Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by ToneDog
- Sail Date: April 2016
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Penthouse with Large Balcony
We flew in the night before and stayed at the JW Marriott Marquis on Biscayne, so the pier was only a 5 minute drive. Her parents joined us on the cruise, picking us up at the hotel. We had no trouble parking in the garage, and a friendly porter was out front to assist us with baggage. We gave him a 20 spot for taking 4 bags.
We arrived at 10am which is super early but were instructed to do so as the wedding party and guests would board first. I had a suite so we checked in at the VIP Lounge which had snacks and drinks as well as a seating area. The lady checking us in was friendly but at first said she didn't have our key and advised us to go to general check in. I told her we were in a suite at which time she double checked and found our keys. We could have waited in the lounge and been escorted aboard but chose to go to the general area to wait with her parents to board with the wedding guests. We boarded easily at 11am, proceeded to the wedding area, dropped our stuff, and hit the buffet and the bar for some drinks.
The ship is one of their oldest and smallest in the fleet, but was well maintained in general. It shows its age at times but it had character at least. I was spoiled from being on the Oasis, but certainly didn't expect the same amenities. There were plenty of bars and restaurants to keep us fed and buzzed, each with their own theme or specialty. It was so nice to have the unlimited beverage package, not because we wanted to be constantly hammered but because it was so much easier and faster to get a drink when we wanted without having to worry about settling up each time.
We stayed in a forward penthouse suite with large balcony on deck 9. It was a bit small in my opinion to be classified as a suite. It was one room with queen bed, there was a very small room off to the side containing a closet and a bunk bed which would be good for kids I suppose. The bathroom was small but did have a whirlpool tub which we never used. The shower was the average tube size for a ship with a closing glass door. The balcony was quite large with a table, 3 chairs, and 2 loungers. The views were the best in the house. It was so nice having a front row seat on the ship. I was initially worried about it being too windy while sailing but it was actually quite pleasant.
We ate in the main dining room, Crossings, once. Then Cagneys and Le Bistro the other nights. The food was average for the most part, not bad but nothing to rave about either. Cagneys had a decent steak. The menus in the specialty restaurants were a la carte, unlike other ships I've been on where it was a flat fee. We had breakfast each morning in Cagneys, taking advantage of our suite benefits. They were even kind enough to let us bring my girlfriends parents even though they were not in a suite. We had checked out the buffet the first morning and it was jam packed.
We didn't participate in many activities, mostly entertained ourselves. There seemed to always be something going on though. We were disappointed that they didn't offer any wine, beer, or liquor tasting sessions, as we enjoy learning about new drinks. Tried the karaoke but didn't like their offerings. Live entertainment was good from what I briefly heard. I was a tad disappointed in the casino. It was very crowded and hard to get a spot to play, meanwhile one blackjack table sat empty due to a $50 minimum bet. They advertised $5 tables but the lowest I ever saw was 10.
The service overall was fantastic, from the waiters, bartenders, housekeeping, as well as our butler and concierge. We were escorted to the tender to skip the line at Great Stirrup Cay which was cool. The butler was always bringing by snacks, got my shirts pressed within an hour or so, and got us a power strip since we were low on outlets.
Nassau was brutal when we first got off. You are literally accosted constantly by locals. Once you get up to Bay Street it calms down a bit, but you still get it from time to time. We booked a food tour outside of NCL called Bahamian Food Tours and it was awesome! We walked around for three hours eating local foods and learning about the island, historical buildings, government structure, and where the food inspiration came from. Best excursion I've ever done. We had time afterward for some shopping, hit senor frogs for one drink then headed back.
For the Cay we rented a large cabana which was awesome. Fridge, towels, water, food, drink service all provided. The bathrooms were a bit of a hike unfortunately. It was a beautiful island and the water was crystal clear. We hung out all day.
Overall this was a great quick getaway. Norwegian does it right even on the older ships. Would be a perfect cruise for a first timer unsure of whether or not he or she would enjoy cruising. We'd go again, as soon as this vertigo wears off!
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