2,252 Norwegian Sky Cruise Reviews

I cruised on the Sky from Oct. 21 to 24. My daughter got married on the ship prior to crusing. The line was very accommodating on allowing non-cruising passengers to attend the wedding. As for the cruise, it was just OK. Our ... Read More
I cruised on the Sky from Oct. 21 to 24. My daughter got married on the ship prior to crusing. The line was very accommodating on allowing non-cruising passengers to attend the wedding. As for the cruise, it was just OK. Our oceanview cabin was smaller than what we are used to being loyal Celebrity customers. The food was average in the main dining room. Our dinner in the Italian restaurant was disappointing as well. Perhaps most noticable in a negative way was that the rooms do not have voicemail or a clock. Having no voicemail made it difficult to communicate with others in our party. We had to rely upon our running into them to make plans. On the postive side, the comedian was very funny and the crew were exceptionally friendly and helpful, especially Sherene in Customer Relations. As for the cost/value. Going to the Bahamas adds a great deal more in port charges than most if not all other ports. We purchased a balcony cabin for our daughter and son-in-law. The cost was more for that cabin on a three-day cruise than we are going to be paying for a concierge on our 13-day transatlantic coming up next month on the Solstice. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
NCL is a lower tier value cruise line and as such my expectations were fairly low as it was just an exercise in taking the whole family on a cruise to see how they liked it. In as such I was pleasantly surprised by the food quality, while ... Read More
NCL is a lower tier value cruise line and as such my expectations were fairly low as it was just an exercise in taking the whole family on a cruise to see how they liked it. In as such I was pleasantly surprised by the food quality, while certainly not spectacular was pretty good for what we had paid. However there was just an unbelievable problem, the beds. I do not know if they salvaged those hard mattresses from a prison yard sale OR if they expected people to actually sleep on bare metal. I had to steal several comforters to craft a nest so I could actually sleep. It is the WORST bedding I have EVER experienced. DO NOT BOOK this line until the moron who thought buying such horrifying bedding is fired. It was awful. Food was ok. Service was spotty (never met our steward). All in all I would have been happy for what I had paid....but the bed was simply a glaring problem. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
It's taken me this long to get home, settled in, and down off the clouds after my back to back cruises on the Norwegian Sky. What an incredible cruise, and what an even more incredible crew!! My trip starts out with the usual ... Read More
It's taken me this long to get home, settled in, and down off the clouds after my back to back cruises on the Norwegian Sky. What an incredible cruise, and what an even more incredible crew!! My trip starts out with the usual arrival at the port of Miami. If you've not sailed out of Miami yet, have no fear, it's completely painless. You'll be dropped off right in front of where you need to be. If you were smart and put your luggage tags on back at the hotel, you'll simply drop them with the luggage handlers and go directly to the port house. At that point, you'll receive a little form to fill out to make sure you don't have the flu or other assorted bugs, and go thru an airport-security type screening checkpoint. As long as you don't have any opened bottles of anything, like at the airport, you will be fine. If you have an unfinished soda, you'll have to leave it behind. If you are staying in the suites or have a VIP designation, then head right over to the VIP Registration office and they will take great care of you while you snack on treats. If not, then proceed to the general registration counter with your flu form, your eRegistration docs (you did print them off, right?), and passport in hand. Hand the agent the paperwork, smile for the camera, present a credit card, and receive you stateroom key card. From there you will go to the waiting area (if you are early) to pause for full clearance of the ship, if it's after twelve, you will saunter right on board. I can tell you that it took longer to type this paragraph than it took me to board. It was smooth, seamless, painless and actually quite fun! As I made the final zig-zag turns and arrived on board, I was met by Richard Matic and Gio, the Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director respectively. They were grinning from ear to ear, waving, and joyously welcoming the guests on board. Now when you consider that this crew does 3 and 4 day cruises back to back, it's no small feat to be so upbeat, charming and energized time after time. Not to mention they are adorable! I'm already excited and I'm not even inside yet! In all fairness, I had met Richard before on the Pearl for my Alaska cruise, but none the less it had been nearly three months and a few thousand passengers for him. Yet he recognized me right away, we shared a big hug and promises to catch up later. He kept that promise and made this cruise one of my favorites. Upon entering Deck 6, you will marvel at the atrium lobby. Unlike the new ships with just 2 or 3 decks of atrium, the Sky's atrium ascends all the way to the top of the ship. The lobby is flanked by glass elevators that offer a fantastic view as you ascend! The lobby is bright and cheerful as are the assorted crew members all awaiting to take your wine order, sell you a soda package, hold your carryon's while you wander and wait for your stateroom, take your dinner reservations, and direct you to where you might find lunch or anything else your little heart desires. As the days passed, I experienced nearly everything possible on the Sky. And I do mean everything! From food, to fitness, to entertainment, to relaxation, to exploration, to more fun that I though imaginable sailing alone. That's right, this was a solo cruise for me, and I must say that I was attended to with as much care and interest as the larger parties and full families staying in the Suites. The cuisine was fantastic! I did eat in the Palace Main Dining room once and the food was delicious and the service perfect. I also ate in my favorite haunt, Le Bistro and the meal was nothing short of exquisite. Don't leave without trying the French Onion Soup and the Escargot. There is an up-charge for this restaurant but it will be the best $20 you spend on board. Another up-charge restaurant I sampled was La Cucina, and it didn't disappoint. Try your best to avoid the traditional pasta favorites and delight in some non-traditional but scrumptious Italian delights! Not because they aren't good, but because you shouldn't miss out eating something truly out of the ordinary. My breakfasts in Cagney's were way too yummy with my favorite being what I would call "pound cake turned into French toast"...need I say more? Then there is a buffet of fresh fruits and pastries that should be enough to fill you for the entire day. The Garden Cafe Buffet was adequate with plenty of selections that you would expect at a buffet, with some surprises such as some Indian and Asian food selections. I do miss the fresh chocolate chip cookies that are usually there, but can I really complain with a dozen other desserts to choose from? I do enjoy comedy and magic, but typically these shows on a cruise ship are more of an option for your evening's entertainment, rather than a "must see". My mind was changed when I attended Rich Purpura's comedy and magic show. I was hooked, and attended each and every one of his shows and events. I laughed so hard, and I can't begin to tell you why. There isn't a joke I could retell, because it wasn't really so much an "act" as a conversation with a man musing about things on the ship and in life. It was total hilarity on a level I've not experienced in a long time. The Norwegian Sky Production company was yet again another surprise. I've sailed several NCL ships, and I'll be the first to say that I miss the Jean Ann Ryan Company (JAC) performances. Most ship's productions companies I've seen were good and entertaining, but not the caliber of the JAC's. This theory was dispelled on the Sky. The Sky Production Company not only met and matched but exceeded what I'd seen with JAC. The connection between the performers was authentic and electrifying. You could see the chemistry and feel the energy among them and it was contagious! In addition to the regular stage entertainment, the Cruise Director Staff kept anyone and everyone that wanted to be involved very busy with an assortment of onboard activities that not only pleased but genuinely entertained. There was something for everyone among the assorted classes, tastings, clinics, game shows, bingo events, and exciting nightclub entertainment. Just to name a few of my favorites: Dancing with the Stars; The Fountains Show; Adult Quest (if you are over 18, you MUST do this); 70's and 80's Disco; White Hot Party; the Ship-N-Males Revue; and the assorted crazy pool deck antics such as the Mr. Sexy Legs Competition; Ice Sculpting demo; the Pub Hub crawl; and more. All that was just on the ship! They continued to carry on with more activities on the beach on NCL's private island "Great Stirrup Caye". Now admittedly, I spent my time holding a beach lounger down and not participating, but there were ongoing events on the beach such as a Hula Hoop Competition; a Limbo Contest; Parasailing; Snorkeling; Jet Ski use; and Kayaking, along with great live Caribbean music and a beach BBQ that left nothing behind. I would like to pause here and take a moment to mention the Cruise Director by name, Richard Matic. He has to be one of the most dedicated and under-rated Cruise Directors in NCL's fleet. You will not only have the time of your life on a ship with him, but you will leave the cruise with a new friend and having a better experience for knowing him. Richard went out of his way to make his guests feel personally welcome. If you sail the Sky, and Richard is still the CD be sure to tell him that "Tonette says hello" and if you are so inclined give him a great big hug. Richard heads a fantastic Cruise Directors staff including Assistant Cruise Director Gio, who also is an amazing personality that will leave a great big smile on your face every time you chat with him. I'm sure we will see Gio on a ship of his own as CD very soon! Please tell him hello for me also, and don't forget the hug! Another person that single handedly made my cruise everything it was, is Concierge Omar O'Besso. You simply cannot find a more dedicated concierge in all of NCL's fleet. Omar loves his job, but more than that he takes a very sincere interest in his guests in a way that I've not encountered before. By the time your cruise is over, you will want to take him home with you! Here is another chance for you to hug another NCL crew member for me! Give Omar two!! The Hotel Director -â€" Steven Knot, F&B Director - Mike Van Bokhoven, and Beverage Director - Raj Rodrigues, were also outstanding examples of Officers who take great pleasure in what they do, and that being making sure you are having the best experience possible. I don't think these men ever slept, as I saw them first thing when I got up and they were still going late into the night. I just have to add a couple of points of interest, and insist that you verify these facts. The Hotel Director and the Guest Services Manager can dance a very steamy, albeit rough tango! The Beverage Director is from India and quite possibly a reincarnation of Michael Jackson. These details may seem silly (and they are), but they attest to what lengths the Officers of this crew go to in order to not only entertain guests, but have a good time with each other! I've just been mentioning Officers, but let me assure you the remaining crew is equally as dedicated. I can attest that my room steward Gusti on the Norway deck, never sleeps and spent the entire cruise posted outside my stateroom door awaiting my every request. The charming young lady, Uneza Shaikin selling the "chain by the inch" in the gift shop never failed to stop me for a hug and a hello. The Cruise Consultant Martin took it upon himself to personally resolve an issue I was having with my Latitudes number without my even asking. Christian in the Crossings Dining Room met me on embarkation day, and she never failed to remember my first name. I could go on and on. Even the photographer staff is friendly and fun. The photos are still FAR too expensive, but I have to admit their charm even seduced me into purchasing a couple of the prints. You just can't help yourself when the photo was so great (me in my Queen of Hearts Halloween costume on the grand staircase), and the gang is just so friendly. Always a stop for me was the fitness center and the spa. The fitness center is more than adequate with state of the art equipment, and plenty of it. There is a free weight section as well as the rows of treadmills and ellipticals all facing the large picture windows with a great view. I have to wonder though, why do they attach televisions to the tops of those things when there is such an amazing view?? LOL I never had a problem finding a free machine. I did take a couple of classes but have to say I was a bit frustrated a couple of times, so didn't attend the usual amount that I normally would. Once the instructor decided to do "abs" instead of what was on the schedule which was "stretch and relax"; and once during a stretch class a cartoon was on the television at a pretty hefty volume. I was thinking more like Enya for a stretch class, and not Sponge Bob. I'm sure I could have said something, so the onus is on me for not doing so, but just some observations. The spa was nice, crisp, refreshing, and rejuvenating looking with a full salon and barber services, along with assorted spa treatments. There is a small one-person hydro therapy tub but it's an extra charge unless you purchase a Poultice Massage. I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't able to use it for a bit before my Bamboo Massage, but those are the rules. There is also a steam room and sauna in the locker room, which you can use if you purchase a spa treatment. I took the spa tour on the first day, which is always fun, and you can sign up for the drawing which were several really great prizes. I signed up for a Bamboo Massage and a Therapie' Facial. Both were very enjoyable albeit it still pretty pricey. Make sure you take advantage of port day specials to make it affordable. I must say that I prefer the NCL Mandara Spa's with the Relaxation Spa section, but considering this is a small ship, they did quite well with their space. The spa staff is friendly and helpful and knowledgeable. Since I was on a back-to-back, I'd like to share some about that experience. I was lucky and was assigned the same stateroom, so that meant that I didn't have to pack up at the end of my first leg. I was able to get up, go for my run, work out in the gym, shower and get dressed, have a lovely breakfast in Cagney's, and leisurely make my way to Captain Cook's Bar at 10am. I was met there by a crew member from Guest Services that walked me off the ship, and handed me to a Port Crew Member who literally walked me off the ship, and down to Immigration and Customs. This was a simple process of handing them my Customs Document, my passport, smiling and answering "yes" to the question of "So you had so much fun you are staying on board?" I was then again escorted to the waiting area, and in very short order, as soon as the ship cleared, I was the first to be escorted back on board. I slipped back up to my stateroom, grabbed my iPad, and found a spot in the sun on Deck 11 to relax and await the rest of the new batch of passengers. Then I had a bright idea and went up to the spa and took advantage of it being completely empty and got a massage and facial. Ahhhhhh! When I emerged from my bliss, the ship was full of new guests and my adventure continued! The ports of call we visited were Freeport, Nassau and Great Stirrup Caye (GSC), all islands in the Bahamas. The four day portion of my cruise stopped at all three ports. The three day portion stopped at Nassau and GSC only. I must admit I didn't spend much time on shore in either Freeport or Nassau. My plan, to be honest, was to simply stay on board and exquisitely take part in every aspect of my floating 5 star resort at sea, but I did venture on land twice and want to share those highlights with you. Freeport is your typical port pier shopping experience with the "straw market" hawkers and a live Caribbean band that breaks into action whenever a passenger appears on the gangway coming off the ship. I can't tell you anything about any of the ship's excursions or any excursions for that matter, nor the famous or infamous "Our Lucaya" as I didn't make it anywhere near it. I can share with you one of the highlights of my cruise, and that was a visit to the Perfume Factory in the old International Bazaar in Freeport. I had read about it online, and decided that was my one stop. I disembarked and tried to get a taxi. "How much to the International Bazaar?" I asked. "It's closed lady, go to Our Lucaya, its better!" Now I knew this was coming. From having read on CruiseCritic, the taxi drivers make $5 to take you to Our Lucaya and only $4 to the International Bazaar, so they tend to stretch the truth. It's true that about 50% of the shops in the International Bazaar are closed. Due to the hurricanes and the main hotel there closing, many shops just never reopened. There is endless gossip about how may be buying the hotel and resurrecting the area, but those rumors have been going on for a few years now. Who really knows? One historical icon that still stands at the International Bazaar is the Perfume Factory. Its history goes back being founding in 1969 by Albert Whisnant, later sold to Peter and Patricia Aston in 1976, and since Mr. Aston's death in 1993, is now ran by Mrs. Aston and daughter Chrisanne, but you can read all about that on their website. In brief, it's a free standing building that appears to be a replica of an old Bahamian Mansion. Inside, your nose will be delighted with an exotic dance of refreshing delightful fragrances coming from tropical perfumes, lotions, oils and soaps. The friendly staff will be grateful you came and more than happy to escort you throughout the premises for a tour. If you are so inclined, you can sit down before a myriad of essential oils and create your very own fragrance, which you will hand mix and create yourself. For a very reasonable fee, you will leave with 1.5oz of your signature scent and a certificate of registry for your formula. It may sound very kitschy, but I spent my afternoon taking the tour, creating my fragrance and speaking with Chrisanne (daughter of the Astons). No doubt this lovely woman has given this tour hundreds, no thousands of times, but by her demeanor with me, I would have sworn it was one of her first. Her excitement and joy in helping someone understand fragrances was contagious. So I simply had to create my own. Make the time to visit the Perfume Factory. If Chrisanne is there, please tell her that I said hello. Great Stirrup Caye is NCL's private island that is still under construction. That said, there are many things ready and waiting for you. There is a functional dock now that the tenders use, and getting off and on the Caye is very easy. Unless of course there are high winds and rough seas. It is said that 2 out of 3 stops at GSC are cancelled due to this condition, so keep that in mind. My back-to-back had two stops planned at GSC, and one was cancelled. The day we made it to the Caye was lovely! There is a nice stretch of beach along a protected cove that makes for softly rolling waves onto a white sand beach. They still need to do some work grooming the beach regularly, as the coral embankment surrounding the cove is in an ever constant state of depositing broken pieces of coral and shells. This isn't a big deal, but be sure to bring aqua socks or beach shoes if you have tender tootsies. NCL's Cruise Director's Staff has a long long list of assorted beach activities going throughout the day, along with a variety of aquatic excursions. You won't be bored. There is live music, a simple straw market, three full bars, and a beach BBQ buffet that won't leave you wanting for anything. I chose to make it my mission to make sure that my beach lounger didn't try to escape and kept myself firmly planted on it most of the day. There are lots of beach loungers and beach chairs available at no charge, but I would still suggest you get off the boat early if you wish to make sure you have one closer to the water's edge. There are no beach umbrellas, but you can rent a clam shell style shelter. The cabanas are not yet completed, but there are a few assorted buildings that you can seek some refuge from the sun. There are also palm trees a plenty if you can score one early. Another blissful day on a white sand beach in a tropical island setting. Here are some random assorted tips: *Grab your breakfast and slip into the Long Boards Bar to eat it. It's quieter than in the buffet, and offers a unique venue for breakfast. *There is a fantastic bar outside Cagney's called the Plantation. They rarely advertise on ship, but most nights from 6p-8p they offer two-for-one martinis! The best alcohol deal on the ship! *There is a "quiet zone" just above the pool deck around the front of the ship; it has a nice quiet private hot tub and splash pool. *Take in the Art Auction preview for the free champagne and you might learn something about art. *Take in the Gift Shop Presentation for free liquor tastings. *Take advantage of the laundry special half way thru the cruise. Get all those delicates done before you go home. It's a great deal AND they fold. *At least ONCE, get up and go have coffee on the far aft of the ship on Deck 11 and watch the sun rise. *Do NOT miss the Fountains Show or anything with Rich Purpura. *Give Richard, Omar and Gio big hugs for me...did I say that already? Bon voyage! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
At first, I was a little hesitant to book this cruise based on some of the bad reviews I read here. But I was throughly impressed with this ship. Embarkment was smooth, and it didn't take as long as they said for our rooms to be ... Read More
At first, I was a little hesitant to book this cruise based on some of the bad reviews I read here. But I was throughly impressed with this ship. Embarkment was smooth, and it didn't take as long as they said for our rooms to be ready or our luggage to be delivered. The rooms were fine, it was myself and my BF and there was plenty of room for the two of us. The bathroom was small but it served it's purpose. I read several bad reviews regarding the food on this ship, but let me tell you...it was great! I'm a very picky water and I didn't get a meal on this ship that didn't satisfy. I'm wasn't very fond of the buffet, but I'm not a buffet person. Our breakfast and dinner was in the main dining room, The Palace. We had 1 meal at The Crossings main dining room and it was just as good. For our late night cravings, we ate at the sportsbar around the corner from the Garden Cafe Buffet. Can't think of the name but it's the only place that's open for sit down ordering up until 5:30 am. We never encountered a long line or wait at any of these eateries. I wonder if other shipmates knew of these options??? The highlight of the cruise was Great Stirrup Cay. The reviews I read led me to believe that the Island BBQ was lacking...boy was it NOT! The layout was superb and the facility where the food was set up was VERY nice! This was a 'buffet style' BBQ that looked like something you'd see on the travel channel! The food selections were great! Ribs, chicken, burgers, hotdogs, differnet types of salads and plenty of side dishes, fruit, and deserts. The island itself was breathtaking and contrary to the reviews, there was not a long wait for a tender to the island. In my opinion, you should book a shore excursion for Freeport Grand Bahamas, otherwise this island will disappoint. We chose the sea safari and snorkle and it was FUN! In Nassau, there's more to do since the ship docks at the straw market area where there's plenty to see and do downtown. Be sure to book the Atlantis excursion of your choice, we did the beach break and it was well worth the money! Overall, I was very please with this cruise and will book future cruises with this line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
After reading reviews, i was a little nervous about entertainment and customer service aboard this ship. I was gladly mistaken! Customer service was great! The staff, no matter what rank, would have conversations with the fellow cruisers. ... Read More
After reading reviews, i was a little nervous about entertainment and customer service aboard this ship. I was gladly mistaken! Customer service was great! The staff, no matter what rank, would have conversations with the fellow cruisers. Public areas were always clean and well kept. In the main dining rooms, were great. I did notice that the staff were more polite in Palace, not so much in Crossings. Il Idagio was very tasty. Although the tables in this restaurant were tiny, it was nicely set up. All the restaurants were never crowded. The buffet restaurants were always adequate with food and staff were always cleaning up all the time. The restrooms were always clean and stocked. Entertainment was good, not great. I thought the shows in stardust, that included dancers, could have been better, although husband liked them. My favorite were shows with comedian Rich Purpura. Trivias were very good. Interesting questions. Our favorite staff member was Elena from Romania and Erin. They were really polite and always helping out. The adult quest show was was good. The only thing i did not like about the entertainment is that they did big events in small areas of the ship, such as the adult quest show. The white hot party was a blast. Fun to watch and fun to join and dance. We did not get to go to the cruise line's private island due to high waves. This is not the cruise line's fault. They did do a good job by changing the itinerary to accommodate more shows and entertainment. Bbq buffet was moved to the pool deck. The $5 24/7 pizza was very good. The room service menu was indeed very short compared to other cruise lines, but delivered adequately fast. Room attendant did very well adjusting my personal sheets due to detergent allergies. Daily itineraries were delivered on time every night. Boarding and unboarding the ship was done very fast. No waiting long times. Overall, the ship exceeded our expectations of a small cruise ship. There was always something to do or relax. I would give this experience a 4/5 stars Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We were a little hesitant to book this cruise given the low percentage of people who liked their experience on this ship, but are glad we went with our gut and booked it. Overall, this was a great experience for a first-time cruiser. We ... Read More
We were a little hesitant to book this cruise given the low percentage of people who liked their experience on this ship, but are glad we went with our gut and booked it. Overall, this was a great experience for a first-time cruiser. We loved it and would definitely consider going with Norwegian again. What we loved: - The food was fantastic. The buffet was what one would expect of a buffet, but the omelet bar in the morning was a nice touch. Dinners were great. However, we found the options at the Crossings restaurant were much better both in terms of variety and taste. Cagney's is worth the extra money. We both thought it was among the top 3 steaks we ever had. One thing they don't tell you for the specialty restaurants is that there is no limit on the number of appetizers, entrees, etc. that you can order. - On a similar note, the restaurant and bar staff was excellent. They were very friendly and attentive and as far as the restaurants go, they anticipated our every need. - It's pretty well-known that alcohol is where cruise lines make their money back. However, one of the great things we found on the Sky is that the Plantation Bar has a 2 for 1 martini special at their bar from 6-8pm every night. It proved to be a great savings for us. - The embarking and disembarking processes were very easy. - We were glad we boarded early because the pool was open and the buffet and bars were too. One word of advice - wear or carry your swimsuit with you so you can take advantage of the pool and sundeck while they're preparing your room. - With the one exception I mention below, the activities on the ship were great. Lots to do all the time. - The bands and djs were excellent. We both love music and there was always somebody playing something somewhere. - The live shows were good. The comedian was okay, but a bit corny for our tastes. I enjoy Broadway shows, so I'm a little more particular than most on this. If you don't see live theater a lot then you will likely be very impressed by the quality of the shows. I will say though that I appreciated that the Broadway revue used more modern musicals such as Wicked, Jersey Boys and In The Heights. I was expecting Rogers and Hammerstein-type stuff and was pleasantly surprised. - We are glad we went with a freestyle cruise. It was nice to be able to go to a restaurant at whatever time you wanted and eat. It definitely took the stress of having to watch a clock away. We also liked that we didn't have to bother to bring formal wear with us. And what we didn't love (These weren't huge deal-breakers, but if it weren't for the first two items we would have given the cruise a 5): - The captain had to cancel our trip to the cruise line's private island due to choppy weather. Totally understandable. However, it appears that the activities team was grossly unprepared. I'm sure this isn't the first time they've had to skip a trip and spend the day at sea, so one would expect that they would already have a Plan B ready to go for such cases. First of all, they issued two itineraries - preliminary and final. There was a lot of confusion as to which was which. They cancelled quite a few of the day activities that were originally planned for those who stayed on the ship and instead went with things that seemed more "slapped-together". Not to mention the bulk of activities were geared towards kids/families. There was also confusion among the staff as to what they were doing. Kitchen staff was putting out equipment for a pool-side grill, only to change their minds and put them away an hour later while the social director was announcing that there would be a pool side cookout, which didn't happen. So basically we spent the day sitting by the pool because there wasn't much else going on. - The room staff was just okay. While our room was clean every day, we did have a couple of issues. First, we borrowed an ironing board and iron (would have been great if they were in the room as a standard). One of the stewards came to the door to reclaim it as I had just gotten out of the shower. I told him as such and he continued to hassle me about it. Not cool. And while this may be nitpicky, we only had one day where we got a towel animal left on the bed, and it case across as we were lucky to get that. The animal had a note attached to it that someone had lost a suitcase and if anyone had it to please return it. So it basically seemed like the only reason we got the towel animal is because they wanted something in return. - I'm a bit of a karaoke fan, so this is geared towards others who are as well. Their "book" (aka song selection) was sorely lacking. It was out of order and many songs weren't properly cataloged (wrong artist, etc.). The book was also dated - no Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, Bruno Mars, etc., (the most recent artist seemed to be Amy Winehouse) and was missing standard songs/artists such as Journey, Patsy Cline's Crazy, etc. While I certainly wouldn't let this dissuade me in going with Norwegian, there are probably better activities on board. However, if you rarely do karaoke, then you probably won't care about these things. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
after booking this cruise almost a year in advance we were more the excited to finally be on the sky, and it did not disappoint! we sailed 9-5-11 to 9-10-11 in a inside cabin. the cabin size was small but not a problem for the 2 of us, we ... Read More
after booking this cruise almost a year in advance we were more the excited to finally be on the sky, and it did not disappoint! we sailed 9-5-11 to 9-10-11 in a inside cabin. the cabin size was small but not a problem for the 2 of us, we were only in the room to sleep and due to the room being so dark made the very easy to do. my only con on our room was the bed, it was very very very hard! we asked the room Steward for a topper and that helped a little, other then that we had no problem with the room. we stayed at the Bahia mar in ft laudable 3 nights before we cruised to extend our honeymoon a bit and took a shared shuttle to port of Miami. we arrived around 12:30 and we were having lunch at the palace by 1:15. after lunch looked around the ship a little and by 2pm rooms were ready. we dropped our luggage and headed to the pool deck found a lounge chair and had our first cold drink watching us sail away from Miami. we had a great time on the ship. food was good, breakfast buffets where really good, trust me you will not go hungry! entertainment we enjoyed and there was so much to choose from. pools and hot-tubs fantastic, never had a problem getting a lounge chair, no chair hogs on our ship. our room was always clean, with 2 towel animals. though we never seen our room steward but once he did a great job! all in all we had a great time on the sky, met some very nice people and enjoyed being pampered for 5 days! we are looking forward to booking another cruise for next summer with ncl! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I must say being new to cruising, this only being my third, I was a little hesitant to try a different cruise line (Norwegian) but my husband won out. He always does! That being said, the Norwegian Sky was amazingly clean! I would give it ... Read More
I must say being new to cruising, this only being my third, I was a little hesitant to try a different cruise line (Norwegian) but my husband won out. He always does! That being said, the Norwegian Sky was amazingly clean! I would give it a 4 star on that alone. Maybe it was because the Carnival ships are older, I don't know. Embarkation was excellent. My brother and his fiancee came over from England and we had four from US (6 of us altogether)and we had no problems with passports or security. Excellent. The rooms seemed to me to be a bit smaller on the Sky and I preferred the showers and room setup on the Victory, but here again - CLEAN! I LOVED the dining arrangement on the Sky! We had no problem with seating. Tables were always available. The staff were excellent and, again - CLEAN! The only thing I did find was that the menu choices seemed to be limited in comparison to Carnival. I preferred Carnival's food and of course the entertainment factor is missing on Sky. The buffet area on the Sky, definitely superior to Carnival. Entertainment: better on Carnival by far! Disembarkation: a breeze. All in all, it depends what you are looking for. Both cruise lines have different personalities. If you're the party hard type, go Carnival. If you're picky about a clean ship, go Norwegian. If you're big on the entertainment factor, go Carnival. If you're more into sitting on the balcony and kicking back, go Norwegian. 4 out of 5 stars though for sheer cleanliness! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We were 1st time cruisers on this cruise. The ship was in good condition. They keep it clean and seem to always be painting or cleaning. The workers are very friendly and always smile. Stateroom was cleaned well everyday, even though ... Read More
We were 1st time cruisers on this cruise. The ship was in good condition. They keep it clean and seem to always be painting or cleaning. The workers are very friendly and always smile. Stateroom was cleaned well everyday, even though on check-in we had to have our room steward come and clean some areas he missed. There was plenty of space in the room. Had a fridge and we removed all the contents put in drawer and used for our own beverages. We we able to bring a few plastic beverages (wink,wink) in our suitcase with no issues. Bed was comfortable and no problems with rocking or noise at night. Our room was mid-ship deck 8 porthole window. Easy access to everything. Casino was fun, they had 2 POKER Tournaments and they were very professional. Not electronic and had real dealers with real payouts. My wife does not gamble but even found a quarter filling machine she loved to play. DRINKS - MIXED Strong! Loved it, they give you your $7 worth. Bar tab was about $40 a day for us. The ship is laid out really well. The fitness center was small. Pool deck was fun. Hot tubs were hot and bubbly. We enjoyed the live music on deck. The sail-away parties were the BEST! They do a fun time on this ship! The entertain was great! Rich the comedian was hilarious! I can only say the Broadway show was a bit boring. The music in the club was always good and the dance floor full. Everyone having fun dancing. 70's night was awesome, I was picked for a village person and had a blast! The entertainment staff is very good! We had so much fun at WHITE HOT PARTY night. That was the best deck party ever, YouTube it to see yourself. The Cruise Directer is very good. The DJ would not play requests from me and that was strange. He only played his own selection. Good but missing the newer music. Food was good, buffet had a big selection and had different and same dishes throughout the day. MDR was good, nothing fancy but good food.Room service menu was small. Ice easy to get just call steward. Omelette station was bad, I love my eggs on vacation and this was disappointing. It is setup poorly and the people working it when we went were not good.Got raw eggs once and felt sick, beware! I didn't go back and I was fine, other food for breakfast was good. At lunch a couple of days there were trays of fresh cut AVACADO slices. Loved that! Private Island was a fun beach day and the BBQ there was good. They had really good chicken and ribs with a yummy BBQ sauce. They have everything you can imagine to rent or do there. Not many fish to see when you snorkel. Bring your own mask. The other ports are OK, recommend the cracked Conch. There are some stands in freeport right by the boat dock that have good Conch. There is also a bar around the corner by front of ship that has WIFI for CHEAP. Easy to bring a ipad there. Also can buy plastic bottles of alcohol to bring in your pocket back on the ship. This was not a issue, very easy and common. Nassau was just to shop. They have all that cheap souvenir stuff and lots more food everywhere. The locals are nice but a little pushy trying to make a living. Overall we really enjoyed this 4 night cruise. NCL spends the extra money to give you a great experience. I don't know how anyone could not like this ship or its food or staff. Everything was good. NOT 5 STAR. It did exceeded what we expected in a cruise. NCL SKY made us want to cruise again so bad we ended up booking another cruise a week after we returned from the SKY. We have now been on the Carnival Paradise and will be reviewing that next. With that said we made a pros and cons list between both 4 day cruises and NCL SKY did win. Based solely on the ship,staff,entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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 ... Read More
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! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
The ship is not real big, so it does not have a ton of amenities on board. This is fine as it stops at a different port everyday - no "fun" day at sea. The room was clean and well maintained. The cabin stewards did a great ... Read More
The ship is not real big, so it does not have a ton of amenities on board. This is fine as it stops at a different port everyday - no "fun" day at sea. The room was clean and well maintained. The cabin stewards did a great job with the service. My only compliant, is that we never got clean washcloths during the day. They would remove them and not replace them until the last service was done. I think they had a linen shortage. Entertainment was ok, very basic, but again with a new port everyday and the smaller size of the ship they did ok. My biggest complaint was the poor flow and presentation of the buffet. Plates were always hot. Not good, when you are getting fresh fruit or salad. The salad lines had the plates, followed by the toppings, then the lettuce and dressing. The lettuce should have been the first item. Many of the salad dressings were simply left in the kraft dressing bottles and placed on the buffet. Looked like my grandpa's backyard bar-b-que. Not a presentation I expect on a cruise ship. They had trouble with the waffle irons every morning. Out of the two, usually one was broke everyday. The omelet station was in the corner of the buffet lines, so it always created a traffic jam. If you opted not to wait in the mop for a waffle or omelet, they did have scrambled eggs. GROSS - that is all I can say. I tried them one day and they were disgusting. One other cruises that I have taken, the dining rooms was open in the morning if you preferred a sit down breakfast. This one did not have that option, so the choice was limited to the buffet. Room service for breakfast was also very limited, basically pastries and fruit, no hot items. The evening dining room experience was much better, food was good, service was good and I really like the "free-style" dining. Eat dinner when you wanted. Bottom line, they need to recruit a new team to do the buffet items. Determine a better design for the flow and presentation and perhaps open the dining room for a sit down breakfast option. Everything else was good overall. I would try Norwegian again, just probably not the Sky. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This was our 6th cruise & our 1st on NCL. The others are all Carnival. We were traveling with several other couples and we were not the ones who picked this cruise. We flew into Fort Lauderdale, it was way cheaper than flying to ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise & our 1st on NCL. The others are all Carnival. We were traveling with several other couples and we were not the ones who picked this cruise. We flew into Fort Lauderdale, it was way cheaper than flying to Miami. We took a shuttle (SAS, Steve is awesome, best prices I found) to Miami, Holiday Inn Port of Miami. A short taxi ride to the cruise terminal & embarkation. The terminal was not as nice as Carnival's and embarkation involved standing in line for awhile. Just the first of many lines on this cruise! Carnival assigns zone numbers & you can remain seated until time to sign in. After completing registration we headed to the Lido Deck and poolside cocktails. Everyone was VERY friendly and the ship was clean and made a great first impression. The cabin was very small, but we had a balcony, so that made it OK. Very little storage. A closet with a safe & 3 very small drawers on one side, room to hang things on the other, that was it! Pack light if you choose this ship! The bathroom was tiny & the shower was claustrophobic! It was nearly impossible to shave my legs! Horrible experience... There was a small sofa & a desk with a mini-bar/fridge. The queen size bed was very hard and the pillows were not comfy. The balcony had 2 chairs & a table. It was just big enough for 2 people. Our cabin steward did a great job of keeping the cabin cleaned. Only 2 nights provided towel animals though. We found the ship to be pretty confusing to navigate. I could never remember where the shops were. I usually enjoy spending some time on the promenade deck watching people reading, playing games, etc. There was no place like that on this ship. It felt very closed in. Carnival ships seem much more open. The pool deck was great. It never felt crowded, but the bars closed pretty early. I did like that the waiters didn't swarm us asking to bring more drinks. As on every cruise, drinks are outrageously expensive. I felt that entertainment was a bit lacking. 1 comedian, not so funny. We never stayed to see a whole show. I didn't feel like the crew made us aware of what was going on. The daily newsletter didn't give much info either. I may be old-fashioned, but I hated Free-style dining. Once we found a dining room, we had to wait in line to get seated. The service was not real good in either dining room. It felt very unorganized and the food was not real good. We always enjoy the relationships developed with the servers assigned to us for the cruise. The extra fee restaurant, Cagney's, was nice. Our server was very friendly and did a nice job with our table of 6. The steaks were very good. The rest of the food was just OK. Shrimp cocktail yielded THREE small shrimp, asparagus = 3 small stalks, salad was dripping with very runny dressing. Coffee and dessert were superb! It was not worth the $60+ price though. Buffets were OK. Breakfast was best. Made to order omelets and waffles. Long-board bar offered pub style food until 4:00am at no additional charge. Eugene was friendly and provided good service. Ports were Freeport, Nassau & NCL's private island. I don't know why they stop at Freeport, there isn't much to do and you must get transportation into town to do anything. Just a bit of shopping as you get off the ship. We spent the day poolside on the ship. Nassau was nice. Paradise Island and Atlantis resort were beautiful. The private island wasn't what I expected. It is undergoing a lot of construction and the beaches were kinda rocky. I hear the buffet was good, but we got there too late to partake. They only serve from 11-2... The tender process is very tedious & getting on and off was very rough. Overall, Norwegian Sky is okay. If you like to work at your cruise, you can have a good time. I doubt that we will "freestyle" again. Back to Carnival for us! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
"Passengers are greeted with a glass of bubbly when they board the ship, as well as a "Taste of Freestyle" -- a sampling of food choices from the ship's specialty restaurants, all of which now feature new menus. ... Read More
"Passengers are greeted with a glass of bubbly when they board the ship, as well as a "Taste of Freestyle" -- a sampling of food choices from the ship's specialty restaurants, all of which now feature new menus. It's a very nice touch. Even though I don't drink, just knowing that it is offered made the welcome that much more gracious.".....HMMM that must be an older headline as we got none of the above... The trip was ok and there were no major mishaps but as they say the devil is in the details...We tried to get an upgraded room explaining that it was our anniversary, and were told the ship was full. Ok no problem. Returning to the room there was nothing there. Not that we were expecting it but on other Cruise lines we have done the same and received a bottle of champagne and choc. covered Strawberries, which were not even available on board the SKY even for purchase! Also the pull out couch in the cabin...Broken, towel animals...extinct! Chocolates on the pillow...none... Also the food selection never changed...everyday same choices even in the dining rooms. The food was ok but cant imagine eating it everyday! Variety is the spice of life. Bed upgrades...I'd argue that too unless you enjoy sleeping on a rock. Wish there were more positives to list. Everyone told me there would be but...guess not. I will say though that the shows and entertainment were good. Even the fountains at the end was great, despite the accident!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Dacwpark On Sept 5-9, 2011 my wife, daughter, son and mother in law sailed on the NCL SkY out of Miami. We previously sailed on the SKY exactly 3 years ago. I have been on RCCL, Princess, Carnival and NCL previously, and this was ... Read More
Dacwpark On Sept 5-9, 2011 my wife, daughter, son and mother in law sailed on the NCL SkY out of Miami. We previously sailed on the SKY exactly 3 years ago. I have been on RCCL, Princess, Carnival and NCL previously, and this was the shortest of my 10 cruises. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Very easy, we parked at the port for $20 a day. Check in friendly and easy. The lines were not too long at 12:30. Ship: We like the ship, and that is one reason we are returning guests. The big atrium, layout, and design were appreciated. Clean. Food: The buffet- the workers were polite and helpful. Sometimes it was difficult to find a seat inside. The food was good-loved the sliced avocado, and my kids loved the grilled chicken breasts which they ate every day. The buffet has a better selection of items than on our previous SKY cruise. We ate breakfast every day at the buffet and the food was good. The buffet was easier with our small children. Crossings- Food was OK. Palace- Service was good. Try the wild mushroom quesadilla- I ordered it 2 nights in a row. Cagney's-I was particularly upset listening to a scammer complaining about his meal the day after he ate it, and wanted a refund at guest services. I was behind him in line. All he could say was he didn't like it-nothing more specific, and I just wanted to know if any of his steak remained on his plate when he was through with this supposed bad meal. Obviously he knew at that point no one from the restaurant was around to respond to what appeared to be a baseless complaint just to get a refund for the steak dinner he enjoyed the night before. Ice Cream bar- Still good, not open all the time, and the line was never too long. Free. The soft serve machine located out by the pool was not open a lot, and the servings I had were too soft-almost mushy. Staff- The staff continues to work hard to try to please everyone. They almost were being overly nice with the constant hello's etc, We were pleased. Room- we were a porthole room (5208 and 5209) mid ship. 149 sq feet. Comparable in size and dEcor to others we have sailed except that drawer space was more limited. Our 6 year old daughter slept on the sofa bed. Very quiet just like the balcony we had the last time we were on the SKY. They must have insulated the rooms better than other ships. There was a hairdryer in the desk drawer. Soaps are included in the bath. A/C worked very well. Cleanliness- The ship and our room were clean. I heard someone complaining that they had not seen their room steward in several days. He didn't say his room wasn't clean, just that he hadn't seen him. Obviously he didn't understand that a good steward is not seen unless needed. Once I had to put the clean room sign on our door, and our room was cleaned promptly while we were out. No problem. Kids Zone- Our 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son LOVED this experience. They open at 5 pm, and we would take them to the buffet to eat then drop them off so we could then enjoy our dinner. The face painting was hilarious-our son was a pirate one night. They didn't just babysit the kids-they were involved in activities. We peeked in several times and they were having fun, so we were pleased with what the workers were doing with them. Since these workers are not included in the automatic tipping we tipped them separately on the last day of the cruise. We also used the group babysitting once and our daughter was the only one there. Not too many kids on this ship either. Ports- The private island is really a jewel in NCL's crown. They have quite a buffet there too. Value- Very Good especially when you look at the prices of comparable sailings on Royal(smaller room sizes and an older ship), carnival and Disney(just look at those prices). Entertainment- The comedian we heard was OK, the music show was also very good. Overall- We enjoy the Sky and the shorter itinerary as we have small children. This is the only cruise we have ever done twice. The kids love the kiddie pool, so we spent a lot of time in it. I heard several people complain about the food quality- We found it good overall. It is not the best we have had, but it was good. We look forward to returning again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
i never write reviews but i read them before we travel so if this can help someone else out i thought i would write about our recent trip on the sky. before we left i read all of the negative reviews and thought geesh these people are just ... Read More
i never write reviews but i read them before we travel so if this can help someone else out i thought i would write about our recent trip on the sky. before we left i read all of the negative reviews and thought geesh these people are just picky hugh maintenance, it's vacation, how bad could it be.. well.. my fiance and i took the 4 day cruise leaving from miami on sept 5 and came back sept 9th, i have been on 4 other cruises, first time on NCL. where do i begin? how about the good first: pros: the food in the palace is great. the rooms are not as small as everyone is saying, small but for 2 people ok. met some great people. uh ok thats about it on the pros. cons: first and formost the buffet food is HORRIFIC, and I eat anything, i can only describe it by saying it all tastes the same and it is all horrible, really horrible. the first day before we even left the dock they had the buffet open for lunch,, I told my fiance i hope that this is not how the food is going to be for the enitre trip, it was. they try and nickle and dime you for everyting, i expected this on a cruise as the soft drinks aren't even free but 8- 10 bucks for a mixed drink and 35 dollars for a bucket of beer is a bit ridiculous, but what are you going to do you are on a boat at sea, you can't leave! the bucket of beer was 35 because the automatically add a tip, well not to be cheap but uh i thought that is what the 12 dollars a day per person for the entire trip was for,, no just room people. so expect the tips added additional on any alcohol. we played bingo the first night and it was 69 bucks.. we paid it because the ship does a horrible job at announcing activities, they give you a paper in your room ever day so i guess it was our job to figure it out which is fine but bingo 69 bucks really?! main casino host lady was probably the rudest person i have ever met in my life. paid 28 bucks for what i think was 40 minutes of internet access in which my fiance needed for a few work thinks & i wanted to check on our dogs at home, well their computer froze up while it was still charging us and used half our minutes until some guy in a ship board said he could not help me "he doesn't work there" uh i got a little smart with him and said you work on the ship right!? ugh so no refund on the internet, as the 2nd guy helping us did not understand what we were saying, his english was non existent. no towel animals in room, no bug deal but just wondering why some people got them and some didn't first port of call was freeport, you basically need to know what you are going to do before you get off the ship or don't bother going through securuty to get off and back on. we got back on. i overheard some people saying how a lot of people were getting sick, i didn't think much about it until i came down with bronchitis the night we got home, i thought maybe it was just a cold or something, stress but we got home fri and by monday i was in the hospital with horrible bronchitis and mild pneumonia.. what!!! i am still sick, feeling better but my fiance got is as well as did the 6 people that we met on the cruise, we haqve been keeping in contact via facebook who live in diffferent states are sick as well!! we are joking and calling it the cruise flu but it is not funny in the least, i had to go to the hospital.. all of us sick with the same thing tells me 99.0% we all got it from the boat. i know that in close quarters like that it is more likely and they bascially stalk you with the hand sanitizer there,, well it didn't work.. i got so sick i am hessitant to go on another cruise ever; however, the buffet food alone might keep anyone away from this ship which is a shame:( i could go on forever but basically you have been warned. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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. ... Read More
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 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. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My husband and I selected this cruise to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. Being first time cruisers, we were unsure if a longer cruise would be a good idea, so the 4 night seemed to be the best option. Also, NCL's Freestyle ... Read More
My husband and I selected this cruise to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. Being first time cruisers, we were unsure if a longer cruise would be a good idea, so the 4 night seemed to be the best option. Also, NCL's Freestyle concept was very appealing! Sunday 9/18, Pre-Cruise: We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest since it was the cheapest. No problems at all. We stayed at the Hyatt Airport North, which we got on Hotwire for $60 plus taxes - total was $75. It served its purpose, but we would not stay here again. It was "pretty" to look at, but the beds were terrible, the air conditioner was like a freight train, and the "breakfast" was extremely limited. DAY ONE, Monday 9/19: We had arranged QLS Transportation shuttle to pick us up at the hotel and bring us to the port of Miami. They were scheduled for 10:00am, and called us to say they were going to be early, at 9:45am. No problem for us - we were up early (the aforementioned crappy bed) and we were READY!!! The driver was very nice and professional. We had nice conversation with another family on the way to the ship, who were also going on their first cruise. We arrived at the Port of Miami, gave our luggage to a Porter (tipped $1/bag) and got in line for check-in. Check-in was extremely quick, as the lines were fairly short at this point (it was only 10:30 or so). After a short wait in line, we checked in and found out they upgraded us for FREE from an Oceanview to a Balcony! I was ecstatic, because the last month before our cruise I battled with whether or not to upgrade ourselves but we couldn't justify the cost. What a nice surprise! If I had $1 for every time we said "I can't believe we got a balcony", we could book our next cruise already! ;) We then proceeded into the waiting area, where they had juice, water, and I think coffee for everyone, along with some caribbean tunes playing. It was really nice and definitely set your mood. We were in Boarding group 2, so we didn't have a long wait here at all. Once onboard we proceeded to the Buffet for lunch, which was actually pretty good! We know that with most buffets the food can be iffy, but c'mon, they're trying to serve 2000 passengers! We never went hungry, that's for sure! Staterooms were ready at 1:45pm and we made a beeline for ours! The view of Miami from our balcony was beautiful. Once we saw our room and dropped off a few carry-on items, we headed up to the Outrigger Lounge, Deck 11 Forward. We relaxed and enjoyed the scenery until it was time for the Muster Drill. Afterwards, we went back to our lovely balcony for Sailaway. One of our two bags was delivered to our room by 6:30, and it turned out that our other bag was down on Deck 5 with Guest Services because when they changed our room they didn't put a new luggage tag on that one bag. Minor hiccup, no biggie at all. We chose the Crossings Main Dining room for dinner that night, which is on Deck 5, Aft. We both had the steak, baked potato, and green beans. It was pretty good, but I had a hard time eating because all of a sudden I was seasick. I was not expecting this since I grew up on a boat (on a Lake...) but thankfully I had brought Bonine just in case! Monday night was rough seas and very rough for me, but I survived and woke up better on Tuesday morning. DAY TWO: Tuesday 9/20, FREEPORT: Room Service breakfast of coffee, cereal, pastries, and a banana. We did end up going to the buffet as we were still hungry, but it was nice having breakfast on the balcony! I had done my research and booked a Snorkel excursion with Paradise Cove Deadman's Reef. They have a driver who picks you up at the Port, and then drops you back off. It was a secluded beach with only about 20 people, which made it very relaxing, along with a bar with food and drinks. The only thing we thought was strange was that there is no swimming area here. You can walk in up to your knees and sit in the water, but that is it. The rest of it is snorkeling only. That being said, we would still book this excursion again! Once back on the ship, we showered, napped, and then went up to the Buffet for dinner. Salad bar selection was fresh and wonderful, Roasted Chicken was excellent, and many other items to choose from. After dinner we lost some money in the Casino, walked the shops, and enjoyed our balcony some more. The show for the evening was Rich Purpura, a Comedian/Magician. Thoroughly enjoyed his show - he is hilarious! There was a rather intoxicated and rowdy group from Detroit there, which made it even funnier. Everyone seemed to be having a great time and enjoying the show. Before turning in for the night we did watch the "Dancing with the Sky Stars" show in Dazzles Nightclub. VERY entertaining! DAY THREE: Wednesday 9/21, GREAT STIRRUP CAY: Room Service breakfast again! Loved having my coffee on the balcony every morning. We took one of the earlier tenders in, and were glad we did. We chose not to rent a Clamshell, as they have them off to one side of the beach with no view and not easy access to the water. Plus, I knew my hubby would not be up to laying on the beach ALL day. We spent the majority of our time in the water, which was beautiful and warm. Around lunch time it was starting to get very crowded, and a very rude group from France had taken it upon themselves to move their loungers directly on top of and if front of ours, making it near impossible for us and another couple to get to them. We shrugged it off and moved on. Back on the ship we had lunch at the Buffet, showered and napped again (LOVED those daily naps!) and went to dinner at Il Adagio. We had been given a card to give to the Maitre De at dinner and that got us a "Happy Anniversary" cake. The food in Il Adagio was delicious! We both had the Fried Calamari, I had a salad, along with a glass of Chianti - also delicious. My husband had the Chicken Parmesan and I had the Pork Saltimbooca. Both entrees were very large and very good! Dessert was Tiramisu, along with that little cake they presented to us. All in all, we were very pleased with our meal here and would definitely go back! DAY FOUR: Thursday 9/22, NASSAU: Room Service breakfast again. We got off the ship easily and quickly at 8:30am. We had booked today's excursion with Bahamas Segway Tours, and were really looking forward to it. The van picked us up promptly at 9am, and the driver "Meeks" was a riot. She was very friendly, energetic, and welcoming. The ride to the location was about 25 minutes, and HOT. The air conditioning in their van was not working so that made it a little uncomfortable, but hey - we're in the Bahamas! We'll live! After a brief training with the two instructors; Meeks and Super Mario (he was a riot as well), we hit the trails! Riding a Segway is easy and fun, and the scenery was very pretty. The trail wound along the ocean inlets, the flora and fauna, and ended on a secluded beach that took our breath away. After a 30 minute rest on the beach with some much needed ice cold water, we headed back down the trail to end our tour. Excellent time, would highly recommend it! Once back in downtown Nassau we walked in and out of the shops, bought a few things in Del Sol (since we don't have them at home) and from the Straw Market. We were not fond of the Straw Market. Too many people coming at you from all directions trying to get you to buy their stuff. We know that this is how they make their money though, so we just browsed a little and moved on. We headed back to the ship around 2pm, and just barely made it in time for a quick lunch at the Buffet. After lunch we relaxed in the room, watched a movie, showered, and then went to dinner in the Palace Main Dining room. Dinner was very good, I had the Carbonara pasta and my husband had the grilled chicken. Of course once I had a full belly, the ship started to rock and roll like crazy again, so I ran upstairs to take a Bonine. That stuff worked wonders! After that, we made our daily donation to the ship's Casino fund - but didn't lose too much thank goodness! We attended the "Fairwell Variety Show" in the Stardust Theatre, which was enjoyable. Rich Purpura was fantastic in this as well. DAY 5: Friday 9/23, MIAMI: We disembarked using their easy walk-off option, since our QLS shuttle was scheduled to pick us up at 8am for a 10:55am flight out of Ft. Lauderdale. Again he was prompt and professional. Would definitely use them again! Overall our first cruise experience was fantastic. Small minor things that could not be helped (my seasickness, the spotty cell service, the bag mishap, etc) would not prevent us from sailing with NCL again. Every staff member we encountered was very helpful and friendly. Our room steward, Ritzel, was fabulous. We only saw her a few times, but each time she was friendly and accomodating. One thing we did notice was just how hard and how long the crew staff works! It seemed like they were always buzzing about, cleaning, assisting passengers, etc. We LOVED the NCL Freestyle experience - it was awesome to NOT be on a schedule. I've already started looking into another cruise with NCL in 2012, but this time we'll bring our daughter along because we missed her terribly! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This was our first time cruising with NCL, and we may try it again, but definitely not on the Sky. Let me start out by saying that I realize that you get what you pay for. This cruise was very cheap. But we have taken several small, ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with NCL, and we may try it again, but definitely not on the Sky. Let me start out by saying that I realize that you get what you pay for. This cruise was very cheap. But we have taken several small, short, cheap Bahamas cruises that were awesome! This one was not. There were a few Pro's and I will start with those... The specialty restaurants were amazing. Unfortunately we were forced to eat at all of them because the normal food was horrible. The cruise director was super great. Can't quite remember his name, but he really went the extra mile. The staff overall were very attentive, and the ship was very clean. We had a large inside room, and it was hands down the nicest, biggest cabin we have had. Now to the cons... Probably the worst part of the cruise was the bed. It literally was like sleeping on concrete. No I didn't complain. In hindsight I would have the first night, but I thought maybe my back would adjust. It didn't. To be fair, the bed issue may be just with inside rooms however, because everyone we talked to that was not in an inside said their bed was super comfy. As stated above, any food that was "free" was horrible. Except for the breakfast buffet. We even went to the MDR as suggested by fellow CC for lunch the first day, big mistake. I had fish and chips, and half the fish was black... no joke. Their private island is a joke. Again, to be fair, it might be decent once the construction is complete. Everything was a wreck. There was NOTHING to do except sit and tan or snorkel. So we rented snorkel gear. We get in, get all our gear on, look down, and... NOTHING.... no fish, no shells, NOTHING. Now maybe we were spoiled by RCCL's Cococay, because there they have sea life by the millions it seems, a "plane wreck" to snorkel around, along with a "shipwreck" ... but something would have been better then NOTHING... which is what you see at NCL's island. Entertainment was lacking between the hours of 5-10. We saw one show which was decent, but ended up sitting and watching the photographers take photos of people in the main atrium because it was the most entertainment we could find. Finally we just went to bed. Casino - The casino royal screwed my husband. I'm surprised he didn't go NUTS on everyone. He was in the Texas Hold em' tournament and was All-In on a hand. He bet on the river card, and the gentleman he was playing against mucked his hand over the line, face down. The dealer proceeds to flip over the gentleman's hand, and guess what?!? He had the winning cards. The dealer gives him all the chips, and my husband is SOL. Even the other players in the tournament were expressing their disbelief, but the dealer said that was the rules, and my husband was told that the supervisor would back the dealers decision. Never in all my life have I heard of such nonsense. The layout of the boat is extremely confusing and inconvenient, you board the boat through a hallway, and are not directed where to go, we were lost within minutes of boarding. You do not board in the atrium like every other cruise I have been on. Overall in my opinion - if you want a cheap Bahamas cruise out of Fl, take Royal Caribbean. If you can't, take Carnival. DO NOT CRUISE ON THE NCL SKY. I would have rather been home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I had a great time on this cruise. The crowd is mixed from seniors to young couples on their honeymoon and everyone is friendly and there to have fun! The dining was somewhat of a disappointment. I dined at the Palace and the ... Read More
I had a great time on this cruise. The crowd is mixed from seniors to young couples on their honeymoon and everyone is friendly and there to have fun! The dining was somewhat of a disappointment. I dined at the Palace and the Crossings main dining rooms and was underwhelmed by the food both times. My other meals were had in the Garden Cafe Buffet and Longboard's Bar. I actually preferred the food in these venues to the main dining room food, but neither was anything to write home about. Our cabin wasn't as cramped as I was expecting. All the little nooks and storage spaces really help! They also have a pretty good selection of movies available. The steward is constantly tidying up your room while you're away so that's nice. Our cabin was next to a crew area where they were prepping and wheeling out carts so if you like to sleep in, this cabin isn't for you. Around 7:30am to 10:30am it gets really loud and clankety. The service on the ship was alright. The people aren't Disney go-out-of-their-way-friendly but you'll eventually get what you asked for. We didn't have any days at sea since we were at a port every day. Be prepared for hot and humid weather! Walking around town might be tough due to the heat and humidity so you might want to spend your days in port in the water. The private island was beautiful although it might take 30-45 minutes from the time you line up to get onto the tender to stepping foot on the island. Another thing to note is that it seemed a good number of shops were closed because we were the only ship in port that day. I must say that booking excursions made the days in port amazing! All in all, the Norwegian Sky is a good time. It's not luxurious (if you don't book a suite or pay extra for the specialty dining), but there's plenty to keep you entertained for 4 days on the ship and in port. The best part is the fun cruise ship camaraderie! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I was a little anxious about my first time cruise after reading some of the reviews here. I am VERY picky about where I stay on vacation. I can be a little high maintenance. Our room was very small but very clean. And seriously we really ... Read More
I was a little anxious about my first time cruise after reading some of the reviews here. I am VERY picky about where I stay on vacation. I can be a little high maintenance. Our room was very small but very clean. And seriously we really did not spend much time in our room at all. We boarded quickly. We were greeted by a VERY enthusiastic crew with Caribbean music playing. Make sure you pack your bathing suit and/or a change of clothes and any toiletries you need because you will wait anywhere from 2-5 hours for your suitcase. They told us we would have our luggage by 7:00pm and we had our way before then. Shortly after boarding we made dinner reservations for Cagney's & Le Bistro. The food at Cagney's was MUCH better than I expected. The filet mignon I had was one of the best I've ever had. Le Bistro was just ok. We had awesome waiters at both restaurants. The buffet is about what you would expect. For breakfast I would highly recommend The Palace. Nice sit down restaurant that is included with the freestyle dining. Dinner there wasn't as impressive. If you don't like food at one place, you can go to another place or hit the buffet. The hidden gem we found was Longboard Sports Bar. The wait staff here was exceptional! Especially Muthu & Shighash. We swam withe the dolphins in Freeport. It was the most incredible experience ever!! Great Stirrup Cay is undergoing renovations so overlook the construction. We signed up for a snorkel excursion here. I was expecting to be taken out and snorkel out further in the sea. But the snorkeling is right off the beach which made me think, "we aren't going to see anything but seaweed." Wow was I wrong about that!!! I snorkeled most of the day and I saw thousands of fish. I even saw a stingray! I HIGHLY recommend snorkeling here. It was awesome. They did a nice BBQ lunch here and there is a small marketplace. Bartering isn't so great here. I would save that for Nassau. Our excursion in Nassau was the beach at Atlantis. The lines for the bus were long so we took a taxi. Definitely worth the $4 per person charge. The beach was paradise! Gorgeous crystal clear waters here. Rented a wave runner. Again....barter with the locals on the beach here even with the water sports. There are alot of locals walking around the beach selling everything from pina coladas to beaded jewelry. I love to barter so it didn't bother me but some people were annoyed with it. The local people are very humble and great to barter with. Atlantis was amazing. Would LOVE to spend a few days there. The cruise went by sooooo fast! I will be glad when The Sky goes non-smoking. The staff is huge and I only found 2 of the staff members to be rude. One was the "towel guy" by the pool and the other was a clerk in the gift shop. The staff was more than accommodating to us. I would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My sister and I cruised on the NCL Sky last year (her very first cruise)so decided to go again this year, picking up an extra night this time. We very much liked our room location - 5010 - as it was just around the corner from the main hub ... Read More
My sister and I cruised on the NCL Sky last year (her very first cruise)so decided to go again this year, picking up an extra night this time. We very much liked our room location - 5010 - as it was just around the corner from the main hub of elevators and guest services and just a skip to the Palace Dining Room. It was very easy to find our way around from this central location. We love the Sky - the layout is easy to navigate and the decor is light and airy. Everything was clean, and the service was great. We sailed only 2 weeks after hurricane Irene hit the East Coast, but were very pleased that we made all our ports of call. Our itinerary had two ports of call switched to accommodate another NCL ship - no problem. We opted to roll our luggage on ourselves this time. It was so easy! We rolled right to the dining room, sat down and had a wonderful leisurely lunch - by 2:00 our room was ready so we wheeled our luggage inside and were ready to sail! The other passengers started getting their luggage around 6:00, so either way works great. We particularly enjoy eating our meals in the dining room - we have yet to try the specialty restaurants - there are so many wonderful choices in the already-paid-for dining room. We caught two of the evening shows - very entertaining singers and dancers. We attended the White Hot party on deck which was energetic as usual. The only thing that bummed us at all was on the private island, Great Stirrup Cay. There are renovations going on, which is good, but we decided to treat ourselves to a clam shell cabana for the day since the weather was so very hot. Unfortunately, this did not work out well. All the clam-shells are at the far end of the beach, about 10 rows deep, and right beside the construction. So there was no breeze, no view of the beach, and the constant sound of the machinery. HOWEVER when we asked for a refund, it was given with no questions asked! It would be better if the clam-shells were on the back row stretched all the way across the beach - that would give everyone a view and a breeze. We found a nice shady area on the OTHER end of the beach - if you're facing the beach, head to your left, walk along the paved sidewalk area, and at the end there is another smaller beach with a shady spot. The picnic tables closest to the cookout building are now all under new solid shade large gazebos - I think when the renovations are complete it will be very nice! OH - I saw one young lady take a large insulated cup to the bar area and ask to have it filled with ice - it was filled without question - so don't hesitate to ask for ice. If you're expecting hot weather, one of those small misting fan sprayers might be helpful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Fist of all what made the cruise enjoyable was the staff,,,Hats off to Richard, the cruise Director, Gio, the Assistant and my favorite girl Shirley,,who was awesome. She has it all,,,the shows were great,,the dancers and the singers were ... Read More
Fist of all what made the cruise enjoyable was the staff,,,Hats off to Richard, the cruise Director, Gio, the Assistant and my favorite girl Shirley,,who was awesome. She has it all,,,the shows were great,,the dancers and the singers were very good and professional. The dancing was very exciting and has us dancing in our seats. The food was ok in the buffets,,but if you wanted better you could eat in a dining area where the fee was $20 to #30 per person. Rading the reviews made me write this review, what did people expect at these prices the Ritz Carlton. We had a great time and for me the staff is what made my cruise so enjoyable. Keep doing what your doing,, the food, well, could be better at the buffet, but when your feeding 2000 people they try as hard as they can, and it seems to me watching everyone eat,,,no one slowed down at all, the plates were filled to the top. We had a ball and look forward to crusing again soon Thank you Shirley,,you are awesome,,Richard never let go of that energy, and Gio you should be in movies. Also hats off to house man who took care of our room, thank you again for everything. Till we sail again. Kathy & Mike Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I went on this cruise the last weekend of September 2011 with 20 friends to celebrate a BF's 50th Birthday. Having worked in the Private Yacht industry in past as a Chef and Stewardess, I was concerned about what to expect. ... Read More
I went on this cruise the last weekend of September 2011 with 20 friends to celebrate a BF's 50th Birthday. Having worked in the Private Yacht industry in past as a Chef and Stewardess, I was concerned about what to expect. Overall I really enjoyed the cruise and had a lot of fun with my friends. The staff were great. Our room's steward left us a little towel figures every night - which we loved. The buffets were average. For dinner go with restaurant reservations - The BISTRO served the best escargot I have every tasted. CAGNEY'S served a perfect fillet mignon - well worth the extra price. It was nice receiving the daily itinerary that allowed us to choose what we wanted to do each day. I loved para-sailing at Great-Stirrup Cay and felt that although the Atlantis' Aquaventure was pricey, we had lots of fun on the "not-so-lazy" rapid river. When you first arrive on board you are greeted by many staff who have set up "special deals". We felt bombarded to make decisions about wine, drinks, sodas...etc. NOTE: If you drink more than 3 sodas a day go with the "soda" special that come with a cool souvenir cup. THE PUB CRAWL REVIEW: Don't do the PUB CRAWL if you actually want to drink because they are watered down. The 55 min - 5 bar/5 drink pub crawl was a BIG disappointment and nearly ruined my opinion of cruising ever again, mostly due to a rude bar manager at CHAMP's BAR. Our pub crawl guide was sweet and tried his best to make the evening fun for all. 1st stop- Captain Cook's for a round of beer. Hmm...started off quite good and we even got to see some fellow passengers drink beer in a unique way! 2nd stop - Aft Deck bar for Bahama Mama's. Yummy but not much alcohol. I've made them and know when a drink is weak. During our 3rd and unfortunate 4th pub stop at CHAMP's (located on the top deck above the pools) the manager freaked out over some of the drinks getting passed to some guests not part of the tour. First of all, some of the paying pub crawl guests were beer drinkers and did not want to drink alcohol and passed their drinks to people beside them while they ordered another expensive "bucket of beers" to drink. The manager flipped out and began yelling at the guests. If NCL or the bar managers did not want other guests to drink any of the cocktails then they should have organized a better way to distribute the drinks. THEIR METHOD: pass the drink back to the person behind you. Really? And trust slightly inebriated guests to check whether or not someone beside them has a teeny weeny sticker on them? Shame on you NCL and for hiring a rude manager. Our 5th and final stop was at BREAKER'S BAR. Hoping to finally escape the madness at CHAMP'S I was shocked to see that the manager had run over to BREAKER'S to hold off the tray of drinks. He actually began ripping the stickers of of each person's chest before handing a drink over to them. Some guest began to walk away in disgust and when I yelled out "touching a women's chest without her permission is considered an act of sexual harassment", people began taking the stickers off themselves and handing it to him. I pointed out his rudeness and took a picture of him which I will be sending to NCL. He yelled at me and tried to take my iPhone away and that he was going to call his boss. I promptly replied "Go ahead I want to speak to him about your behavior" and he walked away. Personally, if I had a crew member aboard my ship like this, I would DISMISS them! Only for the apology from our pub guide did I decide to give the cruise a second chance. I'm sure the pub crawl would have be much more enjoyable had it not been for a rude and unprofessional bar manager acting like a spoiled child. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
NCL sky notes I cruised on NCL after a many year hiatus. I am a frequent RCL cruiser. There is no comparison. To sum up our cruise in a word, I would say it was disappointing. The staff was courteous but not helpful and there was ... Read More
NCL sky notes I cruised on NCL after a many year hiatus. I am a frequent RCL cruiser. There is no comparison. To sum up our cruise in a word, I would say it was disappointing. The staff was courteous but not helpful and there was virtually nothing for young children (we have three kids aged 5, 3 and 1). There is stuff for older kids, but there is nothing for young kids and the staff was not very accommodating to the special needs of parents traveling with very young kids. An example of this was at check in. We needed the room ready early for infant nap time. RCL's response was to see if they could get the room ready with pack n play to accommodate us. NCL staff said several times the room will be ready after 2:15 (in other words, nap time is tough luck). It was not until the last person who actually checked and found out the room was ready and pack n play was already in the room. This should have been the first response. RCL has kids check in on the deck you load the boat and they promote all of the activities by age group. Easy and quick. Counselors are there to get the kids excited. This ship has virtually nothing for young kids. Our kids go to sleep at 7 to 7:30 pm. Having events after 8 pm on days we are in port (which is every day on this cruise) is not useful. And group baby sitting where you pay to have kids sit watching tv or other boring/non-structured events is a waste of time/money. The one event on the private island was sand castle building. A few small buckets and shovels with no staff interaction. Not very imaginative (I could have done that on my own). And a scavenger hunt is a bit over their heads. Both could have been more structured for young kids like having shapes to make in the sand, or a small area scavenger hunt where items are hidden that younger kids could search for and find. The one young kid event was the under 2 zoo. We saw it on the schedule by chance (no promotion). I few toys on the floor in a bar with no staff. And half needed batteries which were dead and so didn't work or were broken. RCL has structured play by age groups with age appropriate toys that had a different theme each day. You can also check out the toys while on board. The scheduled play events had 2 staff members that interact/entertain the kids. We spent a week searching for and not finding activities for young kids. Otherwise, the staff was friendly but not helpful. When we were looking for the under 2 zoo event, it was in the outrigger lounge. We asked a staff member who was courteous but didn't know. They went to check a map. We could do that. That was typical of our staff interactions. Our friends needed an extra pillow. Instead of getting one, they pulled one out of their other room. That didn't help, they needed an extra pillow. They could have pulled one on their own. Another example was asking their room Stewart if they needed to bring towels to the pool. The room Stewart said no, there are towels at the pool. That didn't turn out to be true. On the day we arrived, we needed the rooms made up to prepare for early for sleep time. We told a room Stewart and he said they would be ready by 6pm. By 6:15, no Stewart. No one to be found. I called the front desk and shortly later a Stewart arrived. I told him what we needed. He did minimal cleaning and dropped off towels and left. I had to track him down again to get him to prepare the 3rd bed. On that note, the "third bed" was not fit to sleep in. Shame on you for using this as a bed. Way to small for a person (my child could barely balance in it without falling out of the bed). Also, shame on you for putting us on floor 6a. How is a parent with an infant in a stroller supposed to get to and from such a room. The buffet is not very family friendly. Rcl brings coffee to your table. Much more family friendly. The pools for that matter are not very family friendly. The 2 ft deep pool is next to the quiet zone. It should be a kids zone. One day it was closed to paint. That is the only pool for kids and so we had an entire day with no pool. Rcl kids zone gives you a phone (not a pager). That inspires more confidence. The rare night my daughter was in the kids zone, she had an upset stomach. They didn't use the pager and rather called our room. It was just by chance they caught us. Rcl has in room baby sitting. We could feed our kids and put them to bed and go out to dinner. Ncl has no babysitting. We had to hire a nanny to take with us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We booked our cruise for Aug 22 from Miami to the Bahamas. My wife and I first time cruisers, age mid 30's. Embarkation - Disembarkation: Boarding in Miami was Ok. It took us about 25 mins from dropping off our luggage, passing ... Read More
We booked our cruise for Aug 22 from Miami to the Bahamas. My wife and I first time cruisers, age mid 30's. Embarkation - Disembarkation: Boarding in Miami was Ok. It took us about 25 mins from dropping off our luggage, passing through check-in and on the boat. Rooms weren't ready so you we grabbed lunch in the meantime. Getting off and on at the port of calls was pretty easy and quick. Final day disembarking at Miami took more time. A long line formed to get out. About 30 mins.. then at the terminal it was really quick to pass through customs. Ship, Rooms: The ship was nice, not run down or anything. Not super new but very good for that age of ship. The rooms where very good. Choose a balcony, yes it is more costly but nothing like looking out with some music and a cold one! Food and Drink: Ahh everybody is worried about the food :) I thought it was pretty good. Didn't try the pizza everybody's saying to be bad. A lot of choices to pick from. Buffet or Restaurants. My wife is vegetarian, no complaints. The burgers were good. Also breakfast buffet was great. About the specialty restaurants, they were very good. Cagney's Steakhouse was awesome. Really one of the best meals (rib-eye was great). We ate so much that night we were ready to explode :) Drinks: water, tea are included. Milk, coffee and juice also only at breakfast. Everything else has a cost. Alcohol is expensive. But what the heck I was on vacation, I had my "alcohol budget" set so no worries. Entertainment: A lot of events. You won't get bored. If you are the participating type there are plenty of events. If not, no problem plenty of shows and events just to be an expectator. Comedy show was very funny. The "broadway" shows where good (takinng in consideration that you are on a ship and not broadway). I recommend you to sit at the front, you will enjoy them more. Ports: Nassau was excellent. We went to Atlantis. We didn't buy the excursion with NCL. We got off the boat, grabbed a ferry, and bought the day pass to the Waterpark. It is costly but worth it. If you are 4 or more you should check of it's better to get a room and the passes are included. We couldn't make it to the other Ports in Bahamas. The captain made a change in schedule since hurricane Irene was just about to hit the Bahamas. So we had to sail West. Spent one day at sea and the other at Key West. Staff: I must say I never experienced bad service or rude staff members. They were very nice and accommodating. Not over the top or pushy for tips. I did tip here and there. You are charged $12 pp/pday for service fee. So it is up to you to tip more. I really liked the timely info about everything. The ship, events, excursions, hurricane news... everything explained very clearly. So you won't get lost or confused. That's it I do recommend it and will probably choose NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Norwegian Sky Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.5 3.9
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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