Hits: Penthouse Suite, Great Stirrup Cay, pub crawl, 70's show.
Misses: Desserts, Minute to Win It "show" in Dazzles, RENTLESS drink sellers.
We had booked a balcony cabin originally but two days before the cruise, I received and was offered an up sell to a Penthouse Suite. It cost $250 total so I jumped on it. It was well worth it in my mind. I guess you can justify anything but it worked for me.
We were in cabin 8202. The balcony was larger than my last cabin! It was great. We had a butler but to be honest, I don't see the benefit. You are also assigned a concierge rep to "look after you". That was very beneficial to us. We were whisked behind the scenes into crew areas were we got to butt the line (SORRY!) for tenders to Great Stirrup Cay. We called her to arrange for any dining or activity we wanted. It was actually really easy and a nice touch.
The Sky is an old ship - built in 1999 and in places it really shows. The "feel" of the cabins is dated even though it was refit in 2008. But in all honesty, I didn't notice much difference between it and the Gem which is from 2008. The Sky is well kept up and seemed clean. However, you can tell design has changed a lot over the years since the Sky was launched.
The drink sellers on the SKY are SERIOUSLY restless with trying to sell drinks. I swear they put 20 floor sellers in the Dazzles night club at all times. As soon as one person asks you another one is right behind them asking again. I found myself just ignoring them as they asked me but they would continue to ask until I acknowledged them. I know it is not the waiter's fault, it is the ship line's policy but it gets really old, really fast. Now, compare that to trying to get a second cup of coffee in the main dining room...you get my drift.
Great Stirrup Cay is turning out to be quite a nice place. We have been there many times and seen it grow from a tiny speck to quite a large place. I assume the Epic is the reasons. It used to be next to impossible to get a chair if you were on a later tender. Now, there was so many I was in shock! Do they really have to stack those up after each cruise?! The food building was great and new since our last visit. The band pavilion is a nice touch.
I think the buffet is pretty good over all. However, the desserts in the buffet are not good. The "cakes" are weird and don't really taste like cake at all. The bread pudding is ok. The "cobbler" is rally just canned pie filling with oatmeal flakes baked on top. Stick to the ice cream. You will be happy you did.
I must be a glutton for punishment but I stayed through the entire "Minute to Win It" game show in Dazzles. It was a mess. It is just a total mess. This needs to be 86'd and soon.
The pub crawl was a blast. I thought I was going to be the oldest person there but I wasn't. There was a good mix of frat boys and girls, to middle age folks and everything in between. You move around the ship, making lots of noise and drinking drinks at all the bars. They don't really tell you all that is in them but I guess that is not the point of it. I only drank 2 of them but had such a good time it didn't matter.
I'm the first to tell you I think the shows on cruise ships are lame. Very lame. We decided to go to the 70's show one night and I have to say we had a blast. Word of warning though, if you were born after 1975, you won't enjoy it as much if at all. BUT, if you were born in the 60's or before, get ready for some fun. I knew ever single song they sang and there were a lot. It was sort of like Solid Gold on the high seas.
We had a great time overall. The nice thing about the Sky is it is cheap and easy for a quick get away to the Bahamas.