September 2013 - Norwegian Pearl to U.S. - Pacific, Northwest
We looked forward to our first cruise on a Norwegian ship, after many others on Holland America, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately, this was not up to the standard of those 3. The complimentary restaurants (only 2) were very noisy due to low ceilings, and the specialty restaurants (Norwegian brags that there are more than 10!) were disappointing as well. Food quality was good, but not outstanding. Service WAS pleasant, however, and staff never failed to try hard to do their best! The layout of the ship was disjointed, and it was difficult to walk the length of the ship without walking through the Argentinian restaurant, for example!
Entertainment was good, but not outstanding. We enjoy taking a few classes on cruises, such as computer or photography classes, but nothing like that was offered. The atrium, or the central plaza, was where the chefs of the specialty restaurants demonstrated a few of their dishes....and a huge screen there was showing a movie a few times. Singers were good....
The BEST part of the cruise was the Thermal Suite, a part of the spa which was open to the few who bought a pass!! The whole 5 days was $89, about 1/2 the cost of a massage! We loved relaxing on the heated lounges, the whirlpool and jacuzzi, the herbal steam room and sauna. It is located at the very front of the ship, so we enjoyed a beautiful view of the water as we relaxed...a great place just to get away from the crowds and read.
The weather was very rough for the first two days, and many people got seasick, which fortunately we don't experience! But the filthy hallways and stairways we had to walk through should have been cleaned MUCH more quickly!
The cabin we were assigned was not bad, but carpet was so dirty it smelled dusty, and was visually desperately in need in cleaning. The bath had no amenities...only a wall dispenser of shampoo and bath gel. A small bottle of lotion would have been most welcome!