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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 43


Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Pearl

Sailing Date: 04-5-2009

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This cruise company is great if you think eating at your neigbourhood chillis is a gourmet experience. Did not meet simple expectations of our group. The shore excursions were the redeeming part of the trip. on our Western Carribean trip Cozumel was the nicest place visited. That town is very much geared towards the American tourist. the ship had some problems though. NCL is a small cruise company with a very small market share and this is very much on display all through the cruise. Stick to the big boys of cruising (especially the two Miami based players). They are more geared towards American tastes.

The best food was at the buffet line at the Garden Cafe. The speciality restaurants serve ok quality food. The entire game plan seems to be to get you to pay extra to eat at one on the restaurants on board. The staff seemed to be going through the motions - were in your face all the time trying to get you to but bottled water etc. ($6 a pop). Even at the sit down restaurants, they demanded that I hand over my key card (conveniently linked to my credit card) so they could charge be before being served. The quality of food was very ordinary. They was no variation at the buffet line for breakfast for all 7 days. O.J and apple juice was served free on the water dispenser for breakfast only. Iced tea was not even sweetened for your convinience (you did it yourself with sugar sachets). Entire ship had just 2 good coffee machines for all for 2000+ passengers. They did not even have donuts for the kids. The rest of the coffee machines served luke warm coffee all day.

State room was compact. The room had just one bunk bed and one was a slide out. the bathroom was the good part. actually divided into 3 compartments which helped keep it clean. The toilet flush system did not operate for extended periods for 2 days.

The ship was full so there were a lot of crowds everywhere. The kids enjoyed the rock climbing wall. The water therapy portion of the spa which cost extra was well worth the $100 per person. The water quality of the pool left much to be desired. The hot tubs were always overflowing with people. The casino was ok. Liquor shopping was good, the vodka and the gin were really half priced compared to the mainland. Just 2 bowling lanes so have to be pushy to get to use those. Good night club. Bars were pricey.

Roatan, Houduras has very beautiful seas around it. to the island tour and beach excursion. nothing notable on the island, but taking a tour helps the local economy.
Belize is a small country with limited financial resources and it shows. Again do that to support the local economy.
Cozumel Mexico is beautiful. The water is great. Do experience the Atlantis submarine ride. That takes you 100 feet below and also do not miss the abyss at the edge of the coral reef. Good Mexican food is every where. Loved the Starbucks just of the port (was desperate for some really hot coffee by then).
Had good company that more than made up for the subpar treatment by the cruise line. Will not use that company again. The ship lacked basic stuff like free lemonade. Water was pricey and the free kind was not easily accessible. On beach day, at their private island, they had just 2 water dispensers by the barbecue place. Of course they were selling $6 water bottles to where the people we sitting on beach chairs. In fact, on the last 2 days they put up a sign forbidding people from filling ice and water the water dispenser at the buffet line. The Nintendo Wii, at the kids baby sitting place, were not working (so we were told). The kids we not allowed to have personal electronics at the kids place (try keeping your 10 year old entertained indoors without electronics-good luck with that). kids segregated by age. Good luck trying to keep your 9 and 10 year olds separated.

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