Our flight arrived into Miami rather early, so waited at the airport for our connection to the NCL Pearl. When we arrived, the wait was not very long, but progressed rather smoothly and quickly. Once we were allowed to board, we were encouraged to have lunch in the Garden Cafe as we awaited our rooms to be readied; this was an OK fare.
Our room had an obstructed view (lifeboats were blocking) but that was OK. The size of the room was good, and the 2 windows allowed lots of light into the room and we could actually see the ports/land on approach. Our room steward introduced himself to us right away--he was pleasant and friendly once you engaged him in conversation. Our shower stall backed up when we showered, the water receded very slowly. My husband asked Gede to take care of it, but it was never fixed.
Two hours after we sailed away from Miami, the Captain informed us that there was a front of bad weather in the Bahamas area and we will not be making our first port of call, which was their own private island, but instead we will take a scenic route onto Ocho Rios, Jamaica--we spent Monday and Tuesday at sea arriving in Jamaica on Wednesday morning. We had a nice trip to the DR Falls. We moved onto to Grand Cayman next day and Cozumel, Mexico on Friday. The ship experienced mechanical difficulties there and we did not leave Mexico until well after 10:00 pm at night. Since this ship was scheduled to be back in Miami by 8:00am on Sunday, 11/13, the captain advanced at quite a fast clip. All deck activities were canceled and the wind prevented guests from navigating across the deck. So for guests like me who enjoy he outdoors, this was no fun.
The activities were not up to par. The "Oh What a Night" group were fairly decent as well as the comedian. The Mama Mia performance was semi-OK as well. I found the food very common place and lacked imagination. The same food was served in the Garden Restaurant every day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The summer place menu was limited and not very well presented or palatable. I truly enjoyed Le Bistro--the waiter was very enthusiastic and showed genuine interest in us; this was true of the Maitre d' as well.
My least favorite of this cruise was the Bliss lounge--this was the only place that remained opened after 11:30 pm. The entertained was horrific, the music was some form of "new wave" thing that was very unappealing. Unfortunately, this ship did not render itself to the younger, more active crowd. The bartenders were not very friendly and the casino staff was not very helpful or friendly.
This was my very first cruise and I do not want to rule out cruising altogether, but I do not think I want to experience NCL again, I will try another cruise line.