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We took 5-day the Pacific Coastal repositioning cruise from L.A. to Vancouver on 5/3/05. We have sailed on 25+ cruises on several different lines. This was our second recent cruise on NCL (went to Alaska on the Star last August/Sept.). Embarkation in L.A. was smooth with no wait. We arrived at about 3 p.m. to avoid the rush. Staff greeted us pleasantly and gave directions to our cabin. (Not like the Star, where we were met by a staff member who carried our carry-ons to our cabin.) There were plenty of elevators available on the ship, and we easily found our cabin. It was a Category BB balcony cabin, very clean, with a comfortable Queen (plus) mattress and four pillows, sofa, and plenty of storage space for two. It also had a refrigerator that kept our beverages really cold, and a safe. The only negative about the cabin was the size of the bathroom/shower. I have sailed on a lot of ships over the years and this was definitely the smallest shower ever! I would say 1/4th the size of the shower in our ocean view (non-balcony) cabin on the Star last summer. In addition, the chairs on the balcony were tiny---almost children's size. My husband brought out the desk chair to be comfortable. We enjoyed the itinerary. The first two days at sea were relaxing, and Seattle and Victoria are familiar but very enjoyable ports. I found it odd that the cruise staff didn't give the usual "port lectures" and did not have maps of either port available on board. We found maps in the terminal in Seattle, and Victoria had their lovely "greeters" in period dress handing out maps on shore. This was OK for us since we had been to these cities several times before, but for new visitors there was very little advance information available. Food: We love Freestyle, and that is one of the reasons we have tried NCL twice lately. However, the quality of food was our one major problem with this cruise. The quality of food in both the main dining rooms and buffet has declined noticeably on NCL in recent years. This time there were only two of the five nights where there was an entree even remotely of interest in the main dining rooms, and the buffet food at lunch and dinner was unappetizing. (The buffet breakfasts were fine, with a wide array of choices.) NCL's effort to cut food costs and steer passengers to the "alternative" (fee) restaurants is obvious. At main dining room dinners, both the combination of foods and seasonings/sauces were strange, there was no beef option some nights, the typical cruise fare of shrimp entrees, rack of lamb, prime rib or even roast turkey/dressing were nowhere to be seen. Fish was dry and I could swear that the "Mahi Mahi" was some other, cheaper type of fish (it bore no taste resemblance to any other Mahi Mahi I have ever eaten---I could only swallow a few bites), appetizers and soups were few and low in quality. Service was inconsistent---wrong appetizer delivered one night, one appetizer forgotten the next. The buffet dinner offerings the nights we looked it over were fried, overcooked, soggy, or strange combinations again. My expectations were realistic. I have been a convention/meeting planner and know what to expect in banquet-quality food. This was many steps below. We tried two alternative restaurants. The sushi bar was excellent and the whole staff in the Ginza area was wonderful. We also had the Teppanyaki one night---again, the food and service were outstanding. We also tried the East Meets West steakhouse. The appetizers and desserts were outstanding, service very professional and friendly, steak was good. Entertainment: We enjoyed the Jean Ann Ryan dancers and singers. They are a step above the dancers/singers on other lines. We also enjoyed the musicians in several smaller venues. The variety and types of music offered were very much to our taste. Internet access: The ship's personnel promoted it actively throughout the cruise, but when I went to sign up for a time package in order to check in to our return flights, service was down and not expected to be restored any time during my cruise. I guess that message never got to the promoters. Staff: In general the staff members at all levels were professional, friendly, and courteous. The reception desk ("pursers" on most ships) staff we encountered were the only exception---but that is typical of many ships. They remind me of those credit card commercials where the staff is trained to say "no" in all situations. Can you exchange U.S. for Canadian dollars---no. Do you have any one-dollar bills---no. Do you have a map of Seattle---no. Do you have a Seattle yellow pages---no. Do you have a copy of the menu for tonight in the Seven Seas---no.......... Conclusions: Despite the very nice ships and staff, I don't think we will choose NCL again due to the poor food quality. In fact, we had been considering whether to do a land-based vacation or a cruise on NCLA to Hawaii next year, and this cruise caused us to choose the land-based option.

Norwegian Sun - Pacific Coastal

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by Cruise 'n Shopper

Trip Details
We took 5-day the Pacific Coastal repositioning cruise from L.A. to Vancouver on 5/3/05. We have sailed on 25+ cruises on several different lines. This was our second recent cruise on NCL (went to Alaska on the Star last August/Sept.).
Embarkation in L.A. was smooth with no wait. We arrived at about 3 p.m. to avoid the rush. Staff greeted us pleasantly and gave directions to our cabin. (Not like the Star, where we were met by a staff member who carried our carry-ons to our cabin.) There were plenty of elevators available on the ship, and we easily found our cabin. It was a Category BB balcony cabin, very clean, with a comfortable Queen (plus) mattress and four pillows, sofa, and plenty of storage space for two. It also had a refrigerator that kept our beverages really cold, and a safe. The only negative about the cabin was the size of the bathroom/shower. I have sailed on a lot of ships over the years and this was definitely the smallest shower ever! I would say 1/4th the size of the shower in our ocean view (non-balcony) cabin on the Star last summer. In addition, the chairs on the balcony were tiny---almost children's size. My husband brought out the desk chair to be comfortable.
We enjoyed the itinerary. The first two days at sea were relaxing, and Seattle and Victoria are familiar but very enjoyable ports. I found it odd that the cruise staff didn't give the usual "port lectures" and did not have maps of either port available on board. We found maps in the terminal in Seattle, and Victoria had their lovely "greeters" in period dress handing out maps on shore. This was OK for us since we had been to these cities several times before, but for new visitors there was very little advance information available.
Food: We love Freestyle, and that is one of the reasons we have tried NCL twice lately. However, the quality of food was our one major problem with this cruise. The quality of food in both the main dining rooms and buffet has declined noticeably on NCL in recent years. This time there were only two of the five nights where there was an entree even remotely of interest in the main dining rooms, and the buffet food at lunch and dinner was unappetizing. (The buffet breakfasts were fine, with a wide array of choices.) NCL's effort to cut food costs and steer passengers to the "alternative" (fee) restaurants is obvious. At main dining room dinners, both the combination of foods and seasonings/sauces were strange, there was no beef option some nights, the typical cruise fare of shrimp entrees, rack of lamb, prime rib or even roast turkey/dressing were nowhere to be seen. Fish was dry and I could swear that the "Mahi Mahi" was some other, cheaper type of fish (it bore no taste resemblance to any other Mahi Mahi I have ever eaten---I could only swallow a few bites), appetizers and soups were few and low in quality. Service was inconsistent---wrong appetizer delivered one night, one appetizer forgotten the next. The buffet dinner offerings the nights we looked it over were fried, overcooked, soggy, or strange combinations again.
My expectations were realistic. I have been a convention/meeting planner and know what to expect in banquet-quality food. This was many steps below.
We tried two alternative restaurants. The sushi bar was excellent and the whole staff in the Ginza area was wonderful. We also had the Teppanyaki one night---again, the food and service were outstanding. We also tried the East Meets West steakhouse. The appetizers and desserts were outstanding, service very professional and friendly, steak was good.
Entertainment: We enjoyed the Jean Ann Ryan dancers and singers. They are a step above the dancers/singers on other lines. We also enjoyed the musicians in several smaller venues. The variety and types of music offered were very much to our taste.
Internet access: The ship's personnel promoted it actively throughout the cruise, but when I went to sign up for a time package in order to check in to our return flights, service was down and not expected to be restored any time during my cruise. I guess that message never got to the promoters.
Staff: In general the staff members at all levels were professional, friendly, and courteous. The reception desk ("pursers" on most ships) staff we encountered were the only exception---but that is typical of many ships. They remind me of those credit card commercials where the staff is trained to say "no" in all situations. Can you exchange U.S. for Canadian dollars---no. Do you have any one-dollar bills---no. Do you have a map of Seattle---no. Do you have a Seattle yellow pages---no. Do you have a copy of the menu for tonight in the Seven Seas---no..........
Conclusions: Despite the very nice ships and staff, I don't think we will choose NCL again due to the poor food quality. In fact, we had been considering whether to do a land-based vacation or a cruise on NCLA to Hawaii next year, and this cruise caused us to choose the land-based option.
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