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This was a great cruise with an exceptional itinerary. Although NCL could not control the weather, I am sure they would like to take credit for 13 days of "beyond exceptional" weather with temps ranging in the upper 50s, 60s to low 70s on many days, along with blue skies, and only 1 day of rain that happened to be on a sea day, so no big deal. There were some hurdles and issues we had to deal with such as a noisy AC/Heat unit that made it tough to sleep for the first 4+ nights until NCL finally replaced the inside actuator. 4 days of having to deal with high alert sanitize issues, a crowded buffet in the morning, very warm temps inside the communal spaces of the ship (Spinnaker, most restaurants, lounges, etc.) that fell on deaf ears when we asked if they could lower the temps to a more comfortable level. All in all, these minimal issues do not, at all, override what was a fantastic 14-day cruise! NCL PEARL A small, yet very efficient mid-size ship that offers plenty of options for dining, drinking, chilling out and evening entertainment. After a couple of days, it was easy to maneuver around, especially with the 3 stairwells/elevator areas. ACTIVITIES/DINING/BARS/ENTERTAINMENT Activities - We opted to use the hot tubs on a couple of occasions and exercised by taking the stairs the majority of the time. Dining - We dined at the buffet (mainly for breakfast), the MDRs on the nights we didn't use the specialty restaurants (5) or O'Sheehans for a quick bits. Yep - the buffet was tough to deal with for the first few days, but we dealt with it without complaining as the NCL staff did their best due to the prior cruise situation. Bars - We spent some quality "drinking time" mainly at Shakers and had exceptional service from Oliver, Julius, Melchior & Guillermo, along with Arturo from the Casino Bar during my NCL donation time. Entertainment - We really enjoyed the entertainment from the Irish singer, other musicians, magicians and the impersonators (Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Elvis) who really got the crowds involved. The NCL band was really good! PORTS AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - We spent a day earlier in Amsterdam and thoroughly enjoyed this vibrant, scenic and walkable city. Just beware of the massive amounts of bicycles in Amsterdam! We did Keukenhof Gardens, a canal boat tour and Ann Frank house. EDINBURGH, Scotland - We traveled to the "Old Course" at St. Andrews to experience the home of golf without golfing. It is a quaint town with plenty of nice architecture, shops and restaurants. This also included a stop at Glamis Castle, which was very impressive and provided some great photos. Excursion via NCL. INVERNESS, Scotland - We did the Loch Ness/Urquhart Castle excursion as provided by NCL. The castle is located on the lake where you can hope to see "Nessie." The castle is in ruins but does provide some great photos. BERGEN, Norway - We really enjoyed Bergen, Norway as the town was what we envisioned about Norway. Unfortunatey, we did book an excursion through NCL - Hardanger Ford that even with our $150 per port discount, it was rather expensive and not worth the significant amount of bus time that it took. I would've preferred to just stay in the town of Bergen and walk around. FLAAM, Norway - A cute and tiny little town that is home to an amazing railway experience that traverses up the mountain side with plenty of waterfalls and vistas that overlook clear streams/rivers, along with a stop to see a "huge" waterfall. We booked the train excursion via NCL. GEIRANGER, Norway - This was, by a very large margin, our favorite port during our cruise. It really helped that we had blue skies and temps in the mid to upper 60s. The ride into Geiranger from Hellesylt is simply breathtakingly beautiful - from the numerous waterfalls, huge Fjord formations, and snow capped mountain tops to a cute and quaint little Norwegian town - stupendous! We did the Eagle Road (twisty turny switchback) to views that were amazing, along with a bus drive up to Dalsnibba Mountain that was also a bit of a driving adrenaline boost with its winding roads that got us up to 1100 meters high. Unfortunately, due the the signficant snow at the top, we were unable to get to the 1500 meter mark. However, this was, by far, one of the most amazing pieces of earth that we have ever witnessed. The photo ops were everywhere and were all very inspiring to see. The large amounts of snow only added to the beauty. BELFAST, Northern Ireland - We did the Giant's Causeway excursion via NCL and it shouldn't be missed. It is truly a unique and must do experience while in Northern Ireland. DUBLIN, Ireland - As we have been to Dublin before, we just opted for the Guinness Tour with transportation to have a few pints at the Connoisseur Experience (book it on your own and in adance). We drank a few "proper" pints, spent some $ in the store and in Dublin, had a great dinner at FX Buckley Steakhouse on Crow Street in the Temple Bar area, lots of walking around, but well worth it to experience such a great city. LE HAVRE (NORMANDY), France - We did the Normandy Beaches Tour and walked away feeling even more inspired by those who gave the ultimate sacrifice from WWII with included stops at Arromanches, Cliffs, Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery, where over 9300 "heroes" are buried. TILBURY (LONDON), England - We did the "London on your own" tour via NCL that included bus transportation into London. However, and very unfortunate, the day of our tour (Thursday, 5/23) also happened to be election day as well. Traffic was horrible due to protests, road closures, etc. What was supposed to be 6.5 hours of time in London ended up being about a little over 4 hours. However, we jammed in the London Eye, a scaffold-covered Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, to scenic and walkable parks, a quick pint and some fish & chips sealed the time. We hope to visit London again but with more time. ZEEBRUGE (BRUGES), Belgium - Outstanding! We did "Bruges in a Day" excursion via NCL. This was our 2nd favorite port (Norway #1). Bruges is clean, easy to navigate with plenty of cafes, chocolate, shopping, lace and waterways where you can take a nice canal ride of 30-minutes for only 10 euro. The architecture is visually impressive. SERVICE Superb across the entire ship from our wonderful room steward, Rommel (amazing towel animals), to the multitude of bartenders, ship staff, washy washy attendants and other staff personnel, including officers, who were very cordial throughout the cruise. Go on a cruise and look at your glass as "half-full" and do not let anyone ruin your vacation. Be relaxed, chill out and don't let your expectations be so out of place that you ruin other peoples time while on your cruise. Remember that those who are their to make your stay on your cruise the best possible time ever, are just sometimes not able to make even the pickiest of people happy. Don't be one of those types of people. Life's too short to be miserable!

A magnificent cruise with fantastic weather and wonderful ports

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by TDHNJ

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
This was a great cruise with an exceptional itinerary. Although NCL could not control the weather, I am sure they would like to take credit for 13 days of "beyond exceptional" weather with temps ranging in the upper 50s, 60s to low 70s on many days, along with blue skies, and only 1 day of rain that happened to be on a sea day, so no big deal. There were some hurdles and issues we had to deal with such as a noisy AC/Heat unit that made it tough to sleep for the first 4+ nights until NCL finally replaced the inside actuator. 4 days of having to deal with high alert sanitize issues, a crowded buffet in the morning, very warm temps inside the communal spaces of the ship (Spinnaker, most restaurants, lounges, etc.) that fell on deaf ears when we asked if they could lower the temps to a more comfortable level. All in all, these minimal issues do not, at all, override what was a fantastic 14-day cruise!

NCL PEARL

A small, yet very efficient mid-size ship that offers plenty of options for dining, drinking, chilling out and evening entertainment. After a couple of days, it was easy to maneuver around, especially with the 3 stairwells/elevator areas.

ACTIVITIES/DINING/BARS/ENTERTAINMENT

Activities - We opted to use the hot tubs on a couple of occasions and exercised by taking the stairs the majority of the time.

Dining - We dined at the buffet (mainly for breakfast), the MDRs on the nights we didn't use the specialty restaurants (5) or O'Sheehans for a quick bits. Yep - the buffet was tough to deal with for the first few days, but we dealt with it without complaining as the NCL staff did their best due to the prior cruise situation.

Bars - We spent some quality "drinking time" mainly at Shakers and had exceptional service from Oliver, Julius, Melchior & Guillermo, along with Arturo from the Casino Bar during my NCL donation time.

Entertainment - We really enjoyed the entertainment from the Irish singer, other musicians, magicians and the impersonators (Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Elvis) who really got the crowds involved. The NCL band was really good!

PORTS

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - We spent a day earlier in Amsterdam and thoroughly enjoyed this vibrant, scenic and walkable city. Just beware of the massive amounts of bicycles in Amsterdam! We did Keukenhof Gardens, a canal boat tour and Ann Frank house.

EDINBURGH, Scotland - We traveled to the "Old Course" at St. Andrews to experience the home of golf without golfing. It is a quaint town with plenty of nice architecture, shops and restaurants. This also included a stop at Glamis Castle, which was very impressive and provided some great photos. Excursion via NCL.

INVERNESS, Scotland - We did the Loch Ness/Urquhart Castle excursion as provided by NCL. The castle is located on the lake where you can hope to see "Nessie." The castle is in ruins but does provide some great photos.

BERGEN, Norway - We really enjoyed Bergen, Norway as the town was what we envisioned about Norway. Unfortunatey, we did book an excursion through NCL - Hardanger Ford that even with our $150 per port discount, it was rather expensive and not worth the significant amount of bus time that it took. I would've preferred to just stay in the town of Bergen and walk around.

FLAAM, Norway - A cute and tiny little town that is home to an amazing railway experience that traverses up the mountain side with plenty of waterfalls and vistas that overlook clear streams/rivers, along with a stop to see a "huge" waterfall. We booked the train excursion via NCL.

GEIRANGER, Norway - This was, by a very large margin, our favorite port during our cruise. It really helped that we had blue skies and temps in the mid to upper 60s. The ride into Geiranger from Hellesylt is simply breathtakingly beautiful - from the numerous waterfalls, huge Fjord formations, and snow capped mountain tops to a cute and quaint little Norwegian town - stupendous! We did the Eagle Road (twisty turny switchback) to views that were amazing, along with a bus drive up to Dalsnibba Mountain that was also a bit of a driving adrenaline boost with its winding roads that got us up to 1100 meters high. Unfortunately, due the the signficant snow at the top, we were unable to get to the 1500 meter mark. However, this was, by far, one of the most amazing pieces of earth that we have ever witnessed. The photo ops were everywhere and were all very inspiring to see. The large amounts of snow only added to the beauty.

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - We did the Giant's Causeway excursion via NCL and it shouldn't be missed. It is truly a unique and must do experience while in Northern Ireland.

DUBLIN, Ireland - As we have been to Dublin before, we just opted for the Guinness Tour with transportation to have a few pints at the Connoisseur Experience (book it on your own and in adance). We drank a few "proper" pints, spent some $ in the store and in Dublin, had a great dinner at FX Buckley Steakhouse on Crow Street in the Temple Bar area, lots of walking around, but well worth it to experience such a great city.

LE HAVRE (NORMANDY), France - We did the Normandy Beaches Tour and walked away feeling even more inspired by those who gave the ultimate sacrifice from WWII with included stops at Arromanches, Cliffs, Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery, where over 9300 "heroes" are buried.

TILBURY (LONDON), England - We did the "London on your own" tour via NCL that included bus transportation into London. However, and very unfortunate, the day of our tour (Thursday, 5/23) also happened to be election day as well. Traffic was horrible due to protests, road closures, etc. What was supposed to be 6.5 hours of time in London ended up being about a little over 4 hours. However, we jammed in the London Eye, a scaffold-covered Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, to scenic and walkable parks, a quick pint and some fish & chips sealed the time. We hope to visit London again but with more time.

ZEEBRUGE (BRUGES), Belgium - Outstanding! We did "Bruges in a Day" excursion via NCL. This was our 2nd favorite port (Norway #1). Bruges is clean, easy to navigate with plenty of cafes, chocolate, shopping, lace and waterways where you can take a nice canal ride of 30-minutes for only 10 euro. The architecture is visually impressive.

SERVICE

Superb across the entire ship from our wonderful room steward, Rommel (amazing towel animals), to the multitude of bartenders, ship staff, washy washy attendants and other staff personnel, including officers, who were very cordial throughout the cruise.

Go on a cruise and look at your glass as "half-full" and do not let anyone ruin your vacation. Be relaxed, chill out and don't let your expectations be so out of place that you ruin other peoples time while on your cruise. Remember that those who are their to make your stay on your cruise the best possible time ever, are just sometimes not able to make even the pickiest of people happy. Don't be one of those types of people. Life's too short to be miserable!
TDHNJ’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 10086
We have cruised before and only do mid-ship balcony while knowing the limited space that is available, but we have become proficient at maximizing the space provided in our room - drawers, open shelf space and a good size closet (with 21 hangers). The bathroom can be a bit tight, and the small entry way could use some better/brighter/more lighting. The bed was comfy and the 2 pillows each of us had were great.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews