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Old December 20th, 2004, 08:19 PM
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Default NCL Sun Dec 11-18 2004 - review

Overall: This was a very good cruise. Would we do it again-YES!
The Ship: We really liked the Sun. Previously we had been on its sister ship the NCL Sky. Overall the Sun is very similar to the Sky but a bit better designed for Freestyle cruising. The ship was very clean and well-maintained.
Our Cabin: We were VERY pleased with our cabin. We had upgraded from an interior cabin to a superior outside with an obstructed view on the promenade deck. The obstructed view was not an issue at all. The only disadvantage I can find to being on the promenade deck was having people walk by your window (at night one must be careful to close the drapes - during the day people cannot see in - due to the tint in the glass). Except for the above we LOVED this location. It just seemed very convenient to everything. Our cabin was more than large enough for 2 people and I think would hold 3 comfortably (it actually had more room than the balcony cabin we had on the Sky). Lots of storage space. We did not use all the drawers but we travel light. Our cabin steward was great. The cabin was kept very clean and he secured an extra egg-crate mattress pad and pillow for us and he even made a few towel animals.
Dining: We ate all breakfasts at the buffet which was quite adequate (usual breakfast stuff plus waffle and omlet stations). We also had most lunches at the buffet except for 2 days when we used the sandwich and pizza bar in the Pacific Heights restaurant (a nice change from the lunch buffet). In the evening we usually dined in one of the dining rooms. The food was fine (not gourmet dining - which I don't expect from a cruise ship). No meal was a disappointment. Hot food was hot and cold food was cold. The lamb was especially good. We also dined one night at the Pacific Heights specialty restaurant and were pleasantly surprised since other people on this board do not care for it. Entrees here are more "simple" homestyle cooking and we found them to be OK. We also chose to dine one night at the buffet and were pleasantly surprised with a number of selections. The wild rice was really good and frankly the duck was as good as any in the dining room (this was a REALLY pleasant surprise). Cooked veggies on the buffet tended to be pretty awful though. The Caesar salad was good. My husband enjoyed the Indian food station.
Entertainment: We tend to be pretty tired by the end of the day - so we only made it to one show "Cirque Pan". The "plot" was a very odd version of Peter Pan but the acrobatics and dancing were very good. We also enjoyed the pool band "Roots" - excellent singer - very versatile.
Ports of Call: Excellent. Tendering at Grand Cayman was pretty awful - due to rough seas. And unfortunately the rough seas also caused a change in our plans. (We had originally intended to snorkel at Eden Rock but instead went to Seven Mile beach where my husband enjoyed the body surfing.)
Roatan: Went to the Sante Wellness Spa - fantastic.
Belize: We took our only ship's excursion here - Lamanai and New River safari. We enjoyed Lamanai very much. However because the day was actually a little chilly (great for walking around Lamanai), the speed boat ride was freezing (but exciting).
Cozumel: Lovely relaxing day. We went to Dzul Ha where we snorkeled and relaxed at the Palamar Beach Club.
Embarkation: Excellent - very efficiently run
Debarkation: Immigration and passport pickup for non-U.S. residents was frankly awful. It took almost one hour in a slow line. I really wish they could organize this better. Why not distribute the passports the day before ? This seemed to be the biggest hold-up. After we picked up the passports and were cleared by immigration, everything was fine. We ate breakfast and then waited in our cabin until our colour was called.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 03:40 PM
duh8ball
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Default Re: NCL Sun Dec 11-18 2004 - review

Zeno...
I was on that cruise too. I totally agree with you about enjoying the whole thing. This was my 10th cruise with NCL and my 18th cruise total. I was talking to the receptionist handing out the passorts while waiting in line and she said that this time US Customs only sent 2 agents when they normally send 4, and it seemed to her that 1 of the 2 was in a bad mood so he would stop the line every 5 minutes to complain about being overworked or out of coffee and sandwiches. Kind of makes you wonder about American Bureaucracy doesn't it?
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Old December 28th, 2004, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Re: NCL Sun Dec 11-18 2004 - review

Lovely to know I had to stand in line for an hour because some bureaucrat did not get his sandwiches fast enough ! Arrgh - this was one of the few aspects of the cruise that I really did not enjoy.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 08:25 PM
newmexicoNita
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Default Re: NCL Sun Dec 11-18 2004 - review

Zeno, I am so glad you enjoyed your cruise. More later as I have to go fix dinner for our houseguests: love the holidays, love my kids, but will be glad to have the house back to ourselves and the bratty dogs. NMNita
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