Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by BobE: 5th Time on the Pearl
Overall Member Rating
5th Time on the Pearl
Destination: Western Caribbean
Just back from my 5th cruise on the NCL Pearl.....The Miami Port is still a slow process, but sooner or later you are on the ship....A group of officers and crew greeted us, but no champagne. The Pearl is still a nice ship, but she is starting to show her age.....cracked sinks, soiled carpeting, and the surface on the promenade deck 7 really needs replacing. The ship is always sparkling with around the clock cleaning so no complaints there.
My one big complaint is about all the smoking on the promenade deck which made it almost impossible to walk or relax on the sparse number of deck chairs....smoking stations about ever 50 feet completely around the ship....maybe go back to the port or starboard smoking only....This was our 31st cruise and 32 coming on the NCL Jewel in May.....NCL seems to be cutting corners both in their menus and entertainment. Food in the Summer Palace was good, but the menu was limited and NO CHILLED SOUPS. Service at times was slow, but served with lots More of smiles. And now it's "Dress Up or NOT"..no really dress up night...and they were allowing shorts in the main dining room....Not to my liking.....but it is "Freestyle" I guess....
The buffet was always crowed, but the trick is to find a seat first, then get your food....selection there was always good. We did try the Teppanyaki and will do so again on our next cruise...very good even for the $25 extra fee. This was planned for just a relaxing cruise with no excursions except for fishing in Cozumel. Great Stirrup Cay was relaxing but nothing special. In Jamaica, the ship docked far from the town, and walking was about the only way to get there....I just walked around the pier and decided not to run the gauntlet of vendors trying to get you to take you on a tour. I think booking with the ship is the best way to handle tours anyway.
I didn't leave the ship for the tenders to Grand Cayman...been there too many times before. NCL really needs to upgrade their entertainment. I've seen the same productions over a 2 year period...Oh What A Night is still fun, but after seeing it 3 times now, it is a little old. The show production numbers are the same and aren't that entertaining. The dancers and singers were better than the last cruise. The one remaining quality is the crew. Happy Happy, Washy Washy.....they couldn't have been better. Almost 100 percent smiling and just plan happy to have you cruising with them. They had a new cruise director, what happened to Julie?, and really didn't see much interaction with him. Over all, the total cruise was good, not great, but good. I believe there isn't such a thing as a Bad Cruise...some are just better than others....well unless you lose power and are drifting for 4 days...but even that could an adventure....Will I remain a NCL cruisers...of course, but with all the new ships coming, I will have to give them a try.....
Thanks for reading....
Bob E Less
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