Practically perfect in every way

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 22

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Gem

13 Night Southern Caribbean (Boston Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 08, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 10148

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We'd definitely do this cruise again, but we see it isn't offered (yet) next year. We only lost 2 pool days (first and last days) due to cold weather. Love the ship, staff, specialty restaurants and NCL's policy for their drink, dining and internet freebies.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
As a platinum plus member, it was the fastest we've ever had

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Five stars for everything except the buffet. We usually like the buffet, but I thought it was small and bland.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Did not use.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
Five stars for the productions shows with the singers and dancers. The magician and juggler were funnier than they were amazing at their stated act. The hypnotist's show didn't work out too well, but I think it was due to the contestants he had to deal with. Comedian was good. Excellent bands around the ship.

Children's Programs

Correct

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
NCL's staff is always the best, and no exception here. The bar staff really hustled and rarely had to wait more than seconds to get a drink.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
We love the older ships. They grill outside. The Spinnaker lounge overlooking the front of the ship is a great venue. And having an outdoor place to eat off the back of the ship is a favorite of ours.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Only negative was a small TV that automatically turns off, and continually seems to reset (update?) itself, and a small, movable table in the room that didn't seem to fit anywhere. We managed to make it work and we desperately needed the table space.

Ports of call

Boston, Massachusetts

4 out of 5
We walked around the waterfront and visited the restaurants and bars, which was pretty cool, but expensive.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
We went to Secret Harbor for the day, which is a really nice beach.

St. John's, Antigua

3 out of 5
Went to Dickensen Bay, which is ok. Not a lot of restaurants or bars, but we found one that worked for us. Lots of bumper to bumper traffic to and from the beach, but it is close.

Bridgetown, Barbados

4 out of 5
Went to Harbor Lights in Carlisle Bay. The beach is amazing (the softest sand anywhere), but Harbor Lights was a shell of what it once was (very little staff and no attention to the customers on the beach). I guess we'll try The Boat Yard next time.

Castries, St. Lucia

3 out of 5
Went to Bay Gardens resort for the day (We used Resort for a Day service because we got a $25 discount thru Priceline....never again. Even though the transportation was included in the price, we had to take a cab both trips ($60 total)). It seemed like it was only a few miles to the resort, but it took forever because it is a slow moving bumper to bumper traffic in both directions....worse on the way there). The resort was nice and the amenities were good too. Book it on your own.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

3 out of 5
We decided to check out Shipwreck, but the cabbie dropped us off at Carambola which is new and shiny w/lots of new chairs and umbrellas. We walked down the beach to check out Shipwreck but it wasn't open yet (we got there at 8:30 and they don't open until 10 and nobody was there). Every beach chair was broken, the beach is tiny, there's a sign warning you of sea urchins, and the sea floor there is black sand, which would make it hard to see the urchins). So, we returned to Carambola and it got overwhelmed w/kids from the Disney ship that showed up in port, which made it a noisy, miserable experience. We bought a pizza there and paid $20 for a frozen pizza! Never again....

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

4 out of 5
Went to Cane Garden Bay and it's slowly getting back to where it was before the hurricanes. We went down to Paradise which gets great reviews. It was just ok. The tide was up and our chairs were in the water a lot. Chairs and umbrella were only $15 (I gave him a $20 and he said he'd bring me the change and never did, so I don't know how trustworthy they are....we subtracted $5 off the beer tip). We ate next door at Rhymers and ordered a chicken and salmon burger....they were patties! Avoid this place for food at all costs!!!

Disembarkation

1 out of 5
The procedure was smooth, but we are in Boston in late November and they ran the line OUTSIDE to go thru customs and final card swipe! Not to mention that there were issues w/the foreign passengers exiting the ship and the line moved slow as the officials explained to them that they had to return to the ship and follow some other procedure/process.
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