NCL PEARL to the Southern Caribbean 9 days Embarkation We stayed at a Holiday Inn on Miami beach - we planned on getting an early tan but it rained. We arrived at the Port of Miami at 10-30 am and were on board by 11-15 am. Cabins were not available until 1:00 pm, so we toured the ship, and then had lunch. We had a CC get together with all the major "biggies" in attendance, including the Captain and the cruise director. Later in the week our group was treated to free bowling and free drinks. All our luggage arrived safely. We had one bottle of rum, well wrapped in a suitcase, and when we received it there was a sticker on it that said LIQUOR. However the bottle was still in the suitcase! (maybe a warning, or lazy stewards - who knows?) The cabin was small, but the beds were quite hard, which I thought was great, mot the DW though. Outside the cabin door is a revolving sign for Do Not disturb, make up room, etc. We didn't see it for 2 days and our bed was never turned down (no big deal) until we discovered the secret. We never saw our cabin steward until the last couple of nights, but he kept the ice bucket filled and cleaned the room, what else can you ask for?
The weather was fabulous for 10 days - one afternoon it rained quite hard for an hour, so we stayed in the water :). I stay out of the sun (red hair) but the DW got a super tan. We watched all of the sunsets, either from the deck or a restaurant. I saw some sunrises (early riser).
The food. We never ate in a restaurant that was an extra charge, my DW wanted to eat lobster in Cagney's but it was another $10.00 on top of the $20.00 charge and we heard that the lobster wasn't that great, but apparently the steaks were. We had every breakfast in the Garden restaurant (buffet). What can I say? There was everything I wanted to eat. There was a group of 150 Germans and they even catered to there taste with German sausage for breakfast. We ate at 7.30 am on sea days and 7-00 on excursion days. It was only crowed on the last morning before leaving the ship. We ate at the Summer Palace 2 nights and had a fabulous 5 course dinner. 1 night at Mambo's the TexMex restaurant- the food was good, but strange enough I had better fajitas in the Garden Buffet. We also ate at the Indigo and it was great. And one night at the Italian - La Cucina. I ordered the Italian sausage and peppers and guess what? It didn't come with Pasta! None of the entree's came with pasta, I blame our waitress for not explaining the menu properly. On the Sunday we watched the football game in the atrium and looked down on the huge screen from the Blue Lagoon eating our wonderful Fish and Chips. The rest of the time we ate in the buffet - we thought the food in the buffet was marvelous. All the fresh fruit you could eat, wonderful bread of all types and a salad bar for even the most finicky of people.
We were impressed by all the ports. In Samana we did the Island beach escape so we didn't actually see Samana. We were tendered to the wonderful beach escape on Cayo Levantado. Tortola, Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia were all great but St. Lucia was the best. Although be warned the prices on booze and tobacco etc may be cheaper on the ships. In St. Lucia the beach wanted $20.00 per beach chair, so none of the crowd bought them. We were only there for 1-1/2 hours. You'd have thought they would have preferred 50 people X $5.00, rather than nothing - Oh well.
We were last off the ship because we stayed in Miami and did not want to get to the hotel to early. The one thing I did not understand was: We went through customs and immigration before we got our suitcases. I always thought it should be the other way round.
All the staff were polite, in fact so polite it almost got irritating saying Good Morning to 20 people (just kidding)
The Pearl is a big ship, but once you got to know your way around - no problem. We loved every minute and we would do it again in a heart beat.