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Tips prior to booking 1st NCL?

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I’m planning to book NCL Gem for Sept 4-11, 2020 for Canada/New England. I will book 1 balcony and 1 inside stateroom. We are not big drinkers. Maybe 1-2 per day. I’m traveling with 3 adults (myself, husband, my father), and 1 child (age 11).


I’ve never been on NCL but have been on Disney Cruise. Any advice or watch outs before I pay the $50 per person deposit?

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If you aren't big drinkers, you may want to consider turning down the Free At Sea drink promo, as even though you get the package for free, you have to pay a 20% service charge on the value of the package, which comes out to about $20 per person per day. If you think you won't each drink more than $20 worth of drinks per day, you may be better off just purchasing individual drinks. Also, it's worth noting that the free drink package does not include specialty coffees or bottled water, but it does include "virgin" drinks and soda from the soda gun at any of the bars on board. I personally always get my money's worth out of the drink package, but I tend to drink a lot on vacation and I don't care about bottle water (the ship's water is excellent!) or fancy coffee (I am fine with the free coffee in my room or at the buffet).

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I also echo what JamieLogical says.  Pick one of the other promos.


We LOVE the Gem; it's our fave Jewell-class ship in NCL's fleet!  Check out Leo; he's one of the solo entertainers who performs in the lounges. Excellent guitarist & singer!!


HINT: if, like us, you are late risers (post 0930) breakfast in the Garden Cafe can get crowded at those times.  They usually open up LaCucina (which is next to the Garden) for seating during breakfast hours.  Thy'll also have coffee/tea laid out there also.  If Dave Heenan (one of the comedians) is still performing on the Gem you'll run into him there.


Have a great cruise!

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