Pre-cruise: We live in South Florida, so we drove to the port of Miami. We arrived at the port at 11:30am and were checked in and on the ship by 12 Noon. Check in was quick and easy. We were told that the room would not be ready until 2:00pm so we went to the Garden Cafe and had lunch. The buffet was fine and had numerous choices. Ship: This was our third sailing on the Sky. We did not notice anything new on this sailing. The ship appeared to be clean but we do have two complaints. One bothersome complaint we had the entire sailing was that there was a constant severe sewage/garbage odor that seemed to always be present near our cabin and in the back of the ship. It was heavily present near the Crossings dining room. We noticed the same issue on prior sailings. The second complaint is that during the entire length of the cruise, we found the public restrooms to be very dirty and in disarray. While we know that the crew is not responsible for the mess that passengers create, the restrooms should still be attended to and kept clean on a continuous basis. At times we found toilette paper littered about the floors and soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers that were empty.
Stateroom: We booked a Balcony room on the 9th floor. It was in a good location with easy access to the elevators and stairs. The bathroom was kind of small, which is to be expected. However, it had plenty of storage shelves. Our stateroom stewards, Ramul and Claudia were absolutely wonderful. They always kept our room neat and tidy. Our towels were replenished every morning and every evening. We had turn-down service every night and they even supplied us with towel animals.
Dining: For breakfast two mornings we ate in the Palace Restaurant and the last morning we ate breakfast in the Garden Café. Breakfast in the Palace was always good. However, the first morning, service was really slow for all tables, not just ours, and orders were mixed up and items ordered were not delivered. The second morning in the Palace went off without a hitch and the service was fast and wonderful. The items in the Buffet for breakfast on the last day were hot and plentiful.
We ate dinner the first night in the Palace Restaurant. The service was horrible. Our waiter seemed to be in a very bad mood, and we watched as he was yelled at constantly by one of the supervisors. We had to ask for ice tea and water twice, as none was offered. We also had to request dessert and coffee as this was not offered either. All of the wait staff in this dining room appeared to be just going through the motions. They all appeared stressed, disinterested and inconvenienced when you asked for something. This made us feel very uncomfortable. My husband and I are easy to please and did not ask for anything out of the ordinary. The food was just okay.
The second and third night we chose to eat in the Crossing Restaurant. Service here was much better. Although we still did not experience the personal service we have become accustomed to on other cruise lines (i.e. Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess). Neither my husband nor I are fans of anytime dining due to this reason. While it is nice to choose when and where you would like to eat, we feel that the wait staff service in all of the restaurants is not up to par of other cruise ships that offer traditional dining. We feel the staff are just not personable, helpful, or in any particular mood to perform a good job as they are getting the automatic gratuities anyway. This is definitely something that Norwegian needs to work on.
Ports: We arrived in Nassau, Bahamas the first day. As my husband and I both have been here many times, we got off of the ship and spent time on Cable Beach and then the Straw Market. The second day, we were tendered to NCL’s private island. This was a nice relaxing day at the beach.
Entertainment: We did not attend any shows as we have seen them on past cruises. Although we felt that on this particular sailing, there were many more activities planned than on past cruises. There was always something to do. The band by the pool and the DJ in Dazzels night club were excellent. We did spend time in the casino while on board. We noticed that they have changed most of the penny machines to two cents. The casino appeared to be “very tight” the first two nights. The last night appeared to have more winners.
Crew: As mentioned earlier, our Stateroom Attendants were wonderful. The wait staff in the main dining rooms were not consistent with personality and service. We encountered some rudeness from the Pursers Desk staff when attempting to have a faulty charge removed from our bill. They just seemed not to care that a large bar bill from another cabin was charged to our room in error. We felt like we were the ones being inconvenienced for pointing it out and asking them to remove it from our final bill.
Disembarkment: We chose to carry our own bags off of the ship. From the time we left our stateroom to clearing customs, it only took us about 20 minutes so this went smoothly.
Overall, this was nice getaway for my husband and I and we always have an amazing time together. We have been on this ship three times now and know what to expect and the cruise is a good value for the money spent. We do feel that NCL really needs to address issues with the dining room staff and cleanliness of the public restrooms. Would we pick the NCL Sky again? Probably if they address the issues we encountered as described above.