Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Deck Hand

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
6

5 out of 5

VIP Norwegian Pearl - Best Way To Go

Sail Date: November 30, 2007

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

Norwegian Pearl 11/30 - 12/9/2007

My wife and I have been on 6 cruises with 3 different cruise lines staying in various types of cabins. This was a
25th anniversary cruise, so we splurged to try NCL's Pearl freestyle cruising. Our room was an aft Suite on the
9th floor that came with butler and concierge service. We are also Latitude members. My review will highlight
the aspects of our trip on which we found information hard to come by prior to our trip.

This trip comprised my wife and me along with 2 friends who were also celebrating 25 years of marriage. We flew into
Palm Beach International to take advantage of great rates available. We rented a minivan from Alamo at Palm Beach International which gave us the best price and excellent service. They provided a free shuttle to the port the next morning after drop-off at the Miami airport and also free shuttle after the cruise.

NCL's excellent service for those staying in VIP suites started at the port. My wife and friends were dropped off at
the port while I took the rental car back. They were ushered quickly onto the ship and were told they would take
care of me when I got back. Upon arrival at the door, I was refused entry by security since my wife had all the
travel documents. Al, the concierge, came to my rescue and I was quickly processed and had boarded within 10 min.
The ports of call were great. We make it a practice to book privately, looking for locals who can interpret and provide
guide services on the island. Even Samana turned out to be a great excursion for us, though some were disappointed.
It amazed me that even the staff of NCL made jokes about Samana. I guess you have to avoid the cattle call to
find the fun

Pros: Itinerary

Cons: Bliss Lounge Ultra Rooms

Recommends Norwegian Pearl? Yes!

Bridgetown, Barbados
Barbados: We booked a Scuba dive and it was by far the highlight of our excursions. For $80/person, The Dive Shop Barbados provided transportation to and from the ship and 2 dives of 45 min. each. We dove over a reef that provides a habitat for sea turtles. The reef had great coral and a variety of fish species. The second dive to a sunken ship near another reef was also great. Gabby was a great guide and made us very comfortable even though it had been 15 years since our last dive.
Don't Miss: Scuba Diving with the turtles
St. John's, Antigua
Antigua: We booked the EcoTour with Eli. It was not as good as everyone online had led us to believe. I guess we were spoiled from previous excursions and I am not into large groups. There were 25 people on the boat with 3 crew. At times we were told lengthy stories that were no doubt embellished by Tony that made me disengage. The highlights were going to Hell's Gate and Pigeon Island. What fun places to explore with spectacular views. Overall it wasn't bad and was definitely better than the packed boat we saw the ship excursion take off on. It is relatively good. Good if you are used to cattle call excursions, but only so-so if you are used to booking private guides and services on your own.
Road Town, Tortola, B.V.I.
Tortola: What a day! We started by renting scooters close to the dock for $20/hour or $60/day although he quickly changed his price to $45/day after we chose the $20/hr route. We rode through the city and into the hills to take pictures of the ship in port. Later that afternoon, we had booked a half-day catamaran sail with Patouche that ended up being only 6 passengers and 4 crew. It was so nice having all that space to spread out and relax, we love booking privately and avoiding some of the cattle call excursions. What a great time having Jess (a Marine Biologist) showing us things while snorkeling. Everyone was very friendly and we had a great time.
Cayo Levantado (Samana), Dominican Republic
Samana: Booked Enrico Rosa to serve as tour guide. Excellent choice as he spoke 4 languages and was very congenial. He ended up taking us to the parada that we had researched in the first place, La Manzana, the parade of Antonia Martin. The men walked to the El Limon waterfall and the girls rode horses. TAKE A HORSE!! If they had not given me rubber boots, my shoes would have been ruined by the mud and manure on the trail. The hike is up and down hills and valleys over rocky, muddy terrain. Everyone has to descend a steep rock staircase to get to the bottom of the falls. The meal that Maria prepared for us upon our return was local food and was DELICIOUS. What a pleasure getting to experience their culture. (This parada had excellent modern bathroom facilities) We continued up to Las Terranes Beach and had it pretty much to ourselves.
Don't Miss: El Limon and La Mananza
Cayo Levantado (Samana), Dominican Republic
Samana: Booked Enrico Rosa to serve as tour guide. Excellent choice as he spoke 4 languages and was very congenial. He ended up taking us to the parada that we had researched in the first place, La Manzana, the parade of Antonia Martin. The men walked to the El Limon waterfall and the girls rode horses. TAKE A HORSE!! If they had not given me rubber boots, my shoes would have been ruined by the mud and manure on the trail. The hike is up and down hills and valleys over rocky, muddy terrain. Everyone has to descend a steep rock staircase to get to the bottom of the falls. The meal that Maria prepared for us upon our return was local food and was DELICIOUS. What a pleasure getting to experience their culture. (This parada had excellent modern bathroom facilities) We continued up to Las Terranes Beach and had it pretty much to ourselves.
Don't Miss: El Limon and La Mananza
St. John's, Antigua
Antigua: We booked the EcoTour with Eli. It was not as good as everyone online had led us to believe. I guess we were spoiled from previous excursions and I am not into large groups. There were 25 people on the boat with 3 crew. At times we were told lengthy stories that were no doubt embellished by Tony that made me disengage. The highlights were going to Hell's Gate and Pigeon Island. What fun places to explore with spectacular views. Overall it wasn't bad and was definitely better than the packed boat we saw the ship excursion take off on. It is relatively good. Good if you are used to cattle call excursions, but only so-so if you are used to booking private guides and services on your own.
Castries, St. Lucia
St. Lucia: We booked Herod Tours and were given a tour by our driver Dickson. Herod worked with us on a price over the internet that was VERY reasonable and guaranteed we would get a private, personal tour. Another example of finding a better deal if you just do the research. Everyone talks about Cosol, but we were concerned about being a large group packed into a van, which seemed to be the case. We saw the Cosol group several time wearing their colored dots to indicate which van they belonged on. Our driver Dickson took the 4 of us in a 10 passenger van along a similar route, but we decided where we wanted to go and how long we wanted to stay. We stopped a couple of times just because we saw something that interested us and we wanted to explore a little more. Dickson did a fantastic job of showing off this beautiful island. Herod met up with us a couple of times to make sure we were being taken care of and were seeing everything we wanted to see. Book with Herod not Cosol.
Don't Miss: Personalized Tour of the island
Castries, St. Lucia
St. Lucia: We booked Herod Tours and were given a tour by our driver Dickson. Herod worked with us on a price over the internet that was VERY reasonable and guaranteed we would get a private, personal tour. Another example of finding a better deal if you just do the research. Everyone talks about Cosol, but we were concerned about being a large group packed into a van, which seemed to be the case. We saw the Cosol group several time wearing their colored dots to indicate which van they belonged on. Our driver Dickson took the 4 of us in a 10 passenger van along a similar route, but we decided where we wanted to go and how long we wanted to stay. We stopped a couple of times just because we saw something that interested us and we wanted to explore a little more. Dickson did a fantastic job of showing off this beautiful island. Herod met up with us a couple of times to make sure we were being taken care of and were seeing everything we wanted to see. Book with Herod not Cosol.
Don't Miss: Personalized Tour of the island
Bridgetown, Barbados
Barbados: We booked a Scuba dive and it was by far the highlight of our excursions. For $80/person, The Dive Shop Barbados provided transportation to and from the ship and 2 dives of 45 min. each. We dove over a reef that provides a habitat for sea turtles. The reef had great coral and a variety of fish species. The second dive to a sunken ship near another reef was also great. Gabby was a great guide and made us very comfortable even though it had been 15 years since our last dive.
Don't Miss: Scuba Diving with the turtles
Road Town, Tortola, B.V.I.
Tortola: What a day! We started by renting scooters close to the dock for $20/hour or $60/day although he quickly changed his price to $45/day after we chose the $20/hr route. We rode through the city and into the hills to take pictures of the ship in port. Later that afternoon, we had booked a half-day catamaran sail with Patouche that ended up being only 6 passengers and 4 crew. It was so nice having all that space to spread out and relax, we love booking privately and avoiding some of the cattle call excursions. What a great time having Jess (a Marine Biologist) showing us things while snorkeling. Everyone was very friendly and we had a great time.


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