Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by intjus
- Sail Date: September 2018
- Destination: Cuba
- Cabin Type: Family Balcony
The first port, Great Stirrup Caye, is a waste of time in my view. Would rather have another day in Havana. Nothing on Great Strirup Caye except the beach and a couple of bars. It's a cruise line owned island so they are just making money from anything you do there.
Havana is wonderful and we are already planning a trip back that won't be on a cruise. You need several days there to really see the city. It was nice to be there until late in the evening but another day would have really been great.
Harvest Caye in Belize is another cruise line port. However since the Belizian people run the port they do benefit from what you purchase at port. May not be important to others but I want to spend my money with the local people. Not with the cruise line. The excursion there took up the entire time in port. So we basically had no time to spend there shopping or looking around. Either the excursion needs to be shorter or the ship needs to stay in port longer. The whole excursion was rushed and we didn't get to enjoy time with the locals. The Mayan ruins there are interesting but minimal. If you want to see ruins take Mexico excursion to Choccoban. That is amazing. We did that excursion in Mexico and still had time to spend in port and even go into Mauhuahal for a little while. So you get to see the local area and some of the country while also seeing the ruins.
So my recommendation is skip the ruins in Belize and just do the ruins in Mexico. In Belize go to the local town and wander around or to the beach close by.
Overall I can't complain about the food on the ship. There were some buffet items that weren't good at all, but if you look around and try things you can find something you like. The two main dining rooms are excellent. Service was attentive and the food was very good. We ate there four times and enjoyed it everytime. We did eat at Maderno on our last night. It was excellent and well worth the $59 it cost both of us for the meal. If you love steak, lamb, chicken and pork all rotisserie grilled, give it a try.
We didn't go to any entertainment. Nothing looked interesting to us. Or any of the shows for that matter. However we did spend time in a few of the bars like Havana Club and Bliss Lounge. We also went to the karaoke bar one night just to listen. We really like Havana Club and the entertainment there.
Only went to the pool twice. One night in one of the hottubs and the next day hanging out by the pool. The area seems small for the size of the ship and it's hard to get a chair if you're not out there early. But we enjoyed our time sitting by the pool and especially the hottub the night before. Made some Puerto RIcan friends we are keeping in touch with which was nice.
Everyone on the ship was friendly and outgoing. The staff were excellent and I can't compliment them enough. Our steward seemed like maybe he was new and seemed uncomfortable around us. He was nice and attended as asked but we often had to seek him out. He didn't check on the rooms as I would expect.
Disembarkation is Belize was a disaster. No organization in the port. Needs to be some training done with the staff in the port. Mexico was much, much better. And Havana went fine.
My wife and I are still contemplating whether we'd do another cruise. Overall we enjoyed it as I've said. But there were many aspects we didn't like. Perhaps cruises attract a certain type of individual. My wife and I never think of ourselves as tourist yet on this trip we fully felt like tourist on all the excursions and really throughout the trip. That's what has bothered me the most. Do we need to be driving buses through impoverished areas just to see them? There's a bit of exploitation in poverty tourism which is part of what this is. So we'll have to think about it more before deciding for sure. Not being self righteous. I loved Havana and everything about it. But there are moral questions that need to be processed. For sure if we go again we won't take the planned excursions. At every port there are taxi's and other forms of transportation if you want to do it on your own which is appealing to us and what we would do in the future. We want to immersed in the culture. We felt that in Havana but no where else. You're too far removed and in a tourist bubble with the planned excursions. I know some people enjoy and appreciate this. We loved what we saw but would rather do it on a more subtle level.
The ship is very nice, food is good, service was very good, and amenities are sufficient. It was worth the price and we don't regret the trip. Just a learning experience for us on how to cruise going forward if we do it again.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Costa MayaOutstanding site to see. Had time to see amazing Mayan pyramids and still spend time in the local town and shop with the local community.View All 2,517 Costa Maya Cruise Port Reviews
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Great Stirrup CayJust went to the beach there. Not really much else to do at this port.View All 1,136 Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Reviews
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Harvest CayeDisembarkation was a disaster and completely unorganized. Our excursion was ok but took up the entire time in port and didn't allow us to spend any time mixing with the local community.View All 1,121 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
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