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….
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…..
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.
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