Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

2-3 cruises


Helpful Vote

4 out of 5

Very relaxing

Sail Date: February 18, 2015

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Inside

My brother and niece, who live in South America planned this trip, and invited me and my husband to join them. We had cruised once before (on Carnival) and were not sure we wanted to go on any more cruises, but thought it would be a good opportunity to have a family reunion. We are also celebrating our 65th birthdays this year and wanted to do something special, so we tried NCL--it was much better than we expected. Even though our cabin was small, we had no problems (put our empty suicases under the bed). Bed was comfortable, everthing was clean. The food was better than we expected, but I was surprised that there was no mango or avocado. We really enjoyed the evening entertainment, but didn't participate in the daily activites since we just wanted to hang out together. Did use the walking track and got lots of exercise, so didn't gain any weight! I tend to suffer from motion sickness, and dealt with the rough 1st and last days by taking Dramamine. The only other issue was that the stop at Tortola was not accessible for my brother who is in a wheelchair, but there is major construction going on at the dock and it looks like maybe it will be accessible by the end of 2015. We're thinking about taking the NCL cruise to Alaska sometime....would upgrade to a window or balcony room, since our interior cabin was very dark--great for sleeping!

Ship Quality
Much better than Carnival!
Food and Dining
We eat mostly salads, veggies and a little protein, but there were plenty of options. The desserts were a little bland, so we mostly had fruit.
Service and Staff
Everyone was helpful and professional, as well as fun. Our steward, Noel was fabulous.
The shows we went to were highly entertaining.
Children's Programs N/A
Onboard Activities
We didn't do much of the daily activities, just wanted to hang out and did a lot of reading. The shio is a bout a 1/4 mile long, so we got lots of exercise going back and forth to meals and the few activites we did go to. Also, used the stairs a lot.
Destinations and Excursions
Wish the the days on the islands were longer. We met a cousin in San Juan for dinner, did a snorkel trip on St, Thomas and the Butterfly Farm on St. Maartin. Walked to the botanical garden on Tortola, but did this all independently, not thru the cruise line.
Cabin / Stateroom
Inside room had no windows--good thing we're not claustrophobic! Would pay extra for window or balcony next time. Everything was clean, bed comfortable, loved the towel animals!
New York, New York No time to explore, as we arrived the night before departure, and it was very cold.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Wish we had more time in San Juan.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Had lots of time to shop in the morning, then went snorkeling in the afternoon (private hire).
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Hired a taxi to take us to the Butterfly Farm, then went to a local's restaurant in Grande Case for a yummy seafood lunch.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Lots of construction at the pier--it will be great when it's done. Till then, no handicap access to the island, as there are many stairs to get on the little tenders that take you to the dock and back. 'wish there was more time on this island.


Found the main buffet in the Garden Cafe exceeded our expectations, but usually crowded--go early or late. They do serve a limited buffet outdoors between meals, and at the pool. We only went to the dining rooms 2 times and enjoyed it. Orchid Garden Asian restaurant was delicious.

Was this review helpful? 1

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.


* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top