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Old 02-22-2008, 01:26 PM
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NCL newest queen of the fleet is truly a "Gem" in the truest sense of the word. Despite rough seas she is a very smooth and gentle ride like her sisters. NCL offers an unusually accomodating crew,highly attentive and always visible staff-even the most menial of some of our fellow passengers' complaints were addressed in timely and most satisfactory manners.
The pillowtops on the mattresses are great and the staterooms are up there with the best of them. We dined in nearly every available facility (missed the texmex) more than once-those specialty restaurants are going to ruin diets for sure. If you are hesitant to pay the wee bit extra for the oriental,steakhouse or french options-try them when they are 2 for 1-(No 2 for 1 on the teppanyaki)you will be impressed!
This ship,like all of NCL newer ships (we have not done any ship of NCL more than 7 yrs old) is a pleaser and worthy of multiple cruise adventures!
We were able to purchase additional cruise reward certificates and have already booked 2 additional NCL cruises since our return on Feb. 6th. We wish all the NCL ships had those wild and crazy bowling alleys I never saw a ball do a perfect s-curve on its way to a strike before-
truly a lot of fun!!
This is a real "GEM" in the NCL Crown!

Bon Voyages,

BillyBuzzy
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:56 AM
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Billy, thank you for your review! Sounds like my bowling game might be improved by sailing on N. Gem... it certainly couldn't get worse.

What were your favorites of the specialty restaurants?
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:59 AM
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LisaP-Our favorite is the Teppanyaki,always our first and last dinner aboard an NCL ship. We do it with friends and fellow cruisers of many years! La Cuccina-the Italian is at the top for those not wishing to spend a little extra also! Cagney's and Le Bistro are right up there.
One needn't do the specialty restaurants as the Grand Pacific and Magenta Main dining venues were also excellent. NCL is doing great things with its food offerings and it is striving to please all palates!
We befriended a French MasterChef during the cruise (A fellow cruiser) who was given a tour of the GEM's kitchens (Yes ,he did exchange recipies with the NCL chefs) and he raved about the first class kitchens and menus-boy did he have a gatronomic blast)-he has booked 2 more NCL cruises with us!

Bon Voyages,

BillyBuzzy
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:11 AM
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I'm getting hungry...

We plan to go to Le Bistro on N. Dream in May. Of course, N. Dream does not have the vast choices of the newer ships. If I counted correctly, there are 5 dining venues onboard (buffet, two main DRs, Italian, and Le Bistro), and we have 5 meals on our weekend cruise, so I hope to try them all. It's been 13 years since our last N. Dream cruise.

Did you try the Shabu Shabu on N. Gem? I enjoy this meal occasionally in our Chinatown, and was intrigued when I heard it was offered on the newer NCL ships.

BTW, I love your first/last evening dining tradition!
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:15 AM
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Thank you for the review! We're leaning toward the Gem for 2009...I'm already revved up.
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Booked on NCL Breakaway, Feb. 2014
Carnival Conquest, Feb. 2012
NCL Gem, Sept. 2011
NCL Jewel, Feb. 2011
NCL Dawn, Sept. 2010
NCL Spirit, Feb. 2010
NCL Gem, March 2009
RCCL Explorer of the Seas, Feb. 2008
Carnival Miracle, May 2007
Carnival Conquest, April 2006
Caribbean Princess, Feb. 2005
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:19 AM
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Billy, I forgot to ask - being unfamiliar with the "freestyle" concept, I had a question about the dining situation.

I understand that you have to pay extra for some restaurants and not others. It sounded like, from reading some reviews, that the Grand Pacific and Magenta dining rooms have the traditional sort of menu like on other ships, with several appetizer/entree/dessert choices that change each night is that right? Also, for the restaurants you pay to eat at, is there a fixed menu or does it change nightly?

Thanks again for the Gem info!
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Booked on NCL Breakaway, Feb. 2014
Carnival Conquest, Feb. 2012
NCL Gem, Sept. 2011
NCL Jewel, Feb. 2011
NCL Dawn, Sept. 2010
NCL Spirit, Feb. 2010
NCL Gem, March 2009
RCCL Explorer of the Seas, Feb. 2008
Carnival Miracle, May 2007
Carnival Conquest, April 2006
Caribbean Princess, Feb. 2005
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cortney:
Billy, I forgot to ask - being unfamiliar with the "freestyle" concept, I had a question about the dining situation.

I understand that you have to pay extra for some restaurants and not others. It sounded like, from reading some reviews, that the Grand Pacific and Magenta dining rooms have the traditional sort of menu like on other ships, with several appetizer/entree/dessert choices that change each night is that right? Also, for the restaurants you pay to eat at, is there a fixed menu or does it change nightly?

Thanks again for the Gem info!
Here's some answers to your questions.
The Grand Pacific and Magenta main dining rooms serve Contiental menus, just like on other cruise lines. Their menus change nightly.

The Speicality restaurants, both free and surcharge, serve the same menu every night.
Those having a surcharge on most NCL ship, including the Gem, are the Asian restaurants, Cagney's Steakhouse, and the Le Bistro French restaurant.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:04 PM
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Thanks! That was exactly what I was looking for! How much are the surcharges for the specialty restaurants?
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Booked on NCL Breakaway, Feb. 2014
Carnival Conquest, Feb. 2012
NCL Gem, Sept. 2011
NCL Jewel, Feb. 2011
NCL Dawn, Sept. 2010
NCL Spirit, Feb. 2010
NCL Gem, March 2009
RCCL Explorer of the Seas, Feb. 2008
Carnival Miracle, May 2007
Carnival Conquest, April 2006
Caribbean Princess, Feb. 2005
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cortney:
Thanks! That was exactly what I was looking for! How much are the surcharges for the specialty restaurants?
General food items in the Asian restaurants start ast $12.50, Le Bistro starts at $15, and Cagney's starts at $20. But, there are items at each that are priced Ala' Carte. For example, Surf and Turf carries an additional fee and Sushi isn't all you can eat.
 
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