232 Norwegian Pearl Cruise Reviews

The cruise itself was fairly good, but their hidden service fee that was $180 for a 2 1/2 day trip is excessive. They hide it up front, add it to your account bill which you only get at the last minute, and if you don't ask to get it ... Read More
The cruise itself was fairly good, but their hidden service fee that was $180 for a 2 1/2 day trip is excessive. They hide it up front, add it to your account bill which you only get at the last minute, and if you don't ask to get it adjusted before you leave the boat they won't refund it or adjust it. $180 amounts to a 15% increase in the cost of a ticket. I'm all for tipping, and would have left a generous one, but the deception and trickery used by cruise ships to force a tip amount is just wrong. In regard to the overall trip the ship had lots of dining options and the food was good. We traveled Royal Caribbean before and the ship was a bit less dated, but the difference was minimal. Almost all of the onboard staff was helpful and friendly. The only other issue I had is the keycards they gave us on entering didn't work, which meant we had to go to guest service as soon as we got on the ship to get them fixed. Guest services had long lines and it was a pain. Not a good start, and I'd suggest that when there is an error on their part they try to fix it in a customer friendly way instead of making the customer stand in a line for an hour because of their mistake. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
AVOID this ship if you have any BREATHING/HEALTH ISSUES and if you want to avoid SECOND-HAND SMOKE. The Casino, where smoking is permitted, is not enclosed, but is part of a passageway necessary to move around the ship. The smoke ... Read More
AVOID this ship if you have any BREATHING/HEALTH ISSUES and if you want to avoid SECOND-HAND SMOKE. The Casino, where smoking is permitted, is not enclosed, but is part of a passageway necessary to move around the ship. The smoke emanating from the casino spreads freely to Deck 6 & Deck 7, including the lounge areas, Asian complimentary restaurant, Starlight theatre, Indigo dining hall, to name a few. Smoking is also permitted at the Sky-High Bar, even though Customer Service did not identify it as a smoking area. "Customer Service" is a misnomer - it should be called "Customer DIS-Service". Unfortunately the smoke situation detracted from every other part of the cruise. The food at the Summer Palace was excellent in both presentation and flavour. But inexplicably, the hostess tried to sit us next to the service area stacked with dirty dishes two of the four times we dined there. The indoor and outdoor buffets were excellent - lots of variety, but the desserts were just average. The entertainment was good in the venues we could attend (away from smoky areas) and Tiara the cruise director was hilarious. The cabin was a decent size (oceanview picture window) and all the cabin stewards we encountered in the hallways were very pleasant. This was our 9th cruise and our 3rd one with NCL. Due to the smoke situation and the Customer Dis-Service, it will very likely be our last NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise because it was a good deal on a 5 night western Caribbean cruise. I had only sailed on Royal Caribbean and Carnival prior to this cruise and was very excited for this new trip. Food was a major disappointment. Buffet ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a good deal on a 5 night western Caribbean cruise. I had only sailed on Royal Caribbean and Carnival prior to this cruise and was very excited for this new trip. Food was a major disappointment. Buffet food was lack luster and the sit down dining was not good. Appetizers were ranked highest at a 5/10 and main entrees probably 3/10. Entrees seemed to mainly consist of chicken or beef for every dish. Fish i ordered twice was mushy. Chicken was ALWAYS dry and beef lacked flavor. I was amazed when I found out there would be no lobster, shrimp, scallops, or other seafood that I always looked forward to on a cruise. Bottom line, food was a big disappointment. Room was fine. We had an interior room and it was enough room for both of us. Bathroom was nice and shower was spacious. Entertainment was another negative. I was not very impressed. The comedian, Alex, however was very funny. The staff was very friendly and helpful in every aspect. Our stateroom housekeeper was awesome and so was our waitress in the Indigo. While the food was not good she made our night and we kept making sure we got her each night for dinner. Pool space was too small. 2 small pools and 4 small hot tubs. No interior pools or hot tubs unless you want to pay an up charge. This was another negative of the cruise. It seems as if you have to pay extra for everything that normal cruise lines include. Destinations were great. No complaints. Almost the entire cruise the ship was rocking heavily. Not sure if this is normal but the ship is older so maybe it is. Unfortunately this cruise did not live up to my expectations. I will not be sailing on NCL again after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Where do I begin? NCL Pearl out of Miami---Embarkation was painful. We had to sit in a waiting area and be called by group to even be able to enter the ship...approximately 45 min. First time I have experienced that so let the cattle ... Read More
Where do I begin? NCL Pearl out of Miami---Embarkation was painful. We had to sit in a waiting area and be called by group to even be able to enter the ship...approximately 45 min. First time I have experienced that so let the cattle herding begin. This was my 4th cruise, my 2nd with NCL and I will NEVER cruise with them again. The entire trip left me feeling depressed. We booked a room with a deck and paid a premium because we wished to have side by side rooms as my daughter & grand daughter were also traveling with us....in order to request this you must pay more to get it otherwise you risk being randomly put on separate floors considerably away from each other so we paid an extra $200 per room or thereabouts for that privilege.The rooms were EXTREMELY small! Then we added the FREE at SEA....I'm here to tell you this is NOT free as they charge a premium gratuities fee upfront on both the Drink package and the Dining package then at the end of your trip after you have paid that they inform you that you must pay a $15. a day per person gratuity for your Steward!!! which added another $150. to the room price. They certainly made out on me as I probably had 5 drinks the entire trip so average that gratuity out and our servers got a whopping gratuity, at least from me, and that's what they are counting on. The weather was awful--no sun AT ALL (not NCL's fault) yet it did not help the experience. They nickle dime you to death in a big way. Now they are walking around and selling raffle tickets at every venue you attend. I guess they are not happy if they aren't getting enough people in the Casino that they must push this. If you play "Deal or No Deal" you must cough up $29. per card. The Dining was probably the best of all. We ate at 2 specialty restaurants and enjoyed both the food and the service. Cagneys Steakhouse and LaCucina were both very good. The main dining area was also very good. The buffet on level 12 not so much.......tooooooo many people. My understanding is that we were cruising with 2300 people. The outside pool deck area is ALWAYS occupied by people that have claimed the best seats and they stay all day long....just leaving their towels on the seats even if they are not there so if you want a seat you better get up at 6am to claim one, Same with the hot-tubs! Most individuals are not friendly....we did meet up with some that were but it was few and far between and I blame this on the fact that it is so over-crowded that people become greedy to get a drink or a seat or anything....I find it extremely uncomfortable. The entertainment was pretty good. I do believe that they have improved on that as the last time I cruised with NCL the entertainment was mediocre..this was an improvement. Our destinations were Harvest Caye, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico. Harvest Caye is NCL's private island yet you must pay for everything once off of the ship. I booked a Luxury Villa--a whopping $600. for the day.....Although expensive it was wonderful, the highlight of the cruise---the weather (dreary and drizzling all day) was disappointing which dampened the experience. The Villa did allow us to have some space to breathe with luxury surrounding us right on the water. The Costa Maya destination is baffling, It is actually a port town contrived for the cruise ships---to me this is not an authentic Mexican destination, on this day it was serving 3 or 4 cruise ships so once again very crowded! A place to spend more money as you fight your way through crowds and stand in line to eat. We traveled into Mayahaul (the nearest town) and it was kind of sad but the people were lovely and I'm happy that we took the time to see but there is little there. There are excursions that you can sign up for at this location. Disembarkation went very smoothly and we were off the ship by 7:30 flagging down our van to take us to our parking lot. We couldn't get there fast enough then the 4 1/2 hr drive home. I would absolutely NOT do again. I am still reeling from the experience that ended 5 days ago, however, that being said I believe I am simply not a cruise enthusiast. Feeling like cattle being herded is not my idea of a vacation. In the future my adventures will stay on land. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We needed to get away. We have cruised in the Haven before but this was half the price. We knew to expect less, just not this much less. Disorganized from the time we left the waiting room. no priority boarding like the Getaway, just ... Read More
We needed to get away. We have cruised in the Haven before but this was half the price. We knew to expect less, just not this much less. Disorganized from the time we left the waiting room. no priority boarding like the Getaway, just left you at the security line.Food was so salty on board you couldn't eat most of it. Cagney's wasn't this way. Of course, this was the last night and we had figured out how to avoid the most salty items. Service and staff on this ship is the worst i have experienced. I loved the Getaway by the way! This ship is a low to mid level Carnival cruise unfortunately. Entertainment was pitiful. We made several requests a month prior to sailing based on the warnings and suggestions of previous passengers. Only the pillows were provided. Spare bedroom had a prison mattress. We requested no sweets, only chocolate was provided. This was not the Haven that we have enjoyed in the past. Haven was a joke as compared to our previous sailing. We knew to expect less, just not this much less. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
They don't have a big dining areas like on Royal Caribbean were every night you have a assigned table where you eat with the same people plus they have a lobster night. And you guys done away with it The girl told us you did it as a ... Read More
They don't have a big dining areas like on Royal Caribbean were every night you have a assigned table where you eat with the same people plus they have a lobster night. And you guys done away with it The girl told us you did it as a cost thing. I thought your buffet was like the same stuff. I did like their eggs benedict when they didn't run out of it . Also when to their steak house which it was not that great we were told that it was packed an we could not get in until 8.45 but II kept checking back and we got in at 7..pm and the place was half empty. Same thing happened at the Italian restaurant and we got in early an it was not full and there antipasto salad was a joke go to New York and they would laugh at it had no lettuce plus only one cheese. The lobster ravioli appetizer was great. Drink program was good and the bartenders on deck 13 were good. Plus no college football on Saturday. And our room guy was good. Very disappointing was the Belize trip you pull in to Norwegian mall not the town and the same thing in Mexico I never heard so many people say that they would never use this company again its something you don't want to hear. And this was on the Pearl Dec. 4th thru Dec 9th 2019 was not a good birthday present that wife worked hard to pay for. Also your management people for the biggest part were very rude to people. For the right amount money I would be glad to show them how to make the customer happy. I have been in management 39 years. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The worst experience ever! Staff was rude and unfriendly, possibly tired and overworked. From embarkation to disembarkation day and customs...they all just seemed unhappy, except our stateroom stewards! Food was bland, subpar and had ... Read More
The worst experience ever! Staff was rude and unfriendly, possibly tired and overworked. From embarkation to disembarkation day and customs...they all just seemed unhappy, except our stateroom stewards! Food was bland, subpar and had limited options throught the ship during certain times of the day...so it was the same food offered every day! Late night restaurant was always understaffed so, food was slow to table and overcooked in some cases. Entertainment was boring and catered to a "certain" crowd. Everything closed early, not leaving us many late night entertainment options. Ship was old inside and out and just lacked any excitement. Norwegian is very unorganized, from the directions given to the cruise terminal, to majority of the information we received on the boat. The ports in Mexico lacked any excitement as well. Same souvenir shops and borderline harrassed and bombarded to make purchases. Definitely was overpriced, even the shops on the boat. Was not worth it...I would never cruise with Norwegian again!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose Norwegian based on a friend's recommendation. I turned 60 this year and it was my birthday present to myself. It started out badly and just got worse from there. My flight was delayed, the airline rerouted me so I would make ... Read More
I chose Norwegian based on a friend's recommendation. I turned 60 this year and it was my birthday present to myself. It started out badly and just got worse from there. My flight was delayed, the airline rerouted me so I would make it to the ship, then proceeded to lose my bag so I boarded with nothing with me. I went to Guest services, explained what had happened, they gave me a tee shirt and some basic toiletries, slippers and a robe. I then went over to the excursions desk after going to my room and finding a note that the Everglades tour was cancelled due to lack of interest, so very disappointed with that. The girl at the desk was not very good with her customer service, basically just shrugged her shoulders and offered no help. I picked up some deodorant and a real toothbrush and paste, then went to get shorts and a top for the Sunday excursions at Great Stirrup Cay, not money I planned on spending, but insurance on the trip will reimburse me. Without a bathing suit, I was unable to use the spa, hot tubs, or pool the way I wanted, so more disappointment and no refund for it. Got up Sunday morning and felt something was wrong- found we were not at Great Stirrup Cay but Nassau. I was not happy so went and talked to the desk, was offered alternative excursions at higher prices than what I paid for, and cancelled all of it. I then realized I had no way to the airport with the Everglades having been cancelled so excursions offered Hop on, Hop off tour, which, after reading reviews on, very glad I said no. I then went to Guest services, and asked what to do, and they suggested a transfer. So fine, no offered or requested discount on any of it so I paid. I was also notified that repairs were being done all day Sunday, so my balcony would be unusable. Not a good experience for someone travelling completely alone for the first time, nor the first cruise ever for them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose to cruise with the Pearl instead of the Sky because I had never been on the Pearl and thought it would be nice to experience a new NCL ship, what a mistake, this ship has the worst customer service, I have taken 21 NLC cruises and ... Read More
I chose to cruise with the Pearl instead of the Sky because I had never been on the Pearl and thought it would be nice to experience a new NCL ship, what a mistake, this ship has the worst customer service, I have taken 21 NLC cruises and had NEVER had this experience, they where not perfect but little issues we have encountered on other ships were well handled by staff and officers. This was my nightmare cruise, The check in was not well organized, when we finally made it onboard, we went to the Garden Cafe, food was ok, but even though it was only 1pm, they already had run out of pork shops and we had to wait for hamburgers to be cooked, that night during the welcome aboard party I was surprise to not see the officers parade but thought they would do on last day, nope, I was wrong, they never did it, mind you I was staying on a VIP room and did not see or meet my sturdiest till Sunday afternoon after I complaint that I had asked the day before for coffee packets and never got, on Saturday we had dinner at Summer Palace, very beautiful, however, after 2 hours of waiting on our meal, it was cold, 4 of us did not get what we ordered and 1 did not get part of her meal at all, I wrote a complaint to the General Hotel Manger and he never acknowledged my complaint, that has NEVER happen in other ships, cruise director was only seen the first day and the last night, never saw or heard from him in between, even when they changed course and cancelled/changed a port, we did not find out till late at night that saw a note in our room, but an announcement was never done by captain nor cruise director, my bathroom sink was clogged and noone ever came to fix, and when we would go to bars, the bars also had no snacks the way other ships do, understanding that they where busy but they would not even acknowledge they saw you and will be right with you, the specialty coffee is together with the atrium bar so it took forever to get coffee since they would attend people ordering drinks before coffee, that was awful, I had to call and request towels because whom ever cleaned the room, took my towels but did not leave any clean ones, this is the first time I experience this type of treatment in any NCL Ships, we always have the best time ever and this is why we ALWAYS sail NCL because we have experience this treatment from Carnival but never from NCL, so I do not recommend NCL Pearl, I do highly recommend JADE, SUN, EPIC, Breakaway, Getaway, Escape, Sky and the Bliss and I am shocked of the experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It wasn’t all bad, but I won’t cruise with Norwegian again. I much preferred my Royal Caribbean experience. Some of the staff were quite rude, and not just once. Most were quite friendly and some of the bartenders were even great. ... Read More
It wasn’t all bad, but I won’t cruise with Norwegian again. I much preferred my Royal Caribbean experience. Some of the staff were quite rude, and not just once. Most were quite friendly and some of the bartenders were even great. But a couple of bartenders in the atrium bar were repeatedly rude to patrons. I blame this more on them being understaffed. Which brings me to my next point... Several of the bars didn’t open til 5. The “bar city” with the whiskey/cocktail/champagne bar, and Spinnakers at least, and I think the sake bar, didn’t open til 5 and closed at midnight. On a cruise I’m usually game to have a cocktail at about 3, and definitely wanted a drink when I first got on the ship, but each day found myself waiting for the bars to open. The champagne bar didn’t have champagne. They had one kind of sparkling wine, it was a Prosecco that I didn’t think was that good. I was particularly excited to try different types of champagnes and sparkling wines by the glass but definitely did not get that. I wanted to stop there first when I got on the ship but, again, they don’t open til 5. The food in the restaurants was mediocre. It was well-cooked and well-seasoned but it was just boring, and service was slow. In the Summer Palace main dining room, which wasn’t full, we waited 45 minutes for our food to come. The shows were entertaining; I enjoyed the comedian and the Michael Jackson impersonator. But the NCL website and app, which I used to see the schedule of events, did not specify that some of the events like the wine tasting were an extra fee and required reservations. The disembarkation was a nightmare. In addition to a slow check out line, they inexplicably stopped people who were owed a balance in their guest account and refunding them in cash. But they didn’t know they had to to this so they had to call out a whole finance team and set up the process... instead of just refunding it to my card I had on file. While I waited outside in the hot sun. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We initially chose this cruise for a business retreat. We’re a small firm and did a cruise with Royal last year. We liked royal so much we decided to give a different company a try to compare. It was a huge mistake. Initially everything ... Read More
We initially chose this cruise for a business retreat. We’re a small firm and did a cruise with Royal last year. We liked royal so much we decided to give a different company a try to compare. It was a huge mistake. Initially everything seemed great. We got on board and settled in just fine. We noticed that only a few (1-4) bars on the whole ship were open when we got on board at 1:30. We thought it was just because it was the boarding day but that ended up continuing through the whole weekend. It was very difficult to keep track of which bars opened when and when we asked the staff was rude. Due to only a few bars being open during the day the lines often wrapped around the pool deck or down in the atrium. The staff would be clearly frustrated when taking drink ordered mostly because they were swamped. The food was great at Cagneys but everything else was lackluster. In regards to the staff, they overall seemed uninterested in answering simple questions about hours of operation or locations. The ship seemed completely understaffed in areas where they needed more and overstaffed in others. Leaving the ship was by far the worst experience I’ve had on a cruise. To make a long story short they wouldn’t let anyone off if either they owed you money or if you owed them money. This is regardless of whether or not you have a card on file. On previous vacations if there is a balance one way or the other the company just charges or credits the card. Apparently Norwegian has the physically give you cash. This caused a huge line to stack up in already tight areas with staff giving contradictory instructions about where to stand and how to proceed off the boat. The staff at certain points were literally yelling at each other and guests to move in contradictory areas. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this Oct 14-30 transatlantic cruise because of all the great ports. The itinerary and $6,000 price did not make up for the terrible food regardless of where you ate, small, poorly cleaned cabins, insufficient and poor gym equipment, ... Read More
Chose this Oct 14-30 transatlantic cruise because of all the great ports. The itinerary and $6,000 price did not make up for the terrible food regardless of where you ate, small, poorly cleaned cabins, insufficient and poor gym equipment, disorganized disembarkation, ridiculous unnecessary extra charges, and practically non-existent quality entertainment. Other than 2 decent meals and 2 nights of good entertainment in 16 days, the rest was less than mediocre. Everywhere you went passengers were complaining about the food, entertainment, customer service and cleanliness. Problems with prepaid port transfers took 2 weeks to resolve with customer service before even going on the cruise. Only to find out once on the ship it still wasn’t right. Transfer back to the airport was more than a taxi and the wait for the shuttle would have taken hours for the one bus. Run don’t walk! Definitely not worth the price or itinerary. Find another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Last year we had taken a cruise on the Norwegian Gem's Haven class suites through the Caribbean and had a great time in a 2 bedroom suite. Sea days were passed by the pool or the sun deck in a relaxed atmosphere where guests sipped on ... Read More
Last year we had taken a cruise on the Norwegian Gem's Haven class suites through the Caribbean and had a great time in a 2 bedroom suite. Sea days were passed by the pool or the sun deck in a relaxed atmosphere where guests sipped on cocktails, read a good book or just relaxed and took sun. Service was excellent, meals were served by the pool if you didn't feel like moving and there were only adults, a sanctuary as advertised. Based on such a great experience on the Gem, we decided to book another cruise on the Pearl leaving October 1 for a 13 day Mediterranean cruise through Italy and Greece in the Haven suite. We had also started planning our future cruise next year with friends and family to Asia and in our mind, nobody offered a more relaxed and exclusive service than Haven class. This time everything that made the Haven so special last year and exclusive had completely changed from not having any cruise adviser assigned to us when we booked to let us know that we needed to book all of our specialty restaurants for 13 days before embarking, to the Airport transfer which was not well organized and we did not expect to wait almost an hour on the second level of a double decker bus with no Air Conditioning after an 8 hour flight. I should have taken a Taxi or Viatour. There was no special line to pass security for Haven passengers on this cruise which we had in New York on the GEM. The return to the airport was just as bad and I would not recommend the airport transfer in Rome. But our biggest complaint and deception is that the Haven itself had turned into a toddlers' backyard for 13 days ! Imagine 4 hours of Marco Pollo echoing through the Atrium Sanctuary, the noise even echoed to the upper sun deck which ended up being our only area to relax which had no kids. The Haven was taken over by 3 families with young children who spent everyday playing in the sanctuary. Diving into the pool, jumping into the Hot Tub, playing on the exercise equipment with all the screaming laughing and yelling which you would expect at a kiddie pool party. Not their fault at all, kids will be kids. For the parents they had a safe area where they didn't have to keep an eye on their kids getting lost on the main deck kids pool and they had a full time waiter with drink and food service. Nobody else except for the families used the sanctuary on most days as it was much to noisy for everyone else. I was told by one of the waiters that the cruise before us was much worse with more kids. The dinning area in the sanctuary was also taken over by the families and looked more like a picnic area some days with kids tables and grown up tables. Service for drinks was sparse for us as we spent our time if the weather permitted on the sun deck which had an minimum age limit of 16 and over, but drink service was not automatic nor was food served up there either. Long story short Haven is not worth the extra money unless your traveling with a very young family. We will not be traveling with Norwegian again as without the Haven being an adult area as we had on the Gem. The food is just average Cagneys was a disappointment on 2 nights. Steaks and Roast Beef were tough, Veal Chop was tasteless. At Bistro we had 1 good meal out of 2 visits, Cuchina was probably the best. At Moderno the meat was mostly overcooked well done and salty as it was last year. Service from our concierge Yahira was excellent and even though she warned the families about the noise level there was not much that could have been done. Vincent in the Indigo dinning room did an excellent job. A warning to fellow cruisers: Watch out for the cruise staff if you do not take an excursion with Norwegian, during our visit to Santorini we arrived at the cable car 1 hour before the last tender returned to ship to make sure we had enough time. The line up for the cable car was over a 2 hour wait. When we asked the Norwegian representative about our concern that we were going to be late she told us and number of other passengers that since we did not take an excursion with them we could miss the boat and should walk down the Donkey trail. This trail was treacherous and ruined the vacation of a number of travelers including myself as my knees swelled up after descending the 600 to 700 steps. People were panicked as she had also sent down an 89 year old man with his daughter and could not make the last tender at 7 she was in hysterics as she was worried for her father. My wife got side swiped by a donkey returning up the stairs and the amount of Urine and manure on the stairs was disgusting. I was in pain for the rest of my trip and I thank our room attendant Rodriguez for the nightly ice packs to reduce the swelling on my knees. We found out later that the cruise rep sending people down the hill was in the wrong but that was of little consolation as the damage was done just happy no one died or got seriously injured. Besid. es the above we managed to have a lot of fun and would not recommend the Haven for adults. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We picked this cruise for the itinerary, which was amazing. The ship was clean and our mini suite had enough storage for 4 of us. The cabin attendant was great! The food was not. O’Sheehan’s was our preferred place to eat. The buffet ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary, which was amazing. The ship was clean and our mini suite had enough storage for 4 of us. The cabin attendant was great! The food was not. O’Sheehan’s was our preferred place to eat. The buffet had a lot of food but nothing good or warm. Hard to find a snack. We found ourselves hungry because we didn’t enjoy the food. The Legends in Concert, Motown group and acrobatic duo were the best entertainment. A lot of the activities were extra charge, even bowling. The staff was friendly. The food really ruined the cruise experience. We didn’t enjoy that they used the lifeboats for tendering. We were stuck in one for over half an hour waiting for a boat to dock. Very hot. Wished there was more of a variety of activities. The hot tubs were warm, not hot. The itinerary and ports were great! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We took this cruise following my daughter’s wedding in Positano. We were a group of 10, and thought the ports of call looked interesting—and many were. My husband and I love to cruise, and are pretty faithful to Celebrity, so I ... Read More
We took this cruise following my daughter’s wedding in Positano. We were a group of 10, and thought the ports of call looked interesting—and many were. My husband and I love to cruise, and are pretty faithful to Celebrity, so I can’t help but compare this NCL experience to those of our Celebrity cruises to Europe. The ship itself is in pretty good shape—clean and well-maintained. The interesting thing about it is that, although there are fewer passengers aboard the Pearl than there are on celebrity’s millennium-class ships, it felt so very crowded! The pool deck and the bar area on deck 13 were continuously packed, with people searching for seats (and ashtrays, in the smoking area). The cabin was small, but functional. Our dining experiences aboard the Pearl were generally poor. Even in the steakhouse, the chefs seemed unable to cook a steak to-order. We also had a dinner in la Cucina. It was less than memorable. The food was edible, though not terribly tasty. We had breakfast in the cafe most days. It was routine (i.e. the same thing every day). I think the specialty restaurant reservation system needs a total overhaul: We had made a reservation for 4 at the steakhouse, and tried to change to 5 prior to our seating. We were told by the staff that, if we wanted to make that change, we would have to change our reservation from 7:00 to 10:00. When we did sit down for dinner (after abandoning the idea of adding another person), they seated the four of us at a table for six!! Needless to say, we were not at all happy about that. We tried to get reservations at the teppanyaki restaurant for days, but the staff was unable to accommodate us. We didn’t see any shows, so I can’t comment on the quality of them. We did enjoy Dave, the piano player, and the string quartet. Service overall was not great. Grumpy bartenders (especially at the bar on 13) and the restaurants seem to be short-staffed. We frequently waited for quite a long time to order, and at one meal, we ordered desserts that never came. If you need help with the WiFi package, be aware that their IT guy only works with passengers three hours a day. Some of the ports were absolutely stunning: Dubrovnik is a favorite of ours, and it is as beautiful as ever. We hadn’t been to Montenegro before, but we will surely make it a point to return. (We wouldn’t, however, take NCL’s catamaran cruise again. $189 for a three hour, one-way cruise to a bar?? No thanks.) All things considered, I’ll stick with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this trip for the itinerary as we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. The cabin was fine, but the food was not up to par when compared with other cruises we’ve taken. There was plenty of it and the soft serve was very ... Read More
Chose this trip for the itinerary as we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. The cabin was fine, but the food was not up to par when compared with other cruises we’ve taken. There was plenty of it and the soft serve was very good, but we expected some special dining nights, like filet or lobster but that didn’t happen. Too much a la carte everything, didn’t care for the automatic $15.00 per person, per day tipping policy. I ordered the specialty drink of the day which happened to be a Mai Tai, it was the worst drink I’ve ever had! There was a tiny bit of rum, lime juice and cinnamon which isn’t even close to the proper Mai Tai cocktail. We ate in the Summer Palace one night and the service was so slow that we missed the first show at 7:30, we had been seated at 6:00. When we wanted to sit by the pool, people had already “reserved” their loungers by throwing towels on the chairs but as we observed most didn’t actually use the chairs. The staff wasn’t particularly helpful when trying to find 2 seats together. I would only recommend this cruise for the Mediterranean itinerary, maybe if you purchased the drink package you wouldn’t care about the mediocre food and entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I liked the itinerary of this cruise and it did prove to be wonderful. However, our experience on board was less then stellar! Service was downright bad! Everyone already has their tips so why bother giving us a great experience. Nobody ... Read More
I liked the itinerary of this cruise and it did prove to be wonderful. However, our experience on board was less then stellar! Service was downright bad! Everyone already has their tips so why bother giving us a great experience. Nobody on this ship is putting in any effort. Restaurants in particular had horrible food and horrible service! I did not have a hot meal in 11 days. It came to the point it was not worth going to dinning room and waiting for the inferior service and food. When a buffet is better then your dinning room.... you have a problem! Want room service? Sure.... pay for it! You want to go to specialty restaurants? Sure, going to cost you prices on the menu or a 40.00 up charge ( these restaurants were not much better and service was terrible! We did not even get luggage tags in cabin... had to go get them. The tours are like hurdling cattle. And some where nothing but a bus ride at 100 a person. Just a bad cruise experience. I have been a latitudes member for years but will never travel NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose the cruise because of the itinerary, which was very good. The food was horrible. I mean, the specialty restaurants were good, but you should not have to pay more to get a decent meal. In O'Sheenans, they can't make a ... Read More
I chose the cruise because of the itinerary, which was very good. The food was horrible. I mean, the specialty restaurants were good, but you should not have to pay more to get a decent meal. In O'Sheenans, they can't make a good hot dog, a hot dog, not joking. The bar staff was good, Emerson and Danno espeically, Also, KK was very nice. The ship was okay, simlar to others. I thought the sailing crew did a good job and the maintenance on the boat was definitly up to snuff. It was clean and they were always painting something. Other than the food, the reservations people are just incompetent. Sorry, no other way to say it. They got our reservations wrong so many times I lost count. And yes, after weeks of problems a supervisor did try to make it up to us by giving us a ship credit, which was appreciated, but the problems continued. Also, it took 60 or so phone calls, inumerable emails and a dozen hours of my time to get it fixed....so, what they gave me was appreciagted, but it was not a fair exchange for what they put me through. The bottom line is the Norewegian staff doesn't know their own rules and if you rely on what they say, you will be punishied. I know I was and in the end, they admitted they were wrong but just couldn't do anything more to help. They seemed frustrated by their own incompetence and just could not wait for my trip to be over. Food and customer service (reservations staff primarily) was very bad, but other than that I guess it was an average cruise performance. I spent a lot of money for a lot of frustration; won't do it again, not on the Pearl and likley not ever with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
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
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
We choose this ship due to the itinerary which was one of the few things we ended up happy with. We booked initially in Dec. Two weeks after final payment the price on our trip dropped by more than 60%. I was offered a $250 on board credit ... Read More
We choose this ship due to the itinerary which was one of the few things we ended up happy with. We booked initially in Dec. Two weeks after final payment the price on our trip dropped by more than 60%. I was offered a $250 on board credit as a consolation to the almost $7000 drop. Not ever cruising NCL prior I was baffled. I have never seen a cruise line struggle to fill cabins to the extent they created such a massive drop. That should have been our first clue! We boarded the ship and there was a massive wet brown stain on my carpet that the room steward tried to cover with the ottoman. The sheets were stained in three places and the mirror had two large handprints in the middle of it. Second clue? After calling housekeeping and front desk and to deal with the carpet I was told they would replace it in two days. Three days later they finally did. We went to La Cucina on the first night and were told my sons dining and drink packages were never paid for. They were part of our fare and had the receipt. They refused to acknowledge the receipt I had with me saying they had to make contact with the mainland. For 5 days they could apparently not make contact with the mainland and it took me having to have my husband call from the US to Orlando to have this fixed. It was their mistake. They somehow dropped it from his booking. No apologies from anyone. That seemed to be the theme throughout the cruise-we had exactly 4 crew members on the cruise that made our trip enjoyable and I will make a point to send a card to NCL about them because the rest of the crew just did not seem to care about anything. La Cucina was a huge disappointment and we barely ate our food. When the waiter picked up our plates he asked how it was and we said "honestly, not very good". He then proceeded to say OK and took our food away...never once asking how he could fix it. Their excursions are marked up beyond belief. We just were flabbergasted that they charged $199 for a Flam railroad ticket when you can walk right off (or better yet book ahead of time) for less than 1/4 of that! The only NCL excursion we did was Paris on Your Own. Our 6 hours in Paris was reduced to 2 1/2. No apologies. They really didn't care. They left over an hour after the ship cleared for no apparent reason. The ship itself is in good condition and we did enjoy and make use of the thermal suite everyday. Food, which I understand is subjective, was not at all the quality you find on Disney or Celebrity or even Royal. We struggled to find anything decent to eat most nights at dinner. You almost have to have a dining package for most nights. And even that is iffy...Cagneys and Le Bistro were good. The Mojito Bar is a bright spot. If you dare to cruise with them head there and hang out with Roberto and drown your sorrows that you didnt pick a better line. The perfect end to the cruise...the last night the sliding door in the shower fell off! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful array of Baltic sea ports and excursions. While the stops exceeded expectations in almost every case, the shabby condition of the ship and the indifferent food and service left us with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful array of Baltic sea ports and excursions. While the stops exceeded expectations in almost every case, the shabby condition of the ship and the indifferent food and service left us with a negative feeling. Food service - even in the specialty restaurants - was always rushed. We repeatedly had to ask that service be slowed down and that not all items be served at one time. In the main dining room, food choices were lackluster, and food was rarely served hot. In Le Bistro, I was served tepid French Onion Soup; a request for a warmer portion resulted in another lukewarm offering. Cagney's steakhouse served excellent filet mignon, sauced well, but the waitstaff was completely unable to order/serve cocktails correctly. A request for a vodka martini, "up" with olives, was met with a neat vodka, no garnish. My request for a list of after-dinner drinks resulted in a menu of all Mojitos. The servers really pushed and rushed us through that meal. The buffet was terrible - food was rarely labeled, and when it was, labels were difficult to read. The food quality was substandard, and seldom more than "warmish". Shore excursions were, for the most part, excellent, with well-qualified guides. The great exception: Copenhagen. This is a congested city, and the "tour" featured the back of the bus in front of us, crawling through traffic. The guide repeatedly walked off and left guests, failing to return to the agreed-upon "meeting spot", resulting in delays. She also, after 3 hours, was unable to direct guests to a bathroom. Ultimately, guests demanded to be taken back to the ship, some hiring taxis when the guide refused. The cabin was decent, and our cabin service was excellent. The bathroom, however, was so cramped that there wasn't room in there to change your mind, let alone anything else. The toilet space was designed for a child of 10; other guests told us they could not even use their cabin bathroom, but were forced to use public toilets. I'm 5'10", and my knees hit the wall every time. We've traveled on 4 other cruise lines, and never had such a cramped space. Finally, the overall condition of the ship gives the feeling of "shopworn". The lobby and bar furniture had upholstery which was worn and frayed at the corners and edges of cushions. The sofa in our cabin was also worn and shabby. We asked to have the balcony chair replaced, as the fabric had been shredded where it joined the frame - which was covered by a towel when we arrived. We had sailed on this ship on an Alaskan cruise some years ago; the intervening years have not been kind to this faded gem. 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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