We booked this cruise over a year in advance and it seemed like a really adventurous trip. Having toured New Zealand in the January the second long haul holiday of the year was supposed to be second fiddle, but it was beyond comparison, so different, so luxurious, such fun!
The ship the Norwegian Sun is not the biggest of ships, which was why we chose it, but it was quite big enough for us, roomy public spaces, roomy stateroom, roomy open spaces. The pool space was surrounded by a huge number of beds and decks, the only problem was we were looking for a shady spot which were full early in the day. Towels were on beds not returned to for a long time, but that it not NCL, that is people. Every day a gentle calypso band would play for some time by the pool and on sea days a barbecue was prepared and served round the pool, every day fruit or other sweet snacks were passed around by very attentive staff and drinks served at a charge from the poolside Topsiders Bar.
The food was excellent in quality and choice. There are restaurants with a supplement, which we did not use on principle. There are two main dining rooms with identical menus, one with a smart casual dress code the other not. We preferred the more formal dining, the atmosphere was luxury, the attentive staff conveyed that feeling, however, the wine was expensive . There were less formal options: buffet dining with lots of choice for starters mains and desserts: a crepe to order option. The Sports Bar served comfort food of burgers, chicken strips or fish with chips. Las Ramblas offered a tapas option. These were all included in the cruise price, as was room service with a restricted menu, delivered within 15 minutes, made to order.
Shows at the Stardust lounge were varied and entertaining; including dance extravaganzas to magicians, the Windjammer Bar was cosy but would be improved if the photography corridor was walled off from it. Guitar and piano player gave a club atmosphere. Dazzles disco lounge was always humming. There was such a varied and full programme of so many entertainments/activities I will not try to list them here as I would not do them justice, but you can do as little or as much of them as you like.
We were quite happy sometimes to chill in our stateroom which had adequate storage, room to stretch out or sit on the balcony and watch the sea and the passing wildlife: dolphins, turtles, fish and glimpse of a ray.
The ports were interesting and varied. We booked some private excursions, some NCL excursions and we walked around ourselves in two ports. The NCL Crocodile Safari in Puntarenas, Costa Rica was excellent and we thoroughly recommend it.
We did not like the idea of the cruise coming to an end and would recommend this cruise to anyone, families, those with mobility issues, couples, singles, GLBT. All these groups are catered for excellently on this cruise through the Panama Canal.