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Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Sun

  • Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Sun Review

A sister-ship to Norwegian Sky, but not a twin, Norwegian Sun—one of the first real Freestyle cruising ships built for Norwegian Cruise Line—entered service in 2001 with an additional deck, more accommodations with private balconies, and more specialty restaurants.

Interiors are bright and cheerful although the decor is somewhat subdued when compared with fleetmates.

Norwegian Cruise Line hadn't introduced many new ships in awhile at the time Norwegian Sky was launched and Norwegian Sun was on the drawing board, but it didn't take long before they got the hang of it. With Freestyle cruising growing in popularity, the vessels moved into the forefront of the fleet with multiple restaurant choices, expansive casino, trendy spas, and more family- and kid-friendly facilities.

Rich wood tones and fabric colors prevail throughout. The Observation Lounge is a subdued spot for afternoon tea in a light, tropical setting with nothing to distract attention from the expansive views beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Internet café is large, and the nearby coffee bar is a delight. Sunshine pours into the atrium through an overhead skylight by day; at night it's the ship's glamorous hub of activity.

Norwegian Cruise Line (originally known as Norwegian Caribbean Line) set sail in 1966 with an entirely new concept: regularly scheduled Caribbean cruises from the then-obscure port of Miami. Good food and friendly service combined with value fares established Norwegian as a winner for active adults and families. With the introduction of the now-retired SS Norway in 1979, Norwegian ushered in the era of cruises on megasize ships. Innovative and forward-looking, Norwegian has been a cruise-industry leader for four decades, and is as much at home in Europe as it is in the Caribbean.

Noted for top-quality, high-energy entertainment and emphasis on fitness facilities and programs, Norwegian combines action, activities, and a variety of dining options in a casual, free-flowing atmosphere. Freestyle cruising signaled an end to rigid dining schedules and dress codes. Norwegian ships now offer a host of flexible dining options that allow passengers to eat in the main dining rooms or any of a number of à la carte and specialty restaurants at any time and with whom they please. Now co-owned by Genting Hong Kong Limited and Apollo Management, a private equity company, Norwegian continues to be an industry innovator.

From a distance, most cruise ships look so similar that it's often difficult to tell them apart, but Norwegian's largest, modern ships stand out with their distinctive use of hull art. Each new ship is distinguished by murals extending from bow to midship.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • Many of the elements found in newer fleetmates have been added to these older ships
  • There is a hot tub exclusively for kids
  • Norwegian Sunhas separate steam rooms and saunas for men and women

Cons

  • The main restaurant is not on a direct route from the main atrium
  • These are sister ships but not twins, and dining facilities vary
  • Standard accommodations are somewhat tight for more than two people
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 917,916
  • Entered Service 2001
  • Gross Tons 78,309
  • Length 853 feet
  • Number of Cabins 968
  • Passenger Capacity 1,936
  • Width 105 feet

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