becuase at it's best it reminds of you 3 star place in Cancun! Now the decorations in Norwegian Pearl are very nice and the beds are exceptionally comfortable but that's about the only positive things about it.
Food: The buffet is quite mediocre and the food is the same day after day. By the third day of cruising you have no inclination or desire to eat there except the fact any other restaurants out there requires a surcharge from $10 to $25 dollars per person. (After spending $2400.00 dollars excluding air fare you seriously are not in a mood in spending more money for food). Le bistro restaurant is quite good but you have pay $20.00 dollar per person and that's not a bargain. The main dining room is good but there is limited food selection and at times you have to wait since the dining room is not that large.
Cabin: Nothing special about them, granted beds are exceptionally comfortable. The T.V set is very small and there is hardly anything to watch. Almost 90% of the channels are dedicated to NCL advertising. It could only get E, CNBC and ESPN2. No option for pay per view or DVD. when I asked them about it, they gave me some rubbish answer that didn't make any sense....
Internet & phone: Very expensive and slow. skip it if you don't really need it.
Fitness room: about average with various equipments. It has a small steam bath. To use a jacuzzi you have to either use the ones at top deck (You will never be able to use them because with 2200 passengers and tons of kids they are always full) if you want less crowded jacuzzi, you have to pay $100.00 dollars, so keep that in mind if you are a jacuzzi buff thank god we were not! also if you want to take classes from Aerobic to Yoga you name it, there is a surcharge $12 dollars per person per class.
Spa: is a rip off unless you feel like wasting your money away. A $60 dollar massage and $120 dollar treatment that you get on land, in pearl it would cost you any where from $150 to $400
Activities: any thing half interesting has a surcharge associate with it. (Bar hopping, wine or beer tasting, bingo,etc) plenty of free seminars about jewelry and crap like that to separate you from your money. Bliss lounge which functions as late night club and supposedly 18+ is full of teenagers and underage kids, music is lame.
Tips: Norwegian adds a mandatory tip to every thing.I mean everything!
$12.00 dollars per person per day per room for the week. So for two people you will end up with $168 cabin for a week. The cabin stewards are rarely around any way.
There is 25 cents tip per soda, almost a dollar tip for each drink and what is funny is the bill always has an additional line for additional tip as if they want to encourage double tipping.
Disembarkation: You can supposedly choose the time that you want to get off base on the collar of tags you obtain for your luggage a night before, but in practice it does not work that way. It's quite disorganize, I won't go to detail but a hint: Check out as late as possible.
Excursions: ours was Eastern Caribbean.
Samana - is a dump, stay in ship while every one is gone, you may finally be able to use some amenities in the ship or finally be able to relax a bit.
St. Thomas is nice but you really need more time to explore it.
Tortola - May be a nice but time is not enough to see it all.
Private island - Nothing to brag about. It is very small and if you are not catching early tenders to the island, you won't find any beech chairs out there, unless of course you decide to pay an additional $29.00 dollars for it!
You have to wait quite a bit to get in and off the island as they will only use Two tenders at the time.
Employees: There are some that are nice here and there but the rest are quite miserable and pityfull. Don't expect any one them to go an additional mile for you. Compare that with Celebrity and Royal caribbean and you set off yourself for disappointment.
Children's program: We don't have any kids but there seem to be a lot for kids I suppose.
Bottom line: If you enjoy three star service per say you may like this ship and NCL cruise line but if you are expecting to be pampered or feel special that's not going to happen to you with Norwegian Cruise line.