Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by retiring soon
- Sail Date: April 2019
- Destination: Transatlantic
- Cabin Type: Inside
Another first was the roll call which was quite active but toxic sometimes. Never been on a roll call before where posts were removed!!
I had hoped to finally visit the Guggenheim Museum while in NYC but that didn't happen, instead I lined up around the block to eat at Ellen's Stardust Diner, a place I had never gotten to before. I must say it was worth the wait, the food was good as was the entertainment.
I really liked my room at the Pod Hotel on 42nd Street, it had quite the view, was close to the Port Authority Building where the Newark Express bus drops one off & also close to a Cake Boss bakery!
I took a cab to the port asking the driver to let me off at the corner of 49th & 12th as recommended by my friend. He didn't & we sat in traffic 'til he could turn into the port which cost me about $20 quite a bit more than the $6.50 if he'd let me off where I requested.
Met my friends inside then waited a little while, I think we were group 3 or 5 & both Platinum Plus. We headed straight away for lunch at O'Sheehan's where I had a Reuben sandwich with potato chips & a Coke that should have cost me $4+.
SO the cruise begins with 6 sea days ahead, lots of meals, entertainment, lectures, gambling etc. The weather wasn't the best & there was one day where it was a little rocky.
Unlike a lot of people onboard I had a great time which could have been because of the people I hung out with but also because I did not contract the noro virus or have any problems with guest services.
Being on a ship with noro virus was a first I could have done without. I was amazed at the measures NCL took to avoid it spreading & the captain's tough position saying anybody who broke quarantine would be put off at the next port.
I found the food to be to my liking wherever I ate & for the 1st time I had a 4 dinner package as well as my 2 Platinum specialty dinners. This cruise I had more perks than I'd ever had before thanks to a roll call member mentionning a new offer. I also had 200 minutes of phone calls which came in handy for calling my sister & good friend on their special birthdays, as well as hubby at home. The calls were really clear, just had a little delay.
The entertainment was varied & mostly good. I really enjoyed the Legends in Concert: Michael Jackson, Tina Turner & Elvis. Deal or No Deal was fun to watch as were the Newlywed Game & the Dancing with the Stars type show.
The lecture lady about all things Irish & the other one about having a better life were informative.
The ports were the major attraction for me on this cruise as it would be my 1st visit to Ireland, country of my grandad's birth. I mostly booked private tours with other CC members & really had a good time. The ones I did through NCL from Zeebrugge (Flanders Fields) & Tilbury (Canterbury Cathedral) were fine too & the guides really good. I don't mind traveling on the big buses like some do.
My cabin steward Emerson was good, friendly, brought me ice when it was allowed & made me many towel animals which I always look forward to
He was quick to rearrange my beds when requested.
I was surprised by the free movies on the tv, recent ones such a Green Book, A Star is Born, A Dog's Way Home & Instant Family. A guide to movies shown is available at guest services although it's a bit hard to read.
I didn't interact with the CD Pedro or his staff as I didn't attend any trivia on this ship, also a first! I went to one Bingo & found the caller did it at a nice speed, sometimes it really drags on but he was quick. The photographic staff were really nice & took some good/fun pictures. The internet cafe manager was a gem, funny & patient even with the long line ups the 1st couple of days. I had 250 free minutes but upgraded to unlimited which was expensive IMO but worth it to me as I love my phone.
Some things were different, maybe because of the noro virus or whatever it was like no farewell show.
The solo meet up the 2nd night was overwhelming with over 30 people attending. I met a nice male friend there but didn't usually attend the gatherings or meals as I had new friends onboard to do things with. Solo travel is so much better on the bigger NCL ships with studio cabins.
I did self disembarkation after one last breakfast at O'Sheehan's, a restaurant I really enjoyed throughout the cruise.
That's all I can think of at the moment but will conclude by saying I really enjoyed the cruise & wasn't disappointed at all.
I also had a great time with my Dutch friend I'd met on the Epic in 2011, who showed me around Amsterdam for 2 days. The Avenue Hotel where I stayed for 2 nights was great, lovely room, big breakfast & really close to a lot of places especially Centraal Station.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Brugge (Bruges)My husband & I had been here before on a road trip but I wanted to repeat the experience with a guide. The guide was really good & talkative!View All 12,792 Brugge (Bruges) Cruise Port Reviews
First stop was the Menin Gate where we had a little free time before driving over to the Flanders Field Museum which is very interesting.
We had I think it was 3 hours to tour the museum, have lunch , see the Cathedral & make any purchases of chocolate, lace etc.
Next up was the Tyne Cot cemetery or maybe it was first? It is beautiful, the graves are so well tended with little gardens in front of the monuments. So sad to think that each marker represents a young life lost in war. BTW the w/c here cost 50 Euro cents & there was a change maker taking up to 20 Euro bills which was what I had, so ended up with the jackpot of 40 coins!!
Last stop was the Flanders Field John McCrae cemetery where this famous, at least to Canadians, wrote the lovely poem "In Flanders Fields". I had been to the McCrae house museum in Guelph Ontario so was glad to finally see this memorial.
View Cruise Critic's Brugge (Bruges) Cruise Port Review
Cobh (Cork)I joined others from the CC roll call on this private tour through E Coach.View All 343 Cobh (Cork) Cruise Port Reviews
The driver/guide Mike was great & we were the 1st bus away from the port.
We went to Blarney Castle which was beautiful, not so much the building but the lovely gardens & surroundings. I didn't kiss the Stone as I'm gabby enough as you may have noticed!! We had 2 1/2 hours there.
Next stop was Kinsale, a lovely fishing type village, very touristy. I ate, at Mike's suggestion, at Dino's where I had fish & chips, 3 big pieces of lemon sole & lots of homecut fries. I couldn't resist the call of a piece of rhubarb pie served with whipped cream on the side.
The final stop was the Cathedral which was quite near the port. It was lovely & had a great view of the area around it.
This was a lovely tour & I'd highly recommend it.
View Cruise Critic's Cobh (Cork) Cruise Port Review
DublinWell this was our one & only tender port (Dun Laoghaire) for which we were thankful as it was a mess!!!! Poor Rocky our guide was to pick us up at 8:30 but due to the problems we didn't end up leaving 'til 10:15 ish which cut into our tour's schedule. We had a lovely drive in the country going to Glendalough & a nice walk around seeing the ruins & old cemetery.View All 12,792 Dublin Cruise Port Reviews
We went to a carvery for lunch then back to Dublin for a tour around the Town. It was lovely but crowded. Because of the delay earlier we were unable to go aboard the Jeanie Johnston, a replica of the tall ship that took the Irish immigrants to the US & Canada.
This was a day well spent.
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Le HavreI took a private tour through Overlord Tours to Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery, Bayeux & Honfleur.I was glad I had my winter coat as it was pretty chilly at the beach.View All 319 Le Havre Cruise Port Reviews
We had free time to wander the cemetery & use the w/c which was free.
In Bayeux, where there's a famous tapestry & a lovely Cathedral, I saw neither as we spent so long waiting for lunch in the little bistro a nice family from the tour let me join them at. It also poured down rain when we left the cafe.
Honfleur was a lovely place, such beautiful architecture, fishing vessels & very touristy. There was a carousel there & lovely flowers in bloom in the middle of the road.
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Canterbury Walking TourIt looked like we'd have good weather as we drove towards Canterbury but our guide Claire said so & then there was rain!! The Cathedral is lovely & interesting as a historic place. The Town is beautiful & one house even has one of those chairs like in Bermuda where the Wench is tipped into the water.View All 3 Canterbury Walking Tour Reviews
I bought a Cornish Pasty (yum) at a shop where I discovered the money I had left over from a trip to London in 2012 was no longer good! Went to the Lloyd's bank on the high street but they couldn't exchange it but directed me to a money exchange office across the street which bought it, charging a small fee. If you have post cards to mail, the ones I mailed from here to Ontario Canada took less than a week!