This was our fourth cruise with NCL . Having experienced Freestyle cruising before, we knew what to expect and have only cruise with NCL prior for this very reason.
We flew in to San Francisco 3 days prior, as we had not been there before. We stayed at the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf and could not recommend this hotel enough. The rooms were very clean and modern, the bed super comfortable and the staff extremely friendly. It was also in a great location and only a short walk to catch a cable car down town. The rates were very good also for the calibre of this hotel.
I have to say that it was quite disorganised. As we were staying in a Suite, we had access to the VIP lounge for check in. The problem was that it was not that easy to find and there was no one on the ground that knew where it was or how to get to it. We eventually fumbled our way through and once we got there our Concierge met us.
The first word that comes to mind when thinking about the Norwegian Sun is "old". It's in need of refurbishment for sure. It just looks tired. The lay out of the ship is a little awkward at first but you soon get the hang of it. I quite liked the size of the ship and there were always plenty of places to find some quiet time. The pool deck was quite nice with the two pools although the hot tubs are all placed together. I would prefer them a little spread out like the other ships.
Fantastic. We ate in a few of the specialty restaurants and they were great. The service was exceptional and the temperature of the food was never a problem. It did not matter where we ate, we can't think of a time where we ate a bad meal. We had the luxury of eating in Il Adagio for breakfast and lunch and that was the culinary highlight for us. Very private and the quality of the food was top notch.
We stayed in an aft facing Suite and while the location and design of the cabin was great, it was very run down. It was like staying in a 3 star motel room. The carpet was worn, the walls stained and the cabin furniture all marked and worn. Old CRT televisions, I could go on....
The jean Ann Ryan shows ere great although the rest of the production shows were very average. I am of the younger variety and I can say that the entertainment was clearly aimed at those over 60. Nothing wrong with that but it would have been nice to see some variety for all ages. Ports: I would certainly recommend this itinerary. The ports of call were very good. I wont list port by port suffice to say that the highlights were Arica and Coquimbo in Chile. There is really something for every one on this trip.
I must admit that after this cruise I really thought hard about whether I would cruise with NCL again based on my Suite experience which was far from great.
The cabin was underwhelming and not worth the money in my opinion. Having said this, Belkys our concierge was wonderful and the restaurant perks for Suite guests was great.
The Norwegian Sun, while an ok ship, is far from the best I have cruised on. So in summary, yes I would cruise with NCL again, although not in a Suite and certainly not on this ship again.