2,395 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
This was our first cruise. We would have rated the cruise as a 4+ out of f5 but for one major issue. More on that later. I would say the cabin itself (ocean view) was what we expected: Unobstructed view, clean, large enough, etc. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We would have rated the cruise as a 4+ out of f5 but for one major issue. More on that later. I would say the cabin itself (ocean view) was what we expected: Unobstructed view, clean, large enough, etc. The food was pretty good, and much better than that in the specialty restaurants. The dining upgrade was worth having. The entertainment was also good, actually better than we expected. The staff was great, wonderfully pleasant throughout. But... You do not want to find yourself lodging on Deck 5, Rooms 5602 - 5610. That was an unmitigated nightmare (or whatever the term is when you are wide awake but going through an agonizing ordeal. Picture yourself in an Airstream trailer. Now picture someone whacking the side of your trailer with a metal bar, and then beating the trailer with a smaller utensil for about ten seconds. Then picture that happening every night from about 1:00 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. There were actually a variety of noises throughout the trip, each unique, but unbelievably loud and inconvenient. Guest Services staff, an engineer and others came down to figure out the source and/or a solution. Couldn't figure it out. Sound apparently moves in mysterious ways in metallic boats. We couldn't be moved, even to an interior cabin, because the ship was filled to the brim. We finally advised Guest Services we would need to leave the ship in Corfu (Day 4), but we were then advised other guests were disembarking in Corfu, and we could use that room to sleep in. Didn't actually happen until the next day, but from Day 5 - 10 the zombie nightmare was over. My real issue with NCL is the apparent duuplicity. Staff is very sympathetic with the situation; they acknowledge it is unbearable. The manager even offers that these rooms should not be used by guests because, unless you purchase a drink package and faithfully indulge throughout the night, I really don't think you can sleep through that level of noise. (My comments about the drink package. He just indicated these rooms should not be made available to guests). They did provide $400 in shipboard credit, which is enough to purchase 52 bottles of water, but we were assured that when we contact the corporate office in Florida, everything will be made right. I did contact the NCL corporate office, and I was advised that "noise is subjective," so it turns out it was really just my (and my wife's) sensitivity to noise that was the problem. She missed going ashore on two of the first four stops because of a lack of sleep. The guests in rooms 5602 and 5606 would disagree with NCL's assessment, as we commiserated over our plights on occasion. A couple of us even recorded some of the noise so we could relive it during daylight hours. Not to sound too cynical, but it appears that the staff is coached to wholeheartedly agree with the guests on all particulars, apparently to avoid the zombies making a scene, and direct the guests to contact corporate, and then have corporate deliver the bad news: Pound sand. Days 6 - 11 were excellent: The food tasted better, the shows were more entertaining, and the shore excursions more exciting. We were just a little disappointed that our sensitivity to sound put a damper on our first five days of travel. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I went on a cruise that will always be memorable. The cabin was very spacious, our cabin steward was phenomenal and the dining was yummy! We had a midship balcony cabin and Michael Viernes our cabin steward always was ... Read More
My husband and I went on a cruise that will always be memorable. The cabin was very spacious, our cabin steward was phenomenal and the dining was yummy! We had a midship balcony cabin and Michael Viernes our cabin steward always was attentive and provided excellent service. We purchased the 5 dinner specialty dining and it was excellent. When we dined in the main Summer Palace dining room, we always asked for Kamilla . I do not recall her last name but she was excellent. She always went out of her way and knew what we needed/wanted. We dined at the captain's table and that was a real treat!!! Captain Schiaffino is extremely personable and always made a point to say hello as he passed the passengers. The entertainment was good and the length of time for the shows was perfect. Ports and excursions were well planned. We normally do not purchased excursions, but this time we did due to the nature of our cruise. I would definitely go back on this ship with this crew...they made my trip a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have always wanted to travel the Mediterranean. It was nice to get island to island. We got off the boat at every stop and had great tour guides on the excursions we went on. Brittany, a beautiful red haired dancer we ran into several ... Read More
We have always wanted to travel the Mediterranean. It was nice to get island to island. We got off the boat at every stop and had great tour guides on the excursions we went on. Brittany, a beautiful red haired dancer we ran into several times. She always looked out for us and was so nice. Even made sure we were ok on a very vertical hike. We could have had more time in each location to get some good shopping and local food. We had one bad experience with Santorini. We all got backed up at the tram down the mountain. Many people panicked afraid they would be left behind. There was no clear instructions or anyone reassuring anyone we were going to be ok. Many went for the steps to beat the line. After we heard one lady slipped and broke her ankle. There were kids begging for money as we all were standing in line. It was rushed and unpleasant. The boat staff was sweet and thoughtful. Ludmilla Pagliari greeted us in the morning always smiling. We ran into her at night when we would get coffee and cookies after dinner. Still sweet and still smiling. She would chat with us. A very nice young lady from Argentina. A couple waiters Willy at Crystal Palace and Jerry at O'sheans were great guys. Friendly and attentive. Jerry had great banter. He made us smile. The food was good and we appreciated the fresh fruit in the buffet. My husband really enjoyed the Indian food. I will say the flat bread was delicious. From breakfast to dinner it was good food. One suggestion is to put clocks in the rooms. I know why they are not there but when you have excursions and the time changes you can feel a little out of sorts. Especially when your phone is not working like it should. I learned how to dance about a quarter of the Michael Jackson Thriller dance. We got to see the whole dance at the impersonation show later. It was fun to see Elton John, Tina Turner and Michael Jackson. Every where we went there were steps to get where you were going. The views were spectacular. And after you had steps to go back down. We refused to use the elevators on board and always used the stairs. It was a healthy trip. Always got our steps in and then some. Got home fitter and slimmer. If not just a little. We stayed at Best Western in Rome and Barcelona. Both were excellent. Clean and air-conditioned. The staff were friendly and helpful. Except for the Santorini experience the whole trip was a fun. I would recommend it. Don't get to tied up with always booking something. The islands are navigable. With better time you can really experience the food. It's good and deserves to be appreciated. The coffee is amazing. Not once did we make it to the beach. Just not enough time. My biggest regret. I guess I will have to go back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I felt that must write this review after spending 11 days on Pearl in The Med. I understand that two cruises before ours the ship encountered technical difficulties and that because these things happen so infrequently that things do not ... Read More
I felt that must write this review after spending 11 days on Pearl in The Med. I understand that two cruises before ours the ship encountered technical difficulties and that because these things happen so infrequently that things do not always run smoothly but we had no such issues on our cruise. We joined Pearl in Civitavecchia for 11 days. Embarkation was smooth and trouble for even in a Thunder storm! We found the Staterooms and facilities onboard to our liking. Everywhere was spotlessly clean which may have been down to the fact that the entire crew had spent hours cleaning and repairing the ship during the cancelled cruise a week before ours. The Crew were all excellent - cabin steward, bar waiters, Garden Cafe Chefs, Entertainers all of an extremely high standard. In fact the entire crew were attentive and welcoming. The Cruise Director, Tiara is the best we've ever encountered on a numerous cruises and she and her staff worked tirelessly to engaged and entertain the guests. Our kids are teenagers and we never saw them apart from when we were off the ship or at dinner. The Teen club was a 100% hit - unlike our experience on Royal Caribbean last year where the Youth councillor just couldn't be bothered and they subsequently hung onto our 'Coat tails' for the entire trip!! They met kids of similar ages from various countries around the world and had an absolute blast making friends. We are from the UK so our package included Gratuities, Drinks, bottled water, a $50 excursion credit per port and internet. We could not have asked for more. It does seem expensive when you pay for the entire trip before you depart but subsequently when onboard we seemed to spend very little. As people have mentioned in the past you do have to pay tax on onboard spend in some ports even though you are 'all inclusive' but this is not a Norwegian or European thing it happened to us last year on RCI in Rome and Barcelona and we've also had it in Miami before departure on NCL. It's tax and you just can't escape it!! The food onboard was typical cruise fare. The Buffet was exactly that, 'the free all you can eat buffet (that you've already paid for!). We paid to eat in 3 speciality restaurants whilst onboard - Teppanyaki, Cagney's and Moderno. The quality of food in these was a cut above the rest of the ships dinning. We were not overly impressed with Cagney's it was just far too much food. We enjoyed the other 2 speciality restaurants very much and would choose to visit these again. We tendered in Kotor and Santorini.We had no issues in either port. Word of warning in Santorini. There is basically an entry tax of €12 per person. The ships tenders (if you are not on a coach excursion) drop you at the dock below Fira. The only way to ascend into the Capital Town is via cable car or donkey (€6.00 per person each way). You can choose to walk the 600 steps but you share the steps with the donkeys - believe me when it hot this is not a peasant experience for the nostrils! NCL advise you not to use the donkey's to ascend the hill as it is considered very dangerous which leaves you with a 90 minute wait for the cable car (which incidentally takes less that 1 minute) or the hot smelly walk with the donkeys. Before I finish just a quick word about the Fitness staff onboard. We signed up for the 'all you can exercise' pass on day 1 at $99. We had 2 South African crew members who made these classes an absolute blast. I have never worked so hard on my fitness on holiday. 1 gym and 16 all you can eat restaurants! If I were to critique anything it would be the entertainment. The theatre shows that we attended we very professional but the music offering after 11 days became a bit repaetative. The Caribbean themed band, Funky Roots were very good but we met have heard their entire repetoir 5 or 6 times over the 11 days. We had a guitarist from Brazil, a string quartet from Poland and a Pianist/singer from the US again they did a good job but we could have done with 1 or two more options just to break it up a bit. We would recommend NCL above any of the other cruise lines we have tried, Carnival, MSC and Royal Caribbean. The ship was full to capacity so yes it was busy onboard especially on Sea days but we never waited to be seated in a Restaurant, we always found a seat in the bars and there were always plenty of crew onhand to help. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I did this cruise this summer and we did not think it was anything special. I am a well-traveled individual, but I thought I would try something different. Unfortunately, it just confirmed every hesitation that I ever had ... Read More
My husband and I did this cruise this summer and we did not think it was anything special. I am a well-traveled individual, but I thought I would try something different. Unfortunately, it just confirmed every hesitation that I ever had about cruises. You are on some else's schedule and you really do not have anytime to experience any culture (except American culture, of course). On top of that, it felt as though everything was a money grab. You could not do the most basic activities without having to pay an arm and a leg. That being said, it was essential to do activities on the ship to prevent yourself from dying of boredom. Additionally, for a ship with thousands of guests, the pool was very small. We barely spent any time by the pool because of how crowded it always was, which was very disappointing. On a more positive note, I will say that the food was pretty good, the staff were very friendly and the gym was very nice. However, I believe you can have a way better trip if you just plan it yourself. I understand that people are suckers for the convenience of having everything planned for them, but it really does not take that much more effort to plan a trip and save more than half the money spent on this cruise. There is a price to laziness after all. To conclude I would only recommend this cruise if you have multiple children and want to see Europe or if you are above the age of 65. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise as an alternative to my 13 day cruise which was cancelled day before I was scheduled to leave for Rome. Overall cruise was good but NCL charges you for everything. (WiFi extra, soda extra, fancier restaurants, bowling ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an alternative to my 13 day cruise which was cancelled day before I was scheduled to leave for Rome. Overall cruise was good but NCL charges you for everything. (WiFi extra, soda extra, fancier restaurants, bowling extra, excursions extra, daily per person service charges, transfers from airport extra) Ship was average, but 2 pools are not enough for the amount of people. Cabins were kept up very well by stewards. Dining was average about the level of average Marriott hotel food. Evening sit down meals were better but again NCL charges extra for steakhouse, Italian, and Japanese. Excursions are too expensive and I was better off booking them myself. Ports were good and bad. Santorini, Mykonos were amazing. Florence, Messina, and Napoli were good. Kotor and Dubrovnik were very dirty and not much to see. Service in restaurants was hit or miss but overall a bit better than average. Entertainment was actually surprisingly good. Magic show, acrobats and cruise director were excellent. Spa services were solid but pricey as expected. Fitness center although small was functional. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient but the rendering process was not fair as some people got tendering tickets early because they had excursions planned so you would loose a lot of the day waiting. Staff was awesome during reboarding offering hot towels and drinks. “Red” was awesome, he greeted people with a smile and songs when you would enter the Garden Cafe and was super chearful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Let me start with the good: we had a Jr. suite and I thought the cabin was great as was the steward service. Nothing like sitting in a balcony enjoying the sea around you. The ship was in general very clean. Another thing I liked was the ... Read More
Let me start with the good: we had a Jr. suite and I thought the cabin was great as was the steward service. Nothing like sitting in a balcony enjoying the sea around you. The ship was in general very clean. Another thing I liked was the food options: being vegan I thought it would be challenging, but the crew tried to accommodate and I had multiple options at every meal. Entertainment was ok with a couple of standouts like the ballroom couple, they were magnificent. We also LOVED the parties and the cruise director Scott. Now to the not so good: First of all, the lack of free drinkable water. The one that was served in restaurants was so chlorinated and of such poor quality that my family couldn’t drink it. Come on, Norwegian! Water filters are not so expensive! The alternative was to shed off $50 for 20 bottles, which we had to do multiple times. The pool on our ship was a joke, given we had close to 1000 people on the ship. It was tiny and deep, and always crowded. So my kids haven’t used it a single time, such a disappointment! Lastly, the spa- avoid at any cost!!! First of all, the quality of services is below average. I had a massage and a pedicure. Massage was in an icy cold room, with a massagist that never heard my wishes, we were booked at the end of the day and were rushed out at the end without given a chance to use amenities. And this is for $300! Crazy!!! Later in the cruise the put fliers for reduced services and some deals, so if you are set to go at least wait till day 3 or 4. The pedicure was ok until the lady cut into my finger despite me saying multiple times that it hurt. I had an infection on my toe for the rest of the cruise. That pedicure was $120! In all, I enjoyed the experience of being so close to the sea,l while traveling, but would probably either try a different cruise company or opt for land Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Loved the itinerary - gave us a taste of some of the most beautiful places in Europe! Easy embarkation and disembarkation Ship is basic, no-frills but perfectly adequate for this type of cruise since you are off the ship 8/10 days. ... Read More
Loved the itinerary - gave us a taste of some of the most beautiful places in Europe! Easy embarkation and disembarkation Ship is basic, no-frills but perfectly adequate for this type of cruise since you are off the ship 8/10 days. Cabins are adequate. They could use more shelves in some of the bare walls but it wasn’t an issue. Entertainment was amateur at best, but at the end of a long day we didn’t need much in the way of shows, etc. Live music was also so-so which was a bit disappointing. Poor choice of bands and singers. Food was average. Service excellent. Ports were beyond incredible. Each and every one!! We did 4 excursion: in Santorini (OPQ!), Dubrovnik (Game of thrones), Messina (Taormina), and Florence (on your own). All Fabulous choices!! We climbed the ladder of kotor in Montenegro - unbelievable experience!! Very hard climb up steep, uneven, narrow stone stairs and takes several hours but the views are spectacular!! Bring lots of water and good hiking shoes. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are new to cruising this was our second and booked it through an agent SCC, it was good to have everything organised for us, I done it myself first time. We booked all inclusive with an balcony, the room was ok albeit a bit on the ... Read More
We are new to cruising this was our second and booked it through an agent SCC, it was good to have everything organised for us, I done it myself first time. We booked all inclusive with an balcony, the room was ok albeit a bit on the small size, never met the steward until we sought him out for more coffee, I had to bring my tea down from the buffet not provided in the room. The ship itself was fine although very noisy and busy, felt like I was in a zoo at meal times. Restaurant not much better, service leaned towards> OMG we are so busy lets get this over with!!! Food was fine nothing special. We were overcharged by the Spa only found out because our door key wouldn't work customer services said our payment was refused by our bank, showed us our bill to date and we found the over charge 245euros. We changed our payment method to another card, only to find out that the money was taken from the original account!! What's that all about??? Bank knows nothing about this supposed refusal as funds were always available. I personally found the hard sell to purchase other various things during the cruise very invasive and the shore excursions were expensive for the content, even with the 50euros off per excursion. If you like queueing/or lines as they refer to, then this is the cruise for you on and off shore. All inclusive is not quite accurate as you have taxes to pay for drinks when docked, never knew that one until we saw it on the bill, couldn't use the free spend to cover that, unsure why not!! Cruising is a learning experience as we are finding out. The really excellent parts of the cruise, was the weather Brilliant and seeing a volcano erupting Stromboli at night and guess what those were free LOL Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
firstly who said their is no ballroom dancing on the pearl? almost every night we had at least 45 minutes of ballroom music either with live bands or recorded music in the spinnacre lounge as well as opportunities to do some latin and ... Read More
firstly who said their is no ballroom dancing on the pearl? almost every night we had at least 45 minutes of ballroom music either with live bands or recorded music in the spinnacre lounge as well as opportunities to do some latin and ballroom in bliss and modern lounge this ship is the most friendly I have ever been on to date which starts with being sung to in the mornings by mr washy washy and his sidekick elvis at breakfast but extends throughout the ship whereby all the staff treat you like you are old friends they havnt seen for years would like to say a special thank you to:- Patricia Watson - the amazing piano bar lady who really made this holiday special for us samantha and crazy roots , loved dancing with you guys and thanks for taking time to talk to us , such wonderfull and talented band and so friendly the pearl jazz band , great music to Dance and listen to the dancers and singers in the show team for their wonderfull performances , the broadway tribute evening and dance show in spinacre was amazing but also was good to see you all joining and chatting us with Patricia Watson in the piano room and some off the cuff impromptu performances we also loved the classical girls and the acoustic guy as far as food goes you have around 10 different choices , we loved the pub menu in the irish pub as well as cagneys and moderno , but all where good if I had 1 small issue was that the menu in the two main dining rooms tended to be a little repetitive however I could not fault the quality and service . The buffet is fantastic and we loved having breakfast lunch at the back of the ship in the open air with the view out to sea. lovely! get the free at sea drinks and dining package , its fantastic value , the mudslides and cocktails are to die for . Again this is one of the best value for money packages we have had on any cruise all in all a fantastic cruise , with a great itenery but made extra special by all the wonderfull Norwegian staff and entertainers on board this lovely ship Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
First of all the staff on the ship was amazing. This review is solely to the Management of the Pearl. My wife and I planned for months for our honeymoon to Europe that was ruined by Norwegian. The ship set sail from Amsterdam and ... Read More
First of all the staff on the ship was amazing. This review is solely to the Management of the Pearl. My wife and I planned for months for our honeymoon to Europe that was ruined by Norwegian. The ship set sail from Amsterdam and everything seemed great. We sailed for 8 days and stopped at 6 amazing ports. It was on the 9th day that the cruise went downhill very fast. An hour before arriving at Palma de Mallorco the captain came over the speaker and said there was engine problems and we would be going straight to Barcelona. This meant another day at sea that was not planned. We arrive in Barcelona at 10 pm and are allowed off the ship to "explore" even though the port is several miles from town. The next day we were told that instead of sailing at 5 pm we would be sailing at 8 pm to Monte Carlo. After 8 pm passed we were now told that the ship was would sailing to Livorno at 6 am the following day. After waking up that morning and still being at port we know something was very wrong. Meanwhile all over the internet there were articles about how the ship we were on had already canceled the next cruise. After waking up going to the front desk we were still told they were "ready to sail" and the ship was just waiting on clearance from the port. But, now we would be going straight to Rome. This means missing 4 ports. At this point I went on the internet and booked the first flight I could from Barcelona to Rome. We were finally given a letter later that morning saying the ship would not leave port and to find our own way back home. After being lied to for 4 days about every thing that was going on we were beyond ready to just get off the boat. We were also told that they would compensate our flights up to $300, what a JOKE! When i returned home and submitted the airline tickets an automated message said I would receive a response in 28 days. The way the management handled the situation was a joke. Instead of just telling the passengers the truth, they lied and lied to keep us on the ship. Us being on the ship meant more gambling, more drinking, more listening to the band play the same 5 songs over and over. It was just more money in their pockets and they didn't have to deal with over 2000 angry passengers. I will NEVER cruise with Norwegian again! Not because the ship broke down, because I understand that things do happen. Because, we were lied to for days and were basically told get off the ship and deal with it. The food on the ship was mediocre at best. The only thing was decent was the wings and nachos. The entertainment was rather boring. If you enjoy listening to the same 3 bands play the same 5 songs over and over than this is the perfect cruise for you. Everything on the ship cost extra! You would think paying this much for a cruise that some of the activities would be included but I was wrong. As for our balcony state room, it was very clean and modern. The bed was comfortable and our house keeper was very attentive. The shore excursions were organized but very expensive. We learned it was way cheaper to book the exact same excursion on our own that thru the ship. Also, some of the excursions didn't start till 2 after we were already docked at the port which meant 2 hours wasted. I would NOT recommend for anyone to sail with Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were so excited to go on this cruise! We went on board and had a great onboard experience. That night we went to the show and it was blah... we both agreed it was because we are spoiled in San francisco with off broadway shows. ... Read More
We were so excited to go on this cruise! We went on board and had a great onboard experience. That night we went to the show and it was blah... we both agreed it was because we are spoiled in San francisco with off broadway shows. At the show- that was the first and ONLY time we saw the cruise director Pedro. He was MIA for two weeks- we “heard his voice through the ceiling” for announcements but never saw him around the ship at events or welcoming people on board. We saw the ACD Sandra during events, bingo and pool parties. We then got word that our ship was not in danger but would be slipping ports to go into Barcelona early, to fix the problem. 2 days after that we had a 745am announcement saying: your cruise is ending here and we will not be going to our ending point (Rome) and we were to find our own transportation home or to Rome. Let’s just say- LACK OF COMMUNICATION! we heard announcements around 3 times a day from that first day to Barcelona to them telling us this heartbreaking news. Ncl said that they would cover $300 travel reimbursement (which couldn’t change our flights home) but it did cover the cost to Rome... but with 2300+ passengers booking flights, they all were booked within an hour- and WiFi was shutting down! It was a —it show! We were then given a letter (an official one with a stamp and signature because the first one did not have it which didn’t make it official) staying we can use ship as hotel until Friday at noon. We stayed on the ship until 3 am Friday and got the first bus to the airport. (No organization for the shuttles for ncl and people were running over the older passengers to get on the bus). We then realized all the times we had to taxi from the terminal to Barcelona main square took all are Euros! We didn’t spend frivolously at all- but Barcelona but transportation was expensive ! Still never saw the cruise director :/ Front of house organization was nowhere. Guest service answers were “we will make an announcement when we know”... guess what- I got a spa appointment on the first day in Barcelona and that person told me we would be in Barcelona for at least two nights SO the crew knew more that what we were told! 1) yes grateful we were in Barcelona and not at Sea... but the information upfront would have been appreciated 2) refund was already issued but the alcohol package was still fully charged (including those gratuities) 3) WHEN IN SPAIN PORT IF TOU GET ALCOHOL NCL CHARGES AN EXTRA TAX- even on top of alcohol package. 4) a few staff members that did make end of trip tolerable under circumstances: Aditya in indigo dining he impressed us from night 1 and we requested his table daily. Sandra ACD who was more of the face of the Pearl than the actual CD 5) will we cruise again on NCL? We will stay domestic and use our 50% off and see if the service and entertainment is better. After that cruise we will decide if we will ever do NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Cruise: 13-day Italy France & Spain: The Rivieras We planned an extended family vacation. Decided to upgrade t3 mini suites and looked forward to a great and once in a lifetime cruise. The ship itself is the perfect size ship in ... Read More
Cruise: 13-day Italy France & Spain: The Rivieras We planned an extended family vacation. Decided to upgrade t3 mini suites and looked forward to a great and once in a lifetime cruise. The ship itself is the perfect size ship in my opinion, feels big, but small enough to nollt have a ton of overwhelming people. Background: - Frequent cruise family: Many cruises on NCL, Princess, Costa and Carnival PROS: - Ship is in nice condition. - Ship is a great size. - Ship is smooth at sea, smooth like butter. - Most of the cleaning staff is top notch friendly. - Most of the crew is very professional and friendly - but not all. - Entertainment was mostly Good to Excellent. A few shows were so-so - House band was pretty good. - Did I mention how smooth this ship sails? Fabulous ride! - Easy boarding and exiting the ships at all ports. - Some of our tour guides were absolutely wonderful. CONS: - Food is mediocre, dining is nothing like on Princess or Costa. Wait two hours to be served in the main dining rooms. Wait staff do not come do refills. In 10 days they have not started order with the lady at the table, every other fancy dining room on other ships have pepper and cheese guys that come to the table. Food is rarely delivered to the table hot. Mostly lukewarm, probably because the dinner takes 2 ours to serve in a half empty dining room. - Some salads came with greens actually wilted brown of old age. - Food is always just a rehash of the previous day. It gets old, fast. - Not once did I find crab or lobster on the menu. Even Carnival has this on some nights. - Trout dinner was actually a plain piece salmon. - I was given wrong menu and embarrassingly tried to order things that was not available. - 3 nights, wrong dessert was brought. - Prepaid water package was not delivered. Staff was really confused. Two days later we were billed by the bar for the pre-paid package again to our room. I spent several trips to the main desk to fix billing issues. Seems like the NCL billing system is pretty flaky... watch your bills! - Most desserts are not the real versions of desserts. Cheesecake is nothing like real cheesecake, not even the fake boxed powered cheesecake, Chocolate Lava Cake is a cold cupcake that has a little bit of chocolate drizzled on it. German Chocolate Cake is just old chocolate cake with a weird jello type topping, not like a real German Chocolate Cake. Scooped Ice Cream is excellent though! - Cheese and fruit selection is the worst I have ever seen in any ship or land buffet. Never have I seen a ship only offer the same 2 or 3 cheeses the whole time, no grapes or other fruits, maybe an apple or orange or some sort of fruit salad that is not very fresh tasting. - Never have we had the head of the restaurant, or any other of the management crew come to ask how things are. Every other cruise line asks all the time how service is, usually nightly. Our last NCL cruise was much better in this regard. - Some of the crew seems to have a do not care attitude, but most are friendly. - Some of the pool area furniture smells like urine. Maybe just a bad night to sit on the poolside couch. - Did not see much security, Frequent weed smoking on top upper deck by "young adults" - several nights in a row. Never saw any staff policing that area and I believe it is a non-smoking area. MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENTS: - Engine problem has forced skipping the two ports most passengers booked the cruise. During the white-hot dance party most people were booing on the deck. I am pretty upset at missing Monte Carlo. That was the reason I booked this trip. - Room 11500, could be one of the best values of the cabins available. BUT all night long, you are subject to what sounds like a washing machine finishing a spin cycle every 25 minutes. Just as you fall asleep, boom! It sounds like you are being flooded with water. It is coming from the deck above. ALL NIGHT LONG!! We have not had a good night sleep since we boarded. 11500 has one of the best decks ever, not windy, great forward and side view. Too bad inside is like living in a washing machine. The spa is locate above, but at 3am it should not be running like a dang washing machine. - NCL Excursions are too rushed and a waste of money and time. Paris was a bus trip where they dropped 2 miles away from the tower with only enough time to barely see one sight, our bus was in a hurry to get us back and we were back with nearly 4 hours to spare on the ship. It would have been nice to have 1 more hour in Paris. PLUS the bus guide decided not to not take us to the half of the promised sights. - Barcelona NCL Hop-on-hop-off bus tour stopped far from the major sights. We noticed that the other brands of Hop-On-Hop-Off bus brands stopped at the gates of the popular sights. Had I know this, I would have just done it myself and saved walking miles on one of the hottest days of the summer. - Longer days at ports would be nice. Most were too rushed. - Waiting for NCL excursions take about 1/2 hour too long to wait to be called. It would be nice if they were more prompt with the time called on your ticket. So for now, most of the ship is pretty mad that we are missing major ports due to whatever problem the ship has. I understand that things happen, but for this one cruise, the ports we are missing are ones that most passengers were waiting for. We will see how this finishes out in the next two days. I still think NCL could be one of the best out there, but for now I am feeling disappointment. I will give NCL benefit of the doubt for the next few days. I hope they read this and address some of the issues. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted ... Read More
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted with the cabin (11134), initially. Evenings were interrupted by folks playing basketball dspite the sign stating activities were to end at 5 PM. So easy to fix, just put the balls away! Dinner the first evening in the Summer Palace proved to be on par with an Applebee's. Formality of service proved to be nonexistent, quality of food was mediocre. Exploration of other options proved more fruitful, specifically, Indigo and Cagney's with formally trained servers. The entertainment, overall, was quite good. There wa an acrobat male and female team that were incredible. The ships crew of singers and dancers were on par with other cruises. Their "Legends" show was outstanding. Activities were spotty, poorly timed and some never happened. Service was subpar compared to other cruise experiences. Having numerous mishaps it appears that communication is their biggest pitfall. All mishaps (but one) were rectified, but, only after having to be (begrudgingly) a squeaky wheel. This was a repositioning cruise that came up short as one of the ships engines experienced problems that were not rectified. Our cruise ended 2 ports early and missed another enroute. This was my first Norwegian cruise and will be my last. Poor communication, training and management failing to manage seems to be the primary problem. Yes, a cruise of a lifetime and one that will never be forgotten. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Norwegian Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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