slagre-We sailed the Gem the last week of Jan. 08 thruthe first week of Feb. 08, We had several friends in the mini-suites at numerous locations on the upper decks. There wasn't an undesireable location among them,a Guar. cabin will be fine,don't worry about it.
Unless you speak the local language and/or have been into a foreign port before and know your way around it is a good idea to stick with the ship's tours.
Bringing liquor on board is a cruiseline nono and hardly worth the bother. The Martini Bar on board the Gem offers soooo many delicious options at reasonable prices-why bother to compete? Besides every stateroom has a fully stocked minibar!