We recently cruised the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles on March 16- 31st, 2018 on the Norwegian Sun. The day we left port we witnessed multiple pallets lining our muster stations/ emergency exits and life boat areas with toxic chemicals (5 gallon buckets of flooring agents, lacquer, strippers, sandal primer, etc.). Talk on board said they had a dry dock coming in Victoria, BC (Canada), for 16 days, and then picking up passengers in Seattle for a return trip on April 19th back to Port Canaveral, FL. We believed it was only to transport them to BC. We were wrong!
In just the first day we bean noticing workers breaking these pallets open and blocking off the 6th deck (jogging track and muster areas), as well as the 11th and 12th decks (pool side), to begin work on resurfacing. This continued the entirety of the cruise, to a point we were being herded like cattle to avoid certain areas while they worked. This blocked certain bars and pool side areas for over 2000 passengers, and restricted access to emergency exits. This was MUCH more than maintenance, it was dry dock construction while at sea. Workers used sand blasting, hammer drills, belt sanders and highly toxic chemicals the entirety of our cruise. Dust and toxic smell covered the ship depending on the wind direction, noise was waking people up from sleep at early hours, and people have videos and pictures to back it up, myself included. My wife woke up coughing at night 2x until we asked out cabin staff to change our bedding. It was essentially dust particles coming in through the A/C returns, and where filters do not catch everything. This dust blanketed ship balconies, the lounge and pool areas, as well as getting into people's food, the pool, bar areas and more.
Passengers then organized a meeting to confront the situation. The Captain walked out after 3 minutes because he could not handle the level of people's frustration. People booed him off the stage as he walked away. NCL did offer passengers a small 25% credit back from this cruise, but only to use on a future cruise, and within a year's time. This is totally unacceptable! People, including myself don't take big vacations like this accept maybe every 5 years. I work, as does my wife. We are basically being strapped into spending more money at NCL and forced to use their ships again, when they clearly did not care about our well being. People with respiratory issues were exposed to harmful toxins and dust, while they wore masks and respirators. The CEO of NCL and whoever was involved in this atrocity should step down to save face for the company.
Our room was well kept and we had a friendly staff. Our refrigerator was broken and no-one could fix it though or give us a new one. We ended up with a cooler and ice the duration of the cruise.
Very poor area, and locals are very aggressive with selling. I recommend getting a bike ride from the multitude of "peddlers" out there. Go to their beach where it is quiet. 10 minute ride is all. Get a beer and some good food and relax. We had a nice time, but had to create it ourselves.
Enjoyed the bus ride and hop on- hop off tour. Very informative and cooler weather being at 5,000' elevation. Enjoyed out day!
Good shopping, close to port. Good prices and food.