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Cruise: 13-day Italy France & Spain: The Rivieras We planned an extended family vacation. Decided to upgrade t3 mini suites and looked forward to a great and once in a lifetime cruise. The ship itself is the perfect size ship in my opinion, feels big, but small enough to nollt have a ton of overwhelming people. Background: - Frequent cruise family: Many cruises on NCL, Princess, Costa and Carnival PROS: - Ship is in nice condition. - Ship is a great size. - Ship is smooth at sea, smooth like butter. - Most of the cleaning staff is top notch friendly. - Most of the crew is very professional and friendly - but not all. - Entertainment was mostly Good to Excellent. A few shows were so-so - House band was pretty good. - Did I mention how smooth this ship sails? Fabulous ride! - Easy boarding and exiting the ships at all ports. - Some of our tour guides were absolutely wonderful. CONS: - Food is mediocre, dining is nothing like on Princess or Costa. Wait two hours to be served in the main dining rooms. Wait staff do not come do refills. In 10 days they have not started order with the lady at the table, every other fancy dining room on other ships have pepper and cheese guys that come to the table. Food is rarely delivered to the table hot. Mostly lukewarm, probably because the dinner takes 2 ours to serve in a half empty dining room. - Some salads came with greens actually wilted brown of old age. - Food is always just a rehash of the previous day. It gets old, fast. - Not once did I find crab or lobster on the menu. Even Carnival has this on some nights. - Trout dinner was actually a plain piece salmon. - I was given wrong menu and embarrassingly tried to order things that was not available. - 3 nights, wrong dessert was brought. - Prepaid water package was not delivered. Staff was really confused. Two days later we were billed by the bar for the pre-paid package again to our room. I spent several trips to the main desk to fix billing issues. Seems like the NCL billing system is pretty flaky... watch your bills! - Most desserts are not the real versions of desserts. Cheesecake is nothing like real cheesecake, not even the fake boxed powered cheesecake, Chocolate Lava Cake is a cold cupcake that has a little bit of chocolate drizzled on it. German Chocolate Cake is just old chocolate cake with a weird jello type topping, not like a real German Chocolate Cake. Scooped Ice Cream is excellent though! - Cheese and fruit selection is the worst I have ever seen in any ship or land buffet. Never have I seen a ship only offer the same 2 or 3 cheeses the whole time, no grapes or other fruits, maybe an apple or orange or some sort of fruit salad that is not very fresh tasting. - Never have we had the head of the restaurant, or any other of the management crew come to ask how things are. Every other cruise line asks all the time how service is, usually nightly. Our last NCL cruise was much better in this regard. - Some of the crew seems to have a do not care attitude, but most are friendly. - Some of the pool area furniture smells like urine. Maybe just a bad night to sit on the poolside couch. - Did not see much security, Frequent weed smoking on top upper deck by "young adults" - several nights in a row. Never saw any staff policing that area and I believe it is a non-smoking area. MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENTS: - Engine problem has forced skipping the two ports most passengers booked the cruise. During the white-hot dance party most people were booing on the deck. I am pretty upset at missing Monte Carlo. That was the reason I booked this trip. - Room 11500, could be one of the best values of the cabins available. BUT all night long, you are subject to what sounds like a washing machine finishing a spin cycle every 25 minutes. Just as you fall asleep, boom! It sounds like you are being flooded with water. It is coming from the deck above. ALL NIGHT LONG!! We have not had a good night sleep since we boarded. 11500 has one of the best decks ever, not windy, great forward and side view. Too bad inside is like living in a washing machine. The spa is locate above, but at 3am it should not be running like a dang washing machine. - NCL Excursions are too rushed and a waste of money and time. Paris was a bus trip where they dropped 2 miles away from the tower with only enough time to barely see one sight, our bus was in a hurry to get us back and we were back with nearly 4 hours to spare on the ship. It would have been nice to have 1 more hour in Paris. PLUS the bus guide decided not to not take us to the half of the promised sights. - Barcelona NCL Hop-on-hop-off bus tour stopped far from the major sights. We noticed that the other brands of Hop-On-Hop-Off bus brands stopped at the gates of the popular sights. Had I know this, I would have just done it myself and saved walking miles on one of the hottest days of the summer. - Longer days at ports would be nice. Most were too rushed. - Waiting for NCL excursions take about 1/2 hour too long to wait to be called. It would be nice if they were more prompt with the time called on your ticket. So for now, most of the ship is pretty mad that we are missing major ports due to whatever problem the ship has. I understand that things happen, but for this one cruise, the ports we are missing are ones that most passengers were waiting for. We will see how this finishes out in the next two days. I still think NCL could be one of the best out there, but for now I am feeling disappointment. I will give NCL benefit of the doubt for the next few days. I hope they read this and address some of the issues.

Had the promise of a vacation of a lifetime - but now stuck missing 2 ports

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by netsfrcruiser

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cruise: 13-day Italy France & Spain: The Rivieras

We planned an extended family vacation. Decided to upgrade t3 mini suites and looked forward to a great and once in a lifetime cruise. The ship itself is the perfect size ship in my opinion, feels big, but small enough to nollt have a ton of overwhelming people.

Background:

- Frequent cruise family: Many cruises on NCL, Princess, Costa and Carnival

PROS:

- Ship is in nice condition.

- Ship is a great size.

- Ship is smooth at sea, smooth like butter.

- Most of the cleaning staff is top notch friendly.

- Most of the crew is very professional and friendly - but not all.

- Entertainment was mostly Good to Excellent. A few shows were so-so

- House band was pretty good.

- Did I mention how smooth this ship sails? Fabulous ride!

- Easy boarding and exiting the ships at all ports.

- Some of our tour guides were absolutely wonderful.



CONS:

- Food is mediocre, dining is nothing like on Princess or Costa. Wait two hours to be served in the main dining rooms. Wait staff do not come do refills. In 10 days they have not started order with the lady at the table, every other fancy dining room on other ships have pepper and cheese guys that come to the table. Food is rarely delivered to the table hot. Mostly lukewarm, probably because the dinner takes 2 ours to serve in a half empty dining room.

- Some salads came with greens actually wilted brown of old age.

- Food is always just a rehash of the previous day. It gets old, fast.

- Not once did I find crab or lobster on the menu. Even Carnival has this on some nights.

- Trout dinner was actually a plain piece salmon.

- I was given wrong menu and embarrassingly tried to order things that was not available.

- 3 nights, wrong dessert was brought.

- Prepaid water package was not delivered. Staff was really confused. Two days later we were billed by the bar for the pre-paid package again to our room. I spent several trips to the main desk to fix billing issues. Seems like the NCL billing system is pretty flaky... watch your bills!

- Most desserts are not the real versions of desserts. Cheesecake is nothing like real cheesecake, not even the fake boxed powered cheesecake, Chocolate Lava Cake is a cold cupcake that has a little bit of chocolate drizzled on it. German Chocolate Cake is just old chocolate cake with a weird jello type topping, not like a real German Chocolate Cake. Scooped Ice Cream is excellent though!

- Cheese and fruit selection is the worst I have ever seen in any ship or land buffet. Never have I seen a ship only offer the same 2 or 3 cheeses the whole time, no grapes or other fruits, maybe an apple or orange or some sort of fruit salad that is not very fresh tasting.

- Never have we had the head of the restaurant, or any other of the management crew come to ask how things are. Every other cruise line asks all the time how service is, usually nightly. Our last NCL cruise was much better in this regard.

- Some of the crew seems to have a do not care attitude, but most are friendly.

- Some of the pool area furniture smells like urine. Maybe just a bad night to sit on the poolside couch.

- Did not see much security, Frequent weed smoking on top upper deck by "young adults" - several nights in a row. Never saw any staff policing that area and I believe it is a non-smoking area.



MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENTS:

- Engine problem has forced skipping the two ports most passengers booked the cruise. During the white-hot dance party most people were booing on the deck. I am pretty upset at missing Monte Carlo. That was the reason I booked this trip.

- Room 11500, could be one of the best values of the cabins available. BUT all night long, you are subject to what sounds like a washing machine finishing a spin cycle every 25 minutes. Just as you fall asleep, boom! It sounds like you are being flooded with water. It is coming from the deck above. ALL NIGHT LONG!! We have not had a good night sleep since we boarded. 11500 has one of the best decks ever, not windy, great forward and side view. Too bad inside is like living in a washing machine. The spa is locate above, but at 3am it should not be running like a dang washing machine.

- NCL Excursions are too rushed and a waste of money and time. Paris was a bus trip where they dropped 2 miles away from the tower with only enough time to barely see one sight, our bus was in a hurry to get us back and we were back with nearly 4 hours to spare on the ship. It would have been nice to have 1 more hour in Paris. PLUS the bus guide decided not to not take us to the half of the promised sights.

- Barcelona NCL Hop-on-hop-off bus tour stopped far from the major sights. We noticed that the other brands of Hop-On-Hop-Off bus brands stopped at the gates of the popular sights. Had I know this, I would have just done it myself and saved walking miles on one of the hottest days of the summer.

- Longer days at ports would be nice. Most were too rushed.

- Waiting for NCL excursions take about 1/2 hour too long to wait to be called. It would be nice if they were more prompt with the time called on your ticket.

So for now, most of the ship is pretty mad that we are missing major ports due to whatever problem the ship has. I understand that things happen, but for this one cruise, the ports we are missing are ones that most passengers were waiting for.

We will see how this finishes out in the next two days. I still think NCL could be one of the best out there, but for now I am feeling disappointment. I will give NCL benefit of the doubt for the next few days. I hope they read this and address some of the issues.
netsfrcruiser’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB 11500
Great view, nice and smooth sailing. No engine noise or vibration. But CONSTANT LOUD WATER noise from spa above. Sounds like a washing machine in spin cycle right above the bed.... every 20 minutes or so... ALL NIGHT. It will wake you up multiple times a night. Not a toilet flushing, it is some other type of machine. AWESOME ROOM Steward!!!!!!! Best I think I have had. I have a love/hate experience with this room because of the sloshing water noise all night long takes away from the awesome room location.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins