2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I’m a 34 year old male who traveled solo on the Norwegian Sun for the full-ship charter called the Groove Cruise. The charter was from October 28 to November 2, 2016. This was my 36th cruise and 23rd time with Norwegian. I had been on ... Read More
I’m a 34 year old male who traveled solo on the Norwegian Sun for the full-ship charter called the Groove Cruise. The charter was from October 28 to November 2, 2016. This was my 36th cruise and 23rd time with Norwegian. I had been on the Norwegian Sun previously in 2008. I’ve tried out other cruise lines including Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival. What follows is a review of the cruise and some mentions of entertainment as they were experienced. Embarkation: San Diego The embarkation was better compared to this past Miami Groove Cruise on Norwegian Pearl. There was a miscommunication between the port security, port check in vendor and the NCL corporate security team about NCL’s wine and champagne policy at the beginning. SMS who does their port side operations worked with the other two to get this problem straightened out and a table was setup to pay the corkage fee. NCL was trying not to honor their wine and champagne carry-on policy clearly stated on their website. No information saying this wouldn’t be allowed on charters was ever provided to guests. NCL also on this sailing would not honor the soda package which they did offer on the Norwegian Pearl in January because “it was a charter.” Not sure what NCL’s corporate policy changes at the last minute were trying to accomplish but at the beginning of embark it caused some tense moments in the embark terminal. Once the wine and champagne was worked out, the rest of the embarkation was smooth and efficient. Day 1: San Diego Touring the Ship: The Norwegian Sun is an older ship in the Norwegian fleet. She had just been in a shortened technical dry dock earlier this year so her carpeting was refreshed and overall she looked amazing. The Sun staff do a remarkable job keeping her looking fresh. Given that it was a music charter, the crew had to remove chairs from venues to make room for dancing. Dazzles tables and chairs were emptied out and so were the chairs on the main floor in the theater. The remaining chairs in the theater were covered with plastic sheeting to protect them from any spills. The observation lounge was transformed into a chill lounge with a large blow up igloo. It fit nicely into the lounge and made for some great late night relaxing moments. The pool deck was transformed into a dance venue with production equipment featuring LED walls, sound and lighting. The Great Outdoors venue was cleared of tables and chairs mostly to allow for dancing as the sunset sessions and after hours stages were located here. Stateroom: Oceanview 7007: The ocean view cabin was in great shape. Everything functioned as it should. The cabin steward did a great job of keeping it tidy. A bar of soap was provided in the bathroom besides the normal body wash and shampoo dispenser located in the shower. Due to the previous cruise taking longer to disembark, it put getting the pool stage setup behind schedule. Once it was setup music for the day could be found from Dannic, Thomas Newson and Bamboora. By night the ship transformed itself into a wonderland of glow and glitter as the night’s theme was Shine! This theme is always amazingly creative but always makes me feel bad for the crew as glitter is everywhere! Tonight’s main entertainment featured the sounds of Solidisco, Feenixpawl, EDX and Dancetronauts in the main theater. Other venues on the ship going at night included the casino and the silent disco in Las Ramblas. Day 2: SEA DAY Sleep is hard to come by on Groove Cruise. If you’re getting too much sleep then you’re not doing it right. After about 4 hours of sleep it was time to start day 2 of GC and head to the on-going after hours located at the Great Outdoors with sounds from Pirupa, Mendo and Jaime Narvaez. A standard breakfast buffet was served in the buffet. The main pool stage started up around 11AM with the sounds of Kristina Sky. The day would continue under the sun with the sounds of Kryder and Tom Starr back to back along with Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano. The fun really started when the sunset with live beats from Goldfish who played saxophone right on the pool deck with the beats. This set was amazing! EDX and Antonio Giacca wrapped up the pool deck stage. At 3PM, a giant Twister game was in the sports court. It had a lot of attendees and was a ton of fun. Since it overlooked the pool stage in the basketball court, you were not out of ear shot or visual site of all the action going on poolside. Day time theme was Baby Blue & Pink Party (wear blue or pink). Once the sun had set it was time for the theater to get going along with Dazzles Disco and the Silent Disco in Las Ramblas. Tonight’s entertainment featured the sounds of Bamboora, Thomas Newson, Dannic, Paris and Simo, Monoky, Lujan, Doc Brown & many more supporting artists. The theater was the hopping venue for the night until it closed about 5AM. Tonight’s night theme was dress up like your favorite Celebrity. Many unofficial themes would be had this night. I dressed up as a Minion because they’re a celebrity too! Day 3: CABO SAN LUCAS – DAY 1 After grabbing about four hours of sleep, I rejoined the last couple of hours at the Great Outdoors where the Abyss by Incorrect had moved to. During the early morning hours until Noon featured the music of Anthony Attalla and Cocodrills. Since our arrival was scheduled for Noon into Cabo, there was a few hours of music provided poolside by DMorse and Doc Brown. Doc Brown continued to play pool side until 3PM – well beyond our arrival into Cabo. The party then moved off the ship to ME Cabo. This beach resort hotel had an expansive pool space. Extra equipment was brought in to make it a party for Groove Cruise and it went from 1PM until Midnight with the sounds of Scotty Boy, Croatia Squad, Jonas Blue, Robin Schulz, Denney, Sian and DUBFIRE who was the lead for the night party. The all day theme was Groove Cruise 3000 but it turned more into a pool party day and night. After midnight the party moved to Breathless Cabo which was closer to the tender pier. The night kicked off with the sounds of Lavelle Dupree and continued with Shaun Frank, Dean Mason and featured artist Lost Kings. Between the two venues, I liked the layout of Breathless Cabo more. Less guests went to the Breathless party as there was also an after hours going on the ship. Abyss by Incorrect this night featured the sounds of Toolroom artists Weiss, Mark Knight, Prok and Fitch and closed out with Sydney Blu. DAY 4: CABO The party moved back to the ship around 4AM but I returned about 2AM. When I woke up, Prok and Fitch was still playing at the Great Outdoors. The pool deck stage got going around 11AM and stayed active until the ship weighed anchor and headed back for San Diego. The biggest entertainer of the afternoon was Fedde LeGrand. Since it was Halloween Day, it was Halloween costumes both day and night for the themes. Tonight was the best night of the cruise in my opinion. Trance all night in the Stardust Theater from Adam Scott, Kristina Sky, Orjan Nilsen, Gareth Emery and Super 8 & Tab. It was an amazing night in the theater with friends both old and new on Groove Cruise. Gareth Emery’s set was everything in the world that night. Loved every last minute of it. Orjan Nilsen through down a mean set as well. Kristina Sky is an up and coming artist from the West Coast and her sets are just amazing. It’s my third time experiencing her style on Groove Cruise. DAY 5: SEA DAY Technically the day began a midnight when I was still in the theater until about 4AM. The day began with the Devils and Angels daytime theme only Mother Nature was not cooperating as it was cold, windy and not so sunny. After hours was again on the back deck at the Great Outdoors as it was the most sheltered from the wind. The wind would mess up the main pool stage as well and cause removal of the LED walls. The wind didn’t stop us! Klingande’s playground was on the chilly pool deck all afternoon and while the theme may have been devils and angels, people resorted to onesies to keep warm but still dance. Afternoon beats included sets from Solidisco, Moon Boots, Klingande, SNBRN, Shaun Frank and Stanton Warriors. After a lovely dinner in the mid-ship Four Seasons main dining room, it was time to grab some serious sleep! Sleep is hard to come by on Groove Cruise and you must get some sleep before disembark day. I slept until 2:30AM and got up to catch the last of Audien’s set in the theater before heading upstairs to the Great Outdoors for the closing classics party with Chocolate Puma, DJ Dan and lastly DSK CHK as we were tying up the ropes to the pier in San Diego. DAY 6: DISEMBARK Foreign guests were required to go to the Observation Lounge between 6A and 8A to present themselves to customs. Some guests were not paying attention and this caused delays for everyone else trying to get off the boat. Since the music had stopped, some guests had gone back to their cabin and fell asleep. Disembarkation took much longer than anticipated running well after 11AM. When I did finally get off the ship and clear customs, the lines had abated. NCL did the best they could with disembark given how sleep deprived the guests were. SUMMARY Overall this review was more about the Groove Cruise experience instead of an actual review of the Norwegian Sun. Groove Cruise has many ways to save including the usage of codes like GCVIRGIN which help both new and returning guests. The crew on the Sun were happy to see us and had a blast right alongside us. Service was amazing the whole trip from the dining room to bar staff to guest services. While the food served in the Four Seasons main dining room was a bit salty sometimes, the new fleet menu had various tasty selections. Crew members who were not generally working because the cruise ship did not need production cast, other entertainers and youth counselors were out and about and being helpful for a few hours a day. You would see them with us having a great time too! Minus the Norwegian Cruise Line corporate office trying to change the wine and champagne policy for charters and changing the policy about the soda package on charters, Groove Cruise Cabo was a great success! In case you did not know the Groove Cruise sails twice a year, West Coast in October and Miami in January! Looking forward to the next Groove Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Best Cruise of 10 we have taken, until time to disembark. Then total disorganization Like they have never done it before. Kept telling non English speaking passenger to report somewhere so that ship could be cleared for customs. kept ... Read More
Best Cruise of 10 we have taken, until time to disembark. Then total disorganization Like they have never done it before. Kept telling non English speaking passenger to report somewhere so that ship could be cleared for customs. kept everyone on board for 1.5 hours while they kept announcing in English for them to report. This system is bound to fail and they need to have a prearranged system to let these passengers know what to do, such as printed instruction in their language. Need to take a lesson from the other cruise line on how to disembark passengers. I have never had this problem before on other cruise lines. Also took long time in lines to board in San Diego. Here again they need to see how other line do it much better. Other than slow boarding we though this was the most enjoyable cruise we have ever taken. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The ship was clean and well maintained with nice public space. The pool was lively with food and choice of bars for sun lovers and foodies. The MDR was attractive and we enjoyed only 1 lunch there as we had the dinning package. The service ... Read More
The ship was clean and well maintained with nice public space. The pool was lively with food and choice of bars for sun lovers and foodies. The MDR was attractive and we enjoyed only 1 lunch there as we had the dinning package. The service was good and our food was hot. The buffet had many choices for breakfast and with opening seating aft really enjoyable. I found that the small station by the aft seating to be the best for cooked to order eggs as most passengers do not go back there. The reason I would go there is they serve breakfast late and I like to get out and change things. We were suite passengers and had cabin 9076. It is aft and has two rooms and a large balcony. We feel if you are paying for a suite these penthouses with 2 rooms offer the best cabins without the wind from the bow. Lavassa coffee machine is wonderful. The bed was great and faced the sliding door for a great view. However, the AC was not working and although they tried to fix it, it never worked correctly. Overall our disappointment is with NCL and not their people. The service charges for suite passengers is the highest and the people we depend are not part of the pool. Go figure this. Beware you will be charges for water, soda, specialty coffee and anything else they can think of. Try another cruise line for better value. Also if you want to adjust you Service Charges you have to apply after you disembark. We are still waiting! The ports were wonderful and do offer the access to the beautiful beaches of Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
2nd cruise on Norwegian, previous one in 2012, found they had developed even more ways to take your $'s than before. If you'd succumbed to some of their newest $ grabs. Raffles, higher gratuities etc. you could easily go over ... Read More
2nd cruise on Norwegian, previous one in 2012, found they had developed even more ways to take your $'s than before. If you'd succumbed to some of their newest $ grabs. Raffles, higher gratuities etc. you could easily go over your budget. Fortunately we had prepaid our shore excursions, gratuities and dining packages. Our biggest issue was that many people had unlimited beverage packages and the bars didn't seem to stop serving them when they should. At times it felt that we were on a party ship. We both had the unlimited beverage cards given to us as part of our cruise package, and enjoyed them in moderation each day. Very glad to have done this cruise and see new places and meet new friends, many of them that we met thanks to Cruise Critic. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We love NCL and enjoyed our cruise but I did notice some issues I normally do not see with NCL. I do not know if this is due to the change of the CEO and I know this ship will go to dry dock in the spring. I felt the service was off and ... Read More
We love NCL and enjoyed our cruise but I did notice some issues I normally do not see with NCL. I do not know if this is due to the change of the CEO and I know this ship will go to dry dock in the spring. I felt the service was off and seemed like they needed more staff for the bars and by the pool. Little confusion with getting off the ship that I have never experienced before. Also felt the entertainment was not as good as it normally was. We have purchased a deposit for a future cruise and will have to wait and see what happens in the future. We are Platinum with NCL so we have cruised many times with them and always have been extremely happy. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We knew, going in, that Norwegian’s FOOD was rated as sub par in the Cruise industry. However, we got to experience it first hand. Luke Warm Coffee & entrees & room temperature salads. How can ya mess up traditional “Hot ... Read More
We knew, going in, that Norwegian’s FOOD was rated as sub par in the Cruise industry. However, we got to experience it first hand. Luke Warm Coffee & entrees & room temperature salads. How can ya mess up traditional “Hot & Sour Soup” , a “STANDARD” in the Chinese Food Tradition, the Norwegian Chef sure did. Stale Baguettes thru the 3rd day. Flat Soda in most every Bar. And when mixed in a spendy drink, that’s a Sin! Does NCL realize that there are still folks who like to dress up for dinner? Why then would not NCL try to seat those who make the "Effort" to present themselves well attired, in one general section, to PRESERVE the AMBIANCE that they made a EXTRA Effort to get dressed up for at their dining table(s)? The Collared Shirt Requirement was not enforced in BOTH Dining Rooms. Then, there was the Cruise director’s Staff who apparently took his “lead” relative to not knowing how to wear a Jacket properly. Fashionably Tacky! Finally, the DANCE music was terrible. YES, there are people who still appreciate dancing on Cruises. And the measure of a DJ’s or Band’s ability is reflected in how many are on the floor for their musical renditions. The DJ did not know what a danceable BIG BAND music selection was each nite?! (Hiring a DJ who is not a "Dancer" is a Sin!) The Show Band played, apparently for their own satisfaction, in the Observation Lounge and their Jazz assortment was generally undancable judging from the handful of people who attempted then sat back down . People not only appreciate a band’s Sound but their VISUAL APPEARANCE is reflective of a Cruise Line's Extra Attention to this matter which adds so much to any Show Room or Dance Lounge. Hanger 70’s music was okay but their Stage Presence really needs some "Industrial Strength" work. No VISUAL Energy and they appeared comatose as if practicing in their Garage. The Apparent Lead Singer had not a clue of Stage presence, or voice projection in Particular. NET: Adios NCL,.....Your "Free Style" Concept and lack if attention to "detail" is perfecto for the "Great Un~Washed". We will get back to your Sister Cruise Lines that provide a few Owwwwww's & Awwwww's in providing unexpected WOW's. ADIOS! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first time cruising with NCL having sailed only with Princess on prior cruises. We went with no expectations and tried "not" to compare the Sun to the three Princess ships we had sailed but did find ourselves ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with NCL having sailed only with Princess on prior cruises. We went with no expectations and tried "not" to compare the Sun to the three Princess ships we had sailed but did find ourselves comparing a few times. Overall though we were very happy with the experience on board. A much more laid back crowd but then I guess that is what Freestyle cruising is all about. The ship, although a little smaller than the Grand, Golden and Ruby is still a large ship with plenty to keep you busy while at sea. Pool areas were often full during sea days with the good weather but generally were able to find a couple of seats within a short amount of time. Thought the entertainment was good with variety, They changed it up once or twice during the 11 days and brought new entertainers aboard. Food in the dining rooms was excellent IMO, and lunch and dinner in the Garden Cafe was generally quite good as well. The exact same breakfast options everyday get's to be a little boring, but, Princess was no different. We also had the free Ultimate Beverage Package which unlike Princess does not include bottled water, sparkling water or specialty coffees but considering they were throwing it in free with the room I'm not about to complain. We booked a guaranteed inside cabin but they dropped the price dramatically after booking so we called and were upgraded to a picture window ocean view ob deck 9 which was very nice. Enjoyed all ports of call. Acapulco, Manazanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Really not much to see in Manzanillo and all the newest development and resorts are to the North of the Port, although the old downtown is right in Port. All the staff for the most part were friendly. Jonas, Keiran. Elizabeth, Lucas at the bars were our favorite. Dining staff was good. And my wife really loved Encep our room steward who had a different Towel Animal each night we returned to our room. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our experience aboard NCL and I would sail with them again, especially if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We just returned from another cruise to Mexico on the Norwegian Sun. Overall the experience was good considering we have been on this ship 3 times and to all the ports except Manzanillo. (We originally signed up for this cruise in part ... Read More
We just returned from another cruise to Mexico on the Norwegian Sun. Overall the experience was good considering we have been on this ship 3 times and to all the ports except Manzanillo. (We originally signed up for this cruise in part because it listed Ixpata as one of the stops by it turned out to be Manzanillo). The personal service was good and a highlight of the trip. Our few minor complaints would include not having complimentary airline boarding pass printing at the end of the cruise, excessive smoke in the casino that permeated the entire atrium, and not being able to make a dinner reservation in the main dining rooms every night in order to be seated with the waitstaff of our choice. The room with a balcony perfectly located in the aft area was good with a comfortable bed and great service from the room steward. Because the price of this cruise was excellent, the weather was great, the Port of San Diego very functional and the ship staff outstanding I would recommend the Norwegian Sun as a good choice for a future cruise. (PS: we stayed at the Wyndham Bayside Hotel just across the street from the cruise terminal and the quality of the hotel and walking access to the cruise terminal as well as other tourist sites in San Diego enhanced the quality of our vacation.) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
As a world traveler with over 30 cruises and almost 100 countries we consider this our very worst cruise and cruise line ever! The food in the buffet was absolutely inedible. The Seven Seas Dining was only slightly better with lunches at ... Read More
As a world traveler with over 30 cruises and almost 100 countries we consider this our very worst cruise and cruise line ever! The food in the buffet was absolutely inedible. The Seven Seas Dining was only slightly better with lunches at least somewhat palatable. The Specialty dining faired between poor and good with Le Bistro and La Cucina being better than the others. There were a few venues for dancing but the music there was not danceable. Many of the crew seemed to be poorly trained and could not answer even the simplist queries...that is if they could understand you as many spoke very poor English. We booked this cruise even after reading many negative reviews because we liked the intinerary and very good price. However, this is most certainly our last cruise with NCL and we will return to Celebrity and Holland America which are so far superior! One positive thing is that the Norwegian Sun is a beautiful ship and is in very good shape for being over 15 years. But the powers that be need to rethink their business model and get their act together. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
The food was not as good as it used to be. We went to an afternoon tea and it was self service and paper cups. A little tacky. They added a $7.95 charge for room service per time. The entertainment was weak. There was a comedian a ... Read More
The food was not as good as it used to be. We went to an afternoon tea and it was self service and paper cups. A little tacky. They added a $7.95 charge for room service per time. The entertainment was weak. There was a comedian a couple of nights and a hypnotist a couple of nights. Reminder, this was an 11 night cruise. The dancers were fantastic. Thankfully there was a good group of cruise critic travelers and we had a good time getting to know our fellow passengers. There were a number of trips scheduled with our cruise critic group and that was nice, too. The activities scheduled by the Cruise critic passengers were some of the best parts of the cruise. The cabin stewards have so many cabins to clean that they are not able to do a good job in each cabin each day. It looked like he cleaned bathroom counters but went so quick my hair was stuck to different areas that he wiped including the mirrors and counter. Read Less
Norwegian Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 3.5 0.0
Value For Money 3.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find a Norwegian Sun Cruise

Email me when prices drop