Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by honeychile: Met my SKY high expectations
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Met my SKY high expectations
If some of the larger cruise ships are like floating cities, the SKY is like a floating village. The SKY is small enough to learn your way around quickly and trekking from one end of the ship to the other is neither confusing nor arduous. This was my second time on the SKY and I think it is charming. But read the reviews carefully because even in cruising, there are "different strokes for different folks." I cruised with my sister and both of us are in our 50's with grown children and grandchildren.
Embarkation was a breeze. We are low-level Latitudes members, but still were able to board ahead of others. Nice! We chose to roll our own luggage on this time and I recommend this. The SKY offered seating in the dining room as well as the buffets. As we were in no hurry, we made our way to the dining room, parked our luggage and ordered a lovely lunch while seated by a window overlooking the water. By the time we finished our leisurely lunch, the rooms were available, so we More rolled our suitcases to our rooms and were able to make the cabin our home-away-from-home right away.
The public rooms were all clean and more than adequate. I love the bright and cheerful look of the SKY. During our stay, we noticed staff cleaning the glass-front atrium elevators and all public areas were kept spotless. I don't believe I saw trash or litter at any time.
Our cabin had an ocean view and included a very large round porthole type window. It afforded a view and kept the cabin bright. Our cabin was large enough for two women. I imagine a couple would be comfortable, too. I don't believe the small couch would be comfortable or practical for a third person, even though it's advertised as a 3-person cabin. Maybe it would be useful for a small child. Bathroom and counter space was adequate. Occasionally our room was a little warm, but it's hard to fault the cruise line when the temps were blistering.
We didn't use the fitness room, but brought our own fitness hula hoops for fun on deck. The SKY has adequate room for that activity without bothering anyone else or impeding traffic.
The rate of our cruise was excellent, but we had booked 9 months in advance, so we expected to get a good rate. I notice that costs have gone up, though, and doubt I can book another cruise at such a low rate.
We love dining on the SKY. We ate most of our meals in the dining room and enjoyed the leisurely pace and the opportunity to make good choices. I am always surprised to hear of people complaining about cruise fare, especially on the SKY. Everything I ordered was cooked skillfully and beautifully presented. Wait staff was courteous and prompt. One evening, I heard a solo diner say, "I'm just not seeing anything I like on this menu," and I felt sorry for her. A glance in her direction revealed a young, overly well-nourished individual who clearly had little difficulty finding meals that suited. I don't require cosseting and fawning and it's hard for me to believe that a reasonable person couldn't find several delicious choices from every menu. I have diabetes and so have to choose very carefully, but never had a problem with the dining room menus. We ate a few meals at the buffets and other free venues and found them excellent, too. I don't like the elbow jostling of a buffet and often make bad decisions there -- but there were plenty of healthy choices available.
We caught two shows while on board and loved the musical review/dancing. Several of the dancers were present at the White Hot Party and we had opportunity to speak to a couple of them and enjoyed that. We are not late night party people and so I can't comment about that opportunity (or lack thereof). It seemed that late night opportunities were abundant for those who cared to seek them out. I heard a young woman mention that she was unhappy with the late-night partying available, but as that wasn't one of the compelling reasons for my cruise, I was happy with all entertainment provided. Our room steward was competent and quickly attended to all our requests (mostly for additional towels and other routine questions).
We chose two shore excursions and enjoyed both. On Grand Bahama, we took the 13 miles bike trip. I highly recommend this. It was hot, but the trip included a little bit of everything including the chance to eat lunch in a garden setting, swim on a beautiful beach, use canoes/kayaks, get a glimpse of the dolphins, shop, and learn much history. Mario was our biking tour guide and you won't be disappointed if you book this excursion.
Our other excursion was swimming with the stingrays on Blackbeard Cay and we enjoyed this as well. We came just a short time after Hurricane Irene and the damage was obvious, but everything was back up and running for us. I didn't expect to be able to actually hold a stingray and look at her eye-to-eye—amazing! This was an inexpensive excursion that I highly recommend. I enjoyed the catamaran trip to the island, too.
We were able to make all of our ports, including the private island, which was very satisfying. Again, it was extremely hot, and I was cranky at first, but scouting around a bit located a good, shady resting place on the far end of the beach. We had originally rented a clamshell, but that was disappointing. All of the clamshells were clustered together many rows deep and were hot, with no view of the beach/water, not a breath of air, and the constant beep-beep of a nearby bulldozer. When we asked for a refund, it was instantly given. I hope this situation is remedied as the island renovations are completed.
We felt that we had excellent value for the money we spent. I will gladly enjoy the SKY anytime I am able to afford the luxury of another opportunity. Less
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