I take one trip a year so I was looking forward to my first ever cruise after hearing friends saying cruising is fun. In my opinion, it was anything but fun with the exception of one night where we danced and tried to make the best of it. first off, we got to Miami and spent the day there prior to getting on the Pearl. I booked this trip because I wanted to see Honduras and Belize. As soon as we got on the boat, we were advised that we would not be going to Honduras as one of the Norwegian staff was murdered 4 days ago. I was disappointed but understood, however, they decided to bring us to Costa Maya, Mexico instead which I had no desire to visit. It was an okay port. took an excursion to a beach which had a lot of seaweed and not that nice. the Pearl should have offered it's guests something to make up for this but nothing... the second stop was Belize City, what a waste. took about 2 hours to get off the boat to take a tender boat because of rough waters so we basically lost 2 hours of our time waiting and waiting. you'd think they would find a way to keep guests entertained. finally we get to Belize City, Old Belize. nothing to see here but starving dogs on the streets, port wasn't nice. not sure why Norwegian chooses to stop here. unless you are doing an excursion, don't bother getting off the ship. you can't bargain in the shops either. everyone sells basically the same stuff and all at the same prices. the price on the tag is what you will pay. we took an excursion to a place called Cucumber Beach...this is not a beach folks, it's more of a park with a man made beach, pool like area. we left after an hour. third stop was Cozumel, the port was fun. we took a private excursion to Playa Del Carmen, which was a beautiful beach. spent three hours there. last stop was the Florida Keys, fun little place with lots of shops, if you feel like shopping on holiday.
Now about the Pearl, food and staff....
the Buffet: Nightmare every time we went to eat. we tried to go at different times but it was always the same story. too many people. took about 20 minutes to find a table everyday, every meal.
I never got up for a second plate of food because it was always too hectic.
the selection in the buffet was very limited and the food was ok, nothing more.
the deserts were boring as well.
the pasta station had the same two pasta's the whole week. they offered marinara sauce, meat sauce or alfredo white sauce. when I asked for rosee sauce, two people at the station had no idea what it was so I asked them to mix a bit of alfredo and marinara.
there is no service. no one asks you if you want a drink.
2 days out of the 7, I ended up cleaning my own table and taking my plates to a counter because no one was cleaning the table.
I ate at the Italian rest. twice in the week, no complaints there, food, service, everything was great.
The Pool: this was a real joke. small pool, no slide like they show on the site. never, ever a place to sit.
seems like they let to many passengers on the ship and don't have enough chairs. never spent more than 10 minutes by the pool because there was never any room.
The casino: nice casino, friendly staff for the most part. machines are tight like hell. if you hit $50, take it out and move on, you won't hit anything else. one person dropped a drink on my wife's lap (and didn't apologize) my wife had to even ask her for a tissue to clean her lap.
the Rooms were nice, and our housekeeper kept it clean and was friendly.
The Entertainment: the shows at night (that last 45 minutes to an hour) were really good, but the entertainment after those shows were done wasn't great. boring for the most part.
One entertainer shouldn't have been there at all. he was dry, no sense of humor, looked bothered at all times and really really horrible. I will not post names here.
One person who was in charge of something, not sure what...I approached to ask a question and replied so snotty. not nice at all.
I felt like we were a bother to some staff.
I am not at all picky and very easy to please but I would never, ever do this cruise again.