Norwegian Sun Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

A Terrific First-Time Cruise Experience!

Sail Date: March 01, 2006

Reviewed: 7 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Balcony

The ship itself was excellent. It was fairly easy to navigate, and never seemed overly crowded. The only place where it got super busy was by the pool on the days when we were at sea. You had to get there early to secure a spot. There was also a good mix of people - older, younger, some families - very diverse. It was easy to meet people, and plenty of areas to sit and relax. Two caveats: You may be able to board the ship by noon, but you might not get your luggage delivered until after the ship sails, 5 hours later. Keep anything you might need with you when you board. Also, watch out when you order drinks. The bartenders often gave us top-shelf liquors without us asking for it - and we'd end up with a $10 drink instead of a $7 drink.

Pros: The Staff, Interesting Itinerary

Cons: Expensive Drink Prices, Fees for Some Restaurants

Cabin / Stateroom
We had a balcony stateroom, which I think was the right way to go. Across the hall were inside cabins which we could sometimes peek inside. With no windows, I think I'd get a little claustrophobic in them. The balcony was excellent. We'd sleep with the door open at night, and even just stepping out sometimes, being right there above the water, made the balcony well worth it. One thing to note about the room is that they have DVD players, so since there are almost no TV channels, it's worth bringing DVD's. Sometimes you just need time to crash in the room.
There's lots to do on the ship - art auctions, shopping, shows, movies, bingo, casino gambling. The best time was one night they had a big party on the pool deck, with live music, and special drinks, and an ice-carving show. It would have been nice if they had something like that every night. Most nights, the outside decks were empty.
Ship Quality
The ship was in great condition, and always clean. The rooms were kept very tidy, and the dining rooms were impeccable. Even in the buffet areas and out on the decks, no sooner would you finish your meal or drink and someone would come to clear away your plate or glass.
Food and Dining
The food overall was pretty great. The two main dining rooms are excellent. But the premium restaurants are a level above. We ate at East Meets West, which costs an extra $20 per person, and it was *outstanding*. The filet mignon was the best I'd ever had. Another night we ate at Pacific Heights, and again, excellent. The vegetarian lasagna that was delicious. My one complaint is the additional cover charge at some of these restaurants. The two buffets, The Garden Cafe and The Great Outdoor Cafe, are pretty standard, but better than the average buffet. They're open most of the day, and we ended up eating there often, as we'd come back from the ports in the late afternoon, too late for lunch in the dining room. One hint is that they offer a soda plan you can purchase for the length of the cruise. It was about $6 a day, which is well worth it, if you drink soda. Otherwise, the buffets and dining rooms always have water and either juice or iced tea available, free of charge.
Service and Staff
The staff is my number one reason to go back to NCL. They were completely professional, friendly, engaging, and always wanting to help. I've never seen anything like it. Every single employee smiles and says hello as they pass you in the hall. They all ask how your day was, and they genuinely want to know. And they make sure you never want for anything. Spectacular.
Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel was the most touristy port, but if you walk a block or two out from the main road on the water, there are some really great shops and coffee shops. One thing to note, as of March 2006, the piers were still not ready from the destruction of the fall 2005 hurricanes. The ships use tender boats to get you to shore.
Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala
This is a newish port, and there isn't much there, other than a welcome center. The welcome center has some local dancing/singing entertainment and a large group of vendors. The best items there to buy are textiles and coffee. Again, be sure to barter for a good price.
Don't Miss: View from the ship, with the mountains and the mist in the distance
Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico
There's not tons to do ouside the pier area, but we did do a good Mayan ruin tour. The pier area is nice, though. There are lots of shops and vendors, but beware of the agressive people trying to sell you things. Be sure to barter for a MUCH better price. There's also a great public pool at the port, with a swim-up bar, and you could easily spend the entire day there and have fun.
Don't Miss: The public pool area
Belize City, Belize
Belize is beautiful - the blue water is so pretty. There are lots of shops, and parts are touristy, but it's a great port. We did a cave tubing shore excursion, which is NOT to be missed. You hike into the jungle for a half-hour, with a guide teaching you about different trees and plants, and then you jump into the river onto your tube, and slowly ride down the river. At times, you travel inside pitch-black caves, where you turn on a headlamp to see. Amazing.
Don't Miss: Cave tubing excursion

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