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87 Norwegian (NCL) South America Cruise Reviews

My husband and I had a great 15 days on board the Norwegian Sun. Can now check off the Panama Canal from my Bucket List. The Sun is very manageable, once you realize that decks are cut apart and you can;t get there from here. You might ... Read More
My husband and I had a great 15 days on board the Norwegian Sun. Can now check off the Panama Canal from my Bucket List. The Sun is very manageable, once you realize that decks are cut apart and you can;t get there from here. You might have to go up or down a deck to get to the other side. The cabin, 9235, was small but we managed. One afternoon we came back to the cabin to find our desk chair missing. Tried to use the phone, but that didn't work so my husband went to Guest Relations to report both. Within minutes the Assistant Head of Housekeeping was at the door and another chair was delivered shortly thereafter and our phone was fixed quickly, too. The food was probably the best on any cruise line that we have been on. Went to Cagney's once and it was fabulous. Freestyle dining is great. Met lost of nice people. The entertainment was just OK, nothing special. The ship's troupe was very good, lots of energy and good voices. Early on we had a few glitches in the dining room which were addressed nicely. In fact, the are manager became our best friend and we wanted for nothing under his watch. Yes, I would sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before and had a wonderful dinner at Anthony's Runway 84. To shuttle to Miami to get on ship. Easy embarkation at the Casino at Sea Counter. The ship was one of the smaller ships to go through ... Read More
Flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before and had a wonderful dinner at Anthony's Runway 84. To shuttle to Miami to get on ship. Easy embarkation at the Casino at Sea Counter. The ship was one of the smaller ships to go through the Panama Canal and locks. It needs some updating which I understand is happening in February or April.2018. In 20 years of cruising, I felt this was the best stage performers. the cruise Director Roberto and Asst Dir...Francesco worked quite well together and made all events a lot of fun. The Dining room was very accomadating on time to eat and if we wanted to be alone or share a table. The sea was a little rough and the ship rocked quite a bit. Although I never got ill, I had a low level headache for several days. The Casino allowed Smoking and because it was small they couldn't divide up smoking and non smoking area. the Ports were fascinating as each port was a working port not a guest port. Very interesting to watch what went on in each port.. Service was impeccable as always. The shore excursions were varied and people found different interests. I was surprised of all the Desert area in South America. Our final days were spend in Santiago Chile, while I enjoyed very much. Big city but lovely people.. I don't believe we would redo this trip as it was too choppy for me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
It's a re-positioning from Miami to Santiago via the Panama Canal. Port stops include Santa Marta, Cartegena, Manta, Trujillo, Lima, Arica, Coquimbo, and San Antonio (Valparaiso, Santiago). We had over 100 Cruise Critic members on ... Read More
It's a re-positioning from Miami to Santiago via the Panama Canal. Port stops include Santa Marta, Cartegena, Manta, Trujillo, Lima, Arica, Coquimbo, and San Antonio (Valparaiso, Santiago). We had over 100 Cruise Critic members on this sailing and some are taking the B2B to Buenos Aires. There were two rough sea days but by keeping busy and with help from sea sickness pill got over it. The guest Panama Canal narrator, Ed. was excellent at explaining the history as well as the canal operations. We enjoyed the Pampas Devils' tango shows and attended all their classes. The ship's entertainment troupe did a bang up performance, especially the one showing the various dances and songs of many countries. The magician was also excellent, I know there must be a trick somewhere but still couldn't fathom how he did it. Tried the specialty restaurants. Cagney's 20 oz. Porter-house was too much. Le Bistro does have much better French onion soup than in the standard dining rooms. The embarkation registration line in Miami was the worst I've seen, taking probably two hours snaking through Disney like lines, but people used the time to make friends. All in all, if you want to take a Panama Canal transit, this itinerary is different. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The itinerary for this cruise was excelllent. We got to see many different cultures, and ate a wide variety of foods and cuisines. The food in the buffet was average. The food offered in the dining rooms was slightly above average. All the ... Read More
The itinerary for this cruise was excelllent. We got to see many different cultures, and ate a wide variety of foods and cuisines. The food in the buffet was average. The food offered in the dining rooms was slightly above average. All the while the service throughout the ship from soup to nuts was excellent. The ship needs some refurbishing which apparently has already been scheduled, as announced by the Captain on the last night of the cruise. We sought out private tours for our time on land. These were excellent, and were at least 50 per cent less than those organized by the cruise line. Cruise Critic provided the means to contact others on the cruise well before sailing to expedite joining these private tours. We got to meet a wonderful and diverse group of people on the ship, who became our instant friends. That made the cruise that much more fun. We would repeat this cruise if the ship were to be refurbished. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
My wife and I travelled with a group of 62. We got to Buenos Aires a couple of days prior to boarding the Norwegian Sun, and I'm glad we did. It gave us a chance to explore the city and at least get a taste of it. Once we were on ... Read More
My wife and I travelled with a group of 62. We got to Buenos Aires a couple of days prior to boarding the Norwegian Sun, and I'm glad we did. It gave us a chance to explore the city and at least get a taste of it. Once we were on board, the crew and staff on the ship were all very helpful and accommodating. A big thank you to Jeff (assistant maître-de), Ralph (karaoke), Errol (room steward), Donna (server in Seven Seas) and the many others who were helpful in making this a very enjoyable cruise. I'm still not sure what happened on the first day of the cruise, but for some reason a number of people boarded the ship on what looked to be a very dangerous gangway that was almost like a "slide" down into the ship. I refused to go on that way, but many of our group were instructed to take that route and they were very upset about it. Some explanation was given about it being due to the water levels, but I have never seen such a dangerous start to a cruise before, and hope I never do again. An almost two-hour delay in getting checked-in (due to problems with the reciprocity fees) certainly didn't help either. This is the reason for grading the cruise as only "Very Good". We enjoyed most of the shows, but did not go see any of them twice. When a show was on again, we ended up spending our time at Dazzles dancing the night away. The house band (The Blue Notes) played a wide variety of music and generally had a good following. I personally enjoyed doing Bandaoke with them. Since it was the last cruise of the season for the Buenos Aires to Santiago route, the weather was not the best. We had some rougher seas once we passed Cape Horn, but that was to be expected. The unexpected part was that in a number of ports many of the shops were closed for various reasons. Some of the reasons were it being Sunday, Easter week vacation and a census being taken in Chile. This was unfortunate, but it was beyond the control of NCL. In Puerto Madryn, there were a few thousand penguins (as opposed to hundreds of thousands) that were still at the rookery, but that was still wonderful for those of us who look upon it as a treat to see penguins in the wild. The other ports of call each had their own attraction, but I would say that Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Montt were a very pleasant surprise due to the natural beauty of the surrounding areas. With the cooler weather and rougher seas, not many of the outdoor activities could be utilized on the ship. The pools and hot tubs were used up to Puerto Madryn, but not much afterwards. I know that there were other activities available, but they didn't immediately capture my interest. It's too bad because when I watched replays of them, they did look quite informative. During our sea days, I ended up spending a lot of time with other members of our group playing cards or just talking. The casino was an alternative, but because it allowed smoking I didn't go there much. My previous cruises were generally on larger ships, so in some ways it was refreshing to be able to walk from aft to stern so quickly. Of course this means less amenities, but that is to be expected. I certainly found lots to do during my time on ship, and didn't mind the sea days. While NCL has the free-style dining, since we had a large group we had a set reservation at Seven Seas for each night. The selection was generally pretty good, but many of our group commented that the soup was extremely salty and only served luke-warm. Other than that, we enjoyed the food and service. We did make use of four specialty dinners and they were all good. Our favourite was Tepenyaki, followed by Cagney's, Le Bistro and Moderno. Due to travelling with such a large group, we already had private excursions arranged. The prices that NCL offered for the various excursions seemed very expensive to what we had, and as far as I'm concerned I think we got good value for our money. As with every cruise, I set reasonable expectations of what I want to experience and NCL certainly met those expectations. The crew was wonderful and while this wasn't Buckingham Palace, the crew made us feel like royalty. I look forward to my next cruise with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
First impressions - really liked the ship. It was not too big and impersonal. Public areas nice ambience. The cabin was nicely furnished and the bed was comfortable. Plenty of cupboard space. It was our second time on NCL and we were ... Read More
First impressions - really liked the ship. It was not too big and impersonal. Public areas nice ambience. The cabin was nicely furnished and the bed was comfortable. Plenty of cupboard space. It was our second time on NCL and we were given a bottle of sparkling wine as a welcome back gift which was a nice gesture. Room was very quiet which we appreciated. Cabin service excellent - clean towels etc always available and stewards very helpful. Nice people on the cruise - everyone seemed to be ready to chat. We got the drinks package and tips included with the fare we paid. Although we do not drink a great deal it was nice to have a glass of wine with dinner/cocktail etc without thinking of mounting costs. We did not try the specialty restaurants as these were a bit expensive when food was already available. May have tried them if cover charge was lower. The shows were varied and catered to the profile of ships passengers, although we did not attend many. Entertainment during sea days was a bit of a challenge for the staff as the decks were often closed due to high winds and wet weather. In any case it was too cold to be out on deck and this seemed to catch a lot of passengers off guard in terms of clothing packed for the cruise (me included) - everyone had coats and big sweaters even indoors in the ship. Would have liked a launderette on board but a special offer for a bag of laundry for 20USD was offered a couple of times and this was useful. Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth, including no problems with tenders. Tenders were also fair in that those not on tours could collect tickets for tenders in a first come first serve basis rather than by floors which some cruise lines do. I offer the following as suggestions rather than criticisms - I enjoyed the cruise and would have no hesitation traveling with NCL again. 1. The excursions were prohibitively expensive for many people. In fairness, they were expensive whether you purchased them with NCL or privately. NCL did offer a deal once you were on the ship with cut price tours if you bought a package with 3 or 4 tours which was competitive with private tours. 2. The food was a bit repetitive and the quality average. some of the dining room choices were a bit odd - the elements were not well matched. There was good choice of specialty restaurants but not a great deal of choice in complementary food. The choices at the sports bar and pizzeria food were limited and sports bar not great quality. The Ramblas tapas really was poor quality and not enjoyable. Pride of America had a nice hamburger/ fast food restaurant that was really nice and would have liked to have seen something along those lines. The weather meant that the outdoor cafes could not be used so inside restaurants very crowded but everyone found a seat with a bit of looking! 3. There needs to be a bit more coordination for passengers running church services - there is a chapel and it should be confined to those areas - not in public bar areas where they try to drive others away. This was not on. 4. We experienced high winds and bad weather and one night the ship listed several times with one particular significant list where some people fell out of bed and things fell off shelves in the cabin. No mention was made of this by staff and it was like a veil of secrecy when people asked what happened. We were told that the degree of listing was not made public as it would cause panic - it was more worrying to me not to know. 5. During the night the ship listed, our cabin got water running into it that smelled very bad and soaked our carpet, and the carpets in other cabins near us and the corridor. When I went to report it at the front desk (at midnight) the staff said that no one else had reported the ship listing!!!!!!! What ??????? All the passengers and crew were talking about it the next day! They sent someone to vacuum up the water from the carpet which at that time was localised but I could hear water running down one of the inside walls and the next morning got out of bed to a soaked carpet that smelled awful. When I first went to report it the staff on the reception desk acted like I was the one at fault, complaining about nothing and being difficult. They told us there were no other cabins available and that we would need to stay out of the cabin for the day whilst they put industrial air blowers in the cabin. We were tired after having no sleep the night before. They then offered us the use of an inside cabin on deck 4 for the night (although the carpets were not dry until days later) - husband claustrophobic so have never been able to have a cabin without a window on our travels. We then noted it wasn't only our cabin with the dryers - in other cabins on our floor carpets were lifted, furniture moved and cabins stripped! Also dryers in the corridors and smell was very unpleasant. Asked several times where the water came from but were told different things - air conditioning, drain etc. We got no help at all until we asked to see the ship's hotel manager and suddenly we were offered a room the same as the one we had paid for on the same floor but unaffected by water. After that, staff were helpful. I think they eventually realised that there was a genuine problem and then were helpful. This episode was disappointing, but I guess the reception desk staff do get a lot of people complaining about trivial things and it is difficult to be taken seriously when you have a genuine problem - we have found most ships the same thing in this regard and honestly, it is clearly not the easiest job, and so I can understand the initial pushback but it was a bit disheartening when we knew the problem was genuine. 6. The bathrooms frequently had a smell of stale urine presumably coming from the toilet systems which was unpleasant - noticed this on other ships, not just this one. It was not overpowering, and I guess the staff are reluctant to use chemical cleaners for environmental reasons, but maybe a way of limiting it? All in all, liked the cruise and the ship and will happily sail with NCL again, but would love to know why Aussies have to pay so much more for cruises than other countries? Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We arrived at 1100am and dropped off our luggage, completed a health declaration form and then we had a brief wait to be called to join the queue to be checked in. My DH stated on the form he had cold symptoms so we were pulled from the ... Read More
We arrived at 1100am and dropped off our luggage, completed a health declaration form and then we had a brief wait to be called to join the queue to be checked in. My DH stated on the form he had cold symptoms so we were pulled from the queue so he could be assessed by a doctor. We waited approximately 30mins or so for this to be sorted but were eventually told we could complete our check in, which involved another wait for someone to be available. Unfortunately the computer system checking the reciprocity fee for Australian and Canadian guests went down just as we were completing our check in. Two hours later we made our way to the ship. This involved being transferred by bus to the ship. We ran from the bus to board the ship as it was raining. We were shown to the baggage access area to board the ship. At 5' 2'' I struggled but I was on board, YEAH. Except I hadn't actually meant to board with my husband as I had planned on going to the BA cemetery for the 3pm free walking tour. They closed the downstairs access not long after we boarded so I headed to level 5 to the gangway to wait for a break in guests embarking so I could disembark. Wasn't going to happen. I spent an hour trying to disembark before giving up. I decided to head up stairs to check the ship over. The ship looked neat and clean. Prior to leaving home both my DH & I loaded the iconcierge app on our phones. The app has information about where and when activities were scheduled and information about the restaurants location. My DH decided to pay the $10pp for the 2 of us to be able to communicate on the ship through the iconcierge app. A great investment as we spent a lot of time apart from each other due to our different interests. We didn't pay to eat in any of the speciality restaurants. We varied eating between the various free restaurants which generally gave adequate variety and mixed quality. I wasn't overly impressed with the Garden Cafe, preferring either of the two main dining rooms. It would be nice to have had a change in the menu the second week. From a dessert perspective the pineapple crepes in the Garden Cafe were to die for. My DH & I had a couples massage, which were okay. My DH had a pedicure and I had a mani & pedicure. My DH enjoyed the calf massage of his pedi so much he booked another one. I utilised the gym most days and had little problem accessing the equipment. I also utilised the spa pools a handful of times, the water could have been hotter. I went to several of the evening shows in the Stardust Theatre, most of which I enjoyed. I suggest you take a drink with you from one of the bars as they only had two waiters serving downstairs. The cruise dancers and singers were great and performed under some difficult conditions. All the entertainment staff were great. I rarely left Dazzles before midnight. I loved Blue Notes, they played a great variety of music and had a great sound. Even though the cruise tours are expensive, I booked the tour to Bluff Cove in Stanley through the ship(the only way it can be booked). I had also booked a private tour in Stanley to Volunteer Point with Estancia Tours and was hedging my bets. The owners of Volunteer Point closed access to their property due to the rain they had had so I was glad we had a back up plan. We booked the rest of our tours independently. Even though I loved our cruise to South America I wouldn't go on the same cruise. I would however cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
So this was a starter cruise for us in that region of S.A. Overall we enjoyed this cruise experience, once we got onboard. There were some ups and downs. The NCL arranged transportation from the Rio airport was disorganized. There were ... Read More
So this was a starter cruise for us in that region of S.A. Overall we enjoyed this cruise experience, once we got onboard. There were some ups and downs. The NCL arranged transportation from the Rio airport was disorganized. There were two buses, our bus for 30+ people took overall an hour to find us??? The registration process at the pier was horrendous. Everyone waited in a LONG line for bags and papers to be checked, then were given a number and shuffled to another area with HUNDREDS of people with no explanation and no idea how long we had to wait. The numbers being called out were in no particular order. After about 45 minutes they called for Platinum Latitude members to come wait in a shorted line. (Thank goodness) Later we found out some people waited over 3 hours to get on the ship. The buffet Food on the NCL cruise ships is never very good, so you have to find what you like and stick with it if you have to eat in the buffet due to timing of activities. Otherwise we use the main dining rooms as much as possible. We DID NOT LIKE the 25% shipboard tax in Brazil and did not know about it until arriving. NCL should be up front about such additional costs. Also when booking a cruise through NCL the rep. should tell you that a visa (Brazil) is needed at the time of booking so that you can factor in the cost of visa's toward your overall expense. The overall stateroom cost for a balcony was fine. The cost of the airfare to get to So. America sucks. So we will plan better next time. Cruise from Miami or Latin America. We did enjoy the service in the main dining rooms and our cabin steward was very nice and pleasant. For the most part the excursions were well coordinated and the guides entertaining and knowledgeable. At some of the beach town stops in Brazil the excursions were not really needed since the town consisted of a few dilapidated buildings and stores. etc. This was our only opportunity in the foreseeable future to see the east coast of the South American main cities of Brazil, Uruguay and Arg. We wanted to go to South American since we have never being before. We will be going back to the west side Chile, etc. Probably on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise allowed stops at places I had never cruised. These included Punta del Este and Montivedio. Because of a great price the friend with whom I traveled and I were able to book single balcony cabins next door to each other. The ... Read More
This cruise allowed stops at places I had never cruised. These included Punta del Este and Montivedio. Because of a great price the friend with whom I traveled and I were able to book single balcony cabins next door to each other. The cabins were comfortable. (On this ship, those who use CPAP machines need to carry an extension cord as the plug in is not near the head of the bed. If notified, the ship provides a gallon of distilled water that is waiting in the cabin on arrival.) Embarkation was a mess with passengers waiting for hours with little news on what was taking place. It caused worries about the whole trip which ended up being needless. The food was most adequate. It is not the equal of the upscale lines, but not bad at all. A pleasant part of buffet meals is that there is a large open air space at the stern just behind the buffet. It has its own shorter buffet lines. It also helps one to avoid a crowded and noisy room. Entertainment on the large Norwegian ships can be excellent. On this one, it was fair to middling. The typical musical reviews were quite good. Individual performers on other nights were not memorable. With the Freestyle eating server quality varies. Of the ten evening dinners we were able to sit at one of the tables of a very excellent server with a great memory on seven of them. The other three nights varied. (We chose not to pay for any of the specialty restaurants). Though the Sun is an older ship, recent renovations have put it in very good shape. Its size is in my view a benefit without the need for really long walks. There are all the facilities one needs. A positive experience is provided. After the cruise, I booked another one on Norwegian which will leave Venice in a few weeks. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We traveled as a family of 3, my husband, daughter (17) and I. We booked a suite 8202 on the front of the ship. This cabin had an extra large balcony. We had priority embarkation and disembarkation. We didn't have to wait in line ... Read More
We traveled as a family of 3, my husband, daughter (17) and I. We booked a suite 8202 on the front of the ship. This cabin had an extra large balcony. We had priority embarkation and disembarkation. We didn't have to wait in line to attend a tender during the stops. Concierge staff was with us throughout whole cruise. We had a special restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We used specialty restaurants as well. Before the cruise, we stayed 2 nights in Buenos Aires. We booked a ferry to Colonia del Sacramento, which was much closer from Buenos Aires than from stop in Montevideo. In Santos we decided to visit the town, rather than drive almost 2 hours to Sao Paolo. In Ilha Grande we rented a boat and made beautiful tour around the islands. We didn't take any excursions from the ship. It was much cheaper and more convenient to buy tours from the locals. Good service and good food. 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
We just completed a 15 day cruise in South America from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso. We were two couples; my wife and I had an Owners Suite and our friends were in a Penthouse Suite. These suites not only come with a list of perks such as ... Read More
We just completed a 15 day cruise in South America from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso. We were two couples; my wife and I had an Owners Suite and our friends were in a Penthouse Suite. These suites not only come with a list of perks such as free liquor and internet but also with VIP status. We have only sailed on Silversea up to now but have never received a level of attention like we did on this cruise. Our butler was fabulous and while we did not need to interact with him everyday, he was always available and was charming. Our steward not only took great care of our suite but also left amazing towel animals as a surprise each evening. But it was our Concierge, Zahira, who was truly amazing. She always knew where we were and what we were doing. She proactively took care of things before we even thought of it and guided us through the entire experience. 15 nights is a long cruise and she took care of everything! There was a big problem at the end of the cruise - a cargo ship was at out dock and would not move so 2000 people and their luggage had to transfer by tender. The VIPs and their luggage got there first - a full 5 hours before the last group made it. We were truly lucky. Of course, there is a much greater diversity of rooms than we experienced on Silversea so a wider range of folks socioeconomically. That said, it was except for the VIP perks, it was as democratic a community as could be and incredibly diverse in terms of nationalities. The only thing I could call a hassle was that on some mornings, the mass of people they had to engineer off the ship for excursions became a bit crazy. But in the end, it all worked. I should mention that we had the Ultimate Beverage Package and I wondered how that would play out. Wondered if it would be hard to flag someone down for a refill. Fear not - they proactively always made sure your glasses were filled! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Overall, we enjoyed our time on the Sun. The ports of call were lovely. We did all port excursions on our own except for Ilha Grande (Schooner and Snorkelling Adventure). We used the Spa a number of times and were satisfied with the ... Read More
Overall, we enjoyed our time on the Sun. The ports of call were lovely. We did all port excursions on our own except for Ilha Grande (Schooner and Snorkelling Adventure). We used the Spa a number of times and were satisfied with the services. On one of the sea days, we wanted to take the "Behind the Scenes Tour" of the Ship. We went to register and Norwegian was charging $79 per person. This is robbery for a guided tour of the ship we are already on and it didn't offer any extra food or beverage or bonus. In the formal restaurants, many men (including teenage boys) did not adhere to the "smart casual" dress code of jeans or slacks with a collared shirt and closed-toed shoes. When asked why this was not being enforced, the staff told us that they "south Americans are casual and don't get it." That was disappointing and annoying as we only ate at the formal dining rooms as we prefer a plated dinner in a more upscale setting yet were surrounded by guests that look like they should be at the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose Norwegian because it had more ports of call on this route (around Cape Horn) than other lines,and for about the price of a balcony room on other lines we could have a mini-suite (with three of us sharing a room it was nice to have ... Read More
We chose Norwegian because it had more ports of call on this route (around Cape Horn) than other lines,and for about the price of a balcony room on other lines we could have a mini-suite (with three of us sharing a room it was nice to have the extra space). After the cruise I believe that Norwegian was an excellent choice for this trip for those reasons. In Buenos Aires we had transfers, hotel and a private half day tour of the city prearranged through Avanti. We also took a day trip to Tigre using Viator. Which I booked the evening before. Both the half day tour and day trip were great. We also did some just walking around in the city. Buenos Aires is so large that a tour to get oriented and see some of the rather spread out highlights is helpful before heading out on your own. Embarking in Buenos Aires seemed a bit onerous, with three lines to stand in before you were checked in, and they didn't move quickly. My dad had an injured foot and the lines were a strain on him, if you are traveling with someone who has a similar challenge it might be wise to use a wheelchair. It wasn't clear to me how much of that was Norwegian and how much the Argentine government, however, our guide in Buenos Aires (through Avanti) told us that Norwegian took longer than other lines. Once checked in they shuttled us quickly to the boat. My one criticism of the first day is that we were not given information about the ship or activities. No map of the ship to help us get oriented and no list of what was going on where. We noticed that some people had these, but others did not. It shouldn't be a surprise how many people are embarking so there really isn't much excuse to not have those in the rooms. Disembarking in Chile was quite smooth. One thing I would mention is that if you are traveling with someone who has difficulty walking long distances, you should ask for a wheelchair, it is a fair hoof to get through the facility. The Sun is an older ship, and that showed a bit here and there. I would say that it was nice but not opulent. Even so the ship was pretty well maintained and kept clean. We had a mini-suite, 1214, forward on deck 11. The room was fairly spacious. The couch wasn't very comfortable, either as a couch or as a bed. The bed was very comfortable. It was nice that there were curtains separating the two areas for a bit of privacy at night. The balcony was pretty tight, for this cruise, which went through some pretty cold and windy weather, it wasn't a problem that all three of us couldn't sit out at the same time. We felt a need to spend time downstairs amidships when it was rough, it isn't a good choice if you are prone to sea sickness. We ate at the Garden Cafe, the outdoor buffets and Moderno when it served as a pizza and pasta station during the day (it become a premium restaurant for dinner), the Seven Seas dining room and the Four Seasons dining room. The general flow of traffic in the buffets and sports bar area at the aft end of deck 11 was not good. It was frequently very crowded and difficult to maneuver with a plate of food and a drink. I preferred to go to the dining rooms when I had the time. The dining rooms were spacious and quiet. The lunch menu was fairly limited, about half-way they changed the options for a few days then switched back again. At dinner they changed the appetizers, half of the entrees and the desserts each day. This worked fine for me. In general I would say that, like with the ship, the food was nice but not opulent. It seemed to me as if the buffet area was carrying more of the dining load than it had been designed for. We didn't go in for the activities or casino, but very much enjoyed several of the music options, and there was quite a bit of variety including Henry Hood a guitarist who played American folk and popular music, Green Dolphin a jazz group, Latin Soul, and Amber Strings, a trio who played classical music. I thought it was great that they had Latin American groups for a South American cruise. We found the Windjammer/Havana Room and Observation Lounge were nice places to hang out in the evenings and enjoy a glass of wine or beer and music. The Atrium never felt as pleasant as a venue (although when the seas were 17' being on deck 5 in the Atrium was great). The only criticism I have with the service is that our room steward didn't clean the bathroom well: the mirrors were not cleaned even once in 15 days, the bath/toilet area smelled mildly of mildew and there was some mold and mildew on the grout. The reason for this trip, and the greatest thing about it, was the opportunity to go places we would not get to easily otherwise. There isn't a single port that I couldn't have spent more time in. The itinerary was great and I wouldn't leave anything off of it even though we felt rushed at a few of the ports. Several ports were tender ports: Punta del Este, Falkland Islands, Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Montt. We went on shore excursions in Puerto Madryn, the Falkland Islands, Ushuaia, Puerto Chacabuco, Puerto Montt and finished with a tour of Valparaiso and Santiago that included our airport transfer. All shore excursions were through Norwegian. At the other ports we just wandered about on our own. In Puerto Madryn we took the tour that went to Punta Norte on Peninsula Valdes. We saw a lot of wildlife, including rhea, guanaco, elephant seals, sea lions and Magellanic penguins. It included a very nice lunch at an estancia. The tour was in a small bus. It was a long day but...wow! The guide was extremely knowledgeable about animals, plants, eco-systems and the landscape. In the Falklands we took an off-road excursion to Volunteer Point, which has colonies of King, Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins. Our driver wasn't very experienced and we got "bogged" four times, she also didn't have a lot of knowledge about the land, animals or plants. That said, Volunteer Point is an incredible location that cannot be reached in any other way and it was well worth the rough somewhat nerve racking ride. The lunch provided wasn't anything to write home about...but the penguins were. It was definitely worth doing, even though it was not a polished professionally run tour. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who has any mobility impairment or might have trouble getting in and out of an off-road vehicle..or who minds a bit of mud. I was really happy that I wore my rain pants. In Ushuaia we took the catamaran through the Beagle Channel to Harberton with a bus ride back. Tierra del Fuego is beautiful and to see it by both land and sea was great. Harberton was beautiful, but not particularly interesting. However, the pictures I took of the skeletons of some of the animals we saw on the trip are interesting to have (one of Harberton's features is a modest natural history museum). The snack was no great shakes. In Puerto Chacabuco we took the excursion to Coyhaique. The bus was large and there were several doing the same route, which was very tight for the amount of time we were in port. If the weatherhad been better it would have been a more pleasant trip. as it was there wasn't sufficient time to actually explore Coyhaique at all, and it might have been better to have taken a different excursion with a less challenging agenda (less time sitting on the bus). The "snack" provided was really nice: little shish kebabs of barbecued meat and sausage, fruit, empanadas and local wines. In Puerto Montt we took the Lakes, Waterfalls and Volcanoes excursion. Even though the volcano was wreathed in clouds and it was quite chilly and windy at the ski area the views out over the lake and countryside were spectacular on the way up and down. The waterfalls area was lovely and the lunch was fantastic: Pisco Sour, vegetable soup (squash base), wine, salmon, flan and coffee. In Valparaiso we took the Santiago and Vina del Mar with transfer. We really didn't see much of either Valparaiso or Vina del Mar. The tour was just a bus ride through the city. We saw much more of Santiago. The tour included a mid-morning snack of empanadas and wine and a large lunch with a very similar menu to the one in Puerto Montt. There had been several brush fires so the air was thick with smoke but if the air were clear the scenery would have been wonderful. As it was I rather regret not having ponied up the extra money to have a private or small group tour and transfer through Avanti or Aviator that would have given us more time on the coast and a chance to really see a bit of Valparaiso. It wasn't a bad tour it just didn't emphasize what we most wanted to see. I would definitely do this trip again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We recently cruised SA in 9276, aft penthouse with large balcony. We are huge NCL fans and have cruised a lot, most often in suites. We were excited about this trip and had looked forward to it for a whole year. Sadly, the Sun ship was ... Read More
We recently cruised SA in 9276, aft penthouse with large balcony. We are huge NCL fans and have cruised a lot, most often in suites. We were excited about this trip and had looked forward to it for a whole year. Sadly, the Sun ship was a disappointment. We were not prepared for the nightly noise and ship shuddering from the engines. It was really bad and would wake us up. We were very surprised at how old and shabby the ship was. It was also poorly designed. The crew was super so this review is only about the ship itself. Everyone we encountered was pleasant, very attentive and helpful. Unfortunately, they just can't totally compensate for the poor condition of the ship. Our suite had a perpetual odor that was similar to stale cooking odors. On our Ushuaia day, the odor was pure sewage. When we inquired of our butler, he said that maintenance was working on the pipes. It stunk from the mid-elevators down and into our suite. We opened the balcony door and let the breeze blow in for some mitigation. The sewage odor was also periodically noted in the area around the 7th deck shops and whenever stewards had their service area doors open. Our suite was poorly designed with lots of awkward places rife for banging elbows, knees, etc. The best we can say about it is that there is ample storage. The bathroom was not great. There was a stand-up shower where you could barely raise your hands above your head to shampoo, no place to store personal toiletries and doors that did not stay closed. The bathtub was super high and deep but more functional for showering. At least you could have your own toiletries. It is quite the giant step for entering and exiting though. There is a separate toilet cubicle with a solid, frosted glass door which offered privacy, one sink and a small separate dressing area. The pocket doors separating the bedroom from the bath would not fully recede so we had to enter and exit sideways. Our balcony door kept popping open so we finally had maintenance in to fix it after it flew open one very chilly night. The Sun is just an old ship desperately in need of total gutting and renovating or dry docking. We cannot believe that this won't happen until 2018. Food was good in the MDRs, excellent in La Cucina and Cagney's, not so good in Le Bistro. Casino is very small with only a fair variety of machines. Staff there are just fantastic and strictly enforce the smoking policy. For now, the Sun seems drastically overpriced for the quality of the cruise experience. We would NOT sail on the Sun again unless it was completely redone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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
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
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
Sail Date December 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
After being on the Epic in February I swore that I would never go onto another Norwegian Cruise again. However friends told me that they had experienced great cruises with Norwegian. When I discovered this cruise in early October with its ... Read More
After being on the Epic in February I swore that I would never go onto another Norwegian Cruise again. However friends told me that they had experienced great cruises with Norwegian. When I discovered this cruise in early October with its unique itinerary and give away price I couldn't refuse. After notifying all my cruise friends about this deal one joined me. Very nice ship it reminded me of a Princess or a smaller RCI ship. Embarkation in San Diego was alright for me but a nightmare for others as the cruiseport is minimal, NCI didn't acknowledge past cruiser except for their highest level. For some it took close to 4 hours. The ship had been chartered for a 5 day booze cruise, they were still waking people up to throw them off at noon. All the public carpets and half the staterooms had to be shampooed. Room were not available until 3PM. Big cheer for the crew as they did a fantastic job cleaning the ship. As this a relocation cruise there were a lot of sea days. Norwegians enrichment program is almost not existent. we had one lecturer who was very Knowledgeable but has a monotone British voice which put people to sleep. The photographic manager gave one 45 minute presentation. Company policy does not allow him to give additional seminars although he indicated he was willing to do so. I have previously attended excellent photographic workshops on Princess which cost the cost cost the cruise line nothing to put on other than photocopying and a few prints. On other ships each day day one of the ships officers would give a presentation on his department. It cost the cruise lines nothing and makes for good informative entertainment. Norwegians shore excursions are very! expensive ! try to book yours privately. Similarly bring a case of wine with you and pay the corkage fee $15 a bottle it will be a better value. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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