What I thought of the Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Gem

In December, I went on a 9-Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise out of NYC.

This is the third Norwegian ship I had been on (Previously I was on the Dawn and the Sun), but since my last cruise with them was quite a few years ago, I was interested in seeing what was different.

When I first got to the cruise terminal and saw the ship, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. The Gem had…well…gems painted all over the sides of it. To me it wasn’t very appealing, but I was still hoping that the inside was a lot nicer.

And it was.

The inside of the ship was great. It was easy to get around, without a lot of the “you can’t get there from here” type situations that you sometimes find on ships.

Norwegian Gem - Mini Suite From Inside of Ship

What my Mini-Suite Looked like (from when you walk into the room)

My room was in the very front on the 11th floor (right below the spa), and it was easy to get everywhere. The room was really quiet, and I had no complaints about that.

I also purposely picked a room in the front of the ship – I knew that I’d be eating more than normal, and wanted to make sure that I did a lot of walking each day. Between the location of the room and using the stairs all of the time, I was definitely able to do a lot of walking each day! (For those who keep track, I was easily able to get 10,000+ steps almost every day.

The room (a mini-suite) was a pretty good size. Besides the bed, there was a small couch by the balcony, and a nice sized closet for clothing.  There was also a desk with a TV above it, a safe next to it,  and a refrigerator below it.


Norwegian Gem - Mini Suite From Balcony

The view of my mini-suite from the balcony. Here you can see the closet and where the bathroom is (on the left of the doorway)

The reason we went for a mini-suite instead of a balcony was because of the length of time we’d be at sea.  The shower was bigger in a mini-suite, as well as the room size overall was a little bit larger.   Normally I wouldn’t mind, but with 4 days at sea, the little extra the room cost was well worth it!

On the balcony, there were 2 chairs that could had settings on it so that you could lay back if you’d like, as well as a small table.

It was nice and private, and you couldn’t see any of your neighbors (in any direction) unless you went to the edge and looked over and they also were doing the same thing.

That made it really nice to go outside and spend some time on the balcony, both during the day and at night.


Norwegian Gem - Mini Suite Bathroom

Here are 2 pictures of the mini-suite bathroom. Hopefully you can see how both separators are see through!

I was a bit confused by the bathroom though. There was a full size shower (with bathtub), a sink, and a toilet, which is what you expect. But both the toilet and the shower had clear, see through sliding separators. At that point, only one person can use it at a time, so what’s the point of separating the toilet at all?

It would have been great if it was a real separator, then two people could have used the bathroom area at the same time.

It wasn’t a big deal…but if you’re going to go out of your way to put a slider to separate a room, why not make it really usable?

Everything was in great shape around the ship. There were lots of great areas to sit down, to walk around , to shop, and on the inside the areas specifically designed for the gem theme were really pretty.

Norwegian Gem - Decorations

The inside was decorated really well - and they even had holiday decorations up.

My main complaint about the ship is the buffet. The buffet area was WAY too small. Each and every breakfast and lunch we had the difficult task of finding a table. It was never easy. Almost every other ship I’ve been on had about double the size of seating. The seating was just on one side of the ship, while on most it is on both sides, and it was always full during meal times. And yes, we did try going to some of them really early or late just to see if it helped, and it didn’t.

I’ll write more about the food on the ship in the next post. There is enough to say (and so many choices) that it definitely deserves its own space.

Overall the ship was really nice (and clean). It was big, and never felt crowded except for in the buffet area.


P.S. If you’re looking to book your next cruise and want to save money, I strongly suggest checking out Cruise Compete!

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