The following four blog posts will be a summary of my 4 night cruise to Havana, Cuba and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas aboard the Norwegian Sky ship out of Miami on July 3-7th.
This post will focus on a review of the Norwegian Sky. The second and third posts will summarize private tour experiences in Havana. The last post will wrap up my last cruise day on Norwegian’s private island of Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.
Quick facts about the Norwegian Sky:
- Built in 1999
- Refurbished in 2013
- 2,004 Passengers
- 13 decks
- Freestyle dining
- All-inclusive beverages.
- First cruise to Cuba in May 2017
3- Medical Center.
4- Cabins on forward ship.
5- The Atrium, Guest services, shore excursions, LeBistro French Restaurant, Crossing and Palace freestyle dining options.
6- Dazzle Night Club, Stardust Lounge Theatre, Photo Gallery, Mark Twain Library, Captain Hook’s Bar, Jogging/Walking track.
7- Art Gallery, Atrium Bar, Casino, Splash Academy Youth Center, the Chapel, Coffee Bar.
8-10 Staterooms. We stayed in 8260, which is an ocean view room right by the elevators. I selected that room to make it easier to remember the location and to save time walking down the long corridors. There was not any noise from the elevator traffic and a tip I will consider for every cruise.
11- Pools, Spa, Salon, Fitness Center, Entourage Teen Club, Ice Cream Bar, Garden Café, IL Adagio Italian Restaurant.
12- Shuffleboard, Basketball, Volleyball Court, Batting Cage, Gold Driving Net, Champs Bar, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Plantation Club Sushi Bar.
13- Sun deck.
The Port of Miami is easy to get to. Pull up to luggage drop off and the gentlemen will take the luggage. No worries if the luggage tags are not printed. Provide your name and they will tag the luggage for you to make sure it is delivered to the stateroom. Parking is in Garage C and $20/day. Remember to take your parking ticket with you so that you can pay at a kiosk before getting in your vehicle. The ticket has to be validated in order to activate the lift gate at the exit.
Security was heavily armed which I found out was due to a fight inside of the terminal from the returning passengers aboard DJ Khaled’s SummerFest Cruise. I thought about cruising back to back for the concerts but realized that would be doing too much.
I’m not sure if the incident caused the long delays, but it took us about two hours to embark. We arrived at noon and went through the priority lines which did not go that much faster than the bronze level travelers.
The food was an upgrade from what I experienced on the Breakaway. The Sky offers three freestyle dining options with the buffet style Garden Café, and two formal dining rooms called the Palace and Crossings. I liked the Palace over Crossings because of the pink décor. Both restaurants offer the same menu with complimentary wine.
Specialty dining choices included Le Bistro, II Adagio, Cagney’s Steakhouse, and Plantation Club Sushi Bar. I chose not to pay additional charges and stuck to the complimentary dining.
My favorite breakfast items were the Belgian waffles and made to order omelets. The Garden Café has outdoor seating that has beautiful views of the ocean.
We ate at the Garden Café buffet for breakfast and lunch. We at one dinner at the Garden Café because we wanted something quick without the formality of the dining rooms. Our plates got picked over that night based on the bland selection. That was our only bad meal aboard the Sky.
All Inclusive Drinks:
The Sky offers daily, premixed drink specials. They were very light in terms of alcohol content. It’s best to ask for your cocktail to be made to order. Additional fees apply for top shelf liquor.
Thankfully, no one was super wasted. This crowd was very laid back and mainly seeking a cultural experience in Cuba versus a party vibe.
What I liked about the Norwegian Sky is the simplicity of the ship. No area was crowded at any time. Unlike the Breakaway, there was always plenty of empty lounge chairs along the deck.
There was a group of 250 girls from Argentina aboard to celebrate a Quinceanera. They were well-behaved and classy. The only time I saw the Quince group was at dinner. The planning service they booked through did an excellent job of keeping the ladies safe and organized.
I liked the convenience of booking an excursion at a kiosk. It was good for a last minute change, but I suggest booking excursions in advance to guarantee a preferred time.
There is a low key way to relax away from the pool vibes on the port and starboard area of the ship on deck 6.
We went to a musical show on the last night in the Stardust Theatre. The performance was good, but it was beyond freezing. We walked outside to get warm.
Til’ next time!