Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
4

2 out of 5

NCL has gotten too cheap. After 5 NCL cruises in 4 years, we did NOT make a deposit for another!

Sail Date: January 22, 2016

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

Yes, we did go through a major storm and most of the crew had no experience with sea storms.  Yes, there was some seasickness. But that would not have made a big impact on the review.  It's really closer to 2 1/2 stars, but not close enough to 3 to make it.

Pros:  Good itinerary.  Some of the entertainment was fabulous, especially LEO (you hear each word, great audience contact, lots of fun!!) and then New Generation.  Their music was great, their range was great, and a very good time was had by all.  Most of the food was tasty, with a fairly large variety.  Juices and/or lemonade offered throughout the day. Themed nights in buffet and BBQs lots of fun. Room clean, lots of storage space, more hangars than before, towels replaced more frequently.

Cons:  TENDERING to and from St. Thomas.  We've tendered before MUCH faster. This took hours!!  Not enough tenders, poorly handled in both directions.  Showed major disrespect for passengers.

Volume of noise in pool area - music does not have to be ear-splitting!  Saving of lounges was not allowed previously.  Complained to staff - told "go upstairs!"  Mandatory tips higher. ($13.50 per day per person!)  Glad we had it in our package on this trip - not offered for future trips.

Buffet hours reduced, ending at 9:30, so can't get out of show & go there.  Long walk through buffet and seating for very limited snacks. Food mostly tasty, but cheaper cuts offered - last trip had salmon frequently,  This trip it was not on menu in main restaurants. Corvina (some sort of less expensive white fish) overcooked.

Fewer staff - slower to clean up tables, slower to ask if you want a drink.

Used to have good piano players. This one, Dana, slurs words, sings too fast, poor rapport with audience.

Overall, a decent trip, enjoyed the islands and the sun in the winter, but the cons outweighed lots of the good stuff.

 

Cabin / Stateroom
Clean, cracked sink - no big deal, I like the towel animals and chocolates at night. Towels changed frequently, very pleasant cabin steward, Gene.
Entertainment
Leo is excellent, New Generation was very good. Some of the shows were good as well. The volume of most entertainment is far too loud, even for older ears.
Service and Staff
Staff was mostly good, but fewer of them this time around.
Food and Dining
Mostly tasty, not as fine quality as other cruises.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Went to rain forest. Really nice. Now done. Next time, beach.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Lovely port, tendering process AWFUL!! Wasted most of our time. Go to Mr. Tablecloth. Great products, wonderful people!
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
They have made a new dock, most of it is not open yet. Should be very nice by next year.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Took a cab around the island, stopping for pictures and snack, went to crowded but nice beach, back to town. Fun!

Tip

Loudspeakers on sunbathing deck FAR too loud, NCL is cutting back in too many areas - a little here, a little there, makes for feelings of CHEAP, CHEAP, which people shouldn't feel after shelling out so much hard earned $ for a cruise. We will look for another line for next cruise.



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