Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Deck Hand

2-3 cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

The Pearl...A Truly Majestic Vessel

Sail Date: February 01, 2007

Reviewed: 9 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

We cruised to the Western Caribbean on the Pearl from February 25 to March 2, 2007.Norwegian could not have given its newest ship a better name because she shines with magnificent luster from bow to stern! She drew me in like a siren with her sleek design and colorful playful exterior when I first saw her picture online. I was hooked. I had to book our cruise on this ship!The ship is new so I knew it would be nice but the gorgeous trendy decor and impeccable cleanliness we found once we embarked far exceeded our expectations!We were also impressed by the quality of the food and the variety of dining choices.I had read a considerable amount of negative feedback online about Norwegian's freestyle dining plan(long wait times, the inconvenience of having to make reservations, difficulty getting reservations, etc.)Fortunately, we didn't encounter any such problems.On our first night we ate at the Garden Cafe, the ship's cafeteria-style restaurant. It is a buffet, but with its industrious cooks constantly churning out food at the different "action stations", the food was fresher and better than typical buffet fare.We tried Mambos, the Spanish restaurant.We called from our room in the morning and had no problem securing a reservation for 8 pm. The place was gorgeous.Had it not been for the view of the Caribbean Ocean from our window, I would have thought we were in a trendy Manhattan restaurant. What really gave this place its sophisticated charm was the mural of the sultry Spanish dancers(doing the Mambo?) painted in bold colors. The menu was limited and the service not stellar but the food was fresh and flavorful.We also ate at Summer Palace, the ship's huge main dining hall. We strolled in without a reservation and we were seated immediately. I learned post trip on Norwegian's Web site that the decor was inspired by the ornate palaces of the era of the great Russian tsars, which explains an ambience dramatically different from that of the rest of the ship.Personally I found it gaudy and overdone.The food was good, but not much better than that of the Garden Cafe; it was just less readily available and served in small portions. We liked freestyle cruising, Norwegian's trademark concept. My impression is that its not the best option for people looking to socialize because I dont think its conducive to meeting new people. Without set dining times and assigned tables, par for the course on more traditional cruises, you don't see the same faces each night at dinner.There are plenty of bars and lounges,though, so I suppose they provide venues for mingling. For us, we were too busy scaling the rock climbing wall or playing ping pong to socialize! There were so many activities available we were certainly never bored! I have boundless energy while my boyfriend is a little less active and we found plenty to enjoy together, like tennis, basketball, etc. While my boyfriend sometimes stayed behind in the room to catch a movie or went to the casino,I took advantage of all of the ships wonderful amenities, like the jogging track and beautiful state-of-the-art gym. I used the treadmill every day.(They have the ones with the televisions built into each one.) We loved the multi-functional court that can be used for tennis, basketball or soccer. A nice touch is the huge fan built into the adjacent wall to cool you off as you sweat! There are also ping pong tables,giant chess boards,a golf simulator and rock climbing wall, to name a few more amenities. The Tahitian pool was a nice size. I took a swim soon after we embarked and the pool was clean and even better, empty! That wasnt the case during the days at sea but that is to be expected. Even so, we had no problem securing lounge chairs and the staff at the pool was very attentive, asking us if we needed drinks or even spritzing us with cool water! Overall the cruise was fabulous.I would think a ship like the Pearl has something to offer cruisers of all ages

Pros: The decor of the ship

Cons: The ports of call

Recommends Norwegian Pearl? Yes!

Ship Quality
The layout of the ship was a tad confusing. A few times we were "sure" we could to a certain place a particular way only to discover we were wrong! The brightly colored tropical fish that adorned the hallway carpeting helped us orient ourselves(when we finally learned the fish swam in the direction of the front of the ship!) It was a clever idea indeed, but unfortunately we didn't learn this until the third day of our five day cruise! At times it was fun to wander around not knowing where we were going just to discover the beauty of this wonderful ship!
Food and Dining
Among the eateries were Italian and Spanish restaurants, a French bistro, and a sushi restaurant, which gave the dining plan an international flair. Because we found the overall quality of the food to be quite good, we opted not to try the restaurants, like Cagney's Steakhouse and Teppanyaki, that charged an additional cover. I am not sure if this is why we had no problems when it came to dining. Perhaps the restaurants we chose were less popular?
Cabin / Stateroom
We had a category HH oceanview stateroom with a sizeable picture window. I believe my initial reaction upon seeing the room was "It's adorable!". The room was meticulously clean and beautiful and though it was small, we never felt cramped or in each other's way. The bathroom, whose ample shower had excellent pressure and consistently hot water, left nothing to be desired. The bed was comfortable, which says a lot because I have a bad back and I'm like the princess of the Princess and the Pea!
Service and Staff
Our room stewardess was sweet and accommodating and did an excellent job cleaning our room. Kudos to her creative skill making adorable towel animals! One night we came back to the room to find a little mouse sticking its nose out from under the covers!
There were so many ways to have fun on this ship! With bars and lounges aplenty, cruisers could never go thirsty! We went to Bliss lounge to check out the ship's bowling alley and we were able to get a lane immediately. I bowled two horribly pathetic games but happy to say I have bowled at sea! Bliss is gorgeously hip and funky and takes the concept of the lounge very seriously, with queen size velvet beds and an exquisite bar we thought was the nicest on the ship. We visited the Stardust Theater,the ship's main entertainment venue. The comedian we saw on one of the first nights was mediocre. The Garden of the Geisha show was spectacular, however, with its talented male-female duo of acrobats who put on an extraordinary Cirque du Soleil-style performance. We were awestruck by their incredible feats that seemed humanly impossible!

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