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Just off NCL Sun. Mini review


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Went on 5 day over Thanksgiving.  Here's my mini review

 

Pros

  • Food in the MDRs was really good.  I am a fairly picky eater and found lots of options to choose from.  I wasn't disappointed in any meal I ordered. IMO much better than Carnival food.  I usually try to avoid the buffets because of the madness of all the people and the quality of food is not nearly as good as the MDR.  I did find some Asian items on the buffet that were good.
  • Service was good and very friendly.
  • I thought the ship was clean and even though an older and smaller ship, it is a nice ship.
  • Check-in and disembarkation was really smooth.  Probably smoothest of any cruise to date.
  • Shows/entertainment were good.

Cons

  • This is very picky and typical of most cruises but service routine in the MDR is very regimented - water, bar order, bread, order entrees, eat, dessert.  Same with breakfast.  I found it difficult to get more bread at dinner or more coffee at breakfast.  Overall the MDR service is really good.
  • Alcohol is very expensive.  The unlimited package was like $95/day (not sure if tips are included in that) so I didn't get it.  I ordered a classic margarita (8 ounces maybe) and it was $15.  I opted for the self-assist rum runner package instead which lasted most of the cruise.
  • Pool and outside bars seemed understaffed during peak times.  I had soda package and it was a pain a couple times just to get a soda.
  • The live music at the pool is very loud.
  • The buffet is crazy busy and food is a bit blah.  Not sure why so many people opt for the buffet over the MDR.  TIP - when boarding don't be steered to the buffet at the back of the ship.  There are more options at the indoor portion of the buffet.
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24 minutes ago, RobinKY said:

Alcohol is very expensive.  The unlimited package was like $95/day (not sure if tips are included in that) so I didn't get it.  I ordered a classic margarita (8 ounces maybe) and it was $15.  I opted for the self-assist rum runner package instead which lasted most of the cruise.

 

Most people that drink opt for the free at sea beverage package. Which is the cause of why the package is so high outright (they charge you 20% gratuities when you pick it free). The per drink costs are a little inflated too, but they're only a buck or two more than Royal for what I order. 

 

26 minutes ago, RobinKY said:

The buffet is crazy busy

 

The buffet on the Sun is just odd layout. Much prefer the design of the buffet on the -Away class ships. They'll get busy but it's mostly a straight line of individual stations you can hop in/out of line on. Haven't been on the others to compare. 

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15 minutes ago, Pauser said:

Thanks for posting this. Was one of the dining rooms open for lunch on embarkation day?

 

Glad you enjoyed your cruise!

I don't believe so.  They seemed to direct everyone boarding to deck 11 for lunch at the buffet.  Then they directed my party to the outdoor buffet which was pitiful - hamburgers and hot dogs and miscellaneous items.  The indoor had 2X more options including carved roast beef. 

 

I did have lunch at the MDR once and it was really good.  Again much better than the buffet.  It just takes a lot more time than the buffet.

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12 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

Most people that drink opt for the free at sea beverage package. Which is the cause of why the package is so high outright (they charge you 20% gratuities when you pick it free). The per drink costs are a little inflated too, but they're only a buck or two more than Royal for what I order. 

 

 

The buffet on the Sun is just odd layout. Much prefer the design of the buffet on the -Away class ships. They'll get busy but it's mostly a straight line of individual stations you can hop in/out of line on. Haven't been on the others to compare. 

I don't recall having the option to get the free at sea package when I booked.  Is that on all NCL cruises?

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6 minutes ago, RobinKY said:

I don't recall having the option to get the free at sea package when I booked.  Is that on all NCL cruises?

 

Everyone I've seen. But if you book the sailaway rate, which is their cheapest rate and a guarantee rate that's without any perks - so no free at sea promo.

 

There are a few odd days out of the year where they don't have the free at sea promo for maybe 24 hours. 

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1 hour ago, smplybcause said:

 

1 hour ago, RobinKY said:

Alcohol is very expensive.  The unlimited package was like $95/day (not sure if tips are included in that) so I didn't get it.  I opted for the self-assist rum runner package instead which lasted most of the cruise.

 

A Certified Public Accountant who ignores rules and cheats a vendor of revenue???!!!

Edited by FLAHAM
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1 hour ago, Pauser said:

Thanks for posting this. Was one of the dining rooms open for lunch on embarkation day?

 

Glad you enjoyed your cruise!

The Seven Seas MDR was open on embarkation day when we sailed on the Sun back in August.  OP is correct, they try to guide you to the buffet but I knew the MDR was available so we went there instead.

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3 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

The Seven Seas MDR was open on embarkation day when we sailed on the Sun back in August.  OP is correct, they try to guide you to the buffet but I knew the MDR was available so we went there instead.

Thanks. We've had the same experience on the Jade, Jewel & Dawn. Unless you ask or you know beforehand, you won't be told.

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16 hours ago, Pauser said:

Thanks. We've had the same experience on the Jade, Jewel & Dawn. Unless you ask or you know beforehand, you won't be told.

I wish I knew that.  I would have enjoyed a sit down lunch with better food than the hamburgers and hot dogs they had at outdoor buffet.

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Sports Bar

One thing I forgot to include initially was the Sports Bar.  I am a college football fan and the Friday after thanksgiving is a big day for college football.  Me and my son went to the sports bar late afternoon. They were not serving food.  They only have one sports channel available which is played on all 10 TVs in the sports bar.  They had it set to the Turkish basketball league games.  The next day, even bigger college football day, they had European soccer on.  Very disappointed in that.  I asked someone and they said they only show NFL football games. 

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1 hour ago, RobinKY said:

Sports Bar

One thing I forgot to include initially was the Sports Bar.  I am a college football fan and the Friday after thanksgiving is a big day for college football.  Me and my son went to the sports bar late afternoon. They were not serving food.  They only have one sports channel available which is played on all 10 TVs in the sports bar.  They had it set to the Turkish basketball league games.  The next day, even bigger college football day, they had European soccer on.  Very disappointed in that.  I asked someone and they said they only show NFL football games. 

 

The food there sucks anyways so you weren't missing much. Ironically people complain about other NCL ships only having soccer and having no NFL games! 

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4 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

The food there sucks anyways so you weren't missing much. Ironically people complain about other NCL ships only having soccer and having no NFL games! 

Yeah my son went there another time and it was very limited menu.  I think he had chicken tenders.  Not sure why they call it a "sports bar" when they only show one channel of sports on all the TVs and they are showing sports (Turkish League basketball lol) most Americans don't watch.  Every sports bar I have been too has 5+ different sports/games going on. 

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7 minutes ago, RobinKY said:

One other comment - NCL Sun does not have self assist laundry.  We had 4 teens and A LOT of dirty clothes.  We assumed they would have laundry facility but you had to pay for NCL to do your laundry.

 

Just an FYI - neither NCL nor Royal Caribbean have self assist laundry on any ship. I know Carnival and Disney has it. I know my parents have mentioned Princess and HAL have it, but not sure if it's every ship or not. Just in case it's important for you on future cruises!

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On 12/5/2019 at 11:42 AM, RobinKY said:

Yeah my son went there another time and it was very limited menu. 

 

A limited menu would have been an improvement on my trip on the Sun.  The waitstaff gave me a blank stare when I inquired about food.  That's why I've avoided the Sun since - I want some type of O'Sheehan's equivalent to break up the buffet & MDR options.

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5 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

Just an FYI - neither NCL nor Royal Caribbean have self assist laundry on any ship. I know Carnival and Disney has it. I know my parents have mentioned Princess and HAL have it, but not sure if it's every ship or not. Just in case it's important for you on future cruises!

Thanks for info - I have done laundry on Carnival before and just assumed all ships have self assist laundry.

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5 hours ago, RobinKY said:

One other comment - NCL Sun does not have self assist laundry.  We had 4 teens and A LOT of dirty clothes.  We assumed they would have laundry facility but you had to pay for NCL to do your laundry.

You mentioned teens, I'm taking my two teens (ages 15, 18) to Alaska on the Sun next summer.  Is there enough activity to keep them involved.I've been on the Sun before and loved it.

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On 12/5/2019 at 9:42 AM, RobinKY said:

Yeah my son went there another time and it was very limited menu.  I think he had chicken tenders.  Not sure why they call it a "sports bar" when they only show one channel of sports on all the TVs and they are showing sports (Turkish League basketball lol) most Americans don't watch.  Every sports bar I have been too has 5+ different sports/games going on. 

 

Are you talking about the one on the port side, aft?  We just got plates of food in the buffet and took a table in the sports bar then ordered drinks.  The garden buffet was near the forward door and the rear door was next to the great outdoors buffet.

 

They did have some nice hot wings, but as you say, a limited menu.

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