My wife an I like longer cruises... neither of us feel that 7 days is enough.
Also, we have been fortunate enough to have sailed on some of the newest, most exciting ships to debut over the past few years...
SO, why a 4-day Bahamas cruise on NCL's sky?
A few reasons.. First, we are taking the NCL Jade to the Mediterranean this coming December and we wanted to see what NCL is all about. Then, due to circumstances, we really only had a week...
We found the Sky...
Beginning with the booking process, NCL was surprisingly good. Their service over the phone was friendly and (mostly) accurate. We originally booked a guarantee OV...really cheap. With my wife's union discount, we had a great rate.
We flew to FLL a day prior to the cruise and took a limo to our hotel in Miami. We stayed at the Renaissance Eden Roc, which was an excellent hotel. Great pool scene, nice beach, really good breakfast. The room was large and comfortable, and we had a view of the Miami skyline. We cabbed it to South Beach (the Eden Roc was a bit far from the action) and spent time shopping, having some fantastic Cuban food, and people watching.
Following a nice breakfast and some sightseeing, we headed to the port around 12:30. Embarkation was pretty quick, we were onboard within 30 minutes.
Since we were not allowed to the stateroom until 2pm, we had some time to explore, make dinner reservations, and (since we carried on bathing suits) get by the pool, get some drinks, and cool off.
Oh, I forgot an important piece of the story... two days prior, we got a call from our representative at NCL who offered us an upgrade to a balcony stateroom for $100. We gladly accepted.
When we arrived at our stateroom, we found the bottle of champagne and tray of chocolate strawberries which we got as part of our anniversary package. Nice.. The room was bright, there was plenty of storage for 4 days, and the bathroom was a standard cruise ship bathroom.
We booked all 3 specialty restaurants and enjoyed them all. Il Adagio was the first night. We liked the food, thought the experience could have been a little better as we felt rushed. Second night, we dined at Le Bistro. What a cool space!! All the tables had great views. Food was really good too. The third evening, we ate at Cagney's. Lots of really good food... I mean lots. By the time my entrEe came, I was getting full. Need to save room for the great desserts!! The final evening, we ate in the main dining room, and thought the food was fine. Other than dinner, we ate breakfasts in the dining room and liked the experience. How nice to not be forced to eat with a table for 12! We really didn't eat much buffet... we really aren't buffet people. We liked the coffee bar area and were frequenters. Great service.
The activities onboard the Sky were good as well! The comedian, Tim Koninsky was very funny and we enjoyed his two shows. We thought the cruise director and his team kept everyone moving, were lots of fun, and worked their butts off. Matt Baker (CD) was one of the best we have ever had! We had a blast playing Quest, and watching the newlywed game. Kudos to Matt and his team!
We felt that the Captain did a great job keeping us informed over the PA about travel time, location, etc.. He lived up to his nickname...smashing.
In GBI, we took a cab to one of the beaches where we spent the day swimming, getting sun, and relaxing.
In Nassau, we went to Atlantis for the day. We are glad that we saw it, because it is impressive. But, we would go somewhere smaller, quieter, and more "local" on our return to Nassau.
We stayed on the Sky at GSC. There were tons of kids onboard who we (correctly) figured would want to go to the beach. When they and their families left, we literally has the pool area to ourselves... What a great day!
Other than that, we found the service, quality, and fun on the Sky to be excellent. The trip was much better than we expected!
We took a limo back to FLL for the day following our cruise where we stayed at Il Lugano. It was farther North than we usually stay, but it was a really nice hotel with a quiet pool and great rooms. They also offer a shuttle to any location within 3 miles of the hotel which was a welcome treat!
Great job NCL! Cant wait until December and the Jade.