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Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to see some of South America and cruise through the Panama Canal. We have traveled on the Norwegian Sun previously and had a good experience. The ship was upgraded last year and looks good. The staterooms are now ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see some of South America and cruise through the Panama Canal. We have traveled on the Norwegian Sun previously and had a good experience. The ship was upgraded last year and looks good. The staterooms are now elegant and other areas of the ship nice. This was a repositioning cruise, so there were seven sea days, which was a bit much for us, as we don't participate in bingo, karaoke, art auctions, knitting, etc, although I would have to say the ship did do a good job in offering all kinds of daily activities catered to the mostly older passengers. We are 60, but the average age is a bit older. The ship never felt crowded, except on sea days around the pool. Embarkation was easy, as we arrived late, so no crowds. Disembarkation in Miami was slow and bottlenecked through customs. Probably not NCL's fault. Service on the ship was generally good. Cabin, bar, restaurant, drills, excursions, port disembarkation, shows, lectures, etc. were all well organized. Only complaint was disembarkation for ship shore excursions, which was a joke. We were an hour late for every excursion due to a very poorly designed system. We did a combination of ship and third party shore excursions, all were pretty good. Some ports had limited attractions and things to do. For some reason the ship organized about a half dozen separate excursions under different names that ended up at the same place (rain forest, tram and zipline) and doing about the same activities. Ship excursions are a bit pricey compared to what is available from Viator and other companies, which get you off the ship quicker. NCL needs to fix this. Meals in the main dining room was surprisingly good. Cagney's and French Bistro meals were mediocre. Teppenyaki and Sushi restaurants were very, very good. Good drinks at Los Lobos. We had a complimentary NCL drink package, which we overused. Buffet inside was predictable, small, and generally crowded. The deserts on board were excellent just about everywhere. Drinks were easy to get and bartenders were some of the best on any cruise ship I have been on. The Great Outdoors buffet was better and convenient to the back seating are, where we spent a lot of time. South American ports are a bit rougher than other parts of the world. A lot of poverty and trash around. Still, many great sites. We did enjoy the extended time in Santiago. The couple we traveled with went to Machu Picchu and loved it. We enjoyed the Panama Canal experience and many of the Inca and other historical sites. Lima and Cartagena are overrun with Venezuelan refugees, which is sad but pretty much ruined most of the excursion. The ziplining experience in Costa Rica was a lot of fun. I would use NCL again and would cruise the Sun again for the right itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a 18 night South America Cruise from Santiago Chile to Miami, FL. We choose this cruise based on the itinerary. The ship is old...built in 2001 and refurbished in 2018. Our Cabin was a Vista View Junior Suite on Deck #10 ... Read More
This was a 18 night South America Cruise from Santiago Chile to Miami, FL. We choose this cruise based on the itinerary. The ship is old...built in 2001 and refurbished in 2018. Our Cabin was a Vista View Junior Suite on Deck #10 (0067)...on the very back of the ship. The size of the balcony was average. This balcony provided an excellent view for the Panama Canal crowding. The Junior Suite was average size...had a walk-in closet and a bath tub/shower. I was not impressed with the service from the room steward. The main dining room service and food is awful....we ate in specially restaurants 14 of the nights. The production shows in the theatre are excellent...other shows are average. The bar staff is excellent and they cocktails are also excellent. Of the specialty restaurants...we prefer Cagney's Steakhouse and LaBistro French Restaurant. There is no lobster served on this ship.....not even in the specialty restaurants (this is unacceptable). The only restaurant that serves shrimp cocktail is Cagney's Steakhouse....and they charge an extra $4.99 + specialty restaurant fee (this is unacceptable). Most of the shore excursions that we booked on the ship were good. Boarding the tours were not handled efficiently. The cruise director is a former "Miss Colombia"....we rarely saw her. We rarely saw the Captain. None of the fish at any of the restaurants are eatable....sent the fish back every time....never came back any better (this is unacceptable). The breakfast in the main dining room was good. Overall service was average. They never tell you when they are having a dress-up (elegant) night. We did like the entertainment in the Windjammer Bar (Keiffer Wiley). Disembarkation process was average. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have benefited immensely by the reviews posted on Cruise Critic, but have never taken the time to write one myself. For many years, the message boards have proved invaluable for planning our excursions. I can’t thank Cruise Critic ... Read More
I have benefited immensely by the reviews posted on Cruise Critic, but have never taken the time to write one myself. For many years, the message boards have proved invaluable for planning our excursions. I can’t thank Cruise Critic enough. It is my hope that readers will find this helpful. Warning- very detailed. We booked balcony cabin #8221. I appreciate the connections on the CC message boards and were able to join private excursions with them. They were limited person tours at a fraction of the ship's cost. I have taken about 30 cruises, 4 on Norwegian. I gave up on Carnival years ago and have not sailed NCL in a very long time remembering the food was so bad. Oceania and Azamara are favorites, but the prices are higher. My husband insists on a balcony and loves a beverage package. We find Celebrity to be the best cruise for the price. Royal Caribbean’s food has gone down hill and does not offer the beverage package as a perk. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the offers. My husband and I flew to Buenos Aires, nonstop from JFK, two days before our cruise in South America. A real benefit of a South American destination is no jet lag. We were met at the airport by a driver, arranged by our host at the Airbnb. We had dinner at Don Julio’s, a favorite restaurant. The next morning, the same driver drove us to the cruise port. We arrived at 11:30 and were on the ship quickly with priority boarding. Luggage was promptly delivered to our cabin. Nothing compares to that first day on the ship feeling. Our room steward stopped by, but seemed put out when we told him that we needed fresh towels and ice. He had hoped not to come back again that day. We never received any ice after that. We had dinner in the MDR with a table for two. We prefer the traditional seating, with a large table, but NCL only offers Freestyle. The number of English speakers on the cruise seemed limited. Many Germans were on this sailing, some South Americans, French and Swedes. We enjoyed meeting many of the international passengers. Dinner was an unappetizing onion soup and chicken picante. We went to a nearly empty Spinnaker for cocktails and were told that they closed at 11:00. If you are looking for any Bar after 11:00 on this cruise, you will not find one. Montevideo was our first port. My husband went off the ship for a walk around and returned a couple hours later. I stayed on the ship to enjoy the drink package, sun and hot tubs. The hot tub was lukewarm. To my surprise children were allowed in the hot tubs unattended. A couple took their baby in. No food or drink is allowed in the tubs, but I fished out a small brown object, floating in the tepid water.(I subsequently developed a rash and never went in any hot tub again) After a hot shower, we went to see the comedian. Didn’t find him particularly funny. We did not attend any other shows. Dinner in MDR consisted of clam chowder, which lacked clams or potatoes, sprinkled with bacon followed by dry fish. As it was Super Bowl Sunday, the ship offered the game shown on a large screen in the theater. They thoughtfully provided traditional Super Bowl foods. We had drinks in the Windjammer Bar and enjoyed the bartenders and singers who performed there. It was to become our regular spot for it’s wonderful service. Punta del Este. We had breakfast in the dining room. The food was better there than in the buffet. We had arranged a walking tour and met at the famous sculpture on the beach. There were only five other people, all from the ship. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed the walking tour, though the beaches didn’t look too inviting. My husband felt his gout starting to flare and the medical facility on the ship did not have prednisone. Fortunately, we had no trouble buying it at a pharmacy in town without a prescription. We were back on the ship for lunch after a quick tender. Our room steward dropped off the next day’s itinerary and took the opportunity to ask if we wanted him to come in the evening while we were at dinner. We replied in the affirmative and said that we would be leaving for dinner at 9. He seemed exasperated and asked if we could go at 8:30 and we agreed. The line at the MDR was very long and we took the buzzer with us to the Windjammer to wait. After about an hour, the bartender offered to check on our reservation. He was told that they were looking for us and the buzzer didn’t work outside of the dining area. I had very good ribs, we were the last to leave the dining room. We went to the Spinnaker only to find a few people singing bad karaoke in Spanish. We didn’t stay. I expected the weather to turn much cooler for our Sea Day as we headed south, but it was delightful. I asked about the Cruise Critic reception, as it is usually scheduled for the first sea day. A large group gathered at 11:00 in the Spinnaker. The ship provided officers who kindly answered questions and concerns. The wonderful woman, who organized this gathering, arranged special tenders for us with the helpful staff. The ship provided a barbecue on deck for lunch. We made dinner reservations by phone so we wouldn’t have to wait in line at the MDR and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the sun. Dinner was passable linguine with clams, then drinks at the Windjammer which closes at 11:00. Puerto Tambo. We were up at 7 and enjoyed breakfast on the aft deck. One staff member said that we were very fortunate with the weather. The week before it had been windy and cold. We met our tour at 9:15, which we had arranged through the cruise critic message board members in advance. We joined our small group for a 2 1/2 hour ride to see the penguins. The weather was perfect. We returned for cocktails and snacks before a 9:00 reservation in the MDR. Dinner was a good pate served with stale bread, risotto and unpleasant beef stroganoff, followed by nice music and drinks in the Windjammer- until 11:00. The following sea day we enjoyed breakfast in the MDR with a very nice couple from Colorado whom we met waiting in line. Afterwards we went to listen to a professor scheduled speak about the Falkland Islands, a place he had never visited. He was elderly and rambling and got into it with some of the Argentinians. We then went to what was billed as a lecture on the history of the wristwatch which turned out to be a sales pitch. Dinner was at Cagney’s, the first of four reservations at specialty restaurants. Because of our disappointing meals at MDR, I was looking forward to this. It was nice, but not particularly special. Lovely views from the windows. We attended an Irish music night in the Windjammer. Very popular. Port Stanley. Arose at 7 and took our buffet breakfast to the Sports Bar. Breakfast is also served in Moderno and outside, on the deck. It had started to turn noticeably cooler and the Sports Bar has great views from the large windows. We took our special, cruise critic tender to the Falkland Islands and paid $20 for a shuttle to see the penguins. We had a nice hike, though it was cold and windy and then walked into town. There is a great museum, free with your ship card. We had dinner at Le Bistro. Lamb chops were good, but not much else. The weather was getting cold and windy, the ocean a little rough. At sea day. Used the ship’s internet, which worked well. Had a good lunch in the MDR. Enjoyed watching the sail around Cape Horn around 6 from our balcony. Ushuaia. The day started cold and rainy. Took the $10 bus into town and returned for lunch. Free WiFi was available at the tourist center. Back on board, we had to wait in line for an hour to get through immigration and passports for Chile. Sailed the Beagle Channel and saw beautiful glaciers. Could not face another bad dinner in the MDR, so just skipped it. Punta Arenas. Paid $3 for shuttle into town rather than wait in a long line, in the cold, for the free NCL bus. Free WiFi in the Central Park. We joined an English speaking walking tour which was forming nearby. Lots of people. More of a guided walk than a tour. We visited a cemetery and a free museum. When we returned to the buses, it was mayhem with so many people clamoring to get on the free NCL bus. That evening, Jimmy Buffet music was played at the Windjammer. We had fish and chips in the Sports Bar and sailed the Straits of Magellan. The following day at sea was particularly rough as we sailed the Pacific. People were sick and hazmat suits were pressed into service. Passengers were unsteady and food was spilled, outside decks were closed. We watched the waves from the Sports Bar. Lunch featured a German theme, very good. The sea was calm as we sailed the Chilean Fjords. Just beautiful. We had another dinner in Cagney’s that night. Another sea day as we sailed the Patagonia Channels. We saw porpoises and whales. The weather warmed as we sailed north and we enjoyed spending time on deck watching the stunning scenery. Puerto Montt. Our Cruise Critic leader arranged for early tenders for our group. We joined 15 others for another small group tour arranged by a Cruise Critic member. It was an exceptional day with perfect weather. We visited an alpaca farm, saw falls, National Parks, lake, volcanos, took a scenic ride on a ski lift and stopped in a German style town. It seems that all of the tours stopped there. Thank goodness we found a Radisson Hotel. Free bathrooms had been scarce throughout Argentina and Chile. We did not have any local money for pay toilets or food, beverages. We used the WiFi at the Radisson until we met our bus. Unfortunately, all the tours arrived at the port at the same time. We waited in a very long line for 1 1/2 hours to go through local security before being allowed to board a tender. Thankfully, the ship delayed our departure. As it was Valentines Day, we were delighted with the festive decorations. We had dinner in the MDR and was served the best entree of the cruise, lamb shank. Our last day was spent relaxing at sea. We had dinner at Le Cucina.There was nothing to recommend it. We were off the ship by 8:30 and joined the 8 others who had arranged a day in Santiago from Cruise Critic boards. It was very nice and we arrived at the airport by 7 for our 10 o’clock flight. We loved the 14 day itinerary with plenty of time spent in port, balanced with sea days. Freestyle cruising has become very popular in the industry, but not for us. We like sharing a table and getting to know other passengers. Some people have complained that there wasn’t enough to do on sea days, but I loved them. I think there was plenty to keep people occupied with dance lessons, workouts, crafts and games. The food was pretty bad and I doubt that I will sail NCL again. I had asked about upgrading our 4 night specialty package to a seven night, but was told that I had to buy a separate 3 night package after I used my 4 night package. You will no longer find smoked salmon at the breakfast buffet, no sign of fresh berries or made to order hamburgers, though the pasta and pizza station were good at lunch. The French fries served were right from the freezer, even those served in the specialty restaurant. For the most part, staff was very good. We didn’t spend time in the casino (too smoky), art auctions or the spa. The beverage package is nice to have, but cans of soda, iced tea, fresh squeezed juice, smoothies, and bottled water are not included. I heard many ask for herbal tea or sugar free tonic, but these were not available. Some bar items simply ran out, not to be replaced. Some Chilean wines were added and enjoyed- while they lasted. The ship was the perfect size for us and easy to navigate. I have enjoyed all of my cruises, some more than others. Ultimately, in my opinion, good food is very important and I have already booked my next cruise with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This is our first NCL cruise. We traveled with 2 other couples and this is our first time visiting S. America. Even though it is a small cruise ship, the cabins are much more spacious than the other bigger cruise ships we have sailed ... Read More
This is our first NCL cruise. We traveled with 2 other couples and this is our first time visiting S. America. Even though it is a small cruise ship, the cabins are much more spacious than the other bigger cruise ships we have sailed before. Entertainment is pretty good overall. We find the excursions over priced (e.g. charging us$300 for a 3 hr. trip to see penguins) and did our own thing for most stops. The food in the main dinning is just average and the buffet offers pretty much the same food everyday. There are 2 sections for oriental style noodles, one fried and the other with soup. I have to say the cooks have no experience in Chinese culinary. The noodles are hard and dry and the soup tasteless. The Indian dishes only offer the same vegetarian curry for the whole 2 weeks. We did enjoy the scenery overall, especially while sailing through the Beagle Channel. In Santiago, we toured the city and also Valparaiso on our own. In Buenos Aires, we booked a tour to the Iguazu Falls. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my first time cruising with this cruise line and I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed with the services provided compared to other cruise lines that I have travelled with. This is a small, older ship with only 12 floors; ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with this cruise line and I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed with the services provided compared to other cruise lines that I have travelled with. This is a small, older ship with only 12 floors; however it was recently refurbished. I found the cafeteria dining on the 11th floor always congested. You are constantly bumping into other people. The layout is poor to accommodate the traffic and good luck in finding a table to sit on those cold days when everyone wants to sit inside. Don't expect to be served coffee, juice or anything while seated as you are on your own to push through the crowds to get whatever you want from the buffet tables. Think you might to go to the main dining room to avoid the crowd, think twice as you might be waiting to be served all day...they are slow as snails! My biggest gripe was the lack of ability to see your bill online while on board. There is no kiosk or television prompt to do so. You will have to join the long line at guest service to do so and I recommend you do so every couple days as there were certainly mysterious charges to dispute which will take them another day or two to resolve. On the positive side, the "washie washie" staff were always fun and greeted you with a smile in the cafeteria. The amenities and future cruise deposits offered by NCL are very attractive. Note FCD must be used within 4 years (non-refundable) or lose it. There was no pressure to take/buy photos. As a matter of fact, I only saw 1 photographer on board! This is a very casual cruiseline. If you enjoy dressing up for formal nights and dining at a classy chefs table, this is not the cruiseline for you as there is none. If you enjoy watching a movie under the stars curled up with a blanket, cookies and milk, this is not the cruiseline for you as there is none! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this Cruise because of the wide variety of islands we were visiting. This Cruise was an older crowd not very Lively so I think bedtime was roughly around 9 p.m. . All the specialty restaurants were very good and the food was ... Read More
We chose this Cruise because of the wide variety of islands we were visiting. This Cruise was an older crowd not very Lively so I think bedtime was roughly around 9 p.m. . All the specialty restaurants were very good and the food was excellent service was great but when it came to the main restaurants the seven seas and the Four Seasons ran the same menu every night. With four or five specials every night and they both ran the same specials on the same night. Entertainment was non-existent we went to two shows and that this was the type of ship that did not have first class entertainment. We chose the unlimited beverage package which was a great advantage for us, we got our money's worth. We did not do any excursions through the ship as we found they were way over priced you can walk off the ship and find a tour right on the pier for half the price. We found that tipping a few extra dollars here and there for the waiters waitresses and bartenders helped out immensely as the few dollars they charge for gratuities doesn't seem to be enough. I prefer to leave my own gratuity as I feel the people that work for it are the ones that deserve it. And on the final note it was a very good Cruise the staff is very attentive the ports were great they just need to make some adjustments with the culinary department and the entertainment Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We had a good time. It seemed like a good itinerary but most of the ports had very little to do. The food was adequate. Dining room service was slow. They seemed understaffed. Wish they had a happy hour and afternoon tea. Some ... Read More
We had a good time. It seemed like a good itinerary but most of the ports had very little to do. The food was adequate. Dining room service was slow. They seemed understaffed. Wish they had a happy hour and afternoon tea. Some positive things: coffee maker in the room, fishes on the carpet to tell forward and aft, great entertainment, friendly staff and had only 75 percent occupancy. Just know what you are getting into before you go! The ship isn’t new but the cabins are spacious. Internet is slow and nothing available on tv like meals, bill, etc. NCL needs to revisit offerings on sea days. More activities. Activities appropriate for age of cruisers. Cagney ‘s was excellent! Food and service. There were no port lectures because the ship makes this path only once a year. So, no one could help and there were no maps available on the ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the size of the ship. My husband has trouble walking and I didn't want a Mega Size ship where it would be a long walk to all the venues. I requested a cabin in the middle of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the size of the ship. My husband has trouble walking and I didn't want a Mega Size ship where it would be a long walk to all the venues. I requested a cabin in the middle of the ship, and instead we had the very first cabin in the bow. I paid extra for "run of the ship" hoping for an upgrade or at least, a cabin in the middle. The dining room, theatre, and buffet were all in the stern of the ship. When I went to guest services, I was told the ship was sold out which I found out was not true. The ship was on a high health alert due to a virus on the trip before ours. Using that as an excuse, we didn't get into our cabin until 4:30 and the ship was leaving at 5:00. Our cabin did not get any ice or water for the first 2 days and then we had to call Room Service to get ice. The entertainment, with a couple of exceptions was poor and amateurish. The Library was closed for the entire trip and there were very few activities to do on sea days. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
First time cruising with Norwegian Sun. They had an outbreak of gastrointestinal sickness on the cruise before ours and it continued on our cruise. Unfortunately I got sick. After being quarantined no one followed up to see how I was or if ... Read More
First time cruising with Norwegian Sun. They had an outbreak of gastrointestinal sickness on the cruise before ours and it continued on our cruise. Unfortunately I got sick. After being quarantined no one followed up to see how I was or if I needed anything and the room service menu was very limited for my husband who was not sick but also had to be quarantined. Consequently we missed two days and one port. The WiFi on the ship was a waste of money as half the time people couldn’t get connected. I also found there were a lot of fees for very little service. I did not find the service as good as on other ships. With the free style dinning the wait staff does not get to know you. However the staff were good considering the extra work they had with the sickness on board. Our steward was also great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We took this cruise because of the price, the perks, and a chance to cruise with friends from various states. It was our first time on NCL and we were not very impressed. The staff from our room steward to bar tenders to dining room ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the price, the perks, and a chance to cruise with friends from various states. It was our first time on NCL and we were not very impressed. The staff from our room steward to bar tenders to dining room staff was very accommodating and did a superb job. The entertainment was average with just a couple of outstanding entertainers. We have been on other cruise lines that actually give talks on upcoming ports and do it without trying to sell ship tours - just informative talks. I realize that NoraVirus can happen but the way the ship's Captain handled it was deceitful. Never even admitting the extent of crew and passengers affected lead to distrust by many of us. My husband and I were both diagnosed with the flu and charged $2,497.03 for the treatment. I guess since we were captive patients you are free to charge any amount you want. The one Tamaflu that we brought cost us $42 while the one I got on board was $419 —-REALLY!!!! A little good will from NCL would go along way to accepting the impact of both the NoraVirus and out particularl illness. I heard several passengers expressing disappointment that NCL didn’t offer ANYTHING (such as a dollar amount off future cruise which you know would not be acted on by many) for the inconvenience we all suffered.n Read Less
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