226 Seattle Norwegian Pearl Cruise Reviews

Wanted to visit Alaska - on my 'bucket list!' This cruise was the best for the price I could afford. Embarkation went very smoothly. I booked with NCL for transportation to & from the ship. The driver on the arrival day ... Read More
Wanted to visit Alaska - on my 'bucket list!' This cruise was the best for the price I could afford. Embarkation went very smoothly. I booked with NCL for transportation to & from the ship. The driver on the arrival day made the ride to the ship like an excursion with interesting details about the area we passed through. Disembarkation was made easier with the free valet service which enabled me to get my boarding pass & airline tag for my luggage the night before. Luggage was put out for the crew to collect as usual. Did not see it again until I arrived at my destination! Did wonder whether it would be there. It was! Excellent! Unfortunately, I missed two activities I would have enjoyed on the daily list. Most were of no interest to me. Entertainment, again, I missed the first performance which I would have enjoyed. Did attend the final event which was well done. The food was O.K. but not as good as on prior cruises with another line. Shore excursions were excellent except for that in Victoria. The one I had booked was cancelled due to time/lack of daylight. The one I took should have been cancelled for the same reason. The driver was knowledgeable, but being unable to see what he was talking about made it boring - a waste of time & money - any chance of a refund? Over all, I enjoyed the cruise. The scenery is beautiful. The whale sightings were not as good as hoped for, so may be I'll have to go again!! The crew were all friendly and helpful. I appreciated the time spent in Glacier Bay with the captain ensuring that we were close enough for good views. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was a last minute trip and I felt lucky to get on the cruise. Our balcony room seemed smaller than ones we had in the past but the location , deck 9, aft, was perfect. We were disappointed in Icy Point Strait and were missing ... Read More
This was a last minute trip and I felt lucky to get on the cruise. Our balcony room seemed smaller than ones we had in the past but the location , deck 9, aft, was perfect. We were disappointed in Icy Point Strait and were missing Juneau, The route was different too so there was less scenery on the way. We had been on the Pearl previously and it was marvelous. The crew was fresh and seemed exceptional. The bartenders, Elaine and Will knew our names right off and were extremely attentive. The food was also good. We ate in 3 speciality restaurants, Sheehan’s pub and the Great Outdoors cafe for breakfast. All was great. One thing that was a little odd was that even though we had the drink card, we had to pay for coffee when we had, say a Bailey’s Irish Cream and Coffee. We heard a lot of people complain about that. We did not do any shore excursions as we had been to Alaska multiple times. We did enjoy the shopping in Skagway and had lunch at the Cape Fox Lodge in Ketchikan. I would go again but make sure the route was the Inside Passage and that it went to Juneau. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall the Cruise was excellent value and my partner realised a life time ambition to visit Alaska. Although we did see a number of whales in their natural habitat, that was our main goal, this was generally at a distance, particularly ... Read More
Overall the Cruise was excellent value and my partner realised a life time ambition to visit Alaska. Although we did see a number of whales in their natural habitat, that was our main goal, this was generally at a distance, particularly on the whale watching excursion, and overall we were very disappointed. Food and service overall was excellent, staff very friendly and attentive. Although the entertainment staff were very enthusiastic and helpful the actual entertainment, with the exception of Nicola Ward, who was fabulous, was very average at best. We booked a whale watching and zip lining excursion with the cruise but we're very disappointed with them. The communication from the excursion staff was poor and offered very little value add. The excursion providers were very helpful but we were appalled to find out we could have booked the excursions directly at the port for approximately 50% less than NCL. There is no way NCL can justify the extortionate price they charged for the excursion and we would recommend to anyone going forward to book direct. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We really enjoyed our cruise to Alaska and the ship was awesome. It was recently refurbished so everything was nice and clean. I would recommend the ship to anyone wanting to see parts of Alaska without being on a huge ship. I really ... Read More
We really enjoyed our cruise to Alaska and the ship was awesome. It was recently refurbished so everything was nice and clean. I would recommend the ship to anyone wanting to see parts of Alaska without being on a huge ship. I really wanted to go on the Bliss but was glad to be on the Pearl due to price being cheaper. The pro's far outweigh the cons on this ship. The major things that bothered us was that the pull out sofa bed in the cabin was very hard and difficult to sleep on. It needs a topper of some kind to make it an easy sleeping choice when you are sharing a room with others. Secondly the internet was horrible! I paid over 30 dollars for internet to be able to check in on our return flights and the service was so slow. We had dial up service in the 80's that was faster and better than the ship internet. The employees and staff of the ship was excellent except one female employee in the O'Sheehans dining that was not very friendly and very slow! She was the greater and seater so your first impression of the place was with her and she failed miserably. They should move her to the kitchen or something. We thought maybe she was just having a bad day but went in there 3 other times and she was this same sulky and slow demeanor each time. The drinks in the cabin fridges is a terrible idea. If I want drinks in there, I should go get them myself and put them in there from the gift store. We noticed that someone had opened a bottle of the whiskey and replaced it with water so reported it immediately and they didn't charge us with it but had be not noticed it, I am sure we would have been charged that 9.00 or more for the bottle. The area where the coffee pot is located is very hard to plug in because the cord is too short on the coffee pot. There should be something else done to make that a little better and easier to use. With 4 people in a room, they only gave us 2 coffee cups. We brought 2 more coffee cups to the room from the dining area and they removed them from our room when they cleaned our room and did not replace them. All in all these are very small things and all in all the cruise was great. We were on the 9th deck in room 9534. I would highly recommend this location to anyone as it was a beautiful view of everything and was the port side for 2 of the stops. The balcony was terrific. Highly recommend it to anyone taking a cruise to Alaska. It was the best place to view everything and it was right there were we were sleeping. We never closed the patio door, even while we were sleeping. The sound of the waves and the beautiful scenery 24 hours a day was awesome. We didn't miss a minute of it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We sailed on the Pearl this September because we enjoyed our trip to Alaska last year for 10 days on the Jewel. The itenary was similar although the ports were slightly different. Overall this was an amazing trip to Alaska. Glacier Bay was ... Read More
We sailed on the Pearl this September because we enjoyed our trip to Alaska last year for 10 days on the Jewel. The itenary was similar although the ports were slightly different. Overall this was an amazing trip to Alaska. Glacier Bay was stunning. We had beautiful sunny weather every day which is very unusual for September. We went to Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, Skagway and Victoria. Unfortunately our time in Victoria was from 6pm to midnight. It got dark 30 minutes after arriving and it was useless to book any type of excursion in the dark. We wanted to see the beautiful gardens but it was just not possible. NCL needs to change the time in this port to a daytime arrival. Also it cost $13 per person to shuttle into town which is a 25 minute walk. The shuttle should be free. The ship is very nice, well appointed and very clean. Staff was very friendly and for the most part attentive. This ship has a smaller number of passengers so it generally does not feel crowded. Getting on and off in the ports was easy. The only time we felt crowded was in the garden cafe which serves meals buffet style. At times it was difficult to find a seat for breakfast and lunch. The sit down option in the Summer Palace was a nice retreat for an leisurely meal. The excursions are very pricey and we chose not to book any this time. We were able to get seats on the train in Skagway at the last minute for a cheaper price than the ship offered. We find that the price for excursions is really prohibitive for a family, some would cost $800 and up for 4 people. The spa services are priced outrageously high. We went to the ladies pamper party for a “free” facial. This is a do it yourself theme where you cleanse, tone, & moisturize your own face then the attendant applies sun glow. However, you must sit through the presentations to buy additional services and this was a very hard sale technique. The spa manager makes it sound like you will get a deal but the reality is the services are priced too high. At the end the pressure is on to buy the sun glow product. Would not recommend going to this. The dinners in the specialty restaurants are worth it. We dined at Cagney’s, Moderno, and Teppanyaki. All meals were fantastic. Overall this was a great cruise to Alaska with beautiful scenery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This size of ship is perfect for Alaska cruises. It doesn't have many pools or a water park but you don't really need it in a Alaska cruise either as the weather would be too cool for swimming anyway. One of my gripe was ... Read More
This size of ship is perfect for Alaska cruises. It doesn't have many pools or a water park but you don't really need it in a Alaska cruise either as the weather would be too cool for swimming anyway. One of my gripe was the boarding process at Seattle. Once you're checked in with the desk agent, you go to the waiting area. Everybody was so confused there because they have no idea when's their turn to board. There're no signs to direct people where to sit. How was the waiting area divided? By room type? By class? We don't know. The guy telling you to board was all the way at the corner and if you're at the other side of the room, you couldn't hear him even with the microphone and big speaker he was using. Everybody just kind of get in line without following any direction. Once on the ship, everything is nice. There're a lot of kids onboard. More than I expected. But not to the point that it's annoying. My 4 year old had a lot of company. I always like NCL's kids program. They have plenty of activities to keep my daughter occupied and they gave us an actual phone (instead of a pager) while my daugher is there. Thought the phone only works on the ship. It was our first Alaskan cruise and it was awesome. Nice shore excursion offering. Whale watching is a must do. We were lucky enough to see a groupe of 5 humpback whales together at Hoonah. I wish the ship could stop at more glaciers though. I also didn't really like the stop at Victoria, BC. It was a very short stop (4 hours?). By the time we got there, it was already late afternoon. We joined a bus tour and the sun wouldset by the time we reached the mid point of the tour. We couldn't really see anything when it's dark especially with the bus' tinted window. Service and cabin are overall nice. Our stateroom steward was attentive but he accenditally threw away my wife's slippers. NCL didn't really do anything about it beside offering me a "cabin search" which they will search our cabin for the slippers. The cabin is not big. Why would I want some of your guy to go through all of our belongings to look for my slippers? Other than that, they only offered us a verbal apology. Entertainment on the ship was nothing to brag about. The Priscilla show was nice but there was a mind reading show featureing a couple... the show was not good. We all knew it's fake but it was so bad that I could almost tell how they did it. We left the show when it's not even half way done. Other than the small problems, it was a nice cruise. I'd definitely go back for another one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I choose this cruise because it went out of Seattle. While the cruise was great still room for improvement, hot tubs where just luke warm and a few other on board activities other then trivia would be nice. Other wise was great.I would ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it went out of Seattle. While the cruise was great still room for improvement, hot tubs where just luke warm and a few other on board activities other then trivia would be nice. Other wise was great.I would still use NCL again. Summer palace needs to improve service , while Indigo resturant along with buffet was really good. Shore excursions where a little on the expensive side. Loved the relaxing atmosphere on the ship. Less jewelry stores and more everyday kind of stores would be nice, also have prices on items in store. Ship was crowed but things moved smoothly and disembarking was easy. Cabin was kept clean and neat shower is a little on the small side. I took a look at kids activities for furture cruise with grandkids and actitives where nice and varied. Seeing a new port (icey straits) was a nice change from the usual ports. Go Ncl you will really enjoy it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I sailed with adult family members for this vacation cruise. We left the kids at home to enjoy some time away. I enjoyed the freestyle way of cruising. I liked that we didn't have a schedule and could do what we wanted ... Read More
My husband and I sailed with adult family members for this vacation cruise. We left the kids at home to enjoy some time away. I enjoyed the freestyle way of cruising. I liked that we didn't have a schedule and could do what we wanted when we wanted. The Buffet dining was average. I felt like the food was a little bland and the options could use some work (the pizza was terrible). We did make reservations at other restaurants on the ship, all of which were amazing, but you had to pay. The person who kept our cabin clean did a great job, and the staff was very timely when we called to ask for more towels. We had the unlimited drinks package which was awesome. Will, the bartender, was a so great and treated us like his own family. Overall, we all had a really had a great time. I would sail Norwegian again if given the opportunity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
INTRO Despite the fact that our NCL cruise to Mexico in 2008 on the Star still ranked the worst of our 14 cruises to date, we decided to give NCL another try due to price and convenience on a round trip to Alaska out of Seattle where we ... Read More
INTRO Despite the fact that our NCL cruise to Mexico in 2008 on the Star still ranked the worst of our 14 cruises to date, we decided to give NCL another try due to price and convenience on a round trip to Alaska out of Seattle where we live. We traveled with my brother and SIL and I am happy to report that overall, we had an excellent experience. We started by booking an inside and ended up in a mini-suite due to price changes and calling NCL to change cabins. Brother and SIL kept their inside cabin. EMBARKATION Very easy. Son dropped us off in front of the pier at about 11:30 and it took not more than about 30 minutes to check in and get on board. We were told that rooms wouldn’t be ready until 1:30 or 2:00. Having known this, we’d decided to meet for lunch in the Summer Palace Dining room which was a great decision. The buffet on embarkation on every other cruise we’ve taken has been a madhouse. So, we had a nice leisurely lunch and were about done when announcements came that rooms were ready. ROOM We ended up in a mini-suite which was great but I wouldn’t pay extra for if given the choice between it and a balcony. I don’t know the difference between it and a regular balcony but it did have a bathtub and a mini coffee pot (probably the best part). Also a curtain that separated the bed area from the couch/tv/balcony area. This was actually handy when one wanted to sleep a bit later. My brother had an inside cabin which was quite a bit smaller with less storage but was suitable for them. They were a bit disappointed with their cabin steward though, having missed making up their cabin a couple of times. Raymond, our steward was excellent. He always greeted us by name and gave us the greatest towel animals ever. We were on deck 11 which I would probably avoid in a warmer climate as it is directly below the pool deck. Not a lot of folks out there in this climate but when we were out on the balcony we could hear chairs being moved around above us. FOOD Unlike our prior NCL cruise we found the food was acceptable to pretty good. I don’t expect gourmet dining on a mass market cruise ship but I do expect to find decent things to eat. For dinner, we mostly ate at the dining room – preferring the Indigo which, with more subtle lighting, has an atmosphere more like a restaurant. The buffet was pretty typical with what must be powdered scrambled eggs but egg/omelet stations as well. TIP – The farther back in the buffet area you go, generally the less crowded it will be. We also found that they had different lunch options than the rest of the buffet and enjoyed a very good German lunch one day. We ate lunch twice in the dining room and found it odd that the menu was the same both days. Our server said it was the same for the entire week. I don’t recall that being the case on other cruises, but I don’t think we ate lunch in the dining room very often so I could certainly be wrong. We ate once at Moderno which offers an excellent salad bar and a meat overload. It was fine, but don’t think I’ll be going to this type a restaurant again in the near future. DH is gluten free due to celiac disease and they noted that in their system when we boarded and were aware any time either my DH or I (as opposed to those we traveled with) gave their cards when being seated for dinner. They offered DH GF bread with dinner a couple of times but he’s not overly fond of it so didn’t ask himself. He did ask about items at the buffet once or twice and had a chef come out and walk him through what he could eat. I’d been a bit concerned about the GF issue but I think they accommodated very well. ENTERTAINMENT I usually hate production shows on cruises but agreed to go to the opening night on this cruise and was very pleasantly surprised. In addition, we attended the comedy show, the Not So Newlywed Show and the Elvis impersonator show, all of which we enjoyed. We went to a karaoke session one night (my second time at karaoke) and I’ve decided it’s not my thing. My SIL and I sat in the piano bar one night and enjoyed the performer. I thought he was an excellent piano player but the singing could have been better. Did see the bar packed on subsequent nights. DH loves trivia so we played at that usually once or twice a day and had fun. DH and I went bowling on the first night which was really rolling seas and that was pretty funny. I think I scored 39 and he got 54. PORTS We had fabulous weather the entire time. Highs 62-70 degrees and sunny at least in the afternoon. The only day I put anything really warm on was when were in Glacier Bay. Mostly t-shirts and maybe a sweater, windbreaker or fleece to throw on. So as you’ve read many times before - layer up! We’d been to Alaska once before doing Tracy Arm rather than Glacier Bay which we did on this cruise but otherwise, the ports were the same. Tours are quite expensive and we did this more for the cruise than the ports so didn’t do a lot. • Juneau – Short time in port from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Took the tram up to Mount Roberts and went on a short hike. Fabulous views from up there with the best pictures probably being right as you exit the tram. Well worth the price. Walked around and did some shopping after. • Skagway – We docked early so looked around the little tourist town. Got our NPS passport books stamped at the museum then walked to our meeting point for our Chilkoot Rail/Bus tour. We took the train up to White Pass which is in Canada and then took a bus back down, making several stops for pictures along the way rather than taking the train both ways. It was fun standing out on the platform between cars. • Glacier Bay – Obviously not a port but definitely a highlight. Our longest stop was at Johns Hopkins glacier where we saw some small chunks of ice break off. That was followed by a short visit to the Margaret (sp?) glacier where there was one huge calving, sending broken ice all the way up to the ship. The views are fabulous but I had no idea about the loud, booming sounds when the fell. It was amazing! • Ketchikan – Gets about 5X more rain than our hometown in Seattle but another good day with temps in the low 60s and some sunshine. Also another short day in that we had to be back on board by about 12:45 pm. We went to Creek Street and then did the walking tour you can find online. It was interesting to see some residential neighborhoods in addition to the main tourist area. Best of all was seeing the salmon spawning area as shown on the map – literally hundreds of salmon just sitting there. Similar sites in a couple of other areas along the walk. Also lots of dead fish everywhere that didn’t smell very good especially with the tide out, but that’s part of the process. • Victoria – This was a very short stop from 6:00 pm to midnight. DH was tired and having been to Victoria several times decided to stay aboard and pack up (thanks honey!) So the other 3 of us took the bus from the port to downtown ($13 pp roundtrip). Victoria is a popular weekend trip from Seattle and we’d all been there a couple of times before. We walked around a bit and decided to go back to the ship. The four of us had our last dinner at Indigo about 9:30 pm and went to bed after that. DEBARKATION Since we had the luxury of having our son pick us up we’d chosen the latest debarkation time at 9:15 so had a leisurely breakfast in the buffet and went back to our room to await our luggage tag color being called. I believe the first call for walk-off only came about 7:00 or 7:15. They called several groups off about 9:00 am and maybe too 20 minutes to get through the line and customs. We’d texted him earlier so son had parked at the garage across the street and was waiting for us. Easy! Too bad we don’t live in California or Florida! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise as we had 12 other family members that were going and my sister had arranged a group rate. I wasn't that excited about the cruise as I am definitely not a water person. I was excited to spend the quality time ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had 12 other family members that were going and my sister had arranged a group rate. I wasn't that excited about the cruise as I am definitely not a water person. I was excited to spend the quality time with family. We live north of Seattle but we had people in our group from all over the United States. Overall, the cruise experience was way better than I anticipated. We bid on an upgrade a couple of weeks before departure and we got it! It was worth every penny. I have to say that the advantages of having a balcony cannot be overstated. Getting on and off the ship went quick and was very easy. Everyone was very helpful and friendly. Once we were on the ship, we received amazing service from a young man named Keith who ended up providing excellent service throughout the entire cruise. He remembered our names from the first day on. Our luggage made it to our cabin in a timely manner. Our cabin steward, Moe, was awesome. Very friendly and respectful of our time. Many of the activities we participated in were in the Spinnaker Lounger. We had a blast at the Newlywed game, Battle of the Sexes and the Perfect Couple. We also enjoyed 70's night. 80's night was great once the DJ took over. The live music was good but limited to what they could sing and most of the band members probably weren't even alive in the 80's. We attended the magic show and the comedian. Both were very enjoyable and very entertaining. We planned to play games and were excited to see that there was a game room. Unfortunately, the game room is a quiet room and you can't have drinks. We ended up spending our "game" time in the Maltings bar. It made do for our large group. The buffet food was pretty good but we enjoyed the offerings in the restaurants more. We took my parents to the Brazilian Steakhouse one night and it was amazing. We also did room service for one breakfast and found it less than mediocre. We didn't do any excursions but found plenty to do once in port. The tram in Juneau was ok but a bit of a rip off for $34 per person. The jewelry store gigs got boring really fast and it's very apparent that the cruise lines have some sort of interest in separating you from your money in the jewelry stores. If your time is worth anything to you, don't fall for the freebies. Besides having fun with family, our favorite part of the cruise was seeing the glaciers in Glacier Bay. The captain did an amazing job of getting us up close and personal. I am not sure we would do the Alaska cruise again but I would definitely go on a cruise if the opportunity arises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We sailed from Seattle, our home location. Embarkation went well and disembarkation was super quick as we were allowed to carry our own bags off the ship within an hour of docking, keeping them with us over night. Our car was parked in ... Read More
We sailed from Seattle, our home location. Embarkation went well and disembarkation was super quick as we were allowed to carry our own bags off the ship within an hour of docking, keeping them with us over night. Our car was parked in the Republic garage right next to the ship requiring no transfer, just a short elevator ride and walk on. We liked the itinerary. The exception was the evening stop in Victoria, 6:00pm to midnight? Not too interested in exploring after dark. The cruise ship dock was right next to a big warehouse building or museum, we couldn't really tell from our stateroom. When we opened the balcony door we were hit with the foul stench of dead seagulls and manure from the roof of the building net to the ship. The smell lingered in our stateroom until the ship sailed. Horrible. If you can, get a balcony room on the starboard side of the ship to minimize this issue maybe. The cabin steward Judy, was excellent. We never wanted for anything. The cabin was a mid-ship balcony and I would choose that again. The food was good overall. Not spectacular as we experienced years ago on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. Sometimes the buffet food was not hot when we got to our table. Seating was in short supply in the Garden Cafe at busy times. Once we were escorted to another eating venue to be able to sit at a table. It was handled well by the staff, so no big deal. Entertainment was excellent. The singer/storyteller Steve Hites who boarded in Skagway to entertain during that stop was great. Don't miss him. Interesting Alaska history in song and story's told at a brisk pace. The Elvis tribute artist was the best I have heard. Wowser, what a show!! Nicole Ward is a fantastic singer and I could listen to her some more. The comedy of Tim___________ was good but you have to like that Don Rickles lite style I guess.. The magic show was ho hum. About what I expected. The vantriloquist was good. Under-appreciated on board I fear. Shore excursions were enjoyable. We took the Mendenhall Glacier Explorer in Juneau, a good value, as well as the hilarious Skagway antique bus tour with Alex. She was a hoot. NCL tries too hard to sell at every turn. I got tired of that. Most "activities" listed to attend at sea seemed to lead you to consider buying something. The wholesale promotion of all the jewelry and watches was also too much. The same companies who own every store in every port selling the same stuff ( jewelry and watches) seem to have a place on the ship as well. Way too much.... If you want to visit the gift shops in Juneau or one of the other ports, you've seen about the same things sold in Skagway and Ketchikan. There are specialty shops in every port which are different, but enough T-shirt emporia. There didn't seem to be any "quality" clothing stores in the port towns with Alaskan Native themed art in an embriodered long sleeve collared shirt as an example. Lots of high end art is available however. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We traveled with extended family (children, mother, sister) on Alaska Cruise from Seattle. This was our first cruise ever and I found the reviews helpful as well as Cruise Critic. We booked 2 mini suites (with balcony) with an ... Read More
We traveled with extended family (children, mother, sister) on Alaska Cruise from Seattle. This was our first cruise ever and I found the reviews helpful as well as Cruise Critic. We booked 2 mini suites (with balcony) with an adjoining door. My sister was across the hall in an inside room. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the rooms and bathroom. Location was perfect- mid ship and 1 floor down from the buffet and Splash Academy (kids club). Overall, we were impressed with the food and activities onboard. The main dining room was too slow for the kids so we mostly ate at the buffet. The variety and quality of the food was excellent, especially he desserts. We ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants as it was included as an extra perk when we booked While they were good, I am not sure I would have paid extra for them as the complimentary food was excellent. The Splash Academy staff and activities were fantastic! My kids begged to go every day. So this made for a relaxing trip for us. Main downside was the amount of time on the ship. Not sure I will cruise again- I didn't like being limited in the time spent at port or having so many people in one place. But this was the case for all the itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My girlfriend took me and who wouldn’t go! Alaska wow! We enjoyed the spa area for relaxing but pretty noisy in large room The weather couldn’t have been better my friend had been on the same trip last year and commented on how ... Read More
My girlfriend took me and who wouldn’t go! Alaska wow! We enjoyed the spa area for relaxing but pretty noisy in large room The weather couldn’t have been better my friend had been on the same trip last year and commented on how she could see the top of the mountains. The Glaziers were spectacular with the glow of blue ice! The Dining room food and entertainment was not up to expectation. The staff were the best always on top with service, cleanliness and very knowledgeable! Would love to take my man next time! The Bliss lounge could be eliminated! Totally ! My favorite spot was the outdoor area behind the buffet early morning. That is where I got to see the whale I also saw a bear on the way to the crab feast. Saw sea otters and eagles on that tour also. This was a great excursion. The train also a nice chance to see more scenery Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 4th NCL cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed tempo of the holiday. I required assistance boarding and the staff were excellent both embarking and disembarking. Our cabin steward Raeoul was so helpful as was each and every ... Read More
This was our 4th NCL cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed tempo of the holiday. I required assistance boarding and the staff were excellent both embarking and disembarking. Our cabin steward Raeoul was so helpful as was each and every member of staff. A big Thank you to Rachel and her teaml at the Indigo and Summer Palace . Treated like a queen. Manish at the Magnum Champagne bar for incredible service. Always with his dashing smile. Cagneys as awesome as ever. We didn't have a bad meal wherever we are. Summer Palace for breakfast is a must. Sets you up for the day. Dissapointed at the arrival time at Victoria as was evening. So didn't get to visit as didn't fancy driving about on my mobility scooter in the dark.Whale watching at Juneau was a great experience as was the White Pass Railway. 2 trips I would definitely recommend. Most evenings were spent in the Champagne bar being entertained by Mr Piano Man Robert from Budapest. Met the lovely Stacey and Gregg and crew on our whaling trip and we all ended our evenings being entertained by Robert. We didn't do the Stardust Theatre this time as The Variety Show wasn't up to the usual standard of previous cruises. All in all was a fantastic trip. Well worth the long journey from Scotland. Would also recommend Dani from Scottish Cruise Centre for arranging such a smooth journey for us. Melinda from Seattle Shuttle for a fantastic service and Elvis aka Dave from Seattle tours for a very informative enjoyable excursion of Seattle. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Had a magnificent time in Alaska and Seattle. We were a part of four, 2 adults, 1 teen, and 1 child. This was my fourth cruise. First time on NCL. Other times, Disney and RC. Ship - The ship was fine. I thought it was clean and the crew ... Read More
Had a magnificent time in Alaska and Seattle. We were a part of four, 2 adults, 1 teen, and 1 child. This was my fourth cruise. First time on NCL. Other times, Disney and RC. Ship - The ship was fine. I thought it was clean and the crew was friendly and helpful. At times it was a bit boring, but I purposefully picked this slightly "smaller" ship because of its ability to cruise closer into Glacier Bay. This trip was to see Alaska afterall, not spend too much time on the ship. Dining - It was good. I don't have super high expectations of cruise food. This was my first NCL cruise and I did enjoy the freestyle dining concept (specifically not being tied to the same dinner time every night). I usually dislike buffets, but I really enjoyed the one on this ship. This was the first cruise I ate almost all of my meals on the ship since the food in Alaska wasn't exactly gourmet. Plus my time was spent on excursions, not dining off the boat. Entertainment - Nothing stood out as being exceptional. This wasn't a cruise were there were too many opportunities to do the outdoor activities since the weather was chilly and windy. I think NCL should have had more indoor activities however this ship's design didn't include indoor features like some of the larger ones (ice skating, movie theater, etc.). My kids loved the teen and kids center. I LOVED that they brought the park rangers onto the ship and narrated Glacier Bay. Ports and Excursions - we are an active family and picked some of the adventurous excursions. In Juneau we did a Glacier tour in a float plane. It was amazing. In Skagway, we canoed and took the train back - the scenery was beautiful. In Ketchikan - we zip lined. My only complaint is that the zip line bus took too long to get us back to town and we had no time to walk around. Overall I would take this ship and cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the Pearl because it fit our budget, desired ports of interest and Sunday departure from Seattle. We are 4 adults around 60 years of age. After reading many reviews, some positive, some negative, we were very pleased with our ... Read More
We chose the Pearl because it fit our budget, desired ports of interest and Sunday departure from Seattle. We are 4 adults around 60 years of age. After reading many reviews, some positive, some negative, we were very pleased with our choice of The Pearl. The staff was courteous, helpful, and very polite. We were very pleased with the wait staff during meals and at the bars. The food was plentiful and tasty. We did not dine in any speciality restaurants. We had the ultimate drink package as one of our perks when we booked our trip. It was super convenient and we had a huge drink selection to pick from. The pinacolodas were my favorites, while my husband liked the margaritas. The evening shows were good, we loved the comedian, ventriloquist, and airealist act. We booked our excursions from companies outside the Pearl and saved money doing so. Loved Alaska and The Pearl. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
About us: There were seven of us in all - parents, 30-something cousins, and a three year girl. My cousin and her husband had done this exact trip in 2008, while I've never been on a large ship before. (I've previously gone on a ... Read More
About us: There were seven of us in all - parents, 30-something cousins, and a three year girl. My cousin and her husband had done this exact trip in 2008, while I've never been on a large ship before. (I've previously gone on a Russian river cruise with AMA Waterways, and a Hurtigruten cruise along the Norwegian coast). I've discovered that I'm apparently not an ocean cruise type of person, but most of the faces I saw were smiling so I think most people enjoyed the cruise. Planning: We chose the Pearl because a) my aunt and uncle had put down an NCL cruise deposit during a previous cruise b) my cousin loved Glacier Bay and c) we have a cousin living in Seattle. Ship - The ship itself seemed like it was in good condition. Though it was fully booked, none of the public areas felt too crowded (except on embarkation day), and we usually had no trouble finding a spot for the seven of us for meals. While we were at sea, the ship moved smoothly. There was one night where I could definitely feel the rolling of the waves while I was lying down, but for the most part, it seemed very calm. There were a few times when we had to wait for the elevator, especially close to port arrival/departure times, but for the most part, it wasn't too bad. The decks and lounges had plenty of comfortable seating. Cabin - We had an oceanview cabin. I was impressed with our cabin. I think the storage was cleverly designed so there was plenty of space. The water pressure was very nice in the showers. The window was large, and on the sunny days, we could enjoy the view. We could hear my cousin's family through the wall (especially her three year old daughter) but I think that's because she's especially loud. Our neighbors on the other side were very quiet. Embarkation - We were able to embark pretty quickly. There was a minimal line for security - maybe two or three people in front of us, and we waited about 15 minutes before our group was called to board the ship. There was a line to walk on, but it moved continuously. As the cabins had not been finished before we arrived, we hung out in the very crowded cafe area for the next hour. Dining - I think this is where the cruise fell the most flat for me. The portions were large, but the quality was lacking in many areas. I was not impressed with the speed of the service, nor the food quality of The Summer Palace where we dined the first night. The French onion soup wasn't savory - just salty and watery. The medium rare prime rib I ordered was overcooked, possibly from having sat under a serving cover for so long. The specialty restaurants were disappointing. The Teppanyaki was pretty good, although very heavy on the garlic (and I like garlic!) However, the rib-eye at Cagney's was a poor cut (very tough to cut with their knives), and my lasagna at La Cucina was quite soggy. I did like the desserts at the restaurants, and the portions at the restaurants were exceedingly generous. On a bright note, the buffet was much better than I had expected, and we ate there most days. There were plenty of choices, and most of it was tasty. I especially enjoyed the Indian options. On board activities - These are why I feel I'm not a cruiser - I'm an introvert who feels drained by excited voices cheering each other on in trivia or the conga line. I'm not a gambler, so I didn't participate in Bingo or go to the casino. The Q&A sessions with the ship's crew were okay, and while the "This is Alaska" presentation was cheesy and totally an attempt to convince people to sign up for the excursions, it contained pretty pictures and was somewhat informative. I attended one "dollar origami" session, but there was just a single presenter and no overhead screen - he had to walk over to each group to help them with the next fold. None of the evening shows were particularly appealing to me, so I didn't go. I did try to go see the aerialist, but the theater was crowded and it was hard to find seats. All this being said, my lack of enjoyment does not reflect the quality of the entertainment/activities - it's simply that they didn't suit me personally. Connectivity: We had 250 minutes of wifi through the promotion. It was pretty quick for the most part, although there was a long period of time when it didn't work (I think this was on the Victoria day). I have Project Fi, which uses T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular towers; I had a data in Ketchikan and Victoria, a shaky connection in Juneau, and no signal in Skagway. Kids - My cousin's three year old daughter participated in the Splashacademy most days. She put up a fuss each time ("No want school!") but was happy to go in as soon as she saw the other kids. I'm not entirely sure what they did with the little ones most of the time, but she certainly brought back a lot of art projects to show off. On the last day, the kids presented a gymnast/circus show. I was actually pretty impressed with how the older kids performed. Ports: I booked most of my shore excursions independently, and viewed the ports/excursions as the primary reason for the cruise. Juneau - we were at AJ dock, which is about a mile from town - take the shuttle if you're there! Downtown Juneau was smaller than I had thought it would be. My mom and I did a 5 pm whale watching tour with Harv and Marv and really enjoyed it. The rest of my family took the Mt. Roberts Tram, and said that it was actually pretty nice, despite the clouds. My cousin thought it was too expensive, but her husband thought it worth the money. Skagway - I liked the souvenir shops in Skagway, and the downtown area was very walkable. We took the 8 am White Pass summit excursion. I found this to be the most disappointing of our excursions. It was cloudy, and we didn't see very much. I also walked to Jewell Gardens for the glassblowing experience. (Next time, I'd bring cash and take the SMART shuttle). I enjoyed the glassblowing portion, but was underwhelmed by the gardens themselves. My mother and aunt took a walking tour offered by the National Park Service. They said it was very crowded, and were not that impressed. My cousin walked around Skagway and said she rather liked the Klondike Gold Rush Visitor Center. Glacier Bay -It was very cloudy as we entered the glacier, and almost nobody went outside. As we entered deeper into the park, the skies started to clear up and it was very sunny by the time we reached Margerie Glacier. The glaciers were very beautiful, although it's sad to think of how much they've receded in just the past few years. Ketchikan - The weather was beautiful this day, and I thought Ketchikan was very pretty. I liked reading about its history as I ambled around. I did a bearviewing flight with Seawind Aviation and saw lots of bears. The rest of my family did the George Inlet Lodge crab feast, booked through the cruise line and leaving the ship at around 6:30 am. They said the crab was tasty, but ended up eating at 9:30 am. Victoria: We arrived here around 6 in the evening. We had all filled out the landing cards ahead of time, and did not need to bring our passports to get off the boat. The dock was apparently quite far from the town. I did an evening orca-watching tour, booked through the cruiseline. I enjoyed it, and we were able to see several orcas. My aunt and uncle did the evening Butchart gardens excursion, also booked through the cruise. They said it was getting dark for much of the time they were in the gardens, so that was disappointing, but the fireworks display was quite nice. Disembarkation: We had signed up for the Port Valet service. Our luggage tags were delivered with the turndown service the night before disembarkation, but my cousin (next door) and my aunt did not receive theirs. For some reason, they had to go to the front desk to get theirs. Disembarkation was very quick. We simply held open our passports and walked by the customs officer. We were probably off the ship within ten minutes of deciding to leave (around 8 am). Would I do this again? Probably not, but not because I think the product is bad, just that it isn't right for me. I liked Norwegian's freestyle approach, where you don't have to dress up and you can dine when you'd like. However, I'd like to be able to spend more time in the ports, and would like the opportunity to try out more local restaurants rather than feeling obliged to eat on the ship since that's what I paid for. I don't find looking at the ocean relaxing, and while I could read a book in the lounge or cabin, I could do so just as well at home. (I'm also not a fan of beaches for that reason - swimming yes, beaches no). All that being said, while I didn't take advantage of the amenities that the Pearl offered, I did enjoy myself, watching the scenery, reading my book, eating at the buffet, and getting to visit some stunningly beautiful places. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was the first cruise experience for my husband and I, so prior to scheduling it, our travel party of six polled friends and family on social media, Facebook, to get recommendations for a cruise line. Holland was ranked the favorite by ... Read More
This was the first cruise experience for my husband and I, so prior to scheduling it, our travel party of six polled friends and family on social media, Facebook, to get recommendations for a cruise line. Holland was ranked the favorite by everyone, with Norwegian coming in second, followed by the Princess cruise line. Even though the package price for Norwegian was much more than others, we selected Norwegian because of the reviews and because of the particular Alaskan route we were interested in taking. We were very impressed with the dedication of staff to patrons on the ship, and especially pleased with the efforts to maintain high sanitation standards - essential for a concentrated, high number of people. The ship and staterooms were immaculate. We did feel slightly disappointed with the final price - including excursions, Wi-Fi, and beverages - when we started comparing our experience with friends who had used other cruise lines. I also would have liked receiving the travel/information packet from Norwegian prior to the trip so that I could have prepared a little better. The NCL website was a little difficult to navigate for specific information. The embarkation and disembarkation at ports went smoothly with the exception of the Port of Juneau. There seemed to be a little confusion and time delay with organizing the lines for disembarkation; all other port stops were seamless. The food options were impressive at the buffet and other dining areas. The staff in dining services handled themselves in a friendly, professional, and accommodating manner. It was obvious that management was heavily involved in ensuring and delivering the highest quality of safety and service to patrons, evidenced in the dining facilities, entertainment, the service desk, and excursions. Although we did not travel with children, it was apparent that activities and entertainment had been designed for children of all ages to improve their experience onboard the ship. The cruise was an enriching experience for the 6 of us. We are employees at a university in Utah, and the educational component to the cruise was of great value. We definitely plan on taking another cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our grandson really wanted to see Alaska and we chose Pearl because we wanted him to see Glacier Bay. We also took his cousin along. She was equally excited. Because of the age difference we chose the two bedroom suite which was our ... Read More
Our grandson really wanted to see Alaska and we chose Pearl because we wanted him to see Glacier Bay. We also took his cousin along. She was equally excited. Because of the age difference we chose the two bedroom suite which was our first experience with a suite. We had been on the Pearl before long ago, through the Panama. The updates to the ship were good. The big surprise was the number of young children on the ship. Our two do not do the youth programs, so can't comment on that. Our send off was wonderful. We were out on deck in a hot tub with great music and lots of excitement. This was our third trip to Alaska and we were surprised to see how much growth has happened in all the ports we visited. We had booked excursions through the ship everywhere and the ship canceled one before sail date so we had to book privately for that one. All the rest were good, although we had terrible weather on our Yukon one so didn't get the beautiful sights we are used to. No fault of the cruise. Getting on and off the ship was extremely easy, less than 15 minutes for both of them. Our cabin choice was perfect for us and would highly recommend it. So much room. We didn't use half the cupboards. Our butler was amazing as was everyone in the restaurants. The two things we were disappointed in was Moderno's dinner. We love Moderno, but for some reason the meats and chicken were dry and the salad buffet was not as big as the ones on Getaway. Unusual for Modern. Le Bistro beat out Cagney's this trip for quality of dinner and service. That too was unusual although those are always our favorite two restaurants. We did go to Summer Palace and enjoyed it very much. We only went to the buffet once and the food was fine, but getting a table was a nightmare. With the cold weather, it was absolutely packed. Very few even went out on the deck at all as we had so much wind. The seats in the theater are much more comfortable than those in the Getaway/Breakaway. The shows were just okay. except for the Russian aerialist/dancer/singer couple. They were the only ones to get a standing ovation, well deserved. We could have watched them over and over. Took me three days to track down the computer guy to get onto my wifi. Alaska is a busy place and our schedules didn't coincide. Once I finally got on, it worked well. In a suite you are given a phone for the kids to take with them all over the ship so they can call in or you can call them. Great addition. The afternoon treats the butler brought were wonderfully varied and lots of fun to see and enjoy. We may have to book a suite again after this wonderful experience. Had to wait to go bowling too, but it is almost like a regular bowling lane and very fun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I really enjoyed the Pearl. High marks for the staff. Without exception they were great and they always aimed to please. I chose a cabin with a balcony and was glad I did as we got a little whale watching in on the way up to Juneau ... Read More
I really enjoyed the Pearl. High marks for the staff. Without exception they were great and they always aimed to please. I chose a cabin with a balcony and was glad I did as we got a little whale watching in on the way up to Juneau right from my room. The room was compact but efficient. Dining: I found the buffet to be excellent. The quality of the food was very good and everything was fresh. The specialty restaurants were good and provide a calm from the sometimes hectic buffet. Entertainment & Service: The Enter. Director was very good and I enjoyed the main show each night at the Stardust Theatre. I also took advantage of the smaller venues at the night clubs...enjoyed them as well. The staff.... I was genuinely impressed, so much so I believe I over tipped! The one Complaint: SEATTLE I arrived in Seattle a day early to take in the city prior to the Cruise. Our group walk into downtown Seattle was cut short after encounters with the many homeless and junkies. Sorry Seattle but that was the impression me and the rest of my party were left with! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
embarkation and disembarkation were extremely well organized beautiful ship easy to move around although the elevators were very crowded missed a window and were unable to upgrade. if i booked another cruise it would have to be a ... Read More
embarkation and disembarkation were extremely well organized beautiful ship easy to move around although the elevators were very crowded missed a window and were unable to upgrade. if i booked another cruise it would have to be a cabin with a balcony very disappointed that there was no provision made for vegan/vegetarians, this was disappointing as i did get fed up of easing salads entertainment was reasonable but not fantastic. Shows cancelled without much explanation and substitutes were not rehearsed for their performance our stateroom staff were very good. they went out of their way to make sure all was well every day and every evening excursions were brilliant, good and educated guides. one of the three excursions we booked was cancelled. ports were very good and well organized for cruise ships. all ports have much enough space for 3 cruise ships at any given time no children with us. There were not many kids on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first cruise, for years my husband told me I wouldn't be able to handle it because of motion sickness. So this was our experiment, to see how I would do. I has a few problems, but once the dramamine kicked in, everything ... Read More
This was our first cruise, for years my husband told me I wouldn't be able to handle it because of motion sickness. So this was our experiment, to see how I would do. I has a few problems, but once the dramamine kicked in, everything was fine. Embarkation was a little hectic, but went well enough. We were "pushed" in front of a green screen for a photo, not knowing it was for a portrait photo, so the pose looked rather stiff. The staff was very helpful in helping us find our cabin, there was staff everywhere. Directions at each stairway helped, too. Our partially obstructed cabin still gave us a view. I put a glade solid air freshener in the bathroom, that was a great tip I read. The bathroom was VERY small, hard to move around in. The bed was comfortable, which was a surprise, since we are rather picky. The food was good, although some things were different than what we are used to. My husband is a professional cook, and he approved, so that was a compliment. It was nice to order anything off the menu, as often as we wanted. (take the stairs as much as possible, I only gained a couple of pounds because we used the stairs a LOT!) The shows we saw were good. The performers were excellent, working through problems with great skill, they deserve much credit. (a show was put together at the last minute because of illness) Most ports were tourist traps, but we expected as much. In Juneau, we did the Mendenhall Glacier and Gardens, it rained all day. the Gardens were beautiful. In Skagway, we went horseback riding. Very enjoyable, our guides were great. We saw the Lumberjack show in Ketchikan. A little staged, but very enjoyable. We went to Craigdarrach Castle in Victoria. It was definitely an uphill walk, buses were not allowed close to the castle, but taxi's could pull right up. A number of older people had a hard time walking that much. We used the ship's excursions because it was simpler than trying to find our own. This was the first trip my husband and I have had without the kids in over twenty years. We probably didn't socialize as much as other people, but it was our time. We enjoyed it very much. We're already thinking about another cruise, maybe this time with the kids and grandkids. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this particular cruise because our family wanted to experience Alaska. We had time to have lunch and watch fish throwing at Pike's Market before embarkation, which went smoothly. NCL had an area to store our bags for several ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise because our family wanted to experience Alaska. We had time to have lunch and watch fish throwing at Pike's Market before embarkation, which went smoothly. NCL had an area to store our bags for several hours while we toured Seattle. My husband and I traveled with my thirteen year old son and his 14 year old friend, all staying in one small interior room. During down times, our television had a new movie channel, which kept the boys entertained. Quarters were tight and it was difficult to keep all of our belongings organized but it made the trip affordable. Our room staff was helpful and friendly, somehow making our room look tidy every day. The ship itself entertained my son with the basketball court/tournaments and swimming. He ended up making fiends with some other kids with similar interests. His friend enjoyed all- day dining at various restaurants. The staff knew him by first name. The buffet had plenty to choose from and was above average, with a variety of American cuisine and ethnic dishes, mostly Indian and Chinese dishes. We didn't have the package of unlimited drinks and specialty restaurants and there were plenty of restaurants that were good and included. Next time, we will upgrade to a balcony room so that we will get the unlimited drinks and extra specialty restaurants (tempenyaki, sushi, steak house) even though we are not heavy drinkers. Entertainment was mediocre except for the AMAZING magician, Bobby Borgia. He entertained kids and adults on 2 separate days. The most amazing parts of this entire cruise and the entire reason we choose this were the excursions. We had THE BEST TIME salmon fishing in Ketchikan and ended up getting 15 fish frozen and mailed home. We are still enjoying the fruits of our labor. We originally had a fishing trip scheduled in Skagway but due to high winds, it was cancelled. We also had a GREAT TIME in spite of a downpour in Juneau canoeing to the Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. Be ready for any kind of weather. In addition, the morning spent in Glacier Bay, witnessing calving of the Margerie Glacier, all while having the ranger educate all cruisers via ship-wide speaker, was spectacular and a third highlight. All four of us had the time of our lives! Tips that we learned while cruising: 1) the wifi on the ship doesn't work most of the time and we ended up relying on our walkie talkies (when they worked). You can spend $10 for an app that allows you to send messages via cell to each other, which helped us immensely. 2) Bring binoculars so that you can see the amazing details of the glaciers in Glacier Bay and for spotting ocean creatures. We saw many humpbacks and some porpoises while cruising. 3) Upgrade to a balcony room for the extra perks so that you're not getting itemized bills for your alcoholic drinks and to have the freedom of going to every restaurant on the ship OR only get an interior room for 3 or less people. 4) If you have older kids/teens, know that the arcade is NOT FREE and our kids ran up a bill of $200 the first day before we cut them off. 5) Pack rain pants and coat to be ready for rainy weather. 6) Know that you will probably want to do this cruise again so start saving! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My husband and I chose the Pearl to go to Alaska. We usually cruise in suites which we initially did. We bid on a Haven Owners Suite and won the bid. I contacted pre-concierge for new luggage tags and while I was on the phone, the very ... Read More
My husband and I chose the Pearl to go to Alaska. We usually cruise in suites which we initially did. We bid on a Haven Owners Suite and won the bid. I contacted pre-concierge for new luggage tags and while I was on the phone, the very nice NCL lady asked what we wanted to be in our room when we got there. From past experience, I know that doesn't always get done but I gave her my list anyway. We flew to Seattle on Friday, stayed at the Mayflower Park Hotel and toured the city for two days which was great! Seattle has so much to offer. The Mayflower was located in a great spot but I wasn't a fan of the hotel itself. The staff was rude and made us feel like we were putting them out by being there. Sunday was embarkation day and we were more than excited! Dropping luggage off was a little confusing. Usually when we get to a pier, the porters are more than willing to help us. This time, they were kind of all standing around talking and not paying attention to any of the passengers. My husband asked one of them if he could help and he did. We walked down the street and followed the signs to check-in. The woman at the door asked if we were VIP guests and escorted us to the separate, much shorter line go go through the scanners. That only took a couple minutes. From there we were escorted to the Haven/Suites check-in. We were all set and sitting having coffee about 20 minutes after arriving at the pier. Anoop, the best concierge we've ever had, came over to introduce himself to us and said he had something for us. The one change I asked the pre-concierge woman to make on our dinner reservations had been made and was all set. We were escorted to Cagney's at around 11:15 and had lunch. Rooms weren't ready until about 1:00 but that was ok. We knew the layout of the ship after being on the Dawn and the Gem so we walked to The Great Outdoors and had our first beverage! When we heard the announcement that rooms were ready, we headed to our room. The pictures we had seen of the Owner's Suite didn't do it justice! It's a huge space. There are two bathrooms, one is quite large with a toilet, bathtub, double sink, shower, and the dressing room off of that. The other is a smaller bathroom as you first walk in to the room with just a toilet and sink. The living room has two double sliding doors looking out onto a sheltered balcony. There was a sofa, chair, television, large table and four chairs, and bar/coffee area. The 3 bottles of liquor that I ordered with pre-concierge and comes with an Owner's Suite, was waiting for us along with the juices, soda, and water that is all free. The bedroom has a king size bed, a chair and ottoman, two large night tables, a television, and the door to the big balcony at the front of the ship. We met our room Steward, Norbie, who was great the whole week. We aren't very needy but he did anything we asked of him, like extra towels or shampoo. Next we met our butler Lingling. In the past we haven't had any luck with butlers. We never got a suite for that perk at all. We felt like we hit the jackpot with Lingling though! She asked what kinds of snacks we liked and we told her we really didn't have a preference. Every day she would bring a couple different snacks so we could choose. On the third day she asked us why we weren't having breakfast delivered to our room. We told her we didn't want to bother her (which is how we felt with past butlers) and that we had been having breakfast in Moderno. She frowned and said that is what she is there for and would we like breakfast delivered the next morning shaking her head yes! We did order for the next day and she brought that plus what she thought we might like for a snack later that morning. One of the perks of being in an Owner's Suite was having access to the Haven Courtyard. For us, it wasn't convenient at all. We were on deck 9 and the courtyard was on deck 14 (which you need your keycard in the elevator for). It was nice there with a small pool, jacuzzi, steam room, shower/changing room, and bathroom. There were loungers and chairs, tables and chairs with menus that we assumed you could order from the Haven attendant (which we never did), coffee, juice, water, cookies, M&M's, and gummy bears all the time. Upstairs was the Haven sundeck which I'm sure is great when you are going to warm climate ports but for Alaska, I only sat up there once and it was too chilly for me. We didn't use the pool or jacuzzi at all because there were 4-5 kids that kept running from one to the other. Sitting there to relax wasn't very easy either with all the yelling from them. Being a teacher, I love kids and think they need to have fun and exercise but in a setting like that, there needs to be some control. Just my opinion. The crew of the Pearl were great. There wasn't one time when we didn't get a good morning, or good evening from someone we passed in the hallway, in a restaurant or getting on/off the ship at the different ports. For us, this was probably the best crew we have been with on a cruise. For entertainment there really wasn't much going on if you don't want to play Bingo or Deal or No Deal. Even the entertainment at night was just ok. It didn't really matter to us, we had a great time anyway. We did go to the hypnotist expecting to be entertained and instead heard about the woman's seminars she was giving for the rest of the cruise and how she has programs you can buy to help you lose weight, etc. Personally, I thought that was in poor taste. We ate at Cagney's twice, LeBistro, Moderno, and Teppanyaki. Teppanyaki was a lot of fun. The chefs were pretty funny and we got with a big group of people that made us feel really welcome even though we were the only ones in two tables that weren't in their group. The food was amazing and probably one of the best meals we've had on a cruise. Cagney's steak can't be beat but their sides are just ok. LeBistro was really good but for some reason, it always takes well over an hour to have dinner there. We waited over a half hour for our soup because the chef didn't like how it came out so he started a new batch, which is what we were told. LaCucina was good. Nothing great but definitely not bad at all. We spent a good amount of time at the Great Outdoors and got food from the buffet there for a few lunches. We couldn't always sit out there because of the temperatures and especially the wind. The Garden Cafe had many choices and we did have lunch there one day. My husband loves the pretzel rolls and sticks so we would wander through and get a few of those for him just about every day! In Juneau, we tendered at a first and had the opportunity to walk around and see downtown Juneau. One of the places we went to was the Alaska Shirt Company which is right across the street from the pier. We got all our souvenirs there and really didn't have to shop anywhere else. Prices were great there. We did the Mendenhall Glacier and Evening Whale Watch excursion through the ship. Unfortunately, it was pouring while we were at the glacier so we didn't get great pictures but it was beautiful none the less. On the whale watch, we saw eagles, sea lions, and whales. I actually got a great picture of the whale's fluke, something I've never been able to do before! There was a naturalist onboard and she told us all kinds of useful information about the wildlife around that part of the country. There was also a delicious buffet along with coffee, tea, soda, and water that came with the price of admission. You could also get adult beverages for a reasonable price. In Skagway we did the White Pass and Yukon Railway ride through the ship which was great. It follows the path the people who were going to look for gold during the Gold Rush took. It was amazing to think of those people in such harsh conditions traveling on a small path just to maybe find gold. The other excursion we did (not through the ship) was the Red Onion Good Time Girls and Ghost Tour. That was one of the most fun excursions we have done in a while! We were met by a "Good Time Girl" and led around the town while she explained how life was in Skagway during the Gold Rush times. We ended the tour at the Red Onion Museum which was pretty interesting. After the tour we went in the Red Onion which we hadn't been able to do before because there were so many people waiting to get in. It was less busy at this point so we went to the bar and got a Duck Fart which is a shot that had been recommended to us by a few people. You should try it, it was delicious! The next day was Glacier Bay day and probably one of the most awe inspiring days I've ever had. It was sunny and cold (like 30's cold) and Marjorie Glacier was magnificent! That honestly doesn't even describe what it was. We saw some small calving which was interesting to watch but all of a sudden we heard a crack and a huge chunk of the glacier fell into the ocean with a big boom! The waves from that came all the way to the ship. We saw kayakers near the glacier and that let us know exactly how massive the glacier was. There were a few other glaciers on the way in and out of the Bay but I don't remember their names. Everything was so beautiful. I took many, many pictures! Ketchikan was the next day. We did the Alaskan Lumberjack Show and Totem Bight excursion through the ship. The Lumberjack Show was entertaining and what you would expect from a lumberjack show. On the bus ride to Totem Bight, we saw a lot of bald eagles. Our tour guide, Braden would point them out and explained how to tell the difference between a juvenile and a full grown eagle. Totem Bight was interesting and Braden was very knowledgeable. I wish we had more time in Juneau and in Ketchikan and less time in Skagway. When we go back to Juneau, we will do our own thing at Mendenhall Glacier and be able to spend a lot more time there. Saturday was Victoria, BC, Canada day but unfortunately we didn't get to see it, I got sick very early Saturday morning. I'm pretty sure I had norovirus even thought I was extremely careful with the Washy, Washy and washing my hands. We also missed out on another day of touring Seattle. We stayed at the Hyatt House Downtown Seattle which was right across the street from the Space Needed so at least I got to see it but not go to the top of it. Other than being sick, this was probably the best vacation my husband and I have had in our 40 years of marriage. Before we went on this cruise, we said we would splurge a little because we'd never do it again. We did splurge but we are doing it again! Maybe a different itinerary but definitely Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I had been dreaming of an Alaskan cruise for years. We finally decided to go for it this summer. It did not disappoint. And I'm really glad I chose NCL for the trip. While I've only cruised on NCL, I can't imagine going ... Read More
I had been dreaming of an Alaskan cruise for years. We finally decided to go for it this summer. It did not disappoint. And I'm really glad I chose NCL for the trip. While I've only cruised on NCL, I can't imagine going on another cruise line. The ships are beautiful, and I've always been impressed by how well the ships are kept clean. Additionally, they are so well organized for getting people on and off the ships, getting the luggage to the rooms, etc. When we booked the cruise, we considered a balcony room, but given the cost difference between the balcony and window room, we chose the window room. And I'm happy we did. First, we were rarely in the room. Second, the window was a lot bigger than I expected. Third, there was a big enough window sill in the room that I could enjoy looking out and seeing the beautiful scenery. We were also happy with the size. I was expecting it to be a lot smaller than it actually was. For dining, we did a combination of specialty dining and the main dining rooms. The specialty restaurants are AMAZING! Especially Cagneys. Teppanyaki was so much fun. The chefs were so entertaining. If you have the option to get the Specialty Dining promo package when you book your cruise, definitely do it. It'll give you a great opportunity to enjoy 3 of the restaurants without having to pay the extra cost. I will say, desserts on the ship are not the best, but then when it comes to my sweets, I am a bit picky. My husband and I are early to bed, early to rise people, so we didn't go to a lot of the shows on this cruise, but the ones we did were fun and entertaining. We did enjoy spending time in the Shakers martini bar lounge. The staff in there was attentive, but not pushy. One of the things about cruising for me is experiencing the ports. And the ports on this particular cruise were great. We really enjoyed seeing the amazing glacier in Mendenhall, the scenic Yukon drive from Skagway, and the Rainforest in Ketchikan. When we booked the cruise, the day the ship circled Glacier Bay was the day I didn't know if I would enjoy. Well, I was completely wrong. It was amazing. Especially watching the Marjerie Glacier "calve". Seeing (and hearing) the ice falling into the bay was unbelievable. When people asked me what my favorite part of the trip was I honestly tell them "I can't answer that". There were too many incredible experiences to choose just 1. I can't wait to go again, and try other excursions and new experiences. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Norwegian Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.1
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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