17 Norwegian Sun Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to go through the Panama Canal. Going through the Panama Canal was the highlight of the trip and the only part of the cruise that I would recommend anybody doing. The stop in Costa Rica ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to go through the Panama Canal. Going through the Panama Canal was the highlight of the trip and the only part of the cruise that I would recommend anybody doing. The stop in Costa Rica was absolutely awful. Puntarenus, Costa Rica was our excursion for that day. Excursion was titled “scenic Costa Rica”. We saw nothing but trees, shack‘s and trash all along the route. I asked the excursion desk people why they even stopped in this area. They said their stops on the cruise ship came from the corporate office. I showed them the pictures I took from our excursion and they agreed, it’s an awful place for the cruise ship to stop, but their hands were tied. I advise them to call it something different then “scenic Costa Rica” because we surely did not see anything scenic. The room stewards were very accommodating, however, the staff in the dining room appeared new to the cruise line and very inexperienced. We had to wait great lengths of time to get our food, which by most standards, was just mediocre. The steaks were tough and the soups were the same almost every night, had very little flavor and not very interesting. There was nothing on the menu in the main dining room that I would write home about. The specialty dining’s were good, not great . The buffet in the upper deck were always crowded because there was not enough room for a more variety of dishes on the service line. They had the same thing almost every single night. Their nightly shows were OK but nothing that I would ever returned to see again. The movies that they showed in the movie theater were geared to children 8 to 15. The movie selections on the TV we’re also geared children. They had the Terminator II, a lego movie and Batman movie and some other child’s movie, They only had five TV channels, three news stations, one TV show station and movie station, again geared to children. TV stations were so bad that even the comedian in one of the shows joked about how bad the TV choices were. I have to say, the average age on this cruise was 65. The activities, movie selections and shows in the main theater should have been geared to a more mature audiences. We did not buy the drink package but we did find that the same glass of wine in one bar would be two dollars more in another bor for the same wine. I will not recommend Norwegian Cruise line anymore. We have been on several Norwiegian cruises, including the Sun the Epic and the Pearl and we will no longer recommend cruising with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The crew was excellent but the ship was in poor condition. Windows were all dirty and not washed once during 18 day cruise. Lighting throughout the ship was out in a lot of places. Food was sub par for Norwegian. Just an overall ... Read More
The crew was excellent but the ship was in poor condition. Windows were all dirty and not washed once during 18 day cruise. Lighting throughout the ship was out in a lot of places. Food was sub par for Norwegian. Just an overall disappointment. Ship was dirty in many areas. Maintenance was chipping and painting in areas above our head during cruise. Walkers and joggers were just above our room and noise was a bit distracting. Shower in handicap room allows water all over floor which becomes quite slippery. There was no hot water in the cabin when we first boarded. There was cold water but if you turned it all the way to hot there was no water at all. Some valve was off somewhere. The crew was awesome despite the conditions of the ship. Entertainment was fantastic except for the Motown act. Ability to take pictures was somewhat difficult at times because of the crowd. Some shore excursions were cheesy so be careful in your choice. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
A friend ask if I wanted to share a cabin on a Norwegian cruise ship through the Panama Canal. It was a little pricey but I all ways wanted to go on a Norwegian cruise ship and to the Panama Canal . I thought it was ranked as one of the ... Read More
A friend ask if I wanted to share a cabin on a Norwegian cruise ship through the Panama Canal. It was a little pricey but I all ways wanted to go on a Norwegian cruise ship and to the Panama Canal . I thought it was ranked as one of the better cruise lines, Had I was known it would be under construction I would of waited for another opportunity . One thing I like to do on sea days is getting up early and drinking coffee outside and watching the sun come up across the ocean which was impossible to do. Debris was flying off the decks and out of what they told me was from the chimney. After getting fiber glass and what looked like black oil looking chips in my coffee . I stopped sitting on the back deck when I realized what I had been drinking that stuff . I decided to walk around the ship on the walking deck only to find out half the deck was closed for beautification. Making a very congested walking and jogging track. I was looking forward to fresh clean air at sea but it was always dust in the air and smell of turpentine or something. Sometimes days the elevators made your eyes water. Our cabin was nice other than outside in the hall they were removing the ceiling tiles to run wires or something thru them. Leaving stuff in the halls until their project was done. I received very good service and some poor service in the dining room. My next cruise I will know now to ask if it will be under construction. This really surprised me because the website said it had been refurbished in 2016. 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
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
I chose this cruise because 10 family members were getting together for our uncle's birthday. Due to the construction, 3 members were continually sick. Either a deck, bar or eating area was closed at any given time. Workers were in ... Read More
I chose this cruise because 10 family members were getting together for our uncle's birthday. Due to the construction, 3 members were continually sick. Either a deck, bar or eating area was closed at any given time. Workers were in our hallway on ladders with open ceilings as the particles and debris were falling onto us. Decks were being sanded continually and the debris and dust from that flew onto the balconies and into our room. Also, the debris was landing onto the pool deck and into the pool while people tried to enjoy their time in the sun. Family members stated they heard saws and other power tools throughout the night. I saw plastic flying off the decks, where they were working, and landing into the sea. All in all that was disappointing. But the the crew was super nice, friendly and fun. The restaurant's food was delicious and the buffets full of variety. There was a special area at the buffet filled with Indian food which was tasty. Dazzles lounge had great entertainment/games but the chairs were incredibly uncomfortable. The ship's dance/singers/band was ok. But the other musical talents were enjoyable. The Sun could have used more "variety" type of evening entertainment in the Stardust lounge other than the ship's dance/singer/band. The itinerary, for us, was perfect! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The boat overall was quite clean. Cabin was way larger than expected. It was excellently maintained and the janitor was always polite and cheerful. It was impossible to bear the noise (sound of drums and base) during the show ... Read More
The boat overall was quite clean. Cabin was way larger than expected. It was excellently maintained and the janitor was always polite and cheerful. It was impossible to bear the noise (sound of drums and base) during the show times (7:15 and 9:15) at Stardust. Food quality at buffet was poor and not many to choose from. The menus at Four Seasons and Seven Seas were almost 'consistent' throughout the 15 days. Food servers were kind and courteous in general except few. It was quite disturbing that the boat renovation restricted the guests on-board activities so often. We, a group of 4 couples, did not expect your on-board entertainment to be the highlight of daily activities anyway. Some crews, particularly at Guest Service Counter at 5th Deck were rude. You should teach your crew more English. AND MOST OF ALL, THEY(specially the Chinese ones) SHALL NOT ASK THE GUESTS WHERE THEY ARE FROM! We understand they are trying to be friendly. But it is not polite and the ethnicity of a guest is none their business. 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
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 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
We chose this cruise specifically for the Panama Canal crossing, but thoroughly enjoyed the ports we visited. Cartegena, Costa Rica, Acupulco, Cabo and Ensenada were pretty touresty. Nicaragua and Guatemala were very interesting and well ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the Panama Canal crossing, but thoroughly enjoyed the ports we visited. Cartegena, Costa Rica, Acupulco, Cabo and Ensenada were pretty touresty. Nicaragua and Guatemala were very interesting and well worth the time and expense. The cruise ship, on the other hand, was disappointing. Extensive maintenance and repairs on board were very disruptive. We could not to use our stateroom because of overpowering fumes from solvents or paints after a shore excursion. We really needed a shower and nap. Guest services staff sent us to use a couch in the bar for our nap! Pallets for paint and other supplies were stored all over the decks. Sections of the ship were blocked off and the Tapas Bar was completely closed for the duration (this was one I looked forward to, and was not notified in advance that it would be closed). Noise from sanding/grinding decks and fumes from paints and solvents in the public areas were very disruptive throughout the cruise. It really spoiled our 1st experience on a cruise ship. Music at the pool, in the Dazzle lounge and Windjammer bar was so loud we couldn't enjoy it. The smell of chlorine in the Dazzle was overpowering, so we didn't participate in the events held there. Specialty dining was very disappointing, as well. I resent having paid gratuity in advance when service was so poor. At Cagney's my steak was great, but my husband's was tough and overcooked. At Moderno, it was so noisy we couldn't talk to each other and service was very slow. Side dishes were not presented until 45 minutes after we arrived. We both sat with empty plates in front of us for a long time. Servers waited on a large group table next to us and we were pretty much ignored. The Filet Mignon was excellent, bacon wrapped chicken was so dry I had to drink water to swallow it. After an hour we left without finishing our meal. The maitre d' attempted to get us to stay, but we were too frustrated to enjoy the meal. He left us a voicemail inviting us back (which we were not interested in). He sent chocolates to our room. Then he kept showing up at other restaurants we went to. After a while it felt like he was stalking us. Very uncomfortable! Generally we found ourselves waiting for at least one of the "free" restaurants to open to get dinner. Our stomachs and opening times were never in sync. Overall our dining experiences were mixed. We found the 7 Seas dining room to be consistently good. The 4 Seasons service was slow and food was so so. The Garden Cafe was ok for cafeteria food. Most entrees were heavily salted and they seemed to serve a lot of pork. Desserts were kind of blah, but the salad bar was good. It was consistently hard to find a table. Food at the Sports bar was pretty good, but it wasn't open during the day. On the plus side...Our cabin was good and the room steward was great! Overall staff was very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
NCL decided to begin refurbishing the Sun during our cruise with total disregard for the health and safety of the passengers. Paint chips and insulation floating down from the decks and smoke stacks into our food. People became ill from ... Read More
NCL decided to begin refurbishing the Sun during our cruise with total disregard for the health and safety of the passengers. Paint chips and insulation floating down from the decks and smoke stacks into our food. People became ill from the chemicals used in the paint and when forced to seek medical attention by the Cruise Doctor, they were charged 100's of dollars in medical fees. The Captain and his staff were less than sympathetic to the concerns of the passengers. The Captain blamed it all on Corporate and said he had no say in the matter. During our Panama Canal crossing, all you heard in the background were jackjammers!!! Could not hear the comments from our guideon the loud speaker as we journeyed through the canal.If you are considering a cruise with NCL, think again... They only care about the bottom line, not the passengers who pay their salaries. On a bright note... the crew was fabulous! They tried to make a very bad situation bearable. They should be commended for their efforts. NCL management should be ashamed of their behavior and decisions. We have only sailed on NCL. Never again! #NCL worst cruise ever on the Sun Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We recently cruised the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles on March 16- 31st, 2018 on the Norwegian Sun. The day we left port we witnessed multiple pallets lining our muster stations/ emergency exits and life boat areas with toxic ... Read More
We recently cruised the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles on March 16- 31st, 2018 on the Norwegian Sun. The day we left port we witnessed multiple pallets lining our muster stations/ emergency exits and life boat areas with toxic chemicals (5 gallon buckets of flooring agents, lacquer, strippers, sandal primer, etc.). Talk on board said they had a dry dock coming in Victoria, BC (Canada), for 16 days, and then picking up passengers in Seattle for a return trip on April 19th back to Port Canaveral, FL. We believed it was only to transport them to BC. We were wrong! In just the first day we bean noticing workers breaking these pallets open and blocking off the 6th deck (jogging track and muster areas), as well as the 11th and 12th decks (pool side), to begin work on resurfacing. This continued the entirety of the cruise, to a point we were being herded like cattle to avoid certain areas while they worked. This blocked certain bars and pool side areas for over 2000 passengers, and restricted access to emergency exits. This was MUCH more than maintenance, it was dry dock construction while at sea. Workers used sand blasting, hammer drills, belt sanders and highly toxic chemicals the entirety of our cruise. Dust and toxic smell covered the ship depending on the wind direction, noise was waking people up from sleep at early hours, and people have videos and pictures to back it up, myself included. My wife woke up coughing at night 2x until we asked out cabin staff to change our bedding. It was essentially dust particles coming in through the A/C returns, and where filters do not catch everything. This dust blanketed ship balconies, the lounge and pool areas, as well as getting into people's food, the pool, bar areas and more. Passengers then organized a meeting to confront the situation. The Captain walked out after 3 minutes because he could not handle the level of people's frustration. People booed him off the stage as he walked away. NCL did offer passengers a small 25% credit back from this cruise, but only to use on a future cruise, and within a year's time. This is totally unacceptable! People, including myself don't take big vacations like this accept maybe every 5 years. I work, as does my wife. We are basically being strapped into spending more money at NCL and forced to use their ships again, when they clearly did not care about our well being. People with respiratory issues were exposed to harmful toxins and dust, while they wore masks and respirators. The CEO of NCL and whoever was involved in this atrocity should step down to save face for the company. Even in the event of a short dry dock in Canada, they used this opportunity for financial benefits for NCL, and yet collected a higher than normal ticket during Spring Break, and yet did NOT notify anyone, or disclose this would be going on! I feel taken advantage of, and deceived. Somehow though this, we managed to make the most of it and met great new friends and enjoyed the staff on board. Many of the employees expressed anger towards the work being done to us, but can't do anything about it. We feel as though we are due more than they offered, and we want to let all travelers aboard future NCL cruises to ask questions, contact corporate offices in Miami and get the detail before you sail. I probably will NOT use NCL again because of this! 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
We cruised on the Norwegian with another couple. We were in stateroom 8051. The bed looked and felt like they got it out of a 'pay by the hour' motel. It had depressions more than an inch deep in the mattress where too many ... Read More
We cruised on the Norwegian with another couple. We were in stateroom 8051. The bed looked and felt like they got it out of a 'pay by the hour' motel. It had depressions more than an inch deep in the mattress where too many people had slept. They have probably never replaced the mattresses since the ship first sailed in 2001. The mattress was also hard as a rock. I ended up with three egg crate foams and a thick mattress pad on the bed before it was even comfortable enough to sleep. The A/C didn't work for the first five days. I had to keep the curtains closed to keep the room from becoming hot. The hallway was cooler than my room. One customer service person suggested I leave my door open to the hall when I was in the room. I suggested they fix the A/C. They also suggested I keep the curtains closed at all times. I told them I didn't pay extra for a balcony room so that I could keep the curtains closed. After the A/C was 'fixed' the hallway was still cooler than the room even though we had the thermostat set on the coolest possible setting. The shower was tiny! Shockingly tiny. Sometimes the toilet did not flush. The balcony was a disappointment since it was shallow...the chairs did not have foot rests so I couldn't really sit and put my feet up to relax. The port side and aft hallway outside our room smelled like sewage all but two days. On the 23rd or 24th I walked out of the stateroom to find the hallway flooded with what I hope was water. It seemed to be coming from stateroom 8055. They brought wet vascular and fans. We had very noisy industrial fans blowing 24 hours a day after that. The customer service people were pretty bad. You already read their responses regarding my A/C. A third contact with them produced a dour, sour, unsmiling, disdainful, arrogant, condescending 'customer service' guy by the name of Toms (yes, I spelled it correctly). He did not listen to me, began to berate me for something I did not do, and kept saying "What is your problem!?!" while I was trying to explain. For all our trouble with the bed and A/C, another 'customer service' rep named Hazel thought two bottles of wine were an appropriate settlement. She also offered a dinner in one of the specialty restaurants, but only for my husband and I, we would not be able to bring our traveling companions because our problems did not affect their room. It did. They had to listen to me complain for five days. We opted not to go to a restaurant. We eventually spoke to Scott who does something with the financial end of things. We received a call saying we could go to one of the specialty restaurants and take our travel companions. The restaurant we chose was the steakhouse Cagneys and the usual charge for going there is $30 a person. We made our reservation and went on a Thursday night. When we got there there were four tables of people seated and eating. We sat about 10 minutes before our waiter came over to give us menus and take our drink orders. The room was quite dark, but luckily we were in the center with some little can lights above us. The waiter did not return for quite a while. He finally took our drink orders, and by that time we'd been able to look over the menu and order. In the meantime, other people came in, were seated, given their drinks, brought their appetizers. We were still sitting there with nothing. It was 65 minutes from the time we were seated till we had our drinks and appetizers. 65 minutes. As we sat there we noticed people sitting along the wall, where it was really dark, actually using pocket flashlights and the table candles to be able to see the menu! The room was freezing. The music was too loud and some of the other guests as they came in were very loud and disruptive to a supposedly 'nice' dinner. The 'view' in this 'specialty' restaurant was a bunch of sweaty young men shooting baskets on the basketball court outside the restaurant. I'm glad it was free because there wasn't much to recommend it and it sure wasn't worth $30 each. The whole time we were there we were wishing we were back in the Seven Seas with our regular superb waiter, King Cesar. Cagneys food was ok. My filet mignon was lacking in beefy flavor but it was tender. Norwegian did not include a glass of wine with our meal, so we had to pay for drinks. The activities were plenty but the room allotted for them was inadequate for the one I attended and for a couple others i tried to attend. People were seated on the floor and actually in other rooms because of lack of space. The staff, Eddie and Andre, were kind of short tempered because they had to run all over the place trying to teach people how to do the craft. Eddie, especially, focused on a small group of women who knew him from other activities. He left Andre to run between rooms and try to help the rest of us. I saw the same issue at other activities and didn't bother staying. At the shows, which were pretty good, there was notice that seat saving was not allowed. That didn't stop anyone. It was difficult to find a seat for four people together unless we went 45-60 minutes early. The seats are terrible. In the center of the back of the seats are huge buttons for decoration. They dig into your back while you are watching a show. It isn't pleasant. The food was good, but not memorable. We found a great waiter in one of the 'sit down' restaurants as I mentioned above. He was so personable and so good at his job that the evening meal was the highlight of the day. The buffet was a mess. The configuration was horrendous. There was no clear cut path through the line so people were going both ways, jumping in line wherever they saw something that looked good to them, blocking the aisles, it was chaos. In the a.m. It was worse because they have the omelet station set up in a place that stalls the line from moving. We rarely used the buffet after the second day because it was so frustrating. We walked into the casino one day on our way through another area of the ship. The stench of cigarettes was so bad I began to gag half way across the room. There isn't much shopping on board and if you go in the jewelry store you will find vastly inflated prices (except the Emerald Event wasn't too bad) on their jewelry with very high pressure sales people. If you ask to see a piece you are almost immediately guided to a counselor who 'educates' you on what a fine piece of jewelry you are considering and tries to close the deal. I finally told one sales person that I didn't need to be counseled, I needed to decide if I was willing to pay too much for a bracelet I liked. I wasn't after his methods. The regular staff, waitstaff, room stewards, they were all really nice. I felt bad for them in a way. This cruise was a huge disappointment. The ship, the amenities, the poor customer service...I can't imagine sailing again with Norwegian. A really strange thing: it was almost impossible to find a garbage can on board. We found ourselves carrying empty cups and other garbage around....annoying. The shore excursions we bought through NCL (4 of us, 5 excursions each) were expensive for what I feel we got. For my husband and I the cost was $740. It wasn't worth it. It was a bunch of the same thing in each port. A male guide who gave a sob story about being a single parent, a single shop in which the guide most likely got kickbacks, limited to 0 time to check out other stores, sometimes truncated tours (not all aspects of the tour description were met). Long drawn out presentations more suitable for a class. One tour got us back to the ship late. We ended up waiting on the same people all the time who couldn't seem to get to the bus on time. I'll review each tour at the tour description rather than here. No I won't. I just did that part of this survey and two of our ports/excursions are not even listed as options in the list. The two not listed were Huatulco: again, one store to browse which I'm sure gave Pedro a kickback, cause that's the only store we were 'allowed' to go into. Nice demonstration by the store of how they make dye for their woven pieces. Textiles were very expensive, pottery was reasonable and beautiful. Butterfly farm was really nice...I enjoyed this tremendously. The church we toured was beautiful as well. Again, we waited on the same people who happened to again take the same tour as us. Pedro was ok, but kept us to one shop in a cool little town where I'd have liked to go into some stores. Puerto Chiapas: Emilio very knowledgeable of Mayan history, but frequently went on too long in too much detail rather than allowing us to view the archaeological site. This wasn't a 'for credit' class. Very slow moving, long, drawn out! Saw ANOTHER church...again, it was lovely, but I'd have liked to hit a shop or two per the tour description. We did no shopping on this tour. The planetarium was wonderful but watch out for the seats in front of you...they recline completely and bang into your knees painfully. The planetarium was an interesting part of the tour and a break from Emilio's endless talking. The young people who did a Mayan dance on the veranda did a great job! I loved that part. The chocolate? Forget it. It is crumbles of chocolate in a bowl into which everyone puts their fingers. Gross. For the cost of the tour you'd think they could give us a small square rather than what was offered. Emilio got us back to the port 15 minutes late which meant we had no time to at least look at the shops at the dock (since we got to look at no shops in the town.) we were way out in the country for the Izapa ruins. The 'caretaker' looked kind of scary, allowed his children to run around pulling on us and begging the entire time. When they weren't begging they were playing and talking while Emilio made his presentation. Oh. Did I mention the police? They showed up after we got there and sat at a table the entire time we were there. I'm wondering if they were protecting us since we were so far out in the country. If someone took a notion to rob us we would have been up the creek as isolated as we were. I'm glad they were there. They need to lose the creepy caretaker and his kids. I cannot recommend NCL based on this voyage. Perhaps their other ships are in better shape than the Sun. I'm not going to take the chance. My advice is to use another cruise company.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Wife and myself are early 50's. We've been on 15+ cruises, most very good to excellent, this one was near the bottom of the heap. Embarkation was very quick, efficient and organized. We were in a penthouse suite on deck 8 below ... Read More
Wife and myself are early 50's. We've been on 15+ cruises, most very good to excellent, this one was near the bottom of the heap. Embarkation was very quick, efficient and organized. We were in a penthouse suite on deck 8 below the bridge. The suite was roomy, and clean, very nice large bathroom with separate tub and shower area. Great view forward. Furnishings are getting a bit worn and the bed was among the worst I've slept in anywhere. NCL advertises butler and concierge service with the suite. The concierge saved the trip for us. Erika was her name and she was excellent. Erika checked with us multiple times daily and arranged our dinner reservations even at the last minute. She answered any questions we had quickly and efficiently. She stopped by with priority tender tickets without even asking. Our butler was pretty much a doorknob, all show and no go. All we wanted from him was to have our ice bucket kept full, thats it, no more necessary. Guess what, we still constantly had to try to find ice. We finally found one of the cabin stewards who helped us and he was not even from our area of deck 8. We tipped him very generously. We found most of the staff to be very friendly, some tried very hard to please but most seemed overworked. Dining. I have to say I never had a wider contrast of food quality on any cruise. Unfortunately the bad far outweighed the good. The good was the duck in the French bistro. The second night in the 7 seas dining room, lobster was fair but the beef wellington served the same night was far better, maybe even excellent. East Meets West, wife had an excellent but overcooked rib-eye, I had a NY strip, it was ok, but not worth the extra charge. Now for the BAD food, Hockey puck like things served as hamburgers, dried out chicken, and about everything else in the buffets were tasteless. Pizzas were a joke, come on NCL anyone should be able to make a decent pizza. We tried the main dining room a couple times for lunch and found out they just went and picked up some buffet items to put on a plate and served them to you. We got up and left right after they served the most unappetizing looking "meatloaf" like thing. We then went to the buffet and had some tasteless pasta. About the only things edible at the buffet were some breakfast items but I have to say the bacon every day tasted old or rancid (maybe they were cooking it in old grease??) We would look at the dinner menu's for the main dining rooms and the selections were very boring and uninspired. Who wants to eat turkey and chicken every night. I would suggest that NCL could charge $5.00 per person more per day, thats $35.00 for a week and improve their food quality. I guess this is their ploy to get people to pay for the surcharge restaurants. We didn't have a problem paying extra if it was good. Of the surcharge restaurants, the Italian place was not good at all. The veal shank which some people rave about was the worst I've had anywhere. I did not gain any weight on this cruise...HMMMM???? Enough on the food. We like to spend a lot of time in 2 places when we cruise, first the pool area, On the SUN it was so overcrowded it was near impossible to find a spot anywhere that was out of the wind. Forget trying to use the hot tubs, they were overflowing with spring breakers, some semi-clothed and leaving not much to your imagination. The second place we like normally is the casino. Not on the SUN, this one was so smoke filled it was unbreathable most evenings. We talked to a good number of fellow non-smoking passengers that boycotted the casino too. The only time we could play any blackjack was when they opened a table on the pool deck and it was so windy and cold you could not stay there long. Entertainment, the poolside Caribbean band was pretty good but they must have one heck of a contract with NCL, seemed they would play 3 or 4 songs, then go on break for half an hour. The "lounge" band was hot and cold, some songs they did well some would turn any milk within 100 ft sour. Ports. Roatan was very cool, (not temperature) We did a Victor Bodden tour and loved it, We did zip-lining WOW, We went to a beach for a while, did lunch at this neat on the water joint and had excellent fresh grilled snapper and shrimp. We also did the monkeys at Victors house. This was the best tour "bang for the buck" anywhere. Our driver Carlos was friendly and shy, showed us a lot of the Island. Belize, We had been there before, and wanted to do a riverboat tour that was not full enough for the operator to run. We shopped and had a few (quite a few) belikin's. Cozumel, Been there before, lots of ships (8) in port so we taxi'd to Mr Sanchez beach area, wife had a great massage, I lounged at the beach and had a great waiter bring me quite a few xx beers and excellent nachos and guac. NCL private Island. Nice sand, clean, overcrowded and more NCL buffet food, what can I say but I've seen and experienced MUCH better. Debarkation was quick and efficient, going thru customs was a breeze, I think they were too busy to even want to ask questions or look at anything. They were the most laid back of any customs office anywhere. We had a late flight back from FLL so we took the everglade tour to kill some time, not a bad tour, pretty interesting area. We used NCL's bag check service to send our bags directly home from the ship, all went well with that except for Northwest airlines loosing one for a couple days. Overall, our vacation was not bad but we didn't let NCL's shortcomings affect us too much. We booked this last minute and we got some much needed R&R. NCL needs to "kick it up a notch" in my opinion to compete with the other mass market cruise lines. They certainly know how to try and nickel and dime you when they can. Two things that would make them more equal to their rivals would be an major increase in food quality/variety and get the smoking out of the casino! Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
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

Find a Norwegian Sun Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click