CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews


Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Gem by Rachel Knipel Eastern Mediterranean June 8, 2008

I went with a friend on the Norwegian Gem for a weeklong cruise that started out great, but quickley took a turn for the worse. On the second day of our vacation, we came back to the room to find the toilet flushing and making odd noises. We called reception at about 12:00 AM and they said they would send a plumber right up. No one showed up until 2:30 AM, when we were already asleep. I answered the door and the plumber was there asking if we knew that there were flushing noises coming from our room, and I told him that yes, and I had called reception. He proceeded to tell me that reception had never reported it to him, and he just happened to be walking by and heard the sounds.

After one episode was over, it seemed the next one started. Two days later, the ship docked in Rome and my friend and I decided to explore it on our own. We took the train in, and it happened to be raining when we got there. We were walking down the steps to the Vatican when I slipped and fractured my leg. I had to be rushed to the emergency room, where no one spoke English. I thought that when I got back to the ship, the crew would be falling over themselves to be helpful, but found that I was incredibly wrong. We took a car service back to the ship around 2:00 PM, and found that none of the pharmacies (to get perscriptions filled) were open until 4:00 PM. Apparently, neither was the infirmary on board. And shortly after it opened, it closed just an hour later. The ship was not helpful in retrieving the perscriptions, and the nurse told me it was virtually impossible to switch rooms to a handicapped accessible room, which I needed because I couldn't get into the bathroom, as there was a step up. After a lot of fighting and insisting with the reception desk, I was finally able to get the room change. Furthermore, my insurance company was waiting to get my medical papers faxed to them so they could set up arrangements for my departure. The ship charged me $50 for a fax that never went through. And the man at reception fought with me over and over reassuring me that it did. It wasn't until my insurance company called up, that he recognized that perhaps he could have been wrong.

To add to our trip-gone-bad story, when my friend would get us breakfast to bring down to the room, she would explain to the manager at the buffet that her friend had a broken leg and she needed a tray, which he refused to give to her, making her make the extra trip upstairs.

Finally, after all the papers had gone through to the insurance company, they had made arrangements for a car to pick me up at 10:15 AM from the port, and told the cruise to have a wheelchair & luggage carrier at my room at 10:00 AM. We confirmed these details with the front desk 3 times the night before and they reassured us that this was the plan. The next morning, we recieved a call from reception that we needed to disembark the ship. We told them about our arrangements, which the woman on the phone had no idea about, but she said she would send up the wheelchair and luggage carrier right away. 15 minutes later, no one showed up and we called reception, where no one picked up. My friend went down to talk to them, and they weren't sending anyone up and had no note of the arrangements. They fought with us about the wheelchair and luggage carrier, telling us that it was too late to reserve any of these. They had to comply after we told them that it was impossible for me to get off the ship without this help.

The reception desk was incredibly NON-helpful throughout my entire disaster of a cruise. I had to fight with everyone to recieve decent treatmeant from anyone. This was a terrible experience and I would never return. I had never been injured before, and this was the worst possible experience that I could have had.

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