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Norwegian Sun Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2077 reviews
53 Awards

Norwegian Sun - Hawaii

Review for Norwegian Sun to Hawaii
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tammlynn
First Time Cruiser • Age 50s

Rating by category

Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2007
Cabin: Oceanview Picture Window

We just returned from the September 29th sailing of the Norwegian Sun. This was our eleventh cruise and our second time on the Sun. We had spent the night on Oahu after previously arriving on the RCI's Rhapsody of the Seas. I really enjoy cruising and found both cruise lines have their own unique strengths and weaknesses! The embarkation was easy and our car rental shuttle dropped us off right at the pier. We did have to haul our luggage a good distance in order to check it in, which was difficult for some. We were on the ship by 5:30. Our cabin, 5201 was an outside cabin with a large picture window. The room seemed cramped and in need of a makeover. The bed was creaky, hard, and lumpy. It was one of those beds where once I found a comfortable position, I did not dare move! The cabin seemed very clean, although our poor attendant seemed overworked. I do love the mini refrigerator that our room had and the storage area provided by the window which was great for all our books! We enjoyed the Freestyle concept and went to dinner whenever we felt like it! We tried the Seven Seas dining room, but after having terrible service two days in a row, the wait staff seemed unfriendly, confused, and terribly slow; we tried the Four Seasons. We lucked out and had fantastic service from our wait staff of whom we requested the remaining times we dined there. The food in the dining room was good (the lobster was wonderful). It seems to me that the quality of the food is lacking in the main dining room. I think NCL really wants you to eat at the specialty restaurants! If one wants food closer to a gourmet style, they will need to pay the cover charges. We did eat at Pacific Heights (no cover charge) twice and it was very good. Il Adagio was wonderful with some great lobster pasta and tasty swordfish! The desserts at the buffet and main dining room were pretty bland for the most part. They seemed mostly to consist of a type of gelatin type of substance no matter what it was. They do serve some great ice cream though upstairs! Breakfast and lunch are pretty good but require a little bit of walking. Freshly cooked eggs are in Las Ramblas, waffles are made fresh in Pacific Heights, and other goodies can be grabbed in the Garden Cafe! One thing I really loved about the Sun is the aft dining area! When we first boarded, my husband and I grabbed our dinner from the buffet and found a great table over looking the port in Honolulu and watched a beautiful sunset while dining out in the fresh air! We ate all of our lunches at the buffet or surrounding restaurants. Once again, you can get some decent food, but you're going to work for it. Freshly prepared pasta and pizzas can be found in Pacific Heights, sandwiches can be found in Las Ramblas, the wok station and buffet items in the Garden Cafe, and hamburgers and hot dogs in the Great Outdoor Cafe. While it is great that the foods are freshly prepared, I found myself waiting in a 15 minute plus line to get some items. For example if I wanted a slice of pizza with my pasta I waited about 10 minutes for my pizza and then had to get in the pasta line for another 15 minutes. If I wanted a side of vegetables with that I had to get in another line in the Garden Cafe. As for dinner, the buffet was weak with a lot of salmon and chicken dishes served various ways every night. I believe one night I saw carved salmon at the carving station as well as carved chicken! I am guessing it was NCL's last ditch effort to get rid of these meats, or they had nothing else to place at the carving station. Also the appetizers in the main dining room were nothing special. My husband and I went to Las Ramblas almost every night for our appetizers where the selection was much better. They had fried calamari, goat cheese, olives, mussels, crab cakes, empanadas, and many other items. We often would bring our plates outside to the back deck, enjoying our appetizers while watching the sun set. Afterwards we headed to the dining room for the rest of dinner. Tea, coffee, and water were always available and juice was offered in the morning. However, I would advise bringing your own large thermal mug or water bottle. The glasses on this ship are frustratingly small. The chocoholic buffet at midnight towards the end of the cruise was nice, but I have a hard time eating chocolate at night and the lines were incredibly long for such a small buffet! I did bring a Ziploc and the chocolate covered strawberries tasted great the next morning! The last time we were on the Sun we thought the entertainment was the best! Well they have gotten even better! A major highlight on this cruise was the entertainment! The Jean Ann Ryan Company dancers and singers were phenomenal! We really enjoyed the Prizm Band, Alive Star, and Selwyn Wright. The comedians, Jeff Bradley and Joe Bronzi, were hilarious! Other highlights: The dance classes taught by Olga and Dima were fun! We learned the basics to the Swing and Merengue. The latitudes welcome back party was also very nice with a great selection of free drinks! The photographers took some high quality photos and did a real nice job! I also enjoyed the hot tubs in the morning. The seas were rough most days and the weather was fairly cool, which made the pools off-limits. However, the hot tubs were open and it was great sitting in the hot tub and getting intermittently splashed by the cool water splashing up from the pool. The last day it finally warmed up enough where I could lay out. Towards the front of the ship there are 2 small areas that contain four wooden chairs with blue cushions. The view is fantastic from this spot and I stayed there all day.

Ports of call:

Kahului, Maui We rented a car from Enterprise, and they were the only company that did not automatically send the shuttle. When we called the number on our reservation for a pick-up. We were transferred to a main office somewhere in the world which was closed. A word of advice if you plan on getting a rental car, get the local number. We finally hitched a ride with the Dollar shuttle who was now on his third trip from the port and walked over the Enterprise office at the airport where we were shuttled back near the port for our car (we could have walked from the pier to the Enterprise lot if we had known) The staff explained we were suppose to call them, when we explained our problem, we got a blank stare). Furthermore, the girl at the counter specifically warned us not to drive the Kahekili highway near Kahakuloa stating it was too dangerous and not very scenic! We drove it anyway, and it is no more dangerous than the Hana highway. It was the most scenic highway we drove on our whole trip! At mile marker 16 we found some natural ocean baths! They were awesome crystal clear calm pools in the midst of crashing ocean waves. We stayed there for hours, and it was definitely a highlight of the trip!

Cabin Review

Oceanview Picture Window

Cabin OE
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