Back in June 2011, I decided to Try NCL's weekender, the Sky, as a break from another cruise line and ship I have been on numerous times. I was turned off by the behavior of fellow guests and regretted my decision. However, I somewhat credited it to booking a less expensive room with only a window view.
Fast forward to 3 months later, September 2011, I decided to give Sky one more try, this time booking a balcony room on deck 9. My experience with another cruise line has taught me that certain crowds can be avoided by room location. Well, that is not the case on Sky. All hours of the day and night, you are immersed in loud and crude behavior. To make matters worse, there is a large enough gap under the doors, light shines in from the hallway. We had to stuff towels under our door in order to dampen the hallway noise. And do you think the balcony is a retreat? Hardly. It's only a retreat if you are a smoker and you plan on partying out there. I enjoyed my balcony, but relaxation could not be had. The trashy conversations heard out there would blow your mind.
It is such a same the crowd on Sky is so bad because the ship has a lot of potential. We ate in Le Bistro and the Lamb dinner was probably the best lamb I have ever eaten. But like the rest of Sky, what could be great ambiance in Le Bistro and in Cagneys is ruined by people who think the whole room should hear their conversations and everyone else should be interested in their drunken tales.
A diamond in the rough on Sky is the Plantation Lounge. Every night at 6, they have 2-4-1 martinis. They have a soft jazz band playing and the atmosphere is very nice. Well, that is, all except on night 1 when a large family, Spanish speaking, decided soft voices and a tranquil atmosphere did not suit them.
Great Stirrup Cay is a joke, that is, if you are familiar with other private islands. They are doing extensive work on the island right now, but for now, the entire ship is confined to one beach. This island, in it's current state, is not comparable to private islands of other cruise lines.
The Sky does have a great pool band, if you can catch them when they are actually playing.
The White Hot Party is fun, but other than people wearing white, it's no different than any other nightly cruise pool party.
I am an avid cruiser and I'm fortunate enough to be able to enjoy 5-6 cruises a year. The Sky, however, will no longer be a consideration for me when choosing a weekend getaway.
Of course, this review is my opinion. If you enjoy staying drunk all weekend, partying non-stop, chain smoking, cursing loudly every other word, and have no regard for your fellow man, this is definitely the cruise for you!