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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
If you are looking to go on a cruise where service is great, staff are happy...do NOT take Norwegian Sun!! Leadership on this ship and Guest Service manager, do NOT have a clue of what service is all about. She is rude, defensive and ... Read More
If you are looking to go on a cruise where service is great, staff are happy...do NOT take Norwegian Sun!! Leadership on this ship and Guest Service manager, do NOT have a clue of what service is all about. She is rude, defensive and insulting to guests. Luggage delivering was delayed for 13 hours, no apology, no compensation, no compassion! They have this "don't care attitude" Luggage was damaged and after many stressful encounters, they replaced my Samsonite suitcase with an inferior quality suitcase. This suitcase fell apart after one use! Staff on the entire ship - you do not see any staff smiling. it is obvious that they are not happy with their job! Getting on and off the ship at ports of call - security staff who scans your ship card did not provide any eye contact, smile or hello!! What we expected to be a fun, relaxing cruise...it turned out to be stressful and horrible! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise because it was inexpensive and we were interested in the destinations. We bought our tickets before learning that every US citizen in our party would have to jump through many hoops to get a $160 visa to enter Brazil. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was inexpensive and we were interested in the destinations. We bought our tickets before learning that every US citizen in our party would have to jump through many hoops to get a $160 visa to enter Brazil. Unless you live near a Brazilian Consulate or Embassy, it will take you at least 2 weeks and you may have to hire a company to do it for you. I will not discuss the safety aspects of Argentina and Brazil. I strongly recommend enrolling in the US State Department STEP program at https://step.state.gov/step/. About NCL: I had acceptable experience with NCL previously, but was disappointed they did not credit me for a prior cruise. We were not permitted any of the perks of their reward program as we were previously promised. If you plan on participating in their Latitudes reward program, tape record whatever they say to you and screen copy all online offers. NCL does an excellent job of embarkation/debarkation. Fast, efficient, friendly. We actually had someone die during a long, tedious embarkation on Holland America a few years back. HA should take a hint from NCL about embarkation/debarkation, especially since time is more important to their clientele. NCL website is clunky and the application is useless. The application does not provide very much about the ship except how to spend your money. There was not even a map of the ship. About the Cruise: Ship condition was a little worn, but not as bad as the Pride of America was prior to last year's overhaul. Cabin condition was very good, but they really don't have enough 110v outlets. The service was excellent and the photo staff, sales persons, and spa staff did not try to hard sale. The lack of aggressive sales was a blessing. Food in the cafeteria was acceptable. Way too much dairy, food very salty, and no margarine, even on request. Very few vegan/vegetarian choices and they dumped meat into just about everything, including macaroni salad??? Food and service in the main dining room was excellent. Way too much dairy on the menu, but there were always choices and the staff would recommend things not on the menu as needed. The main dining room was the highlight of our on-board experience. The entertainment was disappointing. The magician was basically a guy who brought out props for his contortionist wife to use. After 15 minutes, we had seen enough. Musicians were OK, but the BINGO sounded better. The Casino staff was not helpful and we ended up with charges to our account even though we never successfully gambled. Overall, the staff was excellent. Friendly, patient, and helpful best describes the hotel staff. I was a little disappointed with the ship crew when I pointed out a significant SOLAS safety hazard caused by the crew and it was not resolved. I had to go to the Safety Officer and it finally was resolved a couple of days later. We did not take ship excursions, but enjoyed the ports of call. We were probably the only passengers to take in the Rio Military Museum, including the submarine tour. Rio is very expensive and has a 25% tax on everything. NCL did not warn us that ALL ON BOARD PURCHASES IN BRAZIL WATERS ARE SUBJECT TO 25% TAX in addition to the published service charge of $13.5% to 15.5% per day and for just about everything purchased on board. We and NCL lost out because we would have bought our wine package online had they informed us of the crazy tax rate, but chose not to make purchases in Brazilian waters. Uruguay was a pleasant surprise and the people are exceptionally friendly. We exchanged too much money as just about every business in Punta Del Este and Montevideo accepted euro, US $, and Argentine Pesos. Free walking tours of Punta Del Este and Montevideo are excellent if you are mobile and want some exercise. Argentina was surprisingly unfriendly. We failed to exchange enough money and were shocked to find restaurants and businesses unwilling to take credit cards. The government controls the money very closely and it stifles trade. We discovered a fantastic nature reserve in walking distance from the Buenos Aires pier, the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve. Free entry and bring your camera and binoculars. The Hop on/Hop Off bus in Buenos Aires was a deal. Purchase tickets in the cruise terminal. Start early and explore. The city is rich in culture and history. The local beer is way better than the local in Brazil and Uruguay. Wines in Uruguay and Argentina are exceptional and the prices are great. If you are making your own arrangements from the ship to the Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE, located in Ezeiza), purchase a taxi ticket in the cruise terminal to the MT Leon Station at 1299 E. Madero Av or take the 10-15 minute walk. DO NOT take a bus from the main terminal, Terminal de Omnibus de Retiro. The airport buses are not as frequent and you will require a transfer. It is closer to the pier, not worth the time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise because of it's great itinerary. We sailed Rio de Janeiro > Buenos Aires stopping at 5 ports along the way. Firstly, the boarding procedure was quick and simple but when we were on board there was literally ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it's great itinerary. We sailed Rio de Janeiro > Buenos Aires stopping at 5 ports along the way. Firstly, the boarding procedure was quick and simple but when we were on board there was literally no one to assist us in the direction of our cabin. We eventually found one staff member and asked him and he had no clue where to point us. it took about 15 mins to finally find it. The ship itself was clean and elegant inside and quite luxurious. Our room attendant Jay was superb and so were a couple of bartenders namely Sy and Santos who were super friendly and always remembered our names. I would like to warn anyone who is on the "ultimate beverage package" that the package is very limited. We were shocked to find out that bottled water is somehow not included and they were trying to charge us $4 - $6 for a bottle of water! Also small things like teas and coffees in the cafe were also not included in their "ultimate beverage package". Out of principal we refused to buy bottled water as we paid $800 each to be on this package. My girlfriend got quite sick after three days, probably from drinking the tap water on the ship! The bottled water policy didn't make sense to me at all, how can a $15 cocktail be included on the package when a bottle of water isn't? None of the staff could explain the logic to me either. Perhaps I was spoilt on my last cruise with Celebrity where their "ultimate package" was inclusive of absolutely everything, even premium whiskies and wines where Norwegian are quick to charge you extra for this. It was really disappointing. Apart from the few staff members i mentioned above, I found the crew to be quite unprofessional at times. There were a few instances were crew were clearly speaking negatively about Norwegian cruise lines in front of guests (happened twice on the tendors and again while we were waiting to be seated at the dining room). I'm not sure whether they are not paid enough or are working too many hours but it is reflecting in their service and we could tell that they were not happy. Overall we enjoyed the cruise because of the ports of call and it was comfortable but unfortunately it doesn't compare to Celebrity Cruises in terms of value for money, service and overall experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
I´m brazilian and it´s my second NCL Cruise, the other was NCL Getaway. The ship is old but tradicional, the crew members are great and the Cities I visited the best. What make me upset is an ilegal tax that all onboard have to pay, crew ... Read More
I´m brazilian and it´s my second NCL Cruise, the other was NCL Getaway. The ship is old but tradicional, the crew members are great and the Cities I visited the best. What make me upset is an ilegal tax that all onboard have to pay, crew members and passengers, a 25% tax plus the 18% tax for the service, but this 25% we only know when we make the first payment. Researching, they create this because NCL was finned for Brazilan law and give to all to pay what it´s deservers only to NCL because NCL don´t follow brazilian rules, that they should have at least 25% brazilians working there. And for people that doesn't speak English is really hard, even in the recreation for kids there´s no brazilian, I had to complain because my 7 and 10 years old boys weren't understanding much. Roberto the cruise director is the best and all the adult Recreation team were great: Sandra, Clarissa, José, Adriano, love you all. Imagine, a beer costs $7.95 but you have to pay $11.35: +1.43(18% grat, ok) but the $1.99 brazilian tax is ilegal!!!!!). Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Great itinerary! Great Ship! Great Crew! Great Price! Great Cabin! After cruising on just about every cruise line and after cruising more than 250 cruises the Norwegian Sun wins my vote for best ship. It is wonderful to see it back in ... Read More
Great itinerary! Great Ship! Great Crew! Great Price! Great Cabin! After cruising on just about every cruise line and after cruising more than 250 cruises the Norwegian Sun wins my vote for best ship. It is wonderful to see it back in the South America market. It would be nice one day to do an around the world cruise on her. The ship was in great condition and looked like it had been recently overhauled and up to date. The cabin was spacious and the bed so comfortable I hated getting out of it in the morning. The dining on the ship was elegant wherever you ate. Although I ate in several venues I felt that this was not a necessity as the food and service in the main restaurants was every bit as good. The timeliness of service was excellent. I thought the entertainment in the main shows could be improved on as I would like more shows with comedy and magic and entertainers interacting more with the audience. The classical music in the Atrium is one of my favorite things to relax to and enjoy every night before dinner. FABULOUS SHIP AND CRUISE! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Unfortunately the Norwegian survey wouldn't take this in, so this seems like the best place. (I've expanded a little - it would have been under the 1000 char limit) This was our 4th Norwegian cruise, and may be our last. ... Read More
Unfortunately the Norwegian survey wouldn't take this in, so this seems like the best place. (I've expanded a little - it would have been under the 1000 char limit) This was our 4th Norwegian cruise, and may be our last. Embarkation was confused, messy, and priority boarding for latitudes members entirely pointless (1 manned desk after already going through 2 checkpoints. If you had a suite you were fast-tracked though). . The waiting staff on deck did their level best to avoid ares where there might be people who wanted drinks. Many of the waiting staff were choppy, but became incredibly friendly on the last night. Disembarkation plans were poorly communicated (nothing anywhere noted the need to pick up luggage labels) - I presume because staff were too busy showing the South American agents around. My wife got food poisoning (we think from a piece of pineapple in a drink which tasted soured) but the desk staff clearly though it was over-drinking. One: my wife doesn't drink that much. Two: you don't go from absolutely fine to violently ill in 7 seconds. Hand washing / no bottle refills in the buffet were not policed, and was in general disarray by 10pm. The only saving graces were the cabin steward and the guitar player (Henry Hood) - he is absolutely excellent in terms of repertoire and rapport. As always, the excursions where drastically over-priced ($55 for a 2 hour "cultural" group walking tour around a small island - really?!). They also unnecessarily squeezed the time in port to force you on to excursions, when the distance between ports means they could leave many hours later without issue. Real decline in service quality compared to our first and second cruises. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I took this cruise because I had not been to South America in over 6 years, and wanted to experience the sights and sounds of the region again. Specifically took this cruise because it fit my schedule well and the price was very good. I ... Read More
I took this cruise because I had not been to South America in over 6 years, and wanted to experience the sights and sounds of the region again. Specifically took this cruise because it fit my schedule well and the price was very good. I like NCL overall and have sailed with them a number of times. I generally tell my friends that I like NCL's entertainment quality but do not like the quality (taste) of the dining room food. Taking entertainment first, I found on this cruise that the entertainment in the show lounge was not as good as other cruises. This applies to the special on-board entertainers. Exception to that was the 16 member "production cast" whom I found to be excellent. Also, the special entertainment (tango performance) was also excellent. In the other venues,a couple of the groups were good. Others just okay. The Blue Notes were good but limited in scope. The South American singer Sabrina was superb when she was allowed to perform freely. There was another South America duo that were also very good. The solo guitarist should be performing more often. Lastly, the "string trio" that is usually on-board the ships did the usual excellent job of providing entertainment in the atrium. Problems with this specific cruise affected the performances of all the above. I do not know why but, the daily news never seemed to have the proper times for the performances of the entertainment. Other than the usual 7:30/9:30 scheduled shows. I realize weather sometimes played a factor in outside venues. But I am not talking about that. The written schedule times were very often off, out of sync, or just plain incorrect! Very frustrating and disappointing. The entertainers did not deserve this. For sure, we passengers deserved much better. No need to belabor the food issue. As usual on NCL, the food in the buffet area is good. On this ship however, more limited. But then, the Sun is small. So I understand and accept that. My problem is with the main dining rooms and especially the "Gourmet dining areas". Although the food is not "bad", it just does not have the quality of taste that I have experienced on other cruise lines. Regarding the other or specialty restaurants, they are definitely not worth paying extra for the food. It is only if you wish a more slower/quieter dining experience that you should eat there. BUT! And I mean a big "BUT!", the new NCL policy of making the specialty restaurants charge you "A la Carte" is just ridiculous and crazy. Definitely not worth the extra money for the food you get. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I choose this cruise as it is a great way to see part of South America in a safe and secure environment. Given the crime levels in South America and not speaking Spanish or Portuguese the cruise is the obvious choice to get a flavour of ... Read More
I choose this cruise as it is a great way to see part of South America in a safe and secure environment. Given the crime levels in South America and not speaking Spanish or Portuguese the cruise is the obvious choice to get a flavour of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The cruise started off in Buenos Aires and visited Montevideo, Punta del Este, Santos, Isle Grande, Buzios and Rio de Janeiro. The embarkation for the cruise went extremely smoothly boarding from 12:00pm and by 12:30pm you were on the ship. This was good after a 14 hour overnight flight from London to Buenos Aires. SHIP The Norwegian Sun entered service in 2001 and is currently 15 years old but has been refurbished recently. The ship given that it is older is not showing its age due to the refurbishment. The ship is medium sized but has all the amenities you get on a larger ship just on a smaller scale. I found the ship easy to navigate around with short walks to most areas that you wanted to visit. One of the highlights of the ship is the atrium which goes from Deck 5 to Deck 11. Most of the facilities around the atrium are on Decks 5, 6 & 7. The area of the ship you spend your evenings are Decks 5, 6 & 7. ENTERTAINMENT Activities were arranged by the entertainment team through out the day. You could play Bingo, Deal or No Deal, learn Tango or Line Dancing. I am not a big fan of organised activities but there were lots of organised activities if that's what you like. In the evenings the main entertainment was in the Stardust Theatre with production shows, magicians and musicians. I found the productions by the singers and dancers of NCL were the best. The last production show with the singers and dancers was entertainment highlight of the cruise. One dancer in the shows Rachel (from Scotland) really stood out from the others as being a passionate high quality professional dancer. She is a rising star and has a bright future in singing and dancing. The production shows on the Norwegian Sun looked like shows you expect to see in the theatre in the West End of London, Las Vegas or Broadway in New York. Of all the singers onboard Henry (from USA) stood out with his easy listening melodies. Henry is a soulful singer with a large repertoire of songs from the 1950's to today. After leaving the theatre in the evening the entertainment continued in Dazzles Nightclub with a themed disco. If you wanted something more relaxing you headed next door to the Windjammer Bar with a singer. Windjammer was like a traditional British style pub where you could meet new friends and talk to fellow passengers. Dazzle Nightclub was louder with a good party atmosphere. DINING I dined mainly at the Seven Seas Restaurant at the rear of Deck 5. This is a more traditional restaurant with tables for 2, 4, 6, 8 with full waiter service. The food in the restaurant was superb with half of the menu changing each night. Also the service was prompt and you were never left long waiting for a course. Of the speciality restaurants I only tried Cagney's Steakhouse. The food in the restaurant was superior to the main restaurants and worth the approx $25 per person. I would recommend the Brazilian Churrascaria as I tried one in Rio de Janeiro. You get unlimited salad from the bar and unlimited cuts of meat. The Garden Cafe Buffet was good for breakfast and lunches but you are better off going to one of the other restaurants for your evening meal. The Great Outdoor Cafe offers alfresco dining which is good when the ship is docked in port or when departing port late afternoon. SERVICE Whether in the bars or restaurants the service was superb. You were not left waiting for half an hour to get a drink like I have experienced at land based bars. FITNESS The gym was a good size and never over crowded with a mixture of cardio machines and free weights. I only tried it once as I was on holiday. There were good machines for running, cycling and cross training. The only downside was just one rowing machine. VALUE FOR MONEY The cruise itself was good value for money considering whats included, meals, accommodation, entertainment, etc. I managed to get a deal with the unlimited beverage package which was good value. The drinks onboard are expensive by UK Pub Prices and European prices. Plus the drinks come with an 18% gratuity or service charge. Expect to pay around $8.00 for a bottle of beer plus an 18% gratuity about double UK pub prices. However if you can get a deal with a drinks package as long as the value of the drink is $15.00 or below it is included. What is strange is the ultimate beverage package does not include coffee and tea, whereas on other cruise lines they are included. If you add whisky to you coffee (Irish Coffee) it is included. PORTS Buenos Aires A European style city with a Latin American flair. This city has very distinct neighborhoods my highlight was the colourful La Boca. Swedish colours of blue and yellow really brighten the area up. This area is also good for seeing Tango dancers. Recoleta and San Telmo are also very good. I booked an organised tour online as it was a third of what NCL was charging covering the same attractions. Montevideo Easy walking city and the ship docks close to the centre. The most friendly I visited in South America with a few attractions of large signs and interesting building. Uruguay is known as the Switzerland of South America, no mountains but a welcoming place. If you like steak head for Mercado del Puerto a 5 minute walk from the ship. Some of the best and largest steaks in South America. I booked an organised tour online which as half of what NCL was charging covering the same attractions. Punta del Este Due to bad weather the ship did not tender. Passengers that organised an excursion from Montevideo told me that it had excellent beaches. It is known as the San Tropez of South America. Santos An industrial port city in Brazil. My highlight was the tram tour giving you a flavour of the city. Unfortunately the commentary is in Portuguese but it is an enjoyable ride. I also visited the Coffee Museum which is set up for Brazilian and Portuguese tourists. It is worth paying for a commentary in English although I found the museum to be rather dull. It lacked interactive and fun exhibits which can bring history to life. Isle Grande I gave this port a miss, it is a tender boat to the pier due to the port of Vila do Abraao having a shallow port. I was told by fellow passengers you can see Brazilian wildlife including small monkeys and large spiders by walking around the island. If you like beaches Lopes Mendes came highly recommended. Buzios A good tourist resort with all the modern facilities you would expect. You can book a trolley to go around the peninsular or a boat to go swimming and snorkeling. I booked a boat for swimming and snorkeling online and it was a third of the price NCL were charging for the same excursion. The sea was clean and warm however I did not see any fish. Buzios reminded me of the resorts in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. The safest place visited in South America on this cruise. Rio de Janeiro The best port and highlight of the cruise and I would recommend at least booking 2 nights if not 3 nights in Rio to see as much of the city as you can in a short space of time. The highlights in Rio de Janeiro were Corcovado and the Christ The Redeemer Statue, Sugar Loaf Mountain and Samba Dancing. I would also recommend a guided tour to the Favela's. Be careful in Rio de Janeiro and watch for pick pockets and large group of young men. The city has an edge to it with lost of railings in front of buildings. Book the tours with your hotel locally as they are much cheaper than the cruise shore excursions and cheaper than on the internet. I booked three tours with the hotel to see the main sights and it cost less than one fully day of Rio de Janeiro with NCL. SHORE EXCURSIONS I would recommend that you book them in advance online where possible. If you want peace of mind and safety book them with NCL but they cost at least double those online or at the portside. I found that Punta del Este, Santos and Isle Grande you either book with NCL or make your own arrangements locally. All of the others you can book online before you go. Overall I would recommend this cruise for anyone wanting to get a flavour of South America. The port highlights are Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. With this cruise you get to visit Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil without having to worry for your safety and security. Most people outside the tourist areas do not speak English, so unless you are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese then the Norwegian Sun is a excellent way to see South America. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Great itinerary, I boarded in Buenos Aires ( after a wonderful week) and enjoyed visiting Uruguay and the coast of Brazil then departed in Rio for a week. This size ship ( I think 1,800 ) is perfect for a cruise like this. Easy to get ... Read More
Great itinerary, I boarded in Buenos Aires ( after a wonderful week) and enjoyed visiting Uruguay and the coast of Brazil then departed in Rio for a week. This size ship ( I think 1,800 ) is perfect for a cruise like this. Easy to get around, plenty to do. Only on the 2 sea days do you miss the water slides, rock climbing walls, golf, etc. found on the newer bigger ships. The 8 days in port you have everything you need to fill your evenings: dance lessons ( you can learn and practice Tango), good nightly performances in the auditorium, dancing in the clubs and on deck, casino, piano bar. Never a dull moment. My favorite area on ship( in fact best on my 15 cruises) was the large outside covered area aft deck 11. Take your breakfast or lunch with a view ( and shade) ,in the evenings this bar offers the best sunsets and sail away views of the city or island that you visited that day. Great multi-linguial staff, good accomodations, entertainment, and food. Read Less
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