Lounging at Sea - NCL's Gem Bar Review
Norwegian Caribbean’s Gem has so many spots to stay "hydrated", that you're sure to stay delightfully medicated throughout your cruise. From top to bottom – the ship is packed with bars – here's my review:
Magnum's Champagne Bar
Magnum's had soaring ceilings that opened to the lobby above. The theme was unmistakable Art Deco, with its breathtaking stained glass installation on the ceiling.
With its nightly music line-up, this became a favorite spot for drinks before dinner at the Orchard Garden, or before a spin of the roulette wheel in the Casino. Despite its "traditional" look, the seating was surprisingly comfortable.
I wanted to love this bar. I really did! It had that fab ambiance and décor.
Unfortunately, it was the location for karaoke – and each time I walked in, my ears were assaulted with a Whitney Houston song... off key. (Raccoons could have put on better performances.) And when there was no karaoke, the bartender was on ‘break’. (I suspect he was having an eardrum replacement).
Great drinks and draft beer!
Need I say more?
This pub doubled as a restaurant on the Gem – and boasted the best bartenders on board. Speedy, personable, and they knew how to make a Rusty Nail.
For those with vampire traits, the lights were turned up a tad too high – but at least you'd get a fantastic Cosmo!
Sipping scotch in supersize couches. Hello?
The special ambiance made you feel like you were at a private club. Surprisingly, the seating area was always empty – but the bar stools were constantly filled with regulars who preferred to bellow rather than chat softly. This was the place to be loud!!! Chatterboxes and gossipmongers welcomed!
p.s. The inclusive bar services could have contributed to the volume!
The Java Bar performed double duty – as the ships cappuccino AND lobby bar. Here, there was activity 24/7! So this was not a sanctuary to meditate... rather, this was the spot to meet your favorite passenger for Bloody Marys.
Bali Hal Bar
If you don’t smoke – avoid this place! The one and only bar on board, where passengers could light up. This cave was entombed in a constant cloud of tobacco fumes - essentially a giant ashtray. And yet... it did have wonderful views of the pool – I guess even smokers like a view through the fog.
This lounge had allure! Situated on a top deck (13), it presented absolutely stunning views. Floor to ceiling windows and slick decor, contributed to feeling like you were on a glam ocean liner. (The picture at the start of this post is from this lounge)
I haven’t reviewed ALL the bars on board (yes, that's how many there are!)
But you get the picture: there is no shortage of great haunts, to match your ever-changing tastes and mood.
Fabulous bartenders! Delicious cocktails! Visually interesting spaces to socialize! Who could ask for anything more?... Nurse!!!
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