I have been reading the cruise critics reviews for a couple of months, since I booked this cruise, so I thought that I got a lot of good information about the Norwegian Sky. I thought I'd also put in my two cents!
My husband and I wanted to take a short cruise with our one and half year old girl. We haven't been on a cruise since our honeymoon 14 years ago, so a lot has changed. We also went with my mom, dad and a couple of friends. The price was really good, too, so we really couldn't say no.
We live in the area, so we just drove down to the Port of Miami around noon and parked at the garage. That was pretty expensive ($60), but we didn't want the hassle of having a taxi take the 4 and 1/2 of us down and take us back home.
Once we dropped of our luggage, we proceeded to the embarkation building. It was a breeze! No line, they just gave us our room cards, we went through security, and walked on the ship. The champagne and organe juice was a nice touch. They had several information table set up, too, giving you more information about the services and shop available on the ship. We were able to go up to our rooms to put down our carry on items, but I think the room stewards were still preparing some rooms. This was before 2PM. We were then able to eat at the Garden Cafe buffet. There was a nice variety of food offered and it was quite tasty. After that, we walked around the ship to get ourselves acclimated and then it was time for the muster drills. Very easy to get to your stations, they were posted on the door of your room and there were a ton of ship help to direct you, too. They didn't not have a smaller lifejacket for my toddler readily available, but a little later on, our room steward delivered it to our room. The bags weren't delivered to our room until after 5pm, so there was a little wait.
We all decided to go to the Crossings Dining Room on the first night. The food was okay, but not terrific. During each of the two consecutive mornings, though, we made reservations at two of the specialty resturants. Paying that extra money was well worth it. ($15 at Le Bistro and $10 at Il Adagio) Your not going to pay that at any gournet restaurant. The food tasted wonderful, from the cream of mushroom soup, beef tenderloin, and vanille creme brulee at Le Bistro to the pasta fagioli, osso bucco, and tiramisu at Il Adagio. The quality of the food and service does not compare to the main dining room. The maitre de and the servers at Le Bistro were so friendly and they really loved to see our little girl since she reminded them of their children at home. At each of the restaurants, they did supply us with a children's menu if we wanted. In the morning, we went up to the buffet. We always had an omelette and waffle at Il Adagio which is to the right of the Garden Buffet and the pool bar. You could eat in the restuarant, which was so nice and quiet, or you could eat outside by the pool and the Garden buffet. We supplemented our breakfast nicely with the offerings at the buffet. We could get fresh fruit, yogurt, meats, bagels, lox, etc. A really nice selection. The BBQ on the beach was nice, too, but it was very hot. They had all the fixings like hamburgers, pizza, chicken, hotdogs, salads, baked beans, mac and cheese, desserts. The only thing they didn't supply was iced tea, like on the ship, they only had iced water on the beach.
The service throughout the ship was so friendly and welcoming. We had a bit of hard time locating our cabin since was on a deck all to itself and you could only gain access to it from a staircase located on deck 7. This made it rather difficult to manuerver the stroller down the stairs (no elevator access). All of the ships' attendents were very nice. Our room stewards, Romeo and Chito were very nice, too and they were there to help us with anything we wanted.
The stateroom was quite small, even though it had a nice wide window with a ledge. The empty space in the room was taken up quite a bit by the pack and play which we requested for our little girl. Unfortunately, she was not comfortable sleeping in it (the pad was so thin), so she slept every night with us. Great for her, but not for us. We got towel animals, the daily the newsletter and chocolate mints two out of the three nights. Very nice. One of the nights our little girl had an accident on our duvet cover and Romeo was very prompt in retrieving us a new one.
The overall ship was nice and clean and had a lovely decor. The Plantation Club and Le Bistro were particularly nice, warm and cheerful.
Disembarkation was a breeze. We were able to finish packing and go to the buffet for breakfast before we walked off the ship with our bags. The room stewards were already getting the adjacent rooms available for the next arrivals, but we really didn't feel rushed.
All in all, a very enjoyable cruise.