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Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,374 Reviews

Horror story-Don’t cruise on Norwegian

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by VeggyDog4

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2019
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony

I chose the cruise for the itinerary. I was traveling with my 80 year old mother and we really liked the ports. Both of us are well traveled but never could we have expected such a disaster of a cruise.

I can let the terrible weather not bother me. Or even find fun in the 50 mPH winds with 30degree F wind chill. That’s Mother Nature and what can you do. Since we didn’t get sea sick it was almost calming feeling the sway. But unfortunately that was not the case for many.

I feel we had an experienced captain who thinks it’s ok to threaten everyone that he will throw you off the ship if you don’t do what he says. I also feel that based on the fact that I heard the number of sick people by day 3 was 27 and by day 10 was over 1000 of the 2500 passengers. Even if it was your traveling companion sick you too were quarantined to your cabin. They ACTUALLY sent in these poor crew members dressed in hazmat type gear to clean up after these sick people.

I’m very sure the cruise company made a lot of money by forcing people to see the ship doctor at $200 minimum a visit. Even room service is an extra charge at $7.95 per person if you use it and that is per time you use it. I was told Norwegian doesn’t like seeing dirty dishes in the hallways, so this stops people from ordering in the middle of night. So no dishes in hallways, but there were ALWAYS cleaning carts blocking halls.

You are also not allowed to bring even a water bottle on board. The crew will happily make you pour it out. They lie and say it’s security like at the airport. But that is a lie. It’s to force passengers to do it one way only and that's to spend on Norwegian. This company is a bunch of people acting like Natzi’s and risking our lives from poor cleaning, poor security and a crew that liked to bully passengers. Even if an announcement was very very important they weren’t smart enough to have it in every room instead only in some. It’s their way of keeping the passengers in the dark.

The excursion company that Norwegian used is more than awful. Plus in Dublin since my excursion was in the afternoon and you had to use your excursion tickets as your tender ticket, the Pearl crew would not let me off early to go into Dublin. Since my excursion was in the countryside, I didn’t get to see ANY of Dublin. They wouldn’t let us off the ship. People also got hurt on tenders due to not having caring staff helping people get on and off. If I hadn’t. Even there for my 80 year old mother I’m sure she would have fallen.

I’m Le Havre the Security was a joke. The terminal staff left promptly at their end of shift regardless of people standing in line to get packages, purses and bags scanned, and for people to walk through scanners. Norwegian let more than 50 people just walk on like it didn’t matter. In FRANCE!! Are they kidding me.

Even things like broken locks on doors to balcony’s didn’t matter. I reported my two locks broken 8 times. Nothing in mini fridge and was accused if asking for an empty mini bar. It took 5 days to get mini bar partially filled. Was told by cabin steward that no Diet Pepsi was available for mini bars but bar manager said it would be filled.

I got used to three things being a constant comment from the guest relations staff. One-just lie, two, say you don’t know, and three just say no.

Not one map of one town or any info was included in nightly program like on every other cruise line.

This cruise line is cheap and even if you have a mini suite you get the same amenities as a inside cheaper room. Sure there are free packages for drinks but the tipping for two people on this so called free drink package was in excess of $550 total for 2. Then there is extra tipping on the so called free specialty restaurants. They just keep asking for more money and gave less quality, less everything! I probably would have saved by going on a more expensive cruise line then with all the nickel and diming Norwegian does.

We were given one of those really small bars of soap for two people to share for 13nights. Even when it fell into pieces we weren’t given a new one. Many days we couldn’t even get a bath mat for the tub/shower. And forget getting more than one body, one hand and one wash cloth for towels per person. No way no how.

Do not go on this line for any reason. Even though we were treated like crap and it was our first cruise with Norwegian, they treated people who had spent more than 150 nights traveling with them worse.

What a horrible company!!

VeggyDog4's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB 11008

See above info. This is nothing more than a waste of your money. However if you want to have your life at risk by lack of security, by lack of cleaning, by watering down the hand sanitizer so they can save a buck and get passengers sick-go on the Pearl.

Cheap, cheap, cheap on every front. I did feel sorry for the crew that did try because so many went out of their way to be ugly or ask you to go elsewhere because they were cold—it ruined it for all crew.

Instead of posting signs of cleaning major rooms, crew members just said “Get out-cleaning”

Also a sound system on floor 7 near Guest relations that had a piercing pitch most of the trip. I recorded sound it was so awful. It actually hurt my ears and made me unable to even be midship floor 7 for more than 5 minutes

Oh, on every single cruise of the more than 12 plus I’ve been on the gift stores are mobbed on sea days. The cruise company has deals based on things found in the past ports. It was difficult to even get to register on these other lines.

But on the Pearl there wasn’t anyone in the shops. I never saw anyone buying. I got ear plugs for $3.50. But it was 50 degrees with 50 mph winds and they were selling crap from the Caribbean.

It is very clear that Norwegian has lost contact with what customers want.

After a great deal of thinking I think the way Norwegian can solve many of its problems is to take a cruise on a different cruise line comparable to their own. We don’t want them comparing apples to oranges. Or Motel 6 to the Four Seasons. Norwegian is motel 6.

Anyway, they should cruise on a different line to learn how to do it right. How to get in contact with their customers again and maybe stop ripping them off. This line isn’t smart enough to even have good mattresses like every hotel and cruise line has been doing to make customers want to sleep at their hotel. After all what is a cruise ship but a big floating hotel. Wake up Norweigian!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

New York (Manhattan)

Out of date for getting people checked in. Even though they ask you when you will arrive to make it better it doesn’t work. Even with my 80 year old Mother using a cane and going near the front of this huge line we still waited 20 minutes to check in. Look at Disney to learn how to stream line checkin

Cobh (Cork)

Everything closed until a few stores opened at 12 noon. Passengers were given zero info on port, nor any info on shops, what was open etc. They just don’t care. Every cruiseline tries to protect guests from scam artist type shops but by listing good dealers. But NOT this one.

Even with needing EMERGENCY hearing aid batteries for my Mom I got zero help on ship. People of Cork tried to help a great deal and found one Chemist open for one hour at the top of this huge huge hill. I ran up it and when I got inside I scared the pharmacist I looked so bad and I got their last pack of batteries. Based on what happens in the following ports if I hadn’t gotten them in Cork my Mom would not have been able to hear anything for 4 days. Again not one person on ship was willing to even offer to help

Powerscourt Gardens

Loved it and loved Ireland. Our tour guide was fantastic and he made the Irish people come alive. I felt like I really got to know about the area and the people. Best thing that happened on whole cruise was meeting this tour guide. Powers court, I would love to go back and stay in the 5 star hotel on site. Just wonderful.

View All 18 Powerscourt Gardens Reviews

I really liked the town but found it was a bank holiday causing some places to be closed. The tour guide was useless. She knew nothing and you couldnt hear her. So we asked if we could be on our own. She didnt care. So off we went to explore a truly charming town. I wish it hadnt been raining and the bank holiday but we still made the best of it. See security issues at end of review. No security whats so ever when getting back on ship due to cruise ship being lazy and not prepared. You would think they never had cruised before and had no knowledge the French closed at exactly closing regardless of more than 50 people who had not been through security. Very very very unsafe in France. Shame on the Pearl!

View All 53 Honfleur Reviews
London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury)

What a terrible joke. Most cruise companies try and make sure passengers can get to the nearest town easily. Either with a pre arranged shuttle or something. But not the Pearl. Also no British Pounds on ship do we only had Euro’s and American. It was a 2 1/2 -3 mile walk to the closest ATM. Even though customer service told people there was one in the terminal they lied. No cabs around. Port security for town said that some cabs took Euro but charged more and no credit cards taken. So with my 80 year old mother we could walk or go no where. We turned around and went on board. It rained buckets that day. If we had tried to walk we would have been caught in major rainstorm in industrial area trying to find and ATM

So we lost London too. We had lost Dublin due to not being allowed to get off ship earlier then tender time of 1:50pm. Basically, Norweigian could care less if you get to go into port on your own. They do all to force you to buy excursions or be stranded. Horrible and unsafe!

Brugge (Bruges)

The cruise line ended up getting transportation to town here. But the joke was on us. It’s not to Brugge as you think but to a town a mile or two away. At the cost of $11 per person. And no signs to say where to go to catch this when you get off ship. So there were two different busses. One to terminal a block away, and one to small little town a few miles away. Get on the wrong bus and you get an extra time lost seeing a terminal for port.

It was nice being on our own but we really did think we were getting farther away for $11 per person.

It’s just sad how this company throws things together 1/2 assed. Waste of money, put health at risk, put security at risk and more. Just awful and this company should be ashamed.

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