We are in our mid 50s and hadn't cruised in 20 years and were "testing" the waters with this 4 night cruise. Wanted to see if cruising was something we would enjoy. And we did! It was just what we needed! We enjoyed sailing on the Sky very much. After reading many mixed reviews about the Sky on these message boards, I was very hesitant to book on this ship. However, all of our concerns were for nothing. We had a great time on the ship!
Embarkation was easy and fast. Very organized by the number that you were assigned at check-in. No complaints.
Cabin: We had a balcony cabin on the Fjord deck which turned out to be very quiet. Only complaint is that I will NEVER book another cabin with an adjoining cabin door. Could hear everything in the next cabin. Even heard them sneeze! I think that is really due to the door that adjoins the cabin. NEVER heard the people in the other cabin which the wall did not have an adjoining door. Just a suggestion for someone who wants more privacy - may want to avoid that adjoining cabin situation. The cabin was small but adequate. Were able to fit all the luggage underneath the bed. Storage space was very good. Cabin was clean and well maintained. Light bulb was out and the steward replaced it the next day. Our wall outlet in the bathroom did not work, so we only had one outlet that was located on the deck. Did not cause us any inconvenience. Turn down service every night except oddly not the first night. Towel animals on 3 nights. They were very cute!
Ports were Freeport, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay. Did not do any ship shore excursions. We did get off the ship in Freeport, but just simply shopped at the shops that are located right off the ship. A small straw market is there with several local vendors. The we went back on the ship and took advantage of the pool deck and just relaxed and took it easy on the ship. No hurrying around. Just trying to chill out... In Nassau we took a taxi to Atlantis ($4.00 per person each way) and paid $35.00 per person (paid directly at the hotel desk) to see "The Dig". This was about $25 cheaper than doing the same thing from the ship. We chose to do it this way as we wanted to leave the ship on our time and not the shore excursion groups time. Would recommend The Dig as it was a beautiful aquarium. Our guide was wonderful! Lots of great information about sea life that we never knew. The hotel is beautiful. Definitely worth seeing, if you have never been there.
Shopped in Nassau in the market place that is not far from the port. Never felt unsafe in the areas and found the people to be quite friendly. Did not find the store clerks to be aggressive at all. After reading some reviews of people complaining of aggressive vendors in Nassau, I was all set to experience this. Thankfully, we did not have that experience. Lots of great shopping to be had right near the port. And Senior Frogs is right there, if you are into that. Very convenient to get to right from the ship.
Great Stirrup Cay was very nice. Tendering over to the island was easy. No problems. Just be prepared for row upon row upon row of lounge chairs lining up on the sand. That is not my thing, so I was a bit disappointed in that. We went to the far left side of the beach to find a bit more "space" for ourselves. We did discover the more private side of the island later that afternoon. If you go to the far right side of the island (when you get off the tender) you will find a small quite beach there. That was very nice. Food was good on the island. Hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. For drinks they only serve hot coffee (too hot to drink this on a beach!) and ice water. Anything else there is a charge for. Was surprised that they did not offer at least ice tea for drinking as they do on the ship.
Dining: The food was good. Not excellent, but good. Was not "wowed" by it but that is ok. I was not expecting to be wowed. We ate all our dinners in either the Crossings or the Palace dining room. (We did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants.) Service in the main dining room was excellent. No complaints. Friendly staff. Never really had to wait for a table, as it was just the two of us we were always seated at a table for two with hardly any wait at all. Loved the FreeStyle dining, as we were not looking to sit with tablemates this time around. So this fit our needs perfectly. Ate breakfast in the Outdoor cafe / buffet which was fine. Pretty good assortment of items to choose from. Pretty crowded in the Garden Cafe if you wanted to find a seat inside. We usually could find a spot outside though. Ate lunch once at the buffet and it was fine also.
Only complaint that I have with the ship is that the pool deck is so crowded. Much more crowded than I had anticipated. Lounge chairs are side by side with barely enough space to put your foot in between the chairs. And the band plays music all the time. I was looking for a bit more personal space than what I found on the pool deck, so that was a big disappointment for me personally. But if you are looking for an active, involved area - then this pool deck is for you. For someone looking for more of a relaxed area this may not be it. There is a "quiet zone" at the front of the pool deck, but it is not that quiet either. There were several small children running around yelling in this area. And their parents could have cared less that they were doing so. They were in the hot tub in this area, which I thought was for adults only, but not sure.... Anyway, this area could use some enforcement from the crew to keep it kid-free and quiet. So those who want to read a good book or take a nap can do so.
Entertainment: We totally enjoyed the shows! We went to all four shows and really did like them. Thought they were quite good. The staff sang and danced their hearts out! The theater is quite lovely too. Enjoyed the comedian Joe Bronzi. We thought he was very funny. Also you should not miss The Fountains act on the last night. It is crazy!!
We enjoyed our cruise and would recommend the Sky to anyone wanting to take a short cruise to test the waters. Or to just take a short vacation. It was a very good value for the money. We would like to try NCL on a longer 7 night cruise now. We really like the FreeStyle dining option. We were very sad to get off the ship! Now it is back to the "real" world!!