Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by LLA68
- Sail Date: February 2013
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
I had cruised with 3 different cruise lines before but NCL and the Pearl where by far my favorite cruise, and will look to them first for our next one.
NCL Freestyle cruising is just that -- FREESTYLE TO DO WHAT YOU WANT WHEN YOU WANT.
Our group doesn't like to dress up - and the men only wear ties to funerals and weddings, so being able to have an amazing meal in casual pants and shirt was so refreshing, especially on a cruise ship, especially for my Husband who HAD to dress up for dinner on previous cruise.
Mornings we ate at the buffet or on the back deck outside to enjoy the warm Caribbean sun, and evenings we tried to get together to eat as a group. I arranged dinner for all 17 at the Italian and Steak house (both have surcharges) and both where delicious. We also ate at the Summer Palace and one night it was chicken wings and beer at the Blue Lagoon. Great to eat where you want.
We had 4 teenage boys in our group so they lived at the buffet several times a day to keep their stomachs full and the COCONUT ice cream was to die for. (YUM)
We did venture to the Stardust Theatre almost every night to see what was playing. Really enjoyed Second City Comedy and the Magician was also very good.
We enjoyed a mother/daughter massage and I uses the exercise facility several times - both very good.
Had a rock climbing wall competition between the boys/men and the kids used the outdoor sports courts and chess sets. Kids discovered they could play video games and buy chocolate bars with their room cards too ... LOL. (you can have charges restricted on any card if you prefer)
We visited NCL Private Island, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Cozumel and booked shore excursions in each port. Most where top notch and would recommend, except for our choice in Cozumel, which we had serious safety issues with that where directed to the Cruise Line and tour company.
Ship was always clean and staff where always smiling and happy to see you. We had 2 connecting mini suites for our family of 4 (as did all of our group) and our room steward kept both rooms clean and we always enjoyed the towel animals on our beds/hanging from the ceiling each night.
We looked into the new NCL Inclusive drink package for $49/person per day. Since both adults in the party have to purchase it, it wasn't worth it for us. Instead the guys bought buckets of beer (6 for $25 - even had Canadian beer) and we purchased the wine package (6 bottles for $120) which worked great for us. Each child got the unlimited pop package and they got their money's worth.
Overall this was the best cruise I have been on. The ship and ALL the staff where always so happy to see you and the welcome home we received on the pier in Cozumel (live band and dancing) made the guests on the other 5 cruise ships in port wishing they where on our cruise because we where having so much fun
NCL offers something for everyone ... WASHY WASHY, HAPPY HAPPY is still being used in our house.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Dune BuggyExtremely UNSAFE - dune buggy had very little brakes and you are expected to drive on the highway at 90 km/hr in an unsafe vehicle. Another passenger made a complaint to the tour guide and he pulled the break pedal out of his dune buggy, so he didn't have ANY brakes.View All 74 Dune Buggy Reviews
Not at all what was described on the website. I did speak to the cruise line about this tour.
SnorkelingSeas where rough and we where only allowed 45 minutes to gear up and snorkel and get back into dune buggy.View All 313 Snorkeling Reviews
HellCool rock formations but if you buy something in the gift shop, check your receipt as 3 people on our tour where overcharged.View All 71 Hell Reviews
Stingray SwimVery cool, but don't recommend it for small children.View All 540 Stingray Swim Reviews
You stand on a sandbar a half our boat ride off shore in water up to your chest (I am 5'2") and waves do move you around. The Sting rays swim around and between your legs. A MUST DO!!
Turtle FarmVery cool but we didn't have much time to enjoy. Very busy too.View All 229 Turtle Farm Reviews
Great Stirrup CayBeen there before but this time the weather was cold and water choppy so it wasn't the same. It is an amazing island when it is warm.View All 828 Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Reviews
We had booked parasailing but it had to be cancelled because of the choppy water.
View Cruise Critic's Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Review
Dunn's River FallsTOO many people for me to enjoy myself, but Dunns' River Falls is the most popular attraction in Jamaica ... won't have to do it again.View All 183 Dunn's River Falls Reviews
River RaftingRelaxing and funView All 28 River Rafting Reviews
Zip-liningFirst time for me, and I was nervous but they put safety first and it was cool zipping thru the tree tops.View All 39 Zip-lining Reviews