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Norwegian Pearl Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2311 reviews
6 Awards

"Is this the first time they have done this"

Review for Norwegian Pearl to the Panama Canal & Central America
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2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2018
Cabin: Mid-Ship Balcony

This was a once in a life time deal to sail to the Panama Canal and see what it was all about. We have sailed on RCL and Princess in the past. Lots of factors involved in deciding on this cruise but location, timing and price where major factors. Not sure if "price point" is where NCL fits in but I somehow thought in my mind that we were signing up for a top notch cruise and we were both very excited.

The start of the cruise might have been some clue as to what we were to encounter. The boarding process had been moved to San Diego for some reason ??? Los Angeles has a beautiful terminal that can handle large crowds and do it smoothly. Right from the beginning it appeared that it was rookie status. Simply unloading baggage was confusing and unorganized. "Is this the first time they have done this" seemed to be a common question in regard to handling logistics with this ship and cruise line. The terminal in San Diego is in a nice area with lots to see and do but the process to get on the ship was terrible and I would not recommend it to anyone. Not sure they could screw it up any better????

Next up was the birthday surprise for my wife from my adult children. My son tried to use NCL's website to send a BD gift to my wife and our friend on the ship. The website crashed while he was in the process and had to start over, which ended up causing him to be double billed. There was never an acknowledgement of the gift by NCL to my wife or our friend, just a credit on our bill??? "Is this the first time they have done this"???

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony

Cabin BA

The cabin was nice but very small, the cabin we had on our Princess cruise was slightly bigger, which was nice.

Port Reviews

Cabo San Lucas

Didnt get to go.

San Diego

Nice place and will go back to spend more time there.

Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

Was a not a nice place. Would not go back.

San Juan del Sur

Another place I would not go.

Cartagena (Colombia)

The transfer wasn't bad and even tried to warn us about the street vendors but the vendors were just to aggressive to enjoy the City and its unique shopping it provided.

The shops and bar that we did make into were awesome and wished we could have enjoyed the city more.

Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Had a very nice time on Grand Cayman and we will go back again. No street vendors trying to hassle us and the people were very friendly and accommodating. Rum Tour was a blast and would recommend. Next time we will snorkel and maybe scuba dive.


Between the ship's crew being unable to organize a departure and the terminals in ability to get stuff off the boat in a timely manner, I would give Tampa a 1 or 2 on a scale of 10 in getting the job done. Cant imagine how they can do this on a regular basis and be so bad at it. If you go, be prepared to wait in long lines and standing around looking at each other wondering what the heck is going on.

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