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Just returned from a 7-night cruise on NCL Pearl to Alaska from Seattle with Glacier Bay. My wife and I, this is our 4th cruise, 3rd on NCL cruise ships. We traveled alone - the two of us, a celebration for her upcoming birthday. The ship was packed to capacity with approx. 2500 passengers; there were no empty cabins. Still, until we disembarked 7-days later, the cruise ship did not feel full. Embarkation process was EXCELLENT! Boarding 2,500 passengers was not easy and I applaud NCL for the excellent execution. Our ship left port on-time and our Alaska adventure had begun. The waters were rough the first day as the ship cruised from Seattle Washington to Juneau Alaska. In open waters with high clouds, there were big swells that were felt. Our cabin was very well located (5th deck mid-ship) to absorb the effects of the big ocean swells. Juneau was a cold wet day with a weather system. Skagway was breezy with high clouds. Glacier Bay started with low overcast that lifted by mid-morning giving us cold but otherwise nice weather. Ketchikan was a cool & wet day; once we traveled out of Alaska's islands, we had clear skies into Victoria on Saturday and partly-cloudy in Seattle on Sunday. We had a very enjoyable trip. Shore excursions we chose were all very good although Juneau disembarking on shore excursions was NOT well organized at all; other ports, disembarking on shore excursions was better organized. I do not blame NCL 100% for this but they do share the blame for the madhouse in Juneau with the shore excursion tour organizers. Highly recommend the Misty Fjords Wilderness Explorer tour in Ketchikan. During the visit to Glacier Bay, we saw 3-4 glaciers up-close. Three National park rangers boarded the NCL Pearl and gave talks and discussed the route and what they hoped we would see, One glacier, we experienced white thunder as the corner broke-off from the glacier and fell into Glacier Bay with a noise that resembled regular thunder. The cruise ship rocked with the swells it generated in Glacier Bay's waters. Seeing Glacier Bay was the cruise highlight! Dining was wonderful! We ate often in the Summer Palace Main Dining Room. We did have the three dinner upgrade and dined at Morderno Steakhouse (Waiter Jeffrey was wonderful!), Teppanyaki (fun dining experience!), and La Cucina (Italian food was great!). We tried Indigo Main Dining Room once and had an unpleasant experience; the sliced Beef Sirloin had a tough gristle through it and I asked fir a replacement and the maître d' (not our waiter but the head person) told us no with no explanation and walked away; we wrapped up eating and exited very swiftly. I sensed the maître d' was not well versed in English. That said, we enjoyed the Summer Palace and our other dining experiences. The food served (with the one exception) was excellent! Entertainment was also EXCELLENT! Each day, there was an event that captivated audiences. Legends in Concert was good! Another evening, the Duo Quintessence, a duo performed breath-taking acrobatic & ballet acts. Another evening had a variety show. Another evening had a singer (Laura Wright) perform songs that my wife and I enjoyed hearing. Another evening was a comedian (Steven Scott). All was GREAT! There were day-time activities we participated. BINGO, casino, and nature talks were common. We took the BEHIND THE SCENES tour of the cruise ship. That was an excellent tour. Disembarking the cruise ship at cruise's end was a living nightmare. There must have been 1,800 passengers choosing the WALK-OFF option. It took us over 1 1/2 hours to disembark and clear US Customs. Then the transfer bus broke down and we were switched to another bus. Arrived at SEATTLE AIRPORT and checked in for our flight and we had another winding line to join for airport security check; after 45-minutes in that line, we made our way to the gate for our flight back to Portland Oregon. Overall, even with the littler GOTCHAS we rate this cruise an A++ experience.

Alaska Cruise - EXCELLENT

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by PDXTraveler

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Family Oceanview Picture Window
Just returned from a 7-night cruise on NCL Pearl to Alaska from Seattle with Glacier Bay.

My wife and I, this is our 4th cruise, 3rd on NCL cruise ships. We traveled alone - the two of us, a celebration for her upcoming birthday.

The ship was packed to capacity with approx. 2500 passengers; there were no empty cabins. Still, until we disembarked 7-days later, the cruise ship did not feel full.

Embarkation process was EXCELLENT! Boarding 2,500 passengers was not easy and I applaud NCL for the excellent execution.

Our ship left port on-time and our Alaska adventure had begun.

The waters were rough the first day as the ship cruised from Seattle Washington to Juneau Alaska. In open waters with high clouds, there were big swells that were felt. Our cabin was very well located (5th deck mid-ship) to absorb the effects of the big ocean swells.

Juneau was a cold wet day with a weather system. Skagway was breezy with high clouds. Glacier Bay started with low overcast that lifted by mid-morning giving us cold but otherwise nice weather. Ketchikan was a cool & wet day; once we traveled out of Alaska's islands, we had clear skies into Victoria on Saturday and partly-cloudy in Seattle on Sunday.

We had a very enjoyable trip. Shore excursions we chose were all very good although Juneau disembarking on shore excursions was NOT well organized at all; other ports, disembarking on shore excursions was better organized. I do not blame NCL 100% for this but they do share the blame for the madhouse in Juneau with the shore excursion tour organizers. Highly recommend the Misty Fjords Wilderness Explorer tour in Ketchikan.

During the visit to Glacier Bay, we saw 3-4 glaciers up-close. Three National park rangers boarded the NCL Pearl and gave talks and discussed the route and what they hoped we would see, One glacier, we experienced white thunder as the corner broke-off from the glacier and fell into Glacier Bay with a noise that resembled regular thunder. The cruise ship rocked with the swells it generated in Glacier Bay's waters. Seeing Glacier Bay was the cruise highlight!

Dining was wonderful! We ate often in the Summer Palace Main Dining Room. We did have the three dinner upgrade and dined at Morderno Steakhouse (Waiter Jeffrey was wonderful!), Teppanyaki (fun dining experience!), and La Cucina (Italian food was great!). We tried Indigo Main Dining Room once and had an unpleasant experience; the sliced Beef Sirloin had a tough gristle through it and I asked fir a replacement and the maître d' (not our waiter but the head person) told us no with no explanation and walked away; we wrapped up eating and exited very swiftly. I sensed the maître d' was not well versed in English. That said, we enjoyed the Summer Palace and our other dining experiences. The food served (with the one exception) was excellent!

Entertainment was also EXCELLENT! Each day, there was an event that captivated audiences. Legends in Concert was good! Another evening, the Duo Quintessence, a duo performed breath-taking acrobatic & ballet acts. Another evening had a variety show. Another evening had a singer (Laura Wright) perform songs that my wife and I enjoyed hearing. Another evening was a comedian (Steven Scott). All was GREAT!

There were day-time activities we participated. BINGO, casino, and nature talks were common. We took the BEHIND THE SCENES tour of the cruise ship. That was an excellent tour.

Disembarking the cruise ship at cruise's end was a living nightmare. There must have been 1,800 passengers choosing the WALK-OFF option. It took us over 1 1/2 hours to disembark and clear US Customs. Then the transfer bus broke down and we were switched to another bus. Arrived at SEATTLE AIRPORT and checked in for our flight and we had another winding line to join for airport security check; after 45-minutes in that line, we made our way to the gate for our flight back to Portland Oregon.

Overall, even with the littler GOTCHAS we rate this cruise an A++ experience.
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Cabin Review

Family Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin O1 5558
Cabin 5558 was cozy for my wife & I. Its location was good - midship so any rough seas we might encounter would be felt less than cabins located elsewhere; it was quiet. Our cabin steward Hermogenes Tipo was very hard working individual, responsible for 17 cabins. He created animal figures from towels that were quite interesting and cute. He kept our room clean and was very timely. We had fresh ice twice each day. He was very attentive, polite, and helpful!
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews