February 2015 - 9 Night Eastern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Gem
I was traveling with my husband and 8-month-old son on this cruise, which left New York on February 9. We had a great time after we figured out a routine to make the baby's feedings and naptimes manageable. We had only ever been on Celebrity cruises before, and although Norwegian was definitely more informal than Celebrity, it fit for our family, now that we had the baby with us this time. A Pack N' Play playpen/crib was provided in our cabin for the baby to sleep in, and highchairs were always available in the dining rooms. The crew members always had a smile on their faces when they saw our son, even if he was crabby. :) There were quite a few family-friendly activities to keep us busy on the boat, and a playroom full of toys for kids under age 3. We didn't go to many of the evening shows this time because of the baby's early bedtime, but the few we saw were great, and I only heard good things about the shows we missed. The food was excellent, though not as flashy as on Celebrity. It was more the sort of food I like to eat, rather than "artful presentation" and all that. The buffet was often crowded, but usually we could find a place to sit. We were definitely never bored. We enjoyed all the stops the ship made, though we always looked forward to getting back to the ship, as it was a fun place to be! My only complaint (since I am not a smoker) is the smoking in the Cigar Room and Casino areas. I understand that smokers have to be allowed to smoke somewhere on the ship, but the smoke crept out of the designated areas and made a nearby lounge area (where we would have liked to sit and listen to live piano music) and bar area too smoky for our taste, so we avoided those areas of the boat the entire time we were on it. Really, the smoking in the Cigar Room seemed contained, but the Casino was open to the rest of the boat, so I think that is where the smell came from, mostly. Everything else was great! We just wish we could have gone to listen to the piano music without having to smell cigarette smoke.