Sail Date: February 2019
Sailed with NCL for the first time having done mainly P&O cruises before. The Norwegian Sun was lovely having a recent refit and refresh. We chose the ship for its destinations as we wanted to sail round South America. We flew out ... Read More
Sailed with NCL for the first time having done mainly P&O cruises before. The Norwegian Sun was lovely having a recent refit and refresh. We chose the ship for its destinations as we wanted to sail round South America. We flew out early and had 3 nights in Santiago before the cruise, but NCL organised very efficient and fast transfers for us to the hotel from the airport and from the hotel to the port on embarkation day. Very impressed. There was even a dedicated help desk in the hotel for passengers and offered some tours of Santiago and vineyards for those who came just a day before. However, we didn’t know this in advance so we organised our own tour of the Concha y Toro vineyard through the local tours desk. The hotel was the Santiago Sheraton in an excellent position with fantastic views over their pool to the Andes. Ten minute walk across the road and you were in the bustling Providencia area, with lots of choices of restaurants. We were able to eat cheaply with 2for 1 deals up to 8pm. We enjoyed our first Traditional Pisco sours. The transfer to San Antonio port took about 1 1/2 hours but we got on board quickly and were able to enjoy an early lunch and our first free drinks. Our Premium Plus package included all drinks up to 15 dollars each, which was most things; speciality coffees in the restaurants; two litres of mineral water a day in our cabin plus 250 free WiFi minutes and all tips and gratuities. In addition we got 50 dollars per cabin off ship tours for each port of call which made a big difference as the tours are very expensive, but we felt we should take them as we didn’t speak Spanish. The ship had all nationalities on board with a lot of Germans and Spanish speaking countries. However, the cruise staff all spoke English and it was used as the first language in all the quizzes, with translations for the questions on the screen in up to 4 other languages. It worked well and nobody took them too seriously anyway. The cruise director, Jeimy from Colombia, was brilliant and swapped seamlessly from English to Spanish when introducing shows or explaining things. We had cabin 6024 which was an outside window on the port side so we saw land most of the time. It was a perfect position for us in a quiet, almost secret corridor. You accessed it by a dozen stairs down from deck 7 through the Art gallery towards the front. It was very near to the lovely Champagne bar on 7 where we could listen to the live music coming up the Atrium from deck 5. It was also only down one floor to get out onto the promenade deck to take sheltered photographs of the beautiful scenery especially in the Beagle Channel where we passed 5 glaciers all on the port side when sailing down the west coast. I would book this cabin again. Of the places we visited, Puerto Montt had tours to neighbouring lakes and towns which were interesting, but it was too misty to see the Orsorno Volcano; Puerto Chacabuco had nothing in the town so we did go on a long drive over the Andes to Coyhaique. We saw some Condors but nothing very spectacular. The tour got back an hour after the back on board last tender, but of course the ship waited so no problem. Puerto Arenas had some interesting things in the town so we caught the shuttle bus in and walked a lot. We visited the cemetery where the rich were buried - free entry- and went in the Maggiorino Borgatello museum founded by Salesian missionaries which was open all day because the cruise ships were in - a small charge. The best parts were sailing the scenic fjords, Beagle Channel and Ushuaia nicknamed Fin del Mundo or End of the World. There we took a 4 hour coach trip into the Tierra del Fuego park - land of fires. I was very disappointed with the shore excursions desk as they didn’t know anything more about their tours than was printed on the sheets. So when I asked if the tour stopped anywhere we could get a stamp for the End of the World in our passport or on a stamp, she said no. We were then delighted to find our first stop in the park was at the Beagle Channel which divides Argentina from Chile and there was the cute, tiny, Fin Del Mundo, post office, so we could buy a postcard, get it stamped and even post it. Other stops included a beautiful lake, the visitors centre and the last at the end of Route 3 which runs all the way down the Americas. A great tour! Back in Ushuaia the Tourist Information centre near the pier were writing out certificates and date stamping them to mark your visit. The next highlight was sailing to Cape Horn in good sea conditions, though sadly the wind got up the next day and prevented us landing at the Falklands - a common occurrence I believe as you have to tender in. However, we were refunded the landing charge. Puerto Madryn was a delight with its Welsh connections. There we went to see the Patagonian dinosaur museum and learnt all about the largest dinosaur ever found- only about 4 years ago. In the harbour were several penguins performing for us - a bonus as we hadn’t gone on any of the expensive tours to penguin rookeries and had almost given up hope of seeing one. In Montevideo we took the ship’s bus tour which was very interesting and covered a lot of highlights including the World Cup’s first stadium from 1930! The entertainment on the ship was generally excellent though not always to our taste when it came to the Flamenco and tango shows but you were exploring Latin America. There were two outstanding shows from the Abbey Road Beatles from Brazil and the ship’s entertainers did 3 lively ones and there was a very good magician on our last night. All in all, the cruise was excellent value for money and we loved it all. My only criticism would be that there were not enough seats for everyone on a rough sea day when everyone wanted to be inside and the Windjammer bar was just too small and crowded. We had never been freestyle dining before but never had a problem getting a table and found we could ask for our favourite waitress. We only ate in the Seven Seas complimentary restaurant at the rear, because that was slightly less casual than the other places and we do like changing for dinner. Food was excellent and they even produced cheese platters for us even though not on any menus. The staff were just so nice and friendly, mealtimes were a pleasure. Hope this helps anybody wanting to cruise round South America. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Our daughter, her husband, and our 2 grandchildren were touring South America, and the San Antonio, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina cruise allowed us to spend 2 weeks with them. By arriving in Chile a day before our cruise allowed us ... Read More
Our daughter, her husband, and our 2 grandchildren were touring South America, and the San Antonio, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina cruise allowed us to spend 2 weeks with them. By arriving in Chile a day before our cruise allowed us to climatize and have a relaxed embarkation. The embarkation was well organized and trouble free. The Norwegian Sun is a wonderful ship and layed out well. The amenities, dining, cabins, entertainment, activities, and services were excellent. This ship carries 1900 passengers and did not feel crowded. The staff were friendly, professional, helpful, and well turned out. We especially appreciated the cleanliness program to help ensure no on board sickness. We also appreciated the kids program which allowed them to have some time to themselves. The weather was good, but varied from hot & muggy to cool & very windy. All types of clothing was required if a person wanted to venture outdoors or an an excursion. At one point in the South Pacific Ocean we encountered a strong storm that was worsening. The bridge crew after considering the situation, decided to change our itinerary slightly and headed at top speed for the safety of the Magellan Strait. At no time did we feel unsafe. We would consider another cruise with Norwegian and recommend this particular cruise. Read Less
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have benefited immensely by the reviews posted on Cruise Critic, but have never taken the time to write one myself. For many years, the message boards have proved invaluable for planning our excursions. I can’t thank Cruise Critic ... Read More
I have benefited immensely by the reviews posted on Cruise Critic, but have never taken the time to write one myself. For many years, the message boards have proved invaluable for planning our excursions. I can’t thank Cruise Critic enough. It is my hope that readers will find this helpful. Warning- very detailed. We booked balcony cabin #8221. I appreciate the connections on the CC message boards and were able to join private excursions with them. They were limited person tours at a fraction of the ship's cost. I have taken about 30 cruises, 4 on Norwegian. I gave up on Carnival years ago and have not sailed NCL in a very long time remembering the food was so bad. Oceania and Azamara are favorites, but the prices are higher. My husband insists on a balcony and loves a beverage package. We find Celebrity to be the best cruise for the price. Royal Caribbean’s food has gone down hill and does not offer the beverage package as a perk. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the offers. My husband and I flew to Buenos Aires, nonstop from JFK, two days before our cruise in South America. A real benefit of a South American destination is no jet lag. We were met at the airport by a driver, arranged by our host at the Airbnb. We had dinner at Don Julio’s, a favorite restaurant. The next morning, the same driver drove us to the cruise port. We arrived at 11:30 and were on the ship quickly with priority boarding. Luggage was promptly delivered to our cabin. Nothing compares to that first day on the ship feeling. Our room steward stopped by, but seemed put out when we told him that we needed fresh towels and ice. He had hoped not to come back again that day. We never received any ice after that. We had dinner in the MDR with a table for two. We prefer the traditional seating, with a large table, but NCL only offers Freestyle. The number of English speakers on the cruise seemed limited. Many Germans were on this sailing, some South Americans, French and Swedes. We enjoyed meeting many of the international passengers. Dinner was an unappetizing onion soup and chicken picante. We went to a nearly empty Spinnaker for cocktails and were told that they closed at 11:00. If you are looking for any Bar after 11:00 on this cruise, you will not find one. Montevideo was our first port. My husband went off the ship for a walk around and returned a couple hours later. I stayed on the ship to enjoy the drink package, sun and hot tubs. The hot tub was lukewarm. To my surprise children were allowed in the hot tubs unattended. A couple took their baby in. No food or drink is allowed in the tubs, but I fished out a small brown object, floating in the tepid water.(I subsequently developed a rash and never went in any hot tub again) After a hot shower, we went to see the comedian. Didn’t find him particularly funny. We did not attend any other shows. Dinner in MDR consisted of clam chowder, which lacked clams or potatoes, sprinkled with bacon followed by dry fish. As it was Super Bowl Sunday, the ship offered the game shown on a large screen in the theater. They thoughtfully provided traditional Super Bowl foods. We had drinks in the Windjammer Bar and enjoyed the bartenders and singers who performed there. It was to become our regular spot for it’s wonderful service. Punta del Este. We had breakfast in the dining room. The food was better there than in the buffet. We had arranged a walking tour and met at the famous sculpture on the beach. There were only five other people, all from the ship. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed the walking tour, though the beaches didn’t look too inviting. My husband felt his gout starting to flare and the medical facility on the ship did not have prednisone. Fortunately, we had no trouble buying it at a pharmacy in town without a prescription. We were back on the ship for lunch after a quick tender. Our room steward dropped off the next day’s itinerary and took the opportunity to ask if we wanted him to come in the evening while we were at dinner. We replied in the affirmative and said that we would be leaving for dinner at 9. He seemed exasperated and asked if we could go at 8:30 and we agreed. The line at the MDR was very long and we took the buzzer with us to the Windjammer to wait. After about an hour, the bartender offered to check on our reservation. He was told that they were looking for us and the buzzer didn’t work outside of the dining area. I had very good ribs, we were the last to leave the dining room. We went to the Spinnaker only to find a few people singing bad karaoke in Spanish. We didn’t stay. I expected the weather to turn much cooler for our Sea Day as we headed south, but it was delightful. I asked about the Cruise Critic reception, as it is usually scheduled for the first sea day. A large group gathered at 11:00 in the Spinnaker. The ship provided officers who kindly answered questions and concerns. The wonderful woman, who organized this gathering, arranged special tenders for us with the helpful staff. The ship provided a barbecue on deck for lunch. We made dinner reservations by phone so we wouldn’t have to wait in line at the MDR and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the sun. Dinner was passable linguine with clams, then drinks at the Windjammer which closes at 11:00. Puerto Tambo. We were up at 7 and enjoyed breakfast on the aft deck. One staff member said that we were very fortunate with the weather. The week before it had been windy and cold. We met our tour at 9:15, which we had arranged through the cruise critic message board members in advance. We joined our small group for a 2 1/2 hour ride to see the penguins. The weather was perfect. We returned for cocktails and snacks before a 9:00 reservation in the MDR. Dinner was a good pate served with stale bread, risotto and unpleasant beef stroganoff, followed by nice music and drinks in the Windjammer- until 11:00. The following sea day we enjoyed breakfast in the MDR with a very nice couple from Colorado whom we met waiting in line. Afterwards we went to listen to a professor scheduled speak about the Falkland Islands, a place he had never visited. He was elderly and rambling and got into it with some of the Argentinians. We then went to what was billed as a lecture on the history of the wristwatch which turned out to be a sales pitch. Dinner was at Cagney’s, the first of four reservations at specialty restaurants. Because of our disappointing meals at MDR, I was looking forward to this. It was nice, but not particularly special. Lovely views from the windows. We attended an Irish music night in the Windjammer. Very popular. Port Stanley. Arose at 7 and took our buffet breakfast to the Sports Bar. Breakfast is also served in Moderno and outside, on the deck. It had started to turn noticeably cooler and the Sports Bar has great views from the large windows. We took our special, cruise critic tender to the Falkland Islands and paid $20 for a shuttle to see the penguins. We had a nice hike, though it was cold and windy and then walked into town. There is a great museum, free with your ship card. We had dinner at Le Bistro. Lamb chops were good, but not much else. The weather was getting cold and windy, the ocean a little rough. At sea day. Used the ship’s internet, which worked well. Had a good lunch in the MDR. Enjoyed watching the sail around Cape Horn around 6 from our balcony. Ushuaia. The day started cold and rainy. Took the $10 bus into town and returned for lunch. Free WiFi was available at the tourist center. Back on board, we had to wait in line for an hour to get through immigration and passports for Chile. Sailed the Beagle Channel and saw beautiful glaciers. Could not face another bad dinner in the MDR, so just skipped it. Punta Arenas. Paid $3 for shuttle into town rather than wait in a long line, in the cold, for the free NCL bus. Free WiFi in the Central Park. We joined an English speaking walking tour which was forming nearby. Lots of people. More of a guided walk than a tour. We visited a cemetery and a free museum. When we returned to the buses, it was mayhem with so many people clamoring to get on the free NCL bus. That evening, Jimmy Buffet music was played at the Windjammer. We had fish and chips in the Sports Bar and sailed the Straits of Magellan. The following day at sea was particularly rough as we sailed the Pacific. People were sick and hazmat suits were pressed into service. Passengers were unsteady and food was spilled, outside decks were closed. We watched the waves from the Sports Bar. Lunch featured a German theme, very good. The sea was calm as we sailed the Chilean Fjords. Just beautiful. We had another dinner in Cagney’s that night. Another sea day as we sailed the Patagonia Channels. We saw porpoises and whales. The weather warmed as we sailed north and we enjoyed spending time on deck watching the stunning scenery. Puerto Montt. Our Cruise Critic leader arranged for early tenders for our group. We joined 15 others for another small group tour arranged by a Cruise Critic member. It was an exceptional day with perfect weather. We visited an alpaca farm, saw falls, National Parks, lake, volcanos, took a scenic ride on a ski lift and stopped in a German style town. It seems that all of the tours stopped there. Thank goodness we found a Radisson Hotel. Free bathrooms had been scarce throughout Argentina and Chile. We did not have any local money for pay toilets or food, beverages. We used the WiFi at the Radisson until we met our bus. Unfortunately, all the tours arrived at the port at the same time. We waited in a very long line for 1 1/2 hours to go through local security before being allowed to board a tender. Thankfully, the ship delayed our departure. As it was Valentines Day, we were delighted with the festive decorations. We had dinner in the MDR and was served the best entree of the cruise, lamb shank. Our last day was spent relaxing at sea. We had dinner at Le Cucina.There was nothing to recommend it. We were off the ship by 8:30 and joined the 8 others who had arranged a day in Santiago from Cruise Critic boards. It was very nice and we arrived at the airport by 7 for our 10 o’clock flight. We loved the 14 day itinerary with plenty of time spent in port, balanced with sea days. Freestyle cruising has become very popular in the industry, but not for us. We like sharing a table and getting to know other passengers. Some people have complained that there wasn’t enough to do on sea days, but I loved them. I think there was plenty to keep people occupied with dance lessons, workouts, crafts and games. The food was pretty bad and I doubt that I will sail NCL again. I had asked about upgrading our 4 night specialty package to a seven night, but was told that I had to buy a separate 3 night package after I used my 4 night package. You will no longer find smoked salmon at the breakfast buffet, no sign of fresh berries or made to order hamburgers, though the pasta and pizza station were good at lunch. The French fries served were right from the freezer, even those served in the specialty restaurant. For the most part, staff was very good. We didn’t spend time in the casino (too smoky), art auctions or the spa. The beverage package is nice to have, but cans of soda, iced tea, fresh squeezed juice, smoothies, and bottled water are not included. I heard many ask for herbal tea or sugar free tonic, but these were not available. Some bar items simply ran out, not to be replaced. Some Chilean wines were added and enjoyed- while they lasted. The ship was the perfect size for us and easy to navigate. I have enjoyed all of my cruises, some more than others. Ultimately, in my opinion, good food is very important and I have already booked my next cruise with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our first cruise and first time to south america we stayed in Buenos Aries for 3 days prior to departure,went on hop on hop off bus.. wonderful city full of interesting architectural wonders....buildings, statues.. old and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and first time to south america we stayed in Buenos Aries for 3 days prior to departure,went on hop on hop off bus.. wonderful city full of interesting architectural wonders....buildings, statues.. old and new..the ship had easy embarkation... friendly knowledgeable and helpful staff..stayed in partial porthole cabin it exceeded our expectations for size of cabin and view out of porthole ..dining was great and did not have a disappointing meal in 2 weeks..we had the drink package and dining package ..part of the free at sea promotions..although "free" is a bit of a stretch..$700.00 in gratuities for drink package ...good entertainment..service was friendly and helpful at every turn..a bit unorganized for shore excursions...would have been helpful to have more information on ports of call as well as prior information on excursions.. the tender boats were a bit crowded and unorganized but only needed them at a couple ports our cabin steward Milos did a wonderful job every day and was most friendly and helpful...disembarkation was easy and stress free..not really a trip for young children although there were some onboard...once in a lifetime trip... highly recommend it Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this ship because of the pricing and its itinerary(both what we all wanted.) Went to Buenos Aires for 4 days ahead and toured city on our own. Highly recommend doing that. Transfer to ship on Feb 2 was easy and well organized by ... Read More
Chose this ship because of the pricing and its itinerary(both what we all wanted.) Went to Buenos Aires for 4 days ahead and toured city on our own. Highly recommend doing that. Transfer to ship on Feb 2 was easy and well organized by Ship. Just need a private taxi organized by your hotel. No need for NCL to do that. Food: I liken this experience to going to perhaps a favorite restaurant of yours that has good food, good service, but gives you nothing as a reminder that it was a memorable meal. The food was "fine", plentiful, and had many choices. They put in many specialty restaurants, so there were times when it was impossible to find a place to sit for lunch or breakfast if everyone was trying to eat at the same time. The food tasted okay, but again, can't think of any meal that we ate that we truly enjoyed both for the quality and experience(with the exception of Cagneys and the Argentinian restaurant which you pay extra for.) Having said that, no one got ill, we all ate well, and overall I guess we decided we got what we paid for. We brought on 2 bottles of wine from BA that we drank on the ship. You could purchase a bottle of wine at the dinner table for the $30-50 range easily. Our room was on the 9th floor, towards the back port side. When they docked in the mornings, our room really shook from the side thrusters. MIght enjoy a room away from that more. The balcony was a nice feature. The bedroom cabin was fine. One bed had a newer mattress and mine was older and sagged in the middle. Room was very clean and the housekeeper was very friendly. We took this trip because of the stops. We were very pleased with our daily outings that we chose. Lots of penguin stops and lots of wildlife to see. The natural scenery was spectacular. Out of the 14 days, we only had 7 stops. So there's lots of at sea time. I thought the daily offerings on the ship were very poor and marginal. Most days we could not find anything of interest. Folding napkins and making origami doesn't do it for us. We would have appreciated lectures on the wildlife, countries, and history of the places we went to see. I also am not interested in paying to play bingo, or gamble, or spend my time at a bar. Lots of bars and lots of drinking going on on this ship, though not a "younger" crowd so things were relatively calm. Also remember the weather is cold even in summer, so some days at sea sitting by the pool or outside was not possible. We even hot quite a storm in the Pacific with 50 foot waves for 1/2 a day. Would I go again? I would probably try to find a more upscale ship, but of course then I would have to accept the pricing with that. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This is our first NCL cruise. We traveled with 2 other couples and this is our first time visiting S. America. Even though it is a small cruise ship, the cabins are much more spacious than the other bigger cruise ships we have sailed ... Read More
This is our first NCL cruise. We traveled with 2 other couples and this is our first time visiting S. America. Even though it is a small cruise ship, the cabins are much more spacious than the other bigger cruise ships we have sailed before. Entertainment is pretty good overall. We find the excursions over priced (e.g. charging us$300 for a 3 hr. trip to see penguins) and did our own thing for most stops. The food in the main dinning is just average and the buffet offers pretty much the same food everyday. There are 2 sections for oriental style noodles, one fried and the other with soup. I have to say the cooks have no experience in Chinese culinary. The noodles are hard and dry and the soup tasteless. The Indian dishes only offer the same vegetarian curry for the whole 2 weeks. We did enjoy the scenery overall, especially while sailing through the Beagle Channel. In Santiago, we toured the city and also Valparaiso on our own. In Buenos Aires, we booked a tour to the Iguazu Falls. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Aaah... the penguins.. and more penguins... and even more penguins!! AND the Strait of Magellan, Cape Horn, the Beagle Channel, the Andes mountains that meet the sea, the Falkland Islands - places we’ve dreamed about right there ... Read More
Aaah... the penguins.. and more penguins... and even more penguins!! AND the Strait of Magellan, Cape Horn, the Beagle Channel, the Andes mountains that meet the sea, the Falkland Islands - places we’ve dreamed about right there alongside the ship. On board, new friends, delicious food, excellent service. Of particular note - our cabin steward was exceptional, the tango dancers amazed and there was a particularly fine string trio performing daily!! The dining rooms were very nice with impeccable service and a wide menu selection. On a less positive side we were put off by the high school cafeteria nature of the buffet and the constant high volume music in all public spaces except the library and the Spinnaker lounge. In a crowd of people with hearing issues, the constant music elevated the volume of conversation to a high level. You could only escape this in the dining room where the music was lowered, and on the back terrace. Every communication from any member of the staff was hyped and super-enthusiastic = Not at all genuine. The Captain was among the worst offenders. The loud music and communication style were oppressive. Guests wearing hearing aids needed to ask others what was being said on the public announcements. This seems so unnecessary. Slowing the rate of speech and reducing the hype would make the communications genuine and understandable. This communication issue was not true on the other 5 cruises we were on with NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have cruised extensively and had not been on a NCL cruise for 38 years. We were pleasantly surprised by the ship. The ship had been recently renovated and was beautiful. The specialty restaurants were very good and the four seasons ... Read More
We have cruised extensively and had not been on a NCL cruise for 38 years. We were pleasantly surprised by the ship. The ship had been recently renovated and was beautiful. The specialty restaurants were very good and the four seasons dinning room was our go to for dinner. This restaurant. was made special by the excellent staff every evening(esp. Donna from St. Lucia). The common areas were well appointed and the shows each evening were excellent.The show band and all the fantastic young performers put on one outstanding show each night they performed. The only complaint was the smoke from the casino. You could not be in the casino in the evening due to the smoke but also in the morning often there was the smell of smoke outside the Bliss lounge. We thought that the bar rates for what was discribed as premium liquior were ridiculously over-priced. A whole bottle of Grey Goose is $45.00 on board and one drink was $24.00. We have traveled on both Oceania and Regent and not come across these kinds of prices. The entire staff on the Sun were fabulous, they were so helpful, friendly and courteous. We would definitely consider NCL again in the future. We only used the ships excursions once but it was way above average and a great day. The ship came across a small storm and the captain handled the whole affair with no difficulty. The stabilizers worked well in 22 meter waves, you hardly felt the ship rock. The cruise was around South America, we sailed from Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Wanted to see S America, a Gold Member and travel with 4 other couples 5th cruise! NCL this was the worst cruise, our toilet would not flush on demand, button pushed nothing ... middle of night it flushed reported numerous times! ... Read More
Wanted to see S America, a Gold Member and travel with 4 other couples 5th cruise! NCL this was the worst cruise, our toilet would not flush on demand, button pushed nothing ... middle of night it flushed reported numerous times! Restroom stall doors held on with electrical wire ties(casino men's room). Mens room at The Windjammer had a hole in the wall covered by cardboard and duct tape. Every other NCL cruise we have been on while in port they cleaned the windows not on the Sun! Water spots on most of our pictures. The windows were either dirty or there were numerous window fogged from loss of vacuum! We made reservations for ten in different resteraunts and many times they sitted us at different tables when there were large settings available and were not used while we were there! Shame on NCL! We are looking to cruise Australia and New Zealand later this year and we( all 5 couples) are not sure we will chose NCL this time! One bright spot was Freddie the Bartender at the Champayne Bar! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise since it fit in well with our schedule and compared to other South American cruises it visited the Falkland Islands and spent more time in the Chilean Fjords than some other ships. It was only our second ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise since it fit in well with our schedule and compared to other South American cruises it visited the Falkland Islands and spent more time in the Chilean Fjords than some other ships. It was only our second "ocean" cruise (our last one was with Holland America in Alaska in 2010) Prior to the cruise we arranged with our travel director to visit Iguazu falls. Given the uncertainties of domestic Argentinian flights it was good that we had some leeway in Buenos Aires before embarkation. Embarkation was relatively painless with the main delay being the queue for passport processing. Passports were held by the ship until redistributed on the first cruising day through Chile. We had a balcony stateroom 0257 which was clean and well presented. Rooms were relatively well soundproofed. We chose to eat most of our meals in the Seven Seas main dining room as a more relaxed option to the "zoo" of the Garden Cafe. We had a part of our package 4 meal Ultimate Dining Package as well as the Ultimate Beverage Package. We chose to have two meals each in Le Bistro and Cagneys which were very good, although if we hadn't had the package I don't think the extra cost would have been good value. It was evident that the best meat is chosen for use in the 12th floor specialty restaurants and the fatty and poorer steaks and cuts are sent downstairs to the Main dining Rooms. The Seven Seas managed to fit in well with the Freestyle Dining Option once one learnt to avoid the post showtime surge. The Ultimate Beverage Package was good to have. Although we never had more than 3 drinks a day it saved a lot compared to the high cost otherwise. It meant that most drinks were included and in the one case where we chose a $17.50 glass of wine the UBP covered $15 and only the $2.50 + 50c gratuity was added to our account. We did a mixture of NCL and other provider onshore excursions. In Montevideo the best option which we took was to join a tour that met the ship near the gangway without any prior booking. For $20 USD the three hour tour did most of what the much more expensive NCL tour covered. Doing non NCL tours at ports where the ship berthed at a wharf or jetty and gangways could be used wasn't too difficult (Puerto Madryn, Ushauia ) However at ports where tenders were used (Stanley, Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Monte) Norwegian would make sure that their tours got the priority on tenders to shore. We had relatively moderate sea and weather conditions to round Cape Horn but the weather deteriorated once we left Ushauia through the Beagle Channel. When we got to Punta Arenas there were 40 to 45 knot winds pushing the ship away from the wharf and after some time the Captain made the call that it was not safe to remain in port and elected to leave once crew and provisions had been exchanged / loaded. Shore excursions were cancelled and we set sail about 11am. The extra time cruising was used to travel with less haste during the rough weather once we left the Strait of Magellan. We're not into the American entertainment culture and didn't go to many of the shows during the evening. From talking with other guests, and from the few shows we did attend it would be fair to say that the entertainment was a weakness of the cruise. In the Stardust theatre upstairs many of the seats had a partially obstructed view of the stage on account of the pillars and seating layout (including tall seat backs relative to the slope of the floor). The ship layout does not have much public space for seating and relaxing if the weather is cold or wet. We were glad we had a balcony stateroom with room to sit and read or view the scenery. Tip if you're going for the scenery choose a stateroom on the side of the ship that faces the land (eg from Buenos Aires to San Antonio choose the Starboard side). Disembarkation at San Antonio was not too arduous. Unless one uses the Self disembarkation option and carry off your suitcases, those not partaking of an NCL transfer or tour could not disembark until 9am (if early enough to obtain lime baggage tags). This caused some uncertainties for those participating in other tours. We had booked on a SEG Santiago day tour which had on our documentation as showing at 9am. Talking to the other tour participants during the day it became apparent that some had self disembarked prior to 8am thinking their tour would not wait for them while others of us assumed that the tour would wait for those booked provided they attempted to be in the first groups to disembark after 9am. In summary I would say it was a well run cruise using an older ship. We enjoyed it for the scenery and the destinations en route rather than for the cruise activities and cruising itself. Read Less
Norwegian Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 3.5 0.0
Value For Money 3.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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