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.
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
Each passenger is automatically billed $13.50 per person, per day in all cabin categories up to and including a mini suite. Suite guests will be charged $15.50 per person, per day. This is considered a service charge. Some passengers will offer a cash "bonus" to their room teams. Bar drinks have an automatic 18 percent gratuity added and the auto-gratuity for spa services is also 18 percent; it is expected that room service personnel will be tipped on delivery ($1 or $2 is sufficient). All specialty and entertainment dining carries an 18 percent auto-gratuity.
Next: Norwegian Sun Cabins