On all my previous cruises:
-Carnival Glory and
There was a self-service laundry mat onboard. So, I was expecting the same with the Norwegian Pearl and was dissapointed to find there wasn't one.
If you don't mind spending the extra money for full-service laundry, it's pretty good (it will free-up more time you could use enjoying your cruise). However, for me, I feel I should be the only one who washes my underwear. I would have felt too uncomfortable otherwise. So I washed them in the sink in my bathroom onboard the Pearl. The other articles of clothing I gave to my cabin steward for full-service laundry.
If that is the typical price for Internet use on cruises, than Internet use is overpriced onboard cruises. They should charge less considering how common the Internet is. Maybe then more people will use the Internet during the cruise and they will make more money that way.
I guess I did not have a problem with the tip line on the receipts (which you say are also there on the RCCL receipts). But to me they contributed to this feeling that I was being "nickeled and dimed" and charged for every little thing everywhere on the ship. And just like you, I did not contribute (write) anything on that line. Instead I just gave the waiter/waitress a few extra dollar bills as a tip.
The inside cabins on the Pearl are approx. 141 sq. ft. Next time (if there is a next time) try for a sideways inside cabin. From what I've read, they have much more space and 4 people can be in one comfortably.
I think you are mistaken about the laundry on the Sovereign. It didn't have them. None of RCI's ships have them. As far as I know, only Carnival and Disney have self-serve laundries on all of their ships. HAL has them on some ships but not all of them. I don't recall Princess or Celebrity having self-serve laundries either. I just checked their websites and they only mention the regular laundry service. I offer this info to you for your future planning
For perspective, Carnival's base internet fee is 75 cents per minute with packages similar to those offered by NCL. At present, RCI charges 55 cents per minute and also has package deals. Since ship's internet is via satellite they only have so much bandwidth and actually can't accommodate too many users at once. The best internet I've ever had on a ship was with the Freedom and Liberty Of The Seas. It was fast as far as ships go (about 3 or 4 times as quick as a telephone modem) and it was ship-wide wifi so I could use my Macbook.
The standard cabins on the Sovereign class of ships are 119 square feet. The Sovereign is no longer an RCI ship though. The smallest cabin we ever had was with NCL on the Seaward. 112 square feet, and it was a triple! They also had quads the same size.
My stateroom onboard the Norwegian Pearl was much smaller than the staterooms I had on my Carnival cruises. The staterooms on the Carnival ships were 167 sq. ft. (I don't know how that converts to the metric system for our international members here
Good news though. The three Carnival ships you have been on, actually are 185 Sq ft in the inside cabins. With the exception of the 1A bunkbed category which is approximately 160.
Glad you had a good cruise despite some disappointments with NCL's Pearl. I haven't sailed with NCL yet. I knew about the cabins being smaller than CCL's though. I had seen some pictures that Jim had taken on the Dream.
Welcome home, Frase, and thank you for your report on your N. Pearl cruise. I wish you'd had a better experience, yet I see you were still able to focus on the good stuff (as you said it was a good cruise, overall).
I understand the disappointment about the laundry rooms. We've had several posts on this board that indicated there were self-serve laundromats on the ship (Decks 9 and 10, I believe), so I would have expected them, also. And I am sure these were not mentioned to you onboard...
Thanks for elaborating on the expenses. I agree these have gotten out of hand on most lines. You might find part of this NCL Press Release of interest. I refer to the line in the fifth paragraph: The increase in Net Yields was the result of higher passenger ticket pricing and onboard revenues.
Yikes... having been in the same size cabin on N. Majesty, I can understand. It sounds almost like the "old" days of the late '80s when cabins were small so that pax would spend time out of them. (I think we may be back to the revenue item, again.)
But, bravo to you for trying another cruise line. Perhaps you can give it another shot in a few years. I did this with Carnival. I didn't care much for my first cruise with them, but I repeated the itinerary on a sister ship six years later and it became a favorite cruise.
As a passenger on the NCL 3 times in 2007, there must be some confusion over the NCL Pearl. When we were on the Pearl in Feb 2007(So Carribean Cruise 9 day) May 20th (Alaska 7 day cruise) and September 2007 (repositioning cruise) the NCL Pearl DID indeed have self serve laundromats on board. There were two on Deck 9 and two on Deck 11. They were located on the inside of the ship, midship. At first when we tried to find them, we had a hard a time locating them. There was just a simple sign on the door. After asking where they were located, we found them and used them on all three sailings. Current travel websites still list the Self Serve Laundromats as shown below.
It is possible that you just could not locate them?
I have been informed however that NCL was proposing to eliminate self serve laundromats deciding to turn the space into Inside Cabins. I am not sure if that plan was instituted and completed on your cruise.
However, here's what I found tonight on a premier website known to many for vacation cruise specials, and an advertiser on this website cruise-chat.com ....of the NCL Pearl's services and Amenities.
Services & Amenities
Beauty Salon/Barber Shop Yes
Hot Tub 6
Internet Access Yes
Laundry/Dry Cleaning Yes
Movie Theatre No
Onboard Weddings Yes Self Serve Laundromats Yes
Video Arcade Yes
Hopefully this information sheds some light on the Pearl. I do realize that NOT all NCL ships have laundromats. We can only remember the newest class of ships such as the Jewel, Gem and Pearl having such amenities. Perhaps someone else can provide feedback on this issue.
After 3 cruises on the Pearl, it was disappointing Frase to read the review. We can all make suggestions for a better cruise experience, but we also have to understand that it was YOUR cruise, and perhaps some problems exisited that made your cruise less than what was expected.
I am sure that we can all agree, not all cruises can provide the 100% level of perfection that we expect. I do suggest however, when making plans for another cruise, give NCL another chance. For many cruisers they have their favorite lines.
Frase...thanks however for your input, as it is good know your thoughts about your personal cruise experience.