Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by garytansley
- Sail Date: March 2016
- Destination: South America
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
PROS: Embarkation was extremely easy. We loved the majority of the ports and the adventure around Cape Horn.
We liked the food in the buffet and the restaurants. Some items are repeated every day but other items change daily; if you look there are always different choices in all the various venues and we don’t understand other people’s comments about the food always being the same. In 32 nights we only ate in 2 of the specialty restaurants. We felt the food and service was just as good in the Seven Seas and Four Seasons (if anything it was worse in the specialty restaurants). Personally we did not feel the need to pay extra for the specialty dining.
The entertainment was very good. We saw the show every night. The Sun band and productions cast were very good. Unfortunately, they have all gone their separate ways after this cruise which is a pity as they worked very well together. A lot of good acts were brought onto the ship; highlights included the Tango Show and 4Ever. The Entertainment manager and team worked hard so everyone could enjoy themselves.
Peter Croyle's port and wildlife talks were excellent. His information helped us to enjoy the cruise more. We even got up early to see his talks live rather than on the TV later.
We were very happy with our cabin (9240). It was in a good location, there was a lot of storage space and the shower was okay for the average sized person, with plenty of hot water. It was very quiet compared to other cabins we’ve had on other ships; we could not hear the neighbours (apart from on the balcony). I thought the TV channels were okay and I enjoyed watching UK football when available.
CONS: The Sun is in dry dock at the moment for 9 days, more for technical changes than passenger areas. The dry dock was cut short (some items scheduled to be changed have been delayed until 2018) so to save money NCL brought contractors on board early. There was noise when lying around the pool and more and more work in the corridors as the cruise went on. However, the contractors were very polite and any mess they created was cleaned up immediately.
A lot of people got a cough and cold. I personally think this happened after contractors started cleaning the air conditioning filters. A very bad smell also started soon after this in the aft staircase area. Again, I personally think it was caused by the work the contractors were doing, but may be wrong. I’m not sure why paying passengers have to put up with work going on around them whilst on a cruise.
We thought the Guest Relations staff on the front desk were poor. We always came away thinking that if we went back the next day and spoke to someone else we would get a different answer. Some of them did not show any enthusiasm or seem interested in your questions or comments and were just there for the job / money.
Don’t forget the gratuity / service charge is now obligatory so you can pay this pre cruise or via your onboard ship account. For long cruises this can work out to be a lot of money. If it is a mandatory fee why is it not shown on your quote for the cruise ie. cruise price + government and port taxes + service / gratuity charge? This will help you budget and decide if you can afford the cruise. Don’t forget the 18% gratuity on all drinks, specialty dining etc onboard. I really hope NCL pass all this extra money onto the crew and it is not just a profit making scheme.
SUMMARY: This was our first NCL cruise and we will definitely consider them in the future. We found the Freestyle dining worked out better than we’d expected as we are used to the more formal dining arrangements of other cruise lines.
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