141 Norwegian Pearl Senior Cruise Reviews

I traveled with a group of 16 people on this cruise. It was an "Escape From Winter" cruise. I liked the size of the ship....not too large. Staff was friendly and the Captain was amazing, speaking 5 different languages to welcome ... Read More
I traveled with a group of 16 people on this cruise. It was an "Escape From Winter" cruise. I liked the size of the ship....not too large. Staff was friendly and the Captain was amazing, speaking 5 different languages to welcome everyone on the first night! Staff was courteous and kind. Activities Director was a hoot. However, after about 4 days on a 6 day cruise, I was ready to leave. Here's why: There seemed to be no space anywhere around the small pool area to sit or swim. There was no shrimp to be found anywhere. There were no towel animals. I know, I know first world problem.....but I missed them! Food on the menu had weird names like Walleye Cod. Well, is it a walleye or a cod? Main dining room menu was boring and uninspired. We ordered chicken wings 5 times in O'Sheehan's. They arrived cold every. single. time. In the Lotus Garden restaurant the food was cold, dry and pretty uneatable. The rice was ice cold and tasted like frozen rice that wasn't heated up properly. I was so excited for this restaurant and it was a big disappointment. I LOVE Chinese food. I really didn't like anything I ate there. Customer Service people extremely rude and not courteous. Amazingly bad. And then there was the Karaoke: The Pearl has a policy that everyone sings in the order that their slips of paper are filled out and handed in to the DJ. We had to endure some pretty bad singers every single night singing the same songs over and over and over. Sometimes they sang 7 times or more in one night! New policy would be easy: Once you've sung once you cannot sing for another half hour. End of problem! Also, I wanted to sing an Abba song. Because the main show had a five minute Abba number on the main stage once, all the Abba songs were pulled from the Karaoke playlist. Come on, we're all not THAT good. No threat to the cast on the ship as far as I could see! On a positive note, the Bliss Lounge was amazing, with fantastic decor. Speaking of Entertainment, I thought the cast and entertainers did a fantastic job on the main stage and in the nooks and crannies of the ship. All professional actors and musicians and all music was fantastic. I enjoyed the comedian at the FIRST show. At the second show he got, very, very rude and I really did not enjoy it. I am not a prude. Just did not appreciate how hard he tried to be rude. I didn't mind the swearing, it was his jokes. Next time, I'm going to bed!! I stayed away from the Buffet because there was just too many people there. However, there is a really nice place to sit in the back outside, very pleasant. However, all the people serving were just wonderful, caring and courteous people. They did wonderful! The people on board, both staff and cruisers seemed to be really nice.....all the time. I just wish it would have been better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The price was great for a solo cruise. Only paid for single occupancy. Travel from Houston to Miami was also at a bargain rate. I llike the layout of the ship. Especially enjoyed the Cigar room. (No cigarettes allowed!) The cigar ... Read More
The price was great for a solo cruise. Only paid for single occupancy. Travel from Houston to Miami was also at a bargain rate. I llike the layout of the ship. Especially enjoyed the Cigar room. (No cigarettes allowed!) The cigar room Steward (Aurturo) learned my name and drink preferences the first night and did not have to ask again. Also my room steward learned my name and never failed to greet me. I gave each of them extra tips. upgrade your WIFI package to unlimited. (without streaming unless streaming is very important to you. I was disappointed in the Meal Package I was happy with the Steakhouse and the French Bistro. Disappointed with the Brazilian & Italian venues. I also had the unlimited drink package. It was part of my "Free at Sea" package and I was quite satisfied. The embarkation was a little disorganized. I wound up carrying my luggage on board. Never did find out where I could have turned it over to the ship crew. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Itinerary went to several ports we had visited before and would enjoy again and three that we had never visited and wished to. Everything about the ship is "first class." Clean everywhere; good food in all public restaurants; ... Read More
Itinerary went to several ports we had visited before and would enjoy again and three that we had never visited and wished to. Everything about the ship is "first class." Clean everywhere; good food in all public restaurants; good entertainment; very friendly and helpful personnel. I got it in my mind that NCL does a superb job of hiring the perfect personality types to be constantly engaged with the public and trains them well. Our second trip on the Pearl and same experience both times. What I did not like and found to be negative was ten dollars (with mandatory 20% gratuity) for a glass of good but ordinary wine and eight bucks for a bottle of BUD or similar. They've got you captive and use the advantage. Prices in shops not so hot. My wife bought a bottle of Dolce &Gabana cologne for 85 euros. Found the same in Rome Airport "duty free" (notorious for hyping "duty free" and "tax free" in order to imply low prices, for 77 euros. Again, when one is captive, the benefits of competition go out the window (or porthole, if you will). This is our second cruise on the Pearl and both times we selected a "window stateroom" and would up with a fifteen inch diameter porthole. The room was roomy enough with the beds separated and each against opposing walls. Ship renovated since our first cruise in 2015. TV had been upgraded to a 32 inch Samsung and we had several watchable channels including Fox News US version. Big improvement from our SF-Miami cruise in fall of 2015. Excursions were problematic. We purchased five through NCL. In general the destinations were heavily overcrowded and the various tours did not allow for enough time at destinations to really shop and sightsee. Overcrowding was a surprise because this was an end of season Med cruise for the Pearl which went on to the Caribbean after we got off in Rome. Choice of slot machines in casino was unimaginative and we found very few that we found familiar based on our experiences in several California "Indian casinos." Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise had all the sites we wanted to visit However, some ship personnel don't know were the rest is and ask Bar Tenders where it is. When I ask the stateroom attendant to please change the towels, he foes into this big ... Read More
This cruise had all the sites we wanted to visit However, some ship personnel don't know were the rest is and ask Bar Tenders where it is. When I ask the stateroom attendant to please change the towels, he foes into this big lecture about leaving towels on floor to change, I don't need this idiot. I purchase the drink package and was being charged for water, freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. I don't like being penny pinched by Norwegian, other cruise lines don't do this. The food in the main dinning room and indigo could be a lot better. When making my reservations , I spoke to two Norwegian agents about the Bogo Gratuity offer and I agreed to take it. When I got on board, I found it wasn't done and was forced to pay the higher 15 dollar a day amount. Outrageous. Unless Norwegian sizable compensation, I will be looking else ware for my cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
An amazing cruise exposing us to new areas that we definitely want to return to for a longer vacation. The ship, the service, the food and itinerary were just perfect for us. We liked that we were in a different port in a different part ... Read More
An amazing cruise exposing us to new areas that we definitely want to return to for a longer vacation. The ship, the service, the food and itinerary were just perfect for us. We liked that we were in a different port in a different part of the world every day. We took several ship organized tours which were very well done and provided us with background information on the sites we were visiting. By using the ships tours we always were assured that we would be back in time for the ships departure or if something did happen that the ship would wait on our return. Free style dining was also a hit with us. Being able to dress, go for a drink and enjoy some of the many entertainment venues without worrying about being to dinner at a certain time was great. Some days we toured and had a light lunch and were ready for dinner early and other days we ended up eating after we returned to the ship at 8 or later. All in all this was a great cruise that is at the top of our list of all the cruises we've taken. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I did this cruise this summer and we did not think it was anything special. I am a well-traveled individual, but I thought I would try something different. Unfortunately, it just confirmed every hesitation that I ever had ... Read More
My husband and I did this cruise this summer and we did not think it was anything special. I am a well-traveled individual, but I thought I would try something different. Unfortunately, it just confirmed every hesitation that I ever had about cruises. You are on some else's schedule and you really do not have anytime to experience any culture (except American culture, of course). On top of that, it felt as though everything was a money grab. You could not do the most basic activities without having to pay an arm and a leg. That being said, it was essential to do activities on the ship to prevent yourself from dying of boredom. Additionally, for a ship with thousands of guests, the pool was very small. We barely spent any time by the pool because of how crowded it always was, which was very disappointing. On a more positive note, I will say that the food was pretty good, the staff were very friendly and the gym was very nice. However, I believe you can have a way better trip if you just plan it yourself. I understand that people are suckers for the convenience of having everything planned for them, but it really does not take that much more effort to plan a trip and save more than half the money spent on this cruise. There is a price to laziness after all. To conclude I would only recommend this cruise if you have multiple children and want to see Europe or if you are above the age of 65. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Although the Pearl is not one of the larger NCL ships, we chose this cruise for the Itinerary it offered to Scotland, Norway, Ireland, France, London, Belgium and Amsterdam. Embarkation went smoothly in Amsterdam as well as the day we ... Read More
Although the Pearl is not one of the larger NCL ships, we chose this cruise for the Itinerary it offered to Scotland, Norway, Ireland, France, London, Belgium and Amsterdam. Embarkation went smoothly in Amsterdam as well as the day we ended our cruise in Amsterdam. Our ship was very clean, having been refurbished in 2017. We had a Mini Suite on Deck 11 and was pretty nice and roomy for us, considering we usually get Balcony cabins. Our cabin steward was from Indonesia. Dedy was very friendly and helpful to us the whole cruise. The entertainment was outstanding, with at least 11 different shows in the theatre of our 14 day trip. The lounges were great, and we enjoyed the Spinnaker Lounge allot. There were plenty of activities offered during the cruise. Dining and services were pretty good, although some food was not as good as others, we found plenty of venues to eat at, and we mixed it up, having eaten in 5 Specialty Restaurants and the rest in the Main Dining and O'Sheihans and Garden Buffett. Takes at least 90 minutes though. We found the whole staff of the ship very friendly and helpful. The only rudeness we noticed came from ship passengers. I think their expectations are too much and they should research a ship well before choosing a cruise and ship. All of our shore excursions were great! We especially loved our Flam and Geiranger, Norway Fjords scenery. Totally beautiful! We have sailed on the larger NCL ships, Epic and Breakaway before, and enjoyed them. But in our opinion, the Pearl was outstanding for us and we enjoyed our 14 day cruise of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our ... Read More
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our on. the two we booked were phenomenal, but both the Hop on Hop off in Finland and the guided excursion in Gdansk had issues. To NCL's credit they refunded part of our payment in both cases. Our cabin was very nice, but the cabin steward must have been new. He was very nice, but left things out of place when he cleaned. The bar and restaurant staff were exceptional. A little disappointed in the food in La Bistro and Moderno, but pleased everywhere else. The gym was too warm and we did most of our excersize on the promonade deck even thouigh it was very cool and windy mast days. Overall my wife and I really enjoyed the Pearl and the iternary was once in a lifetime for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Ports and value were good. Only Klaipeda was not worth a stop. Ship was old but well kept. Most outstanding was the staff: friendly yet professional. Made for a family atmosphere. Our cabin steward was helpful and went out of his ... Read More
Ports and value were good. Only Klaipeda was not worth a stop. Ship was old but well kept. Most outstanding was the staff: friendly yet professional. Made for a family atmosphere. Our cabin steward was helpful and went out of his way to bring me ice every night for my twisted He kept the cabin clean and orderly at all times. The food court was not of our liking as everything was súper spicy. Most of all, there was never free tables which resulted in us looking around for a place to sit while our food wad getting Cold. Lots of people complained and were upset about this. Indigo was our favorite venue: good food, excellent service, friendly staff. Two outstanding performances were the Classical Musicians and the couple of aerobatic act. The band was very good Staff at bar on deck 6 was terrific and space was very relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have never travelled NCL and it was a great destination and very cheap last minute price. But for the poor management, disorganization, virus outbreak and lack of basic safety measures and most of all the lack of honest report of ... Read More
I have never travelled NCL and it was a great destination and very cheap last minute price. But for the poor management, disorganization, virus outbreak and lack of basic safety measures and most of all the lack of honest report of embarkation condition and time it will take and port and shuttle condition upfront. It makes us lost our preplanned land tours and wait in line for hours for cargo port shuttle transportation schedules that does not match cruiseship embarkation time. It is no longer as cheap and a good deal as it seems.Many things regarding this shipp can only be simply put in a nutshell as if it is either at the beginning of a cruise staff training test run or the employees are so mad about the management that they strive to achieve perfect imperfections as a retaliation to work on a ship they have contract. some simple exaples are 1.5 hours into beginning of main breakfast hours. one side of the main hotwater and coffee machine is locked up. everywhere is either running out of soup bowls or plate. with management stand by busy chatting among themselves and employee standing around. Service desk often can not even be reached by phone and lines in front of the service desk will take easily half an hour many days of the week. The ship claims to have certain currency exchange and either it is closed, in time conflict with your shoretime or meal time or has no currency to exchanged. No water is served till the end of the meal Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We recently returned from a cruise on Norwegian Pearl, May 11 - 25, 2019 from Amsterdam to Scotland, Norway, Northern Ireland, Le Havre France, Tilbury England and Zeebrugge and returning to Amsterdam.This was our 7th cruise on NCL. We ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise on Norwegian Pearl, May 11 - 25, 2019 from Amsterdam to Scotland, Norway, Northern Ireland, Le Havre France, Tilbury England and Zeebrugge and returning to Amsterdam.This was our 7th cruise on NCL. We choose it for the itinerary. I had been wondering why Norwegian has been slipping so much in cruise line reviews and was curious to see if there have been changes. The two I found were in the food quality, particularly meat, poor entertainment and price gouging. The cruise started with us being held back in the port and again onboard from our cabins while our ship underwent deep cleaning due to an outbreak of norovirus on the previous cruise and a decontamination being required. The library and games room were closed for much of the cruise. We were not aware on any illness while on our cruise, so the efforts seem to have paid off. Service in the main dining room, the Summer Palace, was spotty. Sometimes good, other times poor. However the major change I detected was in the quality of the meat. We went to the La Cucina one night and were advised that the steak was the special. It was not good, rather mushy and tasteless. Another evening we went to Cagneys. Even though the dining room was empty they tried to seat us at the worst table in the place. My husbands Porterhouse was good, mine was grissoly and fatty. I did not enjoy it and was most disappointed. Prime rib in the dining room was tough.Other meats and fish were o.k. Entertainment: There were a couple of great performers, but generally not up to the usual standards of previous cruises: Two separate couples performed on two nights and they were outstanding. The dancers did a great show but the rest of the entertainers were lack luster.One magician was so bad that I actually left, something I have never done before. Our hour of free internet service required a $4 US hook up free. Not free NCL! Doing your homework before the cruise can cut your excursion costs in half. Generally the cruise line uses a local provider and at least doubles the cost. You can find everything on the internet and by reading Cruise Critic reviews. Edinburgh. The cruise line was offering return bus fares to town for $21 US, but we were happy to take a locally offered bus fares for only 4 pounds directly from the pier. So basically NCL charge 5 times the local fare. We were able to tour Edinburgh on our own, going to Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood House on foot, but we are fairly mobile seniors. Invergordon. We rented a car from Ken's Garage: morag.bremner@peugeotmail.co. a local provider. They delivered an almost brand new car to a location near the port. The cost for a standard shift car was $123 CAD. We toured the countryside including charming Dornoch and amazing Dunrobin castle on our own. Flam: we prebooked the Flam Railway trip which does sell out. Two minutes walk from the pier. There's not much else to do there, so best to prebook the rail trip rather than NCL prices. Bergen: easily toured on our own, can walk to the funicular for the trip up the mountain to enjoy the view. Several museums were closed because it was Wednesday Geiranger: walk off the ship onto a bus for a tour of the local scenery. No need to book with the cruise line, you can prebook with Panorama Bus: https://www.geirangerfjord.no/panoramic-bus-geiranger-2 Belfast: we took a very quick bus tour through town and down to the Giants Causeway. We had ample time to see the causeway, however the back of a bus is not the best way to enjoy the scenic coastal drive back to Belfast. Next time I would rent a car or go with a group in a van. https://irishtourtickets.com/ Dublin: We took a taxi from the ship to Dublin Castle and Trinity College. Lots of taxis at the dock. Though it was advertised as an overnight in Dublin, the cruise actually left at 2 am, so we did not get the expected two days in Dublin. Bait and switch. Le Havre: Cruise line tour to Rouen was a disappointment. We ran through the cathedral and town. A five hour tour included 3 hours travelling on the bus and two quick hours in town. We needed more time in the city, but they rushed back. Tilbury: we spent the day with friends, but I could see it was a very long walk to the train station to go to London. I did not see any buses going to the train. Zeebrugge: Bruges is amazing and you can do a self guided tour. Best to have a plan ahead of time so you know where to go once in town. The Church of the Holy Blood was closed at lunch time for an hour and a half. There are buses just outside the port that make runs into Bruges and back during the day. You can prebook on Viatour else buy your ticket there. Using the tram to get to the rail station did not seem like a good option, there were lines for the tram but they did not seem to run often. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise as we were interested in visiting the ports in Scotland, Ireland and Norway in particular. Had great weather and smooth seas for the whole cruise which made it so much more enjoyable. The highlight of our cruise was ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we were interested in visiting the ports in Scotland, Ireland and Norway in particular. Had great weather and smooth seas for the whole cruise which made it so much more enjoyable. The highlight of our cruise was without doubt the ports in Norway (Bergen, Flam and Geiranger). The scenery was absolutely amazing. We have sailed with NCL on many occasions and now enjoy Platinum Plus benefits which is an added bonus. As usual, the service provided by the crew was exceptional and the food in the main dining room was of a very good standard. Of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro & Cagneys were the standouts. The entertainment overall was not as good as on previous cruises. That is not to say that there weren’t some good shows but we aren’t that keen on magicians/mentalist type performances. One area we feel NCL could lift their performance is in providing more detailed information on the ports to be visited in a timely manner. Not everyone does an excursion in every port and so it would be good to have this information to be able to plan what you want to do in advance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
First Europe cruise with what we were told would be one of the best cruise companies out there. What we ended up with is one of the worse cruises I have ever been on. To be fair most of the passengers that we spoke with commented that they ... Read More
First Europe cruise with what we were told would be one of the best cruise companies out there. What we ended up with is one of the worse cruises I have ever been on. To be fair most of the passengers that we spoke with commented that they have always had good cruises with Norwegian and they could not figure out why this cruise was so bad, sorry to say this was my fist with this company. First the good, room was good, clean and well maintained. Bars and cocktails were fine. Approximately 60% of the staff went out of their way to make it a enjoyable cruise. The bad, top on the list was the food. I have never been on a cruise that had such poor quality food and lack of changing the menu from day to day. The exception was with 3 out of 4 dinner houses (specialty dining). Some of the rudest staff was found at the dining halls/restraint (not the Specialty dining), customer service area and the casino.It was so bad we tried to avoid these areas which is a shame because I actually like to go to the casino, but the machines was so tight and staff was so rude I just didn't go. Saved some money at least. Worst of all we took the cruise to see other countries and every excursion was screwed up. Staging all excursions from one location is stupid specially sense we were always late leaving the boat. They also did not keep to the advertised time table resulting in my wife and I missing 2 of our paid excursions (not Norwegian Excursions which was screwed up also). One excursion they anchored a mile off and took us in using their life boats, what a messed up operation. They boarded us on the seaward side in swells with old people falling everywhere and being beat-up until they realized there may be a safety issue ( I have video of this disaster). Overall the cruise left me thinking that Norwegian may not be as good as everyone told me, they differently ruined my first European cruise. But my wife and many other of the passengers swear this was not a typical Norwegian vacation. I can not say I will not try another Norwegian cruise, but I can diffidently say I will not ever book a trip on the Pearl again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review April 28th - May 25th, 2019 If you’ve found this review to be helpful please remember to leave me a helpful thumbs up. Voyage 01: Transatlantic Eastbound (13 Day) April 28th - May 11th, 2019 NYC ... Read More
Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review April 28th - May 25th, 2019 If you’ve found this review to be helpful please remember to leave me a helpful thumbs up. Voyage 01: Transatlantic Eastbound (13 Day) April 28th - May 11th, 2019 NYC -> Cobh, Ireland -> Dun Laoghaire, Ireland -> Paris (Le Havre), France -> London (Tilbury), England -> Ghent (Zeebrugge), Belgium -> Amsterdam, Netherlands Voyage 02: Northern Europe (14 Day) May 11th - May 25th, 2019 Amsterdam, Netherlands -> Newhaven, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom -> Invergordon, Scotland, United Kingdom -> Bergen, Norway -> Flam, Norway -> Hellesylt/Geiranger, Norway -> Giant’s Causeway Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom -> Dublin, Ireland -> Rouen (Le Havre), France -> London (Tilbury), England -> Brugge (Zeebrugge), Belgium -> Amsterdam, Netherlands My words of wisdom for cruising with NCL: Don’t treat the crew like crap. The crew are people too. Check your onboard account daily. Listen to announcements and read the freestyle daily for information. History: I’m Platinum latitudes and this would be voyages 08 & 09 with NCL. I originally reserved this B2B voyage while I was on the Gem sailing (NY - Quebec, Sept 2018). Although I had this B2B under 1 reservation number, the Cruise Consulate was actually able to use 2 Cruise Next certificates to secure this booking. We had a previous good relationship as he also remembered me from previous voyages on the Breakaway. Originally I reserved an IB (Inside) category cabin for the 27 day voyage but I used 30,000 BoA NCL MC WorldPoints to upgrade to an OC Category cabin. Also at the time, since I booked an inside cabin I selected the 1 free offer of 4 speciality dining. I would complete the upgrade from IB to to OC as well as payments with my USAA TA. Once my upgrade was completed and I got my cabin assignment a bunch of things showed up in my account. That I didn’t expect, and I didn’t know what to make of it. What showed up is available in my (AMENITY INVOICE) An onboard spending credit of $200. Free $50 USD On-Board Credit Certificate Non -Refundable, QTY 2
Specialty Dining Package, QTY 2
Internet Package (250 Minutes or 1GB), QTY 1
Shore Excursions Promotional Credit, QTY 1
Latitude Reward program 30 min internet, QTY 2
120 Min Ship to Shore Phone Calls, QTY 1 In addition, I’m also an NCL Stockholder and I submitted my shareholder benefit application. $250 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 15 Days or More. $100 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 7 to 14 Days. However, on paper I received 2 ($100) on board credits instead of the $250 for a 27 day voyage. I called NCL to see if I could get the $250 credit but the person I spoke with said that their computer saw my reservation as 2 voyages although it was under the same reservation. He did also say that he would see what he could do when I ended the conversation. Built in 2006 and refurbished in 2017, this would be my 1st time on the Pearl, 3rd TA crossing and my 2nd east bound voyage and the last of all 4 of the Jewel class vessels in the NCL fleet (Jewel, Jade, Gem, Pearl). I would also be bringing along my Citizen Miami folding bike which I had done on previous voyages. Cabin review below. I found the food overall on this voyage to be very good. From the behind the scenes tour I found that they are on a 14 day rotating dinner menu. Typically I would start my day with breakfast in the Summer Palace MDR (4 juices (2 grapefruit, 1 orange, 1 cranberry), oatmeal, then a rotating entree choice). For lunch I would vary having lunch in a different restaurant location. For Dinner I alternated every other day in a speciality restaurant or the MDR Indigo and dining only once in the Lotus Garden. The food wasn’t bad in Lotus Garden but it wasn’t Chinese either. I was telling my cousin who joined us for the 2nd voyage that I think most of the food is 10% authentic and 90% cruise ship, meaning that don’t really expect german food when they say it’s a german buffet or when it’s a specific theme night with the exception of the Indian food in the buffet which was really surprisingly really good. I found all the shows to be entertaining. The aerialists on board were my favorite. I did get to see the NCL Pearl’s main production cast of singers and dancers perform their main acts 3 or 4 times. If you are going to see the same show, for a different perspective I suggest sitting in a different location then you sat in from the previous show. I also brought this up with the Production manager during the ship tour on ships entertainment outside of the production cast seems to be broken down to: magician, juggler, comedian, musician or hypnotist. She agreed that seems to be the entertainment spectrum. The lecturer they had on board during the TA was to talk about Ireland but was not really that interesting but good try. This ship in general I found to be in good condition. There were no major areas of the ship that needed to be worked on and I did all kinds of wandering around the ship. For a quite space to watch over the water head up to the Sun Deck, Deck 14, starboard side of the ship, and can be access only by 1 staircase. To get to the Sun Deck start yourself at the rock wall on Deck 13 and follow along the starboard side while walking towards the front of the ship then go up the stairs at mid ship. This area doesn’t get used a lot. The other quite place on board the ship is Deck 11 Port side and forward which is the “Bridge Viewing Area”. The “Bridge Viewing Area” is the same location on all Jewel class ships in NCL’s fleet. April 28th, 2019 - Boarding in NYC There were also 2 other NCL ships in NYC that day (NCL Jade & Escape). I remember I was walking with my bike in the ship terminal when I got to the checkin desk and handed my documents over. I’ve previously gotten questions about the bike, but the person behind the desk asked me if he had rented me a car from Avis a week ago, which in fact he had done. This was his 2nd job. I thought that encounter remarkable. Boarding in NY (April 28th) went pretty smoothly and we ended up having lunch in the O’Sheehan’s. They also turned Lotus Garden in to a baggage storage area so I was able park my bike there until our rooms were ready. Boarding in Amsterdam (May 11th) was a huge mess for everyone but me and perhaps those others doing the back to back (B2B). The crew did this huge cleaning and sanitizing when the ship arrived to Amsterdam. But since I was on a B2B voyage and in the same room they gave me a B2B sticker so I didn’t have to do anything and just skipped the boarding process in the terminal. I didn’t even wait for the all clear for rooms to be ready as my room was the same room and it was already ready. My cabin steward as well as the cabin steward next to him knew what was up when they saw me. While my Aunt and cousin who were boarding the Pearl in Amsterdam did have to wait in line to check-in, after biking around Amsterdam and returning to the ship I went back to my room and took a shower and a nap. I did take anything they didn’t want to hold while waiting in line back to my cabin. I believe the crew took extra time cleaning the ship so there was a long delay in having all the rooms ready which was unfortunate but necessary. April 29th - May 04th, 2019 - Sea Days We had our CC M&G in the Bliss Lounge and it was a pretty good turn out. I also did the behind the scenes ship tour which included trips to the MDR, ship laundry and theater which was very entertaining and I also assisted with the slot pull. There was an outbreak of either AGE or Noro Virus on this 1st voyage but I didn’t catch it. I always used the hand sanitizers when ever possible or appropriate but from previous voyages I knew to do that before, hence why I don’t thin I got sick. By day 4, the ship did implement their upgraded containment procedures to keep passengers safer as people didn’t seem to either listen or take it seriously. As a result in the MDR, silverware, napkins and menus were brought to the tables only after you sat down. In the buffet you could no longer server yourself, instead a crew member had to serve you the item, this included the beverage areas too. I didn’t have a problem with this. They were also able to do the immigration inspection for Ireland on day 5 in the Spinnaker lounge however on my previous TA crossing they did that too. Over the course of the voyage I also did as many activities as possible and like to think I came to know the CD staff on this voyage pretty well. CD Pedro & Assistant CD Tiara CD Staff: Paul (Transferred from the Jade on April 28th), Cathryn, William, Gabby, Firat, Monica, MariAnna, Taz, Tracy, MariAnna, Katerina (on 2nd voyage which was her very 1st voyage), Facia (on 1st voyage but not 2nd) and Yasmine By random chance, I kept on running in to Captain Paul at dinner in the speciality restaurants, he and his party kept being seated at the table next to mine. Captain Paul von Knorring now calls Florida home but is originally from Helsinki, Finland. On the 2nd to last day of the 2nd voyage in Zeebrugge (May 24th) I ran in to Captain Paul on land. Captain Paul was with his wife and they were dressed like any other tourist from the ship but we recognized each other right away. Captain Paul remarked that he was impressed to just find out that I had brought my bicycle with me all this time. On May 05th, upon arrival to our first destination Cork, Ireland, I had booked a NCL ships excursion to visit Blarney Castle. It was a good excursion and yes I did kiss the Blarney stone. That all being said the next day, I was going over my onboard account and noticed that I got double the Shore Excursion Credit ($50 * 2) for the excursion. I couldn’t figure out why that happened. But then it happened again in Lehavre, France (May 08th) and again in Zeebrugge, Belgium (May 10th) for the NCL excursion. So even if the excursion was less then $100, NCL still gave me $100 per excursion. Unfortunately that was only on the 1st voyage. On the 2nd voyage I think the Shore Excursion people caught on to that mistake and only gave me the regular single $50 credit for each NCL excursion. Towards the end of the 2nd voyage, I stopped by and asked the shore excursion people why I was getting double shore excursion credit on the previous voyage and they also couldn’t figure out why but left the double credit in place. My ending balance on the 1st voyage was around -$223.40 and I was worried that negative balance wouldn't transfer to the next cruise so I went to the casino and charged $195 to my onboard account. The casino charges 3% for the transaction but I ended up winning an additional $130 playing ultimate texas holdem so that worked out. On May 06th we were in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, which is a suburb of Dublin. This was a tender port and May 06th happened to also be a holiday (Mayday). I had nothing planned that day but I did have my bike. I had been to Dublin in May 2017 and also planned to visit Dublin on our next voyage (May 20th). But I’d never been to Dun Laoghaire before, so my plan was to ride around Dun Laoghaire on my bike. Apparently, while the ship was scheduled to arrive @ 8:00AM, people thought that they could get off at 8:00AM and as such began queuing up in the stairwell before 8:00AM. There were numerous, NUMEROUS announcements to not queue in the main stairwell and that they were also passing out tender tickets. I had gone to get one but being platinum I knew that I didn’t need one, but I also knew that I should not try to be the 1st one off of the ship. No one that was standing in the main stairwell paid any attention to any of the announcements from CD Pedro nor did they follow any of the instructions from NCL staff present. Around 10:00AM I went to have a look at the main stairwell, walking up from deck 5 to deck 7 and found the queue which began on deck 4 and went all the way up to deck 7 and then extending towards the Lotus Garden both impressive and disturbing. While I didn’t count, it was literally wall to wall people compressed together trying to be the first off. I think each tender will hold 100 people and each tender takes 1 hour to complete it’s journey. You can do the math. What I realized was that for tendering operations NCL will give priority disembarkation in the following manner: 01) NCL Ships excursions
02) Haven guests
03) Gold and above latitude members 04) General Tender ticket holders (01 - 50) 05) Anyone Rather then wait in a queue on the stairs I just did normal stuff (breakfast and then trivia @ 9:15AM) until I heard the announcement that (Anyone) could get off which was around 11:00AM. I believe and understand that for the majority of the people on this voyage that: - they were unaware this would be a tender port, - they were unaware this would not be in Dublin city, - this was there only chance to visit Dublin, - they had booked their own shore excursion and were planning on meeting their guid/group at a certain time, - it was a 30 minute tender trip from the Pearl to land and then 30 minutes to get from land back to the Pearl I too was also unaware that May 06th was a holiday (Mayday), or that every tender from the Pearl was required to also have a local escort for each tender from the Pearl to the harbor and then escort the tender back out of the harbor. At 11:00AM I heard the announcement from CD Pedro that I could get off so I went back to my cabin, got my bike and changed to my riding gear. By 11:15 I was on a tender with my bike and by 12:00PM I was on land and riding around Dun Laoghaire. I had a great time in Dun Laoghaire. I followed the heritage trail to the James Joyce Tower and Museum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Joyce_Tower_and_Museum which also happened to be free admission that day so I went in and up. I then rode on to the Obelisk on top of, Killiney Hall Park http://archiseek.com/2014/1742-obelisk-killiney-hill-co-dublin/ On my way back to the harbor from the Obelisk, I stopped at a red light when a huge group of hundreds of cyclists passed by me. They were all on a family fun ride so I just joined them and they ended up showing me the bike paths of Dun Laoghaire which happen to run parallel to the train tracks. 4 hours later I was back at the tender pickup point. I had a great time in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. I had a very good time on this 1st voyage but a great time on the 2nd voyage. There was a lot of negative energy on the 1st voyage. There were many also many sea days. On the 2nd voyage that included a similar itinerary but aded 4 stops in Norway the negative energy that was present on the 1st voyage seemed to have gotten off in Amsterdam and we had really perfect weather for every stop on the 2nd voyage. There were also very few sea days. Our only tender port on the 2nd voyage was in Edinborough, Scotland (May 13th) but that went smoothly as they were using tenders from the port and it also wasn’t a holiday. I got a lot of use out of my bicycle on both voyages and highly recommended you giving bringing a helmet and bicycle on your next voyage. Holland America is the only line that has a ban on all bicycles. Our one bad NCL ships excursion was in Rouen (Le Havre), France where it would have been much better if the guide had provided or used a microphone and wireless headset system as they had been used in the other ports. Lastly, since I’m platinum I’m entitled to a free bag of laundry, per voyage. However on my 2nd voyage I needed to go down to the front desk to have them correct the laundry charge for that voyage. In general I had a great time. The 2nd voyage was better then the 1st and I really enjoyed most of the destinations we went to and would do it again. The crew did a fantastic job and it’s always good to see relatives that I don’t get to see often. If you have any questions, please feel free to look up my account and see in which topic I’ve posted to recently and write me a msg there. Remember if you’ve found this review to be helpful please remember to leave me a helpful thumbs up. Safe travels! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise because it was a different itinerary from the usual cruises from NYC. It visited Bermuda, my favorite island, in the spring which was a new experience for me. I usually have been on cruises to Bermuda in the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a different itinerary from the usual cruises from NYC. It visited Bermuda, my favorite island, in the spring which was a new experience for me. I usually have been on cruises to Bermuda in the summer. It also visited the Bahamas before returning to NYC. A major drawback on this cruise was stopping in Port Canaveral after visiting Bermuda and having to go through customs. I had to wait in the terminal two hours after customs inspection before being allowed to reboard the ship. We also had to go through customs again on returning to NYC. There were a lot of kids on this cruise because it was Easter vacation and some were unsupervised which is always annoying, especially in the dining room when they are interfering with the dining experience. My most enjoyable shore excursion was a trip to the Daytona Race Track when the ship docked in Port Canaveral. Though not a fan of race car driving, it was an excellent tour by tram of the course and a visit to the Hall of Fame museum. If you've already been to the Kennedy Space Center, this is a great option for this port of call. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is our 4th NCL cruise and by far the decline in everything was noticed. We were in a Penthouse Suite so that made a great difference in our service and we tip well after all of the extra service charges NCL adds,so the staff we ... Read More
This is our 4th NCL cruise and by far the decline in everything was noticed. We were in a Penthouse Suite so that made a great difference in our service and we tip well after all of the extra service charges NCL adds,so the staff we worked with were super. A few extra dollars goes a long way. We chose a suite due to wheel chair and space needs. Our suite 9672 was wonderful and accessible for seniors or people who need a walk in shower and not a tub. Location: Overall it is nice to see the area and the beautiful blue waters. NCL keeps you in their areas IE Harvest Caye so you dont always see the real culture. They are really building their own areas so they can keep the $$ you spend in house. Cabin: Very Nice and well worth the upgrade. Big Balcony only downfall were those smoking around us. It is now all NON smoking in rooms and balconies and if caught they will fine you. Dining: Most of our meals were in specialty locations so most of it was good. Our servers were beyond wonderful. The specialty dinners were not as good as in years past. Meat was a bit tough I had a ribeye one night and could not chew any of it. Stick with the Filet. The buffets looked sad. The salmon is now a salmon spread, mixed fruit a blob of fruit mushed I could go on but wont. Do not go on NCL for the food unless you are in a suite/haven. The basic food keeps getting downgraded. Staff: German Escobar our NCL consultant highly recommend. Book through NCL and they will tell you everything you need. Including that the 7 day cruise only is only 3 add on meals not 7 as people assume. Online bookings do not explain things like the meals or drinks. Anoop Concierge went out of his way to assist. Highly recommend him and Vergil our Butler as well as our Steward were all great. The crew in Cagneys and Moderno for the meals were top notch. Embarkation: Tampa Port should be ashamed of the mess they have there. So much confusion on where to go as there was construction. Signage was horrible. The officers directing traffic were super and helped everyone. Once we made it to the NCL controlled area (inside) everything was great. Outside a nice woman named Deb helped and made the day. Enrichment Activities: Most of the activities were a pay to play which has changed from years past. Another nickle and dime of NCL. Entertainment: Ledgends was ok but the rest was pretty poor. NCL really needs to invest in their entertainers. This was one of the lamest of all cruises. The crew singing in the morning were better than the entertainment at night. Spa: Well worth the addition. Not crowded and well kept up. Public Rooms: Everything was cleaned each night. I watched the staff clean at all hours and they worked hard. The ship was just rehabed so everything was still in pretty good shape. Service: The servers overall were great we were in specialty so taken care of well and those extra tips go a long way. Mary Anne and the crew that assisted us were super. The crew in the buffet worked hard but hardly smiled. They look overworked and underpaid. Shore Excursions: I would not recommend the Black Swan boat tour in Belize it was a waste of money. We went out in the water and drove around. Did not see much and the guide was filling in so was in a rush to get us back. It was nice hearing about life on the island but not something to do again. The swim with the Dolphin in Costa Maya is a small area of dirty water where dolphins take you about 1/2 block in the water back and forth. Wait to do this in Honduras it was better. NCL offers a $50 credit per port but then you add on those in your party and it adds up. We went away from the port and found tours of 1/3 of the price. Be aware that you are guided to NCL activities but if you leave the port you will see many options. Just pick and choose because they are pretty aggressive. The swim with the dolphin Value for the Money: It was ok but a lot of those in the suites said they would go on other cruise lines in the future because NCL was downgrading everything and up- charging for so much that they did not in the past. Be prepared to pay $4.99 for shrimp in Cagneys they just added this. Also if having a drink before the ship leaves port you will be charged local taxes. Keep an eye on your bill and check it daily. There were a few things that were added here and there that made no sense. Overall we enjoyed the cruise because of the staff and the people. We have been loyal NCL cruisers however are going to try a different cruise line in the future to compare. It seems like NCL is going in the super economy direction with less quality and add ons for everything. Disembarking was great as we had priority and this went well. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise was a last moment decision to get some sun in the middle of January Weather in Minnesota. This was our 18th cruise on NCL and our 2nd time taking the Pearl to sea. We are currently Platinum Plus members on NCL's ... Read More
This cruise was a last moment decision to get some sun in the middle of January Weather in Minnesota. This was our 18th cruise on NCL and our 2nd time taking the Pearl to sea. We are currently Platinum Plus members on NCL's Latitudes Reward system. Tampa & the Barrymore Hotel: We flew into Tampa Wednesday morning, from Minnesota. We requested a taxi in the baggage claim area of the Tampa airport and it picked us up immediately and took us to the Barrymore Hotel. I gave the cab driver a $10.00 tip as he was of Moroccan decent and was a true delight during the ride. The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk is a funky run down motel with an O.K room that served the purpose of being close to the cruise dock area cheaply. Restaurants are not in easy walking distance and the Hotel Restaurant breakfast service was very poor to non existent. So if you are walking challenged, staying at this Hotel may be a poor choice for you. The Hotel Shuttle to us to the Port at 11:00 AM on Thursday and we immediately checked in. *** People in the Embarkation waiting area need to understand that you will board the ship in a rotation determined by your Latitude level so it was chaos when individuals at lower levels were arguing with security about boarding first.*** The Pearl was: - Clean The Staff was; - Outgoing, - We had three favorite waiters/waitresses immediately. - Our Cabin Stewart (Rotessa), was very friendly, a hard worker and a delight to be around The Interior Cabin, 10105; - a Clean, Well Located, Regular sized inside cabin that made our routine on the Pearl convenient. Specialty Restaurants: - Cagney's 5 stars. (Service and food was impeccable). (2 evening meals) - La Cucina 4 Stars. (Service by "Francis", (our Waiter), is always the best). Menu is less desirable than Cagney's in my opinion. (1 Evening meal). - Le Bristro 5 Stars. Menu was extensive, Food was prepared and served flawlessly my Mary Jane and the meal was a delight. (1 evening meal) Regular Resturants: - Summer Palace. A great breakfast place. Sit and watch the sea go by and you wake up with a good cup of coffee. - Indigo was our choice in the evening. It was adequate. - O'Sheehan's; Needs a more extensive menu and add more waiters. The Menu is limited and it took over an hour to get served at lunch time. - Garden Cafe Buffet; I would recommend staying away from eating in the Buffet unless you are ready to be run over by a starving passenger that just needs to get to those french fries before you do. Food is adequate. Table cleaners are friendly, though seating capacity is limited so a table for two is at times hard to find. Casino: - Staff is very friendly and the machines, while not giving back large jackpots, kept my wife and her allotted limit in the game until Day 9. Shows: Entertainment was very limited on this cruise. Ports of Call: - Key West: Antigua: Tortola: ST Maartin: San Juan, Porto Rico: All of the ports were non eventful. No excursions were taken as I been there-Done That on [previous cruises. Did several long walks in the different Ports. Most of last years Hurricane damage has been fixed in the tourist areas. Disembarkation: - Orderly, Efficient and Well Managed. Used NCL to shuttle us back to the Tampa Airport and I was through security at the airport by 9:45 AM. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My Wife and I enjoyed the cruise with Norweigen Cruise Lines. I have only cruised on Carnival until this last cruise. I will from now on prefer Norweigen over Carnival. The food was a huge improvement and the staff were very good as well. ... Read More
My Wife and I enjoyed the cruise with Norweigen Cruise Lines. I have only cruised on Carnival until this last cruise. I will from now on prefer Norweigen over Carnival. The food was a huge improvement and the staff were very good as well. There were a lot of good things on the Pearl, just wished more pools we're available. The two pools they has we're always too crowded for my liking. Overall I was very pleased with our Cruise experience!! Thank You!! Washy, Washy!! LOL!!! The availability of Hand Sanitizer was AWESOME!! It made the cruise worry free. Before entering the dining facilities they actually had people there to spray everyone's hands with sanitizer to avoid the spreading of germs and disease on the cruise!! That was phenomenal!!! It put our mind at ease!!! The New Year's Eve party was a lot of fun and we also enjoyed White Night as well. The drink package was a great deal, and saved us money, I will purchase it going forward!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because we thought it would be fun and interesting. Traveling with four other people, two of which were in our suite. The suite was smaller than suites on other cruise lines but our cabin guy was very helpful and fun. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought it would be fun and interesting. Traveling with four other people, two of which were in our suite. The suite was smaller than suites on other cruise lines but our cabin guy was very helpful and fun. Embarkation seemed slow but manageable, but disembarkation was ridiculous. It took us 2 1/2 to 3 hrs to clear customs. After all that a piece of our luggage was loaded into another vehicle and sent to Bradenton, Fl (we live in Ohio but were staying another two days nearby). It took another day to get a hold of someone to find what happened to our missing bag. They had to ship it to Ohio, we were not able to pick it up before we left. The food on the ship was adequate. The food in O'Sheehans was the best, while the main dining room had no exceptional food (very little seafood at all). Also had our best service there (O'Sheehans). Most all of the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We ate in the buffet several times and most of the food was good. The entertainment was adequate but nothing spectacular. Two pools, four hot tubs and bowling you had to pay for. There was an exercise room and the girls at the spa were very nice and helpful. of course, the casino. The ports were shipyards, in at least 3 instances, not what we expected. We thought the beaches would be beautiful but the Grand Caymans beach was very rocky and on the beach in Jamaica you could go so far out before you ran into seaweed. The beach in Costa Rica was very nice and we loved Harvest Caye. Most people were upset that you had to pay for everything there but the beach and pool were beautiful We made our own fun and overall had a good time, but would not cruise on the Pearl. We did not realize that this cruise was a senior cruise but it seemed that it was. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The Panama Canal cruise was on our bucket list. We are into our 70s and both have some chronic health issues, so we wanted to get this off of our list. We chose the aft facing cabin so we had a 180 degree view when going through the ... Read More
The Panama Canal cruise was on our bucket list. We are into our 70s and both have some chronic health issues, so we wanted to get this off of our list. We chose the aft facing cabin so we had a 180 degree view when going through the canal. This was a great choice and we loved sitting on our balcony and enjoying the view. Even was nice in some of the ports. Embarkation had some issues. The lady who was keeping track of those who required wheel chairs overlooked my name and I was one of the last wheelchairs on board. The gentleman who took me on board whizzed us through the ship and down to lunch in the Summer Palace, dropped us off, and our lunch was great. We had easy access to our daily dining there. However, there was a "burp" on the second night of dining. I was wearing shorts (everyday on board) and we took the elevator from deck 11 down to deck 6, which is the handicapped entrance to the restaurant. Deck 7 is the regular entrance with two flights of stairs required to get in. Well, on this night, we walked in on the handicapped ramp and were met by the Maitre' D who pointed to my shorts and said I couldn't come in, since I wasn't wearing long pants. He was very adamant about it and immediately called The Indigo Dining Room and said he was bringing us down there (no dress code there) and he escorted us (very quickly) through the Atrium and down another elevator to the Indigo, taking us right in (ahead of about 30 people in line) and seated us and with a "sorry", he disappeared. Then, about 5 minutes or so later, in comes the ships Restaurant Manager shows up with (I believe) the Hotel Manager and they both were very apologetic about what had happened and offered us a complimentary bottle of wine. They were classy in the way they handled the apology and they made sure to speak to us whenever they saw us on board. They did point out that there was signage at the entry to the restaurant regarding dinner dress codes. But, I pointed out that we never entered the restaurant on Deck 7 and there was no signage on Deck 6 (the handicapped entrance) They apologized for that, later, and said signage would be put on that entrance too. They also pointed out that the dress codes were printed in the daily Freeystyle newsletter. It was in there, but buried. Anyway, I screwed up and they screwed up and we were happy during the cruise. Another incident occurred during the Cruise Critic Roll Call Meet and Greet which was held in the Bliss Nightclub at about 11am. We arrived and were sitting with some others near the entrance of the club. The Norwegian Captain and Management team arrived and suggested we all move to the stage area. Well, the lighting was dim to dark and I nailed my shin on one of those small bolted down cocktail tables. It hurt, I almost fell, but we moved on up with the others and sat through the meet and greet. When we left, we went back to our cabin to asses the damage and I had quite the abrasion to my left shin and had bled through my compression sock. We bandaged it up (since I had those supplies with us for another issue) and continued on with our day. We went to the service desk to see if a report needed to be made. The gentleman there said no. However, later on we met with the Customer Relations Manager and she said she saw me hit the table and was looking for me later. She said to go to Medical and they would do a report and take care of the injury. Well, Medical is open from 7:30am to 9am and 7:30pm to 9pm. We filled our a medical report and while waiting to see the doctor, two security officers came in and it was like the "Norwegian CSI" They took another report, took pictures of my leg, what shoes and braces I was wearing, and my cane. Then, one of the took my wife back to the Bliss (3 decks up and on the other end of the ship and going through the Atrium crowd on the ship while he carried my wife's purse, we guess so she wouldn't run away?) He looked at what my wife thought was the right area (in the dark) and then came back to Medical. By then I had seen the good doctor and one of the nurses was bandaging my leg. I was already on an antibiotic and they said to monitor it. The next day we had a bottle of wine and a cheese plate waiting for us in our cabin. This did not include a bottle of wine that the Restaurant Manager gave us earlier. By the way, we did see the Summer Palace Maitre' D on numerous occasions and I think he tried to avoid us. All in all, it was a memorable cruise (in more ways than one) and one we'd highly recommend to anyone wanting to transverse the Eastern Locks of the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
It seemed obvious early in the cruise that there were a lot of people interested in trivia. It seemed that they adjusted the schedule to add more trivia and moved it to a bigger venue to accommodate the crowds. Well done! Our cabin ... Read More
It seemed obvious early in the cruise that there were a lot of people interested in trivia. It seemed that they adjusted the schedule to add more trivia and moved it to a bigger venue to accommodate the crowds. Well done! Our cabin was very comfortable and well suited for our needs. We tried many of the dining options and found them quite to our liking. The Brazilian Steak House was much improved over our previous experience there. We will return. We took part in many of the activities and enjoyed them all. The shows we saw were wonderful. The adult oriented shows were particularly crowded and overwhelmed the venue. They should be afforded more room. The Cruise Director, Assistant Cruise Director as well as our Cabin Steward and most of the Wait Staff were terrific. We really enjoyed the cruise. We were more relaxed than usual and found it to enhance the experience. We ate when we were hungry instead of trying to stick to a schedule. Forget the Trolley Town tour in Santo Tomas. It wasn't worth the cheap price we paid to go. It ran through pot holes the size of wash tubs, showed us little and finally at the end passed out the one can of warm beer. Panama Canal was really a grand sight to see. Disappointed that with all of the Millions of $$$ taken in each day that they had folks very nearby that lived in what looked like bombed out apartments with no electricity. Sad to see the little kids running around in that. We met a couple that we had been friends with for a couple of years that we didn't know would be there. Nice addition. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful and, we love the countries that we were to visit. Besides, it was a Casino at Sea so we planned to have fun in the casino. Our first warning was the embarkation. When we got to the terminal at 11:30, people were still disembarking. We found our Casino at Seas line at 11:50 - zipped right through security because of our scooter. Only one couple was ahead of us. We got on board at 1:50! Crazy. The ship was beautiful, the service (especially our room steward) was wonderful and the shows were great. But, that's where it stops. The menus were great but the food was mediocre at best. The Moderno Brazilian Restaurant's signature meat (Sirloin roast) was dry, tough and inedible. Cagney Steakhouse was good ... a step above Longhorn but not as good as a Ruth Chris (which Carnival's steakhouses are comparable). My biggest disappointment was Le Bistro, the French restaurant. Though the food was good, it was not French. Menu was French but not the food. I ordered their most expensive ($24.95) item (a shrimp dish). I've had more flavor and bigger and more tasty shrimp at Olive Garden, and trust me Olive Garden is not all that great. The main dining rooms also disappointed. Who fries stuffed mushrooms caps? Everything was just blah. The buffet was actually better than the main dining rooms. The Spa ... I prepaid for the Thermal Suite with its "therapy" pools. Well, I am 70 and have mobility issues. The two "therapy" pools are not accessible and there is no lift. You have to be able to climb a ladder. I have only been in three Thermal Suites (all on Carnival). Both the Breeze and the Splendor are wonderful. You can walk in on steps with solid handrails. The Vista was a joke ... easy to get into but smaller than a hot tub. When I discussed my problems with the staff, they were indifferent and said "they are working on that." The Casino - well, it was small, expensive ($10 minimum for tables) and had very limited variety of slots. There were a few tournaments (no discount for Casino at Sea folk) and no promotional games, except for one hour hot seat. Two of the four ports we went to were "fake" ports that have a handful of shops (no real native crafts, clothing or jewelry). But getting on and off was very easy. Disembarkation was weird. If you carry your own luggage you can get off willy-nilly. Causes quite a bit of congestion. We started to get off the ship at 9:45 (our group was suppose to be called at 9:15) and we got on the road about noon. Valet parking was very inefficient. NCL has beautiful ships, a caring staff and great shows. But that is the wrapping paper and Tiffany box. The food, ports of call, embarkation and disembarkation, is from the Dollar Store. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My friend and I like the Pearl and enjoy the spa. So we always try to pick the Pearl after trying other ships in her size and category. We have not gone out of Tampa before, so we decided to give it a try. The Pearl was updated in 2017 ... Read More
My friend and I like the Pearl and enjoy the spa. So we always try to pick the Pearl after trying other ships in her size and category. We have not gone out of Tampa before, so we decided to give it a try. The Pearl was updated in 2017 and the whole of the ship looked much better and cleaner than the cruise we took on her in 2016. We spend most of our time in the spa, the exercise room, and Java bar. What we found was going out of Tampa was subject to customs slowing down the whole process, governed by too few agents who were trying to control too many people. As a result both embarkation and disembarkation was greatly delayed and made many on the ship angry. We won't go out of that port ever again. The food was excellent and the choices were good. We were in Madaro and Cagnes for two meals, the rest were in the Summer Palace or Garden Cafe. We hung out at the Java bar in the atrium, as the crew there were fast, friendly and helpful. They have hired actual baristas to make the great coffee there. The entertainment was up to Pearls usual good standards in the Atrium and only two of the stage show drew us in. The two excursions we took, the Tequila Tasting and the Mayan Wellness tour were excellent. Great people very informative and helpful in so many ways. We felt well taken care of and the tour was well worth the money. The shops and entertainment in Costa Maya were great too. Our cabin steward was great and responsive the whole cruise. We discovered the clearance sale toward the end of the trip where everything there was $10 and got a few Christmas Gifts there. Their craft crew were not well organized and kept many away as a result. Not the same as we have had before. We didn't hear or see the Captain but once the whole trip. Not the kind of Captain we like. We still love the Pearl and hope to go to other locations soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My wife and I were on this cruise.We are both 71, this was our thirteenth cruise, fourth Norwegian. Four Carnival and five Disney. We typically cruise from Port Canaveral when cruising from Florida. Otherwise we have sailed from Honolulu, ... Read More
My wife and I were on this cruise.We are both 71, this was our thirteenth cruise, fourth Norwegian. Four Carnival and five Disney. We typically cruise from Port Canaveral when cruising from Florida. Otherwise we have sailed from Honolulu, Seattle and Seaward. Never had significant problems at any port except Tampa.Stood in line with my bad feet over two hours to embark (Coast Guard blah blah blah). Stood in line for two hours to disembark (CBP blah blah blah). Perhaps it was the fault of the Coast Guard and CBP, bit I believe it is the responsibility of Norwegian to provide adequate facilities to embark and disembark. The rest of the cruise was typical Norwegian, small cabins (O1), adequate food and good entertainment. Ate in Cagneys twice and Teppenyaki twice, they were both excellent.The production crew was great but they were under utilized, I think only 4 nights (I don't count the variety of embarkation night). Divas 3 was pretty good as well as the aerial gymnasts. The service was very good. Ports and excursions were usual. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I've been on 10 cruises and loved every one of them, mainly because of the ports and all you can see and learn in 2 weeks, give or take. The Pearl is a gorgeous ship. We stayed in the Haven which should be called the Heaven. Our ... Read More
I've been on 10 cruises and loved every one of them, mainly because of the ports and all you can see and learn in 2 weeks, give or take. The Pearl is a gorgeous ship. We stayed in the Haven which should be called the Heaven. Our steward, concierge, butler - everyone we came in contact with, were delightful people. The Haven itself was luxurious and comfortable and we felt like we had the ship to ourselves. Not a complaint about the room, room service, crew, food, everything was perfect. Worth the $8,000+ per person. The ports were another story. It was our first Caribbean cruise so maybe we were naive. Every other cruise has had wonderful ports that gave you a true taste of the country and city you were visiting. You are free to take a ship tour, get off the boat and roam, or take your own taxi and explore. We generally go off on our own. On this cruise, unless you took a ship tour - expensive, most of the ports were "fake". A few small newish buildings selling things that were for the most part inauthentic, no local food, no local people or culture. We were absolutely shocked by this. The only places where we could get off the ship and wander were the 2 stops in Colombia, Santa Marta and Cartegna. We got a good feel for the culture, people, music, food and crafts. In Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, even Mexico, we disembarked and saw only the market that appeared to be owned by Norwegian. Very upsetting. These small countries need and depend on tourism. It is clear that Norwegian gets a cut of all the goods sold. There was no town, in facat, if you wanted to take a car to a nearby town there was nothing nearby. In Mexico our port was called "Costa Maya" which means to most people the beautiful coast south of Cancun on the Yucatan Pennisula. Norwegian's "Costa Maya" was a silly made up village with Mexicans dressed in outrageous costumes posing with people, horrible crafts not at all representative of the beautiful things the Mexican people are famous for making. Lots of gold, diamond, jewelry stores, Starbucks, no good restaurants. It was disappointing to say the least. Perhaps some people who are not interested in seeing actual cultures in other countries felt comfortable, but for people who love to travel and learn, it was a nightmare. Also, we embarked from Tampa and it took all day to get on board - people were waiting so long someone had to be taken away in an ambulance. Horrible experience after being promised priority boarding because of our Haven status - which did not kick in till we were on board 4 hours after waiting in Florida heat. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Norwegian Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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