Norwegian Gem is the last of 6 a Norwegian Cruise Line Jewel class ships weighing in at 93,530 tons. The Norwegian Gem has many amenities to offer cruise passengers. This is the second time
I had been on the Norwegian Gem, the first time was a tour given to the Media when she was first introduced. My earlier review of the Norwegian Gem can be found here -> Norwegian Gem Review
This week long visit gave me the opportunity to perform an in-depth review and experience the entire cruise experience first hand.
The strong points of the Norwegian Gen include: An Incredible number of dining options (some included in the cruise fare, while some are available at an additional charge); Excellent quality food; Accommodations for all budgets; A Friendly and courteous crew; Great value for the money;
On this sailing I cruised with my wife and two children (16 and 13 years old). We share a single, standard, balcony cabin.
At 93,530 tons and carrying 2,394 passengers double occupancy , the Norwegian Gem is considered a large ship but not as large as some of the new ship being introduced. The Meyer Werft Shipyard in Germany, who constructed the vessel in 2007, have created a design which gives the large ship a very intimate feeling.
The main atrium (the Crystal Atrium) has a grand staircase descending from the upper level. Below is a lounging area with sofas, dance floor, band area, coffee bar, reception desk, shore excursion desk, future cruise sales office and internet café. There are also some shops adorning the area. On the second level is the Tapas Restaurant and the Blue Lagoon Restaurant. The area is friendly and welcoming. The large decorative glass doors provide access to the outside promenade area which is excellent for taking in the seascape.
The second Atrium is surrounded by the Tepannyaki Restaurant, Orchid Asian Fusion Restaurant and Sushi Bar on the upper level. On the lower level is the Bistro French Restaurant, a lounging area with sofas, stools and dance floor, a piano, Magnum’s Champagne Bar and cigar room.·
The main show lounge on the Norwegian Gem is the two storey, Stardust Theater. All of the main productions and headline entertainment happen in this room. There is no bad seat in the house. The seats are very comfortable and provide an unobstructed view of the stage. Normally the same show is played twice an evening to provide passengers flexibility.
The Spinnaker lounge is the 2nd show lounge located high above the bridge of the ship. This is the show lounge where all of the theme nights occur and dancing can continue to the wee hours of the morning. In the Spinnaker lounge you can find a pool table as well. In the front of the Spinnaker Lounge are two extensions over the side of the ship, which provide a dramatic view of the ship while under weigh.
Located aft is the Bliss Lounge – This unique lounge has unusual seating which are more like beds opposed to sofas. There are two alcove rooms off of the main room were you can have an intimate conversation. There is a large dance floor, disco-lighting and large bar. The 4 bowling lanes are located in the Bliss lounge. Although the four bowling lanes did see allot of action, there was only a short wait for a lane.
There is Magnum’s Champagne Bar and Shakers Bar where you can have a glass of bubbly, beer or wine before or after dinner.
There is a large casino where you can try your luck at the games of chance including slot machines, blackjack tables, roulette and more. Additional gambling tables can be found poolside and automated gambling machines in the Spinnaker Lounge.
There is a photo gallery, photo studio, art exhibition and art auction onboard.
The Card Room is a great place to play a board or card game. The Library, loaded with maritime memorabilia, is a great place to read a book or view menus from the age of the great transatlantic liners. The library had a larges selections of titles to choose from.
Not to be missed is the bridge viewing station on deck 11 which allows you to look in on the officer on the bridge and see all of the technical equipment to operate and steer the ship. Also located in this room are two television screens displaying video of the construction of the ship in Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany,
The Norwegian Gem offer a plethora of outdoor activities to keep everyone active and involved. The ship features an extensive water park for adults and young adults including various water
slides and pools (including a kids pool).
On-board the Norwegian Gem there is always something to do – if you choose to. The Norwegian Gem has: a rock climbing wall, A full court basketball / tennis court; Arcade room; Over-sized Chess Board to challenge a fellow passenger to a match; Ping Pong tables; Jogging track; Golf driving cage; 2 Outdoor pools; Hot Tubs; Sun Decks for sunbathing; Wrap around promenade to get exercise and take in the sea air; Casino; Internet Café (additional cost), Library, Bowling (additional cost).
These are all in addition to the items included in the daily cruise program: Bingo dance lessons; Wine/Liquor tasting; Exercise classes; Napkin Folding; The Perfect Couple Game Show; Crew Talent Show; and more.
The Norwegian Gem has a substantial shopping area onboard where guests can purchase high quality jewelry, gold or silver by the inch, costume jewelry, liquor, souvenirs, perfume and more. All purchases are tax free. I found the prices for most items to be reasonable.
The Norwegian Gem has some great deck spaces and some of them are hidden away. Some of the hidden secret areas include the forward area high above the bridge with the clam shell seating. Ideal for two to lounge in the sun.
The area on the upper deck leading up to the are above the bridge is also ideal for escaping the crowd.
If you are looking for a shady area, there is the wrap around promenade which is quiet and out of the hustle and bustle of the ship. It allows you a quiet escape from your fellow passengers.
I highly recommend walking the full length of the promenade deck, the view of the wake of the ship from the stern cannot be missed.
There is ample deck chairs around the pool and upper pool deck areas as well.
The Norwegian Gem boasts 15 dining venues offering guests a wide variety of dining experiences. Meals are included in the cruise fare for the Norwegian Gem's main dining rooms Magenta and Grand Pacific Dining Rooms, as well as O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill; the Garden Cafe (Buffet); The Great Outdoors ; Topsiders Bar and Grill; Bali Hal Bar; and the Haven Restaurant (available to Haven guests only). Room service is available but a delivery surcharge may apply.
The Specialty Restaurants offer meals with an international flare. These restaurants are available at an additional surcharge. These Specialty Restaurants include: Teppanyaki - Japanese food prepared right at your table; Moderno Churrascaria - Brazilian meats and extensive salad bar - 12 varieties of meat on skewers served right at your table; The Atrium Cafe; Cagney's Steakhouse - Premium cuts are the standard at our American steakhouse; La Cucina Italian Restaurant; Le Bistro French Restaurant; and Pincho Tapas Bar.
Usually the kids programs are divided into 3 age groups with age appropriate activities - young cruisers, middle cruisers and then teens. There are structured activities for each age group 2-17 years old. – Young Cruisers activities include Pirate Dress up, Pirate parades, Arts and Crafts and more. Activities start around 1 PM on days at sea to about 4 PM or 5 PM. There is a break for dinner and then the program resume early evening until around 10:00 PM. Additional activities are available after 10:00 PM but at an additional fee. Middle Cruisers activities include scavenger hunts, video games and more. Hours of operation are about the same. Young Cruiser and Middle Cruisers programs are held in the Treetop Kids Club. Teen Cruisers – Although there are structured activities – Dances, Scavenger hunts, attending the ship show, hot tub parties and more, teens are free to participate or not. They have the run of the ship. These activities go from Noon to 1:00 AM. Teen Program is conducted in the Leopard Lounge. There are separate rooms for teen and for the younger cruisers. In addition to the structured Kids program, there is a kiddie pool and kids outdoor splash/shower area (Adult supervision required). There is a game room and card room stocked with games. As mentioned above, there is an arcade (fee), basketball court, jogging track, rock climbing wall, bowling (fee) and more (see activities mentioned above). Kids can also play Wii on the 2 storey Television Screen in the ship’s main atrium at select times.
There are two shows every evening. The early show is at 7:30 PM and the late shown at 9:30 PM. Entertainment included: A comedian; Second City Comedy show and passenger improv sessions;
Themed musical productions featuring singers and dancers; A Hypnotist; Live Music; Piano Music and vocalist; Theme nights and bands in the Spinnaker Lounge. 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s nights
and NCL’s signature White Hot Party; Disco in the Bliss and Spinnaker Lounge.
Overall the entertainment was good. The singers and dancer were enjoyable and the ship band was excellent.
The Norwegian Gem has accommodations for every budget. From inside cabins to Penthouse Apartment Suites with a semi-private pool, dining area and hot tubs the Norwegian Gem has
a wide variety of staterooms to choose from.
All Staterooms include ample storage, a small refrigerator, hair dryer, safe, coffee maker and welcome shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and hand soap.
The inside staterooms (Cabins without an outside view) have a queen size bed and adequate storage. The bathrooms are compact but functional.
There are outside cabins which have either a porthole or picture window and offer a view of the sea. They are slightly larger than the inside cabins but have a similar configuration.
The Balcony cabins are slightly larger and offer floor to ceiling windows with a sliding glass door. There is a moderate sized outdoor seating area, large enough for two chairs and a
During my recent cruise, I was in cabin 9660 which was a compact balcony cabin. This category of stateroom can accommodate 4 people in a cabin. We found it to be very compact and when
the 4th bed was dropped from the ceiling (after dinner), the balcony was inaccessible. If there are 4 people traveling in your party and you are sharing a cabin, I highly recommend a more comfortable mini-suite on deck 11. Cabin 9660 is ideal for 2 people and possibly a 3rd.
The Norwegian Gem has Mini-suites which provide more cabin space than the traditional balcony cabin.
And finally there are the Penthouse Garden Suites, located high above the ship. These multi-room suites include separate seating areas, multiple bedrooms and baths, larger private balconies
and more. The Garden Suites also have access to a private pool area, private sun deck, Hot Tubs, mini-gym and more. You also will have your own butler, access to the concierge and private
dining for breakfast and lunch at Cagney’s steakhouse
The differences between most staterooms is the square footage, location and the connection with the outside. Larger rooms are more expensive. Staterooms with aft or bow views demand a premium. Suites and the Haven - cost more than balconies, which cost more than outside staterooms, which cost more than inside staterooms. Solo cabins are also sold at a premium - but not as much as other cruise lines charge.
It is all up to your preference and budget.
January through March 2020, the Norwegian Gem sails 10 & 11 day cruises to the Caribbean which includes stops in ports such as:
San Juan (Puerto Rico);
Basseterre (St. Kitts); Castries (St. Lucia);
St. John's (Antigua);
St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands).
The Norwegian Gem will sail two, 5 day cruises to Bermuda before relocating to Boston on April 16, 2020.
From Boston, the Norwegian Gem will be sailing to Bermuda and New England / Canada during the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2020.
Returning to New York on 11/20/2020, the Norwegian Gem will sail 10-12 day Southern Caribbean cruises from New York for the remainder of the year.
Norwegian Gem Basic Stats
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Ship Name: Norwegian Gem
Ship Class/Group: Jewel Class
Builders: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germanys
Yard Number: S.670
Length: 965 Feet
Width: 125 Feet
Draft: 27 Feet
Speed: 25 Knots
Year Built: 2015
Year Entered Fleet: October, 2007
Country of Registry: Bahamas
Tonnage (GRT): 93,530
Pax (basis 2): 2,394
Max Pax (w/Uppers): 2,873
Passenger Decks: 15
Number of Crew: 1,070
Officers' Nationality: Norwegian
Cruise/Hotel Staff Nationality: International
Total Staterooms: 1,197
Suites with balcony:
Suites, no balcony:
Ocean View with balcony:
Ocean View, no balcony:
15 Lounges & Bars
Large Screen TV for Outdoor Movie Viewing Movies Card Room Game Arcade Comedy Club Jazz & Blues Club Library Art Auction
15 Regular and Specialty Dining Magenta & Grand Pacific Dining Rooms Garden Cafe Buffet Le Bistro French Cuisine Moderno Brazilian Meats Bonsai Teppanyaki Sushi Cagney's Steakhouse O'Sheenan's Pub Bali Hal Bar The Great Outdoors Sushi La Cucina Italian Restaurant 24 Hour Room Service
Spa / Wellness / Fitness Fitness Center Full Service Spa Sauna/Steam Room Beauty Salon Outdoor Pool Basketball 4 Hot Tubs Sports Court Yoga Palates Gym Fitness Track Miniature Golf Aqua Park Ropes Course w/ walking the plank Shuffle Board
Public Rooms 21 Bars/Lounges Library Internet Center Children / Teens Organized Age-Specific Activities Outdoor Children's Play Area Dedicated Teen Center Teen Programs Children's Pool Youth Staff Babysitting Available Other Facilities / Services Elevators Duty-Free Shops/Boutiques Self-Service Laundromat Concierge Desk Infirmary/Medical Center Safe Deposit Boxes
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