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Sail Date: February 2018
Just returned from our first cruise. After hearing numerous cruise stories from other family members, we finally decided to cruise. About us - We are 62 & 65 retirees & have been Cruise holdouts. We normally do 2 trips a ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise. After hearing numerous cruise stories from other family members, we finally decided to cruise. About us - We are 62 & 65 retirees & have been Cruise holdouts. We normally do 2 trips a year where we make all the arrangements-air, accommodations, car rental, attractions, dining, etc. it’s a lot of work but also part of the fun of trip planning. We had no plans to travel at this time of year(February) but had a bad case of winter blues. We looked into Florida & Arizona at the height of the season Not a lot of availability. Also been there last year. Looking at options & remembered seeing cruise ships out of New Orleans. Husband was slightly reluctant. Picked Norwegian based on sisters personal recommendation, size of ship, & it appeared to be more adult oriented. Decided on Norwegian pearl out of New Orleans. We were able to drive from St. Louis (10 hours). Spent the night in New Orleans at rathborn mansions - walkable to French quarters. Enjoyed dinner & music. Perfect start to our vacation. We parked our car at the port of New Orleans Julia street cost of $20/day. (Side note - we found parking lot the evening before - glad we did that as it can be confusing the day of cruise) Embankment was easy. The pearl is beautiful. The crew were wonderful. We chose an cabin with an obscured view -8th floor. That level of cabin gave us 2 ‘free at sea’. We wanted the food upgrade & the drink upgrade. We had a blast exploring the ship. Our cabin was perfect 8578. For the upgraded dining we selected Carney’s (don’t miss this restaurant if you are a steak eater) & the French restaurant (twice). Both were exceptional. We tried to hit a majority of the food places - sushi, noodle place, captains dining room, osheean, the indoor & outdoor buffets. All were great with exceptional staffing. Our least fav was the captions dining - it was just OK compared to everything else. There are many things to do on the boat. If you’re bored that’s your problem. We saw 3 shows, bowled, watched some very bad karaoke but they were having fun, listened to music at the various bars & made it to nightclub 2 Times ( danced had great time). Husband like the cigar bar Service was great throughout our trip. As far as shore excursions, I wished that we would have planned something. We walked the port at Cozumel & did a little shopping. In costa maya, we walked to one of the fishing villages. We should have taken a cab, golf cart or a shuttle. Return cab was 4 bucks. You could get an hour Massage for $20. My Massage on beach was wonderful Overall experience was wonderful. Met some great people. Would definately do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
The Norwegian Pearl 5 night cruise, sailing out of New Orleans, offered a great bargain and an escape from a cold winter. This was my 6th cruise, but first with NCL. New Orleans is wonderful city with loads to see. I was able to ... Read More
The Norwegian Pearl 5 night cruise, sailing out of New Orleans, offered a great bargain and an escape from a cold winter. This was my 6th cruise, but first with NCL. New Orleans is wonderful city with loads to see. I was able to explore the French Quarter prior to boarding. After the cruise, the Garden District and Audabon Park made for a wonderful day. NCL offers staged check-in. I chose an early check-in. This kept me from waiting in lines, but left to wait almost 2 hours in the pre-boarding waiting room. Having early check-in also allowed me to be one of the first to board the ship and to dine. My first impression of the ship was positive, but not jaw-dropping. Everything was clean and attractive, but not fancy or flashy. The steteroom was tiny, but clean, comfortable and well decorated. I appreciate the smaller size of the ship as it was easy to get about. Activities abound. The cruise staff team did an excellent keeping us entertained: quizzes, contests, game shows, dance lessons, Spanish lessons, cooking demos... The "Not So Newly Wed Game" was one of the funniest things that I have ever witnessed. Vincent, the cruise director, had a Johnny Carson like ability to milk details from the contestants. The evening shows in the theatre were quite entertaining. Comedian Eddie Clark was hilarious; one the funniest that I have seen. The Elvis impersonator from the "Legends of Rock" show was excellent. He handed out scarves and kissed dozens of women from an Elvis Fan club. He took his art seriously. The food at the buffet was hit and miss. I prefer dining in the table service restaurants. The food in The Summer Palace, Indigo, Osheen's, and Jade Garden ranged from very good to occasionally excellent. Overall, I liked the free-style dining concept. Service was excellent except for one night, which was abysmal. Shore excursions on Cozumel and Costa Maya were wonderful. I booked ahead online. It was easy and saved me from having to wait in line. Overall, the Norwegian Pearl Western Caribbean Cruise from New Orleans was an incredible bargain. Everything was good or very good. My only complaint is the prevalence of cigarette smoke. It was hard to escape at several places onboard. I could smell it coming into the theater from the casino during the evening shows. The promenade deck was completely encircled by smokers. Even half of the pool was a smoking section. This was off-putting. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our 12 or 13th cruise. We decided to go on a shorter 5 day cruise this time. For us it was the perfect amount of time. Embarking was rough. We really don’t expect much but it would have been nice to have our Latitudes level ... Read More
This was our 12 or 13th cruise. We decided to go on a shorter 5 day cruise this time. For us it was the perfect amount of time. Embarking was rough. We really don’t expect much but it would have been nice to have our Latitudes level recognized so we could have been on the ship about an hour sooner. No signage or direction provided. Once we were on it went much better and our luggage arrived outside our door much sooner than expected. We did get frustrated with the deck chair situation on the 13th deck. 15 minutes after we left NOLA they were stacking them up, we were literally told to get off the chairs. Every day they were stacked up from 4:30 to 5:00. We love watching sunsets in a quite location and ended up standing to do so each evening. Not very relaxing after a busy port day. The entertainment was good. The production crew performed once. The acrobatics/dance by the engaged couple was fantastic! The captain was relaxed and very friendly. All staff was friendly and seemed to be very happy. The management must be good, it shows in the staff. We got off the ship in both Cozumel and Costa Maya. We took a taxi to a beach each day, we like quiet a beach. I can’t comment on the dining rooms as we are vegetarians and the buffet provides better options for us. That is not a complaint, to us it’s a plus with NCL. We found the ship to be immaculate. We went to the bridge observation room four times. We got back to NOLA later than expected. Much later than our prior NOLA cruises. Not sure why we were late but just rolled with it as best as we could. We had a 12 hour drive to complete to get home. We did self disembark and again came to the conclusion that some people just shouldn’t try to do that. That is not anything NCL can control. All in all we had a really great cruise and look forward to experiencing NCL again. We needed a relaxing break from jobs etc and the cruise was perfect for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We love that this ship sails out of New Orleans which is 3.5 hours away from us. No flying! We enjoy getting the "free" perks that come with booking, too. It was interesting to see, though, that the gratuity on the drink packages ... Read More
We love that this ship sails out of New Orleans which is 3.5 hours away from us. No flying! We enjoy getting the "free" perks that come with booking, too. It was interesting to see, though, that the gratuity on the drink packages and dining packages went from 18% when we cruised last February to 20% in February of this year. The luggage drop off is extremely easy and convenient. Because we booked an aft penthouse suite, we had priority embarkation which was so quick. As soon as we got our key cards, our concierge helped us book the last two restaurants and we had just a bite from the lovely snack bar that was available. Then we were personally escorted onto the ship. Our room wasn't quite ready so we were taken to the suite/haven guests only dining area. There was even a special elevator to take us there which saved standing in the long line of people at the elevator banks. The specialty restaurants are all so delicious and service is immaculate. Our favorite is Le Bistro. Cagny's and La Cucina come in second and third. We ate at the MDR one night, though, and were disappointed in the service as well as the food. It was okay, but I guess dining at the other restaurants first made our standards a little higher. Our room steward, Victor, was the best I can remember having. He had a great attitude and took care of everything beautifully. We had a butler, too, Teresa. There were flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries, and champagne waiting for us in the room. Every afternoon she brought another delightful treat. Sadly, though, we didn't eat very much of those snacks because we had already had plenty to eat that day. Still, it was fun to feel so special getting those beautiful plates of food. We mentioned that we were celebrating Tommy's birthday even though it was a few weeks earlier. She brought us a birthday cake at one point. The room was beautiful and so comfortable. The only negative is the size of the water closet. It's very small. It was also wonderful having O'Sheehan's on the same floor and not far away. Anytime we wanted a drink or a snack, it was so convenient. The buffet was one of the best I've experienced on my many cruises. (pizza not so good, though!) There's also an outdoor eating area at the back of the buffet that we didn't find until half-way through the cruise. Debarkation was also great. We were given priority tags on our luggage that is put out the night before. We were to go to Stardust Theater between 8 and 9. As soon as all of the luggage was cleared, we were all taken directly to have our key cards scanned for the last time. When we got to the luggage area, ours was in the priority group which wasn't very large so it was SO easy to find our bags. We asked for a porter. He took us directly to customs which was the quickest ever. Then he took us all the way to our car which was parked in the lot. Painless. We will definitely sail with NCL again! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
It went from New Orleans, our home town. We went because we just wanted some relaxation. We have cruised on Norwegian many times. We like the Free Style Dining. Embarkation was fine. The food was good, and the staff very nice. We ... Read More
It went from New Orleans, our home town. We went because we just wanted some relaxation. We have cruised on Norwegian many times. We like the Free Style Dining. Embarkation was fine. The food was good, and the staff very nice. We especially like Le Bistro and Moderno specialty restaurants. The speed of service in the Summer Palace was usually very good. In the past we had found it too slow. The nightly shows were excellent! The weather was nice, but because of that the pool was very crowded. We had wanted to do some swimming, but didn't. We would like to see more active contests like the bean bag toss and golf. There was no shuttle from the ship to the shore at Costa Maya as advertised. There were so many people that perhaps there was no room for it on the walkway. The room left much to be desired as I state below. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Able to experience the a 2 Bedroom, 2 bath, Suite in the Haven with Unlimited Drink pkg., 3 night Specialty Dining, $50 off Shore excursions, 250 WiFi minutes, and $300 on-board spend for $1850 each. Food was very good-to-excellent. ... Read More
Able to experience the a 2 Bedroom, 2 bath, Suite in the Haven with Unlimited Drink pkg., 3 night Specialty Dining, $50 off Shore excursions, 250 WiFi minutes, and $300 on-board spend for $1850 each. Food was very good-to-excellent. Ate in about every restaurant on the ship. All of the food was very good and in most cases, excellent. Service was excellent. Having a Butler was a first for me. Ship was old but very well maintained. Would rate the cleanliness on par with Disney. Which I think is the best in any venue. Cruise was smooth. Entertainment overall was average. The acrobat couple however, were amazing. Other than a climbing wall, basketball court, etc., the activities were sub-par. The cabin was the largest one that I have ever stayed in on any cruise ship. The master bath was bigger than what I have at home. To summarize, the Haven spoiled me. I would have hard time ever cruising again without going NCL Haven. In fact, I have already booked the Bliss in the Haven for later this year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I took my Wonderful Wife on this cruise for a birthday present. She loved the ship, the buffet, the wonderful crew. We dined in both main dining room to great food and service. we dined in three of the specialty dining room. ... Read More
I took my Wonderful Wife on this cruise for a birthday present. She loved the ship, the buffet, the wonderful crew. We dined in both main dining room to great food and service. we dined in three of the specialty dining room. Cagney's was Superior the food was Special and staff was excellent. The Italian and French establishments were poor and sadly a Great disappointment. Food selections were not Italian or French. Service at the French fair was none existent, I mean we sat for 3 hours with little contact. Hey you asked, I am telling. The was the worst of the trip. The BEST was the friendly rest of the day(s). On ship the people (staff) were great. The cabin good the bath design was awesome. I used the fitness facilities and took a book out of the library. I had forgotten how enjoyable it can be to sit and read. I have a strong complaint concerning the communications. PLEASE listen! the pamphlet is the room each day is great. Why can't you have interactive TV in the cabin. I should be able to access my billing status from the cabin. I like the bow camera but how about expanding the idea to include a banner with the time and temperature. The Map channel was poor cycling. The Screens by each elevator should be interactive. What information would I want? I want to see the daily schedule of event, Up-To-Date menus for all the dining rooms. Status of special events. NEWS and Anticipated WEATHER at local excursion areas. Excursions for the next port with filled or open slots, cost would be nice. I absolutely Certify This Information is Factual and True Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose the cruise based on our anniversary we were celebrating on 2/20. The cruise was so much fun. The staff was so friendly and funny. I was worried about people getting the flu and spreading it so I was so happy about the washy ... Read More
We chose the cruise based on our anniversary we were celebrating on 2/20. The cruise was so much fun. The staff was so friendly and funny. I was worried about people getting the flu and spreading it so I was so happy about the washy washy disinfectant spray being sprayed on hands as they enter the restaurants. The cruise staff made it so funny singing I wants wash your hands to the tune of I wanta hold your hand. lol We ate at several of the specialty restaurants since we bought the package. The steak, hibachi and Italian places. I honestly wouldn't buy the packages again. The food really wasn't any better than the dining rooms and you can eat anytime you want to eat in the dining rooms without reservations. The steak place was just ok. We are from Texas so we know steak!! The Italian place was really cute like a little quaint house. The food was good. The hibachi place was a lot of fun and worth going for the entertainment. The ship was really clean. Would like to have known show schedules before making dinner reservations. Also there were themed nights I would have like to have known to bring clothes to dress for. I thought water should have been included in the drink package. I'm not a big drinker so they def made money off of my drink package. The cruise was really a lot of fun due to the cruise staff and entertainment. Would go again. It's really improved since the last Norwegian cruise we took many years ago. I loved the free style cruising. No set schedules for eating. Only walked through the casino a couple of times to get somewhere else. Couldn't handle all the smoke. Smelled awful!! The cruise director was a hoot with all his crazy clothes. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Everything about this cruise was great! Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and quick. The ship as well as my cabin were clean and user friendly. Cagney’s Steakhouse was awesome! I did not care for the food or service at Teppanyaki. ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was great! Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and quick. The ship as well as my cabin were clean and user friendly. Cagney’s Steakhouse was awesome! I did not care for the food or service at Teppanyaki. Loved Jimmy and the Parrots and Bud Anderson! The Legends show was great too! Service was good. On two separate occasions during the morning and midday, the wait staff by the pool were not attentive at all. My housekeeper, Cinada (not sure of spelling), went above and beyond. She was great! Loved all the ports but Harvest Caye was the best! The shore excursion at Cozumel to Playa Uvas was outstanding. The wait staff could not do enough for you. Food and drinks were really good. The snorkeling provided an experience to remember with lots of colorful and interesting fish with gorgeous coral. I will be traveling with Norwegian again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
First time NCL client and was very impressed (mostly). The ship was very nice, the amenities were very presentable. We never ate in the same establishment twice. The food was very good and the service excellent everywhere on board. ... Read More
First time NCL client and was very impressed (mostly). The ship was very nice, the amenities were very presentable. We never ate in the same establishment twice. The food was very good and the service excellent everywhere on board. The bars became quite crowded at times but the tenders tried very hard to help everyone quickly. The cabin (mini suite) was a bit smaller than on other ships we have been on but it was clean and quite comfortable. Our cabin steward was fantastic. Always friendly, very efficient and took good care of us. Even knew our schedule and had our room done all the time. Two complaints, on is at O'Sheehans, the pub. There was only one person at reception and showed people to their tables. that took some time and the line up to get in gets longer and longer and, the service was a bit slow there. Food was great though. The big complaint was the smoking areas. The entire length of the pool deck on the starboard side, under the walkway, was a smoking area. You could not get away from the smoke even when sitting on the loungers. The starboard side of the pool deck always smelled of smoke. There is also smoking allowed in the casino. To get to the theater on deck 6, you need to go through the casino and it smelled like an ashtray. We do like to lose a few bucks while onboard but it smelled so bad we actually saved some money and never went in :). here were other smoking areas on the ship as well. I find it interesting that there were so many and so much assigned to smokers. Not a problem but did not like the fact we could not use our sea cards on Harvest Caye, book excursions on the ship. Cash only if you wanted food or drinks or souvenirs or rent equipment.. Interesting thing, we did not book anything from the ship and wanted to use the paddle boards and electric boats. The guys asked for cash, for less than the ship offered, and put the cash in the "tip jar". People that had vouchers from the ship had to fill out forms, we did not. Methinks they took the cash and pocketed it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We have sailed on 15 NCL cruises, but we weren't overly impressed with this particular ship. We had sailed on it prior to it's refurbishment and although the cabin changes were nice (thanks for all the USB ports!), it seemed ... Read More
We have sailed on 15 NCL cruises, but we weren't overly impressed with this particular ship. We had sailed on it prior to it's refurbishment and although the cabin changes were nice (thanks for all the USB ports!), it seemed like they made the ship harder to get around. The hallways in the cabin areas (at least on deck 8 where our cabin was) twisted and wound around making it twice as far to get to down the hall, and especially difficult with a wheelchair (more about that later.) In places, it was impossible to get the chair down the hall if they had carts or laundry bags in the hall without having to move everything to get by. It appears they added some crew areas for storage or whatever and our cabin happened to be directly next to one. It wasn't a huge problem, but it was quite noisy in the evening when they were turning down cabins. Although most of the crew we encountered were perfectly friendly, the service on this ship seemed to be significantly slower than other ships we've sailed. Most evenings it took over an hour and a half to have dinner in the dining room. We started going to O'Sheehans because it was quicker and the food was as good or better. The first night of the cruise, we were missing one suitcase. We asked our cabin steward and he said there might have been something that needed to be confiscated. We couldn't think of what it could be since we pack the same things on every cruise. Well, they confiscated my 4 inch USB powered fan. When I went to guest services to ask why, the woman working the desk was very rude and said she had "been on ships for 2 years" and they had always confiscated fans. I replied that that was untrue because I had been on 4 cruises in the last 2 years and have never had it confiscated. Long story short, she agreed to have the electricians take a look at my fan to see if i could have it back. They agreed that it was no risk and I picked it up the next day. My mom slipped getting into one of the hot tubs on the pool deck and hurt her foot so we got to visit the medical center on a ship for the first time. We were impressed with the staff and the facilities. They were able to x-ray her foot and give her a hard boot to keep her foot stabilized. We were able to rent a wheelchair at Guest Services for the remainder of the cruise. It made things much easier for her, but gave us an appreciation for what mobility impaired people have to go through on a daily basis. We had to plan our routes around the ship to avoid places the chair couldn't easily go, which usually meant much more walking and elevator rides just to get where we wanted to go. On the last night of the cruise, we called guest services to see what we needed to do to return the wheelchair we had rented. They said we could just leave it in our cabin and the cabin steward would take care of it. Easy peasy, or so we thought. When they scanned my mom's card to get off the ship, an alert came up that we had not returned the wheelchair so we had to step aside and wait while they had someone go check our cabin to see if it was there. Seems like they don't communicate well between departments. We probably won't cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We went on this particular cruise because it was out of New Orleans, which was close for our relatives that we cruised with. Comparing this itinerary to the eastern or southern Caribbean: the western Caribbean (Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize ... Read More
We went on this particular cruise because it was out of New Orleans, which was close for our relatives that we cruised with. Comparing this itinerary to the eastern or southern Caribbean: the western Caribbean (Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize & Cozumel) seemed a notch down in beaches, scenery and quality of excursions. I don't need to go to the western Caribbean again for a long while. Did I miss LOBSTER NIGHT? Did they have one? RCCL always has a lobster nite. The ship was renovated last year...a lot of what I experienced seemed new and clean. Even though the ship's capacity was about 2500, it was lacking an "interior beauty". The "atrium"/common central area was relatively small and only 2 floors high. I'm used to an atrium that's 7-10 floors high and you could look up at some huge chandelier and see the elevators go up and down. Plus, in some areas, you "can't get there from here". Only on floors 7-12 could you walk from one end of the ship to the other. The worst thing about our ship experience was that they cut the departure times in Costa Maya and Cozumel back by an hour. The ship left an hour earlier than the times on our confirmation and Cruise Documents. This put a crimp on our excursions and we had to get back earlier than planned. They only told us this the night before and there was no explanation. This really bothered us and our plans. Another thing that really bothered us was one night eating in the Lotus Garden. The food was great, but just one floor below us was this horrible piano player, Lewis. We didn't care for his style or voice, and it was just amplified way too much; we could hear each other at the table. His bar below us was open to our dining room above. I spoke to the Cruise Director and he said he's check the volume level on the guy to make sure, but Lewis played loudly all around the ship. Also, the volume in the theater doesn't have to be as loud as it was either...I like loud, but just take it down a notch. This, plus the tiny cabins and cabin bathrooms were the worst parts. But we had EXCELLENT SERVICE, FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Date and itinerary fitted our needs and this cruise was excellent value all round. The UK drinks package is particularly good value and the food on this cruise was of the usual high standard in the restaurants. We avoid the buffet on all ... Read More
Date and itinerary fitted our needs and this cruise was excellent value all round. The UK drinks package is particularly good value and the food on this cruise was of the usual high standard in the restaurants. We avoid the buffet on all cruises at main meals if we can, so cant comment on them, but on Pearl our few visits to the buffet were very pleasant and there was enough seating. O'Sheehans is a bit isolated on Pearl so was always a quiet bet even at busy breakfast times. Service was consistently good, particularly in cabin and dining rooms. Bars could get a little crowded for service a times but never much of an issue. The Lavazza coffee included in the premium UK package still causes problems as staff dont readily provide it in the restaurants and it takes ages to arrive. 'Americano' requests especially provide hours of comedy value.(think teapot of hot water with tiny espresso cup of coffee) In the USA too? It was a bit less difficult in the Adriatic, though not much. My husband does not drink, and this is his only beverage off the beverage package. That could make us reconsider the whole Norwegian deal. I do drink, so maybe not. Few cruises spend enough on good choreography for the ships' dance troupes and Pearl was no exception I'm afraid. Guest entertainers were well chosen, especially the Duo Millennium. Harvest Caye was a pleasant surprise but Costa Maya was not. The tourist tat ashore was among the worst I have seen and it was not easy to get beyond it. Without a trip here I would stay on the ship. We were back in less than an hour or so. Embarkation and disembarking were among our easiest and it was generally relaxed. Overall we were happy with a well managed cruise. Americano anyone? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I chose this cruise because it was a music cruise and we've been on several before. It went out of NOLA and that was great. Embarkation went smoothly WE THOUGHT. Shortly after we got on the ship we found out that they dropped our ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a music cruise and we've been on several before. It went out of NOLA and that was great. Embarkation went smoothly WE THOUGHT. Shortly after we got on the ship we found out that they dropped our suitcase into the Mississippi River. Yea, you read that right!! Everything in it was soaked. First off they tried to deny what happened. Then tried to blame it on us. Um....a whole pallet of bags went in! They did launder the stuff but tried to balk at my instructions. I did NOT want our stuff ruined. They replaced the destroyed meds but I had to chase that down. I should not have had to do that. Other than that there was nada. NOTHING! I lost hours of my vacation chasing down things that they should have done. I finally gave up on the NCL staff trying to salvage my vacation. The company that puts the concerts on was great! They offered remuneration and a few perks while on board. That was much appreciated but really, it wasn't their deal. NCL should have been more sympathetic to the customers. If it weren't for the music cruises we love being on the Pearl we'd never EVER do a cruise on NCL again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Mardi Gras in New Orleans was a great party as expected before we went on our cruise. Over all we had a good time on our vacation although there were a few unexpected disappointments. Obviously we did not use our magnifying glasses to ... Read More
Mardi Gras in New Orleans was a great party as expected before we went on our cruise. Over all we had a good time on our vacation although there were a few unexpected disappointments. Obviously we did not use our magnifying glasses to read the fine print when we purchased our on board packages. There were 2 couples in our group. We both purchased the "ultimate beverage package" and discovered quickly that it does not include water, juice, or gourmet coffee. It also does not include the beverages in your mini bar, bottles of wine, or any beverage over $15. Not to worry though, you can purchase a 6pk of water for a mere $14.99 or a 24pk for $58.00. We also had the excursion package which does not cover any excursion, but they will give you a $50.00 on board credit, per stateroom, for any excursion booked through the cruise line. Activities on the ship included tennis, golf, shuffle board, bingo, rock climbing, bag toss, and ping pong, all provided weather permitted and for an additional charge. Our Ports of call were Cozumel, Roatan, Harvest Caye, & Costa Maya. All ports had shops built specifically for cruise lines so you felt very safe. According to the locals who worked in these tourist traps, they were only open when cruise ships were docked in port. We booked a private excursion through Viator for a mini submarine aka (BOB) in Cozumel. It was an unforgettable experience. Harvest Caye was absolutely beautiful but the beverage packages do not extend to the Norwegian owned island. We booked an excursion that day for the Nim Li Punit ruins just so we could actually experience the true culture of Belize. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and the vendors at the ruins were very polite. We had time to walk around Harvest Caye upon our return but do not make the mistake of thinking you can walk bare footed on the beach. It has been created from what appears to be crushed sea shells. The entertainment on the ship exceeded our expectations. The acrobatic couple, magician, comedian, dancers, singers, etc were all very good and I would suggest going to every event possible. The Newlywed not so newlywed game that was hosted by the cruise director Vincent, was absolutely hilarious. We spent a lot of time in the casino which was actually more liberal than we anticipated. We were lucky enough to have a waiter named Roddy, from India, who worked on the pool deck and in the casino who was outstanding! I have given this vacation a 3 star rating in part because the ports of call are not authentic but mostly for falsely representing their cruise packages. I am still trying to figure out their definition of "all inclusive." Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We just got back from a very enjoyable cruise on the Pearl. Our first on NCL after many on other cruise lines. NCL did a very good job. Embarkation went well with us, they have you go thru the paper work first then wait till its your ... Read More
We just got back from a very enjoyable cruise on the Pearl. Our first on NCL after many on other cruise lines. NCL did a very good job. Embarkation went well with us, they have you go thru the paper work first then wait till its your groups turn to board. Water was available The ship and our room were in great shape and met our expectations. The lady taking care of our room did a great job. We had dinner each night in the Summer Palace main dining room. Food was good and service was great. You could tell they had cut back a little on the more expensive items (shrimp/crab/scallops and no lobster but food variety and quality was good. Ate in buffet all but once for breakfast. We liked everything but corn beef hash. No lox. Made to order omelets were great. The drink package worked great and we were very happy with quality of liqueur/wine/beer. Two pools (nothing special) hot tubs were pretty warm (a good thing). Entertainment was typical shows, comedian and magician were pretty good. Acrobat was really special. No real hard sell to go to special stores, buy pictures etc. We appreciated that. Debarkation went well (we walked off ship with our luggage). One thing extra and very unexpected was ship management attended Cruise Critic “Meet and greet” and did a follow up meeting at the end of the cruise. They really care about meeting customer needs. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We travelled with a large group of friends, just as we have done in the past on other cruise lines. Last year we were on the Celebrity Reflection which was fantastic in every way. This time - the Norwegian Pearl. Although we definitely ... Read More
We travelled with a large group of friends, just as we have done in the past on other cruise lines. Last year we were on the Celebrity Reflection which was fantastic in every way. This time - the Norwegian Pearl. Although we definitely had a great time because of the people we were with, we were extremely disappointed in the Pearl. There just isn't much 'grandness' here - ceilings are low, it's difficult to find your way around on board, and we just won't go with Norwegian in the future. Our room steward was fantastic, and some of the wait staff helped create some great memories for us. However, we really disliked the cruise director, Vincent who seemed about as insincere as they get! It became a joke in our group to see how often he would use the term, ' . . . and so much more' during our cruise. Vincent seems to be all about Vincent, and less about the onboard guests. We really disliked the overpriced Bingo games, too which are nothing but a money-maker for Norwegian (so is Deal Or No Deal) - it's all 'electronic' and the 'jackpots' were never awarded (due to their rule of 47 numbers of less must be called for the blackout). I'm not even sure it's POSSIBLE to win. The stage shows with the professional group entertainers were excellent (the singing/dancing troupe), and Duo Quintessence, an aerial act was fantastic! Other on board talent was really mediocre including the comic, the magician and crooner, Lewis. The casino also didn't seem to pay out much, although they kept announcing huge jackpot winners (that we never did see for some reason!). We also felt a constant 'rocking' motion on board the Pearl as well, something we did not experience on the Celebrity Reflection last year whatsoever. If you travel on the Pearl, undoubtedly you can have a great time, but there are so many other options that are so much nicer and likely more affordable. The Pearl has lost its luster. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Everyone and everything was great. Couldn't have asked for more. Unless you lower the prices and include more than the 1st 2 people in the room to have the drink package special. Great shows. Awesome Waiters/waitresses. So much to do ... Read More
Everyone and everything was great. Couldn't have asked for more. Unless you lower the prices and include more than the 1st 2 people in the room to have the drink package special. Great shows. Awesome Waiters/waitresses. So much to do and not enough time to do it all. We did 2 excursions, Swimming with the rays and Mayan ruin/Spice Farm and both where super good!! Didn't really care for Roatan Honduras, there just didn't seem to be anything to do or see other than high priced shops that wont price haggle with you. Belize is pretty and has a friendly atmosphere. Costa Maya was my favorite of the 4 ports we visited with a trolley or cab ride to the beach with beautiful scenery and lots of local shopping!!! I'm not into working out so I didn't visit the Fitness Center or the Spa. The ship has a very nice large selection of gold and diamond jewelry. I would definitely go for this itinerary again even though Roatan wasn't my thing. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We choose this cruise because we had family flying in from SFO that wanted to go to a few parades before we sailed away on Feb 11. We had a group of 30. Almost all of us booked inside cabins. We all had the drink package and tips ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we had family flying in from SFO that wanted to go to a few parades before we sailed away on Feb 11. We had a group of 30. Almost all of us booked inside cabins. We all had the drink package and tips included in our cruise fare. We all had a great time. Boarding from NOLA was not a problem on the Sunday morning. We did arrive early to avoid some of the parade traffic. The ship was always clean. The food in the buffet area was presented well and was tasty. The main dining room had choices for all. My family really enjoyed the pub. Open 24 hours and always found seating. The bartenders at the Martini bar were really nice. The pool deck bartenders were not as nice (especially in the aft bar). We always got a drink and requested top shelf and had no problem. The entertainment was cruise ship quality - not bad - not fantastic. I really liked the layout of the ship, it never felt crowded. I still find cruising a good value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
this was our 4th or 5th cruise on the Pearl crew was polite and efficient but not warm or friendly. Rufus our cabin steward was an exception as was guest service officer Tony Rosa. .had plumbing problems 2 days seemed like it effected ... Read More
this was our 4th or 5th cruise on the Pearl crew was polite and efficient but not warm or friendly. Rufus our cabin steward was an exception as was guest service officer Tony Rosa. .had plumbing problems 2 days seemed like it effected the whole 8th floor repair started quickly but apparently not easily cleared most inconvient to treck down a deck to find a rest room. no apology just a phone call to ask if it was working. food was adequate but nothing outstanding . this sounds totally negative but over all it was a good cruise these are all persomal gripes We enjoyed the cruise met great cruisers and are ready to go again we will NOT be takeing the Pearl off of our upcoming list She is a nice convient ship and the Cruise Critic Group was a real highlight' hope to see YaAll on board again soon Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I Cruise a lot and this was my first time on the Norwegian. NEVER AGAIN!! They served the same food everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only changes to the meals were the soups and having pasta/ carrot and potato salads ... Read More
I Cruise a lot and this was my first time on the Norwegian. NEVER AGAIN!! They served the same food everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only changes to the meals were the soups and having pasta/ carrot and potato salads different days in the case with the toss salads. Most of the staff were very unpleasant. I got tired of hearing from people "Oh that's just their culture"... No! you are in customer service point blank. Speak and smile. We got the beverage package and most of the bartenders were so tight to pour more than a shot in a drink or got made when you asked to make a drink that was already in a premade container. Listen it's paid for and there is no way anyone will drink 10 drinks a day and I didn't like how the premade drinks was mostly mix or juice. I think it was so rude for wait staff to reach over you and and your food at the table while you are still eating to grab an empty plate. SAY excuse me and ask for it! And to make things even worst, I fell on a wet floor and was in a brace for most of the trip. They treated me like I did something. The asian gurl was so rude and unconcerning about my pain. I am still trying to get the incident report for my doctor. The prices were so high in the stores to buy liquor or gifts...UGH I can go on but you get the picture. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because of Norwegian's Freestyle concept and the perks we got. We were a nice size group of 52. From the minute we arrived at the cruise port, it was horrible! No organization whatsoever! There wasn't even a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of Norwegian's Freestyle concept and the perks we got. We were a nice size group of 52. From the minute we arrived at the cruise port, it was horrible! No organization whatsoever! There wasn't even a line. Just a crowd of confused people. The attendants at the port was of no assistance. NONE! The ship itself was nice, actually I was pleasantly surprised how nice our cabin was, being that the ship is older than I'm used to. Also, the ship was smaller than I'm used to, but I figured I might as well enjoy it. We were supposed to sail away at 4pm, NOPE.... Sailed away at 6:45pm. Even after all that time in port, they were missing items such as sugar for margarita rims. I go out and about and I notice that there is a fairly large group onboard made up of about 1700 cruisers. Ok, no prob, right? Wrong. Throughout the cruise, all the service staff assumed that we were apart of that group. Maybe that is why they gave us such terrible service. And when I say terrible, I mean TERRIBLE! Bartenders rolled eyes when I sat at the bar. One host informed us that "OUR" party wasn't in the Spinnaker Lounge. It was to the point that we had to constantly tell staff that we were not part of the Grown and Sexy group. Dining staff rolled their eyes when we spoke and said hello. Also, there were little to no activities. There were shows here and there, but few and very far in between. When they had activities, they were at awkward times. The food was great though, especially at O'Sheehans and Lotus Garden. The Summer Palace had great food, but, service was colder than the coldest day at the North Pole! Also, it was very slow. I would rather eat at the Garden Café (The buffet) than to eat at Summer Palace. Speaking of the Garden Café, the attendants there were great! Especially their handwashing songs and their shouts of "Washy Washyyyyyy!" and they have you hand sanitizer. Come to think of it, they were the only ones that smiled. Back to the other large group, because of the lack of meeting spaces, they closed down several areas of the boat at various times such as the Bliss Lounge, and the 12 deck pool deck. I tired to cross the deck to get to the other side of the aft of the boat, I was told to up to the 13th and go over, then come back down. HA! Overall, the staff made me feel like I was in the way. There were few hospitable people, such as Jason, our cabin steward. The rest of the staff should be fired immediately. I wouldn't recommend Norwegian to my WORST enemy. First and last Norwegian Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Weather was cooler than usual. Inside cabin was fairly big 8623 inside and bed was comfy and was really cleaned well each day. Loved all the food options but buffet seemed to be same old every day. Only liked two of the ports Harvest ... Read More
Weather was cooler than usual. Inside cabin was fairly big 8623 inside and bed was comfy and was really cleaned well each day. Loved all the food options but buffet seemed to be same old every day. Only liked two of the ports Harvest Caye was nice but two expensive for souvenirs would loved to be able to buy from the locals. Did not like the house band lace. There was a charter on board so a lot of areas were closed for private functions. Loved our cabin Stewart Victor. We left 2.5 hours late so we did not get to see the Mississippi River so another disappointment. Took that long to load all of the luggage. Getting on and off the ship was good. Navigating around the ship was confusing. Would like to have more activities like line dancing on deck during the day. Would not go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
I picked this cruise because it tied in well with a casino room/travel offering. Anytime I can get on a ship with relatively low cost and hassle, I will do it. New Orleans is a great city to visit and walking to the port is always I ... Read More
I picked this cruise because it tied in well with a casino room/travel offering. Anytime I can get on a ship with relatively low cost and hassle, I will do it. New Orleans is a great city to visit and walking to the port is always I highlight for me. I've learned to listen and watch carefully during embarkation for numbers (or Platinum status) to be called. It can be a bit noisy there. But we were on the ship and in the Garden Cafe by about 11:30 a.m. Good deal! A large group was on the cruise. Grown and Sexy. I would happily sail on the same ship with that group again. Since that group had many of their own activities it often meant other parts of the ship were less crowded than usual. Particularly the theater. We did not take any shore excursions, electing to walk on our own. Taking a shuttle from the port at Costa Maya to Mahujal was about an 11 minute ride. We went to the end of the line and then walked back along the beach. Very entertaining. We elected to walk back to the ship along the highway that the shuttle followed. Took a bit less than an hour and also provided some good scenery. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was a reunion Cruise that left out of New Orleans. Check in at the Terminal was not a quick process. Once through Security we were herded into a waiting room with no direction or what to do. After about 10 minutes a lady came ... Read More
This was a reunion Cruise that left out of New Orleans. Check in at the Terminal was not a quick process. Once through Security we were herded into a waiting room with no direction or what to do. After about 10 minutes a lady came walking through yelling that if you are not in line to get a boarding number you need to get in line. Once in line we were handed a numbered card. At the check in counter the representative was nice enough. She took out passports and processed our paperwork and gave us our Ship Cards. Once this process was completed we were herded into another waiting room to await our boarding number to be called. About 30 minutes later our number was called. At the security check point before the gangway we were stopped by security. My wife's photo and personal information was on the magnetic strip on my Ship Card and mine on hers. We were directed to the on board Guest Service desk where we stood in line for about 45 minutes. We explained to the Guest Service rep the issue and he took out cards to a back room. A few minutes later he emerged and said everything was good. We went to our cabin only to find our Ship Cards would not open the cabin door. Back to Guest Service for another 30 minute wait in line. Again the rep took out cards and when he returned said everything was good to go. We went back to our cabin and my card was able to unlock the door. After a trip to the lido deck, when we returned to our cabin again the cards would not unlock the door. Again back to Guest Service,this time the rep wanted to see for himself and took our cards to the room to verify they would not work then back to guest service where were told everything was good to go. While at the bar we learned that until we were well into the Gulf of Mexico we were being charged an alcohol tax even though we had the unlimited beverage package. Day two we made a trip to the Casino on board the ship. When my wife and I inserted our Ship Cards into the slot machines her name and DOB was assigned to my card and mine to hers. Once again back to guest services where we were told the Casino needed to fix the issue. after a trip to the Casino guest services everything was fixed, or so we thought. After the fix our cards would not unlock out door. Once again back to Guest Services where the issue was finally fixed. The cruise line charges a fixed daily service charge (Prepaid Gratuity based on cabin cost) which they explain is split among the service staff on board. The bar tending staff and servers obviously know this and were not very friendly or customer service oriented. Restaurants: The menu in the ships restaurants did not change much at all from day to day. The food was bland and very small portions. we ate at Lotus Garden the ships Oriental Restaurant. The waiter forgot to place our Sushi order. The food was bland and portion size was very small. I ordered a beef and vegetable dish with rice noodles. There were plenty of noodles but one small slice of beef and two slivers of carrot. Ports of call. Cozumel: We did the Mexican Cooking Excursion which was absolutely fantastic and fun. Roatan Island Honduras: The port is a dump. We took a tour van, no through the Cruise Line, to tour the island and had a blast with our tour guide. We were able eat at a local restaurant which was an adventure in itself. Be prepared for street vendors to approach you wherever you go anywhere near the port. Harvest Kaye Belize: You are in Belize territory but not really in Belize. This is an island owned by the Cruise line. The shops are manned mostly by Canadians. Nothing really authentic here. Your Drink Package is not honored here although the Cruise Line owns the island and shops. Costa Maya Mexico: Not much here but shopping at the port unless you want to pay for an excursion through the Cruise Line. We did the Salsa Making and Dancing class which is advertised as having alcoholic beverages during the entire excursion. Entire = 2 Either a Margarita or a Beer. On a scale of 1 to 10 I rate this excursion a 5. Read Less

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