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Norwegian Gem Cruise Review
Sailing From New York City
May 18, 2013
We sailed on the Norwegian Gem leaving New York City on May 18th,
2013 and returning on the 25th after stops at Port Canaveral, Great
Stirrup Cay, and Nassau, Bahamas.
It was our 14th cruise with Norwegian and 20th overall. We have
sailed on Carnival 5 times and Royal Caribbean once.
This was our second cruise on the Gem. We had sailed on her 5 years
previously during her inaugural season with NCL. We like the layout
of Norwegian’s Jewel class ships and are comfortable with navigating
around their various decks. It had been over a year and a half since
our last Norwegian cruise and we were looking forward to sailing
freestyle again even if it was with a very familiar itinerary.
Day 1 - Embarkation
We live near the shore in Connecticut, so we drove down to NYC and
the cruise ship terminals in Manhattan. It was fun as we followed
the Henry Hudson Parkway going under the George Washington Bridge
and down the west side of the island anticipating our first view of
the ship as we approached the terminal area. It was 11:30 am as we
drove up to the parking lot above the pier. The rates were $35 a
day, so we were charged $245 for our parking which we paid with one
of our trusty NCL MasterCards. We then walked to the elevators with
our luggage and headed down for the embarkation process.
The Gem was the only ship in port that day that started as partly
sunny in the 60's and then turned overcast with light rain and a
Across from the Gem is the aircraft carrier Intrepid with displays
of jets and now the space shuttle Enterprise. I was hoping to get a
view of the Enterprise, but they were erecting a hangar around the
shuttle so all we could see was the top of its tail and nose.
When we first arrived inside the cruise terminal, we dropped off our
two suitcases with a porter before heading to the line for security
screening of all passengers. Past that, there were 3 lines. One was
for Latitudes members. Another line was for Latitudes Gold,
Platinum, and VIP members. The third one was for non-Latitudes
members. We are Platinum Latitudes and took that line which had only
one other couple in front of us. A few minutes later we were waved
to an agent who registered us, took our photos, and gave us our
keycards. With our keycards in hand we were pointed to the entrance
ramp for the ship. We were walking onto the ship by noon. The other
lines were very long, so I do not know how long their wait times
As we boarded, they were announcing that the cabins would not be
ready until 1:30 pm. We went to the Bliss Lounge (deck 7 aft) to
drop off our carry-ons with an attendant. We then went topside to
the buffet for lunch. At 1:00 pm, they announced that the cabins
were now ready, so we headed back to the Bliss lounge to get our
bags headed down to our cabin on deck five to drop off our carry-ons
which always includes a change of clothes in case our other bags
arrive late. It was an oceanview cabin (room 5036) which was forward
on the starboard side.
The muster drill was scheduled for 2:30 pm and everything was closed
at 2:00 pm in preparation of the drill. For the muster drill, we
were told to go to the Stardust Theater (without our life jackets)
to watch a demonstration of how to put on life jackets and where to
go in case of an emergency.
After the drill, we rushed up to deck 13 to watch the sail away
under the cover of the Bali Hai bar area which overlooks the pool
area midship. It was raining and cold as we pulled away from the
pier at 3:00 pm and sailed down the Hudson passing by the new World
Trade Center, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty before going
under the Verrazano Bridge. There were a few hardy souls dancing at
the poolside party as well as a few people in both the pools and hot
tubs. The salt water pools were heated.
When we went back to our cabin, our luggage was waiting for us, so
we quickly unpacked. We had decided to go to a trivia contest in the
Bar City area before going to dinner at the Grand Pacific, one of
the two main dining rooms. At 5:45 pm, there was no wait for a table
The show for the evening was the “Welcome Aboard Show” in the
Stardust Theater. The Stardust Theater has 1,042 seats and most have
good views. The show was hosted by the Cruise director, Sinan who
did a great job of welcoming us and introducing some of the various
acts in the show that we would see later on during the cruise. They
were the cast of the production shows, Nickelodeon crew, an aerial
acrobat duo, a comedian, and another singer.
Later on, they had a 70's Disco Groove party in the Spinnaker Lounge
with a surprise visit by the Village People (not sure which village
Day 2 – Day at Sea
It was a partly cloudy day with calm seas as we sailed off the
coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas today.
I went upstairs at 8:00 am to get tea and as I passed by the pool
area, there were only a few people up there. But, the pool hogs had
already staked out their spots all around the pool deck. I guess
things never change.
The pool area has two large pools with a pair of hot tubs by each
one. There is a kiddie’s pool off to the side and a water slide that
ends up by one of the two large pools. Around the pool are loungers
that are open to the sun along with chairs and loungers under the
overhang from the deck above for shade. They have a covered gazebo
between the two pools where they had bands playing in the afternoon
and sometimes the evenings. When we came aboard, we found that 2
beach towels were issued to our cabin and that we were responsible
for them and that we would be charged $25 for each towel not
returned by the end of the cruise. You could get extra towels that
you had to sign out for at a room in one corner of the pool deck
area. Our favorite area on the ship for this cruise was the Bali Hai Bar
above the pool deck where we could sit in the shade, catch a breeze,
and listen to the bands playing below us on the pool deck.
We chose to have dinner in the Magenta Dining Room before going to
the evening’s show.
The evening’s entertainment in the Stardust was a production show
called “World Beat” with song and dance numbers from around the
world. We thought the four singers had very strong voices and the
dancers were very good as they performed to a soundtrack.
In the Spinnaker lounge, Sinan hosted the Newlywed Not-So-Newlywed
game with four couples which were funny as he asked embarrassing
questions of the spouses while their mates were taken to an area
where they could not hear their responses until they returned.
At 10:00 pm, they had the “Norwegian's Night Out Party” in the
Spinnaker Lounge with the band “Kenosis” playing hit dance songs.
Day 3 – Port Canaveral
Waking up, we were off the coast of Georgia approaching Florida
waters. By 10:30am we could see the large buildings of the Kennedy
Space Center. We arrived at Port Canaveral at noon. This was our
first port day and the weather was nice with partly cloudy skies and
warm temps in the low 80’s. As we pulled into the channel for the
port, we could see that 2 other cruise ships were in port that day.
The Carnival Ecstasy and the Enchantment of the Seas were at their
We had decided to stay on the ship and spend the afternoon by the
pool which was very crowded all day. We guessed that a lot of people
had the same idea we had, thinking that most people would be off the
ship. The ship is docked at a pier area that is not close to
anything. You needed a taxi or shuttle to go to a beach or shops,
visit the Kennedy space center, or go over to Orlando for the
afternoon and early evening. There were some car rental places a
short ride away as well. Sail away was scheduled for 9:30 pm.
Talking with a few crew members, they said that they like the stop
in Port Canaveral because they could catch a shuttle to the local
Walmart to buy personal essentials.
Around 4:00 pm, the Carnival Ecstasy sailed away followed by the
Enchantment of the Seas a half hour later.
The evening’s entertainment in the Stardust Theater was two
performances by the “Second City Improv” troupe. We have seen Second
City shows on previous cruises, so we decided to go to dinner at Le
In the evening, the band "Kenosis" played rock and roll music
topside between the pools. Before they came on, it was raining. But,
it stopped shortly after they started playing. It was a fun time
listening and dancing.
Up in the Spinnaker Lounge they had a "Perfect Couple" game show
hosted by Dan, the assistant CD.
Day 4 – Great Stirrup Cay
This stop was at the NCL private island, Great Stirrup Cay which is
a small island found in the Berry Island chain in the Bahamas. We
arrived at the island around 9:00 am on a bright sunny day with
temps in the 80’s.
It had been almost 3 years since we last visited this island. We had
read about all of the improvements NCL has made there, so we decided
to check it out for ourselves. You have to take tenders to the
island from the ship. Two of the four tenders they use from the
island are from the SS Norway, which was our first cruise ship back
in 1994. The Norway had to carry its own tenders for the ports
because she was too big for the harbors.
You needed a tender ticket to go ashore and they started handing out
tickets at 9:00 am by the pools. We had already been given VIP
tender tickets beforehand, so we able to get onto any tender we
wanted. They had the first tenders leaving our ship at around 10:00
am and the final one back to the ship was 5:00 pm.
Across from our ship was the Enchantment of the Seas which was
tendering her passengers to Cococay, the RCCL private island. You
could see para-sailers and jet skis from both islands zooming around
It was a short 10 minute tender ride to reach the new dock area and
channel that they carved out of the rocks to one side of the beach
areas. As we walked off, they had small huts with people selling
t-shirt and souvenirs. Off to the right was a large “Hippo” water
slide ($5 a ride or $20 for all day). They had clam shells and
cabanas for rent. The clam shells were $30 for the day. The cabanas
were $250 for the day, but included a $50 drink credit and all-day
passes (for 6 guests) for the Hippo water slide. At the edge of the
main beach area, they had built a large pavilion offering buffet
style food with covered areas to each side with picnic tables. All
along the beach areas, they had bars offering drinks. They were
several activities on the island such as snorkeling, volleyball,
After a short walk around the beach area, we went back to the ship
which was very quiet and peaceful as most passengers were off on the
By 6:00 pm we were sailing off to our next stop, Nassau which is
only about 60 miles away.
For dinner, we chose to go up to the Garden Café buffet before going
to the shows.
In the Stardust, they had two productions shows called “Pure
Variety” which the singers and dancing performing a variety of songs
along with the Gem Orchestra. We thought it was a good show to
In the Spinnaker Lounge they had "Dancing with the Stars" where
guests would compete dancing with members of the production show
Day 5 – Nassau, Bahamas
We arrived in Nassau and docked at the pier by 7:30 am. Going
topside, I could see that the Enchantment of the Seas and the
Carnival Ecstasy were already docked. It was raining lightly as I
watched the Norwegian Sky pull into the harbor, turn around, and
back into its dock. As she was almost finishing her docking, the sun
came out and a rainbow appeared behind the Sky, which was apropos as
she used to sail in Hawaii under the name of “Pride of Aloha” which
her hull artwork still reflects. I was able to get a few pictures of
her and the rainbow.
With so many cruise ships in port, the streets would be filled today
with about 9,000 or so passengers disembarking.
The local currency is the Bahamian dollar which is pegged to the
U.S. dollar. All of the shops and bars accepted U.S. dollars and
major credit cards.
We have been to Nassau several times before, so we just took a quick
walk off of the ship to visit the nearby Pirates of Nassau Museum
($12) and the Christ Church Cathedral. On the way back, we stopped
by a few shops and then visited the Hard Rock Café to see if they
had any new memorabilia on display. The Nassau HRC is one of 63 I
have visited so far. Also nearby is a Señor Frogs which is only a
few blocks away from the cruise terminal building. As we walked back
to our ship around 2:00 pm, a quick passing rain storm blew over us.
It was a deluge of water coming down and street in front of the
cruise terminal looked like a river. We waited out the rain under an
awning for about 20 minutes before walking back to the ship under
We went topside to spend the rest of the afternoon at the Bali Hai
bar listening to the band "Groove International" play Reggae tunes
before our sail away. At 5:00 pm, the Carnival Ecstasy sailed out of
the harbor. Then, at 5:30 pm, the Sky pulled away. We followed the
Sky at 6:00 pm to head back to New York.
The evening’s entertainment in the Stardust was 2 shows. At 7:30 pm,
they had the aerial acrobats called "Duo Volgyi" and at 9:30 pm was
the comedian, Phil Tag. We had seen "Duo Volgyi" shows on previous
cruises and were impressed with their abilities. But, for this
cruise, we had seen the current couple perform at the "Welcome
Aboard Show" and were not impressed with their displays. They did
not seem to have the finesse of the previous ones. We attended a
Latitudes party at 7:00 pm and then went up to the buffet for dinner
before heading over to the Stardust to see Phil Tag. He was very
funny as he played to a full house.
They had a Caribbean Deck Party by the pool after 10:30 pm.
Day 6 – Day at Sea
As we returned to New York, we passed the coasts of Georgia and
South Carolina. It was a raining in the morning and early afternoon
with temps in the 70’s, but the sun came out briefly in
We went to a few trivias and also attended a “Behind the Scenes”
tour of the ship offered to Platinum Latitudes guests. There were
ten of us that took the tour as we were given a brief glimpse of the
galley, laundry room, and bridge viewing room with members of the
For dinner, we went back to Le Bistro for a nice meal.
They had two shows in the Stardust this evening. Both were the
"Farewell Variety Shows" with the same performers as the "Welcome
Aboard Show". It seemed odd to have a farewell show on the next to
last day of the cruise, though. They ended the show with the
Norwegian staging of "Fountains" which is always funny to watch.
In the Spinnaker Lounge, they had the Second City troupe performing
a scriptless show.
They ended the evening up in the Spinnaker with their "White Hot
Party". We went up there, but it was already packed with no place to
sit, so we went back to our cabin.
Day 7 – Day at Sea
We started the day off the coast of North Carolina and had reached
Delaware by the end of the day. It was overcast with occasional rain
for most of the day. It was a lazy kind of day with a lot of
activities having to be moved indoors or canceled due to the rain.
By the late afternoon, it was very windy with colder temperatures.
Before the final trivia of the day, we packed our suitcases so that
we could enjoy the evening’s activities. If you wanted them to take
your luggage, you needed to have them placed outside of your cabin
between 9:00 and 11:00 pm with your assigned color-coded luggage
Trivia was over at 5:30 pm after which we went to the Magenta Dining
Room. There were about 30 guests waiting for a table so we decided
to head to the back of the ship and try the Grand Pacific MDR where
we found that there was no line at all to get a table.
After dinner, we went to the Bliss Lounge to redeem our Onboard
Activity points for NCL tchotchke items only to find that all they
had to offer were decks of playing cards and Frisbees. They had run
out of everything else like mugs, bags, beach balls, etc. This
didn’t really matter to us as we have so much of that stuff from
previous cruises, but a young boy was disappointed that there wasn’t
anything fun to redeem.
The final Stardust shows were another production show called “Get
Down Tonight” which had the performers singing and dancing to songs
from the 70’s. At the end of the show, they brought out the captain
and his staff along with crew members from various departments
including Spongebob Square Pants to say good-bye and thanks.
Up in the Spinnaker Lounge they had an adult game show hosted by Dan
called “The Quest” which is a scavenger hunt of sorts. It was
hilarious as teams rushed up to the floor with whatever was
requested. You could tell people had done this before on other
cruises and were prepared for the event. Dan was very funny with his
comments as contestants rushed up to him. Let’s just say that you
saw a lot of underwear flying around.
They ended the evening in the Spinnaker with a “Second City
Scriptless Show” at 10:45 pm.
Disembarkation Day – NYC
Just as the Captain stated the previous day, we were sailing past
the Statue of Liberty at 6:30 am on our return to a cold and rainy
day on New York. We arrived at the pier in New York at 7:30 am and
saw that the Carnival Splendor was already docked at a nearby pier.
We had been given VIP tags for disembarkation (yellow), which meant
we could leave the ship any time after they first allowed passengers
that had signed up for express “Easy walk off” disembarkation.
We had been told that we had to be out of our cabins no later than
We went up for breakfast in the Garden Café before going back to our
cabin to get our bags. From there we went up to the Moderno and Blue
Lagoon restaurant area on deck 8 midship to wait for announcements.
There were plenty of empty seats there as well as toilets nearby.
They started calling for the express passengers to leave the ship by
8:00 am. It was about 09:10 am when they announced that yellow tags
could leave the ship. We headed down to deck 7 and got into a fast
moving line of passengers getting off the ship. Once we were off, we
quickly found our luggage and then had to wait in a short line to go
through immigration processing and hand in our customs forms.
Non-U.S. citizens had to wait in line for processing of their
passports. By 9:45 am we were pulling out of the parking lot and
The ship –
Launched in 2007, the Gem is a Jewel Class ship for Norwegian with a
capacity to carry 2,400 to 2,800 passengers. She is the last of the
four Jewel class ships. See Cruise Diva's Norwegian Gem
ship profile here.
We normally book inside cabins. For this cruise, they had a
promotion that upgraded us up to an oceanview cabin. Inside cabins
are 140 square feet. Oceanview and most of the balcony rooms have
160 square feet of cabin space. The extra footage gave us 3 extra
drawers which we did not use. There is plenty of storage with
drawers and hangars as well as shelves. There was a small fridge
which we had emptied to keep our sodas and beers. The bathroom had a
very comfortably sized shower with a glass door. But, we felt the
rest of the bathroom was more confining than those found in the
We prefer the inside cabins as we like to sleep in which is easier
to do in total darkness. The curtains over the window did not
totally cover the window and sunlight came in. While it was
interesting to have the window for views of the water, we would book
an inside for our next trip.
They have upgraded the TV’s in the cabin to be flat screens that are
interactive. You could check on your account, order shore
excursions, and other functions.
Outside of the cabin was a convenient Stateroom Service Wheel that
could use to show “Make Up Room”, “Turn Down Room”, and “Do Not
If you are a sun worshipper, they were plenty of areas to have
lounge chairs exposed to the sun. On deck 13 forward, they had huge
whicker chairs that could hold 2-3 people for sun bathing/napping.
It was a designated quiet spot and would be a relaxing area for
those taking advantage of it.
On deck 12 midship, there are two large pools and 4 hot tubs. Both
pools have heated salt water and had depths starting at just under 5
feet graduating up to 5 and ½ feet with one having a water slide
that was open most of the day. That same pool has stairs so you
could walk down into the pool. Two of the hot tubs and the forward
pool had signs designating them to be adults only and this was never
an issue even though there were kids on the cruise. Off in one
corner of the pool deck was a glassed off kiddies pool area with a
In the Bliss Lounge on deck 7 aft, they had two pairs of bowling
lanes. They charged $5 per person for each game to bowl.
The jogging track is found on deck 13 aft to midship. It took 5 and
½ laps to run one mile. It was much easier to run the course during
the early morning before most people were up and about as the track
narrows along the sides of the basketball court in two spots and a
lot of people are walking along those points.
For walking, deck 7 offered a wide promenade area that went totally
around the ship. It was only 2 and 2/3 laps to walk a mile. I chose
to run on this deck when it was raining instead of going topside.
Our favorite spot on the ship is the promenade on deck 7, but sadly
there were no chairs or loungers to be found on the promenade.
On deck 14, they had a rock climbing wall if you would like to try
The Body Waves Fitness Center on deck 12 has a large variety of
equipment. They had plenty of tread mills, ellipticals, and
stationary bikes as well as a free-weight room.
The Ying and Yang Spa is located on deck 12 forward. It offered
steam rooms, heated mosaic lounge chairs, hot tubs, and lounge
chairs with a view of the front of the ship. You could buy a week
long spa pass for $139. I am not sure what they charged for a day
On deck 11 forward port side was the bridge viewing room which is
For those that want internet access, they have an internet Center as
well as ship wide Wi-Fi. They offered 3 pricing options; 250 minutes
for $100, 100 minutes for $55, and pay as you go for 75 cents a
minute. The Wi-Fi connection was slow with speeds ranging from 36 to
TIP – The carpets in the halls of the decks with cabins have
dolphins that face forward. This helps to navigate around the ship.
In the Bar City area on deck 6, they had a room called the Corona
Cigar Club where you could smoke.
Thankfully, smoking is limited in public spaces to the Cigar Room
and Casino and designated areas top side.
For those that like to give donations to the ship, the Gem Club
Casino was on deck 6 between the Stardust Theater and the Bar City
Like all of the Jewel class ships, the Gem was built for “freestyle”
dining. The ship has several restaurants which include two main
dining rooms (Grand Pacific and the Magenta) that are free of charge
along with the buffet areas (Garden Café and the Great Outdoors),
Topsider poolside grill, and the Blue Lagoon (comfort food). The
Grand Pacific and the Magenta have the same menus each night and
because the Grand Pacific is larger, the wait times were shorter.
The other restaurants have a fee. You can find Cagney’s (Steakhouse)
$30, Orchid Garden (Asian) $15, Le Bistro (French) $20, La Cucina
(Italian) $15, Moderno Churasscaria $20, Sushi Bar (a la carte), and
Teppanyaki $25. They also offered a 24/7 pizza delivery with a
charge of $5 per pizza. There was a limited room service menu as
The Garden Café buffet area of the Gem is set up very well. There
are separate stations offering various foods, so you do not have to
wait in line passing everything to get what you want to choose. For
example, they have a separate station for salads, then one for
fruits & desserts, then another for hamburgers & hot dogs, etc. All
of this makes it very convenient compared to the Carnival ships we
have been on in the past. There are no trays, so you have to carry
your plate and a drink to your table.
On day 5 in Nassau, they offered a fine dining experience with the
Chef’s Table for $89 per person.
On day 6 at sea, they offered a Jazz Brunch in Le Bistro for $15 per
On day 7 at sea, they had a Murder Mystery lunch for $20 per person.
BIG TIP -The Italian restaurant (La Cucina) next to the buffet has
its doors open during breakfast and lunch to handle the overflow of
diners from the Garden Café and Great Outdoors. We always found at
least 10 empty tables there each time we went there. It was quieter
eating in there as well.
Sometimes we went to the buffet as it was faster than sitting down
in the dining rooms which usually took about an hour and a half for
the full meal (appetizer, entrée, and dessert).
Bar Service –
The Gem had plenty of locations offering bar service. Deck 6 has the
Bar City area with Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar, Shakers Martini
and Cocktail Bar, and Magnum’s Champagne and Wine Bar. Right next
door was the Gem Club Casino that has a bar. They have bar service
offered in the Stardust Theater during activities being held there.
On deck 7, the Sake Bar was found next to the Sushi Bar. The Java
Café in the atrium offered bar service. The Ultra Bliss Lounge is
On deck 12, you could find bar service at the topsiders bar opposite
the pool area and at the Great Outdoors that is located aft.
On deck 13 is the Star Bar that is next to the Cagney’s Steakhouse
and the Bali Hai Bar and Grill which overlooked the pool area below.
We are beer drinkers and we took advantage of the beer bucket
specials where you would get 6 beers for the price of 5 that was
offered throughout the cruise. They had quite a fair selection of
bottles and cans of beer offered in a variety of bars around the
ship. I miss the cruises in Europe where they offered a much wider
selection of beers. The Maltings Beer Bar always offered a few
different beers not listed on the menus. You had to ask the waiter
what was available. My wife’s favorite beer on board was Bud Light,
but a few times the bar we visited was all out of them. Talking with
the bar staff, they said that the two most popular beers on board
were Bud Light and Corona.
In the Le Bistro restaurant, we were entitled to a free bottle of
wine (see Latitudes). When we explained that we do not drink wine,
they allowed us to order beers of any variety we preferred.
We are rated as Platinum Latitudes members with Norwegian. We
received a welcome aboard package with Godiva Chocolates and a
bottle of Champagne. On another day, they brought a plate of
chocolate covered strawberries.
We were invited to the two Latitudes parties.
The party for all of the Latitudes members was held on the afternoon
of the first sea day in the Spinnaker lounge. We were greeted by the
Captain, some of his staff, and the cruise consultant, Jillian. They
gave away a small variety of gifts for the Latitudes guests and
offered a few drinks (mixed, wine, beer) and some hors d'oeuvres. I
was told that there were about 650 Latitudes members on board for
We were also invited to a separate party for Silver, Gold, and
Platinum Latitudes members in the Spinnaker Lounge which was lightly
attended. It was held the evening we sailed from Nassau and was for
a half hour with only wine and a variety of cheese offered. We asked
for beer instead of wine and we were pleasantly surprised that they
As platinum members, we received some additional perks. The guided
tour of the ship was free. We received two invitations to Le Bistro
for a free meal and bottle of wine. We were given priority tender
tickets on the day we were at Great Stirrup Cay which allowed us to
take any tender we chose to get to the island. We were given VIP
luggage tags which allowed us to disembark at any time we wanted and
have our luggage waiting in a designated area away from the other
color luggage tags.
They did offer laundry service that was free of charge (it was
normally $25 to fill the small bag).
There were plenty of things to do on aboard for all interests. They
had bingo games and a version of Deal or No Deal. They offered art
and health seminars. They had several art auctions. We enjoyed most
of the trivia games as we like to learn new things. We did win a few
matches on our own. One note about trivia is that they hold a lot of
them in the bar city area which can get noisy with patrons at the
As mentioned, if you took part in organized activities, you could
accumulate points to redeem NCL items.
Music & Entertainment–
They had plenty of musicians on board to entertain people at various
locations and times. The Gem Orchestra was very good during some the
production numbers in the Stardust. They also played Smooth Jazz a
few times as well as performing big band music one evening in the
Spinnaker Lounge. “Kenosis” offered a wide variety of popular music
throughout the cruise in the Spinnaker, poolside, the Atrium, and
Bar City. “Groove International” played poolside and in the Bar City
area. We prefer hearing live bands playing versus DJ’s. We were
happy to see that NCL has not cut out live bands at the poolside
like Carnival has.
They had two piano players and a guitarist on board in the various
lounges. Leo played guitar and sang. He is a tremendous musician.
Laurie Ann was a pianist/singer who spent some of her time singing
along to music tracks (isn't that called karaoke?). We did not get a
chance to listen to the other pianist on board, Michael.
They had a Nickelodeon Crew on board with lots of activities and
shows for kids.
For the majority of times, we were always met by a smile and a
“Hello” when we walked by any of the crew members. The wait staff in
the main dining rooms always seemed glum, though.
The captain, Sverre Sovdsnes from Norway, was the most informative
of all the captains we have met. He spoke fondly of the S.S. Norway,
so we figured he must have sailed on her on one time.
Sinan Ulucay (Turkey), the cruise director was
always at the production shows and some of Spinnaker lounge acts,
but we never saw him outside of those areas. He was funny and
energetic. We had seen him on a previous cruise as an assistant CD.
The rest of his cruise staff was very friendly and approachable.
Most of them we met during the various trivia games. Dan
(Philippines) has a great singing voice and a clever wit. Ricky
(Philippines) aka Sean Connery was very funny. Natalie (Australia)
was on her next to last cruise before her vacation. She is returning
as a Cruise Consultant on the Dawn after that. Moné (South Africa)
was funny as well.
Talking with Charlie, our cabin steward, we found out that he was
responsible for maintaining 15 cabins twice a day by himself.
Most of the crew work 10 hour days, seven days a week for the term
of their contract.
Even though there was a lot of rainy weather on this
cruise, the seas were relatively calm. It was a relaxing trip with 3
days at sea. We enjoyed our cruise on the Gem and would not hesitate
sailing on her again.
Here is a
link to photos I took of the ship, it public rooms, our cabin,
Great Stirrup Cay, Nassau, and other cruise ships. I have scanned
PDF copies of the Freestyle Dailies for each day of our cruise as
well as the Spa Menu. If you are interested in a copy, e-mail me
with “Norwegian Gem Dailies” in the subject line so that I do not
delete it as spam. My e-mail address is:
Norwegian Cruise Line
Guide & Cruise
Cruise Diva's Blog
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