Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by jglicos: Norwegian Sun = Fun & Relaxing? Not at all!!
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Norwegian Sun = Fun & Relaxing? Not at all!!
Norwegian Sun seems to get somewhat good reviews online. I thouroughly researched it prior to booking our cruise this past February (2011). Once I boarded the ship, I realized why the reviews were "tainted". The average age of the population on the ship was pushing 65 (and that's being nice!). I have never seen so many wheelchairs, walkers and scooters in my life (not for the disabled, but for the VERY old). It seemed like more of a seniors cruise where Bingo was the most attended event, by far.
KID'S CLUB/KID'S ACTIVITIES - We figured since we booked during school vacation week for the Northeast, that there would be a lot of children for our children to play with. In fact, there were less than 50 kids on the whole ship (age 2-17). When signing the kids up for "Kid's Club" were were told that they had a much better turn out for our voyage versus the past few weeks. Kids Club was very average. They provide you with an Agenda for the week, but each time we dropped the kids off More for something specifically scheduled on the agenda, they never actually did the activity. All they really do is play games, the same games, over and over. It gets very boring and by the end of the week, the kids didn't even want to go anymore (two boys - Age 7 and 9). There was a basketball court which was really the only thing to do other than swim in the pool. The "kid's pool", the ship claims to have consists of a tiny pool that is a foot deep and the size of a plastic one you'd put in your backyard. It is more for a 2-3 year old. There's also a hot tub, but since it's so far away from anything else, the kids don't want to use it. There are two other pools on the ship. One they make for adults only, but since there are no gradual steps into it, the older people (ie, most everyone else on the ship) use the one for the kids and complain when they get splashed.
FOOD - The food on the ship is not good at all. The cafeteria is SO SMALL that you can't even get into it without waiting in a line of 25 people. This line is there all of the time. It was so bad that people would come and sit at the tables waiting for them to open the food and then make a mad dash for it. The dining room was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, breakfast was not good at all. Lunch was okay and dinner was pretty good, but not great. The freestyle dining is more of a pain then "relaxing" as they say. The main dining rooms typically had a wait since no one wanted to pay to go to the other options. The restaurants that charge covers, were okay (we went to three of them), but not really worth the money. They were more of what you'd get on Royal Caribbean in the main dining room. The portion sizes in all of the restaurants were very small. I am not a big eater, however was hungry after eating most meals. The sports bar has food (free) during it's hours, however, they people that work there don't want to serve you unless you order drinks. They are very rude!
STAFF - Other than our stateroom attending, the staff on the Sun was VERY rude. I tried to call the front desk three times. Once I let it ring for 5 minutes and someone answered. The other two times, I actually had to hang up and go to the desk myself. Norwegian has mandatory tipping charges that are directly applied to your account ($12/day/person). Since the staff already has your money, there's no incentive at all to go above and beyond or even be nice, for that matter. It's just a completely different experience than any other cruise I've been on (four different ships on Royal Caribbean).
DRINK PRICES - Absolutely outrageous! Any mixed drink at the pool was $10!! Once they add the mandatory tip, we paid $24 for two drinks each time we ordered them. The most expensive drink I ever had on Royal Caribbean was $7. Our food/bar bill at the end of this cruise was $600 ($950 if you include the mandatory tipping). This trip was a family trip so we really didn't drink that much. The most expensive bill we had on Royal Carribean was $500 and that included many, many, many drinks and dining at the specialty restaurants.
GYM - The gym was VERY small. Only had 5-7 treadmills (that were working). They were only open during certain hours since they were above cabins. There was a 30 minute limit on all cardio.
ROOM - We had a inside handicapped room. There was a king bed (two twins put together) and it was very uncomfortable. One day bed and one bed that dropped from ceiling. There was only one outlet in the whole room. The room was clean, but the bathroom was a bit annoying since the shower had no lip and the drain around it did not work so water covered the bathroom.
The Size of the Ship - Too small. Every night the ship was bouncing. So bad, my 7 year old got sea sick and had to leave Kid's Club. The ship is way too narrow so even if the seas aren't high - it's still tippy.
All in all I believe that Norwegian is not worth the money, even though it seems like a deal compared to other cruise lines when you book it. You WILL end up paying more than you think.
Also - I'm not sure if it's Norwegian in general, or the port we went out of (Pt. Canaveral), but the older population on the ship was very annoying and did not make for a "fun" trip at all because all of the activities seemed to be geared toward older people and were not fun or entertaining in the least.
Don't waist your money. Spend the extra $200 per person and go on Royal Caribbean - you'll be glad you did!!!! Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Sun 8312
Stateroom 8312 - handicapped accessible. It was a big room, but the bathroom was a pain. The water from the shower went everywhere and the bathroom floor was always soaked. There was only one outlet in the room!