Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Beware of Hidden Charges

Sail Date: June 08, 2008

Reviewed: 9 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Suite

Freestyle cruising is a great option for people who want a flexible schedule and to operate on their own. But beware of the "free" in freestyle. We just sailed on the Norwegian Gem and racked up a significant tab in ancillary charges. We started in the main dining room which has no additional cover charges. We found the menu to be sparse, the food bland, and the service slow. As a result we decided to book reservations in one of 6 specialty dining rooms, but the cover charges alone added $150 to our daily tab. We believe that Norwegian cruise lines intentionally downgrades their main no charge services so passengers will be motivated to use the for charge restaurants. Watch those movies in your room as well. Where most cruise lines have one or two movies for free, the Gem charges $11.95 for any movie you might watch.

Pros: Flexibility of setting your own schedule

Cons: Hidden charges from premium dining rooms

Recommends Norwegian Gem? Yes!

Food and Dining
Poor in the free restaurants and excellent in the for charge restaurants.
Most of our time was off the ship but the activities looked good.
Ship Quality
This is a brand new ship and very well appointed.
Cabin / Stateroom
We had a mini suite and they are fabulous!
Service and Staff
The room staff is invisible (as should be) and the premium dining room staff is excellent.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Take the train in and see Rome on your own.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
Take the train in and visit Florence - trains run every hour.
Naples, Italy
Pompeii is a must!
Valletta, Malta
Go see the big church in town where the Knights of Malta are buried.
Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France
A nice ending to a busy week - just enjoy the Riviera!

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