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This 10-day eastern Caribbean Cruise was my first Caribbean cruise, and it was good for the most part. The service was good, the food was good, and I appreciate the capitain’s safety and care taken towards the ship and its passengers and crew. However, there is one major issue that keeps me from giving the trip a five-star rating. That issue is the conflicting guidance I received on more than one occasion regarding NCL’s policies: First, when I booked the cruise, I picked $50 per port excursion credit as one of my free perks. However, it was not reflected in my account when the excursion charges hit on the first day. When I called the help line, they said it would hit at the end of the trip. When I followed up with guest services on the ship, they said it would show up as each excursion passed. Second, I picked a premium beverage package as another free perk. However, they failed to inform us that we would still get charged “National port charges” for drinks we ordered within US waters. Not only that, but apparently some personnel on the ship were unaware of such a charge (to the point where they were insisting that such was not the case). Third, on our second to last day, when we asked if we could get a few minutes of courtesy WiFi to check in for our flight, the guy at guest services said that’s ok and they did it all the time. However, when we went to the Internet cafe and asked, they said we would have to pay. One issue with conflicting guidance is one thing, but I was concerned how there was different guidance for several different issues I had. As a cruise line, NCL needs to ensure that all their personnel convey the same guidance to guests. It was frustrating to me that I had to end up asking more than one employee for guidance because I could not get a consistent answer. On a different note, I also feel like more sanitizing could have been done on the ship by the employees. They had sanitizing stations throughout the ship and employees standing throughout with sanitizing bottles, but I did not see employees scrubbing down the surfaces with disinfectant. To make matters worse, a stomach bug ravaged the ship on our cruise (which forced us to arrive in San Juan much earlier than anticipated). That alone should have been enough to get NCL employees to scrub down the public areas of the ship as often as possible.

Good not great, but beware

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Anonymous111

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window
This 10-day eastern Caribbean Cruise was my first Caribbean cruise, and it was good for the most part. The service was good, the food was good, and I appreciate the capitain’s safety and care taken towards the ship and its passengers and crew.

However, there is one major issue that keeps me from giving the trip a five-star rating. That issue is the conflicting guidance I received on more than one occasion regarding NCL’s policies:

First, when I booked the cruise, I picked $50 per port excursion credit as one of my free perks. However, it was not reflected in my account when the excursion charges hit on the first day. When I called the help line, they said it would hit at the end of the trip. When I followed up with guest services on the ship, they said it would show up as each excursion passed.

Second, I picked a premium beverage package as another free perk. However, they failed to inform us that we would still get charged “National port charges” for drinks we ordered within US waters. Not only that, but apparently some personnel on the ship were unaware of such a charge (to the point where they were insisting that such was not the case).

Third, on our second to last day, when we asked if we could get a few minutes of courtesy WiFi to check in for our flight, the guy at guest services said that’s ok and they did it all the time. However, when we went to the Internet cafe and asked, they said we would have to pay.

One issue with conflicting guidance is one thing, but I was concerned how there was different guidance for several different issues I had. As a cruise line, NCL needs to ensure that all their personnel convey the same guidance to guests. It was frustrating to me that I had to end up asking more than one employee for guidance because I could not get a consistent answer.

On a different note, I also feel like more sanitizing could have been done on the ship by the employees. They had sanitizing stations throughout the ship and employees standing throughout with sanitizing bottles, but I did not see employees scrubbing down the surfaces with disinfectant. To make matters worse, a stomach bug ravaged the ship on our cruise (which forced us to arrive in San Juan much earlier than anticipated). That alone should have been enough to get NCL employees to scrub down the public areas of the ship as often as possible.
Anonymous111’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window
Cabin OF 5562
Good size and excellent service!
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins