Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by vpfdias
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Embarkation & Desembarkation (New York port):
We have been cruising with other cruise lines (Royal, Celebrity and Carnival.
First with NCL and probable the last. The embarkation and disembarkation are very disorganized.
We had one night at ‘Moderno’ Restaurant (Brazilian steakhouse), that was very disappointing. First, we are Brazilians and the way they serve the food is not the same. Rice and beans are served together in Brazil. At Moderno, rice was on the buffet and beans are served as a side dish, later. The meat was very spicy and salty.
The service was very slow also. It was my birthday dinner ... The waitresses sang a ‘Happy Birthday’ and gave me a very hard and old cake, as a gift. I tried to eat but I just couldn’t.
We went twice to ‘Garden Café’, complementary, we felt very chaotic and the food was not good, not healthy at all. To get a table, we were having breakfast before 7:00am and lunch before noon.
The rest of the days and nights we had dinner and lunch at the ‘Grand Pacific’, which the food was OK, nothing special, the lunch menu was the same every day, the dinner had a daily variation with few options.
DAYS AT THE SEA
We felt bored with few options of entertainment. Sales onboard were range for cheap stuff (in quality) to expensive jewelry/watches. Very few options to buy as a souvenir.
• Most of the NCL shore Excursions which include a beach do not mention the name of the beach. Pay attention!!!
Puerto Rico: We docked at 4:00pm in San Juan and decided to walk around the Old San Juan, El Morro and churches. We had few time at El Morro before closing. The weather was very windy and started raining. Were Back to the ship at 6:00pm. Supposed to left at 10:00pm, but We left only at 11:00pm due to a late excursion.
We book shore excursions for all the other Ports through NCL.
Philipsburg, St Maarten, St Martin: We had a city tour on both sides of the island (Dutch and French) + 1 hour at the beach (Dutch side). The island still has a lot of destruction from previous hurricanes, If you don’t like to see it, go straight to the beach.
This trip was booked on September/2018 for March sailing. St Kitts was scheduled for the second Port, but all the sudden NCL changed for St Maarten with no announcement.
St Lucia, Castries – It was a lovely day with a city tour to the Pitons, Prayer Garden and volcano.
Antigua, St John – We choose the ‘Hop on Hop Off’ catamaran com option to visit 2 beaches. (90 minutes per beach)
Dickenson Bay beach (beer $10) and Runaway beach. Be careful on Runaway beach Restaurant, we ordered beers (we get it) + fish burger (which we never get it). We had only 1 hour at that beach and they had all excuses (a lot of orders, we are doing our best, etc.
We had to take a taxi on order to be on time for ship time, the catamaran was overboard taking people from Dickenson beach and left us at Runway beach. Not only our group (8), but more than 50 people from other cruise ship/excursions.
St Thomas, US Virgin Islands – we spend 2 hours at Maegan’s Beach. Lovely beach.
Previouly, we are supposed to arrived at 8:00am and leave St Thomas only at 5:00pm. Again, NCL changed with no announcement and we left St Thomas at 1:00pm.
Will I cruise again? Yes, but with other cruise Companies, NCL never again.
After bad reviews about WIFI onboard, we decided not go for a 39.99 per day.
We also had a big issue, that was resolved only after 5 days of disembarkation. We always book our cruises through a Travel Agent, always receive a credit onboard. NCL not only denied our credit during our trip but also my Travel Agent had to fight with them for many days and finally they admitted their mistake. I complained on board (NCL customer service) 3 times, even call my Agent. What a stress! Be careful!
Another annoying part from NCL are the pre-payment that are placed few days before the end of the cruise on your credit card, that only disappear 4 days after the end of cruise. Not mention, the full invoice already charged on your credit card on the last day.
Good point: the size of our balcony + bed was good + size of the bathroom shower.
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