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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa ... Read More
My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa Rica and one in Columbia. There were shore excursions available in all the ports, but we prefer to walk around and go geocaching. Often there were locals selling wonderful crafted items from little tents right on the pier. They want cash in US dollars, but most items only cost a few dollars. Take along a bunch of ones and fives. The guest services desk will also break a twenty for you. There is and ATM at the casino if you need more cash. The ship provided a free shuttle to get us out of the port area, but in Peru ports they dropped us off in an unsafe location. We could either pay a taxi to take us to a safe location for walking or biking or get back on the shuttle and go to the ship. There were police to make sure we did not wander off on our own. At the second Peru port we did paid extra to take a bus to Trujillo. We could not use our shore excursion credits for this shuttle, however! It was the same thing in Columbia. We were disappointed that we paid to be able to see the ports and Norwegian wouldn't deliver us to a safe place onshore. One of our shore excursions was overbooked and they ran out of food by the time they got to our table. We were offered 50% off that tour. In Costa Rica, there was a very steep ramp and several stairs to get back on the ship. That was a problem as three of our party of seven were physically challenged. The staff will come help you, but you need to ask. They don't volunteer. The food was great, as usual. We used both main dining rooms and the buffet. The waiters were mostly attentive. We found you can request a particular waiter (ask for Mac) and he will remember your preferences. There did not seem to be a lot of folks who wanted to share tables although that was available if you ask when you arrive at the dining room. We liked the anytime dining as we are early eaters. Our cabin was a handicap cabin for my mother. It was a little crowded for three people. Our steward, Juevan, was excellent! Even though Norwegian is discontinuing the towel animals, he made a new one for us every night. He also brought ice to the room when requested. Having had a more pleasant experience on Princess, I suspect we'll be sailing with them in the future. We've been to Alaska and the Caribbean with Princess. They were more attentive during the pre-cruise phase and the shore excursions were better planned. The ports were safer and the ramps to and from the ship was handicap accessible. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
1.Excursions were poor: a. One poor English-speaking guide without a microphone for 40 people If your in the back of the bus you hear nothing. b. Excursions were not as advertised. I paid over $260 to go to an island to get ... Read More
1.Excursions were poor: a. One poor English-speaking guide without a microphone for 40 people If your in the back of the bus you hear nothing. b. Excursions were not as advertised. I paid over $260 to go to an island to get pictures of South American birds but we never got on the island we were to go to and I feel very cheated. c. The setup for boarding excursions is poorly organized.They tell you to meet in the ship's auditorium at a certain time and then have wait for almost a hour before your tour is called for disembarking. I was the first to show up but was often the last to get out of the room for lack of tour directors organization skills. 2.Overall,the entertainment was good. The best entertainment on the ship was the three classical string players yet they were never given a space to handle the crowds who wanted to hear them. Furthermore, they were put next a bar with loud speaking and sometimes intoxicated people which totally destroyed the listening experience even if you could find a seat. 3. The food was mediocre at best! The head chef should be fired. He provided the the worst entree choices I have ever had on a cruse ( I have been on 15). The onion soup was little more than hot water ( I found no onions nor cheese). Thank goodness, the bred and desert chefs were excellent. 4. You need to have a setup for (equipment, lines and nets) for pickle ball. It is the fastest growing sport for seniors. 5.The cabin and dinning room service was excellent! 6. Bridge instruction and play was enjoyable, however, we were assigned to a play in an area with only small tables. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Wanted to see S America, a Gold Member and travel with 4 other couples 5th cruise! NCL this was the worst cruise, our toilet would not flush on demand, button pushed nothing ... middle of night it flushed reported numerous times! ... Read More
Wanted to see S America, a Gold Member and travel with 4 other couples 5th cruise! NCL this was the worst cruise, our toilet would not flush on demand, button pushed nothing ... middle of night it flushed reported numerous times! Restroom stall doors held on with electrical wire ties(casino men's room). Mens room at The Windjammer had a hole in the wall covered by cardboard and duct tape. Every other NCL cruise we have been on while in port they cleaned the windows not on the Sun! Water spots on most of our pictures. The windows were either dirty or there were numerous window fogged from loss of vacuum! We made reservations for ten in different resteraunts and many times they sitted us at different tables when there were large settings available and were not used while we were there! Shame on NCL! We are looking to cruise Australia and New Zealand later this year and we( all 5 couples) are not sure we will chose NCL this time! One bright spot was Freddie the Bartender at the Champayne Bar! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Although the Norwegian Sun has been recently renovated, they have a serious problem with proper ventilation. Smoke from the casino and designated smoking areas infiltrated the public areas of the ship. Why do they put designated smoking ... Read More
Although the Norwegian Sun has been recently renovated, they have a serious problem with proper ventilation. Smoke from the casino and designated smoking areas infiltrated the public areas of the ship. Why do they put designated smoking areas near the pool and over the aft eating area? It makes no sense. We felt that we could not get away from the smell of smoke. For whatever reason, Norwegian did not have my correct credit card number. I did not know this until three days into the voyage, when I received a curt letter informing me, "your onboard account has been deactivated and your signing privileges have been suspended." I am a Platinum member of Norwegian and found this shockingly offensive! How about a little courtesy; maybe something like, "Would you kindly come to Guest Services at your earliest convenience regarding the credit card we have on record for you." This kind of interaction with a longtime loyal guest is a surefire way to lose a customer. My next cruise will not be on Norwegian; I've just booked with Viking. This cruise had six sea days. There should be a far bigger selection of movies available to watch on television. There were only two movie channels and the same movies were recycled over and over and over again. Also, instead of the TV being mounted in front of the bed, it was way over to the right side of the cabin, which made watching in bed very uncomfortable. The Cruise Director had such a strong accent that we could hardly understand any of his announcements. This could be a safety issue in an emergency. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Back to Back from Miami to San Antonio and San Antonio to Buenos Aires. Best cruise(s) we have ever taken. Ship was excellent … clean, spotless, correct passenger size (about 2000 people), friendly crew, excellent food, calm, ... Read More
Back to Back from Miami to San Antonio and San Antonio to Buenos Aires. Best cruise(s) we have ever taken. Ship was excellent … clean, spotless, correct passenger size (about 2000 people), friendly crew, excellent food, calm, peaceful and simply the best. Celebrated Christmas and New Years on ship and they had special dining AND special celebrations for both holidays. Cruise Director (Adriano) and his Assistant (Guido) were HUGELY ANNOYING .. did their jobs but had enough of both of them after Day 1. Trip through Panama Canal was most interesting as they had a narrative going through the entire 48 miles of locks. Excellent dialogue and very insightful. Ports of call were mostly great (no reason for Santa Marta and Manta) and we booked 90% of our excursions ahead of time through outside vendors. As a part of the Cruise Critic Group, we were designated a special person, Julia from Ukraine, who escorted us off the ship prior to anybody else embarking AT EACH PORT. This was absolutely the best as we were able to make all excursions without any delay. A BIG THANKS TO JULIA!!! Dont Miss any of the penguin stops ... Punta Arenas, Stanley and Puerto Madryn. Expensive to see but so well worth it! We booked with SoloExpediciones (Punta Arenas) and Jimmy Curtis (Falklands) and in Puerto Madryn (sorry - forgot vendor). Cant say enough positive things about these trips. Jimmy Curtis in Falklands had an excellent driver named Steve ... try for him if you can. Patagonia nature is simply to die for..volcanoes, glaciers and more. Penguins and llamas and alpacas and so much more. Once in a lifetime trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Wanted to see South America and chose this ship. Bad choice- entire month onboard plagued with problems. Sickness of many people, lack of staff, chaos at service desk, lost my luggage on disembarcation, ship repairs made observation deck ... Read More
Wanted to see South America and chose this ship. Bad choice- entire month onboard plagued with problems. Sickness of many people, lack of staff, chaos at service desk, lost my luggage on disembarcation, ship repairs made observation deck unusable many days. Staff tells you different stories about the same thing when you ask 2 or 3 people same question. Sometimes outright deliberate lies. Have sailed a number of times with NCL and was very happy with the cruises but this was a disaster over and over. Ran out of red wine( how does that happen?) Staff was not the usual cruise staffers in many cases- couldnt understand them, they didnt understand you. No hustle, no personalty. Intertainment was terrible/juvenile/silly if it could go wrong it did go wrong very dissappointing . Sailig with friends who say they will never sail NCL again. Good things: Embarcation was great Food was tasty Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I had done this Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Sun in the opposite direction from Miami to Cabo San Lucas and it was wonderful. This was the 'cruise from hell' from beginning to end. The problems began in Santiago, ... Read More
I had done this Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Sun in the opposite direction from Miami to Cabo San Lucas and it was wonderful. This was the 'cruise from hell' from beginning to end. The problems began in Santiago, Chile where the airport was full of scammers pretending to be helpful with badges on indicating they were airport employees there to help you when in reality there were there to misdirect you and take as much of your money as they could get. Norwegian should have alerted their guests to: 1) Beware of scammers at the Santiago airport. 2) The cruise port has been moved from Valpraiso to San Antonio so there is no need to go to or book a hotel in Valpraiso. You will end up paying double cab fare. 3) What the legitimate amount of cab far is from Santiago to San Antonio. 4) There are very few hotels in San Antonio so stay in Santiago and get a transfer from Norwegian to the correct cruise port. Norwegian was able to send a text message to all passengers telling them not to come to the cruise port before 1:00 pm on the day of embarkation, but they never mentioned the reason for this until we were all onboard and sailing away. The reason was that there had been a FLU EPIDEMIC on the previous cruise and they needed extra time to clean and sanitize everything. This would have been nice to know prior to boarding the ship along with a choice of boarding or not. We didn't have this choice. We were not allowed to touch anything during the whole cruise. All food and beverages were covered and could only be obtained from crew members. You couldn't even pick up a plate or silverware. Nothing was put on the tables - no salt and pepper or condiments. Everything had to be obtained from the crew. There were no glasses, ice buckets, etc. in the cabins. We were never told which cabins the sick people had occupied so you never really knew if your cabin was one of those affected. While they should be commended for taking these precautions, it wasn't conducive to a very pleasant cruise and you never knew from one day to the next if you would be the next victim of the bug. The captain and officers were nowhere to be seen until the very end of the cruise. Just about everything about the cruise was not what I had become accustomed to from Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was very disappointing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This is our 6th cruise, first time with Norwegian. Staff could be bossy, intimidating and unfriendly. Unpleasant encounters during drill, at Shore Exursion desk on fifth floor, at Seven Sea restaurant and at our state room. In our past ... Read More
This is our 6th cruise, first time with Norwegian. Staff could be bossy, intimidating and unfriendly. Unpleasant encounters during drill, at Shore Exursion desk on fifth floor, at Seven Sea restaurant and at our state room. In our past experiences with another cruise line, we became friends with staff at dinning and state room. Like other passengers, we felt the program was poor. We wish there were lectures or movies when we were at sea ( two movies in 16 days). In the last five days of the trip, we had four days at sea and were very, very bored. Norwegian Sun would not allow anyone to bring water bottles to the ship when they return from a shore excursion. Unlike another cruise line, you are provided with free water in a thermal jar in your state room, here, you have to buy water bottles ( We spent about $100 US on water bottles). Also, water bottles are not included in the drink package. It was chaos at the Miami port terminal where we had to look for our luggage from the carousel! We were shcocked that 2000 passengers were left to deal with this mess. One lady could not find hers. People were puzzled why the Norwegian Sun's Captian did not appear to his passengers until on the 15 th day in a small lounge for about 50 minutes to answer some questions. Customaryly, Captains and officers were introduced at the very vegining of he journey. Norwegian Sun sent us email to make survey. After we filled in some basic information ( numbers of cruises taken, which cruise line....) and answered the first question, immediately, we were told not eligible to continue the rest of the survey. Very odd. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I agree with everything that Peter W has written about this cruise. We selected it primarily for the itinerary - the chance to visit more of South America and to transit the Panama Canal - this was the highlight of the voyage. ... Read More
I agree with everything that Peter W has written about this cruise. We selected it primarily for the itinerary - the chance to visit more of South America and to transit the Panama Canal - this was the highlight of the voyage. Embarkation Port: First this has been switched to San Antonio from Valparaiso due to issues with labour and port authorities; not advised directly by NCL of this. The departure shed was large, basic and actual check in went quite smoothly. The first inkling of problems was the almost 2 hours wait in the reception area for the cabin to be ready; 2 announcements about a further 10-15 minutes wait. Luae arrived just before 8:00 pm The notice lying on the bed to welcome and greet us advised of an outbreak of gastro-enteritis on the previous leg of the voyage and implementation of Code 2 of CDC procedures. No mention of how long this might last. The gastro-enteritis was caused by norovirus, and passengers advised of this at Q & A session on penultimate day of voyage, also that 81 people had been affected. It was a 'corporate' decision not to advise passengers joining in Valparaiso. Numerous people were affected by coughs - possibly as a result of the mystery disinfectant used for the constant hand spraying; the casino remained open but the library was closed until the penultimate day! Public lavatory doors were left open - not a great sight. NCL is not alone among cruise lines in placing the Casino midships - making it impossible to avoid a walk through on that deck. The stench of cigarette smoke drifts out onto the seating areas. Will schedule refit address this?. Service in the various dining facilities was haphazard, often chaotic, and occasionally rude; there were no signs of any effective management presence. Two restaurants - 4 Seasons and 7 Seas - served the same menus, although they were billed as being slightly different. Breakfast one morning took an hour - largely because tables had to be cleaned - they were not actually set ; it can't be difficult, even operating under unusual conditions, to get the basics to table i.e butter, jams, sugar, salt, pepper! We avoided the Garden Cafe as much as possible - badly laid out, heaving queues, food just about okay, all serving areas covered in cling film. Staff ladled out vast spoonfuls of food - refused to take any back - 'you can just leave it if you don't want it' I was told! On the whole the Filipino crew members lead the way with their good humour and service. Cabin was okay, the circular shower was tiny; items such as glassware etc gradually arrived over the first 2 days. Clearly the crew did not have enough time in port to prepare. No launderette. Only the laundry service at high prices. (norovirus related ?) Excursions - as with many cruise lines - very expensive and variable in quality. NCL don't offer much in some ports other than their excursions - nowhere to get maps/information etc in a couple of instances. Even though much of it was not to our taste the entertainment on offer was of better quality than on other lines. Cruise Director was very good. Dr Wayne's presentations were excellent and very enjoyable. Disembarkation: slow, delays due to US Customs. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We did not have a very good experience on board the Sun. I had ordered wine and strawberries for sailing day. They did not have them ready in our state room. I had to asked for it and that way it ruined the surprise. The wine they brought ... Read More
We did not have a very good experience on board the Sun. I had ordered wine and strawberries for sailing day. They did not have them ready in our state room. I had to asked for it and that way it ruined the surprise. The wine they brought THE FOLOWING DAY was of inferior quality of the one I had purchased before through their website. When we bought the tickets through their website the offer was Free Free at sea when we were on board they explained to us that the free free only applies to 4 dinners each at the specialty restaurants. When I complained they said I need it to complaint with the travel egency that we bought the tickets from. But we never used a travel egency my son bought the tickets directly through their website. They insisted that we used a travel egency and that they talked to the travel egency only lies and more lies. The food was nothing special we asked for lobsters at the speciality dinners we were told they did not have it. Poor poor service! We had purchased 5 tours with them. The last tour in Miami they left us out because we took a bit longer to go through immigration. They did not offered any explanation just that the bus had left and that we had no chance to get in another tour. Awful experience!! Read Less
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