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Norwegian Pearl Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2,351 reviews
5 Awards

From Excited to Disappointed

Review for Norwegian Pearl to Europe
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2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2019
Cabin: Mid-Ship Inside

Why this cruise?

I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was attracted by the many consecutive sea days, ports of call, Free Style Dining, Deal or No Deal Game Show, attractive rate, and that it left from NYC, where I live. I booked via a travel agency and did not qualify for any perks based on my category/rate (Inside Guarantee).

This cruise also marked my introduction to Cruise Critic, where I spent many hours pre-cruise reading forums and tips, as well as interacting with others in my Roll Call. I was delighted to connect with others from the Cruise Critic Roll Call and ended up having lots of fun at the events which were hosted by other CC members: Meet and Greet, Slot Pull, Cabin Crawl, Specialty Dining with a new friend (Thanks, Jo!), and even a fantastic excursion to Mont St. Michel in France which was not offered by NCL (Thanks, Cherie!).

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside

Cabin IB

I traveled as a solo and was responsible for a 100% Single Supplement. Since I was paying for two, I opted for the least expensive cabin type: Inside Guarantee. My cabin was assigned fairly soon after booking and I was delighted with the location (midship, deck 8, not too close to the lobby and not under/above any noisy venues). I also thought that having an inside cabin might be an advantage if the seas became rough when crossing the open ocean, as it might feel more like a "womb" than a "horizon-shifting amusement park ride." This worked out well for me. :)

The room had space for 3-4 travelers and was comfortable for me on my own. I had read a tip on CC about putting the TV on the Bow Cam Channel to simulate having a window in the room, and this was handy to add some "natural light" to the space. I also took maximum advantage of the space by pushing the bed into the far corner under the fold down twin bed and putting both night tables together on the now-open near-side of the bed, which created a more spacious feel to the room.

A favorite feature of this room was that the entrance was on the SIDE of the room and not the end of the room (between the storage and bathroom), which I think also added to the feeling of spaciousness.

A random detail that I also enjoyed: my hallway was not straight like the hallways on Deck 9, 10, etc. I liked the "turns" in this hall, which made the floor feel more intimate and cozy to me.

My cabin steward, Rozak, was great and we developed a nice rapport over the journey.

Port Reviews

New York (Manhattan)

NYC is home for me, and I appreciated that the cruise departed from the easily accessible cruise ship terminal in Manhattan rather than the port in Brooklyn.

Cobh (Cork)

I took the local train from Cobh to Cork where I had reservations for a Free Walking Tour. The suggested tip amount was roughly $10/person/hour so I paid 20 Euros for what ended up being an excellent, informative, 2-hour walking tour.


Particularly in Dun Laoghaire where tenders were used to reach shore, many people missed their non-NCL excursions. I met a local friend here; no excursion. I had a tender pass for Group 8 and was able to join the tender around 10:30am, arriving into Dun Laoghaire around 11am.

London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury)

Having been to London on another visit to the UK, I decided to explore nearby Gravesend, just across the river from where we were docked, and accessible via a water shuttle for a nominal fee. Highlights of the visit included antique shopping, seeing the Pocahontas Statue, having authentic fish and chips at one establishment, followed by classic afternoon tea at another.

Brugge (Bruges)

I ended up taking public transportation (tram first, then train) from Zeebrugge to Bruges. The round trip cost for both was slightly less than the 20 Euro shuttle which was available near the port. Highlights of the trip included taking photos of the quaint medieval city itself and feasting on chocolates at Chocolatier Dumon, The Chocolate Story, and other chocolatiers.


I stayed for 2 nights following the cruise at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton. I selected this location because I could book via Hilton Honors Points and because it was walkable from the cruise ship terminal and also to the main train station (to get to the airport for the return flight home). While in Amsterdam, highlights included the Free Walking Tour: Classic version, the Anne Frank House Tour, and the Houseboat Tour. Purchase tickets to the Anne Frank House before the cruise, as this self guided tour sells out quickly.

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