Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by ggroggey: Alaska Adventure on the Norwegian Sun
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Alaska Adventure on the Norwegian Sun
We had a wonderful time celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary on the Norwegian Sun. Overall we loved it. We arrived in Vancouver a day early and stayed at the Hyatt. It was lovely. We really enjoyed our time in Vancouver visiting Granville Island, Gas Town and going to the top of the building with the 360 degree view of the city. We also loved eating at a nice bar at the port called Mahoney and Sons. Great beer and salads. Embarkation was okay. We got there earlier than they suggested and people were already lined up. The taxi took us right up to the door.
I will talk about the excursions first. We went on 4 excursions during the cruise. We booked 3 independently and 1 with Norwegian. They were ALL amazing and HIGHLY recommended. Getting off and on the boat on ports days was extremely easy! The first was with Island Wings in Ketchikan. A floatplane with Michelle. Amazing!! The second was whale watching in Juneau with Harv and Marv's. Captain 'T' was great! We saw whales, More orcas, sea lions and eagles'very close! I will never forget it! In Skagway we did the Glacier Discovery by Helicopter tour with TEMSCO Helicopters Inc. Very professional and loved every minute of it! Finally we took the White Pass Railway and booked through Norwegian. Beautiful trip on a beautiful day! It doesn't matter which side you sit on, because they make you switch sides on the way back. My only complaint is that I did not know they would pick us up at the ship rather than the terminal so we had to walk back to the ship to get the train.
As far as the ship goes, the service was top-notch. Arnel, our steward was wonderful. Since this was our first cruise we don't have much to compare it to. We loved the freestyling option. The biggest disappointment was the food. Although there was plenty and we could always find something we liked (fish was excellent and loved the pretzel rolls.), it got old after the first few days. When we docked we ate in port. I highly recommend Tracy's in Juneau for crab, chowder and yummy biscuits. We ate in the Four Seasons and Seven Seas one night each and both were very disappointing. The meat was not good at all and service was average to poor. After that we stuck to the Garden Caf' and Great Outdoors for the buffets. We did have two specialty dinners: Il Adagio(Italian) and Teppanyaki. Both were just okay. The view in Il Adagio was great but the food was average. Dessert was very good. Teppanyaki was fun and very intimate and food was better than average. A great place to get some popcorn was in the sports bar. They have a popcorn machine set up in the corner by the bar. This was a treat that I think not many people knew about.
Our room was 9049 mid balcony. It was spacious and there was plenty of storage. We never heard anyone else next door and never smelled smoke from any cabin balcony. The bedding was excellent and very comfortable. Although the shower was small, the water pressure was excellent. We were quite cozy in our room and enjoyed it!
The entertainment was average. We did love the comedian. He was really funny. We went the first night which previewed the entertainment for the week so that was helpful for us in making our decisions about what to see.
We went to a seminar by Norwegian called 'Shopping tips in ports' or something like that. This was a BIG disappointment and waste of time. I felt like it was one big infomercial for the jewelry stores and stores that paid for advertisement. Definitely NOT tips for shopping in ports. This was a big negative for me.
We played bingo and had fun at the game shows in the bar. They were hysterical! We also went to one of the art shows and enjoyed learning about the auction. We even bought a print of our own to remember our trip by.
The spa was nice but I wish I had waited until later in the cruise when they offered some specials. I did notice the carpet was quite worn and the waiting area could be spruced up.
The gym was great and had good views. It did get quite crowded one day but they have signs up with time limits so that does help. It was just what we needed after feeling a little weight gain.
We loved our day in Glacier Bay and ordered the hot chocolate that comes in the souvenir mug. It was well worth it on this chilly day. We stayed on our balcony tuning to the channel on the tv to hear the park ranger's comments but then decided to head up to the AFT of the ship to enjoy the views up close while grabbing a bite. It was gorgeous!
Our last day at sea was a bit rough. This was the first time I could feel the ship sway. I wore my sea bands which seemed to help. Something happened in the middle of the night to a propeller I think, which slowed up our arrival back to Vancouver. This was a bit frustrating since they didn't tell us until we were already on the deck for disembarkment. We waited in a line with many other anxious travelers for about 2 hours as we had a plane to catch at 12:15pm. The walk off option is nice but no one tells you how hard it might be with the ramps and the crazy maze they make you go through to get out. All in all it was simple but we were just anxious about the time factor and the weight of our luggage made it difficult. It was a good thing we decided to do the walk off option because they moved all the other option times back and we would have surely missed our flight then. Always expect the unexpected.
Although there were a few negatives, I am sure there is with every cruise. All in all, we had a wonderful time and the service was excellent. Nothing is ever perfect, however I did wish the food was a little better. Alaska is an amazing and beautiful state and after all that is what you are there for. We even put a deposit down on another cruise to take within the next 4 years and then they took $100 off of this cruise.
It was definitely an adventure to remember! Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Sun Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony Pool Deck 9049
We stayed in Mid-Balcony 9049. The room was quite comfortable and we loved our balcony. Plenty of storage and closet space. The woodwork was lovely on the shelves and drawers. There was a safe that was easy to use. We never heard anything from the other rooms or smelled any smoke from any balcony. The bathroom shower was quite small but the water pressure was excellent. The small sofa was a bit hard but overall not bad. The Sun is showing it's age with some things a little worn out. Curtains had a few holes in them, mirror was aging in the bathroom on the edges etc. The bed and pillows were excellent. We were extremely comfortable in them. So overall, we were pleased but the room could use a shiny update.
Port and Shore Excursions
We booked our whale watching excursion independently from Norwegian with Harv and Marv's. It was amazing! Captain "T" was excellent and I would highly recommend him. Our boat was small with only 6 passengers making the experience more intimate and exciting. I never felt seasick or scared. We saw Humpbacks, sea lions, eagles and orca's. Captain "T" gave us an experience we will never forget!
Our experience with Island Wings was phenomenal! Michelle made us feel comfortable and confident in her skills. She showed us an amazing experience. We loved the music she played in the headphones which made us feel relaxed. We would highly recommend Island Wings. We booked this independent of Norwegian.
We booked our helicopter tour independently with TEMSCO Helicopters. This trip is a thrill of a lifetime, landing on a glacier and drinking the fresh glacier water. Although it is quite pricey, you can save booking it yourself and it is a must do! I was the most scared of this excursion but it was worth it! I took so many amazing pictures. TEMSCO was very professional and our guide was wonderful. I think his name was Mike. Highly recommended!
White Pass Scenic Railway
We booked the White Pass Scenic Railway through Norwegian. It was a beautiful trip and well worth it. Fortunately we had beautiful weather making it all the more enjoyable. Since we booked it with Norwegian, they picked us up near the boat dock. This can be good and bad. Since we had another excursion in the morning and wanted to eat lunch afterwards, we then had to take the shuttle to get back to the ship rather than just go to the terminal directly. We sat on the left side going up and they had you switch sides for the ride down so everyone got a good view. After a busy week, this was a nice relaxing trip. Highly recommended.