NCL Pearl in December with Kids and Seniors: Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by toybiz4u

Norwegian Pearl 4
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

NCL Pearl in December with Kids and Seniors

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
This was our 4th cruise with NCL. Our first was the Jewel, then the Epic twice and then the Pearl. It's hard to go back to a smaller ship once you've been on the Epic. The selection in restaurants, buffet items, pools and entertainment is smaller. The quality of the entertainment was less also. It's hard to compare with Blue Man Group really. The pool area was nice but of course just one small slide. Lots of lounge chairs available. The specialty restaurants were just as good as the Epic and easy to get reservations at the time we sailed. The entertainment was just ok. Our kids didn't really enjoy the two main shows "That's Entertainment" and "Encore". They were lacklustre really. The magician and second city were good though as well as the Oh What a Night tribute act. The Main dining and Garden Cafe had the same quality food as on past cruises and it was good. Good variety and quality. The specialty restaurants really are a step up though. Especially Le Bistro. We More love their food and the service is exceptional as well. This time there was a special discount if you booked La Cucina, Cagneys and Le Bistro so we did and because we booked a specialty restaurant on the first night we got a free bottle of wine. Excursions were good on this itinerary but our kids aren't that adventurous so we don't waste our money on many. We did Dunns river falls in Ocho Rios which was great. But the rest of the ports we just winged it with shopping or chilling on a beach.
For this trip my mother came along with her sister. They were booked in an inside cabin directly across the hall. My Aunt needed special assistance boarding the ship and she was extremely delighted with the service and attention she received boarding, walking around the ship, tendering and going to shows. Staff were always ready to help her out including officers who would offer their assistance in getting her to her destination. The service is really exemplary for those needing special assistance. I noticed a difference in the staff on this cruise. They seemed to be trying harder at customer service and it was appreciated. Everyone seemed to be enjoying providing great personalized service and it was refreshing. We will be sticking with NCL. Our next cruise will be on the Breakaway next december. Less

Published 12/22/12

Cabin review: MA11580 Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

11580 was mid-ship and just below the main deck for the pool, kids club and the buffet. Quick access to all the important aspects. Lots of drawers and cupboards for great storage. TV was too small and no kids channel like Nick. No drop down bunk bed in this room, the sofa made into a bed for our 2 boys 11 and 8. And it stayed a bed for the entire cruise. At least with a bunk it can be closed up during the day. This limited the walking space between the desk and the sofabed. This cabin was also right beneath kids club so we could hear the kids jumping around overhead and screeching when we were out on the balcony. It didn't bother us too much as 10pm the club closes down so it was quiet when we wanted to sleep.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We just took a taxi ($7) to Jimmy Buffet's and had some Volcano Nachos and Margaritas. They were great. We watched people enjoying the free water park which consisted of inflatable obstacles like Saturn, iceberg, trampoline, slide and a couple of others. After eating we walked along and checked out the local shops and picked up souvenirs. Prices were cheap and vendors sold beers for a buck along the way. There were also lots of shops right at the pier.
Read 5492 Cozumel Reviews

We just went off on our own to Seven Mile Beach. We walked to Royal Palms but should have taken a taxi at $4 per person. It took us close to an hour to walk, we thought it was closer. We definitely taxied back to the pier. We paid $2 to enter Royal Palms and then $8 each for a lounge chair. Drinks were expensive, same price as on the ship. I thought it would have been cheaper. The beach was beautiful. Clean, powdery sand and clear water. The level dropped off quickly so kids should be careful. Rocks were in the water but no seaweed or other debris. Before getting back on the ship we did some shopping as the main shops are right there at the pier. It was less busy and hectic than at Cozumel.

We love this island as it is great for chilling on the beach and swimming in the warm, salty water. finding lounge chairs was no problem at this time of year, tendering was easy too. NCL has improved it's tendering process and it is friendlier and easier. Not alot of shade to be found as the trees were battered by recent storms. We needed a life vest for our 8 year old son which I thought should have been free as it's a safety issue but we were charged $5.

Cave Tour

We booked the Green Grotto caves and Dunns river falls tour through NCL. This was due to wanting to avoid hassle from locals. I remember from 20 yrs ago visiting Jamaica and the agressiveness of vendors is not enjoyable at all. So to avoid it as much as possible I splurged and booked a full day's excursion through the ship. It was easy getting to our excursion and the bus staff was great and shared info about the island. The caves were ok.

Dunn's River Falls

The falls were great and really thrilling for the kids and us. Definitely a highlight of this port. If we get back to this port again we will do the falls again for sure. The bus staff was great in that they took us to specific shopping spots and accommodated requests for a jerk chicken stop.

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Member Since 2011
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