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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
First trip on NCL Gem. Group from Cruise Critic Gem Roll Call had reception with the senior staff and captain of the Gem. The captain offered to meet us at the Bridge viewing area on our second sea day. He spent 45 minutes answering ... Read More
First trip on NCL Gem. Group from Cruise Critic Gem Roll Call had reception with the senior staff and captain of the Gem. The captain offered to meet us at the Bridge viewing area on our second sea day. He spent 45 minutes answering questions. Very impressed. The room was comfortable and the bathroom was a nice size. Buffet offerings at breakfast and lunch were varied and consistent. Most dinners were at one of the specialty restaurants. They were good but I most enjoyed La Cucina ( rolled eggplant with veal was the best thing I ate on the whole cruise). Disappointed in Moderno, the salad bar was very limited and the meats were only so so. I would recommend skipping that restaurant. The productions shows were enjoyable and had something for everyone. Had no interest in seeing the hypnotist or 2nd City. We booked all excursions ourselves and were not disappointed. For the most part we saw the same things as ship excursions at a reduced cost in a much small vehicle. We would definitely travel NCL again sticking with the smaller ships. Can't imagine sailing on the Breakaway. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We've used NCL three times in the past 10 years & have been very happy with them. That is until they started their FREE choice program (I.e. Unlimited beverages, specialty dining, Internet or excursion discounts). It's my ... Read More
We've used NCL three times in the past 10 years & have been very happy with them. That is until they started their FREE choice program (I.e. Unlimited beverages, specialty dining, Internet or excursion discounts). It's my opinion they're making up the cost for these free choices by serving mediocre food. Gone were great food selections in the buffet & main dining rooms. Instead you are limited to pastas, chicken, tilipia, hamburgers, etc. If you want steak or lobster in the main dining it will cost you $25 each per meal. Beers were $8.50 including 18% gratituity. They even force 18% gratituities on you for spa services. Our cabin steward was great but the dining staff were unfriendly. The shore excursions were nice but the crew was confused on how to efficiently move passengers off the ship. This maybe the last time we cruise with NCL until they learn what makes a great cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Our cruise to Canada and New England on the NCL Gem Cruise was great...we had an excellent time. Our cabin was what we expected, a standard balcony cabin with enough room for our clothing and room under the bed for our luggage. ... Read More
Our cruise to Canada and New England on the NCL Gem Cruise was great...we had an excellent time. Our cabin was what we expected, a standard balcony cabin with enough room for our clothing and room under the bed for our luggage. Dining: We tried La Cuchina which is now an excellent specialty (unlike the old La Cuchina) restaurant. We ate at Bistro, Cagney's and Teppanyaki and enjoyed all of them. On our first day we at very early at the buffet and had the prime rib and baked potatoes. They were so good. However on the last night of the cruise I ate in Magenta one of the MDR's and had the prime rib and it was not good at all and I could not eat it. My husband had the chicken parm which he said was really good. We only ate on other night in Grand Pacific and I had the steak diane which was good and my husband had the steak frittes which was also good. Would not order the prime rib again in the MDR. Entertainment was ok...we only saw two shows because we opted for the spa pass. The spa pass included the thermal pool, hot tub, mosaic lounge chairs and regular chairs in the spa area and in the mens and womans rooms they had a sauna and steam room. We used our pass almost every night and we really enjoyed it. We bought it when we got on the cruise so ended up paying $20 additional per person. So if you are thinking of doing this I would purchase it before you go to save the extra cost. There were other activities on the ship but we mainly did tours so did not do many of the onboard activities. Our tours were : Halifax: Peggy's Cove and Titanic Cemetary. Excellent tour, tour guide and drive Doug and Betty. St. John: St. John Top 10 Would not recommend as we did not do ten things. I think you could find a shorter and more interesting and less expensive tour. However part of our tour went to O'Leary's Irish Bar for a Moosehead bear and that was so fun and the best part of the tour. Bar Harbor: Bus tour to Accadia. First off we did not have a good tendering process thus making us 45 min late for the tour. When we got onboard the bus our driver hit the bus behind us knocking off the mirror on the other bus. Police were called and this took another 20 minutes. Our tour was rushed and we got into Accadia and to the top of Cadillac mountain with only 20 minutes to explore. Since the bathroom on the bus had no toilet paper anyone wanting to use the bathroom had to wait to the top of the mountain and this caused a terribly long line...so with only 20 min there was really no time to see much...very very disappointed since it was a beautiful day and a beautiful view on the mountain. Our tour was also supposed to stop at Thunder Hole but it did not. I went to the tour desk to let them know what happened and was given a 20% discount. I think it should have been more but at least it was something. Would recommend the trolley tour on Ollie Trolley and not the bus tour. Shopping in Bar Harbor is great with all kinds of unique gift shops and great places to enjoy a lobster lunch. Newport Rhode Island: Excellent tour...we did Newport Land and Sea and enjoyed learning about the history of the area. Also cute shops in Newport too. Disembarkation was a breeze this time. All in all the cruise was great and we would recommend it to others. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
NYC - crazy! UN was in session with President Obama in town, then a bombing the morning we were going to get on cruise. Couldn't get a taxi from hotel! Concierge called, so did bellmen. Finally decided to walk to pier. Thank goodness ... Read More
NYC - crazy! UN was in session with President Obama in town, then a bombing the morning we were going to get on cruise. Couldn't get a taxi from hotel! Concierge called, so did bellmen. Finally decided to walk to pier. Thank goodness our hotel was very close to pier. Embarkation - We are in the Casino players group. So easy! Checked in, barely sat down and they led us to ship. Was going to eat at O'sheehans but they took chicken pot pie off menu, which was my favorite, so ate in buffet. Average food, although we both ate our fill! Cabin - obstructed ocean view. have booked them before and had a little pole or something off to side. This time there was a lifeboat and we couldn't see a thing, plus on tender days, woke us up VERY early lowering the boats. Other than that cabin was good. Don't like the bathrooms way too small. Don't see how big people can even use them. Entertainment - Shows in Stardust theater were very good. Entertainment in other parts of ship were terrible. Didn't like Marissa the guitar player and singer. They had her singing in Atrium for hours and hours with a high shrill voice! Also didn't like the guy playing piano in Magnums bar. Jim on the Pearl is million times more entertaining! Seemed like entertainment was geared towards way older folks! We played trivia every time it fit in our schedule was fun! Even that was for older folks, rat Pack trivia??? We are 65 and found that aspect to be very boring Le Bistro specialty restaurant - Was our favorite place to eat. We had 3 night free dining pkg. Cagney's was good too, but has gone down in meat quality last few years. Bars - had free drinks in casino bar...Excellent service! Caesar and Romeo remembered our drinks and we had very quick service! Ports were boring too. Nothing to do, we got in Newport at 8am NO shops were open until 10am!!! Bar Harbor was cute walk Halifax was rainy and foggy. Disembarkation - walked off at 7:45...very quick! Read on cruise critic and trip advisor that JR Luxury was a great shuttle to and from port. Cost us $110 from JFK to Holiday Inn 2 blocks from port. Decided to take cab from port to JFK, was a flat fee of $52!!!! Plus $8 toll... Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I had hoped to pick the time the leaves would be colorful; however, New England/Canada leaves don't appear to start changing colors until early October. We also chose this cruise because getting to and from New York City is a ... Read More
I had hoped to pick the time the leaves would be colorful; however, New England/Canada leaves don't appear to start changing colors until early October. We also chose this cruise because getting to and from New York City is a non-stop flight and because of the 3 bedroom Haven villa arrangement since we were traveling with family members. We like the layout of the Gem/Jade/Pearl Norwegian ships. This particular cruise and this particular time of year is perfect if you prefer not having children on board. The passengers were almost all over the age of 50. Love the any time dining feature. Didn't care for the port of Newport but wish I could have spent more time in Bar Harbor. One caution: DO NOT have Norwegian arrange for your transportation from the ship at the end of your cruise. This was the only horrible experience we had. We were escorted off the ship; however, the NCL employee who was supposed to put us on our transport to the airport just left us hanging and thankfully our porter found us two cabs to barely get us to the airport on time for our flight. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
I love the Norwegian Gem and all it has to offer. I picked this cruise for the itinerary and the bonus was the ship itself! The crew and officers were very accommodating and friendly. The Captain offered a separate meeting with our Meet ... Read More
I love the Norwegian Gem and all it has to offer. I picked this cruise for the itinerary and the bonus was the ship itself! The crew and officers were very accommodating and friendly. The Captain offered a separate meeting with our Meet and Greet group in the bridge viewing room and he spent 45 minutes with us answering our questions and just having a conversation about cruising. The overall experience was wonderful. The ports on this trip were Halifax and St John in Nova Scotia followed by Bar Harbor, Maine and Newport, Rhode Island. My favorite is Bar Harbor and the primary reason I chose this cruise. It is charming and very beautiful! Newport is also a favorite and a place I would go to visit again. Since this was my 7th cruise on the Gem, I am very familiar with her charms. I haven't booked my 8th time on the Gem yet but I know I will! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our 14th cruise and the 4th with Norwegian. Food at the buffet was cold at all meals. Complained to the chef with no results. Trash overflowing in restrooms. No soap in the dispensers in the restrooms on 6 occasions. Room 10151 ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise and the 4th with Norwegian. Food at the buffet was cold at all meals. Complained to the chef with no results. Trash overflowing in restrooms. No soap in the dispensers in the restrooms on 6 occasions. Room 10151 was so noisy that we could not go to sleep until after the music in the atrium ended. Mattress was very saggy. Little to no service in the bars. We had to get our own drinks despite the required tacked-on gratuity. Went to the art auction and waited 45 minutes to get champagne, but quickly changed our mind and left after the waiter grabbed the drinking edge of the glass. Very unfriendly and unhelpful staff. Poor entertainment. No deck chairs to sit out on the deck in the evenings. Aqua restaurant could not get the order right, and could not refill the tea glass. Tried to get our daily per person gratuity removed at the service desk because of the POOR or LACK OF service. The lady at the desk told us that a lot of people had complained. We were told that removing daily gratuities could not be done on the ship; we would have to go on line and make a request for credit to our charge card. I have done this, and will wait and see the results. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We were in Penthouse Suite 9236 which is an aft stateroom. The suite was nice and roomy but the bathroom was quite small with only one sink and a tub shower. The suite had good, two zone HVAC and a way to close off the bed for early risers ... Read More
We were in Penthouse Suite 9236 which is an aft stateroom. The suite was nice and roomy but the bathroom was quite small with only one sink and a tub shower. The suite had good, two zone HVAC and a way to close off the bed for early risers and hooray, the sink and tub drains worked well. A butler came with the suite and he kept us stocked with fruit and snacks. The aft location had us experience quite a bit of side to side and up and down motion. The aft location had us a long way from most things except the main dining room, lido buffet, internet cafe (which is small) and the Bliss Lounge. We had most meals in either Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro and La Cucina which are all specialty restaurants and were all fantastic (both food and service). There was a Concierge, Roel Gonzales, that was great, extremely helpful and always ready to assist. The main showroom is nice with adequate seating for the ship's size but the other entertainment facilities were always lacking in seating capacity. The unlimited drink package came with our cruise and has a $15 limit (you pay the difference) but does not include, much to our surprise, bottled water of any kind. The ports for this cruise were nice and choice of tours good and we enjoyed all of them. This was our third NCL cruise and we would go with NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our first experience with Norwegian. We thought the ship was beautiful. It had recently been refurbished (although we never saw it before the changes). Really liked the Irish Pub that took over entire Atrium area. Also enjoyed the ... Read More
This was our first experience with Norwegian. We thought the ship was beautiful. It had recently been refurbished (although we never saw it before the changes). Really liked the Irish Pub that took over entire Atrium area. Also enjoyed the Mondavi Wine Bar. Port cities were all great, except for maybe Sydney. Food was fine. However, there are more pay restaurants than regular restaurants. Part of cruising is supposed to be food included. I notice no longer can we get lobster or high end steaks with regular cruise fair. Biggest gripe is no laundry facility for us to use ourselves. We tend to add a cruise on in the middle of a longer vacation. Count on doing our laundry at the end of the cruise so that we have all clean clothes again for the rest of our vacation. That way only need to pack half as much. We were offered a special laundry deal where Norwegian did our laundry, however it was offered 3rd day in. Still had 5 nights to go of using clothes that we could not wash. This ship also seemed to have an older crowd that the Princess cruises we had taken in the past. We always cruise spring or fall when school is in, however this crowd still older (we are 57 and 65 - almost youngest on the ship). However, ship and crew were great. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
The embarkation was long and drawn out in Quebec City. Could have been arranged much better. But, once we were on the ship things went much better. We felt the problem was people on board wanting to disembark were hindering the ... Read More
The embarkation was long and drawn out in Quebec City. Could have been arranged much better. But, once we were on the ship things went much better. We felt the problem was people on board wanting to disembark were hindering the embarkation process. it was not well organized at all. Dinner upgrades to French bistro , Cagneys steakhouse, Teppanyaki , and la cucina all added to our experience with the great promotions we were offered. Truly enjoyable. O'sheehans bar and grill was a highlight for all other meals whether it was breakfast or a snack in between meals. we really enjoy the exercise walking area to get our steps in daily after meals. We were fortunate our room and balcony were located very well on the ninth floor not too far from the atrium and central area for entertainment. During the day we could play cards in the lounge area close by. At night we had our great dining, then off to casino for a bit. We always had fab evening entertainment close at hand just down from our room on 9th floor yet the sound was not a problem. Read Less
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