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My boyfriend and I chose this cruise as an affordable and convenient way to vacation in the Bahamas for my birthday weekend. Despite all of the mixed reviews, we had a wonderful time and without hesitation I'd recommend NCL and/or this itinerary to anyone looking for a nice getaway. We boarded the ship at 12:00pm on Friday January 3rd which was the earliest time guests could embark. Embarkation was quick and convenient and we left our luggage with an employee before boarding the ship. We decided to have lunch at the buffet and cocktails from the pool bar which was a nice way to begin our weekend trip. We also pre-paid for the premium drink package which was well worth the money as we did not have to worry about getting a large bill at the end of our trip. It is worth mentioning that while in port, we were responsible for paying port tax which we did get billed for at the end of our trip. It was not much but still worth noting since you do get charged tax for every drink you order while in port. We spent the remainder of our afternoon lounging by the pool and enjoyed listening to the band play music until sail away. Our experience on our first day allowed us to relax and explore the ship at our own leisure. Friday night we had dinner in the dining room and had the pleasure of chatting with the Maitre d' Krystle. She greeted us at our table and we asked her about the ship's many features since it was our first time on the ship and my boyfriend's first cruise. She was very friendly, informative, and attentive to our needs during our meal. When it was time to order dessert, my boyfriend and I each ordered our own desserts (bananas foster for me and a s'mores brownie for him) and then were surprised with a chocolate lava cake and delicious gelato which was the special dessert of the evening. The gelato was so delicious and was a nice way to end my birthday dinner. After dinner we attended the "Welcome Aboard" show, listened to the comedian, and then headed to the lounge to watch the ship's version of Dancing with the Stars. I have never laughed so hard while watching fellow passengers dance with the ship's dancers. After the show we went to the mojito bar which is an absolute must! I ordered a delicious raspberry guava mojito and we watched the couples salsa dance. I thoroughly enjoyed the different nightlife options as we were able to experience multiple entertainment options in the same evening. Saturday morning we woke up early and had breakfast in the dining room. Service was a bit slow but we enjoyed our meal. We then went to the lounge to obtain our number for the tender boat so that we could visit Great Stirrup Cay; NCL's private island. The process of getting on the tender boat was a little time consuming but mostly because other passengers on line did not have their photo IDs despite multiple reminders from the employees. This caused a number of passengers to get off line and return to their state rooms to get their IDs. Once we got on the tender boat, it was only a ten minute boat ride to the private island. Upon arrival we were amazed by the beauty of the ocean and the beach and I really felt like I stepped in to paradise. There were plenty of amenities and a beach right when you arrive but of course that area was the most crowded. I suggested we walk a bit further so that we could relax on the beach with some quiet and privacy. If you like to snorkel, you can definitely bring your own and snorkel right off the beach. There were also floats available to rent for about $15 each. Of course I had to stop to take some pictures and get a pina colada from the Bacardi bar! The beach was immaculate and the bar was only a short walk away. We enjoyed mahi sandwiches and ceviche for lunch. All meals were included and drinks were free if you had the premium drink package like we did. After lunch we decided to visit the beach closest to the tender boat area so that we could get the most of our beach time before we had to leave. The last tender was at 4:30 so we decided to board around 3:30 to avoid the last minute rush. It is worth mentioning that there was a lot of trash left behind by guests and there were no beach servers or employees walking around cleaning up while we were there. We were disheartened by that and wish that other guests cleaned up after themselves like we did. When we got back on the boat we decided to hang by the pool and listen to the band until sail away. We then walked around the ship and explored our different dinner options. We decided to eat in the other dining room and had a very enjoyable experience yet again. Our server was attentive and I decided to order multiple appetizers instead of a main course. The corn chowder was delicious! After dinner we visited the mojito bar again and I ordered the pineapple & coconut mojito. Yum! We then visited the pool deck for the glow party where we dressed in all white and danced the night way. The party was so fun and the music was great! After the glow party we visited the lounge and listened to some more music before retiring for the evening. Sunday was our day in Nassau and we were up early to make the most of the day. The weather was warm but very windy. We had plans of visiting Cable Beach which is accessible either by the local bus or taxi. Upon arrival at port, passengers have to walk through Nassau's straw market which can be a bit overwhelming with vendors, tour companies, etc. so I recommend that you have a plan before getting off the boat if you decide to venture in Nassau on your own. There were also 5 or 6 other cruise ships in port which meant thousands of people were walking through the same area as we were. We walked a few blocks and were able to hire a taxi on our own. It was about $20 for a private cab ride to Cable Beach and we spent a few hours relaxing on the beach there despite the wind. After the beach we visited Fish Fry which is an area that has a few small seafood/bbq restaurants that was recommended by the cab drivers. We had delicious conch fritters, salad, and jerk chicken and then made our way over to Senor Frogs before it was time to leave around 4:00pm. Senor Frogs is an absolute blast but probably not the best choice for families/small children. When we got back on the ship we once again decided to relax by the pool and listen to the band during sail away. Watching the boat leave Nassau during sunset was gorgeous! Due to the weather the boat was rocking a bit but I was prepared with medication for motion sickness and it appeared other passengers were prepared as well. Upon arrival to our guest room we realized we had an amenity of chocolate covered strawberries sent to us from Krystle, the Maitre d' we met on Friday night. We were so surprised that she thought of us and decided to have dinner in the dining room that evening so we could thank her for her thoughtfulness. A small gesture like that really makes guests feel like the ship's hospitality is top-notch. Our dinner was delicious and I ordered the cream of asparagus soup, spaghetti puttanesca, and gelato for dessert. My boyfriend ordered the steak with chimichurri and a souffle for dessert and enjoyed his meal as well. After dinner we went to the "adults only" comedy show which was fun. We called it an early night after the show because we knew we'd be up early Monday morning to disembark the ship. Sadly no visit to the mojito bar on our last night! On Monday morning we chose to take our own luggage off the ship which was actually quite convenient since we could get off no later than 9:30-10:00AM and we didn't have to worry about searching for our luggage. We had breakfast at the buffet on the pool deck and then waited about a half hour to go through customs and get off the ship. I was impressed to see the Cruise Directors and Assistant General Manager greeting and thanking all guests while getting off the ship. I made sure to tell them all how much I enjoyed the cruise and how wonderful our trip was. They were appreciative of the kind feedback. As someone who works in the hospitality industry, I was very impressed by the all of the employees we interacted with; from our Room Steward Jacob to the Assistant General Manager and Cruise Directors.. The service was always attentive and prompt and the ship's staff really do go above and beyond to provide a memorable experience.

An enjoyable and affordable weekend getaway to the Bahamas

Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by meisenberg89

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Bahamas
My boyfriend and I chose this cruise as an affordable and convenient way to vacation in the Bahamas for my birthday weekend. Despite all of the mixed reviews, we had a wonderful time and without hesitation I'd recommend NCL and/or this itinerary to anyone looking for a nice getaway.

We boarded the ship at 12:00pm on Friday January 3rd which was the earliest time guests could embark. Embarkation was quick and convenient and we left our luggage with an employee before boarding the ship. We decided to have lunch at the buffet and cocktails from the pool bar which was a nice way to begin our weekend trip. We also pre-paid for the premium drink package which was well worth the money as we did not have to worry about getting a large bill at the end of our trip. It is worth mentioning that while in port, we were responsible for paying port tax which we did get billed for at the end of our trip. It was not much but still worth noting since you do get charged tax for every drink you order while in port. We spent the remainder of our afternoon lounging by the pool and enjoyed listening to the band play music until sail away. Our experience on our first day allowed us to relax and explore the ship at our own leisure.

Friday night we had dinner in the dining room and had the pleasure of chatting with the Maitre d' Krystle. She greeted us at our table and we asked her about the ship's many features since it was our first time on the ship and my boyfriend's first cruise. She was very friendly, informative, and attentive to our needs during our meal. When it was time to order dessert, my boyfriend and I each ordered our own desserts (bananas foster for me and a s'mores brownie for him) and then were surprised with a chocolate lava cake and delicious gelato which was the special dessert of the evening. The gelato was so delicious and was a nice way to end my birthday dinner.

After dinner we attended the "Welcome Aboard" show, listened to the comedian, and then headed to the lounge to watch the ship's version of Dancing with the Stars. I have never laughed so hard while watching fellow passengers dance with the ship's dancers. After the show we went to the mojito bar which is an absolute must! I ordered a delicious raspberry guava mojito and we watched the couples salsa dance. I thoroughly enjoyed the different nightlife options as we were able to experience multiple entertainment options in the same evening.

Saturday morning we woke up early and had breakfast in the dining room. Service was a bit slow but we enjoyed our meal. We then went to the lounge to obtain our number for the tender boat so that we could visit Great Stirrup Cay; NCL's private island. The process of getting on the tender boat was a little time consuming but mostly because other passengers on line did not have their photo IDs despite multiple reminders from the employees. This caused a number of passengers to get off line and return to their state rooms to get their IDs. Once we got on the tender boat, it was only a ten minute boat ride to the private island. Upon arrival we were amazed by the beauty of the ocean and the beach and I really felt like I stepped in to paradise. There were plenty of amenities and a beach right when you arrive but of course that area was the most crowded. I suggested we walk a bit further so that we could relax on the beach with some quiet and privacy. If you like to snorkel, you can definitely bring your own and snorkel right off the beach. There were also floats available to rent for about $15 each. Of course I had to stop to take some pictures and get a pina colada from the Bacardi bar! The beach was immaculate and the bar was only a short walk away. We enjoyed mahi sandwiches and ceviche for lunch. All meals were included and drinks were free if you had the premium drink package like we did. After lunch we decided to visit the beach closest to the tender boat area so that we could get the most of our beach time before we had to leave. The last tender was at 4:30 so we decided to board around 3:30 to avoid the last minute rush. It is worth mentioning that there was a lot of trash left behind by guests and there were no beach servers or employees walking around cleaning up while we were there. We were disheartened by that and wish that other guests cleaned up after themselves like we did.

When we got back on the boat we decided to hang by the pool and listen to the band until sail away. We then walked around the ship and explored our different dinner options. We decided to eat in the other dining room and had a very enjoyable experience yet again. Our server was attentive and I decided to order multiple appetizers instead of a main course. The corn chowder was delicious! After dinner we visited the mojito bar again and I ordered the pineapple & coconut mojito. Yum! We then visited the pool deck for the glow party where we dressed in all white and danced the night way. The party was so fun and the music was great! After the glow party we visited the lounge and listened to some more music before retiring for the evening.

Sunday was our day in Nassau and we were up early to make the most of the day. The weather was warm but very windy. We had plans of visiting Cable Beach which is accessible either by the local bus or taxi. Upon arrival at port, passengers have to walk through Nassau's straw market which can be a bit overwhelming with vendors, tour companies, etc. so I recommend that you have a plan before getting off the boat if you decide to venture in Nassau on your own. There were also 5 or 6 other cruise ships in port which meant thousands of people were walking through the same area as we were. We walked a few blocks and were able to hire a taxi on our own. It was about $20 for a private cab ride to Cable Beach and we spent a few hours relaxing on the beach there despite the wind. After the beach we visited Fish Fry which is an area that has a few small seafood/bbq restaurants that was recommended by the cab drivers. We had delicious conch fritters, salad, and jerk chicken and then made our way over to Senor Frogs before it was time to leave around 4:00pm. Senor Frogs is an absolute blast but probably not the best choice for families/small children. When we got back on the ship we once again decided to relax by the pool and listen to the band during sail away. Watching the boat leave Nassau during sunset was gorgeous! Due to the weather the boat was rocking a bit but I was prepared with medication for motion sickness and it appeared other passengers were prepared as well.

Upon arrival to our guest room we realized we had an amenity of chocolate covered strawberries sent to us from Krystle, the Maitre d' we met on Friday night. We were so surprised that she thought of us and decided to have dinner in the dining room that evening so we could thank her for her thoughtfulness. A small gesture like that really makes guests feel like the ship's hospitality is top-notch. Our dinner was delicious and I ordered the cream of asparagus soup, spaghetti puttanesca, and gelato for dessert. My boyfriend ordered the steak with chimichurri and a souffle for dessert and enjoyed his meal as well. After dinner we went to the "adults only" comedy show which was fun. We called it an early night after the show because we knew we'd be up early Monday morning to disembark the ship. Sadly no visit to the mojito bar on our last night!

On Monday morning we chose to take our own luggage off the ship which was actually quite convenient since we could get off no later than 9:30-10:00AM and we didn't have to worry about searching for our luggage. We had breakfast at the buffet on the pool deck and then waited about a half hour to go through customs and get off the ship. I was impressed to see the Cruise Directors and Assistant General Manager greeting and thanking all guests while getting off the ship. I made sure to tell them all how much I enjoyed the cruise and how wonderful our trip was. They were appreciative of the kind feedback.

As someone who works in the hospitality industry, I was very impressed by the all of the employees we interacted with; from our Room Steward Jacob to the Assistant General Manager and Cruise Directors.. The service was always attentive and prompt and the ship's staff really do go above and beyond to provide a memorable experience.
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