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243 Norwegian (NCL) South America Cruise Reviews

I thought the cruise ship itself was a disappointment from start to finish. I went on this holiday with my mum and dad who were also appalled with the ship. Boarding the ship we were never told about the previous sickness that they had ... Read More
I thought the cruise ship itself was a disappointment from start to finish. I went on this holiday with my mum and dad who were also appalled with the ship. Boarding the ship we were never told about the previous sickness that they had had on board so as you can imagine it was horrific, floors 6 and 7 stank of sick and the food was horrible - I and my parents hardly ate. If we had been told previously about this sickness and diarrhoea on board then we would have cancelled and rebooked however we were never given that opportunity even thought they’d had it a week before we were due to set sail. Instead they informed us after we had set sail. We even signed the standard declaration that we were fit and healthy when we embarked - pity they didn’t do the same! NCL put our health at risk as both me and my father have to take oral medications. During the cruise whilst sitting outside trying to relax we were met with very loud noises of drills and banging about, not exactly what you expect when on holiday given the money we paid for it. We were not again informed about any maintenance work taking place before booking the trip. These were refurbishments which should have been carried out in dry dock, not when people are trying to enjoy their holiday. We were also appalled with the organisation of the ships dining rooms. Most evenings we had to wait for a table and were given a pager there was normally a wait of between 20 to 30 minutes. Obviously everything had to be sanitised due to the Norovirus on board so this may have added to the wait. In the dining room we were seated amongst buckets of disinfectant and treated to the view of staff walking past in hazard gear like something from Ghostbusters! A lot of the staff were disinterested - there seemed a lack of leadership. The Captain was conspicuous by his absence. We were served different dishes to what we had ordered and we became utterly tired of complaining - they wore us down. On the last two nights they ran out of red wine even though the ship had sailed through some of the world’s greatest wine producing countries. When we got home my parents complained formally to NCL and they immediately offered us £500.00 per person off another one of their cruises. To be honest, I don’t trust the company and would never want to cruise with them again. We have been on many cruises but this was our first with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Re NORWEGIAN SUN depart San Antonio (Santiago) 17 Feb 2018 heading to Miami. (Departure port was changed from Valparaiso to San Antonio shortly before the cruise) On arrival in our Cabin we were told that: • There was an ... Read More
Re NORWEGIAN SUN depart San Antonio (Santiago) 17 Feb 2018 heading to Miami. (Departure port was changed from Valparaiso to San Antonio shortly before the cruise) On arrival in our Cabin we were told that: • There was an outbreak of Acute Gastro Enteritis (AGE) / Norovirus on board • There was Maintenance planned during the cruise. We had not received any advice by email, text or phone before boarding despite the AGE having occurred 10 days earlier and the maintenance planned for some time. The ship was effectively in ‘lock down’ to try and eliminate further cases of AGE. There was mandatory hand disinfectant at the entry to all restaurants, the theatre, lifts, staircases, etc. There was no self service in any restaurant. The cramped Garden Café was intolerably busy with all the food stations shrouded in plastic and the drink stations closed. The crew served everything required by passengers – creating long queues and crowded areas. In the Main Dining Rooms the paper menus were destroyed after each use and the menu covers disinfected before use by the next passenger! The food was dull and uninteresting - I suspect certain products were avoided to reduce the infection risk. In the Cabins there were no magazines, no ice and no glasses. The cabins were fumigated on at least two occasions during the cruise and smelt terrible. All deck sports were initially cancelled and then slowly introduced under strict supervision and disinfection of gold club handles and shuffleboard pushers between players. The Library and Card room was closed throughout the cruise due the risk of an infected person having touched a book. Apparently Norovirus cells can live for and incredible 14 days. Conversely the Casino (which makes money for NCL) was fully operational throughout the cruise with no hand disinfection at the entrances and no washing down the handles of the slot machines between players. Seemed very contradictory. Smoking was permitted in this Casino and it smelt terrible – the stale smoke wafting throughout deck 7 at times. How does NCL think they will be protected from claims by the Casino Staff that they have developed lung cancer from passive inhaling the smoke? There were no announcements during the cruise about the number of passengers or crew infected. The captain was ‘invisible’ throughout the cruise appearing only on the last day at a Q&A session. At this Q&A it was announced that 81 passengers (out of around 1950) had been infected. There was no mention of the number of crew infected – I suspect it was a much higher figure. There was a severe shortage of crew apparent especially in the waiting and bar staff – 20 minute waits to be served at a bar and over 30 minutes in the MDR on several occasions. The Maintenance was required to prepare the ship before scheduled dry docking in Vancouver in a month or so time. Around a quarter of the upper deck (Deck 12/13) was out of use at a time on a rolling programme. There were no announcements in ‘Freestyle’ regarding these areas. Parts of the Promenade Deck 6 were also closed. It became impossible to walk around the ship without meeting a blockage. There was no co-ordination between this maintenance and the sports activities announced in Freestyle – the latter were often cancelled because the deck was inaccessible. We will remember this experience as the 'washy-washy' cruise - the light hearted phrase used by all the restaurant door crew when trying to overcome a serious outbreak of Norovirus. We were not told what was being squirted on our hands 10 times a day, nor what chemicals were used for fumigating the cabins - there were many passengers who appeared to develop a dry asthmatic cough after the fumigations. The final blow was a disastrously slow disembarkation at Miami. After arriving 3 hours earlier than scheduled, disembarkation started a couple of hours later than scheduled and took 2 hours to get off the ship - unacceptable. Thank goodness we visited some great ports and locations and this made up a little for the poor on-board experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
NEVER AGAIN ON NCL!!! Wanted to do Panama Canal so decided to do this one. The cruise before had 80 illnesses and no one contacted us to inform us of the issue. We were not able to board ship until late afternoon and once on board could ... Read More
NEVER AGAIN ON NCL!!! Wanted to do Panama Canal so decided to do this one. The cruise before had 80 illnesses and no one contacted us to inform us of the issue. We were not able to board ship until late afternoon and once on board could not get to cabin. Had to wait to be served any food or water the whole time on ship. We could not use the library until the last 3 days of 16 day cruise, could not use hot tubs until last 5 days of cruise. All of the Pool chairs were covered in towels (mostly with no one using them) by 8:30 AM and when complained was told to just move the towels but felt as though the Pool people should have done it. The ports were filthy dirty and stunk something awful - with the exception of Columbia, which was very nice. The shows were mediocre at best. The cabin steward was nice. The ship is too small for 2000 guests and was dated. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
1st This is too small an area to list the problems we encounterd on the ship. The biggest being the noise levels due to ship refitting being done while we were cruising. DB levels were off the charts very annoying in lounge areas (when ... Read More
1st This is too small an area to list the problems we encounterd on the ship. The biggest being the noise levels due to ship refitting being done while we were cruising. DB levels were off the charts very annoying in lounge areas (when raining and no other place to hang out) and pool side. Tea was store bought tea Lipton (sorry Lipton Fans) - why not then also use store bought coffee. Extremely poor service from wait staff - yet they get 20% for being bad at what they do. French restaurant had rolls that were so dry (all the way through) that they shattered into dust as you tried to open them. Watched another person do the same thing with their roll. Ashes were often coming down over our food and drinks while sitting aft. Have pictures of them in my drinks and on the floor. Yes, I did post them on Social media so others could see. Only places to take unobstructed pictures were often blocked off - due to Ship Refurbishment. One of the worst cruise experiences I have been on. Was very disappointed, expected a much higher class of service and products. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Cruised around South America with NCL. The ship was old and numerous things in the room did not work or were broken. Food was very basic quality and there was no variety. Same menu every day. NCL seem to have a simple policy for ... Read More
Cruised around South America with NCL. The ship was old and numerous things in the room did not work or were broken. Food was very basic quality and there was no variety. Same menu every day. NCL seem to have a simple policy for dealing with any customer queries. 1. If the answer could be Yes or No then the answer is ALWAYS "No" 2. If a third party is involved then the third party is ALWAYS at fault. 3. If 1 or 2 fail to deal with the query then they just ignore you! They have no flexibility in their thinking so make totally ilogical decisions. As an example we did not like the choice of desserts in their steak restaurant so asked if we could order from the French restaurant 50 feet away. "No" was the answer but we could order from the main restaurant four floors below. So a waiter sent down stairs to get us a menu then went back down to get what we wanted.You simply could not make this up!!! Everything about NCL is about taking the maximum money from every cruiser. Gratuities on food and drink add 20% to the base price. If you have the all inclusive drinks package it is $89 per person but only allows you drinks up to $15.00, You have to pay anything over this price plus the 20%, The package does not include speciality coffees. The cost for two people on a 15 days cruise is a massive $2670! Shore exursions are very pricey and can easily add over $2000 more on a 15 days cruise. That been said many of the ship's team were exceptionally nice and very helpful. However we were told they live in fear of making a mistake that gets reported as their contract can be terminated straight away. This was our first and our last cruise with NCL. There are much better cruise companies out there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first Norwegian cruise. We chose Norwegian Sun because we wanted to go to a place we hadn't before, which was South America. We also wanted a cruise ship that was sailing for both Christmas and NYE. We thought the ... Read More
This was our first Norwegian cruise. We chose Norwegian Sun because we wanted to go to a place we hadn't before, which was South America. We also wanted a cruise ship that was sailing for both Christmas and NYE. We thought the itinerary sounded great because it included 3 countries (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) and some cities we were looking forward to such as Rio. This was our 5th cruise, we have previously cruised on Carnival Splendour, Allure of the Seas, MSC Splendida and Quantum of the Seas. We knew compared to the other ships this one was the smallest so we didn't have super high hopes but even then we were incredibly disappointed with the whole experience. It is important to note that whilst Norwegian might be an American cruise line, this particular cruise most definitely is aimed at the Spanish population. If you only speak English, like my family, you will most definitely be in the small minority of cruise members and you will notice that everything, including entertainment etc is catered towards the Spanish guests and that was perhaps by biggest issue with this cruise. The only big redeeming quality of this cruise, that we hadn't ever had on any of our other cruises was the free included Ultimate Beverage Package which basically included unlimited free alcoholic drinks including cocktails, beers, wines, spirits etc. Normally the package is ~ USD$70 per person per day and we were cruising for 14 days and we got the drinks package free as part of our ticket. And that was the best part because frankly if you want to enjoy this cruise at all you need to be half buzzed on cocktails through out the day, as I was. Ship: The ship decor is old, tired, dark and tacky and many of the main lounges are badly designed, uncomfortable and depressing. The public areas for buffet etc are also badly designed and cramped. Compared to all our ships, this by far had the worst wow value and was underwhelming with nothing exciting or interesting about it. The one room on the cruise ship I liked was the Observation Lounge on deck 12 forward. It's a huge room, with comfy chairs and full views of the ocean. You would think a place like that would be the main place to be because it was big, had a central area for a band and dance floor and a bar. But the place was always empty and the bar didn't open till 4.00pm and the ship never held any of it's activities there. Instead they were always held in the Dazzles lounge which is a dark, ugly, cramped place. Cabin: We had 2 inside cabins on Deck 8 (8319 and 8320). Whilst the cabin was about as spacious as any other cruise ship we've been on, the decor again was old, ugly and tacky and it was clear it needed refurbishing. This cabin aslo had the worst cleanliness compared to all our other cruise cabins. The bathroom always had this horrible, sewage, public toilet kind of smell. And when we first moved in to our cabin, there were crumbled chips on the floor by the wardrobe and it hadn't even been cleaned well. Items were also not replaced as they were used, such as soap or sanitary bag disposers. And for the first 5-6 days the air conditioning in our room wasn't working properly and we would wake up every night sweating because it was so hot. We finally had to break down and ask the maintenance person to come and fix it. The TV was small and old and the remote barely worked. Also there weren't many channel options and the things that would have been fun to watch on TV were only in spanish which was annoying as my family is from New Zealand and we only speak English. Probably one of the most annoying aspects was the speaker in our room and right outside our cabin that was super loud and annoying and woke us up every day when the cruise director made his annoying unnecessary announcements starting from 7.30am... So even if you wanted to sleep in, forget about it. We did appreciate the little towel animals on our bed every night Dining: The dining overall was not bad. The breakfast buffet was limited and exactly the same every day and wasn't that exciting. I used to wait till 11.30am to go to have food, so that I could skip the breakfast food altogether and have the lunch spread. The dinner in the main dining rooms was actually quite good on most nights, with nothing truly disappointing standing out. My family and I do prefer the traditional cruise ship dining where you have a set table and fixed waiter. However on this ship, you chose your own time and venue for dinner. Both restaurants offer the same food, but one of them (Four Seasons) allows informal wear (eg shorts etc). Service in the dining room was variable depending on what table we were sitting each night and who our waiter was. Some were lovely and others were rude and unhelpful. Entertainment and Activities: Seeing as me and my brother are young (early 20s), we like to stay busy and get involved with things around the ship. But this ship had no activities or basically things to do at all during the day. The only thing they held was trivia and bingo in the depressing Dazzles lounge... and those 2 activities are frankly boring. The other ships we've been on had a lot more to offer such as mini golf, ice-skating, roller blading, zip-line, rock- climbing, movies in the theatre, game shows etc etc etc. None of that was here and I spent a lot of my free time in the Observation Lounge reading my book or watching something on my laptop The night time entertainment was atrocious. After the spectacular entertainment we've been exposed to on the Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the ones on the Norwegian Sun were so bad sometimes, that we just walked out and left. Even our MSC cruise ship had better entertainment, they always had one new performer/entertainer from each new port, such as dancers, shadow artists, acrobats etc. Whilst the production cast of the Norwegian Sun are very talented, the quality of their performance is so inconsistent and the actual concepts of the shows are so ridiculous and un-entertaining. There was also not an even spread of entertainment with most nights being a musical performance by some unknown entertainers that weren't good. The cruise had way to many tribute performances and entertainers such as Elton John impersonators, Beatles tribute band, Elvis presley etc. And they were the only performances that night and they were so bad that it was cringe worthy. We literally walked off and left from the Elvis Presley and Elton John shows. It would have been better if they had a better mix of entertainment including comedians, dance, acrobat and other performances that are unique to the area we're visiting (South America). And because this is basically a spanish cruise, everything is said in spanish first and ten repeated in English and it really ends up getting on your nerves, because it takes the fun out the experience My favourite shows were the Tango Show, Alberto Sanchez and the Pure Variety show. Service: The service was disappointing. Ports and shore Excursions: We didn't do any of the shore excursions the ship offered for the simple reason that they were ridiculously over-priced, upto quadruple of what you would pay if you didn't do it through the ship. We booked our shore excursions privately on viator.com. The only ones we booked before hand was for Rio de Janeiro. We did Corcovado + Christ the Redeemer, the Plataforma Samba Show and Sugar Loaf mountain. They're the exact same ones offered through the ship but we paid about 1/3 the price. For the other ports, you don't have to book it before hand, you can literally get off the ship and at the port they have companies offering a variety of the same activities but for very little money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
If you are looking to go on a cruise where service is great, staff are happy...do NOT take Norwegian Sun!! Leadership on this ship and Guest Service manager, do NOT have a clue of what service is all about. She is rude, defensive and ... Read More
If you are looking to go on a cruise where service is great, staff are happy...do NOT take Norwegian Sun!! Leadership on this ship and Guest Service manager, do NOT have a clue of what service is all about. She is rude, defensive and insulting to guests. Luggage delivering was delayed for 13 hours, no apology, no compensation, no compassion! They have this "don't care attitude" Luggage was damaged and after many stressful encounters, they replaced my Samsonite suitcase with an inferior quality suitcase. This suitcase fell apart after one use! Staff on the entire ship - you do not see any staff smiling. it is obvious that they are not happy with their job! Getting on and off the ship at ports of call - security staff who scans your ship card did not provide any eye contact, smile or hello!! What we expected to be a fun, relaxing cruise...it turned out to be stressful and horrible! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
On our NCL cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun, November 2 -- December 2, 2016, the staff was out of control.  Room cleaning was completely substandard.  Staff made little response to requests from the passengers.  Staff retaliated against ... Read More
On our NCL cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun, November 2 -- December 2, 2016, the staff was out of control.  Room cleaning was completely substandard.  Staff made little response to requests from the passengers.  Staff retaliated against "complainers."  In one instance, NCL staff left fresh excrement on the shower curtain of a couple who reported multiple times that they could not turn off the heat in their cabin. Our trip was ruined from the start.  Passengers are telling each other their bad experiences on board and there were numerous complaints. 1) Our stateroom 8312 temperature was too cold - not inhabitable for us.  We could not shut off the freezing cold current of air.  In addition to being so cold, there was mildew everywhere on the bathroom floor and the vent in the room was extremely dirty. 2) We were lied to for about ten days about a possible solution to the cold air. 3) Finally after my husband went to emergency room for uncontrollable shivering and feverish temperature, we were given a "heater" to counter the cold air.  Because of the pipeline from the heater has to be connected to the bathroom exhaust, our room smelled like sewer.  Even people down the hall could smell it and our steward didn't want to come in to our room to do the routing cleaning. 4) The cruise doctor would not admit that my husband's problem was caused by cold temperature in the room even he could not find what was wrong by tests.  5) The bathroom drain was not working well and water was slashing around the bathroom floor for days, before a technician showed up.  The problem was not fixed properly, but the condition got better. 6) Then the sink no longer draining.  Took two different engineers and three days to fix the very clogged, smelly drain. 7) Our room floor carpet became wet from water condensation from the heater, which has no pipeline installed to lead the water away. 8) The cruise finally offered to change our rooms, but said that we could only stay there for four nights and no guarantee the room would have heat.  There would not be room for a heater.  By then, we had no confidence in their words. 9) The cruise staff was so disorganized and miss communicated.  We were told one thing at one time and another the next.  On the morning of arriving Valparaiso, Chile, we were harassed by a front desk officer by ordering us to leave our room or he would send security to throw us out right after we were told to stay in there by another officer.  10) I served meals to my husband who was sick in bed for the entire trip and we had to cancel excursions and let go $650 ship credit. 11) Our complaints met a blind eye by the captain, who told me that "We don't serve individuals."   He admitted that there was no heat in some cabins and most of time there was no heat on the ship at all.  However, some passengers complained that their rooms were roasting hot and some were too cold.  People got sick and complaints were everywhere.  Compare to other cruises we took, NCL Sun was unbelievably worse in their services, room comfort and their willingness to solve problems. We had no room comfort problems on any other ship we sailed. We wrote to management many times.  We were disappointed. We paid over $6,400 for a trip of life time, but we had a miserable time because of bad service leading to illness.   The NCL Sun cruise started on Nov. 2, 2016 from San Diego and ended on Dec. 3, 2016 at the port of Bueno Aires, Argentina, totaling 31 days.  My husband hardly went on shore and he spent most his time in bed. Norwegian Sun staff told us the reason that they continued to work on this ship, because they had no pressure or less pressure.  That explains why the service was bad.   To us, a good service is the management and staff take proactive approach to problem solving.  Show us they care.  But some key staff and officers on Norwegian Sun had bad attitude including lying to make problem go away.  Read Less
Sail Date November 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
The cruise ship staff and the cruise ship line were completely out of touch with the passengers wanted and expected. It strarted from the monent with got on board. Our previous cruises we have made a point of leaving gratuities the ... Read More
The cruise ship staff and the cruise ship line were completely out of touch with the passengers wanted and expected. It strarted from the monent with got on board. Our previous cruises we have made a point of leaving gratuities the crew members we felt were deserving of something in addition. It doesn't matter to us what the cruise line policy regarding wages is. They should pay their crew and if we feel that a tip is deserved, we leave it. NCL in Florida told us we could opt out of the automatic fee of $13.50 usd per person per day by advising the customer service desk on arrival. They refused and said it was up to NCL head office. Numerous heated discusions later didn't help. They wouldn't do it. The food in the two restaurants was sub-standard and a limited menu. The buffet was somewhat better, but for example, a main course one night was "turkey pannini" One of our stops was to be Stanley in the Falkland islands. Two nights and one day of cruising in rough weather and they wouldn't put us ashore. Passengers complained that we should get a refund of the portion of the port taxes for that stop so they gave $10.00. Smoking is allowed on outside decks only and for two days it snowed. Smoking was allowed in the casino, but once in Chilean waters the casino closed. It took a petition from over 50 passengers to get them to allow us to smoke in the now empty casino. It seemed that the crew sensed that the passengers were unhappy so from there it was a downword spiral. Not a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Having been on many cruises, this was the worst. The ship was in bad condition from one end to the other. Being a latitudes member, one of the so called perks is bed turn down and a chocolate. The ship ran out of chocolates on the ... Read More
Having been on many cruises, this was the worst. The ship was in bad condition from one end to the other. Being a latitudes member, one of the so called perks is bed turn down and a chocolate. The ship ran out of chocolates on the sixth day of a 2 week cruise. Windows were shattered on the pool deck. A sliding glass door was inoperable after three days, was never repaired on the pool deck. Mind you it was cold, so the cold wind blew down the passage way making the stateroom cold. The food was slopp. They ran out of yogurt, cheerios, lemonade. Thanksgiving dinner was dry, dry turkey, no mashed potatoes, no cranberries, no Pumpkin pie or whip cream. Most of the crew were not helpful. There was little to no thought for people with walking disability's. The ramps getting on and of the ship in port were so steep, people with no disability were having difficulty. To me it was downright dangerous. A lot of the excursions were not very good. All of the furniture, carpet, cabinets, beds are plain work out and thread bare. Showers have black mold all over in them. After sailing with NCL a few times now, I would not recommend them to anyone, not even a enemy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
1. To embark we had to wait in line for more than 2 hours even when we arrived at the pre-registered time. We had to wait from 1:30 pm to almost 4 pm to board the ship. 2. Again we had to wait for 1 hour at disembarkation. We were ... Read More
1. To embark we had to wait in line for more than 2 hours even when we arrived at the pre-registered time. We had to wait from 1:30 pm to almost 4 pm to board the ship. 2. Again we had to wait for 1 hour at disembarkation. We were told to disembark at 7:45 am. We waited in line at a very small space with standing room only until 9 pm. 3. Staff at Guest Services had no clue what were going on on board. They could never answer any questions without checking with others. When they did not know the answers, they shrugged their shoulders, 'too bad, can't help you, you are on your own'. 4. The dinner menu was always the same, because NCL tried to force you to go to the pay restaurants where the gratuity was included in the bill, but the passengers were expected to give more tips. 5. Since all tips paid in advance were lower per NCL, the attitudes of some of the service staff were arrogant and careless. 6. For a 17-day cruise, there were 8 days at sea. All activities were planned to make more money out of the passengers. 7. The loud speakers of the general announcement must have inferior qualities, because the passengers could hardly hear what had been announced. 8. There were no big screen movies provided. You can only watch movies in your stateroom via the small screen TV and the same movies were played over and over and over again. Overall, there were a major management issue of the chief hotel manager(s). From embarkation to disembarkation, a state of chaos reined the procedures. There were no consideration for seniors or physical challenged persons. After this experience, I will not even consider a free cruise with Norwegian Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We just got back from a 14 day cruise from Valparaiso. This had to be the worst run cruise I have been on and ever hope to be on. The ship is DUE for refitting and repair. Our closet door and frame were hanging on by 2 screws and just ... Read More
We just got back from a 14 day cruise from Valparaiso. This had to be the worst run cruise I have been on and ever hope to be on. The ship is DUE for refitting and repair. Our closet door and frame were hanging on by 2 screws and just about fell off the first night at sea ,I finally put a chair against it to hold it closed and so it wouldn't rip off! They did fix it the next day.The Norwalk IS still a problem on board,which slowed down the food lines in the buffet and getting a spoon was like trying to find lips on a chicken. I don't know why they didn't give you one with the rest of your dinnerware? The plates were almost to hot to hold ,which in some cases was a god send and others a downfall. I say this because it was the only HOT thing on the buffet,and maybe it warmed the food up. It's downfall was cold food became HOT very quickly. Getting a place to sit and eat was terrible. It was cold and rainy and people would sit in cafeteria to read books and just look outside so there you were with your food and no place to eat. My one friend finally had enough and sat down on the floor and spread out his things....they got him a seat right away! The breakfast's at all the restaurants were warm at best,the food was hmmm OK at best. I talked with lots of folks who looked forward to ports of calls so the could get a hot meal. One person told me they had had enough and made them microwave his food as he left the line. The staff on board, half of them were GREAT the other shouldn't be working with people. One of the guest services people, were so rude. My wife asked him a question about something on there little magazine and he started to read it to her. She said yes she read it and didn't care what it said, just a question about it. His reply was " I don't care if you care" nice guest services !! We also had trouble with the "mystery dinner" They started half an hour early and changed locations. We questioned them about at noon and everything was the same but by 5:30 it had changed and no one knew what was going on. By the time we found out where it was we were late and they told us just to sit down.When we asked the girl who was running it what to do she said she was busy trying to get it going and couldn't help us then. The other girl told us I came to where it was supposed to be every 10 minutes to look for people who were involved. Well ever 10 minutes was enough time to go there see it wasn't there and try to find some info. She also said "well I was standing by the backdoor why didn't you come there?" How should we know? There was no sign and if you came between the 10 minutes no one was there.After finally we had enough we asked to talk to someone who was in charge. After waiting 10 minutes we were told someone from the cruise staff would be with us shortly. 30 minutes or more later we told them we were going to the bar and they could come find us.About 20 minutes later the Asst. cruise director came and talked with us ,said he was sorry about all the trouble bought us a drink and dinner at one of the restaurant's. Which was nice and the least he could do! I had the feeling the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. Thank God there was no serious problems on board because I don't think they could have handled it.Other little things that should have been noted and fixed were the clocks behind the guest services and shore excursion desk. The time was off ,yes I know the hours are different in other cities but was unaware that the minutes were also! some were 00:15 the next was 00:50 the next was 00:35 and so on.I know it would have taken some time to make sure all were the same,but it made me realize that if they couldn't get that right could they get anything right. Also we tried to check on something on NCL's web site and could never get it to work we called them and were told " Oh the website never works!"I also can't figure out why we weren't kept up on what was going on with the Norwalk on board ,we are all adults and should have been kept aware. The entertainment was poor there was a juggler that was great but the rest left me feeling like I was at a bad lounge show. So as I said it was the little things.The room attendants were GREAT !!! They went above and beyond,maybe the rest of the crew could take some lessons from them on manners! This was the first cruise we have taken with NCL and will be the last,we will also recommend to people to stay away. Our Travel agent tried to talk us out of using NCL as she said she had had trouble before with them,should have listened to her. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
The only example of responsiveness to our needs occurred early in the trip. When we booked our trip I discussed cabin selection with a NCL representative due to my physical condition, very bad circulation in my legs, which made walking ... Read More
The only example of responsiveness to our needs occurred early in the trip. When we booked our trip I discussed cabin selection with a NCL representative due to my physical condition, very bad circulation in my legs, which made walking long distances very difficult. We settled on cabin 8333, which was near the elevators and he assured me there would be no noise from the elevator in our cabin as it was far enough away from the elevator. That night when we retired for the night there was an intolerable hum and the walls were vibrating, this continued until 3 AM. A ships representative showed up when we called to complain and said it was really noisy and they would fix it, this never happened as it resumed the next day. One of the few bright spots in this voyage from hell was the Front Desk Manager, Gilda Osorio, who managed, despite our being told the ship was fully booked, to move us to another cabin later that day. This was good news/bad news since this cabin was very far forward and required me to do a lot of extra painful walking. Bernice was quarantined for 48 hours due to the continued presence of a virus infection from the Sun's previous cruise. We were notified of this infection as we were going through the check in process when it was way too late to change our plans. We were given a credit for the quarantine in the amount of $100, which is woefully inadequate cost approximately $10,000 for 21 days, $238/day/passanger. I feel additional compensation is due to us given that I was also inconvenienced by this event. Further, we both took a shore excursion to the Punta Tombo Penguin Rookery at a cost of $149.99 each. When we returned from this excursion I contacted the Tour Desk and informed them that there were problems with this shore excursion, there were ants crawling on my window, the bus filled with smoke and the lunch provided was inedible. The ships representative at the tour desk told me several people had complained and that they would add us to the list and no further action on our part to obtain relief would be necessary. Several of the people we met were told to submit a complaint in writing and they were given a partial refund on the cost of the shore excursion. We received nothing, which I discovered when I received our statement. At this time the Shore Excursion Desk was closed and the person I spoke to at the front desk, unfortunately I didn't write down his name, was very unhelpful, telling me that he had nothing to do with shore excursions and since it was the end of the cruise they would not be available. In my opinion this is a terrible way to treat paying customers! We feel that you owe us at the very least the refund given the other passengers who complained and should refund the entire cost of this shore excursion, $299.98. We also found that, despite assurances that there were 11 restaurants available for our use, when we returned to the ship after a port day virtually all of them were closed forcing us to either eat really bad food from the outdoor restaurants or order room service, which while adequate, was not up to NCL's standards. Indeed, the quality of the dining throughout the trip was sub par. The air conditioning throughout the ship was not working and it was hot everywhere. This no doubt contributed to the spread of whatever virus was present on the ship. There is a reason all hospitals and doctor's offices are kept so cold and it is to stop the spread of virus' and diseases'. The ship did not cool off until the last 2 days of the cruise. We are seasoned travelers, in the last ten years we have been on 3 land tours, approximately 10 cruises, this was our third cruise with NCL, and the worst experience we have had with any cruise line, truly the cruise from Hell! Things were so bad that for the first time ever we found it necessary to cancel the $12/day tipping policy and only gave tips to our cabin stewards, the only crew members who gave satisfactory service and even they did not routinely remove room service trays from the cabin nor did they provide clean glasses each day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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
Sail Date March 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
Sail Date January 2019
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
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
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date February 2018
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