We started our trip off by flying into Ft. Lauderdale because it is a cheaper flight and lodging is cheaper. We stayed at the very fun Roadway Inn with a hotel manager named Izzy who should be a cruise director. It is a 1950's style hotel that is very clean and comfortable with a great setup for cruisers and delicious seafood to kick start your cruise. We would stay there again in a heartbeat! The only problem was that we were leaving from Miami! I will have to say that the commute there was stressful...and back was even more stressful due to a poorly run shuttle service that works out of the hotel. It has nothing to do with the hotel, but will come directly there to pick you up and is 1/2 as expensive as the other shuttle services. We quickly found out that you pay for what you get! Stay in the same city that you are leaving from to cut down on unnecessary stress! They got us to the boat late and picked us up over an hour late to get us back to the airport after the cruise.
We found the Sun to be a wonderful ship. It is smaller and easy to get from place to place. We were surprised to find it in such great shape. The Captain, hotel officer and restaurant officers were constantly roaming the ship like great administrators to insure that everything was just perfect. It was the friendliest ship that we have been on.
We enjoyed having breakfast each morning on the back of the boat at the great outdoor restaurant. It also has the fabulous self serve soft icecream machine there...soooo good! We liked seeing the food so that we'd have an idea of how tasty it would be. Often in the dining rooms the food seem bland in comparison to the buffet which offered lots of sauces etc. All of the specialty restaurants were great except the food at Adagio, the Italian restaurant. It should have been much better, we were really disappointed. They did have the very best dessert on the ship...the chocolate tart that is spectacular! We could not believe how few people were using the specialty restaurants. NCL should have run some better specials at sail away to fill them up.
We are not party animals, but we enjoyed the quieter areas on the boat with live music as well as the "Quiet Zone" on the 12th floor at the front of the ship. The Captain is very popular with the crew...he runs a tight ship and understands customer service. He has high expectations for the crew and they are the hardest workers we've seen thus far.
The pros definitely outweighed the cons. Some of the problems that we noticed was the poor communication at the front desk with a serious language barrier. The billing method is not a good one and very confusing. The internet service is SLOW and very expensive!!! There is a great deal of waiting in line for the cruise ship excursions...too much time wasted. In the non suite rooms there are 12 hangers, a pitiful blow dryer that won't style your hair but the long tube carrying the hot air will burn your skin!
A note to those who are going on the Sun...take a portable hair dryer, and 4 way plug, a little can of Fabreeze room deodorizer from the travel section at Walmart, and one of those fake flat candles with a bulb flame to act as a night light in your bathroom so that you don't have to turn on your bright bathroom light. Heavy chain smokers still make life tough for the balcony stateroom folks.
A big plus is that the cruise is too long for children and adults took over the kiddie hot tub. We missed not having a thermal suite, but use of the two sets of sauna and steam rooms was free to all! Most of the shows were great, the daily activities were ho hum. There seemed to be many cruisers complaining about the lack of communication at the spa and receiving services that were not what they requested. The crew aims to please...we loved it!