Norwegian Pearl Cabins
Standard cabins are comfortable, cozy and well laid out, with adequate closets and drawer space for most families. We also loved the door designs, which look like tropical blue window shutters.
All rooms have well-stocked minifridges (sodas, sparking water, liquor -- for a fee), flat-screen televisions, telephones, Internet access, bathrooms with showers and twin beds that can be made up as queens. But, at an average size of 160 square feet for the outsides and 145 square feet for inside staterooms, they are a bit small, especially given Norwegian's focus on family travel. Balcony cabins are 205 square feet, which includes the verandah. Balcony cabins also have small sofas, many of which can be made into third berths.
Beds are topped with thick, comfy Eurostyle mattresses. Instead of bedspreads, beds are made with white duvets and small, colorful "runners" placed across the feet.
All but some inside cabins have "split bathroom" configurations: glass-enclosed shower on one side, closeable toilet chamber on the other, sink in the middle. These cabins (as well as mini-suites) have wall-mounted pumps for soap and shampoo in addition to body wash, lotion and a hair dryer. The bath products are actually quite nice. (We are convinced that the shampoo/conditioner combo is a generic version of Herbal Essences.) However, several female cruisers on our trip were disappointed with the lack of true conditioner in the bathrooms. (The same is true for the shower area in the changing rooms and the spa.)
Where Pearl really stands out is in its suites. The 134 mini-suites offer, at 284 square feet each, a small amount of additional interior space and a larger balcony. They also have full bath tubs. Beyond those, though, passengers who are booked into The Haven enter the stratosphere of cruise VIP status. Private restaurant privileges, preferred reservations for the alternate restaurants, priority tender access, priority boarding and disembarking, butlers, concierge service, individual espresso and cappuccino makers, even feather pillows and other perks and privileges truly set them apart from the average passenger on the same ship.
Suites within The Haven share a private courtyard at the top of the ship, complete with a covered plunge pool and private hot tubs. Residents of The Haven's suites, which include Garden Villas, Owner's Suites, Family Villas and Penthouses, all share private elevator access to their exclusive top-of-ship quarters.
The Garden Villas, smaller on this ship than on Dawn, Jewel or Star, where they come in at an astronomical 5,700 square feet, nonetheless still measure 4,252 square feet and sleep eight people. They have individual saunas, hot tubs, private sunbathing areas and three bedrooms, three baths, a powder room, living room, dining room and a grand piano.
Owner's Suites, which measure up to 824 square feet, face forward and, since they are at the corners of the bow, have private sun decks at the front and along the side. Deluxe Owner's Suites each include a large balcony and measure 1,197 square feet. The Family Villas, which sleep as many as six people, come in at 572 square feet and each include two bathrooms, a master bedroom and a separate children's room. Penthouses are 440 square feet, sleep three and include a bedroom with a queen-sized bed.
Caveat: The Owner's Suites and Penthouse Suites on Deck 10 have verandahs that are completely visible from the bridge above. Completely. Any indiscretion that takes place out there is subject to being viewed by a range of officers -- or any visitors to the bridge.
All suite-holders get large containers of Elemis spa products in their bathrooms. However, almost everyone we spoke to who inhabited a suite preferred to go back to the more subtle scents of the L'Occitane en Provence products that had been used in the past.
Twenty-seven cabins, including suites, are fully wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant.
While there is no self-service laundry onboard, laundry service is available for $25 a bag, which can be found in your stateroom.
Next: Norwegian Pearl Dining
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