The overall cruise experience was very good. We enjoyed our stateroom, the dining facilities, and the attention of the excellent crew and staff. The fitness and spa facilities were first-rate. The entertainment options were varied in quality and mostly too loud for our taste. The only group we really enjoyed was the classical Atlantis string trio, and we attended at least a dozen of their performances. The Flamenco and Tango performances were also very good.
4 out of 5
good; well organized by NCL in Buenos Aires, despite the crowds and the number of cruises embarking at the same time.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Main dining rooms were wonderful, with excellent food and drink and attentive service. The buffets were always very crowded, but the food was excellent and varied. We did not sample the specialty restaurants.
5 out of 5
One of us used the fitness center and exercise classes, both complimentary and paid. Excellent quality of equipment and instructors. One of us also used the spa, attending complimentary presentations, booking treatments, etc. Everyone there, from medical doctors to spa assistants seemed to be very well trained, professional, friendly, efficient, etc. We tried the so-called hot tubs once, but they were not very hot and therefore of limited use as therapeutic spas.
3 out of 5
We saw two large stage shows, a tango show and two flamenco shows. All were excellent, though very loud. We had to wear earplugs to enjoy them. Individual musicians in the various venues were of variable quality but uniformly too loud. The only excellent group was the classical Atlantis string trio, who gave one concert in the main theater, but otherwise were forced to play in noisy environments in various of the ship´s bars, which was distracting for the audience members who cared about classical music and must have been very distracting for the musicians, though they always behaved in an entirely professional manner. Our main complaint was that there was way too much noice throughout the ship, with music, game shows, bar chatter, and other intrusive noise. It was virtually impossible to find a quiet place to read or talk apart from the stateroom.
no children accompanied us
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The service from virtually all the ships´personnel was superb. The staff was very well trained, attentive, efficient, cheerful, helpful, etc., even under difficult circumstances, such as our morning of hurrican-force winds and high seas.
4 out of 5
The ship was exceptionally clean, and all aboard were reminded and even required to wash our hands often and use hand sanitizers. For example, upon entering every food service venue, there were hand sanitizers available and staff who squirted sanitizer on your hands. Perhaps all cruise ships do this these days, but we are not regular cruisers, so it seemed impressive to us. Also, we were told that the staff sanitized all the public areas every night. As for the layout of the ship, it was confusing to get around. Evidently, the NCL Sun is known for its difficult design. For example, the most direct way to get to the main dining rooms forced you to walk through bars, casinos, more bars, photography studios, etc. So, we would rate the cleanliness 5 stars and the layout 3
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
The stateroom was comfortable and very efficiently designed. Because we had a balcony, the interior space was not overly spacious, but we loved the balcony, so that was an OK compromise. The bathroom, though small, was also very well organized, and we both loved the round shower compartment. Everything was very clean and well maintained.
Be aware that there will be lots of noise and distraction. This is not a ship for those who want a tranquil experience at sea.
The port is fine. We took a hop-on-hop off bus excursion, which allowed us to see the whole city and decide where to spend more time. The only downside was the 3 km tunnel for truck traffic that they are building and that is disrupting the main part of the historic center.
Montevideo is not very impressive, as far as we could tell from the pier. We took an excursion our into the countryside to visit a historic town (Colonia del Sacramento) and that was very interesting and well run.
Stanley is interesting, and the people seem proud to be able to survive such a difficult environment. We took an excursion to see the Rockhopper Penguins, and that was very well organized in Range Rovers over very difficult terrain.
The city is in a stunning setting, and it has a very interesting history. We learned about it on the bus to and from the dock for our excursion to see the Magellanic Penguins on Magdalena Island. We also saw lots of sea lions and sea birds. Great experience all around.
The port town is shabby and obviously a working port. It only recently became the destination port, after a strike of port workers in Valparaíso persuaded NCL and other lines to move to San Antonio. Local tour guides are just getting well set up to take cruisers from the port on tour that will eliver them to Santiago or to the Santiago airport. The trip takes more than an hour, and there is virtually no public transport, so booking some sort of transport from the dock is essential. NCL did not handle this well. When we tried to book, they only had transport to the airport, so we booked with another company to get to our Santiago hotel. NCL added a transport option to a central place in Santiago later, but the daily newsletter on the ship didn´t mention it until the final instructions arrived for disembarking. Even so, it would not have taken us to our hotel. The tour we booked through Cruises only turned out to be excellent, with a tour of central Santiago and drop-off at our hotel. Others on the tour were taken to the airport. In any case, NCL needs to get its act together if San Antonio remains the disembarkation port.
4 out of 5
well organized on the ship and at the port, though it was a bit of a madhouse with two large ships disembarking and embarking the same morning
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency,
and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners
(travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our
users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or
prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site
for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on
external web sites.
Need help from a personal vacation planner?
Find the perfect cruise with weekly tips and cruise deals for as little as $30/night!
Sign up for weekly cruise deals
Join other subscribers and get the best
cruise deals of the week in your inbox every Thursday.