It had been 10 years since I had last sailed Norwegian and having just returned from sailing Celebrity and Disney, my expectations were not all that high. Added to it, the reviews of the Sky weren't really mind blowing. But if I sail again on a simple 4 night itinerary to the Bahamas, I'm choosing Norwegian (and yes, I've sailed Carnival and Royal Carribean....and am generally a fan of the latter).
The embarkation was quick, about 10 min., and my stateroom was immediately available. Lunch at the buffet was packed, but it always is.
I had an outside cabin with a porthole and though a little small, it was well apppointed and comfortable. The mattress was a little firm, but that suits me fine. The bathroom did not have ammenities...just soap and shampoo in dispensers by the sink and in the shower. The room steward was very friendly and did a nice job throughout the week.
This Sky showed its age a little, but only a little. The public areas were clean and updated, and the decor was warm and inviting (unlike Carnivals gawd awfulness).
We ate in the free formal dining room three nights and the food is about what you would expect. The freestyle dining options allows you to eat whenever and wherever you want to so I missed getting to know my waiter well but I still enjoyed it (more on this later). The food was good but not great. I had a rib-eye one night which I was disappointed in, but the rest was fine, portioned well, and serviced well. What you would expect on any of the comparable lines. The last night we ate at the $25.00 Cagney's Steakhouse, and had a very nice experience. Very nice dining room and very good service. The lump crab cakes were quite delightful, my steak, the 10 oz. fillet, was perfectly cooked, and the berry creme brulee was exceptional.
We were on a full ship charter with our own entertainment so I can't speak to the normal entertainment on board.
We stopped in Freeport, Nassau, and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegians private Island....which I understand they are refurbishing. It needs it, but we had a nice beach day there anyway.
So, why would I choose Norwegian again? On a short itinerary, where the ports of call are not that integral to your decision to sail, this is a perfect choice. The freestyle dining option is great for first time cruisers or even for the experienced ones who just want a laid back change of pace. There's no formal night (which some may miss) and you can dress very casually every night. With no dinner schedule and six restaurants to choose from...one can pretty much do as they please. The ship is not luxurious by any stretch but that's not why you pick this cruise anyway. You will have fun on this ship if your expectations are right...and find little to complain about.