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1 out of 5

Do not go at all costs by EllaS

Sail Date: /
Crew members rarely smiled at customers and seemed overall pretty cold and angry all the time. Some members were even extremely rude at points, and it was obvious when some people forced themselves to make conversation with you. Many times, the servers were even lazy. For example, on the last night, the members taking care of my room didn't even make finishing touches; there was no bedtime chocolate, towel animal on my bed, nor were the sheets even changed; servers at the dinner tables always ignored my side of the table's crumbs, because they were too far to reach. On this ship, there is no attention to detail. Their supposed "freestyle cruising" only holds when the cruise line says it does. They seated people together 2/6 nights and made all of us wait, even though there were tables that weren't occupied yet. Absolutely everything on this ship costs money, and they were constantly trying to advertising by announcing bingo all the time (which became a joke even by the performers); they did this so much so that it seemed pretty grimy. People on the cruise were horrible - acted like there was never anyone in front of them, and if it's just that they pretend they don't see other people, that's fine - but when they walk, they walk like there's no one else in front of them. How much ruder can you get?

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1 out of 5

Poor food and service by AT415

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
The food was no good at any location on the ship I. Was on this over Thanksgiving and they started to cut the turkey and it was not cooked and bloody in the middle. Only 3 free places to eat the rest cost money. Staff had no clue on how do run a bar or play bingo. I've been on lots of other cruise line and will never use them again. Also 2 tv chanels with bad to no sound.

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Was this review helpful? 7
1 out of 5

A horrible Cruise by LorylS

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)
I have been on six cruises, four being on a Norwegian ship. This was the worst ship.. The food was horrible, and they never changed there menu's. There was never anything to do, i asked a cruses worker if there was something going on and hes like if you want to wait four hours theres a party going on but just relax till then. On any other cruise your worried your going to miss something else going on because there is never even a second where nothing is going on. On this cruise you had to search for something and found yourself sitting there bored the majority of the time. The service was horrendous, on the fist night we waited 45 mins at a restaurant before we decided to just get up and leave, because nobody came to even give us a menu. We sat at the coffee bar gave our order and they served everybody else and then started cleaning to counters, never giving us our order. They had the worst attitudes on this ship, we ended up taking off all the tips at the end of the cruise. The ship is big and pretty, but the layout is confusing you cant get to everything from one side of the ship you have to walk all the way around to get to the other side for half of the rooms. They didnt keep up on the rooms, there where times where they never even brought toilet paper. This is not a ship worth your money. I recommend not going Norwegian.

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5 out of 5

Truly a GEM by AngH

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
The ship is beautiful. She is still very new and yet they are constantly doing varnishing, painting. etc. The decor is tastefully done. Elegant not gaudy.

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Was this review helpful? 7
3 out of 5

Awesome!!!!!PORTS by DaveV

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
THis had to be the biggest cash Grab in the history of cruising we were barely sailing and they were flogging the next cruise Always somone trying to sell you a drink Don't use the internet its slower than dial up and you are paying for it 55 minutes 100 bux you get 1 internet minute and pay 3 more waiting Rooms were beautiful Staff were Top Notch Food was edible ok activities were non existant unless of course you wanted to pay to play bingo or pay at the casino Pool outside is ok if the weather is warm Nov though not cold was still too cool to swim

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Was this review helpful? 3
5 out of 5

7 day cruise by DianeS3

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Large Group
Beautiful ship, clean and easy to move from one area to another. Crew was very, very friendly, helpful and courteous. GREAT SERVICE!

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Was this review helpful? 17
5 out of 5

' AN EXCEPTIONAL CRUISE SHIP AND CRUISE" by DebraC7

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE SHIP WAS GREAT!! IT WAS CLEAN, HAD LOTS OF ENTERTAINMENT, AND THE STAFF WAS EXCELLENT!! I HATED TO GO HOME!! I FOUND A GREAT CRUISE LINE, AND I WILL BE A CONSTANT CRUISER NOW!! THANK YOU NCL!!

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4 out of 5

First but NOT last! by Bruce11333555

Sail Date: / Traveled As:
Food was very good......staff tried to please. Rooms extremely clean......it was our 20th anniversary.....would have liked a single bed instead of twins! too difficult for us to push them together.....not very romantic on a romatic cruise.....should have the option of single or double bed for couples. There was plenty to do or just relax..... We did have one problem with an excursion....but all and all one of the best vacations we have had....planning another cruise with NCL in 2010.....

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Was this review helpful? 8
3 out of 5

Freestyle not the way to go by TeresaB6

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
Seems like this ship was dedicated to the drinkers. Shopping was very small compared to other cruise ships, yet there was bar next to bar next to bar. Freestyle eating proved to be as much as $50.00 more to eat in a specialty restaurant. Food in these restaurants was nothing extraordinary considering the price. One restaurant didn't even have everything on their menu in stock. Regular dining room had long waits since people didn't want to spend money since they already paid so much to cruise. We missed having a waiter who knew our names and our preferences. Most the the dining waiters didn't seem to care. Smoking was everywhere on deck so we couldn't find a place to breathe in clean air.

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Was this review helpful? 12
4 out of 5

Worthy of a 25th anniversary by LeeannC20406706

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
The Gem is a beautiful, new, well laid out ship. We took her in the Atlantic crossing from NYC to the Med. It was an April crossing and lasted til mid May 2008. Stopped in the Azores, Lisboa, 3 stops in Spain, Italy, Corsica, and France. 14 days of complete relaxation. The ship is really only built to handle the 7 day requirements so they repeated the menu in the dining rooms the second week which was disappointing. The entertainment was a little mundane too. But the pools, outdoor facilities were all very good and the staff was great. We even had the Captain of the ship renew our wedding vows for us. That was definitely not ordinary. Very thoughtful of all involved to go through the process with us. We enjoyed all the stopping points and wished we had more time in the Azores and maybe a little less in Spain. The excursions are a lot of bus rides to and from your destination and they were horribly expensive. A little determination and a no fear attitude could save you hundreds of dollars. The shows were good not great and I had a ball in the Casino. All the staff in the Casino was very friendly and that is true of everyone on board. We all went sightseeing together and took each others pictures. Very fun, very nice people. Made some european friends on board and can't say how much fun that was for both of us. Would not have figured on that but we were at sea for 5 days so you get to seeing people over and over. The at sea time was awesome beyond belief. We had some weather and large wave action (probably 20-25 ft waves) for a day or two, but just like the Navy says, you get used to it after 3 days. Then it is going ashore that makes you seasick. All in all I would do it again in a minute. Norwegian is great to cruise with and the schedule was unbelievable. I won't ever forget this experience.

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Was this review helpful? 6
4 out of 5

Norwegian Gem - Barcelona 7 day Cruise by tony66

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This was our first cruise. Had thought of cruising before, but hadn’t looked at it in much detail as our pre-conceived expectation was that life on board would pander to slightly old fashioned styles of yesteryear and we’d be captive in a stuffy/foisty old ship with mostly pensionable co-cruisers who’s idea of a good time was a tea dance and tiffin.

We’re neither of us ‘beach bunnies’, we can happily spend ½ day here or there lounging about on a beautiful beach or by a pool, but when on holiday we are much more inclined to be out and about seeing the sites, activities, tours etc.

After a little more investigation on the various cruise company’s operating in the Mediterranean and itineraries offered, we settled on NCL as our choice for our first cruise, departing from Barcelona on the Norwegian Gem.

We decided to arrive in Barcelona a few days before the cruise to have time to explore and so pleased we did. If you have the time beforehand or possibly after your cruise ends, can thoroughly recommend spending a few days in Barcelona. It’s a great city, so much to see and do. A ¾ day trip won’t really do it justice.

Once we’d boarded and explored the ship, we were so delighted with our choice. It totally swept away any of our misconceptions. I can describe the ship and its amenities/atmos etc as fundamentally targeting the family/fun and young at heart holidaymakers. As a consequence, children and teens were plentiful, particularly daytime around the pool and slides. But there were plenty of other areas to sit and sunbathe slightly away from the play areas.

Dinning arrangements were very easy going, albeit the buffet at breakfast (whilst plentiful and full of choice) can be rather hectic at peak times…. The evening dinning choices were also comprehensive. We choose to eat in the main dining room often, normally before 7pm if we could. At that time waiting was minimal (if at all) and we’d normally be seated at a typical two person table (a little more personal/romantic than being seated at a group table of strangers at a fixed time every night). Food choices feature 3 or 4 daily specials supported by regular favourites available each day. Steaks are almost always well cooked, and obviously good quality.

Entertainment on board was varied. As the ship sails in and out of Barcelona, there’s a real mix of mostly European nationalities on board, Spanish obviously, us ‘Brits’ of course, but a good number of Italians, Germans, French and some Americans too. As a consequence, the entertainment has to try to cater for a wide selection of nationalities and ages.

The choice of the cruise itinerary (on this or any other cruise) provides the great opportunity of waking each morning in another fantastic location. The assorted tours and day trips offered allow you to take a whistle-stop ‘taster’ visit. Enough time to enjoy where you go, and sometimes to leave you wanting more…… so you can plan to go again ;-)

If you want a very quiet, gentile old fashioned style of cruise holiday harking back to the days of the luxury liners, then I don’t think NCL is for you. But if you like an active holiday with plenty of life then perhaps NCL may be worth considering.

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Was this review helpful? 6
5 out of 5

Beautiful ship, fantastic time! by AnneM5

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
Just returned from a fantastic cruise in June 2008 through the Mediterranean. It was our first cruise and we thought it couldn't have been better. The ship is beautiful, our room was amazing, and the food was so good, the only downfall was we came back several pounds heavier! We are surprised at some of the negative reviews, it makes us wonder if those people could really be pleased by anyone. The trick on this ship is not to be so cheap about going to specialty restaurants that charge an extra $10-$25 per person, it is well worth it! We ate at one every night; the French restaurant and the steakhouse were our favorites. We had no problems booking reservations! We also got a great room at the back of the 9th floor. Hint: the handicapped rooms are huge. We will definitely sail with NCL again.

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Was this review helpful? 3
5 out of 5

An AWESOME Experience by MikeB22

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)
We enjoyed this cruise experience. From the initial check-in process to the ship ammenities to the on-board staff - they are top notch and wonderful at what they do. The on-board ship shows were amazing! The quality and the productions was very professional and we looked forward to seeing a different show every night.

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Was this review helpful? 39
5 out of 5

Thank you NCL by MarcL2

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
We are from Belgium and it's for us our first "american 'cruise. We've cruise with european company and can say that's not to compare. Quality of food realy better (we'de like all speciality restaurants but also the free ones. buffet choice is wonderfull) Freestyle is realy to apreciate because you just do what you want! We like to go to restaurant and don't care to pay more if we can have quality, what we had. We needed a vacation in couple and we never had problem to have a table for two. We didn't take excurtion whitch were expensive (like on all other cruise company) and we don't play bingo or casino so it was for us our cheaper cruise and the best.

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Was this review helpful? 16
4 out of 5

fantastic trip by ChrisW27940672

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends
My girlfriend and I loved our cabin,service, spa, shows and the weather. It was her first cruise and my third. We both we thrilled with our cabin cleaners and our room was kept spotless. We would reccommend this cruis highly-

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Was this review helpful? 1
5 out of 5

the best vacation ever by VeronicaA2

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
the ship is truly impressive and unique,beautiful design, very classy and chic,high standard services,friendly and professional staff,spacious and comfortable rooms,great choice of food and drinks,wonderful entertainment,large casino.You feel like in different world.Highly recommend to everyone.

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4 out of 5

Great Ship by BarbaraW11

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
The Gem was just Beautiful, No problem dining in the two non-pay restaurants. They add new itmes nightly and they were just delicious. Did feel rushed though while dining. Never ate in the pay restaurants. We live in Fairfield County and have all these food choices here. Stayed in a balcony suite. Rooms was spacious and gorgeous. We originally booked a balcony only, but received an e-mail week before to upgrade to balcony suite for an additional $75.00 per person total. Not per day. Nighly entertainment was great!! We had many choices. Did not care for buffet area and avoided it. To crowded and not enough seating.

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Was this review helpful? 9
1 out of 5

WORST VACATION EVER by Heather28600565

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)
THIS WAS OUR FIRST NCL CRUISE AND IT WILL BE OUR LAST!!! FOOD WAS HORRIBLE LONG LINES AND AN UPCHARGE FOR EVERYTHING. I'VE BEEN ON SIX OTHER CRUISES ROYAL CARRIBIEAN AND CARNIVAL, GREAT SERVICE AND GREAT FOOD. WE ATE IN THE BUFFETT EVERYNIGHT BECUSE YOU CANT GET INTO ANY OTHER RESTAURANTS BECUSE OF LONG LINES THE ONLY OTHER RESTAURANT TO EAT IN WITHOUT AN UP CHARGE WAS THE GRAN PACIFIC DINING ROOM AND IT WAS AT LEAST A THREE HOUR WAIT ....WHO CAN DO THAT WITH SMALL CHILDREN SO WE ATE AT THE BUFFET EVERYNIGHT IF I SEE ANOTHER PIECE OF CHICKEN OR HAMBURGERS I WILL GET SICK I COULD HAVE STAYED HOME FOR ALOT CHEAPER. NOT ALOT OF ACTIVITIES I NEVER SAW THE CRUISE DIRECTOR ONCE, I GUESS THATS WAY THERE NOT CALLED "THE FUN SHIP" AS FAR AS FREESTYLE CRUISING THERE IS NOTHING FREE ABOUT IT I WOULD TAKE A SET SEATING ANYDAY, ALSO WATCH FOR CHARGES YOU DID NOT MAKE ON YOU ON BOARD ACCOUNT. I WAS AT THE FRONT DESK AT LEAST ONCE A DAY SO GET A PRINT OUT DAILY AND THERE NOT SO EASY TO DEAL WITH THEY WANT YOU TO WRITE A LETTER FOR EVERYTHING WHEN YOUR CRUISE IS OVER INSTEAD OF FIXING THE PROBLEM RIGHT THERE SO IF THEY CHARGE YOU FOR SOMETHING DONT EXPECT THEM TO FIX IT RIGHT AWAY. THERE WAS NO HAPPY MEDIUM WITH THE FOOD AND SERVERS OR SHOULD I SAY THE STAFF THAT TAKES YOUR DISHES FROM YOUR TABLE IN THE BUFFET, THEYB EITHER DIDNT PICK THEM UP AT ALL OR THEY CAME AND TOOK THEM TO SOON WHILE YOU WHENT TO GET A DRINK THEY WOULD TAKE YOUR FOOD THAT YOU WERE NOT DONE WITH, IT HAPPENED EVERYDAY AND THATS NOT FUN WITH SMALL CHILDREN. YOU WILL WAIT N20MINS FOR OMLETS IN THE A.M AND HALF AN HOUR FOR PASTA AT NIGHT. THE LUNCH AND DINNER BUFFET IS THE SAME SO DONT LOOK FOR CHANGE. THE ICE CREAM MACHINE WAS ALWAYS BROKE SO DONT GET YOUR KIDS EXCITED FOR ICE CREAM. ALSO WHEN YOIUR SITTING ON THE FAR DECK FOR BREAKFAST DONT BECUSE THEY WAS THE BOAT AND YOU'LL GET WET. MAKE SURE YOU GET IN SHAPE BEFORE YOU GO BECUSE YOU'LL BE USING THE STAIRS ALOT WAY WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE NOT ENOUGH ELEVATORS, AND FOR THE POOL A HEARD OF CATTLE IF YOU WANT A CHAIR BE PREPARED TO GET UP ON DECK AT 6AM OR YOUR STANDING, AND IF YOU GET A SEAT, WELL YOULL BE RUBBING ARMS AND LEGS WITH THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU, NOT AN INCH IN BETWEEN THE OVER CROWDED DECK OF A MILLIOMN CHAIRS. THE SHIP WAS NICE BECUSE ITS NEW BUT THATS ALL IT HAS GOING FOR IT I WILL NEVER CRUISE NCL AGAIN I WILL STAY WITH THE "FUN SHIP" WERE ADULTS AND CHILDREN CAN HAVE FUN

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1 out of 5

Our Vacation by DanaB19806006

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
The embarkment process was horrible. We waited in line (standing) for more than an hour. One senior citizen fell another had to be escorted to a seat because he was lightheaded. Once you were process and entered the ship you were told it was mandatory to use the hand sanitizer. You were than given a free glass of wine. We were charged a service charge of $10 per person per day. We were told this was a mandatory charge that could be credited towards your gratuity.

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2 out of 5

Not Impressed!!! by TheresaL3

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple
We recently sailed on the GEM. First of all the staterooms are smaller than we experienced on the Carnival. Very tight quarters, the pictures are deceiving, actually not much more room than if we had an inside cabin. Secondly, the area for the buffett line is totally laid out wrong.Very disorganized. Totally chaos!!! All the people are crammed in this one area going every which way. Not impressed!!! The service in the buffet area( if there was any???) was lacking. A few times we were there we had to ask to have the table cleaned and also had to ask for cutlery or find it ourselves. The cabin stewart was not aon the ball when it came to cleaning or making up the cabin. This was our first cruise with NCL and our last. We have sailed 5 times with Carnival and would not switch to NCL.. The only reason we sailed this time was due to the Ports of Call. Never again!

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