Review of NCL Cruise Norwegian Gem to Bermuda
As I stepped onto the ship, we were immediately struck by its impressive appearance. The ship exuded elegance and sophistication with its sleek design and modern features. The colors used throughout the ship were vibrant and inviting, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Photo: Richard Martin, flickr, cc by 2.0
The Norwegian Gem is a magnificent vessel, measuring at a length of 965 feet. With a guest capacity of around 2,400 passengers and a dedicated crew of 1,100, the ship offers a spacious and comfortable experience for all on board. The abundance of crew members ensures that every guest receives exceptional service and attention throughout their voyage.
Departing from various ports, the Norwegian Gem offers voyages to the beautiful island of Bermuda. Whether you embark from New York City or Boston, the ship takes you on a memorable journey to this tropical paradise. The ports of departure add convenience and accessibility for travelers, making it easier to embark on this incredible adventure.
One of the most attractive features of the Norwegian Gem is its wide range of amenities and activities. From the moment you step on board, you are greeted with a plethora of options to suit every interest and preference. Whether you're seeking relaxation or excitement, the ship has it all.
For those looking to unwind, the Norwegian Gem offers luxurious spa facilities where you can indulge in rejuvenating treatments and therapies. The tranquil atmosphere and professional staff ensure a truly blissful experience. Additionally, the ship boasts multiple pools and hot tubs, perfect for lounging and soaking up the sun.
If you're seeking entertainment and adventure, the Norwegian Gem has you covered. From Broadway-style shows to thrilling casino games, there is never a dull moment on board. The ship also offers a variety of dining options, ranging from casual buffets to specialty restaurants, ensuring that every culinary desire is satisfied.
The amenities on board the Norwegian Gem were truly impressive. We took advantage of the luxurious spa facilities, indulging in rejuvenating treatments that left us feeling refreshed and revitalized. The multiple pools and hot tubs provided the perfect opportunity to relax and soak up the sun while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean.
The entertainment options on the ship were top-notch. We were treated to Broadway-style shows that were both captivating and entertaining. The casino offered a thrilling experience, with a wide range of games to choose from.
And when it came to dining, we were spoiled for choice. From casual buffets to specialty restaurants, there was something to satisfy every craving.
Overall, our experience on the Norwegian Gem was unforgettable. The ship's impressive amenities, attentive crew, and beautiful design made for a truly luxurious and enjoyable voyage. Whether you're a seasoned cruiser or embarking on your first adventure, the Norwegian Gem is sure to exceed your expectations.
The crew profile of the NCL Norwegian Gem is one of the highlights of this cruise experience. From the moment you step on board, you'll be greeted by a team of dedicated and friendly staff members who are committed to providing exceptional service.
One key crew member you'll meet is the Cruise Director. This individual is responsible for ensuring that guests have a memorable and enjoyable time on board. They oversee the onboard entertainment and activities, making sure that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it's a live show, a game of trivia, or a dance party, the Cruise Director ensures that there is never a dull moment on the Norwegian Gem.
Another important crew member is the Executive Chef. This talented individual is responsible for creating delicious and diverse dining options for guests. From gourmet meals in the main dining room to casual fare at the buffet, the Executive Chef ensures that every meal is a culinary delight. They work closely with their team of chefs and kitchen staff to ensure that each dish is prepared to perfection.
Lastly, the crew profile wouldn't be complete without mentioning the housekeeping staff. These dedicated individuals work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that your cabin is clean and comfortable throughout your stay. They take pride in their work and go above and beyond to make sure that you have everything you need for a relaxing and enjoyable cruise.
Overall, the crew of the NCL Norwegian Gem is a key component of the cruise experience. Their expertise, friendliness, and dedication to service truly enhance the overall enjoyment of your time on board.
The Cabins / Staterooms
When it comes to choosing a cabin on the Norwegian Gem, there are several options to consider. Each cabin type offers its own unique amenities and special features, ensuring that every guest can find the perfect accommodation to suit their needs and preferences.
One of the cabin types available on the Norwegian Gem is the Inside Cabin. These cabins are located in the interior of the ship and do not have a window or balcony. While they may lack natural light, Inside Cabins are a great option for those who prioritize value and are looking for a comfortable place to rest after a day of exploring the ship and its many amenities.
Inside Cabins are equipped with all the necessary amenities, including a cozy bed, a private bathroom, and ample storage space for your belongings.
For those who prefer a view of the ocean, the Oceanview Cabin is an excellent choice. These cabins feature a large window that allows natural light to flood the room and offers stunning views of the sea.
The Oceanview Cabins are slightly larger than the Inside Cabins and provide a sense of spaciousness. They also come with all the standard amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay.
If you're looking for a more luxurious experience, the Balcony Cabin is the way to go. These cabins feature a private balcony where you can relax and enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean.
The Balcony Cabins offer the perfect combination of indoor and outdoor living, allowing you to soak up the sun or enjoy a romantic dinner under the stars. In addition to the standard amenities, the Balcony Cabins also come with upgraded features such as a mini-fridge and a sitting area.
For the ultimate indulgence, the Suite is the top-tier cabin option on the Norwegian Gem. These spacious and elegantly designed cabins offer a separate living area, a private bedroom, and a large balcony.
Suites also come with exclusive perks such as priority embarkation and disembarkation, access to a private lounge, and a dedicated concierge service. The Suites provide a truly luxurious experience, perfect for those who want to pamper themselves during their cruise.
When choosing a cabin type, it's important to consider your preferences and priorities. If you're someone who spends most of their time exploring the ship and participating in onboard activities, an Inside Cabin or an Oceanview Cabin may be the best choice for you. These cabin types offer comfort and convenience at a more affordable price point.
On the other hand, if you value privacy and enjoy spending time outdoors, a Balcony Cabin or a Suite would be the ideal option. These cabin types provide a more luxurious experience and allow you to enjoy the beauty of the ocean from the comfort of your own private space.
Restaurants & Dining Options
Most elevators in the ship have electronic boards showing waiting time at the various restaurants. Such boards are also there outside the restaurants. If there is a queue, the waitress would give you a beeper which will give signals when your turn comes.
There is a wide array of dining options available on the ship. From casual eateries to specialty restaurants, there was something to satisfy every craving and culinary preference.
The Grand Pacific Main Dining Room is an elegant and spacious venue and offers a sophisticated dining experience with its grand chandeliers and panoramic ocean views. The cuisine at Grand Pacific is diverse, featuring a mix of international dishes and classic favorites.
We indulged in a delectable lobster bisque as a starter, followed by a mouthwatering prime rib for the main course. The Grand Pacific Main Dining Room is included in the basic cruise price, allowing guests to enjoy a fine dining experience without any additional cost.
For a more intimate and romantic setting, we dined at Cagney's Steakhouse. This specialty restaurant exudes a cozy and upscale ambience, with its dim lighting and plush seating. As steak lovers, we were delighted by the selection of premium cuts and perfectly cooked steaks.
The filet mignon was tender and flavorful, while the ribeye was juicy and succulent. Cagney's Steakhouse requires an additional fee, but the quality of the food and the impeccable service make it well worth the splurge.
If you're in the mood for some Asian cuisine, the Orchid Garden is a must-visit. This vibrant and colorful restaurant offers a variety of Asian dishes, from sushi and sashimi to stir-fries and curries.
We started our meal with a plate of fresh and beautifully presented sushi rolls, followed by a spicy Thai green curry that packed a punch of flavors. The Orchid Garden is included in the basic cruise price, making it a great option for guests looking to explore the diverse flavors of Asia.
For a casual and laid-back dining experience, we headed to the Garden Café. This buffet-style restaurant offers a wide range of options, from salads and sandwiches to international dishes and comfort food classics. The atmosphere at the Garden Café is relaxed and casual, perfect for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.
We enjoyed a variety of dishes, including a flavorful Mediterranean salad and a comforting plate of pasta. The Garden Café is included in the basic cruise price, providing guests with a convenient and flexible dining option throughout their cruise.
In addition to these restaurants, the Norwegian Gem also offers a variety of specialty dining options, such as Le Bistro French Restaurant, Moderno Churrascaria serving Brazilian cuisine, La Cucina serving Italian cuisine, Sushi and Teppanyaki.
These specialty restaurants provide a unique and immersive dining experience, with their themed ambience and carefully crafted menus. While they require an additional fee, the quality of the food and the exceptional service make them a worthwhile indulgence.
Other than the above, there is a 24 hours room service on a limited menu items. There is also a spacious outdoor buffet that accommodates 259 persons.
Overall, our dining experience on the Norwegian Gem was excellent. The variety of restaurants and dining options ensured that we never had a dull meal throughout our cruise. Whether we were indulging in a fine dining experience at the Grand Pacific Main Dining Room or savoring the flavors of Asia at the Orchid Garden, each restaurant offered its own unique ambience, cuisine, and signature dishes.
The best part was that many of these dining options were included in the basic cruise price, allowing us to enjoy a wide range of culinary delights without breaking the bank. So, if you're a food lover looking for a memorable dining experience at sea, the Norwegian Gem has got you covered.
Bars & Lounges
When it comes to bars and lounges on the Norwegian Gem, there is no shortage of options to choose from.
One of our favorite spots was the Bliss Ultra Lounge. With its vibrant and energetic ambience, this lounge is the perfect place to dance the night away. The music was a mix of popular hits and dance beats, creating a lively atmosphere. Bliss Ultra Lounge features 4-lane bowling alley and plasma TVs as well.
The bar at Bliss offers a wide selection of drinks and cocktails, including their signature "Gemtini" - a refreshing blend of vodka, cranberry juice, and a splash of lime. The best part is that Bliss Ultra Lounge is included in the basic cruise price, so you can enjoy the lively atmosphere without any additional cost.
For a more laid-back and intimate setting, we recommend the Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar. This cozy bar has a rustic ambience, with dark wood furnishings and a relaxed vibe. The menu features a wide range of beers and whiskeys from around the world, perfect for connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.
One of the signature drinks we enjoyed was the "Bermuda Breeze" - a tropical cocktail made with rum, pineapple juice, and a hint of coconut. Please note that Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar is not included in the basic cruise price and requires an additional fee.
Another popular spot on the Norwegian Gem is the Atrium Bar. Located in the heart of the ship, this bar offers a central meeting point for guests to gather and socialize. The ambience is elegant and sophisticated, with live music performances adding to the atmosphere.
The Atrium Bar serves a variety of drinks and cocktails, including classics like martinis and mojitos. This bar is included in the basic cruise price, making it a convenient option for guests looking for a casual drink or a place to meet up with friends.
Some of the other bars & lounges onboard the Norwegian Gem are:
Bali Hai Bar and Grill (styled as a ballooning basket with sandbags, ropes and a rattan front);
Gem Club Casino Bar (a full bar with casino);
Magnum Champagne and Wine bar;
Sake Bar (part of Orchid Garden restaurant);
Shakers Martini and Cocktail Bar (features James Bond inspired graphics and funky images from the 60's and 70's);
Spinnaker Lounge (The show band is excellent. It's also a dance floor with horizontal windows);
Top Siders Bar and Grill (pool side bar);
With all these diverse options, you can find the perfect bar or lounge to suit your mood and preference. Whether you're looking for a lively dance floor, a cozy spot to enjoy a drink, or a central meeting point, there is something for everyone. So sit back, relax, and raise a glass to a memorable cruise experience.
When it comes to entertainment options and activities on the Norwegian Gem, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
One of the highlights of the onboard entertainment is the Broadway-style shows. We had the opportunity to watch captivating performances of popular musicals such as "Rock of Ages" and "Burn the Floor." The talented cast members brought these shows to life with their incredible singing and dancing skills.
The best part is that these shows are included in the basic cruise price, allowing guests to enjoy world-class entertainment without any additional cost.
For those who enjoy live music, the Norwegian Gem offers a variety of performances throughout the ship. We particularly enjoyed the live bands playing at the various bars and lounges. From jazz to rock, there was always a band playing our favorite tunes. The energetic atmosphere created by the live music added an extra level of excitement to our evenings onboard.
If you're looking for a more interactive experience, the Norwegian Gem has a range of activities to keep you entertained. One of our favorites was the onboard game shows. We had a blast participating in trivia contests and game shows like Deal or No Deal.
These activities provided a fun and engaging way to interact with other guests and test our knowledge and luck. The best part is that these game shows are included in the basic cruise price, making them a great option for some friendly competition.
For those seeking relaxation and pampering, the Norwegian Gem offers a luxurious spa experience. You can indulge in rejuvenating treatments such as massages and facials to get refreshed and revitalized.
The spa facilities, including the sauna and steam room, were the perfect place to unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of the ship. Please note that spa treatments are not included in the basic cruise price and require an additional fee.
If you're traveling with children, the Norwegian Gem has plenty of entertainment options for them as well. The Splash Academy is a supervised program for kids aged 3 to 12, offering a variety of activities and games to keep them engaged and entertained.
From arts and crafts to sports and themed parties, there was never a dull moment for the little ones. The Splash Academy is included in the basic cruise price, making it a convenient option for families.
In addition to these activities, the ship also offers a range of sports and fitness facilities. You can enjoy playing basketball and volleyball on the sports court, as well as working out in the well-equipped fitness center. These facilities are included in the basic cruise price, allowing guests to stay active and maintain their fitness routine while onboard.
Overall, the Norwegian Gem provides a wide array of entertainment options and activities to suit every taste and preference. Whether you're a fan of Broadway shows, live music, interactive game shows, spa treatments, or sports and fitness, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The best part is that many of these options are included in the basic cruise price, ensuring that guests can make the most of their onboard experience without breaking the bank.
Below is a list of key on-board entertainment and activities:
Basket Ball / Volley Ball / Tennis Courts
Body Waves Fitness Center: Full gym. Aerobics/fitness classes held daily.
Business Center and Meeting Rooms
Corona Cigar Room
Gem Club Casino: Full casino with a capacity of 327
Hot Tubs: There are 6 hot tubs in the ship
Jogging and Walking Track
Kid's Pool: Has many fun features as well
Stardust Theater (Broadway and Vegas-style shows are held here. Capacity: 1042)
Tahitian Pool: The main pool of the ship with Topsiders Bar and Grill next to it
An on board Chapel also functions as a meeting room
Leopard Lounge - Teens can have fun here
A library with a great view of the ocean
Trade Route Boutiques - Large department store offering a nice selection of items. There are several other interesting stores onboard the ship.
Tree Top Kid's Club - also has indoor jungle gym/obstacle course
Mandara Spa and Salon - a full-service spa.
The cruise ship provides a well-equipped and supervised Kids Club, where children can engage in a variety of fun and educational activities. Trained staff members ensure the safety and well-being of the children, allowing parents to relax and enjoy their own time on the ship.
For families looking for more space and privacy, family cabins are available on the Norwegian Gem. These cabins are designed to accommodate larger groups and offer separate sleeping areas for parents and children. With amenities such as extra storage space and a private bathroom, these cabins provide a comfortable home away from home for families.
Age-appropriate activities are also a highlight of the Norwegian Gem's family-friendly features. From arts and crafts to sports and games, there is always something exciting happening for children of all ages.
Teens can enjoy their own dedicated hangout space, complete with video games, music, and social activities. The ship's entertainment team ensures that each activity is tailored to the interests and abilities of different age groups, ensuring that everyone has a great time.
In addition to these specific features, the Norwegian Gem also offers a range of family-oriented amenities throughout the ship. From family-friendly dining options to swimming pools and water slides, there is no shortage of things to do together as a family.
Excursions and Itinerary Highlights
One of the highlights of the cruise ship's itinerary in Bermuda is the chance to visit the stunning Horseshoe Bay Beach
. With its pink sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, this beach is a true paradise. Whether you want to relax under the sun, take a dip in the ocean, or explore the nearby trails, Horseshoe Bay Beach has something for everyone.
Another must-visit attraction is the historic town of St. George. As you stroll through its charming streets, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St. Peter's Church to the fascinating Bermuda National Trust Museum, there is so much history and culture to discover in this quaint town.
The cruise ship also offers excursions to the Crystal Caves. These natural wonders are a sight to behold, with their intricate formations and underground pools. Exploring the caves is like entering a different world, and it's an experience that shouldn't be missed.
There is also an excursion to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. Here, you can get up close and personal with a variety of marine life, including sharks, turtles, and colorful tropical fish. It's a great opportunity to learn about Bermuda's unique ecosystem and conservation efforts.
One of the exclusive experiences that the NCL Norwegian Gem offers in Bermuda is the chance to swim with dolphins. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allows you to interact with these intelligent creatures in their natural habitat. It's an experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Cost that are outside the cruise deal
Costs that are not included in a cruise deal can sometimes catch guests off guard if they are not aware of them beforehand. While the basic cruise package covers many amenities and services, there are certain additional costs that guests should be prepared for.
One cost that is not included in the cruise deal is gratuities. While the crew members work hard to ensure a pleasant experience for guests, it is customary to tip them for their service. The recommended gratuity amount varies, but a general estimate is around $14 to $20 per person, per day. This can add up over the course of the cruise, especially for larger groups or longer trips.
Another cost to consider is specialty dining. While the main dining options are included in the cruise package, there are certain specialty restaurants that require an additional fee. These restaurants offer a more upscale dining experience with a wider range of menu options. The cost for specialty dining can vary, but it is typically around $30 to $40 per person, per meal.
Drinks are another expense that is not included in the cruise deal. While water, coffee, and tea are usually available for free, alcoholic beverages and specialty drinks come at an additional cost. Cocktails, for example, can range from $10 to $15 each. For guests who enjoy having a few drinks throughout the day, this can add up quickly.
Excursions and activities in port are also not included in the cruise package. While the ship may offer a variety of excursions, such as snorkeling or sightseeing tours, these come at an additional cost. The prices for excursions can vary depending on the activity and duration, but a rough estimate is around $50 to $100 per person, per excursion.
Another cost that is not included in the basic cruise package is the spa. While the Norwegian Gem offers a luxurious onboard spa, the services provided come at an additional cost. Whether you're looking for a relaxing massage or a rejuvenating facial, these spa treatments can range from $100 to $200 per session.
Lastly, wifi is another cost that is not included in the basic cruise package. If you need to stay connected during your cruise, wifi packages are available for purchase. These packages can range from $10 to $30 per day, depending on the duration and data allowance.
It is important for guests to be aware of these additional costs and budget accordingly. By planning ahead and factoring in these expenses, you can ensure a more enjoyable and stress-free cruise experience.
Our Overall Opinion
Starting with the positives, Norwegian Gem offers comfortable and well-appointed cabins. The cabins are spacious, with plenty of storage space and comfortable beds. We have also appreciated the cleanliness and attention to detail in the cabins, making for a pleasant and relaxing stay onboard.
In terms of entertainment, the Norwegian Gem offers a wide range of options to keep guests entertained throughout their cruise. From Broadway-style shows to live music performances, there is something for everyone.
The quality of the entertainment has been consistently praised by guests, with many highlighting the talented performers and engaging performances.
Another positive aspect of this cruise is the variety of dining options available onboard. From casual buffets to specialty restaurants, you get a wide range of choices when it comes to dining. The quality of the food has been generally excellent, with many guests raving about the delicious flavors and presentation of the dishes.
However, it's important to note that there are also some negatives to consider. One common complaint is the high cost of certain amenities and services onboard. For example, some we found the prices for spa treatments to be exorbitant, with sessions ranging from $100 to $200. Similarly, specialty dining options can also be quite expensive, with prices averaging around $30 to $40 per person.
In conclusion, the NCL Norwegian Gem to Bermuda offers a great cruise experience with comfortable cabins, excellent entertainment, and a variety of dining options. However, it's important to consider the high costs of certain amenities and services when budgeting for your cruise.
Comparing with other NCL Cruises
Below is a comparison between Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Joy, and Norwegian Breakaway, so that you can easily contrast the features and amenities of each ship. This can allow you to choose the one that best suits your preferences and needs.
- Norwegian Gem: The Norwegian Gem is a mid-sized ship, accommodating around 2,400 passengers. It offers a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere.
- Norwegian Joy: The Norwegian Joy is a larger ship, accommodating around 3,800 passengers. It provides a wider range of amenities and activities.
- Norwegian Breakaway: The Norwegian Breakaway is also a larger ship, accommodating around 4,000 passengers. It offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere.
2. Dining Options:
- Norwegian Gem: The Norwegian Gem offers a variety of dining options, including complimentary main dining rooms, specialty restaurants, and casual eateries.
- Norwegian Joy: The Norwegian Joy also provides a range of dining options, with a focus on Asian cuisine. It features specialty restaurants, buffet-style dining, and casual eateries.
- Norwegian Breakaway: The Norwegian Breakaway offers an extensive selection of dining options, including specialty restaurants, main dining rooms, and casual eateries. It also features unique dining experiences, such as the Waterfront dining promenade.
3. Onboard Entertainment:
- Norwegian Gem: The Norwegian Gem offers a range of entertainment options, including Broadway-style shows, live music performances, and themed parties.
- Norwegian Joy: The Norwegian Joy provides a variety of entertainment choices, including Broadway-style shows, live music venues, and a virtual reality gaming complex.
- Norwegian Breakaway: The Norwegian Breakaway offers a wide array of entertainment options, including Broadway shows, comedy clubs, live music venues, and a thrilling aqua park.
4. Family-Friendly Features:
- Norwegian Gem: The Norwegian Gem offers family-friendly amenities, such as a kids' club, a teen lounge, and a family pool area.
- Norwegian Joy: The Norwegian Joy also provides family-friendly features, including a kids' club, a teen club, and a family-friendly pool area with water slides.
- Norwegian Breakaway: The Norwegian Breakaway offers an extensive range of family-friendly amenities, including a kids' club, a teen club, a dedicated splash park, and a multi-level sports complex.
Remember to consider your budget, travel dates, and personal preferences when making your decision.
How to get the best deals on Norwegian Gem to Bermuda
To get the best deals, there are a few strategies that I found helpful during my own booking process.
First and foremost, it's important to be flexible with your travel dates. Prices for cruises can vary depending on the time of year and demand. If you have the flexibility to travel during off-peak times, such as during the shoulder seasons or weekdays, you are more likely to find better deals. Keep in mind that prices tend to be higher during holidays and school vacation periods.
When it comes to booking, I highly recommend using reliable websites that specialize in cruise bookings. These websites often offer exclusive deals and discounts that may not be available elsewhere. Some popular websites that I found useful include Expedia, CruiseDirect, and Vacations To Go. These websites provide a wide range of options and allow you to compare prices and itineraries easily.
In addition to booking websites, it's also a good idea to visit the official NCL website for more information about the Norwegian Gem and its Bermuda itinerary. The NCL website provides detailed information about the ship, its amenities, and the various dining and entertainment options available onboard. It also offers the latest promotions and deals, which can help you save money on your booking.
To gather more information about the Norwegian Gem and its Bermuda cruise, I recommend visiting reputable travel websites and forums. Websites such as Cruise Critic and TripAdvisor have dedicated sections where travelers share their experiences and provide valuable insights.
Lastly, it's important to keep an eye out for special promotions and discounts. Cruise lines often offer limited-time deals and promotions, such as discounted fares, onboard credits, or free upgrades. Signing up for newsletters and following the cruise line's social media accounts can help you stay informed about these offers.
Additionally, booking your cruise well in advance or taking advantage of last-minute deals can also lead to significant savings.
By Raj Bhattacharya
Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures.
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