We recently went on a cruise aboard the Norwegian Sky to The Bahamas from Miami in Florida. We scored an amazing deal – just $99 each (plus fees and taxes) for five nights. Once you add in all the extras it probably ended up being about $600 for both of us. Considering food is included about $50 each per person per day is not bad.
About the Norwegian Sky
The Norwegian Sky was originally built in 1995 and takes around 2,002 passengers plus 899 crew. This makes it one of the oldest and smallest ships in the NCL fleet, It has been newly renovated in 2019 so everything was fresh and looked new when we were on board.
Our cruise was in November of 2019 and our ports of call work Great Stirrup Cay, Nassau, Grand Bahama (Freeport) and Key West.
Unfortunately, the weather was rough the day we were due to go ashore at Great Stirrup Cay, so it was replaced by a day at sea.
Boarding The Vessel
We boarded at the Port of Miami on a Saturday. To avoid paying for parking at the terminal, we took the Brightline train from West Palm Beach to Miami, then a Lyft from the station to the Port. When you pull up at the Port of Miami, there are porters waiting to take your bags. I wasn’t ready for this. I assumed we would take our own bags and check them in like you might do at the airport. It was helpful but they did ask for a tip, so that’s something to be aware of if you’re like me and don’t usually carry cash.
The line for checking in wasn’t too long but once we got to the front of the queue, the check in staff were thrown by my Australian E3 work visa as it wasn’t in the system. They made us stand at the desk for probably 30 minutes before they told us to take a seat. After about 45 minutes they got it sorted.
It was exciting when we got onboard. They had some people welcoming us as we stepped onto the ship and it was a relaxed vibe. We couldn’t go to our room right away so we walked around the ship and got some lunch up in the Great Outdoor Café.
On the first day of the cruise, they have what’s called a muster. It’s where everyone on board has to gather on the promenade to go through a safety demonstration. It was not enjoyable. We were all crammed up against one another for about 30 minutes. I’m not sure if it is because of where we were located, but we couldn’t see or hear anything. If something did go wrong on the cruise we wouldn’t have known what we were supposed to do.
Other than this, we had a pretty awesome first day.
Cast Off in Miami at Sunset is a fun experience. The sun is sinking behind the Miami city scape as cruise ship after cruise ship sails out of Port. Eventually it was our turn.
The band on deck begins to play, people are excited and it’s a great atmosphere. It was a great way to make up for some of the less enjoyable aspects of the day.
Tour of the Norwegian Sky
There are plenty of options to choose from for dining onboard. We were on a budget so we stuck with the complimentary restaurants. But there are also a couple of restaurants that you can pay extra for, or get access to with a dining package. Unlike many other cruises, dining with Norwegian is open dining, which means you aren’t restricted to eating at a particular time.
The Great Outdoor Café
Located at the rear of the ship under a sail, the Great Outdoor Café provides buffet style dining. We liked to eat here to enjoy the outdoor area where you can see out the rear of the ship. This dining area was opened the latest during our cruise so it was perfect for a late night sneaky snack.
The Garden Cafe
The Garden Buffet is just inside from the Garden Café and serves similar food, although probably a slightly more extensive range. We typically either ate here or at the Great Outdoor Café for breakfast or lunch.
Located right off the main atrium on level 5, the Palace was my favourite restaurant. It is a table service restaurant with plenty of great options to choose from.
The Crossings is similar to The Palace restaurant but located at the rear of the ship on the same level. They had similar food options, though the menus differed slightly. The good thing about the Crossings Restaurant was that it was just below our room which made it super easy to get to, as well as quick to get to the Theatre after dinner.
We didn’t really buy anything major onboard (that whole budget thing) but I can imagine we might have if we had more days at sea. There was a duty free store, as well as a jeweler, Starbucks, a gallery and a couple of other shops.
There are a number of room options to choose from but we went with the internal stateroom. It had everything we needed to enjoy ourselves, a comfy queen size bed, small bathroom and a closet as well as a TV. We really didn’t spend much time in our room as we were either busy on shore or enjoying what the ship had to offer. I think if it was a longer cruise then upgrading to a larger room with a balcony would be worth it.
Pulse Fitness Center
We used the fitness center for a couple of mornings. They have plenty of equipment including step machines, treadmills and exercise bikes. I prefer to exercise outdoors, so we would go down to the jogging track on the promenade when possible, but you are only allowed to jog between 8am and 8pm, so we mainly just walked.
There were a few swimming pools and hot tubs on the top deck. The weather was a little cool for swimming on most days when we were onboard. Or the pool area was closed in the evening so we didn’t use the pools at all. Plenty of other people
Danielle was keen for a massage at the spa but it was pretty pricey and not in our budget. We entered the free raffle on the first day and won a $100 gift card, which was a real score. I had a bamboo massage which was really good. The best part about the spa is that the rooms look out at the ocean, so it is super relaxing. We really enjoyed it.
The Stardust Theatre
The entertainment onboard the Norwegian Sky was fantastic. Every night in the Stardust Theatre there was a show. Sometimes this was a comedian, or a dance show or music but we enjoyed it every night. During the day there were movies showing on the big screen in the Stardust Theatre, but we didn’t have enough time to get along to those. There were other events around the ship as well. We took part in one of the trivia sessions that took place in a bar.
The Spinnaker Lounge
The Spinnaker Lounge is a great place to watch the sun rise in the morning or to read a book during the day but once the sun goes down, it’s place to let your hair down. We went there one night to watch the effects of liquid courage take hold with some Karaoke.
The Bliss Lounge (Dazzles Night Club)
In the Bliss Lounge you will find a range of evening entertainment, whether that be a performance by a band, a game show or dancing. We enjoyed watching some of the game shows and watching couples humiliate themselves (quietly thankful they didn’t pick us out of the audience).
We thoroughly enjoyed our Bahamas Cruise on the Norwegian Sky. This ship is due to set sail again this December and will be cruising between Florida ports and the Bahamas.