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We just completed a 19 day Panama canal cruise on the Gem and there was an opportunity to cruise again. Since a TA was on our bucket list, we had three choices to check this one off the list. Seems the Getaway ( 4/27 ), Pear and Jade all had TA's scheduled to sail out of NYC. The Pearl was chosen since the first stop was in Ireland, a place we always wanted to see. Embarkation was out of Manhattan on pier 90, the Escape was docked at 88. I was expecting chaos at the terminal but it went unusually smooth, we arrived around 11 am and was aboard before noon. Since we booked the cruise under 60 days our first cabin was a GTY oceanview but working with a very good travel agent we were upgraded to a balcony along with no DSC as an added perk. Our cabin 9090 was a 4 person but I still don't know how. Everything was in working condition and clean. We did find the TV was just that a TV. We couldn't do anything else, seems strange that the ship was that backward with technology. Going down to the front desk and getting a print out of your account became a hassle since we found several items charged that shouldn't be, so going down every morning became a chore. Overall the ship appeared to be dated, Bliss lounge still had the leisure suit Larry feel to it, bowling alleys still there, no flow thru the bar central area ( had to snake around the bar stools and chairs ) and the crystal lights above the Atrium not working. Since we had this unwanted guest we avoided the MDR's for the first week and had our meals at the specialty restaurants. We found during the later half our cruise the food in the MDR's was subpar compared to the GEM. Pedro and his staff did a fantastic job, need to change up the liars club words and the newlywed show ( starting to get old ). NCL production shows above average, guest entertainers were also above average ( loved Bud and JP ). Since we had this unwanted guest, we watched the shows from the nose bleed section. Service at first seemed to be off, slow but as the cruise went along there appeared to an improvement. Because of the unwanted guest, the internet appeared to be really slow since a lot of the PAX remained in their cabins. Oh, the unwanted guest went by his nickname, Noro. Nobody ( except NCL ) really knows how many got sick, the captain and CD did mention that they were at stage #2 and they never have seen it this bad before. Stage #2 is the highest level of countermeasures ( paper menus, no salt / pepper at the tables, no self-serving at the buffet, ect. ) they use to contain the virus.

13 TA from NYC to Amsterdam with a unwanted passenger

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by JIMESOPUS

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
We just completed a 19 day Panama canal cruise on the Gem and there was an opportunity to cruise again. Since a TA was on our bucket list, we had three choices to check this one off the list. Seems the Getaway ( 4/27 ), Pear and Jade all had TA's scheduled to sail out of NYC. The Pearl was chosen since the first stop was in Ireland, a place we always wanted to see.

Embarkation was out of Manhattan on pier 90, the Escape was docked at 88. I was expecting chaos at the terminal but it went unusually smooth, we arrived around 11 am and was aboard before noon.

Since we booked the cruise under 60 days our first cabin was a GTY oceanview but working with a very good travel agent we were upgraded to a balcony along with no DSC as an added perk. Our cabin 9090 was a 4 person but I still don't know how. Everything was in working condition and clean. We did find the TV was just that a TV. We couldn't do anything else, seems strange that the ship was that backward with technology. Going down to the front desk and getting a print out of your account became a hassle since we found several items charged that shouldn't be, so going down every morning became a chore.

Overall the ship appeared to be dated, Bliss lounge still had the leisure suit Larry feel to it, bowling alleys still there, no flow thru the bar central area ( had to snake around the bar stools and chairs ) and the crystal lights above the Atrium not working.

Since we had this unwanted guest we avoided the MDR's for the first week and had our meals at the specialty restaurants. We found during the later half our cruise the food in the MDR's was subpar compared to the GEM.

Pedro and his staff did a fantastic job, need to change up the liars club words and the newlywed show ( starting to get old ). NCL production shows above average, guest entertainers were also above average ( loved Bud and JP ). Since we had this unwanted guest, we watched the shows from the nose bleed section.

Service at first seemed to be off, slow but as the cruise went along there appeared to an improvement.

Because of the unwanted guest, the internet appeared to be really slow since a lot of the PAX remained in their cabins.

Oh, the unwanted guest went by his nickname, Noro.

Nobody ( except NCL ) really knows how many got sick, the captain and CD did mention that they were at stage #2 and they never have seen it this bad before. Stage #2 is the highest level of countermeasures ( paper menus, no salt / pepper at the tables, no self-serving at the buffet, ect. ) they use to contain the virus.
JIMESOPUS’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 9090
First time in a while that we didn't find anything wrong. Room was clean when we arrived.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Walking Tour
    Walking tour of Brugge and chocolate making. The tour guide was great, and the chocolate making demo was fun and informative. The only issue was some of the PAX had walking difficulties, guess they didn't read the tour description. They kept falling behind and getting lost. This limited our time to do things on our own. At the end of the tour, I got off the bus and helped find some of the missing / late PAX.
    View All 45 Walking Tour Reviews
  • Cobh (Cork)
    We avoided the crowds, went up the hill and attended church. Later on, went to a local pub, had a pint and some lively banter with the locals. Later back down the hill and had some local food at the fair.
    View All 343 Cobh (Cork) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cobh (Cork) Cruise Port Review
  • Dublin
    We tender in at Dun Laoghaire. Tendring process was a nightmare, NCL really needs to step up their game here. Was able to get the 9 am train to Dublin and used to HO / HO bus. Found some of the stops where tourist traps but overall had a great time. Tendering back to the ship was better. NCL should have known that there was a large group of PAX with mobility issues aboard and additional help was needed to load the boats.
    View All 283 Dublin Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Dublin Cruise Port Review
  • Honfleur
    Seemed like a good place to visit. But with the rain and most of the PAX only wanted to eat somewhere, we ended up wandering around for three hours waiting for the bus to arrive. Most of the items were overpriced or poor quality. The picture bought at the pier was better quality.
    View All 43 Honfleur Reviews
  • Canterbury Walking Tour
    Besides the rain, really enjoyed the walk and the Cathedral. Found some local shops and was able to buy quality items ( glass animals ) at a reasonable price. The drive to and from the pier seemed awfully long.
    View All 3 Canterbury Walking Tour Reviews