This was our first big-boat cruise. We are a retired couple who travel frequently by air and car, and thought taking a short cruise would give us an idea of whether we'd like to try cruising as an alternate way to vacation.
The Norwegian Sky is a beautiful ship, although you can tell it's an "older" model. We found the ship to be very clean. There are plenty of busy spots on the boat for activities and people-watching, also plenty of places to "get away from it all" where you could sit -- inside or out -- and relax or just chill out. Besides our balcony, our favorite hang-out became the Outrigger Lounge because it was usually quiet & uncrowded -- at least the times we were there. We liked the not-too-big size of this ship. We also liked the Hawaiian decor, maybe because we've traveled several times to those islands! We had a little trouble finding our way to some of the smaller aft restaurants, but found the maps helpful, as well as any staff we asked for directions. Quality of food I would rate "good" to "excellent" depending on where we ate. Favorite was Le Bistro -- excellent food and superb service. Terrific variety of restaurants: from super-casual to elegant. We were always seated quickly, tho' we tend to eat on the early side. (We did not use room service.)
Our balcony stateroom was on deck 10, forward, starboard side. It was quiet because it was directly under the spa! We liked the quick access to forward upper decks and the fitness room. Decor was fine; bed was pretty firm (not to my liking, but ok), plenty of pillows; plenty of storage space for the tight quarters. Enjoyed the balcony!! Had two nice chairs & a small table -- sat out every evening listening to the ocean and watching the stars. Also a nice spot to watch the sun rise. Service was outstanding! Our room steward very responsive; all dining personnel outstanding. One of our party has a food allergy, and was accommodated politely and professionally. Had problem with the toilet one morning -- notified housekeeping & it was fixed before lunch; the next day we rec'd a complimentary bottle of wine AND chocolate-covered strawberries! We didn't take advantage of much late-night entertainment. Saw the Broadway show, which was "ok." On-deck live bands/singers were great! Piped-in music to the buffet area was too loud, especially in the early mornings.
I want to add that getting onto the ship was pretty quick. We boarded about noontime. We checked our carry-on bags curbside before we got on and later wished we'd kept them with us as we didn't get the second bag until almost 6pm. However, I can see where it would be a nuisance to lug your bags around until the staterooms are ready (about 2pm), especially if it's your first time on the ship and you want to explore, as we did. Getting OFF the ship was really quick! We lined up early as we had a 10:30am flight out of Miami. We got off at 7:15, breezed thru customs, got a taxi and were at the airport before 8am!!