Two first time cruisers going away without the children for my wife’s 30th Birthday. We thought the Sky would give us a great chance to experience cruising and to see if we enjoyed it with only being 3 days long.
We flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before and I had my wife’s first surprise ready - a stretched Cadillac Escalade limo to drive us around and show us the sights. My wife, being from Ohio and growing up without ever leaving the state much, had never seen the ocean. First stop was the beach, where she could walk and get her feet wet. We then had the limo drive us down to South Beach and stopped at The Clevelander for a couple of drinks. The Clevelander was a very happening place with a good, fun crowd. We then had our limo take us to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Port of Miami. It was a great location, clean, and quite comfortable. We walked across the street to Bayside Marketplace for a quick bite. They have many shops and food selections. We then returned to the hotel for a good night’s rest before the cruise.
We arrived at the terminal via a $10 taxi ride at 11:15. Check in was very easy and all people were very helpful. We were walking on the ship about 30 minutes later to be greeted by dancing and a bunch of smiling faces. We proceeded to the shore excursions desk to rent a clamshell ($30 sunshade) for Great Stirrup Cay. We then headed for lunch at the outdoor café. It was typical BBQ food - Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Chicken - with pretty decent quality. After lunch we headed to the pool deck and had a drink until our rooms were ready around 1:45. We had a balcony room on deck 9. The rooms were small, but very comfortable We got a room with a balcony and that is where we spent most of our time. I don’t think I could sail again without a balcony! We unpacked and took in the view until it was time for the muster drill and after that we were on our way to Great Stirrup Cay! After waving goodbye to Miami from our balcony, we wandered around the ship and found where everything was at. We ate at the main dining room all 3 nights. The first night was lobster and snapper and it was quite good! We saw the Soul Rockin Nights show at the Theater and my wife really enjoyed it. After that, we ended up at the outrigger lounge (Deck 11 forward) and spent the rest of the evening there listening to some great and very funny Karaoke. Then it was back to the cabin for a good night’s sleep.
Woke up with room service calling saying they would be there in a few minutes. I sure got used to my coffee and breakfast being delivered to me! Sat on the balcony and enjoyed my coffee and the view while my wife got ready. When we left, we were on the 4th tender to Great Stirrup Cay. We picked out our clamshell, got situated and went for a swim. I love that island! The water is so clear and you could actually walk out and be surrounded by a bunch of fish that would swim right up to you! The island was postcard worthy! Still some construction going on, but you never noticed it. It was not overly crowded on the beach or in the water. The BBQ lunch was pretty good, same as on the ship but they did have ribs too! We tendered back to the ship around 2 and went and showered and relaxed for a bit.
We wandered around the ship and did a little shopping and donating at the casino. I had bought one of the slot play coupons ($50 play for $25) and it worked great, just took them about 30 minutes to verify. We went to longboards for a couple of drinks and the amazing wings. We ate at the main dining room again and the food was again very good! We saw the comedian who was quite funny for a PG-13 act! After we went to the White Hot Party. Looked as though everyone was really enjoying themselves, and once again ended the night watching Karaoke at the Outrigger lounge.
The next day started off with coffee from room service. We then headed off the ship to meet at 9 for our Atlantis tour. Glad we went - very interesting and a huge place - kind of makes Caesars Palace look like a motel 6 in size. Actually won a few bucks at the casino and had lunch there. Headed back to the port and walked around the local shops in Nassau. I can now say I have experienced the straw market and I do not need to go back. The people were very rude and pushy. If we go back to Nassau, I think it will be another beach day! We went back to the cabin and rested and showered after our long, hot day. Went to the gift shop onboard and got some souvenirs for the kids. We ate at the main dining room again and as usual the food was quite good. By this time my wife was obsessed with the Caesar salad! Made our final donations to the Casino and went to the Outrigger for the Qwest game. It was a fun time just not quite as good as I had my expectations for. All of the shows and activities onboard seemed to be very short - 45 minutes or so. By this time we were wiped out and headed back for some sleep.
My last day of my coffee being delivered to me, watched out the balcony of all the work going on at the port. We made our way off the ship carrying our own bags around 9. We were in a taxi heading for the airport in about 15 minutes.
In conclusion it was probably the best vacation that I had ever been on! We are definitely hooked on cruising! And will definitely sail with NCL and or the SKY again! The Freestyle experience suited us perfectly!