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Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 19
Helpful Votes: 382

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Pearl

14 Night Panama Canal Partial Transit (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 09, 2018

Ship: Norwegian Pearl

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 8553

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

I chose this cruise by the Ports that I have not seen yet. The price was good so I did some research of the ship and just winged it at the ports, all worked out well as it could possibly be. The ship is kept clean, as there are always crew members working around the ship wiping, vacuuming and shining. the cabin was small but livable for the 2 week cruise. Cabin steward was good at keeping us happy and there was always a towel animal at nights turn down. Dining was good at both main dining rooms and the buffet as well. I have no complaints of the service there. There is an abundance of musical entertainment thought-out the ship going everyday. The latin band, Avalon, was great, but were mostly in the Atrium where there is rug, so dancing was a laborious effort. We found that we could dance on the deck above, deck 8 in front of the O'Sheehans restaurant on a Vinyl floor with no trouble to anyone. There is a dance floor on deck 13 in the Spinnaker lounge where bands are rotated in daily, so that was a nice change from the rug in the Atrium. The productions shows in the Theater were all good, as well as guest entertainers and the crew productions. The crew on NCL are a happy crew, always greeting you and respectful. The ports were interesting, with shuttles to get out of the container area of the port in Columbia then easy walk or taxi to see the city. Most of the other ports like Colon, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, you could walk in to town or catch a taxi right in port. I was never wowed on this cruise, I have been wowed before with NCL but not this time. It was good but not a "wow"! Have fun on your cruise!


4 out of 5
Very, very bad embarkation. Over an hour standing one the port just to get into the building, Tampa has a big thumbs down

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The very was good to very good in both the Summer Palace and Indigo for Breakfast and dinner, my lunch was usually taken in the buffet and the food and service there was just as good as the main dinning.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Pools were all accessible even on sea days deck chairs were plenty as well, better that the larger ships in the fleet.


4 out of 5
The live bands were excellent, Avalon was the Latin band and Innovation was the party band, the DJ was great, the stage shows were great. The Cruise Directors staff put on a must see silly movie reenactment which was hilarious. There were other singers and entertainers that I didn't get a chance to see as Latin and ballroom kept me busy on the dance floor.

Children's Programs


Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Staff around the ship that we interacted with were always smiling and cheerful, I say that NCL has the best crew at sea.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship was always being cared for inside and out. I was on for 14 days and always saw crew members cleaning and vacuuming everyday.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
The cabin is small but livable, the cabin steward did a fair job at keeping was happy. I wish he would have vacuumed more than once.

Ship tip

Bring a tiny sprayer with window cleaner so you can wipe everything down before you unpack you would believe the amount of dirt I find on my rag when I am done.

Ports of call

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

3 out of 5
We were at the Reynolds container port and just a short walk to the town for shopping, not much to see there, but everyone was still friendly enough.

Santa Marta, Colombia

4 out of 5
A free shuttle bus takes you from the ship to the edge of the port, from there it is a short walk to the city area to walk to shop and have a look around.

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
Again a free shuttle from the ship to a location were you can catch a cab for a site seeing adventure or just stay local on foot and catch a bite out side of the port.

Colon, Panama

2 out of 5
Not much to due here as the area around the port is depressed, there is a tiny open mall across from the port where you can walk and take a quick photo and buy a souvenir.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
Poor area, but I encourage you to buy a city tour right on the dock 25 to 35 PP and go and see the area, there is not much to see if you walk out of the area.

Harvest Caye, Belize

4 out of 5
Harvest Caye is always a nice stop, it's private, it's clean there is a large beach and pool for your use.

Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala

4 out of 5
Talk a city tour and see the area, it is depressed, but you will gain a new respect for your homeland.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

4 out of 5
Take a taxi just out side the port gate and go to the beach, there is only one there, and go and get a message for 20 bucks USD for an hour, hint: make sure you are aware of your start time, they like to play games. On and stay away from the crazy lobster they will rip you off for any thing you get.


4 out of 5
Very quick on the last day in Tampa, not one problem.
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