Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship: Overview and Things to Do

Here's everything you need to know about the Norwegian Sun cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line, with things to do and features.

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Norwegian Sun debuted in 2001 — a time when cruising looked very different from today. However, despite this ship’s age, it’s benefited from substantial renovations over its life.

These renovations have brought the ship up to the modern era and make it appealing to even the pickiest current cruisers, including those who weren’t even born when the ship made its first appearance. 

Sure, this ship may not be the largest at your favorite cruise port and, in fact, maybe about half the size of other mega-ships on the seas today — but that’s a benefit.

For many new cruisers, especially those who don’t need all those frilly, fancy amenities like VR gaming centers or rock-climbing walls, or surfing simulators, the ship is just right in size.

It offers everything you might need to keep you entertained during sea days, but not so much that everything is overwhelming. And, because Norwegian refurbished the ship from top to bottom just a few years ago, everything is modern and sleek. 

Want to know what exactly you’ll see and experience inside this ship? Here’s everything you can expect on a Norwegian Sun cruise.

Norwegian Sun Stats 

As mentioned, Norwegian Sun isn’t that large and is, in fact, even smaller than its sister ship, Norwegian Star. Compared to most ships, it’s on the modest side. 

  • Gross Tonnage: 78,309
  • Length: 848 feet
  • Guest capacity: 1,936 (double occupancy)
  • Crew capacity: 906

Construction and History

Norwegian Sun first sailed the high seas in 2001, when Norwegian Cruise Line debuted this Sun-class ship along with its sister ship Norwegian Star in a joint Miami christening ceremony. The ship was constructed by Lloyd Werft in Germany. 

The Norwegian Sun cruise ship is the last member of the cruise line’s Sun class, which also includes Norwegian Star and Norwegian Sky, which debuted in 1999 before being rebranded as Pride of Aloha.

Technically, the current Costa Cruises Costa Victoria ship was also part of this class, but, for the time being, Norwegian Cruise Line only considers Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Sky as Sun-class ships.

Norwegian Sun in Alaska
Photo Credit: SebZet / Shutterstock

Most recently, Norwegian Sun underwent expansive refurbishments, in 2018, as part of the Norwegian Edge refurbishment program.

The three-week process gave new life to all staterooms and public spaces (including the main dining rooms, pool area, spa and casino), and also added three new venues to the ship’s lineup, including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

If you’re a frequent Norwegian Cruise Line cruiser, then you’re already familiar with these favorite and classic Norwegian venues. 

One of the most interesting elements in Norwegian Sun’s history is an incident that occurred in June 2022. The ship was sailing along the Alaskan coast when it collided with an iceberg off the Hubbard Glacier.

Thankfully, the collision did not cause any substantial damage. The ship shortened that particular itinerary, and then, once the ship was docked, it underwent two weeks of repairs before resuming service. 

Staterooms and Suites

Norwegian Sun staterooms and suites are split into the following categories:

  • Interior staterooms
  • Ocean-view staterooms
  • Balcony staterooms 
  • Mini suites
  • Owner’s suites
  • Penthouse suites 
  • Club balcony suites

You’ll notice that all of the staterooms feature a bit of a modern upgrade, though don’t expect, especially in the more economically friendly options, anything over-the-top luxurious. While Norwegian Cruise Line did update its accommodations, it’s very rare that a cruise ship’s refurbishment can match the new luxury of a modern mega-ship.

Interior Stateroom

In the interior staterooms, expect a modest sleeping area and bathroom, plus a small sitting area and TV. While the walls are still a bit dated with an off-white hue and wood paneling, the more modern blue and gray tones found throughout the bedding, seating area and artwork give the spaces an upgrade. Think a similar experience to what you might find in a new, budget hotel.

Oceanview Stateroom

The oceanview staterooms offer a very similar aesthetic, with matching decor. However, you get much more space in the oceanview staterooms than what you’ll find in the interior staterooms.

Expect a small bar area and entertainment center, with extra floor space around the sitting area. Unfortunately, the ocean views aren’t that impressive. They’re mostly limited to a small window near the sitting area, and the windows are rather high up on the wall.

Balcony Stateroom

For an experience nearest to what you’ll find on a modern, newer cruise ship, you’ll want to book a balcony stateroom. These staterooms offer the same decor choices, with the off-white walls, and blue and gray color palette.

Balcony Stateroom
Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line

However, the overall space is larger and the exterior wall is nearly entirely windows, with a glass door leading out to your balcony. The balconies feature two deck chairs, a small table and glass railings so you can see the ocean from nearly every angle.

Suites

Suites are further broken down into more options. There are mini suites that offer about 100 more square feet than what you’ll find in a balcony stateroom. The mini suites do offer their own balconies, sleeping space for four and larger bathrooms with tubs (which might come in handy for traveling families).

The Haven Owner's Suite Bedroom
Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line

Other suite options include penthouse suites, club balcony suites and owner’s suites. Your largest option overall would be an owner’s suite, with more than 800 square feet, separate living areas and soaking tubs. Suite guests enjoy extra amenities, such as butler service.

Read Also: Norwegian Cruise Line Haven – What You Need to Know

The suite decor is more modern than the general stateroom decor. You’ll still find the off-white walls, shiny wood paneling and can lights, but you’ll also get darker, brown, gray and gold color palettes, for an overall more elegant feel. 

Restaurants

Norwegian Sun’s restaurants are split into complementary and for-a-fee options. Even if you decide that you don’t want to splurge on the for-a-fee dining options, you’ll still have plenty of restaurants to enjoy during your cruise.

Sports Bar
Sports Bar (Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Complimentary restaurants where you can dine for free, include…

  • The Four Seasons Main Dining Room, serving contemporary cuisine in a large, elegant space
  • The Seven Seas Main Dining Room, offering traditional cruising fare
  • The Sports Bar, for pub fare, beer and cocktails and sports on the TV
  • The Garden Cafe, for your typical cruise ship buffet experience
  • The Great Outdoors, for poolside buffet service and grilled items
  • Topsiders Bar & Grill, for more poolside eats 

Do note that you also can take advantage of room service on a complimentary basis, with a few caveats. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night fare are all available for free, except for a $9.95 room service fee and a 20% gravity and beverage fee (so, not exactly free, but nearly!). 

The service fee is waived for continental breakfast until 10 a.m. The fee is also waived if you’re staying in a suite that includes butler service as part of your cruising package.

Los Lobos
Los Lobos (Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line)

If you do want to splurge on some for-a-fee dining, your restaurant options will include…

  • Los Lobos Cantina, a Mexican restaurant serving all your traditional favorites
  • Moderno Churrascaria, a Brazilian eatery with a 43-item salad bar and 12 meat options
  • La Cucina, for Italian eats in a family-friendly setting
  • The Atrium Cafe, for sweet treats and coffee options in the heart of the ship
  • Cagney’s Steakhouse, for steakhouse-style menus 
  • Le Bistro, for French cuisine and an upscale dining experience
  • The Sushi Bar, serving — what else? — sushi
  • Teppanyaki, the cruise ship’s Japanese restaurant with a side of entertainment 

Bars and Lounges

Norwegian Sun also offers a variety of bars and lounges where you can snag a drink and possibly some entertainment. Check out…

Spinnaker Lounge
Spinnaker Lounge (Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line)
  • The Atrium Cafe & Bar, for bar-style drinks, but also coffee and sweets, in case you want a cookie with your cocktail or you’re traveling with someone who wants to skip the booze for caffeine
  • Bliss Ultra Lounge, for a bright and bumping spot to enjoy music and drinks
  • Champs Bar, for drinks near the ship’s outdoor sports spaces and fitness center
  • Los Lobos Cantina, for margaritas alongside your Mexican eats (or just margaritas, if you’re not hungry yet!)
  • Spinnaker Lounge, for nightly entertainment and dancing 
  • The Sports Bar, for beer and other drinks as you watch the big game
  • The Sun Casino Bar, for a few drinks along with your favorite gambling games 
  • The Champagne Bar, for Champagne, obviously, but also small bites like caviar and foie gras
  • Windjammer Bar for martinis, piano sets and other nightly entertainment 
  • The Topsiders Bar, for beach-y drinks near the pool 

As you can likely tell, you’ll never go thirsty aboard Norwegian Sun

Activities and Entertainment

While obviously great staterooms, dining and the number of watering holes can make or break a cruising experience, you have to have more to do during your cruise than just eat and drink. To keep you busy the rest of the time, here are Norwegian Sun’s top activities and entertainment options.

Norwegian Sun Atrium
Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line

Shows in the theater

The cruise ship boasts a two-deck theater that offers your standard cruise ship big-theater fare. Think tribute bands and choreographed dance performances. Tickets are complimentary.

Treatments at the spa

If loud music isn’t your idea of a relaxing time, you can skip the theater and, instead, go to the spa. The Mandara Spa & Salon offers a gorgeous space with wide ocean views and all your favorite typical spa treatments. 

Gambling in the casino

The ship’s casino features all your favorite slots and table games. The huge space can fit nearly 300 cruisers and will have you feeling as if you’re at your favorite casino in Vegas or another similar destination. 

Two pools and four hot tubs

The ship features two pools in the main pool area and four hot tubs, as well as a large selection of sun loungers both around the pool and on an upper deck overlooking the pool.

Norwegian Sun Pool
Norwegian Sun Pool (Photo Credit: James R. Martin / Shutterstock)

In addition to the two main pools, there’s also a kids pool on Deck 12 that’s designed with toddler-age kids in mind. 

The sports court

There’s also a sports court on Deck 12 with activities like shuffleboard, table tennis, basketball and volleyball, in case you’d like to challenge your fellow cruisers to a friendly competition or you want to work up a sweat without hitting the on-board gym.

Worth Reading: Norwegian Prima Cruise Ship- Overview and Things to Do

Kids Venues 

While you’re enjoying the spa and casino, the kids need something to do, right? They’ll find plenty of fun at the ship’s variety of kids’ venues.

Splash Academy is the place for the smallest cruisers to go, with activities planned for children ages 3 to 12 (children are divided into three groups depending on age).

There are also activities for younger children, under 3, but parents must attend those activities alongside their children. No drop-offs are allowed for kids ages 6 months to 2 years old. 

A teen space is offered in the Entourage teen center, for cruisers ages 13 to 17. The center offers lots of programming, but also plenty of amenities that are going to appeal to kids of that age, such as video games.

Norwegian Sun Cruises

Ready to see all of the above for yourself? Hop on an upcoming Norwegian Sun cruise!

Norwegian Sun FAQ

Did the Norwegian Sun hit an iceberg?

Yes! In June 2022, the ship was sailing along the Alaskan coast when it collided with an iceberg off the Hubbard Glacier. Thankfully, the collision did not cause any substantial damage. The ship shortened that particular itinerary and then, once the ship was docked, it underwent two weeks of repairs before resuming service. 

How old is the Norwegian Sun

Norwegian Sun first sailed the high seas in 2001, when Norwegian Cruise Line debuted this Sun-class ship along with its sister ship Norwegian Star in a joint Miami christening ceremony.

How large is the Norwegian Sun cruise ship?

Norwegian Sun measures in at a weight of 78,309 GT and a length of 848 feet, which allows for a guest capacity of 1,936 (at double occupancy) and a crew capacity of 906 crew members.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddlehttps://hollyriddle.org/
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

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