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Norwegian Sun Review

4.0 / 5.0
2,146 reviews

Old Ship, Needs Work, Great Crew Though

Review for the Panama Canal & Central America Cruise on Norwegian Sun
First Time Cruiser • Age 40s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2023
Cabin: Mini-Suite

To be clear, this was my first cruise, so I don't have anything to compare it to, or any sense of what is typical on a cruise ship. The Sun is an older ship and could really benefit from some updating and repairs. Many people that I spoke with had mechanical problems in their cabins, though most were promptly fixed by the crew. I had an issue with the thermostat in my cabin. It didn't work, so I had no way of controlling the climate in my cabin. I did report this, but no one ever came. We also had an electrical issue at our first port that lead to a significant delay (days, not hours) and them having to cancel one of our stops (Costa Rica), after they already had to cancel our Nicaragua stop at the start of the cruise. I was really disappointed by these cancellations because those were the two stops I was most looking forward to. I understand that the Nicaragua cancellation was out of Norwegian's control, but I've heard that no cruise ship has stopped in Nicaragua since 2020, which makes me question why it is still advertised/scheduled. I also just can't help but wonder how many of the mechanical issues could have been prevented if the ship was more regularly updated/repaired.

As previously mentioned the Sun is an older ship, and it's a smaller cruise ship (or so I'm told). There are pros and cons to this. It was nice to have fewer total people on the ship. I never had a problem getting a lounge chair near the pool. However, the lack of options for dining and entertainment was a bit disappointing. The food in the buffet is not very good, but the food in the complimentary restaurants was always good. The specialty restaurants were hit or miss. I also noticed that they weren't consistent with the quality. I ate at Teppanyaki twice, and Moderno Churrascaria, Los Lobos, La Cucina, and Cagneys once. Teppanyaki, the first time, was probably one of the best meals I've ever had. The second time was good, but not as good as the first time. Moderno Churrascaria has a great salad bar, but the meat was just okay. Los Lobos was disappointing. La Cucina was exceptional. The calamari is the best I've had. Cagney's was also disappointing - those truffle fries are not nearly as good as the hype. I've had better fries at Smashburger. I also noticed that, as a solo traveler, I often got seated at the crappy tables, the ones tucked into corners, behind doors, no view, with waitstaff that tend to forget about you. I'm a dedicated solo traveler and I've never had that experience before.

I also would recommend avoiding the spa. They are ridiculously overpriced and the quality just isn't there. I got a manicure and a pedicure done, since they were running a really good promotion and I had some money in my account from the cancelled Costa Rica shore excursion. I've never had a manicure that went less than one week before the polish started chipping...until now. My nail polish from this manicure chipped the very next day. Totally not worth it.

Cabin Review


My cabin was nice (10**). It was a club balcony, near the bow, on the 11th floor. I liked the club balcony because of the spacious bathroom, but I would have rather had a large shower than the shower tub combo. This is mostly because I hate shower curtains (they're gross and don't get properly cleaned often), but also because the tub is really deep and the sides are tall (almost mid-thigh on me), so I had to use the hand rail to pull myself in. This made things a little interesting when the boat was moving a lot. It was really spacious though, with lots of storage.

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