The Norwegian Pearl is just as the Chief Engineer described: "A happy ship."
First I'll start off by saying that this was my first cruise (and for my fiancee as well; her first cruise on the Oceanos doesn't count). I'm definitely glad that we went with Norwegian first, instead of Celebrity or Cunard which would have been my first choices. My expectations were exceeded in every way. The food was amazing and the staff friendly, happy, and willing to go the extra mile. We didn't have one bad meal or drink on board, and that was just eating in the main dining room. The one specialty restaurant we ate at was Moderno Churruscaria, and we're glad that's the one we chose. Great cuts of meat, and all you can eat!
Definitely get at least a mini-suite. They're very spacious and really not that expensive. We met a couple aboard and I was able to see their oceanview stateroom. If it's all you can afford, it's not bad at all, but if you're like me, a balcony on a ship is a must have.
Overall we had a wonderful time. The only complaint I have with the ship itself is a trivial one, which I won't describe here. I wasn't too thrilled with the itinerary, though. No big deal, just a lesson learned for my own tastes. Don't let that reflect badly on the ship! It's a lovely ship, beautiful and luxurious, and with plenty to do. You won't be bored if you want excitement, and if you want to relax, you can do that too. It's amazing that with over 2,200 passengers on board, it really doesn't feel like it.
Enjoy your cruise on the lovely Pearl! She is a jewel indeed.