Our fifth cruise was our third to Alaska and first on Norwegian Cruise Line, and. On the Norwegian Sky we departed Seattle for the Inside Passage. Our expectations had been qualified after reading the varied reviews posted or printed, but the actual experience exceeded our expectations. We will not hesitate to take Norwegian in the future or to recommend it to others. For us, the cabin size was adequate and comfortable. The small couch provided comfortable seating in the cabin. The three small drawers with several shelves elsewhere provided more space than we used, even though we had not packed light for this trip. The entire ship was clean and comfortable. Shows were excellent. Food was excellent with excellent choices far superior to the food on our first Princess cruise, and was probably the best we have ever had on a cruise. Service was equally good. Norwegian Sky's Garden Cafe presented adequate food with inadequate seating. Only one person, a young lady who conducted the bridge tour displayed a negative attitude. When the group gathering for the tour did not meet at the place she thought they should have met, she could not let go of the fact and was unnecessarily repetitively negative throughout our contact with her. Others who had contact with her in other settings reported similar experiences. Communication is poor on the ship. The public address system does not cover all areas, and in some areas where speakers are located the volume is inadequate. We missed more announcements than we heard. This problem should have been identified and corrected long ago. Information communicated is very minimal, virtually nonexistent. On the last day we happened upon a detailed route map of the cruise posted in and out of the way corridor. Less detailed maps were posted in the Atrium and did not show current or projected positions. No route, weather or sea information is shown on the cabin TVs. The only information shown was the temperature and this remained unchanged throughout the entire cruise? Always 45 degrees!! On our previous two cruises to Alaska on other lines, we had been alerted to upcoming sites with estimated times of passing the site. On these other lines helpful historical and other information was announced and the sites pointed out as we passed; also wildlife was pointed out as opportunity presented. In all, the other cruises gave probably 15-20 advisories or commentaries besides commentary at the glaciers. Norwegian Sky gave one announcement only, though it is possible there might have been another that could not be heard in the area where we were. A glacier commentary could not be heard in some observation areas so offered nothing if you happened to be in those areas. Do not expect any real time communication or information aboard the Sky and you will not be disappointed -- you may be pleasantly surprised if you get some. Previous cruises had displayed on continuously sequencing screens on the TV information such as temperature, predictions, course, sea conditions, speed, time and distance from last port, time and distance to next port, wind direction and velocity on deck, route maps of varying magnifications, etc. Interesting generally, Such helpful information may be of particular value to inside cabin passengers. In Juneau, it was almost two hours before we got to go ashore on the tender, cutting down the visit duration. It seemed the process was not handled very efficiently. They may have done their best, if so, be prepared to accept some frustration. For equal money we might select another line, but for even a small price, schedule, or itinerary advantage we would not hesitate to go Norwegian.
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