Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I decided that for our yearly "Mom and Dad need alone time" trip, we would go on a short cruise WITHOUT the kids (for once). We flew into Vancouver, and stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which was right on top of ... Read More
My husband and I decided that for our yearly "Mom and Dad need alone time" trip, we would go on a short cruise WITHOUT the kids (for once). We flew into Vancouver, and stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which was right on top of the pier. We stayed on the club floor, and it was lovely. Boarding the Pearl was a little bit rough, as there were 3 ships leaving that day, and ours was the only one that didnt have to go through customs, since we were going to Victoria the next day (instead of Seattle). This meant that we were in a "holding room" with no bathrooms for over an hour. Thank goodness for priority embarkation! We stayed in the H3 Owner's Suite 9004. It was an AMAZING room. 2 balconies, one forward, and one hull balcony on the side. The room itself was gorgeous. We really didnt even need or go to the Haven except for once, just to be on the deck (it was freezing, so we didnt stay long). Our Butler and room Steward were fantastic, while I was less impressed by the concierge this time around. In terms of dining, we ate in the Haven restaurant (Moderno) for breakfast and lunch. then for dinner, we went somewhere. Once, I went to O'Sheehans, as DH was seasick, once we went to Indigo, and once to Teppanyaki. One night, we did have our butler bring us specialty food from both Cagneys and Le Bistro in the cabin. We spent a bit of time in the casino, and walked out having broken even. We just arent big gamblers. We attended the Captain's party, the Latitudes party and the Cruise Critic party. They were all fine, though the best was the CC party in Bliss. I hope they dont change that place too much when she is refurbished! We also attended a couple of the shows - acrobats and a magician. They were fairly typical for the smaller NCL ship entertainment. I also had a couple of sessions with a personal trainer (who looked eerily like my brother), and he was able to help me with a couple of workout related things. I also spent a decent amount of time in the thermal suite - I LOVE those tile loungers!!! Victoria was a very nice stop - we went via ship tour to the Abukazi Gardens and Tearoom, which is quite the experience. It was cultivated by a Russian Prince and Princess in exile, who ended up settling in BC. Absolutely gorgeous. My husband even liked it, though he was (laughingly) put out by my making him go to a "tea party". San Francisco was our second stop, and we headed out to Alcatraz (ship tour), where we walked around for hours. First they took us to a little craft village and over the Golden Gate Bridge, then to Alcatraz, where they dropped us off and we were to make our own way back to the ship (1 pier down). We thought we were going to be pier runners on the way back to the ship, only to make it there to find out they had extended our time in port by 3 hours due to customs taking too long! We disembarked in LA, and didnt do much but head straight for the airport. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
My wife and I sailed on the NCL Pearl during a "Pacific Coastal" aka repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver BC. This was our 7th NCL cruise and the 2nd on the Pearl (last being a 2014 cruise to Alaska). We chose this ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the NCL Pearl during a "Pacific Coastal" aka repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver BC. This was our 7th NCL cruise and the 2nd on the Pearl (last being a 2014 cruise to Alaska). We chose this cruise for some rest and relaxation on the ocean. We flew into LA from Seattle and took the NCL sponsored bus directly from the baggage claim to the Long Beach embarkation port. Boarding the Pearl was uneventful and our room was ready shortly after lunch. Compared with prior NCL cruises, we felt some improvements have been made mainly around the food. The Garden Cafe buffet had a rich variety of food include fresh fruits. The cruise was not full so the seating areas were rarely packed. The main dining room had a typical rotations of daily entree specials which ranged from very good to average. It did not appear that any meal had any wait to speak of. We ate at specialty restaurants La Cucina and Cagney's, both of which had some very good dishes. Of note, NCL deserves praise for upgrading their desert offerings which we felt were subpar in the past. Despite being a short 5 day cruise, NCL provided a rich assortment of entertainment options including the expected trivia contests (we were so bad at name that tune that the Pianist Jim awarded us prizes), Deal or No Deal, Bingo, Casino tournaments and sporting events. The highlight for us was the Legends in Concert show, part of the Las Vegas production bringing rotating cover artists on board - our show with an Elton John, Michael Jackson, and Madonna tribute artists was excellent. The Pearl Production cast also put on a great finale "Pure Variety" with a wide range of musical hits. The Pearl lived up to NCL's reputation of providing a wide selection of entertainment choices. The ports we visited (San Francisco and Victoria) were both cities we have traveled extensively in the past so we did not do any organized excursions. In San Francisco, we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge (taking a public bus to the visitors center) and in Victoria we wandered around downtown for a bit. The Pearl appeared to be very well maintained and had great facilities such as a well equipped gym, nice walking and separate running tracks, and a variety of public areas although the chilly temperatures dissuaded many from enjoying the pool deck. The staff was very friendly and worked very hard to make everyone enjoy their time on board! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Cruise Virgin. Main Purpose for this was a pre-cruise to a Hawaii cruise on NCL in June 2016. Secondary purpose was the brief opportunity to see cousins in LA and SF. Third purpose was to scout Victoria and Vancouver. This trip was a ... Read More
Cruise Virgin. Main Purpose for this was a pre-cruise to a Hawaii cruise on NCL in June 2016. Secondary purpose was the brief opportunity to see cousins in LA and SF. Third purpose was to scout Victoria and Vancouver. This trip was a fly-cruise-train trip. We are PNW people so the ability to see other west coast cities via a different route is different. We used Spirit Air from PDX to LAX-inexpensive and resvn made just 9 days before departure. Spirit Air is OK since the flight is only 2.5hrs and we had just one carry-on plus personal. We had a nice time visiting cousins, although all too brief. We did not use any excursions. We did do walk around in Victoria and Vancouver plus a HopOn-HopOff purchased off ship. From VAC we Amtrak Cascade train #508 to SEA where we stay with son on his birthday. The 508 hugged Puget Sound's coastline and we got some nice views and is much better for comfort than either BoltBus or Amtrak bus service from VAC to SEA. The next day we took the #507 from SEA to PDX. We left PDX in the drizzle and arrived home in 80deg. Cruise: NCL Pearl. Repositioning from Miami via Panama Canal. About 500 passengers had started in Miami or Caribbean and continuing on to VAC or Alaska. A number were VAC residents. The ship holds 2300 but was 1300 passengers. The crew members were pleasant and had the time to converse. The crew that we spoke to, had extensive hotel/cruise experience and apparently moved to NCL/cruise service as a way to move up the career ladder. All genuinely liked NCL but this is of course subjective. We noticed that the crew were able to view the GoldenGate as we passed underneath and a few able to get off the ship at ports of call and make a checkoff on their bucket list. Last comment, I made some simple requests to the food staff and the staff (even the food manager in charge) easily made the requests happen. The room steward also made our special request happen. We gave the room steward a small advance gratuity. This was our first cruise and it was a repositioning. Rate as Average until we are able to make a comparison. Met and exceeded our expectations. Nice. Would do it again, We discovered what to eat, what to take advantage of, what to avoid, and what to take -leave behind. The Pearl is in need of refurbishment and is schedule for Feb 2017. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was my 3rd sailing on the Pearl (chosen only for the stop in San Francisco) and 7th overall on NCL. Pre-cruise customer service was disappointing and left me not wanting to sail. I called multiple times pre-cruise to request a ... Read More
This was my 3rd sailing on the Pearl (chosen only for the stop in San Francisco) and 7th overall on NCL. Pre-cruise customer service was disappointing and left me not wanting to sail. I called multiple times pre-cruise to request a balcony cabin change but was thoroughly rebuffed. I guess I expected better having reached Gold on last sailing 8 months prior. NCL just feels different than in years past, and not a good different. There were many balcony cabins available up to the day before sailing. I was travelling with someone in another balcony cabin. Upon embarking in Los Angeles I went to guest services to ask if there was any possibility of a change (there was a sign saying full capacity, no changes possible). I got a call after 8PM that night offering a different cabin but declined after having already unpacked. Cabin 8542. Carpet seemed clean or new. No bathrobe (requested one from steward). Disgustingly dirty balcony table. No room service menu. Used Ziplock bags under sink left me wondering how well this cabin was cleaned. Slept in this cabin the first night then called the next morning to see if a change was still available. A friendly girl at Guest Services moved me to 9028. This room was no improvement. The shampoo dispenser was broken (button was missing) so a small bottle was provided. Still no bathrobe. Dirty carpet and sofa cover. Coffee table needs replacement. No room service menu here either. Steward either lacked attention to detail or didn't like having an unexpected cabin to service. Bath towels would be picked up off floor but bathmat left. Just simple little things. Travelling companion in 9008 had overall better service from a different steward. I'd not be too happy with these little things on an Alaska cruise at those high prices. 9028 may just be a cabin that's kept vacant as a back up in case something happens in another cabin. The rest of the ship needs a good cleaning. Dingy. There was maintenance going on. The Promenade Deck was roped off more than once. Other than that, same old Pearl. Activities seemed to be lacking for this 5-day sailing. Casino was closed the morning we sailed towards Victoria (2PM arrival) and for the rest of the trip. Positive notes: Got to see the Golden Gate Bridge sailing in and out of San Francisco after heavy fog prevented that on the Jewel a few years prior. Priority embarkation in Los Angeles was a nice surprise after finally reaching Gold on prior cruise. Disembarkation at Vancouver's Canada Place was painless (no immigration having stopped in Victoria the day before) and a short walk to the Skytrain to YVR airport. Overall, just not very exciting but then I didn't go in thinking it would be. Not a trip of a lifetime type of itinerary. It appeared to be mostly an older crowd as expected on an early May sailing. Lots of passengers had been onboard from Miami. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
I have always sailed RCCL in the past - have done the Vision, Voyager, and Oasis class ships. Recently, I decided to sail NCL and choose the Pearl (Jewel class). I prefer this size ship and now am only sailing NCL due to butler/concierge ... Read More
I have always sailed RCCL in the past - have done the Vision, Voyager, and Oasis class ships. Recently, I decided to sail NCL and choose the Pearl (Jewel class). I prefer this size ship and now am only sailing NCL due to butler/concierge in the suites. The mega ships are beautiful but due to size, I do not find enjoyable. I understand and I am amazed at the operation of the mega ships. On RCCL Allure: embarkation was very long process, long lines, and reservations were not available for shows or specialty dining. At times there were very long lines to enter the comp dining facilities so it was not the relaxing cruise experience I desired. Imagine moving 5,000+ passengers (amazing feat) but those same people that want to eat at the same time, travel elevators, see shows can be overwhelming...However, it is mitigated if you upgrade to suite level cabins. I have to say that if you are willing to splurge suites make the difference. I sailed on NCL Pearl (Garden Villa) and it was a 5 star experience for me. The service was stellar. The ship is dated but it will get a refurbish soon. The complimentary dining was very good and the specialty restaurants were also very good. All staff we encountered were great and always had a smile. I also liked that there was not a photographer pressing constantly to take pictures. I find that annoying since we all have cameras today and they still charge a lot of money for pictures that we might buy if the prices came down a lot. I also enjoyed NCL free style cruising because some days I may want to eat early and some days late. I prefer to be more spontaneous and not tied to a dining schedule. I like the perks of a suite - priority embarkation/debarkation; daily snacks, personal requests, great dining reservations, assistance and guidance on shore excursions without waiting in lines to discuss. Left messages for concierge if busy and they followed up immediately. Celebrating birthday, anniversary, or special occasion? Your butler/concierge will make it special. We celebrated last minute birthday and they arranged all the food and decorations in the suite and that was such a special touch. They all made us feel special and welcomed and now I am hooked on the "suite life"!!! I have to say the ports were nice but I enjoy the aspect of cruising, dining, relaxing just as important. I never felt cramped on the ship and no overwhelming crowds. Many restaurants, bars, library, entertainment and decent fitness area to keep me busy. Just booked the same ship for 12 day trip in October. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
To begin, we were given a stateroom on deck 9 which was two floors from the theatre. It was noisy about 12 hours a day (we were earing singing and musical instruments on and off from 12pm to 12am. When we arrived in our cabin, the safety ... Read More
To begin, we were given a stateroom on deck 9 which was two floors from the theatre. It was noisy about 12 hours a day (we were earing singing and musical instruments on and off from 12pm to 12am. When we arrived in our cabin, the safety deposit box didn't work, I had to call twice and ask to an employee in the hallway and 4 hours later somebody finally came to fix it. We also had a bunk bed in the room, but when I opened it the sheets were dirty. I then call to request a change of sheets to that particularly bed, 5 minutes later, somebody knocked on the door and give me some sheets for me to change them by myself! I called 30 days in advance to let them know that my boyfriend was lactose intolerant, we have cruised before and never had problems, but on this ship it was something else! When we arrive at the dinning room the first day of the cruise, I let our server know about the situation ( he acted like if he wasn't aware at all about the situation and told us that there was nothing that he can bring to him) Finally, one of the chef came at our table and offer roast beef with no sauce and salad without vinaigrettes! Every morning (even on sea days) the captain woke us up around 7:30am to let us know about a lot of pointless information like the latitude and longitude of the ship (seriously who cares at 7:30 am??) Also on sea days, the only activity was '' bingo time'', seriously not adapted at all for cruisers in their 20's. Our itinerary was Los Angeles, San Francisco, Victoria (Canada) and Vancouver (Canada), this ship didn't have a retractable roof over the pool, the temperature was so cold, so on sea days, we weren't even able to swim. There was also no area on this ship for adult only, so there was a lot of kids in the whirlpools (which wasn't relaxing at all). Therefore, we endend up at the spa for 40$us each to warm us up. The disembarkation was also a nightmare, it felt like all the passengers were leaving the ship in the same time. There was a endless line to disembark the ship. Like NCL wasn't use to the disembarkation process ( they are suppose to do it many times a year...), we thought at the moment that we got lucky that anything bad happened during the cruise because we didn't see how they would have handle the situation. The price of this cruise was pretty low, but with all the stuff that weren't included, like a relaxing spot (the only one was reserved to those who paid more than a thousand dollars for their 5 days cruise) or activities (beside bingo or art auctions loll ) or the poor quality of the shows onboard, we endend up with the conclusion that maybe the other cruise lines are sometime a little more expensive but you get more for your buck! Therefore we will never cruise with them again! The only pros of our experience on this ship was that this is a pretty recent one, so the design of the publics area and our stateroom was nice and pretty much up to date. Read Less
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 3.9
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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