By Jodi Ornstein
Cruise Critic Cruise Critic Contributor
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

Norwegian Sun Entertainment & Activities

Theater

The two-deck 958-seat Stardust Lounge (Decks 6 and 7) welcomes you with a bright, large chandelier at its entrance, plush comfortable seating with cupholders and some with accompanying tables, and colors of rich burgundies and tans adorning the seats, the carpeting and the curtains. The lounge is the venue for a variety of evening stage shows including "Rock You Tonight," a musical tribute to rock icons such as Queen, Journey, The Who and Tina Turner; "World Beat," a theatrical showcase of cultures from around the world from New York City to South Africa to China; as well as comedians and other evening entertainment. There is one showing each night and seating is first come, first served. Doors usually open 30 minutes prior to show time. During the day, the theater is used for Bingo, movies, port shopping talks and other activities.

Daily Fun

Daytime activities run the gamut and include trivia contests about TV shows, music or more; interactive games in all forms such as bingo (with cash and cruise prizes), Scattergories and Deal or No Deal; Ping-Pong tournaments; various arts and crafts classes, including origami, card-making or napkin-folding; newly released movie showings; silent and live art auctions and fitness and wellness classes and seminars.

If you prefer to spend your days poolside, it's hard to miss the standing-deck-only contests such as the Mr. Sexy Legs competition or the Miss Norwegian Sun pageant. Other poolside activities include sail-away celebrations, live music, ice-carving demonstrations and other pool games. Want more? Keep an eye out for towel-animal folding, captain and senior officers Q&As, and wine pairings and classes (an extra fee applies for select art and wine classes).

At Night

Besides the main production shows, you'll find music galore, from live music by the pool, soft piano music in the lounges, karaoke contests, all sorts of dance classes, energetic DJ music and parties well into the night. There are also plenty of game shows, comedians, liquor tastings and art classes, bustling casino tournaments (slots, blackjack and Texas Hold'em) and games (slots, card games, roulette and baccarat), LGBTQ socials and more. Don't miss the White Hot Party (and its after-party) in the Bliss Lounge. It's Norwegian's signature dance party where passengers come donned in their best whites, neon glow accessories and dancing shoes. With so many things going on at night in different venues, it means no overcrowding in any given area.

Norwegian Sun Bars and Lounges

Atrium Cafe and Bar (Deck 5) Centrally located in the hub of the atrium is this nice gathering spot to meet up with fellow passengers. With lots of seating, including barstools and comfortable tables and chairs, you can enjoy a cocktail or a specialty coffee, tea, pastry or chocolate (extra fees apply), complete with ocean views to one side and people-watching to the other. Open from early morning to late at night, typically 7 a.m. to midnight.

Bliss Ultra Lounge (Deck 5): Bliss Ultra Lounge is a bar and nightclub that doubles as an activities space during the day. A modern updated look includes new plush seating (lots of chairs and couches) in cream and deep burgundies and a fun polka-dot motif that starts at the glass entryway doors and continues to the carpeting and the cool lighted bar. After 11 p.m., Bliss becomes adults-only.

Windjammer Bar (Deck 6): This intimate nautical-themed bar, complete with leather and wicker chairs, maritime artwork and a glass-enclosed sailing ship model, is a favorite spot for live piano music and other nightly tunes over a specialty martini or other cocktail. During the day, you'll find it's a venue for trivia, games, arts and crafts, and other activities.

Havana Club (Deck 6): The intimate and dim cigar lounge, which is tucked behind the Windjammer Bar, features comfortable dark leather couches and oversized chairs and tables in a cozy setting that feels like a hidden escape. Enjoy a cocktail or spirit, including super premium options like cognac or cordials, and select from a menu of cigars by the stick or by the tin. Cigars range in price from $5.95 for a Partagas No. 4 to $16.95 for a Cohiba Churchill or Davidoff Millennium 2000.

The Champagne Bar (Deck 7): Centrally located in the atrium, the Champagne Bar is a quiet spot to sip on -- what else? -- a bit of bubbly while taking in the action. Besides premium Champagnes (a glass of Veuve Clicquot is $23.75 and a bottle is $95), there's also vodka, caviar, pate and foie gras on the menu, making for a nice option for a gathering with friends.

Casino Bar (Deck 7): Located in the Sun Casino is the Casino Bar, which serves up cocktails and conversation for those partaking in casino games. Cigarette smoking is permitted when open during casino hours.

Sports Bar (Deck 11): This fun sports bar is the place to grab a beer and some bar food and check out whatever sporting event is on the big screens. The wood floors, wall paneling, long bars and countertops, dark leather seating, sports memorabilia and even a penny souvenir machine make for a quaint pub-like atmosphere. Also, it's the bar for night owls because it's open the latest (until 3 a.m.).

Topsiders Bar (Deck 11): The super-casual poolside Topsiders Bar is where you can grab a drink while still keeping an eye on your deck chair. Refreshing beverages include drinks of the day such as the line's signature Rebellious Fish (vodka, passion fruit puree, triple sec, orange and sparkling wine) and the sail-away-favorite Bahama Mama (white rum, gold rum, coconut rum, lemon juice, fresh pineapple, orange and grenadine), as well as all the bar staples you desire. Open hours vary, but it's mostly during peak pool hours. In addition, Topsiders Juice Bar also serves up a variety of fresh juices including orange, grapefruit, apple, carrot, celery, cucumber and more ($3.25 per glass) from early morning to early evening.

Great Outdoors Bar (Deck 11): Located all the way aft alongside the Great Outdoors Grill, this bar comes with good eats and great views. Grab a drink and then pull up a seat at one of the many sunny or shady seats and simply relax and take in the sea around you.

Spinnaker Lounge (Deck 12): The forward-facing Spinnaker Lounge, showcases a fresh design with colors of blue, beige and tan; new leather chairs, carpet, chandeliers, wall coverings and a stone top bar; and new Cuba-inspired artwork, including photographs and old travel posters that line the entryway to the lounge as well as surround the room. It's a serene place to relax and gaze at the panoramic ocean views by day and take in a variety of live music and dancing at night.

Champs Bar (Deck 12): Overlooking the Oasis pool and with ocean views in every direction, this casual, lively bar also features numerous tables and chairs with umbrellas for what's also one of the ship's smoking areas.

Norwegian Sun Outside Recreation

Pools

The main Oasis pool area consists of two swimming pools and four hot tubs. While it's sometimes hard to find a lounge chair right next to the pool, especially on sunny sea days, go a deck up and you'll find plenty more lounge chairs, tables and chairs on deck and next to Champ's Bar, which overlooks the pool.

There's also a small kids' pool area on Deck 12 that essentially consists of a hot tub and a mini-slide that leads to a tiny wading pool where parents can hang out in the water with their little ones. (Kids must be potty trained to use the pools; swim diapers are not permitted.)

Recreation

Deck 12's sports activities include good ol' shuffleboard, a Ping-Pong table, golf driving nets and a net-enclosed basketball/volleyball court.

Sun Deck

Above the pool on Deck 12 is a sea of blue chaise loungers as well as tables and chairs in front of Champs Bar. It's often more crowded right above the pool, but head forward or aft and you should be able to find a chair, even on busy sea days. Another great outdoor space where you can grab a seat in the sun, or in the shade under a large canopy if you prefer, is in front of the Great Outdoors grill, all the way aft on Deck 11, complete with wake views.

Norwegian Sun Services

Onboard services include the quaint East Indies Library where you can take out books and play board games and card games. Library hours usually include an hour on embarkation day, a morning hour and evening hour on port days and two morning hours and two afternoon hours on sea days. A nice selection of books fill floor-to-ceiling glass-enclosed bookcases around the room. There are also three small conference rooms, a chapel for at-sea nuptials or vow renewals, a medical center and valet laundry service. (There is no self-service laundry fleetwide.)

You'll find a wealth of information in the atrium, including the shore excursion desk, a restaurant reservations desk, guest services, the port and shopping consultant desk and the CruiseNext desk, where you can take advantage of future cruise savings. Also surrounding the atrium are the computer stations of the Internet Cafe as well as shops selling everything from high-end watches and jewelry to fragrances, logo items, cruise merchandise and other souvenirs.

An art gallery is open for browsing during various evening hours, and there are silent and live art auctions throughout the cruise, complete with free artwork, raffles and Champagne. Feel free to pose questions to the knowledgeable art specialists from Park West Gallery if you spot a piece of interest.

Also open for browsing (during various daily hours) is the photo gallery, where you simply locate the binder that coordinates with the photo number on your key card (not your cabin number), review the printed photos and decide on purchases. You can also swipe your card at one of the computer stations to see other photo options that can be created using your photos. This is a much easier way to find your ship photos rather than having to search along a wall of photos. The photo gallery also sells cameras, accessories and gifts. For a more formal photography session, the Perspectives Photo Studio offers an array of professional photography settings and options.

Shipwide Wi-Fi is available for laptops and smartphones throughout the ship and the Internet Cafe is open 24/7 (with select manager's hours). Packages include: Unlimited Wi-Fi ($29.99 per day) for unlimited web surfing, email access (no VPN), social media access and all apps; Unlimited Premium Wi-Fi ($34.99 per day) for unlimited web surfing, email access (including VPN), social media access, all apps and streaming; Unlimited Social Media ($14.99 per day) for access to the majority of social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat, etc.); and a 250-Minute Anytime Internet package ($125). Note: You can save up to 15 percent on Wi-Fi packages if you book online ahead of your cruise. In addition, you can stay in touch using in-stateroom phones ($4.99/minute).

The Norwegian iConcierge app, which you can download from the Apple or Android app stores, will keep you up-to-date about what's happening onboard; allow you to book shore excursions and make dinner reservations; and, for a nominal fee, call friends onboard or back home and text friends onboard. In addition, large TV monitors around the ship list the scheduled activities happening that day, dining availability for different time slots ("plenty of room," "filling up fast" and "worth the wait") and onboard promotions.

Norwegian Sun Spa & Fitness

Spa

One of the spaces given a fresh design during the 2018 dry dock was the Mandara Spa & Salon on Deck 11, which features a reception desk and sitting area that leads to 12 treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms, changing rooms and a relaxation area with serene ocean-view seating with a soothing blue and cream color scheme. The spa space may be small compared to today's mega-ship spa standards (it's 1,231 square feet), but it boasts a long list of treatments and seminars.

The spa menu features a variety of Elemis facials; Swedish, aroma stone, bamboo, reflexology and couples massages; body treatments such as cellulite reduction, aroma spa seaweed massage and salt scrubs; and acupuncture. There are also medi-spa cosmetic services available including FDA-approved treatments such as Thermage CPT, Restylane Dermal Filler, Dysport and Botox cosmetic wrinkle treatments.

Special spa deals are offered throughout the cruise including embarkation-day offers, multiple-booking savings or port-day value pricing. There are also complimentary spa and health seminars scheduled throughout the cruise from Detox for Health and Weight Loss to Improving Posture and Relieving Pain with Good Feet. (Keep in mind, most of the seminars are intended to sell you something.)

A full-service salon, also with ocean views, provides hair services from cuts, styles and coloring to hair treatments like deep conditioning and Keratin. There are also nail services like manicures, pedicures and acrylics; waxing services; and special TimeforMen Barbering Services.

Note: An 18 percent gratuity is added to your spa and salon bill at checkout. Spa hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., except on the last day of the cruise when it closes at 8 p.m. Passengers must be at least 18 years of age to receive spa treatments or use the spa facilities unless participating in the kids or teen program. Salon services are available to all ages.

Fitness

The Pulse Fitness Center on Deck 11 encompasses an aerobics room for fitness classes throughout the day as well as an equipment room complete with treadmills, bikes, rowing machines, ellipticals and free weights. Both rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows for wide ocean views while you work out. A full schedule of daily classes includes complimentary options such as Morning Stretch, Fab Abs and Total Body Conditioning as well as specialized fitness classes that range from yoga, Pilates and indoor cycling to TRX and Norwegian Fight Club ($12 to $25 per class). You can also opt for a Cruise Class Pass for $29, which allows you to choose from any classes (availability is limited, so you need to sign up to reserve your spot). Or sign up for a personal training session ($45/30 minutes or $85/hour), a Body Composition Analysis ($35) or a nutritional consultation ($85).

The fitness center is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and no children under the age of 16 are permitted. An 18 percent service charge is added to all extra-fee fitness classes and services.

In addition, Norwegian Sun boasts a jogging/walking track on Deck 6 (jogging is allowed only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.).

Norwegian Sun For Kids

Norwegian Sun is a family-friendly ship with accommodations that can sleep up to five in various categories of interior, ocean-view or balcony staterooms. The minimum age to sail is 6 months and if you want to pack lighter, you can preorder diapers and wipes to be delivered to your stateroom upon arrival ($24 for 50 diapers; $5 for 12 wipes).

Family-friendly activities are scheduled throughout the day and night, so the whole gang can participate in activities together from a balloon-twisting workshop to evening theme parties. While there is no private babysitting onboard, there is daily and evening drop-off programming for kids ages 3 and up. A small kids' splash pool is available on Deck 12, but no diapers of any kind are permitted in the swimming pools or hot tubs, including those marketed as "swimmers." Children under 16 require adult supervision while using the hot tub.

Kids

The Splash Academy kids' programs are broken down by age: Guppies (6 months to 2 years old); Turtles (3 to 5 years old); Seals (6 to 9 years old) and Dolphins (10 to 12 years old) each with their own schedule of hosted activities both day and night. The Splash Academy youth center is located forward on Deck 7 and is a bright, colorful open play area with forward-facing windows. You can even gaze through porthole windows in the hallway to spot your child at play as you linger on your way to and from dropping off or picking up.

Guppies programs were developed to give parents the chance to share experiences with their babies and include interactive parent-supervised activities from ball play to building blocks to drawing with special Wee Can Too edible paints, chalks and crayons. The Guppies playroom hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on port days and are for parents/guardians and their babies 6 months to 35 months old only.

The Turtles, Seals and Dolphins programs, which allow for drop-off, include freestyle free play as well as age-appropriate activities from the early morning to late at night such as treasure hunts, board game bonanzas and sports challenges.

Night owls can sign up for the late-night fun zone (nightly 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.) for a fee of $6 per hour for the first child and $4 per hour for each additional sibling. (If no children are signed up or dropped off by 11:30 p.m., Splash Academy closes for the evening). Late-night activities might include a Nintendo Wii Tournament, glow party and other kids' games.

Splash Academy complimentary programming is available while the ship is in port as well; however, an extra fee of $6 per child applies for supervision during meal times for Port Play Meals.

Parents can authorize their child age 10 to 12 years old to sign themselves in and out of the program after two hours of active participation. The authorization ends nightly at 10:30 p.m., when they must sign out unless previously signed up for the Late Night program and does not apply while the ship is in port or during the Late Night program. Youth staff are not able to assist children in the washroom or change diapers, so parents will be alerted for assistance.

Teens

Teens ages 13 through 17 may participate in the Entourage teen program, where teens can enjoy their own parties and special meals; games, tournaments and sports; movie nights and other cool activities (think: shipwide #Selfie challenge). Registered teens are allowed to enter and leave Entourage's teen center -- where they'll find video games, air hockey, fuse ball and scheduled activities -- at their leisure. Entourage hours vary depending on the day (typically open for a few hours in the afternoon and several in the evening). Note that all teens must be in their rooms by 1 a.m. unless accompanied by an adult.

For game enthusiasts, there's even more arcade games in the always-open Video Arcade on Deck 11. An Ultimate Arcade Package is available for unlimited arcade games during the cruise for $8 per person per, day if booked online or $10 per person, per day if booked onboard.

In addition, a parent can sign a Youth Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver allowing their child between 18 and 20 years old to purchase and consume beer and wine onboard. The waiver can only be signed by a parent who is onboard.

Except during embarkation day registration, Splash Academy and Entourage Teen Centers are adult-free zones; no one over 18 years old is allowed.

Norwegian Sun Ship Stats

  • Crew: 906
  • Launched: 2001
  • Decks: 12
  • Passengers: 1,936
  • Registry: Bahamas
  • CDC Score: 99

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