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Miami Beach - Day Before the Cruise

We decided to spend the night before the cruise in Miami because all the plane arrival times at Miami International that were available were at 2 PM or later (the cruise ship departs at 4 PM). But since we had never been to Miami before it was a great opportunity to explore the city, and the hotel we booked on Hotwire was only $42. The interesting thing was that Hotwire wouldn't let you know what hotel exactly it was until you paid. The hotel turned out to be the Extended Stay America in the Brickell/Port of Miami area. Check out my review of the hotel.

To get to Miami We had to take a connecting flight at Houston Bush International Airport. The airport is vast, and we had to take a bus/tram ride just to get from one terminal to the other. We arrived at the Miami Internal in early afternoon. The arrival terminal seemed really old, with low ceilings, and there was even a waiting line for the women's restroom. It's definitely not something you'd expect in a modern airport. At the luggage carousel area our bags actually came out from a different carousel than had been announced, but we were happy to get them.

Next came the decision on the mode of transport to the hotel. A SuperShuttle attendant quoted me $15 per person for the transfer. I asked if they gave a AAA discount and they said they never heard of it. We took a taxi instead and it turned out to be about the same price after tip. We wanted to go to South Beach right afterwards and the taxi driver was nice enough to wait for us to check-in in the Extended Stay America hotel first. BTW all the hi-rise office buildings and condos in Miami are just an amazing spectacle. The taxi driver thinks that there is going to be an oversupply of condos there and I think he is right.

Miami beach is a beautiful and clean beach. It was paradise just being able to lay in the sand and enjoy the sound of the waves and the clear blue sky. We were able to gather some shells for souvenirs too. The beach wasn't overly crowded, but perhaps it was because a lot of people were out shopping on this Black Friday.

After a couple hours we decided to get back on Ocean Dr and get some dinner. The restaurant competition is intense on the street- seemingly every restaurant had somebody out in front trying to solicit your business. And most of the restaurants had a 50% off the entire menu promotion. It was difficult but we finally settled on a restaurant called Fox Cafe. We shared a big platter of seafood Jambalaya which was delicious and a halibut dish that wasn't as good. Afterwards we perused the streets nearby and then headed back to the hotel via taxi for some much needed sleep!

Day 1: NCL Sun Embarkation and Leaving Miami

We shared a cab with another couple from the hotel who were also headed to the Port of Miami. Like us they were also going on a West Caribbean cruise, though they were going on the Carnival Fascination instead. The cabbie decided to drop us off first, and oddly he informed that our half of the fare was $15 even though the meter was only at $17 and change.

At the drop off area (the time was about 11:00 AM) an NCL luggage handler gave us a tag for the one large luggage we wanted "checked-in". He mentioned the the luggages are heavy and that a tip is appreciated, so we gave him $2 for his troubles. We then followed a line into the cruise terminal with our passports and e-confirmation ready. We went through security and after about 15 minutes we made it to the counter where we had to provide all the documents and a credit card for onboard expenses. They also took a picture of each of us using a webcam device, which presumable is for security purposes. After another 15 minutes in another line we each received a cabin key card, which also acts as the "credit card" for anything you want to buy on the ship. Then we had to go to yet another line to wait for entry onto the cruise ship. This one was the longest, however, but after about 45 minutes or so we finally on the gangway!

Since our cabin wasn't ready until 1:30 PM, we made our way with our "carry-on" luggage to deck 11. There we found the Outdoor Cafe which was serving lunch. There were burgers, hot dogs, and salad being served buffet style there. After eating an announcement was made declaring that the cabins were ready. Our room was on deck 9 and we eagerly took the elevator downstairs to check it out.

Our stateroom was very clean and well laid out. As expected it was small, but there was plenty of space to hang our clothes. Our bed was pretty much two twin-size beds tied together. My wife and I agreed that it would have been better to have a large, contiguous bed, but it wasn't a big deal. There was a sofa next to the bed, and above which is a pull-down bed which I imagine can accommodate a third guest. A small 13" TV was on a swivel stand, which was nice because it could be positioned to face bed or even the bathroom. The poorly designed remote control, however, did not work. I say poorly designed because it had the "code search" button on the top right where you would expect the power button, so it was easy screw up the programming. Next to the desk there was an electrical outlet that could accommodate both 110V and 220V (European plugs).

The bathroom was clean and tiny but has everything you need. There were plenty of niches in walls to place your toiletry. To flush the toilet you actually have to lower the lid and press the round button behind it. I presumed it's designed that way on purpose so "stuff" won't fly out of it when you flush! The shower head has some serious power, and it's great how the hot water comes on very quickly. There is liquid soap and a combination shampoo/conditioner in a pair of dispensers below the shower head.

One huge warning about the electric plug in the bathroom though- there's a small manual 110/220V switch which set the voltage of the outlet. We didn't realize it until too late. The switch was set to 220V, and we had plugged our electric toothbrush charger into it. Presumably that zapped it because we were no longer able to charge the toothbrush using that charger.

At 3:30 PM everyone had to gather at their muster stations for a mandatory evacuation drill. Afterwards we headed up to the Pool area at Deck 11 for a BBQ party as the ship started to sail away from Miami! It was a festive and happy scene with people dancing to the music of "Root's Link" (the Ship's excellent reggae live band) and chomping away at chicken and pork. Our Cruise Director (Linda) heartily urged everyone to join in on the fun as she and other crew members joined the party.

For dinner we ate at one of the main dining rooms called "Four Seasons" on Deck 5. There is an identical restaurant called "Seven Seas" located in the back of Deck 5. The cool thing about the "Freestyle Cruising" that NCL touts so much is that you can just about eat anywhere you'd like before the restaurant closes. We walked into Four Seasons at around 8, got a table for two, and enjoyed a nice 4 course dinner (appetizer, soup/salad, main course, and dessert). It would have been nice to get a window seat but since it was dark you couldn't see anything outside anyways.

We were not able to catch the entire main show at the Stardust Theater, but it seemed to be variety show that previewed the entertainment to come the rest of the week, so we weren't too disappointed. Then it was time to watch a comedy show at the Dazzles Disco on Deck 6. Comedian Dave Heenan, a 60-year-old-ish beer-bellied Irish guy, had some pretty funny jokes. We were not too impressed with the haphazardness of his jokes which jumped from one subject to another, but he was good for some nice laughs. At 11:45 PM we went to the Garden Cafe (also on Deck 11) and ate some salad & meat stew. Talk about pigging out- yikes! So that we didn't feel TOO guilty we played some basketball and ping-pong on Deck 11 afterwards before heading to bed.

Day 2: NCL Sun Sea Day

Today the weather was beautiful as our ship cruised its way south in the Gulf of Mexico. We got to take plenty of outdoor pictures, and since this was one of the dress-up days we also took the opportunity to take some pictures inside the ship. After lunch at the Garden Cafe we proceeded to attend the first Art Auction of the cruise. The company doing the auction is called Park West Gallery at Sea. If you are interested in free champagne and find art interesting, I would recommend you attend one of the these and/or a lecture on what makes a piece of artwork valuable. You also get free art (little 8x10 "posters" in envelopes) at the end of the auction. We didn't end up buying anything, though it was fun to see the spectacle.

For dinner we were treated with a meal dinner at Four Seasons. The main course was lobster tail and it was cooked to perfection. We have to thank one of the guys working at the Pacific Heights Restaurant for letting us know. We wanted to eat at Pacific Heights, which is a specialty restaurant that didn't have a cover charge, but the guy told us about the lobster in the main dining rooms and we were like- okay never mind! Anyways we loved the lobster and we each requested another one and the waiter brought it out no problem at all. It was terrific.

The show this night called "Hey Mr. Producer" and was performed at the Stardust Lounge at Deck 6/7. It featured the terrific Jean Ann Ryan Company of dancers and singers. It was a tribute to the shows of Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Les Miserables, Cats, etc. The dancing and singing were great and we were impressed- everyone gave a standing ovation at the end. After the show our cruise director Linda said she wanted to give us a "gift". It turned out that the Sun was going into the Central time zone tomorrow so we would get an extra hour of sleep. Thank you very much Linda- it was so generous of her! Wink

After the show we walked around and took many pictures since we were "formally attired". Some popular places to take pictures included the exit/entrace area of the Stardust Lounge (where a huge chandelier situated) and the attrium/stair area on Deck 5. Then it came time for another comedy show put on by Dave Heenan. He was definitely better this night with some hilarious jokes. He still jumped back and forth but not nearly as bad as the first night.

We finished off the night with again some midnight snack at the Garden Cafe- well not quite since it closed at 12 AM. We felt a little guilty afterwards and played some basketball and then tennis-style ping pong at the pool deck. It was a little difficult since it was quite windy! We retired to the cabin afterwards and watched "A Few Good Men" on TV before going to bed. I should mention that there are a nice selection of movies available on TV which included Ratatouille and Harry Potter The Order of the Phoenix. There was also ESPN, TNT, and CNN. Unfortunately I found out the next day that when there is football on all those channels were blacked out, though you could watch the game(s) at the pool deck or in the Sports Bar. I can understand why ESPN was blacked out, but why TNT & CNN?

Day 3: Roatan, Honduras

We woke up at about 10:30 AM. We took our time because we didn't take a Roatan excursion and rather wanted to explore the Honduran island ourselves, especially since it was a rainy day. The rain wasn't coming down hard but it was off and on. After a quick lunch at the Garden Cafe we proceeded to Deck 3 where the gangway was located and got off the ship.

Roatan is a small island measuring only 35 miles long and only about 3 miles wide. Our cruise ship was docked in an area called Coxen Hole. Once we passed the chainlink-fence area around the dock, we were immediately "attacked" with solicitation offers to take us to the West End of the island and Half Moon Bay. We politely refused all offers, but one guy kept persisting, and finally made an offer we couldn't refuse- $10 to drive us around Coxen Hole and explore the town. After about half an hour on the tour, our driver/guide made another irresistible offer- $20 total would get us to Half Moon Bay (HMB). Seeing nothing all that interesting in town other than local shops, we agreed- it was going to be a 45 minute drive. On the way to HMB we got off at a nice residential where the driver said were built by Americans. The homes were beach-side and of impressive quality. We took pictures around the beach and a small pier and then continued on to HMB.

Half Moon Bay is a beautiful spot on Roatan. Its name is derived from its shape of a crescent moon, and small sandy beaches surrounded it. There are numerous mini-Coconut trees, small shops and restaurants. We were curious about a nice condo/townhouse complex at one end of the bay and checked it out. There was a sign that said "Open House" but we didn't get a chance to see the inside. We actually accidentally took a step into an occupied home- oop! We then took numerous pictures of the beach and the bay, and then headed back to the taxi. The driver took a different route back this time- a scenic coastal route. After we reached the dock we paid and thank our driver. It was about 3:15 PM and since there was time (the ship wasn't going to leave until 4:30 PM), we decided to do some shopping. We ended up buying a pair of large conch shells for about $8.

Back on board we felt like eating at a specialty restaurant for dinner. We were both Sushi fans so we decided to eat at the sushi bar, and here's my review of the Ginza Sushi Bar. We had to pay an extra $15 per person cover charge to eat there. It was actually located in the same dining area as the East Meets West Restaurant, and seats were limited. We were able to get a seat for two. There was no salad and the soup that came was Miso soup. It did not taste good- it had an odd sour flavor that was overpowering. We then order a ton of sushi- pretty much everything on the menu to try. Unfortunately just about all of them were disappointing. The quality of the fish was okay- not the freshest but it was fine. The Sushi rice, however, was the main problem- it was much too thick and made most of the sushi taste like, well, just rice. The eel was excellent, however, and I recommend getting it alone and not on a rice sushi. Also the service was pretty slow. We left very disappointed- I would not recommend it unless you're there for the sashimi only.

After dinner we watched the magic and comedy show put on by magician Jean Pierre Parent of Canada, and it was very entertaining. He had some cool card tricks and was a pretty quick wise-cracker as well. Jean Pierre got some audience members participating in his tricks- it was pretty interesting.

Afterwards, as usual, we visited the Garden Cafe for some fruit, and then it was time for tennis ping pong. We then drifted off to bed early because the next day we had to wake up in time for our Belize City and Alta Hun Mayan Ruins excursion tour.

Day 4: Belize City, Belize

We woke up at around 8 AM as our excursion was at 9. Here's a tip- what we did was grab a few of those little chocolate milk and regular milk containers + other munchies from the Garden cafe to keep our energy as there was no lunch served on this particular excursion. Everyone gathered at the Four Seasons restaurant and awaited for their group to be called to leave the ship via tender boat. We left on the tender at around 9:10, and it took literally 20 minutes for the boat to reach shore. It wasn't like the tender wasn't going fast- for some reason our cruise ship had anchored way far away from shore. It was pouring rain so we quickly went from the dock to inside the tourist shopping center and formed a line to get on the tour bus at the other end of the building. We then went on a tour of Belize City- most of the buildings looked old and worn. There were many areas where you can see how flood had damaged homes. It was interesting to observe the influence Taiwan has on the city- a commemorative statue in the city celebrating the independence of Belize was actually built by Taiwanese art students.

After about 20 minutes in Belize City, the bus then headed towards the Mayan Ruins in Alta Hun. After almost an hour we arrived at the ruins and thankfully the rain had subsided. As we got off the bus our tour guide gave everyone a complimentary bottle of water which was nice. After a bathroom break everyone followed the guide to the main area where the ruins stood. In "section A" stood four large Mayan temple structures surrounded by lush jungle palms and plants. The tour guide explained that the buildings were primarily used for trading goods, and that as many as 20,000 Mayans resided here. Apparently they would set up huts above the now barren stone tops of the structures, and also the surrounding area. The area designated as "section B" was highlighted by an impressive 60-ft tall Mayan temple. We were able to climb up to the top via steps in the back of the structure, but we had to do it with great caution as the stairs were slippery. At the top we were treated to an impressive view of the entire Alta Hun Ruins area. Unfortunately we had to make haste- the bus had to go. So we pretty much had only about an hour total to explore Alta Hun. But the major downer was the constant blasting of the speaker phone of music & someone in the distance advertising cold beer for sale. I think the entire atmosphere and experience of the Altun Ha Mayan Ruins could have been better absorbed in serenity instead. Photo Gallery of the Alta Hun Ruins.

After the bus returned to Belize city we continued the city portion of the tour. We then ended up at the Smoky Mermaid restaurant near the dock where we were given a free ticket each for a free drink there. After sipping some nice tropical punch the bus took us back to to the tourist shopping center at the dock. We spent about an hour or so looking through the shops for souvenir, and finally settled on buying a small wooden ship that said "Belize" and a wooden picture frame with "Belize" on it. Interestingly, the owner of the craft shop was from Taiwan.

At around 3:45 we then boarded the next available tender boat back to the Norwegian Sun. We were eager to try the French specialty restaurant called "Le Bistro" so we made a reservation for 6 PM. It was just as well because there's a special 50% off cover charge promotion for reservations between 5:30 and 6:30. And here's our mini review of the Le Bistro French restaurant on-board the NCL Sun. It was truly a delight and completely worth the coverage charge to eat at the Le Bistro. For appetizer we devoured multiple orders of delicious, buttery escargot and seafood cocktail. We ordered free range chicken with Foie Gras, and Bouillabaisse. The chicken was so tender and flavorful. The Bouillabaisse was good but not quite the best French seafood soup we've tasted. The dessert was heavenly- the Cr�me br�l�e was bar none the best creme brulee we've ever eaten- not too sweet and just so smooth and creamy. To top it off the service overall was absolutely wonderful. I heartily recommend anyone going on an NCL Cruise to try the "Le Bistro"- 5 out of 5 stars. Again this was worth the cover charge, which is something I can't say about the Ginza Sushi Bar from the night before. See photo gallery of food from the restaurant.

After our wonderful meal we were treated to a great latin-style, high-energy dance show put on by the Jean Ann Ryan Company. The cast even stayed behind afterwards to talk to the guests, and we were able to take pictures with a pair of dancers we saw on TV before. It was a great ending to a fun-filled day.

Day 5: Cozumel, Mexico

Today the port was Cozumel, Mexico. Since we decided not to go on an excursion we took our time getting off the ship. Cozumel turned out to be our least favorite port of our cruise. It was pretty much all about shopping, and even then it was difficult to find good bargains. The jewelry was expensive and the crafts were not of great quality in general. After perusing the bustling streets for several hours, the only things we bought were at Del Sol. We purchased a color-changing nail polish for $10 and got a free color-changing tote bag via a coupon given out on the ship. We did take some pictures at various areas including the Clock Tower, the gigantic flag pole and flag of Mexico, and the 50-ft+ tall Christmas Tree. We then boarded the tender boat to head back on board. The boat was very crowded (probably 250 people) and getting off of it back onto the cruise ship was an ugly experience. We had to wait about 45 minutes before getting back on the ship because there were so many people. And all the while we were breathing in smelly boat exhaust. This was definitely the lowlight of the cruise.

The entertainment today was highlighted by Jennifer Fair, a soprano singer from Ohio. The crowd was lighter than usual but it was a treat to the ears for those who showed up. Jennifer sang classical songs, Italian Opera, and even French songs. At the end everyone at the Stardust Lounge gave her a standing ovation. After the show we took pictures with her and bought her CD for $20. Afterwards we were treated to an Adult-Only comedy show by comedian Dave Heenan. This was the funniest of his three shows, and we had tears streaming down our eyes after some of the jokes!

Day 6: Sea Day

We attended the Grand Finale Champagne Art Auction at 2:30 which was highlighted by a 10-minute Salvador Dali and Walt Disney collaboration on a short film called Destino. Apparently Dali and Disney never finished the project in their days but Roy Disney revived it back in 2003 and brought it to completion. After watching Destino several related art items from the film were auctioned though I don't remember anyone bidding on them. The auction ended at around 4:20 and we rushed, almost in a panic, to the Stardust Lounge. Several times yesterday Linda our Cruise Director kept reminding everyone to attend a special performance by crew members today at 4:15 PM at the Stardust Lounge. She said it was a "Must-see" and a "Do-not-miss". But we were relieved to see that the show had not started when we got there. Basically it was more hilarious than spectacular, and that's all I'm going to say about it Wink. Before the actual "Fountains" show, some crew members did good jobs showing off their talent with songs and dances. Everyone gave them a standing ovation at the end.

For dinner We decided on the health-conscious Pacific Heights restaurant. For appetizer we had several orders of steamed mussel in wine broth. It was absolutely delicious. I had steam fish which was wrapped in paper, while my wife had the grilled pork chop. We were certainly impressed with how flavorful the dishes were despite how they were supposed to be low-fat and low sodium. The dessert dishes we tried were not great, but it wasn't surprising considering the restraints of sugar & fat the chefs had to work with.

After dinner we were treated with an entertaining show called "cirque Pan". It was display of acrobatic moves, dances, and songs re-telling the story of Peter Pan. We were very impressed- it was the best performance by the Jean Ann Ryan company and they had some pretty darn good ones earlier on the cruise. Afterwards we headed to the Dazzles Disco for "The Liars Club". This was a "game show" involving a panel of celebrity guests telling the audience what he or she thought was the true definition of vague words. The panel consisted of Linda our cruise director, Jennifer Fair, and Jean Pierre Parent. It was pretty entertaining as the audience tried to figure out who was lying and who was tellin the truth.

Then it was time for the Chocoholic Buffet at the Four Seasons Dining Room. Basically it was an all-you-can-eat deluge of chocolate desserts and treats. what I found most impressive about the whole spectacle were the chocolate decor- a large plaque made of chocolate, a huge book made of chocolate, and even a chocolate dinosaur. The desserts themselves were fairly good but nothing spectacular (like the ones from Le Bistro).

After we stuffed our face we decided to take some pictures and then go workout at the Fitness Room on Deck 11. There was no one else exercising there (it was about 1:30 AM). The cool thing about the treadmills and the Stairmasters was that each was outfitted with an LCD TV so you can watch television while you workout. Oddly enough we couldn't get the sound to work, but that may be intentional to keep guests working out from bothering each other.

Day 7: Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

This was our last full day of cruise Sad. Our ship, the Norwegian Sun, arrived at the Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. We had to fill out a Bahamas customs form the night before and drop it off at Guest Services on Deck 5. After eating breakfast at the Outdoor Cafe, we left the ship on tender boat at around 11:30 PM. The island we arrived at was pretty small- probably less than 5 square miles. In the distance we saw another cruise ship and their own "private" island. It was a festive scene at the beach of "our" island- people playing volleyball, swimming, or just lazying around. Roots Link was playing live music and we ate a Barbeque lunch cooked right on shore. Everything was complimentary except alcholoic drinks and snorkeling and water floats. We rented a large round party float for $20. It was truly relaxing and plain fun just floating and staring into the clear turquoise water for sea creatures. A quick bout of rain came but quickly dissipated. We hung around the beach and the surrounding waters until about 4:30 PM when we had to go. It was arguably the best "excursion" we had along with the Belize City Altun Ha Mayan Ruins trip.

Back on board we ate a delicious dinner at Four Seasons highlighted by a Rack of Lamb main course. We then watched a Farewell Variety Show at the Stardust Lounge. John Pierre Parent came out and did some magic tricks followed by another great singing performance by Jennifer Fair. We also checked out the Observation Lounge on Deck 12. It was a nice place to hang out with a certain ambience to it- too bad we didn't discover it earlier.

Then came the "Adult Quest Comedy Game Show". It was unlike anything we had done on a cruise ship. Basically the audience is split up into teams of 4 or 5, of which one of the members must be female. Rich, the assistant cruise director, would then read out tasks for each team to accomplish within a time limit in exchange for earning points. It started out innocent enough with tasks like "bring your daily newsletter" and "bring a guess card". Then it proceeded to escalate to "bring a pair of socks", "show your chest hair", "bring your dentures", "do the worm", "bring a bra", "jump around without your bra", and have the female member of your team ride a male member like a horse. It was pretty crazy, and just about everyone was a good sport and things really got competitive. The final task for the most points was to have a male and female member of the team swap all their clothing except underwear! Very Happy

Disembarkation Day

Today was the day we needed to get off the ship and go through the Disembarkation Process. In the morning we received our billing statement for our onboard purchases account. A $10 per day, per person service charge was tacked onto the bill, which counted as gratuities for the hard working cabin crew and dining workers. Also I noticed that the tips from the specialty restaurants were also added.

Before we went to sleep the night before we had finished packing and left our large luggage outside by 1 AM. The crew would transport the luggage to the dock where you would pick it up. It sure beats lugging it around as you get ready to disembark!

We ate a quick breakfast at the Garden Cafe, about 20 minutes before it closed at 9 AM. We then headed back to our cabin, did one final check to make sure we didn't leave anything behind. As we made our way down the hallway, we noticed busy crew members dressed like they were in a clean room (masks, gloves, everything) moving quickly to sanitize the cabins. Definitely an interesting sight!

We then hung around the Internet Cafe area to use up the remaining minutes of our Internet Time Plan, and left for the gangway at Deck 5 at around 9:55 AM. I think everyone had to leave by 10 AM- after all the crew has to get ready for the new guests coming on board today.

The duration it took to get out of customs was about half an hour which was not too bad. We got our big luggage and and left the port warehouse. Outside we quickly got transportation from here, the Miami Cruise Terminal Port, to the Miami International Airport. It was a shared van taxi ride and costed only $10 per person. It was a pleasant surprise as we thought we'd had to get our own taxi.

At the airport we had to wait for several hours for our connecting flight to Houston. Once we got there we were in frantic mode. Our plane from Miami arrived about 15 minutes late and by the time we got out of the plane it was boarding time for the connecting flight home!

Did I mention how enormous the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport is? And of course- the plane is in another terminal! This time we took this underground rail car that took us from terminal A to C. It was tricky, however. After arriving at terminal B, we assumed that the next stop was terminal C. Nope- it was a hotel! In our haste we noticed another rail car stopping and hopped on it without thinking. Unfortunately this one was going backwards so we were sent back to terminal B before we realized it. We finally got onto the right rail car and got to terminal C about 20 minutes before our flight was supposed to take off. Then, another obstacle- we had to go through security again. In the line a lady behind us was also going to the same destination so we were able to find out the Gate number. Why these different airlines don't get their communications in order and print the gate number of the connecting flight is beyond me. We were able to board the plane just in time, and upon arrival it was also nice to see our checked luggages also made it!

Overall Impressions of the Cruise/Rating

Overall it was a very enjoyable cruise. The amenities on the NCL Sun were not overly impressive- there's no miniature golf, rock climbing, bowling alley, water slides, etc. But there was a nice full size basketball court (not 2 half courts facing a wall), a great variety of dining options/restaurants, and comfortable accommodations., The experience as a whole was excellent. The crew, composed of mostly Filipinos, were very friendly and warm. Roots Link provided terrific live music, and our cruise director Linda Minnikin & the assistant cruise director Rich did good jobs. The entertainment was very good- although a bit more variety would have made it even better. Also the concept of Freestyle Cruising is great- we were able to sit at tables for two every time we ate.

Also we were very happy that we weren't bothered by loud noises when the cruise ship docked. Unlike the Carnival Paradise we were on, we did not hear any loud rattling metallic chain noises during docking. Perhaps it had to do with our cabin position, but we were really happy to not be rudely awaken on the Norwegian Sun.

I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone who hasn't taken it! My overall rating for the cruise is 4.5/5.


* The Mayan ruins excursion at Alta Hun in Belize

* Great entertainment put on by the Jean Ann Ryan Company, Dave Keenan, Jean Pierre Parent, Jennifer Fair, & Crew

* Delicious meals overall, especially at the French specialty restaurant Le Bistro


* Having to breath noxious tender boat exhaust while waiting to get back on the ship

* The sushi at Ginza Sushi Bar not worth the extra cover charge

[Editor's Note: This review was from our cruise that embarked back in November 24, 2007]

Photo gallery of the Norwegian Sun

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Posts: 1

We went on a 7 night cruise on the Norwegian Sun to the Western Caribbean (left from Miami). We had a great time. The NCL specialty restaurants were terrific- just be sure to take advantage of their specials (for instance we didn't have to pay extra on the first night).

The French restaurant was really good overall. The rack of lamb was sensational as well in the main dining room.

Belize was very fun as we got to see the Mayan ruins at Alta Hun. The next to last day we were at our own little island in the Bahamas just having fun swimming in the sea and lazying around. It was a blast and I would recommend this NCL cruise.

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