We took a 3 day "taster" cruise on the Sky in Dec 09 as I really thought my husband would go stir crazy on a cruise, plus he gets sea-sick. WRONG !! He absolutely loved every moment and never once felt sick. RESULT! So HE booked a week on the EPic for April 2011 as soon as we returned.
That was incredible, fabulous cabin, top class entertainment and great restaurants. But soooooooooooooooo many kids. Don't get me wrong I'm not a miserable cranky old child-hater but I work in a school and I don't want to be surrounded by screaming over-excited children all day and all night when I am on holiday.
We then took this cruise from Orlando, to co-incide with New Year as we wanted to spend it back in Orlando with some dear friends who were also in town. Port Canaveral was very good, we chose the Radisson at the Port as it had a great package including the night stay in a 2 bedroom suite with Whirlpool bath, parking for the whole week and shuttle bus to and from the port. We were a bit dubious but it was all wonderfuol. Lovely hotel, great staff and the bus and parking worked out really well, we will definitely go back there.
The Sun is a beautiful ship, identical to the Sky and we actually preferred it tothe Epic - on balance. You walk for miles on the Epic to get to this bar, or this lounge and we liked the intimacy of the Sky because you get to see people over and again and make friends.
Special mention must go to the Cruise Director, Candi, and her team, particularly Nikki and Felix who have created a wonderful atmosphere, very friendly vibe and fabulously diverse programme of entertainment with something for every taste. Candi is very visible, present at all events, and very charming and professional. The bingo team are fantastic fun and we went twice - great value entertainment even if you don't win!
The ports were a good variety, we stayed on board for Cozumelo - been before and we LOVE the days when everyone gets OFF ! We took the Stingray Sandbar and Island Drive tour on Grand Cayman which was a fabulous day out,very good value and fabulous local staff who enriched our trip with their wonderful colourful personalities and local knowledge.
In Ochos Rios we walked to the shops and didn't feel safe once. Very dodgy area, lots of dubious looking individuals hassling you as you walk along. Other cruisers said they felt the same or worse. Do not plan your own tour here, is my advice - stick with the ships staff.
Great Stirrup Cay - always a wonderful day - even better as they have redeveloped the island since our visit in 09. We always go early, grab sun loungers at the far, far end and take them down toward the sea and sit with our feet dangling in the ocean. The snorkelling is out of this world, bring your own to save money and just hire life vests. Mandatory.
The ship bring over all the staff, waiters, chefs, band and there is every facility you could wish for. Good lunch with big shady places to eat, great bar service, volleyball for the kids, band playing, local crafts for sale, big lilo rafts to rent and lots of lovely sunshine to laze around and enjoy the view.
We snorkelled and saw dozens of fish, beautiful colours - probably our favourite day of all.
We will be booking our next cruise with NCL as soon as we get home.