I just returned from a 4 night cruise on the Norwegian Sky. I have cruised with Disney and Carnival in the past and expected Norwegian to be better than Carnival, which I have never had any complaints about and will be returning too.
The staff is not friendly or helpful. If extra towels or pillows were requested, I had to ask several times to actually receive them. The bar servers were not polite and acted like they were put out to make a drink, on the ship and at Great Stirrup Cay. The drinks were watered down and there were several times they made the wrong drink. I always had a hard time finding a server at the pool and once a server happened by and a was drink ordered, it was a 30-45 minute wait to receive it. After the 2nd day of this, I went to the bar for my own drinks.
The food in the Palace and Crossing's restaurant was wonderful. The service was slow. However, the food at the buffet inside and outside was disappointing. Most of the food was cold and stale.
The Cabana itself was nice. However, Great Stirrup Cay is the worse beach I have been to in the Bahamas. Unlike Carnival and Disney's private islands, Great Stirrup Cay doesn't have sidewalks to walk to bathrooms or the food pavilion. It is rocky walking on the sand paths, beach area, and in the water. The Cabana service was slow and the servers had to be asked multiple times to bring the food/drinks that were ordered with the Cabana reservation. We were at the island from 8am-4:30pm according to the announcements that morning and the schedule placed in our room the night before, but they started closing everything around 2pm....restrooms, shops, bars, and they ran people out of the water. By 3:00pm we were on the last tender for the day headed to the ship and the island was shut down. Weather was perfect, so I am not sure why they cut an hour and half off the beach time...we didn't leave port any earlier. Drinks on Great Stirrup Cay were more expensive then the ship. A frozen drink could only be purchased in the souvenir cup for $13. No discount on refills or cheaper cup option according to the bartender. Again, there were no severs walking around offering drinks or drink specials. At least not in the Cabana area and I didn't see them when I ventured to the other beach area either.
When the Cabana reservation was made, we were told by Norwegian to go to guest services when we board the ship to pick our Cabana. We made it a point to get to the ship early to board;we were there by 10:00am and in boarding Group 2. Went to guest services as soon as we boarded and were told all Cabanas had been assigned by the manager. We were in the worse cabana location with little beach view. We asked if we could change the location and they were adamant that it could not be changed. However, the night before Great Stirrup Cay we received notice that our Cabana had been changed at the request of another party who wanted a secluded area and they gave us 2 free snorkels and apologized for any inconvenience the change may cause. So they changed the the Cabana location at another party's request later in the cruise after they told us that it was assigned and could not be changed. The manger never could give a straight answer on why they changed it for another request, but not ours and why we were not asked if we wanted the change. Also, no they did not remember/make note that we had tried to change it at the start of the cruise.
There were several areas on the ship that had an unpleasant odor. The stateroom smelled a little moldy, which was better then the sewage smell that could be detected in other areas. The stateroom also had a small tube TV. I think this ship needs a dry dock makeover.
We were never given any information or luggage tags for disembarkation. However, we planned to take our own luggage off. This was the one thing that Norwegian did better or maybe we just hit it at the right time. We walked off the ship with no lines until customs. It was the easiest disembarkation I have ever had.
My family and I normally take 1-2 cruises a year. We tried Norwegian because the cruise dates/ports worked with our Spring Break schedule and to compare/try a different cruise line. We will not be back. I know Carnival has had some issues with ships, but they are 100% on service on the ship and island. Disney is wonderful too, especially if your sailing with kids.