We recently cruised NCL Sky for a quick getaway. We are three women who needed a break from our busy work schedules. I have cruised 15 times, 3 times on NCL. I am not a big fan of freestyle, and after this cruise, I definitely am not in favor of it.
We arrived in Miami around 11, parked in the parking garage at the pier, checked in and were onboard the ship by 11:30...very quick and painless. We were served champagne when we entered the ship, a very nice touch. We ate lunch at the buffet as we were starving and did not want to wait to eat a sit-down meal. The food was very mediocre...some items pretty good and some pretty tasteless. The roast beef was nice and tender but cold. Desserts were totally without flavor and dry...and believe me, we tried them all!
We went to our cabin after lunch. It was by far one of the smallest cabins I have ever been in. Do NOT try to fit 3 adult women with luggage and makeup in one of these cabins! The bathroom was tiny and the shower was miniscule. The comedian joked that in order to take a shower, you need to soap down the walls and spin!! We spent a lot of time on the balcony, which was also tiny compared to other ships. I realize this is an older ship, used to be the Aloha. You can tell it is not one of the newer ships. Our cabin steward kept the room clean but we repeatedly had to ask for extra towels.
The cruise director was Matt and he was pretty good. He really tried to be funny and sometimes it fell flat. The comedian was Rich Purpura and he was also pretty funny. We went to the first show of the cruise but no more after that because the quality of entertainment was not up to par with other cruise lines. The singers in the lounges were also not very good...passable, but not great.
We ate dinner in the Palace dining room one night and Crossings the next. Both nights were so bad we decided to eat in Longboard Sports Bar the last night. It was the best meal of the cruise. In the regular dining rooms, the steak was tough and overdone, the shrimp were mushy, the bread not fresh, and overall the food was totally uninspired. Service was OK...waiters seemed pretty inexperienced. Water and food were both spilled on us. With tough economic times, we did not spring the extra cost for the specialty restaurants. Every night they were fully booked so I guess other guests felt the same way we did about the regular dining rooms. It's a shame that you have to pay extra on top of your cruise price to get a decent meal. In Longboard, we had chicken wings which were very good. We loved the atmosphere of Longboard and watched football and baseball in there frequently.
NCL's private island is nice, but the beach area is really small for over 2,000 guests. The BBQ lunch was nice...corn on the cob was fantastic. We ate and laid out and walked a bit. It was a relaxing day. Nassau was Nassau, of course...the market and Atlantis and Senor Frogs were all fun.
Overall, I was quite disappointed with this cruise. My previous 2 cruises with NCL were much better. I like the old-fashioned sit down at the same time breakfast and dinner. Hopefully NCL will do something about the food as that is one of the main reasons to go on a cruise! We did have a good time in spite of the problems and will cruise again soon, but probably not on NCL.