Given the choice between a Western, Eastern or Southern Caribbean cruise out of Florida, ten times out of ten, I would choose the Southern itinerary. Why? You’re still visiting high traffic tourist traps but those destinations in the Southern Caribbean are just so much more exotic than those within swimming distance of Florida. The problem? Very rarely is there a great priced Southern Caribbean cruise out of Florida.
Well, we found one. The price is awesome and the itinerary aboard Norwegian Sun provides as much variety as possible for a cruise leaving out of Florida, as opposed to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The one issue is time. This is an eleven day cruise that may not agree with many people’s rigid vacation schedules.
Norwegian Sun embarks from Miami, Florida at 4pm on Thursday, March 6, 2014 on an eleven night Southern Caribbean cruise. Sun arrives back in Miami for 8am on Monday, March 17. Along the way, the ship makes five port calls. There are five full days at sea in which to enjoy all this modern ship has to offer.
For this itinerary, Norwegian doesn’t screw around with stops in the Bahamas. Rather, Norwegian Sun charges straight south for two full days through the Atlantic Ocean / Caribbean Sea and arrives at Oranjestad, Aruba on Sunday, March 9. The ship is docked at the ‘A’ of the ‘ABC Islands’ (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) from 8am until 5pm. In fact, NCL makes it very easy for passengers on this cruise with every port of call scheduled from 8am until 5pm.
Skipping Bonaire, Norwegian Sun stops at Willemstad, Curacao on Monday, March 10. After these two full days of near equatorial heat, culture, snorkeling and partying, take a day to relax on the ship before docking at Bridgetown, Barbados on Wednesday, March 12.
The fourth stop occurs on Thursday, March 13 and this is the one that should make your friends ask, “Say again? Where the hell were you?” Pointe-A-Pitre, Guadeloupe is the last true southern destination before heading northward.
The final stop occurs on Friday, March 14 at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. St. Thomas is a pivot point in the Caribbean and is included in Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, as well as the Southern cruises. After leaving St. Thomas, you have two more full days at sea to soak in those last rays of tropical sunshine before flying back to the cold, cold north.
Don’t expect this price to last. That’s not a car salesman tactic, it’s simply the truth. An inside stateroom for this cruise can be had for as low as $479 per person, based on double occupancy. With the additional $108.87 per person in government taxes and fees tacked on, an inside cabin for two goes from $1,175.74.
From the inside out and up, the prices go up rapidly. An Ocean View cabin is still reasonable at $599. However, adding a balcony pushes the price to $1,099 per person and a suite is nearly double that at from $2,099 per person. Present and former military personnel from Canada and the United States should note that discounts apply and an inside stateroom is reduced to from $449 for these heroes.
Norwegian Sun is one of two Sun Class ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. The other is Norwegian Sky, the older sister that was put in service in 1999. Sun was put in service in 2001 and was last refurbed in 2011.
This may have been a large ship in 2001 but is now closer to a medium sized boat. Norwegian Sun has a gross tonnage of 78,309 with a length of 258 metres or 848 feet. There are 13 decks accessible to passengers. The ship has a capacity for 2,002 guests, based on double occupancy. There are typically 968 crew members on board.
The Small Print
·Because of the nature of last minute deals, the pricing printed here is fleeting and could change at any time.
·Prices are in Canadian dollars.
·Most meals are included in a typical cruise price but DRINKS ARE NOT!
·Also not included are gratuities.
·Cruise pricing does not include air fare, ground transfers and hotel accommodations before and after the cruise.