Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by Wendy Henri
- Sail Date: December 2015
- Destination: South America
- Cabin Type: Balcony
From our elite breakfast room, we had our first view of the Andes mountains. Wow!
The concierge arranged a taxi for us to San Cristobal Park, and we spent a nice afternoon, exploring the hill, seeing amazing vistas and having supper in a sidewalk cafe with the locals. The weather was beautiful.
We transferred to our ship, the next morning and were soon aboard our ship. They snapped a photo of us, and took our passports. Our suitcases arrived shortly after to our cabin, and we settled in for our two week cruise.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS: purchase your Argentina visas online — $92 US each: very important. They take the original, I kept a few copies just in case.
TIP: Take photo copies of your passports to keep with you while ashore.
Note that your passport needs to be valid for 6 months.
SEASICKNESS: The first few days were a little rough, with 18 foot swells but the scopolamine patches we brought with us worked well.
BEVERAGE PKG: As we booked early we received a free beverage package. Mini fridge is not included. Gratuities had to be paid up front. This does not include bottled water, or coffee, so we drank soda water and tap water. The champagne was Italian, and they offered a good selection of white and red wine. The package covered all drinks 15.00 and under, most drinks were well within this price. We found the service and drinks were excellent.
ROOM: 9th level mid ship, with private balcony, bathrobes for each, a king size bed, couch and desk. Loads of storage for our stuff. Our suitcases fit under the bed. We were port side, so from our balcony we could view the ever changing site of the breathtakingly beautiful Andes mountains. Some are 5 miles high!
TRIPS: Some of the trips we took were very crowded, with many buses going to the same places. We booked six trips online before we went, not wanting to miss the Falkland Island trip to the Rockhoppers. Unlike Caribbean cruises, most attractions are quite a distance from the port, and we did not want to miss anything.
In Puntas Arenas, we took the trip to see the Magellan Penguins, amazing and worthwhile, but very cold, and windy, so pack accordingly. We decided to purchase some sweatshirts on board, and did not regret it. I recommend taking gloves, scarves, and hats.
Luckily, the seas remained calm for the rest of the cruise. It was amazing that we could round Cape Horn, other ships were not so fortunate, and then the Captain reversed to allow the starboard side to view this legendary shore, as we cruised towards the Straits of Magellan.
It was a sunny day, so we headed to the top deck, and found a celebration going on, for rounding Cape Horn. They had scooped water from the Cape, yes, they actually did this, and were baptizing people with it. What a fun thing, so we joined in.
CASINO: Smoking is allowed in the casino. While in Chilean waters, it was closed.
FOOD: We dined in the dining rooms most of the time, as the buffet was filled with people who seemed to think it was their last meal. We found a wide selection of food the few times we went.
When we arrived at the Falklands, the tender transfer was about 30 minutes. There were three ships in at the same time! The population of Stanley is 2,800 people! Thank goodness we booked ahead for the coveted Rockhopper trip. There were many disappointed people. We were loaded into a 4 by 4, and taken on a wild, rough ride over uneven, unmarked fields.
As stated in the description, this is not for people with backs, knee or neck problems. Finally, we see them, on a rocky cliff overlooking the ocean, the most adorable Rockhopper Penguins. We stayed for about an hour, and had hot drinks and homemade goodies in a small warm cabin. Bathroom facilities were available.
Back in Stanley, we ended our day with a beer at the famous Globe Tavern, where we met a friend from our hometown, who was cruising the other way. Unbelievable! This happened without benefit of cell phones or internet, just a plan before we left home.
At Puerto Madryn, Argentina, we were docked, so we did our own thing, as the trip to the penguins was hours each way by bus, and it was a beautiful hot day. Many people were swimming in the ocean. We had lunch at a little bistro. Four people who decided to take their own trip, did not make it back to the ship in time, so after waiting for half an hour, the Sun left without them. We became friends with one of the security guards and he told us they would join us in Uruguay, but I have no idea of how.
TIP: while ashore, bring a copy of your passports, and credit cards, just in case. Also, pay close attention to the degree of mobility required on some trips. Some are very taxing, with lots of stairs and hills.
New Years eve day we were at sea, so it was relaxing to sit on deck, and watch for whales. After supper every bar offered music and dancing. At midnight they served free champagne.
In Uruguay, it was New years day, and we were told that everything was closed, so we had pre booked the City Tour to see the sites, a very informative trip. Back at the ship, there was a BBQ on deck, and music, as this was our last day. There was a fabulous band playing, and everyone was enjoying the sunshine on deck by the pool.
Our suitcases had to be out in the hall by midnight. We put our essentials in a back pack, as we were staying 2 days in Buenos Aires at the Sheraton, offered through Norwegian Sun. This included a transfer from the ship to our hotel.
BUENOS AIRES: Now we were totally on our own. We arrived around 11am at the hotel, and for some reason, check in was greatly delayed, (3pm) so we decided to take a City Tour through the concierge.
But first we found a bank to get extra pesos, so we could fully enjoy our stay.
Compare prices and descriptions to get the best deal. After our city tour, we wandered over to La Floride, a short walk to this shopping area, great especially for leather goods. Not too many restaurants here, but we managed to find one, and enjoyed people watching while having our supper.
The next day, Sunday, we took a bus and boat trip to the Tigre Delta, and they told us we would be dropped off at a local market, and would need to taxi back to our hotel. We decided to go with the flow, and this wonderful Sunday market turned out to be one of our trip highlights. Watch for pickpockets in these crowded areas. We noticed that many travellers wear their packsacks in front, for this reason.
We ate supper right across from the Sheraton, at a lovely little restaurant, Las Nazarenas, with a patio overlooking the street. I ordered pasta, very delicious, and my husband ordered a huge steak. Those Argentinians really love their beef.
TRANSFER: There are many taxis available outside the door. Our cost was $35 US. This turned out to be one of the most harrowing rides I have ever had. Driving in Argentina is not for the faint hearted.
MONEY: We took currency for each port, to avoid worry about changing money.
OVERVIEW: All in all, I would definitely go cruising with Norwegian Sun again. I loved the smaller ship and the friendly staff. They would meet us after a trip with hot washcloths, or hot chocolate, a nice touch. It was great to unpack once, get organized, and be in the same cabin for 2 weeks. Be aware that the seas can be extremely rough, and ports can be missed.
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