CRUISE NUMBER 6 WITH NCL JUST AS GREAT AS THE FIRST!: Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by dillagirl

Norwegian Pearl 5
Member Since 2013
15 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We have cruised 6 times, all on NCL, since January 2009. Two of those have been with our children, and 4 have been for our anniversary. All of them have been great, regardless of the occasion. We have discovered that the best ships in the fleet are the Jewel Class Ships that are just the right size with just the right amenities. Our favorite ships are the Pearl and the Jewel, because they have hands down the best crews ever, and we really like the ship layout on both. Our least favorite is the Epic, because the rooms are poorly designed on it, and it is over crowded and has lost some of the freestyle freedom (because of the over crowding)that we love so much on all of the other ships.

We really love the service in all stateroom classes, having stayed in everything from a family suite/penthouse to a porthole room, but the extras like the butler & concierge services and the free movie loans in the penthouse class have really sold us on the penthouses! We have been guests More in every type of hotel and resort, but we have NEVER received the kind of service in any of them that we receive in an NCL penthouse! The pampering for the entire family is indescribable!

The food is always excellent on NCL cruises, especially in the specialty restaurants. Our favorites are Cagney's and Le Bistro. The specialty restaurants are worth the extra cost!

Our favorite entertainment is "Oh What A Night," the Frankie Valli review, and our least favorite is Second City, because the language they use at times is offensive, honestly, they aren't all that funny either. The NCL Production Cast is always excellent, and we enjoy their shows as well as the variety shows.

We have discussed trying another cruise line, but we have decided that if ain't broke, don't fix it! We are sticking with the cruise line that has never failed us! And one more thing.... they dry-dock and refurbish their ships both outwardly in appearance and mechanically every three years faithfully along with daily maintenance to keep things in top working order, something that all cruisers should greatly value after watching the recent Carnival Triumph fiasco! Less

Published 02/21/13

Cabin review: SE10500 Penthouse with Large Balcony

In six cruises on NCL, this is the quietest area we have ever stayed in and the most gargantuan balcony we have ever seen! The room layout was great and kept us from tripping over each other. The balcony was not as private as we have enjoyed in the past, because the room is all the way forward on the bow, and the walls between balconies slopes downward toward the bow, but we actually liked this, because we enjoyed meeting the people in the penthouses around us, and coming into and out of port was something of a social. One thing that you need to know about these forward rooms is that there is a water tight door onto the balcony that is very heavy and can be difficult to unlock, and passengers in these rooms are cautioned about opening balcony doors while underway due to heavy winds on the bow. One more thing everyone needs to be aware of is that there is much more motion on the bow than on other parts of the ship. If you are prone to motion sickness / sea sickness stay away from this location!! All in all, this was fun, onetime experience, but we will stay closer to mid-ship and/or stern in the future.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We have visited this port numerous times and chose to stay aboard ship this time since the weather was terrible that day. The shopping is okay there, and Las Palmeros restaurant (ship recommended)is quite good.
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We have been to Great Stirrup Cay on several occasions and now choose to stay on the ship rather than going ashore there. Unless you are seriously into the beach, there is nothing special about the place. It is just a barren rock with some beach on it.

We love embarking at the Port of Miami. The port is excellent and easy to navigate - even for first time cruisers. BUT be careful of where you book a pre-cruise hotel room. We always stay in the downtown Miami area, but discovered the entire area closed to traffic (I mean EVERY SINGLE STREET)for a triathlon on the morning of embarkation. Getting to the port turned into a nightmare even after the streets opened at noon, because traffic was so backed up due to the area having been shut down since 3 or 4AM. We have always enjoyed the city of Miami, but we were horrified by the poor planning of the city government on this occasion. People couldn't get out of the port or into the port. That fiasco actually affected the departure of the ships from port that day! It was absurd!!
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We have now visited Ocho Rios twice. We took an excursion the first time and chose this time to walk into the downtown area. The tubing excursion on the White River is worth every penny, but don't waste your time on downtown! It is filthy, over priced, and the locals are obnoxious, peddling everything from hair braiding to taxi rides and trinkets. The natural beauty of the island is fantastic, and that is what we will stick with in the future! No more trips into town!

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Member Since 2013
15 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
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