Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by LuvChowDawgs
- Sail Date: September 2017
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Balcony
There was NO (zero) "Lobster night" this trip and we were informed that there never will be a lobster night again on NCL. That's fine, but for an Alaskan cruise, it seems a little off to not have at least one opportunity, as other cruise lines still have at least one lobster night dining choice per cruise, as far as I know. Still, it is OK and we were told that a lobster dish may "probably" be available at an extra surcharge in one of the specialty dining options. We chose 4 specialty dining options, but no lobster was listed. It wasn't really missed though, due to the availability of great food choices all over the ship.
Cabins are still great. Always opt for anything larger than an inside, when/if possible, simply for a bit more space. Even an ocean view, at a few dollars more, offers more space than an NCL Pearl inside cabin. Whichever cabin style you choose or can afford, will still be a comfortable, well-accommodated, clean room, maintained to high standards - and if not, speak up about it right away! The staff will do whatever it takes to make up for any shortfalls, like unacceptable towels, ratty sheets, etc. Point it out and they will do better - usually right away.
As everyone knows, the first day and the last day present the most challenges, but knowing this in advance can make your trip go smoothly. Luggage may take awhile to arrive at your room. Always plan one complete outfit in your carry-on along with any meds and supplies you may need right away. Expect the muster/safety drill in the first hectic, exciting hours prior to sailing off. On Pearl, you are NOT required to remove life-vest from your room. Simply go to the presentation/safety drill at your assigned time and place. Ask for folio printouts often to check for erroneous charges and to keep track of your spending. Never wait until the last day to do this, or there will be no time to fix errors.
Paying for everything you expect to need, excursions, gratuities, etc, online and in advance will help keep spending in check and prevent excessive charges to the card you put on your folio. If there are errors, or you change your mind about an excursion, these things can still be worked out on the ship, if you do so in a timely manner.
Over all, I think you will enjoy the NCL Pearl. Do not go in expecting it to be just like any other cruise line, it is not. There are no waterslides, there are few pools and hot tubs. It is a rather small ship when compared to ships with large atrium's. There really is no atrium per say on the Pearl. Just a two level area with a stairway. No interior scenic elevators or luxurious spiral stairways (other than one floor up from what is called the atrium). There is however, a rock-climbing wall and plenty of other things to do. Bliss lounge also features 4 bowling lanes and the price is reasonable. Watch for "happy hour" when bowling games are two for one.
Pearl is a very basic ship without the frills of other carriers, but every trip is what you make it. It has everything you need for a wonderful cruise. I would not lower the score of this ship or this cruise simply because other ships are larger or have far more to offer. It is great, the people are great and there is fun to be had. Don't be afraid to join in the fun with other travelers. You may make friends for life. Try karaoke, play games and get interactive. It's your vacation! Relax or cut loose! It's up to you! ;)
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