NCL Pearl: Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by debra54

Norwegian Pearl 5
Member Since 2004
191 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

NCL Pearl

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
I'll abbreviate my review and cover only the "high" points...which were many but I'll condense them as best I can.

Having cruised with NCL before and having had a wonderful experience, we again chose to cruise w/NCL. We departed Miami on January 30, 2011, arriving at the port a little before noon. Our embarkation couldn't have gone smoother and right from the start, NCL staff was attentive and most accommodating.

We were taken to the VIP lounge and were then escorted to Cagneys Steakhouse for a delicious lunch while we waited to join the rest of our group and then for our suites to become available, which was a little before 2:00pm.

Maybellin, an NCL event coordinator, assisted me in coordinating our Cruise Critic Meet 'N Greet, to which almost 100 "cool cruisers" attended on our first full day at sea. The executive staff on NCL's Pearl took the time to join us at our Meet 'N Greet, which was appreciated by those in attendance as they answered questions More cruisers had, and coffee and snacks were provided.

No matter where you choose to dine, the food on the Pearl was wonderful, especially in the specialty restaurants, one of which we dined in every evening of our cruise. For a minimal extra cost per person (ranging from $15 to $25) we had the most fabulous meals along with exceptional service. Although all of the specialty restaurants are great, our favorites were Cagneys and Le Bistro, in which we dined 2 nights each. Everything was amazing, from the salads to the entrees to the desserts!

Members of our group had massages in the Spa, as well as facials, all of which they raved about. We relaxed poolside throughout the cruise and always found sufficient lounge chairs for our group of 6. Guests, for the most part, were considerate and didn't try to "reserve" lounge chairs for others. On 1 or 2 occasions there were guests who disregarded posted signs and smoke in "non-smoking" areas and, although they weren't happy about it, moved their seats or put out their cigarette when we asked them to.

Reserving suites so as to received concierge service is well worth the additional cost as the benefits of priorty embarkation and disembarkation was well worth it, especially when in ports of call. Carlos was wonderfully attentive and made us all feel special and welcome.

The Pearl is a beautiful ship and always kept immaculate by its staff. I never saw any area of the ship that was not kept spotless, even in the most busiest areas when we were at sea. Our stewards, Jose & Jay, were very accommodating and always kept our ice bucket full and we loved the towel animals on our bed in the evening. It was amazing that they were able to remember each of their guests by name within the first day!

We attended the NCL "White Hot Party" and although we enjoyed ourselves the music is geared to a more "youthful" crowd than our group was. Having said that, wear your "whites" to the's a great time!

The shows are a must see as they are fabulous! Try and make your dinner reservations early enough so that you have time to get to the show and get settled in for an evening a great entertainment.

Our days at sea were relaxing and an opportunity to really check out all that the Pearl has to offer, especially the informative gatherings where you learn about the ports of call as well as numerous other areas of interest. There's always something going on to keep you busy......or not.

No matter what you choose to do, cruising with NCL is the absolute best way to vacation and we can't wait to plan our next cruise w/NCL. The toughest part is deciding where to go next.....Hawaii or Alaska? Thank you NCL for making our cruising experiences so memorable! ;) Less

Published 02/13/11

Cabin review: MA11586 Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

Suite 11586 has sufficient room for 2 adults along with a small child or 2, although 2 adults cannot pass each other at the foot of the bed(s). Very quiet location, close to the elevator, sufficient closet and drawer space as well as plenty of room for suitcases under the beds. Great balcony location, free of obstructions. We were very happy with our suite #11586.

Read All Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony (MA) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Our next port of call was Belize, where we signed on for the Coral Breeze Snorkeling Tour w/Hammerhead Sports. We were late to start our tour as we had to wait for a group that showed up late & then had to be fitted with masks & fins, but once we were under way had a good time. The snorkeling was just "so so" as there was little color on the reef, then we had a few sightings of manatees & more of dolphins and then lunching and relaxing on Bannister Island, although the menu is very limited.

When we returned from our tour, we stopped into the Wet Lizard and had a great pina colada before heading back to the ship.

We next went to Costa Maya and had reserved a beach break day pass for Nohoch Kay, which was fabulous!! It's just a 15 minute ride from the port and although the buildings are somewhat damaged and run down, don't be deterred from visiting Nohoch Kay. Jaime, the owner, & his staff, Stacey, Betty, Paul & others, are very friendly and accommodating and genuinely want to do their best to serve your every need. Included in the price of the beach break day pass was lunch which Jaime personally served us and included the most delicious fish tacos, shrimp salad, salsa & chips and other freshly prepared delectable delights. Also included were unlimited drinks throughout the day and which were also fresh and delicious. No worries about the water....all is purified, including the ice. Nohoch Kay is a must when visiting Costa Maya.

Read 1767 Costa Maya Reviews

Our last port of call was Key West and although we didn't book a private excursion and were "winging it", once we arrived we decided on purchasing a trolley tour ticket with Key West Tours (in the yellow building across from the port entrance/exit) and it was great! You can hop on and off all day long and the guides are very knowledgeable and informative as to Key West history. We chose to do the full tour on the first go round and then we got on and off once we got a "feel" for the area and decided what we wanted to see. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Conch Republic along with 2 for 1 drinks that were also great.

Beware of the uneven road and sidewalk surfaces when walking throughout Miami & Key West.....Myself and another member of our group both fell at different times on "raised" portions of a sidewalk in Miami. In Key West we also witnessed and assisted a more elder woman who also fell crossing the street as it dipped unexpectedly. I sustained injury to both knees, my right wrist and right shoulder and the older woman sustained deep abrasions on her forearm and elbow. Florida must make needed repairs to its road and sidewalk surfaces so that tourists can walk confidently throughout its communities.

Read 1393 Key West Reviews

Pre and Post cruise we stayed at Casanova Suites and even though they are in the throws of renovating the hotel, their suite # 501 is fabulous! It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, table & chairs, a couch & flat screen tv as well as a small deck w/a table & 2 chairs. They also have a rooftop pool where you can sun and relax on the sundeck or poolside.

Although there was a slight mix-up with our "post cruise" reservations, Carlos was quick to remedy the situation for our group of 6. We found Carlos to be friendly and attentive and the consumate professional and you won't find a better price for such a spacious suite right across from South Beach! The management at Casanova look to provide their guests with a quiet and relaxing stay and do their best to make your stay enjoyable.

Don't be deterred by the "side entrance" for Casanova Suites or the small I said, they're under renovations which, when done, will make Casanova Suites one of the most sought after hotels in Miami South Beach.

Read 1843 Miami Reviews

Our first port of call was Roatan, Honduras and we booked a day pass at Paya Bay Resort. We totally enjoyed ourselves and Lurlene and her staff were most accommodating and friendly. The lunch was so fresh and delicious, as were our pina coladas. After lunch we relaxed, sunbathed and swam at Bliss Beach, which our group had all to ourselves. Although the ride (which Lurlene arranged) to and from the resort was long, it was well worth it. A peaceful day in paradise!

Read 2447 Roatan Reviews

Compare Prices on Norwegian Pearl Western Caribbean Cruises

Read more Norwegian Pearl cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Norwegian Pearl Review >>

Compare Prices on Norwegian Pearl Western Caribbean Cruises

Member Since 2004
191 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Norwegian Pearl deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Norwegian Pearl 73% Loved It

14-day Panama Canal From Los Angeles
See all Norwegian Pearl Deals >>