We sailed May 2013 in Norwegian Sky, from Miami to Great Stirup Cay and Nassau. Two adults and a young child. I don't understand why people have bashed this cruise ship in prior reviews. It was fine, particularly for the bargain price. We would cruise with Norwegian again and we would even do the same ship again for a quick getaway.
1. We had a picture window cabin on Deck 6. The cabin was small, but adequate for the short cruise. There were three of us: two adults and one child. They had a small bed for our child. The cabin steward was friendly and made towel animals for our son. The cabin was clean. The colors and décor were boring and muted, not fancy, but it was fine.
2. We ate at the buffet on Deck 11 (the Garden Café) several meals. For breakfast it was our favorite. They had the usual breakfast fare, plus an omellette station and food was good. The breakfast selection also included some Indian breakfast food, which was interesting, and some of it was very good. In fact, all the buffets had a little Indian food.
3. Someone here said that all they serve you on board are hamburgers and hotdogs. That was NOT true during our sailing. The buffet had a variety of dishes, including cold and warm pastas, salads, meats, carving station, pizza, Asian dishes, Indian dishes, thai dishes, and some Mexican food. The salads were fresh and nice in variety. The tomato vinaigrette salad was delicious. Yes, there were hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch, but other food was also available. One day, there was a taco station and paella poolside between 4 and 6. The staff in the buffet area did great cleaning up quickly and were talkative and friendly.
4. We had dinner in the dining room twice. The lobster was delicious. The French onion soup was nothing to write home about. I did not care for most of the sweets. The ribeye was a little overcooked. But the Steak with chimichurri sauce the next day was good.
5. I think a consequence of free style dining and prepaid tips is that the dining room waiters are not as friendly. But they are not unfriendly either. They just don't get to know you. Some make an effort and others don't. It is like going to a restaurant. The waitress our last morning saw my son was sad to leave and made him a pot of warm chocolate milk, which he loved. The evening waitress, Val, was very sweet with our son.
6. The buffet in Great Stirrup Cay was not bad. It was the usual BBQ fare. Some of the food was not piping hot, but it was not bad.
7. I saw the staff constantly cleaning the dining areas on board and they were good about making sure people sanitized their hands before touching the buffet stations. They worked very hard.
8. The Latin music late at night in the Deck 11 back bar was very nice. Wish more people had been dancing!
9. The ship is smaller than others we have sailed and does not have as many amenities (no rock climbing walls or skating rinks!). But it was fine. And the drinks were reasonably priced, about $5-8 per drink. They have a drink special every day, which is announced in the little newsletter left in your room. The margaritas, Bahama Mamas, Cherry Lime Aid and Rum Punch were all good, but they were not too strong in alcohol content. My only criticism was the price of drinks in the private island, where the same drinks cost $12. Also, in the island a 6 pack of beer in a bucket is $28, which was not reasonable. So drink onboard, not while in Great Stirrup Cay! The wine selection on board was decent.
Overall, an enjoyable ship and cruise experience. I would cruise NCL again.
Great Stirrup Cay was okay. Not as nice as the Disney, Royal Caribbean, or Princess private islands, but not terrible either. The water itself was nice and beautiful. But the island is a little bare and it is true that the beach bottom is very rocky. Wear water shoes! But water was calm and nice otherwise. We brought our own snorkeling gear and there were plenty of fish to see.