Best Yet of 9 Cruises: Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by rocketer

Norwegian Pearl 5
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Best Yet of 9 Cruises

Sail Date: July 2014
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seattle
We very much enjoyed our cruise on the Norwegian Pearl room 14010 in the Haven. This two bedroom suite was luxuriously appointed. The huge bathroom with special shower and tub with windows really completed it well. Fine for 4 adults, and 5 would work ok, but not 6. We immediately appointed one of our group as barista and initiated the expresso machine. Every amenity promised as part of the Haven package was done expertly. Priority boarding, instant full service lunch and quick introductions of butler and concierge started the experience nicely. Unfortunately we got so used to this level of service all week that we may not be able to sail any other way again. Huge kudos to Charlie, Jonjon and Leah. The little Haven pool area and lounge area was wonderful. Snacks were available most of the day and since the weather tends toward chill in Alaska the roof was usually closed. This was like having a extra huge living /sun room and fortunately the kids nearby were courteous and respectful so More it was mostly quiet. The private outside deck was not of a lot of use except for Glacier viewing since there was always wind.

We would rate food as excellent overall. We ate some breakfasts and lunches in Cagney's and had Charlie or Jonjon serve from that same menu in the Haven. That menu did not change all week. It really needs to change at least once. We only used the main buffet once. It was much too cramped in the serving area and tables were hard to come by. We had dinner in the Summer Palace twice and Indigo once. Menu items were good and tended toward American home style items without the exotic items some people like to try. On chocolate night we got 10 desserts for our party of 6. Very good. Service at the two standard restaurants was good and we got a nice birthday song when celebrating. Le Bistro specialty restaurant was good with authentic food and fine service. Moderno Churrasco Brazilian almost made us burst with rapid fire servings of meats.

Ports were handled well though all except Skagway were short. Glacier Bay was indeed the highlight of the cruise with decent weather, glacier calving and all kinds of animals to be seen by the observant. I can recommend Skagway Float Tours for a fine Chilkoot trail and float near Skagway, Seawind Aviation tours in Ketchikan and Fresh Air tours in Victoria. Ketchikan had a very rare but absolutely crystal clear and still day the day were there. Flying over the mirror lakes, green mountains and granite walls was magnificent. Landing on a perfectly still lake was even better. In Victoria Fresh Air Tours picked us up at the boat and took us on a short town tour then out to Butchart Gardens and returned us flawlessly on a tight schedule. Booking this private tour for six allowed us to stay for the fireworks (Saturday) at the Gardens. The fireworks start too late in early July for ship tours to stay. Kudos to Linda for accommodating a wheelchair on short notice. The gardens were crowded as three ships arrived at exactly the same time plus it was fireworks night. Nevertheless it is a must see. While thousands are getting settled waiting for the fireworks you will find it the perfect time to scoot through the best sections at dusk with the lights coming on.

Having done Alaska cruises twice before, I was pleasantly surprised that the towns were not absolutely packed with cruise passengers. It seems more people are getting farther away from the boats hiking and touring and less just meandering through shops.

I recommend walking through the rainforest at every opportunity, good weather or bad.

The bottom line question for anyone reading reviews and considering a very expensive haven suite is: Is it worth it?. From my point of view: Absolutely. Less

Published 07/30/14

Cabin review: 14010

This particular room is 2 steps away from Haven Courtyard, 12 to the hot tub and 25 to the snack bar. we never heard a sound from any other room or ship activity unless we were out on the balcony.

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