Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by baruchgershom
- Sail Date: August 2012
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
The Alaska exeperience was amazing. I have tremendous photos of grand landscapes and glaciers, and photos of humpback whales and orcas. I saw an eagle or two, but they were too fast for my camera. We saw bears near a distant glacier with our binoculars, but they were too small for my camera. No moose, though. We were extremely fortunate with the weather. It was warm and clear at all times except our first day sailing to Juneau (when it didn't matter). At Juneau we took the excursion for whale watching and a visit to the Mendenhall Glacier. The whale watching was amazing. We saw more than a dozen humpback whales and 5 or 6 orcas. The humpbacks were bubble-net feeding -- an amazing method used only by some whales, but taught to others (google the topic, it's fascinating). We also saw 7 or more orcas rapidly swimming past our balcony, obviously on the hunt for something, and clearly working together as a team. Note that the this combo leaves precious little time to see the glacier. In Skagway we took the train to Canada and saw Liarsville on the way back by bus. The scenery from the train is gorgeous. My photos would have been better had I stood by the railing between cars. Liarsville is cute and the put on a nice short show. In Ketchikan we saw the Saxman native american village -- very educational -- and attended the lumberjack show, which is a definite must-see. We skipped Victoria as our arrival was during Shabbat, and there was little time after Shabbat to go ashore.
NCL is known for its entertainment. Frankly, we enjoyed the shows more on the Gem in December. The Frankie Valli tribute group, "Oh What a Night," was fair. One singer -- whoever took the lead on "Sherri," had some "pitchy" moments, which isn't good for a vocal group that needs to be harmonically perfect. The writing is also a bit stiff. Juggler Charles Peachock was very good, but his performance paled in comparison to his own highlight reel he showed before the show featuring his performances on America's Got Talent. Why get us expecting the spectacular when the live performance will be something less special? The comic, though, was very funny. I didn't remember his name, which is a shame. I should have bought his DVD.
All in all, I went for the Alaska experience. The entertainment was not a priority. The Cruise Director, Julie, is OK and perhaps very good compared to most. But I've been on ships with Sinam Ulucay twice, and I'm totally spoiled.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Mendenhall GlacierBeautiful sight. I wish we had more time to see it. The whale watching combo left us with little timeView All 649 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
Whale WatchingThey guarantee that you'll see at least one whale. Instead we saw nearly a dozen humpback whales, including a rare sight of them bubble-net fishing, and six or so orcas.View All 609 Whale Watching Reviews
Lumberjack ShowA lot of fun for the whole family. If you have young children (5-10), save room in your luggage for a large chip of wood given out as a souvenier.View All 196 Lumberjack Show Reviews
Saxman Native VillageIf you want to learn about totem polls and native American culture, this is where you need to be.View All 75 Saxman Native Village Reviews
Gold PanningWe went on the Liarsville gold panning. We were more interested in the show than finding gold. The show was cute.View All 46 Gold Panning Reviews
White Pass Scenic RailwayBeautiful vistas. Be sure to sit on left side of car for the best views going up. Best photos will come if you stand on the railing outside the car.View All 800 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews