Islands Less Traveled
Norwegian Sun Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern
Sail Date: January 06, 2013
Ship: Norwegian Sun
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 5 years ago
I chose this cruise as the ship visited Caribbean islands less traveled for a bargain price and I really wanted to experience the lesser-known islands. Unexpectedly, the taxes and fees added on however, were equal to the price of the cruise, thus doubling the cost! The weather was great (in the 80's in January), and the Norwegian Sun offered excellent service and attention to cleanliness. Although the buffet was monotonous (served essentially the same food for 10 days) the two main dining rooms offered a wonderful variety of gourmet meals: lobster, steak, prime rib, lamb, etc. with great appetizers and desserts.
I would have preferred to have informative speakers among the activities offered, especially ones who could provide a history of the islands we were visiting. Most of the talks given on board were an excuse to sell something so a genuine informative lecture with no ulterior motive would be very welcome. I also had the feeling that the cruise director had too much involvement in the group show entertainment, which seemed a little hokey compared to other cruises I've been on. Regarding the casino, the rake on Texas Hold'em cash games was exceptionally high at 10% ...and don't expect the slot machines to pay off. The cruise line says you can't leave your towels on the pool lounges for more than 30 minutes, but this simply isn't enforced. Self-absorbed people put their suff on a lounge chair and just disappear, depriving others of a place to lay down by the pool.
As we know, the cruise lines charge quite a bit for island tours, so we hired locals for the US Virgin Islands, and Barbados. A tour by a reputable bus driver on USVI was $20 each vs. $50-$60 by the cruise line. I was extremely lucky to find a very warm woman taxi driver on Barbados who gave me a 3 1/2 hour PRIVATE tour for $40. Her name is Maria, cell: 246-830-3228. We drove up the the botanical gardens which were absolutely beautiful, full of gorgeous flowers, indiginous plants, palm trees, ferns, strange cacti, and examples of a tropical rainforest. We felt less comfortable with the port areas of Domica and St. Lucia as there seemed to be a lot of poverty, and you can't really judge an island by where the ship docks. Perhaps using the ship's tours here would be a safer way to go. The Bufferfly Farm on St. Maarten was a very unique and rewarding experience, as you're among gorgeous butterflys you'd never see at home.
If you are curious about the islands less traveled, this is a decent cruise worth taking one time. I would recommend an exterior room as cell phones didn't show the correct time at sea, there was no clock in the room, the time changed twice, and it was difficult to gage the time from an interior room.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Make sure you can take your ship-bought booze on the plane. You'll have to pay to check it, as airport security confiscated our carry-on wine. The main dining rooms have the best meal variety. No need to pay extra for specialty restaurants.