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Norwegian Gem - Cruise Ship Review - Passenger Reviews

Norwegian Gem cruising In the year 2000, Norwegian Cruise Line decided that cruising had become too stuffy, so it began redesigning its onboard programs and its ships to be more casual, down-to-earth, and just plain fun. The 93,000-ton, 2,394-guest Norwegian Gem and her Jewel-class sister ships are the direct result of that makeover. Launched in 2007, Norwegian Gem is everything a mainstream American megaship should be, offering a festive atmoshere, great entertainment, a slew of restaurants, awesome children’s centers, fun decor, fantastic suites, and comfortable standard staterooms, all at a fair price.

On Norwegian Gem’s bow, paintings of bright gem stones flow back like a scarf — a playful touch that was designed to say, “Hey! Come aboard. We have fun in here.”

Public Rooms & Entertainment On Norwegian Gem
Inside, the mood continues from the moment you come aboard, with fantasy furniture and artwork in the atrium lobby, an explosion of bright island colors in both the public rooms and accommodations, and a dash of contemporary and art deco styling in some of her fancier restaurants and lounges. Top of the wow pyramid is the Bliss Ultra Lounge, which juxtaposes Indian Bollywood themes, velvety fashion-world curtains and daybeds, dozens of TV screens for visual mood-setting, and four 10-pin bowling lanes to create one of the most modern hipster night spots at sea. Farther forward, the multi-deck Stardust Theater seats 1,000 guests for some of the best production shows in the cruise world, as well as performances by the great Second City comedy troupe.

Up on Deck 13, the Spinnaker observation lounge hosts late-night music and dancing. More intimate, low-volume socializing takes place at midships on Deck 6, where three themed bars are clustered together, one specializing in beer and whiskey, one in martinis and cocktails, and one in champagne. Other public rooms include a large casino, a reading room, a library, an Internet center, a wedding chapel, and a coffee bar.

Grand Pacific restaurant on Norwegian GemJust For Kids On Norwegian Gem
Kids get a huge, bright play area outfitted with cozy TV rooms, a huge climbing maze, and great crafts, play, and computer areas. There’s also a small play area outdoors. Teens get their own hangout space called the Leopard Lounge.

Dining On Norwegian Gem
A dinnertime, guests can choose among 12 different restaurants:
•The main Grand Pacific and Magenta dining rooms
•Le Bistro, the most formal restaurant onboard, serving French and continental cuisine
•The Orchid Garden, for Asian food
•The Teppanyaki Room, where chefs prepare your meal at a tableside grill, Japanese style
•A sushi bar
•Cagney’s, a classic steakhouse with an attached, 1930s-style bar for cocktails before or after dinner
•La Cucina, serving casual, family-style Italian meals at long tables
•The Tequila Tapas Bar
•The Garden Cafe buffet restaurant
•The casual Blue Lagoon, serving comfort food 24 hours a day
•And, added in 2011, a new South American–style steakhouse called Moderno Churrascaria, where servers circulate among the tables with a huge selection of grilled meats
There are also the usual outdoor grills and indoor snack spots during the day, plus room service, and you can even order pizza 24 hours a day for $5 per pie, delivered to you anywhere on the ship.

Pools, Fitness & Fun On Norwegian Gem
Outdoors, Norwegian Gem’s resort-like pool deck is hedged to port and starboard by a row of palm-tree-shaped street lamps, while a large, Bermuda-style gazebo bandstand sits in the center, among two pools, four hot tubs, and a two-story corkscrew waterslide. Up in the bow on that same deck is the ship’s amazing spa, with its multiple treatment rooms, saunas, beauty salon, and calming relaxation center with its own aquatherapy pool. A large fitness center is next door, and there’s a jogging track and a basketball/volleyball court outside.

Couartyard pool area on the Norwegian Gem. Roof in a closed position.Cabins On Norwegian Gem
Standard staterooms are comfortable if not plush, decorated in bright fabrics and woody paneling and accents. Furniture tends to be a bit spindly and insubstantial, but overall the rooms are pleasant and livable, with TVs, minibars, well-designed bathrooms, and, in about half the outside cabins, smallish but acceptable private balconies. Outsides range from about 160 to 205 square feet.

At the high end, Norwegian Gem offers 11 different categories of suites, many of them in its “The Haven by Norwegian” first-class section. Top of the heap is the incredible Garden Villa, with its three separate bedrooms, living room, dining room, and private garden. Most distinctive are the two-bedroom, 572-square-foot Family Villas and 440-square-foot Courtyard Penthouses, all arrayed around a private courtyard with its own small swimming pool, hot tub, and plush sun beds. There’s also a private sun deck upstairs and a dedicated concierge lounge, all for the use of Haven guests only.

Freestyle Cruising

Norwegian Cruise Line's ships are all about Freestyle Cruising. Freestyle Cruising means individual flexibility and freedom. On a Freestyle cruise you choose what to do on your vacation.

Freestyle Dining
Freestyle Dining: choose between up to 20 different dining venues per ship (20 on the Norwegian Epic). No need to rush, no need to watch the clock. In addition to two Freestyle main dining rooms, Norwegian Cruise Line's ships offer an array of a la carte gourmet and ethnic restaurants and casual eateries. From elegant French bistros and Italian trattorias to sushi and tapas bars, and more, there's a different dining option for every night of your cruise. Dine at a cozy table for two or reserve a table for up to ten friends and family members. When, where, and with whom you dine is your decision.

Freestyle Attire
Freestyle Attire: On your Freestyle cruise the attire is "resort casual"; think collared shirts and pants or designer jeans in the evening for the men, and the equivalent for the ladies. No need to pack gowns, suits, or ties. Should you prefer to dress up a little more, feel free to do so. With Freestyle Cruising the choice is yours.

Ship Information
Norwegian Gem is specially built for Freestyle Cruising. In addition to the multitude of Freestyle restaurants we have come to know and to love, the the ship features a Broadway Theater, casino, several pools, bowling alleys, a rock climbing wall, and much more. At a cruising speed of 25 knots, the Dawn/Jewel class cruise ships are among the fastest of any cruise ship.

Teppanyaki restaurant on Norwegian GemShip Facts
Year Built 2007 ♦ Ship's Class: Dawn/Jewel Class ♦ Country of Registry Bahamas ♦ Tonnage 93,000 ♦ Length 965 ft - 290 m ♦ Cruising Speed 25 knots ♦ Passenger Capacity (double occupancy) 2,394 ♦ Passenger Capacity (incl. upper beds) 2,807 ♦ Passenger Decks 12 ♦ Officers and Crew 1,010 ♦ Officer's Nationality International ♦ Crew and Hotel Staff Nationality International

Total 1,197 ♦ Suites with Balcony 182 ♦ Oceanview with Balcony 360 ♦ Oceanview without Balcony 243 ♦ Inside 412 ♦ Accessible Cabins (all categories) 27 ♦ Amenties in all cabins include luxury bedding, refrigerator, satellite TV programming, and complimentary room service.

Cabin Amenities
TV with music channels ♦ In-Cabin Movies ♦ In-Cabin Internet Access ♦ Private Safe ♦ Minibar ♦ Hair Dryer

Freestyle Dining - you decide when, where, and with whom to dine. Dining in the two Main Dining Rooms, in the indoor and outdoor buffets, the around the clock dining venue, and the poolside eateries is included. For the more exclusive specialty restaurants, such as the French Le Bistro or the Japanese Teppanyaki, there is a $10 - 25 cover charge. ♦ Traditional Dining - None, there is no traditional, assigned seating dining on Norwegian Cruise Line ships ♦ Formal Nights - for those who wish to dress up (usually about 1/3 of passengers), there is a "formal optional" evening, but don't expect to see any tuxedos or ballgowns ♦ Main Freestyle Dining Rooms: Grand Pacific, Magenta ♦ Specialty Restaurants: Le Bistro, Cagney's Steakhouse, Teppanyaki, Orchid Garden, Tequila, La Cucina, Sushi ♦ Exclusive Breakfast & Lunch Restaurant for Suites ♦ Specialty Coffee Bar ♦ 24 Hour Food Service Available

Public Rooms
Bars and Lounges ♦ Bliss Ultra Lounge Nightclub, complete with bowling lanes! ♦ Library ♦ Internet Center

Showlounge - Broadway style shows ♦ Casino ♦ Bliss Nightclub ♦ Card Room/Game Room ♦ Video Games Arcade

Sports and Activities
Outdoor Pools ♦ Sports Court ♦ Fitness Center ♦ Jogging Track ♦ Promenade Deck - wraps around the ship ♦ Bowling Alleys

Spa and Wellness
Full Service Spa ♦ MedSpa Services ♦ Sauna or Steam Room ♦ Beauty Salon ♦ Yoga ♦ Pilates ♦ Fitness Assessment ♦ Health and Nutrition Evaluation

Children and Teens
Family Cabins ♦ Organized Age Specific Activities ♦ Children's Pool ♦ Outdoor Children's Play Area ♦ Youth Staff ♦ Dedicated Teen Center ♦ Teen Programs ♦ Teen Staff ♦ Group Babysitting Services

Other Facilities and Services
Duty Free Shops and Boutiques ♦ Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service ♦ Business Center Services ♦ Medical Center