991 Norwegian Pearl Cruise Reviews

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
I was told to go on a cruise, was super amazing experience got to try new foods and the service was outstanding! I am excited to come back and be with npcl! what an amazing week, I will definitely come back with ncl, pearl! thank you for ... Read More
I was told to go on a cruise, was super amazing experience got to try new foods and the service was outstanding! I am excited to come back and be with npcl! what an amazing week, I will definitely come back with ncl, pearl! thank you for the best week ever!!! I will definitely recommend this cruise line to everyone I know. And the food was amazing, super tasty and unique foods! I loved the beds, they’re so warm and comfortable and clean, the rooms were super spacious and clean sanitary + the bathroom was so cute and spacious. I loved the room! I loved the room service. they made our beds, cleaned the towels, replaced the towels, folded the blankets etc. it was amazing they always made sure to check in to make we’re okay and doing well! The cruise director, Tiara was super cool. she knew exactly what was doing and had fun with it! I’d definitely recommend this cruise line to anyone! Thank you for the best week ever!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The Pearl is clean and offers lots of options for food. We didn't try any of the specialty (extra cost) restaurants. But the regular free places offered a good selection, and generally the food was pretty good. The best tasting ... Read More
The Pearl is clean and offers lots of options for food. We didn't try any of the specialty (extra cost) restaurants. But the regular free places offered a good selection, and generally the food was pretty good. The best tasting food were the India dishes. The deserts were disappointingly mediocre. The coffee bar served great tasting espresso drinks, but ordering coffee there is a competitive art because you're competing with the folks at the coffee bar that are ordering liquor. Oh, by the way, all of the liquor offerings were excellent. Great mixed drinks. Generally fast service. The entertainment was ok. Well, the entertainers were all highly skilled. Top quality at their craft. But in aggregate, the shows were just time killers. Nothing memorable. The ship activities include little for active customers. The pool is too small to do laps. The lap track competes with people walking back to the court. We saw a soccer game on the court which was competing with two ongoing basketball games, and there was even a pair who were - at the same time - trying to volley over the net on the same court! The climbing wall was never open. The fitness center had a lot of machines and was active. But things like cleaning towels (to clean the equipment) were sometimes hidden and not often used. As always, it is disappointing that these large ship offer little enlightenment on their destinations. No literature. The briefings consist of sales pitches for shopping ideas or for excursions. River cruises differ markedly from ocean cruises in this area. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
An extremely nice cruise with so many positives and just one negative (the slot pull) experience. We had a very smooth embarkation. I along with my husband were the people who arranged the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet Party and Slot ... Read More
An extremely nice cruise with so many positives and just one negative (the slot pull) experience. We had a very smooth embarkation. I along with my husband were the people who arranged the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet Party and Slot Pull for our cruise. It took a lot of work to make it all come together but it was well worth it. Everyone who took part in our Cruise Critic Roll Call had an excellent time. Anoop, our concierge, took us to a nice sit down lunch at Cagney's Steak House. After a delicious lunch we were able to go to our cabin and free ourselves of our carry on luggage. Soon to follow was our life boat (muster) drill in the Summer Palace Dining Room. Fortunately we were all able to sit down at a nice table with other cruisers who by chance came from my home town. Then, on to the sailaway party we first met up with our fellow roll call members. Our cabin was very spacious and of course it had the best accessible bathroom for anyone with a walking difficulty. We had a wonderful cabin steward Patricia. The bed was very comfortable. The TV had a sleep timer in the remote control which made it much easier to use. Often a special dish would arrive complimentary from either Cary Turecamo, the General Manager, Anoop, the concierge, or Maik Reichelt, the F&B Manager. The wake up service built into the phone was very helpful. Also the room service continental breakfast was complimentary. The hallways by the cabins were easy to use. Usually most cruise lines have wide steward carts making it difficult to pass if you are using a walker. The carts on the Pearl were much narrower than we have seen on other ships. Being handicapped my husband really appreciated this thoughtful idea. We enjoyed having breakfast and lunch in Moderna. The service and food was excellent. The food and service in Cagney's was also good. The food in the buffet was a bit disappointing. However, the guitar playing and singer welcoming you into the buffet were enjoyable, and was a good way to remind passengers to wash their hands. Washy Washy. The Cruise Directors Staff was excellent led by Tiara Gordon. She can be very funny, All the trivia and game shows were always enjoyable. Our favorite show was "Where are we going"? We told Tiara how glad we were that she changed up the questions on the Newlywed Game. It made it much more enjoyable. The comedian Sean Felipe was excellent. The 2 best shows were Pure Variety and Throwback to 1969. Legends in Concert was also enjoyable. We noticed that a lot of cruisers arrived very late for the shows and it was very distracting with so many people walking in during the show. One rude person came in actually having a phone conversation and sat down and continued to talk. We would suggest that the doors be closed after the show starts and advise people to turn their phones off during the performance. We were looking forward to seeing Jim Badger, the piano player, we so enjoyed in the past but found out once on board he is no longer on the Pearl. His replacement was disappointing. They have a huge screen for watching movies in the Atrium but unfortunately it is difficult to hear the sound because of the noise from the bar and front desk area. They should consider adding subtitles on the screen. This would be helpful for those sitting a distance from the screen. All the public rooms are excellent. The pool was very cold but the natives from Canada enjoyed it. They also offer a mechanical lift for the pool for the handicapped. SLOT PULL: The only really negative experience We went to meet the Casino Manager to setup a Slot Pull for our Roll Call. Usually the managers of the casino bend over backwards to make this an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately once we explained to the manger of our plans for the slot pull, it did not go smoothly. First we were told we would have to get approval for the time we wanted to use the one slot machine we picked out and we would have to return later to find out if they got approval. We also asked if the members could have comp drinks for our CC group while we played the slot machine. Other ships usually do this. The manager said that was not possible. We also asked if the participants could receive an NCL souvenir from the casino as a reminder of our fun at the slot pull. Usually other ships offer a few things such things as key chains, sipper cups, tee shirts or caps with the cruise line logo. The manager said the best they could do was to offer 2 bottles of wine for the 2 cruisers who had the highest wins. No NCL logo souvenirs for the Cruise critic slot players. You know this would be good advertising for the ship and the cruise line. At the conclusion the casino cashier refused to give us dollar bills in the denomination we needed so we could evenly split the remainder of the money with the participants. I had to go to Guest Services to break the bills to return money to the slot pull players. We are not talking about large bills but I needed singles to evenly divide the money. Boo, after how well our group was treated by every other staffer on the cruise this really was an anomaly, a real negative. Well we still had a good time with everyone cheering each other on. Debarkation went very smoothly. We had very little time to wait. In conclusion we feel we were warmly welcomed on the Pearl (This our 4th time on this ship and are platinum latitude cruisers.) We would definitely recommend and travel on the NCL Pearl again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
When and where: We sailed on the Norwegian Pearl on a 4 night cruise out of Miami on December 9th. We made one stop at Costa Maya and had two days at sea. Who: This was my 11th cruise, 8 of which have been on Norwegian Cruise ... Read More
When and where: We sailed on the Norwegian Pearl on a 4 night cruise out of Miami on December 9th. We made one stop at Costa Maya and had two days at sea. Who: This was my 11th cruise, 8 of which have been on Norwegian Cruise Lines. This was actually my third cruise on the Pearl. I sailed with my Mom (68), who is retired with my dad and takes 1-2 to cruises a year, mostly on Princess. I also sailed with my sister-in-law (45), who has only cruised a few times, this being her second time on Norwegian. The fourth member of our party was my cousin (33) who is an avid cruiser who has no allegiance to any cruise line and goes with the best deal whether it be NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean. We had two connecting mini-suites. This cruise happened pretty much because I found an amazing deal and mentioned it to my mom who in turned told these other ladies in my family. We hadn't been looking for a trip but we couldn't resist this deal and went for it. The package included airfare, beverage package, dining package, 100 minutes of internet, and $50 shore excursion credit. The deal truly was amazing. We originally booked balconies but the price kept dropping so we were upgraded to mini-suites. NCL Air program: I know a lot of people wonder about this so I wanted to mention that we were very happy with the flights NCL put us on. We flew on American Airlines from Chicago to Miami the morning of the cruise, with a flight leaving at 5am. While that was stupid early, we knew it meant we shouldn't have a problem getting to the ship on time. Our return flight was from Fort Lauderdale and departed at 11:54am. Absolutely perfect times, no complaints. Embarkation: Thanks to our very early flight, we were at the pier before security even opened. We only had to wait about 5 minutes before they started letting people through, I think it was 10am. Check in was a breeze and we were in the waiting area before they even set up the photo backdrop. It was very hot so we all changed our of our Chicago winter clothes in the bathrooms while waiting. We were boarding group 1 and we were allowed to board at 11:30. The sheet we had been given told us that the dining room would be open for lunch so we headed there after dropping off our luggage in the Bliss. Unfortunately the dining room didn't open until noon and we hadn't eaten anything all day so we went to the buffet instead. Besides that, embarkation was a breeze. Our rooms were ready at 2pm and our luggage arrived by 3pm. The Cabin: My mom and I were in room 11050 while the rest of our group was in 11052, which was a connecting stateroom. We found it interesting that the connecting doors are locked and you have to have the steward unlock them. Once we did, those doors stayed open the entire trip so it was like we had a two bedroom/two bathroom suite. I had sailed on a regular balcony suite last time and I think the balconies on the mini suites were larger. After sailing the Getaway last time, I was so happy to see these balconies where you can actually stretch out. Our balcony had a lounge chair on it, like one of the ones you find pool side. I don't think it was supposed to be there as that and the two chairs and table made it crowded out there. We still used it. The other balcony did not have the lounge chair. The suite was very spacious, plenty of room for me and my Mom. We didn't use all the drawers or hangers. The bathroom is that split style that I love and it had a tub. The sides of the tub were VERY high. I'm in my 40s but I still had to us the handle to get in and out. I did have knee surgery last year and I was kinda worried about re-injury getting in and out of the tub. The handle was a huge help. Our steward was fine, we only met him once. My only complaint is that I actually like to use the cabin and prefer the balcony to the pool side but he didn't make up the room until very late in the day. Once it was 3pm and he still hadn't come by. I thought that was kinda weird. I would sit on the balcony so he could see me and not accidentally lock me out while cleaning. The Ship: Obviously I like this ship, or I wouldn't have booked a 3rd trip on her. She had had an refresh since I last sailed in 2016 and it was all positive. Everything was clean and looked great. My only complaint was that they got rid of the ridiculous colorful sofas in Spinnaker and replaced them with sensible tables and chairs. I loved to read on those silly couches during the day so I missed them but I get why they were replaced. Moderno had been moved and O'Sheenan's added since my last cruise. Besides that, she still was the same great ship. I love her layout and find her very easy to navigate. The crew is all amazing. Absolutely no complaints about any of the crew. The bartenders and wait staff were friendly and had no issues with the beverage package. I think it helps that they no longer have to have us sign the receipts. They also had figured out the system and would often bring us two drinks when we ordered just one so they could mark it as two and get double the gratuity. I had no problem with that. Or if you ordered a drink, they'd give you a double which technically is over the $15 limit but they would enter it into the system as two separate drinks so there'd be no charge. We never had a problem getting drinks. All the waiters in the restaurants were wonderful. Everyone greeted us with a smile and was always very happy to help. Wonderful crew on the Pearl. Food and Drink: We ate two breakfasts in the dining room and two in the buffet. Food was great both places. We ate 2 lunches in the buffet and 1 in O'Sheenans. All great (love the fajitas in O'Sheenans.) For dinner, we ate twice in the Summer Palace dining room, once in Lotus Garden and once in Le Bistro. For some reason, the other dining room, Indigo, always had a 30 minute wait while Summer Palace was always instant seating. There seemed to be a lot of new-to-cruising passengers and I can only guess they thought Summer Palace was too fancy or was a charge restaurant. One dinner we ate in Summer Palace was amazing while the other was downright horrible. The appetizers were always good (mmmm, bruchetta) but the main dish on second night was overcooked and inedible (three of us ordered it and it was the same for all of us). That was the only bad meal. Our food in Lotus Garden was so good. And Le Bistro was absolutely amazing. The mushroom soup was to die for and the steak I had literally melted in my mouth. Absolutely perfect. I really like that if you ordered a glass of wine, they would leave the bottle nearby and fill it as often as needed. So we still were only billed by the glass so it cost us nothing with the beverage package. The Norwegian Red Blend is a really good wine. It's obvious the mixed drinks are watered down but still tasty. I'm a big fan of the Miami Vice or the Mango Meltdown. The drink called Grass Clippings is great too, though one of my bartenders had to pull out a guide sheet on how to make it. Some bars pour wine glasses heavier than others but the serving was never too little. Overall, the beverage package was great for us and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Fellow Passengers: It was clear that a lot of the people on this cruise were newbies. That wasn't a problem, just something I noticed. There were barely any kids and I didn't see any college aged people either. It seemed to be mostly older people, like my age and up. And everyone was incredibly friendly. I never talked to so many random people on a cruise before. It was really nice and fun to meet so many people. There were for sure some people who had enjoyed their drink too much but nothing crazy happened. Overall my fellow passengers were all great. The sign at the front desk said the ship was sold out but it never seemed crowded anywhere to me. Finding a seat by the pool was never hard to do. Costa Maya: For our one stop at Costa Maya, we had booked a excursion on our own through Native Choice. We had to walk to the bus which was a bit of a hike but nothing bad. The tour was to a Mayan ruin and then to a Mayan house for lunch. The tour was amazing and everything we hoped for. There were 4 ships in port so the ruins were very crowded but it was still well managed. The lunch we were served was incredible as well. Our tour guide Enrique and our driver Edgar were great. After the tour, we tried to shop in the port but it was just too crowded. One of the ships in port was the second largest cruise ship in the world so that made it even harder. Days at Sea: It was kinda weird having 2 days at sea for a 4 night cruise but it was part of the appeal to us. We just wanted to relax and these days at sea made that more possible. The second day was an adventure as it was super windy. Deck chairs were blowing over, as well as drinks. It rained and hailed for a bit and they closed the upper decks after that. The wind was insane but that didn't ruin the day for us. We did the wine and chocolate pairing as well as the wine and cheese pairing (both had an extra cost but were well worth it). As I stated above, the ship never felt crazy crowded even on the days at sea so that was nice. We didn't do any of the other activities (bingo, art shows, etc). Entertainment: The live music by the pool was very good, better than I've heard on other ships. The Not-So-Newlywed show was hilarious as always. We did see the comedian and I hate to say but he was really bad. Made some off color jokes that had people walking out of the theater. I actually fell asleep during the show too. Disembarkation: Things seemed a little crazy for getting off the ship. We were doing self walk off and started our trek around 8:30. By then, they hadn't called any colors yet which was kinda odd. I saw a few people complaining that they had a flight to catch, why weren't any colors being called? I still don't really know what happened with that but we got in the line full of people doing self walk off. The line was long but moving...until suddenly it wasn't. We were standing on the deck with a full view of the terminal and I could see the fire alarms flashing. I mentioned this to my family but they all thought I was wrong because we could see people still slowing walking through it. After about 15 minutes, they announced that in fact the terminal's fire alarm had gone off and they were stopping disembarkation until the fire department could check the building. Our flight was at noon out of Ft. Lauderdale so this had us in a bit of a panic. People were cutting in line and demanding special treatment to get off the ship as soon as possible. I felt like the crew could have pushed back on these people more but instead were sticking with their friendly dispositions. It was probably 45 minutes before they opened the terminal back up and we were quickly sent through customs and on our bus and at the airport in plenty of time. The fire alarm was obviously not NCL's fault so I have no complaint. I'm glad we hadn't left our luggage for NCL to take care of as that seemed to not be going well but I really don't know. Overall: We had a great time. We relaxed, we drank, we ate, we had fun. We never felt nickel and dimed for anything, I still don't understand why people complain about that. The only charges on my bill were for things I bought in the gift shop and taxes for the drinks I ordered while we were docked in Miami and the daily service charge. Was never pushed to pay for anything else. I still love NCL and would love to sail them again but with all the price increases going on, I'm not sure I'll actually be able to. We'll see. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Overall we had a fantastic time. Really enjoyed the Peal everything was beyond our expectations; service, food, cabin steward and excursions. The best restaurant was Le Bistro we were delighted when the coffee came it was a French Press! ... Read More
Overall we had a fantastic time. Really enjoyed the Peal everything was beyond our expectations; service, food, cabin steward and excursions. The best restaurant was Le Bistro we were delighted when the coffee came it was a French Press! Best dessert the tiramisu in La Cucina. The only thing I have to say about La Cucina it looks more like a Mexican restaurant that Italian. We had Thanksgiving dinner in Summer Place which was very good. Both MDRs were great. For coffee lovers there is one coffee machine right before you go out to the great outdoors that grinds actual coffee beans. We called it “the machine”. The great outdoors was the best place to eat breakfast or afternoon snack or oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip or my personal favorite banana bread cake! It would have been very nice to have a map included in the Freestyle for Grand Stirrup Cay took a little bit to find where to get the umbrellas and taco restaurant. I have to say that it is difficult to bowl while you are on a ship. The entertainment was great nothing was repeated. Really enjoyed each show. Will for sure cruise again on NCL Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We joined this cruise with friends that had already booked. A surprising 1st time adventure in a cruise ship. We were concerned about sea-sickness, turned out to be not an issue at all. The cruise was 11 days and it was hardly enough ... Read More
We joined this cruise with friends that had already booked. A surprising 1st time adventure in a cruise ship. We were concerned about sea-sickness, turned out to be not an issue at all. The cruise was 11 days and it was hardly enough time to experience all that the ship has to offer. Getting on and off the ship was sometimes a challenging experience, I think there must be something they could do to expedite the process. The food was excellent. We ate in ALL the restaurants. I would recommend the inclusive drink package - makes things so much easier. The NCL casual dress policy is a real incentive for us, who wants to put a jacket and tie on vacation every day? I would recommend NCL to everyone. We found the initial booking a negative experience, rushed by the NCL agent, felt pressured to complete "Right now", without clear details. Followup calls to the agent had to be placed multiple times and had no additional info. Their goal is clear: " Make The Sale! " I would not book directly with NCL again. Rather use a travel agent I think. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This cruise was a wonderful way to see European cities, Azores and Bermuda. Also it was fun to not have to fly back from Europe to the U.S. The ship is older but in great shape and the crew and all staff seemed to be very experienced ... Read More
This cruise was a wonderful way to see European cities, Azores and Bermuda. Also it was fun to not have to fly back from Europe to the U.S. The ship is older but in great shape and the crew and all staff seemed to be very experienced and friendly. The cruise line excursions were well done and had a nice range of prices. Freestyle dinning worked out well. The ship also had a crepe making station and an ice cream shop along with soft serve so you could get a variety of ice cream with your regular dessert. There were multiple areas serving breakfast buffets so never had to wait for custom made eggs. For some reason it was really hard to get smoked salmon, but would appear from time to time. We really appreciated the daily availability of yogurt and fresh cut fruit. Keeping all this food fresh for a long cruise was amazing. Also I must say the crew seemed obsessed with the cleanliness of the food areas, it was greatly appreciated. We also seem to have really lucked out on weather, though not in Norwegians control, when it comes to cruises you would prefer to be lucky. Thanks to Norwegian for the great cruise and, we really appreciated the Platinum level Latitude perks. We will definitely look into NCL cruises first. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
An amazing cruise exposing us to new areas that we definitely want to return to for a longer vacation. The ship, the service, the food and itinerary were just perfect for us. We liked that we were in a different port in a different part ... Read More
An amazing cruise exposing us to new areas that we definitely want to return to for a longer vacation. The ship, the service, the food and itinerary were just perfect for us. We liked that we were in a different port in a different part of the world every day. We took several ship organized tours which were very well done and provided us with background information on the sites we were visiting. By using the ships tours we always were assured that we would be back in time for the ships departure or if something did happen that the ship would wait on our return. Free style dining was also a hit with us. Being able to dress, go for a drink and enjoy some of the many entertainment venues without worrying about being to dinner at a certain time was great. Some days we toured and had a light lunch and were ready for dinner early and other days we ended up eating after we returned to the ship at 8 or later. All in all this was a great cruise that is at the top of our list of all the cruises we've taken. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have been looking for a long time and we thought we got a great value for our money ! It took a long time before I felt comfortable enough to be on a big ship for a long time. All of that worry went out the window when we first boarded ... Read More
We have been looking for a long time and we thought we got a great value for our money ! It took a long time before I felt comfortable enough to be on a big ship for a long time. All of that worry went out the window when we first boarded the ship...If all the cruises on Norwegian are like this you might just have a customer for life...The entertainment was wonderful and balanced with something for everybody... It would be prudent in this day and age to make certain sexual and gender innuendos that might insult some of your passengers.... not being preachy just a word of caution...Otherwise I will look forward to returning again! The food choices were more than adequate and the service staff was excellent..We only wish that on some of the ports there was more time to to be able and enjoy the surroundings more like an overnight stay__say like a day and a half rather than just a few hours...But the experience was not diminished....WELL DONE! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We took the 11-day cruise in the Mediterranean to fantastic ports of call. We did excursions most days, which is the best way to do it as the ports can be busy with limited transportation for people without excursions booked. The ... Read More
We took the 11-day cruise in the Mediterranean to fantastic ports of call. We did excursions most days, which is the best way to do it as the ports can be busy with limited transportation for people without excursions booked. The customer service is over the top! The associates really cared about your experience and did everything to ensure it was a great one. The food and specialty dining options were awesome! You felt like you were in your favorite restaurant but didn’t have to pay!!! The ship is very clean and offers great value and all the amenities you would want! I have been on a lot of cruises before. My stateroom was the best. It was laid out great and very spacious for a cruise ship. The entertainment on the ship was awesome, both in the theater and in the bars/lounges/restaurants. High quality performers that made you feel great The value provided by NCL Pearl is exceptional. I don't know how they do it!! I highly recommend this cruise to people that want to see great countries along the Mediterranean Sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We always wanted to do a cruise to Venice and the Greek Islands. Norwegian offered this cruise which suited us perfectly. The ship and crew were great. Great food lots of restaurants to choose from. Cabins 9076 was great with a great ... Read More
We always wanted to do a cruise to Venice and the Greek Islands. Norwegian offered this cruise which suited us perfectly. The ship and crew were great. Great food lots of restaurants to choose from. Cabins 9076 was great with a great guy who cleaned up our room every day. Lots of bars to choose from. Also great entertainment in the Stardust Theatre. Shore excursions were great but found them a little expensive. We would definitely choose Norwegian again. Great trip. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Found the crew very friendly and helpful. Great choice of single entertainers. Ship was very stable no rocking. Seemed very organized when tendering the passengers to places that the ship could not port. Very pleased the captain went into Santorinni even though it was very windy and other ships cancelled. That was one highlight of the trip. Also great port to start out in as we went 2days in advance to Venice. Really enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'm surprised there were so many poor reviews of this cruise-ship as my husband and I thought it was amazing! Perhaps b/c the cruise contains primarily older people (>50years) they are less impressed or adaptable? My husband and I ... Read More
I'm surprised there were so many poor reviews of this cruise-ship as my husband and I thought it was amazing! Perhaps b/c the cruise contains primarily older people (>50years) they are less impressed or adaptable? My husband and I are in our 30's, we stayed in a room with a port window on the bottom deck but still found this trip amazing. The ship was very clean including our staterooms.. The staff were professional, warm, and welcoming, and efficient with all services. We thought all dinning options (exception of the sushi/lotus-garden) were delicious - even the daily buffet had a lot of variety and good quality food. The on/off for shore excursions were well organized. We were disappointed in the limited amount of time we had on Santorini - it was only 4 hours but we could have used 8. The entertainment was good but not great (we loved the solo violinist!). We would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We loved this cruise, it was our first time . The room, the food, the entertainment, the service, all the specialty restaurants, fantastic... met some wonderful Aussi’s , and people from all over ! Loved the itinerary and all the tours ... Read More
We loved this cruise, it was our first time . The room, the food, the entertainment, the service, all the specialty restaurants, fantastic... met some wonderful Aussi’s , and people from all over ! Loved the itinerary and all the tours we did .. We used Italytours for 3 of our tours and they were great especially Lucca, Ludo our tour guide in Pompei..... we are now looking forward to cruising somewhere again ........ Definitely go see all the entertainment that is offered its great .... We had dinner in almost all of the restaurants that were offered ! Loved hanging in the Atrium for cocktails, people watching and getting info on your next port . My dream trip was to sail the Greek islands and it certainly didn’t disappoint me, yes I would have loved to have spent more time in some of the places like Santorini and Mykonos..... My husbands favourite place was Pompei...... Read Less
Sail Date September 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. 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
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
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
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
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
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and had sailed previously on the Pearl and knew we loved this ship. We enjoyed every detail of every day onboard the Pearl! From our captains ( Captain Paul went on vacation mid cruise and Captain Gio ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and had sailed previously on the Pearl and knew we loved this ship. We enjoyed every detail of every day onboard the Pearl! From our captains ( Captain Paul went on vacation mid cruise and Captain Gio took over), General Manager (Cary Turecamo, who showed us such kindness and kept all aspects of the ship running smoothly), Jana (Group Sevice Coordinator), Alex (Concierge, who graciously helped us with so many questions), and Claudia Ungureanu (CFA, who we loved getting to know and was so generous with her kindness to us) we were taken care of so very well! We had free air travel as one of our perks and all went smoothly. We flew from JFK on Delta to Amsterdam and KLM on our trip back to the states. Both flights were smoother and we were served 2 meals, along with free wifi and current movies. We arrived at the airport Saturday morning and found a representative for our bus transfer easily. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze for us. The entertainment was varied for many interests. They even had local group come on board to entertain in Ireland. My favorite show, though, was the Crew Talent Show. This crew is a wonderful group of caring people and it was so fun to get to see them shine in their talents! Our food was delicious. We ate in the main dining area most nights and ate in Le Bistro and Cagneys also. For breakfast and lunch we were blessed to dine in Modernos! Oh, my! The staff there were wonderful and the food was excellent! We were spoiled! We also ate in O'sheehans and at the buffet. Needless to say, we didn't miss a meal. There's a great coffee machine on the back near the Great Outdoors dining area....freshly ground beans. Excellent regular or decaf. The Great Outdoors is the perfect place to eat with wonderful views off the back of the ship. We had a very full itinerary visiting Scotland, Ireland, N Ireland, Norway, France, England, and Belgium. We cannot decide which port was our favorite! We had wonderful weather ( a little rain off and on on one of our days in Scotland), but all other days were beautiful! Do take a rain/windbreaker. I had mine daily and used it for times that it was breezy. We saw such varied beauty in each port that it was breathtaking each day! Wonderful! Our port excursions were as follows: Edinburgh, Scotland Woke @ 5:30...upstairs to see sail in.  Tender over was nice.  Caught hoho very near port.  Easy and a rep helped us with ticket exchange. Bus at 9. Rode several stops and changed to green bus for live commentary. Fun knowledge. Beautiful day...sunny and warmer than we"d hoped. Did the route our on the bus and got off to walk Royal Mile...and find Greyfriars Bobby.bar and cemetery.  Ate at Biblia for fish & chips and soup.  Very good and cute place with good music and wifi. Shopped some then finished the route and back to ship. Tender back was a "TRIP"!!! Wavy and in a lifeboat...what a ride!!!  Rocking and rolling.  Invergordon, Scotland Off to meet Wow Scotland tour.  Nice new van holding 30? Graham..driver, Sandy was tour guide..he was wonderful.. very witty and knowledgeable.  We went to the Edinburgh castle first, with stops for talks along the walk there.  The castle was outside-only viewing but gorgeous views of city and River. Back to the bus for a trip to the Monastery...beautiful area with huge trees and gravesites. On through the highlands with beautiful green vistas of mountains, water, fields of barley for whiskey...yellow fields of canola, pastures of cows, sheep, llamas, pigs, even long haired Scotland cows (coos). Many babies...cows, sheep, swans, chickens, and sea birds.  We had cloudy skies and cold winds but everything was still breathtakingly beautiful.  A yellow Bush, that has stickers but smells like coconut, was everywhere.  Unbelievably lush rhododendron just taking over the sides of roadway ... not native but thriving and invasive. Thistle  just looks brushy, as does lavender...blooms in August but has slight purple hues, not overwhelming like photos appear.  Made it along winding country (1car) roads to Loch Ness ...it is a huge lake, can't see it all!  Didn't see Nessie but we did see rain!  It was an off and on rain all day but didn't overwhelm and we had raingear. It was never hard rain, just slight drizzle but pesky. We went to a battlefield and I didn't walk out to it since raining and very windy/cold.  I did listen to info, then shopped in gift store. Next was Clava Cairns...beautiful and interesting displays of rocks, along with great info of history and folk tales which surrounds them. Very  interesting day with unforgettable scenery! Back onboard ship by 3 to depart at 4.  We were serenaded by an 8-10 piece Highland band...bagpipes & drums.  Played until we were almost unable to see them. Wonderful send off from Invergordon!  Haugesund, Norway... Out on deck while docking.  Beautiful. Off at 11. Free shuttle into town center where we caught the city bus 210 to Skudeneshavn.  It was a beautiful 90 min ride.  We passed thru smaller towns, saw homes, fields of sheep (Rocks piled in lines to form borders between properties. Many little fishing boat hamlets.  So pretty.  Skudeneshavn was so beautiful.  Rows of white houses and buildings with shops and restaurants. All along the most beautiful seaside scenery. The sun came out and we took off jackets...not sure temps but would guess 70s. I walked a trail through a wooded rocky area and saw the Moon stone...local lore is that a meteorite fell but geologists say 800 million years old and think it washed up there with shift from the melt. Interesting. Caught bus back and had the cutest driver...very nice to us, and very professional to be so young. Back in Haugesund to shop and walk around.  Much to see and not much time but enjoyed.  Shuttle back to port at 5. Got windy and cold. Flam, Norway.. Awake 5:30...up to watch entry thru fjords to Flam..breath taking scenery. Quiet and majestic. Off by 8...very easy disembark straight to RR sta.  Stood in line to make sure but already had tickets printed via internet. The ride was great! Scenery amazing.  An hour to top with quick stop for pics of huge waterfall and dancing maiden.  Got video.  Many people got off to stay a bit...some rode bikes down.  Sun came out b4 we got to top.   On decks to see sail away.  Late again due to late passengers..2 this time.  Backing out of port no room to turn yet. Turned on a dime! Amazing! Hated to leave the outside.  Geiranger, Norway... Breakfast to wonderful views of fjord. A few passengers got off in Hellesint. Then we cruised on thru Geiranger Fjord, the longest fjord.Highest waterfalls. Outside to take pics of 7 sisters and Suitor Waterfalls.  Very breezy and cold but surreal. So quiet and majestic. Sitting for great view in Moderno area with chairs.  Nice music. Perfect. Watched Norwegian moving pier...their design.  Like a folding measurer... scissors out to boat...didn't have to dock at pier or be tendered. Great invention. Off before 11.  Beautuful sunshine..warm temps...no jacket needed and by end of day...long sleeves too warm.  No internet here...had it but never connected for us. I walked a path that went around the water and wound by a school, old folks home, church and camp ground.  Many people camping....mainly small campers and many tents. Lovely area right at base of waterfall.  I walked along to near the top of waterfall.  Beautiful, forceful and so clear. Back to shop some b4 tour at 1. Big bus that went on hairpin curves all the way to top...took an hour with 2 viewing stops.  Beautiful...in the snow at the top but not windy and we were warm.  Buses and cars must stop to take turns making curves.  Amazing driving by our driver. We saw so many views of waterfalls, a huge frozen lake and many places to stay overnight.  Saw no wildlife. The top had many photo ops and we stayed half an hour. They're working on a bldg up there so will change soon.  The road closes in early Oct ...impassable.  Has to thaw in late spring b4 any travel on it.  There was an avalanche leading into Geiranger in Dec and they were stuck for 10 days with no transport other than the ferry to Hellesint...takes an hour. We then went to another overlook that had views of 7 sisters waterfalls from different angle.  Also a glass area that a waterfall flows over so u can see thru it. Back onboard at 4.  Cpt speaking now saying we'll  be late because some tour cruise excursions are running late.  Belfast, N Ireland...Giants Causeway Tour was excellent! Driver, guide. FUNNY! David. This tour was great!  We covered Dunlace Castle, Giants Causeway, 2 more castles, old town Belfast with history and reasons.  Saw walled off areas and gates dividing streets and neighbors.  Sad time for them.  But he was SO happy that Belfast has changed *miracle* and growing.  Seeing things they would never have seen in the 70s. So many deaths and devastation.  Saw Titanic memorial... also saw new area of downtown Belfast.  Thru the days we drive through moors, seaside cliffs, beaches near water, farmlands full of sheep and cows.  We also went thru many glens and saw the beauty of so many different kinds of terrain. Throughout the trip, he talked of folklore and history and made everything so interesting.  Never a dull moment.  We heard of trolls, banshees, giants.  Best tour guide ever and certainly worth the price for a day full of beauty and knowledge about Belfast. We ate at a pub at Giants causeway...fish and chips..very good and cute pub. 13.75 pounds. Order at bar and tell table # ...they serve you. Also bus had wifi and a bag in each seat with water, chips, a frig magnet, and postcard.  Great welcome gesture. Back to the ship just in time to board with a few min to spare.  No shopping near port so wasn't tempted to linger. Dublin, Ireland Got off easily in port..just went on our own. Took shuttle to city centre $15 pp... pick up right off ship. Then dropped at Stop 10 (Merrion Square) of hoho...got green bus with live commentary.  Jokes getting a little off color...not for kids.  Got off at Ha Penny Bridge for pics, then walked 2 blocks to pubs & shops.  Wandered around.  Ate fish & chips at Leo Burdocks..neat little pub where many famous folks have eaten. Used to use coal for fuel to fry fish and chips.  Cod very fresh, white, crisp crust. Chips wonderful thick sliced French fries. Went to St Stephens Park..huge with tons of tourists enjoying nature.  Also went to Trinity College. Looked a bit more and found bus to head back at 5.  We lucked out on weather AGAIN.  Few sprinkles for few min but we weren't out in it. Le Havre, France... Off ship at 8 to nice clean port bldg. Nothing but a place to buy shuttle to town centre. 5 Euros for all day riding.  Gift shop closed still.  Rainy looking.  Going prepared with umbrellas and rain coats.  Le Havre is beautiful but we had plans for Hon Fluer. We walked around for a couple of hours and saw many statues, beautiful churches and buildings. Le Havre was destroyed during WW11 and was rebuilt to reflect its former glory. World Soccer being held here...US womens team plays tomorrow...they won! 11:00 bus to Hon Fleur for 3 hours.  Half hour ride over on Bee Le Havre. Already had tickets from online. Hon Fleur was so pretty.  Beautiful old buildings, churches and a fortress surrounding a port area.  Picturesque views in every direction. It was windy and cool after our 30 min shuttle from Le Havre. But in just a few min the sun was out again and jackets came off.  We watched a pirates ship getting ready to sail and when it started away from shore, fired cannons 4 times.  There were many different plaques and memorials to those who died in WW2...including American soldiers. Among other nationalities. We shared a jambon baguette and frites for lunch ..deja vue moment from 1973. Really nice to be back in France together. After walking around to see everything and a little shopping,  it was time to head back to the ship. Rain held off for our day until we were walking from the shuttle to the ship.  Got a little wet but our raincoats helped. Tilbury, England... Docked at 9. Walked to train station from port...15 min. Brisk walking along nice sidewalk. Bought tickets easily since we beat 1st shuttle bus to station. ( free shuttle) 40 min train ride to Fenchurch station.  Nice train...commuters. off to the Sky Garden.  Had free tour tickets for 11:30. Went thru security before allowed to go up to 35th floor. Elevators fast and continuous run up and down.  At top were wonderful views of London and Thames River.  Going up more stairs gave views of 360.  Different views highlighted on windows with titled bldgs. Down to catch hoho.  Got yellow line with live commentary. Rode to see all around, then swapped to blue line to go by Kensington and Buckingham Palace...mainly can only see gardens...slight/quick view thru gardens.  Rode until time to walk back to Fenchurch by 5 to catch train. No problems. Walked back to ship. his trip was a dream trip for us! Brugges, Belgium We had a shuttle from ship to port building.  Then we took shuttle express to Brugges...it took about half an hour.  We were glad to have pre purchased because they were full. It was 20 each.  The ship offered one for 15 but only took folks to the train station, then they had to get from there to Brugges. They can't deliver to city center so we all walked to town ...took about 30minutes to the square.  We looked around a bit and decided to take a horse drawn carriage ride.  We shared with a couple from Australia and paid 25 euros per couple for a 30 min tour around the old part of the city. (50 Eu for carriage) It was nice on the cobblestone streets. There are so many old beautiful buildings! She took a 5 min break to feed and water Adeline (horse)...we took a pics of swans and surroundings. Finished our tour and went to find canal boat tour.  There was quite a line, but a beautiful day and well worth the wait! Our "captain" was young and very well spoken in English ...also knew so many details about the sites we saw.  The ride was half an hour and we saw so many places and heard the historic details of them.  He was a very good guide.  Also, I sat next to him so had a great view and could hear perfectly. We went to find Belgian Waffles.  YUM! Strawberry and whipped cream on a freshly made waffle from Chez Albert.  So delish..sat on the steps to eat it.  We bought frites from a stand...also very good.  The streets were crowded with people enjoying the day, shopping, listening to street music, eating, loving life. SO many people! I shopped a little more then we headed out on our walk back to the shuttle.  Stopped for a quick walk in Minnewater Park.  Beautiful! Could stay there for hours! So many enjoying the beautiful weather with friends and family. Many locals riding bikes...many school children on tours. Back on shuttle to ship was perfect timing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We initially chose the cruise for the itinerary from Amsterdam which included British Isles,Norway, Normandy and Belgium. We did a combination of NCL excursions and private excursions and all met or exceeded our expectations with special ... Read More
We initially chose the cruise for the itinerary from Amsterdam which included British Isles,Norway, Normandy and Belgium. We did a combination of NCL excursions and private excursions and all met or exceeded our expectations with special note to all 3 excursions in Norway(the majestic fjords were breathtaking), the tour at Giants Causeway with Nigel of Daria ( best 6 pounds I ever spent) and excellent job of Kurt to show us the wonders of Bruge, Belgium The crew on NCL were excellent with special mention of Victor our stateroom attendant, Nikola and Monika in Magnums, Emerson the best bar tender on the high seas in the Whiskey Bar, Cary the most visible and friendliest Hotel GM I have ever experienced, Red our waiter in Summer Palace who has a good voice as well, Stephen Macha Macha wine steward and deck attendant, Cristyna and bar tenders in the Casino and so many other people in restaurants and bars. Thank you and Salamat to all. Entertainment was very good with special mention to great job by Patricia in Magnums, Funky Roots in various locales, The Pearl show singers and dancers and the presentation of Legends Dining was very good to excellent with all 4 meals in Specialty restaurants with our favourite being Cagney's . In the Summer Palace main ding room food was good to very good with our expereience being enhanced by fun and efficient service from Red and his assistant waiter. Dining room captains more attentive than what we usually see. The Buffet was good for breakfast and food good in O Sheehans with service a little uneven. We were so busy with excursions on most did not take in too many activities but did play trivia quite a bit and the activity staff were friendly. Thank you staff on NCl Pearl for a great vacation for my wife and me and our four other travel companions Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We booked last minute, so right price, right ports and right ship Overall very impressed, but let me break it down. The entertainment was varied, highlight being FUNKY ROOTS who entertained for everyone, the shows were a mixed bag, a ... Read More
We booked last minute, so right price, right ports and right ship Overall very impressed, but let me break it down. The entertainment was varied, highlight being FUNKY ROOTS who entertained for everyone, the shows were a mixed bag, a late night comedian would of been great, also Ge Luz who played some great music in Atrium. The cabin was small, with a bunk bed taking half of the room which we did not require and toliet poory positioned, but Maria was accomodating in every way. Towels were soft and shower powerful which is not the norm. Cruise staff should be more personable than spending time dancing.. All in all, a small ship with personal service which gave us a great holiday overall. I had food poisoning one night due to buffet food left too long outside. We did not use ship shore excursions as ridicously priced and felt shuttle fees are outrageous bearing in mind we arrive and nowhere to go if you dont pay? Food and drink service was superb, in every outlet. staff had a good command of English which is rare to find on some ships and a joy to converse with. The ports were very good, always something to do if you wanted, the local towns a delight. Breakfast in restaurant closes too early and only place you can find smoked salmon? Too much paperwork handed out for daily schedule, so a free online app should be provided, not one you had to pay for. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was round trip from Amsterdam and one of our favorite itineraries. It was easy to get to pier on your own and in the city center which allowed easy access to pre and post cruise time exploring the city. We stayed at the ... Read More
This cruise was round trip from Amsterdam and one of our favorite itineraries. It was easy to get to pier on your own and in the city center which allowed easy access to pre and post cruise time exploring the city. We stayed at the Airport Sheraton which had convenient train access to the city for around 5.5 euros. Nice hotel - great accommodations and very quiet. We checked in and headed to explore the city as soon as we arrived. Also took the train to Central station which was within walking distance (even with luggage) to the passenger cruise terminal. The ship was great and size was ideal! The staff was very friendly and willing to go the extra mile. Bartenders were fantastic! Remembering your orders from day to day and making you feel special! Hostesses at the complimentary and specialty dining rooms were very pleasant and always tried to accommodate your request of seating locations, etc. Buffet was a bit crowded in the mornings, but typical of port days. Ports of call were the best part of this trip. Every port was interesting, the tour guides were exceptional. We booked our excursions through the ship as we had a package with the excursion credit. Best tours were in Poland and St. Petersburg, Russia. "Hermitage in the Evening" excursion was our favorite tour - the museum was closed for part of our tour, so the crowds were gone. However, all ports had wonderful museums! We did Hop on/Hop off in several of the cities and with our previous research were able to maximize the places to explore with the red bus. Specialty restaurants were very good and the service was wonderful. We enjoyed all of the venues offered and enjoyed the variety. Used the spa and as usual, they have the strong sales pitch at the end of any treatment. Very much dislike this as it detracts from the expensive services they provide. Entertainment variety was great. Always enjoy the different artists they bring on the ship on the longer cruises...as the productions shows are repeated throughout the fleet. We have traveled with NCL before, but this ship, passengers and the crew seemed to be in sync with us. Crew seems to be a cut above! We met so many interesting and wonderful people on this trip. NCL does a wonderful job at embarkation & disembarkation - they seem to have a system that reduces the chaos of busiest days. Would highly recommend this ship & this itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise as we were interested in visiting the ports in Scotland, Ireland and Norway in particular. Had great weather and smooth seas for the whole cruise which made it so much more enjoyable. The highlight of our cruise was ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we were interested in visiting the ports in Scotland, Ireland and Norway in particular. Had great weather and smooth seas for the whole cruise which made it so much more enjoyable. The highlight of our cruise was without doubt the ports in Norway (Bergen, Flam and Geiranger). The scenery was absolutely amazing. We have sailed with NCL on many occasions and now enjoy Platinum Plus benefits which is an added bonus. As usual, the service provided by the crew was exceptional and the food in the main dining room was of a very good standard. Of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro & Cagneys were the standouts. The entertainment overall was not as good as on previous cruises. That is not to say that there weren’t some good shows but we aren’t that keen on magicians/mentalist type performances. One area we feel NCL could lift their performance is in providing more detailed information on the ports to be visited in a timely manner. Not everyone does an excursion in every port and so it would be good to have this information to be able to plan what you want to do in advance. Read Less
Sail Date May 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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