Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
3

2 out of 5

A la carte cruising vis-a-vis free style

Sail Date: December 01, 2007

Reviewed: 8 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

The Pearl is an extremely clean ship. The balcony staterooms are worth paying extra. The food is subpar. There is nothing additional included in the price of passage and the entire operation seems bent on separating you from your money. Our requirements were not extensive: a room with a view, a jacuzzi, good food and liquor. My fiancee needed to get away to overcome a family tragedy the week before. This could have been a wonderful R&R opportunity but it was not. My recommendation is that NCL provide "bundled" amenities, e.g., price of cruise plus a variety of options such as all the Speciality restaurants, or cruise plus drinks etc. Provide customers with color-coded bracelets and do away with the need for constant carding or the shock of an extra $700 upon completion of the trip.

Pros: Pearl's cleanliness; jacuzzis, balcony staterooms

Cons: Food quality, coffee, cover charges

Recommends Norwegian Pearl? No.

Food and Dining
This is the Pearl's biggest weakness. The quality of the food is subpar. While the food at Cagney's is quite good, the cover charge ($20/pp) is just that...an entrance fee. I received a bill of $45 on top of the $40 spent to gain admittance. Dinner at La Cucinna was sans cover and adequate. They have wonderful selections of liquor at the various bars. However, the drink prices, built-in gratuity, and the fact that they don't even allow you to pay a corking fee for liquor you try to bring on board, makes you feel that NCL's hands are constantly in your pocket. I discovered nothing "free" in free style. Coffee drinkers should switch to hot water; the coffee is insipid!
Service and Staff
Our room stewards were very pleasant and attentive, as were most of the restaurant personnel. However, room service never arrived on time--usually 45 minutes late--and once, 40 minutes early. Our steward, on his own initiative, called to get our order delivered after hearing our dissatisfaction the first day, it didn't help. We were disturbed that after traveling 1050 miles, NCL told us minutes before boarding, that because of a medical mishap on the previous cruise, we could rebook our cruise to a later date. It would have been a bit more customer friendly to have emailed that information to us prior to our traveling that distance!
Ship Quality
Excellent in all areas with the exception of decor (garish) and accessibility. In fairness, if you learn quickly about the outside path on Decks 7 and 12 you will have little problem finding your way around the ship.
Cabin / Stateroom
The bathrooms were functional and we were happy with the showers. The balcony was awesome and well worth the extra money. My fiancee and I were able to walk without stepping on each other's toes. There is no iron or board in the stateroom. My guess is that it would reduce the amount of money they make in laundry service.
Entertainment
Our requirements were not extensive: we needed a room with a view, a pool, jacuzzis, good food and liquor. We had that so we were content. We did however, enjoy the poolside band and the Spinnaker Lounge for the 70's and Motown nights. The martinis were also very good. They do have a well-equipped gym. Blackjack players beware: if you like a manual shuffle you are out of luck as all but one table (the $25) has automatic shufflers. The ATM costs $5.50 for withdrawals.


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