My second cruise with Norwegian, I love the freestyle dining idea. The food was very good at the beginning of the trip. Towards the end they changed the menu for the Alaskan run, I did not like that menu much. Seemed to be mostly fish and seafood, very little choice if you are not into things from the sea. I ate mostly in the buffet after that. Cagneys Steak house was excellent, but I thought a little to pricy. We had a complimentary dinner there, we never would have eaten there if we had to pay the cover charge. We did eat in the Bistro as well, for a Jazz Brunch. Excellent food, and the music was exceptional.
My score is reflective of an issue we had with our room. We did not know when we booked the cruise, but our fourth floor room was right over the engine room (4256 I think). The noise was deafening, and it was impossible to sleep. When we complained we were given ear plugs and a promise it would quit once we hit the canal. We had 3 days at sea before the canal. As promised, it did stop for that leg of the journey, but when we hit the Pacific Ocean it was back! We did not have smooth sailing on this trip, (from San Fransisco on it was very rough), the noise seemed to worsen as the seas were rougher.We complained a few times, the hotel sent wine, chocolate covered strawberries, and various staff members to have a listen each time we complained. Finally on day 10 they changed our room, and gave us the complimentary dinner. We then found out our neighbours had also complained and because they were first they moved first. 10 nights of restlessness spoiled what should have been a great holiday. What really irritates me is that nowhere did Norwegian warn travelers about the noise! We paid for what should have been a good stateroom where we could sleep. Next time we will check what is above and below us, and for anyone travelling on the Sun do not book rooms on the fourth floor aft end of the ship!
The Sun is a smaller ship and swimming pool deck chairs were hard to come by. People would "save" their chairs all day, leaving pool towels to hold their spot while they ate or attended functions. We didn't manage to get a poolside chair for most of the trip until evening, and then staff would put the chairs away so there was no enjoying an evening under the stars! I found this irritatingl, especially since we could enjoy quiet in our rooms we would have loved to sit outside later in the evening. I could understand during the rough seas, but while we were in the Carribean it would have made sense to leave chairs out later into the evening for people to enjoy. Some days into the cruise deck chairs began appearing on deck 6 where the walking track is, and we were able to grab a couple of those.
The entertainment was good, probably not as elaborate as Celebrity or Princess, but enjoyable! We attended most shows, skipping the magician, and the "adult comedy" show. Bingo is stupidly expensive, we would have enjoyed a few games if it wasn't so pricey. There is loads of nightly dancing, some sing alongs, lots of different styles of bands, and entertaining game shows. Something for everyone!
I do like Norwegian, we really had great times and not so great on this cruise...a bit of a mixture.
Will we do Norwegian again?? Well probably, but with caution. I guess this will apply to any cruise lines, I will ask questions about room locations for sure. For the Panama I would really recommend a larger ship, there is only one outside forward deck where the view is really good, The other forward outside deck has plexiglass which makes it difficult to see through. The ship behind us had about 4 decks at the front, making it really nice for the Panama transition. We got up early to secure a spot (5:00 am), but by 7 there were so many people crowding in we went down to deck 6 and watched from the sides of the ship.
The staff are great, very friendly and helpful. Professional. The ship is comfortable and easy to find your way around. Most of the tours we did were very informative and fun, except for LA. Again we booked onboard for Beaches, rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills. Once on the bus we were told buses could no longer stop on Rodeo Drive and drive through Beverly Hills. We let the cruise staff know about this, and were given a comp bottle of wine. Our travel companions did the same tour except they were downtown La and Rodeo Drive, they were refunded their money when they complained. These tours should be cancelled, they are not what they say they are!
Book smart....and your trip with Norwegian will be awesome! Oh, the spa, they are great, but heavy on the sales of oils etc. I let them know up front I wasn't buying anything but a message..it was wonderful.
Do not book any cabins at the very end of the fourth floor hallway. Noise will deafen you! Above the engine room the minute you put your head on the pillow the viberation and noise is guaranteed to keep you awake!