I must say that the embarkation process went faster than ever before. The Pearl, though smaller than previous cruises, was quite lovely and roomy.
We were worried that our room was under the stage, but had no noise at all from that or hallway.
Buffet seating was constantly a problem. Since the weather was too cold for outdoor dining, everyone crammed inside. If the pool area had been undercover it might have been different.
Freestyle dining didn't work too well for us. If you went between 6:30 - 8pm there was a wait. I like it better with a guaranteed table and friendly wait staff who get to know you and you know them.
The food on the buffet was good. We also didn't like the fact that the Pearl has more "charge" restaurants than "free" ones. The "free" ones do not offer a variety of ethnic foods. If you want that you must pay a cover charge.
The room stewards were great--friendly and quick.
Only play the slots on the first night and into the next day. After that they are really tight and remain so for the cruise.
The bowling was a lot of fun if not challenging (due to the roll of the ship).