Norwegian Sun Cabins
The staterooms on Norwegian Sun are more attractive and more spacious than I expected, a lovely surprise. The color scheme is bright with its palette of primary reds, blues, yellows and greens -- not exactly restful or elegant, but the furnishings are nice, the beds very comfortable and the storage space ingeniously designed, with tons of drawers, shelves and closet space.
The portion of the closet used for hanging clothing is a little smaller in these cabins than on other ships, but since it's a "Freestyle" vessel, there isn't the need to bring lots of dressy clothing, and the space is just the right size. Adjacent to the hanging space is a series of shelves and bin-like drawers, all behind the closet doors. Attached to the closet is a console with a coffee pot or water boiler (complimentary coffee is included, which I consider a classy, generous and hospitable bonus), a cupboard with a room safe, several drawers and more shelving curved out at the ends.
At the other end of the room is a desk/vanity, topped by another cupboard, space for a small television and more shelves, drawers underneath, and a nice-sized mini-fridge. (Note: Some of the lower-category outside rooms are configured differently, as are the inside cabins). The storage space, in a rich honey-maple wood, is so attractive, simple and efficient that I found myself trying to figure out how I could incorporate that design into the den in my home.
Standard guestrooms come complete with a pre-molded clinical-looking rounded bathroom, which is actually very functional, if not decorative (though the over-bright purple of the fluorescent light sent me running to apply makeup under the softer incandescent lights over the vanity/desk). Lots of soft, fluffy white towels are provided; suite guests also get bathrobes.
Rooms designated as triples have a long sofa, (others have love-seat sized sofas) which is really a kind of day-bed; some of these are actually double beds, which can make the room a quad. And there are rooms for five, too, with the double day-bed/sofa and a drop-down berth.
There are 368 cabins with balconies, or just about 61 percent of all outsides. I worried that my Deck 10 cabin would be really noisy since it was under the Sports Bar, but the sound insulation is great and there were no problems at all. I could hear some scraping of chairs while I sat on the balcony, which didn't have the insulation, but otherwise, no noise from cabins on either side of me or from above. The standard balcony is really spacious, about five-feet deep and as wide as the room. It's covered with a bright blue filigreed rubber mat which keeps water from sloshing around your shoes. There is a small table and two charmingly attractive cafe-style chairs which are pretty, but very uncomfortable. They'd be ideal for sitting with a cup of coffee but are no fun for lounging, with their petite size and low backs. Take a pillow outside (it did help soften them some) but beware: Those with ample tushes might find themselves wearing the little chair when they get up to go inside.
Hint: The aft corner cabins on Decks 9 and 10 are slightly smaller (with a love-seat-sized sofa rather than a long one) but have larger balconies that wrap a bit to the aft. And if you are looking for a non-balcony stateroom, are able to handle stairs, and want total privacy and quiet, look at the cabins on Oslo Deck (6A), an odd architectural anomaly in that it's a short bit of cabin deck, all the way forward, between Deck 6 and Deck 7.
There are a whopping 52 suites on the Sun, ranging from single-room mini-suites with bathtubs to luxurious owner's suites with hot tubs on the veranda and in-suite laptops. The "top 20" suites get butler services and all suite guests (not mini-suites) get the attention of the permanent concierge. (Ours was a charming Brit with a wonderful sense of humor.) All suites have lovely soaps and lotions. Guests in standard rooms have pump bottles for shampoo and shower soap in the shower, a pump bottle of soap at the sink, and a small bottle of lotion. Bar soap is available if requested.
Twenty cabins are configured for guests in wheelchairs, and 42 for hearing-impaired guests.
Hint: The Sun uses a team concept for its room stewards, two people who efficiently "manage" your cabin for you. This international crew has been exceptionally well-trained to adapt to your needs and style. If you want to engage them in conversation, they will happily oblige. If you prefer quiet, unobtrusive service, that's what you will get. They work extremely hard, are unfailingly polite and cheerful, and will make every effort to accommodate you and your family.
Next: Norwegian Sun Dining
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