My husband and I just returned from a 7 day Alaskan Cruise on the Norwegian Sun and it was FANTASTIC!! The biggest downfall of the trip was customs in Vancouver...if you're a us citizen, you may want to look into choosing Seattle as they are understaffed and it took a long time. Once we entered the Norwegian dock everything became much smoother. We decided to go first class and booked a penthouse balcony suite which was a good move. We were greeted by the staff and processed immediately. They escort you to your suite and you can relax with a bottle of wine and canapés which was greatly appreciated after that horrendous wait at customs. We were told by our butler, Fernanado (who is AWESOME!) that it was Lobster night so we chose to eat in the main dining room....BIG MISTAKE!!! The food in the main dining room is not good and we ended up eating in the specialty restaurants for the remainder of the cruise which was very good! LeBistro is the best one they offer and the staff is attentive without being intrusive. The ship is older and it does have a raw sewage smell in some areas of the ship at certain times of the day but once she sails the smell dissipates a little...it is somewhat bothersome but we knew what to expect in this area as I had read other reviews before sailing,
Room: Our room was nice as it is large and was in the very forward of the ship. Huge balcony so you can see everything and we used it a lot! The bathroom is very accommodating...the bathtub is large and relaxing as the whirlpool tub was used frequently by me :). Plenty of storage space and a nice alcove to do hair and make up. Double granite sinks and huge medicine cabinet allowed up to feel right at home. The service in these suites will spoil you and will make up for some of the shortcomings elsewhere. One warning on these forward suites....if you have any tendency towards motion sickness, you want to reconsider this location as you feel EVERY rock and pitch and I spent some time with bracelets feeling awful...the Pacific Ocean has rough spots and you will feel nausea in this cabin at some point!!!
Ketchikan: Perfect start to this cruise and a gorgeous location! We did a nature walk and it was awesome! Bald Eagles were all over and our guide was very good. We had FANTASTIC weather as luck would have it and the guide informed us we would be able to see the Northern Lights between midnight and 3 am because of a weird weather pattern. We did get up and sure enough...we were able to see them. I thought it would have been nice for the staff of the ship to know and inform us...if not for that excursion, we would have missed it and that was one of the highlights of the trip...lucky us! If you are a King Crab fan...eat at the Fish Pirate...best King Crab ever had by me!!!
Juneau: My husband and I are avid fly fishermen so we had booked our own trip for this location. We did a fly-in floatplane and were dropped off at the most beautiful location I have every witnessed!!! We fished for about 5 hours and caught MANY Dolly Varden...Salmon were not in yet but I caught the first and second fish of the day so I was quite pleased!!!! We were warned about seeing bear and what to do in that event but we didn't see any...thank goodness because I would have done what they said don't ever do....scream and run!
Skagway: We walked around this quaint historic town in the morning and went on the White Pass in the afternoon. Lots of shops and museums to pass the time...weather was 77 degrees and sunny...perfect!! After spending some cash on artwork, we went back to ship for lunch....another bad idea. Stay onshore for lunch as the food and selection is much better!!! Highly recommend the White Pass but if you are afraid of heights...beware! We did encounter a VERY RUDE Russian woman who stayed on the platform taking photos and we were told by the staff to share but she must have missed that comment. I did get her to move at one point...I can be quite persuasive when need arises...wink wink!!!!
Glacier Bay: This, for me, was the greatest part of the cruise! The "calving" of the glaciers is spectacular and something you will not want to miss!! Our Captain, who came to our private cocktail party for suite guests and was very kind, took us right next to the glaciers and we again had perfect weather! The staff told us we were the luckiest group as we had the biggest and best calving of the year. Huge chunks of the glaciers cracked, thundered and dropped into the ocean...what an amazing sight....very loud!!!!!
Hubbard Glacier: Much of the same as before at Glacier Bay only this was the one day it did rain so I was less enthusiastic...watched from the suite as I had breakfast. That evening was the rockiest part of the ride and was the night I was so sick from the pitch and rock so less to say about this.
Disembarkation: This was the best I've ever experienced as we didn't have to go thru customs again and because we had booked a suite we didn't have to put our suitcases out the night before!!! I do want to warn any passengers who are the slightest claustrophobic that you must go through a long tunnel to leave and it lasts about 10 minutes. I was not prepared for this and it was quite unsettling!!! It's the only way in or out.
We had a red eye flight so we did another excursion...Alyeska tram ride which was ok...short and just ok.
The stop at the Conservation Center was wonderful and we did get to see bears up close and personal which was great!!! Lots of wildlife there but the bathrooms were disgusting!!!!
The flight home was long and weary but that's to be expected. All in All, I have been on eight cruises thus far and this was, by far, the best thanks to amazing scenery and a lovely staff and crew. I hope this review helps you....ENJOY!!!!