As this is my first cruise, I am quite excited and overwhelmed. I have read many messages that talk about the different shore excursions, whether to book through the cruise lines vs. booking it yourself. Can anyone help me with info on how to book on my own?
Also, has anyone been on the Sun that can give me some feedback as to the do's & don'ts while on board? Any/all info would be most appreciated.
Take the stress out. You can go to ncl.com download the excursions , ask questions and book with NCL. Yes you might pay a little more but be comfortable that it will be ok. After you have cruised a couple of times and understand how everything works booking you own is clearly an option.
We cruised on the Sun over Thanksgiving week and had a great time. We didn't book any excursions for Grand Cayman or Hondurus. In grand cayman we went on the semi submersible, which is 30 feet from the dock. We saved $20 by just walking over and buying the tickets. It was nice.
In hondurus we rented a scooter and went around the island. Very nice. A little bit dangerous though on those roads. I would recommend hiring a taxi to take you around. They also have a canopy trip there that I would have done, had I known about it before hand.
In Belize we did the cave tubing/ziplining tour. This was the highlight of our trip.
In Cozumel we did the ATV beach trip. This was very fun.
Hi , I , wife and 20 mth old just returned sat from our first cruise. An not our last. I can't say enough of friendly staff, great food, never eat in the non free places, staff always there to help if my hands full with peewee. clean beyond my expectations. We only booked one excursion threw ship, in belize as its a tender port and heard you may have to wait untill ship excursions have got off first. We were later than the freeto go people due to late start of our ship planned trip. fun 5 mi tender ride in. In caymen we research before but found nice lady right at port who sold us a sting ray trip for $30 US each compared to $89 US threw ship, and in Honduras we docked for 2 hr deparkation then reloaded with tenders, and just outside gate made a deal with a gal, $40 US for a taxi to the wreaks , Iguana farm, to right of port by 25 min, and then ! hr trip to quiet little beach area by way of a look out that look down on most of island . The taxi guy left a little lad with us who up dated taxi guy where we were but we were dropped off at 11 and he was at p/u point way earlier than our 3:40 time. beach was just north of west end beach, did recieve a few of the painless bites on my back I heard about, I would not book threw ship again at twice the cost and ussually 3 times the people. Not to worry like I did, its all to easy even getting off, so organized.
After 16 cruises I think I can say the Sun is my favorite ship. As for booking thru the ship or not, I have mixed feelings. Even though the prices are much higher I think for new cruisers you might be better off booking with the ship. We did our first 2 or 3 cruises. Now we almost always do our own. Sometimes on the net before we go, sometimes when we get the the pier, depending. As for dos and don't, do take some type of bug repellent with Deet in it for Roatan and Belize. We have only encountered those little, invisible creatures on our last trip, but DH didn't use the Deet soon enough and did get quite a few bites that were fairly itchy. Also do eat at least one meal in an altrnative dining room, you won't be sorry. I think I would opt for Le Bistro, but you have several choices. Also do visit the tapa bar at least once. Don't waste too much time in the casino like I always do, you and your money will part all too quickly; don't overpack, remember some clothes can be worn more than once, like what you wear to dinner and shorts if you have spent most of the day on ship in your bathing suit. Try lots of mix and match outfits and you do not need 7 pair of shoes like my friend thought on our last cruise. I get by with about 3 or 4 pair plus what I wear on the ship. Tennies, a couple of pair of sandles and a pair of dress shoes is more than enough. And most of all don't let anything spoil your wonderful vacation. NMNita
The Sun is a great ship (we were onher in Dec 2004). Everyone has given you lots of good advice. My best advice is READ the Freestyle Daily religiously - lots of good, useful info like opening times of dining rooms and restaurants, activities, entertainment times and places.
Normally I arrange my own but since it is your first cruise you might be more comfortable booking with the ship. Personally for you I would recommend this for Belize and possibly for Roatan. Grand Cayman - it is pretty easy to arrange one yourself. On Cozumel - same thing or just go to a beach or go snorkeling at Dzul Ha.
Have a great cruise !
Many thanks to all of you who gave such great advice. I'm glad to hear you all enjoyed the Sun - though it seems to be the least talked about ship on this message board. I appreciate everyone's feedback and look forward to having a wonderful sailing.
I've always been under the impression that you need a passport for anywhere outside the US, its teritories, and Canada - though I could be mistaken. It might be a good idea to post a thread & ask this of everyone out there.
You only need the birth certificate and a form of id for Belize when on a cruise ship. that being said, I recommend everyone have and use their passports. it is easier, always accepted and you never have to worry about having the correct document. NMNita
Have you been on this ship? I have read a lot of negative and some positive things about the food, staff, etc. Also, one more thing. Do you know anything about the tipping policy? If you were on this ship were there a lot of kids? Mine are 14 and 8.
This is my first cruise, so I can't help you with any of these questions. But, I have been reading a lot on these boards about the subject of tipping. The info provided has been very informative.
Just think, in 33 days we'll be sailing!
We were on the Sun the week after Thanksgiving. Everything was great. One of our best yet. Cruise Director staff is great (Ruby and Roxanne with games and trivial), too bad Colin is gone. Ruby actually remember my husband from our last cruise on the Sky. The shows were great. Those of you on the ship this weekend will remember "HAVING A GOOD TIIIIMMMME!"
We did an airboat ride, Mayan Ruins, everglades in Miami. We just walked around Cozumel and got a taxi over the entire island from one of the drives that are parked by the shopping area, we were on our own schedule to see the sites and shopping. The driver also took us for lunch at a restaurant.
Have a Good Cruise.