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Norwegian Pearl Review

Norwegian Pearl
Norwegian Pearl

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Norwegian Pearl
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

Plenty of dining, nightlife and family options to easily accommodate short sailings

Cons

Unless you're onboard for a theme charter, evening entertainment might feel a bit dated

Bottom Line

Whether you're just taking a long weekend or sailing with superstars, Norwegian Pearl is a cheerful ship to call home


Brittany Chrusciel
Cruise Critic Contributor

Norwegian Pearl Overview

Norwegian Pearl is a fantastically fun ship from its imaginative decor (blown-up photos of wild animals or foreign landmarks in stairwells, jewel-tone carpeting, a Victorian/steampunk-style vibe in the nightclub ) to the variety of onboard activities. There's even more fun to be had if you're on one of the wild and wacky charters the ship sails (Kiss Kruise, Mad Decent Boat Party, Walker Stalker Cruise). All the surprising decor make Norwegian Pearl a good ship to get lost on (which you might do until you discover that the only way to get from one end of the ship to the other is on decks 7 and 12). During your explorations you might chance upon the colorful paintings that cover the outside promenade on Deck 7 (think cherry blossoms, dragonflies and giant clip art-esque paintings of paintbrushes and lipsticks). Bars, restaurants, the pool deck, live music and even an arcade keep cruisers occupied.

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Pearl is a social ship, and half the fun is getting to know your fellow travelers. Norwegian Pearl's atrium is one of the most happening spots on the ship, functioning primarily as a place to commune. Nightlife is vibrant with Bar City (a stretch of four bars along a single corridor), the place to hang out. During the day, kids and teen spaces keep the under-18s busy, while the outdoor sports court and pool deck give families and friends the chance to get together for a game of hoops or a dip in the pool.

Pearl offers more than a dozen dining venues, quite literally accommodating all tastes. It's a ship that brings people together -- whether through bands or pop culture on a charter, or for a short vacation -- and it does it well, with cabins across a number of categories (many keeping families in mind) that aren't on the edge of modern, but feel just roomy and comfortable enough.

Overall, Norwegian Pearl doesn't strike us as the kind of ship where people spend a ton of time in their room. If you're not singing karaoke, dancing at a silent disco (headphones only), snacking at O'Sheehan's or enjoying life at sea (sometimes with the top names in music or television), you're probably asleep.


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in two main dining rooms and at Lotus Garden, O’Sheehan’s pub, the Garden Cafe buffet and Topsiders Grill; also Continental breakfast room service
  • Main theater production shows and live music in various venues
  • Most onboard activities, except as noted
  • Use of the fitness center (excluding most classes and training sessions)
  • Use of the sports deck
  • Splash Academy kids club

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily service fees of $15 per person, per day for those in standard staterooms or $18 per person, per day, for anyone in The Haven, Concierge-level cabins and all suites
  • Drinks, except water, tea, coffee and select juices from the buffet
  • Gratuities of 20 percent on beverage, spa, salon and specialty dining purchases
  • Room service fee of $9.95 (waived for suites and continental breakfast orders)
  • Most specialty dining
  • Spa and salon services, plus access to the spa's Thermal Suite
  • Most fitness center classes
  • Select daily activities including bingo, alcohol tastings,bingo, and games like Deal or No Deal
  • After-hours kids supervision programs at the Splash Academy
  • Shore excursions
  • Internet access and packages
  • Photos taken by shipboard photographers, artwork from the art gallery

Fellow Passengers

Pearl is a ship for all ages, which works well since it attracts people from across all generations and demographics. It's hard to nail down who wouldn't be on a Pearl cruise; the crowd runs young and old, from all states (and countries, for that matter) -- you name it. These diverse demographics are largely influenced by the many theme cruises the ship hosts. Fans of bands, celebrities and special groups featured onboard span interests and generations. The ship mostly sails shorter, Caribbean itineraries, opening it up to vacationers looking to squeeze in a warm long weekend.


Norwegian Pearl Dress Code

Daytime: Norwegian's carefree attitude carries over to its dress code, which basically allows for anything. During the day, it's all casual, with swimsuits, shorts and T-shirts poolside and in ports.

Evening: At night, there's generally no formal dress code, though there's a no-shorts rule at some of the more upscale restaurants (Cagney's and Le Bistro, for example). Otherwise, khakis and Polo shirts are the norm for men in the evening, while women wear sundresses or blouses with capris, slacks or skirts. Norwegian doesn't have a true formal night, though passengers are encouraged to dress up for Norwegian's Night Out once per cruise. Few people actually don their fancy duds, but those who do wear suits (for men) or cocktail dresses (for women).

Not permitted: The only prohibitions are tank tops for men, flip-flops, baseball caps, ripped-up jeans and swimwear. These are permitted in the Garden Cafe, though cover-ups or shirts and shorts must be worn over swimsuits and bare feet are not allowed.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Norwegian Cruise Line.


Norwegian Pearl Gratuity

Norwegian charges a "service fee" of $14.99 per person, per day, for passengers booked in standard cabins and mini-suites. Those in suites are charged $17.99 per person, per day. Cruisers wishing to adjust or remove the charges must fill out a form post-cruise to request a refund.

Norwegian recommends that suite passengers who use butler and concierge services tip according to the level of service rendered.

An 18 percent gratuity will be added to all bar purchases and services in the spa and salon.


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Deck:
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Deck 12
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Deck 15

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More about Norwegian Pearl

Where does Norwegian Pearl sail from?
How much does it cost to go on Norwegian Pearl?
Cruises on Norwegian Pearl start from $199 per person.
Is Norwegian Pearl a good ship to cruise on?
Norwegian Pearl won 5 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2016 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for Families
  • 2014 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2013 Best for Fitness
  • 2013 Best for Shore Excursions

Norwegian Pearl Member Reviews

Norwegian Pearl
mlkast_18
Sail Date: Oct 2019
We chose this cruise on the ship,Norwegian Pearl, because of the itinerary/ports. Felt the cruise price was fair, although all the shore excursions did add up because there was so many ports....Read More
Norwegian Pearl
Sunshinecruises
Sail Date: Jan 2020
My husband and I sailed on Norwegian Pearl this past week and had an amazing time. I haven't been on a cruise in 10 years and this was my husband's first cruise....Read More
Norwegian Pearl
GreatToBeMe
Sail Date: May 2019
She summed up our Norwegian Pearl cruise by calling it the Trip of a Lifetime!...Read More
Norwegian Pearl
Kfur
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Since the Norwegian Pearl is an older ship, the balcony size was so nice as compared with some of the newer Norwegian ships where balconies are minuscule....Read More

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