Good Western Caribbean Itinerary

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 4
Helpful Votes: 73

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Norwegian Pearl

9 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 10, 2017

Ship: Norwegian Pearl

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 9550

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

It was ok at best. Out of the six we have been on probably the lowest score. With that having been said we have been on some really GREAT cruises. I would recommend this cruise but it was not the best we have taken and also realize that I am trying to be very honest as people will read this and make decisions based upon what I write. Oh, we booked the inaugural sailing of the Norwegian Bliss from Southampton, England in April 2018 so we are sticking with them. It will be our fourth Norwegian sailing. I trust this was helpful.


3 out of 5
Norwegian's part of the embarkation was don fairly well, the problem came with an extended Coast Guard inspection that delayed boarding for about an hour and a half. Norwegian could have done a little better job keeping us informed. Also the area that we had to wait in was very constricted and crowded for the number of people that had to wait. Once boarding started it went well.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food was ok. We had sailed on the Norwegian Gem in February and the food was better. We dined at the Lotus Garden five times which we enjoyed each time. Good service and good food. We ate at the pool buffet several times and the food was ok to good sometimes. We ate a O'Sheehans several times for lunch and breakfast and the food was pedestrian at best. The drinks and the bartenders at the bar were nice and very attentive once you made friends with them. Most of our meals were at the Garden Buffet where the food was again pedestrian at best. Granted some dishes were good but overall not so much. Also there were no fruit carvings like we saw every day on the Gem. They had them at the pool and the main buffet's. Again I am comparing this whole cruise with our cruise on the Gem and it did not measure up in many ways.

Cagney's Steakhouse

5 out of 5

I met the manager at the Garden Buffet and told him that the Truffle French Fries were highly recommend. He invited me up to have some compliments of him. I took him up on his offer and they were phenomenal. I would highly recommend them.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
The trivia session we went to had three dramatically incorrect answers. The dollar bill folding sessions were fun and instructive as was the balloon flower session. Pools were nice. We don't do casinos or bingo so no review. Gift shop did not have anywhere near the selection of apparel that the Gem had.


3 out of 5
Entertainment was 50/50. The comedian was terrible, oh did I say terrible, and that was not just our thoughts but many of the people that had gone to the event. The Juggler was very good. The musicals were a 6 out of 10 with the exception of the Broadway singer who was a 10. The "trapeze/acrobats" were a 10+ They kept us on the edge of our seats.

Children's Programs

No children with us

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Again we are comparing to other cruises and specifically to our latest cruise in February on the Norwegian Gem. The crew on the Pearl although nice for the most part could not hold a candle to the crew of the Gem!

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The Pearl had just been refurbished and it showed. Nicely done and very clean. The "washy washy" team at the Garden Buffet even sang to a guitar. Well done!

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We usually pick a balcony more centered and near the elevators but I waited to long and our room was a little more forward than we would have preferred but that was my fault. The room was more spacious than the Gem. It sacrificed desk space but it was also larger and better laid out. Bathroom was exactly the same as other Norwegian bathrooms which was very adequate as we try not to spend much of our vacation there. Norwegian and other cruise lines need to understand that many people now use C-PAP machines and therefore need receptacles up at the head of the beds. They put USB ports there, they could put a receptacle in the same lamp!! Very disappointing. had to use extension cords that I brought and ask for hi-vis duct tape to make it safe. It took two asks to get it taken care of. That did not detract from my rating of the room.

Ship tip

You will enjoy it but do set too high of a standard.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

4 out of 5
Nice. Do the Hop-on-Hop-off several days if possible. New Orleans Cooking School class for $28.00 was great!!

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5
Nice. We did the Chankanaab Beach Party and Snorkel Party. The day we went they were having a motorcycle race in the town so we had to walk a long way when we got to the venue. The water was very rough for snorkeling and although I had done a good amount of snorkeling I ran into trouble as did several others of the group. The Tequila lesson and tasting was top notch as was the Sea Lion show. Don't plan on being able to swim off of the beach as there is a wall and no entry to the water excepting the stairs to th 12 foot drop into the snorkel area.

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
Nice. We did the "Catamaran & Stingray Adventure". The tour folks were great! Swimming with the stingrays was as much fun as advertised and much more. The tour people were great showing us how to hold them, pet them, feed, them and just enjoy them. The ride out was wonderful the ride back, not so much! It poured, not their fault. It rained so hard that the captain could not navigate back correctly, a compass would have helped? When we got back the lunch was a disappointment. First it was not ready, second we had to wade through water to get to the seating, water that had a bar with electrical outlets in it ( danger, danger). The food was good but hastily served and limited.

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

3 out of 5
We had a beach and snorkel adventure scheduled for this port but the weather caused it to be cancelled. We got off the ship and went to the port just to walk around. It was ok at best. we were looking forward to a beach day but Norwegian is not responsible for the weather.

Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala

3 out of 5
90 minute bus ride to our destination of Mayan Ruins "Quirigua Archaeological Explorer" through quite dirty and poverty laden villages and cities. Our tour guide was good but we could not reconcile the pride she spoke of for the local people with their lack of simple ability to care for even the little they had. there was trash everywhere and buzzards knew where to feed. Once we got to Quirigua it was interesting and again our guide, of Mayan descent, was very good. Travel back was tough. 30 minute stop due to road construction was not fun but we did stop at a "Hibiscus Restaurant" which was a restaurant which our tour guide was familiar with and past friends of the family. We stopped for a pineapple drink and a tour of a pineapple plantation as well as wonderful tropical gardens.

Harvest Caye, Belize

4 out of 5
Norwegian's own private Island and only the second year in service. Really nice!! the merchants want to get into your wallet but that is to be expected. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!! We did the "Mayan Culture and Medicinal Tour" and we enjoyed it. Again a nice bus ride but this time through areas that citizens had more pride in themselves. The tour was nice but if you do it be sure to bring insect repellent as there are hungry mosquitoes as you walk through the rain forest to learn much about how the Mayans use God's natural remedies.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

4 out of 5
Probably our favorite excursion. The port offers a large area of local crafters but we did not go through the market area as we had seen all of the same wares in other places. We did the "Mayan Reality Tour". Another bus ride with another informative guide. We went to a Mayan home and had lunch with them and were able to see how they had assimilated into modern life while still maintaining their ties to their culture. By doing three different Mayan cultural tours we learned a lot about their lives, history, and who they are today. Overall to rate the expense of the tours: we had the package that gave us a $50.00 credit towards each tour in each port and that made it overall worthwhile. I do not think that an extra $50.00 for any of the tours would have been fair, that coming from an old New England Yankee that tries to spend his money wisely


2 out of 5
Not good at all, Again comparing it to the Gem. We were able to get off the ship in a timely manor but then ended up in a terribly long line, after customs, just to get out of the building, No excuse for it, none!
Was this review helpful? 28


Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing