June 2014 - Norwegian Gem to Caribbean - Bahamas
This was my first cruise and I would recommend it for any one. We stayed in a high deck (11th) interior cabin. For anyone on a budget I would recommend this option. It was the same price as a low deck window and the location was well worth the lack of a view. The beds were comfortable and the bathrooms were a good size. For two people there was plenty of storage space. The cabin stewarts cleaned the rooms twice a day (including providing clean towels) which was a great plus for a smaller room.
Food/Dinning: The buffets were good for breakfast and lunch. Like all buffets it pays to know where the secondary locations of things are so you don't wait a long time. Most nights we ate at the main dinning hall. There was no assigned dining times, you just go when you want. The food was never bad but it was never great. Also while it was great for us there seemed to be a large number of 2 person tables.
Days at sea: The ship did a lot to entertain on the days at sea. There was constant music in various locations. Everyday there was a bbq surrounding the pool (some of the best food for the week). Activities such as beer, wine, and cocktail tasting. We did a couple of these but mainly we hung out by the pool. Be sure to get out relativly early in the morning if you want a seat.
Florida: We went on the kayaking with manatees excursion. It was great and I would recommend that anyone who can deal with some physical activity and loves wild life should do it. We saw dozens of manatees, a couple of dolphins, various birds, other small fishes, and horseshoe crabs. No draw backs for that trip. We didn't make it to the beach after the excursion even though we got back with 4 hours left for the day because a thunderstorm came in right when we got back to the ship.
Stirup Cay: Try to get an early tender number to get the best spots on the beach. We managed to get on the first boat out and got a great spot. The weather was great and the water was beautiful. We also did a shore excursion of paddleboarding. It was a very fun time for relativly little money. The provided food was good not great. Started to run out of cups near the end of the day because it was so hot, but that was the only sour point of the day.
Nassu: Did an early morning excursion of snorkeling. Saw a lot more fish than I was expecting. It wasn't the great barrier reef by any means but again worth the money. After grabbing a quick lunch we took a taxi ride to cabbage beach. It cost $4 per person, only annoying thing is you don't leave until they fill their vans. 15 minute ride later and you again are at a great beach. There were a lot of peddlers of various things so don't expect the quitest day at the beach but it was still very nice.
Overall this was a great cruise for the money.