Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Contributor Level: Purser

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Great for parents of young kids

Sail Date: July 20, 2013

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Room Type: Suite

The parts controllable by the cruise line were pretty great. Service was excellent, everywhere. If at times you found people not exactly your type, you only had to move to another area - it seemed the same group of disparate people would congregate by the restaurants, bars, casino, gym, adults and family pools.

Kids' club was good - we had a 3.5 and a 6.5 year old in them (different groups; shame, if understandable) and they always had a good time. Never sad to arrive, but they would tell us later they'd wished we'd come back much earlier :(

If I'm honest, as the one at home with the kids all the time, the presence of a kids' club was one of my main deciding factors for this cruise. By no fault of the staff though, I did wear them out by using it for the first night + morning + afternoon + night sessions, and they didn't easily accept the suggestion of going there again until the final night's party. Wasn't the worst thing to hang out with them again, after my day of rest :)

Shore excursions weren't as great though - and would definitely think twice before considering the afternoon at Disney in Orlando. Pretty sure every "that was the greatest thing ever" reviews I've heard for Disney were on a minimum 3 day pass, which while still probably tiring and crowded, would not have had to feel so rushed. We avoided eating or meandering, but still managed only 4 rides (and two of them lame 'no wait' ones). Didn't help that impending lightning apparently shuts down every outdoor ride, including the one we'd used our only available FastPass on! And for some reason an outdoor character greeting, even the brave Merida, was also scared off by 'possible lightning'.

The second day's beach trip we opted out of altogether, as the boat was just so lovely with half the passengers.

So if you feel like not doing much for a whole week, without any option for the kids to ever claim "I'm bored", this is definitely the trip for you.
Ship Quality
felt new and clean
Food and Dining
Great specialist service for a food allergy
Cabin / Stateroom
Good size, fit family of 4 comfortably, with nice bathroom + bath!
Service and Staff
Great service, everywhere
Could use less Bingo/Deal or No Deal
Children's Programs
Although Nickelodeon character greetings too late in the trip!
Onboard Activities
Would've loved yoga daily (missed the day 1 class, then only one on the last day)
Destinations and Excursions
Our choices were not really worth the money
New York, New York
Nassau, Bahamas
Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas On a very hot day, staying peacefully on board was a great option!
Port Canaveral, Florida
Too short really for Disney


Great Outdoors Cafe is a nice spot for breakfast or casual meals, especially with kids' cafe (showing cartoons) so close.

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