3 Night Bahamas (Miami Roundtrip) Sail Date: March 02, 2012 Ship: Norwegian Sky Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 6 years ago
My wife and I were both very impressed with our 3-day cruise on the Norwegian Sky. Every aspect of our experience was truly wonderful. In particular, we appreciated the "Freestyle Cruising" that Norwegian is famous for... doing what we want, when we want, and with whomever we want (which was usually just the two of us).
Our favorite experience overall was floating and swimming around Great Stirrup Cay together. We spent most of our Saturday doing "nothing" in the waters of this magnificent island, and we could not have been happier.
The only thing we might change when we plan our next voyage would be our plans for Nassau. We took a bus tour this time, but now that we have seen what the island as a whole is like we would probably opt to walk around through the areas near the port instead. Atlantis resort was very nice, but in order to do anything over there (such as use their private beaches) you have to pay Atlantis quite a bit of money (which we were unwilling to do). Our tour guide was very friendly, however, and it was nice to learn a little about the history and culture of Nassau.
There was always plenty to do on board, from dance parties to bingo to gambling to karaoke to art auctions, etc. etc. etc. The greatest thing about all these activities, though? My wife and I never once felt like we were left out or missing out on anything when we opted to just spend time together watching the sun set, enjoying a romantic dinner together (just the two of us), sipping tea and Diet Pepsi while watching the ocean slip by us, floating around aimlessly in the beautiful Bahamian waters off of Great Stirrup Cay, or even just lounging around in our stateroom watching one of the two movie channels (which are both provided at no extra charge).
All things considered, this was one of the best vacations I have ever had.
(Please note that we did not rate the "Children's Programs" for the Norwegian Sky as we did not bring any of our six children with us on this cruise. It was just the two of us, enjoying our 10th anniversary together.)
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Our experiences with dining on the Norwegian Sky were exquisite. Every evening we were able to have a romantic dinner, just the two of us, and we never even needed a reservation! We just strolled in whenever we felt like, and we were immediately brought to a table and attended to with no waiting. The two main dining halls are as nice as any of the nicer restaurants that my wife and I have ever been to. The food was excellent, and the waiters and waitresses were very attentive and accommodating. We enjoyed it so much, in fact, that we never felt the need to pay extra to eat at any of the three "specialty" restaurants on the Norwegian Sky. If they are even a modest degree nicer than the two main dining halls then they must provide a truly spectacular dining experience.
I cannot stress enough how convenient and relaxing it was to have total freedom over when and where we wanted to eat. For this reason alone it would be difficult for us to choose another cruise line over Norwegian.
5 out of 5
While there was plenty to do on board, my wife and I opted not to participate in, well, pretty much any of it.
That being said, we are quite certain that lovers of activities and entertainment will not be disappointed by the options and schedules available on the Norwegian Sky. There was always something going on somewhere on the ship, and there seemed to be a little bit of everything for all different age groups and temperaments. The "Freestyle Daily" that was delivered to our stateroom every day (naturally) had a detailed schedule of all of the events occurring over the next 24 hours, so it would be easy to plan your day accordingly.
The only reason that I did not feel comfortable granting this category the top rating is because my wife and I voluntarily chose not to participate in any of the activities. (See my "Ship Quality" comments for more information).
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
We were very pleased with the excellent service we received from the ship staff. They were friendly, warm, attentive, courteous, informative, helpful, generous, hard-working, and kind. Seldom did we ever have to "hunt" for someone to help us with anything; there always seemed to be someone nearby who was willing and able to assist us with whatever we needed. Our room was always kept clean, the common areas were always neat and tidy, and the dining halls were immaculate. Even the frequently-used tables in the large buffet area covering most of decks 11 and 12 were cleared and cleaned and restocked with napkins and silverware almost immediately after they were vacated.
Perhaps most importantly of all, my wife and I were struck by the fact that all of the staff seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. They seemed genuinely pleased to to take care of our every need, and never once did they lead us to believe that what they were doing for us was a burden or a chore.
5 out of 5
While some might argue that the Norwegian Sky is too small in comparison to the newer, larger cruise ships, my wife and I felt that it was perfectly proportioned and distributed. In fact, we spoke with many of our fellow passengers who said that the Norwegian Sky was "just right" - not too big, not too small.
You could tell that the crew took very good care of the ship. It was always very clean, neat, tidy, and well-lit. Some of the designs on the carpet and decor looked a bit dated, but even the dated elements did not look worn or dirty.
While neither my wife nor I are handicapped, we took special note of how every aspect of the ship was handicap accessible. There were several passengers in wheelchairs, and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. The staff even brought out a special "beach" wheelchair with fat sand tires for use on Great Stirrup Cay.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Our stateroom was very nice. We were quite satisfied with the size of the room. The bathroom was even a bit larger than I had thought it would be. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there were two on board movie channels playing fairly recent movies for no extra charge. The staff cleaned the room frequently without ever intruding on us.
When we first arrived there was some sort of heavy fragrance in the air. We put in a request to have the staff refrain from using such things in our room during the length of our stay, and they complied flawlessly. We also found that the temperature of the water in our shower tended to fluctuate quite a bit, but this did not cause us any major issues.
For the most part, we appreciated the location of our stateroom. We had chosen one which was very close to the Atrium elevators. The only downside was its position directly below the "stage" up on the pool deck, which meant that we could hear some of the louder music they played up there.
Pros: Norwegian Sky is "just right" - not too big, not too small. Plenty to do on board, but plenty of latitude to do nothing at all as well. Staff and crew were exemplary. Food was excellent. Private island, Great Stirrup Cay, is truly wonderful.
Cons: Bus tour of Nassau showed too much of the "slums" - made us feel a bit sorry for the native Bahamians.
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