This is a review of the NCL Sun, sailing date 1/12/08.
Having just got off a much larger ship, I really enjoyed the Sun. By the end of the first day onboard I actually knew where everything on the ship was located. While the ship is not that old, it is not flashy and is decorated very conservatively. Our cabin was an inside cabin but very spacious with tons of drawers and space for hanging things. There is also a small refrigerator and a safe in the cabin. Bring a bar of soap or ask your cabin steward for one if you don't like pumping a liquid soap dispenser constantly. Additionally, the beds are terrible consisting of nothing more than a foam slab, so I would also recommend asking for an egg crate immediately. By the second night I had terrible neck and back pain and was longing for my own bed.
The ship has two (2) pools, four (4) hot tubs, with a fifth hot tub in the kiddy area all of which are usually full. There is a basketball court, ping pong, and all the usual deck sports available. My favorite thing about the design of this ship is the Great Outdoor Cafe which is at the back of the ship and is covered by a large canvas "tent" that makes sitting there fabulous. I also liked the idea of the no cover charge specialty restaurant called Pacific Heights which is a "cooking light" restaurant; a very unique concept.
The food on this ship is good, but more like adequate. This is not gourmet food but it was not bad and some of it was excellent. I found the desserts in the regular dining room especially good on this ship. We had bad dining room service in the Four Seasons Dining Room on more than one occasion; almost two (2) hours for two (2) people to have dinner. The Seven Seas Dining Room is much better. If you find a server you like as we did you should ask to be seated with them and you will be accommodated. We never had to wait to be seated for dining. Tuesday is lobster night for those who want to know this, and Wednesday is probably the "worst" night menu wise for the regular dining rooms so book your specialty restaurant on that night (Cozumel). The buffet in the Garden Cafe is not something you will want to substitute dinner for but it is fine for a late snack. There is also a free ice cream parlor that is open most of the time, and you will really enjoy NCL's signature Chocoholic Buffet which is always great.
The entertainment is very good; don't miss the Jean Ann Ryan Company production of "Cirque Pan". The crew show is also good and the crew also performs "Fountains" on this cruise which I first saw on the Pride of America.
The itinerary was fun. First was Roatan. We took an excursion through the cruise line to Tabyana Beach, a beautiful beach with a reef swimming distance from the beach (bring your dive gear). You can also walk down the beach and there are people selling various things; mayan pottery and carved wood boxes. You will see a lot more of these items back at the Port. There is a tented area at the Port with various vendors selling things and their prices are double what you will find across the street. You are better off walking to your right and there you will find a market of all the same goods very reasonably priced. Next was Belize where we went cave tubing with a private company we booked online (half the price of the cruise line). After that was Cozumel. We had booked Playa Mia through the cruise line but fortunately cancelled because it rained, so instead we shopped and drank Margaritas. Last was Great Stirrup Cay, NCL's private island in the Bahamas, always the best day of the cruise; crystal clear water and a beautiful beach.
Getting on and off this ship is a breeze. The Cruise Consultant Laura on this ship is the best in the business. For the price paid this cruise was really a great deal. For me, it was the people I encountered that made the cruise; the dining room staff (once I found a great server), the cruise consultant, my cabin stewards, and the concierge. The crew is very friendly and efficient. If you are looking for gourmet food this is not the cruise for you but if you want decent food, a nice accommodation, and a good crew the Sun is a bargain.