The Pearl is the most beautifully decorated ship I have ever been on and although I have previously sailed on NCL, this was my first experience with a Freestyle sailing and it does not work. You cannot get the required reservation. You can only make reservations one day prior and when I called on 3 seperate occasions for reservations for the following evening, they were already full and was told to call when they first open at 7:00am!. I was already calling at 7:45. Six of the ten dining venues have a surcharge of $10.to $20. and some charge an additional $10.surcharge depending upon your menu selection, Cagney's was one with the second surcharge which we refused to pay and walked out. You are forced to eat in one of the dining rooms where the food is similar in quality to school cafeterias but with smaller portions. NCL is the only cruise line that charges your account in advance for the mandatory gratuities without giving the passenger the opportunity to adjust the amount. The dining room staff clearly does not have the incentive or eagerness to please the passenger knowing that the gratuity is basically already in their pocket. The Garden Cafe Buffet is poorly designed and does not have sufficient seating capacity. The quality and selection of the buffet were basic,limited and tasteless, at best. If any reader wants to e-mail me I will gladly answer any questions.