Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
My favorite aspect of this cruise was being on the water. We could have had that on any cruise. I will say that the Debarkation process was the easiest we had ever experienced (compared to Carnival). Embarkation, however, was a nightmare. It took 2 hours and that was using their quick method (purple tags meaning that we kept our bags which meant we were supposed to get off the ship easily.
Our first complaint would have to be the cabin. We were in Cabin 9122 (mid-ship balcony). Compared to the Carnival Breeze and the Carnival Sunshine, this was the smallest, even though the dimensions were similar. The configuration was not good at all. There was a strange odor in the cabin and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned or vacuumed. Upon calling Customer Relations the next day, a crew was sent in to disinfect; however, dusting was never done and the bathroom shelves were also never cleaned, as opposed to Carnival. They don't clean the cabins any time during the day like Carnival does and there is only 1 steward per cabin.
The Gem has done away with the formal night which meant no special dining room menu on one particular night, though they told us there would be one on the second night of the cruise (this was a few days prior to departure when I called Norwegian so I would know which night to not make a reservation at a specialty restaurant). The food was good in all the restaurants; however, the service was slow and everyone got the impression that the crew didn't want to be there. This feeling was prevalent throughout the cruise and shared between other cruisers and included the entire crew for the most part.
There was a change in the itinerary which stopped us from going onto their private island. The cruise director gave one explanation while crew members gave another reason. Many cruisers said this has happened before. Meanwhile, there were 2 other ships there and the seas were calm (though the Captain said there were swells that nobody else could see).
There were some other items that on their own merit would not warrant a comment but when added to the above, added to our disappointment. (No Direct TV like on Carnival which meant only 1 sports channel, no dedicated sports bar, an Ultimate Drink Package that did not include water or specialty coffee like on Carnival). Also, Carnival offered a $25.00 entire cruise internet package while Norwegian's least expensive internet package started at $149,00.
All in all, this was not a pleasant experience. I would definitely recommend Carnival where we were always meant to feel as though they were there to make sure that we were having a good time at all times. They don't "nickel and dime" you. You are allowed to bring water, soda and even wine or champagne on board (in limited quantities).
So sorry to have to write a review like this.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom