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ABOUT MY CRUISE: SHIP/NCL - PRE-BOOKING ITEMS - DON'T DO IT. As items you book are charged diectly to your card at time of booking the item(both excursions and fixed priced dining). I had thought it would all go thru my onboard account... WRONG. So it quicly got confusing when onboard I canceled my reservation for Moderno. They had no problem canceling. But only becaused I asked, did they refund (to my shipboard account) what I had pre-paid prior to trip on my charge card. Once again - I would recommend NOT PRE-BOOKING anything where you are prompted to input your charge card as this means you will have some charges on visible on your charge card statements while others show in you onboard account. As I had used multiple charge cards it got very confusing very quickley as to what I had already paid for and what I needed to do to get a refund. i had thought that many excursions and things were fully booked so I booked pre trip. But in reality, the day of the departure they open up all excursion/dining. So as long as you book day one you should be able to get what you want. SHIP FOOD ATTRIBUTES- Disappointing in lack of tast, quality, and variety. The main dinning set menu variety was limited and quite bland. Meats dry and medium temp. SHIP FOOD OPERATIONS: Very, very, limited hours/seating for sit down breakfast Very, Very, Very limited hours and available seating for sit-down lunch. To that extent I now call them flash breakfast and flash lunch. Lasting about only 1 to 1.5 hours meaning here and gone before you know it. . The main(free) sit down dining rooms: Note: both have the same menu as each other. The Indigo dining room is small seating around 150-200. Lacks spacionous and windows. More like a indoor mod cafe with no views. The summer palace is more like one would expect. Located out of the way in the back of the ship it was always available for walk up. It is well decorated, airy, and has big windows and floor to ceilng wall on windows on the back. BUFFETS: The Garden Buffet was below average in quality and taste and most importantly tempature. Most items looking well aged and dry. Greatly disappointing for grab and go items such as burgers or sandwhichs. Only hamburgers, dogs, and very limited selection of cold meats(typically a mince meat item-salami and swiss cheese) . Did not see cooked chicke breast or sliced turkey, ham. roast beef, american, or cheed sliced cheease.). I think that to control cost the cooks move at snails pace in reactivley restocking items rather than pro actively. For example, middle of luch rush out of sliced cheese... cook placing cheese one slice at a time on the buffet rather than having full plates of sliced cheese ready to go. Food management did not seem to attend to making sure items were stocked and fresh at all stations during meal times. Main meat carving station- very dispointing quality and selection of entree. Only had prime rib once. Had dry turky, dry pork... and even had meat loaf as a entree. i laughed.. meat loaf and an entree at a carving station!! COOKIES - VERY VERY LIMITED. Only avaible at great outdoors cafe during snack hours 3:30-5. SHIP ENTERTAINMENT: Below average in variety and quality, Some headline acts/performers where repeated over 3-5 days where as typically it is one day(2-3 shows) SHIP DRINK SERVICE: Not really attentive or soliciting drinks. Especially lacking indoors. One must hunt down a server to walk up to bar to really keep glass from being empty. TIPS: SUMMER PALACE FOR SIT DOWN MEALS - INCLUDING BREAKFAST AND LUCH. Seems most people did not know it was there. COOKIES: Bring a zip lock bag and grab a bunch for your for your room from great outdoors cafe snack hours. Be careful as they stop restocking around 4:30.

PEARL 14 NIGHT SAN DIEGO TO TAMPA

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by RVA_PAUL

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Trip Details
ABOUT MY CRUISE:

SHIP/NCL - PRE-BOOKING ITEMS - DON'T DO IT. As items you book are charged diectly to your card at time of booking the item(both excursions and fixed priced dining). I had thought it would all go thru my onboard account... WRONG. So it quicly got confusing when onboard I canceled my reservation for Moderno. They had no problem canceling. But only becaused I asked, did they refund (to my shipboard account) what I had pre-paid prior to trip on my charge card.

Once again - I would recommend NOT PRE-BOOKING anything where you are prompted to input your charge card as this means you will have some charges on visible on your charge card statements while others show in you onboard account. As I had used multiple charge cards it got very confusing very quickley as to what I had already paid for and what I needed to do to get a refund.

i had thought that many excursions and things were fully booked so I booked pre trip. But in reality, the day of the departure they open up all excursion/dining. So as long as you book day one you should be able to get what you want.

SHIP FOOD ATTRIBUTES- Disappointing in lack of tast, quality, and variety. The main dinning set menu variety was limited and quite bland. Meats dry and medium temp.

SHIP FOOD OPERATIONS:

Very, very, limited hours/seating for sit down breakfast

Very, Very, Very limited hours and available seating for sit-down lunch. To that extent I now call them flash breakfast and flash lunch. Lasting about only 1 to 1.5 hours meaning here and gone before you know it. .

The main(free) sit down dining rooms:

Note: both have the same menu as each other.

The Indigo dining room is small seating around 150-200. Lacks spacionous and windows. More like a indoor mod cafe with no views.

The summer palace is more like one would expect. Located out of the way in the back of the ship it was always available for walk up. It is well decorated, airy, and has big windows and floor to ceilng wall on windows on the back.

BUFFETS:

The Garden Buffet was below average in quality and taste and most importantly tempature. Most items looking well aged and dry. Greatly disappointing for grab and go items such as burgers or sandwhichs. Only hamburgers, dogs, and very limited selection of cold meats(typically a mince meat item-salami and swiss cheese) . Did not see cooked chicke breast or sliced turkey, ham. roast beef, american, or cheed sliced cheease.).

I think that to control cost the cooks move at snails pace in reactivley restocking items rather than pro actively. For example, middle of luch rush out of sliced cheese... cook placing cheese one slice at a time on the buffet rather than having full plates of sliced cheese ready to go.

Food management did not seem to attend to making sure items were stocked and fresh at all stations during meal times.

Main meat carving station- very dispointing quality and selection of entree. Only had prime rib once. Had dry turky, dry pork... and even had meat loaf as a entree. i laughed.. meat loaf and an entree at a carving station!!

COOKIES - VERY VERY LIMITED. Only avaible at great outdoors cafe during snack hours 3:30-5.

SHIP ENTERTAINMENT: Below average in variety and quality, Some headline acts/performers where repeated over 3-5 days where as typically it is one day(2-3 shows)

SHIP DRINK SERVICE: Not really attentive or soliciting drinks. Especially lacking indoors. One must hunt down a server to walk up to bar to really keep glass from being empty.

TIPS:

SUMMER PALACE FOR SIT DOWN MEALS - INCLUDING BREAKFAST AND LUCH. Seems most people did not know it was there.

COOKIES: Bring a zip lock bag and grab a bunch for your for your room from great outdoors cafe snack hours. Be careful as they stop restocking around 4:30.
RVA_PAUL’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    The island has transit buses(vans) that accept USD. That combined with small size of island led me to take bus to botanical gardens and buy ticket and vist gardens.

    Bus 4 bucks each way.

    Botanical gardens 20 admin.
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  • Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
    Port is an industrial port. Layout is ship, dock, lots of containers, fench, nothing.

    Antigua is small and 1.5 hours by bus each way. So excursion was 1.5 hours up, 1.25 hours in Antigua, 1.5 Hours Back.
    dd
    Antigua is nothing special. Old yes, quaint, no, unique no. If you have seen/visited any former spanish town nothing different. Instead be prepared to get pestered by polite street hawkers one after another continuously while you walk around the very small town.

    Aside from a break from being on the ship, was not anything I would recommend.
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  • Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
    Takes about 1 hour to drive to and from trail heads. Trail itself about 1/2 mile. Not alot of flowers,birds or criters to be seen. Lack of birds was probably due to time of day, afternoon, and noise of group. Lack of criters probably due to noise of group.

    Had three suspended foot bridges each about 50 to 75 meters. Not to see above or below. I had expected a more active Jungle type atosmphere. Grand or scenic Views were few.

    On way back bus stopped at rip off stand where all sorts of mass produced junk with Costa Rica and high prices appended.

    For souviners would recommend vendors at end of pier.

    Would not recommend sky walk tour. Proably would have been better to grab a taxi to take us to nearest national parks.
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  • San Juan del Sur
    The port requires tenders. The pier is close to a small down town strip along a bay.

    Some people walked down there and rented a chair on the beach for the day.

    i took an excursion to Lake Nic. with a quick stop at the town square the small town of RIVAS en route. RIVAS quant but not much else. Disappointed to find that along the West edge of lake Nic there are wind farms. Went to a hasienda that was about 3 by 3 acres on lake front. Glad I did not book just the hasienda as it was not a large farm as I had been led to beleive.
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