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Norwegian Sun Review

Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation

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Norwegian Sun
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

Refurbished spaces boast clean, modern design; a plethora of tasty dining options abounds.

Cons

Buffets are often congested and signage is lacking; there are no water slides/water parks.

Bottom Line

Great overall experience with tons of dining and activity choices and itinerary options.


About

Passengers 1,936
Crew 906
Passenger to Crew 2.14:1
Launched 2001
Shore Excursions 453
Jodi Ornstein
Cruise Critic Cruise Critic Contributor

Norwegian Sun Overview

Built in 2001, Norwegian Sun underwent a three-week bow-to-stern renovation in May 2018, which resulted in refreshed staterooms, restaurants and public spaces, and three new venues -- Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

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Part of the cruise line's Norwegian Edge program -- which was designed to elevate the standard of excellence across its fleet -- the revitalized Norwegian Sun boasts lots of bright, open spaces both inside and out; cozy, intimate nooks throughout the ship; and signature favorites that are popular with Norwegian Cruise Line passengers. Ocean lovers will appreciate the amount of sea blues and wave-like design elements around the ship, from the atrium, various lounges and restaurants to staterooms and the spa.

The bright multi-deck atrium, complete with a large circular skylight at the top, is the hub of the ship and features three decks of shopping, lounging and learning about your cruise. Four inward-facing glass elevators make for great views of the action below. A midsized ship with less than 2,000 passengers (double occupancy), Norwegian Sun is big enough to offer plenty of onboard amenities and space, yet small enough to not feel overwhelming. Service is spot on, with crew members around the ship who are highly visible, friendly and eager to help, whether it's to point you in the direction of the lounge, answer a question about a shore excursion or handle a special stateroom request.

Norwegian Cruise Line favorites remain, such as the ship's fun, relaxed atmosphere and action-packed days and nights, its can't-miss sunshine hull artwork and the clever way of reminding passengers which direction they're going in stateroom hallways: The fish on the carpet swim forward (except of course, that one rebellious fish). Side note: Try the Rebellious Fish cocktail.


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in two main dining rooms, the Garden Cafe buffet and at the Sports Bar, Great Outdoors Cafe and Topsiders Bar and Grill; also continental breakfast room service choices
  • Main theater shows
  • Most activities unless otherwise noted
  • Use of the fitness center, but not most classes
  • Kids programming at the Splash Academy Kids club, except for late-night activities and mealtime supervision

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily service fees ($15 per person, per day for standard staterooms; $18 per person, per day for anyone in The Haven, Concierge cabins and all Suites)
  • Room service ($9.95 per order, waived for suites and continental breakfast orders)
  • Drinks, except water, tea, coffee and select juices from the buffet
  • Most specialty dining
  • Mandara Spa and Salon services and treatments
  • Automatic gratuity of 20 percent on all beverage purchases, as well as on all spa, salon and specialty dining reservations/appointments
  • Most fitness classes
  • Selected daily activities including but not limited to alcohol tasting, bingo, gameshows (such as Deal or No Deal) and casino gaming
  • The Splash Academy after-hours programs
  • Shore tours
  • Wi-Fi packages
  • Photos and artwork

Fellow Passengers

Norwegian Cruise Line generally attracts a younger crowd and Sun's value means there are lots of passengers coming from nearby in the United States. Known for being a family-friendly cruise line, there are younger families mixed with multigenerational travelers as well as some honeymooners and younger couples.

As with all Norwegian ships, passengers enjoy the casual onboard ambience, so you'll find plenty of fun, relaxed cruise mates, many who are loyal to the line and have sailed multiple times.


Norwegian Sun Dress Code

Daytime: Norwegian's casual dress code is about as relaxed as you can get. By day, pool wear and resort casual are acceptable around the ship.

Evening: At night, dress is "cruise casual," which means khakis, jeans, shorts, casual shirts and no tank tops for men and casual dresses, skirts, pants, capris, shorts, nice jeans and tops for women. In the evening, resort casual and shorts are allowed in all dining venues except Le Bistro and Seven Seas Restaurant. Tank tops, flip-flops or baseball caps are not allowed anywhere. One night per cruise features the chance to take photos with the captain, so many passengers choose to go all-out in their fancy clothes, especially if they scored an invite to the captain's cocktail party. Others still prefer to keep it casual and stick with shorts by the pool, which is perfectly fine as well. There is no formal policy onboard. Also, don't forget to pack you best whites for the White Hot Party, which is held every cruise.

Not permitted: As far as dining dress guidelines, during the day as well as in the Garden Cafe for breakfast, lunch or dinner, passengers must wear cover-ups, shirts and footwear. Some restaurants also require a collared shirt and slacks (shorts don't count).Tank tops and baseball caps are also never permitted.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Norwegian Cruise Line.


Norwegian Sun Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2018 Best for Cabins
2018 Best for Entertainment
2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2018 Best for Shore Excursions
2017 Best for Cabins
2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2017 Best for Shore Excursions
2016 Best Overall
2016 Best for Cabins
2016 Best for Embarkation
2016 Best for Entertainment
2016 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2016 Best for Public Rooms
2016 Best for Service
2016 Best for Shore Excursions
2016 Best for Value
2015 Best Overall
2015 Best for Cabins
2015 Best for Entertainment
2015 Best for Fitness
2015 Best for Service
2015 Best for Shore Excursions
2015 Best for Value
2014 Best Overall
2014 Best for Cabins
2014 Best for Dining
2014 Best for Entertainment
2014 Best for Fitness
2014 Best for Public Rooms
2014 Best for Service
2014 Best for Shore Excursions
2014 Best for Value
2013 Best Overall
2013 Best for Cabins
2013 Best for Dining
2013 Best for Embarkation
2013 Best for Entertainment
2013 Best for Fitness
2013 Best for Service
2013 Best for Shore Excursions
2013 Best for Value

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Norwegian Sun Member Reviews

Norwegian Sun
mjl125
Sail Date: Mar 2020
The ship was the Norwegian Sun....Read More
Norwegian Sun
janetamy
Sail Date: Oct 2019
My party originally booked on Royal Caribbean, but we wanted to go to Keywest so we changed to the Norwegian Sun....Read More
Norwegian Sun
CinnamonBlue
Sail Date: Sep 2019
The crew of the Norwegian Sun was polite and professional at all times. They were most helpful and always had a smile....Read More
Norwegian Sun
FranfromFL
Sail Date: Feb 2020
All in all, we enjoyed ourselves but I am not sure that I would recommend the Norwegian Sun and I don't think I would go on another Norwegian cruise. There are too many other choices out there....Read More

Norwegian Cruise Line Fleet