Pearl or Jewel?

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#1
Washington State
671 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
I plan to book an Alaska cruise for the end of summer 2012. There are Seattle round trip itineraries in both the Jewel and the Pearl. Stat-wise the two ships seem to be nearly equal as far as number of passengers, ship size, crew size. I think I prefer the itinerary that the Pearl does, but if it were an inferior ship compared to the Jewel, I'd go with the better ship.

Any opinions as to the two or are they basically the same?

Thanks!
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Norwegian Sky (Alaska) 9/10/2000
Norwegian Star (Hawaii) 9/1/2002
Norwegian Star (Mexican Riviera) 10/20/2004
Norwegian Pearl (Alaska) 9/13/2015

#2
Chicago
1,485 Posts
Joined May 2010
We've been on both, the Pearl to Alaska, and the Jewel to the Bahamas, we are sailing the Jewel to Alaska June 2012. They are both wonderful ships, you couldn't go wrong with either one. Just pick which itinerary you like best and go for it!
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Norwegian Pearl to Alaska 6/21/2007
Norwegian Star to Alaska 6/19/2010
Norwegian Jewel to Bahamas 6/18/2011
Norwegian Sun to W. Carib 2/18/2012
Norwegian Jewel to Alaska 6/16/2012
Norwegian Gem to Bahamas 6/15/2013
Norwegian Sun to W. Carribean 2/22/2015
HAL Noordam to Alaska 5/23/2015
HAL Westerdam thru Panama Canal 9/30/2015
#3
Portland Oregon
2,767 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
The ships are virtually sisters with the Jewel being one year older. The Pearl has the rock climbing wall where the Jewel dosn't. There will be a pricing difference mainly due to the difference in routes - the Pearl visits Glacier Bay and Victoria and the Jewel visits Sawyer Glacier (Tracy Arm) and Prince Rupert BC.

I have seen Sawyer Glacier twice- both from a mile back - it is nice but I am looking forward to Glacier Bay next June on the Pearl.

In reviewing the excursions from this year, the Pearl guests have an option to spend the day on a jet boat going up Tracy Arm. The trip is only done in Late May, June, July, and early Aug. So if you still plan on Sept it would not be an option.

Like I posted earlier on another thread - AK is more than Glaciers - it is history, native culture, wildlife and more. There is so much to see and do, I will be on my third trip and still have not seen it all.

Again do not go by the ships - they are nearly identical and the way the crews change around, they will also be different by next year. Look at the excursions from this year (they probably won't change much for next year) find the ones that you really think you want to do and click the box that says "find a cruise for this excursion" and make your choices from that.

Also visit http://cruiseportinsider.com/index.html for more details on what to do in each port - also check out their video tours - they are a quick way to get a taste of what some of the excursions are all about.
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#4
Washington State
671 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Thanks for the comments. The first cruise my husband and I ever went on was Alaska on the Sky. We didn't do any excursions, just walked around the port towns where the ship stopped. Even without excursions, it's still my favorite cruise ever. I enjoyed just sitting and seeing the scenery go by and watching the weather change.

I enjoy the whole shipboard experience, booking a suite and being spoiled, dining in the specialty restaurants, taking advantage of activities... so that's why I wondered if there was any difference shipwise. But it sounds as though there isn't (a climbing wall isn't a selling point for me ).

Glacier Bay was fantastic on our last trip though, so I think I am probably going to choose the Pearl.
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Norwegian Sky (Alaska) 9/10/2000
Norwegian Star (Hawaii) 9/1/2002
Norwegian Star (Mexican Riviera) 10/20/2004
Norwegian Pearl (Alaska) 9/13/2015

#5
Portland Oregon
2,767 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by mbuenzli
Thanks for the comments. The first cruise my husband and I ever went on was Alaska on the Sky. We didn't do any excursions, just walked around the port towns where the ship stopped. Even without excursions, it's still my favorite cruise ever. I enjoyed just sitting and seeing the scenery go by and watching the weather change.

I enjoy the whole shipboard experience, booking a suite and being spoiled, dining in the specialty restaurants, taking advantage of activities... so that's why I wondered if there was any difference shipwise. But it sounds as though there isn't (a climbing wall isn't a selling point for me ).

Glacier Bay was fantastic on our last trip though, so I think I am probably going to choose the Pearl.
Onour first AK cruise (on the Sky as well) we did one tour in Juneau - Mendenhall & Whale watching combo, two in Skagway - a horseback ride and the iron horse ride , none in Ketchican and Beauchart Gardens in Victoria. On the second trip we had our teenage kids with us and did similar excursions. Next June we will have my mother-in-law with us - first time crusier who has seen most of the AK interior but not the SW. My wife plans on simply relaxing and/or walking around the towns shopping. I have one tour planned in Skagway - riding the train to Carcross and taking the bus back. When things get closer, and NCL publishes the excursions for 2012 I will bring my MIL up to speed. She is not a hard core web surfer, but she knows her way around in cyberspace.
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#6
Colorado Springs
146 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I did the pearl this year with my wife and had a blast . We chose the pearl because when we were looking at it we wanted as much time in glacier bay as possible and right or wrong were convinced that the pearls itinerary would be the best of that.

We have been on 2 NCL cruises the epic and the pearl in both cases got a balcony room. Upon getting off the ship both my wife and I made the observation that the rooms were bigger and nicer on the pearl. The staff was better trained and more outgoing. All in all it was an amazing vacation.
#7
Colorado Springs
146 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I did the pearl this year with my wife and had a blast . We chose the pearl because when we were looking at it we wanted as much time in glacier bay as possible and right or wrong were convinced that the pearls itinerary would be the best of that.

We have been on 2 NCL cruises the epic and the pearl in both cases got a balcony room. Upon getting off the ship both my wife and I made the observation that the rooms were bigger and nicer on the pearl. The staff was better trained and more outgoing. All in all it was an amazing vacation.
#8
Colorado Springs
146 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I did the pearl this year with my wife and had a blast . We chose the pearl because when we were looking at it we wanted as much time in glacier bay as possible and right or wrong were convinced that the pearls itinerary would be the best of that.

We have been on 2 NCL cruises the epic and the pearl in both cases got a balcony room. Upon getting off the ship both my wife and I made the observation that the rooms were bigger and nicer on the pearl. The staff was better trained and more outgoing. All in all it was an amazing vacation.
#9
Colorado Springs
146 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I did the pearl this year with my wife and had a blast . We chose the pearl because when we were looking at it we wanted as much time in glacier bay as possible and right or wrong were convinced that the pearls itinerary would be the best of that.

We have been on 2 NCL cruises the epic and the pearl in both cases got a balcony room. Upon getting off the ship both my wife and I made the observation that the rooms were bigger and nicer on the pearl. The staff was better trained and more outgoing. All in all it was an amazing vacation.
#10
Colorado Springs
146 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I did the pearl this year with my wife and had a blast . We chose the pearl because when we were looking at it we wanted as much time in glacier bay as possible and right or wrong were convinced that the pearls itinerary would be the best of that.

We have been on 2 NCL cruises the epic and the pearl in both cases got a balcony room. Upon getting off the ship both my wife and I made the observation that the rooms were bigger and nicer on the pearl. The staff was better trained and more outgoing. All in all it was an amazing vacation.
#11
Colorado Springs
146 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I did the pearl this year with my wife and had a blast . We chose the pearl because when we were looking at it we wanted as much time in glacier bay as possible and right or wrong were convinced that the pearls itinerary would be the best of that.

We have been on 2 NCL cruises the epic and the pearl in both cases got a balcony room. Upon getting off the ship both my wife and I made the observation that the rooms were bigger and nicer on the pearl. The staff was better trained and more outgoing. All in all it was an amazing vacation.
#12
Washington State
671 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
All along I've been looking at the Pearl and pricing that trip, but today I did a camparison with the Jewel. For the same category SF Penthouse suite on the final sailing of the season of each ship (9/8/2010 Jewel 9/9/2012 Pearl) the Jewel is $819 cheaper!

Any thoughts on why the Jewel would be that much less? Is Sawyer Glacier vs. Glacier Bay that significant to the cost? Every other port is the same...Seattle, Ketchican, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria.
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Norwegian Sky (Alaska) 9/10/2000
Norwegian Star (Hawaii) 9/1/2002
Norwegian Star (Mexican Riviera) 10/20/2004
Norwegian Pearl (Alaska) 9/13/2015

#13
Central California
2,775 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
We are going on the Jewel the last weekend in May, and while Prince Rupert may have been a stop for the Star is is most definiitely not a port we will be visiting on the Jewel it is replacing...

The Jewel will have much nicer hours (read: mostly daylight) in Victoria, but less hours than the Pearl in Skagway. And of course you have the Sawyer Glacier (decent, not great) with the Jewel and Glacier Bay (can be very nice, 5 glaciers all together) on the Pearl.

Tracy Arm, of course, is another nice perk you will want to factor in for your planning...
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Cruise History:
  • Oct. 2016, Med. Passage TA, Royal Princess
  • Sept. 2015 W.E./Transatlantic Royal Princess
  • Apr-May 2015 New Orleans -Boston TA NCL Dawn
  • Apr-May 2014 Panama Canal Repo NCL Jewel
  • Apr-May 2013 Hawaii NCLA Pride of America
  • May-June 2012 Alaska/Seattle RT NCL Jewel
  • October 2011 Bahamas 4D NCL Sky
  • May 2011 Western Caribbean NCL Spirit
  • May-June 2003 Inside Passage AK HAL Amsterdam
  • Sept. 1999 Catalina/Ensenada 4D Carnival Ecstasy

#14
Washington State
671 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by kcfoxy
We are going on the Jewel the last weekend in May, and while Prince Rupert may have been a stop for the Star is is most definiitely not a port we will be visiting on the Jewel it is replacing...

The Jewel will have much nicer hours (read: mostly daylight) in Victoria, but less hours than the Pearl in Skagway. And of course you have the Sawyer Glacier (decent, not great) with the Jewel and Glacier Bay (can be very nice, 5 glaciers all together) on the Pearl.

Tracy Arm, of course, is another nice perk you will want to factor in for your planning...
Yeah, the Pearl's itinerary without much daylight time in Victoria is a negative, and the Jewel's fewer hours in Skagway is its downside. But then again I think Jewel has a better port day for Ketchican. Arghhh! I think Sawyer vs. Glacier Bay is going to have to be the deciding factor though I guess I'd better study the excursions to be sure and that $800 less for Jewel surely is significant.
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Norwegian Sky (Alaska) 9/10/2000
Norwegian Star (Hawaii) 9/1/2002
Norwegian Star (Mexican Riviera) 10/20/2004
Norwegian Pearl (Alaska) 9/13/2015