January 2016 - 10 Night Eastern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Gem
NCL has gotten too cheap. After 5 NCL cruises in 4 years, we did NOT make a deposit for another!
Yes, we did go through a major storm and most of the crew had no experience with sea storms. Yes, there was some seasickness. But that would not have made a big impact on the review. It's really closer to 2 1/2 stars, but not close enough to 3 to make it.
Pros: Good itinerary. Some of the entertainment was fabulous, especially LEO (you hear each word, great audience contact, lots of fun!!) and then New Generation. Their music was great, their range was great, and a very good time was had by all. Most of the food was tasty, with a fairly large variety. Juices and/or lemonade offered throughout the day. Themed nights in buffet and BBQs lots of fun. Room clean, lots of storage space, more hangars than before, towels replaced more frequently.
Cons: TENDERING to and from St. Thomas. We've tendered before MUCH faster. This took hours!! Not enough tenders, poorly handled in both directions. Showed major disrespect for passengers.
Volume of noise in pool area - music does not have to be ear-splitting! Saving of lounges was not allowed previously. Complained to staff - told "go upstairs!" Mandatory tips higher. ($13.50 per day per person!) Glad we had it in our package on this trip - not offered for future trips.
Buffet hours reduced, ending at 9:30, so can't get out of show & go there. Long walk through buffet and seating for very limited snacks. Food mostly tasty, but cheaper cuts offered - last trip had salmon frequently, This trip it was not on menu in main restaurants. Corvina (some sort of less expensive white fish) overcooked.
Fewer staff - slower to clean up tables, slower to ask if you want a drink.
Used to have good piano players. This one, Dana, slurs words, sings too fast, poor rapport with audience.
Overall, a decent trip, enjoyed the islands and the sun in the winter, but the cons outweighed lots of the good stuff.