18 Norwegian Sun Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

The ship was generally in good shape but the stairs were not solid and sagged at times when you went up or down the stairs. We had a nice balcony cabin for overlooking the Panama Canal. It was mid ship and we were able to see the other ... Read More
The ship was generally in good shape but the stairs were not solid and sagged at times when you went up or down the stairs. We had a nice balcony cabin for overlooking the Panama Canal. It was mid ship and we were able to see the other ships going in the opposite direction. For most of the cruise the bathroom smelled from sewage. We had the hotel director's staff come and look at the issue. They eventually fixed the problem. There was no reason for us to keep going to Guest Services to complain about the problem. The food service at the seven seas was awful. The food arrived cold and once the food was delivered, the server did not come back to check on us. We never saw the head waiter. In the four seasons, the waiters were very attentive, the hot food came hot. In the buffet it was hard for us to usually find food that we could eat. The Indian food is too spicy. Most of the other items had pork or pork products in it and we do not eat pork. This included bacon in the mac and cheese, ham in the sour kraut. various ham sandwiches and bacon in the salads. Towards the end of the cruise, they were running out of food and the milk was spoiled, same for the yogurt and you needed to find a manager to get the spoiled products removed. The cruise director was hard to find, he was hard to understand at the main theater and P A system announcements. The production shows were good. The cruise director staff provided us with good games and trivia challenges but they reused a number of the questions over and over again. Besides that there was not much to do on sea days. For some of the ports, the length of time in port was too short to really enjoy the port. I don't understand why we stopped at some of the ports. They barely even has a choice of shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this cruise because we had not crossed the Panama Canal. The food was just ok the excursion were also just ok. The bar service in the Spinnaker lounge was mediocre. There are no real quiet public areas to sit. The is music blasting ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we had not crossed the Panama Canal. The food was just ok the excursion were also just ok. The bar service in the Spinnaker lounge was mediocre. There are no real quiet public areas to sit. The is music blasting everywhere. Not likely to cruise with NCL again. Our aft balcony stateroom was quite expensive and we later checked the cruise line to see the prices and saw the mini suite next to our room was less expensive so we contacted NCL to see if we could change room given our was more than the suite and they turned us down. NCL nickels and dimming was frustrating charging for water. We bought the ultimate beverage package. We only found out on the ship it did not cover water juices specialty coffees or soft drinks. NCL was offering a $500. For your flight so when we asked them about this they turned us down saying the major airlines they deal with do not operate out of Mexico City InternayAirport. Never again will we cruise with NCL there were more disappointments with the excursions but then this critic would go on forever Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We always wanted to cruise thru the Panama Canal. This cruise offered a great list of ports plus the canal. The Norwegian Sun had received terrible press before our cruise due to a previous cruise construction activities getting ready ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise thru the Panama Canal. This cruise offered a great list of ports plus the canal. The Norwegian Sun had received terrible press before our cruise due to a previous cruise construction activities getting ready for a retro fit. The ship was in good condition when we boarded it in Seattle. There were still areas in need of work but overall the retro fit made the ship very presentable. The food on board in the Garden Cafe was average. The Speciality eating choices were very good. As a general rule the staff was friendly except for a few individuals. Overall this was an enjoyable trip. Our cabin steward was very attentive and made our cabin a pleasant retreat when we need a place to retire to. The ports of Cabo San Lucas , Acapulco and Cartagena were less than pleasant stops with vendors constantly hassling us to buy something we did not need. The carriage ride in Columbia was good except for the constant hassling by vendors. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This cruse started in Seattle where we lived for many years. Its a fun city to explore if you have never been. I recommend you spend at least 2 days min. I've cruised with Norwegian 4 times now. The first three were lots of fun ... Read More
This cruse started in Seattle where we lived for many years. Its a fun city to explore if you have never been. I recommend you spend at least 2 days min. I've cruised with Norwegian 4 times now. The first three were lots of fun and well thought out by staff. This 4th cruse was not good from start to finish. Embarkation was about 2 hours late and the whole ship was checked into the terminal before boarding began. Disembarkation was late as well, times to leave the ship were delayed and the baggage claim was a total mess. After about 45 minutes searching for our bags we found them in a back room at the terminal with about 100 other pieces of luggage. With all the delays, we missed our shuttle to the airport. After waiting about an hour and a half at the terminal the shuttle company send a extra bus to collect about 12 of us. Once we got on the ship we realized,This ship was not ready to go. We were missing extras we paid in advanced of the cruse. There we no up to date records aboard the ship to confirm what we had paid for, and our printed itinerary's were not accepted as proof. Problems we experienced during the cruse. - The concierge app did not work first few days. -Gym had no staff and most equipment did nor work right. -Paid upgraded dinning was serving cold food, and all food came at random times. -Service was terrible at bars and pool area. Where was the staff? -We were competing with boat staff for seating while dinning and music selection at late night entertainment. I have never seen this before. -Tours were a joke. Example, captains choice snorkeling in Mexico, water was filthy, could see nothing and food was not presented. My wife would not even get into water. -The hop off and on bus tours were oversold. If you goy off, you could not get back on. We were told this is a training ship by the staff. If true, we should be aware of this when booking. This cruse should not be charging gratuities at full rate. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
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
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
Pleasant Ship but the nickel and diming and poor entertainment took the shine off it. The Sun is a nicely laid out ship, the only issue really being the strange half floor on the deck 6 and the fact that all the dining is at the rear of ... Read More
Pleasant Ship but the nickel and diming and poor entertainment took the shine off it. The Sun is a nicely laid out ship, the only issue really being the strange half floor on the deck 6 and the fact that all the dining is at the rear of the ship. Our Cabin was at the front on deck 9, as quiet as could be but 1/6 mile from the nearest coffee! We had the ultimate beverage package and apparently Coffee is not a beverage outside of the restaurants. Hey ho, we smuggled a travel kettle on board (against the rules). Internet is a waste of time, a $50 bill for 2 emails was reduced after a heated discussion with the clearly under fire "internet host", there was a line to talk to her, no-one was happy. Stardust lounge entertainment was laughable and depressing at the same time. We had a juggler who couldn't catch, a Magician with a poor 15 minute act which he spun out to 45 minutes by telling the assembled 80 year olds about his nan dying at Christmas, an Irish comedian who told us about his parents dying last year and sang us a song about how little time we have left and a singer from American Idol who spent more time talking than singing. The entertainment in the lounges was way better and far more deserving of our time. Ports of call were OK, apart from Guatemala which is a car park full of tat stalls, or you can pay over the odds for a trip. The cruise staff are generally brilliant. Thousands of photos at $15-$25 dollars went into landfill, if they made them $5 each they would sell all of them, as it was, we posed for one, they took two and one went in the skip with us refusing point blank to have any more taken. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My choices were limited to NCL or Princess. Since I have sailed on NCL previously, I chose it for the panama canal. Overall I was disappointed with the service, entertainment, and food Shore excursions in all ports (except cabo san ... Read More
My choices were limited to NCL or Princess. Since I have sailed on NCL previously, I chose it for the panama canal. Overall I was disappointed with the service, entertainment, and food Shore excursions in all ports (except cabo san lucas) included a long bus ride with fair guides. Would not revisit Cartagena or (especially) Nicaragua. Enjoyed Acapulco and Costa Rica. Not sure why but the food quality was much lower than previous NCL cruises. (Cost savings?). Additionally, there were few choices for diabetics to avoid high carbs. Overall the wait staff was slow and the cooks seemed inexperienced. I had to send several meals back to the kitchen. Getting water or drink refills was painstakingly slow. Cabin stewarts were friendly but also very slow to complete cleaning and turndown service. I had to ask for room cleaning at least half the time. The in house entertainers (singers/dancers) were terrible. Out of sync and poor voices. I stopped going to the "variety" shows after the first night. Guest entertainers were better: Magician, Hypnotist, Ventriloquist. I believe this will be my last NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Finally took our bucket-list cruise to traverse the Panama Canal!! Unfortunately, things did not start out well when the computers went down in the Embarkation area, so had to stand in the heat and humidity for more than 90-minutes. As a ... Read More
Finally took our bucket-list cruise to traverse the Panama Canal!! Unfortunately, things did not start out well when the computers went down in the Embarkation area, so had to stand in the heat and humidity for more than 90-minutes. As a result, I spent the entire first full day on the ship in bed recovering since I come from a desert climate. The major positives of the cruise were the Entertainment (VERY talented Sun singers, dancers, musicians & Director's staff), Freestyle and Specialty dining☺!!! The four Specialty restaurants we visited were absolutely wonderful, and did a terrific job of recognizing the 2 Birthdays we had in our travel group. On the somewhat negative side, our cabin stewardess was friendly but was not well-trained enough to fill our ice bucket more than twice in 14 days or clean the bathroom thoroughly. Would have appreciated additional No Sugar Added dessert options. We did encounter numerous 'Vacation Heroes' once on board who made our experience enjoyable Met some wonderful people with whom I am certain we will remain in contact. I cannot say that NCL will be my first choice in future sailing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because it left from our home port and did a full transit of the Panama Canal. Both were highlights of the cruise and fantastic. We loved taking a taxi to the port and fortunately had been warned by the CC roll call ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left from our home port and did a full transit of the Panama Canal. Both were highlights of the cruise and fantastic. We loved taking a taxi to the port and fortunately had been warned by the CC roll call that the pier information was incorrect. I contacted NCL 3 times the month before sailing asking them to correct the edocs, but it was never done. We expected lots of confusion so arrived right at our 11:00 boarding time and had no delays getting on the ship. We had lunch in the MDR and dropped our carry ons in our cabin when it was available. To our delight, our balcony view was of the golden gate bridge and the Blue Angels practicing fly bys! The ship departed 2 1/2 hours later than scheduled which again was no surprise. The sun was just starting to set and the sail under the Golden Gate was amazing. Panama Canal crossing started with a 6:25am announcement from a canal spokeswoman and views of Panama City. Enjoyed this day a great deal. We started our viewing with the complimentary Panamanian breakfast (and mimosas) from our balcony and moved around the ship throughout the day with our favorite views being aft from the Great Outdoors. The Pearl was behind us and a large HAL ship next to us throughout the transit. The ports on this cruise are not great. Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco were ok but similar to each other. Puerto Chiapas was a waste - we stayed on the ship and used the spa. Keep asking the spa about specials - it took about 4 separate inquiries, but finally we found a special that worked perfectly for us. In Puntarenas we were stuck at an industrial port outside of town. The tour guides had to board the bus out on a main road. Our excursion was ok, but many longer excursions were caught in terrible traffic jams. The ship waited 5 hours past departure for everyone to get back. Cartagena was the final port and the intense heat and aggressive "vendors" were too much to deal with. Ship: It is in ok shape and definitely needs the makeover due in the Spring. Hopefully, an O'Sheehan's style venue will finally be added. That small buffet is a really unpleasant. We didn't have any A/C problems in our room thank goodness, but the Seven Seas MDR has major problems. It was sweltering in the evenings and like a freezer at lunchtime. Meals in general were fine. La Cucina was a miss both times though. The $25 shrimp meal was bad. The steak special was a terrible quality of meat and inedible. We enjoyed the dinner with officers (Chief Financial Officer and Payroll Accountant). Service at the bars was good all around - particularly Jeffrey at the Champagne Bar, the poolside bar and the Great Outdoors. Entertainment: This was a long cruise with many sea days. The production cast had the best talent we've seen: the singers (all 6 were great) and dancers were very good. The guest performers were ok - a juggler, hypnotist, Irish folk story guy, comedian, Broadway singer. The Motown group was the best. The Cruise Director and staff worked hard. We had fun at the many trivia events. Internet: The manager was very helpful. We had two incidents when the sign off didn't work and she restored our minutes. The hardware in the internet café is kaput. After the first few days, the onboard software would not connect to my email provider's server and about 1/2 of the pc's were not working at all. The printer also did not work. Using our phones worked. A shout out to Cole in the Cruise Next Dept. He has figured out how to do this job the right way. He conducted the Platinum Plus behind the scenes tour as well as two presentations. He also was a dancing with the stars judge. He was very visible around the ship and remembered us when we saw him. We booked a cruise for next year with him and he was very knowledgeable about the ships, cabins and itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our 1st cruise with NCL. I think we will likely be cruising with another line in the future. Before I go blasting away, I do want to say that for the most part, this is a nice ship with a great crew. Before we even got on the ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise with NCL. I think we will likely be cruising with another line in the future. Before I go blasting away, I do want to say that for the most part, this is a nice ship with a great crew. Before we even got on the ship, we had an issue with NCL. This was supposed to be a Mexican Riviera cruise but NCL changed the itinerary to a Panama Canal transit. We had done a Panama Canal transit less than a year ago but decided to stay with this new plan. In fairness, NCL did offer to refund our fare. Curiously, once we decided to stay with this new itinerary, NCL charged us and addition $450 or so in taxes. We did get a $25 credit per person but it all just left a bad taste. Lost a star here. The lifeboat drill was a joke. It usually is but we did not even practice putting on the life vest. I also did not get the feeling that the crew took it very seriously either. On our 1st day at sea, I witnessed what appeared to be a near drowning in one of the hot tubs on the pool deck. At around 11am, a very large guest, who probably should not have been in the hot tub in the first place, lost his balance and fell in head first. I seriously doubt he could have righted himself. Luckily, 2 other guest were in the hot tub and able to lend assistance. The funny thing is that I saw NO crew members anywhere. Usually, there are some waiters around but not at this moment. We related the incident to a member of the management team. I noticed that there seemed to be at least 1 crew member around from this point on. I am not blaming NCL for anything but I wonder where everyone was. Speaking of service and such, I was disappointed by the customer service desk. I was on my way to a shore excursion and wanted to get some change for tips. I was told that the personnel manning the position could not give out change until later in the morning. Huh? That was a head scratcher. I want to add though that I was pleased with the crew other than this situation. The dining room was OK but there were a number of entrees that cost extra. I expect to pay extra in the specialty restaurants but not in the dining room. We ate in the dining room a couple of times. Once I had a steak which was not too good. Service was fair. We went to the Italian and the French specialty restaurants. I felt both of these were excellent. The rest of the time we ate at the buffet which was good enough. I noticed an odd thing about the way the ship scheduled the buffet line availability. At about the time when a lot of folks were returning from excursions, mid afternoon, there was just the small buffet at the back of the ship open. It seemed a lot of people were hungry just then resulting in longish lines. At other times the lines were not bad and seating available. Speaking of extra charges, why isn't water included in the Ultimate Beverage Package? Seems odd to pay for this perk and then get nicked extra for a bottle of water. Note to self, bring a water bottle next time and fill up in the room. This ship had the worst sports bar ever. Mostly they showed was soccer, golf, and tennis. They have NFL football Sunday, Monday night and Thursday night. A number of people wanted to watch the major league baseball playoffs but were told the ship did not get that channel. Lame, lame, lame given the mix of guests on board the ship. If you like a lot of action in the casino, this might not be the cruise for you. A lot of the time, the game tables were manned but no one was playing. The slots did not seem all that busy either. My favorite game is Craps but too often no one else was playing. I guess there weren't many gamblers on this cruise. Most of the guests were of a retirement age so it may be that many folks turned in early. The entertainment was good except for the hypnotist. What a waste of vacation time. The show was very poorly attended and we left early. I liked the production numbers the best and was pleased with the 4 Seasons review. My suggestion is to sit in the balcony on deck 7. Great view of the stage. During our previous transit of the Panama Canal, there was a great deal of cultural enrichment opportunities including history of the canal and port lectures. This was lacking on the Sun. There was a narration as we transited the canal but I felt the lecturer was not at all enthusiastic. Disembarkation was a mess. We were with the red tag group. We were called an hour later than scheduled. If that weren't enough, during our transfer to the Ft. Lauderdale airport that we purchased from NCL, the bus broke down. We spent an additional 45 minutes before another bus showed up. To make matters worse, some of the guests had to help with the luggage transfer just to speed things up. The corker was when we were all loaded on the "rescue" bus and the driver from the 1st bus went down the aisle looking for tips.Ya just can't make this stuff up. There were six stops on this itinerary. Cabo - You need to tender in here. Tendering was slow due to the sea conditions. I felt the crew did a good job dealing with the seas. In this case, we ended up staying in the port. Acapulco - We saw the cliff divers and the San Diego fort. Be prepared for heat. I thought our guide was going to pass out. The cliff divers were cool but it would not be worth a 2nd visit in my opinion. It would also be easy to do the San Diego fort on your own. It is right across the bridge from where the ship docks. Guatemala - We climbed the Pacaya volcano. This is a very rigorous excursion that I enjoyed a great deal. If you are not in shape, seriously consider taking one of the horses up. It costs extra but is well worth the view. I highly recommend this excursion. Nicaragua - We went to the boiling mud pots and toured the cathedral in Leon. This is a very worthwhile excursion. Our guide was great. Be aware that there is not much to do where the ship docks. Costa Rica - I did the zip line. It was fun and very safe. My wife climbed a waterfall which she enjoyed. Cartagena - We went to the fort which was fantastic. We had a good guide. Be ready for the heat and humidity. We also went to the old city but got caught in a torrential rain. Oh well. I hope I wasn't too negative. I did enjoy the cruise but there are a number of ways it could be improved. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Pride of America in Hawaii was so awesome we decided to do the Panama Canal with Norwegian as well. We booked our excursions a through the online selections a long time before sailing, and found this to be a great idea. no last minute ... Read More
The Pride of America in Hawaii was so awesome we decided to do the Panama Canal with Norwegian as well. We booked our excursions a through the online selections a long time before sailing, and found this to be a great idea. no last minute choices and the tickets in our cabin ready for us when we embarked. Lots to choose from at different levels of activity preferred. We enjoyed the food, though expected some changes to the main buffet since it is the main area people eat in. Hard to find a table at times as well, but found the clearing of dirty dishes on the tables to be quick. Eating in one of the two main dining rooms, or, specifically the ones that are free, became boring as both have mostly the same menu, just a different dress code in one for dinner hours. Many times I never received the correct order, but must be hard to keep them straight when so many orders being delivered to the waiter stations before going to the exact table. Since we didn't have a budget that included paying for our dinner at one of the paying restaraunts every night, we usually ate at the buffet. Our stateroom was a balcony one and very roomy. Lots of storage for clothes and suitcases and room to move about without bumping into each other. Our cabin was 10236, had some water problems that were ongoing, and cabins down the hall had bad problems as well. Big blowers in the hallways to dry out the problem just blew it around, and then pulling up and scraping up of old carpets in our hallway(and many others!) made for a unpleasant experience. Not what we expected!! Service varied depending on where you were and what you were doing. Our room steward, Felix, was amazing. With the water and dust(from carpet fixing in the hallways) happening, it was a constant battle to keep the dust down and dry towels in our room for the overflow problems in our bathroom. Thank You Felix :) Found there to be a wide variety of attitudes in the restaraunts, but expected this. There must be experienced as well as newly hired less experienced people. Some cleaning people are friendly as you pass through the areas, others act like your invisible even if you smile or say thank you. Enjoyed the entertainment and going to the show at night. Had many good laughs and sing-a-longs with some good music. Was happy to have early disembarkation though. After 3 weeks of water issues and carpet fixers and a few service issues, I was eager to get off and onto next leg of our journey Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
"Another don't-miss is Norwegian's signature Chocoholic's Buffet, held once per cruise on each ship. It's a magnificent sight to behold. " This quote is simply untrue as there was never a chocolate buffet..on ... Read More
"Another don't-miss is Norwegian's signature Chocoholic's Buffet, held once per cruise on each ship. It's a magnificent sight to behold. " This quote is simply untrue as there was never a chocolate buffet..on two separate occasions we had water pouring from the ceiling in the hallway...4 to 5 buckets were placed on the floor to collect it...and when the weather turned cold our section of the ship had no working heat for one night and one day...our room steward offered us a one person coverup type blanket. The entertainment ranged from excellent to hastily improvised (an Elvis tribute with false starts and some onstage ego problems)... Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
It has been nearly 10 years since I last cruised on NCL. I found that on this cruise the level of service and quality of food served was considerably less than on my previous NCL cruises. NCL has too many 'specialty ... Read More
It has been nearly 10 years since I last cruised on NCL. I found that on this cruise the level of service and quality of food served was considerably less than on my previous NCL cruises. NCL has too many 'specialty restaurants' in which the service level barely comes up to the level that used to be available in the general dining room. General dining room service is slow, inefficient and leaves a lot to be desired in menu choices. On a 19 day cruise it felt like the menu in the general dining rooms never changed for the first two weeks. A couple of changes were noted on the last 4 days. Requests made of staff for things like extra sauce would take forever, and the meal course would be complete before the extra item was brought to the table, thus the extra was not longer required, but did result in less enjoyment of the food. Lunch time menus were the worst with food often coming out not nearly as hot as it should have and choices drastically limited and repeated day after day. My main reason to ever select another NCL cruise would be only if the price being offered were substantially less than that of a competing cruise line as you definitely do not get the same standard of service on NCL that I expected from previous NCL cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We recently took the seven day cruise out of Tampa to the Western Caribbean. The food was great. The ports were good. The entertainment was good. The cabin size was good. And the interior cabins have plenty of room for 2 ... Read More
We recently took the seven day cruise out of Tampa to the Western Caribbean. The food was great. The ports were good. The entertainment was good. The cabin size was good. And the interior cabins have plenty of room for 2 people. The service personnel were great people and very friendly. Middle management... not so much. We had a bit of trouble with the room. There was a leak in the AC unit and the water had backed up into the room. There was quite a smell after day two. We spoke to the manager and she point blank told us they would fix it but they did not have another room. She point blank stated we were rude about it. We weren't. As a matter of fact my friends told us we didn't do enough. Well, the smell never left the room and "surprise" they found another room after discovering more water behind the couch. As a business owner, I do know that people do complain to get something more. Like upgraded. And people do on occasion screw something up purposely to get an upgrade. This wasn't the case and they should have investigated and found a way to get us into another room right away. They did not. We did get a free meal in a fancy restaurant on the ship. It was good but why give me a free meal when they could have just sent me to another room in the first place instead of no listening to what I was saying. Overall we would use Norwegian again. We have fun and save for the inconvenience of the room, the trip was worth a repeat. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my 23rd cruise and the first and last on Norwegian. I will start with the good points. The cabin was one of the best I have ever had on a cruise. It had a Large bathtub and plenty of storage space. Any time dining is the best ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise and the first and last on Norwegian. I will start with the good points. The cabin was one of the best I have ever had on a cruise. It had a Large bathtub and plenty of storage space. Any time dining is the best because you can eat on your own of with other at any time. The crew was helpful and pleasant. Now the rest. We had a rear facing balcony cabin. The door was hard to open and would not lock and soot from the smoke stacks was all over every day. There was a smell of gasoline or some kind of solvent coming through the air conditioning vent. The swimming pools were together and there was not enough deck chairs on some days the side where there was shade was taken up with t-shirt sales. There was no self laundry and on a 16 day cruise you had to use their laundry service. The food mediocre at best. Two course meals instead of the 3 courses on other lines (you could get 2 appetizers). We ate in 3 specialty restaurants, the Italian was good, the steak was good but at $30.00 per person was overpriced, also the French restaurant which was the furthest thing from French I have ever tasted. One of the specialty restaurants was actually in the 11th deck buffet. In all the restaurants the service was overbearing and you didn't have time for a conversation. The gym was well equipped but the spinning bikes were so old that they slipped and were completely useless. Little thing like the Freestyle Daily on day 14 stated the Sun had 1700 crew members including 932 Americans(I didn't see 5), there were about 1700-1900 passengers and maybe 900 crew. All and all their attention to detail was terrible. The Panama Canal was the reason I took this cruise and that part was fantastic   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My husband and I just returned from an 18 day Repositioning/Panama Canal cruise on NCL's Sun. This is our fifth cruise, but first with NCL. We have previously sailed with Carnival, RCI and Princess. We chose this cruise for the ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from an 18 day Repositioning/Panama Canal cruise on NCL's Sun. This is our fifth cruise, but first with NCL. We have previously sailed with Carnival, RCI and Princess. We chose this cruise for the itinerary - a lot of new and interesting ports for us. I will break this review down to categories to make it easier to follow. Embarkation: An absolute nightmare and the worse experience we have ever had so far. The Sun was not scheduled to depart from San Diego until Midnight. Due to the late sailing, we tried to determine when we could board prior to the cruise and received various answers from NCL, ranging from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. No one at NCL seemed to have a clue. When we arrived at the port at about 2:00 PM, we were told that there would be a delay due to the fact that another line's ship was in the Sun's space and we would have to wait until it departed first (at about 4:00 PM). NCL had provided shuttles for guests to use to go shopping. We did this for a couple of hours and then returned to the port. When we returned, we were given a number for boarding. At about 7:00 PM, they started calling the numbers which turned out to be group numbers. They then stopped boarding and explained that there was a delay due to problems with the key cards. When they did resume, they simply called out the boarding numbers in loud voices - no PA or overhead signs. Given the mass of people in the waiting areas, they could not be heard. We did not get onboard until 10:00 PM and by that time, we were so tired, we just went to our cabin and slept. NCL still charged us the $10.00/day/guest service charge for that day! I understand that problems do occur on occasion, but just a little suggestion to NCL - invest in a couple of small chalkboards so that the boarding numbers can be displayed overhead so guests can see when their boarding number is called. Also, don't charge people a full day's service charge for 2 hours of sleeping. Ship: The Sun is spotless and pretty in an understated sort of way. A little difficult to navigate around the decks. On more than one occasion, we would find ourselves heading in the wrong direction and turn around only to find a fellow guest laughing due to the fact they had just done the same thing. Crew: In general, the staff was friendly and helpful. I say in general due to a couple of bad experiences. On one occasion, I decided to go to the Sports Bar for a late night snack - the only place you can find something to eat after 11:00 PM. When I entered, there were two customers having drinks and one staff member. I looked at the menu and approached the staff member to place an order to bring back to my cabin. He told me rather curtly that I would have to take a seat first. OK - I'm willing to play by the rules. I took a seat and than was totally ignored. Without so much as a "someone will be with you in a minute to take your order", I gave up after waiting 15 minutes. Possibly due to the late hour and the fact I was rather hungry, I was not pleased. I decided to go to the reception desk and lodge a complaint. The one girl in reception at the time met my complaint with a rather blank look and offered absolutely no solution. The other poor experience we had was in the Pacific Heights alternate restaurant. We had heard that they served very good mussels and since my hubby adores mussels, we decided to give them a try for dinner one night. My husband ordered both the chowder and the mussels. He was served the chowder, but not the mussels. When we inquired about the mussels, we were informed rather rudely by our waiter that my husband had not ordered mussels. I clearly heard him order this. A good waiter would have said "I'm sorry, I must not have heard you and I'll get them for you" and would not have argued in such a manner with the customer. Oh well, it was a long cruise. Food: The worse we have ever had on any cruise line. The food in the main dining room was horrible. On one occasion, several of us at the table ordered Paella and none of us could eat it after the first bite. My husband ordered Chioppino one night (NCL's version is spaghetti pasta with a little marinara sauce and a few shell fish on top - not what most consider Chioppino - perhaps they should refer to a cookbook). He became very sick to his stomach that night - vomiting the dinner up. Fortunately, he was better the next morning. On a seven day cruise, they have lobster one night and a chocolate extravaganza on one night. You would think that on an 18 day cruise this would at least be doubled - not so. Only one lobster night (the lobster was dry - how do you mess up lobster?) and one chocolate extravaganza. Give me a break NCL - I am not a picky eater. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese often suffices as a gourmet meal in our household. What I would have given for a little Kraft M&C on this cruise. Due to the poor and limited offerings in the main dining rooms, we were forced to pay extra to eat at the alternate restaurants during the majority of our cruise. Maybe this is NCL's intention. For the most part, the alternate restaurants are good. We enjoyed Le Bistro (the chocolate soufflE was very good) and we ate at the Steakhouse several times. The Maitre D' at the steakhouse was particularly nice and we made sure to give him a little something extra at the end of the cruise. Il Adagio was OK, but we were surprised at the limited offerings (no fettuccini alfredo for instance - another of hubby's favorites). NCL does not seem to be very responsive to customer complaints about the food. Several fellow guests that we met and dined with decided to approach the subject with staff. A meeting was set up (I did not know about it in advance and thus did not attend). The food and beverage manager was at the meeting along with a few other staff members. According to our new friends that attended the meeting, the response to their complaints was "no one else seems to be complaining". Apparently they don't take the time to walk around the ship and listen to what the guests are saying. I heard a lot of complaints and absolutely no one was praising the cuisine. Ports of Call: As I explained earlier, this cruise stopped at a number of places. Our first stop was Manzanillo. We didn't book a shore excursion, simply walked about with our new shipboard friends. It is a pretty little city. Next stop was Acapulco. Hubby was not feeling well that day, so we cancelled our plans to go see the cliff divers that night with friends. We only walked about a bit in the morning. Very dirty city and garbage was floating in the harbor. Could not imagine partaking in any of the water sports we observed going on due to the filth in the water. Yuck! Puntarenas, Costa Rica was a lot of fun and beautiful. They had just had several days of rain and several areas were flooded, but we had beautiful weather. The group we were with had hired a van and we went to the crocodile bridge, Carrera national park and Jaco beach. My husband was not able to go with us as planned. He has a heart condition and had gone to see the ship's doctor the day before. He was very well treated by the Sun's medical staff, but since he was having bronchial spasms, the doctor ordered him to take it easy for a couple of days. Just a note to future cruisers - buy trip insurance that includes medical coverage. Although you must pay medical expenses up front, you will at least be reimbursed later. Remember, most medical insurance, including Medicare, will not pay for medical expenses incurred while traveling to foreign countries. Carrera national park was great. Our group hired a guide (recommended) for $100 which worked out to just a little over $10 per person. The guide was very knowledgeable, pointing out various plants and animals. We saw Macaws, monkeys, lizards, butterflies and numerous tropical plants with various medicinal properties. I am actually glad that hubby didn't go on this one as it turned out to be quite a hike. He would have had problems negotiating some of the areas with his cane. The Panama Canal crossing was great and I took loads of pictures showing the locks closing, filling up, etc. Gatun Lake is massive with beautiful flora along it's banks. Was disappointed that we did not see any animal life from the ship, but they must have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather as well. Cartagena, Columbia was the big surprise. I was a little apprehensive about this port, but was pleasantly surprised. We took a cab into the old town section and spent the day wandering around the various little streets. Although the sellers are numerous and often in your face, most have licenses hanging around there necks and a firm "no" suffices. Since Columbia is actively trying to encourage tourist trade, they are really going out of there way to make Cartagena a regular cruise destination. They have an entire force of "Policia Tourista" on the job and noticeably evident everywhere in the major tourist areas. Although most speak limited English (if at all), they still try to be helpful to the tourists. My limited Spanish skills managed to get our group by in terms of finding directions, etc. Santa Marta is new to the cruise ship itineraries and still has a way to go. The streets were torn up and the locals seemed to be curious about this new invasion of cruise ship passengers. On the bright side, they haven't figured out the economics yet, so we didn't have people in our face trying to sell us something every other foot. Give them a couple of years and they'll get the hang of it. An hour of walking about was sufficient for us and then back to the ship. Roatan , British Honduras, is a small island off the coast and located in the middle of the second largest reef system in the world. Beautiful water!!! We only went into the little village near the port and did not take any excursions to the other side of the island (which I understand is considerably more cosmopolitan and developed). Lots of little shops and sellers trying to get one to buy the same old touristy stuff. After the first couple of shops, everything looked the same. Belize was our next stop and we had a great time. We booked a cave tubing excursion through Cave-Tubing. Com. I highly recommend them over the cruise ship's excursion. Not only is it half the price, but you receive much more personal attention and assistance. Yhony runs the company and I cannot say enough good things about him and his operation. He is starting up a new phase of ATV's and as a bonus, he took our group on a short ATV ride through the rain forest to introduce us to this. Had a great time, got very muddy, and appreciated that the cave-tubing was following. Since my husband walks with a cane, Yhony gave him a lot of personal attention. He stayed with him on the walk to the area where you enter the water and carried his tube for him and me as well. He then stayed with the two of us during the entire cave-tubing, making sure we did not get stuck and enjoyed the experience. Two other guides were with us as well and they gave the same level of service to the other members in our group. We saw several others on the cruise ship excursion and they had basically been left on their own. We are not excursion intensive cruisers, but this one is one we will certainly remember. Thank-you so much Yhony for this wonderful experience and the next time we are in Belize we will be sure to look you up again. Our final stops were Cozumel and Nassau. We were originally scheduled to stop off in Costa Maya, but due to the hurricane, it was replaced with Cozumel. Since we have been to both ports previously, we just walked around and did some shopping. I had to get a ring repaired in Nassau and discovered a great little jewelry repair shop, Islandman Jewelers. Not much of a shop, but quality and timely jewelry repairs. Very nice guy as well. Just a note, I had to have the ring repaired because it was damaged by a jeweler in Cozumel - Silver Planet. I was having a stone set and not only did they use lead solder, but they damaged the existing settings as well. Buyer beware - do not shop there. I should have complained initially, but they took longer than they originally quoted and it was getting late - we had to get back to the ship. It was only while on the tender that I noticed the poor workmanship and damage. In addition, the stone I purchased was not what they claimed. They are crooks and intentionally market faceted quartz as precious stones. Although I am somewhat savvy when purchasing gems, this one just proved to me that I should not be so cocky in the future and that I need to bring my gem tester with me next time. Previously, we have had good experiences purchasing stones in the Caribbean and this is the first time I have been seriously ripped off by a dealer passing off totally fake merchandise. And for those of you who think it serves me right for not shopping at Diamonds International or any of the other "cruise ship recommended shops", do some searching on the internet. There are some very serious horror stories about Diamonds International and how customers have paid thousands of dollars in some cases for junk with no recourse or resolution. I guess I can count myself lucky that I didn't loose that much on this one and my ring is back to its original glory. Debarkation: This went very smoothly. We chose the express version and were off the ship by 8:30. Were really surprised that Customs was a breeze considering we were carrying our own luggage off. To sum it all up (and I know this has been a lengthy review), both my husband and I had a great time overall on this cruise. Even with the mishaps, we thoroughly enjoyed the ambience with fellow passengers and the great ports of call. Would we book with NCL again? Probably not, due solely to the food. After all, one of the things we enjoy the most about cruising is trying out new dishes and not having to pay extra for a decent meal. If NCL ever wakes up and decides to address the food issue, we would consider them again, if for no other reason than the itineraries they offer. We are already planning our next cruise - HAL's Noordam - for a 20 day next fall. I have heard that HAL has fairly good food - I'll let you know. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
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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