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sprint180

!! PEARL to Alaska !! july 27th with pictures

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Hi all, just returned from Alaska on the Pearl. July 27 through August 3rd. I am writing a review but also I’m sure there will be comparisons to Princess and Carnival. Although sometimes I will be comparing apples to oranges that is OK. That is how my brain works. So first a bit of back ground. As a family (5 children and I) we went to Mexico on the Carnival Elation in August 2011. My husband and I went on the Sapphire Princess to Alaska in June 2013 and now the NCL Pearl July 2014, 3 of my children and I. Two boys, Andrew age 16, Logan 17, Amanda 25, and me 44.

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Since my local airport is 4 plus hours from my house my boys and I drove 4 hours to my daughters house with plans of staying there and then getting up and driving an hour to the airport the next morning. That would have been great but my boys were quite excited and kept us up most of the night so we actually only got about an hours sleep anyway. Up and at it early we got to the airport about 5 am. Parked but every time a shuttle came through it was full. When we did get to the airport, checked my one piece of luggage, then headed to the security check, only to turn the corner and see a seriously long line. No one in line had ever seen it like this and we got through just in time to walk straight on the plane. I think I was asleep before the airplane even took off. I'm sure I looked like a bobble head trying to sleep on the plane to Seattle.

Edited by sprint180

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We got to Seattle early enough so we would have time to explore. We checked into the Westin which I booked through NCL. I had called several hotels and they were all booked. I was tired of messing around so I called NCL, the cheaper hotels were full so I took this one. They also have a shuttle to the pier which was wonderful. We had to have our luggage ready and sitting inside the door by 8 am and they would take it to the ship for us. That was the best. We didn't have to stand in line to check in our luggage. Here is some pics of our room in case anyone is wondering what they are like. The one whole round side was basically a window so if you opened the shades it got a little warm.

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I forgot to mention that we took a cab from the airport. It was $43 + tip. I am told you can take a train? or something like that for only a few dollars but I hadn't heard that. And besides, the airline lost my checked bag and I was a bit irritated and just wanted to get to the hotel. They kept telling me it should be there on the 4:00 plane and that I could come back to the airport and pick it up. What... I am not a well traveled person but who would drive back to the airport and pick up the suitcase that the airline misplaced. I politely told them they could bring it to the hotel.

So as I said we went exploring as there was much to see within walking distance. The Market Place was where we headed first. Along the way this is what we seen,

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Turns out there was the Seafair parade and people set up tables and couches one group set up a whole house set up complete with hanging windows and beds, couchs, kitchen just to watch the parade. After we went to the market and took a nap we watched the parade and it was really good. We had a blast. About ten we went to the Space Needle and then back to the hotel and to bed. Tomorrow was the cruise.

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Up bright and early so we could have our luggage ready. We left the luggage by the door and headed out for another walk. My son wanted to put gum on the gum wall we had seen the day before so off to city Target to get some gum.

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Yeah it is gross.

We were back to the hotel about 10:30. Yep, luggage was gone and we went down to meet our shuttle. It was right on time and we headed to the dock. Since we had no luggage to deal with we headed straight to the security line and check in. That was the best part of staying at the hotel through NCL. We were on the ship in no time. First thing I did was go purchase the "behind the scenes tour" for the four of us. I was super excited about the tour as I have read about it on CC. Then off to eat we went. After we explored the ship and then headed to the pool side BBQ for sail away. I wasn't terribly hungry but did get some grilled corn. It was really mushy and didn't taste all that good, I didn't eat it. But, everyone seemed to be having a good time.

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I guess I'll just talk about the food here. I'm not a food person. I just eat what is there. My boys liked the buffet and Amanda liked the dining rooms. So we ate at the buffet for breakfast and dinner and supper in the dining room. The buffet food is buffet food. Not great, not bad. The dining room was good. I liked the chicken breast. I really didn't try anything daring. Didn't want to waste food if I didn't like it. My boys tried different kinds of fish and my daughter really liked the vegetarian lasagna. I will say I liked Carnival's Warm Chocolate Melting Cake better then NCL's Chocolate Volcano. We also liked the Summer Palace better then Indigo..

Edited by sprint180

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Sailed on the Pearl in November 2012. Looking forward to your review and more pictures!!

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My wife and I will be on the Pearl in October. Looking forward to more pictures and tips.

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Hi Sprint 180,

 

Cant wait to read the rest. We are planning Alaska for next May. Do you remember how much the shuttle cost? Also if the Westin had shuttle to Sea-Tac? Thanks for any info. I too I'm tired of calling hotels.

 

Thanks

Dawn

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Haven't booked yet, but are looking into the same cruise you took for next July. With NCL making the reservations for the hotel, did they charge you per person or just for the room? I am going with my 2 daughters so that extra person can make it an expensive hotel. Just wondering since I already see many hotels say unavailable for a year from now.

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We haven't booked yet, but are planning on sailing on the Pearl, May or early June 2015. I'm really looking forward to your perspective as I have cruised on Carnival and Princess before, but never on NCL.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post your TR!

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We haven't booked yet, but are planning on sailing on the Pearl, May or early June 2015. I'm really looking forward to your perspective as I have cruised on Carnival and Princess before, but never on NCL.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post your TR!

 

g35girl,

We did a 10 day on the Pearl 5/8/14..after many cruises on CCL. Really enjoyed it. Price for a 11th deck balcony cabin dropped to $939pp...2 months before cruise. Cheaper than a 7 day !!!!icon10.gif

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We are boarding the Pearl on the 21st of September, do you by chance have the dailies? Curious also what time did you cruise Glacier Bay?

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Can't wait to read the rest! We are taking the Pearl to Alaska in May and I'm trying to find all the info I can.

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Hi Sprint 180,

 

Cant wait to read the rest. We are planning Alaska for next May. Do you remember how much the shuttle cost? Also if the Westin had shuttle to Sea-Tac? Thanks for any info. I too I'm tired of calling hotels.

 

Thanks

Dawn

 

I don't know about a Westin shuttle but the shuttle we took was included in the price of the hotel when booked the hotel through NCL. I'm sorry I guess I didn't make that clear.

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Haven't booked yet, but are looking into the same cruise you took for next July. With NCL making the reservations for the hotel, did they charge you per person or just for the room? I am going with my 2 daughters so that extra person can make it an expensive hotel. Just wondering since I already see many hotels say unavailable for a year from now.

 

The hotel was expensive. It was $149 each for the first two people then $10 each for the next two. Then they took luggage so we didn't have to mess with it, that was great. And, they shuttled us to the ship.

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We are boarding the Pearl on the 21st of September, do you by chance have the dailies? Curious also what time did you cruise Glacier Bay?

 

Daughter may have the dailies I will see. We went through Glacier Bay during the morning. Did a couple spins and headed back.

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ry%3D480

 

ry%3D400

Here is a copy of the Freestyle Daily. I hope it comes through.

I want to go back to a few things. The safety drill wasn't until 3:15 so we had some time after we got on until it was time to go. So we did this.

as we were still soooo tired.

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At a little after three we went to the Summer Palace for our safety drill. It was really a joke. We sat there for 20 min. before it started. We did not have to take our life jackets. When it started people were still coming in so I'm not sure how they could tell if everyone was there. The drill lasted about 3 minutes. They showed how to put on a life jacket, The demonstrator had her back to us. Then told us if we had questions to watch the demonstration on tv and we were free to go. They didn't show us where our life boat was or even explain the procedure. It really was a joke.

After the drill we went to the bbq then to the Experience Stardust sampler show. then off to bed.

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ok I see the daily isn't big enough. I have them in shutterfly so if someone knows how to make them bigger, and it is easy, I will try.

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ok I see the daily isn't big enough. I have them in shutterfly so if someone knows how to make them bigger, and it is easy, I will try.

 

HI, I'm headed on the same cruise in September. Is there any chance of you putting the link to your NCL Daily photos from your Shutterfly account?

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Day two: Sea Day

Today we just kind of toured the ship, but there were things to do that we did not partake in. My daughter and I checked out the "arts and crafts with your cruise staff" and it a packet of stickers and cards, You could decorate them. There wasn't actually a cruise staff there. There were several parents with kids. The packets were just sitting on the table if you wanted to take them. There were many things to do that we didn't do. Scavenger hunt, bowling, rock climbing, Trivia, Family Circus Workshop, Discover Glacier Presentation, etc. Amanda and I did take part in the flash mob. It was to thriller and I really didn't get the hang of . But it was fun. The flash mob was at the White Hot party.

The show for tonight was "Oh What a Night" This is a Frankie Vallie tribute group. They were amazing and my 16 and 17 yr. olds even enjoyed them.

After we went to the 70's Funky night out. It was a blast . It was in the Spinnaker lounge and the entertainment staff did a great job of getting people dancing. The floor was filled by the first song.

Here are some pictures from around the ship. Strangely out of about 1000 pics not many are of the ship itself.

summer palace

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checkers on deck

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kids playing wii on the big screen

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glass sculpture in the lobby

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Spinnaker lounge

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I am apparently missing an sd card with more pics of the ship, if I find it I will post them.

pool area

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one of the bars

ry%3D480

same bar area

ry%3D480

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Our Room- 9134

I just realized while I was talking about the ship I forgot to tell you about our room. When I booked in May I asked for the cheapest inside. So a few weeks ago my room got assigned and it was on the 5th floor. That was Ok with me, we are never in our room it seems. About 4 days before our trip my daughter asked me for my copies of the layout of the ship, she wanted to look for exit routes. At that point I realized she was uncomfortable with being inside on the almost bottom of the ship. So 3 days before our cruise I called ncl and asked if there were any balconies left for 4 people. There were, but, I had to pay $800 and got $100 onboard credit. So for $700 we were now in a balcony on the 9th floor. #9134. I was really excited because I love laying in bed and watching the scenery go by and listening to the water. We got to the room and yes, they were surprised. But, having 4 people in the room made it hard to use. Once the steward did the turn down for the night the 2 extra beds are right in front of the door. In the pictures you will see that the pull out couch- or "the rock" as my kids nick named it and the bunk bed that pulled down from the ceiling are right in front of the door. You had to crawl over the couch to get to the balcony. There for I could not use it in the a.m. without waking my kids trying to get to it.

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Here you can kind of see that the 3 beds fit mostly across the main part of the room. with not much space in between. And my very tired and yes sleeping again kids.

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view from balcony into the room.

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bathroomry%3D400

Edited by sprint180

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bathroom

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ls%

closet area

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There were only 3 or 4 drawers but it worked for us as the kids lived out of their suitcase. As far as storing suitcases, they fit under the bed, in the bottom of the closet and smaller ones will fit on the shelves by the door. The closet had a top and bottom rod.

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Edited by sprint180

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I am so sorry for the unorganized way this review is going but I found my other ship pictures so here goes.

Spinnaker lounge

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Edited by sprint180

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