Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by ajfcafvsfgo
- Sail Date: January 2009
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside
When we left our home at 2:30 in the morning we had to travel 60 miles to the airport, through an ICE STORM. My husband was not allowed to get over 25 miles an hour. "SLOW DOWN". We passed numerous cars flipped on there tops and I was not in the mood for that. We caravanned our way up the Interstate and made it to the airport (2 hours later) in time to catch our flight. They had to De-Ice the plane and we missed our connection in Atlanta. My hats off to Delta. They already had us booked on the next flight to Fort Lauderdale and they made it seem like it was no big deal. Yeah Delta!
EMBARKATION: Joke #1. NCL Funnels you through gates, like cattle. One to get your picture and sign up. Then you go through the cattle stalls to pick up your card. I am not sure if it was us traveling with someone with limited mobility or if it was really annoying but I felt like all this could have been accomplished in ONE stop. (like on RCL.) Did I mention that we were "Yelled" out throughout this process. "Get your cards out".."This Way"..."Keep Moving". I was a little aggravated before I got on the ship.
SHIP: A little about the ship. I am accustomed to RCL where when you get off the elevator at any given floor you can travel the entire length of the ship and stroll and look at all the sites. On NCL I would try to do that and run into a wall or a door that said "employees only". I did not understand the logic here. To get to the Summer Palace, One of the free restaurants, you had to get off on floor 6 mid ship and walk aft and go up a floor to get in. It was exhausting and needless in my opinion. My mother who did not leave the ship until disembarkation has COPD and can do limited walking. This was ridiculous to her and me as well.
FOOD: I don't like the fact that out of the 12 restaurants on board, you only have 4 choices if you do not want to pay an additional surcharge. I feel like I am missing out on some of the better food reserved for the (additional) paying people. Don't get me wrong, I believe that you get what you pay for, but I had already paid for this. Also what they don't tell you is that if you are not standing in line at 5:30-6:00 to be seated, when the restaurants open, then you are waiting with a vibrating pager in hand for a table. That did not bode well with me. We waited on Lobster Night at the Summer Palace for a table for over 2 hours, our group decided to go at 7:30 that night instead of our usual 5:45-6:00. When we did get seated, the service was awful. We waited 11 minutes to get our drink order. Luckily the food did not disappoint that night. The Lobster and Steak were wonderful.
The third day of our cruise the dreaded "Gastrointestinal Disorders" broke out and the self serve food stations were over. They were replaced with not so pleasant people throwing food on your plate, rarely was it the piece of chicken you had eyed, but the one most convenient for them to toss to you. I almost forgot, before you got to the not so pleasant people you were greeted by another employee who was required to drown you in sanitizer. I did not mind it too much, but if people would just wash there hands, this would not have happened. YUK!
GENERAL COMPLAINTS: I did not really meet anyone who was pleasant. I realize that the employees are "At Work" but I am also talking about the other cruisers. NCL is a slightly older crowd and they were for the most part hateful. I found myself needing to move out of others way a lot. I would say excuse me and I would get no response back. Maybe that is because we are from the South and our Mommas raised us right....I don't know.
I have had this issue on ALL Cruises that I have been on. My family is big on soft drinks. We buy the Coke Card, which comes with a sticker on the back of your room key and a mug to get cokes in. The bar staff act mad when they come up to the table you are at and ask if you want anything and you ask for a coke. I guess they think that they are not making any money on you and you are a waste of time. This makes me mad. I paid over $80.00 for a youth coke and an adult and for $80.00 I expect a little (not a lot) of service. I ended up going to the bars myself and getting cokes for the guys. I think Cruise lines need to work on this issue, since I have experienced it on numerous Cruise lines.
Disembarkation: We had booked a Fort Lauderdale Excursion to the Everglades. This was my Mother's first excursion. As mention above she has limited mobility and was content to stay on the ship for the duration of our trip. She was taken from the ship in a wheelchair and we made ALOT of people mad when the NCL employee rolled her right past the lines and off the ship to customs. We were greeted with many dirty looks and snide remarks. Look people...We are all getting off the ship. I am sorry that some people have disabilities and need some special attention. Our party needed to stay together. We tipped him too. When we got to the luggage retrieval room....It looked like the pit of hell. We were greeted with more people yelling instructions at us and a lady at the door yelling "Get all your luggage, once you leave you will not be able to come back"....Who would want to???? We were funneled out and on our way to the Everglades.
I am starting to sound like a complainer....Overall we spent more $$$ on NCL and did not have the best time. I spent more money on excursions trying to make up for the "Not doing nothing" feeling that Freestyling left me with. We will cruise again but not with NCL.
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