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sprint180

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

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I don't know anything about these photos. There was a board that explained it all but I'm sorry I can't remember it.

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Out of all the questions I could ask, I'm going to ask the most obscure one I could possibly ask.

 

When you mentioned the geocache.. you said you left an NCL smashed penny. Were you able to do that on the ship? I'm a penny nut (seriously, how can you beat a 51 cent souvenir that takes up zero space?), and I'd love to find that.

 

Thanks!

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More Victoria

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Andrew decided to make his own Canada shirt since he didn't find one he liked to buy

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Pearl and Grand Princess

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When we got off in Victoria there was a line of crew singing as we got off and music playing to welcome us back. I'm not sure why as they didn't do it any other place. We noticed the Princess ship didn't have any.

The buffet was open when we got back to the ship so we ate and went to bed. The kids wanted to go to the hot tub but they closed it just as they were getting there so we just walked around the ship and went to bed.

Tomorrow they are kicking us off!

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Out of all the questions I could ask, I'm going to ask the most obscure one I could possibly ask.

 

When you mentioned the geocache.. you said you left an NCL smashed penny. Were you able to do that on the ship? I'm a penny nut (seriously, how can you beat a 51 cent souvenir that takes up zero space?), and I'd love to find that.

 

Thanks!

 

Yes there is a smash penny machine! I can't tell you how excited I was when I seen it on the ship. You use your key card and it costs a dollar. You don't need to put a penny in, it supplies it. Pennies are the only things I get when I go places too. If you go online and search smashed pennies you will get a list of the places they are

ry%3D400

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Seattle

Today they are making us leave. They said we could stay on till 10 am but I had a tour of Seattle with the company "Let's Tour Seattle" Before I go any further I will say I do not recommend this company. I chose them because their web site said they would take us to the airport after the tour. When you book through their web site you put in a request and it says they will get back to you with in a couple of days with if they have room for your party or not. So after several days and I didn't hear from them I called. Obviously the man I talked to was driving and giving a tour, but, he said I would be getting something in my e-mail. I waited several more days and e-mailed, then a few days later e-mailed again. I know, why didn't I just forget them and go with someone else. Well, I was tired of researching for this trip and just wanted to be done. And, they would drop us at the airport. Finally after the 3rd e-mail I got a confirmation e-mail back. I was curious if they were actually going to show at the port or not. The email said to get an early off and if they weren't there they would be there between 8:30-9:00. So we got off at 8 because when I talked to the man on the phone those were his instructions. Went to the meeting place. and no one was there. So I called the number and said we were there. The man said he would tell my driver. 1/2 hour later the driver shows up. After we are loaded we have to go to the princess ship and pick up several more passengers. As we were leaving he decides to look at his sheet and sees we are missing one person. He calls his boss and said he left one and kept going. Then off to a hotel to pick up a group. They were not ready, they thought their pick up time was later. Well I believe them as communication is not seeming to be big with these people. So in all we drove around and waited for an hour before we were ready to go

Once we were actually on the road the tour was OK. I was not terribly impressed with our driver. He was kind of rude. He was very informative though and I learned a lot on the tour. He asked what we wanted to see but refused to go to the Sleepless in Seattle house, bill gates (?) house and other places because they were private homes. He did score points for that with me. He took us around to different sections of the city, gave history of some buildings, and neighborhoods, and some Hill with a good view but to be honest just along the road where we stopped earlier was a better view. I believe he really tried to give us a good tour, and he did. And more points scored when he asked when our flight was and offered to find more things to take us to if it was late. We declined. At noon or so he took us to the market where we got something to eat. At this point the lady that said she needed to be at the airport by 2 was told that she only had twenty minutes in the market then he would get her a cab to the Airport. Now I don't know what her deal was but if I was told I would be dropped at the airport and then told I had to pay my own way to the airport I would have been mad. But, he was proud of himself for finding her someone to share the fare with. I could tell she wasn't impressed with him much anyway. So after the tour he dropped us at the airport right on time. Total our tour was 4 1/2 hours. Boy were we tired after that and glad to be able just to sit and do nothing.

Edited by sprint180

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ry%3D400

And finally this place. My kids were hungry so we just picked a place to eat. They had signs every place that said "world famous"

I'm not sure what would be world famous about it as the fish and chips weren't that good and the beef definitely wasn't. In fact not one of us finished our meal. Also, there weren't enough places to sit so some people stood and ate. As we walked around more there were much nicer places to eat and a lot less crowded.

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And, Logan is happy to be home to see his niece and nephew.

ry%3D400

She is the reason this is taking so long!

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Yes there is a smash penny machine! I can't tell you how excited I was when I seen it on the ship. You use your key card and it costs a dollar. You don't need to put a penny in, it supplies it. Pennies are the only things I get when I go places too. If you go online and search smashed pennies you will get a list of the places they are

ry%3D400

 

Cool, thanks! Now that I see it - I realize there was one on the Epic on my last cruise, but it was broken. Hope the Pearl's is functional in May!

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Some final thoughts...

The ship

NCL Pearl

 

ry%3D400

The ship looked to be in good shape except for some of the furniture in spinnaker and Bliss. (the beds and funky chairs) They were well worn. Other then that it looked good. Our room however had carpet that was pretty stained up and there was no varnish on the railings. The glass on the railing looked like it had varnish dripped on and dried my several sports and it was just plain yucky looking. The room was clean though but our steward did find a shirt probably under the bed that wasn't ours. We could see how it could be missed as it looked strangely like the carpet. I never really did get the hang of where everything was and never seen the casino till we went looking for it.

Carnival Elation

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LIked the 7 story ( I believe) atrium but I thought the ship looked like it needed a bit of care. This was in 2011 so I'm sure it has or is going to get dry docked. BUt, it was very clean as the others

Sapphire Princess

one of the pools

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Beautiful ship. Kind of beige but that is the clientele. An older crowd. In very good condition.

So if I had to rate them

Princess

NCL

Carnival

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The rooms

NCL

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The room looked really nice. Kind of hard to get around when the couch was pulled out and bunk down. The bathroom was small. I know my husband would have liked it. Kudos on the shower. It has sliding doors and plenty of room. There was also plenty of storage space under the sink.

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Carnival Elation

We had one inside with 3 people and one ocean view with 3 people in it.

Plenty of room the way the beds were configured. the bathrooms weren't very big but the shower was plenty big with a curtain. Almost no storage other then in the medicine cabinet.

Plenty of room for clothes but my boys used out of their suitcases.

ocean view

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the bathroom is in the door on the side and closet across the hall

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inside for 3 people

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The bathroom and closet are like the other room.

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Sapphire Princess balcony

Flat out my favorite room. Not because there is only 2 people in the room but I really liked the set up. The only problem is the shower was SMALL and it had a curtain. You spend half you shower pulling the curtain off you.

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behind the mirror is shelves and to the left is the bathroom

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I liked

1 - Princess

2 - Carnival

3 - NCL

 

a few more thoughts to come

Edited by sprint180

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Towel Animals...

NCL - 3 nights

Carnival - every night

Princess - none:(

Winner - Carnival

yes, I realize this is unimportant, but it is fun.

 

Hand sanitation........................

Washy washy. I know some people think this is cute. I don't. I found it absolutely irritating. Probably because of my job. I am a preschool aide. I work with 3 and 4 year olds every day. We do not talk to them like babies. If we want them to wash their hands we say "Please wash your hands"

I do not think it is funny or cute. I am an adult, talk to me like one.

Carnival - I do not remember if we sanitized

Princess.- a worker stood by entrance and said "please sanitize"

 

Laundry -

Princess and Carnival - for a couple of dollars you could wash your clothes. buy detergent if needed. While we were there we washed clothes two times. There were never clothes left in the machines. People came and got them when done. Usually they were there before the load was finished. Kudos to them

NCL- For $27.99 you can get a bag full of laundry done. The bag was a good size but paper so easily ripped as we were trying to stuff it.

What we put in it.

4 pair denim jeans

1 pair shorts

4 pr. underware

9 pr. socks

8 t-shirts

2 dress shirts

everything came out well except 2 pair of denim jeans. Each had 2 - 3 in square burns (?) on the legs. They have not washed out so If you really love something I would probably not send it to laundry.

 

All in all.....

My kids thought NCL was just like Carnival. They had no preference.

I preferred Carnival over NCL. I am not sure why but just liked Carnival better.

Princess was a whole different ballgame. Even though our cruise was in the summer it was Alaska and there were not many kids on the ship - which I liked.

 

So if I was going on a cruise with just my husband I would go on Princess.

If I was going with our friends. Probably Carnival.

If I was going with my kids I would take Carnival.

I am not someone who would be brand loyal. I want to try them all. I will probably not do NCL again unless it is a very good deal or if like this time it was the only one that worked with dates.

Hoped this helped answer some questions.

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All in all.....

My kids thought NCL was just like Carnival. They had no preference.

I preferred Carnival over NCL. I am not sure why but just liked Carnival better.

Princess was a whole different ballgame. Even though our cruise was in the summer it was Alaska and there were not many kids on the ship - which I liked.

 

So if I was going on a cruise with just my husband I would go on Princess.

If I was going with our friends. Probably Carnival.

If I was going with my kids I would take Carnival.

I am not someone who would be brand loyal. I want to try them all. I will probably not do NCL again unless it is a very good deal or if like this time it was the only one that worked with dates.

Hoped this helped answer some questions.

 

Thank you for your comparison! I have sailed on both Carnival and Princess, but never on NCL. I was much younger when I cruised Carnival and loved it - great food and entertainment. We cruised Princess with the kids and it was great as well, though the kids didn't really care for the kids and teen clubs.

 

This time, my husband and I are planning this same cruise you reviewed for May 2015. My main concern really is with the food and entertainment. We are not ultra picky eaters, but want to make sure there is a variety without having long wait times. And as far as entertainment, what we really enjoyed on Princess were the movies both indoors during the day on at sea days and at night under the stars. Does NCL have anything like that?

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Thank you for your review and pics. I was on Pearl in Sept 2012. I enjoyed seeing your pics, because they brought back great memories.

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Thank you for your comparison! I have sailed on both Carnival and Princess, but never on NCL. I was much younger when I cruised Carnival and loved it - great food and entertainment. We cruised Princess with the kids and it was great as well, though the kids didn't really care for the kids and teen clubs.

 

This time, my husband and I are planning this same cruise you reviewed for May 2015. My main concern really is with the food and entertainment. We are not ultra picky eaters, but want to make sure there is a variety without having long wait times. And as far as entertainment, what we really enjoyed on Princess were the movies both indoors during the day on at sea days and at night under the stars. Does NCL have anything like that?

 

 

As far as food it wasn't amazing but it wasn't bad. The buffet was a buffet. I think they all pretty much taste alike and in the MDR they had basics like Roasted Chicken, which is what I at mostly and a variety of other things. I don't think there will be a problem finding food you like. As for time. Some nights it was fast and one not really slow.

 

On the Pearl they showed movies on your TV and in the mail lobby on the big screen. They do not have a big screen on the pool deck.

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Entertainment -

NCL - very disappointed in NCL's entertainment. There was

the ventriloquist- who wasn't funny and I think it is weird.

A comedian - who was funny enough

Second City - I did not think they were funny my kids kinda did. My daughter just told me to remember it is a school for comedy.

the comedian and second city did a family and adult show

That's Entertainment - was the production (?) show. The dancers were good but there was zero sets. They danced on an empty stage that had "Play posters" hanging on the side. Wicked, the Producers, etc. They preformed songs from these shows. I wasn't impressed and my daughter who would love to be a dancer wasn't either.

 

Carnival

There was 2 comedians. They each had 2 shows, adult and family.

I believe there was another kind of act but can't remember what.

Production shows - were amazing. Win and Just Rock. Dancers were great and both shows very entertaining.

 

Princess

Comedian I believe

A Flamenco guitarist - maybe he was the comedian too - kind of odd

A production show.

None of it was really great. It was only a year ago and I can't remember hardly any of it.

 

If I were to rate it, and I am....

1 - Carnival - hands down great

2 - NCL ..ok

3 - Princess - not very great

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Thank you for sharing your review and especially your thoughts on the different lines. We sailed Carnival last time and loved the entertainment and I am afraid NCL will not live up to that. But my husband really likes the idea of freestyle so we are giving NCL a try.

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Entertainment -

NCL - very disappointed in NCL's entertainment. There was

the ventriloquist- who wasn't funny and I think it is weird.

A comedian - who was funny enough

Second City - I did not think they were funny my kids kinda did. My daughter just told me to remember it is a school for comedy.

the comedian and second city did a family and adult show

That's Entertainment - was the production (?) show. The dancers were good but there was zero sets. They danced on an empty stage that had "Play posters" hanging on the side. Wicked, the Producers, etc. They preformed songs from these shows. I wasn't impressed and my daughter who would love to be a dancer wasn't either.

 

I guess it is just the luck of the draw....we were on the Pearl the week of July 13. The standout shows were "Oh What a Night Tribute" really good and Charles Peachock Juggler (amazing). So good that they had an extra show one night just for the two acts encore. We had the comedian and Second City and a Tina Turner tribute show. We did not have the ventriloquist. They did announce that a couple of the band members for Oh What a Night Tribute were going to be taking some time off. Charles Peachock even held a juggler class one afternoon in Spinnakers.(Not your everyday juggler, just look him up)

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Sorry I forgot the Oh What a Night. They were amazing. We all loved them. Carnival was still better for me though overall.

Edited by sprint180

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Plug ins

I just thought of this. There are 2 plug ins in the room that I found. One at desk by balcony door, hair dryer is there also. And, one by closet area that the coffee pot was plugged into. I don't drink coffee so I put the coffee machine on a top shelf so we could use the counter top.

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