A Gem of a Trans-Atlantic Cruise
Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Transatlantic
Sail Date: April 19, 2008
Ship: Norwegian Gem
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 8 years ago
Overall our impression of the Gem was excellent. My wife and I are both retired Naval Reserve officers and my wife is a recreational sailor, so a clean and professionally handled ship is important to us. We have sailed twice before - on Carnival and Costa during the past decade and probably view NCL as a brand we will come back to. Service was better by far than Carnivale, better than Costa but food on Costa was better. The Trans-Atlantic itinerary was wonderful, and the ship handled up to 15 and 20 foot swells well. The Reception Desk was a weak spot some of the staff simply had not been provided the right information. Our biggest complaint was at the very beginning and needs to be directed both at and at NCL: For various reasons NCL doesnt provide real baggage tags or welcome aboard kits to clients. We were supposed to check our baggage using ridiculous e-document luggage labels as in cutting them out and stapling them to our luggage. It took several calls about four to NCL as to how we would get a porter to put real luggage tags on our baggage, and indeed I had to cajole ours to do so. Freestyle Dining is like in Dickens the best of times and worst of times. We really liked not having fixed times or having to dress up!! However, about half the restaurants are specialty (read premium extra price. ) And the rest arent really open whenever you want to. There is no 24-hour buffet just the Blue Lagoon with about 6 items unchanging on the menu and room service which was adequate, but wasnt what we really needed. But, the crew was attentive and friendly; the Gem was classily fitted out in art deco and other decors reminiscent of the great liners of the mid-20th Century; and our cabin was great. The Captain renewed our wedding vows for us off Antibes as this was our 25th Anniversary cruise which was a very much appreciated going the extra mile to take care of us. It was a great cruise, despite the minor complaints.
Ports of Call
Pros: The relaxing Trans-Atlantic passage and the Mediterranean Ports on a clean and classy ship with great service.
Cons: Restaurants being over half Cover Charge