We were on the NCL Pearl last week. We started out from Amsterdam (Holland) and spent a few days prior in FLL with friends. I am American and my partner is Dutch.
Lets just say for the record where did these people that work on the ship leave there smiles and personalities??? HELLO!
First impression of the ship...could not really see it. Embarkation was a breeze! Everyone was was awesome. We were in the ship maybe in 15 minutes from start to room. That was really great. The same goes for getting off the ship less than 15 minutes! Amazing!
We had deck 5 ocean view room. First impression of the room. SMALL! Really small and it was full of dust.Very disappointed. If I were any heavier (and I am not that big) I would not have fit in the toilet. The shower was decent. Water pressure and temperature great. Lighting not so good although I did not see my grey hair for the week :-). Luggage came in a timely manner so we unpacked and got situated. I will say there is plenty of space for your "stuff".There was barely any room between the one side of the bed and the vanity. We met the people that took care of our room on the 3rd day. Only because he needed to fix a bill he did wrong. OK that was the room.
FREESTYLE CRUISING - Coming from Carnival this was a bit of a change for us. I liked the idea of eating some place different each night but there were limited restaurants that offered $0 pricing the other places were a cover charge of 10-20 pp. The deal with FSC is that when you get on the boat you can reserve for that 1st night then the 2nd night. Well I was not aware of how it worked and my first interaction with part of the crew was a very nasty women that took reservations. She was downright rude. We made reservations the 1st night at Mambos. I was excited because I saw such good reviews. Well the restaurant is great very colorful, over looks the atrium and you can hear the music. Wellll not us...we were ushered to the other side of the room to the coffee room and then concealed by a curtain that was for yet another restaurant. So we could not see anything except look out the window. The food was terrible, it came out microwaved. This is not an exaggeration. So that was terrible. Service was terrible as well. NO PERSONALITIES on this ship.
Next night we ate at LaCucina. Same deal. No personality in the staff. Boring food selection. But we did not have to pay for it. The food was brought down from the buffet line up in the Garden Cafe. Very disappointing again.
Cagney's (cover charge 20,00 pp) this was wonderful finally. The food was amazing and our waitress was great she smiled! We ate there 2x because we figured if we wanted good food we had to pay for it.
Breakfast/Lunch buffets. Basic nothing to brag about. Hard time finding seats. But we managed.
Activites-Boring in my opinion.
Pools - GREAT! Large and fresh water. Really this was impressive. The Tahitian Deck was great. Good music. lots of chairs to lay out. Good bars and lots of waitstaff to get drinks.
Spa - This was my haven. Although it is $75pp for the whole cruise or $20 pp per day it was worth it. It had these great stone heated contoured chairs, therapy pool, whirlpool, sauna and steam rooms and other things. Nice. I thought the prices for the massages were still a bit overpriced but we are cruising so that is that.
Shows - BORING! Although the comedian was pretty funny!
BLISS LOUNGE - 1 step away from Porn. But was nice to see with the bowling.
They had a neat New Years Eve party. Halloween as well that was fun they did a good job with that.
Shopping/Jewelry Seminars - Great staff. Allison was a big help and very knowledgeable on where to go and where not to go.
Novelty Shops- Nice.
Overall cruise ship - SUPER easy to navigate unlike some of the carnival ships which are very difficult. Nothing really popped out to me as WOW! The atrium was not big at all but it was classy.
I would have to say that I was really looking forward to the Pearl but was very disappointed. But then again NCL is a different level than Carnival so I have to take that into consideration for activities, etc. But the food and service really was poor and I was not happy about that. I mean I do not want someone kissing my butt all day but sometimes a smile or a hello would be nice.
If you have made it this far in my review thank you for reading! I welcome any comments! Best regards, Rachel