Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by AlbertaGurl: A Lovely Relaxing Cruise
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A Lovely Relaxing Cruise
The Norwegian Pearl is a lovely ship, a little different, less grand atrium, but pretty none the less. A huge screen is in the atrium which has movies, scenic offerings, music and sports showing at anytime during the day.
Long embarkation line up, but staff dealt with it quickly and efficiently.
The entertainment was excellent, especially enjoyed "Oh What A Night" singers.
Staff was all around pleasant, our cabin steward Anna, was always accommodating and Daniela, who worked in Le Bistro was such a sweetheart. Like a bright light.
We don't have children, but there were lots on this cruise and they looked like they were having an absolute blast! Great programs for kids. We did enjoy dinner with a couple who had two primary school aged children and they were very impressed with the kids programs.
The executive staff do ask for feedback on the cruise, negative or positive. We did offer some feedback to one of the managers about one of the More dishes we had. The next day we had a special thank you for the feedback gift in our cabin, very unexpected and made us feel like our opinion mattered.
We celebrated our anniversary on this cruise, my husband ordered flowers that were delivered to our cabin upon arrival. So sweet that Norwegian offers these services. We also had a meal in Cagney's Steakhouse for our anniversary and the staff sang a love song to us, very special.
There are no shortage of activities on board, and being a week before Christmas we were thrilled at the Christmas decorations and the gingerbread displays. The Christmas music on one of the night was outstanding, the Norwegian dancers and singers were exceptional.
We took advantage of Norwegian's pre-purchase credit. We purchased $250 towards our next cruise, to be used in the next four years and they give $100 off your onboard bill. Great value, this is the second time we have purchased it. We love NCL!
We were a little disappointed with the Pearl's chocolate buffet. We had sailed on other NCL ships and the chocolate buffets were so well appointed and classy. This time it felt like a huge feeding trough as it was presented in the buffet restaurant. I really didn't like that approach. If I could change one thing, it would be that the chocolate buffet would be in the main dining room, so much more exquisite of a display.
Food was very good, same old same old in the buffet, so we enjoyed the sit down restaurants as it was more of an experience. Most dishes were very good, just make sure that when ordering chicken, such as thai chicken etc or stir fry that you check to see if the chicken is breaded or not, the menu is not clear. I don't personally want my thai chicken dish made with breaded chicken, it seems less authentic, so if you are like me, check first or you might be disappointed. Also, if you want a really good steak don't expect it in the free dining rooms, pay the cover charge and go to Cagney's where it is outstanding.
We enjoyed our cruise, loved the four ports and getting off for some variety, but the ship itself was delightful. I would highly recommend Norwegian. Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Pearl
We've always had inside rooms up until now. We loved this room, it is opposite the other rooms. When in bed your toes face toward the front of the ship which means the rocking happens side to side, like being rocked in a baby's cradle, very nice comparatively. We enjoyed how bright this cabin is. The view is obstructed, but its a large window, and the rescue boat hung outside of the room actually has plexi glass in line with the window, so you can see right through to the outside. The only thing is that some of the crew sat in the boat outside the window twice making privacy a bit of an issue. It only happened twice during the day, so no big deal. The bathrooms are well laid out. I loved the separate toilet with sliding door opposite the shower with the sink in the middle. Pure genius!Our room was always well tended to and very clean, thank you Anna!The room is in a quiet part of the ship and we would definitely choose this one again if we could, better than any of the other rooms we have had on the previous four cruises we have been on! Super happy we got this one.
Port and Shore Excursions
Since we had missed the stingray excursion the day before, we took a short cab ride the Stingray City. We had a ton of fun interacting with the stingrays and learning more about them. We also enjoyed snorkeling around and seeing a wide array of fish and stingrays and underwater statues.
There is also the opportunity to participate in flat boarding and a water trampoline, both things we didn't participate in, but looked like a hoot. Stingray City also arranges return transportation to the port as part of their admission price, the also give you a coupon for a free margarita at Margaritaville and free beverage at their facility. The staff here are outstanding, helpful and very knowledgeable.
Margaritaville was a hoot, my husband and I shared the nachos which were way to much for the two of us!
A fun day in Cozumel. I would also prefer to shop in Cozumel than any other port, lots of variety and great Mexican pottery and souvenirs.
We had booked the Stingray Sandbar excursion and dolphin encounter on Norwegian and the stingray part was cancelled due to choppy waters. We decided to cancel the whole excursion and go out on our own. We ended up taking a public bus to the turtle farm. The public bus depot is close to the ship and the bus only costs $2.50 pp and drops you right out the Turtle Farm which is right across from the Dolphin Discover centre. We then paid $18 each at the turtle farm, which all in all was far less than we would have paid for this excursion on board or through a company. The public transportation was easy and I never felt unsafe or uneasy. I would high recommend getting around using this mode of transportation, the same bus will also drop you off at 7 mile beach.
The Turtle Farm was outstanding. If you know nothing of sea turtles take this one in. There is lots of opportunity for hands on, and the turtle are ginormous!
We took the bus back to town and had a very enjoyable lunch. There is no shortage of places to have a nice lunch!
We did the parasailing excursion, we would highly recommend this excursion, lots of fun and something that we struck off the bucket list! I wish I would have also done the snorkelling, as there were many happy snorkelers commenting on their findings that day!
Great music and a lovely relaxing port, I wish there would have been more places to walk though!
We wish we would have booked an excursion here. We especially heard great things about the Martha Bray river rafting. We did hire a driver who took us to a lesser known falls, and around the town, he was very informative, but I felt we paid too much for this little trip. The people in Jamaica seemed pushy, especially in the shops. The store clerks in several stores followed me around the store and made me feel quite nervous, not a fun experience. Out of the four ports I enjoyed this one the least. Although, Jamaica is beautiful and lush, I recommend you pre-book something in this port.