I chose this cruise to explore western South America and specifically to go to Macchu Pichu. Also to travel the Panama Canal one more time. It did not disappoint. As usual, NCL tours are well planned and the guides are very professional.
Embarkation at San Antonio was probably the easiest of any port I've done so far. Some sparse facilities in a warehouse, but they moved us through quick and it was easy to follow where to go.
Some folks thought the Macchu Pichu trip was overpriced at about $2000 each and you missed two days off the boat. These were people that did not take the excursion. But for this excursion they chartered a 737 to fly the 97 of us from Aricca, Chile to Cusco, Peru, and had us split into groups of 9 or 10 or so, each with a guide. The guides were equipped with oxygen and first aid due to the high altitude in Cusco. I saw them use their first aid skills in person when one woman fainted during lunch. They rushed into action and appeared to know exactly what to do and were very professional at helping her until an ambulance arrived. I saw her later on so I know she recovered fine. The hotel for 2 nights in Cusco was absolutely first class and at least 4 star quality. Really nice. Fantastic breakfast buffet and dinner included. Better than the ship even. The train ride down to MP was great with a wonderful meal and great views and some commentary. MP tour was very detailed and the guide knew his history and helped the less agile folks with the stairs and walking around. We spent around 4 hours there, and it was enough for me. If you want a detailed study of the place and want to spend a few days there, then this is not for you. But after 4 hours I was ready to go back and thought I had seen enough to satisfy my curiosity. The ride back was just as good. The same train and hotel and the next day, another 737 to go to Lima. I understand where the $2K went, and in my opinion, it was worth it.
A surprise tour was to see the adobe city of Chan Chan in northern Peru. Really interesting place and it is pre-Inca and still in pretty good shape. Turned out to be more interesting than I expected.
Overall the ship's renovation recently really updated it to today's styles and standards. The New Mexican restaurant, los Lobos had a fairly limited menu, but everything was tasty and fairly authentic (Full disclosure I'm married to a Mexican, so we had to hold not tp a high standard and it didn't disappoint.). The buffet was typical NCL and acceptable, but crowded and not a s good as the specialty restaurants. Overall, another typical high quality NCL cruise and the renovated SUN was a pleasure to sail on and the crew all seemed happy to be there too..
The room was much bigger and nicer than the photos on NCL.com show. It appeared to be recently upgraded with USB ports near nightstands around the bed (very nice for keeping the phone nearby and charging overnight). Has a Jacuzzi tub with a shower and also a separate small shower. Very nice. Nice closet, seemed bigger than usual for this class of room. The balcony was bigger than expected also. To me, we had the best view as you are right on the bow and can see where you are going. The same view as the captain.. A little annoying that you have to keep the balcony light off and the drapes closed at night since you are right below the bridge and the light reflects on their glass and blocks their view.
Was supposed to be a class on photography using Cartegena as a subject. We did have a professional photographer with us, but got no instructions or tips as such. They did take us to some very photogenic areas in the wild, with local fisherman and the new and old city. More sightseeing than you would get with the other tours, but no history lessons just showing sights for photos. We did a history tour on a previous cruise, so we were glad to skip all that and just see the views. Quite a complete tour and offered many opportunities for nice photos. But I didn't learn anything new.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Very long ride (like 2 hours) to get to the place, but an interesting view of all sorts of towns and landscapes. Was tiring to return to the ship afterwards however. We ended up being the last tour back and the closed the doors and left after we got on. They really do wait for you if you are on their tours!. The waterfall gardens was very nice. Lots of rescue wild animals well displayed and kept. The trek to the 4 or 5 waterfalls along the river was OK going down, but coming back up was a little tough. Just rest every so often and catch your breath and you'll be OK. If you can climb stairs, you can do this tour. The waterfalls are very nice. Worth the long trip.View All undefined undefined Reviews