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A New Itinerary for us...on one of our Favorite Ships! We can't wait to explore the Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic and NCL's "private" island in the Bahamas!
Be sure to Click on the pictures throughout the site (and most of the Web Cams, too) for "Close Ups".
Our photos will be available in daily "Trip Pix" shown below. Check 'em all out...that is, if we can upload them!
Norwegian Pearl
April 2rd through 10th, 2011

Saturday/Sunday, April 2nd & 3rd
Miami, Florida

Depart Sunday, April 3rd at 4PM

Monday, April 4th
At Sea, Cruising the Caribbean

All Day

Tuesday, April 5th
Samana, Dominican Republic

10AM to 5 PM

Wednesday, April 6th
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

9AM to 6PM

Thursday, April 7th
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

7AM to 3PM
Friday, April 8th
At Sea, Cruising the Caribbean
Saturday, April 9th
Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
10AM to 6PM
Sunday, April 10th
Miami Florida
Arrive at 8AM

Our Stateroom: 9672
Category: AE Penthouse Suite
Location: AFT (overlooking the ship's wake)

Built: 2006
Length: 971 Feet
Beam: 107 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 92000 pounds

Passengers: 2800
Crew: 1100

3 Pools/6 Hot Tubs
11 Bars/Lounges
12 Restaurants
4-lane Bowling Alley
Rock Climbing Wall
Ship's Godmother: Rosie O'Donnell


MSNBC Review of the NCL Pearl, 04/26/09



Click for Close Up
Our Itinerary on the NCL Pearl!

NCL Pearl Bridge Cam...Live?

So, Where in the World is the Norwegian Pearl?

Click here to find out!
Aerial Map Location & Current Weather Here!


Florida & The


Click for Close Up
The Pearl's "Hull Art"

Click for Close Up
The NCL Pearl

Click for Close Up
The Climbing Wall

Trip Pix



Flight Status

Flight Status

bullet Tracking Information on our Flight to Miami can be obtained by clicking the various links/buttons in the widget above!

bullet A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight to Atlanta (will show up once we take off from San Antonio): Click Here

bullet Three hour layover at the Delta Sky Club in Atlanta.

bullet A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight to Miami from Atlanta (will show up once we take off): Click Here

bullet THANK YOU, MOM!!! Remember, don't spoil Ramses, Cleo and Alika (Ha...as if you'll pay attention to this written warning!) We hope everyone got back to sleep after our early WAKE-UP call! Mamie, thanks for seeing us off...but, we realize you were just up so that you could claim the Big Bed! Give the Boy & Girls a hug... we made it with plenty of time to enjoy a nice, leisurely check-in, trip through security, etc. But, traveling First Class sure helps bypass alot of lines... Steve is already planning his breakfast (hoping for crescents!)

bullet Made it to Atlanta...no problem! Damn, there are a lot of Delta planes!!! Atlanta has a HUGE airport...maybe 10 times the size of San Antonio...and there are Delta jets everywhere! Plus, quite a few AirTrans, which will turn into Southwest Airlines as soon as their acquizition is finalized. Matt did his Bodden-work...Steve kept the pastries coming...oh and a bloody mary or two, too!

bullet Embassy Suites - MIA -- Great hotel, have really had fun relaxing in the sun (and counting down the hours until FREE drinks!) While at the pool this precious little girl was watching me take pictures from INSIDE the pool. As I was leaving the pool, she asked, "Sir, is that a waterproof camera?" I told her, "Ya' know, I sure do hope so!!!" and she just laughed... We also chatted poolside with a mom of (at least) two -- tomorrow will be her first cruise (Carnival Valor...to Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, etc.) and we gave her lots of tips! Victor is WAY overbooked for that day, so we didn't bring that option up!! We're both really looking forward to boarding the ship tomorrow, so I'm going to try and get as much "free" internet work out of the way, before having to pay the 75-cents per minute on-ship cost! UGH! Steve has shared a YouTube Video from our patio here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D77gODu4jZk I haven't seen it! So, Enjoy!

Click for Close Up
Web cam view of Inter coastal Waterway in Miami

Click for Miami International, Florida Forecast




Inside Passage

bullet Sunday, Depart Miami at 4PM. Of course, we were almost the first ones one...as we say, "We paid for 7 Days...We're gonna get 7 Days!" We were ushered into the VIP area and gobbled down delicious NCL cookies (as if we were not going to have anything to eat the rest of the week!!) As soon as we boarded, the "Priority Boarders" were seperated again... we headed to Cagney's for our "suites-only" lunch. Just as we remembered...YUM! After lunch, we had an hour to kill before the staterooms were ready...so we had Mojitos with Kora at the Star Bar. She had a wonderful personality and we have already been informed of upcoming specials and exactly WHEN she will be working! I LOVE it!!!

bullet The "Cabins Ready" announcement was made and we snapped a few photos as we headed to the room . When we arrived...WHAT a surprise: Stateroom goodies from Mom & the Dogs, Melayne & Rob, the Casino Hosts, the Captain...etc, etc. The Hors d'oerves didn't last long -- where o' where is Gloria to eat all the salmon mousse? I suffered through it, just to get to the pate! YUM! Steve devoured the chocolate covered strawberries (from M & R) while we sorted through the stack of mail on our desk...YES a stack! Mom sent stateroom credit... Mamie and Rob had some casino credits for us... too much on the schedule to make it to the casino party (but, rest assured, they will know when we get there!!)

bullet Be sure to check out the new photos...not many of the ship (been there/done that/still beautiful!) Miami was beautiful at sail away ...but again, no pix, too busy laughing with everyone! Here is my absolute favorite... Oh, and Steve has a You-Tube that we will post when we have "free" uploading in St. Thomas...so check back here!

Click for Close Up
Steve on the Pearl

bullet Sail-away Party with the Cruise Critic Group @ the Sky High bar! Here are a few of our Cruise Critic Friends: What a blast! Met lots of fun, fun, fun people -- everyone has a story (and each one is better than the last!) We are so lucky to have a fun Cruise Critic group! Chris, Richard and Emily from Minnesota spotted us and we began the table-saving! Ted from Alberta stopped by -- he was happy to be heading into warm weather, eventhough (like Matthew) he doesn't "do well" in warm weather! It was <-5 when they left Canada!> Our Bobby & Cyndi from Texas stopped by and it was nice to put a face to the names -- we will be sharing a Samana tour with them later in the week. We had a lot of fun laughing with our group organizer, Rob & his wife Kathy -- they LOVE Disney as much as Matthew loves SeaWorld! Shirley, Alison & Allen came all the way from Scotland to cruise -- no jetlag there...seem to be ready for a fun cruise!

bullet DAMN! We can't even upload the pix...ANOTHER fruit basket from Mom, Alika, Cleo and Ramses just arrived...along with a bottle of wine! WOW, do I have smart dogs (and a mom to match!) Photos will be posted tomorrow of this treat... things to do/people to see!!!! OH, Mamie, Text came through fine (broken into 3 individual ones...so I guess 15-cents?) Just save the LONG messages for email, but nice to know it will work in case of an emergency!!




Inside Passage

bullet Monday, At Sea all Day.

bullet Meet Mingle with a few of our Cruise Critic Friends @ the Star Bar...we have over 70 signed up for our Meet & Mingle -- and LOTS more on board! We had a grat turn out and eveyone seemed to enjoy our lanyards (a nice royal blue this trip!) There were many of the ship's officers on board and they walked around and met each of us...very personal and all thanked us for choosing Norwegian! One of the officers commented how he remembered our black & white lanyards and us from the Alaska cruise... It was nice to be recognized! Speaking of being recognized, our favorite restaurant manager from the last cruise (Jorge from Hondruas) is now overseeing the Cagney's steakhouse -- a big upgrade from Mambo's! We have already chatted with him a few times...and will be eating with him soon.

bullet After a nice lunch at Cagney's, we had our "Martini Tasting"... this was lots of fun and the two bartenders kept us laughing throughout! I hope we caught a good picture of them doing their juggling routine...they were able to juggle seven balls at once! Soon after the martini tasting, we had a VIP cocktail party with the capatin in the Terrace Suites. It was very nice, again the officers were quite friendly -- and another young officer told us how she remembered us from our Alaska cruise on the Pearl a couple years back.

bullet During one of the Captain's speaches via intercom, he stated, "We are coming up on the half way point to Samana... Look out the left side of the ship and we pass the Yellow Bouy, we will be at half-way!" It was funny to see people actually going to look for a 1/2 way marker in the middle of the ocean -- he later said he was joking to see who would believe him.

bullet Forget relaxing... we had 7pm dinner reservations at the Tepanyaki Grille. What EXCELLENT food -- and a wonderful tableside chef -- again, keeping us well entertained (and fed)!!

bullet A winning night in the casino for each of us -- so, we quit while ahead so we could get rest for Samana!!! Not many pix today, but hopefully there are a few good ones!!






bullet Tuesday, Arrive Samana at 10AM

bullet Excursion: Tour Samana with Terry! We will be on this excursion with several from the Cruise Critic group, and we all had a great time! A bit of a late start due to rough tendering, so our tour was to be shortened by at least an hour. We did alot of driving (some on excellent roads...some on not-so-excellent roads!) and enjoyed some beautiful vistas, and a wonderful isolated beach. Amazing Stuff! It reminded us alot of Roatan and we both said we'd not be opposed to coming back...but only if we had much longer in port. Sad that it was such a short day! Terry's tours were quite organized and informative...however, they were unable to show us all that we had planned since their tour had to be nipped by 20%, too! OUr guide Glenys really tried to be sure that she got in as much as possible...and was so positive and proud of the Domincan Republic. Great time, with great people seeing a beautiful place...no complaints here...we love Dominica!

Click for Close Up
Web cam of Turquesa Resort Beach (Punta Cana) in Samana

bullet Quick nap once back on ship...then off to Le Bistro for Escargot and Steak! YUM! Steve has already had 3 calls from the onboard Golf Pro, Juan Carlos (played on the European Tour, they say?) He found out this evening that he will be the only golfer playing...so he should get a nice 18-hole lesson on St. Thomas tomorrow with a good golfer! I hope he has a blast... I will be learning the "Days of hte Week" song for Mamie's students!

Click for Dominican Republic Forecast




bullet Wednesday, Arrive St. Thomas at 9AM. Steve met his golf mate at 8:45 (Juan Carlos) and was whisked away to the Mahogany Run Golf Club. Matt fought with the "free" US internet for an hour, then ran off the ship to meet his tour.

bullet Excursion: Mahogany Run Golf (Steve): He said, "It was fun." Kinda' sad, really, after a $250 cruise ship excursion...but, hey, it's ONLY Golf!!! But, this was more because he said, "he'd played the worst golf he'd ever played...only parred one hole, the 18th!" I told him it sounds like at least he was showing improvement! He has a "date" set up with the pro on Friday to help fine tune his game (sounds more like TUNE, leave the fine tuning for much later...but I digress!) He really enjoys Juan Carlos and is exchanging golf course photos, phone numbers and email addys with him. They plan on trying to get together next time he is in SAT or Steve is in the Orlando/Miami area (plus, Juan Carlos said he can get Steve on at any course in Florida through "connections!", so this has Steve in a tizzy!)

bulletSunny Liston's Shopping & Island Tour (Matthew): Took a short scenic tour to downtown St. Thomas... OMG, whoever told me that the shopping was amazing and I blew-it-off, I apologize! This was the most amazing shopping (jewelry, watches, etc.) that I've ever seen! Too much fun for a couple of hours...then off on a FUN scenic tour of St. Thomas! So many outstanding scenic overlooks! This island has both Caribbean and Atlantic facing shorelines...you can only imagine! Beauty everywhere...plus, the Banana Daquiris don't hurt either!!

bullet Also, on my tour, I visited Megan's Beach -- beautiful...and Sapphire Beach (crowded...with only 3 ships in port!) We all commented how horrible it must be on their usualy "peak season" tally of seven or eight ships!

bullet After meeting up with Steve, we did a little more shopping...and had some amazing pork chops! YUM! Right by the port, so we will definitely be heading back there on a future visit!

bullet Hopefully (as always), the picture will post correctly... Not many captions, but will do more once "back at home!"

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Web cam of Cruz Bay, Pillsbury Sound and St. Thomas in the Distance.
View the live "streaming" image by clicking above!

Click for Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands Forecast



Glacier Bay

bullet Thursday, Arrive Tortola at 7AM. We both really enjoyed the island...Steve didn't expect much but was basically blown away! Beauty around every corner... wonderful views, beaches, etc. and friendly, friendly folks!

bullet Excursion: Tortola Pub Crawl -- We did this with one of our "casino buddies", Lisa...and had a blast! There were several of us that have met at the casino nightly -- or at least seen each other -- and it seems Casinos and Free Rum Punch seemed to go hand-in-hand! All on the trip were given plastic whistles which we blew pretty much anytime we passed another tour (all looked on jealously!), locals (who would grin & wave), or vehicle blocking our way! Funny, funny, funny! There was free (but weak) rum punch available all day on the open air bus. But, there was also a plastic water bottle of 151-proof Cruzan Rum which was passed around as well... We topped our punch...occasionally, and had a great time!

bullet We only, honestly, stopped at one "pub" for free rum punch (Iris' Place), where we topped our own punch with however much rum we wanted. Lunch was terrific at a beautiful uncrowded beach (Cane Bay Beach? Will have to look that up...maybe the rum punch was strong?!) On our way back to the ship we stopped at "Bomba's Surfside Shack". Truly an adult's playhouse...held together with nails and bailing wire and covered top to bottom with graffiti and women's undergarments! It seems Bomba is (now) an old grey haired man who "likes him da' ladies!" So, he will give you a free T-shirt if you strip down for him! There are many, many photos around the bar of women doing just that...all for a Free Tee! Hilarious man...charges $5 to have his photo taken with a man...naturally, FREE for women! So, we politely declined and were quite happy to have PURCHASED a T-shirt instead!

bullet Tonight, we are eating dinner with Rob & Kathy (Cruise Critic event planner) from Florida...and Richard & Chris (Cruise Critics, also, whose 16-year old daughter had other plans tonight) from Minnesota... Richard is one of the most talented conversationalists I have ever met, taking interest in every conversation. I wish there were more like him, as the true talent to listen...and then intellegently comment on a topic is rare -- Steve and I both mentioned one night how much we enjoy talking to Richard! Chris is a real sweetie...she comes and checks on us at the casino each night, finding out if we're winning or losing. They are the perfect couple playing well off each other...and their daughter Emily is one of the most respectful and polite teens that I've ever known! Great family! Rob & Kathy are like I am with SeaWorld...give me a weekend, I'm there! They are so much fun, have a lot of cruises behind them and everyone notices when they walk into a room...they are truly the life of any event! Fun, so much fun... you see them coming and a smile immediately pops on your face -- can't wait to hear the latest from 'em! Too Fun!

bullet Again, no captions on the pictures...running out of internet time (Imagine THAT!) so I'll do some filling in the gaps later!

bullet Whoopie! We just got an invite from the Captain Lars Bengtsson to visit the BRIDGE on Friday! We've never done that before...we'll be at sea, so hopefully it will be a wonderful day and we might get some good pix!!

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Web cam of Nanny Cay Beach in Tortola...Will we "pub crawl" here??

Click for British Virgin Islands Forecast



bullet Friday, back to Sea for another Sea Day!

bullet Slot Pull with a few of our Cruise Critic Friends! We had a huge group show up to "contriubute" $21 each, we went in turns until we hit it big...or lost it all! Well, we played for an hour and a half and finally our funds dwindled to ZILCH! But, we all had a huge amount of fun clapping, hooting, Congo-ing, yelping, etc. around the casino! The biggest win on one of the spins was $270 by Allan from Isle of Bute, Scotland! He and his wife, Shirley, have been a lot of fun to talk to as we traverse the Caribbean -- their daughter, Allison, always has a smile on and makes sure to say "hello" when we pass.

bullet Come to think of it, this has been an outstanding Cruise Critic group. They have all be wonderful to talk to, share stories with, etc. I am anxious to get home and beg some recipes from Chris (of Richard/Chris/Emily fame from Minnesota) for her tomatillo sauce...she grows her own, I may even try that! I also want to hear more about making Risotto -- Bobby (Cyndi/Bobby from Krum, Texas) told Steve that nothing beats homemade! One of the CC'ers, Greg, does copywriting/marketing for Fisher-Price -- he has been great to talk with (he asked Matt if he did Photoshop work for a living based on our lanyards!) Of course, Matt confessed he really doesn't know what 90% of the buttons on Photoshop do...he just clicks them to see if things look better! Elizabeth & Bobby from Florida are the perfect couple -- both full of dry-wit -- and have kept us laughing the entire cruise! So many others that just say hello or a quick chat, names elude our old brains! The group from Nova Scotia is a fun crew!

bullet The tour of the Bridge was very intersting. It is amazing how many computers, gizmos and dials there are -- and yet, the ship is steered by a joy-stick! Wow, I should have kept the Atari game system---I could be cruise ship captain! The radar 'tracking' ships was fun to watch, as it projects paths and offers routes to avoid other ships ahead. We are really starting to love the Panaramic feature on the cell phone (obviously!!) as it really captures quite a bit in one nice long shot... If you click on a picture as it comes up on the slide show, it should open in another window so you can examine it more closely!

bullet Matt told the Captain how much he enjoys the daily "updates"...and complimented Captain Lars on his wonderful wit. He seemed to appreciate the compliment and explained how he had received negative comment cards from previous cruisers. It seems that some had become angry because they "missed" the half-way bouy and that the Captian didn't give enough notice! I told him that was one of my favorite jokes -- he said you'd be amazed how many people "rush" to a window to look for a half-way point bouy! Clever man.

bullet The casino has treated Steve very well... up $400 last night and $100 today... so send us a Text Messge. They are only 5-cents each (incoming), don't expect a reply, as we haven't won THAT much yet to pay for the outgoing!! Enjoy the pix!



Inside Passage
Victoria, BC

bullet Saturday, arrive at NCL's private island: Great Stirrup Cay at 10AM

bullet WOW, all we can say! This is an amazing place where NCL makes ALL the money! They are really developing the private island...they used to run the tenders into the shore to disembark (a la D-Day!), now they have built 6 docks! It is a wonderful place -- we are both blown away!

bullet We reserved a "Clam Shell" so we avoided most of the sun -- but we did walk around quite a bit and enjoy the cool waters (about 78, we guess!) They are in the middle of a multi-million dollar building project on the island, which is scheduled to be completed by 2013. There were 2 other ships at "their" private island nearby -- not nearly as big, so I can only imagine what NCL is going to do once all of the beach areas are developed! I hope you enjoy the pix...

bullet We left around 2pm and "willed" our Clam Shell to Chris & Richard (really enjoy talking with them!) -- she is like Matt: not too sold on the whole sun-bathing thing!

bullet Leaving tomorrow early off the ship to get to the airport as early as possible. Will sit in the Sky Lounge and relish in HIGH SPEED INTERNET...again! Oh, the things I've put off!

Click for Bahamas Forecast




bullet Sunday - Back home at 8AM and back to San Antonio from Miami.

bullet A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight to Atlanta (will show up once we take off from Miami): Click Here

bullet Three hour layover at the Delta Sky Club in Atlanta, probably uploading more pictures!!

bullet A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight from Atlanta to San Antonio (will show up once we take off from Atlanta): Click Here


Click for Miami International, Florida Forecast

Flight Status

Flight Status


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