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John Payne

Age: 36

Occupation:Sales Manager

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Pearl

Sailing Date: 2010-05-30

Itinerary: Alaska

Our overall experience on the Pearl can best be described as fair to average. The ship was clean and nice, but the service and activites left alot to be desired.

The food in the non-cover charge restaurants like the Buffet and the Summer Palace was usually fair to average at best. NCL definitely seems to want to drive you to pay the $ 15 - $ 25 cover charges to eat at one of their other restaurants. I have been on Royal Carribean before and I would rank their food and service as much better.

The stateroom was pretty good. My wife and I had a BA level balcony cabin on Floor 10. The shower was a little larger than your average crusie ship shower. The bed was actually very comfortable.

The onboard activities were definitely lacking and seemed to be lacking. NCL seems to put all of their people and resources into revenue generating activities like "BINGO". Others are typically very cheap, very short, and poorly run. For example, their was a "Golf Putting" event, and I use the term "Event" very loosely. It took 5 minutes and was the sorriest excuse for an onboard activity that I have ever encountered.

The "Knudson Cove Salmon Sportfishing" shore excursion in Ketchikan is a total Overpriced Rip Off. Stay away from this one at all costs unless you like wasting time and donating money to NCL. In my opinion, NCL misrepresents this excursion and provides you with fraudulent materials to describe it. My wife and I did this excursion along with 15 other guests off the Pearl. We were divided up into groups of 4 to 6 and assigned to different charter boats. Out of 17 total anglers on 4 different boats, no one caught a fish. The boats barely left sight of the dock while we were "Trolling" for salmon. Also, the captain said that only King Salmon were around at the time of our excursion. NCL, to this day, still advertised that you can catch five different types of salmon along with a few other types of fish. This is not true in my opinion. The total cost of the excursion came to $ 230 which is $199 NCL fee + $ 10 Alaska King Salmon Tag + $ 20 Alaska fishing license. Please note, even if you catch a King Salmon, you can only keep 1 of them. So at best you are paying $ 230 for one fish!
Also, when we got back to the ship and approached the shore excursion staff at the desk about our disappointing time on this excursion, they basically told us that they did not care what we thought about it. They had our money and would not be granting any type of credit, partial refund or full refund. My wife and I would have been happy if they had apologized and said that they were sorry about our experience. Instead, the shore excursion manager told my wife that she obviously did not understand fishing. Just so you know, my wife and I have been deep sea fishing at several locations including Canada and the US Gulf Coast.

Overall, the trip was poor to average. I can not recommend that anyone should go on the NCL Pearl unless they get a deal that is just too good to pass up.

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