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Jay D

Age: 51

Occupation:Senior Management

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Sky

Sailing Date: 03-23-2009

Itinerary: Bahamas

Much better than expected!

The first night we ate in the Palace, the large main dining room. The menu offered a good selection, the service was very good and friendly and the food quality was great and plentiful.

The second night we ate in the Crossings, the second main dining room, and again, the menu, service and food was very good. It was seafood night and I had lobster tail, scallops, shrimp and fish (I can't recall what the fish was) and also ordered a steak to make it a surf & turf.

The third night we ate in Cagney's Steakhouse. 10oz Filet mignone with a 6oz lobster tail. It was a fantastic meal. There is an upcharge for this eatery, but well worth it.

The fourth and final night we went to Il Adagio's, an Italian place (with a small upcharge). The food and service was great. I also stopped in for several times for lunch, getting several slices of pizza that were pretty good.

We ate breakfast in the Palace every morning (except for the last morning, the only place open was the Crossings). food and service was up to par with all our other dining experiences onboard.

The size of the room was fine for two people. It's not as large or as easy to get around as a hotel room, but it was fine.

The bathroom is small and the shower is the smallest I have ever seen, but very functional. I have never seen a shower with water pressure as good as the shower in my stateroom, and the water was hot if you turned to to full hot, so be careful.

The cabin boy took good care of us with fresh towels daily and even made sure we had extra sheets for the toga party on the last night. We asked for a couple of extra blankets, as we kept the balcony door open all night and it did get a little cool.

The balcony was a great place to have morning coffee and watch the sunrise or an evening drink and watch the sunset.

We didn't go to any of the shows onboard, but we did go to karoke in the Outrigger Bar and the Toga Party in Dazzles. It was fine for that type of activities.

This cruise was originally booked as a Wedding cruise in August 2008, but after I ended the relationship with my fiance, some of the other people that had planned on going convinced me that we should all still go...and I'm glad we did!

I read many online reviews from cruise passengers on recent cruises and one has to understand that different people look at things differently, so I read the reviews thinking that some may complain about relatively minor issues, etc.

NCL does offer a discount for military, active, retired and veterans. I fall under the latter, so I saved several hundred dollars there. Thanks NCL, for recognizing our military folks! It is appreciated!

I booked the cruise with one of NCL's Cruise Consultants, Adam, based in Phoenix, AZ. We were able to pick our staterooms as the trip was being booked 8 months before the cruise date. I picked a balcony stateroom on the upper deck, mid-ship, to minimize the feel of the ships movement. I had been in contact numerous times with Adam and he was always a great help. He had called several times to let me know about upgrades, and he also managed to get me (and the rest of my group) an additional $80 shipboard credit. Two weeks before the cruise, Adam called and offered an upgrade to the Owner's Suite for about $400. I decided I didn't want to do this, as I didn't want my room to be party central for the entire group, but I knew one couple in the group would love that, so it was offered to them instead and they jumped at it.

When arrived in Miami on the Saturday night before departure. We stayed in one of the Marriotts on Miami Beach. In all the planning, I never considered the cost of the hotel stay for the nights prior to the cruise. Rooms are in the $250 night range, but if you sign up for the Marriott Rewards program you can save about $50 a night per room. Taxi service between Miami International and Miami Beach is about $32 per taxi. We would have needed two cabs, so we opted for the Super Shuttle service, one very large van for $55 fit our entire party. It was another $55 for the service from the hotel to the ship terminal.

The terminal opens at 11am and NCL starts their boarding process at 12 noon. We planned our arrival at the terminal for 1pm, so the first mass was already onboard and we didn't have any lines. The check-in process was pretty quick and we were onboard within about 20 minutes. There's quite a bit of walking in the terminal, about the same as any airport where your gate is at the furthest possible gate, but there are moving walkways.

Some reviewers mentioned service and quality issues with the staff, food and stateroom facilities. I was a little concerned about this.

When we boarded the ship we were greeted with champagne by friendly staff members. We went to our staterooms, they were already cleaned and prepared, but our luggage was not delivered yet, but we knew it would take a while. I met our cabin boy and talked to him for a little while, again, very friendly. I told him thanks for having our stateroom in such great shape and gave him $10 (this goes a long way!) The ship was clean, our stateroom was clean and not as small as I expected, although it was small. We went out on our balcony for a look. Not a large balcony, but fine for two people. It had two chairs and a small table. We then went to the Owners Suite where the rest of our group was meeting.

The Owners Suite was fairly large, separate bedroom, full bath, 2nd bathroom, bar, sofas, dining table and a large balcony with two lounge chairs, a table with 4 chairs and a hot tub. It also comes with a butler and the drinks are included with this suite. We would be spending quite a bit of time in this suite!

After the group met, we went to the Garden Cafe on Deck 11 Aft, had a good lunch and returned to the Owners Suite. We decided where we wanted to eat dinner each night and made reservations for our group. (more about the food in the food section).

Overall the ship was great, the facilities great, the staff friendly, helpful and a lot of fun to talk to. Staff members come from all over the world and it was interesting to talk with them about their home countries and their experiences onboard.

I would recommend the Norwegian Sky and NCL in general to anyone looking for a great cruise. This was my first and I'd go again without hesitation, as a matter of fact, I'm already planning my next cruise with NCL.

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