My wife and I sailed on this ship in 2000 for our honeymoon. At the time, the ship was only a few years old, and was a great fit. We loved almost every aspect of the cruise, however, it was our first. We didn't cruise again until last year. In April 2012, I decided to take the family (now we have two children...8 and 9 at that time) on a short cruise to show the kids how "cool" it was. I selected the NCL sky. At first the kids were very excited about this "coolest hotel" ever, and loved the activities, but my wife and I decided soon after that it definitely wasn't what we had experienced with Royal Caribbean. We didn't really have high hopes going in due to the fact that I had already read the reviews about the Sky and expected a lower quality "booze cruise." That said, I booked the Enchantment 4 day, this year hoping that our previous experience with RCCL would be similar to what we would get this time around. When I realized our honeymoon ship was back in Florida, had a "stretch" in 2005, and recent renovations, I had to book it. In summary, we weren't disappointed in the least, and have decided that we will cruise more often, and it will definitely be with RCCL. The detailed review is as follows:
I booked about five weeks prior to sailing. We received a $120 ship board credit
Embarkation and Port Parking:
We arrived just shy of 11 am. Were able to park inside the parking garage in a protected and shaded area, relatively close to the terminal door. The check in process took less than five minutes, and we were boarding at just a few minutes after 11. This process was very quick and efficient.
Through reviews on Cruise Critic, and after seeing online photos, I decided that cabin 7666 would be perfect. It is a junior suite in the far aft starboard corner of the ship. It is a tad smaller than the other JS's, but has a very large walk in closet with tons of hangers and drawers, and a very large wrap around balcony that has both aft and starboard views. The balcony included three chairs, two tables, and two chaise loungers, which were perfect for private sunning, and morning dining. The bathroom has a full sized tub/shower combination, a hair dryer, and an assortment of soaps, shampoos, lotions, and the like. The cabin furniture was in good shape, and included the bed, sleeper sofa, an upholstered char, coffee table, two end tables, and the desk/vanity. There is a refrigerator under the tv which was loaded with four large bottles of Evian, and six cans of assorted cola's intended to serve as the mini bar, but the fridge is large enough to put a few extra things in, and didn't include a warning not do to so. The air conditioning in the room is a little erratic. We didn't adjust it for the first couple of days, however, the temperature fluctuated quite a bit, which could have been due to opening and closing of the balcony slider, and the taking of hot showers, but it seemed like it took a long time to recover. The cabins were ready by the promised time on embarkation day, which I believe was around 1:30. Our cabin attendant Ollie was rarely ever seen, but he was very courteous and called us by name when we did see him, and we never wanted for anything. The cabin was always well cared for!
Dining in the "Windjammer" for lunch on embarkation day is a little hectic, as most people review, however it wasn't horrible. We were able to get our food, find a table, and depart within less than thirty minutes. Windjammer staff was very helpful, but obviously a little overwhelmed. We did not dine in the Windjammer again for the duration of the 4 day cruise.
"My Fair Lady" dining room was just as I had remembered it. It was in terrific shape, with everything looking new. The staff was amazingly attentive without being bothersome. There was an extensive menu, the food was always very fresh and tasty, and served at the proper temperature. This is one area where RCCL really shines!!
The "Park Cafe" behind the indoor pool had really good sandwiches and salads. I ordered the shrimp and noodles. It is pre-packaged with a small side salad. I asked the attendant for some blue cheese dressing on my salad, and he dumped globs of it all over the salad and the shrimp and noodles. Ooops. No problem, I just got another one, just remember to be specific with your instructions here.
Room service. As I mentioned before, the cabin balcony is well equipped. Rather than fight the crowds in our PJ's we dined a couple of mornings on our balcony. We filled out the breakfast room service card/ door hanger in the evening, and requested the 7:00-7:30 delivery. Like clock work, we received a call from room service, both mornings at 6:57 informing us that our breakfast was on it's way. Perfect timing. Each day the attendant placed it directly on the balcony, after asking for permission to enter the cabin. The menu is rather limited, but includes scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, cereals, breads, pastries, and all the breakfast beverages.
Having lunch at Coco Cay was interesting. It was a giant barbecue party, and the food was actually really good, with perfect serving temperatures, but something has to be done about the way it is served. It is buffet style, but the line to get a plate and cutlery is crazy! This buffet included burgers, ribs, wings, and hot dogs. There were a good variety of salads and deserts as well.
Every bar was great, and the pours were generous. The prices listed on the menus seemed reasonable. We had the all you can drink "premium drink package" but I don't know if we will do that again. You have to drink pretty steady to "get your money's worth." The pool bar staff was fantastic and upbeat. The rest of the bar staff was "ok." Specialty drinks varied greatly from bar to bar, and often had completely different ingredients from bar to bar. "Schooner" and "Boleros" bartenders argued with me on this issue, but apologized the following day, and even had the bar manager contact me to apologize.
The activity games, game shows and trivia were fantastic, with enthusiastic hosts. The Casino was pretty good with a variety of table games and slots, however both the reader and sorter on the reulet wheel didn't function half of the time. The staff was fantastic and always eager to help. The Magician/illusionist team was great, and the "broadway" style production was okay.
The tendering process was quick and efficient. The "straw market" was typical for a market of this variety, however, the people were not pushy, only eager to help, which of course is refreshing. The snorkeling was nice, and there was plenty of areas to relax and unwind. The drink selection on the island is a little bit limited, but bar service was quick and friendly.
The 8 am to midnight stay is GREAT! Plenty of time to do whatever you want, including getting on and off the ship several times. There are many places in Nassau that offer free wi-fi, or the you can purchase a 24hr pass from Wi-fi max for $15, which I was able to use on the ship. We had a full moon sail away, which was great from the aft balcony. Wow!
Leaving the ship:
We elected to do the self depart without baggage assistance, and were off the ship and cleared through customs withing ten minutes. Again we were impressed with the staff, customs, and port employees. Quick and efficient.
All in all this was a great experience. We were very pleased with the ship and staff, and will always consider this ship when thinking of a three or four day cruise.