Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by GetMeOutOvHere
- Sail Date: August 2019
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Inside
There has been the Majesty, Crown, Dream, and Dawn (to name a few), that has cruised this Boston to Bermuda itinerary. I had never sailed on the Gem, it's Boston's new ship for this route, and I was quite excited to sail on a different ship. Like the Dawn, she is similar, but I feel, quite an upgrade. Having the Spinaker Lounge, The Great Outdoors, and 3 Champagne/Beer/Whiskey/Martini Bars (Dawn has one, which was always way over crowded), gave us the opportunity to enjoy a large space to listen to live music and get great service for drinks. The cigar/smoking room also kept the smoke contained to that room only. On the Dawn, it was a nightmare trying to sit in the lounge and not be constantly smelling the smoke that never stayed in the smoking room.
I ate at both main dining rooms, the buffet, Cagney's, LeBistro, LaCuchina, O'Sheehan's, and Orchid. I didn't eat at the Great Outdoors or the grill by the pool. I chose neither because I don't care to eat where the food is kept outdoors in high humidity, heat, and near a pool with lots of people in bathing suits going in and out of hot tubs, outdoor bathrooms, etc. The food and menu is the same at both main dining rooms. Both have great service, but Grand Pacific is slower. Food was average to fantastic, depending on whether you ordered what was in season (like the salmon) or some of the specials. The usual, like roast chicken or meatloaf is more average. Having sailed many times, you get to know the menu quite well. LeBistro and LaCuchina had exceptional food and service. Cagney's, not so much. My fillet mignon was OK, but the sides were small and fair. Service was slow and it seemed hectic. Not bad, but I was a bit disappointed. I had high expectations because I had eaten at Cagney's on the Getaway and it was the most incredible meal I've ever had. O'Sheehan's was my least favorite. It's fast food, and more of a snack/late night hangout. The buffet had a large selection, and probably the most popular choice for families. I prefer being seated at a table in a dining room without the noise around me for dinner. Lunch is another story, and the convenience of being able to have a quick/easy lunch with far more variety than the main dining room (Grand Pacific) worked better for most days.
About the crew:
Always, always always....just incredible. No matter where I was or who was working anywhere on the ship. They are friendly, professional, hard-working, sociable, and extremely helpful. I felt spoiled and well cared for. I have always known the crew on every ship to be exceptional but this time, it was as though NCL has really worked hard at perfecting crew/passenger customer service. They seem to be much more professional on how to relate to issues and questions, even at the front desk. Can't say the same for the senior officers in white. They will do whatever they have to in order to pretend you are not walking by them. Zero eye contact. No "hello." It's something I've seen on all ships, unfortunately.
About the entertainment:
Yay!! For the first time in many years, I didn't have to see the same same same shows. Finally, the performances were all new. All the shows were absolutely wonderful with the exception of one, my least favorite, the guy who sang by impersonating other singers. His regular voice was OK but his impersonations, not so much.
Always wonderful and beautiful. Major work (still) going on at the cruise dock. Having ships there constantly has certainly done it's job of wearing it out. Not as pretty at night time, and I've always thought the view with the lights to be quite memorable. Sadly, it just might be too much to have ships docked there all the time. I went to my favorite local place for lunch, The Pickled Onion, and fortunately, found it to be completely renovated. (It needed it.) Food was fantastic and as always, they have the most incredible bartenders. Pricey, like anywhere in Bermuda, so be prepared to spend about 60 bucks for lunch with one drink.
I had an inside (which I actually prefer because I like my room to be dark dark dark when I sleep.) I also find that with Bermuda's very high humidity, balcony rooms get wet from the moist humid air. Air conditioning can only circulate air from that room. I know, because I've had balcony rooms and found this to be so every time. This time, though, my room was at the very front of the ship. I mean the last room up front, on the 10th floor. I have been on cruises with very rough water many times. I have never gotten sea sick. I have never had to take sea sickness pills. We had one night, coming back from Bermuda, where we had some pretty rough waves. Not more than what I've experienced, and I got incredibly sick when I was in my cabin. I could absolutely feel much more motion being at the front of the ship. I got out as quick as I could, and went to atrium(center of ship), 2 floors below. Within an hour, I felt fine. Avoid at all costs getting a cabin at the front. The Boston to Bermuda cruise usually has at least one night of rough seas. The Atlantic in that area has always had that issue.
Getting on the ship was far quicker than getting off, but considering the fact that over 2000 people take this cruise, and in a matter of 2 hours people are getting on and off, they do a great job of organizing this. Lots of people helping you navigate where to go. No problem with being short staffed and needing help.
I have recommended this cruise to many others and will continue to do so. Mostly, it's the NCL crew I remember whenever I take this trip. The food, entertainment and cost has issues for many who cruise. I have found that I enjoy some of the above more than others and would certainly like some improvements, but that is true for anything in life. What I cannot hope for is a crew who could be better. They are the exception when it comes to looking back on your cruise and highlighting what you enjoyed most. They have always made me feel special, well cared for, and truly spoiled. I have loved every minute of my cruise:)
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