Buenos Aires to Santiago around the Horn: Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by DMAB

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Buenos Aires to Santiago around the Horn

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Buenos Aires
I took this cruise on the Sun because of the itinerary and the overall non-NCL tour package that included stays in Buenos Aires and Santiago. The itinerary was outstanding, the SUN and NCL generally fair to adequate but rarely more than that.

MDR food was actually pretty good. Not gourmet, lower quantities, one less course and much planer presentation than HAL, Celebrity or Princess, but the food was acceptable and actually pleasant most of the time. This is the first cruise that I have lost weight on.

The Buffet food was also good for buffet food, but the buffet area was much too small with woefully inadequate seating. NCL staff allowed people who weren't eating to hog the scarce dining space while diners were looking for places to sit.

Specialty restaurants: The French bistro had good service, attractively presented food and the one of the most tasteless steaks I have ever had. The Steakhouse was better but not a truly outstanding restaurant. The More Pacific heights, a strange little no extra charge specialty restaurant was a quiet place to eat but the food wasn't as good as the MDR. They should close it use the space to expand the buffet.

Service in all the restaurants was good or better except for allowing squatters in the buffet area. I only had one meal in 14 days that was seriously different from what I ordered, service was always reasonably prompt, courteous and I found the serving staff to be generally friendly.

Cabin service didn't quite have the sparkle it has had on better cruise lines but it was quite good with no real deficiencies. I suspect they are a bit understaffed.

I went to a wine tasting for $15, the NCL staffer was somewhat knowledgeable about wine but tended to overgeneralize. I was still a good experience with good wines.

Went to a beer tasting at the sports bar. The bartender was a useless clown that didn't have the slightest idea what he was talking about. The beer was a very ordinary selection of bottled imported beer.

Went to a Sangria/Food pairing but it was canceled at the last minute because not enough people showed up. The nickle dime NCL approach frequently showed up on this trip.

Signed up for a behind the scenes tour, but canceled when they presented me with a $55 charge that wasn't mentioned until I signed up.

This is the first cruise line that I have been on that actually charged a corkage fee to bring wine on board for consumption in your cabin.

The tour went through some of the most spectacular natural scenery there is going around Cape Horn, through the Beagle Channel and Straights of Magellan. It is an area also rich with history. Unfortunately, they did not have a naturalist/lecturer on board. They used an NCL staff member to do the presentations that should have been, and are on other cruise lines, done by a professional. NCL in their nickel dime mode is primarily using public domain (material so old the copyright has expired) so they don't have to pay for it. What we got were largely black and white, amateurishly put together Powerpoint presentations by a person who had little knowledge of what he was talking about. According to the NCL staffer, this is the way NCL is going to be doing their naturalist and history lectures in the future. I'm not faulting the presenter, it's NCLs fault for not getting qualified lecturers.

Entertainment was pretty good, no use mentioning details because they change. Entertainment varies from season to season and cruise to cruise to it's risky making comparisons, but I thought it was better than HAL, not as good as Celebrity on par with Princess but not as glitzy as Princess. No overall disappointment with NCL's entertainment. Less

Published 03/06/10
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Cabin review: BB8038 Mid-Ship Balcony

Adequately sized, exactly what I expected and identical size to the Veranda Cabin I had on Celebrity Infinity at 170 sq ft. Good for 2 people would be crowded for more. Balcony was big enough for two people to use comfortably. Nice easy to use layout. Bathroom was compact but comfortable to use except for the intermittent sewage smell. Great view, comfortable, convenient, quiet slightly aft of midship location. Cabin was in OK condition but showing some wear. Several rusted areas on balcony. Should be a great cabin after it gets refurbished.

Read All Mid-Ship Balcony (BB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

NCL tour with 40+ people on a bus. Drove through spectacular scenery, took a 1 hour trip on a beautiful lake in a 300 passenger cameraman.

We were supposed to see Puerto Montt on the return but there was big event io town that had several streets blocked so our tour guide gave us extra time in Puerto Vars where the was pleasant to see and a nice public square with a beer festival going on. We ended up with a very good lunch in a restaurant overlooking a beautiful lake.

Took a non-NCL tour with 3 people in a van and an excellent guide. Went out to Ft Bulnes and our guide and us were the only people there. It's an interesting old log Fort with several nicely restored buildings. Then we got a tour of the Punta Arenas Museum, a tour of the cometary which is a smaller version of the famous Ricoletta Cemetary in Buenos Aires then and a driving tour of the town. Then we walked around town.

Port Stanley. Took the NCL tour of Port Stanley and environs. It was nicely done in a 40+ passenger city type bus. Spent the rest of time in port exploring Port Stanley on foot. The Victory bar had good fish and chips and an interesting cast of characters. Some sort of tour is worth taking. Port Stanley is small and very walkable but you don't get the history without a guide.

Read 95 Stanley Reviews

Took a non-NCL tour by van with about 7 people through the National Park outside Ushuaia. It had beautiful Alaska like scenery and we had a good guide. Then spent time walking around Ushuaia. The town is interesting and fun to walk around. Just knowing you are in the southernmost city in the world is a kick.

Read 179 Ushuaia Reviews

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Member Since 2005
259 Forum Posts
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