We chose NCL because of the price and the port itinerary. We have been on other cruise lines and NCL just once before about 15 years ago. This ship was a nice size, only 2000 passengers. Easy to get around, but maybe because there was nothing to do. We had an oceanview cabin, rather small, but the most disappointing thing was that the bed was placed under the window. In order to see out the window you needed to kneel on the bed. Will never make that mistake again! Might as well have had an interior room.
Getting on the ship was a bit of a nightmare. The dock workers in Valparaiso went on strike in the morning, which delayed previous passengers getting off, and new passengers getting on. Not really NCL fault, but they certainly did not make any announcements to let anyone know what was happening. We were delayed leaving port a couple hours.
The cruise director tried hard, but nothing to our taste. Evening entertainment was fabulous with the Sun Crew of Singers/Dancers! They really worked hard and looked like they had a great time doing it. Other entertainers, we did not like so much. The casino looked like it was hardly used on most days.
Bed was under the window. Sofa was very old and uncomfortable. We had to ask for robes, not automatically supplied.
We arrived at the airport in Santiago and easily and cheaply got transportation to Valparaiso. At the airport look for the BUS kiosks behind the Taxis. Pay the driver in local currency. Take the bus to Terminal Pajaritos. Buy a ticket to Valparaiso from any of the many companies providing service. Buses run regularly. Once in Valpo, we walked to the port, but it's a little complicated. A taxi would be just fine. At the port there is a shuttle that takes you to the departure building.
Once off the ship, turn to your right and follow the road along the water to the bus depot. Maybe a 10 minute walk. Look for a MINIBUS. Information kiosks in the terminal have English speakers that are more than willing to help you. We took a bus for 900 CP each to Puerto Varas. Walked around town, small shops and restaurants. On the lake with views of the volcano. Spectacular! Public restrooms in the Casino. Small artists pod next the casino with lots of local items for purchase. Return bus dropped us right at the port.
Tender off the ship and walked a few blocks to pick up an Avis car rental. We drove about 60km to Fort Bulnes, the first settlement on the Magellan Straits. Beautiful drive along the water. Entrance fee to Fort Bulnes about $20 US per person. Spent an hour or two there. Stopped at another working fishing town on the way back. Very picturesque.
Tender off the ship and shared a cab ($12US) to Martial Glacier. There used to be a working lift to take you up the mountain, but that has been broken for about two years. It was a great day for a hike. Views were outstanding of the Glacier, the town, and the sea. You can walk quite a ways up the glacier, but the last part is a little tricky walking on shale. There is a coffee house at the bottom for little rest before taxi back to town. Walked around town a bit, found everything outrageously expensive. Then back to the ship. Information Center had free wifi.
Met a guide for a Free Walking Tour from Independence Plaza. He was entertaining and showed us some key locations. Ended up the Market Place where they have lots to sell and food to eat.