Beautiful Alaska with NCL

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Norwegian Sun

7 Night Alaska Sawyer Glacier Southbound (Seward To Vancouver)

Sail date: July 24, 2017

Ship: Norwegian Sun

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 6008

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

This was a wonderful cruise. It was our second cruise to Alaska and there is so much to see we would love to go again and as a bonus we escaped the summer heat at home. We cruised Glacier Bay last time and I prefer Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier, but like I wrote previously the weather can change things. We don't like the fact that cruises spend so much time trying to sell jewelry, art-work, photos etc., but it is still a great way to see Alaska

Embarkation

3 out of 5
Without a hitch, but we checked in as soon as we could before the rush.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The buffet was always good but most things were repeats every day so it got a little boring by the end of the week. The main dining room had great food but some choices resulted in very small portions. Good idea to see what those around you are eating and if it looks like a good amount order that if you are hungry, or hit he buffet afterwards. One of us often ordered fish and they must have figured if you want fish you are on a diet.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
The fitness center was well set up. This was an Alaskan cruise so the hot tubs were more popular than the pools. We had an 18 year old in our group who tried twice to attend the advertised 18 - 21 year old get-together and nobody showed up, not even the director. She was very disappointed. Not many activities for children.

Entertainment

Seemed to be geared to the older crowd, of which I am one but the best show I saw was the one put on by the staff. The professional comedian wasn't very good. Only saw these two shows so don't feel qualified to comment

Children's Programs

No young children.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
I can't say enough good things about the staff. They were very polite, dedicated, and went out of their way to please. I hope NCL treats them well because they deserve it.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Good layout but I wish there were more places inside to sit and watch the beautiful scenery. Many places you can sit and relax are in the center of the shop with no windows. That is OK if you are out at sea with nothing but water to look at.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Comfortable but a little on the small side. We had a decent view from our large round window even though the deck was outside. The deck was closed between 8pm and 8am so there were no people going by. The windows are tinted so people can't see in and a few people thought it was a good mirror and kept us entertained while they tidied their hair. We liked the location because it was easy to get onto the promenade deck.

Ship tip

The Garden Cafe on the aft stays open longer hours and is not as busy as the buffet but has almost the same choices. If you sit inside at the end of the buffet dining area it is less congested to go outside to the Garden Cafe for a coffee refill or desert. Lovely to sit out there on a nice day too.

Ports of call

Seward (Anchorage), Alaska

5 out of 5
I love Seward. Lots to see and do. Hike to Exit Glacier- visit the Sealife Center- take a cruise with Major Marine or Kenai Fjord Cruises, (better value than the tours offered by the cruise line) - take a fishing trip. There is a free shuttle ( school bus) that does a loop around town and runs about every 1/2 hour. We like to take it to the Sealife Center and walk back to the harbor on the shore path of Ressurection Bay.

Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska

5 out of 5
We loved this port. Friendly and clean. A shuttle runs from Icy Strait Point into the little town of Hoonah for $2 one way. Not a lot to see there but it was interesting to watch a totem being carved which will represent the story of how the native people settled in Hoonah. Icy Strait Point has lots of gift shops in the old cannery and a huge zip line which we didn't try.

Juneau, Alaska Did not visit port

We were docked far enough away from town that you had to take a shuttle in. It was raining and I had been here before. Our daughter did go into town and really liked the tow. She found some "artsy" places to make her happy

Cruise Sawyer Glacier

5 out of 5
The cruise up Tracy Arm to Sawyer Glacier was the best part of the whole cruise. The scenery just kept getting better and better as we went. We were lucky with a clear day and not too much ice.

Skagway, Alaska

5 out of 5
Nice quaint little town. I think most buildings are owned by the National Park Service so they have done a good job of keeping it, as much as they can, as it was in the Gold Rush days. We took a mini bus tour with Klondike Tours which took us around town, to the cemetery and up to the top of the pass. Our driver made it very interesting with tales of days gone by and personal stories. We had many opportunities to get out and take pictures. A good value for $45. My grandson and I enjoyed watching the salmon spawning when we got back to town.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
This is a busier port. We took the city bus ($2 one way)to Totem Bight ($5 entry fee). We got there before the coach loads of people arrived and it was magical. If you let the rain stop you, you won't see anything in Ketchikan. There are plenty of souvenir shops in Ketchikan to do last minute shopping.

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia Did not visit port

Only disembarked here and took Quick Shuttle to Seattle Airport. Hope to visit longer one day.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Vancouver Canada Place and NCL were very organised. Went without a hitch. Canadians also very cheerful and helpful.
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