Wonderful Holiday Cruise

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 15

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Norwegian Gem

14 Night Southern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 21, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 11620

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This itinerary was amazing. The staff was great. The ship was clean and up kept. Unfortunately food is a large part of any cruise. We ate 6 meals at specialty restaurants and they were ok. Portions were smaller but I actually liked that. Desserts were awful!! Some food had no taste at all, then others had so much salt, it was not edible.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We checked in and walked right on the ship. We arrived at out designated time 11-11:30

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
Food was the low for our family. You won’t go hungry, but quality is lacking.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Did not really use anything except spa. Two in our party had treatments and 3 had the thermal suite pass. This area receives high marks.

Entertainment

We only saw Swing. Dancers and singers were wonderful, but there was no real story to draw you in.

Children's Programs

13 yr old son walked in and immediately walked out and had no interest.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
All the staff we encountered was amazing with the exception of the front desk. The 2 times we stopped, they just seemed inconvenienced. All other staff were exceptional!!

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
It is an older ship, but it has been maintained very well. The layout for some areas were more difficult to figure out. Other than the theatre, the areas were smaller. In most cases, this was a plus to us, as they were more intimate. Movies were shown in very small atrium. We found the ship to be very clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Look it is a cabin, not a hotel room. They are small. The layout of 11622 (connecting) was different. I liked my Mom’s much better. Bathroom layout is very good, although toilet area is very small. Outlets are lacking, again this is an older ship.

Ship tip

Don’t expect great food.

Ports of call

New York, New York Did not visit port

From NJ, didn't do anything but park at terminal. The parking was very convenient and affordable due to it being a long cruise.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

3 out of 5
We had been to PR on a past cruise and loved touring forts etc. This stop was only from 4-11pm. After hearing it was not the safest place after dark, we decided to be back on the ship before dark. Old San Juan is beautiful. We only had approx 2 hrs so planned to see umbrella street and go to popsicle place. Sadly since the hurricane, the umbrellas are no more. The popsicle place was amazing. We walked a bit. There were a few market stands open. It was Christmas Eve. We visited a beautiful fountain and saw the walk along the waterfront to the fort. The sun was setting and it was amazing. Sad it was so short.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
We had been here before and done a land tour. We decided to do the Power Cat Snorkel and Cruise. It was Christmas Day. The crew was amazing. The trip was a bit of an adventure, but it was wonderful. While snorkeling, the crew dived with our camera and got amazing close video of a turtle for us. We only saw two and some sea life, but the water was amazing! Hi would highly recommend this tour.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

3 out of 5
We had been to this port on another cruise. We had no excursion planned due to illness of my Mom. We shopped right off the ship, but it was small. We took a taxi over to main area. Plenty of shopping, eating and beach. I did not like this area. It seemed dirty to me. I had hoped to see the French side this trip, but they originally talked of cancelling all excursions to that side due to unrest. In the end they did allow excursions.

St. John's, Antigua

5 out of 5
This was our first time to this island. Out if the 8 stops on this cruise, this was our favorite. This island is stunning! We did the Antigua by Sea tour and that crew was so much fun. We got to see the entire island by water. Beautiful homes and huge yachts as well was the most beautiful water. The lunch they served was delicious!! Well Done all around. We want to come back for a land trip here!

Bridgetown, Barbados

4 out of 5
First time here too. We did the Island Splendor tour. I do recommend this tour, but check if the orchids are in bloom before going. We still had an amazing time, but the big draw was Orchid World. If they are not blooming, it would be better to adjust the itinerary. Regardless, this was a scenic beautiful island.

Castries, St. Lucia

5 out of 5
Loved St. Lucia. We did the Soufriere by Land & Sea. This was a great way to experience the island. We saw some incredible views. Stopped her and there. Had some wonderful banana bread. We did go to the beautiful falls. This tour does not go to the volcano or the mud baths. We heard the sulfur smell was overwhelming and the mud baths were very small, so we were ok with skipping. Balancing land and sea was wonderful for us as 1st time visitors. The cruise was amazing as well. Crew was fun. Only issue was the lunch. They had us broken in to two groups. Our ship went first and we were the last ones in line. The Disney group was behind us. They ran out of most of the food and the Disney group got additional items. Also upon entering there was confusion re a drink upon arrival. I guess each tour pages for a package and ours was the economy. lol it was just confusing and made a few people upset. Still I would highly recommend this tour.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

4 out of 5
First time here. Our party split up. I had read not great things about the train ride and my son wanted to do it. Once the train and sail tour was full I had no interest. Well they had a great time on the train! They saw almost the entire island. We took the 4x4 Island Safari and Beach Sean made me laugh my butt off. He was a great guide and we learned a lot. We saw parts of the island and really enjoyed our trip to the mountain top. The views were stunning and the talk was very informative. We did stop a beach and it had restaurants and bars. Not sure why this spot was chosen. The water was not clear and was more like lake water. The rest of our party had seen beautiful beaches on their trip, so just be mindful.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

5 out of 5
We actually did the Baths Tour to Virgin Gorda. We decided not to do this on our own. I think this was a wise choice. The ferry was high speed and smooth. There are open, covered and inside ac areas. The ferry was all our group. You got different wristbands to break us up. It was well planned. We did miss part of our party due to age and injury. In the end it was the right choice for them to cancel. I am a large person and my husband has some back issues. I was fine and he took his time. It was worth it, this place is amazing and the water was amazing. Dad not to see Tortola, but all of the BVI’s are gorgeous. Don’t miss!

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Did not visit port

Sadly we were told it was not safe to tender to this port. Odd thing was a staff member let it slip the night before we weren’t stopping. WOW really!!!

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Not sure if it was because we had a porter but it was very fast and efficient. We were on the roof and in our car, within 30-45 mins of being called. We had a lot of luggage to find. Lol
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