No Vacation At All
Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage
Review SummaryOur cruise documents listed the Ballantyne pier\, with the address of Canada Place. Two phone calls to NCL did not clear this up\, and we needed to call the Port of Vancouver to get the correct information.
The Ballantyne pier was located in a barely accessible corner of an industrial shipyard. The embarkation process was a nightmare. We spent 4+ hours standing on endless Disneyland-like lines\, being funneled through 4 different rooms\, and no information was given along the way. We saw only two security stations and x-ray machines at the end of this ordeal for the entire population of the ship. This experience colored the entire trip for us.
The library was the only quiet spot on the ship. Otherwise\, musak (elevator music) was a constant annoying presence. The presence of a specialty restaurant on the other side of the ship from the Garden Cafe cut into the space that should have been available to everyone. This made seating in the Garden Cafe very difficult and often impossible.
The itinerary is the most positive thing we can say about this cruise. And just as we started to relax and look forward to disembarking at Victoria (our home)\, we received no guidance at all from the guest services. We were sent to several wrong lines and had to wait 2+ hours to get off the ship and finally clear Customs.
All in all\, the cruise was a disappointment\, the splendor of Alaska being overshadowed by the unprofessional embarkation and disembarkation problems. One final note anyone who likes chocolate or coffee should avoid NCL at all times\, as they provided a poor quality of both.