Just back from the Sky and since there is a lot of info both good and bad about this ship, I thought I would add to the confusion. Some background, this was our 10th NCL cruise and we just got our Platinum status completed before this 4 day Bahama cruise:
Our fellow passengers - all ages, but a lot of younger folks - 20's and 30's, many of them first time cruisers. But if you are in your 40's and 50's you will not be out of place - there is the usual "70s disco night." A lot of Floridians (quick, cheap cruising) and many from the surrounding states - including us. Not a lot of Europeans, Canadians. etc. Not a rowdy crowd, and with school in I saw only some really young children. Your experience will be different depending when you cruise.
The Sky: I would give the ship 3 stars. It is an older, smaller ship, with some rust here and there, but still in good shape. I noticed most of the trouble spots in our cabin - the bed was hard and the pillow flat. One of the More
drawers in the cabin was actually falling apart, the instructions for using the safe torn off the wall. The TV was old, there was no hair dryer in the room, etc. I at first thought the missing dryer was because it was an inside cabin, but no, I confirmed that it should have been in the drawer. I didn't find the main shop until the day before we disembarked - it was on the back of the ship behind the Casino, which I avoided as the ventilation on the ship in this area is terrible. You could smell strong smoke from the Casino in the Java cafe, the shop, and the few computer terminals they had. Again, stuff that the newer ships seemed to have taken care of, but not retro corrected on the older ships. Since our last cruise was on the Epic, I really enjoyed the ship feel - walking along the rails on the promenade, sitting on pool deck with a good book and the sea to gaze at. On this ship you really feel you are cruising.
The crew on any NCL ship is the best around, and it is the same on the Sky. After informing housekeeping about the shortcomings in our cabin, the dryer was delivered, the bed fitted with a foam pad, and additional fluffy pillows delivered. The room was kept spotless and the bath cleaned with fresh towels, and excellent towel animals - Patrick our steward is a towel animal genius! From housekeeping to the dining servers to the officers, the service was outstanding.
Food and drink: Lemonade! Strawberry! Mango!!! Yes, this ship had added beverages beyond the free tea, juices and coffee. Please NCL, put them on all your ships - it was a dream come true. I acted like I had never tasted lemonade before. Food on board was good, Le Bistro excellent, and the service in the dining room surprisingly fast by NCL dining room standards. No complaints - food is food people. But that lemonade....
Entertainment was as usual good to excellent, lot's of music, a comedian, games, etc. - this is NCL after all and they know how to through a party.
Inside cabin: We wanted to do an inside cabin on this short cruise because we have booked an inside for Hawaii in May and I wanted to make sure I could actually do it. The cabin was small, and quite frankly a little shabby (see above). But I just kept telling myself to give it a few days and see how it went. It went just fine. We got used to no windows... in fact, I got up during the "night" to use the facilities and DH cut on the light. "Why are you doing that?" I asked. Well because it was 7:30 in the morning and we were heading to the beach! You really lose reality in these cabins. One afternoon we kept dosing off watching TV and had to leave the room or we would have missed dinner. Then there was the rain shower we almost missed because, of course, we had no clue it was raining. I told DH now I know how 2 puppies in a crate feel. Cosey!
It did make us stay out of our cabin more: we sat outside more, sat in the atrium more, etc. so if you are thinking about saving money by going inside, and are not claustrophobic, I say try it.
Summary: So giving the extra star for a top notch crew, I say this turned into a 4 star cruise. Less
Norwegian Sky Cruises to the Bahamas
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Value for Money
Cabin review: Inside
Room 9313 inside NCL Sky was a little shabby - some rust, broken drawer, old TV, etc. But very clean.
DH was diving so I needed something to do on my own. I enjoyed Garden of the Groves - it is a lovely garden, not too large. Our guide was Marilyn, a delightful woman, very proud of the garden and she should be, it was beautiful. My only complaint was the "shopping" afterwards. Now I love to shop, but an hour at Port Lucayane was not fun - it was hot, same old stuff you see all over the Bahamas, etc. I would have prefered to return to ship.
After first experiencing this bland excuse for a beach 4 years ago, all I can say now is wow! $25 million buys a lot. The tenders to and from ship were great (as you board to return to the ship water squirts on your feet to remove excess sand!). The pavilion for the buffet is fantastic, well laid out with great food including grilled up ribs, chicken, hotdogs, hamburgers, etc. Lots of salad choices, sandwiches, etc. Plenty of seating under the pavilions - great job.
More beach areas to enjoy: Added chairs with 3 different "beaches." We bypassed the closest beach with the slide, band, etc. for a more quiet area. Go beyond that, and you really get the quiet - another beach even more remote to enjoy. For $30 we rented the chair "cover" to keep out the sun - this worked great for us - you can be on the beach, but sheltered and even feel "private" if that is possible. And don't bother to rent these in advance, there was a guy on the beach setting them up and taking your room key info to charge it, so you can do this at the last minute - just pick out whichever one suits you. And without spending anything, try the scattered around chairs in the shade, picnic tables here and there, and bathrooms with real facilities and even showers to rinse off outside. We were lazy and I never got to where the sting rays were kept, or the echo cruise, or the wave runners, or parasailing, or even the manmade snorkeling trail (DH did snorkel off the beach and it wasn't half bad he concluded). Can't wait to see what they do next. A really great beach day!
We decided to walk the few blocks to the Hilton. For $55 each we got access to their beach, towels, umbrellas, etc. and a $30 food and beverage credit. It was a lovely beach, very pretty pool, and facilities. Not crowded, a quiet place to sun, swim, and relax. Food was good. Not for the kids, but for those trying to avoid the kids - it was great!