Hello my husband and myself are thinking of cruising (first time ever on a ship) May of 2013 (honeymoon cruise 16 yrs later). We are looking at the Sky and would be headed to the Bahamas. My questions are this:
1. Excursion purchased on board the ship do they come out of your on board account? I want to try snorkeling at Sturrip Cay. Also since I have never snorkeled do they give instruction on how to do it? Will we have to stay on the island the whole time or will there be transportation the whole time?
2. I know you can buy beach towels at the NCL online store, but can you purchase the trade marked blue and white ones on board ship?
3. Since we live in Indiana we have to fly into Miami. My question about this is can we arrange to be picked up at the hotel by the cruise line? I know for a fee they will pick you up at the airport but since we are flying in a day early (don't want to risk missing the boat), we have to stay in a hotel over night.
4. The cruise leaves port at 5 pm. How soon before leaving would be able to board?
Sorry to ask so many questions. I may have more later on too. Just trying to get a feel for this exciting vacation that is 16 yrs in the making. Thanks for your responses.
1) Yes any shore excursions you purchase onboard will be added to your onboard account. The group leader of the shore excursion probably will give a demonstration for beginning snorkelers. You do not have to stay at Stirrup Cay all day. Tender boats will be running back and forth all day and you can come and go as you please.
2) You will have beach towels in your cabin or pick them up by the pool. If those towels aren't returned they will be charged to your account. These might not be the same towels with the NCL logo. They usually have them for sale in the gift shop.
3) If you made your own hotel reservation and didn't book it through the NCL program then they will not pick you up at the hotel. NCL has a program where they use certain hotels for pre/post stays and if you book one of their hotels in the program then you can get their transfers. It usually is very easy to take a taxi from any hotel.
4) TSA requires you to be onboard no later than 90 minutes before the ship leaves. I usually check in for cruises anywhere between 11AM-12:00noon. Rooms usually aren't ready until 1PM. You can check your larger luggage at the pier with porters and carry your smaller carry-ons with you. You can check-in and go right up to the Lido deck for lunch at the buffet.
You will have a daily bulletin in your cabin every day that will tell you where and when all the activities and events are happening. Don't stress, everything is quite easy. People and staff are very friendly on cruises. If you don't understand something there's always someone who will help you.
dxrs0......There are many Miami area motels/hotels that will pick you up at the airport upon your arrival and take you to the Cruiseport in the morning for little or no additional cost!!! As cruise fanatic has already said"...everything is quite easy"!!!
We have cruised on the NCL Sky several times in recent years and enjoy the cruise immensely!! Relax!!! Enjoy!!