This cruise was pretty much perfect from start to finish. Beautiful weather and calm seas everyday.
Embarking was painless. Arrived at the Port of Miami at 11:30 and was onboard by noon. My cabin was ready for me when I first got on. The luggage was there before muster. Could not have been any smoother. My steward met me at the room and he was wonderful the entire trip -- courteous, friendly and efficient. My cabin was quickly made up or turned down soon after I "moved the little wheel" saying what I wanted to be done.
Dining: I think there has been quite an improvement in the food category. I personally did not have a bad meal at any time. The only specialty restaurant I chose was La Cucina; the seared salmon on white beans and the carpaccio were both excellent. I had lots of attention and the service was very good. The food in the two main dining rooms was always more than satisfactory. Once, in Indigo, the turf part of the surf and turf was overdone, but the waiter immediately replaced it with a rare steak. The food every night was served hot and was plated very nicely. I did not have to wait for dinner any night, and the amount of time between courses seem ok to me. Most dinners took approximately one hour. The buffet was also good. I ate most of my breakfasts and lunches there. Each day at lunch there was usually one "theme" serving, but otherwise there were basically similar offerings each day. Lots of breakfast choices, and I especially enjoyed the yogurt and toppings plus all of the fresh fruit. And of course the wonderful bakery items seemed to "jump" on my plate from time to time. For lunch there were loads of salad options, along with plenty of other options. Even the past "horrible" coffee was much improved. Yeah for that one!!
Crew: This is where The Pearl really excels. I swear that I never saw a "grumpy gus" for the entire cruise. Every crew member that I came in contact with was pleasant, helpful and smiling. I don't know how these people smile all the time, but they surely seem to. The Customer Service Desk even had smiling personnel -- and that must be a rarity for that position. They were terrific. From the food service workers, to the maintenance and cleaning crews, to the "top dogs", everyone was friendly and available. Can't ask for anything more.
These ports aren't my favorites -- but because I love the ship I keep going back to them! I did not do any excursions.
I did use the Fitness Center, but not as much as I should have! It was always clean and well stocked. I didn't have any trouble getting whatever equipment I wanted.
I used the Spa once. It was nice, although like all spas everywhere, it was pricey.