Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
7+ cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
2

4 out of 5

A very good cruise

Sail Date: February 11, 2016

Reviewed: 9 months ago

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Room Type: Suite

The Gem is a nice clean ship and not too large like the Breakaway or Epic.  You do get to see some familiar faces during the cruise.   The singers and dancers in all the shows were excellent.  We found the food to be very good.  No complaints about quality at the buffet but it was often a bit of a pain to find seating for the four of us.  If you want to sit down easily the Grand Pacific dining room is the way to go as service was significantly slower in the Magenta.  Only comment on main dining rooms was there was not enough change in the menus from day to day.  Buffet breakfast is also better than dining rooms - buffet has omlette stations. Hit rough seas going and returning to NY but that's expected this time of year.  We enjoyed the Art auctions, trivia games and some of the movies they showed.  Why they show most of them in the atrium is questionable as there is not enough seating there for all who want to watch.   Kids only minimally participated in youth and teen clubs as most of the program did not interest them.  We've hit all the same islands before but it there was still something new to do or see at each.  We did the Segway riding in St. Maarten and had a great time.  Don't be afraid of trying it as they are very easy to ride.  With the unlimited beverage packages its sometimes difficult to get served at the bars as it seems a lot of folks like that offer!  All in  all I'd recommend the Gem to anyone. 

Embarkation and Disembarkation
Embarkation was extremely slow - why do they ask you to give a pier arrival time if they don't do anything with it??? Disembarkation not bad getting off the ship but very crowded if you are getting picked up curbside.
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Been there done that but still fun to explore and experience.
Onboard Activities
Children's Programs
Entertainment
Great shows!
Service and Staff
Even with the automatic daily tipping service charges most of the staff was very friendly. I think it harms the incentive of the bar staff though.
Food and Dining
Can't complain - buffet was great!
New York, New York
The city that never sleeps - pier is not too hard to get to via personal vehicle and there is long term parking there as well if needed.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Take an island tour and visit one of the forts.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Blackbeard's Castle has some interesting statues and views. Bring your suit and towel as they have two nice pools as well. If you take the sky tram to Paradise Point get up there before 1pm or you will miss the bird shows!
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Do the Segway tour!
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Get off the ship and take a 2 hour local tour of the island - lots of organized tours available near the street that show you a lot of the island and stop at a beach as well.

Tip

If you don't want to pay the daily service charges and want to tip staff yourself just go to the main desk and tell them so. They will give you a form to send in when you get home to get a refund. They can also provide you with envelopes to tip with.



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