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There was a lack of information provided prior to embarkation. Shortly after making the reservation, it was changed from a 15 day cruise to a 14 day and the embarkation port was moved from Los Angeles to San Diego because the Acapulco stop was cancelled. We understand that was for safety reasons, but there was no explanation for why we had to lose a day of vacation or had to alter plans to accommodate moving from LA to SD to leave. At embarkation, we were handed a flier that stated we would not be stopping in Cabo San Lucas because of weather. We had all been watching the weather down there for a week and knew what it looked like. This decision could have been made much earlier and notifications could have been sent well before the last minute. We have now lost 1 full day of travel and 2 port stops before even leaving and since this was booked. No other compensation was offered for losing the Cabo stop and there was no mention of attempting to add a different destination to make up for it. We then did not actually set out from SD until several hours after we were supposed to leave and there was no explanation given. As we were told many times from different crew members, the ship had been loaded with new employees for this trip as training experience. It was obvious in multiple ways. Many of the staff members at bars would actually roll their eyes at you for asking for a glass of water as though it was a waste of their time. The wait staff in the main dining rooms was horrible. Our standard time in the Indigo room was running nearly 2 hours for a meal because staff was so slow. We had one night with a 7:15 reservation and we did not get out of there until 9:45. Multiple times we did not even order dessert because it was taking so long to get our food. We also left one night after ordering coffee with dessert and getting everything for the coffee (cups, sugar, and cream) and getting our dessert without ever actually getting any coffee in the cups. On the other side, there were some excellent standout employees. Specifically, our room steward was excellent. Also, there was the waiter at O’Sheehan’s Pub, Ankit (sp), who was always friendly and helpful. Also, the bartender Mo (Mohammed D.) who worked most often in the Casino bar was a major highlight who always greeted us by name, remembered our drinks, and was an overall great guy. All of the staff we interacted with in the specialty dining restaurants were very professional and helpful. We found the buffet to be very boring and lacking in options during the dinner hours and the food quality was average. The main dining room dinner menus were horrible. The options each night were very poor and repetitive. There was always a dish of overcooked beef slices prepared a litle different, there was always a basic white fish that was grilled or broiled, and always a vegetarian dish. The only thing that stood out was the one night for the standard white fish entrée was Tilapia. That is not a compliment. Tilapia should never show up on the menu of any decent restaurant. It is a completely worthless fish with absolutely no flavor or nutritional value. It is primarily used as a base because the only flavor is from the other ingredients it is prepared with. On other cruises I have always looked forward to eating in the main dining room for the quality and variety of the dishes offered. This trip left me disappointed every night. All of our group felt as though the poor menu options and horrible service was a backhanded way to push us into going to the specialty restaurants and paying for a meal. When we boarded the ship our group met for a celebration drink. The bartender informed us that they were required to charge tax while in port. Totally understandable and not an issue at all. What was an issue, or more of an annoyance, was that the ship was scheduled to leave at 4 PM and we didn’t actually leave port until several hours later. We were charged tax on drinks the entire time. While that couple of dollars makes no real difference to us, no announcements were made to explain why we were still in port for hours after we should have left and NCL should have paid those taxes just for the inconvenience. It was another example of poor hospitality. The tender service in Nicaragua was a disaster. Yes, the water was rough and choppy, but that did not explain why only one tender was being used while 5 others were sitting in the water off to the side. We were supposed to be able to leave starting at 10 AM. No announcement was even made until after 11:30 AM to explain that only 1 tender could be used because of the rough seas. That explanation made no sense because the other tenders were clearly visible sitting off to the side of the ship and the water was just as rough when they did finally commence service just before 1:00PM. Also, when they did start service, they only assigned a few people to assist with the transfer of people from the ship to tender. It was dangerous without more employees to help guide people over the step. So we were unable to get off the ship until 3 hours after we made port, but the cruise director made an announcement that they had permission to extend our port stay 1.5 hours. That does not make up for anything and he shouldn’t have made it sound like we owed them a debt of gratitude for getting part of the time back. The biggest complaint we have is in regard to the large amount of money we paid for a balcony stateroom that had a barely usable balcony. The reason for this is because they pressure washed the balcony while we were in port. They blew paint chips all of the deck and furniture on our balcony. They did not clean up the paint chips at all and they were stuck to the chairs. The chairs could only be used if we draped a towel over them to sit on. Also, the pipes above our balcony continued to flake paint chips for the rest of the cruise so even sitting on the balcony was difficult because chips would land on you and any drink/food you had out there. We paid over $2500 extra dollars for that upgrade and it was a waste of money.

Poor food, service, and communication

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by charlesalanm

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
There was a lack of information provided prior to embarkation. Shortly after making the reservation, it was changed from a 15 day cruise to a 14 day and the embarkation port was moved from Los Angeles to San Diego because the Acapulco stop was cancelled. We understand that was for safety reasons, but there was no explanation for why we had to lose a day of vacation or had to alter plans to accommodate moving from LA to SD to leave. At embarkation, we were handed a flier that stated we would not be stopping in Cabo San Lucas because of weather. We had all been watching the weather down there for a week and knew what it looked like. This decision could have been made much earlier and notifications could have been sent well before the last minute. We have now lost 1 full day of travel and 2 port stops before even leaving and since this was booked. No other compensation was offered for losing the Cabo stop and there was no mention of attempting to add a different destination to make up for it. We then did not actually set out from SD until several hours after we were supposed to leave and there was no explanation given.

As we were told many times from different crew members, the ship had been loaded with new employees for this trip as training experience. It was obvious in multiple ways. Many of the staff members at bars would actually roll their eyes at you for asking for a glass of water as though it was a waste of their time. The wait staff in the main dining rooms was horrible. Our standard time in the Indigo room was running nearly 2 hours for a meal because staff was so slow. We had one night with a 7:15 reservation and we did not get out of there until 9:45. Multiple times we did not even order dessert because it was taking so long to get our food. We also left one night after ordering coffee with dessert and getting everything for the coffee (cups, sugar, and cream) and getting our dessert without ever actually getting any coffee in the cups.

On the other side, there were some excellent standout employees. Specifically, our room steward was excellent. Also, there was the waiter at O’Sheehan’s Pub, Ankit (sp), who was always friendly and helpful. Also, the bartender Mo (Mohammed D.) who worked most often in the Casino bar was a major highlight who always greeted us by name, remembered our drinks, and was an overall great guy. All of the staff we interacted with in the specialty dining restaurants were very professional and helpful.

We found the buffet to be very boring and lacking in options during the dinner hours and the food quality was average. The main dining room dinner menus were horrible. The options each night were very poor and repetitive. There was always a dish of overcooked beef slices prepared a litle different, there was always a basic white fish that was grilled or broiled, and always a vegetarian dish. The only thing that stood out was the one night for the standard white fish entrée was Tilapia. That is not a compliment. Tilapia should never show up on the menu of any decent restaurant. It is a completely worthless fish with absolutely no flavor or nutritional value. It is primarily used as a base because the only flavor is from the other ingredients it is prepared with. On other cruises I have always looked forward to eating in the main dining room for the quality and variety of the dishes offered. This trip left me disappointed every night. All of our group felt as though the poor menu options and horrible service was a backhanded way to push us into going to the specialty restaurants and paying for a meal.

When we boarded the ship our group met for a celebration drink. The bartender informed us that they were required to charge tax while in port. Totally understandable and not an issue at all. What was an issue, or more of an annoyance, was that the ship was scheduled to leave at 4 PM and we didn’t actually leave port until several hours later. We were charged tax on drinks the entire time. While that couple of dollars makes no real difference to us, no announcements were made to explain why we were still in port for hours after we should have left and NCL should have paid those taxes just for the inconvenience. It was another example of poor hospitality.

The tender service in Nicaragua was a disaster. Yes, the water was rough and choppy, but that did not explain why only one tender was being used while 5 others were sitting in the water off to the side. We were supposed to be able to leave starting at 10 AM. No announcement was even made until after 11:30 AM to explain that only 1 tender could be used because of the rough seas. That explanation made no sense because the other tenders were clearly visible sitting off to the side of the ship and the water was just as rough when they did finally commence service just before 1:00PM. Also, when they did start service, they only assigned a few people to assist with the transfer of people from the ship to tender. It was dangerous without more employees to help guide people over the step. So we were unable to get off the ship until 3 hours after we made port, but the cruise director made an announcement that they had permission to extend our port stay 1.5 hours. That does not make up for anything and he shouldn’t have made it sound like we owed them a debt of gratitude for getting part of the time back.

The biggest complaint we have is in regard to the large amount of money we paid for a balcony stateroom that had a barely usable balcony. The reason for this is because they pressure washed the balcony while we were in port. They blew paint chips all of the deck and furniture on our balcony. They did not clean up the paint chips at all and they were stuck to the chairs. The chairs could only be used if we draped a towel over them to sit on. Also, the pipes above our balcony continued to flake paint chips for the rest of the cruise so even sitting on the balcony was difficult because chips would land on you and any drink/food you had out there. We paid over $2500 extra dollars for that upgrade and it was a waste of money.
charlesalanm’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 10518
Room was clean and comfortable, Great service from our steward. Balcony was nearly unusable because of the paint chips.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews