This cruise was a last moment decision to get some sun in the middle of January Weather in Minnesota.
This was our 18th cruise on NCL and our 2nd time taking the Pearl to sea. We are currently Platinum Plus members on NCL's Latitudes Reward system.
Tampa & the Barrymore Hotel: We flew into Tampa Wednesday morning, from Minnesota. We requested a taxi in the baggage claim area of the Tampa airport and it picked us up immediately and took us to the Barrymore Hotel. I gave the cab driver a $10.00 tip as he was of Moroccan decent and was a true delight during the ride. The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk is a funky run down motel with an O.K room that served the purpose of being close to the cruise dock area cheaply. Restaurants are not in easy walking distance and the Hotel Restaurant breakfast service was very poor to non existent. So if you are walking challenged, staying at this Hotel may be a poor choice for you.
The Hotel Shuttle to us to the Port at 11:00 AM on Thursday and we immediately checked in. *** People in the Embarkation waiting area need to understand that you will board the ship in a rotation determined by your Latitude level so it was chaos when individuals at lower levels were arguing with security about boarding first.***
The Pearl was:
The Staff was;
- We had three favorite waiters/waitresses immediately.
- Our Cabin Stewart (Rotessa), was very friendly, a hard worker and a delight to be around
The Interior Cabin, 10105;
- a Clean, Well Located, Regular sized inside cabin that made our routine on the Pearl convenient.
- Cagney's 5 stars. (Service and food was impeccable). (2 evening meals)
- La Cucina 4 Stars. (Service by "Francis", (our Waiter), is always the best). Menu is less desirable than Cagney's in my opinion. (1 Evening meal).
- Le Bristro 5 Stars. Menu was extensive, Food was prepared and served flawlessly my Mary Jane and the meal was a delight. (1 evening meal)
- Summer Palace. A great breakfast place. Sit and watch the sea go by and you wake up with a good cup of coffee.
- Indigo was our choice in the evening. It was adequate.
- O'Sheehan's; Needs a more extensive menu and add more waiters. The Menu is limited and it took over an hour to get served at lunch time.
- Garden Cafe Buffet; I would recommend staying away from eating in the Buffet unless you are ready to be run over by a starving passenger that just needs to get to those french fries before you do. Food is adequate. Table cleaners are friendly, though seating capacity is limited so a table for two is at times hard to find.
- Staff is very friendly and the machines, while not giving back large jackpots, kept my wife and her allotted limit in the game until Day 9.
Shows: Entertainment was very limited on this cruise.
Ports of Call:
- Key West: Antigua: Tortola: ST Maartin: San Juan, Porto Rico:
All of the ports were non eventful. No excursions were taken as I been there-Done That on [previous cruises. Did several long walks in the different Ports. Most of last years Hurricane damage has been fixed in the tourist areas.
- Orderly, Efficient and Well Managed. Used NCL to shuttle us back to the Tampa Airport and I was through security at the airport by 9:45 AM.
Clean, Well Located. Average Size, Extremely Quiet!