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243 Norwegian (NCL) South America Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we enjoyed ourselves. The stateroom was surprisingly big with plenty of storage and a very comfortable bed. The (included) Seven Seas restaurant was very nice, and we ate at the buffet a couple ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we enjoyed ourselves. The stateroom was surprisingly big with plenty of storage and a very comfortable bed. The (included) Seven Seas restaurant was very nice, and we ate at the buffet a couple times and it was fine.What made the ship stand out was the staff, quick to help and unfailingly cheerful. The gym was very nice with newer machines and free weights, although crowded at peak hours. The entertainment was so-so, not because the performers were lacking (they were fine) but because it was typical cruise-ship fare. Bingo, cheesy games, and music for the 65+ crowd. Not my thing. Embarkation wasn't well managed. Our materials listed the wrong gate, resulting in the need for two separate taxis. The line was 90 minutes long. The lady who checked us in wrote the wrong stateroom number on our passports, twice. If I hadn't been watching closely someone else might have gotten our passport at the end of the cruise. Pros: Staterooms, Staff, Itinerary, Food. Cons: Entertainment, Embarkation in Miami. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Although an old ship, very well designed. Jogging/walking track is on deck 6. This is much bigger than new ships. Chairs out of the way and no smokers on this level. We loved this and walked/jogged multiple times/day. Also ship is ... Read More
Although an old ship, very well designed. Jogging/walking track is on deck 6. This is much bigger than new ships. Chairs out of the way and no smokers on this level. We loved this and walked/jogged multiple times/day. Also ship is great for non-smokers -- designated smoking areas worked well to keep smoke away from non-smokers except for casino smoke, which made its way to some common areas (but much better than other ships we've been on). Service was exceptional and we felt like VIPs. Our server's name is Mary and she was the best we've ever had on any cruise line. We dined at main restaurant for lunch and dinner. Past cruises we ate at the buffet. The reason for a 4 not a 5 is the quality and selection of buffet compared to other NCL past cruises. Salad buffet was very limited (no mixed greens, no spinach, sometimes no tomatoes, etc). The rest was fantastic and the great choices and service at main dining made up for the buffet. Entertainment was great. One group Amber Strings (from Poland) performed at orchestra/concert level every time. They were wonderful. Ports and shore excursions were great. We did 3 excursions and explored the other ports by ourselves. Tours were worth the high prices. We would cruise this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
15 days was a great vacation to escape the cold in December! Lots of ports, some sea days. We like Norwegian Cruise Lines' Free Style (dine anytime) dining options. Great specialty restaurants too. Shore excursions- there were a ... Read More
15 days was a great vacation to escape the cold in December! Lots of ports, some sea days. We like Norwegian Cruise Lines' Free Style (dine anytime) dining options. Great specialty restaurants too. Shore excursions- there were a lot to choose from and we got credits to use for each port we stopped at. Tour guides were top-notch! Food- lots of choices from fine dining to casual buffet and an ice cream station open every day, and crepes!!! We were lucky enough to book a porthole outside cabin and it was spacious and had lots of storage.Can't say enough about the wait staff in the restaurants! Speedy, courteous and some had great senses of humor! The entertainment and activities help pass the time, especially on those sea days. The gym always had available equipment to work off the pounds you gained from the great food. We never tendered at ports, always had a regular port berth. Shuttles made available at the ports to get to the towns. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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
This was our fifth cruise on the Sun. For her age and size she is a great little ship. Not so small as to get bored or to big to get lost. It does'nt take long to discover your favorite bars ans restaurants and develope a personal ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on the Sun. For her age and size she is a great little ship. Not so small as to get bored or to big to get lost. It does'nt take long to discover your favorite bars ans restaurants and develope a personal relationship with the excellent staff. We always get the beverage package and specialty dining package for all nights. We booked our own excursions in all the ports and did not have any problems. The Winsjammer piano bar was our favorite bar and Le Bistro was our restaurant of choice three times. We always try for a balcony cabin midship on deck 10 as it is convienient to deck 11 for the pool and the great outdoors bar and seating area. This was our 15th cruise with Norwegian and we have already booked our next two cruises on the Breakaway. We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Why this cruise? Because it was there! A fantastic opportunity to visit four South American countries and the "bonus" of daylight transit of the Panama Canal. Embarkation was quite tedious -- two hours in a line moving at ... Read More
Why this cruise? Because it was there! A fantastic opportunity to visit four South American countries and the "bonus" of daylight transit of the Panama Canal. Embarkation was quite tedious -- two hours in a line moving at the speed of molasses. But the building was quite hot, so the molasses flowed reasonably well. Once on board, things were fine. Cabin: Inside, forward. Biggest drawback was being on Deck 6a (sort of like Platform 9 3/4, kinda hard to get to), no elevator access -- had to either go up or down flight of stairs to reach it. Night #3. in rough seas, there was a continuous random banging thud against our back wall -- as if a pair of tennis shoes were looped around an invisible staircase behind the wall. They moved us to a different cabin seven doors down that night. All was well afterwards. Worst part was losing our cabin steward, Milos, who became my instructor in Bosnian for the rest of the voyage. Our new cabin, and steward Mingxu, were excellent. The cabin itself was certainly adequate, though shower was a bit cramped (my fault -- must diet!). TV was a tad fuzzy, but did not use it much anyway. Housekeeping was excellent. Dining: Yum! We ate most of our meals at the buffet -- always a wide selection of choices, regardless of breakfast/lunch/dinner. And GOOD! We ate several dinner meals at the Four Seasons restaurant: Maitre d' on top of my wife's food allergy -- always attentive and careful. Much slower than the buffet, of course, but nice to have a "civilized" meal now and then. Choice of private table or shared table (with random pairing of passengers). We much preferred that and met some wonderful people: U.S., Canadian, French, Chilean, etc. Speaking of which, this was a very diverse set of passengers, much more than I expected. Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, in addition to the above dinner-mates. Many many languages could be heard throughout the voyage. Entertainment/activities: A wide range of fun stuff: trivia games, "game show" formats, etc. Music by Jonathan in the Windjammer Bar was a special treat. Our biggest complaint about the activities was a total lack of educational sessions. Visiting four countries and virtually nothing in terms of historical overviews or lectures about the cultures, histories, etc, of any of them. Quite disappointing and a waste of opportunity. Many of our new friends on board felt the same way. NCL would be well-advised to add some kind of regular educational effort. We would rather spend a half hour learning something than a half hour trivia session about airport identification or dog breeds. Shore excursions: Wow! Excellent! Pricey, but there was some comfort in knowing that if the bus was late getting back to the ship, the ship was not going to leave without us! (Indeed, at one port, a passenger who had taken off on his/her own, did not make it back before departure and had to fly to the next port at their own expense!). All the tourguides, without exception, spoke excellent English, and were obviously proud of their country and culture. However NCL chooses local tours, it works -- keep it up! Don't forget to keep a bunch of $5 or $10 or whatever bills on hand for tips at the end of the excursion -- they ALL deserved it! Disembarkation was also tedious: the staff "controlling" it didn't. She divided the large room into three sections -- called for the first section to leave, and promptly forgot to call the other two and set other groups loose at the same time. No control over who was being herded out the back door, so the whole thing got bottled up quickly. But once off the boat and on our day-long excursion/airport transfer bus to Santiago, all was well. Overall, a wonderful experience, despite the concerns above. We will sail with NCL again in a heartbeat -- just as soon as we save up for another. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I chose the cruise for the ship and the itinerary. We've always wanted to cruise South America and the SUN was the best ship possible. The Hotel Director, Brian Walters is number one. What a fine gentleman who still - and ... Read More
I chose the cruise for the ship and the itinerary. We've always wanted to cruise South America and the SUN was the best ship possible. The Hotel Director, Brian Walters is number one. What a fine gentleman who still - and always will - puts the passengers first. He is always around the ship. He answers questions, gives people directions and helps however he can. I once saw him carrying someone's bag (large after shopping) to the elevator! His officers and crew are the best also. I assume they follow his lead. I know that they love working for him. I like that the SUN is a small ship that is more passenger friendly. I enjoy seeing the same passengers in the elevator and when visiting various venues on the ship. When on a longer cruise, the officers and crew get to know the passengers by name and it is a great feeling for everyone. We ate most of our meals in Specialty Dining rooms, thanks to a wonderful promotion. The food was always wonderful and the Maitr'ds, wait staff and chefs were also superb. We ate some meals in Blue Lagoon (O'Sheehan's) because we love the food and the relaxed atmosphere. I can find absolutely nothing negative to say about the SUN, the itinerary, the Officers and the crew. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The crew is very professional and accommodating. A few of the ship's interior spaces have recently been updated but the overwhelming majority of restaurants and bars are very worn and are in much need of modernization. While much ... Read More
The crew is very professional and accommodating. A few of the ship's interior spaces have recently been updated but the overwhelming majority of restaurants and bars are very worn and are in much need of modernization. While much of the musical entertainment was very good the majority of daily activities were geared for older passengers and lacked inspiration. The Cruise Director really needs to "up his game" to provide activities that all age groups can enjoy. It seemed much of the Cruise Director's staff time was spent facilitating bingo or other fee based activities. One bright note although, were the Spainish Lessons and the Mexico lecture given by Roberto which were very good. The food was fair to marginal but overall very salty. Towards the end of the cruise the food quality and choices became very poor. In fact, it seemed they were attempting to use up food of lesser quality. One concern I had was a great number of passengers developed respoitory problems, deep hard coughs, even leading to Bronchitis while onboard. Within two days of being onboard I developed some sinus and breathing issues and continued to nurse them the entire 3 weeks of the cruise. The symptoms immediately cleared up once I disembarked which makes me wonder if the cabin AC system is being kept clean. I heard from some people, who became sick that they had their cabin AC systems cleaned and that it helped them a great deal. On the 2nd day of the cruise I reported to the Hotel Director's assistant that railings at he pool were very loose and needed repair. Having been a lifeguard in college I recognized this to be a potential hazard. I reported it again a week later and then asked the pool attendant a couple days later. He responded that "people have been reporting the railings since last October, over 22 cruise ago." And yet it was still left unrepaired. I think this single event sums up my feelings about the Sun. That things are just being tolerated not being kep up to NCL's overall good standards. I very much enjoyed the itinerary of our sailing and the pool deck was very enjoyable as we had good weather. I found that the NCL Sun really failed to impress and is possibly riding on the coat tails of NCL's overall good reputation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The overall cruise can be regarded as average. Positive points : Entertainment : excellent shows, presentations and overall activities throughout the cruise Cabin service : the cabin steward kept very clean all the time. ... Read More
The overall cruise can be regarded as average. Positive points : Entertainment : excellent shows, presentations and overall activities throughout the cruise Cabin service : the cabin steward kept very clean all the time. Overall cleaning Excellent waiters in main dining Free style Onboard treasury and cashier service Internet café service Duty free shores : good prices and large variety of products Jogging track on 6th deck Desembarkation in San Francisco Average points : Cruise price Food and beverage Age of the ship : probably she needs some update and replenishment of some old furniture Guest service information center Fitness center Negative points : Embarkation in San Antonio : although there was a strike in Valparaiso and the embarkation port was transferred to San Antonio the day before departure, NCL failed in not assigning enough people to assist the most needed passengers mostly senior citizens and some of them in wheelchairs. Shore excursions Price of shore excursions Shore excursion information service Concierge : lack of politeness of the main concierge in dealing with passengers. Return of passports : messy service Cost to have internet service onboard Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Great Price for the Vaue !! Ideal Itinerary. Fantastic Weather. Terrific IStateroom location close to the Elevator. Small enough Ship to walk about and not feel crowded. Overall a Memorable trip. Excellent Room Steward. Seven Seas ... Read More
Great Price for the Vaue !! Ideal Itinerary. Fantastic Weather. Terrific IStateroom location close to the Elevator. Small enough Ship to walk about and not feel crowded. Overall a Memorable trip. Excellent Room Steward. Seven Seas Dining Room First Rate in maintaining the Standard of Evening Dress. Cagney's Steak House excellent !! Meet and Great a wonderful way to m make new onboard Friends Played Deal or No Deal for 1 game.I recommend substituting the free photo to a free drink ticket. Many of us decline on board photos !! I've been on Cruises where they offer a Happy Hour in the Main Bar .Overall a good Cruise !! I took advantage of the Free shuttle from Valparasio to San Antnio Port. Many custom e rd felt NCL could have provided better communication regarding the Change in Embarkation Sites. Guest performance good especially enjoyed the Jersey Boys !! I enjoyed Room Service firv AM Coffee in my Room Always a treat for me !! Room Service prompt and Complementary for AM Coffee a Big Plus !! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Interesting route up the west coast of South America,really enjoyed crossing the equator. Great ports to visit and arriving under the golden gate bridge is historic for me. Thecship was old but in great shape however the food was ... Read More
Interesting route up the west coast of South America,really enjoyed crossing the equator. Great ports to visit and arriving under the golden gate bridge is historic for me. Thecship was old but in great shape however the food was marginal at best. Ports of call were interesting, easy access from dock for a few ports but most we had to take a bus to get to the city etc. Great entertainment the UPTOWN BOYS were excellent Franky Valley was also very good overall good entertainment. Food was OK, in the complenmentary rooms,specialty dining was great accept for Moderno awful service awful quality of meat just very poor for a so called specialty dining room. Unfortunately NCL MIAMI CORPORATE did an awful job communicating about the embarkation port change,they made a mess, they just really did not care,last email that some passengers never redeived actually was WRONG,they gave us the wrong port address. Shame on NCL MIAMI CORPORATE.. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our sixth cruise on NCL and by far the longest at 20 days travelling as it did all the way from the port of San Antonio, Chile to San Francisco, CA, a distance of over 6,000 nautical miles aboard the Norwegian Sun, one of their ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise on NCL and by far the longest at 20 days travelling as it did all the way from the port of San Antonio, Chile to San Francisco, CA, a distance of over 6,000 nautical miles aboard the Norwegian Sun, one of their smaller and older ships. This was also a “repositioning” cruise, taking the ship from Latin American ports to the Alaska circuit. I’ve come to understand that repositioning cruises need to be judged a little differently than those that repeat the same journey over and over during a season. Our cabin 1002 on deck 11 faced forward, giving us the same forward facing view as you get on the ships bow-cam. In port this is a real benefit, but it is less so on the open sea, when the wind and weather can make the balcony unusable. On this voyage there were a number of days of choppy seas and windy weather particularly towards journey’s end. All the areas where NCL excels were on full display during this cruise. The service was top notch, delivered by an enthusiastic and diverse crew. I have noticed NCL really attempts to establish personal connections between crew (including entertainers) and passengers. Likewise the variety of dining options and the quality of the food itself was outstanding, in fact a significant improvement over the last time we cruised on the Sun in 2014. The entertainment itself was on the whole quite good, with the entertainment staff making a real effort to avoid duplication despite the length of the cruise. We also enjoyed the excursions which we took at most every port. All of them were well organized and most featured very good guides. Some people cruise to experience the ship, but our focus is always the onshore experiences we do in each port. In this regard, NCL and its partners delivered interesting and meaningful experiences. Where NCL always comes up short is onboard activities. NCL simply needs more interesting things to do on sea days, and there were ten on this voyage, and some of them during poor weather when hanging around the pool is not an option. Many people are satisfied with Bingo and game shows and pool parties but I look for something more. The ship itself was a looking a little tired and I hope that the renovations planned during the dry dock scheduled in 2018 will improve and modernize the ship’s facilities. I wouldn’t be surprised if NCL is planning to retire the sun from active service within the next few years given its age, and the projected launch of a half dozen new ships that are doubtless better equipped and more spacious. On this voyage also there were some problems with embarkation and disembarkation. The embarkation issues were not wholly of NCL’s making, as a strike in the original departure port of Valparaiso made it necessary to move the port to San Antonio, a location which had never hosted a cruise ship before and thus lacked the infrastructure for efficient check in. I give NCL good marks for making the best of a tough situation, but they could have done a better job communicating with the passengers during the checkin process, which took for many a couple of hours. Disembarkation was hampered however by a delay in getting luggage off the ship. Passengers, some of whom had air connections, had to wait much longer than expected for their transfers. To me, efficient off loading of luggage ought to be a no brainer for a cruise ship and here NCL clearly didn’t deliver. All in all, this was a good but not a great cruise. It won’t stop me from using NCL again, but I will think very seriously as to whether I would take an extended cruise with multiple at seas days in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We thought the value was good for a 20 day cruise and haven't been to some of the ports in Chile, Peru, etc. The itinerary was great. Ending in San Francisco was a real treat for us to explore wine country. The balcony cabin was ... Read More
We thought the value was good for a 20 day cruise and haven't been to some of the ports in Chile, Peru, etc. The itinerary was great. Ending in San Francisco was a real treat for us to explore wine country. The balcony cabin was nice with lots of storage. The staff was very good in the dining and around the ship. Everyone one board had a terrible cold but not NCLs fault. The food was overly salty so I couldn't eat some of the soups, etc. The menus never changed in the specialty restaurants. The main dining room didn't get some orders right and the food arrived cold. The people who were on the cruise were very friendly and mostly fifty plus. Embarkation was changed to San Antonio due to Chile earthquake not NCLS fault. The housekeeping staff was fantastic as always. Entertainment was good but since it was 55% Spanish speaking passengers a ventriloquist was not a great idea nor was the juggler/comedian who spoke too fast. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The excursions were wonderful. The guides informative, friendly and entertaining. We learned so much about a part of the world that we knew so little about. We could not have asked to be treated more courteously by the ship's staff. ... Read More
The excursions were wonderful. The guides informative, friendly and entertaining. We learned so much about a part of the world that we knew so little about. We could not have asked to be treated more courteously by the ship's staff. They were always pleasant, smiling and wanting to help. But -- 1. We had Priority embarkation privileges but there was nothing "Priority" about it. No signs or staff directing to "Priority" check-in. Do believe the idea is to bypass the long lines. 2. Public restrooms were not only too few and far between (particularly near the entertainment venues) but there were no visible signs directing to or designating a restroom until accidentally finding a marked door. 3. Very little variety in main dining room menus from day to day. There was little difference between the Seven Seas and Four Seasons. Some selections barely resembled what the dish was supposed to be. If we were going to rate the main dining rooms on a scale of 1-10 we could only give them a 6 at best. The cafe food choices and flavors did better than the dining rooms which is something we have never said about the other cruise lines we have been on. If they were a restaurant, we would choose not to patronize either one a second time. Having sailed with other cruise lines has definitely spoiled us. Also the layout of the ship was the least cruiser friendly one that I have ever been on. Access to the various specialty dining venues were an adventure in finding them. They were put in random areas seemingly as an afterthought in the design of the ship. In general, we would not choose Norwegian Cruise Lines again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because we had a limited time period to travel and we wanted to see South America. We did not realize that in our early 50's, we would be some of the youngest people on the ship. This is not a bad thing but it ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had a limited time period to travel and we wanted to see South America. We did not realize that in our early 50's, we would be some of the youngest people on the ship. This is not a bad thing but it definitely affects the mood of the ship. We enjoy going to the casino and during this cruise, the casino employees outnumbered the guests almost the entire cruise. This made it awkward because they were always standing around just staring at us. They seemed really bored and highly critical of the passengers. The bartenders throughout the ship were uninterested in waiting on people and often avoided asking if we needed anything. The crew overall seemed like they did not want to do more then the minimum required of them. There was one superstar bartender in the Coffee Bar, Stanko, that out shined every other crew member by a ton. He acted like he loved his job and he was very friendly. Our room steward, I ketcho (???), was also fabulous. Worked really hard and seemed to care that we were satisfied. My husband had an experience at the casino bar where he asked for a diet coke with two shots of Malibu. He watched the bartender pour 3 shots of regular rum into his diet coke. He asked him why he did it and the bartender said that he was out of Malibu and regular rum is weaker so he wanted to give him more. My husband asked to see the two different bottles of rum and the alcohol content in regular rum is almost twice that of Malibu. The bartender asked him if he wanted him to redo it. Very strange experience. What was his motive? Get people drunker in the casino? We were very surprised to learn that the All Inclusive Bar Package no longer includes water or specialty coffee. That was disappointing considering the amount of money we paid for the packages. We also signed up for internet but it was really expensive and more often then not, did not even work. The food and the service in the Four Seasons Dining Room were below average. The best meal we had was at the Cagney Steakhouse but we had to pay extra for it. If felt like they don't try very hard in the main dining rooms anymore so that you will want to upgrade to the extra restaurants. I had 5 different spa services and they were all excellent. However, every time I went for a treatment, I was asked to fill out another information form as if it was my first time. It would be nice if they tried harder to appreciate the repeat guests. When we boarded the ship, the computers were down. Although I can appreciate that they cannot help this, the fact that they left everyone standing in long lines without explaining anything about what was going on was disappointing. They repeatedly had computer issues throughout the trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose the 3 back to back cruises that go from Rio to San Francisco. Beaches, penguins, Falkland Islands, Cape Horn, Chan Chan, and the list goes on. Best way to see these, and each was great. Would forgo the start in Rio, but definitely ... Read More
Chose the 3 back to back cruises that go from Rio to San Francisco. Beaches, penguins, Falkland Islands, Cape Horn, Chan Chan, and the list goes on. Best way to see these, and each was great. Would forgo the start in Rio, but definitely start/end in Buenos Aires. My wife and I were mugged in Rio as well as several other couples that we met on the ship. The only way to tour Rio is in a group tour. Period. Never alone or as a couple, even just to leave your hotel. The Sun is a mid size ship that struggles when at full capacity. The buffet is far too small for all guests, particularly on a sea day with weather that did not allow outdoor dining. However, the staff is great and make extra efforts to try and accommodate. Not always successful. Embarkation at all 3 ports was very poor. Expect to spend the afternoon getting on board. Tendering when necessary was very good. Food was hit and miss. The only specialty restaurants worthwhile for a second visit were Cagney's and Le Bistro. Entertainment in the Stardust Theater was generally good, the production cast numbers, Uptown, and the Showband were the best. Other entertainment was decent, Beau in the Windjammer was the best for our taste- he should listen to 'mama'...Repeat, the crew and staff on the Sun make the cruise. Bridge lessons on the last leg were a nice plus. 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
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