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  Cruise Ship Reviews : Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Reviews

NCL Norwegian Gem reviews


NCL Norwegian Gem reviews

Average customer rating:
    3.94 / 5

Average Rating based on 13 Reviews:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 3.583.58
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 3.503.50
EntertainmentEntertainment = 4.154.15
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 4.224.22
Food QualityFood Quality = 3.853.85
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 4.384.38
SpaSpa = 4.004.00
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 3.433.43
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 4.154.15




NCL Norwegian Gem itineraries and information



bsnjc saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Family cruise -- NY to Bahamas, June 15, 2017
Reviewer: bsnjc

Pros: Excellent staff, great entertainment

Cons: Lack of waitstaff at pool and in theater

Date of cruise: June 3, 2017

Departure port: New York

Region visited: Bahamas

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: 5605

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

This cruise was an excellent value with the "pick your perk" options that were offered at booking. We took the free alcohol package and third and fourth guests free (two rooms). It was our first time with an alcohol package as we are not big drinkers but it was nice to try out many mixed and frozen drinks "free" (you prepay the 18 percent gratuity).

We were surprised to find very little bar staff in the theater and poolside. We were expecting to be offered a drink endlessly but that was not the case. It was no issue to go to the bar to get a drink, but there were no wandering bar staff soliciting drinks. If we didn't have the alcohol package we would have appreciated the lack of pestering.

We booked inside rooms and it was tight for four in a room. We had four teen girls sharing, and they moved the beds into an inverted U shape by themselves, impatient to wait for the room steward to do it immediately after boarding. This shape gave them more floor space, otherwise three beds would be wall to wall across the room. Our double cabin was upgraded to an obstructed oceanview on deck 8, very spacious and close to O'Sheehans, a great location.

The staff on board was excellent. The entertainment staff was funny and exciting, great for game show activities and trivia. Our room steward worked nonstop, and the dining room staff was also very efficient and personable. They all went out of their way to learn names and greet you personally. We had different dining staff each night with the freestyle, no reservation system and never had to wait for a table. We ate in the main dining halls each dinner and most lunches and breakfasts.

This was our second time on the Gem, but the last was five years ago and before a refurbishment. We liked the size of the ship and the freestyle aspect. No need for reservations at shows or the main dining rooms. We met up with the same people at trivia and game shows which we consider a plus, you don't always get those personal connections on larger ships.

The shows in the theater were high quality and entertaining. The Spinnaker lounge was crowded and difficult to get a seat and some great shows were held there, so that was disappointing, you had to show up very early to get a good seat or risk standing at the back. It didn't seem large enough for the events held there.

The Great Outdoors was under construction and closed the whole week, which was a surprise. We missed a quieter "adult" area as the pool area is quite noisy. We were able to find lounge chairs or other seating throughout the ship but missed this nice area.

We were able to tender to the private island, Great Stirrup Cay, which is also under construction with a Haven area being created. he construction did not diminish our experience at all. It was a great island day and the included barbeque lunch and taco shack make it an inexpensive beach day! We snorkeled and swam, and found plenty of shaded lounge chairs. There were also many in full sun, no need to rent a clamshell unless you want to be very close to the water and have some shade. If you walk away from the beach just a bit there are many trees and shady spots.


ioiodenis saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Best vacation my girlfriend and I have had so far!, September 24, 2016
Reviewer: ioiodenis

Pros: Entertainment, Theatre, Rock-climbing, Ultimate Beaverage Package, Excursions

Cons: Pool was pretty small; fellow cruisers didn't care to even try to keep it clean

Date of cruise: August 20, 2017

Departure port: New York

Region visited: Bahamas

Cabin category: Balcony

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

My girlfriend and I had a balcony room. The room wasn't huge, but we had enough space for two people; besides, we didn't spent much time in the room. The balcony was awesome and much larger than expected after reading a lot of other reviews.

We had everything we needed: towels, toiletries, hair dryer, mini-bar. We could even order breakfast in the room every morning for no extra charge. Very friendly and fun steward. Towel animals were best!

The food was delicious and plenty. Complimentary restaurants were quite fancy and much better than we were expecting. We had buffets as well, so great food was available pretty much non-stop.

Drinks were one of the best parts of the cruise. Awesome and delicious cocktails. Recommend the Ultimate Beverage Package. All bars were pretty great at making perfect cocktails.

There were dancing lessons pretty much every day, multiple times a day and they were great, led by entertainment staff or even members of the dancers and singers team. Parties had great music and some dancing competitions as well.

The daily theater shows were excellent. Twice every evening so that more people could go, they were simply amazing. Great performers and great shows altogether: Broadway show, comedy, dancing, acrobats, lots of fun!

We didn't check out the fitness center that much, but at a glance it looked quite good and it was very large. Lots of free weights, frames and machines. The rock-climbing wall was pretty great as well.

There were two pools, a children's/family pool and an adult's pool, but they were quite small and often times crowded. Same for the Jacuzzi, but overall ok. Other people on the cruise (not staff) didn't even try to keep the pool clean, which was quite annoying.

Port excursions were great! Some were quite expensive, to be fair (the ones involving dolphins in general, or admission to other parks or museums), but they were worth it in the end. If you wish, you should have cash on you to tip excursion staff (not affiliated with Norwegian). In my opinion, all the people who organized the excursions at Great Stirrup Cay (NCL island) deserved a tip, especially since the excursions on this island were quite affordable. We did kayaking, and were able to do another excursion as well so we did the stingray excursion as well. Great memories and photos!


ABerntsen saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 11
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 11
EntertainmentEntertainment = 11
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 22
Food QualityFood Quality = 11
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 11
SpaSpa = 22
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 11
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 11
Horrible! Would NEVER recommend!!!, April 27, 2015
Reviewer: ABerntsen

Pros: Teppanyaki Resturaunt

Cons: Cleanliness & Food= DISGUSTING!

Date of cruise: March 27, 2015

Departure port: New York, NY

Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 9016

Good for children: No

Good for teenagers: Yes

There were so many issues on our “honeymoon/vacation” with Norwegian that I honestly don’t even know where to begin.

I suppose I could start with our staterooms. I had booked a balcony room (9016) for my husband and I, and an interior room (9011) for my mother-in-law and our two children. When I called and booked our rooms, I was told they were directly across from each other. When we boarded the ship we found out that the rooms were actually diagonal, and down the hall from each other. Both rooms had a horrible stench, and our balcony room was in need of repairs, BIG TIME! The weather stripping on the door was pulled off ¾ of the way, finally after complaining for about 6 days they sent a maintenance worker to repair it. Prior to it being fixed, it sounded like we were in a wind tunnel while inside the room and it also caused an issue with our balcony door not opening half of the time because of the air pressure in the room. Even worse, the floor boards (where the bed meets the corner of the couch) aren’t connected. So every single time we stood up out of bed, or the kids played on the floor-the floor board would slam down, and then slam down a second time once you stepped off of it. Not only was it highly annoying for us having to watch where we walked; but the people in the room downstairs were constantly yelling and banging on the ceiling every time the noise occurred for us to stop. The rooms are tiny enough, and not being able to walk in the largest “open space” in the room was a nuisance.

Seven out of the ten days we were all sick with the stomach bug. Word got around the ship that it wasn’t only us, numerous people had it. My family was perfectly healthy when we boarded, but missed a great amount of time doing activities because we were so sick. Whether it was from a previous passenger(s) on the ship, dirty common areas, the rotten fruit that was served in the buffet or the water, we aren’t sure what caused it-but it was clearly an issue on the ship. Now that we are home, we are all healthy like we were before we boarded the Gem.

Our 1 year old was very sick with diarrhea for 9 days on the ship. One day she had an accident while taking a nap on our bed in room 9016. We tried cleaning it the best we could, obviously there was still a bit of a stain on a white comforter. Instead of our room steward washing and replacing the comforter, he flipped it upside down as if we wouldn’t notice. This dirty, feces covered comforter stayed on our bed for FOUR days! I’m completed disgusted!!! This makes me wonder if Norwegian actually changes the sheets/comforters if they “appear” clean between guests.

Our next issue was the lack of control of the children/teenagers on the ship. I understand it was spring break for some states, but I honestly feel that Norwegian overbooked this tiny ship. Unless you were out at the pool area by 7am, there wasn’t a seat to be had on deck 12 or 13 surrounding the pool. The hot tubs and pools were jam packed with young children/teenagers, at one point we counted TWENTY-SEVEN kids in ONE hot tub! The only day we were able to enjoy the pool was while we were in Puerto Rico and the ship was docked. Relaxing in a chair by the pool wasn’t an option the entire trip. The kids ran free all over the ship the entire 10 days. Half of the time you couldn’t get into an elevator because they were sitting on the floor eating their ice cream as entertainment, and wouldn’t get out. They ran up and down the hallways and common areas all hours of the night disrupting everyone, and your “no child out after 11pm without an adult” policy was never implemented.

The entertainment on the ship was lacking BIG time. Most of it was geared towards either teenagers or the much older crowd. The activities were the same every single day… Bingo, Deal or No Deal, the out-dated shows-how much of the same activity can entertain you for 10 days?? Karaoke was taken over by the teenagers, the Bliss lounge was like a teeny-bopper club until 10/11pm every single night, and the kids took over all of the game shows in the Spinaker Lounge.

We were completely misinformed about Captain’s Night. We received the daily itinerary on the 28th(second day on the ship) stating it was Captain’s Night, but were all so sick from getting the stomach bug that afternoon and we weren’t feeling that great(if we knew it would be the only one, we would have sucked it up just to experience it). I called down to guest services before making our decision and was informed that there would be a second Captain’s Night, which NEVER took place! Had we known it would have just been that one night, we would have got ready and made the best of the situation.

The food on the ship was God forsaken AWFUL! When a one year old and five year old refuse to eat the pizza and pasta served, you know it was horrible! We were served the same exact meal for breakfast for 10 straight days. And our lunch and dinner was left overs from the previous day with a piece of cheap cheese slapped on the top. Dinner in the Magenta dining room was disgusting, and was spit out after a bite was taken. The fruit was rotten almost every single day on the ship, the food served was ALWAYS cold and there wasn’t a variety at all.

The only good places we ate were at Teppanyaki and Moderno(which is another problem itself). While making our reservations for Moderno, I specifically asked if flip-flops were allowed-otherwise I wouldn’t have made the reservations and wasted the $50, in which I was told “yes, just no baseball hats or short shorts”. Upon arriving to our reservation, the rude hostess came out from behind the desk to look at our shoes and told us we were not allowed to eat at the restaurant with flip-flops on. I explained to her that was the only thing that I had with me and the reservation desk told us it was ok. She then replied with, “Well, I suppose I can just tuck you two in the corner”. I was appalled!!!! Last I knew I was on vacation, not in elementary school. She then seated us, literally in the corner of the restaurant. About two minutes later she came back over to tell us that she informed her manager that we had flip-flops on, in which he came to the table to check. Never in my life was I as humiliated as I was over a pair of flip flops. You should be ashamed of your employees treating guests like that.

Your beverage “attendant” Vilbert(I think that’s his name) located in the Garden Cafe at the corner of the salads/dessert area is incredibly rude. Every single time we stopped there to get a soda we presented our room key showing our soda package sticker, he either ignored us completely or snapped at us telling us he “just needs to see, put it away”. Maybe if he had acknowledged that he looked at it, we wouldn’t continue to hold it up for him to see.

The last issue (that I can think of at the moment) was that we were misinformed about the soda package. When purchasing it we were told it included bottled water, only to get on the ship and be charged $4.50 for each bottle of water we purchased.

I am 110% unsatisfied with our Norwegian Gem experience. I have pictures of the disgusting bedding left on the bed for 4 days, and I will be posting them along with this review on every cruise reviewing website that I can find, along with all of my social media accounts. I have informed well over 100 people (in person) that I would never travel with nor recommend Norwegian Cruise Lines ever again, and I will continue to tell every single person about our experience, including the 10,000+ people that work at my company. I will be contacting the Better Business Bureau, along with any other media that is interested in hearing my concerns. We wasted over $11,000 in hard earned money on the worst vacation experience of my life.


jer saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Good ship but very overcrowded, February 20, 2013
Reviewer: jer

Pros: Good food, efficient friendly staff, clean

Cons: Overcrowded, took three hours to get on boat, three hours to get off

Date of cruise: February 5, 2013

Departure port: New York

Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 10550

Well-maintained, clean ship, excellent food and staff; too crowded. Made unimpressive port stops.


angerman saw things this way:
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Excellent vacation, January 24, 2013
Reviewer: angerman

Pros: Entertainment! Entertainment! Entertainment!

Cons: People. The common areas on the ship are very, very crowded

Departure port: Miami

Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 12028

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

We are experienced cruisers and have taken many cruises all over the world. Because of all of the publicity, we had to try the Norwegian Epic.

The ship is very, very large and accomodates as many as 4,500 passengers. The facilities are wonderful and the entertainment is the best we have ever encountered.

Relative to entertainment, on the spectacular side were Blue Man Group and Legends in Concert. On the not quite so spectacular side were Second City and Cirque de Soleil. This group of performers from Second City just weren't funny. We attended the Improv session and the Mystery Dinner Theater. We just didn't find them humorous. We traveled with two other couples and both of them left the Improv Show before it was half over. We decided to stay for the whole show and should have saved our time. We were the only ones in our group who booked the Mystery Dinner Theater and we should have passed. Not a whole lot of laughter there either.

The Epic (and other ships/companies) need to take a different approach on their photography business as well. $19.95 per print is a bit pricey in these days of digital photography. You can have any size you want as long as it is 4x6 or 8x10. Why not offer a CD with all of your photographs for $99.95? Let me buy the CD, take it home, put it in an electronic picture frame or print my own photos any size I want? They have to be throwing away literally thousands of pictures because no one will pay the prices they are asking. They have upgraded to facial recognition that works very well. All but one of our photos ended up in our own binder in the photo sales area. We pulled our album which had been filed by cabin number and were able to see all of our photos. We liked about seven of them. But we chose not to pay $150 for the photos. If I could have had the CD with all of the photos for $99, we would have purchased them in second.

At the end of the cruise, the Norwegian Epic has not solved the problem of disembarking. All of the stairways were jammed and the elevators could get us only within three decks of deboarding. We had to meet in the Epic Showroom for a post cruise tour and had no way to get there. We arrived 1/2 hour after our scheduled meeting time and, luckily, found our tour group still waiting to deboard.

It is apparent the Norwegian Epic was constructed to accomodate 4,500 passengers. However, it wasn't constructed to accomodate 4,500 passengers in their common areas, restaurants, pool area, casino, etc...... The number of passengers in relation to the rest of the ship is too many.

We're glad we went on this cruise, but never again. We will be reluctant to recommend it to our friends as well. We'll go back to the smaller ships and enjoy our privacy a little more.

Oh, one more thing. Change the itinerary. St. Marten, St. Thomas are beautiful ports with many things to do. Get away from Nassau and find another port. If I want to visit Atlantis, I'll travel directly to Atlantis. Our driving tour of Nassau took us through ghetto areas that the driver was somewhat proud to point out to us. Abandoned buildings, filth on the streets, graffiti everywhere. If I wanted to see that, I have 50 cities in the United States I can visit. C'mon, Norwegian, go somewhere else.


timtamslam saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 22
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 22
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 44
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 11
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Nice ship and staff but food was lacking, February 24, 2012
Reviewer: timtamslam

Pros: Lots to see and do - entertainment options were nice

Cons: Very poor food - lunch in main dining rm far better than meal w/surcharge

Date of cruise: February 18, 2012

Departure port: NYC

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 9562

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Was only onboard for 1 1/2 days (overnight cruise to nowhere) so expected would be easier on crew and therefore a great little experience. While facilities, entertainment and crew were great, the food was lacking.

Boarded ship at 1:30 p.m. and went straight to lunch in main dining room. This was the best meal. We paid a surcharge for dinner in mexican lounge and the food was poor- jarred salsa and frozen appetizers. Main courses were okay but nothing special.

Breakfast next morning was rushed -- did buffet to save time and looked like everyone else had same idea. There was nowhere to sit in dining room, people were outside in the cold (it was Feb) and then they finally opened an adjacent dining room. Food was running out - my friend could not even get cream for her coffee and out of the many stations there were no more eggs left when she walked though the line.

On the flip side -- the comedian was awsome and the cruise director's "game show" was hilarious. And - free upgrade to balcony was great!


njoycruising saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Looking for a great vacation on the seas, the Gem is the way to go, January 26, 2012
Reviewer: njoycruising

Pros: Food, entertainment, attentiveness and knowledgable staff, great recreation

Cons: Limited # of treadmills and elliptical machines, arrive early to the gym.

Date of cruise: January 9, 2017

Departure port: New York

Region visited: Caribbean - Southern

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 9590

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Took the Gem from New York on a 10-day cruise(San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola). For starters,the embarkation was excellent. No fuss, no rush, made for a great start.

Ship has plenty of comfortable lounges to gather in and although our ship was fully booked there was always room to roam, and enjoy everything the ship had to offer. Was able to indulge in any and all activities we felt like doing. here are four bowling lanes but plenty of time to hit the lanes as they are open from 10a.m.-1 a.m. Have some fun in the bowling tournament, playing Wii on the big screen or take in a good movie. Like to party? The entertainment staff had us up all night each night.

Food in the main dining rooms (Magenta and Grand Pacific) was excellent. The service was great and the staff and waiters remembered you the next night. I actually enjoyed the Magenta's atmosphere a tad bit better. We did go to two of the specialty restaurants but only because we wanted to experience them. Freestyle Dining was great.

I had never been on a cruise that I didn't change clothes at least 3 - 4 times a day. You can dress up if you want or just sport your jeans, it's up to you. Have children?, bring them along the tots through teens. Looked like they had a ball with the counselors. They also had a little show one night in the theater before a show. They enjoyed their own activities and parties.

Each port we went to the embarking and disembarking was equally carefree as when we left. Only downfall is that the stay in Tortola is very short and you arrive early and are gone by 1 p.m. Upon our return you wouldn't believe that so many people were on the ship as you walked into the luggage area almost only with your own party.

I enjoyed this cruise very much. If you want a few days on the ship before hitting the ports this is one to go on. Much love to our cabin steward Joseph, our waiter Rowandale, the great chef Michael, the entertainment staff, especially Big Ken, and Raoul and the Gem Dancers. And not to forget the tailor who repaired my luggage and the captain who stepped out of the reception line to comment on my t-shirt as I walked by and also during a short spell of not-so-smooth sailing went around to assure all the guests that this was not out of the ordinary coming back into the cold waters.


yogamom828 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Great value for the money., June 24, 2011
Reviewer: yogamom828

Pros: Entertainment

Cons: Pool deck is extremely slippery when wet - especially wearing flip flops!

Departure port: New York

Region visited: Bermuda

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: 9005

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

So much to do it is hard to choose!

We had overcast drizzly weather, but always found something to do. Lots of places to just hide away and relax or be entertained.
The portions in the main dining room are small, so sometimes we ordered an extra entree to share. If you order an appetizer as your main entree the size is just right.

You can hear the shows from the theater in the cabins on deck 9 forward, so don't try to go to bed early!


dr lee saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 33
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Feel nickel and dimed, so many fees...., April 8, 2011
Reviewer: dr lee

Pros: Good food, nice room, great gym

Cons: Fees fees fees, is $49 a lot for bingo?

Date of cruise: April 26, 2011

Departure port: new york

Region visited: Bahamas

Cabin category: Jr. Suite

Good for children: Yes

$49 for bingo, $12 for a yoga class, $10 for a drink, $12 per person per day gratuity. Too many fees for me. I will go back to all inclusive vacations.

The water slide does not slide, easy to fix if they wanted to. The pool is salt and heavy chlorine.

Good food, nice room (had a mini suite).


sandman10 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Very relaxing, shows excellent, free style very good, January 29, 2011
Reviewer: sandman10

Pros: Shows, free style

Cons: Night stop in Puerto Rico, short stop in Tortola

Departure port: nyc

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Jr. Suite

Cabin number: 11106

The cruise overall was very relaxing. The spa was wonderful, I did not have to buy an expensive massage. The shows were excellent every night. The stop on Puerto Rico, from 3pm till midnight was a bust. The shops closed on San Sebastion day so we just went back to the ship, no shopping or beach. The stop on Tortola was only 5 hours - 7 to noon. Too short. The other ports were fine. The free style dining was excellent. My biggest complaint would be i felt nickeled and dimed to death. The restaurants, bingo, spa, specialty coffee, soda card, $12 per person tip per day, casino rules. You can not use the above but I was used to these things included or way lower in price.


reloking saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 33
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 22
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
The least favorite of our many cruises; too many shortcuts, September 2, 2010
Reviewer: reloking

Pros: Excellent entertainment for a cruise line

Cons: Mediocre food; too many pay restaurants

Date of cruise: April 1, 2009

Departure port: New York City

Region visited: Transoceanic

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: unknown

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

I doubt if we would cruise this line again. While marginally adequate, it did not come close to other cruises we have taken. Too much cost-cutting was apparant. Cabin was small and design was so-so.


jelbon saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
My wife and I had a tremendous time - really relaxing holiday - loved balcony, June 20, 2010
Reviewer: jelbon

Pros: Excellent service - liked choice of meal times with numerous restaurants

Cons: Shore excursions were a bit pricey

Date of cruise: June 6, 2010

Departure port: Venice

Region visited: Mediterranean

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 8036

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

We thoroughly enjoyed our Mediterranean cruise in early June. Good entertainment (maybe suggest some comedians as well) - excellent attention to detail from all staff - genuine interest in us from cruise staff - responded to requests to provide World Cup TV broadcasts on big screen - extensive library - dynamic art auctions - ample food from numerous outlets (impressive chocolate display) - brilliant gym and medical personnel (loved the two Aussies' professionalism with fun personality).
Convinced us to book again with NCL.


lauraNmatt saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 22
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 22
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 22
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 22
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 22
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 11
Overpriced, poor service, mediocre food, nice condition of ship, bad design, May 27, 2010
Reviewer: lauraNmatt

Pros: Cabin bathroom (shower) was larger than expected, ship is in good condition

Cons: Poor service, auto added 18% gratuity, waiting for dinner, daily service charge

Date of cruise: May 15, 2010

Departure port: Veniice

Region visited: Mediterranean

Cabin category: Balcony

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

My husband and I sailed with Royal Caribbean in Oct 2009 and had a spectacular trip. Naturally, we compared our experience with NCL with our prior cruise experience. In comparison, NCL had poor service, unfriendly staff, mediocre cuisine, and many hidden costs. We felt "nickeled and dimed" the entire trip.

In addition, the excursions (particular our Athens excursion) was a horrible experience and a complete waste of money. We paid $199 each for a bus ride; the "tour guide" was rude, disheveled, and spoke minimal English (and extremely low voice no one could hear).

We were really looking forward to "Freestyle" Dining but we ended up having to wait for a table, had very poor service, and unsatisfying food. Our only good meal (and service) was at Cagney's Steakhouse. Luckily our travel agent provided the meal as an incentive so we received onboard credit for the outrageous cover charge.

Another con was the design of the ship. It was not easy to find our way around and did not have an open feel. Rooms felt smaller and there were many crowds. It was hard to find a quiet spot on the ship. Unless NCL makes some drastic changes, we will not be sailing with them in the future. We will definitely recommend RCL to our friends and family!

 
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