Food on the Norwegian Pearl

Norwegian Pearl cruise ship

Norwegian Pearl

If there’s one thing cruise ships have in abundance, it’s definitely food.  Food can be found in all sorts of places and all manner of ways.  A passenger could spend their entire cruise eating if they wanted to, moving from one food venue to another.  Cruise ships have dining rooms with multi-course meals, buffets, room service and usually some sort of 24-hour food venue, all at no extra charge.  And if that’s not enough, there’s late night buffets and the special eateries that cost a bit extra.

cruise ship food

La Cucina Italian Restaurant on Norwegian Pearl

Norwegian‘s free style cruising includes even more dining options than the average ship.  A number of them do cost a bit extra, but after having eaten at several of the places with a surcharge on a variety of ships I’ve always found them worth the price.  I used to wonder why anyone would spend money to have a meal on a ship with so much good food to chose from at no extra charge, but actually trying some of the fancier eateries changed my mind.

eggs benedict on cruise ship

my favorite cruise ship breakfast – Eggs Benedict

The Pearl has two main dining rooms.  Passengers can choose to eat in either or neither, whatever suits them.  We had a couple meals at the Summer Palace, the more formal of the two.  It sits at the stern of the ship with great views through large picture windows.  It had good service and good food.

cruise ship dining room

Winter….I mean Summer Palace

I did think Winter Palace would have made a better name for it though.  Not only was it decorated in Christmas colors, the temperature in the room was downright frosty.  On the plus side they had plenty of tables so people on our cruise always got right in with no waiting.

cruise ship food

Spaghetti Carbonara at Indigo

The other dining room, called Indigo, is smaller and less formal.  Although since jeans and a t-shirt would more than meet the requirements for Norwegian’s minimal dress code even at the “formal” dining room, dressing for dinner really shouldn’t be a problem at either place.   Indigo kept the temperature of the room at a far more comfortable level than the Summer Palace.

food in the dining room

Dinner Time! (main course)

That was my reason for preferring it to the Summer Palace, as they served the same food.  Other people also seemed to like Indigo better, since often they had a wait to get in for dinner.   Our pager always went off in under half an hour though so the waits were not too bad.

cruise ship buffet for kids

Kid’s Cafe in the Garden Buffet

Another option for free meals on the Pearl was the Garden Cafe Buffet.  Entering the buffet meant holding out your hands for the “Happy, happy, washy, washy” crew to spray them with hand sanitizer.  Once inside a number of different stations offered quite a variety of food.  Some came up from the main galley, but a lot got prepared right there at the station where they served it.  We especially enjoyed the made-to-order turkey and veggie burgers.  One night the buffet served an excellent late-night chocolate buffet.

24 hour food service on cruise ship

Blue Lagoon Cafe – open 24 hours

The Blue Lagoon 24-hour cafe also offered food at no extra charge, and daytime room service came free as well.

cruise ship barbecue

Poolside Barbecue

Other free food included BBQ served lunch daily at Topsider’s Grill by the pool, and the Great Outdoors Bar served complimentary buffet food with outdoor seating.  On our behind-the-scenes tour we saw a pig roasting in the galley for a Bavarian themed lunch at the Great Outdoors.  For yet another free outdoor dining choice, passengers could try the Sky High Bar & Grill above the pool.

outdoor specialty buffet on Norwegian Pearl

breads at the Bavarian Buffet, Great Outdoors

The choices for pay-extra eateries seemed limitless.  We gave Teppanyaki – where your dinner is the show – a try and loved it.  Not just the food, but the whole grilling and knife trick experience.  Chefs there cook with a flair right at the guests’ table, which mostly consists of a very large grill.

cruise ship premium food - cruise ship sushi

Sushi Bar at the Lotus Garden

With an eatery to meet pretty much any taste or desire for a particular type of food, the Pearl had quite a variety of premium places to choose from.  They had Cagney’s Steakhouse, which served breakfast and lunch complimentary to suite guests and VIP’s as well as being open to everyone for dinner for a fee.  In addition to the Japanese food at Teppanyaki, the Pearl had many other choices for ethnic food with varying fees at La Cucina Italian, Le Bistro French, Lotus Garden Asian (which also has an a la carte sushi bar), and Moderno Churrascaria Brazillian.

specialty restaurants on Norwegian Pearl

Moderno Churrascaria

In case all that isn’t enough they also had pizza delivery available to passenger cabins 24/7 for $5.

fancy dessert on cruise ship

mmmm dessert!

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About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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10 Responses to Food on the Norwegian Pearl

  1. sharechair says:

    I enjoyed reading this post (I enjoy reading ALL your posts). When we were on the Norwegian Jewel, we didn’t try the pay restaurants, but we would take our breakfast from the buffet and walk over with the plate and eat it in the Italian restaurant next door. Made a lovely quiet atmosphere for breakfast and a delightful start to the day. Last month we were on the Adventure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) and for the first time we ate at the Portofino restaurant (paid). I had always felt the same way as you …. why bother with $ when there is so much good for free? However, it was so good, I have completely changed my mind and will definitely eat there, again. 🙂

  2. Yes the food is amazing which makes discipline difficult

  3. Mmmm, it all looks so good! I’m assuming there is a gym on the ship? So I’d eat lots of yummy things and also make sure I got to the gym! I’m interested in what they served at that kids cafe from one of your photos. Healthy stuff for kids, or the usual fried fare?

  4. cindy knoke says:

    Oh this looks good!!!

  5. Chris Beath says:

    The bread looks interesting. I don’t know if I have had bavarian bread but they do make good beer so I guess that’s close enough.

  6. Pingback: How to keep your kids amused on a cruise holiday | Mommy Adventures

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