I didn't know what to expect because of some of the negative reviews but was pleasantly surprised on the Norwegian Sun. The ship is very well kept. Although we had recently been on the Crown Princess which is larger and had some very nice amenities such as Movies Under The Stars, 4 separate pool areas, many independent serving lines at the buffet, I found the size a little better for our large group as it was easier to run into each other and find each other. Even without some of the bigger ship amenities life at sea on the Norwegian Sun is full of fun things to do inside and out.
The cruise staff was very fun and had various game show style activities, bingo, contests, and parties going on somewhere. There were various Broadway style shows, a singer, comedian, and a ventriloquist and each show was enjoyable. There was a show band, a jazz band, salsa outfit, guitar player/ singers, piano player/ singers, and a reggae band, and all were excellent.
There were so many places to eat and the only extra tariff place I tried was the Sushi Restaurant and it was VERY reasonably priced and very good. It was also a pleasure because it was not very crowded in that area of the ship. After you knew the hours and locations of various foods the ship was a not stop food party. Most of the day you have the buffet, starting with breakfast, then lunch/dinner items, pizza & pasta stations, and self serve deli table aft of the pools. The aft dining room is open for dinner and the one that is mid-ship (Four Seasons) is open all meals. At dinner we always ate at a fixed time of OUR choosing at the same table in the aft dining room (Seven Seas)with the same EXCELLENT waiters (which is very important). There were a few odd lunch and breakfasts that we came and sat wherever that they put us (our reg table was dinner only) and got sub-standard service, but nothing terrible. The food in the dinning room was very good. I saw some people complain about the portions being small on this site. I thought the portions were good, you could try more things, and its a cruise, if you like it order AS MANY more as you want for FREE. Other nice places to eat free, which were only open 5:30-10:30p were Las Ramblas, excellent nachos, and tapas, and a few side dishes. They would also have Karaoke here. Downstairs was the sports bar with the same hours for food and they had wings, sandwiches, salads, and sides as well. They had many TVs for sports and a fun beer tasting in the afternoon of a sea day. There were many nice lounges and quiet places and only really long (1/2 hr) line seemed to be at the chocolate buffet. The regular buffet moved pretty well after you realized unless you want the wok or pasta station, go can around that part of the line.
The staff in general went out of their way to be friendly and make you feel like a welcome guest and they were happy to have you there from servers to maintenance.
The cabin was well designed and easy to get around even with the sofa bed open. The only poor design is the small round shower and the fact that we could not remove or open our balcony dividers as our neighbors were our family. There was ample closet and storage space. The TV had distortion issues and needs to be replaced, hopefully with a plasma TV (reported at the end when the problem went from hardly ever, to intermittent, to almost always- and we didn't watch it that much). Temperature control worked well. Lighting was good and beds were comfortable. Room service was fast, efficient, and good.
We saw some of the latest and greatest ships in port- Oasis of the Seas and Carnival Dream, and it is no doubt that they would provide a different cruise experience with some of the latest amenities they have, but that doesn't necessarily mean they provide a better experience. When I was a kid there were no TVs in the cabin, no balconies, no ice rinks, no slides, no big screen by the pool, not hot tubs, the ships were not nearly as large, you ate at scheduled seatings, BUT it was still the best vacation in the world.
In short, would highly recommend the Norwegian Sun and NCL in general, the people really get that you can cruise with anyone but you chose to cruise with them and they go out of their way to make you feel like a welcome guest.