This was our 3rd cruise with NCL, we chose a 10 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. It was my husband and I and another couple. My husband and I are 40, very laid back and just love the cruise life!
Embarkation in Tampa went smoothly, we arrived early (9:30-ish?) and were on the ship before noon with Mojitos in hand!
Having sailed on the Dawn and the Epic, the Pearl is similar to the Dawn. So far we prefer the ease of navigating the smaller ships and think they feel less crowded. There were very few times we felt overwhelmed with people. Highlights of the ship for us were the Spinnaker Lounge with all the windows overlooking the sea, the promenade on deck 7, and the Great Outdoors located on deck 12 aft. The Pearl doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles the newer larger ships have, but we don't need those things anyway. We like to rest and take it easy while on vacation.
Just a basic inside cabin, nothing special, I liked the colors of the room. There was adequate storage for us. The only hang-up was the toilet, my husband is a big guy and tall, and had to sit sideways,there wasn't much leg room to sit at the correct angle. I actually sat on it sideways as well.
Enjoyed the scenic streets of Old San Juan! If you have mobility issues it may be challenging to get around, cobblestone streets and many hills. However, it is gorgeous, we visited the forts and had mofongo at the Punto de Vista Rooftop Restaurant. Wish we had had a longer stop here!
Went to the taxi dispatch area and got a 3 hour tour of the island, with 8 people it only cost us $25 pp. Informational and had many beautiful views, went completely around the island visiting both French and Dutch sides. (Try a banana shake at the Exodus Juice Bar in Marigot!)
Walked Key West on our own, visiting the southernmost point and the Hemingway house. Had drinks at Sloppy Joes and stumbled back to the ship. There is a lot to do in the port close to the ship if you don't feel like walking far.