I booked our cruise in February so had a long time to read reviews from then until we sailed August 18th. I did have concern as there were quiet a few reviews regarding the food that were not good. I have to say the food was excellent! So here goes the cruise:
Checking in on Sunday was very smooth, we arrived at 11:00 and were in our room by 12:00. Our luggage arrived around 2:30 so we unpacked. Food was already being served at 12 so this was very convenient. The Pearl is a nice ship. I had also read reviews stating the ship was showing age. This is not the case I experience. We had a mini suite on Deck 11, Room 11136. A mini MX> Very roomy, bathroom was set up good with a bathtub which I thoroughly enjoyed. The bed was comfortable and the 3 bottles of wine I had ordered were waiting on me, 1 iced down. I didn't have a corkscrew but my Room Steward immediately got me one. Paso was our Room Stewart, very nice/humble man.....
We bought the dining package as we More
didn't want to fight the crowd in the main dining room. Cagneys has the best steaks and Tepanyaki restaurant was great. This is the style of Chinese that is cooked in front of you. You do have to book Tepanyaki a day or 2 in advance. The best place to eat lunch or snacks is in the aft of Deck 12. Go thru the dining room and there is an open area with a bar/buffet food set up outside. Never crowded, we always found a table and the view was wonderful.
Breakfast is best eaten in the Coffee Lounge on the 8th Deck. You can order off the menu or there is a buffet, again, never crowded and a good view as it spans both sides of the ship so you can get a look at both sides.
Monday was rocky but there was plenty to do. Tuesday we were in Juneau, you have to go to the Red Dog Saloon and listen to the gentleman playing piano. He is hilarious/great entertainment. One of Wyatt Earps pistols' is on display. The floor is made shredded wood and a very rustic atmosphere.
Other than that, mainly a lot of gem shops that we were not interested in.
Wednesday we were in Skagway. Did the Zipline thru Grizzly Zip line Tours. This was awesome. There were 11 lines and 3 went over waterfalls. One of the ziplines was 2 football fields in length. The crew running were very safety conscious and patient!.
Thursday we did Glacier Bay. This was beautiful. Our previous ALaskan cruise we had done Tracey Arm but Glacier Bay is much better. The Captain kept the ship in front of the glacier for an hour and did several 360 degree turns.
Friday was Ketchikan, we walked around where the brothels used to be and did some souvenier shopping. But some advice, if you wait until Saturday to buy souvenirs on board the ship, they are discounted at a good rate.
Saturday was at sea all day and then Victoria British Columbia at 6. We didn't get off the ship as we had done this last vacation and it was too crowded for the short amount of time we were there. We sat an the aft of Deck 12 and had the back outer patio all to ourselves. We watched the sun go down and had a few cocktails.
Sunday we were off the ship by 9:00 and at the airport in 25 minutes.
Our last Alaskan cruise we had taken the Sapphire Princess which is also a good ship. But If I had to choose between the 2, I would choose the Norwegian Pearl. Maybe I just had a better time this trip but I have fonder memories this time around. Pearl has excellent food, don't go by the reviews....the Staff were always very nice and willing to do anything to please.......
You have to watch Jim the Piano guy one night, he was great. Has a natural way with the audience and an unusual comedy routine.
If you go to Alaska, you must get a room with a balcony....there is nothing like watching the sun come up in Alaska and then watching it go down. Privacy of your balcony is a must if you like peace and quiet.
If you are going, I hope you have as much fun as we did. Go Norwegian Pearl, you wont be disappointed. Less