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Sail Date: June 2018
We picked this cruise because once in a while we want to go North, rather than South, and Norwegian is our favorite cruise line. We come from New York City and don't have to travel to board either of the NCL ships that call NYC home. ... Read More
We picked this cruise because once in a while we want to go North, rather than South, and Norwegian is our favorite cruise line. We come from New York City and don't have to travel to board either of the NCL ships that call NYC home. Also the price for an inside cabin on this cruise was very reasonable. We made two stops in Canada: Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John, New Brunswick. Then we made two stops in Maine: Bar Harbor and Portland. Embarkation was very smooth. We dropped our bags at the curb, signed in right away with almost no line ahead of us and got on the ship in a hurry. (We are at the Platinum level with NCL.) We like the Gem because it's a smaller ship and doesn't entail a great deal of walking. We got an inside cabin as the scenery outside in Canada and Maine in June isn't really spectacular. There was plenty of room inside for all our stuff. The TV, sink, shower, and safe all worked just fine. Our room steward was really great. He always greeted us by name and he kept the room in spotless condition. We were on the 10th floor in a convenient location, between the aft and mid-ship elevators. The room was very quiet at night and we had no trouble sleeping. We've eaten in every restaurant on the Gem in the last couple of years. This time we ate in the Italian and French specialty restaurants. Both were good, the French one, Le Bistro, being the better of the two. We were able to eat in both for free as a perk to Platinum level customers but we noticed that the menus were ala carte rather than one flat price and I don't like that. The shows were OK. Like the commercial used to say, "When Hollywood and Broadway say no, the cruise ship says yes". Still, we went to the Western show and the Swing show and were entertained for an hour or so. The casino was nice. We spent a lot of time there without losing a whole bunch of money. All the employees there were great. We had a good time playing Bingo and Deal or No Deal. Since we had been to all four ports before we didn't take any excursions. We just got off the ship, ate lunch, and walked around a bit. It was chilly in all the ports except for the last one, Portland, so we tried to stay indoors. The temperature was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The only problem we had was that everyone had to be checked by Customs on the ship before we pulled in to Bar Harbor. I saw no reason for this because everyone was checked when we got on in NYC and whenever we got on and off in Canada. Not to mention that we all had to clear customs in NYC upon our return. The line to see the Customs agents, there were only two of them, stretched a long way. It would all through the casino and up the aft staircase. Because of this we got off the boat late and Bar Harbor is a tender port with no dock for a large ship. Some people who had purchased excursions were afraid of missing them. This was not something started by NCL. It involved Federal Customs regulations. We had the easiest disembarkation of any cruise we had been on. We put our bags out the night before, picked them up in the terminal and walked through customs in a hurry with only two people ahead of us. It's no longer necessary to fill out a declaration form if you have nothing to declare. All in all we had a very nice cruise and we were well looked after by the staff. I would love to do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
It was so hot in September in New Jersey we wanted to get away to somewhere cooler! This cruise seemed to be a terrific way to do that and, in general, was. Life on board has improved quite a bit since our last cruises 25 years ago. The ... Read More
It was so hot in September in New Jersey we wanted to get away to somewhere cooler! This cruise seemed to be a terrific way to do that and, in general, was. Life on board has improved quite a bit since our last cruises 25 years ago. The food and service were outstanding! Sitting in the "Great Outdoors" after breakfast was our favorite spot. Purchasing unlimited internet access, a week of Spa access, extra water, specialty restaurant access and unlimited beverage service really helped what would have otherwise been a bit boring. Having the only excursion we preordered be oversold and us not being notified in advance that we had been bumped from it, was definitely extremely disappointing. And the excursion staff's lack of empathy was and remains distressing. Toyisana Chiowfatt, the Internet Manager was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and had the patience of Job. Adi and Yuan in Magenta were the most pleasant and efficient staff one could hope for. The hostesses at Magenta and the Grand Pacific were friendly and very helpful. Vi and Gary at the atrium Bar were delightful. Halifax and Quebec City were accessible and delightful to visit. Corner Brook we could have done without. We never made it to Sydney because of the storms. After 9 days of cool weather and calm seas Phillippe joined a cold front and convinced us that this would be our last cruise! Even the shipboard staff seemed shaken. All in all, glad we went. Canada is beautiful in the Fall and so are the whales in the North Atlantic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We sailed on Oct 21, returning on Oct 31. Overall, it was enjoyable and relaxing experience. As expected, the staff was great. The entertainment, the food, the facilities were all quite satisfying. Cagney's is still the ... Read More
We sailed on Oct 21, returning on Oct 31. Overall, it was enjoyable and relaxing experience. As expected, the staff was great. The entertainment, the food, the facilities were all quite satisfying. Cagney's is still the best steak house on any boat we've sailed. The restaurant staff throughout the boat is efficient and well managed. The entire food service staff cared about the customers' needs and satisfaction. This cruise had predictably cooler weather. That cold effectively closed all the outdoor food venues and seating, forcing the other venues (food and entertainment) to be overcrowded. It did not seem that the restaurant management took effort to accommodate the larger crowds. The interior venues were similarly overcrowded. The weather effectively made the ship smaller. I have mixed reviews on the entertainment and cruise staff. The house Showband was excellent and the production shows were very well done by skilled singers and dancers. The bands in the smaller venues were great and fun to listen to. But. . . Second City is funny -- once. Several of the skits are the same from other cruises. Their evening show seemed tired and was not inventive as one should expect from an improv troupe. The cruise staff events were less than inspiring. The use of the atrium for events that drew large numbers was simply thoughtless. There was inadequate seating for the games and other events. The trivia games were beyond disappointing. They play these games on each cruise and absolutely know the facts are wrong, yet there seems to be no concern for fixing the problems. The cruise staff, in the games and events, went through the motions, but did not seem to care about much beyond getting to the end. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our 1st cruise out of NYC, but our 36th cruise and 9th on NCL. First time on the Gem, but have been on all her sister ships. We drove and spent the night before the cruise at a Hampton Inn in Ridgefield Park NJ. Got a nice ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise out of NYC, but our 36th cruise and 9th on NCL. First time on the Gem, but have been on all her sister ships. We drove and spent the night before the cruise at a Hampton Inn in Ridgefield Park NJ. Got a nice room, breakfast, parking for the 10 nights, and shuttle to and from Manhattan terminal for a reasonable price. Got to the port about 10:15 or so, and they started checking people in about 10:30. Long line, but we got in priority line which was short and were checked in within 10 minutes. Had to wait for awhile in terminal, but were on ship by 11:15. Friends we had met on a previous Alaska cruise from Texas had invited us on this cruise, and they flew in that morning. They were on the ship by 1:30. Went to Grand Pacific dining room for relaxing lunch as opposed to fighting crowd at buffet. Food on board for the most part was good quality, but service in main dining rooms was usually slow. We would usually skip dessert so we could make it to the 1st show. Would then head up after show to get dessert from the buffet. This became the normal pattern. Entertainment on board was for the most part very good. Singers and dancers were great, as were most of the other shows. Did not care for Second City comedy shows. Cruise Director Mark was very personable, and kept people entertained. Our room steward Arnold was great, and it was the 1st time we got 2 towel animals per day. Rest of the staff was also usually very friendly and helpful. Our favorite place on board the Gem, Pearl, Sun, Jewel, and Jade is the Great Outdoors. Love the open space on the back. When the weather was favorable that's where our frends would find us, or we would find them. Have also been on the Epic and the Escape, and while they are beautiful ships, we like the size of these ships and the Great Outdoors area. Had breakfast out there almost everyday. Beautiful weather when we headed out of NYC, and was nice to sail past the skyline and the Statue of Liberty on such a beautiful day. Weather in Halifax was nice, but a little overcast. We hired a taxi with our friends, and went over to Peggy's Cove. Nice drive, and the trees had color. Also went by the Citadel, and walked around the Public Gardens, etc. Then walked along the waterfront boardwalk back to the ship. N ext port was Quebec City, but due to speed limit imposed to protect Right whales we got into port about 5pm instead of 1pm. Ship stayed overnight, and left at 6 pm instead of 10pm. Ship docked over a mile from where the Princess and Regent ships were docked, and NCL had buses to take you back and forth to where the other ships were docked, but charged $15/person to use the bus. So in our opinion they charged us to go where we should have been in the 1st place. Really NCL? We didn't go into town as it was getting dark already, so waited till next day. Unfortunately drizzeled all day long. But it's a neat city. Very European feeling. Just walked around the city streets and up to the Hotel Fontenac. Very nice. Next port after a sea day was Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Small town, not a ton to do, but very friendly people. Had free school buses and shuttles to take you into the town and back, and music playing and free wifi in front of the city hall and library. Were lots of hiking trails for those interested. Can't say enough about how friendly and accomodating the people from the town were. Next day was supposed to be Sydney NS, which was a tender port, but Captain skipped this port in order to try to avoid tropical storm that was heading up the east coast. Couldn't fault him for that. Had a nice sea day, until later on that late afternoon it started getting a little rough. The next day and a half was very rough seas, with high winds and waves over 21 ft. There were a lot of people who stayed in their rooms. Roughest sease in all our cruises, but I'm sure they've been through worse. Last big production show was cancelled, but very understandable. Fortunately when we got back to NYC, the previous day's storm had passed, and it was a very nice morning to cruise into the harbor and disembark. Did self-assist, and never sure how long it will take to get off and go thru Customs. Ended up being about 10 minutes, so had some time to wait for our shuttle. But all was good. Summary: Enjoyed the cruise, but will probably not do NCL for awhile unless I see a really great deal. There are a few things they do well, like barbeques out poolside on calm sea days, and we really enjoy the freestyle concept. And we love the Great Outdoors area, and O'Sheehans pub, which is open 24 hours a day. But they do kind of nickel and dime you, like charging for the bus in Quebec City because they couldn't secure a good berth spot. And unlike other cruise lines, no daily shrimp cocktail, and no lobster. A 10 night cruise in New England/Canada area and no lobster? Even Carnival gives it to you on a 7 day cruise. We just had an inside cabin, and cabin is much smaller than on some other lines. And I don't take a cruise to watch TV, but the World Series was going on, and you could not watch it on the ship anywhere because NCL was too cheap to buy the rights to show it. But you can see lots of soccer. We knew there was a tropical storm heading up the coast, but you couldn't find any channel to see the weather, because all they have is MSNBC, BBC, CNBC, and Fox News. Great if you want to watch political banter over and over, but don't try to see any normal news or weather. And apparently NCL wasn't able to negotiate very well for their liquor supply, because they charge more for it than any other cruise line we have been on. The drink package is $89.95/per person per day plus 18% gratuity, but it doesn't even include bottled water or specialty coffees. But you can buy a 24 pack of 1 liter bottled water for only $45. What a deal. Even if you get the drink package as a free perk, we would have spent $360 in liquor gratuities for the cruise. And unlike most other lines that allow you to carry on one bottle of wine per person free, they charge you $15 corkage fee for every bottle. And the wines in their drink package are not really that good. They also charge a fee for almost all room service orders. HAL has them beat hands down in this department. Did we have a good time? Yes. Am I glad I went? Yes. But after having been on numerous other lines, guess the luster has worn off for me for a while on NCL. Still a good line, but they have raised prices and taken away some of the things they used to include, more so in my opinion than some of the other lines, which have also been cutting costs. If you like the itinerary, I wouldn't hesitate to go on NCL, especially if you like the freestyle concept. But some of the little things above are starting to bug me, because I know what it was like. But any cruise is a good cruise!! 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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I picked this cruise because it was out of NYC and I liked the ports. It was a time of year for great foliage. There were very few children or families on this cruise. Because the age group was older, this ship had problems with ... Read More
I picked this cruise because it was out of NYC and I liked the ports. It was a time of year for great foliage. There were very few children or families on this cruise. Because the age group was older, this ship had problems with Freestyle dining, as everyone wanted to eat at the same time. We had reservations that were made in advance and did not have that problem. There were many angry people on the ship and that was not pleasant. There was a stomach virus on the ship and many of the staff was missing due to illness, so the service in restaurants was slow. The ship's speed in Canadian waters was reduced due to whale migration, so we were in the ports less time than originally scheduled. The entertainment was okay, not great, except for the Liverpool Legends. They were great. Our cabin was fine and our stewardess was fine, not outstanding. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose the cruise because it sailed out of Manhattan and to Quebec City, round trip. Highlights were Quebec City and the last day excursion around NYC en route to the airport. Quebec City is an amazing port. We also liked the hop ... Read More
We chose the cruise because it sailed out of Manhattan and to Quebec City, round trip. Highlights were Quebec City and the last day excursion around NYC en route to the airport. Quebec City is an amazing port. We also liked the hop on, hop off bus in Halifax. The people whom we met at dinner were lovely-friendly and interesting. We like free style dining with a reservation and chose most evenings to share a table as a way to meet people. We enjoyed hearing Randon sing in the evenings. He is from the Philippines and sang popular tunes by Jimmy Buffet, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Neil Diamond, Don McLean, and many others. Our room steward, Jeng, did an excellent job. She was very conscientious. The food was good, more vegetarian entrees would be an enhancement. Adding stuffed Portobello mushrooms, which we enjoyed on a previous cruise, would be great, We enjoyed the hot tub and saltwater pool when the weather was warm enough. The piece of glasswork in the Alizar dining room was interesting. Stardust shows were good. Challenges: Embarkation was slow. Maybe it is always slow at this port. On Thursday afternoon, 10-19-17, the intense chemical odor in the Spinnaker Lounge was offensive and caused an allergic response in my throat and nasal passages that lasted for days. It smelled of paint thinner or paint or acetone or wax. I notified Spinnaker staff and Guest Services staff. I couldn't use the fitness equipment due to the strong rubber smell in it that exacerbated my allergies from the Spinnaker incident. The gangplank malfunctioned on the evening of our Quebec City stop, causing several hours' delay getting off the ship. Apparently the problem occurred with the previous ship in port. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We went on this cruise because it offers round trip from New York to Quebec City. We had inside cabin on the deck 9 (9505) which is quite and nice. The room was always cleaned up very quickly. There are plenty space for two people. ... Read More
We went on this cruise because it offers round trip from New York to Quebec City. We had inside cabin on the deck 9 (9505) which is quite and nice. The room was always cleaned up very quickly. There are plenty space for two people. Entertainment was good while dinging is the worst part of our trip. We had specialty dining package but reservation line was a mile long everyday and the only reservation time for dinner was available either very early at 5:30pm or at 9:00pm. It seems that everyone had specialty dinning package and they were not able to accommodate. The dinning menu was very limited and not as good as the ship Breakaway which we took last December. They took many dishes off the meny comparing to the menu on Breakaway. The customer service desk staff were nice and helpful but the manager at the internet cafe was not there everytime I was going there and trying to speak with him about the problem with internet connection. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We've been considering a cruise for years and this destination was the one most convenient and appealing. Our experiences may be colored by our inexperience. We enjoyed the ship, the staff and all but one of the shore ... Read More
We've been considering a cruise for years and this destination was the one most convenient and appealing. Our experiences may be colored by our inexperience. We enjoyed the ship, the staff and all but one of the shore excursions. We found out later that this was the first time NCL stopped at Rockland, ME. The tour was billed as a great opportunity to take pictures of the harbor from the mountain. We did a drive thru! We were not allowed off the bus but then spent an hour and 20 minutes in the quaint little town at the base of the mountain. Then, our lobster dinner was in a large room with no windows. The other excursions were terrific. The resort was lovely and there must have been a room with a better view! We could see our ship from the grounds. The shows onboard were quality but in most cases way too loud. We wore ear protection nearly the entire time in the theater. The production staff shows were the loudest, nearly painful. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We have previously cruised with Norwegian Cruise Line but this year just my husband and I went on the cruise without any family members or my children and had a fabulous time. The food and the service was good, in fact there were lots ... Read More
We have previously cruised with Norwegian Cruise Line but this year just my husband and I went on the cruise without any family members or my children and had a fabulous time. The food and the service was good, in fact there were lots of options as to where and when to dine. Every member that we came across was friendly and helpful. The entertainment was great! There were different shows every night. We went on different excursions - they were interesting (we learned a lot about Halifax, St. John and Maine.) While on the ship, we attended the "art presentations/auctions" several times. Both the embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly with no problems for us. Our cabin, the bathroom was clean (although we practically only slept in the room, we left in the morning and came back at night to take a shower and get ready to go to dinner, see shows at night, etc.). Without any doubts, we would recommend to use Norwegian Cruise Line. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We boarded in Quebec City. The ship was docked at #30 which was quite a ways from the city center. It didn't look that far on the map, so my husband and I walked over, intending to board, have lunch and then go back into the old city ... Read More
We boarded in Quebec City. The ship was docked at #30 which was quite a ways from the city center. It didn't look that far on the map, so my husband and I walked over, intending to board, have lunch and then go back into the old city since we didn't leave until the next day. By the time we got to the ship, got on, ate lunch and got to our cabin, we were too tired to walk all the way back to the old city, so we just got to know the ship. Luckily, the next day was lovely and we walked into town and rented bikes to ride out to Montmorency Falls. Much more enjoyable than taking the ship's tour. Our balcony room was fine. We ate in Le Bistro (my favorite), Cagneys and Los Lobos. It was my first experience with specialty restaurants, and they were great. I may be spoiled forever. We did, however, also enjoy the Venetian for dinner on the other nights. never had to wait long for a nice table for two. Had lunch at O'Sheehans one day. Not remarkable, although my husband enjoyed his Reuben. My wings were just too spicy for me. I was disappointed one day when the Packers were to be on in O'Sheehans. but there were no seats available, and a 90 minute wait. seems like they could put the game on somewhere more accessible, or not serve lunch during that time. Only ate lunch a couple of times in the buffet. I always found something to eat, as I like salads for lunch and they have lots of good greens. The entertainment was very good. It was often hard to choose what to go to, there were so many good options. Loved the singers Jose and Patti in the atrium, and one night they played Neil Diamond in the Stardust. It was packed. I wish they could have played in Bliss so we could have danced. The band in Bliss was okay and very versatile, but didn't have the following like Jose and Patti did. .We didn't really click with Aaron Shaw, although he had a lovely voice. Heather Sullivan was great. The production shows were generally good. I couldn't quite figure out Band on the Run, but I enjoyed the singing and dancing. Didn't make it to Elements, but I laughed until I cried at Second City's main show. This was my second cruise with Richard, our cruise director, and I am a big fan of his "stories". One thing I wish they would have added to the entertainment was some fiddlers playing traditional music after we visited Sydney. Would have been fun to hear some of that type of music, after visiting the world's largest fiddle! I had to visit the ship's doctor early on, and felt like I got good care. Because I had to take medication with food, I had room service breakfast every morning. One morning they forgot me, but otherwise it was great. After I called they got there quickly. We did one ship's tour, in Sydney, called Heart of the Island. I wanted to go to the Highland Museum, which I understood was closed already except for cruise tours. Unfortunately, we docked late that morning due to strong winds, so they departed on our morning tour late, and cut the tour short so they could still do the afternoon tour. We didn't get to see everything. It was a long drive just to the museum and back, No other points of interest. I probably wouldn't choose to do that again. We rented a car in Halifax and drove to Peggy's Cove on our own, which turned out great. It was beautiful, and we got to be there when no-one else was around for a few minutes. Rented bikes in Bar Harbor and rode to Acadia. Walked! out to the reversing rapids in St John's (it turned out to be pretty far on my sore knee) , and then bought a ticket for the hop on hop off pink bus so we could see the rapids again in the afternoon. The rest of that tour was pretty lame. We should have just taken a taxi back out. We had to go all the way back to the cruise port to buy the tickets, and it was already late in the day, so we didn't hop off except at the rapids. Seemed like a lot of money for not much tour. Not much to see in town, but a great market right downtown with great lobster rolls. Our room steward Sem was fine. He was pretty unobtrusive, working very hard. He gave us great towel animals. The room was always clean. We enjoyed getting to know our servers in the dining room. very interesting stories. The demographic on this cruise was primarily older people. Very few children, and very little diversity. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This is not the first time we are doing this cruise, but we are really satisfied with it. Leaving from Quebec city is wonderful! The ship is a good size, it was easy to find our way on the ship, specially with fishes on the carpet, ... Read More
This is not the first time we are doing this cruise, but we are really satisfied with it. Leaving from Quebec city is wonderful! The ship is a good size, it was easy to find our way on the ship, specially with fishes on the carpet, facing forward. The dining experience was also excellent. We had great food, and a variety of choices in the buffet. We really like the fact that it is a freestyle, not as some other cruise lines that proclaimed they have anytime dining, and it is not the case. On Norwegian, we have no reservation for dinner, at any time. It is also easy to have a table for 2. We almost never share tables, because my husband doesn't speak english, and at any time, we felt like asking for a favor, to have a table for 2. This is a cruise I would recommand for sure! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our 5th NCL cruise and our 26th cruise. I didn't have high expectations, but it turned out pretty good. Embarkation: was the slowest I've been on. Don't know if it was because we arrived at 11:00, but stood on ... Read More
This was our 5th NCL cruise and our 26th cruise. I didn't have high expectations, but it turned out pretty good. Embarkation: was the slowest I've been on. Don't know if it was because we arrived at 11:00, but stood on line for an hour. The good: 1.Daily thermal spa was great 2.Thought entertainment was pretty good for a smaller size ship. Didnt love the theater as the number of aisles are limited, making hard to get to empty seats. 3.We saw dolphins following the ship! 4. Staff were all very nice. 5. After having a couple problems with service in dining room and restaurant, I spoke to the food and beverage manager and we seemed to get better service, or maybe it was my imagination. 6. Very easy self embarkation. The bad: Service in dining room and even in specialty restaurants, was very uneven. Sometimes it was great, and other times awful. On 2 separate occasions, we witness our food order sitting at a station, with no one to bring it over. It sat for 5-10 minutes. One was under a heat lamp (in Lacucina) but the other my omelet just sat, with no heat and when finally served was cold. Both times, I had to ask for a manager to come over, otherwise we would have waited longer. In the dining room, one dinner took 45 minutes, and another time 2 hours! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We mainly chose this cruise for the itinerary. We cruised from New York to Maine, Halifax and St. John. It was lovely weather so, of course, that helped make the cruise a success. We ate at three of the specialty restaurants and thought ... Read More
We mainly chose this cruise for the itinerary. We cruised from New York to Maine, Halifax and St. John. It was lovely weather so, of course, that helped make the cruise a success. We ate at three of the specialty restaurants and thought they were great (free perk). The only bad experience we had was slow service and raw eggs at the Pacific. The bartenders were mostly very friendly as were the waiters at most venues. The shows were better than on previous cruises. The ship is a bit dated but it is more manageable with 2200 people. Since we are from Minnesota 72 degrees was warm enough for us to lay out on the deck but many people were wearing coats. Yikes! Cruises definitely have lost some of their "luxury" features but I still feel they are a value for the dollar. We will sail again. It is a fairly relaxing vacation venue. We love how friendly most of the other cruisers are. Just ask where they are from and you are off to being friends. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The Cruise was wonderful and relaxing. The staff was friendly and helpful. The entertainment was great. We love Second City, but all the show were great. They had some really talented entertainer onboard. The ship for the most part was ... Read More
The Cruise was wonderful and relaxing. The staff was friendly and helpful. The entertainment was great. We love Second City, but all the show were great. They had some really talented entertainer onboard. The ship for the most part was clean, except cruisers would leave their dirty plates and glasses EVERYWHERE on deck so the staff wasn't always out there to clean up after everyone. The ports were OK. Bar Harbor was the best. We rented a car and went to Acadia National Park and stopped at Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound for some AMAZING lobster. The food was good, but dinner in the Grand Pacific and Magenta dining rooms took no less than 2 hours each night. That was a little long because we would always miss the first show even though we were in the dining room by 5pm. We started going only to the buffet so that we wouldn't have to wait for so long. However, our overall experience was wonderful we would definitely go on NCL again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We have cruised to the southern ports but never up north so we were anxious to try this experience. We had cruised on the Gem before but had not been on there since the renovations. Ship looked good. We are from New Jersey so it was an ... Read More
We have cruised to the southern ports but never up north so we were anxious to try this experience. We had cruised on the Gem before but had not been on there since the renovations. Ship looked good. We are from New Jersey so it was an easy and inexpensive bus ride to Port Authority and a cab ride to the ship. Embarkation and Disembarkation went well. We arrived at the pier around ten thirty am and were on board by eleven. The number we received to board was 24 but my husband found a NCL employee and told him we were Lattitudes and he ushered us to the front of the line.Not a big fan of buffets so we went to the Grand Pacific for lunch, walked around the ship a little and our rooms were ready with luggage delivered very timely Disembarkation was also no problem. Ship pulled into port a bit latter than expected but we were in no hurry and enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the Grand Pacific before heading out to find our luggage. Crossed street and went right to taxi stand and up to Port Authority very easily. As mentioned, the Gem looked great! It is plenty big enough for us and we refreshed our memory of its lay out. Some changes but all good. We had an inside midship cabin on deck 4 that we chose because we wanted minimal movement and also quiet and were not disappointed. Storms were all over and the sea was the smoothest we had ever experienced. Very surprised as we thought the sail up to Halifax would have been rough.Cabin comfortable, very clean and storage very ample. We had chosen the $99 beverage package and thought we would just buy a meal or two at special dining if we wanted it, but the included dining was very good to excellent. The guitar and piano players were not as good as we had experienced in the past and the shows although very good seemed very loud. Very energetic singer and dancers and female vocalist Geri very good. Service was wonderful. We discovered that the rooms off the main dining rooms seemed to have newer or just learning waiters and servers and they were a bit slower and some communication difficulities, so we stuck to the main dining rooms Ports were very nice. We skipped the ship excursions and picked two private drivers in Halifax and St John. Good move. We had Terry of Terrys taxi in Halifax and Roy of Roys taxi in St John. In both cases these men were local folks who knew the ins and outs of their towns and they kept ahead of the bus tours. Since we were a party of six we found the cost to be much less than the bus tours from the ship. Both drivers had seven passenger vans and pretty much stopped for coffee, bathroom breaks and picture spots whenever we wanted. Nice local lunch stops Book early before you go as they fill up fast. In Bar Harbor we took Olilies trolley to Acadia Park and another trolley in Portland out to the lighthouse. Both were very good. They only problem we had was one person in our party wanted to be able to be connected to phone and wifi due to work responsibilities. Unfortunately this was very spotty and this was stressful for him as he went on the trip thinking he could be available when needed. Able to handle some calls while in port. Another surprise was that the NY Yankee games were not able to be seen on the ship despite the huge screens. Plenty of football and hockey but no Yankee baseball on a ship coming out of NY in the playoffs! Definitely enjoy Norwegian and would choose them again if the ports were to our interest. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We sailed on the NCL Gem from Saturday, October 7 thru Saturday, October 14. We got in line about 12:30 PM. The procedure for checking in took a long time. About an hour. Our “perks” included 100 internet minutes, 10 standard ... Read More
We sailed on the NCL Gem from Saturday, October 7 thru Saturday, October 14. We got in line about 12:30 PM. The procedure for checking in took a long time. About an hour. Our “perks” included 100 internet minutes, 10 standard photos, unlimited local phone calls, $25 casino play each, $50 onboard credit each, the Ultimate Drink and Specialty Dining Packages each. The last two items were not “free.” There was an 18% gratuity charged. That amounted to $99.54 for beverages and $12.42 for the dining, each. The dining was well worth it.The drink package not so much. At about $10 per drink, we may have broken even. I have no idea how one could consume so much alcohol if the Ultimate Drink Package were actually purchased. The cost including gratuity is $652.54. At $10 per drink that would be 65 drinks or more than 9 per day. Also, it excludes specialty coffees like espresso, latte etc, which is puzzling. Checking the menu, coffee drinks are priced lower than alcoholic drinks. The first night we ate dinner at Cagney’s. The meal and service were both outstanding. Sunday was a day at sea. Mostly pretty boring. Dinner was at O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill. Again, food and service were outstanding. great Monday, we rented a car in Halifax. We ate at La Cucina as part of the Specialty Dining package. The service was outstanding. The food was not very good. Veal was tough. The pasta dish with shrimp was supposed to be spicy. It was pretty bland. Tuesday we rented a car in St. Johns. We had dinner in the Grand Pacific Dining room. Service was pretty good. Food also pretty good. Wednesday in Bar Harbor, there was a very bad experience using the tenders to get to shore. We had booked a tour with Acadia National Park Tours for 10 am and were supposed to arrive by 9:30. Having a feeling that would not work, I changed the reservation to 10:30. We were in line for about 45 minutes. There was no sign of NCL personnel. My wife organized the line so it was more orderly. Finally, someone from NCL showed up and said they were filling tenders first with people who had purchased tours through NCL using those of us in line as “fillers”. The bottom line is we got to our tour on time but would have missed it if I had not made the schedule change. We ate in the Orchid Garden Asian restaurant. Service excellent and the food was good. Thursday we ate dinner in Portland at the Fore Street restaurant. Really, really great experience. Friday, another day at sea. We ate at the Bistro, again as part of the Specialty Dining package. The service was outstanding. The food was pretty, very good, but we much preferred Cagney’s. Generally, the food in the buffet was very good. We at breakfast there almost every day. Twice we had breakfast in one of the dining rooms. Service was painfully slow. Earlier, I mentioned that we had $50 each onboard credit. We thought we could apply the unused portion to gratuities. Wrong!, they told us. It was “non-refundable.” Huh? We did not ask for a refund, just to have it applied to gratuities. Nobody on board could show us the NCL “policy” on this matter. It was not part of our cruise documents. Had we known, we would have used it for one casino play, and then cashed it in. Disembarking took a very long time. About an hour. We did enjoy the cruise and ports very much. The entertainment was very good, in some cases excellent. The one exception was Blazing Boots. A country and western show. The main issue was the decibel level. The app on my iPhone showed levels in the very high 90s. Very painful. My wife found it very sexist. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I have done around 20 cruises we are in our 60's. Took our daughter 35. Choose this cruise for the itinerary. Started in Boston stayed at Haven Inn and Marina. Very nice location. Day one embarkation went smooth. ... Read More
My husband and I have done around 20 cruises we are in our 60's. Took our daughter 35. Choose this cruise for the itinerary. Started in Boston stayed at Haven Inn and Marina. Very nice location. Day one embarkation went smooth. Ate supper at the new Los Lobos. The food was great but the atmosphere was dull. Music was boring as were the decor. Day two Portland Maine We did the best of Portland & Kennebunkport tour. Very nice tour. Ate lobster rolls at The Hurricane in Kennebunkport, best ever!! Day three Halifax. Took the lobster lunch & Peggys cove tour. Excellent scenery and food! Day four Sydney. Did the big pink drive. The picture that advertised this tour showed a double decker bus. We got an old pink touring bus from the 80's. We sat in front. Good thing people in back were hot! It was ok of a tour. Not much to see. Day five Prince Edward Island. We did the ultimate Anne of green gables tour. It was nice but weather was spitty and foggy couldn't see the coast but we enjoyed it. Day six sea day. Ate in le bistro excellent food but watch your tickets. Waitress over charged us and we had to fix it later. Day seven la baie sagunay Took best of sagunay. Very rushed tour. Nice stops but not enough time to enjoy them. Quebec City was beautiful will have to return. Took City tour then airport. We saw a few shows they were good. Ate in cagneys and La cucina. Both very good. Getting into the Venetian is a night mare. We only ate there once. Very enjoyable cruise. Meet some very nice people as well. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
NCL Dawn Cruise October 6th -13th . Stayed pre-cruise in Boston for 4 days and post cruise a night in Quebec City followed by a road trip back to Boston with stops in Vermont and Hew Hampshire. Only one sea day so this cruise was ... Read More
NCL Dawn Cruise October 6th -13th . Stayed pre-cruise in Boston for 4 days and post cruise a night in Quebec City followed by a road trip back to Boston with stops in Vermont and Hew Hampshire. Only one sea day so this cruise was more about the ports and not the ship. Ports: Portland Maine, explored on our own and took a city bus tour, with a stop at the Portland lighthouse for a mere $22 per person (think that was the price), then we hit a local pub for some local beer flights. Great weather and nice city. Halifax NC , on our own again, walked the pier, went to the farmers market then took a cab up to the Citadel, which was very interesting and had a great museum on site, best thing it was free due to Canada Thanksgiving weekend holdiday. Sydney NC- added port due to river speed in the St Lawrence River. Not impressed, just walked the board walk then up into town to a local pub and a flight of local beers. In fairness to the fair city of Sydney, is was Canada's thanksgiving day so the sidewalks were rolled up, but even if more was opened, really not much to see or do, the people however were very friendly. Prince Edward Island- only ship excursion we took and only day of whole cruise with a little rain/mist. Took a island tour with a stop at the Anne of Green gables homestead, the farm that was the inspiration for her books. Nice tour and beautiful island, ended with some time in the city and yes we found another local pub and tried a flight of local craft beers. Saguebay Quebec- wow what can I say, wonderful friendly people every place we went in the city. A local drama company set up at the pier with period costumes greeting the ship with music and dancing, followed by samples of blue berry pie. We ended up taking a $20 hop on hop off bus tour that went to tbe downtown area and a museum on the local fjords. Every stop a local would get on the bus and discuss the stop so you knew more about what to do and whether you wanted to get off or not. Took us about 4-4/12 hours and well worth the $20 pp. Last stop and end of cruise was Quebec City- a bigger WOW for QC. Beautiful city, old world charm, wonderful restaurants and pubs and very friendly people. Ship- Stayed in a balcony stateroom on deck 10. The Dawn had been refurbished since our last time on her about 5 years ago. Room was nice, bed was very comfortable , awesome room steward, balcony was feeling a little aged with some rust and the handle to the door back in did not work well. Dining- Did mostly specialty this time due to platinum benefits and dining package. Kind of over Le Bistro, just not as good in my opinion as it use to be. I have never have been a buffet fan, but it seems that the Garden Café gets worse every cruise. Cagney's was great and so was La Cucina. Best addition to the specialty line up is Los Lobos, so good in fact we went their twice. Shows-Elements was fantastic, Second City needs to go back to Chicago and get some new material- awful. Bars- another good add was the Mondavi wine bar, met up with family pre-dinner each night for a glass or two of wine. Casino- We like to play a bit after dinner and a show, I managed to win a few dollars on slots but think husband probably donated back what I won so broke even. NCLs Casino at Sea program is a joke, won't digress but it is awful in my humble opinionand the casino managers can't even answer basic questions about transferring points from previous cruises without being rude. The best part about the casino this cruise was the lack of smoke in the casino, most likely due to the demographics of the cruisers, which I will take any day. Room-balcony stateroom on deck 10- awesome room steward, comfortable bed, only negative was the balcony was feel a little old and rusty. Overall had a great trip and itinerary. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I wanted to celebrate our 40th Anniversary with a Canada/New England cruise. We chose Norwegian for the itinerary and favorable past experiences on the Norwegian line. We bid on an upgrade and were thrilled to have our bid ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to celebrate our 40th Anniversary with a Canada/New England cruise. We chose Norwegian for the itinerary and favorable past experiences on the Norwegian line. We bid on an upgrade and were thrilled to have our bid accepted for a Family Suite w/Balcony. That part was great! Our room was lovely and the special treatment for “Suite” people was pretty fun! We loved the specialized private breakfast and lunch in the Cagney’s Steakhouse restaurant (staff and food were top notch!) We didn’t exactly know how to use a butler but Ray was great and kept us well supplied with champagne, coffee, tea, fruit, flowers, appetizers, etc. I received special treatment at the show I attended and loved the art auctions! The initial itinerary was changed due to danger to whales. Perfectly understandable and acceptable but a couple of the ports were not very interesting. My husband loved the cigar bar and I won a little in the casino. Unfortunately, we spent about $100 dining at two of the “Specialty” restaurants, Los Lobos and Le Bistro, and were very disappointed! The service and food at both restaurants was really, really bad! Our dinners at Aqua, Venetian and O’Sheehan’s were far superior - and complimentary! We were given a card to present at one dinner to notify them that we were celebrating an anniversary. I gave it to our hostess at Le Bistro (thinking that would be our most elegant dinner) but we weren’t acknowledged in any way, shape or form. I would cruise Norwegian again but would never consider spending money on “Specialty” restaurants. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I sailed on the refurbished NCL Jade fall foliage cruise from New York to Canada from October 6-16. Ports were Sydney, Charlottetown, Quebec and Halifax. Nothing much to do in Sydney or Charlottetown due to it being a ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the refurbished NCL Jade fall foliage cruise from New York to Canada from October 6-16. Ports were Sydney, Charlottetown, Quebec and Halifax. Nothing much to do in Sydney or Charlottetown due to it being a national holiday. --The refurshment of the ship made it look almost brand new. --All staff were extremely polite and helpful. --Our cabin steward (Juniata Butar Butar) was excellent and tended to our every cabin need. So friendly and pleasant. --I thought the food, particularly in the specialty restaurants, was very good. --We selected this cruise because it spent two days in Quebec. Unfortunately, NCL cut the second day due to Canadian speed limit reductions and so we had only 4 port days in 10 days. This was too much time at sea for us. We were notified about the itinerary change about three weeks prior to the cruise so we were not able to cancel. IMO, they could have added a stop in Bar Harbor or another notable town on the east coast. At the very least, the port charges we paid for the second Quebec day should be refunded. --We arrived to the Manhattan port at our assigned embarkation time (between 11:30 and noon) and had to stand for two hours (for security and check in) before boarding the ship. There was no opportunity to sit down and no beverages/snacks offered. This was unacceptable in my opinion. There didn't appear to be any supervisors around. --The theater was not renovated in the spring 2017 refurbishment and the seats were extremely painful and mushy to sit in. There was not enough leg room and there was not a row on the wall side of the theater that guests could use. This resulted in crawling over other guests to find an empty seat. This lack of a row along the wall may even be a fire hazard. --The gift shop displayed tshirts for the Caribbean and the Baltic which were not on our itinerary! There were some Canadian tshirts, but nothing for Quebec City, which was disappointing. --The security staff person scanning cards at debarkation had a problem with one couple which tied up the line we were in. There wasn't a supervisor in the area that could help her (i.e. take the cruisers to the side to solve the problem) and it created a giant backlog. --The enrichment activities were very repetitive and the goal was to sell onboard services for the most part. --We flew in a day early and thoroughly enjoyed New York City. We squeezed in Johnny's for pizza, a trip to the top of the Rock Center, a visit to St. Pat's Cathedral, Times Square, Central Park and Fifth Aenue and saw the play, "Chicago." --After we debarked, we also took the New York City 3-1/2 shore excursion and hit some of the other sites we weren't able to get to pre-cruise. The guide was excellent. All in all, we had a wonderful cruise and would sail with NCL again. This was our second NCL cruise. We have also sailed with RCL, Carnival, Costa and MSC. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Chose this itinerary to experience Canada during the Fall foliage time. One complaint was the amount of time it took to dine. Average Dinner at a specialty restaurant without waiting and with a reservation exceeded 2 hours of dining time. ... Read More
Chose this itinerary to experience Canada during the Fall foliage time. One complaint was the amount of time it took to dine. Average Dinner at a specialty restaurant without waiting and with a reservation exceeded 2 hours of dining time. After multiple complaints from multiple passengers we did have a dinner foe 1hr 15min. Most other aspects were good however I did see that many of the passengers were upset that the dinner reservations and shore excursions were all booked up and were unavailable to them. This is the sole fault of the passenger for waiting to get on board to plan their vacation. Reservations open up 90 days prior to sailing. We also had the Spa package which we used everyday and is a good choice for longer cruises of 10 days or more and for cooler weather travel dates. Daily activities were the same as all NCL voyages and need to be updated. Entertainment was ok. Read Less
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