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Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 7th overall cruise. It was an enjoyable experience and we saw many Caribbean islands we had never been to before. The ship was clean and had enough public space that passengers could spread out in. ... Read More
This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 7th overall cruise. It was an enjoyable experience and we saw many Caribbean islands we had never been to before. The ship was clean and had enough public space that passengers could spread out in. It's a nice sized ship (2400 passengers) which is manageable - and our preference over the huge ships. It was easy to find your way around, although the only small challenge is that the 6th deck doesn't run straight through. So if you want to access the Summer Palace main dining on the 6th, you have to go up to 7, to go back down to 6. It's a beautiful dining room, and worth finding! Our balcony cabin was perfect for 2 people - lots of storage, a small couch and decent sized balcony for a cruise ship. We unpacked for our 11-day cruise easily finding space for everything, and stowed our luggage under the bed. The only small issue was that the lighting was not great after the sun goes down, so for women getting ready for dinner, it was a bit of a challenge to see in mirrors. A big thank you to Rommel, our awesome Cabin Steward, for doing an excellent job! We found the main dining rooms (Summer Palace and Indigo), and specialty dining were wonderful - we experienced great service and delicious food! Le Bistro and Teppanyaki were our favourite specialty dining venues, and Cagney's and Moderno were really good as well. The Lotus Garden, which is NOT a specialty dining venue, was great - don't miss out! However, we were less than impressed with the quality of food at the buffet, and at O'Sheehan's Pub...yuck. We ended up going to the main dining rooms for breakfast/lunch instead. We spent some time at the casino and experienced the best service from all staff: special mention - Eka, Carlver and Hong Wang were amazing, we really appreciate their hard work. The casino has a good variety of slots machines and tables, it got busy after the shows finished, but was always well-managed. We never had to wait for drink service, and the staff was always friendly and accommodating. Embarkation was quite easy and much faster than anticipated - the lines were very long, but we were on the ship within an hour of arriving at the port in Tampa. Our rooms were ready by 1:30 or 2pm, and luggage was promptly delivered to the cabin that afternoon. Disembarkation in NYC was not quite as smooth, but overall not bad. We only docked at 10am to even begin the disembarkation process, but had to be out of our cabins by 9am. The only food option available at that time was the buffet - so 2400 people waiting in public spaces for hours to depart, and food/coffee on only one deck. We booked shore excursions only after we got on the ship - and managed to get every excursions we wanted except for one - but there was another decent option available and we took that one instead. I would recommend however that you book excursions (and speciality dining reservations) before getting on the ship to be sure you are not disappointed. The excursions were very well-run and organized, we enjoyed all of them. Overall, this was a very good cruise experience. What made it extra enjoyable were the staff who work on the ship - they all work so hard and such long hours, we truly appreciate them! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
The itinerary caught my eye, embark Tampa , visit 6 Caribbean ports, disembark NYC.We arrived the evening before the cruise, ate locally and got a good night's sleep at the Quality Inn. Arrived on Sunday at the port with everyone else ... Read More
The itinerary caught my eye, embark Tampa , visit 6 Caribbean ports, disembark NYC.We arrived the evening before the cruise, ate locally and got a good night's sleep at the Quality Inn. Arrived on Sunday at the port with everyone else going on the cruise ( or so it seemed) ,boarded about 1 hour 15 minutes after arriving. The Pearl is an older, smaller ship but in my opinion a nice ship to spend 11 days aboard. An adult pool as well as a children's pool is always a nice touch. The chair hogs were out in force & policing was near non existent which takes away from those fun in the sun sea days by the pool. We found ourselves hiking up to the sun deck to find chairs,ok but not easy to take a dip in the pool. The bars ,restaurants and public areas were all enjoyable.Getting reservations in the specialty restaurants was a challenge. We were forced to take an early evening dinner reservation toward the end of our cruise, either hat or a 9-10PM seating,no thanks. Indigo & Summer Palace were excellent food & service ,only one night were we made to wait for a table. The cabin was on deck 5,outside window, noise level, very quiet ( restaurant above so no noise at night).We saw several shows, all good, Stardust Theater seats were not comfortable for any length of time. The lounge entertainment was good. Casino , only one roulette table & it was always crowded.The service throughout the ship was exceptional, thank you to the crew for a great time aboard The Pearl.Loved the ports with the exception of St. Lucia ,nice Island but the excursion detoured us to a beach that was over run with locals in your face selling booze & trinkets,sometimes uncomfortably, almost threatening. Don't do the St,Lucia Beach break. We loved the other ports and the excursions chosen, all professionally run, We will sail with NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our eighth cruise with Norwegian, and I am happy to say they did not disappoint ! This was one of the most relaxing and fun trips I have been on. The staff was outstanding! I found them to be friendly and very helpful. Rachiel ... Read More
This was our eighth cruise with Norwegian, and I am happy to say they did not disappoint ! This was one of the most relaxing and fun trips I have been on. The staff was outstanding! I found them to be friendly and very helpful. Rachiel and Christina, both restaurant hostesses, were especially kind and helpful. They always greeted me by my name and a big smile every time they saw me. They never once forgot my name ! I found the food to be very good. My favorite, is the Le Bistro, a French cuisine restaurant. We ate there a couple times because we enjoyed it so much. Cagney's and Teppeyaki was also very good. The complimentary restaurants were just as good. The servers always made sure every meal was the way we wanted it. Our cabins were always well taken care of. No one had any complaints with them at all. We always get balconies and it is great to have your morning coffee on the balcony. You can get coffee and rolls and fruit delivered to your cabin free of charge. It is definitely worth the effort. We went to Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Lucia, St. Kitt's and St. Thomas. The excursions to choose from were plentiful, We enjoyed the catamarans, snorkling and beaches. Just gorgeous ! I especially loved the BOSS Underwater Scooter Adventure in St. Thomas. It is just what it sounds like, an underwater scooter. It was the coolest thing I have done in quite awhile. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Everyone should look into this excursion. We were underwater for about a half an hour and saw all kinds of fish and sea life. We left from Tampa, but came back into New York City. It was pretty neat to pass the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island coming into port. Overall, it was a wonderful trip. We have already booked our next cruise on Norwegian. I am looking forward to our next trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Very relaxed, flexible dining options, times and location. Did not have to be scheduled ever day hence the term vacation. Many excursions to choose from. Sea days were welcomed as were the excursion days, good ratio. Crew were friendly ... Read More
Very relaxed, flexible dining options, times and location. Did not have to be scheduled ever day hence the term vacation. Many excursions to choose from. Sea days were welcomed as were the excursion days, good ratio. Crew were friendly including cabin crew.Would do it again. The entertainment was lovely, with 2 showing times for the theatre shows. Loved the female cuban singer as well as the De Luz guitarist. Theatre was full on two occasions, had to stand. Guess that means great response from cruisers. Casino entertainment was good, slots not too tight. The drink free drink options were not clear as to what was allowed. The night time allotted was late, past midnight which was good for those who enjoyed staying out at the slots late. Disembarking was smoother than embarking, seems that the time was cut in half but overall no hangups. Lines were long and sometimes confusing coming into the port building, had to get in another line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I have been cruising for 40 years. My very fist cruise was on NCL Starward in 1984. This was a theme cruise which it why I chose it. The Summer Palace was beautiful, the dining room staff was very pleasant, but the food. OMG! Terrible is ... Read More
I have been cruising for 40 years. My very fist cruise was on NCL Starward in 1984. This was a theme cruise which it why I chose it. The Summer Palace was beautiful, the dining room staff was very pleasant, but the food. OMG! Terrible is an understatement for the worst dining room food I have ever experienced. I am amazed at how bad it was! The menu never changed, & the menu descriptions did not describe what they brought out. Crispy fish that came out poached, Bourbon chicken that was really BBQ, mystery sauces on everything! I never went back after day 3 except to look at the menu. The buffet was OK, & I mean just OK. My 1st cabin smelled liked sewage. But, lucky me, there was a water pipe break day 2 which flooded most of the deck, I was able to pack up & move, but my new cabin was in a less than desirable location, over loud equipment used by the staff in the early AM & right under The Stardust Theatre. But at least it didn't smell. Cabin stewards were nice. Most of the people on the ship seemed to be miserable working there & the officers seemed quite unfriendly. Once you are trapped at sea, they nickel & dime you to death! I would swear the ships stabilizers were broken it was so rough. I have never been sea sick before, so I don't if it was that or the bad food, but I stayed queasy for 7 days. I do not believe in saying never, will I will never sail with nor recommend NC to anyone. This ship needs a total remodel. AVOID! Up side, I lost 5 pounds. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Being the first time on Norwegian we weren’t sure what to expect but we were quite underwhelmed overall. The ship was clean and easy to get around but there was no grandeur when you first step into the atrium as we had with any and ... Read More
Being the first time on Norwegian we weren’t sure what to expect but we were quite underwhelmed overall. The ship was clean and easy to get around but there was no grandeur when you first step into the atrium as we had with any and all of the seven Carnival ships we’ve cruised on. We ate in the both of the main dining rooms (same menu in both - disappointing as you had to dress a little more formal for summer palace) and we kept waiting for some real seafood which didn’t happen until the third or fourth night and then it was coconut fried shrimp... no Lobster EVER. On a 7+ day cruise Carnival still serves lobster! The Asian fusion restaurant did have a garlic lemon shrimp that was amazing this was our go to restaurant the remainder of the cruise although the menu is the exact same every night. The rooms were fine small but we always choose an interior for cost as we are rarely in the cabin. The shower however is wonderful and goes to Norwegian! Carnivals have a small corner shower with a curtain that tends to get stuck to you where Norwegian has a large sliding door! We did not participate in the drink package however this too goes to Norwegian as they are unlimited and you can get two at a time unlike Carnival where you get 1 every fifteen minutes and max out at 15. The entertainment was blah and the same old same old! Carnival has the comedy club which we love with different comedians and both family and adult shows nightly. Ports of call were amazing, my favorite itinerary to date! Grand Cayman - tender port and a little pricey. Aruba beautiful, friendly and welcoming. Bonaire - snorkeled here on Kline island and wow is all I can say. St. Lucia - toured the island and then to beach! All was great with exception of volcano...a little misleading as they say you go into the volcano but still interesting. St Kitts gorgeous beaches and island. St. Thomas Meghan’s bay is a must do! Embarking and disembarking was easy with no huge waits! Overall a great cruise with sunny weather but we will stick with Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Aruba, St. Lucia) and the fact that it ended in NYC so we could visit there as well when we got off the ship. We had a wonderful time, found the service to be excellent (in particular the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Aruba, St. Lucia) and the fact that it ended in NYC so we could visit there as well when we got off the ship. We had a wonderful time, found the service to be excellent (in particular the bartenders), and always found there was something to keep up occupied. We often dined at the buffet for breakfast and lunch, we found their to be a great selection, only downside was the limited seating at peak meal times. Most dinners we dined at Indigo and for the most part really enjoyed the food and service. We booked our own shore excursions (not through NCL) and found that worked fine for us. Tough to get a deck chair on the main pool deck but never had a problem finding one on the second or third decks. All in all we had a great experience and have recommended NCL to our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose Norwegian based on a friends recommendation. He and his family had cruised on multiple different Norwegian ships and he had nothing but praise for all. We are cruise newbies and we trusted our friend and boy are we glad we did! We ... Read More
We chose Norwegian based on a friends recommendation. He and his family had cruised on multiple different Norwegian ships and he had nothing but praise for all. We are cruise newbies and we trusted our friend and boy are we glad we did! We picked this specific cruise as it checked a lot of boxes for us. The flight from Boston to Tampa was inexpensive and there was a one way flight that was timed perfectly. Once in Tampa, we were greeted at the baggage claim by Norwegian employees who directed us to our transport bus to the port. It was busy but we were comfortable and the trip was fairly short. The port in Tampa was extremely busy and we waited for a very long time. We were early and I do not think they were working to fully capacity when we arrived. Many people in line said that it was odd to have to wait for so long to do the embarkation process. Once we cleared the security check, we got our room keys and were directed to the ship itself. We were extremely overwhelmed as we did not know what to do (or expect). We decided to just go to our room and see if it was ready. Luckily for us it was so we settled in. Once we did, we went and grabbed the first of our incredible meals on the trip. One thing our travel agent did not tell us about (we found out 8 days into the trip) is that we had 4 specialty dining meals and the ultimate beverage package. Once we figured that out we certainly took fully advantage of it. In short, the food choices were many and all excellent. We never once had to wait for a meal except for one night when we made a late reservation at Le Bistro and they were extremely busy. Otherwise we walked up to the staff and were immediately seated. The wait staff was outstanding. They encouraged us many times to try anything we wanted. We are not big eaters but we definitely once again took advantage of this. The Freestyle Daily flyer handed out each night was excellent. We used it to plan our next days adventures. We did four short excursions as well. Our first stop was Grand Cayman which was very beautiful. We took a tender (the only port which we had to do so) and that was a bit of a pain but it is what it is. The excursion was out of this world! We swam with the sting rays and did the dolphin excursion. The next stop was Aruba and since this is a place we have visited over 30 times we knew exactly what to do. We rented a car and cruised the island for the day. Very nice! Next stop was Bonaire where we did a history excursion. All good for sure. St. Lucia was the "Green to Sand" excursion which was fun and refreshing (the water!). We did the scenic rail excursion in St. Kitts which was excellent. Maybe a little long but otherwise excellent. St. Thomas was just ok. Back to the ship! The entertainment options were all excellent! We met a lot of people including a couple from California who had done dozens of cruises. One of the shows we saw was Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Elvis Presley impersonators. They were outstanding and our friends from CA said it was the best show they had ever seen on any cruise before. The cruise director Pedro was extremely friendly, funny and approachable. He seemed to be everywhere and always smiling. We did other things like played bingo, Deal or No Deal, trivia, etc. All were outstanding. Every public area of the ship was well maintained, cleaned and well stocked (bathrooms). The service was absolutely outstanding everywhere! A stand out was at the Mojito bar where our bar tenders were just so engaging they kept us coming back for more. This trip was just myself and my fiance. We had a 10th deck balcony stateroom which was excellent. Only complaint would be the bathroom which we both felt was a bit on the small side, especially the toilet. It was however always clean, well stocked and quiet. We cruised to Manhattan and had arranged for a rental car to drive the 3 1/2 hours back home. The disembarkation was a bit of a cluster to be honest. People were a bit cranky and they were a definite lack of organization on the ship. And then there is the New York cruise terminal employees. What can I say? Well, we certainly had a fantastic voyage and have already booked another aboard the Norwegian Bliss next May....coming soon Alaska! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the 11 day cruise to the Southern Carribean mainly because it was a repositioning cruise back to NY. Last month we were on the Dawn & visited the majority of the islands offered on the Pearl. All the islands are beautiful, ... Read More
We chose the 11 day cruise to the Southern Carribean mainly because it was a repositioning cruise back to NY. Last month we were on the Dawn & visited the majority of the islands offered on the Pearl. All the islands are beautiful, & worth seeing again however on a repositioning cruise your time is quite limited on some of the islands. Cruise population were mainly east coast people because of the convenience of NYC end point. This is our 2nd time on the Pearl & we have an 11 day Panama Canal cruise booked for November 2019 on the Pearl. The Pearl was our 1st NCL ship & probably my favorite ship because of its staff/crew. A lot of the Pearl's employees are on a 2nd or 3rd contracts with that ship so it was wonderful to see people that remembered you from previous visits. The employees on this ship are probably the friendliest I have encountered on a whole on my 6 cruises with NCL. Embarkation in Tampa was effortless and despite the previous cruise being a charter cruise we were on the ship within 45 mins. Disembarkation in NYC was orderly & fast too. Food on the cruise was good although on a lengthier cruise you tend to get tired of the same daily menu. For the 1st time on a NCL cruise, we had a horrible cabin steward. We tend to stay up late in the casino & get up early for daily activities so we spend hardly any time in our cabin yet our cabin was hardly ever made up. We met our steward the 1st day & he seemed lovely. However, on a sea day he was very annoyed that my husband was sleeping in late because it was a "early" day for him. We had a towel animal once in 11 days & I laughed because I couldn't figure out if it was actually an animal or if he just dumped extra towels on the bed. I decided to call it a sting ray without a tail. I've read that NCL is limiting their towel animals so maybe our steward decided to implement that policy immediately. There was a new cruise director on this ship, Pedro & the assistant cruise director was Tiara. Both were good. However, all games & activities on NCL ships are scripted & the same on every ship, down to the jokes they tell. Some cruise directors do better with the material, others are just flat. As always, entertainment is variable. The show Legends was outstanding! The aerialists are always wonderful on every ship. The production staff was really good but the stand out show for me was a singer that got on the boat at St. Lucia & was doing 2 cruises back to back. Chris Burke was amazing! He had a beautiful voice & was so humbled to be performing to a crowd that clearly adored hm. He loves what he does & it was reflected in his performances. There was a comedian named Puck that people enjoyed. I intended to see his performances but when you're doing well in the casino it's hard to leave a winning table. There was also a hypnotist named Dale k that people enjoyed. He does 2 shows on the cruise; general admission to all & adults only. Casino was more busy, consistently then other boats I have been on. All the casino staff are outstanding! All the islands are beautiful. We got to Bonaire (1 of my favorite islands) are 7am & nothing opens in Bonaire until 9:30am. St. Lucia on a Saturday is market day so except it to be hectic & crowded. St. Kitts is a beautiful island & you'll love it if you want pictures with little monkeys or to see monkeys in the wild. Once it port, don't be surprised if you unexpectedly have a monkey in your arms & your camera is clicking pictures. For $10 you can exchange the monkey for your camera/cell phone. The monkey "owners" are very adapt at maneuvering their monkey & your camera in seconds. St. Thomas was also a short visit from 7am to 1pm. Probably the most memorable for me on this cruise was entering NYC. I've lived in NYC my whole life but to see the faces & emotions of the crew/staff seeing NYC for the 1st time was amazing! A lot of the crew were emotionally taken aback seeing NYC for the 1st time & sending pictures back to their families at home. There were a lot of tears & a lot of happiness & joy seeing a famous city for the 1st time & disbelief that they were actually looking at the statute of liberty or freedom tower. Overall, a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Never having cruise NCL before and reading the reviews about freestyle cruising our expectations were set fairly low, but I have to admit now it was much much better than expected. This cruise left from Tampa and we stayed at the ... Read More
Never having cruise NCL before and reading the reviews about freestyle cruising our expectations were set fairly low, but I have to admit now it was much much better than expected. This cruise left from Tampa and we stayed at the Westin Waterside. You could almost walk to the terminal/ship from there. Lots to see and do in Tampa and we wish we had a little more time to do so. The Tampa embarkation terminal was fairly small and there was a bit of standing around, but on the whole it was pretty simple getting on the ship and our room was ready shortly after arriving onboard. Overall, the ship was clean and well maintained and we never felt crowded. We did our typical first day tour and one of the highlights was the fitness center, spa and thermal suite. It was light, bright and friendly. We ended up using the free morning stretch and ab classes nearly every day. We bought the thermal suite package too and it was a great addition to our daily routine. Our room layout was as expected, but the comfortable bed was a bonus. We put a little research into it's selection and chose a mini-suite near the rear of the ship. This particular room had a much larger than standard balcony and afforded us a lounger, two chairs and a table. We traveled with another couple that had the same room directly opposite ours on the port side of the ship and they had the same set up. We couldn't have been more pleased. Interestingly, there was a big pipe break/water leak in the room next to ours. It was bad enough to move the occupants. The crew spent a day making repairs and we had a blower and dehumidifier in the hall for a few days. Other than a little noise during the day it didn't really effect us. I guess because of the inconvenience the ship gave us a $100 OBC. It was a very nice move on there part. We ate at Cagney's Le Bistro and La Cucina - all were great and highly recommended. The food was really good in all three. We also ate twice in the complementary Chinese restaurant and it was also pretty good. If I had to do it all over again, I would not eat in the main dining room. The service/staff was fantastic, but frankly the food wasn't all that good. It wasn't what I would call restaurant quality. The food in the main dining room is really my only complaint and why I rated it the way I did, The entertainment was pretty good too. Comedy, juggiling and hypnotist along with a Legends show. As for the ports - we spent most of our time at beaches and the water was a little cooler than expected. But then it was the end of the season and maybe that should be expected. Other than that, it was the standard mall of the Caribbean in every port. The bottom line for us - NCL was great and we would certainly cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise EVER with any cruise line. Our expectation when we purchased the cruise from Costco was that everything was included. Clearly not the case. Little things kept on adding up. For instance the fees and gratuities ... Read More
This was our first cruise EVER with any cruise line. Our expectation when we purchased the cruise from Costco was that everything was included. Clearly not the case. Little things kept on adding up. For instance the fees and gratuities added to the "FREE" drink package and "FREE" specialty restaurants that we chose. That is the first extras on top of our rate, and then the surprise daily rate of gratuities and whatever which happened to be a per person and that was another $421 added to our cruise price. NCL excursions are way higher priced then any of the companies that you can get at ports, several of excursions through NCL were more then double of what could be found at port. We did 2 NCL excursions and 3 private. Entertainment was a bit of a disappointment. Chris Burke, the Legends Show and Patricia Watson were excellent, I was expecting more though..... I always hear that there are Cirque shows and really good entertainment on board ships but I didnt find anything more then what I could find at a Caribbean Resort. I didnt like the fact that we got the daily notifications of the events not prior to boarding, it would be nice to prep for some of these parties like the White Party. The food: Tappanaki was awesome. I ordered sake on the first night, we were well out of port, and I was charged port taxes which came as a surprise. We had Teppanaki a second time a couple days later and had the exact same dishes and Sake and no tax on the the Sake. The entertainment was good, the food was tasty. I wish there was a lobster option even if its pay more, but we all know lobster is dirt cheap in caribbean so if you are putting crab in Seafood Jumbalya in the buffet, there is no reason that you cant serve lobster at the Teppanaki. Indigo was not good. My wifes pasta dish was flavourless, and my beef could have walked off my plate it was so rare (I usually order Medium Rare, but this was really rare) and so we went to the buffet after we ate there and had a proper meal. After our shore excursion at the Grand Caymans we came back and went to the Lotus Room; We ordered several orders of dumplings, and spring rolls, and I ordered a Spyder Roll from the Sushi Bar. So I am not a stranger to Spyder Rolls, I order this roll on a regular basis. The fried soft shell crab is usually delicious. My wife ate a dumpling and spat it out, saying there was something rotten in it, and I ate a similar one and there was a taste of ginger but also something rotten in it. We called the waitress and told them, and they brought it back to the kitchen and brought us back some other dumplings which my wife didnt want to touch another one so i ate all the orders of dumplings. I loved the presentation of the Spyder Roll, but after about four pieces the crab started to taste off, it was mushy and fishy I looked down at it and took a picture of the crab meat being brown, green and very discoloured nothing I had ever seen before. I though I was fine because I left the pieces that were bad on the side of my plate. My wife ordered a dish that didnt come so we cancelled that dish. I did enjoy the dessert though, but we still went up to the buffet afterwards to get my wife some food. I usually have a stomach of steel and can eat anything. Within two hours I was super ill from both ends, and I had a major fever. I was up all night long. I had to take immodium to control my diarrhea the next day while we were in Aruba. Right when we got back on the ship I went directly to my room and my wife tended to me by bringing me broth and crackers until we could get everything out of my system. She then went and complained because Aruba was a pretty big disaster for us, we also werent able to utilize our drink package or even our food package due to this illness. This went on for 2 days, and both days were when we had excursions planned. It sucked. I think it was a nice gesture that the Executive Chef sent us chocolate covered strawberries, and a dinner at La Cuccinna but honestly for the price of our cruise, and all the extras that we paid for dinner and strawberries is a very small gesture, nice but not worth me changing how dissatisfied i was, or how many people I tell I got food poisoning. So that was Sushi / Lotus. Cagneys was awesome, the beef tenderloin was to die for. I am a huge fan. I also had Beef Tenderloin at La Cuccina twice. I feel there should be more then two pieces of ravioli however I wont complain about the tenderloin. My wifes Chicken Cacchitore was disappointing, the chicken was tough and over cooked. The Tiramisu was delicious on both nights we were there. When we were in St Kitts we ran into a doctor that we previously talked to when I had a food poisoning, she was a doctor by profession on holidays and she explained to us that her daughter also got food poisoning from the Sushi Bar several days back...... If you are still reading I will explaining more about this later. Moderno was disappointing. I felt the salad bar was mainly preservatives, and the meat, not really my thing. The beef was tough. I tried a little lamb, but I found it tough and flavourless also. My wife and I are foodies, so we do know what to expect. We rode the elevator down with another couple that have ate at Moderno on different ships and they did say this was not the best Moderno's. I dont know what to compare it to, but I hope next time is better. The buffet was great. However some of the desserts were bland. I loved the soft serve and could eat that any time. Its better the Dairy Queen and that makes me happy. The bars made great drinks although, I dont understand how I can get a Glen Morange single malt Scotch, but cant get a Hendricks Gin and Tonic; it makes no sense to me at all because where I am from 750ml of Glenmorange is $84, and 750ml of Hendricks is $38, so how does the scotch fall under the drink package while the gin doesn't? I wish there was a better selection of single malts under the drink package. Roger at O'Sheehans is the best bartender on the boat. He was brilliant and he kept our drinks full all the time. The cigar room should only be for cigars. Its disgusting when you are smoking a fine cigar and someone comes in a smokes a cigarette. Its even more disgusting when someone brings their food in there. It should be for cigars only. Bottom line. Front Desk / Customer Service - On the first day, you need more people up there. It took close to 90 min standing in line waiting to ask simple questions. Even on the second day it was busy. And my last concern was CruiseNext. We did enjoy the cruise and we put money down for a future cruise. The Manager that signed us up clearly told us that he would give us 2 coupons for 2 cruises. Not 4 coupons for 4 cruises, only to discover when we got home we received 4 coupons. I just wish some things were more organized so we wouldnt have all these surprises and extra costs. We had a good time, but surprise after surprise is not what we want. Tell us what the full price is. We stay at resorts all the time, the full price is right in our face with no extras. Thats what i want to know. I dont want surprises. Lastly, on our last night leaving La Cuccina we spoke to the Director of Food and Beverage, and it was almost like he didnt believe I was sick. He tells us that after he got the report, they went to the infirmary to check if there was a report of food poisoning. First, off; unless I am dying or contagious with something; I am not checking into see your doctor. Second, he tells us about all the specific regulations that cruise ships have to follow for their food.... Again, all restaurants have to follow these regulations at least where I live in Canada. Plain and simple the food was rotten, I have a picture of it, soft shell crab is not supposed to look like a raw oyster. I am not new to soft shell crab, this is one of the only rolls I have eaten consistently for the last 15 years at Sushi restaurants. So regulations or not, the dumplings and sushi that night were not good. Bottom line, something was wrong and it wasnt only me getting sick because on the last day at Bingo the lady in front of me told me that she got food poisoning from the Lotus Garden the night we were in Bonaire, I asked if she reported it to anyone and she said no, but she was going to. All in all, I answered the questions honestly, and we will come back on a Norwegian Cruise on day. It was a great break from our kids, and maybe one day we can take them to. Maybe on a boat that has bigger swimming pools. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to several islands we have never visited before. It also ended in New York City, which is a place we've wanted to revisit again. Plus, we had to use our "bonus" dollars before they ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to several islands we have never visited before. It also ended in New York City, which is a place we've wanted to revisit again. Plus, we had to use our "bonus" dollars before they expired, so the timing, places and events were perfect. We really enjoyed the nightly entertainment in the Theater and the extra planned evenings. I think Pedro and Tiara were the BEST Ship Hosts we have ever had - and hope they will continue on as a team in the future! We also loved eating in the Summer Palace every evening with our friendly and competent table servers. They are exceptionally well-trained. The hostesses were also very accomodating. We made friends at our tables every evening. The food was also varied and well planned. We chose the Dining hall due to the smaller portions. Fred, the comedian was hilarious - but were disappointed in his Adult show. The Crew and Staff and musicians were excellent. We spent every evening Dancing in the Starlight Lounge, as well as listening to the fun songs with Patricia. Thank you for keeping the entertainment decent and family-oriented. Thank you, too, for the bottle of champagne for our 50th anniversary!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We never sailed Norwegian before but have been on all the other lines previously and this being our tenth cruise I will compare it to other experiences. We did not want a mega ship so we choose the Pearl for this reason and the ports it ... Read More
We never sailed Norwegian before but have been on all the other lines previously and this being our tenth cruise I will compare it to other experiences. We did not want a mega ship so we choose the Pearl for this reason and the ports it was stopping at and being 11 nights also appealed to us. The embarkation took about an hour we arrived at noon on their transfer service the lines were not too bad overall. First impressions of the Summer Palace dining room was that it seemed out of date with the décor however the service and the lunch were fine. We are not buffet people but utilized 2 times once for breakfast due to an early excursion and it served it's purpose nothing out of the ordinary. Lunch one time we had a 1.00pm departure from St. Thomas and the only option for lunch was the buffet what a disaster!!!! not enough seats for everyone and lots of confusion we ended up eating in separate tables because I wasn't facing that mob again!! We only had to eat the main dining room 3 times and specialty restaurants the remainder the dinners were uninspiring similar to Applebee's or Bob Evans quality in my opinion. The specialty restaurants were great we tried them all except Teppenyaki service and quality of the food was fine dining too bad it will cost you after tip roughly $100.00 for 2 people not counting drinks. This is where cruising has downgraded the last 20 years the food budget 10 years was cut 50% per passenger and further since there wasn't any specialty restaurants because the food in the main dining room was excellent! The ports were fine and getting back on the ship was painless I just wish that we did not leave at 1.00pm at 2 of the ports 5 hours limits your excursion choices. Norwegian's entertainment was lackluster and so repetitive the same 4 acts 5 times during our cruise really! The comic was good and the legends show were the best. The daily entertainment especially on sea days was a snooze fest activities with prizes takes away all incentive for people to participate. Norwegians upcharge fest was annoying by the end of the cruise I mean there is a fee for everything!! Wine tastings=fee Tequila Tastings=fee Deal or no deal=fee the list goes on and on. We had the ultimate beverage package as a promo which was nice but limited be sure what you order is covered before they pour or it's a upcharge! We had a good time and met some exceptional staff members and I filled our comment cards on all of them this is where Norwegian shines the staff and keeping everything clean and you will never be wanting for a drink!! We haven't cruised for 6 years and visited resorts instead we will cruise again but II think it will a more intimate experience that will be more like the golden age of cruising and all inclusive no surprises or upselling Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Disappointing experience overall. Started with embarkation in Tampa. Was there at time selected, 12pm, stood outside on line in sun and heat for over 2 hours. would not let us in to terminal, no water, no information. One older ... Read More
Disappointing experience overall. Started with embarkation in Tampa. Was there at time selected, 12pm, stood outside on line in sun and heat for over 2 hours. would not let us in to terminal, no water, no information. One older gentleman passed out, request for wheelchair by a woman was denied. Food overall was terrible. Low quality beef that could not be chewed, burnt or overdone pasta dishes, scallops that were so small they must have been embryos, shrimp so small they looked like the canned shrimp used for dips, veal in the specialty restaurant that was chopped veal not sliced scallopine, overcooked dry omelets. Desserts were the only good thing. No organization of tours, gangways crowded with people jumping lines, pushing etc. Long walks from piers to transportation with no help for people with walking problems. Had specialty dining package. was told didn't have to make reservatons before we left by NCL agent. Resulted in our not being able to use one of the discounts because they were booked until 9pm. Disembarking was slightly better than embarking but still disorganized with long lines and no staff to control or organize the process. Will not be taking this cruise line again . Cruising used to be a luxurious way to travel, sadly this freestyle cruising has taken that away. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My friend and I like the Pearl and enjoy the spa. So we always try to pick the Pearl after trying other ships in her size and category. We have not gone out of Tampa before, so we decided to give it a try. The Pearl was updated in 2017 ... Read More
My friend and I like the Pearl and enjoy the spa. So we always try to pick the Pearl after trying other ships in her size and category. We have not gone out of Tampa before, so we decided to give it a try. The Pearl was updated in 2017 and the whole of the ship looked much better and cleaner than the cruise we took on her in 2016. We spend most of our time in the spa, the exercise room, and Java bar. What we found was going out of Tampa was subject to customs slowing down the whole process, governed by too few agents who were trying to control too many people. As a result both embarkation and disembarkation was greatly delayed and made many on the ship angry. We won't go out of that port ever again. The food was excellent and the choices were good. We were in Madaro and Cagnes for two meals, the rest were in the Summer Palace or Garden Cafe. We hung out at the Java bar in the atrium, as the crew there were fast, friendly and helpful. They have hired actual baristas to make the great coffee there. The entertainment was up to Pearls usual good standards in the Atrium and only two of the stage show drew us in. The two excursions we took, the Tequila Tasting and the Mayan Wellness tour were excellent. Great people very informative and helpful in so many ways. We felt well taken care of and the tour was well worth the money. The shops and entertainment in Costa Maya were great too. Our cabin steward was great and responsive the whole cruise. We discovered the clearance sale toward the end of the trip where everything there was $10 and got a few Christmas Gifts there. Their craft crew were not well organized and kept many away as a result. Not the same as we have had before. We didn't hear or see the Captain but once the whole trip. Not the kind of Captain we like. We still love the Pearl and hope to go to other locations soon. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We tried the Haven for the first on the Norwegian Breakaway Baltic Sea Cruise and NO REGRETS! We loved it!!! I had my three kids ages 16 through 21 with me in a 2 bedroom suite. It was well worth the extra money. Patrick, the concierge, ... Read More
We tried the Haven for the first on the Norwegian Breakaway Baltic Sea Cruise and NO REGRETS! We loved it!!! I had my three kids ages 16 through 21 with me in a 2 bedroom suite. It was well worth the extra money. Patrick, the concierge, was awesome. Kumar, the bartender was so much fun!!! Enjoyed all the staff. We couldn't wait to cruise again with Norwegian and in the Haven. This time we chose a cruise in the Western Caribbean. This time we were on the Pearl. It was a great cruise, but not the same Haven experience. I missed the Haven bar and restaurant and the 2 story Haven pool area. The Moderno restaurant, one floor down, was OK, but there was no Haven evening meals there. I also missed the concierge desk in the Haven. Our concierge, Bruno, was sometimes at the desk one floor down outside the Moderno, but we usually had to reach him by phone. He was great though! This was a much warmer cruise and the pool area was a little stuffy, small and only had one hot tub, which was usually occupied by young kids. We ate lunch there on the last day and the service was very, very slow taking an hour from finding a clean table to actually getting our food. It would have been much faster and more comfortable (not as hot) to have gone downstairs to the Moderno. It was not near the added value as on the other ship. We had friends that stayed in the suites. They paid less, and had all the same perks, except access to the Haven pool area. Still a fun cruise and a nice clean ship, clean rooms, good food and best of all great service. Had we not had to eat in the main dining rooms in the evenings we would have not met Red. He was a fun waiter in the evenings and 'Mr. Washy-Washy' by day. You could him singing just inside the buffet as he sprayed guests hands as they entered to eat. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We needed an early escape from the upcoming winter season, and away from the hassle of cooking Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t a bad escuse either ;-) The Pearl had been refurbished since our last sailing and they did a great job on the new ... Read More
We needed an early escape from the upcoming winter season, and away from the hassle of cooking Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t a bad escuse either ;-) The Pearl had been refurbished since our last sailing and they did a great job on the new furnishings, especially the TV in the cabin. The housekeeping staff worked quickly and quietly (we saw our cabin person on the fist and last day, just like we love it). The buffet area, and the rest of the ship were always kept clean. The excursions were easy to order via the TV, and all ground teams were fantastic. We ate at Cagney Steakhouse on the last night, and the steak was very tasty, We especially loved the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the side dishes, and of course the decadent desserts. The shows were great, especially liked the Tina Turner performer! Great route for a low key week of FUN. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We liked ease of leaving from our home port. This was a Thanksgiving Cruise. Aft balcony cabin on deck 11 was very large. There was a bathtub with sliding doors and a commode with a door. The balcony could hold a chaise lounge, two chairs ... Read More
We liked ease of leaving from our home port. This was a Thanksgiving Cruise. Aft balcony cabin on deck 11 was very large. There was a bathtub with sliding doors and a commode with a door. The balcony could hold a chaise lounge, two chairs and a table. The casino allowed smoking and that was a negative for us. The piano bar was lively. The shows were good but no large productions like those on Royal Caribbean. The real disappointment was the quality of the food. The food tasted very generic and lacked the wow of many other cruise lines. There was no escargot, lobster or baked Alaska. The servers in the dining room never brought over fresh black pepper or grated cheese. Only once in 7 days were we asked if we would like coffee after dinner. There was no music in the dining room yet there was a large piano. The ship was very clean and lots of washy-washy before entering the Garden cafe . The adult pool was very small and lots of kids in all the hot tubs. For the same prices, I will go back to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was a family cruise celebrating Thanksgiving and my husband and my 80th birthday. There were 10 of us. We choose Cagney’s Steak House for our Thanksgiving dinner. We had 5:30 reservations. It was 8:30 when the last bill was signed ... Read More
This was a family cruise celebrating Thanksgiving and my husband and my 80th birthday. There were 10 of us. We choose Cagney’s Steak House for our Thanksgiving dinner. We had 5:30 reservations. It was 8:30 when the last bill was signed and we could leave. 3 hours was pure torture to sit for dinner. It was obvious they were cooking for Moderno too. The waiters kept carrying large skewers of meat out of the place. Waiting forever between courses was not what we came for. This was our 4th time on the Pearl because we love that ship and have always enjoyed our cruise and the good service. It seems that ship has made new rules about where you can play cards. The 10 of us were at that fan tail restaurant about 3 pm the first sea day and some were eating and drinking and some of us were playing cards. We were told we could not play cards at those tables. We should go to the card room. We had been there and it was full. Asked where else on the ship we could go and play cards and there wasn't anyplace. We could sit at the table and eat and drink and visit but could not play cards. This was repeated a couple days later on deck 12 out by the swimming pool tables. Card room was full so we went there and were told “no playing cards”. This just does not make any sense to us. It’s our vacation and we aren’t bothering people or making a lot of noise so what is NCL thinking? I believe this was our 15th cruise with NCL and it will probably be our last. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Love the specialty restaurants on NCL Had dinner 5 nights of the 7 night cruise in the specialty restaurants. Dined in the Le Bistro twice and each time it was excellent. We can't say enough for the Moderno, the selection of meats ... Read More
Love the specialty restaurants on NCL Had dinner 5 nights of the 7 night cruise in the specialty restaurants. Dined in the Le Bistro twice and each time it was excellent. We can't say enough for the Moderno, the selection of meats is outstanding. also dined in that restaurant twice. The other restaurant was La Cucina, again great food. NCL is much better than all the other lines we have cruised on when it comes to specialty restaurants. This was a cruise to just relax and as usual NCL was great for just that. Didn't do any excursions just took it easy and enjoyed. Boarding the ship was slow. We arrived at 1;30pm and there was a very long line. Usually when we arrive at this time there is a small line and boarding is fast. It took about an hour to board. Disembarkation was the one of the fastest we have ever seen. Short line and moved quickly through customs. We will cruise on NCL again. Of all the lines we have cruised on, Disney, Carnival and Royal we have found the NCL is a better value and better service and quality. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarkation took us 3 hours standing in the sun. Because of that we all missed lunch. Almost every staff member was rude. The best was the steward. The room was so small but clean. Shower was clogging very bad but had it fixed within a ... Read More
Embarkation took us 3 hours standing in the sun. Because of that we all missed lunch. Almost every staff member was rude. The best was the steward. The room was so small but clean. Shower was clogging very bad but had it fixed within a day. Food in the main dining room was average. Buffet was actually Excellent. Went to medernos, the Brazilian steakhouse..... So horrible. Food was not good at all. All meet was so over cooked and chewy. Staff was so inattentive. Wasted money. Sushi was great! No surf and turf at all. It was like pulling teeth to just have some shrimp. Drinks were good. But drink package is ridiculously expensive. The ports made our trip enjoyable. Although everyone port except harvest key was only shopping unless you take a 30 min cab. This was the most expensive cruise we've gone on and compared to our past ones on carnival and royal, this is definitely our last time on Norwegian Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Weren't sure what to expect on the Pearl, an older ship recently refurbished, after cruising on the newer ship, the Bliss. To our surprise, the completely sold out Pearl felt really comfortable. All common areas were well taken care ... Read More
Weren't sure what to expect on the Pearl, an older ship recently refurbished, after cruising on the newer ship, the Bliss. To our surprise, the completely sold out Pearl felt really comfortable. All common areas were well taken care of and the crews were fantastic. Entertainment much better than expected, kudos to the cast of Legend and the band for putting a great show. Service was fantastic whether at the bars or restaurants. Food was acceptable for the most part, except for the Moderno Churrascaria restaurant which was exceptional. All port of calls were good. Embarkation was a nightmare as it took us three hours to get on the ship. We were told this was no fault of NCL as arrival terminal was changed at the last minute. Overall, this was a quality cruise on a smaller refurbished ship which feels like a new ship. Will sail again on the Pearl. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful and, we love the countries that we were to visit. Besides, it was a Casino at Sea so we planned to have fun in the casino. Our first warning was the embarkation. When we got to the terminal at 11:30, people were still disembarking. We found our Casino at Seas line at 11:50 - zipped right through security because of our scooter. Only one couple was ahead of us. We got on board at 1:50! Crazy. The ship was beautiful, the service (especially our room steward) was wonderful and the shows were great. But, that's where it stops. The menus were great but the food was mediocre at best. The Moderno Brazilian Restaurant's signature meat (Sirloin roast) was dry, tough and inedible. Cagney Steakhouse was good ... a step above Longhorn but not as good as a Ruth Chris (which Carnival's steakhouses are comparable). My biggest disappointment was Le Bistro, the French restaurant. Though the food was good, it was not French. Menu was French but not the food. I ordered their most expensive ($24.95) item (a shrimp dish). I've had more flavor and bigger and more tasty shrimp at Olive Garden, and trust me Olive Garden is not all that great. The main dining rooms also disappointed. Who fries stuffed mushrooms caps? Everything was just blah. The buffet was actually better than the main dining rooms. The Spa ... I prepaid for the Thermal Suite with its "therapy" pools. Well, I am 70 and have mobility issues. The two "therapy" pools are not accessible and there is no lift. You have to be able to climb a ladder. I have only been in three Thermal Suites (all on Carnival). Both the Breeze and the Splendor are wonderful. You can walk in on steps with solid handrails. The Vista was a joke ... easy to get into but smaller than a hot tub. When I discussed my problems with the staff, they were indifferent and said "they are working on that." The Casino - well, it was small, expensive ($10 minimum for tables) and had very limited variety of slots. There were a few tournaments (no discount for Casino at Sea folk) and no promotional games, except for one hour hot seat. Two of the four ports we went to were "fake" ports that have a handful of shops (no real native crafts, clothing or jewelry). But getting on and off was very easy. Disembarkation was weird. If you carry your own luggage you can get off willy-nilly. Causes quite a bit of congestion. We started to get off the ship at 9:45 (our group was suppose to be called at 9:15) and we got on the road about noon. Valet parking was very inefficient. NCL has beautiful ships, a caring staff and great shows. But that is the wrapping paper and Tiffany box. The food, ports of call, embarkation and disembarkation, is from the Dollar Store. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
My family of 4 (two kids 12 and 10) really enjoyed our Western Caribbean cruise on the Dawn. It was our first cruise. Pros: 1. The ship is in excellent condition, and service was excellent. Our mini-suite with balcony was perfect ... Read More
My family of 4 (two kids 12 and 10) really enjoyed our Western Caribbean cruise on the Dawn. It was our first cruise. Pros: 1. The ship is in excellent condition, and service was excellent. Our mini-suite with balcony was perfect for us. I particularly appreciated the design of the bathroom. Even though it's just one room, the toilet and shower can both be closed off from the sink area. 2. Food and drink. Speciality dining (Moderno, La Cucina and Cagney's) was excellent -- well above expectations. The buffet, especially once you learn what to avoid, was also excellent. We had the ultimate beverage package, and I was impressed with the quality of beer, wine and cocktails -- especially once I learned which bartenders really knew how to make a drink. 3. Entertainment. While the various lounge singers were pretty bad, the comedian (Tim Kaminski), the singing and dancing shows, the magician and the aerialists were all great. We really felt like we were getting something for our cruise dollars. 4. Roatan. While almost entirely propped up by tourism, Roatan is an authentic destination unlike Costa Maya and Harvest Caye. 5. Laid back, "freestyle" atmosphere. I simply would not take a cruise with assigned dining times and dress requirements beyond a collared shirt. Not my style. NCL fit our vibe perfectly. Cons: 1. Internet. We got the 250 minutes/1 gb package as a freebie, and it was mostly an exercise in frustration. Page loads take FOREVER. It's good only for quick email checks and texts. Forget anything with a photo or video. This wasn't such a big deal because I actually wanted to unplug; but when I did the handful of obligatory email and text checks, I wish it had been smooth. Even dial up model smooth would have been good enough. 2. The pool. It's small. And it was crowded and loud, but in fairness our cruise was an Easter/Spring Break cruise with almost 3000 guests, including more than 780 children. With crew, we were only 23 people short of the ship's max capacity of 4000. 3. NCL's own shore excursions are expensive. Like really expensive. We booked Chachchobben Mayan Ruins at Costa Maya through NCL and probably shouldn't have. In Roatan we went out on our own and saved a ton of money. 4. Onboard "active" activities are somewhat limited. The basketball court was almost always very busy. Other than than that, there are a couple ping pong tables, giant outdoor chess and some shuffle puck. Considering how crowded the pool is, all together there aren't enough active options for days at sea. I would choose NCL again, and I would probably choose the Dawn again too even though the onboard activities -- except for the entertainment -- were somewhat limited. Read Less

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