Don't go for the food.

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 26

Overall rating:

2 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Pearl

7 Night Alaska Glacier Bay (Seattle Roundtrip)

Sail date: September 20, 2015

Ship: Norwegian Pearl

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 4551

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Review summary

Last year I booked 2 cruises w NCL  for this year. We were so disappointed by the food and service staff on our 1st cruise we wanted to cancel our 2nd. Even with travel insurance and a note from a doctor (my mother has been on hospice for a few months now) we would to have forfeited about $400 so we decided to go with low expectations and still managed to be disappointed by the food. Quality-low. Selection-limited. By the time we found a table, our food was COLD. I will say the fresh fruit, cheeses and breads were very good. The desserts were UNEDIBLE. I tried a least a bite of every desert and didn't find anything in the "free-style cafeteria" that was worth a second bite other than the strawberry poundcake. My husband and I had apple pie that we had to spit out. How can you mess up apple pie???

What you will love is your cabin steward. They are just wonderful! Don't forget to tip them when you leave.

Make sure to plan excursions. If you can avoid booking thru the ship, you will save hundreds of dollars. Just Google your ports of call.

It is maddening that since March they have started charging for room service.

Also, I found the elevators to be very dirty. Gross. There were always grease marks where people would lay there heads against the mirrored walls. Ick!

We enjoyed the ship entertainment very much.

Not much happening in the lounges at night. Karaoke open to the bowling lanes, just bad design.

Also, a tip. I purchased a small wifi plan and parceled out my time to last the 7 days. I kept a close eye on the counter. Suddenly on about the 4th day, my minutes were suddenly gone and I was offered unlimited wifi for a price for the remainder of the cruise. Why was this not offered on the first day. I really felt cheated by that. We all know they will make their money on alcoholic beverages and other "nickel and diming" practices but I just felt ROBBED by that.

This is a wonderful way to see a lot in Alaska and I will go again but never again with NCL.




Ship experiences

Food and Dining

1 out of 5
With the exception of the specialty restaurants the food is horrible. It is generally cold and there is not much of a selection. The fresh fruit was delicious the prepared selections were reminiscent of the high school cafeteria.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5


5 out of 5
Enjoyed the shows we did attend.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
We did not travel w children.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Other than my cabin steward, not anything special. Some were outwardly rude and many difficult to understand.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Everything appeared very dated and the cabin carpets were extremely dirty.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Highly functional for the limited space. It was nice to be able to view movies without an extra charge and the selections were great. My only issues were the extemely small TV and soiled carpets. There were nights when we just didn't want to be around a lot of people. It would have been nice to be able to order "to go" dinners from the restaurants. The room service menu is incredibly limited and portions were very small.

Ship tip

Please remember to tip your room stewards. They are probably not even making minimum wages and are often sending it home to their parents, wives, kids. They are the hardest, most attentive and helpful people on NCL. If you can afford it, get the upgraded meal plans.

Ports of call

Seattle, Washington

5 out of 5

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
I saved about 40% by booking my whale watching excursion outside of NCL. If you do nothing else, do this!!!

Skagway, Alaska

5 out of 5
We saved about $70 total by purchasing our tickets for the White Pass Railway in port rather than ahead of time.

Cruise Glacier Bay

5 out of 5
Get up early and find a great seat. Dress very warmly for the morning hours and pack your binoculars.
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