This was our 10th NCL cruise and was going to be our last. The wife and I had purchased a cruise reward and needed to use it, otherwise we would not have booked this one. Wife and I are both in our 50s, early 50s that is, and have cruised a lot, but try different cruise lines. NCL has been our choice most of the time but we were getting put off by the constant nickel and diming. Every time we turned around lately it seemed like someone was trying to sell us something. It was a constant 'No thank you." all over the ship. So we had vowed that this would be our last.
We stayed at the Queen Mary pre-cruise and were told by our daughter and daughter in law not to because it was supposedly haunted. Didn't see any ghosts and loved the ship. It had a feeling of stepping back into history. My wife said it was like sleeping in a museum. We flew into long beach early and left ourselves an extra day to have of guided tour of LA.
This was our fourth time on the Pearl, mainly because she is positioned on the West Coast in the summertime and we live in Washington State, so it is convenient for us. She was our favorite ship the when we sailed her the first time, but has been replaced recently by and Royal Caribbean ship.
Boarding was a breeze compared to some of our other experiences. We got there early and we delighted to get past security and get checked in even before they started boarding the ship. We were happy to sit and wait, rather than standing in line. They let us on and we headed straight for the Summer Palace to eat.
Activities were good, they kept us busy, and instead of being bored between the things we wanted to do during the day we had to hurry to the next one.
We had seen a huge improvement in service. We were delighted by this. It seemed like they were putting an emphasis on this. The staff went out of their way to be helpful.
Entertainment was both hit and miss. The "Oh What a Night", comedian and the hypnotist very good, but second city and Pearl Productions were just so so.
The food was, well, it's NCL. They have improved over our fall cruise, but still serving Alaskan Meatloaf, which was by far my worst meal I have ever had on a cruise.
We were so delighted about some of the improvements that they have done, we will take another cruise with them in the future. Service was so much improved. We even got chocolates on the pillow, something we have not seen in a long time