This was my second coastal cruise on the Pearl from Vancouver Canada. We live close to Vancouver so that makes a cruise from our home city very appealing. We cruise to Alaska quite often, the scenery in Alaska is breath taking. My first coastal cruise on the Pearl was with my daughter, the Pearl was brand new. That cruise was great and we enjoyed the boat very much, didn't like the anytime dinning though, but quickly learned to go for dinner around 5:00 p.m. that way you didn't have to line up. This cruise was enjoyable that is why I repeated it this year.
This recent cruise I went with my husband, well what a shock how everything had changed since my first cruise on the Pearl. We got our first shock during embarkation at which time we were told our cabin that we booked in early May was given to someone else. We told them to please give us back our cabin as it was an aft cabin and we wanted to experience the viewing from an aft cabin, or give us another aft cabin. They told us the boat was full and could not accommodate any cabin changes. We ended up in a suite, but this did not make up for the loss of the aft cabin we waited 5 months to enjoy.
We tried to put this upset behind us and hopefully enjoy our trip but we could not because other things were happening that would not let us enjoy this cruise. The dinning room food was boring and portions were very small, the roast pork was dry and chewy. My husband ordered salmon which was fishy and came with tasteless noodles. We ended up eating in the buffet, they too had repetitive meals, roasted chicken 3 days in a row for lunch and dinner. Desserts were some kind of whip up jell. No nice cakes or even a pie you could call a pie. Hamburgers were cooked and kept warm in steamers. Breakfast in the dinning room took up to 40 minutes to be served after you were seated. The shows were not that great, not like the production shows you get on Princess or Royal Caribbean. The sandwiches were so thin it was hard to tell what was in them. They tell you they don't charge gratuities but then put on a service charge of $12.00 a day per person directly on your account. The staff are not friendly and put in no extra effort because they already have their gratuities paid up front. The wine pricing is ridiculous especially when they pour you 1/8 of a glass, and when you complain the waiter tells you to order a bottle.
Newspapers are $5.00 everything is overpriced, We wanted to just use the computer to do our boarding passes. We asked the employee who looks after the computer Department if perhaps he could just print our boarding passes, answer was No. So we had to pay a $3.95 start up fee and 75 cents a minute. Our boarding passes ended up costing $13.00. We travel a lot and even most hotels will print up your boarding passes for you or the cost is very little. This cruise line is going to lose a lot of passenger if they don't change their ways.