Yay, our kids are finally all graduated from High School! Our vacation started two nights early in Miami at the Hampton Inn and Suites downtown on Brickell. We've stayed here before and like it because it's clean, modern, quiet, and close to transportation. The included breakfast buffet is excellent.
This is our second cruise on the NCL Sky. It's so nice having the option of a four day cruise when you have a group of seven. We arrived at port at around 10:30 and were zipped through to a waiting area. We were part of the second group to board and had lunch in the Main Dining Room and amazing Espresso Martini's at the Atrium Bar afterwards. So much better than one of those energy drinks, loads of caffeine.
We were allowed to go to our Cabins at 2pm and my husband and I were quickly greeted by our sweet cabin stewardess. We had a balcony cabin 9021 and it was great, plenty of space to store clothes, nice linens and a comfortable bed. There was a really big, ugly framed art print on the wall. Just so ugly. I found the cabin to be pretty quiet at night and I'm a light sleeper. The location of this cabin was very nicely located just around the corner from stairs and elevator. The balcony had plenty of room for two chairs and a small table. Another chair would have easily fit. I would select this cabin again. The "kids" were on Deck 8, and also very convenient. Both insides with plenty of room in the cabin that had 3 people. It had a fold-out chair for the third bed and there was still plenty of room to walk around the beds safely.
We dined in both Main Dining Rooms and occasionally at the buffet. The appetizers in the MDR were even better than I remembered from previous cruises. A good selection and all of the ones I tried were good. They were able to accommodate several special requests and would quickly replace anything we didn't like with a different item. They don't just throw the food at you and run, they made sure were were happy with the preparation. My husband and I have done specialty restaurants on previous cruises and they are nice, but with seven people it was just easier to go to the MDR. Conveniently, they were able to serve one member of our party chicken tenders and french fries at every meal. Every single meal.
The entertainment was amazing on this cruise. The cruise director was funny and upbeat and simply everywhere.
I highly recommend going to see both of Andrew Kennedy's shows, at the Stardust theater and the adults only show later in Dazzles. My family had a blast! He talked about his exceptionally diverse family life both growing up and now raising his own kids. He cheerfully berates his parents and brothers, slipping in and out of the respective accents of which ever family member was front and center at the time. This guy has lived some life, and there are a lot of surprises in the telling. For the late night show they do kick the kids out, but it's not in bad taste at all. I had no problem sitting there with my 18 year old son and his gf. Such fun!
The musical entertainment in the Star Dust theater was also a hit. The shows are fast moving and they manage to fit in a large number and variety of music. The Vegas show in particular was so well done including the gorgeous costumes. I was so hoping they would do Tom Jones and I was not disappointed. Elvis had an incredibly bad wig, just so bad it was funny. You do not want to miss these shows.
The ports were fun. We sent the 5 kids off to do Atlantis through NCL. Finally, I can get them off my back about going to Atlantis every time that commercial comes on. My husband and I went on the previous trip and it's just so beautiful there. If you do no other excursions, do Atlantis.
Great Stirrup Cay was so much better this time. Plenty of lounge chairs, very clean, and drinks. We rented the huge floaty and just hung out on it most of the day. Very relaxing. Do not complain to me about your face getting sunburned when I offered to pack your sun hat. Baseball caps are dumb.
The last morning we all met up for breakfast in the MDR, grabbed our luggage and headed to the airport. Couldn't be easier. Did I mention I'm so glad my kids are all out of high school?