Norwegian Pearl, having just completed its construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany late November and spending two weeks crossing the Atlantic, is today (Dec 16, 2006) making her official debut with an inaugural ceremony in Miami. Presiding as Godmother to this beautiful new ship is Emmy-award winning television personality and actress Rosie O'Donnell. (see a link to the video below - broadband only)
The ship is beautiful in many ways, with very colorful fabrics to innovative furnishings such as lounge beds in the nightclubs and by the pool. The ship has 10 restaurants, and the food is very, very good. This is one of the new breed of NCL ships set to make the company one of the youngest, and hippest, fleets in the cruise industry.
One interesting thing is the food court known as the Garden Cafe, which NCL has put a lot of thought to. It is developed much more along that lines of "action stations" as opposed to a single buffet line. All of the stations are in a dictinctly separate area from the seating, so you are not battling people full of trays looking for seats as you get your food. Most of the food is freshly cooked a la minute instead of the usual buffet style.
The restaurant reservation system works very well. There are video monitors that tell you which restaurants are open and how full they are. Basically, you decide when and where you want to eat, and you don't really have to make reservations unless you wqnt to. You can, rather, simply look at the screen when you are hungry and see what is available and then go there. Or stop in any restaurant and make a reservation, for that or any restaurant want.
More on that later. For now, here is the first full batch of officially released ship pictures from the cruise line.
See a Video of Rosie O'Donnel Christening the Norwegian Pearl.