Gem vs. Jewel-which one is better?

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#1
Brooklyn, NY
132 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
We're looking at a cruise to the Bahamas/Fl in April of 2011. There are 2 ships (Jewel and Gem) that leave out of NYC one day apart, with the same stops.

Which ship is better? There is a price difference that week of about $100 between the 2 ships. The Gem is a little higher than the Jewel.

I've been on the Dawn, but no other NCL ships. We have a wide variety of ages going, from 2 to 82.

Suggestions?
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#2
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
6,789 Posts
Joined May 2000
If the prices are not too much different, I would go with GEM. It's a few years newer and also it offers the Bliss Ultra Lounge which is really cool (bowling). It also has a somewhat modified spa and atrium that I think is an improved design.

Lastly, from a decor standpoint I think the GEM has one of the nicest looking dining rooms in the NCL fleet. The Grand Pacific.

Anyway, either will be nice ships whatever you decide.

Ernie
#3
USA
6,633 Posts
Joined May 2007
My family of 5 is doing the Jewell April 24...Easter Sunday...because I know that the NYC public schools and those surronding NYC.will be back in school....and while we are traveling with teens and a tween...who attend parochial school and are out the week AFTER Easter...we too want a lower number of kids on the cruise.


Our kids rarely use the clubs and stick with us as we make our own memories. We suspect that there will certainly be other kids on the cruise...but it will not be overrun like the week before will be..that is for certain!!

Easter/Spring break for High Schoolers comes late this year...making a NYC cruise a good value from the weather and price standpoint!!


Also...The Jewel is much better priced and there are better deals than the Gem...and the April 24 cruise should definitely be better than the April 23 cruise...the port will be quieter...the travel time into NYC will be easier as it is Easter Sunday morning. Go for it!!
#4
Brooklyn, NY
132 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
We will leave the 16th or 17th because we have several teachers in our family that have the week before Easter off. I wish we were going the week after. It would save us a lot of money.

From what I've read, it looks like the Gem is a new ship. Although the size between it and the Jewel are almost identical.

I'm not thrilled about the itinerary, but we want to be able to cruise without having to fly.
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#5
USA
6,633 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by Sairey
We will leave the 16th or 17th because we have several teachers in our family that have the week before Easter off. I wish we were going the week after. It would save us a lot of money.

From what I've read, it looks like the Gem is a new ship. Although the size between it and the Jewel are almost identical.

I'm not thrilled about the itinerary, but we want to be able to cruise without having to fly.
I have a friend that did this ship last April...she loved it..the itin is good..don't worry..but it will be crowded and loads of kids onboard..maybe more than other Spring breaks due to the lateness in the year. If the break was the last week in March I would think that some might feel it was too cold to sail out of NYC...but late April does make it a little more appealing. Enjoy!!
#6
USA
6,633 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by Sairey
We will leave the 16th or 17th because we have several teachers in our family that have the week before Easter off. I wish we were going the week after. It would save us a lot of money.

From what I've read, it looks like the Gem is a new ship. Although the size between it and the Jewel are almost identical.

I'm not thrilled about the itinerary, but we want to be able to cruise without having to fly.
I would go with the 17th...there will be less kids on this ship than the 16th....because if you leave on the 17th you return on Easter...and some families with young kids may not want to do this.

I have 4 kids of my own......but as far as other kids are concerned...less is more...especially on a Spring Break cruise out of the tristate area!LOL!
#7
Long Island NY
2,215 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We have sailed both ships, same itinerary and honestly there is very little difference between them. We prefer to leave on Saturday so we have Sunday to recoperate. The biggest differences are the rock climbing wall and bowling allys on the Gem not found on the Jewel. Also the ship stores/galleria and Bliss lounge are flip flopped, we actually prefered the Jewel setup. If bowling and the rock climbing wall are important to you, I would say take the Gem. If not I would go with the cheaper cruise or pick the day you'd rather leave and return on. Either way I'm sure you will all have a great time. For us its more about who we sail with than where we sail.
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Norwegian Gem 12/4/2016~10668~R/T San Juan, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Thomas
Norwegian Gem 5/30/2015~10168~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Breakaway 12/7/2014~9916~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, Nassau

Norwegian Gem 6/7/2014~10664~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Breakaway 12/1/2013~12308~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Gem 5/18/2013~10664~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Jewel 2/1/2013~10168~NYC 2 night CTN
Norwegian EPIC 12/1/2012~14048~R/T Miami, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
Norwegian Gem 6/2/2012~10668~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Star 4/27/2012~9738~NYC 2 night CTN
Norwegian Jewel 12/3/2011~10664~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Sky 9/5/2011~9275~R/T Miami, Grand Bahama, Nassau, GSC
Norwegian Jewel 2/12/2011~9670~NYC 1 night CTN
Norwegian Gem 2/11/2011~9670~NYC 1 night CTN
Norwegian EPIC 12/4/2010~14048~R/T Miami, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
Norwegian Jewel 6/5/2010~10666~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Gem 1/2/2010~10608~NYC 1 night CTN
Norwegian Pearl 12/5/2009~10664~R/T Miami, Samana, St. Thomas, Tortola, GSC
Norwegian Sky 5/18/2009~9277~R/T Miami, Grand Bahama, Nassau
Norwegian Gem 12/6/2008~11152~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau, Grand Bahama
Norwegian Dawn 6/29/2003~8630~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, Miami, Nassau, GSC

Isn't it good, Norwegian wood?

All you need is sun, and love
#8
USA
6,633 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by P&Lcruising
We have sailed both ships, same itinerary and honestly there is very little difference between them. We prefer to leave on Saturday so we have Sunday to recoperate. The biggest differences are the rock climbing wall and bowling allys on the Gem not found on the Jewel. Also the ship stores/galleria and Bliss lounge are flip flopped, we actually prefered the Jewel setup. If bowling and the rock climbing wall are important to you, I would say take the Gem. If not I would go with the cheaper cruise or pick the day you'd rather leave and return on. Either way I'm sure you will all have a great time. For us its more about who we sail with than where we sail.
Just wondering...is there a charge for rock climbing and bowling?
#9
Brooklyn, NY
132 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Would you say both ships are decorated similarly? Are the cabin layouts any different?

Last time we cruised (Dawn Jan 2009), we had an inside cabin. We said the next time we cruised we'd do a balcony...preferably an aft balcony. But, since it's spring break week, the prices are almost double. So, balcony may not be possible.

Can anyone give me a review of an inside, ocean view or balcony room on the Gem?
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#10
Long Island NY
2,215 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by Crusin6
Just wondering...is there a charge for rock climbing and bowling?
Rock climbing wall was free, bowling was I believe $10/game at the time we were on the Gem. I have since read the price has been dropped to $5/ game, cannot confirm this tho.
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Norwegian Gem 12/4/2016~10668~R/T San Juan, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Thomas
Norwegian Gem 5/30/2015~10168~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Breakaway 12/7/2014~9916~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, Nassau

Norwegian Gem 6/7/2014~10664~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Breakaway 12/1/2013~12308~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Gem 5/18/2013~10664~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Jewel 2/1/2013~10168~NYC 2 night CTN
Norwegian EPIC 12/1/2012~14048~R/T Miami, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
Norwegian Gem 6/2/2012~10668~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Star 4/27/2012~9738~NYC 2 night CTN
Norwegian Jewel 12/3/2011~10664~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Sky 9/5/2011~9275~R/T Miami, Grand Bahama, Nassau, GSC
Norwegian Jewel 2/12/2011~9670~NYC 1 night CTN
Norwegian Gem 2/11/2011~9670~NYC 1 night CTN
Norwegian EPIC 12/4/2010~14048~R/T Miami, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
Norwegian Jewel 6/5/2010~10666~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau
Norwegian Gem 1/2/2010~10608~NYC 1 night CTN
Norwegian Pearl 12/5/2009~10664~R/T Miami, Samana, St. Thomas, Tortola, GSC
Norwegian Sky 5/18/2009~9277~R/T Miami, Grand Bahama, Nassau
Norwegian Gem 12/6/2008~11152~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, GSC, Nassau, Grand Bahama
Norwegian Dawn 6/29/2003~8630~R/T NYC, Port Canaveral, Miami, Nassau, GSC

Isn't it good, Norwegian wood?

All you need is sun, and love
#11
Boston, MA USA
11,003 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Original Poster: With the wide variety of ages that you have going in your group I would more inclined to recommend the Norwegian Jewel. I will be honest I have never sailed the Gem but the Jewel is more of a family-friendly ship as it has Nickelodeon at Sea for the kids. While the Gem does have one more night spot than the Jewel, if your group is younger (below the age of 19) then you'd want to go with the Jewel.

Both of the ships have roughly the same layout. The only major difference is the club. Fyzz Lounge replaces where the shops are on the Gem on the Jewel and where Bliss is on the Gem there is a huge shopping area on the Jewel. Other than that all the rest of the deck plans are largely the same.

Management-wise I can't say enough about the Norwegian Jewel's Senior Staff. They are phenomenal! Love cruising that ship - even with it not having Bliss (bowling) and without a rock climbing wall.

The cabins are the same size irregardless of which of the two ships you pick.
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#12
288 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Sairey
We will leave the 16th or 17th because we have several teachers in our family that have the week before Easter off. I wish we were going the week after. It would save us a lot of money.

From what I've read, it looks like the Gem is a new ship. Although the size between it and the Jewel are almost identical.

I'm not thrilled about the itinerary, but we want to be able to cruise without having to fly.

Sorry to be a little off topic, but will there be millions of kids off from school in the first week of April? I'm going to be on the Gem 4/2 -4/9 - no kids with us, but that was when we could get away.
#13
USA
6,633 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by myra711
Sorry to be a little off topic, but will there be millions of kids off from school in the first week of April? I'm going to be on the Gem 4/2 -4/9 - no kids with us, but that was when we could get away.
no parent in their right mind would pull kids out of school that week because most schools will be off the week of the 17th...not us though..we get the week after Easter off!! Yeah!!!!! And yes, there are certainly homeschooled kids who might be onboard...but that would add up to about 5 kids Homeschool....OMG.....take me away now...

I take it back....some parents will take their kids out that week...and there might be younger kds like under age 6 onboard...but no massive college kids....but there is always that obscure college or 2 that will have a late Spring Break......your main issue the first week in April would be weather....but then again the first week of April 2010 it was 93 degrees in NYC!!!!
#14
cape cod ma
468 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Cruise6..."no parent in their right mind would pull kids out of school that week because most schools will be off the week of the 17th...not us though..we get the week after Easter off!!"

My husband cannot take the week before Easter off because he manages a supermarket.....so, yes I may take my son out of school that week to cruise.
And yes, I am of my "right mind", thank you.
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