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We took the NCL Pearl from LAX on April 30 to Vancouver, then continued on the 10 Alaska ending in Seattle. Total of 15 days. The Pearl and staff were a disappointment. When selecting the free Unlimited drink package, we discovered they added a Beverage service charge to out bill. $124.20 for the first segment and $230.40 for the second segment. So much for free unlimited drinks. Also discovered two weeks before the cruise NCL lowered the fair, but tough tootsie for us, no change in our rate. When entering our Mini-suite we discovered there were NO outlets for our CPAP’s at the head side of the cabin. While searching for an outlet, I moved the nightstand and discovered dirty plastic bags on the floor behind the stand. Go to Guest services and Given 2 extension cords, which I had to sign for, to give to the cabin steward. He in turn, taped them to the floor to reach across the cabin. Taped to the floor in the middle of the cabin for the next 15 days. Luggage arrives and the suitcase has one of the wheels totally sheared off. Called Guest services and was told to bring the suitcase to the front desk to see if they can have it repaired. Discover the safe in the cabin is already locked. Need to wait to someone available to unlock it. Now is time for discovery of the ship. Here is what we learned: They now charge for room service. About $8 a trip. Speciality restaurants are A la Carte instead of a flat fee. Seating in the garden cafe is inadequate Many guest just settle in and read books or play games in the Cafe limiting the number of seats available. Indian Head Chef, lots of too spicy food in every venue. Service charge of $27 a day added to our cabin charge NCL no longer traveled with a priest on board. By the way, every Holland America ship has one. Unlike “friends of Bill” which use a meeting room for their gatherings, LGBT socials are held every day in an open bar area. Went to a presentation for on shore shopping. The presenter was almost giddy selling Diamonds International and 4 other NCL favorites. No mention of local shops and speciality stores. Give me a break, every stop you need to go to Diamonds international as your first stop. Daily maps provided show the five stores and little else. No mention of shuttles to downtowns, instead they push their overpriced shore excursions. Internet package, Bought 250 minutes, but on the last 2 days, purchased unlimited internet for 2 days for About $60. Unlimited package only sold from for all days remaining on the cruise. Don't understand why they won't sell unlimited internet for one day at a time. Main dining service was ok but slow and staff failed to notice empty water glasses or coffee cups. 3 days into the cruise, we were given a replacement piece of cloth type luggage. Large enough to hold our clothes getting off the ship, but not nearly the same quality as the hard case they destroyed. Back to Unlimited beverages, Not everyone on the cruise has the beverage card, so once you order a drink and the server sees you have the beverage package, you need to track them down to order a second beverage. They focus on guests who do not have the package, because those folks still are tipping whereas, you prepaid the tips whether you drink or not. Also NCL benefits by serving less to those with packages. and more to those without. We are Platinum members, so we receive a gift of a dinner in Le Bistro speciality restaurant. This gift is an Appetizer, a main dish, and a desert. Except, not the lobster main dish. So in the Restaurant, I notice the Lobster is $24 and the next most expensive item is $18. Can I order the Lobster and pay the $ 6 difference . NO, $24 more. OK. Time for Desert. I order their speciality desert. Profiterole’s - filled with cream and covered with chocolate sauce. What I get is 3 small, solid pastry balls covered with orange, lemon and caramel sauces. Asked the server what did she bring and she states Profiterole’s. Asked for the menu back to read description. Server takes item back to kitchen and returns with 3 small, solid pastry balls covered with orange, lemon and caramel sauces and now covered with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Asked for manager. I tell her that I can’t be the only one noticing this. She tells me the menus are different than what the kitchen is serving. Other also have noticed. But they don’t have the server explain that when ordering. Excuse, Not able to train all the severs yet, ???? This is the 7th day of the second cruise. The great side of the trip is we had an outstanding cabin steward. All of the items listed above are, in my opinion, moves to increase revenue for NCL by lowering the quality of the experience. I, for one, rather know the total cost upfront rather then being hit it fees and additional charges for service charges, room service, and moving restaurants to A LA Carte pricing. We have traveled on11 cruises, this trip being the latest, so I do not know if other cruise lines are lowering their brand and cheapening the product, but I will travel on other brands many times before I consider NCL again.

Not the NCL it used to be.

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by clicko

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We took the NCL Pearl from LAX on April 30 to Vancouver, then continued on the 10 Alaska ending in Seattle. Total of 15 days. The Pearl and staff were a disappointment.

When selecting the free Unlimited drink package, we discovered they added a Beverage service charge to out bill. $124.20 for the first segment and $230.40 for the second segment. So much for free unlimited drinks. Also discovered two weeks before the cruise NCL lowered the fair, but tough tootsie for us, no change in our rate.

When entering our Mini-suite we discovered there were NO outlets for our CPAP’s at the head side of the cabin. While searching for an outlet, I moved the nightstand and discovered dirty plastic bags on the floor behind the stand. Go to Guest services and Given 2 extension cords, which I had to sign for, to give to the cabin steward. He in turn, taped them to the floor to reach across the cabin. Taped to the floor in the middle of the cabin for the next 15 days.

Luggage arrives and the suitcase has one of the wheels totally sheared off. Called Guest services and was told to bring the suitcase to the front desk to see if they can have it repaired.

Discover the safe in the cabin is already locked. Need to wait to someone available to unlock it.

Now is time for discovery of the ship. Here is what we learned:

They now charge for room service. About $8 a trip.

Speciality restaurants are A la Carte instead of a flat fee.

Seating in the garden cafe is inadequate Many guest just settle in and read books or play games in the Cafe limiting the number of seats available.

Indian Head Chef, lots of too spicy food in every venue.

Service charge of $27 a day added to our cabin charge

NCL no longer traveled with a priest on board. By the way, every Holland America ship has one.

Unlike “friends of Bill” which use a meeting room for their gatherings, LGBT socials are held every day in an open bar area.

Went to a presentation for on shore shopping. The presenter was almost giddy selling Diamonds International and 4 other NCL favorites. No mention of local shops and speciality stores. Give me a break, every stop you need to go to Diamonds international as your first stop. Daily maps provided show the five stores and little else. No mention of shuttles to downtowns, instead they push their overpriced shore excursions.

Internet package, Bought 250 minutes, but on the last 2 days, purchased unlimited internet for 2 days for About $60. Unlimited package only sold from for all days remaining on the cruise. Don't understand why they won't sell unlimited internet for one day at a time.

Main dining service was ok but slow and staff failed to notice empty water glasses or coffee cups.

3 days into the cruise, we were given a replacement piece of cloth type luggage. Large enough to hold our clothes getting off the ship, but not nearly the same quality as the hard case they destroyed.

Back to Unlimited beverages, Not everyone on the cruise has the beverage card, so once you order a drink and the server sees you have the beverage package, you need to track them down to order a second beverage. They focus on guests who do not have the package, because those folks still are tipping whereas, you prepaid the tips whether you drink or not.

Also NCL benefits by serving less to those with packages. and more to those without.

We are Platinum members, so we receive a gift of a dinner in Le Bistro speciality restaurant. This gift is an Appetizer, a main dish, and a desert. Except, not the lobster main dish. So in the Restaurant, I notice the Lobster is $24 and the next most expensive item is $18. Can I order the Lobster and pay the $ 6 difference . NO, $24 more. OK. Time for Desert. I order their speciality desert. Profiterole’s - filled with cream and covered with chocolate sauce. What I get is 3 small, solid pastry balls covered with orange, lemon and caramel sauces. Asked the server what did she bring and she states Profiterole’s. Asked for the menu back to read description. Server takes item back to kitchen and returns with 3 small, solid pastry balls covered with orange, lemon and caramel sauces and now covered with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Asked for manager. I tell her that I can’t be the only one noticing this. She tells me the menus are different than what the kitchen is serving. Other also have noticed. But they don’t have the server explain that when ordering. Excuse, Not able to train all the severs yet, ???? This is the 7th day of the second cruise.

The great side of the trip is we had an outstanding cabin steward.

All of the items listed above are, in my opinion, moves to increase revenue for NCL by lowering the quality of the experience. I, for one, rather know the total cost upfront rather then being hit it fees and additional charges for service charges, room service, and moving restaurants to A LA Carte pricing.

We have traveled on11 cruises, this trip being the latest, so I do not know if other cruise lines are lowering their brand and cheapening the product, but I will travel on other brands many times before I consider NCL again.
clicko’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB
OK, but lacking outlets for CPAPS,
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins