I have just joined Cruise Critic on the recommendation of one of the passengers ( ??? on the treadmill. Hi Annette) on this years trip.
I have to echo the opinions of CLEMENTJR with respect to cost cutting, food and service. We had sailed on the Sun last year from Dover to Port Canaveral in a balcony cabin on deck 8 aft and really enjoyed the trip. While on that trip we were told that the ship was going for a refit in January 2011. There were signs that the ship was showing it's age like old style tube TVs and the odd stain and faded curtains here and there. With this in mind we decided to repeat the trip this year. Due to various family commitments we weren't able to book a balcony and settled for an outside cabin in deck 7 forward. There was a minor glitch on embarking at Copenhagen when the server died and all the check-in terminals went down, but hey ho that's computers.
When we got to our cabin my wife was putting the toiletries in the bathroom when she remarked how dirty it was and that 'she didn't leave a clean house to come to a dirty cabin'. On further examination she then found price tags and hairs in the drawers. With that a swab of the shelves in the bathroom was taken and off to reception to complain. They were reluctant to accept our 'sample' but later an officer did come to the cabin to inspect it for himself. He then said he would have the cabin 'deep cleaned'. The subsequent knock on from this was a very surly cabin steward who refused to speak to us for the rest of the voyage. His loss.
Cabin 7007.Very, very noisy prior to docking. There is a high pitched whine which starts up as the ship approaches port. It's not a bow thruster, that comes later. During the second night (3 or 4am) we were wakened by this noise accompanied by a vibration through the bed. I called reception and they sent a steward but he didn't understand what we complaining about and left. We called again to say it still was noisy and they offered to move us to a downgraded cabin. I declined. I moved the bed away from the hull and it cut down on the vibration but not the noise. I later discovered that to get to Amsterdam the ship has to go through a lock and then sail for 2 hours to get the port. All this time the machine was running so not much sleep was had. We actually asked reception if we could buy an upgrade only to be told the ship was full. Two days later the prize at the Bingo was an upgrade to a suite!! I still have no idea what created the noise as underneath this cabin is the promenade deck which is open and has no machinery evident so it must be getting transmitted and probably amplified through the hull
Only used as embarkation port but it seemed an expensive place
We loved Amsterdam.
We spent the day in Blankenberg (the town nearest the port). We've been to Belgium many times so the tours didn't interest us
Again we are familliar with Lisbon having spent a couple of vacations there before.