Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by boy's mom: Not great, Some good points
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Not great, Some good points
Overall experience: Not great, Some good points
Embarkation: Although the line was short, it took a very long time to get up to the check in agent. The check in agent was very friendly. Once on board, you can check your carry-on bags if you like so you don't have to drag them around until your cabin is ready (about 2pm). You do not have to take your life vest to muster.
Cabins: The cabin was very clean. Storage space was very limited. I'm glad I brought extra disposable wire hangers as there were not enough hangers in the closet for this 3 day cruise. There is only 1 outlet in the entire cabin. It is located at the desk. Bring an extension cord for plugging in multiple electronics at the same time (to charge up kid's electronic games, curling iron, laptops, ect...) The cabin blow drier is located in the desk drawer. My sons look forward to towel animals each night, but there was only a towel animal on their bed on 1 evening. We never had enough towels for each person More in our cabin. I had to ask for extra towels every evening. One night when I stuck my head out the door to ask for more towels, I thought I was talking to a room steward supervisor but it turned out to be one of the entertainers! Although I told her I would call guest services, she told me to wait and went and got me more towels immediately! She was the only NCL employee that I thought really went the extra mile for us.
Dining: This was our first experience with the "free-style dining" concept. I didn't like it. Although it was nice to show up to dinner at anytime, I felt the dining staff was not interested in me personally and were not "invested" in my dining experience. I missed the warm , personable, daily interaction you get when you have the same set of waiters every night. For dinner we only ate at the main dining room. The food was very delicious. In the main dining room, although we received our starters immediately, on 2 out of the 3 evenings, we had to wait a very long time for our entrees. They had a very good variety of desserts. In the main dining room, there was no "elegant night". Most people dressed in "cruise casual".
We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet. The food was delicious but it was often difficult to find a table for 5. The lines at the buffet in the very back of the ship were often shorter. At breakfast, if you don't want an omelet, feel free to move ahead of those who are waiting for their omelets to be cooked (individual omelets are cooked in the middle of the buffet line, not at a separate station).
Entertainment: Each night there was only one seating for the evening show. On the first night it was at 9:30pm and on the other 2 nights at 9pm. All shows lasted about 1 hour. The show on the first night was a variety show, the second night, singing and dancing and the 3rd night was comedy and magic. All were excellent. There is a huge theme party up on deck on the second night-- "White Hot Party". Everyone is supposed to wear white, so pack accordingly :-).
Kid's Korner: You must wait until you're on board to register for the Kid's Korner. Even though my 10 year old and 7 year old sons were suppose to be in different age groups, luckily, their age groups were combined during the entire cruise. They only wear their muster station bracelets when they are actually at the Kid's Korner and take them off before leaving. On port days, there is a charge of $6 per hour for the children to play at the Kid's Korner. Once the ship leaves port, the Kid's Korner is free of charge. Although closed toe shoes are required, my sons told me that they were often instructed to take their shoes off before joining the activities. If you allow your children to roam around the ship by themselves (which we personally did not), and you don't want to pay 75 cents a minute for internet access at the internet cafe, you must deactivate their account at the internet cafe. The staff was very friendly and my boys had a wonderful time every time they participated.
Nassau- Ship docks right at the pier. If shopping at the "straw market", bring a variety of bills so you don't have to wait for the vendors to find change. Don't forget to bargain. The large, air conditioned stores that line the street behind the straw market have clean bathrooms.
Great Stirrup Cay- Take the towel from your room and be sure to bring it back or you will be charged (there are no towels on the island). Must take a tender to NCL's private island. We got on the tender at about 10am and there was no wait at all. By 11am, the lounge chairs near the beach will all be taken but there were lots of extra lounge chairs further back and over to the side that can be dragged up if you can find an open spot. The shops on the island are run by local vendors (not the cruise line as with other private islands), so cash is necessary. BBQ buffet is open from 11:30 to 2pm. My sons enjoyed the hippo slide. Even if you bring your own snorkel equipment, you must rent one of their life vests (about $6 for adults and $3.50 for children).
Gym: Although I didn't participate in any organized classes due to the times not fitting with my schedule, I noticed that NCL Sky had the largest aerobic classroom of any other ship that we've been on. I did use the cardio machines every morning when they opened at 6am and found them to be just as good as the machines at my home gym. If you forget your ear buds, they have little packets of ear buds for you to use and keep. The weight machines were dated but adequate. There was a cool-water fountain in the gym as well as a small refrigerator with cold towels to use.
Spa: My husband and I enjoyed the couples hot rock massage. We thought it was great and felt no pressure to purchase products after the treatment was finished. My sister in law however, had an entirely different experience. She did the seaweed wrap and massage treatment and didn't think it was as good as massages she gets near her home. Also, she felt an exorbitant amount of pressure to purchase the spa products. So much so, that it put a huge damper on an already disappointing spa experience. Even though she kept saying "no thank you" to the products offered, her masseuse continued to try and convince her to make a purchase.
Over all service: I didn't feel that anyone (except the aforementioned entertainer who got me more towels) ever went the extra mile and in fact, in most cases, did the minimum. It seemed like each time I made a request or asked a question, I had to convince the staff member of my need before they would assist me. Examples of this included: asking for a room service menu as there was none in our cabin, asking for soap at our cabin sink as there was none, requesting condiments for oatmeal in the main dining room the 1 morning we had breakfast there, or asking where a mirror was at the duty free store so I could try on sunglasses (the tiny one on the sunglass rack just didn't cut it :-)-- I was told there were no other mirrors in the entire store).
Misc: NCL does not allow passengers to bring on cases of their own bottled water. Each person can only bring on 1 or 2 bottles. Because I like to always have a bottle of water in my bag and didn't want to pay to buy water bottles on board, we all brought re-usable water bottles and filled them up in the gym or at the buffet each day.
Disembarkation: When we returned to our rooms on the last night we found no information on the disembarkation process (no morning schedule, no luggage tags, and no customs forms). When I called guest services to inquire about this, I was told that we had to pick up our luggage tags and schedule (if we wanted one) at a stand near the guest services desk (no one had mentioned this to us previously). When I walked there to get these materials, I did not see any customs forms. The line was very long at the guest services desk so I didn't stand in line to ask about it. The next morning, as we were about to step out on deck to disembark, I asked an officer nearby about it and he went and got us the needed forms. The whole experience was very confusing. We had to be out of our cabins by 9am and breakfast was open until 9am. (Customs does not allow fruit to be taken off the boat so don't plan on grabbing an apple on the way out!) The one thing I did appreciate about disembarkation day was being able to go to the gym in the morning before leaving.
Overall: Not at all impressed by the level of service, in fact it was dismal. Ship was decorated beautifully, food was delicious, shows were great. Less
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Cabin review: IA4107 Mid-Ship Inside
Quiet. 3 super small drawers. Only space for suitcases is under the beds. Only 1 electrical outlet. Very few hangers. Very clean. Small couch and desk chair. Blow drier in desk drawer. Shampoo and shower gel in shower dispenser. No lotion or conditioner.