Considering a Norwegian Cruise, always have done Carnival & RC. What's the atmosphere like? Looking for a similiar experience. Tell me about the bathrooms on the Pearl. Looks like there's no storage for even a toothbrush to set out. Will I get claustrophobic in any room other than a balcony? Also are you able to get a lounge on a sun deck easily? What is freestyle dining like. How long to wait for a table and dining hours for regular dining? Entertainment? Buffet? Tell me the good and the not so good. As you can see I'm just trying to get a good picture before I decide to book.
Mariner of the Seas
Radiance of the Seas
The above link is to my revue of the Pearl last November. It was our first NCL cruise after sailing on Carnival 4 times and Princess 2 times.
We really enjoyed Freestyle cruising and have another NCL cruise booked for this coming November on the Spirit!
Live life to the fullest because tomorrow may never come!
Carribean Princess 07
Carnival Valor 08
Carnival Holiday 08
Carnival Triumph 09
Island Princess 09
Carnival Miracle 10
Norwegian Pearl 11
Norwegian Sun 13
Independence of the Seas Feb 14
Carnival Splendor Feb 15
I'm with the other two posters...I love NCL, but I honestly don't have another line to compare too...it was our first cruise line and we've already taken two more and have two more booked.
I haven't been on the Pearl, but have been in multiple classes of cabin and never had any problem with storage...they have had shelves on either side of the mirror for all our stuff.
As far as food, I have never had to wait for a table at the 'included' restaurants, but I have seen bad reviews about that...I can only assume they have large parties and go exactly at peak meal time...I travel in a group of 4 and are always seated right away. I enjoy the 'upcharge' places as well and we usually book in at least one during the cruise.
The buffets are nice and varied and we've found that the ones at the back of the boat on the opposite side of the ship as the interior buffet usually has the least number of people. (on the ships we have been on, the main buffet is on one side of the ship and the seating leads all the way to the back of the ship where there is an outdoor buffet with two sides...go to the opposite side - i don't think people realize there is food over there)
My only complaint about the entertainment is we haven't seen where they repeat the comedy shows...most of the rest they do at 7 and 9, but for some reason, the comedy tends to be done just once...but sometimes there is a late comedy routine for adults only...
As far as lounge chairs...if you have children and want to be near the pool, those tend to go faster, but we still always found seats...if you don't have children, don't want to be by the pool, or want quiet time...go to one of the decks above the pool...sometimes those areas are completely empty...especially at the front of the ship