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Norwegian Sun Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2,107 reviews
53 Awards

Floating Nursing Home

Review for Norwegian Sun to the British Isles & Western Europe
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6-10 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2022
Cabin: Balcony

Between the two of us, my husband and I have been on 8 cruises, with various lines (Carnival, MSC, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean), so we generally know what to expect on a cruise. What we didn't anticipate when we booked an early December (2022) ten day Cruise on NCL from Lisbon Portugal to the Canary Islands, Gibraltar, Spain and back to Lisbon was to be on a floating nursing home. The very poor food selection and low quality of food was incredibly far below our expectations based on the prior experience we've had on all our other cruises. For example, the deserts on offer in the buffet, Main Dining and Specialty Dining were very few to choose from, were bland and obviously not freshly prepared. The main food options (main dining, buffet or specialty dining) consistently left us choosing from the least of the disappointing options. The food selection is supposed to be a main draw toward cruising not a reason to be let down at every turn. The layout of the ship (the Sun) is terrible. I found it to be ridiculous that it's physically impossible to get to the pools/hot tubs without walking through the tiny Buffet or Sports bar. The entertainment and activities aboard ship were seriously of bad nursing home quality or below. The "HEADLINE" shows were two different lounge singers and a close-up magician. While the singers and the magician were excellent for what they are, for this to be the "showcase entertainment" on a ten day cruise with a major cruise line was very, very disappointing. Also, the trumpet player for the main show band, was so terrible he single handedly ruined every musical act he accompanied (and I do know what I'm talking about as a former semi-pro musician and having majored in music education while at a well known university). He was consistently badly out of tune and far, far too loud compared to the rest of the band and the headliner most of the time. The small number of non-headliner lounge acts in the actual lounges of the ship were all fair (at best) or poor quality musicians, singing mostly low energy tunes and quite often singing out of key. I was amazed by the frequency of there being no music going on or at best only one lounge singer in one lounge. The one exception to this was the "Innovation" band featured in the Bliss lounge who were excellent, but who were unfortunately often primarily scheduled at the same time as the main shows. However, I was then bothered by the Cruise Director interjecting himself as a (not-so-great) lead singer with this band once the main shows were finished. There was little to no dance floor space anywhere on the ship except for a very small dance floor in the Bliss lounge which was far, far too small and the Spinnaker lounge (which only ever had bad, non-danceable Karaoke going on). The availability, variety and scheduling of activities in general was stunningly lacking, and what little there was was terrible, flat-line, and low energy - especially on sea days. I found myself bewildered by the lack of things to do most of the time.

The toilet/shower in our stateroom was VERY OLD and poorly maintained (from a structural standpoint), while the cabin steward did an excellent job of cleaning, the bathroom consistently smelled of stale urine every time we showered and the floor of the shower room got even a little damp (eeew!!!). This was an English speaking cruise, yet ALL of the guest services staff had extreme difficulty speaking and understanding basic English. The maître 'd for the Seven Seas Main Dining Room was rude, inattentive and more than once told my husband (who has a full beard and a military style haircut) and I, to "enjoy your dinner ladies" (since when is a male-female couple referred to as "ladies"!?!). There were also a few dining room staff members who called me "sir" (I'm obviously a woman) and my husband ma'am (he is obviously a man). While planning our cruise I was disappointed by the selection of shore excursions to choose from (most of what was available were tour bus, or walking tour type, both of which I find to be extremely boring). That said, we'd been able to find some activities that while clearly over-priced, we were looking forward to doing. Unfortunately the four most expensive and obviously the excursions were looked forward to most were cancelled by the provider. I was perplexed by the fact that ALL of the merchandise in the Tradewinds Gift Shop was Alaska oriented given that we were sailing from Portugal to the Canary Isles, to Gibraltar, Spain and back to Portugal- clearly we're not interested in Alaska Merch. My overall experience with this Norwegian cruise was so bad I would never recommend it!

Cabin Review


The cabin overall was great! However the bathroom (toilet/shower) needs to be retro-fitted. The toilet/shower in our stateroom was very old and poorly maintained (from a structural standpoint), while the cabin steward did an excellent job of cleaning and deodorizing, the bathroom consistently reeked of stale urine every time we showered and the floor of the shower room got even a little damp.

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