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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2008, 03:21 PM
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I am going on a Med cruise Sep 7 08, rt Barcelona. I have a balcony cat AE mini-suite, midships. This is my first Med cruise and my first time on NCL. Does NCL have specialty coffees, ice creams, etc? Are they extra? Any advice on which of the specialty dining venues is worth the surcharge? Do we need to bring extra quarters for the laundry room. I plan to pack light and do a load before leaving the ship in Barcelona...we are staying in an apartment there for 4 nights after the cruise.
Any feedback appreciated.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:50 PM
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Celia-There will be a fee for any specialty coffee-but they are great! Try the coffee bar/cafe in the atrium opposite the purser's desk. All three of the extra fee specialty facilities (Oriental,Cagney's Steakhouse,and Le Bistro) are well worth the extra fees-we loved the Teppenyaki. Caagney's Steakhouse and Le Bistro have early bird 2 for 1 specials. We truly enjoyed the Gem and will be sailing on her again in 2010!

Bon Voyage,

BillyBuzzy
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:09 AM
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The washers/dryers on the Gem are free, but detergent is $1.00 (quarters) per box. We just tossed a couple of 1 load boxes of Tide and some dryer sheets in a baggie in our luggage. We did the Western Med on the Gem last year and it was great!
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:05 PM
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Thanks to both of you for the positive comments and advice!

I have booked private shore excursions for my clients and me in Naples, Rome and Florence. If I were by myself, I would probably just head out alone and wander, but I want them to really get some good information.

In Barcelona, we will be staying in an apartment for an extra 4 nights post-cruise, and I have some great things planned...tapas, cava, shopping, Montserratt, winery visits, market visits, cooking, the HOHO bus.

I am glad to read all the good things about the Gem. It is my first time on NCL, but I have clients who won't cruise any other line!

I will let you all know how the cruise is when I return the 20th of September.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:03 AM
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Celia-When you return be sure to let us know all about thecruise!


Bon Voyage-Bonnie Lass!

BillyBuzzy
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:04 AM
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I just returned from my firts cuise. It was a NCL Med Cruise with my family. It was 5 starts. And the freestyle was perfect for this hollidays.

You will find lots of specialty restaurants. I tried the Tepaniaky (the best) and the Bistro. But our favorite was the Grand Pacific to get the feeling of dinner room in a big ship. For the food and the service on this restaurant were the best we had. We even had escargots!

My family was composed by all types of ages (51,46, 75, 19 and 9) so lots of different interests and paces to satisfy. It was not possible for us to be out of ship before 9 am so all the shore excursions were by our own.

We had tourism offices on all ports (except Livorno) that provided local information to the places we wanted to visit.

Malta: we used the local bus to entrance of the city

Note: the Messina strait was wonderful to pass.

Naples: we used the bus+train to visit Pompey. On the return from the train station to the cruise terminal we used the local taxi and he charged 17 Eur to travel 5 blocks. Be careful with the taxis at Naples

Rome: we use train+bus (1 day ticket) to visit the Vatican and the Colosseum)

Pisa + Florence: we rented a car and used TomTom GPS to drive on the Italian roads

Monaco: train+bus be carefull because the Villefranche train station is very small and only at the 3rd train we got seat for every body

At the end of the cruise, we stayed 2 days at Barcelona. My first time great city. Two days are not enough and we have to return to visit in detail. The HOHO bus ticket for 2 day is the best to get the global overview of Barcelona.

You will have a great time on that cruise and lots of things to do and to visit. We returned with 700 pictures.

It was my first cruise and we are planning the next one. This is very addictive on the good sense.

I Wish you a great cruise

Rui
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Old 08-23-2008, 05:18 PM
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Rui-Welcome back from your NCL Gem cruise. Sounds as if you thoroughly enjoyed NCL's Gem-when we sailed on her in January we found that , like her sister ships, she has that certain NCL ambiance that brings you back again and again. We hope you took advantage of the NCL Cruise Rewards Program for a future cruise! Welcome to Cuise-Chat-You will spend many pleasant evenings here- and your fellow cruisers will be only to glad to assist and advise you on your questions and needs! Come visit us often!

Bon Voyage,

BillyBuzzy
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:06 AM
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Hi everyone!I will be going on the new NCL Gem on October 5 08. I'm sooo glad I found this website because I need some major advice regarding the excursions. I'm going to be on my honeymoon and it will also be our first time in Europe so I wanted to chose the best excursions since they seem very pricey. Pretty much we want the most for our buck eventhough we will be on our honeymoon. The one I'm really worried about is Rome. I see some people suggest to hire a driver(you will see more). Does anyone have any suggestions???
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:51 PM
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The NCL Gem Med Excursion is excelent for your 1st visit to Europe. For Rome, I bought a 1 day ticket for the train+bus. The Italian trains are very frequent and easy to use. The tickets are very cheap when compared with a private driver and you have total freedom.
Enjoy your honey moon and visit to Rome (One of the most beautifull cities in Europe and with wonderfull food) and the ship is very comfortable with very service
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:31 PM
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I am going on a NCL Gem cruise on September 21, 2008. Can anyone tell me what to see in Malta and Barcelona and what is the best methods to getting around those areas? Thanks.



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