I took this cruise as part of a rewards program. It wasn't entirely free, I still paid $700 for two, inclusive of airline, Spirit- definitely will not travel on Spirit ever again. These budget airlines are not worth the aggravation! If you must fly to cruise, use a regular airline like Delta, with mileage that doesn't expire.
Back to my cruise experience, i stayed at Marriott the night before since the hotel offers shuttle service to and from airport, with addl fee to cruise port. My daughter and I took the train for a quick nail salon and shopping at Miami in the morning. We got back in time and checked in at 1pm at Miami port. Embarkation was a breeze, it was not crowded at all. Lattitudes members have a separate priority line. NCL Sky is the youngest of the fleet to Bahamas, but it certainly does not mean it's new. She's 30 yrs old, refurnished 8 years ago. Also, the smallest of Norwegian fleet, which means the food choices are limited and the breakfast menu never changed. I guess this is true for short cruises. My daughter keeps comparing the quality of food at Carnival, her first cruise, where she enjoyed exotic dishes like alligator. I compared this cruise to our NCL Gem last year to Eastern Caribbean, for 7 days, where we enjoyed the variety of food at the dining halls, and the hot breakfast variety for breakfast buffet and afternoon snacks. This 3-day cruise definitely fell short of the quality we expect from New York.
Overall, my bday weekend at Bahamas was an enjoyable one, We had time to swim and relax after our jet ski trip. I was a little disappointed with the waverunner tour because I expected to visit one of the islands, instead we were riding the waves at the middle of the ocean, and did not come close to any island. The guides watched us to make sure we weren't going astray. The initial prep consisted of showing a quick video on safety, showing safety suits and gloves, which they did not have! Luckily, I brought my own gym gloves which helped me controlled my driving against the chpppy waves. The girl doing the presentation did not demonstrate at all how to drive the jet ski, she assumed everyone knew. She simply showed the on and off button, so it took me a few minutes to get accustomed to the ski. Keeping the ski straight and steady against the waves was a challenge, slowing down doesn't help but a steady speed will prevent you from going turnturtle!
The island buffet was excellent with a variety of dessert cakes. We strolled the beach, browsed the few shops, my daughter swam the shallow waters as I ordered my Bahama Mama while waiting at the bar. We were more excited to get to Nassau for premium shopping. We looked for shark diving but all Padi dive shops offered shark diving at late hours. Norwegian does not offer it on board, a major disappointment since Bahamas is the only place guaranteed to find a shark. Norwegian requires us to be back at 4pm so we decided to avail of land and boat tour, including a glass-bottom boat. That was good value. I certainly thought I spotted a small shark coming to our direction but it quickly swerved away. My daughter is heart-broken not to be able to dive with sharks!
The crew told us that we might find small white-tipped sharks at Bermuda, our next destination in May on board the Breakaway leaving from our home city, NYC. Since we will be docked there for 3 days, I am researching who offers shark diving, I guess it is a matter of luck if she spots one! Leaving Bahamas, i can only promise my girl we are coming back by plane and spend all the time she needs to dive. A quick getaway to celebrate my birthday, just enough to have better planning next time that we fly. Thanks to the free upgrade, free bottles of wine and elegant dinner settings we enjoyed for three nights!
We returned to New York in our winter suits, coming from our shorts-clad selves, the trees covered with snow greeted us as we entered our building that night. Life never ceased to amaze me :-)