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Old 04-20-2008, 04:29 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Dear cruises,

I am a first time cruiser on NCL Pearl to Alaska sailing on 6/1/2008 from Seattle. I have some questions that I hope some of the experienced folks can help with.

1. The departure time is 4:00 PM from seattle. How much ahead of time do I have to report? 1:00 PM ?

2. On the NCL Pearl - is there a laundry room ? Self-service ?

3. There is lot of information about the shore excursions on this site - how about must DOs or DON'Ts on the ship ? Any particular show or activity or dining experience that should not be missed or should definitely be avoided?

4. What is the clothing guideline on NCL Pearl ? Can I wear jeans all day - even for dining ? I read somewhere that formal clothing is optional, but jeans are also not allowed in the dining areas - is that true ?

5. Is it better to book excursions through the cruise (even if they are slightly more expensive ?)

6. I will be travelling with a 2 year old - Any advice/suggestions for things to do or not or even things to carry ? Do folks with younger kids get preference in the various lines on the cruise - including embarking/disembarking/meals ? (It was that way in the long lines at the museums in some places in Europe and we really appreciated that)

7. So far, I have only received the booking confirmation in an email from my agent and I was told that I will get more information electronically about a month before the actual departure date. Is it common to not receive any information/confirmation on "paper" ?

Thanks !
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2008, 09:55 PM
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We did the NCL Pearl cruise to Alaska last year on May 20th, 2007. It was a great trip. I will try to answer the questions to my best knowledge.

1) 1:00 PM would be perfect. Don't cut your time to short. There can always be delays in flights and transportation to the ship terminal.

2) Yes, there are two self serve laundry's on board. They are always busy in the last two days of the trip. They are coin operated. They also offer soap and softner for sale. They are nice machines.

3) We booked our own shore excurisons for the White Mountain Pass RR in Skagway, we booked our own float plane Island Wings in Ketchican, and booked our own whale watching with Captain Larry in Juno. There will be booking for these trips on the ship, except Island Wings. All excursions were easy to find, as they either picked us up at the dock, or was short walk from the ship. Yes, we did save money. If booking yourself, book early. Yes, passengers who booked from the ship will also be on the same tours as booked direct. No real do's or don'ts. You will get to learn the ship quickly. Just use common sense, and don't do something you wouldn't do at home. Act responsible and you won't have any problems.

4)NCL Pearl has moved to casual dining. Yes, neat clean blue jeans are allowed in the dining rooms. Blue jeans that have holes, or cuts in the thighs or knees will not be permitted. You must look presentable in the dining rooms. The causal theme of dress, is one of the reasons we prefer NCL so much.

5) As mentioned above we booked our own excursions, and yes saved money.

6)No comments, as we didn't have kids with us. NCL offers a kids program, that I believe starts at about age 3 or so. Age 2 might be too young, and I am sure someone else here can comment.

7)You will get all information within 3 weeks of the cruise. Just be sure to keep your reservation number and be sure to complete any on-line pre-registrations.

Have a great trip. The NCL Pearl to Alaska was one of the best cruises we ever took. In 2007 we were on the Pearl 3 times. It's a great ship with lots of activities. I am sure you will need a extra vacation once you get off the ship and I am sure that you won't want to come home after 7 days. The NCL Pearl is awesome, and I know for sure you will NOT be disappointed. There is always some sort of minor glitches on a cruise. Just enjoy and have fun, that's the most important part of any cruise.

Richard & Mary
Las Cruces, NM USA

NCL Sun in Oct 2008
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2008, 07:03 AM
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I've been to Alaska twice and on the Pearl once..just not at the same time....:-)...You will enjoy both...some excursions may be too much with a 2 year old in tow...The White Pass train ride shouldn't be a problem though...

Have a Wonderful time...

Bob E
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:03 AM
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We just left the Pearl in early May, after a 19 day cruise, so very familiar with the laundry situation. Guest laundry rooms are located on decks 5, 9 and 10. On Deck 9 it is located across from stateroom 9088. Not easy to find even if you know it is there. Look for a small sign on the top of the door, across the hall from 9088. Washers and dryers are free, there is a $1.00 dollar (US) charge for the soap. You need 4 quarters for the soap dispenser. We took our own laundry soap in a baggie, which worked well. There were 4 washers and 4 dryers in the laundry room on Deck 9. Washers worked well, the dryers (except for one) were slow, so a good thing they are free. The laundry rooms were all VERY busy for the entire trip, but then we were on the ship for 19 days. On a short cruise, I suspect they may not be quite as busy.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by apgd:
Dear cruises,

I am a first time cruiser on NCL Pearl to Alaska sailing on 6/1/2008 from Seattle. I have some questions that I hope some of the experienced folks can help with.

1. The departure time is 4:00 PM from seattle. How much ahead of time do I have to report? 1:00 PM ?

2. On the NCL Pearl - is there a laundry room ? Self-service ?

3. There is lot of information about the shore excursions on this site - how about must DOs or DON'Ts on the ship ? Any particular show or activity or dining experience that should not be missed or should definitely be avoided?

4. What is the clothing guideline on NCL Pearl ? Can I wear jeans all day - even for dining ? I read somewhere that formal clothing is optional, but jeans are also not allowed in the dining areas - is that true ?

5. Is it better to book excursions through the cruise (even if they are slightly more expensive ?)

6. I will be travelling with a 2 year old - Any advice/suggestions for things to do or not or even things to carry ? Do folks with younger kids get preference in the various lines on the cruise - including embarking/disembarking/meals ? (It was that way in the long lines at the museums in some places in Europe and we really appreciated that)

7. So far, I have only received the booking confirmation in an email from my agent and I was told that I will get more information electronically about a month before the actual departure date. Is it common to not receive any information/confirmation on "paper" ?

Thanks !
1) You must be in line to check in TWO hours before the scheduled departure. I agree will all the other responders, 1 pm will be fine.

2) Yes, there are both self service laundries and a ship's laundry providing valet services.

3) Sorry, I can't help you with the shows. As for dining activities, check to see if the Pearl offers a Mystery Murder dinner. It's a lot of fun. Also, NCL just started the White Hot Disco night, so be sure to pack some white clothes.

4) Yes, you can wear clean jeans all day and night aboard NCL ships. Only one of the main restaurants will not allow jeans during dinner, therefore if you wish to wear jeans dine at the other. Shorts can be worn during the day, but not at the restaurants during dinner. There will be a Dress Up or Not Night if you wish to dress to the nines once. It's entirely optional, and most NCL passengers don't dress up. And don't forget to pack some white clothes to fit in at the White Hot Disco Night.

5. It's cheaper to not book shore excursions via the cruise line. But, if your excursion bus breaks down, the ship will wait for you if you're on an excursion booked via the ship.
How often do buses break down? I feel safer booking the excursion via the cruise line.

6. The only passengers who get head of the line priviledges on NCL ships pay for it, either by booking a suite or having a gold level or higher Latitudes status. The Kids Club accepts 2 year old passengers, so you can get a break. But they will not change diapers, instead they will beep you on a pager if the dirty duty is required. Swimmer's diapers aren't allowed in the ship's pools either. Potty training your child before the cruise is my great recommendation for parents with younger kids. It'll save you some grief.

7. Electronically distributed documents are called e-docs. Whether you get paper of e-docs depends upon your travel agent. Since you booked far enough in advance, paper documents may be mailed to you.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2008, 10:39 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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hi..we are going on the same ship in august..please let me know how you made out in alaska..here is what I can tell you..my parents have been on 16 cruises lots with ncl and they say as far as alaska tours go to get them off the cruise ship..they have had no problems doing this..that is what we plan on doing..hope you have a blast with your little guy..our guy just turned 2 and we r bringing him along. so please keep in touch because I need help also. thank you

Lori-ann
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2008, 03:47 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,496
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I've been on 19 cruises and twice to Alaska...Alaska, to me, is the best...It's almost a religious experience...the mountains, the wildlife, eagles, whales, glaciers, and on and on.....I will journey again to Alaska next year along with 1 or 2 cruises to the Caribbean..just to get away from the Minnesota winter.....Happy cruising...


Bob E
 
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