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Old 12-22-2008, 01:55 AM
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On December 7-14, I cruised on the NCL Norwegian Pearl. I thought it was good cruise, but not a very good or great cruise, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion).

I have cruised on Royal Caribbean once, and on Carnival three times. I enjoyed my cruises those two previous cruiselines better than this NCL Pearl cruise.

My two biggest dissapointments, on this cruise, were the size of the stateroom (especially the bathroom) and the expenses onboard. IMHO, I did have a good cruise (as I said), but next time I would rather take a cruise on another cruiseline.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:38 AM
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Welcome back, Frase, and thanks for your impressions of the Pearl.

The onboard expenses you mentioned, did you find there were more expenses than your previous cruises, or that things cost more?

Sandy
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:32 AM
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Sorry to hear you feel you didn't have a great cruise. I thought that Royal Caribbean had smaller stateroom than most other lines. It's been a long time since I've been on a Carnival or NCL ship, so I don't remember what the staterooms were like. Are you planning on another cruise soon?

Sonny
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:04 AM
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I, too, am sorry you didn't have the best time. Another quick question, did you use the bowling alleys? Was there a sign up for them or a limit on how long you could use them? We might be going on the Gem next year and the boys are curious.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:01 AM
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I just returned from my ncl cruise on the norwegian gem.We did the transatlantic cruise.
The food was awful,service in the dining rooms were poor.I have been on about 30 cruises.We were not happy we our cabin.The only time our linen was changed was when we requested it.The food for the buffet was so bad we skipped breakfast.The eggs were like soup.They have the worst customer service of any line I have been on will never cruise with them again.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
The food for the buffet was so bad we skipped breakfast

Didn't you try the main dining room?
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:45 AM
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Let me try to answer some of the questions.

Sandy: It was both. The prices were higher:
-The "drink of the day" at the bars was around $8-$9. I do not drink alcohol, so it wasn't so bad for me. But I did get a couple of "virgin" "drinks of the day" for the souvenir glasses.
-Unless you purchased a $50 or $100 Internet plan, the Internet useage costed 70cents per minute, and the Internet speed was slower than broadband. With $50&$100 plans the Internet was a less (maybe 50 or 40 cents/minute).
- The photos taken by the professional photographer-crew members (on display in the photo gallery) were almost twice the price than the same photos onboard my Carnival cruises. I remember the price of the photo onboard the Carnival ships were around $8. On this cruise they were $14.

There were more expenses too:
- There was no self-service laundry mat onboard. Only full service "valet" laundry service. And of course, they had the full service laundry price.
- There were a couple of dinning rooms onboard where the food was "included in the cruise fare", as one member in this forum once stated. However, most of the dinning places were specialty restaurants which charged an additional flat fee. And in such restaurants, there were menu items that cost an additional fee in addition to the additional flat fee.
- Also, when you ordered a drink at the bar, or ate at these specialty restaurants, you would recieve the receipt to sign. And on this receipt was a space provided to write in an additional tip (just like restaurant receipts on land). This additional tip was in addition to the automatic gratuity charged on the receipt. So you felt compelled to give the waiter/server an additional tip on top of his/her automatic tip.

There will be more responses to the other questions in a later reply.....
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:15 AM
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Frase, much of what you mention is common these days.

The internet pricing and speed is typical for all cruise lines. RCI also has the extra tip line on their receipts. I've never felt a need to add it, but I guess I can see how some might feel compelled. Laundromats...well, not all cruise lines have those either. In fact most do not.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:07 PM
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Sonny V:

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). I did not learn how big my stateroom was on the Norwegian Pearl; but if I were to guess I would say it was around 125 sq. ft. I suppose that is more than adequate for just one person. But after I became accustumed to the staterooms the size the ones I had on the Carnival ship, it was hard going back to a smaller size. And all of my staterooms on all of my cruises (except for one on the Carnival Glory) were in the cheapest Interior staterooms.The bathroom in my Pearl stateroom was especially small and the toilet was at an awkward angle and just 1 foot (32cm) from the wall. I am 5 foot 11 (1.8 Meters)tall and to sit down on the toilet, I had to spread my legs far apart and both knees were against the wall. I can't imagine how worse sitting on that toilet would have been for taller individuals.

My very first cruise was on RCCL's Sovereign of the Seas. My stateroom on the Sovereign was a little smaller than the one I had on the Pearl. However, the Sovereign is more than 20 years old now. And the Sovereign cruise I had was just before it's major renovations in 2004. And I did not have the trouble with the toilet, like I did on the NCL Pearl. And the Pearl is a relatively new ship launched in 2006.

Do I plan on any cruises soon in the future?
Maybe, depending on how well things go with my family. And if so, I will consider either cruising again with Carnival, or with RCCL, or if I am lucky enough Celebrity or Disney.

Unfortunately, I do not think I will choose NCL again as a future cruiseline. But in all fairness, that is a matter of personal choice, which might be different for someone else.

I did not have a bad cruise on the Norwegian Pearl. However, I enjoyed my previous cruises better (on Carnival and RCCL).
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:31 PM
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Sparks:

Yes, there were bowling alleys onboard the Norwegain Pearl. They were in the "Bliss" bar/lounge on deck 8. There were 4 lanes paired in two on one side and two on the other.

I did not do any bowling. I think the price was around $5 to $6 per person/ per game. I am not sure if this price included the shoe rental. The alleys looked dark, but the lane and pins glowed purple under the black lights. Some of the other passengers I talked to said the bowling was fun.

No, I did not see any long wait for anyone who wanted to bowl. There were allot of times I saw no one bowling. But I am not sure if that was unusual or not. I did not see any indication of a sign-up, advance reservations, or time limit for the bowling, but I am not sure. They might do those things if there was a long wait to bowl (which I did not see).
 
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