We took Norwegian Sun for our 15 days Panama canal cruise in the end of April this year (see review) and thought that was the our last cruise trip for this year. Then opportunity rise and we ended booking this 14 days, back to back, Alaska trip. This was our fifth trip to Alaska and we pretty well been in every port except Icy Strait point which just open up recently.
Everything on the ship was as good as that mentioned in my previous review for the Panama canal. This time, we booked the picture windows suite (8th floor, forward) on the 1st 7days and unobstructed view, 6th floor forward, on the 2nd 7th days. Both rooms were good, but I enjoyed the 6th floor one better because it was close to the walking deck and the restaurants which located on the middle and end of the 6th floor. Also, I enjoyed taking photo, and walking deck is a great place to get a close up shoot for the whales and other sea animals.
The only negative part of 6th floor was that there are people walking outside of your window from 8am to 8pm. For me, it was not an problem because the windows were coated with refractive and very difficult to see inside from the outside, one has to try every hard and has their own faces exposed for a long time at the window before they could see anything. In the evening, it would be a different story but the section were blocked after 8pm. Both room have big windows.
One thing that I like to point out, "back to back" cruise is not same as taking the same trip twice. It is because many areas travel in the first 7 days are at night and we got to see in in day time coming back. Also, weather changes in the same port on different days. Also, Norwegian Sun arranged that the first trip we went to Glacial Bay, coming back, we went to Tracy Arm. Both Glaciers are different and beautiful.
Suggestion for the ports:
Ketchikan-Besides the Creek street for salmon viewing, one could take a bus to the Northern end of the town to Totlem Blight which is a state park and worth a visit. Day pass for the bus is 2 dollars, bus stop is in front of the harbor at the Pop Corn store. A special shuttle for Walmart is located in front of the discovery center, ask ship's crew for location because it is mainly for their shopping. I did brought a Monopod for my camera there. One could also take a bus there to park after shopping.
Juneau: Visit Mandihall Glacier for $16 express bus, make sure you buy tickets for both way and becarful of your time, when the hour is close to the ship's departure, everybody want to come back on the same bus. This glacier is beautiful, especially if one walks to the waterfall. We saw bear and salmons spawning along the creek, very safe from the bear because of guard rail.
Skagway: We hike to Lower Downey lake, not an easy hike unless you do a lot of hiking. Mostly up hill and rocky trail and not much at the lake. A better walk is to the Water fall by the Cemetery, ask the ranger for direction, an easy and pretty walk. We also saw a garden display all kinds of rock, it is off the main street. It is like a museum of rocks but I forgot the name. Ask for information if you are interested, it is very close to the port.
Icy Strait point: we just walk to the town, 1 and 1/2 miles. Shuttle costs $5.
Not much there, an eagle nest at the beginning of the village. Also, a big display of various tourist item at the port which is worth walking around to see.
Another great cruise trip for us.