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Mardi Gras in New Orleans was a great party as expected before we went on our cruise. Over all we had a good time on our vacation although there were a few unexpected disappointments. Obviously we did not use our magnifying glasses to read the fine print when we purchased our on board packages. There were 2 couples in our group. We both purchased the "ultimate beverage package" and discovered quickly that it does not include water, juice, or gourmet coffee. It also does not include the beverages in your mini bar, bottles of wine, or any beverage over $15. Not to worry though, you can purchase a 6pk of water for a mere $14.99 or a 24pk for $58.00. We also had the excursion package which does not cover any excursion, but they will give you a $50.00 on board credit, per stateroom, for any excursion booked through the cruise line. Activities on the ship included tennis, golf, shuffle board, bingo, rock climbing, bag toss, and ping pong, all provided weather permitted and for an additional charge. Our Ports of call were Cozumel, Roatan, Harvest Caye, & Costa Maya. All ports had shops built specifically for cruise lines so you felt very safe. According to the locals who worked in these tourist traps, they were only open when cruise ships were docked in port. We booked a private excursion through Viator for a mini submarine aka (BOB) in Cozumel. It was an unforgettable experience. Harvest Caye was absolutely beautiful but the beverage packages do not extend to the Norwegian owned island. We booked an excursion that day for the Nim Li Punit ruins just so we could actually experience the true culture of Belize. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and the vendors at the ruins were very polite. We had time to walk around Harvest Caye upon our return but do not make the mistake of thinking you can walk bare footed on the beach. It has been created from what appears to be crushed sea shells. The entertainment on the ship exceeded our expectations. The acrobatic couple, magician, comedian, dancers, singers, etc were all very good and I would suggest going to every event possible. The Newlywed not so newlywed game that was hosted by the cruise director Vincent, was absolutely hilarious. We spent a lot of time in the casino which was actually more liberal than we anticipated. We were lucky enough to have a waiter named Roddy, from India, who worked on the pool deck and in the casino who was outstanding! I have given this vacation a 3 star rating in part because the ports of call are not authentic but mostly for falsely representing their cruise packages. I am still trying to figure out their definition of "all inclusive."

Ultimately dehydrated

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by TCPC

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Balcony
Mardi Gras in New Orleans was a great party as expected before we went on our cruise. Over all we had a good time on our vacation although there were a few unexpected disappointments. Obviously we did not use our magnifying glasses to read the fine print when we purchased our on board packages. There were 2 couples in our group. We both purchased the "ultimate beverage package" and discovered quickly that it does not include water, juice, or gourmet coffee. It also does not include the beverages in your mini bar, bottles of wine, or any beverage over $15. Not to worry though, you can purchase a 6pk of water for a mere $14.99 or a 24pk for $58.00. We also had the excursion package which does not cover any excursion, but they will give you a $50.00 on board credit, per stateroom, for any excursion booked through the cruise line. Activities on the ship included tennis, golf, shuffle board, bingo, rock climbing, bag toss, and ping pong, all provided weather permitted and for an additional charge.

Our Ports of call were Cozumel, Roatan, Harvest Caye, & Costa Maya. All ports had shops built specifically for cruise lines so you felt very safe. According to the locals who worked in these tourist traps, they were only open when cruise ships were docked in port. We booked a private excursion through Viator for a mini submarine aka (BOB) in Cozumel. It was an unforgettable experience. Harvest Caye was absolutely beautiful but the beverage packages do not extend to the Norwegian owned island. We booked an excursion that day for the Nim Li Punit ruins just so we could actually experience the true culture of Belize. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and the vendors at the ruins were very polite. We had time to walk around Harvest Caye upon our return but do not make the mistake of thinking you can walk bare footed on the beach. It has been created from what appears to be crushed sea shells.

The entertainment on the ship exceeded our expectations. The acrobatic couple, magician, comedian, dancers, singers, etc were all very good and I would suggest going to every event possible. The Newlywed not so newlywed game that was hosted by the cruise director Vincent, was absolutely hilarious. We spent a lot of time in the casino which was actually more liberal than we anticipated. We were lucky enough to have a waiter named Roddy, from India, who worked on the pool deck and in the casino who was outstanding! I have given this vacation a 3 star rating in part because the ports of call are not authentic but mostly for falsely representing their cruise packages. I am still trying to figure out their definition of "all inclusive."
TCPC’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony
Cabin B2 9028
We traveled with another couple and had adjoining staterooms which was very convenient. Our maid was extremely friendly and did a wonderful job.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Costa Maya
    Yet another cruise line shopping center. There are more options here than the others. There is a swimming pool, swimming with the dolphins, some birds, and a couple of shows, in addition to the stores.
    View All 2,533 Costa Maya Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Costa Maya Cruise Port Review
  • Submarine Tour
    Individual Submarine A.K.A. BOB. This was a very fun excursion. We took a taxi to the Cozumel Hotel and Resort. The subs are set up across the street on the beach. The guides placed several different sea creatures in our hands during our time under water. They took several pictures and a video which we purchased for $30 afterwards. The only downfall was that there were not live coral or much dead coral to be seen. but it was a great experience.
    View All 84 Submarine Tour Reviews
  • Harvest Caye
    The island of Harvest Caye, although beautiful, gives you the feeling of being kidnapped by NCL which is why I gave it 2 stars. It definitely gives you the feeling of being safe but you are fully at the mercy of NCL.
    We took the Nim Li Punit excursion. It involved a 30min ferry ride from the Harvest Caye island to another private port created by Norwegian cruise lines. Then a 1hr. guided bus ride to the ruins. The ruins were interesting and the tour guides knowledgeable. The vendors are waiting for you at the end of the tour but they do not approach you which is refreshing. If you want to purchase something you have to walk through their area. You are given a bottle of water when you reach the ruins. The ruins aren't the large rock structures that you typically think of as Mayan ruins but it is still interesting and makes you feel like you are walking through history.
    View All 1,143 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
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  • New Orleans
    Our cruise embarked during Mardi Gras so if you enjoy a party it was a perfect experience.
    View All 623 New Orleans Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's New Orleans Cruise Port Review
  • Roatan
    Simply a shopping center. No beach experience unless you have purchased an excursion.
    View All 2,845 Roatan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Roatan Cruise Port Review