This cruise left Sydney at the end of February when the coronavirus was just getting started and had not really impacted most countries. There were less than 30 cases in Australia and less than 100 in the United States at that time. The day before we departed we received an email from Norwegian that stated our itinerary had been changed and we would be compensated with a 25% refund and 25% credit on a future cruise. Also, passengers from some countries would be denied on board but their fares would be refunded. We ended up visiting Brisbane (2 days), Noumea (2 days), Dravuni Island (1 day) and Suva (1 day). This was followed by 12 more days on board (mostly sea days) as we were not allowed to dock due to the virus. We were turned away from several ports last minute as we headed in their direction. We ended up crossing the International Date Line 3 times. As we headed to Honolulu, we were again denied disembarkation. Then when we had engine problems and it was determined that it could be dangerous to proceed to the continental United States, Honolulu relented and let us disembark but under strict provisions. We were taken by private bus to private chartered planes and had to board on the tarmac. Finally after 25 days on the ship we were allowed to return home. The original cruise was for 21 days. The captain and crew did everything in their power to make the trip enjoyable for all the passengers. The food was great! The shows were wonderful! The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars was the fear and uncertainty as more and more countries closed their borders to us. This was not really Norwegian's fault but it did impact our enjoyment of the cruise. We made 4 different airline reservations because the countries would change their minds as we approached. There was not one case of coronavirus reported on board. The staff was constantly cleaning and disinfecting the ship to assure our health and safety. We had an ocean view cabin (8106) which was in an excellent location and very convenient to the elevators. We would definitely book this cabin again. We are supposed to be reimbursed for the cruise or be given 150% towards another cruise but I guess time will tell.
The cabin was very clean and quiet and we loved the location. It was close to the elevators, O'Sheehans, and Tsars restaurant. Our cabin attendant was great and was quick to honor any requests that we had.
We took a day trip to the Blue Mountains with friends. We saw the Three Sisters, explored the town of Leura, and took a few short walks.View All 29 Blue Mountains Reviews
We took the $18 (I'm Free Tour). It was a bus tour that lasted about 3 and a half hours. We saw Bondi beach, Macquarie's chair, the Opera House, and much more. We also tipped the guide at the end of the tour but it was still a great value.View All 22 City Tour Reviews
We took the ferry took the ferry to Watson's bay and walked around one afternoon. We took the ferry to Manly one evening and had dinner. The ferries are all included in the Opal pass so both trips were extremely reasonable.View All 11 Ferry Reviews
We took Norwegian's shuttle into town each of the two days.It was very reasonable (about $15 or $20 per person each day). We did a self-guided walking tour of the South Banks and the Botanical Gardens the first day. We were there on a Sunday so there were several ourdoor markets. We did a self-guided tour of the Parklands the second day.View All 6 City Tour Reviews
One of our favorite days as we were taken by shuttle boat to a beautiful island with wonderful palm trees and unbelievable white sand. It was home to about 100 people who were so nice. We snorkeled and relaxed on the beach most of the day.