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What do you love/not love about the Gem?

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We are considering the Gem for our next cruise, have only cruised Breakaway class before with 1 Haven stay.

Obviously the Gem is smaller, that we know. But tell me your likes and/or dislikes about the Gem. Not sure Haven is an option financially right now so Haven aside we are trying to decide if we will like the Gem. We are early 40’s and have 2 girls, ages 9 and 12.

Thanks to all of you ncl experts out there!

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I love the Breakaway, and she is my favorite ship. But I also like the Jewel Class very much. Nice layout, cabins are large, balconies are bigger. Nice non-crowded pool area, also!

The Jewel Class is very easy to navigate!

 

 

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We love the Great Outdoors area at the back. Peaceful, quiet area to sit outside if the buffet area gets crowded.

 

 

We have been on the Jewel class ships 3 times and have used this area every cruise.

Edited by INDIANA JOE
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love the size of the jewel class ships. that's our preference. that said, Gem had the worst food of all the jewel class ships.

We loved the food on the Gem.

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The Gem was a beautiful ship. The only thing it was missing (at least I didn't see one) was an outdoor movie screen. A few of the Carnival ships I went on had it, lovely to sit outside, watch a movie, and people watch at the same time.

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I haven't been on the Gem since refurb, they used to have a nice little sandwich and fries place overlooking the Atrium, many people walked right thru it not even realizing it was there, it was on a mezzanine type floor. Is it still there?

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I haven't been on the Gem since refurb, they used to have a nice little sandwich and fries place overlooking the Atrium, many people walked right thru it not even realizing it was there, it was on a mezzanine type floor. Is it still there?

 

Are you talking about Blue Lagoon which is now O'Sheehans? If so yes it was still there in January. We love the Gem and have been on her for approximately 10 yrs in a row.

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Yeah, that's it Blue lagoon.So is it now strictly O'sheehans menu? I only know osheehans from bway, same thing? I think it was a nice mozzarella and prosciutto sandwich Blue lagoon had.thanks

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We love Spinnaker Lounge and the Great Outdoors. Both offer relaxing atmospheres and great views. On other NCL ships we've been on, those have been the most missed and noticeably absent.

 

 

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We love Spinnaker Lounge and the Great Outdoors. Both offer relaxing atmospheres and great views. On other NCL ships we've been on, those have been the most missed and noticeably absent.

 

 

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I haven't been on Gem in years but as i read here, i'm remembering all these great spots.

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Yeah, that's it Blue lagoon.So is it now strictly O'sheehans menu? I only know osheehans from bway, same thing? I think it was a nice mozzarella and prosciutto sandwich Blue lagoon had.thanks

 

They have a different menu than Blue Lagoon. They still have wings but they have stuff like shepherds pie...

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The Gem has slightly less people and less bars. It has a great layout and seems the staff gets to know you a little more.

 

 

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Love the Gem. Bigger balconies, love the Great Outdoors (best area on the ship) and Spinnaker Lounge. Good shows (not broadway type) and food. Nice relaxing ship, with wonderful service. Less energy than the Breakaway. Missing at nighttime -- dueling pianos and Jazz club, plus outdoor area by Maltings. I

Safe sailing

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I love the Breakaway, and she is my favorite ship. But I also like the Jewel Class very much. Nice layout, cabins are large, balconies are bigger. Nice non-crowded pool area, also!

The Jewel Class is very easy to navigate!

 

 

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I love THE GREAT OUTDOORS area aft in the afternoon and evening for a quiet spot away from crowds. Gem is one of my favorite ships. I prefer the theater on Gem too.

One thing I hate on Breakaway is using their atrium area for demonstrations that are better in the Spinnaker Lounge. The Breakaway atrium is always noisey unlike Gem.

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I love THE GREAT OUTDOORS area aft in the afternoon and evening for a quiet spot away from crowds. Gem is one of my favorite ships. I prefer the theater on Gem too.

One thing I hate on Breakaway is using their atrium area for demonstrations that are better in the Spinnaker Lounge. The Breakaway atrium is always noisey unlike Gem.

Great Outdoors is great, they are always putting food out, breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks... always available tables. Spinnaker Lounge up front. I prefer it over the Breakaway.

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I loved the service and it was a time where you could get cappuccinos for free :-)... My very first cruise was on the Gem and is what got me hooked on cruising, so there is nothing negative i can say about the Gem. In 2009 and 2010 my cruises were on that ship :cool:

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Great Outdoors is great, they are always putting food out, breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks... always available tables. Spinnaker Lounge up front. I prefer it over the Breakaway.

 

 

 

I also love the Great Outdoors! Very nice area!

 

Robbie

 

 

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We are considering the Gem for our next cruise, have only cruised Breakaway class before with 1 Haven stay.

Obviously the Gem is smaller, that we know. But tell me your likes and/or dislikes about the Gem. Not sure Haven is an option financially right now so Haven aside we are trying to decide if we will like the Gem. We are early 40’s and have 2 girls, ages 9 and 12.

Thanks to all of you ncl experts out there!

 

 

We love, love, love the Gem. If Haven is out you might check on the two bedroom suites on 11. Still get the suite perks (butler, priority boarding, breakfast and lunch in Cagney's or Moderno. etc.) Just not the Haven itself. We usually get the aft balcony on 10, but would not work for 4. We actually prefer that over the Haven. We did a two bedroom suite on 11 with 4 adults and had no issues.

 

 

Love the staff, since smaller ship able to interact with them more and they get to know you better. I don't have kids, but have see many happy ones with the kids club, etc. They won't have the extra slides as on the bigger ships, but still plenty of family activities. As others have mentioned, Spinnaker lounge and Great outdoors are great places to chill and relax.

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We are considering the Gem for our next cruise, have only cruised Breakaway class before with 1 Haven stay.

Obviously the Gem is smaller, that we know. But tell me your likes and/or dislikes about the Gem. Not sure Haven is an option financially right now so Haven aside we are trying to decide if we will like the Gem. We are early 40’s and have 2 girls, ages 9 and 12.

Thanks to all of you ncl experts out there!

The only thing I love about the GEM is the staff singer LEO .

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The Gem feels bigger than the Breakaway. Much better designed ship. Has a sense of "flow" to it, and it feels more like something that was designed to be a comfortable cruise ship and not a floating mall.

 

Great Outdoors is just a wonderful space. Only crowded during peak breakfast times, otherwise always open and quiet and beautiful, unless some a-hole brings their own private speaker to play music (which I'm unfortunately seeing happen more and more).

 

Front of the ship is lovely, too. It's a designated "quiet zone" unlike on the Breakaway. Many more quiet places to relax on the Gem, including the Spinnaker lounge during the day if its cold and you still want nice views. I also love the promenade deck on the Gem.

 

Only drawback would be somewhat limited entertainment, and the bathtubs in some of the staterooms are kind of a pain to step into and out of. The ship is older than the breakaway, so there's a little more wear and tear (some rust on the balconies, cracks in the sinks, etc) and smaller TV's.

 

Overall the Gem is a great ship. There's a reason it's so many people's favorite.

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Love the Gem! As said Spinnaker lounge, Great outdoors, Maltings was our favorite place for a drink, live the poolside bbq! We enjoyed the trivia in the atrium too, which has a great coffee place and free Danish in the a.m.

 

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We love Spinnaker Lounge and the Great Outdoors. Both offer relaxing atmospheres and great views. On other NCL ships we've been on, those have been the most missed and noticeably absent.

 

 

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100%....most definitely the best two venues on the GEM!:D

 

Can't think of what I did not like about the GEM....I always considered it one of my favorite ships.;)

 

Don:cool:

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I've only been on the Gem once, but will be sailing on it again this December. It's the only NCL ship we've been on but we loved everything about it when we went. The size is perfect and after walking around for a day or two, I knew where things were for the most part. I went on one of the newer Disney ships recently and I was always so lost and running into dead ends. This boat definitely has a nice floor plan. I loved the outdoor lounge area on the bow. It was a nice quiet place to take a book and relax that most people didn't seem to know about.

 

I keep reading all over CC reviews that people don't like the food on this ship, but I thought everything was great maybe with the exception of the buffet. Cagney's was our favorite and the food was delicious and every meal we had in the MDR was good too. We also tried Moderno, the asian restaurant, sushi, and Le Bistro. My bf and I loved getting the wings and a basket of fries from O'Sheehan's late night haha.

 

There are two pools that were more like wave pools because of how rocky the boat was (it was a January sailing) and depending on the time of the day the deck could get pretty crowded but we were always able to find chairs and the hot tubs filled up fast, but I find that happens on most cruise lines.

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The Gem and the entire Jewel class is our favorite NCL ship(s). Never feels really crowded like Breakaway (all over).

The dedicated dancing/showroom/demonstration Spinnaker is great, as opposed to Atrium on BA.

The Great outdoors for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just relaxing in the shade during the day.

Aft balcony, on the same deck as O'Sheehan's was nice. Actually had lunch and snacks there quite often instead of heading to other areas. On BA, it's cramped, crowded, dark, and noisy.

 

Can't comment about the kids program since we haven't cruised with children on NCL, only RCCL, which has an excellent program and activities for children.

 

But comparing to BA... I choose Gem by far.

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On the Gem--loved the spa, the Great Outdoors, the Spinnaker Lounge and the Stardust theatre. The shows were great. We really enjoyed the food whether it was in the main dining room (preferred Grand Pacific over Magenta) a specialty restaurant (La Cucina, Moderno) and even the buffet !

Felt that Teppanyaki was better on other NCL ships..in particular the Breakaway..On the Gem it was a small room and the chefs started the meals at the tables at different times so they werent in snyc...kinda just sounded noisy and a little distracting (but the food was great and we still had fun meeting some really nice people)

Really liked the size and vibe of this Jewel class ship...never seemed crowded at all except at peak breakfast time in buffet... Service overall was excellent

While we enjoyed the entertainment, we did miss Howl at the Moon (Breakaway)

 

We didnt have children with us so I am not sure about children's activities.

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The Great Outdoors was our favorite place on the Gem. Spent more time there than on our balcony as it turned out

 

 

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Just off the Gem from two weeks ago. Had the two bedroom suite on deck 11 and it was sooooooo loud from deck 12 that were were awakened every morning at 1-2 am and again around 5 am as they did work on the deck above. That happened every night! We asked nicely if they could stop but it did no good....they still continued! Bring ear plugs if. It was too cold for Pool use so if that had been in full swing it would have been even louder. That is only complaint.

Food was super good especially breakfast for suite guests in Moderno. Staff were excellent especially our Butler Leo. Funny guy with great sense of humor.

Have a great cruise whatever you decide!

Edited by Meimei 100

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Gosh! Are we the only ones who hated our bathroom on the Gem?

We loved the ports and the ship itself, but our balcony cabin toilet area was literally unusable. The sink and shower were accessible, but the toilet stall was VERY small. If you sat on the toilet, your legs had to be smashed against the wall in front of you which was at an angle, and you literally could not bend over to pull your pants up. My brother could stand to urinate, but any time I needed the bathroom during the entire cruise, I had to rush to a public bathroom. I was so afraid of having to use it during the night, that I didn't drink any liquids after 6:00 p.m. My brother also used public restrooms whenever possible. For some bathroom emergencies, I did use it, but my knees and shins got bruised by doing so. We are not unusually tall (5'10" and 6'1"), and my legs aren't super long; but we have never had an issue like that with a bathroom on any ship we have ever been on. I've seen small bathrooms on cruise ships, but I never had one that I literally could not fit into!

It looks like the inside and ocean view cabins don't have the same layout, so if we ever sailed her again., we would book any category but a balcony.

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Even thou we enjoy the Breakaway the Gem is our favorite ship. The Gem is more intimate where you really get to know everyone. The Breakaway does have a better night life.

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Gosh! Are we the only ones who hated our bathroom on the Gem?

We loved the ports and the ship itself, but our balcony cabin toilet area was literally unusable. The sink and shower were accessible, but the toilet stall was VERY small. If you sat on the toilet, your legs had to be smashed against the wall in front of you which was at an angle, and you literally could not bend over to pull your pants up. My brother could stand to urinate, but any time I needed the bathroom during the entire cruise, I had to rush to a public bathroom. I was so afraid of having to use it during the night, that I didn't drink any liquids after 6:00 p.m. My brother also used public restrooms whenever possible. For some bathroom emergencies, I did use it, but my knees and shins got bruised by doing so. We are not unusually tall (5'10" and 6'1"), and my legs aren't super long; but we have never had an issue like that with a bathroom on any ship we have ever been on. I've seen small bathrooms on cruise ships, but I never had one that I literally could not fit into!

It looks like the inside and ocean view cabins don't have the same layout, so if we ever sailed her again., we would book any category but a balcony.

I agree! Poorly designed. I had a balcony cabin on the Gem a few weeks ago. I've cruised over 25 times and I can't recall a ship with a toilet area that was so uncomfortable. If they would at least get rid of that wall/sliding door between the toilet and sink, I might be able to get out without banging my elbows while shimmering out so I could pull up my pants. That wall/sliding door is so unnecessary and they should remove it.

 

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The Gem has the last forward observation lounge (The Spinnaker) on any NCL ship until the new Bliss comes out...it is by far my favorite place on the ship. Much nicer playing trivia there than in the noisy and crowded Atrium on the Breakaway.

I also think the pool deck is much better layout than on the Breakway. Also like the full promenade deck, that the Breakaway lacks. Also like The Great Outdoors.

 

Oh, and last but not least....the Bridge Viewing Room, where you can peak into the bridge during daylight hours. At night, they lower shades blocking your view (to protect the night vision of the watch crew), but you can still see the nav screens that duplicate the ones on the bridge. It is also the home of the 'maiden call plaques', as well as the "It Girl" mermaid..:)

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Same as a previous poster, the Gem was my first cruise ever. I went from being an unwilling cruiser to hooked in the space of two hours sailing out of NYC. The Great Outdoors is great and if you get there early enough you can get yourself a table for breakfast and watch the world go by. The Quiet Zone at the front was pointed out to us by our daughter, on our second trip on the Gem, brilliant place to relax. Only thing I can think of that I didn't like was the layout of the shopping area. If the Gem has had a refurb like the Jade then that will no longer be a problem. My favourite NCL ship.

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Obviously I am in the majority: the best part: the Great Outdoors. We also love the pool area when we are in port and choose not to get off the ship. Though we haven't been on the Gem we have been on several Jewel class ships and they are our favorite. The downers are: small balconies, and the pools get very crowded. The size of the ships fits our needs perfectly and the entertainment is always good. I am surprised at the comments about the bathrooms, we love them. I don't quite understand the problem with the toilet doors, but everyone seems things in a different light.

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Obviously I am in the majority: the best part: the Great Outdoors. We also love the pool area when we are in port and choose not to get off the ship. Though we haven't been on the Gem we have been on several Jewel class ships and they are our favorite. The downers are: small balconies, and the pools get very crowded. The size of the ships fits our needs perfectly and the entertainment is always good. I am surprised at the comments about the bathrooms, we love them. I don't quite understand the problem with the toilet doors, but everyone seems things in a different light.

The balconies are huge compared to the away class ships. The bathrooms are a little awkward, I usually left the sliding door open. One of my sons is 6’2” and didn’t seem to have an issue.

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My favorite thing about the Gem...the STAFF....!!!! Over the years....consistently friendly and always helpful.

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All Jewel Class ships have a beautiful Great Outdoors... even the Norwegian Sky has a wonderful Great Outdoors! Best part of the Jewel Class!

 

Robbie

 

 

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I love the Gem - glad Blue Lagoon is gone, the only "blah" food I had on the boat was the midnight snack there. Instead of breakfast I found several coffee stations that had pastries - more than enough for me. Great Outdoors is wonderful, has "off hours" buffet set up, I eat at weird times from the rest of the world! If you watch the Amazon show "Transparent" one episode takes place on the Jewel, which looked just like the Gem to me!

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The balconies are huge compared to the away class ships. The bathrooms are a little awkward, I usually left the sliding door open. One of my sons is 6’2” and didn’t seem to have an issue.

that I will agree with: the Away class balconies are ridiculous. I guess I judge the balconies based on ships parked close to us in port. Seems like most other lines have large enough balconies for a lounge on them. Of course it really isn't the end of the world, we still have room to read and have a drink. That is all we need.

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