This was a seasickness test cruise for my husband. We are in our mid-thirties and our first cruise he spent sleeping the day away under the spell of Dramamine. This time armed with every over the counter medication I could find he was ready to give it another chance. I decided on Bonine 2 days prior with a combo of Bonine and ginger pills at every meal when on ship. I think the advice to take the Bonine before bed each night made all the difference.
Initially I broke the #1 cruise rule which is to arrive at the port city the day before, but since I was flying in from Orlando I figured it wasnt a big deal until I worried every night. Fortunately, everything worked out and we were able to arrive in Miami timely.
In an effort to avoid the infamous "naughty room" I declared my wine when going through the scanner and paid the fee. Joyous all punishments had been avoided I headed to completing the medical questionnaire and the embarkation line.
I had read the lines are usually short when going through the embarkation process. This was my first cruise on NCL so I didnt have a latitude status yet. The Latitudes lines were short, the regular lowly man lines where about 4 times as long but no more than a 15 minute wait which is reasonable.
The staff was friendly and speedy, they aimed a curious ball at me I am assuming a web cam handed me my card and I off I went ready for the sail. There was a warm welcome by the crew and a red carpet welcoming me aboard.
The rooms were all ready by this time of day so we sat down our things and headed to get lunch. We had lunch at the Italian restaurant had pasta from the pasta station. It was pretty good or either I was just hungry or a combination of the two. We wandered around a bit and headed back to the room to find all luggage delivered save for one. Curious....by this time the muster drill was beginning and we headed on deck to receive our safety instructions.
After the drill we decided to check if that missing bag had arrived...curious a note on the door. I knew what it was immediately... DETENTION. Sure enough I had been summoned to the "naughty room". My husband and I sit in the naughty room with other offenders. I am a bit grieved because no contraband had been packed and I am now missing the sail-away in detention. Soon enough we were called to open our bag. The crew member searched and searched no naughty items to be found only shampoos and lotions.I must admit at this time I was a bit flustered so once he was done I asked if the bag could be delivered to my stateroom as it should have been since nothing was found. He said it would take an hour, it took 2 1/2 hours. (After reading today I found out the scanners look for liquids. When checking a bag I tend to use full size bottles of lotions and shampoos since I am paying $25 for a checked bag. This is the only explanation I can think of.)
The first night I ate at the main dining room. The special was lobster! Oh boy! I was prepared for the crawfish sized lobster described by others but alas it was a nice sized the same as you would receive at Red Lobster. Not bad and no upcharge for it either. The dinner was very good but perhaps I have low standards as some had complained its awful.
Each morning we order room service which came with a very cheerful crew member who meticulously checked our order for us and a cheerful good morning.
The next day did the main dining room again for dinner. I was determined not to eat at the buffet because one I'd dodge a chance at norovirus and two I wanted to get my monies worth and buffets are not it in my opinion. I ordered steak this time. Now here is were the horrible food reviews come in. Now it wasn't horrible and I understand medium well can be a challenge but Applebees and cook it NCL just can't I guess. My well-done bland thin piece of beef I ate slathered in steak sauce. I figured things would be different the next night we had Cagney's reservations.
Cagney's was a nice restaurant, what I did not like was the buffet table was just outside my window. I could have eaten at the buffet and gotten the same view, lest I digress. I expected the same food as the MDR but it was different a bit of an upgrade with offers of filet mignon and prime rib. I decided to try medium-well again with the filet, lest to my dismay. well-done brick-o-beef...steak sauce to the rescue once again. I think in the future I may request medium and see what I get.
In my opinion Cagney's was not worth the $25pp upcharge perhaps the other speciality restaurants are but even with the additional choices the service and food quality appeared the same as the MDR.
I attended the port shopping talk everyone says not attend. I think those people must not like talks or shopping. I found it interesting to hear about all the coupons and free stuff. There were free items given out at the talk but all I received was a plastic ring from del-sol. When I attended the raffles in port however, due to the gross lack of attendance. (Only 6 people, must be present to win) I won a tanzanite necklace that was "supposed" to be valued at $250 but I have seen them on shopping channels for $20 due to the fact the metal which the stone was set in nor the chain on which it was upon was a precious metal but it was free. I enjoyed collecting all my free junk from the various jewelry stores and did not find it a waste of time in the least.
We attended deal or no deal at $20 a ticket I did not win a thing but it was great fun to watch and yell your choices to the contestant. I would definitely do that again. We went to bingo but did not play it was $40+ per card, I wasn't that bored.
We had purchased casino credits pre-cruise and made a visit to spend them. They had a variety of slots and table games after donating my allotted amount to NCL and winning half of it back I cashed out so the money was even between NCL and I.
The room was nice I had enough room for everything. My DH did not quite like the age nor size of the tv but I rationalized maybe its like Vegas they want you spending money not watching TV ._. Anyway there was a hero movie marathon it seemed and each nite we would relax and watch one (what we could see of it on 19") I said they are all hero movies because NCL makes you feel like a superhero. Maybe my DH believes it or maybe not. The water was hot the restroom was large enough. All the bags fit under the bed or in the closet and we definitely had enough room.
I liked the Sky it was a nice ship. I am happy to report my DH sea sickness was successfully thwarted by bonine and ginger. By the end of the cruise he was gazing at the sunset from the rear of the ship. We had a nice experience and cannot wait to use the cruise reward we purchased on board.