Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Cruise to Nowhere

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

A nice getaway

Sail Date: December 15, 2007

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

My husband and I sailed this past weekend on the "cruise to nowhere" out of Boston for two nights. This was my 10th cruise and my husband's 2nd cruise. We arrived at the Black Falcon terminal in Boston at 1 PM, which was the stated embarkation time on our tickets. We always like to arrive first thing and it turned out they started boarding at 11 AM. The check in process was a big DISASTER! It was not organized well - you'd walk in the door and be told a number (we were 15) and that group would then wait. Individuals could then "change their number" just by going to stand with another group. There was noone checking in at this moment - just people waiting in groups (not an organized line) to check in (which only took 5 minutes when we got to the desk) and then a very long line to go through security (apparently a metal detector had broken at this point so there was only one operational). Part of the problem was also that everyone was bringing their own luggage rather than having it delivered to our cabin later in the day. There were no embarkation photos, however we saw later in the cruise that there had been photos taken between 11 and 1 (when according to my ticket we weren't even supposed to be embarking!). We made it to our cabin by 2:30 in time to go down to the Grand Pacific dining room for lunch before the 3:30 fire and boat drill, and our muster station was the Grand Pacific dining room, so we lucked out and didn't have to rush through lunch. The Boston area was expecting bad whether on Saturday night and Sunday so we were concerned that this may affect the seas as well - it did. According to the tracker that was shown on one of the TV channels in our stateroom we were about 4 miles off the coast of Cape Cod and starting Saturday evening well into Sunday evening the seas were rough, but not as rough as I'd seen on my last cruise out of Boston. The ship seemed to handle the waves much better than other ships we'd been on - possibly because of the size of the ship - and the Captain kept us informed of the weather. I was surprised that he didn't bring us south a little more away from the bad weather as much as he could - it was like he had us in the midst of it. On Sunday there was a Patriots game and it was a big hooplah about trying to get us up on that satellite to view it, which never happened - personally I don't understand why anyone needed to go on a two day cruise away from it all just to sit an entire afternoon and watch a game. But NCL tried to get the satellite but wasn't able to - at least they tried to keep the passengers happy in this area. Getting off the ship on Monday morning in Boston turned out to be just as much a disaster as getting on. With only one gangway for such a huge ship it took much longer than expected. My husband and I decided to wait awhile until those that were in a rush got off. At 9:30 we were up in the Garden Cafe and they announced that it was the last call for all passengers to disembark and then 10 minutes later announced they would be closing the gangway! So everyone then rushed down and ended up filling the stairways and the elevators were then taking individuals down to that level and that would then overflow the gangway. It was not well thought out. A ship of this size should have two working gangways during embarkation and disembarkation. Maybe it's just that Boston's terminal could not handle two gangways, I don't know. Overall it was a nice cruise and the ship is absolutely beautiful, particularly our balcony stateroom. My husband and I were glad to get away for a relaxing weekend and were happy to be able to get the chance to see the new ship.

Pros: The decor of the dining rooms and staterooms

Cons: May be a little TOO modern

Recommends Norwegian Gem? Yes!

Food and Dining
There wasn't anything that was outrageously fancy. There were several options for meals and often we were able to each get an entree and then share another one, to try everything. There wasn't the usual lobster tail or shrimp cocktail around. I feel that the cover charge for the other restaurants is ridiculous and that you should have to pay an additional $15-20+ to go to a specialty restaurant. At Le Bistro you paid $15 each and then if you wanted the dinner for two special you had to pay an additional $10 each - so the meal would end up being $50. What's the point of paying for the cruise if you're going to have to pay for everything else "a la carte" as well? We were happy with the regular dining rooms and the Garden Cafe upstairs which appeared to have plenty of choices and plenty of room for individuals to sit inside (which was good in the winter weather). The ambiance in both of the regular dining rooms - Grand Pacific and Magenta - was very nice.
Ship Quality
When we went to the show on Sunday night in the Stardust Theater noone had cleaned up from the prior show and so there were glasses and bottles in the holders, which are in the back of the seat in front of you. The decor in some areas, such as the Bliss Lounge and the Spinnaker Lounge was very modern and strange - with "bed like" couches and chairs that are just not functional for sitting comfortably.
Cabin / Stateroom
The tub/shower in our cabin was difficult to get into but overall the stateroom was GORGEOUS!
Service and Staff
One thing that bothered me was that as we were walking through the dining room to get to or from our table many waitstaff just rushed past us and didn't allow us to go first or even say "excuse me" or anything. That was a big change from past cruises as the waitstaff usually was more than polite.
There were not a whole lot of options for things to do but what was available was excellent.
Boston, Massachusetts
I live and work in this port so I will definitely recommend this port.
Don't Miss: Faneuil Hall and the Freedom Trail ~ eating in the "North End" at the numerous Italian Restaurants there
Boston, Massachusetts
I live and work in this port so I will definitely recommend this port.
Don't Miss: Faneuil Hall and the Freedom Trail ~ eating in the "North End" at the numerous Italian Restaurants there

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