Whirlwind Tour to the Meditterean!

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean
Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 14

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Gem

7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona Roundtrip)

Sail Date: May 18, 2008

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Cabin Type: Inside

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 8 years ago

Review Summary

The ship is beautiful and very well maintained. The staff are all very courteous and always willing to help. From the check in process to disembarkation everything went very smoothly. The champagne welcome was great getting on the ship, it really set the mood. The stateroom was very well maintained and it was adequate for three adults. There is plenty of storage space and the bathroom is a decent size (better than other cruise lines). We embarked around 12:30pm and were basically able to go to our cabin by 1:00pm. The cabin staff especially Roy on 8 aft was great. He went out of his way to accommodate our needs. The amenities were good such as the fitness center, pools, hot tubs, sports area, but sometimes seemed overcrowded. We made good use of the game room in our down time and there were plenty of different board games and cards to keep us occupied. The food for me was very average The Garden caf had great variety, but was always crowded and VERY hard to find seating. There are no trays on the ship, but if you need help carrying food to your table, the staff are more than willing to do so. The Magenta served the same food as the Grand Dining room. So if you dont want to get dressed up, but want whats on the menu go to the Magenta. The average wait time to be seated was no more than 15 minutes, but we were late eaters. We liked to eat after 7.30pm. I felt like there was sufficient variety of free food not to pay for any of the specialty restaurants. The excursions can be expensive, but are a very safe way to sightsee. Do your research before you go, and if you are going to take the ship excursions, book them online before you go as they get more expensive by the day while on board. For example an excursion went from $59 on the Wednesday to $72 on Friday for a Saturday excursion. We took the Rome on your own tour and got around Rome by Subway for 4 euros. We started at the Vatican and worked our way back to the Coliseum. You can not see everything! So pick what you really want to see. Four shipmates got lost and the tour bus did wait for them, otherwise they would have missed the ship. We were mislead by one of the excursion staff about Naples, and Villa Franche Sur Mer. He had just joined the cruise on the Sunday. Be careful of the gypsies, pickpockets, and street vendors! They are everywhere tourists are in Italy. The tour guides are very good about pointing them out. An older couple was robbed in Rome. Their passports were taken. Just be sensible and be aware of your surroundings. Please note when the Captain states they will be pulling up anchor at XX time, he does!!!! The ship does not wait for anyone unless a ship tour is delayed!

Ports Of Call

Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy

3 out of 5
The leaning tower is nice to see, but has nothing inside but stairs. They only allow 40 people every hour to climb the tower and it costs about 17 euros. Lucca is quaint, and is interesting.
Don't Miss: Please try the Gelato! It is great!

Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France

5 out of 5
We took the train to Monaco for 4.80 euros return. We got to see the Grand Prix on the qualifying day. We were told by the ship exursion desk that everything was closed and it would be impossible to get to Monaco and back. They were VERY mistaken and I am glad that I did not follow their advise. The train runs every 30 minutes to Eze, Monaco, Nice and Cannes. Some of our fellow shipmates took the train to Monaco and then back to Nice, then back to Villefranche-Sur-Mer, for around 10 euros. The transportation system is very reliable. Some shipmates also took the bus on their own. When you take the tender to shore the information office has plenty of information. There is not much to do in Villefranche, but it is a beautiful picturesque town. The beach has beautiful water and was quite warm for May.

Valletta, Malta

5 out of 5
We did the 10K trek and it was great. Very scenic and the tour guide Nick was very knowledgable. Wear a good pair of sneakers or boots if you go. I highly recommend this. We were also able to take the bus to Valletta and browsed through the shops. The bus cost 1 euro return.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

5 out of 5
"Rome was not built in a day and you can't see it in a day" Plan ahead and identify what you want to see in Rome. You can spend a whole day in Vatican City! The beauty is indescribable. BECAREFUL OF PICKPOCKETS!
Don't Miss: Vatican City

Naples, Italy

3 out of 5
Naples was dirty and full of graffitti. There were several protests on the day we were there. The Capri tour was booked, so we took a tour bus around Naples. You can take a ferry to Capri on your own for 17 euros each way. They have ferrys approximately every hour and have sufficent time to make it back to the boat on your own.

Pros: Cleanliness of the ship and pleasant staff

Cons: Insufficient seating at the Garden Cafe and having to pay for Specialty Resturants

Recommends Norwegian Gem? Yes!

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