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I picked ncl for a few reasons. Even though we are elite on princess and sailed to alaska 15 years ago with our son and daughter ( then in their twenties)and had a wonderful time, princess was not an option this time. We needed connecting cabins as they are now both married with small children. My daughter didn't want to fly home from anchorage, which meant a round trip from seattle. This means much less time in port. You really have to choose between a tour or seeing the town. But since most of us had seen juneau, ketchikan and skagway we were o.k. With this. And i insisted that we see glacier bay before it disappears. Only ncl and holland america fill these criteria. Since we had children 7,10 and 3 we chose ncl. I was nervous about the food as the last time i cruised ncl 10 years ago it was awful. Not so this time. We had five cabins, 4 connecting balcony and my husband and i in a mini-suite. They we all tiny. Now we had just cruised in a full suite on the royal princess so this wasn't really fair. The ship is old, but well taken care of. Our steward aldin worked all the time, was pleasant and kept the room spotless. The bed was terrific but the tv was tiny and the general layout bizarre. I upgraded everyone to the ultimate dining package. The upstairs buffet was always jammed. It had a nice variety but we only ate there under duress. The last night before our nighttime tour of victoria we took the kids up as it was empty and the roast beef was delicious. We loved the lotus garden for chinese food. Ate hibachi ( teppanaki twice- it was a great show) le bistro-wonderful lamb chops and mushroom soup, cagney for steak was very good, and the brazil moderne which has a great salad bar but the meat smelled and tasted off (maybe just me). When we ate in the summer place the food was fine but could become boring after a few days and the service is very very slow. So glad we upgraded. Make your reservations ahead of time from home!!! the entertainment is very good. My ten year old said it was her favorite part of the cruise, especially the dancers (just as good as broadway). The singers not so much. The casino very tight and i love to gamble but the smoke was intolerable. The bingo is a very expensive scam. Three short games and on the final day they do not give away the big prize. The tours are good considering how little time is in port. My kids took the helicopter to the glacier and loved it. We all did the cheesy lumberjack show ( the kids thought it was a lot of fun). It was combined with the wildlife sanctuary. Do not do this. There are no animals except for a chained up bald eagle and you march for over a hour in the pouring rain on a trail and end up in a gift shop. My husband and i took an amazing tour on a high speed boat to a lake where we canoed to a glacier. Except for the fact that you are covered in rain gear, life jacket and then have to walk a mile over rocks and boulders very tough as i had had meniscus tear surgery on my knee and that part of the tour was not in the write-up, it was fabulous. You actually can sit on and touch a glacier (we are 68 and 70 and i though i was going to die) my photos are fabulous. The outhouses are disgusting but it is still worth it. The horse trolley ride in vancouver is a disappointment as they hardly go into the downtown. Just take a taxi in, you will have more fun. My daughter was able to sneak into the haven and said it was like you were on a different ship so when we got home we have already booked a haven suite on the gem. Both entertainment and the food ( ultimate dining package)made the ship for us. And of course alaska is the bomb.

Family in the Wild

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by Treasure Hunter

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2015
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
I picked ncl for a few reasons. Even though we are elite on princess and sailed to alaska 15 years ago with our son and daughter ( then in their twenties)and had a wonderful time, princess was not an option this time. We needed connecting cabins as they are now both married with small children. My daughter didn't want to fly home from anchorage, which meant a round trip from seattle. This means much less time in port. You really have to choose between a tour or seeing the town. But since most of us had seen juneau, ketchikan and skagway we were o.k. With this. And i insisted that we see glacier bay before it disappears. Only ncl and holland america fill these criteria. Since we had children 7,10 and 3 we chose ncl.

I was nervous about the food as the last time i cruised ncl 10 years ago it was awful. Not so this time. We had five cabins, 4 connecting balcony and my husband and i in a mini-suite. They we all tiny. Now we had just cruised in a full suite on the royal princess so this wasn't really fair. The ship is old, but well taken care of. Our steward aldin worked all the time, was pleasant and kept the room spotless. The bed was terrific but the tv was tiny and the general layout bizarre. I upgraded everyone to the ultimate dining package. The upstairs buffet was always jammed. It had a nice variety but we only ate there under duress. The last night before our nighttime tour of victoria we took the kids up as it was empty and the roast beef was delicious. We loved the lotus garden for chinese food. Ate hibachi ( teppanaki twice- it was a great show) le bistro-wonderful lamb chops and mushroom soup, cagney for steak was very good, and the brazil moderne which has a great salad bar but the meat smelled and tasted off (maybe just me). When we ate in the summer place the food was fine but could become boring after a few days and the service is very very slow. So glad we upgraded. Make your reservations ahead of time from home!!!

the entertainment is very good. My ten year old said it was her favorite part of the cruise, especially the dancers (just as good as broadway). The singers not so much. The casino very tight and i love to gamble but the smoke was intolerable. The bingo is a very expensive scam. Three short games and on the final day they do not give away the big prize. The tours are good considering how little time is in port. My kids took the helicopter to the glacier and loved it. We all did the cheesy lumberjack show ( the kids thought it was a lot of fun). It was combined with the wildlife sanctuary. Do not do this. There are no animals except for a chained up bald eagle and you march for over a hour in the pouring rain on a trail and end up in a gift shop. My husband and i took an amazing tour on a high speed boat to a lake where we canoed to a glacier. Except for the fact that you are covered in rain gear, life jacket and then have to walk a mile over rocks and boulders very tough as i had had meniscus tear surgery on my knee and that part of the tour was not in the write-up, it was fabulous. You actually can sit on and touch a glacier (we are 68 and 70 and i though i was going to die) my photos are fabulous. The outhouses are disgusting but it is still worth it. The horse trolley ride in vancouver is a disappointment as they hardly go into the downtown. Just take a taxi in, you will have more fun. My daughter was able to sneak into the haven and said it was like you were on a different ship so when we got home we have already booked a haven suite on the gem. Both entertainment and the food ( ultimate dining package)made the ship for us. And of course alaska is the bomb.
Treasure Hunter’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Service
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB
Tiny, tiny TV, nice balcony, o.k. bathroom, old but clean. strange layout, very good bed. cute towel animals, great steward, no chocolates, no fruit. Beautiful view.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews