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This was my first cruise - and a great one especially for the money. Had some really good, okay and a bad experience. We had a group of 4. Two of my friends were celebrating their anniversary and they had been on a NCL cruise last year. We did the 4 Day Cruise from Miami porting @ Freeport, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay. Embarkation was extremely easy! We got to the port by taxi from Miami airport ($24) at about 12:30. We were on the boat by 1PM. We brought our swimsuits with us so we could use the pool deck before we got our luggage. We were greeted with champagne and orange juice and a very welcoming crew with big smiles! We explored the ship for a bit and checked out the outside buffet . We ended up getting a little pizza in El Adigio. Very good and fresh, especially the margarita pizza! Out stateroom was ready at @2PM however our luggage never arrived till about 7PM. Our inside stateroom (8353) wasn't anything special. But for $149, I can't complain the much. We had 2 separated beds which did make for slightly more room that our friends that had them put together. There wasn't much room at all to put your clothes. We made due, kinda piled clothes where we could. Putting our suitcases under the bed helped. Bathroom is also very small but functional. It was pretty comfortable and we didn't really spend much time there. The beds are firm but I like it that way. The towel animals throughout the cruise were a very nice touch. Steward that we didn't see at all kept it very clean and well stocked. NCL also takes a $12 per person, per day fee for gratuities. This goes to your servers and stewards. On alcohol they charge an automatic 15% gratuity on alchohol. We hit the pool deck for awhile and swam and sat in the hot tubs and got some drinks. The pools are in the middle of everything. It was a little uncomfortable because it felt like we were being stared at from every side...and we probably were but oh well. One thing we didn't expect was the salt water. The pool and hot tubs have salt water...not all that refreshing! Drink prices aren't horrible...I think the best bang for your buck was a Long Island. Only $6 and pretty strong. Hands down the best alcohol deal on the boat is the 2 for 1 Martini's from 6 to 8 @ The Plantation. This is EVERYDAY! We drank there every day, had great service and felt very good afterwards! ;-) Gotta try out the lemon drop martini or the stormy night! My favorites! After martini's we had a good dinner at The Palace. We did have to wait about 15 minutes to get in but we checked out the gift shop nearby and you can also get 20% off a drink ordered @ any bar with a pager in your hand. Service was just okay. Nothing special, which was kind of disappointing our first night. Food was very good though, filet mignon and a gnocchi dish. You can order multiple dishes if you want to try out more...they don't care! We didn't get dessert because we were so full. We checked out the show after dinner, Rockin Soul Nights was okay. We did get to meet our cruise director, the infamous Matt Baker, who was awesome the whole cruise! We checked out the casino and joined their club. Got a coupon book for a free $5 chip, and one where you could use an Ace on any blackjack hand. There were more for slots but I'm not a fan. We were up about $100 bucks so we retired to sleep happy! Second day was Grand Bahamas Island. We went to the margarita tasting @ Captain Cooks Bar right as we got back on the boat. $15 per person. This was a VERY BAD experience. The bartender (Francisco) very obviously didn't want to do the tasting. He told us that we needed 10 people there in order to start. After a little while some people showed up but it still wasn't enough. A little while later we finally had enough people. Once the bartender knew he had to do the tasting he started to get ready. He very slowly started to get things set up. We didn't even start the tasting till after 5PM, it was scheduled for 4:30. It was an extremely slow process. First of all, this was not the bartender for the job. He was SO slow and could not multitask. He also did not make the drinks well. He told us he didn't know much about margaritas...probably not the best person for the event! He also had to wash out our glasses between the 5 different margaritas he made because he didn't have enough to keep pouring. It was a very long, frustrating and tedious process. We also had maybe a full margarita between the 5 different ones he made...very small portions. Not worth $15 and it took over an hour and half. The one good thing I must say is that NCL has some good service recovery. We went to the front desk to complain about the event. The lady told me she was bringing down the boats bar manager. He came to talk with us in less than 5 minutes. We explained to him our bad experience. He was VERY nice and sincere. He apologized and also bought us 4 Margaritas that he made very strong! We thought this was fair! We decided to eat at the main dining rooms because they had Lobster tail! Make sure to check out the dinner menu's every morning to start thinking about what you'd like to do. We ate at Crossroads. It was a dress up if you want to night, we didn't. We didn't have a wait. Service was better this night. Surf & more Surf and a lamb dish! Desserts were awesome too. I had an expresso chocolate cake! Very good! After some more 2 for 1 martini's we went to see the comedian Rich Purpura...VERY FUNNY!!! We also stuck around for the Newlywed/Not So Newlywed game show...also VERY FUNNY! That night we also decided to check out the late night buffet which was good with some desserts but ended up eating a little at Longboards Sport Bar. Chicken tenders and wings with a night cap! 3rd day was Nassau. We made a reservation for dinner @ Cagney's Steakhouse ($25 per person) for about 6PM. Well worth the cover charge! Service was excellent! Food was phenomenal. I think we all got the 10oz fillet...perfect! The staff also sang a sweet love song for our friend's anniversary and brought them cake! Nice touch! A couple boat managers also came over to our table, wished a happy anniversary and made sure everything was perfect...and it was! After some more 2 for 1 Martini's we made it to the Broadway show...it was kinda lame. 4th day was the cruise lines private island, Great Stirrup Cay. We had a leisurely breakfast and headed down to take a boat to the island. It was kinda a crappy day and it only got worse. We were only on the Island for about 45 minutes and they cancelled the beach day and sent everybody back to the island. It was raining and I guess the water was too choppy to keep ferrying everyone back and forth. The island looked like it would have been a nice relaxing day tho. Full of beach chairs, volleyball court, bars, etc. They took the boat into better weather and it ended up being a decent day. They moved the beach bbq to the pool deck...it was okay, nothing special. Just hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, potato salad and cold slaw. They scheduled a few more activities on the ship due to the change of itinerary. We headed to Outriggers Lounge for some games that were schedules with the cruise director, his assistant and the comedian. It was fun but kinda slow moving. The pool deck was very full. We just relaxed for the rest of the day on the sundeck and ended up taking a nap because there wasn't much else to do. There was a beer tasting scheduled for that afternoon @ Longboards ($15 per person). We got there and the bartender told us we had to wait for 10 people. We waited about 10 minutes and gave up. We were scared it was going to be another bad experience and the bartender obviously didn't want to do it. Which is REALLY annoying! They should be ready and prepared. We decided to check out the Italian restaurant El Adiagio ($10 per person). We didn't make reservations but we got right in. It was VERY Good! Osso Buco, Chicken Parm & Marsala, lobster ravioli and lots more I can't remember. Dessert was awesome too. There was a lot to choose from at this restaurant. After some more 2 for 1 martini's we went to the last show at the Stardust Theater. It was good, a variety show. The crew director and his staff had the last part very funny! Afterwards we decided to check out the open mic night and the Qwest Game @ Outriggers. Also very funny...it's amazing what people do for a keychain! We had a few late night snacks @ Longboard and the outside buffet. There is an option to get a luggage tag and have the stewards take your luggage that you can pick up the next day. We decided not to and just walked our luggage off the ship the next day. We had breakfast outside, finished packing our things and we were off the boat in less than 15 minutes! Disembarkation was a breeze! Overall this was a great cruise. The food was good. Service was hit or miss tho. If there was one thing I could change it would just be a more consistent service experience across the ship. But I'd recommend the cruise and do it again in a heartbeat!

Sept 28 - Oct 2 - First Time Cruiser (mid 20's group)

Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by MrKylee

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2009
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Inside
This was my first cruise - and a great one especially for the money. Had some really good, okay and a bad experience. We had a group of 4. Two of my friends were celebrating their anniversary and they had been on a NCL cruise last year. We did the 4 Day Cruise from Miami porting @ Freeport, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.
Embarkation was extremely easy! We got to the port by taxi from Miami airport ($24) at about 12:30. We were on the boat by 1PM. We brought our swimsuits with us so we could use the pool deck before we got our luggage. We were greeted with champagne and orange juice and a very welcoming crew with big smiles! We explored the ship for a bit and checked out the outside buffet . We ended up getting a little pizza in El Adigio. Very good and fresh, especially the margarita pizza! Out stateroom was ready at @2PM however our luggage never arrived till about 7PM.
Our inside stateroom (8353) wasn't anything special. But for $149, I can't complain the much. We had 2 separated beds which did make for slightly more room that our friends that had them put together. There wasn't much room at all to put your clothes. We made due, kinda piled clothes where we could. Putting our suitcases under the bed helped. Bathroom is also very small but functional. It was pretty comfortable and we didn't really spend much time there. The beds are firm but I like it that way. The towel animals throughout the cruise were a very nice touch. Steward that we didn't see at all kept it very clean and well stocked. NCL also takes a $12 per person, per day fee for gratuities. This goes to your servers and stewards. On alcohol they charge an automatic 15% gratuity on alchohol.
We hit the pool deck for awhile and swam and sat in the hot tubs and got some drinks. The pools are in the middle of everything. It was a little uncomfortable because it felt like we were being stared at from every side...and we probably were but oh well. One thing we didn't expect was the salt water. The pool and hot tubs have salt water...not all that refreshing! Drink prices aren't horrible...I think the best bang for your buck was a Long Island. Only $6 and pretty strong. Hands down the best alcohol deal on the boat is the 2 for 1 Martini's from 6 to 8 @ The Plantation. This is EVERYDAY! We drank there every day, had great service and felt very good afterwards! ;-) Gotta try out the lemon drop martini or the stormy night! My favorites!
After martini's we had a good dinner at The Palace. We did have to wait about 15 minutes to get in but we checked out the gift shop nearby and you can also get 20% off a drink ordered @ any bar with a pager in your hand. Service was just okay. Nothing special, which was kind of disappointing our first night. Food was very good though, filet mignon and a gnocchi dish. You can order multiple dishes if you want to try out more...they don't care! We didn't get dessert because we were so full. We checked out the show after dinner, Rockin Soul Nights was okay. We did get to meet our cruise director, the infamous Matt Baker, who was awesome the whole cruise! We checked out the casino and joined their club. Got a coupon book for a free $5 chip, and one where you could use an Ace on any blackjack hand. There were more for slots but I'm not a fan. We were up about $100 bucks so we retired to sleep happy!
Second day was Grand Bahamas Island. We went to the margarita tasting @ Captain Cooks Bar right as we got back on the boat. $15 per person. This was a VERY BAD experience. The bartender (Francisco) very obviously didn't want to do the tasting. He told us that we needed 10 people there in order to start. After a little while some people showed up but it still wasn't enough. A little while later we finally had enough people. Once the bartender knew he had to do the tasting he started to get ready. He very slowly started to get things set up. We didn't even start the tasting till after 5PM, it was scheduled for 4:30. It was an extremely slow process. First of all, this was not the bartender for the job. He was SO slow and could not multitask. He also did not make the drinks well. He told us he didn't know much about margaritas...probably not the best person for the event! He also had to wash out our glasses between the 5 different margaritas he made because he didn't have enough to keep pouring. It was a very long, frustrating and tedious process. We also had maybe a full margarita between the 5 different ones he made...very small portions. Not worth $15 and it took over an hour and half.
The one good thing I must say is that NCL has some good service recovery. We went to the front desk to complain about the event. The lady told me she was bringing down the boats bar manager. He came to talk with us in less than 5 minutes. We explained to him our bad experience. He was VERY nice and sincere. He apologized and also bought us 4 Margaritas that he made very strong! We thought this was fair!
We decided to eat at the main dining rooms because they had Lobster tail! Make sure to check out the dinner menu's every morning to start thinking about what you'd like to do. We ate at Crossroads. It was a dress up if you want to night, we didn't. We didn't have a wait. Service was better this night. Surf & more Surf and a lamb dish! Desserts were awesome too. I had an expresso chocolate cake! Very good! After some more 2 for 1 martini's we went to see the comedian Rich Purpura...VERY FUNNY!!! We also stuck around for the Newlywed/Not So Newlywed game show...also VERY FUNNY! That night we also decided to check out the late night buffet which was good with some desserts but ended up eating a little at Longboards Sport Bar. Chicken tenders and wings with a night cap!
3rd day was Nassau. We made a reservation for dinner @ Cagney's Steakhouse ($25 per person) for about 6PM. Well worth the cover charge! Service was excellent! Food was phenomenal. I think we all got the 10oz fillet...perfect! The staff also sang a sweet love song for our friend's anniversary and brought them cake! Nice touch! A couple boat managers also came over to our table, wished a happy anniversary and made sure everything was perfect...and it was! After some more 2 for 1 Martini's we made it to the Broadway show...it was kinda lame.
4th day was the cruise lines private island, Great Stirrup Cay. We had a leisurely breakfast and headed down to take a boat to the island. It was kinda a crappy day and it only got worse. We were only on the Island for about 45 minutes and they cancelled the beach day and sent everybody back to the island. It was raining and I guess the water was too choppy to keep ferrying everyone back and forth. The island looked like it would have been a nice relaxing day tho. Full of beach chairs, volleyball court, bars, etc. They took the boat into better weather and it ended up being a decent day. They moved the beach bbq to the pool deck...it was okay, nothing special. Just hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, potato salad and cold slaw. They scheduled a few more activities on the ship due to the change of itinerary. We headed to Outriggers Lounge for some games that were schedules with the cruise director, his assistant and the comedian. It was fun but kinda slow moving. The pool deck was very full. We just relaxed for the rest of the day on the sundeck and ended up taking a nap because there wasn't much else to do.
There was a beer tasting scheduled for that afternoon @ Longboards ($15 per person). We got there and the bartender told us we had to wait for 10 people. We waited about 10 minutes and gave up. We were scared it was going to be another bad experience and the bartender obviously didn't want to do it. Which is REALLY annoying! They should be ready and prepared. We decided to check out the Italian restaurant El Adiagio ($10 per person). We didn't make reservations but we got right in. It was VERY Good! Osso Buco, Chicken Parm & Marsala, lobster ravioli and lots more I can't remember. Dessert was awesome too. There was a lot to choose from at this restaurant. After some more 2 for 1 martini's we went to the last show at the Stardust Theater. It was good, a variety show. The crew director and his staff had the last part very funny! Afterwards we decided to check out the open mic night and the Qwest Game @ Outriggers. Also very funny...it's amazing what people do for a keychain! We had a few late night snacks @ Longboard and the outside buffet.
There is an option to get a luggage tag and have the stewards take your luggage that you can pick up the next day. We decided not to and just walked our luggage off the ship the next day. We had breakfast outside, finished packing our things and we were off the boat in less than 15 minutes! Disembarkation was a breeze!
Overall this was a great cruise. The food was good. Service was hit or miss tho. If there was one thing I could change it would just be a more consistent service experience across the ship. But I'd recommend the cruise and do it again in a heartbeat!
MrKylee’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IF 8353
Very small, nothing special. Very little places for unpacking suitcases. Good location near elevators in aft of ship.
Viking Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Freeport
    We heard there wasn't much to do here so we booked an excursion. There is a very small straw market right @ the port...nothing to write home about. The bus took us to the small town Lucaya. (20 min ride each way) We did the Sea Safari & Snorkel excursion. VERY GOOD! Boat ride was about 30 minutes round trip. We went to Rainbow Reef. Actual snorkel time was only a little over an hour. But we fed the fish right from our hands...AMAZING! Reef was pretty and there were tons of fish. The crew was very good and helpful. Small cash bar and grill was available.
    After we got back to land we walked around the Lucaya straw market. It was much larger with a better selection. There are also some places to eat...we got ice cream. There were 2 shuttles that went back to the ship, one at 130 and 330. We took the late one and walked about 10 minutes to the beach. We accidently walked through the Radisson resort that was on the beach. It was empty and used their beach and beach chairs. It as quiet, empty and beautiful. A great relaxing afternoon. On and off the boat was a breeze.
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  • Nassau
    We had heard there was a lot to do here so went did it without an excursion. If your planning on doing an Atlantis Excursion wait until you get there and save yourself A LOT of money. (More on that in a bit) There is a lot to do in Nassau! You are in the middle of their downtown. Tons of shoppes, stores, straw markets and especially jewelry stores. We took a water taxi for $6 per person round trip to Paradise Island. The crew hand gave a little tour on our way over (about 20 min each way) and expected to be tipped for the services. We walked about 10 min or so to Atlantis. Very beautiful. You can see the underwater aquarium and walk round the casino and resort. You can only get so far until you need a wrist band to continue. We almost paid to get into the resort. And if you want to, do it AT THE RESORT. If you book through the ship it's $40 more per person than to just do it @ Atlantis.
    We ended up walking through the beach tower and out to a free beach next to Atlantis called Cabbage Beach. It was very nice and a beautiful day. Our only complaint was all the locals haggling us! It got a little out of hand. The met us outside Atlantis and walked with us to the beach trying to get us to rent their beach chairs, jet skis, parasailing, banana boat, get us a drink, etc. It was a little annoying. And while we laid on the beach, we were constantly interrupted as well. Once we said a FIRM NO they finally left, but another came in 10 min or so. A friend and I decided to use the massage station! We paid $30 each for a 1/2 hour massage. They were very good and it was amazing to get a massage on the beach with the sound of the ocean 10 feet away!
    We had a good time but if I had to do it again I'd paid to get into Atlantis. On and off the boat was a breeze once again.
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