Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by feb08paris: Beautiful Baltic Cruise
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Beautiful Baltic Cruise
We flew via Air Canada from SFO to Toronto then Toronto to Copenhagen. We were a bit worried since we read so many bad reviews about the airline but the flights and luggage made it and better than expected. As soon as we landed Copenhagen around 11:30am went directly to TI and bought the Copenhagen Card for 24 hours. With that took the Metro to Krogens/Nytorv station very easy and went straight to our hotel. Since I have 24 hours to take advantage of the card we went to the Nyhavn to take the boat tour which is included on the card. The first one I can't remember the name was giving us 50% discount but then I saw Netto Baden station and there it is free. If you pay separately I think it is 45DKK. We enjoyed the boat ride very much and they have the tour guide speaking in different languages. Then took the train to see Nyhavn station in case we decided to haul our luggage to the port area. My comment on Nyhavn station to port -- It was easy but when you're hauling a 50lbs More
luggage it's a bit too much (your choice). We took the trains everywhere to central station and back just to get the feeling of being on their train. Off to Tivoli before sunset which is also included on the card. The next day before the card expired went to several museums, Rosenborg and Amalieborg Palace. On to the port from Hotel Maritime we took the cab and it cost us 150KK.
Embarkation was smooth we were on the ship around 12:30 and if I recall a little after 1:30pm our cabin was ready. Sun is a beautiful ship. I would not hesitate to sail her again if there is a good itinerary. The mid ship main dining room has a nice lay out and it looks so open and inviting. Cabins are bigger than other Norwegian ships however the shower room is much smaller than I have seen. The size of casino is perfect and it does not dominate the entire deck unlike in the Epic and not much smoke either. I love that they still have the observation lounge on Deck 12 (called spinnaker lounge on other N-Ships) and allows you to view the sailing from the outside with an open space. Deck 6 has the open walking and jogging area which I missed on Epic.
Food- two of the main dining rooms have the same menu and the choices are the same when I last sailed 2010. I noticed a drastic change in the buffet section where there is limited choices, smaller and taste bland. They open Moderno for breakfast and lunch to reduce the crowd at the buffet section. They also offer buffet express at the main dining room.
The atrium is beautiful but it would have been nice if they play music there in the evening.
Shops -- same as all the other ships. They offered a special t-shirts sale 4 for $45.00 for one day. They had a special night after Russia for Russian dolls and many other Russian treasures. Keep in mind that prices are higher on board than outside as I checked the price.
Now on to the ports:
Copenhagen -- easy to navigate. We stayed at Hotel Maritime which is centrally located to all tourist spots and 8 minutes walk from Krogens/Nytorv Metro station. If I had stayed at hotels near the central station it would have been longer walk to all of the tourist spot that's just my opinion. Anyway we enjoyed our stay here but during our stay it rained and was windy and cold.
Germany -- we opted to take the SPB tour for one day. We took the three hour journey from the port and were very pleased with our tour. We signed up for the group of no more than 16 and there were only 6 of us on the van. We hit so many tourist spot and our guide was perfect. It was worth it.
Talinn, Estonia -- this is a walk able area. It took us maybe no more than 10 minutes to reach the town. We walk around and explored all the cobble stones and truly enjoyed this magnificent place. Of all the ports Tallinn has the best shopping for souvenirs and cheaper than other ports.
St. Petersburg -- we signed up for 2 day SPB deluxe tour. There were 16 of us and our group is amazing. Everyone is on time and truly a pleasure to be with. SP is a magnificent city, our schedule is very hectic and 2 days is not enough to enjoy and absorb the wonders of Russia. Also seeing the subway station 70 meters down all I can say is Wow. Oh and don't be surprised it is traffic everywhere. We were exhausted on our first day and another couple went to see an evening show. I don't think I would do that since we had a long day and probably would not be able to enjoy the night. Passport Control is not that bad, there are so many of them and although they check the visa one by one the line goes smoothly. One of the passengers cut half of the immigration form and was not allowed to exit the port. She then went back to the ship to get another form.
Helsinki -- we walk outside port and cross the street and took bus 16. I ask the driver for an all day pass for 7Euro. Drop us off to the town center and from there took 3T then 3B tram. After the tram we walk around the area and explored all the sights. It is very easy to navigate this town. When were done took 16B bus along the shops area and went back to the ship.
Sweden -- another beautiful country. We docked on Sunday at Stadsgarten port. We got out early on the ship and you don't have to. Even though we have limited time here 8am to 2:30pm. HOHO Bus and Boat don't start operating until 9:30am, although flyers said 10:00. Vasa were meant to open at 10am but I heard that when ships are in they usually open early so we took the chance. We walk from the ship to the Ferry which opened at 8:50am. It took us 20 minute walk from the port to the Ferry in Slussen. Now we are walkers and 45 minute daily is my routine so this is no biggie. Ferry cost 45KR (6.41USD) one way. We were in VASA at 9am. Of course they are not open so we waited. Half hour later an NCL group tour came in and the tour guide started banging on the door she said they were supposed to open early for us. Amazing they did open the door for visitors. Anyway we spent a few hours there then all of the NCL group tours are rushing out the door by 10:30am which is pretty chaotic. Vasa entrance fee is 110SEK. By the way we saw a young man in late 20's complaining at the CS desk who lost his wallet or pick pocketed inside the museum. They made an announcement immediately to be extra careful with their personal belongings. When were done we took the ferry back to the same station and cross the street and that is Gamla Stan. Basically we walk around and head to the palace to watch the changing of the guard then walk back to the ship. If we had more time on this port we would have taken the HOHO Boat cost 100KR and get off later but due to limited time we opted to walk. Now Bus 76 was meant to be your ticket to town as well but since its Sunday we don't have this option. Another thing is the TI is saying I have to buy bus ticket of 36KR one way and they do sell them so you can check that out.
Disembarkation -- we took our time since we have a late afternoon flight to Zurich to our next adventure. It was very easy and short walk to the taxi area. We decided to take the cab instead of taking the train it's a bit too much to go from one station to another and it would cost us 177DKK for 3 people so we took the cab for 250DKK from port to airport.
Final Notes: We exchange currencies prior to this cruise and have it made available on each of the port and felt that we are not under duress to find any ATM's and having the currencies available in each country. Most merchants accept Visa. If they ask for a pin you can say no pin and they will run it in a different manner. Less
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