Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Deck Hand

Experience
7+ cruises

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0

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3 out of 5

North To Alaska

Sail Date: May 29, 2011

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Inside

After more than 12 cruises, I found NCL to be a complete letdown. My group was open to Freestyle dining but found out after boarding that it was impossible to book a table without first standing in line and then getting a buzzer to alert you when the table was ready. This was very difficult for a larger group; and didn't help that the crew staff constantly pushed you to go to the more reservation-friendly Specialty Dining restaurants - which cost additional. These are nice as a special event on other lines; not an everyday occurance as NCL hopes.

The prices on NCL seemed higher, too. From drinks to seminars to charging for a pass to the Spa where most lines would allow free access to sauna or steam rooms, NCL seems to "nickel and dime" passengers at every turn.

The Pearl itself was nice, although surprised at the limited amount of adult only space. For example, there are no adult-only pools or lounges; and although I enjoy being around children, this seemed to be especially evident on this ship.

Pros: The itinerary

Cons: Freestyle dining, ship's crew

Recommends Norwegian Pearl? No.

Food and Dining
The food was okay but not spectacular. The wait staff was horrible. On one occasion, our waiter in the Summer Palace dining room had to refer to a hand-written note to remember what the nightly special was.
Cabin / Stateroom
I had an inside cabin but it was exceptionally small. However, the bathrooms were bigger than previous ships I had been on and I enjoyed that. Did I enjoy it enough to have given up that space in the room...? Not sure.
Service and Staff
The wait staff was spotty. Room stewards were great. Wine steward was either not available or did not exist, our waiter didn't seem to understand the question when we asked for one. The cruise staff was invisible - rarely saw Julie the cruise director and when we did, she appeared to have no personality. The rest of the cruise staff were neither visible or very helpful when they were. One one occasion, one of the staff giving a port shopping lecture was downright mean to the audience. I think he intended to be sarcastically funny but it came off as rude and uncaring.
Ship Quality
It took at least two days to get used to the ship. It was actually difficult to find the two main dining rooms.
Entertainment
Typical cruise ship production shows - which I enjoy. Other enetertainment was okay.
Ketchikan, Alaska
What a fun little town with lots of personality and easy walking distance from the ship.
Victoria, British Columbia
My only concern is that I wish we had a longer stay in the port.
Juneau, Alaska
Bright, beautiful, memorable.
Don't Miss: Whale watching - we saw three!
Skagway, Alaska
Quaint, incredibly picturesque.
Don't Miss: The White Pass Railroad - easy and lots of great photo opportunities.


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