I love time at sea. I also love using every tip I can to be a frequent floater for almost free. I also like the perks of status when I travel from air to hotels and even when I cruise. A few short years ago I held the lowest status with NCL. Last summer I cruised for the first time as a Platinum Latitudes member.
This sailing was one of my bucket list places to see. We also wanted to test out how good or bad it would be to not book what we normally do, that is, a large balcony room or a suite with our shiny new NCL status.
One of the nice things about sailing out of NYC is that if you stay at a hotel near to the port you can simply drag your bags and walk right on. We chose the Kimpton half a block away (review up later) and arrived early and waited in the Platinum boarding area.
I have to say being some of the first to board, after suites, does matter. To be able to go aboard and start enjoying the ship right away is just fun!
We had never been on the NCL Gem. It is a midsize ship holding just under 2400 guests and is a Jewel Class design. Let’s see what a small porthole cabin is like on this ship:
I had some real trepidation about this small room. I have never ever booked an interior cabin (nor would I).
And my fears were rightly justified. This cabin is tiny. Really tiny. There is little room to do much but sleep.
Getting ready was a dance between my wife and I. Your seating is the bed or one tiny stool.
Storage, for such a small room, is not bad. You will have to share a closet but drawers are plentiful and there is a safe.
The obstructed porthole view was a tiny plus for this cabin but I would look for a room with a better view.
The one bright point for this cabin was the bathroom. The shower was large and while there is a large step up into the bathroom space is decent. Again, this booking was super cheap and a test of status perks. I would not book this room again. On to the rest of the cruise.
We had just about perfect weather for this June 2018 sailing with only one day of rain for our first stop.
If you have never departed from NYC on a ship you are missing out. It feels like such a flash to the past when this was the way to travel.
One of the perks when you hit Platinum with NCL is the ability to, the first day when you board the ship, sign up for a behind the scenes tour of the ship the next day. It is amazing to see how it all works and I highly recommend this free perk if you have never done it.
We really had a blast and I would book this itinerary again. We enjoyed many days of long walks including in Saint Johns.
Bar Harbor was equally amazing to visit. We enjoyed the town picking up some fun souvenirs and clearly had a lobster roll for lunch. One of the most amazing parts of this cruise was this:
Whales. Hundreds of them. From tiny to HUGE. I know the photos above are not that impressive but in real life from the top deck of the ship it was stunning. What a privilege to see.
Overall this was such an amazing cruise. The food was top notch as always. The service was all but perfect. The entertainment impressive. I also did appreciate all the perks being a Latitudes Platinum affords you. I highly recommend this itinerary and the only thing I will change next time is booking a balcony or higher stateroom! – René