Very good cruise and like the ports.

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 5
Helpful Votes: 125

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Norwegian Pearl

11 Night Southern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 11, 2014

Ship: Norwegian Pearl

Cabin type: Inside

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 7 years ago

Review summary

This was our first cruise on Norwegian.  We've sailed on Princess and Royal Caribbean a couple of times prior to checking out Norwegian.  I like the itinerary and the ports on this Southern Caribbean Cruise.  We were taken aback by the disorganization in the waiting area for embarkation as there weren't enough chairs for all the cruisers waiting to board.  Once the boarding process started it went quickly and smoothly.  

We liked the freestyle dining; however, we felt that made it difficult for the stateroom attendant to know when to make up or turn down the cabin.  Compare to other cruises we've been on this one took the longest to have the cabins ready each day.  The daily towel animals was great which was not even provided on some of the cruises we've been on and more than made up for having to wait for the room to be ready.

I was very impressed with Norwegian Pearl's varieties offered at the buffet line.   However, the seats in the dining area are so jammed in there it made it very difficult to move around the tables.  The option to either dine in the casual or formal dress main dining room, offer the same menu, was great.  We did not like the formal dress main dining room, Summer Palace, because the entire dining room was lite up like a cafeteria.  We dined at the The Indigo, casual main dining room,  during most of the cruise if we like the menu.  Menu offered at the dining room are surprisingly lack of variety but the quality of the food is exceptional.  Many nights we walked away from the dining room after looking at the menu.  We felt the intent was to drive the cruisers to the specialty dining.

The professional entertainment on board was the best compare to other cruises we've been on.  I stress professional.  This cruise ship has the worst Cruise Director Staff I've ever seen.  The game shows are not well thought out and poorly organized.  One of the Cruise Director Staff made fun of participants spelling during a quiz show which is totally unprofessional in my opinion.   On the other hand, I thought the Cruise Director's announcement of cabins ready by deck number on the embarkation date was great and very considerate of the cruisers who want to get settled and start their vacation.

One thing I really dislike about Norwegian and the reason behind the 4-star is their policy regarding purchase of the drink packages.  We wanted to purchase a classic drink package for my husband but was told drink package must be purchased for all occupants for the room.  Since I only have a glass of wine at special occasions we decided not to get the drink package.  My conversation with other cruisers also reveal this to be a point of contention.  Parents with children in the room must purchase drink packages for both parents and soda package for the children.   Skip the drink package and if you are a beer drinker you can buy 5 beers and get 1 free.

Overall, it was a great trip and we've put down payment on a future Norwegian cruise.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Great buffet variety and specialty dining. Main dining room menus encourage dining at the specialty dining.


5 out of 5
The best professional entertainment of all the cruises we've been on. Not everyone of them, the juggler comedian was bad as we could barely understand him. The entertainment provided by the Cruise Director's Staff was not worth the time. They were not prepared and disorganized.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Majority of the staff are professional and courteous. The only one we consider bad is the Cruise Consultant. He was rude to the people who went to his office.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Ship is kind of small. When people are playing shuffle boards on the outside deck you will not be able to walk by without interrupting the game.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
The TV in the inside statement room and balcony measure about 14 inches and not compatible with HDMI cable.

Ship tip

Don't wait for service. Ask and you will get good service.

Ports of call

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Make sure to check out the B.O.S.S. excursion.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

5 out of 5
We took the 4X4 Island Safari tour and it was great.

Castries, St. Lucia

5 out of 5
Took the Soufriere by Land and Sea and enjoyed it.

Willemstad, Curacao

5 out of 5
Went on the Ostrich Farm and Cave tour. Had a great time at the ostrich farm and could have skip the cave.

Oranjestad, Aruba

3 out of 5
We took the Aruba Jeep Safari half day tour which was great. Be aware there is no free wifi to be found.
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