I can’t believe it, but it was six years ago that we sailed the beautiful Norwegian Gem for the first time. It was her inaugural season…and she was our first new ship. Beyond that, she was the first ship we sailed after gaining an appreciation for cruising for the ship, not just the destination. (Although the destination, the Southern Caribbean, held vast appeal!) Oh, the anticipation!! I recall DH being so devastated that we could only afford an ocean view cabin (we’d only sailed in one balcony, but that had him hooked). His joy when I called him months after we’d booked that prices had dropped on mini-suites and I had secured our balcony!!
We followed every movement of the ship, including her being “born” in Germany. We were beyond excited when we finally boarded and she lived up to every expectation. Not only was she the newest of NCL’s fleet, she had the best of the best for staff from the Captain to maintenance. The food was superb; the new ship smell palpable (I swear Carnival stole “new ship smell” from my cruise ticker and used it in their commercials).
We sailed the Gem for three Januarys, loving the ship the crew and the itinerary.
This is our first voyage on the Gem in four years. She could never live up to that first cruise “hype”, but we look forward to returning “home”.
This will be our 25th cruise with Norwegian. I know we will be greeted by old friends and familiar faces and all of the things that Norwegian does to make us feel like we are coming home. I want to approach this cruise with that bright-eyed wonder that filled our first journey on the Gem. I hope that the upcoming posts, chronicling our 9-day Caribbean cruise, captures that enthusiasm and wonder.