NCL offered a price that I could not refuse, only $150 per person for a balcony, with the total being $470. Even though I had just completed the Pearl cruise, I decided to try the Sky.
Again, we rented a car one way in Orlando, and because of a front moving through Florida with heavy rain predicted, drove halfway to Miami on Thursday and stayed in Fort Pierce, before driving the rest of the way Friday morning. We returned the car to the Hertz downtown Miami location, and because their computers were down, had to wait a little while to check the car in, and then took their shuttle to the ship. We rented with Avis for the return trip since their price was lower.
We arrived at the ship at around noon and had a very quick check in process, and then ate in the Palace main restaurant for lunch. The room was ready at 2 PM. Luggage was delivered before the muster drill at 4:30. Unlike the Pearl, we had to go outside for the muster drill.
The stateroom was inferior to the Pearl; only three drawers were provided, in the closet. The stateroom attendant was friendly, but on the final night, she left the ice bucket empty in the bathroom during turn-down.
There were other disappointments in comparing the Sky to the Pearl. The theater on the Pearl had regular theater seats, while on the Sky they had individual chairs and couches, and lots of obstructed views. Elevator lobbies on the Pearl showed what floor the elevators were at, while on the Sky there was no indication. The Pearl had glass walls in the balcony cabins, while the Sky had a glass door and a solid wall with a porthole. The buffet was much smaller on the Sky, lots less selections and more congestion.
For dinners, we ate at the Italian restaurant the first night, Cagney's the second night, and the Palace on the final night. Both specialty restaurants were almost identical to the Pearl, except the gratin potatoes on the Sky were terrible while it was excellent on the Pearl. We ate two lunches in the Palace and one in the buffet, and took advantage of the Palace for two breakfasts, which was only open for balcony guests.
The entertainment on the ship was consisted of the NCL cast and a comedian. There was no show in the main theater on the final night because the Superbowl was being shown there; the comedian was moved to the Outrigger Lounge for the evening. The audio for the Superbowl was available in the cabins without the picture.
In Nassau we just shopped, and we did not get off the ship in Great Stirrup Cay since we were there only two months previously.
I was surprised that the service charge had gone up from $10 to $12 per day. I was never notified about the increase. The restaurant charge for Cagney's was also up to $25 from the $20 in December, and the photos increased in price to $20 from $15. Disembarkation was excellent this time; we did the walk-off at around 7:45 and did not have any wait. However, the security person checking us off the ship asked me if I had any other luggage, but he was hard to understand. Also, the customs agent seemed suspicious about our low total in purchases, asking "Do you have anything else to declare?"
We would not sail on the Sky again, but for the price we paid, it was worth trying.