First things first!! I have read a lot of reviews on this ship since it was renamed/refurbed in 2008.I have read the GREAT reviews, I have also read the HORRIBLE reviews, I have even witnessed within the last two weeks someone on this forum cancel there cruise because they read a bad review that depicted this ship as some type of drunken stupper party barge. What a shame for that person!! That couldn't be farther from the truth!!! SKY is neither Crystal or Celebration. What it is in my opinion makes it great four day alternative to some older tired ships that compete in this market.
I have been wanting to try NCL for a long time. My wife and I recently cruised on the Celebrity Solstice which I see as the pinnacle of a mainstream cruise line. With the Solstice still on our mind we decided to book the Sky for September even though our past experience with booking that month hasn't always turned out so well "Hurricane Season". My wife 28, myself 29, and my brother in law 25 who hasn't been on a cruise since he was very little arrived at the port about 1:30 and we were onboard in 15 minutes. Once onboard we checked out the Cabin which was very clean, had fresh linens, as well as plenty of towels. Our room steward introduced himself right away. Of course we had to check out the TV as we hadn't seen one like it in years!!! Even the CD made a joke about it later in the cruise. One problem that was extremely annoying was the remote, which was a universal, it lost its code every time we used it. Not the end of the world as we really only used the TV late at night.Also we would have preferred the 3rd bed to come out of the wall as we saw in other cabins as opposed to being a pullout couch which completely blocked the walkway. Now back to the ship!!! After spending 4 days on the SKY I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the ships decor and cleanliness. I tend to get a bit obsessive when I go away and tend to research as much as I can. My opinion is the ship looks much better in person then in pictures. You can really tell that they spend a lot of time on the upkeep. From the outside the ship looks modern as opposed the Majesty of the Seas, and Carnival Imagination which was docked near in Miami.
Now on to the food. I have to say the one disappointment that I feel was the buffet area. For one it is EXTREMELY SMALL, I have not experienced less of a selection, especially on embarkation lunch, also the flow is terrible. We all looked at each other sitting at lunch and said UH OH!!!! As this was the first eating experience for us. We then walked to the back and were so glad we found the Great Outdoors. After that Day we never went back to the main buffet. On a positive note Cagney's, Le Bistro, and Longboards were excellent!!! My dinner at IL Adagio was good but my table mates didn't think it was that good. I would say it has some room for improvement. We ate one meal in the Palace. I thought my Lobster Extravaganza was VERY good. Especially for a non pay restaurant. Also had some Jambalaya which was good !!! You really can't beat Longboards for a late night snack as the chicken wings tasted like they were from hooters!!! We tried everything here and everything was hot and tasty,although eating all off that wasn't a great idea at 3 am on last night!!!!!
We were always entertained on this trip. I thought the production shows Soul Rockin Nights,and On Broadway we as good as we have seen at sea. Although there were no real production sets for the shows the singers and dancers were very good. Rich Purpura was very funny. We tried to catch his late night adult comedy show but had to leave because it was standing room only, they should have definitely either had multiple shows or just moved it into the main show lounge, as there was nothing else happening that night. We watched a bit of the white hot party which seemed to be well attended and MC'D by John Ibrahim. Party, and Party,and Party, and Party some more was is catch line, which could get a bit annoying although it has everyone repeated it all over the cruise. He is definitely energetic although he has such a repetitive job, I think he keeps the crowd going. We also watched the Newlywed not so Newlywed Show, Always funny!! And of course the famous Quest!!! Very Revealing!!!! We missed the final variety show as it conflicted with our Dinner at Le Bistro. We did catch a replay of fountains in our room which looked hilarious.
I used the Spa and fitness area everyday. I will post a video of the Spa on this ship later on You-Tube as it has a strange setup. The couples room is actually right in front of the reception area. I had a 75 minute Bamboo Massage which was excellent. I booked this the first day and received pricing based on the 50 minute price. The fitness center is pretty well stocked with all of the cardio equipment having there own dedicated flat screen tv's, go figure.Maybe they will install some in the cabins next!!! Of course you can't compare these facilities to some of the more modern ships but once again I was pleasantly surprised as the spa was the one area I wasn't able to find pictures of before we left.
We must have been on a different ship then most of these other reviewers because the crowd was very respectful and very under control. We had 200 kids on board. There were loads of couples ranging from the 20's to the 80's, We were really expecting the worse!!! I know that different times of the year bring on different crowds. So lets assume that on any given day or cruise the crowd can vary.
Freeport: Just took a cab to Lucaya, walked around and got back on the ship
Nassau: Booked Comfort Suites to get into Atlantis. Wow what a place!!! Used the slides, and the lazy river was great!!
Great Stirrup Cay: After a rough tender ride, we just enjoyed a day at the beach
Some Random Thought:
We loved the freestyle concept!! I feel that this will eventually be the cruise industry standard. Loved going to dinner in shorts. Of course other CL have adopted this is some form
Embark/Debark fast and easy. Loved being able to pick when we got off
Only had one towel Animal!!!!!!!!
The Piano Man in Captain's Cook Bar was GREAT!!!
Never had a problem getting a drink!!
Crew was generally very good. Only had a few not so great experience's. Celebrity definitely is on a different level in my opinion
Casino stole my money!! Wife won it back!!!
Need more variety at the buffet for lunch. we ate a lot of Fries!!!
Would we sail on NCL again??? Absolutely!!!!!
Im glad we were able to form our own opinion and took some reviews with a grain of salt!!!