Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by designercruiser: Dissapointing
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My husband and I decided to book this short cruise for our honeymoon in lieu of staying on one island for the duration of our trip. I have sailed many times before, so I thought this would be a nice addition to our trip. Unfortunately the NCL Sky was very disappointing.
The staterooms were old and run down, it probably would have been more comfortable to sleep on the sofa they provided in the staterooms, except that it looked so dirty. The television looked like it was from the 80's and there was rust all over the place, inside the bathroom and on our balcony. Our cabin steward was friendly and did a pretty good job, but nothing amazing. He did take one of our pool towels and didn't replace it, so we went to the pool deck to get another, where we were rudely told it was our problem and that we had to track down our room steward to get it back. I was appalled!
The dining rooms leave much to be desired, actually the dining in More general was poor. The food quality and variety is lacking, and the lack of changing menu items was also disappointing. The service in the main dining room was slow, and most of the time we didn't get refills on our drinks unless we asked, even for water. Many times they got our order wrong, and when I questioned the waiter about it he insisted that what he had given me is what I had ordered. The food often times did not match the description from the menu, or the menu had no details about the dish listed, so it was a toss up of what you would end up with. There was no steak and lobster night like on Princess or Royal, and they only served escargot in the french bistro, which I typically find to be a standard appetizer selection on other cruise lines. The deserts were lacking, mostly the options were some type of sorbet that they said was a different flavor each night but tasted the same, or some form of cheesecake, cake. We did go to Le Bistro one night and our experience was much better, and the food quality slightly higher, but we still noticed menu items from Le bistro's menu that showed up on the regular dining room menu, and we had paid extra to eat there! There were also many instances where we experienced the staff arguing and fighting with each other in front of guests, not my idea of relaxing.
The buffet was an even further disappointment, they don't have very good hours, and the only food option after 10pm seemed to be room service, unlike RCL. There also seemed to be the exact same menu for the breakfast buffet as in the main dining room, so wasting your time with table service doesn't get you any better menu choices. There was a plethora of middle America food selections like hamburgers, fried chicken, and pizza, yuck!
Service depended on which one you went to, typically they were less responsive at the pool deck. I tried to order a martini from their menu at several different bars throughout our trip, but each time I was told they didn't have the ingredients to make it, what?!!? We did find that by ordering off menu by choosing classic mixed drink recipes, like a gimlet got us more alcohol and a price nearly the same as a beer! The standard wine choices for by the glass were also terrible, I don't mind paying more to get a decent bottle, but their options were severely lacking.
Don't expect an elaborate atrium or an avenue of shopping like on most ships, the amenities are small and far and few between. There are only two main pools and 4 hot tubs on the main deck that are usually overrun with teenagers or children. The design is confusing, mostly Hawaiian in theme, and the carpets are very worn, and the overall design quite outdated. The staff did do a decent job at keeping the ship clean, and we almost always saw someone cleaning when we were walking around.
Finally before leaving we went to guest services to have the gratuity amount adjusted on our account due to the lack of good service. We were sternly questioned by the woman behind the desk, who attempted to intimidate us into leaving the amount the same. We held strong, and had to wait over 10 minutes for her to do something in the back, and print out pages of paperwork for us to sign and fill out. Unbelievable! Tipping isn't automatically given, it is earned for good service, which we were not receiving.
Highlights of the trip were:
The food on Stirrup Cay, sadly, probably some of the best food we had on the trip was the outdoor "barbecue" with the most authentic island food we had had yet, if you can even call it that.
They did give is preferred window seating at the dining rooms since it was our honeymoon.
Dinner at Le Bistro
The embarkation was the quickest and least painful I have ever experienced. Less
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Cabin review: BB251
This cabin was on the wrong side of the ship to see the islands when the ship pulled into and out of port. It was nicely located near the elevators and the main dining rooms and pool deck. The furniture was falling apart and in need of repair and cleaning. Average in the way of room size and balcony.