I see how many people love the Pearl, so I wonder if we just had bad luck, in part due to terrible weather. I've traveled on the Oosterdam and the Epic, and both were superior to the Pearl. The Pearl seemed pretty middle of the road to me.
It started with a terrible line-up in Vancouver to board. We got in line at 12;05 and reached our cabins at 2:45. We were very hungry, but couldn't eat because dining had been closed down in anticipation of a 3:15 lifeboat drill. Not a good start!
[Our Cabin Was] Very comfortable, lots of storage, roomy safe, lots of hangers, only shampoo and shower gel in the washrooms, good hairdryer. Lovely bed (my sister and her daughter were not so lucky, despite being in a more expensive stateroom.) Kept very clean and tidy.
We were the last ship to leave Vancouver port due to a huge storm in the Pacific. Our Astoria stop was cancelled as well, so we only stopped in San Francisco and then disembarked in LA.
Food was OK but not great; same with the service. Pools were closed first two days due to rough weather. Was impressed at the crew and entertainers who kept going despite very rough seas and gale force winds. Found the Garden Cafe buffet the best food in the "included" category. My brother ate at La Cucina and found it excellent, but the portions were way too big (and he's 6 foot 3!)
The kids' program was too babyish for my 11 year old niece, and other activities, such as sports, were either shut down or you couldn't access them because they were first-come-first serve and couldn't book ahead. The wave pool was her favourite thing - still not sure if it WAS a wave pool or if it was just the movement of the ship. :-) I enjoyed the adventure of sailing through a storm, but most did not. The library is a lovely space - nice chairs and tables and a good selection of books. The bowling lanes are fun ($5 per person). The Spinnaker Lounge is an interesting venue, with canopy beds and cushy lounges as well as bar seating. The entertainment was hit and miss. Hit - the Frankie Valli tribute. Miss - impressionist. Hit - Second City. Miss - crew talent show. Hit - late night piano man. Miss - mangling Abba in the "Encore" presentation.
An excellent tour, very convenient, cheaper when booked off ship. Very funny and knowledgeable guide. Comfortable buses. Bring your jacket and be prepared to put it on and take it off repeatedly. Weather changes rapidly, and temperatures vary a lot depending on sun or shade. We were lucky and hit San Francisco on a beautiful day. Unfortunately, federal squabbling had shut down both Alcatraz and Muir Woods, but the city's lovely just to wander around in.