March 2015 - Norwegian Gem to Caribbean - Eastern
I suppose I could start with our staterooms. I had booked a balcony room (9016) for my husband and I, and an interior room (9011) for my mother-in-law and our two children. When I called and booked our rooms, I was told they were directly across from each other. When we boarded the ship we found out that the rooms were actually diagonal, and down the hall from each other. Both rooms had a horrible stench, and our balcony room was in need of repairs, BIG TIME! The weather stripping on the door was pulled off ¾ of the way, finally after complaining for about 6 days they sent a maintenance worker to repair it. Prior to it being fixed, it sounded like we were in a wind tunnel while inside the room and it also caused an issue with our balcony door not opening half of the time because of the air pressure in the room. Even worse, the floor boards (where the bed meets the corner of the couch) aren’t connected. So every single time we stood up out of bed, or the kids played on the floor-the floor board would slam down, and then slam down a second time once you stepped off of it. Not only was it highly annoying for us having to watch where we walked; but the people in the room downstairs were constantly yelling and banging on the ceiling every time the noise occurred for us to stop. The rooms are tiny enough, and not being able to walk in the largest “open space” in the room was a nuisance.
Seven out of the ten days we were all sick with the stomach bug. Word got around the ship that it wasn’t only us, numerous people had it. My family was perfectly healthy when we boarded, but missed a great amount of time doing activities because we were so sick. Whether it was from a previous passenger(s) on the ship, dirty common areas, the rotten fruit that was served in the buffet or the water, we aren’t sure what caused it-but it was clearly an issue on the ship. Now that we are home, we are all healthy like we were before we boarded the Gem.
Our 1 year old was very sick with diarrhea for 9 days on the ship. One day she had an accident while taking a nap on our bed in room 9016. We tried cleaning it the best we could, obviously there was still a bit of a stain on a white comforter. Instead of our room steward washing and replacing the comforter, he flipped it upside down as if we wouldn’t notice. This dirty, feces covered comforter stayed on our bed for FOUR days! I’m completed disgusted!!! This makes me wonder if Norwegian actually changes the sheets/comforters if they “appear” clean between guests.
Our next issue was the lack of control of the children/teenagers on the ship. I understand it was spring break for some states, but I honestly feel that Norwegian overbooked this tiny ship. Unless you were out at the pool area by 7am, there wasn’t a seat to be had on deck 12 or 13 surrounding the pool. The hot tubs and pools were jam packed with young children/teenagers, at one point we counted TWENTY-SEVEN kids in ONE hot tub! The only day we were able to enjoy the pool was while we were in Puerto Rico and the ship was docked. Relaxing in a chair by the pool wasn’t an option the entire trip. The kids ran free all over the ship the entire 10 days. Half of the time you couldn’t get into an elevator because they were sitting on the floor eating their ice cream as entertainment, and wouldn’t get out. They ran up and down the hallways and common areas all hours of the night disrupting everyone, and your “no child out after 11pm without an adult” policy was never implemented.
The entertainment on the ship was lacking BIG time. Most of it was geared towards either teenagers or the much older crowd. The activities were the same every single day… Bingo, Deal or No Deal, the out-dated shows-how much of the same activity can entertain you for 10 days?? Karaoke was taken over by the teenagers, the Bliss lounge was like a teeny-bopper club until 10/11pm every single night, and the kids took over all of the game shows in the Spinaker Lounge.
We were completely misinformed about Captain’s Night. We received the daily itinerary on the 28th(second day on the ship) stating it was Captain’s Night, but were all so sick from getting the stomach bug that afternoon and we weren’t feeling that great(if we knew it would be the only one, we would have sucked it up just to experience it). I called down to guest services before making our decision and was informed that there would be a second Captain’s Night, which NEVER took place! Had we known it would have just been that one night, we would have got ready and made the best of the situation.
The food on the ship was God forsaken AWFUL! When a one year old and five year old refuse to eat the pizza and pasta served, you know it was horrible! We were served the same exact meal for breakfast for 10 straight days. And our lunch and dinner was left overs from the previous day with a piece of cheap cheese slapped on the top. Dinner in the Magenta dining room was disgusting, and was spit out after a bite was taken. The fruit was rotten almost every single day on the ship, the food served was ALWAYS cold and there wasn’t a variety at all.
The only good places we ate were at Teppanyaki and Moderno(which is another problem itself). While making our reservations for Moderno, I specifically asked if flip-flops were allowed-otherwise I wouldn’t have made the reservations and wasted the $50, in which I was told “yes, just no baseball hats or short shorts”. Upon arriving to our reservation, the rude hostess came out from behind the desk to look at our shoes and told us we were not allowed to eat at the restaurant with flip-flops on. I explained to her that was the only thing that I had with me and the reservation desk told us it was ok. She then replied with, “Well, I suppose I can just tuck you two in the corner”. I was appalled!!!! Last I knew I was on vacation, not in elementary school. She then seated us, literally in the corner of the restaurant. About two minutes later she came back over to tell us that she informed her manager that we had flip-flops on, in which he came to the table to check. Never in my life was I as humiliated as I was over a pair of flip flops. You should be ashamed of your employees treating guests like that.
Your beverage “attendant” Vilbert(I think that’s his name) located in the Garden Cafe at the corner of the salads/dessert area is incredibly rude. Every single time we stopped there to get a soda we presented our room key showing our soda package sticker, he either ignored us completely or snapped at us telling us he “just needs to see, put it away”. Maybe if he had acknowledged that he looked at it, we wouldn’t continue to hold it up for him to see.
The last issue (that I can think of at the moment) was that we were misinformed about the soda package. When purchasing it we were told it included bottled water, only to get on the ship and be charged $4.50 for each bottle of water we purchased.
I would NEVER recommend cruising on this old ship that is falling apart!!