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Lounging at Sea - NCL's Gem Bar Review

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:

Cocktials - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Cocktials - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Magnum's Champagne Bar

Magnum's Champagne Bar - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Magnum's Champagne Bar - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

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.

Bliss

Bliss Nightclub - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Bliss Nightclub - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

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).   

Bliss Nightclub Seating -  NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Bliss Nightclub Seating -  NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

O'Sheenhan's

O'Sheenhan's - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

O'Sheenhan's - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

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!

Draft Stella at O'Sheenhan's - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Draft Stella at O'Sheenhan's - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Maltings

Maltings - NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

Maltings - NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

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!

Rusty Nail - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Rusty Nail - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Java Bar

Java Bar - NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

Java Bar - NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

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

Bali Hal Bar - NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

Bali Hal Bar - NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

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.

Spinnakers

Great Cocktails on the NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

Great Cocktails on the NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

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)

Verdict

Lounges = NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

Lounges = NCL Gem   Photo:  Calvin Wood

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!!!

Lounging at Sea - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

Lounging at Sea - NCL Gem   Photo: Calvin Wood

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