Norwegian Pearl Reviews

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Pearl Reviews

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Cruise Review Summary
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Cruise Ship: Norwegian Pearl
Reviewer's Name: Mary B.
Location: Farmington Hills, MI
Does the reviewer recommend this ship? Yes
Sailing Date: January 2008
Cruise Length: N/A
Destination: Western Caribbean
Room Type: Mini-Suite
Norwegian Pearl Cruise Ratings:
Dining/Food: Cruise Ship Rating
Children's Facilities: Cruise Ship Rating
Entertainment & Activities: Cruise Ship Rating
Specialty Restaurants: Cruise Ship Rating
General Staff Service: Cruise Ship Rating
Spa & Fitness Services: Cruise Ship Rating
Stateroom Quality & Decor: Cruise Ship Rating
Ship Quality & Decor: Cruise Ship Rating
Overall Rating: Cruise Ship Rating
Reviewer's Comments
This was our 9th cruise but first time on NCL. We have sailed Europe and the Caribbean on Celebrity, RCCL, and Princess and we loved our NCL experience.

We arrived in Miami on Saturday, January 19 and spent the night at the Hyatt. We almost always book our own air independent of the cruise package so that we can fly on specific airlines or use FF miles. The Hyatt was a lovely hotel "pricey" but the other recommended hotels (Holiday Inn etc were booked). It was an easy walk or people mover (which is free) ride to Bayside where there is lots of shopping and an ample number of restaurants including a Hard Rock Cafe.

While we were in the airport, I stopped at the NCL desk which was next to our baggage claim to inquire how many NCL ships were leaving the next day. I mentioned I had read on XXXXXXXXXX (editor's note: text removed) that sometimes bags got on the wrong ship when two were going out at the same time. They assured me this was rare and also gave me the old time colored, self-adhesive luggage tags that we used to get before E-docs. I was pleased to not have to scotch tape and fold the paper tags we had printed from home. Plus they were color-coded for the Pearl which was very nice. I suggest you stop at the NCL desk and get those tags for your luggage. Next morning (Sunday) we headed for the port - short cab ride less than $20 from Hyatt to the Port.

We arrived around 10:30 and passed our bags off to the waiting porter and into the terminal. It was a very quick process to register our credit card but I don't quite understand why NCL does not pre-register credit cards like other cruise lines but it went very quickly. Since we were a bit early and the last cruisers were still leaving the ship, we took a seat and around noon we began to board. Our first impression of the Pearl was a WOW! Beautiful ship, spotlessly clean, and still looks like a new ship, which is an amazing feat with the all the wear and tear these ships get in a short time. We had read numerous horror stories of problems with reservations for the restaurants so we went up to Mambo's where there was no one in line and quickly and easily made reservations for that night and the next night. You can only make reservations for the current evening and the next evening. I did buy the Soda Package for $7.50 per day plus tip for a total of $43.13. Nice thing about NCL or at least on the Pearl is that the glasses of soda that they give you are much larger than I have had on any other ship (RCCL, Celebrity, or Princess). Note: other cruise lines give you the "Coke" thermal beverage container with your package but on NCL it is an extra $2. I never used the containers on other ships but I am sure some people may have wanted the containers and resented the extra $2.

Around 2 pm there was an announcement that the cabins were ready; we got to our cabin (Deck 11, a bit forward of mid-ship) and were very pleased. We had a mini-suite and again, I had some reservations because of what I had read in the reviews, but it was a wonderful cabin - roomy, more than enough storage space, deep drawers, a light in the closet. Large bathroom with a tub - it was great. My only complaint was that the lighting was a bit dim and I like a lot of light but the bedside lamps were ample for reading in bed. Bed linens and pillows were very comfortable and high quality thread count as were the towels. We quickly went to the Spa to sign up for the thermal suite for the week - you could purchase a day pass or for the entire week use the Thalassotherapy pool, heated tile beds, saunas, etc - it was $75 pp for the week and worth every penny to us. We spent a great deal of time there relaxing in the quiet. There were a lot of kids on this cruise and-- no reflection on NCL at all but rather their parents -- who let them run wild through the ship - no children in the thermal suite wasa blessing. Spa services were some of the best of any ship we have ever been on - wonderful massages and there was not the high pressure sales pitch for Elemis products that you get on most other ships - they told you about the products but the intense pressure to buy was absent and much appreciated. Tips are included in the spa services prices at 18% and you can tip extra if you like.

Every meal we had was outstanding - I had read reviews that complained about Freestyle and the food - we never had a problem getting into any restaurant and in each one the food was excellent - even the buffet food was excellent- -how can you go wrong with a crepe maker, both savory and sweet, a real treat at a buffet!! Although it is really more food stations than a buffet, and again very clean.

We did not see many shows but did see Second City show and it was very good. The other show we saw was the South Beach revue which was not great but then the last few ships we have been on the entertainment has been mediocre so we were not expecting a Broadway quality production. I was surprised that so many parents brought their young kids to the Second City show which I thought was way over the heads of anyone under 16 or so.

The cruise was way too short and we were very sorry to leave! Disembarkation was easy, we opted to keep our bags and walk off the ship at our leisure, if you wait too does back up a bit to get out but it was not a big deal. Customs was quick and we walked right out to the terminal to a row of cabs and were at the airport in a flash (flat rate Airport to Pier or Pier to Airport is $24 plus tip). We will definitely take another NCL cruise. It was a wonderful trip.
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