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65 Norwegian (NCL) San Diego Cruise Reviews

My husband and I just returned from an 18 day Repositioning/Panama Canal cruise on NCL's Sun. This is our fifth cruise, but first with NCL. We have previously sailed with Carnival, RCI and Princess. We chose this cruise for the ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from an 18 day Repositioning/Panama Canal cruise on NCL's Sun. This is our fifth cruise, but first with NCL. We have previously sailed with Carnival, RCI and Princess. We chose this cruise for the itinerary - a lot of new and interesting ports for us. I will break this review down to categories to make it easier to follow. Embarkation: An absolute nightmare and the worse experience we have ever had so far. The Sun was not scheduled to depart from San Diego until Midnight. Due to the late sailing, we tried to determine when we could board prior to the cruise and received various answers from NCL, ranging from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. No one at NCL seemed to have a clue. When we arrived at the port at about 2:00 PM, we were told that there would be a delay due to the fact that another line's ship was in the Sun's space and we would have to wait until it departed first (at about 4:00 PM). NCL had provided shuttles for guests to use to go shopping. We did this for a couple of hours and then returned to the port. When we returned, we were given a number for boarding. At about 7:00 PM, they started calling the numbers which turned out to be group numbers. They then stopped boarding and explained that there was a delay due to problems with the key cards. When they did resume, they simply called out the boarding numbers in loud voices - no PA or overhead signs. Given the mass of people in the waiting areas, they could not be heard. We did not get onboard until 10:00 PM and by that time, we were so tired, we just went to our cabin and slept. NCL still charged us the $10.00/day/guest service charge for that day! I understand that problems do occur on occasion, but just a little suggestion to NCL - invest in a couple of small chalkboards so that the boarding numbers can be displayed overhead so guests can see when their boarding number is called. Also, don't charge people a full day's service charge for 2 hours of sleeping. Ship: The Sun is spotless and pretty in an understated sort of way. A little difficult to navigate around the decks. On more than one occasion, we would find ourselves heading in the wrong direction and turn around only to find a fellow guest laughing due to the fact they had just done the same thing. Crew: In general, the staff was friendly and helpful. I say in general due to a couple of bad experiences. On one occasion, I decided to go to the Sports Bar for a late night snack - the only place you can find something to eat after 11:00 PM. When I entered, there were two customers having drinks and one staff member. I looked at the menu and approached the staff member to place an order to bring back to my cabin. He told me rather curtly that I would have to take a seat first. OK - I'm willing to play by the rules. I took a seat and than was totally ignored. Without so much as a "someone will be with you in a minute to take your order", I gave up after waiting 15 minutes. Possibly due to the late hour and the fact I was rather hungry, I was not pleased. I decided to go to the reception desk and lodge a complaint. The one girl in reception at the time met my complaint with a rather blank look and offered absolutely no solution. The other poor experience we had was in the Pacific Heights alternate restaurant. We had heard that they served very good mussels and since my hubby adores mussels, we decided to give them a try for dinner one night. My husband ordered both the chowder and the mussels. He was served the chowder, but not the mussels. When we inquired about the mussels, we were informed rather rudely by our waiter that my husband had not ordered mussels. I clearly heard him order this. A good waiter would have said "I'm sorry, I must not have heard you and I'll get them for you" and would not have argued in such a manner with the customer. Oh well, it was a long cruise. Food: The worse we have ever had on any cruise line. The food in the main dining room was horrible. On one occasion, several of us at the table ordered Paella and none of us could eat it after the first bite. My husband ordered Chioppino one night (NCL's version is spaghetti pasta with a little marinara sauce and a few shell fish on top - not what most consider Chioppino - perhaps they should refer to a cookbook). He became very sick to his stomach that night - vomiting the dinner up. Fortunately, he was better the next morning. On a seven day cruise, they have lobster one night and a chocolate extravaganza on one night. You would think that on an 18 day cruise this would at least be doubled - not so. Only one lobster night (the lobster was dry - how do you mess up lobster?) and one chocolate extravaganza. Give me a break NCL - I am not a picky eater. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese often suffices as a gourmet meal in our household. What I would have given for a little Kraft M&C on this cruise. Due to the poor and limited offerings in the main dining rooms, we were forced to pay extra to eat at the alternate restaurants during the majority of our cruise. Maybe this is NCL's intention. For the most part, the alternate restaurants are good. We enjoyed Le Bistro (the chocolate soufflE was very good) and we ate at the Steakhouse several times. The Maitre D' at the steakhouse was particularly nice and we made sure to give him a little something extra at the end of the cruise. Il Adagio was OK, but we were surprised at the limited offerings (no fettuccini alfredo for instance - another of hubby's favorites). NCL does not seem to be very responsive to customer complaints about the food. Several fellow guests that we met and dined with decided to approach the subject with staff. A meeting was set up (I did not know about it in advance and thus did not attend). The food and beverage manager was at the meeting along with a few other staff members. According to our new friends that attended the meeting, the response to their complaints was "no one else seems to be complaining". Apparently they don't take the time to walk around the ship and listen to what the guests are saying. I heard a lot of complaints and absolutely no one was praising the cuisine. Ports of Call: As I explained earlier, this cruise stopped at a number of places. Our first stop was Manzanillo. We didn't book a shore excursion, simply walked about with our new shipboard friends. It is a pretty little city. Next stop was Acapulco. Hubby was not feeling well that day, so we cancelled our plans to go see the cliff divers that night with friends. We only walked about a bit in the morning. Very dirty city and garbage was floating in the harbor. Could not imagine partaking in any of the water sports we observed going on due to the filth in the water. Yuck! Puntarenas, Costa Rica was a lot of fun and beautiful. They had just had several days of rain and several areas were flooded, but we had beautiful weather. The group we were with had hired a van and we went to the crocodile bridge, Carrera national park and Jaco beach. My husband was not able to go with us as planned. He has a heart condition and had gone to see the ship's doctor the day before. He was very well treated by the Sun's medical staff, but since he was having bronchial spasms, the doctor ordered him to take it easy for a couple of days. Just a note to future cruisers - buy trip insurance that includes medical coverage. Although you must pay medical expenses up front, you will at least be reimbursed later. Remember, most medical insurance, including Medicare, will not pay for medical expenses incurred while traveling to foreign countries. Carrera national park was great. Our group hired a guide (recommended) for $100 which worked out to just a little over $10 per person. The guide was very knowledgeable, pointing out various plants and animals. We saw Macaws, monkeys, lizards, butterflies and numerous tropical plants with various medicinal properties. I am actually glad that hubby didn't go on this one as it turned out to be quite a hike. He would have had problems negotiating some of the areas with his cane. The Panama Canal crossing was great and I took loads of pictures showing the locks closing, filling up, etc. Gatun Lake is massive with beautiful flora along it's banks. Was disappointed that we did not see any animal life from the ship, but they must have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather as well. Cartagena, Columbia was the big surprise. I was a little apprehensive about this port, but was pleasantly surprised. We took a cab into the old town section and spent the day wandering around the various little streets. Although the sellers are numerous and often in your face, most have licenses hanging around there necks and a firm "no" suffices. Since Columbia is actively trying to encourage tourist trade, they are really going out of there way to make Cartagena a regular cruise destination. They have an entire force of "Policia Tourista" on the job and noticeably evident everywhere in the major tourist areas. Although most speak limited English (if at all), they still try to be helpful to the tourists. My limited Spanish skills managed to get our group by in terms of finding directions, etc. Santa Marta is new to the cruise ship itineraries and still has a way to go. The streets were torn up and the locals seemed to be curious about this new invasion of cruise ship passengers. On the bright side, they haven't figured out the economics yet, so we didn't have people in our face trying to sell us something every other foot. Give them a couple of years and they'll get the hang of it. An hour of walking about was sufficient for us and then back to the ship. Roatan , British Honduras, is a small island off the coast and located in the middle of the second largest reef system in the world. Beautiful water!!! We only went into the little village near the port and did not take any excursions to the other side of the island (which I understand is considerably more cosmopolitan and developed). Lots of little shops and sellers trying to get one to buy the same old touristy stuff. After the first couple of shops, everything looked the same. Belize was our next stop and we had a great time. We booked a cave tubing excursion through Cave-Tubing. Com. I highly recommend them over the cruise ship's excursion. Not only is it half the price, but you receive much more personal attention and assistance. Yhony runs the company and I cannot say enough good things about him and his operation. He is starting up a new phase of ATV's and as a bonus, he took our group on a short ATV ride through the rain forest to introduce us to this. Had a great time, got very muddy, and appreciated that the cave-tubing was following. Since my husband walks with a cane, Yhony gave him a lot of personal attention. He stayed with him on the walk to the area where you enter the water and carried his tube for him and me as well. He then stayed with the two of us during the entire cave-tubing, making sure we did not get stuck and enjoyed the experience. Two other guides were with us as well and they gave the same level of service to the other members in our group. We saw several others on the cruise ship excursion and they had basically been left on their own. We are not excursion intensive cruisers, but this one is one we will certainly remember. Thank-you so much Yhony for this wonderful experience and the next time we are in Belize we will be sure to look you up again. Our final stops were Cozumel and Nassau. We were originally scheduled to stop off in Costa Maya, but due to the hurricane, it was replaced with Cozumel. Since we have been to both ports previously, we just walked around and did some shopping. I had to get a ring repaired in Nassau and discovered a great little jewelry repair shop, Islandman Jewelers. Not much of a shop, but quality and timely jewelry repairs. Very nice guy as well. Just a note, I had to have the ring repaired because it was damaged by a jeweler in Cozumel - Silver Planet. I was having a stone set and not only did they use lead solder, but they damaged the existing settings as well. Buyer beware - do not shop there. I should have complained initially, but they took longer than they originally quoted and it was getting late - we had to get back to the ship. It was only while on the tender that I noticed the poor workmanship and damage. In addition, the stone I purchased was not what they claimed. They are crooks and intentionally market faceted quartz as precious stones. Although I am somewhat savvy when purchasing gems, this one just proved to me that I should not be so cocky in the future and that I need to bring my gem tester with me next time. Previously, we have had good experiences purchasing stones in the Caribbean and this is the first time I have been seriously ripped off by a dealer passing off totally fake merchandise. And for those of you who think it serves me right for not shopping at Diamonds International or any of the other "cruise ship recommended shops", do some searching on the internet. There are some very serious horror stories about Diamonds International and how customers have paid thousands of dollars in some cases for junk with no recourse or resolution. I guess I can count myself lucky that I didn't loose that much on this one and my ring is back to its original glory. Debarkation: This went very smoothly. We chose the express version and were off the ship by 8:30. Were really surprised that Customs was a breeze considering we were carrying our own luggage off. To sum it all up (and I know this has been a lengthy review), both my husband and I had a great time overall on this cruise. Even with the mishaps, we thoroughly enjoyed the ambience with fellow passengers and the great ports of call. Would we book with NCL again? Probably not, due solely to the food. After all, one of the things we enjoy the most about cruising is trying out new dishes and not having to pay extra for a decent meal. If NCL ever wakes up and decides to address the food issue, we would consider them again, if for no other reason than the itineraries they offer. We are already planning our next cruise - HAL's Noordam - for a 20 day next fall. I have heard that HAL has fairly good food - I'll let you know. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Where do I start: Champagne served to my room no Glasses Cake served to room no plates three people in the room towels robes drinking glasses for two asked room steward for above noted items and was told that was room services ... Read More
Where do I start: Champagne served to my room no Glasses Cake served to room no plates three people in the room towels robes drinking glasses for two asked room steward for above noted items and was told that was room services problem called room service to schedule afternoon tea for the next afternoon, and I am still waiting... main dinning rooms seven seas and four season very POOR SERVICE 2 and a half hours for dinner Specialty restaurants the Italian venue was so hot we could not stay and eat. The buffet was so hot ALL day long we had to eat in the sports bar where it was cooler, we were told it was hot since the doors are always being opened never experienced this on other NCL ship which were built with the same design doors to the outdoors on each end. We spoke to the Food and beverage Manager and also had a one on one meeting with the Hotel Director to allow them to address our concerns a free bottle of wine and a specialty dinner was to right all the wrongs from day one, we wanted better service. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I have taken 11 cruises total and NCL SUN was the absolute worst ship I have ever been on. I had a Suite #8077 that was not much bigger than a balcony state room. It was the noisiest most vibrating room from the engines that I have ever ... Read More
I have taken 11 cruises total and NCL SUN was the absolute worst ship I have ever been on. I had a Suite #8077 that was not much bigger than a balcony state room. It was the noisiest most vibrating room from the engines that I have ever been in. I got absolutely no rest on this cruise. The ships AC was not working 7 of the 11 day cruise!!! The staff was very nice and friendly but you could tell the last 2 days of the cruise they were all getting sick with some kind of respiratory problems and it so happens all 3 of our passengers came home with upper respiratory infections. There is absolutely NOTHING to do on this ship after 10pm except casino. This ship was like a floating Nursing Home. I was really looking forward to the Mexican Riviera cruise but was very disappointed in the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I am an elite member on another cruise line and I expected (even though I was told not to by my travel agent) to get the same type of service, dining experience, and ship cleanliness as what I'm use to. I'm sorry to say NCL ... Read More
I am an elite member on another cruise line and I expected (even though I was told not to by my travel agent) to get the same type of service, dining experience, and ship cleanliness as what I'm use to. I'm sorry to say NCL lacked in all the above catagories and a whole lot more. I found out that my tips were raised a month before my cruise and I didn't know anything about it. I was told by my travel agent that NCL nichols and dimes you to death, which I found out when I ordered a cup of coffee and a conolli and the server told me that would be $4.50. I asked why and she said we charge for deserts outside the dinning area. I found that the dinner memu was lacking and mediorce at best. I also found that disembarkation was a total disaster, there were so many people crammed in the middle of the ship and you had no idea where the line started or stopped. There wasn't any security around and people started to swear and two guys almost got into a fight. On a positive note I thought the entertainment was really good and the high light of the cruise. The cruise director did not speak great english and he rotated in the middle of the cruise leaving the new CD a bit perplexed. Shore excursions were good however I will stick with the other cruise lines since I believe that NCL is dishonest and sub par at best. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Lets start with embarkation in San Diego not the most fun, lines that zigzagged thru the whole terminal but check in quick after getting to the desk. The good the cabin size was good and the location was perfect for us. Clean cabin our ... Read More
Lets start with embarkation in San Diego not the most fun, lines that zigzagged thru the whole terminal but check in quick after getting to the desk. The good the cabin size was good and the location was perfect for us. Clean cabin our steward was like a ghost never saw him but things were well taken care of. Entertainment was good. The Frankie Valli tribute band was excellent, and the couple that did Whitney Houston songs was great. Now the not so good stuff, A/C in the Garden cafe was out the whole time 11 days , it was just miserable to go there for food between 12.00 and 3.00 so hot and stuffy and the Sun never once opened up a dining room to serve lunch in fact the dining rooms were never opened for lunch at all, how can this be when you have passengers stay on the ship and want to enjoy a sit down lunch instead of quick food and hanging with the people coming back from shore this was just weird for us, never had a ship dining room not open for lunch. Some of the lounges music could be improved upon but we still listened. The shows always over lapped on time which made it difficult to see all of them, which was sad sometimes we just went and walked the ship no sense in coming in 15 mins. late. Food well lets just say if you did not eat in a specialty place the food was just ok, enough things were served that you could find something you liked , bland. Buffet closed way to early, and late night snacks were almost the same every night, if you went to the sports bar for late night snack chicken tenders etc. took a long time to get food . Debarkation was nothing but rows of people going in circles, but we did make our flight in time. All luggage was found and off we went. Another NCL cruise maybe but would really need to think about that. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Pamela (head of housekeeping) was on it! She had our beds separated , a broken door to the mini-bar fixed immediately. One time the toilet didn't flush - panic!, but she had that fixed within 1/2 hr. too. Otherwise the entertainment ... Read More
Pamela (head of housekeeping) was on it! She had our beds separated , a broken door to the mini-bar fixed immediately. One time the toilet didn't flush - panic!, but she had that fixed within 1/2 hr. too. Otherwise the entertainment was the best in a long time and we absolutely enjoyed the cruise to the max. My only complaint really is the split shifts they've assigned the cabin attendants. They are not available as often and we didn't know ours at all or what he even looked like. So they can't possibly get to know your routine. They did have an ice carving demo - fun because there is no place to put one now. The dining room was our preference because the buffet is a mad house at all times and the food was not up to par there. If you can't have fun on this cruise there's something wrong with YOU. I don't know why Manzanillo replaced Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo but it was not a good place or tour. The port is very industrial. The tour was boring. All in all very relaxing trip! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first trip on NCL in fifteen years, the first time being on the old S.S. Norway in 2000. We selected this trip last minute out of San Diego, our hometown, and initially had a family balcony stateroom but upgraded to a full ... Read More
This was our first trip on NCL in fifteen years, the first time being on the old S.S. Norway in 2000. We selected this trip last minute out of San Diego, our hometown, and initially had a family balcony stateroom but upgraded to a full suite just prior to departure. More on what’s included as I write. EMBARKATION: Several years ago the Port of San Diego built a nice, new cruise ship terminal and for the life of me I don’t know why they don’t use it. Along with the Sun, Holland America also had a ship in port. Instead of using a terminal for each ship, the powers that be decided to use the old terminal for BOTH ships. What a nightmare. Thousands of passengers coming and going led to the most chaotic embarkation we’ve had in nineteen cruises. Once we got past the port security, however, our experience was flawless. There was a separate check-in for suites and no wait. After the paperwork was completed we were escorted to meet our concierge, Elvina, for a quick debrief about what to expect. From there we were lead onto the ship and to our specialty dining room for lunch. STATEROOM: Our suite was ready not long after and luggage was delivered within an hour. Just as the empty bags went under the bed our butler, Dominic, came by to introduce himself. This was the best perq we have ever had. He kept our fruit bowl filled, our coffee bar stocked, our DVDs supplied, and coordinated with Elvina for anything he couldn’t handle himself. My wife wanted to pack him up and bring him home with us. Bryson, our cabin steward was as good as they come. By the time the trip was over, we had a nice collection of ten towel animals. CRUISING: Our suite was on the aft end port side, right over the propellers. The location was great until the second morning when at about 5:00am the cabin started shaking worse than any earthquake we’ve ever experienced in California. And then a second time…then a third time. The ship was stopping by reversing the propellers and the cavitation created an unbelievable pounding. We later heard that someone had been helicoptered off. We never did get confirmation of that. Each time we arrived at a port of call, the same thing happened. Maybe at 8:00am it wouldn’t have been so bad but at 5:30am it was an alarm we didn’t have to set. In the future if we are offered a free suite over the propellers or have to pay for a stateroom amidships, we’ll pony up for our room. It isn’t worth losing the sleep. Also our air conditioner decided to not operate properly on the second sea day. Not too much of a problem except the heat and humidity outside was stifling. PORTS: Acapulco-the most influential reason we took this trip. We did a tour that included the cliff divers. Spectacular is the only word to describe what they do. They climb up a 130 foot rock cliff and dive from there. We were offered a drink along with chips and salsa. On the way back to the ship we ran into Dominic and told him about our air. We hadn’t been in the room 30 minutes when someone from maintenance came by to check on it. A couple of tweaks and it was at least blowing air but not quite cold enough to fully overcome the nearly unbearable heat and humidity. Still wondering if we had a stateroom other than a suite if our issue would have been looked at as quickly. Manzanillo-This was a five hour bus tour of the city and country with several shopping stops. The people in this town were very pleasant and friendly but there was a considerable police/military presence. Still really hot and humid. Puerto Vallarta- Another bus tour but it also included a visit to a tequila distillery. Yummy! Shockingly…still hot and humid. Mazatlán-We were here thirteen years ago and the town has grown up some. Probably the friendliest inhabitants on the whole trip. A shorter tour this time that also included some sea divers but not nearly as wonderful as Acapulco. The dive was only about 30 feet from a concrete platform. Unlike the divers in Acapulco these divers only worked for tips. Several people were walking along the sea wall soliciting for the gratuities and then as the bus was leaving the divers we watched came up to the bus also to collect. We never did find out if the money we gave at the sea wall was actually for the divers. Cabo San Lucas- We were just here in August with kids and grandkids so nothing planned. We did get rained on both days here so just as well we stayed on board. As part of the suite package we were given a $75 credit towards excursions in four of the five ports. DINING: There are two main dining rooms. One allows shorts for dinner (Four Seasons) the other won’t (people with shorts were turned away from The Seven Seas). Meals in these restaurants were at best mediocre. Sauce is the name of the game here and understandable. Beef dishes were thin and overcooked. Vegetables were normally undercooked and flavorless. Hard to recommend anything about the MDRs. The specialty restaurants, on the other hand, were marvelous. Cagneys (steakhouse) had fantastic filet mignon. For that matter, so did Modernos (Brazilian style) and Tempanyaki (Japanese Benihana style). We also ate a meal at Le Bistro (French themed). We did not try La Cucina (Italian cooking). Once again as part of the suite package we were offered five meals among the specialty restaurants. The buffet was adequate but uninspired, breakfast being the best meal there. There is an ice cream bar at the buffet but all they ever offered was vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Soft serve was available in the outdoor café. The sports bar has a grill type menu from 5:30pm until 5:00am. Room service has a $7.95 charge but we never used or found a menu for that. BARS: We had an unlimited beverage package which provided virtually every drink you can imagine. I had the opportunity to sample some scotches I hadn’t tried before but curiously none of them were more expensive than the generic tequila sunrises my wife had. Tanqueray was pricier than Bombay Sapphire. There was no consistency from bar to bar. Some bars we would go to and it was like the first time the bartender had ever attempted to make a drink. We did finally settle in on the sports bar as our go to place. SUMMARY: All in all this was one of our best cruises in a while. Even though The Sun is nearly fifteen years old, it was clean and fresh. Only real issue is trying to get from the back to the front of the ship. Deck 7 makes you walk through the smoky casino. Deck 6 has you going through several bars. You can’t go between the MDR’s on Deck 5 as the kitchen is in the way. The personnel on this ship were wonderful. Once someone learned your name they used whenever they spoke to you. The cruise director staff did a really good job with the activities. The Captain seemed like he was everywhere and was very approachable. Hopefully it won’t be another fifteen years before we’re back to “Sail like a Norwegian”! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I had been planning this trip for months and after such a positive experience on the Pride of America we could wait to be on another Norwegian cruise. The ship is very old and small. We couldn't get over how small ... Read More
My husband and I had been planning this trip for months and after such a positive experience on the Pride of America we could wait to be on another Norwegian cruise. The ship is very old and small. We couldn't get over how small the buffet area was. it was especially bad on the first day when everyone was trying to eat lunch at the same time. Once we set sail only the main buffet was open for lunch and the outside buffet would open at 3:00 PM. When the main buffet was closing and resetting for lunch. We couldn't understand why both buffets weren't opened with staggered closing times to be reset for dinner since the space was so small. The ship did offer pizza and pasta, but it was not in the same location as the buffet and was very difficult to find. They did offer a barbecue on the pool deck that helped with the lunch traffic on sea days. The ship is very chopped up and difficult to navigate through. All in all the ship is in major need of an overhaul in dry dock! I have never seen a cruise ship that had so few poolside activities. There were a lot of activities on the ship, but the ones I wanted to try were are during the day when I wanted to be at the pool in the sun. I would have liked more entertainment options in the evening starting around 6:00 PM, the dancing never starts on cruise ships until 9:45 or 10:00 PM. That's just to late for those of us that get up early. My favorite was Deal or No Deal game. I actually won $50.00 playing that game. The only good service I received on this ship was from my room steward and in the Casino. All of the other service I received was way below standard especially in the dinning rooms. Getting seating in the dining room was a chore. We were always the first or second couple to get to the dining room. After our table was assigned the server walking us to our table didn't know where the table was located. They were actually carrying maps of the dining room around, but still couldn't find our table. The service was very poor and slow in the main dining rooms you were left at your table for long periods of time before your order was taken and many times we had to request for items such as drinks, coffee, butter, cream and artificial sweetener multiple times. There was never enough staff at the pool bar for service and rarely were there employees walking around the pool deck asking if you needed anything from the bar. Acapulco - we did the city bus tour, shopping, and fort. This was a good tour and very informative. The shopping places they took us to were very expensive, Don't spend your money here, you can do better price wise in other ports. Manzanillo - we did the all inclusive beach getaway. This was a great excursion once we got there. The bus didn't have working air condition. Is is very hot in Mexico this time of year and we couldn't go on a bus without air conditioning. We were late getting away for our excursion and the bus still didn't have great working air conditioning. We were told to be back on the bus at 4:55 PM only to lean that the tour operator changed his mind and told half of the people on this excursion to be back at 4:30 and had an attitude with the ones that returned at the original time of 4:55 PM. No one ever told my husband and I that the return time had changed. There is not a true beach at this resort it is more like a cove. The pools, drinks and food are very good and it was worth the money. The time change of our trip messed up our entire evening and kept us from seeing the only show I really wanted to see. We did speak with the shore excursions manager and expressed out displeasure with the trip and the attitude of the tour operator. I did request a refund since my entire evening was messed up and I had spent almost $800.00 on shore excursions. He refused my refund and gave me a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries instead. Much to our surprise, when we requested a printout of our ship account it had been credited with the cost of the excursion. Puerto Vallarta - We didn't do a planned excursion at this port and I'm really glad we didn't. This a a great port to walk around and shop. There is a market just outside of the port and you can get some great deals there. If you can't find what you are looking for you can take a cab downtown for $10.00 to the mega shopping center. Also, there is a great restaurant right where the market is that has great drinks, chips, salsa and cheese dip with high speed WiFi connection, so you can catch up with your family back home. Mazatlin - We did another beach break with a buffet lunch and two drinks included. The beach was beautiful! However, it was crawling with locals selling stuff all over it. Once you bought something they wouldn't leave you alone. After a couple of hours of this we got tired of it and when to one of the three pools for the remainder of the day. They take you by cab to the resort, so you are not locked into staying for the entire day. You can go back to the ship anytime you want. The tour operator was very nice and worked hard to make everyone happy. She was always smiling and very happy to help with anything you needed. Cabo San Lucas - My favorite port by far! It is just beautiful! Norwegian tried there best to ruin it with the awful tender experience, but we didn't let that bother us. Getting off the ship in the mornings was fine because we had planned excursions and were taken as a group to the tenders. It was getting back off the ship and on after dinner that proved to be challenging. We were in port overnight. The first day we tour the boat tour out to the Arch and went to the glass blowing plant. The Arch is beautiful and the glass blowing plant is amazing. The shop at the glass blowing plant is a great place to by inexpensive gifts. I couldn't get over the great prices there. If you have a lot of shopping to do skip the demonstration and go straight to the shop. You only get 30 minutes to shop and I could have stayed for hours. When we finished out tour we shopped around the amazing marina, after spending some disappointing time a Senior Frogs, where they said they had WiFi, but it wouldn't work. The marina is huge and you can spend an entire day just shopping and looking around. After a long day in the heat we decided to go back to the ship, freshen up, eat dinner and return to the marina to find a go WiFi connection. A lot of the stores close early in the Marina, and we didn't know that. We found a place to get some drinks and WiFi. We wanted to be sure to be back on the ship prior to 10:00 PM, because after 10:00 they only have one tender per hour running. I don't understand the thought process on this when you are docked in port from 8:00 Am until 2:00 PM the following afternoon. We were back at the port ready to catch the tender at 8:30 PM. We had to wait forever for the tender to arrive and once it did we were told that we couldn't get on the tender because it was rocking too much. Everyone trying to get back on the ship was not happy and expressing their displeasure with the process. They finally let us on the tender that was rocking too much and we arrived back on the ship at 10:00 PM. That is a very long time to wait for a tender. We later learned that they only had two tenders running. This is unacceptable to me in the service area as we only have limited time at ports and on the ship before we have to return home to the real world. The second day we went horse back riding on the beach in beautiful Cabo. You get some great views of the water and your picture taken on you on your horse with the beach in the background. This is a great excursion to do on your second day in port. You get back to port in time to shop a little more before you get back on the ship for the last time. Our inside cabin room was plenty for us as we are not in the room much at all. The shower is very small and makes it difficult to shave your legs, but other than that there was plenty of room for two during our 11 day cruise. The bed on the other hand were awful! They were so hard and lumpy that my husband and I had to take Advil PM in order to be able to sleep. 11 days is a long time to sleep on a lumpy, hard bed! Our needs were met by our room steward everyday. We always received prompt service when requested and we had fresh ice in our ice bucket each time we returned to our room. He kept it very clean and was the only employee that we felt deserved additional tip money from us. I've had better food on other cruise lines and a menu that changed every night. They had a standard menu that never changed and the other side of the menu did change each night. I had two good pasta dishes, but other than that my taste buds were left lacking. The best meal of the day was breakfast at the buffet and I didn't get my baked Alaska that I so look forward to each time I cruise. Do yourself a favor and purchase the specialty dining package when you book this cruise. We ate at the steak house one night and the service is what we have grown to expect from the main dining room on the cruise ship and the food was excellent! I feel like I must mention as stated earlier in this review how poor the service was in both of the main dining rooms. Also, there was supposed to be a dress code in the Seven Seas dining room. However, it was not being enforced. Why do cruise lines force us to shove all of those nice clothes in a suitcase along with our casual clothes while trying to keep our luggage under 50 pounds since we have to fly to the port only to find it was totally unnecessary to begin with? Either make the entire ship cruise casual or enforce the dress code. This is very frustrating for us rule followers! The entertainment was decent. We missed the O What A Night Performance, because of the problem with our shore excursion. Most of the entertainment seemed geared for an older crowd and I have to admit that I felt like one of the youngest adults on the ship at the age of 44. The disembarkation process needs serious help! That process was the biggest mess I have ever seen. If you are going to do easy walk off at anytime and handle your own luggage you have to go down to deck 3, deck 5 is too steep for luggage. All of the no US Citizens have to go through immigration. They are told to be in the observation lounge at 6:00 AM. Yes, you guessed it people didn't follow the rules. The ship docked an hour early and we were scheduled be able to walk off the ship at 8:30 AM. They were still looking for all of the non US Citizens at 8:30. They tried many times during the 1 1/2 hours we waited from the time we docked to locate these people, but had a very hard time. We could have exited the ship early had it not been for these people. Once again the rule followers were punished for the actions of a few rule breaking people. We were able to get off the ship a little after 8:30 AM, getting a cab and over to the airport was very easy. This was our fourth cruise and we have never experienced such and unorganized lengthy disembarkation process. I'm not sure if the cruise line, port terminal, or immigration is to blame for this one. All in all we enjoined each port and I would love to return and spend more time in these lovely places. However, if I could find the same itinerary using a different cruise line I would definitely take them instead of Norwegian in hopes that the cruise line would provide a more updated ship, better customer service, better meals and more accommodating entertainment times and a comfortable bed to sleep in. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The ship is OK about 15 years old but holding up well. A lot of stress on hand sanitation which is good. Staff is very attentive unable to solve specific problems. My wife is on a low salt diet and there is really no one to help you. ... Read More
The ship is OK about 15 years old but holding up well. A lot of stress on hand sanitation which is good. Staff is very attentive unable to solve specific problems. My wife is on a low salt diet and there is really no one to help you. They can apparently only help you in the dinning rooms not at the buffet which is the efficient way to eat breakfast and lunch, service is slow in the dinning rooms, usually took almost 2 hours for dinner. For low salt they give you a menu and you have to order for the next day. There was a disconnect between placing a order and them understanding and delivering it, often came out wrong. Most of the food, buffet and dinning rooms, was very salty and jsut OK. The regular dining room menus were limited and repeated often. The other problem is that we were 2 decks under the basketball court, (deck 10, mid ship) and you could hear the ball bouncing. The court was to be open 8-8 and was tolerable then but at 11:30; PM 1:30 dn 6:30 AM was annoying to say the least. First I cant believe that this is the first problem they have had with this in 15 years. When I complained the staff was astonished that fellow passengers did not read the fine print on the daily schedule and adhere to it. There are no signs with hours on the court. Almost nightly I had to complain and eventually they sent security after a few calls and a trp down to the desk. I was told that a sign was "on order but delayed" . Somehow they were unable to get it toether to just remove the balls each night or gate the court. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Review Norwegian Sun 11 day Mexico Cruise- Debarking San Diego, CA October 24, 2015 We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess. This will be our fifth on Norwegian and 86th cruise ... Read More
Review Norwegian Sun 11 day Mexico Cruise- Debarking San Diego, CA October 24, 2015 We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess. This will be our fifth on Norwegian and 86th cruise overall. Embarkation : San Diego Good weather no rain. Beware if there is rain your bags are left outside and they will be and everything in them soaked. San Diego really needs to improve and fix this problem. Today was sunny so no problems. Surprisingly embarkation and check in went well for us. Can’t complain. Some others said they had a two hour wait to check in. Boarding went well for us as well, only about 50 minutes to check in. Stateroom was ready, so we left our small carryon bag and explored. The normal emergency drill was a pain but we know it has to be done. Once everyone was at their muster station they said thank you for coming and we were dismissed. By far the shortest drill we had experienced. Staterooms were clean and did not hear any complaints. Although the normal of having your room cleaned when you left by putting the “Make Up Room”, tag on the door never worked. The room stewards worked on their own schedule. We could leave the room at 8am and it might be ready around 3:30pm. If we left at 10 am it would be ready the same time. Most people we talked to said the pre paid tips left no room for improvement. Wireless internet- No free internet , but they had 4 plans to select from. Plan 1 – 250 minutes for $125.00 Plan 2 – 100 minutes $75.00 Plan 3/ unlimited $29.95 per day but must be purchased for the entire 11 day cruise. Plan 4 /Pay as you go- .95 cents per minute And don’t forget the activation fee which applied to all plans which was a one time $3.95 fee to establish. Room Service- They stated there was no charge for continental breakfast between 6:30am to 10:00am. Very basic and although it was free there was a $7.95 convenience charge. Second choice was Free coffee, tea, milk, and assorted juices between 6:30am and 10:00am. There was no additional charge for this service. All other room service included the cost, plus convenience fee and 18% gratuity. Photo Gallery- Normal photos at every part of the cruise. Embarkation photos and special occasion photos were $24.95 each. All others 8x10 were $14.95. They did offer a special of 10 photos for $149.95. Gift Shops- To be honest there was nothing reasonable for jewelry, liquor or gifts. We saw a watch that was $10. In Las Vegas for $20. In the gift shop. Barcardi Rum 1 litre $11.00 We can buy it in the store at home for $8.37. Grand Mariner 1 litre for $44.95. We can buy it for $36.50 at home. Shore Excursions-The normal, We believe they are all overpriced on the ship. For instance all you can eat shrimp fest on $104. Per person. Get off the ship at any port and you will be served a full meal of 12 large shrimp rice, beans tortillas for $6.00 to $9.00 depending on the place you visited. I could never eat enough shrimp to justify the cost. You can make your own decision if it is worth while or not. The majority purchased the excursions off the ship from certified guides. Dinner- It has been almost a year since we last cruised, but things have changed in our opinion. Maybe it is just this cruise line. They still have the complimentary dining in the two dining rooms but you will be lucky to find a decent steak. They offered one steak which was a New York Strip. No other steak options the entire cruise. Most of the meals served were stew like dishes. We believe their goal was to steer you to the specialty restaurants. They offered six options which ranged from and additional $19.95 to $29.95 per person And don’t forget the 18 % gratuity. This makes dining at the $19.95 for two a total of $47.08. The $29.95 for two would be $70.68. We did try the Le Bistro and the service and food was fantastic. It reminded me of how cruising was prior to this cruise. Most of the people we talked to loved the food and service at the specialty restaurants. The big complaint people were upset about was the additional gratuity. They had to pay the mandatory gratuity which was to cover waiters in the main dining rooms which they did not use. If they did not go to the normal free dining rooms where the gratuity had already been paid, they thought they were being double charged. One last thing, for those who remember the Captains dinner with lobster or even one midnight buffet…. Forget about it does not exist on Norwegian Cruises any longer. Service from the staff in all restaurants on board were very good. One negative to watch for. If you prepay for any specialty restaurant watch your bill!!! Again watch your bill. Several people like us were billed again for the specialty restaurant. Bar Service- First hint of a problem when we went to get a drink on the pool deck was there were no waiters. Went to the bar and ordered a drink and it was a very cold experience. Bar tender said nothing except cards made the drink and gave us the receipt. We later went to the Windjammer bar and experienced the same problem. Later went to the Sports Bar and again the same problem but worst. He actually told people to go sit down and someone would be out to get the order. All guests we talked to experienced the same problem. This went on until we learned which bartenders and staff would treat you like a guest and which bartenders would not. We simply avoided them. We saw one guy at the bar looked at the bartender and he walked into the back room. He waited there for 4-5 minutes. When the bartender did return the guy just said,” I thought you left the ship”. We heard comments like, “a little personality would be nice”, I just ordered tequila if you don’t have any were are at the dock in Mexico”, some said they would not come into the Sports Bar until after 5pm due to the poor service. If you do go on this cruise a, and go into the Sports Bar after 5pm you will receive great service form the Bartenders and wait staff. They are a great team. Names to look for Lukas, Ahoy, Susanto and Baby John. We feel we did find out what the problem was. On Norwegian they offer and Ultimate Beverage Package, which you buy upfront for the entire cruise. And off course Norwegian adds the 18% gratuity and beverage service charge of $213.80 on the package cost and states they distribute it to the crew. Several people asked the crew members if they felt they were not getting the proper amount of gratuity. Their response was that they do not get a gratuity the receive a Wage only. If this if true in the Bar area we feel this is why the bartenders and staff are rude and giving poor service. In all fairness we did find a couple of bartenders and wait staff that did give excellent service. World Series- Since we were on the cruise during the entire World Series a lot of us thought we would go to the Sports Bar and take in the game. This was a big NO!!!!……. Norwegian said they decided it was to costly and they had the right to change the games. This happened to a few of the Football games as well. Now on the other hand if you like soccer you are in heaven. They will play the soccer games 24-7. The problem is they are almost all recorded and they replay the same games 12-15 times per trip. Norwegian states they can save money this way. Oh and don’t be misled by the Sports Bar having 9 TV’s, thinking you will get 9 different games. They will only show the same game on all TVs. Bottom line, the consensus is the pre paid tipping is destroying the cruise industry as there is no incentive for the crew to go above and beyond in service. They receive no more and no less and still receive their tips so the cruise line would like you to believe. Or are they using the tips to pay low wages to increase the cruise lines profit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second cruise. Our first was to Alaska on the Pearl. The Pearl seemed to be a little more lively; with more poolside entertainment. The nightly entertainment in the Stardust theater was great. Many people commented on how good ... Read More
This was our second cruise. Our first was to Alaska on the Pearl. The Pearl seemed to be a little more lively; with more poolside entertainment. The nightly entertainment in the Stardust theater was great. Many people commented on how good it was compared to other cruise lines. The food in the buffet was mediocre, but we enjoyed the two main dining rooms. We had a wonderful sushi lunch at their Asian restaurant, but I wasn't real impressed with Les Bistro. It felt rather stuffy but I didn't feel the food was as good as the two main dining rooms. We had a nice balcony state room, which I really enjoyed. Our steward, Bismark, was always pleasant and more then willing to accommodate any personal request we had. About four rooms down there had been an issue with a toilet overflowing, which caused a nauseating smell in our hallway throughout most of our trip. I realize that the staff did the best they could considering we were at sea, but I think they have some serious plumbing problems. The Manzanillo excursion through NCL amounted to four hours on a bus, which I would not recommend. We booked an amazing snorkeling excursion in Cabo. There was a real party atmosphere aboard; with music, drinks that never stopped, and lunch. I don't like cold water, so I was apprehensive about this excursion, but it was like swimming in your bath tub with tropical fish all around. In fact, one fish ate a piece of tortilla right out of my husband's hand. Before I forget, you must try the martini and margarita tasting. They are $15. per person, but well worth it. This really is a great way to meet and mingle with fellow cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Lets start w San Diego port. Small but nice. Luggage drop off was easy. Quick checkin but Agent forgot to give up boarding number, was suppose to be first on, but was not. Ship food has not changed in 8 yrs. Same menu in main ... Read More
Lets start w San Diego port. Small but nice. Luggage drop off was easy. Quick checkin but Agent forgot to give up boarding number, was suppose to be first on, but was not. Ship food has not changed in 8 yrs. Same menu in main dinner areas. No Lobster Night or Chocolate Night (dessert only). No SEAFOOD, unless you go to specialty rest. People pay Norwegian Prices because they expect more not less. Buffet also had the same food EVERY Day, except for one meat selection. There are also other vegetables besides, green beans, brussels sprouts and potatoes. How about serving desserts warm and not frozen. Ice Cream machines should be self serve and more there should be more than one machine. Entertainment was ok this trip. Disembarkation. A few suggestions. Any handicapped or wheel chair people go First or last but not with everyone else. The Night before,tell foreigners to meet at a designated location, not the day of. How about start at the top of the ship (we pay more) and go floor by floor. As for early flight issues, there should be none, if you have cruised before you should know that is takes time to get off the ship. Don't book your flight before NOON. Also, because it was such a long cruise, offer clothing special about around day 4-5 and get it back within 24 hrs. Don't wait until the end of the cruise. We love Norwegian Cruise line. It is the cleanest and safest ships out there. We will be back, but hopefully some changes will be made. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our room was wonderful, suite 9202 right under the bridge, so we had a great view. Our butler (Dominic) was fantastic bringing us coffee and hot water every morning promptly at 7am. Couldn't use the coffee maker in our suite because ... Read More
Our room was wonderful, suite 9202 right under the bridge, so we had a great view. Our butler (Dominic) was fantastic bringing us coffee and hot water every morning promptly at 7am. Couldn't use the coffee maker in our suite because it made enough noise to wake up the dead...geez! The one thing that we really could have used was a microwave as the coffee gets cold quickly. Our concierge (Elvina) was very attentive to our needs also. A real nice lady and seemed to find us and check on us while dining. Ah yes, I guess I should list the complaints that we had as well. 1) Unlimited beverages should include water and coffee bar. I can get a straight shot of whiskey for free, but I have to pay for coffee? Who came up with that? 2) The food in Moderno Churrascaria was mediocre at best except for the lamb which was excellent. The service was terrible!!! Even a table behind us told them to go to our table and serve us! The maitre d' called and apologized the next day and sent us a bottle of wine (house red) but we couldn't get it exchanged for the wine that we preferred. Why not? We have a Brazilian place here and you have to beat them off with a stick to keep them from coming to your table! The filet was so overcooked that it was inedible. 3) Excursions are WAY overpriced for what you receive. But we are experienced with cruising, so we wait until the ship docks and then book someone on the dock! 4) Hold on...this should be #1...getting through the line in San Diego was the WORST we have EVER experienced!!! In Seattle, we were taken to a specific area and given coffee and cookies! 5) We tried the buffet a couple times and felt it was lacking in taste and overall variety. And good luck finding a place to sit at busy times...just before docking at a port. It's a shame that you have to have a suite in order to have a good breakfast! The menu offerings in the two dining rooms should change once in awhile...same-o-same-o. The entertainment and the people who ran the shows were fabulous...Tim the comedian was terrific. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The not so good was the food. It was not bad but what you have at home is better. Not what we were expecting. There was plenty of food but a lot of it was very basic and the desserts was sub-par. The staff was great in all departments, ... Read More
The not so good was the food. It was not bad but what you have at home is better. Not what we were expecting. There was plenty of food but a lot of it was very basic and the desserts was sub-par. The staff was great in all departments, very friendly and nice. The ship is in need of updating but it is scheduled in April 2016. The ship was very clean and the décor was nice not flamboyant. Entertainment was good. Average age of this cruise was 61 but they were a very lively group. I would have to say I would prefer to cruise with this age over any other even though we are quite a bit younger. Very nice cruisers on the ship, we enjoyed this very much and will cruise again with NCL and hope to get better food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The cruise on the NCL Sun was fantastic. The smaller ship allow more relaxation and the ability to enjoy all the ship has to offer. The food in the buffet and main dining room was excellent. We also enjoyed the Le Bistro so much we ... Read More
The cruise on the NCL Sun was fantastic. The smaller ship allow more relaxation and the ability to enjoy all the ship has to offer. The food in the buffet and main dining room was excellent. We also enjoyed the Le Bistro so much we returned two times. We had never had an AFT cabin but found the best cabin of all times. The bathroom was larger than our home bath and even had a "FULL" size tub. There are only 6 of these aft cabins so you have to be sure to reserve on near the center not on the sides. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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