Embarkation on 11 December was a bit overwhelming. They were having some computer issues which is understandable. I must say I have had much better embarkations and this will not be one I remember for the above reason.
Boarding was ok except for the fact that the entire cruise complement was herded through one door on deck 12 into the buffet. Needless to say that was a big mess up for NCL and in my survey with the cruise line was very harsh. Humans are inquisitive in nature and the ship was secured in a way that may of the public areas were not available for entry. My thought process says that starting the boarding later with the entire ship at the ready is a much better process.
Cruising was seamless. The ship has a good vibe! The ships crew seemed very friendly and seemed to interact with everyone in a sincere way. This is a great advantage for the Pearl and for this reason alone I would go on the the Pearl again!
Ships condition was as well as could be expected for a 2006 launch with out a refirb on the equipment. The carpets in the stateroom seemed well worn for for 5 years of use. Its like buying a used car. Its not flawless but it provides the best quality for the price. This is a great ship! I find the larger the build the less likely that i will enjoy it. This is a mid sized ship and may not have ice skating rink, but it kept me busy and very well entertained.
Stateroom was very well appointed and overall is a very good layout. Here again we had some issues. This stateroom was not cleaned as well as it should have been. A shelf unit was sticky and gooey. A vent in the bathroom area was filled with lent. A corner had cobwebs and all of these items were handled in a prompt fashion. After that it was smooth sailing. our room did not have one damp towel or lack any attention. They bent over backwards to make sure we were handled with kid gloves!
Ports in the tour were were not very good. I did learn something that I was surprised to not have learned previously. Jamaica and Grand Cayman Islands are a very homophobic cultures! I know that I am "not in Kansas anymore" We were verbally harassed and this was very unexpected. I then began to inquire about this issue and found out that a lot of substance to back this up. One gay cruise was refused porting in Ocho Rios solely based on the fact it was a gay cruise. I think CC should have some information to help guide LBGT cruisers in the future. Georgetown was much the same with shouts of "girlley man."
Disembarkation was smooth and I hated to leave the ship. Thanks NCL for a good stay!