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First Cruise on NCL Gem any Tips Please


Leewaygirl

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Def. check out at least one specialty restaurant during your trip....

There is a neat room on deck11 all the way forward where you can see

the Bridge.....

The Buffet has some great breakfast food including an omlette station...

On the Carpet in the hallways, the fish face the front of the ship...incase your lost..:D:p

 

Have a great trip, we vote the Gem the best that we have sailed so far!

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Another Gem lover here! To add to the great suggestions above ... look for both soft serve ice cream and real live someone dips into a container ice cream in the buffet. It is next to the chocolate fountain in the evening (ohhhh memories). There is a beautiful sundeck, well above the pool area, front of the ship, with great views that is lovely to cuddle on while pulling into port. Get there early so you can snag one of the double loungers for two.

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What are you nervous about? Being on a ship or just excited for the new experience? Since we are foodies and not drinkers, I'll go for your food question. Yes, I thought it was good and in some cases excellent. We are big fans of the specialty restaurants and if you are really into food, would suggest that you try them! There were many 2 for 1 specials throughout the week at them, usually on early dining, and you can find that info in your freestyle newsletter that you get in the evening. Memorable dishes are the veal chop at Cagney's, antipasto trolley in La Cucina, and the chocolate napolean (was that the right name?) in Le Bistro. Oh, almost forgot to mention the rack of lamb ...

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Thank you!

I am so excited but nervous... as I am so new to all this.

Someone else has a similar thread going about the Pearl http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=950257

Since the Pearl is almost identical to the Gem, at least as far as ship layout and facilities, be sure to read the comments there.

Have a great cruise. The Gem is my favorite of the three NCL ships I've been on, but we all have our own favorites.

Oh, and welcome to your future addiction to cruising. ;)

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Thank you for all your advice. Scared because it is all so new.

So many questions but the questions seem so trivial. Like when we arrive at the dock what next is it like an airport where you check in and the wait till we are called

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Make sure you plan on spending some time in the Great Outdoors on the back of the ship. Great place to hang out. Especially when leaving ports. Beware of the ice cream machine though. One thing I found on the Gem when we were on it in January was that a few nights the main dining room really backed up and there was a long wait after 6 PM or so. Sometimes almost an hour. Going at 5:30 when it opened was no problem. Beautiful ship. We also liked the Blue Lagoon for a quick bite to eat when we had things to do. Nothing fancy.

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Many thanks for the advice on the carpet! Would never have thought about that.

Is the food really good and what about drink prices?

Drinks are about what you would pay in a bar- not cheap. You can get a bucket of beer for about $23, which is 6 for the price of 5 beers.

 

I love the "tastings", when I was on the Gem in Jan. they had at least one a day, for $15 you can go taste beers, or margaritas, or martinis (check the cruise news to see what is scheduled) You get 6 or so sample size drinks and usually one full sized one of your favorite. If you want to you can share a tasting with your roomie. It is a great way to make friends on the ship and a lot of fun.

 

If you haven't heard of it yet I love the "romance package" look for it on the NCL site under gifts. You get a bottle of bubbly (I usually get orange juice at the buffet and make mimosas), chocolate covered strawberries, hors dourves, dinner at Le Bistro (with a bottle of wine) a picture and a champaign party with cake. A lot of people skip the party but the rest of the stuff makes the package a great deal.

 

If you want free bubbly check out the art auctions and some of the shop sales will have free bubbly to get you in.

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Thank you for all your advice. Scared because it is all so new.

So many questions but the questions seem so trivial. Like when we arrive at the dock what next is it like an airport where you check in and the wait till we are called

 

 

Hi Leewaygirl,

 

We will be on the Gem 3/28. We have sailed 3 NCL cruises in the past and found the embarkation to be very organized. Yes it is like airport check in. You will show all your documents, passport then have your photo I.D.taken. This I.D. will work as your pass key and your charge card for the entire trip. You then wait til your color is called to board. Then you are given a complimentary glass or champagne or juice and the voyage begins. You can take your carry ons to the buffet or dining room to eat and the cabins are usually ready by 12:30 to occupy. The muster drill is at about 3:30 and sailaway at 4pm.:cool:

 

When do you sail??? Hopefully you are on our cruise, we have a wonderful meet and greet planned with some great, friendly people who have been posting for a while.

 

 

Enjoy,:)

 

Ann and Bernie

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Hi 3rdtimecruising

 

We sail October 11 from Barcelona.

 

Many thanks for the information. Does the Port have a lounge if we get there early as we would have been travelling from early morning.

 

I am so excited, I can not waiticon7.gif

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garycarla

 

Our flight gets into Barcelona around 2:50 pm so should arrive at the Port around 4:30 pm so do you think that will be ok

 

Personally, I would never fly in the same day, but many/most people do. The ships tend to leave Barcelona late and I am assuming yours is at 7pm. You will be fine, but not lots of leeway.

 

Again, I would not do it, but lots of people do and are just fine. Barcelona is so great to visit, we went in two days early, and stayed a day later after the cruise.

 

Confused - if you land at 2:50, when would there be time to use a lounge?

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I took the same cruise last September. It was wonderful. We flew in to Barcelona the day before. We spent the morning of the cruise sight seeing and got to the dock around 2pm. We were practically the only ones there. No lines at all and got right on board. The cruise was absolutely wonderful. Since you are obviously reading the threads here at CC and doing your homework, as I did, you will be completely prepared and know what to expect. Have a great time!! Let me know if you have any questions about the different ports of call.

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We too are doing the trans/atlantic in November on the Gem..Let you in on a big secret.. of the newest ships.. somebody I know who is in the know (works on the ships)..said that the Gem and the Jade are the two best ships...lol We have not been on the new freestyle ships and this is a first.. just read somewhere they have a 2 for 1 sale... we are in a mini suite with what I thought was a steal.. but I'm going to have my travel agent earn her commission and check.. I do highly recommend for a stressfree cruise you arrive in Barcelona the day or two before.. We hAe a hotel we are fond of..very affordable on La Rambla and a guide/driver who picks us up and takes us to and fro.. when we need him. We have been to several of t hese ports, but they were alot better than the Celebrity Equinox which we did cancel..

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Thank you for all your advice. Scared because it is all so new.

So many questions but the questions seem so trivial. Like when we arrive at the dock what next is it like an airport where you check in and the wait till we are called

 

Be sure to find your Gem Roll Call here on Cruise Critic. Great place to meet others that are sailing with you, possibly share tours with them, share in the excitement, share tips with, etc.

 

In case you don't know, simply go to the main message board page, scroll down until you see the section Roll Call, click on NCL, click on Gem, find your thread pertaining to your sail date.

 

I know that the people I've met on mine are very nice and helpful. Plus we're sharing private tours. Can't wait!

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garycarla

 

Our flight gets into Barcelona around 2:50 pm so should arrive at the Port around 4:30 pm so do you think that will be ok

 

We cruise on 5/3 and get into Barcelona at 2 p.m. I will let you know how it goes. I wanted to leave a day or two early, but didn't have the time.

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We don't sail until Oct 4. Some of you please leave a review so we will know what to expect. Hotel suggestions would be nice also. Anyone staying at the Barcelo Athenea Mar? We are going 2 days early and staying one day after. These hotels are a shot in the dark even after reading up on them.

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Many years ago a cruiser gave us the name of a hotel and guide and since we have sailed from Barcelona three times already and an upcoming fourth. I pass it on to you!!! We cruisers use The Continental Hotel right on La Rambla..very affordable, very convenient. .with and now all day buffet.. To tell you it is quirky is an understatement.. but it's clean, there is a refrigerator,safe, old fashioned bathroom, its clean and a wonderful staff.. Furthermore..if you want a guide or a driver.. the same man had passed on the name of Aurielo..and his friend Michael.. Aurielo was raised outside of NYC and speaks perfect english... We are seniors and it just isn't worthwhile to shlep our own luggage for two week trans-atlantic cruises.. So, after booking the cruise and the hotel.. even though it's a year ahead of time we write Aurielo..and if he is busy.. Michael does the honors.. Sure its cheaper to take the hop on hop off bus, but you see sooo much more with these two..they even give a description on the way from the airport to the hotel.. What we have them do... is pick us up at the airport, drop us off at the hotel and then pick us up again to go to the ship. We usually spend two days in Barcelona.. The first trip.. we went with Michael.. and saw more of Barcelona stopping where we wanted to stop and seeing things that most tourists dont get to see in a few days..right off La Rambla is the famous market which we will have to go back again.. it is absolutely wonderous.. We also by accident found next to the hotel a little "pizza restaurant"..well, it was more than pizza.. fabulous italian food.. Yes, our group from CC was going to do a "tapas crawl". but we had sooo many we would had to have split up.. If anybody is interested in The Continental Hotel or in a guide.. please write and I'll send you e-mail addresses or pictures.. I'm only "playing it forward".. For instance.. we were looking at a ruin and I looked across the street and saw this huge black and white mural.. When I asked Michael what it was he said it was "a Picasso Nativity Scene"...folks.. it blew my mind.. it was in Nativity Square I think.. I enjoy the Gaudi influence and the architecture, the living statues, the flower kiosks and I've met a "friend" i a parrot kiosk... I guess I just love Barcelona and feel very comfortable there. Oh yes.. one year we flew in and had intended to go right to the port..we were the next to the last bus going to the ship.. I was a wreck..never, ever again

 

parrotmom@verizon.net

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