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Age: 38


Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Sky

Sailing Date: 2010-06-7

Itinerary: Bahamas

We are experienced cruisers ranging in age from 10 to 69 years. We have all been on at least 8 cruises - including the NCL Pearl. This was one of the best, most relaxing cruises we have ever been on. Our only complaint is that it ended too quickly, but we packed in 7 days worth of fun on our 4 day cruise! I firmly believe a cruise vacation is what you make it. We have learned over the years which activities on board are best suited for us, so we consult the Freestyle Daily and plan out our day. This is my second trip on the NCL Sky, the first was right after it was updated and moved from Hawaii to Miami. There has been drastic improvement onboard since that sailing. We plan on trying the new Norwegian Epic and returning to the Sky next summer.

The food and service on the Norwegian Sky is top notch!!! We recently took a 10 day Panama Canal Cruise on another cruise line and the food was very disappointing, so we were pleasantly surprised by the taste and selection of food onbord the Sky. We ate in the Palace Dining room for all breakfasts and most dinners. We ate in the buffet for lunches and two of us had the BBQ lunch at Great Stirrup Cay. We ate dinner at the specialty restaurant, Cagney's one evening. The lobster and filet mignon at Cagney's was succulent and well worth the additional charge. All of the meals in the main dining room were delicious and the service in every venue was outstanding. The kids bought teen passports for $15 which entitled each of them to 10 non-alcoholic beverages. They could choose soft drinks, kiddie cocktails, or smoothies. It was a real bargain! Another NCL plus is the free soft-serve ice cream poolside. I liked that a server handled all the filling of the cones so everyone's hands weren't on the machine and it was very neat and orderly. We've been on other lines that charge for ice cream.

This time we booked an inside stateroom for myself, my mother, and my two children. It was fine for a 4 day sailing because we didn't have much luggage, but I suggest a balcony cabin for longer cruises if you can afford it. The cabin had two lower beds, a bed that comes down from the wall, and a pull-out couch bed. The couch bed is the problem. When it is opened it goes right up to the desk and you can not walk past it to get to the bathroom. You actually have to crawl over it. I have been in other inside cabins where both the third and fourth berth come down from the walls and that makes much more sense. The cabins was clean, cool, and otherwise comfortable. The kids enjoyed the towel animals of course.

The show the first evening was a disaster. The singing was off-key, the costumes were shabby, and the dancing was ridiculous. Luckily, the entertainment the following three nights was much better. The comedian was very funny and it was a "family show" that we all could enjoy. The third night the singers and dancers redeemed themselves with a broadway style show that featured songs from Wicked, Jersey Boys, Movin On Up, The Heights, Mama Mia, and Swing. The last night was a variety show featuring the comedian and the cruise director, Rob Sugar - hilarious. We attended the Salsa dancing, 70's disco night, and the White Hot Dance Party. This was one of the highlights of our trip, our last cruise wouldn't allow my daughter in to dance. NCL doesn't switch to 18and up until midnight. It is really a great choice for multigenerational cruisers. My teenage son spent most of his time on the full size basketball court that looks over the pool. We also enjoyed the shopping and future cruise lectures, as well as trivia games. The bingo, casino, and art auctions are standard, but the pub crawl was something I've never seen on a ship and all the participants looked like they were having a blast.

In Freeport, we took an airconditioned Taxi to Our Lucaya for $5 per person each way. My mom shopped while the kids and I hit the beach. Then we met up for homemade ice cream at Frank's before we went back to the ship. A great time was had by all. Our Lucaya is the resort area so there is plenty of beach,shopping, restaurants, and bars - no excursion necessary.
In Nassau, we booked the Discover Atlantis and Harbour tour through NCL. The tour was through the aquariums at Atlantis, Paradise Island and was excellent. You can skip the harbour tour and take a $4 taxi to Atlantis and buy the tour there for $35 per person. It doesn't include access to the waterslides and beaches - that is more money. Other people went to Cabbage Beach and paid $10 for a beach chair and $20 to drink all day long. That is a very good deal for grown-ups. We've also done the Pirate Museum in Nassau which is small, but fun for kids, inexpensive, and walking distance from the pier.
Great Stirrup Cay - if you bring your own snorkel gear, you will have to rent a life vest from NCL $5, the beach to your right when you get off the tender is more rocky, but much less crowded than the sandy beach to the left with all the families and young children.
***If your dream is to swim with stingrays please consider Grand Cayman instead where the stingrays are in their natural habitat and their barbs are left in tact. in the Bahamas the remove the barbs from the stingers.

We carried our bags on and off the ship and it went very smoothly - plus if you only have 4 days worth of stuff and a bag with wheels - it isn't worth the risk of misplaced luggage. We were able to put our bags in a waiting area until our cabin was ready, so we didn't have to lug it all around. The buffet was very crowded during the first lunch in Miami, but it was fine the other days. The tips are $12 per person per day and are well worth it for all of the outstanding service. The people in the shops on the island are much less pushy than some of the more impovershed places we've been - but if you've only shopped in malls it is a quite different experience. A polite "no thank you" is all that is necessary to decline everything from hair braids to emeralds.

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