When it debuted in late 2001, Norwegian Sun was considered Norwegian Cruise Line's first real innovator. It was the first cruise ship the line built expressly for the "Freestyle Dining" concept, and raised quite a few eyebrows when it launched with nine -- count 'em nine -- restaurants. Even its launch was unusual -- the ship shared a splashy dual premier ceremony with Norwegian Star in Miami (how many cruise lines can you remember that actually debuted two new-builds on the same exact date and at the same locale?).
Certainly, Norwegian Sun has evolved and mellowed in the past decade, but a 12-day dry-dock in early 2011 has the ship sparkling from top to bottom with bright colors, happy staff, spacious accommodations (its 33 suites were refreshed) and cheerful public spaces. Sun also gained a Brazilian-style churrascaria, a concept that debuted on Norwegian Epic, NCL's newest ship.
In fact, with so many ships and cruise lines from which to choose, it's often the little things that make a difference between a great experience and one that is so-so. For me, it's usually staff and crew behavior that drives my appreciation, and then touches like porcelain cups and real cream at the coffee stations, well-maintained and clean public rooms, attentive room stewards and enjoyable activities for all age groups. All of these factors are present on this ship.
Norwegian Sun Fellow Passengers
Norwegian Sun's guests are casual, sophisticated but unpretentious people who like the flexibility of Freestyle dining, ample staterooms and lots of shipboard activities. The age range is from young families to seniors; the ship is filled with children during school vacation periods.
Norwegian Sun Dress Code
Casual. Even with Freestyle dining, most guests dress up a bit for supper, in resort-casual clothing. There is one optional formal night per seven-day cruise. Shorts, tank tops, bathing suits and flip-flops are not allowed in any of the restaurants in the evenings; the fine-dining alternate restaurants require resort-casual clothing.
Norwegian Sun Gratuity
NCL's policy is to charge shipboard accounts $12 per day per passenger for shipwide gratuities and service charges. That is sufficient to cover typical cruise tips, but some passengers will offer a cash "bonus" to their room teams. Bar drinks have an automatic 15 percent gratuity added and the auto-gratuity for spa services is 18 percent; it is expected that room service personnel will be tipped on delivery ($1 or $2 is sufficient).
For our 25th anniversary we went on our first-ever cruise. Overall, we had a fantastic time. We flew to Miami a few days before embarkation, which helped us have a relaxing start to our adventure rather than rushing to get from the airport to the ...continue
My DH and I arrived in Miami the night before our cruise. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Biscayne Blvd. It was very convenient to go across the street and had many choices for dining. We arrived the next morning at the cruise port around 10:45. ...continue
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This was our 2nd 10 day cruise on the Sun. The last one we sailed to Hawaii.
We found it clean, comfortable and well maintained. We did notice the cigarette smoke smell in the Atrium we we arrived on board. Embarkation and Disembarkation ...continue