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Reconsidering the Pearl…

A few days ago I posted about booking a 7-day cruise in November aboard the Norwegian Pearl. After some reflection, I’m starting to have “buyer’s remorse.” It’s not that we don’t like the Pearl (we’ve been on her and her like well). It’s not that we have no interest in Belize and Honduras (I’ve heard good things, but if nothing else they’re at least 2 out of 100). It’s just that I think it might be the ‘right cruise’ at the ‘wrong time’ for us.

What do I mean?

I’m just not sure that the ports, aside from Key West, are especially baby and/or elderly friendly. I believe some ports involve tendering (i.e., transferring from the big boat to land via a smaller boat). To do things as a family, I also think it might be too difficult to schlep an infant and an octogenarian (who’s not in the best of physical shape anymore) over Mayan ruins or through the wilds of Central America on eco-tours. No, I think we need more stroller and/or wheelchair friendly ports in places where the ship docks.

I’m also only semi-excited about the Pearl. As I said, she’s a nice ship. But, she’s not a ‘great’ ship… and certainly not a new experience. In a place like Europe, we don’t care as much. We cruise for the itinerary, not the ship. Thus, the Pearl and her NCL sister ships are terrific for those itineraries.

The Caribbean, however, is a different story. We don’t love fun ‘n sun destinations. It’s mostly: 1) a cheaper, closer-to-home getaway, 2) more about relaxing than sightseeing, and 3) a nice way (now) to add additional countries on the cheap.

So, we’re thinking about three 7-day alternatives:

NCL Epic – Eastern Caribbean (St. Thomas, St. Marteen, Nassau)
RCI Freedom of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean (same, Coco Cay instead of Nassau)
Ruby Princess – Eastern Caribbean (same, Grand Turk instead of Nassau).

Now, it’s decision making time. Which to (re)book? Any comments or suggestions?

3 Responses to “Reconsidering the Pearl…”

  1. Myndi says:

    You know, I haven’t done Eastern Caribbean so they all sound wonderful to me. Still, I’d probably go with the Ruby Princess. Something about Grand Turk…sounds nice no matter what you choose though. :)

  2. Dick says:

    I would opt for the NCL Epic. I have always wanted to go to St. Marteen and St. Thomas.. but hey, that is just from someone who has never been on a cruise. Although that may change this year.

  3. Paul says:

    Really? What do you have thoughts about? Do tell…

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