Western Caribbean fun on the Pearl: Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by PIPER50

Norwegian Pearl 5
Member Since 2008
232 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Western Caribbean fun on the Pearl

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
The second week of our back to back cruise saw us getting off the ship in Miami as we had to clear customs (NCL has to declare the ship empty) and then wait to reboard again. As we were VIP's we were taken to a separate area with juice, coffee and cookies available whilst we waited to reboard. The whole process took just over an hour. We were given badges to wear that identified to staff that we were going to be reboarding so the whole process was quick and painless.

We were able to keep the same accommodation for the second week which meant that we did not have to pack and relocate somewhere else on the ship.

The ship was busy but we always managed to find somewhere to sit in the sun if we wanted.

The excellent service we received on the first week of our cruise continued in the second, with every member of staff taking an interest in where you had been that day or what your plans were for dinner etc. Unfortunately the entertainment was repeated each week. More A person who we enjoyed listening to in various venues around the ship was Tino. He was an excellent singer and his music seemed to appeal to a large audience, his repetoire was also quite funny.

We did not participate in bingo as it was very expensive and slow. We did participate in the whisky and martini tastings and found them to be fun and good value. We ate in most of the speciality restaurants and found them to be of excellent value. Our favourites were Teppanyaki, Le Bistro and Lotus Garden. We ate in both Indigo and Summer Palace and enjoyed our meals there also. We enjoyed the wings in the Blue Lagoon but unfortunately the fish and chips were not good.

Overall we had a great holiday. We particularly like NCL for the freedom to dine when we want and with whom we want. We like their STYLE! Less

Published 05/12/11

Cabin review: SC11030 Family Penthouse with Balcony

Read All Family Penthouse with Balcony (SC) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

I was really looking forward to visiting the Lamanai Ruins in Belize and decided to book with NCL for this one. I would encourage anyone else thinking of visiting the ruins on their own steam, to think again - it was a very long day and our tour group just made it back on the last tender to the ship. NCL will wait on their tours but not on folk who have gone with other companies.

I would not advise anyone to go on this trip if they have difficulty with walking at a brisk pace or are visually impaired. The paths at the ruins have steps, tree roots and loose rocks underfoot which made it very difficult to walk. Please wear suitable footwear such as trainers.

This trip involved a lengthy bus ride which with a commentary from the guide as we went along, which was quite enjoyable. However we then moved from the bus to a high powered speedboat and things went downhill from there. We found outselves with seats at the back of the boat which meant that we could not hear anything Jewel, the guide, was saying due to the noise of the engines. We advised her of this and she did make a slight effort to speak louder but we missed most of her commentary. The trip to the ruins by boat took a long time even at speed, but we saw some interesting things along the way. However, once we got to the ruins Jewel walked very fast and did not make any attempt to wait for some of the slower people in the group. The result of this was that by the time these folk arrived at the ruins, we had missed most of the commentary about it. I asked Jewel several times if she could walk a bit slower and consider the rest of the group but she really did not make any effort to accommodate this request. In fact when we got to the ruins she did not give any indication as to how long we would be there and she would then decide enough people were around and move off to the next ruin whilst some of the group were still climbing the ruins. I felt she was a very knowledgeable individual but it was a pity her people skills let her down.

We returned by speed boat to a restaurant where we had a reasonable meal of beans and rice and then the journey by bus back to the ship. We left around 8.00am and returned to the ship about 5pm. A long, tiring day in the heat. The ruins were very, very interesting but unfortunately our experience with Jewel turned the day sour for us.

I wasn't sure how this day was going to go as my husband is not a 'beach' person and I had booked a day at Maya Chan Beach resort due to the great feedback on Trip Advisor. This is an all inclusive beach resort which included drinks, lunch and use of beach toys. However my fears were unfounded as the 3 of us voted this in the top two excursions of our cruise.

We got great information prior to the cruise from Maya Chan and when we arrived at the port were quickly directed to transport to take us to the resort.

On arrival we were directed to our area of the beach which consisted of chairs, table, sunbed and hammock with lots of shade available if you wanted it. Our nearest neighbours were a reasonable distance away to afford privacy and quiet time. We were then given small bowls of mixed fruit to eat and then they took orders for drinks. The drinks were replenished regularly throughout the day. A bowl of tortilla chips and salsa was also delivered late morning - delicious!

Unfortunately there were too many people to enable the kayaking to go ahead which was a pity as my daughter really wanted to kayak. Instead they organised a snorkelling session but we dropped out part of the way through due to the large number of people and the sea grass. We were happy to laze in the hammock or float in the inflatable chairs in the sea before going off for a delicious mexican lunch. My husband does not like food that is too spicy but even he was happy with the food provided! After lunch we lazed about and then I went for a massage in the resort itself which cost $20 for 30mins. It was money well spent for a very relaxing massage - in fact I wished I had taken a longer massage it was so good

When you are ready to go back to the ship you just let the staff know and they organise the transport to take you back - quick, easy, painless.

A truly great day which I thoroughly recommend. We also spotted the lads from the Frankie Valli tribute act from the ship enjoying the day at the resort too - so it must be good!

Read 1766 Costa Maya Reviews

We had not organised anything for this port so we just walked off the ship and purchased tickets for a trolley tour around Key West. This was great value for money and you could jump off at any of the stops that interested you. We stopped off at the Butterfly Farm and it was a lovely experience with lots of different coloured butterflies and birds. We then caught another trolley back to Duval Street and did some shopping. Before returning to the ship we stopped for Key Lime Pie at the Key Lime Factory outlet - it was delicious.

Key West is a vibrant place with lots to see and do and the buildings were beautiful.

Read 1392 Key West Reviews

In Roatan we had booked with Bodden Tours to do a 'Best of Roatan' tour plus Victor's Monkey Business. This was one of the best tours of the trip! Can't recommend them enough. We were met just outside the cruise terminal in Roatan and directed to our car and driver for the day (Laura). She took us around the island stopping at places of interest and telling us lots of information about the island. We then went to Victor's Monkey business where we had the opportunity to interact with the monkeys and parrots - one of the highlights of the holiday. My daughter also used the zip-line which she thoroughly enjoyed. Victor gave us complimentary drinks and a free T shirt for my daughter's birthday which was very nice of him. After that we wanted to do some snorkelling so Laura took us to the West End for the best snorkelling of the trip. It was a fantastic day so I would not hesitate to recommend Bodden Tours to anyone going to Roatan.
Read 2446 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
232 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 >>