1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We wanted to go to Bermuda and this was a different ship for us, so we went. Overall, we had fun and Bermuda is awesome. Our stateroom was a forward balcony and was nice, clean and the room steward was very friendly and good. However, the ... Read More
We wanted to go to Bermuda and this was a different ship for us, so we went. Overall, we had fun and Bermuda is awesome. Our stateroom was a forward balcony and was nice, clean and the room steward was very friendly and good. However, the service in the dining rooms was horrible every night except once. The food was sometimes good sometimes bad. We would have to ask 3 times for a drink and 40 minutes later it would finally come. (Every night). I have never received such poor service in the dining room or mediocre food like this on any other cruise line. The music was So loud everywhere on the ship. In the atrium you couldn’t go to customer service and ask a question and hear the response because the music or whatever was on, was as loud as it could be. In the Orchid restaurant and Sheehan restaurant, you could hear the bands playing from nearby and it was so loud you couldn’t enjoy your meal at either place (so we never ate there) That and the fact that service was so poor in dining room with only so-so food anyway, meant that our dining experience wasn’t that good. We have definitely had better food and service on other cruise lines. The excursion to Clearwater beach was very nice (but expensive for what you got). Horseshoe Bay beach is great. Maybe we just had bad luck with the service in the dining room and the mediocre food. Maybe someone will realize that the amplifiers don’t need to be on FULL blast ALL the time... then maybe we will fell like cruising on the Gem again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Heard nothing but Great reviews about Norwegian as the one to go to for a more relaxing yet fun filled cruise. Open choices for dining ,activities ,as well as off shore excursions. Entire staff was welcoming ,attentive and friendly not to ... Read More
Heard nothing but Great reviews about Norwegian as the one to go to for a more relaxing yet fun filled cruise. Open choices for dining ,activities ,as well as off shore excursions. Entire staff was welcoming ,attentive and friendly not to mention helpful and had great sense of humor... Major Shout out to Cruise director Luz and Asst.Cruise director Jeffrey... Already In the process of planning our next cruise... Daily food menu changes with multiple options so there's something for everyone as well as dietary and allergy sensitive foods too... Pools were great after a long workout or a stroll around the ship, basketball, rock climbing or just laying back relaxing on the sundeck,there's many activities for various age groups and also for just adults which adds to the ability for everyone to be together yet also have their own time with individuals around their age as well ,playing games making crafts or just meeting and making new friends.... Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our best cruise ever. We decided to allow NCL to handle our air and pre and post hotel for this cruise. They truly made this an all-inclusive vacation. We sailed out of Boston and spent a day before and a day after the cruise ... Read More
This was our best cruise ever. We decided to allow NCL to handle our air and pre and post hotel for this cruise. They truly made this an all-inclusive vacation. We sailed out of Boston and spent a day before and a day after the cruise there. We love sailing out of Boston, it is a much better embarkation than New York. NCL air sent us a list of what to expect for the all-inclusive cruise and they delivered exactly what they promised and more. They scheduled great flights both ways that were at appropriate times not too early for departure we arrived a 1:30 and the return flight was at 3:30 which gave us a leisurely morning in Boston. I did the math on the flights and we would have paid just under $800 for the tickets for which we paid $99 each. There seems to be some confusion online about how this works but if you can read and just trust that NCL is going to take care of you it all works fine. You won't get the flights until a few weeks before. But once you do, they are your flights and you have to get into the airlines website and choose a seat. You can then upgrade if you like, which we did. The airlines were Delta and American - one was direct, and one had one stop. Once purchased they are your tickets. It was a good experience on this cruise, but it didn't stop there. When we arrived in Boston, just as the info stated, an NCL representative met us at baggage. She was wonderful lady from Boston wearing an NCL bandana. She was there to meet only us. She loaded our bags on a cart and contacted the hotel van to pick us up. She waited with us until the Sheraton Airport van picked us and our luggage up. (about 15 minutes). While waiting she told us some things we could do while in Boston. It is nice arriving without having to figure out where to go next! Upon arriving at the hotel, we were literally greeted with a red carpet. We were immediately checked in and given access to the hotel. It was early. They gave us a gift bag with treats and water. The check in hostess provided us with info about the shuttle and how to get around. We were a little concerned at first as the Sheraton/Airport is outside of Boston, but there are some perks it is beside a shopping center which we found was a great place to pick up things for the cruise and really just shop if you like. There are several restaurants there as well and one in the hotel as well as a bar. They also provide free service to the subway/train to Boston. We checked in and took the shuttle to the train. It takes about $6 per person to go and return on the train. We went to the Aquarium stop from which there is a lot to see and do. We returned that evening and all we had to do is phone the hotel and they dispatched a van for us - about 15 minutes. They even verify the arrival by text just in case the driver cannot find you. They will also transport you to local restaurants as well. The breakfast at the Sheraton is good as well. Everything was included in our cruise price including tips. We were told at check in to be downstairs at about 11:30 for our transportation to the pier. Which at first concerned us as we usually like to board early. But we decided to just go with the flow. We checked out about 10:30 after breakfast and waited for the "ride" to the ship. While waiting we noticed a limo arrive and thought someone famous must be staying here. Surprise they transported us to the ship by limo. It was the best trip to port ever. A BMW limo with free Wi-Fi, snacks and water. We could’ve actually just driven around for a while. We were dropped off right at the door of the port and never touched a bag. (The tips were already included) For embarkation we processed through security in about 10 minutes and then the line at registration took about another 5 to get to the agent. After the presentation of all the docs and taking pictures the agent said you need to follow me. We followed him behind the priority boarding curtain and met our Concierge, Anoop. We were afforded priority boarding and given access to a concierge for the entire trip. We were in Cagney's eating a great lunch within an hour of arriving at the pier. This was the best embarkation ever! It really could not be better. We were finally on the ship and just had to do what NCL had planned for us all we had to do was get to the local airport on time. 5 stars!!!! This was our first time on the Gem. Though we have spent a lot of time on the Dawn over the past year as well as some of the bigger ships. The Gem is slightly bigger than the Dawn. There is a Great Outdoors much like the Sun and the Sky. The buffet seems to be a bit larger and is only on one side. We stayed in a balcony room 10128 which was a great choice, very near the stairs with easy access up and down. The cabin is slightly bigger than the Dawn, well at least a little more storage. It was clean and always kept that way by our steward. We only had to ask for Ice in the Ice bucket once, which was automatic after that. Dining on the Gem was GREAT!!! The breakfasts in Moderno each morning were really a highlight. We could’ve eaten lunch in Cagney’s each day but wow we were so stuffed! We dined in Le Bistro, Cagney’s, Moderno, The Grand Pacific and Magenta. They all were excellent. In fact, the Grand Pacific had the best wait staff on the whole cruise. This is the free restaurant. Magenta was a little too crowded but was okay, so if you hate crowds sail away the buffet is literally better. The one issue with dining was in La Cucina. It was nice looking facility however the experience was because they booked multiple large parties in too small of a space. It was raucous to say the least. We just skipped dessert and went to the bar. The concierge found us almost immediately and did admit that they knew it was too loud and they were working on it. My suggestion - don’t eat there!!!! Maybe then it could be really fixed! The buffet was good as well as the great outdoors. We did usually stop by the great outdoors before bed for a snack. The coolest dining experience on the Gem was the barbeque they prepared everyday on the pool deck. It was very safe and was awesome. I thought at first, we would never get anything to eat there but it was so fast there really was never a wait. This really was a unique experience. 5 stars!!!! And on the last day at sea they made the largest Black Forest Cake at sea. We found the Whisky Bar to the best, Zoran was a great bartender even when he had to explain to people that a Whisky Bar is not where you go to order a Margarita. He went next door an made them one. Bar service overall was 4 stars. A few times it seemed to be understaffed a little on the pool deck, but a good job. The entertainment on the ship was excellent as we have grown to expect from NCL. There was guitar Karaoke/tracks performer that we really did NOT care for. However, it seemed a lot of people liked tracks and pitchy, so they had something to go listen to. The biggest ISSUE on the whole cruise was in during the “White Hot” or “Glow Party” and yes, I know NCL is trying to rebrand it which is another issue. But, for some reason they had it inside and it was too packed and the allowed the youth to come after they had already had one especially for them. It was literally dangerous on the dance floor. Not sure who is responsible for this --- It was a beautiful night outside at the end of July leaving Bermuda. So, it was not a weather issue. THIS NEEDS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF! If they do this again, I will NEVER attend! I do not wish to get into a fight which almost happened as there was so much pushing around! I might mention there was also NO security present. Drinking and an overcrowded dance floor party is really a bad idea. My wife is small I had to shield her from the parents with kids hanging in the air and teenagers jumping into her. Bermuda is a great place to cruise it was 2 nights and three days in port. There is nothing near Bermuda so that is difficult to change. Bermuda is very safe compared to many other ports. The White-Hot Party Sunset Cruise offered by NCL was Superior. The same company did a cruise for snorkeling when we arrived. It is called Rising Son. We did another Sunset Cruise it was okay. It was cloudy and no I don’t blame the company on the weather. The ones from Rising Son are much better!!!! I got to drive the catamaran on the way back to the ship. We did book and off ship Food Tour in Hamilton for lunch. It was good, however too HOT! On the last day we took an NCL tour to Tobacco Bay. This was a great excursion. The snorkeling there is good especially if you have a wife that is not a strong swimmer. We went on a short historical tour and walked there from St. Georges. Probably a mile – though they will transport you if necessary. There was a lunch and we snorkeled for hours. There were so many fish right off the shore. Of course, the feeding of French fries probably contributed to this. I was caught in a true feeding frenzy once, but it was cool. We traveled back to Boston and we had the same treatment in reverse because we decided to stay a day later before going home. Boston is a great place to visit, lots to see and do for everyone. If you want a great local seafood experience check out Salty Girl. You will probably have to wait but it is worth it. We had limo back to hotel and a great time waiting to go home. This was a true all-inclusive cruise. I am not sure how it could really be much better. NCL free air and lodging the day before or after is a great deal and a wonderful experience. Just booked the next 3 with those included. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Norwegian Gem is a beautiful ship. The itinerary was amazing. The crew exceeded our wants. Patrick or Kevin Street always made sure our mini suite was impeccable and took very good care of us. Nikola Vojovic, Gary Gatoula and Mer ... Read More
Norwegian Gem is a beautiful ship. The itinerary was amazing. The crew exceeded our wants. Patrick or Kevin Street always made sure our mini suite was impeccable and took very good care of us. Nikola Vojovic, Gary Gatoula and Mer Yaday are some of the bartenders throughout the ship but they stood out in our eyes with a great smile and excellent service I definitely go to them anytime I wanted a drink. Just make sure you give them a fist bump whenever they serve you, inside joke . Katherine Montro had the spray sanitizer bottle outside the buffet. She was always there asking how we’re doing and had good conversations with her. Made us feel part of a family. Washy washy, happy happy, clean clean. Reema Chettari and Marie Tenorio gave us a deep tissue couples massage that was totally exhilarating and made us feel like $1 million (we wanted to take them home wit us) Auinash Yaday at Carney’s steak house overheard a conversation about something we live at the Brazilian grill’s that we have at home for dessert and actually brought a couple slices of the roasted pineapple from the Grill next door and just made our meal that much more enjoyable. There are so many more noteworthy crew members that I can’t possibly go on without writing a book but everyone was appreciated and made our honeymoon incredible!!!! The only down side of the cruise was the food in the main dining rooms were lack luster. The service was excellent but it made me feel that ncl is trying to push you to the specialty dining with the lack of “wow” in the dining rooms. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My Wife and I are a dual income, no kids couple (aka DINKS) and we vacation frequently with the notion of work hard, play hard and have no problems paying for luxury experiences. We had heard great things about the Boston to Bermuda NCL ... Read More
My Wife and I are a dual income, no kids couple (aka DINKS) and we vacation frequently with the notion of work hard, play hard and have no problems paying for luxury experiences. We had heard great things about the Boston to Bermuda NCL cruise. Being local, we absolutely LOVED the idea of getting dropped off at the ship and hopping right on to start our vacation. We decided to book the Owner's Suite with the large balcony, Hot Tub, King bed, large bathroom, Butler and Concierge service. The Hot Tub did not have a heater and it did not bubble,which caused us to sit and wait for it to be repaired on our first day. We usually book the more luxurious trips because we like the memorable experience it offers along with the pampering we do not receive on a day to day basis. Our summer Boston to Bermuda cruise left quite a bit to be desired and unfortunately, DID NOT meet our expectations. Given that we booked the Blue Diamond Suite on the Gem, our expectations were Extremely HIGH!! Day one of vacation came and embarkation on the ship as a Haven guest was as expected, we were greeted by the very professional MassPort personnel and shown to the Priority boarding area. There were some light refreshments and we met our concierge (Anoop) who was pleasant and provided an excellent vacation experience. He checked in with us at every dinner, helped to switch dinner reservations and provided ideas for a free day that we had in Bermuda. We do not consider ourselves High Maintenance guests and we appreciated Anoop's pleasant demeanor and his daily if not 2-3/day checking in with us to see if we needed anything. That being said, this is Actually the kind of thing one expects when you are spending the money to have the HAVEN experience, furthermore to be guests in the OWNERS Suite. One of the disappointing experiences was being told at dinner we had to pay for the $27 bottle of wine, champagne and cappuccino (it's espresso people) above and beyond what we ALREADY PAID. I understand it costs money to run a ship, overhead, etc, but we did not expect to be able to drink as much wine, champagne and coffee as we want when we went to the bar or in our room and not at dinner. It just doesn't make sense. Our Butler upon our arrival informed us that we are provided with 3 bottles of alcohol which included wine and liquor, and 1 complimentary bottle of champagne which of course makes sense. However, when after hours of sitting in the room waiting for the Hot Tub to be repaired (by very nice mechanics), I asked her if we can get more champagne while the sun is shining and it's 85 degrees and I'd like to start my vacation. There was no suggestion of the bottle being complimentary until I had suggested that some more champagne would alleviate the "inconvenience". I will say our Butler, Josephine, was pleasant, hard working and took good care of us, but if we needed anything we had to summon her. We certainly didn't feel like she was checking in on us and she did stock our fridge with 2 bottles of Prosecco the next day after considering my suggestion. Another rather disconcerting event happened near the end of our cruise in the Haven Courtyard. Apparently only cruisers who booked HAVEN Rooms are allowed in the Haven Courtyard. Given this was our first cruise, I was not aware of this because while hanging out in the Haven Courtyard two days prior, several of us who were staying in the Haven had a impromptu Pool party with buckets of Adult Beverages for everyone, good conversation, laughter etc, While socializing I realized that it was obvious several of my fellow passengers had brought their friends who were NOT HAVEN Guests up to the courtyard, I assumed that this was allowed and it seemed reasonable to me. All the guests at our impromptu pool party were great people, classy and we were all having a really good time. So, when I brought a friend who happened to be on the ship serendipitously, I of course thought it was fine. Hey, rules are rules, I totally understand. However, our concierge (Anoop) sent a younger HAVEN Staff member (Made, the Haven Courtyard Valet) to address this issue with me in front of my Guest and my wife, I was MORTIFIED. Listen, we've all been kicked out of bars or nightclubs when we're in our twenties for too much celebrating etc., but when you pay a pretty hefty sum of cash to stay in a premier room and are scolded and treated with such utter DISRESPECT over a misunderstanding I have a bit of an issue. Anoop, (The Concierge and the BOSS) should've take it upon himself to have a private conversation with me and clarify the rules, not send his subordinate over and embarrass me in front of my wife and friend. This small incident was the final straw in what we thought was going to be a 5-Star White Glove Service. In Summary, this was our fault, we lacked experience cruising and with NCL in particular. We had an EXCELLENT Vacation but We did NOT get the VALUE for the money we spent. The NCL Gem is obviously not a luxury based ship and trying to provide white glove 5 star service with their HAVEN option was not up to par. We would've been better off and less disappointed if we booked a much less expensive option for the experience we had. If NCL wants to provide high level white glove experiences to guests who are willing to pay then they need to stop nickel and diming their guests and offer more 'all inclusive' type packages with attention to detail if they are looking to garner a higher level clientele who are willing to pay. We would definitely go on another Boston to Bermuda NCL cruise, however, we will absolutely book a much more cost effective package. Booking the package we booked along with our disappointment is akin to going to Outback Steakhouse and believing you are going to get the same kind of Filet that one gets at Del Friscos or similar high end steakhouse that in short, is basically the experience we had. I love to have some Kukkaburrow wings while wearing jeans and a t-shirt but you will not catch me ordering a premium steak and at the very least having the expectation that it will be 5 star!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We went with 4 other adult family members for our 30th anniversary. We had a great time! Cabins were good, food was good and plentiful, we all gained about 5 pounds each! We liked Magenta so much, we ate there our last 4 nights! They ... Read More
We went with 4 other adult family members for our 30th anniversary. We had a great time! Cabins were good, food was good and plentiful, we all gained about 5 pounds each! We liked Magenta so much, we ate there our last 4 nights! They treated us very special for our anniversary. The maitre'd Deron and hostess Rhea were awesome. Cruise director Ferdie and his staff were great! We saw them everywhere. We were definitely entertained! Cruise Critic tips used: 2 cheap battery operated candles to light the room, used Downy wrinkle spray that we put on and smoothed out on our hanging clothes when we unpacked, big magnetic clips to hold hats/head scarves, different colored pens to choose what each of the "decision makers" used on one Daily Freestyle itinerary each day so we could see what things we wanted to do together, and what time to eat meals, where family might be. Each family can take a picture of it. But we did do some things on our own, including reading a book and crosstitch brought from home. Also, I brought sealed tea bags and water flavor powder packets, an empty reusable water bottle and a travel mug and every night we went to the buffet beverage station and filled up with what we wanted and brought back snacks. We also filled up the water bottles with water before going ashore. You have to finish the water before you get back on board. We brought 2 kitchen garbage bags for our dirty clothes. We did the laundry in a bag special, which was a pretty good deal but we didn't get it back until 2 and a half days later, our last night on board. If you go to the pool by yourself make sure you can put your key card in a waterproof pouch you can carry. I wanted to go down the slide but didn't have anyone to hold my card, I was willing to risk my towel and cheap shower shoes near a pool, but not my key card. It's always windy on sea days and at may be in Bermuda, if you have crazy hair, make sure you have a hat with a strap (you can buy good inexpensive hat straps on Amazon) or a head scarf. Hats, of course, were also great for the bright sunshine. Wear them while getting on board. You can call people on your room phone, you just need their room number, you can also leave messages. There are also many house phones in the public areas of the ship and at guest services. Much easier than running to their room and better to leave messages. The doors to the cabins have a louvered design, which was impossible to put a big magnetic message board onto, a smaller one could go on the side or the top but it could only be about 4"" wide or length if you put it at the top, the louvered design was in the middle. We ended up using ours to communicate with our room steward on the bathroom door. If you have asthma or breathing problems and can't take the seasick pills, buy the wrist bands before the cruise and bring a ginger product as the wrist bands sold out quickly on the sea day, which I guess, is often rocky. There were no ginger items for sale in the gift shops, but they did have green apples on the buffet. Bermuda was nice, on our second and full day at Bermuda, we took the free NCL ferry to St. George, a nice hour long ride, we got to see a lot of the Bermuda shoreline. At St. George, we watched a "public dunking" and ate at the White Horse Pub. We took a 2 hour public bus back to the Royal Naval Dockyard and got to see alot of Bermuda and its people for $4.50 each! The first and last day we spent near the ship on the Royal Naval Dockyard. There is quite a bit to do there and there's a free "trolley" that will take you around the dockyard. My goals for a future trip would be to have afternoon tea somewhere nice and to walk the Bermuda Railway Trail in the safe off-road trails and fancy walkways closer to (I believe a few miles from) St. George. We did get to see it from the public bus and probably could have gotten off, but we would have had to find out first how to get a ride back. We did have to wait in a line that looped around quite a bit for the 8-9am carry-off only luggage people at disembarkment. It wasn’t terrible but we did have to be extra patient. I think it took us about an hour. Maybe go at the end? Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this midsized ship and would be happy to go again! Read Less
Gem
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Back from the May 24, 2019 sailing of Gem to Bermuda. This was our 19th NCL cruise, and second time on the Gem. All prior reviews are posted on here. We had an obstructed window room on Deck 8 that had two oblong porthole windows. ... Read More
Back from the May 24, 2019 sailing of Gem to Bermuda. This was our 19th NCL cruise, and second time on the Gem. All prior reviews are posted on here. We had an obstructed window room on Deck 8 that had two oblong porthole windows. Love these rooms for their value and location. No complaints here and our steward, Fan, was terrific. Customer Service overall was subpar on this sailing which was very unusual for us. We found it particularly so given that CruiseNext told us that there were only about 25 platinum’s and above on board. We requested to dine with officers as part of our platinum plus benefit. The dinner was canceled due to “lack of participation”. This is absurd as nowhere does the fine print state this. If we were the only two who requested it, I still feel we should have been accommodated. We sent out laundry twice and the second time they send us someone else’s underwear and socks and a shirt went missing. All was corrected in the end, but no idea how this happened. It was a first for us. LeBistro was ATROCIOUS. The Escargot (normally the thing I look forward to most) had zero garlic or seasoning. I ordered lamb medium rare, comes out well done. My fiancé ordered his medium, also came out well done. Now this is the best (or worst) part. When we send it back, the Maître D comes out. We indicated that the meat was way over done. He then proceeds to ARGUE with my fiancé. Now I know that some people don’t know meat temps but we do and there is a HUGE difference between medium rare and well done. This guy was the first truly rude staffer we’ve ever met on an NCL ship. He should NOT be assigned to this job particularly in a specialty. To add to the insanity, it took close to 20 minutes for them to refire the lamb. There were literally only 5 other tables seated at this time. No excuse. A refire should never take that long. Moderno was just ok. Salad bar very limited and meats were all well done. LaCucina which is usually the worst restaurant on board was very good this time. Cagneys (ate here twice) was great both nights. No issues with the MDR or O’Sheehans. We rarely went to the buffet but it was ok when we did (we are just not buffet people). Bartenders were great. Gary in Spinnaker was fun as were the gents working the Magnum’s bar. We did always get good strong pours. Activities on board seemed somewhat limited compared to our other cruises. We mostly relaxed. Casino was not kind early in the week, by day 6 I was winning. I have seen this trend before so my new plan is to not start gambling until day 5 or 6. I will say a nice to have was the fact they showed the Stanley Cup playoff games which people loved. They also set up food – wings, dogs, nachos, etc. First one was in Spinnaker, second one in the Theater due to the demand. Shows were fantastic except for Swing! which wasn’t our scene (it was a 1940’s jazz thing). Blazin’ Boots and Get Down Tonight we’d seen before but were still enjoyable (hey, you do this many cruises you’re gonna get repeats). Dan Bennett, the acrobats and the comedian were all good. Bermuda was gorgeous as always. We rented twice from Somerset Bridge Watersports. First time was a Boston Whaler boat and the second time was a jet ski tour. Service pre-cruise right up through the end of the tours was fantastic. Tony Roache and his staff are excellent and I encourage anyone to make the short bus ride out there. Much better tours than the ones offered right at the dockyard. Found some secluded beaches and inlets frequented by locals so it was nice to avoid the crowds. Did some walking on the Rail Trail as well which I always enjoy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we had heard positive things. Very disappointed, we took this cruise for out fortieth wedding anniversary. Cold food was served starting the first night and every meal after that except at O’Sheehans. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had heard positive things. Very disappointed, we took this cruise for out fortieth wedding anniversary. Cold food was served starting the first night and every meal after that except at O’Sheehans. The specialty restaurants weren’t any better than the rest of the dining. We paid all of our fees before we took the cruise and were still charged $30.00 every day. I will not take another Norwegian cruise line cruise. We were charged to play some of the games and the biggest prize that an audience member won during Deal or no Deal was $50.00. The cards cost $25.00 per card. I really was disappointed because you hear so much about how good the food is and you look forward to this. It certainly did not even come close to what I have read. The shows were good. I will give the, that. I enjoyed all the shows that I attended. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Value fantastic Value!!! service ,Itinerary, great food ,staff, .We enjoyed all the ports of call,entertainment , drink package..A incredable value for a amazing two week vacation! Friendly professional crew and entertainment director .The ... Read More
Value fantastic Value!!! service ,Itinerary, great food ,staff, .We enjoyed all the ports of call,entertainment , drink package..A incredable value for a amazing two week vacation! Friendly professional crew and entertainment director .The shows we very much looked forward to .The gentalman in charge of internet Outstanding customer service!! If we had somthing we could say need improvement hmmm..some meals ify we are not big foodies but a few ehh...washy washy crew happy happy all day !!The comitment of the crew to cater to pepole with disabilities Outstanding and a joy to witness really inspiring very inclusive. Overall we can not wait to cruise again and are very much looking forward to booking several more with this progressive cruise line and have our cruise next deposits purchased and have begun telling all our coworkers froends and family about our Amazing vacation experience with Norwegian cruise line !!Thank you All for a perfect vacation memory Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Where should I start on that. I'm normally not someone who easily complaints about issues and who is willing to overlook things but this cruise was the worst cruise I have ever done. I mean we spend over $10K just for the cruise which ... Read More
Where should I start on that. I'm normally not someone who easily complaints about issues and who is willing to overlook things but this cruise was the worst cruise I have ever done. I mean we spend over $10K just for the cruise which was nothing what came close to what NCL is promising in their advertisements. But from the Beginning: Embarkation: We had chosen (My parents, my Fiance and my two boys) that we will take the 10am time slot as the ship were supposed to leave at 4pm and the Intrepid Museum is next door of the cruise terminal. Then we arrived there was already a huge line in front of the security control and announcements were made that the computer system isn't working and they will open the check in soon (I don't want to even know how people felt who had the 8am check in time). After about 15min wait the line actually started to move and we were all still in a good mood. Check in was quite easy and it didn't was anything different from any other American Cruise line we have sailed on (the European ones are much better organized and faster (AIDA, TuiCruises)). We were told not to leave the waiting area as boarding would start at 12pm anyways which we didn't really like as we wanted to go to the Museum with our boys but which we accepted. So at around 11.45 we found a seat and started to wait. Till 1pm nothing happened until an NCL crew member made the announcement that the ship has arrived late and they have to go through the procedure with the Port Authority which will take till 2.30pm. Uff. I mean our boys are easy to entertain but 2 1/2 hours in a waiting hall where nothing was is quite interesting. In between where were more announcements made that maybe it will be a little bit earlier and they will try everything to get us on board as soon as possible. At 2.30pm the next announcement was made that they will start any minute with the boarding. We had to wait till nearly 4pm to finally get on board of the ship (just a reminder 6 hours from arrival with two little boys (5 and 8)). Cabin: Okay at least we were on board now and could start enjoying our vacation. As we arrived in our cabin it was obvious that it wasn't really cleaned. We found the trash and the room card from the ones who were traveling in that cabin the cruise before. The mirrors had finger prints (and then I say fingerprint I mean dirt) and the tables were all sticky. I have slept in hotels in China which were below the 1 star rating and I didn't had any issues. But I knew what I paid for and what I had to expect. This stateroom wasn't anything near what I would expect for that amount of money spend. The good thing about the room was that the toilet was separate from the shower and the sink in its little own "room". Dining/Food/Crew: Exhausted from this start we just wanted to have some dinner so we thought it would be a good idea to go to the dinner restaurant so that we don't have to get our food from the buffet. We didn't have to wait at all to get seated and were really surprised that we had a table that fast. The waiter greeted us and asked what we would like to drink. As we had the Ultimate Beverage Package (includes Alcohol and sodas/juices and so on, but don't include coffee or sparkling water (to get that you have to buy another package for an additional $39 per day(!)). So we asked for a few sodas and apple juice for the boys. This was the first time we got eyed rolled on us (and not the last time). It took just 15-20 minutes to get our drinks, which means our waiter wasn't seen for the same amount of time. Her back we started with ordering food and I did the mistake and asked for a 2nd starter which made me earn the next comment in Chinese and rolled eyes. By the time then the starters arrived (another 15 minutes later) we had drunk our sodas and juices but our waiter ignored that we had either water nor any thing else left in our glasses and just didn't asked if we would like to have anything. So I asked if we could get refills and earned the next pair of rolled eyes and rudeness. I think I have never been treated like that before. Unfortunately this attitude stayed the same the whole cruise with one exception. After we had complaint to the customer service the next evening dinning we had the restaurant manager and his staff at our table every 5 minutes so that it didn’t feel genuine as more as a thing they had to do. I didn't feel any better with that and honestly the interaction with our kids was quite creepy. Overall the service was very slow (one exception was the Moderno were the bar is right around the corner), inattentive and most of the times not friendly at all. They gave us the feeling we were just a burden and they have to do their job. By the way, I haven’t seen the Captain or his first officer or the hotel manager or the entertainment manager once during the whole cruise. This is not really a good thing. On top of that the food was nothing close to anything we had on different other cruise ships. I mean I can taste the difference between fresh mashed potatoes and instant ones. These were definitely not fresh ones. And when you bite on clumps of instant powder in a soup then you know that this one isn't made fresh either. The breakfast buffet didn't have had any variation (the same cheese every day, two types of ham, no honey, the same baked beans, the same pancakes, waffles and so on). I mean no variation at all. It was quite similar with the lunch and the dinner buffet but not as bad as the breakfast. This food was hardly enjoyable and had nothing from premium concept NCL is advertising. Entertainment: If you have kids stay away from the Norwegian Gem. There was nearly nothing to do for kids and we got most of the times the feeling they are just annoying and in the wrong place. I never had that my kids were treated with such a small amount of attention. Yes there were two exceptions who were awesome and super nice but unfortunately it were only two crew members. Other than that the entertainment was okay but nothing really exciting nor was it so much that we couldn’t decide. Money: Money is a big thing for Norwegian because as soon as you enter the ship it feels like they want to rip you off. I mean the Arcades for the kids were $1 (!!!) per minute. Yes you could buy a game pass for unlimited games for $175 for the cruise per kid (!). Before nearly every show they tried to sell their "awesome" offer to buy the next cruise and make the down payment and you get up to $500 on board credit for “free” (if you made a down payment for $1,000 at the same time). The photographer were rude and very pushy and in general we got the feeling they had to reach a certain amount of sales. During our specialty dinners the photographer pushed us to make a photo with him just to show us the result at the end of our dinner where we just wanted to enjoy our desert. The price tag for that picture was a cheap $25 for one (!) picture which wasn’t even really good. And then you say friendly “no thank you” you get either “Why? Isn’t it a good picture?” or “Are you really sure?” or they rip the photo out of your hand and just leave without any comment. As written before, having certain packages doesn't mean it is for free as they try to get still things paid on top. For example we had the dinning package (4 times special dinning for the 1st and 2nd person in our cabin but due to corporate policy (which is not written or shown on the website) we weren’t allowed to share this dinning package with our children who were cruising in the same cabin. There wasn’t even the possibility to buy these packages for the 3rd and 4th person cruising in the same stateroom. It wasn’t like I wanted to give it to another person on the ship to invite them. It was for our own children in the same stateroom. The restaurant manager just answered to our complaint that this is normal and they have the same complaints at least a few times per cruise. Why doesn’t NCL change it if this is such a big complaint or at least mention it on their website or somewhere. Ports/ Excursions: When we booked our cruise we had Saint Kitts in our itinerary but do to schedule issues NCL changed the itinerary to St. Marteen/St. Martin which was fine with me as I always wanted to see the famous beach where the planes land just a couple of feet above your head. But in general the planning of NCL for their ports is horrible. I mean then they say you will be at 4pm in the Port they are either early or late. I never have made such experiences with any other cruise line. I mean being early by half an hour or having some issues with clearing the boat so that it is a little bit later (half an hour) but most of the ports I have visited with other cruise lines were on time. Not with NCL. One port we arrived like 4 hours early another port late and none of the ports on time. I mean I stopped to look in to the cruise journal as it didn’t matter at all what was written for the arrival time. It wouldn’t work anyways so it was easier just to accept that we will be there then we are there. And it isn’t such a big issue as we still had our fun on the different islands but what was really annoying that NCL canceled our last port because of a “storm” on our route and they want to make up the time they will lose in the storm so that we can be “safer”. Sounds at the beginning right and good that the company is taking that good care of us. But then you find out that you are back in the NY port by 3am docked while it was planned to dock at 10am and you miss going by the Statue of Liberty in daylight which was one of the main reasons why we booked this cruise when you get the first questions. When you then hear that this was the last cruise on this route and the ship goes without passengers to Boston afterwards then this is getting even more irritating. Especially then I let you know how the disembarkation worked. Disembarkation: Two days before the arrival you had the choice to get tags for your suitcases for either going from board with your luggage or at a certain time. We decided to take the latest possible time which was 12pm for going of board. The evening before we arrived we got the information from our steward that we have to leave the cabin no later than 8am. Okay, but we thought okay we will find a place in the restaurant or on deck. No big issue. Next morning we got ready so that we could leave the cabin by 8am as we were told to do so. At 7.30am the first announcement came that now all individuals with luggage can leave the boat. We thought wow they are starting early with disembarkation especially as we were not planned to be back in port before 10am. But we didn’t thought anything bad and went for breakfast. At 8.30 they called the first passengers with luggage tags and only 15 minutes the next group. Our group was called at 9am. Again we were supposed to be not from board before 12pm and made our travel arrangements accordingly. So we thought okay it is just a nice information that our luggage is now available. And again we were so wrong. At 9.15am they called again all groups and at 9.30am they made the last call for all passengers. 9.30am (!). Half an hour before we were even supposed to arrive back in New York. So we made our way to the check out where the next surprise was waiting for us. While everyone out of my family was allowed to leave the ship I was quite rude informed that I have to go back to the customer service because there is an account issue. Not that we were waiting already in line for getting off board for 20 minutes and not that this was the time to inform passengers about another corporate policy no you wait till check out and then you have one of your big security guards moving you out of the line. As I got to know afterwards the security was even more rude to my children and my family as the wanted to either go with me or at least wait for me as they didn’t know anything of what was going on. Nevertheless, I went back to the customer service where the customer manager informed me that I have some board credit left on my account. When I asked him what the problem is as they have my Credit Card on file where they could have easily booked the money to I just got the answer it is corporate policy to pay it out cash. I never had any issues with board credit not being able to get it back in my account but it seems like all what NCL can do is charging. So all of this trouble only for paying my board credit in cash and this as rude as possible. Fun fact about safety with NCL: We had to use an escalator for going down to our luggage. When my son (5 years) stepped onto the escalator I wanted to follow immediately as how it is done by good parents not expecting what would come next. Instead of making my way on the escalator I got stopped very rudely from another NCL employee with a stick until my son was already a few steps down. Then the stick was lifted and I was allowed to enter the escalator. The same with the rest of my family and other passengers behind us. As I wanted to get to my son as he has sometimes trouble to get of the escalator I moved forward which earned me a again a very rude: “Sir, don’t move on the escalator”. Just in case you don’t know how to use the escalator just ask NCL. They will tell you! In general the employees at the check out and in the terminal were very rude. Waiting for family members where answered with: “SIR, KEEP moving!”. I mean we were within the last passengers going of the boat so that there not really more masses on people to expect but yeah the nearly empty arrival hall was still to small to make it possible for me to wait for my children and my family. Overall Yeah, I think you know my conclusion and what I want to say. But another fun fact before I come to the conclusion everyone is expecting. It was a lucky coincident that my son was chosen to draw the lucky winner of a future cruise with NCL and he drew the couple sitting next to us. After the draw then a person from NCL had explained everything to the couple I asked them if I could get to know what kind of cruise it is. They answered that it is a 5 day Caribbean cruise but that all the taxes, port fees, gratuities and so on aren’t included in the “free” cruise. Just to let you know if you get a “free” cruise from NCL be careful, it might not be for free. Okay but now to my conclusion. If you are a foody or you are travelling with your family or your taste buds are still working in a good way or you like to relax and have a friendly atmosphere, then run and don’t book with NCL. If you don’t know what to do with your money, and you like instant and frozen food, and you want to get bothered by employees trying to sell you what you have already bought then NCL is the right cruise line for you. For me I can say that I will NEVER ever cruise with NCL again because if I would have the feeling it was just this ship then I would be like “meah” lets try another ship but this experience has shown pretty much that this is a corporate issue and not a ship or crew issue. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Embarkation did not go well. We did not get on the ship until 4 or so. There were a lot of upset people including myself and my husband. The ship was nice and organized. Our balcony cabin was very nice. Dining, well that was ... Read More
Embarkation did not go well. We did not get on the ship until 4 or so. There were a lot of upset people including myself and my husband. The ship was nice and organized. Our balcony cabin was very nice. Dining, well that was another story. We did not have one hot meal from the buffet or the restaurants we ate at. The flounder was not much thicker than a couple of pieces of paper and tasteless. I had the shrimp and mushroom Alfredo a few times and the pasta was not cooked all the way. So I ended up eating a lot of salads and fruit. The only thing hot was the coffee. Entertainment and Activities were good. Service was good. Ports and shore excursions were good until our last port got canceled due to weather going home. Yes we will go again but not in the spring and sorry but not on Norwegian. We didn't travel with children. We went on this cruise for our 47th anniversary and the only thing that the cruise line offered us was a piece of cake in one of the top of the line restaurants. No thank you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Really enjoy NCL cruises as they offer a great choice of ports, The other passengers were friendly and we enjoyed chatting over meals. I love the variety of cocktails included in the drinks package. The entertainment is 1st class ... Read More
Really enjoy NCL cruises as they offer a great choice of ports, The other passengers were friendly and we enjoyed chatting over meals. I love the variety of cocktails included in the drinks package. The entertainment is 1st class especially in piano bars were Justin kept us entertained with singalongs - very talented guy. We enjoy relaxing listening to the music after dinner or after a show. The staff throughout the ship were professional and food in all the restaurants we ate at were excellent. The pool area had enough sun beds and was well maintained although during this cruise the pool wasn’t busy due to the weather being very changeable as it was autumn. The Gem is a smaller and older ship which suits us as the bigger ships aren’t as cosy. We enjoyed it so much we’ve already booked our next cruise, heading to South America in Feb 2020. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Wanted to visit St. Lucia and Antigua and the bonus was St Maarten and Puerto Rico. Missed St. Thomas due to weather but happy with the decision for safety. We are Disney Cruise ravers and this cruise line is equal and even exceeds in some ... Read More
Wanted to visit St. Lucia and Antigua and the bonus was St Maarten and Puerto Rico. Missed St. Thomas due to weather but happy with the decision for safety. We are Disney Cruise ravers and this cruise line is equal and even exceeds in some area. Beautiful ship and wonderful Cruise Director and crew. Balcony cabin was smaller than others but our stateriom steward was excellent! Lots of activities and the music was fabulous - not the head banger junk - actual dancing music! Motown and party music. Loved the swing dance lessons and bingo was entertaining. The shows were our favorite - really first rate broadway type with unbelievable energy and top of the line dancing. Blazing Boots was so exhilarating it was hard to catch your breath and the dancers taught the swing class making it even more exciting! The Russian Circus Acrobats should be headliners for Cirque du Soleil as their duo act was astonishing! The comedy of Keith Bender had us on the floor and aching for more! The buffet and main dining food was delicious and La Cuchina and Cagneys was top of the line! The Regetta shore excursion in Sin Maarten was a real treat and the kyack and snorkel excursion in Antigua were two of our all time favorites. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My family invited me on this cruise as a birthday celebration and it was a fantastic experience for the entire family. Lots of fun activities, great food and friendly staff. Our kids enjoyed the many amenities and we never had to worry ... Read More
My family invited me on this cruise as a birthday celebration and it was a fantastic experience for the entire family. Lots of fun activities, great food and friendly staff. Our kids enjoyed the many amenities and we never had to worry about them becoming bored. I usually do get seasick which was a concern for me, however I barely felt any movements. The on-board entertainment was excellent. The stateroom was comfortable and well laid for its size. The cleaning staff are very hard workers and respectful individuals. I recommend the drink package, with all that food you need to balance it out with something good to drink. The ship is so beautiful and clean you get the feeling that you are in a 5 star hotel. I ready for my next cruise with Norwegian and their fantastic crew, don’t change anything see you soon. Thank you for a vacation me and my family will never forget. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife&I have always talked about taking a cruise but it wasn't until my best friend&his wife put the fire under us2make it happen, it was certainly NO disappointment!!! From the moment we stepped on the ship until the ... Read More
My wife&I have always talked about taking a cruise but it wasn't until my best friend&his wife put the fire under us2make it happen, it was certainly NO disappointment!!! From the moment we stepped on the ship until the morning we disembarked - this vacation for us was one that we will NEVER forget&can hardly wait2do it again!! Our shore excursions - amazing, the activities on the ship - endless, the service - professional, our cabin - perfect (especially having a balcony) - the food, sensational - interaction with the crew and staff, incredible - the entertainment, Broadway worthy!! As you can see we were BEYOND happy with our trip!! Thank you Norwegian Gem&all involved - normally we would come away saying that "we need a vacation from our vacation," - not this time - the length, the relaxation, sun,& fun has left us wanting for more! Ken and Julie Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I think what made our stay on-board the Gem so nice were some of the hardworking staff on the ship who were friendly and accommodating towards us. We had some nice conversations with them and enjoyed learning about their cultures. ... Read More
I think what made our stay on-board the Gem so nice were some of the hardworking staff on the ship who were friendly and accommodating towards us. We had some nice conversations with them and enjoyed learning about their cultures. According to the cruise director there are 65 different nationalities on-board the ship. Our cabin was great; we had the mini suite. We absolutely love our stateroom steward; she was very kind and hospitable towards us. DINING The best place to dine on the ship is the Magenta Dining Room (which is included in your ticket cost) because of the atmosphere and the attention to food taste and quality. It was very good. We had an amazing server in the Magenta Dining Room who really went out of his way to make us feel special. Originally we had the dining package, but after trying the "specialty restaurants" we realized it was all the same food, just entree names changed around a little, maybe a few different ingredient changes here and there. The Rock and Roll sushi was amazing in the Asian Restaurant. If you want to spend a little money on going out, this one is the one to go to. The desserts were really good at the Asian restaurant too. Le Bistro was really good, but not so good you'd want to spend $80 on it. You can get the same food / quality at the Magenta DR without paying extra. Use the extra money you'd spend at Le Bistro to leave a nice tip for your server and whomever is helping them. The tiramisu at La Cuchina is NOT good (if you know how to make tiramisu yourself). I would say avoid this "specialty restaurant," it's a big fail. I don't know how, but the Magenta Dining Room had a pesto gnocci that was way better than what came out of La Cuchina. We didn't like O'Sheehan's restaurant. Cranky servers and bad food. But the manager noted this and maybe he'll make some changes. AGE OF CRUISERS I found that this cruise had a lot of elderly people (much more than I expected). There were very few young people in their 20's or 30's on this cruise. I'd say the median age was 50's and up. There were a lot of older cruisers from Germany, Canada, France and A LOT from Long Island. BUFFET The buffet as another reviewer said was absolutely haphazard. They have two buffet areas on the same end of the ship and they were all congested and no one cared to run you over if you were in their way. This place is not for people with high anxiety. That said, the buffet was a good place to get a quick breakfast around 6:30 AM when they open and then get on with your day. Trust me, by 9:00 AM you'll be cursing about how rude everyone is. If you want to brave the buffet around 11:00 AM you might find a delicious indian curry hidden like a jewel among the rest of the mediocre food and you can seat yourself in La Cuchina's dining room away from the crowded mess. The outside buffet was good for getting some ice cream or a quick dessert, steamed vegetables and rice if you wanted to keep it healthier. COMMON AREAS My husband and I spent a lot of time in the card room on sea days playing monopoly and scrabble. It was fun listening to the french canadian folks playing bridge and some other cruisers brought in some Whitney Houston on their radio and we were singing along with them while we all went about our games. We also went to the fitness center and then the basketball court and enjoyed shooting some hoops. We enjoyed walking around Deck 7 on the promenade when the weather got nice and warm. We stayed away from the pool area for the most part because it got way too congested. We once tried to go on the water slide around noon and were denied from going on it because it "wasn't open yet." We didn't like that they were preventing people from going down the slide whenever they wanted to. We didn't think that was "freestyle cruising." It never felt like the rock wall was open. I never saw it open actually. We also never saw the tennis or volleyball courts in operation. SODA PACKAGE: We had the soda package, but we found it hard to actually get a soda when we wanted it. There were no drink stations where you could just grab one. You had to go to one of the bars and sometimes they didn't open soon enough so you could get a drink. The guy working in the bar in the morning at Spinnaker seemed to take delight in telling us that he was closed (even when he should have been opened). We got Lavazza coffee from the Atrium Bar in the morning and the woman from Indonesia (I didn't get her name), was really nice and remembered what we ordered the next time we came down for a coffee. EXCURSIONS: The catamaran excursions were the most fun. We did those in St. Lucia and St. Thomas. St. Thomas had the best snorkeling on the Dancing Dolphin catamaran (Champagne Catamaran Sail & Snorkel). They gave good instructions on how to snorkel properly and told us where the coral reefs were. The catamaran at St. Lucia took us to the Pitons and it was very picturesque. Loved that one, although there wasn't enough time to snorkel there. It seemed rushed. There were a few other boats in the same spot doing snorkeling too making it too congested there. Unless you're cool with just laying in a lounge chair with a bunch of other people around you, avoid the Barbados Beach Break; it was a congested mess. Too many people; the guys with the drinks were charging $3 for a bottle of coca cola. We did like the roti curry being made there though. That was the best part about the excursion actually. We ended up going on a boat and doing some snorkeling and seeing a shipwreck and sea turtles for $10 a piece. That was for about an hour. After the excursion, we got back on the ship for the rest of the day because Barbados was a bit too scary for my taste. In Antigua we did the photo tour and had decent fun. Although it was fun, I probably would have preferred to explore the beaches of Antigua and do more snorkeling. Long Bay beach is the place to go if you want to be at the beach for the day. This is what I really disliked about this cruise I don't like how they are trying to sell you something at every event on the ship. We went to a raffle for the Mandara Spa and they were trying to sell us another cruise and trying to get us to buy more stuff. They're constantly trying to sell something to you and it's REALLY annoying. I already paid a hefty price for the cruise and for gratuities. If I'm going to pay more for something it will be to those who gave me outstanding service. I joked with my husband at one point that the ship was like a giant tourist trap and there's someone around every corner trying to get you to give them your money. NCL needs to cool it! This is what I most enjoyed about the cruise: The antibacterial staff! WASHY WASHY HAPPY HAPPY! And WASHY WASHY, ALL THE TIME, MY FRIEND! Your hands had no bacteria when you wanted to go eat. And no one got norovirus or bronchitis even though one older woman thoughtlessly coughed directly into the breakfast buffet. I feel like I have at least two new family members (There are more than a few gems on the Norwegian Gem). And I'll never forget the cruise ports we visited and our snorkeling adventures. Will I cruise again? Probably not. I'm planning a flight to the Philippines instead. The beaches there are amazing and I want to stay on the beach and snorkel / dive longer than just an hour. Thanks to the great staff and their varied culture on the Norwegian Gem, I'm inspired to see a new country. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the canal transit and that did not disappoint. Get a balcony state room as you get a real experience from the balcony of the locks and transit. We ate at all the specialty restaurants as we had the package. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the canal transit and that did not disappoint. Get a balcony state room as you get a real experience from the balcony of the locks and transit. We ate at all the specialty restaurants as we had the package. They were all very good with excellent service. The entertainment was top notch, with great Broadway style shows and funny comics. It was a real shame that the pool deck was a disappointment. First of all, they were scraping and painting above one pool and small flecks of paint were floating in the water?!! No effort was made to screen off the maintenance, which was above the grill and the pool! I did not swim in that pool after seeing the paint flakes floating in it. But, both pool were unheated?! According to the life guard, the pools were replaced with sea water every night?! This was to keep them clean?! They were consequently freezing even in very hot weather. Unacceptable. Also people would reserve loungers by placing items on them and then walk away. The pool deck staff did nothing about this and on at sea days it was hard to find a spot to sit in the sun and then take a quick shower as the pools were really too cold. In frustration one day I complained to one of the guys on deck and he went around and collected a few towels but basically did nothing to help me. We often went up top away from the pool to sit away from the very loud group with a terrible female lead singer who sang everything flat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
It was my wife's 70th birthday and we wanted to do something grand and special so this fit the bill. A trip through the Panama Canal had always been on my "bucket list" and this was a chance to visit many different ... Read More
It was my wife's 70th birthday and we wanted to do something grand and special so this fit the bill. A trip through the Panama Canal had always been on my "bucket list" and this was a chance to visit many different countries. Interacting with the "locals" was wonderful. Enjoyed our hop-on hop-off bus tour in Cartegena, and the submarine excursion in Aruba was exciting ... beautiful coral and colourful fish. The ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaco) were a treat, very friend people, colourful buildings, easy to walk around. The ship itself was thoroughly enjoyable ... never a lack of things to do. Every show in the Theatre was excellent, and we especially enjoyed the Cirque du Soleil duo. We are not "formal" people, so free-style cruising suits us well. The casino was good because the "odds" on the slots were set high enough that you could enjoy some decent play time. The only drawback is that smoking is allowed. The only improvement I would suggest to the itinerary would be to include a stop in either Nassau or San Juan to break up the final three and a half days at sea. All in all, a wonderful trip and we plan on continuing to "cruise like a Norwegian". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We've always been pleased with NCL cruise lines, perhaps what we like the most is that you almost feel as your a part of the family with the staff of the ship. Many of them come to know you by name and are always smiling and pleasant, ... Read More
We've always been pleased with NCL cruise lines, perhaps what we like the most is that you almost feel as your a part of the family with the staff of the ship. Many of them come to know you by name and are always smiling and pleasant, not to say that there aren't a few sourpusses, but the majority are great! The ship was a bit on the tired side and had peeling/chipped paint throughout, including the rear balcony cabin I was in, but the layout was great. One thing I noticed though, by having the rear cabin it seemed like we were walking a lot more than usual, but even that was good. The entertainment was great especially the comedian on board and Lloyd the Teppanyaki chef was entertaining enough to be worth the extra fee for this restaurant. I'm not crazy about all the extra money seeking (ship lotteries, pull tabs, increase your drink package to include top shelf) all extra. Additionally not crazy about how the food, while still good, has changed so significantly over the years. I wasn't even able to pay a fee at Cagney's to add a lobster tail to my steak. Surf and Turf now means shrimp and Le Bistro stopped serving the seafood pastry that was so much a delight. That being said, I still would travel NCL as I DO feel I receive something else, a feeling of being a part of their family. While the Zodiac whale watching experience was fantastic in Puerto Vallarta, the same experience in Cabo San Lucas was horrific and we felt as if we were taking our life in our hands due to the Zodiac Captain in Cabo. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for the exciting Panama crossing and ports to visit, we were not disappointed. We have cruise 12 times or more, three times with NCL. We enjoy the buffet on cruises as there is usually a wide selection of ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the exciting Panama crossing and ports to visit, we were not disappointed. We have cruise 12 times or more, three times with NCL. We enjoy the buffet on cruises as there is usually a wide selection of healthy options to cater for most tastes. Something was very wrong on this cruise, Foid was very often warm or cold , most dishes in heavy sauces, plain fish mon existent . Salads were unpleasant. Presentation overall was simply not up to cruise standard. Speciality restaurants were a mixed experience, Le Bistro and Moderns were best. O’Sheehans’ fish and chips was horrible, not at all the same as a few years ago . Cagneys was v disappointing, salmon was uncooked inside. Mushrooms were inedible and unpleasant. Main dining rooms were ok , but very time consuming and lacking in fruit and veg, so only went a few times. Garden buffet staff are amazing, all waiting staff and room attendants were wonderful . Reception staff are doing their best, but are not v knowledgeable. We asked for a table on our balcony so we could order breakfast, they said our mini suite is too small and that we should eat breakfast in bed/- finally we were provided with a table, Excursions were well priced . The Chiva fun bus in Colombia was fantastic. Code farm in Guaramala excellent. The cruise director did not seem to be very proactive compared to our past cruise experience . Entertainment slots tended to be 45 minutes only in public areas . Captain Fafalios was wonderful and we felt safe in his hands . Our main disappointment was the strange food in the buffet , and the level of sparkle from the cruise director. Disembarkation took far too long - around 90 mins of standing in line , we feel this could have been better managed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose this trip because of the timing primarily but also because of the itinerary. The longest cruise we had been on before was 7 days so at day 7 it was so nice to know we still had 11 more days. I really enjoyed the activities by ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the timing primarily but also because of the itinerary. The longest cruise we had been on before was 7 days so at day 7 it was so nice to know we still had 11 more days. I really enjoyed the activities by the pool on the "sea days" so you could enjoy the pool and sunshine! With 10 "ports of call" there was ample opportunity to enjoy shore excursions mixed in with relaxing by the pools. We had only been to Cabo San Lucas before so the other 9 ports were all new to us and real treat to discover. We especially enjoyed Guatamala. Who'da thought? And of course the Panama Canal was extra special. We added an extra day in New York City to begin and L. A. at the end and really enjoyed this addition to our trip. It really added extra relaxation and excitement to our trip. Overall, I believe our experience with Norwegian was great and I'm really happy that we upgraded to a mini suite for that little extra cabin space. I had booked a balcony and then submitted bids to upgrade and managed to get upgraded. We will forever remember this cruise for the people we met and all of the fabulous experiences on ship and on shore. In addition, we would like to thank the wonderful crew members!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We got such a great deal, that we could not pass it up. This cruise was our first experience with the Specialty Dinning. It was nice, but not sure it is worth the extra expense. Still do not not care for the Freestyle Dinning. We prefer to ... Read More
We got such a great deal, that we could not pass it up. This cruise was our first experience with the Specialty Dinning. It was nice, but not sure it is worth the extra expense. Still do not not care for the Freestyle Dinning. We prefer to have the same wait staff and table. We have found on previous cruises a wait staff that We liked and would request their area. This time there seemed to be a lot of inexperienced. The staff at martini bar was more than fantastic. We usually spend some time in the Casino, but the cigarette smoke was so bad that We even avoided walking thru there. Our room steward was new. He did a good job, but has a lot to learn to give a personal touch. I was a little disappointed in the food in the Cafe. The ship was clean and pretty well maintained. The staff was friendly, but felt the CD was average. The entertainment, except for magician, was wonderful. Having a live band makes it much more enjoyable. The variety shows were great. We purchased the Next Cruise package. We have booked another cruise next October to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. I do have one thing that really upset us. Upon arrival back in New York, the schedule was that leave the ship at 10:40. At just before 9am, our color was called. Since we had transfers thru Norwegian, we hustled off the ship. We then were loaded on a bus and sat there for an hour and a half. I understand that there is a lot to do to get the ship ready for the next group. We are expected to be back on the ship at a certain time when in Port. Just would expect the same courtesy on leaving the ship. It was extremely uncomfortable on the bus with coats on and carry on stuff. The fact that we had not had breakfast only added insult to injury. There seemed to be a lack of organization too. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
For a first time cruisers, we had an amazing time! Everything about this cruise or the ship was great. The food - amazing, staff supper friendly, over all finding things to do - always a fun time no matter where we went. The ... Read More
For a first time cruisers, we had an amazing time! Everything about this cruise or the ship was great. The food - amazing, staff supper friendly, over all finding things to do - always a fun time no matter where we went. The excursions were all fun and over all great. We wish the time at ports was a little longer but we enjoyed every port. We recommend the BOSS in St. Thomas. It was our first time trying underwater diving and found it an amazing experience for those that never scuba dived before. All the islands and beaches were amazing, we also enjoyed snorkeling twice on catamarans and did a beach day in Antigua. The most important is this cruise was for my wife's birthday and Norwegian staff helped me make it special. The pampering by the crew at every corner of the ship made us feel like royalty. Thank you Norwegian! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first cruise and we loved it, all the staff were absolutely amazing, so helpful, friendly and fun. The ship exceeded all our expectations, the quality of the food in all the restaurants was of a top class standard. We went ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it, all the staff were absolutely amazing, so helpful, friendly and fun. The ship exceeded all our expectations, the quality of the food in all the restaurants was of a top class standard. We went premium all inclusive & was well worth it, all branded drinks & some awesome cocktails. Lots to do on the ship and excellent entertainment. Cruised the Caribbean & getting on and off the boat was simple and very organized. Great weather, exceptional staff, ship & shore excursions. Couldn’t fault it - would definitely recommend a balcony cabin. We loved eating at La Bistro, Cagney, la cucina, moderni & the Teppanyaki was great fun & the food was faultless. The Stingray city tour in Antigua & Turtle Cove in St Thomas were the best & lovely to see the animals in their own habitat & cared for - thank you NCL for a great holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The cruise is great, should be perfect if we spend 2 days at Nassau instead one! The Great Stirrup Cay Island is gorgeous, we love it... BUT the swimming with the pigs tour was ridiculous! You pay $109 per person to feed the pigs, they are ... Read More
The cruise is great, should be perfect if we spend 2 days at Nassau instead one! The Great Stirrup Cay Island is gorgeous, we love it... BUT the swimming with the pigs tour was ridiculous! You pay $109 per person to feed the pigs, they are NOT at the beach at all! They made a gate and space for them but it’s very commercial, they are not free... You don’t swim with them at all, this is fake add! You see them, you feed them, pad them and that’s it! Very expensive for what they offer! Beside that we like it everything else! Just wish to spend more time in Bahamas... for me FL stop wasn’t worth at all... We are there for Bahamas, and Florida was just a waste of time! ;/ It’s a great Cruise, they just have to improve somethings... How about a partnership with Atlantis as well? Could be great.... 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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