70 Norwegian Sun Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

I’m a 34 year old male who traveled solo on the Norwegian Sun for the full-ship charter called the Groove Cruise. The charter was from October 28 to November 2, 2016. This was my 36th cruise and 23rd time with Norwegian. I had been on ... Read More
I’m a 34 year old male who traveled solo on the Norwegian Sun for the full-ship charter called the Groove Cruise. The charter was from October 28 to November 2, 2016. This was my 36th cruise and 23rd time with Norwegian. I had been on the Norwegian Sun previously in 2008. I’ve tried out other cruise lines including Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival. What follows is a review of the cruise and some mentions of entertainment as they were experienced. Embarkation: San Diego The embarkation was better compared to this past Miami Groove Cruise on Norwegian Pearl. There was a miscommunication between the port security, port check in vendor and the NCL corporate security team about NCL’s wine and champagne policy at the beginning. SMS who does their port side operations worked with the other two to get this problem straightened out and a table was setup to pay the corkage fee. NCL was trying not to honor their wine and champagne carry-on policy clearly stated on their website. No information saying this wouldn’t be allowed on charters was ever provided to guests. NCL also on this sailing would not honor the soda package which they did offer on the Norwegian Pearl in January because “it was a charter.” Not sure what NCL’s corporate policy changes at the last minute were trying to accomplish but at the beginning of embark it caused some tense moments in the embark terminal. Once the wine and champagne was worked out, the rest of the embarkation was smooth and efficient. Day 1: San Diego Touring the Ship: The Norwegian Sun is an older ship in the Norwegian fleet. She had just been in a shortened technical dry dock earlier this year so her carpeting was refreshed and overall she looked amazing. The Sun staff do a remarkable job keeping her looking fresh. Given that it was a music charter, the crew had to remove chairs from venues to make room for dancing. Dazzles tables and chairs were emptied out and so were the chairs on the main floor in the theater. The remaining chairs in the theater were covered with plastic sheeting to protect them from any spills. The observation lounge was transformed into a chill lounge with a large blow up igloo. It fit nicely into the lounge and made for some great late night relaxing moments. The pool deck was transformed into a dance venue with production equipment featuring LED walls, sound and lighting. The Great Outdoors venue was cleared of tables and chairs mostly to allow for dancing as the sunset sessions and after hours stages were located here. Stateroom: Oceanview 7007: The ocean view cabin was in great shape. Everything functioned as it should. The cabin steward did a great job of keeping it tidy. A bar of soap was provided in the bathroom besides the normal body wash and shampoo dispenser located in the shower. Due to the previous cruise taking longer to disembark, it put getting the pool stage setup behind schedule. Once it was setup music for the day could be found from Dannic, Thomas Newson and Bamboora. By night the ship transformed itself into a wonderland of glow and glitter as the night’s theme was Shine! This theme is always amazingly creative but always makes me feel bad for the crew as glitter is everywhere! Tonight’s main entertainment featured the sounds of Solidisco, Feenixpawl, EDX and Dancetronauts in the main theater. Other venues on the ship going at night included the casino and the silent disco in Las Ramblas. Day 2: SEA DAY Sleep is hard to come by on Groove Cruise. If you’re getting too much sleep then you’re not doing it right. After about 4 hours of sleep it was time to start day 2 of GC and head to the on-going after hours located at the Great Outdoors with sounds from Pirupa, Mendo and Jaime Narvaez. A standard breakfast buffet was served in the buffet. The main pool stage started up around 11AM with the sounds of Kristina Sky. The day would continue under the sun with the sounds of Kryder and Tom Starr back to back along with Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano. The fun really started when the sunset with live beats from Goldfish who played saxophone right on the pool deck with the beats. This set was amazing! EDX and Antonio Giacca wrapped up the pool deck stage. At 3PM, a giant Twister game was in the sports court. It had a lot of attendees and was a ton of fun. Since it overlooked the pool stage in the basketball court, you were not out of ear shot or visual site of all the action going on poolside. Day time theme was Baby Blue & Pink Party (wear blue or pink). Once the sun had set it was time for the theater to get going along with Dazzles Disco and the Silent Disco in Las Ramblas. Tonight’s entertainment featured the sounds of Bamboora, Thomas Newson, Dannic, Paris and Simo, Monoky, Lujan, Doc Brown & many more supporting artists. The theater was the hopping venue for the night until it closed about 5AM. Tonight’s night theme was dress up like your favorite Celebrity. Many unofficial themes would be had this night. I dressed up as a Minion because they’re a celebrity too! Day 3: CABO SAN LUCAS – DAY 1 After grabbing about four hours of sleep, I rejoined the last couple of hours at the Great Outdoors where the Abyss by Incorrect had moved to. During the early morning hours until Noon featured the music of Anthony Attalla and Cocodrills. Since our arrival was scheduled for Noon into Cabo, there was a few hours of music provided poolside by DMorse and Doc Brown. Doc Brown continued to play pool side until 3PM – well beyond our arrival into Cabo. The party then moved off the ship to ME Cabo. This beach resort hotel had an expansive pool space. Extra equipment was brought in to make it a party for Groove Cruise and it went from 1PM until Midnight with the sounds of Scotty Boy, Croatia Squad, Jonas Blue, Robin Schulz, Denney, Sian and DUBFIRE who was the lead for the night party. The all day theme was Groove Cruise 3000 but it turned more into a pool party day and night. After midnight the party moved to Breathless Cabo which was closer to the tender pier. The night kicked off with the sounds of Lavelle Dupree and continued with Shaun Frank, Dean Mason and featured artist Lost Kings. Between the two venues, I liked the layout of Breathless Cabo more. Less guests went to the Breathless party as there was also an after hours going on the ship. Abyss by Incorrect this night featured the sounds of Toolroom artists Weiss, Mark Knight, Prok and Fitch and closed out with Sydney Blu. DAY 4: CABO The party moved back to the ship around 4AM but I returned about 2AM. When I woke up, Prok and Fitch was still playing at the Great Outdoors. The pool deck stage got going around 11AM and stayed active until the ship weighed anchor and headed back for San Diego. The biggest entertainer of the afternoon was Fedde LeGrand. Since it was Halloween Day, it was Halloween costumes both day and night for the themes. Tonight was the best night of the cruise in my opinion. Trance all night in the Stardust Theater from Adam Scott, Kristina Sky, Orjan Nilsen, Gareth Emery and Super 8 & Tab. It was an amazing night in the theater with friends both old and new on Groove Cruise. Gareth Emery’s set was everything in the world that night. Loved every last minute of it. Orjan Nilsen through down a mean set as well. Kristina Sky is an up and coming artist from the West Coast and her sets are just amazing. It’s my third time experiencing her style on Groove Cruise. DAY 5: SEA DAY Technically the day began a midnight when I was still in the theater until about 4AM. The day began with the Devils and Angels daytime theme only Mother Nature was not cooperating as it was cold, windy and not so sunny. After hours was again on the back deck at the Great Outdoors as it was the most sheltered from the wind. The wind would mess up the main pool stage as well and cause removal of the LED walls. The wind didn’t stop us! Klingande’s playground was on the chilly pool deck all afternoon and while the theme may have been devils and angels, people resorted to onesies to keep warm but still dance. Afternoon beats included sets from Solidisco, Moon Boots, Klingande, SNBRN, Shaun Frank and Stanton Warriors. After a lovely dinner in the mid-ship Four Seasons main dining room, it was time to grab some serious sleep! Sleep is hard to come by on Groove Cruise and you must get some sleep before disembark day. I slept until 2:30AM and got up to catch the last of Audien’s set in the theater before heading upstairs to the Great Outdoors for the closing classics party with Chocolate Puma, DJ Dan and lastly DSK CHK as we were tying up the ropes to the pier in San Diego. DAY 6: DISEMBARK Foreign guests were required to go to the Observation Lounge between 6A and 8A to present themselves to customs. Some guests were not paying attention and this caused delays for everyone else trying to get off the boat. Since the music had stopped, some guests had gone back to their cabin and fell asleep. Disembarkation took much longer than anticipated running well after 11AM. When I did finally get off the ship and clear customs, the lines had abated. NCL did the best they could with disembark given how sleep deprived the guests were. SUMMARY Overall this review was more about the Groove Cruise experience instead of an actual review of the Norwegian Sun. Groove Cruise has many ways to save including the usage of codes like GCVIRGIN which help both new and returning guests. The crew on the Sun were happy to see us and had a blast right alongside us. Service was amazing the whole trip from the dining room to bar staff to guest services. While the food served in the Four Seasons main dining room was a bit salty sometimes, the new fleet menu had various tasty selections. Crew members who were not generally working because the cruise ship did not need production cast, other entertainers and youth counselors were out and about and being helpful for a few hours a day. You would see them with us having a great time too! Minus the Norwegian Cruise Line corporate office trying to change the wine and champagne policy for charters and changing the policy about the soda package on charters, Groove Cruise Cabo was a great success! In case you did not know the Groove Cruise sails twice a year, West Coast in October and Miami in January! Looking forward to the next Groove Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Best Cruise of 10 we have taken, until time to disembark. Then total disorganization Like they have never done it before. Kept telling non English speaking passenger to report somewhere so that ship could be cleared for customs. kept ... Read More
Best Cruise of 10 we have taken, until time to disembark. Then total disorganization Like they have never done it before. Kept telling non English speaking passenger to report somewhere so that ship could be cleared for customs. kept everyone on board for 1.5 hours while they kept announcing in English for them to report. This system is bound to fail and they need to have a prearranged system to let these passengers know what to do, such as printed instruction in their language. Need to take a lesson from the other cruise line on how to disembark passengers. I have never had this problem before on other cruise lines. Also took long time in lines to board in San Diego. Here again they need to see how other line do it much better. Other than slow boarding we though this was the most enjoyable cruise we have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The ship was clean and well maintained with nice public space. The pool was lively with food and choice of bars for sun lovers and foodies. The MDR was attractive and we enjoyed only 1 lunch there as we had the dinning package. The service ... Read More
The ship was clean and well maintained with nice public space. The pool was lively with food and choice of bars for sun lovers and foodies. The MDR was attractive and we enjoyed only 1 lunch there as we had the dinning package. The service was good and our food was hot. The buffet had many choices for breakfast and with opening seating aft really enjoyable. I found that the small station by the aft seating to be the best for cooked to order eggs as most passengers do not go back there. The reason I would go there is they serve breakfast late and I like to get out and change things. We were suite passengers and had cabin 9076. It is aft and has two rooms and a large balcony. We feel if you are paying for a suite these penthouses with 2 rooms offer the best cabins without the wind from the bow. Lavassa coffee machine is wonderful. The bed was great and faced the sliding door for a great view. However, the AC was not working and although they tried to fix it, it never worked correctly. Overall our disappointment is with NCL and not their people. The service charges for suite passengers is the highest and the people we depend are not part of the pool. Go figure this. Beware you will be charges for water, soda, specialty coffee and anything else they can think of. Try another cruise line for better value. Also if you want to adjust you Service Charges you have to apply after you disembark. We are still waiting! The ports were wonderful and do offer the access to the beautiful beaches of Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
2nd cruise on Norwegian, previous one in 2012, found they had developed even more ways to take your $'s than before. If you'd succumbed to some of their newest $ grabs. Raffles, higher gratuities etc. you could easily go over ... Read More
2nd cruise on Norwegian, previous one in 2012, found they had developed even more ways to take your $'s than before. If you'd succumbed to some of their newest $ grabs. Raffles, higher gratuities etc. you could easily go over your budget. Fortunately we had prepaid our shore excursions, gratuities and dining packages. Our biggest issue was that many people had unlimited beverage packages and the bars didn't seem to stop serving them when they should. At times it felt that we were on a party ship. We both had the unlimited beverage cards given to us as part of our cruise package, and enjoyed them in moderation each day. Very glad to have done this cruise and see new places and meet new friends, many of them that we met thanks to Cruise Critic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We love NCL and enjoyed our cruise but I did notice some issues I normally do not see with NCL. I do not know if this is due to the change of the CEO and I know this ship will go to dry dock in the spring. I felt the service was off and ... Read More
We love NCL and enjoyed our cruise but I did notice some issues I normally do not see with NCL. I do not know if this is due to the change of the CEO and I know this ship will go to dry dock in the spring. I felt the service was off and seemed like they needed more staff for the bars and by the pool. Little confusion with getting off the ship that I have never experienced before. Also felt the entertainment was not as good as it normally was. We have purchased a deposit for a future cruise and will have to wait and see what happens in the future. We are Platinum with NCL so we have cruised many times with them and always have been extremely happy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We knew, going in, that Norwegian’s FOOD was rated as sub par in the Cruise industry. However, we got to experience it first hand. Luke Warm Coffee & entrees & room temperature salads. How can ya mess up traditional “Hot ... Read More
We knew, going in, that Norwegian’s FOOD was rated as sub par in the Cruise industry. However, we got to experience it first hand. Luke Warm Coffee & entrees & room temperature salads. How can ya mess up traditional “Hot & Sour Soup” , a “STANDARD” in the Chinese Food Tradition, the Norwegian Chef sure did. Stale Baguettes thru the 3rd day. Flat Soda in most every Bar. And when mixed in a spendy drink, that’s a Sin! Does NCL realize that there are still folks who like to dress up for dinner? Why then would not NCL try to seat those who make the "Effort" to present themselves well attired, in one general section, to PRESERVE the AMBIANCE that they made a EXTRA Effort to get dressed up for at their dining table(s)? The Collared Shirt Requirement was not enforced in BOTH Dining Rooms. Then, there was the Cruise director’s Staff who apparently took his “lead” relative to not knowing how to wear a Jacket properly. Fashionably Tacky! Finally, the DANCE music was terrible. YES, there are people who still appreciate dancing on Cruises. And the measure of a DJ’s or Band’s ability is reflected in how many are on the floor for their musical renditions. The DJ did not know what a danceable BIG BAND music selection was each nite?! (Hiring a DJ who is not a "Dancer" is a Sin!) The Show Band played, apparently for their own satisfaction, in the Observation Lounge and their Jazz assortment was generally undancable judging from the handful of people who attempted then sat back down . People not only appreciate a band’s Sound but their VISUAL APPEARANCE is reflective of a Cruise Line's Extra Attention to this matter which adds so much to any Show Room or Dance Lounge. Hanger 70’s music was okay but their Stage Presence really needs some "Industrial Strength" work. No VISUAL Energy and they appeared comatose as if practicing in their Garage. The Apparent Lead Singer had not a clue of Stage presence, or voice projection in Particular. NET: Adios NCL,.....Your "Free Style" Concept and lack if attention to "detail" is perfecto for the "Great Un~Washed". We will get back to your Sister Cruise Lines that provide a few Owwwwww's & Awwwww's in providing unexpected WOW's. ADIOS! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first time cruising with NCL having sailed only with Princess on prior cruises. We went with no expectations and tried "not" to compare the Sun to the three Princess ships we had sailed but did find ourselves ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with NCL having sailed only with Princess on prior cruises. We went with no expectations and tried "not" to compare the Sun to the three Princess ships we had sailed but did find ourselves comparing a few times. Overall though we were very happy with the experience on board. A much more laid back crowd but then I guess that is what Freestyle cruising is all about. The ship, although a little smaller than the Grand, Golden and Ruby is still a large ship with plenty to keep you busy while at sea. Pool areas were often full during sea days with the good weather but generally were able to find a couple of seats within a short amount of time. Thought the entertainment was good with variety, They changed it up once or twice during the 11 days and brought new entertainers aboard. Food in the dining rooms was excellent IMO, and lunch and dinner in the Garden Cafe was generally quite good as well. The exact same breakfast options everyday get's to be a little boring, but, Princess was no different. We also had the free Ultimate Beverage Package which unlike Princess does not include bottled water, sparkling water or specialty coffees but considering they were throwing it in free with the room I'm not about to complain. We booked a guaranteed inside cabin but they dropped the price dramatically after booking so we called and were upgraded to a picture window ocean view ob deck 9 which was very nice. Enjoyed all ports of call. Acapulco, Manazanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Really not much to see in Manzanillo and all the newest development and resorts are to the North of the Port, although the old downtown is right in Port. All the staff for the most part were friendly. Jonas, Keiran. Elizabeth, Lucas at the bars were our favorite. Dining staff was good. And my wife really loved Encep our room steward who had a different Towel Animal each night we returned to our room. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our experience aboard NCL and I would sail with them again, especially if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We just returned from another cruise to Mexico on the Norwegian Sun. Overall the experience was good considering we have been on this ship 3 times and to all the ports except Manzanillo. (We originally signed up for this cruise in part ... Read More
We just returned from another cruise to Mexico on the Norwegian Sun. Overall the experience was good considering we have been on this ship 3 times and to all the ports except Manzanillo. (We originally signed up for this cruise in part because it listed Ixpata as one of the stops by it turned out to be Manzanillo). The personal service was good and a highlight of the trip. Our few minor complaints would include not having complimentary airline boarding pass printing at the end of the cruise, excessive smoke in the casino that permeated the entire atrium, and not being able to make a dinner reservation in the main dining rooms every night in order to be seated with the waitstaff of our choice. The room with a balcony perfectly located in the aft area was good with a comfortable bed and great service from the room steward. Because the price of this cruise was excellent, the weather was great, the Port of San Diego very functional and the ship staff outstanding I would recommend the Norwegian Sun as a good choice for a future cruise. (PS: we stayed at the Wyndham Bayside Hotel just across the street from the cruise terminal and the quality of the hotel and walking access to the cruise terminal as well as other tourist sites in San Diego enhanced the quality of our vacation.) Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As a world traveler with over 30 cruises and almost 100 countries we consider this our very worst cruise and cruise line ever! The food in the buffet was absolutely inedible. The Seven Seas Dining was only slightly better with lunches at ... Read More
As a world traveler with over 30 cruises and almost 100 countries we consider this our very worst cruise and cruise line ever! The food in the buffet was absolutely inedible. The Seven Seas Dining was only slightly better with lunches at least somewhat palatable. The Specialty dining faired between poor and good with Le Bistro and La Cucina being better than the others. There were a few venues for dancing but the music there was not danceable. Many of the crew seemed to be poorly trained and could not answer even the simplist queries...that is if they could understand you as many spoke very poor English. We booked this cruise even after reading many negative reviews because we liked the intinerary and very good price. However, this is most certainly our last cruise with NCL and we will return to Celebrity and Holland America which are so far superior! One positive thing is that the Norwegian Sun is a beautiful ship and is in very good shape for being over 15 years. But the powers that be need to rethink their business model and get their act together. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The food was not as good as it used to be. We went to an afternoon tea and it was self service and paper cups. A little tacky. They added a $7.95 charge for room service per time. The entertainment was weak. There was a comedian a ... Read More
The food was not as good as it used to be. We went to an afternoon tea and it was self service and paper cups. A little tacky. They added a $7.95 charge for room service per time. The entertainment was weak. There was a comedian a couple of nights and a hypnotist a couple of nights. Reminder, this was an 11 night cruise. The dancers were fantastic. Thankfully there was a good group of cruise critic travelers and we had a good time getting to know our fellow passengers. There were a number of trips scheduled with our cruise critic group and that was nice, too. The activities scheduled by the Cruise critic passengers were some of the best parts of the cruise. The cabin stewards have so many cabins to clean that they are not able to do a good job in each cabin each day. It looked like he cleaned bathroom counters but went so quick my hair was stuck to different areas that he wiped including the mirrors and counter. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We just got back from our cruise on the Norwegian Sun to the 11-day Mexican Riviera and I wanted to write a review, not so much of every detail of this cruise, but more as a comparison on how this Norwegian cruise compares with similar ... Read More
We just got back from our cruise on the Norwegian Sun to the 11-day Mexican Riviera and I wanted to write a review, not so much of every detail of this cruise, but more as a comparison on how this Norwegian cruise compares with similar Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruises we have taken. This is a popular Cruise Critic question, so I thought I would add my comments. First some background. This was our first Norwegian cruise but we are pretty experienced cruisers, having completed maybe 6 or 7 cruises on Royal and another 6 or 7 on Carnival over maybe about 15 years time. Both Royal and Carnival have evolved greatly over this period, so for clarity we are only comparing this cruise to the last Royal and Carnival cruises we have taken. These cruises were definitely much fancier and better in the past, but that is another story. For here I’m comparing recent (within 2 years) cruises. So this was the longest cruise we have ever taken, and I would say 11 days might be my max length, but on to the review. We started off in San Diego at about 11:30 and had to wait almost two hours to board the boat. The lines were long and slow. I can’t blame Norwegian for this because they don’t own the port, but it is by far the longest we ever waited in line. Going through security was easy and no problem bringing on board 24 cans of soda in our carry-on. Carnival and Royal are on much tighter alcohol watch than Norwegian, which was nice. They actually trust you. THE SHIP When we got on the ship, as far as I can tell everyone’s room was ready. With many Carnival and Royal cruises that wasn’t the case and we often had to wait until 3pm to get in our room. Luggage arrived at 4pm or 5pm which is typical. Our balcony room was a bit bigger than I remember on a similar size ship from Carnival. The Sun had lots of storage, but the bathroom was tiny, and the shower, round with a curtain was tiny to. I’m not sure how some bigger guests even fit in the thing. This was probably my biggest criticism of the room. Otherwise lots of space. The mini fridge is filled with stuff you can purchase, but we emptied it out and put in our soda. Again lots of room to store it. The Sun itself is a mid-size ship, 2000 passengers, and I think about 14 years old. Overall I liked it once you get used to the crazy layout. It never felt over-packed. Although Norwegian has much larger and newer ships, this one compares with many Carnival ships we have been on, and the price of the cruise was similar as well. The Royal ships we went one tended to be bigger and newer, and the price much higher as well. I won’t compare apples to oranges, but this ship was very similar to Carnival ships like the Glory, basically at the lowest step of the price spectrum. One VERY different aspect of Norwegian compared to Royal and Carnival was that I the 11 days of our cruise, we were NEVER approached once to buy a drink. On Carnival and Royal this can be unrelenting from the second you step aboard. Many passengers likely took the drink package they were offering, but we never saw anyone drinking in excess. Because this cruise was in Oct./Nov. it had a minimum of people under 30, and only a few kids. Although a smaller ship, we never felt much motion except for one rough day at sea. Even then, it wasn’t bad at all. ENTERTAINMENT There were 3 or 4 “Broadway” type products that were maybe 45 minutes long each, so one every 3 or 4 days. This is similar to recent Carnival and Royal we have experienced. The days of longer events every night are gone. Other than that they had the usual Bingo and trivia contests, and craft activities. One nice event was a 4 day Spanish class, which I have never seen before on a cruise. Norwegian gives you an activity card you get signed at each activity you attend, and at the end of the cruise they give you prizes based on how many activities you completed. Nice touch. We got a deck of cards for completing 13. There were only four cruise staff conducting everything, and they seemed very overworked, but they were always very friendly to passengers. We were a fan of Hector, who ran everything from Spanish classes and bingo to trivia contests. One day he showed us his schedule, and he was running some event every 30 minutes from morning to late at night. He was VERY overworked. Other than that, I say it was pretty standard stuff. Art auctions, wrinkle cream seminars, gold by the inch, and $10 watches and bracelets. FOOD / DINING Now on to the important things, food. Let’s start at lunch. There were the usual buffets and overall, I’d say they were about equal to Carnival and Royal. Maybe quality slightly above, and variety slightly below. There was pizza and pasta bars and an ice cream shop, but no deli, or Chinese or Mongollian BBQ like on Carnival and Royal. There was two soup choices and the usual salad bar. On the plus side no long lines like Royal and Carnival. Instead you just pop in and out of line and get what you want, which I think is easier anyway. Breakfast is typical cruise breakfast fare, with the addition of smoked salmon and herring everyday. Royal used to have this years ago, but now long gone. I haven’t seen either on Royal or Carnival in many years. Diner is where I think Norwegian excels with lots of choices. First there is the buffet which has DIFFERENT choices than what the dining rooms are serving. On Carnival, the buffet usually serves the same stuff as in the dining rooms. The next option is the Sports Bar which serves food (free) from 5:30pm to 5:30am. You can get chicken wings, salads, fish and chips, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and even Won Ton or Tomato soup. The chicken wings were a bit dry, but all the rest was pretty good. There there are the dining rooms, two large single level dining rooms. Both looked about the same size, but one was for long pants and collared shirts, and the other, anything goes. Norwegian does not have formal nights or casual nights, nor do they have set dining times. Feel like dressing up, you can, wear shorts, you can. The food in each dining room was almost all the same with very slight differences between the two. They both seemed about equally busy and we never waited for a table for two. In my opinion, this is the best way to go. In the dinning room they had 5 or 6 appetizers and 5 or 6 entrees that were the same everyday, then they added 3 or 4 appetizers and 3 or 4 entries new each day. Overall this felt like a bit less variety than Carnival and Royal offer. On the plus side, all entrees were free, no extra cost items like steaks Carnival likes to charge you extra for. There were also other differences on Norwegian compared to Carnival and Royal. I felt the Norwegian quality was a bit better, and the size of Norwegian appetizers and entrees were definitely bigger. Carnival and Royal definitely had smaller servings. On Royal or Carnival, I would order 2 or 3 appetizers and 2 entrees. You really had to. On Norwegian, 2 appetizers and one entrée is all I could eat. For example, I would almost always get the spring roll on all cruises. On Royal and Carnival this was a small spring roll with some lettuce garnish. On Norwegian, it was a large egg roll with lettuce covered with a very fancy cantaloupe garnish. I also always got the salmon, and Norwegian’s was bigger and better. I never get desert, but wife did and these seemed bigger also. I’d say service and speed were about equal on Norwegian, Carnival and Royal, but Norwegian does not have someone pushing drinks or shots, and the servers don’t do any dance numbers, which slows the service. Now a BIG Norwegian negative, the $7.95 room service charge. I rarely use room service, but this seems so petty to me that I may never go on Norwegian again for this one reason. Carnival and Royal do NOT charge for room service. On Norwegian room service is free ONLY at breakfast and only if you order pastry and juice only. Get eggs or bacon and its $7.95. I heard complaints about this fee everywhere to no end. If Norwegian is smart, they will drop it as soon as possible. That about sums it up. A great cruise, good food, but that $7.95 charge leaves a very bad taste in my mouth, and again, I very seldom even use room service. Food choices were a bit limited, but food quality was a bit better than average in my opinion. I heard several complaints from other cruisers while on board, but this was definitely an older crankier crowd, but I don't think these were always fair. This was an 11-day cruise with a balcony room under $900, so please don't compare it to much more expensive cruises. It needs to be apples to apples. One last thing. On this cruise we had a Cruise Critic Meet and Greet, so got to meet many other Cruise Critic people. We had 50+ people, and Norwegian provided cookies and iced tea. Had the same on Carnival and they provided alcoholic drinks for our Cruise Critic event, so Carnival wins there. :-) Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our main complaint was the food. The menu has been the same on the last three cruises except for the lack of lobster in the main dining rooms. We were on a specialty dining plan and only tried the lobster once and found it to be ... Read More
Our main complaint was the food. The menu has been the same on the last three cruises except for the lack of lobster in the main dining rooms. We were on a specialty dining plan and only tried the lobster once and found it to be tasteless and dry as if it had been cooked and recooked. Very disappointed! The Cagneys' restaurant which we always felt was the best had a big problem serving hot or cooked vegetables. We prefer our vegetables cooked but even after requesting them as such, they were served cold to the extent of biting into refrigerator cold. Also we had to send our soup back twice in order to get it hot. Again the menu did not have any variations from past years. The next biggest complaint was the fact that the Seven Seas and Four Seasons were not open on port days and honestly the buffet was not appealing at all. Mostly stews or goulash and foreign dishes we do not care for. I do applaud your hamburgers - they were good and good meat quality - but boring after awhile. Also I would like to see a thinner bun for the burgers as the others were just too much bread. Your chopped sirloin with onions was delicious. A few simple chicken breasts would have been appreciated instead of chicken salad or processed chicken. Again vegetables were never hot! The service was excellent, both in the special dining rooms as well as in the buffet area. I do agree with others that the ice cream should be self serve and more than one station! I also want to comment that neither of us found your entertainment to be worthy of its name. The singers were not as good or the productions not as good as several others we have seen on the Norwegian past cruises. We also found the smell off the back area by the Sports Bar and back deck to be very offensive and remember the same smell from our last cruise in March. I feel this should have been rectified before this cruise. Finally I wish to comment on our shore excursions. The one we took in Mazatlan we went on a topless bus. Unfortunately, my husbands is handicapped in such a way that he had to stay on the lower level, the view wasn't as good, but that wasn't the problem. The host was on the top with the microphone and was not speaking very loud, but also his accent was too pronounced. Unfortunately there were two or three couples that did nothing but visit due to the unability to hear our speaker, but it made it impossible for the rest of us to hear a thing. The second tour the one for the second day in Cabo was better, but I feel the glass factory was too long with the emphasis for people to purchase. We sat 20 mins. longer than schedule waiting for some buyers. I feel we could have had more time at a proper shopping area if that was possible. I have been praising the NCL cruises to everyone that will listen, but I will not again, until I see an improvement over this one. I hope this is not a sign of what is to come due to a recent merger! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
NOTE: Our cruise was a 11 day Mexican Riviera Cruise, not the 28 day Mexican Riviera-South America as showen above (Oct. 24 to Nov. 4). This was our 36th cruise so we know whereof we speak of. The ship was quite lovely and was in good ... Read More
NOTE: Our cruise was a 11 day Mexican Riviera Cruise, not the 28 day Mexican Riviera-South America as showen above (Oct. 24 to Nov. 4). This was our 36th cruise so we know whereof we speak of. The ship was quite lovely and was in good shape for a 15 year old vessel. However, that was all that we can say positively about NCl and this cruise. The staff was friendly but many of them were deficient in English and seemed to be quite untrained...ask 3 crew members the same questioin and received 3 different answers. We were given the Ultimate Dining Package for the entire cruise (11 Days) so never ate in either of the 2 main dining rooms for dinner. Breakfast in the Seven Seas was spotty at best but lunch there was much better. The real food disaster was the buffet no matter if it was breakfast or lunch...almost every item looked pretty good but was uneatable. The Specialty options were better but not what one would expect for $20 to $30 per person. Le Bisto (French) was the best, La Cucina (Italian) was not as good and had a very limited menu and Cagney's (Steak) was quite poor as the steak was not quality...we cancelled the 2nd booking there. Service in both Bistro and Cucina was very good. Dancing venues were very limited and the music at them was quite undanceable. Where the music was very good there was no dance floor. Returning from being ashore being quite hot there were no cold towels available until 2:00pm but we came back at 1:00! NCL does not provide passangers away from home with a morning newpaper (usually a version of the NY Times) so we felt totally isolated from news that we want. No CNN on the TV but they did proviude MSNBC and Fox News but who wants all that political junk when on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
You get what you pay for. All they want to do is sell you crap. Everything is a la carte. A glass of wine is almost ten dollars unless you buy the drink package. The average age of people on board was almost 60. So if you're young and ... Read More
You get what you pay for. All they want to do is sell you crap. Everything is a la carte. A glass of wine is almost ten dollars unless you buy the drink package. The average age of people on board was almost 60. So if you're young and want to go with people your own age dont take this one. If you want to be charged 4 dollars for a soda or water take this cruise. Their casino is extremely one sided. There is nothing less than 6 deck continous shuffle for blackjack and their slot machines have a 15 percent payout. I dont think they have gaming standards because they are in international waters. Half of the ships television stations are their own version of QVC. All they do is try to get you to spend money on there. They have art galleries and duty free shops. They try and sell gem stones no one has ever heard of like its as valuable as diamonds or gold. They sell shore excursions for twice the going rate and really your just paying to get off the ship before everyone at the port. About 95% of the crew speak little to no english because they work them like slaves and pay them next to nothing. If you break it down they make about 3 dollars a hour if they are lucky. So if you want to get ripped off, pay for water, watch slave labor, buy non valuable things for the price of gold then this trip is for you. They charged an elderly man 5$ for 10 asprin. They werent even vicodin or something good. Oh and dont drink the water bottle thats sitting in your room that looks free but costs 5$. Yes 5$ for a water bottle. It really makes you think what kind of people own this company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
NEGATIVES (1) Embarkation: Almost a three hour wait in line with a 1000+ other passengers crammed tightly together waiting to register was the worst possible scenario for beginning a vacation. (2) Disembarkation: The only elevators ... Read More
NEGATIVES (1) Embarkation: Almost a three hour wait in line with a 1000+ other passengers crammed tightly together waiting to register was the worst possible scenario for beginning a vacation. (2) Disembarkation: The only elevators going to the 3rd deck for disembarkation were locked off from all but decks 3 and 5. Eventually I and others took different elevators to deck 5 and walked down stairs to deck 3 carrying all luggage. Instead of leaving the ship with fond memories fresh in our mind, we left with a sour taste because of their rampant disorganization. POSITIVES (if the embarkation and disembarkation had not been so disorganized, my overall rating would have definitely been a 4.5 out of 5 stars) (1) Staff: Service-staff members were superbly accommodating and friendly throughout the ship; the best I have ever experienced. (2) Ship: The ship was spotless and well maintained. (3) State Rooms: Our cabin was comfortable, clean, and well-maintained. Our cabin steward was the best ever. The beds were excellent. I had some of my best nights of sleep in many years. Don"t forget State Room 10307 when booking a cruise on the Sun. (4) Food: The main dining rooms served a varied selection of well prepared appetizers and entrees that should have satisfied every passenger's taste. The buffets had an excellent selection of dishes with varied theme nights. We looked forward to the excellent soups, different with each meal. The bakery provided scrumptious breads and rolls as well. Some of the food tended to be lukewarm when served upon occasion, especially at breakfast. (5) Entertainment: The entertainment was varied and enjoyable in the lounges and the Stardust Theater. We attended the Stardust every evening and were not disappointed with a single performer. The Norwegian Sun's band, singers and dancers were awesome. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Starting with the departure from San Diego, it was a two hour long wait in a hot line before we were checked in and started walking towards the ship. I found the ship to be old and unexciting. Our cabin was on deck ten we were awaken every ... Read More
Starting with the departure from San Diego, it was a two hour long wait in a hot line before we were checked in and started walking towards the ship. I found the ship to be old and unexciting. Our cabin was on deck ten we were awaken every morning by the noise of deck chairs being dragged across the pool deck. Also from the noise of balcony chairs being moved across the metal balconies. I found the food on this ship to be the worst on any other cruise ship we have been on. I did not like the selection of food in either the buffet or in the main dining rooms. The service on the ship was maybe average. We were always having to ask for waters or coffee to be refilled. The service onboard this ship did not warrant having to pay $13.50 X 2 a day in gratuities. Don't see us sailing on Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The NCL Sun is scheduled for a refurbishment in May 2016. Some parts are showing their heavy usage. The floor in the Sports Bar (a great place to bring the buffet food and eat in relative peace) is worn, scarred and haggard for example. ... Read More
The NCL Sun is scheduled for a refurbishment in May 2016. Some parts are showing their heavy usage. The floor in the Sports Bar (a great place to bring the buffet food and eat in relative peace) is worn, scarred and haggard for example. But, in general, the ship is attractive and functional. Our inside cabin was great, having a sitting area and plenty of closet and drawer space for two travelers. The shower, however, with its curtain, and tiny circular arrangement was disappointing. On newer NCL ships (like the Jewel), the shower is larger with a glass door. We were on the 10th deck, Aft, and approximately under the Moderno restaurant and an entrance to the pool. I attempted to get to a lower deck (for noise concerns) quite a bit after I made the initial reservation (and seeing the location because I was on an earlier cruise on this ship). But deck 10 cabin 0122 was almost always quiet with only a couple episodes of loud noises coming from above which was, I believe, crew work. I wouldn't hesitate to have the same cabin again. Our cabin steward, Rodel, was awesome. He seemingly was invisible most of the time but the cabin was always made up properly and promptly. He has talent as an inventive towel artist. When we did see him, he was personable and upbeat. The shipboard entertainment, from the evening shows in the Stardust Theater to the lounge entertainment were all very good to excellent. It was the first cruise for this particular set of singers and dancers in the production cast but they were pretty polished and talented. I enjoyed three lounge acts in particular--Justin Lacey, Into the Drift, and Riley Haupt. The Windjammer bar is a fairly intimate and definitely comfortable place to listen to music. It would be improved if NCL's constant hawking of on-board photos wasn't almost always in view behind the performers. When the photos are removed, there is a great view from the ship but the photos generally cover that. We dined at most of the specialty restaurants except for the sushi restaurant. All were good to excellent. My top picks would be Teppanyaki (also open for lunch on sea days) and Cagney's steak house. NCL threw in the dining package this trip but the prices seem reasonable without the package too. La Cucina (Italian), Le Bistro (French) and Moderno (Churrascaria) were all good also. When the lamb chops came around at Moderno, it was a high point for me there but that was probably eclipsed by the excellent salad bar with lots of high end items. Service in all the restaurants was very good to excellent with no real lapses. The Garden Cafe buffet which I regularly inhabited for breakfast and lunch could be slammed at times. There is plenty of seating if one counts the outside spaces at the stern, the pool area, and my "secret" space-the Sports Bar. But lines could get clogged at times which is probably the nature of shipboard buffets. I have seen more selections (particularly at lunch) on other cruises although there were plenty of nice options at breakfast such as omelet and waffle stations. I did not use the services of a bartender/ bar server during the trip so I can't speak to that. I didn't engage in many of the daytime activities beyond entertainment other than a morning workout in the gym. The gym is well equipped but some of the equipment, notably some of the cycles, were out of order for the whole cruise. Perhaps the upcoming dry dock with include some work in there. We took a city tour of Acapulco (not provided by the ship) and the Cuyutlan Turtle Experience from Manzanillo (a ship tour). The turtle tour included a drive out into the country, and a lunch at a local restaurant. The guide was excellent. But all that was paled by the experience at the center that is attempting to ensure that sea turtles survive. We were able to release baby Green Ridley turtles (born that day) into the Pacific Ocean. I will not soon forget the sight of those little turtles making their way instinctively into the surf. I hope "my" turtle makes it. The glitch or two mentioned in the title all deal with embarkation and disembarkation. I lay part of the blame for the delays on the Port of San Diego not the NCL Sun since on an earlier cruise (from Vancouver) on this ship, embarkation and disembarkation went well. Embarkation: But in San Diego, getting on the ship was about an hour process of standing in line. We arrived at noon and the queue almost filled with entire waiting area. Once close to the actual registration lines, we got to "jump" forward because of previous cruise history, my wait time was less than others who reported 2 hours +. But embarkation was a breeze compared to the "pigs breakfast" that was called "Disembarkation". My bad was that I had an 11:50 a.m. flight which I thought was plenty of time with an 8 a.m. docking and scheduled walk-off. But customs clearance was slow apparently because of...well...I don't know. The Sun intercom kept calling out for passengers with non-US passports finally sounding desperate and resorting to different languages in an attempt get certain passengers to comply. Finally our cabin steward asked us to leave our cabin so he could prepare it for the next cruise so we went to a public area and waited. And waited. With others. Signs said disembarkation had not started. A bit after 9 a.m. I decided to peek outside and saw people were, in fact, disembarking. We made our way to the atrium and found huge lines of people who were queued up. With signs on the video monitors saying that disembarking hadn't begin. I won't go into more details but it took 2 hours to walk off the ship. My suggestion is that NCL could have done a MUCH better job communicating what was happening. Disappointing. Summary: Great cruise. Good food. Great excursion. Very nice cabin for inside. Great service. Awful disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Review Norwegian Sun 11 day Mexico Cruise- Debarking San Diego, CA October 24, 2015 We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess. This will be our fifth on Norwegian and 86th cruise ... Read More
Review Norwegian Sun 11 day Mexico Cruise- Debarking San Diego, CA October 24, 2015 We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess. This will be our fifth on Norwegian and 86th cruise overall. Embarkation : San Diego Good weather no rain. Beware if there is rain your bags are left outside and they will be and everything in them soaked. San Diego really needs to improve and fix this problem. Today was sunny so no problems. Surprisingly embarkation and check in went well for us. Can’t complain. Some others said they had a two hour wait to check in. Boarding went well for us as well, only about 50 minutes to check in. Stateroom was ready, so we left our small carryon bag and explored. The normal emergency drill was a pain but we know it has to be done. Once everyone was at their muster station they said thank you for coming and we were dismissed. By far the shortest drill we had experienced. Staterooms were clean and did not hear any complaints. Although the normal of having your room cleaned when you left by putting the “Make Up Room”, tag on the door never worked. The room stewards worked on their own schedule. We could leave the room at 8am and it might be ready around 3:30pm. If we left at 10 am it would be ready the same time. Most people we talked to said the pre paid tips left no room for improvement. Wireless internet- No free internet , but they had 4 plans to select from. Plan 1 – 250 minutes for $125.00 Plan 2 – 100 minutes $75.00 Plan 3/ unlimited $29.95 per day but must be purchased for the entire 11 day cruise. Plan 4 /Pay as you go- .95 cents per minute And don’t forget the activation fee which applied to all plans which was a one time $3.95 fee to establish. Room Service- They stated there was no charge for continental breakfast between 6:30am to 10:00am. Very basic and although it was free there was a $7.95 convenience charge. Second choice was Free coffee, tea, milk, and assorted juices between 6:30am and 10:00am. There was no additional charge for this service. All other room service included the cost, plus convenience fee and 18% gratuity. Photo Gallery- Normal photos at every part of the cruise. Embarkation photos and special occasion photos were $24.95 each. All others 8x10 were $14.95. They did offer a special of 10 photos for $149.95. Gift Shops- To be honest there was nothing reasonable for jewelry, liquor or gifts. We saw a watch that was $10. In Las Vegas for $20. In the gift shop. Barcardi Rum 1 litre $11.00 We can buy it in the store at home for $8.37. Grand Mariner 1 litre for $44.95. We can buy it for $36.50 at home. Shore Excursions-The normal, We believe they are all overpriced on the ship. For instance all you can eat shrimp fest on $104. Per person. Get off the ship at any port and you will be served a full meal of 12 large shrimp rice, beans tortillas for $6.00 to $9.00 depending on the place you visited. I could never eat enough shrimp to justify the cost. You can make your own decision if it is worth while or not. The majority purchased the excursions off the ship from certified guides. Dinner- It has been almost a year since we last cruised, but things have changed in our opinion. Maybe it is just this cruise line. They still have the complimentary dining in the two dining rooms but you will be lucky to find a decent steak. They offered one steak which was a New York Strip. No other steak options the entire cruise. Most of the meals served were stew like dishes. We believe their goal was to steer you to the specialty restaurants. They offered six options which ranged from and additional $19.95 to $29.95 per person And don’t forget the 18 % gratuity. This makes dining at the $19.95 for two a total of $47.08. The $29.95 for two would be $70.68. We did try the Le Bistro and the service and food was fantastic. It reminded me of how cruising was prior to this cruise. Most of the people we talked to loved the food and service at the specialty restaurants. The big complaint people were upset about was the additional gratuity. They had to pay the mandatory gratuity which was to cover waiters in the main dining rooms which they did not use. If they did not go to the normal free dining rooms where the gratuity had already been paid, they thought they were being double charged. One last thing, for those who remember the Captains dinner with lobster or even one midnight buffet…. Forget about it does not exist on Norwegian Cruises any longer. Service from the staff in all restaurants on board were very good. One negative to watch for. If you prepay for any specialty restaurant watch your bill!!! Again watch your bill. Several people like us were billed again for the specialty restaurant. Bar Service- First hint of a problem when we went to get a drink on the pool deck was there were no waiters. Went to the bar and ordered a drink and it was a very cold experience. Bar tender said nothing except cards made the drink and gave us the receipt. We later went to the Windjammer bar and experienced the same problem. Later went to the Sports Bar and again the same problem but worst. He actually told people to go sit down and someone would be out to get the order. All guests we talked to experienced the same problem. This went on until we learned which bartenders and staff would treat you like a guest and which bartenders would not. We simply avoided them. We saw one guy at the bar looked at the bartender and he walked into the back room. He waited there for 4-5 minutes. When the bartender did return the guy just said,” I thought you left the ship”. We heard comments like, “a little personality would be nice”, I just ordered tequila if you don’t have any were are at the dock in Mexico”, some said they would not come into the Sports Bar until after 5pm due to the poor service. If you do go on this cruise a, and go into the Sports Bar after 5pm you will receive great service form the Bartenders and wait staff. They are a great team. Names to look for Lukas, Ahoy, Susanto and Baby John. We feel we did find out what the problem was. On Norwegian they offer and Ultimate Beverage Package, which you buy upfront for the entire cruise. And off course Norwegian adds the 18% gratuity and beverage service charge of $213.80 on the package cost and states they distribute it to the crew. Several people asked the crew members if they felt they were not getting the proper amount of gratuity. Their response was that they do not get a gratuity the receive a Wage only. If this if true in the Bar area we feel this is why the bartenders and staff are rude and giving poor service. In all fairness we did find a couple of bartenders and wait staff that did give excellent service. World Series- Since we were on the cruise during the entire World Series a lot of us thought we would go to the Sports Bar and take in the game. This was a big NO!!!!……. Norwegian said they decided it was to costly and they had the right to change the games. This happened to a few of the Football games as well. Now on the other hand if you like soccer you are in heaven. They will play the soccer games 24-7. The problem is they are almost all recorded and they replay the same games 12-15 times per trip. Norwegian states they can save money this way. Oh and don’t be misled by the Sports Bar having 9 TV’s, thinking you will get 9 different games. They will only show the same game on all TVs. Bottom line, the consensus is the pre paid tipping is destroying the cruise industry as there is no incentive for the crew to go above and beyond in service. They receive no more and no less and still receive their tips so the cruise line would like you to believe. Or are they using the tips to pay low wages to increase the cruise lines profit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The cruise on the NCL Sun was fantastic. The smaller ship allow more relaxation and the ability to enjoy all the ship has to offer. The food in the buffet and main dining room was excellent. We also enjoyed the Le Bistro so much we ... Read More
The cruise on the NCL Sun was fantastic. The smaller ship allow more relaxation and the ability to enjoy all the ship has to offer. The food in the buffet and main dining room was excellent. We also enjoyed the Le Bistro so much we returned two times. We had never had an AFT cabin but found the best cabin of all times. The bathroom was larger than our home bath and even had a "FULL" size tub. There are only 6 of these aft cabins so you have to be sure to reserve on near the center not on the sides. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The not so good was the food. It was not bad but what you have at home is better. Not what we were expecting. There was plenty of food but a lot of it was very basic and the desserts was sub-par. The staff was great in all departments, ... Read More
The not so good was the food. It was not bad but what you have at home is better. Not what we were expecting. There was plenty of food but a lot of it was very basic and the desserts was sub-par. The staff was great in all departments, very friendly and nice. The ship is in need of updating but it is scheduled in April 2016. The ship was very clean and the décor was nice not flamboyant. Entertainment was good. Average age of this cruise was 61 but they were a very lively group. I would have to say I would prefer to cruise with this age over any other even though we are quite a bit younger. Very nice cruisers on the ship, we enjoyed this very much and will cruise again with NCL and hope to get better food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Lets start w San Diego port. Small but nice. Luggage drop off was easy. Quick checkin but Agent forgot to give up boarding number, was suppose to be first on, but was not. Ship food has not changed in 8 yrs. Same menu in main ... Read More
Lets start w San Diego port. Small but nice. Luggage drop off was easy. Quick checkin but Agent forgot to give up boarding number, was suppose to be first on, but was not. Ship food has not changed in 8 yrs. Same menu in main dinner areas. No Lobster Night or Chocolate Night (dessert only). No SEAFOOD, unless you go to specialty rest. People pay Norwegian Prices because they expect more not less. Buffet also had the same food EVERY Day, except for one meat selection. There are also other vegetables besides, green beans, brussels sprouts and potatoes. How about serving desserts warm and not frozen. Ice Cream machines should be self serve and more there should be more than one machine. Entertainment was ok this trip. Disembarkation. A few suggestions. Any handicapped or wheel chair people go First or last but not with everyone else. The Night before,tell foreigners to meet at a designated location, not the day of. How about start at the top of the ship (we pay more) and go floor by floor. As for early flight issues, there should be none, if you have cruised before you should know that is takes time to get off the ship. Don't book your flight before NOON. Also, because it was such a long cruise, offer clothing special about around day 4-5 and get it back within 24 hrs. Don't wait until the end of the cruise. We love Norwegian Cruise line. It is the cleanest and safest ships out there. We will be back, but hopefully some changes will be made. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The ship is OK about 15 years old but holding up well. A lot of stress on hand sanitation which is good. Staff is very attentive unable to solve specific problems. My wife is on a low salt diet and there is really no one to help you. ... Read More
The ship is OK about 15 years old but holding up well. A lot of stress on hand sanitation which is good. Staff is very attentive unable to solve specific problems. My wife is on a low salt diet and there is really no one to help you. They can apparently only help you in the dinning rooms not at the buffet which is the efficient way to eat breakfast and lunch, service is slow in the dinning rooms, usually took almost 2 hours for dinner. For low salt they give you a menu and you have to order for the next day. There was a disconnect between placing a order and them understanding and delivering it, often came out wrong. Most of the food, buffet and dinning rooms, was very salty and jsut OK. The regular dining room menus were limited and repeated often. The other problem is that we were 2 decks under the basketball court, (deck 10, mid ship) and you could hear the ball bouncing. The court was to be open 8-8 and was tolerable then but at 11:30; PM 1:30 dn 6:30 AM was annoying to say the least. First I cant believe that this is the first problem they have had with this in 15 years. When I complained the staff was astonished that fellow passengers did not read the fine print on the daily schedule and adhere to it. There are no signs with hours on the court. Almost nightly I had to complain and eventually they sent security after a few calls and a trp down to the desk. I was told that a sign was "on order but delayed" . Somehow they were unable to get it toether to just remove the balls each night or gate the court. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our room was wonderful, suite 9202 right under the bridge, so we had a great view. Our butler (Dominic) was fantastic bringing us coffee and hot water every morning promptly at 7am. Couldn't use the coffee maker in our suite because ... Read More
Our room was wonderful, suite 9202 right under the bridge, so we had a great view. Our butler (Dominic) was fantastic bringing us coffee and hot water every morning promptly at 7am. Couldn't use the coffee maker in our suite because it made enough noise to wake up the dead...geez! The one thing that we really could have used was a microwave as the coffee gets cold quickly. Our concierge (Elvina) was very attentive to our needs also. A real nice lady and seemed to find us and check on us while dining. Ah yes, I guess I should list the complaints that we had as well. 1) Unlimited beverages should include water and coffee bar. I can get a straight shot of whiskey for free, but I have to pay for coffee? Who came up with that? 2) The food in Moderno Churrascaria was mediocre at best except for the lamb which was excellent. The service was terrible!!! Even a table behind us told them to go to our table and serve us! The maitre d' called and apologized the next day and sent us a bottle of wine (house red) but we couldn't get it exchanged for the wine that we preferred. Why not? We have a Brazilian place here and you have to beat them off with a stick to keep them from coming to your table! The filet was so overcooked that it was inedible. 3) Excursions are WAY overpriced for what you receive. But we are experienced with cruising, so we wait until the ship docks and then book someone on the dock! 4) Hold on...this should be #1...getting through the line in San Diego was the WORST we have EVER experienced!!! In Seattle, we were taken to a specific area and given coffee and cookies! 5) We tried the buffet a couple times and felt it was lacking in taste and overall variety. And good luck finding a place to sit at busy times...just before docking at a port. It's a shame that you have to have a suite in order to have a good breakfast! The menu offerings in the two dining rooms should change once in awhile...same-o-same-o. The entertainment and the people who ran the shows were fabulous...Tim the comedian was terrific. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second cruise. Our first was to Alaska on the Pearl. The Pearl seemed to be a little more lively; with more poolside entertainment. The nightly entertainment in the Stardust theater was great. Many people commented on how good ... Read More
This was our second cruise. Our first was to Alaska on the Pearl. The Pearl seemed to be a little more lively; with more poolside entertainment. The nightly entertainment in the Stardust theater was great. Many people commented on how good it was compared to other cruise lines. The food in the buffet was mediocre, but we enjoyed the two main dining rooms. We had a wonderful sushi lunch at their Asian restaurant, but I wasn't real impressed with Les Bistro. It felt rather stuffy but I didn't feel the food was as good as the two main dining rooms. We had a nice balcony state room, which I really enjoyed. Our steward, Bismark, was always pleasant and more then willing to accommodate any personal request we had. About four rooms down there had been an issue with a toilet overflowing, which caused a nauseating smell in our hallway throughout most of our trip. I realize that the staff did the best they could considering we were at sea, but I think they have some serious plumbing problems. The Manzanillo excursion through NCL amounted to four hours on a bus, which I would not recommend. We booked an amazing snorkeling excursion in Cabo. There was a real party atmosphere aboard; with music, drinks that never stopped, and lunch. I don't like cold water, so I was apprehensive about this excursion, but it was like swimming in your bath tub with tropical fish all around. In fact, one fish ate a piece of tortilla right out of my husband's hand. Before I forget, you must try the martini and margarita tasting. They are $15. per person, but well worth it. This really is a great way to meet and mingle with fellow cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I had been planning this trip for months and after such a positive experience on the Pride of America we could wait to be on another Norwegian cruise. The ship is very old and small. We couldn't get over how small ... Read More
My husband and I had been planning this trip for months and after such a positive experience on the Pride of America we could wait to be on another Norwegian cruise. The ship is very old and small. We couldn't get over how small the buffet area was. it was especially bad on the first day when everyone was trying to eat lunch at the same time. Once we set sail only the main buffet was open for lunch and the outside buffet would open at 3:00 PM. When the main buffet was closing and resetting for lunch. We couldn't understand why both buffets weren't opened with staggered closing times to be reset for dinner since the space was so small. The ship did offer pizza and pasta, but it was not in the same location as the buffet and was very difficult to find. They did offer a barbecue on the pool deck that helped with the lunch traffic on sea days. The ship is very chopped up and difficult to navigate through. All in all the ship is in major need of an overhaul in dry dock! I have never seen a cruise ship that had so few poolside activities. There were a lot of activities on the ship, but the ones I wanted to try were are during the day when I wanted to be at the pool in the sun. I would have liked more entertainment options in the evening starting around 6:00 PM, the dancing never starts on cruise ships until 9:45 or 10:00 PM. That's just to late for those of us that get up early. My favorite was Deal or No Deal game. I actually won $50.00 playing that game. The only good service I received on this ship was from my room steward and in the Casino. All of the other service I received was way below standard especially in the dinning rooms. Getting seating in the dining room was a chore. We were always the first or second couple to get to the dining room. After our table was assigned the server walking us to our table didn't know where the table was located. They were actually carrying maps of the dining room around, but still couldn't find our table. The service was very poor and slow in the main dining rooms you were left at your table for long periods of time before your order was taken and many times we had to request for items such as drinks, coffee, butter, cream and artificial sweetener multiple times. There was never enough staff at the pool bar for service and rarely were there employees walking around the pool deck asking if you needed anything from the bar. Acapulco - we did the city bus tour, shopping, and fort. This was a good tour and very informative. The shopping places they took us to were very expensive, Don't spend your money here, you can do better price wise in other ports. Manzanillo - we did the all inclusive beach getaway. This was a great excursion once we got there. The bus didn't have working air condition. Is is very hot in Mexico this time of year and we couldn't go on a bus without air conditioning. We were late getting away for our excursion and the bus still didn't have great working air conditioning. We were told to be back on the bus at 4:55 PM only to lean that the tour operator changed his mind and told half of the people on this excursion to be back at 4:30 and had an attitude with the ones that returned at the original time of 4:55 PM. No one ever told my husband and I that the return time had changed. There is not a true beach at this resort it is more like a cove. The pools, drinks and food are very good and it was worth the money. The time change of our trip messed up our entire evening and kept us from seeing the only show I really wanted to see. We did speak with the shore excursions manager and expressed out displeasure with the trip and the attitude of the tour operator. I did request a refund since my entire evening was messed up and I had spent almost $800.00 on shore excursions. He refused my refund and gave me a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries instead. Much to our surprise, when we requested a printout of our ship account it had been credited with the cost of the excursion. Puerto Vallarta - We didn't do a planned excursion at this port and I'm really glad we didn't. This a a great port to walk around and shop. There is a market just outside of the port and you can get some great deals there. If you can't find what you are looking for you can take a cab downtown for $10.00 to the mega shopping center. Also, there is a great restaurant right where the market is that has great drinks, chips, salsa and cheese dip with high speed WiFi connection, so you can catch up with your family back home. Mazatlin - We did another beach break with a buffet lunch and two drinks included. The beach was beautiful! However, it was crawling with locals selling stuff all over it. Once you bought something they wouldn't leave you alone. After a couple of hours of this we got tired of it and when to one of the three pools for the remainder of the day. They take you by cab to the resort, so you are not locked into staying for the entire day. You can go back to the ship anytime you want. The tour operator was very nice and worked hard to make everyone happy. She was always smiling and very happy to help with anything you needed. Cabo San Lucas - My favorite port by far! It is just beautiful! Norwegian tried there best to ruin it with the awful tender experience, but we didn't let that bother us. Getting off the ship in the mornings was fine because we had planned excursions and were taken as a group to the tenders. It was getting back off the ship and on after dinner that proved to be challenging. We were in port overnight. The first day we tour the boat tour out to the Arch and went to the glass blowing plant. The Arch is beautiful and the glass blowing plant is amazing. The shop at the glass blowing plant is a great place to by inexpensive gifts. I couldn't get over the great prices there. If you have a lot of shopping to do skip the demonstration and go straight to the shop. You only get 30 minutes to shop and I could have stayed for hours. When we finished out tour we shopped around the amazing marina, after spending some disappointing time a Senior Frogs, where they said they had WiFi, but it wouldn't work. The marina is huge and you can spend an entire day just shopping and looking around. After a long day in the heat we decided to go back to the ship, freshen up, eat dinner and return to the marina to find a go WiFi connection. A lot of the stores close early in the Marina, and we didn't know that. We found a place to get some drinks and WiFi. We wanted to be sure to be back on the ship prior to 10:00 PM, because after 10:00 they only have one tender per hour running. I don't understand the thought process on this when you are docked in port from 8:00 Am until 2:00 PM the following afternoon. We were back at the port ready to catch the tender at 8:30 PM. We had to wait forever for the tender to arrive and once it did we were told that we couldn't get on the tender because it was rocking too much. Everyone trying to get back on the ship was not happy and expressing their displeasure with the process. They finally let us on the tender that was rocking too much and we arrived back on the ship at 10:00 PM. That is a very long time to wait for a tender. We later learned that they only had two tenders running. This is unacceptable to me in the service area as we only have limited time at ports and on the ship before we have to return home to the real world. The second day we went horse back riding on the beach in beautiful Cabo. You get some great views of the water and your picture taken on you on your horse with the beach in the background. This is a great excursion to do on your second day in port. You get back to port in time to shop a little more before you get back on the ship for the last time. Our inside cabin room was plenty for us as we are not in the room much at all. The shower is very small and makes it difficult to shave your legs, but other than that there was plenty of room for two during our 11 day cruise. The bed on the other hand were awful! They were so hard and lumpy that my husband and I had to take Advil PM in order to be able to sleep. 11 days is a long time to sleep on a lumpy, hard bed! Our needs were met by our room steward everyday. We always received prompt service when requested and we had fresh ice in our ice bucket each time we returned to our room. He kept it very clean and was the only employee that we felt deserved additional tip money from us. I've had better food on other cruise lines and a menu that changed every night. They had a standard menu that never changed and the other side of the menu did change each night. I had two good pasta dishes, but other than that my taste buds were left lacking. The best meal of the day was breakfast at the buffet and I didn't get my baked Alaska that I so look forward to each time I cruise. Do yourself a favor and purchase the specialty dining package when you book this cruise. We ate at the steak house one night and the service is what we have grown to expect from the main dining room on the cruise ship and the food was excellent! I feel like I must mention as stated earlier in this review how poor the service was in both of the main dining rooms. Also, there was supposed to be a dress code in the Seven Seas dining room. However, it was not being enforced. Why do cruise lines force us to shove all of those nice clothes in a suitcase along with our casual clothes while trying to keep our luggage under 50 pounds since we have to fly to the port only to find it was totally unnecessary to begin with? Either make the entire ship cruise casual or enforce the dress code. This is very frustrating for us rule followers! The entertainment was decent. We missed the O What A Night Performance, because of the problem with our shore excursion. Most of the entertainment seemed geared for an older crowd and I have to admit that I felt like one of the youngest adults on the ship at the age of 44. The disembarkation process needs serious help! That process was the biggest mess I have ever seen. If you are going to do easy walk off at anytime and handle your own luggage you have to go down to deck 3, deck 5 is too steep for luggage. All of the no US Citizens have to go through immigration. They are told to be in the observation lounge at 6:00 AM. Yes, you guessed it people didn't follow the rules. The ship docked an hour early and we were scheduled be able to walk off the ship at 8:30 AM. They were still looking for all of the non US Citizens at 8:30. They tried many times during the 1 1/2 hours we waited from the time we docked to locate these people, but had a very hard time. We could have exited the ship early had it not been for these people. Once again the rule followers were punished for the actions of a few rule breaking people. We were able to get off the ship a little after 8:30 AM, getting a cab and over to the airport was very easy. This was our fourth cruise and we have never experienced such and unorganized lengthy disembarkation process. I'm not sure if the cruise line, port terminal, or immigration is to blame for this one. All in all we enjoined each port and I would love to return and spend more time in these lovely places. However, if I could find the same itinerary using a different cruise line I would definitely take them instead of Norwegian in hopes that the cruise line would provide a more updated ship, better customer service, better meals and more accommodating entertainment times and a comfortable bed to sleep in. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Norwegian Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 3.5 4.1
Value For Money 3.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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