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The overall experience was very good, but Norwegian needs to make a few changes. First, I think the Internet goes to die on the Gem. Even when docked in NYC, you can’t get a website to boot up— including their own! I think we can all agree that the ship isn’t moving or too far from cellular towers at that point. If you need to do any research, it’s not going to happen. My friends paid for unlimited Internet, but were unable to use it. Embarking wasn’t so bad, but people were hungry and waited until 9 pm for their luggage to arrive. St. Maarten is signicantly damaged by the hurricane. We were unable to book a beach excursion for this stop, and ended up at Orient Beach—- lots of beach grass in the water made this less than fun with 2 young children. St. Lucia was fantastic. We booked an excursion through a tour company that made our trip. Antigua is fine. We booked a beach excursion and everyone was nice and helpful. I honestly wanted more time in St. Thomas. We were scheduled for only 6 hours (7a-1p) which made NO sense bearing in mind that this location offered the most excursions. At this point, one of my children was ill and I really wanted to go to Walgreen’s as I had in San Juan earlier in the week. (That store was very well stocked, efficient and welcoming with prices consistent with those of the continental US.) Because I was traveling alone (my husband had the children), I was told by multiple cab drivers that they “couldn’t be bothered to drive that far for one person”. There is a poorly stocked Medicine Shop near the dock that did not offer what I needed for my daughter. I was hoping for more in a US country. The food was good. For a dining room, Magenta is outstanding. The staff is very conscientious and helpful, as opposed to the Grand Pacific which is disorganized at best. The Garden Cafe’s best meal is breakfast hands down. Disembarking was AWFUL. Again, you’re docked in NYC but forget about the Internet. The colors for the luggage tickets were not called in the order listed on the nightly blurb. After disembarking FINALLY started, they stopped it to refuel the boat... for another 30+ minutes. Then, when your luggage color was called, you get to stand in a line that wraps around the entire 7th floor while your cards are scanned— one at a time, not like when you leave the ship in a port which offers 2-3 lines to be scanned. THEN, you stand in line to go down 2 single file escalators. After you locate all your luggage, you stand in line at customs. There were only 2 agents checking ID. At this point, another 300-400 people who got off the boat AFTER you, and who magically have luggage carts available to them get to bypass you to a mystical third customs inspector who finally appears. We disembarked after 1 pm. Also, don’t think you can take your child to the library to work on homework. There’s no room and other passengers just don’t care.

Difficult Disembarking

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by MomRN2009

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Inside
The overall experience was very good, but Norwegian needs to make a few changes. First, I think the Internet goes to die on the Gem. Even when docked in NYC, you can’t get a website to boot up— including their own! I think we can all agree that the ship isn’t moving or too far from cellular towers at that point. If you need to do any research, it’s not going to happen. My friends paid for unlimited Internet, but were unable to use it.

Embarking wasn’t so bad, but people were hungry and waited until 9 pm for their luggage to arrive. St. Maarten is signicantly damaged by the hurricane. We were unable to book a beach excursion for this stop, and ended up at Orient Beach—- lots of beach grass in the water made this less than fun with 2 young children. St. Lucia was fantastic. We booked an excursion through a tour company that made our trip. Antigua is fine. We booked a beach excursion and everyone was nice and helpful. I honestly wanted more time in St. Thomas. We were scheduled for only 6 hours (7a-1p) which made NO sense bearing in mind that this location offered the most excursions. At this point, one of my children was ill and I really wanted to go to Walgreen’s as I had in San Juan earlier in the week. (That store was very well stocked, efficient and welcoming with prices consistent with those of the continental US.) Because I was traveling alone (my husband had the children), I was told by multiple cab drivers that they “couldn’t be bothered to drive that far for one person”. There is a poorly stocked Medicine Shop near the dock that did not offer what I needed for my daughter. I was hoping for more in a US country.

The food was good. For a dining room, Magenta is outstanding. The staff is very conscientious and helpful, as opposed to the Grand Pacific which is disorganized at best. The Garden Cafe’s best meal is breakfast hands down. Disembarking was AWFUL. Again, you’re docked in NYC but forget about the Internet. The colors for the luggage tickets were not called in the order listed on the nightly blurb. After disembarking FINALLY started, they stopped it to refuel the boat... for another 30+ minutes. Then, when your luggage color was called, you get to stand in a line that wraps around the entire 7th floor while your cards are scanned— one at a time, not like when you leave the ship in a port which offers 2-3 lines to be scanned. THEN, you stand in line to go down 2 single file escalators. After you locate all your luggage, you stand in line at customs. There were only 2 agents checking ID. At this point, another 300-400 people who got off the boat AFTER you, and who magically have luggage carts available to them get to bypass you to a mystical third customs inspector who finally appears. We disembarked after 1 pm. Also, don’t think you can take your child to the library to work on homework. There’s no room and other passengers just don’t care.
MomRN2009’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Family Inside
Cabin I1 8613
I expected it to be tiny. I would have liked the room steward to note that we rose fairly early (by 7am) and retired early. Even flipping to Turn Down at 5:00 pm did not result in a steward appearing before 9:15.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews