We flew from SFO to MIA the night before the cruise, spending the night at a hotel near the airport. We decided to catch a taxi to the POM around 11:30. There wasn't much traffic, we were at the port by noon. Check in wasn't too bad, it took about 45 minutes. We carried on 2 bags and left 2 with the porter to be delivered to the cabin.
We decided to go to the main dining room for lunch. What a great idea. The dining room on the Pearl is beautiful, The Summer Palace. It wasn't crowded, the food was delicious and service very good. While eating lunch it was announced that we could go to our rooms. I think it was around 1:30.
Around 2, we finished our lunch and went to our amazing, aft balcony cabin on the 10th deck. This is the place we spent most of our time. The 10th deck aft balconies on the Pearl are huge. Big enough for 2 loungers, a small table and 2 chairs. We also ate dinner on this balcony a couple of nights. We would go upstairs to the buffet, Great Outdoors, and carry down our dinner to enjoy on the balcony in complete peace and quiet. The table in the cabin is movable. We moved it outside, sat our dinner and wine on it and felt like the ship was ours alone! I enjoyed this cabin so much, I booked it for a Panama Canal cruise in 2013.
We decided to check out the spa. It is beautiful! So clean, open, inviting. We were hooked and signed up for the spa pass for the week. $119 per person, money well spent. We used it daily, while at sea and in port.
Our first stop was NCL's private island. We took the tenders over and enjoyed the beach, band, BBQ for a few hours. No need to rush over there, they have plenty of loungers and places in the shade. You will need to walk a bit past the crowd to the second bay, (if you take your time getting off). We liked it better, it was less crowded and seemed to have more shade trees.
The next day, was a day at sea and our cruise critic Meet and Greet. We went to the M&G and met some of the officers, and people we knew from CC, putting a face to the name. A big treat for us on this cruise was having the most amazing hotel director...KLAAS! He is normally at corporate but was working a couple of cruises. Nothing was too much for him to do for his passengers. Throughout the week, there were issues handled in such a perfect way, you know it was by a man who valued his customers and wants them to keep coming back. No issues from us, but we heard of a few from CC members, and the way they were handled, completely professional!
We did a cabin crawl with our CC friends, visiting many different cabins from an inside to an owners suite. What a fun thing to do, plus you see different cabins!
We ate at Le Bistro, our favorite, the Asian restaurant, and the Mexican. All were delicious. What we seemed to like with our balcony, was go upstairs to the buffet and bring our food down to eat on our balcony! Buffet food was good, you can get what you want, how much you want, it fit our needs for a romantic dinner on the balcony.
We stopped at Ocho Rios and walked off ourselves. No worries, but we come from a big city and not much bothers us. There are some beggers, etc, certainly no worse than what I've experienced in the US. Easy on and off, visiting some shops near the ship.
Grand Cayman was our 3rd stop. We booked a non NCL excursion and went swimming with the sting rays....what a great excursion, highly recommend.
Our favorite excursion was an NCL Tulum Mayan Ruins tour from Cozumel. 5 stars all the way. Full day, comfortable bus there, excellent tour guide. What a great day.
We met many fun people on this cruise. Enjoyed it to the max! Martini Tasting clinic will be forever etched in my mind....LOL...
Weather was excellent. Cabin perfect, food good to great. Service top notch. Fun entertainment, shows. Fabulous SPA! Great cruise director, Julie!
Getting off the ship took ages, most of the problem was in Miami customs. Took them forever, lines wrapped around and around. I wonder if they were looking for someone?
I can highly recommend the Pearl,so much so, I'll be back on her in 2013!