Transatlantic Cruises - Opportunities to enjoy everything!: Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by kirby31098
Overall Member Rating
Transatlantic Cruises - Opportunities to enjoy everything!
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
The negative: -Most staff and servicing,(restaurant, bar, lounge) were inconsistent at best. -Cruise director and staff lacked appropriate decorum. -Port information severely lacking or non existent. -Those who supposedly were in positions to know about ____________ didn't. -Sports bar only served "bar food" during the evening hours. Popcorn in afternoon. -Surly staff at hotel desk. -Internet use is a necessary evil these days and you will use up all the minutes purchased, plus some, faster than you think you will. The per minute cost is outrageous and last minute checking on port More reservation can be expensive.
The neutral: -Specialty restaurants were great some nights and mediocre on other nights. -Two Main dining room choices with only small to non-existent waits for seating. -Buffet had a nice variety and selection. -The unfortunate thing about Freestyle dining is never getting to know one set of dining table staff who will wait on you consistently and who get to know you.
Best suggestions: -Bring your own wine on long voyages and pay corkage fee to make sure you get the wine you prefer. This is a great option NCL provides. -If you find a waiter that you really enjoy in one of the main dining rooms, make a reservation for his/her table every night that you dine in that room. -If you have a chance always share a table with other cruisers you do not know. The insight they provide, especially if they have cruised to many ports, is invaluable. -Plan and use your time a sea wisely, it passes very quickly. -Consider doing transatlantic going from the east to the west. The port intensive visiting is then out of the way and you have six days to rest crossing the Atlantic back to the USA. Less
Cabin review: MB1211 Mini-Suite with Balcony
Great Bathroom and Wonderful closet. Great living space with a cabinet stocked with stemware sometimes, and refrigerator. Loved the Balcony especially with the nice weather during the crossing. Down the hall from the spa, but "no fumes" were noticed in the corridor or rooms. Near the exercise room. Location toward the front of the ship made the rocking motion of the ship more noticeable than locations at mid ship and at lower levels, There was a "special" breakfast room for guests at the AE level, but the service, in general, for the special breakfast room was inadequate at best. We ended up eating in the Main Dining Room.Read All Mini-Suite with Balcony (MB) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Brugge was the highlight of the trip. It is a small old town that escaped major damage during WWII. You can use the train to get from Zeebrugge to Brugge. It's clean, quick and affordable. Cruisers on our ship arranged to meet a Historian Guide and take a walking tour of Brugge. The group of 25 paid the Guide $25 euros for the two hour tour, so $1 euro each.
Make sure to stop in one of chocolate shops and have a hot chocolate. It was cold the day we visited and enjoyed the treat so much many of us had more than one.
Our ship was in port for 12 hours which was plenty of time to do the sights that our group wanted to see. The down side to our travel was that the ship's visit was on a Sunday and many small town shops were shuttered.
There is no shortage of "museums" housing a multitude of military armaments. Every little hamlet has at least one, usually more. Except for the American Beach sights and Cemetery, all museums we visited had $5+ Euro entry charges. Some entry charges are adjust for "seasonal entries."
Our ship was in Vigo for twelve hours so we used the time to take the train to Santiago de Compostela, a pilgrimage site, where it is said that the remains St. James the apostle are interned. The train ride from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela took about 1.5 hours. The express train is faster, but note that it does requires a reservation and is a little more expensive, but not prohibitively.
The walk to the Cathedral is an easy one but does require you to navigate a flight of stairs and a small incline to get to the there. The Pilgrim's Mass is at noon. Make sure you stay until the very end when they light the incense in the "Botafumeiro", a 225 pound silver incense burning hanging above the altar. Quite a show, especially when it has to be stopped from swinging.
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