MITSUGIRLYS BACK TO BELLY SUN CRUISE review and pictorial
Day 9: Getting off the ship and onto the next...
Day 7 on the ship: A full sea day.
I had set the alarm to wake us up at 8am. However, like most days, I was up at 7:45am. I heard the announcements and headed up to the deck to check on the weather before waking up the rest of the family. It was cool out. Sigh* What was wrong with this Florida weather?
On the way back to the elevators, I noticed that one of the spa windows was broken and pushed in. Did someone have too much to drink last night? I mean I know it was really windy and the waves were high, but geesh.
I managed to drag the family out of bed and we headed for breakfast at Moderno. This time they didn't have the table set up with the eggs, bacon and sausage. I was a little bummed about that.
They did have the waffles and egg omelette's, but for some reason, this place was packed compared to the other days and I really wanted my bacon. So we headed over to the buffet...which was a little crazy this morning of course.
The breakfast was different this day. The eggs were super runny, the bacon was basically raw (which I hate) and the hashbrowns were gooey. It was really a bad breakfast. What a way to send you off the ship.
We headed back onto the deck to take a few of those "sad I'm back in port" pictures.
I checked in with the kids to make sure they weren't going to miss the plane like last time. My oldest daughter (the slow one that makes us late to everything and has no sense of time) said she had been up at 7am that morning and was shopping for some last minute things at Walmart. She had everything packed since the night before and all paperwork ready. They informed us that there was snow at home now and it was extremely cold. It made me glad I wasn't heading home quite yet. We double checked our plans to meet up at the airport and then we were ready to head down to the room to get our things and get off the ship. Our cruise was complete.
We headed off the ship at 9:40am and was directed to take a "different" route off. I'm not sure why and it came out at the front of the line where people were in line to get off.
I was sad when I seen this sign
The lines were extremely long getting off.
After we found our luggage, it took about 1/2 hour. There was a guy directing the lines that you could tell he had one job and one job only and it was probably a made up job and you would have thought he went to special training for this job..he was SERIOUS about it and never cracked a smile. His job....to tell people to move up. That was it. He patrolled the area like a cop telling people keep moving, keep moving, move up, move up. There came a point and time that it just became a joke. People were laughing and we were squeezing together like sardines and saying "make sure there is NO room in between each other...keep moving keep moving". It was like we had never been in school and didn't know how to move in a line when it moved up. I guess he thought we didn't understand the concept of how a line works. It was aggravating at first and then just became a form of stress relief and laugher for everyone in the line.
The customs was super fast. A quick glance at the form and a "Have a nice day" and you were out of the terminal.
The cab ride was a flat $25 to the Tampa airport and he was a crazy cab driver.
We had decided this time to do the early bird check in with SW. We were very pleased to see that it gave us seats A36, A37 and .....B50???? What the heck??? How does this happen? Sakari was the B50. So obviously she wasn't going to board by herself and would board with us.
Our flight said that it was delayed for 10 minutes. We were to leave at 1:20 and would be leaving at 1:30 instead. But the airplane arrived at 1pm instead? What kind of confusion do they have going on here?
When we got ready to board, they stopped us when they seen Sakari's ticket. They said she would have to go back to B50. Um...what?? No, I don't think so. So then they said, well one of you will have to board late with her. I tried to show them my "early bird" check in papers where I purchased it for ALL OF US and they claimed they did not do it for her. If that's the case, how the H3LL was she checked in then??? I sure didn't check in any of us. How would she have been assigned a number? I paid for it! They claimed I didn't. I had my paperwork in my hands with the receipt to prove it. They wouldn't even look at it.
They told my hubby to go ahead on and "save" us 2 seats. So what's the difference then? There was going to be a big issue and some words thrown if I got on the plane and they didn't allow my husband to save the 2 seats for us. It's one thing if you didn't pay for it and you are trying to save seats. I understand that open seats are game for anyone...but not IF I PAID FOR EARLY BIRD. I still don't know what happened, but I was mad.
They acted as if they were doing me a favor by telling me after he got on that they would allow us to go when they were done with boarding all of the A passengers and I could go with the "family" boarding. Geesh. She was just being difficult I swear.
We had a whopping 38 minute flight to FLL. It was so quick that they actually took the drink orders prior to us leaving the airport. LOL
We arrived safely at FLL and was ready to head to our next fun filled week.
I will finish with a few "final thoughts" about the Sun on my next post. But this extremely long review is DONE.
Thank you all for hanging in there with me.
So I'm going to try to sum things up on this for those inquiring minds that want to know.
Prior to booking on the Sun, I always knew that I was interested in sailing her. I know a lot of people seem to like her and I know a lot of people that have sailed on here (including my family, which I have to say are in their 80's).
My first encounter with the Sun was a few years ago in Ocho Rios Jamaica. We were on the Pearl and "parked" next to her. I couldn't help think but how itty bitty she looked, but I loved the hull art and there was just something about her that I liked. I remember taking a picture of her (well actually I took a bunch that day) as we were leaving and I managed to catch the most beautiful picture of the sunset, clouds and her sitting there, which heightened my curiously about going on her.
My first thought after entering the Sun was "Yep, I'm going to like this ship" and I wasn't wrong.
Everyone knows I love ships with the grand atrium stories tall and the Sun did not disappoint. Her atrium went up to the top and she had glass elevators on BOTH sides. Beautiful.
I liked the layout of the ship and everything was easy to get to and find. I think I knew my way around this ship by the second or third day.
I loved the area of the kids club. With it being on the front of the ship and the porthole windows to see down at the kids made it really neat.
LOVED the casino of course. It did me well and I was so happy to find some of the slots that kept me playing for hours on $10.
Loved the food and the sports bar area. I just wish it was open 24/7 like on the other ships (O'Sheehans and Blue Lagoon). That was a bit of a disappointment.
Eating in the MDR, buffet or the back of the ship was kind of a hit or miss when it would be open. That was one thing that I don't think I ever learned on the hours.
Sakari enjoyed the kids pool/hot tub area. It was a nice place to hang out. Didn't like that some adults felt like it was their area to hang out and gave dirty looks when a child came along like they weren't supposed to be there.
The main pool was fine and was never crowded. It was small, like any other ship that I have been on.
I didn't see any chair hogging and almost every time we were there, we found a place to sit (sometimes even being in the front row by the pool).
Loved the wooden dance floor area they had in front of the stage on the pool deck. (These seem to get smaller and smaller until they are non-existant on the larger ships. I remember the sailaway on the Getaway...the staff was dancing around the edges of the pool because there's no place to stand and dance).
The room size was a little bigger and with a different layout than your "normal" rooms on other ships, it was nice. As always there was plenty of space to put your things.
The room steward-I can't really say we had a good one. After asking about an extra towel (for my hair), it took awhile to get it and she managed to take away one of our pool towels. She could never get it right. I still can't believe that she left dirty cups for days and just put a clean lid on it. Really? I have never had that happen before. Then there's the dirty underwear issue. I just don't think she was very thorough with her cleaning. Maybe she was new? IDK, but it did not make or break our cruise of course. Everyone has "off" days, this might have been her "off" week. :p
DIDN'T like the shower and the curtain that loved my body. That's probably the worse thing they ever invented.
DIDN'T like the safe. I swear it felt smaller than normal and the steps you had to do in order to get in it was just a little much.
Loved that the closet in the room had a light and we used it as a night light.
LOVED the Internet package and speed. I'm sorry, we didn't have any issues that others claim with the speed. It was very sufficient and worked great for us...even in the room.
Great food at the MDR and this time around the service was excellent. We wasn't sitting around waiting for hours for our meals or drinks. They were very prompt and it made for an enjoyable dining experience each time.
The buffet...hmmm. Normally I REALLY enjoy the buffet, but this time around it seemed different. Maybe it was the size. I don't think we have witnessed such a small buffet before. It seemed limited on items and it felt like most nights it was the same thing with a few "added/rotated" items. There was plenty of seating there and you never had to worry about that.
Loved the ice cream station and the crepe station. Easy access and never a line.
Loved the area out back (Great Outdoors). They always had great food and a nice "change-up" from the buffet. I also enjoy sitting out there and watching the wake.
Shopping, well, it was ok and had a variety of items...just not the tee's that I usually buy. I still can't believe they didn't pull those out (the ones with the ship name on them). Do they not realize that they are potentially losing money for people that want a tee with the ships name on it?
The shows...IMO they really didn't have too many that we enjoyed. We are not really the type that likes the singing and dancing broadway type of shows. They get repetitive after the first show. The comedian was ok and the ventriloquist was just bad. He was bad the first time we seen him on another ship and it was worse the second time.
The staff was AMAZING. By the second day a lot of them up on the pool deck had Sakari's name memorized and always approached her to talk about her day. I feel like NCL has some amazing people working for them. I know it's a rough job, but they really "appear" as if they enjoy it and are always smiling and speaking.
The White Hot party was amazing!!! I love when it's out on the pool deck and we had a wonderful time.
We LOVED the furries and think that it added to the experience of having an awesome cruise. Would love to cruise with them again in the future.
This cruise was filled with "much older" people. I don't have anything against this AT ALL. It made for a more "relaxed" feeling this time around. I would do this again in a heartbeat!
Last but not least, the smoking section and people on this cruise just sucked! The way people would grab a table and sit there all day just amazed me. This is a "smoking section" not a breakfast, lunch, dinner sitting area and in between. Have some consideration. If you are eating your meal, go somewhere else and eat and then come here for your cigarette. There's no need to hog every table and chair. Go enjoy your cruise!!! Geesh. Some of these people seem to never move...ever. So instead of chair hogs by the pool, we have smoking section hogs.
THE NUMBER ONE THING ABOUT THIS CRUISE TO ME.....
IT WAS NEVER CROWDED!!! EVER!!! Anywhere we went, we never ran into a crowd. The ship felt empty half the time. I never waited in lines for much of anything. The buffet line never had more than 3 or 4 people ahead of me. The crepe station...maybe 1 person ahead of me. No lines in the MDR. No lines when shopping. Casino not too crowded. Always some place to sit. It was just that amazing!!
We were able to sail with our previous cruising buddies and it was great to see them again.
I walked away from this cruise, and my husband and I both agreed, that this is probably one of our favorite cruises! But, a lot of things factor into that of course.
We had WONDERFUL weather each day.
The ship wasn't crowded.
We won in the casino.
All 4 places we visited in port were probably some of the best places and experiences ever.
We were more relaxed and prepared for this cruise than our last one.
The Sun was a great ship! Period!
It was just a mixture of one good thing after another (of course until I lost my diamond). It's going to be very hard to beat this cruise! I just can't express how great it was.
I know people have different expectations and experiences and I truly believe that it depends on all of the factors. For us...this was THE cruise we had been waiting for all year (since our Getaway cruise just wasn't what we thought it would be).
Would I sail the Sun again? Well, you know me, I try not to sail the same ship over and over, so probably not. But would I recommend it? Absolutely!
Up next, meeting up with the family and off on another cruise on the NCL Sky...read on