1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
We were on the Joannie Madden cruise. First cruise ever. The cruise was great but the Joannie Madden folk & Irish part was the really excellent part. Don't think I will ever do a cruise without the Irish entertainment part. We ... Read More
We were on the Joannie Madden cruise. First cruise ever. The cruise was great but the Joannie Madden folk & Irish part was the really excellent part. Don't think I will ever do a cruise without the Irish entertainment part. We had numerous venues with top class entertainment while the others played bingo. The major problem was to choose from the entensive list of entertainment going on at all times. Dancing, singing, music sessions on the high seas is just the ultimate escape and relaxation. Good was great. Drinks expensive was the only down part. They were very expensive but that's not Joannies fault. We all expect to get ripped off when there is s captive audience and that's how it was. Perhaps it's a good thing to prevent us over indulging! Great performers. Great experience and an amazing experience. Wonderful week. Thanks Joannie P.S. Already signed up for next one! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My wife and I flew to New York on 22nd Jan to depart on Norwegian Gem the next day for my first ever cruise. After standing in a long line for a very long time we finally stepped onto he vessel and being very thirsty ordered a latte and ... Read More
My wife and I flew to New York on 22nd Jan to depart on Norwegian Gem the next day for my first ever cruise. After standing in a long line for a very long time we finally stepped onto he vessel and being very thirsty ordered a latte and bottle of water from the atrium bar. Having purchased the ' ultimate beverage package' I was astounded to find these drinks are not included and we would have to pay extra for them. A bad start but it got much worse. Very soon we became aware of large numbers of children and youths, surprising since we were in term time. It was clear that the demographics of this extremely large group were from a specific community Must not conform to the normal school holiday calendar. The parents or guardians of this group for the entire cruise exerted no control over their children who were very rude, unruly and disrespectful to both the staff and other passengers on this cruise. The specific needs of this group made it very difficult for the staff to cater for the rest of the passengers as they were pressurised by this group. We witnessed as did many other passengers, staff being abused as were anyone else who stood up for themselves. It was so bad that we found ourselves constantly moving to get away from all the dreadful behaviour. Eventually we complained but by this time my wife had been in tears more than once. The member of staff that took our complaint admitted that many more passengers had also complained, she was very apologetic but our holiday had by then been ruined. We were later offered a bottle of wine and a cheeseboard to make things better, wow, great! After three days of awful sailing in the storms (not the fault of NCL), we finally were able to escape for a few hours on four days which was nice, however on the 3rd day (St Thomas) we had to tender as there was 5 other ships in port. We were told to be poolside at 7-30am to get a ticket and as I was there at 7-15am and there were only about 20 people in front of me I assumed that we would be amongst the first off board at 8-00am. However it was 10-00am before we got off which was a disgrace on NCL's behalf. Coming back was even worse, getting back to the pick up point at 3-00pm we found a huge queue waiting. Whilst in the queue we noticed large groups of certain people joining the queue in front of us whilst NCL staff looked on. When people complained nothing was done and I was physically threatened by one large group. Three and a half hours of our precious off time wasted queueing, thank you NCL. The main problem with this cruise lies with NCL who failed to inform the other passengers of this large (about 400) group of people who allegedly have been blacklisted by at least one other cruise company. If we had known, we would definitely not have booked this cruise. The staff seemed to bend over backwards to please them to the detriment of all the other well mannered and pleasant passengers. The security was almost non existent, especially in the outdoor areas, getting in a hot tub was impossible and when we tried to use the spa were asked to pay $199 each. We felt that on top of the substantial price we had paid to cruise, NCL were constantly trying to get us to spend more on "extras".When going offshore, if you were going on an excursion or a shopping trip, the staff were very willing to help but if you were going it alone, they couldn't be bothered with you. Some staff were very good, Dennis our cabin attendant, Aaron in the Magnum bar, amongst some others. Other staff were so so, one chef in The Great Outdoors was extremely rude and unhelpful, 3 times we asked for a item that was empty to be told there was none left but when asked the same question by one of the large group a minute or so later, the items miraculously appeared. All in all, this was one of the worst holidays of my entire life, I couldn't wait to get off and I feel really sorry for my wife who has been trying to get me to cruise for years, her holiday has been ruined also. This was my first Cruise and brobably my last, however if I was ever persuaded to endure one again, I would never use NCL. One last positive however, we met some wonderful people, Alex & Pat with whom we spent a great day before flying home and Peter & Adrienne amongst others whom we will keep in touch with and meet again Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my husband and my first cruise. We have been skeptic to take a cruise for years. Our friends convinced us to go with them so we decided to go. We took a limo from NJ into port. It was hassle free, relaxing and enjoyable. We ... Read More
This was my husband and my first cruise. We have been skeptic to take a cruise for years. Our friends convinced us to go with them so we decided to go. We took a limo from NJ into port. It was hassle free, relaxing and enjoyable. We were all under the impression there wouldn't be many children on this cruise due to it being during school time. Boy, were we wrong! Apparently there was a private school that was on holiday which brought about 600 of the most obnoxious children and adults onboard! From what we have been told this specific group has been banned from all other cruise lines due to their behavior. Needless to say they found a loophole and got in on this cruise by booking individually instead of as a group. For the first 4 days of the cruise security was no where to be found. After that when security finally surfaced they had no control whatsoever over this horrendous group. On the last night of the cruise we were in Bliss Lounge after 11 pm and there were a bunch of underage boys there. When security came to remove them from the lounge instead of making them leave they stood there taking photos with the unruly, rude, disrespectful boys!! This completely outraged myself, my husband and our friends we were with! This was only one example of the nonsense that went on during this cruise. 30% of the guests on this cruise basically ruined it for the other 70% of us. My husband and I were forced to spend a lot of time in the cigar lounge just to get some quiet, adult conversation. We are not smokers and actually dislike the smell of smoke very much, I am still coughing from inhaling all of the second hand smoke. However, it was the lesser of the two evils. Activities-We were unable to really participate in any of the activities due to the unruly, unsupervised children overtaking everything. We tried to attend the family feud game, the rules were clearly stated, however the family who got up there first didn't have the required amount of adults. Instead of the girl running the game telling them they were unable to participate due to only having one adult and 3 little kids under the age of 8 she allowed them to continue! Hence yet another example of the NCL employees allowing the rules to not be followed. Service-For the most part the service was ok. Can't really blame the servers or bartenders for their frustration. Upon speaking to one of the employees they stated they were afraid to say anything to the unruly guests due to fearing for their jobs. Excursions-We did one excursion in Tortola, it was amazing! The baths in Virgin Gorda must be the most beautiful place on earth. The only disappointment was there was no tour guide. We were dropped off and told to be back at the bus by 10:30 am. At one point on the trail back to the bus I was afraid we were going the wrong way. The men from "speedy tours" we're more concerned with their phones and laying around then giving us information. Cabin-We were pleasantly suprised with the space in the cabin and the size of the shower. The young man that took care of our cabin was wonderful. Very nice, attentive and always had our cabin ready for us with fresh everything when we needed it. Dining-The food was average, nothing to really write home about. This could be due to the above mentioned group being there. We ate in the main dining room the first night, our servers assistant didn't show up on time, when she did she looked at us like we were crazy when we ordered dessert for the table. O'Sheeans ran out of mozzarella sticks however our server (a very grumpy man) failed to inform us of this until after our main courses came out and we questioned him. My friend asked the young lady for sour cream and inquired about the mozzarella sticks, the young lady said she would get them. Walked away and never returned, our potatoes got cold waiting for sour cream that never arrived. Entertainment-The entertainment was very good, we enjoyed the shows very much. Disembarkation-This was probably the most easy, seamless part of the entire trip. We easily retrieved our bags, headed out through customs, our car was waiting right outside the door, we jumped in and off we went. In summary I honestly don't know if we would ever use NCL for another cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We were very happy to book a cruise with Norwegian sailing out of New York city down to the warmer weather in Caribbean. Fortunately we manged to missed most of the big storm that came in but the first few days on board were very rocky. ... Read More
We were very happy to book a cruise with Norwegian sailing out of New York city down to the warmer weather in Caribbean. Fortunately we manged to missed most of the big storm that came in but the first few days on board were very rocky. Dispite this the crew did a wonderful job and looked after us well. When the seas calmed down our holiday went into full swing. The highlights of our cruise were the speciality restaurants and there was plenty of them to choose from. Food and service was of a high standard and we especially enjoyed the Bistro, so much so we went twice! The buffet was ok only complaint would be there are to many spicy peppers in all the dishes so every bite was a task, they also need more healthy options. Positive side was that they did have a wide selection of food and every night a different theme which was a nice touch. On the sea days cruise staff games were very fun to attend and helped us to get to know other British guests that were cruising with us. The most fun night of the cruise was spent with them watching an amazing tribute show of Whitney Houston and Tina Turner These very talented girls had outstanding voices. The Spa and staff were lovely with many offers and different ways to be pampered. My husband and I often went to lay on the fantastic hot stone beds that they have there. We really would like to have taken them home. Other hightlights of our trip included the theatre shows. Best shows we saw without a doubt were the acrobats and magicians, production shows were entertaining. However, we, our friends and a some other guests were disappointed with all the comedy acts in the theatre, we even saw many people walking out of these shows.. This kind of humor is not for everybody and being on an international ship we do not understand why local comedy acts were performing. Other services on board were to a good standard. Our cabin was smaller than we expected but kept very clean and always a towel animal surprise at the end of the day. There were plenty of excursion options at reasonable prices. Reception and bar staff were very helpfull and poliet. Cruise Director Alvin was very good, well dressed and such a sweet down to earth person. Overall we did enjoy our holiday with Norwegian just a few to many unsupervised children that need to be taken care of. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
New member here and this was my first cruise. We live in upstate Ny and did not want to fly so the NCL gem seemed perfect. Getting on the ship wasn't to bad of a wait. Once on the ship forget about getting any food. We could not find ... Read More
New member here and this was my first cruise. We live in upstate Ny and did not want to fly so the NCL gem seemed perfect. Getting on the ship wasn't to bad of a wait. Once on the ship forget about getting any food. We could not find a seat anywhere in the "cafeteria" ( the same food quality as a high school cafeteria). Finally after the safety meeting we had to go to we found a seat at osheenas pub on the ship. Just when I thought the garden cafes food was bad we tried osheenas food and it was equally terrible. On top of the terrible food the service was just as bad. In the 7 or 8 times we ate there not 1 time was our order correct. Also the grille at the Tahitian bar was not open for the entire cruise. Food on the ship gets a 1 outta 5 stars only because the orchid gardens food was decent. We brought our 2 yr old daughter with us on the cruise and of course why would the nice slide going to the pool work? So now on of the main things for her to enjoy is no longer working. Now back to the food. On day 6 me and my brother in law both got sick from the undercooked chicken grilled by the pool. We both threw up during the night and felt better by morning. I can say I did not gain any weight on this cruise because the food was out of my system within a few mins after every meal. After thr food sickness I could not eat anymore meat on this ship the last 4 days. The thought of it made me sick and I love eating grilled food. So I managed eating pasta and pizza the remainder of cruise. I can only hope not all cruises are like this. I will never return on a NCL ship after this cruise. We may have to drive to Baltimore and try a Royal carribean next time. I give this cruise a .5 outta 5 stars. The reason for the half star is because the ultimate beverage package was a great bargin. Also our room cleaning guy was great as well and very friendly. Ship was very clean also. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my family's first curise and it exceed our expectations. Everything one the chip was great from food , entertainment, staff , house keeping . Being that it was our first we had the unlimited dinning package. we decided to ... Read More
This was my family's first curise and it exceed our expectations. Everything one the chip was great from food , entertainment, staff , house keeping . Being that it was our first we had the unlimited dinning package. we decided to get that because of our teenage son , but it's so not needed . There's food 24 . When garden cafe is close , the great outdoors and toppers are open . So next time we are going to get fl the excursion deal . There's clubs for the kids , so in other words enroll the kids so you and your partner can have time for yourselves. My favorite restaurant whereCagney's Steakhouse ($29.95 cover charge)Teppanyaki (cover charge $25)La Cucina ($14.95) ( also allowed us to create our own pasta dish . Wings in osheeains ( not sur of the spelling ) are great . When on the ship make sure you try mango melt down ... amazing ! My one complain would be , after paying so much , you would think soda free !! We were mid ship cabin 10572 our house keeper dale was on point . He keep our cabin clean and was there to turn down every night without asking . We are definitely going back . Just which the offer another 10 day with different ports . And embarkation was fast , the long line moved fast . Our check in wad 12:30 ... oh how can I for get the cruise director lu , with her little self ... full of fun and energy . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
Gem of a week The Norwegian Gem is a fantastic ship . Embarkation was a breeze! My partner and I have made ​​a memorable 10 days trip from NewYork to San Marteen, passing through caribe, San juan and Tortola. The ship offers ... Read More
Gem of a week The Norwegian Gem is a fantastic ship . Embarkation was a breeze! My partner and I have made ​​a memorable 10 days trip from NewYork to San Marteen, passing through caribe, San juan and Tortola. The ship offers many different restaurant, a full size theater with evening entertainment, duty-free shopping, a full service spa, and swimming pools also a fantastic and quiet library! Great service great food the staff is friendly . The restaurants that we liked the most are " Modern Churrascheria " and " Cagney stake house”. but we recommend the dining room "le Bistro" was very pretty. This restaurant was pretty and romantic and the food is awesome, they are famous for their pretzel bread, it is so delicious and I really enjoyed the Caesar salad. gnam…gnam! Dining on the ship was amazing! We had breakfast in Garden Cafe most mornings, and I loved the English muffins. On the ship, then there are many services and staff is very well organized for the events thanks to his over 1,000 crew members. These guys and gals work really hard for your enjoyment. It is also exceptionally clean. Our rooms were cleaned twice a day. The entertainment onboard was great fun there is an fantastic variety of comedy and musicals. We witnessed a magic show called " Magika ". We have seen him do incredible things in this show...the Cruise artists were great! We have never seen a magic show. We enjoyed also the Get Down Tonight show, which was all 70s music. The prices on board are pretty reasonable. My rating for a cruise at 9/10. If you haven't cruised before you should try Norwegian Gem!…Dan…Dan Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was my 7th cruise but only my second on NCL. The other was in 2005. I am not stuck to one particular brand. I tend to choose based on itinerary. I chose this Thanksgiving cruise because the dates worked for me and I like being able to ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise but only my second on NCL. The other was in 2005. I am not stuck to one particular brand. I tend to choose based on itinerary. I chose this Thanksgiving cruise because the dates worked for me and I like being able to drive to the terminal. Embarkment was very smooth. I was traveling with several family members and we were dropped right off curbside at 12:10 pm. There were plenty of porters to help with luggage. We sailed through security and check in and were on the ship by 12:20pm. We went right to O'Sheehans for lunch. The chicken tenders were fabulous. My cabin was 11590, which is a mid ship, mini suite. There was plenty of room for 2 and the balcony was very spacious. Arvin, our room steward was excellent. He knew what I needed before I did. I will say that it was noisy at certain times. I wasn't bothered by it but if you go to bed early the banging around from deck 12 may be an issue. The shows were nice, I especially enjoyed Worldbeat. The performers are very talented but by the end I was a bit over the cheesy duets. The Caribbean band was a lot of fun. Everyone was on their feet. Both Leo and Carlos were wonderful but many times the crowd was dull. I wanted to shake them awake and drag them up to dance. For specialty dining, I tried Teppanyaki, Moderno and Cagney's. They were all delicious but Cagney's was my favorite for food but Teppanyaki for fun. We ate in the main dining rooms only 3 times. I was pleased with all of the food. We had spa passes and they were well worth it. I spent quite a few hours there. Ports: In San Juan I found a free walking tour of the old town online. We took a leisurely tour of all the monuments and the fort. It was interesting but HOT. Wear a hat and lots of sunscreen and don't pet the cats. St Thomas was a beach day. We snorkeled on Coki beach. There is a taxi stand when you get off the ship that costs $9 pp each way. Chair rental was $5. There is food service on the beach. St Marten- We went to Orient Beach. A chair and umbrella is $10. There is a water trampoline for $10 unlimited and we also went parasailing for $90 pp. It was a beautiful experience but the jet ski ride to the boat was an experience. Tortola- I booked an excursion with the ship. It was the dolphin swim (not experience) and worth every penny! I really did enjoy the Gem. The ship is great and all the staff were very friendly. My only complaint was the constant sales pitches. You couldn't breathe without being sold a raffle ticket or junky watch. People were throwing down in their clearance sales like black Friday in WalMart. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Gem of a week The Norwegian Gem is a fantastic ship . Embarkation was a breeze! My partner and I have made ​​a memorable 10 days trip from NewYork to San Marteen, passing through caribe, San juan and Tortola. The ship offers ... Read More
Gem of a week The Norwegian Gem is a fantastic ship . Embarkation was a breeze! My partner and I have made ​​a memorable 10 days trip from NewYork to San Marteen, passing through caribe, San juan and Tortola. The ship offers many different restaurant, a full size theater with evening entertainment, duty-free shopping, a full service spa, and swimming pools also a fantastic and quiet library! Great service great food the staff is friendly . The restaurants that we liked the most are " Modern Churrascheria " and " Cagney stake house”. but we recommend the dining room "le Bistro" was very pretty. This restaurant was pretty and romantic and the food is awesome, they are famous for their pretzel bread, it is so delicious and I really enjoyed the Caesar salad. gnam…gnam! Dining on the ship was amazing! We had breakfast in Garden Cafe most mornings, and I loved the English muffins. On the ship, then there are many services and staff is very well organized for the events thanks to his over 1,000 crew members. These guys and gals work really hard for your enjoyment. It is also exceptionally clean. Our rooms were cleaned twice a day. The entertainment onboard was great fun there is an fantastic variety of comedy and musicals. We witnessed a magic show called " Magika ". We have seen him do incredible things in this show...the Cruise artists were great! We have never seen a magic show. We enjoyed also the Get Down Tonight show, which was all 70s music. The prices on board are pretty reasonable. My rating for a cruise at 9/10. If you haven't cruised before you should try Norwegian Gem!…Dan…Dan Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my first cruise & I’m glad I went w/a friend’s recommendation to cruise with NCL (thanks Mark!). I was on the Gem from 10/10/15 – 10/20/15. Loved the whole freestyle thing - this is the way to go when it comes to a ... Read More
This was my first cruise & I’m glad I went w/a friend’s recommendation to cruise with NCL (thanks Mark!). I was on the Gem from 10/10/15 – 10/20/15. Loved the whole freestyle thing - this is the way to go when it comes to a vacation ‘cause I want to be able to do what I want when I want. I liked the size of the ship too, big enough that I could get away from the crowds but at the same time small enough that I didn't feel overwhelmed. I was well prepped on what to expect (thanks again Mark lol) but still wasn’t sure how it would go. There was no need to worry the staff on the Gem is awesome and made everything a breeze. I have to give a special shout out to Cesare at the Great Outdoors the best bartender on the ship hands down! Cesare if you see this – M & M say HI! We had a mid-ship balcony cabin which I highly recommend & the balcony was really nice to have. The bathroom was a little tight for my fiancé who is 6ft and a bigger guy but other than that all was good. Oh & mid-ship is the way to go if you’re worried about getting seasick which worked in our favor when we hit some rough water on the way back. Speaking of the weather… while we had some rain showers at port I still can’t complain (St. Maarten was my fave by far!) And I gotta hand it to NCL, we’d come back from a day at port to find a tent set up w/chairs & drinks & staff meeting us w/chilled washcloths – wonderful! We scored an ultimate beverage package & pre-paid for one of the specialty dining packages and boy am I glad we did - Moderno (Maricel was so great we went back a 2nd time) & Le Bistro were my favorites by far. But I can’t complain about any of the other dining options, thankfully we were active enough that neither one of us put on any weight – miracles do happen lol. Overall we had a blast & I can safely say we will be cruising w/NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise on NCL; a belated 65th birthday trip. We booked a suite in the haven. The suite was big clean and very nice. Bathroom with ocean view very cool.although we are 65 we felt like kids on this trip. Our butler was ... Read More
This was our first cruise on NCL; a belated 65th birthday trip. We booked a suite in the haven. The suite was big clean and very nice. Bathroom with ocean view very cool.although we are 65 we felt like kids on this trip. Our butler was very attentive and not too much in our face . I thought the port excursions a bit weak. And the weather was not that cooperative. Because we were staying in the haven we ate most of our meals in the specialty dinning restaurants. I thought the food was mostly very good for a ship all though not exceptional. Service people in s.r very nice. The ship not large buy today's standards, but very clean and well maintained. Elevators a little almost frustratingly slow. We especially enjoyed all the priory extra,no lines etc. The entertainment productions typical cruise ship. well done but not broadway. The casino was ok typical bad odds for a ship. We spent over 24 hours in 12-15 foot seas and 35-40 knot winds,ship took it very well. Disembarking took a bit too long even with priory. I would definitely consider sailing on ncl again priory a must. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
My Mom and I were lucky enough to take a New England Canada cruise and it was so much fun! This was a first cruise for both of us! I didn't know what to expect but I can honestly say that our cruise surpassed anything (in a ... Read More
My Mom and I were lucky enough to take a New England Canada cruise and it was so much fun! This was a first cruise for both of us! I didn't know what to expect but I can honestly say that our cruise surpassed anything (in a positive way) we expected the cruise to be like. The Norwegian Cruise staff were amazing! They are all multi-talented and eager to make sure you have a good time. There are many different events to choose from on a list, for your entertainment while on the boat. Fabulous shows, musicals, arts and crafts, and game shows are just a few. Also, several delicious restaurants to choose from to eat at including complimentary ones. I will be cruising again on Norwegian Cruise line! My Mom and I are very happy with our cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
For years we have talked about taking a cruise and when the 7 day Canadian New England trip aboard the NCL GEM came up we thought it would be the perfect "maiden voyage" for us. We were not disappointed! We had perfect weather, ... Read More
For years we have talked about taking a cruise and when the 7 day Canadian New England trip aboard the NCL GEM came up we thought it would be the perfect "maiden voyage" for us. We were not disappointed! We had perfect weather, calm seas and a team of people that spoiled us rotten. The excursions were just what we needed to maximize our time in each port, they were well planned and the guides were awesome. There was plenty to do on board and the FreeStyle dining was perfect for us. It is amazing how many different activities there were to do and the variety of entertainment was incredible. Since we live in Connecticut we loved that we did not have to fly to meet up with the ship, we would definitely do this again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Norwegian Gem...New England Cruise. Sept. 2015 The beds were horrible! No box spring..just a metal bottom. mattress was very used. dipped in the middle. was topped with a foam pad. when we complained, we were given bed pads folded in ... Read More
Norwegian Gem...New England Cruise. Sept. 2015 The beds were horrible! No box spring..just a metal bottom. mattress was very used. dipped in the middle. was topped with a foam pad. when we complained, we were given bed pads folded in half, placed on the mattress. when I complained again, I was given the bottom floor of a baby crib...folded and placed under my mattress, which made it hard as a board. the staff were very nice, except for several bar tenders. I do not drink alcohol on a regular basis, I prefer soda. so I paid $57 for unlimited soda for a 10 day cruise. most of the time, when I presented my prepaid cup to a bar tender...you could tell they were not happy and seemed bothered by waiting on me. 2 ignored me and 1 was slightly rude. I did find one friendly bar tender in the atrium, so I went there every time I could. the food was good and there were plenty of choices. the person that took care of our room was very nice. there were not enough activities that were of interest. the shows were cheesy. bingo was disappointing. however, most of the live music was good. Cyndi McLeod trio was great! smoking was allowed in the casino. I am a smoker, but could not stand being in the casino because it was just too smokey. My mother does not smoke, so she did not enter. While sitting in a bar area, listening to live music....the smell that seeped out of the "cigar room" was not good. Poor organization while trying to get people ready for immigration. Had way too many people stuffed in a tiny waiting area for too long...to get off the boat for a shore excursion. Once off of the ship, the areas we visited were great! Disappointed that the outdoor pools were not heated. This was my first time on a cruise and it was a poor experience. Very disappointing. I may try a cruise again, but not with Norwegian. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise. I enjoyed the cruising part immensely. The staff was a really warm great group, 'Happy, Happy, Washy Washy' still brings a smile to my face. The food was okay, I preferred the paid restaurants over ... Read More
This was our first cruise. I enjoyed the cruising part immensely. The staff was a really warm great group, 'Happy, Happy, Washy Washy' still brings a smile to my face. The food was okay, I preferred the paid restaurants over the free food but it was all very nicely done. There was no turkey bacon I did find turkey sausages hidden away four days into my trip. I found there was not a lot of fish served for the people who did not eat met. There were no TV stations which I understood you had activities but some people just came to relax (on the water in front of the TV). For some people it was a honeymoon and peacefulness is how you find it. I thought it was ridiculous to charge $9.99 for movies that totally messed up continuously when you watched them and those small 13 inch screens are for total blindness. I enjoyed the Spa which I went to every day but at $149 for the week, had you added a second person for half price, my husband would have signed up. The gym was free but the punching bag was $30.....why? Photos were $149 for ten pictures, you're making money hand over fists in your corporation so why not sell photos $99 for ten, people may not mind paying another $99 for the rest. Drink packages were almost $400 per person; Internet was $125 for 250 minutes, it was $30 on Carnival cruises. There were children in bars in the evenings, children that should have been in bed, a lot of the children I saw should have been in school. There were fun game shows and walking the decks at night was a dream and I felt my fear of the sea leaving me. I just think that the trip was wonderful except for the monetary overages. The idea of cruising is so great and wonderful, I understand that it costs to make these dreams come true but you should re-thing want you want to give to the people who support the cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This was my first cruise so I have nothing else to compare it to, but it was AWESOME!!!! We sailed out of NY and parked at the cruise terminal. Embarkation was fast and painless. We arrived at thr cruise terminal at11:30am and were ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I have nothing else to compare it to, but it was AWESOME!!!! We sailed out of NY and parked at the cruise terminal. Embarkation was fast and painless. We arrived at thr cruise terminal at11:30am and were in our room at 12:25pm. Our luggage arrived by 3pm. Dining- We did not purchase the dining package but we enjoyed all of our meals at the buffets and MDRs. Service was a bit slower at the Grand Pacific...the nights we ate there usually took about 2 hrs,but it was well worth the wait. On sea days the grills were on the pool deck and the chicken, rice, and corn on the cob was excellent. The washy washy girls are awesome especially Raelyn who greeted us with her beautiful smile every morning! Onboard activities- Fun Fun Fun! Dan Dan was the cruise director and he was fabulous! I did not realize how busy I would be...I thought I would be sitting by the pool all day,boy was I wrong! There is something for everyone. There were a lot of activities that cost money...Bingo was pretty expensive and was not worth it. They played Deal or no Deal and it was 20.00 a card to play. I thought that was a little much, but my niece got picked to go on stage and won $193, so it was worth it just for that. The adult Quest game is a must...I have not laughed that much in a long time. Also another activity that you should make time to go is the Battle of the cake Masters with Dan Dan ...it was hysterical! They had several dance parties and it could get crowded. I went to every show and each was better than the next. The Magika show was excellent and so was the Duo Balskatt. The singers and dancers on the ship were great! We were lucky as there were not a lot of children. We always got chairs on the pool deck and most of the time could find room in the hot tubs. Service- was excellent. Our cabin steward Eduardo was great and attended to our every need. He had towel animals each night. It was my birthday on the trip and I returned to my room to find a complimentary bottle of champagne! Everyone was kind and it was like a big happy family. One Thursday night after the show the staff members came out and sang. It was very touching. These workers never stopped and worked their butts off to make our trip perfect. They deserve every penny of the 13.50 per day gratuity charge. Ports- Port Canaveral. I could have done without. Great Stirrup Cay was the highlight of our trip. We went to the Lagoon which was to the left of the main beach. You could walk or take the tram. It was breathtaking! The lunch they served on the island was delicious. They were the best ribs and chicken I ever had. In Nassau we took a tour with one of the locals. It was very depressing and kind of creepy seeing the conditions these people live in. We did walk to Junkaroo Beach and it was beautiful. You could see your toes in the crystal clear water. Our party of 7 had a marvelous time and I loved the Gem and all of its hardworking staff! Looking forward to cruising on the Gem again!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Despite the issue I had concerning the cleanliness of the cabin, overall we all had a very good time, especially my children. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the splash academy. The staff in that program were wonderful. The food ... Read More
Despite the issue I had concerning the cleanliness of the cabin, overall we all had a very good time, especially my children. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the splash academy. The staff in that program were wonderful. The food was adequate but the lunch and dinner at the buffet was not as good as the main dining rooms. Entertainment on board was fabulous, extremely enjoyable. Service on board was adequate. Could have been better. Although many staff were engaging and friendly I felt that many could have been more willing to assist. A little smile goes a long way and the overall impression was that I had a feeling that I was bothering them when I asked for something. My overall opinion of the ship was not good. Did not feel the ship was kept clean enough. I was bitten by bugs on the ship and although my cabin was examined and nothing was found in my room I got bitten somewhere on the ship which is not exceptable. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Nice, overpriced for what I hear you get on other cruise lines. Bartenders great. Freestyle dining staff felt to me like they would rather be somewhere else. Getting on and off the boat was as smooth as could be. My vacation started as ... Read More
Nice, overpriced for what I hear you get on other cruise lines. Bartenders great. Freestyle dining staff felt to me like they would rather be somewhere else. Getting on and off the boat was as smooth as could be. My vacation started as soon as I got to the port, bravo. Shops started to run out of product as soon as the rain started. Ketel one vodka was 2 for 37 dollars. There was one bottle left and I asked if I could purchase it for 19 dollars, the girl from the jewelry dept. was assisting me and asked the gentleman behind the register. Without even looking up, his answer was no. The girl said to me I'am very sir and and walked away. I still spent 350.00 in the store and my wife told me I should not have. Next time I will purchase liquor on the Island. Overall Great, but next cruise I will try another cruise line if only to compare the difference. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Below is the list of specific problems I observed during my 7 night cruise 1) Day 1 - Embarking - Lines - waited over 1.25 hours from arrival to stateroom. More than 45 minutes slower than Royal Caribbean in Bayonne, NJ. 2) Day 2 - ... Read More
Below is the list of specific problems I observed during my 7 night cruise 1) Day 1 - Embarking - Lines - waited over 1.25 hours from arrival to stateroom. More than 45 minutes slower than Royal Caribbean in Bayonne, NJ. 2) Day 2 - Kids Center- 5 kids (ages 3,5,7,9 & 12) said they did not enjoy the activities and witnessed other kids being scolded. They fought us pleading not to go back. 3) Day 3 - Deck 12 - boat tender issuance - Unorganized, time consuming, bedlam. Too many people with hands in grabbing. This should absolutely be addressed and an organized system should be implemented for the future. I believe the easiest way would be to pre-issue all tickets before you even get on the ship (send with room vouchers). Those with excursions should be privy to the low number tenders and the rest issued via lottery. This would eliminate the mob scene I witnessed. 4) Bars - Days 1 through 3 - I'm allowed to get 2 drinks with one UBP card (universal beverage plan card). Days 4 through 6 - rule changed to 1 drink per card as stated by the both the bartender on Deck 12 Aft and Deck 13 bow. Why the change? Be consistent. 5) Day 5 - Deck 12 - Aft Bar - Bartender took average of 7 to 10 minutes per customer to serve. Bartender prepared drinks with one hand at times (I guess using your left hand to hold a shot glass was too complicated. He needed to set the shot glass down on the counter, pour, transfer into mixed drink next to shot glass, repeat). I witnessed a customer get skipped when there were only 3 total at the bar. Longest I recorded was 16 minutes for one customer (3 drinks). For me, one glass of wine, 6 minutes. 6) Day 5 - Deck 13 - Bar overlooking the pool area - towards bow - witnessed 2 Customers skipped, slow service time - averaged between 6 to 8 minute wait time. I believe one of the servers was named Aziz. 2 glasses of wine, 12 minutes. 7) Day 5 - Deck 14 - quiet zone upstairs deck - Bow - debris and drinks scattered on floor (counted 10 empty drinks and scattered garbage/napkins). Chairs turned in all directions. I believe I just missed a good party. 8) Day 5 - Nassau - Dolphin Excursion disembarkation to the Gem embarkation - 15 minute walk from dock to dock (not the problem) with a 25 minute line to enter ship's dock (problem). 25 minutes is a long time to wait in 95+ degree humid weather holding a child. 9) Throughout the trip, 4 separate unrelated fellow cruisers exclaimed their disbelief in the level of service provided. I now have the names of 3 different cruise ships I need to try and was told not to write off cruises all together. One Steward on the Gem stated that the ship had recently forced out personnel on mandatory vacation and the new staff that replaced them were inexperience. This should not have been our problem but Norwegian decided to make it ours. While on vacation, time is a huge factor. I am disappointed that I worked and saved for over a year to have my family and I waste time and wait in lines on and off your cruise ship. In the end, everything that was good about my trip to the Bahamas did not involve the ship. I can not recommend Norwegian line to any friends or family. I'm sorry if this was your best foot forward. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We have done Resort thing in past to Mexico, and that was fun too. But this time we decided to do Cruise. So this was our first cruise, and all I have to say is, it was a blast, too good of a vacation, had terrific time with family on ... Read More
We have done Resort thing in past to Mexico, and that was fun too. But this time we decided to do Cruise. So this was our first cruise, and all I have to say is, it was a blast, too good of a vacation, had terrific time with family on cruise, with lined up activities within cruise and off shore excursions. Starting from embankment to dis-embankment, everything goes very smooth, being first timer, It was not difficult for us. Gem staff is just fabulous, direction Dan Dan is nice person and human being too. Upon embankment, Gem staff is ready to greet every person board the cruise. Luggage arrived within few hours after we checked-in to the room. Gem has very nice places to eat, but the buffet at the Garden Café was just fantabulous, with bunch of varieties, besides some basic items, main course changed everyday. Greeter at Garden cafe, has smile on face and tells everyone, washie-washie! The next choice for us to eat is the Grand Pacific, it was huge hall. The third place is the Magenta. We did visited other places but this three has lot to cover. Every night, they have shows to entertain guests on board, and they were terrific. Just to name few, Worldbeat, and Magic shows were fabulous. Fist two days, we spent on ship, and on third day, we got off to Orlando FL for shore excursion, picked Gator land zip lining. Fourth day, we got off to the NCL's private island, The Great Stirrup Cay, it's nice clean beach with various activities. Fifth day, we got off to Nassau, Bahamas. and picked various activities, like snorkel and kayak. One thing have to say, these shore excursions are costly, like real costly! Last two days, spent on ship. We had our mom with us, she used wheelchair and they provided special treatment as well, so hats off NCL staff. Overall, I would this was the best vacation ever. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
This was our very 1st cruise, and I have to say it was one of our best vacations ever. I have to say how organized NCL was from embankment to disembankment and everything in between. The ship itself was clean inside and out. Our luggage ... Read More
This was our very 1st cruise, and I have to say it was one of our best vacations ever. I have to say how organized NCL was from embankment to disembankment and everything in between. The ship itself was clean inside and out. Our luggage arrived very quickly to our room. Don't get me started on the food, we ate all day, the buffet at the Garden Café was fantastic, something different everyday, I've got 2 words for you "washie-washie". The Magenta and the Grand Pacific were also great. After eating a HUGE breakfast my son and I would go to the gym, to my surprise it was big and clean. Great job to the cruise director DAN-DAN and his staff by keeping us entertained everyday and the great shows in the evening. Great job by all the photographers, whom we made friends with, did a great job taking our pictures. Shout out to our cabin steward who did a great job everyday making up and making down our room and the wonderful animals he did with the towels. The Great Stirrup Cay was a beautiful island to visit, clear water, beautiful beach, plenty of food and drinks, The pools and the hot tubs was a great place to hang out and make new friends. There was plenty of activities to do or just chill out on the sun deck. This was a very enjoyable and relaxing vacation, beats going down the shore. Great job NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Have to admit was very nervous of what to expect with first time experience cruising with my comprising wife and two children aged 18 and 16. Need not have worried as thoroughly enjoyed the trip and the Norwegian Gem. Travelled from ... Read More
Have to admit was very nervous of what to expect with first time experience cruising with my comprising wife and two children aged 18 and 16. Need not have worried as thoroughly enjoyed the trip and the Norwegian Gem. Travelled from Northern Ireland and had 3 nights in New York sight seeing before boarding . Every thing went smoothly at embarkation - bags disappeared with porters as we got out of the taxi. On getting on board directed to the buffet for lunch which was to provide a taste of the great food we enjoyed all week. Again have to agree with the last post that the food was good and should not be expecting five star cuisine on free style cruises unless you pay extra. We ate at one of the main dining rooms once and enjoyed a couple of evenings in the orchid garden . Re the cabins we had two on level 8 -ocean view and both were very clean and well maintained. Lilia the steward was smashing. Enjoyed the ocean view for the natural light during the day and the week up in the morning to look out and see blue skies worth it imho. Entertainment on board was good , and what we expected, after all only spending an hour at the theatre and plenty of other options available . Always music on at the pool - not to my taste but catering for 2000 people hard to please all. Pool was crowded however plenty of quiet spaces fro relaxing and sun bathing if wanted. Happy that ship is generally no smoking , however no issue with those that smoked in designated spaces. Saw a number of these and some aft so have to disagree with previous post. Re excursions we did the airboat combo - which was great fun however cocoa village not very exciting and cocoa beach may have been worth the visit however we decided to stay on bus back to ship due to the storm that was brewing on the day we visited - good option as it turned out cause when it rains in florida it doesn't mess about. Also did the snorkelling at Great stirrup cay - good way to spend the day - if a tad expensive for hire of equipment but water and beach lovley and lunch superb for a beach facility. Nassau was too warm for us on the last port day but enjoyed the pirate museum as we decided to not do any excursions and explore ourselves. As first cruise going for very good as nothing to compare to but really enjoyable time was had Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
We took a cruise on the Norwegian Gem for our honeymoon, and had a great time. We found the staff to be helpful and friendly. Service was great. Our room was always cleaned and neat --every day. The room attendant was always concerned ... Read More
We took a cruise on the Norwegian Gem for our honeymoon, and had a great time. We found the staff to be helpful and friendly. Service was great. Our room was always cleaned and neat --every day. The room attendant was always concerned about our comfort and satisfaction. We found the food to be very good as it was healthy and did not tend towards fried food or fast food. In fact, because we ate better, we lost some weight. We found the entertainment to be great--nightly shows, daily BINGO, health workshops, music and more. We took a shore excursion every day we were in port and were not disappointed. Of course, it was extremely hot this time of the year so each shore excursion was "hot". However, the Gem was there to welcome us back--and they did--one day with music. On the day we used the tender ship to go ashore (Great Stirrup Cay) the Norwegian made arrangements to cool us off when we returned. When the tender ships came to get us, we were given a cold drink of water, an ice cold cloth for our head and streaming water to wash off our feet. We have only good things to say about our Norwegian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
I was extremely open to going on a cruise considering it is the hot thing to do around me, but I honestly despised it. First of all, the whole cruise was packed out. Every single room was full. We were not looking for upgrades or ... Read More
I was extremely open to going on a cruise considering it is the hot thing to do around me, but I honestly despised it. First of all, the whole cruise was packed out. Every single room was full. We were not looking for upgrades or something, but it was so crowded. The second day of the cruise which was a sea day there were zero spots to sit at the pool in the sun and the shade. The only place to sit was the top deck if you were lucky. There were probably 50 lawn chairs in the sun and were all taken by 9am. I do not think I should have to feel like getting up at the crack of dawn to get a lawn chair by the pool on my "vacation". they did have chairs on both decks, but even those were filled early. Also, it was exhausting trying to find a spot to eat at the buffet at any time of day. Eating breakfast at 10am was not even an option because we had to bring everything back to our room since there were literally no seats. It was aggravating and discouraging. The dining rooms were not that special either. At the main dining room, I ordered a vegetable burrito (literally the only vegetarian option on the menu) and it made me nauseous and light headed as if i just ate Taco Bell. I was not hoping for a excellent burrito, but at least something that did not look heated up in a microwave off the Taco Bell menu. The only good thing about the cruise was the part that did not involve cruising. The two beach days in the Bahamas were beautiful and made up for the other five days of aggravation, and why i rated the cruise 2 stars instead of 1. The whole cruise seemed like a 5 day airplane ride of being packed in one spot surrounded by people getting to a destination. The whole boat is in general extremely outdated and just ugly. It had a 70s kind of vibe, but in a dirty way. Was definitely not luxurious and comfortable at all. Me and my mother stayed in a small room on the lowest deck with a port hole. I did not mind it, but my mother was extremely uncomfortable and felt confined. I would never take a cruise again, and if I even considered it, I would take it out of Florida with limited sea days. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Went on a cruise with my social group and staff members that are involved with the group. First day leaving out of new york was like a big party music and dancing, beautiful weather. Hung out on the top deck that same day saw the statue of ... Read More
Went on a cruise with my social group and staff members that are involved with the group. First day leaving out of new york was like a big party music and dancing, beautiful weather. Hung out on the top deck that same day saw the statue of liberty right in front of me, and the freedom tower. It was breath taking. The ship itself was beautiful, great staff, very accommodating anything we needed they provided. Great places to eat and its very clean. did not get sick at all. rooms were always kept neat and tidy. For my first experience on a cruise i would give it a ten, did not wanna leave, it was a great time with everyone. I definitely would do this again with my family in the future. Read Less
Norwegian Gem Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.8

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