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65 Norwegian (NCL) San Diego Cruise Reviews

This was our 69th cruise, but our first AND LAST on NCL! First, they transposed two numbers of our room, and had our credit card registered to another passenger. It took about 45 minutes in line at the embarkation desk to get it straight. ... Read More
This was our 69th cruise, but our first AND LAST on NCL! First, they transposed two numbers of our room, and had our credit card registered to another passenger. It took about 45 minutes in line at the embarkation desk to get it straight. NCL wouldn't even have noticed if I hadn't questioned the clerk about which credit card they had on file. The service and food in the dining rooms were ridiculously poor. The trivia games were a joke, and the ship needs major refurbishing. The excursions were so disappointing and expensive. The air conditioning on our bus in Acapulco was not working well, and it was scorching hot! We all begged the tour guide to take us back to the ship, but he refused and forced us to go to a "mall" consisting of one over-priced shop. In Cartagena, we were in the last carriage and couldn't hear a word on our ear pieces. Then, when we got off the carriage, we looked around and couldn't find a soul from our group! He hadn't told us when or where to meet the bus, and we were frantic! After searching up and down the crowded sidewalk, we finally saw someone we recognized. For the first time ever, I was anxious to get off a ship and go home! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our 1st cruise with NCL. I think we will likely be cruising with another line in the future. Before I go blasting away, I do want to say that for the most part, this is a nice ship with a great crew. Before we even got on the ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise with NCL. I think we will likely be cruising with another line in the future. Before I go blasting away, I do want to say that for the most part, this is a nice ship with a great crew. Before we even got on the ship, we had an issue with NCL. This was supposed to be a Mexican Riviera cruise but NCL changed the itinerary to a Panama Canal transit. We had done a Panama Canal transit less than a year ago but decided to stay with this new plan. In fairness, NCL did offer to refund our fare. Curiously, once we decided to stay with this new itinerary, NCL charged us and addition $450 or so in taxes. We did get a $25 credit per person but it all just left a bad taste. Lost a star here. The lifeboat drill was a joke. It usually is but we did not even practice putting on the life vest. I also did not get the feeling that the crew took it very seriously either. On our 1st day at sea, I witnessed what appeared to be a near drowning in one of the hot tubs on the pool deck. At around 11am, a very large guest, who probably should not have been in the hot tub in the first place, lost his balance and fell in head first. I seriously doubt he could have righted himself. Luckily, 2 other guest were in the hot tub and able to lend assistance. The funny thing is that I saw NO crew members anywhere. Usually, there are some waiters around but not at this moment. We related the incident to a member of the management team. I noticed that there seemed to be at least 1 crew member around from this point on. I am not blaming NCL for anything but I wonder where everyone was. Speaking of service and such, I was disappointed by the customer service desk. I was on my way to a shore excursion and wanted to get some change for tips. I was told that the personnel manning the position could not give out change until later in the morning. Huh? That was a head scratcher. I want to add though that I was pleased with the crew other than this situation. The dining room was OK but there were a number of entrees that cost extra. I expect to pay extra in the specialty restaurants but not in the dining room. We ate in the dining room a couple of times. Once I had a steak which was not too good. Service was fair. We went to the Italian and the French specialty restaurants. I felt both of these were excellent. The rest of the time we ate at the buffet which was good enough. I noticed an odd thing about the way the ship scheduled the buffet line availability. At about the time when a lot of folks were returning from excursions, mid afternoon, there was just the small buffet at the back of the ship open. It seemed a lot of people were hungry just then resulting in longish lines. At other times the lines were not bad and seating available. Speaking of extra charges, why isn't water included in the Ultimate Beverage Package? Seems odd to pay for this perk and then get nicked extra for a bottle of water. Note to self, bring a water bottle next time and fill up in the room. This ship had the worst sports bar ever. Mostly they showed was soccer, golf, and tennis. They have NFL football Sunday, Monday night and Thursday night. A number of people wanted to watch the major league baseball playoffs but were told the ship did not get that channel. Lame, lame, lame given the mix of guests on board the ship. If you like a lot of action in the casino, this might not be the cruise for you. A lot of the time, the game tables were manned but no one was playing. The slots did not seem all that busy either. My favorite game is Craps but too often no one else was playing. I guess there weren't many gamblers on this cruise. Most of the guests were of a retirement age so it may be that many folks turned in early. The entertainment was good except for the hypnotist. What a waste of vacation time. The show was very poorly attended and we left early. I liked the production numbers the best and was pleased with the 4 Seasons review. My suggestion is to sit in the balcony on deck 7. Great view of the stage. During our previous transit of the Panama Canal, there was a great deal of cultural enrichment opportunities including history of the canal and port lectures. This was lacking on the Sun. There was a narration as we transited the canal but I felt the lecturer was not at all enthusiastic. Disembarkation was a mess. We were with the red tag group. We were called an hour later than scheduled. If that weren't enough, during our transfer to the Ft. Lauderdale airport that we purchased from NCL, the bus broke down. We spent an additional 45 minutes before another bus showed up. To make matters worse, some of the guests had to help with the luggage transfer just to speed things up. The corker was when we were all loaded on the "rescue" bus and the driver from the 1st bus went down the aisle looking for tips.Ya just can't make this stuff up. There were six stops on this itinerary. Cabo - You need to tender in here. Tendering was slow due to the sea conditions. I felt the crew did a good job dealing with the seas. In this case, we ended up staying in the port. Acapulco - We saw the cliff divers and the San Diego fort. Be prepared for heat. I thought our guide was going to pass out. The cliff divers were cool but it would not be worth a 2nd visit in my opinion. It would also be easy to do the San Diego fort on your own. It is right across the bridge from where the ship docks. Guatemala - We climbed the Pacaya volcano. This is a very rigorous excursion that I enjoyed a great deal. If you are not in shape, seriously consider taking one of the horses up. It costs extra but is well worth the view. I highly recommend this excursion. Nicaragua - We went to the boiling mud pots and toured the cathedral in Leon. This is a very worthwhile excursion. Our guide was great. Be aware that there is not much to do where the ship docks. Costa Rica - I did the zip line. It was fun and very safe. My wife climbed a waterfall which she enjoyed. Cartagena - We went to the fort which was fantastic. We had a good guide. Be ready for the heat and humidity. We also went to the old city but got caught in a torrential rain. Oh well. I hope I wasn't too negative. I did enjoy the cruise but there are a number of ways it could be improved. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Norwegian Sun Cruise 9/30 to 10/14/16 Panama Canal Easiest transfer from San Diego airport to cruise port. My flight arrived on time, I had purchased transfers through NCL. Retrieved luggage and immediately an NCL representative ... Read More
Norwegian Sun Cruise 9/30 to 10/14/16 Panama Canal Easiest transfer from San Diego airport to cruise port. My flight arrived on time, I had purchased transfers through NCL. Retrieved luggage and immediately an NCL representative asked if I was cruising with them, yes I am, and I am on a bus to the port. At the port our luggage was left on the bus to be driven to a location to be placed on the ship, didn’t have to touch it. I asked NCL for wheelchair assistance, I can’t walk up the gangway, unfortunately I was told an hour to 90 minute wait for a chair. I walked up to check-in, told them I had been preapproved for a chair and they immediately got one for me. I was checked in within 5 minutes. As I was leaving to board the ship, Carlos Zarate, Concierge, met me and said that he was at my service for the entire cruise and he would speak to me onboard. I was brought to the Atrium and sat with some wonderful Canadians while NCL finished getting the cabin ready. At 1:30 p.m. my cabin was ready and I went to check it out and unpack my carryon luggage. Within 30 minutes my other luggage arrived, I unpacked it. During that time a cheese and cracker plate was delivered to my cabin, which was wonderful, I didn’t have to go looking for food. I left my cabin to talk to Guest Services because my card didn’t have the Unlimited Soda Package on it. Guest Services said they did not see where I paid for it online, even though I had a copy of all paperwork with me and showed it to them. To make sure I asked if it showed I had paid for 4 specialty meals and five shore excursions. The shore excursions were paid for but again couldn’t find where I paid online for the specialty dining, again, I had copies of all the paperwork. Guest Services said they would make copies of my paperwork, scan it and send it to Miami corporate office to make sure I had paid for these items. I was told I could still get soda, juice and water but would be charged for them until this was settled. I explained that NCL charges a surcharge on all purchases and I was afraid it would be a nightmare to get all of this off of my bill. I was told there was no other way to do this. Guest Services said it would probably be the next day before they heard for corporate. I went to the life boat drill, easiest one I have ever done, it was in Dazzles Lounge, in and out in 10 minutes. Went back to my room and there was a message from Guest Services to please come to the desk. Waited about 10 minutes in line but they had an answer, they found I had paid for everything and gave me a new card with my dining and beverage stamp. I ate at Four Seasons and Seven Seas Main Dining Rooms (MDR). Seven Seas is a more dressed up MDR. If men show up in shorts they are turned away and told to come back when they change, but women can wear shorts, didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Both were good some nights, not so good other nights. Chicken Parmigiana was heavenly, Prime Rib excellent, Cheeseburger and Fries, great. Most food arrived hot and tasty, but a few things arrived cold. I ordered a hot chocolate that was cold when it arrived and had been made with mostly water and no chocolate. I ate 3 of my specialty meals at Cagney’s. I love Cagney’s on any NCL ship. Their steaks melt in your mouth, the White Truffle Parmigiana Cheese Fries were to die for and so was the Caesar Salad. My other specialty was in La Cucina, it was wonderful, I had breakfast there every morning, because of the Concierge and it was wonderful. Entertainment was mediocre. The Sun dancers and singers were good, so those shows were alright. One night they had a man who called himself El Gaucho, a comedian and singer, terrible, Motown Review and Frank Valle Review were fantastic. Hypnotist JayDee was absolutely horrible, passengers were getting up and leaving all throughout his show. I didn’t like that he announced he was a motivational speaker and had three seminars set up onboard to help passengers stop smoking, lose weight or feel better about themselves. I don’t care, either you do your show or do motivational speaking, not both. There was the usual bingo, karaoke, White Hot Party, Sexy Legs Contest, etc. I didn’t attend most of these. I know most people don't go on a cruise to read, but the Sun had the best book stocked library I have seen on a cruise ship. I actually read 8 novels while onboard. Bars/Showrooms, the StarDust Theater was so cold that after two days I caught a cold from sitting there for an hour to watch a show. Dazzles was freezing too. Most other bars were fantastic, speedy service, good drinks and snacks. The Sun had a Crew Talent Contest on the last sea day that was hilarious. In the Atrium on the last night, all of the officers and department heads had a singalong. Only the Sun does this, it took about an hour and after that there was a balloon drop and champagne, it was the most fun I had onboard the ship. The Sun also has a Meet the Ship's Officers, two different days, so you can learn about the ship and ask any and all questions, it was informative and interesting. The Sun also had a Sun Fair, each department, housekeeping, dining, environmental, CruiseNext, Guest Services, Spa, etc. was represented and it was very interesting. Shore Excursions were handled differently than any ship I have been on. If you had a ship excursion, you were given your ticket and told to meet in the StarDust at a certain. When you excursion was called you were brought down either stairs or elevator to the disembarkation point and went ahead of other passengers waiting in line that didn’t have ship excursions. It was the best managed port disembarkation I have ever done. Compliments to whomever came up with this idea. Miami disembarkation was a mess. I had Priority luggage tags, but was told since I had purchased a transfer from NCL I needed to use my Red luggage tags. When I was taken off the ship, Priority luggage was right there, Red luggage was being held up for another hour. I couldn’t use the transfers I purchased because I would have missed my flight so I had to take a taxi to the airport at an additional $32. I am asking NCL for a refund of that money, since I was advised incorrectly. In summary, this was an amazing cruise. The crew helped make it that way, 99% of them were personable and very helpful. My cabin was wonderful, the venues were very easy to walk to and to find when first boarding. Small problems that were cleared up immediately without a problem. Out of 5 stars I would give this cruise a 4 1/2 stars. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I went to San Diego on Thursday, one day before departure. Wyndham San Diego Bayside provided a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, which is directly across the street from the departure port. The hotel was very nice, the area ... Read More
I went to San Diego on Thursday, one day before departure. Wyndham San Diego Bayside provided a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, which is directly across the street from the departure port. The hotel was very nice, the area seemed completely safe, and walking around the port area was interesting. Had I understood how beautiful San Diego is, I would have gone a day or two earlier. I'm pretty sure this was my 38th cruise overall, with probably half of those on NCL. I walked over to the ship at about 11 a.m. on departure day and was onboard around 11:30. Lunch was available in the main dining room at 12:00. My bag was delivered before 2 p.m. The ship: was absolutely beautiful. She has been carefully maintained. All the public areas were in tip-top shape. It is very easy to get around on the ship, and the elevators were never crowded. There's a good walking deck, and the gym was fine. Dining: I never had to wait for a table. The food and presentation were excellent and the hostesses and waiters were all fantastic. The passion fruit souffle was my favorite dessert. Scallops for lunch were wonderful. La Cucina is my favorite alternate dining spot, and it did not disappoint. Le Bistro was also a good choice, as was Teppanyaki. I was invited to share the Officer's Table one evening, and this was the only meal where I didn't get exactly what I ordered. I ordered steak, the gentleman next to me ordered steak and lobster tail. When they delivered his entree to me, I just dug right in without realizing what had happened. A little embarrassing, to say the least. Crew: Wow! This is a warm, friendly, energetic and seemingly very happy crew. They were unfailingly polite and helpful. I did notice quite a few people from China. It seems they are "in training" to go on the Joy when she launches. I was especially fond of "Ping, like in ping-pong" in the Atrium Cafe. I taught her to play 'rock, paper, scissors' and we had fun. Entertainment: I think NCL has the best entertainment at sea. The production shows were excellent, and the individual groups and performers were always entertaining. Additionally, the entertainment in the smaller venues was fabulous: Henry Hood on guitar and vocals, Amber Strings for classical afternoons, Inovation for dancing. As an aside, I went to the Atrium one evening around 9 p.m. and the guitarist for Inovation was standing there with his guitar on is back waiting for coffee. He had a big grin on his face, and I asked him why. Turns out the lady who was walking away had just asked him if that thing on his back was a surfboard! One of my favorite things is the crew talent show and this one was a real winner. Cruise Director's Staff: Very good at their jobs. Our trivia competitions were always fun. The only problem was that sometimes there were not enough seats. Cabin: Inside on Deck 5, and I didn't know what to expect. It was one of my favorite cabins ever. It was quite large for an inside, and even had a small sofa. It was only a few steps out to the Atrium for coffee or cocktails. The elevators were handy, and it was never noisy. Gerardo was a very good cabin steward. Ports: All pale in comparison to the transit of the Panama Canal. We stopped in Cabo, Acapulco, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Cartagena, Columbia. I truly loved Costa Rica and Cartagena. The Costa Rican people were very warm and friendly and the country is beautiful. Cartagena's old city is a great walk and the port area had a bird sanctuary. I was invited by new friends to enjoy the transit from a "romance Suite" on deck 8, all the way forward. We sat out there from about 7 am to 4 pm just watching in awe. I had expected the canal to be fascinating, and everybody I spoke to about it assured me that it would be. What was unexpected was the sheer beauty of the lakes and the lush greenery. Or maybe it was the Prosecco. Anyway, it was a bucket list item that exceeded expectations. Overall: Great cruise. Met some wonderful folks from all over the place. Canadians Ray and Barbara, Jane and Gord, and Jim, fellow Texans Babs and Bill, good people from Illinois Craig and Julie. And of course the group from Austin, "I'm with Cindy". Not to mention Steve and Sandy from North Dakota and Arizona, Pat from Toronto and Noel and Helen from the Philippines. The list is too long. Great entertainment, excellent food, tremendous itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I was traveling with my 81 year old mom who has limited mobility. We wanted a cruise with interesting ports we haven't seen before. We both enjoyed the cruise immensely. It was a great blend of interesting places and relaxing sea ... Read More
I was traveling with my 81 year old mom who has limited mobility. We wanted a cruise with interesting ports we haven't seen before. We both enjoyed the cruise immensely. It was a great blend of interesting places and relaxing sea days. This was our fourth cruise, and it was the first time I did not have a list of complaints afterwards. Service was excellent everywhere. Food--We were very impressed with the food on this cruise. We dined at one of the two main dining rooms most every night, and had many excellent meals, and none that were bad. We had delicious ribeye steaks twice at Cagneys. We enjoyed Moderno the churrascuro restaurant but felt that one trip there was plenty. We would have liked it more if there were some dipping sauces for the meat. It got a little boring. We also enjoyed La Cucina. We have learned to avoid the buffets on cruises except for a light snack. The few lunches we had from the buffet were just OK. Embarkation--long lines but smooth. They did not have a good set up for handicapped passengers and it was hard for my mom to stand in a long line. Enrichment activities--really informative documentary on the Panama canal the day before we sailed through it. The day of passage a representative from the canal comes on board and narrates the passage. This was really enjoyable. I would love to have more in-depth information about the various countries we visited. Entertainment--I have little interest in cruise entertainment, but I was very happy to hear the string quartet playing on this trip. We enjoyed them in the dining rooms several nights and in the lounge. I took plenty of books to read but ended up reading 3 I found in the well-stocked library. Fitness--I enjoyed the aerobic dance classes but sometimes they were in the direct sun on the deck and it was wayy too hot. Wish they offered more of those throughout the day. Good walking track that stayed pretty shaded most of the time. Onboard experiences--lots of nice, quiet places for reading, which I appreciated. Most of the outdoor seating was in the sun. It would have been nice to have more shaded areas besides under the lifeboats. We enjoyed the trivia and name that tune games, except the host of name that tunes played way too much of the song and took away the challenge. It would have been nice to have some karaoke earlier than 10:00. Lots of late activities that we missed being early birds. Shore Excersions--these were all chosen to be easy with little physical activity for my mom. There were many fun things like snorkeling and zip lines that we did not do. Cabos San Lucas--did the ship easy excursion. There is not much to see in Cabos. This was a decent overview. We enjoyed the demo at the glass factory. Excellent fish tacos at Molly's in Cabos San Jose. Acapulco--very enjoyable tour with Baldo Gomez at Tours by Rudy. We released baby sea turtles at the refuge, saw lots of different areas of town, the Peace chapel, Los Flamingoes hotel. Fun day. Puerto Quetzal--did the easy shore excursion to Antigua. My mom wasn't feeling well so I went on my own. The shore excursion spent a lot of time in a jade factory/store which didn't interest me, so I went walking through Antigua on my own. A beautiful city not to be missed. Corinto--had a nice tour with Denis of Julio Guides to Leon. Leon was poor and bleak after Antigua. We got an overview of the place, saw the market, murals of the political history which went on too long standing in the heat. We went to a nice cool place for lunch. It was interesting to see but lots of poverty. Costa Rica--excellent tour guide Javier Vargas with Thumbs Up tours. One of the highlights of the trip. Went to macaw sanctuary, crocodile river cruise, and a general tour of the area. Lots of interesting plants and animals explained by our fabulous guide. We learned a lot and had a great time. Not to miss especially with Thumbs Up tours. Cartagena-- Beautiful old town. I would focus solely on that next time. We took an OK tour with Dora. We got an overview of the area and a walking tour of old town, but she rushed us through that to spend 45 mins. In an emerald store. Did not like that part, but Cartagena was one of my favorite spots on the trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
1. To embark we had to wait in line for more than 2 hours even when we arrived at the pre-registered time. We had to wait from 1:30 pm to almost 4 pm to board the ship. 2. Again we had to wait for 1 hour at disembarkation. We were ... Read More
1. To embark we had to wait in line for more than 2 hours even when we arrived at the pre-registered time. We had to wait from 1:30 pm to almost 4 pm to board the ship. 2. Again we had to wait for 1 hour at disembarkation. We were told to disembark at 7:45 am. We waited in line at a very small space with standing room only until 9 pm. 3. Staff at Guest Services had no clue what were going on on board. They could never answer any questions without checking with others. When they did not know the answers, they shrugged their shoulders, 'too bad, can't help you, you are on your own'. 4. The dinner menu was always the same, because NCL tried to force you to go to the pay restaurants where the gratuity was included in the bill, but the passengers were expected to give more tips. 5. Since all tips paid in advance were lower per NCL, the attitudes of some of the service staff were arrogant and careless. 6. For a 17-day cruise, there were 8 days at sea. All activities were planned to make more money out of the passengers. 7. The loud speakers of the general announcement must have inferior qualities, because the passengers could hardly hear what had been announced. 8. There were no big screen movies provided. You can only watch movies in your stateroom via the small screen TV and the same movies were played over and over and over again. Overall, there were a major management issue of the chief hotel manager(s). From embarkation to disembarkation, a state of chaos reined the procedures. There were no consideration for seniors or physical challenged persons. After this experience, I will not even consider a free cruise with Norwegian Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We departed from San Diego and hit two Mexican ports, Guatemala and Costa Rica before reaching Peru. It was Early November, hot and humid but since we are avid birdwatchers we managed to pull in a few lifebirds (birds we had never seen ... Read More
We departed from San Diego and hit two Mexican ports, Guatemala and Costa Rica before reaching Peru. It was Early November, hot and humid but since we are avid birdwatchers we managed to pull in a few lifebirds (birds we had never seen before). Just be prepared for the heat. Peru was very interesting from a cultural and historical standpoint. The ports are industrial working ports and not user friendly for passengers since you have to take a shuttle bus to leave the industrial area. In Lima the wait for the shuttle was an hour and the ride took 30 minutes. The bus delivers you to a highly policed park where expensive taxi service is available. We left the park and walked along the seaboard taking in many sea birds. We then hailed our own taxi and paid $20.00 to take a 45 minute ride to the Lima zoo. My wife thought the taxi ride was scary (it was) because he weaved in and out of traffic and barely missed pedestrians. We loved the zoo because it had birds and animals specific to Peru. They have a very nice bird exhibit where we saw my personal favorite bird (the Cock of the Rock) which is bright orange with large spoon shaped crest. A very nice zoo with lots of locals hanging out with their families. We saw several wild lifebirds here as well. A memorable day! Chile was fabulous! We love this country! First of all we noticed it is clean (not very much trash on the side of the road). The people are friendly but they don't smile. It isn't that they aren't happy, they are just stoic, so don't expect them to return a smile when you flash your pearly whites. In Valparaiso we took the shuttle bus to a terminal (exchanged some money) and walked a half mile to the bus stop. We paid the equivalent of $3.00 and road the 600 series bus for about two hours until our bladders couldn't take it anymore. It was a cheap tour of the city and a good way to get to know the people. A salesman got on and with the bus driver's permission gave a sales pitch for a package of pens he was selling that you could mark on their money to make sure the bills were not counterfeit. He sold a couple then got off and waited for the next bus. Next a volunteer from Salvation Army got on requesting donations, followed by a guitar playing singer selling CD's. He played and sang for about 15 minutes. The bus driver liked it so much he bought his CD. He was followed by a candy salesman. Women with their daily grocery shopping, kids, lovers, businessmen and students were the kinds of people we observed on the bus that day. Definitely worth three bucks! We stopped at the famous flower clock and went the Sheraton to use the marble clad restrooms. Walking down the hill from the Sheraton we stopped at the beach to take in some seabirds before catching the bus back to our shuttle station. We spent Thanksgiving in the Straight of Magellan where I photographed a group of penguins swimming near the ship. The ship glided past fabulous scenery as we encountered Tierra del Fuego National Park with pristine snow covered peaks, glaciers and breathtaking vistas. Reminded me of the the Alaska inside passage. We took a Cruise Critic tour to the interior of the park and saw Upland Goose, Black Necked Swans, Caracara and a few songbirds. The weather cooperated with us as we rounded Cape Horn. It was crisp and cool but the sea state was relatively calm. Our next stop would be the Falkland Islands. Falkland Islands is a tender port. The ride takes about 20 minutes depending on the winds and sea state. The day we were there it was cold and very windy with a little rain. We spent $20.00 each for a round trip shuttle ticket to Gypsy cove. You see Gypsy cove as you enter the port. It is located on your Port side about three miles prior to the anchorage. There we saw a small colony of Magellanic Penguins, Upland Geese, Kelp Geese, Turkey Vultures, a Dark Faced Ground Tyrant and a Grass Wren. We also saw the Flightless Falkland Steamer Duck and Oyster Catchers. A great birding day! There are also adventures to see Rock Hopper Penguins as well as other penguin species but be prepared to get muddy and jostled in the 4 wheel drive vehicles. Back to Argentina we pulled into Puerto Madryn a user friendly port with a long dock. Here we went on another Cruise Critic tour to Punta Tombo to see thousands of penguins. It takes two hours to get there but the roads are nice and well maintained. They make a pit stop at a gas station with clean restrooms somewhere in the middle of the trip. Great place for seeing lots of Magellanic Penguins in their burrows. You will also see Rea here as well as Steamer Ducks and Imperial Cormorants. Montevideo, Uriguay is a nice port town, easily accessible and interesting. I smelled pot as we crossed the first street reminding me it was legal here. The old section of town has some very nice European style architecture. There are many shops and street vendors. You will see Monk Parakeets in the city parks and we even saw a Coo-coo which had a punk rocker hairdo. Taxis are cheap here but you will need pesos. In Buenos Aires we ended our cruise. We hooked up with a professional bird watching guide named Diego Gallegos who picked us up at the cruise terminal in his van and then took us on a most excellent birding adventure. We saw over 30 lifebirds that day! He supplied a nice lunch and then took us and our luggage to the airport in time to make our flight back home. He is married with two kids and has been birding since he was a kid. Very knowledgable and well worth the price of $260.00. If you need a birdwatching guide I highly recommend him. I found him on the "birdingpals" international website. His email is diegogallegos61@gmail.com if you would like to contact him. The NCL Sun is old and in desperate need of repair. We made the mistake of moving the beds in our stateroom so we could look out the window without kneeling on the bed. Our mistake was seeing the pee-stained mattresses. Yuck! The furnishings are dilapidated and wear and tear is evident everywhere you look. A tattered bucket of bolts ready for the boneyard or a major overhaul in dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Embarkation was an absolute FIASCO! People were directed into the wrong lines to pay a fee for entry into Argentina. We were not told in advance that there would be a fee of $160/person on top of the fares and fees we had already paid! ... Read More
Embarkation was an absolute FIASCO! People were directed into the wrong lines to pay a fee for entry into Argentina. We were not told in advance that there would be a fee of $160/person on top of the fares and fees we had already paid! Hundreds of passengers (mostly seniors) lined up for hours to use 2 computers to register and pay the fee. No water, no seating. Computer forms were in Spanish--NCL did not think to even provide an interpreter. No reason for this as we were not going to arrive in Argentina for over 2 weeks. We would have had ample time to handle this once we were aboard. Food was WAY below par in complementary dining rooms. Save for one daily chef's special, the menu did not vary for 33 days! No kidding--33 days with the same few menu choices gets very boring! NCL has seen fit to remove all washers & dryers that were available to passengers. They charge $20 for a small bag of laundry and take 2 days to return it to you. They must have taken in a few thousand dollars from passengers on our 33 day voyage! Be forewarned if you plan to be aboard the SUN for more than a week of so! No way to do your own laundry! Had the mini-fridge emptied upon arrival. They tried to charge me (After my 'final statement was presented to me!) for supposed missing items. NOT! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my 3rd NCL cruise and my least favorite ship. There were 5 in our group sharing the rear facing suite and the adjoining stateroom next door. This was an older, much smaller ship and the rooms are much smaller comparatively. The ... Read More
This was my 3rd NCL cruise and my least favorite ship. There were 5 in our group sharing the rear facing suite and the adjoining stateroom next door. This was an older, much smaller ship and the rooms are much smaller comparatively. The food was not as good as on previous cruises. The buffet was boring and the hot foods were usually cold and the salads were warm. The dining room food was good most of the time but desserts were a disappointment and the food service was extremely slow. That said, the Ports of call made for an excellent itinerary. We booked private tours as much as possible to save money and have more flexibility during our excursions. We enjoyed almost all of the ship entertainment and spent a lot of our free time hanging out in the casino. We had priority embarkation so we didn't experience the long process that some of the travelers did but even so it seemed pretty disorganized. I do love the relaxed atmosphere on NCL and the variety of people you meet are always the highlight of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We really enjoyed our cruise to South America on the Norwegian Sun. We took the relocation cruise from San Diego around the tip of South America to Buenos Aires. The relocation was wonderful - crossing the equator and visiting Peru. This ... Read More
We really enjoyed our cruise to South America on the Norwegian Sun. We took the relocation cruise from San Diego around the tip of South America to Buenos Aires. The relocation was wonderful - crossing the equator and visiting Peru. This review primarily focuses on the two-week cruise from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires. The embarkation in San Diego was slower than typical. NCL was still getting its act together regarding the customs paperwork. I don’t want to be too hard on NCL since this was their first cruise to South America in many years. It also seemed that several of the passengers slowed things down. The ship was in fine shape. Everything seemed to be working as designed. We spent a lot of time in the hot tubs, swimming pool, gym, dance floors, specialty coffee bar, and promenade deck. I particularly like the promenade deck because it is very wide and has a jogging track (10 laps = 3 miles). As usual, the staff were great. They work very hard, are helpful and friendly. We ate in the buffet and specialty restaurants. The Sun’s buffet serving area is small so they don’t have as large a selection of foods as on other NCL ships. This is somewhat offset if you check the breakfast/lunch food in the Great Outdoors and Moderno, and lunch in the poolside bar-b-que. They had Asian, seafood, Mexican, American and other themed buffets in the evening. We tried almost everything and were happy with the food. We had a good espresso almost every day in the Java Cafe. The specialty restaurants were very good. Everyone has to decide for themselves if it is worth the charge. For example, we tend not to drink alcoholic beverages on the ship because we have decided it is not worth the cost. Our room was clean and in good condition. Our room steward was outstanding. He kept everything clean, stocked and prepped our cabin every night (tidy up cabin, turn down bed, give us list of tomorrow's activities, and gave us our chocolates). Like all NCL staff we dealt with, he was friendly and hardworking. The entertainment staff were great. We took the dance classes, Spanish classes, and danced in the evening. Our cruise had a lecturer that talked about the upcoming ports. His lectures on the cities and sites were extremely helpful. The natural beauty of South America was my favorite part of the cruise. There are three routes between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. We sailed part of all three. The coastline, fjords and glaciers in Patagonia are beautiful. Bring a pair of binoculars and a good camera. The weather was wet, windy and cold. We wore long pants, long sleeve shirts, hiking boots, hats and fleece vests ashore on the good weather days. We added waterproof windbreakers and down jackets on cold, wet or windy days. Our cruise was the first of the season, so the weather might be nicer in the middle of their summer. Come prepared for Mother Nature’s weather. The wind and waves conspired to rock the ship at times. The largest waves were only about ten feet but sometimes the wind howled. For example, NCL disabled the sliding doors to the promenade deck for a few days because the winds were so high. Come prepared if you are sensitive to ship motion. We saw many birds, a seal (or sea lion) and a flock of swimming penguins from the ship. Other passengers saw whales and orcas from the ship. We saw hundreds of penguins at a penguin rookery on an excursion. We went on an excursion at almost every port. We always felt safe and well taken care of. The transportation busses were clean and safe. Our guides were friendly and knowledgeable. All spoke good English. Most spoke excellent English. Many were English teachers or English majors at local universities. Tenders were required at many ports. Some of the ports are container ports and you must take a shuttle bus to the port exit. You need to pay attention to customs paperwork. NCL helps as much as they can. They kept our passports and processed some of the customs paperwork behind the scenes. However, you still need to fill out and carry paperwork with you when you go ashore. I recommend bringing photocopies of your passport because you will need your passport information. Make sure you have paid your Argentine Reciprocity Fee if you are a US, Canadian or Australian citizen and flying home out of Argentina. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Starting with the departure from San Diego, it was a two hour long wait in a hot line before we were checked in and started walking towards the ship. I found the ship to be old and unexciting. Our cabin was on deck ten we were awaken every ... Read More
Starting with the departure from San Diego, it was a two hour long wait in a hot line before we were checked in and started walking towards the ship. I found the ship to be old and unexciting. Our cabin was on deck ten we were awaken every morning by the noise of deck chairs being dragged across the pool deck. Also from the noise of balcony chairs being moved across the metal balconies. I found the food on this ship to be the worst on any other cruise ship we have been on. I did not like the selection of food in either the buffet or in the main dining rooms. The service on the ship was maybe average. We were always having to ask for waters or coffee to be refilled. The service onboard this ship did not warrant having to pay $13.50 X 2 a day in gratuities. Don't see us sailing on Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
You get what you pay for. All they want to do is sell you crap. Everything is a la carte. A glass of wine is almost ten dollars unless you buy the drink package. The average age of people on board was almost 60. So if you're young and ... Read More
You get what you pay for. All they want to do is sell you crap. Everything is a la carte. A glass of wine is almost ten dollars unless you buy the drink package. The average age of people on board was almost 60. So if you're young and want to go with people your own age dont take this one. If you want to be charged 4 dollars for a soda or water take this cruise. Their casino is extremely one sided. There is nothing less than 6 deck continous shuffle for blackjack and their slot machines have a 15 percent payout. I dont think they have gaming standards because they are in international waters. Half of the ships television stations are their own version of QVC. All they do is try to get you to spend money on there. They have art galleries and duty free shops. They try and sell gem stones no one has ever heard of like its as valuable as diamonds or gold. They sell shore excursions for twice the going rate and really your just paying to get off the ship before everyone at the port. About 95% of the crew speak little to no english because they work them like slaves and pay them next to nothing. If you break it down they make about 3 dollars a hour if they are lucky. So if you want to get ripped off, pay for water, watch slave labor, buy non valuable things for the price of gold then this trip is for you. They charged an elderly man 5$ for 10 asprin. They werent even vicodin or something good. Oh and dont drink the water bottle thats sitting in your room that looks free but costs 5$. Yes 5$ for a water bottle. It really makes you think what kind of people own this company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
NOTE: Our cruise was a 11 day Mexican Riviera Cruise, not the 28 day Mexican Riviera-South America as showen above (Oct. 24 to Nov. 4). This was our 36th cruise so we know whereof we speak of. The ship was quite lovely and was in good ... Read More
NOTE: Our cruise was a 11 day Mexican Riviera Cruise, not the 28 day Mexican Riviera-South America as showen above (Oct. 24 to Nov. 4). This was our 36th cruise so we know whereof we speak of. The ship was quite lovely and was in good shape for a 15 year old vessel. However, that was all that we can say positively about NCl and this cruise. The staff was friendly but many of them were deficient in English and seemed to be quite untrained...ask 3 crew members the same questioin and received 3 different answers. We were given the Ultimate Dining Package for the entire cruise (11 Days) so never ate in either of the 2 main dining rooms for dinner. Breakfast in the Seven Seas was spotty at best but lunch there was much better. The real food disaster was the buffet no matter if it was breakfast or lunch...almost every item looked pretty good but was uneatable. The Specialty options were better but not what one would expect for $20 to $30 per person. Le Bisto (French) was the best, La Cucina (Italian) was not as good and had a very limited menu and Cagney's (Steak) was quite poor as the steak was not quality...we cancelled the 2nd booking there. Service in both Bistro and Cucina was very good. Dancing venues were very limited and the music at them was quite undanceable. Where the music was very good there was no dance floor. Returning from being ashore being quite hot there were no cold towels available until 2:00pm but we came back at 1:00! NCL does not provide passangers away from home with a morning newpaper (usually a version of the NY Times) so we felt totally isolated from news that we want. No CNN on the TV but they did proviude MSNBC and Fox News but who wants all that political junk when on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As a world traveler with over 30 cruises and almost 100 countries we consider this our very worst cruise and cruise line ever! The food in the buffet was absolutely inedible. The Seven Seas Dining was only slightly better with lunches at ... Read More
As a world traveler with over 30 cruises and almost 100 countries we consider this our very worst cruise and cruise line ever! The food in the buffet was absolutely inedible. The Seven Seas Dining was only slightly better with lunches at least somewhat palatable. The Specialty dining faired between poor and good with Le Bistro and La Cucina being better than the others. There were a few venues for dancing but the music there was not danceable. Many of the crew seemed to be poorly trained and could not answer even the simplist queries...that is if they could understand you as many spoke very poor English. We booked this cruise even after reading many negative reviews because we liked the intinerary and very good price. However, this is most certainly our last cruise with NCL and we will return to Celebrity and Holland America which are so far superior! One positive thing is that the Norwegian Sun is a beautiful ship and is in very good shape for being over 15 years. But the powers that be need to rethink their business model and get their act together. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We knew, going in, that Norwegian’s FOOD was rated as sub par in the Cruise industry. However, we got to experience it first hand. Luke Warm Coffee & entrees & room temperature salads. How can ya mess up traditional “Hot ... Read More
We knew, going in, that Norwegian’s FOOD was rated as sub par in the Cruise industry. However, we got to experience it first hand. Luke Warm Coffee & entrees & room temperature salads. How can ya mess up traditional “Hot & Sour Soup” , a “STANDARD” in the Chinese Food Tradition, the Norwegian Chef sure did. Stale Baguettes thru the 3rd day. Flat Soda in most every Bar. And when mixed in a spendy drink, that’s a Sin! Does NCL realize that there are still folks who like to dress up for dinner? Why then would not NCL try to seat those who make the "Effort" to present themselves well attired, in one general section, to PRESERVE the AMBIANCE that they made a EXTRA Effort to get dressed up for at their dining table(s)? The Collared Shirt Requirement was not enforced in BOTH Dining Rooms. Then, there was the Cruise director’s Staff who apparently took his “lead” relative to not knowing how to wear a Jacket properly. Fashionably Tacky! Finally, the DANCE music was terrible. YES, there are people who still appreciate dancing on Cruises. And the measure of a DJ’s or Band’s ability is reflected in how many are on the floor for their musical renditions. The DJ did not know what a danceable BIG BAND music selection was each nite?! (Hiring a DJ who is not a "Dancer" is a Sin!) The Show Band played, apparently for their own satisfaction, in the Observation Lounge and their Jazz assortment was generally undancable judging from the handful of people who attempted then sat back down . People not only appreciate a band’s Sound but their VISUAL APPEARANCE is reflective of a Cruise Line's Extra Attention to this matter which adds so much to any Show Room or Dance Lounge. Hanger 70’s music was okay but their Stage Presence really needs some "Industrial Strength" work. No VISUAL Energy and they appeared comatose as if practicing in their Garage. The Apparent Lead Singer had not a clue of Stage presence, or voice projection in Particular. NET: Adios NCL,.....Your "Free Style" Concept and lack if attention to "detail" is perfecto for the "Great Un~Washed". We will get back to your Sister Cruise Lines that provide a few Owwwwww's & Awwwww's in providing unexpected WOW's. ADIOS! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Best Cruise of 10 we have taken, until time to disembark. Then total disorganization Like they have never done it before. Kept telling non English speaking passenger to report somewhere so that ship could be cleared for customs. kept ... Read More
Best Cruise of 10 we have taken, until time to disembark. Then total disorganization Like they have never done it before. Kept telling non English speaking passenger to report somewhere so that ship could be cleared for customs. kept everyone on board for 1.5 hours while they kept announcing in English for them to report. This system is bound to fail and they need to have a prearranged system to let these passengers know what to do, such as printed instruction in their language. Need to take a lesson from the other cruise line on how to disembark passengers. I have never had this problem before on other cruise lines. Also took long time in lines to board in San Diego. Here again they need to see how other line do it much better. Other than slow boarding we though this was the most enjoyable cruise we have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
NEGATIVES (1) Embarkation: Almost a three hour wait in line with a 1000+ other passengers crammed tightly together waiting to register was the worst possible scenario for beginning a vacation. (2) Disembarkation: The only elevators ... Read More
NEGATIVES (1) Embarkation: Almost a three hour wait in line with a 1000+ other passengers crammed tightly together waiting to register was the worst possible scenario for beginning a vacation. (2) Disembarkation: The only elevators going to the 3rd deck for disembarkation were locked off from all but decks 3 and 5. Eventually I and others took different elevators to deck 5 and walked down stairs to deck 3 carrying all luggage. Instead of leaving the ship with fond memories fresh in our mind, we left with a sour taste because of their rampant disorganization. POSITIVES (if the embarkation and disembarkation had not been so disorganized, my overall rating would have definitely been a 4.5 out of 5 stars) (1) Staff: Service-staff members were superbly accommodating and friendly throughout the ship; the best I have ever experienced. (2) Ship: The ship was spotless and well maintained. (3) State Rooms: Our cabin was comfortable, clean, and well-maintained. Our cabin steward was the best ever. The beds were excellent. I had some of my best nights of sleep in many years. Don"t forget State Room 10307 when booking a cruise on the Sun. (4) Food: The main dining rooms served a varied selection of well prepared appetizers and entrees that should have satisfied every passenger's taste. The buffets had an excellent selection of dishes with varied theme nights. We looked forward to the excellent soups, different with each meal. The bakery provided scrumptious breads and rolls as well. Some of the food tended to be lukewarm when served upon occasion, especially at breakfast. (5) Entertainment: The entertainment was varied and enjoyable in the lounges and the Stardust Theater. We attended the Stardust every evening and were not disappointed with a single performer. The Norwegian Sun's band, singers and dancers were awesome. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our main complaint was the food. The menu has been the same on the last three cruises except for the lack of lobster in the main dining rooms. We were on a specialty dining plan and only tried the lobster once and found it to be ... Read More
Our main complaint was the food. The menu has been the same on the last three cruises except for the lack of lobster in the main dining rooms. We were on a specialty dining plan and only tried the lobster once and found it to be tasteless and dry as if it had been cooked and recooked. Very disappointed! The Cagneys' restaurant which we always felt was the best had a big problem serving hot or cooked vegetables. We prefer our vegetables cooked but even after requesting them as such, they were served cold to the extent of biting into refrigerator cold. Also we had to send our soup back twice in order to get it hot. Again the menu did not have any variations from past years. The next biggest complaint was the fact that the Seven Seas and Four Seasons were not open on port days and honestly the buffet was not appealing at all. Mostly stews or goulash and foreign dishes we do not care for. I do applaud your hamburgers - they were good and good meat quality - but boring after awhile. Also I would like to see a thinner bun for the burgers as the others were just too much bread. Your chopped sirloin with onions was delicious. A few simple chicken breasts would have been appreciated instead of chicken salad or processed chicken. Again vegetables were never hot! The service was excellent, both in the special dining rooms as well as in the buffet area. I do agree with others that the ice cream should be self serve and more than one station! I also want to comment that neither of us found your entertainment to be worthy of its name. The singers were not as good or the productions not as good as several others we have seen on the Norwegian past cruises. We also found the smell off the back area by the Sports Bar and back deck to be very offensive and remember the same smell from our last cruise in March. I feel this should have been rectified before this cruise. Finally I wish to comment on our shore excursions. The one we took in Mazatlan we went on a topless bus. Unfortunately, my husbands is handicapped in such a way that he had to stay on the lower level, the view wasn't as good, but that wasn't the problem. The host was on the top with the microphone and was not speaking very loud, but also his accent was too pronounced. Unfortunately there were two or three couples that did nothing but visit due to the unability to hear our speaker, but it made it impossible for the rest of us to hear a thing. The second tour the one for the second day in Cabo was better, but I feel the glass factory was too long with the emphasis for people to purchase. We sat 20 mins. longer than schedule waiting for some buyers. I feel we could have had more time at a proper shopping area if that was possible. I have been praising the NCL cruises to everyone that will listen, but I will not again, until I see an improvement over this one. I hope this is not a sign of what is to come due to a recent merger! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The food was not as good as it used to be. We went to an afternoon tea and it was self service and paper cups. A little tacky. They added a $7.95 charge for room service per time. The entertainment was weak. There was a comedian a ... Read More
The food was not as good as it used to be. We went to an afternoon tea and it was self service and paper cups. A little tacky. They added a $7.95 charge for room service per time. The entertainment was weak. There was a comedian a couple of nights and a hypnotist a couple of nights. Reminder, this was an 11 night cruise. The dancers were fantastic. Thankfully there was a good group of cruise critic travelers and we had a good time getting to know our fellow passengers. There were a number of trips scheduled with our cruise critic group and that was nice, too. The activities scheduled by the Cruise critic passengers were some of the best parts of the cruise. The cabin stewards have so many cabins to clean that they are not able to do a good job in each cabin each day. It looked like he cleaned bathroom counters but went so quick my hair was stuck to different areas that he wiped including the mirrors and counter. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The ship was clean and well maintained with nice public space. The pool was lively with food and choice of bars for sun lovers and foodies. The MDR was attractive and we enjoyed only 1 lunch there as we had the dinning package. The service ... Read More
The ship was clean and well maintained with nice public space. The pool was lively with food and choice of bars for sun lovers and foodies. The MDR was attractive and we enjoyed only 1 lunch there as we had the dinning package. The service was good and our food was hot. The buffet had many choices for breakfast and with opening seating aft really enjoyable. I found that the small station by the aft seating to be the best for cooked to order eggs as most passengers do not go back there. The reason I would go there is they serve breakfast late and I like to get out and change things. We were suite passengers and had cabin 9076. It is aft and has two rooms and a large balcony. We feel if you are paying for a suite these penthouses with 2 rooms offer the best cabins without the wind from the bow. Lavassa coffee machine is wonderful. The bed was great and faced the sliding door for a great view. However, the AC was not working and although they tried to fix it, it never worked correctly. Overall our disappointment is with NCL and not their people. The service charges for suite passengers is the highest and the people we depend are not part of the pool. Go figure this. Beware you will be charges for water, soda, specialty coffee and anything else they can think of. Try another cruise line for better value. Also if you want to adjust you Service Charges you have to apply after you disembark. We are still waiting! The ports were wonderful and do offer the access to the beautiful beaches of Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The NCL Sun is scheduled for a refurbishment in May 2016. Some parts are showing their heavy usage. The floor in the Sports Bar (a great place to bring the buffet food and eat in relative peace) is worn, scarred and haggard for example. ... Read More
The NCL Sun is scheduled for a refurbishment in May 2016. Some parts are showing their heavy usage. The floor in the Sports Bar (a great place to bring the buffet food and eat in relative peace) is worn, scarred and haggard for example. But, in general, the ship is attractive and functional. Our inside cabin was great, having a sitting area and plenty of closet and drawer space for two travelers. The shower, however, with its curtain, and tiny circular arrangement was disappointing. On newer NCL ships (like the Jewel), the shower is larger with a glass door. We were on the 10th deck, Aft, and approximately under the Moderno restaurant and an entrance to the pool. I attempted to get to a lower deck (for noise concerns) quite a bit after I made the initial reservation (and seeing the location because I was on an earlier cruise on this ship). But deck 10 cabin 0122 was almost always quiet with only a couple episodes of loud noises coming from above which was, I believe, crew work. I wouldn't hesitate to have the same cabin again. Our cabin steward, Rodel, was awesome. He seemingly was invisible most of the time but the cabin was always made up properly and promptly. He has talent as an inventive towel artist. When we did see him, he was personable and upbeat. The shipboard entertainment, from the evening shows in the Stardust Theater to the lounge entertainment were all very good to excellent. It was the first cruise for this particular set of singers and dancers in the production cast but they were pretty polished and talented. I enjoyed three lounge acts in particular--Justin Lacey, Into the Drift, and Riley Haupt. The Windjammer bar is a fairly intimate and definitely comfortable place to listen to music. It would be improved if NCL's constant hawking of on-board photos wasn't almost always in view behind the performers. When the photos are removed, there is a great view from the ship but the photos generally cover that. We dined at most of the specialty restaurants except for the sushi restaurant. All were good to excellent. My top picks would be Teppanyaki (also open for lunch on sea days) and Cagney's steak house. NCL threw in the dining package this trip but the prices seem reasonable without the package too. La Cucina (Italian), Le Bistro (French) and Moderno (Churrascaria) were all good also. When the lamb chops came around at Moderno, it was a high point for me there but that was probably eclipsed by the excellent salad bar with lots of high end items. Service in all the restaurants was very good to excellent with no real lapses. The Garden Cafe buffet which I regularly inhabited for breakfast and lunch could be slammed at times. There is plenty of seating if one counts the outside spaces at the stern, the pool area, and my "secret" space-the Sports Bar. But lines could get clogged at times which is probably the nature of shipboard buffets. I have seen more selections (particularly at lunch) on other cruises although there were plenty of nice options at breakfast such as omelet and waffle stations. I did not use the services of a bartender/ bar server during the trip so I can't speak to that. I didn't engage in many of the daytime activities beyond entertainment other than a morning workout in the gym. The gym is well equipped but some of the equipment, notably some of the cycles, were out of order for the whole cruise. Perhaps the upcoming dry dock with include some work in there. We took a city tour of Acapulco (not provided by the ship) and the Cuyutlan Turtle Experience from Manzanillo (a ship tour). The turtle tour included a drive out into the country, and a lunch at a local restaurant. The guide was excellent. But all that was paled by the experience at the center that is attempting to ensure that sea turtles survive. We were able to release baby Green Ridley turtles (born that day) into the Pacific Ocean. I will not soon forget the sight of those little turtles making their way instinctively into the surf. I hope "my" turtle makes it. The glitch or two mentioned in the title all deal with embarkation and disembarkation. I lay part of the blame for the delays on the Port of San Diego not the NCL Sun since on an earlier cruise (from Vancouver) on this ship, embarkation and disembarkation went well. Embarkation: But in San Diego, getting on the ship was about an hour process of standing in line. We arrived at noon and the queue almost filled with entire waiting area. Once close to the actual registration lines, we got to "jump" forward because of previous cruise history, my wait time was less than others who reported 2 hours +. But embarkation was a breeze compared to the "pigs breakfast" that was called "Disembarkation". My bad was that I had an 11:50 a.m. flight which I thought was plenty of time with an 8 a.m. docking and scheduled walk-off. But customs clearance was slow apparently because of...well...I don't know. The Sun intercom kept calling out for passengers with non-US passports finally sounding desperate and resorting to different languages in an attempt get certain passengers to comply. Finally our cabin steward asked us to leave our cabin so he could prepare it for the next cruise so we went to a public area and waited. And waited. With others. Signs said disembarkation had not started. A bit after 9 a.m. I decided to peek outside and saw people were, in fact, disembarking. We made our way to the atrium and found huge lines of people who were queued up. With signs on the video monitors saying that disembarking hadn't begin. I won't go into more details but it took 2 hours to walk off the ship. My suggestion is that NCL could have done a MUCH better job communicating what was happening. Disappointing. Summary: Great cruise. Good food. Great excursion. Very nice cabin for inside. Great service. Awful disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We just returned from another cruise to Mexico on the Norwegian Sun. Overall the experience was good considering we have been on this ship 3 times and to all the ports except Manzanillo. (We originally signed up for this cruise in part ... Read More
We just returned from another cruise to Mexico on the Norwegian Sun. Overall the experience was good considering we have been on this ship 3 times and to all the ports except Manzanillo. (We originally signed up for this cruise in part because it listed Ixpata as one of the stops by it turned out to be Manzanillo). The personal service was good and a highlight of the trip. Our few minor complaints would include not having complimentary airline boarding pass printing at the end of the cruise, excessive smoke in the casino that permeated the entire atrium, and not being able to make a dinner reservation in the main dining rooms every night in order to be seated with the waitstaff of our choice. The room with a balcony perfectly located in the aft area was good with a comfortable bed and great service from the room steward. Because the price of this cruise was excellent, the weather was great, the Port of San Diego very functional and the ship staff outstanding I would recommend the Norwegian Sun as a good choice for a future cruise. (PS: we stayed at the Wyndham Bayside Hotel just across the street from the cruise terminal and the quality of the hotel and walking access to the cruise terminal as well as other tourist sites in San Diego enhanced the quality of our vacation.) Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first time cruising with NCL having sailed only with Princess on prior cruises. We went with no expectations and tried "not" to compare the Sun to the three Princess ships we had sailed but did find ourselves ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with NCL having sailed only with Princess on prior cruises. We went with no expectations and tried "not" to compare the Sun to the three Princess ships we had sailed but did find ourselves comparing a few times. Overall though we were very happy with the experience on board. A much more laid back crowd but then I guess that is what Freestyle cruising is all about. The ship, although a little smaller than the Grand, Golden and Ruby is still a large ship with plenty to keep you busy while at sea. Pool areas were often full during sea days with the good weather but generally were able to find a couple of seats within a short amount of time. Thought the entertainment was good with variety, They changed it up once or twice during the 11 days and brought new entertainers aboard. Food in the dining rooms was excellent IMO, and lunch and dinner in the Garden Cafe was generally quite good as well. The exact same breakfast options everyday get's to be a little boring, but, Princess was no different. We also had the free Ultimate Beverage Package which unlike Princess does not include bottled water, sparkling water or specialty coffees but considering they were throwing it in free with the room I'm not about to complain. We booked a guaranteed inside cabin but they dropped the price dramatically after booking so we called and were upgraded to a picture window ocean view ob deck 9 which was very nice. Enjoyed all ports of call. Acapulco, Manazanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Really not much to see in Manzanillo and all the newest development and resorts are to the North of the Port, although the old downtown is right in Port. All the staff for the most part were friendly. Jonas, Keiran. Elizabeth, Lucas at the bars were our favorite. Dining staff was good. And my wife really loved Encep our room steward who had a different Towel Animal each night we returned to our room. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our experience aboard NCL and I would sail with them again, especially if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We love NCL and enjoyed our cruise but I did notice some issues I normally do not see with NCL. I do not know if this is due to the change of the CEO and I know this ship will go to dry dock in the spring. I felt the service was off and ... Read More
We love NCL and enjoyed our cruise but I did notice some issues I normally do not see with NCL. I do not know if this is due to the change of the CEO and I know this ship will go to dry dock in the spring. I felt the service was off and seemed like they needed more staff for the bars and by the pool. Little confusion with getting off the ship that I have never experienced before. Also felt the entertainment was not as good as it normally was. We have purchased a deposit for a future cruise and will have to wait and see what happens in the future. We are Platinum with NCL so we have cruised many times with them and always have been extremely happy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
2nd cruise on Norwegian, previous one in 2012, found they had developed even more ways to take your $'s than before. If you'd succumbed to some of their newest $ grabs. Raffles, higher gratuities etc. you could easily go over ... Read More
2nd cruise on Norwegian, previous one in 2012, found they had developed even more ways to take your $'s than before. If you'd succumbed to some of their newest $ grabs. Raffles, higher gratuities etc. you could easily go over your budget. Fortunately we had prepaid our shore excursions, gratuities and dining packages. Our biggest issue was that many people had unlimited beverage packages and the bars didn't seem to stop serving them when they should. At times it felt that we were on a party ship. We both had the unlimited beverage cards given to us as part of our cruise package, and enjoyed them in moderation each day. Very glad to have done this cruise and see new places and meet new friends, many of them that we met thanks to Cruise Critic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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