1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

244 Norwegian (NCL) South America Cruise Reviews

Being in close quarters with your spouse for 17 days, not to mention hundreds of other passengers and crew, sounds like a good way to get cranky and swear off cruising for life. On the contrary, we found ourselves savoring the voyage, ... Read More
Being in close quarters with your spouse for 17 days, not to mention hundreds of other passengers and crew, sounds like a good way to get cranky and swear off cruising for life. On the contrary, we found ourselves savoring the voyage, enjoying each other and wonderful new friends, regretfully noting the few days remaining as we left each port. Maybe it was the unique itinerary - a good balance of sea and port days repositioning from San Diego through fascinating and diverse locations in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, northern and central Peru, and northern and central Chile. We envied the few who were staying on to travel past Cape Horn to Buenos Aires and beyond to Rio de Janeiro. The sea days provided a good variety of activities, including Spanish and Bridge lessons, and interesting and informative talks about medical history from the ship's physician, along with everything else you would expect (bingo, casino, trivia, sports, gym, fitness classes, shows, karaoke, art auctions, etc.) The music was great - even for a relatively small ship you could walk from area to area and find different musicians to suit your taste. At the ports you had lots of choices between ship excursions, organizing your own tour, or just taking a taxi. Many of the ports are set up for commercial shipping and you cannot just walk off the ship to a cafe with free wifi - fortunately, free shuttle service is provided to the area where you can find a tour or grab a taxi. The most inconvenient of these is Valparaiso, where we disembarked. First you need a shuttle to take you to the Customs area; then another shuttle out to where you can get a tour or a taxi, or simply hop on the local transit train. Considering the potential for confusion, disembarkation went very smoothly. I hope some of the ports recognize the economic potential in cruise ship traffic and make improvements some day. There were subtle changes we noticed from our last cruise, one year earlier and also on the Sun. The food was noticeably better. The recent merger with the luxury line Prestige has seemed to have improved Norwegian's food choices, flavor and presentation. Now, if they could only hold off on the salt in their broths and sauces. Service in the dining rooms - specialty and free - was impeccable and staff went out of their way to accommodate requests. They were pro-active in letting guests know: "if you need anything, just ask". The officers and directors were present and visible throughout. Bridge crew, chefs, food and beverage directors, cruise director, guest services and latitudes staff and management interacted frequently and made themselves available to hear from guests. On a cruise of this length you really get to know and appreciate the crew. Everything clicked so that guests could enjoy. That left us free to make some wonderful and unforgettable new friends and memories we will treasure always. It felt like being part of a big, happy, fun family - the kind that accepts and laughs at those moments you do get cranky and leaves you smiling. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I’m a 34 year old male who sailed solo on the Norwegian Sun from San Diego, CA, USA to Valpraiso, Chile from November 2, 2016 to November 19, 2016. I’ve sailed with many different cruise lines but have found NCL to meet most of my ... Read More
I’m a 34 year old male who sailed solo on the Norwegian Sun from San Diego, CA, USA to Valpraiso, Chile from November 2, 2016 to November 19, 2016. I’ve sailed with many different cruise lines but have found NCL to meet most of my needs and as such this was my 24th cruise with them although my 37th cruise overall. I’ve sailed on other cruise lines including Celebrity, Princess, Carnival and once on Royal Caribbean. How I structure my reviews is on a day by day basis of what I did and my thoughts on what I did. Hope you enjoy the review…. DAY 1 – Embarkation & San Diego Since the ship had just returned from Groove Cruise Cabo, a full ship charter, it took longer than normal for the ship to be cleared to start embarking the next guests. I was on back-to-back with this charter so I didn’t get off the ship until 11AM. Since the ship was still not cleared at that point, I headed to Starbucks and made a few calls before heading back to the terminal. When I arrived back to the terminal, I queued with other guests to get back through security and walked right onto the ship. I’m sure others on this voyage will tell you embarkation was a mess but for me it was super easy! I dined for lunch in Seven Seas where service was fast and friendly while waiting for my new cabin to become available. I swapped from an ocean view on Groove Cruise to a balcony on this cruise. Since the prior cruise went a little longer, rooms were not announced as ready until after 2PM. I just hung out in the dining room until they were ready. Balcony Stateroom – Deck 10 – Cabin 0053 Located right by the aft stairwell, this cabin was in great condition for the ship’s age. Everything functioned as it should have. The noise from above was from chairs and tables being dragged in the Sports Bar. This would happen infrequently so it wasn’t loud or annoying. I’m a night owl so the tables and chairs moving was encountered in the early evening when people were assembling sides for watching football games and the like. The cabin came with a terrycloth robe, soap, lotion, coffee maker (which was changed during the voyage) and a mini-bar. Noise from the aft stairwell was rarely heard and I couldn’t hear my neighbors at any point during the voyage. Since my luggage was waiting for me when the staterooms were marked as ready, I went ahead and unpacked while waiting for muster drill. There was some confusion when muster arrived as my old muster station was on my keycard and not the new one. I looked at the back of the door to make sure mine had moved as I went from forward to aft. I went to the muster station on the door and they saw the keycard and sent me down to the other muster station forward. I got there and they couldn’t find me on the manifest for that station and sent me back aft. I went back to the person and they found me on the list. Turns out when my new keycard was printed at guest services they actually re-printed my old room’s keycard, not the new one so when I tried to get back into my cabin it wouldn’t let me. Quick stop to guest services got that fixed. I headed up on deck to see the Feel Free Sail Away Party. The cruise staff were trying but clearly no one was interested in partying and a few people danced but the few souls hanging around the pool deck were just watching, not participating. The music was what you’d expect for a normal cruise sailing. For me after Groove Cruise, it was culture shock. I stuck around until the cruise staff took off which was about 45 minutes after the start of the party and then went around the ship to catch cast off from different vantage points. At 5:30PM there was the solo traveler’s meet up in the Havana Club. There was a huge group of solos this cruise, largely bolstered by NCL’s offering of a solo cruiser discount on the voyage. Our social hostess for the cruise was Benjeel from the Philippines. Lovely lady but the first night even she was overwhelmed with the sheer number of guests who showed up. Dinner was arranged for solos at two times, 6PM and 8PM. At 6PM most of the solos disappeared and went to the dinner. I stayed behind at the Havana Club and chilled as the Friends of Dorothy was also here at 6:30PM. After the Friends of Dorothy gathering, I headed back to the cabin to get ready for dinner at the Seven Seas dining room. After a nice dinner of I can’t remember what I ate, I headed to the 9PM variety show. STARDUST SHOWTIME: Welcome Aboard Show This was a nice introduction to some of the acts we would see during the early part of the voyage. The production cast performed a couple of dance numbers while the Norwegian Sun show band also performed. A couple of divas came out and did a few songs and the magician came out as well for a few acts. The ship’s senior staff were also introduced during this event. It was entertainment for the night. Afterward, given how exhausted I was from Groove Cruise I went to bed. DAY 2 – SEA DAY After going to bed so early the previous night compared to the last voyage, I was up at 4:30AM wide awake. I purchased the unlimited wifi package and did some work on the balcony as the sun was coming up and then went to breakfast in the main dining room. I love fruit so almost the entire order for breakfast was fresh fruit and yogurt with some French toast on the side. All of it was presented and prepared well. At 11AM there was the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet with the ship’s officers and fellow cruise guests. We took part of the venue at the Observation Lounge for the gathering. All the senior officers were in attendance and offered to assist us in any way with any issues we had before getting off the ship. They all provided us their handy phone numbers which was very nice of them. Brian Watlers, the Hotel Director came over afterward and talked with me a bit as he remembered me from several cruises I’d taken on the Norwegian Jewel. In the early afternoon after a buffet lunch, the ship held the first welcome back party for Latitudes guests. It was so large that they held it in the Stardust Theater. I asked for a Sprite and Vesna Campos, the Food and Beverage Manager saw to it that I received it. I floated around the ship for the rest of the afternoon and got some sun while checking out the DJ’s afternoon pool side set. I got some sun for a bit and then headed back inside to get ready for dinner and the solo’s gathering at 5:30PM. I skipped the solos dinner again tonight in favor of meeting more people at the Friends of Dorothy but there was a large turnout again for the 6PM dinner time. STARDUST SHOWTIME: Las Vegas Tenors I sat for the early show at 7PM and watched these three very talented vocalists perform together and individually to some great tunes spanning many different genres of music. I enjoyed their show and a lot of guests seemed to as well since they received a standing ovation. After the show was over, I went to dinner with some new friends made along the way. Norwegian’s Night Out Party At the encouragement of the solo’s hostess, I checked out the Norwegian’s Night Out in Dazzles Disco. It was all older music as the average age this voyage was 64. I stayed for a couple of songs and watched the cruise staff try and rope people in for dancing and then went to bed. If the music was anything more current than the 60s and 70s, I might have stated but I was exhausted and the music was putting me to sleep. DAY 3 – SEA DAY After working a bit on the wifi and then getting some breakfast it was off to the Behind-The-Scenes ship tour for Platinum Latitudes members being hosted by Andres Dos Santos from the CruiseNEXT desk. We were shown the I-95, ship’s laundry, production back stage in the Stardust Theater and finally the ship’s galley. The tour is hosted at different points by the department heads. It’s a really nice overview of how the behind the scenes on a ship functions and a perk of being a Platinum Latitudes member. Loyalty does have its rewards! After a quick bite to eat for lunch, I went to the gym for a little bit before going up on deck and catching some sun. The sun was setting later so it was perfect. Headed back for a quick shower and change and went to the solos gathering. Tonight I joined the 6PM group at dinner and shared a table with 11 other guests. It was a bit busy with one end of the table being a higher age demographic than me and the other side being about my age. It kind of split up the table along those lines and people were not cross-talking between the two groups. One thing I can’t stand is dining alone at dinner. As a solo traveler, I’m accustomed to doing most things on my own but dining for dinner solo is not my favorite. STARDUST SHOWTIME: DIVAS 2 After seeing a tease of them in the embark day’s variety show, I was skeptical of this performance and whether or not it would be any good. Individually the two can sing nicely but when combined it’s worse than nails being scratched on a chalkboard. The African American vocalist could get higher notes and seemed to be having more fun with it than the other girl. I did stay through the whole performance as I did need something to do before the disco got going. I would not recommend this show. At 10 PM Dazzles flipped to an open format with the DJ Onyx. I stayed for the first few songs which were again stuck in the 70s but it was so quiet. No one was in there except a handful of older people. The scene was dead so I went to bed. Turns out this cruise saved me a fortune in alcohol expenses as I only drink if the nightclub is good and the music makes me want to stay. DAY 4 – SEA DAY After a leisurely working breakfast, I headed to the gym for another workout session. The gym on the Norwegian Sun is well appointed with cardio equipment ranging from elliptical machines and treadmills to bikes and rowing machines. There’s also a number of weight resistance machines working just about every major body part and then there’s a small assortment of free weights. The layout is functional. If you want to do any form of stretching you have to go into the aerobics classroom next door. While there might be a seminar being taught by Bogdan, the personal trainer, you can still use the back of the room without issue so long as you’re quiet. After a nice lunch it was back up to the forward deck to catch some sun and get a nap in. Seems like the sea days were meant to be workout and sun time. While the ship had trivia, bingo and the usual suspects of towel animal folding and fruit carving demonstrations, I just chose the more leisurely route. Tonight at 5:30PM I went to the solos gathering and again accompanied them to dinner. During dinner service this night (I think), Amber Strings came and performed for the dinner service. These girls are amazing and do several classical numbers and different shows throughout the cruise in the atrium and various other venues. STARDUST SHOWTIME: Las Vegas Tenors Wait, didn’t I just review that? Well it’s a long cruise so Las Vegas Tenors came back for a second show with new songs to be sung. Again, these guys did not disappoint and belted out some great favorites from Opera to Rock ‘N Roll hits. When you think of tenors you usually think of boring but these guys really are good. I was happy they had a second show. There was no point even staying up for Dazzle’s Disco as it was advertised as having the 50s and 60s sock hop so I just went to bed. DAY 5 – HUATULCO, MEXICO NCL SHORE EXCURSION: Huatulco Archeological Site and Market Shopping I had myself convinced I wasn’t going to do a shore excursion at this port call and just hang out on the beach right at the end of the pier. Well after 3 sea days and the ship being completely dead after 10PM, I was itching to do something. Elysabeth at the Shore Excursion desk was honest with me and said this shore excursion did contain a bit of shopping but I decided to book it anyway. It turns out due to mobility limitations we didn’t spend that much time shopping and instead spent more time at the ruins!! The Copalita ruins are still being excavated but they give you a peak into Zapotec, Mixtec and Aztec merchant lifestyle and how they went about processing new people into the colony. The tour guide was quite knowledgeable as we were going around the site and had some of the different myths about the site. There’s still a lot of wiggle room on what actually went on here. Given the artifacts that are at a museum as you enter, the guide believed it was more merchant trade compared to any of the other stories! While on this lovely tour I met two Australian ladies as well who made the tour that much more enjoyable! I would recommend this tour! Back on the ship, the two ladies I met on the tour decided to have a drink and get some food at the Great Outdoors. When the ship sailed from Huatulco I was on the Promenade Deck and when the ship swung around to head south the sunset was just amazing. This cruise I got to appreciate nature so much more than usual. In the morning before we arrived there dolphins jumping on the port side of the ship which I watched from my balcony. The sea was kind to me this voyage. STARDUST SHOWTIME: Pure Variety Tonight was the first night full production show by the Sun singers, dancers and showband. Exactly like it sounded like, the show was a variety of different songs that introduced the principal singers in the cast and the dancers to the attending guests. It was a good show!! I attended the 9PM showing after having a lovely dinner in the dining room. Not having anything on the agenda for the next port call, I tried to give Dazzle’s Disco another chance. Tonight’s theme was Dancing Through the Ages. I brought my phone with me to do some work on wifi as I checked it out. Sure enough the music again was stuck in the 70s. Never thought I would dislike the song Twist but it was being played as much as the Cupid Shuffle usually is on a regular 7 day cruise. I was amazed and bored so off to bed I went again! DAY 6 – PUERTO CHIAPAS, MEXICO Like Huatulco I had been to Puerto Chiapas before. I had seen the main city close by and the ruins and archaeological museum which is worth checking out if you’ve never gone before. However, there’s nothing much else to do. I stayed on the ship after breakfast and again did a workout and went out to the hut where the souvenirs were. I wasn’t moved to buy anything. I stopped by the pool where the crew were hanging out briefly and decided to just head back on the ship and give the crew their space. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed up to the forward sun deck which was empty and laid out. All in all it was a very uneventful day! SPECIALTY DINING: Teppanyaki Tonight I dined with two friends I made the previous day at Teppanyaki. If you’ve never done it before, it’s dinner cooked before your eyes with a little bit of a show. Tonight was a very personal seating as it was just us three and two ladies from the UK. It wasn’t a full table! The show was that much more intimate and the chefs took time to get to know us more. It also allowed us to customize the food with less salt and butter than is customarily use in the food preparation here. I was so thankful! The chefs did an amazing job and earned a little bit of an extra tip for their service. The wait staff were friendly and the hostess did recognize me from a previous cruise on the Jewel. When you cruise so much the crew literally become family, it was so nice to see her again. STARDUST SHOWTIME: Master Magician Greg Gleason The problem with cruising too much is you see some of the entertainers over and over again. This would be one example. If you’ve never seen Greg before he’s got a slew of slight of hand tricks and illusions. However, his show hasn’t changed since the last time I saw it so I didn’t stay for the whole thing. It is worth checking out if you’ve never seen it before though! Between having an excursion in the morning and knowing the disco would be stuck in the 70’s all night, I gave up and went to bed. It was 70’s disco night in Dazzles. DAY 7 – PUERTO QUETZAL, GUATEMALA The first new port on this itinerary for me. I was up early to get some breakfast and see the ship make its approach to the pier. The ship actually docked starboard side so I couldn’t see just how interesting debarking was. The cruise pier was actually just a metal grating and rickety to get to the mainland. I couldn’t wait to get off the thing after debarking the ship. NCL SHORE EXCURSION: COLONIAL ANTIGUA On the drive to the colonial city of Antigua, the tour guide was explaining local customs and the history of this area of Guatemala. What really was fascinating was our passing of the two volcanoes Agua and Fuego. One of them was actually beginning to erupt again. While scary and awe inspiring at the same time, the tour guide assured us we were in no danger. I took several photos and unexpectedly crossed something off my bucket list to see – an exploding volcano. The eruption wasn’t that great or big but still cool to see if you’ve never seen it before. When we arrived to Antigua, we debarked the bus and went to the cathedral and the Central Plaza before heading to the museum. The cobblestone streets and facades reminded me of mainland Spain architecture. It was amazing. Guatemalans are poor and it showed with the number of people who instantly started to follow us the whole time we were in Antigua trying to sell different things to us. When we said no, they would pop up at the next stop selling something else. I truly feel bad for these people but don’t they know this type of harassment will only cause visitors to view their country unfavorably? The tour included a typical Guatemalan lunch at a restaurant not too far from the Jade “museum.” The Jade museum was nothing more than a shopping stop that our guide left us at and then disappeared. He never told us a time to meet back up and this was just a money stop thrown on the tour. The lecture given was more about the quick differences in jade versus fake jade and to get us into their shop instead of teaching us anything. I was not pleased with how this tour ended. The tour guide at that point was flustered with a group of Asian people who were not following directions and messing up the tour for the rest of us. I could’ve ventured off on my own more if I knew the time we had to meet up. I was not happy with this tour or the guide for this. I wish I had written down the tour guides name to warn you for the future. How the second half of the tour went would have me not recommend it for you if you’re considering it. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: CAGNEY’S STEAKHOUSE It was a lovely dinner with great company. I had the shrimp cocktail and Tomahawk steak. The steak was HUGE and so was the bone sticking out of it! It was cooked to order and cooked correctly. The service was absolutely amazing here as the restaurant was fairly quiet. The hostess came over and Vesna, the Food and Beverage Director stopped by to see how dinner service was going. It was a great night and relaxing dinner service. After a long day of touring it was needed! STARDUST SHOWTIME: Comedy of Anthony Padilla I went to the 9PM show and walked in after it started. Comedians are rarely funny on cruise ships or at least for me. I gave this guy 15 minutes and was not impressed and got up and left. I don’t know if guests were just tired or had already left but the theater wasn’t as packed this night either. With a sea day the next day I tried to give the benefit of the doubt to Dazzle’s for some nightlife. It was ballroom night in there. Unfortunately, when that event ended it stayed stuck in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and again I went to bed. My bar bill was safe for another night. DAY 8 – SEA DAY Another sea day, another leisurely working breakfast followed by a work out and then lunch and some sun in the PM. The sea days I had developed a rhythm so it was good to keep it. The ship did offer an assortment of activities to keep one busy if you wanted to stay inside but I just did my own thing. Tonight’s dinner was in the Seven Seas Dining Room aft. The hostess and the maître d for the restaurant greeted us and sat us at a nice table after by the ship’s wake. It was a good dinner service. STARDUST SHOWTIME: Master Magician Greg Gleason I know it’s a long cruise but he was back for a new show. I decided to check out what was going on after the dinner service ended. The 9PM show had already started and I decided to check it out for a bit. Again, if you hadn’t seen his act before then you’d be surprised and amazed. When he started repeating things I had seen before, I took off. Tonight was the awesome 80’s Dance Party in Dazzles. I went and checked it out for a bit and then headed to bed. DAY 9 – PUNTA ARENAS, COSTA RICA I’d been to this port before on a Panama Canal cruise. Having done the tours already which interested me, I was in no rush to get off the ship here. I spent the morning eating leisurely in the restaurant and working. I got off the ship and decided to walk around. Punta Arenas really isn’t that developed besides the free wifi you can get at the end of the pier and from the vendors who have shacks setup going down the street pedaling different foods. There is a shopping area along the water for you to buy different souvenirs. I walked down to the lighthouse at the tip of the little peninsula where the ship docks. If you go out of the pier area and take a left and keep walking along the shore you’ll come to the lighthouse. There’s a beach club down there as well that looked clean and inviting and had some restaurants that looked much cleaner than the ones by the boat. I headed back to the ship to grab a quick bite to eat before going out to explore Punta Arenas to the right side of the pier. This side was not nearly as enjoyable of a walk. The bus station was down here and if I was more adventurous or had done some research I would’ve known that this station would have taken me into a much larger town for a cheap price. Some of the cruise guests opted to do this and reported they had a good time. STARDUST SHOWTIME: ROCK YOU TONIGHT After a leisurely dinner at the Seven Seas aft dining room with good company I checked out the second show (9PM) of Rock You Tonight. It was the Sun production cast’s second production show. I’d seen it before on the Norwegian Sky and it was just as good. The production cast on this ship installed just before Groove Cruise and so they are fresh into their contract with a lot of energy and pizzazz. It showed in how enjoyable the show was! Tonight was the Tropical Deck Party poolside. I decided to give it a shot and didn’t realize it was live vocals by the band Blue Notes. They played some crowd favorites.. It was a bit windy up there but the party was scarcely attended. I went and checked out Dazzle’s Disco and it was completely dead. When Blue Notes finished and took a break I went back to Dazzles and it was still dead. Off to bed I went! Bar bill still safe! DAY 10 – SEA DAY It was a bit cloudy today so I decided to go to the gym this morning like usual after using some wifi at breakfast and being leisurely. I guess some guests opted for a workout for the first time this cruise as the weather was not the greatest. The gym was fairly packed. This is when the number of broken cardio machines became noticeable. Two of the elliptical machines were not functioning and one treadmill was broken. CROSSING THE LINE: TRADITION AT SEA This was a cheeky take on earlier seafaring traditions when crossing the equator. Since it was my first time cross the equator I was dubbed a “pollywog.” Since the location changed due to the winds and the rain up on deck, I missed the pre-sign up for a toga but that was ok. After the pollywogs went and received their anointing by King Neptune (a finger of whipped cream placed on the forehead), I went up and was anointed as well. It was a cheeky ceremony but still fun nonetheless. The cruise staff had fun with it and it was the most attended event I had seen on the ship thus far (even with the night time entertainment on the ship in the theater)! Since the weather wasn’t the greatest, I had some lunch and ventured around the ship. The spa and photo gallery folks could clearly see my boredom and when they didn’t have customers, would converse with me. It was very nice of them do to that. I guess this cruise didn’t have a lot of people buying things in either area leaving the staff friendly and welcoming to talk to all guests! STARDUST SHOWTIME: Stephen Kane Stephen’s act was entirely using a piano. I wasn’t sure what to expect and basically it was a piano recital. He seemed to appease the older crowd in the Stardust theater so kudos to him for that. After about 30 minutes, I decided to leave and get ready for my specialty dinner reservation. SPECIALTY DINING: La Cucina Tonight I had dinner with an old friend from the Norwegian Jewel at La Cucina dining room. It was a nice evening with La Cucina favorites although I can’t honestly remembered what I ordered. The service from Santhil was great! Tonight I asked DJ Onyx to play some more current music. Finally there was some current music in the disco and a group of younger people came crawling out of the wood work and danced the night away. Ok, it was about 1.5 hours but it was the BEST night of the disco the whole cruise to this point!!! DAY 11 – SEA DAY Another leisurely sea day with another leisurely breakfast and some wifi and then off to the gym for a mini workout. After the workout I hung out behind the smoke stack in a wind shelter as it was insanely windy and most of the top deck was closed. I was there until 2PM when a deck hand came by and woke me up from a nap and told me I was not supposed to be there. It was a public area so I was confused by what he was telling me. I told him I was a guest and not crew and he told me that it didn’t matter that due to high winds the area was closed and to leave! I did leave but was dumbfounded by the whole thing as it was the ONLY place besides immediately around the pool that didn’t have wind. I didn’t want to be by the pool as the people down there were doing nothing but complaining the whole cruise about the pool deck being re-surfaced. There was a group of people camped out there everyday who seemed insanely miserable and just wanted to complain about everything. I tried to avoid them at all costs. I just went back to my cabin and chilled for the rest of the afternoon. STARDUST SHOWTIME: Amber Strings After dinner in the Seven Seas dining room, I went to check out the main performance of Amber Strings in the Stardust Theater. Most guests didn’t know they were covering for an entertainer who missed the ship due to flight issues. Amber Strings are a trio of ladies who perform classical favorites with two violins and a cello. They played a host of classical favorites with some introductions to them in between. If you like classical favorites then be sure to check these ladies out! Once their performance was over I strolled past Dazzles where Blue Notes was playing and kept going straight to bed. DAY 12 – SALAVERRY / TRUJILLO, PERU INDEPENDENT TOUR: Trujillo Del Peru Specialized Tours After researching this port, I found there were two things that were critical to see, the Moche Temples and the ruins at Chan Chan. Unfortunately, NCL did not have a tour which combined both of these highlights but this independent provider did. It was a full day tour and custom made on their website for the Sun’s time in port. For a US 30 deposit, they held a spot for you in a comfy air conditioned mini-bus. The tour left out of the port without needing to take any shuttle busses. The tour took us to the Temple of the Moon and past the Temple of the Sun for about 1.5 hours. After a quick tour we headed to downtown Trujillo and the main historic center of the city. We headed to Chan Chan afterward and were in Chan Chan for about 1.5 hours touring the main temple. This tour was on-the-go but I got to see so much and the tour guide was so amazing. You couldn’t beat the price for what was given for information and sites seen. I would definitely recommend this tour provider. SPECIALTY DINING: Moderno Churriscaria After watching two people run down the pier as the ship pulled away, it was time to get ready for a huge feast. The tour did not include lunch (didn’t have the time for it) so I was famished. I dined tonight in Moderno which is a salad bar plus endless amounts of meat delivered to your table. The female passadeur was very friendly and gladly accommodated one of my friend’s special requests about the meat being cooked to well done. Traditionally the meats are served from medium to medium well. All the meats tasted great. During the dinner service, the temperatures moderated a bit in the restaurant. It was a bit chilly when we first arrived. During dinner service Grace, the hostess came over and chatted a bit and then Vesna Campos came over when she came through the restaurant. At one point we were the only guests in the restaurant. It was a great dinner service and a long one. I was HUNGRY! Definitely go here when you’re starving! STARDUST SHOWTIME: What the World Needs Now This was the third production show from the Norwegian Sun production cast and orchestra. This was based on the hits of Burt Bucharach. Again this entertainment was geared to the 1960s time period so it largely sailed over my head. The mood of the show was so mellow and chill it did put me to sleep. Out of the four production shows this cruise, this one was my least favorite. Your perspective might be different given your age. The cast was amazing but the theme of the production was not lively enough for my tastes. No time for anything else tonight but bed! DAY 13 , DAY 14 and DAY 15 – MACCHU PICCHU OVERLAND TOUR A few days before hitting Peru we received an updated itinerary for the Macchu Picchu Tour. Apparently, the local train workers on Peru Rail and Inca Rail were going on strike on the full day we were supposed to be trekking to Macchu Picchu. In order to salvage the trip for guests, the tour operator re-arranged the tour making the first day the day to see Macchu Picchu. Otherwise, the tour would’ve been cancelled. If the tour was cancelled I would have been livid. This tour was the ONLY reason why I booked the cruise! After some initial confusion about baggage it was determined you were allowed one carry-on item and one backpack up to 11 pounds on the train to be brought on the plane. We had to pick up our passports which were collected at the gangway when boarding the ship in San Diego a day prior to arriving in Peru from the shore excursions desk. In them contained the Andean passage ticket and stamp for arrival into Peru. DAY 1 – In the morning I woke up super early and ate in the buffet before heading back to the cabin. The ship had arrived while I was eating breakfast but was no longer moving. Wasn’t sure why we were not proceeding to the dock. I went back to the cabin and finished cleaning up and headed to the theater for the 6:30A meet up time. The Captain was trying to get us in early so we could get off the ship and get to the airport right away. Problem was, the Peruvian navigation pilot didn’t come to the ship until after 6:30PM and so we were no where close to docking at 7AM. This started a snowball effect on the entire day’s travels. When we debarked the ship at 7:30AM we were already behind schedule and headed for the busses immediately as directed. As we were going to leave the port, the busses went to the wrong exit and we had to spend time to loop around and head for the correct exit. Being behind schedule, this didn’t help things. When we got out of the port, we hit the Callao and Lima morning commute traffic. We sat at one intersection with a cop directing traffic for 15 minutes. Traffic was everywhere and our arrival to the airport was one hour past the time the plane was supposed to take off. When we arrived to the airport it was a like a scene out of Home Alone! We dashed through the airport and headed for the plane gate. We had to clear security. We all arrived to the gate to find the plane was already loaded with other people flying to Cusco. They were wondering what the hold up was. When I boarded the plane, the oriental group was again lagging behind taking selfies and other non-sense. When they got on the plane they argued with someone over who was sitting in what seat as some people were split for the short flight. This only further delayed us! By the time the plane was finally loaded and everyone sat down, it took forever to get pushed back from the gate. Being late meant we lost our take off slot and when we finally did push back from the gate we spent 50 minutes sitting on the run way waiting for clearance to take off. When we did finally take off, the flight was fast. Upon arrival into Cusco we were hurried to the baggage area where we were told to go outside and get into 1 of 6 vans outside waiting for us and to head to the train station in Ollanta. I picked van number 5 as the people in it looked the most abled bodied. When we arrived into Cusco that’s when I realized there were people who had no business being on this tour. NCL should insist on people having medical clearance or notes from a doctor saying they’re capable of doing the tour. These people caused further delays with their sluggishness! We took off in the vans for the train station which was normally a 1 hour and 50 minute drive. Since we were going downhill and passing cars, we were making up for lost time. However, we were still past the original itineraries train departure time. Turns out we missed our assigned train. When we arrived to the Ollanta train station there was another two car special train heading for Aguas Calientes. Problem was since we missed our train, this train had other tourists on it. We had to board the train from a dirt road on the opposite side as we were already late. We received a box lunch before boarding the train to eat on the way to Aguas Calientes. Turns out since we were late but not the last van to arrive as one had pulled over en route (presumably for guests to use nature’s restroom as the vans didn’t have one), they ended up missing the train! In total there was not enough room on the train for three tour guides and six guests. We didn’t know this happened until half way through the train ride there when a conductor came through looking for the tour leader. My tour guide Fidel was left behind at Ollanta Train Station. When we arrived to Aguas Calientes we were herded towards the bus stop to board the bus up the hill to Macchu Picchu. We boarded the bus and cut a group of others waiting. They were not too happy about us doing so. When we get up to the entrance there was a bit of chaos trying to figure out how to divide what was 6 groups into 2. While this was going on, they were closing the entry gates to the ruins!! I tried to get the tour guides attention but they were trying to work it out. A couple of other guests and I went through the entry gates since we had the tickets. I wasn’t about to be shut out after this long day of commuting! I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to get back to Cusco but figured if it was this much a mess then they’d wait for me and get me back! Turns out they did get the tour groups into the ruins and when I got my own photos and walked around a bit I bumped into Maria’s group which was moving briskly with the tour. I followed her around and she described many things and moved as fast as she could given the group size. She did a remarkable job in the 1.5 hours we were there. Before I realized they were closing the ruins from the top down and clearing each level, I tried to run up to the top level to get some photos. It was already closed and they were yelling at me to come back down. I was a little bummed about this but still got some great photos. All in all we spent 1.5 hours in this magical wonder of the world. I was happy to have seen it. I would’ve been pissed if I didn’t make it! Was it ideal? Surely not. However, NCL did deliver on seeing the ruins. Most guests could not understand that and the amount of complaining that ensued was just crazy. We got back down to Aguas Calientes to catch a later train out with a boxed dinner to eat on the train provided by another catering company in town. There was a full moon overhead in the vista dome train cars so it lit up the valley we were traveling through quite nicely. We went along a river the whole way back to Ollanta Train Station. While we were on a siding mid-way waiting for another train to head to Aguas Calientes, a lot of guests were complaining about the wait as if NCL could do something about it. When the train finally did pass, it was loaded with police and riot gear. I guess this strike was serious business! After seeing that I was thankful we were going the other way. When we arrived to the train station there were even more cops with swat gear waiting around. We re-boarded the vans to head back to Cusco and since it was all uphill it really did take 1 hour and 50 minutes this time. By the time we arrived to the Hilton Garden Inn in Cusco, it was after 11PM. The carry on luggage was already placed in our assigned rooms and all we had to do was sign and get the room keys. I was exhausted but also dehydrated so I bought two bottled waters for 4 USD. Turns out this was highway robbery and I also didn’t realize I bought two with gas (carbonated). I was too tired to turn them in and went to bed. DAY 2 – Cusco Tour Even though the tour order changed, we were still given an early wake up call and had to be ready by 9AM to depart the hotel for the Cusco city tour. We left promptly and headed for the main square to visit the Koricancha and Cathedral. During this part of the tour we encountered striking teachers from the university in Cusco. Our tour guide actually recognized some of them and he stopped to talk with him. Today we had our tour guide Fidel back. After touring the Cathedral, we went to the Saqsayhuman Fortress in the hills over Cusco. Amazing Incan architecture again on this fortress built high above the city. After a nice tour of the ruins and seeing some more alpacas, we headed to lunch at a local Peruvian restaurant. All the food served were traditional Peruvian cuisine which was welcomed and refreshing given the boxed lunch and dinner the previous day were geared for Americans (ham and cheese sandwiches). After the lunch, we returned late to the Hilton Garden Inn and had some leisure time. I ventured back into the main square area with the NCL tour escort and another lady. Safety in numbers and we were fine! We went to the main square in search of souvenir shopping. We headed down to the end of the main road and found this huge shopping plaza with tons of vendors. Most of them had roughly the same items for sale. When you found something different, you immediately bought it. Here I bought an alpaca wool poncho thing for me and magnets and calendars for gifts back home. We took a cab back to the hotel as the sun was beginning to set. For 4 USD we had a ride back from the market to the hotel door. It was so incredibly cheap!! We had to be back at the hotel for 7PM for the hotel catered dinner. When we had dinner, it wasn’t overly Peruvian fare but more Americanized with three pieces of beef and possibly Peruvian gravy. When dinner was finished I went back to the room to relax and get some sleep. Problem was we had to be up at 4AM for breakfast and up in the lobby to transfer to the airport by 5:15AM! I didn’t sleep hardly at all with this on my mind. DAY 3 – Cusco to Arica, Chile I was up before the alarm clock and went and had the hotel breakfast on the go with some cereal. I was in the lobby on time and we left promptly for the airport. Given the early hour there was no one around on the streets and we watched the sunrise as we were heading to the airport. At the airport we said goodbye to our tour guides and went through security screening. The flight from Cusco to Arica boarded promptly on Peruvian Airlines. The main reason for this was it was a charter flight all to ourselves. We took off for the short 50 minute flight to Arica. When we landed in Arica, we taxied to the gate as another plane was leaving. We waited for about 30 minutes and then were told the jet way was not working and we had to back up and be brought to the only other gate they had at the airport. It was a small airport. We did taxi and then were allowed off the plane. The Chilean authorities, just two of them, were clearing our plane one a time in the terminal. This process took quite a while. I was one of the last to get on the final tour bus to take off in a convoy to the cruise port. During the bus ride back to the port, a local guide provided information about the city of Arica and the surrounding area. She provided a brief history lesson and pointed out things to us as we arrived into the city limits. When were arrived back to the ship it was 10AM Peru time but we didn’t realize the ship jumped ahead two hours while we were off. It was really noon and it was time to eat some lunch! Thank goodness! My hunger won out over taking a city tour in Arica. I stayed on the ship and just took a nap when I finished lunch. I woke up in time to see the ship off. Since we didn’t have a hotel dinner on day 1, NCL refunded the group $100 per person. This was in replacement for the first day’s train food. When we arrived back to the ship, the guests who were displeased with the whole thing went to the shore excursion manager and by the end of the cruise NCL corporate agreed to a $200 additional refund resulting in a total of $300 refunded. The tour cost was $2,099 for a solo. I wasn’t expecting any refund for us as NCL and the tour provider did get us to the ruins, even if it was not ideal. I was happy I got to see the ruins. It’s been on my bucket list forever! Not exactly sure I would return to spend more time there. I think NCL’s reimbursement was ok given the extreme circumstances facing the tour. Maybe I’m just more understanding than most? Tonight, I dined in the aft main dining room alone as I had to get caught up on three days worth of work. Using the wifi and hanging out in the corner I had some pasta as it was the third time in my time on the ship that dinner 4 menu was served. I had some pretty spicy pasta and was thankful for it as I was beginning to get sick with some sort of cold I picked up with all the sleep deprivation in Peru. STARDUST SHOWTIME: Magic Rush with Roman and Svetlana I stopped by the late show (9PM) to catch their performance. These entertainers are professional decorated dancers who chose to include magic in the form of costume changes into their show. The show was ok. The costume changes and layers of costumers you could clearly see from the angle in the balcony I was sitting at (nose bleed). The show flowed ok and was entertaining. I don’t know if I was just exhausted or just hyper aware with all the oxygen at ground level to see how they had arranged all the costumes on their bodies. It was Latin night in Dazzles so I headed to bed. DAY 16 – SEA DAY After a leisurely breakfast and getting some work done, I went for a workout. It was simply too cold outside to go out and sun. The workout took up most of the morning and then after a nice lunch, I relaxed back in the cabin on the balcony for a bit. Before dinner there was the Platinum Latitudes party in the Observation Lounge. There were lots of Platinum guests this cruise. We were left to mingle with the senior management on the ship for a bit before heading to dinner. SPECIALTY DINING: Cagney’s Steakhouse Tonight we celebrated one of my cruise friend’s birthdays at Cagney’s steakhouse. It was her choice of where to go and tonight for a change the steakhouse was packed with people! My dinner consisted of a wedge, the shrimp cocktail and the Tomahawk steak again. The steak was so tender and juicy and cooked to perfection. I loved it again! The wait staff came over and asked for our desserts and then my birthday surprise for my friend came out. She didn’t see it coming and big thank you to Vesna Campos for getting it arranged as a surprise for her without her even having a clue! Big props to the Cagney’s team this trip. Service from the hostess to the wait staff to the cooks behind the scene was just amazing. STARDUST SHOWTIME: World Beat This was the fourth and final production number on the Norwegian Sun. Save the best for last is usually how it works. This show was new to me and I LOVED every last minute of it. Music from around the world represented in costume, dance and vocals. The cast brought such energy for this last production, it was toe tapping and amazing. What a great way to end the cruise! The tributes to Africa and Orient were especially amazing. I wish I could’ve seen it twice! Well done cast! FEATURED PARTY: White Hot Party It’s easy to do because all you do is wear white. Thankfully DJ Onyx took Dazzles out of the stone age for music and finally to current beats. There was definitely some electronic dance music coursing through those speakers. FINALLY!! It was the best night in Dazzles since one night earlier in the cruise. By midnight the format had slowed and flipped to Latin and by 12:30A I was went back, showered and headed to bed. At least the night was energetic enough that I ordered two alcohol drinks. I have to say the new prices for Grey Goose and Sprite were quite sobering. If you’re going to charge per drink more than Boston you’d better give me a Boston pour of alcohol. This measured pour for $11.50 is for the birds. It used to be $8.76 a year and a half ago! DAY 17 – COQUIMBO, CHILE After a morning breakfast it was time to get off the ship and explore with the NCL shore excursion. NCL SHORE EXCURSION: Coquimbo and La Serena We had a young tour guide from the university named Joaquin who was telling us all about the two locations. His personal story seemed more fascinating than the history tour he was giving us. It seemed like this port call wasn’t really meant to be full of history. Coquimbo had suffered from a tsunami recently and so the coastline was rebuilding from that. The buildings are designed to withstand earthquakes but not tsunamis. We made a couple of stops along our journey including to a look out with seals and sculptures where the pirates used to be. From there we headed to a lighthouse for a photo op. The lighthouse was never functionally used. Odd we would be brought to something that was simply a decoration and a tagged (spray painted one) at that. We were supposed to stop at the Archaeological Museum but for whatever reason we were not allowed in. Not sure if the place was closed or not. Finding a useable bathroom at this point was hard to come by as the public toilets in the park were out of order. People split off from the group to go to the toilet and eventually we did find one. We were then dumped at La Recova market to shop for a short bit before reboarding the bus. We headed up the hill to La Serena university to get a panoramic view of the city and Coquimbo where the ship was docked. If it was clearer it would have been picturesque but it was cloudy and cool. Unseasonable according to the tour guide. I was on lucky tour number 13! The recurring 13 theme since the date we left for Macchu Picchu was uncanny! Overall, Joaquin was a good kid. He was trying to pay his way through university getting his business administration degree. He was really young and I was surprised NCL used someone so young for the excursion. He knew his history and was a fluent translator for others on the bus. I guess I just expected something more from NCL for this excursion. It was ok but not something I would recommend. I was sick with a cold at that point so I stayed in the back away from guests and got back on the ship and relaxed. I had a farewell dinner with some of the people I met throughout the voyage in the Seven Seas dining room. Service was leisurely and it was great company. Both of them were staying on to go around the Horn but I had to return home. 22 days on the Norwegian Sun was the longest I’d ever spent on any ship! Tonight I went to the photo gallery to look over the few photos I had taken. I ended up buying a stock photo of the ship in the Panama Canal and a copy of the ships itinerary – both stock photos! One of them had to be re-printed and some Photoshop done as it showed some serious rust along the water line for the Sun. The photo manager saw to it personally and it was ready for me in the morning before I debarked. I walked around the ship a bit and said goodbye to other familiar faces and headed to bed. DAY 18 – VALPRAISO / SANTIAGO, CHILE Since my flight was not until 10PM, I booked a post-cruise shore excursion to help pass the time. NCL SHORE EXCURSION and AIRPORT TRANSFER: Wines, Horses, and Santiago Overview with Transfer Another early morning and off the ship early as the tour disembark time was 7:30AM. Our luggage was brought to the airport for us and all we had to do was disembark. The terminal for the cruise passengers is not on top of where the ship docks but a bus ride away. The ship docks in a container port!! When we bussed to the terminal we had to clear immigration again and go through metal detectors. Karma was instant for a guy who cut me to get off the ship and then cut me again to get into the terminal building. He had two oranges in his pocket from the ship. This was not allowed and we were repeatedly warned. Since the ship had been in Chilean waters for two ports, the customs guy was not impressed and hauled the guy away to fine him! Rudeness of guests this voyage was irritating even during disembark! We traveled to Casablanca Valley and had a tour of the Michael Cole vineyard and had a wine sampling. After the sampling, we were given some free time to shop for the wines. While the wines were cheap, getting them to the USA was an expensive proposition. One lady bought a box of wines to bring home and was going to ship them from the airport!! After we finished at the vineyard we headed over to Estancia el Cuadro for a horse demonstration along with some traditional Chilean folk dancing. After the show we were brought to the wine museum and out to their vineyard to be shown the differences between the grape leaves that make all the different wines. Since it was early in the growing season, most of the grapes were not formed. It was the leaves that you could tell the difference by if you were paying close attention. Pretty neat! We had lunch at Estancia el Cuadro while having some typical Chilean music and folk dances peformed. It was interesting to see different instruments used and one local Chilean instrument which the tour guide explained to me. When she was showing it to me it fell apart into several pieces on the ground. I felt so bad. We got it all fixed up and off she went to a wedding which was being held on site. This place was absolutely stunning and was designed for weddings and functions. When lunch was over we headed to Santiago for a brief overview of the city. During the city tour we stopped at an artisanal village called El Pueblo de Los Dominicos. Full of handicraft items we were given some 25 minutes to shop here. Not nearly enough time to buy anything as the vendors closest to the entrance charged a lot more than if you went to the back. Shopping on this cruise was at a premium on most of the tours and this one was no different. We headed to the Sheraton hotel to dump off guests who booked a post-cruise hotel stay through the cruise line. We then headed for the airport arriving just before 5:30PM. It was a long day and I was thankful to be at the airport knowing the journey to get home was getting closer. The tour did the job of filling the day and keeping me busy. For the price paid, it was ok. SUMMARY This cruise was strictly for Macchu Picchu. I saw what I came on the cruise to accomplish and saw some pretty neat sites along the way. Would I recommend this cruise just for Macchu Picchu? Final answer would be NO. If you want to go and see the ruins, it’s best you do something longer and take into consideration any labor actions that may be happening. I know NCL gave it their best and I can’t fault them for the strike or the logistical mess that was only aggravated by a series of rude guests. The six guests who missed the train and later stayed behind to catch it on the day after we flew to Arica never got to see the ruins. I got off the cruise a happy person for having to experience this wonder of the world! In comparison to Groove Cruise, the cruise prior to this one, this one was very relaxing and sedate. Expect an average age that’s way higher than on NCL’s usual 7 day itineraries. I can’t fault the cruise line for constant catering to the predominant age group on the ship. I made the best of out if that I could and got plenty of sun in as well. The gym was a welcomed addition and something I don’t usually spend that much time in on a cruise. The staff and crew were simply amazing. Vesna Campos, Food and Beverage Director seemed to be everywhere in the afternoon and evening. She runs a tight operation and was always so kind and hospitable when I saw her. I remember her from the Pearl charters. She ran those very well! Such an amazing woman and she knows her stuff! Brian Walters, the Hotel Director who has been with NCL since before I was born (wow!!) was around and always said hello. Mihaela Mocan, the Restaurant Manager would always greet me when I entered the Seven Seas dining room by name and be a friendly face around the ship. I have to give a huge shout out to the photo staff as they would see me roaming the ship and talk with me when I was going through if they weren’t helping customers. They helped to keep me sane in night hours when I would hope for something lively in Dazzles to keep me from going to bed. While it never happened they were always so kind to me no matter at the gangway or in the photo gallery. The singles social hostess Jezibel was also very friendly and always beaming whenever I saw her. I think it was the end of her contract but she was giving all she had to keep the solos happy. Grace, the hostess from La Cucina and Moderno was always a welcoming sight no matter where ever on the ship I bumped into her. Carlos, the concierge who recognized me from the Jewel cruises I did back in 2009 and 2010, was a familiar face and so helpful during the cruise. Carlos saved me from having a complete anxiety attack over NCL’s changed policy about cashing travelers checks (they don’t do it anymore although it’s not published anywhere saying that). I also want to thank Kodi Oliver on the production cast for the warm welcome to the ship when I boarded for Groove Cruise 22 days prior. I would see him around the ship and he’d always say hello. He also hung out with a group of kids who were disabled which he wasn’t obligated to do. Big shout out to him for doing that. Kane on the production cast for being around and a smiling face to talk to when he would be strolling the ship or having lunch or chilling in the buffet. The cast on this ship was far more approachable than any other cast in recent memory. Last but not least Jun Serrano who was my cabin steward. He kept the place tidy and was always around to greet me and ask how my day was. In conclusion, the Sun is a humble ship. While she’s one of the older ships in the NCL fleet, she’s still in good working order. Prior complaints about sewage odors were unfounded as I took the aft stairwell constantly. The guest’s behavior on the ship I can’t fault NCL for but we went through the US election on the ship and besides a group of oriental people being constantly rude, some of the other guests after the election took license to being complete idiots. This cruise had its fill of odd characters. The crew never wavered though and I experienced excellent service no matter where I went! When I’m on NCL ships I feel at home. That’s why I’m leaving again on another NCL cruise one week after getting back from this one!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Yes, the ingredients in this cruise vacation are a recipe for Awesomesauce! We're a middle aged couple from north/central Massachusetts. A little over a year ago I noticed the value of this unusual annual repo itinerary on ... Read More
Yes, the ingredients in this cruise vacation are a recipe for Awesomesauce! We're a middle aged couple from north/central Massachusetts. A little over a year ago I noticed the value of this unusual annual repo itinerary on this sailing & so we decided to book it for the following year. NCL made raving fans of us years ago with its great food, entertainment, & people. We're seasoned cruisers, but up 'til now we've sailed mostly to the Caribbean except for once thru the Panama canal and once to Bermuda. This cruise vacation involved a 6+ hour flight from Boston to San Diego, a 10+ hour flight from Santiago, Chile to New York, and a short flight from New York to Boston. We also spent 5 nights pre-cruise in 5th floor corner-room accommodations overlooking Broadway and 4th Ave. at The U.S. Grant in the historic and very walk-able Gaslamp District in San Diego. We absolutely loved San Diego...The charm & hospitality of the U.S. Grant (especially that shown to us by Kimber at the front desk.and Umberto & Corey in the Grant Grill) is world class and we loved our stay there...plenty of great food/nightlife in-house or just blocks away. The night we arrived we had late-night eats, drinks, & entertainment in the in-hotel Grant Grill Lounge followed by a much needed good night's sleep. On our first full day in San Diego after sleeping in, we dressed for an amazing 80 degree F. day, had amazing craft drinks at Cafe 21 on 5th Ave, lunched a few steps and an elevator ride away at Rooftop600 (poolside on the roof of the Andaz Hotel, on F Steet) including octopus & sea bass, spent our afternoon at Sea World, and freshened up at the U.S. Grant before enjoying stage-side table seating at the world famous Flamenco dinner show at Cafe Sevilla on 5th Ave. One the second full day my wife shopped at Horton Plaza Mall across the street from the Hotel while I shredded myself to bits at 24 Hour Fitness - Horton Plaza. In the afternoon we visited the San Diego Zoo. The evening kicked off at the Grant Grill in the hotel where we feel we were treated especially well (and I can't thank them enough for a wonderful fine dining experience). Then off to the Lyceum Theater (also just across the street from the hotel) for San Diego Repertory's emotionally moving production of "Disgraced", which I think will prove to be our favorite time spent in San Diego. So well written and acted ..and delivering a not-so-subtle timely message. We capped the evening with a late-night cappuccino and desserts at Bice on 4th Ave. On Day 3, we slept in again, lunched at Operacaffe on 4th Ave., visited museums at Balboa Park (San Diego Air & Space Museum, Botanical Building, and the S.D. Museum of Art), freshened up, then ate 1st & 2nd dinner courses at Allure on 4th Ave...& 3rd, 4th, 5th dinner courses at De'Medici on 5th Ave. We highly recommend the bananas foster for 2 prepared & flambéd table-side at De'Medici & suggest that it perhaps may be the best dessert in San Diego. The remainder of the evening (8 'til late) was enjoyed at "The Shout! House" (Dueling Piano Bar) on 4th Ave. where we sang all night (with the gathered Halloween crowd) between sips. Day 4 began in the gym (24 Hour Fitness - Horton Plaza,) in the AM, lunched at The Taco Stand in La Jolla (awesome cheap eats), visited the seals & sea lions all afternoon at the beach in La Jolla Cove. (For those who don't know, they're wild, but friendly for the most part...its not a zoo or themepark...its just where these cuties choose to hang out) We then headed up (literally) to George's at the Cove (overlooks the cove) for braised short ribs & blackberry mojitos on their rooftop terrace and to watch the sunset...a heavenly magical day. The next morning, our last in San Diego (for now) was a day to sleep in, get up & pack, shave, shower and get ready to Cruise to South America. We would have loved to visit the USS Midway Museum on Harbor Drive, but we simply ran out of time. Mid-morning we said goodbye to the U.S. Grant and cabbed over to the cruise ship pier where we said hello (& embarked) the Norwegian Sun, which would be our new home-away-from-home for the next 17 nights. Lets start with the crew, then the ship, food, entertainment, & ports of call. NCL pioneered "freestyle" cruising and has great food and entertainment at sea for its price-point but the greatest draw for us that keeps us coming back is its people. Working longer days than most Americans do, day in & day out, they somehow remain interesting to talk to, remember our names, and are always pleasant, courteous, polite, & deferential to their guests...even the most "difficult" impossible-to-please guests. I'm always super-motivated/inspired to treat my own customers better following every NCL cruise. Nevis kept our balcony cabin on deck 9 immaculate, well stocked with ice, ran our clothes down to the laundry at strange hours, and made sure our needs were instantly met. Shrinivas and Honorio stood apart from the crowd of pool-deck bar waiters by day (& sommeliers at dinnertime). They never failed to greet us, take time to chat with us, and always seemed to be close at hand & know when our glasses were in need of a refill. Andre, the executive sous-chef on-board always took time out to see how we were doing. No matter which restaurant we chose for dinner, he was always there at some point during the meal, making his rounds, and engaging with his guests...definitely a nice touch. He also dropped by our table to see that we were well fed at the breakfast & lunch buffets when we chose to eat there...seemingly able to be everywhere, all the time. The ship is smaller than most of the NCL ships we've sailed on, but has almost everything their larger ships do for entertainment & dining venues, albeit slightly smaller in scale. Still, they seem no more crowded since the number of guests and crew are proportionate to the size of the ship. I had my second ever massage (& first ever at sea) on the 2nd full sea day...Esperanza's talented fingers (& elbow) melted my worldly cares away. I didn't realize how "un-relaxed" I was before until during & after the massage...(Ahhhhhh) My wife played in the casino a few times and I heard no complaints, 'tho I never set foot in it this time around. The gym was well apportioned with free-weights & decent cardio and weight machines but lacked a simple tower station to do pull ups, dips, & leglifts. There was a seperate adjacent yoga/TRX room too. Bogden, the in-house personal trainer certainly looked like he knew what he was doing 'tho we didn't personally take advantage of his experience. Overall I was happy with the gym and spent a couple hours there every other morning. The pool deck was where we spend most sea day afternoons and it seemed more than adequate in size & scale for the number of people there. The stardust theater was smaller than on the bigger ships and wasn't set up to have aerialists dangling & bungeeiing above the seated attendees (like the newer ships). That said, the venue was able to comfortably accommodate several world class performances during this cruise and we took in the shows almost every night. There were several other seated venues, with bars/barstaff, 2 with dancefloors, to enjoy DJ, live musical & comic performances, trivia & "game-shows", lectures, movies, etc... There's also a whiskey bar, champagne bar, & sports bar, atrium bar, coffee bar...whatever your choice for liquid libation. The food...well nobody goes hungry on a cruise ship. We frequented the several specialty restaurants aboard....Le Bistro (french gourmet) 3 times, Cagney's Steakhouse (traditional steakhouse) twice, Moderno Churrascaria (Brazilian-style steakhouse) twice, La Cucina (Italian) 3 times, Teppanyaki once. We ate dinner twice in the main dining room and 4 nights at the buffet (mostly after port days). We alternated between the buffet and main dining rooms (depending on our whims & how things fell into place) for breakfast everyday and for lunch on sea days. The food and service was consistently exceptional everywhere. We have nothing but great things to say, & I'm a foodie and my wife's worked in mid to high end f&b hospitality her whole life. Everyone I spoke to raved about the entertainment aboard. We loved it all. The main-stage performances spanned several decades & genres of music & styles. In the stardust theater they had The Las Vegas Tenors on a couple different nights (excellent), a Divas (duo) show also out of Vegas, Jeri Sager (Broadway) excellent, a couple nights of Greg Gleason (Magician) really loved his first show with the up close card tricks, several full length live singing/dancing performances with "the Cast" of the Norwegian Sun (sexy broadwayesque variety), & there was a comedian, a piano showman, and a Russian female violinist/comedian, whose names I don't remember. One of our 2 favorite musical acts aboard were a group from Russia called Colibri, They could play anything from the old standards to modern day hits to Spanish songs...a beautiful female singer who sang in English & Spanish equally well, accompanied by an accomplished jazz drummer & keyboardist & a guitar player who sounded just like Carlos Santana (excellent). They improvised every song and made the their own playing sets on the pool deck, in the atrium, and in the observation lounge throughout the cruise. Our other favorite was a female string trio from Poland (violin, viola, cello) playing mostly (but not exclusively) classical music...They could also be found daily in the atrium and observation lounge, and had performances one night on the main-stage in the Stardust Theater...Loved them. There was also a pop/old-top-40ish group called Blue Notes that played mostly the pool deck and Dazzel's Lounge, and a guitar troubadour who played and sang (and people sang along at times) in the atrium and the whiskey bar. There was a piano player who played mostly in the whiskey bar, but we really didn't gel with his particular peculiar style and tended not to stick around there when he was on, 'tho he seemed to have his own following...to each their own, as they say. There were also countless dance classes, yoga classes, painting workshops, game-shows, art raffles, trivia contests, ballroom dancing, and DJ events throughout the cruise running concurrently in the many venues. One small disappointment was the White Hot Party that we had looked forward to. The DJ really catered to the Spanish speaking crowd and most of the club music played at the party was in Spanish and were songs we didn't know. There was a spattering of songs in English, but it was mostly at the beginning and there was less and less as the night went on. It was very noticeable how the non Spanish-speaking crowd cleared out early on. I have nothing against the Latin culture...just think that we personally would have enjoyed NCL's signature party more if more songs we knew (and lyrics we could understand) had been included in the mix. A few things that that I thought the Cruise director's staff did especially well as far as entertainment goes was the Q & A with the Captain, Chief Engineer, & Hotel Director, & their ballroom dancing activities (we are not ballroom dancers ourselves). They had one event that was just ballroom dancing in Dazzle's lounge where some of the Cruise Director's staff kept pulling people out onto the floor...and on another night they had a hilarious mock "DWTS"-type show. Lastly, there's Ports of Call still to discuss. One of the great strengths of this sailing's itinerary for us was that it was so different from previous cruises we've been on. There were a lots of new places to explore/experience that we had never visited before. We've already discussed San Diego, the port of embarkation. After that...: Hualtulco: it was a fine day, a mighty fine day. ..had to be in the 90s...water temperature too...the ocean was like bath water...we chartered a little boat with some friends we made on the ship, another couple, living in San Diego, but originally from Mexico...They're fluent in Spanish & they made sure we were not treated like gringos. Our boat tour brought us around some of the 9 picturesque bays of Huatulco (not sure how many...wasn't really counting..) and then to a beach with great sand where we started at a restaurant's shaded tables before they set up chairs & an umbrella for us on the beach, served us guacamole and let us drink all the bottled boat drinks we bought at the package/variety store earlier. Rolando, our "seaboat captain" had provided the cooler & ice for those drinks. After several hours on the beautiful beach, Rolando came back for us & we hopped back aboard his boat to return to the ship. Puerto Chiapas: another gorgeous day in the 90's. Everyone else aboard ship was heading into town (Tapachula, a bustling traffic ridden city about 40 minutes away) or to the nearby Mayan ruins (which aren't known to be too amazing, as Mayan ruins go)...We grabbed a 15 dollar taxi to Playa Linda, the beach (planned months ago). There was this little restaurant/bar on the beach (the kind with a thatched roof & no walls). The proprietor filled his cooler for us with cervezas & ice (for 7 bucks) and he had the teenage waiter deliver it to a shaded picnic table across the very long beach. we kicked back, put on some tunes, had a few beers and walked the beach. At first, we were the only ones here ...CRAZY!! ...a mucho caliente day, and a huge, empty, beautiful beach (except for a few piles of trash heaped here & there from the weekend (apparently, trash cans have not been invented yet...no trash near the water 'tho). We spent several hours here, and each hour that went by, another couple would show up (none from the cruise ship that we were aware of). I asked one couple where everyone else was on a day like today (as I knew from my research that this is the only beach around) & they told me that it is a workday and people come mostly on the weekends...Hmm??. When the afternoon was drawing to an end, we headed back to the restaurant/bar to drop off their cooler & bottle opener, sat down, had another few cervezas each (5 more dollars), they pulled out this big speaker, hooked it up, & put on some music (in Spanish) for us...And when we were going to hail a taxi, the proprietor of the restaurant offered us a ride back to the ship in his nice Nissan (for free...12 kilometers...I'm as baffeled by that as as you are)...He didn't speak a word of English, and we, not more than a word or two of Spanish, yet he and we managed to carry on a conversation all the way back into port. I handed him a ten-spot when we got back (despite his polite protest) and he seemed rather grateful. Very nice people there. Lots of love to them. We took the road less traveled, & it made all the difference. Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala: our 3rd port of call (of 8, not including San Diego). We took a tour bus (our only shore excursion arranged through the ship) to Auto Safari Chapin, and throughout the 1.25 hour ride each way, were were educated about Guatemala, its history, culture, customs, population, volcanoes, agriculture, languages & dialects, imports, exports, religions, indigenous people, & lifestyles. Our guide was an excellent teacher & very passionate about her work & her country. We spent a few hours at the drive-thru safari, with lions, giraffes, monkeys, emus, ostriches, & many other colorful characters walking right up to the vehicle to check us out...At the end was an hour for us to go off and explore the walk-through parts on our own or to grab a bite in their restaurant. However, we had different plans (becoming a pattern lately). We (quietly) asked our guide to hook us up with someone at the safari (who works there) to tell them that I'm an American with money to spend, and my wife would like to feed the giraffes. Less than 5 minutes & ten dollars later, the two of us and a zookeeper were in a vehicle headed back to "Africa", yummy big leafy branches for the giraffes in hand. We spent our last hour socializing with & feeding these tall beauties in an intimate setting. My wife is all about giraffes...so, needless to say, this was another great day. Puntarenas, Costa Rica: We hopped off the ship and hopped into a taxi 10+ kilometers to the all inclusive Double Tree Puntarenas Resort for the day (breakfast, lunch, pools, games, beach, & all the frozen (& non-frozen) drinks one can imagine...Scorcher of a day...had to be well into the 90s...another beauty...Hadn't yet seen a drop of rain this vacation except for the afternoon of the day we went to the zoo in San Diego. Trujillo, Peru: We negotiated a taxi fare for the day & spent most of our time in port at the pre-Mayan Moche Temples: Huaca del Sol & Huaca de La Luna & the pre-Inca Chimu ciudadelas of Chan Chan (UNESCO Heritage Site), stopping briefly at the colonial center of Trujillo for some photos and a break between dig sites, Lima: We spent the day in the Miraflores District of Lima walking along the Malecon De Miraflores (miles of beautified "boardwalk" along the cliffs overlooking the beaches & ocean) in the "nice" part of Lima. We started with a cab ride to Cafe Haiti where we had cappuccinos & pastries and then checked out Parque Central & Parque Kennedy where all the protected & publicly fed homeless cats live. We then walked to the Larcomar Mall built into the cliffs along the Malecon where we lunched and sipped Pisco Sours, the national drink, al fresco at Tanta with a beautiful cliff-side ocean view. We promenaded along the beautiful gardened Malecon for several miles before stopping at Amorelado for gelato & cappachino before cabbing back to the port. Arica, Chile: Another awesome beach day at Playa Laucho, a 2 minute cab ride from the ship. Nice beach with a restaurant/bar with music and service out on the beach ...We imbibed berry/passionfruit mojitos & soaked up the sun spending every available minute on the beach not knowing if the weather further south (on the port days to come) would be "beachy" or not. Coquimbo Chile: The morning and early afternoon was overcast but the sun was supposed to come out. We grabbed a cab to the beach where we walked for miles...stopped, had a Coke & a smile...walked back along the beach for miles...stopped & had good eats & drinks at a local beach restaurant...the sun finally showed itself and burned away the haze, but we had to start heading back to the ship. On our way, we said hello to some wild sea lions that were sunning themselves beside the sidewalk as people just walked by them. We hopped back aboard the ship, freshened up, had more food & Vino at Le Bistro, checked out the Russian violinist/comedian's show in the Stardust Theater, watched the last sunset we'd see this cruise from our balcony, packed our bags, & got some sleep. Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, & Santiago, Chile: We disembarked the Ship at 7:45 AM on the last day and met up with our guide who we had pre-arranged a tour with through Tours by Locals. We chose him based on his ratings and reviews. His name is Leoncio Carrasco and we recommend him. He was knowledgeable, personable, interesting, bilingual, had a large beautiful vehicle, & cared for our safety and the safety of our belongings and luggage. We toured Valparaiso in the morning, partly by vehicle, mostly on foot (with Leon guiding us)...We stopped in an artsy cafe for coffee & tea, walked the beautiful mural walled hills, rode a funicular to the top of one of the hills, shopped at some street vendors and other shops, and the we hopped back in the SUV to visit the seals, sea lions, sea wolves, and pellicans who hang out in mass at the fish market on the ocean...From there we kept the reservations Leon made for us & lunched on the terrace of a very reasonably priced restaurant with excellent food & drinks and a view overlooking the hills of Valparaiso and the ocean. We then proceeded to Vina Del Mar, the high end ocean resort city/town where we visited a Moai from Easter Island, a living working clock made of flowers, and the beach...by noon the sun came out in force and it had turned into a warm beautiful day. We hung out at a beach restaurant and sipped drinks for a while, practicing out terrible Spanish, and cherished the sun knowing how cold Massachusetts would be the following day when we arrived back home. Leon then showed us a smidge of the mountains and vineyards on our way from Vina del Mar to the airport in Santiago, stopping for coffee, tea, & pastries at an excellent countryside cafe on the way. He dropped us off at the airport around 7:30/8:00 or so where we went through security and headed to the VIP lounge to await our 11 PM 10+ hour flight. Another great day....a great last day. If you can't tell, we loved our vacation. We recommend to all: our pre-cruise hotel the U.S. Grant in San Diego, NCL Cruiseline, this particular repositioning itinerary aboard the Norwegian Sun, our chosen "shore excursions"/in-port activities, and our guide in Valparaiso. Thank you for reading...Cheers! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
As Platinum members we are suppose to receive benefits that are posted to the web site. When I spoke to Juan in Latitudes he was rude, unreasonable and wanted to argue with me. The issue revolves around the wine and strawberries for ... Read More
As Platinum members we are suppose to receive benefits that are posted to the web site. When I spoke to Juan in Latitudes he was rude, unreasonable and wanted to argue with me. The issue revolves around the wine and strawberries for Platinum members. On previous NCL cruises we received this benefit on day one and again on day two because my wife and myself are each Platinum. After 5 days I went to Juan and asked where the other wine and strawberries were. He told me that it only applies to one per stateroom per cruise. I told him that we always received the benefits for each of us previously and he said, " no you didn't" I was firm and told him that we did too and he told me again that I did not. So now I guess I'm a liar!!! Funny thing is that we received the dinner for two for each. Laundry for two for each. Ships tour for each. Priority embarkation and tendering and so on as is stated on the Latitudes Tier section on the NCL website. Also, The garden cafe was a real disappointment. Same old menue. Watered down salad dressings, watered down juices, old hard boiled eggs ( gray yokes ) , and in the Four Seasons and Seven Seas restaurants, they serve the Caesar's salad with graded parmsean cheese on it and not shreds of parmsean . How cheap is that? Also there was a horrible sewage smell for no less than 6 days off and on in the aft area of the Garden Cafe. bon appetite The ship is now in dry dock for 9 days in San Francisco. Several contractors boarded the ship in Cabo and more in San Pedro. ( about 70-80 men ) They started working on the ship while we're still on our cruise and they were very visible. Not a comforting feeling with all these men running around. This is the worst cruise we have even experienced. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
NCL food was good, rarely great. I am a bit of a health nut, and I always found enough healthy, tasty food. Bar service great. Classical & piano music excellent (Amber Strings & Gregg ). The crew was nice, helpful, & friendly. ... Read More
NCL food was good, rarely great. I am a bit of a health nut, and I always found enough healthy, tasty food. Bar service great. Classical & piano music excellent (Amber Strings & Gregg ). The crew was nice, helpful, & friendly. Nice room, large inside. Small shower. Problems: Odor of sewage rear of ship every day. Then something broke and much, if not most, of the ship smelled of sewage, maybe 2 to 3 weeks. Contract workers on board the last 2 weeks or so, working in common areas. Nice enough . guys, but NOT a good part of a cruise. Seeing them working in the halls, removing ceiling tiles, exposing us to at least increased dust, was not my idea of proper cruise ship activity. Two medical issues caught by MANY cruisers. 1: Throat infection . My cost with ship's MD was $291. One friend spent ~$6000. This was mostly the first 3 weeks. I saw at least 5 patients waiting to see the MD one afternoon. 2: GI infection. Again, MANY cruisers had this. I had it for over 3 weeks. I neither ate or drank anything off ship. I am a medical professional who is EXTREMELY careful about sanitation. My GI troubles ended after about 4-5 days off the ship. I never overeat, but I was surprised to learn I had lost 2 + kgs (5 pounds) on the 34 day cruise. And I enjoyed 4-6 drinks a day with the "free drink package". No mixes. Just booze & ice. At least the trip was not too expensive. But it was not cheap enough for all the negatives. Let's hope the dry dock following our cruise fixes these issues. I like the staff. The odor problems were not acceptable. The infection rate (always a risk) concerns me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We sailed from Valparaiso Chile to San Francisco on the NCL Sun. Longest cruise so far for us at 20 days. We flew into Santiago a day early, and enjoyed an escooter tour and a fabulous dinner at Borago (one of the World's top 50 ... Read More
We sailed from Valparaiso Chile to San Francisco on the NCL Sun. Longest cruise so far for us at 20 days. We flew into Santiago a day early, and enjoyed an escooter tour and a fabulous dinner at Borago (one of the World's top 50 Restaurants). We used Christian the Van Man to transport us and another couple from the Park Plaza Hotel to Valparaiso with a stop at a winery along the way. He was a good and reliable driver and we enjoyed his commentary. He included a driving tour around Valparaiso which was very interesting. Embarkation was problematic. We requested a wheelchair for my husband who has long disease and sometimes has trouble walking long distances. The wheelchair attendant did not listen when I asked for the suite check in, and after we waited in line and checked in at the regular check in he did not take us to the suite lounge in La Cucina. We went right to the room. Our room was 8277, an aft Penthouse Suite. It was clean and reasonably speacious. Our steward, Munir (who was great the whole cruise) had gotten a carpenter to craft a triangular lift for the head of the bed to raise it 6 inches as per our pre cruise request. This worked really well. The bathroom only had one sink which we consider to be less than what one should get with a suite. The shower was tiny but we were able to shower in the bathtub. That worked much better. The butler, Jomar, stopped by to greet us and brought a plate of snacks. He also has my requested pitcher of iced tea. We got along quite well with Jomar during the cruise. Don't ask about the concierge. He was awful. He forget to make dinner reservations on our anniversary and it just went downhill with him from there. After sailaway we headed off to Le Bistro for dinner. It was fine but they really need to change the menu. Service was almost too attentive. The next few days were filled with excellent ports-Coqimbo, Arica, Lima and Trujillo. We had booked private tours with other Cruise Critic folk and these all went extremely well. A few sea days were interspersed, we mostly lounged around and played a little trivia. We were really enjoying our cabin and our balcony. The weather was perfect. Unfortunately trouble started the second week. Some contractors are supplies had been loaded on in Valpo. and more were added in some of the subsequent ports. Our relaxing cruise began to turn into a sentence in a construction site. A strong sewage smell permeated the aft of the ship, and made our cabin unlivable on several days. Contractors began removing ceiling panels in the hall. Dust and insulation was flying around everywhere. The contractors has masks but no masks were issued to the passengers. Complaints to guest services were dealt with by the attendant taking down our room numbers. No one ever got back to us until 10 of us stormed guest services as a group refusing to take no for an answer. That got us the attention of one of the higher ups, I think his name was Humberto. Still, the ship continued to stink. Then the water started running blue. Our shower curtain and washcloths were stained blue. Our steward told us not to drink the water. Our butler became ill in the cabin due to the smell. Large chunks of soot and debris littered the balcony. We Believe that NCL shortened the dry dock the ship was headed for by 2 weeks to add another cruise, and instead decided to do the some of the work on the ship around the passengers. No thought was given to our welfare and safety. No appropriate response was made to our complaints. We will skip NCL for a while. The disorganized cancellations of last summer followed by this trip have led us to believe that NCL is a disfunctional organization. We understand that things can go wrong on a vacation but this was intolerable. The lower echelon ship staff were all great. We loved all the ports except Puerto Chiapas. There was also a bad interlude in LA which was where we had to clear customs-took hours and was very disorganized, But that may not have been NCL's fault, hard to know. We are going to avoid NCL for a while.There are lots of other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This cruise was booked two years ago and it exceeded my expectations. I had not sailed on the Sun since 2006 and was glad to find she had aged better than I. I do not need water slides and planks over the sea...the Sun's pool deck is ... Read More
This cruise was booked two years ago and it exceeded my expectations. I had not sailed on the Sun since 2006 and was glad to find she had aged better than I. I do not need water slides and planks over the sea...the Sun's pool deck is spacious! The mini suites are huge and comfortable. I had two stewards over the 34 days Emerson and Achmed who anticipated my every need. The South American itinerary and the repositioning Cruise had all types of weather and adventure. The destination lecturer Peter was a huge bonus! From Argentine Malbec and tangos to Falkland Island penguins to Chilean sea lions it was amazing. Going to Cape Horn with close to 100mph winds was a true bucket list item but to be able to see it all from the balcony was fantastic. Crossing the Equator was another fun experience...the ship celebrates both events in a special way...did I mention that the director Roberto coordinated the vast amounts of activities and entertainment so that there was a large participation in pool side events....not going yo describe as would not want to spoil the FUN! The music offered was tip top...the Show Band was my favorite but the performers including 4Ever ,Fabio Zini ,Jeri S and Elvie Rose drew standing ovations. Music was everywhere fro classical Amber Strings to Nathan singing in the Windjammer. Bar service was outstanding...my favorite was the Atrium Java Cafe where Marijan made great espresso as well as the best ever Caipirinha! The Specialty restaurants were very good but having to make reservations kind of takes away free style. The food and service in the Seven Seas was excellent. bar service was also swift there. My favorite was La Cuchina...this may not be 5 star dining but the atmosphere is comfort and the chili beef pizza should not be missed. Thanks to Ashley,Aileen and all the wonderful servers there! Workers came on the ship to start work prior yo the dry dock...work like this was more visible this cruise but not annoying. I had noise from the crew door across the hall from the minisuite but the forward location of 11015 was so convenient! The wifi was slow and did not work for several oft He last days but I was able to cancel and get a partial refund. Hopefully wifi will be improved. Did not use the Spa order the Gym but they appeared to be well used. Wish they would have had pool BBQ or at least food available without having to leave pool deck. Shore excursions were exciting...the weather had negative effects but that's part of being at the tip of SA. The Beach escape in Huatulco Mexico was perhaps a hidden gem...this is beautiful area to explore! Colder weather in Cabo made for no snorkeling for me. While not an excursion...getting up and 5 am to sail into San Francisco and under the awesome Golden Gate Bridge was a fitting end to a marvelous cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary( the Western side of South America). The itinerary was great and generally the ports did not dissappoint Us at all. Our stateroom( midship with a veranda) was also very nice, decent size ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary( the Western side of South America). The itinerary was great and generally the ports did not dissappoint Us at all. Our stateroom( midship with a veranda) was also very nice, decent size with plenty of closet space. However, though we have been on plenty of cruises running the gamut from Royal Caribbean, Cunard, all the way to Silver Sea we have never ever been nickel and dimed so much nor have we ever faced such dismal dining choices with very limited menus unless we opted to pay extra for specialty restaurants There are two traditional style dining rooms in addition to a buffet. It is great that you can go to the dining rooms anytime for dinner. However for nineteen days we were faced with the same basic menu in both dining rooms. Perhaps there were two or three rotating options on the menus. Unlike other lines we werenever offered lobster, fillet mignon, or similar treats( usually offered at least once on other lines) If we did not opt for the specialty restaurants the only fish or seafood we were offered on the entire trip was farm raised salmon, tilopia, flounder, mahi mahi, and cervina. There were really no entrees that were made to order. We did try three of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro, La Cuccini, and the Japanese hibachi style restaurant. The last onewas the only one where we had good service Our other big complaint was that mixed drinks were priced outrageously. We had just been on Cunard five months earlier and the same cocktails were signifigantly more expensive The only thing we could really say was good was the number and variety of onboard activities when the ship was at sea and the sizze and spaciousness of the pools and fitness center We will never ever go on Norwegan Line again Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Choose for NCL reputation and itinerary. This cruise did not come close to my prior experiences. Terrible smell which Captain first denied and then admitted was from sewage tank that sprang a leak and ran down elevator shaft. Smell was ... Read More
Choose for NCL reputation and itinerary. This cruise did not come close to my prior experiences. Terrible smell which Captain first denied and then admitted was from sewage tank that sprang a leak and ran down elevator shaft. Smell was terrible for 5 days and then improved but came back. Was repaired, I think, on day 19 in La as we were 7 hours late leaving and smell was gone. Also "dry dock" started with arrival of at least 150 foreign workers on days 14 with more every port who were placed in cabins all over the shop. They were greasy and carried cables all over and removed many ceiling tiles. They basically worked in front of all passengers 8 hours each day. NCL crew were all polite and happy and hard working. Food was edible but seemed of a lower standard than my 4 other NCL cruises and RC. Mostly ate in the two "free dining rooms for breakfast and dinner. Drink package was fine and I thought the choices were good enough for me. Servers were very polite about the use of the drink package. The crew entertainers were very good and Peter the travel speaker was excellent. Liked the singer from Sri Lanka but the comedians and jugglers were true odd balls who seemed like the cheapest entertainer NCL could fly in for 2-3 days. All were hell bent on selling cd's after the show and not funny and not talented. I will be careful to not get on a ship again that is headed to dry dock as there was a total distraction for all employees and guests. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We liked the ports and also we sailed into San Francisco. It was close to home and didn't have to fly but only one way. We flew into Santiago the day Of the cruise, didn't have to one of a wait to board. Never will we do this ... Read More
We liked the ports and also we sailed into San Francisco. It was close to home and didn't have to fly but only one way. We flew into Santiago the day Of the cruise, didn't have to one of a wait to board. Never will we do this again, it's to stressful. As we have always gone in at least 2 days before. Ship was clean, but needs to be in dry dock for lots of work. We were in cabin 8062, but had to change because of the terrible noise and banging.(3 nights) We moved to cabin 9024 where for 3 days the air conditioning didn't work. But when it was fixed it worked great. There were others that had to change there rooms. Dining was a hit or miss. if you like Patotoes, rice and beans, same salads and soups you will be fine. Beef was not very good at all. Desert was always good. The best coffee ever in dining room. We enjoyed the Italian & French restaurants. Steak house again not very good beef. But service in all restaurants were very good. I did have one employee that was very rude maybe she was having a bad day so will not give out her name. Our room attendant was very good. Entertainment was also a hit or miss. But you always seem to enjoy going. The best entertainment was in the lounges. Activities keep you busy on sea days, you have to get points to earn a NCL t-Shirt key chain little things. kept you from not getting board. Ports, Coquimbo we did the Tabali Winery with lunch. Arica, Codpa Willage Awesome tour. Callao Coional Lima enjoyed. Salaverry wished we didn't go, not much to see. Couldn't understand guides at all. Puntarenas Zip line was pretty good, husband took this. I did the Aerial tram and Rainforest. I had done this before and enjoyed it. 3 Stops in Mexico. Have been there many times so no tours. Just did our own thing. There were only 2 Children on cruise that we seen. This was for older adults. We cruised with another couple. No I would not do this cruise again. But glad we got to see Chile and Peru. Such poor countries. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Last month The Amazing Ms D. and I took a three week cruise on the Norwegian Sun from Valparaíso Chile to San Francisco. While we have taken several cruise this was by far the longest cruise we have ever taken. There were many good points ... Read More
Last month The Amazing Ms D. and I took a three week cruise on the Norwegian Sun from Valparaíso Chile to San Francisco. While we have taken several cruise this was by far the longest cruise we have ever taken. There were many good points to this cruise and several issues that took away from our enjoyment. I will be blogging about the places we visited, but here are my thoughts on the cruise itself. The Norwegian Sun The Norwegian Sun is one of the smaller boats in the Norwegian fleet. Built in 2001, it holds about 2000 passengers. Along with the Norwegian Star it was Norwegians first “Freestyle Cruising” ship. While it is still a big ship, everything was much more convenient than on some of the larger boats. The staff on the Sun was excellent. Friendly and helpful, they worked hard to meet our needs, even giving me scores on European soccer matches that were not covered on their tv channels. UPGRADE, UPGRADE, UPGRADE This was a special trip and when we booked it we decided to upgrade to a mini-suite. This was a great choice. Our room was on Deck 11, which put us on the same deck as the spa, gym pools and Garden Café – the buffet. This made our life very easy in the morning, since the Garden Café was the only place to get breakfast. Out room was a little over 300 square feet, and had separate sitting area that could curtained off so I could watch TV without bothering The Amazing Ms D. if she was asleep. It also came with a full bathroom and changing area. All of this space meant that when we wanted someplace quiet, which can be hard to find on board any cruise ship, we had a spacious and comfortable place to go. Dining Let’s start with the best – dinner. Norwegian Cruises operate under the title of “freestyle dining.” That means that there are no fixed seating times for dinner. There are 2 main dining rooms open for dinner and you just show up when you are ready to eat. You also have the choice of whether or not to eat with other guests. The food in the dining room was very good. There was a set menu that did not change from day to day along with a changing selection of appetizers and 5-6 main courses. Over the course of three weeks the menus did repeat, but not so that we got tired of them. The portions were reasonable, and this being a cruise, you could always order a second choice if you were really hungry. Dinner service was excellent, with several wait-staff taking care of each table. Breakfast was only available in the Garden Café Buffet. It was plentiful with an omelet station, a waffle station and lots of good baked goods, breakfast meat and fresh fruit. Unfortunately with 1500 guests, the Café filled up quickly, especially on the at sea days. My biggest complaint about breakfast was that the coffee was awful. Now for lunch. Most people ate lunch in the Garden Café. We did not. The food there was not very good, and the lunch choices were very limited. The food was not seasoned well, if at all. Lunch was also served in of the restaurants. This was a much better choice. Even though the lunch menu did not change during the three weeks, the choices were much better. The only thing was that the lunch crew did not deal very well with special orders, like changing the veggies on a particular dish. Out best lunches were on the days we docked, because the food we got on shore was much better than the lunches that were on board the ship. Specialty Dining – The Sun also has six or seven “specialty dining” restaurants. For $20/person or more, you could eat dinner in a restaurant that offered a premium choice that was not available in the main dining room. We did not indulge, as we felt that for what we were paying for our suite, we did not want to pay extra for food. Amenities and Entertainment The ship was very comfortable with a lot to do. This was the first cruise where there were actually enough deck chairs in the sun so that people did not fight over them, although things did get crowded on the shady side. There were 2 decent sized pools and 4 hot tubs. There were a few places that we were comfortable just sitting and talking with people, especially in the outdoor area at the aft section of the ship and in the Atrium on deck 5, which was also where the coffee bar was. The library was well stocked and quiet, although most of its chairs were taken to be used by a large group of bridge players on board. There was an excellent string trio- Amber Strings – that performed most evenings in the Atrium before and after dinner. And the Sun Show Band had great jazz chops. The stage performances were hard to watch for someone who frequents Broadway, the efforts were earnest and heartfelt. One note – We found how important it is to have travel insurance. Two trips to the ships doctor cost us $1600. Most of this will hopefully be covered by the travel insurance, but it will not be covered by medicare. Issues – Not all was great As I said, the food in the Garden Café was not very good. There was also a feeling of being nickeled and dimed. Everything had an extra charge. We have already come to expect the charge for soda, the upselling at every spa visit and the specialty restaurants, but the only decent coffee was at the Coffee Bar - $2.95 for espresso/cappuccino. Also the alcoholic drinks were expensive. One of the more annoying things that happened was that when not enough (read no) people were attending the “health seminar” in the spa, they moved them to the Atrium, where everyone there had to hear them whether they want to or not. Finally, and most importantly, there was a major problem with the ventilation system in the rear of the boat. There was an odor of sewage that permeated that part of the boat for the last half of the trip. It was so bad that that crew just turned off the air conditioning as the only way to control it. Overall, we enjoyed our time on the Norwegian Sun, but that was due as much to our choice of room before we boarded, it gave us a place to be that was ours and comfortable. If we had been in a smaller, interior room, which would have necessitated us using more of the ship, it would probably not have been as good a trip, and my rating would definitely have been lower. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We had done the BA to Valparaiso run a few years ago and wanted to finish this off. We and 12 other couples/friends joined the ship, and everyone had a great time with a couple of exceptions. Given a trip of this length, there are ... Read More
We had done the BA to Valparaiso run a few years ago and wanted to finish this off. We and 12 other couples/friends joined the ship, and everyone had a great time with a couple of exceptions. Given a trip of this length, there are bound to be some mechanical/electrical problems. The major one was a sewage leak into the bottom of an elevator shaft that the crew had great problems locating. Since the bottom of the elevator shaft is the ceiling of the engine room, you can imagine it gets hot. Soon the sewage smell was very noticeable throughout the stern of the ship. I think most everyone would have been understanding; however, the communication between the staff and the affected passengers was really poor. The wait to clear customs and return to the ship in LA was unbelievable. Again, no communications and no drinks/snacks appeared until we were ready to line up to re-board. Then the line was held up while they were pumping something into the ship below the skyway. Again no communication about what was going on. After arriving in SF, they pulled the ship into a ten day drydock for some refurbishing, and some is really needed. Nothing really major, but things were getting a bit long of tooth, nicked, scratched, torn, etc. Most of this should be remedied. That's enough negative... The crew was great although there were some difficulties with English among the Purser staff. Everyone was polite, smiling and would go our of their way to help us. We got the "free" booze package, and for those of us that like to imbibe it was a great deal. Food was OK; after all this isn't Crystal. Not at a $2400 per person balcony price with booze. What a screaming deal! Food tended to repeat as would be expected over this long a trip. Entertainment ranged from OK to very good. No real repeats over a 20 period; that's quite a feat. Cabins were comfortable with no real problems considering we encountered temperatures at times well into the 90's with humidity to match. All in all a terrific value cruise. For this price I can overlook quite a bit. We are Platinum status, and we booked another cruise while on board; almost a no brainer. Go NCL! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Cruise Critique The Norwegian Sun is old and needs a complete gut job, not just a new carpet and nine days in dry dock. The sofa bed in the stateroom is hard as a park bench and needs replacing. All mattresses need replacing and so ... Read More
Cruise Critique The Norwegian Sun is old and needs a complete gut job, not just a new carpet and nine days in dry dock. The sofa bed in the stateroom is hard as a park bench and needs replacing. All mattresses need replacing and so do all chairs in the public areas and lounges. The bathrooms in each state room need to be totally replaced. The AC/heat in the aft staterooms does not work very well. We would never recommend going on the Norwegian Sun to any location. We had major plumbing problems in our stateroom. We came back from an excursion to find the toilet flooded. Someone came in to fix problem. Later we had more flooding which extended into the hall and our closet. Clean up took three days to dry carpet and eliminate smell. We were given an interior room to sleep in because it took so long to repair and dry out the damaged carpet. We should have been given a different stateroom immediately. We had to complain at the desk to even get another room. We were not the only ones with this problem. There was also a constant bad smell throughout the ship when we reached the warmer climate. The air smelled of mold and sewage. Some people held handkerchiefs to their noses when walking around the halls. The bar service was poor. We ordered drinks and had to ask for peanut snacks; which should have been provided with the drinks. When we went to eat breakfast at the outside café we could not find a clean table or tables with napkins, knives, etc. Staff was standing and doing nothing. Never really saw any visible supervision of the service staff. Service at 4 seasons and 7 seas was very erratic. Part of the staff had very poor English skills. They could not answer specific questions about the food we were ordering. The staff did not deliver water or coffee promptly. Room stewards did not always do a good job in cleaning the stateroom. Dirty cups and glasses were not taken away and replaced unless we ask for them. They also did not check soap dispensers. Again, we had to request soap. Other passengers complained about the same thing. The staff did not always provide milk to go with the coffee in the room either. Internet service was terrible. The instructions given never told us we needed to log off. We lost most of our paid minutes because we did not log off the internet. Talked to the manager and told him that we never received that important information. Additionally, the upload and download speeds were terrible. There were many time when the internet was not available. We had much better service from the free Wi-Fi cafes in the ports. The quality of food was disappointing in all venues. The garden café was only good for breakfast. The main entrees there were terrible. The food in the 7 Seas and 4 Seasons was very erratic. We had to reorder entrees very often when we did not like the quality of our first choices. We found that the menus description did not match the food they served. Other times it seemed they skimped on part of the food. For example the salmon tartare was supposed to have avocado in it. I never found any avocado. We went on an excursion at almost every port. We did have problems with two of them. The excursion to Codpa included lunch. We did not get to finish lunch as the time we had been given was just not enough. Another excursion we took was in Salaverry. We had two guides whose English was not clear at all. We didn’t really learn anything about the archeology or the history of the town due the guides poor English. We went to the Stardust Theater many times. There were several times we had to move as the seats were in disrepair. The Stardust Theater was always very cold. In fact temperature control around the ship varied considerably. A sweater required in one area left you too warm in another. Also, in the Atrium the chairs provided turned out to be extremely uncomfortable. Several times I found myself sliding out of the chair. Lastly, the long bench seats around the Atrium are totally uncomfortable. The elevators are in need of help. There were many time that the elevator doors would open and close and not leave the floor. The elevator taking us to level 3 was not operating properly. The dysfunctional elevators were not limited to one elevator shaft. Problems were encountered all over the ship. Several of the excursions we went on offered complimentary water and soda. All the excursions should have done the same thing. Other cruise lines we have traveled with offer free water with all their excursions. This is well within Norwegian Cruise Lines control but it is apparent that they would rather sell the water at an outrageous price. We had another day with several problems. Our room was not cooling properly even though we had tried several settings. Also, the noxious smells had returned. We went to the guest services and met with the rudest most obnoxious person. She told us the odor problem was taken care of even though we had just left the smelly 10th floor. She did not apologize or seem particularly concerned. She was quite dismissive of us. She did say someone would look at the air conditioning problem. Why you would have someone like this woman dealing with the public we certainly cannot understand. It is just another example of extremely poor service on the Norwegian Sun. Next our toilet would not work. As stated this ship is a dump. Now we have learned that in order to save money Norwegian will not spend 15 days in dry dock, but only 9 days. Instead they have flown workers to begin repairing the ship with us having 6 days left in the cruise. That means the AC is off and then on, then off. The Garden Café was so hot this morning that everyone was sweating while eating breakfast and lunch. They are also repairing the water system so that the Ph. Was changed. Now our tap water smells and has a bad taste. It is also turning many women’s hair from blond to green. The Garden Café has tables on a single pedestal stand and many of them wobble making us spill our drinks. This is another problem that needs to be worked on. We also learned that the ship will be a construction zone for a week until we get to San Francisco. Norwegian Sun has decided to reduce its time in dry dock from 15 days to 9 days. We get to spend the rest of our trip walking around various construction sites with water and air conditioning shut downs. After all our visits to the Guest Services desk we did encounter someone who was genuinely concerned about our problems and complaints. Vita Kristina went out of her way to see what could be done to show Norwegians concern. She was able to get us an onboard credit. We certainly thank her for her efforts. Arriving in Los Angeles we were informed that we were scheduled to begin leaving the ship at 8:15 AM. As a result we woke up at 6:00 AM to begin preparing to get off the ship. We went down to Deck 6 to sit and wait for our call. When we got to Deck 6 fellow passengers told us that we would not be able to leave until 10:30 AM. This information was never conveyed to us until 9:00 AM. We did learn that passengers who attended the program at the Stardust Theater the previous night were given the revised time schedule. This is just an example of the poor communication we experienced while on the cruise. Every passenger on the ship not just those attending the program should have been informed of the schedule change the night before arrival in LA. Another example of the poor service given to passengers is the snacks at the bars. We were at the Atrium and got drinks and when we asked for snacks to go with the drinks we were told complimentary snacks were no longer available. When we mentioned this to other passengers we learned that they had not been available for a week. Norwegian Cruise Lines apparently does not consider amenities should be given to passengers for the entire duration of the cruise. We have talked to so many people on this cruise that are very unhappy with the quality of the food and services. It seems to us that a lot of people are not planning on another Norwegian cruise including us. Arriving to our final destination, San Francisco proved to be another disaster for Norwegian Cruise Lines as we did not get any assistance from the Norwegian staff after we exited the ship. The buses were poorly scheduled and required us to wait a long time. There was nobody from Norwegian assisting in crowd management. The port personnel said that the other cruise lines handled the airport transfers much better. Because of all the problems we had most of which could have been avoided; we do not see any reason to travel on the Norwegian Sun again. Frankly due to the overall effect of this trip our future cruises will not be on any Norwegian ship. We were not the only passengers who were unhappy with the cruise. In our discussions with other passengers we learned that many had the same problems as we did and they also said they would not cruise with Norwegian. If you want to travel on a half star cruise line chose Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I was originally booked to go all the way to San Francisco (34 days) on this cruise, but I got off in Los Angeles. Four men from New Orleans who had worked on the ship's life boats and tenders for three weeks helped me off the ship. ... Read More
I was originally booked to go all the way to San Francisco (34 days) on this cruise, but I got off in Los Angeles. Four men from New Orleans who had worked on the ship's life boats and tenders for three weeks helped me off the ship. Then a wonderful man who was a temp worker at the port got a wheelchair and we loaded my bags into it. He whisked me through customs. There is no global entry machine at the port, but I gave my card to the customs agent anyway. I felt really, really sorry for all the foreigners who had to go through US customs at LA. The lines were huge and there was no help. The sewage problem was severe on the ship. I was in an inside cabin by myself. The smell was awful!!! The cabin had old ratty carpet and uncomfortable mattresses on the bed. At one point I saw sewage water come up out of the shower drain. The ship is scheduled for remodeling, but not until 2018! My cabin stewardess was absolutely wonderful. We got to know each other during the 32 days I was on the ship. I speak Spanish fluently so I was not dependent upon the ship's tours. This trip ended up costing a lot! $1500 extra in port charges. $700 extra in the mandatory gratuities. I imagine the cruise line uses those funds to pay the staff. I asked my stewardess if they saw any of the funds and she told me "no". I tipped her well before I left. She was wonderful! I don't think I'll cruise NCL ever again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The first part of the cruise was fine and we enjoyed a few different ports from before. The crew and the overall experience was great. However the second part from Valparaiso was a bit of a disaster. This does in no way reflect on the ... Read More
The first part of the cruise was fine and we enjoyed a few different ports from before. The crew and the overall experience was great. However the second part from Valparaiso was a bit of a disaster. This does in no way reflect on the hard working crew members, but more on the management. A lot of the passengers had to endure work being done ,which should most certainly have been left until dry dock. Some had flooded cabins, others had water leaks and toilet back ups. The worst part was enduring the dreadful sewer smells that were in our cabin and hung around the back part of the ship for days. No explanation was ever offered to us, and we were not present at any question period. No answer was ever given to a letter we wrote to the hotel director either. Also ceiling panels were removed close to our cabin and fibreglass insulation particles were floating around. The workmen were wearing masks, but we had to walk through this and breathe it in! We have to say how hard the cabin stewards had to work to clean all this up! On a lighter note, the shows were excellent as was the cruise directors staff. We did manage to have a fun time under very difficult circumstances. We have been on quite a few NCL ships before, in fact this was our third time on this ship. Hopefully some of the problems will be sorted out during dry dock, but passengers should not be subject to such blatant treatment whilst on board. We paid a lot of money for this trip and expected better from this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
OK. i chose this cruise because I am single and I got the same room with no single supplement for 34 days straight. Also because I had decided to visit South America for the first time. I enjoyed exploring Buenos Aires for 4 days before ... Read More
OK. i chose this cruise because I am single and I got the same room with no single supplement for 34 days straight. Also because I had decided to visit South America for the first time. I enjoyed exploring Buenos Aires for 4 days before boarding. The embarkation process was neither too long or as short as some I've had before. They "process" guest in the 4 Seasons, which is one of the two (free) main dining rooms. My suitcase showed up outside my room when they said it would but it had a little scar on it. My inside room (7311) was in the front of the ship. It was the smallest on the ship but plenty for one person. The shower was a narrow cylinder that would not accommodate "large" people. The room sometimes had a slightly musty smell like pillows that had dirty hair smell. This ship's layout was a little different from most I sailed on. Usually the main theater is in the front of the ship and the restaurants are in the aft. Not so here; all in the aft. This meant that I had to walk a lot which I don't mind, but usually through the casino where smoking is allowed (cough, cough). Those with aft cabins had everything in their area: buffet on 11, main dining room on 5, theater on 6 and 7, and specialty restaurants and some bars on 12. On my end of the ship I could easily access the workout gym and salon, spa area as well as the atrium and guest services area. The guest services had some really nice people but the dreaded "supervisor" was so intransigent when I and another man argued for understanding that I was very unhappy with my treatment from that moment on. We felt we were in the right and she wasn't budging. We had no recourse so we gave up but resented our treatment. I never used the specialty restaurants so I generally ate with friends in the main dining room called the "Seven Seas". Luckily I made a lot of "friends of Dorothy" during the first half of the cruise and we ate together and enjoyed our wait staff who were excellent (like most of the staff on board except for the dreaded guest services supervisor, ironically.) We would then move on the the entertainment in the theater and then finish the night with the Karaoke event every night. I loved the "production company" i.e. the singers and dancers. They were EXCELLENT! Some of the other acts didn't appeal to my personal tastes like magicians, comedians and jugglers.The Tango acts were exciting and the 4 tenors act was wonderful as was the ship combo which did a "New Orleans" style show one night. The cruise director and his staff did their best! One of my favorite activities was dressing in togas and being made a "shellback' when we crossed the equator. the Ms Norwegian Sun contest around the pool was fun too. There were tons of ports and excursions: Montevideo does not require a NCL excursion; the port and market and tour buses are right there as you get off the ship. I am really glad I bought the Punta Tombo penguin rockery excursion even though it was overpriced (thousands of penguins!). No need for NCL excursion in Stanley unless you want to see the emperor penguins. The weather was good until Cape Horn where the winds and ocean became downright dangerous. Ushuaia was great since I took the Train at the end of the world which was fun. The town is right at the ship's feet too. Puerto Arenas was conveniently right at the ship too. No need for NCL excursions. The Beagle Channel was magnificent with a series of glaciers even with the wind howling and the cold. This was the last of the Buenos Aires- Valparaiso cruises so I recommend going earlier when it's their summer or spring. The fjords were pretty boring and the weather was awful (high winds and 20-25 foot waves). At Puerto Chacabuco the weather continued to be disappointing as was my excursion walking in the rain and muck through some dense woods. the lamb meal after was good as were the folk dancers. At Puerto Montt a small group of us hired a van and had a pleasant overview of the area for $50 each. I loved Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. The metro station is right outside the cruise terminal so I rode to Vina and then stopped on the way back at the fish market to see the sea lions go nuts off the wharf, then rode to one of the old elevators and had a look see over the city. And so ended the first half of the cruise! The second half started with the port of Coquimbo which is very close to La Serena and the Elqui Valley. Upon leaving the terminal I found a van and had a great day for $50. At the next port, Arica, I went on my most expensive and most impressive excursion to Cuzco and Machu Pichu. This was a 3 day/ 2 night odyssey that was well organized and well executed, but phenomenally overpriced ($2100). Next I had to find a dentist to put my crown back in in Trujillo, which is quite a nice city actually. I paid $10 each way for a cab. Next we crossed the equator and finally landed in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. I bought a cheap little excursion and got what I paid for. My French friends from St Martin got a great taxi driver who showed them everything worth seeing for $50 each (magic number I guess, but less than I paid. next was Puerto Quetzel, Guatemala which had only one good destination, Antigua, which I had already visited and skipped. I was still taking the Cipro I bought in Puntarenas ($30) for GI discomfort so I stayed on board. Next was Puerto Chiapas from which I took the $10 van to Tapachula and enjoyed WiFi at a nice little restaurant on the plaza. I was starved for wifi since it was so bad and expensive on the ship. Next I finally got to Huatulco which is a nice port right off the ship. I saw the whole area with a $15 cab ride. BEAUTIFUL high end tourist area. After that it was Cabo San Lucas where i took a short excursion to see the immediate area and San Jose de los Cabos which is a very pretty, less commercial village. Stunning area but at risk of being over-developed (if it isn't already). Finally the last port of call before San Francisco, Los Angeles, was very interesting for me since I'd never been. I booked a bare bones NCL excursion called "Beverly Hills and the beaches" which thankfully was not expensive ($69) and got us through LA traffic before the ship left. I really enjoyed the beaches: Santa Monica and Venice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this ship because it was the only one available that late in the season that was going around the southern tip of South America. The cruise was chilly and rocky, of course, the further south we traveled, but we expected that and ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was the only one available that late in the season that was going around the southern tip of South America. The cruise was chilly and rocky, of course, the further south we traveled, but we expected that and did well. We were unexpectedly very pleased with the Norwegian Sun. Our balcony cabin seemed to be larger than others in that category on previous ships, with even a couch that was wide enough to sit us both comfortably as we watched the scenery drift by. Lots of storage space, too. We did have a couple of mishaps, including water/sewage backing up into our shower, but we caught it quickly and it was repaired within an hour. The staff was very nice about it, providing us with a bottle of wine and some gourmet chocolates for the inconvenience. My wife happened to mention to the head of food preparation that she burned herself on one of the serving pans. She got a sincere apology, a couple of follow-up calls to check on her, and another bottle of wine! In fact, everyone aboard the shop was friendly and attentive. This may have been because of the small size of the vessel, by today's measures, and that fact the we were with them for fourteen days. Unlike other cruises, this one seemed to tailor much of the entertainment to itinerary. We even had tango lessons! Not willing to spend the extra fees for specialty dining we confined our meals to the main dining rooms and buffet. The food was fine, albeit not gourmet. No lobster tails, but nice steaks and lamb and seafood items. Service was excellent, and as early diners (no later than 7:30) we never had to wait for a table. We generally got a table for two, but occasionally joined another couple. The layout of the ship is excellent, with the main show lounge just above the larger Seven Seas dining room, so it was quick to go from one to the other - no long walk down the whole ship. The outdoor promenade deck is excellent, allowing for a complete circuit, even in cooler weather. The only warm days were the first and last, because of the itinerary, so this limited available space, but it was only crowded at peak times in the buffet. We took all of our shore excursions from the ship. They were all comfortable and informative, albeit a bit expensive. Some of our fellow cruisers were successful in hiring private drivers on shore, but we felt more secure this way. Since most of the ports were tendered, using the ship's excursions was less tense. Peter, the lecturer on the ports, was terrific. He was friendly and informative, whether one was using a ship excursion or not. We have taken many cruises, but this was only our second one on Norwegian. We were pleasantly surprised with the high quality of our experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We had a fantastic time on our 32 night cruise from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles (sadly we had to get off 2 days early). Yes, there were a few problems, but overall we had a good time. I sometimes find that reading reviews on here can be ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on our 32 night cruise from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles (sadly we had to get off 2 days early). Yes, there were a few problems, but overall we had a good time. I sometimes find that reading reviews on here can be disappointing. Do you really need to make a fuss about a few strawberries in chocolate and a bottle of wine? Life is too short. I find people seem to want to pay less and less to cruise then expect food, entertainment and service to get better and better. You get what you pay for. If you want luxury cabins and gourmet food there are plenty of 5 or 6 star ships you can sail on. Don’t take a good / fair value cruise and expect the earth. If you think NCL is expensive and does not have the food or entertainment you like then it might be time to give up cruising or try another cruise line. Lower your expectations on the Sun, don’t stress about small things and you will have a good time. PROS: Embarkation was extremely easy. We loved the majority of the ports and the adventure around Cape Horn. We liked the food in the buffet and the restaurants. Some items are repeated every day but other items change daily; if you look there are always different choices in all the various venues and we don’t understand other people’s comments about the food always being the same. In 32 nights we only ate in 2 of the specialty restaurants. We felt the food and service was just as good in the Seven Seas and Four Seasons (if anything it was worse in the specialty restaurants). Personally we did not feel the need to pay extra for the specialty dining. The entertainment was very good. We saw the show every night. The Sun band and productions cast were very good. Unfortunately, they have all gone their separate ways after this cruise which is a pity as they worked very well together. A lot of good acts were brought onto the ship; highlights included the Tango Show and 4Ever. The Entertainment manager and team worked hard so everyone could enjoy themselves. Peter Croyle's port and wildlife talks were excellent. His information helped us to enjoy the cruise more. We even got up early to see his talks live rather than on the TV later. We were very happy with our cabin (9240). It was in a good location, there was a lot of storage space and the shower was okay for the average sized person, with plenty of hot water. It was very quiet compared to other cabins we’ve had on other ships; we could not hear the neighbours (apart from on the balcony). I thought the TV channels were okay and I enjoyed watching UK football when available. CONS: The Sun is in dry dock at the moment for 9 days, more for technical changes than passenger areas. The dry dock was cut short (some items scheduled to be changed have been delayed until 2018) so to save money NCL brought contractors on board early. There was noise when lying around the pool and more and more work in the corridors as the cruise went on. However, the contractors were very polite and any mess they created was cleaned up immediately. A lot of people got a cough and cold. I personally think this happened after contractors started cleaning the air conditioning filters. A very bad smell also started soon after this in the aft staircase area. Again, I personally think it was caused by the work the contractors were doing, but may be wrong. I’m not sure why paying passengers have to put up with work going on around them whilst on a cruise. We thought the Guest Relations staff on the front desk were poor. We always came away thinking that if we went back the next day and spoke to someone else we would get a different answer. Some of them did not show any enthusiasm or seem interested in your questions or comments and were just there for the job / money. Don’t forget the gratuity / service charge is now obligatory so you can pay this pre cruise or via your onboard ship account. For long cruises this can work out to be a lot of money. If it is a mandatory fee why is it not shown on your quote for the cruise ie. cruise price + government and port taxes + service / gratuity charge? This will help you budget and decide if you can afford the cruise. Don’t forget the 18% gratuity on all drinks, specialty dining etc onboard. I really hope NCL pass all this extra money onto the crew and it is not just a profit making scheme. SUMMARY: This was our first NCL cruise and we will definitely consider them in the future. We found the Freestyle dining worked out better than we’d expected as we are used to the more formal dining arrangements of other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I chose this cruise as there was no single supplement for solo travellers, if the 34-day cruise was book as a 14-day cruise and a 20-day cruise, and the itinerary was very interesting. I booked directly with an NCL agent. As soon as ... Read More
I chose this cruise as there was no single supplement for solo travellers, if the 34-day cruise was book as a 14-day cruise and a 20-day cruise, and the itinerary was very interesting. I booked directly with an NCL agent. As soon as I was booked, her tone and attitude changed and I did not get the amenities I was promised. She told me everything I wanted to hear, but did not deliver the goods! Follow-up emails blamed "something being lost in translation," and "my misunderstanding." It was the worst booking experience I have had with 15 cruises. Other guests on board had similar experiences. I would not book directly with NCL again. I arrived in BA three days early, and stayed at the perfectly located Melia Hotel on Reconquista. I loved exploring the city and I also took an El Tigre river cruise with fellow cruise critic travellers. A pre-cruise dinner at El Federale, a short walk from my hotel, with 18 other cruise critic travellers, was excellent. Embarkation was a lengthy process, but my luggage was at my cabin door when I arrived. The ship was beginning to show its age, and was actually going into dry dock for nine days at the end of our cruise. Probably the worst part of the cruise was work which was begun by contractors on the ship before the end of our cruise, which interfered with enjoying the pool area due to the noise of grinding metal by said workers. They were also stringing cable in the ceilings of the hallways, but this did not really interfere with my enjoyment. For several days, there was a strong sewage smell in many of the aft cabins and hallways due to a leak in one of the elevator shafts. I was not personally affected by this, but I know that it ruined the cruise for a number of guests. The greatest frustration was the lack of communication from the crew. Some of the "Guest Services" agents were rude and unhelpful. Most of the female agents were not friendly. They clearly did not enjoy their jobs or assisting guests. The captain should refrain from referring to the Guest Services staff as "girls," as many of them were men. He should not have said, "they don't know anything," when guests posed questions to him about said staff dismissing their complaints regarding the stench on the ship. Excuse me....chain of command....communication, please sir! I only attended one dinner for solo travellers. I found many of the solo travellers to be very negative and complaining about everything. I preferred to dine with cruise critic friends and/or simply ask to share a table. The entertainment on board was excellent. I enjoyed the presentations about our upcoming ports of call by Peter. All of the dining venues were acceptable, with the food and service being very good. The Food and Beverage Director was outstanding - she was everywhere! There were very few children on the cruise, which was a bonus for me. I would have liked to have spent a little time in the casino, but found it very smokey. Some smokers used this area as a smoking section; they were not gambling, just sitting smoking. The place smelled of stale smoke and I felt sorry for the staff subjected to the second-hand smoke. Returning to the US, in the port of LA, was a lengthy fiasco - very disorganized with too few Customs and Immigration Officers. Why was there no Nexus Line/Global Entry/Trusted Traveller line? The ports of call were all enjoyable. I took few ship shore excursions due to the price and my preference for not travelling as a herded pack. I preferred the private tours arranged by me and fellow cruise critic travellers; all were excellent. I explored every port of call and would love to go back to all of them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Background information. We like longer cruises, especially repositioning ones as you get to see so many different ports. Also it means that the demography of the cruisers is to our liking. We are both retired and determined to make the ... Read More
Background information. We like longer cruises, especially repositioning ones as you get to see so many different ports. Also it means that the demography of the cruisers is to our liking. We are both retired and determined to make the most of the money we have available. We have never been able nor have we wanted to ski till now, no not snow ski but Spending the Kids Inheritance!! We have 5 children and we never made huge sums as a teacher and relief pharmacist so were unable to take many family holidays. When we sold the property we lived on and moved to a small house in town the kids all said (they earn more that we ever did) spend it on yourselves; so we are. Hotel information (if any). We flew to Buenos Aires direct from Auckland, about 12 hours, and because of the frequency of the flights we decided to make the most of it with 4 nights there. We were glad we did as there was so much to do, even though the centre of the city was closed down for much of the time thanks to Obama!! We did a couple of tours while there and also spent lots of time exploring; the best part of that was exploring the food. If you like meat and a good red wine BA is the place for you. We stayed in The Tryp, right in the city and easy to get to and from; use Ezeiza Taxis at the airport, and the "hotel" to the port. Grey Lines have a cheap half day orientation of BA and there is a cheap (free) walking tour too. I would recommend a tour into the Tigre. Ship information. The Sun is the size of ship that we prefer, small so that even when full it doesn't feel too crowded. It is not at all difficult to find your way around it and very difficult to get lost!! There are always some BUTs:- The smell of sewerage at times especially aft. The presence of workmen getting ready for the dry docking, they got in the way at times. The extreme temperature of one spa in particular so that it was closed for a number of days. The "need" to go through the smoky casino on deck 7 or having to do a deck detour to miss it. Activities. As with all NCL ships there was lots to do. We were extremely pleased to have a lecturer who was able to give us an hour each sea day that involved the next port(s) and some South American history. Not impressed with the person in charge of the art auction house; we attended the first talk and he was a rank amateur as a lecturer. The shows were first class so my wife tells me. Service. Everyone on the front desk appeared very professional, nothing was too much bother for them They sorted out every problem, complaint and request in an excellent manner. The rest of the crew we dealt with were really great too, one or two a little too effusive and only one out of her depth. They were very professional and, so long as you treated them with respect, they could not do enough for you. Port & shore excursions. As always we took NCL tours at almost every port we visited, although a little more expensive they were well researched and gave exactly what was promised. One or two probably needed a little work but in general we enjoyed them all, even the one on the only rainy day of the cruise. I will admit we had lots of tours that had meals included, expensive but the food was always excellent. The worst part was having to drink all those Pisco Sours and all the red wine!! We were advised that the guides might be poor English speakers and that the transport might be "not the best", both were as good as most we have had in North America and a lot better than some. Highlights: the Falklands, the "End of the World", the "Temple of the Moon" and the "Mezcal tasting". No we didn't spend large on Machu Picchu. Oh I forgot, Pisco Sour after Pisco Sour after Pisco Sour and the Margaritas!! Cabin. As always we travel Inside, better 4 cruises at $1000 than 1 cruise at $4000!! After all we only used it to sleep at night and rest during the day when we didn't have lots of other things to do or other places to hang out. Insides are small but not too small for the two of us and we have enough room for all we took with us. I recommend that you get the cabin steward to empty the fridge, to get pool towels and to get a bath robe; all makes life a little easier. We were very lucky as we had an excellent steward, nothing was too much trouble. Dining. We both put on the obligatory 1lb a day with no trouble. All our main meals were taken in the MDR or a Specialty; breakfast and lunch on sea days included. The service was generally excellent as we tended to eat when they were not too busy. The food was up to the standard we have come to expect with NCL especially in the MDRs; it would be nice if the breakfast and lunch menus in the MDRs had a greater variety. We really enjoyed le Bistro (4 visits), Moderno was good (2 visits) and were not overly impressed with la Cucina. One BIG complaint though; we had to have breakfast in Moderno a few times as we were leaving for an early shorex. The jugs of hot water had been used for coffee and we wanted tea!! Terrible "teoffee" taste. We complained and it was "sorted" till the next time when it was "bad" but not as "bad". Then it was really sorted, the next time the jugs had red stickers "HOT WATER ONLY". Thanks to the senior F&B staff who did a brilliant job; complain in the right way and things are sorted!! Entertainment. My wife saw all the shows and didn't have a complaint about any. The only problem was that as the cruise was 32 days in two halves there were not enough different shows and there was quite a bit of repetition. One highlight was the searching for dolphins, a real entertainment one evening at dinner. Embarkation & Disembarkation. There have been times when both of these have been horrific but not this time. At Buenos Aires we were expecting a wait but it wasn't too long and the holding area was quite comfortable, we were there early on purpose!! We were not in any hurry to get off the ship in San Francisco and things went very smoothly when we decided to move. Immigration in San Pedro (Los Angeles) was horrific, we were glad we weren't on a tour!! Summary If you have never been to South America then this is the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
40th birthday mega-trip. I have been lucky enough to live on 4 continents and travel everywhere I originally wanted to see. So in considering my 40th birthday, I wanted a new destination - South America... and a new experience - a proper ... Read More
40th birthday mega-trip. I have been lucky enough to live on 4 continents and travel everywhere I originally wanted to see. So in considering my 40th birthday, I wanted a new destination - South America... and a new experience - a proper cruise. I had taken a Mediterranean cruise before but this was a completely different experience. I really enjoyed it and met a lot of wonderful people on this cruise. There were some minor problems but most were dealt with efficiently. My travel-mate was vegan and there were no truly viable non-carbohydrate-heavy options available for her... despite her contacting Norwegian and letting them know her requirements well in advance. We were given the impression that her dietary needs would not be an issue - but they soooo were. On board, everything needed to be reserved and mentioned 24 hours in advance and even then no decent options were offered to her. I had almost no problems with the food choices - though the Italian restaurant was by far my least favorite experience. Service regarding most other issues, reservations, changes, etc. was polite and mostly helpful. I had to cancel an excursion THE MORNING OF due to a digestive malfunction - and they made it clear that I might not be able to get a refund (but I did). All other excursion arrangements were handled well - even though I hate waiting. There were a few issues with our cabin but most were handled quite quickly. In fact, it was my travel-mate who had most of the issues. The room was fairly clean and the daily service did a decent job. We really only spent the nights in the room - though we definitely appreciated our window on those rough days when viewing was crowded in other areas. I loved watching the play of the sea at night from our window as well. As I mentioned, our trip was rather rough in patches but I was never bored. Their entertainment options were varied and though I chose only a few to participate in, I was always able to find a comfortable location to chill and read or do whatever I chose to do instead. The music was lively, though not as varied as I would have liked. There were always several live music options throughout the evenings. I quite enjoyed learning PAI GAO poker in the casino and ended up playing nearly every night. Thankfully, I stuck to my budget and ended the trip pretty much even. The ship was a little dated in design but very colorful. Ours was the final cruise before a design overhaul and refitting so it would be interesting to see what it looks like now. The atrium was lovely and there were several locations with excellent window views - so even on those stormy / rough seas days we were able to look out and see the coast, the fjords, the Cape and the glaciers. We didn't travel with children but saw several families that did. Besides the pool area and buffet dining, I almost never saw any kids. As I understand it there were plenty of activities to keep them engaged. This was such a good experience that my father has expressed an interest in taking a cruise. We are planning one next year although this one will not be with Norwegian - my uncle is a regular cruise and has other preferences. I would certainly take another Norwegian cruise and might consider a cross-Atlantic cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this repositioning cruise because it disembarked in San Francisco which is close to home; we were a day late arriving in Buenos Aires because of a weather delay in Atlanta which caused us to miss our flight; so our site seeing in ... Read More
We chose this repositioning cruise because it disembarked in San Francisco which is close to home; we were a day late arriving in Buenos Aires because of a weather delay in Atlanta which caused us to miss our flight; so our site seeing in Buenos Aires was limited; we found a local artisans market close to the cemetery so all wasn't lost because of the delay; we really enjoyed the Sun; it's a sturdy "little" ship, a bit older; being smaller, getting around was easier; our state room on 7th deck forward was convenient to everything; ports of call were all interesting; we considered this trip an "adventure" not leisure and we weren't disappointed; the weather near the "Horn" was very rough; high seas and winds; the captain managed, however, to get us close enough to see the "Horn"; booking shore excursions not offered by NCL was a challenge but we managed to book some interesting tours on our own; Punta Tombo was amazing; walking tours in Montevideo, Port Stanley, Ushuaia, Valparaiso and Antigua were informative and afforded us an opportunity to visit "off the beaten path"; not to mention affordable; I'm a picky eater but had no trouble finding a variety of tasty food; we ate in the complementary restaurants most nights so as to control the calories with buffet for breakfast; as with any cruise there are exceptional meals and some "so-so" but overall my only complaint was not enough dark leafy greens; entertainment was fair; the best feature was the afternoon port of call lecture; Peter provided history as well as tips for getting around; theater shows weren't all that good but we really enjoyed Amber Strings and listen to them play many nights; all in all we really enjoyed this cruise BUT I would not recommend the repositioning cruise for the faint of heart; as the captain said at one of our meet and greets "you are some crazy people; to take the last cruise of the season going in the wrong direction, in the worst weather, in one of the most remote places in the world"; to which the room cheered; my husband and I felt rather young (60's) as the majority of cruisers were much older and very seasoned travelers; we met many interesting people from many countries; Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I had never been to South America and the whole programme excited me, so away I went. I flew via Germany from Ireland and landed in Buenos Aires in the morning. A car was waiting for me and took me to my hotel for the night. Due to it ... Read More
I had never been to South America and the whole programme excited me, so away I went. I flew via Germany from Ireland and landed in Buenos Aires in the morning. A car was waiting for me and took me to my hotel for the night. Due to it being Good Friday, many of the streets were closed for the afternoon, so the company that I had booked a tour with for the afternoon, came quite unexpectedly during the morning and asked if I'd like to tour in the forenoon instead of the afternoon. Very thoughtful of them. That evening a group of us from Cruise Critic gathered and had dinner together which was lovely. The following morning, after strolling around the neighbourhood I made my way to the terminal. Embarkation was swift and trouble-free and I was in my cabin in no time. I promised myself that I would stand in every country that we docked in and I did. Coming around the Cape was very rough with the decks being closed. It rained quite a lot, but we did see the Horn. It wasn't quite as cold as I had expected, in fact my everyday clothes were quite sufficient....but the ship rocked and rolled and lurched and dived. It was sometimes difficult to keep upright. However I enjoyed every minute. The food was quite good in the main dining rooms, and the buffet always had mountains of food, so that I was never hungry. I ate in the speciality restaurants a few times, but really the MDRs were much better both for service and variety. The entertainment was very good ranging from music in bars to shows in the theatre. The band Innovation provided super music almost every night, and indeed afternoons also on the pool deck. The service was excellent throughout the ship and the Cruise staff were most attentive and hard-working. However the nearer we got to US the more the ship began to be like a 'work-in-progress'. She was heading to dry dock in San Francisco and was getting quite a lot of work done beforehand. It was very noisy out on deck sometimes, with work being done on the stack. There was always work going on in the corridors with stepladders everywhere and workmen being busy busy busy. This state of affairs, should have been reflected in the price!!! Another thing, there should be much more cameras and surveillance on board. As a solo lady traveller, I was assaulted in an elevator and followed throughout the ship. My assailant knew the position of every camera on board, so all of his activity was off camera. I reported him to security, and eventually they interviewed him and of course he denied everything. And there the matter ended. In my opinion, NCL didn't do the right thing. I didn't even get an apology from them. My security was shattered and I felt vulnerable, as he began to show up wherever I was. However, I refuse to be shaken by a miserable individual and have already booked two future cruises with NCL, again travelling solo. However the main reason that I like NCL and MSC is because of their Cruise Staff, who dance with the passengers at night. I can't find out from anywhere if the other cruise lines have similar Cruise Staff. So if anybody knows, I'd be very grateful. Despite that incident, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute on the Sun and would gladly do the entire cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our fifteenth cruise and it was awesome. This ship did have a few problems along the way regarding smells emanating near the aft of the ship but the ships company made a sterling effort to initially contain and then eliminate the odour. We ... Read More
Our fifteenth cruise and it was awesome. This ship did have a few problems along the way regarding smells emanating near the aft of the ship but the ships company made a sterling effort to initially contain and then eliminate the odour. We sailed into ports such as Stanley (Falkland Islands) Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, Punta Areanas as well as cruising the Beagle Channel. The waterfalls and glaziers were a picture to behold. We cruised the Strait of Magellan, the Chilean Fjords, the Patagonic Channels and our Captain made every effort for passengers to take in the sights. Marine life was also a feature with whales and dolphins reasonably close to the ship. Rounding Cape Horn was a bit lumpy but that was to be expected and we travelled it with ease. Further ports travelling North towards San Francisco included Puerto Chacabuco, Puerto Montt, Valpariso (Chile) Coquimbo, Arica, Lima (Peru), Salaverry (Trujillo), Punta Arenas (Costa Rica), Puerto Guetzal (Guatemala) Puerto Chiapas, Huatalco & Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) - a favourite destination of ours, then on to LA and San Francisco. I must add that the customs area at Los Angeles Cruise leaves much to be desired and put a dampener on our vacation. Three hours waiting in a queue on the wharf to disembark is not a good look and many were disgruntled. We did get over it but will try to never experience this port again, our second experience of getting the same treatment. Let me give some insight to our cabin and on board ship experiences. All were fantastic with professional shows and staff that went out of their way to make our trip a memorable one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The ship is clean and the entertainment very good indeed. Excursions are vastly overpriced. (And not very good at any price). The deal breaker is the food. The "included", or as Norwegian likes to describe it ... Read More
The ship is clean and the entertainment very good indeed. Excursions are vastly overpriced. (And not very good at any price). The deal breaker is the food. The "included", or as Norwegian likes to describe it "complimentary" (what is complimentary about something you have pre-paid?) dining rooms are OK because the food was well served and presented, but was quite unacceptable as far as taste was concerned. For example, all meat dishes were served with a horrible glutinous gravy. Even when the main course was good (I had a marvellous prime rib) this gravy completely spoiled the eating experience. Of course, the dish was served cold, as was pretty much everything. Few vegetables. The buffet was poorly laid out, and the foodstuffs inferior. The first day selection (no decent cold cuts or cheese) never changed. Awful. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click