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This was my first cruise to Panama and Central America. I wanted to see the canal and the wildlife of the area. It was a rocky start to the cruise. Embarkation was a total nightmare.Anyone who was told to embark after 11am was left to stand for hours before even getting into the terminal. The reason given for the situation was that the ship had to undergo an inspection by the USCG since it was the first time the Pearl was in Tampa. No one was able to provide water to the thousand + passengers waiting outside in the heat. If an email had gone out to passengers when the issue developed, many would have been able to delay their arrival times and could have avoided standing for several hours. When I finally made my way into the terminal and up to the check in area, all Latitude members were directed to one area and new cruisers were on another line. With more than 75% of Latitude people, the new cruisers breezed through their line while we waited and waited for the four agents to process the rest of us. Adding more insult was latecomers and ADA people being escorted to the head of the line. Once onboard the only lunch available was at the buffet with not enough seating available. Not a very good start. My luggage was not delivered to my cabin since I had a guarantee. I had to go to the service desk and pick it up if I wanted to have it before midnight. The cabin was comfortable and convenient to the forward elevators on the tenth deck. Most of the excursions met in the Stardust theater before going to the gangway. As a solo traveler, I met with others at a hosted dinner almost every evening. There was a different host every night and many were unsure of what they should be doing. They were very young and new to the ship. I must give a shout out to Vickie, who went out of her way to make our dinners enjoyable. Some of the food was cold when it should have been hot so it was sent back and replaced. The group was large and sometimes we sat at separate tables. Entertainment after dinner was OK, the production band was very good as were the singers and dancers. The usual comedians and magicians were just OK. The R&B show wasn't what i would categorize as R&B. Service was spotty at the buffet and sometimes absent around the pool. Room steward was OK. I did three excursions which were good and stayed on the ship at some ports due to weather. I wish staff around the pools would enforce the chair hogging policy. Overall I had an enjoyable time meeting other cruisers and sharing travel experiences. i would go again if the price is right.

New ports and adventures in Central America

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by Stickwitch

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
This was my first cruise to Panama and Central America. I wanted to see the canal and the wildlife of the area. It was a rocky start to the cruise. Embarkation was a total nightmare.Anyone who was told to embark after 11am was left to stand for hours before even getting into the terminal. The reason given for the situation was that the ship had to undergo an inspection by the USCG since it was the first time the Pearl was in Tampa. No one was able to provide water to the thousand + passengers waiting outside in the heat. If an email had gone out to passengers when the issue developed, many would have been able to delay their arrival times and could have avoided standing for several hours. When I finally made my way into the terminal and up to the check in area, all Latitude members were directed to one area and new cruisers were on another line. With more than 75% of Latitude people, the new cruisers breezed through their line while we waited and waited for the four agents to process the rest of us. Adding more insult was latecomers and ADA people being escorted to the head of the line. Once onboard the only lunch available was at the buffet with not enough seating available. Not a very good start. My luggage was not delivered to my cabin since I had a guarantee. I had to go to the service desk and pick it up if I wanted to have it before midnight. The cabin was comfortable and convenient to the forward elevators on the tenth deck. Most of the excursions met in the Stardust theater before going to the gangway. As a solo traveler, I met with others at a hosted dinner almost every evening. There was a different host every night and many were unsure of what they should be doing. They were very young and new to the ship. I must give a shout out to Vickie, who went out of her way to make our dinners enjoyable. Some of the food was cold when it should have been hot so it was sent back and replaced. The group was large and sometimes we sat at separate tables. Entertainment after dinner was OK, the production band was very good as were the singers and dancers. The usual comedians and magicians were just OK. The R&B show wasn't what i would categorize as R&B. Service was spotty at the buffet and sometimes absent around the pool. Room steward was OK. I did three excursions which were good and stayed on the ship at some ports due to weather. I wish staff around the pools would enforce the chair hogging policy. Overall I had an enjoyable time meeting other cruisers and sharing travel experiences. i would go again if the price is right.
Stickwitch’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IX 10251
great location near forward elevators. I prefer inside cabins.
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews