Just back on the GEM- and have just booked the GEM again!
We loved the NCL GEM on its Nov. 8 '09 W. Mediterranean sailing -- and have booked it again for its Jan. 24 '10 Caribbean sailing from NYC. That should say something!
NCL: The Nov. 8 sailing was our 6th NCL cruise in the past 4 years, and our 3rd NCL cruise this year. Obviously we enjoy cruising (though we do independent land travel too). We're fans of NCL because of their good pricing, also their freestyle concept and the flexibility that gives us, the vibe it creates, and the type of passengers it attracts. TIP: We've cruised on NCL from a single carry-on bag; other times we've lugged luggage and brought the tux. It depends on what port we're going from, how we'll get there, and how much time we'll spend on land and sea. Be free.
Penthouse Suite on the front, 9th floor. Spacious, comfy, pampered. Lots of perks (Lavazza coffee machine; butler bearing afternoon hors d'ouvres; breakfast and lunch at Cagney's). Lovely balcony while in port (captain's upstairs, might even wave to you), but while at sea in November, batten down the hatch).