6 Norwegian Sun British Columbia Cruise Reviews

This was the third cruise on NCL for my husband and me. Previously we've cruised aboard the Pearl (our first-ever cruise, in 2010) and the Jewel (in 2011). We would've rated both of those ships excellent. We are a bit ... Read More
This was the third cruise on NCL for my husband and me. Previously we've cruised aboard the Pearl (our first-ever cruise, in 2010) and the Jewel (in 2011). We would've rated both of those ships excellent. We are a bit concerned that either the Sun has not been maintained to the level of those other two ships, or the entire maintenance of NCL has slipped in the intervening four years. The Sun shows some obvious "wear and tear" and a lack of some good thorough cleaning in the public areas (like around the gorgeous panoramic lifts on deck 8, where the carpet was very dusty and the hallway was used as a staging area for housekeeping's linen carts and cleaning supplies). The observation lounge on deck 12 shows some serious damage at the very forward set of seating, looking out over the bow, where the wood at foot level is broken and chipped in several spots. All that said, we LOVE the freestyle cruising and all the options aboard any NCL ship. The food is really excellent, whether in the main dining rooms or the Garden Cafe. (We don't use the specialty restaurants because of the cover charge.) The staff in every area and venue is friendly, always smiling and greeting us (the cabin steward called us by name from the first day, and recognized us in the halls!) The spa is great, and I enjoyed my exotic hand ritual from Mandy. The entertainment choices were awesome. We especially enjoyed Amber Strings, a trio from Poland who played several times a day in the Atrium on Deck 5 - an amazing range in their repertoire, and all of it just excellent. We submitted a commendation on them, and purchased a CD. We also enjoyed Into the Drift, playing in the Observation Lounge. Our shore excursion to Icy Point Strait, Hoonah, AK, was just simply awesome. We took a whale watching tour on the American Eagle, and saw a pod of whales. Incredible. They also had a Tlinget cultural historian on board, Kevin, who gave an excellent talk on his people and the history of Hoonah, Icy Point, and how the Native corporation that owns Hoonah achieved a place on the cruise ship ports of call. Our opinion: this is the BEST port of call in all of Alaska, with a Zipline, ATV and wilderness cruises, boat cruises, excellent shopping (all Alaska products and local artisans), delicious food, nature trails in the rainforest and on the beach, Tlinget history and culture -- just can't say enough about this port of call. We spent more money here than in any other port on any other cruise, getting our holiday shopping done 6 months early with good value for our money and nothing "made in China." This cruise was coupled with a land tour of Denali National Park first, and that 4-day excursion was also excellent. We had a great NCL tour guide for the entire four days, Michael Krudwig; were housed at three very nice lodgings in Anchorage, Denali, and Girdwood; and had several great excursions associated with this (an 8-hour wilderness tundra tour with an Alaska resident, Lisa Frederic, who was full of interesting facts, history, and knowledge, including having run the Iditarod once; a visit to an Iditarod kennel owned and operated by Martin Buser, an Iditarod champion; a visit to the Wildlife Conservation Center; a tram ride to the top of Mt. Alyeska.) Altogether, this would have been an excellent cruise rating were it not for the maintenance issues we observed on the Sun, and they did not markedly detract from our enjoyment of "cruising like a Norwegian." Of two cruise lines with which we're familiar (Princess and NCL), we will choose NCL again without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My second cruise with Norwegian, I love the freestyle dining idea. The food was very good at the beginning of the trip. Towards the end they changed the menu for the Alaskan run, I did not like that menu much. Seemed to be mostly fish ... Read More
My second cruise with Norwegian, I love the freestyle dining idea. The food was very good at the beginning of the trip. Towards the end they changed the menu for the Alaskan run, I did not like that menu much. Seemed to be mostly fish and seafood, very little choice if you are not into things from the sea. I ate mostly in the buffet after that. Cagneys Steak house was excellent, but I thought a little to pricy. We had a complimentary dinner there, we never would have eaten there if we had to pay the cover charge. We did eat in the Bistro as well, for a Jazz Brunch. Excellent food, and the music was exceptional. My score is reflective of an issue we had with our room. We did not know when we booked the cruise, but our fourth floor room was right over the engine room (4256 I think). The noise was deafening, and it was impossible to sleep. When we complained we were given ear plugs and a promise it would quit once we hit the canal. We had 3 days at sea before the canal. As promised, it did stop for that leg of the journey, but when we hit the Pacific Ocean it was back! We did not have smooth sailing on this trip, (from San Fransisco on it was very rough), the noise seemed to worsen as the seas were rougher.We complained a few times, the hotel sent wine, chocolate covered strawberries, and various staff members to have a listen each time we complained. Finally on day 10 they changed our room, and gave us the complimentary dinner. We then found out our neighbours had also complained and because they were first they moved first. 10 nights of restlessness spoiled what should have been a great holiday. What really irritates me is that nowhere did Norwegian warn travelers about the noise! We paid for what should have been a good stateroom where we could sleep. Next time we will check what is above and below us, and for anyone travelling on the Sun do not book rooms on the fourth floor aft end of the ship! The Sun is a smaller ship and swimming pool deck chairs were hard to come by. People would "save" their chairs all day, leaving pool towels to hold their spot while they ate or attended functions. We didn't manage to get a poolside chair for most of the trip until evening, and then staff would put the chairs away so there was no enjoying an evening under the stars! I found this irritatingl, especially since we could enjoy quiet in our rooms we would have loved to sit outside later in the evening. I could understand during the rough seas, but while we were in the Carribean it would have made sense to leave chairs out later into the evening for people to enjoy. Some days into the cruise deck chairs began appearing on deck 6 where the walking track is, and we were able to grab a couple of those. The entertainment was good, probably not as elaborate as Celebrity or Princess, but enjoyable! We attended most shows, skipping the magician, and the "adult comedy" show. Bingo is stupidly expensive, we would have enjoyed a few games if it wasn't so pricey. There is loads of nightly dancing, some sing alongs, lots of different styles of bands, and entertaining game shows. Something for everyone! I do like Norwegian, we really had great times and not so great on this cruise...a bit of a mixture. Will we do Norwegian again?? Well probably, but with caution. I guess this will apply to any cruise lines, I will ask questions about room locations for sure. For the Panama I would really recommend a larger ship, there is only one outside forward deck where the view is really good, The other forward outside deck has plexiglass which makes it difficult to see through. The ship behind us had about 4 decks at the front, making it really nice for the Panama transition. We got up early to secure a spot (5:00 am), but by 7 there were so many people crowding in we went down to deck 6 and watched from the sides of the ship. The staff are great, very friendly and helpful. Professional. The ship is comfortable and easy to find your way around. Most of the tours we did were very informative and fun, except for LA. Again we booked onboard for Beaches, rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills. Once on the bus we were told buses could no longer stop on Rodeo Drive and drive through Beverly Hills. We let the cruise staff know about this, and were given a comp bottle of wine. Our travel companions did the same tour except they were downtown La and Rodeo Drive, they were refunded their money when they complained. These tours should be cancelled, they are not what they say they are! Book smart....and your trip with Norwegian will be awesome! Oh, the spa, they are great, but heavy on the sales of oils etc. I let them know up front I wasn't buying anything but a message..it was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our cabin was awesome and we really enjoyed having a balcony. Entertainment in the theatre was really quite good, and the group that played every night in the Observation lounge were excellent, but the rest of the music was only fair, ... Read More
Our cabin was awesome and we really enjoyed having a balcony. Entertainment in the theatre was really quite good, and the group that played every night in the Observation lounge were excellent, but the rest of the music was only fair, especially the guitar player and the piano player. I enjoy Free-Style Dining, but Free-Style Cruising is too much ! Jeans and stained Auto-Body T-shirts in the dining room should not be acceptable. I am on a luxury liner and would like to feel that I am on a luxury vacation. I don't need formal nights, but insisting on smart casual would be far better than what we saw on this cruise. I am not a snob, but I really felt this was inappropriate. We sailed Norwegian in the Baltic a few years ago and loved it. Whether Norwegian has gone down-hill, or just this ship, I am not sure. The food was passable only, with few choices and mostly the same choices every night. I do not go to the specialty restaurants as I feel the main dining rooms should be wonderful as well, and up to this cruise, which is our 10th cruise, I have previously been very satisfied. This is the first negative review I have ever written about a cruise. The port of Astoria should not be a port that cruiseships stop at. Waste of time. Why not Seattle ?? We also had to line up for 1.5 hours to get onto the ship - terrible - never experienced that before, either. Hopefully Norwegian will pull up their socks, but I will never know, because I won't sail Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Norwegian Sun Repositioning Cruise LA to Vancouver BC - May, 2009 A group of friends and family joined the Norwegian Sun for the three night repositioning cruise from LA to Vancouver BC.  Below are some thoughts on the ship, and on ... Read More
Norwegian Sun Repositioning Cruise LA to Vancouver BC - May, 2009 A group of friends and family joined the Norwegian Sun for the three night repositioning cruise from LA to Vancouver BC.  Below are some thoughts on the ship, and on repositioning cruises. EMBARKATIONBecause of the swine flu scare it took longer than normal to embark.  We arrived at 11:55 and were not on board till 2:10 PM.  This would have been OK, if we had been given better information about the reasons, and also better direction when we were in the boarding area.  Direction in the boarding area consisted of one security guard yelling at people to stay back from the boarding line until your group number was called.  The few times he used the public address system he bellowed into it.  An NCL representative could have given the directions, and would likely have done so with more grace and charm. NORWEGIAN SUN - THE SHIPWe had previously taken the same journey aboard the Norwegian Star, so it was fun to compare the two ships.  The Sun is a smaller ship, which gave us more of a "homey" feeling, and made it easy to find our way around.  The downside is that there are fewer venues, so there is less variety.  The shopping on board was also more limited.  The ship was clean, comfortable and well maintained.  The cabin was nice, standard sized (balcony on the Fjord deck).  Bathroom was smaller than I've experienced in other ships, but was very efficiently laid out with an innovate circular design.  Certainly enough room to do everything that was needed. ENTERTAINMENTThis was probably the best aspect of the trip for me (apart from just being at sea!).  The Jean Ann Ryan Company was very good, with a Cirque de Soleil style show.  The comedian was funny, thinking well on his feet. The magician was also very good. Two things which could have done with improvement were the Martini "lesson" at "NCL U" where the staff member was difficult to understand, and the staff seemed unprepared for the number of people who turned up.  A passenger, who had taken the same "course" on board another ship said they did a better job, and had actually been able to mix the drinks themselves and so could learn more. The other demonstration was the towel folding, which was fun but again the staff member was difficult to understand. FOOD The food was very nice.  If you like to have a sit-down lunch when you first board, then check the various full service restaurants.  I was told by one crew member that no full service restaurant was available, but walked to Seven Seas and found they were serving lunch.   Similarly, if you like a full service breakfast check around.  On our trip they were serving full service breakfasts in the restaurants.  However, you had to check the daily paper, since they would direct you to a different restaurant if you were not in the one which was assigned to your cabin. STAFFStaff were very friendly, and dealt promptly with problems and concerns.  We noted that a lot of new staff came on board for our trip, and they were not fully up and running on how things worked.  We wondered if this partly due to this being a repositioning cruise.  Also, restaurants and housekeeping seemed to be short-staffed at times.  However, the staff's can do attitude made up for a lot. One thing which we appreciated was that the number of announcements over the public address system was limited.  The Captain spoke once a day (around 10:00 AM), and the Cruise Director made some announcements, which were not piped into the private cabin areas, which we very much appreciated. SERVICEService at times was sporadic.  For housekeeping, errors were made in each of the four cabins which we had.  Examples include: coffee makers weren't present, informational binders were missing, mattress toppers were not on the bed despite being requested, soap wasn't provided (despite two requests).  One cabin was not made up till about 3:00 PM, and the cabin steward apologized saying that his partner was at training that day. One complaint often heard is that you are continuously pressed to buy drinks on the mass market ships.  We actually found that this wasn't the case, except for the evenings in the Dazzles Nightclub. One notably poor area of service was the East meets West Steakhouse, where other diners were getting up to try and get the servers' attention.  The food there was wonderful however. FINAL THOUGHTS & REPO CRUISESDespite the issues raised above, we enjoyed our three nights aboard.  My cabin was a balcony on the Fjord deck (Deck 9) which was very quiet.  This deck is sandwiched between two other accommodations decks, which I try for, since I believe it makes for a quieter cabin.  Fellow Cruisers - A mixture of people and ages.  A think the destination, lack of port calls, and cooler weather made for a mellower crowd.  Still fun, and folks were having fun, but it was not a "booze cruise," which we appreciated. We also very much liked that there was no enforced "formal night" aboard.  Norwegian Cruise Lines' "Freestyle" cruising ethic means that you can dress formally if you wish to, but it is definitely not required.  NCL is The repositioning (repo) cruises make for a nice short break, and are a good way to try cruising if you just want to get taste.  Be advised that these types of cruises do not focus as much on port calls. Our trip did not have any intermediate stops, so we were at sea from Thursday evening till Sunday morning.  Also, some aspects (such as midnight chocolate buffet) which you might get on a longer cruise, are often not provided. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
We were a party of 21 going on a 3 day Pacific Coastal cruise on board Norwegian Sun. Most of us had not cruised with Norwegian before. We had 2 sets of grandparents in their early seventies, 3 sets of middle aged parents with 3 University ... Read More
We were a party of 21 going on a 3 day Pacific Coastal cruise on board Norwegian Sun. Most of us had not cruised with Norwegian before. We had 2 sets of grandparents in their early seventies, 3 sets of middle aged parents with 3 University students, one 15 yr old High school daughter and a 7 year old who had not cruised before. The other members of our group were female, travelling without their respective families and spouses. Most of us had been on cruises before with other cruise lines. Ship Details: 935 crew, 1936 guests, 78,309 Gross tonnage 11 restaurants, 11 bars and Lounges, Body Waves spa and Beauty Salon, Sports court, fitness Centre, Stardust Lounge, Sun Club Casino, Internet cafe, Lifestyle room(gym- open 24 hours), Kid's Korner, Dazzles Nightclub, 2 Swimming pools, Kid's pool and 5 Hot Tubs. Embarkation: This was extremely slow as the computers were not running. They sat most of us down and offered juice, cookies and banana bread. Once the computers were up and running, it was another slow wait as most of the crew checking us in were trainees, who were confused and unsure of what they were doing. We found it a complete waste of time for us to have completed our advance guest registration information with our credit card information etc. as they asked for the same information all over again. NCL needs to improve on this. Cabins: We received a complimentary upgrade from oceanview to Balcony for our family of 4. It was adequate and well laid out. We liked the ample pull out drawers and basketlike shelves in our closet. Bathroom was slightly bigger than what we had previously experienced on Princess. We had a queen size bed and a pull out sofa bed The queen size bed was more comfortable than the sofa bed. Our comforters were light and comfortable. But our pillows were too small and soft. Most of us had to ask for extra pillows. Places to Eat- Garden Cafe on Deck 11- This buffet eating area was small compared to other Princess and Celebrity ships we had been on. Most people were able to sit in the deck area in the aft section or towards midship where the pool was located. But this would only work if the weather was favorable. The menu choice was better than what we were accustomed to. We had Tilipia, Vegetarian Indian curries, standard choice of salads, roast beef, fried chicken, cold cuts, fruit, soups, coffee, ice tea, tea, milk. Our kids were disappointed that there was no punch or any other drinks available. Dinner - We made reservations for 18 of us on the 1st night relatively easily at the reservation desk on Deck 5 at one of the main dining rooms - Four Seasons Main Restaurant located on Deck 5 Midship Menu selection was okay. There were 2 different kinds of salads available - Caesar salad or Garden salad with your choice of standard dressing. There was a choice of hot or chilled soup. My husband enjoyed his chilled peach soup. Main entree comprised of fish, chicken, beef and vegetarian curry (somewhat similar to what we had at lunch). Dessert selection was adequate. Pacific Heights - On deck 11- Light cooking meals offered here. My parents went there with their friends for dinner on their last night . They had Boston clam chowder, perch and mussels for dinner. All booth seats were located along the window, giving everyone an ocean view. They enjoyed their dinner here. Again, would recommend making reservations here as the sitting area is cosy. No cover charge here. During lunch , you will find the pasta and pizza station here. Seven Seas Main Restaurant: Located on Deck 5 Aft - A larger dining area than Four Seasons. We had lunch twice here and dinner on our last night. This place presented the food in a more traditional way than Four Seasons. We preferred the service and food here than Four Seasons. On our last night most of us had Prime rib. I had tilapia with light Thai coconut curry sauce and Jasmine rice. We also ordered Veal. For soup, we had the choice of Tomato bisque or chilled avocado with shrimp. Dessert was sherbet, light apple pie or kiwi pie. Sandwich station - Sorry, cannot recall where it was located - either on Deck 11 or Deck 12. There were signs posted by the elevators giving people Lunch station options. I thought this was an excellent idea. Other eating places: With cover charge: iL Adagio restaurant located on Deck 5 - Italian dinner. This was one of the best dinner! 7 of us had reserved this place as our dinner choice for our second night. It cost $10 per person, but we found out after we had booked that if you booked between 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm, it was 50% off. So, we lucked out as our reservations had been made for 6:00 pm. We had 2 really efficient and friendly waitress. Sri was from Indonesia and the other lady was from Romania. They sat us in booth like seats - 4 in one booth and the other 3 in a booth right beside us. All booths faced the window, thereby giving us oceanview at all times. It was a spectacular way to dine. Our Caesar salad came with 4 huge prawns. Our table had grilled Swordfish, Rack of Lamb and Chicken Parmesan. We also had smoked salmon bowtie pasta and mushrooms as a side dish. For dessert we had a very light cheesecake made from Ricotta cheese with raspberry sauce on the side, Tiramisu and decadent chocolate ball. Our evening was topped off by a cup of Cappuccino. We highly recommend you make reservations here when you first get onto the ship as it was difficult to get reservations for subsequent nights at any hour. East Meets West Steakhouse- Located on Deck 12 - We did not eat here, but my best friend ate here with her 2 girlfriends. They preferred our Italian dinner the night before. Le Bistro French Restaurant - Deck 12 - Las ramblas Tapas Bar and Restaurant - Deck 12 Ginza - Deck 12 Teppanyaki - Deck 12 Sushi bar - Deck 12 Breakfast: Buffet at Garden cafe on Deck 11 - this is where we had our breakfast. omelette station at Las ramblas Tapas - deck 12 - 3 families went here on the day we were at Astoria. They enjoyed their choice of omelettes. Sit down at Seven Seas restaurant Waffle station at Le Bistro - on Deck 12 Bars and Lounges - We hung out mainly at Dazzles nightclub (Deck 6)- watched Comedian shows, the Newly wed and not so newly wed show, Adult only Humour show, DJ disco dancing, Motown night with a band, 70's groovy night with Village people look alike, Austin Power look alike. They had smoking section and non smoking section - which we did not enjoy as even though we sat in the non smoking area, we could still smell the smoke. NCL should have non smoking at all public places and perhaps have a designated smoking room or corner of a deck for smokers. We also went to the Observation Lounge on Deck 12 - where they had a tribute to Celine Dion and mainly ballroom dancing kind of music. Stardust Lounge - Located on Deck 5 and 6 Aft - First night's show was an assortment of the different performers on board the ship. Second night was a juggling comedian and the final night was a Broadway musical type of show featuring Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Cats. Recommend you skip the first 2 nights and head only to the final show. Galleria Shops - Deck 7 - Good selection of jewelry, gift items and Duty free alcohol and cigarettes. Casino - Tacky colors, hot and could smell smoke as they allowed smoking in certain areas. Sports- Deck 12 - Golf Driving Net, Batting cages, Shuffle board, Basketball/Volleyball court - NCL should replace basketball and Volleyballs. Hot Tub - in them middle of the regular pool. Splash Kid's pool was located in a quiet corner with kid size colorful deck chairs. Gym- Deck 11 - Loved the idea of a 24 hour gym. Good selection of exercise equipment. Went to a stretching class from 7:30 am to 8:00 am and then joined the low impact Aerobic class from 8:00 am to 8:30 am. Jogging/ Walking track: Deck 6 - This was a good place to go jogging or to walk around the ship several times after a meal. We enjoyed doing this several times around the ship. Teen Club- For 13 - 17 year olds. Teen registration began at 5 Pm on Deck 7, Fwd on the first day. Activities for the first night - Ultimate teen scavenger Hunt, Showtime in the theatre, Battle of the Sexes - Guys vs . Girls and Teen club hangout. On the second day, while at sea, there was Ping pong Tournament, Casino Craze Poker, Roulette, Horse racing - played just for fun, no gambling involved. Man Hunt -Can you find him, Smoothie tasting, Teen only Hot Tubbing, Hunt it Down and Wear it Well, Wii Tournament. Final day - after our return from Astoria - Gong Karaoke, Matrix Hunt, Survivor Challenge and Farewell Fun. Our 15 year old enjoyed herself even though there not too many teens on board. She came back to our cabin with several door prizes - towels, back back, non alcoholic cocktail drink coupons. Kid's Korner - Deck 7 - For the younger kids. Registration also began at 5 Pm on our first day. Good assortment of activities to keep the younger kids occupied. Astoria - We had reserved 2 compacts and 1 van so that we could drive to Seaside, which is about a 20 minute drive. There is also an outlet factory with Niki, Van Huesen, Liz Claiborne, Eddy Bauer, Paper factory, Jones of New York - located just before you turn into Seaside. Seaside is also worth visiting as you can walk along the promenade and the shops as well as along the beach. Disappointment was that we had to tender in , so we ended up arriving on the Maritime museum side, while our rental cars were waiting on the pier side where Holland America had docked. We tried calling Enterprise car rental several times, but no one answered. We found out later, they offered our reserved vehicles to passengers from HAL as they said they were on a first come first served basis. Why bother taking reservations then? Guess when you are the only car rental agency in town, customer service and customer loyalty means absolutely nothing. Will never rent from Enterprise again. We ended up taking 2 van taxis to Seaside. They also arranged to pick us up from Seaside or the outlet mall once we were ready to head back to our ship. Our taxi driver Zak - gave us a short drive through the main downtown shopping area of Astoria. Name of this taxi company is Coast shuttle - offering cheap reliable transportation , 24 hours a day. They charged us $30 each way. We were able to sit 6 passengers in one van and 7 in the other. All in all, we enjoyed our first experience with freestyle cruising with NCL. Although the food quality and menu selection was not as varied at what we had experienced with Celebrity and Princess, we found the ship to be a good size, easy to get around in and relatively friendly crew. There were a few female waitress on the buffet floor who could have smiled more, perhaps they were tired and needed more shore leave. The men in our group loved not having to dress up in their shirt and tie or Tuxedo. The ladies dressed up on our final night just to have our own formal night. We also thought it was very fitting that the final song at the Broadway show - Hey, Mr. Producer was "We are Family", by the group Sister Sledge, as we were truly " We are family" on board the Norwegian Sun and we exited the Stardust Lounge singing this song! Disembarkation: Very smooth - We had breakfast around 7:45 am, left our cabin at 8:40 am and made our way to Deck 5 where the Atrium was located and walked off with our cabin luggage. Not much of a wait time at Canada Customs. It is truly amazing that Canada Customs is so much faster at Canada Place, considering we have at least 1900 passengers disembarking at staggered times. Vancouver Airport Customs could learn from Canada Place customs. We have always had huge line ups at the Airport. One slight snag was the lack of taxi service due to Vancouver Marathon which closed off many of the downtown streets, thereby diverting buses and taxis. We tried to wait for a taxi van, but was informed by NCL representatives that we would be better off walking up to Pan Pacific or any of the other downtown hotels to hail a cab. We opted for the 98B line(express bus service to Richmond) instead. We walked to the front of the Seabus terminal to catch the 98B line , but realized that there would be no buses running here either due to the Marathon, so had to go in full circle to catch the 98B line on Burrard street, infront of Hyatt Regency. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
We took 5-day the Pacific Coastal repositioning cruise from L.A. to Vancouver on 5/3/05. We have sailed on 25+ cruises on several different lines. This was our second recent cruise on NCL (went to Alaska on the Star last August/Sept.). ... Read More
We took 5-day the Pacific Coastal repositioning cruise from L.A. to Vancouver on 5/3/05. We have sailed on 25+ cruises on several different lines. This was our second recent cruise on NCL (went to Alaska on the Star last August/Sept.). Embarkation in L.A. was smooth with no wait. We arrived at about 3 p.m. to avoid the rush. Staff greeted us pleasantly and gave directions to our cabin. (Not like the Star, where we were met by a staff member who carried our carry-ons to our cabin.) There were plenty of elevators available on the ship, and we easily found our cabin. It was a Category BB balcony cabin, very clean, with a comfortable Queen (plus) mattress and four pillows, sofa, and plenty of storage space for two. It also had a refrigerator that kept our beverages really cold, and a safe. The only negative about the cabin was the size of the bathroom/shower. I have sailed on a lot of ships over the years and this was definitely the smallest shower ever! I would say 1/4th the size of the shower in our ocean view (non-balcony) cabin on the Star last summer. In addition, the chairs on the balcony were tiny---almost children's size. My husband brought out the desk chair to be comfortable. We enjoyed the itinerary. The first two days at sea were relaxing, and Seattle and Victoria are familiar but very enjoyable ports. I found it odd that the cruise staff didn't give the usual "port lectures" and did not have maps of either port available on board. We found maps in the terminal in Seattle, and Victoria had their lovely "greeters" in period dress handing out maps on shore. This was OK for us since we had been to these cities several times before, but for new visitors there was very little advance information available. Food: We love Freestyle, and that is one of the reasons we have tried NCL twice lately. However, the quality of food was our one major problem with this cruise. The quality of food in both the main dining rooms and buffet has declined noticeably on NCL in recent years. This time there were only two of the five nights where there was an entree even remotely of interest in the main dining rooms, and the buffet food at lunch and dinner was unappetizing. (The buffet breakfasts were fine, with a wide array of choices.) NCL's effort to cut food costs and steer passengers to the "alternative" (fee) restaurants is obvious. At main dining room dinners, both the combination of foods and seasonings/sauces were strange, there was no beef option some nights, the typical cruise fare of shrimp entrees, rack of lamb, prime rib or even roast turkey/dressing were nowhere to be seen. Fish was dry and I could swear that the "Mahi Mahi" was some other, cheaper type of fish (it bore no taste resemblance to any other Mahi Mahi I have ever eaten---I could only swallow a few bites), appetizers and soups were few and low in quality. Service was inconsistent---wrong appetizer delivered one night, one appetizer forgotten the next. The buffet dinner offerings the nights we looked it over were fried, overcooked, soggy, or strange combinations again. My expectations were realistic. I have been a convention/meeting planner and know what to expect in banquet-quality food. This was many steps below. We tried two alternative restaurants. The sushi bar was excellent and the whole staff in the Ginza area was wonderful. We also had the Teppanyaki one night---again, the food and service were outstanding. We also tried the East Meets West steakhouse. The appetizers and desserts were outstanding, service very professional and friendly, steak was good. Entertainment: We enjoyed the Jean Ann Ryan dancers and singers. They are a step above the dancers/singers on other lines. We also enjoyed the musicians in several smaller venues. The variety and types of music offered were very much to our taste. Internet access: The ship's personnel promoted it actively throughout the cruise, but when I went to sign up for a time package in order to check in to our return flights, service was down and not expected to be restored any time during my cruise. I guess that message never got to the promoters. Staff: In general the staff members at all levels were professional, friendly, and courteous. The reception desk ("pursers" on most ships) staff we encountered were the only exception---but that is typical of many ships. They remind me of those credit card commercials where the staff is trained to say "no" in all situations. Can you exchange U.S. for Canadian dollars---no. Do you have any one-dollar bills---no. Do you have a map of Seattle---no. Do you have a Seattle yellow pages---no. Do you have a copy of the menu for tonight in the Seven Seas---no.......... Conclusions: Despite the very nice ships and staff, I don't think we will choose NCL again due to the poor food quality. In fact, we had been considering whether to do a land-based vacation or a cruise on NCLA to Hawaii next year, and this cruise caused us to choose the land-based option. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
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

Find a Norwegian Sun Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click