August 2014 - Norwegian Pearl to Alaska - Inside Passage
While the NCL cruise line may not be considered a luxury experience bay those rating cruise ships, I can say without hesitation that this cruise exceeded our expectations in so may ways. First of all was the very warm, friendly and very accommodating crew. Even though there were 1900 people on the ship, we felt like we were important and that the crew wanted to know us and insure we had a good time. This was a highly personal experience, even down to the entertainers who were involved in many ship activities and enjoyed talking with the guests.
About the entertainment as a whole, it was varied and excellent - A top-notch comedian who we went to see three times; a clever and personable ventriloquist who used audience members as his "dummies;" a look-alike and sound-alike Frankie Valle group who sang all the classic old songs; and dancers who were highly professional. The activities were amazingly fun as well, from a ""Dancing with the Pearl Stars" competition to circus workshops to many trivia games. Also, the bowling alley and soccer games on the Sports Deck kept kids entertained for hours.
Finally, the food. As a former New Yorker, we have very high standards, and most of the 17 restaurants on the ship were exceptional. The buffets in the Garden Cafe were unbelievable with the choices available. And the quality was superb.
Only ONE downside to the ship - the specialty restaurants were horrible! We paid an extra stipend for three of them, and not one compared to the restaurants included with the cruise fare. Save your money and skip these!
Overall, this was a great week! I can't say enough good things about The Pearl!