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Michele

Age: 55

Occupation:Public Servant

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Pearl

Sailing Date: 2011-12-25

Itinerary: Western Caribean

This was our first cruise ever, though I have traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean Islands. This was our first family vacation in 5 years and we were really looking forward to 7 days of fun, sun and relaxation. The Pearl did not disappoint. My daughters (16,18 and 21), especially had a great time! !

A memorable trip for the entire family! The Pearl is well appointed, with a nice pool area, lots of places to sit and relax too...and the food was excellent. This trip the ship was completly full as it was the Christmas/New Years' cruise. Though there were 2300 hundred passangers on board, most of the time we found a place to sit near or by the pool on sea days. I suggest going to the Spinnaker Lounge and sitting in one of their big comfy sofa chairs for some quiet time during the day...the ocenview is fantastic.

My three girls had a blast and did not miss a thing! My husband and I relaxed quite a bit too!

The food was excellent and plentiful. We ate out once at Cagneys to celebrate my daughter's 21 birthday, and paid the $25 cover charge each. It was good, but quite frankly, the food in the Summer Palace was just as good and the service top notch. The menu in the Summer Palace (one of the main dining halls) changed daily and we were always seated promptly. During the day we ate outside in the Garden Cafe and there was lots of variety and choice. I can't complain about the food - except for the coffee (which was very weak and tasteless). I switched to tea! I drink a lot of water and fountain taps were few and far between (and the water was often warm). I suggest you bring a water bottle and fill up at the bars (Tops Siders has a water fountain of sorts). Bring your filled water bottle with you on your excursions too! I bought my daughters a drink pass anyway so they could drink unlimited diet coke etc ($50 @). Not sure if this was worth the money but it was convenient.

My husband and I chose a stateroom with a balcony and we were glad to pay the extra money for this privilege. It was lovely to wake up in the morning watching the sun rise, or watching the sunset from the comfort of our room. It was also very quiet (10114) and provided a bit of a refuge from all the noise and activities. My daughters had a inside stateroom for three. Next time I will book them an ocean view. Though they did not complain one bit, the room was dark and tight. Lots of storage in both rooms though - and the bathrooms were comfortable.

There was no shortage of activities, though some of them were a bit too pricey for me. I wanted to go on a ship tour and learn about how to manage a cruise ship, but I refused to pay $55. That was outrageous! As well, my kids wanted to play bingo, but they sold cards for $40 bucks - again - too pricey for our family budget. Deal/No Deal was $20 for one card....are you kidding me!

I am not sure if this is standard practice on most cruise ships, but they did a good job of nickle and diming you too death...I did not like that aspect of it at all...and the photographers were really annoying. However, I did succumb to pressures from my family and bought some family photos. We shopped a bit on board, as well as in Grand Caymen. We bought pearls on board (they were reasonably priced) and attended a few seminars on Shopping on the Islands, Stones, and Pearls. It was interesting and actually, quite helpful (the shopping consultant on board was a big help).

The Entertainment crew were great, fun and helpful. The shows were pretty good - though we did not attend all of them. Lots of dancing at night, under the stars! Great fun!

We had a few excursions...the Atlantis submarine in Grand Caymen was really interesting and cool (but expensive at $100@). The Palancar Snorkeling/Beach in Cozumel was fantastic! Well worth the $79 @ (but eat a big breakfast because their lunch is limited). Great Stirrup Cay is a lovely beach. I swim three times a week so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could easily and safely swim to the buoys and back. I'm glad I brought my swim goggles and cap...!

A memorable trip for the entire family! The Pearl is well appointed, with a nice pool area, lots of places to sit and relax too...and the food was excellent. This trip the ship was completly full as it was the Christmas/New Years' cruise. Though there were 2300 hundred passangers on board, most of the time we found a place to sit near or by the pool on sea days. I suggest going to the Spinnaker Lounge and sitting in one of their big comfy sofa chairs for some quiet time during the day...the ocenview is fantastic. My three girls had a blast and did not miss a thing! My husband and I relaxed quite a bit too!

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