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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I agree with everything that Peter W has written about this cruise. We selected it primarily for the itinerary - the chance to visit more of South America and to transit the Panama Canal - this was the highlight of the voyage. ... Read More
I agree with everything that Peter W has written about this cruise. We selected it primarily for the itinerary - the chance to visit more of South America and to transit the Panama Canal - this was the highlight of the voyage. Embarkation Port: First this has been switched to San Antonio from Valparaiso due to issues with labour and port authorities; not advised directly by NCL of this. The departure shed was large, basic and actual check in went quite smoothly. The first inkling of problems was the almost 2 hours wait in the reception area for the cabin to be ready; 2 announcements about a further 10-15 minutes wait. Luae arrived just before 8:00 pm The notice lying on the bed to welcome and greet us advised of an outbreak of gastro-enteritis on the previous leg of the voyage and implementation of Code 2 of CDC procedures. No mention of how long this might last. The gastro-enteritis was caused by norovirus, and passengers advised of this at Q & A session on penultimate day of voyage, also that 81 people had been affected. It was a 'corporate' decision not to advise passengers joining in Valparaiso. Numerous people were affected by coughs - possibly as a result of the mystery disinfectant used for the constant hand spraying; the casino remained open but the library was closed until the penultimate day! Public lavatory doors were left open - not a great sight. NCL is not alone among cruise lines in placing the Casino midships - making it impossible to avoid a walk through on that deck. The stench of cigarette smoke drifts out onto the seating areas. Will schedule refit address this?. Service in the various dining facilities was haphazard, often chaotic, and occasionally rude; there were no signs of any effective management presence. Two restaurants - 4 Seasons and 7 Seas - served the same menus, although they were billed as being slightly different. Breakfast one morning took an hour - largely because tables had to be cleaned - they were not actually set ; it can't be difficult, even operating under unusual conditions, to get the basics to table i.e butter, jams, sugar, salt, pepper! We avoided the Garden Cafe as much as possible - badly laid out, heaving queues, food just about okay, all serving areas covered in cling film. Staff ladled out vast spoonfuls of food - refused to take any back - 'you can just leave it if you don't want it' I was told! On the whole the Filipino crew members lead the way with their good humour and service. Cabin was okay, the circular shower was tiny; items such as glassware etc gradually arrived over the first 2 days. Clearly the crew did not have enough time in port to prepare. No launderette. Only the laundry service at high prices. (norovirus related ?) Excursions - as with many cruise lines - very expensive and variable in quality. NCL don't offer much in some ports other than their excursions - nowhere to get maps/information etc in a couple of instances. Even though much of it was not to our taste the entertainment on offer was of better quality than on other lines. Cruise Director was very good. Dr Wayne's presentations were excellent and very enjoyable. Disembarkation: slow, delays due to US Customs. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We did not have a very good experience on board the Sun. I had ordered wine and strawberries for sailing day. They did not have them ready in our state room. I had to asked for it and that way it ruined the surprise. The wine they brought ... Read More
We did not have a very good experience on board the Sun. I had ordered wine and strawberries for sailing day. They did not have them ready in our state room. I had to asked for it and that way it ruined the surprise. The wine they brought THE FOLOWING DAY was of inferior quality of the one I had purchased before through their website. When we bought the tickets through their website the offer was Free Free at sea when we were on board they explained to us that the free free only applies to 4 dinners each at the specialty restaurants. When I complained they said I need it to complaint with the travel egency that we bought the tickets from. But we never used a travel egency my son bought the tickets directly through their website. They insisted that we used a travel egency and that they talked to the travel egency only lies and more lies. The food was nothing special we asked for lobsters at the speciality dinners we were told they did not have it. Poor poor service! We had purchased 5 tours with them. The last tour in Miami they left us out because we took a bit longer to go through immigration. They did not offered any explanation just that the bus had left and that we had no chance to get in another tour. Awful experience!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
First time cruising with Norwegian Sun. They had an outbreak of gastrointestinal sickness on the cruise before ours and it continued on our cruise. Unfortunately I got sick. After being quarantined no one followed up to see how I was or if ... Read More
First time cruising with Norwegian Sun. They had an outbreak of gastrointestinal sickness on the cruise before ours and it continued on our cruise. Unfortunately I got sick. After being quarantined no one followed up to see how I was or if I needed anything and the room service menu was very limited for my husband who was not sick but also had to be quarantined. Consequently we missed two days and one port. The WiFi on the ship was a waste of money as half the time people couldn’t get connected. I also found there were a lot of fees for very little service. I did not find the service as good as on other ships. With the free style dinning the wait staff does not get to know you. However the staff were good considering the extra work they had with the sickness on board. Our steward was also great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We took this cruise because of the price, the perks, and a chance to cruise with friends from various states. It was our first time on NCL and we were not very impressed. The staff from our room steward to bar tenders to dining room ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the price, the perks, and a chance to cruise with friends from various states. It was our first time on NCL and we were not very impressed. The staff from our room steward to bar tenders to dining room staff was very accommodating and did a superb job. The entertainment was average with just a couple of outstanding entertainers. We have been on other cruise lines that actually give talks on upcoming ports and do it without trying to sell ship tours - just informative talks. I realize that NoraVirus can happen but the way the ship's Captain handled it was deceitful. Never even admitting the extent of crew and passengers affected lead to distrust by many of us. My husband and I were both diagnosed with the flu and charged $2,497.03 for the treatment. I guess since we were captive patients you are free to charge any amount you want. The one Tamaflu that we brought cost us $42 while the one I got on board was $419 —-REALLY!!!! A little good will from NCL would go along way to accepting the impact of both the NoraVirus and out particularl illness. I heard several passengers expressing disappointment that NCL didn’t offer ANYTHING (such as a dollar amount off future cruise which you know would not be acted on by many) for the inconvenience we all suffered.n Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We just got back yesterday from our 16 day cruise from Chile to Miami. First, the cruise was out of San Antonio, Chile, not Valparaiso, but Cruise Critic doesn't allow me to put that in as the port of embarkation, as they ... Read More
We just got back yesterday from our 16 day cruise from Chile to Miami. First, the cruise was out of San Antonio, Chile, not Valparaiso, but Cruise Critic doesn't allow me to put that in as the port of embarkation, as they don't have San Antonio, Chile listed. The cruise was really enjoyable. We went to ports we have never been to in South America, as this was a repositioning cruise. We took two buses from Santiago to San Antonio, Chile. First bus is from the airport to the central bus station in Santiago. Look for Turbus. It was about $3 US. The girl selling the tickets at the window didn't speak English, but had a translating thing on her computer that she used to help us and sell us that first ticket to the central bus station, called Terminal Alameda Santiago. Second, from the central bus station, Terminal Alameda, we took a nice coach bus to San Antonio. Tickets are sold inside the central bus station. The bus company is Pullman. Just ask someone where the Pullman tickets are sold. They will point you in the right direction. Trip is about an hour and a half and about $8 US. Bus station is within walking distance of the port. I heard people paid $150 for transfers from the airport to the San Antonio. Take the bus. Way cheaper and a pleasant ride. We stayed in the Terra Mia Boutique Hotel in San Antonio the night before embarking. It is brand new and is family run. The rooms are very small, but was sufficient for an overnight. The breakfast room overlooks the harbor and delicious breakfast is included in the reasonable price. (We paid $75 cash US). The family was so friendly, we felt like a much honored guests, not just a patron. We also went to a wonderful restaurant on 274 21 de Mayo street in front of the Terra Mia (one street closer to the harbor) called Logrono Restaurant. They didn't speak any English, but had a menu that included English. We had fish and steak. The fish was very good. My husband raved and raved about that steak. Said it was the best he had had in his whole life. The restaurant is accessed by stairs up to a small courtyard where you enter the restaurant. Next morning, we walked to the port, but the Mia Terra will arrange a cab for you. Embarkation was quick and smooth, but rooms were not ready til late, as norovirus had been on the last cruise and NCL were thoroughly sanitizing every square inch of the ship. Measures had been put in place, noticeable mostly in the buffet, to stop the spread of the virus. Food was served by the crew, rather than by the guests in the buffet. They continued this into our cruise. The crew worked overtime keeping things sanitized. I give high marks to NCL and the crew for doing a great job! We took no ship's shore excursions. Most were with Cruise Critic members. Our first port was Coquimbo, Chile. We did a Tour by Locals set up by a fellow passenger and cruise cruise member. We went to La Serena, Elqui Valley, Dam, Museum and lunch. Was a pretty good tour. Second port was Arica, Chile. This tour was also set up by a fellow passenger and Cruise Critic member, Anne.. Anne had come up with a list of places she wanted to see and then put out a proposal to different tour companies. The result was fantastic tour and great price by Orlando of Raices Andinas. We did a short walking tour of the city of Arica and then up to the top of El Morro for a great city view. We saw the geoglyphs, went to the Azapa museum to see the mummies, and went to the Lluta Valley for lunch. The ride through the valley was spectacular. Third stop was Lima, Peru. We elected to do something different here. We went on a boat ride to several nearby Palomino islands with Mar Adentro in the port town of Callao, Peru. It's within walking distance of where the port buses drop you off in town, but the tourist police would rather you take a taxi (available at port bus drop off point $5 one way). The swimming with the Sealion tour was $45 US cash. They take you out to the islands where you will see many birds including penguins. It does smell of guano. The highlight is getting in the water with the sea lions. They provide wet suits - you need them as the water is cold . The young sea lions will cautiously come up to your feet if you put them out in front of you. But mostly they just jump and swim. Never felt unsafe. It was great!!! Loved it! I also have a recommendation that many other passengers did and loved in Lima, based on what other passengers from our Cruise Critic group said. Haku tours did a cruise critic tour called the Kings and Queens tour and the Shanty town tour together. It really opened fellow passengers eyes to the way many live. I will do that next time we go. In Salaverry, Traveler's Tours Peru took us to see both Chan Chan and the Temple of the Sun and Moon. Our time in port was really short there, but this company was able to get it all done with time to spare. I helped plan this tour, and the company was very responsive in their email contact. A pleasure to work with. They really did a great job, picking us up inside the port. Good tour and guide. Stop 5 was in Manta, Equador. We did a tour with SOS tours, again organized by a fellow passenger. We went to the fish market and learned about the local fishes. Also learned a little about their fishing boats, which were in various stages for building and repair nearby the fish market. More interesting than maybe it sounds. We did a walk through the rainforest. Now I really enjoyed it. But, apparently it is usually dry down in the streambed, but not for us. It had been a wet season for them. Water was flowing in the small stream, so many of us got our feet wet. One lady, not in our group, slipped and broke her arm. (She was seen locally, it was set and she got back to the ship.) It's definitely a doable hike, but you do have to be in decent shape, watch where you are walking, be ready to walk on lots of rocks and possibly water, and be careful walking especially on mossy surfaces. And it is quite humid and buggy. BRING YOUR BUG SPRAY. Absolutely necessary. If you take the tour, perhaps ask if the there will be water in the stream or not. After, we stopped at restaurant near a beach and had snacks and something cold to drink. Next we went to Monte Cristi to learn some Equadorian history, see Panama hats made, and to shop. Rain started as we got down to the market, but most chose to go out in the rain and shop. Then back to the ship. Mostly a good tour. Stop 6 was Puntarenas, Costa Rica. I think this was a favorite stop of many of the passengers. Beautiful and green compared to many of the desert climes we saw in northern Chile and Peru. We did the Villa Lapas Skybridge Tour with Ricky Ricardo tours. Another great tour arranged by passenger Anne. We first stopped to see the monkeys, which took banana pieces right from our hands. We stopped by a wonderful overview and then went on the skybridge walk. Nice hike. Not difficult. It's dry, no bugs, but lots of stairs and uneven surfaces. Take the walking sticks at the trails beginning. They are helpful where there are sandy surfaces. Then we took an optional part of the tour, to a boat which took you on the river to see crocodiles and many, many birds. The river guide's knowledge was impressive!! We also stopped to see medicinal plants and to shop. Excellent tour! We went through the Panama Canal. Got up before 6am and enjoyed the day on deck watching as we went through the locks and Culebra cut and Gatun lake. Wonderful day and the commentator on board did a wonderful job! Last port was Cartagena, Columbia. They have a wonderful port area, with parrots, peacocks, various birds, anteaters, monkeys and other creatures roaming about. We went with Tour in Cartagena Tours. Marelvy Pena-Hall heads this tour company. We walked in the old town, drove to the Fortress of San Felipe and La Popa monastery perched high above the city with great views. The problem is it is really hot there, (over 90), especially for this northerner. Just too hot for me. Onboard, they had the usual activities. Trivia, shuffleboard, bingo, some dance classes, etc. I would have liked to see more line dancing. They had a couple classes, but not many. I really enjoyed the naturalist who gave talks on many mornings. I learned alot from him. Also enjoyed an arts and crafts segment they did on sea days. I wasn't big on the night time shows, especially the cast productions shows. Too much skin and tight clothes for me. Sexy sells I guess. Wasn't a fan of the magician either. Food was very good in the dining room and in the buffet. Service was mostly great, but slow at times. As I said, things were busy for them this cruise. Good cabin steward. Great inside room. Love the walking track on deck 6!! Way better than being on the top deck. Overall, it was a good cruise, with some interesting ports, and a great crew who worked hard to keep us healthy. I'll be back NCL! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Wanted to do the Santiago (San Antonio port) to Miami thru the Canal. (Feb/Mar 2018) San Antonio port is new and somewhat limited for embarkation. But they got people through quickly. About 1 1/2 hours from Santiago. Local bus from ... Read More
Wanted to do the Santiago (San Antonio port) to Miami thru the Canal. (Feb/Mar 2018) San Antonio port is new and somewhat limited for embarkation. But they got people through quickly. About 1 1/2 hours from Santiago. Local bus from town is cheapest, but not too bad if you hire in advance a 8 pass. mini bus (only take 6 for more room). They had a luggage carrier on roof, but did not need it. With noro virus on the earlier leg, boarding was delayed until 1pm. We had received a text and knew this, so delayed our van trip and arrived about 1:45pm. Fifteen minutes later we were on board. This also resulted in slower service on board at times, but crew worked hard at keeping thing clean. We had a forward suite. Quite large for an older ship and wonderful view, especially for the Canal. I was concerned about wind being in front, but not an issue. However the 4 foot high barrier in front is solid, so cannot see the front when sitting on the chairs. Cabin attendant, butler, and concierge were all 1st rate. In fact, probably the best we have ever had. Concierge (Leah) was everywhere and could not do enough for us. Cabin 8001. Bar servers were usually quick and nice - but not many big drinkers on the cruise. Food was pretty good - even though with the virus they had to hand you everything. No self serve. We thought Cagneys and La Cucina were excellent. Bristro (usually our favorite) a bit below expectations. Sports Bar has wonderful snacks in the evening and rarely crowded. Shows were so-so. Helvis was a real entertainer! Dancers and singers about average. Ports were very interesting. We did local tours and all worked out well. The Panama Canal was great. The explanations over the P.A. system (or on your TV) were excellent all the way through. It takes about 8 hours - usually starting about 7am. Miami disembarkation took longer than usual. Started about 8:15am (usually start by 7:45) and went rather slow. Lines at immigration. We had leisurely breakfast and took it easy until about 10am, and still lines when getting into the terminal. Overall, we liked the smaller ship. Not as much to do and more limited entertainment, but easy to get around and easy to meet others. The sun is going to drydock to be fixed up a bit and then will be doing the Cuba route in Spring 2018. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife and I took the Emerald Princess from Buenos Aires to Santiago Chile and stayed 3 nights at the little town of San Antonio Child and then took the Sun from Chile to Miami. This was the first time with Norwegian and therefore the ... Read More
My wife and I took the Emerald Princess from Buenos Aires to Santiago Chile and stayed 3 nights at the little town of San Antonio Child and then took the Sun from Chile to Miami. This was the first time with Norwegian and therefore the first trip on the Sun. We didn't know what to expect but overall we were very pleased with our Cruise. For us it was fun being on one cruse line for half the trip and then trying another. South America was an area of contrasts, none of the ports had a cruise terminal and some ports were basically fishing towns and some were more affluent. But they were interesting for us because we were basically curious about seeing a little of SA. We really like the entertainment on the ship. The theater was goldilocks size, not too big and not to small and nice individual chairs. They had a fantastic production crew of singers and dancers. They were just fantastically talented and they really put on a excellent show. Plus out of the 16 days onboard they performed a lot. They even came down in the bars and nightclubs when they weren't at the main theater and put on some mini shows. I don't know if that's normal on Norwegian but it was on the sun. We also thought the cruise director and his assistant were great. Lots of energy and great personalities. We had a balcony cabin that compared with Princess, HAL, Royal C and our steward was a hard worker. In fact I thought the whole crew was well trained, very friendly and hard working. We liked the layout of the Sun, nice big outdoor deck/dining area aft, a great sports bar aft, nice bar in the atrium area and a good size casino. One last thing, the food on the Sun was better than any cruise ship I have ever taken and we have been on a bunch. They actually seasoned the food and unless you go to a specially restaurant the food is bland. Nothing is perfect but overall we really enjoyed our cruise with the Sun and overall we basically like to cruise on a smaller ship. The Sun is probably mid-sized but nowadays all the new ships are monster size. Overall our fellow passengers were older retired USA folks like us but we had a lot of Latin American's on this cruise plus a sprinkling of Europeans . I highly recommend the Sun. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Norwegian has the best musical entertainment I have seen and I have sailed on 25+ cruises across multiple cruise lines. They have an upbeat Miami vibe that is hard to describe but you really feel it. We bought the 65 mile bus transfer from ... Read More
Norwegian has the best musical entertainment I have seen and I have sailed on 25+ cruises across multiple cruise lines. They have an upbeat Miami vibe that is hard to describe but you really feel it. We bought the 65 mile bus transfer from Santiago airport to San Antonio and everything went very well. Embarkation went smoothly. Cruise Director Roberto was one of the best I have encountered. We purchased a shore excursion in all seven ports and they were all professionally presented. Our cabin steward worked hard to know our name by the second day. Our balcony cabin was spacious enough for me to do yoga on the floor. It is 221 square feet. Food variety in the main dining rooms was great. We chose this cruise because we had never sailed to South America. Although Norwegian may not offer this exact itinerary again, I recommend that you find a Norwegian cruise going to Cartagena, Columbia or Punta Arenas, Costa Rica. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Great Ship, great cruise, amazing itinerary.... starting in Chile through the Panama Canal ending in Miami. A 16 day cruise was a pleasure and a dream. Our cruise was effected by the Noro Virus and the ship was taking extra efforts to ... Read More
Great Ship, great cruise, amazing itinerary.... starting in Chile through the Panama Canal ending in Miami. A 16 day cruise was a pleasure and a dream. Our cruise was effected by the Noro Virus and the ship was taking extra efforts to clean and prevent people from serving themselves. That means longer lines and longer wait times. My family washed our hands very often and avoided the buffet as there was less selection and longer lines. It was better to be served breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main dinning room. No one out of the 6 people we traveled with got the virus. Complainers should keep this in mind as the crew also got sick and service was delayed due to less crew. NCL gave us $35/each on our bill for the inconvenience and not sure how they came up with that number. Thanks for that. $50- $100 would have been better :). Our ages ranged from 45-55 years old so we were less than the average age. I won $20 in the Deal or No Deal game! That was also so much fun! Special thank you to Roberto De Pasquale, the cruise director, I love his energy and daily TV show. You really add to the ship! They are luck to have you! We will be back NCL, Thank you for all the great memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
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
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