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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: September 2017
This was our second cruise on Norwegian which we thoroughly enjoyed (1st was Breakaway from NY to Bahamas). The food was great and we found all the staff were very welcoming and friendly (special mention to the cruise director Dan!). ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Norwegian which we thoroughly enjoyed (1st was Breakaway from NY to Bahamas). The food was great and we found all the staff were very welcoming and friendly (special mention to the cruise director Dan!). There were plenty of food every day, more than we can handle. There was a good selection of choices everyday. There were entertainments/shows every day, and lots of things to keep us occupied, along with the excursions that we took in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchiken. There was a comedy show on the first and last night that was entertaining. Special mention to the Innovation band, which was excellent. We watched them perform every day. Special mention to the dancer from UK Kate (?) in the Norwegian Shows every night. We enjoyed her performance on all the cruise show every night. Best restaurant is Le Bistro - great ambiance, food and service. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Chose this cruise because it was Alaskan. First time cruising with Norwegian, having cruised in the past with Carnival. First the good - Was happy to find that fellow cruisers were less "selfish" having not great experience ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was Alaskan. First time cruising with Norwegian, having cruised in the past with Carnival. First the good - Was happy to find that fellow cruisers were less "selfish" having not great experience with fellow Carnival cruisers starting fights in the buffet line, showing up for elegant night wearing a wife beater and shorts, etc. Also found the cruise director to be less "in your face" and the crew seemed more relaxed/happy. Now not so good. Took the Ultimate Beverage Package as a perk and could not be more disappointed. The mixed drinks had very little, if any, alcohol. Talking about drinking 5 in a row and not even feeling a buzz. Drinks were pre- made, not made to order. I'm not a drinker, maybe one a month or less, so I should have been feeling good after one and bbuzzed after two, but nothing after 5??? Wish I had taken the specialty dining instead. Buffet food was subpar, sometimes inedible and the layout was awful! I don't know if this was because it was late in the season and they were serving whatever was left or what, but slimey watermelon isn't palatable. Food in the dining room was hit or miss. The lasagne was wonderful but the other dishes I had were just ok. Some where not even ok - the dressing and gravy for the turkey was so sweet I couldn't finish it and the crab/hake cake was supposed to have roasted sweet potatoes but instead came with peas and carrots and potato chip sticks on top?? Not sure there was any crab, either, as I tasted none. The shows were not that great. Some of the singers seemed to not be aware they were off key. The shows with the crew, however, were nicely done and fun. Too much bingo, however. Could be because a small ship? Weird, however, the catering to the German visitors. Directions given in both English and German, however there were many other non English speakers (Chinese and Hispanic) onboard than German. Sort of insulting to other non-English speakers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
From Vancouver, BC to Alaska. Excellent cruise. Very good food and drinks. Service was above average for the most part. Very willing to go that extra mile for you. Cabin cleaned twice a day. Well stocked, well maintained. Only small ... Read More
From Vancouver, BC to Alaska. Excellent cruise. Very good food and drinks. Service was above average for the most part. Very willing to go that extra mile for you. Cabin cleaned twice a day. Well stocked, well maintained. Only small complaint was that sometimes there was a wait at the bar. There just wasn't enough staff at the right times, and you could wait up to 10 minutes to be served! This didn't happen in the restaurants, just at the walk up bars and not all the time. Otherwise a fantastic trip with great excursions in each port. Crew was always smiling and greeting us; hardly ever did we see anyone have a bad day. Best dinner was in Cagney's Steak House! Yes you pay for it, but it is worth every penny. We had the drink package, so we received a discount on the bottled wine. Was not even that expensive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were recommended by a friend who lived in Canada. It was our golden wedding so we wanted an unforgettable trip. It was amazing, we had glorious weather and saw glaciers,bears,whales etc. BUT Ship was cold, only place we were ... Read More
We were recommended by a friend who lived in Canada. It was our golden wedding so we wanted an unforgettable trip. It was amazing, we had glorious weather and saw glaciers,bears,whales etc. BUT Ship was cold, only place we were warm was our cabin where we could turn heating up. Theatre, CrowsNest ,all public areas, you needed your coat. First 2 nights awake all night due to constant banging, reception said it was the waves, never had that on any previous cruise even if weather bad. After an unfortunate encounter with “man in grey suit” at first breakfast, where i was told breakfast was closed, despite me holding my plate with eggs on it,waiting for toast, we ate breakfast every day in our cabin. Buffet and dining room, queue for everything, food bland, always cold and unless you liked salmon or Japanese cuisine you were in trouble. Lived on fried chicken and pizza. Gala night a joke, no one wore smart clothes, one fellow diner even kept his cap on. Staff very random, always smiled but did not always deliver. We apparently had 2 cabin stewards, never met them, cabin clean but nothing exceptional. Excursions expensive but very good. Cruising to the glacier stunning but surprised to have to pay $9 each for mug in which to drink our Free hot chocolate. We wanted a photo but pushed to buy a package at end of cruise, needless to say we did not bother. Entertainment poor , singers were flat. B.B. king club good , no activities during the day. Never saw Cruise director around the Ship, obviously very busy in the office. Embarkation and disembarkation excellent, best we have ever had. Daily gratuities expensive considering service etc, we adjusted it to Nil, but reception staff made it very difficult and were quite condescending, attempting to explain to me how gratuities worked. After 16 plus cruises I think I know and this is the first time I have ever refused to pay it. The destination, weather and sites made the distance travelled worthwhile ( we flew from London) but Holland America Oosterdam - forget it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this cruise because it was one of the last sailings for the year and I was hoping to get a chance to see the Northern Lights. This was our primary reason for choosing Princess as they ran Alaskan cruises later than RC or Carnival. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was one of the last sailings for the year and I was hoping to get a chance to see the Northern Lights. This was our primary reason for choosing Princess as they ran Alaskan cruises later than RC or Carnival. In fact, this was the last Alaska sailing for this boat this year. Unfortunately, although some other ships were able to see the lights the night before, we were not able to see them on this sailing. We chose the round trip from Seattle due to the fact that we had limited time and free flights to Seattle through Southwest. This limited the number of Alaskan ports we were able to see and if I had more time I would have done one of their non round trip cruises so that we could see a little more of Alaska. Since this was a round trip Seattle cruise it went through Victoria as a port. This was probably the port I was least excited about initially, and we didn't even book an excursion. However, at the last minute we caught the bus into town and went exploring and had an amazing time. I would return to Victoria if I had more time in the future. I was very disappointed in our dining experience. The dining room reserved time was fine but the buffet for breakfast and lunch was truthfully awful. There was never any seating. We tried going extremely early, normal times and extremely late and it was a constant battle to try to find seating. At one point after walking through the entire thing twice I was desperate enough to consider eating on the floor. Sometimes the buffet food was better than the food they were serving in the dining room. They didn't really have as many options at the buffet as I would have thought. If you are a more particular eater or had children it would be a major struggle. If I had it to do again I would probably explore Alaska in ways other than a cruise. The cruise didn't really give you enough time to get the full Alaska experience with limited hours in port. If I were going to do a cruise I probably would choose a non-round trip cruise so that I got to see more Alaskan ports. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Norwegian pearl horribly lacked seating...absolutely no outside along the decks. Only around the pool (by the way i would never recommend this ship for warm weather sailing because the two pools and 4 jacuzzis are side by side....so every ... Read More
Norwegian pearl horribly lacked seating...absolutely no outside along the decks. Only around the pool (by the way i would never recommend this ship for warm weather sailing because the two pools and 4 jacuzzis are side by side....so every one on the ship would be crammed in to the same area). This ship is horribly lacking in entertainment!! It was a big waste of time and money!! We have sailed with other lines before and loved it....something is wrong with this line! The big on board entertainment consisted of daily origami lessons (offered by inexperienced instructors who could barley clarify what it was we should be doing and more often just went from person to person doing it for them). The sanitation crew was the best daily entertainment on board.....they give you hand sanitizer! the night life was dull. The crew was boaring. And the staff was rude!!!!! We hated this ship....this cruise was so boring and lacking in entertainment we feel a sleep in the middle of the day because their was nothing to do! and forget trying to find a seat anywhere!!! We woke up at 5am (2hrs before sunrise)....to get chairs on glacier day. And it paid off because no one had charis...i saw elderly people sitting on the floors crammed in corners because they had no where to sit. This ship was poorly designed. And dont even think your going to be able to use the other on board activities like "rock climbing wall"...the slightest breeze makes them close. My kids 12 & 6 hated the kids clubs!!!! All the ages are mixed together so you have 5 year olds and 12 yr olds playing the same games....and its pretty much you play this or you dont play at all. I checked on them more then once (which is against their policy, but i stormed past them anyways) and saw all the kids sitting in a row while 2 kids played. My 6 yr old was freaking out one day because they played "killer batman!!!"....batman was evil and trying to kill people! So inappropriate for that age group! My kids hated this room and refused to go! The crew actually told us we were not even allowed to sit in the cafeteria to enjoy the scenery or read a book! They told us to leave!! We hated this cruise....we will never sail with norwegian again.....we had problem after problem (including non functioning toilets one day). Would never recommend! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Having taken seven previous cruises in the Mediterranean, Caribbean,TransAtlantic, and Hawaii, we were looking for an opportunity to take our first Alaskan cruise. This September 17th, Roundtrip Seattle Cruise was still available for a 6 ... Read More
Having taken seven previous cruises in the Mediterranean, Caribbean,TransAtlantic, and Hawaii, we were looking for an opportunity to take our first Alaskan cruise. This September 17th, Roundtrip Seattle Cruise was still available for a 6 week prior booking. Our stern, balcony cabin choice was available, so that sealed the deal for us. Since we live in Hawaii, it was a tolerable flight to Seattle and back. It helped that they were offering on board credit and paid gratuities as well. We enjoyed the itinerary, particularly cruising Hubbard Glacier. Not sure why we stopped in Victoria for 5-1/2 hours at 6pm. Guessing it was an international requirement. We had never been on this ship before, but were on the Eurodam--which we found similar. The Oosterdam looked a bit dated, but overall, was in descent condition and very clean. Our room steward did a nice job taking care of the room. The food was very good on this ship, with the exception of "in room dining". I guess they call it that now instead of "room service". It was very difficult to get someone on the phone, and when we did, we had a tough time understanding/hearing them. The food that arrived was simply sustenance and was cold. The dining room was fantastic. The food was amazing, and we never had to wait to get into dine. The service was good and the menus were great. The desserts were below par, and we actually experience a cake tasting like detergent. The entertainment was just ok. Started off a little rough on the first night, but got better over the rest of the cruise. The other venues had nice entertainment, but everything raps up pretty earlier on the Holland trip. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
No issues worth writing about. For the most part, this Alaskan cruise on the Pearl was just as expected - great! While the employees mentioned that with the recent merge/acquisition with a luxury line, there was a pay cut to most of them, ... Read More
No issues worth writing about. For the most part, this Alaskan cruise on the Pearl was just as expected - great! While the employees mentioned that with the recent merge/acquisition with a luxury line, there was a pay cut to most of them, their attitudes rarely reflected this. I know how hard they work and the endless hours put in, so simply by smiling through the hardship takes effort. They pass! There was NO (zero) "Lobster night" this trip and we were informed that there never will be a lobster night again on NCL. That's fine, but for an Alaskan cruise, it seems a little off to not have at least one opportunity, as other cruise lines still have at least one lobster night dining choice per cruise, as far as I know. Still, it is OK and we were told that a lobster dish may "probably" be available at an extra surcharge in one of the specialty dining options. We chose 4 specialty dining options, but no lobster was listed. It wasn't really missed though, due to the availability of great food choices all over the ship. Cabins are still great. Always opt for anything larger than an inside, when/if possible, simply for a bit more space. Even an ocean view, at a few dollars more, offers more space than an NCL Pearl inside cabin. Whichever cabin style you choose or can afford, will still be a comfortable, well-accommodated, clean room, maintained to high standards - and if not, speak up about it right away! The staff will do whatever it takes to make up for any shortfalls, like unacceptable towels, ratty sheets, etc. Point it out and they will do better - usually right away. As everyone knows, the first day and the last day present the most challenges, but knowing this in advance can make your trip go smoothly. Luggage may take awhile to arrive at your room. Always plan one complete outfit in your carry-on along with any meds and supplies you may need right away. Expect the muster/safety drill in the first hectic, exciting hours prior to sailing off. On Pearl, you are NOT required to remove life-vest from your room. Simply go to the presentation/safety drill at your assigned time and place. Ask for folio printouts often to check for erroneous charges and to keep track of your spending. Never wait until the last day to do this, or there will be no time to fix errors. Paying for everything you expect to need, excursions, gratuities, etc, online and in advance will help keep spending in check and prevent excessive charges to the card you put on your folio. If there are errors, or you change your mind about an excursion, these things can still be worked out on the ship, if you do so in a timely manner. Over all, I think you will enjoy the NCL Pearl. Do not go in expecting it to be just like any other cruise line, it is not. There are no waterslides, there are few pools and hot tubs. It is a rather small ship when compared to ships with large atrium's. There really is no atrium per say on the Pearl. Just a two level area with a stairway. No interior scenic elevators or luxurious spiral stairways (other than one floor up from what is called the atrium). There is however, a rock-climbing wall and plenty of other things to do. Bliss lounge also features 4 bowling lanes and the price is reasonable. Watch for "happy hour" when bowling games are two for one. Pearl is a very basic ship without the frills of other carriers, but every trip is what you make it. It has everything you need for a wonderful cruise. I would not lower the score of this ship or this cruise simply because other ships are larger or have far more to offer. It is great, the people are great and there is fun to be had. Don't be afraid to join in the fun with other travelers. You may make friends for life. Try karaoke, play games and get interactive. It's your vacation! Relax or cut loose! It's up to you! ;) Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
To seem Denali after missing it 19 years ago. It was well worth the wait. Train trip from Anchorage was stunning. Experience, overall, was enjoyable. Noordam shows its age but service was excellent along with destinations. Ship's officers ... Read More
To seem Denali after missing it 19 years ago. It was well worth the wait. Train trip from Anchorage was stunning. Experience, overall, was enjoyable. Noordam shows its age but service was excellent along with destinations. Ship's officers were first class. Shows were disappointing. Comedian was best by far. Tours tended to be very pricey. Lido Deck food could have been better. Not too many choices, way too crowded. But not having gym open after 9 p.m. was something I still can't get over. Nobody's going to walk off with a treadmill. Individual efforts by staff were appreciated, but having to have a cabin drain unclogged on first night (11:30 p.m.) after a 10-hour bus ride and a 45-minute check-in process were upsetting, but drain issue was resolved that night. Onboard shops could offer more selection. Getting off in Vancouver was the best organized of any cruise line we've traveled. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We wanted to try an Alaskan cruise, but it wasn't what we expected. We have taken over 20 Caribbean cruises and this was quite dull in comparison. Most passengers were elderly retirees so there was no night life and the experience was ... Read More
We wanted to try an Alaskan cruise, but it wasn't what we expected. We have taken over 20 Caribbean cruises and this was quite dull in comparison. Most passengers were elderly retirees so there was no night life and the experience was very subdued. The dining was on par with other mid sized NCL cruise ships. Most of the restaurants and menu are the same on all their cruise ships. Entertainment was lack luster by comparison. We have had much better experiences on the newer ships like Epic, Getaway and Escape. Our cabin experience was not great as we were directly below the kitchen for the main buffet. There was 24 hour a day noise with heavy carts rolling and loud banging noises that sounded like bags of ice were being dropped on our roof. I asked to move room but as they always say "Sorry, the ship is fully booked", which we know was not true. The ports were pretty cool. Way different than a Caribbean cruise. We saw plenty of whales, icebergs, mountains and beautiful scenery. Read Less

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