We are experienced NCL cruisers, having reached their Lattitudes Platinum level many years (and cruises) ago. We put together a group of 19 family and friends to expose a dozen people to sailing for the first time, hoping they would enjoy the experience as much as we have. We agreed on a shorter 4 day cruise for their first experience thinking the time and cost would be favorable to them.
What a HUGE mistake to book the NCL Sky on their 4 day Bahamas (they do a 3 day the other part of a week). It was like we were sailing with a different company than the real NCL that we know and love!
Nothing felt right or comfortable for the 6 of us that routinely sail NCL. The premier system of loyalty that NCL touts failed completely on this trip. As the top tier Platinum level we got NONE of the minor awards we normally receive. (We did receive lapel pin after asking). No early check in at Port, no complimentary dinner, no bottle of wine, no candy/fruit in the staterooms, etc - Nothing. When the on board cruise consultant finally showed up at her desk one day, I was told NCL doesn't see the need to award the amenities for Lattitude members that cruise less than 5 days. When I expressed my disappointment and suggested that maybe our folks should give future business to Royal Caribbean, she replied matter-of-factly that would be our decision. No effort to please at all.
In past years we enjoyed the privilege of early check in at the Port, it is a real hassle to be in a huge mess with everyone rushing the door. Again on this cruise everyone showed up and entered at the same time. There was a line once through Security for Platinum members to wait to fill out paperwork, but then once again you were thrown into a huge room to wait the hour before they started boarding the ship (with no priority system).
The crewmembers all seemed to have an indifferent attitude also (save for one nice dinner hostess, Revi). Service was slow in the dining rooms, despite not being full when we attended, bar service was slow and the officers just walked on by in the hallways without a "hello". Normally there is a main dining room open for lunch, but on the SKY it was only open the first and second days, forcing everyone to the buffet line.
I am guessing that they know a totally new group of vacationers come on board every 3 or 4 days so why go to any great effort. There were many new employees to the ship that we ran into as we interacted with them, and many whose employee contract was about up, so that may explain some of the attitude.
Our balcony cabin was pretty normal, except with the SKY remodel a few years ago they took out the in-room coffee pot, the small table/drawers, there is one less 110V plug, and they have turned off the Navigation channel on their on board TV's.
The ports visited were fine, our folks enjoyed the excursions they went on, and we had 3 out of 4 nights of pretty smooth sailing on the seas. Family members with kids enjoyed the on board kids programs.
If you are accustomed to sailing NCL and part of their loyalty program, this may not be the cruise for you to book. If you are looking for a short inexpensive cruise and you are a "Ken and Barbie" type looking to party hardy - this may be for you.
We have been on the SKY before their remodel. Now there is one less standard 110V plug, no in-room coffee pot, fewer drawer space and a tv without the customary Navigation Channel on board.