460 Norwegian Sun Alaska Cruise Reviews

Not the best cruise I've ever been on, but not bad either. Wanted to go to Alaska and found a pretty good deal from Vancouver ending in San Francisco. With 3 ships at the dock, embarcation was the usual cattle call, however ... Read More
Not the best cruise I've ever been on, but not bad either. Wanted to go to Alaska and found a pretty good deal from Vancouver ending in San Francisco. With 3 ships at the dock, embarcation was the usual cattle call, however there were plenty of helpful port "hosts" to point you in the right direction. The muster drill was not much fun. It went on too long, with everyone having to stand the entire time. Is it really necessary to state everything 3 times in 3 different languages? Passengers were literally groaning near the end..... The food was pretty good, especially the prime rib on the first night, which was superb; as good as any on land. It was served again the last night, but unfortunately it wasn't as good. The croissants in the morning were excellent, especially if they were still hot out of the oven. The other breads and desserts were good, except for the souffle. It tasted emulsified and not as a real one should. But then again, I've never had a decent souffle on a ship and they all should probably stop making them. I did like the more casual atmosphere in the dining room. The service was one the whole, very good. My room was comfortable. Only complaint is the shower was quite small. The gym was also a little smaller than I would've liked, but it was never crowded. There was a major mix up in Astoria, where border patrol didn't board this ship until 2 hours after we tied up. Not sure who's fault that was. I didn't particularly care because I didn't have anything planned on shore, but for those who did, yikes. All in all, an enjoyable cruise and a good value for what I paid. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We love cruising Freestyle with NCL! First time on the Sun and though it is a smaller and older ship it was well maintained and very clean. Our Balcony Cabin was comfortable and perfectly located. This itinerary was very full with only a ... Read More
We love cruising Freestyle with NCL! First time on the Sun and though it is a smaller and older ship it was well maintained and very clean. Our Balcony Cabin was comfortable and perfectly located. This itinerary was very full with only a few sea days so we only saw a few shows and attended a few trivia events. Casino was nice and shops had sales on all Alaska items as this was the last Alaskan cruise for the Sun. Purchased several Tee shirts for around $6.00 each and these are pretty good quality shirts. Food was wonderful at Restaurants. Tried to avoid the buffet except for coffee in early morning. The Great Outdoors was less crowded usually. Great Fish and Chips at the Sports Bar and open all night which was nice. Our meals at Cagney's and La Cucina were fabulous. Service was good on the ship and staff was friendly for the most part. The only bad experience we had was the morning we arrived in Astoria, Oregon. Customs Agents were to board the ship to meet all passengers face to face and check our Passports. We were told to be at the Four Seasons Restaurant at 8am if we had a shore excursion to go to. We waited until 10am before Customs Agents showed up to board the ship. This was a very stressful situation for all. NCL really should have organized this better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I have mixed feeling about this cruise. This is my first Cruise with NCL. Apart from Astoria, most of the ports were interesting, and for this time of the year we were very lucky with the weather for all ports except Juneau. The ... Read More
I have mixed feeling about this cruise. This is my first Cruise with NCL. Apart from Astoria, most of the ports were interesting, and for this time of the year we were very lucky with the weather for all ports except Juneau. The passengers on board were a good mix from a variety of countries and cultures, and very few children. The following were our observations during the trip, and hope it provides feedback for NCL. At Vancouver the check in process took over 1.5 hours from arrival at the terminal to walking aboard the ship. Doing the lifeboat drill in 3 languages is just too much. Many of the older people found it very difficult to stand in one spot for such a long time. Other ships have a video that runs in multiple languages for those who are not fluent in English. I don't know how long it actually took, but it felt like hours, first waiting for stragglers, then the complete drill 3 times, once in each language. We spent most of the Sail away on the Aft deck. There were not enough bar staff for the sail away on the aft deck. Staff that were there lacked any enthusiasm or motivation to get drinks out quickly. It's not a great first impression, and not good enough where service charges are mandatory. There were no coffee cups at the rear deck, so had to go to the garden café for coffee. In the garden café there were cups, but the milk was empty. So had to go back to the rear deck for milk. Many tables had no knifes or forks. Have to take them from tables where people were already sitting. We went to the teppanyaki for dinner. I had prepaid both the meal and the tip. At the end the bill came and it does not show the tip as being prepaid. I told the waiter that I already prepaid the tip and it was not showing. He told me that the money I paid goes to corporate and he gets nothing unless I pay again. This was awkward and does not feel right. I then went to customer service to confirm that I had already prepaid the tips, which they confirmed. This experience spoiled the evening. None of the spa jets work in any of the 4 jacuzzi spas (for the entire cruise), only the blowers work which provide bubbles. 2 spas also have broken jet function buttons. I advised staff on a few occasions, but they were never fixed. On the last sea day I also asked the chief Engineer during the Q&A, but he was unaware of the issue. Children are allowed into the adult only spas, staff do not enforce the rules. A lot of the breakfast pastry items have cinnamon in them. Not everyone likes cinnamon and the original French recipes for these pastries does not have cinnamon. Went to 10:30 sushi making class, but the crew forgot to organise the event. We left at 11:00 to attend a private event and they still had not started making sushi. Plates in the garden café are cold and the food in the buffet is only warm. So by the time you find a table the food is often almost cold. Went to the Mega ships presentation only to find it had been cancelled and rescheduled for a different day The lift buttons on level 9 aft Port side are around the wrong way. If you want to go up you need to press down and press down to go up. not a big problem, but once an up lift arrives, you cannot go down in it and visa versa. I repeatedly helped confused passengers. It's literally a 5 minute fix, 2 screws and swap 2 wires, but despite advising staff and even the Chief engineer it was never fixed entire cruise. The soft serve machine in the aft buffet was often out of order. When asking for a cup of water from bar staff, it’s like they are doing you a favour serving you. Either provide self service water at bar locations or improve staff attitudes to non revenue requests. Apart from the jogging track, gym, and Buffets there are no other water fountains on the ship. The towels are quite thick but small. Sheets and towels often have Stains or tears. Judging by the stained sheet we had, I believe the sheets were only changed once on a 10 day cruise. The majority of the cruise directors staff have heavy foreign accents, and when they run shows, most Americans have great difficulty understanding what they are saying during events in the Dazzle lounge. I was often translating for people sitting near me. This is even more of a problem for the trivia games where they cannot pronounce the questions properly making it impossible to play the games. The cruise directors staff are unable to read the room when trying to get people more enthusiastic about the show they are running. They are on cruise where the average age is over 50. Saying that they will not continue the show unless the audience is more enthusiastic is not how to win over this demographic. More than half of the onboard "entertainment" were really just aimed at upselling and extracting more money from passengers. The Dazzles lounge is not a good venue for games that require audience participation, like 55 to win it or battle of the sexes. The majority of the audience cannot see what is going on. These types of shows should be in the stardust theatre, or have a camera capture the event and show it on a screen for the audience to see. Why aren’t shows in the stardust theatre shown in the cabin TVs? The Dazzles Lounge and Stardust Lounge are both overdue for a makeover with torn upholstery and broken chairs. We had many drinks charged to our room that did not belong to us. You cannot query room charges over the phone. Have to go in person to reception which is a constant pain. Menu items in four seasons are not as expected. For example Peking duck was just 3 small slices of duck on a salad. Not crispy skin duck in a pancake as you would expect. Escargot cassoulet had only 3 small slivers of snail, mostly mushrooms. Teriyaki beef was more ginger beef than teriyaki. The Sacher Torte was just a chocolate sponge cake with jam, not a dense chocolate cake. The staff in four seasons are poorly trained about what they are serving. When asked about menu items they cannot explain what the dishes are. The Chinese staff in main Dining rooms appear to have had no training at all prior to starting on the ship. You would not expect staff being trained the basics like which side to serve from while on a cruise. surely they should have had some land based training school before serving paying passengers. In general all beef dishes are dry and chewy in both the garden café and four seasons. In the Brazilian specialty upcharge restaurant, the garlic beef was over cooked, chewy and horrible. The first slice of lamb was lovely. Pink in the middle and the bark was crispy and delicious. When the second slice came around it was over cooked on the inside and chewy, yet there was no bark formed, it was just chewy fat. The fillet steak was lovely and tender, but over peppered. Even scraping the pepper off could not rescue the steak. The only winner here was the Beef ribs which were perfect. In general the variety of meals was ok, but nothing special. I was disappointed that Alaskan Crab was not served even on one night. The bagels are stale most mornings. Would have thought they would be baked fresh each day (found out they were a frozen product). This is the smallest ship in the NCL fleet, and 3 of the specialty restaurants are put into the one room (Sushi, Teppenyaki, & Cagneys). This feels odd and it does not feel very special when dining here and the décor is pretty basic and dated. Entry into Astoria Oregon was hopeless. We were told that customs clearance would start at 8am. But actually did not start till after 10am. The cruise director blamed the delay on customs officials late arrival, but when I called the rental car agency advising of the delay they advised that the port had our arrival time as 10am. So not sure who stuffed up. PA announcements should be carried on channel 21, just like when the national parks guide was aboard. This would make it much easier to listen for announcements while waiting in the room. Especially in Astoria where we had to wait for over 2 hours in our rooms till customs arrived. This gives people the option of hearing announcement in their rooms if they like. After the first couple of days about half of the condiment holders on the aft deck were missing the salt dispensers. They had pepper only. In general even after spending more than $250 per night per person, we still felt like we were being nickel and dimed throughout the cruise. And with service charges automatically added there is no incentive for the crew to provide good service. Being my first NCL cruise I did like the Freestyle Dinning system and the general casual attire allowed aboard compared to other cruises I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We have taken several cruises from 1979 to now and have never been on a ship that was so disorganized and had so many issues. embarkation and disembarkation was chaotic. we had a customs check while on the cruise and that was a total ... Read More
We have taken several cruises from 1979 to now and have never been on a ship that was so disorganized and had so many issues. embarkation and disembarkation was chaotic. we had a customs check while on the cruise and that was a total disaster. ncl told everyone to be ready at 8 am, but customs did not get onboard until 10 am, and when approached about being late. the customs agents said they were not scheduled for 8 am, but were exactly on time at 10 am. all the excursions were late and as a result we were rushed through the excursion. another thing the excursions in alaska and canada were very expensive and not worth the cost. the only excursion that was worth the money was the train ride. we went on the fjords wilderness cruise, and it was explained that wildlife is frequent, but not guaranteed, but as soon as we boarded the boat, we were told that "they didn't want to lie to us" we would not be seeing wildlife, as they were migrating and going into hibernation that time of year. That is a far cry from sightings being frequent, but not guaranteed! since we are from florida and have idea about this, ncl should have informed us that this was the case. we would not have spend over $400 for another boat ride!!! as far as the food, it was just fair, nothing special. we asked what night lobster would be served (as all cruise ships have a night for serving lobster) and we were told ncl stopped doing that a couple of years ago. the best way to describe the service in the dining room was that they were "detached" and robot like in the service. of course, there were a couple of waiters that were more friendly and more like what we are used to sailing on celebrity, princess and carnival. The best thing on the ship was the entertainment. also, the "free" drink package they give you is not free you have to pay a big "additional service fee which was $149.00 each. on the other cruise lines free is actually free!!!! unfortunately, we already bookd a cuba cruise with ncl when we booked this alaska cruise. the cost for cuba went down $200 per person and ncl would not upgrade telling our agent there were no rooms open other than a 25sf bigger room. this was not true, as i went on the site and there were still rooms available to book in a higher category for less $$ than we were paying. again, no customer service. this feed reduction happened to us on princess and they immediately upgraded our room to a balcony suite which was in the price line we were paying at that time. WE WILL NEVER CRUISE NCL AGAIN, AND WILL TELL AS MANY PEOPLE OF THESE BAD EXPERIENCES AS I CAN Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. We were expecting rain the whole time, but were greatly surprised with rain only in Juneau. This is our 11 NCL cruise. We enjoyed the food in the main dining rooms. Great service and ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. We were expecting rain the whole time, but were greatly surprised with rain only in Juneau. This is our 11 NCL cruise. We enjoyed the food in the main dining rooms. Great service and surroundings. Our favorite specialty restaurant was Cucina. The 18 oz T-bone melted in my mouth. Much better than Cagneys! The on-deck BBQs were fun and delicious. They tried to keep mixing things up on seadays. Our porthole view room was well appointed with space for everything. Our steward was very good and efficient. The production staff, singers, dancers and NCL Sun band were fantastic! It was the first time we have seen these shows and greatly enjoyed them. Glacier Bay was amazing. The Captain rescheduled our day to take advantage of clear weather after a disappointing morning of fog. He stayed in the bay for several hours completely turning the ship in circles to allow people of the forward, aft and balconies to get close-up, excellent views. The rangers on board answered lots of questions. Another great cruise for us. Thanks! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Just returned home from Alaska on Norwegian Sun, always wanted to visit Alaska and had reservations on cruising. Having travelled from Vancouver to Junneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC and Astoria disembarking in San ... Read More
Just returned home from Alaska on Norwegian Sun, always wanted to visit Alaska and had reservations on cruising. Having travelled from Vancouver to Junneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC and Astoria disembarking in San Francisco. All i can say is WOOOOW words do not do either Alaska or The Norwegian Sun enough credit! Alaska is amazing , stunning scenery everything you would expect and more ive waited years to do this cruise it was worth the wait balcony was priceless for a trip like this, great trips ashore a little pricey but its once in a lifetime stuff, the Norwegian Sun was fantastic, great food and crew were so friendly and helpful we couldnt find any faults and will be returning to both Alaska and Norwegian Sun. Thats the biggest compliment we can pay we will return too both, hopefully in the very near future. Sold on Alaska, worth the flight from UK! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Let’s begin the review with the fact that we are reasonably seasoned cruisers, having cruised Hawaii three times on two different cruise lines. Our 10 day Caribbean experience was on Norwegian Dawn. We did one wonderful cruise of Eastern ... Read More
Let’s begin the review with the fact that we are reasonably seasoned cruisers, having cruised Hawaii three times on two different cruise lines. Our 10 day Caribbean experience was on Norwegian Dawn. We did one wonderful cruise of Eastern Canada on Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas and our three trips to Alaska were on Serenade of the Seas, and, most recently, Norwegian Sun. A direct flight on Air Canada was arranged without a great deal of difficulty through Air Miles. Both flights, going and coming were comfortable. We stayed two nights at the Granville Island Hotel in Vancouver prior to boarding for the price of just over $900. Warning, this is the most we have ever paid to stay at this property and although the room was nice, the view over the garbage pickup area and park was not impressive. The elevator mechanism was just outside our room and kept us awake most of the night. On the good side, the facility was clean and well equipped with mini frig and coffee maker in the room. The experience of staying on, and wandering about, Granville Island, is most enjoyable with a huge market place, water taxis that can take you to other parts of Vancouver and a few restaurants including Starbucks and a Keg. And now let’s look at the boarding process at Canada Place. We had only boarded here once before. All of our other Vancouver departures had been at a pier used by Royal Caribbean called Ballantyne. Not built for cruise ships, it had always been a quick walk on taking less that ½ an hour to board. Canada Place was terrible. The first time we boarded there it took almost 2 hours with three ships boarding. This time, with only one ship to board we stood in line, on our feet, the entire time, for two and a half hours going through the processes required before boarding. After this torturous standing I can guarantee I will NEVER board any ship through Canada Place in Vancouver again. In future I will look at Seattle first to see if it is better from a boarding standpoint. So, that was the worst part of the trip. Now let’s talk about the ship and the cruise. By the time we boarded, our cabin, (A balcony on deck 9 aft) was cleaned and ready for us to move in. Our checked bags arrived just around dinner time. Now let’s talk about the mandatory muster drill. On most ships I have been on the drill itself usually takes little more than 15 minutes on deck and then everyone was sent back to do as they wished, but not this time. After standing for two and a half hours trying to board we were now forced to stand on the open deck for more than half an hour while the cruise director went over the entire safety bit that was already tuned in on the televisions in our cabins. He went far beyond any muster speech I have ever experienced and certainly gave me the sense that he was one of those self- absorbed folks who like to hear themselves talk even if others do not. Needless to say that was our last contact with him during the cruise. After dinner the first night someone knocked on our door. They were from an inside cabin just up the corridor and told us that our shore tour tickets had been delivered to their cabin. They handed us the envelope with our names and cabin number on it and we thanked them for their honesty as those tickets were valued at more than $300.and there was really nothing to stop them from just using them. Overall the ship was just average. All the standard stuff including art auctions, centrum store deals, and seminars paid for by local merchants to get you into their stores in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. The photographers knew the meaning of the word “No” and were quite polite and not at all aggressive. In the literature we received from our travel agent before the cruise it indicated that there would be no formal night on this cruise. Instead of a formal night it showed a “White night” where one was encouraged to wear white. In addition it told us to look forward to the “Chocolate buffet” that is so common on Norwegian’s vessels. By the time the cruise ended there had been no white night. There was a white party in one of the bars one night. We didn’t attend so really I can’t comment. The real issue was the absolute lack of reference to, or actual staging of the usual chocolate buffet. It just didn’t happen. The scenic elevators in the centrum reminded me of my favourite ship at Royal Caribbean. But that’s where the comparisons stopped. Norwegian pride themselves on “Freestyle Dining” That means eat where you want when you want at a table you want … if that table is available. Where most cruise ships work the waiter / assistant waiter teams and reserved tables. Not Norwegian Sun. You line up at the door, they swipe your card and then you can ask for a table for two or six or… Normally there seemed to be no problems and frankly, by going to eat around 5:30 in the main dining room we got a table for two next to the window every night. The waiters are still a mystery to me. One person seats me and puts the napkin on my lap and leaves menus. A little later someone else comes around to see if you are ready to order. He takes the order but someone else brings the food and or drinks. Freestyle seemed a quite appropriate term for their food management. Me, I prefer set seating times to avoid lineups and the chance of being denied my table for two some night. Even the menus didn’t always properly describe the food you got as there seemed to be differences between what you thought you read on the menu and what arrived at your table. For the late night munchies they kept one small buffet “The Great Outdoors” operating until 11:30 pm. The Garden Café (Buffet) also had complimentary ice cream which was a nice touch. I don’t normally do buffets. But this one when I was in the area was always crowded with not enough seating to accommodate everyone comfortably. The food in both dining rooms was ok. No better and no worse, just ok. Cabin Service About the third day out we found a note in our stateroom telling us who was looking after us and providing working hours and an emergency number. Initially we were disappointed that when we went out for breakfast, and put the “Make up room “ sign out, on our return two and a half hours later nothing had been done. After three days and a couple of conversations we were both going the same direction and the service greatly improved. Although only one person was assigned to look after a cabin he seemed to do a very good job and actually let us stay on the balcony while he cleaned. During the final three days of the cruise towel animals suddenly appeared on the bed after the evening turn down. On one of the last couple of nights we thought we smelled bleach in the bathroom. When my wife came out of the bathroom she had a fairly large stain on her new black pants. Looking around the bathroom we found that a puddle of bleach had been left just at the base of the front of the toilet where my wife’s cuffs would have been. Being an amateur seamstress she realized what it was and took it to customer relations. They Looked at the stain, grunted and said “Your insurance will have to look after that” SO IF YOU ARE ON NORWEGIAN SUN AND HAVE AN ISSUE EXPEXT TO BE IGNORED and find yourself writing to head office if you want any kind of resolution. Shore excursions Since this was our third trip to Alaska there wasn’t much left that we wanted to do. So we took the return trip up to Bennet B.C. on the White Pass and Yukon Railway. It was a nice trip up the mountain into the fog and back. When we got back to the area where they let us off it was too wet and cold to walk the 1/2 km to the station to buy trinkets so we took a few pictures and headed back to the ship. We stayed on board at Juneau. Not much there that we hadn’t already done. In Ketchikan we wandered over to Creek Street and watched 4 seals chase the spawning Coho salmon and catch and eat the odd one. It was too wet to risk taking my camera and by the time we got back to the ship we were soaking wet. OVERALL PERCEPTION OF THIS CRUISE Average to low average…There was nothing outstanding from a culinary standpoint. Nor was there anything special from a housekeeping standpoint and certainly nothing even nice from customer relations. Activities were basic and the entertainment not great. The ships production company was a very talented group who were working hard for what appeared to me to be poor writers and producers. One show with a magician / comic was quite entertaining. So, will I be likely to try Norwegian and their free for all freestyle approach in the future? I suspect not Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our second cruise on Norwegian which we thoroughly enjoyed (1st was Breakaway from NY to Bahamas). The food was great and we found all the staff were very welcoming and friendly (special mention to the cruise director Dan!). ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Norwegian which we thoroughly enjoyed (1st was Breakaway from NY to Bahamas). The food was great and we found all the staff were very welcoming and friendly (special mention to the cruise director Dan!). There were plenty of food every day, more than we can handle. There was a good selection of choices everyday. There were entertainments/shows every day, and lots of things to keep us occupied, along with the excursions that we took in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchiken. There was a comedy show on the first and last night that was entertaining. Special mention to the Innovation band, which was excellent. We watched them perform every day. Special mention to the dancer from UK Kate (?) in the Norwegian Shows every night. We enjoyed her performance on all the cruise show every night. Best restaurant is Le Bistro - great ambiance, food and service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose this cruise because it was Alaskan. First time cruising with Norwegian, having cruised in the past with Carnival. First the good - Was happy to find that fellow cruisers were less "selfish" having not great experience ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was Alaskan. First time cruising with Norwegian, having cruised in the past with Carnival. First the good - Was happy to find that fellow cruisers were less "selfish" having not great experience with fellow Carnival cruisers starting fights in the buffet line, showing up for elegant night wearing a wife beater and shorts, etc. Also found the cruise director to be less "in your face" and the crew seemed more relaxed/happy. Now not so good. Took the Ultimate Beverage Package as a perk and could not be more disappointed. The mixed drinks had very little, if any, alcohol. Talking about drinking 5 in a row and not even feeling a buzz. Drinks were pre- made, not made to order. I'm not a drinker, maybe one a month or less, so I should have been feeling good after one and bbuzzed after two, but nothing after 5??? Wish I had taken the specialty dining instead. Buffet food was subpar, sometimes inedible and the layout was awful! I don't know if this was because it was late in the season and they were serving whatever was left or what, but slimey watermelon isn't palatable. Food in the dining room was hit or miss. The lasagne was wonderful but the other dishes I had were just ok. Some where not even ok - the dressing and gravy for the turkey was so sweet I couldn't finish it and the crab/hake cake was supposed to have roasted sweet potatoes but instead came with peas and carrots and potato chip sticks on top?? Not sure there was any crab, either, as I tasted none. The shows were not that great. Some of the singers seemed to not be aware they were off key. The shows with the crew, however, were nicely done and fun. Too much bingo, however. Could be because a small ship? Weird, however, the catering to the German visitors. Directions given in both English and German, however there were many other non English speakers (Chinese and Hispanic) onboard than German. Sort of insulting to other non-English speakers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
From Vancouver, BC to Alaska. Excellent cruise. Very good food and drinks. Service was above average for the most part. Very willing to go that extra mile for you. Cabin cleaned twice a day. Well stocked, well maintained. Only small ... Read More
From Vancouver, BC to Alaska. Excellent cruise. Very good food and drinks. Service was above average for the most part. Very willing to go that extra mile for you. Cabin cleaned twice a day. Well stocked, well maintained. Only small complaint was that sometimes there was a wait at the bar. There just wasn't enough staff at the right times, and you could wait up to 10 minutes to be served! This didn't happen in the restaurants, just at the walk up bars and not all the time. Otherwise a fantastic trip with great excursions in each port. Crew was always smiling and greeting us; hardly ever did we see anyone have a bad day. Best dinner was in Cagney's Steak House! Yes you pay for it, but it is worth every penny. We had the drink package, so we received a discount on the bottled wine. Was not even that expensive. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise was selected because it was the best option for a Vancouver - Alaska return cruise. I have cruised well over a dozen times but this was my first time on an NCL ship. Normally we are welcomed by several of the ships crew ... Read More
This cruise was selected because it was the best option for a Vancouver - Alaska return cruise. I have cruised well over a dozen times but this was my first time on an NCL ship. Normally we are welcomed by several of the ships crew members as we step into the ship but there was hardly anyone there. People in my travel group were supposed to report to Deck 12 and arrangements were in place for this, but on boarding, they were told that Deck 12 was closed. It was only closed to the normal passengers, not passengers in my group. There should have been some arrangements to tell people that Deck 12 was open for a specific group and people belonging to this group need to go there. Staterooms were not accessible at the appointed time; we had to wait beyond 2:00 p.m. The housekeeping carts were left almost all day in the hallways of the staterooms. I believe that the freestyle dining does affect the timing of housekeeping. With appointed dining times, housekeeping can gauge who is dining and who is not, and as such, are able to work within certain hours. Freestyle dining confuses this, I found that the buffet areas were inadequate. The Sun is not a small ship, but I found the the main buffet area to be relatively small. I was part of a large group and would like to commend and thank the member of staff who was assigned to take care of our group and so kindly assisted the group with our needs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I am a young at heart senior and solo world traveller who loves new experiences! I have always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise and the idea of a return trip from Van was perfect as I live there! It was on my bucket list for later in ... Read More
I am a young at heart senior and solo world traveller who loves new experiences! I have always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise and the idea of a return trip from Van was perfect as I live there! It was on my bucket list for later in life, but I received an amazing deal for a balcony stateroom, so I booked. Despite some motion sickness, I loved the cruise! The people I met were wonderful, the productions by the Sun cast were very good and there were many activities at Dazzles. Dan, the cruise director and his staff were so much fun and added to the enjoyment I experienced! The Comedian Fred Bevil was so funny and there are still some things that make me laugh! The group Uptown were amazing with their singing and choreography. So, so good! They had a meet and greet after a performance, which I thought was really good of them, considering they had to perform again in less than an hour! There was never a shortage of things for me to do even though I was travelling solo. A nightcap in the Wingjammer lounge was a favorite as I enjoyed listening to Manny, the piano man or Jason who sings wonderful tunes that everyone knows. The Four Seasons and Seven Seas, were where I took my evening meals. The servers were very nice and attentive. The food for the most part was good, although there were a couple meals in the dining rooms that I didn't rate high. However, I met people when dining and had very good dinner conversation! All over the ship I found the staff to be so good and friendly. They work hard so treat them with respect and you will most likely be treated in the same manner. My absolute favorites were the Washy, Washy singers. So cute and upbeat! Loved the morning buffet for breakfast. Had yummy waffles, bacon, eggs and hash browns with coffee a numbers of times! Great selection of hot and cold items! Once again I met a lot of nice people by sharing tables! I didn't do any shore excursions(couldn't clear the button), just wandered around our three ports of call to take in all that I could see in the towns. Many interesting things for me, but maybe not for someone else. My favorite place by far was Ketichican. I absolutely loved the little town and wandered freely to see all that I could. First, I went to Creek Street and what a quaint beautiful little area of buildings on stilts with a rich history from the early 1900's. These run along a creek hence the name. I climbed a set of stairs that led me to a community centre where a Potlach lunch was being held in honor of a resident who had passed. Some of the people attending were wearing traditional ceremonial dress and I was honored to be granted the right to take some photos. Very unexpected bonus! Another was seeing a black bear feeding in the same creek, as previously mentioned, only furthur on down the road after a short walk. That was so exciting and there were only a few people there to see it (6). The bear was very big! Lastly, the people were so friendly, whereas in Juneau and Skagway I had the misfortune to encounter some not nice individuals and that kind of put a damper on those towns for me. Ketchikan, I would go back to in a heartbeat. Also found a very unique ring and pendant that I did not see anywhere else! Embarking and disembarking were smooth for me as I did a walk off with my luggage at the end. Couldn't have been easier! All in all, the cruise met or passed my expectations. Prior to booking, I read all current reviews, information about onboard dining, lounges, activities and tips and hints from past cruisers! I booked, armed with knowledge, and therefore experienced no unexpected charges or surprises. I would strongly advise good research, as a precursor prior to booking, if you are a first time cruiser. Know your limits and limitations and what you are or are not willing to spend! Look at excursions prior to sailing, look at packages that are inclusive(aside of gratuities ex: Ultimate Beverage Package) as they may be good for savings. Arm yourself with knowledge to have the best first cruise possible! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We booked this cruise in Dec 2016 directly with NCL.com to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. What should have been an easy reservation turned out to be a nightmare dealing with the corporate office. We were told back then that the ... Read More
We booked this cruise in Dec 2016 directly with NCL.com to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. What should have been an easy reservation turned out to be a nightmare dealing with the corporate office. We were told back then that the cruise was filling fast and there were NO ocean-view rooms available on the upper decks. Strike one. Final payment was due in June, so we paid in full on May 30, only to have NCL double-charge our credit card. Since house taxes and insurance were also billed that month, our credit card was over-limit and frozen for two weeks while NCL "rushed" a refund. Strike two FOUR DAYS before sailing, we get new travel docs stating we are moved from a forward stateroom on 9th deck forward to a new room on 4th deck at extreme aft end, and they again charged our credit card for the "upgrade" Called to complain but corporate office in Miami are evacuated due the hurricane. Strike three We boarded the ship and I understandably had a chip on my shoulder. Our cabin was as I had anticipated deep in the bowels of the ship. When the ship left port our room resonated with the constant drone of the engines, triggering a massive migraine for my wife, one she couldn't shake for the next two days. We awoke on day three with some deck-hands pounding on the hull outside our cabin with hammers during docking at Juneau. Enter Natasha, Guest Services Supervisor on board. When she heard of our dilemma, and saw the obvious pain my wife was in, she took it upon herself to solve the problem. Our first stop was Juneau, and apparently a family emergency caused someone to leave the cruise, freeing up a cabin on deck 6A midship.. Natasha got word to us when we returned to the ship and provided assistance for us in switching cabins. After FINALLY getting a good night's sleep on night three, we both awoke feeling completely refreshed, and my wife's migraine subsided immensely. We now were able to fully enjoy the rest of the cruise and celebrate our 40th anniversary trip that we had planned for so long. The food was amazing and had a constant variety. The ship staff from the wait staff, the food attendants, cleaning staff, and entertainers all had constant smiles ! The pools and hot tubs were very enjoyable, although the salt content in the pools was quite high, causing some eye irritation. The entertainment was top-notch and we very much enjoyed the nightly shows. The Sun is an amazing ship in very good repair. No signs anywhere of rust, worn carpets, or disrepair anywhere. Elevators were abundant for the most part, although very few went down to the fourth deck, another reason to dislike the original upgrade. Thanks isn't enough to express our gratitude to Natasha, who single-handedly did for us overnight, something NCL corporate couldn't do in ten months! She completely turned our dream voyage from a train-wreck to something magical !! Solely because of her, we will consider Norwegian for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted to go to Alaska to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Embarkation was fine and we enjoyed the Garden Cafe before sailing. Our cabin was nice, our first balcony! The layout of the ship was a little different compared to our last ... Read More
We wanted to go to Alaska to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Embarkation was fine and we enjoyed the Garden Cafe before sailing. Our cabin was nice, our first balcony! The layout of the ship was a little different compared to our last cruise, especially the Buffet. It was quite crowded being narrow and along one side of the ship and people having to walk through to get either end of the ship. Other lines have their buffet across the entire ship. The Great outdoors seating area was great and I think that the ship was designed with warmer climes with this feature in mind. Then the buffet wouldn't be too much of an issue, but in Alaska...... We went to some of the shows, which were average. The Innovation Band was the best that we saw overall. We took in 3 specialty dining rooms on this trip and the food was great as was the service. The main dining rooms are also very good. We did not like all of the extra fees that were tacked on at the end of the cruise, which also came on the last day not the night before. So it becomes hard to settle things when you're also trying to disembark. We would go to Alaska again, just probably on a different ship that's better suited to cooler weather. Meaning with an enclosed pool and a better buffet layout. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The cruise was great, the staff are so friendly and helpful, couldn't do enough for you,the service was always so fast as well, the dining room was great, the staff were so friendly and the food was delicious! The ship was kept very ... Read More
The cruise was great, the staff are so friendly and helpful, couldn't do enough for you,the service was always so fast as well, the dining room was great, the staff were so friendly and the food was delicious! The ship was kept very clean. I went to the spa and that was amazing! The lady was professional and knowledgeable, she discussed products with me and didn't pressure me to buy, she recommended only, the massage was so nice, I highly recommend that. The entertainment was good, great dancing and singing. Alaska scenery is beautiful and our weather was great, didn't rain once. Glacier bay was beautiful, it was so nice to go there and have someone tell us all about it as we went. We enjoyed the ports as well. In Ketchikan we a driver and van (Carson) he was great taking us all over the island and giving us the history. Thank you Norweigan! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because we had been on it last year and this time instead of Sitka it went to Skagway which we wanted to see. We had enjoyed the Sun the last time so booked it again. The staff are very friendly as it is a smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on it last year and this time instead of Sitka it went to Skagway which we wanted to see. We had enjoyed the Sun the last time so booked it again. The staff are very friendly as it is a smaller ship, the size we like. The food as always was great. Did a couple of games and activities which were fun. Loved the ports and especially Skagway where we did the 7 1/2 hour train and van trip which was fantastic, seeing the Yukon, Carcross desert and Emerald Lake were fantastic and the scenery on the whole trip was spectacular .Juneau did whale watching and Ketchican we did the Duck Tour to see the port from land and sea. Love Norwegian and all the crew and activities kids who all did an amazing job of looking after us for our week on the sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Several years ago I cruised in the Baltic on the Sun and truly had a fabulous time. Since then have taken several more NCL cruises and was very excited to take this one. Embarkation and disbarkment were very smooth and hassle free. ... Read More
Several years ago I cruised in the Baltic on the Sun and truly had a fabulous time. Since then have taken several more NCL cruises and was very excited to take this one. Embarkation and disbarkment were very smooth and hassle free. We choose to fly to Anchorage and take the train excursion to Seward. That was an excellent decision. The whole experience set the trip off to a wonderful beginning. During our cruise we had many positive experiences. We had an excellent waiter the first evening and asked each time to sit in his section. This request was usually accommodated. However, the couple of times we went to the Garden Buffet, was less than wonderful. Part of the refurbishment included tearing out some of the buffet area to put in specialty restaurants.This resulted in extremely crowded conditions in the buffet. Additionally, the choices were very pedestrian. We had an unlimited beverage package and discovered that while I could get a $15 martini but not a $3 specialty coffee or tea, nor did it cover sparkling waters. Furthermore they do NOT have a package that includes this. I have an aversion to being nickel and dimed to death on cruises. This policy is a change from the last NCL cruise I was on which did include the coffees and teas. We took advantage of this with daily tea. Much of the entertainment was very average. This is an area they could easily update as well as include activities that do not cost extra $$$ (bingo, deal or no deal etc) or are simply infomercials for future cruises, pictures excursions etc. Also was disappointed to find our room (balcony cabin) had only one outlet. We are booked for another cruise in Jan to Aus and New Zealand. Hopefully the experience we have on the Jewel will be better overall . Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We had wished to enjoy Alaska and learn about the people and places. All we got was a boat ride and some food. Cruise offered no information about Alaska, made available only expensive commercial tours available to anyone that shows up, ... Read More
We had wished to enjoy Alaska and learn about the people and places. All we got was a boat ride and some food. Cruise offered no information about Alaska, made available only expensive commercial tours available to anyone that shows up, and were ill informed about Alaska. We got bars, night club entertainment, and pretty plain food. Every "special event' was a sales pitch for something. Good entertainment (there was some) was only offered in a venue that was noisy and had competing activities in the same area. The cabin was shopworn, had screws coming out of cover panels, had mold in the shower, and the water in the room was on one occasion actually yellow in color. Providing our own water or drinks was specifically disallowed. We felt rather trapped in a less than pleasant environment. Having enjoyed cruising with Viking to learn about people and places we were profoundly disappointed and obviously will not either recommend the cruise or come back again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Cruising the Inside Passage has been a dream for decades, the itinerary suited us and what the ship seemed to offer looked good. Arrived in Anchorage the day before sailing after 30 hour+ travel time from Australia, glad we did as it ... Read More
Cruising the Inside Passage has been a dream for decades, the itinerary suited us and what the ship seemed to offer looked good. Arrived in Anchorage the day before sailing after 30 hour+ travel time from Australia, glad we did as it gave us a chance to recover a bit and get a handle on the time difference. Booked the train from Anchorage to Seward with Norwegian when we boomed the cruise. It a great trip, easy to access and a very easy way to checkin for the cruise. Would highly recommend. Staff on board were wonderful, they seemed to genuinely be happy, have a great rapport with other staff and a sense of humour! We felt looked after and well attended to no matter what we were doing. We did not travel with children and are retired. Not interested in Art Auctions, Casino or live shows particularly but we loved the String trio, the trio of bass, piano and voice....great talent! A couple of other vocalists were pretty average though. MAJOR let down was dining. Food very very average, even in the specialty dining areas. French restaurant.....french onion soup seemed to be made with stock cubes with fried onions, a circle of bread with grated cheese on top added. SO salty. My beautifyl filet steak was murdered. Beautifully cooked to my liking of "blue" but the pepper sauce seemed to be packaged stock/gravox reduced and pepper corns added. I had to scrape it off the meat and cut off the surface of the steak as it was so salty and awful. The creme brulee just wasn't ....it was very odd. The South American restaurant was ok, but the meat came out very dry. Italian, again the soup base seemed to be gravox based or similar. I really think a specialty restaurant should serve fare that does not taste as if it just came out of a tin. General dining was ok but the menu was the same at both venues for the most part, so no choice. Buffet was not to my taste, fries, pizza, fried stuff, some indian vegetarian (quite good), asian stir fries seemed the same every day of the cruise but the salads were good salads even if they were the same each day. I only have Holland America as a comparison and they were streets ahead food wise. Ports of call were everything I expected. Easy off ship/on ship procedures. Glad i hadnt prebooked day trips/activities before hand as the weather made most of them an expensive waste of money. Plenty to see in each town, great museum in Juneau etc. Happy with our cabin. As we booked quite late, no verandah suotes were available but deck 4 mid ship and port hole turned out to be light, bright and well appointed. Weather would have made any verandah un usable for most of the trip anyway! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We cruised with NCL 30 years ago for our Honeymoon. We were now celebrating our 30th Anniversary. We wanted to relive our honeymoon. However Cruising has changed way too much. Ships are so large that the personal service that we ... Read More
We cruised with NCL 30 years ago for our Honeymoon. We were now celebrating our 30th Anniversary. We wanted to relive our honeymoon. However Cruising has changed way too much. Ships are so large that the personal service that we received 30 years ago is gone. Ship layout was very confusing. Took us all week to figure out how to get from point A to Point B which often meant having to go up one or two levels before we could go from front to back. We did not enjoy the "Freestyle" cruising. On our pervious cruise we got to know the people who were assigned to dine at our table and became good friends. The food was beyond fantastic and the staff got to know you so well they would have the drinks on the table before you even sat down. Waiters did a dance with the baked Alaska on the last evening of the cruise etc. With Freestyle you don't get to your waiters and they don't get to know you. The food was less than exciting. Not sure how you screw up a pecan pie but they did amongst other dishes. When the main dining room was closed the Buffet area was so crowded there was no place to sit. We never could even get into the spots bar as it was always crowded. We missed the elaborate Midnight buffet that used to be the centerpiece of the cruise. Our cabin was average. They kept it clean but we had to go ask for a battery for the remote control to the TV and one set of drawers was broken. Thank goodness we had a balcony. It gave us a good vantage point to view the scenery. The trip to Hubbard Glacier was quite memorable. Every time you turn around they are doing something that requires you to put out more money. The days of the "All Inclusive" vacation seemed to have disappeared. We booked the very expensive excursions before we left for the cruise. The ship was constantly trying to take your picture so they could sell it to you. They have lots of events that involve telling you how to get the best deals on fine jewelry and watches at each port. Those shops only exist for the cruise ships. They close at the end of the season. They were always trying to sell you raffle tickets and bingo cards. Art Auction??? who goes on a cruise to purchase expensive art??? And of course you are destined to lose money in the casino. The Entertainment was not exciting. We have fun times on our excursions but a few of them were cut shorter than what they had been advertised. We loved Alaska but next time we visit it will probably not be on a cruise ship - or it will be a different cruise line. Not a fan of the Large or the Freestyle ships. Our suitcase handle was broken sometime after we dropped it off at the airport in Anchorage (we rode the train to Seward)and before we received it in our cabin. No one wanted to take responsibility for it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I've cruised on NCL 3 other times, short 4 and 5 days trips out of Florida. Had all great experiences, so when planning a 7 day cruise in Alaska it was a no brainer to go with NCL since all my previous experiences we're great. ... Read More
I've cruised on NCL 3 other times, short 4 and 5 days trips out of Florida. Had all great experiences, so when planning a 7 day cruise in Alaska it was a no brainer to go with NCL since all my previous experiences we're great. For Alaska, I upgraded to Penthouse 9076, Aft corner suite. Total price for 2 people was almost $10K for this suite. However, since my previous experiences had been great..I went for it! What a very disappointing decision that turned out to be. Here is why: 1: Room was very dated 2: Room was in desperate need of a remodel, furniture scratched, couch was nasty dirty and smelled. 3: AC vent in master was spitting out black clumps of dust. Maintanance put in a filter blocking air flow, thus the room temp was never right 4: Although the room was very large it lacked a table for in suite dinning, when we ordered in suite dining, I assumed they would bring a table, NOPE had to eat off the coffee table ( unacceptable given this was a suite/penthouse room for $10K) 5: Bathroom was GREAT, large full size tub and separate full size shower 6: Large Balcony was great however the furniture was broken and nasty This trip was not a party cruise, thus the room much more important given the views of the trip. If this had been the room for a 3 or 4 day cruise to the Bahamas it would not be as big of a deal, however when you upgrade and spend $10K you expect the best, and this was far from it. Over all service was poor, long wait times in the specialty restaurants, most food was great however the lack of good service made the experience poor at best. Entertainment was AWFUL!! Ordered Room service on 3 different times, even with our Butler, service took between 1.5 to 2 hours....thats NUTS! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Our first cruise on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. The Sun is the smallest cruise ship we have cruised on, so it was quite different than all others. That being said and "supposedly" being "updated" in 2016, the old ... Read More
Our first cruise on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. The Sun is the smallest cruise ship we have cruised on, so it was quite different than all others. That being said and "supposedly" being "updated" in 2016, the old lady is definitely showing her age in a day of newer, bigger, better cruise ships. Many pro's and con's to the Sun. PRO'S: Smaller ship Great itinerary for Alaska, especially the Hubbard Glacier Garden Buffet - food quality better than many cruise lines offer even if very small variety Teppanyaki was fun and good food. Would suggest to all Norwegian Cruisers (if offered on your ship), albeit it $25 extra per person charge Dinnerware was AT / ON the table in the Buffet - so no need to hunt it down somewhere else in another line. Albeit it did not include spoons, so if you needed one, you had to get it wherever you got the item that required it Most staff was very cordial and polite. Room was kept clean and tidy when we were not keeping them from doing it. Dining areas, especially the buffet were cleaned and ready for another passengers usage quickly and was very much needed. CON'S: Small ship means less space for those onboard and that easily translates into rude people seeming to be more in your face than on larger ships Old lady that needs a big update or either retirement. The overall design / configuration is very poor and shows it's age. When you have to use stateroom passageways to get to and from many places around the ship, that is not good. Planning your travel itinerary from one part of the ship to another due to inaccessible areas and flow thru on many decks makes it harder than it should be. Garden Buffet super small and very small menu choices and seemed to have same choices every day. The flow of the Buffet made it really hard to get around and confusion about where the line starts and ends was a constant. While a smaller ship, the Garden Buffet is very inadequate for the amount of passengers whom use it daily. Many people had to go to overflow areas like the Sports Bar and other places due to lack of seating capacity. The outdoor deck with cover is great if your in a warm and dry environment, which Alaska in September is typically not and was not on this cruise except for maybe a day or two. Yet people did sit out there to eat from the Buffet to have a place to eat. Main Dining Room(s) were okay, but again menu was very small and only offered a few extra "daily" choices. Easier to use these rooms than the buffet at times. Having 2 dining rooms was slightly confusing as the Seven Seas was marked as "traditional" and the other as "contemporary." Both offered the same exact food items, so the classifications are way off in my book. The Seven Seas was fairly easy to get to as it was on Deck 5 Aft - under the Garden Buffet by a few decks. The other dining room was on Deck 5 as well, but mid-deck, which required some logistical insight as to how to get there from where your room or you were at the time. My biggest pet peeve was having a waitress from the Philippines and a Maitre D from China telling me about my bison steak I ordered at Cagney's - a pay for extra dining experience. While these 2 people may have been schooled by Norwegian about bison, they have probably never seen one in person or ever eaten it when prepared properly - which I have (think Ted's Montana Grill). My bison steak was tough, had a lot of gristle which I hate in a "supposed" good / great steak, and more fat than should be on a bison steak - think lean. When I mentioned it to both ladies, I got "schooled" for a couple of minutes on bison, which was absolutely untrue in my experience. They both did say they explained my comments to the chef and provided a small token of apology in some chocolates. If Norwegian truly wants customer input, then those who "ask" for it should also be taught to take the comments and not try to school the customer on their "lack" of real knowledge on the subject matter. Even comparing it to the Angus Beef they use was a poor comparison. Maybe that is why few people may actually make real and true comments about their meals and experiences, as they get a type of backlash from the crew; when the comments should be just taken and looked at for content and context. If truly appropriate, then make changes; if not - then let it go. Moderna Churrascaria - while a nice attempt was made for a "different" dining experience, Norwegian needs to work on this one some. Not sure about staffing in this dining room, but ours was slow and very lackluster for another "pay for" restaurant. Our initial server seemed to be the only one serving the whole room, so service was very poor and very slow - if she came around - which was not her fault, but gets the blame. The whole concept on a churrascaria is about the meat and presentation. Presentation was okay when they were actually out delivering meat, which also was very slow. The variety was better than most land-based churrascaria's - but the quality for most of it was not there. The filet mignon was the only one which had true flavor. The rest were just so-so. The Teppanyaki was fun and entertaining, but some of the menu items left a lot to be desired - especially the green tea cake and ice cream. It was only 1 of 2 dessert items available - which needs to be addressed. I suppose I could have asked for something off-menu and gotten it, but why not offer a couple more "likable / eatable" choices instead. Hot tubs - while greatly appreciated and needed - they also need to be at a decent warm temp on cold Alaska and not lukewarm. The 2 minute timer is also a major pain in the backside as well to keep the jet action going. I do understand as timer is necessary, but maybe 5 minutes is a better alternative. A heated pool would be a nice luxury on a cold Alaskan Cruise as well, but know the expense and headache may not be worth it. Yet, it would allow more people to utilize a very under-utilized asset on the ship. Also both pools were very small and one was specifically set aside for adults only, which is great if available to be used. Very short stay in the capital Juneau and hard to find decent excursions for that short time period. While not Norwegians fault - another cancelled excursion we really wanted to go on due to weather. We booked our cruise back in April '17 and since we had missed a dog sledding excursion on our last Alaska Cruise, we wanted to do one this time. According to the Norwegian Sun Excursions website - dog sledding excursions were being offered in both Skagway and Juneau during our cruise period. No way to do it in Juneau on a 7 am to 1-1:30 pm departure, so Skagway would work. Contacted the Excursion Operators about it and told directly they were not offering dog sledding after September 1 in Skagway. Told them that Norwegian was offering it still on our "Cruise Excursion Page," so what's the real deal. Shortly after that call, the dog sledding excursions "disappeared" from our Cruise Excursion Page. While I know that that excursion IS OFFERED before Sept 1st, it's not website magic to NOT show it on our particular cruise website when not available. Muster Drill. While "EVERYONE" knows it's a requirement, our cruise staff let many who were slow, late, very late, and probably had to be retold to go to Deck 6 to keep everyone else standing for over 15 extra minutes before the drill started - because "WE" had to wait for "ALL" the stragglers. Quit punishing those whom abide by the rules and are on time and make it painful for those who can't. Smoking is only allowed in certain areas on the ship. Another one of those "EVERYONE" is told this. Yet, the cabin below us continually smoked nasty smelly "cigars" out on their balcony. When we mentioned it the first time to Guest Services, we got brushed off by being told we needed to call them when "it was happening." Not afterwards. So, the next time we make the call - no answer at guest services. 3rd time - Guest Services notifies Housekeeping to check it out - yet they told OUR Room Steward there was a problem in OUR room. Not sure if Norwegian ever got it right on this one, but their procedures and actions suck. Internet and Internet Cafe. WOW - got to hate cruise ship internet. Even more so their computers they offer in the Internet Cafe. My old 286 was faster than theirs and that was what 20 years ago. I'm a slow typist, using one finger on each hand and even the ship computer(s) could not keep up. I often had to stop to let it catch up and re-type much of it as it simply could not handle my "fast" typing skills. While a possible error on the Windows 7 part, nearly every computer showed that the Windows 7 version was NOT authentic. Since it was an Enterprise Version, maybe there was an error on it's part to properly NOT SHOW that message, but just another glitch in Norwegians sad try at providing computers for cruisers to use. Nice they are there since TSA trashed my laptop on the way up for the trip, but if you provide it - make sure it's in good working order. I probably wasted well over 30 minutes of my 250 minute package waiting for the Internet and computer to work. While at sea and using satellite, maybe a small reason for it being slow, but even satellite links have improved greatly over the years. While in port, why can't cruise lines have a faster city / port connection versus relying on satellite - just a thought for improved service and passenger experience. Soda and Liquor Package offering. Since the buffet had no staff for those who may have purchased these packages, they would be somewhat worthless for the most part. Since I decided not to purchase one and glad for it - having to find an open bar for me to actually use the package would have been the kicker for sure. The main dining rooms and pay for restaurants DO / DID ask if we wanted something for the bar. Yet, 75% or more people seemed to utilize the Buffet the most and it had zero staff that I saw to be "runners" for the bar. The staff I observed all were involved in removing dishes, cleaning tables, or restocking the tables with silverware and such (novel and good idea on the dinnerware at / on the table). Carpet colors were quite strange. While they did fit the "nautical" theme, the carpet on the stairs was a different color than on the main floor, etc. While not a real big issue - was just weird on choices they used. Due to such small size, when formal night pictures and others were being done in the main lobby area on Deck 5, the flashes had to be placed on railings on Deck 6, so if you passed by on Deck 6 when a picture was being taken - you were temporarily blinded by them and you weren't in the picture. Thankfully that was not an often occurrence. While you may look at my list and say to yourself, "Man, what a jerk. Why does he even take cruises, if they are so bad?" Good questions, but each and every cruise and ship are far different even if same brand and type of ship. You also can't "FIX" what may be broken in a cruisers eye, if not told about it. How else can they or will they improve if not told about issues? Some can be easily fixed, others not so due to age of ship, etc. Something Norwegian and other cruise lines need to be aware of to better the experiences of all cruisers. I am picky and have a right to be. Especially on this cruise, I think I way overpaid for what I got in return. While this was not exactly a Norwegian issue, as I used a travel agent (WMPH / iCruises), which I will never use again - they do have some skin in the game by the prices they set. I also base it on my past cruises, including one to Alaska. While that does not make me an expert, we all want fair value for our hard earned dollars we spend on vacations and cruising. I do praise where it is appropriate as well, so there is some balance. Everyone's opine is their own and your may be different than mine - you may be less or more critical - that's human nature. Other cruisers that come after me on this ship and in Alaska have some extra knowledge to base their choices on whether to go with it or pick another one that may have better ratings. Hopefully Norwegian will address the issues they can fix and do so, so that everyone who cruises with them gets fair value and a nice experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I had done a 7 day cruise about 8 years ago and bemoaned not going into the interior of Alaska at the time, so I took this 14 day cruise/tour to see it all - and boy, did I ! The cruise was phenomenal with great tours and excellent weather ... Read More
I had done a 7 day cruise about 8 years ago and bemoaned not going into the interior of Alaska at the time, so I took this 14 day cruise/tour to see it all - and boy, did I ! The cruise was phenomenal with great tours and excellent weather at the glaciers. Had a front facing room and it brought the glaciers almost into my cabin. NCL's land tour was the best organized and diverse as any I have taken part in on any continent. Loved every minute of this trip. The places that we visited included historic, educational, with an opportunity to see and interact with native animals and dog training facilities. The train trip from Talkeetna to Denali national park was beautiful and amazing. They chose many great hotels and very picturesque locations. The choice of shore excursions on-board was varied, whale watching, fishing, train and bus rides into the Yukon to follow the trail of the gold miners, and visits to native attractions such as lumberjacks, totem poles, and eagles with a lot of salmon bakes thrown in. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Chose this cruise for a couple's getaway. We did the 7-day northbound from Vancouver (not cruisetour but can't chose this option on this site for some reason). I have been on the Sun once before. Service was impeccable. We ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a couple's getaway. We did the 7-day northbound from Vancouver (not cruisetour but can't chose this option on this site for some reason). I have been on the Sun once before. Service was impeccable. We booked online but had questions for an agent by phone and she was very helpful with suggestions about cabins. Our steward, Oliver, was always helpful and friendly and the storeroom was spotless. All our experiences with the dining staff were also positive. I was surprised to have different staff each time; even with anytime dining on other cruise lines we were usually seated in the same section with the same staff which gave us more of an opportunity to get to know each other a bit. The anytime dining is a plus though is becoming standard on other cruise lines. I will not take a cruise where I have to be locked into a 5:30 or 8:30 time slot. Now the cons: dining was so-so and quality unpredictable. Besides the destinations it is a big reason I cruise. The dining rooms were available each night but not each sea day which I am accustomed to, and when one was, it was only for 90 minutes. We arrived at around 1:50 and it was already closed. Therefore the buffets were typically very crowded, and as weather is often rainy there, the seating was limited at times. It was sometimes confusing as people would try to start from either end or just butt right in to grab something they wanted. Much of the items were very good, some not so and there was not much variety. The "international" food was all Indian. I love Indian food but got tired of that after a couple similar meals. Why not Mexican, Italian, Thai, etc? Desserts on the buffet were not memorable. Many were some version of a "mousse" which appeared to be a gelatin based dessert cut into squares. Cake, cookies, jello, pretty ordinary. Not what I expected. Dining room service was very slow. I don't usually have a problem with that as I am there to relax with hubby but one time we had to scramble to see the show we wanted and we did allow an hour and a half. Again it was not always as described- mostly good and usually hot but breakfast one day was cold and we waited a long time, though it didn't seem that busy. Appetizers were mostly good and a couple nights I just had a salad and couple other appetizers instead of entree and that was just right. There was always a choice of soup; some were mostly a clear broth with a couple vegetables and some were more substantial. Again much of the food was very good, but little details add up. Like on the buffet the poor server is trying to ladle out chicken noodle soup and the noodles are about 2 feet long and he couldn't get any of them into the bowl. So it was basically a cup of chicken broth. There is a list of stock entrees that do not change from day to day. I'd suggest not ordering one of them. We got the steak one night and it was way overcooked and tough. The "flounder" was obviously two deep fried fish stick-type pieces. Go with one of the other entrees, they were much better. Portion sizes were fine with me- they were small but you could always ask for more of anything, or something else. I personally prefer that to serving everyone a large plate of food that gets thrown away. I did not see any items on our menu with an upcharge. We did not try any of the restaurants with the extra charges. The "tapas" bar hardly had any real food; chips, bread, olives. I was looking forward to this as I remember it quite clearly from a previous visit when they actually did have tapas there that you could almost make a meal of and it was open a lot more hours. So that was a disappointment. We were extremely lucky with the weather on our trip and got in two days of glacier viewing with a visit from Park Service rangers who came on board. The Captain or pilot was able to keep us in viewing range for several hours and rotate the ship so everyone would get a good view. That right there was the highlight of the trip and why I gave it a 4 instead of a 3. We also enjoyed the shows and the free stretching and fitness classes they had (1/2 to 1 hour scheduled each day, also paid classes available which we did not do. We do not stay up late and there was little live music in the lounges before nighttime. I would have enjoyed some before dinner. I've seen other reviews that said the hot tubs were not hot; we only used the one by the kiddie pool cause the other ones were so crowded and since the kiddie pool was mostly empty it was nice and quiet. And nice and hot! The jets only go on for a couple minutes which worked fine with me since I don't like them and when some poorly supervised kid came over and hit the button and wandered off they didn't stay on too long. The button is right on the edge so you don't have to get out. We got the free gratuities and the drink package. You have to pay the gratuities on the drink package, which I don't mind but it is so overpriced even the gratuity is a lot (about $94 each) if you don't drink that much. Still it was nice to have and I'm sure we still came out ahead with each getting about 2 drinks a day. We did not do any NCL shore excursions. I was glad we got an outside cabin as we were able to see a lot of scenery from there. The complementary bottle of bubbly in our cabin for being a past guest was a nice touch. Unfortunately I'm thinking I will probably choose a different cruise line next time because of the dining. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Norwegian Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 3.5 4.1
Value For Money 3.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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