Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Bermuda

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

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2-3 cruises

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3 out of 5

Disappointed with Norwegian

Sail Date: October 02, 2011

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

This is my third cruise; first was with Carnival; second with Royal Caribbean; now this.

I would call it "ok" nothing to be excited about. There are some pluses about freestyle dining and some downside.

Ship quality was ok, layout ok... not great and some major shortcomings


Pros: Convenient Port; Overall friendly staff;

Cons: Everything else

Recommends Norwegian Gem? No.

Cabin / Stateroom
Our room was, to be frank, noisy. You hear other rooms toilets flush, staff working in the hallways, we had a balcony room, and the sliding glass doors made noise at nights on our way down knocked when the ship swayed for some reason

We had a mini suite, with a couch and tub. The tub was very narrow to stand in, and very difficult to enter/exit. The couch was rock hard and the worst piece of furniture I've ever seen. I mean, this is inner city, garage sale quality stuff and frankly I'm doing a disservice to inner city garage sales by saying that. I was an ugly burnt orange velor and very uncomfortable even stacked with pillows.
Service and Staff
While overall the staff is friendly, they were not as attentive as we've had on other ships. Perhaps the nature of the way tips are automatically built into everything you buy on board removes the incentive to go the extra distance. I recall the other ships explicitly asking us to consider giving extra for the non room specific support staff... anyway just a guess.

Our room attendant was ok and friendly enough. The front desk folks seemed stressed.
Food and Dining
The food was average to good. I can say there are parts of the overall food service that were just plain awful. Worst coffee I can remember anywhere (except for the java express latte's), poor desert selection, outdoor buffets looked awful (wouldn't even touch any of that food)

There were 3 dining areas we frequented: the garden cafe (buffet style), and the 2 main dining rooms: the grand palace and magenta, which both had the same menus.

Of those, the buffet was poor to excellent depending on what your tastes are; the meal of the day (breakfast was better than lunch I'd say). The main dining rooms usually had something we enjoyed, though the quality between meals was inconsistent (for example steamed red snapper was dry and horrible, but a couple of their other red snapper dishes were about as good as I've had anywhere->excellent). The sherberts and sorbets were consistently good, the other deserts varied (my wife and I ordered differently for each meal and shared) fair to good.
Entertainment
Leo, the guitarist, was good (not awesome IMO :) ) but very good. The stardust entertainers were ok, standard ship type entertainment. They had a hypnotist who was excellent, and a couple advertized as "cirque de sole" type entertainment who were not that quality, but who were excellent in their own way.
Ship Quality
My first impression walking on the ship was "cheap"...there was nothing classy about this ship, unlike RC. The "gem" decor, the layout of the public areas (can say I didn't frequent the bars.. so I'm addressing the *other* areas), even our room.

The doors in the main atrium swayed when the ship rocked;

There were essentially no "really comfortable" chairs I found in any of the public areas that we frequented. Some were better than others, but the types of furnishings and the layout just didn't suit us (and we are not heavy, just average American size weight )
.

The layout of main entertainment areas was poor. The stardust theater has some wierdly arranged balconies and due to my wife's inability to navigate stairs we sat up high and there are very poor sightlines (read that as having vision blocked by the balconies).... the seating is crunched; poor accessibility for handicapped / wheelchair bound folks.

They had movies/entertainers in the attrium with poor seating and sightlines
King's Wharf, Bermuda

Don't Miss: The south beaches starting at Horseshoe Bay.


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