Not as enjoyable as previous NCL cruises

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Experience: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 0
Helpful Votes: 3

Overall Rating:

2 out of 5
Verified Review
10 Night Eastern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip)
Sail Date: January 30, 2015
Ship: Norwegian Gem
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Cabin Number: 5566
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 3 years ago

SurprisedSome aspects poor, some good so I hate to rate it overall poor. This was our 4th NCL cruise and we have been pleased with free-style dining, the smaller sized ships, excellent entertainment and good service for a decent price. However, sailing from NYC in winter is not recommended, too cold, rough Atlantic both directions and WAY too many days at sea...6 of the 10. We had 15 ft. waves on return trip and you could feel it. Bonine pills and sea-bands really work. The Gem is showing its age with tacky decor, there were less free activities than previously, the main dining rooms used to offer different menu items and the food wasn't as good this trip, the drinks were watered down in the Grand Pacific but were excellent in the Magenta so we dined there most evenings. Our room steward was very courteous but oceanview Rm.5622 was pretty dirty, lumpy pillows and a bed cover that was ripped and old. He gave us better pillows but we just flipped the cover top to bottom. My husband and I got sick 4 days into the trip and it may have been from the room. Activities Director Dan Dan was the best host we've seen on NCL and boy, can he sing!

The entertainment was top notch as usual. We had to tender at 2 of 4 ports (cheaper for the cruise line) so it diminished the enjoyment of getting off ship and wandering around town when not on an excursion. Tortola is a beautiful island to see in just a few hours. Last trip on the Gem we had a full day there. Overall, not enough ports, too much ocean.

My sister and brother-in-law were hesitant first-time cruisers but we raved about NCL and convinced them to come with us, as we had done this same trip in 2009. But this was their first and last cruise after this experience and unfortunately we are also done cruising with NCL.





Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Pretty much same food in dining rooms and grand buffet. The coffee was terrible everywhere!

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
More free ones (like Bingo, ping pong tournaments, trivia games during the day hours) offered on past cruises


5 out of 5
Top Notch

Children's Programs

Not needed

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Pretty good, though when we complained about our watered down drinks in the Grand Pacific they didn't offer to replace them and still charged us for them. Bad business.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Showing age

Cabin / Stateroom

Good location in ship for rough seas, good size window, ample room for 2, just not as clean and bedding was well worn.
3 out of 5
Good any season but winter. Arrived by Yankee Trails bus which was convenient.

San Juan, Puerto Rico Did not visit port

Public van tour around the island for $20/pp. Well worth it.
1 out of 5
Beautiful island but wouldn't recomment Coral World. Old and small but we had coupons for $14 pp. Very bumpy ride to and from and the return driver dropped us off in town, not where we were tendered so it cost us another $20 to get to our ship. BAD!it and th
5 out of 5
Circle island tour van for $20pp covered the entire island with many stops and beaches.
3 out of 5
Had to tender but again found a public van for $20pp to tour the island.
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