Sail Date: November 01, 2009 Ship: Norwegian Pearl Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 8 years ago
Our cruise was blessed with excellent weather, which seems to be unusual for mid-November. We were able to make all the shore excursions, including parasailing on the last stop. We were also able to walk a lot on deck, which was lovely. Had to stay active to make up for all the eating opportunities!
This cruise had a lot of specialty restaurants with cover charges that were extra, along with almost all the alcohol and soda costing extra as well. There was a lot of shilling going on, for the duty free store, the casino and a lot of other things, all of which were extra charges. It got somewhat annoying after a while, especially when you had to stay sharp to determine if something was free or an extra charge.
Despite this, we were on the whole pleased with our experience.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Food was very convenient and there wasn't a moment when you couldn't get something to eat. There were a number of dining options without cover charge, but the selection was somewhat limited--they all pretty much had the same menu for the day. The specialty restaurants we went to were good, but cost more money. My disappointments: Indian food options didn't taste very good, spicy food not very spicy, food a bit too salty, chocolate buffet lacked intense chocolate flavor and seemed to be created by someone who didn't have a feel for dark chocolate. In general seemed to flavor sweet or salty over intense flavor. My favorites: chilled fruit soups were outstanding, plenty of fresh pineapple and melons available, great chewy cookies (oatmeal raisin were outstanding), lovely omelets for breakfast, crispy bacon, ceasar salad available for lunch and supper in buffet, excellent roasted chicken, fish done properly, shabu shabu restaurant.
3 out of 5
The comedian was hilarious, and the juggling act was good. Didn't bother with the dance routines and the one person we saw from Second City's jokes fell flat. I really, really wish they'd had at least a modest option of presentations that discussed things like the geology and history of the regions, which I would have LOVED to attend.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Helpful staff, friendly. I was a little tired of the shilling products, but that seemed to be more company policy than staff policy.
5 out of 5
The ship was lovely, the layout was good, and the ship was very clean. The public areas were lovely and I really liked the Chihuly tower in main reception. You had to access the main restaurant on the 6th floor through the 7th floor, which was a little weird. The ship was about as large as we would like to cruise on, but didn't feel crowded, except on the last day when we had to wait a long time for a tender.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Stateroom was clean and in excellent shape. Nice balcony, set in to offer some privacy visually. Bed was comfortable and set up the way we asked (king size instead of twins). Bathroom was cramped in the toilet area, but otherwise worked well.
Pros: Relaxing, excellently maintained ship, plenty of opportunities to be active
Cons: Sodas and alcohol all extra cost, chocolate buffet lacked imagination
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