114 Norwegian Sun Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

This was a bucket list trip for us, almost a year in preparation, lots of planning and anticipation. It was also a trip for my 60th birthday, and bittersweet since I was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 1 and when I got back home ... Read More
This was a bucket list trip for us, almost a year in preparation, lots of planning and anticipation. It was also a trip for my 60th birthday, and bittersweet since I was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 1 and when I got back home from my relaxing trip I would begin my treatments. Well, it was anything but relaxing...heavy construction onboard closed half the pool deck, part of deck 6, yes the lifeboat access deck, the Champs bar, las ramblas tapas bar, the sports bar was closed all day until 5:30 because of construction above it. There was horrible noise and grinding and drilling going on all day. The particulate matter from scraping up the decking went in our food and drinks. It was terrible. Customer service could do nothing, the captain walked out of a meeting after a few minutes claiming the home office said the work had to be done and there was nothing he could do. People were getting stuff in their eyes, people with asthma and other breathing issues were getting sick. The crew did their best and were cheerful and smiling. The ports were good, although I think Corinto Nicaragua needs a lot of improvements before ships come there. We are waiting now for a better offer from NCL, they offered us a 25% of our cruise fare towards another cruise taken within a year. This isn't enough! We paid full price and were not informed of the construction until we sailed. We had no access to a lot of the ship amenities on a very long voyage. This was a disgraceful lack of care by NCL and was obviously just a way to take a ship thru the Canal and make the unwitting passengers pay for the repositioning! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
If you have read the other reviews of this cruise through the Panama Canal in March then you will know what all passengers had to suffer whilst NCL started the refurb of the Sun before the passengers got off ! I could not believe that this ... Read More
If you have read the other reviews of this cruise through the Panama Canal in March then you will know what all passengers had to suffer whilst NCL started the refurb of the Sun before the passengers got off ! I could not believe that this type of reconstruction work would be carried on during the cruise. After complaining on board ship I was given the details of the UK NCL Office who I could make my formal complaint to ( the buck was passed by the onboard customer relations staff ). I have now emailed the UK Office twice but have neither had a reply or even an acknowledgement about my complaint. If this is normal NCL customer service it again shows NCL's lack of consideration for their 'valued' customers. I would be interested to know what response other cruisers have had from NCL's UK Office ? Or does this problem only apply for UK customers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My husband and I have been wanting to do a Panama Canal Cruise for years. When a friend told us they were getting a group together to go, we immediately added our name to the list. My husband had recovered from sepsis then diagnosed with ... Read More
My husband and I have been wanting to do a Panama Canal Cruise for years. When a friend told us they were getting a group together to go, we immediately added our name to the list. My husband had recovered from sepsis then diagnosed with cancer in 2016; then learned he needed a heart bypass in October, 2017. This was scheduled immediately so he would be recovered enough by March, 2018 and this would be a nice relaxing cruise. To make the most of this trip, we flew to Miami from Texas and spent a couple of days there then made arrangements to spend the night in Los Angeles after the cruise before flying home after the cruise. We were very excited to go on Norwegian as we had heard good things. The embarkation port was very organized and we seemed to get on ship quickly. Our room was very nice with lots of storage space. However, within a day or 2 things begin to make a downward turn. Areas were blocked off and exits closed. As days progressed construction was everywhere, sanding, chemical fumes, etc. and inconvenience. Our allergies and my husband weaken immune system made this less enjoyable then any of the other cruises we've been on Carnival, Princess, etc. I believe activities were limited due to construction. Mostly all indoors -- trivia and sales pitch seminars, or pay extra for bingo, wine, beer tasting. Not sure if not much for the teenage kids to do as they were usually in the adult games and sometimes bar areas. Other cruises I've been on had games and activities going on around the pool and a separate area for kids. Its hard for me to judge food as I'm a picky eater, but usually I can find 2-3 choices I like on the menu each day. This time I ate the same thing almost everynight. Buffet was very good most of the cruise. Too many specialty restaurants that you have to pay extra for. My husband did buy the package, but some were disappointing. Some of these items should have made there way to the main dining area at least one time. Most port excursions we took were very good. The guides spoke very well and gave a lot of history and information. A couple of the ports were disappointing that seemed to be more commercial ports rather than tourist stops. Most of the cruise staff was very friendly and accomodating. The cruise director staff was exceptional. They were so funny and made the trivia games more enjoyable. in light of the situation of dealing with a lot of unhappy customers, I believe the staff did very well.. Upon returning to Los Angeles, the disembarkation was amazingly well organized. Being with a group of friends and meeting new people was the highlight of our cruise.. But overall, I was very disappointed in Norwegian. Why couldn't they have waited 2 weeks? Someone needs to be fired over this decision to do such massive construction during a 15 day cruise. If they would have offered a discounted price due to limited amenities, people would know what they were getting into. But we paid full price. Now they want us to spend more money with them at a "discount price" where they make more money off of us. Unbelievable. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose Norwegian because we had cruised twice with them and they were 5 stars. This cruise was great for the food, the excursions, the staff, our traveling companions and everyone we met. The ports were great except for Acapulco, the ... Read More
We chose Norwegian because we had cruised twice with them and they were 5 stars. This cruise was great for the food, the excursions, the staff, our traveling companions and everyone we met. The ports were great except for Acapulco, the State Department has classified the port in orange, which means any DOD or US Government employees can not travel to. The armed Mexican soldiers outside the dock made that point clear. we enjoyed the pool that day. Unfortunately, the cruise line decided that our cruise should be a construction cruise without telling us before the cruise sailed. Approximately 25% of the ship was closed at all times. Many people got sick from fumes and dust. Norwegian offered a 25% discount on another cruise to be used in a year. It took us 2 years to save up for this one. I talked to a friend who took the same cruise in 2016 and guess what, Norwegian did the same thing. Obviously, the passenger's welfare is not an issue as long as they have their money. We will be exploring other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Just spent a small fortune on a long ago planned trip of a lifetime through the Panama Canal. The ship was undergoing major work during the trip with many areas closed for the entire duration with some rolling closures. The deck areas ... Read More
Just spent a small fortune on a long ago planned trip of a lifetime through the Panama Canal. The ship was undergoing major work during the trip with many areas closed for the entire duration with some rolling closures. The deck areas and casual dining that were open were overcrowded as a result. Often ended up in my room eating. NCL did not advise us in advance nor discount our fares. We paid a huge amount and got a subpar product. The worst of this was that NCL knew that this was happening and the passengers felt tricked into paying for the canal fee so the ship could get over to Victoria to dry dock and complete the work. NCL says the ship was refurbished in 2016 so you wouldn't have expected this. The passengers organized meetings on board and now the press have picked up on this and interviewed some passengers! How could they not have known that this would mess with people's dream trips? Never in my 30 years of travelling and cruising have I needed to follow up and demand recourse after a vacation. The response, or lack thereof, from them has been even more dissapointing. I used to defend and promote NCL to my friends and family. Not anymore! The rooms were cruise small. Shower ridiculously small. Restaurant service and room steward were so nice and helpful. I sure hope they actually get the sujper high gratuities we have to pay. Got drink package and had to pay over c$500 in mandatory gratuities. We didn't even drink that much. What a rip off. Plus you can't even get a can of pop or water with your drink package. I should have ordered a rum and coke and hold the rum so i could get a coke but there was no coke on board. Only pepsi. The shore excursions were expensive for what you got. better to book on your own for the same tour at a fraction of the cost. The ports were interesting but the things of interest in a few were far away and no real beaches at almost all so don't think it's a beachy vacay. Do not go snorkelling in Acapulco. Dirty water and no fish. Go to Antigua Guatemala. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Choose this cruise for the ports and Panama Canal transit. Ports were great. Gave us an opportunity to get off that wretched ship. Officers had no leadership. Captain was nowhere to be seen. The only officers on deck on disembarkation ... Read More
Choose this cruise for the ports and Panama Canal transit. Ports were great. Gave us an opportunity to get off that wretched ship. Officers had no leadership. Captain was nowhere to be seen. The only officers on deck on disembarkation were two junior chefs. We have been on 37 cruises now and this has been the worst experience we have ever had. Check Facebook group #PC Sun for more info. I get too upset when I write about it. NCL no more. Most of the full capacity clients will be seeking full refunds through NCL directly, and/or their travel agents. Three impromptu meetings onboard and NCL representatives invited and the captain showed up at the first meeting of over 500 passengers and promptly left to a chorus of boos when he blamed the head office for the construction onboard and offered no information other than it wasn't his fault....thank you Captain....so in review.... Ports of call were great. Food on board was mediocre, line staff wonderful, senior staff and officers, defensive and non committal. entertainment was mediocre at best. Musical entertainment around the ship was great. Buffet had pork loin 4 days in a row, cleaning out the freezer I guess, embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. did not do any shore excursions from the ship, but did private tours in most ports at a fraction of the cost. After this cruise, I do not think I will give them any more business. So I guess , NO , I would not recommend Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise in order to go thorough the Panama Canal and to rest and relax during sea days. The crew attempted to make the travel pleasant. However, during the entire 15 day cruise, the ship was undergoing heavy construction! ... Read More
I chose this cruise in order to go thorough the Panama Canal and to rest and relax during sea days. The crew attempted to make the travel pleasant. However, during the entire 15 day cruise, the ship was undergoing heavy construction! Parts of the ship were cordoned off because of the work. Decks were sanded down and varnished. Jackhammers drilled. Parts were painted. Metal shards entered some passenger eyes. Many inhaled toxic fumes from flammable materials. Some people developed skin rashes. Eyes stung. Those who wanted to relax deck-side next to the pools suffered the most. Invisible air borne particles flew everywhere. Dust debris coated some decks, including the buffet area on deck 11. This means the food was probably contaminated. Lots of coughing occurred. Runny noses. Eye infections as people's immune systems tried to manage the toxic intake. All of this construction should have been done at dry dock. Apparently the ship was headed to Canada from Los Angeles for more major work. For re-positioning. It seems NCL wanted to make a profit on this run from Miami to Los Angeles through its full paying passengers who were not warned that such events would take place during the voyage. Had I known, I would not have opted to join this cruise experience. Most passengers, as well as I, do not understand why NCL would subject its paying customers to hazardous health conditions during a voyage. Finally, let me add that many areas of the ship were blocked off to passengers including some of the safety areas for de-embarkation in case of emergency. Furthermore, the child's pool was not available for families. In short, what should have been a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime cruise, became a tainted voyage because of constant worry over health and safety. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
It was my partners bucket list to see the panama canal. We saved for our once in a lifetime cruise. We will never return to america as we usually cruise the mediterranean. We have used ncl before but never have we had anything like this ... Read More
It was my partners bucket list to see the panama canal. We saved for our once in a lifetime cruise. We will never return to america as we usually cruise the mediterranean. We have used ncl before but never have we had anything like this ship. refurbishment was going on from day one even though the ship was going into dry dock after the end of our cruise. Hazardous dust and fumes were on the ship the whole time during our cruise and the noise from the grinding was atrocious. Everyone on board was coughing and had sore eyes, some went to the medical centre only to be told they would have to pay. I can also say i was disappointed in some of the staff they seem to have lost interest in the clientele they would walk across you in the garden cafe or expect you to move, i have not seen this kind of thing on any other cruises i have done. Perhaps some of them were having to leave due to the dry dock i don't know. (no excuse really when you pay the monies we paid for this cruise) fitness was a nonsence as the running/walking track was not in use. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We thought the destinations looked terrific on this cruise and it would have been wonderful, were it not for the construction work beautifying the ship throughout the two week cruise. Jackhammers, sanding, drilling, dust, strong chemical ... Read More
We thought the destinations looked terrific on this cruise and it would have been wonderful, were it not for the construction work beautifying the ship throughout the two week cruise. Jackhammers, sanding, drilling, dust, strong chemical smells meant that a gloom descended over us, however hard we tried to make the best of things. Fantastic locations and days off the ship were great, and it was a huge relief to get away from the irritation of being around building work! However, I couldn't snorkel in Ensenada, as my throat was so irritated by the dust and my mild asthma was very aggravated, resulting in a horrible panicked feeling. We only found out when we boarded the ship that it was headed to be refurbished in Victoria, Canada, at the end of our cruise, as pallet after pallet of chemicals, paints were loaded at Miami. This meant that much of Deck 12 was covered by these materials, but we thought it wouldn't affect us. How wrong we were - major work lifting decking mats, sanding, filling, levelling decks, priming them, then covering them with self-levelling rubber compound was carried out on Decks 6 and 12, then work was carried out on Deck 11. The final straw for me was the Smoke Stack being worked on, with hammering and insulation materials being ejected from the stack, which billowed around us on the Aft Deck 11 and 12, on tables, food and drinks. Sea days lying around the pool on Deck 11, were spent with sanding going on overhead, with a fine mist of mouldy old paint in the air. Quite a few people felt seriously ill and saw the doctor, while a large number of people had headaches, sore eyes, sinus sensitivity and coughs. NCL should have been honest about their plans, and only after calling a meeting with the Captain, have offered 25% of the price paid, to be used against a cruise if actually started within the next 11 months. I'm unwilling to give more of my hard-earned money to NCL, as their handling of this has been awful and it certainly spoilt much of the holiday. The general staff were good, but I've given service a 'terrible' rating, as the true test of customer service is when things go wrong, and no service was given in relation to our complaints. Healthwise, I'm still coughing now I'm at home - we're very disappointed in NCL as the cruise could and should have been fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were looking forward to the cruise from Miami to Los Angeles as a luxurious couple of weeks visiting some exotic ports in Central America as well as going through the Panama Canal. Boarding was relatively quick and easy, taking less ... Read More
We were looking forward to the cruise from Miami to Los Angeles as a luxurious couple of weeks visiting some exotic ports in Central America as well as going through the Panama Canal. Boarding was relatively quick and easy, taking less than an hour. We ate in the buffet while the rooms were being prepared and then wandered around looking at the facilities that seemed quite good. We could get into the cabins at around 2pm and the room was large with a decent size window. The cabin was near the end of a dead-end corridor so that it was very quiet for most of the time although there was sometime a little scraping noise from the restaurant above. The emergency evacuation drill was straightforward, but then I encountered the first problem with bar staff who had no idea how to serve people in the order they arrived. It was like I was invisible as they ignored me and served people who had just arrived. This was a problem with most of the bars throughout the cruise. The only bar which had bartenders that were efficient was at the back of Deck 11. I would say that the bartenders in the Dazzles Bar were particularly surly. Surliness seemed to be a trait of many of the staff on the Norwegian Sun. We spent quite a bit of time playing trivia and other indoor activities because it was near impossible to get a deckchair around the main pool. It seemed as if people dropped towels and other objects on the deckchairs to reserve them early in the morning and they seemed to be empty for a lot of the day. It would be better if the ship policed its policy that deck chairs were not to be reserved. But, like many other things on the cruise, the staff didn’t seem to care. We did a couple of shore excursions through the ship and thought they were expensive and not worth the money. You were crammed onto a completely full bus and couldn’t really hear the guide when we went walking. There always seemed to be a lot of time wasted before we got onto the bus. It was also annoying to have to sign a disclaimer before the bus tour commenced. I would have liked to have been able to read the disclaimer before deciding to do the excursion. We did a day tour from Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala to the Mayan ruins at Tikal. This was the highlight of the cruise. I had wanted to go to Tikal since first going to Mexico in 1984 and I was not disappointed. The excursion was expensive, but it included a one-hour charter flight to Flores, then an hour bus ride to the ruins. We had about 2 hours in the ruins before returning to Flores for lunch and the return flight. I can’t recommend this excursion enough. We met some people on board who had arranged a private tour in Costa Rica which they let us join and we had a fantastic time. The highlights were the crocodiles and the monkeys. The driver pulled off the road and the guide got out, clapped his hands and yelled “Hey Monkey” and the monkeys came. We did a cruise with the crocodiles which was amazing, and later on walked across a bridge and looked down at about 30 crocodiles milling about. The food in the buffet was always plentiful and tasty although it was sometimes difficult to get a seat. The freestyle dining in the main dining room was also very good and we never had to wait long for a table. Now for the negatives. The ship was basically a construction zone as NCL was sanding and resurfacing some of the decks. We weren’t told before departure that they would be working on the ship. They didn’t tell us in advance what would be closed for the day. It was not unusual for half the pool deck to be closed which exacerbated the chronic shortage of deckchairs. We were exposed to lots of particulates in the air from the deck sanding and potential toxic chemicals from the coating put on the deck. There was also a lot of jackhammering and the funnel was cleaned which caused a lot of white stuff to go all over the deck and the passengers sunbathing. Some also went into the outside restaurant which they eventually closed. A lot of the crew seemed to be reflecting the unhappiness of the passengers and some were surly and not helpful. It didn’t help that there were lots of contractors roaming the corridors wearing NCL identification but who were extremely unpleasant. The captain addressed a meeting of several hundred concerned (and angry) passengers where he said that it wasn't his fault and he couldn't do anything about the issues. His first question was from an irate passenger and the captain stormed out to boos. I don't believe that we ever saw him again. This was an absolutely pitiful response from the person supposedly in charge of the ship. It seemed that the Guest Relations staff spent a lot of time writing complaints from passengers. Worst of all, NCL compromised our safety by closing half the muster stations and lifeboats for over 3 days without having a backup evacuation plan. This seems criminally negligent to me and I believe that they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The mandatory evacuation drill became a farce. I asked Guest Relations what the backup plan was, and they said that the closed deck that contained the lifeboats would “probably” be opened. My sister asked and was told that in the event of an emergency the Captain would allocate new muster stations and inform us (no double while he was trying to stop the boat from sinking). Some friends asked and were told to just go to the lifeboats on the other side of the ship that were still open. What a joke. A couple of days before the end of the cruise the Cruise Director, Jasper, told me that my next cruise should be on Carnival. I can assure him that I would probably be happy with any cruise line that does not put my health and safety at risk for the sake of saving money. Their response to date had been inadequate and woeful. It was only after the US media started highlighting the problems with the cruise that NCL offered to credit part of the cruise cost paid against a future cruise. That assumes that I would ever trust NCL again. Don’t waste your money with NCL. Find a reputable cruise line that respects their passengers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Passenger Revolt on Norwegian Cruise Line. Passengers on Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship, Norwegian Sun, revolted forcing the captain to address ongoing issues negatively affecting all passengers. The ship, currently in the midst of a ... Read More
Passenger Revolt on Norwegian Cruise Line. Passengers on Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship, Norwegian Sun, revolted forcing the captain to address ongoing issues negatively affecting all passengers. The ship, currently in the midst of a Miami to Los Angeles cruise via the Panama Canal, is due to go into dry dock for refurbishment after completion of the cruise. Apparently, in an effort to minimize time in dry dock, the company decided to start refurbishing during the cruise. As a result, several venues and activities have been closed at different times. Crews are hammering away refurbishing one of the restaurants, sometimes late into the night, causing passengers to call to complain the noise is keeping them awake. They are also refinishing several walkways on outdoor decks using heavy duty grinders to grind off the old deck toppings down to the metal. Then they are resurfacing the deck using a substance that, according to a passenger who is a chemist, is toxic and hazardous. The Deck 6 jogging deck has been cordoned off several days because of this. Muster stations were even blocked off, thus creating a potential safety hazard. Several passengers have gone to the ship’s doctor seeking relief from respiratory problems only to be saddled with medical charges in excess of $5000. All in all, passengers who paid a lot of money for this cruise are not getting their money’s worth. None of them expected to pay thousands of dollars for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation only to walk into a construction zone. There were so many registered complaints that the captain was compelled to address the situation in front of about 300 passengers. He did not handle it well. He said it was a company decision to do this and he couldn’t do anything about it. When people started asking questions, he took offense and walked out to a loud chorus of boos. There were many people recording the incident on their phones, so I expect this will easily go viral - as it should. Subsequently, there were two passenger meetings to discuss the situation. Attendance grew to more than 400 people. Folks are angry that NCL used their precious vacation time to refurbish the ship. There was a letter from NCL in our stateroom last night apologizing for the “inconvenience” and offering a credit of 25% of the amount we paid for this trip toward a future cruise. The offer was good for one year. Personally, I’m not interested in that offer. I don’t want to give my business to a company that would do this in the first place. When you sign up for a cruise, there is a contract between the customer and the cruise line. Certain things are promised by the cruise line. When those promises are broken and the passengers are aggrieved, there should be consequences. I’m not sure where this will go, but I know that Norwegian will certainly suffer on social media. I know I’m not likely to consider them again. #pcsun #ncl Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The good: Almost a year ago, my husband and I booked this Panama Canal Cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line. Our travel agent was helpful, answering questions and getting things booked for us. We were very excited to be going on this ... Read More
The good: Almost a year ago, my husband and I booked this Panama Canal Cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line. Our travel agent was helpful, answering questions and getting things booked for us. We were very excited to be going on this ‘trip of a lifetime’ as advertised by NCL – 15 days aboard a beautiful ship while getting to see the Panama Canal! We had a nice cabin - a rear facing balcony - perfect for going through the canal. Our steward was excellent! Overall, we found the staff to be friendly and helpful. The food was pretty good - after 15 days the variety seemed to be lacking a little, but overall the food was fine. We ate mostly in the main dining rooms for dinner, and on the 11th deck for breakfast and lunches. The Panama Canal is impressive, and if you are at all interested in seeing it, do! The ports of call were interesting, and the tours we booked through NCL were good (even though you pay a little more for booking with them rather than booking private tours). The bad and the ugly: At the beginning of the cruise, we found out there would be some work being done on the ship. Oh well we were sure there would still be so much to enjoy! We weren’t going to let that bother us. A couple days in, we were looking at the Cruise Next program, and excitedly thinking of future cruises with thoughts of travelling with family as a large group. What fun we could have! It soon became apparent that it was not just a small amount of work, but their ‘enhancements’ meant some venues were closed for the entire cruise. A disappointment as we had been looking forward to all the ship had to offer. Champs Bar, the Topsiders Bar & Grill, and the Las Ramblas Tapas Bar & Restaurant were closed the entire cruise. The 12th deck was undergoing extensive refinishing, as was the promenade deck 6 – meaning different large portions of these were closed throughout the cruise. Often doors to the outer decks were blocked off and/or locked – how would this play out in an emergency? The open portions of the decks were also very crowded, as so much space was closed off. Even in the open areas, it was often so noisy from grinders, sanders and other equipment that you couldn’t be there. There was also dust, particulate, fumes, and who knows what else was on the decks and circulating in the air. A few days in, this all became very problematic – far beyond just an inconvenience- as we were in a full-on construction zone! Health issues were occurring as a result of fumes/chemicals/particulate on the ship! I never dreamed I would spend so much of our trip with varying degrees of symptoms including sore, itchy, red, puffy, and runny eyes as well as a runny nose and hoarse throat as a result of their ongoing renovations. Being on shore offered some relief! But then symptoms soon returned after we were back on the ship. There was not much escaping it, and you never knew where it would be the worst. Many times, I found myself running back to the cabin to lay down with a cold cloth over my eyes. Have you ever been near tear gas? That's what it felt like at times - the same symptoms and severity for me. The construction workers were in masks and protective suits – the products they were using were toxic and dangerous. Yet here they were, using them in the proximity of the passengers and crew. Take a walk around the promenade deck? Nope, parts were always blocked off and at times the fumes would irritate my eyes so badly I had to leave. Hang out by the pool? Dust, fumes, and noise often made it impossible. Areas indoors were also often affected – perhaps all going through the HVAC system?! It is shameful that the company felt it was ok to do this work with passengers and staff on board. The noise, dust/particulate, chemical smells and fumes, and closures of large part of the ship was completely unacceptable. This was in no way the vacation as advertised that we booked. What did NCL offer as compensation? 25% of our cruise fare paid toward a future cruise before March 31, 2019. They say the Sun is undergoing enhancements to better serve our guests and thank us for our patience and understanding. This is an insult – essentially just a marketing ploy. Current guests be damned. A trip of a lifetime? Their disregard for passenger experiences, health, and safety is unconscionable. I know I am not the only one upset about their cruise aboard the Sun. As for value for the money? We paid thousands to be on a ship actively being renovated! If this had not been the case, the value would have been ok. As it was, we feel ripped off by NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise because of the Panama canal and Mexico. This was the absolute worse cruise I have ever been on. Construction was going on the whole time while the cruise was going. Painting, jackhammers, fumes and flying debris. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the Panama canal and Mexico. This was the absolute worse cruise I have ever been on. Construction was going on the whole time while the cruise was going. Painting, jackhammers, fumes and flying debris. Some of the treadmills were out of order and the jogging track was closed most of the time due to construction. Most of the areas on the ship were closed off for sanding and it was very dangerous. The children's pool was closed the entire time. While I was having breakfast outside, soot was flying around and landing in my food which forced me to go inside (Not what I wanted coming from the snow in NYC). The boys that were playing basketball were covered in black soot and thy're eyes were puffy when they came back in. I had a constant cough the entire time and it's still with me as I have no idea what they were using to clean with. I will never take another Norwegian cruise as long as I live Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had planned for quite some time to take a Panama Canal cruise with four siblings and their spouse's. The Norwegian Sun had the itinerary (full transit from Miami to Los Angeles) that we wanted at a good time of the year. Once on ... Read More
We had planned for quite some time to take a Panama Canal cruise with four siblings and their spouse's. The Norwegian Sun had the itinerary (full transit from Miami to Los Angeles) that we wanted at a good time of the year. Once on board (with no prior notification) we discovered that the ship was in route to a 15 day dry dock. We soon discovered construction equipment and materials were stored across several passenger decks and discovered that construction was commencing immediately, not waiting for the dry-dock. Over the next 15 days we were subjected to the noise, dust and fumes of a construction site. We discovered that some of the materials being used were toxic in nature. Lifeboat roster stations were blocked off for construction and several restaurants / bars were not available due to "renovation". NCL management and the Captain could have cared less, in fact the Captain walked out of a passenger called meeting after 3 minutes stating it wasn't his issue. Due to the upcoming dry-dock we discovered what appeared to be a high level of the staff were getting off in LA, and they appeared to be trunkie to say the least. Dining service was at the best spotty. 2 1/2 hours for dinner in Cagney's - without desert! (35 minutes until they took our order). Same with our room steward - although he kept our room clean you could tell he was ready to get off the ship. Perhaps because the ship was going to be out of commission for 2 weeks after our cruise the food selection was marginal. Breakfast was the same EVERY day, variety at lunch was only the results of the prior evenings left overs and dinner selection was no where near what we've come to expect on Princess or HAL cruises. For example Shrimp Cocktail was only available in Cagney's at an $8 charge; and none of the meals you would expect on a cruise - an occasional lobster or crab or, shrimp, beef wellington, escargot, etc. Not even Baked Alaska! By the end of the cruise even the bar selection became spotty as bar tenders told us they were instructed not to open new bottles of top shelf spirits. The only reason this cruise was not given an overall "Terrible" rating was the Cruise Director Staff. Jasper, Jaime and their team tried their best, but they were limited. NCL used this cruise, at the passengers expense to reduce their dry dock expense by limiting the time the ship was not producing revenue. SHAME ON THEM!!! After the initial out roar by passengers we received a letter in our room that NCL would offer a 25% fare credit on a future cruise within the next 12 months. After this cruise made national news NCL changed their offer to a 100% fare credit; but reading the fine print this does not include port charges, taxes, insurance, required "service charge" or any other "nickel and dime" expense that NCL could think of. With NCL's increased fares in 2019, taking this same trip with their "100% fare credit" would still cost each passenger close to $2000!!! We won't cruise with NCL again, and will recommend to our friends and family other lines that care more for their customers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have just returned from the "Cruise from HELL" aboard NCL Sun. During our 15 night cruise, there was construction going on. There was insulation blowing around, paint dust blowing everywhere, the muster station doors were ... Read More
We have just returned from the "Cruise from HELL" aboard NCL Sun. During our 15 night cruise, there was construction going on. There was insulation blowing around, paint dust blowing everywhere, the muster station doors were closed off during DAYS of our cruise, the pool area was closed for a few days, sanding the decks, drilling, jack hammering etc from sun up until around midnight EVERY NIGHT. Our cruise was a complete DISASTER!! There was between 15% - 30% of the ship CLOSED on all days! A few of the specialty restaurants NEVER opened during the entire vacation. Many people have been sick with respiratory issues due to the nauseous fumes of the products they have been using while passengers are on board this cruise ship. The Sun is scheduled to be on dry dock for more renovations, but yet NCL chose to also inconvenience its passengers and put us all in danger as many of the Emergency meeting stations were not accessible while they were refinishing the deck floors on deck 6, the meeting deck. STAY AWAY from NCL! They don't care about their passengers...only saving money! This ship was quite old and dated. Many times, there was industrial fans running down the hallways as there were plumbing leaks. The crew did do the best they could during this situation. I particularly enjoyed Victor at the bar deck 11 aft. He was always smiling and trying his best. Room was OK. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We choose this cruise as the ship was supposed to have been refurbished in 2016 and we thought it would be like a new ship. After we boarded we found a letter from Norwegian Cruise Line that there were going to be a few inhancements being ... Read More
We choose this cruise as the ship was supposed to have been refurbished in 2016 and we thought it would be like a new ship. After we boarded we found a letter from Norwegian Cruise Line that there were going to be a few inhancements being done during our cruise. Unfortunately that was a huge understatement as they were doing major construction with hazardous materials and chemicals that made many of us ill. We would never have put ourselves at this kind of health risk. The construction should have been preformed at dry dock where the chemicals and materials could be controlled. There was no regard to the health risks for passengers or crew members. The food was average and there seemed to be many waiters that were in training and not getting our orders correct. The service was very slow. There was a real language barrier that caused many of the service errors. The sports bar served very greasy food. I put 2 paper napkins under the fish I was served and it saturated both of them. We had a drink package and had many comments about how much we ordered. Pretty rude of the bar servers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
NCL
We planned for this "dream cruise" of 15 days through the Panama Canal over a year ago. We selected this specific cruise, even though it was pricey, because it traversed the Panama Canal in daylight. The experience was ... Read More
We planned for this "dream cruise" of 15 days through the Panama Canal over a year ago. We selected this specific cruise, even though it was pricey, because it traversed the Panama Canal in daylight. The experience was dreadful. I hardly know where to begin. NCL was dishonest with every passenger on that ship. They had no intention of delivering the experience that they marketed. The ship was undergoing major construction the entire time we were at sea. Not normal maintenance. Full blown construction. They cared nothing about the health, safety and well being of the passengers and they certainly cared nothing about the environment. This ship should have been in dry dock, not on the water and certainly no passengers on board. All of the construction crew personnel had masks. They were using hazardous materials, there was dust everywhere, parts of the ship were never available to us the entire 15 days, including some of the pools and bars. Other parts were available only for a matter of a couple of days and then closed off, including the deck 6 walking and jogging deck and the observation deck on 12. We were either kept awake or awakened at all hours of the day and night. There was no such thing as quiet time or an ability to relax or even sleep through a single night. There was sanding and pounding going on constantly. We had construction debris blowing onto our room balcony. NCL only gives lip service to zero tolerance for dumping of garbage /debris into the ocean. Complaints to cease and desist went unheeded. Passengers were told that this construction while at sea was the decision of executive management and outside of the control of the crew and customer service personnel on board. They requested that all complaints should be sent to NCL in Miami once we disembarked. NCL didn't value us as a customer whatsoever. This was essentially about profiting through our misery Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Ship was undergoing major construction as we cruised on this 15 day adventure. About 1/4 of ship was inaccessible, some specialty restaurants were closed, people complained about chemical fumes through out ship and in their cabins, work ... Read More
Ship was undergoing major construction as we cruised on this 15 day adventure. About 1/4 of ship was inaccessible, some specialty restaurants were closed, people complained about chemical fumes through out ship and in their cabins, work taking place at all hours, and construction particles flying in air we breathed. Many people suffered respiratory issues. My husband, sister and cousin began coughing during this so-called vacation. We definitely did not get what we paid for on this cruise due to the construction taking place right smack in the middle of everything. Again, because some restaurants were closed dining options were limited and always very crowded, this is especially not good on a long 15 day cruise. In my opinion, minor construction (better word "repairs") are acceptable and understandable, but, where NCL crossed the line is when it affected passengers health. This is NOT what I paid lots of money for. And...the cherry on top- ship was scheduled to be refurbished at end of our cruise. WHY WAS'NT ALL THIS WORK BEGUN AFTER OUR CRUISE WAS COMPLETED!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This is one of the smaller Norwegian ships but we preferred it. It had a spacious pool deck and plenty of room for sunbeds, it didn't feel cramped like other ships. We had alot of sea days and it was never a problem trying to walk ... Read More
This is one of the smaller Norwegian ships but we preferred it. It had a spacious pool deck and plenty of room for sunbeds, it didn't feel cramped like other ships. We had alot of sea days and it was never a problem trying to walk around finding sunbeds like other ships. This is probably due to the fact that half the ship don't sit in the sun due to the age range of the type of pax that books a Panama Canal cruise! We liked that. We had a family inside room on Deck 9. It was the biggest inside cabin we have ever had. It was rectangular in shape. Bernard the cabin attendant was very accommodating, friendly and efficient. Restaurants were as good as usual. The Garden Cafe buffet was very small but there was an outside bit at the rear too with seats but it was very busy at Breakfast time. The entertainment was very good. Nightly shows. As you've read this was the last cruise before entering dry dock. Whilst it was annoying we never got told until we were on board it did not spoil our enjoyment of the cruise. NCL must have know that on this type of cruise very few of the pax sunbathe so they closed different parts of the upper pool deck to get the floor done. On any other cruise it would have been a problem getting a sunbed with one side closed but surprisingly it wasn't. We actually got used to different parts being closed. There was the odd day when stuff was flying around in the wind and dust settling but it didn't spoil our enjoyment of the cruise. The Sports bar didn't open until 17:30 which was a shame as this is usually 24 hours and the complimentary Ramblas restaurant was closed as this is turning into something else. Some great ports of call. We did this cruise for the itinerary. It is always better to do this from Miami to the West Coast as you gain an hour 3 times during the cruise where as if you go back the other way you lose an hour 3 times. It would be nice to get back on the Sun to see what improvements have been made. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
#NCL We are a group of 4 couples from Prince Edward Island, Canada who each booked the March 2018 Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Sun. We made our reservations through our trusted travel agent in October 2017. In all of the hours of ... Read More
#NCL We are a group of 4 couples from Prince Edward Island, Canada who each booked the March 2018 Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Sun. We made our reservations through our trusted travel agent in October 2017. In all of the hours of research by the 8 travellers plus the travel agency leading up to, and after booking the cruise... we did not discover any mention that construction and renovations were going to interfere with the enjoyment of our vacation. The frequent email communications from NCL failed to disclose the renovation work scheduled to occur during our 16 day trip. We feel betrayed and cheated. We paid full price for a vacation experience promoted by @Norwegian Cruise Lines as having no missing restaurants or bars, no closed pools or walking/jogging decks. We weren't warned of potentially hazardous chemicals being applied to decks and stairs with dangerous fumes cascading onto decks and balconies occupied by very young and old passengers, all completely unaware that choking fumes were about to inundate the area. The noise of grinding, sanding and hammering day and night prevented quiet enjoyment of both public areas and private balconies. Additionally, passengers ...and service staff... were exposed daily to the potentially toxic dust from the sanding and grinding off of the old deck surface paint. While the Bolidt employees were wearing protective breathing apparatus, the winds were covering the tables, bars, decks and people with the smelly, possibly poisonous dust and fumes. While the NCL staff were inundated with concerns and complaints, all they were permitted to do was acknowledge the complaint and pass it on. The renovation work continued. Shame on the NCL management Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We choose Norwegian as we had cruised with them before and we had a great experience. This time, not so good. We had persuaded out relatives to come along with us, and wish we had not. A great pity as it was a bucket list holiday for us ... Read More
We choose Norwegian as we had cruised with them before and we had a great experience. This time, not so good. We had persuaded out relatives to come along with us, and wish we had not. A great pity as it was a bucket list holiday for us and a retirement present to my husband from me his wife. We took the Premium drinks package which included coffee and juice. No one mentioned that this was restricted to the restaurants only. Otherwise you have to pay for a proper coffee. This felt like a misrepresentation of the facts in order for us to take the cruise. I don't drink alcohol much but do enjoy coffee. So not a great deal for me. I had a conversation about this and was reassured that I would get my specialist coffee. Panama Canal crossing was badly managed or not managed at all. People had got up extra early to reserve places. This was not shared by any member of staff. The result of this was I was walking around aimlessly trying to see and unable to. I have a disability and am short in height therefore lost out on the main highlight of the cruise. The serving staff were excellent and made up for some of the shortcomings. The entertainment was varying in quality, we enjoyed the comedians. The dances were often repeats of show we saw a few years ago on our previous Norwegian cruise. But overall we left with an unpleasant memory of what should have been a memorable time for us. Passengers should be informed of the tender ports when booking excursions. In Nicaragua we had a long delay due to tendering, which resulted in a long drive to a place then a short stay no time for a meal, and a had long drive back. All in all, a stressful day with little enjoyment. But an expensive bill. Every day we read that sun beds should not be reserved, but people did, and nothing was done about it. This meant that we were often without a sunbed. As senior citizens who can't sit for long it meant we were often wondering around trying to find a comfortable place to sit. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise was excellent! Norwegian did a terrific job with the quality of the experience from the ship, food, staff, itinerary, and entertainment. We thoroughly enjoyed our 14-day panama canal cruise from LA to Miami, the ports ... Read More
This cruise was excellent! Norwegian did a terrific job with the quality of the experience from the ship, food, staff, itinerary, and entertainment. We thoroughly enjoyed our 14-day panama canal cruise from LA to Miami, the ports in-between, and the full daylight canal transit complete with informative educational talks and live narration. We had an absolutely great time and felt like Norwegian went out of their way to make their guests feel special and their top priority. This was the best production cast we have ever seen on a cruise. The quality of their dancing and singing was outstanding. The rest of the entertainment was very good as well. We were not disappointed as every aspect of this cruise went well. We went sailing in Cabo San Lucas, saw the cliff divers in Acapulco, explored Antigua on-your-own in Guatemala, Hacienda on Lake Riva in Nicaragua, Zip Line/ Aerial Tram/ Crocodile nature tour in Costa Rica, all-day Panama canal transit, and Cartegena tour in Colombia. Enjoyed six restaurants with free-style dining and got into a fun, relaxing routine of breakfast, tour, cocktails by the pool upon return from shore, dinner, great show, and good night sleep after enjoying the moonlight from the balcony. We felt like we were on our own yacht, doing what we liked to do, and we settled into cruise time for two weeks. No stress, just peace and enjoyment. It doesn't get any better than that! Tip: We researched and booked all of our excursions before we left home. That allowed us to relax and enjoy the entire cruise from beginning to end. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and have no complaints about the ship in general. Our lower deck cabin was fine, as was the food in general, especially the Steak House. However, on days when shore excursions returned at ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and have no complaints about the ship in general. Our lower deck cabin was fine, as was the food in general, especially the Steak House. However, on days when shore excursions returned at around 4.30 or 5, it would have been nice to be able to get a few sandwiches or a piece of cake to tide you over until dinner. When we eventually found it, the outdoors cafe was usually open at this time, but the food wasn't really what we were looking for. We ate four dinners in the speciality restaurants and all were food except the Brazilian style Moderno Churrasceria. The staff here were disorganised and didn't really appear to know what they were doing. We had a twenty minute wait for aperitifs and the side dishes only arrived with the third meat course. Servers were not skilled at carving, so slices were too thin or too bitty. When a large piece of meat was dropped on the table by the server, he did not return to clear it away and it was left sitting there. I also thought the laundry service was very expensive. We paid $20 for eight items to be laundered. They were returned washed but un-ironed so were unwearable. Two of the excursions were also a disappointment. The Cartagena excursion departed at 1030 and returned at 3 and only included 1 hour 10 minutes of free time. The local guide included a walking tour and a visit to an emerald shop that were not on the programme and would not tell us where the bus would be parked, so we were unable to make our own way back to it, which would have been easy. We particularly chose this tour because it did not include shopping and advertised that we would be left to our own devices in the city. The other excursion that failed to impress was 'Colonial Granada' in Nicaragua. After a two hour drive, there was very little to see on arrival. No refreshments were included and not even a toilet stop. Why was there no packed lunch to eat on the bus? We only had two and a half hours in the town when we got there, and were rushed around by the guide, so there was no chance to even get a cup of coffee. Four hours' driving was a lot to undertake for too little time at the destination. I realise that Norwegian have little control over the shore excursions and we enjoyed our Panama Canal transit although the commentator they took on board left a little to be desired, making frequent factual mistakes. However, the itinerary ticked all the boxes for us and it was pretty reasonable value for money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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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