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The NCL Pearl - Our Experience

For spring break in March of 2012, we chose to take a family cruise on the NCL Pearl. We had tried to get on the Norwegian Pearl 2 years earlier and couldn't get a courtyard cabin (now called the Haven) so we chose the NCL Jewel instead and loved it! So we were really looking forward to the Pearl.

NCL Pearl Ship at Great Stirrup Cay
The NCL Pearl at Great Stirrup Cay



Over Christmas, Warren and I had took a Princess cruise on the Grand Princess with some friends. We were so happy to get back to Norwegian Cruise Lines and freestyle cruising. It just isn't the same on a traditional cruise after taking 5 NCL cruises with freestyle cruising.


This time as we were vacationing with Montana, we needed some extra room, so we booked Cabin 14512, a Haven Courtyard suite. (Click to see the courtyard)


This cruise we had a great itinerary. We had 2 sea days, a day at Great Stirrup Cay, and stops in Ochos Rios Jamaica (where we enjoyed Dunns River Falls), Grand Cayman (finally an island I have never been to before!) and Cozumel. We were really happy with this itinerary, although I prefer 3 sea days to relax.

Great Stirrup Cay from the NCL Pearl


We ate in most of the specialty restaurants, and at Cagney's for breakfast most mornings and lunch a few times too (comes with staying in a suite). We ate at Le Bistro, Cagney's (twice), La Cuchina, Tempanyaki, Lotus Garden (including sushi), and the newest and now our favorite restaurant, Moderno Churrascaria.


So if you are thinking of a cruise, or booking the Norwegian Pearl, go grab a coffee and sit back and read through our review of the Norwegian Pearl and recommendations of the ship, freestyle cruising and the ports of call we visited.


Below you will find links to our experiences and reviews of the ship, our cabin, the ports of call that we visited and what we thought of the restaurants on board.

Our Cabin on the NCL Pearl and the Haven

We booked cabin 14512, the Jasmine Suite. It is a category S4 - 2 bedroom family villa with Balcony, located in the Haven (formerly known as the Courtyard). I will say right off that we love spending the extra money on the Haven suites. If you book a cabin in the Haven or any of the Owners suites you get all the perks of the other suites AND you get access to the Haven, a private pool, sitting area, sun deck etc. and a few other privileges.


Here is a video of our cabin and the courtyard area:



While we enjoy cruising and meeting other people, we also like to hide away in the quiet of the Haven. You could spend your entire cruise up there if you wanted to. The Courtyard butler will bring you food from any of the restaurants on board. We spent many a day in the courtyard or Montana enjoyed the sun beds on the top deck.


Click here to see a slideshow of photos of the Courtyard in the Haven.


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More of the Norwegian Cruise Lines Fleet

Freestyle Cruises

Freestyle Cruises

Freestyle cruising is a newer concept in cruising. It has been quite popular and most of the larger cruise lines are now adopting some of the practices. See what it is all about and if it is for you or not!



Norwegian Cruise Line Reviews

Share Your Norwegian Reviews

What are your favorite or not so favorite NCL cruise experiences?
We would love to hear about your experiences and we know other visitors would too.




Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay

NCL's 250 acre reinvented, private island in the Bahamas. Enjoy beach combing, snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming, beach sports, or hanging in a hammock.