My cruise on the Pearl was my first cruise. I have always wanted to go to Alaska, and always wanted to take a cruise. However, I was always put off by the formal dinners, mandated dinner times, etc. When friends told me about their freestyle experience I decided to try it.
I feel fortunate that I happened to select the Pearl. When we arrived my friend and I found one bed when we had requested two. We spoke to the room steward, and when we returned the problem had been taken care of.
Our room was fine -- not large but adequate. There were more than enough storage space -- and my friend always overpacks. Our room was taken care of every day in a timely and efficient fashion.
I found the food to be above average. Not wanting a formal experience, I ate mostly at the buffet -- and continued to be amazed at the fact that the man preparing my morning omelet never once dropped it on the floor when flipping it. We did eat at the Indigo one evening and found the food and service to be excellent (I had fresh salmon). However, that was our "dress up" night and we decided not to do that again.
We enjoyed spending time at the bar early in the evenings where our favorite bartender Rommel Reyes pleasantly served us and conversed with us. The pianist, Konstantin Dragulyov, was artistically amazing and very personable in an endearing, shy way.
We attended the productions at the Stardust Theater most evenings. We enjoyed the diverse entertainment offered -- something for everybody. We particularly enjoyed the crew talent show. There are indeed some very talented people on board the Pearl.
Kudos to Simon, the cruise director. Not only was he very entertaining and witty himself (especially in the toga), but his enthusiasm was infectious.
I have noted in a previous review that cleanliness was an issue for one reviewer. I found the ship to be very clean, and noted workers constantly washing windows and spot cleaning carpeting. Coming from a Finnish background (as did our captain) where cleanliness comes ALMOST before godliness, I find no fault.
We were somewhat disappointed in not being able to spend more time outdoors on deck. However, this was due to high winds and seas, and the weather was not unexpected as we live in the UP of Michigan and experience similar weather year round (living very near the inland sea known as Lake Superior).
I am planning another cruise. I would like to cruise on the Pearl again. My only regret is that some of the wonderful staff persons I met will not be on the Pearl on my next go round.