Background: This was my husband and I's third NCL and overall cruise, and our travel partners' first cruise ever. Our first two were on the NCL Dawn and Jewel which we loved.
Ship Info: Compared to the Dawn and Jewel, this ship was small and a little worn. The other ships had actual hallways between all the public rooms, but on the Sky you had to travel through the rooms to get places. For example, you had to walk through the casino to get to the duty free shops. There was no hallway around. The atrium was small and not as grandiose as on other ships. Many of the lounges were small as well. We could not participate in a game show one night because the lounge it was in was overcrowded with people sitting on the floor and standing in the doorway. The theater was also small. We always arrived at least 30 minutes early to get a decent viewing seat.
Activities: The cruise director, Matt, was hilarious!! We attended several game shows including Battle of the Sexes and the Newlywed show which were a blast and very funny. We went to the parties at night: SouthBeach party, Monte Carlo night, White Hot night (dress in white), and Toga night. These were dance parties on deck, and were fun. The comedian Tim was hilarious and the best we'd seen on a ship. The program says he is family friendly, but he was a little crude and vulgar at times. The dancing shows were so-so. Compared to the shows on the Dawn and Jewel they were not good. They compared to watching high school dance shows or musicals. We went to Captain Cook's lounge often to listen to Leo, who sings and plays guitar. He takes requests covering 50's-80's music. He was wonderful and learn all our names by the end of the cruise.
Service: Overall was great! Note that all tips are included in the 12$/day charge per person. For bar drinks and spa service, tip is also built into the charge for drinks and such.
Port & Shore Excursions: Great Stirrup Cay was the best place. The beach was wonderful and they had a great beach cookout. My husband went parasailing, $80/person. This was interesting. We had booked it because the order form said $80 tandem parasailing, which we took to mean $80 for 2 people. NOT THE CASE, it's per person even though you do go up 2 at a time. He said it was worth it, though the ride is only 7 minutes. We got there on the first tender over and had first pick of beach lounge chairs. I bought a beach side massage for my husband for his b-day: 25 minutes upper body for $80, which he loved.
Stateroom: Since we really only used the room to sleep, our small inside room was plenty sufficient. It does have a hairdryer and 1 regular outlet. Our only complaint was that the bathrooms were much smaller than on the Dawn and Jewel. In the previous bathrooms, we could both shower at the same time and the shower had a sliding glass door. In this one, 1 person could barely fit and it was a cloth shower curtain - hence water got everywhere in the bathroom! Also, make sure to bring a watch because there is not clock in the room.
Dining: Breakfast was in the Garden Cafe. It was the same everyday, but always delicious with omelet stations. We would always go watch the sunrise at the back deck of the Garden Cafe and then eat at 7am - beautiful. Once we did room service, fruit and cereal with our own carafe of coffee which was also good. At breakfast, we would put fruit and pastries in a tote bag to munch on when on the islands to avoid buying lunch or going back to the ship just for lunch and then getting off again. We had lunch most days at the Palace, which was always excellent. Once we ate at the Garden Cafe, which was ok for lunch. To avoid the lines, the Italian place Il Adagio was the place to go for pizza and pasta during lunch time. Dinner we ate at the Palace, again excellent, and once at Cagney's - $25/person. To us, who consider places like Olive Garden and such a great dinner out, the food was amazing and better than any place we could afford on land. I've heard others say, who must eat at super super fine dining places, that the food was ok. But here's the thing, if you don't like it, you can order something else! We also ordered extras of things we really liked. Overall, we LOVED the food. It is also fun because we got to try new things like lobster soup, raw tuna, chilled cherry soup, and escargot. And if we didn't like it, we would order something else! The one complaint is that they didn't have the chocolate buffet like advertised :(.
Disembarkation: We did the easy walk off, where if you can carry your bags, you can just leave anytime from 7:30am-10am. It was a breeze.
In summary, our family traveling with us for their 1st cruise LOVED IT. For us, being our 3rd cruise with NCL, we had a great time but the ship and its activities fell way short of the other 2 ships we've done with NCL. The key though, is keeping a good attitude. We still had a blast and love NCL!