Another Excellent Experience on Norwegian Cruise Lines: Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by stormie07

Norwegian Pearl 5
Member Since 2007
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Another Excellent Experience on Norwegian Cruise Lines

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We were delighted with virtually every aspect of the cruise, from the destinations (Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya, and Key West) to at-sea time. The staff was courteous, personable and wonderfully helpful and accommodating, the on-board entertainment -- particularly the "Oh What A Night Tribute" quartet --were excellent, and the food in the speciality restaurants we visited every night was consistently superb.

Breakfasts and lunches in the Garden Cafe were varied and delicious; we really loved the assortment of fresh fruits and the wide range of breakfast fare.

Two of our group loves STRONG coffee and we found a coffee making machine near the kid's cafe that grinds the beans and makes delicious, fresh coffee. That was a special treat.

We also discovered, toward the end of our cruise, that the Indigo Restaurant offers after hours "comfort food" that includes burgers and tasty buffalo chicken wings. Yum! The french press coffee in the specialty restaurants was More wonderful!

The only two things we didn't like were:

1) the smoking on board. We had three adjoining mini-suites with balconies and the smell of cigarette smoke wafted up or sideways into our space -- we weren't sure where it was coming from -- but it really put a damper on the thrill of being outside to experience the ocean air. Several of us are fragrance and smoke sensitive, so that was a big negative.

2) the inability to open the partitions between our three adjoining balconies. On our past cruise with NCL, we were able to have the partitions between our adjoining balconies opened, so we could socialize without the six of us being cramped in one of the mini-suites. On this cruise, however,we were informed that balcony partitions had to be closed during time at sea and could only be opened for the brief time we were in port. Since we were on excersions whenever we landed, we could not enjoy the option of the open partitions. Less

Published 02/14/11

Cabin review: MB Mini-Suite with Balcony

Cigarette and cigar smoke wafting in was very unpleasant. Perhaps NCL would consider segregating smokers to avoid exposing those who don't smoke to the fumes. Cabin was very comfortable, otherwise. Well designed and livable. Only other comment is to allow people traveling together in adjoining rooms to open the partitions that separate the balconies. Thank you for a wonderful cruising experience.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Beautiful and friendly. Loved the area around the port. We went on a snorkeling and beach excursion with Hammerhead Water Sports. Tim, the owner, was very nice and had a great (dry) sense of humor, and Captain Mark and Mr. Big and Kareem were our guides. Snorkels and I would have rather spent the entire time on Bannister Island Beach, a piece of heaven.

The port area of Costa Maya was most impressive ... you could spend the whole day right there, enjoying the shops, the restaurants and bars, and the swimming pools and water areas. We opted to enjoy the all inclusive beach break at the Nohoch Kay resort owned and operated by the most personable and amenable Jaime.

Although the beach was tiny, and you can't swim because the water doesn't get deep until you're way, way out, there are kyaks to use, if you're so inclined. It's a good place for little children because it offers a lot of shallow water.

Our group spent a most delightful day under a broad Palapa (thatched shade structure), with comfortable lounge chairs and delicious drinks that kept on coming! Jaime's amazing food selections for lunch were to die for, and included a fried shrimp taco that was simply out of this world! We'd recommend Jaime and Nohoch Kay! It's only about 10 to 15 minutes from the ship by cab.

Read 1766 Costa Maya Reviews

Key West was awesome -- Great everything! We started our day by taking the convenient and informative, and reasonably priced City Tours Trolley that lets you hop on and hop off whenever you want. The tour hits eight Key West Highlights, including Earnest Hemingway's house, which was inspirational for our group, since we're avid readers and fans of the Old Man.

We did the whole circuit first, then went around again and stopped where we wanted, including Harry Truman's Little White House. The drivers were delightful ... very knowledgable and seemed engaged in what they were doing. We appreciated their enthusiasm for the history of Key West and learned a lot.

Food was fabulous at the Conch Republic Seafood Company, near stop eight of the Trolley tour. Try the cracked conch as an appetizer, it tastes like a chewier version of calamari, but was delicious. And, the Cuban sandwich there was the best I've ever tasted. Oh yeah, and the Pina Coladas are amazing!

Read 1392 Key West Reviews

We traveled to Paya Bay Resort at the other end of Roatan. The experience there was wonderful, thanks to Lurleen and her staff, but the promotion for the trip indicated the resort was half-an-hour away. Instead, it took us nearly an hour and a half, the last stretch over very bumpy, unpaved roads. We loved the resort, and they make THE BEST Pina Colada I have every experienced, but we got to spend only an hour-and-a-half on the magnificant, secluded beach. We yearned for more time there.

Read 2446 Roatan Reviews

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