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MITSUGIRLYS extensive extra Sky review

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PART 2 OF MY SUN/SKY BACK TO BELLY CRUISE.

 

So we just got off the Sun and we were ready to head to our Sky cruise. This was an added cruise that we decided to book due to already being down there in Florida, having the time available to be off, and me recently passing my Nursing boards...so it was celebration time.

 

We primarily cruise with NCL (but have also cruised with Carnival and RCL) and my goal has been to cruise all of the fleet...if possible. So far, I have been doing a pretty good job...but they just keep adding more ships and I feel like I'll never catch up. :p

 

The Sky is just a 4 day cruise and although I have always said I would NEVER do a 4 day cruise (since it always cost us more in air plane tickets to get to a 7 day cruise than the cruise itself), but when the option presented itself to me as a way to go on a ship that I had never been on WHILE I was already in Florida...I figured why not? Of course this is the ONLY way I would ever do a short 4 day cruise. It would just be way too short of a cruise to me (unless I lived in Florida and could do it all the time). :D

 

I managed to talk my family into coming down to Florida to meet me on this cruise. So this cruise, we had 9 people total. Myself, hubby, youngest daughter Sakari (6), met up with my oldest daughter Kendra (26), her bf and my grandson Brayden (6), and they brought a family member with them this time Shayla (11), my youngest son Kolin (20) and his fiancée Courtney (21).

 

Now anyone who has read my previous reviews that involved my extended family know that it usually turns out to be a very stressful and hectic cruise sometimes. My grandson is a little hyper, his mom a little too laid back...and ALWAYS LATE FOR EVERYTHING she does (which included causing us all to miss the plane the last time she came in May on the Getaway). So I really needed that wonderful relaxing cruise on the Sun the week before they arrived. It prepared me for this week.

 

Now on to the review.... :p

 

 

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I had been in contact with Kendra and her family that morning after we docked in Tampa. Believe it or not, she was up EARLY that morning, been to the store and was ready to head to the airport to meet us in FLL.

 

We got a great deal and managed to get our flight tickets from Tampa to FLL for basically free (using points on my SW). We had originally decided we were going to drive, since we were not too pressed for time, but when this free option presented us in the face, it was a no brainer.

 

This was our first time in the Tampa airport and I have to say I actually liked it compared to some of the others we had been to before.

 

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Sakari really liked the pelicans and of course anything to do with the ocean. (She is wearing her balloon bracelets the kids club made her from the night before).

 

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Another neat thing about the Tampa airport is they have some type of "subway/monorail thing that you ride from one place to the next. Sakari really thought that short 30 second ride (honestly don't know how long it is, but felt that fast) was the neatest thing ever.

 

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It was a 38 minute flight for us and I have to admit, it was totally awesome!!

 

We arrived in FLL about maybe 20 minutes prior to the kids coming in from Ohio.

 

 

 

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Of course this is what Sakari does when there's any time on her hands....drawing...lots of drawings...

 

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Bye bye Tampa, that you for such a nice first visit with you. I hope to see you again some day.

 

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It was a beautiful day out...above and below the clouds.

 

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NOW ONE THING TO NOTE....SAKARI DID NOT KNOW WE WERE GOING ON ANOTHER CRUISE. This would be a surprise for her. We have managed to keep it under wraps, even though she has questioned me about it several times. I had a picture on my computer desktop with both the Sun and the Sky in it, so she knew we were going on the Sky, she just didn't realize it was NOW.

 

We got off the plane, looked for my daughters flight number coming in and headed to that gate. I wasn't really sure what Sakari was going to think when she spotted her sissy and brother with the rest of the family getting off a plane themselves. But hey, she's 6 years old and you can convince her of just about anything. LOL

 

I spotted the bear plane...I thought "how cool" I got to see the bear plane that Kendra was talking about myself.

 

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Then it dawned on me...they were on it. That's why Kendra had told me about seeing it and showed me a picture. Duh....

 

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Of course since Sakari didn't know what was going on, she couldn't understand why we weren't going to get our luggage and head home (with really no sense of time, she thought we were back in Ohio). Her next thought was that we were catching the second part of our flight (which we sometimes have to change planes) and she was thrilled we were going on the bear plane for our last flight.

 

We kept stalling and the hubby tried to distract her with everything possible.

 

Then we spotted the family...

 

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Sakari was so excited and shocked to see them.

 

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So now here's the rest of the family...she was confused, we played it off and told her they were there to take us home. :eek: (Of course what family comes in by PLANE to take you home?) LOL She bought it and that's all that mattered.

 

We headed to get our luggage and of course since we were late getting it, waiting on the kids plane, we had to go to security to pick it up.

 

We called the hotels transportation and they came to pick us up at the airport. They told us it would be about 20 minutes and they would be there.

 

They pulled up with a 9 passenger van, loaded us up and away we went to the hotel.

 

It was going to be a beautiful day out.

 

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Of course my new countdown

 

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Edited by mitsugirly

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We decided to stay at the Sleep Inn from the advice of the many great people here on cc.

 

We arrived and promptly checked in and got our rooms. They were nice and we were pleased with our decision.

 

The lobby

 

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Dining area that served a free hot breakfast.

 

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They had a desk area for your "computer needs".

 

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There was also a "living room" area with a couch that folded down into a bed as well making it a room that would fit 6 people. This was another reason why we picked this hotel since Kendras family had a lot of people in the room.

 

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The rooms are equipped with a fridge and microwave.

 

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The bathrooms were nice as well.

 

 

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The kids room...

 

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Everyone posting back home about the wonderful weather in Florida (it was freezing cold and snowing when they left).

 

 

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We were all starving and decided to take a walk to find food. We knew from posting on here that there was a strip mall across the street that had a Mexican and a Chinese place. There wasn't anything else within walking distance, so that would be our choice for lunch.

 

Kolin found Sakari a coconut and she was trying to figure out what the sound was inside of it when she shook it.

 

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Once we made it across the street, the Mexican restaurant was closed.

 

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That only left us one choice...Chinese food

 

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Congratulations on passing your nursing boards. Your review is terrific. You certainly have an option if nursing doesn't work out for you:) Seriously, your review is much better than a lot of "professional" ones I've read. Awesome photo's too.

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The place was a little expensive...or either we were just a tad bit too hungry at this point. But after the meals came, they were huge...way too much for us to eat. Now I wish we would have got 1 plate and shared.

 

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The guy behind the counter was mean. He yelled at my grandson for moving a chair and walked over and snatched it from him and moved it back. So, we were pretty much forced to sit in the individual booth areas instead of all together in the open area. He watched him like a hawk after that and you know the saying...if looks could kill....

 

We couldn't wait to get out of there.

 

We walked next door to the dollar tree and Kendra picked up a few things. Sakari begged Kolin for a $1 alligator and I refused it. Kolin told her "Do you want this cheap dollar alligator or do you want a really HUGE surprise?" (The cruise). Finally she decided on the huge surprise...but of course wanted it right then and there.

 

We headed back to the hotel because I needed to do all of our laundry from the cruise the week before. I also picked this place because I knew it had a place to do laundry.

 

Only I didn't know THIS was the laundry room...

 

 

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Do you see anything missing? Like maybe more washer and dryers???

 

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How was I supposed to get all of our laundry done with this? Sigh

 

Then when I went in, someone had just started a load. YIKES! I knew right then and there it was going to take me the rest of the day and part of the night to get our laundry done.

 

The lady at the receptionist desk said that the lady had just put the laundry in and she was only washing 1 item...a small jacket. Grrrr

 

We went upstairs to grab our suitcases full of clothes and brought them down to the room to wait.

 

Meanwhile, Sakari decided she would head to the pool with daddy. She wasn't going to let this laundry business get her down or spoil her fun.

 

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The sun was setting and it was so beautiful...although this is NOT what I wanted to see because this meant that my laundry time was running out quickly.

 

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I was finally able to get my first load in and started. I spent the rest of the night going in and out multiple times checking on the laundry, transferring it over to the dryer and putting more in. These washers were small...so it took quite a few loads to get everything completed.

 

My grandson Brayden came to join us swimming.

 

 

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They had a light in the pool that changed colors

 

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Everyone sat around at the table and hung out all night while I "did my laundry thing"

 

Kolin got in the pool with the kids and it became a work out for him...throwing the little ones in the air.

 

(When the light turned red, it was a little creepy).

 

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I really had planned on getting in the pool, but it just didn't work out that way. There was also a hot tub here at the pool. It was in the back part. They also provided you with pool towels and had a bunch of them laying in a chair.

 

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I have to say that the dryer they have here just really "sucks" to put it nicely. Almost everything still had a dampness to it and I hate that. But I had to get things done because it was getting late. The washer cost $1.50 and the dryer was $1.25 and they are the smallest thing ever.

 

So once I was done with the laundry, we decided to head upstairs for the rest of the night. I would now have the task of separating the clothes and packing them. I had decided to lay out outfits for everyone for each day on the 4/5 day cruise and then pack the rest away, never to be touched again until we arrive home.

 

On the way upstairs, we noticed that Sakari had blood on them. We looked on the bottom and the concrete pool bottom had completely rubbed off the layer of skin on her toes and they were bleeding. YIKES! Then we looked at her hands, her fingers were bleeding too! That's when you know you have a kid that stays in the water for much too long! She would be a helpless rag doll that would want carried everywhere after that.

 

Later that night, we did decide to walk over to Walgreens to get our soda for the cruise. I always take a suitcase that's like a duffel bag on wheels for this. It usually holds 3 cases.

 

We made it to bed at 12:30am finally and set the alarm for 8am.

 

 

 

 

 

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I woke up without the alarm at 7:45am. It looks like my trend of waking up earlier than the clock (on the Sun) was going to continue with this cruise.

 

I got dressed really quick and headed outside to see what the weather was going to be like for the day. It was raining a little, but yet hot with the sun out too. A typical Florida day.

 

I headed back up to the room to get the rest of the family up and get ready to head down to breakfast.

 

It's always an added plus when we stay in a hotel with a free hot breakfast.

 

They had waffles, eggs (scrambled and boiled), sausage, sausage gravy, biscuits, bagels, toast, muffins, cereal, milk, juice, apple juice, punch, water, coffee and probably more that I didn't notice.

 

It wasn't anything spectacular, but definitely filled our bellies and it would tie us over until we were on the ship with endless food....

 

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By the time we were done with breakfast, the rain was gone and it was 81 degrees outside. Now that's what I'm talking about!!!

 

Meanwhile back home...the snow had caused them to close the schools. LOL

 

We had reservations with MJS to pick us up at the hotel and drive us down to Miami. We had used them on a previous cruise and was very satisfied with the service we received. They were constantly in contact with us before so we were never left in the dark.

 

They called me at 9am to confirm our reservations. They they called again at 9:30am to see if we would be interested in moving our time from 11am to 10:30am instead since they would already be there picking up other people heading down to Miami. I confirmed with the SLOW moving person on the bunch (Kendra) if it would be possible for her to get her crew ready by then. She agreed and I let them know it was a go.

 

We went back upstairs to get our things gathered, do the last minute packing and I walked next door to see how far Kendra was and to light a fire under her butt to make this earlier reservation happen....SHE WAS GONE! Room cleaned out...are you serious??

 

I found her downstairs in the lobby, with all of her luggage and her entire crew. Really? She was early for once? Earlier than me??? Get outta here. I couldn't believe it. She ask me what the hold up was with us. So now, this makes her up early for her flight, making it to the airport way before her flight, and now beating me to the lobby before our transportation arrived. Someone has kidnapped my daughter, but I'll keep this one of course.

 

We applied my "home made" tags to our luggage and MJS arrived at 10:25am promptly.

 

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We shared the van with 4 others and it took about 25 minutes to get to the port of Miami.

 

Someone tell me how these kids managed to get in the back seat and together? That usually equals nothing but trouble.

 

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Of course the son is a goof ball and is known to get things started himself.

 

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Our ride was pleasant and the driver showed us different things along the way...the Dolphins stadium, showed us an area where graffiti was aloud all over the town and there was now a new billion dollar tunnel that was built (and we were going through) that goes under Biscayne Bay and is 120 feet below sea level. It was quite impressive and keeps traffic out of the downtown Miami area.

 

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As we pulled in to port, we could see a whale tail and Sakari screamed with excitement about seeing it (she still did not know what was going on).

 

Then we seen a couple of NCL ships as well.

 

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At this point, we knew it was about time to tell Sakari of her "big" surprise.

 

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She cracked me up when she turned to Brayden and says "I guess we're not going home" LOL (They had been arguing about where they were going and she kept telling him we were going home and he kept saying we weren't...while getting the mean eye look from him mom and me to keep his mouth shut).

 

Her expression when we told her filled my heart. She didn't know what the think.

 

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We made it to our ship and the porter took our luggage and we headed inside. There were absolutely NO lines at all. We walked inside around 11:15am.

 

When we walked up to the counter to check in and give our form of payment for the cruise, the lady that had my sons girlfriend was completely rude as can be. I have NEVER experienced anyone like this with NCL. They have always been so sweet and this lady was totally out of character for what we have experienced with NCL. Everyone used my NCL cc card for their room (I want those points for a future free cruise or upgrade) and the lady was having major issues about this (even though I had already checked in with it and so did Kendra and her room). She said they would not be able to use it and that's when I butted in and said they could because we do it on every cruise and my daughter just used it on her room just now too. The lady was very argumentative and when Courtney said, "Why is she telling me I can't use this card for our room?" to me, the lady butted in with an attitude saying "I DID NOT say that! You are putting words in my mouth and that is not what I said."....Um I was standing next to her at the counter and DID hear it. So long story short, another lady put it in for her and it was used. When she went to hand them their room cards, when Courtney put them in her hand as the lady at the counter reached across to hand them to her, Courtney turned to pass them out to the people assigned to her room and the lady just had to take one last nasty shot... "Well, I WAS going to explain to you about the cards and their use, but since you SNATCHED them out of my hands, you act like you know, so go on!" At that point, this lady had completely pissed me off with her rudeness. I told her "YES, we go on multiple cruises a year, YES we know what to do with the cards, NO she did NOT snatch them out of your hands, YOU were handing them across the counter to HER, so get the story straight and adjust the attitude!" Then we walked away with me mumbling that I had NEVER came across someone so rude at the NCL counter and they should probably replace her if they wanted passengers to start their cruise off with a positive feeling about cruising with NCL. Of course I got a good eye roll from her and not another word was said.

 

We headed down the hall to get on the cruise and by then I had already adjusted my attitude to reflect "cruise mode and no one is going to get to me".

 

We caught the flat escalators...love these things.

 

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Meanwhile Kendras bf was hurt in a 4 wheeler atv accident several weeks prior to this and was having issues with his leg and ankle swelling and had bought a small leg mover prior to the cruise to help it facilitate the healing and being off of it as much as he could during the cruise. He decided to push his way to the end instead of getting on the escalator. LOL

 

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Me making fun of him because he was falling behind

 

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Then for some reason they had one going in the opposite direction. Only 2 people in my family are crazy enough to try to walk this going forward, causing extreme leg pain and fatigue....Kendra and Brayden of course.

 

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By the time she got to the end, she knew she had made a mistake by trying this. That'll teach her! Well, probably not. I guarantee she'll do it again next time.

 

Here's the beautiful Star in port with us. We were on her during a "week before Christmas cruise" in December 2012.

 

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There's our beautiful Sky waiting for us. I couldn't wait to see how different or the same she was from the Sun.

 

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We came to the end and we were getting ready to walk through this...

 

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Then I noticed the ship was right there!!! Um what? This was weird. I don't think I have ever been on a cruise where you just walk down a hallway and onto the ship??? I'm use to walking into the blue-green ramps that wind back and forth to go up to the entrance of the ship. This was weird.

 

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We were handed a copy of the map of the ship. This will be the first time we were ever given this.

 

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We were also handed the card to sign up Sakari for the kids club.

 

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Day 1, here we come...

 

 

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We immediately spotted the kiosk that you can take pictures any time on board and it will post them to your social media account...for free. It's pretty cool and the only ships I'm aware that have these are the new ones. So, this was a pleasant surprise.

 

Of course we hadn't even left the US yet and we were sending pics back home.

 

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Of course I still have phone service on my phone, so here's my post to those back home...

 

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So now I'm going to stop and change things up a little bit. I normally go on with our day, but those of you that have been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for the ship pictures...this is for you. I'll do the tour of the ship first and then continue with our daily activities for those that are interested in sticking around and seeing how our cruise went. :D

 

I will start by going deck to deck starting at the lowest "public" deck and working my way up, like I always do.

 

Please forgive me if I missed a lot of things. After all, this was a short cruise and if truth be known, I felt like I almost just came off this ship already and had seen everything by being on the Sun the week before. I didn't notice until I got home that I didn't take as many pictures of this ship and I had missed a few things. :( Sorry about that.

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DECK 5

 

The atrium. As always, I love these atriums that go up to the top floor and are open with the glass elevators. This would be just what I loved.

 

It was just like the Sun and had 2 glass elevators on each side of the atrium and then around the hall there were more regular elevators.

 

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The layout was exactly like the Sun. The steps curving up to the next floor:

 

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Walking away from the atrium, you will find the Palace Restaurant...or one of the MDR.

 

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They have a lovely replica ship of the Sky there.

 

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The Sky was a little different with the restaurant downstairs. If you remember, we were escorted from this floor, into a hallway that had steps that led us down to La Cucina for our VIP lunch when we boarded on the Sun. On this ship, it was Le Bistro that was downstairs. We did not go down there because we had not intentions of eating there and of course I should have went just to take pictures and forgot. But, it's set up the same way as the Sun was...just a different name/restaurant.

 

So, then you make it to the other MDR located on the back of the ship...The Crossings.

 

It was set up the same as on the Sun with the open type atrium up several floors in the entrance.

 

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You can tell this use to be NCL's Hawaii ship with a lot of it's decor still remaining on the ship.

 

 

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