My fiance (who's never cruised) age 59, and I (who's on cruise #25 or so), age 58, decided to take a 3 day on NCL's Sky. We're thinking about a longer cruise next year, so wanted to see if he'd like it by trying a shorter one first. He LOVED it! Me too. We were on the Friday, May 20th sailing. Here's the review:
Embarkation was amazingly easy. We were on the ship before 12:00 noon, and only waited about 15 minutes from when we checked in until boarding time. Off we went to the buffet luncheon, which was very nice. Excellent selection of salads, hot/cold items. Food was good, not great. Not too crowded, but busy, and a little bit of a wait for some items. Rooms were to be ready by 2:15, so off we went to find a spot to enjoy a drink and unwind a bit. The deck above the pool deck was a great spot to catch a breeze, have a beverage, relax, and people watch. Our room was ready by around 1:45. We unpacked and explored the ship. The ship is a perfect fit for a short cruise. We found our way around easily. It was clean, the staterooms were extremely small, but with the balcony, it was fine. Next time I think we'll spring for a little bigger room. Staff was friendly, helpful, and we never had to look far to find someone if we had a question. We thought the bar staff pushed the drinks a little too often, but not a big deal. As soon as we got on the ship, we booked Cagney's and Le Bistro, then decided to try the dining room on the last night.
Cagney's was very good, staff quite attentive. We absolutely loved Le Bistro. Great food, atmosphere and staff, and we would most definitely do it again. Well worth the extra $$. We had breakfast and lunches in the Buffet restaurant, a little disappointing in that the food was pretty much the same offerings every day. We also booked a clam shell and snorkel gear for Great Stirrup Cay as soon as we got on board. Good idea to book everything ASAP.
GSC was lovely. Great snorkeling, but people were looking for the clam shells to get out of the sun and most were already booked. Food at the lunch buffet was just OK. Relaxing, fun day. On Sunday, Nassau was good but crowded as there were 4 ships in port including the huge Oasis of the Seas (line to get back on board for the Oasis looked to be about a 45 minute wait!) No problem for us, we just walked back on our ship. We took a taxi to Atlantis, but having been there previously, I was somewhat disappointed. There's no longer easy access to even look at the beach, they ask for Atlantis room cards/ID's, & unless you've already booked a very expensive tour/excursion, the only place you can go is the casino or restaurants or stores. We walked around for about an hour and a half, then left to shop on Bay Street. Back at the ship by around 1:30 for lunch, relaxing by the pool, and listening to live music. Shows on board were good, some better than others. Cruise Director was great. Getting off the ship on Monday a.m. was easy - we kept our luggage with us and just walked off at 9:00 a.m. All in all, a lovely weekend. Freestyle cruising most definitely has it's advantages, HOWEVER, we found the dining rooms VERY lacking at dinner, and even for breakfast. Staff seemed frazzled, and quite disorganized. Food was mediocre, dessert offerings boardered on boring and definitely lacked creativity. Nowhere near what I've experienced on past cruises, including NCL's. Guess it's a trade off, but wish they would concentrate on upgrading the dining room fare and staff. One suggestion to passengers - on the day you leave to go home, opt for eating in the dining room as opposed to the buffet. The buffet was a madhouse, jam-packed, and we left quickly. There was hardly ANYONE in the restaurants, and it was quiet and relaxing and still very quick to be served and make our exit to get to the airport. Overall, we were quite happy with the cruise. Don't hesitate to book - it was FUN!