2,410 Norwegian Pearl Cruise Reviews

This was our first ever cruise, and it exceeded our expectations, especially after reading so many peoples' bad reviews. I don't understand what people have to complain about? Every staff member that we talked to were so ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, and it exceeded our expectations, especially after reading so many peoples' bad reviews. I don't understand what people have to complain about? Every staff member that we talked to were so amazing, and wanting to make sure we were happy. The Whiskey Bar on Deck 6 had great service, and we got to know Joana and Jia the servers, and they always had a smile for us and by day 2 they were calling us by our name and knew what we wanted to drink. We were on deck 8, just down the hall from O'Sheehan's bar, the location was excellent. Our room steward was Komang, who was also amazing. If you take a minute to talk to the staff, you understand that they are all young and away from home, and a kind word goes a long way. Komang always called us by our name and stopped what he was doing to say hello and find out if we had a good day. It was an obstructed Oceanview, but I thought it had plenty of space. The food was good. The buffet in the morning was very busy, but just wait your turn, and the food was always hot and fresh, and you could choose whatever you wanted. We always took our food to the La Cucina italian restaurant to eat, it was closed until dinner, but we had the whole place to ourselves to eat breakfast. The Indigo dining room was great as well. No formal dress code, which was nice - of course there are always some of hthe older crowd that liked to dress up, but to each their own. Their choices were always good, and I found that if the side dishes weren't to your liking, just ask for what you want to eat, simple. We had the dining package and ate at Cagneys Steakhouse/Teppanyaki/Le Bistro. The food was great, especially Teppanyaki - I have never had tenderloin that good, and the huge shrimp, yummy! The presentation they put on was entertaining, even for the adults. Most of the port days we waited to get off the ship till after lunch. So, in the morning, we had the pool to ourselves, there was nobody around, it was great. Sea days are another story - full of the college kids partying it up - so we found other areas to hang out on the sea days. The evenings were spent at the Whiskey bar (hello to Joanna & Jia!!)- there was always a band playing in all the different lounges. Spinnaker's Lounge had great views, with windows covering the whole area. But, it was at the very front of the ship, so when the waves were high, you could definitely feel it here. The first 2 days the wind was blowing and the waves were high, so you definitely felt the motion, but that's not the ship's fault. Overall, the size of the ship was great, not too big. We would definitely cruise on the Pearl again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose this cruise because of the date and embarkation port. There was a long wait to board due to inspection of each passport. After that it was smooth and excellent sailing. On the second day the captain announced new policies due to ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the date and embarkation port. There was a long wait to board due to inspection of each passport. After that it was smooth and excellent sailing. On the second day the captain announced new policies due to the virus. All restaurant tables were cleared of everything, disposable paper menus were used, and everything was handed to diners by gloved servers. Crew were cleaning every 20 minutes. This attention to every detail kept all healthy. Other than the restaurant situation, everything carried on. We did not miss any ports, the entertainment was entertaining and the food was OK- outstanding. Please try the butter chicken Found at the buffet! Delicious!! My stateroom was well looked after and the cruise was near capacity. We were allowed to visit and disembark at each port. Disembarkation was easy. We were waiting for our ride within 15 minutes. However the Port of Miami was full of many cruise ships as NCL was not sailing for 30 days fleet wide. The entire crew went above and beyond and were cheerful and friendly despite the required extra work due to the virus. We were chosen for the Offices’s Dinner and the next day we arrived to a cabin with 3 towel animals, a birthday banner, and sign from the head if housekeeping to celebrate my adult daughter’s birthday. What a great surprise. Bravo NCL Pearl for a vacation of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I rate my overall experience of NCL Pearl (7-day-Honduras, Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel) a 3 for the following reasons good/bad: I loved our cabin room (with balcony) 8518 that is right smack up front of the ship where ... Read More
I rate my overall experience of NCL Pearl (7-day-Honduras, Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel) a 3 for the following reasons good/bad: I loved our cabin room (with balcony) 8518 that is right smack up front of the ship where you feel EVERY motion. I knew this information before I booked this cabin and was okay with it. I was prepared for any sea sickness because I had prescription promethazine and over the counter Dramamine. Now this was my second cruise and had very little sea sickness on Carnival Victory. I would say the first few days were very bearable with the motion of the ship. Unfortunately, the seas were not on our side a few times the next few days. Even people who had cabins on ship where there is very little motion were complaining big time of sea sickness. After a while I noticed that the food at Indigo and the their main dining room (can't remember the name) all had a bland taste. Took long time to serve as well. The buffets were okay but like I said after the 4th day I was kind of over it. O'Sheanans (not sure of spelling) breakfast was pretty good quality but can't same the same for dinner. Overall it's like eating was a hit or miss. In my opinion the entertainment was terrible! That had singers singing Motown sounds that was not good at all. Some lady singing in the Bliss Lounge was totally off key. And the so called "White Night" which they changed the name was advertised at a specific time and it was combined with teenagers. Did not do many excursions because they are a waste of my money but the only port I enjoyed was Harvest Caye, Belize. Even with the bad Mojito I bought. But overall it's a beautiful beach. I would like to experience a bigger NCL ship and a more diverse crowed with better entertainment and activities. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Just returned home from this 7-day western Caribbean itinerary on Norwegian Pearl. It was just my boyfriend and I (both in our early-mid 30s). I have previously been on 2 Princess cruises, on Norwegian Escape twice and the Dawn last year. ... Read More
Just returned home from this 7-day western Caribbean itinerary on Norwegian Pearl. It was just my boyfriend and I (both in our early-mid 30s). I have previously been on 2 Princess cruises, on Norwegian Escape twice and the Dawn last year. My boyfriend has also been on the Epic. Used NCL arranged airfare and transfers and flew into Miami from Maine on day of the cruise. This is the first time I have used NCL airfare and transfers and all went as expected without any issues. We usually fly in the day before but due to prior commitments we were unable to do this. Very pleased with the flight arrangements made by NCL. We arrived in Miami around 1:15 pm and there were NCL staff at baggage claim directing their cruisers to the transfer shuttle. We arrived to the port within 30 minutes of landing and made it through check-in at the port pretty quickly without any long waits. Our luggage was at our room by 5pm even though we checked in on the later side. The Ship Smaller ship but still has plenty of dining and bar options. Very clean and updated. Does have digital tough screens in a few areas like some of the newer NCL ships, but most of them weren't working properly. You don't need to prebook shows so we didn't really need to use these much. Cabin We had a 10th floor midship balcony cabin (10612) and were very pleased with our room. We don't spend much time in our room other than for sleeping and getting ready, but it is really great to have a balcony to sit and have a drink or room service breakfast. Bathroom was very similar to the Dawn but has a door to the toilet area. Shower also has a door. Bed was comfortable. Room was clean and our cabin steward was great. He was very attentive. I had him clear out the mini bar and put a mattress pad on the bed on the first day and otherwise we didn't need to have him do anything else other than the basic tidying up. Dining We had a specialty dining package for 3 meals. We tried Cagneys Steakhouse (filet mignon and cheesecake were amazing), La Cucina (Italian) and all our dishes were great. We went to Tepanyaki (hibachi) for our last meal and this was also very good. Typical hibachi experience but the steak and shrimp were so delicious. Main buffet was typical for NCL ships. Food was ok. It was even smaller than the Garden Cafe on the Dawn with fewer options. Always crowded. We have learned to avoid the buffet at all costs except for afternoon snacks. There was another buffet in the Great Outdoors area on the back of the ship which had the basic food items. Again, we only stopped for snacks. O'Sheehans: Same menu as on other NCL ships. We like the wings, nachos and Caesar salads for a quick snack or lunch once returning from port. We usually stop here for a sit down breakfast most mornings to avoid the buffet lines. They have decent omelets and some other basic breakfast options. Can usually get in and out quickly. They also agree to fill our water bottles which is nice so we don't have to make a stop in the cafe to do this. Main Dining Rooms: We only ate at Indigo as their dress code isn't as strict as Summer Palace. They allowed men to wear shorts and I saw a lot of casual outfits on both men and women. We had 3-4 dinners at Indigo and all were very good. Can usually get through the meal in about an hour for 2 people and be on your way to a show. We discovered that you can order room service (preorder the night before) and have pastries/fruit/coffee/juice delivered to your room so we did this twice. Was great to sit out on the balcony and enjoy a coffee and not have to worry about going anywhere. We did this on sea days as we don't usually need to get an early start. Bars Best drinks came from Maltings Whiskey Bar and Sugarcane Mojito bar. The service was quite slow, however. Happy to find out they have Bon & Viv and Truly seltzers at the main bars now. Entertainment Not as many options as other NCL ships. Duo Contessance was awesome (couple that does aerial acrobatics). Legends was good but geared toward older crowd. A lot of 60-70s themed music, again geared toward older crowd. Pool band was ok. The DJ was overall fine. We didn't listen to any of the lounge music. Pedro, the cruise director was pretty absent throughout the day compared to the cruise directors I've seen on the Dawn and Escape. He was never by the pool or getting the crowd pumped up. Usually the cruise directors communicate the daily/weekly shows or activities and give details. None of that from Pedro aside from at the main evening show. I never saw the assistant CD, Guido, at all. We happened to wander into some shows that turned out to be pretty good but would not have otherwise known what they were about unless we showed up. We spent an hour or so in the Casino. Pretty typical for a cruise ship casino. Lots of smoking. Not overly crowded. Rock wall had very limited hours and was closed due to wind at times. Service Overall very good. Our cabin steward was great. Wait staff were all pretty average throughout the ship. No one really stood out to me as being exceptional. Pool bar staff were doing their jobs but didn't appear to be having much fun doing it. Usually we have one that we get along with and call our own for the week, but they were all pretty stoic. Guest services staff were all pretty good. Pool 2 main pools and 4 hot tubs in the main pool area. We did discover a water feature on one of the sun decks but no other pools or hot tubs. One of the main pools and 2 hot tubs were adult only which was nice. No issues with kids playing or splashing. Last day was super windy so 1 pool was drained and they were doing pool maintenance. Not much of an issue getting a lounger on the pool deck on this cruise. A little more so on sea days but there was a pool attendant actually watching empty chairs and moving stuff if people were away for >30min which I appreciated as they never seem to do this. Fitness Center We did go to the gym on our first sea day and it was packed. Was able to get a treadmill pretty quickly and ran a few miles but it was difficult as you are looking out at the waves. Was also very hot and humid in the gym which made it hard to get a good workout in. Has all the basics for cardio and weightlifting. Ports Overall a good itinerary. Enjoyed all ports. Roatan, Honduras: Booked Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkel through NCL. This was a great excursion. Good food and rum punch included. Not much instruction or education as far as explaining what fish or coral we were looking at. Harvest Caye, Belize: My least favorite port. Very commercialized. Waited in line for nearly 2 hours for tender to shore. I guess they were doing maintenance on the pier and we were unable to dock as initially planned. Several ships in that day and there were not enough tenders to keep up with everyone trying to get to shore. Once there, everything was fine. Beach was ok. Water was not clear and couldn't do much snorkeling. HUGE pool with swim up bar. We spent most of the day at the pool. They have restaurants and bar stands throughout the area. There are also shops. Good and affordable coconut drinks. Costa Maya, Mexico: I liked this stop the best. Very cultural area. People were friendly and helpful. Took a shuttle to YaYa Beach in Mahahual and had a wonderful beach day. Booked this through shoreexcursioneer.com without any issues. Beach was calm and beautiful. Drinks and food included. Cab/shuttle fare was $4 each per person one way and I felt safe using these services. Cozumel, Mexico: Been here before and rented scooters and rode around the island. This time wanted to do something different. Booked an all inclusive package at Mr. Sanchos and had a great day! All food and drinks included and it was all delicious. My glass was never empty as Julio the bartender kept it topped off at all times. They have a beach, pools and other activities. Booked through shoreexcursioneer.com beforehand as they tend to sell out months in advance. 100% would go here again. More of a party atmosphere but people of all ages there. Took a cab to and from the port for $20 each way. Cab drivers were trying to charge more and I believe the typical cab rate is $17 but we didn't argue. We did not travel with children and can't comment on any of the kid's activities. We did not visit the spa, purchase photos/art/other items. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is going to be a fairly short review. We have been to all the ports and the only excursion we booked, got cancelled. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • EMBARKATION- 3 Stars; Considering we are Platinum members, this took longer than it ... Read More
This is going to be a fairly short review. We have been to all the ports and the only excursion we booked, got cancelled. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • EMBARKATION- 3 Stars; Considering we are Platinum members, this took longer than it should have. We came off the Encore, so we were in the terminal by 10:00. We didn’t get on the ship until 11:00. • CABIN- 4 Stars; the bed in our cabin is really comfortable. We have an aft facing balcony and that helps too. It is bigger than a normal Stateroom. We had really choppy sea one day that were so bad the door to the balcony would not stay shut when we were out there. • CABIN STEWARD- 4 Stars; He did his job, or most of it, but seemed very late each day. Friendly enough to talk to. • RESTAURANTS A. O’Sheehan’s- 3 Stars; another disappointment. Mostly it is their lack of beer choices, so don’t read too much into that. Bud, Bud Light and Coors Light? Seriously? I had Chicken wings and pretzel bites and they were good. Lynette had Irish American Stew, which was actually a soup. Not recommended. We didn’t go back the rest of the cruise. B. Garden Café; 5 Stars for breakfast and 4 stars for supper. They don’t seem to have the variety they used to at dinner. C. Le Bistro- 5 Stars; The most fun we have had in a Specialty restaurant, and our server, Ayu, was terrific! D. Cagney’s- Huge disappointment the first time. We were among the 1st 10 people there and everything started out fine Then our entrée’ didn’t come. People that came in well after us had theirs, People that came when we did were on dessert. We had steaks, in a steak house. Go figure. Lynette’s was almost raw and mine was very tough. We had to skip dessert to make the show. The second time we went was much better. If we didn’t have the Dining Package (one of the free perks) the meal would have been complimentary anyway. E. La Cucina- Excellent service at this Italian restaurant and the food was very good. The best bread on the ship and it was fresh baked! • ENTERTAINMENT- 5 Stars. A. Show Band. We went to see them in the atrium and they were good. B. Aldo Canta; Guitarist, he was in the atrium most evenings. So were we, because he was very good. C. Jon Stringer- Main stage comedian. Jokes were clean and he was very funny D. Duo Quintesant- A married acrobatic couple that were amazing! E. Sea Hashtag- I think they were the ship band and they were very entertaining. They played a variety of music, but looking at the age of the crowd, they kept it to our generation. F. Avalon- This was a Latin band and drew the largest atrium crowd we have seen. People seemed to really like dancing to it. • FOOD SERVICE- 5 Stars; In spite of the few problems we had • BAR SERVICE- 5 Stars; Once the bartenders and servers get to know you, the service was great. Except for the theater. There, the server brought us the wrong drink. Instead of going back to correct it, she collected orders from a lot of people who had come in. When she finally came back, she walked right by us. • BARS- 5 Stars; A. Atrium Bar. This is where we spent most of our evenings. B. Malting’s Beer&Whiskey Bar. We only went there once, but the service was really good and the seat comfortable. Great place to spend some time waiting for dinner. C. The Great Outdoors Bar. The great thing about this bar, is that it is really close to our cabin and you can sit outside. • Disembarking. Our flight was out of Ft. Lauderdale and not until 6 pm, so we signed up for the Everglades tour. From our meeting spot in the theater, to out of the terminal was an hour an only a couple of minutes of that was Customs. It was an 8 am disembark, the second color tag called.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
First off, service across the board is lacking. Our ship cards got deactivated on the second day, due to a few members mistake, which prevented us from using any of the bars until reactivated. Therefore, we had to wait in the guest ... Read More
First off, service across the board is lacking. Our ship cards got deactivated on the second day, due to a few members mistake, which prevented us from using any of the bars until reactivated. Therefore, we had to wait in the guest services like for 1 and a half hours. Cesar Diaz from guest services acted surprised that a card was deactivated and assured us it was our fault, not there’s. Additionally, the majority of the wait staff acted as if they could not be bothered by actually helping us and doing there job, likely because they already have a $15/day tip coming their way. Very few speak good English and it is hard to communicate with the ones who stick around long enough for you to ask them a question or order something else. This was a big issue because my husband has a severe pineapple allergy and we had to make sure certain drinks didn’t include pineapple. With that being said, there were a few that were good and that deserved additional cash tips, which they were given. Also, the ship rocked... a ton and all the time. I have been on several cruises, in much worse weather, and had never felt a boat shake so continuously. But, if you choose to book with NCL, don’t worry, it isn’t likely you will gain any weight on this boat. The food was not good. As stated, I’ve been on several cruises and I always look forward to the food, both in the dining rooms and buffets. Here, everything was mushy, flavorless and unappetizing. We ate bread and potato salad for 7 days straight. The only meal from the dining room that was decent was a sirloin, featured one night only, and even then the sides were not good and tasted similar to hospital food. None of the food was the fancy stuff you normally expect on ships, and it was just plain not good. Go to your local high school or hospital to experience gross cafeteria style food like on the Pearl. Our room steward, HeHe, was nice and attentive, or so we thought. If what you read above doesn’t deter you from NCL, keep reading. BED BUGS. We stayed in room 5609 on the March 1st sailing. About 2-3 nights in my husband noticed he had a rash on his chest. We thought it was no big deal and may be from chlorine or something. We were wrong. On day 4 we saw a couple blood spots on the bed. We thought the room steward would change the sheets. He didn’t. The next day we noticed even more blood marks and thought that while we were out at port the steward would surely attend to the stained sheets. He didn’t. After talking to another guest about our strange findings, it hit us. Bed bugs. We had never had them before and didn’t connect the dots that the rash, which looked like small bites and kept getting worse and spreading to other body parts, and the blood stains were 2 of the most prevalent signs of bed bugs. We alerted guest services and they said the would send an expert and if it was positive, change our linens. Their examination was negative but they changed the blood stained sheets nonetheless. The next day, on clean sheets, more blood stains appeared. We went back up to guest services and asked to speak to someone in charge. We were told there was no one in charge, and we could wait to speak to the pest expert since his decision was final. We waited in our stateroom for the expert. When he arrived he told us he wasn’t an exterminator or entomologist, he just went to school in his home country, not America. He said that while blood stains, like ours, and my husbands rash were signs of bed bugs it was NCLs policy not to do anything unless an actual bug was found. We had a dead one we found, he told us it was a breadcrumb. He also stated that if it was up to him, based on his findings, that we would go through the sanitation process for bed bugs based on the signs found. When we asked to speak to his supervisor he said he didn’t have one and to go to the service desk, the desk that sent us to him. When we became frustrated that no one was in charge or helping, he changed his story and said we must be scratching and causing the small blood dots which were from the foot of the bed to under the pillows. We exited the boat with no help found and carried the bed bugs off. Upon exiting we found bed bugs, alive, in our luggage and we fear they may get into our home. My husband still has a rash and NCL has done nothing. I called NCL and hit almost all the buttons to reach each department, every person said they could not connect me to someone in charge or directed me to an online claim form which will take 15 days to get a response. I submitted a claim, but I fear the bed bugs could continue to infest the Pearl, those on it, and spread to things we come in contact with. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose this cruise due to its price, single inside cabin $251.30 for a week! I booked it approximately 8 days before sailing and from the NCL website. It was probably my 12th cruise (1st on NCL) and it was great, one of my best ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to its price, single inside cabin $251.30 for a week! I booked it approximately 8 days before sailing and from the NCL website. It was probably my 12th cruise (1st on NCL) and it was great, one of my best cruises. I bid on and received an upgrade to a balcony mini suite, very spacious and nicely appointed. The bathroom even had a great soaking tub, sink and basin area and separate toilet area. My cabin steward Alifton was the best I have ever encountered on any cruise I’ve been on. There were no people that I saw who were sick, no people were wearing masks or gloves. They ship was using additional cleaning practices including what they referred to as “Washy-Wash Crew” there sole responsibility was to squirt hand disinfectant from a spray bottle into every passengers hands (pretty much whether they wanted it or not). They made it a fun action by singing songs about it and interaction with the passengers. Additionally, I noticed crew at all times of the day and night spraying and wiping all hard surfaces of the cabin corridors. Door knobs, hand rails, buttons, do not disturb signs pretty much everything they could disinfect in the cabin corridors. I felt that all precautions possible were being used to ensure the cleanest ship possible. They layout of this ship was great, and all the restaurants were very good especially the steakhouse. I purchased the dining upgrade for four (4) dinners in the À la cart restaurants for just over $100 and I feel it was money well spent. The only restaurant I did not dine in was the Brazilian steakhouse. The spa was very relaxing and surprisingly big for a ship this size. There was a co-Ed area with a very large hot tub, indoor small pool, heated tile lounge chairs and chaise loungers facing the open sea. Flavored water and whole fruit were always available. The treatments I received (massage, facial, manicure and pedicure) were all way above services I’ve received on previous cruises and the pressure to purchase the Elemis products was minimum. In the separate male and female areas there were ample lockers, showers, toilets, cold plunge pool, single person hot tub, scenic sauna with panoramic views of the ocean, steam room and additional chaise loungers facing the ocean and a large TV. Amenities such as the casino, deck pools, children’s area and photographers I did not use therefore I have no feedback or insight. Other than the casino was very smokey when walking through. The entertainment was the only shortcoming in my opinion. The productions seemed very outdated. Ledgers in Concert, look a like performers representing Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elvis. The Michael Jackson performer was by far superior to the others. The highlight of this department were the husband and wife performers. They did a contortion act and did amazing feats on the trapeze/suspended ring. The ship singers and dancers were completely different, seemed like they were not on par with each other. The dancers were very well rehearsed dance professionals and were great and the singers were below average (in my opinion). The comedian was not the level I would expect on a ship of this caliber. I also did not care for the cruise director, he neither did or said anything to me personally but I just did not like his vibe. On previous cruises this position sets the mood of the cruise overall. I can remember Cruise directors from 18 years ago but I honestly could not tell you this guys name. Embarkation was also another weakness, very disorganized and overcrowded. I realize that this is a difficult experience to control with 2,500 passengers anxious to get on board and start their vacation, but there are ways to improve this process. Disembarkation was great in my opinion, I’ve never been on a ship that allowed passengers with hand held luggage to disembark at their leisure. This was a very welcome surprise and made for a great morning instead of a hectic, rushed morning. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I found myself very unhappy with the Pearl. My opinions are because I'm a accustomed to the Breakaway, Getaway and even the Sky was better. The Pearl's buffet was the same nightly with the exception of the meat. They served ... Read More
I found myself very unhappy with the Pearl. My opinions are because I'm a accustomed to the Breakaway, Getaway and even the Sky was better. The Pearl's buffet was the same nightly with the exception of the meat. They served the same dishes from lunch to dinner aswell such as the pasta. On the other ships, they had themed nights and a ton of variety. I also found the entertainment options to be much less. On the others, there were the regular shows at 1930 adult only shows past 2130. They also had much better side shows such as the dueling pianos, or amazing instrument players, they also had dinner shows (extra cost) but still much more options. On the Pearl, they had the boring instrument players who used recordings more than actually playing. Also after the 1930 and 2130 shows, there wasn't much to do other than a club. Very underwhelming!! I just feel awful paying for what I got compared to what I'm used to with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Embarkation- was the worst experience out of my 27 cruises. Since the cruise was departing at 4 we were advised to get there 2 hours before departure. We arrived around 1 pm and the lines were around the outside terminal. We were ... Read More
Embarkation- was the worst experience out of my 27 cruises. Since the cruise was departing at 4 we were advised to get there 2 hours before departure. We arrived around 1 pm and the lines were around the outside terminal. We were hearded like sheep, in the mist of the corona virus. I felt like a refugee in Elis island after ww 2. People coughing in lines with probably 300-500 passengers. Ship - although dated was in decent shape Cabin - was on the 8th deck with a obstructed view handicapped accessible. It was large Very close to o Sheehan but was surprisingly quiet. We never saw the steward , but he did a decent job Dining- food was better than I expected. We did eat at steakhouse, and they sat us at first at table near the entrance of the kitchen with waiters constantly walking by. The restaurant was not full and there were other tables and we asked to move and the did. Our food was delicious. It was only a 3 day cruise so most of our meals were in dining room and service and food was fine. Entertainment-we went to the legends show which was very good. I was surprised that the theater was never that crowded, although the seats were very uncomfortable. Spa- one of the reasons we went on this trip was because of the thallospa. It was a terrific Get away from the crowds and since the weather was cold it was good to be inside. There was an issue with the heated stone beds not working but that was fixed in a few hours. I just don’t know if cruising is in my future in light of covid 19. It was great for a while but the cruise industry put profits instead of lives first. I would have cancelled this trip if I could . Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship felt brand new. The carpet was in great shape, no wear showing anywhere noticeable. We were in cabin 10153 which was wheelchair accessible. It had enough room for 4 guests and my wheelchair/scooter. Our cabin steward Patricia ... Read More
The ship felt brand new. The carpet was in great shape, no wear showing anywhere noticeable. We were in cabin 10153 which was wheelchair accessible. It had enough room for 4 guests and my wheelchair/scooter. Our cabin steward Patricia was very nice and we left her notes for things, which she took care of. Lots of American plugs in the cabin. FINALLY!!! The cruise industry may be waking up. This was very handy for my medical equipment. I usually have to carry a power strip, but not for this cabin. Norwegian has owned Great Stirrup Cay for decades, but they haven't found a way to dock more than one ship there. The newer ship of course got preference and we were turned away for "safety" reasons. This is very disappointing since it was half our stops. Then the captain made a defensive statement about not berating the staff about the cancellation. He claimed there were 2 meter swells, but 22 years in the military and 20+ cruises and I disagree with that assessment. Why not pull the other ship off the dock or spend another night in Key West, Miami, or Nassau? The cruise industry and especially Norwegian needs to get better at this. Norwegian did the same thing to us in the Mediterranean in December. They knew the forecast 3 days in advance and they didn't have time to pivot? The worst thing they did was take away my small 12" fan I use for a medical condition. It's UL listed and battery operated. They made me wait an hour past my bed time to return it when they promised it would be in my cabin shortly after boarding. So I didn't get much sleep the first night. All that said, Red and Jinky were excellent in the dining room. The hostess Christina was very nice and accommodating for us. The comedian was entertaining. The show was big. More Abba and Billy Joel hits please. Karaoke was a blast. Everyone was really enjoying it. I'm very concerned about the bottleneck getting into the Bliss lounge. The bar is right in between the two exits and when the bar gets backed up and the place it packed, it's a real fire hazard. If you're claustrophobic, don't go to Bliss! You've got to know that changing the name of the Corona bar is necessary, right? Duh! Internet was SLOW in all areas of the ship. I got less than 1Mbps throughout the whole cruise and averaged around 280kbps. So don't plan to work if you're on this ship. It will drive you crazy. The buffet on deck 12 was really good. Well designed, good flow. It was a mistake to steal the footprint for the french restaurant, but still not bad. The handicapped seating was adequate and well-marked both here and in the theater. The food was excellent. The coffee stations were well-designed although you do have to open those tiny creamers. No half and half in carafes. I like a lot of cream, so it was a pain for someone with dexterity issues. There was milk in jugs, so why not cream? Also, flavor would be nice. The theater is very nice however, the SEATS slope down toward the deck and want to drool you onto the floor. Not just one of them, but most of them. At least in the handicapped seating. This was very uncomfortable. If the show was longer than an hour, I couldn't do it. I hope NCL fixes this quick. Never seen it before. The gift shop people were nice but they're doing this thing in the photo gallery where they don't print out the special photographer photos. You know where they have stations set up all over. On formal night there was only ONE backdrop. Green. Yuk. So we got ONE photo the entire cruise. But they only have one kiosk to view your photos and the software for reviewing them is not very user-friendly. This is going to cost them I'm sure. I like the kiosk idea, cutting down on waste. But they'd better get a lot more kiosks. The people in front of us spent about 10 minutes and couldn't have cared less that we were behind them waiting. Casino staff was nice, but there's always one dealer who hates their life. You'll meet him. They really need to stop smoking on the ship. I would have gambled a lot more had it not been for the smoke. I can't stand it. Security needs to address the drunks a little more quickly. Especially the jerks from Engine #4 in Miami. Wow. Out of control foul-mouthed drunks. I feel bad for anyone in Miami near Engine 4. BIG fitness area. Well equipped. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 39 th cruise, 8th NCL, 6 th Haven. I read the reviews before booking and didn’t have high expectations however I did expect more being in the Haven. Let me start by saying when arriving at the port there were no Haven reps ... Read More
This was our 39 th cruise, 8th NCL, 6 th Haven. I read the reviews before booking and didn’t have high expectations however I did expect more being in the Haven. Let me start by saying when arriving at the port there were no Haven reps so we got in the very long security line while my husband went up to find someone to ask, about 15 mins later he came and got us and a guy took us through the security (we just did this in Miami 3 weeks prior with no wait on the Encore as they had a kiosk booth) the. The man actually asked my husband for a tip! That was a first for us. We waited in there for another 20 mins and finally got escorted onto the ship. Our service from our Butler was wonderful and the staff in the area was great in that they greeted us by name when seeing us in the halls. The smaller ships allow for that personalized experience and we like that. We had a two bedroom next to the Haven pool which was fantastic in size even though it is dated a bit. The cabin should have been cleaner there was hair and other things indicating it wasn’t cleaned properly. I always bring Clorox wipes so I got to work however they seemed to clean throughout the rest of our cruise. The upper sun deck for the Haven was nice also really loved that. In general food was ok. This ship to us was great for a weekend in the Haven but our disappointment continued because we paid $2,900.00 for 2 people in a 2 bedroom for a 3 night cruise thinking we were getting some what of a Haven experience. This is not like any Haven I’ve been in. I realized we had to go to the restaurant for dinners but didn’t realize we had no way to get drinks but to go downstairs to the bars to get in line to get our drinks. For that price it’s a big deal! There’s no escort to shows or reservations, no concierge desks or even area for them just an ext. if you want to contact them. The private island had to be cancelled so we spent a day at sea, it happens but unfortunately we had planned to spend money so pre-paid $500.00 OBC as we reserved a villa at GSC also. Now that was canceled we had a credit and concierge confirmed we had to go and stand in a pretty long line at guest services to give us cash back said it could not be put back on the credit card we charged it with. We tried to spend it but the spa but it was booked and the shops didn’t have shirts or much with the Pearl logo on it. I felt sorry for the guest service team they were no stop dealing with people over this mess of giving us all cash back. So if I was to book this ship again because I really liked the itinerary I’d consider the Haven like this, you’re paying for a nice cabin and priority disembarkation, complimentary room service and you get to get the extra perks like drinks, and shore excursions credit per day, but I’ve seen NCL offering those with out Haven and is it worth the extra money since there’s no restaurant, no bar, no concierge desk, the Haven area is hard to access unlike other Havens I’ve been in with key card access. I would consider sailing this ship again if there were really good deals with the understanding I’ll be in long lines for everything (it was hard to get a drink) but never pay the Haven prices again, it’s just simply not worth it in my opinion Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have sailed on many of Norwegian’s different size ships, but we keep coming back to the Jewel Class 2340 passenger size as our favorite. This ship has the perfect mix of fine and casual dining options and plenty of deck room around ... Read More
We have sailed on many of Norwegian’s different size ships, but we keep coming back to the Jewel Class 2340 passenger size as our favorite. This ship has the perfect mix of fine and casual dining options and plenty of deck room around pool area for tanning days at sea. The service staff was excellent! Especially our cabin steward! The only negative thing we encountered was the transfers back to the airport. Long lines and over priced! After waiting we left the line and used uberXl and traveled to the airport in a well appointed suburban which was cheaper than we paid for the bus transfer. In closing The Pearl is a excellent mid size ship with great service and lots great itineraries! This ship is best suited for couples as it doesn’t have all the waterslides and go carts you encounter on the Giant 5000plus passenger ships. Happy sailings! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. Everything from embarking to disembarking went smoothly. The Pearl is a beautiful ship. We thought the food was delicious in the Summer Palace dining room. We also ... Read More
We just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. Everything from embarking to disembarking went smoothly. The Pearl is a beautiful ship. We thought the food was delicious in the Summer Palace dining room. We also had 2 specialty dinners. Cagney’s gets an A+ and Moderno a B. All crew members,except for one pool deck waiter, were extremely pleasant and attentive. We decided this was going to be an R & R cruise so we didn’t book any shire excursions. Harvest Caye was beautiful. We enjoyed lounging on the beach and swimming in the pool. Lunch was ok. The lagoon where the water sports was offered was lovely. We had planned on walking around the port of Costa Maya but ended up staying on the ship. Met some interesting people and lost track of time. We would cruise on the Pearl again if there was an itinerary we like. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I just finished shed my second cruise, first one being only 13 mos ago on the Norwegian Sky to the Bahamas for 4 days total. This cruise was on the Norwegian Pearl 6 days total to Belize and Costa Maya. My first cruise experience made ... Read More
I just finished shed my second cruise, first one being only 13 mos ago on the Norwegian Sky to the Bahamas for 4 days total. This cruise was on the Norwegian Pearl 6 days total to Belize and Costa Maya. My first cruise experience made me want to book another right away. We docked every day, had a lot of fun during the evenings on the ship, didn’t have a bad meal, and even with three of us in a small (no window/balcony) room we had a wonderful time. Again, I came back didn’t I? I convinced my mom she had to go with me this winter. We found a good rate, again on the lower deck inexpensive cabin. Last cruise we were placed in a room that was “better located” and this time we were the VERY front and it was quite loud. This time of year or route was also much choppier, but nothing they can do about that. As for the loudness at that part of the ship, you get what you pay for, and the price was reasonable for my mom and I. If you want to upgrade, I’m sure the rooms are quieter and more spacious. The showers in the Pearl were larger than the ones in the sky. In my opinion the positives that outweigh the sky stop there. I preferred the sky layout better than the Pearl and the talent. Talent on Pearl was fine, and great the last night. I wish the dancers would have performed one more night considering it was sat-thurs. The game shows are always good for a laugh, crew was kind and clean, rooms cleaned thoroughly....on BOTH cruises, so again, even in those senses. The MAIN complaint I have was the food on the Pearl. I hate to mark this as “Pearl” bc it could have been a new cooking staff (also, my tummy was a little off this cruise and the first time I was fine) but I truly didn’t eat a single dish I loved, and on the sky I loved 95% of my meals. I only tried the 3 restaurants included, and of course the buffet many times, all restaurants were not to my liking, not my mothers, but her tummy felt fine so she would eat her order. Example- egg drop soup at the lotus cafe had canned creamed corn in it as far as I could tell. I also ordered a basic dish (hoping for a better outcome) mushroom Alfredo pasta and was so bland I didn’t even waste the calorie intake and just ordered dessert after one bite. The food is my personal biggest draw to “cruise life” bc I’m not much of a drinker, in fact we didn’t drink at all, maybe that was our problem HaHa. The fact I didn’t enjoy a single meal thoroughly was a huge disappointment and that’s why I rated this cruise only 2 stars, whereas the Sky I’d rate 4 stars! Let’s move onto the excursions. I was prepared for the cluster of people, Americanized, expensive (pay for anything and everything) small space we were herded to bc I remembered how my first cruise ports were. I was pleasantly surprised to see on Belize, due to NCL owning this port area, the pool/chairs/beach were all part of it for you to enjoy for free. The restaurants were reasonably priced, I even talked to a group of 4 who rented a golf cart to explore the actual city and ate/drank for $15/couple, WOW! My mom and I had booked snorkeling through the ship which took up over half of our time at the port. Due to having to take a small boat to land we had a total of, at most, 6 hours on land. We had to go straight to snorkeling, get settled, etc and by the time we got back to the pool/beach area is was near 2:00, and we had to be back no later than 5. As for the snorkeling, it was a large group, 45, and groups of 8 HAD to stay near their guide in the water and we covered a very small area considering the crowd size. Water was a bit murky (they can’t help that) but all I saw were a handful of fish and lots of coral. A previous snorkeling excursion through NCL was similar in size but no in-water guide, so free to swim around and not constantly look up out of the water in case you lost your guide/group. Another snorkeling experience I had in the Bahamas was not booked through the cruise (do this at your own discretion) and it was a small boat which meant only 8 of us went with one guide, a man from the island making extra money. We all know they are there, and we all wonder how it would go...well this particular experience is my favorite travel story. It was beautiful and so many fish and very laid back! Costa Maya port was more what I expected with the crowded blocked off small area where you pay to sit, swim, beach, everything! We did an excursion through NCL which was a Mayan holistic wellness hour of ritual relaxation. It includes a bath soak, face mask, massage, and lots of knowledge. I’d suggest this excursion, you have access to a small pool but only after check in, so maybe try for an early appointment to be able to use it longer? Our final morning my mom and I were in a hurry, yes we were those people who went against cruise suggestion and booked a 9:40am flight. In our defense, my sister had just come back from a cruise and made it to the same airport leisurely by 8:30, and WE DID MAKE IT. Anyway, the direction for free style disembarkation was very vague and semi incorrect. We were told to meet mid ship deck 7 near front desk area, so people were there as early as 6:30 ready to get off sometime between 7-7:30 per the instruction. We ended up making our own line, as people do so not to crowd or be unfair. 7:30 rolls around and an announcement is finally made and whispers are happening that our line was made by ourselves and there is no “line.” We then finally find out that two areas will be letting people off the ENDS of the ship. This made early risers who had been in line, or so they thought, extremely upset and this is the last thought they’ll have for the cruise. The main issue was the lack of communication from the crew as we all are standing there and their defensive stern answers when asked. I will say, other than this ONE incident the crew was extremely helpful and friendly. I won’t let this mix up change my mind for that. Luckily my mom and I quickly got through the security, grabbed a Lyft, no traffic, and made it just in time to get my bag checked and enjoy a coffee! My lesson is cruise with an open mind and read reviews! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Cruise was horrible bad service. Vacation was wasted always waiting in a line for everything. Pool drained and closed 2nd & 3rd days. Also all hot tubs shut down. Shows cancelled after waiting for the show to start. Over 2 hrs to get ... Read More
Cruise was horrible bad service. Vacation was wasted always waiting in a line for everything. Pool drained and closed 2nd & 3rd days. Also all hot tubs shut down. Shows cancelled after waiting for the show to start. Over 2 hrs to get off ship. Activities not available that were listed. Reservations at Cagneys steak house we were 10 minutes late and refused to serve us. Elevators were so slow could not get on an elevator most of the time. Saw elderly having to use the stairs when they shouldn’t have been due to health. The cabin was very nice but any service for it was slow and unfriendly. Overall seemed understaffed. Things were dirty and not cleaned for the next day around the decks. Everyone was so unfriendly and gave no service it was truly a self serve cruise not what we paid for. Never got any service even in the casino would have to go to the bar for a drink and wait in line for sometimes 30 minutes. Many guest made their complaints on the ship but it made no difference. I was told by a crew member that’s what you get on a 3 day cruise this is unacceptable! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The cruise itself was fairly good, but their hidden service fee that was $180 for a 2 1/2 day trip is excessive. They hide it up front, add it to your account bill which you only get at the last minute, and if you don't ask to get it ... Read More
The cruise itself was fairly good, but their hidden service fee that was $180 for a 2 1/2 day trip is excessive. They hide it up front, add it to your account bill which you only get at the last minute, and if you don't ask to get it adjusted before you leave the boat they won't refund it or adjust it. $180 amounts to a 15% increase in the cost of a ticket. I'm all for tipping, and would have left a generous one, but the deception and trickery used by cruise ships to force a tip amount is just wrong. In regard to the overall trip the ship had lots of dining options and the food was good. We traveled Royal Caribbean before and the ship was a bit less dated, but the difference was minimal. Almost all of the onboard staff was helpful and friendly. The only other issue I had is the keycards they gave us on entering didn't work, which meant we had to go to guest service as soon as we got on the ship to get them fixed. Guest services had long lines and it was a pain. Not a good start, and I'd suggest that when there is an error on their part they try to fix it in a customer friendly way instead of making the customer stand in a line for an hour because of their mistake. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had never cruised with NCL before so we decided to give the Norwegian Pearl a try. The itinerary and the time of year worked for us so we took a 5 night cruise to Belize and Costa Maya out of Miami on January 12, 2020. A little warm ... Read More
We had never cruised with NCL before so we decided to give the Norwegian Pearl a try. The itinerary and the time of year worked for us so we took a 5 night cruise to Belize and Costa Maya out of Miami on January 12, 2020. A little warm weather getaway before the real cold set in up north. We were traveling with a relative who had her own interior cabin across the hall from our mini-suite. We used a travel agent to help with the actual reservations but i had done all the research myself using then NCL website. I found the website very easy to use and negotiate. Our travel agent got a little better deal saving us a few hundred dollars which covered the gratuities. We chose the reduced airfare offer that was being offered. $99 round trip was too good to turn down. The flights to Miami were good and got us to the port at noon. The return flights were horrible. 5:40p flight to Charlotte and then a 10:30p flight to Providence. We did not get home till after 1am. There were better flights on American Airlines (checked their website) but since it was booked through NCL we had to go to them to adjust. They told our travel agent that it would cost $50 per person just to look and see if anything was available with no guarantee the basic economy flights could be changed. $150 just to punch a few keystrokes into a computer. Not good customer service. I wish we would have spent the extra and booked the air ourselves. Live and learn. I knew from other reviews that the ships layout was very confusing. The only way to get from front to the back was on either deck 7 or 12. Didn't think it would be a major problem but it was very annoying. To get from one restaurant to the other, which are right next to each other, you had to go up a flight of stairs then go down a corridor and back down a different set of stairs. It seemed that everywhere you went you kept walking into dead ends. On every other ship I've cruised on you were able to figure out the layout by the second or third day. I never figured it out on the Pearl. The dining was the biggest disappointment to our group. We did not purchase specialty ding at any of the restaurants choosing the many included food venues to help keep cost down. The first night we went to Indigo shortly after it opened at 5:45p. By 6:15 we were still waiting for our salads. Our entree's arrived at 6:40p and were only warm not hot. We should have sent them back but at this point we just wanted to get out and would try the Summer Palace the next night. Service was only slightly better and the food was still not hot. I ordered a NY Strip steak and it was only 1/4" thick. It was the thinnest steak I had ever seen served at any restaurant. It was tender though but I wonder how long it sat under the warmer before it was served. We gave them one more try the next night and it was about the same. It was the Garden Cafe Buffet for the rest of the trip and that was clearly the best choice for Dinner. Breakfast was always at the Garden Cafe and it was above average. We tried O'Sheehans for lunch one day and had overcooked burgers and "fresh" fish that looked and tasted like fish sticks from grammar school. One bright spot was that Garden Grill has a chef making fresh crepes every night for desert.and the bread pudding was always a good choice. We had a mini-suite and while it isn't fair to compare to other cruise lines it was much smaller then RC's mini-suite. There was only a little over 1 foot between the end of the bed and the wall. This made made moving around the suite difficult. Also it was very dark. At first I thought a bulb was out but our cabin steward said that most everyone complains about that. Also the door to the balcony was very difficult to open. It took two hands and a lot of force to get it moving. Other than that it is a typical cabin on a cruise ship. I will say our cabin steward , Victor, was awesome. He took great care of us and always had a smile on his face. Since the Pearl is not one of NCL bigger ships it doesn't get the greatest entertainment. That said the Legends in Concert show was pretty good. The guy singing the Neil Diamond song had awesome pipes and was the highlight of the show. The smaller venues, Crystal Atrium, Champagne Bar and the pool area need to get new sound systems. The audio was poor quality and had a very tinny sound. And at all of these venues the music was way too loud. You couldn't have a conversation with the person sitting next to you. The Thermal Spa was incredible and the highlight of our week. It was a full cruise and getting time in a hot tub on deck was all but impossible due to people parking themselves in there. I don't know how you would enforce it but there should be a time limit in the hot tubs, sorry for the short digression. My wife has arthritis and this spa was amazing. It was rarely crowded and the temperature was just right to relax aching joints. I liked the heated tile chairs which I thought would be uncomfortable but weren't bad. The Thermal Spa was a great way to unwind before going to bed each evening. We did three excursions while on the cruise taking advantage of the other "perk" which was $50 dollar shore excursion credit per port. I did the Monkey River Eco Tour in Belize while my wife hung out on the beach. I really enjoyed it even though we only saw one monkey and never heard it "howl". In Costa Maya my wife and her sister got a day pass to an all inclusive resort and hung out on the beach. They enjoyed it. What we absolutely hated was the hop on hop off bus tour in Miami. The shore excursion folks on board convinced us to take it. Don't waste your time or money. They picked us up at the pier and it had been raining. They did not attempt to dry the seats on the upper level. They said there was a rag somewhere up there for us to use. It was already soaked and was filthy. We asked if another bus was coming since it looked like it would rain some more and were told no that it was only a short trip to the main terminal, which was an outdoor shopping mall. On the way there we encountered low lying trees which proceeded to get us more wet when they passed over the bus. You had to put your hands up to protect your face, Several people on the upper level were scratched on the arms. We got there the mall was closed and we had to wait 30 minutes for the next bus to come and start the tour. When it arrived we got a seat on the first level so we would be dry. It did start to rain quite hard and then the water started flowing inside the bus. We were told that because of the way the buses were made "that all the silicone in the world would not prevent them from leaking on my head." We had lunch and took an Uber to pick up our luggage. Oh and their bus to the airport didn't have air conditioning. Not good in Miami. So long review just a little bit longer. Norwegian needs to do little things to make this ship better. Paying attention to food temps would be the first thing. Second don't rely on frozen food products and if you do, don't say they are fresh. They can't do much about the layout of the ship but better signage would help. Get some better microphones, amplifiers and speakers in the entertainment venues so it is not painful for people to listen to the talent. And finally have company personnel take every shore excursion that you plan to have your name and brand associated with and see that it meets standards for quality and safety. Oh and figure out what to do about the people who hog the hot tubs............ Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Overall, I would do this ship again. My first cruise was the Dawn and it definitely brought back some memories. I think I am biased to the smaller ships! I think the food was pretty good. I've seen others complain about it and the ... Read More
Overall, I would do this ship again. My first cruise was the Dawn and it definitely brought back some memories. I think I am biased to the smaller ships! I think the food was pretty good. I've seen others complain about it and the only real complaint I have is that the food from the buffet was a bit bland which I think is to be expected. It is why they give you salt and pepper at your table. I loved, loved, loved the Great Outdoors buffet/bar area. It was awesome for late night snacks and even to sit outside when the buffet was a bit more crowded. Speaking of which, the buffet was tinier then the Dawn's, but the seating area was larger. We found seating whenever we went, even if it was busy. There are 2 pools which I think was great. Even on the busy sea days we were able to find chairs. They didn't host a single thing outside at night if you are into that. We did the Thermal package and spent an hour to 2 there every day. I loved the warm rock/ceramic chairs. I always ended up dozing off they made me so relaxed! They hosted a lot in the Spinnaker Lounge which I thought was really cool. It is in the front of the ship, so it can be a bit rockier, but there was a lot of room and the view was so neat! The shows in the Stardust were cool! The comedian was hilarious (we went to the adult show) and the Legends of Rock show was seriously so great I didn't want it to end! The acrobats/flyers were good, but not really our style. Our cruise director was Tiara. We weren't huge fans of her (we love Richard Matic, so we are spoiled lol). She didn't really host much. Left most of it to her Assistant CD and staff. The staff was so good and one of them was a phenomenal DJ! We bowled which was not easy, but a cool experience! We had an inside room near the front stairs and there was no noise at night at all. Would definitely do an inside room again, even if we did sleep a little later since it was like sleeping in a cave lol Everyone on the ship was super helpful and very nice to talk to, especially when you treated them with respect! We stopped at Harvest Caye and Costa Maya, Mexico. Harvest Caye was great and the pool was sooooo nice. You do have to pay out of pocket for stuff, but we went back to the ship and had lunch. I thought the Wildlife Experience was super cool! Costa Maya is definitely a tourist port, but it was still really neat to experience. The water is a beautiful blue!! Disembarking was a bit of a pain, but not NCLs fault. Customs seemed really slow. Took us maybe an hour to get off the ship and through customs. We did self-disembarkation as well (carried our own luggage). The ship is a bit older and not really made for kids. My husband is 30 and I'm 25. We both have a bit of older souls so I think we fit the crowd great! Would 100% do again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
AVOID this ship if you have any BREATHING/HEALTH ISSUES and if you want to avoid SECOND-HAND SMOKE. The Casino, where smoking is permitted, is not enclosed, but is part of a passageway necessary to move around the ship. The smoke ... Read More
AVOID this ship if you have any BREATHING/HEALTH ISSUES and if you want to avoid SECOND-HAND SMOKE. The Casino, where smoking is permitted, is not enclosed, but is part of a passageway necessary to move around the ship. The smoke emanating from the casino spreads freely to Deck 6 & Deck 7, including the lounge areas, Asian complimentary restaurant, Starlight theatre, Indigo dining hall, to name a few. Smoking is also permitted at the Sky-High Bar, even though Customer Service did not identify it as a smoking area. "Customer Service" is a misnomer - it should be called "Customer DIS-Service". Unfortunately the smoke situation detracted from every other part of the cruise. The food at the Summer Palace was excellent in both presentation and flavour. But inexplicably, the hostess tried to sit us next to the service area stacked with dirty dishes two of the four times we dined there. The indoor and outdoor buffets were excellent - lots of variety, but the desserts were just average. The entertainment was good in the venues we could attend (away from smoky areas) and Tiara the cruise director was hilarious. The cabin was a decent size (oceanview picture window) and all the cabin stewards we encountered in the hallways were very pleasant. This was our 9th cruise and our 3rd one with NCL. Due to the smoke situation and the Customer Dis-Service, it will very likely be our last NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My BF and I were short on time but desperate to get away so the 5-day Western Caribbean itinerary to Belize and Mexico was perfect for us. We booked just prior to Christmas and got a great price. Food: We generally ate in the buffet ... Read More
My BF and I were short on time but desperate to get away so the 5-day Western Caribbean itinerary to Belize and Mexico was perfect for us. We booked just prior to Christmas and got a great price. Food: We generally ate in the buffet in the morning because we wanted to control our portions and wanted lots of choice. The aft outdoor location (Great Outdoors) was perfect and since we were up and at it early, it generally wasn't busy. This opened at 7:30 but sometimes we would grab specific items on the inside location and just take our plates outside. Overall the food would get a 3.5 - 4 out of five. We are super fussy, however I always found something to enjoy and generally was very pleased. My only complaint is watching people feel the need to carry two stacked plates at a time. We ate in Le Bistro at additional charge and it was well worth it. It ran about $100 CDN for two, gratuities included for three good courses. Cagney's was fully booked so we didn't get a chance to experience it. Indigo was very good and the atmosphere was much nicer for us than the main dining room (Summer Palace). If you do the buffet for lunch, don't miss the Indian/Indonesian food station. Some of the better butter chicken I've had, made very well and super fresh. Entertainment: For me, I would give the entertainment 5/5. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the performers and shows. Big kudos to Orly Penate and Alex Ortiz as well as the NCL person responsible for booking them. Absolutely fabulous! The final evening we took in the Legends in Concert show in the Stardust Theater. Great acoustics and lovely set up, comfortable seats. This show also wowed me in the quality. Don't miss it! Staff: Overall, the staff was very good. I think when some people think they are poor quality, they don't understand that for some, there is a bit of a language barrier and their job is incredibly hard. Eight months on, two months off is a tough gig. I wonder if NCL should consider different options or opportunities if they can find a cost-effective way to manage. Activities: If you can't find something to do that interests you on this ship... it's you, not them. I was disappointed in some of the guests and their need to do nothing but sloth by the pool, drinking too much. However, we found a great location every day and very much enjoyed the sun. We also signed up (at extra cost) to have full access to all of the classes at the fitness centre. Big shout out to Jared and Suynesh (sp?) for their attention, professionalism and knowledge. We very much enjoyed our interactions with both and it was worth the extra cost. Shore Excursions: For me, this is the chink in the armor on this trip. I found both ports to be pretty much a waste of time because I like to experience the authentic side of a country. They are overly commercial and a bit of a money grab. We did enjoy both beaches however and in Costa Maya we took a taxi to Mahahual where we found a great stand for empanadas and sopas. We ended up going back to the ship early and very much enjoyed how quiet it was on board lol. Overall a very nice experience with great people. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I traveled with a group of 16 people on this cruise. It was an "Escape From Winter" cruise. I liked the size of the ship....not too large. Staff was friendly and the Captain was amazing, speaking 5 different languages to welcome ... Read More
I traveled with a group of 16 people on this cruise. It was an "Escape From Winter" cruise. I liked the size of the ship....not too large. Staff was friendly and the Captain was amazing, speaking 5 different languages to welcome everyone on the first night! Staff was courteous and kind. Activities Director was a hoot. However, after about 4 days on a 6 day cruise, I was ready to leave. Here's why: There seemed to be no space anywhere around the small pool area to sit or swim. There was no shrimp to be found anywhere. There were no towel animals. I know, I know first world problem.....but I missed them! Food on the menu had weird names like Walleye Cod. Well, is it a walleye or a cod? Main dining room menu was boring and uninspired. We ordered chicken wings 5 times in O'Sheehan's. They arrived cold every. single. time. In the Lotus Garden restaurant the food was cold, dry and pretty uneatable. The rice was ice cold and tasted like frozen rice that wasn't heated up properly. I was so excited for this restaurant and it was a big disappointment. I LOVE Chinese food. I really didn't like anything I ate there. Customer Service people extremely rude and not courteous. Amazingly bad. And then there was the Karaoke: The Pearl has a policy that everyone sings in the order that their slips of paper are filled out and handed in to the DJ. We had to endure some pretty bad singers every single night singing the same songs over and over and over. Sometimes they sang 7 times or more in one night! New policy would be easy: Once you've sung once you cannot sing for another half hour. End of problem! Also, I wanted to sing an Abba song. Because the main show had a five minute Abba number on the main stage once, all the Abba songs were pulled from the Karaoke playlist. Come on, we're all not THAT good. No threat to the cast on the ship as far as I could see! On a positive note, the Bliss Lounge was amazing, with fantastic decor. Speaking of Entertainment, I thought the cast and entertainers did a fantastic job on the main stage and in the nooks and crannies of the ship. All professional actors and musicians and all music was fantastic. I enjoyed the comedian at the FIRST show. At the second show he got, very, very rude and I really did not enjoy it. I am not a prude. Just did not appreciate how hard he tried to be rude. I didn't mind the swearing, it was his jokes. Next time, I'm going to bed!! I stayed away from the Buffet because there was just too many people there. However, there is a really nice place to sit in the back outside, very pleasant. However, all the people serving were just wonderful, caring and courteous people. They did wonderful! The people on board, both staff and cruisers seemed to be really nice.....all the time. I just wish it would have been better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed on the Pearl on Jan 12 to Belize and Costa Maya. The best part of the cruise for us was the private villa on Harvest Caye Belize. The overall experience of being on the private beach with a hammock, lounge chairs, air ... Read More
We sailed on the Pearl on Jan 12 to Belize and Costa Maya. The best part of the cruise for us was the private villa on Harvest Caye Belize. The overall experience of being on the private beach with a hammock, lounge chairs, air conditioned villa, private bathroom, and waitress service was perfect for our family, The service on the island was excellent- the waitress, concierge, and driver were attentive, friendly,and professional. I highly recommend this experience! Overall the ship is fun, not too large, not too many people, and our family of 5 (3 young 20’s) had a great time. The Norwegian app was great for keeping in contact with each other by text message, Other highlights for us were the 2 specialty dining restaurants Moderno and La Cucina.. Both had excellent food and service and we really enjoyed them. Cant remember his name, but the bartender at the whiskey bar at night was the best on the ship! Some negatives for us were the food at the buffets, main dining rooms and O’Sheehans, and overall lackluster/slow service from waiters and bartenders in the other venues. The free food was average and sadly the coffee was terrible. Leaving the ship on the last day took forever and our bus back to the airport was really late, which was disappointing. Not sure if we will cruise Norwegian again or try a different cruise line next time, Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise because it was a good deal on a 5 night western Caribbean cruise. I had only sailed on Royal Caribbean and Carnival prior to this cruise and was very excited for this new trip. Food was a major disappointment. Buffet ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a good deal on a 5 night western Caribbean cruise. I had only sailed on Royal Caribbean and Carnival prior to this cruise and was very excited for this new trip. Food was a major disappointment. Buffet food was lack luster and the sit down dining was not good. Appetizers were ranked highest at a 5/10 and main entrees probably 3/10. Entrees seemed to mainly consist of chicken or beef for every dish. Fish i ordered twice was mushy. Chicken was ALWAYS dry and beef lacked flavor. I was amazed when I found out there would be no lobster, shrimp, scallops, or other seafood that I always looked forward to on a cruise. Bottom line, food was a big disappointment. Room was fine. We had an interior room and it was enough room for both of us. Bathroom was nice and shower was spacious. Entertainment was another negative. I was not very impressed. The comedian, Alex, however was very funny. The staff was very friendly and helpful in every aspect. Our stateroom housekeeper was awesome and so was our waitress in the Indigo. While the food was not good she made our night and we kept making sure we got her each night for dinner. Pool space was too small. 2 small pools and 4 small hot tubs. No interior pools or hot tubs unless you want to pay an up charge. This was another negative of the cruise. It seems as if you have to pay extra for everything that normal cruise lines include. Destinations were great. No complaints. Almost the entire cruise the ship was rocking heavily. Not sure if this is normal but the ship is older so maybe it is. Unfortunately this cruise did not live up to my expectations. I will not be sailing on NCL again after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this itinerary because the timing was perfect to escape the cold weather and post holiday stress. And the price including the airfare was too good to pass up. Let me start by saying this was my 10th cruise but the first cruise I ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because the timing was perfect to escape the cold weather and post holiday stress. And the price including the airfare was too good to pass up. Let me start by saying this was my 10th cruise but the first cruise I had a cruise line book airline, hotel and transfers for me. I was very skeptical hearing of other cruisers experiences doing so but I was pleasantly surprised on my vacation. Once NCL emailed me with flight arrangements, I called the airline directly to seat my friend and I together. I expected issues at the airport since my friend’s name was not hyphenated on her airline ticket. However, check in went smoothly. The flight arrived on time to Miami. Finding the NCL staff at baggage claim to escort us to our transfer was easy. We did wait some time for our transfer bus but it was rush hour during the week. The hotel NCL selected, The Pullman Miami Airport Hotel, was stylish. Our room was large and well appointed. At check in, I asked for recommendations to get a taste of Miami in the few hours we had before our cruise disembarked the next day. As suggested, we arranged for an Uber and headed off to South Beach. It’s mainly a strip of restaurants with hosts trying to entice you in. We visited two restaurants, took in a quick show at Palace, watched Antilles dancers at another club and stepped onto the beach under the moonlight. The next morning at the hotel, my friend and I debated breakfast options. She wanted more than a pastry and I wanted only coffee. Overhearing our conversation, Leah at the check in desk, offered to give us two complimentary tickets to the buffet. After a few morsels, we had time to relax by the pool and waterfall in the sun which we had been missing living in the Northeast. Transport arrived after noon to drive us to the pier. The drop off at the pier and transfer of luggage to the porters was smooth and efficient. The line was a little longer than I’m used to but I usually arrive before check in begins and I was already an hour and a half after that start. Upon our turn to check in, we learned we were VIP and could have skipped waiting. NCL quickly rectified that and ushered us past the line and up a private elevator. We were escorted on board and brought to Moderno for a VIP reception area where we met our Concierge, Anoop Bhanu. Since this was my friend’s first cruise, she was beyond excited at all of this. I was so happy watching the cruise excitement unfold through her eyes. After a leisurely glass of wine, we were reminded to head over to Cagney’s for our first VIP lunch. The hot smoked salmon as an appetizer was good but the pan seared scallops and shrimp over artichoke and chive risotto with veal au jus was the star of this meal. Next stop, let's see our stateroom! I selected Cabin 8064, partially obstructed ocean view, when planning this cruise. The room was surprisingly spacious. I have always stayed in balcony or better state rooms but I would certainly book this stateroom again. The only noticeable difference besides the view was the lack of a couch which we wouldn't need for two of us. It had more than enough storage space for two people to keep the room clean and clutter free. And you can see the ocean and sky in between life boats. The next area we explored was the viewing room for the bridge. We spent some time watching the crew do their job. The captain walked past the window and waved to us. A few minutes later, Captain Giovanni was in our viewing room introducing himself and having a little Q&A session with the few people who had entered with us. This was actually an exciting thing for myself and my friend to have a moment to talk to the captain. Usually, he is just a voice on the intercom system on most cruises. The only complaint I can make about our vacation was the missing communication for a change in the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet date. Prior to flying out to Miami, I had posted on the board that we would meet the first day as was stated in an email to me from the events coordinator. After I was on the ship, we learned it had been changed to the following day through a letter placed in my stateroom. The mishandling of communication was between the office on land and the members on the ship and I was left out of the correspondence. Because of the logistics of sail away, I was advised that it was not possible to have the ship’s officers attend our meeting so that is why the change was made. Jana at NCL apologized and offered to contact the guests in attendance. I had not acquired stateroom numbers from the attendees to respect their privacy on vacation so I was not able to contact them. I waited 20 minutes after the scheduled start of the Meet and Greet near the meeting room to inform anyone of the change doubtful we would have the turn out of the members the following day. We went about exploring the ship and taking pictures until we sat down for dinner at Lotus. This was my first time at this restaurant despite being on a jewel class ship 4 times prior. Not being able to decide on a cocktail, our waiter surprised us with 4 selections. Two being different types of sake. I chose kung pao chicken for dinner but I’m still thinking about dessert a week later: red bean triangles with green tea ice cream. You must try them! The All Aboard Variety Show was good. Not the most memorable show I have seen on an NCL ship though. We even bought into the “scratch off”/ pull tab game tickets (a first for me) and won $14. So much for saying they are just a sucker’s bet. We went on to watch the Dance Battle in the Spinnaker Lounge which had us laughing. After that, we “had to” get a late night snack at O’Sheehan’s. This was the only restaurant where the wait was unusually long for food to arrive at our table. The excitement of eating so much wonderful food still trumped our impatience. But our stomachs and energy levels called it a night after that. We went to bed with hopes we would have an appetite and enthusiasm for more food and fun just a few hours later. Remember, this was late night/early morning Number 2 for us. Regardless of age, it’s still a lack of sleep. The alarm went off way too soon and we jumped out of bed ready for our first VIP breakfast. I had the crab cakes Benedict years ago so I had already planned on them if they were still on the menu. And they were! As well as indulgent French press coffee which we bragged to our friends that we “didn’t even have to press the coffee ourselves”. If you are a Disney fan, it has been said that there is a “life changing” chocolate croissant for purchase in France. The ones served on this ship are comparable. Make sure to get one. (You can even find them in the buffet.) It was at this meal my friend was starting to realize what I meant when I said cruise eating is a whole different level of feeling full and this was only the beginning. Before we left, we had already planned breakfast for the next day even in our bloated state. Our first port was Key West. Even though we had priority disembarkation, we walked off at a later time and had no wait. Our trolley tour was easy to find and our tour guide for the first leg of the trip, Pam, was entertaining and informative. Hemingway House was the first stop for us. I love cats but I also enjoy the history of a brawling, bar loving character with the ability to write a compelling story. Then it was back onto the trolley to see the remainder of the island and to make it back for the tasting portion of the excursion. Dessert first: key lime pie at Kermits... because life is short and that’s how I roll. Next, drinks, a sloppy joe sandwich and some conch fritters at Sloppy Joe’s. Though not at the same location from way back when, I tried to imagine Ernest sitting at the bar getting rowdy and flirting with the women. Last stop: Hemingway Rum Company to sample some Pilar rum. The tour was also very informative about the carousing Hemingway. Even if rum is not your thing, make sure to sample the mix of the two rums. Back on the ship we went to get ready an evening of back to back events. My friend, who once asked if there was enough things to do on a cruise ship, is starting to realize at this point just how little time you have on a cruise ship to do everything you want. The Meet and Greet starts with only 4 attendees and two of them voted as Best Dressed since we had dinner reservations that evening. The crew begins to make their introductions and cruise critic members start to fill the empty seats. Though not the number I had hoped, we shared stories and put faces to names we had talked to for months online. On our way to the VIP Cocktail Reception, we stopped to pose for professional pictures because selfies only go so far. While at the reception, my friend basked in the luxury of being served canapes and cocktails while sitting on the tufted velvet loungers in Bliss Lounge. Before rushing off to our dinner, we spoke briefly with the captain and requested a group photo with him which became one of my favorite vacation photos. A gentleman was performing in the lounge area of Maltings Whiskey Bar as we approached Le Bistro for dinner. Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman was the selection. It could not have been more perfectly timed for two well dressed women to walk through the lounge. But alas, dinner, escargot and veal, awaits. Ego, check yourself at the door. What was meant to be a brief stop before going to the Not So Newlywed Game ended up being Cruise Critic Meet and Greet Number 2 at the Cigar Lounge. One whiskey, one bourbon, one cigar and many stories later, I headed back to my stateroom only to say “want to see if the hot tubs are free?”. I wanted to check it off my “vacation to do list” but I also needed to soak the cigar smoke out from my pores. (Cue dramatic music) And it becomes another packed day of events that turns into a late night. Still excited for food, we head to Moderno for breakfast for Fruits de Mer, scallops and shrimp on toasted brioche with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. We lingered over breakfast as our port of call was changed from Grand Stirrup Cay to Nassau due to weather conditions and safety. We decided to get mimosas at another bar and make new plans for the day. Not interested in Nassau, I suggested we get massages, another first on a cruise for me. It was probably the only time we slowed down since the start of the trip. Not having a plan after that, we decide it must be time to eat again because what else do you do every two hours on a cruise? So a leisurely lunch of mixed greens salad with mandarin and coconut, sesame crusted fish and carrot cake commenced. The carrot cake was my least favorite dessert out of all the meals. Did I mention we had leisurely, yet strong, cocktails with lunch? Nassau started to sound like a good idea so we decided to explore. We were back on the ship within an hour. My friend was frightened by the aggressive sales tactics of the straw market vendors. Most shops were closing too. Unless I book an excursion to a resort for the day, I will remain on the ship if I return to Nassau. Night activities begin after dinner in the main dining room, Summer Palace, where we were greeted by name by our server. I was impressed. The first show of the night is Legends in Concert which we arrived to late for standing room only. I could feel the seas start to rock the ship. Personally, I like to feel like I’m on a ship on the ocean but I was afraid for my motion sickness prone friend. Walking to the next show, The Perfect Couple Game Show, felt like we were floating at times as the seas started to rock us a little more. I realized bringing my friend to the top deck of the front of the ship was a bad idea just a few minutes into the show. She valiantly tried to hang with me but I lost her to the stateroom and not to the Glow Party for a night of dancing like we had planned. Did we get to bed early? Of course not. We stayed up talking about staying up so late the past few nights. Do you see a reoccurring theme? Alas, we realize morning comes too soon and our last breakfast in Moderno is upon us. Oh why even try at this point? Unless I stop eating all together, my pants are not going to fit so just eat the good stuff! Steak and eggs it is. It’s a “low carb” choice so I’m feeling sort of good. Wait... I have to put on a bathing suit today to swim with the pigs in Freeport? (Groan). Suit up, get on a bus and get to a small beach: check, check, check. I wasn’t expecting much after reading reviews for this excursion but no other excursion jumped out at me... and pigs are really cute. I’m happy to say, the pigs were very interactive and much more entertaining than any posted review. We got to sit on the beach and get a little color to brag about when we got back home. One pina colada later, some time in the water, and a few hours in the sun, we were back on the bus. And that is when we couldn’t fight the exhaustion from the go go go lifestyle with late nights and early mornings. I think Freeport looked like a beautiful island but we were asleep for most of the ride to the Straw Market. We got our eagerly awaited conch salad made fresh at a stand in the market, bought a few cigars and waited to get back on the bus. I think the sadness of End of Vacation Blues was starting to set in. The last night is always a night to cash in winnings at the casino (her big win of 30 cents off the slots), buy professional photos, check your onboard account for discrepancies, and to pack. The true depression kicks in when you see the suitcases lined up in the halls. Could we really stay any longer? We love food and eating but could we do it any longer? Afterall, the clean clothes we had left didn’t fit. So THAT is how the cruise ship gets you to leave!?! It was time for denial to set in so we could enjoy the rest of the night and make it yet one more late night followed by early morning. First, dinner at a main dining room, Indigo for some lamb kofta and smoked pork. I even called in the big guns after dinner and said “coffee please” with cheesecake because we can sleep on the plane the next day. One more show: the variety show. One more dance night: the 80’s dance party. But we have one question for NCL about that: why would you plan an 80’s dance party at 10:45 when the people who remember the 80’s most are ready for bed at that time? A couple of dances and two cocktails later, I’m heading to my stateroom for one final towel animal photo shoot... and the last night of chocolate truffles, chocolate covered strawberries or canapes being delivered to our room nightly from the general manager, Cary Turecamo. Surely, re-entry to my normal life would be very difficult after this VIP treatment. I swear I slept the deepest that night. As we walked to the buffet for our first buffet breakfast but yet our last meal on the ship, I turn to my friend and say “we needed a few sea days to recharge”. She says “we needed a longer cruise because there is a lot we didn’t do.”. I said “there is never enough time to do everything. The cruise lines plan it that way so you will book another cruise.”. She says “well, you nailed planning this cruise. Let’s make it an annual thing for us.”. Rough seas and all, she was sold. She “gets” cruising now and is already planning sailings for the two of us "in old lady life". And yes, we both purchased CruiseNext deposits on this sailing. Debarkation was smooth until we reached the customs line which is always a long wait. The transfer took us to the airport. A word of caution: Miami airport has all the good eats and shops before you check in. Once you are on the other side, it is slim pickings. Our flight was delayed due to high winds back home. But we made up for it with a good tail wind but it was a bumpy ride. Believe it or not, we stayed awake. And then it was back to work the next morning, sleep deprived and depressed. I can say with certainty, it was another memorable cruise for the books. Well done, NCL. A word to the wise for any newer cruisers, if you have an issue, make sure to let the cruise staff know when it happens. VIP or not, they want to make your trip memorable and happy. Don’t wait until the last night or after you get off the ship to make a complaint. Many times, they will try to make it right so why wait? And yes, I asked for towel animals. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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

Find a Norwegian Pearl Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click