Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by wytyger1
- Sail Date: August 2019
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Balcony
The boarding process was easy but took longer than we thought it would. We were not uncomfortable though. The port is nice and air conditioned and we made idle chit chat while we waited for our turn to board. Once our group number was called, we boarded promptly and headed to the food. We sat in the Moderno area which had a smaller buffet but it was fresh and not as crowded as the Garden Cafe side which also had a buffet. As we ate lunch, we heard the announcement over the intercom that 'our rooms were not yet ready' and 'please wait until 1:30 when we tell you you can go to yours room'. You could drop your luggage off at one of the bars (Can't remember which one) if you wanted to be free of it. There was music piped into each of the dining area which is generally a nice thing. Once you start hearing the same songs a second time, you know you've been sitting in the same spot for a while.
We took a short walk around the ship. It doesn't take long to explore this ship. It's small but it's spaces are used wisely. We wandered around for a bit stopping to play a game of shuffleboard and try our hand at the driving range. I missed the fact that there was no mini golf on this ship. I'm not sure where they'd put it though. We visited the Park West Gallery folks and guessed the weight on the sculpture (we did not win).
Our first dinner experience was at Cagney's Steakhouse. The guys got the filet mignon and lobster tail. Both were fabulous and prepared properly. The gals had the seafood platter which was not out-of-this-world but not bad. The red snapper was a tad dry and the calamari was underdone. Also on the seafood platter were scallops and shrimp, both of which were tasty. I ordered the truffle fries which are merely french fries with truffle oil drizzled on them, nothing to write home about. Dessert was good. None of us were going to be hungry anytime soon. Toward the end of our dining experience at the steakhouse, a couple was seated. The Mrs. was clearly intoxicated and her head lolled sloppily from side to side while she babbled merrily to the guy seated at a nearby table. Who knew we were getting dinner and a show!?
Our first port was Great Stirrup Cay which is a tender port. I felt that the tendering process was slow compared to others. I do understand though. It's best to load the tender as full as possible as not to waste gas. We sat and chatted with some of the others on the boat while we all waited for it to be full. The ride to Great Stirrup Cay is super short and we got there quickly despite the long wait for our tender to depart to its destination. We found no issue in claiming 4 loungers together. The beach was ours for a couple hours and didn't start filling up until lunchtime. Lunch was pretty good as far as buffet food goes. There were plenty of fresh fruit and salad items and several different meat options such as hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and chicken. Desserts were also fine and could be found in a different area than the rest of the lunch buffet so you didn't have to wait in line again just to get a piece of cake. As a person with a sweet tooth I thought this was a smart feature. There were a few different bars serving drinks, however, there were still long lines at times. This process could be improved by offering a non alcoholic drink station near the beach. There is a drink station like this but it is located near the lunch buffet (with the desserts) which is a short walk from the actual beach area. Still, I liked the overall set-up of the private island. It also has a shopping area which is small and in my opinion, somewhat overpriced. It was nice not to be hounded to 'come into my shop', etc. The shop keepers were quiet but ready to answer questions if asked. The tender boat going back to the ship took no time to fill and we were on our way not long after we were seated. We got back in plenty of time to shower, nap, and refresh ourselves before heading to dinner.
For dinner the second night, we tried Le Bistro. I liked the brightness and decor of this restaurant. French music was playing softly which added a nice touch of elegance. Unfortunately, our waiter was late for work. One of his fellow waiters, a sweet lady named Maria, came over and took our order after she realized that we had been sitting there unattended for a little while. We were very appreciative. All of us were hungry. The food was slow to come out but when it did it was presented nicely and looked appetizing. I ordered the jumbo scallops and was pleased at how delicious they were. A happy photographer came to our table, before the food, and asked if we wanted pictures. No one likes to have photos with a half-eaten plate of food so we were glad he came around before the food arrived. At the end of the meal, he returned to us, with all of the photos printed so we could decide if we wanted to purchase any of them. Our table of 4 selected 2 of the photos he had taken. It's extremely rare that any of us buy dinner photos but the photographer took his time with us and got some genuine smiles. In the end that was beneficial for us and to NCL as they made 24.95 a piece for each of the photos we bought.
After dinner each night, our small party met to play games and hang out together. 3 nights is really too short to get to know the piano bar entertainer or the bands on board. We decided to use our evening as family time. We found that there was never an issue locating an empty table at which we could play games. We don't generally book a cruise based upon the entertainment so I can't really report on that. We didn't experience much of it on this sailing.
Our 2nd port day was in Nassau. While in Nassau, we went on the Blue Lagoon Island excursion offered by Norwegian Cruise Line. A family member of ours had been there recently and reported good things on it. We too had a positive experience and will pass on our recommendations for visiting Blue Lagoon Island. There were 4 ships in the port of Nassau on the day we visited but you wouldn't have known it until around 11am. Ours was the first tender boat to drop people off. We arrived sometime before 9am and had our pick of any chair in any of the different seating/beach areas. Visiting the dolphins and sea lions was neat. You can actually see them without needing to purchase anything additional. The next time we are there we may try the sea lion encounter. During our walkabout we could see trainers working with the animals on their different behaviors. It was pretty cool!
Our 3rd and last evening on the Sun we had a reservation for Teppanyaki. Our orders were taken first and then the show ensued. NCL seems big on hand washing. The chefs at the hibatchi grill simultaneously washed their hands in front of us while singing 'The Washy-Washy' song. Their show was a hoot. Aiko was our chef. He kept us fully entertained while he prepared our dinners. My husband stuffed himself so full of dinner that he had a hard time walking back to our state room afterward! The food was very good so he ate his meal... and then nearly half of mine! Hibatchi was never a favorite of mine but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Monday morning arrived way too fast and we were all a little bummed that another cruise had come to an end. 3 nights just seemed so short but the 4 of us were grateful for a little reprieve from real life nonetheless. We had an enjoyable time, despite a few bumps that were eventually remedied, along the way. I'm not sure this sailing was the best value for our money but we are still learning what suits us as well as what works and what doesn't as far as our cruising wants and needs go so it was good to try something new.
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