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Spent a week on the Pearl from Seattle to Seattle on the Inside Passage route. Ship: The Norwegian Pearl is a nice ship, but nothing really lept out as memorable about it. Clean, well maintained and friendly staff made for a smooth experience. Special kudoes to our butler (Lingling) and room stewards. Both did an amazing job Cabin: Deluxe Owners Suite (Haven)--Deck 10 Amazing! See the cabin section for a full report The Haven: I am a fan of the Haven level of service and this is our second cruise in a Haven room. However I need to mention some issues with the Haven on the Pearl. The lack of a separate restaurant (you use Modernos for Haven breakfast and lunch) means that you do not have an upgraded Haven option for dinner. So you are basically missing out on a better dining option that other ships offer. Also, Haven dwellers gets priority embarkation. On our other cruise we went up a crew elevator/back door to get onboard without waiting in line. In Seattle priority embarkation means a large man muscles his way past hundreds of people with you in tow up the main gangplank! This was more than a little uncomfortable as everyone watches you jump the line. One odd feature is this room comes with reserved seating the theater for all the shows. I thought they were only mediocre seats (up in a balcony) but they were always available without having to show up early. Dining: Moderno's for breakfast and lunch had a fixed Haven menu for the week. Both were excellent. We also ate there as one of our three "upgrade meals" and the steak was excellent as well. We ate here several times Garden Cafe buffet was par for the course. Good and will keep you alive, but nothing memorable. Also very crowded on sea days. Le Bistro French food that was also very good. Standard French cuisine Sushi Bar --Wife is a sushi afficianado and gave it a thumbs up. La Cucina--Above average Italian food. I had the cream sauce noodle dish. Tasty and portion size was reasonable. Lotus Garden--Awul Chinese food that makes Panda Express look like haute cuisine. Really, really terrible food. Even free it is too expensive. You are warned. We did not make it to any other resturaunts. Entertainment and Activities We hit trivia and bingo a couple of times, attended a lecture on glaciers. I bought the "Thermal Suite" pass for both of us and it was a great respite from the cold and fog we had for Alaskan weather. It is placed right at the bow of the ship and you can watch glaciers go by from the dry sauna. Buy it in advance to save some money. For entertainment we had a comedian (funny), a hypnotist (Nadeen, she was terrible and we walked out) and "Showtime: Legends in Concert" which are singing impersonators. We had faux Madonna, Michael Jackson and Elton John. It was fun and worth an hour. Service Service on the ship overall was great, no real complaints and the Haven just made it that much better for us. Zero complaints here. Ports and Shore Excursions: Juneau--Helicopter-Dog Sled Excursion Cancelled by weather! The worst part was between the drive to the heliport, getting ready, watching the safety video, getting told it was cancelled, removing gear and getting a refund and getting back to town we basically wasted two hours. That trashed almost any other excursion option. So we went up the tram to the park and hiked for an hour. Be warned the line to get back down the mountain was an hour when we came down towards all aboard time. The port time is so short you get one excurion and a quick sweep through the tourist trap street near the pier before you have to get back on. Plan efficiently. Skagway Barely spent any time in the town and took the bus/train tour to Carcross, which is most of the day. Beautiful scenery, great donuts and you get to check out sled dogs and puppies. Great pictures on this trip. Train is particulary pleasant. Ketchikan Again, barely visited the town and took a small boat out to Betton Island for a nature walk. The trail is basically paved with non-slip wooden boards and very easy to traverse. Learned some nature and saw a rainforest. Worth doing and we saw whales on the way back! Victoria. Butchart Gardens. Just go, you will not be disappointed. It is an amazing garden. Victoria was interesting enough we may go back to just explore this quaint town.

Alaska Cruise on the Pearl May 2018

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by vicpylon

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Spent a week on the Pearl from Seattle to Seattle on the Inside Passage route.

Ship:

The Norwegian Pearl is a nice ship, but nothing really lept out as memorable about it. Clean, well maintained and friendly staff made for a smooth experience. Special kudoes to our butler (Lingling) and room stewards. Both did an amazing job

Cabin: Deluxe Owners Suite (Haven)--Deck 10

Amazing! See the cabin section for a full report

The Haven:

I am a fan of the Haven level of service and this is our second cruise in a Haven room. However I need to mention some issues with the Haven on the Pearl. The lack of a separate restaurant (you use Modernos for Haven breakfast and lunch) means that you do not have an upgraded Haven option for dinner. So you are basically missing out on a better dining option that other ships offer. Also, Haven dwellers gets priority embarkation. On our other cruise we went up a crew elevator/back door to get onboard without waiting in line. In Seattle priority embarkation means a large man muscles his way past hundreds of people with you in tow up the main gangplank! This was more than a little uncomfortable as everyone watches you jump the line.

One odd feature is this room comes with reserved seating the theater for all the shows. I thought they were only mediocre seats (up in a balcony) but they were always available without having to show up early.

Dining:

Moderno's for breakfast and lunch had a fixed Haven menu for the week. Both were excellent. We also ate there as one of our three "upgrade meals" and the steak was excellent as well. We ate here several times

Garden Cafe buffet was par for the course. Good and will keep you alive, but nothing memorable. Also very crowded on sea days.

Le Bistro French food that was also very good. Standard French cuisine

Sushi Bar --Wife is a sushi afficianado and gave it a thumbs up.

La Cucina--Above average Italian food. I had the cream sauce noodle dish. Tasty and portion size was reasonable.

Lotus Garden--Awul Chinese food that makes Panda Express look like haute cuisine. Really, really terrible food. Even free it is too expensive. You are warned.

We did not make it to any other resturaunts.

Entertainment and Activities

We hit trivia and bingo a couple of times, attended a lecture on glaciers.

I bought the "Thermal Suite" pass for both of us and it was a great respite from the cold and fog we had for Alaskan weather. It is placed right at the bow of the ship and you can watch glaciers go by from the dry sauna. Buy it in advance to save some money.

For entertainment we had a comedian (funny), a hypnotist (Nadeen, she was terrible and we walked out) and "Showtime: Legends in Concert" which are singing impersonators. We had faux Madonna, Michael Jackson and Elton John. It was fun and worth an hour.

Service

Service on the ship overall was great, no real complaints and the Haven just made it that much better for us. Zero complaints here.

Ports and Shore Excursions:

Juneau--Helicopter-Dog Sled Excursion

Cancelled by weather! The worst part was between the drive to the heliport, getting ready, watching the safety video, getting told it was cancelled, removing gear and getting a refund and getting back to town we basically wasted two hours. That trashed almost any other excursion option. So we went up the tram to the park and hiked for an hour. Be warned the line to get back down the mountain was an hour when we came down towards all aboard time.

The port time is so short you get one excurion and a quick sweep through the tourist trap street near the pier before you have to get back on. Plan efficiently.

Skagway

Barely spent any time in the town and took the bus/train tour to Carcross, which is most of the day. Beautiful scenery, great donuts and you get to check out sled dogs and puppies. Great pictures on this trip. Train is particulary pleasant.

Ketchikan

Again, barely visited the town and took a small boat out to Betton Island for a nature walk. The trail is basically paved with non-slip wooden boards and very easy to traverse. Learned some nature and saw a rainforest. Worth doing and we saw whales on the way back!

Victoria.

Butchart Gardens. Just go, you will not be disappointed. It is an amazing garden. Victoria was interesting enough we may go back to just explore this quaint town.
vicpylon’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Dining
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Cabin Review

Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Cabin H3 10504
The Deluxe Owners Suite is a monster room! The dual bathrooms, dual balconies and living room were amazing. It also had a walk-in closet, two safes and two sinks! I have lived in smaller apartments. One caveat, the forward balcony cannot be used when underway because of the wind across the deck. We did not even turn on the full surround sound system for the DVD library (ask the butler for movies), but it looked great. FYI, there are a pair of binoculars in this room that were better than the ones I brought. Very handy for sightseeing off the balcony. This class and the villa suites also came with preferred seating at the shows. All the other benefits are standard for the haven. If you can either pay or bid you way into this room, go for it.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glacier Bay
    A bucket list item. Spectactular.
    View All 564 Glacier Bay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Glacier Bay Cruise Port Review
  • Mount Roberts Tramway
    We went up the tram to the park and hiked for an hour. Be warned the line to get back down the mountain was an hour when we came down towards all aboard time.

    The port time is so short you get one excursion and a quick sweep through the tourist trap street near the pier before you have to get back on. Plan efficiently.
    View All 204 Mount Roberts Tramway Reviews
  • Rainforest Hike
    Again, barely visited the town and took a small boat out to Betton Island for a nature walk. The trail is basically paved with non-slip wooden boards and very easy to traverse. Learned some nature and saw a rainforest. Worth doing and we saw whales on the way back!
    View All 82 Rainforest Hike Reviews
  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    Barely spent any time in the town and took the bus/train tour to Carcross, which is most of the day. Beautiful scenery, great donuts and you get to check out sled dogs and puppies. Great pictures on this trip. Train is particularly pleasant.
    View All 968 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews
  • Butchart Gardens
    Butchart Gardens. Just go, you will not be disappointed. It is an amazing garden. Victoria was interesting enough we may go back to just explore this quaint town.
    View All 247 Butchart Gardens Reviews