August 23rd-30th NCL Gem Boston to Bermuda trip report
Stateroom: category BC # 9546 very clean, quiet, small couch next to balcony. King sized bed that left a narrow space between the bed and wall. Shower good sized, place were toilet located small! Requested an ice bucket and robes. Steward quickly brought the items, kept ice bucket filled and serviced the room twice a day. Did receive towel animals every night except first and didn’t have to ask.
SDP:. Ate at La Cucina, Cagney’s and Le Bistro. Cagney’s was the best of the three. Both our meals cooked to our liking, service was great and portions reasonable. La Cucina: apps were good but pasta was drowning in sauce and too big of a portion, really too much to eat. Same for Le Bistro re: sauce. I ordered the shrimp in some sort of cream sauce with artichokes and potatoes. The food was swimming in sauce, was able to count 8 very large shrimp, but it wasn’t appealing. I suppose if you were paying a la carte ($31) you would want your monies worth. One gentleman was turned away from Le Bistro because he was wearing shorts and had not packed long pants.
MDRs: ate at Grand Pacific for breakfast 2x, lunch 1x, and dinner 1x. The lunch we had on embarkation day took over 40 minutes for one app, and two mains, I thought my husband was going to leave and head up to the buffet. Not the best way to start our cruise, but service did improve for the rest of the cruise. Breakfast and dinner were fine. Can’t wear ball caps at Grand Pacific but did see men in shorts at dinner. Ate at Magenta once, rather forgettable, descriptions of food didn’t match what was served. Husband ordered penne with vodka sauce but it sure looked like baked penne. Hardly any sauce (must have all gone to La Cucina!) He asked for extra with no issues. Service at the MDRs was very good except for lunch.
Room service: ordered a pizza, took 40 minutes and not that tasty.
Garden Cafe: Surprising good. Lots of variety, several stations of the same food made it easy to grab and go. Two Indian dishes were offered everyday, which I liked. We would fill our plates and head out to the Great Outdoors to eat and get a drink (or two).
Venues: Loved the Great Outdoors and Spinnaker Lounge! We went to those two places many times during the cruise for food and drink. We also enjoyed sitting in Magnums and listening to music. The house band Prism and the other band JamRoc were really good.
Excursions: I booked through NCL the catamaran snorkel and sail, which happened to be fulfilled by Captain Kirk. For one person, it was a great deal because I got a latitudes discount and used the shore excursion perk. One thing I really liked about this excursion is that the two crew members were watching the participants very closely to make sure we were safe. Everytime I popped my head to get my bearings, I could see both crew members scanning the water and counting heads. I used my own gear so can’t comment on the quality of their equipment. Heading back to shore, they provided a Rum Swizzle and you could purchase more for $ 4, a bargain for Bermuda. They also had water too for free. Recommend!
The other excursion that I booked directly was Fantasea’s Gosling’s Rum Cruise. Got to taste lots of rum and learn the history of said rum. Can also buy duty free rum and it will be brought to the ship but there is no high pressure sales pitch. Nice way to spend a few hours.
Activities: Took the free ferry to St. George on Monday. Walked to Tobacco Bay and had a drink at the bar. It was really hot and humid that day, so sadly we didn’t spend much time there and husband wasn’t in the mood to swim.
Horseshoe Bay Beach: On departure day, we were up early but we would have to wait awhile for a minibus to fill up before heading out. We decided to take a taxi instead, it was a splurge ($35.10 before tip) but it meant we got the beach when very few people were there. We walked away from the entrance and down along water until we found shade. Water was a little choppy but still so beautiful!
We shared a fish cake sandwich combo and some mac n’ cheese from the snack bar. The mac n’ cheese was a special and it was tasty! $18 total
I ordered two large Dark and Stormy’s from the bar @ $11 apiece, I gave the bartender $ 25 US and he gives me $ 1 Bermudian coin back. I ask him about the price, and he is like “oh sorry” and gives the rest of my change as $ 2 Bermudian dollar. I put the $ 2 bill in the tip jar and he happily chirps, “ I’ll just put that back in the till!” That was the only time I was given Bermudian money as change.
This was our 4th cruise with NCL and first on Gem. We really liked the layout of the ship, the crew members and enjoyed being pampered. We spent our days reading, snoozing, and watching the sunset. Love Bermuda and can’t for our next cruise!