11 day Panama Canal Cruise

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 12

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5
Verified Review

Sail Date: December 31, 2015
Ship: Norwegian Pearl
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 9088
Traveled As: Large Group
Reviewed: 2 years ago

Overall, the cruise was great & very relaxing.  Enjoyed the unlimited beverage package & having prepaid the gratuities for drinks & all other services.  The food was pretty good.  I was disappointed that on the seafood buffet night in the cafe, they did not have any peel & eat shrimp or any crab legs offered, just seafood mixed into other dishes.  We attended the 2 specialty restaurants on board & they were OK, but not sure they were worth the additional $35 per person charge (with tip)  to attend.


The entertainment on the ship...some shows were good, others not so good.  The man from the 4 Seasons group that did the show by himself, George, could not carry a show by himself very good (all 6 adults in my group agreed).  The main problem with most of the shows on the cruise is that the music overpowered the singers at every show, the music should accompany the singers, not overpower them! (we attended the offered show each night).  The comedy magician, Chip, was just OK...he did tricks you see every magician do (rope tricks, magic silver locking rings, 3 card monty card trick. tear the newspaper & put it back together again)...nothing that made me think, "Wow!"  The "Variety Show" night, did not have any variety...it was all singing & dancing...I was expecting a variety of different types of acts.  I would like to see acts that featured more than 1 person for the show, offering different types of talent...not just one night all singing, one night dancing, 1 night magic.  We did enjoy Nadeen's hypnotist shows & Bud Anderson's comedy act.  We really enjoyed listening to Jim Badger, the piano man...we listened to him most nights he performed.  We also enjoyed the Legends in Concert night, as again, it featured more than just 1 person.  The Michael Jackson impersonator was the best of the 3.


Also, the one bad thing about cruising, is that you only get to spend part of one day at each port.  After traveling such distances, I would like to see more of each country than just one excursion per day.  My favorite excursion we attended was the Jolly Roger Catamaran Sailing & Snorkeling in Honduras.

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Ok, but I'm not a big fan of "at sea" days...I'd rather go on the excursions & see more of the countries we visit. I felt like the "at sea" days were the cruise lines opportunity to push buying future cruises & selling their merchandise.


3 out of 5
music usually overpowered the singers...would have liked more variety per show. Loved the Not so Newlywed game & The Quest game in the Spinnaker Lounge. You should do more than 1 Not so Newlywed game...they are so funny. Also really enjoyed Nadeens hypnotist shows (went to both that night).

Children's Programs

3 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
great! We really enjoyed Jim Badger, Nadeen, Washy, Washy (surprised he has such a beautiful voice...saw him sing with Jim Sat. night), our cabin porter.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
rooms were really small. The railing on the balcony was a little too high...when I sat in the chair on the balcony, the wooden railing obstructed the view of the ocean's horizon...I could see just the water under the railing & could not see the horizon & passing land, unless I stood up. Our cabin steward did a good job. Every time we came back to the cabin we had clean towels. I was really upset though, the night at 11pm I got back to the cabin to shower & clean up (after swimming in the ocean that day snorkeling) before going to bed....I turned on the hot water in the shower & there was NO WATER AT ALL coming out! The sink faucet only had a dribbling stream of water from it about 1/8" wide. I thought that was very unacceptable & I was irritated I had to go to bed dirty & sticky from the ocean water. The water was back on in the morning.
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
we were disappointed in the mangrove canoe tour...only saw a few birds, not as much wildlife as we were expecting.

Cruise Gatun Lake And Panama Canal

5 out of 5
5 out of 5
We really enjoyed the 5 hour Grand Tour. It was fun to go up to the observation building to be close to the locks & watch a ship go through the gates. We also enjoyed getting to see where the new Canal is being built.
5 out of 5
we enjoyed the Pura Vida Chocolate Experience tour. It was interesting to see them make chocolate by hand....it was very bitter & grainy though. Highlight here was we saw a sloth on the ground & then climb a tree.
5 out of 5
We recommend the Jolly Roger Catamaran Sail & Snorkel excursion. It was so much fun, the crew was great! The snorkeling was great! Loved this trip!
5 out of 5
We went cave tubing at the Crystal Cave. This tour was just OK. The headlamps needed to be brighter, you really couldn't see that much in the cave. The best part of this excursion was getting to get out of the tube & swim through part of the cave.
5 out of 5
We took the Mayan Experience though our travel agent. The ruins were interesting, but we most enjoyed getting to go to a Mayan woman's home & having her & her friends prepare a lunch for us.
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