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Sail Date: October 2017
Norwegian Gem is my favorite ship it is smaller very convenient to find everything. No need to make reservations for everything as one has to do on the larger vessels. Crew unbelievably accommodating. Music on this voyage was exceptional ... Read More
Norwegian Gem is my favorite ship it is smaller very convenient to find everything. No need to make reservations for everything as one has to do on the larger vessels. Crew unbelievably accommodating. Music on this voyage was exceptional we had several concerts by the band of Dixeland Jazz they were wonderful. It was very obvious that all the musicians were passionate about their music an it showed in the performances I was truly sorry when they ended. Dana the piano player in the lounges was unbelievable what a repotoire and he played for hours with no break. The shows in the theatre were great especially Swing the amount of energy the dancers had was mind boggling. Broadway couldn't have done better. It was a marvelous cruise although the weather could have been better. Room service was great had our coffee every morning brought hot and on time by an extremely happy and friendly server always chatted a moment or two. It was a great way to start our day. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife wanted to take a cruise with different stops in Canada. Checking in was slow needed more windows open seem to have more employees walking around behind the employees waiting on guests.Shore excurions in Quebec were un ... Read More
My wife wanted to take a cruise with different stops in Canada. Checking in was slow needed more windows open seem to have more employees walking around behind the employees waiting on guests.Shore excurions in Quebec were un organized,needed to have persons display signs with the different places to go.Person responsible for the tours needed to have a better way of communicating instead of yelling,many guests around and you could not hear. Overall great cruise. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.Food was outstanding and the entertainment was inspiring.Enjoyed the Behind the scene tour,our guide was very nice and the management within different areas of the tour were informitive and cordial.Enjoyed playing Deal or no Deal,Cruise director and staff were very upbeat through the entire cruise.Had alot of different activities through out the entire ship,every day.Really enjoyed listening to music with Sonata,they were outstanding. This is the first we have cruisied with NCL since 1982,Thank you for a great and enjoyable 10 days on the GEM. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose this cruise on the Norweigen Gem the week of 10/21 for 10 days because of the ports in Canada that the ship was stopping at -Halifax, Quebec, Cornerbrook and Sydney. Ship met up with whales so we lost a day in Quebec and then ... Read More
I chose this cruise on the Norweigen Gem the week of 10/21 for 10 days because of the ports in Canada that the ship was stopping at -Halifax, Quebec, Cornerbrook and Sydney. Ship met up with whales so we lost a day in Quebec and then hurricane Phillipe caused us to miss the port of Sydney, Nova Scotia. The captain was very nice and took us around the storm. We did have 20 ft waves but all was fine on board. I called Norwegian directly and spoke to an agent who assured me that my dietary needs were going to be met. Only then did I book the cruise with that Norwegian agent. I had a hard time finding out what food items are on the ship that were either gluten and or dairy free. There is no where a published list that lets you know there is soy and almond milk available, or that there is gluten free hamburger, hot dog rolls, or that there is white bread, English muffin and bagels available. Also, there are gluten free blueberry muffins and a flourless cake if you ask the right person. It took me to the last day to find these things out and it was all just by asking and getting the right person who knew what was available. Best bet is to talk to the Sous Chef in charge at the buffet each day. They can make your food without sauce and gravy which is on many of the hot items on the buffet. And each night, you will have to pre order your dinner if you eat in the dining rooms so the chef can prepare your food to your dietary needs. Desserts are an issue though. Keep that in mind so you are not disappointed as I was. The pastry chef needs to learn to make some better desserts for dietary needs. My friend I traveled with had no food restrictions and had no problem. He especially enjoyed the pool side barbecues and the buffets for both breakfast and lunch. But, each evening we did eat in the Main Dining rooms. Due to my dietary restrictions, we did not eat in any of the al a carte specialty restaurants. Friends who did thouougly enjoyed that experience. Everything else was good from the embankment to the disembarkment. It was organized and quick. Make sure you pick your times in both cases so your getting on and getting off is easy. The entertainment was fine each evening. Just like the opening shows in Las Vegas. There are some games and demonstrations daily plus the casino but the casino has poor ventilation and it is so smoky smelling even if you just have to walk through it. I really enjoyed Park West art gallery giving informative talks and auctions. That was so much fun. Everyone should go to an auction just for the experience. The staff on this cruise were an outstanding 3 some from South Africa. It is fun to have your picture taken but when you go to purchase them, you should take the 10 photo package deal if you want pictures from professionals. Otherwise, $25 for an 8 by 10 and $15 for a 5 by 7 photo will really add up. This was my first time cruising on Norweigen and I had not cruised in 20 years. We were celebrating my friends birthday and it was his first cruise, so this was a special occasion cruise. They sent chocolate covered strawberries to the cabin and a birthday card. At dinner he was presented with a birthday cake and the wait staff sang Happy Birthday making the experience very enjoyable. Before cruising with Norweigen again, I would have to so more research to see what other cruises offer for my dietary needs and would try another cruise line before taking another cruise on Norweigen. They offer a really good deal to travel with them again on future cruises. I could not take advantage of the special deal because I did not have an enjoyable dining experience on this cruise ship and would not want to be disappointed on another Norweigen cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Wanted to try NCL -as a travel agent to compare to other cruise lines for my clients. Very disappointed that for the high price of $89.00 a day plus taxes, this pkg did not include bottled water or specialty coffee like the other cruise ... Read More
Wanted to try NCL -as a travel agent to compare to other cruise lines for my clients. Very disappointed that for the high price of $89.00 a day plus taxes, this pkg did not include bottled water or specialty coffee like the other cruise lines. The wines were pretty low end-alcohol brands were good. The entertainment was one of the better ones as far as cruise ship shows go. Food was below par and the same every day on the buffet-dining room was ok, specialty restaurants were about average-hard to get reservations at a decent time-didn't want to eat at 9:30 or 10: 00pm. I knew it was freestyle cruising-but I did not like to see the sloppy dressers at the restaurants at dinner-old shorts and t-shirts-ok at buffet, but no ambience for dinner. Several of the servers talked of getting low pay and not receiving the pre-paid tips-I asked the front desk and they didn't know if all crew got a portion of the tips. Some crew almost asked outright for extra tips-it was uncomfortable for us. We did have bad weather, which was no fault of the cruise line, and had to cancel our last port-lots of days at sea and not a lot to do. Had to cut short the time in Quebec due to whale migration-which should have been known before itinerary was made. They ported far away from town and charged $15.00 for a shuttle-should have been included. All in all-it was an ok cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Booked this 10 night round trip to Quebec City from New York, to see the fall colors. Our 6th cruise with NCL and 15th counting the others. It was easy to fly in and out of NY on SWA. Stayed at the HIE Manhattan 538 W 48th St. We stayed ... Read More
Booked this 10 night round trip to Quebec City from New York, to see the fall colors. Our 6th cruise with NCL and 15th counting the others. It was easy to fly in and out of NY on SWA. Stayed at the HIE Manhattan 538 W 48th St. We stayed there 2 nights before cruise. I wouldn't try to fly in the morning of cruise, because of all the traffic. It was a 1 1/2 block walk to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. Left HIE at 10:30am and arrived at baggage drop area 15 minutes later. A lot of congestion with cruisers getting off ship, and walking across the street to find transportation. Took elevator up to NCL check in area to fill out paperwork in the suite lounge. Had a pastry and OJ, then at 11:00 the concierge took us to Cagney's for lunch. Originally booked a BA Balcony Mid Ship Cabin, but moved up to the 2 Bedroom Suite with the NCL Bid Upgrade Program. We lucked out because our bid was at the bottom of the poor category, according to NCL. Had a sea day between each port, which made the extras nice, since there was only the 2 of us. The main disappointment was we only got to stop at 3 cruise ports. Halifax NS, Quebec City Q, and Corner Brook NL. Sydney NS was skipped because it was a tender port. The Captain was expecting a storm coming our way, and decided we needed to head back to NY early. (Probably wanted to make sure the next cruise would be delayed.) He made his announcement in the middle of the 7pm show (after leaving Corner Brook) while we were in the theatre. The Cruise Director told us after the show. The seas got a little rough later the next day, after we would have stopped at Sydney. Then later that night there were really rough seas for about 24 hours. Quebec City was an overnight port, but we were shorted 8 hours there. Arrived at 5pm instead of 1pm, and left at 6pm instead of 10pm. Had to go slow in the St. Lawrence Seaway because of whales. The shows were like any other NCL Cruise. Made it to all but one of them. Kind of disappointed that the cruise director never recognized the Veterans aboard, during his announcements after the shows. NCL and most of the other cruise lines have on our past cruises. Like to say a big thank you to Benson the Room Steward, Manolito the Butler, and Elvina the Concierge. We appreciated everything you did for us. The service was great all over the Gem. Never ate at either of the main dining rooms during the evening meals. Only ate in the main dining room twice at breakfast, and twice at lunch. Had the 4 specialty dinner special, and 2 more dinners for being Platinum Members. Our favorites were Cagney's, La Cucina, and Le Bistro. The Moderno had breakfast and Cagney's had lunch for suite guests. Also, ate a few times at O'Sheenans, which we enjoyed and was quick with big screen tv to watch. We only booked one tour with NCL, which was at Corner Brook. That was a big mistake! Couldn't find any private tours on Tripadvisor or any through Viator. Paid $89 each (10 % discount for Platinum Members) for a 3 hour tour on a big bus. Some people knew to make a deal with a cab driver at the port, and they got a longer and cheaper tour. Two ladies we met later onboard got a cab for $75 total, who went more places and was much longer than ours was. (Maybe this will help someone on a future cruise stop.) The people were very friendly, and not many ships stop here. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose the cruise for the itinerary - eastern Canada including Halifax, Quebec City, Corner Brook and Sidney. The ports were excellent, but the last port, Sidney, had to be cancelled because of rough weather and concerns about getting ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary - eastern Canada including Halifax, Quebec City, Corner Brook and Sidney. The ports were excellent, but the last port, Sidney, had to be cancelled because of rough weather and concerns about getting into New York on time. We enjoyed the buffet for breakfast and lunch, ate at the Magenta most other nights. The food was, for the most part, excellent and the service was good too, other than one night in the Grand Pacific where the server couldn't seem to find a tea bag so I could enjoy a cup of tea with my dessert. We chose a midship outside cabin on deck 5. Mostly, it was quiet although we had one night where the crew was doing maintenance somewhere close by and were still drilling and pounding at 10:30 at night. A call to Customer Service ended that noise. Most of the entertainment was excellent, although we found the show "Blazing Boots" very raunchy and offensive. There should have been stronger warnings in the daily newsletter about content. If we had known how sexually explicit it was, we wouldn't have gone. There were a lot of "sea" days on the cruise. A lecture series or something a little more stimulating than Goofy Golf or Trivia would have been appreciated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I like this ship because I live in Toronto and its only an hours flight to New York where it is based. I have been on the Gem and both its sister ships before and have come to appreciate the smaller size. I have become sick of the bigger ... Read More
I like this ship because I live in Toronto and its only an hours flight to New York where it is based. I have been on the Gem and both its sister ships before and have come to appreciate the smaller size. I have become sick of the bigger and bigger ships trying to please everyone and looking more like Disney Land than a cruise ship. I studied design and several teachers taught me that the most important thing about design is "functionality" and this ship has really nailed it. On deck by the pool instead of being gassed to death by cigarette smoke there is a full buffet and often a deck BBQ...the deck is also covered with tables to sit and eat, beds to sun bath and of course the pools and spas. The full Buffet is more then ample and there is a third at the Aft area of the ship outdoors and covered from the sun or rain. The theater is the right size and the sound system does NOT blow your brains out. The shows are first class as are the feature artists. The main dining room is great and I ate breakfast there every morning as I'm not awake enough to navigate the buffet. What can I say..."Eggs over easy...are eggs over easy" not cooked hard or med but just as you request. Bacon side is close to half a pound, delicious, a bit too much for me and there is everything else one would expect. For $200. Canadian I booked the specialty restaurants for the 10 day cruise...One evening in a comparable restaurant on land would cost you what I paid for the entire 10 days. Cagney's prime rib. Fillet, tenderloin, huge shrimp, oysters, etc. don't forget deserts. Le Bistro, French and fabulous, Amazing, non salty Onion soup, or Muscles in wine sauce to start, Fillet, lamb, veal, fabulous deserts and an amazing cheese assortment with your wine. I alternated these two restaurants all trip except for one must do night in the Teppanyaki Japanese with the chef show and fabulous cooked to order food. There are Chinese, Brazilian and the 24 hr. O'Shaunasies ... never run out of food that's for sure. I am now Latitude Platinum and this gave me wonderful perks...it pays to be loyal...I got two specialty restaurants for two, a free bag of laundry, Campaign, chocolate covered strawberries...talk about pampering. I was really luck this time as I was assigned the cabin I always wanted and never could get...I got it by chance and it was dead center aft looking out over the wake...what a view from my balcony and the cabin was excellent...sleeps four but I have no idea where you would put the others...my cloths took ALL the hangers...and the bathroom was great but just room for my stuff, thank heavens I was alone. The person who never seems to get a mention is whoever it is that hires the staff. Boy what a lot of wonderful, happy, helpful people, Bravo you always hire people who suddenly become your best friends at sea. Boarding in New York was easy...on return I walked off with my suitcase so I didn't have to wait and search the dock....I was dashing for the airport for my flight back to Canada...Oh, yes, that's where the ship went...Quebec City, Halifax, Sydney, New Foundland (Corner Brook) A bit of rain at this time of year but I still enjoyed every minute of this cruise to a part of my country that I had never visited and the was the perfect way and opportunity to get a sampling of the good stuff in Eastern Canada. By the way the Fall Colors were breathtaking and I have dozens of photo's to prove it. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We enjoyed the ports of call, the dining and entertainment. However as of day 7 rumors regarding the Propulsion equipment on one of the engines put a cloud of worry over everyone. We were reassured the ship was safe and all services ... Read More
We enjoyed the ports of call, the dining and entertainment. However as of day 7 rumors regarding the Propulsion equipment on one of the engines put a cloud of worry over everyone. We were reassured the ship was safe and all services proceeded as normal. Except by wednesday, day 8 it was announced the ship could not return to New York and would need to dry dock in Barbadoes. We were informed that we would be asked to disembark in Barbadoes on Friday or Saturday and chartered flights would be arranged to get us back to NY city. We received one questionnaire asking us 2 questions. What was our final destination and to check if we had arrangements with hotels, air, bus etc. in NY..not other info was asked. By 5 pm thurs. my husband and I and friends received notification we would need to be packed and have bags out by 10pm Thurs. Report to Barbadoes immigration at 2 am, be bused to the airport where we would board the first flight out at 7am. The flight was delayed 2 hours, we got into NY 2 hours late and waited 3 hours for our luggage to begin to surface as the charter flight did not have ground crew arrangements in Newark. We were then told to get on a bus to be taken to a hotel. We got to first grungy hotel in Newark and were told by NCL rep we were not at that hotel. GEt back on bus and wait for further info. at last we arrived at another hotel by 6pm where we spent the night. Next morning bused to our airport for our flight connection at la Guardia. The NCL team let us down. Did not provide updated info while on the ship, they didn't consider needs to allow for seniors to pack and arrange themselves to be at immigration by 2 am. The disembarkation plan was poorly organized. Many who went to complain before seemed to have considerations taken into account however we didn't have the heart to become involved in the shouting fiasco in the atrium the Thurs, which was our only our 10th vacation day. We didn't get our 11th day or needed support and reassurance from NCL. Have filed complaint but not heard anything in over 15 days. Very dissatisfied with NCL ability to handle this situation which was not life threatening but stressful and worrisome. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because it was staying overnight in Quebec and was stopping in Newfoundland. A few days before leaving, we learned that our time in Quebec would be shortened; instead of arriving at 1:00, we would be arriving at 5:00. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was staying overnight in Quebec and was stopping in Newfoundland. A few days before leaving, we learned that our time in Quebec would be shortened; instead of arriving at 1:00, we would be arriving at 5:00. By the time we docked and got to town, everything was closing or closed. It would have been nice to know this prior to our going into town. The ship did provide a shuttle ($15 per person) for both days we were there and the shuttle ran continually. Unfortuantely, it rained the next day so it hampered our doing all we had planned. After Newfoundland, we were scheduled to go to Sydney, Nova Scotia but a tropical storm prevented us from stopping. We then spent Sunday and Monday with very turbulent weather basically floating toward New York. The cruise was basically senior citizens and we were very impressed with how helpful the crew was in attending to everyone's needs. The entertainment was very good, especially the Second City. The food was okay, nothing exceptional. The main dining room had the same menu everyday, with just one or two exceptions. We noticed little changes since our last cruise with Norvwegian - no more half and half for coffee, no lobster or fillet served in the dining room. We are glad we took this cruise because we were able to experience the beauty and friendliness of Newfoundland but were very disappointed in our shortened stay in Quebec and not being able to go to Sydney. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The upgrades were fabulous - beverage package, speciality dining, shipboard credits, and excursion credits. What a value. The ship is quite nice - great layout - super entertainment, wonderful suites, nicest staff ever. First Norwegian ... Read More
The upgrades were fabulous - beverage package, speciality dining, shipboard credits, and excursion credits. What a value. The ship is quite nice - great layout - super entertainment, wonderful suites, nicest staff ever. First Norwegian cruise, but we are looking now to find another one. Lovely trip up the St. Lawrence river - trees in full foliage. The ports were interesting and the excursions informative - don't miss the falls in Quebec! 10 wonderful days. ONLY complaint: Heavy smokers in the casino - we did not use it at all - and did not even want to walk through there to get to the theatre. Gross. We had the owner's suite and it was grand - top of the ship with 180 degree view and our own hot tub and butler. The speciality dining in Cagney's, Le Bistro, and La Cucina is fabulous - book they early as soon as you get on board - they fill up fast - worth the upcharge! Highly recommend this trip. Read Less
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