The Norwegian Gem cruise ship features 12 dining venues, each with different cuisine. Like all Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ships, the Norwegian Gem's restaurants offer Freestyle Dining, with open seating and extended hours. On a seven-day cruise, you can eat in a different place every night!
About half of the restaurants have an additional cover charge, but if you are on a tight budget, there are still several venues from which to choose.
Norwegian Gem Dining - Cagney's Steakhouse
Cagney's Steakhouse is one of the premium restaurants on the Norwegian Gem. Located on deck 13, Cagney's seats 160 and serves delicious steaks ranging in size from a small filet (5 oz.) to a giant T-bone (16 oz.) Cagney's also has grilled fish, chicken, and veal.
Cagney's has an art deco themed decor, with very comfortable chairs. Even though the restaurant has a cover charge, getting a reservation for Cagney's is often necessary. However, all of the Norwegian Gem restaurants will give you a pager so that you can go browse in the shops or have a drink in the bar while waiting for your table.
The Garden Cafe on the Norwegian Gem is located aft on deck 12 and seats 390 passengers. The Garden Cafe is casual and self-serve, much like a buffet, featuring extensive selections of seafood, pizza, ethnic specialties, burgers, fruit, etc. In addition, the chefs are preparing cooked-to-order dishes such as pasta, which improves the freshness and quality of the food in the Garden Cafe, with no extra cover charge.
In the aft section of the Garden Cafe is a Kid's Cafe with small seats and tables, which the kids will love.
Grand Pacific Main Dining Room
The Grand Pacific Restaurant on the Norwegian Gem is a beautiful traditional ocean liner dining room, with curved stairs leading down into the spacious room and high windows across the back. The Grand Pacific is aft on deck 6 and seats 558 passengers. It's a gorgeous room, and perfect for those who enjoy classic cruise ship dining. Freestyle Cruising still applies, so those dining in the Grand Pacific can still dine when they wish and with whom they wish at tables of 2, 4, 6, or more. The Grand Pacific does not have a cover charge.
The Great Outdoors Restaurant
The Great Outdoors is aft on deck 12 and is connected to the Garden Cafe and Kid's Cafe. It's great for those who love to eat a casual meal outside. The Great Outdoors seats 259.
La Cucina Italian Restaurant
La Cucina is a small, Tuscan-style Italian restaurant on deck 12, seating 96. La Cucina has no cover charge and serves many Italian favorites in a room that looks like it came right out of Tuscany.
Le Bistro French Restaurant
Le Bistro is a beautiful restaurant near the Wine Bar on deck 6. It has some wonderful artwork, including a piece by Henri Matisse. The table chargers are especially lovely, and the room has a place for private dining. Le Bistro is definitely French, serving appetizers such as escargots and mussels and main courses with special sauces. A cover charge applies at Le Bistro.
Magenta Main Dining Room
Magenta is the smaller of the two traditional dining rooms on the Norwegian Gem cruise ship. Its modern decor and seating is a good alternative to the Grand Pacific, the beautiful classic dining room aft. Magenta has both booths and tables and is colored in magentas (of course) and blues. It seats 304 passengers and has no cover charge.
Orchid Garden Restaurant
Orchid Garden is on deck 7 and is a modern Asian restaurant. Orchid Garden has Chinese, Thai, and Japanese dishes, and seats 108. A cover charge applies. The Orchid Garden is flanked by the Sushi Bar on one side and the Teppanyaki Room on the other.
The Sushi/Sashimi Bar is next to the Orchid Garden Asian Restaurant. You can sit at the bar and watch the sushi chef prepare your favorites fresh. The sushi and sashimi are priced a la carte.
Teppanyaki Room in the Orchid Garden Asian Restaurant
The traditional Teppanyaki Room adjoins the Orchid Garden Asian Restaurant. It seats 34, and reservations are a must for the three seatings -- 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. This restaurant is great fun and watching the talented chefs work and prepare each dish is a treat. A surcharge applies.
The chef in this photo is preparing the garlic fried rice, one of the many dishes available in the Teppanyaki Room. I loved the combination of steak and grilled shrimp as a main course.
Each meal in Teppanyaki includes miso soup, a seaweed salad with ginger dressing, grilled shrimp appetizer, garlic fried rice, and Japanese Teppanyaki vegetables. A choice of sauces accompanies the main courses, and there is also a dessert selection (if you have room).