Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by mistertoaster
- Sail Date: May 2016
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Penthouse with Balcony
The sail out from San Francisco was two hours late, but worth the wait. We sailed past Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate on a beautiful sunny day. The weather remained around 70 degrees and sunny for the entire cruise. Our first stop was Astoria. We took the Seaside and Cannon Beach tour. I would recommend this tour. The guide was steeped in history of the area, and the seaside stops made for some gorgeous photo opportunities.
Next stop was Sitka, another good tour: the Best of Sitka. We visited the bear sanctuary, the eagle rescue center and native trails with many totem poles. The highlight of this tour was the raptor center. If you want to see a magnificent eagle about 10 feet from your seat, this is the place. The center does heroic work rescuing and rehabilitating injured birds, and the tour supports those efforts
We then sailed to my favorite stop on the trip, Icy Point. This is the real Alaska. Only around 700 people live in this area. However, they just completed a new dock and visitor center. The stop included magnificent scenic mountains, waterways and forest. About an hour after we arrived, we were on our front balcony and five whales passed directly in front of the balcony in deadly calm waters. This was a real bonus on this stop. Our excursion was ancient oceans and newborn forest. Once again, we encountered an excellent local guide. He had lived in Icy Point/Hoonah all his live and had encyclopedic knowledge of the area: history, plant live, forest, sea life, etc.
Our last stop was Ketchikan. Ketchikan is pretty touristy and commercial, but we needed a souvenir stop and this is certainly the place. However, it was more than a souvenir stop due to an excellent excursion. We took the Bearing Sea Crab Fisherman Tour. We are fans of Deadliest Catch, but even if you are not, I would recommend this tour. The crew puts on a great presentation and the stop to visit the eagles is amazing.
Nice trip back through the Inside Passage. We did not see glaciers on this tour, but he saw just about everything else on the cruise. We arrived in Vancouver on schedule. Did the early walk off and caught our 10 a.m. flight back to Chicago without a problem.
We stayed in room 9002 a forward facing penthouse. If you want some of the best views on the ship, this is the place. The balcony is huge with two lounge chairs, two tables and two regular chairs. The room itself has plenty of space for two. The bedroom and living are combined in one large room. The master bath is spacious and the closet space was large and included a dressing table and mirror. Special mention goes out to our concierge Carlos. We typically sale in suites, and Carlos was the best and most attentive concierge we ever had. NCL should use him to train all other concierges in their fleet.
Dining was excellent. As suite guests, we had access to La Cucina for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, we dined at Le Bistro twice, La Cucina twice and Cagneys and the Four Seasons main dining room. We did not have a bad meal the entire cruise. The buffet is smaller than some of the larger ships like the Escape which we sailed in January. However, we did not eat too often in the buffet so the impact was minimal.
If you are looking for Broadway show type entertainment like on the Escape or Breakaway, this is not the ship. Entertainment was a collection of variety acts (magic, juggling, hypnotism, stand-up comedy). The singers, dancers and band put on the best shows. Also, after the main show, a jazz quartet, Tuxedo Junction, played every night and put on a very good jazz performance at every show we attended. The Observation Lounge is a great place to see a show due to its panoramic view from the front of the ship.
I used the fitness room every day. It is rather small, but as I'm an early riser, I never had to wait for a machine. The room was the usual cardio and weight machines. There is also a room for yoga and other floor exercises.
This was the easiest ship to navigate of any NCL ship we have sailed. Elevators were never crowded, hallways were never packed with people and the atrium was accessible for sitting. After the Escapes 19 decks and crowds, the Sun was a very pleasant experience in getting from point A to B
All service was good. Our room steward was pleasant and prompt. Our concierge excellent as mentioned above. We did not use our butler much, but he was there if we needed him. Dining room service was prompt and professional.
Value for Money
This cruise offered great value for money. First the fare was excellent for an eight day Alaska cruise, Secondly, all of the amenities payed for our excursions, drinks, dinners, internet, etc. Our bill at checkout was $5 plus tips we left for our room steward, butler and concierge.
This was my favorite cruise to date on NCL, and we have cruised NCL frequently. Extremely hospitable ship, great excursions and an easy ship to get around combined for a great cruise. Of course, 70 degrees and sunny everyday helped a lot in making this cruise an excellent experience.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Ancient Oceans and Newborn forestOur excursion was ancient oceans and newborn forest. Once again, an excellent local guide. He had lived in Icy Point/Hoonah all his live and had encyclopedic knowledge of the area: history, plant live, forest, sea life, etc.View All 13,774 Ancient Oceans and Newborn forest Reviews
Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's TourWe took the Bearing Sea Crab Fisherman Tour. We are fans of Deadliest Catch, but even if you are not, I would recommend this tour. The crew puts on a great presentation and the stop to visit the eagles is amazing.View All 118 Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour Reviews
Best of SitkaWe visited the bear sanctuary, the eagle rescue center and native trails with many totem poles. The highlight of this tour was the raptor center. If you want to see a magnificent eagle about 10 feet from your seat, this is the place. The center does heroic work rescuing and rehabilitating injured birds, and the tour supports those effortsView All 13,774 Best of Sitka Reviews