11 Barcelona Norwegian Pearl Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as our honeymoon cruise because of the itinerary mainly that it started in Barcelona with a wide variety of stops from Monaco to Mykonos. Embarkation had a slight glitch as the ship's systems went down ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our honeymoon cruise because of the itinerary mainly that it started in Barcelona with a wide variety of stops from Monaco to Mykonos. Embarkation had a slight glitch as the ship's systems went down temporarily, but it didn't take long for us to get into the ship. The ship is not very big and it was easy to figure out where we were going. The ship's newsletter was very helpful in telling us of the day's activities, although I felt like I was the only one carrying it. May be most everybody else was using the app. The entertainment was decent with some good singers and the acrobats were amazing. The magician was just Ok. I say the ship's crew show gave the paid entertainer pros a run for the money. The Funky Roots were the resident band and they were ok at best. The comedy shows and games were good. Most days we were on port so we didn't see most of the ship activities during the day, but on sea days getting a chair by the pool was horrendous, and the art auction was a total disappointment. Don't go to that. We passed by the casino. I say totally rigged including a machine where you could win a whole bunch of dollars. The spa was decent though overpriced. My husband and I got good facials and the massages were good and of course they tried to up sell us with product. I wished they had more basic language classes. They had one for Italian but it was very cursory. The internet packages are not good so I tried using my cellphone on land to check email. The buffet food for breakfast always had the same choices. I tried different things to have a variety. One morning we had the continental breakfast sent to our room. Not bad though you have to pay a surcharge. The complementary lunches and dinners were good for the most part, The Lotus Garden been the best both with its menu and level of service. O'Sheehan's was a disappointment. There was a rude server, though we complained and the ship gave us a complementary dinner. Moderno Brazilian and Cagney's Steak specialty restaurants are excellent, but of course you pay extra. We used the ship's shore excursions 3 times: in Monaco, Rome and Dubrovnik and all three were good. We joined with an independent small group cruise in Florence/Pisa and in Montenegro and that was good too. We went to a beach in Mykonos and a volcano in Santorini. Tendered in three ports and we had to get up at the crack of dawn to get the tender tickets not good when you are not in your time zone. Disembarkation was a total mess. Nobody seemed to have a clue as to where the lines were and when to get off the ship. No guidance from the ship as to what water bus to take to get to Venice. Overall, we would definitely go again. We joined with a Cruise Roll Call group and met some very nice people. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Going to 7 (8 including Venice) locations in 10 days throughout the Mediterranean was wonderful. My only criticism was that we had to tender in three ports. This meant obtaining tender place ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Going to 7 (8 including Venice) locations in 10 days throughout the Mediterranean was wonderful. My only criticism was that we had to tender in three ports. This meant obtaining tender place slips the morning of the tender which could be 6am. Our mini-suite balcony state room was very nice. There was more than enough room to hang and store clothing and other things. Since the Norwegian Pearl is an older ship, the balcony size was so nice as compared with some of the newer Norwegian ships where balconies are minuscule. The bathrooms were adequate but, if you have difficulties getting in a tub for your shower this one was very tall. I really liked the pool area. There were four hot tubs and two pools.... no slides or fancy things. There was plenty of room to sit out at the pool both in the sun and under the covered deck. There was a climbing wall on the top deck, shuffleboard and large chess pieces on the outside deck and ping pong inside. Although we did not bring children, there appeared to be a nice “splash academy” area for kids. The Pearl has the same speciality restaurants as most of the fleet. Our package included 4 speciality restaurants and they all were excellent. We ate at the Garden Cafe (buffet) several times at first but frankly, the food was the same for lunch and dinner and the variety poor so we opted for the complementary restaurants where the food was much better. The bars and lounge areas were very nice. The entertainment was second rate. We did go to one of the shows but the entertainment was not up to par with other Norwegian cruises we’ve been on. I think this was reflected in the theater being less than half full. We walked through the casino but did not play on this cruise. All in all it was a great cruise. Prior to the cruise many cruise critic members connected on the CC boards for our cruise and planned a pre- meet dinner in Barcelona and meet and greet during the cruise. This made our cruising experience so much nicer by putting names with comments and just connecting with people of all ages and from different locations. I would recommend this for any cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this ship strictly for the ports of call. We had read several bad reviews but decided to take a chance and go with this ship anyway because no other cruise line was going to all of these ports. I have to say we were pleasantly ... Read More
We choose this ship strictly for the ports of call. We had read several bad reviews but decided to take a chance and go with this ship anyway because no other cruise line was going to all of these ports. I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. The ship was very nice. It was very pretty and in great shape. The crew were very friendly and accommodating. They were always cheerful and asking us about our day. Our room was a MX mini suite and it was roomy, clean and very comfortable. The food in the buffet was just okay. Some of it was very good but would have been better if it was kept warmer. I also think they could have handled the disembark better as the line was almost the length of the ship and took us over an hour to get off. Having said all of that I would definitely go on Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I love the itinerary , has lots of places to visit. Ship is average , food in the restaurant average and nothing special. They have same menu all day and they just rotate the menu from different restaurant. Buffet not much selection, ... Read More
I love the itinerary , has lots of places to visit. Ship is average , food in the restaurant average and nothing special. They have same menu all day and they just rotate the menu from different restaurant. Buffet not much selection, you’ll have the same breakfast every day. Entertainment very poor as they don’t have enough entertainment. Music entertainment should be all day. Performers are average, nothing special in their shows. They should have different shows with all age levels.Room is good size and bathroom is good as it has separate shower and toilet. Cleanliness in the room is very good and always making sure that everything is taken cared off. Waiters were excellent, they were always around to remove empty glasses and plates. Staff who is in charge for entertainment should be creative enough to research new shows and pick and hire performers who are lively/ energetic performers. I would like to give commendation to the two Filipino waiters in the buffet (the washy, washy) , they make your day sunny. I would like to give very good commendations to all the waiters who work hard to make our vacations fulfilled. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and I would highly recommend most of these ports to anybody. Second time cruising but the first was only a 3 day cruise and that was long ago. GOOD: 1. We loved most of these ports as ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and I would highly recommend most of these ports to anybody. Second time cruising but the first was only a 3 day cruise and that was long ago. GOOD: 1. We loved most of these ports as they offered a little bit something different in each one, they all had incredible beauty and history. 2. We had an ocean view cabin which was a decent size, very comfortable bed, excellent service in the twice daily room cleaning. Much better than I thought a cruise cabin would be. 3. We really loved the starting port of Barcelona and would highly recommend that people get there a few days prior to the cruise to fully enjoy this lovely city. I wish we had a few more days here. 4. Most of our excursions were very good. We booked a couple with Norwegian and a couple with Costco. We booked: Florence & Wine tasting at a castle, Historic Kotor & Budva, Game Of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik, Oia wine tasting tour in Santorini port. The Oia tour was OK but really loved the other 3 tours. 5. Embarking and disembarking went fairly smooth at the start and finish. NOT SO GOOD: 1. There seemed to some issues with the Tendering type of ports. Not sure if this a problem with all cruises or just this particular cruise. It seemed to take a long time to get off and back in some of the ports. 2. The food and service seemed to be hit or miss on the Pearl. The people we were with were experienced in cruising and thought the dinner offerings were not as good as other cruises they had been on. 3. The entertainment was a bit hit or miss as well. We enjoyed most of the acts. 4. As a few people have mentioned, the pool seems to run like some Mexican resorts in that some people come very early and place items on chairs and then leave for several hours. Mostly stayed away from the pools due to empty seats being used this way. RESULT: We loved the itinerary and picked this cruise mainly for that reason so I enjoyed this cruise but am not sure that I would pick NCL again or even opt for cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We selected this cruise as it visited the many ports that we were keen to visit on our first visit to the mediterranean which was also our first cruise as well ! We arrived in the departure city of Barcelona 2 nights prior to the cruise ... Read More
We selected this cruise as it visited the many ports that we were keen to visit on our first visit to the mediterranean which was also our first cruise as well ! We arrived in the departure city of Barcelona 2 nights prior to the cruise commencing which provided us time to explore the city and visit the many sights ( including the Sagrada Familia which is the number one tourist attraction i think in barcelona - absolutely magnificent ) Embarkation was a relatively easy process and once onboard we easily located our cabin and then proceeded to explore the ship .( please see details about our cabin further in the review ) Our luggage was delivered within a couple of hours of us arriving on board. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruising experience and the Pearl was fantastic The food was wonderful, we choose the buffet for breakfast which whilst is very busy we usually found a table easily enough and enjoyed the many different options for breaky including cereals, fruits, omelettes eggs etc etc . Lunch ( or upon return to the ship following a port excursion as food is available till 5 pm each day - could eat all day if you wished ) was either from the great outdoors or the buffet again which offered fantastic variety of foods - we usually choose a toasted sandwich or pizza with fantastic salads but you could eat anything and everything at lunch. The soft serve ice cream along with the scoop ice cream where both fabulous . We didn't have a speciality dining package so chose to eat at either summer palace or Indigo which both offered sit down dining with a menu that offered different options each night . We really enjoyed the free style dining on Norwegian where you could eat at any time up to 10pm ( we usually booked a table using the app then you didn't need to wait ) the food was fabulous and we enjoyed each meal, service was also great. There were numerous entertainment options offered from performances in the theatre, a band around the pool and later on in on of the entertainment lounges, plus vocalists and also instrumental groups and also a casino - something for anyone and everyone from the young who wished to party late at night to those who just wanted to enjoy a show. We watched a few shows in the theatre and they were all enjoyable and in particular the one on the last night was exceptional - the dancers were magnificent ! There were also numerous activities offered once again to suit all ages and i'm sure you would find something to fill in the time if needed . we did use the gym which was large and had many machines ( bikes etc) available for everyone to use. We spent our at sea days by the pools and whilst there were many people also enjoying the sun loungers we didn't have any trouble finding a sun lounger. The pools aren't particularly large but not every one wants to swim which is good. We found the service to be exemplary. Feedback was always being sought and we found if you were not happy with any service the staff did what ever they could to ensure you were listened to .. We did one norwegian shore excursion to Kotor which was very disappointing and used 3 independent tour operators for tours of Rome, Florence and santorini and i think these were more enjoyable - small groups , more opportunity to ask questions and meet fellow cruisers We joined a cruise critic roll call for our cruise which was a great way to meet people and we also joined a couple of tours thru this group . The ship was very clean and there were many hand sanitisers available and when entering all the dining rooms there was a staff member there who provided a sanitiser spray for your hands. Some of the ports we visited were tender ports which once you have obtained your tender tickets works quite well, obviously if the ship docks in port this is the preferred option but as we visited many smaller ports ( monte carlo, santorini, mykonos, kotor ) tender was the way to go. One thing to keep in mind , you arrive in the ports early (7am) so the days can be long and we eagerly looked forward to the two at sea days we had on our cruise for some relaxing. Disembarkation was not a particularly pleasant experience, long lines to leave the ship and as we finished the cruise in venice, actually getting from the ship to our hotel by boat taxi was a nightmare really ... couple of tips.. select the earliest possible time to disembark and if there is an option to have your luggage delivered to your hotel i suggest you take it . Just my hubby and i travelled on this cruise ( we are in our mid 50s and regular travellers) and whilst there were a few children around they seemed to be entertained in the kids club. If we decide to cruise again we would choose Norwegian without a doubt ... we chatted to many other cruisers and many had cruised on other lines but all seemed to recommend norwegian and the flexibility in dining was one of the reasons. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary.First time to Europe and enjoyed every minute! The ship was very nice and clean. the food on the buffet was pretty good depending on what you ate. The restaurants were very good especially ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary.First time to Europe and enjoyed every minute! The ship was very nice and clean. the food on the buffet was pretty good depending on what you ate. The restaurants were very good especially the Japanese. What a great time! the entertainment was very good. We had a balcony stateroom which was nice. I would recommend this cruise. All the crew were very cheerful!! We didn't take a tour at all the ports but chose 3 we really wanted and the rest did on our own. It worked out quite well. We had to take tenders from the ship to shore for most ports. They went smoothly and would run all day until just before departure. The days we were at sea it was difficult to get a lounge out by the pool ( unless you were out there early in the morning).Even on the upper deck most lounges were taken. I would recommend claiming your lounge early! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We've traveled on the Jade and liked the ship so chose the sister ship, the Pearl for our Mediterranean adventure. A lot of processes on the ship were very disorganized. For example - we had to tender at several ports. The line-ups ... Read More
We've traveled on the Jade and liked the ship so chose the sister ship, the Pearl for our Mediterranean adventure. A lot of processes on the ship were very disorganized. For example - we had to tender at several ports. The line-ups to get tender tickets were very long and very early. (Line-ups for one port started at 530 am.) There weren't a lot of activities on board and it was sometimes difficult to understand the people facilitating them. The pools were over-crowded on sea days and very noisy. Music was good but impossible to talk without yelling. This was our 6th cruise with NCL and the first time we've had poor dining experiences. Both at O'Sheehan's. The veggies were cold. Not warm. Out of the freezer cold. We always get the dining package and have had great experiences in the upgraded restaurants and the main dining rooms. We love being able to sit outside at the back of the ship for breakfast. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This ship is a bit older but still nice. The food and service however are not the food is horrible and service not much better. Buffet was small food always cold and selection always the same hot dogs hamburgers baked beans curry dishes. ... Read More
This ship is a bit older but still nice. The food and service however are not the food is horrible and service not much better. Buffet was small food always cold and selection always the same hot dogs hamburgers baked beans curry dishes. Salad selection was so small. Had ribs one night awful. Went to restaurant three of the ten nights one night it was so bad I sent it back and went to our room hungry. Bacon at breakfast buffet was so hard it would break a tooth. Pastry was ok so stuck with that for breakfast how can you make a mess of that. We had only one meal in the pay extra dining room Monderno the Brazilian dining which was good to the tune of $200.00. Nice that the only food that was enjoyable I needed to pay extra for. Makes you think hmmm do they make the food so bad that you have to buy the food package. This cruise was nickel and dime all the way you pay for everything on this boat don’t forget your wallet that sea-pass is going to be expensive. Charge to bring your pre paid drink to you tip on that as well 15.00 per day per person in the cabin for tip for staff. Our room was four people $60.00 per day. If staff were good helpful or at least friendly maybe but what insensitive do you have to be nice and good at your job when you are adding the tip to the bill automatically. Tipping is up to me and for good service. It is a privilege not a right you earn tips don’t just bill me for them so you can charge it to my credit card that you have on file for any extras that are legitimate. I need to say that Vladimir our room Stewart was nice and worked hard we did leave him a tip and a bottle of wine and thanked him very much for everything. Entertainment was not great just ok. I would really say I would not choice Norwegian again I will go back to Royal Caribbean food was always good as was the service. I picked Norwegian Pearl for the ports thru reading reviews I was expecting food and service to be less than perfect but it was far worse than I expected. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had been on the Getaway Baltic Cruise and loved it. The Ship is run very well. The food was great, getting on and off the ship was easy. The Pearl is like a whole different line.It's like the dollar store of cruise ships. The ... Read More
We had been on the Getaway Baltic Cruise and loved it. The Ship is run very well. The food was great, getting on and off the ship was easy. The Pearl is like a whole different line.It's like the dollar store of cruise ships. The bartenders and servers are great. The food is not. The first day and last day is pretty good. Every other day is hit or miss. Mostly miss. I have been on many cruise lines and ships and this is by far the worst experience. You have to taken tenders to shore in a lot of the cities. They don't open the windows so it's 100 degrees on the tenders. By the end of the cruise half the ship was sick and I think it's because of the tenders. A lot of people were coughing and in the closed space everyone was breathing it. Why they didn't open the windows is the real question. You have to take buses and trains into most cities. So the price you pay for the cruise is not what you end up paying. The Pearl is a terrible ship. The pool chairs are so close to gather you have to turn side ways to walk thru. If your on the back row the waiters and waitress's are afraid of falling so it's hard to get a drink. A lady fell so hard her foot got hung. It took15 to 20 minutes before the medical person came. She was in bad shape. I'm sure she had to leave the ship. I saw all the bad reviews about the pearl but since we had been on the Getaway by Norwegian we thought it was ok. Worst mistake. I could go on for days on all the mistakes and short cuts. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Took this cruise because only thing with good itinerary and schedule. Concerned because Carnival competitor, but okay overall. Great ports, but 4 tenders. Process for tender tickets inefficient, Required somebody getting up before 6 to ... Read More
Took this cruise because only thing with good itinerary and schedule. Concerned because Carnival competitor, but okay overall. Great ports, but 4 tenders. Process for tender tickets inefficient, Required somebody getting up before 6 to get in line . However, kudos for captain for getting us into Mykonos when other ships didn't try. Ship was in good shape, and pleasant. Didn't have higher end fell like HAL or Celebrity. But did have more quiet inside spaces than on Celebrity Reflection. Balcony room decent size. Clever bathroom design. Senior crew was very accessible. E.g. Captain and Hotel Manager spent 20 minutes at CC meet-and-great. Excellent house-keeping. Otherwise service acceptable, but not good. Disembarkation not smooth Food in steakhouse and french was excellent. Brazilian mediocre. Everything else--so/so. Entertainment--good Overall-- OK ship, and loved itinerary. Compared to prior cruises, much better than Carnival (not hard to do). Definitely not as good as HAL or Celebrity. Wouldn't use NCL if HAL or Celebrity running similar route. It doesn't cost that much more to go with nicer line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Norwegian Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.1
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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