Very Nice - Minor Criticisms
The Norwegian Gem is a smaller ship at 2500, which was a good choice when considering shore excursions, dining, etc. The staff is very friendly, if you can understand them and if they understand you. Many times in the dining rooms (specialty and main), waitstaff did not always get what we were trying to say and that was frustrating. When announcements were made, if the speaker had a heavy accent, I could not clearly hear the message. My cabin (single) was perfect for me, I just had a porthole, but might have been a bit much for 2. My traveling companions had a balcony, but I thought their room was also on the small side. Could never have gone for an inside cabin. Food was basically very good, especially the French and Steak House. Chinese restaurant was only fair, but was complimentary. Buffet had many choices, but by the time you got a drink and tried to find seating, it was lukewarm. The Grand Pacific main dining room was lovely for breakfast. There were many activities to choose from, however I felt like I was being nickeled and dimed to death. $39.00 to play 6 cards of Bingo???? Other games also cost money and the spa was quite expensive. Drinks were not cheap either - large bottled water - $4.95! I did not do the drink package, because I knew it would not be worth it for me. Our shore excursions were private as we did not wish to go on a tour bus. They were a great choice, as we could decide on our own itinerary. Decor on the ship was fine, however a bit of upgrading may soon be necessary. The entertainment was especially good with the singers and dancers from the ship itself. Outside acts were OK, except for the acrobats who were exceptional. A final note, going in the summer was nice, because in the fall, their busiest time in NE and Canada, you might be overwhelmed when at shore.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Make dinner reservations at specialty restaurants before the cruise if possible, then you have a better chance at changing them if desired.