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C Cruise Dude

Pearl Review Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2010

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Ive never done the beach at Tortola! We always do our souvenir shopping there. We will be there in January-maybe I have to book a beach excursion! Was it worth it? If it was, what was the name of the excursion if you dont mind?:)

 

I'm sorry but I don't remember the specific name for the excursion. It was early in the morning (9:30am) and the least expensive if there were others offered. It was worth every penny. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Have a great time in January.:D

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I'm sorry but I don't remember the specific name for the excursion. It was early in the morning (9:30am) and the least expensive if there were others offered. It was worth every penny. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Have a great time in January.:D

 

Thanks! Im going to try to convince DH to do another tour! I cant wait to go!:)

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Thanks for the brilliant review CCD. I really enjoyed reading it.

 

I noticed that you have sailed on both the Pearl and the Sky and would be interested in your views about the differences in the ships.

 

The only NCL we have sailed on is the Jewel we enjoyed very much.

 

We are planning a Pananma transit in 2011. The Pearl and the Sky sail from LA a day apart. The itinerary is more or less the same although the Sky finishes in Key West and then Tampa and the Pearl ends in Miami. The price of the Sky is about £250 cheaper for the Sky (sorry that will be about $400). Although this might be something to do with flights from the UK as I have been quoted an all in fly/cruise price.

 

Any comments most welcome.

 

Thanks

 

Mandy

Edited by Mandyc
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Thanks for the brilliant review CCD. I really enjoyed reading it.

 

I noticed that you have sailed on both the Pearl and the Sky and would be interested in your views about the differences in the ships.

 

The only NCL we have sailed on is the Jewel we enjoyed very much.

 

We are planning a Pananma transit in 2011. The Pearl and the Sky sail from LA a day apart. The itinerary is more or less the same although the Sky finishes in Key West and then Tampa and the Pearl ends in Miami. The price of the Sky is about £250 cheaper for the Sky (sorry that will be about $400). Although this might be something to do with flights from the UK as I have been quoted an all in fly/cruise price.

 

Any comments most welcome.

 

Thanks

 

Mandy

 

Mandy, when I sailed on the Sky, it was a 4 night cruise out of Miami to the Bahamas. Itinerary was Miami, Freeport, Nassau, and Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island), Miami. Without looking at statistics of the two ships, the Pearl seems larger and more people on the ship. One area that is really noticeable was the Cafes on the two ships. The Pearl’s Cafe offered much more than the Sky. Added features like the bowling alley, rock wall, adult only pool, would persuade me to sail the Pearl over the Sky. When I booked the Pearl, I was offered the same type of cabin on the Sky for $119 versus the $409 that I paid a few months before (because they were trying to fill the ship before sailing). The Pearl cost several hundred more but I think it was worth it. I also wanted to experience something new; I avoid sailing the same ship twice. I would book the Pearl again, of the four ships that I have sailed on. I can’t say that of the others.

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Thanks for that. I have done some further research and had almost come to the same conclusion - so the Pearl it is.

 

Just glad that we sailed the Jewel in October as I feel so sorry for the poor people who have had their cruise delayed.

 

Thanks again

 

Mandy

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Thank you for such a great review. We sail on the Pearl in 5 weeks on the same schedule that you sailed on. We have only ever been to St. Thomas and will hopefully go over to St. John. Your pictures where wonderful and helpful.

 

Thanks

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Yes thank you so much for the review!!! We kind of last minute decided to go on a cruise next month and booked the Pearl 2 days ago for a January trip!!!!! Not a lot of time to prepare, but at least I don't have to wait long! We will have this exact same itinerary so this is so helpful :)

 

I haven't been on a cruise in 20 years! I know a lot has changed, but my biggest question is internet service - clearly you are posting this as you go, so is internet service free? 20 years ago there really was no "internet" to worry about! LOL

 

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but as I said, we are doing this last minute and it's been a looooooong time.

 

JRJONES1990

SS Dolphin - Dolphin Cruise Lines - 1984 (with my parents)

NCL SS Norway - 1985 (with my parents)

RCI Nordic Empress - May 1991 (honeymoon)

NCL Norweigian Pearl - January 2011

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Yes thank you so much for the review!!! We kind of last minute decided to go on a cruise next month and booked the Pearl 2 days ago for a January trip!!!!! Not a lot of time to prepare, but at least I don't have to wait long! We will have this exact same itinerary so this is so helpful :)

 

I haven't been on a cruise in 20 years! I know a lot has changed, but my biggest question is internet service - clearly you are posting this as you go, so is internet service free? 20 years ago there really was no "internet" to worry about! LOL

 

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but as I said, we are doing this last minute and it's been a looooooong time.

 

JRJONES1990

SS Dolphin - Dolphin Cruise Lines - 1984 (with my parents)

NCL SS Norway - 1985 (with my parents)

RCI Nordic Empress - May 1991 (honeymoon)

NCL Norweigian Pearl - January 2011

 

Actually, I have been writing this since I returned. I had the unfortunate need to contact someone via internet while I was on the ship. I had the option of paying $55 plus for like 100 minutes or (as I did) pay 75 cents a minute to take care of the task. There is an activation fee the first time, I think $3. I don't recommend it unless you have to. Friends that I met were using their phone service to text their friends back home. It might have been cheaper. :D

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Actually, I have been writing this since I returned. I had the unfortunate need to contact someone via internet while I was on the ship. I had the option of paying $55 plus for like 100 minutes or (as I did) pay 75 cents a minute to take care of the task. There is an activation fee the first time, I think $3. I don't recommend it unless you have to. Friends that I met were using their phone service to text their friends back home. It might have been cheaper. :D

 

gotcha! Thank you!! I just assumed you were doing it as you went, but I had heard that internet was *very* expensive so I wasn't sure. I will check with our cell phone carrier on the texting rates :) I need to be able to communicate at least once or twice back home while we are away and I don't want to spend a fortune :)

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Did you see any offer of a "behind the scenes" tour with a visit to the bridge on the Pearl?

 

They did for an additional cost. I didn't take it. :)

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gotcha! Thank you!! I just assumed you were doing it as you went, but I had heard that internet was *very* expensive so I wasn't sure. I will check with our cell phone carrier on the texting rates :) I need to be able to communicate at least once or twice back home while we are away and I don't want to spend a fortune :)

 

When you're in St. Thomas, it's like being in any state, you call home on your cell. Just get away from the ship so that you are not using their system. I move away from the ship then turn my phone off and back on. I have never seen a charge from St. Thomas. :D

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The evening was different as this was the first dining in a Main Dining Room (MDR) on the Pearl. I went to Indigo. That night the main part of the dining room was closed for a rehearsal of the Murder Mystery Dinner which you could sign up for early in the cruise.

 

I was surprised to be informed that the Summer Palace (the other MDR) had a dress code. Indigo was casual dress, shorts, and Summer Palace was no shorts. That was the most I could get out of the staff person. She said that I was dressed appropriately for the Summer Palace; I had on a dress shirt and slacks.

 

The menu was limited. That was why this was my first night eating in the MDR because in the Garden Café, you have so many choices. What I found in Indigo was that if you order something that was not on the menu, they would attempt to accommodate you. I asked for a shrimp cocktail, not on the menu, and had asked about the specialty dish of the evening (I didn’t order it) and the waitress brought me the specialty plate in addition to the main dish that I ordered and a shrimp cocktail. I shared the specialty dish with my dinner partners.

 

It needs to be emphasized that the Main Dining Room is free, a part of your cruise cost. I met individuals who were so overwhelmed by the specialty restaurants, where you pay, that they also thought that you had to pay in the MDR. You only pay for alcohol and soda in the MDR. I met someone on the Norwegian Sky who had booked the specialty restaurants and found that there was no charge in the MDR and canceled his reservations.

 

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Menu for the evening

 

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Obviously the kids got to the menu

 

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Table setting Indigo

 

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Chicken Parmesan

 

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Apple Pie with Ice Cream

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Chocolate Buffet

The Buffet had a large crowd and I could not find any brownies. Can you believe that, all that chocolate and no brownies? The music was nice. Kinda late at night.

 

Video of the chocolate buffet

 

 

I found a surprise in my cabin after the Chocolate Buffet. If you had a few drinks before going to your room, it could scare the hack out of you.

 

DSCF2075.jpg

Towel Art

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The next day was a sea day. So, it was like, look at the daily’s, find stuff to do (casino, dance lessons) or just sit and watch the water. Since the casino was not giving up any money, the sea won out.

 

As we left Tortola, the captain announced that the weather was not looking good at Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island in the Bahamas). There was talk of 20 foot ocean swells so tendering to the island was not going to happen but there was hope that the weather would change. Well, it did and we did tender to the island.

 

The sky was cloudy with some sunshine. The water was very warm but when you stood up there was a chill from the air. This was not as much fun as it was in August and they canceled my wave runner excursion. That was why I wanted to go to that island. I rented the snorkel gear and gave that another try. NCL needs to work on the beach where you enter the water. It is very rocky where you could easily fall or cut your foot. They might use some grinding machines to break that up or remove it.

 

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Tender to GSC

 

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Notice the bounce on the front of the other tender

 

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Notice the background in the next picture

 

TenderII00049-07.jpg

 

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GSC in sight

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There wasn't as many on the beach today as in August, probably because of the cloudy skies and rough water. There were still those on the deck chairs, clam shells and playing games.

 

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They are performing a lot of construction at GSC. The cruise director said that they are building a sting ray area for swimming with the rays and someone (I’m not sure it was the cruise director) said that they are building a port for the ships. It looks like a hotel might be in the works as well

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GSC24.jpg

Tenders Returning

 

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RCL Ship at their private island

 

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Pearl at GSC

 

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Returning to the Pearl

 

 

 

 

It was still a decent day and a good end to a great cruise. I got back to the ship, showered the salt water off and decided to go ahead and pack. I was packed and ready for disembarkation the next morning. This left me more time to enjoy the last evening on the ship which is usually a sad time, saying goodbye to new friends and returning to reality. Well, until next time, good sailing.

Edited by C Cruise Dude
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love your review and pictures. thanks so much. can you tell me where the room was where passengers could leave their bags? I cant wait too get on the pearl again in sept.

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