My trip on the Norwegian Sky was my first cruise, so I didn't know what to expect upon embarkation. (I was a little apprehensive after watching too many deadly cruise episodes of "48 Hours.") But I felt absolutely safe and in good hands on the Sky.
Boarding was a breeze, we went from cab to ship in less than 15 minutes. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. The room was small but comfortable. There was a lot of storage for luggage and clothes. The balcony was wonderful and private. The bed was pretty lush compared to what I was expecting. There were big pillows and a thick comforter. Our room steward was also very helpful and accommodating.
The dining options were limited, but there were a few restaurants that were tasty and the staff was professional and friendly. I would recommend splurging a couple of nights on the premiere restaurants, Il Adagio and Cagney's Steakhouse. The shrimp is bigger, the steaks juicier and the waiters and waitresses had more time to spend talking to the patrons and recommending dishes. The main dining rooms are best left to Lobster Night and breakfast. For some reason, they seemed to move much slower in the main dining rooms than in the specialty restaurants, even when there weren't many people. But we had a wonderful waitress on Lobster Night who was very friendly and took time to explain the dishes. Save the buffet for those days when you either don't have time to get dressed for meals, want something quick or have a hankering for a hamburger that's usually all they had anyway as far as meat went.
For entertainment, I spent most of my time at the pool or at the casino. The great thing about the pool, I noticed they drain it every night. It made me feel better with all the kids around during the day. The casino was a blast, also. It was definitely the best place to meet people. The shows I could take or leave, they were OK, but not great.
At the ports, I could have spent every day in Nassau, which was beautiful and classy. Use the Freeport stop to get discounted spa treatments on the ship; there wasn't anything to see and there always seemed to be people all around begging you to buy some crappy souvenirs. The private island, Stirrup Cay, was OK for what it was, a place to hang out at the beach. If you have bigger expectations, you'll be disappointed.
The trip as a whole was super easy, comfortable and relaxing, which was why the disembarkation back in Miami was such a disappointment. When we got off the ship, we had to go through Customs. The federal employees were much more friendly than the Norwegian employees at the disembarkation. The feds get a bad rap. When I got through customs, I had gotten separated from my group, so I tried to wait for them near the downstairs elevators. A cruiseline employee told me that I couldn't wait and needed to go outside. I did so, but when I got outside and tried to wait off to the side, a Norwegian employee told me I had to go and get in the cab line. I wasn't with my group and didn't want to get in the way of people who actually were trying to get cabs, so I tried to explain to him why I was waiting. He threatened to call the police, so of course I got into the cab line. Apparently that wasn't good enough either, because another hostile cruiseline employee told me I needed to hurry up and go. I just stood where I was, and he moved on. Finally, all the members of my group came out and we left. The disembarkation pretty much spoiled the trip for me. I felt there must have been a place for people to wait outside, out of the way of people coming and going. But it seemed that Norwegian employees off the ship are paid to be as rude as possible to encourage customers to get lost. It left a sour taste in my mouth. Even though I had a great time on board, I would have serious reservations about going with Norwegian again.