Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
4

5 out of 5

Just back from its re-fit, and the Gem is as spectacular as ever.

Sail Date: November 13, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

Well fans of the Gem here is what you care about most: The Gem has come out of the re-fit looking and feeling great.   I was worried that the re-fit would have turned the gem into a plastic shopping mall that Norwegian seems to think is appropriate for their mega-ships, but I'm happy to report that the Gem has retained all of its splendor and style and in fact, has updated itself rather nicely.   All of its woodwork and great views of the ocean are still there in all public areas of the ship and all of the venues are still there.  The only significant change is the removal of the bowling alleys in Bliss.   

 

In so far as what has changed, basically the ship have what I like to refer to as "de-trumped".  If you have ever gone into a donald trump building you know what I'm talking about.  Gone are the purple and bright flashy carpeting and loud decorations and replaced with more conservative and complimentary coloring and style that compliments the style of the ship.   What I was most pleased with was the removal of the annoying gaming machines in the spinnaker. The whole spinnaker has been re-carpeted and new furniture to give is added seating and is in color tones much more relaxing as subtle rather than loud.  It feels much more than like a luxury ship.  

 

The main atrium has also been updated similarly. The sweeping staircase is still there with a wonderful parquet tile flooring in a rich mahogany stain.  The main "gem" ceiling has been replaced with a nice led lighting system chandelier, Its OK, although I really did like the old one better.   

 

With the removal of the bowling alley Bliss has been greatly expanded and totally updated with less trumpish-bordello look and is now a more modern looking setting although the side rooms are still there albeit with new couches and seating.   

 

The Grand Pacific is unchanged.   

 

All in all I was very happy with the updates on the ship.  This is my third cruise on the Gem and it won't be the last.  The gem just seems to be able to absorb the guests perfectly.  None of the venues or public areas feel crowded and yet none empty.  This cruise has 2600 passengers on it and even on he last day of the cruise, it poured so no-one was on deck, you could still move about and do things without feeling like you were in a cattle car.   

 

This pictures are thumbnails.  If your right click on them and open them in a new tab you can see them better:

 

 

 

Cruise Photos

Cabin / Stateroom
an obstructed oceanview was more than adequate for us even after we have had several cruises with a balcony. For us the room is for crashing and our stuff, so it was not worth the additional $$$ for a balcony. In fact we get to add an extra cruise every other year with the amount we save over a balcony.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
I cannot compliment the GEM on this enough. It is a brilliantly laid out ship. Unlike the Break-away, this ship seems to handle the crowd of guest in a fashion that there never seems to be crowds.
Destinations and Excursions
Do not miss the baths at virgin gorda
Onboard Activities
I just want a quiet place to read and relax. Meantime there was ton's of events to attend.
Entertainment
this only doesn't get my top rating because its m third time on the gem and the dance troupe shows are identical. It would be nice if there was a new dance troupe show
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
always wonderful dining at the grand pacific
San Juan, Puerto Rico You can walk to the beach (1/2 hour) no problem.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Meegan's bay is 15 min away and the taxi's are always running. Snorkeling at turtle and shipwreck cove will not disappoint.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
You can walk to the beach and taking a boat to mullet bay was great.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
The hike and beach at the Baths is the highlight of the trip. Be warned though: the hike is more than a walk in the park, you'll be climbing on rocks, crawling on all fours, and getting wet. We had hiking water shoes that were great. Also bring a mask and snorkel to see the fish in the grotto's. This is a wet, challenging hike in the most beautiful spot in the world I have ever seen.

Tip

Different bars are stocked differently. For example the atrium bar does not have Beefeater gin but the spinnaker does. If you have preferred labels, check the different bars.



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