I was the group leader for a group of 32 going on a New Year's cruise to the Bahamas on NCL's Sky. I had been on this ship once before, but most of the rest of the group was new to the ship, and many new to cruising in general.
A few thoughts:
New Year's Eve was handled extremely well by the Sky crew. There was free champagne in the various party venues (I was at the pool deck) and bottles of much better quality champagne available for purchase, and delivered to your stateroom. The parties were hopping, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
The entertainment was good, even with the lack of true production shows. NCL had decided to test run pulling production shows from Sky, but apparently the test was a bust, and production shows are currently being readied to return in March. We were treated to a comedian who was too racist and negative for the tastes of my group, and apparently for many of the audience as well, as the overall response was poor. However, the second night was Oh What a Night, a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute group who were fantastic. The juggler/comedian was also quite good on night 3, and truly wowed the audience. Night 4's entertainment was a bit of a letdown though, being just new material from both Oh What a Night and the juggler, but without solid production shows, there wasn't much else to do I guess. They were good, just not different enough. Thank goodness real shows will be back in March.
For those who have wondered about the presence of the "sewer" or rotten egg smell aft, it is still there, and stronger this time than my last trip 2 years ago. But, it was not a problem for us, and really only happened on the aft stairs, which we ended up rarely using. I did smell it occasionally while on our mid-ship balcony, but that was rare.
The ports were the usual. My husband went on a kayak excursion in Freeport and a wave runner tour at Great Stirrup Cay, and enjoyed both. In Nassau we went to the Pirate Museum and walked to the forts. No need for taxis here unless you're not a big walker, but we are, so we skipped the help. Didn't do Atlantis this time since we'd been there previously.
The food was quite good. I'm newly diagnosed with a wheat allergy, and had no problems at all. The crew was incredible in that department, and I never went hungry. I did stick to breakfast in the buffet since cereal and fruit was a much easier option than anything fancy from the MDR, but was completely happy with my choice.
The crew was excellent, and maxed us all feel special. The cruise director, Archie, and his assistant, Ferdie, in particular were good to us. Because I was traveling with my college students studying the cruise industry, they went out of their way to give us some extra attention and give us some behind the scenes access. We had an incredible tour of the ship, including the bridge, and saw backstage at the theatre as well. They went above and beyond for us. It makes me very happy to continue to sail NCL for my next cruise, knowing how willing they are to go that extra mile.
My cabin was clean, I had towel animals every night, and the balcony was beautiful. I'm definitely hooked on balconies now, no more going lower for me. We got very good use out of ours, and it's on my list of must haves.
I also highly recommend using SlotPlayCoupons.com and NCL's own slot play deals through their Bon Voyage gifts. I spent $45 on buying extra play through them, and walked out of the casino with $86. Sure it's small amounts, but it paid for the excursion my husband went on at GSC. Easy to use, easy to buy, and when playing penny slots, can last a while.