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NCL Sun tips?


nurse1960

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We have cruised before, but not on NCL Sun for many years. We are leaving for Alaska in a few weeks. Please give me any hints/good deals and things I should look out for.

Any other suggestions, favorite things, places to eat, etc.

 

 

The Sports Bar is a surprisingly good spot for viewing during fjord days. The windows are almost floor to ceiling and the layout is such that you can sit inches from the window. We saw whales, sea lions, etc., from a great spot.

 

But you might have to get there early - the windows were popular seats. Of course, it was chilly when we were there last September.

 

Have fun!

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We just came back from South America on the Sun. I think I can answer some of your questions.

 

Food- In main dining rooms okay, but not great. Nothing memorable.

Specialty Rests- Tried them all. Our fave with the Janpanese Teppankyi, entertaining and the food was good ($20upcharge)

Went to the East Meets West steakhouse twice, had Lobster both times. ($20 up + $10 for Lobster and other high end meals) Service was slow but food great first time, overcooked and cold second.

Found out from the waiter that they only have one small kitchen on deck 12 for all 3 restaurants. Service problem was not enough staff. Only 3 people for entire restaurant. And we had a big table of 18 that came in right behind us including 3 small children. It was so bad we complained to the Maitre D. Our one waiter was handling us and them. Not his fault but not a good experience.

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We liked the French Bistro. Went to a Jazz Brunch and really enjoyed the food (off the menu and buffet), and the music was great. $15upcharge

 

The Spa: Prices are outrageous. I had a pedicure that was $65. At home, that would have cost me $30 including tip. On the day I booked it they had a special 25% off for Latitude members, so it cost me $49. But they automatically add 15% tip. So total was $58. That cost the Nail Tech a couple of bucks because I would have given her $10. assuming the 15% actually went to her. Everything on the Spa Menu was at least 2-3 times what it costs here.

 

I didnt like that they were constantly hawking you to buy something, like $3.50 for fresh squeezed OJ in the dining room at breakfast and everything has a 15% service charge added, even the mini bar in the cabin and they don't serve that. I think that this is just another way for NCL to make money. Tips are automatic at $12. day. Don't like that either. It takes the incentive away for good service. Overall an okay experience but not memorable. I'm not sure I'll sail with them again. I guess I am spoiled. I've been on 16 cruises over the past 20 years all over the world and think highly of Celebrity, and Princess, and a couple of others that no longer exist. I'm not crazy about "FreeStyle".

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My tip would be not to miss eating at Il Adagio; such a great restaurant.

 

Last time on the Sun, we made reservations for Il Adagio and found the food to be decent (the calamari was to die for but the lobster raviolis were just so, so). All in all, it was worth the $10 service charge.

However, the service was the worst ever!! Had much better luck with some of the waiters in the Seven Seas. I think it might be hit or miss as some people raved about it.

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I believe I am on the same upcoming cruise as nurse1960 so I am following this thread too.

 

I would love to hear about everything good, bad, & otherwise. Are you going to write a review ;);)

 

Part of the cruise experience for me has become "managing my expectations" so if something goes wrong onboard, I'm not surprised or disappointed. Llikewise, I like to know what the entertainment and other activities are so I don't miss out on something that may be a trip highlight.

I prefer planning ahead versus simply reacting at the time, or using valuable vacation time figuring things out for myself.

 

any insight is greatly appreciated

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Nurse1960,

Lucky you! I'm Jealous, you get "extra" cruise time.

DW and I are in Vancouver on May first, pre cruise, and joining the ship on the the 3rd.

 

we were on the Sun a few years ago in the Caribbean and we enjoyed that cruise, looking forward to experiencing freestyle 2.0 and Alaskan scenery. We usually choose based upon #1 itinerary #2 value and least important to us is the cruiseline, but we factor that in when deciding as we are gradually developing our favorites list and what we like on a cruise.

 

Cheers!

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We're going aboard Norwegian Sun for the three day repositioning cruise (LA to Vancouver).

 

Given that we've only got three nights aboard, do you have any recommendations for restaurant(s) we really should eat at, or places/activities aboard we should be sure not to miss?

 

Based on what's been posted so far, it looks like Il Adagio should be on the list?

 

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When we sail up the Pacific coast to Vancouver, will we see many interesting sights, or will we bee too far out to sea?

 

We'll be too far out to sea for views of the coast. When we did this trip two years ago we were told by the captain that we were 60 miles off the coast when we sailed by San Francisco.

 

With that trip we stopped in at Astoria, with this trip there is no port stop between LA and Vancouver, so we'll have even less reason to come close to the coast.

 

If you're on the trip leaving LA on April 30, please feel free to join our roll call at:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=852351&page=6

 

Gordon

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How often on the ten day drip (April 30 - May 10) will they have the special on cleaning our clothes? I understand there is no longer a washer and dryer available on the Sun. How long does it take to get our cloths back? We don't want to pack too much:)

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Does the Sun have any interesting "hiding places" to go to to read or relax, other then your stateroom?

 

The Cigar Bar next to Windjammer's Bar is usually very quiet when I last sailed on the Sun. Although you might have to fight many more smokers now, after NCL's changed the smoking rules.

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DH and I loved NCL before Freestyle and tried it once on the Majesty, but that ship just wasn't set up for Freestyle and we hated the dining part. Haven't sailed on NCL since 2003 because of that bad experience. We love Holland America and Carnival and are now considering NCL again because the Sun will be sailing out of Port Canaveral in 2010 and we live less than a 3-hour drive from that port.....beats driving 6 hours to Ft. Lauderdale. It looks like the Sun is definitely set up for Freestyle dining with many restaurant choices; however, we are not used to having to pay extra for food on cruises, although we do occasionally eat in a specialty restaurant onboard. Do all the restaurants outside of the main dining rooms charge extra fees? Can you make reservations for every night all at once or do you have to do it daily? What we disliked immensely about the Majesty was the long line every night at popular times.

Also, we usually book a suite and the Sun suites look very comfortable. The older NCL ships had tiny cabins and the bathrooms were miniscule -- are the new NCL ship bathrooms larger?

Thank you for your help!

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It looks like the Sun is definitely set up for Freestyle dining with many restaurant choices; however, we are not used to having to pay extra for food on cruises, although we do occasionally eat in a specialty restaurant onboard. (1) Do all the restaurants outside of the main dining rooms charge extra fees? (2) Can you make reservations for every night all at once or do you have to do it daily? (3) The older NCL ships had tiny cabins and the bathrooms were miniscule -- are the new NCL ship bathrooms larger?

Thank you for your help!

 

(1) Most do, but not all. Here's a list of restaurants aboard the Norwegian Sun:

Il Adagio Restaurant > Service Charge

Le Bistro French Restaurant > Service Charge

Ginza Japanese Restaurant > Service Charge

East Meets West Steakhouse > Service Charge

Teppanyaki > Service Charge

Sushi > Service Charge

Four Seasons Main Dining Room > FREE

Seven Seas Main Dining Room > FREE

Pacific Heights > FREE

Garden Café > FREE

Las Ramblas Tapas Bar & Restaurant > FREE

Room Service > FREE

(2) No, most passengers can only reserve a table at a speciality restaurant one day in advance.

(3) Most new NCL ships have larger bathrooms. But I'm sorry to report that the Sun and Sky use sticky plastic curtains for shower stalls in smaller bathrooms like older ships.

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How did they change the rules? I looked, but could not find any changes.

 

Last year NCL changed it's smoking policy for the entire fleet.

Used to be smoking was allowed just about everywhere in designated areas. In the bar/lounges, there were just a few non-smoking tables. They only banned smoking entirely in the restaurants, kids crew areas, and the Stardust Lounge.

Today, smoking is banned just about everywhere on the ship; except in your cabin and on your balcony, the casino, cigar bar/lounge, and topside designated areas only.

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Last year NCL changed it's smoking policy for the entire fleet.

Used to be smoking was allowed just about everywhere in designated areas. In the bar/lounges, there were just a few non-smoking tables. They only banned smoking entirely in the restaurants, kids crew areas, and the Stardust Lounge.

Today, smoking is banned just about everywhere on the ship; except in your cabin and on your balcony, the casino, cigar bar/lounge, and topside designated areas only.

 

That's why I mention smoking in the first place. The Cigar Bar will not be as quiet a place as before, since it is one of the few places where smokers can smoke inside the ship.

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I was on the Sun 2/14/09-3/1/09. I never saw anybody smoking in the cigar bar as it is open to the Windjammer. Is anybody sure this is actually a "smoking place"?

 

The Sun had wonderful suites. And Il Adagio for Breakfast and Lunch was wonderful.

 

I look forward to going back on the Sun someday.

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