Norwegian Pearl Vs. Star
The Norwegian cruise line, with its freestyle cruising concept, is winning awards for its casual, family-friendly style, its seven-day, round-trip cruises
that leave from several ports around the United States
, and its innovative children's programs, including a deal with Nintendo that resulted in several Wiis installed on every ship.The Norwegian Pearl and Star are very similar ships, and both garner rave reviews from cruise experts and passengers of all ages. Still, there are some minor differences between the two ships.
Children and Teens
The biggest difference between the two ships, besides their ages (the Star debuted in 2001, while the Pearl debuted in 2007) is the offerings for children and teens. The Pearl has been picked as one of the best ships for teens in any cruise line by cruisecritic.com. The ship features a four-lane bowling alley, a rock climbing wall, and a modern, contemporary teen's club called "Metro Center," that features the Wiis on huge, plasma screen televisions as well as many other teen-centric activities and games.
The Star, on the other hand, is geared more toward younger children. The Norwegian cruise line is one of the few that allow children as young as 2 in the kids' centers (parents get a beeper that tells them to come change diapers).
The kids' center, called Planet Kids, features activities for children ages 4-12, including computer stations, a playroom full of toys and games, a movie theater, and even a nursery for toddlers ages 2-3. The ship also has a widely popular kids' pool, with two rocket water slides, a hot tub and a large wading pool.
The Norwegian Star is notable for its wide variety of very comfortable guest rooms, ranging from the budget cozy to the large and lavish garden villas. The ship has 10 restaurants and 11 lounges. Some of the restaurants require reservations, while others are open 24/7. There is also a sushi bar.
Entertainment includes lavish nightly shows, individual performances scattered around the ship, and the famous "Ship 'N Males Review," which features male service personnel stripping down for the ladies. There is also an indoor and outdoor pool, and an award-winning spa.
The Norwegian Pearl does not have rooms that are as highly rated as the Star, but it is higher rated than the Star for its wide variety of specialty restaurants, which range from Italian to Asian to a steakhouse. The decor is more upscale than the Star, and features an original Dale Chihuly glass sculpture. The ship has 12 restaurants and 11 bars and lounges.
The murder mystery is a highly popular event on this ship, but only 60 passengers are allowed to participate, so be sure to sign up well in advance. The spa and fitness center is rated one star higher than the spa on the Star.
April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.