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judyf
April 29th, 2009, 10:11 PM
Saw a post like this for the Star and thought it was great and then I thought I would post one on the Pearl. :D

Any tips, secrets or suggestions?

Just anything about the Pearl please post here.

Especially looking for tips sailing her in Alaska.

Is there a chocholate buffet on Alaska cruises?

hrfs
April 29th, 2009, 10:31 PM
Haven't been on the Pearl yet but I was on the Gem last year. The Gem is supposed to be almost exactly the same as the Pearl so I'm hoping that there will be the coffee machines on the Pearl. If you like coffee these are the greatest things ever. I want to take one home with me. Push a button and get really good, IMHO, cappucino or lattes or mochas. Was one in the buffet area and one in the Great Outdoors.

michigan tim
April 29th, 2009, 10:41 PM
The 2 cappucino/latte (no mocha) machines are between the Garden Cafe (the buffet) and the Great Outdoors.

SaySumthing
April 29th, 2009, 11:14 PM
We're sailing the Pearl to Alaska, too. Here are all the tips I've assembled over the past few months. Please, keep in mind that these are just things that OTHER people have written.

Book all specialty restaurants at least 24 hours in advance of when you want to go, to minimize wait and insure availability. Balcony/mini suites can book 48 hours in advance, full suites can book whole cruise at any time with concierge

If going to use spa facilities book as soon as you get on ship for the weekly pass ($99 per person for whole week). daily passes may or may not (most likely NOT) be available for around $20 per person per day.

In glacier bay, deck 7 still has good views, but is not as crowded.

The Great Outdoors Buffet gets good reviews, but is outside. You can get to there through La Cucina?

Indigo is the same food as summer palace, but is darker and noisier

where it says "Welcome" next to the stateroom there is a actually a thumbwheel hidden below the sign, and you can roll it to "do not disturb", "make up my room", "turn down my room", or back to "welcome".

One "secret" I enjoyed about the Pearl was the the cappacino machine on the starboard side at the back of the Garden Cafe. I loved it! Our room was on deck 11 aft-all we had to do was run up the stairs one flight to get one. We never made coffee but once in our room. This was SO much better and very easy to get to for us!

If you're in a suite, you can get anything you want for breakfast from room service. If it's not on the breakfast door card, then just write in what you want.

Ask for an egg crate for the couch bed


they may keep a binder at the reception desk containing the entire week's dinner menus for the main dining rooms. Just ask to see it on embarkation day and you'll be able to pick and choose which nights you want to dine in the main dining rooms and which nights are skippable, in which case you might want to reserve a specialty restaurant.

The secret chocoholic buffet is announced in small print on the back of Freestyle Daily magazine.

You can get creme brulee at Le Bistro even though it's not on the menu..ask your server what else is available!


We asked for a specific table at a specific time and it was reserved for us every night.

The drinking water on the NCL ships is great. Equal to or better than any commercial bottled water. This results from the water processing system on board.
This is not to be confused with the water in the bathrooms which may be potable but can be murky or even brown.
The water I refer to is that served in the restaurants. It is usually available also at the buffet restaurants. Sugggest that you bring a Lexan bottle and fill it and keep it in the fridge.

Bring your own straws, often they are impossible to find???

While it is true that I have found NCL waiters to be more accommodating in special requests (most cruise lines insists that if you want to sample a second entree that you have to take the entire plate - but NCL let us get a "side dish" of something we thought we might like to try)

On most ships you may have your first meal served to you in a real dining room, ordering off a real menu, rather than going to the buffet. If you do not ask, they often steer you directly to the buffet.

if sailing with children, they can order anything from the children's menu at any restaurant. Just ask your server.





NORWEGIAN PEARL RESTAURANTS


Summer Palace Main Dining Room – Deck 7, aft (Seats 558) Larger of the two main restaurants offering a traditional dining experience. Its ornate decor was inspired by the grandeur of the palaces of St. Petersburg, Russia. It has high ceilings and large windows across the rear.

Indigo Main Dining Room - Deck 6, mid (Seats 304) Smaller of the two main restaurants. Indigo is a modern dining room featuring a lighter, more contemporary menu and is decorated in bright blue, purple, and orange and looks much like a boutique hotel restaurant. As this restaurant is connected directly to the main galley, prompt and smooth serving of the food is ensured.

Garden Café – Deck 12, mid (Seats 390) The traditional buffet restaurant has been replaced with an "action-station" concept, where guests can watch the food being prepared. It has a special "kid's only" section, with lower counters and smaller tables and chairs seating 52.

Great Outdoors – Deck 12, aft (Seats 259) (weather permitting) Connects with the Garden Cafe. Breakfast & lunch buffet
Blue Lagoon Restaurant – Deck 8, mid (Seats 94) Located over the atrium, a 24-hour food court-style eatery featuring burgers, fish and chips, chili and other fast foods.

The Grill - Deck 12, mid (weather permitting) Casual poolside dining

Cagney's Steakhouse Restaurant – Deck 13, mid (Seats 176) Reservations required, $20 pp Upscale traditional steakhouse of the 1930’s serving steak, lobster, lamb, veal, and other grilled foods.

Le Bistro French Restaurant - Deck 6, mid (Seats 129) Reservations required, $15 pp French restaurant offering a menu of modern and classic gourmet fare

La Cucina Italian Restaurant – Deck 12, aft portside (Seats 96) Reservations required, $10 pp Casual Italian restaurant with a farmhouse-style atmosphere serving pasta, pizza and other traditional fare. .

Mambo's Latin/Tapas Restaurant – Deck 8, mid (Seats 96) Reservations required, $10 pp Serves modern Mexican, Tex-Mex and tapas. .

Lotus Garden Asian Restaurant – Deck 7, mid (Seats 162) Reservations required Lotus Garden serves Japanese, Chinese, and Thai cuisine. $15 pp cover charge. Sushi Bar serves sushi, sashimi. $15 pp cover charge. Shabu-Shabu serves Mongolian hot pot. $15 pp cover charge. Teppanyaki is a traditional Japanese grill where the chefs are entertaining and the food is grilled on an iron plate. $25 pp cover charge

Room Service .. menu in your cabin -- hidden in the information folder

judyf
April 30th, 2009, 07:49 AM
We're sailing the Pearl to Alaska, too. Here are all the tips I've assembled over the past few months. Please, keep in mind that these are just things that OTHER people have written.

Nice info, thanks for sharing.

TheNightDawg
April 30th, 2009, 09:03 AM
Here is another tidbit of info....

I sailed on the Pearl in Nov. 2007. We put together a Cruise Critic group for get-togethers, etc. One of the members let the Hotel Operations Officer know we were there, invited him to the get-together, etc. As a result, we were given a private tour by him personally of the villa suites (nice!). Also, they gave our group an hour & half of free bowling WITH complimentary beer/wine/well drinks! Even for us bad bowlers, it was a lot of fun trying to hit those pins on a moving ship. The ship was also wonderful in "sponsoring" our initial get-together with a continental breakfast. We all had a blast! :D

retired rascal
April 30th, 2009, 12:00 PM
#1] join the spa for the entire cruise and enjoy the heated stone loungers and the big puffy couches overlooking the bow with a HUGE view; #2] great cappucino/latte/espresso machines in the back of the buffet....next to the kids' area; #3] the window cushy seating areas in the deck 12 nightclub in the morning when it's empty....simply beautiful views; #4] teppenyaki...fun show by the chef; the steak is the best item on the menu; #5] the mini-suites if it's two people....perfect for two.

mbarnaby99
April 30th, 2009, 12:18 PM
This is good info since I leave for the Pearl in 9 days. I can't wait to get there.:D

McDebbie
April 30th, 2009, 12:51 PM
thanks for the tips!

bakerintn
April 30th, 2009, 04:03 PM
Maybe not for everyone, but the Pearl has an observation room for the ship's bridge and repeaters for their navigation system displays. Deck 11, all the way forward on the port side. There is also a film about building the Pearl that plays continuously there.

The reception desk has a small handout about the Pearl that is used in the presentation about a "behind the scenes virtual tour". Even if you don't go to the presentation, that fact sheet may be interesting to your party. Just ask at the desk for a copy.

The clothing optional sundeck does not have a sign to that effect....it just says "Freestyle Sun Deck" at the base of the ladder leading up to it. Probably not an issue for Alaska cruises, but go up there at your own risk.

irwins0001
April 30th, 2009, 04:36 PM
Great info. Thanks!!

hrfs
April 30th, 2009, 07:54 PM
The 2 cappucino/latte (no mocha) machines are between the Garden Cafe (the buffet) and the Great Outdoors.

Really, no mochas? My memory is playing tricks on me. Definitely remember loving the coffee machines though.

sailingsistah
August 6th, 2009, 07:18 AM
Maybe not for everyone, but the Pearl has an observation room for the ship's bridge and repeaters for their navigation system displays. Deck 11, all the way forward on the port side. There is also a film about building the Pearl that plays continuously there.

The reception desk has a small handout about the Pearl that is used in the presentation about a "behind the scenes virtual tour". Even if you don't go to the presentation, that fact sheet may be interesting to your party. Just ask at the desk for a copy.

The clothing optional sundeck does not have a sign to that effect....it just says "Freestyle Sun Deck" at the base of the ladder leading up to it. Probably not an issue for Alaska cruises, but go up there at your own risk.

Does anyone know if the Gem has this "Freestyle Sun Deck?"

delco
August 6th, 2009, 08:46 AM
Does anyone know if the Gem has this "Freestyle Sun Deck?"

Yes, the Gem has a freestyle deck as do all of the Jewel class ships. And soon the Epic.

bakerintn
August 6th, 2009, 09:13 AM
Really, no mochas? My memory is playing tricks on me. Definitely remember loving the coffee machines though.

You can make a servicable mocha by adding some of the hot chocolate powdered mix that is there to your latte.

derf5585
August 6th, 2009, 09:18 AM
I heard a rumor that there are cars being transported in the cargo hold. A great place to hang out.;)

sailingsistah
August 6th, 2009, 04:40 PM
Yes, the Gem has a freestyle deck as do all of the Jewel class ships. And soon the Epic.

Thanks for the answer, now I'll know where to look for my husband if he doesn't show for dinner. Hahahah!

ihopfar
August 6th, 2009, 11:31 PM
The drinking water on the NCL ships is great. Equal to or better than any commercial bottled water. This results from the water processing system on board.
This is not to be confused with the water in the bathrooms which may be potable but can be murky or even brown.
The water I refer to is that served in the restaurants. It is usually available also at the buffet restaurants. Sugggest that you bring a Lexan bottle and fill it and keep it in the fridge.

Have other people had murky or brown water in their stateroom? I thought all the water on the ship was the same. I was planning on filling water bottles in our stateroom not the buffet. Is this not a good plan?

derf5585
August 7th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Does anyone know if the Gem has this "Freestyle Sun Deck?"

Is it true what happens on the Freestyle Deck stays on the Freestyle Deck?
from
http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=906343

tgptmp
August 7th, 2009, 09:21 AM
Is it true what happens on the Freestyle Deck stays on the Freestyle Deck?
from
http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=906343

My wife and I have found that the freestyle deck is someplce that we like to go on seadays. My wife not into going freestyle and I am impressed with my wife so I don't go there for the scenery. But rather we NEVER have a problem with deck chairs and it is quieter there. Often you can count on one hand the number of people who are up there.

FYI--I have never seen anything (other than a few topless women) that would not happen on the pool deck. But if I do I will let you know.

hrfs
August 7th, 2009, 08:11 PM
Have other people had murky or brown water in their stateroom? I thought all the water on the ship was the same. I was planning on filling water bottles in our stateroom not the buffet. Is this not a good plan?

I have never had brown or murky water but having heard it doesn't make good drinking water I didn't want to try it when I was on the Gem or the Pearl. I usually let the ice melt in the ice bucket and used that for drinking water. They have signs at the buffet water station asking you not to fill bottles there, I don't know if they actually stop you if you try it though but I never tried.