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Daydreamer 09-26-2008 11:04 AM

Hi all,

My Mom just booked the family on the NCL Sky from Miami to the Bahamas for the week of Thanksgiving. I've never cruised before and I'm VERY nervous and I have some questions. I hope someone here can answer them for me. I hope you don't mind if I just list them.

1. Is the Sky a smaller ship? It seems like it might be because it's only for shorter cruises.

2. Are the balconies glassed in? I just read that somewhere on here.

3. Do you have to take a tether (I think that's what it's called) to Grand Bahama, Nassau and Grand Stirrup?

4. Is there anything to do on Grand Stirrup besides the beach? I'm not a beach person.

5. If you have to take a tether - does it only go to the island and back to the ship once or can you go back when you want?

Any other info would be greatly appreciated!


LisaP 09-26-2008 11:23 AM

Daydreamer, welcome to, and congratulations on your upcoming cruise!

Several of our Members, including two Staff Members, recently returned from N. Sky, and should be able to answer most of your questions. In the meantime, I'll do my best.

N. Sky is one of NCL's mid-sized ships, around 80K gross tons. Click here for a deck plan.

I think you're talking about tenders -- and yes, you will need to take one to Great Stirrup Cay. The last time I was there, it was pretty much just the beach, snorkeling, and a BBQ lunch, but things may have changed since then. Tenders run pretty much continuously. I am not a beach person, either (despite living near one), so I usually go over for an hour or so and then return to the ship. One hint -- when you get off the tender, most pax turn left. Instead, turn right. There are fewer people there, and you're closer to the food and tender drop-off.

Enjoy your cruise! I've been thinking of spending Thanksgiving on a cruise one of these years.

Cruise Fanatic 09-26-2008 11:23 AM

Welcome to cruise chat. I have been on the NCL Sky twice recently. It is not a small ship. Yes, the balconies are glassed in. The ship will dock at the pier in Nassau, it will tender at their private island Gereat Stirrup Cay. It looks like you will also go to Freeport and I'm not sure what the ship does there since I only did the three night cruise to Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay. The tender is not a small boat it is a two deck boat and holds about 150 people at a time. It runs back and forth from ship to shore all day long. The private island is a beach day. They have a BBQ lunch, beach volleyball, hammocks, lounge chairs. You can go snorkeling, or rent floats. They have some hiking trails on the island. One trail I saw was two miles to a light house.

You should have a great time on the cruise.

LisaP 09-26-2008 11:25 AM

Thanks, Cruise Fanatic. I forgot all about the hiking trails.

As for the tenders, are they still using Little Norway I and II on Great Stirrup Cay? They're two decks and hold about 400, and were originally built for SS Norway.

Cruise Fanatic 09-26-2008 11:28 AM

Yes, they are still using little Norway. I didn't realize it held that many people. Sure didn't seem like it. But they are big, they're not a little dingy.

Daydreamer 09-26-2008 12:30 PM

Thanks so much for the responses! I am LOL at the tether/tender thing. Oh well, I was close!

Is is strange that they have the balconies closed in? I'm sure my Mom doesn't know that. I'll have to tell her.

Great Stirrup doesn't really sound all that exciting to me. I just looked it up and see it's owned by NCL. I guess I was hoping for more of another regular island with shops and things like that. How long does it take to get from the boat to the island on the tender?

Can you tell I am just a little nervous? I've never wanted to go on a cruise and I only agreed to this one because there was a port every day. I don't like the idea of being stuck on a ship. Don't throw things at me, I know I'm in the minority here!

Any other info is still appreciated!

penny3333 09-26-2008 12:42 PM

Great Stirrup Cay is very nice. They have a nice bar-b-que as well. You can hike up to the lighthouse, which is 4 miles according to Cruise Fanatic. I didn't feel like trekking that far, but did enjoy a really nice swim. It takes about 5 minutes to get from the ship to Great Stirrup Cay once you are on board the tender. It takes a while to load the tender, they hold a lot of people. I'll bet you come back from this cruise and will have changed your tune about being "stuck" on a ship Bon Voyage

Berick1234 09-26-2008 12:51 PM

You can't help but have a GREAT time....Cruising becomes an addiction after awhile....and I'm sure you will have to take the Cure...ANOTHER CRUISE:-)....Have a smashing good time...

Bob E

Cruise Fanatic 09-26-2008 02:24 PM

I think you may have the wrong idea what a glassed in balcony is. Look on this thread here . One of our other moderators posted these pictures of balconies. Be sure you scroll down the thread to see them all.

Dave 09-26-2008 04:20 PM


You can hike up to the lighthouse, which is 4 miles according to Cruise Fanatic.
We did this in 1994 when the lighthouse had recently been destroyed and was laying in ruins. Not sure if it was a fire or what. Or maybe it was the support buildings that had burned. I forget now and don't have any photos.

Vanessa was almost 5 months pregnant and made the trek, although we had no idea what we were getting into. It looked a lot closer than it ended up being. I felt guilty about that hike for a long while.

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