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I chose this particular cruise because our family wanted to experience Alaska. We had time to have lunch and watch fish throwing at Pike's Market before embarkation, which went smoothly. NCL had an area to store our bags for several hours while we toured Seattle. My husband and I traveled with my thirteen year old son and his 14 year old friend, all staying in one small interior room. During down times, our television had a new movie channel, which kept the boys entertained. Quarters were tight and it was difficult to keep all of our belongings organized but it made the trip affordable. Our room staff was helpful and friendly, somehow making our room look tidy every day. The ship itself entertained my son with the basketball court/tournaments and swimming. He ended up making fiends with some other kids with similar interests. His friend enjoyed all- day dining at various restaurants. The staff knew him by first name. The buffet had plenty to choose from and was above average, with a variety of American cuisine and ethnic dishes, mostly Indian and Chinese dishes. We didn't have the package of unlimited drinks and specialty restaurants and there were plenty of restaurants that were good and included. Next time, we will upgrade to a balcony room so that we will get the unlimited drinks and extra specialty restaurants (tempenyaki, sushi, steak house) even though we are not heavy drinkers. Entertainment was mediocre except for the AMAZING magician, Bobby Borgia. He entertained kids and adults on 2 separate days. The most amazing parts of this entire cruise and the entire reason we choose this were the excursions. We had THE BEST TIME salmon fishing in Ketchikan and ended up getting 15 fish frozen and mailed home. We are still enjoying the fruits of our labor. We originally had a fishing trip scheduled in Skagway but due to high winds, it was cancelled. We also had a GREAT TIME in spite of a downpour in Juneau canoeing to the Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. Be ready for any kind of weather. In addition, the morning spent in Glacier Bay, witnessing calving of the Margerie Glacier, all while having the ranger educate all cruisers via ship-wide speaker, was spectacular and a third highlight. All four of us had the time of our lives! Tips that we learned while cruising: 1) the wifi on the ship doesn't work most of the time and we ended up relying on our walkie talkies (when they worked). You can spend $10 for an app that allows you to send messages via cell to each other, which helped us immensely. 2) Bring binoculars so that you can see the amazing details of the glaciers in Glacier Bay and for spotting ocean creatures. We saw many humpbacks and some porpoises while cruising. 3) Upgrade to a balcony room for the extra perks so that you're not getting itemized bills for your alcoholic drinks and to have the freedom of going to every restaurant on the ship OR only get an interior room for 3 or less people. 4) If you have older kids/teens, know that the arcade is NOT FREE and our kids ran up a bill of $200 the first day before we cut them off. 5) Pack rain pants and coat to be ready for rainy weather. 6) Know that you will probably want to do this cruise again so start saving!

Great ports and excursions, good staff!

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by Glacierchaser

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside
I chose this particular cruise because our family wanted to experience Alaska. We had time to have lunch and watch fish throwing at Pike's Market before embarkation, which went smoothly. NCL had an area to store our bags for several hours while we toured Seattle. My husband and I traveled with my thirteen year old son and his 14 year old friend, all staying in one small interior room. During down times, our television had a new movie channel, which kept the boys entertained. Quarters were tight and it was difficult to keep all of our belongings organized but it made the trip affordable. Our room staff was helpful and friendly, somehow making our room look tidy every day.

The ship itself entertained my son with the basketball court/tournaments and swimming. He ended up making fiends with some other kids with similar interests. His friend enjoyed all- day dining at various restaurants. The staff knew him by first name. The buffet had plenty to choose from and was above average, with a variety of American cuisine and ethnic dishes, mostly Indian and Chinese dishes. We didn't have the package of unlimited drinks and specialty restaurants and there were plenty of restaurants that were good and included. Next time, we will upgrade to a balcony room so that we will get the unlimited drinks and extra specialty restaurants (tempenyaki, sushi, steak house) even though we are not heavy drinkers. Entertainment was mediocre except for the AMAZING magician, Bobby Borgia. He entertained kids and adults on 2 separate days.

The most amazing parts of this entire cruise and the entire reason we choose this were the excursions. We had THE BEST TIME salmon fishing in Ketchikan and ended up getting 15 fish frozen and mailed home. We are still enjoying the fruits of our labor. We originally had a fishing trip scheduled in Skagway but due to high winds, it was cancelled. We also had a GREAT TIME in spite of a downpour in Juneau canoeing to the Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. Be ready for any kind of weather. In addition, the morning spent in Glacier Bay, witnessing calving of the Margerie Glacier, all while having the ranger educate all cruisers via ship-wide speaker, was spectacular and a third highlight. All four of us had the time of our lives!

Tips that we learned while cruising: 1) the wifi on the ship doesn't work most of the time and we ended up relying on our walkie talkies (when they worked). You can spend $10 for an app that allows you to send messages via cell to each other, which helped us immensely. 2) Bring binoculars so that you can see the amazing details of the glaciers in Glacier Bay and for spotting ocean creatures. We saw many humpbacks and some porpoises while cruising. 3) Upgrade to a balcony room for the extra perks so that you're not getting itemized bills for your alcoholic drinks and to have the freedom of going to every restaurant on the ship OR only get an interior room for 3 or less people. 4) If you have older kids/teens, know that the arcade is NOT FREE and our kids ran up a bill of $200 the first day before we cut them off. 5) Pack rain pants and coat to be ready for rainy weather. 6) Know that you will probably want to do this cruise again so start saving!
Glacierchaser’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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