Dining on the Norwegian Pearl

Jan 27th, 2007, 06:41 AM
  #1  
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Dining on the Norwegian Pearl

We will soon cruise on the new Norwegian Pearl. We've been advised by former Norwegian clients that we should reserve restaurants for each night of the cruise on our day of arrival. We would hope to be more spontaneous on a daily basis. We tend to be early diners anyway. If we decide to dine at 4:30 on any given day, would all the dining rooms be open and would we be likely to be seated immediately at that time? Do the French and Asian dining rooms carry a cover charge?
meggies is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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Dinner is not served at 4:30, rather starting at 6pm which is when lines are longest.

Since you were obviously attracted to Freesytle, seems to me that reserving for each night takes that all away???

I prefer to know when and where i will dine and when on NCL I will reserve for my preferred dining room at time.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 08:06 AM
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Yes, the French and Asian carry a cover, as well as about half of them overal.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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meggies when are you going on the Pearl? We leave tomorrow out of Miami. I just read on cruisecritic.com that the gym equipment is additional money per day. I am very dissapointed to hear that as I always use the treadmills. Yes you need reservations at all the restaurants. I also heard the Italian is free. (??)
diann is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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newmanparker
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If you eat late, I doubt there is a need to make reservations
 
Jan 28th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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diann, IMO NCL has taken nickel and diming to a whole new level, including extra charges for just about everything. Freestyle maybe but not much else is free.

I paid extra for the Italian dining room aboard the Sun and the Dream.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 07:24 AM
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NCL has the worst food of any cruise ship, I have been on! Over half the resturants on the ship have an extra charge and it is totally not worth it. What they serve you at night, will end up on the main lunch line the next day anyway! The serve is terrible, the personal are just has bad! If you insist on going on ncl, the mexican resturant is good, and be sure to eat only on the hamburger and hotdog line, it is the only decent food, in the main dining room. We ended up eating on shore.Breakfast is fair..We sailed on the Pride of Hawaii on 1-8-07. Hawaii was beauiful, wish we had taken another cruise line!! Finally got your room cleaned on Thursday, had to hunt someone down for tissue for the bathroom and towels! Does not help to complain,all I got was sorry!! Good Luck!!!
nannyb is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 06:52 PM
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On NCL ships the steakhouse and teppanyaki rooms (both with extra charge) are the hardest tickets to get. I find the food on NCL quite good, but I've only eaten on Pride of America, not Pride of Hawaii. The Italian restaurant on Norwegian Pearl is free, and I think the Latin/Mexican is as well (don't quote me on that, though), but it's just in a balcony area overlooking the main atrium. I've alwasy found NCL food pretty good (and I like the new buffet setup a lot .. there are many more action stations where the cooks make food to order). If the extra charges bother you, just reserve at the hard-to-get restaurants and eat most meals in the 2 main dining rooms, which serve quite nice menus.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:43 AM
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Generally on NCL ships there are 2 main dining rooms- one opens at 5:30 and the other at 6PM for dinner. If you arrive at about 15 minutes AFTER opening there will be NO line-ups.
Why people want to stand around waiting for the doors to open is a mystery to me. Once this first rush is seated you should be able to just walk up to the hostess and be seated immediately.
And the food is fine.
semiramis is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 09:21 AM
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pat
 
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Doug, when were you on the Pride Of America? We found the food and service very poor one year ago. Would never recommend any of those Hawaii ships, based on our experience, unless things have really changed. Very disappointing. The Pearl may be better, as it`s not part of NCL america. Would you let us know, Meggies?
pat is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 12:03 PM
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I was only on Pride of America for a short preview sailing, which was not a regular revenue cruise, and I'm aware of the issues on that and the other NCL America ships regarding service. I have my own feelings about that, but what counts is whether or not you enjoyed your cruise. I do simply disagree about the quality of food, but that's very much in the eye of the beholder.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:06 PM
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I just returned today from the cruise on the new NCL Pearl. It is a gorgeous ship, it is so nice and new, and the staff go out of there way, to be nice, friendly and attentive. The food to be honest is not awful but it is not as good as RC in my opinion. The Italian restaurant is no charge!! It is very good, as is Cagneys steakhouse. We had to wait a very long time for our food as it was packed. They felt very bad and didn't charge us the surcharge. I had a strip steak in the main dining room which was just as good as Cagneys. The buffet breakfast was wonderful beyond belief. I think Meggies if you go early then you have a very good chance of getting into any restaurants you want. Yes the french and Asian dining rooms have a cover. I didn't eat in those but they smelled wonderful!! The no-pay rooms as not that bad either. Just not as good as RCCL. I also miss the solarian (indoor pool area) that most of the RCCL ships have. They do have one small indoor pool in a spa and they charge $15.00 a day for that one, it is the theolassy(?) pool. I didn't want to pay for it. So any questions I can answer I will be happy to do so. The rooms are also smaller on this ship then RCCL. I didn't feel anymore nickel or dimed to death on here then any other line.
diann is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 10:27 AM
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I was on the Pride of America last week. The food was very good in my opinion. Overall, you can NOT expect the quality of food that ships had 10 years ago. All have cut back, cruising is a fantastic deal, especially in Hawaii, so you really do need to lower expectations- then you won't be disapppointed.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 11:50 AM
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I wonder how Pride of Aloha is doing? I am glad to hear you had an adequate time. I am very excited about seeing Hawaii and eating is not my total reason for visiting Hawaii. You know I figured the cost for the trip on the Pearl was less than a $100 a day per person for myself and my husband. I dare to say you cannot go to a hotel for that and have meals included. A breakfast at a hotel will in no way include all the variety this cruise offered. OF course factoring in drinks tips etc. raise the costs, but still one must keep in mind the cost factor. I know I paid more on other lines as well. I guess we get what we pay for in the end. All and all we had a wonderful time and the snorkeling in Belize was a so much fun. Of course we would like perfect food, as well, but the vacation itself is not totally about "food." As long as fresh, and doesn't make me sick I am happy.
diann is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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I will cruise Aloha in May and this will be my second NCL cruise w/i twelve months. The first was AK on the SUN. Outside of Freestyle, I found it no different than any other cruiseline. The inside room on the SUN was actually larger than the one we had on our Carnival ship. It was great. We've also had outside cabins in the past.

The food in the dining rooms was great, while the buffet food was just that...buffet. We loved everything about our trip except the last port we visited in Canada.

We will miss the casino but realize that you will not be on the ship long enough to visit a casino even if there was one as we are in a port each day. I'm so excited to be going back to Hawaii and looking forward to my trip.

Have fun and I look forward to reading your trip report.
sk84fungirl is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 05:16 AM
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SK84fungirl,

Do you or have you thought about excursions or what you will do on the islands? Let me know what you think now or when you return. We have never been to Hawaii. We are fun loving people. Thanks. Keep in touch.
diann is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 05:27 AM
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On a different NCL ship this is what we did. After a day of doing whatever we decided what time we wanted to eat. Checked with restaurant about wait times. Used that time to shower, have a drink, and then presented ourselves at appointed "reservation" time. They would not take reservations other than on same day - but that may be different on your ship.
gail is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Hawaii is just fantastic via rental car. No need for the costly excursion, when you can easily drive there yourself. Consider Thrify and become a Blue Chip member before you reserve.

I paid about $28/day $34 with taxes. Got upgraded each car, twice to a convertable. Parking was availble overnight at Maui and Kauai, which I used.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 03:57 PM
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I am the original poster. We returned February 11 from our nine day Southern Caribbean Cruise on the Pearl. Currently the dining rooms open at 5:00. They allowed reservations only 24 hours in advance. On arrival we reserved our first and second nights, and thereafter we reserved a day in advance. The Summer Palace is a gorgeous dinner setting and we ate there eight out of the nine nights. We ate at Indigo the other night, and the menu was the same. We prefer to eat early, so we dined at 5:00 each evening, always had a table for two, window seating. I advise that if you wish to try La Cucina, reserve it for your first or second night, before it becomes popular. Two mornings in a row toward the end of the cruise we called at 7:50 a.m., and then 7:10 a.m to reserve La Cucina for the next night, and both times it was ALREADY booked up for the next evening, except for the 9:00 p.m. slot.
meggies is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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Meggies - Thank you for posting upon your return. We're booking on this for Feb 2008 so glad to read your report. Is Summer Palace one of the dining rooms with a surcharge? How would you rate the food at that restaurant? Have you cruised other lines and how would you compare food and cabins? Thanks! Claire
claire_david2 is offline  

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