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Norwegian Gem

90 reviews
 All photos (2,764)2,764
Full view
Traveller (683)
Common Areas (1,328)
Dining and Bars (918)
Itineraries for this ship
Itinerary
5 Night Cruise to Bermuda
Departure date
Tuesday, 14/12/21
Route
New York (Manhattan), King's Wharf, King's Wharf, New York (Manhattan)
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Overview

About
Passengers: 2,394   |   Crew: 1,070
Passengers to crew: 2.24:1
Passengers to space: 39:1
Launched: 2007   

Decks

  • Deck 4
  • Deck 5
  • Deck 6
  • Deck 7
  • Deck 8
  • Deck 9
Additional decks
Deck 4 layout
Cabins
  Mid-Ship Inside (IE)  
  Oceanview Porthole Window (OG)  
  Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window (OF)  
  Inside (IX)  
  Inside (IF)  
 
Amenities
Medical Center

Cabins

Balcony
Cabin size: 162 - 287 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 152
Accessible rooms: 8
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 716

Activities & entertainment

Activities (43)
  • Aerobics
  • Arts & Crafts classes
  • Basketball / Tennis Courts
  • Behind the Scenes Tour*
  • Bowling*
  • Bowling*
  • Bridge Viewing Room
  • Chess
  • Chess
  • Climbing Wall
  • Dance Classes
  • Deck Games
  • Deck Parties
  • Fitness Center
  • Fitness Classes*
  • Game Shows
  • Gaming Lessons*
  • Golf
  • Golf
  • Hair Salon*
  • Hot Tubs (5)
  • Hydrotherapy Pool*
  • Internet Café*
  • Jogging Track
  • Karaoke
  • Late Night Music and Dancing
  • Live Nightly Music
  • Pools (2)
  • Poolside Games
  • Relaxation Female Thermal Suite*
  • Relaxation Male Thermal Suite*
  • Sauna
  • Shuffleboard Court
  • Spa & Salon*
  • Sports Court
  • Sports Games Televised
  • The Library
  • Trivia
  • Video Arcade*
  • Wine Tasting*
  • Entourage Teen Club
  • Splash Academy
  • Splash Academy Youth Center
Entertainment (8)
  • Bliss Ultra Lounge Night Club
  • Casino*
  • Comedy Performances
  • Onboard Movie Screenings
  • Spinnaker Lounge
  • Stardust Theater
  • Stardust Theater
  • Stardust Theater
Dining (23)
  • Grand Pacific Main Dining Room - American
  • Magenta Main Dining Room - American
  • Moderno Churrascaria - Brazillian*
  • Garden Café - Casual
  • Garden Café - Casual
  • The Grill - Casual
  • Magnum's Champagne & Wine Bar - Champagne Bar*
  • Orchid Garden Asian Restaurant - Chinese
  • Corona Cigar Club - Cigar Bar*
  • Star Bar - Clubby Bar*
  • Atrium Café & Bar - Coffee Bar*
  • Le Bistro French Restaurant - French*
  • Ice Cream Bar - Ice Cream
  • La Cucina Italian Restaurant - italian*
  • Teppanyaki - Japanese*
  • Sake Bar - Japanese Sake*
  • Kids' Café - Kids Fare
  • Shakers Martini & Cocktail Bar - Martini Bar*
  • Topsiders Bar - Pool Bar*
  • Cagney's Steakhouse - Steakhouse*
  • Bali Hai Bar & Grill - Surf Shack
  • Sushi Bar - Sushi*
  • Maltings Beer & Wiskey Bar - Whiskey Bar*
* May require additional fees
Traveller rating
  • 27
  • 22
  • 22
  • 8
  • 11
Time of year
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Steven K wrote a review Oct 2021
1 contribution1 helpful vote
If these reviews matter I want a phone call from customer relations, as of now I will never go on a ncl cruise again, nor will I recommend them to any friends or family members. If I don’t get a response, then I will write my details of my experience. It won’t be pretty. 631 704 6223 S Kunen
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mbe1610 wrote a review Sep 2021
Canton, Georgia48 contributions102 helpful votes
NCL just canceled my reservation no explanation...and kept over $1800!! I just called NCL they said they cancelled because I notified them I just tested positive with covid. Even though the doctor said I had a very good chance of being negative before the sail date... No offer to apply to a future cruise... just kept $1874.48!!
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Seanb_us wrote a review Aug 2021
Hartford, Connecticut63 contributions27 helpful votes
My wife and I cruised on the Norwegian Gem from 8/15 to 8/22/21. This review reflects our experience: we felt safe and had a fantastic time. I strongly recommend this Norwegian cruise! This was the first NCL cruise out of Miami in over a year. We picked this cruise for several reasons. Firstly, it was our 30th wedding anniversary. We cruised NCL for two previous anniversaries years before. Also, we needed to get out and take time out to decompress. We have never cruised any other line. Also, we are in the medical field and deal regularly with Covid patients on a 911 ambulance (plus opioid overdoses, car wrecks, etc.), so having access to a 100% vaccinated cruise was important to us. We know vaccinated people can get Covid, but an NCL-required rapid Covid test administered on the dock before boarding, and the requirement of a negative test, reassured us. This test plus the vaccinations made it much less likely that Covid-19 would be an issue on-board. Plus, with everyone vaccinated, if the illness struck, everyone would be much less harmed. Furthermore, while passengers onboard were not required to mask (though many did in common areas indoors), all crew were masked all the time. There were also handwashing stations everywhere, including at the entrance to every restaurant. Additionally, masks were required at all times for everyone for onshore excursions, and every port entrance had a handwashing station enforced by local authorities. To further help minimize risk, NCL crew were not allowed ashore, except a very few masked excursion staff. Another reason we booked this cruise, which we did only a couple of weeks in advance, was because there were no children under 12 and the ship was only at 60% capacity. Probably as a result, the pools and hot tubs were free of crowds and restaurants were open and easy to book. Embarkation was very well done. It was smooth and speedy. Everyone had a time to arrive at the NCL pier in Miami, so arriving passengers were spaced out throughout the embarkation day. Upon arrival, we were directed to our rapid Covid test, which was administered quickly and seamlessly. We then waited for our result and were allowed to proceed to the boarding after getting a negative test. We had a “club balcony suite” midship on deck 11, cabin 11102. We recommend it as being very quiet at all times and comfortable, though we were really only ever there to change clothes or sleep. If you plan on doing some work on a laptop or whatnot, there isn’t much room, just a small desk area next to the rather small LCD TV. There are two outlets in the desk area by the TV. We brought a “cruise power strip with no surge protector” with us; it had 3 regular sockets and 2 USB sockets and took up one outlet on the cabin wall. You cannot bring a power strip with a surge protector onto a cruise ship because it is a fire hazard. The bathroom, toilet, and tub/shower were all a good size, and we used the clothesline in the tub to air-dry our bathing suits. The bath includes wall-mounted soap and shower, to save the environment but also as a convenience; don’t bring mini-bottles of shampoo. There is a fridge. Our steward, Venier, was fantastic. It seemed he was as happy as we to be onboard. The very small TV had a few channels and a selection of movies that we were disinterested in, though we weren’t there to watch TV. The TV is important for shipboard announcements, which you can hear in the common areas of the ship but not your cabin; such announcements play on one of the TV channels. That said, announcements by the captain do play in the cabin. The cabin also had a good balcony. We checked out the Spa. The Spa area is good. It has only one hot tub, but the therapy pool and sauna were great, and they have these heated stone loungers that just make your back feel fantastic. We underused the Spa, however, because we were so busy with other things. After the first day’s embarkation, we were off to Honduras, Belize, and two stops in Mexico, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. We had prebooked activities for all stops. Unfortunately, because a hurricane that hit Mexico the day of our arrival at Costa Maya, we went to Belize City instead of Costa Maya and then to Cozumel. We were able to book a Belize City excursion through our TV (you could use the NCL app or book at the excursion desk, also). As an aside, the NCL app needs work because it’s unreliable. Also, we had an internet package, but it was awkward to use and very slow. We never did learn how to swap the internet use between devices (the package covered one device at a time). We’d still get the internet package, though, for one device. In Honduras, with tour guide Elizabeth, we did a buggy ride through the jungle, which was really on dirt tracks. The buggies were fun. We got to test ATVs, too. I’d do the buggy excursion again, but on an ATV. In Belize, we stopped at Harvest Caye, which was very sanitized, like Disney. It was certainly clean. We rode some Waverunners out across the bay and back, with some information about the ecosystem from the tour guides. We recommend this excursion. Then, we did snorkeling at the great barrier reef, which is very much alive, teeming with fish, and well worth the time and cost. Because of the itinerary change due to a hurricane, we stopped in Belize City. We booked a cave-tubing tour. This was a lot of fun. We were in a group of 8, led by a guide, Dennis the Menace, in an underground river. You have a helmet light to see. There are some bats, a very few spiders, and, of course, small fish. The ceilings of the caves were very high up and the water cool but not cold. At one point, we stopped to go see some Mayan pottery and evidence of Mayan habitation over a thousand years previously. I strongly recommend this tour, and you don’t have to be a strong swimmer or in good shape to take it. This was the only tour where we had to use a tender to get ashore. If you booked an excursion through NCL, you are all set with getting the tender. Otherwise, you get tickets the day before and schedule your departure time; it’s all very well organized. At this stop, the tenders were running every 30 minutes to get you to and from the ship. Also, if you book an excursion through NCL, the cruise ship will wait for you if your tour is running late, but this is not the case for excursions you book independently. Our last stop was Cozumel. Here we had booked what ended up being the best excursion of the entire cruise: a VIP dolphin tour. We didn’t know it when we booked, but we booked a fairly exclusive tour, just the two of us for over an hour in the dolphin pool (connected to the ocean) with the dolphins and a trainer. We got to learn about conservation, the dolphins, and training. We got to pet the dolphins as well. Our guide for this, more a concierge, was Lazer, and he took care of us very well. At Cozumel, we docked in a mall-like area, with lots of silver, tee-shirt, gift shops, and the like. There was even a Hooters, which we ignored. This was the only place where we were pestered for our business, but it wasn’t horrible. It was also the only place for which we had local currency, Pesos. You didn’t need local currency at any stop, including this one. All excursions and places at the ports took U.S. dollars and all took Mastercard and Visa (don’t know about Amex or Discover). The premium-plus beverage plan was something we pre-purchased before our cruise. Our booking included several free things, including a premium beverage plan, but we paid to upgrade it to the premium-plus plan. We were glad we did, for peace of mind as well as access to bottles of wine with dinner (instead of just glasses) and top-shelf liquor. While we enjoyed every ship-board bar at least once, Maltings was by far the best. The bartender, Yad-z, was excellent and very attentive. After meeting us the first day, he saw us the next day and called us over by name. Though the beer list is disappointing (shipwide, actually), Maltings has an excellent selection of whisky and bourbons. We enjoyed taking part in a Macallan whisky tasting, with tips about enjoying whisky and the differences. There was, similarly, a bourbon tasting. The staff at this bar made us feel very welcome, like Cheers. The other standout bar was O’Sheehan’s “Irish pub.” An advantage of O’Sheehan’s was that it overlooked the atrium, and we enjoyed drinking a beer and watching such entertainment as Angel, who sang and played guitar very well. They do have pub grub, but we never got around to tasting their shepherd’s pie. The bar staff was always attentive and sang along with the two of us to Angel’s selections, good times. Just as we had upgraded our drinks package, we upgraded our dining package to give us a total of 6 dinners at specialty restaurants. The ship had two main (free) dining areas, and we ate dinner at the Grand Pacific once; the selection was good and the food tasty. We also ate buffet breakfasts a few times, and the selection and taste were excellent. We further had a buffet lunch once, and, again, the selection and food were very enjoyable. Service in the regular dining areas was rather good. Based on the quality of the regular dining rooms, we recommend that you don’t really need 6 specialty dining nights. The ship has 6 specialty restaurants, and we ate dinner at all but one. We didn’t book the Italian restaurant, La Cucina, mostly because we preferred the other options and because it has middling reviews online. Le Bistro is the French restaurant onboard and was our favorite. Service was excellent. Menu selection very good. And, the wine selection was endless. We ate there twice and enjoyed escargots, steak tartare, coq au vin (my favorite), duck, steak, and veal. All were very tasty, well prepared, and really works of art on a plate. Dessert was sumptuous. Servers were attentive and friendly. I wore a suit to Le Bistro and my wife a lovely dress. At the other restaurants, except Cagney’s, I was in a button-down shirt with or without a tie and Docker’s-style pants, which fit in well. My wife dressed down a bit, too, but still smart heels and a dress. Moderno Churrascaria is a Brazilian restaurant and our second favorite, though pretty much on-par with LeBistro. The let-down was dessert, which was underwhelming. Their Brazilian national cocktail, Caipirinha, was okay. Tip: don’t eat from the appetizer bar. The food at the appetizer bar is very good, from salad to salmon to pickled vegetables, but this will fill you up and you need the space for the meats. This restaurant delivers several very tasty courses of meat which they cut as slices off a skewer at your table; order as much as you want or have room for. Moderno’s Brazilian steak, picanha, was out-of-this-world excellent, as were the filet mignon, sausage, chicken, pork, lamb, and ribs. They also have pineapple cooked in brown sugar and cinnamon that is pure manna from heaven. I strongly recommend this restaurant. I also recommend Teppanyaki, which is the ship’s Japanese hibachi restaurant. The chef prepared our food on the grill in front of us, and it was delicious and a fun show. The drinks were good, but the desert lacking. The atmosphere and service were great. Finally, we also ate at Cagney’s steakhouse twice. We liked the other restaurants better, and I think this restaurant is slightly overrated online, but the food was still most excellent. Service might have been a notch lower than the others, but it was still very good. As you would expect, the steak is wonderful (try the surf and turf, of course). Cagney’s was the only other place I wore a suit. On the cruise, I mostly wore shorts, sandals, and a polo shirt. I wore a tee-shirt a few times, especially when going to the pools or hot tub, but not to eat. I wore shoes or sneakers when going to eat, which is expected, and a polo shirt, though tees are worn at buffets. Generally, around the ship, people were wearing everything from teeshirts and shorts with flip-flops to Dockers and a polo shirt with sneakers, except for special occasions like dinner, etc., where a suit is a good idea. Ladies seemed to dress up more than men and were often wearing skirts, dresses, and shoes with heels when meandering the decks. I brought a couple of pairs of Docker’s style pants, one suit, two button-down shirts, three polos, and two tee-shirts. I had two bathing suits and three pairs of shorts; I could have gotten away with one of each. I had a pair of sandals, sneakers, and dress shoes, along with water shoes for onshore excursions. We used laundry service once for a variety of items, and, as a nice surprise, the ship gifted us that service. The laundry was turned around overnight. The ship does have a rock wall and a gym. I saw the gym only once, on the first day, and it is well equipped. I don’t use a gym regularly and injuring myself would have ruined the vacation. Aside from the comedian, who had me in stitches, we also saw the ship’s presentation of Blazing Boots. This is billed as a country show, and I am not into country music at all, but it wasn’t. It was a dazzling display of singing, dancing, costumes, and a good musical variety including country and pop. Unfortunately, we did not make time to see the other two productions the ship had going. Based on our experience with Blazing Boots, we missed out by not seeing the other two shows. We did get to the casino. Initially, we used our bank card there to get money. It’s a $3-5 fee for the ATM, depending on the withdrawal amount. While the Gem casino reported withdrawals as being from Miami, don’t forget to let your bank know you are going out of country beforehand. We played craps and slots. In general, we found the casino to be unimpressive, we never saw drink service at our game, and the table games were just an uphill slog with very few seeming to win. The other place we spent a fair bit of time was the pool area. I suspect because ship’s reduced capacity and the absence of younger children, the pools and hot tubs were very open, especially after about 3 pm. We found no pool-side drink service, but the bar wasn’t far away, so we got our pina-coladas there. We enjoyed our pool and hot-tub time a lot. There is a fair amount of onboard shopping. The duty-free shop has an excellent selection of liquor, though we bought our liquor ashore. The Gem had a splendid selection of Effy brand jewelry and a large selection of quality watches. The gift shop has tee-shirts and the like, but surprisingly very few Norwegian-branded items, which we were looking for. We did pick up some Norwegian copper mugs at the Spinnaker Lounge. The photography shop is a good place to visit. I picked up an underwater Nikon camera and our on-board photos. The photos are expensive, but we got one we liked. The staff in this shop were very helpful and very friendly, and throughout the cruise they set up in the atrium take formal pictures of you, if you wanted. The only other item of note is CruiseNext. CruiseNext is NCL’s way to lock you into a future cruise by selling you coupons. The coupons are in $250 increments, and you can use up to two on one cruise cabin, depending on the level of the cabin. What you spend is offset by credits on your current cruise by 50%; by that, I mean if you buy $500 worth of coupons for a future cruise, they give you $250 of credit to use on the current cruise, so the savings is 50%. The CruiseNext coupons are good for 4 years and you can transfer them to someone else, such as a friend or sell them online. During the course of the cruise, even though we were a day behind a hurricane, the Gem rode smoothly. There was some swaying as we slalomed around sandbars on our approach to Belize City, and we had one night of rocking as we approached Cozumel, but otherwise we barely felt the ship. The ship itself is a good size for us, with great access everywhere. Deck 7 seems to get you anywhere you want to go, and the ship has three sets of stairs and elevators, one at the front, back, and in the middle. Elevators were responsive and you never had to wait long for them. Interior carpeting, surfaces, and lighting seemed well maintained. We were impressed to see ship staff constantly cleaning surfaces in restaurants and shops. I strongly recommend booking a cruise on the Gem. The night before disembarking, everyone picked departure times by picking color-coded luggage tags, and departure was organized so not everyone left at once. We picked the latest departure times, duly tagged our luggage, and it was taken ashore for us. So, when the ship docked, we only had two carry-on bags to worry about. We took some time, enjoyed lunch at the buffet, and waited for our departure to be announced. In addition to the buffet, O’Sheehan’s was open, but everything else was closed. We left the ship when called and went to pick up our bags which had been taken ashore. Getting the bags was easy, and from there through customs. For our cruise, customs seemed to only be randomly picking departing guests for inspection. Once outside the terminal, finding a taxi to our hotel was easy. All-in-all, we had a fantastic vacation. Norwegian was well organized, the friendliness of all the staff cannot be overstated; they were wonderful. The food and drink were excellent, and the stops and tours engaging and worthwhile. In short, let’s do that again!
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Daniel R wrote a review Aug 2021
1 contribution
I cruise once a month. During the pandemic I booked 12 cruises. Norwegian cancelled 8 the other 4, I cancelled. I was using Cruise next coupons. NCL stated that I would receive 10% discount for every cruise NCL cancelled. This was a blatant lie. NCL only gave 3 -10% discounts. When I cancelled the cruises I was told I would receive my three coupons shortly. I was not told if I cancelled these cruises I would be penalized $750. I called NCL Executive offices with no satisfaction. I have remaining cruise coupons. Once I use these coupons I will NEVER step foot on NCL's OLD ships. Buyer Beware. FYI: I am a Platinum member. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE is HORRIBLE at customer service
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485gill wrote a review Oct 2020
Nantwich, United Kingdom43 contributions44 helpful votes
The worst cruise I have ever been on! Cabin ok though very small. Food was awful in all restaurants. Bars were uninviting and lacking in any atmosphere, entertainment not good, pool far too small for the amount of guests. I have nothing good to say about this trip!
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Itinerary
5 Night Cruise to Bermuda
Departure date
Tuesday, 14/12/21
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Itinerary
Prices are cruise only, per person, double occupancy, and are provided by our partners. Taxes, fees and port expenses are not included. Fuel supplements may apply. Availability of prices is subject to the supplier’s pricing availability.