December 2015 - 4 Night Bahamas (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Sky
Hard to Believe this is the same NCL we know and love
We are experienced NCL cruisers, having reached their Lattitudes Platinum level many years (and cruises) ago. We put together a group of 19 family and friends to expose a dozen people to sailing for the first time, hoping they would enjoy the experience as much as we have. We agreed on a shorter 4 day cruise for their first experience thinking the time and cost would be favorable to them.
What a HUGE mistake to book the NCL Sky on their 4 day Bahamas (they do a 3 day the other part of a week). It was like we were sailing with a different company than the real NCL that we know and love!
Nothing felt right or comfortable for the 6 of us that routinely sail NCL. The premier system of loyalty that NCL touts failed completely on this trip. As the top tier Platinum level we got NONE of the minor awards we normally receive. No early check in, no complimentary dinner, no bottle of wine, no candy/fruit in the staterooms, etc - Nothing. When the on board cruise consultant finally showed up at her desk one day, I was told NCL doesn't see the need to do that for cruises less than 5 days. When I expressed my disappointment and suggested that maybe our folks should give future business to Royal Caribbean, she replied matter-of-factly that would be our decision. No effort to please at all.
The crewmembers all seemed to have an indifferent attitude also (save for one nice dinner hostess, Revi). Service was slow in the dining rooms, despite not being full when we attended, bar service was slow and the officers just walked on by in the hallways without a "hello". Normally there is a main dining room open for lunch, but on the SKY it was only open the first and second days, forcing everyone to the buffet line.
I am guessing that they know a totally new group of vacationers come on board every 3 or 4 days so why go to any great effort. There were many new employees to the ship that we ran into as we interacted with them, and many whose employee contract was about up, so that may explain some of the attitude.
Our balcony cabin was pretty normal, except with the SKY remodel a few years ago they took out the in-room coffee pot, the small table/drawers, there is one less 110V plug, and they have turned off the Navigation channel on their on board TV's.
The ports were fine, our folks enjoyed the excursions they went on, and we had 3 out of 4 nights of pretty smooth sailing on the seas. If you are accustomed to sailing NCL and part of their loyalty program, this is not the cruise for you to book. If you are looking for a short inexpensive cruise and you are a "Ken and Barbie" type looking to party hardy - this may be for you.