Back in June I was given the opportunity to sign up for a one night repositioning cruise on the Norwegian Pearl on September 25th, which I totally jumped on! The cruise left Seattle, WA and travelled to Vancouver, BC. To get to Seattle, I took the Amtrak train from Vancouver. The train ride was very relaxing, and going through White Rock it really gave a different view. Usually I’m walking along the pier watching the trains go by, this time I was on it 🙂 By Amtrak it is a 4 hour journey from the Pacific Central Station in Vancouver to the King Street Station in Seattle. The train does have priority, so we only had to wait a couple times briefly for a cargo train to finish passing. Once I got to Seattle, it was a $8.40 USD cab ride to Pier 66 where the Norwegian Pearl was docked. I arrived at the pier at 11:30am, checked in, waited 5 minutes then we were boarding the ship. They did say that the rooms were quite not ready when we entered the main atrium, however mine was. I was assigned a balcony stateroom (10586), Category BA. The NCL Pearl is going into dry dock February 2017, I’m going to be honest, it needs it. The carpets in the staterooms are quite loud, it’s currently a colour theme that fits the Caribbean, not necessarily anywhere else haha. The bed was quite comfortable, bathroom is quite small. The Pearl has a coffeemaker in the room, great for coffee on the balcony in the morning. I was hoping to take a look at a room service menu (as I heard that NCL started charging for room service on some items) however I couldn’t find one in my room, possibly because it was just a short cruise.
After settling in a little bit, I went to the Summer Palace to eat lunch. This is the main dining room on Deck 6 at the very back of the ship. It’s definitely starting to look a little tired. However the food and service was excellent. I had a Caesar Salad to start, followed by a delicious burger and a peanut butter cup chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Did I mention the food was good? After lunch I explored the rest of the ship. The Starlight Theater was beautiful and I can’t say enough great things about the Mandara Thermal Suite (except for a customer service issue at the end). The sauna has an amazing view! If you are ever on this ship, it is a must do, the saunas are part of the female/male only areas which for me is an even bigger plus. I really loved the heated mosaic loungers, the only downside is that they are not facing the windows as I’ve experienced on other ships. The outdoor areas have lots of deck space, the back of the ship has a rock climbing wall and a huge multi sport area. The promenade deck has oversized checkers, chess and shuffleboard. There are so many lounges onboard, having a drink while listening to live music is always an option. The “sail away party” was held midship at the Tahitian Pool, great atmosphere and enjoyed sailing out of Seattle with the daily drink special of a Long Island Iced Tea ($7.95 plus 18% gratuity). It was strong! Thank goodness there are free drink stations around the ship, I refilled mine with regular iced tea and made my drink last about three times over.
After the sail away party, I headed to the Thermal Suite for some relaxation before dinner. It was so nice watching the sunset from this area of this ship. Afterwards, I headed back to my room, took some more sunset photos from my balcony and got ready for dinner. The only main dining room open tonight was the Summer Palace again, Indigo was closed for this cruise. The food was good, I had a bit of a chill so the French onion soup and fried brie starters took my chill off, followed by steak frites and a raspberry chocolate torte for dessert! After dinner, they had live entertainment in Spinnakers Lounge, there wasn’t enough people onboard to use the Starlight Theater, which I understand. The entertainment was great! What you would expect from a live cruise ship show. By this time the shops downstairs did open and I bought myself a couple shot glasses and my cruise ship magnet 🙂
It was a crazy busy day so after shopping I went to bed and had an amazing sleep! I woke up briefly to cruising under the Lions Gate Bridge and docking ever so gently at Canada Place. I fell back asleep for another hour and enjoyed the view of downtown Vancouver from my balcony. I did have breakfast at the Garden Café Buffet, there were quite a few great choices and pretty good coffee. The one issue I did have was they charged me for the spa, when I had a free pass. Apparently this happened to a few other guests and they simply handed us a card to contact guest relations off the ship. Kind of disappointed that they didn’t handle it onboard, especially as the agents were quite rude to the customers next to me. Didn’t leave the ship with the greatest memory, but it was a pretty good trip overall. I’ll definitely sail with NCL again and hoping they sort out the spa pass issue soon 🙂
I love cruising and can’t wait until my next full voyage!
Cruising is certainly my happy place! 😉