January 2017 - Norwegian Sky to Caribbean - Bahamas
Second time on this ship for only two main reasons. After my first cruise on NCL three years ago, I started collecting ship models, neglecting to obtain one of the Sky. After my voyage to Panama Canal on NCL Pearl last October/November, I was left with only one more night to move to the next tier on their loyalty program. My goals: going Silver and getting a model. My goal was to avoid unnecessarily expenses despite temptations brought on by the constant buzz thanks to their open bar. Brought my buddy Steve because he was desperately in need of a change of scene. He came along three years ago and we wanted to see if this ship has gone into the toilet. My ex-wife originally volunteered to come but her work interfered. Here's what we noticed: the smoke in the casino had...disappeared. There were fellow drinkers a-plenty but none seemed particularly smashed. Just a few ones, the young stuff learning how. No one was belligerent, some drunks spontaneously broke out into a song at inappropriate circumstances (Such as myself.) Bar service was faultless, friendly and relatively prompt considering the demand, and good mixes used for Bloody Marys and Mojitos were delicious. Pours were standard jiggers. Both shows at the Stardust were about expected, songs and dances served with cheese. The duo performing mostly acoustic guitar ballads and required bar songs ("Margaritaville") were adequate for setting a mood. Food abounded, and the quality was hit and miss as expected. The beef was pretty good, at least it showed up as ordered. The prime beef was tasty but full of fat and sinewy waste. Same with the 18 oz. steak, that lost a good 5 oz. in trimmed fat and sinew. The crab and fish "cake" was inedible. Tasteless, like mashed potatoes. The dal and the Indian lentil dish at the buffet were exceptional. Good, inventive salads there including a Mexican bean. I refrain from eating gray meat, so I can't testify to the burgers and meatloaf. I also stay from frozen fish, so that eliminated most of the seafood dishes. The smoked salmon was delicious. As usual the chocolate desserts were superb, particularly that Mexican brownie--dense and rich. The peach melba was an unexpected treat. The coconut cheesecake married two of my favorite things. On Great Stirrup Cay the salads were delicious and cold, and the chicken was hot, not spicy. Re: hamburgers. Not this time. Saving my burger craving for Guy Fieri's aboard Carnival. The beaches and newly-planted palms frame views of the sea. Unexpected: a hidden picnic area in the mangroves, surrounding a well. Safe place to smoke without bothering anyone. Cabin was barely adequate for two adults--I had originally planned to go solo which would have been perfect. Tiny beyond belief, 121 sq. ft. Stand up STRAIGHT shower. No problem with a/c, electrical or plumbing. Bed was fine, pillows puffy. Excellent steward with some impossible-to-pronounce Thai name. Kept my ice bucket filled and my towels replaced. Did our exercise walk in Nassau--uphill and downhill--on our way to the Watling Distillery. Fantastic! Loved that place to drink and smile at the softness of the scented tropical air. Visited an old graveyard to get in touch some forebears with my name. On the way back to the ship we stopped to buy fresh conch salad from a boatman tied up along Woodes Rodgers Walk. Excellent! Sweet as sugarcane and hot as blazing as the sunset. An altogether wonderful day. (Dis)Embarkation is a snap, organized and getting through the line takes about 10 minutes. The tenders shuttle folks between the ship and the dock at Great Stirrup every few minutes. I love it, to me it's like they throw in a free boat ride. Look forward to another one of my dumbass videos.