NCL Highs and Lows

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 11

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Norwegian Pearl

13 Night Transatlantic (New York To Amsterdam)

Sail date: April 28, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Pearl

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Overall I was unimpressed by Norwegian Cruise Lines. Perhaps it was this ship. It felt crowded and not completely clean. Norovirus outbreak did not help my impression but I thought the Captain handled it fairly well (aggressively). It would have been horrible to be ill on a vacation so lesson learned is hand hygiene is not a joke. Also get travel insurance. On a high note I met really wonderful people who I hope to keep in touch with.


3 out of 5
Was encouraged to arrive at NY West Side Terminal early only to wait. Turns out that three NCL ships were departing within hours of each other from NY. We were last and departure was delayed while provisioning. Boarded the Pearl but cabins were not ready until afternoon. Unexpected but ok. Explored the ship.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
Sadly the food was overall poor to moderate. The high points were the main dining room and the staff were excellent. The specialty Asian restaurant was very good and creative. Steak house to be avoided, same with Italian. Really disappointed in the food. The buffet was nauseating with the exception of the Indian fare which had excellent seasoning and variety. Fresh fruit was lovely.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
I did not participate in onboard activities.


4 out of 5
The musicians in the public space were very good.

Children's Programs

I was not travelling with children - there were very few children on this trip.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Room steward was attentive in all the ways I wanted. Clean cabin, fresh towels/linens, professional and courteous.

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
I hate the layout of this ship. It felt crowded and traffic flow was uneven. At one point during the Norovirus outbreak there was a puddle of vomit in a public area. We were very close to being denied entry to Ireland and having the ship quarantined. The Captain took aggressive measures to contain the illness and the voyage continued.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Pleasant balcony cabin. Reasonable appointments and space. I wish there had been better light to read in bed. The tv was very limited. The high point is that the balcony doors stayed open so always a fresh breeze if desired.

Ship tip

Wash your hands often and touch as few surfaces as possible.

Ports of call

New York, New York

5 out of 5
Easy to get to and professional staff who are accustomed to high volume.

Cobh (Cork), Ireland

5 out of 5
Gorgeous port. Tip: get the train from the harbor to Cork city center and spare yourself the hassle of an overpriced tour. Buy woolens!

Dun Laoghaire (Dublin), Ireland

4 out of 5
The Pearl tendered as the docking berths were full. The sea can be quite rough and undependable here. The tender process was horrific but we lived. Powerscourt gardens was the high point of the trip.

Le Havre (Paris), France

3 out of 5
Grey and wet and cold. This port had personal significance for many on board as they revisited war time memories. I chose to explore on my own which may have been a mistake as the weather did not cooperate.

Tilbury (London), England

5 out of 5
Canterbury Cathedral was an hour by bus. Lovely drive and stroll around town. The cathedral is restful and nearby restaurants provide lots of opportunities for good food. I wish we had longer in town but the traffic back to the ship was snarled.

Zeebrugge (Bruges), Belgium

5 out of 5
Chocolate in a fairy tale town. Great bus ride through the low country with an excellent guide. Fabulous chocolate. History everywhere and very nice people. Not crowded in April and fresh spring air. Very well kept colorful city.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

5 out of 5
Amsterdam is crowded and always in motion. Excellent food options, walking, is safe, has technology support if yours breaks. Tulip garden in the spring was delightful. Rijkmuseum was excellent but crowded.


5 out of 5
Disembarking the ship was fast and free of any problem. Delightful baggage handlers and lots of taxis at the ready.
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