Some of these earlier reviews were so different than our experience that I feel we must have been on a different ship. Yes, the Sun is over 10 years old. But she is in great shape, and is well-kept up. There was absolutely no incidence of a virus while we were sailing due to the high levels of cleanliness and the crew's impeccable standards. She may need a bit of a facelift, but that is simply cosmetics.
This crew was one of the very best we have encountered after over 20 cruises all over the world. They always had a smile and a cheery greeting and seemed to go out of their way to accommodate everyone. This standard applies to all- cabin stewards, cleaners, wait staff, officers, bar attendants, shop personnel,performers. The entire crew is extremely well-trained and very attuned to the passengers wants. Bravo!
There is no way I could find fault with the food served anywhere. We tend to use the dining rooms for breakfast and lunch, simply to avoid the thundering herds pushing and shoving others simply to get another serving because they haven't eaten in a couple of hours. Most of the portions served are the size that we all know we should be eating. The bread at every meal was incredible, and the service would be rewarded in any fine dining establishment. We always ask for a shared table and have always met wonderful dining companions that way. The Bistro is an amazing dining experience and we also enjoyed Il Adigio.
Both embarkation and debarkation were fast and well-organized. In fact from the time we arrives at the port, dropped our luggage and stepped on board ship was no longer than 15 minutes. We were a group of 10 leaving in Valparaiso for a tour, and everyone was outside waiting for our guide within 20 minutes of the first announcement. This is in part because we co-ordinated with the front desk to receive the same coloured baggage tags.
There were over 60 of us in our Meet and Greet get-together where most officers including the Captain greeted us on our first sea-day. Here I met the Group Co-ordinator who was extremely helpful about getting our group priority tender tickets for any port where we had to tender.
Our ports were simply fascinating and we enjoyed every one of them. We took either private tours, or did things on our own and learned tons of stuff. As the Sun is no longer doing this itinerary, I will not bore anyone with our experiences. I am just so thankful that we decided to take this cruise while the Sun was sailing it. We have booked a Baltic cruise B2B with a TA next fall and it is on the Sun. That is partly due to the great experience we had on this ship and partly due to the amazing value that NCL gives us.