Ok... first of all, sorry for any bad English spelling in this review. I am a French speaking person....
My wife and I are easy going 50 years old persons.
We live in Quebec City, Canada.
We've travelled quite a lot all over North-America and in Europe but only my wife had a cruise experience prior to this one.
It's been a while since we wanted to take a cruise but things never worked out. But this winter, things got together: We were in Florida for three weeks and we found that this 4 days cruise on the Sky would be perfect for a starter.
We were right all the way. This was a PERFECT first experience.
I've read quite intensively most of the critics about the Sky before taking the cruise and I was trying to keep my expectations to a "normal" level. Not too low, but not to high either. The fact is that everything on that cruise surpassed all of my expectations, and mostly by far!
On and off the ship: No problem whatsoever. We drove from Daytona to Miami Monday morning. We arrived at the terminal at 10hr30. At 11hr we were sitting in the waiting room, for boarding was not to begin until 11hr30. At 11hr45 we were on the boat with a glass of champagne in our hands.
Off the ship: we decided to carry our bags so we left our cabin at about 8hr and at 8hr25 we were in our car in the parking lot. Do I need to say more?
The cabin: Ok it's a bit small. But we are on this ship for four days so do we need more? No. Anyone who has travelled in France knows about small hotels rooms. Important things are that the cabin was clean, the bed was comfortable, and everything smelled good. The cabin was always kept clean by our stewart so we were very satisfied.
The crew: I really raise my hat to all those guys and gals who are on this ship for months and months away from their families (and country) working 7 days a week trying to please the passengers. And let me tell you that they succeed. Crew members are always smiling, always courteous, always trying to help or to please. I have nothing but good commentaries about them. We chatted with many of them all over the ship and it was very fun. Most of the time, when a crew member knew a few words in French, he or she was eager to tell them to us and see how we would react. That was very funny.
Our stewart was top notch; always saying "bonjour madam Claire, Bonjour monsieur Francois" with a big smile on his face each time we came across him. Let us say here that we don't consider any of these people as servants. They do their jobs and they do it well and we appreciated that very much.
The food: We ate all of our dinners at the two main dining rooms and never, never, felt that maybe it would have been better to go at one of the speciality restaurants. The quality of the food and of the service was top notch; we ate whenever we felt like it, we never had to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated, the dEcor was fabulous (particulary at the Crossings, dining at the far back of the dining room with the sun going down on the horizon behind the boat, wow!).
We ate our breakfast at the buffet. That was perfect for us. Everything you can expect for breakfast was there including the beautiful scenery at the back of the ship. And most important thing: it was good.
Entertainment: We attended all of the 4 shows. It was professional and entertaining. Signers are not Celine Dion or Phil Collins but they are good and highly professional, again always smiling. Same thing for the dancers. The comedian was funny and the live band very tight.
Matt, the cruise director, was very professional. This man must be working 25 hours a day! He's a real funny guy, good entertainer, dancer and musician (great blues performance on the first night in one of the boat lounges).
Nassau: First time there so we went out exploring the port area and then Paradise Island and Atlantis. Kind of weird to see all this poverty neighbouring all this wealth.
Day at sea: Great and relaxing. Kind of noisy around the pools (let's say that the band playing there is good and creates a good mood), but it is also easy to find a quieter place around the front of the ship. The pools and Jacuzzis were very, very, popular. One thing we didn't like, the "adults only" pool was full of small children splashing everybody around and there wasn't any crew around to have the rule enforced.
GSC: Loved the snorkelling. If you ever get there and want to do snorkelling, I recommend the small beach on the right side when you arrive. The beach itself is better on the left side but for snorkelling, after doing both sides, it's definitively better on the right. Lots of fish and less people! Walk to the lighthouse not really worth it. Good hamburgers from the BBQ.
Other: Can't say anything about the casino because we don't play. It seemed kind of large and we rarely feel like it was crowded. But then again, we rarely went in this area.
Shops: Prices looked very OK from what I know.
Bars and lounges: Really liked the bar at the front of the ship, deck 11. Other bars and lounges seemed very OK. Everywhere, everything is clean and shinny.
Bad smells? Never!
Conclusion: Can I hope for something more of a vacation for that kind of money (All included (and when I say all, it's ALL), it cost us $1000 for the two of us? NO.
Would we do it again: Tomorrow morning if we could
Will we sail again with NCL: Definitively if we can.
Yes, for sure, there were a few things that could have been better. But we were there to have a good time, so we didn't bother with these things. SO to anyone who want to have a good 4 days vacation or who want to try cruising, I have only one thing to say: Don't bother what the others are saying, go on and enjoy yourself on the Sky unless maybe you are a king, a queen or a princess or consider yourself as so! The cruise is worth every $ you will spend for it.