This was my first time on NCL. All I wanted out of this trip was to relax and do things at my own pace.
We live in South Florida so friends dropped us off at the port. Embarkation was a breeze. We got there about 11AM, there were only a few people ahead of us. My boyfriend is a Latitudes member, so after sitting upstairs for about 10 minutes, we were called to board the ship. There is a crew member with a spray bottle of hand sanitizer who squirts your hands as you get on the ship. There were several crew members out there welcoming us aboard - all smiling.
Since the rooms weren't ready until noon, we took the time to walk around the ship and have a bite to eat the Garden Cafe. The food was okay - your usual cruise buffet food. The ship is very easy to navigate.
We booked a balcony. The room was similiar to those on other other lines. I ordered the Happy Birthday Bon Voyage package for my boyfriend. The room was decorated with streamers and balloons. There was nice sized happy birthday cake on the desk for us.
I only saw our room steward once - the room was made up each day.
The ship went to Freeport, Nassau and the private island. We booked a snorkeling tour through NCL, however, whent we got on board, found out that it was cancelled due to "local logistics." I was disappointed because I've never gone snorkeling and having been to Freeport before, had no desire to see it again. We stayed on the boat which we pretty much had to ourselves, which was nice.
My boyfriend had never been to the Atlantis, so we took the water ferry ($3 per person each way) over. It's a bit of a walk from the ferry to the hotel. We wandered around a bit, got our Starbucks fix and took a taxi ($4 per person) back to Bay Street where we wandered around before going back to the ship.
We didn't get off in Great Stirrup Cay because the line to get off the boat was just ridiculous and we saw storm clouds coming. Another day on the boat, which was fine with me, because I really just needed a few days of no schedule and no rushing.
We had dinner in both dining rooms and didn't bother with the specialty restaurants. I enjoyed having dinner whenever I wanted. We usually ate between 7:30 - 9 and had no problems getting a table for 2. As much as I love people, we didn't want to make small talk at dinner. I also wasn't in the mood to get dressed for dinner. We were "neat casual" and I saw the gamut of shorts and tshirts to cocktail dresses in the dining room. While I personally wouldn't go to dinner in shorts and a tshirt in the dining room, it was odd seeing people in shorts and tshirts next to people all decked out. The food was adequate. Palatable. Nothing that I would ooh and ahh over. But that's okay. Kind of like hotel food. We did have a late night snack in the Sports Bar one night - the wings were fabulous.
We saw the comedian, Rich Purpura, twice. He was fantastic and I hope he tours so we can see him offship. The Quest was hysterical - never saw that before and next time, would love to participate. The casino was a standard casino. I love to play craps, however, the minimum was set at $10 and I don't like that pressure. I played a bit and left a deposit. I never saw the table packed.
The ship is older and I heard it was refurbished recently. It was clean and the crew members were always smiling. They seemed a bit stressed in the dining room.
This may sound petty, but the music they piped in to the pool during the day didn't appeal to the masses. It wasn't top 40 or pop and you didn't see people bopping around. It was actually annoying and I will let NCL know. Most of the time it was rap music and I don't have anything against rap music, but it didn't help with the relaxation.
It didn't seem as if a lot of people were drinking and after a while, it got annoying to be asked if you wanted anything from the bar.
For a quick 3 or 4 day cruise, I would definitley cruise on the Sky again. I never had an inside cabin, however, for the prices I was hearing, I would definitley consider it. You really don't spend a lot of time in the room, but I just like the feeling of having the fresh air.
Debarkation was easy as well. We chose to carry off our luggage. We had breakfast at 8AM in the Garden Cafe. Headed off the boat at 845 and cleared customs by 9AM. A breeze!
Hope you have a great cruise!!