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55 Norwegian (NCL) Santiago (Valparaiso) Cruise Reviews

Re NORWEGIAN SUN depart San Antonio (Santiago) 17 Feb 2018 heading to Miami. (Departure port was changed from Valparaiso to San Antonio shortly before the cruise) On arrival in our Cabin we were told that: • There was an ... Read More
Re NORWEGIAN SUN depart San Antonio (Santiago) 17 Feb 2018 heading to Miami. (Departure port was changed from Valparaiso to San Antonio shortly before the cruise) On arrival in our Cabin we were told that: • There was an outbreak of Acute Gastro Enteritis (AGE) / Norovirus on board • There was Maintenance planned during the cruise. We had not received any advice by email, text or phone before boarding despite the AGE having occurred 10 days earlier and the maintenance planned for some time. The ship was effectively in ‘lock down’ to try and eliminate further cases of AGE. There was mandatory hand disinfectant at the entry to all restaurants, the theatre, lifts, staircases, etc. There was no self service in any restaurant. The cramped Garden Café was intolerably busy with all the food stations shrouded in plastic and the drink stations closed. The crew served everything required by passengers – creating long queues and crowded areas. In the Main Dining Rooms the paper menus were destroyed after each use and the menu covers disinfected before use by the next passenger! The food was dull and uninteresting - I suspect certain products were avoided to reduce the infection risk. In the Cabins there were no magazines, no ice and no glasses. The cabins were fumigated on at least two occasions during the cruise and smelt terrible. All deck sports were initially cancelled and then slowly introduced under strict supervision and disinfection of gold club handles and shuffleboard pushers between players. The Library and Card room was closed throughout the cruise due the risk of an infected person having touched a book. Apparently Norovirus cells can live for and incredible 14 days. Conversely the Casino (which makes money for NCL) was fully operational throughout the cruise with no hand disinfection at the entrances and no washing down the handles of the slot machines between players. Seemed very contradictory. Smoking was permitted in this Casino and it smelt terrible – the stale smoke wafting throughout deck 7 at times. How does NCL think they will be protected from claims by the Casino Staff that they have developed lung cancer from passive inhaling the smoke? There were no announcements during the cruise about the number of passengers or crew infected. The captain was ‘invisible’ throughout the cruise appearing only on the last day at a Q&A session. At this Q&A it was announced that 81 passengers (out of around 1950) had been infected. There was no mention of the number of crew infected – I suspect it was a much higher figure. There was a severe shortage of crew apparent especially in the waiting and bar staff – 20 minute waits to be served at a bar and over 30 minutes in the MDR on several occasions. The Maintenance was required to prepare the ship before scheduled dry docking in Vancouver in a month or so time. Around a quarter of the upper deck (Deck 12/13) was out of use at a time on a rolling programme. There were no announcements in ‘Freestyle’ regarding these areas. Parts of the Promenade Deck 6 were also closed. It became impossible to walk around the ship without meeting a blockage. There was no co-ordination between this maintenance and the sports activities announced in Freestyle – the latter were often cancelled because the deck was inaccessible. We will remember this experience as the 'washy-washy' cruise - the light hearted phrase used by all the restaurant door crew when trying to overcome a serious outbreak of Norovirus. We were not told what was being squirted on our hands 10 times a day, nor what chemicals were used for fumigating the cabins - there were many passengers who appeared to develop a dry asthmatic cough after the fumigations. The final blow was a disastrously slow disembarkation at Miami. After arriving 3 hours earlier than scheduled, disembarkation started a couple of hours later than scheduled and took 2 hours to get off the ship - unacceptable. Thank goodness we visited some great ports and locations and this made up a little for the poor on-board experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
NEVER AGAIN ON NCL!!! Wanted to do Panama Canal so decided to do this one. The cruise before had 80 illnesses and no one contacted us to inform us of the issue. We were not able to board ship until late afternoon and once on board could ... Read More
NEVER AGAIN ON NCL!!! Wanted to do Panama Canal so decided to do this one. The cruise before had 80 illnesses and no one contacted us to inform us of the issue. We were not able to board ship until late afternoon and once on board could not get to cabin. Had to wait to be served any food or water the whole time on ship. We could not use the library until the last 3 days of 16 day cruise, could not use hot tubs until last 5 days of cruise. All of the Pool chairs were covered in towels (mostly with no one using them) by 8:30 AM and when complained was told to just move the towels but felt as though the Pool people should have done it. The ports were filthy dirty and stunk something awful - with the exception of Columbia, which was very nice. The shows were mediocre at best. The cabin steward was nice. The ship is too small for 2000 guests and was dated. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the size of the ship. My husband has trouble walking and I didn't want a Mega Size ship where it would be a long walk to all the venues. I requested a cabin in the middle of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the size of the ship. My husband has trouble walking and I didn't want a Mega Size ship where it would be a long walk to all the venues. I requested a cabin in the middle of the ship, and instead we had the very first cabin in the bow. I paid extra for "run of the ship" hoping for an upgrade or at least, a cabin in the middle. The dining room, theatre, and buffet were all in the stern of the ship. When I went to guest services, I was told the ship was sold out which I found out was not true. The ship was on a high health alert due to a virus on the trip before ours. Using that as an excuse, we didn't get into our cabin until 4:30 and the ship was leaving at 5:00. Our cabin did not get any ice or water for the first 2 days and then we had to call Room Service to get ice. The entertainment, with a couple of exceptions was poor and amateurish. The Library was closed for the entire trip and there were very few activities to do on sea days. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The crew is very professional and accommodating. A few of the ship's interior spaces have recently been updated but the overwhelming majority of restaurants and bars are very worn and are in much need of modernization. While much ... Read More
The crew is very professional and accommodating. A few of the ship's interior spaces have recently been updated but the overwhelming majority of restaurants and bars are very worn and are in much need of modernization. While much of the musical entertainment was very good the majority of daily activities were geared for older passengers and lacked inspiration. The Cruise Director really needs to "up his game" to provide activities that all age groups can enjoy. It seemed much of the Cruise Director's staff time was spent facilitating bingo or other fee based activities. One bright note although, were the Spainish Lessons and the Mexico lecture given by Roberto which were very good. The food was fair to marginal but overall very salty. Towards the end of the cruise the food quality and choices became very poor. In fact, it seemed they were attempting to use up food of lesser quality. One concern I had was a great number of passengers developed respoitory problems, deep hard coughs, even leading to Bronchitis while onboard. Within two days of being onboard I developed some sinus and breathing issues and continued to nurse them the entire 3 weeks of the cruise. The symptoms immediately cleared up once I disembarked which makes me wonder if the cabin AC system is being kept clean. I heard from some people, who became sick that they had their cabin AC systems cleaned and that it helped them a great deal. On the 2nd day of the cruise I reported to the Hotel Director's assistant that railings at he pool were very loose and needed repair. Having been a lifeguard in college I recognized this to be a potential hazard. I reported it again a week later and then asked the pool attendant a couple days later. He responded that "people have been reporting the railings since last October, over 22 cruise ago." And yet it was still left unrepaired. I think this single event sums up my feelings about the Sun. That things are just being tolerated not being kep up to NCL's overall good standards. I very much enjoyed the itinerary of our sailing and the pool deck was very enjoyable as we had good weather. I found that the NCL Sun really failed to impress and is possibly riding on the coat tails of NCL's overall good reputation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The overall cruise can be regarded as average. Positive points : Entertainment : excellent shows, presentations and overall activities throughout the cruise Cabin service : the cabin steward kept very clean all the time. ... Read More
The overall cruise can be regarded as average. Positive points : Entertainment : excellent shows, presentations and overall activities throughout the cruise Cabin service : the cabin steward kept very clean all the time. Overall cleaning Excellent waiters in main dining Free style Onboard treasury and cashier service Internet café service Duty free shores : good prices and large variety of products Jogging track on 6th deck Desembarkation in San Francisco Average points : Cruise price Food and beverage Age of the ship : probably she needs some update and replenishment of some old furniture Guest service information center Fitness center Negative points : Embarkation in San Antonio : although there was a strike in Valparaiso and the embarkation port was transferred to San Antonio the day before departure, NCL failed in not assigning enough people to assist the most needed passengers mostly senior citizens and some of them in wheelchairs. Shore excursions Price of shore excursions Shore excursion information service Concierge : lack of politeness of the main concierge in dealing with passengers. Return of passports : messy service Cost to have internet service onboard Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Great Price for the Vaue !! Ideal Itinerary. Fantastic Weather. Terrific IStateroom location close to the Elevator. Small enough Ship to walk about and not feel crowded. Overall a Memorable trip. Excellent Room Steward. Seven Seas ... Read More
Great Price for the Vaue !! Ideal Itinerary. Fantastic Weather. Terrific IStateroom location close to the Elevator. Small enough Ship to walk about and not feel crowded. Overall a Memorable trip. Excellent Room Steward. Seven Seas Dining Room First Rate in maintaining the Standard of Evening Dress. Cagney's Steak House excellent !! Meet and Great a wonderful way to m make new onboard Friends Played Deal or No Deal for 1 game.I recommend substituting the free photo to a free drink ticket. Many of us decline on board photos !! I've been on Cruises where they offer a Happy Hour in the Main Bar .Overall a good Cruise !! I took advantage of the Free shuttle from Valparasio to San Antnio Port. Many custom e rd felt NCL could have provided better communication regarding the Change in Embarkation Sites. Guest performance good especially enjoyed the Jersey Boys !! I enjoyed Room Service firv AM Coffee in my Room Always a treat for me !! Room Service prompt and Complementary for AM Coffee a Big Plus !! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Interesting route up the west coast of South America,really enjoyed crossing the equator. Great ports to visit and arriving under the golden gate bridge is historic for me. Thecship was old but in great shape however the food was ... Read More
Interesting route up the west coast of South America,really enjoyed crossing the equator. Great ports to visit and arriving under the golden gate bridge is historic for me. Thecship was old but in great shape however the food was marginal at best. Ports of call were interesting, easy access from dock for a few ports but most we had to take a bus to get to the city etc. Great entertainment the UPTOWN BOYS were excellent Franky Valley was also very good overall good entertainment. Food was OK, in the complenmentary rooms,specialty dining was great accept for Moderno awful service awful quality of meat just very poor for a so called specialty dining room. Unfortunately NCL MIAMI CORPORATE did an awful job communicating about the embarkation port change,they made a mess, they just really did not care,last email that some passengers never redeived actually was WRONG,they gave us the wrong port address. Shame on NCL MIAMI CORPORATE.. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our sixth cruise on NCL and by far the longest at 20 days travelling as it did all the way from the port of San Antonio, Chile to San Francisco, CA, a distance of over 6,000 nautical miles aboard the Norwegian Sun, one of their ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise on NCL and by far the longest at 20 days travelling as it did all the way from the port of San Antonio, Chile to San Francisco, CA, a distance of over 6,000 nautical miles aboard the Norwegian Sun, one of their smaller and older ships. This was also a “repositioning” cruise, taking the ship from Latin American ports to the Alaska circuit. I’ve come to understand that repositioning cruises need to be judged a little differently than those that repeat the same journey over and over during a season. Our cabin 1002 on deck 11 faced forward, giving us the same forward facing view as you get on the ships bow-cam. In port this is a real benefit, but it is less so on the open sea, when the wind and weather can make the balcony unusable. On this voyage there were a number of days of choppy seas and windy weather particularly towards journey’s end. All the areas where NCL excels were on full display during this cruise. The service was top notch, delivered by an enthusiastic and diverse crew. I have noticed NCL really attempts to establish personal connections between crew (including entertainers) and passengers. Likewise the variety of dining options and the quality of the food itself was outstanding, in fact a significant improvement over the last time we cruised on the Sun in 2014. The entertainment itself was on the whole quite good, with the entertainment staff making a real effort to avoid duplication despite the length of the cruise. We also enjoyed the excursions which we took at most every port. All of them were well organized and most featured very good guides. Some people cruise to experience the ship, but our focus is always the onshore experiences we do in each port. In this regard, NCL and its partners delivered interesting and meaningful experiences. Where NCL always comes up short is onboard activities. NCL simply needs more interesting things to do on sea days, and there were ten on this voyage, and some of them during poor weather when hanging around the pool is not an option. Many people are satisfied with Bingo and game shows and pool parties but I look for something more. The ship itself was a looking a little tired and I hope that the renovations planned during the dry dock scheduled in 2018 will improve and modernize the ship’s facilities. I wouldn’t be surprised if NCL is planning to retire the sun from active service within the next few years given its age, and the projected launch of a half dozen new ships that are doubtless better equipped and more spacious. On this voyage also there were some problems with embarkation and disembarkation. The embarkation issues were not wholly of NCL’s making, as a strike in the original departure port of Valparaiso made it necessary to move the port to San Antonio, a location which had never hosted a cruise ship before and thus lacked the infrastructure for efficient check in. I give NCL good marks for making the best of a tough situation, but they could have done a better job communicating with the passengers during the checkin process, which took for many a couple of hours. Disembarkation was hampered however by a delay in getting luggage off the ship. Passengers, some of whom had air connections, had to wait much longer than expected for their transfers. To me, efficient off loading of luggage ought to be a no brainer for a cruise ship and here NCL clearly didn’t deliver. All in all, this was a good but not a great cruise. It won’t stop me from using NCL again, but I will think very seriously as to whether I would take an extended cruise with multiple at seas days in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We thought the value was good for a 20 day cruise and haven't been to some of the ports in Chile, Peru, etc. The itinerary was great. Ending in San Francisco was a real treat for us to explore wine country. The balcony cabin was ... Read More
We thought the value was good for a 20 day cruise and haven't been to some of the ports in Chile, Peru, etc. The itinerary was great. Ending in San Francisco was a real treat for us to explore wine country. The balcony cabin was nice with lots of storage. The staff was very good in the dining and around the ship. Everyone one board had a terrible cold but not NCLs fault. The food was overly salty so I couldn't eat some of the soups, etc. The menus never changed in the specialty restaurants. The main dining room didn't get some orders right and the food arrived cold. The people who were on the cruise were very friendly and mostly fifty plus. Embarkation was changed to San Antonio due to Chile earthquake not NCLS fault. The housekeeping staff was fantastic as always. Entertainment was good but since it was 55% Spanish speaking passengers a ventriloquist was not a great idea nor was the juggler/comedian who spoke too fast. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This ship seemed to have been refurbished but could not find anything about this new refurbishment. We have sailed on this ship before some years ago but nothing new could be found that attracts attention.Very disappointed with the ... Read More
This ship seemed to have been refurbished but could not find anything about this new refurbishment. We have sailed on this ship before some years ago but nothing new could be found that attracts attention.Very disappointed with the entertainment, food and the on board activities. The only good thing was that we enjoyed, was the cruise ports and the glorious weather. The ship itinerary was good and we made our own way to the ports. Before we went, my daughter had arranged with people sailing on the ship,through Roll Call on Cruise Critic for meeting and greeting as well as private excursions. Our stateroom steward was extremely polite and efficient. The rest of the crew in the bars and staff restaurants were equally good but seemed stressed due to long hours on their feet. I hope the NCL improve their staff by providing them with training in customers service. They seem to be more interested in their own welfare than that of the customers needs. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose NCL because of the price and the port itinerary. We have been on other cruise lines and NCL just once before about 15 years ago. This ship was a nice size, only 2000 passengers. Easy to get around, but maybe because there was ... Read More
We chose NCL because of the price and the port itinerary. We have been on other cruise lines and NCL just once before about 15 years ago. This ship was a nice size, only 2000 passengers. Easy to get around, but maybe because there was nothing to do. We had an oceanview cabin, rather small, but the most disappointing thing was that the bed was placed under the window. In order to see out the window you needed to kneel on the bed. Will never make that mistake again! Might as well have had an interior room. Getting on the ship was a bit of a nightmare. The dock workers in Valparaiso went on strike in the morning, which delayed previous passengers getting off, and new passengers getting on. Not really NCL fault, but they certainly did not make any announcements to let anyone know what was happening. We were delayed leaving port a couple hours. The cruise director tried hard, but nothing to our taste. Evening entertainment was fabulous with the Sun Crew of Singers/Dancers! They really worked hard and looked like they had a great time doing it. Other entertainers, we did not like so much. The casino looked like it was hardly used on most days. The two main dining restaurants had some good food, not fabulous, but certainly good. After 15 nights though the variety was lacking. The Garden Cafe buffet was awful anytime of day, but especially for dinner. They tried a regional theme every night, and failed miserably. Scrambled eggs in the morning were even terrible. We used the seated restaurants for breakfast whenever we could. Sometimes not possible when you are arriving at port. I've heard that the specialty restaurants are very good, but you pay extra to dine there. We did not choose to do that. Ports were all amazing, and the captain remarked how lucky we were to be able to reach all our scheduled stops. It is not uncommon for the weather to be too windy to run the tenders. In our case, we were able to see them all! We did not purchase any shore excursions with the ship, but either explored on our own, or arranged tours at the port. We had heard stories about the rough seas around Cape Horn. One crew member even remarked that the cruise prior to ours was a "disastrous" crossing. Again, we lucked out. The sailing around Cape Horn was unusually calm, as remarked by the captain. All in all, a good vacation. We would take a NCL cruise again, but it's not at the top of the list. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had a great time. Met lots of interesting people and basked in the glow of the service. Loved Cagney and La Cucina. Seven seas and Four Sesons also served exceptional meals. Enjoyed the Cast shows and windjammers. the cruise director ... Read More
We had a great time. Met lots of interesting people and basked in the glow of the service. Loved Cagney and La Cucina. Seven seas and Four Sesons also served exceptional meals. Enjoyed the Cast shows and windjammers. the cruise director was always visible and the staff in general could not do enough to keep us happy. One glitch on embarkation but we got through it. Planned our own excursions. The gym regularly had machines open and was clean. The weather was amazing as we passed Capr Horn and except for the first night of 5 meter seas we we had smooth sailing. Our cabin steward did a great job and kept us amused with his towel animals. The drink Package was worth it. Having spent a career in the navy I appreciate the effort put forth making our stay enjoyable by the crew. The Falkland Islands was a highlight with the trip to Volunteer point in the Range Rovers to see the penguins. Puerto Madrid was also worth the trip to see more penguins. Loved our South American experiance on the Sun. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We decided that this cruise would take us to places we would not see otherwise. We joined in Valparaiso (Chile) and left in Buenos Aires (Argentina), having visited the Chilean and Argentinian Pategonia and the Falkland Islands. ... Read More
We decided that this cruise would take us to places we would not see otherwise. We joined in Valparaiso (Chile) and left in Buenos Aires (Argentina), having visited the Chilean and Argentinian Pategonia and the Falkland Islands. Valparaiso cruise terminal made the embarkation a terrible farce; there was a port worker strike, and the ship could only come to the wharf many hours late. However, the cruise terminal messed up the voyager arrival experience and it became a crowded mess with no announcements causing travelers to mis-understand what was going on. The ship was blamed, but was not allowed to explain what was going on. Additionally, the port gate beside the terminal was not open, so we had to be bussed in from a distant gate. Ours was a 'cool' cruise, even though the weather was unseasonally balmy for late autumn. Having pools outdoors made them unpleasant in the cool weather, and most outdoor bars were soon closed, too. This meant that indoor areas were packed, although it promoted friendship-making. We traveled past the Pategonian glaciers in the very early hours of one morning, sadly, so most people (including us) missed what should have been a major highlight. The timing of this received only passing mention in the daily newsletter. In contrast, Cape Horn was featured, and was another highlight. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Before embarking our tour company had arranged for two days and 3 nights in Santiago beforehand and we will not discuss this here as the airline lost our luggage and this is nothing to do with NCL or our tour operator. However, Santiago is ... Read More
Before embarking our tour company had arranged for two days and 3 nights in Santiago beforehand and we will not discuss this here as the airline lost our luggage and this is nothing to do with NCL or our tour operator. However, Santiago is nice and we very much enjoyed walking around and seeing the sights, our hotel was Kennedy Avenue and was near a mall and supermarket so we were easily able to get lost essentials without being ripped off. I can also confirm that we felt safe throughout and the main areas had a number of police visible at all times. I would also recommend a visit to La Piojera, basic but filling food and a great drink, the 'Terremoto', to enjoy watching a football with tourists and locals alike. Getting to the airport from Santiago city centre was not cheap and so it would be worth seeing what offers the cruise line offer or trying to arrange a group transfer with people in advance. Embarkation was poor but this was due to a strike at the port and again cannot be blamed on the cruise company. However, once it began it proceeded smoothly given the subsequent issues we were informed about by the captain. The ship is clearly not the newest but we enjoyed the relaxed ambience and definitely preferred the design to the MSC Magnifica. I also felt that the layout of the bars and restaurants made the best use of spaces rather than creating long corridors that ran the entire length with bars and eateries to the sides of them. Dining was very good and we had the benefit of speciality dining in our package and we very much enjoyed the steaks. If you want to have Teppanyaki then we advise you decide in advance when you want it and book it early to avoid disappointment. The main restaurants were also very good and we were always seated without problem and the waiting staff were friendly and chatty without being in your face all the time. In fact, I would say the staff in the main dining room were better than in the speciality dining venues. The main buffet was also very good with a range of options and rotation of options including a St. Patrick's day themed selection on St. Patrick's day itself. I would say the buffet was good enough to choose as a more relaxed dining option than going to the main restaurant without feeling hard done by. Entertainment and activities were very good and we enjoyed both the main shows and the various musicians playing around the ship. We also thought the cruise director's staff were brilliant in running all the smaller activities like the quizzes, origami lessons etc. In terms of ports, I would advise you only to book excursions in advance if you are certain you want to undertake a specific thing otherwise all ports were generally well served with options for excursions. I would note that when in the Falklands, UK passengers would be best served taking £GBP and $USD as when we caught the bus that takes you up to the nearest penguin location they ended up charging us the same in £GBP (£18 return per person) as $USD ($20 return per person) because they had no change (surprise surprise) and it cost us £20 each. On departure we booked with NCL's excursion as it allowed us a great day going to La Boca then a ranch to watch some gauchos and have a meal, whilst also making sure we got to the airport in time. We definitely would recommend this excursion as given the length of time, the quality of the experience, the guide, the meal and the transfer we were satisfied. We would not go on this particular cruise again (once was great) but would be more than happy to sail on NCL and the Norwegian Sun again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was a very good cruise. Weather was super in all ports. A rough patch came up on one sea day, but the ship was stable in strong winds and high waves. Falklands offered a rocky return tender to the ship, but was well worth the ... Read More
This was a very good cruise. Weather was super in all ports. A rough patch came up on one sea day, but the ship was stable in strong winds and high waves. Falklands offered a rocky return tender to the ship, but was well worth the visit. Food was good and did not get boring and the service in all restaurants and by the housekeeping staff was friendly and efficient. Entertainment was very good, better than expected both in main theater and in other venues. We upgraded to a suite and it was terrific. Aft facing and the only problem was noise from the thrusters when they were in use. Among the specialty restaurants the steakhouse was the best. The buffet had a large selection and the main dining rooms were welcoming and featured fast service. Highly recommend the itinerary, though the cruise does cover a lot of ground. Used NCL for shore excursions in some locales and they all had good guides and interesting activities. Could improve enrichment speaker and have more info for ports, such as maps and summaries. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose the ship because of the itinerary and our previous positive experience with Norwegian. We especially like the free style dining. The service on the ship was generally outstanding. People were friendly and genuinely helpful. ... Read More
We chose the ship because of the itinerary and our previous positive experience with Norwegian. We especially like the free style dining. The service on the ship was generally outstanding. People were friendly and genuinely helpful. This was especially true of the restaurant staff. They did a great job of serving meals. We like the specialty restaurants so had a 9 night package out of the 15 nights for the cruise. They were all excellent. The two non-specialty restaurants were also good, although their menus got a little boring after a while. I really don't like buffets so we only ate there when we had to. The food was ok, but it was annoying to stand in line and look for a table, etc. You could easily avoid the buffets with other choices. Embarkation was ok. It took a while to get through the process. The first Norwegian cruise we went on we got there right when they opened and had to hang out for a few hours to be able to get into our cabin. This time we arrived about 2 pm for a 5 pm deadline and it worked better. Disembarkation was ok. The problem wasn't with Norwegian, but with Buenos Aires. Their process resulted in long lines. Once you got through the process the taxi line had at least 100 people in it. It took us 30-45 minutes to get a taxi and it cost 400 pesos (about $24) for a 1.5 mile trip. We later paid about 100 pesos on the meter for the same distance. The service was great. Our cabin attendant wasn't as good as others on the ship, judging from their experience, but she was adequate. The restaurant service was excellent. Since we spent a lot of time in the Specialty Restaurants we got to know some of them quite well. Grace, the Maitre De was very friendly and was excellent. The food in all of the areas was good to excellent. I found most of the excursions to be good, although they were very expensive. I thought that the entertainment was generally good, for what you would expect on a cruise ship. There was live music in many of the lounges including folk, rock, classical, etc. which made it very nice. Some of the shows were good, some not so good. Overall I think this was a great experience. I would recommend this cruise and Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We are a couple from the Mid-west (age 53 & 62), no kids, retired and Platinum latitude members. When we booked this cruise as our winter getaway, we did not have much knowledge of South America. We arrived in Santiago 2 days ... Read More
We are a couple from the Mid-west (age 53 & 62), no kids, retired and Platinum latitude members. When we booked this cruise as our winter getaway, we did not have much knowledge of South America. We arrived in Santiago 2 days early, a city we really enjoyed; easy to get around and very nice honest people. We booked a private transfer tour from Santiago to Valparaiso and stopped for wine tasting in the Casablanca Valley. Embarkation was long; you stop in a terminal building and then get assigned a number to ride a shuttle bus to the ship, on the ship you then complete the process on board the ship. We were pulled out of line and taken to the concierge desk and assigned VIP status, we never really found out why this happened? I coordinated the CC Meet & Greet for the first time, so this may have had something to do with it? Anyway it was GREAT, the ships crew were extremely accommodating and helpful to our CC group during the whole cruise. Yahira the concierge and Shi the group coordinator went above & beyond for us! Our luggage was in our room by the time we got there. No rest for the weary though, we delivered invitations for the CC activities to everyone and finally sat down for a lunch at 7:00pm. Food- We ate in the buffet, both main dining rooms, LaCucina, LeBistro & Moderno and all were very good. The nice thing about the Sun is that there a lot of space around the buffet that they open during the day, the sports bar, Moderno, etc.. Cabin- we were in an Aft balcony 9277, very adequate for the two of us, I continue to detest the shower curtains on this ship as they stick to you in the shower. We had a few minor issues with the cabin and they were fixed as soon as we reported them. Our stateroom attendant Chris was wonderful! The view can't be beat! Activities: We had our Meet & Greet on the first sea day, NCL arranged a room, refreshments and sent senior officers to give a short talk. As a group we decided against a gift exchange, I had an icebreaker bingo game for people to get to know each other and had purchased a small prize from the gift shop, when more than 1 person won, Shi threw in a 2 bottles of wine! There was a CC mid-cruise dinner, the group was given a private dining room and NCL threw in wine! I am detecting a theme.... We had the beverage plan for the first time and loved it! It was fun trying cocktails we normally wouldn't try. Ports & Shore excursions; after we booked this cruise we did our research and discovered there was a 50 / 50 chance of making some ports due to rough sea's, so we were prepared for this. Fortunately it became quickly clear that this was not Captain Ronny Borg's first rodeo- we made it to all ports. The scenery on this itinerary is just stunning. We used NCL for all our shore excursions and for the most part they were excellent. My favorite ports were the Falkland Islands & Puerto Montt Chile. Disembarkation- the ship had an overnight in Buenos Aires, we had a private a walking tour of the city which I highly recommend. We booked an NCL transfer / tour to the airport and while tour part was good.. there were issues at the airport. As part of our tour our luggage went directly to the airport, it was raining and we were dropped to pick up our luggage at Terminal 1, which is where our guide told us "most flights leave from". Well not this day, we had claim our luggage in the rain and then walk 2 blocks to terminal 3- it was covered. People were dropping like flies- the line to check into Delta was beyond long- after an hour or so they started bringing out wheelchairs for people about to collapse- not a good way to end a fabulous trip. Summary- this really turned into a trip of a lifetime; we really enjoyed meeting people from all over the world that we traveled with, the crew of this ship is outstanding, and the itinerary can't be beat! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first (and probably last) cruise with NCL, having cruised with Princess previously. Firstly, we made a decision to walk to the port from our accommodation in Valparaiso. This was a complete disaster, as you have to check-in ... Read More
This was our first (and probably last) cruise with NCL, having cruised with Princess previously. Firstly, we made a decision to walk to the port from our accommodation in Valparaiso. This was a complete disaster, as you have to check-in at a different port from where the ship is docked. It took us forever to get there, so make sure you get transport from your hotel and they know exactly where to go! In comparison to Princess cruises, we found the bar staff on NCL to be very disinterested and unenthusiastic. We weren't impressed with the "All inclusive" beverage package, which didn't include water or coffee and had a poor choice of spirits (no single malt whisky, in particular, as that is usually our drink of choice). Cocktails were pre-made and uninspiring. Our cabin steward was lovely, however, and kept our cabin nice and clean, and made towel animals every night. Our cabin 1009 was in a good location and had heaps of cupboard/storage space. The food in general was quite good, but not up to Princess standards. We ate at the Specialty restaurants on 5 occasions and we really didn't think it worth the extra cost. The food at the main restaurants were just as good. Entertainment and at sea day activities were quite good and varied. The ports and shore excursions were uninspiring, and some involved hours upon hours on a bus. At 2 of the ports we decided to do our own thing, as we couldn't stand the bus trips, but there was nothing much to see or do. Puerto Montt was probably the only port I could recommend. There weren't many children on board and the average age was probably around the mid 50s to late 60s. Near the middle of the cruise, they ran out of yoghurt for breakfast and nuts in the bars. We had to ask for things like prunes and bananas, otherwise they didn't seem inclined to bring them out. Also, at the French restaurant, they didn't have a brandy balloon for the Grand Marnier. Little things like that made us think that, all in all, we'll stick to Princess cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I had chosen this particular line due to a group of factors such as route, the number of days, ports. Analysing by the shipping point of view is visible that is one of the older ships of the Norwegian Fleet having the necessity of a ... Read More
I had chosen this particular line due to a group of factors such as route, the number of days, ports. Analysing by the shipping point of view is visible that is one of the older ships of the Norwegian Fleet having the necessity of a more constant maintenance visible especially on the days at sea. Also, the configuration of some areas such as the buffet that create like an air tunnel on one side and other can be very unpleasant leading to some health problems such as flu. On the part of the staff, it's visible the significant effort to keep everyone happy, but missing some points of details that would be good to see improved. Clear communication in a case of food allergy between the hotel staff and the shore excursions staff which so far doesn't happen. If you suffer from any allergy, you'll need to inform the shore staff, all the time. Also, the internet on board is a complete rip off if you don't have the full package for the entire cruise, and very very slow. Entertainment on board is good considering the size of the boat. Interior cabins are big and spacious. Good experience, if any of the down points aren't too important for you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This cruise was booked through Infinity Cruises in London as a package, including flights, some transfers and hotel accommodation at beginning and end of the cruise. The booking process was excellent and I have no hesitation in ... Read More
This cruise was booked through Infinity Cruises in London as a package, including flights, some transfers and hotel accommodation at beginning and end of the cruise. The booking process was excellent and I have no hesitation in recommending this company. We flew to Santiago which was very pleasant, with jacaranda trees in full flower throughout the city, It felt very safe to walk around, even in the early hours of the morning. The hotel, Torremayor Providencia was very good with a small rooftop swimming pool and one of the best breakfast buffets I have hade, including fresh strawberries and cherries. It was very close to a metro station which made travel into the centre quick and easy. Transfer to Valparaiso was included and the embarkation procedure went very smoothly, although, because of the early sailing time, we had no time to see the city. I had read that the cabins on Norwegian Sun were small, but the one we booked (an inside) was spacious and quiet, with plenty of storage space. The ship itself never felt crowded, and we never had to queue for meals. (We avoided going when the shows ended as queues did form then.) We had booked the cruise with an all-inclusive drinks package. I do not know whether it would have been worthwhile to pay for this at the shipboard price, as we did not drink to excess, but as an included item in the package, it was great. Our first port of call was Puerto Montt, where we had arranged a tour through a local company (Denis Purtov). This was an excellent tour with a very good guide. I would recommend this to anyone calling in to this port. The next port was a bit disappointing - Puerto Chacabuco. Here, disembarkation by tender took a long time, there was nothing of interest at the port itself and the tour which we had booked through the ship was rather poor. The next port was Punta Arenas. The ship docked quite some way outside the town and we caught a mini bus from the docks to the centre, Worth looking out for these shared taxis which are cheaper and run more frequently than those put on by NCL. The town has interesting old buildings open to the public which are worth visiting. Before and after Punta Arena we had scenic cruising through the Chilean fjords, the Straits of Magellan and then the Beagle Channel, with five glaciers. The whole area was like Norway on steroids! Next port was Ushuaia in Argentina, where we took a taxi to the Tierra del Fuego National Park; reasonably priced when four people travelled together. Then Cape Horn. It was windy there, but not as bad as it frequently can be and from there to the Falkland Islands. It was still windy there and the Captain deserved congratulations for being able to anchor, although this took some time and some of the longer excursions had to be curtailed or cancelled. However, we did better that the ship following us a few days later, which had to miss out the Islands altogether. We took another minibus trip, this time to see penguins. This cost £15 or $20 and was worth going on. The next port, Puerto Madryn was a bit of a disappointment as well. The main tourist attraction of the town was the Eco-centre, but this was really more style than substance. We walked back into town along the beach, which really was nice and made us feel we should have brought swimwear. I was surprised to see flamingos on the beach; I thought penguins would have been more appropriate. After another sea day we docked at Montevideo, and were just a few yards from the centre. The first building one sees is the market hall. It would be an idea to skip breakfast or lunch on the ship and eat there, it was so appetising. The city itself is a mixture of well preserved and interesting buildings which are open to the public and a few that look on the point of collapse. A good city to walk around and, like Santiago, it feels safe. The final port was Buenos Aires. We arrived about 6 a.m. and were off the ship by about 8.30. We had booked a transfer to the hotel so arrived some time before our room was ready, but were able to go for a walk in the area where the hotel was to get our bearings. The room at the hotel, Icaro Suites, was very good, but the breakfast a bit basic. Buenos Aires was a very interesting city to explore, and the newly refurbished dock area a good area to visit and to eat in. Finally, our return to Heathrow by British Airways - rather too cramped for comfort on a 13 hour flight. Overall, the NCL Sun was a particularly friendly ship. Staff were pleasant; bar staff would remember your drinks and the entertainment staff were happy to spend time with the passengers, which is so often not the case. We watched all the production shows, but only saw one or two of the guest artist shows. The in-house team were excellent. We only tried one speciality restaurant, and while it was very good, I did not see it was worth the extra over the included restaurant. Here, the waiters were very obliging and although they obviously were working very hard, would always be pleased to have a little chat. We also met some very nice fellow passengers, and spent quite a lot of time chatting and drinking with them. The Freestyle dining enabled us to share tables with these new friends most evenings and we have kept in touch since returning home. We both like the NCL approach to cruising, and this will be our first choice for cruising in future. For us, the only negative concerned the shore excursions. We only booked the one, which we thought was poor, and adopted the attitude of once bitten... The excursions generally seemed very expensive and booking one excursion per port of call could easily double the cost of the cruise. (It might of course be that the pound is so weak against the dollar that it is just expensive for us Brits.) Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Santiago (Valparaiso) to San Francisco on the NCL Sun We chose this cruise because it left and arrived at 2 cities of which we are very fond. We had planned a day flight north over the Andes but it was the wrong time of the year, dry ... Read More
Santiago (Valparaiso) to San Francisco on the NCL Sun We chose this cruise because it left and arrived at 2 cities of which we are very fond. We had planned a day flight north over the Andes but it was the wrong time of the year, dry and dusty pollution covering the gorgeous mountains. A small disappointment, nothing can spoil your time in this city when you can eat beef of that quality and cooked with such skill. A note re the trip to Valparaiso – for the 1st time we took the bus – we had been warned by the locals on previous visits that the bus station is too dangerous. We found this to be incorrect, we paid a pittance, the locals helped us to be at the correct counter, the passengers kept their eyes on us, in fact the bus driver even dropped us off right at the port. It was a great trip – don’t be afraid, just do it. We sailed with NCL for the 1st time in August 2015, aboard Jade and really enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere of Free Cruising. We are retired, but we both worked pressure jobs, and now we are just not interested in schedules, so the freedom was a blessing. This cruise on the Sun was a shocker in many ways – for that reason I have analysed 14 reviews including those that embarked in Buenos Aires. Seems they had a great sail up to Santiago, experiencing the wild weather and high seas round The Horn, just like sailors of yore. Of the 14 reviews, 1 rated 1, 4 rated 2, 5 rated 3 and 5 rated 4. The contractors and sewerage smell were criticised by 6 and 6 said NOT AGAIN. Pros: - our suite in the bow was really lovely – plenty of room, the bathroom in 8202 was huge and very lux, comfy sofa, large balcony with table and chairs plus 2 x lounges and a coffee table. We moon baked out there, we are living in the Northern Hemisphere (Aussies) and we so miss the Big Dipper, The Southern Cross and all the beautiful stars we have down under. - Great value for money if you disregard the Cons - The hotel staff are wonderful – cheerful, helpful, caring and efficient - Our Concierge and cabin steward were very dedicated - We were treated to an Indian Buffet lunch and the flavours were very original and lovely. - The deep pool is fabulous – when the shallower one is flopping water all over, the water in the deeper pool is still so you can still do your laps Cons: I will begin with a qualification – the line gave us a $400 compensatory payment for the experience we had. On embarkation, when I walked through the aft door of the buffet café there was a strong and odd smell – 2 x days later, as this turned into a stench, my bronchials swelled, I developed a hacking cough and spent several days in bed. An allergic reaction from that smell I believe. - the smell developed on a daily basis, originally only aft on 11, then all the way down to 8 (our f’wrd cabin was a blessing) - all the hotel staff pretended they couldn’t smell it, poor loves - the Hotel Manager was polite but useless, completely under the Captain’s thumb - the Captain, at a meeting called for the purpose, was very irresponsible and disrespectful to a lady who had this smell in her cabin for days – I believe one of the reviews was hers - and his comment was “I thought this was going to be a carefree meeting” – laughing uproariously! - Very few at that meeting felt satisfied or believed the explanations. I will say no more – it has been covered in other reviews. - Then the contractors embarked – they actually began the dry dock work for the last week of the cruise. I had already lost ½ the days due to my reaction to the smell, and now we have a floating construction site. WHOSE BRIGHT IDEA WAS THAT? What total disdain for the paying passengers! Again, other reviews have covered the detail. - The NCL website states “Main dining room menu changes every day” – FALSE. The food standard was abysmal, almost everywhere. Cold food, poorly prepared, boring breakfasts the exact same every day, a chilli con carne dish that was frothing in the bain marie, a sure sign of trouble. I hope no-one ate it - The exception was La Cucina and Le Bistro, in particular the former. Tough flavourless old steak and dry overcooked lobster tail in Cagneys, what a disappointment. - A champagne bar that does not sell by the glass! What’s the point of that? Jade sells by the glass. - Art auction announcements very loud, exuberant and very annoying We rarely go to shows or take company shore excursions but this time we did, in Costa Rica and Guatemala and enjoyed both. My last comment – we are still waiting for the refund of our “discretionary” service charge. The application was submitted 29th April at guest relations on board, and I am in contact with the line after receiving 2 x advices that the refund will be processed in 15 business days – 6 weeks later. Some reviews state that this charge is compulsory – our cruise contract states “discretionary” so ensure that you read your contract. That’s it for me – will we sale with NCL again? Maybe, but not the Sun and not soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary( the Western side of South America). The itinerary was great and generally the ports did not dissappoint Us at all. Our stateroom( midship with a veranda) was also very nice, decent size ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary( the Western side of South America). The itinerary was great and generally the ports did not dissappoint Us at all. Our stateroom( midship with a veranda) was also very nice, decent size with plenty of closet space. However, though we have been on plenty of cruises running the gamut from Royal Caribbean, Cunard, all the way to Silver Sea we have never ever been nickel and dimed so much nor have we ever faced such dismal dining choices with very limited menus unless we opted to pay extra for specialty restaurants There are two traditional style dining rooms in addition to a buffet. It is great that you can go to the dining rooms anytime for dinner. However for nineteen days we were faced with the same basic menu in both dining rooms. Perhaps there were two or three rotating options on the menus. Unlike other lines we werenever offered lobster, fillet mignon, or similar treats( usually offered at least once on other lines) If we did not opt for the specialty restaurants the only fish or seafood we were offered on the entire trip was farm raised salmon, tilopia, flounder, mahi mahi, and cervina. There were really no entrees that were made to order. We did try three of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro, La Cuccini, and the Japanese hibachi style restaurant. The last onewas the only one where we had good service Our other big complaint was that mixed drinks were priced outrageously. We had just been on Cunard five months earlier and the same cocktails were signifigantly more expensive The only thing we could really say was good was the number and variety of onboard activities when the ship was at sea and the sizze and spaciousness of the pools and fitness center We will never ever go on Norwegan Line again Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Choose for NCL reputation and itinerary. This cruise did not come close to my prior experiences. Terrible smell which Captain first denied and then admitted was from sewage tank that sprang a leak and ran down elevator shaft. Smell was ... Read More
Choose for NCL reputation and itinerary. This cruise did not come close to my prior experiences. Terrible smell which Captain first denied and then admitted was from sewage tank that sprang a leak and ran down elevator shaft. Smell was terrible for 5 days and then improved but came back. Was repaired, I think, on day 19 in La as we were 7 hours late leaving and smell was gone. Also "dry dock" started with arrival of at least 150 foreign workers on days 14 with more every port who were placed in cabins all over the shop. They were greasy and carried cables all over and removed many ceiling tiles. They basically worked in front of all passengers 8 hours each day. NCL crew were all polite and happy and hard working. Food was edible but seemed of a lower standard than my 4 other NCL cruises and RC. Mostly ate in the two "free dining rooms for breakfast and dinner. Drink package was fine and I thought the choices were good enough for me. Servers were very polite about the use of the drink package. The crew entertainers were very good and Peter the travel speaker was excellent. Liked the singer from Sri Lanka but the comedians and jugglers were true odd balls who seemed like the cheapest entertainer NCL could fly in for 2-3 days. All were hell bent on selling cd's after the show and not funny and not talented. I will be careful to not get on a ship again that is headed to dry dock as there was a total distraction for all employees and guests. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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