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Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by Zach's Mom: Could have been much better


Zach's Mom
1 Review
Member Since 2014
0 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 3.0
Dining 3.0
Embarkation 5.5
Enrichment Activities 1.0
Entertainment 1.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 5.5
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates Not Rated
Service 3.0
Shore Excursions 1.0
Value for Money 3.0

Compare Prices on Norwegian Pearl Alaska Cruises

Could have been much better

Sail Date: July 2014
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seattle

This is my 6th cruise, second on NCL. My review is mixed, as certain parts were good, and other part not so good.

Bad:

1) Incredibly over priced excursions from the ship. Thankfully, after taking many cruises, we have learned to not book on board, and just go to the visitors bureau on shore or the many different tour huts feet off the ship.

2) Horrible activities director...just without a doubt, the worst. Could possibly have been his first cruise, and did absolutely no research on games or activities. Did not know even the simplest game rules or even how to execute them

3) Extremely small rooms and balconies

4) very boring ship floor plan.

5) Although they had a rock climbing wall, it was seldom (if ever) open. We never were able to use it.

6) $7 a person per game for bowling?? Come on now... two games for a family of 5 is $70...

7) Restaurant service (in the Indigo and Summer Palace-the only two that didn't More charge a cover fee) were probably the worst service I have ever received....anywhere...made us think they were trying to force us to pay the fees to go to the other fee based ones.

8) Other than the tv channels trying to sell you ship excursions or 'duty free' merchandise, only 1-2 channels with nothing to watch...but that is ok since reception is incredibly spotty...so don't get too involved with the occasional movie or show. You may miss vital portions.

9) Absolute jerk works in the internet lounge. Thinks he is some kind of superior being that looks at you like your an idiot if you ask him any questions. Issues with internet reception and lost minutes? Get ready to feel like your a thief/liar trying to steal minutes from him when asking for credits for lost time.

10) Since you get into BC Canada at 6:00 pm and don't actually get off the ship until about 6:30-45 at night...not a great stop. They had an excursion to Butchart Gardens for $150 per person (so...$750 for 5 people...or you could grab a cab for $90 rt, and pay $29 per adult or $14 pp for under 18 ($2 under 12). So for the 5 of us (4 adults one 15 yr old), it would be $160 entry, and $90 cab=$250...kinda a huge difference. There is also a fun "Ghost walk" that takes 1.5 hours for $17 pp and a nice little outdoor market on the water. Don't be fooled into getting the 'cheap' all day $10 shuttle pass if there is more than 2 of you. A cab to/from down town is $7 each way. That is per vehicle not per person.

11) Seriously...an Alaskan cruise, and they do not serve ANY Alaskan seafood? Norwegian salmon and NO crab.

Good:

1) Ship appears very clean and well kept

2) Our cabin steward "Bob" (room 10152 and 10154) was extremely respectful of our privacy and our needs. Did a very good job, without intruding.

2) Juneau: Loved this stop. We chose to NOT pay $70 per person (So, $350 for the 5 of us) for the on ship excursion to Mendenhal Glacier, and instead the 5 of us hopped into a taxi (right off the boat) for $40, and spent most of the day exploring this amazing place. We also opted to pay an additional $3 per person for the museum tour. Return cab was $35. Total cost $90 instead of $350, and we were able to take our time. We spent a couple of more hours in town, and had amazing crab at Tracy's. Contrary to popular opinion, it wasn't really more expensive than the other crab stops and it was a lot of fun.

3) Skagway: Another fun stop. Did two, off -the boat excursions: Motor boat tour of the inlet, with awesome stops at an eagles nest, and more magnificent waterfalls than I can count, with very thrilling speed boat ride. We were given warm head to toe 'flight' suits/goggles that kept us perfectly warm and dry. $125 per person. We then went zip lining (11 lines, all incredibly gorgeous and thrilling), with just amazing views and wonderful guides: $149 per person, which included our shuttle with tour guide for about 40 minutes. They also has sled dogs and puppies at the end of the zips, which were fun to look at and hold if that is your thing. And...we even had time to do a short tour of the local "Brothel" for $10 per person. Lot's of fun.

4) Glacier Bay. Not a stop...you never get off the ship of course. Lovely slow cruising through glaciers. Don't like your view? Go to the other side of the ship while it is empty...the boat stays in one place for at least 30 minutes, while slowly doing 360's. You will have a perfect view in 5 minutes

5) LOVED sitting outside for meals...and no one seems to realize until the 3-4 day it is an option in the far back of level 12, called "The Great Outdoors'.

6) We signed up in advance for Gluten free food for my daughter (who is highly allergic to it). They tried to accommodate her the entire trip and did take her allergy seriously. They had GF bread and many GF dishes. She had the option of ordering GF pizza, and each day, she would ask the chef to walk her around the buffet to show her 'safe' options.

TIPS:

1) Do not pay for the cruise shuttle at $25-35 per person unless it is just one person. A cab from the airport is just $40 each way and easy to get

2) If you have an extra hour or more before final boarding, check in early and then enjoy the local artist market just a couple of blocks away

3) Eat your buffet meals in the "Great Outdoors". Ask where it is as soon as you get to level 12

4) Don't forget to get your free charm bracelet form Diamonds international in Juneau, and a free charm at every stop (At Diamonds international or tanzanite International)

5) In Ketchican, you can rent a fishing pole right off the ship for $10 and fish right there. Also, the Lumber jack show (right off the boat) is 1.5 hours and seriously a lot of fun. Make sure you get the local coupon book, and look through it...there are some serious bargains in there. Price swings can be huge from store to store. Oh...and if you are buying salmon to bring or send home...look where it is packaged. Most of it is from Washington, not Alaska. There are only a couple that sell actual "Alaskan Salmon"

6) Save a ton of money and get your excursions OFF the ship. Less


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Cabin review: Norwegian Pearl 10152+10154

Extremely small cabins and small balcony. Only enough room for two chairs and a tiny table

Port and Shore Excursions


Mendenhall Glacier

Juneau: Loved this stop. We chose to NOT pay $70 per person (So, $350 for the 5 of us) for the on ship excursion to Mendenhall Glacier, and instead the 5 of us hopped into a taxi (right off the boat) for $40, and spent most of the day exploring this amazing place. We also opted to pay an additional $3 per person for the museum tour. Return cab was $35. Total cost $90 instead of $350, and we were able to take our time.


Fishing

(4)

rented a small boat on our own for $80, poles for $10 each. Perfect day

Read 14 Fishing Reviews

Ketchikan On Our Own

(3)

In Ketchican, you can rent a fishing pole right off the ship for $10 and fish right there. Make sure you get the local coupon book, and look through it...there are some serious bargains in there. Price swings can be huge from store to store. Oh...and if you are buying salmon to bring or send home...look where it is packaged. Most of it is from Washington, not Alaska. There are only a couple that sell actual "Alaskan Salmon". Not an exciting stop...primarily shopping.

Lumberjack Show

(4)

1.5 hours of fun/silly lumber jack silliness with Chopping, Sawing, Tree Climbing, Axe Throwing, History and much more. One block off Cruise Ship Docks. Cushioned, Covered & Heated Grandstands. Rain or Shine.


Boat Tour

Motor boat tour of the inlet, with awesome stops at an eagles nest, and more magnificent waterfalls than I can count, with very thrilling speed boat ride. We were given warm head to toe 'flight' suits/goggles that kept us perfectly warm and dry. $125 per person.

Zip-lining

zip lining (11 lines, all incredibly gorgeous and thrilling), with just amazing views of incredible water falls, tree top views, bears, eagles, rope bridges and wonderful guides: $149 per person, which included our shuttle with tour guide for about 40 minutes. They also has sled dogs and puppies at the end of the zips, which were fun to look at and hold if that is your thing.


Got in way too late to do a lot. Had a fun "Ghost Walk" tour of the city, and shopped and walked around the local market. Had probably the best burger ever at "The Authentic Pountine Fries and Burger stand/food truck" and the worst possible vegetarian chickpea burger right next door at the "Dead Beetz" Food truck

Read 554 Victoria Reviews

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