Spent spring break on the Pearl. Mom and Dad, 18 year old daughter, 18 year son, and 14 year old son. We had two cabins, a mini-suite for mom and dad, and an inside for the kids. We were initially concerned about having a cabin right below the buffet - but it was never an issue.
Flew into Miami a few days early - Stayed at downtown hilton. Nice hotel would stay again.
embarktion - quick and easy. Left hotel at 11 on board by noon.
Rooms - Mini-suite (11094) was nice but the layout was not the best. Clost opened into the bed which was odd. We much prefer the mini-suites on Princess. Only one TV which was quite small.
Kids had an inside cabin down the hall - pretty standard.
Half moon cay - cute place but the weather was awful. Went ashore for a while.
Ocho Rios - love this place but the pier shopping area where Margaritaville is located is hurting. Maybe 1/3 of the shops open with two ships in. I think the new port in Falmouth is to blame. Went on a river tubing excursion it was a lot of fun.
Grand Cayman - Caught the tail end of a storm so pretty windy and slightly chilly. Still had a great time at 7 mile beach. Did some jet skis and just relaxed.
Cozumel - Great weather. Bought some day passes to the Alegro Resort. Nice place but as usual it wasn't close to what they said it would be. Still had fun.
Sea Days - Pretty much hung around the pool. Chair saving was rough on this cruise. My daughter got up really early on last sea day to save prime spots. I got there about 8 a.m. and she was about ready to start bawling. People were quite nasty. I hate to do it but if you can't beat em then join em.
Casino - Primarily played craps. Didn't do too bad lost some money. PLayed 1 poker tournament - I recommend against it. Casino bar staff would constantly hassle me and a friend about getting more than 1 drink. Wierd policy so we would go buy buckets of beer at the pool and keep a couple under the craps table. The casino was super smoky. Bad design or something.
Freestyle - This was our first NCL cruise. The freestyle took some getting used to. You could littteraly wear almost anything into the dining room. I'm fine with that just wish I would have known so I wouldn't have packed so much. My wife was not nearly as impressed - She has repeatedly told me she will NOT be going on another NCL cruise.
Dining - Main dining room was hit and miss - Most of the appetizers were quite good. Most of the main courses were not. We went to Cagnay's twice - It was outstanding. Had sushi one night. It was not the best i've ever had but it was good enough. If you want to eat at Tepanyaki - make a reservation ASAP. It is small. My wife and daughter have pretty severe food allergies - no gluten, dairy, eggs, and more. The staff really struggled to accomodate them even with a days notice. We have sailed on Princess twice with the same issues and they were more accommodating and easier to deal with. Frustrating to say the least. Cagnay's handled it beautifully both nights.
Fellow passengers - Overall a pretty good crowd - lots and lots of kids but for the most part well mannered. My 14 year old sone had a ball the whole week in the teen center. Lots of very active people on board.
Entertainment - Saw three shows and all were really really good. Some of the best i've ever seen at sea.
disembarktion - Did the walk off - really quick we were curbside by 8 a.m.
Overall - I had a great time and so did my two boys. Mom and daughter did not enjoy as much as us. I would sail NCL again but wouldn't be my first choice.