I recently got off the NCL Sun which did a 5 day Mexico cruise before heading into dry dock for 12 days. This was my 5th NCL cruise and I have to admit I was very pleasantly surprised.
I did have some reservations about sailing on the Sun because it's one of their older ships and I wasn't sure what to expect - boy was I pleasantly pleased. The overall appearance of the ship was really one of a well maintained ship. Sure that was some wear and tear but overall it doesn't look its age.
We had an interior cabin on the 10th floor and to my surprise it was the 2nd largest inside cabin that we've ever stayed in. Now the shower was tiny but overall I'd book that same cabin on a 5 day cruise in a heartbeat. It's funny because my wife and I both agreed that we enjoyed our accommodations on the Sun better than we enjoyed our balcony cabin on our last NCL cruise, the Epic. Even though the Epic was newer we felt that due to the layout was too cramped. We had ample storage space as well. On big difference on the Sun was this - we watched the movie Inception in our cabin for free, whereas movies on the Epic were $12.99!
Our dining experiences on the Sun consisted of Pacific Heights, Garden Cafe, Las Ramblas, Four Seasons and iL Adagio - twice. The food was acceptable but the service in Pacific Heights and iL Adagio was very good. We never had to wait to be seated. We really liked the location of il Adagio and considering the $10 surcharge we considered it a great bargin.
The on-board ship entertainment was typical of what you'd expect - Comedian Bud, juggler Romaneo and special guest singer Elvy Rose in addition to the conventional ship's dancers. For those who haven't seen Elvy Rose this lady is a high energy singer who is, in her own words, loco! It was an enjoyable evening.
I believe what made this a nice cruise was the ship's crew. This was one of the friendliest crews that I've encountered. There were smiles EVERYWHERE. From check in to our room cabin attendant, to the waiters, excursion desk and even the casino workers. The other thing I really enjoyed was being close to the ocean. It was nice to be able to walk on deck 6 and just relax and watch the ocean as we sailed along. Another thing I found nice was the coffee bar area on deck 5 with the sitting area. Las Ramblas is also a nice little area to have lunch or to go later at night for drinks and listen to the guitarist.
The only dislike about my recent trip on the Sun? Smokey casino. Now it wasn't as bad as when I was on the Epic but when I got home and unpacked the clothes all smelled like smoke.
Considering that the NCL Sun is a 10 year old ship and hasn't been refurbished since 2004 it was in surprisingly good shape. The Sun doesn't have an ice bar or a cirque dinner show. The Sun doesn't have a jazz nightclub or Blue Man Group. The Sun doesn't have any water slides or bowling alley's either!
Even without all those bells and whistles, I really enjoyed my time on the Sun and especially with the crew! I guess it just goes to show that great customer service will trump the gaudy baubles; at least in my book.
Nice job NCL, I'll be back.