What a wonderful experience it was being on the NCL Sun. This was my husband and my sixth cruise with NCL since 2007. Our last two cruises with NCL were disappointing because of the endless sales pitches and numerous ways to relieve you of your money. We were also unhappy with the lack of substantial entertainment during the day on those ships. On The Sun these have been addressed.
Embarkation: This went extremely well. The lines moved quickly. Everything appeared to be well organized. The wait for our room was minimal.
Cabin: We had a balcony cabin which is typical of the NCL ships. The beds were together, forming a kingsize bed. A sofa was also in the cabin. There was adequate storage. The beds were extremely comfortable. The bathroom had a curtain which we worried would flow unto the bathroom floor. Not to worry. It was fine. Our room steward, Ishmael, was attentive, always seeming to be around. He responded to any requests quickly. The room was always clean.
Dining: With the ship being supposedly full, we were expecting waiting at the MDR and overcrowding at the Garden Cafe. There never was a wait at the Seven Seas and although the Garden cafe was usually full, the weather was good to eat outdoors if an inside table was not available. I saw staff directing people to specialty restaurants located nearby for additional seating. Yes, you could expect basically the same kind of food in the GC but that was acceptable because if I liked the kind of food I could get it again. (Their cold fruit soups, pretzel breads, and cookies were fantastic.) The variety and quality of foods in the Seven Seas where we ate in the evening were fine. We can not find anything to complain about. We like freestyle cruising because of the casualness and being able to eat when we like. NCL personnel were always at the doors to the GC and MDR. They try hard to prevent any nasty outbreaks.
Entertainment: As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, The Sun has provided in-cabin TV entertainment with a free movie channel (one English, one French, one German), E-Channel, and four news channels. This is a definite improvement from other NCL ships where there were only 2 news channel and a $12.95 per movie channel. The nightly shows were always top notch and enjoyable. NCL does a fine job hiring excellent performers. In addition, there was a German folk dance troupe and German food buffet poolside, A Russian folk show, a Viking DVD presentation, movies in the Borneo room, not crammed into the atrium as on The Gem. The two Latitudes gatherings were true social gatherings and not sales pitches for future cruises.
Excursions: The NCL tours were took in Rostock and Tallin were fine. NCL does do a good job for the most part in this area. However, we took an independent tour with a Russian company in St. Petersburg because they offered the opporunity to see much more than the tours offered by NCL. We had no trouble getting off the ship at St. Petersburg. A long line at customs contained both NCL tour people as well as independent tour people like my husband and myself. (We had inquired the night before when and where we could disembark that morning.) On the second day, we walked right through to our waiting van.
Disembarkation: Getting off the ship was uneventful and quick. Luggage was organized and easily located. The hold up was in the Copenhagen terminal waiting for a taxi for nearly an hour.
Overall: The Sun is a well-maintained ship where the staff is friendly and works to solve your problem. (A smoking smell in our room was successfully remedied within the day.) You don't feel like a "cow being milked." NCL management needs to note the positive things that are happening on The Sun and apply them to their other ships.