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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My cruise on the Australis was part of a trip I took to Patagonia with Overseas Adventure Travel. I couldn't believe how spacious the rooms were, how accommodating the staff treated us and how amazing the food and drinks were. Our ... Read More
My cruise on the Australis was part of a trip I took to Patagonia with Overseas Adventure Travel. I couldn't believe how spacious the rooms were, how accommodating the staff treated us and how amazing the food and drinks were. Our safety was the first concern and they were very careful to insure we were all well taken care of as we boarded the zodiacs and access the land tours that they provided. Weather can be pretty tricky in the southern part of South American and especially around Cape Horn. I was a solo traveler on this trip but I felt like I was with family as the number of people on this cruise was less than 200. I enjoyed the activities that were planned during the day and at night we feasted on amazing arrays of dishes unique to the countries we were associated with. There was a laudable selection of wines and the bar tenders kept the libations flowing with their own unique mixtures and concoctions. I highly recommend this trip to any one venturing off the beaten track in Patagonia. You will be pampered and pleased, but you will see country as wild and wonderful as any on this earth. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We took this cruise because we heard how beautiful Chilean Patagonia is. This is a land and sea expedition, We had previously taken a Lindblad expedition and was happy with it, so we were sure this one would also be topnotch. My husband ... Read More
We took this cruise because we heard how beautiful Chilean Patagonia is. This is a land and sea expedition, We had previously taken a Lindblad expedition and was happy with it, so we were sure this one would also be topnotch. My husband and I were really disappointed as were other guests. They accommodated my diet for BLD but not snacks or special functions. Torres del Paine National Park was beautiful & we got to hike every day there. There was communication between Lindblad staff and staff at the hotel regarding my diet. Needless to say it was very frustrating and time consuming to get some food I could eat. .I am a vegan so for the long 11 mile hike all I had to eat was 5 of my bars. The kitchen fixed 2 to go lunches for me, 1 was fish and the other beef. I told them I do not eat either and was told that will have to do!!!! While at the Santiago Grand Hyatt I tried to tell a Lindblad personnel what I would need for the box lunch on the long bus trip. I was cut short and was told that they already knew. Well in the box lunch the only item I could eat was a pear. A plus on this ship was that you could go to the bridge. Us and other persons thought the price for this expedition was expensive for what you received. We spent to many days on board due to weather, entry into Chile or Argentina, changing of pilots etc.I know Lindblad does not have control of this but the price should reflect this. Being and expedition there is not a lot to do on ship. There were many of us who need to do more so we were having a hard time not being able to do much. It also takes a day & a half to get to Torres Del Paine Park. A long day bus ride, then you spend the night at the Remota Hotel, then take the bus to the park. Lots of time driving and on the ship. Some of us need more expedition!! I would not recommend this trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
I had wanted to do the South America cruise but was not willing to fly all that distance and back. I loved the length of the cruise and the experience of traversing the entire pacific coast form San Diego south and around Cape Horn. ... Read More
I had wanted to do the South America cruise but was not willing to fly all that distance and back. I loved the length of the cruise and the experience of traversing the entire pacific coast form San Diego south and around Cape Horn. There are always things you can find to complain about if you want. I generally prefer to focus on what is good and then I am happier. There would have been little to complain about on this cruise. The Mexico ports were hot and steamy at this time of year but that was solved by planning swimming and snorkeling outings. Lima was better seen with a hotel room as it was an overnight and was sort of a pain to get into. The Indian Markets were well worth the trip. Much better than anything else similar I saw on the rest of the trip. Embarkation had glitches because of computer problems so there were lines. Activities are not extensive but I don't go on a cruise for those. Most people find plenty to do. I did the HAL beagle channel boat tour and it was wonderful. The Catamaran had loads of nice space with tables inside and lots of deck space outside for taking pictures. Food was of good quality. I have always found HAL food to be of good quality and varied. I got off the ship the night before disembarkation because the flights all go at 9pm and I didn't want to have to kill a day in Buenos Aires and then fly all night. They made it easy to do. About 100 passengers did this. You just need to let them know once you are onboard. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I came back to Holland after my experience on the Regal Princess. Holland has always been my favorite but she would be priced somewhat higher for balconies because she has fewer that other cruise lines. One thing you could always depend on ... Read More
I came back to Holland after my experience on the Regal Princess. Holland has always been my favorite but she would be priced somewhat higher for balconies because she has fewer that other cruise lines. One thing you could always depend on was the service and the food. I am now traveling alone since loosing my husband. This ship had many single cruisers traveling alone. The cruise line gave a luncheon for single cruisers and I met many many people who shared my cruise with me. I have never seen that before on any cruise I have been on. It can be daunting traveling alone. I did not have one minute of concern the entire time. I spent my 41 and 42 back to back cruises on the Zaandam out of San Diego. The checkin was flawless. I was concerned about my cabin 1808 that had been reviewed badly. I loved my cabin. Had two side by side pot holes and I divided my bed so I could walk up to the window and look out. Even had some feather friends take naps in my port holes along the way. That just tickled me to death. Ports of call were awesome especially Falkland Islands and the Bluff excursion to see the penguins. Absolutely excellent. We had wonderful weather the entire time. I was in the front of the ship on the bottom and rarely felt the ship move. I like to be rocked to sleep. This ship had amazing stabilizers. My cabin steward Mardi was top notch. I have a bad back and hip issues. He made me a wonderful bed complete with thick topper and lots of pillows. Had little problems because I slept like a hibernating bear. Afrin delivered my breakfast each morning at the right time and everything was always perfect. Lido food was decent. Food in the dining room was ok. I found the menu's to be unappetizing several nights. The people at my table and myself ordered several appetizers instead of the main entree. May was our waiter and he was a joy but worked himself to death. The matri'd was filling water glasses. Two hours plus every night for dinner. There is simply not enough people working the dining room. The guys do the best they can under the conditions they worked under. I play in the casino. Had a wonderful time because the casino staff were warm and friendly. They made my cruise so enjoyable. Only went to one show and that was the broadway hits show at 2pm in the afternoon. Four singers that were Broadway quality. They got a standing ovation with loud Bravo by the passengers. Had an issue with my flight being canceled and little help from the passenger service desk. Excursion people were fabulous and knew they stuff especially Natalie. Jonathan, one of the Casino dealers suggested the following: When you come to Montevideo, walk into town and go to the old train station.(short leisurely walk.) Order beef. Argentina and Uruguay are known for their beef. Don't miss it. The best I have ever had. 37 days is a long time on a cruise ship but I had a wonderful time. I could have easily stayed longer. Loved Capt Chris Turner who gave us historic info about each and every port. He also told us about the up coming weather and what to expect. That is so important for folks who are not avid cruisers. Disembarkment went well. Took the Buenas Aires tour with the Tango show. NOT TO BE MISSED! The ship is old but I would book her again without any concerns. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I did the 37 day cruise Oct 2, 2016 from San Diego to Buenos Aires on the Zaandam and have a few comments. As a four star mariner i have done quite a few HAL cruises. This was my second time on the Zaandam. The first was last year YVR ... Read More
I did the 37 day cruise Oct 2, 2016 from San Diego to Buenos Aires on the Zaandam and have a few comments. As a four star mariner i have done quite a few HAL cruises. This was my second time on the Zaandam. The first was last year YVR to Valparaiso also on the Zaandam. Embarkation at San Diego: For me it was fine but as four star I got to skip a big line of very frustrated looking people with my priority boarding. Apparently a lot of folks weren't happy with the standing in very slow moving lines. Why San Diego can't get it organized to let people sit down and then call them to check in by first come first served groups like many other ports is a bit of a mystery. Standing in line for an hour or two for a lot of the older passengers is not a pleasant way to begin a cruise. The Room: Had an ocean view towards back of ship on lower prom deck. As usual the room was very comfortable but for some reason Holland still has not replaced the very small TV's which are very difficult to watch. Why they can't put at least a 32 inch flat screen mounted directly on the wall is beyond comprehension with the price of TV's these days. I always love being on the Lower prom deck with quick access for walking. The room stewards were perhaps two of the best ever. They managed to always clean the room when we were off elsewhere and seemed to go out of their way to be aware of our typical schedule. There was nothing that we ever asked for that wasn't provided quickly and correctly. Food: All in all i thought the food was good, better than a year ago. The Lido staff is wonderful especially two girls, Yen Ten and Septi who are incredibly friendly and provide great service with big smiles. The salad bar has definitely improved in the Lido and they provide big bowls for the salads. The pinnacle steak was very good. I'm not a big MDR regular but did eat there several times and enjoyed it. They only had a couple of pool side BBQ;s which were good. The Dive in by the pool provides a nice Mexican buffet along with the hot dogs/burgers/etc. Room service as usual was great with delivery times of about 30 minutes and the orders were always correct. Itinerary: Really enjoyed the Mexican ports and especially Puerto Vallarta overnight. PV is about as easy as it gets with buses going right in front of the terminal into town very cheap and easy to use. There is a walmart and sam's club right across the street from the dock which is good for anything you forgot to bring. I won't go into details on other ports other than to say most are fine but a few are very industrial and not walking distance to anything. In a few cases Holland or port officials provided shuttles into town, a few complimentary and some with a fee. Unfortunately they don't seem to want to tell anybody about the shuttles until the day of the service. We disembarked in Buenos Aires and spent a couple of nights in a hotel. The taxis at the Buenos Aires port charge about $20 to go a few miles. The day before we got a meter taxi the same distance for less than $5. But with luggage you don't have much choice and it's not huge money. BE AWARE in Buenos Aires that you cannot change money without your passport, a copy won't work....also banks seem to change ONLY for local customers. Change places are few and far between and accept ONLY clean 50 and 100 bills. Amazingly there is no exchange place at the pier and the ship did not provide any exchange option....pain in the butt searching for exchange places which seems strange for a major city like Buenos Aires. You will see dozens of black market guys standing around trying to get u to exchange with them. The lines at the exchange places we found were about 30 to 45 minutes long. As far as I know there was no warning by Holland to let us know about this problem. The passengers on this cruise i found to be some of the better ones i have sailed with. Of course there were the usual few that jump the lines and don't understand how to ride an elevator (let people get off before u try and get on). We had one very strange situation with one passenger who was obviously suffering from some mental issues. He was a very large man that often stood at the stern YELLNG curse words at the ocean...scary guy who walked around talking to himself loudly. A few days into the cruise he apparenty had some issues in a port and the captain announced we would wait....a day or two later I was told that the captain put him off the ship. Entertainment: About typical for HAL with some good, some bad and some ugly. Cruise director for first half I found irritating with too many announcements and silly sayings. The second half CD was more professional and to my liking. Movies shown in the Wiang theatre still same horrible layout of screen being too low that you can't see the bottom of the screen due to peoples head shadows being in the way. Same as it was a year ago and boggles the mind that they can't figure out how to raise the screen a couple of feet to eliminate the problem. Complaints: Not many and most probably trivial but my biggest complaint is lack of the teak deck chairs on the lower prom. I counted total of 34 chairs. Seems a lot must have broken and not fixed or replaced. Also for some reason the 17 on each side were all kept at the front of the ship rather than spaced out as usual....many/most days the chair cushions were removed around 4 pm and sometimes the chairs were tied up even before sailing. Since the sunsets were usually at 7 to 8 pm this meant that those of us who like to sit on deck and watch the sunset had no cushions or sometimes no chairs.. Not sure why the chairs can't be put up a little bit later...when i asked the kid who did it he said that is what his boss told him to do...ANYWAY i suppose if that is my biggest complaint it was a darn good cruise. Which it was. Good job Zaandam Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Check in was a breeze as we were in a Neptune suite. Others complained of a disorganised shambles and taking up to 3 hours! Suite appeared very nice, but the bathroom DEFINATELY needs a serious upgrade compared to other top suites we ... Read More
Check in was a breeze as we were in a Neptune suite. Others complained of a disorganised shambles and taking up to 3 hours! Suite appeared very nice, but the bathroom DEFINATELY needs a serious upgrade compared to other top suites we have had on other ships.Toilet was blocked. Bedding was great, very comfortable and plenty of pillows. For the size of suite TV needs to be bigger. Use of Neptune Lounge was convenient but the variety of food needs to be more varied specially the late afternoon snacks. Also complimentary cocktails would be welcomed pre dinner,as provided by other same class of other ships. Dining room food needs seriously looking at! Too much couscous,the vegetables came hidden under the meat and were too often soggy! Overall, the food in the main dining room was a breath above what was served in the Lido and was mostly very disappointing. The Pinnacle pay restaurant was very good and was the standard of food that used to be served in the main dining room of previous cruise ships! It seems now HAL is under the umbrella of Carnival, the standard has certainly dropped! Went ashore in Cabo and during that evening awoke next morning with bites on my neck and abdomen?? After going ashore in Mazatlan, I showered and took a nap to awake with more bites on my arms and legs! I very discreetly spoke to the concierge that there were bed bugs biting me. The bed linen was changed but during the night I had more bites so next port I told them again and saw a DOCTOR in Puerto Vallarta as ship doctor was on short hours while in port. Yes it was confirmed some bug had been biting me and she gave me a script for tablets and topical cream for itch and antiseptic. Concierge said I must see the ship doctor to confirm the bites were from bugs at a cost of $120! I did this and yes I was bitten, but by what? I already knew that, so I gave the bill to the concierge who duly took it and arranged for the whole bedding including the MATTRESS be changed. No more bites!! Bed bugs gone! Now, company would not accept Drs account, but the concierge did arrange a beautiful Spa complimentary for us both. So they made good in the end. I do not question that they endeavour to uphold a high standard of hygiene, but even in the best of best, a bug can get into bedding. Husband got stuck in an elevator in formal tuxedo on first formal night, nearly steamed to death as no a/c in elevator and the time it took to be released! Made good with a $50 drink card. Balcony separating door latch broken and banged all night, fixed 3 times and third time done correctly! No drink card for that. Cabin stewards were fantastic, Danny and Narn were absolutely great. They knew when we needed the ice bucket topped up and turned our cabin around in a blink each morning. Pity some one didn't check our room properly as we were shocked to find a charge on our Amex for bathrobes and binoculars! They have since agreed to credit our Amex but could take 6 weeks! Really!! We actually left the ship with money still on our drink card and our suite card...... Hoping HAL will consider this as a constructive review as there are a lot of positive things that made part of the cruise enjoyable. I would not do the trip from San Diego again but join in Valparaiso. Hoping they can lift the game up a little on the negative issues. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had sailed HAL for years, and unfortunately our experiences with food and the ship's conditions were steadily declining. We decided to try Oceania, and that was not without some concern based on the reviews and only 59% of people ... Read More
We had sailed HAL for years, and unfortunately our experiences with food and the ship's conditions were steadily declining. We decided to try Oceania, and that was not without some concern based on the reviews and only 59% of people saying they would sail Oceania again. Our experience was terrific and we are already booked with them again. The cabins are comfortable (and we were in an inside cabin!). The toiletries are nice. The bed, linens and towels were top notch. The staff - I mean all of them - are amazing. Within 1 - 2 days many of them knew our names, even when they had not directly interacted with us. Restaurant servers quickly remembered your preferences for water, coffee, wine, you name it. The food was outstanding. There was an occasion misstep - quickly and calmly corrected. The quality of the food never wavered. Special requests were welcome and always met. Entertainment is the weakest link, but that is not to say it was a big deal, or that I have had better experiences on other cruises as I have not.. The production staff is talented and friendly, interacting with the passengers during the day and after the shows. The other guest entertainment was a mixed bag, some good and some bad, but even over 73 days I never felt that was an issue. There are enough activities to keep you busy during the day. The ship's orchestra is amazing. The excursions were mixed bag, the biggest challenge being that the descriptions did not match the experience. Some had much more shopping than disclosed and that is not why I travel, while others were labeled as strenuous but were not and I missed out on some great journeys. Would I go again - EMPHATICALLY YES! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This is a review of an inner loop trip with the Quito add-on. The cruise itself could not be better. The islands are fantastic, the naturalists are knowledgeable and helpful and engaged and enthusiastic, the staff are uniformly ... Read More
This is a review of an inner loop trip with the Quito add-on. The cruise itself could not be better. The islands are fantastic, the naturalists are knowledgeable and helpful and engaged and enthusiastic, the staff are uniformly friendly and bend over backwards to help you, and the ship is very nice. Food is more than plentiful, and while not great, is certainly good to very good. Celebrity's handling of all the travel details (buses, chartered plane, luggage, etc.) was flawless. There were friendly, capable representatives with us always, making sure everything went smoothly. The ship may rock significantly if, e.g., it's anchored in an area with a swell. We wore scopalamine patches and had no problem. The last day is a bit of a waste, as you need to be out of your cabin by 8am and then you don't make it back to the Quito hotel until 4pm. I don't think there's much Celebrity can do about that, they need to clean the ship after all, but just be forewarned that it's an empty day. One negative: the shipboard wifi was so slow as to be useless. So slow as in, I was unable to read any email. Now for the more negative part: we found the Quito add-on to be a waste of time. The tour is very limited and controlled: get on a bus, get dropped off at a building along with a bodyguard, tour the building, get back on the bus. There was no opportunity to stroll around the city at all. Now, I can understand why Celebrity takes such security precautions, especially since some guests insisted on wearing ridiculous amounts of jewelry. But the result is that I felt I didn't really get to see Quito at all. The tour of the Intinan equator museum is an embarrassment. The museum is hokey to the extreme, and presents carnival demonstrations (like pretending the coriolis effect can be observed stepping just two feet away from the equator "line") as science. In fact, the equator is a good 400ft away from the supposed "line", out in the middle of the street. Really disappointing. The hotel (JW Marriott) is very nice, with an extensive breakfast buffet, but it's not near anything within walking distance. Again, more isolation from the actual city. I felt like we were in a bubble. On the return trip there was an option to go shopping at an artisan market, but we didn't feel like shopping and there was no other option provided. So, I heartily recommend this cruise, but the Quito portion added nothing to our otherwise fantastic trip. Of course, part of the advantage of the Quito add-on is getting Celebrity's free chartered flight to the islands and baggage handling. So therein lies a dilemma. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This is not your usual 'holiday', so if you want lazy days, taking it easy or even quiet solitude, do not book this cruise. However if you want to feel like an explorer, dont mind being up and off early in the morning, love ... Read More
This is not your usual 'holiday', so if you want lazy days, taking it easy or even quiet solitude, do not book this cruise. However if you want to feel like an explorer, dont mind being up and off early in the morning, love wildlife and remote places, this is the experience for you. Everything is meticulously well organised, and works like clockwork with great success but you are not organised or bound up, so its up to you what you take part in. We were up for everything and wow! what an experience! This is a small ship so dont expect shows and grand entertainment, but if your focus is wildlife you'll be in bed by 10pm like most of us were, ready to go again in the morning. The standards in the transportation, safety, dining, guides, were everything you would expect on a cruise and more. Small details added so much more, drinks of any sort, and snacks awaited our every return to the ship, on deck as we shed our life jackets, wet suits and personal belongings. Naturalists would provide so much information to enhance visits ashore and there was always enough time to watch those albatross feel the wind beneath their wings and take off, or watch the pelican dive on the fish the penguin had taken the time to corral in the bay. Food on board was plentiful and of a good international choice. Especially impressed with the lunchtime barbecue I could write a book, a review is not going to do this experience justice! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We are not experienced cruisers, and were a bit apprehensive, but we were very pleased. We found that this was the best value and the right length. The ship was very small, just 98 passengers, but very steady. The itinerary was kept to a ... Read More
We are not experienced cruisers, and were a bit apprehensive, but we were very pleased. We found that this was the best value and the right length. The ship was very small, just 98 passengers, but very steady. The itinerary was kept to a tee and there were many options. I enjoyed the snorkeling, especially when sea lions would swim right up me and then turn at the last second. The sea turtles were very graceful and there were many colorful fish. The water was a bit cold. If you are sensitive to temperature you should consider bringing a full wet suit with hood. I brought a new camera and a GoPro type waterproof camera and I'm glad I did. Tip: practice with the GoPro and get the angle right so you don't miss the important part of the scene. The guides were amazing and quite knowledgeable. We learned a great deal about the local flora and fauna and the geology of the islands. We also planted two trees each (optional), and enjoyed the Charles Darwin Research Center, although the more open areas of a local "ranch" were more natural. At the ranch we also were treated to some local music and dances. There were some walks that were a bit uneven (lava) but never strenuous (although I am a 70 year old runner). We only encountered other tourists on one island and the town of Santa Cruz. The nights were dark and the stars were amazing, when it was not cloudy. It was an international group of passengers, which made for interesting conversations. The food was varied and plentiful and the bed was comfortable and the room quiet. There were a few children, but I'm not sure they appreciated the trip as much as the adults. Our only problem was with American Airlines, but that is another review. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Cruise of a lifetime! We boarded the ship outside of Iquitos via speedboats, which was a blast. The ship is lovely, the rooms are quite nice, bathroom much bigger than most cruise lines, and the balcony! Well, we didn't spend ... Read More
Cruise of a lifetime! We boarded the ship outside of Iquitos via speedboats, which was a blast. The ship is lovely, the rooms are quite nice, bathroom much bigger than most cruise lines, and the balcony! Well, we didn't spend much time on out balcony since we were so busy with the activities, and the common areas are so nice. The bar/lounge/open air dining and 4th floor observation deck is great for watching the pink river dolphins playing along side the ship. Vicente is an excellent bar tender, and always made sure to put out good snacks. Excursions - well, we stuck with Segundo, our naturalist, and Jorge the best boat driver in the Amazon. Both were excellent spotters of wild life, and Segundo had great stories. On the morning that everyone opted for kayaking, my husband & I stayed on the speed boat for a private wild life tour - amazing! Segundo is a knowledgeable and fun person, and he is as good with plants as he was with the birds and other creatures living in the Amazon. The village visit was fun with the children, they are adorable, and very curious. The only stop we made that was not of interest to us was the rum distillery, however we did meet the world's most friendly dog. Food - well, unfortunately I gain a little bit of weight because I couldn't stop eating. Everything is fresh and prepared so well, thank you Chefs Edilberto and Rafael. The servers Milton & Fredy were so nice and graciously greeted us when we arrived in the dining room. Room stewards Elvis and Amalier were fantastic, my hiking boots have never been so clean. And that brings me to Freddy, our expedition leader - he kept us on schedule, went to great lengths to deal with a flight delay to keep us on track for our trip extension, and is genuinely a nice person and excellent photographer. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary on this cruise and were surprised with a cake & singing. Each member of the crew came by to personally extend their congrats, and it felt far more like dear old friends than people we had met days before. On the last night of the cruise we were treated to the house band, Chunky Monkeys - honestly, they are better than some professional bands I've paid money to see. They went all out for the farewell, and we all appreciated it greatly. This crew works so hard, and have really made a trip of a life time for us. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband and I have had a visit to the Galapagos on our bucket list for a long time. Nearly two years ago, we decided to book the 10 day package to the Galapagos on Celebrity Xpedition. We really wanted to find a less expensive option so ... Read More
My husband and I have had a visit to the Galapagos on our bucket list for a long time. Nearly two years ago, we decided to book the 10 day package to the Galapagos on Celebrity Xpedition. We really wanted to find a less expensive option so over the time since we booked out cruise, we kept looking at alternatives. Every time we saw an option that was less than what we were paying and compared it, we realized how good the Celebrity package was. But actually we didn't even begin to know how good it was until we actually experienced it. We flew from Florida to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. We were met there by the Celebrity representative and transferred to the JW Marriott in Quito for two nights. While we were in Quito all over food, tours and transfers were included. The next morning we met our tour guides in the lobby, along with others in our group. We had an all day tour of the city and a trip to equator where we experienced several natural phenomena that only occurs in this location. This was a really fun experience. That Evening we were transported to a lovely restaurant where we got to interact with others in our group and an opportunity to get to know them better. The next day we were transported from Quito to Baltra in the Galapagos by a very comfortable flight chartered by Celebrity. In Baltra our cruise ship, the Xpedition was only minutes away by bus and then by Kodiak boats. And then the fun had just begun. It was an all inclusive package. That meant that everything is included..all our food (filet mignon or lobster every night if that's what you wanted), all our alcoholic beverages, all gratuities...totally everything. It was fabulous, both on board and on our twice daily excursions to visit the islands. We were so well looked after, and the wildlife was incredible. All of our guides were certified naturalists, who all were incredibly knowledgeable. Because we were on the Xpedition for a full seven days we got to visit some of the further away islands where the smaller boats or shorter cruises don't get to visit. I'd have to write a book to tell you about all the amazing things that we did and saw on the islands. Since this is just a review, I'll just encourage anyone thinking about the Galapagos to go and do it, and do it on Celebrity Cruises. It truly is an experience of a life time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Our cruise was the "Western Itinerary" (Voyage 8618). Let me start by praising the expedition team and their leader. We rated them a "10" in every respect. Very knowledgeable, friendly, and patient. The variety of ... Read More
Our cruise was the "Western Itinerary" (Voyage 8618). Let me start by praising the expedition team and their leader. We rated them a "10" in every respect. Very knowledgeable, friendly, and patient. The variety of shore excursions could not have been better. Previous reviewers mention problems communicating with the Ecuadorean crew. This was not our experience at all. I told them upon boarding that I could not eat cilantro. It did not appear that the dining staff made any effort to accommodate me, although they were able to point out which dishes on the menu contained cilantro. Some of the stews looked delicious - I wish I had been offered a cilantro-free serving of the lamb stew. Frankly, I only have one real complaint about the ship: on arrival, a handout in our cabin advised us of the internet fees (steep). We decided to do without. However, on day 5, some of the other passengers we met told us they were getting the internet for free! I asked at reception and was told that since we were in a deluxe veranda cabin (420), we were entitled to free internet for the entire cruise! Thanks a lot for not telling us on day 1! Also, one pre-cruise note. On the night prior to the cruise, Silversea includes a late afternoon 2-hour tour of Quito. We wanted to spend a day touring outside of Quito so, before leaving home, I used the contact form on Silversea's website to ask what time we had to be back at the hotel for this tour. No reply. Two weeks later, I asked again, using their contact form. Again, no reply. I posted a note on social media. This time, Silversea replied with a phone number for me to call. I called, a computer answered and put me on hold. After a long wait, I hung up. We had to book a half-day tour due to the uncertainty of returning to the hotel in time for the Silversea tour. In hindsight (things always look better there), we should have booked a full-day tour and just skipped the Silversea offering entirely. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We just got back from the Galapagos with Silversea and had an amazing time. It exceeded our expectations which were very high. I read many of the reviews on CC before the trip who were not happy with the service on the ship, our ... Read More
We just got back from the Galapagos with Silversea and had an amazing time. It exceeded our expectations which were very high. I read many of the reviews on CC before the trip who were not happy with the service on the ship, our experience was quite the contrary. The service was first class and we felt pampered and appreciated at all times. I cannot think of any issues we had on the trip. The food was amazing! Ever meal topped the previous one and our executive chef on board even gave us many of the recipes. We had one person who had a gluten free diet and they baked us gluten free bread every night for dinner that was hot and tasty. If you always wanted to go to the Galapagos I could not see a better way to experience it then the Silver Galapagos. The expedition cruise may not be for everyone though. We absolutely loved it, but you do get up every day for ~6:30-7am breakfast and then go on 3-4 excursions per day. We hiked on volcanic mountains, snorkeled, kayaked, went on Zodiak rides for wildlife, played with sea lions, turtles, penguins, blue footed boobies and so much more. We would typically do 1-2 excursions in the morning, come back for a nice lunch on the deck with wine of course and then 1-2 excursions in the afternoon. After a great dinner we would retire before 1pm as we were beat. You don't have to do every excursion but to me that is what this trip is all about. Many days you have multiple options on what to do. We met so many nice people from around he world. These expedition cruises are more active and thus attract a younger crowd than normal for SS, most people in late 50's or 60s probably. The rooms are smaller on these ships but very nice. We really spent very little time in the room except to sleep. You don't need to upgrade the room unless you really just want a ton of space, the standard room will work just fine. we were in cabin 345. We continued on with Silversea to Machu Picchu an the "grande" version of their 4 day extension. It is definitely worth it. The hotels we stayed in were over the top and being in the in the sancuary hotel less than 100 feet from Machu Picchu was amazing. The food in Peru was awesome and almost everything was included even the wine with SS. The HB train was a great experience partying on the way to MP. The only issue on this post cruise excursion was we basically lost 1 day travelling from Galapagos to Lima. Their is only one flight out at 12:45pm and with connection you don't get to your Lima hotel until after 9PM. This was our 3rd cruise on SS and our first expedition cruise and our 9th cruise overall. I can recommend this cruise without reservation as long as you want to be active and see the sites in the Galapagos. The service and food exceeded our expectations . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I wanted just to get away and see something that I hadn't seen before. We did a pre-cruise to Machu Picchu and it was awesome! On board the ship was small and intimate. There was a variety of dining areas that were included in the ... Read More
I wanted just to get away and see something that I hadn't seen before. We did a pre-cruise to Machu Picchu and it was awesome! On board the ship was small and intimate. There was a variety of dining areas that were included in the price, Italian, Chinese etc. The Red Ginger (Chinese ) was the best. Had a lovely coffee bar. We had been up graded to a penthouse suite which was great except came with a butler, therefore extra gratuities. On the whole it was nice and roomy, good size closet and cupboards, nice sized balcony. We travelled through the Panama Canal, great. Stopped At Honduras, Cape Canveral, Miami then NYC---which was an over night, so we went and saw Matilda on Broadway, lovely. The service on the ship was fantastic. All polite and helpful. The entertainment was OK. Lecturers were great---lot of info for next port of call. Good excursions. Great cruise! I travelled with my sister for the first time. She is a bit younger and was therefore more energetic than me ( I have back issues). I would definitely travel with Oceania again---I like the size of their ships. You get to know more people and can arrange dinners or outings with them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We liked the ports and also we sailed into San Francisco. It was close to home and didn't have to fly but only one way. We flew into Santiago the day Of the cruise, didn't have to one of a wait to board. Never will we do this ... Read More
We liked the ports and also we sailed into San Francisco. It was close to home and didn't have to fly but only one way. We flew into Santiago the day Of the cruise, didn't have to one of a wait to board. Never will we do this again, it's to stressful. As we have always gone in at least 2 days before. Ship was clean, but needs to be in dry dock for lots of work. We were in cabin 8062, but had to change because of the terrible noise and banging.(3 nights) We moved to cabin 9024 where for 3 days the air conditioning didn't work. But when it was fixed it worked great. There were others that had to change there rooms. Dining was a hit or miss. if you like Patotoes, rice and beans, same salads and soups you will be fine. Beef was not very good at all. Desert was always good. The best coffee ever in dining room. We enjoyed the Italian & French restaurants. Steak house again not very good beef. But service in all restaurants were very good. I did have one employee that was very rude maybe she was having a bad day so will not give out her name. Our room attendant was very good. Entertainment was also a hit or miss. But you always seem to enjoy going. The best entertainment was in the lounges. Activities keep you busy on sea days, you have to get points to earn a NCL t-Shirt key chain little things. kept you from not getting board. Ports, Coquimbo we did the Tabali Winery with lunch. Arica, Codpa Willage Awesome tour. Callao Coional Lima enjoyed. Salaverry wished we didn't go, not much to see. Couldn't understand guides at all. Puntarenas Zip line was pretty good, husband took this. I did the Aerial tram and Rainforest. I had done this before and enjoyed it. 3 Stops in Mexico. Have been there many times so no tours. Just did our own thing. There were only 2 Children on cruise that we seen. This was for older adults. We cruised with another couple. No I would not do this cruise again. But glad we got to see Chile and Peru. Such poor countries. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
Choose for NCL reputation and itinerary. This cruise did not come close to my prior experiences. Terrible smell which Captain first denied and then admitted was from sewage tank that sprang a leak and ran down elevator shaft. Smell was ... Read More
Choose for NCL reputation and itinerary. This cruise did not come close to my prior experiences. Terrible smell which Captain first denied and then admitted was from sewage tank that sprang a leak and ran down elevator shaft. Smell was terrible for 5 days and then improved but came back. Was repaired, I think, on day 19 in La as we were 7 hours late leaving and smell was gone. Also "dry dock" started with arrival of at least 150 foreign workers on days 14 with more every port who were placed in cabins all over the shop. They were greasy and carried cables all over and removed many ceiling tiles. They basically worked in front of all passengers 8 hours each day. NCL crew were all polite and happy and hard working. Food was edible but seemed of a lower standard than my 4 other NCL cruises and RC. Mostly ate in the two "free dining rooms for breakfast and dinner. Drink package was fine and I thought the choices were good enough for me. Servers were very polite about the use of the drink package. The crew entertainers were very good and Peter the travel speaker was excellent. Liked the singer from Sri Lanka but the comedians and jugglers were true odd balls who seemed like the cheapest entertainer NCL could fly in for 2-3 days. All were hell bent on selling cd's after the show and not funny and not talented. I will be careful to not get on a ship again that is headed to dry dock as there was a total distraction for all employees and guests. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
As Platinum members we are suppose to receive benefits that are posted to the web site. When I spoke to Juan in Latitudes he was rude, unreasonable and wanted to argue with me. The issue revolves around the wine and strawberries for ... Read More
As Platinum members we are suppose to receive benefits that are posted to the web site. When I spoke to Juan in Latitudes he was rude, unreasonable and wanted to argue with me. The issue revolves around the wine and strawberries for Platinum members. On previous NCL cruises we received this benefit on day one and again on day two because my wife and myself are each Platinum. After 5 days I went to Juan and asked where the other wine and strawberries were. He told me that it only applies to one per stateroom per cruise. I told him that we always received the benefits for each of us previously and he said, " no you didn't" I was firm and told him that we did too and he told me again that I did not. So now I guess I'm a liar!!! Funny thing is that we received the dinner for two for each. Laundry for two for each. Ships tour for each. Priority embarkation and tendering and so on as is stated on the Latitudes Tier section on the NCL website. Also, The garden cafe was a real disappointment. Same old menue. Watered down salad dressings, watered down juices, old hard boiled eggs ( gray yokes ) , and in the Four Seasons and Seven Seas restaurants, they serve the Caesar's salad with graded parmsean cheese on it and not shreds of parmsean . How cheap is that? Also there was a horrible sewage smell for no less than 6 days off and on in the aft area of the Garden Cafe. bon appetite The ship is now in dry dock for 9 days in San Francisco. Several contractors boarded the ship in Cabo and more in San Pedro. ( about 70-80 men ) They started working on the ship while we're still on our cruise and they were very visible. Not a comforting feeling with all these men running around. This is the worst cruise we have even experienced. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
NCL food was good, rarely great. I am a bit of a health nut, and I always found enough healthy, tasty food. Bar service great. Classical & piano music excellent (Amber Strings & Gregg ). The crew was nice, helpful, & friendly. ... Read More
NCL food was good, rarely great. I am a bit of a health nut, and I always found enough healthy, tasty food. Bar service great. Classical & piano music excellent (Amber Strings & Gregg ). The crew was nice, helpful, & friendly. Nice room, large inside. Small shower. Problems: Odor of sewage rear of ship every day. Then something broke and much, if not most, of the ship smelled of sewage, maybe 2 to 3 weeks. Contract workers on board the last 2 weeks or so, working in common areas. Nice enough . guys, but NOT a good part of a cruise. Seeing them working in the halls, removing ceiling tiles, exposing us to at least increased dust, was not my idea of proper cruise ship activity. Two medical issues caught by MANY cruisers. 1: Throat infection . My cost with ship's MD was $291. One friend spent ~$6000. This was mostly the first 3 weeks. I saw at least 5 patients waiting to see the MD one afternoon. 2: GI infection. Again, MANY cruisers had this. I had it for over 3 weeks. I neither ate or drank anything off ship. I am a medical professional who is EXTREMELY careful about sanitation. My GI troubles ended after about 4-5 days off the ship. I never overeat, but I was surprised to learn I had lost 2 + kgs (5 pounds) on the 34 day cruise. And I enjoyed 4-6 drinks a day with the "free drink package". No mixes. Just booze & ice. At least the trip was not too expensive. But it was not cheap enough for all the negatives. Let's hope the dry dock following our cruise fixes these issues. I like the staff. The odor problems were not acceptable. The infection rate (always a risk) concerns me. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary( the Western side of South America). The itinerary was great and generally the ports did not dissappoint Us at all. Our stateroom( midship with a veranda) was also very nice, decent size ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary( the Western side of South America). The itinerary was great and generally the ports did not dissappoint Us at all. Our stateroom( midship with a veranda) was also very nice, decent size with plenty of closet space. However, though we have been on plenty of cruises running the gamut from Royal Caribbean, Cunard, all the way to Silver Sea we have never ever been nickel and dimed so much nor have we ever faced such dismal dining choices with very limited menus unless we opted to pay extra for specialty restaurants There are two traditional style dining rooms in addition to a buffet. It is great that you can go to the dining rooms anytime for dinner. However for nineteen days we were faced with the same basic menu in both dining rooms. Perhaps there were two or three rotating options on the menus. Unlike other lines we werenever offered lobster, fillet mignon, or similar treats( usually offered at least once on other lines) If we did not opt for the specialty restaurants the only fish or seafood we were offered on the entire trip was farm raised salmon, tilopia, flounder, mahi mahi, and cervina. There were really no entrees that were made to order. We did try three of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro, La Cuccini, and the Japanese hibachi style restaurant. The last onewas the only one where we had good service Our other big complaint was that mixed drinks were priced outrageously. We had just been on Cunard five months earlier and the same cocktails were signifigantly more expensive The only thing we could really say was good was the number and variety of onboard activities when the ship was at sea and the sizze and spaciousness of the pools and fitness center We will never ever go on Norwegan Line again Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This cruise was booked two years ago and it exceeded my expectations. I had not sailed on the Sun since 2006 and was glad to find she had aged better than I. I do not need water slides and planks over the sea...the Sun's pool deck is ... Read More
This cruise was booked two years ago and it exceeded my expectations. I had not sailed on the Sun since 2006 and was glad to find she had aged better than I. I do not need water slides and planks over the sea...the Sun's pool deck is spacious! The mini suites are huge and comfortable. I had two stewards over the 34 days Emerson and Achmed who anticipated my every need. The South American itinerary and the repositioning Cruise had all types of weather and adventure. The destination lecturer Peter was a huge bonus! From Argentine Malbec and tangos to Falkland Island penguins to Chilean sea lions it was amazing. Going to Cape Horn with close to 100mph winds was a true bucket list item but to be able to see it all from the balcony was fantastic. Crossing the Equator was another fun experience...the ship celebrates both events in a special way...did I mention that the director Roberto coordinated the vast amounts of activities and entertainment so that there was a large participation in pool side events....not going yo describe as would not want to spoil the FUN! The music offered was tip top...the Show Band was my favorite but the performers including 4Ever ,Fabio Zini ,Jeri S and Elvie Rose drew standing ovations. Music was everywhere fro classical Amber Strings to Nathan singing in the Windjammer. Bar service was outstanding...my favorite was the Atrium Java Cafe where Marijan made great espresso as well as the best ever Caipirinha! The Specialty restaurants were very good but having to make reservations kind of takes away free style. The food and service in the Seven Seas was excellent. bar service was also swift there. My favorite was La Cuchina...this may not be 5 star dining but the atmosphere is comfort and the chili beef pizza should not be missed. Thanks to Ashley,Aileen and all the wonderful servers there! Workers came on the ship to start work prior yo the dry dock...work like this was more visible this cruise but not annoying. I had noise from the crew door across the hall from the minisuite but the forward location of 11015 was so convenient! The wifi was slow and did not work for several oft He last days but I was able to cancel and get a partial refund. Hopefully wifi will be improved. Did not use the Spa order the Gym but they appeared to be well used. Wish they would have had pool BBQ or at least food available without having to leave pool deck. Shore excursions were exciting...the weather had negative effects but that's part of being at the tip of SA. The Beach escape in Huatulco Mexico was perhaps a hidden gem...this is beautiful area to explore! Colder weather in Cabo made for no snorkeling for me. While not an excursion...getting up and 5 am to sail into San Francisco and under the awesome Golden Gate Bridge was a fitting end to a marvelous cruise! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We had done the BA to Valparaiso run a few years ago and wanted to finish this off. We and 12 other couples/friends joined the ship, and everyone had a great time with a couple of exceptions. Given a trip of this length, there are ... Read More
We had done the BA to Valparaiso run a few years ago and wanted to finish this off. We and 12 other couples/friends joined the ship, and everyone had a great time with a couple of exceptions. Given a trip of this length, there are bound to be some mechanical/electrical problems. The major one was a sewage leak into the bottom of an elevator shaft that the crew had great problems locating. Since the bottom of the elevator shaft is the ceiling of the engine room, you can imagine it gets hot. Soon the sewage smell was very noticeable throughout the stern of the ship. I think most everyone would have been understanding; however, the communication between the staff and the affected passengers was really poor. The wait to clear customs and return to the ship in LA was unbelievable. Again, no communications and no drinks/snacks appeared until we were ready to line up to re-board. Then the line was held up while they were pumping something into the ship below the skyway. Again no communication about what was going on. After arriving in SF, they pulled the ship into a ten day drydock for some refurbishing, and some is really needed. Nothing really major, but things were getting a bit long of tooth, nicked, scratched, torn, etc. Most of this should be remedied. That's enough negative... The crew was great although there were some difficulties with English among the Purser staff. Everyone was polite, smiling and would go our of their way to help us. We got the "free" booze package, and for those of us that like to imbibe it was a great deal. Food was OK; after all this isn't Crystal. Not at a $2400 per person balcony price with booze. What a screaming deal! Food tended to repeat as would be expected over this long a trip. Entertainment ranged from OK to very good. No real repeats over a 20 period; that's quite a feat. Cabins were comfortable with no real problems considering we encountered temperatures at times well into the 90's with humidity to match. All in all a terrific value cruise. For this price I can overlook quite a bit. We are Platinum status, and we booked another cruise while on board; almost a no brainer. Go NCL! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We sailed from Valparaiso Chile to San Francisco on the NCL Sun. Longest cruise so far for us at 20 days. We flew into Santiago a day early, and enjoyed an escooter tour and a fabulous dinner at Borago (one of the World's top 50 ... Read More
We sailed from Valparaiso Chile to San Francisco on the NCL Sun. Longest cruise so far for us at 20 days. We flew into Santiago a day early, and enjoyed an escooter tour and a fabulous dinner at Borago (one of the World's top 50 Restaurants). We used Christian the Van Man to transport us and another couple from the Park Plaza Hotel to Valparaiso with a stop at a winery along the way. He was a good and reliable driver and we enjoyed his commentary. He included a driving tour around Valparaiso which was very interesting. Embarkation was problematic. We requested a wheelchair for my husband who has long disease and sometimes has trouble walking long distances. The wheelchair attendant did not listen when I asked for the suite check in, and after we waited in line and checked in at the regular check in he did not take us to the suite lounge in La Cucina. We went right to the room. Our room was 8277, an aft Penthouse Suite. It was clean and reasonably speacious. Our steward, Munir (who was great the whole cruise) had gotten a carpenter to craft a triangular lift for the head of the bed to raise it 6 inches as per our pre cruise request. This worked really well. The bathroom only had one sink which we consider to be less than what one should get with a suite. The shower was tiny but we were able to shower in the bathtub. That worked much better. The butler, Jomar, stopped by to greet us and brought a plate of snacks. He also has my requested pitcher of iced tea. We got along quite well with Jomar during the cruise. Don't ask about the concierge. He was awful. He forget to make dinner reservations on our anniversary and it just went downhill with him from there. After sailaway we headed off to Le Bistro for dinner. It was fine but they really need to change the menu. Service was almost too attentive. The next few days were filled with excellent ports-Coqimbo, Arica, Lima and Trujillo. We had booked private tours with other Cruise Critic folk and these all went extremely well. A few sea days were interspersed, we mostly lounged around and played a little trivia. We were really enjoying our cabin and our balcony. The weather was perfect. Unfortunately trouble started the second week. Some contractors are supplies had been loaded on in Valpo. and more were added in some of the subsequent ports. Our relaxing cruise began to turn into a sentence in a construction site. A strong sewage smell permeated the aft of the ship, and made our cabin unlivable on several days. Contractors began removing ceiling panels in the hall. Dust and insulation was flying around everywhere. The contractors has masks but no masks were issued to the passengers. Complaints to guest services were dealt with by the attendant taking down our room numbers. No one ever got back to us until 10 of us stormed guest services as a group refusing to take no for an answer. That got us the attention of one of the higher ups, I think his name was Humberto. Still, the ship continued to stink. Then the water started running blue. Our shower curtain and washcloths were stained blue. Our steward told us not to drink the water. Our butler became ill in the cabin due to the smell. Large chunks of soot and debris littered the balcony. We Believe that NCL shortened the dry dock the ship was headed for by 2 weeks to add another cruise, and instead decided to do the some of the work on the ship around the passengers. No thought was given to our welfare and safety. No appropriate response was made to our complaints. We will skip NCL for a while. The disorganized cancellations of last summer followed by this trip have led us to believe that NCL is a disfunctional organization. We understand that things can go wrong on a vacation but this was intolerable. The lower echelon ship staff were all great. We loved all the ports except Puerto Chiapas. There was also a bad interlude in LA which was where we had to clear customs-took hours and was very disorganized, But that may not have been NCL's fault, hard to know. We are going to avoid NCL for a while.There are lots of other cruise lines. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Last month The Amazing Ms D. and I took a three week cruise on the Norwegian Sun from Valparaíso Chile to San Francisco. While we have taken several cruise this was by far the longest cruise we have ever taken. There were many good points ... Read More
Last month The Amazing Ms D. and I took a three week cruise on the Norwegian Sun from Valparaíso Chile to San Francisco. While we have taken several cruise this was by far the longest cruise we have ever taken. There were many good points to this cruise and several issues that took away from our enjoyment. I will be blogging about the places we visited, but here are my thoughts on the cruise itself. The Norwegian Sun The Norwegian Sun is one of the smaller boats in the Norwegian fleet. Built in 2001, it holds about 2000 passengers. Along with the Norwegian Star it was Norwegians first “Freestyle Cruising” ship. While it is still a big ship, everything was much more convenient than on some of the larger boats. The staff on the Sun was excellent. Friendly and helpful, they worked hard to meet our needs, even giving me scores on European soccer matches that were not covered on their tv channels. UPGRADE, UPGRADE, UPGRADE This was a special trip and when we booked it we decided to upgrade to a mini-suite. This was a great choice. Our room was on Deck 11, which put us on the same deck as the spa, gym pools and Garden Café – the buffet. This made our life very easy in the morning, since the Garden Café was the only place to get breakfast. Out room was a little over 300 square feet, and had separate sitting area that could curtained off so I could watch TV without bothering The Amazing Ms D. if she was asleep. It also came with a full bathroom and changing area. All of this space meant that when we wanted someplace quiet, which can be hard to find on board any cruise ship, we had a spacious and comfortable place to go. Dining Let’s start with the best – dinner. Norwegian Cruises operate under the title of “freestyle dining.” That means that there are no fixed seating times for dinner. There are 2 main dining rooms open for dinner and you just show up when you are ready to eat. You also have the choice of whether or not to eat with other guests. The food in the dining room was very good. There was a set menu that did not change from day to day along with a changing selection of appetizers and 5-6 main courses. Over the course of three weeks the menus did repeat, but not so that we got tired of them. The portions were reasonable, and this being a cruise, you could always order a second choice if you were really hungry. Dinner service was excellent, with several wait-staff taking care of each table. Breakfast was only available in the Garden Café Buffet. It was plentiful with an omelet station, a waffle station and lots of good baked goods, breakfast meat and fresh fruit. Unfortunately with 1500 guests, the Café filled up quickly, especially on the at sea days. My biggest complaint about breakfast was that the coffee was awful. Now for lunch. Most people ate lunch in the Garden Café. We did not. The food there was not very good, and the lunch choices were very limited. The food was not seasoned well, if at all. Lunch was also served in of the restaurants. This was a much better choice. Even though the lunch menu did not change during the three weeks, the choices were much better. The only thing was that the lunch crew did not deal very well with special orders, like changing the veggies on a particular dish. Out best lunches were on the days we docked, because the food we got on shore was much better than the lunches that were on board the ship. Specialty Dining – The Sun also has six or seven “specialty dining” restaurants. For $20/person or more, you could eat dinner in a restaurant that offered a premium choice that was not available in the main dining room. We did not indulge, as we felt that for what we were paying for our suite, we did not want to pay extra for food. Amenities and Entertainment The ship was very comfortable with a lot to do. This was the first cruise where there were actually enough deck chairs in the sun so that people did not fight over them, although things did get crowded on the shady side. There were 2 decent sized pools and 4 hot tubs. There were a few places that we were comfortable just sitting and talking with people, especially in the outdoor area at the aft section of the ship and in the Atrium on deck 5, which was also where the coffee bar was. The library was well stocked and quiet, although most of its chairs were taken to be used by a large group of bridge players on board. There was an excellent string trio- Amber Strings – that performed most evenings in the Atrium before and after dinner. And the Sun Show Band had great jazz chops. The stage performances were hard to watch for someone who frequents Broadway, the efforts were earnest and heartfelt. One note – We found how important it is to have travel insurance. Two trips to the ships doctor cost us $1600. Most of this will hopefully be covered by the travel insurance, but it will not be covered by medicare. Issues – Not all was great As I said, the food in the Garden Café was not very good. There was also a feeling of being nickeled and dimed. Everything had an extra charge. We have already come to expect the charge for soda, the upselling at every spa visit and the specialty restaurants, but the only decent coffee was at the Coffee Bar - $2.95 for espresso/cappuccino. Also the alcoholic drinks were expensive. One of the more annoying things that happened was that when not enough (read no) people were attending the “health seminar” in the spa, they moved them to the Atrium, where everyone there had to hear them whether they want to or not. Finally, and most importantly, there was a major problem with the ventilation system in the rear of the boat. There was an odor of sewage that permeated that part of the boat for the last half of the trip. It was so bad that that crew just turned off the air conditioning as the only way to control it. Overall, we enjoyed our time on the Norwegian Sun, but that was due as much to our choice of room before we boarded, it gave us a place to be that was ours and comfortable. If we had been in a smaller, interior room, which would have necessitated us using more of the ship, it would probably not have been as good a trip, and my rating would definitely have been lower. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
There aren't many reviews on this ship that goes to the end of the world. We did the 4 night 3 day cruise thru our tour. Here some insight into the ship. You will be taking a Zodiac everytime for all the tours. The ship does ... Read More
There aren't many reviews on this ship that goes to the end of the world. We did the 4 night 3 day cruise thru our tour. Here some insight into the ship. You will be taking a Zodiac everytime for all the tours. The ship does offer waterproof boots if you want them-you should get the first day since they don't have enough for everyone. Unless its raining you don't need the boots-your hiking boots will do just fine. We stayed dry. Having waterproof pants is a good idea even it its not raining. you have to sit on the zodiac and you may get wet which is why they are a good idea. the ship was a pleasant surprise. nice cabins, bathrooms and bedding. it does get warm in the room since there is no air conditioning. breakfast and lunch are buffet. the dinners are not but only 2 choices for the main course. they serve wine at dinner but its the house white or red. due to the weather, we could not disembark at Cape Horn. The expedition tour guides were great. it can be a bit rough but the scenery is wonderful. When you go thru the Glacier Alley, you need to be on the port (left side). get to the Darwin lounge early to get a good seat. overall, a great experience and the ship exceeding our expectations. There is no entertainment but an open bar so the other passengers end up being the entertainment. You can tip using your credit card. Read Less

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