We just got back from our cruise on the Pearl and even though I thought that the Rock Climbing wall was a gimmick before we left, I was really quite impressed with the operation on the ship.
I had climbed in a Gym about 10 years ago while my son was in Boy Scouts so I had an idea of how to climb. The gym had much lower walls but quite a range of difficulty.
The rock climbing on the Pearl has three "paths" that you can climb. As the degree of difficulty increases, the number of "rocks" decreases. Additionally, the most difficult section juts outward from the bottom section which makes the top section very challenging.
The best part of the whole experience is watching and cheering for the young kids who attempt and many times climb the wall all the way to the top and ring the bell. The attendants at the wall were very patient with the participants and helped the smaller kids by giving the an extra pull on the rope to get to the next rock or by letting the rest on the wall until they could re-group and get moving again. The participants waiting in line also helped the climbers by cheering for them when the rang the bell and many times when they didn't as long as they displayed determination in getting as high on the wall as possible. It was great to see the look on a young face when he or she rang the bell and then looked back down on the crowd while their proud parents took pictures of them before repelling back down to the ground.
I climbed almost every day and was very glad that NCL had but this activity on the ship.
I can't wait to take my grandson on a cruise so he can try it.