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europe14 04-25-2010 09:10 AM

Hi, we will be going on a 14 day Panama canal cruise in September on the Pearl. It leaves from San Pedro and ends in Miami. I was wondering if we should purchase the transfers (around $26) or just take a cab. Any suggestions? Also I would love to hear from anyone who has done the Panama Canal cruise on Pearl or any other NCL ship. Thanks.

vietvet 04-25-2010 10:18 AM

We were on the Jewel recently and really like the ship. It is a carbon copy of the pearl. We did not go for the poor to mid grade wait service. The Blue Lagoon is terrible service and the main dinning room is very poor. The wait staff figures they won't see you again because of the anytime dining or free style.The rest of the service is as good as any other cruise line.

penny3333 04-26-2010 08:20 AM

Hi europe14, welcome to Cruise-Chat! Congratulations on your up-coming cruise, what a fabulous itinerary. I haven't had the pleasure of taking that itinerary, but hopefully, there's still time to do it!

I am assuming you're talking about transfers from the port to the airport. I think the cab fare was $25. The plus with the ship transfers are your luggage. When we've taken the transfer, after clearing customs, the luggage was taken out to the bus. Not sure if that applies to all cruise lines, but with Princess it did. The plus with a cab is, you don't have to wait for everyone to fill the bus. The cost is about the same.

I've sailed on NCL 4 times and have never had problems with their service. The wait staff, cabin stewards, casino workers, crew have always been great. They're a little more laid back than other lines, but that can be a good thing. They're not always pushing for you to buy something or do something.

Please let us know how it goes! Best wishes!

bmh 04-26-2010 08:37 AM

We have sailed on both ships a few times, we like them both, good service and very clean. We do like the Pearl it very different on deck 7 better laid out I think, with the Bliss lounge and the bowling. The shops are amidships (on the way to the Stardust). There is rock climbing on the Pearl, not sure about the Jewel. There is also real nice spa on both ships, if you sail to Alaska try and buy the spa package (about $100.00) and watch the glaciers calve from a hot tub.

cantwait2go 04-26-2010 09:35 AM

We took the Pearl through the Panama 3 years ago, although in the other direction. Started in Miami, and ended up in Seattle, Washington. Loved the Pearl. We like NCL as you can eat when and where you want, and don't have to dress for dinner, which means you don't have to pack all the extra clothes. Now that the airlines are charging for baggage, the lighter you can travel, the better! There were 14 of us on our trip, and all thought the food was great, as was the service - no complaints at all. As a matter of fact, we have re-booked the Pearl next spring. Have fun on your trip, exjoy the Panama Canal.

f-mattox 04-26-2010 12:03 PM

Back to your question about transfers or cab: I wasn't clear on whether you were asking aoubt L.A. or Miami . . . or both.
Penny gave you a good answer for Miami.

If you decide on the ship transfer it would probably be easier to use it in both ports. But I wanted to let you know that in L.A. a third choice would be either Super Shuttle or Prime Time Shuttle. The fare from LAX to the terminal in San Pedro is $17 per person. Not only do you save money, but you can reserve and pay in advance; and you don't have to wait for a bus to fill up. Don't even consider a cab in L.A.--they are outrageous.

europe14 05-04-2010 04:41 PM

Thanks so much everyone for all the advice. Sorry, I didn't get back on this site until now.
Thanks especially for the advice about not taking a cab from LA to San Pedro.

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