Gem review - very good and really bad!

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#1
Wolverhampton, England
88 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I've been on a lot of cruises...and i mean a lot...over 100 and have worked as an entertainer for some years on crystal, seabourne and ncl...so hopefully I've got a balanced view of things by now. NCL doesn't pretend to be a 5* cruise line and it isn't. Myself, my wife and our 3 kids booked a cheap holiday in peak season...only about £500 each and got a flight for only £25.00! Overall, it was quite good value for money but with hindsight, i would have preferred to pay more and get a bit more class.

THE GOOD POINTS:
1. Very quick embarkation for latitudes members.
2. The quickest disembarkation I've ever had...straight off, no queues at all!
3. Ice cream was free.
4. The gym was open 24 hours...i went at 1.00am which was great for me.
5. Cabin was cleverly designed...it had a lot of extra storage space.
6. Cabin steward was excellent in every way.
7. Kids club was open all day from 9am to 10.30pm and then baby sitting till 1.30am....this is the best times I've seen from a kids club on any ship. 8. Pool musicians were very good quality...played some lovely music...also a spanish singer with a guitar...loved him.
9. Selection of food at buffet was generally good.
10. Sun loungers around the pool were very comfy and well padded although the ones on the upper decks were more basic.
11. I liked the double beds around the shady area by the pool...pity there wasn't space for more of them!
12. Furniture around the ship was imaginative and unusual.
13. The theatre was great...really well set out with great views all around...one of the very best.
14. The shows were generally good.
15. The overall cruise price was cheap.
16. The organized 'star gazing' seemed an interesting idea...had it not been cloudy!!...i like the idea though.
17. There were NO pool games!!!...no belly flop or sexy knees etc!
18. The open air buffet at the back of the ship was a nice touch...nice to sit out at night after the show and have a snack in the breeze!
19. The lift doors were quick and efficient to open and close...no messing about.
20. This is the first ship I've seen have reduced tipping rates for kids...half price....therefore it was the first time I've left the kids tips on our account as i usually have them taken off.
21. Nice view from Grand Pacific dining room over the sea and sunset.
22. Nice seating in theme rooms like Bliss and Spinnaker Lounge...double beds and 4 posters...i thought it was great fun.
23. Bowling alley seemed to work well and our kids liked it.
24. The cool air misting over the sunbeds was a nice idea.

THE BAD POINTS:
1. It was way too crowded around the pools...just not enough sun beds or space. We walked around all day on the first sea day and couldn't get a sun bed for love nor money! I hated this and it was a major point for the whole cruise. You had to be out at 9.00am on the sunbeds to stand any chance. Lots of arguments seen with disputes over who had this or that sun bed first.
2. The sun bed 30 minute rule was not enforced so people just left their clothes and towels on the beds all day. By the end of the cruise i had resulted to the same...put my stuff on the bed in the morning, went out on tour, came back mid afternoon and it was still there!
3. The two pools were way too crowded....i counted 40 people in the pool at one point...my idea of a cool, relaxing swim is not being shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of big hairy Spaniards jostling you for space....and the men weren't very respectful either!! I felt like i was in one of those communal football pools that the players bath in together after a match! 4. Not enough seating in the buffet....it was bedlem and close to a riot at times!
5. Over 600 kids on board!! Need i say more? I know, 3 of them were mine....but i hadn't wanted another 597 to add to the ambiance!
6. Multilanguage announcements! All the time and usually in 3 or 4 languages....it was the Costa ships all over again!
7. Constant revenue touting over the speakers....all day, every day!
8. No free Sauna ...you had to pay to go into the spa to use a sauna.
9. Salt water swimming pools....our kids don't like them as makes their eyes sore.
10. The ship needs another pool.
11. Needs either more deck space or less passengers.
12. Gaudy carpets...especially in cabins...3 shades of blue with orange and red shells and starfish on them. The designers must have had their work cut out to blend that with the wood paneling, yellow cabin door and cerise pink headboards!
13. The ship was 2/3 full of Spanish...nothing wrong with them except i don't feel the ship knows who its catering for...spanish, english, american, german, french and maltese who got on at Malta. It was hard to make friends with anyone as hardly anyone spoke the same language....and to be honest...the cultures are very different and i don't feel it works that well.
14. Dancing with the Stars competition...the ships own professionals turned out to be anyone the ships staff could cajole into it...we had the ships Nurse, tours office staff, shop assistants, fitness staff etc...some of which couldn't dance at all...i'd have thought the ships own dancers would have had more idea and would have been a more logical choice.
15. Sick of revenue touting....even selling bingo tickets in the theatre just before the curtain went up. There was a 'pool casino' so you could even gamble by the pool, yoga, pilates, abs , cycling classes...all chargeable. 16.If you booked a massage you got free use of the spa...but only for 30 mins...should have been for the whole day as all the treatments were expensive.
17. Dance production shows need more imagination & storyline as it was really just a load of singing and dancing with little or no connection to anything. The individual dancers, singers and lighting were all of a very good standard though.
18. The huge tv screen in the reception lounge was very glaring...no one could watch it with its glaring neon psychedelic colors, heat images and electro funk clips...how this added to the ambiance of the room i'll never know. And to top it, they put the classical quartet playing in front of it. It needs something more relaxing and beautiful to watch to match the music and purpose of the room. It was so bright, people were having epileptic fits looking at it!

To sum up, the ship has a lot of good ideas and good points that i liked. The food wasn't too bad but neither was it memorable. I preferred the ship to the Costa ships but it was also similar in many of the negative ways. If it hadn't been so crowded around the pools and buffet...i would be recommending it as very good value for money....but as it was, im more in the middle on it. I overheard two couples talking saying the ship was vulgar.....i did know what they meant when i looked at the sea of sprawling bodies around the pool, kids and burgers. And yet the ship does have some charm and innovative ideas that did impress me. Would i go again...yes for the right price but with an itinerary that attracted less of a cocktail of nationalities.
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#2
Arkansas
32,691 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
thanks for the objective review, but I do question a couple of things: 600 kids, it is just before school starts, you said it yourself: you had 3 of them, I am not sure as a parent of 3 kids you should list the number of kids as a negative: and the number of people from Spain or are you actually referring to Hispanics? Regardless, that also should not be listed as a negative: they could list you as a negative on their next cruise. Every nationality has every right to cruise. On our last Princess cuise there must have been 500 or close, maybe more, gruop of Japanese, they spoke no English or very litte and some were quite rude, but they had as much right to cruise on the ship as we did. I did do a review, listing some negatives as it wasn't the best cruise of our lives, never would I have thought to mention the number of Japanese on the ship.

Nita
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#3
Coeur d' Alene Idaho
130 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Appreciate the review.

Anyone who travels Europe July & August must know this is when the Europeans have their vacation as well. I can imagine there were many Spainards sailing out of Spain...

I take this cruise in 2 weeks. We do hope the kiddies are all back in school.
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#4
Toms River NJ
253 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Well written but your negatives are somewhat redundant.....several different ways to complain about the pool
While I agree 100% that the pool is the single worst feature on
NCL ( and others)....I don't go for the pool only.
Your positives were well thought out and I hope over all it was a
fun vacation.
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BARBARA
#5
Long Island
134 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
I highly recommend skipping the buffets. I usually order a light breakfast from room service, fruit, roll and tea. DH LOVES BUFFETS so he goes off to stand on line but to me they have no appeal. I prefer going to a dining room for lunch and dinner, I get a seat and don't have to carry my plate, while juggling my iced tea. I don't particularly like buffet restaurants at home and I
like to be pampered on vacation.

As far as the kids, what are you going to do? If you take a vacation during school holidays you are going to see more kids on the ship, it's a given. I went on a cruise once on Spring break and the ship was jammed with high school and college kids- Noisy but fun.
#6
5,674 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
danceman~ thanks for your informative review but...seems you did not do your homework BEFORE your cruised...

1) check out the school break times before you cruise.
2) you are correct. the pool rules are NOT enforced.
3) I don't know about "hairy Spaniards"..I don't do public pools.
4) I don't do buffets...land or sea.
5) Kids on board...I cruise when the kids are in school
6) Multilanguage...welcome to the USA
7) revenue announcements...turn down your volume...I do
8) I don't use the Sauna
9) Salt water swimming pools...should have checked this out before
you booked
10)good idea
11)plenty of deck space on our cruises plus our balcony...we do not cruise
when children are on vacation...you may HAVE to....remember..your
children are part of the group on board.
12)I couldn't care less about the carpeting....I'm cruising...not decorating!
13)I don't care what language they speak...I still make friends with all who
board!
14)Perhaps you should have gotten up and showed them how to dance?!?
seems you need to relax and enjoy an evening
15) Did anyone twist your arm to gamble anywhere?
16) We don't do massages...seems you can afford them!
17) You can always skip the shows...plenty of other things to do on the
ship.
18) We sure enjoyed the superbowl on the screen. A shame you missed
it...but not sure you would have enjoyed it. Never viewed an
epileptic fit on the ship...and we have an epileptic daughter

Just to inform you...the US is a "cocktail of nationalities" God Bless the USA!
If you do not enjoy/embrace the diversity....you may have to leave the USA.
My European grandparents came to the US many years ago and we were brought up to embrace every nationality, creed or color.
I thank God everyday for the way I was brought up..I judge no-one by their nationality, creed, color or accent.

Guess that's why I enjoy ALL of my cruises
#7
Burnsville, MN
1,568 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by Cosmopolitan
Just to inform you...the US is a "cocktail of nationalities" God Bless the USA!
If you do not enjoy/embrace the diversity....you may have to leave the USA.
My European grandparents came to the US many years ago and we were brought up to embrace every nationality, creed or color.
I thank God everyday for the way I was brought up..I judge no-one by their nationality, creed, color or accent.

Guess that's why I enjoy ALL of my cruises
The OP is English. The cruise was in the Mediterranean.
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SFJ
"Tranquillity, at my age, is the supreme good of life." - Thomas Jefferson
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#8
Bermuda
4,224 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by newmexicoNita
thanks for the objective review, but I do question a couple of things: 600 kids, it is just before school starts, you said it yourself: you had 3 of them, I am not sure as a parent of 3 kids you should list the number of kids as a negative: and the number of people from Spain or are you actually referring to Hispanics? Regardless, that also should not be listed as a negative: they could list you as a negative on their next cruise. Every nationality has every right to cruise. On our last Princess cuise there must have been 500 or close, maybe more, gruop of Japanese, they spoke no English or very litte and some were quite rude, but they had as much right to cruise on the ship as we did. I did do a review, listing some negatives as it wasn't the best cruise of our lives, never would I have thought to mention the number of Japanese on the ship.

Nita
The OP is a Brit and the cruise was a Mediterranean out of Barcelona, Spain.

We are going on JADE this coming December out of Barcelona for 14 days - we are well prepared for a FULL ship and expect the ship to have HUNDREDS of kids and Spanairds, but we'll ENJOY ourselves regardless - this cruise has an excellent itinerary.

We can only cruise when the schools are out because of our DS who is still school age - we have been stuck with FULL ships each time! So, OP shouldn't complain for he has 3 kids!
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Future cruises booked:
2019 - Aug 2 - NCL SPIRIT - UltimateBaltics from Southampton to Stockholm (15 days)

Past cruises:

NCL SUN 09/2018 - Bahamas, CUBA & West Caribbean from Miami
NCL SPIRIT 04/2018 - Mediterranean & Adriatic from Rome
NCL GETAWAY 10/2017 - Transatlantic from Copenhagen DK to Miami - via BERMUDA!
NCL BREAKAWAY 03/2017 - Florida &Bahamas from New York
NCL JADE 10/2016 - Transatlantic from Barcelona to Tampa
NCL PRIDE OF AMERICA 03/2016 - San Francisco-Hawaiian Islands-Honolulu
NCL ESCAPE 10/2015 - Maiden Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton England to Miami
NCL GEM 06/2015 - Canada & New England from New York
NCL BREAKAWAY 16/01/2015 - Two-Nighter CTN from New York
NCL JADE 10/2014 - Greek Isles from Venice Italy
NCL SUN 01/2014 - Southern & Eastern Caribbean from Miami
NCL GEM 12/2013 - One-Nighter CTN from New York
NCL DAWN 03/2013 - Western Caribbean from Tampa
NCL EPIC 10/2012 - Western Mediterranean from Rome-Barcelona & then TA to Miami - B2B
NCL STAR 01/2012 - Western Caribbean from Tampa
NCL EPIC 10/2011 - Transatlantic Barcelona to Miami
NCL EPIC 08/2010 - Western & Eastern (due to Hurricane Earl) Western (again) Caribbean with Nassau - B2B from Miami
NCL SUN 12/2009 - South America Holiday - Santiago/Valparaiso to Buenos Aires (review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1118168&highlight=)
NCL JADE 12/2008 - East Mediterranean Holiday from Barcelona
NCL PEARL 03/2008 - Southern & Western Caribbean - B2B from Miami
NCL SPIRIT 12/2006 - Southern Caribbean Holiday from New York
Hurtigruten FINNMARKEN 12/2004 - Norway - Kirkenes-Bergen-Kirkenes
Hurtigruten FINNMARKEN 07/2003 - Norway - Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen
#9
Bermuda
4,224 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by danceman
THE BAD POINTS:
1. It was way too crowded around the pools...just not enough sun beds or space. We walked around all day on the first sea day and couldn't get a sun bed for love nor money! I hated this and it was a major point for the whole cruise. You had to be out at 9.00am on the sunbeds to stand any chance. Lots of arguments seen with disputes over who had this or that sun bed first. I just move the stuff off sunbed and settled myself on one. Anyway, I do not cruise to lay on sun bed all day - there are plenty of things to do on sea days.
2. The sun bed 30 minute rule was not enforced so people just left their clothes and towels on the beds all day. By the end of the cruise i had resulted to the same...put my stuff on the bed in the morning, went out on tour, came back mid afternoon and it was still there! Shame on you - you've become a chair hog!
3. The two pools were way too crowded....i counted 40 people in the pool at one point...my idea of a cool, relaxing swim is not being shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of big hairy Spaniards jostling you for space....and the men weren't very respectful either!! I felt like i was in one of those communal football pools that the players bath in together after a match! There are other things to do on ship. Also the Med men are more macho than the Northern Europeans/Americans/Caribbean, etc. Chalk this up as an experience and a conversation topic.
4. Not enough seating in the buffet....it was bedlem and close to a riot at times! Appparently 1000 other people had the same timing idea as you! After the first day, we would scout for a free table first and one member in party would stay there until the rest of party go and get the food. Or go earlier or at different time. You learn to adapt.
5. Over 600 kids on board!! Need i say more? I know, 3 of them were mine....but i hadn't wanted another 597 to add to the ambiance! Aawww - violins everyone please! You have 3 kids and it's during the school break! You're not the only one! Also, the reason there are more kids on the ship is because families can afford to go on NCL - just as you said so.
6. Multilanguage announcements! All the time and usually in 3 or 4 languages....it was the Costa ships all over again! Do you expect for EVERYONE to be fluent in English? The pax come from a wide variety of countries!
7. Constant revenue touting over the speakers....all day, every day!
8. No free Sauna ...you had to pay to go into the spa to use a sauna. We'd rather pay lower prices for cruises and then PAY what we use.
9. Salt water swimming pools....our kids don't like them as makes their eyes sore. These are more environment friendly - we prefer saltwater pools - it's like swimming in sea and we're out at sea!
10. The ship needs another pool. Not really when it's off-peak.
11. Needs either more deck space or less passengers. Not really when it's off-peak.
12. Gaudy carpets...especially in cabins...3 shades of blue with orange and red shells and starfish on them. The designers must have had their work cut out to blend that with the wood paneling, yellow cabin door and cerise pink headboards! So what? I heard that our ship JADE (which used to be called Pride of Hawaii) still has its Hawaiian decor - and I'm wondering if they will serve Hawaiian Xmas dinner .
13. The ship was 2/3 full of Spanish...nothing wrong with them except i don't feel the ship knows who its catering for...spanish, english, american, german, french and maltese who got on at Malta. It was hard to make friends with anyone as hardly anyone spoke the same language....and to be honest...the cultures are very different and i don't feel it works that well. THEY are on holiday so THEY wouldn't expect to be able to eat their own country's foodstuff. I wouldn't worry about this.
14. Dancing with the Stars competition...the ships own professionals turned out to be anyone the ships staff could cajole into it...we had the ships Nurse, tours office staff, shop assistants, fitness staff etc...some of which couldn't dance at all...i'd have thought the ships own dancers would have had more idea and would have been a more logical choice.
15. Sick of revenue touting....even selling bingo tickets in the theatre just before the curtain went up. There was a 'pool casino' so you could even gamble by the pool (I loved this), yoga, pilates, abs , cycling classes...all chargeable.
16.If you booked a massage you got free use of the spa...but only for 30 mins...should have been for the whole day as all the treatments were expensive.
17. Dance production shows need more imagination & storyline as it was really just a load of singing and dancing with little or no connection to anything. The individual dancers, singers and lighting were all of a very good standard though.
18. The huge tv screen in the reception lounge was very glaring...no one could watch it with its glaring neon psychedelic colors, heat images and electro funk clips...how this added to the ambiance of the room i'll never know. And to top it, they put the classical quartet playing in front of it. It needs something more relaxing and beautiful to watch to match the music and purpose of the room. It was so bright, people were having epileptic fits looking at it! Just look away from the screen.

To sum up, the ship has a lot of good ideas and good points that i liked. The food wasn't too bad but neither was it memorable. I preferred the ship to the Costa ships but it was also similar in many of the negative ways. Nice of you to say this but I think you scared people too much with the bad points which is numerous and looked enough to outweigh the good points. Also you should have done your homework prior to the cruise.
You did say you went on 100+ other cruises??? Really! I'm surprised about your complaint about "too many kids/Spanairds".
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Future cruises booked:
2019 - Aug 2 - NCL SPIRIT - UltimateBaltics from Southampton to Stockholm (15 days)

Past cruises:

NCL SUN 09/2018 - Bahamas, CUBA & West Caribbean from Miami
NCL SPIRIT 04/2018 - Mediterranean & Adriatic from Rome
NCL GETAWAY 10/2017 - Transatlantic from Copenhagen DK to Miami - via BERMUDA!
NCL BREAKAWAY 03/2017 - Florida &Bahamas from New York
NCL JADE 10/2016 - Transatlantic from Barcelona to Tampa
NCL PRIDE OF AMERICA 03/2016 - San Francisco-Hawaiian Islands-Honolulu
NCL ESCAPE 10/2015 - Maiden Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton England to Miami
NCL GEM 06/2015 - Canada & New England from New York
NCL BREAKAWAY 16/01/2015 - Two-Nighter CTN from New York
NCL JADE 10/2014 - Greek Isles from Venice Italy
NCL SUN 01/2014 - Southern & Eastern Caribbean from Miami
NCL GEM 12/2013 - One-Nighter CTN from New York
NCL DAWN 03/2013 - Western Caribbean from Tampa
NCL EPIC 10/2012 - Western Mediterranean from Rome-Barcelona & then TA to Miami - B2B
NCL STAR 01/2012 - Western Caribbean from Tampa
NCL EPIC 10/2011 - Transatlantic Barcelona to Miami
NCL EPIC 08/2010 - Western & Eastern (due to Hurricane Earl) Western (again) Caribbean with Nassau - B2B from Miami
NCL SUN 12/2009 - South America Holiday - Santiago/Valparaiso to Buenos Aires (review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1118168&highlight=)
NCL JADE 12/2008 - East Mediterranean Holiday from Barcelona
NCL PEARL 03/2008 - Southern & Western Caribbean - B2B from Miami
NCL SPIRIT 12/2006 - Southern Caribbean Holiday from New York
Hurtigruten FINNMARKEN 12/2004 - Norway - Kirkenes-Bergen-Kirkenes
Hurtigruten FINNMARKEN 07/2003 - Norway - Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen
#10
Moraira, Spain
81 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Ive just arrived home from doing the GEM around the med last week, and I have to admit I agree with most of Dancemans points here.

Its a wonderful value cruise, its hard to find anything this good for this price range - but ... you get what you pay for, I really enjoyed myself, my daughter wants to go back to tree tops to live - yeah the cruise had its staff issues, but Im not the sort of person to let these things ruin my holiday, Im better than that.

Thank you for your review Danceman - and for those who cant take any bad comments about the Gem, whats the point having reviews if you are going to pull them apart when you read something you dont agree with.
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Past Cruises

MSC - Monterey Aug 2006 - 10 out of 10 - Eastern Med.
MSC - Armonia Aug 2007 - 8 out of 10 - Western Med.
NCL Gem Aug 2008 - 7 out of 10 - Eastern Med.
P & O Ventura - Jan 2009 - 11 out of 10 - Southern Carribean
P & O Oriana - Aug. 2009 - 20 out of 10 - Norway
NCL Jade - Jan 2010 - Eastern Med 10 out of 10
P & O Ventura - Jan 2011 USA and East Carribean 1000 out of 10
NCL Jade - Feb 2012 Canaries 10 out of 10
RCCL - Aug 2012 - Adventure of the Seas 10 out of 10
MSC Divina - Feb 2013 Med and Canaries 10 out of 10
Costa Serena - Feb 2014 Eastern Med 6 out of 10
Regal Princess - Aug 2014 - 15 out of 10
NCL Spirit - Dec 2014 - 10 out of 10
NCL Epic - Aug 2015 - 10 out of 10
P & O Azura - Dec 2015 - Caribbean 20 out of 10
Carnival Vista - Aug 2016 - Eastern Med 10 out of 10
P & O Azura - Dec 2016 - USA & Carribean 20/10
Regal Princess - Aug 2017 - Baltic 15/10

Future Cruises

RCCL Aug 2018 - Symphony of the Seas
Sapphire Princess - Dec 2018 - Grand Asia
#11
Upstate Beautiful South Carolina
4,072 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by danceman
20. This is the first ship I've seen have reduced tipping rates for kids...half price....therefore it was the first time I've left the kids tips on our account as i usually have them taken off.
At this point, I could predict how the rest of his review proceed.
#12
Arkansas
32,691 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by bluesea777
The OP is a Brit and the cruise was a Mediterranean out of Barcelona, Spain.

We are going on JADE this coming December out of Barcelona for 14 days - we are well prepared for a FULL ship and expect the ship to have HUNDREDS of kids and Spanairds, but we'll ENJOY ourselves regardless - this cruise has an excellent itinerary.

We can only cruise when the schools are out because of our DS who is still school age - we have been stuck with FULL ships each time! So, OP shouldn't complain for he has 3 kids!
I very much realize that, the comment about Spanish people was what I was referring to. I guess because I mentioned Spanish versus Hispanic you thought I didn't realize she was sailing in Europe.
Nita
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Commodore 1984, Costa 1985, RCL 1987, Chandris 1989, NCL 1989, Commodore, 1991, NCL 1997, Carnival 1997, Carnival 1998,NCL 1998, NCL 1999, RCL 2000, RCL 2000,HAL 2001, NCL 2002,NCL 2003, Celebrity 2003, NCL 2004, NCL 2005, Celebrity 2005.NCL 2006, Celebrity 2006, HAL 2006, NCL 2007.Princess, 2008. NCL 2008, RCI 2008,Princess 2009, NCL 2009. NCL 2010, NCL 2011, Princess 2011, NCL 2012, NCL 2013, NCL again 2013, Princess 2014, NCL 2014, again 2014, 2015; about 2 do another NCL.
#13
Central Ohio
16,198 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by Jackielan
Ive just arrived home from doing the GEM around the med last week, and I have to admit I agree with most of Dancemans points here.

Its a wonderful value cruise, its hard to find anything this good for this price range - but ... you get what you pay for, I really enjoyed myself, my daughter wants to go back to tree tops to live - yeah the cruise had its staff issues, but Im not the sort of person to let these things ruin my holiday, Im better than that.

Thank you for your review Danceman - and for those who cant take any bad comments about the Gem, whats the point having reviews if you are going to pull them apart when you read something you dont agree with.
OTOH what's the point in having only "yes men" on the board? I appreciate both the positive and negative points that OP brought up. But, some of the negatives should have been anticipated.
  • Lot's of children on a summer cruise.
  • Lot's of Spanish speaking people on a cruise that embarks in Spain.
  • Multi-language announcements on a European cruise. (Maybe they should have had them only in the predominate language of the cruise which might have been Spanish )

JMHO

Charlie
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USASA - We were never there. That's our story and we're sticking to it.
#14
Bermuda
4,224 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by newmexicoNita
I very much realize that, the comment about Spanish people was what I was referring to. I guess because I mentioned Spanish versus Hispanic you thought I didn't realize she was sailing in Europe.
Nita
No problem, Nita. We've been on a few Caribbean cruises and tend to see that the ships get filled up with locals (i.e. people from or near homeport), so if a cruise leaves from San Juan you'll see more Hispanics.

We hope the Spanairds are good sport during our Xmas/New Year cruise - it will be interesting FOR US to be among passengers from different European countries and having free piped foreign language lessons
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Future cruises booked:
2019 - Aug 2 - NCL SPIRIT - UltimateBaltics from Southampton to Stockholm (15 days)

Past cruises:

NCL SUN 09/2018 - Bahamas, CUBA & West Caribbean from Miami
NCL SPIRIT 04/2018 - Mediterranean & Adriatic from Rome
NCL GETAWAY 10/2017 - Transatlantic from Copenhagen DK to Miami - via BERMUDA!
NCL BREAKAWAY 03/2017 - Florida &Bahamas from New York
NCL JADE 10/2016 - Transatlantic from Barcelona to Tampa
NCL PRIDE OF AMERICA 03/2016 - San Francisco-Hawaiian Islands-Honolulu
NCL ESCAPE 10/2015 - Maiden Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton England to Miami
NCL GEM 06/2015 - Canada & New England from New York
NCL BREAKAWAY 16/01/2015 - Two-Nighter CTN from New York
NCL JADE 10/2014 - Greek Isles from Venice Italy
NCL SUN 01/2014 - Southern & Eastern Caribbean from Miami
NCL GEM 12/2013 - One-Nighter CTN from New York
NCL DAWN 03/2013 - Western Caribbean from Tampa
NCL EPIC 10/2012 - Western Mediterranean from Rome-Barcelona & then TA to Miami - B2B
NCL STAR 01/2012 - Western Caribbean from Tampa
NCL EPIC 10/2011 - Transatlantic Barcelona to Miami
NCL EPIC 08/2010 - Western & Eastern (due to Hurricane Earl) Western (again) Caribbean with Nassau - B2B from Miami
NCL SUN 12/2009 - South America Holiday - Santiago/Valparaiso to Buenos Aires (review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1118168&highlight=)
NCL JADE 12/2008 - East Mediterranean Holiday from Barcelona
NCL PEARL 03/2008 - Southern & Western Caribbean - B2B from Miami
NCL SPIRIT 12/2006 - Southern Caribbean Holiday from New York
Hurtigruten FINNMARKEN 12/2004 - Norway - Kirkenes-Bergen-Kirkenes
Hurtigruten FINNMARKEN 07/2003 - Norway - Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen
#15
In My Skin
247 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Seriously, how you gonna complain about people taking their kids on a cruise when you took yours and want to blame NCL for it?


Also, was NCL supposed to tell the Spaniards. "Sorry, this is a engrish only cruise. Y'all can't come"?

Lookie here, if you just don't want to cruise with a lot of Spaniards, then choose another location. Spaniards also like to cruise, and when its a Mediteranian cruise, be sure you'll be getting plenty.

If you don't want to cruise with alot of kids, cruise off season when the little darlings are in school. That cuts the kid count exponentially.

To the garishness of the ship, well sounds to me like you need a more subdued elegant and relaxing environment because this boat was just too much for you. I recommend Carnival next time.

Tiny violins are playing for you....somewhere.

-Q
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#16
Bermuda
4,224 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Queen_Of_Natick
Seriously, how you gonna complain about people taking their kids on a cruise when you took yours and want to blame NCL for it?


Also, was NCL supposed to tell the Spaniards. "Sorry, this is a engrish only cruise. Y'all can't come"?

Lookie here, if you just don't want to cruise with a lot of Spaniards, then choose another location. Spaniards also like to cruise, and when its a Mediteranian cruise, be sure you'll be getting plenty.

If you don't want to cruise with alot of kids, cruise off season when the little darlings are in school. That cuts the kid count exponentially.

To the garishness of the ship, well sounds to me like you need a more subdued elegant and relaxing environment because this boat was just too much for you. I recommend Carnival next time.

Tiny violins are playing for you....somewhere.

-Q
Amen

Love your icons - how can I get them esp. the violin one?
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Future cruises booked:
2019 - Aug 2 - NCL SPIRIT - UltimateBaltics from Southampton to Stockholm (15 days)

Past cruises:

NCL SUN 09/2018 - Bahamas, CUBA & West Caribbean from Miami
NCL SPIRIT 04/2018 - Mediterranean & Adriatic from Rome
NCL GETAWAY 10/2017 - Transatlantic from Copenhagen DK to Miami - via BERMUDA!
NCL BREAKAWAY 03/2017 - Florida &Bahamas from New York
NCL JADE 10/2016 - Transatlantic from Barcelona to Tampa
NCL PRIDE OF AMERICA 03/2016 - San Francisco-Hawaiian Islands-Honolulu
NCL ESCAPE 10/2015 - Maiden Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton England to Miami
NCL GEM 06/2015 - Canada & New England from New York
NCL BREAKAWAY 16/01/2015 - Two-Nighter CTN from New York
NCL JADE 10/2014 - Greek Isles from Venice Italy
NCL SUN 01/2014 - Southern & Eastern Caribbean from Miami
NCL GEM 12/2013 - One-Nighter CTN from New York
NCL DAWN 03/2013 - Western Caribbean from Tampa
NCL EPIC 10/2012 - Western Mediterranean from Rome-Barcelona & then TA to Miami - B2B
NCL STAR 01/2012 - Western Caribbean from Tampa
NCL EPIC 10/2011 - Transatlantic Barcelona to Miami
NCL EPIC 08/2010 - Western & Eastern (due to Hurricane Earl) Western (again) Caribbean with Nassau - B2B from Miami
NCL SUN 12/2009 - South America Holiday - Santiago/Valparaiso to Buenos Aires (review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1118168&highlight=)
NCL JADE 12/2008 - East Mediterranean Holiday from Barcelona
NCL PEARL 03/2008 - Southern & Western Caribbean - B2B from Miami
NCL SPIRIT 12/2006 - Southern Caribbean Holiday from New York
Hurtigruten FINNMARKEN 12/2004 - Norway - Kirkenes-Bergen-Kirkenes
Hurtigruten FINNMARKEN 07/2003 - Norway - Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen
#17
In My Skin
247 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by bluesea777
Amen

Love your icons - how can I get them esp. the violin one?
I've got tons over the years of being an internet junky

If you got a place to host them, right click on it and save. Works for me

Alot of people use smileycentraldotcom but lots of those are talkers.

-Q
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#18
Moraira, Spain
81 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I think the whole point of Dancemans post was to let us know what the cruise was like from his point of view, and from his perspective - as he was there - as I said in a previous post I was there last week and felt that his comments were true - as I was there with my family and lived the experiance first hand.

I have a child, so I have to travel during school vacations, I am also European with both British and Spanish nationality, so I see his comments from inside and outside of the box - the bottom line is that 600 children on board the NCL gem was too many - there were just not enough facilities for so many. Most of the Spanish children were running wild around the ship, jumping in and out of the jacuzzis, adult pool ect, and not one of NCL´s representatives said anything to control the situation.

I actually saw 2 children aged 5 and 3 run down the atrium stairway, climb onto a stool at the Java cafe and ask for 2 glasses of iced water - the waitress served them, they drank, climbed down and ran towards the gift shops all by themselves, not an adult in sight. This was so wrong on so many levels.


Once more - I was there and lived the situation first hand. I had a great vacation and loved the Gem. I just felt that NCL could have more staff and less passangers maybe - but what do I know. Im a novice when it comes to cruising - but experienced at knowing what I like and what I dont like.

I will definately travel with the GEM again, I never say never - but I think for a more sophisicated, calm holiday, a different cruise line is definately needed.

The company P & O, who are at the top end of the cruise market in the UK, apart from Cunard, are not cheap, but they do have plenty of restrictions when it comes to children, for example it is controlled how many children of each age category can travel at any one time, so that they can be catered for, and that the facilities are plentyful. Their latest ship Ventura has facilities for over 800 children at any one time, but they cant cater for 799 4 year olds and only 1 10 year old - this idea I think is fantastic.
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Past Cruises

MSC - Monterey Aug 2006 - 10 out of 10 - Eastern Med.
MSC - Armonia Aug 2007 - 8 out of 10 - Western Med.
NCL Gem Aug 2008 - 7 out of 10 - Eastern Med.
P & O Ventura - Jan 2009 - 11 out of 10 - Southern Carribean
P & O Oriana - Aug. 2009 - 20 out of 10 - Norway
NCL Jade - Jan 2010 - Eastern Med 10 out of 10
P & O Ventura - Jan 2011 USA and East Carribean 1000 out of 10
NCL Jade - Feb 2012 Canaries 10 out of 10
RCCL - Aug 2012 - Adventure of the Seas 10 out of 10
MSC Divina - Feb 2013 Med and Canaries 10 out of 10
Costa Serena - Feb 2014 Eastern Med 6 out of 10
Regal Princess - Aug 2014 - 15 out of 10
NCL Spirit - Dec 2014 - 10 out of 10
NCL Epic - Aug 2015 - 10 out of 10
P & O Azura - Dec 2015 - Caribbean 20 out of 10
Carnival Vista - Aug 2016 - Eastern Med 10 out of 10
P & O Azura - Dec 2016 - USA & Carribean 20/10
Regal Princess - Aug 2017 - Baltic 15/10

Future Cruises

RCCL Aug 2018 - Symphony of the Seas
Sapphire Princess - Dec 2018 - Grand Asia
#19
Arkansas
32,691 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Jackielan
I think the whole point of Dancemans post was to let us know what the cruise was like from his point of view, and from his perspective - as he was there - as I said in a previous post I was there last week and felt that his comments were true - as I was there with my family and lived the experiance first hand.

I have a child, so I have to travel during school vacations, I am also European with both British and Spanish nationality, so I see his comments from inside and outside of the box - the bottom line is that 600 children on board the NCL gem was too many - there were just not enough facilities for so many. Most of the Spanish children were running wild around the ship, jumping in and out of the jacuzzis, adult pool ect, and not one of NCL´s representatives said anything to control the situation.

I actually saw 2 children aged 5 and 3 run down the atrium stairway, climb onto a stool at the Java cafe and ask for 2 glasses of iced water - the waitress served them, they drank, climbed down and ran towards the gift shops all by themselves, not an adult in sight. This was so wrong on so many levels.


Once more - I was there and lived the situation first hand. I had a great vacation and loved the Gem. I just felt that NCL could have more staff and less passangers maybe - but what do I know. Im a novice when it comes to cruising - but experienced at knowing what I like and what I dont like.

I will definately travel with the GEM again, I never say never - but I think for a more sophisicated, calm holiday, a different cruise line is definately needed.

The company P & O, who are at the top end of the cruise market in the UK, apart from Cunard, are not cheap, but they do have plenty of restrictions when it comes to children, for example it is controlled how many children of each age category can travel at any one time, so that they can be catered for, and that the facilities are plentyful. Their latest ship Ventura has facilities for over 800 children at any one time, but they cant cater for 799 4 year olds and only 1 10 year old - this idea I think is fantastic.
you know you just said something that does somewhat explain the situation: you mentioned P & O, what about the prices? The upper end lines do not always attract families because of the cost per person. When cruising RCI, NCL< Carnival, etc during summer vacation one should be prepared for kids and lots of them.

NIta
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Commodore 1984, Costa 1985, RCL 1987, Chandris 1989, NCL 1989, Commodore, 1991, NCL 1997, Carnival 1997, Carnival 1998,NCL 1998, NCL 1999, RCL 2000, RCL 2000,HAL 2001, NCL 2002,NCL 2003, Celebrity 2003, NCL 2004, NCL 2005, Celebrity 2005.NCL 2006, Celebrity 2006, HAL 2006, NCL 2007.Princess, 2008. NCL 2008, RCI 2008,Princess 2009, NCL 2009. NCL 2010, NCL 2011, Princess 2011, NCL 2012, NCL 2013, NCL again 2013, Princess 2014, NCL 2014, again 2014, 2015; about 2 do another NCL.
#20
2,376 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by Jackielan
The company P & O, who are at the top end of the cruise market in the UK, apart from Cunard, are not cheap, but they do have plenty of restrictions when it comes to children, for example it is controlled how many children of each age category can travel at any one time, so that they can be catered for, and that the facilities are plentyful. Their latest ship Ventura has facilities for over 800 children at any one time, but they cant cater for 799 4 year olds and only 1 10 year old - this idea I think is fantastic.
If NCL had restrictions on the number of children then we may not have been reading any review from the OP as her 3 may have not been allowed