October 2014 - Norwegian Gem to Caribbean - Eastern
We had a great time as usual but we were disappointed in a few things. I was disappointed that there was nothing in the main dining room menus that drew me in, all of the awesome stuff was at the buffet. Now it's not like we starved or anything but I am on vacation I want to be served and enjoy my meals not stand in line with some yahoos who can't wait their turn at the buffet. We enjoy the specialty restaurants because hey, you can't take 5 people to a steak house for only $150 with appetizers, main courses like 18 oz. rib steaks or lobster and shrimp pasta - believe me I know, pasta at a steak house - or bison and coffee and desserts. That truly is a bargain. The food is amazing in the specialty restaurants and again, we totally enjoy getting dressed up to go and have an awesome meal, but I felt as though I was almost forced to go to have a memorable enjoyable sit down meal that I had to pay for, my rule of thumb used to be I was not paying for anything on or off the ship to eat because I paid a lot of money to go on this all inclusive vacation - excluding liquor. Now we enjoy it.
Ok just putting that out there.
Don't let that deter you from going on the Gem, it's a beautiful ship. We loved the Itinerary, personally my niece, step daughter and I spent the entire day at the free beach in St. Marteen - what I really mean is that we were in the water the entire time. Beautiful.
As for the Art Auction - well Park West Galleries - BEWARE, there are a lot of hidden costs in the art auctions all of a sudden. Believe me I have over the years bought more than my share of art from Park West and have never been treated so horribly, trying to upsell me, hidden costs of framing. Crazy. Just be careful and what I learned from one other passenger if they start pressuring you don't sign the contract. The told her that her painting that she bid on was not going to be framed and that her $100 purchase had now become $300 and she refused it. OH well just putting it out there. The Cruiseline contracts with Park West but that is a reflection on them for sure.