for the cost of one excursion and had our own transportation for 24 hours! As far as service goes it depends who you were dealing with. Cabin stewards were wonderful as was waitstaff. The bars didnt seem to have enough bartenders on... and lastly the front desk NEEDS A LOT OF HELP...I was misdirected several times, I had trouble with my credit card (my bank said it was on NCL end) as did a lot of other people and I realize that nothing is perfect I did not need THE MANAGER TELLING ME "IF YOU WILL LET ME FINISH" in a nasty tone....COMPLETELY UNCALLED FOR...later he back peddled when realizing he was in the wrong and all of a sudden we received chocolates in our cabin. As a side note: I would love it if NCL included 2 drinks per day per person on their account...I found the booze pkg completely unreasonable in price and the fact that I would have to buy 2 (I might have ONE drink a day) totally ridiculous... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because frankly, we live by Cruise Port Boston, love Bermuda and spent our honeymoon on the Norwegian Gem on its transatlantic portion of its maiden voyage back in 2007 and wanted to see whether the cruise ship really ... Read More
We chose this cruise because frankly, we live by Cruise Port Boston, love Bermuda and spent our honeymoon on the Norwegian Gem on its transatlantic portion of its maiden voyage back in 2007 and wanted to see whether the cruise ship really was as awesome as we remembered. It was, and then some. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Sure, twelve years has taken its toll on the ship, but it wasn't that visible. The Dale Chihuly Glass Sculpture in the Atrium of the Gem still wows. The service was great. Our balcony stateroom was consistently kept immaculately clean. The food in the buffet was so delicious it kept us coming back for more. The variety in the buffet, with its different themes each night, was terrific. Even the free coffee was delicious. The staff showed pride in their work, and the attention to detail showed. We attended four major shows in the Stardust Theater, Swing, Blazing Boots, the Chernov Brothers - Circus Dance Show and Get Down Tonight which we very much enjoyed. We were able to walk to Snorkel Park Beach in Bermuda three days in a row and took the free ferry to St. George. We traveled with our nine year old son who is on the autism spectrum, and he had a great time. We went last year on the Norwegian Dawn (August 2018) and will go again on August 21, 2020. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have been on this cruise many times on the Dawn and had a great time, this time we were on the Gem not so great! Had the spa package the water in all the tubs was way too hot, took at least 2 complaints for them to check it out! As it ... Read More
We have been on this cruise many times on the Dawn and had a great time, this time we were on the Gem not so great! Had the spa package the water in all the tubs was way too hot, took at least 2 complaints for them to check it out! As it turned out the water temperature was too high. We canceled the package! Our shower still had someone’s sea sick patch in it, so not clean! Please bring the Dawn back to Boston much better set up boat all around! Not enough people doing bar service or picking up empty cups around the pool area! I actually stepped on a cup in the pool, does anyone clean the pool at the end of the day???????? Then we had the smokers, we had a balcony with a person vaping beside us and a cigarette smoker above us............ We did complain and the vaper was spoken to but he still continued to indulge!!!!!!!!!! Again please bring the Dawn back to Boston!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Old ship needs updating. paint chips on our balcony every day. Embarkation went smooth but disembarking was crazylines wrapped around half the 7th floor and not suitcase friendly floors and ramps. We had a large cabin but not updated. ... Read More
Old ship needs updating. paint chips on our balcony every day. Embarkation went smooth but disembarking was crazylines wrapped around half the 7th floor and not suitcase friendly floors and ramps. We had a large cabin but not updated. Food was ok nothing special.O' sheehans was good dining room and buffet were ok at best. a couple of the bars had bartenders that were cranky. did not do excursions. Did do karaoke which needs to be updated not a lot of choices as far as songs. The tv in the room was the size of a computer screen and you could not get messages on the tv. Most of our invites to events never made it to the cabin. The entire casino was smoking and the non smoking area on another floor in the Bliss lounge was a joke. due to weather we had an extremely bumpy ride back to Boston. Will not travel on the gem until updated. Took pictures of the paint peeling. Never saw the 'cruise director. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took the Boston to Bermuda cruise on August 23-30, 2019. This was my 11th cruise with NCL, my husband’s 10th, and our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson’s first. We drove to Boston on the 22nd and stayed at the Embassy Suites. We ... Read More
We took the Boston to Bermuda cruise on August 23-30, 2019. This was my 11th cruise with NCL, my husband’s 10th, and our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson’s first. We drove to Boston on the 22nd and stayed at the Embassy Suites. We were not terribly impressed with the hotel, it was costly for what we got, and the parking for one night was an additional $51.00. We parked at the World Trade Center parking garage for the week for $147.00; we got a spot right near the exit, and they shuttled us to and from the port. We arrived at the port at around 10:00 AM. We waited about 20 minutes for the doors to open to get to the check-in lines. Because we are platinum, we got right through and were able to take our son and his family with us. At the counter I found out that my husband and I were given VIP status, so we all went to the lounge to wait to board. It was a very nice perk! We were on the ship by 11:15. We could have gone to Cagney’s for lunch, but because the kids couldn’t join us there, we opted for the buffet. It was very good, and we had no trouble finding seats because we got onboard so early. We ate our meals at Cagney’s, Moderno, Magenta, Grand Pacific, Garden Buffet, O’Sheehan’s, and Orchid. They were all very good. Our favorite was Cagney’s followed by Grand Pacific. The one we liked the least was Orchid. Our grandson would have eaten every single meal at O’Sheehan’s if he could have! We had inside cabins on deck 11. I always try to choose cabins near the elevator to make them easy to find! This time we had cabin 11521 and our son and his family were right next door in 11519. The cabins had plenty of closet and drawer/shelf space, but were probably the smallest cabins we have ever stayed in. The next time we go on the Gem, we will definitely choose a balcony! Our cabin steward, Lalis, was phenomenal. He always had our cabin in tip-top shape, was super friendly, kept ice in our ice bucket, and made towel animals for our grandson every night! We really enjoyed the waitstaff and bartenders, especially Lin Ling at Bali Hai, Nate at Spinnaker’s, and Sandrick at Cagney’s. Those three remembered our names right from the beginning as well as what we liked to eat and drink. The one thing that I was disappointed about was that 40 people signed up for the Meet and Greet, and only about 20 showed up. The ship’s staff went out of their way to provide snacks and coffee for the count I provided and then people failed to go. We did have a nice Meet and Greet anyway; the officers were very nice. We didn't take any ship excursions, but we did take the bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach which was gorgeous. By the end of the day, however, the bathrooms were filthy and the water didn't work! We also took the ferry to Hamilton and went to the aquarium. What an awesome place! There's a zoo and a museum there as well, all included in the same price, which I think was $10/person. In closing, the Gem was a wonderful cruise. The crew was among the friendliest we have ever met on any cruise we have ever taken. They couldn’t do enough to make sure that we were happy and having a great time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Boston to Bermuda cruise and back Embarkation consists of two parts- one standing outside for half an hour -two/standing inside in line for a half an hour Once a board we headed to the grand Pacific dining room Where they ... Read More
The Boston to Bermuda cruise and back Embarkation consists of two parts- one standing outside for half an hour -two/standing inside in line for a half an hour Once a board we headed to the grand Pacific dining room Where they accommodated a slight substitution in our order which pleased us. Since most passengers ate at the buffet we expected fairly quick service. We erred- and we waited and waited. And the food arrived some of us felt extremely satisfied and some felt it was OK We ate at the specialty restaurants every evening left happy and pleased that we bought the 5 dinner package.Le bistro rated the highest for elegance, quality of food and ambience. The shows range from excellent in the 60s song and dance show to just OK on others The ship band seemed robotic but the husband and wife musical team entertained us on all their shows ! Alcohol Consumption morning noon and night brought obscenities from passengers morning noon and night . Late night drunkenness bright yelling and screaming outside the gangway where Security eventually stepped in, loud obscene phone calls from the balconies as well as noisy room service enjoyed on the balconies at 3 AM . Guest relations seemed uninterested in late-night shenanigans that kept passengers awake. The respect the staff and crew showed to unruly and impolite passengers amazed me. Regardless of the lack of manners or demands passengers made, the staff show nothing but respect. O’ Sheehans Is a hidden gem with the best peanut butter chocolate cheesecake in the world- a limited menu but the small intimate setting makes for a comfortable meal. Orchid garden hostess seats parties right next to each other even though there are other tables available for some personal space and if you ask for one of these other tables response seems to be annoyance. If you like hot and sour soup you will enjoy theirs and the potstickers well with the trip. The smoky casino causes your clothes to smell like cigarettes, so for financial and cleanliness reasons I suggest you spend limited time there. although there is a daily gratuity for the screw I suggested if anybody goes out of their way for you to appreciate him or her and reward him or her with additional tip on the last day as their low salaries and distance from home and their families make their work even more gruelling then it already is. We would not do the Boston Bermuda again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife, my two daughters (12,15), and I sailed out of Boston because it was a quick drive from our home in Connecticut. This was my fifth cruise and first with Norwegian, the process to embark onboard was quick and very efficient. ... Read More
My wife, my two daughters (12,15), and I sailed out of Boston because it was a quick drive from our home in Connecticut. This was my fifth cruise and first with Norwegian, the process to embark onboard was quick and very efficient. The ship looks newly remodeled and was very clean. The two pools were small, but I haven't found a pool at sea that was sufficient, so I can't complain about this one. Once onboard, we went to sign our daughters up for the teen club, Entourage. When we arrived we were told that our 12 year old couldn't every because it was 13-17. We explained that when we called Norwegian to book, we were told because she was turning 13 within 90 days, we would be able to sign a waiver. Unfortunately, on the ship, we were told there's no such policy. This was our daughters first cruise and we were told that our younger daughter could go to the 9-12 year if club, when we walked in there, there was a dozen 10 year old half the size of our daughter. This was a big issue for us, we wouldn't have booked this cruise if w weren't lied to, we asked for a manager and were again told, no chance she would be able to go in. Already underway, we had no options, so we told out kids we'd make there best of it. That evening at one of the shows, my wife stopped at talked to the cruise director, Luz, about our problem. We were told from the cruise director that she would need to down to the GM of the ship and she would get us an answer one way or another by the next day. We never received that call from her or anyone else, e tried to talk to get again but she was too busy for us. Not the qualities you would think the cruise director would possess, but I guess this is customer service in 2019. Some good aspects of the cruise, the entertainment, the shows we're amazing. All three shows we're performed wonderfully by the singers and dancers and Sasha was extremely friendly and took extra time to talk to our kids after all the shows. Well done. We had two ocean view cabins that were spacious. We were on the 8th floor and the bathrooms are very roomy. I'm 6'5", 265 and I was surprised how big the shower was. I did however, have to use the bathroom down the hall near a restaurant because the small space for the toilet didn't quite accommodate the legs of a 6'5" person. The bartender at the Whiskey bar was the only bright spot to the entire bartending crew. Everyone else seemed to be bothered by crowds and drink requests. I witnessed the head bartender at the Irish bar, O'Sheehans, on level 8 argue with two customers during the week. Completely shocking and something I've never seen on a cruise ship before. The restaurant were all very good and the servers were all great with excellent professionalism. Magenta and Orchid Garden were our favorite. Probably the worst part of the cruise was the quality of food at the buffet. I honestly can't think of anything I had there that was good. Even our kids didn't want to eat there. Other than the ice cream, I would stay away from there if at all possible. We had two rainy days at sea, which hindered our ability to do anything outdoors, but there is enough inside to keep busy. I'm a cigar smoker and I wish Norwegian would limit the cigar bar to cigars only. I know it may sound crazy to non smokers, but walking into a cigar bar and getting hit with a dozen cigarette smokers is awful. There are a few areas that are 18+ and I assume that security is outside the doors to enforce that, but my wife and I did take out two daughters, (12,15) with us on three occasions. I'm only assuming that of security thought my 12 year old daughter was 18, they would understand why we didn't force her to play with 10 year olds. In Bermuda it was easy to get on and off the ship. When disembarking back in Boston, we had the option to carry our own bags off, which we did, unfortunately, so did 85% of the ship. It was disorganized and chaotic getting off. Took about 50 minutes, which wasn't terrible, but a few arguments broke out in line because of the confusion and unorganized process. Overall it was an decent cruise, we made memories and loved going 'wifi free' for a week. I was very disappointed by Norwegians lie to us about our kids and even more disappointed that we were blown off once onboard. With a wide variety of options for Cruise lines between NY/NJ/Boston, I doubt we will spend our hard earned money on Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did not explore Boston since we live in nearby Rhode Island and have visited many times before . We love Boston! The embarkation went well although there was a period of time where we waited in line to check in due to high volume of ... Read More
We did not explore Boston since we live in nearby Rhode Island and have visited many times before . We love Boston! The embarkation went well although there was a period of time where we waited in line to check in due to high volume of arrivals at the same time. The ship was in decent shape. Not the best shape or cleanliness that we have experienced on 4 previous cruises on other ships. The cabin was as expected. Inside cabin and no different than the usual on any cruise line. The dining experience was below average at best. We have come to expect great quality of food and presentation. We had neither. The buffets were always loaded with the same foods each day with very little change. Food temperature was often warm and not hot. The dining rooms were varying. We ate on the first night and the last night. The first night we had an average quality of food (dry steak,small portions and lack of offering of beverages.) We did eat at the Asian restaurant which was of very good quality but the cleanliness of the dining area was very lacking. O'Sheehans (an Irish bar) also had good food. The entertainment on the ship was not (must-see). We enjoyed the comedian Andrew Kennedy but all the other acts were okay. Activities were very weak. Bingo was very expensive, the casino was not a winning scene for many and the trivia days were not very well thought out. Service was the least personable than I have ever received on a cruise ship. Not a single crew member got to know my name. There was absolutely zero push to provide patrons with drinks since most of us had a drink package. The port was excellent since it was one of my favorites (Bermuda). Will go back but with another cruise line. The excursions were also excellent but there is zero need to book on the ship. You can go to the tour booking office off the dock and book all your excursions at a reduced price than the on ship excursion office. We travelled with a large group of 25 and had a great time. We will look for alternatives for cruising with other lines if making a return to Bermuda due to the low value for our money paid for this ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This would have been a fine cruise if we hadn't traveled on two other cruise lines in the past. We picked it because the Boston location was convenient and cheap. Overall, we had a nice time. Bermuda is a terrific place to visit. ... Read More
This would have been a fine cruise if we hadn't traveled on two other cruise lines in the past. We picked it because the Boston location was convenient and cheap. Overall, we had a nice time. Bermuda is a terrific place to visit. It's nice to be in a single port for nearly 3 days to experience it in depth. However, the general "complimentary" dining left a lot to be desired. There were few choices, seating was quite hard to come by, and the general quality/variety of food was merely fair. (If these had been land restaurants, we would not have returned to them.) Once we tried them, we avoided the general dining for dinners. The "Freestyle" dining means no reservations can be made at the three general dining rooms, so it's first come first served. We had to arrive at the instant the dining rooms opened to avoid a 45-minute wait. On the other hand,the extra-price dining was excellent, and fortunately our purchase package included 3 these. But this is representative of the general upselling vibe you feel on this ship. At every turn, you are encouraged to spend more money to make the experience more palatable, whether that be dining, wifi (which is glacially slow), or anything better than mediocre wine at dinner. The showroom entertainment was top-notch. High production values, talented casts, and the 45-minute show format kept our interest. The size of the ship makes it easy to get around. However, finding a pleasant place to sit and relax is a chore. We were especially annoyed by all the chair-hogging and table-hogging. One day we couldn't find a single deck chair indoors or out available to sit in. Bars were great. Only once did I stump them with a drink request. However, you have to scrutinize the daily schedule to figure out which bars are open at what hours. It's strangely staggered. This being our third different cruise line, we didn't already know the "inside scoop" on how things are done on NCL. The explanations of embarkation and disembarkation, as well as many other important details. were inadequate to a first-time NCL traveler. That said, the ship seemed to have a lot of NCL "Latitudes" members -- which is their loyalty program -- and those folks seemed quite at ease with the NCL quirks. At Bermuda, we skipped the expensive NCL shore excursions except for a mostly useful mini-bus tour of the island. The NCL free ferry to St. George at the opposite end of the island is a convenient service. Based on this cruise, we would avoid NCL for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband & I took this cruise with our 3 grown children & our son's fiancee. 4 of us had taken the same cruise in 2016 on the Norwegian Dawn. We all had a great time in Bermuda - we went to Elbow Beach & Horseshoe Bay ... Read More
My husband & I took this cruise with our 3 grown children & our son's fiancee. 4 of us had taken the same cruise in 2016 on the Norwegian Dawn. We all had a great time in Bermuda - we went to Elbow Beach & Horseshoe Bay and we went Helmet Diving with Hartley's and snorkling with Rising Son. (It's much cheaper to book the excursions yourself than to do it through the cruise line. The food on the ship was excellent - we ate at Le Bistro, Cagney's, Moderno, both main dining rooms, Orchid Garden (the only restaurant we didn't really like, but we're from the Boston area where there are many excellent Asian restaurants) & the buffet. We especially liked the food from the grills that were set up near the pool at lunch time. The only thing that was a disappointment was that they would not take down the doors between our balconies. Our travel agent didn't know about this, so when we booked 3 rooms with adjoining balconies we had thought that we could all be on the balconies together. The rooms were too small for 6 people, and there were no small lounges on the floors with the staterooms (they do have those on the Dawn). We tried to go to the card room but it was often busy & there were tables reserved for bridge (and once there was a painting class in there). We went to the bigger lounges, but there were often activities going on there. Because of this we may choose a different cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Took a cruise to Bermuda out of Boston with my girlfriend. She had been a cruise before but this was my "rookie trip". We wanted to maximize our time so a cruise out of Boston where we live made perfect sense. Wow what what a ... Read More
Took a cruise to Bermuda out of Boston with my girlfriend. She had been a cruise before but this was my "rookie trip". We wanted to maximize our time so a cruise out of Boston where we live made perfect sense. Wow what what a great experience from start to finish. So much to highlight so here's some of the highlights: Outstanding crew Amazing shows and music Awesome shore excursions Amazing food Great drinks to complement the entertainment First-class ship Outstanding service Great on-board activities Aesome fitness center and gym and classes Great spa The whole experience was incredible. Will we be back - absolutely! Thanks to the amazing NCL crew as well as the people who managed the on-shore actities. Great organization and everything worked like clockwork. We really enjoyed seeing much of Bermuda while there and really was able to see quite a bit in our three days there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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