First let me say that I feel that you get out of life, what you put in. If you are looking to find things to complain about, you will find them on any cruise, but on this cruise you had to look very hard. The crew and staff seem to go out of their way to make sure your cruise is enjoyable.
Embarkation: Couldn't have been better. It took us a whopping 15 minutes from drop off, from our shuttle from Ft Lauderdale, to the atrium. We arrived at the port via EZ shuttle from Ft. Lauderdale. Everything was a breeze. After our experience at the end of the cruise with Miami international I am convinced the way to go is to fly into Ft. Lauderdale and shuttle to the ship. Fort Lauderdale is much easier to navigate.
Cabins: As most say they seem to be small but we had a balcony cabin and the addition of the balcony made it seem larger. Everything was Adequate, small but functional. We didn't spend much time in the cabin as there was so much to see and do, we wanted to do it all. Let me add that I am 6' 5" tall and 260 pounds, my wife is 5' 10" tall and we'll skip the other part on her, as I want to be able to cruise again, and we had no problem using and navigating the cabin and bathroom. We experienced no problems with plumbing, air conditioning, odor or any down sides. Our room stewards we on the job and took excellent care of us. Our cabin was 9066 balcony.
Public area of the ship: The ship was quite clean and well maintained, in fact I will call her a beautiful ship, as well as functional and very well loved and maintained by her staff. As for the dEcor, I did not feel it was so out of place. It was tropical with bright colors and yes there was some left over Hawaiian themes but it is a part of the history of the ship and I feel it should be displayed as history makes you what you are today and should never be forgotten.
Ports of call: Having spent time in the Bahamas, I knew what to expect. I knew that Freeport: Is an industrial town, so I was not surprised to have a view of container ships being loaded. Am I complaining, NO this is what Freeport is. We took an excursion with "Smiling Pat tours" to Lacayan Park and Gold beach we had a private driver who acted as tour guide through the park and stayed with us the whole time. We set the schedule and stops ourselves and was extremely satisfied.
We had times when we were the only ones on the beach for miles. We loved it. Nassau: We took the Snorkel and sail excursion. We enjoyed the very much and highly recommend this excursion. The catamaran was in excellent condition, the crew was attentive and all and all we had a memorable experience. Shopping was great, my wife made out like a bandit. There are some extraordinary bargains to be had and she found some thanks to the cruise ships shopping support and designated stores. I encourage you to use these maps and visit these stores. Great Stirrup Cay: It was a delightful day, we arrived later than most, about 11:00 and had no problem finding shade a little ways away from the beach. We enjoyed our day at the beach topped off with a very good BBQ for lunch. Snorkeling was good off the island but the reef structure was what you would expect with a beach supporting thousands of travelers per week with sun screen and the like. Dining: I love food, always will and there was not a shortages of choices. As I did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants I can only speak of the included venues. We had excellent service for dinner in both Main dinning areas. We had lunch in the Palace dining room on the first day and it was excellent. We could not complain about any of the meals from the main dinning rooms. They were excellent and well prepared. Service was extremely good except for one day and it was a little slow for reasons unknown. But we were served and if anything on that day the food was extremely hot and fresh. The buffets were buffets and as such were quite adequate.
Programs were OK, were they Broadway caliber? No but they were a delightful diversion. We are not Bingo fans and late night partiers so we skipped those, but heard from other passengers that they enjoyed those activities.
Disembarkment: This was cumbersome and is an area for improvement. We stood on deck for over twenty minutes because we needed support for getting our bags of the ship. I do not understand why this delay but we had it never the less.
Additional: If you rent a car from Alamo Make sure you preregister and look for the Kiosk for cruise ship only. Port of Miami is serviced at the Miami international airport and seems to be treated as a red headed stepchild. We had a very bad experience there. They are very badly organized and under staffed. It took us 2 ½ to complete our rental with having to call Alamo headquarters to receive the car we reserve 3 months in advance. We have spoke with Alamo and the have assured me they will take car of the condition, be warned and be prepared.
In summary: We received excellent value for our money, we had a very enjoyable vacation, and we highly recommend the SKY. We would have no reservations cruising the SKY again. We enjoy Freestyle cruising as this is, in our opinion, the only way to go. We have taken advantage of the cruise rewards program are planning our next cruise and it will be with NCL. As for Value for the money, you cannot stay at your local Motel 6 and eat 3 square meals a day in a local fast food restaurant for what we paid for this cruise. Do the math for yourself. So we feel that we received outstanding value for our money. Way to go NCL and Freestyle.