1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted to visit Alaska - on my 'bucket list!' This cruise was the best for the price I could afford. Embarkation went very smoothly. I booked with NCL for transportation to & from the ship. The driver on the arrival day made the ... Read More
Wanted to visit Alaska - on my 'bucket list!' This cruise was the best for the price I could afford. Embarkation went very smoothly. I booked with NCL for transportation to & from the ship. The driver on the arrival day made the ride to the ship like an excursion with interesting details about the area we passed through. Disembarkation was made easier with the free valet service which enabled me to get my boarding pass & airline tag for my luggage the night before. Luggage was put out for the crew to collect as usual. Did not see it again until I arrived at my destination! Did wonder whether it would be there. It was! Excellent! Unfortunately, I missed two activities I would have enjoyed on the daily list. Most were of no interest to me. Entertainment, again, I missed the first performance which I would have enjoyed. Did attend the final event which was well done. The food was O.K. but not as good as on prior cruises with another line. Shore excursions were excellent except for that in Victoria. The one I had booked was cancelled due to time/lack of daylight. The one I took should have been cancelled for the same reason. The driver was knowledgeable, but being unable to see what he was talking about made it boring - a waste of time & money - any chance of a refund? Over all, I enjoyed the cruise. The scenery is beautiful. The whale sightings were not as good as hoped for, so may be I'll have to go again!! The crew were all friendly and helpful. I appreciated the time spent in Glacier Bay with the captain ensuring that we were close enough for good views. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We went on this particular cruise with this particular cruise line because our son was recently hired as a crew member, and this was the last Alaska cruise we'd be able to take with our son on board. So the destination, Alaska, was our ... Read More
We went on this particular cruise with this particular cruise line because our son was recently hired as a crew member, and this was the last Alaska cruise we'd be able to take with our son on board. So the destination, Alaska, was our decision, but the ship and dates were determined by our son. He's a dancer with the production cast, and the entertainment was GREAT, first class every night--singers, dancers, tribute artists, hilarious comedy and a world-famous acrobatic team! Wow and double wow! The house bands were showcases in and of themselves as well. And Cruise Director Vincent is a superstar of energy, personality and talent all rolled into one!! The food was very good--the buffet was great, but too few tables for two and too many half-empty larger tables in the Garden Cafe, so it was often a hassle getting seated. The Indigo and Summer Palace dining rooms were VERY nice--elegant feeling, great waitstaff, delicious food and reasonable portions. The public areas are large and welcoming, but the chair seating everywhere is terrible--uncomfortable chairs arranged in ways that didn't make any sense and were difficult to rearrange. We had an inside cabin, which was all we could afford, and it was really quite fine. It was too cold to take advantage of a balcony on this cruise anyway, but a window would have been nice--maybe next time. Crew members everywhere were uniformly friendly and helpful, and as our cruise progressed and more crew learned that we were the parents of one of them, we really became part of their family. For the size of the ship, it's easy to get around, and for the number of guests, getting on and off at port was very efficient. The only criticism I have is how often and how much they attempt to up-sell you everywhere for everything. I do not enjoy being bothered so much to lay down more money when we've already spend thousands. Maybe most people who cruise like this just have lots more money to spend than we do. Maybe that's what a cruise is these days. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My whole family, 14 total, went on this cruise and we had a perfect time! It was better than we imagined and we were thankful for the staff that made it wonderful! Our favorite staff would definitely be Red! The kids LOVED him. There were ... Read More
My whole family, 14 total, went on this cruise and we had a perfect time! It was better than we imagined and we were thankful for the staff that made it wonderful! Our favorite staff would definitely be Red! The kids LOVED him. There were 6 kids that were able to go to the "kids club" and they had a blast! We didn't know how they would enjoy, but they begged each day to go. And the program they did for us on the last day was priceless! I can't say enough positive about this experience. For my first cruise I was super happy!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to do another, although I know it won't top this since it won't be the same. My family thanks all the staff and crew of the Pearl for making their last Alaska voyage our BEST family vacation ever. Words can't explain how happy my heart is after this trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Seeing Alaska was my lifelong dream . Thanks to Norwegian Cruise Lines that dream came true ! They took care of everything ! The booked the cruise ,giving me the room I wanted plus booked our airline trips to Seattle and back home. We were ... Read More
Seeing Alaska was my lifelong dream . Thanks to Norwegian Cruise Lines that dream came true ! They took care of everything ! The booked the cruise ,giving me the room I wanted plus booked our airline trips to Seattle and back home. We were picked up at the airport and taken to ship for embarkation . Going through embarkation was really easy , as they had already informed me of what I could bring and what not to bring ,also what to carry in my carry on bags. Our luggage was taken from the airport to our room , we did not have to handle it any. The dining room was waiting for us with plenty of food ! The fresh fruit was sweet and fresh, the breads were So good and there was such a selection for the main course that I can't name them all. Every dining room had plenty of good food for the taking ! The on board entertainment was Excellent ! Never a boring moment ,unless you choose to have one. Our room stewardess was friendly ,sweet ,helpful and kept our room freshly cleaned at all times. The service all over the ship was superb! Everywhere you went the crew was willing and able to see to your every need. This was the first time ever that I have been waited on and not had to cook or wash clothes or wait on someone else . It was Wonderful !! I don't know how one Cruise Line was able to find so many nice and friendly people , but they did. The shore excursions were perfectly planned and executed . There is simply no way they could have been any better ! The Best of Skagway was simply the best ! The fishing trip my husband went on ,was everything he wanted , he caught a dozen fish ! If I am ever fortunate enough to be able to go on another cruise it will definitely be with Norwegian Cruise Line . My vacation was everything I had hoped for and the biggest part of the reason that it was is because NCL saw to it that everything was taken care of for me , all I had to do was relax and enjoy ! Oh yeah , I almost forgot to mention the massage , oh my you want to get one !!! Felt like a hour of heaven ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
If you walk away unsatisfied with the opportunities this cruise provides, then you are probably hard to satisfy. Balcony Room, 9th floor, Mid ship, Starboard. Great staff, buffets way above average, (remember it IS a BUFFET). Top notch ... Read More
If you walk away unsatisfied with the opportunities this cruise provides, then you are probably hard to satisfy. Balcony Room, 9th floor, Mid ship, Starboard. Great staff, buffets way above average, (remember it IS a BUFFET). Top notch specialty restaurants. And the views were spectacular. Were the Excursions bought on the ship more expensive than booking yourself? Yes they were. But that is the price for the insurances that come with it. They will wait if the excursion runs over... etc. Are you confident in your decision making? Book 'em yourself! YOU make YOUR trip. Can things get jacked up? Sure. Your soup was cold, etc. Wow. Suck it up and get something else. The passengers were the only people we had any issues with. Rude, arrogant and demanding. But I am not going to blame the cruiseline for that. I even had a vendor tell me they dislike dealing with people off NCL cruises. That is the same as letting cold soup give NCL a poor rating. Do your research, ships go where they can, SAFELY. They will not risk going to port if it is going to damage the boat and end the cruise. I could go on, but then you might not like me... lol. It was a phenomenal vacation with 2000 plus great people! I personally feel we did not have enough time in Ketchikan , and arrived to late in Victoria B.C. But that is MY opinion, not the cruises fault. Knew it when I booked it! NCL gave me more than what I signed up for. Gave me opportunities to see the beauty of Alaska. And over fed me, wait, once again, my fault! :) Know the menu before you go. Know the length of stays in each port... You'll do fine. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I gave it a poor review because originally we were to go to Juneau and instead went to Icy Strait. Then the last stop was to be Victoria 6pm to 12 pm. There was a medical emergency on the boat and our stay in Victoria was from 10:45 to ... Read More
I gave it a poor review because originally we were to go to Juneau and instead went to Icy Strait. Then the last stop was to be Victoria 6pm to 12 pm. There was a medical emergency on the boat and our stay in Victoria was from 10:45 to 12:15. By the time you get off and then back on you have no time. Also it was so late everything was closed. The entertainment was very poor on the trip also. When we think if cruise entertainment we think Vegas. It was nothing of Vegas quality. Alaska was absolutely amazing. The staff was very friendly and did a wonderful job. Our room was spacious enough and comfortable. The food was good. We only ate at the complimentary restaurants. We did do excursions and they were great. Like I said before, Alaska is amazing. The views are breathtaking. We just thought for the amount we pay for a cruise it should be amazing all around. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise for our 20th anniversary trip and were quite excited to go to Alaska. However, when all was said and done, it was an average experience at best. The best part of the experience was the room - we selected a mid-ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 20th anniversary trip and were quite excited to go to Alaska. However, when all was said and done, it was an average experience at best. The best part of the experience was the room - we selected a mid-ship mini suite. It was large and had many storage options. The only criticism there would be that the closet doors wouldn't fully open because they kept banging into the bed. Our cabin steward, Raymond, was fantastic. He was so personable and friendly and wanted to know more about us as a couple. Our cruise was his last cruise before he got his 2 months off to go home to the Philippines to visit his family. The shore excursions were very pricey, though we'd cruised about 5 times prior to this trip, so we knew they would be expensive, but the cost doesn't seem to match the quality of the tours. Two of our excursions were great, the other one was okay. Full disclosure, my husband and I are not joiners, tending to be on the introverted side, and we were bored most of the time. I wasn't into playing very overpriced bingo (we played once and it was $50 for 3 games! Yikes!) You can only play so much trivia, especially when drunk people keep shouting out the answers to the questions. We had the unlimited beverage package, which we got through a promotion and was nice, but you have to pay 20% gratuity on each drink. Yes, it only adds up to about $2 a drink, but it'd be nice if free meant free - not that you had to pay a mandatory gratuity on a free package. If the workers are so underpaid that there are required gratuities, perhaps consider paying them more. We had a couple really good bartenders, but the majority were kinda cranky - not sure if they were close to the end of their contracts, but they seemed to need a break. They work 7 days a week for 8 months straight...perhaps if I had that schedule, I'd be cranky too. In Icy Strait Point, it was cold and rainy, which I actually like...it was the only weather that felt like we were really in Alaska. We did a whale watching and wilderness hike (very short hike - only about 1000 yards), and saw humpback whales, Alaskan brown bears, and bald eagles. This was a great tour, and I highly recommend it, though again, very expensive. We were in port from 1pm - 7pm, which was plenty of time. The port itself is very small, with not much to do. It was such an ideal amount of time that we actually left about 20 minutes early, as everyone was back on board. In Skagway, we did the Mushers Camp and Dog Sled adventure or something like that. It was fantastic if you have a love for dogs like my husband and I do. We drove about 25 minutes away from port in a fairly nice shuttle bus. When we got there, we walked just a bit into the camp area and got into a large jeep-type vehicle for the trek up the mountain. When we got close, you could hear the dogs barking and barking - they were so excited to see us! We went on a little sled ride, where the dogs pulled us on a summer cart (with wheels), which was great fun. When we were done with that, back on the jeep-thing and back down the mountain where we got a very informative session about sled dogs and the Iditarod race. Then - the best part... we got to hold some sled dog puppies!! They were so sweet and happy to see us. When we were done with the tour, we went to a local restaurant and had lunch, then shopped a bunch, then went back to the ship. We were back on the ship at 2ish. We were in port from 7am - 7pm, which in all honesty was too long. There just isn't enough to do there, unless you book two excursions - and I'm too cheap for that. Ketchican was by far our favorite port. It was a quaint little town, and we wish we had had more time to explore that port. We did a wildlife and all you can eat crab tour. It was okay. Basically, you get put on a boat (after just getting off a boat), taken into an inlet of the ocean and they pull up a crab pot so you can see the crab and hold it, if you want. It was fine, but underwhelming. When we got back to the shop, we were excited to get to the crab feast. Only problem, they stuff about 110 people into a room that holds about 50. You have to sit with folks you don't know if you didn't go as a group, which was annoying. Also, the all you can eat crab is literally only crab. No potatoes, corn, or anything - just crab. And, not Alaska King Crab, which I thought it was going to be, but Dungeness crab which was still good. I can only eat one flavor for so long though - so that was too much just crab - oh, and a piece of cheesecake at the end. We were in port from 7am - 1pm, which just wasn't long enough. If I hadn't done a little shopping before the excursion - Sockeye Sam's will hold your purchases for when you get back from your excursion! - we wouldn't have had any time at all to look around. The general consensus from people I heard was the same - this port needs more time. Glacier Bay was beautiful! There isn't a whole lot to be said for the day, since you're at sea some more, but it was beautiful country when the fog lifts - it's magical. We were able to go into the bay and see Johns Hopkins glacier up close and personal, and the captain did a couple circles, so you could see it no matter where you were on the ship. I would say that this day seemed long - we had the rangers on board until right around 1pm, so we could have been on our way to Ketchican sooner, I think. Would like to say how awesome Victoria, BC was, but I wasn't able to get off the ship. There was a medical emergency on board early that morning, which caused us to be almost 5 hours late into port. When you don't get there until 6pm anyway, getting in at almost 11pm, when you have to be up early to disembark seemed silly. They let folks off the ship at around 11:15pm, and they had to be back on board at 12:15am. Seriously - 1 hour??!! That seemed stupid to me. There were no excursions, obviously, so we just stayed on the ship. This was a huge disappointment to me. I would never complain about it being because of a medical emergency, and actually, the lifeboat that took the person off the ship was directly beneath our room, so we watched the whole procedure - it was fascinating. I hope the person is ok and that they made it. However, I wish we hadn't even bothered to stop in Victoria - an hour just seemed silly. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We really enjoyed our cruise to Alaska and the ship was awesome. It was recently refurbished so everything was nice and clean. I would recommend the ship to anyone wanting to see parts of Alaska without being on a huge ship. I really ... Read More
We really enjoyed our cruise to Alaska and the ship was awesome. It was recently refurbished so everything was nice and clean. I would recommend the ship to anyone wanting to see parts of Alaska without being on a huge ship. I really wanted to go on the Bliss but was glad to be on the Pearl due to price being cheaper. The pro's far outweigh the cons on this ship. The major things that bothered us was that the pull out sofa bed in the cabin was very hard and difficult to sleep on. It needs a topper of some kind to make it an easy sleeping choice when you are sharing a room with others. Secondly the internet was horrible! I paid over 30 dollars for internet to be able to check in on our return flights and the service was so slow. We had dial up service in the 80's that was faster and better than the ship internet. The employees and staff of the ship was excellent except one female employee in the O'Sheehans dining that was not very friendly and very slow! She was the greater and seater so your first impression of the place was with her and she failed miserably. They should move her to the kitchen or something. We thought maybe she was just having a bad day but went in there 3 other times and she was this same sulky and slow demeanor each time. The drinks in the cabin fridges is a terrible idea. If I want drinks in there, I should go get them myself and put them in there from the gift store. We noticed that someone had opened a bottle of the whiskey and replaced it with water so reported it immediately and they didn't charge us with it but had be not noticed it, I am sure we would have been charged that 9.00 or more for the bottle. The area where the coffee pot is located is very hard to plug in because the cord is too short on the coffee pot. There should be something else done to make that a little better and easier to use. With 4 people in a room, they only gave us 2 coffee cups. We brought 2 more coffee cups to the room from the dining area and they removed them from our room when they cleaned our room and did not replace them. All in all these are very small things and all in all the cruise was great. We were on the 9th deck in room 9534. I would highly recommend this location to anyone as it was a beautiful view of everything and was the port side for 2 of the stops. The balcony was terrific. Highly recommend it to anyone taking a cruise to Alaska. It was the best place to view everything and it was right there were we were sleeping. We never closed the patio door, even while we were sleeping. The sound of the waves and the beautiful scenery 24 hours a day was awesome. We didn't miss a minute of it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall the Cruise was excellent value and my partner realised a life time ambition to visit Alaska. Although we did see a number of whales in their natural habitat, that was our main goal, this was generally at a distance, particularly ... Read More
Overall the Cruise was excellent value and my partner realised a life time ambition to visit Alaska. Although we did see a number of whales in their natural habitat, that was our main goal, this was generally at a distance, particularly on the whale watching excursion, and overall we were very disappointed. Food and service overall was excellent, staff very friendly and attentive. Although the entertainment staff were very enthusiastic and helpful the actual entertainment, with the exception of Nicola Ward, who was fabulous, was very average at best. We booked a whale watching and zip lining excursion with the cruise but we're very disappointed with them. The communication from the excursion staff was poor and offered very little value add. The excursion providers were very helpful but we were appalled to find out we could have booked the excursions directly at the port for approximately 50% less than NCL. There is no way NCL can justify the extortionate price they charged for the excursion and we would recommend to anyone going forward to book direct. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a last minute trip and I felt lucky to get on the cruise. Our balcony room seemed smaller than ones we had in the past but the location , deck 9, aft, was perfect. We were disappointed in Icy Point Strait and were missing ... Read More
This was a last minute trip and I felt lucky to get on the cruise. Our balcony room seemed smaller than ones we had in the past but the location , deck 9, aft, was perfect. We were disappointed in Icy Point Strait and were missing Juneau, The route was different too so there was less scenery on the way. We had been on the Pearl previously and it was marvelous. The crew was fresh and seemed exceptional. The bartenders, Elaine and Will knew our names right off and were extremely attentive. The food was also good. We ate in 3 speciality restaurants, Sheehan’s pub and the Great Outdoors cafe for breakfast. All was great. One thing that was a little odd was that even though we had the drink card, we had to pay for coffee when we had, say a Bailey’s Irish Cream and Coffee. We heard a lot of people complain about that. We did not do any shore excursions as we had been to Alaska multiple times. We did enjoy the shopping in Skagway and had lunch at the Cape Fox Lodge in Ketchikan. I would go again but make sure the route was the Inside Passage and that it went to Juneau. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise