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243 Norwegian (NCL) South America Cruise Reviews

Wanted to see South America and chose this ship. Bad choice- entire month onboard plagued with problems. Sickness of many people, lack of staff, chaos at service desk, lost my luggage on disembarcation, ship repairs made observation deck ... Read More
Wanted to see South America and chose this ship. Bad choice- entire month onboard plagued with problems. Sickness of many people, lack of staff, chaos at service desk, lost my luggage on disembarcation, ship repairs made observation deck unusable many days. Staff tells you different stories about the same thing when you ask 2 or 3 people same question. Sometimes outright deliberate lies. Have sailed a number of times with NCL and was very happy with the cruises but this was a disaster over and over. Ran out of red wine( how does that happen?) Staff was not the usual cruise staffers in many cases- couldnt understand them, they didnt understand you. No hustle, no personalty. Intertainment was terrible/juvenile/silly if it could go wrong it did go wrong very dissappointing . Sailig with friends who say they will never sail NCL again. Good things: Embarcation was great Food was tasty Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Lots of sick and coughing people. People need to be more sanitary, wash there hands, and cover their cough, especially when in public areas. The crew did a great job. the rooms were small but adequate for our needs. We didn't spend a ... Read More
Lots of sick and coughing people. People need to be more sanitary, wash there hands, and cover their cough, especially when in public areas. The crew did a great job. the rooms were small but adequate for our needs. We didn't spend a lot of time in the room. The ship's tours were extremely overpriced. Tours could be purchased for half or less outside of the port. the entertainment was good and had a good variety. There was a good choice of things to do on board. The spa and sauna was a plus. Dining was good and had a variety of choices. The trick is to exercise, use the stairs, walk everywhere, eat a lot of fruits, vegetable, and salad. The ship is a nice size, not too big or too small.There are enough activities on board to keep us busy all day if we wanted. I think the staff did a wonderful job. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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
1st This is too small an area to list the problems we encounterd on the ship. The biggest being the noise levels due to ship refitting being done while we were cruising. DB levels were off the charts very annoying in lounge areas (when ... Read More
1st This is too small an area to list the problems we encounterd on the ship. The biggest being the noise levels due to ship refitting being done while we were cruising. DB levels were off the charts very annoying in lounge areas (when raining and no other place to hang out) and pool side. Tea was store bought tea Lipton (sorry Lipton Fans) - why not then also use store bought coffee. Extremely poor service from wait staff - yet they get 20% for being bad at what they do. French restaurant had rolls that were so dry (all the way through) that they shattered into dust as you tried to open them. Watched another person do the same thing with their roll. Ashes were often coming down over our food and drinks while sitting aft. Have pictures of them in my drinks and on the floor. Yes, I did post them on Social media so others could see. Only places to take unobstructed pictures were often blocked off - due to Ship Refurbishment. One of the worst cruise experiences I have been on. Was very disappointed, expected a much higher class of service and products. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The ship was due in for a major refit so the wonderful NCL decided it would be a good idea to start early and hammer and drilll on the roof of the largest lounge (Observation) during daylight hours.effectivily closing this area. During ... Read More
The ship was due in for a major refit so the wonderful NCL decided it would be a good idea to start early and hammer and drilll on the roof of the largest lounge (Observation) during daylight hours.effectivily closing this area. During cold days this made other available seating in the warm areas difficult to find and what seating was available was tired and uncomfortable.. All external windows were fithly from the start and never got cleaned. Food was good to avearage to poor and we had the head chef come see my wiffe and I after a particually poor Pork Loin shank meal which was was 80% fat. We waited an age for my wife's gluten free pancakes but arrived was uncooked. Food service in restaurant was generally very slow and poor, expect your veg to arrive uncooked cold or both, drinks services was poor or none existant and standard of cocktails varied by barman or bar We were in cabin 4031 and due to the design on the ship where was no access ot the top of the corridor which meant we has to the back for the ship to get the lifts to go up and walk to the front, or go back across and up the opposiite corridore to get to the only other lift, you will know you was nearly there by the smell of smoke from the officers mess Activities were nowhere as good or varied as the previous 8 cruises we have been on. Cabins were in general clean and tidy but we had faultly telephones and hair dryer, other passenges we not so lucky and plumbing problems seem to be a common theme. Last Friday of the trip we found a nice sunny sport on the outdoor cafe, only to feel bits falling on my arm, when reported we were told the ship was using different fuel and we were asked to leave and hazard tape and chairs were used to cordon of this area, it's getting harder to find somewhere to sit. We later told by other passengers that the bits was paper that the ship was burning as it was cheaper than recycled. We both felt that the ship crew was under compliment, untrained and did not show the same care and attention as on other cruises and when I queried some of the issued raised, I was lied to on a least four occassions just to fob me off. Ordered a continental breakfast for an early morining excursion at Puerto Mott, but none arrived, however the excursion to Volcanoes, Lakes and Waterfalls was brilliant Most ports and excusions were good to great and scenary was fantastic, but be warned on Sundays, everythings is closed in these ports and our NCL Highlights of Puerto Airnas excursion consisted of a cemetary, a dusty museum, a second museum (field of wooden carts and cabins) and a town square where everything was closed, boring and not value for money ,do not go on this!! During the second week the dreaded novovires was announced as a Red Alert, three days affter the crew has taken over handed out all food, drinks, condiments, washy, washy washy time. Worst cruiseship and crew I have every been on and even with a major refit completed and guaranteed no virus outbreak I would never travel on this NCL (SUN OR STAR) class of ship again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I wanted to cruise around Cape Horn and I wanted to get out of the winter weather. Everything thing began wonderfully in Beunes Aires with a Flamingo Dance before we got on the ship! Once we set sail I enjoyed early stretching classes ... Read More
I wanted to cruise around Cape Horn and I wanted to get out of the winter weather. Everything thing began wonderfully in Beunes Aires with a Flamingo Dance before we got on the ship! Once we set sail I enjoyed early stretching classes every morning followed by Fab Abs and then yoga and a message while at sea. The sea was calm the whole way down to the cape and we enjoyed local excursions to take in the sites. The Dancing shows on the ship were also excellent and I would have taken lessons with my husband, however, he sprained his ankle during our first day at sea playing volleyball. When we approached the Cape Horn the water got rough but the scenery and the glaciers were magnificent. The food was excellent and the service was wonderful. I love eating in the beautiful dining rooms and listening to the live musicians. The Classical strings trio was fabulous! However, on our way to Santiago, many people were getting sick with a virus and I also got it. The ship offered free medical assistance but then quarantined both my husband and me to the room for 48hrs so we missed one of the ports of call. I thought they might offer us a voucher or something but it did not happen. We went horse riding in one of the last ports of call and had a great time. This was the only Norwegian arranged excursion and it was terrific. All in all, it was a great vacation with a few bumps here and there. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have cruised 5 times each year and this was one of the best experiences mainly because of the dramatic vistas floating past our balcony. Gigantic Glaciers, rugged mountain peaks, wildlife(penguins, alpacas, condors,..) and cultural ... Read More
We have cruised 5 times each year and this was one of the best experiences mainly because of the dramatic vistas floating past our balcony. Gigantic Glaciers, rugged mountain peaks, wildlife(penguins, alpacas, condors,..) and cultural ports in Argentina and Chile. The ship itself was clean and well-maintained with attentive staff everywhere. We would have liked a better quality of shows in contrast to "Burn the Floor" on the Escape. But this was a smaller ship and so it is a matter of economics. Fortunately, the weather was mainly fine and the choppy seas around Cape Horn were mitigated by the ships stabilizers. Our next cruise is on the maiden voyage of NCL "Bliss" to Alaska which is much larger. We expect to see from our balcony, dramatic Glaciers and craggy peaks, but we hope it will not be too boisterous with all the race car tracks, water slides, and other adventure features. Just a nice cozy safe trip is all we are looking forward to experiencing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We were a little uncertain about this ship prior to departure. We had never travelled with Norwegian before and a friend who had done a similar trip to ours with Norwegian last year had been somewhat disappointed. However, the itinerary ... Read More
We were a little uncertain about this ship prior to departure. We had never travelled with Norwegian before and a friend who had done a similar trip to ours with Norwegian last year had been somewhat disappointed. However, the itinerary looked interesting (South America sailing south from Santiago and around to Buenos Aires) and the price was quite good so we gave it a go. As others have pointed out, this is an oldish ship but it has been kept in good condition and was clean and comfortable. Staff were on the whole helpful, and cheerful - with the exception of one individual in customer relations who proved to be abrasive and unhelpful. Food was really good in both the main restaurants and in the buffet bars. Lots of options too for places to eat. We had no need to use the speciality dining. Our room was, as is usual, compact but well equipped and comfortable. Having said that the TV system is very dated and not really up to scratch. The balcony was a fair size. The bathroom on the other hand was tiny; I don't think I have ever experienced such a small shower cubicle. The small size caused me a bit of a problem when on a rough sea day the ship lurched tossing me backwards and, unable to step back because of such limited space, I landed tail end in the shower tray and still have trouble sitting. The other problem we discovered is that the air conditioning system has very limited functionality. On a couple of cold days we found that the system does not deliver warm air. Nor would it seem does the system deliver very cold air when the room became too warm - all it does is push, very noisily, cool air into the room. We discussed this with the air conditioning technician who explained that the system was not up to the standards of more modern ships. The entertainment was very good even though the main shows tended to have performers that did not have a wide reputation. The cruise show group were excellent and did wonders on what seemed a quite small stage. Performers around the stage were good too and we were especially impressed with the young Ugandan Jon Muq. He was superb. I was inclined to give the review 5 stars except for the ridiculously high charge for shore excursions. We have done meany cruises all of which charge premium rates but Norwegian really tops the chart for high prices. Having said that we did two trips and both were very good. As usual the staff were always looking for ways to extract additional income through photographs, dining etc but they were perhaps less assertive in their approaches than on some other cruise lines which was welcomed. We had a great cruise and saw some amazing places and we would use Norwegian again in the future so overall we are very happy with our trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Cruised around South America with NCL. The ship was old and numerous things in the room did not work or were broken. Food was very basic quality and there was no variety. Same menu every day. NCL seem to have a simple policy for ... Read More
Cruised around South America with NCL. The ship was old and numerous things in the room did not work or were broken. Food was very basic quality and there was no variety. Same menu every day. NCL seem to have a simple policy for dealing with any customer queries. 1. If the answer could be Yes or No then the answer is ALWAYS "No" 2. If a third party is involved then the third party is ALWAYS at fault. 3. If 1 or 2 fail to deal with the query then they just ignore you! They have no flexibility in their thinking so make totally ilogical decisions. As an example we did not like the choice of desserts in their steak restaurant so asked if we could order from the French restaurant 50 feet away. "No" was the answer but we could order from the main restaurant four floors below. So a waiter sent down stairs to get us a menu then went back down to get what we wanted.You simply could not make this up!!! Everything about NCL is about taking the maximum money from every cruiser. Gratuities on food and drink add 20% to the base price. If you have the all inclusive drinks package it is $89 per person but only allows you drinks up to $15.00, You have to pay anything over this price plus the 20%, The package does not include speciality coffees. The cost for two people on a 15 days cruise is a massive $2670! Shore exursions are very pricey and can easily add over $2000 more on a 15 days cruise. That been said many of the ship's team were exceptionally nice and very helpful. However we were told they live in fear of making a mistake that gets reported as their contract can be terminated straight away. This was our first and our last cruise with NCL. There are much better cruise companies out there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Route around South America was the main attraction for us. Turned out that a number of the stops must have been chosen to sell their very expensive tours, Nothing else there, for sure. Ship was nice enough, but furnishings ... Read More
Route around South America was the main attraction for us. Turned out that a number of the stops must have been chosen to sell their very expensive tours, Nothing else there, for sure. Ship was nice enough, but furnishings (tables/chairs) are wearing out. Small, but well equipped fitness center. Very repetitive menu in main dining rooms, especially lunch. Buffet restaurant is way too small and poorly arranged. Think "food fight". Specialty restos were way disappointing and expensive, priced ala-carte. Some waiters excellent, but some incomprehensible (in English) and surly. One was alarmingly so. Extra gratuities charged for everything. Paid for water. Drinks package (good selection) did not include tips. Thus, there is a generally annoying air of cheapness. NCL need to just price it into their base rate. I guess they want to make it seem cheap. We filled in a big piece of our "Terra Incognita," but that's about it. Suggest that critics start using the full 5 stars. Not everything can be a 4.5! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were invited to join a family member on this cruise and were excited about the itinerary. Unfortunately, the ship is older and definitely showing its years. There's a fair amount of wear and tear and it could use some general ... Read More
We were invited to join a family member on this cruise and were excited about the itinerary. Unfortunately, the ship is older and definitely showing its years. There's a fair amount of wear and tear and it could use some general sprucing up. We were quite disappointed in our dining experience. My husband has celiac disease and has to have gluten free meals. Despite our making the request months in advance, the chef and staff did little to accommodate him. For example, ordering French Onion Soup, he was given only the broth because the crouton is made of bread. However, my husband was served gluten free bread with every meal, so why couldn't they just substitute that for his soup? Eventually a top-notch wait person went to the kitchen, toasted a piece of gluten-free bread and took it to the chef with a request as to how to prepare it. A trained chef should be able to handle this situation more effectively. Having cruise with several other cruise lines and received much better responses for his gluten free needs, we were surprised and disappointed. After returning to the ship on a tender, we were literally held in the entry area (open to the water) for about 30 minutes with no explanation. There was inadequate room for all the passengers to comfortably stand -- some were on the stairs -- and others had physical limitations that caused problems with trying to stand for too long. Despite yelling, crew members making phone calls to staff on board and even one passenger making a call, we were locked out of the ship with no communication whatsoever. Eventually, a staff member opened the door and told us that Chilean officials had determined that was some immigration impropriety and stopped the boarding process. At no time was any effort made to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers affected by this. Eventually a general announcement was made apologizing briefly for the inconvenience. Trying to lodge a complaint with guest services about the way the situation was handled resulted in lots of defensive responses and nobody appeared interested in hearing from us. Overall, we were disappointed with Norwegian and didn't think it measured up to other cruise lines we've traveled with (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Viking). It's highly unlikely that we will cruise with Norwegian again. We did book one shore excursion through the ship but thought it was overpriced and of poor quality. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I have wanted to go around the Horn since I read maritime experiences when I was a youngster. The experience was special and was enhanced by the travel environment provided by Norwegian Cruise Lines on the Norwegian Sun. The ship provided ... Read More
I have wanted to go around the Horn since I read maritime experiences when I was a youngster. The experience was special and was enhanced by the travel environment provided by Norwegian Cruise Lines on the Norwegian Sun. The ship provided all that I hoped for and I have cruised many times before. I have been spoiled by balcony cabins in the past and the Sun fulfilled my needs. I chose the Ultimate Beveridge Package and my travel mate and I took full advantage of that package. I highly recommend it. I used the buffet on a regular basis but the special dining venues offered special meal entres that were exceptional culinary experiences. There were more on board activities than I could take advantage of but I tried my hardest and enjoyed my selections. The staff was excellent and made me feel like I was a special guest. I thought the cost of the shore excursions were high until I experienced them and found that they were full of features that could not be fully explained on the internet. The excursions had great guides; most if not all of the excursions included full sit down meals including drinks and entertainment; most transportation cosisted of comfortable air conditioned buses. I would highly recommend this cruise. I was disappointed that Rio Di Janeiro was not a port of call. I hope it is included in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We choose this cruise for the itenary, it also worked well for us as we were on our way to New Zealand. Enjoyed all the ports and tours we did, loved our penguin experiences and felt all the tours were comprehensive and gave us a good ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itenary, it also worked well for us as we were on our way to New Zealand. Enjoyed all the ports and tours we did, loved our penguin experiences and felt all the tours were comprehensive and gave us a good feeling of the countries we visited. The scenery was spectacular, especially the glaciers and Fjords. Found the ship a little tired but do understand it is going in for refurbishing in April, 2018. We had four speciality dining rooms booked, but have to admit we enjoyed the main dining rooms and would not choose to go to the speciality ones again. As always we were well looked after by Norwegian, which has now become our number one choice or cruise lines. We have backed to back cruises booked for May 2018, and very much looking forward to our next cruise around the UK, Ireland and then onto Spain, Portugal and France. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We sailed out of Buenos Aires with another couple. We had never been to South America before and heard it was filled with natural beauty. It did not disappoint. This was our third time on the Sun. It is one of NCL's older ships and ... Read More
We sailed out of Buenos Aires with another couple. We had never been to South America before and heard it was filled with natural beauty. It did not disappoint. This was our third time on the Sun. It is one of NCL's older ships and doesn't have as many amenities as some of the newer and larger ships; however , the staff was amazing.Due to its size it doesn't have the number of bars and lounges as bigger ships. One thing that bothers us on NCL is how they constantly take over the exercise room to try to sell weight loss, foot relief, products to look younger ,etc. They need a separate room for this so people can use the room to stretch ,etc. We ate in specialty restaurants on 6 of the 14 nights. All of our meals were very good. We also enjoyed the shows, disco, and piano bar. We loved all of our excursions. In two ports we chose to see penguins. Each experience was very different. Puerto Madryn was very warm and an almost desert environment next to the sea. The Falklands was chilly and windy. Both were outstanding and not to be missed. On one sea day we ran into a large pod of whales. The captain turned the boat around for better viewing . For over an hour we were treated to a very rare occurrence that far out at sea. The whales would swim close to our ship and put on a beautiful show! Sailing around the Horn was great ( bumpy -but not too bad) and the beauty of going through the Channel was wonderful- you will pass by 5 glaciers. We were unable to get into Punta Arenas due to 100 mile per hour winds. This can happen in that part of the world! On some excursions we did the hikes though the national forests and were treated to seeing the Andes mountains, waterfalls and volcanos. If you love the outdoors, this is a great cruise. When we docked in Chile I arranged for a guide from "Tours by Locals" to pick us up for a 9 hour day touring Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, and a visit to a winery. He then dropped our friends off at the airport in Santiago and we stayed an extra night in Santiago. The next day we did a "hop on hop bus" before the late flight back to the US. P.S. a warning to travelers - my husband was physically accosted in an upscale leather shop very near our lovely hotel in Buenos Aires- right before we were leaving to board our ship.The man had a friend waiting on a motorcycle outside to make his getaway. He was a pro. His watch was ripped off of his wrist . We found out from fellow cruisers that they knew of a number of incidents, cell phone stealing, camera theft, watches, necklaces etc. Don't wear or use anything that will attract attention. We have travelled all over the world and this was a first for us. That said, he was fine except for a cut wrist and we did not let it spoil our vacation!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I traveled with my girlfriend and chose this cruise because of timing and itinerary - December/January - to escape the cold in upstate NY and visit Patagonia in two weeks. First issue is the port of embarkation was changed from ... Read More
I traveled with my girlfriend and chose this cruise because of timing and itinerary - December/January - to escape the cold in upstate NY and visit Patagonia in two weeks. First issue is the port of embarkation was changed from Valparaiso, Chile - A great place to visit from everyone's opinion - to San Antonio, Chile - Nothing to write home about - all after we booked the cruise and with no sort of compensation what so ever. The ship is clean, well laid-out and has a full track around the ship on Deck 6 for walking/running. It is an old ship so it is much better decorated than newer NCL ships. The cabin was the most spacious inside cabin of all ships I have sailed so far - a lot of space - a characteristic of old ships - the Sun is the second ship of the Norwegian fleet. Newer ships like the getaway of the escape will give you a closet-size cabin as a comparison. Dining is nothing to write home about compared to other cruise lines - Carnival and most other cruise lines I sailed with offers a better menu in its main restaurants. Norwegian is trying to push its pay extra a-la-carte restaurants like Le Bistro, Cagneys, etc. You most likely find something you like to eat every time in the main dining restaurants but do not expect escargot or lobster at all, just some regular grub. Entertainment on this cruise was particularly low quality even compared to other Norwegian Cruises. Young people dancing and singing and making noise but nothing special. All ports are worth a visit, except for Puerto Chacabuco - there is absolutely nothing to do or see there. With tour, they will take you to a park, maybe a waterfall, and a couple of volcanoes in the distance if you are lucky enough to get a clear sky and they are not obscured by clouds. My recommendation: stay on the ship and enjoy it while the crowds go out. The best ports is Ushuaia, the most southern city in the world, and Stanley, in the Malvinas Islands (Falklands) where you can see penguins and a particular landscape. I hear Valparaiso, Chile is great but I did not get to see it since NCL took it away and replaced it by the Industrial port of San Antonio. Montevideo and Buenos Aires are definitely worth a visit as well. Service was good, no complaints there - the cruise is multi-lingual with passengers from many different countries mostly Latin America and Europe - yet much of the staff did not speak Spanish to the displeasure of many Spanish-speaking folks. With English, no problems. One issue we encountered was when we decided to leave our big suitcases in Montevideo - for ease of travel reasons - and yet continue one more night with the cruise to Buenos Aires. The ship security would not let us leave the ship with our suitcases because we were going to come back to the ship. The problem was cleared up only after heated discussions with the ship's embarkation/disembarkation officer and the port of Montevideo representative. I see this as an infringement of a passenger's freedom of movement. Passengers should be free to take any of their personal item off the ship at any time they please. It is a matter between them and the customs of the port - none of NCL's business. In any case, we were able to do it and the matter is a rare occurrence so I hope that no one will have to deal with that again. Overall, this is a good cruise but NCL can certainly do better in serving better food and remembering that cruises are supposed to be all-inclusive and still provide excellent food and service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
An older ship, it has an awkward layout (for instance, rear MDR is only accessible by rear stairs/elevator; several floors cannot be walked tip-to-tip without going outside; some spaces are buried inside orthers). The ship needs new ... Read More
An older ship, it has an awkward layout (for instance, rear MDR is only accessible by rear stairs/elevator; several floors cannot be walked tip-to-tip without going outside; some spaces are buried inside orthers). The ship needs new paint, furnishings, and carpet. Looks tired. Cleanliness an issue. Our cruise was used as a training exercise for PR Chinese staff headed to the Joy. Some were fine and knew what they were doing; many were not ready for customers. More generally, service was very slow--especially in restaurants. Food was middling, with no memorable meals particularly good or bad. Drinks portions very small--always order a "double" to get what one might expect a single to be on land. The ports on a repo-cruise are catch-as-catch can but the crew struggled to set up gangways in several places. In many cases, shuttle buses were required to get from the ship to the port gate. This was worst in Lima, when only two smaller and one larger shuttle bus were provided, causing many people to give up on leaving the ship after lining up an hour. NCL Guest Services kept saying "not our fault" but why then are they calling on these ports if they can't handle the pax? Of course the ship-sponsored shore-ex busus came dockside... of course they did. The best port was Cartagena, but we had that cut short to be first-in-line at the Panama Canal. HAL's Zuiderdam arrived at the canal sixhours after us, to be second-in-line. The ship's stabilsers were not functioning properly and this made for a wild last night at sea (Coquimbo--San Antonio). Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Everyone continuing from the previous cruise were sick and we all got sick from them. I was sick for 18 days and as soon as i got home was in the hospital for 8 days. This is the second cruise on the Sun in two years and both times i got ... Read More
Everyone continuing from the previous cruise were sick and we all got sick from them. I was sick for 18 days and as soon as i got home was in the hospital for 8 days. This is the second cruise on the Sun in two years and both times i got sick. Never again on Norwegian and I have taken 117 cruises on many lines. I used to love Norwegian when they had the NOrway. Traveled on it 8 times. Sad to see it retired several years ago. The food in the dining room was adequate and expected. The alternative restaurants were excellent. The production shows were less than amateurs - really bad. I am sorry that the Norwegian experience was so bad since their pricing was better than most. I guess the old adage applies here that you get what you pay for. Give my Celebrity Cruises anytime and forever! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise cause the price was acceptable, even though they did not give us anything like shipboard credit only a bottle of wine upon arrival and then $75.00 shipboard credit when we got on board, nothing else. Others received ... Read More
We chose this cruise cause the price was acceptable, even though they did not give us anything like shipboard credit only a bottle of wine upon arrival and then $75.00 shipboard credit when we got on board, nothing else. Others received up to $500.00 shipboard credit , so we were not happy about that. WE were disappointed because N.C.L seem to have lowered their grade. is not as high a category of line, comparing it to Royal and Celebrity it is really missing their class. I don't really like the free style, you don't really get to meet people and hang around with them, you just keep meeting different people every night, so you can't really connect. But we did have a few negative issues, but I have to say the cruise people did work very hard to try and straighten the problems we had. They were good at doing that, but I don't feel they did enough. After all my complaints, they did not compensate us with anything except rectify their mistakes. I don't really want to be specific but we had problems with cabin and at diner. All in all, I don't think I will cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We didn't enjoy this cruise. We have had poor dining experience. The waiting period is long from ordering to the end of the dinner. Some food are not fresh. In at least two meals the fish and fish burger I ordered are very old and ... Read More
We didn't enjoy this cruise. We have had poor dining experience. The waiting period is long from ordering to the end of the dinner. Some food are not fresh. In at least two meals the fish and fish burger I ordered are very old and taste awful. I don't know how long the fish has been in the storage. The breakfast are all the same. Most of the ship activities (e.g., "seminars") are designed to sell something or service to the guests. The port visits are poorly organized, with short stay duration at some ports and limited number/choice of shore excursions. They didn't provide enough port city information to guests neither. We bought an expensive wi-fi package. The wi-fi speed is so low (2 mb/min on average) that virtually the money was wasted. The wi-fi is even not suitable for text-alone e-mails, totally not possible to use Facebook. We have to use limited port stay time to get connected with others (i.e., find a restaurant/coffee in order to use the wi-fi there). Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise due to the Panama Canal experience. We wished they had cut out the Santa Marta Stop and let us stop in Panama. There is nothing worth seeing in Santa Marta and was a wasted stop. We also stopped in Manta Ecuador ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the Panama Canal experience. We wished they had cut out the Santa Marta Stop and let us stop in Panama. There is nothing worth seeing in Santa Marta and was a wasted stop. We also stopped in Manta Ecuador and it was a wasted stop too. Most of these ports are not ready for tourists and big ships. Getting off the ship was different since we were in shipping yards. So you had to disembark then take a bus outside the terminal. The shopping ability on this cruise was poor. This is a long cruise to have only two small shops. One was all jewlery and the other was a gift shop with liquor. They should have changed out the merchandise daily. Since we spent a lot of time at sea, woman like to shop. The choice of merchandise was slim. Cheap t-shirts. The makeup section was pathetic. Our last cruise there was one whole store of makeup and three women’s clothings stores with bathing suits, dresses, shorts, shirts, etc. Not this cruise. Also, there wasn’t the ability to get soft drinks. On our last cruise they had self help areas for drinks. This cruise only offered juice, tea, water and coffee. If you wanted a soft drink you had to go to the bar. Then you were made to feel like you had to tip for getting a coke. (Pepsi) Speciality dining was amazing. The main dining areas were not so impressive. The wait staff was very slow and the food was average. I do want to comment on our steward Lazarro. He was amazing! He heard we were having people over to our cabin for an evening get together and without asking he brought snacks, more wine glasses, and some other treats. Such a nice gesture and very much appreciated. Soledad in the casino was also a GREAT WAITRESS! Wow she was so friendly and always called us by name and made us feel so special. She knew exactly what we liked to drink when we came in to gamble. The entertainment was awful. The comedian we had on board did not even have a routine. His spill was to go around the room and ask everyone their name and what they did for a living. Then if he has something funny to say or interject he would. It was so bad. The magician was from America’s got talent or something like that and his assistant didn’t come with him because of paper work issues. So he was solo and the show was grueling. It drug on FOREVER and was awful. This is the FIRST cruise we have been on that the entertainment was terrible. To spend as much money as we did on this cruise, we were disappointed in many of the details such as entertainment and services available. Also, after about 12:00 at night, it is impossible to find something to eat unless you call room service. Shore excursions: we got off in Lima and did the Machu Picchu trip. When we looked at the brochure it states that if you are handicap, in a wheel chair or unable to climb or walk for long periods of time, this excursion isn’t for you. Well, we ended up with MANY people who should not have been on this excursion. My husband spent most of his time helping an 80 year old lady through the ruins at the mountain. We spent $2000 per person for this trip then spent our time helping others that had NO business being on this trip. Also, who every made the plans for this trip need to rethink the itinerary. We spent the nights in Cusco, where NO ONE CAN BREATHE. Out of 68 people, 65 never slept for two days because we had breathing issues. There are beautiful places in Aquas Calientes that is 6500 feet above sea level where people can actually breathe. Don’t get me wrong, the hotel in Cusco was beautiful but it was a painful experience trying to breathe. Also, someone needs to reach out to the guests before the trip to verify they are able to make this trip with all the fitness requirements. We also had a handicap woman in a motor scooter that got her own van, and personal attendant because she complained to NCL that this is why she came to this cruise. So she made NCL provide her with these options. Then she bragged about pitching a fit to NCL so they would provide these things for her. Really disgusting at what she did, then bragged to everyone about it. She was provided with her own large van and people carrying all her stuff the whole time. Now if she had paid for it, that would have been one thing. But for her to complain and make NCL pay for this service when it clearly states that if you are handicap this isn’t the trip for you. Last but not least. We were told there was the HAVEN class on this ship and this was not true. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was a repositioning cruise that offered a trip through the Panama Canal with ports of call in Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. The Sun is an old ship that in April 2018 will undergo a face lift. Its small by today's ... Read More
This was a repositioning cruise that offered a trip through the Panama Canal with ports of call in Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. The Sun is an old ship that in April 2018 will undergo a face lift. Its small by today's standards, but this six ship is easy to navigate and had enough amenities to fit an mostly active senior adult crowd. This was first cruise on NCL, having said with Celebrity, Princess, and Carnival before. Embarkation was quick and effortless. We boarded about 1 PM and had to wait for our room to be ready, which gave us time to explore the ship. decided to grab a bit of lunch on the aft deck. Hamburgers, chicken and hot dogs with the offering. Walking through the limited indoor buffet indicated that free table space might be hard to find and that we would not expect any grand buffet treatments during our cruise. We limited ourselves to the standard fare breakfasts and lunches of eggs, salads and sandwiches. Nothing fancy. When it came to dinner we found the regular dining rooms to offer very standard food varieties and quality. Oftentimes we would review the menu durning the day and opt to go to a speciality restaurant. Our favorites were Le Bistro and Casey's Steak House. The Japanese was a change of pace and very similar to what we get back home. The Brazilian was good, but I came down with stomach problems after that meal, so I didn't venture there again. We ate 7 of 14 dinners at the speciality restaurants. None of regular or speciality restaurants were crowded. I guess a lot of passages either ate later than us or hit the buffet. We never felt crowded, or had to wait long for a table. The wait staff was professional. but this is the first cruise when we did not develop a rapport with any one service team. We took advantage of CC roll calls and through the work of a few people private tours were arranged (mainly though a consolidator, Tours By Locals) We only took one NCL tour in Cartagena. We really enjoyed the tour in Manta Ecuador where we visited a rain forest and hiked through areas where no formal trail existed. In Trujillo Peru we took a tour that included a visit to a market; Chan Chan an ancient civilization that was conquered by the Incas 60 years before the Spanish arrived; a Peruvian lunch showing us how they make ceviche and our new favorite drink Pisco Sours. In Lima we went with another couple and found an english speaking cab driver who took the 4 of us on a private tour. Highly recommend victourslima@hotmail.com and ask for Rita Romero. A native of Lima, but she lived for many years in the states. After disembarking we took a tour of Valparaiso, a town filled with street art and a Chilean winery. Our CC leader was able to set up a meet and greet with the roll call members and the senior cruise staff. This also enabled us to have preferential disembarking for our private tours and final day. We never had to wait on long lines to get off the ship. A real plus! Each night we went to the theater for the show. No one wowed us. Good competent entertainers, the type you'd expect on the cruise ship circuit. The shows all lasted 45 minutes, which was just enough time. I was disappointed in the quality of the paint bar entertainers and the silly stuff that went on at 10 PM in Dazzel bar did not appeal to me. During the cruise we hit some days at sea where the wind and seas were in high gear. Without access to the pool, it left us with time to read, play cards, and just relax. This is where a larger ship would have been preferred, with more opportunities to do other activities. Overall, it was the itinerary that made the trip and the NCL Sun just got us there. We look forward to trying other NCL ships in the coming years. People tell me not judge this ship as representative of the line. We will se, as we purchased deposits on future NCL cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because my parents had cruising the Panama Canal as a bucket-list trip. They asked my fiance and I if we'd like to join, and we said yes! My parents chose the cruise line and itinerary, and we came along for the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my parents had cruising the Panama Canal as a bucket-list trip. They asked my fiance and I if we'd like to join, and we said yes! My parents chose the cruise line and itinerary, and we came along for the ride! My parents stayed in a suite, while we stayed in a balcony mid-ship room. The cruise left from Miami, and we flew in the evening before. We shared a room with my parents that was booked by the agent my parents' used to book their trip. Because my parents booked a suite on the boat, the agent took it upon themself to book my parents the Presidential Suite at the hotel, which was a bit overboard. It was a really nice room, though! Embarkation was a little rough. The Norwegian-booked shuttle from the hotel was over an hour late to pick us up (it was supposed to arrive at 11:15, and our boarding appointment as at 12:30), and the bus that did arrive was not large enough for all of the passengers, so we had to wait longer for another bus to come pick us up. We were not given any explanation of this, and were left wondering what was going on. Next time, we would definitely arrange our own transportation to the pier rather than booking through the cruise line. Once we arrived at the pier, we dropped our bags with a baggage handler (who flat-out asked for tips) and entered the terminal. My parents were in a suite, so they were whisked away to the priority boarding area, and were on the boat almost immediately. Us plebes in the balcony room, however, went to general boarding, where we waited in a slow, agonizing line for about 2 hours. I know that "every cruise line is like this," but there has GOT to be a better way to get people on the ship. Nerves were starting to wear thin after a solid 4 hours of standing and waiting (interrupted by a short bus ride), but things turned around as soon as we got on the boat! Ship: - We loved the Sun! This was my second cruise, and this ship was just a bit smaller than the Carnival Valor, about 1,900 guests. The decor was nice, if a little bit on the "cruise cheese" side, with turquoise carpets, fishes, and the strange Greco-Roman theme of the casino. - I saw that the boat had been remodeled within the past few years, but it is starting to show some wear, with some thin carpet in the staterooms, threadbare seatbacks in the theater, etc. - What I liked most about the ship was that despite the embarkation disaster, it rarely felt crowded! The only times that it was irritatingly crowded on board were in the buffet right after shore excursions returned, and during the damned "$10" sale at the boutique. Cabin: - Our mid-ship balcony stateroom (8220) was plenty roomy for our needs and had tons of storage (there were drawers and cabinets we didn't use) and plenty of space under the bed to stow our luggage (we had 2 large suitcases and 2 carry-on suitcases). - I have to shout the praises of the SHOWER! The stall itself is nothing to spit at (tiny, as usual), but good lord, the water pressure and temperature were AMAZING for a boat. - There was shampoo/condition hybrid and body wash provided, plus hand soap. I ended up using my own. - The hair dryer does the job, but just barely. It's basically a flexible tube coming out of the wall, and it's hard to use. The tube gets hot, and it's almost impossible to try your hair without the hot tube coming in contact with your arms, etc. Uncomfortable, would recommend bringing your own hair dryer. - There was really only 1 outlet in the whole cabin. We brought along a power strip (with USB ports) and it was a life-saver. - We also brought a bluetooth speaker for music in our stateroom, which we played at a reasonable volume, of course! It added to the ambiance. Dining - Dining was fine, but nothing to write home about. We ate at 3 of the specialty dining restaurants, ate in the main dining room 4-5 times, and ate the rest of the time at the main buffet (Garden Cafe and Great Outdoors, aft). - Cagney's was very good (steakhouse), but I was disappointed with Moderno, the churrascaria. - I wasn't too fond of how the restaurants were set up... basically, all many specialty dining restaurants were right on top of each other in the same dining areas. For example, Cagneys, the sushi, and the hibachi restaurants were basically in the same dining room. It wasn't good ambiance to have to listen to the drumming at the hibachi grill when you're trying to enjoy a steak dinner. - The 2 main dining rooms are exactly the same, except one of them doesn't allow shorts. It was a little ridiculous to have this pretty arbitrary distinction, because the menu was the same, the decor was the same, and the "no shorts" dining room guests truly didn't look any more upscale or dressed up than the more casual dining room. - The food was probably the low point on board for me. Entertainment and Activities - There was always SO MUCH going on on board that we had a hard time deciding what to do! We were partial to the trivia and game show type things, which were a lot of fun... the staff did a great job with these! - Shows - We only attended 3 shows in the Stardust Theater... there was a Mentalist that was OK, but very overblown, a comedian (I fell asleep), and we attended the "We Will Rock You" show, which was my favorite. It was cruise ship cheese-tacular at its finest, and we were smiling the whole way through (though my fiance is sure that Roger Daltry was spinning in his grave). - There was a "Equator Crossing Ceremony" which should have been a lot of fun, but it was so crowded and sweltering (you know, equator!), I couldn't enjoy it. Alas, I did not get a picture of myself kissing the fish. - Fitness center was very nice! I took part in several of their classes. They were just OK, quality-wise but it was nice to get some exercise in on the ship. I like a little more challenge in my workouts, but I understand that they have to design the classes for the lowest common denominator. Service - Our stateroom steward, Arvin, was amazing, and did a fantastic job the whole way through. - The restaurant staff was spotty... some incredible servers and others who seemed like they were learning as they were going. - Bar staff was mostly great... some were super friendly, others just got down to business. I did get a little upset at one point (#firstworldproblems, I know) for being asked to not eat at the bar at a pool-side barbecue when there was literally NOWHERE TO SIT anywhere else. They said it was because they can't have food blowing across the bar, which I get, but it was completely still that day and, again, nowhere else to sit. - I did note that there was some language barrier issues at play, but I think it could be handled better. If a crew member does not understand the question, I wish they would not just say "yes" without trying to actually figure out what the guest was asking. There were many occasions where we later discovered that we had gotten an incorrect answer from a crew member. Ports/Excursions - Given that my previous cruise experience was a Caribbean cruise with Carnival, the port experience was very different! All of the ports were primarily shipping ports, which I VASTLY preferred to many of the Caribbean ports, which seem to be duty-free shop after duty-free shop (no, I don't want to purchase any diamonds!). - We did an excursion at every port, which got a bit expensive. Most were worth it! - My mom is mobility impaired, and it seemed that people really did need to be good self-advocates for accessibility. Because of the nature of the ports, there were frequently long walks to and from the tour busses, which was more difficult for her, and we sometimes wished that they would have some transport chairs available outside as there were so many older passengers on this ship. - I understand that accessibility in foreign countries can be varied, but I wish that Norwegian would provide more feedback/training to tour operators. Many operators walked far too fast for mobility impaired guests, and they didn't seem to be mindful of differing mobility levels. Some of the "Level 1" activity excursions had more walking that we expected for that level, which was hard for my mom. It's hard to enjoy an excursion when you're having to try hard to move fast enough to keep up without falling! - A couple of tours did have all of the activities advertised due to availability. It would be nice to be made aware of that, but it's possible the tour operators didn't even know certain aspects of the tour weren't going to be available until they arrived (though I feel it's the tour operator's job to ensure that the tour they're advertizing is the tour we're getting). - Peru was the stand-out destination for us. Such unique landscape! Misc Notes - We had the Ultimate beverage package as a freebie (but still paid gratuity). It was worth just in convenience. - There is a $13.99 daily "service charge" that is the gratuity for wait staff and stewards. I wish they would just include that in the price of the cruise rather than springing it on you later. Our bill at the end (including excursions and all on-board spending) ended up being about $1,400 each. We would definitely consider cruising with Norwegian again, and perhaps try one of their newer ships! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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