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Norwegian Sun Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,215 Reviews

Poor port choices

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by Dairymouse

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2019
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa Rica and one in Columbia. There were shore excursions available in all the ports, but we prefer to walk around and go geocaching. Often there were locals selling wonderful crafted items from little tents right on the pier. They want cash in US dollars, but most items only cost a few dollars. Take along a bunch of ones and fives. The guest services desk will also break a twenty for you. There is and ATM at the casino if you need more cash.

The ship provided a free shuttle to get us out of the port area, but in Peru ports they dropped us off in an unsafe location. We could either pay a taxi to take us to a safe location for walking or biking or get back on the shuttle and go to the ship. There were police to make sure we did not wander off on our own. At the second Peru port we did paid extra to take a bus to Trujillo. We could not use our shore excursion credits for this shuttle, however! It was the same thing in Columbia. We were disappointed that we paid to be able to see the ports and Norwegian wouldn't deliver us to a safe place onshore. One of our shore excursions was overbooked and they ran out of food by the time they got to our table. We were offered 50% off that tour. In Costa Rica, there was a very steep ramp and several stairs to get back on the ship. That was a problem as three of our party of seven were physically challenged. The staff will come help you, but you need to ask. They don't volunteer.

The food was great, as usual. We used both main dining rooms and the buffet. The waiters were mostly attentive. We found you can request a particular waiter (ask for Mac) and he will remember your preferences. There did not seem to be a lot of folks who wanted to share tables although that was available if you ask when you arrive at the dining room. We liked the anytime dining as we are early eaters.

Our cabin was a handicap cabin for my mother. It was a little crowded for three people. Our steward, Juevan, was excellent! Even though Norwegian is discontinuing the towel animals, he made a new one for us every night. He also brought ice to the room when requested.

Having had a more pleasant experience on Princess, I suspect we'll be sailing with them in the future. We've been to Alaska and the Caribbean with Princess. They were more attentive during the pre-cruise phase and the shore excursions were better planned. The ports were safer and the ramps to and from the ship was handicap accessible.

Dairymouse's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin BD 8018

Our cabin was a handicap cabin. They are a little larger than the usual cabins, but it was still a bit tight for three of us and a walker. We were glad to have a balcony. It was very pleasant to sit on the balcony and read in port. It was too windy at sea. However, we could crack our sliding door at night and it sounded like the ocean breakers due to the bow wake curling right under our balcony. Our steward was excellent.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


This was a very disappointing stop. The ship provided a free shuttle out of the port to a guarded area. We were attacked by the taxi piranhas immediately upon getting off the bus. The guards would not let us leave the area, so if we did not want to take a taxi, we had no choice but to get back on the shuttle to the bus!

The guide gave a great talk about Costa Rica the entire trip. The horse show was good, but not very handicap accessible. There were stairs to get to the seating, the women's restroom, and the eating area. Tapas were available for a very high price.

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Cartagena (Colombia)

Again, we were not allowed to walk around the town. However, at the terminal there is a little zoo full of peacocks, monkeys, swans, toucans, parrots, anteaters, and other local animals. It was fascinating! Watch your toes though. The toucans are aggressive and can draw blood. The parrots will pul the button off the top of your cap too.

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