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We had previously cruised with NCL. Consequently the cruise did meet our expectations but did not necessarily exceed those expectations. The staff throughout the ship were wonderful; entertainment and activities were very good; however, food was average. The food in the specialty restaurants was quite good and I would submit well worth the additional charges. Shore excursions were egregiously expensive and save and except for one or two excursions, the excursions were not very informative. While I understand that it is difficult to provide an overview of a city within 3 to 4 hours, I feel it is important to have the excursions provide some substantive content and allow passengers the opportunity to disembark from the coach and actually experience the city, e.g. a museum and actually see the landmarks. Some of the excursions were simply drive by without any real opportunity to see the landmark that had been pointed out. There was also essentially no time set aside for shopping or free time. Internet usage was also very expensive; it was essential for me to have access to the internet as I was still working on the cruise. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, we would cruise with NCL again.

Great cruise except for shore excursions

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by sambulte

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
We had previously cruised with NCL. Consequently the cruise did meet our expectations but did not necessarily exceed those expectations. The staff throughout the ship were wonderful; entertainment and activities were very good; however, food was average. The food in the specialty restaurants was quite good and I would submit well worth the additional charges. Shore excursions were egregiously expensive and save and except for one or two excursions, the excursions were not very informative. While I understand that it is difficult to provide an overview of a city within 3 to 4 hours, I feel it is important to have the excursions provide some substantive content and allow passengers the opportunity to disembark from the coach and actually experience the city, e.g. a museum and actually see the landmarks. Some of the excursions were simply drive by without any real opportunity to see the landmark that had been pointed out. There was also essentially no time set aside for shopping or free time. Internet usage was also very expensive; it was essential for me to have access to the internet as I was still working on the cruise. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, we would cruise with NCL again.
sambulte’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 9598
Room was small but adequate and very well maintained during our stay. Great to have the balcony.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    We actually had the opportunity to get off the coaches on 3 separate occasions not only for photo stops but received informative commentary. The stop at the palace was excellent - we actually got to experience the Changing of the Guard. The guide was also quite good.
    View All 176 City Tour Reviews
  • Gdansk (Warsaw)
    The tour was essentially a drive by of the City. We were given the opportunity to see the outside of the church; not very informative; free time in the old town was only limited to 20 minutes and we could not see anything. The guide was also not very good. Not worth the money at all.
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  • Helsinki
    The boat tour was very poor and the guides were not well prepared. They seemed to "ad lib" their comments. Had a few minutes to walk about the market. Otherwise the tour was essentially a drive by - almost completely missed the Finnish Parliament. However, we did get a chance to get out of the bus and see the Lutheran church. The tour was definitely not worth the money.
    View All 13,036 Helsinki Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Klaipeda
    We participated in the Palanga and Klaipeda Tour. The tour to Palanga was interesting in that we had a fantastic guide. We did have an opportunity to actually see the palace and walk around the grounds. However at our first stop, we were given the opportunity to see a church and do a walk about but everything was closed and there was nothing to see. And we really did not get a chance to see Klaipeda itself. We were given a glass of Lithuanian beer which was fine but totally unnecessary.
    View All 42 Klaipeda Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Riga
    This was the best excursion that NCL had to offer. It was fantastic and I would highly recommend it. Our tour guide was excellent; we actually had a chance to see the art museum and go on a guided tour with a curator from the museum; the walk passed the art nouveau buildings was fantastic; we actually stopped at the Freedom monument and were given substantive commentary on its significance; and then we proceeded to have a guided tour of the Old Town. This is the best tour that NCL had to offer on this cruise.
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  • Rostock (Warnemunde)
    The tour was very comprehensive and informative. Guide was excellent. There were only 22 people on the tour which also made it very intimate. Tour allowed us to disembark off the coach on numerous occasions and truly experience the City. The tour was a fraction of the cost of the same tour that was offered by NCL. I would highly recommend this tour company.
    View All 13,036 Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • St. Petersburg
    The tour was excellent and essentially mirrored the NCL 2-day tour save and except for a fraction of the cost. Guide was excellent. We were limited to 12 persons which made the tour much more intimate. Tour was very informative; we were given the opportunity to actually see things and experience them first hand. Cannot tell you how impressed I am with the quality and the cost of the Alla Tours. NCL should seriously consider creating a partnership with Alla Tours or taking the tours to learn how to provide tours.
    View All 13,036 St. Petersburg Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Stockholm
    The visit to the Vasa Museum was fine but we were given too much free time there which could have been better spent on stopping at some other landmark. City tour was very limited in scope - did not see the Old Town at all. Again it was essentially a drive by tour and quite disappointing.
    View All 13,036 Stockholm Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Tallinn
    The City Tour was lame save and except for the stop at the Memorial to the victims of June 14th deportation to Siberia. Tour guide was good and offered us a good tour of the Old Town. We thoroughly enjoyed being given the opportunity to stay in the Old Town and find our way back to the ship. However the time estimate for walking back to the ship was incorrect. We were told that it was a 20 minute walk and it turned out to be a 45 minute walk.
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