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Found 5,816 results

  1. SailorMiken

    Bowling on the Pearl?

    Hi Everyone, While researching our upcoming TA trip on the Pearl I discovered that they have bowling alleys. I am hoping someone can shed some light on the details. What are the hours and what is the cost associated? I guess the bigger question is, is there bar service available while bowling?😎 Thank you!
  2. jdodmead


    We're going on a 4 day Blues cruise in Feb. and I'm wondering if Pickleball is available on the Pearl. I've spent a lot of time looking here and elsewhere and I just can't find the answer. fyi:This is our first time on a cruise. I would also like to ask that if you buy a bucket of beer, do they all get opened right away and/or can you save them for a while unopened?(don't care to start a new thread just for that) thanks Jeff
  3. Markanddonna

    The Pearl today (Sunday)

    The Pearl hasn't docked yet and is still out at sea because of the fog. Any reports?
  4. CruisingSince1982

    Unlimited Internet - Pearl

    Is the premium wifi significantly faster than the regular wifi for emails and calls?
  5. I am in Tampa, scheduled to board the Pearl shortly. But the news is reporting that fog prevented ships from departing yesterday and others from arriving today. According to reports, other lines seem to be communicating with passengers about status, but we haven't received any communication from NCL. I checked the marine map, and it has the Pearl still in the gulf. Anyone on board that knows an expected arrival time? Not sure what to do or when to go to the port. Thanks!
  6. I've had several questions go through my head recently, but I didn't want to start a new thread for each one, and I have forgotten some of them, so I'll post a few questions I have (as a NCL rookie) and probably come back to this thread when I think of more. These first questions are about Embarkation Day. 1, I don't want to add to the rush to the buffet; are O'Sheehans or the MDRs open for lunch? 2, will the pool(s) and hot tub(s) be open while still in port? 3, will the bars in the pool areas be serving while still in port? Not related to embarkation day, 4, I take a white noise machine with us when we travel. I don't see the machine being a problem, but I've heard there is a lack of outlets in each room. Can I bring an outlet splitter as long as it isn't a surge protector? Like this one for instance: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Philips-6-Outlet-Wall-Adapter-Side-Access-Outlets-SPS1060T-17/ 5, will they post a schedule of activities before the cruise or will we have to wait for the dailies? TIA and any additional advice would be great!
  7. CruiseGal999

    NCL Pearl Cabin 10567

    Does anyone have personal info. and/or photos of this cabin? I wanted to know if there is 1 or 2 bunk(s) on the walls. I am hoping NOT ... but was wondering what the reality is. Thanks ...
  8. I was on the Pearl over Christmas - great time was had by all! We did get an extra "bonus day at sea!" There were multiple announcements made throughout the day with updates. Unfortunately, with the fog, coast guard instructions, multiple ships in port trying to leave, and multiple ships trying to get in (not just the Cruise Ships), it was hard to give definite arrival times. The main problems were passengers that didn't follow instructions and filled up the stairwells, main areas, etc, with themselves and their luggage. We had planned on spending an extra day in Tamps, so we weren't concerned with our flights, hotel, etc. which made it way easier for us to enjoy the extra 10 hours on the ship. Also the bars were opened, and our beverage package still honored! They had a few activities including a movie in the theater, trivia, bowling alley open, music on the pool deck and food! We also were able to stay in our room, and keep our luggage there, until disembarkation. I think there are some great tips I'd like to share that I've learned: (This was our 9th Cruise, 4th on Norwegian - and 2nd on the Pearl). 1) Remember you are on a cruise ship at sea. Weather happens. Seas can get rough. Ships can't always dock in the port due to weather, including winds and waves. You must be flexible and realize that the Itinerary may change. (We were on a cruise out of Port Canaveral during Hurricane Wilma, and all the ports stops were switched around, and we left 2 hours early, at a very high speed to go out to sea to avoid much of the storm. It was a very rocky ride, but we made the most of it). 2) Make alternate plans. We always try to go a day early and stay a day later. This provides us the flexibility to make changes if weather impacts us. I didn't have to spend the extra 10 hours on the ship standing in line to use the phones or internet. My family enjoyed the extra time we had 🙂 3) Be understanding of the cruise staff and follow their directions! If passengers would just follow the basic directions given, everyone would have a better time. Don't cut in lines; don't try and use the elevator to gain access ahead of others in lines; show up at the stated times; etc. We had a wonderful time, and although the Pearl is smaller and a bit older, we have enjoyed the staff and ship both times we sailed! I'd be happy to answer any questions ---
  9. Hey everyone, Second time on the Pearl this Thanksgiving and so excited. We bid for a balcony (from interior) last year and didn't get it. I know a lot of it is based on occupancy but I was just curious to know if anyone had their bids accepted on the Pearl and what they bid. Thank you!
  10. CruiseLover1997

    Norwegian Pearl Ornament

    Recently I sailed on the Norwegian Pearl and every year I have purchased the ship replica ornament from the gift shop on board but this year they were sold out. Will anyone be sailing on the Norwegian Pearl any time soon and be willing to purchase the ornament and mail it to me? Of course I will reimburse you the funds, I think they are $12 :) Thank you so much in advance! Rachael
  11. Does anyone know if the TVs on the Pearl have any type of HDMI or usb input connections?
  12. My wife and I are on the Pearl out of Tampa in March. We picked the SDP when we booked out cruise last year. We have two restaurants picked already to try and I am looking for input from others. On our last cruise we had dinner at Moderno and loved it, so we are going there one night. I've picked Cagney's for one dinner also. So now we are down to La Cucina, Le Bistro or Teppanyaki to pick for the third. Just want to hear from feedback on each as we are open to trying any of those three.
  13. Hi, Yes, I did a search. The most recent thread for this subject was 2015 Does anyone have the list of liquor bottles and their prices for buying onboard? Its our first time cruising on NCL, and there’s no option for prepurchasing a bottle of liquor to be sent to your cabin...but It seems you can buy one at any bar once onboard? The list i saw for 2015 had a long list of brands, and they were 1 litre bottles. Thanks for your help!
  14. I know there is no Haven restaurant on this ship so what is the difference between a suite and Haven cabin on the Pearl.
  15. aceparty


    Hello we have the Star booked for Nov. 2019. However I will be running in the Berlin marathon in Germany in sept and thinking about doing NCL pearl 2 days after the marathon . so I was wondering which ship is better. the int is very close to each other (I will add below) we are already doing 2 weeks on the Escape in Jan. so time off of work for my girlfriend will be tight. We have the Star booked: 12-Day Italy & Greek Isles from venice Nov. 10th to 22th CRUISE PORTS Embark Venice (Italy); Kotor (Montenegro); Dubrovnik (Croatia); Corfu (Greece); Santorini (Greece); Athens (Piraeus) (Greece); Mykonos (Greece); Naples (Italy); Rome (Civitavecchia) (Italy); Florence/Pisa (Livorno) (Italy); Provence (Marseille) (France); Disembark Barcelona (Spain) We are looking at the Pearl instead 13-Day Greek Isles & Italy from Rome (Civitavecchia) Oct 1st to 14th CRUISE PORTS Embark Rome (Civitavecchia) (Italy); Kotor (Montenegro); Dubrovnik (Croatia); Corfu (Greece); Santorini (Greece); Athens (Piraeus) (Greece); Mykonos (Greece); Taormina (Sicily) (Italy); Naples (Italy); Florence/Pisa (Livorno) (Italy); Monte Carlo (Monaco); Disembark Rome (Civitavecchia) (Italy) A lot of the same ports. The cost is almost the same. The perks are very close. It will be our 27th cruise, but our first Europe cruise. never been on the STAR or PEARL. All input would be good. Probably will stick with the Star unless there is more positives with the Pearl.
  16. Anyone off the NCL Pearl recently? Can you tell me if they have the Solo Group Meet Ups each day? NOT Cruise Critic Meet Up ... but the NCL one. I recently sailed on NCL Gem and they had it down perfectly. I am hoping this ship will also do the Solo meetings. AND it's NOT a singles/meat market meet up either. Just to clarify. Thanks ...
  17. “ ‘Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the Pearl; The seas were so rough that it made the CREW hurl…. The Shoppies & Steiners were snug in their beds, While visions of Revenue danced in their heads….” We sailed on the Pearl on the Dec. 9th sailing out of Tampa on a 2-week ‘Panama Canal’ cruise. This was our ‘retirement’ present to ourselves, having just sold our business (Restaurant/Bar) of 13 years and finally able to get away for more than a few days without the anticipation of a phone call from an employee or customer. First off, some background.. I am 53, live with my Wife (49) in Pennsylvania. This was my 33rd cruise. The last 17 have been on NCL, the first 16 were on RCCL, Carnival and Celebrity. We switched to NCL when they started the Freestyle concept and have stayed in Outside cabins, Balconies, Two-Bedroom suites, Owner’s Deluxe, and for the last 2, the Garden Villa. So this review may seem like it is coming from a spoiled, privileged cruiser, but since we have had very little ability to get away for the last 13 years, we spoiled ourselves when we could. Plus – the Casino has given us substantial discounts for the last 5 cruises. I have also been a (very small) part-time travel agent for 10 years, for family and friends as well as the small discount we get in commissions when booking our own trips. Even so, the Garden Villa cost the three of us (Myself, Wife and 23 year-old Daughter) about $25K. Hey, you only live once, right? Anyway, this review is from the perspective of a GV suite, 14500, so some of the experience will only relate to the Haven ‘class’ of cruising, although most of it will be the Pearl in general. The Garden Villa Experience The GV on the Port side of the ship was about 2/3 the size of the larger ones on the earlier-built class like the Dawn, where they have no Haven and you get the entire upper deck 15 to yourselves. Made not a whit of difference since the GV is HUGE on any ship, especially for just 3 people. Private hot tub (when it had water in it, they were working on the hot tubs for a few days and had it drained) was perfect in temperature and great to soak in during sea days and at night. Amenities were first class, from the bathrooms to the wet bar to the espresso machine to the SERVICE. OH, the service. The Butler, Peter Silva, was great. Any wish was his command. Snackies every day, continental breakfast laid out every morning by 7am, along with my favorite Laugen Rolls (Those pretzel things. I just LOVE ‘em) Gummies, M&Ms, cookies, etc. You get the picture. Chocolate Strawberries for my Daughter every afternoon was a big hit. Our Stateroom Attendant, Jeffrey and the Pool attendant were great as well, always smiling and greeting us by name, they kept things spotless and neat, despite rough weather and high winds that blew all kinds of debris around our deck for most of the trip. We had a couple of specialty restaurant deliveries/setups in the room, mostly from Lotus Garden, Breakfast from Moderno/Cagneys and the MDR menu. Food was always hot when delivered and it got there quickly. The best part of the Haven experience for us on this trip was, without a doubt, the Concierge. Anoop Bhanu had just signed on from his vacation after being on the (Getaway, maybe?) and despite the fact that he was as newly embarked as we were, got right into the swing of things. He became to us, the ‘Silent Ghost’. It almost became scary how whenever one of us mentioned his name, he appeared like magic. I kid you not. With almost 50 Haven cabins to handle (Can’t imagine how they do it with almost 100 on the bigger ships) Anoop was, without a doubt, the most attentive, friendly and professional individual I have ever known on an NCL ship (Sorry, Adrian Bica, love ya, man, but, wow…) We learned about Anoop, he learned about US, he really cared and became a friend to all 3 of us. He just could not do enough for us, whether making dinner plans, spa stuff for the girls, entertainment in the main showroom with reserved seats on the upper level, port debark, etc… Anoop was just amazing, 24/7. Despite being under the weather for the last day of the cruise, he made sure that we and the other Haven guests were taken care of at all times. We could not have asked for a better Concierge, he is our Cruise Hero. Well, that is the Good. Now, the other side of the Pearl Equation. (This is cruise CRITIC, after all) Time to be critical… The Good, The Not so Good, and the Kinda Ugly… The following experiences and/or critiques are based entirely on MY personal experience. Your mileage may vary. First off, what I did NOT utilize, nor shall I comment on them: Kids program. Sports. Deck Parties/Cruise staff events. Shore Excursions (we did our own). Art Auctions. Napkin Folding. Dance Classes. Not-So-Newlywed. Deal or No Deal. Hairy Legs competition. Many folks seem to have enjoyed them, some not so much. Entertainment- We went to the Piano Player show (although I forgot his name) He was quite talented, and the show was enjoyable. The Magician was very good, although being almost directly above him gave away a couple of his secrets. The Aerialist couple was very good as well. Their show was a mix of acrobatics, new-age trapeze and contortionism, with several video presentations thrown in about their personal origins as a couple and the development of their act. The lounge/bar/atrium/pool deck soloists and bands were all good, if not memorable. No big deal, as they change all the time and are pretty much standard fare on most of the fleet. Ports of Call – TAMPA- Embarkation was late due to Customs issues, supposedly only 2 CBP agents for the whole ship to get off. The ‘VIP’ Haven lounge was just a roped off segment of the main room with very lax checking for access. People that were not Haven guests were coming in and out, thinking it was a ‘snack bar’ for everyone. The port people seemed a bit overwhelmed by it all. Got on the ship around 12:30 Grand Cayman – The weather and seas were rough, so we could not tender in, as there are 2 ports in GC, one that accepts 2 ships and the other one that was closed. We were the 3rd ship to get there, so we could not get to that port and had an extra sea day. Ocho Rios – Grabbed a taxi outside the gates and did a 2 hour tour. Jack In the Bush, Fern Gully, etc… The usual local folks trying to sell weed. Hit the Taj Mahal shopping center to get Cuban Cigars before returning to the ship. Cigar store there had really good prices after haggling a bit. If you like Cigars, they have a great selection. Santa Marta & Cartagena Columbia – Seemed like the entire population tried to sell us something. Within 3 minutes of exiting the ship, I was offered weed, coke, ecstasy, hats, linens and magnets. When we took a taxi and asked to be brought to ‘Mr. Emerald’ , a ship-recommended store, the driver took us instead to one of ‘his’ stores which was ¼ mile away from the one we asked for. When I told him that we wanted Mr. Emerald, he pretended not to speak English and insisted in Spanish that we were where we had asked to go. Rather than argue in Spanish, we walked the rest of the way followed by persistent locals. Panama Canal & Colon, Panama – The ship went through the Gatun lock about 1.5 hours early so that half the ship was still in bed when we went through. The narrator did a fine job telling the history of the canal and describing the various stages of the passage. Once in Lake Gatun, the tenders took of shore-excursion booked guests and we anchored for a couple of hours before going back through the lock and docking in Colon, where there were a few shops & restaurants, a casino or two and a really neat ‘locals’ grocery store that had just about everything a scaled-down Walmart SuperCenter would offer. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica – Really beautiful country with few hard-sell approaches. All ship-sponsored shore excursions were cancelled due to a local tour operator work stoppage. (pretty sure it was THIS port, I might be incorrect) Negotiated with a local driver for a 3 hour tour. $60 got us a great driven tour around the area with a few stops, and he waited while we took a river boat rain forest ride that the ship was selling for $80 pp, we got it for $20 pp. He took us shopping, a Banana plantation (Del Monte) the HUGE container port that handles Dole, DelMonte & Chiquita fruit and a bunch (no pun intended) of other places. We were going to grab lunch at a locals place, but opted for the ship buffet instead. Harvest Caye – Wife & Daughter went to the beach and had lunch at the restaurant, they said that it was wonderful all around. I have read many mixed reviews of the island. Last cruise we took 2 years ago, they had just opened the island and it was quite rough around the edges. Apparently, they have gotten it together and it is quite enjoyable now. Santo Thomas De Castilla, Guatemala – We were supposed to tender here, but were able to dock. Nothing by the port except a huge warehouse with about 100 local vendors selling the usual stuff, as well as a ‘Jade Museum’ which was just an air-conditioned version of a usual stuff shop. Costa Maya, Mx – Best port of all, in my opinion. Over the last few years they have been developing this port into an almost ‘Disneyesque’ experience. Many shops, restaurants, pools, Dolphins and a really neat Aviary walkthrough with rope bridges and many tropical birds that you can feed and have them land all over you. We have 2 parrots at home, so this was particularly neat for us and well worth the $12 pp price. Restaurant was excellent as well. Safe, clean and friendly. Great merch to be had if you are able to haggle prices with the shopkeepers. Tampa, redux – We were late getting into the port, so disembarkation was a nightmare for most people, but we were lucky in that our Butler escorted us past all the lines right down to our luggage area and through to CBP and our waiting car to take us to the Airport. The Food - Here’s where it gets a bit dicey. I know that NCL is not Renaissance 7 Seas, Crystal or even HAL or Princess, so I don’t really expect 5-star cuisine. Having been in the restaurant biz for a long time, I believe I am qualified to review this part with some knowledge. The quality of the food, the portion size, the variety and the service has dropped dramatically in the last couple of years. I could write an entire review of just the food, but I will sum it up. No more lobster on the ship. Anywhere. No more smoked Salmon at the buffet. No more Tomahawk Chop in Cagney’s. Only 6 fish available at the Sushi Bar. Le Bistro and Cucina have improved dramatically. Basically, for the most part, the specialty restaurants were good to very good, nice presentations, good service (see caveat below). The free options, not so much. Pushing, shoving, arguing and rudeness were the order of the day at the buffet. Washy Washy, yes… Happy Happy, nope. Every meal began by someone telling us ‘You know, that is not included’ or ‘That is not part of the meal plan/beverage plan’ or ‘Water will be $6 a bottle extra’. It got to the point where I wanted to wear a button that said ‘I KNOW everything is extra, stop reminding me every 10 seconds’ One night we went to Teppanyaki and were not welcomed, but were immediately told (for the 5th time) that our Daughter was not included in the dining plan and would have to pay full price. I actually saw the Teppanyaki hostess, in front of the Concierge, ROLL HER EYES at us when I told her we KNOW she is not on the plan, we don’t need to be constantly reminded every meal of how everything is ‘not included’ or ‘extra’. I know it sounds like I am being a spoiled, petty, whining guest, but I tell you honestly, we were CONSTANTLY being made to feel like the proverbial ‘trailer trash’ by the staff on the ship. They used to welcome you FIRST, now they have been trained to tell you how much extra you will need to pay to prevent folks from complaining later. Which apparently some people do. It was just amazing how many slips you need to sign at each meal. For water bottles? Really? Casino – I ain’t gonna go there.. LOL Suffice to say it was verrrrry quiet for most of this 2 week cruise. But from G., the Manager, on down to the Pit Sups and Dealers, they were a great and friendly bunch of people. It was a true pleasure making my usual Donation. Service – I know that as a Garden Villa guest I was treated, on THAT end, extremely well and spoiled beyond compare, as I am sure the other Haven guests were/are. However, as far as the rest of the ship experience, from the Shoppies to the Spa to the Specialty dining it seemed like it was a constant push to generate revenue rather than enhance the guest experience. Apart from being nickel and dimed at every opportunity there was a constant feeling of the ‘hard sell’ going on. In the shops, if you stopped to look at something of high value, you were POUNCED upon and followed around the shop by someone trying to upsell something. In the spa, you could get a $40 service and then endure a 20 minute hard sell on $250 worth of products to take home. The Spa & Shop people were very dismissive of my 23-year-old Daughter, I believe because they did not see her as a ‘mark’ for potential revenue. She made one spa appointment herself, but when she showed up, they told her ‘someone’ called and cancelled it. No more, no less, no apology. So she did not GET that spa appointment. Until my WIFE called. THEN and ONLY then did they grant her the appointment. She was looking at a piece of jewelry in the shop one night in a virtually empty store and was not approached by a salesperson for 10 minutes, until I walked over to her and asked what she was looking at. 5 seconds later I had TWO shoppies practically run over to us and ask ME what I wanted to see or buy. Now, I am a realist. I understand that the ships departments must generate revenue as a whole in order to sustain a lower overall cruise cost for the consumer and be able to offer the ‘5 for free’ promotions, i.e. Unlimited drinks, Dining Packages, Internet, Friends and Family sail Free, and now Airfare. There is a great deal of competition out there for customers to choose from. But IMHO, NCL used to combine the lower price point with less focus on onboard revenue and more focus on guest satisfaction. It seems that is no longer the case. To sum it all up – While our experience was kind of unique as a Garden Villa group, while the Suite service was Sweet, the Itinerary, Food and other services were So-So. Ship Life, I suppose. Now that we have actual free time, we might give one of the Mega ships a try. Maybe Celebrity or HAL on one of the Nieuw ships, just to get a better perspective from a different brand standpoint. We still believe Cruising is the best way to Vacation. After all, there WAS a Christmas tree in our Garden Villa… And it wasn’t extra… Hope this review was helpful. Happy Holidays!!
  18. Someone was just taken by stretcher off of the Pearl inTampa. The person was then placed in the waiting ambulance. This was just about five minutes ago. It was shown on the Port of Tampa webcam. They zoomed in. Hope it is nothing serious. You could see the cruise personnel taking some luggage toward the terminal.
  19. I will start by saying I had a wonderful week aboard the Pearl, my fist time sailing on the ship. I sailed solo which I do about half the time with NCL. The Tampa port was a bit of a mess as the Pearl arrived late due to, fog. But I think it was just a couple of hours late, not the 10 hour fog delay we had on the return. I arrived by a van service. The driver was not allowed to pull into the terminal lanes, he was directed to a parking lot, dropped me there and I had to pull my bag through the lot, across the street, into the terminal, up to the check in level and eventually onto the ship as I never got to the porters at the terminal. Thankfully NCL had a drop zone in the Lotus Garden (Deck 7 where we boarded) so I was able to drop my bag with ease once onboard. Check in was a bit crazy, the further lane from the entry point was for those needing special assistance/disabled, really Tampa? The CAS line was crazy long, but the Priority Latitudes line was pretty empty, I moved to that line since I'm also Silver now. Check in with the agent was pleasant and quick, I loved that I'd already linked a credit card during my online check in, so step skipped at the terminal. This is my fist time sailing with the new boarding process, they use your Latitude status for boarding (After Haven of course). As we boarded we were immediately welcomed with the site of Christmas tree and decorations in the atrium, nicely done, though overall I'd say Dawn 2016 Christmas decor was better. After dropping my suitcase I headed to the Summer Palace for lunch and was seated by the window overlooking the terminal entry and Aquarium. Lunch was good, fantastic shrimp and arugula salad and the salmon pattie sandwich which wasn't as good.I didn't care for the key lime dessert, the texture wasn't for me. I took a self guided tour of the ship including a stop at the Spa to get my sticker for the Thermal Suite which I'd purchased online prior to the cruise at a stated $20 discount. Turns out the onboard price was more like $70 more, ouch! I had rude encounter with a spa attendant. I was second inline and she decided to call on the folks that were 3rd in line. I indicated that I was next, but she ignored me. After I was waited on and received my sticker by another attendant I asked her why she did that. She was a bit dumbfounded at first but eventually claimed she thought I was with the couple being waited on ahead of me, huh? She apologized, but it wasn't exactly sincere. She later asked me if I'd bought my package online, like it was a lesser pass as a result, sigh. I refused to let that sour my vacation. When cabins were ready I went, unpacked my backpack and continued my exploration. I discovered my bag was still sitting in the Lotus Garden so I grabbed it and brought it to the cabin and finished my unpacking. Our muster drill was delayed due to the late departure (maybe an hour or so late), but that was my next event. I went to the solo meet up at 5:30 but I was the only attendee, a theme for the week so the solo meet up was a bust on this cruise. I had dinner in Indigo and sat between two couples and we had great conversation during the meal. Shows: I attended the All Aboard show which was a nice sneak preview of the things to come for the week. The web site indicated two shows: Legends and Pure Variety, there were others: Christmas show, Queens of Rhythm (R&B) were wonderful and did different shows on two nights, Duo Quintessence acrobats brought the house down. I was less impressed with the crew talent show, but that is always going to be hit or miss. There were 3 bands that entertained around the ship for the week, a solo vocalist/guitarist and vocalist/pianist all were entertaining. That variety is one of my favorite things about NCL and the Pearl didn't disappoint. Bud Anderson was the comedian, he's clean I laughed, but apparently not everyone liked him, women maybe more than men? Meals: all complimentary Indigo, Summer Palace and Lotus Garden once with sushi which is an extra charge item. I ate lunch or late lunches at the buffet. The late lunches which were post excursion meals were a disappointment because the buffet closed at 3pm, before we returned from shore and we were directed to the Great Outdoors buffet which is really limited and even more so if you don't eat meat. I never had dinner or breakfast at the buffet. Breakfast was either at a MDR, O'Sheehan's or once I had a continental room service meal prior to an early excursion day. Spa & Fitness: I did a paid yoga class on Day 2, but never used the fitness center again. I used the Thermal suite 4 or 5 days out of the 7 with the ceramic loungers remaining my favorite feature. I think the suite on the Dawn is nicer, but I enjoyed my time there on the Pearl. The loungers on the Dawn face the aft of the ship and look out onto the ocean on the Pearl they face the opposite wall with the tea/water set up. The non ceramic loungers look out the aft. The Dawn also seemed to have a more social atmosphere, the Pearl felt sterile. Pool deck: I only spent time here on the final sea day, but the band was fun and I danced like no one was looking, lol. I never used the pool onboard Excursions: Harvest Caye - Did the Pedalboard Manatee option, loved the board (first time) but came in early due to rain and the fact that I'd experienced the board and didn't need to keep exploring. I walked through the bird area on the way back to the shopping area. I bought a couple for the bracelets that let you snap in the medallions, fun. By then the rain stopped I dipped into the pool followed by a dip in the ocean before heading back to the ship for shower, change and food. Costa Maya - Salsa, Salsa and beach: made 3 salsas, tasted Tequila, danced Salsa, enjoyed the beach and bought a trinket or two from vendors Roatan - Best of the West: visited the West End for a chocolate factory, shopping, tackled 7 suspensions bridges at an adventure park in the jungle and went to the beach at the fabulous resort (Paradise Bay Hotel?). Grand Cayman - Biking: took bus to bike location: 7 mile beach, Turtle farm, rum cake/punch sample, HELL and back to starting point, air conditioned motorcoach brought us back to port with time for shopping, etc. before taking tender back to ship Tampa - city tour and transfer cancelled due to late arrival NCL did an abysmal job moving passengers off the ship to shore each day. I cannot tell you why it was so bad on this ship, but I've never experienced such poor operations with NCL. Casino: I won, I lost, I had fun, staff isn't especially warm, but they didn't detract from my experience Renovated room is nice, inside cabin this trip, but I really enjoyed the upgraded TV and it seems there were better movie/programming options. I found that I took naps the first 3 days of the cruise, somewhat unusual for me, but oh so pleasant and apparently necessary. Talks: Mega ships, Future cruise; I skipped the shopping and Cruise Next talks, but you never completely escape those commercials. Favorite places onboard: Bar Alley on 6 easy to have dinner at Indigo, catch entertainment in Magnums, play in the casino or see the theater show all on one stretch Indigo for dinners, O'Sheehan's for breakfast (quick, custom, tasty, comfy) Magnum's for live musical performances Spinnaker - the views Bliss for old school slot machines and just awful karaoke performances, lol Final notes - I've commented on Fog Day (end of cruise) in another thread, so I won't beat a dead horse here. I will say weather related things happen and passengers and crew have to adjust. I actually think NCL did a pretty good job, but the passengers made things worse than needed. No need to sit in lobby/hallways/ stairways with luggage once NCL told us it would be 6hrs before getting to the dock and your rooms were still available. The Pearl was my first Jewel Class ship experience, I liked the ship. I will consider the class for future sailings. This crew needs some work, but hopefully some things will improve soon. This was my second Norwegian Edge renovated ship experience. I think the program is a success and look forward to other ships that are in the program. My biggest thumbs up on this ship is moving the cigar room to the corner next to Le Bistro and opening up Deck 6 for Bar Alley and lots of seating. My thumbs down is the buffet it seems small, not repeating stations like I've seen on other NCL ships.
  20. I can't get into the Pearl board so here I am... Anyway, sailing on the Pearl on December 23, which has had two itinerary changes. What happened to all the Shore Excursions???!!! I've been wanting book my shore excursions and there are only five listed for that cruise. What the heck??
  21. Did the itinerary changed on the Pearl for Dec 23rd. Was trying the tracker and it says now Cozumel and no Grand Cayman. I am tracking my friends lol. Can someone help
  22. 14-Day Panama Canal Round-trip from Tampa November 25-December 9 Norwegian Pearl Embarkation We stayed just outside Tampa the night before and drove in Sunday morning. We parked just across from the terminal and got to the check in point around 10:30. These steps were all painless. We did wait a while with a terminal full of people to board the ship. When we did board with our carryons with the first group we went straight to Summer Palace for lunch. We checked our cabin right after and it was ready so we dropped the bags there and went up top. Cabin Our cabin was 9610, a balcony cabin. We were glad to have upgraded to the balcony with such a long trip. Our room steward was fine. He was friendly the first couple of days then very cool after that. I have no idea if we offended him in some way. We had zero special requests and I always tidy up on my own as much as I can. We always had clean towels, a perfectly made bed and towel animals every night. We usually have a relationship with our steward so this was different. Internet I bought 250 minutes which I thought was a crazy amount of internet time. Latitudes Gold added 30 minutes so I thought I’d be online plenty. The WiFi is insanely slow and some days I couldn’t accomplish anything at all while the minutes burned. We have 2 kids and I thought 2 weeks was way too long to be out of touch. If I did this cruise again I would buy unlimited or none at all. Live and learn, I guess. App Communication Package I hadn’t given the app communication much thought. We ended up getting it at 9.95 each for two weeks and it was well worth the money. My husband and I are rarely in the same place during the day so this was most helpful. You can call or text, even send pictures. That’s what I did when I got the where are you message. I’d take a shot of what I was looking at and it worked. If you were on this trip I was the one who always had a book with me. I sat in the window seats down the hall, in the library, even before the show in Stardust. Laundry We sent out a very full bag around the halfway point to be washed and folded for 19.99. We got half off with Latitudes so it was around 10 dollars. Well worth the money in my opinion. Ports This was a port heavy cruise. Most ports we walked around if there was an area close by. We did the trolley tour in Cartagena. Our favorite day was in Harvest Caye. It was a beautiful and relaxing day. Dining In the interest of full disclosure I am the pickiest eater I’ve ever known. That being said we both thought the food was very good. We had breakfast mostly in Summer Palace. One morning we went to O’Sheehan’s and three mornings we went to the Garden Cafe. Lunch was where I ran into trouble and it wasn’t the food but variety. We had ten port days out of fourteen so those days we had a choice of the buffet or O’Sheehan’s. I really liked the open faced turkey sandwich but not every day. Buffets are always tricky. I like only a handful of things so I usually had pizza and salad. The chicken salad was excellent. We ate in Summer Palace every evening except one. That night we went to indigo. It was fine. It had the exact same menu but we much preferred the atmosphere in Summer Palace. As a side note, I called the Garden Cafe ‘Survival of the fittest’ because people acted like NCL was going to run out of food. I hate the pushing and shoving and line jumping. A couple of mornings we went up early and very much enjoyed being able to choose food items in a calm environment. I’m not built for wrestling for food. Spa/Fitness We got the thermal spa pass for my husband and he thought it was the best money we spent. He especially enjoyed the view as we went through the Panama Canal locks. I had three spa treatments and they were very helpful. I used the treadmill in the fitness center a few days but mostly I walked on 7. I did Latin Fitness with Yvette by the pool on three mornings and the class was great. Entertainment This area is subjective so I understand not everyone will agree with this assessment. My favorite show was the Legends concert with Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Elvis impersonators. We also really enjoyed the acrobatic duo. I can’t for the life of me remember their names. We thought the entertainment overall was good. I understand why young people wouldn’t be crazy about some of it. Staff We thought the staff was top notch. We especially appreciated the Summer Palace staff since we spent so much time there. Debarkation We carried our luggage off and were called around 8:00 am. The line to get off was long but all things come to an end. We finally cleared the terminal after 9:00 am.
  23. Six weeks to go until our Christmas cruise on the Pearl. I booked the thermal spa pass for both my husband and myself but just now after having perused the deck plans I see that there is a female side and a male side. Ugg. I guess that makes sense maybe if there were going to be some nudity going on. So we can't hang out in the thermal spa together at all??? Also, can you bring a beverage into the thermal spa?
  24. Monstica

    NCL Pearl

    I have just put a deposit on the NCL Pearl leaving out of NY on April 18 returning the 28th. I have a couple of questions, we have sailed on the Breakaway twice with our sons, now ages 12 and 14. First, I am afraid they will be a bit bored. It is spring break so I imagine there will be other kids on board, but I imagine most of them will be taking the Escape that leaves on April 21-28. They are the type of kids to make their own fun and don't need to be entertained. I am really not interested in that cruise it will probably be a madhouse. Second, I booked an aft Balcony cabin 10668. Will it be noisy, rocky or dirty from ash. Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  25. The balconies of the balcony cabins are clearly very private on Pearl - stacked vertically along the side of the ship with full-length dividers to each side. I think all you'd be able to see of others would be hands on rails and heads leaning over the railings. (It was like that on the TUI ship we went on. Very private.) But the suites on Pearl are all facing forwards or rearwards, and those parts of the ship tend to jut further out the lower down the ship you go. Does that mean those above would be looking straight down onto your balcony? I don't think I'd like that, especially as I'd be paying so much extra. I'd like extra privacy rather than less! Thanks for your help, anyone. I have tried to see from photos of the ship but it isn't very clear to me.