Wonderful experience for our first cruise. The Gem is a gem!

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 29

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Norwegian Gem

10 Night Eastern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 24, 2018

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 5090

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

We sailed the Eastern Caribbean, departing on Feb. 24th. This was our first cruise, and it was awesome overall! It was everything we expected. We stayed in a Family Oceanview Cabin, which was surprisingly roomy for a family of 4. (Be careful when you first enter the bathroom. It has a raised lip to contain any water, and I tripped and fell before we all noticed it.) We loved this ship and itinerary so much that we have booked again for next winter, as well.


4 out of 5
Seemed smooth and efficient, but it was a little frustrating to have an early arrival time, but not be allowed to board until after "privileged" passengers"

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
We had the specialty dining package, which was fabulous, but we would have been fine with the included venues. They were delicious. We preferred the Grand Pacific dining room over the Magenta, because we enjoyed being spoiled by the service. The freestyle dining concept worked for us, because it allowed us the flexibility to do what we felt like on the spur of the moment.

Orchid Garden Asian Restaurant

2 out of 5

We didn't enjoy the food here much at all, though we are typically fans of Asian foods of all kinds. The one shining item was the potstickers. Don't miss them! Stop here first to have them for an appetizer, then move on to somewhere else for your main meal.

Le Bistro

5 out of 5

The food was elegant and delicious. The service made us feel special.

Grand Pacific Main Dining Room

5 out of 5

This was our favorite complimentary dining venue. The food was varied and delicious, and the service was exemplary.

Garden Cafe

4 out of 5

We loved the buffet! Be sure to try the breakfast muesli. I was scared to try until the last day and regret waiting!

Cagney's Steakhouse

5 out of 5

The food was delicious. The service was efficient and enjoyable.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
There was plenty to do, so were never bored. I enjoyed relaxing in the spa with my pass while my husband and daughters frolicked in the pools and hot tubs. The pool deck area was often crowded, and lounge chairs were hard to find, but not impossible. We also played shuffleboard, attended a Veteran's Social, did a scavenger hunt, and used the basketball courts. When the weather was unpleasant, we wanted to watch the afternoon movie, however, for some reason they were shown in the Atrium, which has limited seating and is a hub of activity with a bar, the Concierge desk, Excursion desk, etc. They could have improved this situation by showing the movies in the theater.

Bridge Viewing Room

5 out of 5

We found the viewing room interesting and informative. It was cool to watch all that was going on and the details of our location and ship's status.

Tahitian Pool

3 out of 5

Small, shallow, and cold! (Though it was February, and we can't blame NCL for the temperature.)

Shore Excursions Desk

4 out of 5

They were efficient and accommodating. They seemed less friendly compared to the rest of the staff, but this could be to keep things moving and foster efficiency.

Hot Tubs

3 out of 5

They were nice to have, but small and crowded.

Basketball / Volleyball Court

5 out of 5

Our family enjoyed playing on this sports court while enjoying ocean views.


4 out of 5

Children's Programs

5 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Junmar, our cabin steward, was attentive and thorough, as well as entertaining. In general, the staff was friendly and helpful. At the guest services/concierge desk, they didn't seem as friendly, but I believe this was deliberate in order to foster efficiency.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship seemed well layed out, with everything easily accessible, but arranged so that there weren't overly-crowded areas.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5

Ship tip

Be prepared to have a good time and to be spoiled appropriately. It is impossible for everything to go off without the slightest hitch, but know that the staff are there to do the best they can for you. Attitude is everything! Make it your goal to enjoy yourself and take the hitches in stride.

Ports of call

New York, New York

3 out of 5
It's a big city. It was cool to see this part of America, but if you've seen one, you've seen them all.

St. John's, Antigua

5 out of 5
We enjoyed our cultural/historic excursion with Tumba. Shirley Heights had beautiful views; the banana planations were interesting; and our stop at Darkwood Beach was lovely. We would go to this beach again. Just wear solid shoes. There are sand burrs at the edge of the sand that you must cross to get to the beach.

Castries, St. Lucia

4 out of 5
We did the Scenic Soufriere Tour. It was ok, but don't be fooled by the advertised "swim in a natural pool under a waterfall" and "the sulfur springs 'bath'." Both were disappointing as they were very commercialized and assembly-line like. The "bath" was extrememly crowded with folks yelling at you to hurry and let others come through, and you applied the mud to yourself from 5-gallon buckets. We loved the island, however, and our guide was friendly and informative.

Fort-De-France, Martinique Did not visit port

This port was skipped due to rescheduling because of foul weather.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

4 out of 5
Our half-day sail with the turtles excursion was FANTASTIC, the highlight of our cruise. Check out USVIsailing.com to book this excursion on the Fury with Capt. Mike and his mate Jess. The port was lovely and the scenery beautiful, but as we were the only ship in port there was not much going on in the port area.


5 out of 5

Traveler Photos

Bon Voyage party in the Atrium Breakfast of Champions, the salmon bagel Decorated Door of Cabin 5090 Entourage Teen Club daily schedule Captain Mike & Jess with the Fury Thanks, Junmar! Love the Walrus! Family Oceanview with Setup for 4
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