1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
In the past 19 years of wedded bliss, my wife and I have enjoyed over 40 cruises. In fact, we celebrated our Honeymoon on Star Princess. With the majority of our cruises being on Holland America and Princess, and a number on RCI, ... Read More
In the past 19 years of wedded bliss, my wife and I have enjoyed over 40 cruises. In fact, we celebrated our Honeymoon on Star Princess. With the majority of our cruises being on Holland America and Princess, and a number on RCI, Celebrity, and Carnival, we approached the cruise with some trepidation. Our mid-ship balcony stateroom was big enough for a seven day cruise, and it was a joy not having to pack a tux and gowns! We indulged in the Ultimate Dining Package, which made our tariff of $17 per person, per night a real bargain, as we enjoyed Cagney's Steakhouse three nights, Le Bistro 2, and La Cucino and Moderno Churrascaria one night each. The food was phenomenal! Mornings were spent enjoying brew-in-your-stateroom coffee, with room service freshly-baked pastries. I managed to shoehorn in gravlax and pickled herring - for protein, of course - being the good Scandahoovian I am - a couple of hours later! The drink package allowed Bombay Sapphire martinis, Prosecco, and excellent wines-by-the-glass ($10 limit per beverage). The three shows we attended were excellent, but our raves must go to the staff on this ship! Our stateroom steward, waiters in bars and dining rooms, and front office staff always had a smile on their face, and never failed to greet us in the ship's passageways - most we encountered, including our room steward - were Filipino, so their graciousness was to be expected! All-in-all, five stars. In fact, we've booked Norwegian Star next year! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We live in the Pacific NW and needed to come to Tampa for parathyroid surgery for my wife. Because traveling across country usually is very taxing, we looked to have a relaxing time on a Cruise prior to her surgery. We found this relaxing ... Read More
We live in the Pacific NW and needed to come to Tampa for parathyroid surgery for my wife. Because traveling across country usually is very taxing, we looked to have a relaxing time on a Cruise prior to her surgery. We found this relaxing time on the Norwegian Sun! Pre and post cruise stayed at the Best Western Tampa (S Dale Mabry) next to 24 hr IHOP and grocery! Every thing about this cruise was first rate and went as smooth as humanly possible. From the moment we stepped into the cruise terminal.we were made to feel welcome. We arrived about 1100 and were onboard having lunch by 1145. Our cabin was ready right after lunch and our bags were delivered by 1600. We ate in each of the complimentary dining venues. The food was varied and met our reguirements (I am a vegitarian and my wife has a gluten allergy (Celiac Disease). We were able to always find a selection to satisfy our appitite. Servers were attentive and helpful. We especially enjoyed the relaxed dress code and was a reason we chose Norwegian in the first place. The cruise allowed us to enjoy the time at our pace...to go ashore and be as involved as we wished or to remain onboard and go as slow and restful as we wished. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
There were 6 of us: my husband and I, my mother and father, and my mother and sister-in-law. We stayed at the Tahitian Inn the night before and set up with parking at the Parking Doctors. We got to the Parking Doctors about 9:45 - very ... Read More
There were 6 of us: my husband and I, my mother and father, and my mother and sister-in-law. We stayed at the Tahitian Inn the night before and set up with parking at the Parking Doctors. We got to the Parking Doctors about 9:45 - very early. We arrived at the pier about 10:45. We checked in and got number 11 which was the FIRST group to board after priority. We boarded about 11:45. When we arrived, there was a red carpet laid out for us to walk on and staff lined up to greet us. That was a nice feeling. We felt very welcome. We boarded on deck 6 and my sister-in-law wanted to put money on her account, so we turned right to go down to deck 5 to customer service. Along the way we passed Windjammers and found we could leave our luggage, like a coat check. We were given a ticket and a crew member stayed and watched the luggage. THAT was very nice since we had a small suitcase with 5 12 packs and it was heavy. Nobody checked how many 12 packs we had. We left our luggage and went to customer service where we got our key cards punched for our lanyards. We then went to the buffet. The buffet wasn't all the way ready, or they had run out already, because there were a few areas that were empty. I couldn't find any water, all the containers were empty. But after that first rush, things were better. The rooms were ready about 1:30 and our luggage arrived between 3 and 5. We were on deck 10 with a balcony. The others were on deck 7 with an ocean view. All our rooms were very near the atrium elevators, which was very convenient. Our room had plenty of storage, with our bags fitting under the bed easily. We also had a couch that would sleep two more. We had a coffee maker and a small fridge. The fridge barely kept our drinks cold. It was filled with food and drinks. We removed all these items and put them into a drawer. At the end of the week, we put everything back in the fridge. The ship was very beautiful. The crew were very friendly. There was not anyone that wasn’t helpful during our visit. After the buffet we explored the ship, checking out where everything was located. We got the all clear to go to our rooms, so we headed back to Windjammers to get our bags and then went to our rooms. We unpacked and relaxed until the time for the drill. After the drill we went up front to watch as the ship pulled out. The best spots are on deck 11, deck 12 has windows that are hard to see through. We ended up on a small area in front of the “kiddie pool” where we could watch as we left port. We ate around 5 in the Four Seasons. We enjoyed this restaurant because we didn’t have to dress up. It was very relaxing not having to dress up to go eat dinner. We enjoyed this aspect of dining, being used to having to dress up to eat in one of the sit-down restaurants. We went to the show at 9:00. The first show was good, I really enjoyed the comedian. We also hit all the first night sales such as liquor 10% off and the first raffles in the shop. Didn't win. We also hit the liquor tasting and the Champagne at the art auction. The art auction open house champagne was ok. There were not very many people in the area since it was more just an open house and not the auction. The liquor tasting was in the shop and you received a small little paper/plastic cup. You got to choose which one you wanted, but you could go back for tasting of the other flavors. The first sea day, I got up and walked about 7:15. There were a few walkers. The walking deck on 6 was wet and i walked slowly at first worried I would slip. But the deck is not slippery and I picked up speed. The front of the boat was roped off and had a sign that no jogging or walking was allowed 8-8. They did take the rope down about 7:45. I walked for about 30 minutes, not to be exercising, but to help counteract the calories I would be consuming. I don't have a clue how far I walked since I kept having to turn around and go the opposite direction. Some people did like I did, and turned around. Others went inside to go out the other side to keep from turning around. Deck 6 is covered and the designs on the walls are very cheerful. I really liked the Sun. It is a nice size and I like the wood accents and the color design. We cruised the Disney dream for our first two cruises and were spoiled. Our third cruise was the Carnival Dream. Carnival seemed more "carnival"like and we didn't like their colors or designs. The size of this ship is good, you don't feel like it's a mile every time you go aft to forward. I heard another couple say they thought the boat too small, they had been on some of Norwegian’s bigger ships, but to me the size was perfect.. For breakfast I went to the Garden Cafe/Great Outdoors. There are three omelet stations, but you have to walk further into the line to find them.. At the front was a waffle station. These waffles were regular waffles. In the Great Outdoors lines, at the back, the waffles were Belgian waffles.. There are two lines inside the Garden Cafe, one from the pool side, and one from the Great Outdoors side. There are also two lines that are in the Great Outdoors area. I tended to go to these. The lines were shorter and there was usually not a line for the omelets. The offerings were the same as most cruises, cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, bagels, fruit, etc. There was also yogurt. I got there about 7:50 and there was someone in the pool and several people already claiming chairs. They were wrapped up like they were cold and I just laughed as I walked by. When I returned to the room, hubby was awake. I tried to connect to the Internet while he got dressed. I had purchased the 100 minute program with a 10 minute gift for signing up the first day. I tried to connect this morning after walking, but after 2 minutes wasted and not connecting, I signed off. I only want to check emails and I would try later in the day. On the way to the Garden Cafe, we found his sister and we went into the Garden Cafe. We got a great table at the back of the Great Outdoors, the weather was perfect and the sun wasn't too hot. About nine they had chains by the inch on sale and we went and I bought a chain and my sister-in-law bought a ring. We then split up, I was intending to go to the cooking show and they were going to layout. Although the boat didn't feel full, the deck chairs/loungers were full. I went to the cooking demo in Four Seasons where two cocktails and sushi making were demonstrated. They asked questions to see who would win the drinks that were made. The first question was who founded Barcardi Rum, I said Don Juan Barcardi, and although not correct, I was the closest and I won one of the drinks. I choose the Manhattan over the daiquiri because I was curious of how the Manhattan tasted. WOW, strong drink and not my cup of tea. My father and I shared the drink and although it tasted bad, we drank the whole thing. Afterwards we went to the shopping show. The shopping shows all seem the same to me. I originally thought the show was a waste of time. But after my experience of buying a ring at Diamonds International in Roatan, I have changed my opinion. The shopping guy, Archie and his fiance were there at the store. They both talked with me and helped me negotiate with the staff. They talked to me about what I needed to pay attention to and what was a good deal and what was not. I have never experienced this, of course I haven’t bought jewelry before at any of the Diamond International stores. I appreciated all that Archie did and I felt impressed with the attention he was giving to me and all the other cruise passengers. When my ring needed sizing, I didn’t have to even stay and wait. The ring was brought back on the ship by Archie and his team. We then went to lunch. It appears that the Garden Cafe opens up first, the Great Outdoors opens a little later. We pushed a couple of tables together and ate in the Great Outdoors. The breeze and the shade under the large canopy was wonderful. My parents are latitude members. My dad wanted to go to the party, but mom didn't so I went with my dad. We were a little late and had trouble getting our free drink, but eventually flagged down a waiter. My biggest complaint is all the people who sit in the aisle seats. You have to crawl over them for a seat and they make an ugly face at you. If you don’t want someone crawling over you, don’t sit in the aisle seats! The show was actually entertaining. I went up to the room after the show and then headed down to the art auction for the free champagne. I guess my goal was to drink as much free alcohol as possible, lol. For lunch I saw pork cordon bleu and some other items. Not a lot of choices I was interested in (I’m a vegetarian). I got a salad and the roasted tomato soup. Salad was good, but the soup was a little bland. The desserts were very lacking. There was something that had a chocolate crust and chocolate drizzle, but the taste was like coconut. My husband said it was like eating tanning lotion. The overall consensus among our party was that the desserts are very lacking other than the cookies. The brownies are bland and hard and the strawberry pound cake was "ok." We paid $15 to do the beer tasting. A waste of time and money. They were late starting and people kept showing up late, and we had to wait while they got set up for the tasting. There wasn't much information about the beers, just pouring of different beers. The beers were not exciting and I didn’t learn anything about beer. I would not do this again. The first was Amstel Light, then one from the Netherlands, then an unfiltered white beer from Germany, then Blue Moon. The last was an English Bass Ale. After the beer tasting, we hit the Great Outdoors cafe for food. Here we found the other ice cream machine. There is one as you enter the Garden Cafe from the pool. The one in the Garden Cafe is run by the staff. This one is to the left as you leave the Sports bar and is self-serve. This soft serve station is not open 24 hours, There are nachos, cookies, cake and sandwiches at 4 in the Great Outdoors cafe area. I had seen in a post from another person, when you are at the bank of elevators, make sure all the buttons light up. There is one elevator at the end that does not light up when you press the others. It was a helpful tip, and very true. The Sun does have a nice amount of elevators. There are four in the atrium and then more elevators on either side of the atrium elevators. We never had to wait very long for elevators. Tonight was dress-up but we chose not to and we didn't feel out of place. We ate again in the Four Seasons and it was really nice not having to dress up. The food choices seemed to be not as unique tonight, but then again half the menu doesn't change. One side of the menu changes every night. The other side does not. I had the curry chicken and shrimp and asked to only have shrimp and that was done without question. I wasn't very hungry after grabbing snacks after the beer tasting. I basically had salad and a few shrimp. I got the sugar free carrot cake and it was very moist and good. The cake didn't have a lot of sweetness so the sweetness of the frosting was just enough to give the cake a little sweetness. There was also a chocolate raspberry torte. The cake was good, but there was too much of a gelatin like chocolate layer on top and in the middle that was too much gelatin chocolate. The cheesecake was very good. We mentioned that we liked the chocolate chip cookies and our waitress went down (or up) and got us a plate of cookies. We were so appreciative my sister-in-law gave her a tip and we told the manager how pleased we were with her service. We then went to the 7 o'clock show. It was a variety show. The first singer was sorta bad, but after that all the other singers were pretty good. The dancing was good and overall a good show. The shows had songs from Motown, Frankie Valle and songs from the Tina Turner era. The show was worth staying and watching. I was surprised with the quality of the shows. I was expecting not to like these shows, but I really enjoyed the shows each night. We then went to the not so not-so-new newly-wed show. This is a very funny show and worth attending. My parents participated as the oldest married couple (58 years) and that made it even better. There was a young couple, just married, and when he was asked for his favorite condiment, he said Trojans. The whole audience about died. After the end, we went and played cards in the Sports Bar. We really liked the Sports Bar because we could order FREE food, or walk around to the Great Outdoorss or Garden Cafe for snacks and water, coffee or lemonade type drinks. Tomorrow Roatan We got the all clear at Roatan about 9:45. The lines were long, but moved very quickly. We had the Best of Roatan tour with Victor Bodden. As we got off the ship, we went through the checkpoint. I was told it was #1 as we got off the boat. Where it was located was a few stores down after the checkpoint. You turn right into "tours and ...." and they were #1 on the left. We checked in and then were taken to our driver Roland. Roland was wonderful. We were taken to a viewpoint where there were some local sellers, then to a store where we got water, then on to the zipline. Of the 6 of us, 3 did the zipline while the others waited. The zipline was awesome, but scared me to death. For some reason, I thought there was some kind of seat, but its only the cords holding you up. The first step off was so scary. After that it was a little easier, but still scary. By the end, I was able to let go of the rope. My bottom hurt like I'd been riding a bike, and my hands hurt where I hung on so hard. At the very last, I was brave enough to let go of the rope. It was tiring. I was tired from hanging on, tired from the initial climb up and tired from trying to stand up on the next platform. We went from one platform to another and so on. It was very safe and secure and the guides were wonderful. My sister-in-law was terrified, and they would go with her to make her feel better. It would feel like you were going to slam into the platform, but they always caught us, or there was a "brake" to slow us down. By the end, with the heat, and I was starting a cold, I just wanted to lay down and take a nap. We did the monkey tour, but it was not very elaborate and was just hot and humid. We did some great pictures when a few of our party went into the cage with the monkeys. The Roatan rabbit was very interesting, and at first I thought the guide was giving us a “tourist” story, but I looked up this rabbit. It is indeed a rabbit. We then went somewhere for lunch, the driver took us. The food was wonderful, but cost more than I was expecting. Be sure and take plenty of cash for this tour. The zipline was $45 each, we gave our two zipline guides $10 from each of us and then $10 to the monkey guide, bought our CD for $20, the tour was $25 for each of us, lunch was about $30 for two of us, and then tipping the tour guide $20 for two of us. After lunch, we said we were ready to go back to the ship, and he drove us around the other side of the island and showed us another view of the ship from the other direction on the way back to the ship. We stopped in Diamond International and I bought a Crown of Light diamond ring. We have been married 25 years, and my wedding band, solitaire, anniversary band and anniversary ring had recently been stolen. So I bought a new one. The ships shopping guy, Archie, was there and he was "helping" me get a deal. It felt like a car dealership where they go in back and talk about the great "deal" I'm getting. No matter what, I think I got a great deal. They were very nice and very professional. When I asked for something a little less expensive, they just showed me other items. I was offered water, soda and champagne. My ring needed to be resized. I was told I could wait, or Archie would take it to the ship for me. WOW! I did like that I didn’t have to wait for the ring. This was very convenient. I did feel like the NCL line cared about me and my purchases. At the ship, we talked to a few people who visited the beach and were very disappointed with the beach visit. The beach is small and I guess they were expecting a larger beach. We were happy with our tour. The shower. I've read many stories about the size of the shower. Same size as on most of the cruise lines, except maybe Disney. There are no creams or lotions. There is a hand soap dispenser near the sink and soap and shampoo dispensers in the shower. The shower head moves up and down and to the side. I found if I moved the shower head to the far side, I could open the curtain, prop my leg on the toilet to shave my legs. The curtain didn't envelope me either, but I found if it started to come near, I could push it back toward the lip on the floor and it would be fine. Or leaving a small space instead of completely closing would work. The shampoo is terrible. Bring your own. For supper we went to the Seven Seas. We dressed up, but the atmosphere was not as nice as the Four Seasons.. The menu was slightly different for the classics side of the menu. For example, instead of a wild mushroom quesadilla, there was a Mexican mushroom something. Close, but not the same. I got the flounder, which was the special for the night. It was very good. The roasted corn soup was delicious and I also go the greek salad. Very good. For dessert, I went with the tiramisu - very good. And the sugar free pineapple cake, another winner. So, there are some good desserts, you just have to be choosey and careful. I just order two if they catch my eye because you never know. The cheesecake is always a winner. In Seven Seas they come and pour the strawberry on your cheesecake and in the Four Seasons it already comes poured on your cheesecake. In Seven Seas they forgot to come pour the strawberry on the cheesecake. We were not impressed with the service in Seven Seas. After dinner, we went to the first show with the ventriloquist. Good show, he was funny. There were moments when the show sorta came to a standstill, but then it would be really funny. At the beginning the dummy sang a song. It went on for far too long, to me. The next show was Deal or No Deal. After much debate, we bought the $20 card to play. And guess who got called to play? ME!!! I sent my husband because I did not want to play. Hubby went to the end. We were down to two cases, one $400, the other $75. We got $75! But we were happy, we were $55 to the good!! I was really tired, so after hitting the Garden Cafe for some snacks, I went down to the room. Guess what was waiting? The invite to eat with a ship officer! WOW!! I had put all our names in the drawing to eat with a ship officer. I gave the dinner to my parents.I wouldn't know the first thing to ask, and my dad was in the Navy, so he might enjoy it. It's cool to win. I went to pick up my ring and there was a problem with one of the diamond settings, so they are suppose to fix it in Belize. I like that this is all handled by the shopping department on the ship. Internet in the room was terrible, but I could usually get on at the Internet terminals. Also found out, we could get smaller bills for our $20s at guest services, which is nice.. Belize We ate breakfast again in the Great Outdoorss. We waited until 9 to get our tender tickets because we had no plans for Belize and we were hoping to miss the rush for the tenders. Our plans were to shop and go to the craft market just outside the tourism village. From what I found online, these crafts are the same as are offered in the village, but they are cheaper. We also wanted our charm from Diamonds International and to get our free Tanzanite earrings. We had picked up a coupon for these the night before at the shopping desk. We waited about 30 minutes for our tender. We hit the 2 stores for charms and did the Moho chocolate tour. The tour was informative and cheap. It was just us six and they roped off part of the store for the tour. We enjoyed it and the free samples. Worth the $2. We got several chocolate samples, as well as a sample of milkshake and a small sample of brownie. All really nice. We left the village and went to the craft market. You go out the middle gate, turn left and it is a few blocks down. You do have to turn down the tour hawkers and you get asked to buy a lot, but they weren't pushy. I was looking for Marie Sharpe sauce. All the prices for Marie Sharpe hot sauce are the same in and outside the village. There were some things outside that were cheaper like the handcrafts, plus other items we had not seen inside. My mother got a nice cross that was hand carved, and she had seen the man carving the items. There were several other tourists so we didn't feel unsafe in this area. We returned to the village and ate lunch at one of the restaurants. Prices for food were about the same as the day before in Roatan. We returned after lunch to the ship. We ate again in the Four Seasons. The menu seems old now. The dessert menu only changes two desserts, the rest are the same. Several in our group have tried the steaks. You get a large steak and it is cooked well, with good seasoning. Overall the food is good, but the selection is small and repetitive. The only item I had that was bad was a shrimp burger. There are some items that are just OK, but most items were good. The items that are not good, are items you expect to be good. My mother-in-law got lasagna. She said it was just noodles, hamburger and tomato sauce. Tonight I tried the cheese plate. It came with the smallest grapes I’ve ever seen, a few pieces of cheese and crackers. Just enough for one person.. I also got the no sugar added trifle. Nothing to write home about. I think there may be more choices in the Garden Cafe for supper. I’ve seen fruit soups and other items that are not in the main restaurants. There is also a pasta station. The fruit soups takes like melted ice cream. I started getting them as a dessert after the first show. The show tonight was very good Burt Bacharach songs. The dancing was extremely good. Costa Maya. Maya Chan is awesome. A 30 minute bumpy bumpy ride there but you are treated as king and queens. The drinks are wonderful, the food is great and the chips and salsa were fantastic. We had a bed, hammock, hammock chair and six chairs. Fantastic!!! This is the best place in the world. We were greeted and given a tour, shown our spot and given rum punch. We ordered drinks all day long virgin and un-virgin, they were all great. The staff came by often and checked on us. The weather was a little cold, and I asked for coffee. Coffee was served up quickly. The food was tacos with steak, chicken, pork and sea bass. The water was brown near the shore, but further out it was clearer. The whole time we were there, there was a man, raking up the sea weeds. It didn't bother us any. The staff came around after lunch and asked when we wanted to leave and then called the taxi for us to arrive at our set time. The place was beautiful and the most relaxing place, I’ve ever been. Supper was boring as usual. I had the fish and the endive salad. For dessert the no sugar added lemon cake, another good choice. The show was a juggler,and he was great. We stayed for Deal or no deal and my sister-in-law and Mother-in-law made me go out and buy their tickets. My sister in law got called up to play. After that we bought lotto tickets, hoping our luck would continue. We didn’t win, but we were told we could put our tickets in for a second drawing. We were told to come back att 11:10. So we stayed up. Guess what! Won again, but no money just a bottle of wine. I stayed up for wine?!? Winning is great but let's see the money, ha ha. My parents enjoyed the officer dinner. They ate with two other couples and the security officer. They had the same dinner as us in the Seven Seas, but they did got wine with their meal. Cozumel We met for breakfast at 8 in the Garden Cafe as usual. We were to dock at 8 and our tour was scheduled for 9. We had booked Playa Tours and our driver was Leo. Initially we had said we had wanted to go to the Mayan ruins, but my dad wasn't up to walking, so we said the Tequila factory, the chocolate factory, the back side of the island and then lunch. Before we went to the tequila factory, the driver gave us a brief history of the island and showed us some statues that depicted the Mayan culture. The tequila factory was interesting and we bought the $80 rojo tequila. We were given 7 small shots of tequila after the tour, and I think we could have gotten more if we had asked for it. It had a very mild and easy to swallow quality and was just under the top shelf bottle which I didn't like because it had been in oak barrels longer. The tour was very interesting and was totally free - no tips also!! I will say this, we were told that all real Tequila is made in Mexico. The tour guide mentioned that Patron is made in Las Vegas. We were impressed. After coming home. I went and checked the Tequila bottles in our local liquor store. Every one had a US address. Makes me wonder what else was we were told. The tour was great, but I’m not sure I would buy the Tequila again. We then went to the chocolate factory. There was an 1.5 hour tour or just a 10 minute tasting. We went for the tasting. We got a brief history and tasted several kinds. The guide was very informative, and if we were not time constricted by the decision to go to the back of the island, we would have done the tour. The island is beautiful on the wild side of the island, and there is very little there--no electricity. We drove and drove, and then there would be something, otherwise, nothing but the beautiful ocean and empty land. We stopped and ate at Playa Bonita The food was plentiful and the view was beautiful. We then rode the rest of the road back to the ship.. There were a few stops along the way, but we weren't very interested in stopping. We had purchasesd a 3 hours tour, and we didn’t want to go over more than we needed to. We had booked 3 hours, $195 and each hour after was $40. Leo was awesome and was very helpful in helping us create the tour that we wanted. After being dropped off, we shopped a little bit more, then headed back to the boat. We were back to the ship by 2:00. This cruise we did the charms from Diamond International. I had not done this before and we worked very hard to get all these charms. It was pretty interesting, and although I don't remember which charm came from which island, I do have a nice souvenir bracelet of this trip. We hit every DI and TI (Tanzanite International) at each port to get each charm we could. I ended up with 8 charms and the bracelet. We also got a "free pearl pendant" from one store in Cozumel. The pendant was a single pearl which I thought I could add to the charm bracelet as an added charm. Getting the charms was pretty cool, and we all got into finding the charms. It was very unique that we saw Archie and Oxy (the shopping guy and his fiance) everywhere. They were always gracious and made us feel special and pampered. In Cozumel we gave them a ride to the Tanzanite International store. They helped make this cruise extra special for us. The show tonight was wonderful. The dancers were extra wonderful and the singers were all really good, except for the one girl who murdered every song she sang. After the show we went to see the Majority wins show (or something like that) The game was pretty entertaining and I wish we had known more how the game was played. We didn't sign up because we weren't sure how the game worked. The show was in Dazzles and although we didn't play, the game was fun to watch. Next time we’ll be sure and play. This cruise we spent most of our free time after the shows in the Sports Bar. There was free food that could be ordered and I was hoping they would have popcorn, but there was never any while we were there. My husband found that he could order a couple boxes of cereal and milk, and that was his late night snack. To the left of leaving the Sports bar, there would be fries, hot dogs, cookies and a few other things that would be available at 9:30 when the Garden Cafe would close their lines. I slept in the last day. I went to the fruit carving and pastry demonstration and it was enjoyable. We then went to play bingo, didn't win. For the final, if you don't win in 47 or so draws, then you don't win the big prize. The highest prize was $100 and something. We did the Deal or no deal again. We didn't get called up, but I matched 5 and WON $200. More than the two contestants playing the game. Ate lunch in the Seven Seas, it took forever. Although it is nice to sit down, when there is something else to do, you want to eat and hurry back. This has been a very memorable cruise and I am thankful for all that we were able to do. I will say this warning: NEVER get the shrimp burger. I was expecting several small shrimp on a bun, like we do it in the south. What it was, was a patty that looked liked a chicken patty, but had ground shrimp in it. NASTY!!! Supper was good and we had excellent service. We drank the champagne that my parents had won and it made a good ending to the week. The best dessert was the Lava cake! Order two, it is wonderful, but each bite must have the gelato, the syrup and the cake to get the full effect. We went to the comedy show with Russ Rivas and then saw Fountains. It was funny, worth seeing at least once. I was too tired for the adult comedy show with Russ, and I wished we had gone, but I was worried about waking up early on Sunday. After much discussion, we decided to take our luggage off the ship ourselves. We didn't realize that the disembarkation was not until 9:10!! We were used to getting off earlier, like 8:00 on our other cruises. So we decided to do the walk-off which was scheduled for 7:45. We agreed to meet in Windjammers because it was near the door we came in when we boarded. On our way there, we met someone that said the door near the Internet Cafe was what someone had told them was an exit. After going back and forth, we were able to determine that that exit was indeed going to be an exit. Many people had already lined up at the door near the photo gallery. My husband saw there were two stations set up outside. One for our side and one for the photo gallery side. He also saw someone standing in line already, so we got up and went outside about 7:15 and got in line. The ship was late in clearing, but after checking out, going through customs and waiting for our shuttle, it was 8:00! We were happy with that. We called the Parking Doctors, they came and got us and we were on our way home, sadly. The Parking Doctors were excellent and we were very happy with their service. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Let me start with embarkation. We arrived at the pier at around 11:45 and were on the ship at around 12:05. Could not believe how quickly and easily embarkation was. And it never seemed hectic or disorganized. Kudos. Once on board, we ... Read More
Let me start with embarkation. We arrived at the pier at around 11:45 and were on the ship at around 12:05. Could not believe how quickly and easily embarkation was. And it never seemed hectic or disorganized. Kudos. Once on board, we found a comfortable spot in the small library on deck 6 where we waited until our cabins were ready. That happened 25 minutes earlier than they had originally announced so we went to our cabin and, since we carried all of our stuff on, unpacked and got settled. We traveled with my brother and sister-in-law and shortly after unpacking went up to deck 11 which had settled down by then and had a very nice lunch. We departed Tampa on time and relaxed for the rest of the day. Dinners - first of all, Norwegian has the anytime dining down pat. We went to the Seven Seas dining room every night at around 6:45 and never had to wait for a table. And, the food was delicious, especially the Rosemary Chicken. I don't usually get excited over restaurant chicken but this one is top notch. Everything else was delicious as well. Lunch - we ate two lunched in the dining room as it isn't open on port days. Great selection and service. Breakfast - 6 out of seven days we ate in the Seven Seas dining room. I'm surprised that more people don't do this instead of dealing with the mob at the buffet. But I'm also glad they don't. Breakfasts were great, nice selection, and it feels like you're being pampered when you're waited on so nicely as we were. We don't do much in the way of the shows so no comment there. The ship was really nice. It's not so big and crowded and is very manageable. Our cabin - 9271 - was adequately sized and had more storage than we've ever seen before in 17 cruises. It was clean and tidy and we had the absolute best cabin steward ever - Jayson - who seemed to anticipate anything we needed and was very cheerful and personable. Having the balcony was a plus as it gave us a place to have an afternoon snack and a glass of wine or just to read and enjoy the fresh air. We did a snorkel trip in Belize, which was fun and well run. Our tour to Chacchoben from Costa Maya was really nice and our tour to Tulum was also great. It's worth doing both trips to the ruins to compare and contrast the two sites, which are in different states of excavation. All in all, this was a great trip. The only minor negative I can speak about is that the Champagne Bar does not offer Champagne by the glass. It's a Champagne Bar - what are they thinking. They have an excellent Prosecco but that's not Champagne. Like I said, a minor thing. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This is my third Cruise with Norwegian so I would say in general I'm pleased with Norwegian, but there are some things that made the cruise less enjoyable. I have put them in categories such as food, entertainment, ports, and overall ... Read More
This is my third Cruise with Norwegian so I would say in general I'm pleased with Norwegian, but there are some things that made the cruise less enjoyable. I have put them in categories such as food, entertainment, ports, and overall comfort. Food: Since this is really where cruise ships make it or break it. I enjoyed the food some days better than others. But the food was always accessable from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm. They had the typical buffet style meals but at night they opened up another hamburger, pizza, and sandwich buffet. Entertainment: The usual stuff on deck took place, best men's legs contest, best crossed dressed man etc. But the other shows on board were pretty good, jugglers, musicals, dancing and even a ventriliquest. Comfort: Warning --if they tell you all the rooms except for the suites are the same, they are not! An inside window room and a balcony room are the same size but the set-up is different. This is really apparent if you have three people to a room. The fold out bed in the window rooms will block access to the bathroom as well as the exit to the room. If you have someone who needs to go to the bathroom multiple times I would suggest they take the foldout, unfortunately this was me. By the way the fold out is rock hard! Apparently the balcony rooms have the fold out by the balcony and actually appear larger than what was in the window rooms. So the third person in the bacony rooms is not a problem, I wish I had known this beforehand. Ports: Honduras -I enjoyed Honduras "Roatan Bay" not as touristy as the other ports. Did not do any excursions, but took a taxi around the island then ended up at a beach. Belize: The port area had a lot of security, they discouraged anyone from leaving the area with gates and armed guard. I should of just stayed on the boat. Costa Maya: Pretty barin island, nothing really anywhere except where you dock. I would of liked to explore more but instead stayed with my wife by the pier. Cozumel: I have always liked Cozumel with all it's tackiness and growth it has encountered. You can have a Starbucks Coffee "For Cheap" and less than an hour be looking at Ruins or exploring the jungle. For me it's the best of both World's.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was our 5th cruise and our 2nd on Norwegian. We found the ship to be small and not very well laid out. Sometimes it felt like we were in a maze and you could not get from point A to point B in any kind of a direct fashion. That being ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise and our 2nd on Norwegian. We found the ship to be small and not very well laid out. Sometimes it felt like we were in a maze and you could not get from point A to point B in any kind of a direct fashion. That being said, we never had a problem finding a place to sit either in or out of the sun and there were lots of place inside to just sit and read or play cards or people watch. We ate at the Seven Seas every night but one and really enjoyed our waiter and his assistant whom we asked for after the 1st night. The food was very good most nights and a few things were outstanding! We ate at the buffet for lunch most days. The food was mostly good, but the layout was a little akward. There were 3 different lines, but most people didn't seem to know that if you kept walking to the end of the ship, more lines were available so the 1st line ended up being a big bottle neck. Some signage letting people know this would have been helpful. We found the crew to be very friendly and helpful, though some spoke English much better than others and that could be a little tricky. The nightly entertainment was pretty good, the singers/dancer had a live band and that was a HUGE improvement over the Carnival Cruises we have been on. The band was really good, they played at some other venues on nights that the evening shows did not require music. The juggler was fantastic and by far the best one. The comedian was ok, he had some really good stuff, but also a lot of just laughing at himself or picking one or two people in the crowd to joke with and left everyone else out. The ventriloquist I could have done without. He was a good ventriloquist, but his "act" was lame and boring. Overall, we had a nice relaxing cruise, which is what we were looking for, but if you want a lot of activity and excitement, this may not be the ship for you. We enjoy listening to music, reading, watching the water turn different shades of blue, eating good food etc. The Sun excelled in all those areas! Both embarking and debarking were the fastest and most efficient we have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We have just returned from our first cruise with Norwegian ( we have been on several other cruises) and we were not impressed with the ship or the crew. We arrived early about 12:30, check in went very smoothly and shortly they started ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise with Norwegian ( we have been on several other cruises) and we were not impressed with the ship or the crew. We arrived early about 12:30, check in went very smoothly and shortly they started boarding. We were told that cabins would not be ready until 1:30, which is ok, gave us time to explore. This is a small ship and does not take long to see everything. There were 2 bars open on the entire ship, the sports bar and the pool bar. It was almost like they were not expecting any guests. We stopped at the bar on the pool deck ( by the way, the pool was closed). There were 2 bartenders trying very hard to take care of everyone sitting at the bar, coming up to the bar to order drinks as well as filling the orders the wait staff had. After sitting there about 10 minutes we were finally waited on. We found our cabin ready as promised and was very small, but clean. Our experiences over the week with our cabin steward were not the best. We had left our wet towels on the floor, as instructed, to be changed and came back in that evening to find the wet towels still on the floor. There were also no room service forms. We did not see or get to meet the cabin steward for 3 days. ( normally on the first or second day they stop by to introduce themselves.) We had to leave notes for him to fill the shower gel dispenser. The only crew members that we found to be friendly were the 2 bartenders in the casino bar, a few of the crew working the casino, and Kyle at the champagne bar. The first 2 nights we found service in the main dining room very slow. On day 3 we changed dining rooms to the one in the center of the ship and found the service and the wait staff wonderful. Food was very good, had no complaints at all. The buffet was very nice, food was very good, and a great variety available. ( We only had breakfast at the buffet.) Sea days were very boring as there was very little to do. Shows were very good in the evening! This cruise line is very informal and all about "free style" cruising. Some may like it, just not my style!   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I am just going to say first that we JUST been on the Jade 4 months earlier to Greek Isles. We have not cruised with Norwegian in many years and was pleasantly surprised with the Jade. Since we were going to be in the Tampa area at the ... Read More
I am just going to say first that we JUST been on the Jade 4 months earlier to Greek Isles. We have not cruised with Norwegian in many years and was pleasantly surprised with the Jade. Since we were going to be in the Tampa area at the time of this cruise we decided to try it again. MISTAKE!!! On a scale of one to ten....maybe a two. We had a few incidents in the dining room with a waiter that didn't want to do things for us. I won't go into it. I will say that on the second night we asked for a young lady....Melony that actually waited on us when we arrived for lunch the first day....after that we asked for her everytime and she was wonderful. Then there was a problem in the gift shop, we picked up a bottle of hair spray that had $5.99 on it. When we got to the register the lady said that was the wrong price and picked up another one with $9.99 on it. I said excuse me...it says $5.99 she said someone priced it wrong....OK...your point ISSSSSSS???? She would not back down so we left. My husband would not let me call a manager. Folks we are talking $4 not $4000. The guy in the internet cafe was very rude. I watched before it was my turn as he treated people like they were just plain stupid. There are other things I won't go into and I'm sure the things I mentioned would not be inportant to some. The ports were less than desirable and I know...we chose them so It is ultimately our fault. Our best port was Costa Maya by far. We booked with Maya Chan and it was a wonderful day. I would suggest that in a heart beat. The last thing which is the worse was the entertainment. TERRIBLE. I just could not believe it. The ships people were awlful...could not sing....on and on. There was one guy, a juggler that was magnificent. I guess if I had to pick some good things the food was just OK....pretty typical. Our room steward was great, like I said once we found Melony our dining room experiences were much better. I have never complained about anything on a cruise before so don't think I am just someone that cant be happy. To us, these things are all important. Not sure why Norwegian sends out survey forms because I did fill one out on line but have yet to hear back from them. I'm not saying that I won't cruise with NCL again but never again to the Carribean and since I have done Greece twice (once on RCCL) I won't do Europe either. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This seven day cruise on the NCL Sun featured two sea days and four ports of call: Roatan Bay, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Belize City. Please note that if you cannot do steps, you cannot disembark the ship at Belize City, even if you are ... Read More
This seven day cruise on the NCL Sun featured two sea days and four ports of call: Roatan Bay, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Belize City. Please note that if you cannot do steps, you cannot disembark the ship at Belize City, even if you are willing to brave the tender process. The ship does not dock at Belize City and the only access to the tenders is by way of a full flight of steps. It's just as well, as most people returning said I didn't miss much anyway. With three other ports, I was bound to sit one out anyway. The ship is one of the smaller ones in the NCL fleet and there were lots of special offers and discounts for this sailing, making it very affordable. But be aware that unlike the larger, newer ships, the Sun does not feature the latest technology. The NCL Concierge iPhone app does not work on the Sun. Even the entertainment (which often features scaled down Broadway musicals on larger ships), is less elaborate here. Two of the shows were adequate (A Bacharach-themed revue and a rock revue) and the third was a real hodge-podge with no real theme to it. Naturally, NCL encourages you to try it's premium dining spots, but the 'complimentary' dining rooms are good enough. (I have the feeling they are holding back from being amazing so that you'll try the premium ones instead.) The Garden Cafe buffet was fine - if a bit crowded at peak times. As you've doubtless read elsewhere, the standard cabin bathrooms are tiny and the shower stalls even tinier - no room for swinging the proverbial cat - sort of a curtained tube with a shower head at the top. Overall, service was terrific, with the Philippine staff taking the lead - tireless and hard working - always with a smile. I found some of the European staff were a bit less smiley - borderline indifferent - but perhaps smiling doesn't come naturally in Romania. Activities on board were the usual fare - embarrass your partner games, or gambling. I enjoyed watching Deal or No Deal, something I hadn't seen before on a ship. They offer Friends of Bill W., singles, and LGBT meetings - but curiously only the singles meets were hosted. Although I prefer a small, more manageable ship - when the NCL Epic docked alongside us in Cozumel, I did wonder how the other half lives. Their floating condo complex dwarfed the Sun. Although the ship is in terrific shape - I hope that some of the technological bells and whistles can be incorporated next time she is in dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Norweigan SunJan. 2015 CruiseI booked this cruise for my Father and myself to escape the cold winter in West Virginia, we did the same last winter with MSC.The day before we left, it snowed, the day it left it snowed, and the first day of ... Read More
Norweigan SunJan. 2015 CruiseI booked this cruise for my Father and myself to escape the cold winter in West Virginia, we did the same last winter with MSC.The day before we left, it snowed, the day it left it snowed, and the first day of the cruise there was a noreaster blizzard in New York and the Northeast.I will never book another airline ticket for the day of the cruise, it is too stressful.Our plane landed at 1:30 and we departed at 4 pm.Most cruises want you there 2 hours before they leave port.In the past, I have three times booked my tickets for the day of the cruise, and really... it is not a good idea.By the time we got our checked in bags all 4 of them, as well as 2 carry on and 2 personal bags and got to the ship, we had a little more than an hour to do the check in process which we did.But had our plane been delayed, fuggadaboudit.The embarkation process was fast and we were happy to be on board.Embarkation day and our First full cruising day was fine.I only have three complaints, The Veterans Get Togethers, Rooom Service, not much respect for Veterans.COMPLAINT ONEThe ship had a "Veterans Get Together" in the Champagne lounge on the first day at sea and then again in the Java Cafe on the last sea day.There was no representative there, no signage, no signs for the lounge and no form of respect from the ship.What I mean, is that it would have been nice to offer all Veterans a drink or some snacks or some recognition.Not asking for a handout or freebies, bt honestly.. how hard is it to bring a container of fresh coffee and some pastries from the buffet and serve them to our troops?It would be helpful also to make a simple postcard for each Veteran and place it inside the cabin door.we met at least 50 FIFTY Veterans who did not kn ow about either of these events.we also met about 20 at the events that did not know if they were in the right place or not.Again, a sign with a red white and blue ballons would have been nice.Finally the java Lounge had a animal towel folding demonstration going on and it was very loud and a few Veterans left because they could not hear each other talk.My Father is 96 and many of the WWII Vets could not simply hear each other.MSC, Royal Caribbean and Carnival have all done a much better job.I did however meet many vets, some from WWII and a Vietnam Sniper who was not too pleased with Michael Moore's comments.Another Vet was tring to tell me about his escaping from the Germans prison twice but I could not hear him over the towel demonstration.Shame!We gave each Veteran who stayed an autographed copy of one of my Father's books.COMPLAINT TWOROOM SERVICEThe room service takes 45 minutes each time and while that seems long for a stale and bitter pot of coffee, the food is nice.The room service attendants are rewarded with beads as well as most of the crew I met.I understand that there is a lot of cabins to attend to, but in the 3 previouse cruises, room service NEVER took 45 minutes, ever.The food was excellent except for the room service.The grilled cheese was not ereally grilled, the cheese was not melted at all.I asked for them not to bring potato chips and nearly every order they included them, which was wasteful.The PB&J sandwiches had large blobs of strawberry which was not appetizing.On two occasions the cookies were very hard even when dunked in milk.COMPLAINT THREEThere really is no discount for Veterans on this particular cruise.There should be some sort of discount for Veterans regardless on which cruise they book.Carnival does that, this crise line does not.We like that we can dine after 5 with no "early or late dining".The dining room is a short walk from us and I give them thumbs up for getting us that cabin.The dining room manager at Four Seasons was from Lima Peru and she was very professional and helpful getting us great seats each night.Some nights we shared a table other nights we did not.The photographers are not as pushy as Carnival.There are less drunks than on Carnival.The staff is mainly filipino and very friendly and polite.On MSC they were more reserved and distant.There are a lot of Peruvians and Filipinos working here and that is fine with me, they are very good at their jobs!Many people come up to my Father and shake his hand and say "Thank You".When they do that they are rewarded with a set of beads.My dad got a free beer which he did not drink, but when in rome and when it is 90 degrees outside, I had to help him out, right?He gets free kisses from the ladies and is well respected which is one of the reasons I like to take him on cruises.Thinking of being a snowbird so we can do this more often.The cabin we had was an interior one and the only disapointment was that there really was no military discount and to upgrade to an ocean view was $800.Sorry Pops, I will save that money for another cruise.I opted to place a $250 deposit (twice) and was rewarded with $200 in Cruise dollars to spend, which I did and got meself a new digital camera!So it pays to place a deposit which can be used within 4 years.I have NEVER booked a ship endorsed excursion because they are too pricey and I like to support the local tourists.Today I did a 360 degree turn and booked the "Mayan Ruins & Island Overview" for $55 and it was worth it.Jose was our guide and took us to San Gervasio Mayan Ruins.The ruins were cool but my faorite part was seeing the lizards.I got some great photos of them.Later at the beach, I had one Virgin Pina Colada and Pico da Gallo at Restaurant El Pescador for $9.00.The gentleman next to me and his wife they tried to charge him $34 for a $17 bill and did not get away with it.So check your bills before paying.On the way back I found vendor after pushy vendor in and around the Cruise Ship terminal.I was seeking the hand painted skulls for Dias De La Muerte (Day Of The Dead).They are plentiful in Chichen Itza and here also.They range from $3 to $5 averge for the small ones I was seeking.One vendor insisted his were worth $20 but "for me" only $18.I balked and eventually found two ladies who were sisters and had seperate stalls who knew how to negotiate.They sold them to me for $2 each as in Chichen Itza I can get them all day long at 3 for $5.The other lady and her sister sold them to me for $2 but did not have enough (I wanted 50) so they sold me the larger ones for $3 each.This was a bargain also as they were retailing them for over $8 to $10 each.They both understood "Buying in bulk".If I am ever back there, I will spend more money with them.Most of the souvenier vendors sell their wares high and prey on the elderly and naive.Me having travelled a lot, suggest you walk further away from the pier or simply go elsewhere to save money.I had one beer for $3 and got my free wifi for a half hour.That is all the time I needed and saved 40 to 75 cents a minute not using the ships wifi.I predict that one day most or all ships will have free wifi.I say this as 9 out of 10 people I speak to balk at paying for wifi on the ships.I want to recognize the following people for their excellent service:The cruise director and store for giving my Father a Swag bag with T Shirts playing cards, coffee cups and key chains!Richard Matic The Cruise Director from The Philippines who along with the staff ruined a perfectly goo dIrish song on the last day with their "Fountain"interpretation. It was hysterical!The Java Cafe staff of Chona Pascual, Gilbert Naong, Dommel Alsim, Regina, Edgar HorlanderSandra Rey The Four Seasons Hostess from Lima PeruDD or Dorothy Singer is an amazing dancer and singer!Solange Zindzi from Netherlands the MOST AMAZING gifted dancer I have ever seen, she is electrifying and alluring!Jimmy Hogsdon my "Nico" WaiterHoirul Muslim our room attendant from indonesiaBrian Walters & Sherry ArquillanoJanice Carbonill, Khadija Khawani, Edgar Cabantug Four Seasons Wait StaffCarmela Ferrar, Jonna May Salvador & Richard Reazoin Guest ServicesLuis Rios Assistant Executive HousekeeperGerardo Mendoza Quevedo from Peru Room serviceSarah Dewar from Canada, Robynn Hendricks from South Africa and Prasuila Plum from Brazil from the Photo TeamAll the "washy washy" girls from the Philippines including Angela Parades that kept the germs away from the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
It has been some time since my wife and I had been on a cruise. We had this one booked for nearly a year and coming from the cold Midwest, it was a respite from the bitter cold!! We were not disappointed. Overall, we had splendid service. ... Read More
It has been some time since my wife and I had been on a cruise. We had this one booked for nearly a year and coming from the cold Midwest, it was a respite from the bitter cold!! We were not disappointed. Overall, we had splendid service. Our balcony suite on the ninth deck suited our needs very well. Our steward did an excellent job and when our refrigerator quit working, he took care to see it was replaced the same day. Our suite was always prepared splendidly. I would recommend the Ultimate Dining Package to everyone sailing. It is well worth the cost to enjoy the incredibly good food and service in the specialty restaurants. To be frank, the buffets and meals in the main dining rooms are pretty run of the mill. Our favorite dining experience was in Le Bistro. The French cuisine was exceptional as was the service. As part owners of a restaurant, I wish we could hire the wait staff to teach our employees! La Cucina, Italian cuisine, was our next favorite. Teppanyaki was very entertaining. I would skip the Moderno Churrascaria. The salad bar was excellent; however, the meats were dry and flavorless. The tappas in Las Rambalas were tasteless and the bar service was non-existent. I am not sure why they even maintain this part of the ship as it is rarely occupied. On the other hand, the crepes and ice cream in the Garden Café were worth battling the buffet grazers. There were a number of events on the ship and we were able to participate in a few. We enjoyed participating in the art auction. Although we did not make a purchase, it was a fun experience. We sat through two presentations regarding making purchases. They were horribly longer than necessary and with a table full of raffle prizes; they chose to give them all to a single person. This soured the rest of the audience. The music entertainment was pretty good and we certainly enjoyed the comedian! While I really appreciated, there was a military veteran’s gathering, it was disappointing there was no one from the ship staff hosting the event, it was held in a lounge where the bar was not open and held on a single occasion during the cruise. I did notice however, the LGBT group had a gathering at the same location every day and when the bar was open. Any guesses as why the disparity? When it came to the shore excursions, we were very happy with our choices. The Zip Line on Roatan was incredible!! This has been on my bucket list for years and I could not have been more excited and pleased with the experience. Make sure you participate in one of the excursions on Roatan as there is absolutely nothing else to do dockside! You can finish shopping in 10 minutes. Roatan is very third world. The “downtown” area is filthy and a person does not feel safe. I do not recommend walking anywhere off the immediate dock area. Belize was not what I had expected. While we did some shopping on the dock, the immediate vicinity offered little else. Again, we wished we had planned an excursion to another part of the city. How many Diamond International stores can there be?! Costa Maya was a pleasant surprise! We enrolled in the salsa making/dancing class and what a blast!! We had small group and this was fine. Our guide was very entertaining as he taught us to make three salsa’s. He made every effort to teach us how to dance the salsa and what fun we had! The beach time was so nice! The beach area was not overcrowded and the prices at the various vendors along the beach were very reasonable! The water was so clear; the fish were coming right up to the shore where we were swimming and wading. Cozumel is quite obviously the center of the cruise/tourism trade in this part of the world. Tons of shopping right on the pier. At this stopped we attended the Mexican Cooking class and beach time at Playa de Mia. We prepared and ate our own meal and it was delicious! Luis and his crew were amazing! We had so much fun and learned some new twists in Mexican cooking from the appetizer to the desert! The beach area had so many activities; I wish we had been better prepared to enjoy more of them! With the exception of the last day at sea, our trip was very smooth. Heavy seas the last day made walking on the ship very difficult and there were a number of people falling ill. This is certainly not the fault of NCL. I understand the Sun is scheduled for dry-dock soon. Perhaps, they can improve stabilization of the ship in high waves. With the few exceptions noted, we had a very nice time on our cruise and would go on another with Norwegian Cruise Lines.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
title is reference to boarding incident -- this is nothing to slam the Latitude program -- Our boarding was the fastest smoothest ever (17 cruises - and not implying others haven't been easy - most lines are really doing well here) ... Read More
title is reference to boarding incident -- this is nothing to slam the Latitude program -- Our boarding was the fastest smoothest ever (17 cruises - and not implying others haven't been easy - most lines are really doing well here) but then 15 minutes or less after we got to the pier, we are in line on the boarding ramp -- moving reasonably, maybe 75 passengers ahead of us - and a couple of people jumped the line - scooting around a corner of the ramp ahead of about 50 people - I saw more people coming behind me in the same manner, and stepped to the side to block the opening -- the woman (about 65 or so) yelled at me to get out the way and let her through, and I asked why? She states, I'm a latitude member, I don't have to wait in line! I said, well i'm a latitude member too, why can't I jump ahead. She said, go ahead, no ones stopping you! the poor dear must have misunderstood some priority boarding term - I finally stepped aside and she got up about 15-20 people further and stood with some others, glaring at me for quite a few minutes to which I loudly stated, funny how latitude rhymes with rude! I know I should have been gracious and let her line jump quietly, but I'm not quite sure how many others would have simply let her go - HOWEVER - once on board ship, our cruise was fine - roomy (normal size verandah cabin) that had tons of drawers, shelves etc didn't even touch one of the drawers (it was broken - but fixed the day after I reported it) didn't miss it at all! Had the best room steward ever - Jayson! other parts of the cruise were excellent - nice ship - pleasant staff, well done job of upgrading to accomodate anytime dining but did not locate the sushi or tapas until the last day - on Jewel class ships they are midship and everyone passes them nearly every trip thru the ship -- on the Sun they are upstairs on deck 11 and kind of tucked in with Cagneys and LeBistro - didn't notice the smaller venues because I only saw the major ones from the stairwell and it looked like they were the only things up there.. Only flaw I noticed was a lack of places to just plop to read a book, visit etc. Library is small - there were places around the centrum, but I've always looked for areas that are quiet, and not active - those are a bit limited on this vessel. otherwise food, service, trip - all quite enjoyable, and easiest disembarking as well - and no latitude members running me over!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
My husband and I are in our 40's, and traveled with my parents. This was our 10th cruise (all on NCL). We had a great time on the Sun. Embarkation- very easy and organized. Was on the ship by noon. Everybody heads to the buffet, but ... Read More
My husband and I are in our 40's, and traveled with my parents. This was our 10th cruise (all on NCL). We had a great time on the Sun. Embarkation- very easy and organized. Was on the ship by noon. Everybody heads to the buffet, but don't forget one of the main dining rooms is open for lunch. Ship- In good shape overall. The layout was a little weird on deck 6 (you had to go through Dazzles to get from the back to the front). We stayed in a "sideways" inside cabin on deck 9. Felt very roomy and lots of storage space! Entertainment- Did not attend one headliner show, so can't comment on that. We spent most of our time in the Windjammer for trivia! We really enjoyed the "Sun sing-a-long" the one evening they had that in the Atrium. Food- We ate in two specialty restaurants, and the main dining rooms the rest of the evenings. Le Bistro was amazing (food and service). La Cucina was good. We enjoyed most of the food in the main dining room, although the service seemed a little slow compared to previous cruises. We NEVER had to wait to eat any night; no lines at all. For breakfast, we usually ate at the Great Outdoors (Aft); much less busy than the inside buffet. There is no Blue Lagoon on this ship, but that menu is available in the Sports Bar after 5:30 PM. Las Ramblas is supposed to serve Tapas food, but we went one night at 7 PM and was told "we only make so much food, and when it's gone, it's gone." Therefore, Las Ramblas was usually never occupied. What a waste of space. Staff- very friendly. Our cabin steward was awesome. Ports- For Roatan, we purchased the NCL excursion to Tabyana Beach (and snorkel). Had a great time and the snorkeling was amazing!! Lunch was included and was good. Belize- did the NCL excursion for "Hell's Gate Rafting or Tubing". The bus ride was long both ways (about an hour), but tubing the river was very fun. The river is very calm; so don't expect rapids. The lunch provided was very good. Costa Maya- did not purchase an excursion. Took the taxi (about $4) to Blue Kay. The beach is free to use; there are bikes and kayaks available to rent. We rented a bike and rode to the lighthouse and then down to the other end of the beach. The beach was very pretty. Cozumel- Did the NCL excursion "Palancar snorkeling and Playa Mia". The water was a little rough, so it wasn't easy snorkeling. By the time we got to Playa Mia we only had an hour and a half to enjoy the beach. Wish we had more time on the beach. We lucked out and had good weather at all the ports. The last sea day was chilly and the waves were large. If you are prone to sea sickness, stick to the center of the ship on the lower decks! Spa- Both treatments were good (hot stone and reflexology). Disembarkation- the ship was delayed in getting clearance from officials, so everything was delayed a little (another good reason not to book early flights!) Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We are avid ocean cruisers on various cruise lines (13 cruises, 6 cruise lines) and we generally enjoy Norwegian's "FreeStyle" type of cruising. The Norwegian Sun cruise was a fun vacation with a good itinerary, but this ... Read More
We are avid ocean cruisers on various cruise lines (13 cruises, 6 cruise lines) and we generally enjoy Norwegian's "FreeStyle" type of cruising. The Norwegian Sun cruise was a fun vacation with a good itinerary, but this ship is old and needed refurbishment a few years ago to meet the standards you would expect from a cruise vacation. It was built in 2001, and it appears that maintenance has been neglected for awhile, as the ship is scheduled to go into drydock for refurb in 2016. First, our cabin: carpet worn and stained, couch old and stained, shower leaked (and was one of the smallest we've encountered), balcony door jammed due to rust, and rust stains running down side of balcony walls. The rest of the ship was in better condition. There were some amenities missing, such as viewing your bill on the TV, and inability to hear PA announcements in the room (you had to physically open the cabin door to hear the announcements). The TV channel selection was pretty good, with one new movie channel we enjoyed and an older movie channel as well. One great thing about the cabin was that it had ample storage and the layout was well thought-out for this. If you cruise on this ship, make sure you dine in La Cucina, the Italian restaurant. We expected a pizza/pasta joint, but were treated to a very elegant and upscale dining experience. The food was fabulous and the staff very attentive - the best dining value on the ship. On the other hand, Le Bistro was a disappointment, with overcooked duck and overworked staff. The buffet was mediocre; highlights were the vegetarian dishes (for my husband); I had trouble finding things I liked. There was a very limited selection. Breakfast was the best meal there. The dining room menu was fair and the food okay, with the highlights being the fish dinners. We expected a special dinner (e.g., lobster tail) one evening, but they did not have one. Menu was more disappointing than other Norwegian ships we've been on (Dawn, Spirit). The Port Shopping guides were always available at Diamonds International in the ports; their "recommended stores" seem to be mainly limited to Diamonds International. Items in this store were always a "great deal', according to them, but we know better. You have to negotiate and research (Free WiFi is much more available in the ports than it used to be). Cruise staff was generally very attentive; entertainment was so-so; the comedian was not funny or innovative. Singers/Dancers were average, being part of the staff. Cruise Director Richard was more visible than most; he always greeted passengers coming on or off the ship. And by the way, the Sun outdid the Epic on the Pier in Cozumel - they greeted the passengers with singers, dancers, refreshments and music when coming back aboard after the day at port! Embarkation and "easy off disembarkation" were terrific. It was disappointing that you could not bring even a single bottle of wine onboard without paying a $15/per bottle corkage fee. Many other cruise lines (e.g., Carnival) allow guest to bring a bottle of wine onboard and only charge you if you are opening it in the dining room (not if you consume it in your cabin). We took a shore excursion to Gumbalimba Park in Roatan, the second time we have been there, and for a reason. It is really a lot of fun interacting with the monkeys! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We recently sailed on Norwegian Sun January 11th for 7 nights out of Tampa. It was the first time I had cruised. I keep reliving it over and over in my mind and it was simply a wonderful vacation. I received so much valuable information on ... Read More
We recently sailed on Norwegian Sun January 11th for 7 nights out of Tampa. It was the first time I had cruised. I keep reliving it over and over in my mind and it was simply a wonderful vacation. I received so much valuable information on cruisecritic.com and want to write a review just in case someone else can pick up some tips that may helpful to them. We booked our cruise 8 months in advance and got a great rate for an Ocean View Picture window room on Deck 5. About two weeks before we were to leave, I called our travel agent and we were upgraded to a balcony on Deck 9. Our group of 8 flew on Delta and didn’t have any problems with flight schedules or our luggage. When we arrived at the airport in Tampa we took a taxi from the airport to downtown for $25 plus tip, it was a big mistake. There were four of us plus the driver in each cab and lots of luggage. We had to have luggage in our lap, and our cab driver actually bungee strapped the trunk shut and almost lost one of our valuable pieces. On the way back to the airport we took Blue One Transportation for $10 each and they were great. We were all able to ride together with plenty of room for the luggage. We stayed at Embassy Suites downtown the night prior to the cruise and after. We were very happy with our rooms, the evening reception and continental breakfast. We arrived a bit early and were able to check into our rooms. Then, we went for a walk along the riverfront and had dinner at Columbia Café. Our waitress mixed pitchers of Sangrias and Mojitos at our table and gave us lots of tips on cruising. It was a great night to start our memorable vacation. In the morning we took the Blue One Transportation from Embassy Suites to the port for $5 each, plus tip. We were at the port about noon and boarding went very fast. We had lunch at the Garden Café; shortly after we were notified our rooms were ready. When we arrived at our rooms our luggage was waiting for us, except one piece ~ the one that had all of our pop and “stuff” was missing. Our room steward was in the hallway and came to introduce himself. In no time, he had retrieved our missing luggage. I wish I could remember his name, I think it was Terain. He was absolutely the best! Don’t worry about bringing extra “stuff”, every piece of luggage in our party of 8 got through. The sail away party was lots of fun. I can’t say enough good about all the crew on the Norwegian Sun. They were always happy, helpful, energetic and full of fun. They are what make the Norwegian Sun an extraordinary ship. We never had to wait in line for the shows, Main Dining rooms or buffets. The food was wonderful! We didn’t go to any of the specialty restaurants. We don’t gamble or drink at the bars, so I can’t comment on that. The first day was spent at sea; each day after that we woke up early and went on excursions, had a scrumptious dinner, and went to the evening shows. They had a juggler, comedian, ventriloquist, and Broadway-style shows; plus other “game show” type events. We enjoyed every one tremendously, but another time I don’t think we would try to take it all in. It would be nice to have more time to relax and just enjoy walking the ship and being at sea. We sailed to Roatan, Belize City, Costa Maya and Cozumel, and booked all of the tours prior to leaving. In Roatan we did the Best of Roatan Tour with Bodden Tours. It was nice to have a private driver. We started with Ronald, he gave us a nice tour of the island and then brought us to see the monkeys; from there the guys went zip-lining and Ronald brought the girls to West Bay Beach and made sure we were set up with chairs and an umbrella. Shortly after, Victor Bodden brought the guys to meet us and we went snorkeling. It was a fun day, but everything costs extra when you go on the private tour. I think the fun-n-sun tour that Bodden Tours provides would be a better value. I must add, one of our traveling companions was very sick with a terrible cough and flu. Thank goodness, we were in Mexico where you can get medicine without a prescription. Victor brought us to a pharmacy and we were able to get antibiotics for her. The next morning we were in Belize City and went cave tubing with cave tubing.bz/tours/tours. When I originally booked the tour we had had a group of eight so I thought we were suppose to be with a private driver; however, there were only seven of us because one was not feeling well. They put us with four other people ~ two of which wanted to go zip-lining (we had just zip-lined the day before, and the other four people were on another ship and leaving several hours before us). I was a little apprehensive about how they were going to handle the situation, but we were given two guides. Walter and George should be highly commended. George took part of the group zip lining and Walter entertained and took care of us throughout the day. We were able to tube extra caves and he made our walk through the jungle thoroughly enjoyable. Walter even showed us his “pet” tarantula. One tip that I had read prior to the cruise was to bring bug spray. We used it prior to our walk though the jungle but not after cave tubing. We are from Minnesota and I have certainly had my share of bug bites, but I actually had large welts on my legs. Remember to put bug spray on after cave tubing for your walk back to the van. Cave tubing was a wonderful adventure. Costa Maya was our best excursion of all in my opinion. We went to Maya Chan Beach Resort. Google it, you will not go wrong! It was totally relaxing. Everything they say about it is true. In Cozumel, as much as they advise against renting scooters ~ we did. It was so much fun. We rented from Rentadora Isis and did not have any problems. She had brand new scooters and we rode around the whole island and stopped for lunch at Paradise Beach. In retrospect, I would have rather walked one of the beautiful beaches on the east side of the island instead of going to Paradise Beach. The next day was spent at sea enjoying the food, fun and shows. After arriving in Tampa the next morning we were able to check in early at Embassy Suites then took the trolley to Ybor City and went on a walking tour with Lonnie. I think I could enjoy the same ship and the same ports just as much the next time. But, on our next cruise I wouldn’t be as active and would take the time to enjoy just being at sea. Hopefully, we will be able to cruise again.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Reading some of the reviews before I signed up for this cruise made me a bit nervous. I would like to meet some of these folks who wrote the negative reviews. They may be negative people about everything or maybe hired by a competitor. I ... Read More
Reading some of the reviews before I signed up for this cruise made me a bit nervous. I would like to meet some of these folks who wrote the negative reviews. They may be negative people about everything or maybe hired by a competitor. I have been on 18 cruises but this is the 1st on NCL. Everything from the embarkation to the debarkation was great. The staff was super friendly and also willing to help. We had the drink package and that worked out swell too. Never a problem. I am not a picky eater like some folks but the food in the dining rooms was more than adequate although the variance wasn't there as on other cruise lines. Same with the buffet. The servers in the dining rooms were very pleasant and cordial. With the freestyle dining we had different servers every night. We did not go to the specialty restaurants. If you like the waiters doing dances and parading around like on other cruise ships, freestyle dining is not for you. Myself, I thought it was great. The entertainment throughout the ship was the best I have seen. They have 5 live music groups playing at different times and different areas. The music seems geared to the 50 plus set but there were many younger folks enjoying it too.The main stage shows were fine also from the staff acts to the comedian and ventriliquest(sp). Not many small children on this cruise. Lots of activities during the day. The pool area has 2 pools and 4 whirlpools. There is another whirlpool also located on deck. For those who like to go the gym like myself, plenty of treadmills and ellipticals and other exercise equipment. The men's locker has a sauna and a steam too. Like I said, just a great cruise. Can't tell you much about the ports. Most of the Caribbean ports are the same unless you book a specific excursion which we did not. Did a taxi tour in Honduras which was fine. Bought a few things in other ports but nothing earth shaking. Enjoy and pay no mind to those negative cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
The overall set up of our balcony stateroom was pretty user friendly for a couple. Decor simple but modern and tasteful. A very few scuffs or wear on furnishings were barely noticeable. Closet space was plentiful as was drawer space. ... Read More
The overall set up of our balcony stateroom was pretty user friendly for a couple. Decor simple but modern and tasteful. A very few scuffs or wear on furnishings were barely noticeable. Closet space was plentiful as was drawer space. Supposedly expandable to accomodate 4 but I wouldn't begin to wonder where 2 extra people plus clothes, shoes and "stuff" would all fit. Bathroom got a " good" rating basically because you really can't call a bathroom that small excellent. That being said, it was quite functional for it's size. Still it's a one person at a time bathroom. The comfort got average mostly due to the exceedingly hard sleeping surface. Even after the steward added a "pad" there was just no give or support just a stiff unyeilding surface. Fyi I"m 220lbs and am used to firm beds. The small sofa was equally hard and so-so on comfort as well. The linens were nice though with a high enough thread count to be soft and cool. We will "vacu-pack" a foam bed pad next voyage! The climate control was stupidly simple and effective and the vacuum vent in the bathroom very effective in replacing bad air with good air. Room lighting was excellent with lots of options. The walls were amazingly soundproof . We had a noisy boisterous family next door and they were sometimes unbearable with our balcony door open( noisy and smoked despite signs) but if we closed it we could barely hear( or smell) anything from them at all. The balcony was great, again max 2 people but listening to and or watching the ocean was awesome. We did not use a lot of shipboard activities as we were "honeymooning and recovering from a manic month of wedding prep and OOT family. But we like food so on to that.... We don't eat out much as we prefer simple meals with lean meat/fish/ fowl fresh veggies etc..and I prepare food generally better than most restuarants. Not bragging but I have been cooking my family's meals for nearly 50 years. I have worked in every aspect of food service from fast to fine dining and from "way in the back" (dishwashing) of the house to all the way up front. I have prepared and or served practically every type of food...burgers & BBQ to intimate tableside dinners. Plus catering and banquets for hundreds and twice fed 25,000 plus using outdoor facilities, open fire pits and a team of 10 or less in trying circumstances( hurricane relief). I say all this to bring perspective to the shipboard dining we experienced. In short truly excellent! As anyone who has cruised knows, the kitchen really never closes. The logistics of constantly preparing and serving quality food for several thousand people round the clock is an incredible task. Meats were juicy and flavorful, veggies crisp when raw and never overcooked and desserts "just so". The only exception I found was the burgers on buffet?! We love the freestyle dining as it suited us perfectly. We ate mostly the 2 buffets at 4 Seasons and Garden cafe. Where the food was consistently good to excellent. The only thing "buffet like" was the self service line . Seating was plentiful and tables kept clean and available . Of note is that food related staff were fanatical about cleanliness in all aspects with hand washing stations offered everywhere. The Maitre'D hotel Tefvik was always present and conspicuous at main dining times and was very approachable and friendly. The overall efficiency and quality of service reflected his commitment to such. We had 2 breakfasts and 2 dinners at the 7 Seas which is a "wait to be seated" venue and each meal was better than the one before. Service was cheerful and brisk but never hurried. The food was great and the plate presentations such that you would not know that you were not at a fine dining establishment... and this was one of the "included" venues. Awesome! We did try the Churrascaria as well which was an upcharge restuarant but were a little disappointed. The restuarant itself is quite nice but there were some consistency problems. They arrive at the table with a large skewer of meats and portion off the meat you want. My wife and I each started with lamb chops, mine were perfect hers were tough? From the same skewer?? The pork ribs were so-so , the chicken very good, the filet mignon tough and cooked well done at first but reordered them and was given nicely tender rare/med-rare. We did enjoy a nice bottle of wine which was a gift from a staffer for our honeymoon. The salad bar was quite nice with meats and cheeses and veggies typical for the venue. But...the staff seemed a bit confused and out of sorts and service suffered due to this. This wasn't bad per se but with such excellent venues" included" we expected more from this one. We left early since we had a very long day and were not "feelin it". I'll chalk this up to a rare exception. Used the fitness center three times. It was small but clean and new and I never had to wait for a treadmill or "machine". The only part of the spa we used was the steamroom and sauna which was a great way to ease the aches from that bed! The Internet Cafe was unfortuneately not a high point. Better than nothing if you absolutely must interrupt your vacation with the WWW but the connection was beyond slow and at $0.75 a minute not worth the wait. To be fair to NCL practically every person we saw over the age of 2 had an "I-thing", Maxi-pad tablet or internet gizmo of some sort and seemed glued to it and not the beautiful surrounds. As the IT officer explained they were streaming all those GBs from a satellite link on a moving target (ship). I tried once just to check my Email for 1 important message but gave up after it wouldn't log on after 5 minutes. Hey I'm on vacation ..right? Shoreside... warning a bit of a rant is coming! We picked the itinerary because we wanted to self explore Roatan which we did. We were warned that there was a measurable percentage of crime outside the "walls"of the reception area( the big shopping corral at the pier). Many of the cruisers chose various excursions via the cruiseline and they were quickly whisked off to different parts of the island to other restricted access areas or diving snorkling etc. We found a driver in short order( after a quick prayer!) and paid him to drive us around to see the island as it is. Dale our driver was very amiable. An ex-cop and we sensed his honesty immediately. We were looking at possible future retirement there and asked him to take us where there might be land for sale which he did. The raw beauty of Roatan is stunning and did not disappoint! Hilly, breezy and lush. Incredible water and reefs especially when viewed from the hilly heights. Just what we came for. But as we travelled farther from the port area we began to see more and more poverty. We eventually we ended up the other end of the island from Coxen Hole in a place we can only say was desolate. Dale had warned us we probably would not like what we saw and he was right. The poverty we saw wasn't just the "we eat more rice and beans than meat "kind. There were villages with little if any running water, water from the taps is not considered safe to drink, electricity is not a given and we were told that the people in that area wait for the garbage to be dumped from the "resorts" to pick through it for food. Children played in garbage strewn streets or in the dirty water there and dead dogs lay here and there. Strangely ( by US standards) and thankfully we were told that no one "bothers the children" that were running and walking everywhere by themselves. Dale told us that these villages were people from the mainland that came to escape the poverty and crime !!?? We were and still are very sad about this. 20 miles away foreign tourists like ourselves disembark from the ships, thousands every week, most to spend a coupla hundred bucs each on T shirts and excursions at resorts etc. It's not the poverty itself that was bad but the" in your face" disparity of wealth. Our own friends from Roatan had not warned us and later confirmed they themselves were unaware of this aspect of the island. Thankfully Dale whisked us back toward the port and a really good meal of Mahi just down the street from his house . We washed this down with the better part of a bottle of Flor De Cana and coke and talked about the island's economics. We don't know what if any direct financial help that the cruise lines give to the island. We hope that all those dollars and euros do get "downstream" .....? I am not giving this report to discourage folks from going there. Quite the opposite , please go and maybe try to spend your money buying lunch in a local restaurant and buy some trinkets at the roadside stands instead at the shopping corral. The people we met are sweet and friendly and deserve somewhat more than they are getting being residents of one of the most beautiful places on the planet to go. We will be contemplating the issue with our Roatan friends. The other ports were more developed, especially Cozumel which has a good tourism oriented economy beautiful waters, plenty of eateries, lots to do and to shop. Don't miss Pancho's Backyard!! I am sure you could drive off the beaten path from any of these and find "need" but we found friendly faces everywhere we went. Belize City has a reputation for crime but our guide there told us that it was largely "gang on gang" crime . We did not see any ourselves and the streets were full of school children in starched white uniforms returning to school after the holiday. The zipline and tubing excursions in Belize are not to be missed. We used Joses's Tours and had an awesome time. So now back to the Sun. We were told that Sun was one of the older and smaller ships of Norwegian but there was definitely a "family" atmosphere aboard and the crew worked overtime to make you feel that way. Docked next to giant Norwegian Epic in Costa Maya it was obvious we were on the "little ship that could". The weather had stiffened up a bit with 35 knots coming across the decks but Sun rode through with an easy motion that rocked you to sleep. Some folks we spoke to on the "tall" Epic said that they had been rocking and rolling a bit on the way there. We snoozed with the balcony door cracked listening to waves and wind and bathed in the light of the nearly full moon. Awesome.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our 4th cruise, second with our children, who range from 13-21.while we had a nice time with family and friends, we were never really impressed by anyone on the shop. We did like the ventiloquist, Kenny Byrd, but he was truly a ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise, second with our children, who range from 13-21.while we had a nice time with family and friends, we were never really impressed by anyone on the shop. We did like the ventiloquist, Kenny Byrd, but he was truly a rare standout. The only other person that seemed to make a relationship with us, a large group of 19, was Emir in the sports bar. The ship is behind the times in terms of technology and shows some wear. Young children were allowed to run all over the ship at breakneck speed and no one ever seemed to interfere. All in all, the experience could have been better. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I had booked the cruise 8 months early as I knew we wanted to cruise for our Anniversary, and I needed to leave from Tampa. I am 48, my DH is 49 and we were traveling with our DD 11. I was a little nervous since it was a holiday cruise ... Read More
I had booked the cruise 8 months early as I knew we wanted to cruise for our Anniversary, and I needed to leave from Tampa. I am 48, my DH is 49 and we were traveling with our DD 11. I was a little nervous since it was a holiday cruise that it might sell out so even though the prices were a bit high i booked the cheapest ocean view with the hopes of jumping to a balcony if/when the prices dropped a bit. Well my plan would of worked except my PCC at NCL dropped the ball wouldn't return my calls timely and basically ruined my chance of getting a balcony. I did finally manage to complain to a supervisor at headquarters who gave me a bottle of wine some choc covered strawberries and 200 of on-board credit.(Still will never book directly thru NCL again, lesson learned). I was also the first one on CC to book so I started the roll call and decided to host the Meet & Greet. After the whole fiasco with booking I was not expecting much, but happily the cruise was better than the booking. We had flown down to Tampa on Friday to spend the weekend with my in-laws in Sarasota, so we did not get to the port till a little before 3. I was afraid they wouldn't let us on the boat as the documentation says you must be on board an hour before sailing. Well we sped thru embarkation and were on the boat and in our cabin 8005 (OA-oceanview) in about 15 minutes. No lines, no waiting and our cabin was ready. I wouldn't recommend waiting till the last minute though it's stressful. Our cabin was way in the front of the ship so it was quite a walk to get anywhere but it was clean and laid out well. When I walked in I saw the wine and strawberries. I also saw paperwork saying I was a VIP and I could use the concierge services, as well as breakfast and lunch in La Cuchina(basically suite perks without the suite). That was a pleasant surprise and we utilized the special breakfast all week, we also got off the ship first in Roatan -which was very nice. We dropped our carryon luggage in the cabin and it was already time for the Muster Drill, so we went to our station. They lined everybody up and showed us how to use the life vest( I have attended quite a few of these, so I didn't really pay attention, just hoped I wouldn't need to use the information). After about 10-15 minutes of standing around we were dismissed, walked back to the cabin slowly and there was our luggage waiting for us in the hall. After unpacking we were starting to get hungry as we had eaten lunch in Tampa around noon, decided to go to Four Seasons. All three of us were in shorts and t-shirts, but my husbands shirt was sleeveless(wide across the shoulders but no sleeves) When we got to the dining room they sent him back to the cabin to change, while they seated us. He was good natured about it but I really didn't think his shirt was inappropriate for the casual dining room. They handed us the menus, and I was underwhelmed with my choices but settled on the shrimp scampi(not what you imagine, but not bad-it was more liked grilled shrimp and risotto), ordered Apple pie for dessert- it was like an apple paste not good, not terrible just blah. First and only time I ordered it and usually that is my go to dessert. I should note we passed under the skyway while eating in the dining room, so saw it from the window, it was about 6:30 pm. After eating we walked around the ship, stopped by the Spa and entered the raffle-won a 100.00 GC which I had to use on a port day. Booked it for the evening of Roatan...got a facial still cost me 60.00 which is about what i pay here in NJ for one.The ones here are much better. Registered my DD for the Kids Club...Now my daughter has High Functioning Autism, and I had contacted them ahead of time to make them aware, once on the ship it was never mentioned and she seemed to do okay since it wasn't super crowded, so I am not sure if they accommodated her or my daughter just was okay since its wasn't overwhelming to her. Either way no meltdowns or incidents and she attended almost everyday-even joined the circus on the last Sea Day. The next day was a Sea Day, woke up at 6:30 and saw they had a stretch class at 7, decided to attend the only exercise we managed to do all week, it is vacation after all. We then went to our "special" breakfast in La Cuchina and ate very well.(the food and service here was phenomenal) . Afterward I headed up to Las Ramblas for the CC Meet and Greet- it went well(I was very nervous, never hosting one) but the turn out was smaller than I thought.They had coffee and cookies for us as well as getting to meet all the ships officers. After Lunch was the Latitudes gathering - I won 100 internet minutes(which was ironic since I purposely did not bring my laptop on this vacation to unplug from the real world) Ended up using them to check email -and glad we did because our housesitter had an issue with a leaky water heater. There wasn't mush going on in the afternoon so I attended the watch seminar-eh. Then was invited to the captains cocktail party so went back to the cabin to get changed. It was too windy and cool on deck to sit out so I spent most of the day indoors. DD went to the Kids Club so DH and I decided to have dinner at Seven Seas-It was dress up or not night and since we went to the cocktail party and were dressed up that was the nicer dining room. I ordered the steak-it was AWFUL, actual every steak I had was terrible. Maybe I am a steak snob or just spoiled(we have a Longhorn and an Outback in my town, both which are way,way better than what they called steak on this ship) We decided that we were going to go to the specialty restaurants. At Roatan I had booked Little French Key(not thru NCL)-due to another review on Here. Highlight of the Week- It was a beautiful little island, the provided lunch was excellent-the weather was awesome- It really was Paradise...hated to leave. The only bad thing was it was the first stop, so the bar was set very high for the next three stops. That night had dinner at the buffet as I had my facial scheduled, food was good selection limited but better than dinner the night before. Next stop Belize-tender port and highly recommended book a ship excursion-we chose Cave tubing. Now it did rain in the rainforest(but that was ok) but the excursion while fun could have been handled much better. It was very disorganized and crowded...so we ended up with a lot of wandering around wondering where we should be and what we should be doing. Time that could of been better spent I am sure. Had our anniversary dinner this night in Le Bistro- it was very nice. they sat us under a gazebo in the center of the restaurant serenaded us and brought us a cake. It was also NYE...after dinner went back to the cabin to rest a bit and almost slept thru the new year- woke up at about 11:30 and forced ourselfs to go to the atrium for the celebration. it was raining out side so the party was brought into dazzles- walked in and walked right out, too loud and too crowded. but the balloon drop in the atrium was nice and they walked around with champagne and noisemakers. Afterwards back to bed with us. Costa Maya was the next stop and the whole atmosphere was quite and subdued(alot of hangovers, I am sure) We took the trolley down the beach to Blue Kay, hung out on the beach for about 4 hours but my DD had gotten to much sun at Roatan so she wanted to go back to the boat...we had only bough two drinks which came to 6 dollars- cheapest port visit...well until we let DD nap and we went back to shop around the port. Had dinner at La Cuchina this evening, worst meal of the cruise, can't believe they charge for this restaurant. At Cozumel we booked the Tulum tour which was an all day excursion- weather was again beautiful and tour was okay. Again it was a little too crowded to really enjoy the sight(but it was a holiday week, so I expected it) Our tour guide was very informative and I loved hearing about all the mayan history. Had dinner at Moderno tonight(had also eaten there on the Breakaway) The Breakaway seemed to have more meats and selection but what they had was good. Enjoyed my meal, left full. Saw the show this night- it was just okay. Last sea day was quiet, had both breakfast and lunch in La Cuchina, saw my DD in the circus show, packed and just relaxed as I knew it was almost over. Had dinner in the Four Seasons again- it was chocolate dessert night- had a Nutella pudding that was good. Overall it was a nice vacation- I am now sitting home in 7 degree weather. One other thing-I did notice the sewage smell while walking around the ship but never towards the front where my cabin was.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our first NCL cruise (16th overall with our favs being Celebrity, RCL and Princess)- we were pleasantly surprised! All 19 of our group had a great time, but I will only speak for my wife and I - the others can write their own ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise (16th overall with our favs being Celebrity, RCL and Princess)- we were pleasantly surprised! All 19 of our group had a great time, but I will only speak for my wife and I - the others can write their own reviews. I have to start out by saying that my wife and I go on a cruise to meet new people, and the freestyle dining is not the way to do this, so we would never go again on NCL unless it is with a group. The highlight of our cruise had to be the crew - they were always attentive to your needs - always in a friendly and helpful mood. There was always something going on, and we never felt crowded. The cruise, Bobby, and Asst. CD, Tyler, were unbelievable. As far as the accommodations - We had an obstructed, oceanview cabin on Deck 6 - very convenient location at the front of the ship - the room had more storage that we've ever had on a cruise...the shower was TERRIBLE - that had to be the worst part of the cruise - it was SO SMALL, you could hardly turn around or bend down. The food in the buffet was average - sometimes the long was too long and it took forever to get through...the one at the back of the ship was never crowded, but it didn't have all of the buffet items like the ones inside. The dining room food was above average, but service was inconsistent - we even had our waiter leave midway through our meal to go to another shift somewhere else on the ship - we couldn't believe that!!! We seemed to congregate in the Sports Bar every afternoon before dinner - the bar staff (Abin and Emir) were AWESOME. At 5:30, they also had a very good snack menu - things wings (AWESOME), burgers, fries, dips, etc.) Overall, we would definitely recommend the Sun.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We have just returned from a fabulous cruise on the Norwegian Sun (departure December 7th, 2014), and are happy to report that out of the five Norwegian cruises we have taken, this was definitely in the top three! We splurged and stayed in ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous cruise on the Norwegian Sun (departure December 7th, 2014), and are happy to report that out of the five Norwegian cruises we have taken, this was definitely in the top three! We splurged and stayed in the Owner’s Suite (1203) which had an amazing private balcony with a hot tub; a tremendous amount of living space; two bathrooms (one of which you could practically live in); and was on the same deck as the spa. The ship itself, while in need of some love, is in pretty good shape. Having been on the Breakaway twice for our last two cruises, while the dining options were not as many, the food was some of the best we’ve eaten on any of NCL’s cruises. We ate at Cagney’s, Le Bistro, and Moderno for specialty restaurants. The service at Cagney’s was haphazard, but otherwise our food was good. Le Bistro and Moderno were definitely our faves. However, I have to say that the food we had in the Main Dining Rooms was quite excellent. Overall, we did not eat at the buffet, but we were impressed with the set-up and offerings. Being an ice cream fanatic, I was very happy with the ice cream bar they have set up at the start of the buffet. The crew were friendly and accommodating. We had breakfast most days in La Cucina, and found the servers to be very nice. Our concierge Patrick was very helpful. While we overall had a good experience with the Spa, we found the therapist we used to be a little more pushy than normal. While it didn’t detract from our experience, it didn’t feel as relaxing as it could have. Also, the spa is much smaller on this ship than on the newer ones, and does not offer a thermal suite. Frankly, unless you really feel in need, I would skip the spa or go there on a port day that you get in early. The itinerary was great! We were fortunate to have fabulous weather at each port. For Roatan, we did a Best of tour through Victor Bodden Tours, and it did not disappoint! We had a great time—definitely go to the Iguana Farm and Victor Bodden’s Monkey Business. We did the ship excursions to Laminai Ruins (our guides were great!) and to Chaccoban. I would suggest only doing one ruins tour (the Laminai) as doing two ruin excursions back to back felt a little unnecessary (even if we had a good time in both). In Cozumel, we took a cab to Paradise Beach Club, which had a low entry fee although you have to guarantee a minimum spend for lunch of $10 per person. It was a nice stretch of the beach, very family friendly, and had all the amenities you could ask for (beach chairs, umbrellas, changing area, restrooms, decent food and service, and a pool). I wish they didn’t put so many water flotation toys in the water, but we still had a great time. The entertainment on board the ship definitely needs an upgrade. The shows were kind of lackluster (although the performers were excellent). I hate to say it, but I didn’t care for the comedian. I’m used to seeing Second City on an NCL ship (they were on all the other cruises), and missed them greatly on this cruise. While the Cruise Director did a good job, they need to overhaul their offerings to stay competitive with the other ships in NCL. The parties they had for Latitudes Members were fun. I must also add that we were traveling with two friends, who we had a blast with and definitely made this cruise even more fun than it would have been if we had been on our own. To us, they were as much a part of what made this vacation great, as did NCL ☺   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I traveled with my husband and two children ages 23 and 17. This was our 6th NCL Cruise. We've not taken the same ship twice so I have 5 others for comparison. The Sun is small. Not just compared to the new mega ships, but to the ... Read More
I traveled with my husband and two children ages 23 and 17. This was our 6th NCL Cruise. We've not taken the same ship twice so I have 5 others for comparison. The Sun is small. Not just compared to the new mega ships, but to the entire NCL fleet. She is also on the older side. The first thing I noticed is the lack of a main atrium area. Rather than open space with open decks above and elaborate open air stair case flanking the elevator bank you have a lack luster compact area directly in the center with the four glass elevators, two per side, separated by about 20 feet of space and a staircase tucked between them. The space is so tight that the only way to take a full photo of the staircase is from the side. The elevators themselves are tiny as well. The reception and shore excursion desks are very close by and the Java cafe is tucked into a corner on the opposite side atrium. As a photography buff, I found many of the public areas quite boring and lacking in artistic appeal. In the pool area I was impressed with the size of the pools and cluster of 4 hot tubs. The Sun has only one level above the pool but has a tremendous amount of open space on the forward deck for sun bathing or reading. We never had a problem finding a deck chair at the pool which was an extremely pleasant surprise. This may have been due to the median age of the passengers being in the senior range and lack of teens on board, but whatever the reason, it was nice not to encounter large crowds poolside. The Seven Seas Main Dining room, aft, looks almost identical to the Four Seasons, mid ship, Main Dining room. Nice, but not memorable. Dinners in both were wonderful, and absolutely delicious, but the nightly specials seemed to lack the wow factor. I was expecting elaborately prepared special dishes with interesting sauces or ingredients, instead the special one night was Lasagna and another it was Chicken Parm. Not that they were bad, I was just hoping for the regional specialty to be from the region in which we were sailing. The buffet was adequate. We ate there every morning and one evening after a long beach day. We decided that there was no reason to eat dinner there again when the food in the dining rooms is so superior to what we found there. The desserts, compared to the ones in the dining rooms, are not worth the calories. The Sports Bar is the 24 hours restaurant on board. We did not eat there, but is was a very nice room. Great place to watch a game or sit and watch the water. We only went to one specialty restaurant, Tempanyaki. It was $25 per person and while we enjoyed our dinner there, it was not worth $100 extra when the main dining room with food just as good is included. I could see paying an additional $10 o $15 but $25 was not worth it for the menu and amount of food provided. The other Specialty restaurants, especially LeBistro, were Beautiful! I believe this ship was the first built for Freestyle dining. That may be why the specialty restaurants look amazing compared to the rest of the ship. The overall layout of the ship is confusing to say the least. we were constantly running to folks in the elevators who where trying to figure out how to get where they were going. A couple of the restaurants are tucked away off the beaten path and the observation lounge, which is a lovely area, is mostly empty because it isn't in plain sight. The comedian joked that no one knows where it is. The entertainment was good. The Sun production crew does a great job with the musical numbers. The comedian was extremely funny, as was the ventriloquist. So where does the Sun really shine? Though she's small, she's very charming. The decor may not be awe inspiring, but it's cozy. She has a feeling of home about her. She's not flashy but she's very clean and most importantly the staff is amazing. The Cruise Director, Bobby, was very personable, spoke clearly, and was fun. The Assistant Cruise Director, Tyler, was an absolute blast! Probably one of the best at sea. Do they have a good kids program? I no longer have little ones, but I can tell you the we stumbled across a circus performance on the last sea day that involved all of the participants of the "Splash Academy" kids clubs. they had a pretty elaborate Big Top and Tyler was the Ring Master. they introduced all of the performers who showed their parents what they learned to do in the kids club all week. It looked like they had a great time, so yes, I would say they have a really good kids program on the ship. Our ports of call were great and we had no problem getting off the ship in a timely fashion at each. The Sun doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the bigger ships. There aren't a hundred things to do, in fact there are very few. She offers an old school cruise experience which is just fine with me. I prefer running into the same people everyday and hanging out by the pool to rock climbing and walking the plank. I can do without the water park and the thousand kids that come with it. The Sun is a great little ship and I hope she remains in the fleet for years to come. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My girlfriends and I were on our annual mini reunion ....this time we included our families. We left from the Tampa Port to Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. It was a 7 day cruise. I was initially apprehensive, but soon realized ... Read More
My girlfriends and I were on our annual mini reunion ....this time we included our families. We left from the Tampa Port to Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. It was a 7 day cruise. I was initially apprehensive, but soon realized time Floes when you are being treated like royalty and having a great time. We booked Adjoining suites...wow wow. We had our very own butler Mr Jayson Buot. the consummate professional, sincere kindness, and of course made sure every single day our suite was top notch condition. Patrick Berido the concierge was equally fantastic and helpful. We all decided to get pampered during the sea days. Greatest decision....the spa and salon services were exceptional. Whether you are seeking a massage or a free acupuncture consultation with the very knowledgable professional Haylee Keeble. Thanks for the great advice, I left your office more confident and well prepared to get the best treatment based on the protocol of MBACC. The spa was a relaxing escape, results driven massage services, and it was a complete transformation for us. We all loved Miss Yvette and the beautiful, professional Spa Manager Chaimae Oidir. She is so smart, educated and so warm and welcoming. It was an honor to also meet with the Spa Dr., who advised me on the best ways to keep my skin glowing. And she is right.......I am still glowing HUGE thank you to all at the Spa. We left feeling more relaxed and beautiful. I still use and thankfully bought every product that was offered and recommended upon departure. I never felt pressured to purchase anything. This Spa is just perfect from the moment you call to the end of service. I was offered a free collagen facial treatment the following day because I paid for a service the day before. I knew I was speaking with experienced professionals willing to answer all of my questions and offered me a free great advice I still follow. Miss Yvette (massage) As it turned out she was the person who best suited my needs. from the initial consult until the entire service was completed and I was 100% satisfied with the results! Let's talk about food. One word yummy. The Garden Cafe offered an array of food to suit everyone's preferences and tastes. The service was wonderful, very cordial staff. I never felt rushed to clear my plate and they went out of their way when I asked for a slight modification during a sit down restaurant reservation At the Garden Cafe I immediately felt a wonderful relationship with Miss Karen Ann. She was so darn sweet and polite, I truly enjoyed our chats and the kind and sincere compliments she offered. Mr. Tevfik Pamukcu, Maitre D' was a rock star and I wholeheartedly believed he loved his job, treated the staff with respect and was always on the go taking care of minor issues, very serious while working, but super friendly and a pleasure during downtime. My family really enjoyed his company. We trusted everything he recommended and loved sharing Immediately following my remarkable experience we flew back to our home in Virginia. Although it has only been a few weeks I cannot wait to hopefully see the same crew, staff spa employees again and have the same experience all over again! These wonderful people are away from their families up to 6 months at a time. As a military family I completely understand how it feels to be away from home, especially during certain holidays. These amazing people made us feel awesome and welcomed ( since it was also a welcome home from Afghanistan gift for my husband. ) The Norwegian Sun Cruise was everything I hoped for and more......And for that I am eternally grateful. I feel and look amazing, it was a much needed vacation with family and friends. Thank you all for giving us the VIP treatment. PS Mrs. Michelle Best in the gift/jewelry dept is an angel. She was so patient as I rejected every ring my husband wanted to purchase for me. I felt that his presence and the cruise were enough.....but with his insistence and Michelle's expertise, we managed to meet in the middle and I am now wearing a gorgeous ring, reasonably priced and have no plans of taking it off! BRAVO Michelle because I am a difficult and hard sell. Your charm, honesty and patience won me over. Best wishes, William, Sahar and Lance   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Had a great cruise on the Sun with our two adult sons. Leaving from the port of Tampa was great. No traffic hassles at all. Ports of call were excellent and had no problem getting on or off the ship. The ship is smaller than most ships out ... Read More
Had a great cruise on the Sun with our two adult sons. Leaving from the port of Tampa was great. No traffic hassles at all. Ports of call were excellent and had no problem getting on or off the ship. The ship is smaller than most ships out there now but that just made it feel friendlier. The staff/crew were just great. It didn't take long - a couple of hours - before some of the staff called us by name. Cruise director was under the weather when we were on board but the assistant - Tyler - was great. He was everywhere making sure things were happening and going well. We had lots to do on board. Everything from pool deck games, to trivia contests, and cooking demos and a whole bunch more if you want. The casino was good and nicely set up. Shows were excellent especially the big variety ones. We dined in the main dining room most of the time. Food and service was first rate. Ate at the Bistro and Moderno as well and they were both fabulous. Moderno was not quite as good as our last trip on this ship in April. Had a good choice of shore excursions to select from. The ships chief photographer - Priscilla - was really good. Had superb family portraits taken by her. She was also everywhere on the ship. It was nice to see the senior officers around the ship as well. They were checking that things were as they were supposed to be. Saw the captain doing the same and he would take time to speak with passengers. This ship may not have as many bells and whistles as the newest and biggest but it has the friendliest feel and that makes a good, happy experience. I would sail on the Sun again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Our family has not been on a cruise in 28 years - that one was arranged by a family member. Positives - staterooms were more spacious than I expected, we had 2 inside staterooms on the 8th floor. Staff very friendly, always said hello or ... Read More
Our family has not been on a cruise in 28 years - that one was arranged by a family member. Positives - staterooms were more spacious than I expected, we had 2 inside staterooms on the 8th floor. Staff very friendly, always said hello or acknowledged you on the ship. Negatives - FOOD was the biggest disappointment. Lack of variety overall - seemed like lunch items were re-hash of whatever was left over from the day before - just in a different sauce or form. Every single dessert served was inedible except the German chocolate cake which was only served the afternoon of departure. Desserts looked and tasted like styrofoam, airy, tasteless. Prime rib at Garden Cafe first and last night was reasonably good. A few of the salads were nice.Just huge lack of variety - never saw a shrimp, crab or lobster anything. Most of the on deck meals were cancelled due to wind - which was really not a strong wind. the two they did have were some of the better food served. Only saw grapefruit one day, otherwise cantaloupe, pineapple and honeydew cut fruit ever. yogurt in large dish looked so gloppy I did not even want to try it at breakfast. Excursions we booked on our own and saved about 75% over NCL prices and from what we saw and heard we had much better excursions than those who booked through the ship. Two best were BZ Cave tubing - loved Melvin our guide, great day, lunch was enjoyable, but bring a snack because you only eat at the very end of the day. Other great day was at YaYa Beach Club - club was OK, but it was Carolyn from Undertoe SUP (stand up paddle boards) and Simmone from the Yoga studio who was helping Carolyn who made our day. These two women were amazing they made our day in Mahahual - Costa Maya port the best day of the cruise! Everything you would want - smart, funny, kind, gracious, helpful, friendly. We (especially my sons 24, 22 and 19) had a blast with their lesson and just hanging out with them during the day. No they are not young 20 somethings but have this appeal that crosses generations. Simonne did an impromptu yoga session with me that was a real WOW experience, not just poses, very emotional, healing and something I never experienced before. Read Less
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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