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Norwegian Gem Review

Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Gem

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4.5 / 5.0
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Carolyn Spencer Brown
Cruise Critic Chief Content Strategist

Norwegian Gem Overview

Norwegian takes a one-ship-fits-all approach to cruising with Gem, where rock climbing meets shuffleboard and hot-stone massages meet Guitar Hero and chess played with comically large game pieces.

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About Norwegian Gem


Easy layout, lots of choice, refitted Haven


Longer itineraries make cruises less family friendly

Bottom Line

Wide range of dining and entertainment options keep everyone happy

Gem launched in 2007, and on it, Norwegian Cruise Line continues to refine its Freestyle Cruising concept, which focuses on flexibility and a casual atmosphere. On Gem, more than 2,300 passengers enjoy the freedom to dine where, when and with whom they wish (except for when reservations require otherwise). The dress code is relaxed, with an optional formal night for those looking to get all dolled up. 

If casual is the goal, entertainment is the modus operandi. As passengers board Gem, they're greeted in the main atrium with blaring beats spun by a D.J. whose ruby red turntable is almost as flashy as the glowing space itself. Thirteen bars, an enormous 1,115-seat theater -- featuring Las Vegas-esque productions -- and a dozen restaurants keep the ship hopping throughout the trip.

The ship also accommodates those in need of quiet time; from the spacious and serene spa, with armchairs overlooking a vast ocean expanse, to a variety of lounges and a library, there are nooks aplenty for relaxation.

The ability to shift between active and restful, party and calm, at a moment's notice is Norwegian's calling card. With so many options, Gem ensures that you can find time to do what you want onboard -- whatever that may be.

Fellow Passengers

Passengers are predominately from the U.S. and Canada. The average age varies; on longer cruises, the ship appeals to older passengers. On seven-night trips during school holiday seasons, it's dominated by families.

Norwegian Gem Dress Code

Daytime: Just about anything goes, wardrobe-wise, with most passengers wearing casual, poolside garb during the day

Evening: At night it's resort casual-style clothing -- including jeans but Grand Pacific is the ship's dress-up restaurant in the evenings.

Not permitted: In the evening, shorts and tank tops are only permitted in the Garden Cafe and Blue Lagoon and shoes are required in all dining venues.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Norwegian Cruise Line.

Norwegian Gem Gratuity

Norwegian charges a "service fee" of $14.99 per person, per day, for passengers booked in standard cabins and mini-suites. Those in suites are charged $17.99 per person, per day. Cruisers wishing to adjust or remove the charges must fill out a form post-cruise to request a refund.

Norwegian recommends that suite passengers who use butler and concierge services tip according to the level of service rendered.

An 18 percent gratuity will be added to all bar purchases and services in the spa and salon.

The onboard currency is the U.S. dollar.

Norwegian Gem Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2016 Best for Entertainment
2016 Best for First Timers
2015 Best for Entertainment
2014 Best for Entertainment
2013 Best for Entertainment

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Norwegian Gem Member Reviews

Norwegian Gem
Sail Date: Aug 2019
cruise because frankly, we live by Cruise Port Boston, love Bermuda and spent our honeymoon on the Norwegian Gem on its transatlantic portion of its maiden voyage back in 2007 and wanted to see whether the cruise...Read More
Norwegian Gem
Sail Date: Mar 2019
perfect itinerary with 7 ports in the beautiful Caribbean! Everything was top notch- fabulous Norwegian Gem and her crew. We enjoyed the specialty dining venues and the entertainment. Our cabin steward...Read More
Norwegian Gem
Sail Date: Jun 2019
of time. We also did the full day island tour. This tour was a good idea for first-timers. Norwegian Gem is a beautiful ship.The staff are friendly and accommodating. Reynaud and Gavin were wonderful...Read More
Norwegian Gem
Sail Date: Jan 2019
games, seminars, swimming, the spa, the Casino and first class live stage performances, thank you Norwegian Gem I really enjoyed myself. My state room was lovely with a king size bed and the service was impeccable...Read More

Norwegian Cruise Line Fleet