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Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,374 Reviews

Mostly a hit, very few misses

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by mbleacher

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Family Inside

The ship felt brand new. The carpet was in great shape, no wear showing anywhere noticeable. We were in cabin 10153 which was wheelchair accessible. It had enough room for 4 guests and my wheelchair/scooter. Our cabin steward Patricia was very nice and we left her notes for things, which she took care of.

Lots of American plugs in the cabin. FINALLY!!! The cruise industry may be waking up. This was very handy for my medical equipment. I usually have to carry a power strip, but not for this cabin.

Norwegian has owned Great Stirrup Cay for decades, but they haven't found a way to dock more than one ship there. The newer ship of course got preference and we were turned away for "safety" reasons. This is very disappointing since it was half our stops. Then the captain made a defensive statement about not berating the staff about the cancellation. He claimed there were 2 meter swells, but 22 years in the military and 20+ cruises and I disagree with that assessment. Why not pull the other ship off the dock or spend another night in Key West, Miami, or Nassau? The cruise industry and especially Norwegian needs to get better at this. Norwegian did the same thing to us in the Mediterranean in December. They knew the forecast 3 days in advance and they didn't have time to pivot?

The worst thing they did was take away my small 12" fan I use for a medical condition. It's UL listed and battery operated. They made me wait an hour past my bed time to return it when they promised it would be in my cabin shortly after boarding. So I didn't get much sleep the first night.

All that said, Red and Jinky were excellent in the dining room. The hostess Christina was very nice and accommodating for us. The comedian was entertaining. The show was big. More Abba and Billy Joel hits please. Karaoke was a blast. Everyone was really enjoying it.

I'm very concerned about the bottleneck getting into the Bliss lounge. The bar is right in between the two exits and when the bar gets backed up and the place it packed, it's a real fire hazard. If you're claustrophobic, don't go to Bliss!

You've got to know that changing the name of the Corona bar is necessary, right? Duh!

Internet was SLOW in all areas of the ship. I got less than 1Mbps throughout the whole cruise and averaged around 280kbps. So don't plan to work if you're on this ship. It will drive you crazy.

The buffet on deck 12 was really good. Well designed, good flow. It was a mistake to steal the footprint for the french restaurant, but still not bad. The handicapped seating was adequate and well-marked both here and in the theater. The food was excellent. The coffee stations were well-designed although you do have to open those tiny creamers. No half and half in carafes. I like a lot of cream, so it was a pain for someone with dexterity issues. There was milk in jugs, so why not cream? Also, flavor would be nice.

The theater is very nice however, the SEATS slope down toward the deck and want to drool you onto the floor. Not just one of them, but most of them. At least in the handicapped seating. This was very uncomfortable. If the show was longer than an hour, I couldn't do it. I hope NCL fixes this quick. Never seen it before.

The gift shop people were nice but they're doing this thing in the photo gallery where they don't print out the special photographer photos. You know where they have stations set up all over. On formal night there was only ONE backdrop. Green. Yuk. So we got ONE photo the entire cruise. But they only have one kiosk to view your photos and the software for reviewing them is not very user-friendly. This is going to cost them I'm sure. I like the kiosk idea, cutting down on waste. But they'd better get a lot more kiosks. The people in front of us spent about 10 minutes and couldn't have cared less that we were behind them waiting.

Casino staff was nice, but there's always one dealer who hates their life. You'll meet him. They really need to stop smoking on the ship. I would have gambled a lot more had it not been for the smoke. I can't stand it.

Security needs to address the drunks a little more quickly. Especially the jerks from Engine #4 in Miami. Wow. Out of control foul-mouthed drunks. I feel bad for anyone in Miami near Engine 4.

BIG fitness area. Well equipped.

mbleacher's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Family Inside

Great cabin. Lots of room, well equipped with lots of American outlets. Wheel chair fits inside and you can still move around. Walk-in shower, mirror that tilts down. Adjustable shower head on hose. Fridge. Couch folds down into 2 person bed and 2 single beds on the other side of the room that can be made into queen. AC works great. DIM LIGHTING though. Surprisingly dim. We thought the bulbs may have been broken, that's how dim it was. The closet has a pull-down hanging bar for handicapped access. Very nice and handy. Chair AND ottoman at the make-up mirror. Door doesn't quite close every time. Be sure to double tap it on your way in or out.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


The roads are horrible and the people drive like there are no rules.

Key West

Friendly people. no need for an excursion as there are lots of options around. You can walk to the state park beach, there are great restaurants and shops everywhere, all within walking distance. Even a Walgreens for all your needs.

Great Stirrup Cay

Only one pier, so if you're planning to tender, pray you're not the littler ship. There was a big ship docked, so we got cancelled because NCL can't figure it out after 40 years of owning this island. Very disappointing.

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