First review here... My first cruise was a 4ngt Disney Magic cruise, back when she was the only Disney Ship in 1998. Since then I have been on Disney 6 times, Carnival 4 times, and RCCL 2 twice. This was my 13th cruise in 12 years, and my first NCL. I had a great time, and I can't say that I would not use NCL again, as I know I will, but that said, I can say NCL did not impress me. But thanks to this forum I sort of knew going into the deal that Norwegian Sky was in a word... lacking.
I am not sure where it got its name "Sky" from, but I read were they almost sent this ship to its sister line in China, Star Cruises. After being on it I would say its time to do this unless they want really invest into the ship via RCCL's treatment of Enchantment of the Seas or Carnivals upgrades to the Fantasy Class ships. Compared to both of these, Sky just does not hold up.
My friend and I took RedCoach USA bus lines from Orlando to MIA. If I may give this new business a bit of a holler.... It was $99 round trip per person, and parking in Orlando was free! The bus was VERY luxurious, with only 3 across seating as each seat was very wide and completely reclinable as well. Took a cab from MIA to the port, which is a flat $24.00 and arrived.
Arrival at the port was very quick. We got there at 11am. A porter greeted us with "cabin number!". He was so friend. He gave us two tags for our three pieces of luggage so I asked for a third. Got the bad tagged and before I could reach into my back pocket to get my wallet he asks "Are you going to give me something for handling your bags". RUDE!!! His tip was down graded $4.00 for the three bags. Sad because I don't mind tipping but poor service is not to be rewarded. Walked into the terminal and several very similar interactions with the screeners. There was no line, and finally one of them smiled ask she asked me to put my carry on bag on the belt. I thanked her for the smile. She was the only one in the terminal to do so. No line to check in but the person was cold and could not be joked with. Upstairs we waited to board and scolded with a "EXCUSE ME SIR," and shame shame finger as we apparent headed into a part of the waiting room reserved for suite guests. Ok. Waited about 45minutes and finally on board. We had for the Garden Cafe for lunch but honestly was not impressed. Went to the desk to book Aquaventure shore excursion and dinning for the cruise. I booked Cagney's on the first night, Le Bistro on the second and II Adagio on the third night. We left the fourth night open.
Dinning: Cagney's was ok, we had what I would call a Good Meal, the Service was good, and the food was good. At $25.00 a per person I originally thought it was a fair price. Le Bistro on the second night, though only $20.00 per person proved to be much better. While not quite what I would call excellent, it was completely enjoyable and memorable meal. The onion soap was flavorful, and the Duck was among the best duck I ever had. The atmosphere was more intimate and fancy then that of Cagney's, I left thinking this should have been $25.00 and Cagney's $20.00. We book Le Bistro for our last night upon leaving. The II Agadio was, even at only $10.00 a person, a complete disappointment. I don't even remember what I ordered, but I remember the sub par service. Empty bottle of wine from prior party out our table remained chillin in the elevated ice bucket through the course of my entire meal and at no time did a server come and check how the food was. And at best, I could describe the food as on par with... Ragu. No bad I suppose, but definitely not what you go into a specialty dinning experience on a cruise ship for.
I did like the 24 hour long board bar for its full service menu. Hot food an full service available at 4am... NICE!!! They call it limited menu but I found it to have a nice variety of Wings, Burgers, sides, salads, desserts... perfectly acceptable dinning options for a 24 hour menu. This and Le Bistro were the highlights. Everything else was just... good. Or as the comedian on the ship commented re: the buffet... "you know... its food. its edible. Your not really going to remember it but its edible, its... Just ok". Joking, that is exactly how I would summarize Sky's Food.
As for the ship itself.... It has not aged well. My stateroom had issues Linen were well worn out, and had holes. The latch on the bathroom door did not latch, though you could get by by using the bolt lock. One Light switch did not work and was clearly damaged and near falling off the wall. The TV would just randomly shut off every 10-15 minutes. Ignored it all at first until the TV issue, so I picked up the phone and reported everything except the linens which I was willing to deal with. Nothing was fixed 7 hours later so called it again, and the next morning they were all over it with apologizes and several managers calling me. Chocolate covers Strawberries were sent to the room and an officer came to the room personally to check on the progress. Ok... much better on the second attempt!
But over all the ship was just a ship. very pretty to look at from the shore but once on it, it really had nothing to make it stand out. just lots of bars, your standard assortment of pools and hot tubs, a casino of standard portions and a show lounge whose singers and dancers were no doubt talented but dealing on a stage that how no production value to it. They did the stereo typical "Rock and Roll show" followed another night by a "Broadway Hits" show. Again the singers were good, but I have seen these shows before. It came across as wasted talent. I think the Cruise Directed summed out the ship best when he often repeated it was the "Largest Party Ship in the Bahamas". I translated that as the best booze cruise in the region. LOTS of bars on the sky, but now real WOW moments or amenities. And stunning ocean views were hard to find, and mostly involved looking through glass, even on the top decks. I think the Sky needs a face lift on the level of what is being down to the Fantasy Class ships or as originally planned, sent it away to a less established cruise market.