We flew direct with CanJet. If I had a choice, I would not fly with them again. No video/audio screens for entertainment, less than adequate leg room for those over 5'2" (I am 6') and the AC in the plane seemed to be stuck on "heat" both down and back. I asked the FA for a glass of water to take some medication, when I got on, before they started take off procedures. I am still waiting, but I did get to see her "fix" her hair 3000 times. Yeah, these guys should be called "Canned" Jet. Lousy airline. Worst I've ever flown, although we did have a very good landing in some really crappy weather coming home.
We were transported by bus from FLL Hollywood Intl Airport to Miami Port. The trip took about 1/2 hour, but was good as I had never been in Miami before, so there was a lot to look at. Once at the pier, we were on the ship and in our room in less than 15 minutes, and that was only because we got lost going to the room! Getting you on board is a smooth process for NCL.
The ship is a medium sized cruise ship, according to cruise standards, but was a great vessel as far as getting from place to place. Once you got accustomed to the routine of "going up to go down" you could make your way around quite effectively. From aft, you have to go up to at least Deck 6 from 4 or 5 to get down to the reception area mid-ships on Deck 5. This meant walking either through Dazzles, the Casino or up a very long hallway on Deck 4 to the bow. Also, Il Adagio was accessible from Deck 6 by walking down stairs mid-ships to Deck 5. The ship is beautiful, cozy and comfortable. Our stateroom was an ocean view stateroom. Not large, but once you learned the dance, you were OK. You go this way, I'll go that..open that door! You want to get in the closet? I'll go this way, you go that and open that door! Step to the left, my darling… Nothing to it!
We found the bed to be comfortable even without the egg foam. There was nary a sore back all week! I swear though, our room stewards, Chris and Clark must have been watching us because every time we left the room the towels were changed, or the bed made or turned down. It got to be funny. We even tried catching them in the act, but they were just way too fast for us!
The Staff/ Service
The staff of the Sun was voted by comment cards to be the best of the NCL fleet, last month. I can see why. They were amazing. From the guys that maintained the ship right up to the Captain, all we got were smiles and great service. When we were leaving Seven Seas restaurant after breakfast, we had every waiter or waitress from the Seven Seas that waited on us over the past week come say goodbye. That was nice. The cabin stewards, as mentioned, were amazing, and the cruise director's entertainment staff was always full of energy and ready with a smile. The reception staff went above and beyond to help us with a couple things and the bar and wait staff were also great.
Food and Beverages
The food was truly amazing, and I can't fathom what other people were complaining about. We had beef Wellington that was to die for, duck a l'orange that was incredible and we even found the buffet to be palatable. Of course, we are fairly easy to please. The one complaint that DH had was that his egg whites were never cooked enough, but once he started ordering them "over medium", things were cooked to perfection. We ate at the buffet, Seven Seas, Four Seasons, Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, and Las Ramblas. We did not do East Meets West, or I; Adagio, but I did hear rave reviews of those restaurants.
As far as drinks go, we are not big drinkers, which is probably good because the drinks were outrageously priced as far as I am concerned. Drinks of the day ran about $9, and try as we might, they wouldn't put them in a regular glass. IF you wanted that drink, you paid for the novelty glass. The best deal for beer was the bucket. DH bought three of those. What he didn't drink we took back to the room and put in the fridge to keep for when he did want it.
My only complaint was that I had to try the famous Sangria, because I had heard so much about it on CC, but was shocked when it came…1/2 glass for $9.35. For almost $10, couldn't they fill the glass?
He public areas of the ship were immaculate. They were always very clean and tidy. The ventilation must have been very good, as I am a non-smoker and didn't mind the smoke in the designated areas. The casino was fun. We even managed to win $117, so we used it for an excursion we hadn't planned on. The duty free was nice to go in and look through. Everything was organized in such a fashion that it was easy to browse. The photo gallery is a neat place, and we didn't run into many photographers, but I did find the price of the pictures to be a bit over the top. Even on the final day, they would rather destroy the pictures than sell them at a discount. I though that if they would bundle your pics into a photo album and sell them for say $50 for the lot, as a "last minute/ unadvertised" deal, they would at least get some money from the pics they wouldn't normally sell. It seems like such a waste the way they do it now.
Pools & Hot Tubs
We only used the pools and hot tubs once. It was nice, and kind of odd being in a pool that felt like a wave pool. The temperature of the pools maintained at around 80 degrees, and the hot tubs were set at 98.6 degrees. They were very user friendly. I didn't notice many people in the 7' deep pool, but more seemed to use the 4.5' pool.
Ports of Call
We LOVED the itinerary on this cruise! I can't say enough how much fun it was. One thing I didn't understand was I overheard some people complaining about the ports of call. I don't understand some people. Roatan was beautiful with fabulous snorkeling. Belize was magnificent with it's Mayan Ruins, and Cozumel was spectacular for the shopping. And as and added bonus, we got to go to Nassau, rather then Great Stirrup Cay. Although I am sure the island is lovely, I would rather explore the city and the Atlantis Resort and aquarium rather than lie on a beach, so for me that was a better deal.
Fitness Centre and Spa
I didn't get to use either, as we were non-stop from start to finish on this cruise, but I did go look at the gym. I was impressed with the caliber of equipment available. And the spa ran some fabulous deals on port days, but the DH didn't share my enthusiasm, nor his wallet. Bummer. But I can say I almost felt relaxed reading the treatments available.
All I can say is that we are easy to laugh and to please or we saw different entertainment than what I have seen reviewed here previously. The entertainment was great! The comic was hysterical, the bands (all 3) were toe tapping good, and the shows in the Stardust Lounge were very good. The Jean Ann Ryan Performers were impressive. And the funniest and most entertaining of all? Cruise Director Linda and her staff performing their version of "Fountains" not quite as seen in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. You have to see this to believe it. Also, the adult version of Quest was very funny too.
Value Over All
All in all, I would say that for us, this cruise was well worth the money we paid. We loved the Freestyle aspect. We got a great deal with our flight included, and we watched our spending, so we came in under budget, which is great because what we saved we can put towards a balcony stateroom next time. We didn’t take advantage of the rewards program and will probably kick ourselves later, but we wanted to not feel pressured about when we have to book another cruise. For those who know when they can cruise again, this is a great value, and I would recommend people taking advantage of it.
Stupid or Funny Comments Heard on Board
· Excerpt from Linda - Is the water in the pool so rough because it is sea water? · Excerpt from Linda - Will this elevator (aft) take me to the front of the ship? · Excerpt from Linda - Is the water in the toilet fresh or salt? · Heard on the elevator - Where is the little man that announced what floor we are on in the elevator? It’s what I’m used to. · Said to Me on Day 2 – Can you tell me where the restaurants are because you look well fed!!! (WHAT???) · Heard in the dining room - These ports of call seem so “3rd world” · Excerpt from Linda – With all those pictures on the wall, how can we tell which ones are ours? · Excerpt from Linda – Does the staff sleep on board?