First off, I have to mention how disappointed we were when NCL cancelled the advertised port city of San Francisco shortly after we made our final payment and could no longer cancel. That port was the whole reason we chose this cruise. They substituted Seattle instead, which meant that we ended up in Seattle twice within a couple of days, since we also flew into Seattle. This was a really big deal to us, very upsetting, and we still believe it was handled poorly. However, because of this change, the prices dropped a lot, and we were able to upgrade to a balcony cabin for what we originally paid for an inside. So that helped a little.
With that said, we did enjoy the cruise. Our cabin and cabin steward were nice. The bed was very comfortable. We loved having a balcony. We were able to watch the ship being docked early in the mornings from our balcony, and that was interesting to see. We were able to go on a bridge tour with our Cruise Critic roll-call group, and found that extremely informative. The officer giving us the tour was really great and didn't seem to mind the intrusion.
We ate only in the buffet and the MDR's; we did not feel the need to try any of the premium restaurants. We thought the food was good. I think the food is a little better on Holland America line than NCL, but we still found plenty of things to enjoy on the Pearl. I had heard horror stories about terrible service and/or food in the MDR, but that was not our experience. Most of our meals were timely and we thought the service was fine. The only meal that took 2 hours was the time we were seated with some friends as a party of six in Indigo, and we understand that it takes longer for a larger group. Service was faster in the Summer Palace than in Indigo overall.
We enjoyed our stay in this cabin. It was a hull balcony, which means the balcony was surrounded by a metal overhang. That wasn't my favorite thing, but we still enjoyed the view. The bed was very comfortable. It was nice having a sofa and a little extra room. It could have used a good dusting, and the carpet was worn/stained. Other than that, it was great.