I wanted to make this milestone birthday for my husband special. He was not thrilled when I surprised him with a cruise. We'd never done one before and he was a bit apprehensive since we both don't swim and, although we love the water, we aren't in love with not being able to see land!
Flew into Miami(since we wanted to try a SHORT cruise). Cab to the port. Embarkation was easy. The picture we took getting on was ugly so we didn't buy it....for $20 (bit we did buy three others taken when we got off the ship in Nassau). We went to eat lunch and waited for our cabin to be readied.
I went with a balcony room at the AFT of the ship. Everyone tried to talk me out of paying for a balcony on this, my first cruise. If I'd heard just one more person say, "You're hardly in your cabin. You'll be out and about, doing activities", was gonna scream! A balcony cabin, and preferably at the back of the ship, will be the only way for me to go from now on! It was GREAT. To wake up each morning with a floor to ceiling view of the water was the best. I'm claustrophobic and it made the room seem so much bigger. My husband and I spent some very romantic eves on that balcony. And to be able to see both sides of the water and shore (if you're on the side, you miss the other side) was priceless.
I paid for the Birthday package for my hubby. The room was cutely decorated with balloons, signs and streamers when we arrived. There was a cake waiting too. It wasn't bad at all and he was very happy.
The shower curtain in the bathroom was missing a few hooks...and this bothered me. I didn't bother to ask for it to be re-hung...just went with the flow. I did call for an iron one day and it was brought up promptly. We found the bed to be very comfortable.
The food was good enough for us. We ate only in the free dining room and buffet. We did not buy the soda package...deciding we could do without soda for 3 days. We had ice tea, juice and water. I call it detox-ing our system! LOL. We also played pinball and watched Sunday nite football in the Sports Bar. That was BIG fun! We had buffalo wings, my hubby had a beer and I had a virgin pina colada. The NY JETS beat the Miami Dolphins. We were out-numbered in the sports bar, being from NYC and JETS fans, but it was all good natured fun!
I found the staff to be nice on the whole. There were a few sour apples, but that's to be expected. Mostly everyone else was pleasant and upbeat. One thing that annoyed me was the way they keep coming to you asking if you want "something from the bar". Since my husband drinks an occasional beer and I don't drink at all, it became bothersome and excessive. But for those who drink, maybe it wouldn't have been so bad.
We went to no activities on the ship. We wanted to go to Bingo...but missed it twice! We did watch the previous evening's activities on the sad TV they have in the rooms(time to get flat screens, NCL). Seemed like people were enjoying themselves at the parties and such, but it was not our cup of tea. We're pretty much social loners anyway, so it was good to be able to retreat back to our cabin now and again.
Got off in Nassau and took a 3 hour tour of town in a van. I like soaking up the local flavor, so it was nice for me. On the tour, the guide took us to the beach, straw market, Atlantis, Queens staircase, etc, etc.
Debarkation was seamless....
Next time I will: 1) Bring an empty suitcase to take home souvenir liquor for my friends. The prices are great! 2) Bring a hat...I got burned on my forehead! 3) Cruise longer! Had to see if it was for me...and it is 4) Go farther or in another direction.
I am so glad I did not listen to the reviews of the Norwegian Sky. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. One persons lemon is another persons chocolate sundae. For us, the Sky was sweet!!