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We chose this cruise as a winter break trip for a group of college senior girls who play lacrosse together. New Orleans was closer than Miami for us to drive. We stayed at the Marriott Convention Center as it is directly across the street from the port. We parked our car at neworleansparking.com--secure and again walkable from the port. Last time we cruised out of NO, we stayed at Holiday Inn Superdome, which included parking, but was comparable in price to Marriott plus the price we paid for parking. I would stay at Marriott again. Went to Bourbon street the day before and, of course, Cafe DuMonde. Awesome! We had 9:30 embarkation, and got on the ship around 11:00. Quick and easy. I went directly to dining reservations because we had such a large group. Our rooms were ready by 1:00. Ate at O'Sheehans for lunch and met our favorite bartender who took care of us the entire trip. Just a reminder, the ship must charge tax on your drinks even if you have UBP until they get out of the Mississippi River. My husband and I have cruised 5 times on NCL, 3 times on RC, and 2 times on Carnival. We love NCL's Ultimate Beverage Package as it is not unusual for us to each have 5 drinks throughout the day. The bill we got on the other cruise lines was pretty hefty. DINING: We dined in Indigo the first night, but preferred Summer Palace overall--although no shorts or flip flops in this included dining. We had 3 upscale dining in our package and the service was much better than the included restaurants, but the service in the main dining wasn't bad. Our favorite foods included Beef tenderloin, lamb, and lava cake! We enjoyed Moderno although I am not a meat lover--I loved the pineapple and salad bar and the filet mignon--the experience and service was exceptional. Cagney's service was excellent too, but our favorite was Teppanaki! I would ask for the funniest chef as he had us in tears laughing and the food was outstanding. We loved Lotus Garden and went there 2 evenings as well--awesome potstickers, calamari, kung po, and soups! We ate at O'Sheehans often for lunch--awesome wings, fajitas, artichoke/spinach dip, and I loved to get the side salad with the fajita chicken breast. We also love the Caramel marshmallow brownie cheesecake!! ENTERTAINMENT: We missed the opening show, but loved the Cirque show, the impersonator show (Michael Jackson was awesome), the comedy show, and 80's show! All good! Not Broadway quality like RC Oasis and Allure, but better than many I've seen. Also, we saw the crew talent show during the day because it was raining--super funny! They did a great New Year's Eve party! Pretty much anything they did at night by the pool was great dancing. Otherwise, we headed to Spinnaker (which is nice to go during the day to look out the front of the boat). We missed having the Quest show on this ship--NCL usually has it on every cruise. ONBOARD: Basketball tournament was fun, Sexy legs contest, and the golf cages! Great fitness center--busy, but I could always get on a machine when I went between 8:30-9:00. PORTS: COZUMEL: We usually shop at this port, but it was New Year's Day, so we headed to Hooters to see the Bowl games and get free wifi..ugh. Some did an excursion through the ship to a beach which they loved. GRAND CAYMAN: Love this port to go swim with the stingrays--it was our 2nd trip out with Stingray Sailing (see trip advisor), and while the ship changed docks, times, and everything, they found us, and made sure to accommodate us. Captain Chip and Captain Chris BOTH took our group out, and it was a fantastic time--we couldn't do the sailing because the ship required us to get back early. Snorkeling was great, and the equipment was perfect. ROATAN: Last time we were here, we went to the numbered excursion booths you see when you get off the ship, paid $15 pp for the shuttle to a resort where we paid another $10 pp to use the pool, beach, bathrooms, etc for the day. Loved the snorkeling there! This time, it was pouring rain, but we did it again--but they took us to a resort that was further from the reef and weren't honest about the price. We decided to head back and get our money back, but our van broke down! We had not cell service and the guys pushed the van up the hill through a questionable part of the city!! YIKES! It was an adventure and we saw the island and got our money back--still tipped the driver though. Would do it again, but maybe reserve ahead through bananorama ($30 pp), but you don't have to haggle and nicer transportation. BELIZE--private island It felt like a beautiful all inclusive resort, but nothing was included but the beach chairs. We packed some fruit and waters for the day and enjoyed swimming in the ocean and the abundant beach chairs. The pool had a nice swim up bar, but the water was colder than the ocean..enjoyed our time here! COSTA MAYA We've been here several times, but never went to Mahahaul beach--WHY? It was awesome! $3 pp trolley ride there and $2 pp cab back. You can catch a cab there and save $1, but you have to walk a little ways. We reserved chairs at Tropicante, and I would highly recommend--no charge, but a great walkable beach, with amazing food (guacamole--and nachos--so authentic-yum!) massages $20 for a 1/2 hour and $30 for an hour plus tip. For 5 of us, we got 12 beers, 3 half hour massages, chips and guac, and nachos for $100 for the day--awesome! Overall, I was pleased!

Great food and ports!

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by ahite

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
We chose this cruise as a winter break trip for a group of college senior girls who play lacrosse together. New Orleans was closer than Miami for us to drive. We stayed at the Marriott Convention Center as it is directly across the street from the port. We parked our car at neworleansparking.com--secure and again walkable from the port. Last time we cruised out of NO, we stayed at Holiday Inn Superdome, which included parking, but was comparable in price to Marriott plus the price we paid for parking. I would stay at Marriott again. Went to Bourbon street the day before and, of course, Cafe DuMonde. Awesome! We had 9:30 embarkation, and got on the ship around 11:00. Quick and easy. I went directly to dining reservations because we had such a large group. Our rooms were ready by 1:00. Ate at O'Sheehans for lunch and met our favorite bartender who took care of us the entire trip. Just a reminder, the ship must charge tax on your drinks even if you have UBP until they get out of the Mississippi River. My husband and I have cruised 5 times on NCL, 3 times on RC, and 2 times on Carnival. We love NCL's Ultimate Beverage Package as it is not unusual for us to each have 5 drinks throughout the day. The bill we got on the other cruise lines was pretty hefty.

DINING: We dined in Indigo the first night, but preferred Summer Palace overall--although no shorts or flip flops in this included dining. We had 3 upscale dining in our package and the service was much better than the included restaurants, but the service in the main dining wasn't bad. Our favorite foods included Beef tenderloin, lamb, and lava cake! We enjoyed Moderno although I am not a meat lover--I loved the pineapple and salad bar and the filet mignon--the experience and service was exceptional. Cagney's service was excellent too, but our favorite was Teppanaki! I would ask for the funniest chef as he had us in tears laughing and the food was outstanding. We loved Lotus Garden and went there 2 evenings as well--awesome potstickers, calamari, kung po, and soups! We ate at O'Sheehans often for lunch--awesome wings, fajitas, artichoke/spinach dip, and I loved to get the side salad with the fajita chicken breast. We also love the Caramel marshmallow brownie cheesecake!!

ENTERTAINMENT:

We missed the opening show, but loved the Cirque show, the impersonator show (Michael Jackson was awesome), the comedy show, and 80's show! All good! Not Broadway quality like RC Oasis and Allure, but better than many I've seen. Also, we saw the crew talent show during the day because it was raining--super funny! They did a great New Year's Eve party! Pretty much anything they did at night by the pool was great dancing. Otherwise, we headed to Spinnaker (which is nice to go during the day to look out the front of the boat). We missed having the Quest show on this ship--NCL usually has it on every cruise.

ONBOARD:

Basketball tournament was fun, Sexy legs contest, and the golf cages! Great fitness center--busy, but I could always get on a machine when I went between 8:30-9:00.

PORTS:

COZUMEL:

We usually shop at this port, but it was New Year's Day, so we headed to Hooters to see the Bowl games and get free wifi..ugh. Some did an excursion through the ship to a beach which they loved.

GRAND CAYMAN:

Love this port to go swim with the stingrays--it was our 2nd trip out with Stingray Sailing (see trip advisor), and while the ship changed docks, times, and everything, they found us, and made sure to accommodate us. Captain Chip and Captain Chris BOTH took our group out, and it was a fantastic time--we couldn't do the sailing because the ship required us to get back early. Snorkeling was great, and the equipment was perfect.

ROATAN:

Last time we were here, we went to the numbered excursion booths you see when you get off the ship, paid $15 pp for the shuttle to a resort where we paid another $10 pp to use the pool, beach, bathrooms, etc for the day. Loved the snorkeling there! This time, it was pouring rain, but we did it again--but they took us to a resort that was further from the reef and weren't honest about the price. We decided to head back and get our money back, but our van broke down! We had not cell service and the guys pushed the van up the hill through a questionable part of the city!! YIKES! It was an adventure and we saw the island and got our money back--still tipped the driver though. Would do it again, but maybe reserve ahead through bananorama ($30 pp), but you don't have to haggle and nicer transportation.

BELIZE--private island

It felt like a beautiful all inclusive resort, but nothing was included but the beach chairs. We packed some fruit and waters for the day and enjoyed swimming in the ocean and the abundant beach chairs. The pool had a nice swim up bar, but the water was colder than the ocean..enjoyed our time here!

COSTA MAYA

We've been here several times, but never went to Mahahaul beach--WHY? It was awesome! $3 pp trolley ride there and $2 pp cab back. You can catch a cab there and save $1, but you have to walk a little ways. We reserved chairs at Tropicante, and I would highly recommend--no charge, but a great walkable beach, with amazing food (guacamole--and nachos--so authentic-yum!) massages $20 for a 1/2 hour and $30 for an hour plus tip. For 5 of us, we got 12 beers, 3 half hour massages, chips and guac, and nachos for $100 for the day--awesome!

Overall, I was pleased!
ahite’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 8578/8579
While had obstructed oceanview which allowed us 2 perks and wasn't much more than inside cabin that our 3 kids shared across the hall. It was super convenient to O'Sheehans and a quiet room. I'd recommend it. There were 2 windows--one was mostly obstructed by a lifeboat, but the other was only partially covered. It looked like the last room on this floor closest to O'Sheehans was barely obstructed. Our kids' room (they are all over 21) was across hall. Cabin steward was good, just not as personable as others I've met.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Beach
    We've been here several times, but never went to Mahahaul beach--WHY? It was awesome! $3 pp trolley ride there and $2 pp cab back. You can catch a cab there and save $1, but you have to walk a little ways. We reserved chairs at Tropicante, and I would highly recommend--no charge, but a great walkable beach, with amazing food (guacamole--and nachos--so authentic-yum!) massages $20 for a 1/2 hour and $30 for an hour plus tip. For 5 of us, we got 12 beers, 3 half hour massages, chips and guac, and nachos for $100 for the day--awesome!
    View All 339 Beach Reviews
  • Cozumel
    We usually shop at this port, but it was New Year's Day, so we headed to Hooters to see the Bowl games and get free wifi..ugh. Some did an excursion through the ship to a beach which they loved.
    View All 6,741 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cozumel Cruise Port Review
  • Harvest Caye
    It felt like a beautiful all inclusive resort, but nothing was included but the beach chairs. We packed some fruit and waters for the day and enjoyed swimming in the ocean and the abundant beach chairs. The pool had a nice swim up bar, but the water was colder than the ocean..enjoyed our time here!
    View All 1,187 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Harvest Caye Cruise Port Review
  • New Orleans
    We chose this cruise as a winter break trip for a group of college senior girls who play lacrosse together. New Orleans was closer than Miami for us to drive. We stayed at the Marriott Convention Center as it is directly across the street from the port. We parked our car at neworleansparking.com--secure and again walkable from the port. Last time we cruised out of NO, we stayed at Holiday Inn Superdome, which included parking, but was comparable in price to Marriott plus the price we paid for parking. I would stay at Marriott again. Went to Bourbon street the day before and, of course, Cafe DuMonde.
    View All 628 New Orleans Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's New Orleans Cruise Port Review
  • Beach
    Last time we were here, we went to the numbered excursion booths you see when you get off the ship, paid $15 pp for the shuttle to a resort where we paid another $10 pp to use the pool, beach, bathrooms, etc for the day. Loved the snorkeling there! This time, it was pouring rain, but we did it again--but they took us to a resort that was further from the reef and weren't honest about the price. We decided to head back and get our money back, but our van broke down! We had not cell service and the guys pushed the van up the hill through a questionable part of the city!! YIKES! It was an adventure and we saw the island and got our money back--still tipped the driver though. Would do it again, but maybe reserve ahead through bananorama ($30 pp), but you don't have to haggle and nicer transportation.
    View All 393 Beach Reviews