Sail Date: October 27, 2008 Ship: Norwegian Sky Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 9 years ago
I enjoyed the SKY very much. It wasn't the best cruise I have been on, but it was a wonderful vacation and well worth the price. It was a nice mix of passengers' ages, families, and singles. It was not rowdy and we weren't woken up by staggering neighbors at 2:00am. I loved being able to walk directly on the ship with no wait, and then walk off the ship with all my luggage if I wanted to without having to do the color-coded luggage tags, only to search for them amongst a mass of other luggage at the port. (The Express Traveler is a nice option to have - just leave the boat when you want, as long as it is before 10am!)
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
I would not recommend the ship if you are looking for huge portions and all-night buffets. Personally, i enjoyed the smaller, more manageble, but delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts. The free-style dining suited our laid-back schedule so we could eat earlier or later depending on what we were doing for the day. We tried each of the three specialty restaurants and all were excellent, well worth the small cover charge above the standard cruise fare. We found the main dining room food wonderful too, just don't expect mounds of donuts, desserts, and chocolate buffets. Food was excellent in quality, but toned down on quantity. I'm glad I didn't have the opportunity to eat so much or else I probably would have!!!!!
3 out of 5
Didn't go to the shows. The comedian was funny but not hilarious. Not much of the scheduled events appealed to me but I'm not one to participate in a crew vs. passenger shuffleboard tournament or basketball game. I loved the pool, the hot tubs, the library, the game room. We definetly found stuff to do!
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Because you are free-style dining, you have no assigned waitstaff since you come and go as you please. This makes tipping incredibly difficult. NCL's solution was to assess a standard $10/day/adult service charge to your bill as the usual tip we do at the end of the cruise. You could of course give someone more if you thought they were over and above expected service, but we felt that few members provided that level. The staff, however, were very friendly and tried to be helpful when asked questions, but I can't say I got to know anyone really well, nor them me. The service was not standardized. We got a couple of towel animals, one we couldn't tell what it was. One couple said they didn't get any, and one couple said they got two every night, very intricately made.
5 out of 5
The ship seemed large enough for the passengers on board that there were no long lines, plenty of seating, we weren't tripping over each other at the pool....we all seemed to have plenty of space and were quite comfortable. The decor was festive and bright.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
The balcony room was tight, but no more so than any other cabin on most cruise ships. This was our first balcony so we really enjoyed it. The bed and pillows were some of the most comfortable I have ever slept on. The extra water/chips/etc set in the room were not clearly marked as part of the mini-bar and we had to ask before we thought about consuming them.
It is not NCL's private island, but more of a private beach on the island. There is a nice walk to the lighthouse (nothing exciting about the lighthouse, but had some great views at the end of the 2 mile trail). During the walk, there is a sign that you are leaving NCL property. The beach was clear and nice. Plenty of chairs and umbrellas. The barbeque was a little hectic where they couldn't cook the burgers fast enough and they ran out of iced tea. They did encourage a volleyball game or two which i thoroughly enjoyed.
I wish I had read more about Freeport before we visited. I could find no travel books in the airport or on board, so we were at the mercy at the shore excursion desk. We choose not to do any shore excursions so we basically took the taxi into town and shopped for baubles and bangles. I would defintely look more closely at this port before arriving.
Been to Nassau before and only shopped. This time we attempted to do some historical sight-seeing. Atlantis was something that should be seen, but I wouldn't spend the $35/person to go to the aquarium when you can see most of the fish from the dining area. The water taxi was fun and jovial ($3/person) to get over there. We then took a taxi van back to downtown ($4/person), and asked them to stop by the Queen's Staircase and the Fort. Glad we did that instead of just haggled at the straw market.
Pros: Ease of getting on and off the ship (Express Traveler carries their own luggage off the ship anytime between 7:30am and 10am.
Cons: In the balcony stateroom, you would hear a whoosh of air everytime someone opened their stateroom, then the slam of their door a few seconds later.
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