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My Experience On The Norwegian Gem Cruise

An insight into what a cruise really feels like & what it's all about on the Norwegian Gem.

My Experience On The Norwegian Gem Cruise
Ashley Lall

Well a little background before I go into day by day recalls. I sailed on this cruise ship on July 21st from Pier 88 in New York City and I returned on July 28th with my mother. The destinations of this cruise ship is Port Canaveral in Florida, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, and Nassau Bahamas.

Day 1:

We boarded the cruise ship around 12:30 pm, immediately you are confronted with a spray bottle containing rubbing alcohol to wash your hands and genuinely enthusiastic staff saying "washy washy, happy happy." Carrying my bag with my heavy camera and other carry-ons, my mother and I decided to go check out our room and put our stuff down. To our surprise, the room was more spacious than we genuinely thought it would be; two twin beds, closets and drawers for clothes, stand up shower, and lavatory. When we walked into the lobby of the cruise ship, we were handed raffle tickets for a free massage package which had to be delivered to the actual spa - tactic to essentially persuade us to see the spa.

When we arrived at the spa, we are sent on a tour to discover all the numerous type of treatments they offer - some I have never heard of, but that's not what shocked me, what shocked me is that the staff were from all over the world; South Africa, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Russia, Croatia, etc. This made my soul happy because this cruise had so much diversity but not from the cultures of America, these were people BORN in those countries. The accents, the smells, the looks, the culture was in no way Americanized, it was authentic. Another thing is that the thermal spa which is an exclusive package only 100 people can have was presented to us included a hot tub, sauna, steam bath, thermal pool, and beds.

At this point, I started to feel nauseous because I have never been on a boat this big, but I undermined it and went along with the Spa. After this tour, we decided to check out the buffet, and it's everything you can imagine. That nights special was prime rib which was amazingly juicy and cooked just to the right rarity. After this dinner, I couldn't take the nauseousness so I had my mom ask guest services if they had the motion sickness tablets, and they did. I consumed one every 12 hours for day 1 and 2, but after that, it wasn't needed since I had gotten used to the movement. There's a theater on the boat called Stardust which has their own dancers and singers that put on 2 shows every other day on the cruise. Mind blowing how amazing these dancers and singers are

Day 2:

This was a "sea day" which meant no land masses for as far as the eye can see. We woke up very early, at least early for me -7:30, and began our day in the buffet which had everything from MYO omelets, to bacon and ham, to toast and pancakes, to cereal. After having breakfast, my mom and I decided to hit the spa with our new passes for the exclusive thermal spa and it was amazing. We sat in the thermal pool, hot tub, thermal bed, sauna, steam bath, and it was legitimately the most relaxing thing. We grabbed lunch after the spa and made our way to the lobby where I bought a ring for myself. After my mother went to guest services to sign a waiver for me to drink alcohol since I am 18 and it is legal for me to drink beer and wine. We also went to guest services to buy our shore excursions for Florida and the Bahamas. We ended the night with dinner and catching the show at Stardust Theater.

Day 3:

We set our anchor and waved hi to passing fishing boats as we made our way to Port Canaveral, getting there around 10 am, a little earlier than expected. The shore excursion that we had planned for the day was an alligator boat ride and jungle adventure. We climb aboard our bus and encountered our tour guide named Mark who was a local obviously, so on our way to the alligator boat, he described astonishing facts about where we were and where we were heading. When we arrived to the alligator boat tour, we were greeted by an old pig named Pork Chop, and tons of birds and reptiles.

On the alligator boat tour, we went through the swamps where we searched for alligators in the wild but to our disappointment, we couldn't find any, we merely saw birds flying and searching for food. When we got back to land, they had domesticated baby alligators which we could hold and of course, I grasped one. After we had been finished, we travel on the bus to the jungle adventure which was a zoo that was home to a swamp filled with over 200 gators, some friendly enough to feed with your hands. They sell alligator nuggets there and provided free samples - yes it does taste like chicken. I held another gator named Nemo and handled an albino skunk named Theodore who was a family pet. After a long, tiring day we boarded back on the boat, got some dinner and went to a magic show in Stardust Theater.

Day 4:

Bon Voyage to the Bahamas, specifically Great Stirrup Cay which is a private island owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. My shore excursion for this day was supposed to be parasailing but it was canceled due to high winds which would render it too dangerous for me to be in the air. I was, of course, disappointed but I recovered from it and took lovely pictures of myself and the scenery. The water over there is so blue and so clear, it really makes beaches in the tri-state look upsetting. They served lunch on the beach, and after we were done we boarded back on the boat because the excessive humidity and heat was too much for my mom to handle. We went on the boat, and we went to the spa to relax and unwind. Like we do every night, we went to dinner and then caught the upcoming show at Stardust Theater, only the recent addition was there was a party after in a lounge where only adults were allowed.

Day 5:

Say hello to Nassau, the Bahamas, one of the most toured areas in the Bahamas. Too bad we didn't stick around long enough to wander. We walked from one boat to another, this time the destination was to Blue Lagoon Island, home to dolphin encounters and swims as well as sea lions and stingrays. Dolphins have always been one of my favorite marine animals because of how gentle and intelligent they are so I was delighted to meet, kiss, and hug one. I was honestly amazed during and after this dolphin swim because they were so charming, but also because the water was so salty. At 1 pm, there was a boat transporting us back to Nassau so we could go shopping for a bit.

To my amazement, there were so many American stores and fast-food places there - Pandora, Rolex, Burger King, Subway, Starbucks, etc. My mom couldn't handle the heat on the island so after walking around a bit, we went back onto the boat to the showers to clean the sweat off our skins. At 6 pm that day, they arranged a sale on Invicta watches, and I had seen some Disney ones in a glass case the previous day, so of course, me being a Disney lover, I needed to get them. I bought two of them with Mickey Mouse on it, totaling 420 dollars instead of over 2 grand. After this we did the same as every night, dinner and show at Stardust Theater except this show represented acrobatics and there was a white themed party after.

Day 6 & 7:

These days were similar; spent at the spa and other events going on on the boat such as movie premieres, painting classes, wine tasting, parties, theater productions, and other fun events around the ship. In the end, this cruise was extraordinary because there was consistently something to do on the boat, regardless of age. The staff was amazing and always attentive and investigating ways to help and make sure you were okay. The room cleaning services always left a different towel animal every night which was cute to come back to because you'd be amazed at how precise the folding of the towel had to be in order to make ears of an animal or some other feature.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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