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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 62


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Gem

Sailing Date: 2009-05-15

Itinerary: Mediterranean

This was our first cruise, and it had it's ups and downs. We found we were quite bored, in fact, at times bored out of our minds. We also felt nickled and dimed, everything was an extra charge. We were expecting a movie theater on the ship that didn't exist. Instead you had to purchase movies at $11.95 each, to view on the tiny TV in the stateroom. The library was somewhat out of date and was primarily made up of trashy fiction. The person running the library was not knowledgeable and unhelpful. You cannot buy a book or a magazine anywhere on the ship. The pool area was more than over crowded and not appealing.

On the plus side the ship was very clean and the staff, with the exception of the reception desk, were friendly and helpful.

The food that was included on the trip was not particularly good. I work at a facility that has a cafeteria and my staff often complains about the food. The food on the ship was not as good as the food at work. We did go to two of the specialty restaurants, the French restaurant and the steakhouse. The food was fairly good, but not great at these venues, they would probably get a 16-18 Zagatas rating. The service is very good at the restaurants and the decor of the French restaurant is lovely. It was quite disappointing the same crummy desserts are served at the specialty restaurants that are served on the buffet line. (The desserts are yucky and disappointing.)We did like the fact that we could eat at anytime we wanted and the fact that we didn't have to sit with strangers.

We had a stateroom with a balcony. It was clean comfortable and quite nice. The bed was comfortable and we slept well.

We don't gamble or dance and limit our alcohol consumption to wine at dinner. We hated that alcohol and drawings were constantly being pushed at us. The performances were OK. The dance shows were enjoyable but we were not to excited by the comedians, the magician and musician. The health and fitness area cost extra. The art auctions were particularly cheesy.

We thought the excursions were over priced and often not long enough. The Rome excursion was particulary bad, the bus was uncomfortable, the tour guide talked too much and the lunch that was included not very good, no free time provided but every pope that ever existed was discussed. The best tour was of Lucca and Pisa, nice engaging tour guides who allowed us adequate free time.

The trip had its ups and downs. It did have the advantage of taking us to places that we would never would have visited, such as Malta, Lucca and Pisa. There was too much ship time and not enough land time.

Mostly, we didn't like the feeling of constantly being pushed to spend while on the ship.

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