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Age: 36

Occupation:IT Manager

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Gem

Sailing Date: 2011-08-28

Itinerary: Bermuda

H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E!!! Yes, I am one of the unlucky cruisers who had their vacation altered by Hurricane Irene. But my frustration and anger with NCL has nothing to do with how they handle that situation, which BTW paled in comparison to many other cruise lines. This trip was a large family vacation, which multiple generations traveling together. Some of which, including myself, are Latitude members (NCL loyalty membership). You would think a large group like this wouldn't be able to agree on much, and you would be correct, but we all agreed that this will be the last time any of us will step aboard another Norwegian cruise ship ever again. We all had such a poor experience that we felt it would be our civil duty to urge all our friends, relatives, neighbors and colleagues to avoid Norwegian.

If you are into salty and overcooked food, then Norwegian Gem is the perfect place for you!

I had their lobster tail. The tail was smaller than some jumbo shrimps, which in retrospect was a blessing. I needed to drink 2 glasses of soda help me finish the 2 bites of lobster tail, it was that dry. Tomato basil soup was basically cambell's soup with 2 extra handfuls of salt. Any version of the rotisserie chicken was made so poorly that I was longing for Boston Market. I wish I was the only one that felt the same way about the food onboard. I spoke to a couple of families while on the beach in Bermuda. Everyone felt the same about the food. I think one became a vegetarian for a week, simply because salad was the best thing Norwegian had.

The stateroom was adequate enough to sleep in. The beds were comfortable. If you have more than 2 people I would avoid any stateroom without a balcony. Just not enough room. The TV in the room can only be used for NCL advertisement. There were 6 channels to choose from outside the typical NCL broadcasts.

Let's start with the free ones, since there aren't many to begin with.
Pools - they have one for adults only, one for families and one for little kiddies. The little kiddie pool didn't appeared to be cleaned very often. The other two pools were small and in my opinion a hazard. One end of the pool was labeled 4'11''. If it is indeed 4ft 11in., then how does a 5ft. 9in. man jump in to discover a foot of water over his head? Had I jumped into the pool labeled 5'9'' I probably would've drowned. Especially since there are no life guards.
Rock wall - decent. Normally only one person at a time because there aren't enough staff members to help equip the climbers and hold the rope for them. So with the wall only open for 4 hours a day, you don't have many opportunities to enjoy this.
Karaoke / Movie Trivia are uneventful. It is as you would expect. Movies are not show in a theater, but rather in the atrium. So if you are lucky enough to get one of the 20 seating spaces, you have to deal with the fact that the movie sounds may be drowned out by those speaking to the front desk, or arranging shore excursions, or those using the internet cafe, or those doing duty-free shopping or ordering drinks from the JAVA Cafe, since all these are located in the atrium.
If you want to do anything else, prepare to pay. Bowling - $5 per person per game. Pool - $2 per person per game.

I personally do not think need to arrange any excursions, but I didn't go on many. You can handle them yourself. Bermuda isn't that big. You can save the money and take a bus to the beach.

I think if you read the above comments you can sense that my trip was less than an awful experience. Besides the bad food and the obvious penny pinching policy that NCL has implemented. The staff was surprisingly rude and un-friendly. Yes there are a few staff members that went out of their way to be friendly, like our server Jeff at Magenta. And Sinan was friendly and entertaining. But more often than not a request was met with eye-rolls or sighs.

I have been on a few cruises, and this is actually my 2nd cruise with Norwegian. Norwegian already paled in comparison to Princess or Disney after my first experience with them, but after this one..... let's just say my Latitude membership is about as useful to me as my Blockbuster membership. And for those that don't know, Blockbuster is bankrupted!

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