Norwegian Sun Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
1 cruise (first)

Review
1

Helpful Votes
5

3 out of 5

Met my first-timer expectations

Sail Date: July 15, 2007

Reviewed: 9 years ago

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Room Type: Balcony

This was my firs Cruise, so some of my complaints might be typical for ALL operators and ships, but that would not make them less annoying to me.

First the positive: food was very good - better in both quality and variety then anything that I have seen in land-based all inclusive resorts. Shows and other entertainment also exceeded my expectations (the main evening shows were almost Vegas quality). People who worked in the childcare program were very good and my 2.5 y.o. sun was very happy. Staff was very friendly, tried to be helpful and spoke understandable english.

Now the negatives: "freestyle cruising" is lagerly a gimmic - everything operated on schedule (although we usually had a good 3-4 hour window to do what we wanted) and there was no way to get anything to eat before 7 am. A source of great annoyance - our boy mostly drinks apple juice. It was available during core breakfast hours but impossible to det during any other time (either for free or for money - they would send us from place to place but usually without any luck). "Tipping not required" meant that they added 15% autogratuity to everything including replacing drinking water in the cabin. All the time they were trying to sell something and sometimes annoying PA marketing announcements intervered with our naps/rest.

Pros: Food & shows

Cons: Misleading marketing, constant little scams to siphon more money, choice of port activities, chldcare

Recommends Norwegian Sun? Yes!

Ship Quality
I expected bigger pools, otherwise fine.
Cabin / Stateroom
Decent size staterooms (unless you had more then 2 people and needed to turn the sofa into bed).
Service and Staff
Children's Programs
Child care worked on strict and inconvenient schedule: 9 am - noon, 2 - 5 and 7 - 10 pm. We could only use the first and last bit because the middle one overlaped with our son's sleep. It was not available at all during the port days, when you had to book in advance (and show proof of tickets - not good if you wanted to roam on your own) and pay per hour.
They did not change dipers and would not even touch our sone who had a couple of wet accidents - paged us and left him to play in wet pants untill we came. But the staff was friendly and they had interesing activities. At the end our son was happy with them but we - not so much.
Food and Dining
Very good food. However most of the resaurants have a "nominal" cover charge that can run up to US$20 per head; we tried Teppanyaki - it was ok but not worth the cover. Indian food section made the buffet much easier to cope with.
Entertainment
Skagway, Alaska
White pass railway is hugely overpriced (US$109 per head) and not worth the money (would be ok if it cost ~$25). Not much else to do in town except shopping.
Ketchikan, Alaska
We took a canoe trip - it was very nice (but we had excellent weather), there was nothing impressive about the town itself.
Don't Miss: canoe trip if the weather is good
Juneau, Alaska
We took highly overpriced tram to the top of a hill and hiked. Nice views.
Don't Miss: Don't by any tours just get a $6 bus from tram base to the glacier.


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