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Ship: A few quick buzzwords to start off with. Old, Small, Outdated, Disappointing, Dangerous (more on that soon). This was only my 2nd cruise ever, and likely my last unless the right opportunity presents itself. My first cruise was on the Carnival Legend, so I am using that for my basis of comparison. This ship felt very old and very small. I was expecting much more to do, more places to easily grab a drink, and more options as far as quick and easy food. Sadly I was let down in all of these expectations. I spent a lot of time in 2 places on the upper decks. In the "hot" tub, and in playing with my nephew on the table tennis table. The "hot" tub was warm at best. When you cruise to Alaska you want a hot hot tub, not a warm one. The bubbles (not jets) only stayed on for 2 minutes at a time either, so it was basically impossible to relax as you were always having to hit the button. It was a big disappointment. The table tennis court was pretty terrible also. The net on the table was basically broken and rigged to be barely standing. The floor was extremely slippery when it was wet or humid out, and worst of all there was absolutely no wind protection of any kind, so when we were under way there was zero chance of playing a game, as the ball would move 5 feet in the air minimum. The drinks were pretty decent, but I felt like a lot of the mixed drinks were a little light on the pour. The Red Blend wine was good, and I drank that most of the time with dinner. Onto the DANGER... I rang the doorbell outside of my MILs suite, standing with 2 of her friends that were staying 2 rooms over when we heard a loud CRACK! We all luckily scattered before the BOOM! Approximately 5-6 rectangular ceiling tiles along with some lighting, electrical, and fire suppressant systems came crashing down. Everyone rushed out of their rooms to investigate and could not believe their eyes. After we ensured that everyone was okay we called down to guest services to report the incident. Their response time was laughably terrible. It was over 10 minutes for the first person to come to offer any kind of assistance. It was just a security guard, who then radioed that yes it was indeed bad and they needed to send some more help ASAP. Their definition is quite different than mine of ASAP. About 15 minutes later they finally sent more people up to take photos, and speak with one of my MILs friends, who did get slightly grazed by a ceiling tile. Eventually a carpenter finally arrived to secure the ceiling back up with screws. After this incident I started to pay attention to the ceiling around the rest of the ship, and there were MANY spots where the ceiling was very close to coming out of the track that was holding them up. I proceeded with caution for the rest of the cruise. No one offered any kind of apology or explanation as the time I am writing this review. I still am in disbelief. Cabin: This will be a review of two different cabins. My MIL had an Aft Penthouse Suite, and we got a separate inside cabin that was an ADA room for my wife and I. I'll start with our room. It was roomy for a cheap inside room, but there are disadvantages to the ADA room. The bathroom was roomy, but also reminded me of a hospital. The floor was flat, so it got pretty wet anytime you tried to take a shower. Speaking of showers every time I turned around to try to rinse myself off I found myself bumping the handle and half scalded myself. There was a very fine line with the temperature adjustment. To get a nice hot shower was tough. It was either 2nd degree burn hot, or pretty cool. I am not sure why they feel the need to have such hot water on the ship. Seems hazardous to me. Even in sinks to wash your hands you risk getting injured. Also the first night and the last night our AC seemed to be non-functional for whatever reason. We talked to the Steward about it, and they fixed it and it was very nice and cool when it was working. Everything else about the room was pretty typical. Nothing outstanding, but nothing too bad either. Onto the Suite Life... This was a nice large room in comparison to the inside room, but still pretty cramped. Walking in the front door led you into a small hallway which was very narrow. It was pretty tight, and two people could not pass each other comfortably. There were many nice touches. Lots of nice glassware, a fancy coffee maker, a dvd player with surround sound, and seating for 5. Speaking of seating... the couch (which folded into a bed) was the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I have ever sat on. If you would sit down to fast you'd risk cracking your tail bone. The wife and I had hoped to sleep on it a few nights just to be able to see the sunrise. That idea was quickly shot out the window. There were two highlights of the suite. One of which is the very large balcony. There was room for about 8 people on it with ease. There were 2 tables, 2 chairs, and 2 lounging chairs. The lounging chairs in this case just got in the way because it was too cold to lounge out there. The downside to the balcony was they re varnished the railing on the day we embarked. They must not have used a fast setting type though, because the next day it rained, and it looked like someone poured cream cheese icing over the whole thing. It was pretty gross, and if you would accidentally bump up against it, you'd have a gross, sticky mess on your hands. The other highlight was the bathroom. It had a large jetted tub with shower, a separate stand up shower, and a water closet for the toilet. The room also came with a butler in addition to the regular room steward. That was a nice treat. The staff in the suite was the highlight. I would expect that though, as these must be the best of the best to serve their VIP customers. I'll touch more on the staff a little later. Dining: Another big letdown. My hands are getting sore from writing this review, so I am going to try to keep it a bit shorter from here. The food was either average or below. The options for dinner were pretty limited in comparison to my previous cruise, and the grade of food seemed much lower. Anything that I specified the temperature I wanted it cooked at was always overcooked, and most of the time the food took WAY too long. The biggest disappointment was the lava cake. That's one of the best parts of a cruise... you can have that every night. Every time I ordered it (4 times) it wasn't remotely lava... it was more closer to igneous rock. I was totally bummed out. The french restaurant was a disaster. Our dinner there took close to 4 HOURS!!! The first glass of wine took about 30 minutes. I was appalled. Once I got the food, it was over salted, and overall pretty gross. La Cucina was a bit better, but still the food was very average. The service was better in comparison to the french place. The best meal was our last one. At Cagney's. My filet was a nice cut, very thick, and cooked almost medium rare. It was slightly over, but it was the closet I had to med. rare the entire cruise. The sides were tasty, and the overall service was pretty good. Entertainment/Activities: I only made it to one show the entire cruise. That was mostly because none of them seemed worth my while. The one we did go to myself, along with 3 others in my party fell asleep. It was pretty bad. My party went to a few other shows without my wife and I, and they both generally agreed they were all pretty poorly done. There was a good amount of activities, but the timing of the fun ones always conflicted with dinner because the dining room took so long! Service: The Bartenders were mostly below average. Many of them screwed up drink orders, and the ones that did make your drink correctly weren't remotely friendly. The dining room staff were all terrible. They took forever, we had to repeat ourselves constantly to try to get them to understand what we wanted to order, even as we pointed to the menus. The specialty dining rooms weren't that good either, safe Cagney's which was pretty good, but still not stellar. The inside room Steward was good and friendly, but the Steward, Butler, and Concierge for my MILs suite were all fantastic. They were all very helpful, and very patient with all the requests we threw at them. Ports: SOOOOOO much rain, but as they say "That's Alaska." Ketchikan: Ziplining through Alaskacanopy.com. 5/5 Stars. The staff was wonderful, sarcastic, and funny. The zip lines were all long, fast, and fun. The bridges were wonderful and bouncy, and terrified my dear MIL. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, and that's pretty big, considering I don't consider myself a zip line fan. This tour might have changed my mind. We also ate at Annabelle's, and they had some good beers, and some great chowder. Juneau: Whale watching and the Mendenhall Glacier. 4.5/5 Stars. The boat was nice, it had indoor and outdoor areas. Of course it was raining, which meant I was cold, and wet, and so was my camera, but we did see around 8 or so whales. I was pleased with everything. Then we went to the Glacier. It was cool, but considering you cruise to more glaciers later in the trip, I'm not sure I'd do that as a stand alone activity. We also went to a wonderful little coffee shop before we set off in Juneau called 60 Degrees. They had two mochas, the white walker, and dragon glass. They both were wonderful, and the best coffee we had on our trip. Highly recommend. Skagway: White Pass Railway and Suspension Bridge. 4.5/5 Stars. The train just like everyone says was wonderful. It went through some absolutely gorgeous scenery. Luckily this was our nicest day in port, and we mostly had some sunshine, with just some sprinkles. As you got into Canada it did become quite windy and chilly, but even more beautiful. The suspension bridge was a nice view, but nothing really great. It was only about a 30 minute activity. The bus driver on the way back down was really nice, informative, and she stopped several times to get a few more photos. We went to Skagway Brewery to have the Spruce Tip Blonde. it was very unique. The two sea days were both wonderful. We had good weather to get to all the glaciers. We stayed on the Aft Balcony in the Suite most of the time, and enjoyed wonderful views. Disembarking was pretty easy, luckily our concierge gave us priority luggage tags so we didn't have to wait around long. The ride to Anchorage via bus was okay. The driver didn't offer much insights. Pro tip, go to 555 W 5th Ave to the Egan Center to drop off your luggage. For whatever reason the bus people and a few locals wouldn't tell us that, and we had to just stumble across it when walking to Glacier Brewhouse. Speaking of that, skip that, and go to 49th State Brewery. Way better food and atmosphere. All in all, Alaska was beautiful. I don't know how anyone could live there and deal with all that rain and grey skies. I feel like this is likely a once in a lifetime itinerary. I might go back to inland Alaska where there is less rain, but that won't be for quite some time. As far as Norwegian, I don't think I'll ever go on another one of their ships.

A pretty big disappointment all the way around

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by SonictheGT

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
Ship: A few quick buzzwords to start off with. Old, Small, Outdated, Disappointing, Dangerous (more on that soon).

This was only my 2nd cruise ever, and likely my last unless the right opportunity presents itself. My first cruise was on the Carnival Legend, so I am using that for my basis of comparison. This ship felt very old and very small. I was expecting much more to do, more places to easily grab a drink, and more options as far as quick and easy food. Sadly I was let down in all of these expectations. I spent a lot of time in 2 places on the upper decks. In the "hot" tub, and in playing with my nephew on the table tennis table. The "hot" tub was warm at best. When you cruise to Alaska you want a hot hot tub, not a warm one. The bubbles (not jets) only stayed on for 2 minutes at a time either, so it was basically impossible to relax as you were always having to hit the button. It was a big disappointment. The table tennis court was pretty terrible also. The net on the table was basically broken and rigged to be barely standing. The floor was extremely slippery when it was wet or humid out, and worst of all there was absolutely no wind protection of any kind, so when we were under way there was zero chance of playing a game, as the ball would move 5 feet in the air minimum. The drinks were pretty decent, but I felt like a lot of the mixed drinks were a little light on the pour. The Red Blend wine was good, and I drank that most of the time with dinner.

Onto the DANGER... I rang the doorbell outside of my MILs suite, standing with 2 of her friends that were staying 2 rooms over when we heard a loud CRACK! We all luckily scattered before the BOOM! Approximately 5-6 rectangular ceiling tiles along with some lighting, electrical, and fire suppressant systems came crashing down. Everyone rushed out of their rooms to investigate and could not believe their eyes. After we ensured that everyone was okay we called down to guest services to report the incident. Their response time was laughably terrible. It was over 10 minutes for the first person to come to offer any kind of assistance. It was just a security guard, who then radioed that yes it was indeed bad and they needed to send some more help ASAP. Their definition is quite different than mine of ASAP. About 15 minutes later they finally sent more people up to take photos, and speak with one of my MILs friends, who did get slightly grazed by a ceiling tile. Eventually a carpenter finally arrived to secure the ceiling back up with screws. After this incident I started to pay attention to the ceiling around the rest of the ship, and there were MANY spots where the ceiling was very close to coming out of the track that was holding them up. I proceeded with caution for the rest of the cruise. No one offered any kind of apology or explanation as the time I am writing this review. I still am in disbelief.

Cabin: This will be a review of two different cabins. My MIL had an Aft Penthouse Suite, and we got a separate inside cabin that was an ADA room for my wife and I.

I'll start with our room. It was roomy for a cheap inside room, but there are disadvantages to the ADA room. The bathroom was roomy, but also reminded me of a hospital. The floor was flat, so it got pretty wet anytime you tried to take a shower. Speaking of showers every time I turned around to try to rinse myself off I found myself bumping the handle and half scalded myself. There was a very fine line with the temperature adjustment. To get a nice hot shower was tough. It was either 2nd degree burn hot, or pretty cool. I am not sure why they feel the need to have such hot water on the ship. Seems hazardous to me. Even in sinks to wash your hands you risk getting injured. Also the first night and the last night our AC seemed to be non-functional for whatever reason. We talked to the Steward about it, and they fixed it and it was very nice and cool when it was working. Everything else about the room was pretty typical. Nothing outstanding, but nothing too bad either.

Onto the Suite Life... This was a nice large room in comparison to the inside room, but still pretty cramped. Walking in the front door led you into a small hallway which was very narrow. It was pretty tight, and two people could not pass each other comfortably. There were many nice touches. Lots of nice glassware, a fancy coffee maker, a dvd player with surround sound, and seating for 5. Speaking of seating... the couch (which folded into a bed) was the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I have ever sat on. If you would sit down to fast you'd risk cracking your tail bone. The wife and I had hoped to sleep on it a few nights just to be able to see the sunrise. That idea was quickly shot out the window. There were two highlights of the suite. One of which is the very large balcony. There was room for about 8 people on it with ease. There were 2 tables, 2 chairs, and 2 lounging chairs. The lounging chairs in this case just got in the way because it was too cold to lounge out there. The downside to the balcony was they re varnished the railing on the day we embarked. They must not have used a fast setting type though, because the next day it rained, and it looked like someone poured cream cheese icing over the whole thing. It was pretty gross, and if you would accidentally bump up against it, you'd have a gross, sticky mess on your hands. The other highlight was the bathroom. It had a large jetted tub with shower, a separate stand up shower, and a water closet for the toilet. The room also came with a butler in addition to the regular room steward. That was a nice treat. The staff in the suite was the highlight. I would expect that though, as these must be the best of the best to serve their VIP customers. I'll touch more on the staff a little later.

Dining: Another big letdown. My hands are getting sore from writing this review, so I am going to try to keep it a bit shorter from here. The food was either average or below. The options for dinner were pretty limited in comparison to my previous cruise, and the grade of food seemed much lower. Anything that I specified the temperature I wanted it cooked at was always overcooked, and most of the time the food took WAY too long. The biggest disappointment was the lava cake. That's one of the best parts of a cruise... you can have that every night. Every time I ordered it (4 times) it wasn't remotely lava... it was more closer to igneous rock. I was totally bummed out. The french restaurant was a disaster. Our dinner there took close to 4 HOURS!!! The first glass of wine took about 30 minutes. I was appalled. Once I got the food, it was over salted, and overall pretty gross. La Cucina was a bit better, but still the food was very average. The service was better in comparison to the french place. The best meal was our last one. At Cagney's. My filet was a nice cut, very thick, and cooked almost medium rare. It was slightly over, but it was the closet I had to med. rare the entire cruise. The sides were tasty, and the overall service was pretty good.

Entertainment/Activities: I only made it to one show the entire cruise. That was mostly because none of them seemed worth my while. The one we did go to myself, along with 3 others in my party fell asleep. It was pretty bad. My party went to a few other shows without my wife and I, and they both generally agreed they were all pretty poorly done. There was a good amount of activities, but the timing of the fun ones always conflicted with dinner because the dining room took so long!

Service: The Bartenders were mostly below average. Many of them screwed up drink orders, and the ones that did make your drink correctly weren't remotely friendly. The dining room staff were all terrible. They took forever, we had to repeat ourselves constantly to try to get them to understand what we wanted to order, even as we pointed to the menus. The specialty dining rooms weren't that good either, safe Cagney's which was pretty good, but still not stellar. The inside room Steward was good and friendly, but the Steward, Butler, and Concierge for my MILs suite were all fantastic. They were all very helpful, and very patient with all the requests we threw at them.

Ports: SOOOOOO much rain, but as they say "That's Alaska."

Ketchikan: Ziplining through Alaskacanopy.com. 5/5 Stars. The staff was wonderful, sarcastic, and funny. The zip lines were all long, fast, and fun. The bridges were wonderful and bouncy, and terrified my dear MIL. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, and that's pretty big, considering I don't consider myself a zip line fan. This tour might have changed my mind. We also ate at Annabelle's, and they had some good beers, and some great chowder.

Juneau: Whale watching and the Mendenhall Glacier. 4.5/5 Stars. The boat was nice, it had indoor and outdoor areas. Of course it was raining, which meant I was cold, and wet, and so was my camera, but we did see around 8 or so whales. I was pleased with everything. Then we went to the Glacier. It was cool, but considering you cruise to more glaciers later in the trip, I'm not sure I'd do that as a stand alone activity. We also went to a wonderful little coffee shop before we set off in Juneau called 60 Degrees. They had two mochas, the white walker, and dragon glass. They both were wonderful, and the best coffee we had on our trip. Highly recommend.

Skagway: White Pass Railway and Suspension Bridge. 4.5/5 Stars. The train just like everyone says was wonderful. It went through some absolutely gorgeous scenery. Luckily this was our nicest day in port, and we mostly had some sunshine, with just some sprinkles. As you got into Canada it did become quite windy and chilly, but even more beautiful. The suspension bridge was a nice view, but nothing really great. It was only about a 30 minute activity. The bus driver on the way back down was really nice, informative, and she stopped several times to get a few more photos. We went to Skagway Brewery to have the Spruce Tip Blonde. it was very unique.

The two sea days were both wonderful. We had good weather to get to all the glaciers. We stayed on the Aft Balcony in the Suite most of the time, and enjoyed wonderful views.

Disembarking was pretty easy, luckily our concierge gave us priority luggage tags so we didn't have to wait around long. The ride to Anchorage via bus was okay. The driver didn't offer much insights.

Pro tip, go to 555 W 5th Ave to the Egan Center to drop off your luggage. For whatever reason the bus people and a few locals wouldn't tell us that, and we had to just stumble across it when walking to Glacier Brewhouse. Speaking of that, skip that, and go to 49th State Brewery. Way better food and atmosphere.

All in all, Alaska was beautiful. I don't know how anyone could live there and deal with all that rain and grey skies. I feel like this is likely a once in a lifetime itinerary. I might go back to inland Alaska where there is less rain, but that won't be for quite some time. As far as Norwegian, I don't think I'll ever go on another one of their ships.
SonictheGT’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 0311/8722
Cabin: This will be a review of two different cabins. My MIL had an Aft Penthouse Suite, and we got a separate inside cabin that was an ADA room for my wife and I.

I'll start with our room. It was roomy for a cheap inside room, but there are disadvantages to the ADA room. The bathroom was roomy, but also reminded me of a hospital. The floor was flat, so it got pretty wet anytime you tried to take a shower. Speaking of showers every time I turned around to try to rinse myself off I found myself bumping the handle and half scalded myself. There was a very fine line with the temperature adjustment. To get a nice hot shower was tough. It was either 2nd degree burn hot, or pretty cool. I am not sure why they feel the need to have such hot water on the ship. Seems hazardous to me. Even in sinks to wash your hands you risk getting injured. Also the first night and the last night our AC seemed to be non-functional for whatever reason. We talked to the Steward about it, and they fixed it and it was very nice and cool when it was working. Everything else about the room was pretty typical. Nothing outstanding, but nothing too bad either.

Onto the Suite Life... This was a nice large room in comparison to the inside room, but still pretty cramped. Walking in the front door led you into a small hallway which was very narrow. It was pretty tight, and two people could not pass each other comfortably. There were many nice touches. Lots of nice glassware, a fancy coffee maker, a dvd player with surround sound, and seating for 5. Speaking of seating... the couch (which folded into a bed) was the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I have ever sat on. If you would sit down to fast you'd risk cracking your tail bone. The wife and I had hoped to sleep on it a few nights just to be able to see the sunrise. That idea was quickly shot out the window. There were two highlights of the suite. One of which is the very large balcony. There was room for about 8 people on it with ease. There were 2 tables, 2 chairs, and 2 lounging chairs. The lounging chairs in this case just got in the way because it was too cold to lounge out there. The downside to the balcony was they re varnished the railing on the day we embarked. They must not have used a fast setting type though, because the next day it rained, and it looked like someone poured cream cheese icing over the whole thing. It was pretty gross, and if you would accidentally bump up against it, you'd have a gross, sticky mess on your hands. The other highlight was the bathroom. It had a large jetted tub with shower, a separate stand up shower, and a water closet for the toilet. The room also came with a butler in addition to the regular room steward. That was a nice treat. The staff in the suite was the highlight. I would expect that though, as these must be the best of the best to serve their VIP customers. I'll touch more on the staff a little later.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Whale Watching
    Whale watching and the Mendenhall Glacier. 4.5/5 Stars. The boat was nice, it had indoor and outdoor areas. Of course it was raining, which meant I was cold, and wet, and so was my camera, but we did see around 8 or so whales. I was pleased with everything. Then we went to the Glacier. It was cool, but considering you cruise to more glaciers later in the trip, I'm not sure I'd do that as a stand alone activity. We also went to a wonderful little coffee shop before we set off in Juneau called 60 Degrees. They had two mochas, the white walker, and dragon glass. They both were wonderful, and the best coffee we had on our trip. Highly recommend.
    View All 825 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Zip-lining
    Ziplining through Alaskacanopy.com. 5/5 Stars. The staff was wonderful, sarcastic, and funny. The zip lines were all long, fast, and fun. The bridges were wonderful and bouncy, and terrified my dear MIL. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, and that's pretty big, considering I don't consider myself a zip line fan. This tour might have changed my mind. We also ate at Annabelle's, and they had some good beers, and some great chowder.
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  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    White Pass Railway and Suspension Bridge. 4.5/5 Stars. The train just like everyone says was wonderful. It went through some absolutely gorgeous scenery. Luckily this was our nicest day in port, and we mostly had some sunshine, with just some sprinkles. As you got into Canada it did become quite windy and chilly, but even more beautiful. The suspension bridge was a nice view, but nothing really great. It was only about a 30 minute activity. The bus driver on the way back down was really nice, informative, and she stopped several times to get a few more photos. We went to Skagway Brewery to have the Spruce Tip Blonde. It was very unique.
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  • Yukon Suspension Bridge
    White Pass Railway and Suspension Bridge. 4.5/5 Stars. The train just like everyone says was wonderful. It went through some absolutely gorgeous scenery. Luckily this was our nicest day in port, and we mostly had some sunshine, with just some sprinkles. As you got into Canada it did become quite windy and chilly, but even more beautiful. The suspension bridge was a nice view, but nothing really great. It was only about a 30 minute activity. The bus driver on the way back down was really nice, informative, and she stopped several times to get a few more photos. We went to Skagway Brewery to have the Spruce Tip Blonde. It was very unique.
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