Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by TX&UK: 4th of July in the Bahamas
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4th of July in the Bahamas
This was our second cruise, and second with Norwegian. We were on the Pride of America in Hawaii for our honeymoon in 2008, so this was a bit of reliving the honeymoon (but this time in an inside cabin instead of the amazing Penthouse Suite for the honeymoon). More on that later...
We arrived at the dock at 12:30, and we were literally on the boat with restaurant reservations booked for 2 nights, hubby had had a beer, and we were having lunch at the Palace restaurant by 1:00. So easy. Our rooms were ready by 1:30, earlier than expected,
Room: Holy crap the room was small. But you get what you paid for with an inside cabin. Since it was such a short trip we thought we'd try out an inside cabin. Fine for a few days, but it was small. Luckily we had one of the larger closets so most of our bags could fit in there. The room wasn't as bad as the bathroom. The shower was so small when you shave your legs your butt hits the back of the shower and the curtain (gross). We More loved the 2 free movie channels, one of which showed Avatar a bit too many times though. Verdict on the small room -- ok for a 3-4 night cruise, but I think we would kill each other with a longer cruise that had a full day at sea. We were on the 7th floor close to the atrium, and only had problems with noise on the last night when they were taking people's bags out in the middle of the night.
Overall ship: it was much smaller than the Pride of America, but that was fine with only 3 days. The public areas were clean, and only the elevators gave us some problems from time to time. We didn't notice a sewage odor like a previous review, except when we disembarked for the 3 ports. We stayed at the main pool mostly, the dinky one at the back always had about 20 kids in it. We never felt like the ship was too crowded, which surprised me since it was a holiday weekend. I worked out in the gym one morning, and it was nice. The machines seem new and have individual TVs on them where you can watch the free movies while you work out. There are also large windows from which you can look out.
Dining & Drinking: We ate at both Le Bistro and Cagney's steak house specialty restaurants. Both were great, the creme brulee at le Bistro is worth the cover charge itself! Cagney's meal was so good I'm still thinking about my fillet Mignon. We ate at the Crossings restaurant the other night, I can't remember which one. It was lobster tail night, my husband ordered it and then had to order another course since it was a teeny tiny tail. Food was more forgettable than in the specialty restaurants -- it wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. Service was always good in all restaurants. We had breakfast in the Palace restaurant the last 2 days, it was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of the buffet (which we had on the first day and it was tasty with tons of options), but the Palace food was basically the same food in the buffet, you just don't have the noise, hastle and you can enjoy your breakfast in peace.
The house red wine was good, and for only $6.25 a deal compared to some of the other drinks on board. Speaking of drinks...we visited the Plantation bar with the 2-for-1 martinis all 3 nights. Martinis were so strong and tasty. Once it was too strong, and the bartender happily added some more cranberry juice to mu cosmo. Be sure to look at the full martini menu, they are all 2-for-1, not just the 5 or so listed on the placard.
Ports: First day in Nassau, Bahamas, we shopped for a bit and then took the #10 bus to the other side of the island ($1.25 fare) to the Breezes resort. We did the all inclusive day pass at the resort for $60 each, includes all food and alcoholic beverages. The drinks were good, but the food for the buffet was only so so. Made us miss the Sky's food. The second day was on the private island, and we stayed on the secluded beach side which had significantly less people than the madness on the main beaches. It was nice and quiet there. Tendering took FOREVER -- it was extremely hot in the morning, and it took about 30 minutes to fill up the boat as we were one of the first ones to get on. It would be better to have more smaller boats moving people quicker instead of "cooking" on a boat in the hot sun with no breeze and getting seasick from the waves. Overall it took almost an hour to get from the breakfast room to the island, which is a bit ridiculous.
Entertainment: We went to karaoke one night, which is always fun, and we sat through a few sessions of the piano guy (I think his name was Tom). He was great and had pages and pages of songs he could play. The guitarist that played around the boat as well was really good.
Disembarkment: We were staying in Miami for 2 more nights, so we had the latest tags on our bags. They were ready before the promised time and leaving the ship was easy.
Main complaints: 1) The boat is always so loud on deck. There is always a band or loud music or the cruise director on a mic talking loudly. They need to turn down the speakers, and I'm 30 and saying this. What are the 60+ thinking? My parents would hate it. There should be quiet hours or something in the afternoon -- it's nice to take a nap in the sun, but you can't do that when Mambo #5 is blaring in your ears. 2) tendering to/from the private island, which I mentioned above. 3) It rains a lot in Miami in the summer we learned. We perhaps wouldn't do the cruise again at that time of year.
Overall - good and worth the money. We would do the 3-day cruise again with NCL, but to different ports. Watch out for your bar bill though! It's helpful to get a printout of what you've spent every day so you can monitor it better. Less
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