January 28, 2006
This is being written as a warning to anyone planning on traveling with NCL, or Norwegian Cruise Line. They completely misrepresent what to expect on their ships, and the food is way below average unless you are willing to use the "pay" restaurants every night. We just returned from the 1/28 sailing with Norwegian Sun and couldn't wait to get home!!My fiancee and I are 26 and 35 years old.
We have average incomes and didn't have insane expectations for this cruise. What we expected was to be entertained, eat a lot of good food, and most important - to have fun! NONE of these things happened. Because there are so many bad things to report I have decided to make a list of the worst things we experienced!
1) Nothing is organized correctly, so expect to be waiting around a lot.
2) Unless you book your excursion through NCL you must wait to be let off the ship last, and have no priority. If you DO book through NCL expect to leave for your excursion at LEAST an hour later than they say, and to have it be nothing like it has been described.
* For example, in Belize we booked the Arial Trek & Cave Tubing. We spent at least an hour waiting in line on slippery steep rock steps for the zip lining while in our "protective gear." The zip lining itself lasted maybe 20 minutes. NCL described it as "floating above the trees for two hours." Get the picture here? I'm not even going into detail about how unsafe the cave tubing was.
* In Cozumel NCL caused us to miss the ferry to Playa Del Carmen. Because they were not only unorganized, but since we had not booked through them (they did not offer this tour) we were forced to wait longer than the other people. We spent most of our day back on the ship fighting with both NCL and Xcaret to get our money refunded. We are still fighting for our money back from Xcaret, and NCL is the sole reason for us missing the ferry.
* Some people (not us) were stranded on an island instead of deep sea fishing for 5 hours with no food, drinks or water. I'm sure you'll be hearing from them on some of these sites as well!
3) You must dress up for every restaurant after 5:00 pm. * You may wear anything you like to the buffet, but good luck finding the large buffet open during port days or after 8pm.
4) The food in the non-pay dining rooms is the same on both menus, and horrible. * We ate it to be polite, but at the table of four next to us two people got up and left when the food was delivered. The other two complained, but ate. The table next to them complained and made faces throughout their entire dinner, then ordered a bottle of white wine to ease the pain. * I lost weight during this cruise and was usually hungry. No joke!
5) The average age of passenger was 55. * This cruise should be billed as a cruise for seniors. This made the entire pace of the cruise very slow.
5a) Because the average age of people was older, the trivia games as well as name that tune were focused on the 20's-50's. I'm NOT kidding. These games in and of themselves were horribly run and set up as well.
6) Children (although there were not many of them) take over the pool/hot tub area. No attempt is made by the NCL staff to move them to the children's area of the ship. This makes it impossible to use the hot tubs.
7) The one day we stayed by the pool my watch was stolen. NCL logged it into their very large book of "missing" items.
8) The entertainment was dreadful. The woman who won the "guest talent show" was better than any singer the cruise line provided.
These, trust me, are still not ALL of the bad points of this ship. It must get as old reading all of this as it did experiencing it. Since you probably get the point I will list the good points!
1) Our room was always clean, and the maids were quick. * We had a large balcony room and that was the saving grace of this trip. We spent a lot of time there on the balcony or in the casino because the rest of the ship and it's entertainment were useless.
2) The staff was always friendly and polite. These people work hard and you should respect them!
In conclusion, this trip was a major disappointment. My fiancee forced me to remember that we have to make the best of things, so that is what we tried to do. We did meet some very nice people, but not while on the ship. We met the most people while at port in Cozumel. We decided to write this as a warning to people who are traveling with NCL, specifically the NCL SUN. Lower your expectations before going on this cruise or you WILL be disappointed. Our advice? Cancel if you can and try either another NCL ship, or other cruise line all together. We, personally will never travel with NCL again.