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Norwegian Sun Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2,106 reviews
51 Awards

Another one bites the dust?

Review for Norwegian Sun to the British Isles & Western Europe
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bobfrom jersey
6-10 Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

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Sail Date: Jan 2023

We booked this cruise to the Canaries/Spain/Gibraltar and Madeira relatively last minute and paid the extra to get a Penthouse Suite at the front of the ship which came with additional perks. Upgrading was the best decision we made and I also paid extra for the Free at Sea Plus package.The ship appeared to be about 75% full so rarely felt overcrowded and you could quite easily get a seat in the bars etc. We were very pleased indeed with the Penthouse Suite as it was spacious, had a comfortable bed, an extremely large bathroom with separate shower and bath including a dressing room area. The safe worked efficiently although it was a little small. The Free at Sea Plus package saw 6 bottles of water each waiting in the room into which we could check immediately on boarding There was also a complimentary bottle of Cava which we kept for the visit to Gibraltar as no alcohol was served on board that day until 6pm, seemingly to comply with port regulations but that excuse is questionable! Be aware they also charge VAT on drinks whilst in Spanish ports - not sure if this is Norwegian or the Spanish ports but when paying a hefty sum for the FAS Plus package, I don’t expect to be hit with additional charges. Our package also included unlimited wifi but the wifi in the cabin was next to useless (I almost lost the will to live staring at a blank screen whilst it tried to load) but worked better around the ship. The saving grace of the Suite package was that we could take lunch in Cagney’s each day and whereas the menu never changed, there were enough choices to satisfy us. The Black Tiger Prawns as a starter were particularly good and the Crab Cakes as a main were delicious and packed with crab. My wife loved the crudities as a starter. Eating lunch in Cagney’s was in stark contrast to the main ship’s lunch buffet which appeared a bit like a bun fight with crowds and what looked to be a generally unappetising selection of food however, the roast chicken one day and the roast beef another looked to be tasty. We ate in the buffet today as we missed the timing for Cagney’s as we had been on a shore excursion and the experience was as grim as I was expecting. People pushing in to grab food, few available tables and mediocre quality food when you managed to choose something. The entertainment in the theatre was generally poor however, one night we did see a superb violinist named Mate Racz and he appeared for a second night with his partner Sharon Lopez for a Flamenco/Spanish dance performance. (They also appeared for a third night and fourth night and seemed to be the only external entertainers ‘Norwegian’ was prepared to pay for.) The ship’s main show (Rock You Tonight) by the resident cast was disappointing and lacked charisma, we found it quite boring and lacklustre. Their second show of world dances (World Beat) was better. The show cast Burt Bacharach evening was quite good. That was it - nothing else on a 10 days’ cruise!

Now to the drinks! Without the FAS Plus package we would have struggled to find wine we liked and even on the FAS Plus package the wine selection was disappointing in the extreme for white and rose. We stuck to wine from the basic FAS package, a ‘6 Sens’ rose by the glass and a pleasant Sauvignon Blanc ‘Los Vascos’ by the bottle. On our package the bonus was we could order ‘Moet et Chandon’ by the bottle in the restaurants and drink ‘Pommery Rose’ by the bottle with ‘Veuve Clicot’ by the glass. We could also order a bottle of San Pellegrino with each meal so coupled with several ‘Tanqueray 10’ gins a day, the package was, despite the limited choice, good value. Be aware that premium drinks are only available in the Champagne Bar and the restaurants - the other bars appear to only carry a limited selection of non Plus drinks such as ‘Tanqueray 10’. Alas, two days before arriving in Lisbon the ship ran out of Rose wine other than undrinkable ‘Zinfandel’ as Norwegian had clearly under ordered when they stocked up when previously visiting Lisbon (seemingly their main embarkation port) and there were no quality wine replacements even on the FAS Plus package.

In the evenings as part of our Suite/free at Sea Plus package we ate in Cagney’s (twice) and the food was generally very good, The Bistro (once) where the food was dire and where I was presented with the most dried out Dover sole I have ever seen and my wife couldn’t cut her duck. For our third Speciality restaurant we changed to ‘La Cucina’, the Italian offering after cancelling ‘Le Bistro’. It was very good and had a nice atmosphere, attentive staff and very tasty food. I ordered Lasagne to start and Red Snapper as a main whereas my wife opted for a Gorgonzola, walnut and pear salad followed by Veal Marsala. We ate in the main Dining room the other evenings and always opted for Seven Seas as we liked the ambiance and if we were prepared to wait, usually got a window table. Four Seasons was a little too contemporary for our taste so we avoided it. We never went for breakfast so I can’t comment on that. As part of the Suite facilities, we had morning room service for coffees and that was complimentary whereas room service for non-suites now appears to be chargeable. This was something we found generally with Norwegian, there is lots of cutting back on the little things which means we probably won’t use this company again (after dismissing ‘Princess’ a few months ago for similarly cutting back on the overall experience) unless we find a very good price, an itinerary we like and the opportunity to get a Suite. Embarkation and Disembarkation (we were off in 5 minutes led by the Concierge)were both very efficient in Tenerife and whereas we spoke to our Concierge a few times, we didn’t use his services but the Butler brought the coffee each morning and was generally helpful however again, we didn’t really use his/her services. We requested not to have the evening room service even though this is provided in Suites.

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