OK so This was our first cruise ever.... We chose NCL for the freestyle cruising as we have 2 teenager and a mother in law to please. Glad we did. The Pearl is a lovely well taken care of ship. The staff were friendly most of the time, the entertainment was really a lot of fun.They really do try. The only minus was the harassment from the bar tenders trying to get us to buy alcoholic drinks allllll the time. Annoying after a while. It's like timeshare for alcohol. Oh, and the pushy jewelry selling.
Cabin was small but we did not have high expectations as we only booked a week before traveling. It was an inside state room.room 10633. It had a very comfortable bed, extremley clean everyday. Great shower and powerful hairdryer. expensive mini bar... loved the towel animals every night when we had turn down service. we were at the back of the boat so in the morning it was a little nosiey but it was not a problem. We can not complain but have had nothing to compare. we were happy with it though.
Anyway..back to the boat. The ship had a bowling alley on it ,pool ,casino, plenty of entertainment, they had white hot night bingo, a great comedian, and sharkbait were hillarious. The lounge at the front of the boat hosts lots of parties and comedy nights for adults only, well worth going to see, if you are easily offended stay out of the lounge...... They have karaoke, and a nightclub at the rear of the ship. The kids clubs were really good from what we saw. The spa at the front of the boat charges a weekly pass for $99 well worth it just for the view and the relaxation you get from the piece and quiet in there.The womens sauna room has a view not to be wasted. I did not get any services, so cannot comment.
We tried Cagneys steakhouse , which was just OK. Le Bistro very good,the Sushi place my husband and daughter loved it. The teppenyaki which is difficult to book, was really good food and value for money. Tip: Book at 5pm on the day you go into victoria as not many peoole choose this time as they are getting into port at 6pm, but you are off the boat by around 7pm. The restaraunts that were included also served some really great food, they have lobster twice thru the week so check the menus. Go to the Great Outdoors for breakfast and I can tell you you will not experience a view like that anywhere again...... On the day they go to to the glacier national park, get on deck early tag a seat EARLY, and do not move all day. The great out doors became our litle sanctuary, at the back of the boat.The views were breathakingly stunning.You get great pictures from here and see whales too. There were about 2400 people on the boat and it did not seem like that at all. There is so much to do on board.
I have to say I am hooked on cruising. Everyone in our family had a great time. NCL were really good cruiseline to go with. we are really looking forward to our Princess crusies that we have booked in the caribbean in Nov 2009 to see how it compares with NCL.