First Time Cruiser - Extremely Satisfied
Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage
Review summaryWe enjoyed the freestyle cruising. We aren't big drinkers so we passed on the all inclusive beverage package - it was just as well as I didn't care for any of the red wines they served. I found the complimentary beverages (water, lemonade, ice tea, coffee, teas, juices) more than sufficient. There were tons of hand sanitizer stations around the ship keeping us all healthy. Liquid soaps in the heads, though the shampoo was pretty bad. Tons of storage in our cabin. We actually had spare shelf and drawer space! Very few people participated in the dress up night or white night, and only a few people hung 'door art'. Our cabin steward was the best...we tipped him in advance but regret not giving him his final tip the night before we left because a new steward showed up the day we disembarked... I have a bad feeling our steward didn't get his whole tip :( Wear a watch so you don't have to drag your cell phone around to tell time - not many clocks on the ship. There were tons of activities - far more than we could get to. Loved the spa - it was very generously sized and I liked showering there will the ample towels and robes vs our room. Worth every penny of the price for the pass (cheaper if you buy in advance.) We all thought the food was great. Cagney's and the Bistro were great specialty dining options. Initially I thought the serving sizes at O'Sheehans were small, but after I adjusted to the idea that I could order as much as I wanted they seemed just fine. It was a good way to avoid waste. Remember, they are expecting each person to order an appetizer, soup/salad, entrée and dessert. Since you wouldn't take a doggie bag home, it makes sense to cut back on serving sizes.
Food and Dining
Garden Cafe / Kid's Cafe
Huge variety of food. Didn't change all that much through the week but then again, just how many types of food is out there? Everything I tried was very good.
Pearl Club Casino
I didn't like that people could smoke in the casino. The black jack only paid 6/5 and the continuous shuffle really favored the house. They had BJ and Poker tournaments every day but they were all express, and the payout spots very tight.
Mandara Spa & Salon
The spa was much, much larger than I would have ever expected. They hydro-massage pool was the best! A sauna and lounge chairs overlooking the ocean were a great highlight, and I loved the steam room and whirlpools. Best of all was showering in the spa vs using our small shower in our stateroom. Bring some flip flops - they are not provided, but robes and hair dryers are.
Jogging / Walking Track
I walked the track 6 of the 7 days we were aboard. However, I was unable to run on it as it was always wet and rather slippery. Try to get there early as the deck gets busy mid-morning with people site seeing, and they tend to stand right on the track surface.
Body Waves Fitness Center
This was a very nice fitness center with great equipment. Very busy our first day at sea, got less busy as the week went on.
East Indies Library
This was usually a quiet relaxing place to read. However, occasionally a loud family or just a few adults would wander in and think it was a great place for a conversation. Put up a few signs asking for silence and/or have staff on hand to quiet people!
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
A cabin located midship will put you close to all the restaurants and activity. It's a very walkable ship - not too big. Invest in a spa pass ahead of time to save a few dollars and have a great relaxing environment to visit each day. No need to pre-buy water - there is plenty of complimentary beverages available in all the dining facilities.