1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Pearl
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful and, we love the countries that we were to visit. Besides, it was a Casino at Sea so we planned to have fun in the casino. Our first warning was the embarkation. When we got to the terminal at 11:30, people were still disembarking. We found our Casino at Seas line at 11:50 - zipped right through security because of our scooter. Only one couple was ahead of us. We got on board at 1:50! Crazy. The ship was beautiful, the service (especially our room steward) was wonderful and the shows were great. But, that's where it stops. The menus were great but the food was mediocre at best. The Moderno Brazilian Restaurant's signature meat (Sirloin roast) was dry, tough and inedible. Cagney Steakhouse was good ... a step above Longhorn but not as good as a Ruth Chris (which Carnival's steakhouses are comparable). My biggest disappointment was Le Bistro, the French restaurant. Though the food was good, it was not French. Menu was French but not the food. I ordered their most expensive ($24.95) item (a shrimp dish). I've had more flavor and bigger and more tasty shrimp at Olive Garden, and trust me Olive Garden is not all that great. The main dining rooms also disappointed. Who fries stuffed mushrooms caps? Everything was just blah. The buffet was actually better than the main dining rooms. The Spa ... I prepaid for the Thermal Suite with its "therapy" pools. Well, I am 70 and have mobility issues. The two "therapy" pools are not accessible and there is no lift. You have to be able to climb a ladder. I have only been in three Thermal Suites (all on Carnival). Both the Breeze and the Splendor are wonderful. You can walk in on steps with solid handrails. The Vista was a joke ... easy to get into but smaller than a hot tub. When I discussed my problems with the staff, they were indifferent and said "they are working on that." The Casino - well, it was small, expensive ($10 minimum for tables) and had very limited variety of slots. There were a few tournaments (no discount for Casino at Sea folk) and no promotional games, except for one hour hot seat. Two of the four ports we went to were "fake" ports that have a handful of shops (no real native crafts, clothing or jewelry). But getting on and off was very easy. Disembarkation was weird. If you carry your own luggage you can get off willy-nilly. Causes quite a bit of congestion. We started to get off the ship at 9:45 (our group was suppose to be called at 9:15) and we got on the road about noon. Valet parking was very inefficient. NCL has beautiful ships, a caring staff and great shows. But that is the wrapping paper and Tiffany box. The food, ports of call, embarkation and disembarkation, is from the Dollar Store.

Dollar Tree Present in a Tiffany Box

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by Trishkite

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Inside
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful and, we love the countries that we were to visit. Besides, it was a Casino at Sea so we planned to have fun in the casino.

Our first warning was the embarkation. When we got to the terminal at 11:30, people were still disembarking. We found our Casino at Seas line at 11:50 - zipped right through security because of our scooter. Only one couple was ahead of us. We got on board at 1:50! Crazy.

The ship was beautiful, the service (especially our room steward) was wonderful and the shows were great. But, that's where it stops. The menus were great but the food was mediocre at best. The Moderno Brazilian Restaurant's signature meat (Sirloin roast) was dry, tough and inedible. Cagney Steakhouse was good ... a step above Longhorn but not as good as a Ruth Chris (which Carnival's steakhouses are comparable). My biggest disappointment was Le Bistro, the French restaurant. Though the food was good, it was not French. Menu was French but not the food. I ordered their most expensive ($24.95) item (a shrimp dish). I've had more flavor and bigger and more tasty shrimp at Olive Garden, and trust me Olive Garden is not all that great. The main dining rooms also disappointed. Who fries stuffed mushrooms caps? Everything was just blah. The buffet was actually better than the main dining rooms.

The Spa ... I prepaid for the Thermal Suite with its "therapy" pools. Well, I am 70 and have mobility issues. The two "therapy" pools are not accessible and there is no lift. You have to be able to climb a ladder. I have only been in three Thermal Suites (all on Carnival). Both the Breeze and the Splendor are wonderful. You can walk in on steps with solid handrails. The Vista was a joke ... easy to get into but smaller than a hot tub. When I discussed my problems with the staff, they were indifferent and said "they are working on that."

The Casino - well, it was small, expensive ($10 minimum for tables) and had very limited variety of slots. There were a few tournaments (no discount for Casino at Sea folk) and no promotional games, except for one hour hot seat.

Two of the four ports we went to were "fake" ports that have a handful of shops (no real native crafts, clothing or jewelry). But getting on and off was very easy.

Disembarkation was weird. If you carry your own luggage you can get off willy-nilly. Causes quite a bit of congestion. We started to get off the ship at 9:45 (our group was suppose to be called at 9:15) and we got on the road about noon. Valet parking was very inefficient.

NCL has beautiful ships, a caring staff and great shows. But that is the wrapping paper and Tiffany box. The food, ports of call, embarkation and disembarkation, is from the Dollar Store.
Trishkite’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience

Cabin Review

Family Inside
Cabin I1
We had an inside handicapped stateroom - referred to as a family stateroom. It was beautiful and well maintained. The room steward was wonderful and she anticipated all of our needs.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews