Embarkation was on 4 Nov 08. After spending two days in San Francisco I was ready for our cruise to start. Check in at the VIP spot was a smooth process and we where on the ship at 11;30am—there was no escort to our cabin, which I thought was part of 2.0. At 12;30 we went to Il Adagios for lunch—it was fantastic the sirloin steak is from the steak house and it is great - I had this for lunch 4 times during the cruise The suite butler was not to be found—more of this problem later. The AC aft penthouse suite (9076) showed signs of wear but the layout is the best on any NCL ship—the reason we booked it. The new mattress and liens where fantastic—the bed was tremendous—really comfortable—my wife and I are still talking about it. The balcony had a bad soot problem for the whole cruise—kept the stewards busy cleaning it. Last time we where in an AC one deck up—the soot seemed to be not as bad. For the first seven days or so we had a problem we the temp of bath water—it was usually not very warm. We complained several times and finally the engineering officer cam up to sample it himself—the next day no more problem. After talking to several other cruise passengers on several decks it appeared that the whole ship was having a hot water issue—sometimes it was way to hot. Last time we sailed the Sun we did not have this problem. There were no flowers in the suite until I complained and then they showed up.
Concierge service ( Belky Sanchez) was fantastic. She was really good and took care of every request we had. On the other side of the coin the butler service ( SATKI) was terrible. We could never find him out to sea or import. We complained to the Concierge but She apparently could not fix this—they do not work for her. I called NCL customer service and complained about this. I do not think Satki should even be a butler
Food: Buffet was above average—crowded most of the time. The outdoor café was great along with the Sports Bar for snacks ( fish and chips to die for). . The outdoor café turned out to be a great place for breakfast and afternoon snacks because the weather was tremendous the whole 19 day cruise—in fact I think we saw sprinkles on only one or two days. Being in a suite we took most breakfasts and lunches at IL Adagios. The menus are fantastic for this suite perk—lunch menus changed daily with the steak always on the menu. We had breakfast in our suite only twice ( both times the butler was late etc.) The afternoon snacks were terrible—the options on the suite card are not very good—in my opinion NCL needs to go back to canapés etc. I ordered nuts one time and the butler served ground up pecans that look like they came from the bakery or the ice cream station. There were no flowers in the suite until I complained and then they showed up.
For specialty restaurants we ate at the East Meets West steakhouse twice—it was superb—the lamb chops are to die for—the porterhouse steak was very good. We had dinner at the Le Bistro one night also fantastic. Pacific Fresh in my mind was average. One of the highlights were the tapas in Las Ramblas—they were fantastic—the head chef told me that the tapas menu had been upgraded and it was excellent—he was right. Also had lunch at Las Ramblas on several occasions—the made to order and sandwiches are really, really good. Both main dining rooms were above average with great ne menus—it was obvious that NCL has upgraded the food and menu selections.
Disembarkation: because the ship had rapped ropes and cables around the rudders and props) when backing out of he port of COQUMBIO we were late in arriving Valparaiso. We had a terrible night in our aft suite because of the vibration this caused to the back end of the ship. Curiously the Captain never made an announcement to this effect. It was so bad many people did not sleep the last night. We were off the ship about 10am. Customs and immigration were a breeze—drug dogs where all over the hand luggage.