Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by DMAB: Buenos Aires to Santiago around the Horn
Overall Member Rating
Buenos Aires to Santiago around the Horn
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Buenos Aires
I took this cruise on the Sun because of the itinerary and the overall non-NCL tour package that included stays in Buenos Aires and Santiago. The itinerary was outstanding, the SUN and NCL generally fair to adequate but rarely more than that.
MDR food was actually pretty good. Not gourmet, lower quantities, one less course and much planer presentation than HAL, Celebrity or Princess, but the food was acceptable and actually pleasant most of the time. This is the first cruise that I have lost weight on.
The Buffet food was also good for buffet food, but the buffet area was much too small with woefully inadequate seating. NCL staff allowed people who weren't eating to hog the scarce dining space while diners were looking for places to sit.
Specialty restaurants: The French bistro had good service, attractively presented food and the one of the most tasteless steaks I have ever had. The Steakhouse was better but not a truly outstanding restaurant. The More Pacific heights, a strange little no extra charge specialty restaurant was a quiet place to eat but the food wasn't as good as the MDR. They should close it use the space to expand the buffet.
Service in all the restaurants was good or better except for allowing squatters in the buffet area. I only had one meal in 14 days that was seriously different from what I ordered, service was always reasonably prompt, courteous and I found the serving staff to be generally friendly.
Cabin service didn't quite have the sparkle it has had on better cruise lines but it was quite good with no real deficiencies. I suspect they are a bit understaffed.
I went to a wine tasting for $15, the NCL staffer was somewhat knowledgeable about wine but tended to overgeneralize. I was still a good experience with good wines.
Went to a beer tasting at the sports bar. The bartender was a useless clown that didn't have the slightest idea what he was talking about. The beer was a very ordinary selection of bottled imported beer.
Went to a Sangria/Food pairing but it was canceled at the last minute because not enough people showed up. The nickle dime NCL approach frequently showed up on this trip.
Signed up for a behind the scenes tour, but canceled when they presented me with a $55 charge that wasn't mentioned until I signed up.
This is the first cruise line that I have been on that actually charged a corkage fee to bring wine on board for consumption in your cabin.
The tour went through some of the most spectacular natural scenery there is going around Cape Horn, through the Beagle Channel and Straights of Magellan. It is an area also rich with history. Unfortunately, they did not have a naturalist/lecturer on board. They used an NCL staff member to do the presentations that should have been, and are on other cruise lines, done by a professional. NCL in their nickel dime mode is primarily using public domain (material so old the copyright has expired) so they don't have to pay for it. What we got were largely black and white, amateurishly put together Powerpoint presentations by a person who had little knowledge of what he was talking about. According to the NCL staffer, this is the way NCL is going to be doing their naturalist and history lectures in the future. I'm not faulting the presenter, it's NCLs fault for not getting qualified lecturers.
Entertainment was pretty good, no use mentioning details because they change. Entertainment varies from season to season and cruise to cruise to it's risky making comparisons, but I thought it was better than HAL, not as good as Celebrity on par with Princess but not as glitzy as Princess. No overall disappointment with NCL's entertainment. Less
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Cabin review: BB8038 Mid-Ship Balcony
Adequately sized, exactly what I expected and identical size to the Veranda Cabin I had on Celebrity Infinity at 170 sq ft. Good for 2 people would be crowded for more. Balcony was big enough for two people to use comfortably. Nice easy to use layout. Bathroom was compact but comfortable to use except for the intermittent sewage smell. Great view, comfortable, convenient, quiet slightly aft of midship location. Cabin was in OK condition but showing some wear. Several rusted areas on balcony. Should be a great cabin after it gets refurbished.Read All Mid-Ship Balcony (BB) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
We were supposed to see Puerto Montt on the return but there was big event io town that had several streets blocked so our tour guide gave us extra time in Puerto Vars where the was pleasant to see and a nice public square with a beer festival going on. We ended up with a very good lunch in a restaurant overlooking a beautiful lake.
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