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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because it was a short getaway from LA and it was cheap.(you get what your pay for!!) We had a balcony room which was very small. Right from the beginning, we got a bad impression. We had to check in on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a short getaway from LA and it was cheap.(you get what your pay for!!) We had a balcony room which was very small. Right from the beginning, we got a bad impression. We had to check in on the second floor of the Vancouver terminal. It was a long walk to the second floor. Once we got there, we checked in and were instructed to go back down stairs to board the ship. That walk was even longer, even after we went through the security. It was like walking through a maze to board the ship. When we got on board and to the room, I had to set up my C-PAP. Usually, on other lines, you call down for an extension cord and a steward brings it up and tapes it down for you. I called and was told that I had to come down and check it out. If I didn't bring it back, I would be charged. Ouch! What happened to service?. The guest relations line was extremely long and I got angrier and angrier as the afternoon went on. A man came up to me while in line and asked how everything was going? He was the "Hotel Manager", so I told him about the CPAP problem and the extension cord for which I was standing in this LONG line. He laughed and moved on to the next guy.( by the way, no one ever taped it down). I think we saw our cabin boy maybe 4 times at the most. We we charged a mandatory service fee per person, per day. -- Okay, we understood this but when we went to order breakfast in bed the next morning, we discovered an additional charge of $7.95 CONVENIENCE fee if it was delivered to our room. We have NEVER been charged on any other cruise line for having breakfast in our room!! Outrageous. They nickel and dime you to death. On the positive side, the food in the specialty restaurants was very good as well as the buffet. Also, as part of our package, we had 250 minutes of free wifi. Bottom line: If Norwegian offered us a FREE cruise, I would tell them to give it to someone else. No more for us. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was my 2nd sailing on the NCL Sun. The last was 8 years ago in balcony 9235 and this time just a few doors down in 9244. Surprisingly, the ship is still in pretty good shape. While it does show some age here and there, it's ... Read More
This was my 2nd sailing on the NCL Sun. The last was 8 years ago in balcony 9235 and this time just a few doors down in 9244. Surprisingly, the ship is still in pretty good shape. While it does show some age here and there, it's well maintained and would seem to have further years of life if they continue to maintain it well. This was a 4 day repositioning cruise from Vancouver, so we hung out there for a couple of days and then returned to our hometown of San Diego. The price was quite reasonable and included an unlimited beverage package (UBP) and 3 nights in the specialty restaurants. In terms of the specialty restaurants, Cagney's was pretty unimpressive. It looks nothing like a steakhouse and most of the food was so-so. I will say that the filet mignon was nice and perfectly cooked. Le Bistro's food was excellent and the service and decor is very nice. Il Adagio is now La Cucina. In short, it was better than Cagney's but inferior to Le Bistro. Would I recommend spending the extra money to visit these restaurants? No, not on this ship, but if you get it included as a throw-in, they're worth checking out. In terms of the main dining rooms, Seven Seas and Four Seasons are similar, but I prefer the decor and location (more windows) of Seven Seas. Food is pretty good, but not awe inspiring. I'd classify it as "above average". NCL also threw in an unlimited beverage package. This was very nice and probably saved us hundreds of dollars. Any drink under $15 is free and there are plenty of good options at or under that price. If more expensive, just pay the overage. If you can get an NCL cruise with a "free" drink package, and you are a drinker, do it. Wine selections by the glass were also pretty good. Entertainment was limited. They had a somewhat funny comedienne, a hypnotist, and some musical dance numbers. Entertainment was average at best. This was a short cruise and so this time our experience was limited. But I did have a nice time and it's good to know that they are continuing to keep the Sun in good shape relative to its 2001 age. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was my 12th cruise with NCL and I have 2 more planned, I will let each person make your own opinion, In my opinion NCL is changing they way in charging cruisers for things, Extra money for dinners, Extra money for drinks, $100 a day ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise with NCL and I have 2 more planned, I will let each person make your own opinion, In my opinion NCL is changing they way in charging cruisers for things, Extra money for dinners, Extra money for drinks, $100 a day per person for the UDP ultimate drink package and if you have 3 in a cabin and everybody is over 21 you'll have to pony up for 3 drink packages, Unless you have a letter from a doctor saying you can't drink alcohol. The current CEO makes $6,000 per ship per day, I think all the extra charges is so he can be paid. You can no longer bring water on the ship, Now you can get charged $4 for a bottle of water. I will cruise with NCL and other cruise lines, I just think that the price hikes will one day drive people away from cruising, The ship was clean, the food was good, and overall a nice cruise. We have fun no matter where we go. No latitudes party was on this cruise, I hope they don't end that program. Vancouver has the most horrible Embarkation process in all of our cruising, Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I decided that for our yearly "Mom and Dad need alone time" trip, we would go on a short cruise WITHOUT the kids (for once). We flew into Vancouver, and stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which was right on top of ... Read More
My husband and I decided that for our yearly "Mom and Dad need alone time" trip, we would go on a short cruise WITHOUT the kids (for once). We flew into Vancouver, and stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which was right on top of the pier. We stayed on the club floor, and it was lovely. Boarding the Pearl was a little bit rough, as there were 3 ships leaving that day, and ours was the only one that didnt have to go through customs, since we were going to Victoria the next day (instead of Seattle). This meant that we were in a "holding room" with no bathrooms for over an hour. Thank goodness for priority embarkation! We stayed in the H3 Owner's Suite 9004. It was an AMAZING room. 2 balconies, one forward, and one hull balcony on the side. The room itself was gorgeous. We really didnt even need or go to the Haven except for once, just to be on the deck (it was freezing, so we didnt stay long). Our Butler and room Steward were fantastic, while I was less impressed by the concierge this time around. In terms of dining, we ate in the Haven restaurant (Moderno) for breakfast and lunch. then for dinner, we went somewhere. Once, I went to O'Sheehans, as DH was seasick, once we went to Indigo, and once to Teppanyaki. One night, we did have our butler bring us specialty food from both Cagneys and Le Bistro in the cabin. We spent a bit of time in the casino, and walked out having broken even. We just arent big gamblers. We attended the Captain's party, the Latitudes party and the Cruise Critic party. They were all fine, though the best was the CC party in Bliss. I hope they dont change that place too much when she is refurbished! We also attended a couple of the shows - acrobats and a magician. They were fairly typical for the smaller NCL ship entertainment. I also had a couple of sessions with a personal trainer (who looked eerily like my brother), and he was able to help me with a couple of workout related things. I also spent a decent amount of time in the thermal suite - I LOVE those tile loungers!!! Victoria was a very nice stop - we went via ship tour to the Abukazi Gardens and Tearoom, which is quite the experience. It was cultivated by a Russian Prince and Princess in exile, who ended up settling in BC. Absolutely gorgeous. My husband even liked it, though he was (laughingly) put out by my making him go to a "tea party". San Francisco was our second stop, and we headed out to Alcatraz (ship tour), where we walked around for hours. First they took us to a little craft village and over the Golden Gate Bridge, then to Alcatraz, where they dropped us off and we were to make our own way back to the ship (1 pier down). We thought we were going to be pier runners on the way back to the ship, only to make it there to find out they had extended our time in port by 3 hours due to customs taking too long! We disembarked in LA, and didnt do much but head straight for the airport. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
After a thoroughly enjoyable Pacific Coastal Cruise on the NCL Pearl, my wife and I decided to return home from Vancouver BC to Seattle on the one night repositioning cruise of the NCL Jewel. We have never been on a ultra short cruise and ... Read More
After a thoroughly enjoyable Pacific Coastal Cruise on the NCL Pearl, my wife and I decided to return home from Vancouver BC to Seattle on the one night repositioning cruise of the NCL Jewel. We have never been on a ultra short cruise and I thought I would share some of my observations. As posted elsewhere on the NCL forum, the Vancouver embarkation was unbelievably frustrating. 3 ships were loading (although just a fraction of the passengers were boarding the Jewel). We arrived at 1pm and didn't get on to the Jewel until 5:30 pm due to the incredible lines of people needing to go thru US immigration - there was no priority line for Latitudes or Suites. You were in the lines with Celebrity and Princess passengers all equally frustrated by the delays. None of this was NCL's responsibility. Due to the long delays our scheduled 5pm departure turned into nearly 8pm. Once on the Jewel, everything was much better. Due to the very few customers, half of the buffet stations were empty and it seemed to me the selection of food was more limited. Had we been able to board earlier, lunch at the buffet and dinner in the MDR would have been better. The MDR had a typical dinner selection (we ended up just having Volcano desserts there). Many of the speciality restaurants were open including Teppanyaki and Cagney's so passengers had plenty of options. The Jewel had a nice selection of entertainment for one night - their main production show Band on the Run was played at a single sitting with perhaps 100 people in attendance. Randon (the Jewel Guitar/vocalist) did a great James Taylor show. The House band played a nice mix of music at the Spinnaker after the production show. Several other musical acts performed to very sparse (and sometimes nonexistent audiences). The casino was open for much of the evening (brief closure when I assume we were too close to the US or Washington State mainland) as were the shops. Beers of the World trivia took place. One definitely had plenty to do once onboard. If it wasn't for the nightmare that was embarkation, I would highly recommend this rare cruise for transportation to Seattle! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
We've done a one-night itinerary before, on Princess, and as Seattleites, love the fun and flexibility of just one night away. We were sorely disappointed on this itinerary and felt like it was an afterthought, not treated like a ... Read More
We've done a one-night itinerary before, on Princess, and as Seattleites, love the fun and flexibility of just one night away. We were sorely disappointed on this itinerary and felt like it was an afterthought, not treated like a real cruise. Overall, the ship was an odd ghost town. Most bars were closed. When we got to the pool finally (around 7pm) there was just one other family up on deck. We didn't see entertainment people the whole time. The one live music we saw, in the lounge at 10pm, was sparsely attended and odd. The staff said there were two shows in the theatre but there was just one, which we missed due to a slow dinner. Everything seemed picked up and like our time onboard was a hiccup before the real cruise started. First, due to a six-hour Amtrak delay, we weren't even sure we'd make the boat. More than an hour on hold with NCL and they said 'someone from the port will call you,' though nobody ever did. We weren't sure if we were going to Vancouver just to miss the ship, and nobody could tell us whether the ship could/would hold. Second, we didn't arrive at the port till 5:45pm. And STILL we waited 45 min for customs. We were told that people who arrived earlier waited hours. (It was a good thing there was a long line, since that's what kept the ship from leaving.) We completely missed our 6:30pm dinner reservations. Third, we chose this ship because our 5-year-old was psyched about the waterslide and the climbing area in the kids club. When we boarded, our "Freestyle Daily" told us the waterslide was only open till 6pm-- so we missed it entirely. It wasn't open at all the next day. Despite my pleas, and the fact it was still sunny and 70+ degrees, there was no opening the slide. Fourth, the kids club didn't actually have the play gym as in the photos - the staff said they had taken it out for the night. The kids area had just a bunch of tumbling mats. Another hard loss for our kiddo. Fifth, despite the empty restaurant, it took more than an hour to get our dinners at the 'Tsar's Palace' free restaurant. Sixth - and I'd say worst - the next morning was a real 'get off the ship NOW!' experience, despite the 'disembark by 9:30am.' Our room was made up with our luggage in it while we were at breakfast at 7am. Around 8am, a worker came by the outside of the ship and sprayed down our balcony - asking us to step off it and inside - leaving the seating wet and the ceiling dripping. There were no balls for the sports court and the pool was never opened. It was a complete waste. This is pretty much the opposite of the experience we had on Princess last fall, where the boat was packed, it was fun, it felt like a real getaway. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We upgraded to the Haven.Upon arrival we realized there really was no Haven. We met a butler, but after the initial meeting he was non-existant. We had no orientation to our room or the ship. No rules were presented although the ... Read More
We upgraded to the Haven.Upon arrival we realized there really was no Haven. We met a butler, but after the initial meeting he was non-existant. We had no orientation to our room or the ship. No rules were presented although the "butler" seemed to be creating his own A total waste of money. No butler not concierge no service at all Could not get any wine to the cabin. The people in the Haven patio were helpful but could not bring the wine or cocktails because that was the job of the "non-existant" butler. Do not spend the money on this upgrade. The room is nice and the service around the ship was OK. The food in the Moderno, the place where Haven members go, is horrible! The clam chowder the first day was like a watery celery soup. Nothing in it! The shrimp cocktail and sword fish sandwich were both sent back. Went to Cagney's for a nice night out. The steak was grizzly and the baked potatoes cold. Getting wine, was a hassle even though we had the beverage package. Don't pay for that either. Totally overrated. We stopped at Astoria....nothing to do. Then on to Victoria and Vancouver. The evening meals are probably Ok but the cost of the package is far too high. This is not like any other Haven experience, beverage package, dining package we have ever had. This comes with terrible food and no service. We have sailed many times on Norwegian, but most likely not again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first time cruising with Norwegian. We've been on a few other cruise lines before (Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise lines) Initially we chose Norwegian due to the low cost, and as it was a repositioning cruise, it was ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Norwegian. We've been on a few other cruise lines before (Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise lines) Initially we chose Norwegian due to the low cost, and as it was a repositioning cruise, it was the perfect relaxing way to head back to Vancouver after a few busy and tiring days are Disneyland. We weren't sure what to expect, given mixed reviews of Norwegian, but we went in with an open mind. Boarding was seemless. We booked a check-in time online (10:30am), showed up at the scheduled time, were processed (issued cards, setup credit cards, etc) and within 30 minutes were already boarding the ship. Very few line ups and very efficient processing. Once on board we went straight to O'Sheehans, one of the dining halls, to avoid the buffet crowds. As not many knew they were open, there was plenty of seating. I believe Tsar's was open as well. The Freestyle cruising offered by Norwegian is somewhat unique. You can do what you want, when you want, where you want. Dining was great as there were always plenty of venues to choose from, each offering a different type of cuisine. The complimentary dining halls were more than enough, so it's not necessary to visit the cost based venues. We never had to wait to be seated, and always had a table to ourselves which was fantastic. Food wise, the food quality ranged from average, to good. The only exception was the one night we splurged for one of the paid restaurants, where the food was excellent. Service ranged from very good to excellent. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We had our 3 year old daughter with us, and the staff were very accommodating. They certainly work well with young children. This trip doubled as our 10 year anniversary trip, and as soon as the staff knew, we were treated to some complimentary chocolate covered strawberries in our stateroom, and given complimentary cake and serenaded at dinner. The complimentary "Splash Academy" youth centre was awesome. Trained childcare workers that can take care and entertain your children for a few hours at a time. Other than lunch and dinner times, they were open, and our daughter voluntarily wanted to go as there were other children her age to play games with. Every day they change the themes for the children like Superhero day, or Space day, or Jungle day, etc. They even had a "Royal parade" where the children could dress up as princes and princesses and were taken to the main stage to do a little dance for the parents. I can't say enough good things about the staff in the youth centres. Best of all it was free! Our stateroom was average. The room was tiny, but it was large enough for the 3 of us. 1 King sized bed, 1 pull down bunk bed, 2 small tables, and dressers to store stuff. Not much room to walk, but then we didn't spend much time in the room. The beds were very comfortable. Firm, but not hard. Not a saggy spring bed like we've encountered before. The room was designed for 3 people, so it was likely one of the smallest on the ship (you get what you pay for I suppose). The ship itself is showing it's age. Carpets are getting worn a bit, some of the lights on the elevators don't like up correctly, etc. Minor details. The crew did an excellent job of keeping everything clean though. The ship is quite small compared to more modern vessels, so we felt the rougher waters a lot more than in previous cruises. Nothing that bothered us too much. The entertainment was good. We only caught 3 shows, as it was hard to keep a 3 year old sitting for an hour at a time. The most enjoyable of all the shows was the crew talent show, where regular crew members showed off their skills in dance, singing, etc. There was also a casino on board, which we visited a few times, as well as a video arcade, which was rarely occupied. As for shore excursions, we didn't partake, as this repositioning cruise visited only 2 ports. Astoria, where there was almost nothing to see, and Victoria, which we've seen many times already. Overall we quite enjoyed our cruise with Norwegian, and liked the freestyle way of cruising. No set dining times, and no having to dine with random strangers. Perfect for those with young children where it's hard to stick to a schedule! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Sailed up the coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver on the Norwegian Jewel. The 6 of us splurged and stayed in one of the 3 Bedroom Garden Villas. We were in Suite 14000. The color scheme was in blues and was simply fabulous. They say the ... Read More
Sailed up the coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver on the Norwegian Jewel. The 6 of us splurged and stayed in one of the 3 Bedroom Garden Villas. We were in Suite 14000. The color scheme was in blues and was simply fabulous. They say the interior space is about 4,200 square feet but looks and feels like around 3,000 when we compare it to our home. Whatever, it was sensational AND we are already booked in another Garden Villa for next year doing the Panama Canal. You can't beat the service and attention you get when you stay in the Villa. Everything is First Class. Our Butler was Jennifer and just the best. Wish we could have her on all of our cruises. We enjoyed eating from the specialty restaurants in our suite at the table that sat 8 people. We actually ate every breakfast there and some lunches along with a few dinners. Having your own private sundeck, Jacuzzi and sauna was another plus. The suite can sleep up to 8 people but that is with one roll away twin bed so if you spread the cost it becomes affordable. I highly recommend staying in one of the villas at least once just to sample it. Read Less
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