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Norwegian Sky Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,195 Reviews

Good for Retirees and Married Couples, Less So for Singles

Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by shadowrunkarma

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Inside

My perspective: Single young male no kids, looking for good blackjack, dancing, maybe younger singles groups to meet people my age. Not too picky on room nor food. Novice cruiser. A bit nerdy. I do not smoke nor drink. Overall 3.6 out of 5, rounded to 4/5.

1. Service.

+Excellent staff (++). 2nd Engineer (Propulsion?) took time to tell me about ship as I am a nerd (+). Solo Traveller Leader danced with me for a few hours (+)... crowd was mostly too lame to dance and mostly just sat with drink package at Bliss club or pool deck - not NCL's fault. Personal Shopper and Bartenders very friendly (+) (even though I do not buy stuff nor drink alcohol). Guest Services knew my name and family's names (+). Room Steward for my mom and Aunt's room was very attentive to their security on day 1 - when I was trying to get in their room alone to drop off bags from embarkation (when they were eating), steward politely checked to see if I knew the occupants, my name, and their names (+). He paid enough attention that even on first day only females were in room (+). Stirrup Cay snorkel manager gave excellent brief to find underwater statues and avoid stepping on stingrays (+). NCL app kept losing wifi on phone (-) but may have been because my phone was old (Crapple IPhone 5s) however the communication package was only 5$ (+). Mandatory Deck 6 Day 1 safety brief to muster at lifeboats conducted in unpleasantly hot Florida sun on Starboard side for me for about 45 minutes... seriously folks, for those tourists only knowing snow, standing and sweating in the direct hot FL sun for about an hour shoulder to shoulder with other guests is the equivalent of someone up north wearing a bikini in -10 degrees F with 30 mph wind chill... it's not fun (-).

I CANNOT stress enough how professional and polite the staff was (+). And the ship was VERY clean, no sickness from anyone I saw. Porters armed with hand sanitizer in plant-spray bottles lined the halls offering a spray to anyone with the endearing note of "washy-washy?"

2. Dining.

Sushi should be part of buffet (-) not a la carte. Pizza was free for limited times (-). Breakfast served until 1230 (+) for late nappers. Sit down restaurants had good food (+) but be prepared to wait up to 90 minutes for it at some times. Dessert was limited unless guests enjoy ice cream (-). Very hardworking kitchen staff, always cleaning or working (+). A few good Indian dishes served with a good spice level (+).

3. Cabin.

Slept like a rock, very quiet even though close to kids' arcade and activities; barely heard them running down hall (+). Mid ship can feel engine when moving at night at 25 knots (I do not get seasick, but some might). Bring ginger aboard as needed. Mini fridge allows aloe storage for emergency sunburn remedy (+). Decent size, although some may find it too small. Shower pod was small but had very good hot water (had to guess for temperature, finding 11 o'clock to be ideal temp for me). Drying rack-string did not work in room (-) but dehumidifier and air conditioning was very good, and I like it cold-I would say the room was a comfortable 69 degrees F (+). Safe was good, easy to program and had little LED light, but only big enough to fit about nine fists' full of stuff (+).

4. Entertainment.

Movies in Sugarcane theater by day: Captain Marvel (-), Spider-Man, and Crazy Rich Asians; no interest but may appeal to others. Surprised no live theater during Sea Day on Day 3 (-). World-Class Juggler was excellent, saw two musicals with themes on 60's-70's music, Motown, and dancing (+). Casino was very bad overall, minimum 10$ for blackjack or anything else... I've played at other casinos that had lower minimums (should be 1$ to 3$) and games last much longer (- -). Smokers are not NCL's fault, but wow they need a smoker's gambling area as the smoke is enough to stagger a non-smoker (myself). Bingo was very bad; for the big drawing the caller goes very fast and actively tries to distract the players with irrelevant information (-).

"How to Run a Cruise Ship" event was awesome, got to meet senior engineer, cruise director, director of hospitality, and even the captain. Virtual tour of bridge and engineering was good but diminished by fact that guests could not schedule a guided private tour or something. Senior crew was VERY knowledgeable. Took intense pride in providing relief to Bahamas after Dorian (like 100 pallets of supplies per trip to the islands when they needed it). They fielded dozens of questions expertly and I felt comfortable in their decades of naval expertise.

Solo traveler group was all retirees, which is fine for some, but not for me (-). Nearly all younger people my age were married. Recommendation is for cruise to have age-bracketed solo traveler group.

5. Embarkation.

If you got priority, MAKE SURE to mention to staff so you can circumvent lines. Luggage delivered later in day but in perfect condition and to correct rooms (+). Be advised if you have valuables to keep them on you as your bags will be sitting in the hall until you secure them. As usual, if you can, pack as light as possible - personal opinion but experience from many other forms of travel.

5a. Disembarkation.

Relatively painless, although PRIORITY DOES NOT get you off the ship faster, so that 99$ does not cover it.

6. Excursions.

Stirrup Cay staff is as good as the excellence demonstrated by shipboard. PRIORITY DOES NOT get you off nor back on ship faster (-). Be prepared to wait in a long line, although it moved within 30 minutes with the two tenders.

7. Would I go again?

Probably not on this cruise in particular as the age group was too senior for dancing (not NCL's fault), the casino was very bad (- -), and I was hoping for more live entertainment. There should have been age-bracketed solo traveler groups with 20 year intervals. The food was good (+) although sushi was a la carte (-), and the service staff was outstanding (++).

Props (pun) to you if you read this far! You get a (++)!


shadowrunkarma's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside

From above, for those not wanting to read complete review.

Slept like a rock, very quiet even though close to kids' arcade and activities; barely heard them running down hall (+). Mid ship can feel engine when moving at night at 25 knots (I do not get seasick, but some might). Bring ginger aboard as needed. Mini fridge allows aloe storage for emergency sunburn remedy (+). Decent size, although some may find it too small. Shower pod was small but had very good hot water (had to guess for temperature, finding 11 o'clock to be ideal temp for me). Drying rack-string did not work in room (-) but dehumidifier and air conditioning was very good, and I like it cold-I would say the room was a comfortable 69 degrees F (+). Safe was good, easy to program and had little LED light, but only big enough to fit about nine fists' full of stuff (+).


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shadowrunkarma
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