8 Norwegian Sun Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America

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
Choose this cruise for the ports and Panama Canal transit. Ports were great. Gave us an opportunity to get off that wretched ship. Officers had no leadership. Captain was nowhere to be seen. The only officers on deck on disembarkation ... Read More
Choose this cruise for the ports and Panama Canal transit. Ports were great. Gave us an opportunity to get off that wretched ship. Officers had no leadership. Captain was nowhere to be seen. The only officers on deck on disembarkation were two junior chefs. We have been on 37 cruises now and this has been the worst experience we have ever had. Check Facebook group #PC Sun for more info. I get too upset when I write about it. NCL no more. Most of the full capacity clients will be seeking full refunds through NCL directly, and/or their travel agents. Three impromptu meetings onboard and NCL representatives invited and the captain showed up at the first meeting of over 500 passengers and promptly left to a chorus of boos when he blamed the head office for the construction onboard and offered no information other than it wasn't his fault....thank you Captain....so in review.... Ports of call were great. Food on board was mediocre, line staff wonderful, senior staff and officers, defensive and non committal. entertainment was mediocre at best. Musical entertainment around the ship was great. Buffet had pork loin 4 days in a row, cleaning out the freezer I guess, embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. did not do any shore excursions from the ship, but did private tours in most ports at a fraction of the cost. After this cruise, I do not think I will give them any more business. So I guess , NO , I would not recommend Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
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 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
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
This was our first cruise. A dear friend set it up and invited us to participate. We are glad we did. Overall it was a good experience. Since we have nothing with which to compare it it is difficult to judge if other lines would be ... Read More
This was our first cruise. A dear friend set it up and invited us to participate. We are glad we did. Overall it was a good experience. Since we have nothing with which to compare it it is difficult to judge if other lines would be better, worse, or the same as Norwegian. We were not off to a good start nor was disembarking done smoothly. We were in line for about an hour on each. Why? Improvements we would like to see were wifi included in the fee to participate in the cruise. The additional cost to do so once on board was almost $30 a day! (No, we didn't partake.) Also, the TV channels were drastically limited. A "Dear Brian" at the registration desk was used twice with messages. Neither was answered. The walking surface on the sixth deck was great, although we were never told why we couldn't make a complete circuit before 8 AM which is when I like to walk. The staff was wonderful! We felt like family to a few of them with whom we had frequent contact. The food was great and the activities were plentiful. We are looking forward to trying Norwegian for another trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our second time thru the canal and the second time on this ship. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary as it had three ports we had not being to before. As Latitude members we were able to get on board rather quickly ... Read More
This was our second time thru the canal and the second time on this ship. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary as it had three ports we had not being to before. As Latitude members we were able to get on board rather quickly in Miami, though we sailed late as the ship was getting late supplies. The Sun is a smaller and a little bit older cruise ship. This means that it has good and some not so good things. First it is easy to navigate the ship as it is small. There are lots of dinning options and we never had trouble finding a seat or service. The crew it self seemed happy and were very accommodating. The entertainment on board was good to excellent. The production shows were all very good with a talented crew, especially the dancers. The smaller lounges had entertainment also every night. Henry Hood is a great entertainer, do not miss him. Our cabin was in the little known or seen Oslo deck. It is hidden between deck 6&7 at the front of the ship. The only access is from deck 7 down a small flight of stairs. The cabin itself was on the small size with a small washroom and shower. Bur remember you are not in your room much. One question for NCL. How can you call it a sports bar when you only show one channel? And that one shows soccer games 95% of the time/ The ports are what makes the cruise and this one did it for us. If you have never been on a Panama Canal Cruise, plan on doing one. We went to Cartagena, Puntarenas, Corinto, Puerto Quetzal, Acapulco, and Cabo San Lucas. A high and a low. In Puerto Quetzal we went to the city of Antiqua. This is a UNESCO city and a must for a traveler, We even had the opportunity to watch a volcano pop. Corinto on the other hand had little to offer. The port city itself is very impoverish, and our tour to Leon did little to change our mind about the conditions of the country. It would have been better to by-pass this port and go to another. Getting off in San Diego was a problem. As a non US citizen we had to all go up to the observation deck at 6:15 in the morning, The custom people did not start taking us though until 6:45. around 8 AM they start paging the 15 people who had not shown up yet :(. It took another hour to get them rounded. So everyone had to wait until after 9 to get off the ship. Not the ships fault, but some people think the rules do not apply to them and it effects us all. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Last year we both retired and we had a 1st cruise to the Alaska on board Celebrity Century. It was so relaxing trip and we enjoyed our moving hotel and services. This time we chose 19days Panama Canal Cruise by Norwegian Cruise Line. We ... Read More
Last year we both retired and we had a 1st cruise to the Alaska on board Celebrity Century. It was so relaxing trip and we enjoyed our moving hotel and services. This time we chose 19days Panama Canal Cruise by Norwegian Cruise Line. We had a wonderful time on board the Sun. A long 19days cruise, but every fellow passenger on board ship became a like best friend to us to the end. Kids were busy studying at school that very few kids on board the ship, we heard just over 10 kids including babies on boarded. We flew to Tampa by Delta airline 2nights before the cruise, and stayed Quality Inn Airport Tampa. This Inn was a typical Urban Motel, conveniently located and clean. They offered shuttle bus to the cruise terminal for $12 p.p. but we had 3 large luggage and 2 carry-on, therefore we chose to call a Yellow cab ourselves to reach Tampa cruise terminal. Less than 15mins ride and the taxi fare were $18 + tip. If your party was more than 2 persons, it might be cheaper and convenient to use a taxi. The embarking was a little bit nightmares, around 10:15am when we arrived at Cruise Terminal by taxi; In front of the terminal, there were huge pails of disembarking passengers and their luggage from previous cruise. So many disembarking passengers were trying to find their bus and/or taxi that drugging our luggage to drop off station was almost impossible. Long lines up to checked-in but soon we on-boarded ship and found ourselves eating lunch at Garden Café. Our cabin: our Balcony cabin #0218 on deck 10 starboard side was a great location, just 1 flight to the pool deck and Garden café. Our room was just below the spa facility on deck 11 that there was no nuisance noise at all. It was a very well organized balcony cabin; there were amount of storage spaces, big comfortable bed, and nice balcony with 2 chairs and a small table. However, we found very tiny shower stall in the cabin, even I could not bend myself to wash my feet. It was a practical shower booth but too tiny to do anything but just standing and get shower. We could store our luggage under the bed. Unfortunately, our house keeper “Yashiman” was not so eager to work or clean our cabin. Every day she checked our cabin but just set the bed sheets and replaced Ice box ice. Some day shortage of towels, another day no bath floor-mat, we had to chase her around and asked them but soon we gave up to ask her anymore. We believed she never vacuumed our cabin even once in 15days. Her work contract expired and she disembarked at Los Angeles. When a new house keeper “Sergio” who on boarded at L.A. started to taking care of our cabin, our cabin became crispy clean. Especially Balcony door glasses were crystal clear. Foods for 19days long Panama cruise; honestly we tired out to see everyday same routine foods at Garden café, at breakfast and lunch, but don’t get us wrong we didn't go hungry. We liked Freestyle dining. The Seven Seas and Four Season main dining room served almost the same menu and foods except daily chef special but they had slightly different atmospheres. We loved the Four Season because much friendlier hostesses and well-mannered wait staffs. We were not sure cover charging specialty restaurants were worth the money or not. Inclusive main dining was good enough for us. We met very unpleasant, rude waiter named “AJOY” at the Four Seasons restaurant. He was an Asian descend himself but by some reason he didn't like to serve Asian peoples at the restaurant. He clearly showed his attitude and treated Asian peoples differently. The NCL cruise passengers are their guest, nothing else but their guest. However, somehow he misunderstood this concept and acted with his own agenda. We enjoyed our Panama cruise very much but undoubtedly he spoiled some moments of our cruise. Entertainment: Stardust Theater had good shows every day, much, much better than typical Caribbean resort hotels’ shows. However, 50 minutes nonstop late 60 Beach-boy style guitar music/songs were too much for us. Dressing with White Clothes, the White Hot Party was fun to attend. The funniest and most entertaining show was the Crew’s talent show and the Crew Director and his Staffs’ show in cruise day 18th. Thank you and Well done! In sunny Sea days, pool deck was jam packed with sunbathing peoples, so that you should wake up early to ensure getting a sun lounger with some shade. Disembarking: A night before, we picked our disembarking time and got color coded luggage tags from the guest service and tagged luggage placed outside of the door before 12am. Next time we saw our luggage was at the cruise terminal waiting for us to pick up. It was as smooth as we could imagine, we waited at the Dazzles lounge to call our color tag to disembark, no line up at all. This cruise was a 3 weeks trip for us including 2nights Tampa but it was a great journey. We lacked out very good weather, in 19days cruise we believed we received just 15 minutes of rain that all. Highlight of this cruise was the Crossing Panama Canal. It was a marvelous dock system and very well organized. Nobody wanted in the bed at the 6am in the morning when our ship started crossing the Panama Canal. If we have a chance in the near future we definitely want to have this cruise again. Ports and Excursions: First of all we don’t like Group Tour Excursion at all, because we have to follow tour’s timetable, we hate it! Tampa: Don’t miss out Tampa River Walk; we started to walk from Water Park to Cruise Terminal. The beautifully constructed walkway and serenely was just breathe taking especially at evening. In front of the cruise terminal, we took a street car and visited historical Ybor city, regrettably just an old town nothing special about…. Cartagena, Columbia: Two of us hired a taxi to explore Cartagena. We visited Popa Monastery($5pp), San Felipe Fortress($10pp), and walked around Old Town with taxi driver, enjoyed a drink in the Wall city . It took 4½ hours to see them all with our own timetable, and total cost was still less than the Ship’s excursion price. Puntarenas, Costa Rica: Hot and very humid. Our ship docked right in Puntarenas. End of the dock, there were typical souvenir shops and eateries. We didn't know Costa Rica is such a peaceful country at all, we could describe a country Costa Rica as a Mexico without drugs. This time we took ship’s excursion “Pacific Train, Boat, and Bus Adventure”. Crocodile River Boat tour was an interesting to see and we saw many colorful birds too, but Train ride was a boring one, nothing to see just dirty old country scenery that it’s. Next time, we will definitely explore “Puntarenas” ourselves. Huatulco, Mexico: End of the dock, there were line up of the souvenir shops, and restaurants with free wifi. We stopped by one of the beach restaurant and see our ship from the beach. Not much interesting town for us, so we went back to our ship and enjoyed a salt water pool and Jacuzzi without crowds. Acapulco, Mexico: According to the news media, Acapulco became a dangerous town because of the drugs trafficking gang activities but from the sea it was such a beautiful harbour and town. We ventured out ourselves again into the town with very cautious minds. We walked Acapulco beautiful beach awhile from the cruise terminal to the Huge Mexican Flag at the beach and got a beach restaurant to have a beer. From there we picked up a taxi to “La Quebrada” to watch Cliff Dive($7pp) show. Great performances but looked very scarily indeed. Next we got a taxi again to see Fort of San Diego($5pp) just below the cruise terminal. We saw the great view of the Acapulco harbour from there. Funny thing about taxi in the town, before get into the taxi, asked “how much?” their answer was always “$5 US….. it didn't matter how far to drive. Again, this venture we spent a half the ship’s excursion price. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: Tender boat to the shore. We saw the “El Arco” when ship entered the Cabo San Lucas Bay. It was looks very interesting from the distance, we hired a small boat at harbour to see Land’s End. We took a ton of photos with El Arco in back ground. It was better to see El Arco from small boat than big tour boat. Again 1hr Land’s End Boat Tour by ship’s excursion was $29pp but it cost just $25+tip for two of us. Los Angeles: Our ship docked in San Pedro, LA, about 20 minutes from Long Beach. We wanted to see Ship “Queen Mary” in Long Beach. We found a commuter bus to the downtown, and then there was a free Red color bus called “Passport” to get the Queen Mary. 30 some years ago, we saw a ship Queen Mary, at that time it was a beautiful ship. Sadly, present time, Queen Mary itself was very bad shape. San Francisco: Our ship docked Pier#35, easy walking distance to Peir39, and Fisherman’s Wharf. In the afternoon we took a bus to Chinatown. The Largest Chinatown in US, but looks like not much difference than our home town’s Chinatown, always feel likes same ambiance. Next, we went to see Japan-Town, it was more organized town than Chinatown and felt much safer. We found interesting things to see, authentic Japanese foods and shops. Victoria, B.C.: It was a beautiful and clean city to explore. We followed the signs and walked along the shore to reach Victoria downtown. Walking to downtown was very easy. It took about 20 minutes to get the heart of Victoria – Empress Hotel, BC Parliament Buildings, etc. The weather was great and Canadian people are gentle and polite. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Norwegian Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 3.5 4.1
Value For Money 3.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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