Beware of Hidden Charges

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona Roundtrip)
Sail Date: June 08, 2008
Ship: Norwegian Gem
Cabin Type: Suite
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 9 years ago

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.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Poor in the free restaurants and excellent in the for charge restaurants.


3 out of 5
Most of our time was off the ship but the activities looked good.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The room staff is invisible (as should be) and the premium dining room staff is excellent.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
This is a brand new ship and very well appointed.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We had a mini suite and they are fabulous!
3 out of 5
Pompeii is a must!
3 out of 5
Go see the big church in town where the Knights of Malta are buried.
3 out of 5
A nice ending to a busy week - just enjoy the Riviera!
5 out of 5
Take the train in and see Rome on your own.
5 out of 5
Take the train in and visit Florence - trains run every hour.

Pros: Flexibility of setting your own schedule

Cons: Hidden charges from premium dining rooms

Recommends Norwegian Gem? Yes!

Was this review helpful? 17

Leave a Comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other Reviews Of This Sailing

* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top