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We chose this cruise because it was inexpensive and we were interested in the destinations. We bought our tickets before learning that every US citizen in our party would have to jump through many hoops to get a $160 visa to enter Brazil. Unless you live near a Brazilian Consulate or Embassy, it will take you at least 2 weeks and you may have to hire a company to do it for you. I will not discuss the safety aspects of Argentina and Brazil. I strongly recommend enrolling in the US State Department STEP program at https://step.state.gov/step/. About NCL: I had acceptable experience with NCL previously, but was disappointed they did not credit me for a prior cruise. We were not permitted any of the perks of their reward program as we were previously promised. If you plan on participating in their Latitudes reward program, tape record whatever they say to you and screen copy all online offers. NCL does an excellent job of embarkation/debarkation. Fast, efficient, friendly. We actually had someone die during a long, tedious embarkation on Holland America a few years back. HA should take a hint from NCL about embarkation/debarkation, especially since time is more important to their clientele. NCL website is clunky and the application is useless. The application does not provide very much about the ship except how to spend your money. There was not even a map of the ship. About the Cruise: Ship condition was a little worn, but not as bad as the Pride of America was prior to last year's overhaul. Cabin condition was very good, but they really don't have enough 110v outlets. The service was excellent and the photo staff, sales persons, and spa staff did not try to hard sale. The lack of aggressive sales was a blessing. Food in the cafeteria was acceptable. Way too much dairy, food very salty, and no margarine, even on request. Very few vegan/vegetarian choices and they dumped meat into just about everything, including macaroni salad??? Food and service in the main dining room was excellent. Way too much dairy on the menu, but there were always choices and the staff would recommend things not on the menu as needed. The main dining room was the highlight of our on-board experience. The entertainment was disappointing. The magician was basically a guy who brought out props for his contortionist wife to use. After 15 minutes, we had seen enough. Musicians were OK, but the BINGO sounded better. The Casino staff was not helpful and we ended up with charges to our account even though we never successfully gambled. Overall, the staff was excellent. Friendly, patient, and helpful best describes the hotel staff. I was a little disappointed with the ship crew when I pointed out a significant SOLAS safety hazard caused by the crew and it was not resolved. I had to go to the Safety Officer and it finally was resolved a couple of days later. We did not take ship excursions, but enjoyed the ports of call. We were probably the only passengers to take in the Rio Military Museum, including the submarine tour. Rio is very expensive and has a 25% tax on everything. NCL did not warn us that ALL ON BOARD PURCHASES IN BRAZIL WATERS ARE SUBJECT TO 25% TAX in addition to the published service charge of $13.5% to 15.5% per day and for just about everything purchased on board. We and NCL lost out because we would have bought our wine package online had they informed us of the crazy tax rate, but chose not to make purchases in Brazilian waters. Uruguay was a pleasant surprise and the people are exceptionally friendly. We exchanged too much money as just about every business in Punta Del Este and Montevideo accepted euro, US $, and Argentine Pesos. Free walking tours of Punta Del Este and Montevideo are excellent if you are mobile and want some exercise. Argentina was surprisingly unfriendly. We failed to exchange enough money and were shocked to find restaurants and businesses unwilling to take credit cards. The government controls the money very closely and it stifles trade. We discovered a fantastic nature reserve in walking distance from the Buenos Aires pier, the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve. Free entry and bring your camera and binoculars. The Hop on/Hop Off bus in Buenos Aires was a deal. Purchase tickets in the cruise terminal. Start early and explore. The city is rich in culture and history. The local beer is way better than the local in Brazil and Uruguay. Wines in Uruguay and Argentina are exceptional and the prices are great. If you are making your own arrangements from the ship to the Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE, located in Ezeiza), purchase a taxi ticket in the cruise terminal to the MT Leon Station at 1299 E. Madero Av or take the 10-15 minute walk. DO NOT take a bus from the main terminal, Terminal de Omnibus de Retiro. The airport buses are not as frequent and you will require a transfer. It is closer to the pier, not worth the time.

Excellent Service, but Very Disappointed with NCL.

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by Keneke

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Sailaway Balcony
We chose this cruise because it was inexpensive and we were interested in the destinations. We bought our tickets before learning that every US citizen in our party would have to jump through many hoops to get a $160 visa to enter Brazil. Unless you live near a Brazilian Consulate or Embassy, it will take you at least 2 weeks and you may have to hire a company to do it for you.

I will not discuss the safety aspects of Argentina and Brazil. I strongly recommend enrolling in the US State Department STEP program at https://step.state.gov/step/.

About NCL:

I had acceptable experience with NCL previously, but was disappointed they did not credit me for a prior cruise. We were not permitted any of the perks of their reward program as we were previously promised. If you plan on participating in their Latitudes reward program, tape record whatever they say to you and screen copy all online offers.

NCL does an excellent job of embarkation/debarkation. Fast, efficient, friendly. We actually had someone die during a long, tedious embarkation on Holland America a few years back. HA should take a hint from NCL about embarkation/debarkation, especially since time is more important to their clientele.

NCL website is clunky and the application is useless. The application does not provide very much about the ship except how to spend your money. There was not even a map of the ship.

About the Cruise:

Ship condition was a little worn, but not as bad as the Pride of America was prior to last year's overhaul. Cabin condition was very good, but they really don't have enough 110v outlets. The service was excellent and the photo staff, sales persons, and spa staff did not try to hard sale. The lack of aggressive sales was a blessing.

Food in the cafeteria was acceptable. Way too much dairy, food very salty, and no margarine, even on request. Very few vegan/vegetarian choices and they dumped meat into just about everything, including macaroni salad??? Food and service in the main dining room was excellent. Way too much dairy on the menu, but there were always choices and the staff would recommend things not on the menu as needed. The main dining room was the highlight of our on-board experience.

The entertainment was disappointing. The magician was basically a guy who brought out props for his contortionist wife to use. After 15 minutes, we had seen enough. Musicians were OK, but the BINGO sounded better. The Casino staff was not helpful and we ended up with charges to our account even though we never successfully gambled.

Overall, the staff was excellent. Friendly, patient, and helpful best describes the hotel staff. I was a little disappointed with the ship crew when I pointed out a significant SOLAS safety hazard caused by the crew and it was not resolved. I had to go to the Safety Officer and it finally was resolved a couple of days later.

We did not take ship excursions, but enjoyed the ports of call. We were probably the only passengers to take in the Rio Military Museum, including the submarine tour. Rio is very expensive and has a 25% tax on everything. NCL did not warn us that ALL ON BOARD PURCHASES IN BRAZIL WATERS ARE SUBJECT TO 25% TAX in addition to the published service charge of $13.5% to 15.5% per day and for just about everything purchased on board. We and NCL lost out because we would have bought our wine package online had they informed us of the crazy tax rate, but chose not to make purchases in Brazilian waters.

Uruguay was a pleasant surprise and the people are exceptionally friendly. We exchanged too much money as just about every business in Punta Del Este and Montevideo accepted euro, US $, and Argentine Pesos. Free walking tours of Punta Del Este and Montevideo are excellent if you are mobile and want some exercise.

Argentina was surprisingly unfriendly. We failed to exchange enough money and were shocked to find restaurants and businesses unwilling to take credit cards. The government controls the money very closely and it stifles trade. We discovered a fantastic nature reserve in walking distance from the Buenos Aires pier, the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve. Free entry and bring your camera and binoculars.

The Hop on/Hop Off bus in Buenos Aires was a deal. Purchase tickets in the cruise terminal. Start early and explore. The city is rich in culture and history. The local beer is way better than the local in Brazil and Uruguay. Wines in Uruguay and Argentina are exceptional and the prices are great.

If you are making your own arrangements from the ship to the Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE, located in Ezeiza), purchase a taxi ticket in the cruise terminal to the MT Leon Station at 1299 E. Madero Av or take the 10-15 minute walk. DO NOT take a bus from the main terminal, Terminal de Omnibus de Retiro. The airport buses are not as frequent and you will require a transfer. It is closer to the pier, not worth the time.
Keneke’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Sailaway Balcony
Cabin BX
Clean, good condition, tiny shower, good service. Only drawback is the lack of electrical outlets.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews