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Although we've been on over 25 cruises, this was the first cruise for our brother & sister-in-law. They have been planning & saving for over a year, and this will probably be their first, last and only cruise for health reasons. At the last minute we were able to get upgrades (from inside to balcony and penthouse suite) thanks to booking direct with NCL. There was a little additional cost, but it was surely worth it! Using internet (and cruise critic) we rented a flat(2bdrm, 2 ba)in London for a week before the trip and used London Pass to see and go everywhere. Because we had alot of luggage and couldn't manage it ourselves we opted for the NCL transfers, which worked perfectly. Our cabin had a large balcony at the front of the ship which couldn't be used because of bad weather. Although only 1 large room, the bathroom was as big if not bigger, with walk in closet, dressing area, jacuzzi tub, separate shower and toilet stall. But the cabin wasn't the best part. In a suite NCL gives you a concierge (karin) who was wonderful. You feel like you are on a different cruise than everyone else. Beautiful breakfast and lunch in a specialty restaurant (no extra charge). This was great because the buffet never had enough seats. We only had 2 "optional" dinners, and both were worth the charge. Murder mystery dinner for $20 ea, including wine and lobster! And the teppan for our anniversay, which was really special. As Karin arranged all else, we just said where and when for dinner. Food was probably the best I've had on any of our cruises. As we are seasoned travelers, we didn't like the selection or cost of most NCL shore excursions. In copenhagen it rained, but the hop-on-hop-off bus got us to our favorite places anyway for alot less. In Warnemunde we again decided against shore excursions in favor of just staying around the town. So glad we did- it cleared up and a 15 minute walk into town was perfect. Lots of shops and Biergardens. We didn't know what to expect in Tallin, so took the NCL tour (1/2 day, under $60). Again, had a great day. Turns out we visited on their 2nd independence day. What a beautiful country, and beautiful people. Very warm. St Petersburg we used TJ Travel through Cruise Critic. Again, a winner! We had a group of 10, and they allowed us to customize the standard tour for a few dollars more. Tour guide Alex was wonderful- made sure we saw everything. Our tour started with hydrofoil to Peterhof, where we had lunch. Then to Catherine's palace. Then a canal ride through the city. Next day included the Hermitage early admission, where we had most rooms to ourselves! Our only complaint was NCL held up independent travelers for shore excursions. Helsinki again was the hop-on-hop-off, and we fell in love with that city also. Because we anchored in Nynashamn we felt we had to take NCL tours. We had hoped that the "Swedish Experience" which allowed 3 hours free time would be leisurely, but it was not. After a 1 hr bus ride to Stockholm, the traffic was so bad getting around and through the VASA that we barely had time to eat and get any souvenirs. We were stressed to get back to the bus or face a $200e cab ride back. Our only disappointment was the entertainment staff. Had a problem with a dancer that did rather spoil it for me. I usually dance the night away and close the bars, but this time I stayed in my suite and read a book. Only a few problems- wish the 400 kids would have been better controlled- the cigar lounge that we were guaranteed was there hasn't been used for smoking for 5 years, and the problem with the dance staff. All in all- one of our best cruises.

Suite Life

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by carencpa

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2010
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Forward-Facing Penthouse with Balcony
Although we've been on over 25 cruises, this was the first cruise for our brother & sister-in-law. They have been planning & saving for over a year, and this will probably be their first, last and only cruise for health reasons. At the last minute we were able to get upgrades (from inside to balcony and penthouse suite) thanks to booking direct with NCL. There was a little additional cost, but it was surely worth it!
Using internet (and cruise critic) we rented a flat(2bdrm, 2 ba)in London for a week before the trip and used London Pass to see and go everywhere. Because we had alot of luggage and couldn't manage it ourselves we opted for the NCL transfers, which worked perfectly.
Our cabin had a large balcony at the front of the ship which couldn't be used because of bad weather. Although only 1 large room, the bathroom was as big if not bigger, with walk in closet, dressing area, jacuzzi tub, separate shower and toilet stall. But the cabin wasn't the best part. In a suite NCL gives you a concierge (karin) who was wonderful. You feel like you are on a different cruise than everyone else. Beautiful breakfast and lunch in a specialty restaurant (no extra charge). This was great because the buffet never had enough seats.
We only had 2 "optional" dinners, and both were worth the charge. Murder mystery dinner for $20 ea, including wine and lobster! And the teppan for our anniversay, which was really special. As Karin arranged all else, we just said where and when for dinner. Food was probably the best I've had on any of our cruises.
As we are seasoned travelers, we didn't like the selection or cost of most NCL shore excursions. In copenhagen it rained, but the hop-on-hop-off bus got us to our favorite places anyway for alot less. In Warnemunde we again decided against shore excursions in favor of just staying around the town. So glad we did- it cleared up and a 15 minute walk into town was perfect. Lots of shops and Biergardens.
We didn't know what to expect in Tallin, so took the NCL tour (1/2 day, under $60). Again, had a great day. Turns out we visited on their 2nd independence day. What a beautiful country, and beautiful people. Very warm.
St Petersburg we used TJ Travel through Cruise Critic. Again, a winner! We had a group of 10, and they allowed us to customize the standard tour for a few dollars more. Tour guide Alex was wonderful- made sure we saw everything. Our tour started with hydrofoil to Peterhof, where we had lunch. Then to Catherine's palace. Then a canal ride through the city. Next day included the Hermitage early admission, where we had most rooms to ourselves! Our only complaint was NCL held up independent travelers for shore excursions.
Helsinki again was the hop-on-hop-off, and we fell in love with that city also. Because we anchored in Nynashamn we felt we had to take NCL tours. We had hoped that the "Swedish Experience" which allowed 3 hours free time would be leisurely, but it was not. After a 1 hr bus ride to Stockholm, the traffic was so bad getting around and through the VASA that we barely had time to eat and get any souvenirs. We were stressed to get back to the bus or face a $200e cab ride back.
Our only disappointment was the entertainment staff. Had a problem with a dancer that did rather spoil it for me. I usually dance the night away and close the bars, but this time I stayed in my suite and read a book.
Only a few problems- wish the 400 kids would have been better controlled- the cigar lounge that we were guaranteed was there hasn't been used for smoking for 5 years, and the problem with the dance staff. All in all- one of our best cruises.
carencpa’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Forward-Facing Penthouse with Balcony
Cabin SG 8202
Although the penthouse suite was very nice, the special attention we got was evern better. As we had a few bad weather days (we went into gale force winds) we really felt the movement at the front of the ship, and couldn't use the great balcony.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Copenhagen
    As we have been there before, we used the HOHO bus. We did alot, but it was raining too hard for Tivoli Garden. Prices are outrageous!
    View All 1,133 Copenhagen Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Helsinki
    Again, the HOHO bus was right at the cruise terminal. Very easy to walk and explore on our own. Found the wonderful Orthodox church by the marketplace. Spent so much time in the marketplace among the handicrafts that we never made it to the islands. But what a great time we had!
    View All 861 Helsinki Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Helsinki Cruise Port Review
  • Rostock (Warnemunde)
    Took the Moli train tour, which was a rip-off. But the city was fantastic. We loved the little shops, walking along the canal, and the bier-gardens!
    View All 380 Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Review
  • St. Petersburg
    We used TJ tours, which we found on this web site. Alex was wonderful, and got us in everywhere with no hassles. TJ included many features, making this an exceptional value. We had a group of 10. The hydrofoil took us to Peterhof for a great tour of the gardens and lunch (on our own). Everywhere we went we saw brides. Alex gave us alot of info about Russian life besides history. Then to Catherine's Palace and the amber room. We asked for and got a private canal tour. Well worth the $25 per person extra- they even surprised us with chocolates and champagne!
    Next day included early admission to the Hermitage ($18 per person extra) but we had most rooms to ourselves! Again, well worth it. Alex took us to a Pierogi (meat pie) cafe- she paid in rubles and we paid her back. It was great food and inexpensive and authentic. Also, visited Church of Spilled Blood, St Peter & Paul Fortress, and St Isaac's. Each one more impressive than the next! We saw so much I might have missed 1 or 2. This is the only way to see St Petersburg!
    View All 628 St. Petersburg Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Petersburg Cruise Port Review
  • Stockholm
    We tendered in Nynashamn, an hour away from Stockholm. Nothing to do but take the NCL tour. The city was very crowded (I had heard many cruise ships were in, thus we had to dock far away). Be careful of ports far away from the actual city you want to visit- expensive and time consuming to get there. Because we didn't like the tour it left a bad impression of the city on us. Very crowded, so it was hard for the bus to navigate. The 3 hours free time turned out to be just barely enough time to get some lunch and visit 1 or 2 junk stores.
    View All 839 Stockholm Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Stockholm Cruise Port Review
  • Tallinn
    We took the NCL tour as we didn't know what to expect. We feel in love with the country and the people. It was their independence day. They really love their country, and wanted to share with us. It is incredible what they have been through. As so much has been destroyed and rebuilt it is pretty clean and modern. But they still have keep much of the tradition and heritage alive by refurbishing.
    View All 1,031 Tallinn Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Tallinn Cruise Port Review