We arrived with 2 other couples for our 11 night cruise. We were a little apprehensive about getting bored due to the length of the cruise. This was our 11th cruise, and one couples first. The cruise started poorly (no fault of Norwegian) due to the fact the Port of Miami quit it's free handicapped parking a few days before our arrival. Even though we confirmed the free handicapped parking earlier that week by telephone, they lied. WARNING - The cost, $ 440 for two handicapped vehicles, with no time to seek alternative parking. What a rip off.
The Sun was a great ship, very clean and easy to get around. We were all on Deck 4 (Ocean view). All of crew we encountered were very friendly. My wife who is a smoker did not like the fact that smokers on the pool deck were confined in a corner under the stairs with 8 tables, rather that one side of the deck, as on most other ships.
We divided dining between the dining rooms and the buffet. The meals were average for cruise ship meals. The dining rooms for the most part had very slow service. The buffet lines tended to be long at times, due to the layout of essentially one long station, rather having a few stations. The drink stations were next to the food, adding to the congestion. One a couple of the days they ran out of coffee in all of the machines at the same time, once due to a power failure. The highlight dining event was Moderno, the Brazilian Steakhouse, which was one of the best meals we have ever had on a cruise. The meat never stops coming, and everything was cooked to perfection.
The shows were typical cruise fare, with production shows, comedians, hypnotist. The Sun's production shows were average with great dancers. The singing, at all performances, including the lounges, was poor at best (some of it due to a really bad sound system. The voices, which were weak, were drowned out by the music.
Our first port was Cartegena Columbia. We booked our excursion through Claudia Vidal. She responded promptly to our email for information. We were met on the pier by our guide and driver (Sandy & Pilar). We traveled in an clean air conditioned van, perfect for the 6 of us. Sandy was very knowledgeable, and gave us an excellent tour including, the Monastery at La Popa, the city walls and shops at Playa de las Bovedas, a guided walk through the colorful old city, the Museum of the Inquisition, and a photo stop at the fortress at San Feliipe, as well as a stop at an emerald museum & shop.
Our next stop at Aruba was scheduled 1 PM to 8 PM. Aruba is a beautiful island, but on this cruise we limited ourselves to walking around in Orangestadt. Local boat and snorkel trips were closed on Sunday.
We took a short cruise to our next port, Curacao. We booked an excursion online through Natasja (Dushi Taxi). She was waiting for us just outside of the port with her van (loaded with Smurfs). Natasja was an outgoing tour guide who drove us through the neighborhoods of Willemstadt then to Fort Nassau for views of the city and port. We then drove to the Liquor factory, just leaving as the crowd arrived. She drove us around some scenic parts of the the island, and dropped us at Jan Theil Beach for about an hour, before returning us to the ship. In the afternoon, a few of us walked across the (Queen Emma) floating bridge, and around the very colorful city of Willenstadt.
Our next stop was St Maarten. We booked an excursion through Bernard Tours. A message left on an answering machine was returned in a few hours. The meeting at the port was hectic, as he assigned cruisers from ours and other ships to different guides. However, once in our van with our driver Phillip, we enjoyed a nice tour of the island. We drove through both sides of the island (Dutch & French). We stopped at an Iguana farm, Coralita Beach to check out Sea Urchins. We then drove to Orient Beach some beach time. The beach was uncrowded with some pretty heavy duty waves. We then drove through the French capitol Marigot, but did not stop do to a heavy rain shower, and lack of places to park. We drove onto Maho Beach to watch the planes land, just over your head. We had a few drinks and a bite at the beach bar, and watched a few jets land and take off. While the rest returned to the ship I took a walk around Phillipsburg. The boardwalk was very nice and the water very inviting. The town itself was very nice to walk around.
Our last stop was St. Thomas on Thanksgiving Day. .We booked a tour with Henry (EEE Tours), My wife and I had toured with him in the past. Henry was very accommodating, taking us to the regular stops around the island including Mountain Top for views of the Virgin Islands. Although his truck carried 3 other couples from another ship, everyone was friendly. He then took us to Sapphire Beach where it began to rain.
We left St. Thomas and headed home. The sea became a little rough, but other than waves in the swimming pool, I did not notice it that much.
Over all, we all enjoyed the cruise and the Norwegian Sun.