Welcome all. If you want a very nice group of photo's of the new NCL Pearl, I suggest that you spend the next 30 minutes reviewing the photos at this link. If your on this ship be prepared for pure LUXURY.
Richard & Mary - Thank you for the link to the pictures. The Pearl looks like a very nice ship indeed. My only exposure to MCL ships was the Dream and she was lacking in my opinion, so its nice to be able to see the new ships and the direction that the NCL designers are going on their ships.
I agree with your opinion of the NCL Dream. Although we have sailed the Dream (Oct 2006), I must admit compared to the NCL Jewel,the NCL Star and the new NCL Pearl, the Dream wasn't as nice. However the NCL Dream out of Houston, offers a "great value" cruise for the first timer or the experienced cruiser, because of the price points. First time cruiser on the NCL Dream should consult websites like this, for vital information on tips to make the first cruise enjoyable. I am sure many first time cruisers get on the ship, did no research, and their expectations can get dampened quickly.
Certainly the new class of mega-ships being built for NCL,RCL,CCL etc, are the newest state of the art vessels. Since there are many Americans that have never sailed on a cruise ship, the NCL Dream is a great starter. We recently sailed the NCL Dream from Houston for $389.00 per person UNobstructed oceanview, Deck 5. That was a price that is hard to beat for 7 days, three ports of call, good food, excellent service a variety of entertainment. We enjoyed the vacation and experience very much. I have always stressed the cruising experience is what you make of it personally. There are so many ships to choose from now around the USA. We have found that NCL offers everything we like. We will sail the Pearl on Feb 2nd,2007 in a Penthouse Suite, and after that, I am sure that Mary and I will become spoiled cruisers. NCL has been great with us, offering upgrades and we always get some sort of special treatment. This is one reason we continue to sail with NCL. Of course the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess were get ships to be on also.
Ron/Richard & Mary- I agree whole heartedly on th epricing of the Dream cruise. We also went in October and got a rate very similar to yours. ($1400 for a family of 4) And while the ship wasn't the best, for that price it was more than fair in my opinion. Compared to the other cruise lines offerings out of Houston/ Galveston, you can't come close to a value like that.