Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Deck Hand

2-3 cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5


Sail Date: August 31, 2008

Reviewed: 8 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

The cruise through Glacier Bay is not to be missed. We got within what seemed like a couple of hundred feed of the face of the glacier.
That said, cruises, of course, are all about separating you from your money. This one was pretty good at that. The best food was at "specialty" restaurants that had a $10-$25 a head cover charge. Bowling cost $5. A visit to the thermal spa (sauna, steam, whirlpool), $20. At one point, the guy in the duty-free shop was out in the passageway, like a hawker on a New York City sidewalk, shouting, "$10 day! Everything on this table,$10!"
Most irritating, though, was the waitstaff constantly asking not, "May I get you anything?" Instead, it was "Can I get you a DRINK? Do you want a DOUBLE?"

Pros: Being in Alaska

Cons: Being on the ship

Recommends Norwegian Pearl? No.

Ship Quality
I gotta say, they know about clean. After meals, every surface in the dining rooms was sanitized--even the bottoms of the tabletops.
It's a new ship--what could go wrong? I'll tell you: They said one of the propeller bearings was wearing excessively, so they could only make 21 knots. That meant cutting back on time in port. (We chose this cruise based on time in port versus time at sea!) They wouldn't even let us off the ship in Victoria, British Columbia, where they'd stopped only because they were obligated to under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Hey, Treasury Dept.! Is it still a port of call if nobody gets off?
Cabin / Stateroom
I suppose it's too much to ask for a place to put your knee when you're on the toilet. But the liquid soap dispenser leaked until I complained, then it took them two tries to fix it. The next-to-last day, they forgot to make up the stateroom until it was time to turn down the bed.
Service and Staff
Most everyone was friendly and eager to make our stay pleasant. But the man at the front desk didn't have a great command of English, and we had to return to speak with someone else later.
If all you want to do is eat, drink, gamble and loll about in the pool while at sea, this is the place for you. But if you want more than that, it's slim pickin's. There were a couple of nice lectures and a small game room (cards, board games, etc.) and library. Or you can learn almost all you'd need to know about the Tanzanite they have for sale in the duty-free shop and at every port of call. For the full story, though, Google it in the Internet lounge for $5/hour. Better yet, Google it before you go.
Food and Dining
The first day, I had a hamburger that'd been under a heat lamp long enough to dry out almost as much as the stale bun. Breakfast was pretty good, but other meals average. The best food was in the "specialty" restaurants--steak, Italian, Oriental, Tex-Mex--for a price.
Skagway, Alaska
57 Jewelry stores in one little town
Don't Miss: Take the White Pass train/bus
Ketchikan, Alaska
Go into the old section of town and look into the stream. It was fin-to-fin fish. Amazing. The Misty Fiords seaplane trip was cool
Juneau, Alaska
Stop at the Red Dog Saloon. The piano player was a hoot! A bit risque for some, though.
Don't Miss: Take the tram up the mountain, then hike the short trail. Great photo ops in clear weather.

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