Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Shon Ford

Norwegian Gem is nothing less than her name boasts. She sails with a four-lane bowling alley*, a rock-climbing wall, 6 hot tubs and the hahalarious Second City Comedy Troupe. The preceding and more internal finds aboard this innovative ‘Freestyle Cruising’ vessel make her not just a rare gem, but a genuine jewel gracing the high seas.Like other ships in the NCL fleet, Norwegian Gem sails with a host of dining options–15 to be exact. Of those 15, 5 do not require an additional cover charge–with the exception of room service; which does between the hours of 12:00am – 5:00am. Accompanying the many eateries on-aboard are 10 unique bars throughout the ship. There’s even a two-story high visual screen plastered smack-dab in the middle of the atrium–perfect for watching sporting events (e.g., NFL games) and classic movies, or playing Nintendo Wii.

While sailing Norwegian Gem, you may see her make a chocolaty cameo appearance at the chocoholic buffet.

The NCL world-famous White Hot Party is ah-mazing! It was truly the bomb diggity featuring everything these high-seas parties are known to have: foam, bubbles, ice sculptures, angel wings, glow sticks, and the ocean’s most vivacious cruise crew! If you’ve never experienced a White Hot Party with NCL, you’re definitely missing the ice ice, baby! Be sure to pack your white for this iconic event… oh, and book a cruise with Norwegian (they’re the only ones who boogie while it’s nice, white, and hot). And if you want to keep that dance floor swag alive until the wee hours of the morning, be sure to swing into the Bliss Ultra Lounge; and you’ll meet some of the high seas’ hottest DJ’s bustin’ the tunes that’ll keep you in the groove!

Norwegian Gem's rock-climbing wall is a great on-board feature. Would you make the climb? I know I did!

She has one of the best gyms afloat–Body Waves Fitness Center–where I spent most of my evenings. The classes offered on-board are may have you in pain, but your body feeling the muscle gain. If you stay on your toes, you can get into the some of the free classes and seminars the trainers teach! Norwegian Gem calls New York, New York home–docking at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal all year round–sailing up and down the East Coast leaving no wave unsailed on the Atlantic. She peaks her bow into the waters of the Bahamas, Florida, the Eastern Caribbean, Canada/New England, and in the middle of nowhere–sailing her signature dinner and dance cruises.

Norwegian Gem anchored off the coast of Norwegian Cruise Line's private island--Great Stirrup Cay.

I had the time of my life aboard Norwegian Gem and give her a 4.4 out of a possible 5 waves on the cruisetacular sailing scale. She’s NCL’s ‘it’ girl, one of Manhattan’s ‘Freestyle Cruising’ attractions, and the best excuse for your next holiday getaway. Be sure to check out all this beautiful ship has to offer, and you too will realize why your jewelry collection hasn’t been made complete–you’re missing this smooth sailing gem. Your ships await, and it may be Norwegian Gem!

Photo Credits: Shon “Cruise Man 3000” Ford
*Denotes a $5.00 fee per person, per game.



Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.