Back-to-Back escape from cold: Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by Sherry Baby

Norwegian Sun 4
Sherry Baby
Member Since 2008
209 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Back-to-Back escape from cold

Sail Date: January 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We chose NCL Sun for its great itinerary offered on back-to-back Caribbean sailings. This did not disappoint. We live in a cold climate and truly enjoyed being in a warm and sunny place for two weeks during January.

Our accommodations were good, the ship is well cared for, and the offerings are many for entertainment, activities, and amenities. In general, the service and staff on the ship were excellent.

Our negative impressions relate to some of the dining. We found the quality of the food to be inconsistent. We had breakfast and some lunches in the buffet. There is a wide variety of food available. Salads are beautiful, fruit is plentiful and fresh, bakery items are attractive and tasty. However, I was disappointed by the "waffle station" for breakfast. I believed the waffle would be prepared fresh to my order, but instead, the server reached behind the counter and placed an older, dried waffle on my plate. It was not edible. A different morning, I tried again, only More to experience the same fate- a flat, tasteless, old waffle. There was not a waiting line; I don't know why waffles weren't freshly made.

In the Four Seasons Dining Room, I ordered a steak when it was the specialty of the night. It was thin and overdone, tasteless. A different night, I ordered steak from the right side of the menu- it was thick, juicy, and delicious.

We felt that portion sizes were small in the dining room. Shrimp scampi was three small shrimp. Vegetables were miniscule and sometimes unidentifiable. Was that potato? Carrot or squash? Five or six strange little cubes on the plate. Fruit plate had some nice fruit, then one strawberry half, not a whole strawberry.

Desserts were often gelatin-like, by varying names, like mousse, or souffle. One outstanding dessert was the baked apple in puff pastry with an almond filling, truly gourmet. But apple pie was like bland mush between two layers of cardboard. Like I said, inconsistent.

Because we were back-to-back, we wished to get off the ship for a few hours, on the Saturday the ship returned to Port Canaveral. We expected to call a cab and ride a short distance for some free time at a beach. We could not do this because "the sidewalk hostess" has to call the cab for you, based upon need when a shuttle bus will be full. We put our name on the list and waited a full hour for a bus available to take us out of the port. Apparently, there is one transportation contract handling all of Port Canaveral (as a monopoly) and Saturday is their busy time with other cruise line ships in port also. This process was not satisfactory to us.

We enjoyed the entertainment at the shows and in the lounges. There truly is something for everybody, no matter what your preference. We had a fastidious room steward, who was extremely attentive and pleasant.

Yes, we had a wonderful cruise. We got off the ship at every port and enjoyed a number of excursions. We made the most of our sea days and met many wonderful people, Cruise Critic members, staff members, and guests. We relaxed and I'm sure we will sail again. However, the food on this particular cruise will probably always stand out for being less than I would hope for on a cruise ship. Less

Published 02/08/12

Cabin review: IC8119 Mid-Ship Inside

8119- Inside cabin, good storage space. Adequate bathroom. Excellent midway point from one end of ship to the other. Seemed noisy with loud ventilation noises accompanied by excessive vibration.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Excellent destination. Ferry ride was rocky, recommend sitting below deck for the least movement. Bus ride was fine. No lunch, snack, or water was included in the price. It is a long day to not provide anything. Guests may buy something at the Tulum site. Tulum is a fantastic historical monument- best to do your reading at home, as not too much interpretation is offered by the guide. Bring sunscreen, hat, water.

Many, many hotels, bars, souvenir shops. If this is your interest, you will love this port. The town is extremely crowded with multiple ships in port. We booked ahead with a local guide to do kayaking and snorkeling at a nearby beach. It was not stunning snorkeling that day, but we saw some underwater life. The outing was fairly priced and we had a good experience with the local people.

We did a walking tour of the city, using a print-out I brought from home.
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We enjoyed our day in Jamaica very much. We booked ahead from home with a local guide for a tour day. We went to Dunn's River Falls and climbed the falls, which is an awesome experience. We had a short minivan ride to see Fern Valley, Ocean Ridge, and a panoramic view. Then we continued to White River and did river tubing. It was not rough, more like a lazy river ride. All day long our guides were friendly and accommodating. They did expect tips, but did work hard for the tips.

We took a walking tour using a print-out from home. We viewed Old Town and El Morro Fort. Old Town is quaint and attractive. We spent about 2 hours at the fort and were very impressed. San Juan is clean and friendly.
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We are not interested in diamonds and jewelry shopping. We walked to town, but since we saw historic sites on a previous visit, we did not linger long. Vendors aggressively pursued customers and one vendor rudely swore at my husband for not telling him what ship we were from.
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Sherry Baby
Member Since 2008
209 Forum Posts
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