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Old December 30th, 2007, 04:38 PM
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Default Christmas Aboard The Gem

We just returned from our Christmas cruise aboard the Gem. Of all the NCL ships we've been on, this was the most beautiful!

I was a bit worried about being away for Christmas, but the guilt lasted for about 2 minutes when I stepped on the ship and was completely gone by the time I arrived at our cabin. Once our luggage arrived, we decorated our cabin and the 6 ft. lighted tree made all the difference in the world. The entire ship was decked out for the holiday and the crew were all in the spirit. There was an 11:15 pm Christmas Eve RC Mass. The NCL Holiday show was very good.

The crew was friendly and very accommodating. I was particularly impressed with the buffet. I'm not a buffet person, but the food was very tasty and there was a wide selection. The salad bar was very good. The layout of the buffet area was well planned. Although much smaller than other ships, it was never crowed. The coffee machines had cappacino, espresso and latte at no extra charge (unlike all the other NCL cruises we were on). Cagney's and LeBistro are still my favorite restaurants. La Cucina was also very good. Unfortunately, my scale indicated that I enjoyed the food. My only complaint was NCL's new restaurant reservation process. Prior to this cruise, we were always able to make reservations for the entire cruise on the day of embarkation. The new process only allows you to make reservations 24 hrs in advance beginning at 7 am. A few times by 7:15 am, the restaurant was totally booked.

In the atrium area, there is a two story screen (I'd say it was larger than a standard movie theater screen), where Weii games were played by both children and adults. This was fun. Also, on that screen, NFL football games were projected on Sunday afternoon. It was quite funny to watch all those people sitting in straight backed chairs watching a game. It was a bit different from laying on your couch at home, but where can you watch a game on such a large screen?

The lounges with beds in them were a bit strange, but the ones in the Spinniker Lounge were great on those days at sea when it was cold and windy out. They became a nice place to lay around and read.

The spa area was a treat and well worth the extra $20 a day to use. It kept all the kids out.

Speaking of children, there were 900 on board for this cruise. I must say, the kids were pretty good.

My only wish is that we were still on the ship! I'm now looking for a cruise to take next Christmas. This may now become an annual trip for us DINKs.[img][/img]
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Old December 30th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Glad you enjoyed the Gem, I too thought she was just beautiful! Not having sailed any of the newer NCL ships, till the Gem, I thought the Garden Cafe was larger, and wider then most ships I have sailed, but since this was a media & ta cruise, it was probably not at capacity, so it really was never crowded either. The tray issue irked me, but I asked for one, and was given one, with no problem;)

How did you like that fabulous ice tree in the atrium..I thought they had chosen very contemporary decorations...and the girly girl inme loved the crystal columns at the pursers desk, and on the glass doors.

I cannot wait to sail her again!
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Old December 31st, 2007, 07:10 PM
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The crystal tree was beautiful, as were all the other crystal pieces throughout the ship. I liked the atrium ceiling.

I'll send you a pic of our tree. I tried posting it, but it didin't work.

I, too, can't wait to sail her again. Maybe next Christmas!
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Old December 31st, 2007, 07:14 PM
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Trip:
Were the waves approx. 50 ft high during your voyage? One of the ladies in the spa said they had to cancel all the massages due to 50 ft waves during the NorEastern. I can't imagine the ship with waves like that. On the way to Florida, the seas were relatively calm (5-6 ft) and the ship was rocking and rolling. It was probably because the stabilizers were not being used because they were going full speed to arrive in Fla on time. The trip home was very calm.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacaqn
Trip:
Were the waves approx. 50 ft high during your voyage? One of the ladies in the spa said they had to cancel all the massages due to 50 ft waves during the NorEastern. I can't imagine the ship with waves like that. On the way to Florida, the seas were relatively calm (5-6 ft) and the ship was rocking and rolling. It was probably because the stabilizers were not being used because they were going full speed to arrive in Fla on time. The trip home was very calm.
50 fppt waves would be some kind a waves I would think. I was raised in So Ca, did the beach thing all my growing up years and I don't think I ever saw 50 ft ones.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 08:10 PM
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If the waves were that high, it would have been the talk of the ship.:):)Due to the storm, there was just a bit of rockin...I did not hear of cancellations, but you never know....
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
Quote:
Originally Posted by vacaqn
Trip:
Were the waves approx. 50 ft high during your voyage? One of the ladies in the spa said they had to cancel all the massages due to 50 ft waves during the NorEastern. I can't imagine the ship with waves like that. On the way to Florida, the seas were relatively calm (5-6 ft) and the ship was rocking and rolling. It was probably because the stabilizers were not being used because they were going full speed to arrive in Fla on time. The trip home was very calm.
50 fppt waves would be some kind a waves I would think. I was raised in So Ca, did the beach thing all my growing up years and I don't think I ever saw 50 ft ones.
Nmita - Yes, it's possible. I was on a cruise in 1996 and we were in the Gulf when Hurricane Josephine (I think that was the name) formed. The path was not projected properly so Carnival went forward with the itinerary and we wound up in 40-50 ft seas (I don't blame Carnival for this). The doors going to the outdoors were locked so that no one could venture outside. People who were in rooms with portholes (our friends had a porthole room) were woken up in the middle of the night so that the staff could drill steel plates over the portholes (I assume in case the window broke??) I would say that about 80% of the passengers and crew were sick. There was a skeleton crew in the dining room - our busboy told us that our waiter was sick along with most of his friends. It was disgusting b/c everywhere you went you either smelled vomit or saw it. Thankfully neither my husband or I got sick. Most couples were either both sick or one of them was sick. After I got over thinking that the boat was going to flip over, we realized that we had the run of the casino....although there weren't many tables open. We were on our way from New Orleans to Tampa and we were supposed to arrive in Tampa at 8am but didn't arrive until 6pm. So yes, it is possible but maybe in the case talked about above it was a little exaggerated....but who knows.....anything is possible.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 07:52 PM
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Speaking to a friend recently, she knew someone on my cruise..She said they had very high waves...I must have been so totally unaware , maybe due to my martini:)
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Old January 9th, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Way to go, Trip! You're my type of lady. If you need a travel partner let me know.

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