Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Sun
Sailing Date: December 17th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Sun Cruise Review
First of all, this was an amazing cruise
and I (my wife included) would recommend this cruise line to people of all ages.
The freestyle concept was superb and accommodating for newlyweds like us all the
way to seniors. It was the perfect honeymoon.
I will try to cover each aspect of this cruise starting with onboard items and then ports of call.
The process was fairly simple. We arrive at the New Orleans cruise terminal around 2:00pm. We were greeted by luggage porters who put tags on our luggage and carried them off. I tipped him $1 per bag.
Before entering the terminal, you will need your boarding pass as well as photo ID/passport.
Inside, the security line moved pretty quickly and no problems arose there. After security, we waited in the check-in line about 30 minutes. We performed the necessary check-in procedures and were on our way to the ship.
Before leaving the inside terminal, the first of many pictures were taken.
We waited only a few minutes on the gangway before having our keycard scanned and were on the boat searching for our cabin.
We had a cabin on the 8th deck, category BC ocean view with balcony. It was a very nice stateroom. It had a light cigarette smoke smell so if the smell of smoke bothers you be sure to enquire about making sure your room will be smoke-smell-free. We had plenty of storage. There was a 13-in TV, a mini-fridge, and only 1 electrical outlet on the vanity. There was also snacks and drinks in a cabinet available for purchase. The bed was two twin beds pushed together with king size bedding. The beds were an ok comfort level but were only comfortable if you were not in the middle. The bathroom was small but functional. There was a stand shower only, no tub. The balcony was a plus and I plan to always have a balcony stateroom on future cruises.
If there was one area that I felt that NCL could improve it would be in this area. Don’t get me wrong, the food was great but for the average American it was food we are not used to. The standard cruise-fare food such as prime rib, filet, and lobster were served on various nights. There are two main dining rooms both have the same menu with occasional differences. Each meal in the main dining room is 4 courses. Very classy and adequate. If you want a less-formal dinner there is a buffet on Deck 11. The dining rooms have dress codes such as no jeans, tank tops, etc and the buffet is less concerned with dress code. We did not eat at any of the pay restaurants this cruise. We will try them next time. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served at the buffet and at Seven Seas as well as other no cover charge places. Dinner only is served at the Four Seasons. Room service was good but takes a long time to get it. There are plenty of options for dining without paying.
This category was excellent. The dance company was out of this world. They did a Broadway musical themed show, a Latin-dance show, a Cirque-de-Solei through the eyes of Peter Pan, and a Christmas variety show. There was a hypnotist show that we weren’t interested in and a jazz/singer variety show that we did not attend. There were two show times for each of the shows. Definitely attend all the shows.
There is something to do at all times of the day. Just consult the Freestyle Daily. If anything else, grab a chair by the pool and people watch.
COSTA MAYA, MEXICO
This was the first port of call. If you want to do a shore excursion here, book early because they were already sold out when we went to the desk on the first day at sea. All that was here was a nice resort-like area built by the cruise lines. There was a huge saltwater pool as well as restaurants and shops. It was plenty to occupy most of the day there but an excursion would maximize your time here.
You must do an excursion here. The only thing to do right off the boat if a little port building with family vendors selling items native to the country. We did an excursion to a beach resort which was a 15 minute boat ride away. It included lunch. It was beautiful and well worth the money. It was called the Amtique Resort.
This was a great port. You have to be tendered in because the water is too shallow for the boats to dock at the city. We did the Bacab Resort and Butterfly House excursion. It was excellent. We took a coach bus 45 minutes into the country side to a resort/ranch area. There was no beach but a huge swimming pool with a waterslide and body chairs in the pool. It also included a lunch. Again, well worth the money.
I recommend getting a travel book for this port. It is a big city with a lot to do. We didn’t do an excursion here - we just shopped. I would say to wait to buy goods such as vanilla and liquor here. The most beautiful water was found here so this would be a good port for snorkeling or scuba diving. There was still minimal hurricane damage but the shops were all open.
I would give this cruise/itinerary a 9 out of 10. Well worth the money and then some. I hope this review gives you some insight. It’s a general review. Be sure to attend all the info sessions onboard regarding shopping ashore and customs information. Again, great cruise. NCL will be my first choice for future cruises.