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Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Gem

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Ship Specifications
Year Built: 2007 Age Restrictions: One person in each
Year Refurbished: N/A room must be 21 years old or older
Previous Name: N/A Seating Assignments: Freestyle Dining
Guest Occupancy: 2,380 Dining Hours: 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Crew: 1,154 Internet Access: Yes
Tonnage: 93,000 tons Bars/Lounges: 11
Length: 965 feet Spa: Yes
Beam: 105 feet Fitness Center : Yes
Cruising Speed: 25 knots Swimming Pools: 3
Decks: 15 Hot Tubs: 6
Ship's Registry: Bahamas Bowling Alley: Yes
Casino: Yes Rock Climbing Wall: No
Show Room: Yes Ice Skating Rink: No
Disco/Night Club: Yes 24-Hour Room Service: Yes
Library: Yes Hair Dryer in Room: Yes

View Norwegian Gem's Web Cam

Norwegian Gem, released in late 2007, is the youngest ship in Norwegian Cruise Line's already young fleet. This ship is a member of Norwegian's "Jewel Class" of ships, and is a sister ship to the beautiful Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jewel. Norwegian Gem features many special amenities, including 11 bars & lounges, 12 restaurants, a four lane bowling alley, and much more. As far as accommodations go, she features NCL's exclusive high-end Courtyard Villas and Garden Villas. All in all, Norwegian Gem is a perfect example of what NCL's Freestyle Cruising concept is capable of.

Destinations & Itineraries
Norwegian Gem will be featuring cruises in the following regions (subject to change, based on the cruise line's discretion):

2012: Eastern Caribbean
2013: Bahamas, Canada & New England, Eastern Caribbean, Cruise to Nowhere

Norwegian Gem features a wide range of stateroom types, from her standard interior staterooms all the way up to unbelievable (and huge) Courtyard and Garden Villas.

Interior Staterooms:
The interior staterooms onboard Norwegian Gem all feature two lower beds that can be converted into a queen-size bed. Categories range from N through II, with N being the least premium.

Oceanview Staterooms: There is a wide variety of oceanview staterooms for you to choose from on Norwegian Gem. The most basic oceanview room is a category H, which features a small porthole window. The most premium oceanview is a category CC room, which has a picture window. The oceanviews feature two lower beds that can convert to a queen-size bed.

Balcony Staterooms: The oceanview staterooms with balconies (also simply known as balcony staterooms) feature two lower beds that can be converted into a queen-size bed, a sitting area, and a floor-to-ceiling glass door that opens to a private balcony (a really great feature that you're sure to enjoy). The categories range from a BE all the way up to a BA.

Suites: There are quite a few types of suites on Norwegian Gem. The most basic type is the Mini-Suite (category AF and AG). The Mini-Suite features a sitting area, a private balcony, two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed, and a luxury bath and shower. The next most premium suite category are the Penthouses. These staterooms feature a living area, a private balcony, a dining area, a luxury bath and shower, and a bedroom with a queen-size bed. Butler service and concierge is available with the Penthouses.
Please be aware that certain suites that normally feature a luxury bath and shower will only have a shower if the room is for disabled guests. Among the Penthouse category rooms are the Romance Suites (category AD).

After the Penthouses, the next most premium category suites are the Courtyard Villas. These rooms are exclusive to the newest NCL ships. The Courtyard Villas feature a living area, a private balcony, a dining area, a separate bedroom with a queen-size bed, a luxury bath and shower, access to the exclusive concierge lounge, and a private courtyard area (hence, the name) with a pool, hot tub, and sundeck. These rooms also have a butler and concierge service available. Only certain Courtyard Villas (category A3) feature a separate children's bedroom.

The Owner's Suites (category AA) are over 790 square feet. These suites feature a living room, a private balcony, a dining room, a separate bedroom with a king-size bed, a mini bar, a luxury bath and separate shower, access to the concierge lounge, and a private courtyard area with pool, hot tub, and sundeck. These rooms feature the butler and concierge service as well. Deluxe Owner's Suites (category A2) are over 1,195 square feet in size and feature the same services and special amenities that the category AA Owner's Suites have.

The most spectacular (and expensive) accommodations on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship are the Garden Villas. Onboard Norwegian Gem, the two Garden Villas (category A1) are an amazing 4,390 square feet in size! A Garden Villa will sleep up to 6 adults, plus it has room for 2 rollaway beds and 3 cribs. This suite features a living room, a dining room, and three separate bedrooms (each with a king- or queen-size bed, and a private luxury bath). One of the three bedrooms features a full bath with whirlpool tub and separate shower. Of course, this type of suite features butler and concierge service, as well as access to a private courtyard area (as described above).

All Norwegian Cruise Line ships have an open dining setup (which is one of the main aspects of their Freestyle Cruising format). Open dining means that you can eat where you want, when you want. Norwegian Gem has 12 dining venues from which you can choose from, besides the 24-hour room service!

There are two main restaurants onboard Norwegian Gem, the Grand Pacific Main Dining Room and the Magenta Main Dining Room. Both of these dining rooms offer the same menu, which changes each night. Dinner is served from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm.

The Garden Cafe is Norwegian Gem's buffet. This buffet features a wide array of options for you to choose from, depending on the time and day you dine there (including omelets, waffles, fruit, ethnic specialties, and pasta). Besides the indoor dining space, the Garden Cafe also has an outdoor eating area. There is a special "kids only" area at the buffet, with smaller chairs and tables.

Blue Lagoon is a 24-hour food court-style eatery, featuring a menu that includes favorites such as hamburgers, french fries, and even fast-wok dishes. Topsiders Bar & Grill is located on deck 12 and features a grill menu (hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, etc).

The specialty restaurants onboard Norwegian Gem offer a wide array of international dining choices, with a per person cover charge ranging between $10 and $30. Cagney's Steakhouse is one of the specialty restaurants onboard Norwegian Gem. Cagney's is an upscale traditional American steakhouse, with a 1930's theme. This restaurant charges a $20 per person cover charge for those that dine in it and choose anything but the Surf 'n Turf (which costs $30 per person). Le Bistro is Norwegian Gem's French specialty restaurant. Le Bistro features a fabulous menu, featuring an excellent Filet Mignon and a wonderful mushroom soup. Orchid Garden is Norwegian Gem's Asian restaurant. This restaurant has a Japanese/Chinese/Thai menu, and it features a sushi bar and teppanyaki (also known as Hibachi) room. There is an all-you-can-eat sushi option available at a flat fee of $15 per person.

There are two specialty restaurants onboard Norwegian Gem that are less expensive (at $10 per person): La Cucina (a casual Italian Restaurant) and Tequila Latin/Tapas (Mexican Restaurant).

Reservations are highly recommended for the specialty restaurants, as they are very in demand and can book up quickly. Dining reservations cannot be made prior to your cruise. You can make a reservation 24 hours prior to the day you want to dine, unless you have a balcony or higher (in which case you can make a reservation within 48 hours). Be sure to make reservations at least the night before you want to dine, to help ensure that the time (and restaurant) you want to dine at will be available for you.

Onboard Features
Being one of the newest (and most innovative) ships in the NCL fleet, Norwegian Gem is packed with tons of places to go and things to do.

There are 11 bars and lounges onboard Norwegian Gem. Among them, Bliss Ultra Lounge & Night Club is located on deck 7 and is an excellent option for those looking for some dancing and fun. This area features plasma TVs and a mood-lit four lane bowling alley. During the day Topsiders Pool Bar & Grill is a popular, and busy, place to hang out. Another great option is the Spinnaker Lounge, which features an amazing view and a dance floor. For those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, there is also Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar, a contemporary bar located on deck 6, and the Star Bar (located on deck 13), with a very 1920's inspired theme. The Corona Cigar Club is a favorite among cigar and cognac aficionados.

As many would assume, the Gem Club Casino (located on deck 6) is a real hot spot (especially in the evenings) onboard Norwegian Gem. There are many slot machines and tables to choose from, in addition to various poker, slot, and blackjack tournaments throughout the cruise.

One of the most popular things to do while onboard Norwegian Gem is go to the Stardust Theatre for its nightly show. The Stardust Theatre is huge! It spans three decks (5, 6, and 7). This theatre has a capacity of 1,042 and features various Broadway and Vegas-style shows.

For those looking for sports and exercise, there are pools, hot tubs, a basketball/volleyball/tennis court, a jogging/walking track, and the Body Waves Fitness Center (a gym that is open 24 hours). Daily fitness/aerobics classes are available.

For those looking for a more relaxing time, there is the library, the art gallery, the card/lifestyles room, and (of course) a huge outdoor deck to pick a spot on and relax in a lounge chair. Don't forget about the Spa & Beauty Salon (located on deck 12), where you can choose from a wide range of spa treatments.

Dress Code and Attire
Because of the Freestyle Cruising concept, the dress code is not very strict or formal on a Norwegian Cruise - it is actually quite casual, relative to other cruise lines. As far as dining goes, casual attire is preferred during the day. Examples of casual attire are: khakis, skirts, jeans, casual tops, and shorts. At the buffet and outdoor dining venues, swimwear with a cover-up is just fine.

During dinner a collared shirt and pants (or nice jeans) is fine for men. For women slacks, jeans, dresses, skirts, and tops are fine. If you'd like to dress up for dinner and wear something more formal or glamorous that is OK too, as on most NCL cruises there is usually at least one night were many people will do so (known as the "Captain's Night" or "Formal Night"). For kids 12 and under, shorts are OK in all of the restaurants.

Children Programs
NCL's children's program is called the Kids Crew. The Kids Crew program is run by NCL's Youth Staff and is free of charge (of course, gratuities are appreciated by the staff). Each staff member is CPR and First Aid certified. The Kids Crew program features complimentary activities that are scheduled throughout each day of your cruise. Examples of these activities are painting, pajama parties, pizza making, and shows. A parent or guardian is required to initially register 2-17 year olds for this program. Children are assigned to groups, based on age (Juniors = 2-5 years old, First Mates = 6-9 years old, Navigators = 10-12 years old, and Teens = 13-17 years old). Kids under 13 may not sign themselves out. There is not a one-on-one care program available in the Youth Program.

There is group-sitting available for kids. The "Late Night Party Zone" and "Port Play" are both programs for kids 2-12 years of age. The "Port Play" program is run from 9 am to 5 pm and is for parents that want to go on shore excursions alone, leaving their kids in the hands of qualified professionals. The "Late Night Party Zone" is available from 10 pm to 1 am. The cost of these two programs is $5 per hour, per child, and $3 per hour for each additional sibling in the same family. These charges are applied to your onboard expense account.

There is also a Teen Program available on Norwegian Gem. This program is for those that are 13-17 years of age. This program is a great way for teens to meet and have fun.

As far as facilities for children and teens goes, there is a video arcade on deck 12 that features various video games and machines. The Kid's Center is also located on deck 12; it's a special kids area filled with an indoor jungle gym/obstacle course.

Tipping and Gratuities
NCL charges a fixed fee for what they call service charges on all Norwegian Gem cruises. This fee is $12 per person, per day and is charged to your onboard expense account. There is no such charge for children under 3 years of age. If while on your cruise you find that these fees are more than you'd like to pay (or if you are very unhappy with the service you've been provided with by the staff), you can adjust the service charge fees to the level you prefer (as long as you do so before you leave the ship). NCL does not consider this service charge to be the same thing as a gratuity or tip. NCL states that they do not auto-charge you for gratuities (even though the service charge does seem to be a similar fee).

If you find a few staff members that really stand out and make your vacation more enjoyable, NCL's staff is allowed to accept cash gratuities. The recommended gratuity for guests purchasing bar beverages is 15%. For those purchasing spa and salon services, please be aware that NCL automatically adds a gratuity of 18% (called a service charge on certain ships).

Alcohol Policy
The official legal drinking age on a Norwegian cruise is 21 years of age. However, guests that are 18 to 20 years old with written consent from their parents or guardian are allowed to purchase beer and wine when the ship is sailing in international waters (except in Alaska & Hawaii, where you must be 21 years old to do so).

Gambling Policy
The minimum gambling age on all NCL cruise ships in 18 years of age. A valid photo ID may be required, so be sure to have one with you while in the casino. Please be aware that onboard casinos are closed on NCL ships while sailing in Hawaii.

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