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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-1969, 05:00 PM
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Thank you for the review, Bob. What a shame about the production shows...I remember when the JARC set the standard. Glad to hear the chilled soups are still wonderful, as my husband has always enjoyed.

Welcome home, and thank you for the share!
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:11 PM
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Just back from a 9 day cruise on the Pearl…Slick and clean as a whistle…Our bus dropped us off at the ship and we were on board in less than 20 minutes….Checked our 8th deck room and it was ready for us…..luggage followed 2 hours later…such a deal.
The ship was immaculate and stayed that way all 9 days. The crew couldn’t have been more polite and cheerful, which makes for a great cruise. Since there isn’t a spot on Cruise-Reviews for the Pearl, I will do a quick review here….

ENTERTAINMENT:
Best thing that happened on the cruise…200 rock and roll dancers from Indiana which brought there own band, Spike and the Bulldogs….50’s and 60’s music ruled the ship…
Sorry to say but the Jean Ann Ryan shows were lacking…Great talent, but lousy productions…The first show featured songs from Justin Timberlake, etc. With a crowd of 65 year olds, this didn’t make any sense…and the dancers only stood around most of the time…The stage was filled with big sets and no room to move around…the second half of the show was much better with music of Frank Sinatra…but many had gone by then…Their second production “Garden of the Geisha was boring and lacked any spark. Their third production “South Beach Rave” was more of the same…music that didn’t fit the passengers. I think it’s time to redo their productions…One too many gymnasts, tumblers and lack of shows with no substance…bring back some of the older productions…2nd city was onboard and not as good as in the past, think this was their C team…Best music award goes to Trio Los Hernandez….Juggler and magic act were not as good as in the past. Best over all talent award goes to Jeff Trachta (from the Bold and the Beautiful) he was flown in and put on a wonderful show of singing and impressions…He did the best impression of George Burns that brought tears to some of the people…The next day he did a talk about his personal life and answered questions…I’m a fan now….Great talent…Nice Guy…..

FOOD:
The food ran from fair to great….We ate almost all of our meals in the Summer Place. The chilled soups were outstanding. Lamb, fish, steaks were good to very good. Even when the food was fair, it was as good or better than most people have at home. The Garden Café and The Great Outdoors were as good as any NCL ship I’ve been on. Lots of choices, but it did get crowed at times. For a quick meal, the Blue Lagoon Café was a nice out of the way 24 hour restaurant with a small menu.

SHORE EXCURSIONS:
Samana: Why? Let them develop the area before dumping people off there…
Tortola: I just walked around and shopped at the tent city they had set up…No deals and everyone was selling the same items, almost like they were being controlled by someone….My brother went to a beach and said it was very nice…..
Antiqua: Been there before so only got off and walked around….Beaches are nice and there is a great tour of the island.
Barbados: Did the Plantation and Rum Factory tour….Very interesting and would recommend it. Also stopped at the Medford Craft World…Great wood carvings from Mahogany roots and trees…Even bought a nice piece….Lots of good tours of the island and beaches of course…
St. Lucia: Took a deep sea fishing trip…Nothing was biting…of course…but would do it again. Beaches were good and my wife and sister-in-law took the island tour…the driver did scare the devil out of them with his driving.

This was our 19th cruise and can say that the Pearl was a great ship. I did the Jewel last year and these are almost the same ship….just some improvements on the Pearl….NCL announced to us at the Latitudes Meeting, that they are coming out with 3 new ships that are in the 150,000 ton class…almost 4,000 passengers….Maybe too big for me…

SOME OTHER THINGS:
The material that makes up the decking was almost slip-proof…Even around the pool area with all the water, the footing was very good. The deck chairs were the best I’ve seen. Light but comfortable with removable padding.

All in all I’ve never been disappointed with Freestyle Cruising…I did meet some people on the ship that didn’t like it and gave their reasons….which I of course didn’t agree…Now I guess I will have to book the Gem……

Thanks for reading this short review…any questions… Berick1234@aol.com

Bob E
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-08-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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Berick, Enjoyed your review so much, am leaving for 19day cruise on the Pearl in April, and was thrilled to read something about the ship, thank-you so much for sharing. also am from MN up North of you lol
Wendy
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:23 PM
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You are doing the back-to-back....you will love the ship.....I really like the cruising days...more time to relax, catch up on reading, people watching, etc. Some of things I didn't like..you may...it's all a personal thing. On the cruising days they did have lots of fun things going on....so you won't be bored..plus there is all that food staring you in the
face:-)....Too bad you aren't going this weekend when it's -20 or whatever it gets down to....Hobbit just had a 5 day on the Jewel or the Pearl for $399 with air...almost jumped on that....but will wait and maybe do Alaska again...Reply to my E-mail if you want anymore information on the ship or the excurions....and I have lots of pictures...

Bob E Berick1234@aol.com
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:48 PM
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We did the "back to back' last week on the Jewel was a great trip, lots of memories.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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Not sure what a back to back is, were doing a repositioning from miami to settle, going through the Panama Canel, would this be a back to back?
Wendy
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:18 AM
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Bob, welcome home, and thank you for the great review. Sorry to hear the JARC didn't meet expectations -- remember when they were the best on the seas? I'm glad to know that the chilled soups remain outstanding. That's something NCL has always done well, IMO.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:04 AM
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Berick:

Nice review......straight forward and honest. Glad you liked the Pearl. It's been our favorite NCL Ship out of many that we have cruised on. The staff goes a great job to please, but no cruise is perfection 100%.

I agree with the entertainment, and the JARC.....the Garden of Giesha is now over 1 year old on the ship, and they have lost some good dancers. Agreed the hip-hop-rap music just didn't cut it for the senior 70+ cruiser, and at age 55, I really didn't like it either. After 3 times on the Pearl last year, we didn't attend most of the shows because of the repeats. Jeff Thracta is great, agreed. He has lots of talent and was amazed at how good and fast he was with the impersonations.

Did you eat at Cagney's?

Did you eat in Le Bistro?

Did you check out the Freestyle Deck?

Who was the captain, Sverre Svodnes?

Did you make all the scheduled ports?

What were your ports of call?

What were your thoughts about Bliss Lounge?

How about the Garden Buffet?

It's pretty awesome with all the different food stations. I think NCL could use buffet cops to direct traffic. It can get pretty crowded because it's just soooooo good.

Thanks again for the review. Would be nice for you to set up a site for a photo review of the pics that you took.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2008, 10:06 AM
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Wendy;
Back to back is when 2 cruise itinerary run consecutively ie. 9 day Eastern Caribbean and 5 day Western Caribbean. In essence a 14 day cruises. We had to leave the ship for a few hours after we returned to Miami after 9 days for customs reasons. We retained our same cabin and our luggage stayed aboard.

Richard;
We had one of our most memorable meals at Le Bistro on the Jewel, we went there twice excellent dining. We also ate at Cagney’s twice the first time was great, nice steak, all very well prepared and served, however the second time around we chose Lobster (extra $10.00 per person on top of the $20.00 cover) not a problem with that only the lobster was not good and many were been returned. I will not go into too many details only to say the maitre d’ did not handle it very well and we chose not to go back to Cagney’s on that trip. The food all in all was very good,when we first boarded the Garden Buffet was self serve, unfortunately after 3 or 4 days there was some sickness on the ship and the buffet was served by the crew, even the coffee. They (the staff) took the outbreak very seriously and did everything to ensure cleanliness; it was back to normal after another few days. I cannot emphasize enough on the extraordinary lengths the crew went to in order to ensure the outbreak was kept under control and spoke to us about it if asked they were not secretive.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:17 AM
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Bob, I enjoyed your review, thanks.

Cheers, Neil
 
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