We just arrived back home from our fantastic 10 night cruise through the "Inside Passage". What a great trip and ship also. We stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver the night before thinking that the Pearl would leave from the dock there at the pier but alas, we left from Balantine pier across the harbor which dictated we take a taxi instead of walking 500 ft. Not so bad though as getting a taxi was easy using the great door man at the Pan Pacific.
Our Ship: Having only sailed on the Norway back in the late 90's, we had no idea what to expect. But the Pearl is as beautiful as Brilliance of the Seas. Just gorgeous with colors not overdone or too loud for our tastes. Our cabin was all the way forward, 10502 a small suite (not sure why its a suite but 380 sq ft with a 150 sg ft balcony is great). It proved outstanding during arrivals and departures and on Glacier Bay day, but the rest of the time? Not so much as the wind at sea was horrific. We had to shut the storm door to keep the wind from freezing our cabin at night, so keep that in mind for Alaska cruises. All of the many restaurants and great public areas were great and classily decorated. There was a bar at every turn it seemed (can you say revenue?).
Food: Mediocre at best in the Garden Spot buffet but the breakfast was passable. We chose to eat breakfast most mornings at Cagney's SteakHouse as we were suite passengers and allowed this great alternative. We also ate lunch at Cagneys on sea days and off the ship in port. Dinner? Teppanyaki's! Wow! What great food we had there twice. All of the specialty restaurants we ate in (Cagney's; Le Bistro; Teppanyaki's) were outstanding. You can't get much better. We did eat in the main dining room twice. One night I had the salmon and it was outstanding. The next time I had a New York strip steak that I wouldn't feed to my dog. Enough said.
Ports: I won't name everyone as you can look them up on NCL's Pearl itineraries but except for Icy Straight Point, all of the excursions we booked on thru NCL and the port's were great. ISP? Nothing there except for some very limited shopping and expensive drinks and food. Oh and a 1300 ft tall zip line that's a mile long. At 60 years old, not for me.
Our Service: Service is below what we have received on the RCI and Celebrity. When we had suites on both, our butler and concierge were always stopping by to see if we needed anything and tipping helped with free alcohol. We never saw our concierge and after tipping our butler on the 1st day to get him motivated, only saw him once in the hallway. On the other hand, our cabin steward, Joe was a gem. We tipped him extra even though NCL takes gratuities out for service staff daily.
Overall: We would sail with NCL again. Our trip overall was a treat and NCL keeps you busy so no chance of boredom. If you are bored, its your own fault. My wife's brother and sis-in-law who accompany us on on most cruises were delighted also overall.