Waldo's October 31st, 2017 GEM cruise from NY

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#1
NH
159 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Introduction: Monday 10/30/17

This was our 7th cruise, last 4 with NCL. This was my wife (Nancy) and my first cruise without the children. We got a great deal ($499) and booked this cruise less than 2 weeks out. Our plan was to go down early on October 30th. We had the Hampton Inn Park and shuttle booked. I think this is a very good deal. For $240 (including tax)you get a night at the hotel, breakfast the next morning, a shuttle both ways to the cruise port and back and parking for the length of your cruise. We were traveling from Southern NH. The tail end of Phillip hit us hard. When we went to bed Sunday (10/29) we had water in our basement and no power. We got up at daybreak and the power was still out. Without power we couldn't use the pump or shop vac to get the
water out of the house. We didn't want to leave our son with this mess so we waited until 1pm for the power to come back on. It didn't come on (came on at 5:30pm) so we left at 1pm. Because of the late start and a couple of stops we didn't get to the hotel until 7pm (drive1pm-
7pm), drive should have been less than 5 hours. There was no problem with checkin. The hotel seemed to be in a safe area right near the highway. It was nice and very clean. There was an indoor pool, 24 hour coffee/tea and free internet. The breakfast had your typical items plus hot oatmeal,scrambled eggs, waffles and sausage.
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#2
brooklyn ny
2,515 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
We've had many of those kinds of catastrophies the day of a cruise! It makes the cruise experience even better. We go 12/13 on Gem! Looking forward to more!
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BREAKAWAY JULY 2, 2017

Plus 2 cruises on RCCL 2 CC and approx. 18 more on NCL-I cant remember which ships!
#3
NH
159 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Debarkation Day: Tuesday 10/31/17 (Halloween)

We got up at 8am. We had a very nice breakfast at the hotel (all the typical foods plus sausage, waffles and scrambled eggs. The shuttle picked the four of us up (Nancy,Me and two other cruisers) at 10:15am and we were in Port by 10:45am. We were through Security and Checkin by 11:10am. I started to organize my paperwork and they started to board us. I couldn't believe we were on board by 11:20am. As you can seen everything went smooth and efficient so far today. When we boarded the ship, everything was decorated for Halloween. We walked around the ship and nibbled at the buffet and then went to O'Sheehan's for lunch. Nancy had the "Salmon Salad" (she thought it was fair) and I had the "Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich" (very good) and we shared Buffalo and Chai Wings (very good). Rooms were ready at 1pm and they announced that the Departure would be earlier than the 6pm scheduled time. We ended up leaving at 6pm. I guess the ship was in lock down because of the killings in NY. We have never seen NY before. It was getting dark and the NY skylight looked awesome. Our highlight was passing a lit-up Statue of Liberty. As we passed through the Garden Cafe we noticed a delicious looking buffet and we decided to get the Prime Rib, Clam Chowder and much more. Everything was delicious. After dinner we went through the Haunted Trail (cute) and watched the "Welcome Aboard Show" which was the best one we have seen on NCL ships. Once the show was over we went up to the Spinnaker and watched the costume contest and stayed a little while for the Halloween Dance. We did a last lap around the ship, got a small snack at the "Great Outdoors" and went to bed at 11pm.
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#5
brooklyn ny
2,515 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by amberjohn
Debarkation Day: Tuesday 10/31/17 (Halloween)

We got up at 8am. We had a very nice breakfast at the hotel (all the typical foods plus sausage, waffles and scrambled eggs. The shuttle picked the four of us up (Nancy,Me and two other cruisers) at 10:15am and we were in Port by 10:45am. We were through Security and Checkin by 11:10am. I started to organize my paperwork and they started to board us. I couldn't believe we were on board by 11:20am. As you can seen everything went smooth and efficient so far today. When we boarded the ship, everything was decorated for Halloween. We walked around the ship and nibbled at the buffet and then went to O'Sheehan's for lunch. Nancy had the "Salmon Salad" (she thought it was fair) and I had the "Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich" (very good) and we shared Buffalo and Chai Wings (very good). Rooms were ready at 1pm and they announced that the Departure would be earlier than the 6pm scheduled time. We ended up leaving at 6pm. I guess the ship was in lock down because of the killings in NY. We have never seen NY before. It was getting dark and the NY skylight looked awesome. Our highlight was passing a lit-up Statue of Liberty. As we passed through the Garden Cafe we noticed a delicious looking buffet and we decided to get the Prime Rib, Clam Chowder and much more. Everything was delicious. After dinner we went through the Haunted Trail (cute) and watched the "Welcome Aboard Show" which was the best one we have seen on NCL ships. Once the show was over we went up to the Spinnaker and watched the costume contest and stayed a little while for the Halloween Dance. We did a last lap around the ship, got a small snack at the "Great Outdoors" and went to bed at 11pm.
We've never cruise during Halloween-sounds like fun! We have also never sailed away when it was dusk. It must ahve been beautiful!
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BREAKAWAY JULY 2, 2017

Plus 2 cruises on RCCL 2 CC and approx. 18 more on NCL-I cant remember which ships!
#9
brooklyn ny
2,515 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by amberjohn
New York Departure
Cute decorations and beautiful photos!

Still no new excursions listed!!!
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BREAKAWAY JULY 2, 2017

Plus 2 cruises on RCCL 2 CC and approx. 18 more on NCL-I cant remember which ships!
#11
NH
159 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by DZcreature
Hampton Inn park and shuttle sounds like a good deal. Where is the hotel located?
Ridgefield, NJ...right on the highway about 20-30 minutes from the pier.
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#12
NH
159 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Day One: Wednesday 11/01/17 (Sea Day #1)

We woke up at 9am, we had a great sleep. We went for breakfast in the "Garden Cafe". After breakfast we went to the "Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle" from 11am-Noon. This was the first time I have attended one of these. After the Meet and Mingle we went to the gym. I ran a couple of miles on the treadmill and then we went to the Art Auction fora short time (they never gave us our free champagne). For the rest of the afternoon we talked to Excursion Desk People, walked around the ship, snacked and used the Hot Tub until 4pm. It was time to get ready for dinner. At 5pm we had a delicious dinner at the "Grand Pacific" of Roast Beef and Bolognese Spaghetti. After dinner we went to the 7pm show "Comedy of Tim Kaminski" which we had seen a small bit of at the"Welcome Aboard Party". We noticed that the Comedian picked his "victims" for the show in the front part of the theater so we sat in the middle, in the back of the theater so we wouldn't get picked "to be part of the show". He was down to his last "volunteer"and somehow saw me. I was escorted to the stage to perform in the ship's rendition of the "Wizard of OZ". In case you are wondering, I played the famous "Waldo" in the show. Even though I couldn't see any of the show (I was backstage for most of it) it was a unique and fun experience. After the show we roamed the ship. In the Garden Cafe we noticed skewers of large shrimp. We had to stop and have our fill of them. We went to bed at 11pm.
(7 Waldo shout outs from 8-11pm today)
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#16
3 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Thank you for the tip on the hotel. We live in central Massachusetts, and I like the idea of getting close to the city the night before the cruise. Especially when the entire hotel experience costs about the same as parking at the pier. Enjoying review and photos! We are getting excited about taking Gem in May.
#20
NH
159 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Day Two: Thursday 11/02/17 (Sea Day #2)

We got up at 9am and did 2 miles on the treadmill. We went to breakfast at 10am followed by a trip to “Tradewinds” to check on the daily $10 specials. After browsing we went to Magnum’s to listen to the“Digital Camera Seminar” and stuck around to do the “Goofy Golf Tournament”. With a field of 19 I was able to take 2nd place in this prestigious golf tournament. At lunch we decided to have lunch at O’Sheehan’s. Nancy got a Reuben Sandwich and some Chai Chicken wings and I got the “Open Face Roast Beef Sandwich and Buffalo Wings. After lunch we went to Origami Class. We each made a beautiful heart that will go on our Christmas Tree. Next we went to the front of the ship (7th floor, I think) to the Bridge where we were able to watch the crew control the ship. After spending a decent amount of time at the Bridge we went to the top deck and walked a mile on the jogging track and then hit golf balls for an hour in the “Golf Driving Cage”. We wanted to make the 7pm show which was called “Swing” so we were trying to eat at an early dinner. Straight from the golf cage to the “Grand Pacific” (under dressed) we went. Nancy got the asparagus risotto as an appetizer and loved it. I got the chicken parmesan and Nancy got a steak as our main meals. We split a dish of mushroom alfredo. The food was all very good. Once we were done eating we went to the 7pm showing of “Swing”. The singing and dancing were terrific but the music wasn’t our taste. After the show we had some roast beef at the Garden Café. We watched a little NFL football and then headed to our cabin at 10pm.
(19 Waldo shout outs/ 26 total)
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