August 2015 - 7 Night Bahamas & Florida (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Gem
New cruiser, pleasantly surprised!
I was a little skeptical about cruises but thought it would be a different family experience allowing us to show our children another part of the world. I enjoyed it more than I expected! The ship was kept very clean, entertainment was fantastic (comedy, illusionist, and acrobats show), and food was excellent! I wasn't a fan of the center of the boat which was very crowded with people, children, and way more chairs than the area could fit but there were plenty of other spaces on which to hang out. The staff was very friendly and the other passengers, for the most part, were fine (expect some inconsiderate behavior but nothing more than you would see anywhere else you go). We especially appreciated the "freestyle cruising" aspect and being able to eat when and where we wanted - that works very well for a family (our kids are 9, 12, 16). My 16 y.o. loved the youth center as did my 9 y.o. but my 12 y.o. was bored out of her mind so the kids services are OK. The gym equipment is so-so but unless you plan on working out every day, not a big deal. My room wasn't as clean as I would have liked when I first arrived but was fine after that. Cruise worked for our family: 40's+ non-drinking couple, children 9-16, like variety and flexibility and not schedule oriented on vacation.