Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Experience
2-3 cruises

Reviews
2

Helpful Votes
4

3 out of 5

3.6 rating is a little generous

Sail Date: September 18, 2016

Reviewed: 2 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

Alaska and the Inside Passage was the best part and the reason for the trip but we specifically chose Norwegian because of our experience with their ship out of Honolulu that sails to 4 of the Islands. The Pearl was disappointing in several ways. We were STRONGLY steered to order a wine that was one of the priciest, condescended to when we discussed alternatives. Neither were we offered the wine package. We found out about the wine package by accident when talking with a bartender in the Garden Cafe and was very pleased with the variety offered, with the Zabaco Zinfindel, though highly marked up in price, was an excellent, tasty wine. Wake-up calls were not by phone. One was not done and the second was a soft knock at the door that had we still been asleep, would not have heard and in both instances could've missed our tour. In fact, we were late for one tour  because there was no overhead announcement  that the ship had been cleared and we could disembark and this affected many people. I had called the Operator to see when we could disembark and was told we could not as the ship had not yet been cleared and it would be announced. The Operator was rude.Thankfully; the tour operator , SOUTHEAST TOURS,in Skagway was able to accommodate us several hours later and they were wonderful.  The food in general was good but the real star in the buffet and other eating venues is the staff, except the wine steward in the Indigo.The wait and bus staff are simply wonderful. Friendly, accommodating and efficient. Eugene B. and Mary Grace C. were stand-outs. 

We disembarked (ended our trip) in Victoria instead of Seattle and had discussed this with Norwegian before our trip and received a letter (not e-mail) stating this was allowed and what steps to take. When I checked with Guest services 2 days before Victoria to make sure all was in order the problems really began and I was given FOUR  different sets of instructions but not before the first Guest Rep said they had no record of this. Then although the LETTER of Disembarkation STATED staff would assist us getting to the gangway, TWICE, I was told that they did not do that and it wasn't until I told them that I was reading from the letter, they GRUDGINGLY accommodated us. This sort of going back and forth on the phone; down at Guest Services , was very time consuming and frustrating .We were not the only passengers to disembark at Victoria and their experience seemed very similar to ours. Was this rudeness and run-around because we were in one of the least expensive cabins or lack of consistent protocol and poor implementation/ education on the staff's and their managers' part? And BTW; the inside cabin, though small, was perfectly fine. Because the weather can be cold and rainy this time of year we felt no need to have a Balcony or ocean view like in Hawaii and the Mediterranean. So, Alaska was wonderful. The wait and bus staff wonderful. Inside cabin perfectly fine. Guest services~ pretty poor. It was very surprising to see how dirty the back cushions in the booths were in the Garden Cafe. Last but not least; nightly entertainment was excellent . Heads and shoulders above Celebrity Cruise Line. 

 

 

 

 

Cabin / Stateroom
Needed to be cleaner and the comforter cover and comforter itself should be checked after each set of guests. It was creepy knowing that we had used a cover that had someone els's blood on it.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Disembarkation as noted in previous section. Despite having taken care of this before sailing, was still an issue and was given 4 differing directions/ Guest Services did not seem to know what to do. very unhelpful with the luggage despite having a written letter stating it would be taken care of.
Ship Quality
Visably dirty fabric booth-backs in the Garden Cafe. Dirty comforter cover and old blood on the comforter. Both had to be replaced. Inside bathroom door had ? drink (coffee?) splatters and black smudges. I reported it but after a day, I cleaned it since the cabin attendant didn't.
Destinations and Excursions
I am bothered by the fact that ALL the cruise lines make it sound as though their will be some awful complication if you don't book your tours through them.
Onboard Activities
There is a lot of product selling disguised as an event or activity.
Children's Programs
Entertainment
Service and Staff
Eugene Bagalso and Mary Grace Campi went above and beyond; not only for all but watching them with other guests seemed to be the same. The wine steward in Indigo was rude and condescending and too interested in "UP-SELLING".
Food and Dining
Seattle, Washington
Juneau, Alaska
Skagway, Alaska
The Public Library has free wi-fi (though donations are accepted in a tip jar near the front door. Weekday hours 1pm-8pm. Weekend hours are different and more limited. There is more to the town and surrounding than, at first, meets the eye.
Cruise Glacier Bay
Do a little reading on topography beforehand. Know there is a difference between mountain glaciers and icebergs.Although we had crazy good weather in general; do have rain gear.
Ketchikan, Alaska
Victoria, British Columbia
There is a currency exchange, giftshop and PAYPHONE right outside customs/passport check.

Tip

Don't miss the shows. You won't be disappointed.



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