The Perfect Cruise!: Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by Dilla Girl

Norwegian Pearl 5
Dilla Girl

Overall Member Rating

The Perfect Cruise!

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
This is the best cruise we have taken to date! The Mini-Suite (AF)is outstanding and worth every penny, especially for those who spend lots of time relaxing in the room. This is the most spacious, well designed ship cabin and/or hotel room we have every enjoyed! There were only two of us, but a family of four would have been more than comfortable with room to spare! The special staff for suites is outstanding, going far above and beyond the call of duty to care for every conceivable need! We also enjoyed the DVD's available on loan to suite guests. The concierge, Anoop, who serves only the suites and up is fantastic, and is always willing to make any special arrangements needed to make the trip better. Suites and up receive priority in the embarkation, disembarkation, and tender process and are moved to the front of the lines, bypassing all of the crowds. Another perk of this cabin class is that Cagney's is open daily for breakfast and lunch only for suites and up guests, so More the both the menu and service are far superior to the buffet or main dining rooms, plus it is very quiet and private. All of the specialty restaurants are worth the minimal additional charges, especially Cagney's and Le Bistro. Be sure to let NCL know in advance if you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary, as they will go out of their way to make it special, including throwing in many extra amenities. We asked for a wake-up call on our final morning, and the previous guests had turned the ringer down on the phone which we did not realize, so a crew member was dispatched to our room to knock until we awakened. Now that is service!!!

If you go shopping, don't expect any real bargains anywhere in the Caribbean. Our experience is that the shopping is all hype, overrated, and expensive, and once you have shopped one port, you have shopped them all. The best time spent ashore is on excursions arranged by NCL seeing the natural wonders of the islands, as it is some of the most interesting and beautiful country to be found!

We have cruised with NCL five times in the past four years and have traveled on both their older and newest vessels. The Jewel Class Ships (Pearl, Jewel, Gem, etc.) are far and away better than any others in the NCL Fleet! The older, smaller ships are not as nice or comfortable, nor do they have as many amenities. The Epic, the largest and newest ship, is terrible, not at all up to the standards we have come to expect of NCL! NCL has crammed too many passengers onto the ship, lines for everything are horrible, elevators were skimped on, and all of the shows must be booked in advance, or you can forget seeing any of them!

Stick with the NCL Jewel Class like we have learned to do and you can't go wrong! The ship, the crew, and the service is always top notch on these ships! Less

Published 02/22/12

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

The Mini-Suite (AF)is outstanding and worth every penny, especially for those who spend lots of time relaxing in the room. This is the most spacious, well designed ship cabin and/or hotel room we have every enjoyed! There were only two of us, but a family of four would have been more than comfortable with room to spare and privacy all around! Mom and Dad have lots of privacy in the separate bedroom and bath, and the kids have their own private bedroom and small bath. We used the extra bedroom for luggage storage and the extra bath for hanging wet swimsuits. The master bath is fantastic with a large picture window over a huge soaking-tub that is supplied with fragrant bath salts and a large shower with enough shower heads, sprayers etc. that you feel like you have enjoyed a massage when you get out! The living area is very nice, complete with an espresso machine that is supplied daily with a variety of coffees and teas, sweeteners, and cream. Fresh fruit and afternoon canapes are also supplied daily to the suites. Be sure to take advantage of the special dining in Cagney's at lunch and breakfast for suite guests! It is far better than the zoo at the buffet! Be sure to bring an alarm clock, as the clocks are not digital and consequently can't be seen in the dark. If you enter a wake-up call in the phone, be sure the ringer is turned up so that you can hear it. For those of us who are cold-natured and travel with someone who is not, it is wise to request a throw blanket for the living area, and one will be supplied. As for quiet, we have learned to always take into account what sort of space is above the cabin and avoid staying below high traffic areas like the kids club or buffet and try instead to be under the library or something like that. Even then, be aware that parents often allow children to sprint up and down the halls of any ship, and it can be disturbing and annoying to those who are trying to sleep. We were so irritated by the constant running of kids in the halls on our last trip that I threatened to put on my running shoes and sprint up and down the hall at 5A.M. on disembarkation morning just to make a point since we had to be on the road early and had to rise early anyway!

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Port and Shore Excursions

We have visited Cozumel several times, and we have been consistently disappointed. It is crowded, over-priced , dirty, and the merchants stand on the street intrusively hawking their wares, and some of them are rude when tourists decline their inviation into their stores. We Chose to stay on the ship and did not regret missing Cozumel for one second!
Read 5490 Cozumel Reviews

Over priced and over crowded if shopping. Don't waste your time in town! Go to the beaches - they are beautiful and worth the ride!

River Rafting

We have visited many Carribean ports, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica is the best yet. We went tubing on the White River, and it was wonderful. Be prepared for some brief rapids and going down with a large group. The long ride up through the mountains was beautiful and interesting, and the float down the river was great fun with some of the best guides anyone could ask for!

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