We are Mike and Suz and we live 30 minutes away from the Seattle cruise port. We got a ride there and back, so no hotels or parking in this review. There was one and only one negative to this entire trip and that was when we first arrived at the port. Normally we get to a cruise early and stroll right through but circumstances had us arriving at close to 12:30pm and it was a madhouse. Huge lines everywhere and no porters in sight. I left my wife on a line and went looking for answers and finally found a porter for our check ins. Then off to find out where we should be... there were 2 HUGE lines and I sure didn't want to be on the wrong one. Finally we arrived at the check in window and from that point on... everything was smooth sailing freestyle!!!
This was our very first cruise with Norwegian and the preceding cruise was on Oasis OTS so they had a lot to live up to. We were not disappointed at all. The ship was beautiful. Our 161 sq ft cabin was laid our brilliantly and frankly, the shower put the Oasis shower to shame. And then there was Veneir our cabin attendant. His service was impeccable but more importantly, he was a really warm friendly person who was a joy to wake up to each morning and to have brief chats with during the day and evening. Norwegian... Veneir does your brand proud.
I have superlatives to dish out to almost all the staff we encountered all week long. Julie the CD was lovely and her staff whom we got to know a little we very sweet and outgoing. From Jillian to Omar and my brother from a different mother.. Archie !!!! Hope we didn't scar you too badly during QUEST... (we won!) All were just great. The entertainment, while not approaching the level of Oasis, still left nothing to be desired. We laughed till we cried, were wowed by awesome dancing and singing and our favorite... the comedy magic of Jeff Hobson was spectacular as was the Elton John tribute by Larry. Meeting any of the entertainers offstage was always a pleasure and they were all forthcoming and friendly. I can't say enough about the staff... top notch and once again, Norwegian... they all did your brand proud.
BIG SURPRISE ! ! ! A bunch of us who met at the Cruise Critic meet and greet all received invitations to tour the bridge!!! Y E S ! ! ! That rocked : )
Public areas were always clean and comfortable including the public bathrooms which we always found to be sparkling clean. There's more than enough dining venues to choose from. One venue "The Blue Lagoon" stays open 24/7 and the food was very good but after several days, the choices became slim as it was table service with a limited menu. The overall food quality went from good to not so good when I chose the wrong dish for me. OK just thought of a couple of negatives. We found the lobster that was served up on the first evening to be inedible. I am very sensitive to "fishy" and couldn't eat it. Suz had salmon twice that she admitted was not great and I would never touch it. Other than that we found lots of great food to enjoy and we usually ate out at the aft of the ship at a dining venue called "Great Outdoors" we had beautiful weather and enjoyed the crisp fresh air. 80 percent of the venue is protected from wind and sun and another 20 percent is uncovered and catches wind from the sides of the ship... this spot was perfect! Great for whale watching also!
We purchased the Best of Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan tours and were very pleased with the services provided at each port. Comfortable tour buses and knowledgeable as well as funny tour guides throughout. Arriving into Glacier Bay was breathtaking and we sailed slowly along. As we approached the furthest inlet of the bay our ships Captain kept the Pearl in one spot and ever so slowly spun the ship in a 360 degree circle for a couple of hours offering everyone on board spectacular views of Marjorie glacier!! Federal Park Rangers boarded the ship while in Glacier Bay and provided plenty of interesting facts over the ships intercom as well as discussion in the showroom and a presentation in the main lounge. Alaska was exciting and left us in awe of its magnificent beauty.
On to Victoria, BC a vibrant bustling town with lots to do and see and shop! We had limited time here from 6pm till midnight. $8 bought round trip ticket by luxury bus between the ship and downtown to use as often as you want while docked there. (bout 3 miles away) We spent a couple of hours walking around and headed back to the ship because we plan on driving here in the near future from home.
The next morning saw disembarkation and it was a breeze... no lines, no waiting, it couldn't have been easier of smoother. Our ride showed up and we were off to return normal life... Suz was already missing Veneir and wanted to go back! Who could blame her... so did I !!! This was a very special cruise and we will do it again with pleasure! Our first cruise with Norwegian was wonderful.