Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by dfam4: We LOVED Alaska but maybe not this ship
Member Since 2012
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We LOVED Alaska but maybe not this ship
Our family of 4 traveled with another family of 4 on the Pearl to Alaska. And let me start by saying we all had an incredible time. I had planned this trip for 10 months, constantly reading everything I could get my hands on.
1. The Ship: We chose NCL because of the laid back dress code, not wanting to pack sport coats, etc. since we had to fly across country, and also for all the specialty dining with no set times for anything. We have cruised 4 times before this on another line. The ship was very clean and we always felt safe. And those are the 2 most important things for sure. But I was not prepared for how tacky, dated and worn some of the areas on the ship were. Shabby furniture in Spinnaker, varnish peeling off railings are a few things that come to mind. But the absolute worst was the "crystal" atrium. Wow what a mess! Acrylic everything and a huge pixelated video wall screen mixed with gaudy carpets and upholstery to create an unpleasant atmosphere when combined with More the flea market jewelry booths and the bar with the obnoxiously large Budweiser banners hanging everywhere.
2. Our cabin was nice. We were in a suite and had an incredible bathroom with great views. But if you are sensitive to noise or are a light sleeper please do not stay in 11530. I chose this room because it was not in the gym or under the pool deck. It is in the area right between the two and, unbeknownst to me, directly under a couple of ping pong tables. We heard noise from that starting early in the morning until 9ish at night. Lots of noise. I never would have believed ping pong could make such a racket. Now my husband and me are accustomed to noise like that having teenage sons and an upstairs game room at home. So we just made the best of it. But stay away if you want it quiet!!
3. Staff were all friendly.
4. Food was so mediocre. And thats really OK. Just wish I would have gone in with that expectation. We never went to the main dining room. We tried several specialty restaurants: Moderno, Lotus Garden, Cagney's, La Cucina. The salad bar at Moderno was my favorite meal onboard. The buffet was clean and so-so on the food.
5. Ports we loved and that was what this cruise was really about. Our excursions made this a fabulous family vacation.
6. Entertainment: I could take it or leave it. We kind of all made our own fun!
7. Embarkation: a breeze. Super easy. Same with Debarkation. We did the easy walk off and were out and through customs in 10 minutes.
I guess my main beef with the whole thing was that it just felt so cheap to me. Our last 4 cruises were with Disney. Their ships are beautiful and classic. But our kids are older and now we are looking for new itineraries and more reasonable fares. We haven't found our favorite cruise line yet, so we will keep on looking! Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Pearl 11530
The cabin is comfortable and the master bath is incredible. The 2nd bedroom is adequate for 2 teenagers as is the 2nd bath. BUT this cabin is noisy. Unfortunately it is located underneath 2 ping pong tables so beware if you need a quiet room.