February 2015 - 9 Night Eastern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Gem
Overall a good cruise but far from a great one.
Pros: kids program was spectacular! I've been on 5 prior cruises and did not see anything close. Age groups go from 0-3, 3-6, 6-9 and other ages up to 17. My kids were 5 and 7, and had a blast, begging to come back. The activities were active and very age appropriate, with a (spoiler) surprise show presented by the kids in the main theater on the last day. Times ran 9am-12, 2pm-5, and 7-10pm with additional hour after that at $6 per child. Staff was extremely pleasant and friendly.
Cruise director (Dan Dan), was really engaging without being over the top.
Cabin size was the smallest of my past 5 cruises. I took the inside cabin option. 1 bunk bed and 2 twin beds is what you are given for 4 people. Turns out if you want to fit the 4th person , you get a pullout bed between the 2 twin beds. Not something I expected from a quality cruise line. What most ships do is two bunk beds. This was a huge letdown for me.
No inside pool. Weak fitness area - not enough machines, size really small and I was pissed that I couldn't use the facilities on the last day.
Food was good but not enough variety for the buffet (in comparison to other cruises), practically same exact breakfast food everyday, and little variety throughout the days. Restaurants that were included were great but required a big time commitment, 1-1.5 hours. I chose to stick with the buffet to save time.
Evening theater show was excellent with good variety for different tastes (Broadway, comedy, aerobics, theater, magic shows). But the programs throughout the day were nothing to write home about. More professional acts would have been great in place of the non ending money hungry bingo and deal or no deal.
Prices for additional services, ie drinks, spa stuff, bingo, photos, were way over priced and we personally chose to skip those.
Excursion options were plentiful and we were very pleased with the service for the ones we chose.