November 2015 - Norwegian Gem to Caribbean - Eastern
Well fans of the Gem here is what you care about most: The Gem has come out of the re-fit looking and feeling great. I was worried that the re-fit would have turned the gem into a plastic shopping mall that Norwegian seems to think is appropriate for their mega-ships, but I'm happy to report that the Gem has retained all of its splendor and style and in fact, has updated itself rather nicely. All of its woodwork and great views of the ocean are still there in all public areas of the ship and all of the venues are still there. The only significant change is the removal of the bowling alleys in Bliss.
In so far as what has changed, basically the ship have what I like to refer to as "de-trumped". If you have ever gone into a donald trump building you know what I'm talking about. Gone are the purple and bright flashy carpeting and loud decorations and replaced with more conservative and complimentary coloring and style that compliments the style of the ship. What I was most pleased with was the removal of the annoying gaming machines in the spinnaker. The whole spinnaker has been re-carpeted and new furniture to give is added seating and is in color tones much more relaxing as subtle rather than loud. It feels much more than like a luxury ship.
The main atrium has also been updated similarly. The sweeping staircase is still there with a wonderful parquet tile flooring in a rich mahogany stain. The main "gem" ceiling has been replaced with a nice led lighting system chandelier, Its OK, although I really did like the old one better.
With the removal of the bowling alley Bliss has been greatly expanded and totally updated with less trumpish-bordello look and is now a more modern looking setting although the side rooms are still there albeit with new couches and seating.
The Grand Pacific is unchanged.
All in all I was very happy with the updates on the ship. This is my third cruise on the Gem and it won't be the last. The gem just seems to be able to absorb the guests perfectly. None of the venues or public areas feel crowded and yet none empty. This cruise has 2600 passengers on it and even on he last day of the cruise, it poured so no-one was on deck, you could still move about and do things without feeling like you were in a cattle car.
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