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We choose this 4-day itinerary paired with a 3-day Pre-Cruise Tour marketed by NCL as the "7-day Rock and Racing in Daytona Beach". The 3-day Cruise Tour included a stay at the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach starting on a Friday, as well as a VIP Tour of Daytona International Speedway on the 2nd day of our stay. The 4-day cruise itself sailed from Port Canaveral on Monday. As my husband is a NASCAR fan, this was going to be a vacation which satisfied our bucket lists--his visiting the iconic speedway and my wanting to spend a full day in Havana, Cuba. Our itinerary also included a port stop in Key West, which we've enjoyed before and did again, although the current docking site at the Navy Pier is quite restrictive and certainly not the same experience we had on our previous calls there. Also, we were only in Key West for barely 6 hours, which didn't allow as much time here as we would have liked. Havana is an amazing city of contrasts with some beautiful areas, yet some parts of the city are unfortunately rundown and decaying. It is evident which buildings are maintained by the government and that the Cuban people are very much suppressed. The residents there were very friendly and we had a wonderful driver and tour guide who brought us around all day to see the sights in a classic car. The young man who was our guide spoke excellent English and provided many details of modern day life in Havana, as well as a history of the city and the country. After returning from our excursion to the ship, we showered and dressed and gathered in the theater for an NCL evening excursion to the Tropicana Cabaret. We felt that the entertainment was spectacular and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. We knew the NCL Sun had a recent refurb., did see signs of it and overall enjoyed the ship. Our cabin steward and dining staff were friendly and helpful, but unfortunately, we can't quite say the same for the guest services staff. Although most staff members were polite, they did not do much to help with our areas of concern. Some improvement is needed there. We miss the days on previous cruises when 2 shows were offered in the main theater, early and late. It's now difficult to make the 8 o'clock show if you don't want to eat either very early or very late. There are several other entertainment options throughout the ship, however, for different tastes. The food choices in the buffet were plentiful and our dining room meals were for the most part very good. Our one specialty dining experience was in Los Lobos on deck 12, which we enjoyed. Although the embarkation process started out on the positive side, we did encounter a hitch. As Platinum members, we entered the priority line and had a short wait before presenting our passports, ids and documents. We had paid for our visas through NCL for our Cuba visit, and although the NCL rep at the desk was quick to provide my visa, my husband's was not to be found. We had to wait for a good amount of time until they located his, which was mistakenly put in a folder belonging to VIP guests, sailing in a suite. Once this was resolved, we were then able to continue onto the ship. Now to the not-so-good aspect of our trip. NCL did not communicate with us either at the time of booking (directly with the cruiseline) or when we arrived in Florida regarding transportation options. We expected we would be transported from the hotel to the pier, and were of the understanding that NCL would also cover our hour-plus ride from Orlando Airport to Daytona Beach and the transportation from our hotel to the Daytona Speedway and back again, as we booked the entire 7-day package through NCL, which included airfare, hotel, VIP Speedway Tour and the cruise itself. This being our 10th cruise with NCL, we have previously booked pre-cruise stays with airfare and have not had to worry about any details regarding transportation. I ended up spending a good deal of time on the phone contacting NCL from the hotel and later at the guest services deck onboard the ship trying to get a resolution to the transportation issues, which has not yet been settled and which we are still disputing. The end result was that we ended up paying the transportation costs from the airport to the hotel and for taxi fares to Daytona Speedway from our hotel and back again, even though NCL advised us that an NCL representative would meet us at the hotel the day of our VIP Tour. Although we did have a very enjoyable vacation with lovely weather and met some very nice people, we're sorry to report our disappointment with NCL's lack of communication this time around.

Enjoyable short cruise to Key West and Havana but NCL missed the mark with us

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by Cruzinnana47

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Cuba
  • Cabin Type: Aft-Facing Balcony
We choose this 4-day itinerary paired with a 3-day Pre-Cruise Tour marketed by NCL as the "7-day Rock and Racing in Daytona Beach". The 3-day Cruise Tour included a stay at the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach starting on a Friday, as well as a VIP Tour of Daytona International Speedway on the 2nd day of our stay. The 4-day cruise itself sailed from Port Canaveral on Monday. As my husband is a NASCAR fan, this was going to be a vacation which satisfied our bucket lists--his visiting the iconic speedway and my wanting to spend a full day in Havana, Cuba.

Our itinerary also included a port stop in Key West, which we've enjoyed before and did again, although the current docking site at the Navy Pier is quite restrictive and certainly not the same experience we had on our previous calls there. Also, we were only in Key West for barely 6 hours, which didn't allow as much time here as we would have liked.

Havana is an amazing city of contrasts with some beautiful areas, yet some parts of the city are unfortunately rundown and decaying. It is evident which buildings are maintained by the government and that the Cuban people are very much suppressed. The residents there were very friendly and we had a wonderful driver and tour guide who brought us around all day to see the sights in a classic car. The young man who was our guide spoke excellent English and provided many details of modern day life in Havana, as well as a history of the city and the country. After returning from our excursion to the ship, we showered and dressed and gathered in the theater for an NCL evening excursion to the Tropicana Cabaret. We felt that the entertainment was spectacular and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

We knew the NCL Sun had a recent refurb., did see signs of it and overall enjoyed the ship. Our cabin steward and dining staff were friendly and helpful, but unfortunately, we can't quite say the same for the guest services staff. Although most staff members were polite, they did not do much to help with our areas of concern. Some improvement is needed there.

We miss the days on previous cruises when 2 shows were offered in the main theater, early and late. It's now difficult to make the 8 o'clock show if you don't want to eat either very early or very late. There are several other entertainment options throughout the ship, however, for different tastes. The food choices in the buffet were plentiful and our dining room meals were for the most part very good. Our one specialty dining experience was in Los Lobos on deck 12, which we enjoyed.

Although the embarkation process started out on the positive side, we did encounter a hitch. As Platinum members, we entered the priority line and had a short wait before presenting our passports, ids and documents. We had paid for our visas through NCL for our Cuba visit, and although the NCL rep at the desk was quick to provide my visa, my husband's was not to be found. We had to wait for a good amount of time until they located his, which was mistakenly put in a folder belonging to VIP guests, sailing in a suite. Once this was resolved, we were then able to continue onto the ship.

Now to the not-so-good aspect of our trip. NCL did not communicate with us either at the time of booking (directly with the cruiseline) or when we arrived in Florida regarding transportation options. We expected we would be transported from the hotel to the pier, and were of the understanding that NCL would also cover our hour-plus ride from Orlando Airport to Daytona Beach and the transportation from our hotel to the Daytona Speedway and back again, as we booked the entire 7-day package through NCL, which included airfare, hotel, VIP Speedway Tour and the cruise itself. This being our 10th cruise with NCL, we have previously booked pre-cruise stays with airfare and have not had to worry about any details regarding transportation. I ended up spending a good deal of time on the phone contacting NCL from the hotel and later at the guest services deck onboard the ship trying to get a resolution to the transportation issues, which has not yet been settled and which we are still disputing. The end result was that we ended up paying the transportation costs from the airport to the hotel and for taxi fares to Daytona Speedway from our hotel and back again, even though NCL advised us that an NCL representative would meet us at the hotel the day of our VIP Tour.

Although we did have a very enjoyable vacation with lovely weather and met some very nice people, we're sorry to report our disappointment with NCL's lack of communication this time around.
Cruzinnana47’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Aft-Facing Balcony
Cabin B1 9277
We had originally booked an Oceanview Picture WIndow Cabin (OE) on deck 5, but put in bids for both a Balcony and a Minisuite. Three days before sailing, we were notified that our bid was accepted for a Balcony and were assigned an Aft Balcony on deck 9, which we were very pleased to receive. This was our 1st Aft Balcony and we did like the quiet location. The storage space was ample for two and the bed was comfortable. There were a few issues with the bathroom--a worn floor and mirror plus a broken shower curtain rod which we requested be fixed. Also, quite a bit of soot collected on the balcony during the first part of the cruise. However, when we were returning back to Florida, the soot was not a problem, There are 2 rattan chairs with cushions and a small round rattan table on the balcony which was an adequate size for us.
Norway Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    Our Driver and Guide gave us a extensive city tour and provided excellent history of Havana and overview of current Cuban life. We very much enjoyed the ride in a 1957 Classic Chevy Bel Air.
    View All 212 City Tour Reviews
  • Tropicana Cabaret
    Outstanding! A beautiful warm evening with a gentle breeze and exceptional entertainment. Thoroughly enjoyable.
    View All 70 Tropicana Cabaret Reviews
  • Ernest Hemingway House & Tour
    Walking tour to Ernest Hemingway's Home was very interesting and enjoyable. We wish we could have visited Key West longer. Our visit to Kermit's for a chocolate-covered key lime pie on a stick was an added treat!
    View All 46 Ernest Hemingway House & Tour Reviews