We are just back from the Sun on its last voyage before dry dock and we had a great time! We (my husband and I) were traveling with our 23 month old, my parents, and 2 couples that are longtime friends of ours.
Stateroom: We booked an inside category JJ though I'd really wanted to spring for a balcony this time around. I ended up being pretty happy with our choice. The room had a nook with a couch as well as a large floor space where we were able to set up our pack 'n play. There was so much storage, too! The room never felt cluttered even though we brought lots of toys for our son.
Food: We ate in the main dining room a few nights and though the food was pretty good meals took about 90 minutes, which was pushing it for the little one. The rest of the nights we ate in the great outdoors area, which meant that everyone could eat what they wanted, when they wanted it. Great outdoors is nice because you can run in to the sports bar (great wings and chicken strips) or up More
to Las Ramblas (great everything and yes it's free). The salad bar at lunch and dinner was pretty great, and I was always able to find something for myself and my son. The hours of availability of food were much broader than other lines we have sailed, which is nice when you don't know when your child will want to eat on any given day. Freestyle dining is just the only option when you have a small child, in my opinion.
Entertainment: Our previous cruise was on Disney and we had been very disappointed with the lack of live music. NCL, on the other hand, had plenty and my son was welcome in all of the venues. He particularly liked the acoustic guitar player in Las Ramblas (as did we). We split our time between the forward observation lounge and Las Ramblas, depending on who had the best drink special at the moment. As for the shows, I didn't attend any so I can't speak to them.
Public spaces: We most enjoyed the observation lounge, Las Ramblas, and the sun deck at the very front of the ship. We did spend some time at the kids' pool, which was perfectly adequate and even had a little slide. We also spent time in the Tech room on 6, where the under 2 zoo was. We found that this was a safe place to let our son roam while we played games. Only bummer was that the room had no windows so we couldn't take advantage of the views.
Medical facility: This is one section that you don't see in most reviews. On the first night of the cruise, when my husband came back to our room at 1 a.m. he found that our son had a 105.1 fever! When it wouldn't come down, we called the front desk, and they had the nurse call our room. She met us downstairs in the medical center, examined him, and then called the doctor, who lives right there. They took excellent care of our son, advised us on how to medicate him, and even helped us give him a lukewarm shower in the hospital room they have on site. They made a scary situation a lot easier on us, and I truly felt that we received high quality care. The cost was actually about the same as an ER visit would have been- about $150. they even called the next morning to check on him!
Ports: This was an odd 5 day itinerary because of the upcoming dry dock. We only went to Key West and Cozumel, which was fine with us because we enjoy sea days. We'd never been to Cozumel before, so I just researched online as best I could ahead of time. We ended up booking a car through Avis so that we could explore the island and have a car seat to transport my son safely. However, when we arrived at Puerta Langosta (I think that was the name), there was an Alamo right there and they were able to transfer our Avis reservation over for the same price. We drove around the island on the paved roads. The eastern side of the island is gorgeous! I was glad we made the trip, as the scenery was really unique.
Overall, this was a great trip at a great price. NCL will continue to be our first choice (at least while we have a younger child) because of the affordability, flexibility, and laid-back atmosphere. Less