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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. We were expecting rain the whole time, but were greatly surprised with rain only in Juneau. This is our 11 NCL cruise. We enjoyed the food in the main dining rooms. Great service and ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. We were expecting rain the whole time, but were greatly surprised with rain only in Juneau. This is our 11 NCL cruise. We enjoyed the food in the main dining rooms. Great service and surroundings. Our favorite specialty restaurant was Cucina. The 18 oz T-bone melted in my mouth. Much better than Cagneys! The on-deck BBQs were fun and delicious. They tried to keep mixing things up on seadays. Our porthole view room was well appointed with space for everything. Our steward was very good and efficient. The production staff, singers, dancers and NCL Sun band were fantastic! It was the first time we have seen these shows and greatly enjoyed them. Glacier Bay was amazing. The Captain rescheduled our day to take advantage of clear weather after a disappointing morning of fog. He stayed in the bay for several hours completely turning the ship in circles to allow people of the forward, aft and balconies to get close-up, excellent views. The rangers on board answered lots of questions. Another great cruise for us. Thanks! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I have mixed feeling about this cruise. This is my first Cruise with NCL. Apart from Astoria, most of the ports were interesting, and for this time of the year we were very lucky with the weather for all ports except Juneau. The ... Read More
I have mixed feeling about this cruise. This is my first Cruise with NCL. Apart from Astoria, most of the ports were interesting, and for this time of the year we were very lucky with the weather for all ports except Juneau. The passengers on board were a good mix from a variety of countries and cultures, and very few children. The following were our observations during the trip, and hope it provides feedback for NCL. At Vancouver the check in process took over 1.5 hours from arrival at the terminal to walking aboard the ship. Doing the lifeboat drill in 3 languages is just too much. Many of the older people found it very difficult to stand in one spot for such a long time. Other ships have a video that runs in multiple languages for those who are not fluent in English. I don't know how long it actually took, but it felt like hours, first waiting for stragglers, then the complete drill 3 times, once in each language. We spent most of the Sail away on the Aft deck. There were not enough bar staff for the sail away on the aft deck. Staff that were there lacked any enthusiasm or motivation to get drinks out quickly. It's not a great first impression, and not good enough where service charges are mandatory. There were no coffee cups at the rear deck, so had to go to the garden café for coffee. In the garden café there were cups, but the milk was empty. So had to go back to the rear deck for milk. Many tables had no knifes or forks. Have to take them from tables where people were already sitting. We went to the teppanyaki for dinner. I had prepaid both the meal and the tip. At the end the bill came and it does not show the tip as being prepaid. I told the waiter that I already prepaid the tip and it was not showing. He told me that the money I paid goes to corporate and he gets nothing unless I pay again. This was awkward and does not feel right. I then went to customer service to confirm that I had already prepaid the tips, which they confirmed. This experience spoiled the evening. None of the spa jets work in any of the 4 jacuzzi spas (for the entire cruise), only the blowers work which provide bubbles. 2 spas also have broken jet function buttons. I advised staff on a few occasions, but they were never fixed. On the last sea day I also asked the chief Engineer during the Q&A, but he was unaware of the issue. Children are allowed into the adult only spas, staff do not enforce the rules. A lot of the breakfast pastry items have cinnamon in them. Not everyone likes cinnamon and the original French recipes for these pastries does not have cinnamon. Went to 10:30 sushi making class, but the crew forgot to organise the event. We left at 11:00 to attend a private event and they still had not started making sushi. Plates in the garden café are cold and the food in the buffet is only warm. So by the time you find a table the food is often almost cold. Went to the Mega ships presentation only to find it had been cancelled and rescheduled for a different day The lift buttons on level 9 aft Port side are around the wrong way. If you want to go up you need to press down and press down to go up. not a big problem, but once an up lift arrives, you cannot go down in it and visa versa. I repeatedly helped confused passengers. It's literally a 5 minute fix, 2 screws and swap 2 wires, but despite advising staff and even the Chief engineer it was never fixed entire cruise. The soft serve machine in the aft buffet was often out of order. When asking for a cup of water from bar staff, it’s like they are doing you a favour serving you. Either provide self service water at bar locations or improve staff attitudes to non revenue requests. Apart from the jogging track, gym, and Buffets there are no other water fountains on the ship. The towels are quite thick but small. Sheets and towels often have Stains or tears. Judging by the stained sheet we had, I believe the sheets were only changed once on a 10 day cruise. The majority of the cruise directors staff have heavy foreign accents, and when they run shows, most Americans have great difficulty understanding what they are saying during events in the Dazzle lounge. I was often translating for people sitting near me. This is even more of a problem for the trivia games where they cannot pronounce the questions properly making it impossible to play the games. The cruise directors staff are unable to read the room when trying to get people more enthusiastic about the show they are running. They are on cruise where the average age is over 50. Saying that they will not continue the show unless the audience is more enthusiastic is not how to win over this demographic. More than half of the onboard "entertainment" were really just aimed at upselling and extracting more money from passengers. The Dazzles lounge is not a good venue for games that require audience participation, like 55 to win it or battle of the sexes. The majority of the audience cannot see what is going on. These types of shows should be in the stardust theatre, or have a camera capture the event and show it on a screen for the audience to see. Why aren’t shows in the stardust theatre shown in the cabin TVs? The Dazzles Lounge and Stardust Lounge are both overdue for a makeover with torn upholstery and broken chairs. We had many drinks charged to our room that did not belong to us. You cannot query room charges over the phone. Have to go in person to reception which is a constant pain. Menu items in four seasons are not as expected. For example Peking duck was just 3 small slices of duck on a salad. Not crispy skin duck in a pancake as you would expect. Escargot cassoulet had only 3 small slivers of snail, mostly mushrooms. Teriyaki beef was more ginger beef than teriyaki. The Sacher Torte was just a chocolate sponge cake with jam, not a dense chocolate cake. The staff in four seasons are poorly trained about what they are serving. When asked about menu items they cannot explain what the dishes are. The Chinese staff in main Dining rooms appear to have had no training at all prior to starting on the ship. You would not expect staff being trained the basics like which side to serve from while on a cruise. surely they should have had some land based training school before serving paying passengers. In general all beef dishes are dry and chewy in both the garden café and four seasons. In the Brazilian specialty upcharge restaurant, the garlic beef was over cooked, chewy and horrible. The first slice of lamb was lovely. Pink in the middle and the bark was crispy and delicious. When the second slice came around it was over cooked on the inside and chewy, yet there was no bark formed, it was just chewy fat. The fillet steak was lovely and tender, but over peppered. Even scraping the pepper off could not rescue the steak. The only winner here was the Beef ribs which were perfect. In general the variety of meals was ok, but nothing special. I was disappointed that Alaskan Crab was not served even on one night. The bagels are stale most mornings. Would have thought they would be baked fresh each day (found out they were a frozen product). This is the smallest ship in the NCL fleet, and 3 of the specialty restaurants are put into the one room (Sushi, Teppenyaki, & Cagneys). This feels odd and it does not feel very special when dining here and the décor is pretty basic and dated. Entry into Astoria Oregon was hopeless. We were told that customs clearance would start at 8am. But actually did not start till after 10am. The cruise director blamed the delay on customs officials late arrival, but when I called the rental car agency advising of the delay they advised that the port had our arrival time as 10am. So not sure who stuffed up. PA announcements should be carried on channel 21, just like when the national parks guide was aboard. This would make it much easier to listen for announcements while waiting in the room. Especially in Astoria where we had to wait for over 2 hours in our rooms till customs arrived. This gives people the option of hearing announcement in their rooms if they like. After the first couple of days about half of the condiment holders on the aft deck were missing the salt dispensers. They had pepper only. In general even after spending more than $250 per night per person, we still felt like we were being nickel and dimed throughout the cruise. And with service charges automatically added there is no incentive for the crew to provide good service. Being my first NCL cruise I did like the Freestyle Dinning system and the general casual attire allowed aboard compared to other cruises I have been on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We love cruising Freestyle with NCL! First time on the Sun and though it is a smaller and older ship it was well maintained and very clean. Our Balcony Cabin was comfortable and perfectly located. This itinerary was very full with only a ... Read More
We love cruising Freestyle with NCL! First time on the Sun and though it is a smaller and older ship it was well maintained and very clean. Our Balcony Cabin was comfortable and perfectly located. This itinerary was very full with only a few sea days so we only saw a few shows and attended a few trivia events. Casino was nice and shops had sales on all Alaska items as this was the last Alaskan cruise for the Sun. Purchased several Tee shirts for around $6.00 each and these are pretty good quality shirts. Food was wonderful at Restaurants. Tried to avoid the buffet except for coffee in early morning. The Great Outdoors was less crowded usually. Great Fish and Chips at the Sports Bar and open all night which was nice. Our meals at Cagney's and La Cucina were fabulous. Service was good on the ship and staff was friendly for the most part. The only bad experience we had was the morning we arrived in Astoria, Oregon. Customs Agents were to board the ship to meet all passengers face to face and check our Passports. We were told to be at the Four Seasons Restaurant at 8am if we had a shore excursion to go to. We waited until 10am before Customs Agents showed up to board the ship. This was a very stressful situation for all. NCL really should have organized this better. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Just returned home from Alaska on Norwegian Sun, always wanted to visit Alaska and had reservations on cruising. Having travelled from Vancouver to Junneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC and Astoria disembarking in San ... Read More
Just returned home from Alaska on Norwegian Sun, always wanted to visit Alaska and had reservations on cruising. Having travelled from Vancouver to Junneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC and Astoria disembarking in San Francisco. All i can say is WOOOOW words do not do either Alaska or The Norwegian Sun enough credit! Alaska is amazing , stunning scenery everything you would expect and more ive waited years to do this cruise it was worth the wait balcony was priceless for a trip like this, great trips ashore a little pricey but its once in a lifetime stuff, the Norwegian Sun was fantastic, great food and crew were so friendly and helpful we couldnt find any faults and will be returning to both Alaska and Norwegian Sun. Thats the biggest compliment we can pay we will return too both, hopefully in the very near future. Sold on Alaska, worth the flight from UK! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have taken several cruises from 1979 to now and have never been on a ship that was so disorganized and had so many issues. embarkation and disembarkation was chaotic. we had a customs check while on the cruise and that was a total ... Read More
We have taken several cruises from 1979 to now and have never been on a ship that was so disorganized and had so many issues. embarkation and disembarkation was chaotic. we had a customs check while on the cruise and that was a total disaster. ncl told everyone to be ready at 8 am, but customs did not get onboard until 10 am, and when approached about being late. the customs agents said they were not scheduled for 8 am, but were exactly on time at 10 am. all the excursions were late and as a result we were rushed through the excursion. another thing the excursions in alaska and canada were very expensive and not worth the cost. the only excursion that was worth the money was the train ride. we went on the fjords wilderness cruise, and it was explained that wildlife is frequent, but not guaranteed, but as soon as we boarded the boat, we were told that "they didn't want to lie to us" we would not be seeing wildlife, as they were migrating and going into hibernation that time of year. That is a far cry from sightings being frequent, but not guaranteed! since we are from florida and have idea about this, ncl should have informed us that this was the case. we would not have spend over $400 for another boat ride!!! as far as the food, it was just fair, nothing special. we asked what night lobster would be served (as all cruise ships have a night for serving lobster) and we were told ncl stopped doing that a couple of years ago. the best way to describe the service in the dining room was that they were "detached" and robot like in the service. of course, there were a couple of waiters that were more friendly and more like what we are used to sailing on celebrity, princess and carnival. The best thing on the ship was the entertainment. also, the "free" drink package they give you is not free you have to pay a big "additional service fee which was $149.00 each. on the other cruise lines free is actually free!!!! unfortunately, we already bookd a cuba cruise with ncl when we booked this alaska cruise. the cost for cuba went down $200 per person and ncl would not upgrade telling our agent there were no rooms open other than a 25sf bigger room. this was not true, as i went on the site and there were still rooms available to book in a higher category for less $$ than we were paying. again, no customer service. this feed reduction happened to us on princess and they immediately upgraded our room to a balcony suite which was in the price line we were paying at that time. WE WILL NEVER CRUISE NCL AGAIN, AND WILL TELL AS MANY PEOPLE OF THESE BAD EXPERIENCES AS I CAN Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Not the best cruise I've ever been on, but not bad either. Wanted to go to Alaska and found a pretty good deal from Vancouver ending in San Francisco. With 3 ships at the dock, embarcation was the usual cattle call, however there ... Read More
Not the best cruise I've ever been on, but not bad either. Wanted to go to Alaska and found a pretty good deal from Vancouver ending in San Francisco. With 3 ships at the dock, embarcation was the usual cattle call, however there were plenty of helpful port "hosts" to point you in the right direction. The muster drill was not much fun. It went on too long, with everyone having to stand the entire time. Is it really necessary to state everything 3 times in 3 different languages? Passengers were literally groaning near the end..... The food was pretty good, especially the prime rib on the first night, which was superb; as good as any on land. It was served again the last night, but unfortunately it wasn't as good. The croissants in the morning were excellent, especially if they were still hot out of the oven. The other breads and desserts were good, except for the souffle. It tasted emulsified and not as a real one should. But then again, I've never had a decent souffle on a ship and they all should probably stop making them. I did like the more casual atmosphere in the dining room. The service was one the whole, very good. My room was comfortable. Only complaint is the shower was quite small. The gym was also a little smaller than I would've liked, but it was never crowded. There was a major mix up in Astoria, where border patrol didn't board this ship until 2 hours after we tied up. Not sure who's fault that was. I didn't particularly care because I didn't have anything planned on shore, but for those who did, yikes. All in all, an enjoyable cruise and a good value for what I paid. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I are in our mid-40's. This was our 4th cruise to Alaska. We chose this cruise because the price was so reasonable and we really love Juneau and Victoria. For this cruise we decided to try a mini-suite. We were put in ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid-40's. This was our 4th cruise to Alaska. We chose this cruise because the price was so reasonable and we really love Juneau and Victoria. For this cruise we decided to try a mini-suite. We were put in room 11558 which was mid ship, port side. We loved our room! Having a little entry table was great for putting our room keys and things we wanted to grab quickly as we walked out the door. Loved the three hooks on the entry wall as well as we could hang our jackets for easy grab and go. The divided bathroom was very nice and roomy. It was chilly so I enjoyed the bathtub (after I had the steward showed me how to get the plug to work). The storage for our clothes was perfect for two of us. Our suitcases fit easily under our beds. We loved the layout of the room having a separate sitting area plus the balcony. The couch was hard as a rock to sit on, I can only imagine how hard it would be to sleep on. We did open up the bed to grab the two twin comforters out of it and used those on the balcony to keep warm which watching the world go by. We had previously cruised the Pearl 9 years earlier, also in September, for our first Alaska cruise. It was fun to be on the ship again. It's recently been refurbished and looks great inside. The staff were so nice throughout the ship (other than one bad incident at the Guest Service desk on the last night with a very rude employee). The activities are what you expect on an Alaskan cruise - not very exciting, but we were okay with that. We enjoyed sitting on the back of the boat for our breakfast and lunch and walking around the ship. We spent a lot of time in our cabin relaxing and enjoying the view and the cool air. The night time shows were pretty good. Not as fancy as the Epic which has Blue Man Group and higher level shows, but for the size of the ship I thought the shows were better than what we had seen on Carnival earlier in the summer. I wish they would have had more than 1 comedian though. Food was good, but not fabulous. Better than Carnival but not as good as Princess (dining room) in our opinion. Will say that the buffet was open long hours and had a good selection. Many new things to try. We loved the Great Outdoors buffet area and got our omelets out there each day, plus there was a bar right there which was nice. We had the Ultimate Beverage Package as part of our room and enjoyed trying new drinks. The Honey Lemonade and Painkiller are both very good! And yes, the coffee machine that is in the back of the buffet eating area, just as you go out to the Great Outdoors, does still grind your coffee and then brew. Best coffee on the ship in our opinion! We found the ports to be good. It rained or was total mist basically the whole time we were in Alaska. We heard it had been a very rainy summer - never go without your rain gear! It was our first time in Icy Straight Point. Basically just a cruise ship terminal with cruise ship owned stores. We don't do ship excursions, we just do our own thing. So we booked a Jeep from the Icy Straight Point Lodge for the day and drove out the fire roads. We saw a few deer and two bears. For Juneau we rented a car from Avis (a hike from the dock, but after all the food it's good to get exercise). We went to Fred Meyer (grocery store) and got Starbucks plus supplies for a picnic lunch. Then drove up to Mendenhall Glacier and took the Nugget Falls loop. So surprised to see how much more the glacier has receded since our last visit a few summers ago. :( Then we drove out to Eagles Beach and had a picnic lunch and walked around. No one was there. We saw eagles and lots of eaten salmon bodies and bones. The bears has been there recently feasting, but thankfully not while we were walking around. On the way back in town we stopped at a few places and took photos. We saw a moose and some eagles. Then I did a little shopping while hubby returned the car. We had some of Deck Hand Dave's Halibut tacos before getting back on the ship (they were the BEST I've ever had!!!). For Victoria we just walked in to the city going by the Fish Market/boat house area (very cute). Did a self tour of Parliment and then walked around the city. Had dinner, did some shopping and headed back to the boat. It was finally sunny and the weather was perfect and cool. It was overall a great cruise! We had a wonderful time spending time together. I would recommend this cruise to a friend for sure! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our 6th cruise, but the first on Norwegian. The Pearl is about the right size to fit our tastes. The ship was built I Germany in 2006 and underwent a major refurb this year. Everything was clean and perfect. We sailed round ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise, but the first on Norwegian. The Pearl is about the right size to fit our tastes. The ship was built I Germany in 2006 and underwent a major refurb this year. Everything was clean and perfect. We sailed round trip to Alaska from Seattle the last week of Sept. Icy Strait was OK. not a lot to do there but it is an interesting story about how the town is trying to save itself. The kids liked the zip line and we went whale watching, very successfully I might add. Juneau and Victoria were wonderful as always. We took a tour of the Alaska brewery in Juneau, it was quite interesting and they are VERY generous with samples. We were very impressed with the Pearl. The food was excellent everywhere we went. The room was nice and clean, good bed, and a much nicer shower than most cruise ships. Service was excellent, my hats off to all involved. Norwegian will certainly be on my list of contenders for any future business. I highly recommend them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary by finally taking our honeymoon on this cruise. An Alaskan cruise has always been on my bucket list. I saved for months and was so excited as this was my first cruise. I was extremely ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary by finally taking our honeymoon on this cruise. An Alaskan cruise has always been on my bucket list. I saved for months and was so excited as this was my first cruise. I was extremely disappointed by the food, the service, the extra charges that added up to more than $500, the short time at Juneau and the overall feel from the crew. This was the last cruise of the season and I heard about it over and over from all employees. They were so excited for this to be over so they could go home. I was very dissapointed that I had to spend money for bingo! And room service an additional $7.95! Even the towels to animals demonstration were plugging their $9 DVD with the spiel for purchase. I spent extra $ for the specialty restaurants, and they were terrible! Everywhere you turn the NextCruise people were pushing there "get free money" by booking another cruise. I went to the raffles and there were so many people you could hardly stand in the area. EVERYTHING costs extra $. At first I thought it was my high expectations...then one afternoon, I pointed out a huge spot on our coverlet to the steward and asked him what it was. He told me it was from the laundry. When I asked again and asked for him to change it, he told me he would change it tomorrow. I was so taken back by his flippant response to me that when I turned to say something, he was already gone. The entertainment was nothing special. I saved for months. We went with our close friends and they have cruised before. I also talked to several people...all were dissapointed. I will NEVER cruise NCL again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The cruise to Alaska was my next great cruise destination. It would give me a sampling of areas in Alaska that I might want to go back and visit again for extended stays. The food and service were poor to say the least. The people ... Read More
The cruise to Alaska was my next great cruise destination. It would give me a sampling of areas in Alaska that I might want to go back and visit again for extended stays. The food and service were poor to say the least. The people staffing the galley would do better shoveling garbage for meals in most of the restaurants onboard this cruise. Thank goodness they stopped in ports so I could get some eatable food. I also paid additional funds to eat at some of the specialty restaurants what a waste of money the filet was so tough your jaw got quite the workout. The only specialty restaurant that was worth the money was the teppan restaurant. The food had flavor and the cooks genuinely took pride in the quality of what they served. The majority of the restaurants served pork in a great many of the dishes they prepared especially the soups. Which once again showed poor planning for dietary restrictions. There was a complete lack of flavor in most meals around the ship. Seasoning should be a standard in food preparation. This was absolutely not the case except in the teppan restaurant. The assisting staff in most of the dining rooms did not speak or understand english or spanish. So getting anything from them would mean having them get the waiter or waitress who were mysteriously missing or so busy trying to take care of other guests they seemed to disappear. The cruise line would nickle and dime you at every chance. The tap water, juice, tea and coffee were the only free beverages available. Club soda would have been a great option. They would charge for each activity they provided for your entertainment. Instead of a fun game of Bingo for fun prizes they charged for Bingo and cash prizes where a few medium rewards were awarded. Every form of entertainment was a new charge to the rooms. I did manage to get in a free game of chess. The best part of this cruise was the trips ashore. But they came with restrictions also. The first was if you were not a VIP you had to wait in line like cattle, for the VIP guest to disembark first. Which made my wife nervous about missing our excursions. Holding back the herd was rediculous to say the least. They should open a third exit for VIP instead of making everyone wait in long lines on the 7th deck while the VIP crowd gets off on the fourth deck. The entertainment on board was mediocre at best the schedule was hap hazard with no plan or reason. The legends show was the best planned show on the cruise. I work in the hospitality industry and would be embarrassed if we served the poor quality food that I received during my trip with Norwegian. Read Less
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