Sail Date: July 01, 2009 Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 8 years ago
The Sun is probably ready for some rehab. Thick repaint over chipped deckwork is evident in places, and the fancy design on the hull is fading with sun and salt exposure. Pop music via over-trebled speakers annoy on the pool and aft decks where one might wish to hold a conversation. Cruise director maintains a gameshow host affect and all publications and announcements are presented in an attempt at informal familiarity, even while maintaining the "like it or lump it" approach to services. That said, the scenery was awesome, more than I'd hoped for. Even the touristy ports were surrounded by snowcapped mountains and waterfalls and forests. The glaciers were a real highlight, and the trip up Tracy Arm fjord to Sawyer Glacier was amazing both from a seamanship angle, and for the views.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Businessman hotel-grade food, on the whole. Mass produced. The Garden Cafe buffet place upstairs had steamtables full of pre-fried burgers, but on two days did run an outdoor BBQ that was fresh. Salads were OK, and my children liked the pasta and ice cream. There was also baked goods, and other hot entrees that varied somewhat. A shortage of tables makes this venue (the one with the longest open hours) crowded and difficult at mealtimes. Breakfasts, if up early, were a delight, with plenty of salmon for one's eggs and variety of fruit and cereals. Mountains of bacon and sausages. Beverages were stingy; to get a soft drink cost $2, and liquor was also expensive: @7-9$ for a cocktail or $6 for beer. The Ginza japanese restaurant was $15 per head cover charge, but unlimited on sushi, which was pretty fresh and varied. Two nearly identical restaurants, the 4 seasons and 7 seas offer more formal menu based dining.
3 out of 5
The magician was often funny, if coarse. The singers were OK, if you like a las vegas style show, on a smaller scale. The "Cirque Pan" peter pan show was overambitious and loud, and included an inexplicable bump & grind rendition of "Lady Marmalade" (you may remember it from the '70s refrain 'voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir") with more suggestive moves than I wanted for a show to watch with my kids. The library and game room were nice places to hang out on foggy days.
3 out of 5
The Teen Room was good for my 14 year old, although sometimes I went there and the kids were on their own. The 10-12 year old "program" existed only on paper, and my 12 year old refused to return after being lumped in with a swarm of much younger children. They seemed attentive to the little ones, and there was often a couple of dozen there. (Beware cabins near the kid care center- pretty noisy that end of the ship).
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Some good, some not. The heavily accented english of the staff at the other end of the "reception" telephone line made it difficult for my american ear to sometimes understand. When asking for assistance with changing the daybed into a couch, they sent a steward over an hour later. Same with similar requests for A/C adjustments. We were an extended family traveling together with staterooms located near each other. Getting keycard access to each others' rooms brought on some severe looks from the desk clerks. Restaurant greeters attempted to steer us to non-window tables unless one was quite firm in pointing out available better ones.
3 out of 5
I mention the stateroom issues below. Most the ship was clean and public areas were reasonably kept up. It is starting to show its age.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
The room had not been properly cleaned when we arrived. Small trash (wrappers, paper) remained under the beds. Closet doors needed oiling to de-squeek. A long life fluorescent bulb blinked annoyingly until I requested replacement. The bathroom, while snug, was a gem of engineering and I found it quite usable. We had one stateroom with a balcony and another inside across the hall. Both were aft on deck 8, which were quiet enough, but I would attempt to get a balcony further forward next time. When going slow, there was a distinct sulfur smell on the balcony that might come from the exhaust. When underway or in a good breeze, it was gone.
Pros: Scenery from the ship
Cons: Chatty, overly familiar attitude and themepark-level service.
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