July 2014 - Norwegian Pearl to Alaska - Inside Passage
Absolutely beautiful cruise. We had great weather and lovely scenes. The cruise line could have given us a heads up on a few items.
We we went for the scenery, and outside of not seeing a lot of wildlife, it was beautiful. The ocean and the mountains and sunsets where definitively extraordinary. The boat was very nice and always very clean. There was some very good entertainment, and watching people bowl on a moving ship was worth the small surcharge. The people, to include the roaming officers, where always friendly, helpful, and seemed to enjoy their jobs. They treated us fantastically, especially our Stewart Pablo. You are very lucky to have him on your hall.
While there were definite ways to make our trip much better, and if not for the Victoria tour issue, I would have given our trip five stars. For future sailors, please know these few things and have a smooth trip like ours, and you will happy-happy-happy!
The things to make our cruise better:
We got into Ketchikan very early. We did one of the wildlife land tours as soon as we got off the boat. Some of the exhibits were not even open and you had to peer through the windows. The cost was the same but the experience was vastly different than later tours. The lumberjack show was awesome.
We got into Victoria around 6 pm. There was only one whale watching tour offered at that time and it was the one offered through the boat. While in all previous ports you could get off the boat and look around and decide what to do and still buy tickets from the cruise line or from a local, here that was not the case. We were deeply disappointed that Norwegian didn't say that due to our late arrival, there is only one tour that is not the gardens available upon our arrival, and you MUST sign up on the boat. There was nothing to do here except the gardens and the very beautiful museum if you didn't get a tour ticket on the ship. Had we known we would have gotten the ticket on the ship before departure. We had only seen a few whales in the distance, and this was the last shot. It almost ruined our entire trip.
The food was ok. The buffets actually turned out to be better than most of the specialty options as long as you didn't mind eating the same selections several days. The Lotus was good. The Brazilian steak house was ok but not worth an extra charge. Make sure you make reservations in open restaurants or you will wait.
We traveled with a group of 14 in celebration of parents anniversary, don't expect any discounts based on this large number. For many, to include my family of four, it was our first cruise. It was an expensive trip, with extra opportunities to spend money everywhere. However, it was worth going for us. These items are to hopefully make it perfect for someone else like us, hope it helps!
ENJOY YOUR CRUISE!