Freestyle Cruising - sounds better than it is: Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by bherd

Norwegian Pearl 3
Member Since 2008

Overall Member Rating

Freestyle Cruising - sounds better than it is

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
This was our first time on NCL and we were really disappointed.

There were twelve restaurants listed. Two main dining rooms, two poolside grills and eight that were "pay additional charges". It seemed like everyone had their hand out wanting more money. They were also really pushing their bar drinks. If you are not a big drinker you will be ignored or pressured into becoming a big drinker. With your meal your choices of drinks are water, tea or an $8.00 mixed drink. Fruit punch or lemon aid that are normally available have been eliminated to force you into visiting the bar.

One of the things that we enjoy most about cruising is meeting new people. We enjoy structure. We enjoy assigned tables and getting to know you waiter. We enjoy dressing for dinner. Freestyle has taken these things away. For seven days we sat across the table from the same faces that we have for the past thirty years. You can still dress for dinner but the people at the More next table are in swim suits, sandals and t-shirts. Takes some of the romance away.

The food was basic. It tasted fine but a very limited selection. The desert bar was the same for seven straight days. No variety anywhere. Less

Published 04/19/11
Helpful? Thank bherd

Cabin review: OB5546 Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window

Cabin was clean but very small. The bathroom about the size of a port-a-potty. The only thing smaller than the bathroom was the TV. The TV was about the size of an cell phone. If you are over 50 and have 50 year old vision, you will need to set on the end of the bed to watch TV.

Read All Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window (OB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We tried our hand at snorkeling. We took a high speed catamaran a few mile out to a reef. There were plenty of colorful fish and was a lot of fun even for someone not very experienced at snorkeling.

Costa Maya was a pleasant surprise. We did not have an excursion planned so we just walked off the ship and took our chances. At the pier we found a tour bus that took us to a local beach for $3.00 each. (yes $3.00) The beach was great. They provided beach chairs and umbrellas at no charge. They told us that all the beaches were public. A small restaurant was right on the beach. I ordered a bucket of beer and thought I had misheard the waiter. Six Miller Lights for $10.00!!! They tasted the same as the six I had paid $33.00 for poolside the previous day. Costa Maya is rebuilding. Everything is new or under construction. The hurricane hit them hard.
Read 1760 Costa Maya Reviews

Key West is very crowded and overpriced. Let's go back to Costa Maya.
Read 1375 Key West Reviews

The South Beach Experience was very relaxing. The weather was perfect, the water was clear and the food was exceptional. Our favorite part however was the bus ride to the beach. We had a life long resident of the area as our guide that gave us a look at what life in the area was really like. She was not a polished tour guide. She was just a lady that had lived on the island her entire life and shared some colorful experiences with us. She did a great job.
Read 2443 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 2008
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See Norwegian Pearl deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
Norwegian Pearl 73% Loved It

6-day Alaska From Seattle
See all Norwegian Pearl Deals >>