1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have taken over 20 cruises and I must say, this ship had the worst cabin housecleaning and the worst dining room food that we have ever experienced. We should have known considering at the very beginning the previous passenger's ... Read More
We have taken over 20 cruises and I must say, this ship had the worst cabin housecleaning and the worst dining room food that we have ever experienced. We should have known considering at the very beginning the previous passenger's shaver and shampoo were in shower! Even after complaining and having the room cleaned again-balcony was never touched. Mirrors still had streaks. The rest of the the staff were just as awful. Bartenders. Dining room staff. They barely spoke to you. And that food in the dining room? Diner quality. And the sushi we paid extra for-supermarkets do a better job. Buffet never changed-day after day. Boring and limited! Private NCL island we visited was extremely expensive. Food and drinks were not included like most other cruise lines with their own islands. Upon returning home it's amazing how many people have told us how bad NCL has become. Do yourself a favor-choice another cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is our 4th NCL cruise and by far the decline in everything was noticed. We were in a Penthouse Suite so that made a great difference in our service and we tip well after all of the extra service charges NCL adds,so the staff we ... Read More
This is our 4th NCL cruise and by far the decline in everything was noticed. We were in a Penthouse Suite so that made a great difference in our service and we tip well after all of the extra service charges NCL adds,so the staff we worked with were super. A few extra dollars goes a long way. We chose a suite due to wheel chair and space needs. Our suite 9672 was wonderful and accessible for seniors or people who need a walk in shower and not a tub. Location: Overall it is nice to see the area and the beautiful blue waters. NCL keeps you in their areas IE Harvest Caye so you dont always see the real culture. They are really building their own areas so they can keep the $$ you spend in house. Cabin: Very Nice and well worth the upgrade. Big Balcony only downfall were those smoking around us. It is now all NON smoking in rooms and balconies and if caught they will fine you. Dining: Most of our meals were in specialty locations so most of it was good. Our servers were beyond wonderful. The specialty dinners were not as good as in years past. Meat was a bit tough I had a ribeye one night and could not chew any of it. Stick with the Filet. The buffets looked sad. The salmon is now a salmon spread, mixed fruit a blob of fruit mushed I could go on but wont. Do not go on NCL for the food unless you are in a suite/haven. The basic food keeps getting downgraded. Staff: German Escobar our NCL consultant highly recommend. Book through NCL and they will tell you everything you need. Including that the 7 day cruise only is only 3 add on meals not 7 as people assume. Online bookings do not explain things like the meals or drinks. Anoop Concierge went out of his way to assist. Highly recommend him and Vergil our Butler as well as our Steward were all great. The crew in Cagneys and Moderno for the meals were top notch. Embarkation: Tampa Port should be ashamed of the mess they have there. So much confusion on where to go as there was construction. Signage was horrible. The officers directing traffic were super and helped everyone. Once we made it to the NCL controlled area (inside) everything was great. Outside a nice woman named Deb helped and made the day. Enrichment Activities: Most of the activities were a pay to play which has changed from years past. Another nickle and dime of NCL. Entertainment: Ledgends was ok but the rest was pretty poor. NCL really needs to invest in their entertainers. This was one of the lamest of all cruises. The crew singing in the morning were better than the entertainment at night. Spa: Well worth the addition. Not crowded and well kept up. Public Rooms: Everything was cleaned each night. I watched the staff clean at all hours and they worked hard. The ship was just rehabed so everything was still in pretty good shape. Service: The servers overall were great we were in specialty so taken care of well and those extra tips go a long way. Mary Anne and the crew that assisted us were super. The crew in the buffet worked hard but hardly smiled. They look overworked and underpaid. Shore Excursions: I would not recommend the Black Swan boat tour in Belize it was a waste of money. We went out in the water and drove around. Did not see much and the guide was filling in so was in a rush to get us back. It was nice hearing about life on the island but not something to do again. The swim with the Dolphin in Costa Maya is a small area of dirty water where dolphins take you about 1/2 block in the water back and forth. Wait to do this in Honduras it was better. NCL offers a $50 credit per port but then you add on those in your party and it adds up. We went away from the port and found tours of 1/3 of the price. Be aware that you are guided to NCL activities but if you leave the port you will see many options. Just pick and choose because they are pretty aggressive. The swim with the dolphin Value for the Money: It was ok but a lot of those in the suites said they would go on other cruise lines in the future because NCL was downgrading everything and up- charging for so much that they did not in the past. Be prepared to pay $4.99 for shrimp in Cagneys they just added this. Also if having a drink before the ship leaves port you will be charged local taxes. Keep an eye on your bill and check it daily. There were a few things that were added here and there that made no sense. Overall we enjoyed the cruise because of the staff and the people. We have been loyal NCL cruisers however are going to try a different cruise line in the future to compare. It seems like NCL is going in the super economy direction with less quality and add ons for everything. Disembarking was great as we had priority and this went well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I have not been on a vacation in three years and my son has never been on a cruise so my go to cruise ship is NCL as I have been on four other cruises with them. As always, I have never been disappointed. There is always something to do ... Read More
I have not been on a vacation in three years and my son has never been on a cruise so my go to cruise ship is NCL as I have been on four other cruises with them. As always, I have never been disappointed. There is always something to do for everyone. The Norwegian Pearl is one of the smaller ships with around 2500 guests thus there is less entertainment venues but I was not disappointed with what was provided. The food, service and shore excursions were fantastic especially the Salsa, Guacamole and Tequila excursion. The tour guides were over the top with entertainment, laughter and just down right funny. Afterwards, you could stay at the beach and the massages were great and just for 20 dollars!! The ship was friendly with a positive atmosphere. I didn't want my vacation to end. I can't wait to return. See you soon NCL!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I traveled with my fiance March 24th to the 30th aboard the Norwegian Pearl, a smaller but fully refurbished ship. Getting onto the ship did take some time, but it was well worth the wait! Once getting on to the ship we were greeted ... Read More
I traveled with my fiance March 24th to the 30th aboard the Norwegian Pearl, a smaller but fully refurbished ship. Getting onto the ship did take some time, but it was well worth the wait! Once getting on to the ship we were greeted instantly by the friendly staff, and given a map of the ship. Our stateroom was 8113, an inside room with an additional third bed. We were happy to see that the two smaller beds when put together make a king-size bed. The stateroom had plenty of room for the two of us. Additionally, the hard working staff had our rooms ready for occupancy with in an hour of arriving on the ship. The cruise we selected left out of Tampa and sailed to Harvest Caye (Norwegian's private island) in Belize. The island was clean and perfect! From there we stopped in Costa Maya Mexico. The port was very clean and inviting, but didn't feel very authentic. My fiance and I did an excursion to Chacchoben, one of the Mayan Ruins! This really made the stop worth it! From there we sailed to Roatan Bay in Honduras. The port was small and was undergoing major construction while we were there. We didn't book any excursions and wanted to explore by foot. That was a mistake! As soon as we walked out of the port we were instantly inundated with locals trying to sell us this, that, and everything else. We managed to walk past the large group, but, we were followed by locals. While we never felt unsafe, something just didn't feel right. We went back to the port and enjoyed the many bars they had to offer, and let the bartender fill us in on the area. Finally, we had our last stop in George Town on Grand Cayman. This was by far the best stop we had. The island was clean, and the locals were amazing. We were able to walk all around and explore the many beaches, shops, and local watering holes! As for the quality of the on-board experience, we didn't have a bad meal or cocktail! We dined in the main dinning rooms (Indigo & Summer Palace), the staff were top-notch and so was the food. Overall, we were impressed by NCL and plan to take another cruise before the end of the year! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I was looking for a cruise that was low-key, relaxing, yet helped me check off some things on my bucket list. I was interested in the ports that this cruise took and I'll just say I was not disappointed! The ship itself was very ... Read More
I was looking for a cruise that was low-key, relaxing, yet helped me check off some things on my bucket list. I was interested in the ports that this cruise took and I'll just say I was not disappointed! The ship itself was very nice - the kids had a great time at the pool, they really liked the fun activities and the friendly people at the "Splash Academy" kids club. The food was great - the kids lived on ice cream and pizza while we were able to enjoy some very nice meals at the complimentary and paid restaurants. The shows were great, we always found something to do whether just walking the decks, watching a movie, bowling, shuffleboard, giant checkers. The only complaint I would have is that the pool deck was extremely crowded at all times, but that's to be expected on a sunny cruise. So many people saved their seats on deck and left for lunch or activities and you couldn't take their seats which we didn't think was fair, but that's how it works. Also - getting on the boat and off the boat wasn't great - we waited in line for a very long time (over an hour) to get both on and off the boat. I don't know if that had to do with the cruise line though, or the Tampa port itself, but I didn't remember having to wait that long when we went on our Alaskan cruise through another cruise line. Our shore excursions were definitely the highlight! The bought all of our excursions through the cruise line itself which was the way to go - one of our excursions ran long because our small boat had engine issues so we were late getting back, but we were with a big group from the ship so they waited for us. The staff was very friendly - we enjoyed the entire trip immensely! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are both in our 60's and sailed for the second time this year on the Pearl, this time in a balcony cabin on the 10th Deck. Our previous cabin was an oceanview on the 8th Deck. I have sailed 16 times on various NCL ships and enjoy ... Read More
We are both in our 60's and sailed for the second time this year on the Pearl, this time in a balcony cabin on the 10th Deck. Our previous cabin was an oceanview on the 8th Deck. I have sailed 16 times on various NCL ships and enjoy the benefits that come with Platinum status. Embarkation at the Tampa pier was quite an ordeal this time. In January, we basically walked directly through security to the Platinum desk, got our keys and were onboard within about 15 minutes. This time we arrived at the pier as directed - boarding began at noon, the ship was scheduled to sail at 3 and our documents stated we needed to be on board 2 hours before departure. The line at noon was approximately 3 city blocks long. We used a parking service and were dropped off in the area relegated to parking shuttles across from the port area. There were no porters available to take our luggage. We were forced to drag our bags the 6 city blocks (3 to get to the end of the line and 3 more to get back to the port doorway) before a porter was close enough for us to run our bags over without losing our place in line. Another couple who had taken the same shuttle told us a porter came into the shuttle area just after we left it to get in line. It took us approximately one hour from the time we arrived until we were onboard. There was no Platinum advantage until we passed Security. Once in the building, there was only a minor wait. It was not a happy beginning. Our cabin was 10566, very nice although somewhat small. The layout was more difficult to maneuver with 2 people than our outside cabin had been because of the location of the bed. It seemed the closet was smaller in the balcony cabin also. We had a small coffee maker that was not provided in the outside cabin. While this was great, there was very little counter top space for it, the phone, etc. Our cabin steward was very efficient. We rarely saw him except for a minute or two in the morning but our cabin was kept very clean. I'm a coffee-aholic and very picky about the coffee I drink because I normally take it black and don't hide the taste with cream and sugar. Surprisingly, the coffee in the cabin was fairly good. Also, the coffee in the various areas of the buffet was very good - one nice change. We did note that actual coffee was used at least in the back seating area of the buffet. It was not the coffee syrup product we've seen elsewhere. Thumbs up for that! Our cruise included 3 package choices. We took the beverage package, 3-dinner dining package and internet. NCL changed the prices for various alcoholic beverages so that Belvedere vodka and Glenmorangie scotch were included in the beverage package this time, unlike in January. Another thumbs up! Dinners were at Teppenyaki twice, LeBistro twice, Moderno once, Jade Garden once and Indigo once. Unfortunately, our experience in Moderno was unlike the experience we had in January. While the salad bar was very good, especially the soup, the meat was terribly tough - actually unchewable. Even the filet was not as good as it had previously been. Our waiter was good and can't be blamed for the quality of the meats. Dinner in Jade Garden was very good. The hot and sour soup was spicy but tasty. We tried the spring rolls, dumplings and chicken dishes. Everything was tasty and good and service was exceptional. Dinners in Teppanyaki were every bit as good as in January. The filet mignon prepared by the chef was melt in your mouth delicious and the show he put on both times was fun. Service there was also very good. The food in LeBistro was fabulous! I had filet for one of my dinners and veal once. Both were excellent. Our waiter in LeBistro was Erly. She was the nicest young woman and was so efficient. Right through to dessert she took care of our every want/need. I hope to see her again on a future cruise. We ate the majority of our breakfasts in Summer Palace. The breakfast there is awesome. The service was spotty on debarkation day but even then, the food was good. A couple of days breakfast was served in Indigo. We tried it there once and much preferred the ambience and food in Summer Palace. I think they use the same kitchen so possibly that was an off day. We only ate breakfast at the buffet twice. The hustle and bustle and search for a table while carrying your food was not fun. I always in the past just ate breakfast at the buffet but the last few cruises have convinced me that the dining room is a far more relaxing place to start your day. We are not theatre goers and only attended the comedian's show there. He was funny and we had a few laughs. Other nights we mostly went to the martini bar and listened to Peter the pianist play. He engaged members of the audience and made it a really good time for all. I believe he said he was leaving the ship after our cruise. Our other activities were casino play time and listening to Roxy in the Atrium. The casino slot machines were not good but the hosts were very nice. Because I have a Sapphire card with the casino, they treated me to $200 on board credit and free premium drinks in the casino - this included water, Perrier, San Pellegrino, red bull and cappucino drinks as well as alcoholic beverages. I hope NCL is listening: One huge improvement this cruise compared to our cruise in January was that smoking was no longer permitted on the pool deck. Last cruise, the entire port side allowed smoking. It was a major complaint of mine and I very much appreciated that it was no longer allowed. Thumbs up again! Another huge improvement was the enforcement of the no chair saving rule. We watched as towels were removed from chairs by the deck attendants. They only took them if the seats were vacant for more than an hour. What an improvement! The process was kind of hit or miss but hopefully they will begin to enforce the rules 100% of the time in the future. Yet another thumbs up for this effort! We remained on the ship the entire cruise. We had planned to get off in Roatan but it was pouring rain when we got there and took a couple of hours to clear up. By then, we had lost interest. Maybe next time. All in all we had a great time. The staff was excellent as always. Food except as mentioned was very good, drinks were made as requested and service was great. I'll be on the Bliss in May and can't wait. I hope the staff, food, entertainment is as good as on the Pearl. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The Pearl was it very first cruise 10 years ago and w still love it. But we noticed one thing, the drink lines were very long and it seemed like there were less staff. We still had a wonderful time and we got our credit to cruise again. I ... Read More
The Pearl was it very first cruise 10 years ago and w still love it. But we noticed one thing, the drink lines were very long and it seemed like there were less staff. We still had a wonderful time and we got our credit to cruise again. I tried the accupunture this time, it was okay but I don't think it's a long enough time to get good results. We absolutely love the thermal spa for adults only. It was great to go relax every night and relax in the hot tub that was not filled with kids. We loved the excursions, we always try to do something that's we cannot do where we live. There monkeys and the turtles were definitely the highlight for us. The guides are always informative and interesting to talk to. We feel safer to book with the cruise so we know they will wait if the excursion gets delayed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
1st time on the Pearl. We have been on several NCL ships, so it looked a lot like other NCL ships. We had to go bowling, something you can't do on many ships. We did not see the rock wall open, but lots of kids playing basketball. ... Read More
1st time on the Pearl. We have been on several NCL ships, so it looked a lot like other NCL ships. We had to go bowling, something you can't do on many ships. We did not see the rock wall open, but lots of kids playing basketball. The entertainment was all very good. We enjoyed it all; from the groups out by the pool, to individual preformers, to larger productions. Though sometimes a singer was very good, but she was in the atrium, which seemed the wrong accustical venue for them. The food in the dining rooms was good, but not amazing. If you want something special, go to one of the specialty restaurant. We missed that they no longer serve Caribbean lobster as they did in years past. Liked Teppanyaki, but no flaming volcano. Met a couple from CruiseCritic & had a great time touring Roatan on our own. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise would be perfect as a first cruise. It gives you a taste of everything cruise without being overwhelming. However, when comparing it to other cruise experiences, it was not one of my favorites. It tended to lean more towards ... Read More
This cruise would be perfect as a first cruise. It gives you a taste of everything cruise without being overwhelming. However, when comparing it to other cruise experiences, it was not one of my favorites. It tended to lean more towards an older population as did the activities. The best part was Cagny’s. It was wonderful. The most annoying part was the hard-sell personal trainers in the spa. I just wanted to use the thermal spa in peace but was aggressively approached by them several times when I went there. The cabins are fine. Small but well kept. The room steward was good. The layout of the cabin is nice and the furnishings were decent. The bed was very comfortable. The on-board entertainment was mediocre. There wasn’t much happening in the evenings that made us want to stay up late and party. We chose to book excursions on our own. We enjoyed what we did but we found them on trip advisor. They were more appealing and less than half the price. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We decided to book this trip as we had never spent any extended time in the Caribbean. This cruise worked because it coincided with my spring break. Having traveled previously with Norwegian we knew what to basically expect. Embarkment ... Read More
We decided to book this trip as we had never spent any extended time in the Caribbean. This cruise worked because it coincided with my spring break. Having traveled previously with Norwegian we knew what to basically expect. Embarkment was a disaster, never have experienced such confusion, or long lines in our previous four cruises. We arranged for the shuttle from the airport to the dock, via Norwegian, that part of the experience was fine, easy and moved smoothly. The bus dropped us off in front of the line that was wrapped around the street...but we still waited about an hour to get on the ship. During this extended time porters kept coming up to us asking us for tips....it was crazy, as the porters hadn't moved any of our luggage. The porters kept asking their supervisor to tell us to tip them. We are generous tippers but this was outrageous. Thankfully the weather was beautiful but I can only imagine how troublesome this would be if it was raining or cold. For those of you who have cruised with Norwegian before you may want to rethink cruising out of TAMPA. Also Haven members have to wait in this long line as well...as do people who have "priority embarkment privileges". Your priority starts once you get upstairs in the port building. The rest of the trip was fine, and we enjoyed ourselves. We enjoyed our speciality meals at Teppanyaki, and Cagney's. Moderno's was a disappointment but because we weren't paying for it didn't bother us to much. Lunch at Summer Palace was great and not crowded at all, and we also enjoyed lunch at Lotus Garden. As stated earlier we spent a lot of time in OSheehan's watching the NCCA basketball tournament. This was fun but the menu never changed. I never tried the breakfast buffet, lunches at the Great Outdoors was better than those offered at the pool. The pool deck was always packed and some days it was difficult to find a lounge chair. People would get up very early to grab a chair. Tip, put a few personal items on the chair and the pool people cant remove them. There is suppose to be a two hour rule, but it was not enforced. My one complaint was there was always a line at the pool bars and there didn't seem to be enough crew to handle the crowds. On previous cruises with NCL I don't recall this being the case. Internet was spotty, that was to be expected. Shout out to Mark at OSheehan's great bar tender and enjoyed our conversations with him. Shows were OK and musical performers were hit or miss. The comedian was a hoot. Enjoy a cocktail in the Spinnaker's lounge before dinner, such a great spot. This might be out last NCL cruise as I think we enjoy the River Cruises more, better attention, service, decor and food. It is true you get what you pay for...having said that it was still a wonderful vacation and nice to get away from the cold. Read Less
Norwegian Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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