Great Itinerary However NCL Sun Lives Up to Mediocre Reviews: Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by sample the world

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Great Itinerary However NCL Sun Lives Up to Mediocre Reviews

Sail Date: September 2011
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Copenhagen
Let me preface by saying that we choose our cruises based on the itinerary offered as well as the price. This was our 6th European cruise. I read all of the reviews of the NCL Sun particularly those from last year's Baltic cruises. So I was well aware of the reviews both good and bad for this ship and cruise line.

The itinerary was outstanding as was the price. Although many mornings when the alarm went off at 6:30am we wondered if this was truly a vacation- the ports merit getting up and getting going.

Boarding in Copenhagen was easy. We arrived the day before and spent the night at the Best Western Hotel City. Upon arrival at the airport we purchased a cOPENhagen card which is well worth the $49.00 price. We took the Metro into the city then used the card for 24 hours to ride the bus, go to the Design Museum and Tivoli Gardens. The following morning we used it to take a canal tour and go to the Round Tower. Then, after gathering up our luggage at the hotel, we More walked two blocks to catch the bus to the port. There is both a bus stop and a train station located within walking distance of the port.

Check in was easy as we were there at about 2:45pm.

We booked an inside cabin and were very pleasantly surprised at the size of it. It was "L" shaped with a sofa area and had a full closet, a chest of drawers and shelves, an additional closet full of just shelves as well as another closet with drawers and hanging space.

The ship is a nice size for the type of itinerary. It is clean but dated as stated in previous reviews. The public bathrooms were the smallest I have ever seen on a ship.

The food was nothing special. The sit down lunch and breakfast in the Seven Seas dining room were worth the time but unfortunately were only doable on the sea days. We did eat at Moderno for dinner and did not feel that it was worth the $20 pp up-charge. Again, I had read the previous reviews and was prepared for that.

The bar drinks were typically between $6-$7 BUT actually well worth it. They were very generous with the liquor almost to the point that each drink was a double. Luckily someone in our group had a soda card so it was easy to turn one drink into two!

What I was very disappointed in was the service and the entertainment. Other than in the Sports Bar (our group hangout) and our cabin steward most of the service was perfunctory. This was particularly true in the restaurants. The first night we waited for 20 minutes before they took our order; there was never any dedicated drink service personnel or wine stewards. On a sea day, the server seemed to not want to be bothered with us even though we arrived at 1:30pm-30 minutes before the restaurant closed. It was as if they were going through the motions but there was never any genuine desire to do anything except take your order. We have cruised in a dine anytime environment before (not having a specific server and table) and still had excellent service.

Usually, we make a point of going to the show almost every night. However, we were so disappointed with the on-board troupe's shows that we opted out or even walked out of some of the shows. The exception was the Beatles tribute-performed by an outside group. One of the lounge bands, The Lookouts was basically a karaoke band. The pianists in the piano bars were good and seemed to have a dedicated crowd listening to them. The Dazzles band (I believe they were called the "Flyers" was quite good and really appealed to the age of the crowd on board playing lots of classic rock and dance music.

Again, we are experienced cruisers and we went into this cruise with eyes open based on previous reviews. It was the itinerary and timing that motivated us. But that being said, when you are an experienced cruiser you do have some expectations and I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Take the itinerary out of the equation and the NCL Sun was just average. Less

Published 09/14/11

Cabin review: ID8339 Inside

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Port and Shore Excursions

Very long day but worth the time! We booked an independent tour with SPB tours and had a delightful day. Our guide was Boris, an American living there for the past 13 years. We saw everything we wanted to and really enjoyed his knowledge of all of the history that this city has to offer.

Read 136 Berlin Reviews

We walked about two blocks to catch the local bus into town. We purchased an all day transportation card for 7E from the driver. The bus took us into the main area of town- from there we walked a few blocks down to Market Square where we caught the city ferry over to Soumennlina. (Note, this is part of the ticket price mentioned above- the ferry leaves at the far end of the square towards the government palace) This UNESCO site is interesting but doesn't merit more than a quick visit. However, the ride over offers a terrific view of the port of Helsinki. Upon the return trip we explored the outdoor market and enjoyed a lunch at one of the vendors in a makeshift restaurant. We then hopped on the 3T tram that basically circles the city and gives you a great overview. We stopped off at the train station to admire the unique architecture as well as the "Rock Church". We completed our tour with a visit to Stockman's Department store food hall. The return bus to the ship was just a block or so away. Make sure that you allow enough time to get back to the ship.

Read 547 Helsinki Reviews

This was the port that most affected our choice of this cruise. It lived up to our expectations but surprisingly did not exceed them. We booked the 2 day Baltic Pearl with SPB Tours. They did a wonderful job of taking us to all of the major sights-busy and a bit exhausting but we feel like we realy got an excellent overview of the city. We had beautiful weather the first day that complimented our canal boat tour. The second day was misty and overcast but wasn't enough to cramp our enjoyment. Highly recommend SPB!

Stockholm exceeded our expectations! Despite being docked 45 minutes away and having to tender we had plenty of time to enjoy our day. Our original plan was to take the shuttle bus from the port to the train but once we arrived we found a HOHO bus waiting at the pier. For 40E (I think that was the price) we were transferred direct into downtown Stockholm. From there, we boarded the blue line to the Vasa museum- a jaw dropping experience. We walked back from the Vasa along the river- we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day. We enjoyed the houseboats and cafes located along the river. From there, we walked over into the Old Town area which is delightful. Our only regret is had it just been the two of us, we would have ridden both lines of the HOHO to get a complete overview of the city. But we had already decided to return so it didn't seem to be as important. The HOHO had a set return time of 3:30pm which allowed enough time to be back for the last tender at 5:30pm.

Very easy port to negotiate on your own. It took about 10 minutes to walk to the Old Town area. After walking throughout, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Von Krahl which I highly recommend. The chocolate dessert with taragon ice cream was sublime. Prices were very reasonable. The location and setting were perfect

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sample the world
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5 Forum Posts
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