Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by Preds: Norwegian Sky 8/15-8/18/2008
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Norwegian Sky 8/15-8/18/2008
I'll preface my comments by noting that this was my 6th NCL cruise (5th different ship). Our group consisted of myself, my 4 brothers, my sister, and our father in 3 cabins located on deck 8 (oceanview cabins 8018 & 8019, and an inside cabin in 8113).
I have a few comments on the Sky itself, and then on the staff and entertainment. Though the next few paragraphs might sound bad... don't mistake them to mean that we did not enjoy our cruise. That couldn't be further from the truth, we had an incredible time, but there were a few miscues along the way that we did indeed notify NCL about.
I'm an NCL supporter, but the Sky herself was subpar IMO, particularly when compared to the other NCL ships I've been on (Gem, Spirit, Pride of Hawaii/Jade and the Star). The condition of the public areas were OK, but I didn't care for the ship's overall layout. It was the least intuitive layout of all the ship's I've been on. The ship felt very narrow, the public spaces and More particularly the entertainment seemed small. I don't get how the Sky is classified as a 77,000gt ship while the Spirit (which felt significantly bigger) is only 75,000gt. I also didn't care for the cabins and their small bathrooms and tiny showers w/curtains. We also noticed several decks had a sewage smell around the forward and aft staircases, but didn't notice it in the hallway near our cabins.
Our cabins definitely felt worn. They also reeked of smoke, thus we called Reception for an ionizer and they responded within minutes. The safe didn't work in 8019, so again we called reception, and security responded within a reasonable time but was unable to fix the problem (ie. the safe does NOT work in 8019).
We found 2 brand new screws laying around the floor of our cabin in 8019 and pointed them out to the cabin steward who took them and said he'd notify the carpenter. We later noticed that the top closing bar hinge for our our bathroom door was barely hanging on by the last few threads of a single screw, with 2 empty holes. Presumably what the screws were intended for. Thus we pointed this out to our cabin steward and told him that the screws we had handed him earlier were likely to repair the hinge. Well, this problem was never fixed... no biggie, the door still worked I guess. 8019 continued on with yet another issue after my brother I took showers in the evening on Friday. We got up early to go into Nassau on Saturday. When we returned to our cabin (8019) we noticed a stinking smell (kinda like rotting feet) and soon realized that water had leaked from the bathroom into the main cabin area (after I stepped on the carpet in my socks and soaked my foot)! We again notified reception, and maintenance was sent with a blower to try and dry the rug (we had this for the remainder of our cruise). The odor improved marginally, and the carpet never got completely dry. IMO, this cabin should not be in service. Aside from reeking of smoke, 8018 had no issues, and the inside across the hall 8113 was fine from the get go.
I also want to note that we had NO A/C in our cabins for several hours on Sunday (after returning from GSC). It was incredibly hot in our cabins, and it only intensified the odor issues we were having from the mildewy carpet outside the bathroom in 8019. I saw another poster mention that deck 8 lost toilet service for an hour, but I never noticed that. Our toilets worked fine!
We found the food on the Sky to be good to very good. Lunch on Friday at the Palace Dining Room was very good, and dinner that evening in Cagney's was excellent. We also enjoyed Le Bistro quite a bit (I even tried Escargot for the 1st time! The buffet was OK in terms of quality of food, but the selection was limited, and the setup of the Buffet is terribly inefficient and congested. We avoided it whenever possible.
Our cabin stewards certainly tried hard, but they seemed to struggle speaking English, however, whey were definitely responsive to our requests for the most part. I felt bad for them because our cabin in 8019 was pretty much a disaster LOL. We found the waitstaff to be very good in general, though Ernesto in Cagney's was absolutely excellent. The Front Desk certainly tried to respond to our issues, and always with a smile, but it seemed there were some things beyond there control. Overall we didn't really have any problems with the service on the ship, and definitely could see the crew trying to go above and beyond, despite the lack of control of the sip's environs.
The entertainment was the real highlight of this ship, specifically Comedian Tim Kaminsky. He was incredible. For those that were on our sailing, I was a member of the "Buffalo Family" that Tim certainly had fun with. My younger brother was Toto in the Wizard of Oz, and my father was the one dancing bare-chested and twirling his shirt at the show Friday Night, and hysterically subbing in for the role of the Lion in Wizard of Oz on Sunday night. My sister was also the younger female who played Tim's arms so well early on, but was so busy laughing she couldn't do the Macarena properly! Our family had a blast with Tim. We spent quite a bit of time talking with him at both the Margarita and Beer Tastings, as well as in Le Bistro and a few other venues throughout the ship. Great guy. Great comic. DO NOT MISS HIS SHOWS! As for other entertainment, we didn't make the Carnivale party, and only briefly watched part of the White Hot party before moving on to more interesting activities (for us at least). We missed the Soul Rockin Nights show, but I've seen it before and wasn't too fond of it on other ships. The Cruise Director (Matt), was OK. He certainly had energy. We missed the Newlywed game, but caught the Quest game, quickly realizing with just our sister amongst us it was useless to try and compete as it got crazier and crazier, thus we just observed (though that nutbag Tim smacked both my brother and myself with wet kisses... ewww)!
Anyhow, despite all the issues with our cabin, we never let them bother us. We were there to have a great time, and most certainly did. NCL needs to continue working on the problem cabins. It seems the things they addressed in the wetdock were mainly the casino, and new flooring and loungers on deck 12. Aside from that, I didn't notice much else new.
For a 3 day cruise, we found the Sky to be sufficient, with a hard working crew, a fun atmosphere, and good food... hopefully they can upgrade the cabins some for the future, but I wouldn't let that stop us from going on her again. If you're easy going and ready for a good time, the Sky can definitely deliver... especially if you're lucky enough to have Tim Kaminsky on your sailing (he's there for another 2 1/2 weeks)! Less
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