From the moment we booked our NCL-Sun cruise we saw the efficiency at which this line is run. Checking in on-line was easy and printing out the e-docs a breeze. Once in the cruise terminal we were welcomed with no lines, plenty of check-in personnel, smiles, and offers to assist in any way possible. Upon boarding the ship, we were directed to eating and meeting venues by the smiling staff along with offers to help in any way we needed.
In short order our cabins were ready, luggage appeared and our ship set sail. Our cabin was listed as a sleep 5, but we're unsure as to where the other 2 beds might be as we didn't see fold-downs. However, for 3 adults, it was extra comfy & spacious. There was more than enough closet & drawer space. Although the TV was old and small, it didn't matter as we only used it for background music. The room was spotless and the beds superior in comfort. Around the corner from our room were the glass elevators. To our pleasant surprise, we never heard them, nor any other noise outside of our room. We were conveniently located to the atrium by elevators, a short walk to the garden cafe', and had easy access to the pool, hot tubs and spa's. The layout of the ship is an easy study and soon you are managing all venues with ease.
The food in the restaurants, buffets, dining rooms and specialty areas was superb. Although we would have wanted lobster more than one night, it wasn't to be. The dining room cuisine fell into line with the port we were leaving and made for some exciting new dishes. Options to choose homegrown American cuisine was available in all public, no-fee restaurants all the time. But trying specialty local fare was more exciting and rewarding.
Having fun all the time was an easy task as the cruise staff held bingo games, the newlywed game, did craft activities, and provided a wide array of other options all the time. Sometimes it was hard to choose!
Daytime and nighttime entertainment was superior and held a wide variety of themes. Dazzles lounge always had good music, as well as the piano player in Windjammer lounge. The classical guitarist, aerialist, hypnotist, songstress, and magician entertained well and were awarded standing ovations. The Sun dancers and singers performed marvelously and kept our hands clapping in time with the music as we all were caught up into the music, frolic and happy mood. They were outstanding! It's amazing how a small theatre can provide such marvelous acoustics and magical shows.
Although both pools had an overhaul during this cruise, there was only one day when both were closed. The weather was nasty that day, so it was good timing for repairs. The 4 hot tubs stayed open into late night and were well occupied most of the time with good reviews as to warmth and comfort.
The overall weather was nice, with a couple very windy days mixed in. The captain avoided 2 major Atlantic storms by deviating his course, and he kept us informed and on-time all the way.
Port activities & tours were marvelous. We took 2 of the 8 hour tours offered at 2 different ports and were very pleased. Both had extra large lunches [hot meals] with 4 courses including wine and bottled water. It was more food than we could eat and it was a shame to leave some behind, but necessary. Our guides were fluent in English as well as many other languages. When a group of people from the ship took a private tour, as opposed to an NCL provided tour, and they got into trouble returning to the ship, NCL sent a bus for them. A vehicle accident or train problem was their problem, but NCL stepped up to help them out. And again, we left port on time and arrived to our next port on-time as well. The ship was always on time, although we waited for tour groups to return twice [down to the last minute]and were certain a delay would happen.
Since we are "travelers' and not tourists, we weren't ones to find fault with much of anything. But, that doesn't keep me from warning that the art auctions run long, prizes for their drawings are minuscule, and the auction part of it has left the venue. Although bids were made below the park west pricing, they most times were not accepted unless they were within a few dollars of the asking price. Also, take-off artwork is a thing of the past. That was a disappointment and we won't return to any more cruise offered "auctions".
Chaise lounge chairs were in abundance on this ship, as well as outdoor table and chairs. Although some people still insist on "saving" seats and lounges outside, it isn't necessary due to the number of chaise and regular chairs available. NCL does warn, however, that unattended chairs/lounges will have towels removed if a passenger insists that the space has been unoccupied by more than 2 hours. We never saw anyone request this be done, but it is nice to know that people who oppose rules could be moved.
As for children, we traveled child-free and loved it. This was a transatlantic cruise and children are few in number on these repositioning cruises, as we have found. The childcare option was provided and must have worked well for those with children as we rarely saw the youngsters in our 2 weeks on board.
Disembarkation was easy, orderly and organized for all ports and tours. Upon making port to our destination, Port Canaveral, it was again orderly and organized. With an open option to disembark, we were able to eat breakfast leisurely, and go at our own pace for our day. When we did leave the ship the terminal was easy to navigate, and we found a shuttle bus to take us to Orlando International Airport just outside in a short period of time. All went smoothly and we felt relaxed and not herded as with other cruise lines.
We'd recommend NCL, especially the Sun, as an outstanding cruise opportunity if it fits your agenda. We know we'll be her again sometime in the next year or two. Thanks NCL crew members for a fabulously wonderful time made this way by all of your efforts and work ethic + your smiles and help every day. We LOVE you! ~ the 3 Moyer family members