Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Deck Hand


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Enjoyable cruise

Sail Date: August 01, 2009

Reviewed: 7 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

My biggest complaint regards the pool. This was a very serious issue for me. The pool area was way too small. There were two pools but the number of lounge chairs was totally insufficient. The pools were in the same place so if you wanted to be away from the kids(and there were lots of them) there was no place to go. If you wanted a lounge chair you had to get up to the pool deck very early to get one. Although the rules say no reserving chairs that was not the case. I've never seen that rule enforced on any ship though. I would not recommend this ship for a Caribbean cruise where you want the sun all the time. The European itinerary where you're off the ship most of the time lessened the problem somewhat. Although when you returned while it was still sunny there was no way to get a lounge chair at the pool. There were chairs on other decks but I want to be on the level as the pool and it really irritated me.

Pros: Itinerary

Cons: the pool set up

Recommends Norwegian Gem? Yes!

Food and Dining
This was my first experience with the freestyle dining and I didn't like it at all. I prefer dining with the same waiter each night where you form some comraderie The first night of the cruise was pandemonium as no one knew the procedures about dining and the waits were very long at the dining room. Pagers were issued which I found ridiculous. If
I want to wait for dinner I don't need to be on a cruise. It did improve after the first night and making reservations for the specialty restaurants was very easy. I found the food in the dining room to be average. Presentation was great but food was just so so. Garden Cafe buffet was superb.
I didn't attend the general shows as I've cruised so often and generally find those shows pretty tacky. I spoke with sother cruisers and they said the shows were very good. Perhaps I was being a bit snobby. But.....they had the Second City comedy troupe and they were great. That is the type of show I would buy tickets for at home so I was thrilled by their show. I did know in advance that they were performers and it did influence my cruise choice. Since the dining was not dictated by time they only had one show per night which did limit your dining time to make the show.
Ship Quality
The ship was beautiful. Since it was pretty new I expected updated decor and little wear and tear. I was not disappointed.
Cabin / Stateroom
Our cabin with balcony was very nice. The bathroom was especially nice as it had a sliding door to separate the shower and sink from the toilet. I have been on many cruises and this is the first time I've seen that. The shower was roomier than others I've had and the interior had a faux wood lining and a door instead of a shower curtain which was great since water didn't get all over the floor. Beds and linens were very comfortable. Cabin cleanliness was very good as well.
Service and Staff
The staff was very attentive.

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