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I chose Norwegian bc I was told it was one of the best. I had gone on a Carnival cruise in the past and wanted to compare my experience. The 1st thing you should know is that due to weather we missed 2 of our 4 ports. The last port being cut was a bit of a surprise. We didn't think the water was that bad (we would have taken a boat to shore). Obviously NCL cannot control the weather, but 2 sea days in place of port days is not an equivalent value in my book. The 2 ports we missed were our beach/snorkeling days so we managed to pay for a Caribbean vacation and not set foot on a beach! Extremely disappointed. I had booked a package that included port credits and was not even offered those credits as onboard credits. I understand that cruise lines write contracts to ensure they make money but I think expecting the customer to take all the loss in this case is poor customer service! I would be interested to know how other cruise lines have handled this kind of situation. Booking experience: My husband booked our last cruise 5 years ago, so I don't recall if we were a bit blindsided by tipping fees after booking or not. But bc they wanted tips paid up front when I included drink and meal upgrades I assumed that all tips were included and got an unpleasant surprise. They also didn't tell me that there was a cut-off for informing them of food allergies. I had missed the cut off date bc they want 25 days notice, but since no one mentioned it at booking I stumbled upon this info when I asked about bringing snacks a few days after the deadline. Allergy accommodations: In spite of missing the deadline the staff on board was largely very kind and understanding. I do have to mention that the lack of communication of procedures to me and lack of communication with each other at times was frustrating. No one told me that I had to preorder my meals for the next day, so at my first breakfast the server was a bit curt with me about needing to preorder. I told her that I was unaware of the procedure and her response was "well, I am telling you now." There is also no alternative menu for ppl with allergies. It would have made the ordering process easier if I knew what they were capable of, but in stead they want me to tell them what I want so they can shoot it down until I say something they can accommodate. Before you start thinking the lack of preparation was due to me missing the deadline you should know that I was told there was another GF and dairy-free person on board! Whatsmore they didn't have much on board to assist in this process, i.e. butter and cheese alternative, GF baked goods other than bread. Milk alternative was not listed on the menu. The only dessert offering was lemon sorbet. While I am used to being left out while others enjoy fine dining it is no less frustrating when you consider all the products out there that are readily available now. General Dining: My mom and sister were rarely impressed. We enjoyed Le Bistro, but that is an upgrade. We dined in the Four Seasons or Seven Seas most often bc my mom preferred to be waited on due to mobility issues. There was one occasion that my sister had to send biscuits and gravy back bc it was "disgusting" and several times that they commented that the presentation was promising but the flavor was mediocre. I would not consider either of them picky eaters or accustomed to fine dining, so to underwhelm them is saying something. The service was generally very good. Our Stateroom: I booked for 3. I was told that we would have 2 twin beds and a foldout couch. When we arrived it was a queen and the couch didn't fold out. Apparently they push twins together to make a queen so that was easily corrected. I just don't know why they wouldn't look at my booking and have it prepared. We had to wait quite some time in the chaos of onboarding before it was corrected. Since the couch didn't fold out as I was told we requested an egg crate pad for additional comfort but my sister was still quite uncomfortable. No expected a foldout couch to be stellar but what we got was substandard. We enjoyed the balcony but in spite of the sign that said the balcony was a no smoking area ppl still smoked! There was no enforcement of the rule. So at times the balcony that I paid extra for was unusable. Entertainment: I remember enjoying Carnival's shows more. I am sure it is personal taste or maybe bad luck. For example, the comedian on this trip was good during the "family show" and OK during the adult show. The comedian on Carnival had me laughing till I couldn't breathe! The game shows were ok. Lots of activities required a fee. Karaoke was ok. It was a machine setup vs a live band set up on Carnival, so way more cool to sing with a band and nice to have someone that would jump in for struggling singers. The vibe was just so much more fun on Carnival. Excursions: They need more detail in the descriptions and need to incentivize reviews. We booked level 1 due to my mom's mobility issues. She walks with a cane. The Key West Land and Sea was appropriately leveled 1. But bc we had to walk 3 blocks to get to the bus tour in Nassau (meaning the bus could not pick us up in front of the boat like in the Keys) it was not appropriately leveled so we were underprepared. I am not sure they would have allowed us to take a wheelchair off the boat even if we paid the $150 rental fee, so I don't know if we could have prevented her discomfort. The tours themselves were nice enough. The Fury glass bottom boat in the Keys was a little disappointing in that the boat is set up so you have to stand around the glass bottom instead of sit. Other glass bottom boats I have been on have bench seats facing the viewing area. Again an issue for my mom. The ride was good otherwise, but it must have taken longer than expected since the land tour was not exactly as described. The description mentioned a couple of stops so passengers could get off for a break or to get a pic and that did not happen. Also the seating on the trolley was uncomfortable for me bc I have long legs. Sitting askew for a hour ride with no break was hard! In contrast, once we were past the long walk to the bus in Nassau, the bus ride itself was as described and the seating was better and the bus had AC! We had a few breaks as described also. We were able to visit the fort, queens staircase, Atlantis, and have rum cake! As mentioned previously we missed out on our beach excursion ports so I cannot speak to those. Would I go again? Not likely any time soon. I had hoped for more for my Mom's birthday cruise experience. She had not been one one for over 40 years and she even mentioned enjoying her last one more for reasons unrelated to her age and mobility. It is hard to pay so much for a mediocre experience and knowing the weather could take half your vacation!

Hit and Miss

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by Lesterline

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
I chose Norwegian bc I was told it was one of the best. I had gone on a Carnival cruise in the past and wanted to compare my experience. The 1st thing you should know is that due to weather we missed 2 of our 4 ports. The last port being cut was a bit of a surprise. We didn't think the water was that bad (we would have taken a boat to shore). Obviously NCL cannot control the weather, but 2 sea days in place of port days is not an equivalent value in my book. The 2 ports we missed were our beach/snorkeling days so we managed to pay for a Caribbean vacation and not set foot on a beach! Extremely disappointed. I had booked a package that included port credits and was not even offered those credits as onboard credits. I understand that cruise lines write contracts to ensure they make money but I think expecting the customer to take all the loss in this case is poor customer service! I would be interested to know how other cruise lines have handled this kind of situation.

Booking experience:

My husband booked our last cruise 5 years ago, so I don't recall if we were a bit blindsided by tipping fees after booking or not. But bc they wanted tips paid up front when I included drink and meal upgrades I assumed that all tips were included and got an unpleasant surprise. They also didn't tell me that there was a cut-off for informing them of food allergies. I had missed the cut off date bc they want 25 days notice, but since no one mentioned it at booking I stumbled upon this info when I asked about bringing snacks a few days after the deadline.

Allergy accommodations:

In spite of missing the deadline the staff on board was largely very kind and understanding. I do have to mention that the lack of communication of procedures to me and lack of communication with each other at times was frustrating. No one told me that I had to preorder my meals for the next day, so at my first breakfast the server was a bit curt with me about needing to preorder. I told her that I was unaware of the procedure and her response was "well, I am telling you now." There is also no alternative menu for ppl with allergies. It would have made the ordering process easier if I knew what they were capable of, but in stead they want me to tell them what I want so they can shoot it down until I say something they can accommodate. Before you start thinking the lack of preparation was due to me missing the deadline you should know that I was told there was another GF and dairy-free person on board! Whatsmore they didn't have much on board to assist in this process, i.e. butter and cheese alternative, GF baked goods other than bread. Milk alternative was not listed on the menu. The only dessert offering was lemon sorbet. While I am used to being left out while others enjoy fine dining it is no less frustrating when you consider all the products out there that are readily available now.

General Dining:

My mom and sister were rarely impressed. We enjoyed Le Bistro, but that is an upgrade. We dined in the Four Seasons or Seven Seas most often bc my mom preferred to be waited on due to mobility issues. There was one occasion that my sister had to send biscuits and gravy back bc it was "disgusting" and several times that they commented that the presentation was promising but the flavor was mediocre. I would not consider either of them picky eaters or accustomed to fine dining, so to underwhelm them is saying something. The service was generally very good.

Our Stateroom:

I booked for 3. I was told that we would have 2 twin beds and a foldout couch. When we arrived it was a queen and the couch didn't fold out. Apparently they push twins together to make a queen so that was easily corrected. I just don't know why they wouldn't look at my booking and have it prepared. We had to wait quite some time in the chaos of onboarding before it was corrected. Since the couch didn't fold out as I was told we requested an egg crate pad for additional comfort but my sister was still quite uncomfortable. No expected a foldout couch to be stellar but what we got was substandard. We enjoyed the balcony but in spite of the sign that said the balcony was a no smoking area ppl still smoked! There was no enforcement of the rule. So at times the balcony that I paid extra for was unusable.

Entertainment:

I remember enjoying Carnival's shows more. I am sure it is personal taste or maybe bad luck. For example, the comedian on this trip was good during the "family show" and OK during the adult show. The comedian on Carnival had me laughing till I couldn't breathe! The game shows were ok. Lots of activities required a fee. Karaoke was ok. It was a machine setup vs a live band set up on Carnival, so way more cool to sing with a band and nice to have someone that would jump in for struggling singers. The vibe was just so much more fun on Carnival.

Excursions:

They need more detail in the descriptions and need to incentivize reviews. We booked level 1 due to my mom's mobility issues. She walks with a cane. The Key West Land and Sea was appropriately leveled 1. But bc we had to walk 3 blocks to get to the bus tour in Nassau (meaning the bus could not pick us up in front of the boat like in the Keys) it was not appropriately leveled so we were underprepared. I am not sure they would have allowed us to take a wheelchair off the boat even if we paid the $150 rental fee, so I don't know if we could have prevented her discomfort. The tours themselves were nice enough. The Fury glass bottom boat in the Keys was a little disappointing in that the boat is set up so you have to stand around the glass bottom instead of sit. Other glass bottom boats I have been on have bench seats facing the viewing area. Again an issue for my mom. The ride was good otherwise, but it must have taken longer than expected since the land tour was not exactly as described. The description mentioned a couple of stops so passengers could get off for a break or to get a pic and that did not happen. Also the seating on the trolley was uncomfortable for me bc I have long legs. Sitting askew for a hour ride with no break was hard! In contrast, once we were past the long walk to the bus in Nassau, the bus ride itself was as described and the seating was better and the bus had AC! We had a few breaks as described also. We were able to visit the fort, queens staircase, Atlantis, and have rum cake! As mentioned previously we missed out on our beach excursion ports so I cannot speak to those.

Would I go again? Not likely any time soon. I had hoped for more for my Mom's birthday cruise experience. She had not been one one for over 40 years and she even mentioned enjoying her last one more for reasons unrelated to her age and mobility. It is hard to pay so much for a mediocre experience and knowing the weather could take half your vacation!
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC 0221
I booked for 3. I was told that we would have 2 twin beds and a foldout couch. When we arrived it was a queen and the couch didn't fold out. Apparently they push twins together to make a queen so that was easily corrected. I just don't know why they wouldn't look at my booking and have it prepared. We had to wait quite some time in the chaos of onboarding before it was corrected. Since the couch didn't fold out as I was told we requested an egg crate pad for additional comfort but my sister was still quite uncomfortable. No expected a foldout couch to be stellar but what we got was substandard. We enjoyed the balcony but in spite of the sign that said the balcony was a no smoking area ppl still smoked! There was no enforcement of the rule. So at times the balcony that I paid extra for was unusable.
Pool Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins