Carnival Splendor or NCL Gem?

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 03:41 AM.
#1
Kew Gardens, NY
143 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Looking to take another cruise out of NYC in the Spring of 2013 (so we don't have to fly again)
Trying to decide between the NCL Gem and Carnival Splendor. Would book a AFT balcony on the Splendor, mini suite on the Gem.
Itineraries and pricing are very similar- However the Splendor is an 8 day and the Gem is a 7 day. Don't have any kids so most important things for us are the pool deck, dining options and entertainment at night
Has anybody been on both and can help me decide?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Triumph - August '99
Carnival Glory- August 2005
Mariner of the Seas August 2006
Crown Princess August 2007
Carib. Princess November 2008
Carnival Freedom September 2009
Carib Princess July 2010
Allure of the Seas -May 2011
Carnival Miracle Sept 2011
Liberty of the Seas Feb 2012
Oasis of the Seas May 2012
Carnival Splendor May 2013
Independence of the Seas Feb 2014
NCL Breakaway June 2014
NCL Breakaway May 2016

#2
Charlotte,NC
2,968 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We just got off the Splendor(and we love it!!) and I have never been on the GEM. NCL has total Any Time Dining and we like a set time for dinner, so that would be the decision maker for me. If the cruises are going about the same time period, the Carnival may have more kids, but the kids are never a problem to me-usually adults.
By the way, disregard all the talk about how pink the Splendor is-unless you are zeroing in on the decor and not enjoying the entire experience,
you will barely notice it.
Have fun, whatever you do!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Ron and Donna Jean
#3
Seattle, WA
325 Posts
Joined May 2010
I loved the Splendor and I don't sail for the artwork on the walls, so no decor bothered me! I'd go with the Splendor simply for the extra day of relaxation!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Carnival Legend August 2016 - Alaska
HAL Westerdam September 2013 - Canada
Carnival Miracle August 2013 - Alaska
Carnival Imagination November 2012 - Key West, Cozumel
Carnival Pride May 2012 - Bahamas
Carnival Miracle October 2011 - Nowhere!
Carnival Splendor May 2011 - Mexican Riviera
Carnival Sensation October 2010 - Bahamas
#4
Burlington, Vermont
973 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
I haven't sailed on the Gem. However, I did sail on the Jewel, which is sister to the Gem this past November. We had a wonderful time, although rocky due to a tropical storm tearing up the seas during the cruise. I,too, am looking at the Splendor out of NYC in October 2013. I like the itinerary for the Splendor better(been there, done that for the Gem) and it is a day longer cruise for almost the same price. I guess we'll see.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
First Cruise- Norwegian Sky 08/09/10-08/13/10
Norwegian Jewel 11/05/11-11/12/11
Norwegian Dawn 11/1/13-11/14/13
Norwegian Dawn 8/14/15-8/21/15
Norwegian Breakaway 3/6/16-3/13/16


[






<SMALL>Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter</SMALL>
#5
7,247 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We have sailed on both, Splendor to Mexican Riviera, Gem out of NYC on a ten day southern Caribbean.

We found the entertainment to be of similar quality on each ship. The Gem has in our opinion a much nicer pool/Lido. The pool is fresh water which is nice plus the deck has daybeds as well as lounge chairs and plenty of covered space for those who don't want so much sun. The Splendor has the seaside theater but for us this isn't a plus, we find it annoying but plenty of people enjoy it.

The buffet on Gem blows the doors off Splendor with much better variety. The Gem also has a nice outdoor seating area aft which is wonderful for enjoying breakfast or dessert. Splendor has better food in the main dining room but Gem offers a variety of dining options for a charge, Splendor has the steak house.

If you like to gamble as we do but only for small stakes, the Splendor has the better casino. For high-rollers Gem might be better but I'll leave that to the gambling experts to comment. On Gem the minimums were $10 or higher for most table games. The lone blackjack table with a $5 limit only paid 6-5 for blackjack instead of the standard 3-2, that left a sour taste in my mouth so I played video blackjack instead.

We were in a standard ocean view cabin on gem so I can't help you with the suites though I know they come with extra amenities. What I can say is that the NCL cabins are noticeably smaller than Carnival cabins but they are well designed and worked fine for us but we Preferred cabins on Carnival ships. One big plus for NCL was the shower, it has a sliding door instead of the curtain common on Carnival.

We would recommend either ship, they both have pluses and minuses but both offer a nice cruise. It probably comes down to preferences like itinerary and dining options as well as price. If I can be more specific about anything in particular please ask and I'll try to help.
#6
212 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
For us personally the Gem was our least favorite cruise. Because of the number of restaurants that take up a lot of space it felt crowded everywhere. We haven't been on the Splendor yet so I cannot compare the two. We still had a great cruise on the Gem but we probably wouldn't choose it again.
#7
Kew Gardens, NY
143 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by yst347
We have sailed on both, Splendor to Mexican Riviera, Gem out of NYC on a ten day southern Caribbean.

We found the entertainment to be of similar quality on each ship. The Gem has in our opinion a much nicer pool/Lido. The pool is fresh water which is nice plus the deck has daybeds as well as lounge chairs and plenty of covered space for those who don't want so much sun. The Splendor has the seaside theater but for us this isn't a plus, we find it annoying but plenty of people enjoy it.

The buffet on Gem blows the doors off Splendor with much better variety. The Gem also has a nice outdoor seating area aft which is wonderful for enjoying breakfast or dessert. Splendor has better food in the main dining room but Gem offers a variety of dining options for a charge, Splendor has the steak house.

If you like to gamble as we do but only for small stakes, the Splendor has the better casino. For high-rollers Gem might be better but I'll leave that to the gambling experts to comment. On Gem the minimums were $10 or higher for most table games. The lone blackjack table with a $5 limit only paid 6-5 for blackjack instead of the standard 3-2, that left a sour taste in my mouth so I played video blackjack instead.

We were in a standard ocean view cabin on gem so I can't help you with the suites though I know they come with extra amenities. What I can say is that the NCL cabins are noticeably smaller than Carnival cabins but they are well designed and worked fine for us but we Preferred cabins on Carnival ships. One big plus for NCL was the shower, it has a sliding door instead of the curtain common on Carnival.

We would recommend either ship, they both have pluses and minuses but both offer a nice cruise. It probably comes down to preferences like itinerary and dining options as well as price. If I can be more specific about anything in particular please ask and I'll try to help.

Thanks for the very detailed post and thanks for everyone else who gave their input. We are still up in the air. Probably will book something after I get back from the RCL Oasis cruise in May. Part of me wants to try the Gem because I have done 4 Carnival, 3 Princess and 3 Royal Carib cruises but have never tried NCL. Also while the Splendor is an 8 day most of the sailings are from mid week to mid week meaning that I would have to take 7 vacation days from work instead of 5. While the NCL is only 7 days it runs from Saturday to Saturday which makes it a little easier to plan time off from work. I think my brother is pushing for the Spendor because he still has a future cruise certificate that he wants to cash in so who knows- all these comments are very helpful though!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Triumph - August '99
Carnival Glory- August 2005
Mariner of the Seas August 2006
Crown Princess August 2007
Carib. Princess November 2008
Carnival Freedom September 2009
Carib Princess July 2010
Allure of the Seas -May 2011
Carnival Miracle Sept 2011
Liberty of the Seas Feb 2012
Oasis of the Seas May 2012
Carnival Splendor May 2013
Independence of the Seas Feb 2014
NCL Breakaway June 2014
NCL Breakaway May 2016

#8
Boca Raton
3,802 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Yes, NCL buffet is way BETTER than Carnival.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Nordic Prince (1983)
Enchantment of the Seas(2007)
Serenade of the Seas
Noordam
Caribbean Princess
Carnival Destiny
Norwegian Pearl
Carnival Valor (2008)
Ruby Princess (inaugural)
Carnival Splendor
Independence of the Seas
Liberty of the Seas (2009)
Carnival Liberty
Eurodam
Radiance of the Seas
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Freedom
Carnival Triumph
Navigator of the Seas (TA)
Carnival Dream
Celebrity Solstice (2010)
Costa Fortuna
Summit
Norwegian Dawn
Carnival Glory (2011)
Brilliance of the Seas (2012): *Diamond cruise*
Mariner of the Seas (TA)
Liberty of the Seas
Carnival Breeze( Sept 2013)
Carnival Conquest *Platinum Cruise*
Serenade of the Seas (TA)
Carnival Sunshine (2014)
Independence of the Seas
Vision of the Seas
Vision of the Seas
Majesty of the Seas (Diamond Plus)
Eurodam
Regal Princess
Regal Princess
#9
5,025 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by Kew Gardens Cruiser
Looking to take another cruise out of NYC in the Spring of 2013 (so we don't have to fly again)
Trying to decide between the NCL Gem and Carnival Splendor. Would book a AFT balcony on the Splendor, mini suite on the Gem.
Itineraries and pricing are very similar- However the Splendor is an 8 day and the Gem is a 7 day. Don't have any kids so most important things for us are the pool deck, dining options and entertainment at night
Has anybody been on both and can help me decide?
We sailed Splendor last April. Loved the ship. The crew was friendly, service was wonderful. We did not have once single complaint-everything was perfect.

Our son just returned from NCL Jewel. He has been on two Carnival and two Royal Caribbean cruises, so he had things to compare. His biggest complaint was the service, or lack thereof. Dinner was excruciatingly long every night. The servers were rude. On the first night, a server put three soups in front of my son's friend and told her to pass them to the right person. There was at minimum of a 30 minute wait between courses. Other nights food that was ordered was never brought to the table.

There were three to an inside cabin. Son said it was tiny, barely enough room to walk around.

One of my son's friends ordered a drink from a bar. Bartender refused to serve her. She had her licence that showed she was 22. Bartender threw the licence back at her and still refused to serve. She did complain to Guest Services and got a few free drinks out of the situation.

He had too many stories for me to type here.

He says he will stick with Carnival and Royal Caribbean. I think we will too.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Carnival Dream - 09/18 Western Caribbean (481 days to go!)
Carnival Fascination - 2/18 Southern Caribbean (327 days to go!)
Carnival Glory - 11/17 - Eastern Caribbean (99 days to go!)
Carnival Miracle - 04/17 Mexican Riviera (225 days to go!)
Carnival Splendor - 02/17 Eastern Caribbean (355 days to go!)
Carnival Vista - 10/16 Transatlantic (629 days to go!)
Carnival Pride - 5/16 Caribbean (290 days to go!)
Carnival Breeze - 2/16 Western Caribbean (173 days to go!)
Carnival Legend - 7/15 Alaska (329 days to go!)
Carnival Conquest - 2/15 Southern Caribbean (298 days to go!)
Carnival Victory - 11/14 Bahamas (62 days to go!)
Carnival Legend - 8/14 Panama Canal (362 days to go!)
Carnival Magic - 4/14 Western Caribbean (64 days to go!)
Carnival Breeze - 10/13 Eastern Caribbean (435 days to go!)
Carnival Glory - 6/13 Canada (23 days to go!)
Carnival Liberty - 4/13 Eastern Caribbean (150 days to go!) Platinum, the old-fashioned way!
Carnival Pride - 10/12 Exotic Eastern Caribbean (225 days to go!)
Carnival Glory - 6/12 Canada (373 days to go!)
Carnival Dream - 4/12 Exotic Western Caribbean (409 days to go!)
Carnival Destiny 10/11 Western Caribbean (106 days to go!)
Carnival Splendor - 4/11 Mexican Riviera (441 days to go!)
Liberty of the Seas - 11/10 Eastern Caribbean (221 days to go!)
Carnival Miracle - 10/09 Exotic Southern Caribbean (360 days to go!)
Carnival Liberty - 7/08 Western Caribbean (348 days to go!)
Adventure of the Seas - 2/06 Southern Caribbean
Carnival Victory - 2/04 Eastern Caribbean
Rhapsody of the Seas - 2/02 Western Caribbean
Carnival Paradise - 2/00 Western Caribbean