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We selected this cruise as it visited the many ports that we were keen to visit on our first visit to the mediterranean which was also our first cruise as well ! We arrived in the departure city of Barcelona 2 nights prior to the cruise commencing which provided us time to explore the city and visit the many sights ( including the Sagrada Familia which is the number one tourist attraction i think in barcelona - absolutely magnificent ) Embarkation was a relatively easy process and once onboard we easily located our cabin and then proceeded to explore the ship .( please see details about our cabin further in the review ) Our luggage was delivered within a couple of hours of us arriving on board. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruising experience and the Pearl was fantastic The food was wonderful, we choose the buffet for breakfast which whilst is very busy we usually found a table easily enough and enjoyed the many different options for breaky including cereals, fruits, omelettes eggs etc etc . Lunch ( or upon return to the ship following a port excursion as food is available till 5 pm each day - could eat all day if you wished ) was either from the great outdoors or the buffet again which offered fantastic variety of foods - we usually choose a toasted sandwich or pizza with fantastic salads but you could eat anything and everything at lunch. The soft serve ice cream along with the scoop ice cream where both fabulous . We didn't have a speciality dining package so chose to eat at either summer palace or Indigo which both offered sit down dining with a menu that offered different options each night . We really enjoyed the free style dining on Norwegian where you could eat at any time up to 10pm ( we usually booked a table using the app then you didn't need to wait ) the food was fabulous and we enjoyed each meal, service was also great. There were numerous entertainment options offered from performances in the theatre, a band around the pool and later on in on of the entertainment lounges, plus vocalists and also instrumental groups and also a casino - something for anyone and everyone from the young who wished to party late at night to those who just wanted to enjoy a show. We watched a few shows in the theatre and they were all enjoyable and in particular the one on the last night was exceptional - the dancers were magnificent ! There were also numerous activities offered once again to suit all ages and i'm sure you would find something to fill in the time if needed . we did use the gym which was large and had many machines ( bikes etc) available for everyone to use. We spent our at sea days by the pools and whilst there were many people also enjoying the sun loungers we didn't have any trouble finding a sun lounger. The pools aren't particularly large but not every one wants to swim which is good. We found the service to be exemplary. Feedback was always being sought and we found if you were not happy with any service the staff did what ever they could to ensure you were listened to .. We did one norwegian shore excursion to Kotor which was very disappointing and used 3 independent tour operators for tours of Rome, Florence and santorini and i think these were more enjoyable - small groups , more opportunity to ask questions and meet fellow cruisers We joined a cruise critic roll call for our cruise which was a great way to meet people and we also joined a couple of tours thru this group . The ship was very clean and there were many hand sanitisers available and when entering all the dining rooms there was a staff member there who provided a sanitiser spray for your hands. Some of the ports we visited were tender ports which once you have obtained your tender tickets works quite well, obviously if the ship docks in port this is the preferred option but as we visited many smaller ports ( monte carlo, santorini, mykonos, kotor ) tender was the way to go. One thing to keep in mind , you arrive in the ports early (7am) so the days can be long and we eagerly looked forward to the two at sea days we had on our cruise for some relaxing. Disembarkation was not a particularly pleasant experience, long lines to leave the ship and as we finished the cruise in venice, actually getting from the ship to our hotel by boat taxi was a nightmare really ... couple of tips.. select the earliest possible time to disembark and if there is an option to have your luggage delivered to your hotel i suggest you take it . Just my hubby and i travelled on this cruise ( we are in our mid 50s and regular travellers) and whilst there were a few children around they seemed to be entertained in the kids club. If we decide to cruise again we would choose Norwegian without a doubt ... we chatted to many other cruisers and many had cruised on other lines but all seemed to recommend norwegian and the flexibility in dining was one of the reasons.

Wonderful Mediterranean cruise with the Pearl!

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by jtnru34

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
We selected this cruise as it visited the many ports that we were keen to visit on our first visit to the mediterranean which was also our first cruise as well !

We arrived in the departure city of Barcelona 2 nights prior to the cruise commencing which provided us time to explore the city and visit the many sights ( including the Sagrada Familia which is the number one tourist attraction i think in barcelona - absolutely magnificent )

Embarkation was a relatively easy process and once onboard we easily located our cabin and then proceeded to explore the ship .( please see details about our cabin further in the review ) Our luggage was delivered within a couple of hours of us arriving on board.

We thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruising experience and the Pearl was fantastic

The food was wonderful, we choose the buffet for breakfast which whilst is very busy we usually found a table easily enough and enjoyed the many different options for breaky including cereals, fruits, omelettes eggs etc etc .

Lunch ( or upon return to the ship following a port excursion as food is available till 5 pm each day - could eat all day if you wished ) was either from the great outdoors or the buffet again which offered fantastic variety of foods - we usually choose a toasted sandwich or pizza with fantastic salads but you could eat anything and everything at lunch. The soft serve ice cream along with the scoop ice cream where both fabulous .

We didn't have a speciality dining package so chose to eat at either summer palace or Indigo which both offered sit down dining with a menu that offered different options each night . We really enjoyed the free style dining on Norwegian where you could eat at any time up to 10pm ( we usually booked a table using the app then you didn't need to wait ) the food was fabulous and we enjoyed each meal, service was also great.

There were numerous entertainment options offered from performances in the theatre, a band around the pool and later on in on of the entertainment lounges, plus vocalists and also instrumental groups and also a casino - something for anyone and everyone from the young who wished to party late at night to those who just wanted to enjoy a show. We watched a few shows in the theatre and they were all enjoyable and in particular the one on the last night was exceptional - the dancers were magnificent !

There were also numerous activities offered once again to suit all ages and i'm sure you would find something to fill in the time if needed . we did use the gym which was large and had many machines ( bikes etc) available for everyone to use.

We spent our at sea days by the pools and whilst there were many people also enjoying the sun loungers we didn't have any trouble finding a sun lounger. The pools aren't particularly large but not every one wants to swim which is good.

We found the service to be exemplary. Feedback was always being sought and we found if you were not happy with any service the staff did what ever they could to ensure you were listened to ..

We did one norwegian shore excursion to Kotor which was very disappointing and used 3 independent tour operators for tours of Rome, Florence and santorini and i think these were more enjoyable - small groups , more opportunity to ask questions and meet fellow cruisers

We joined a cruise critic roll call for our cruise which was a great way to meet people and we also joined a couple of tours thru this group .

The ship was very clean and there were many hand sanitisers available and when entering all the dining rooms there was a staff member there who provided a sanitiser spray for your hands.

Some of the ports we visited were tender ports which once you have obtained your tender tickets works quite well, obviously if the ship docks in port this is the preferred option but as we visited many smaller ports ( monte carlo, santorini, mykonos, kotor ) tender was the way to go. One thing to keep in mind , you arrive in the ports early (7am) so the days can be long and we eagerly looked forward to the two at sea days we had on our cruise for some relaxing.

Disembarkation was not a particularly pleasant experience, long lines to leave the ship and as we finished the cruise in venice, actually getting from the ship to our hotel by boat taxi was a nightmare really ... couple of tips.. select the earliest possible time to disembark and if there is an option to have your luggage delivered to your hotel i suggest you take it .

Just my hubby and i travelled on this cruise ( we are in our mid 50s and regular travellers) and whilst there were a few children around they seemed to be entertained in the kids club.

If we decide to cruise again we would choose Norwegian without a doubt ... we chatted to many other cruisers and many had cruised on other lines but all seemed to recommend norwegian and the flexibility in dining was one of the reasons.
jtnru34’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 10594
We had cabin 10594 a mid ship balcony allocated to us . I was a little concerned at the close proximity to the lifts however we didn't once hear the lifts or their bells and actually liked to be able to walk straight out of our room and up the stairs to breakfast etc therefore we were delighted with the location of our room( the hallways are long to the other cabins)
The room looks exactly like the photos on the NCL site and we were really pleased with it.
There were numerous storage options in the cupboards and we gladly unpacked and filled all the drawers etc ( we had already been on holidays for 3 weeks so enjoyed not having to pack and unpack a suitcase every couple of days ) we then stored our suitcases under the bed. As the walls are magnetic we also took along a couple of magnets to hang our notes up with including the daily schedules etc
A laundry offer of $20 was offered early on in the cruise ( this was a wash and pay offer of a full laundry bag for $20 ) which was fantastic value
The bed was really comfy and large as well and we had plenty of space to walk between the bed and the wall as well as finding the couch to be comfy and a good place to sit if needed . The balcony was a good size and perfect for watching the early morning port arrival and also port departure and sunsets.
The bathroom was a good size as well and included everything we needed ( is shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, shower soap, tissues etc etc )
Our room steward was good the room was kept clean and tidy and overall we were delighted with our choice of cabin.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barcelona
    We enjoyed two days in barcelona and visited the sights ourselves - we did really enjoy the Sagrada Familia ( and we choose the guided tour which was fabulous )
    View All 2,230 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Barcelona Cruise Port Review
  • Dubrovnik
    We only had a short stop in Dubrovnik ( about 4 hours ) and we elected to explore the old town on its own - it is a gorgeous town that's for sure .... we had a tour guide app that we used to explain some of the sights which was great.
    we were keen to walk the walls but the charge of 30 euro each was enough to discourage us from doing so
    View All 1,195 Dubrovnik Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Dubrovnik Cruise Port Review
  • Florence & Pisa Tour
    Absolultey fabulous tour - our group of 8 enjoyed a tour in a mini van with an excellent guide... we were firstly taken to florence where we met another tour guide who tok us to the Accedemia Museum ( optional ) to see David and then walking tour with audio guides around florence . we also had an hour to explore on our own before leaving for Pisa - where we also had an hour to explore etc.
    The tour was great, the guides absolutely fantastic and i think being in the smaller group enables you to gain a better insight into the towns you are visiting etc
    View All 243 Florence & Pisa Tour Reviews
  • Montenegro Highlights
    This tour was the only one that we booked with NCL and we didn't enjoy it at all.
    Firstly we were one of many ( 30 + on our bus ) and about 5 buses all doing the same tour - the best of montenegro .It really lacked the personal insight from the guide ( she did her best but her audio machine didn't work and we couldn't use the audio guides ) we climbed the mountains ( with some 25+ hairpin turns ) up to firstly a hotel which provided us with a meal and drink ( all 5 buses arrived at the same time and it was a nightmare collecting your food and then finding a table ) we then visited Cetinje the former capital which as a complete waste of time - the town has little to offer. After this we drive back to Kotor ( of the 6 1/2 hour tour i think we spent over 3 hours in the bus ) and on the way passed by the gorgeous town of Bodva ( a seaside beach town which we would have loved to explore ) by the time we arrived in kotor we only had about 20 minutes of our tour left so the guide quickly showed us a couple of points of interest in the gorgeous old town of kotor and then left us to explore on our own which by the way was fascinating ! a very disappointing tour from NCL .
    View All 83 Montenegro Highlights Reviews
  • Monaco (Monte Carlo)
    We used the hop on hop off bus in monte carlo and in reality as monte carlo isn't very large and there isn't a lot to see there we should have taken a tour to Nice which is what other cruisers did and they all really enjoyed that
    View All 484 Monaco (Monte Carlo) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Monaco (Monte Carlo) Cruise Port Review
  • Mykonos
    We walked around mykonos on our own and explored the town centre which was fabulous and beautiful
    View All 1,068 Mykonos Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Mykonos Cruise Port Review
  • Private Tour
    This tour provided us with a quick oversight of the many tourist sites in rome- spanish steps, fountain de trevi, etc as well as an hour to walk around the outside of the colosseum ( which looked fabulous and i think you would need half a day to explore just the colosseum ) we then had a tour of the vatican with a separate tour guide and she was fabulous .. the vatican tour whilst a little rushed was fabulous thou. This tour wasn't quite as good as the one we experienced in Florence and i think our driver/guide was a little too laid back and almost seemed disinterested at times ...ie when we stopped for a quick lunch break he advised where to eat etc but omitted to mention that the Piazza Navona was around the corner ( we explored and found this gorgeous square but the other members of our group didn't cause the guide didn't mention it )
    View All 142 Private Tour Reviews
  • Fira Walking Tour
    This tour was great and our guide was absolutely fabulous - provided a great insight to Santorini and was very passionate
    View All 35 Fira Walking Tour Reviews
  • Oia Village
    Our guide showed us a few of the sights and then let us wander around the gorgeous streets- it was very warm when we visited and also very busy - people everywhere all chasing the perfect instagram photo ....did distract from our enjoyment of Oia
    View All 220 Oia Village Reviews
  • Oia Wine Tasting
    The winery tour was just okay ... not sure why they include it really . the museum is well done and interesting but as we came from australia and have huge wineries at home this didn't interest us at all
    View All 95 Oia Wine Tasting Reviews
  • Venice
    We enjoyed our two night post cruse stay in venice.
    we explored venice by foot and also by boat and really enjoyed the town., we also took the boat ferry over to Murano and Burano which we really enjoyed - we actually preferred the island of murano to burano but both are worth a visit
    View All 1,439 Venice Cruise Port Reviews
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