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SKY Feb 6th Sailing: Review


halos

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(This is just a copy of a similiar letter I just sent to NCL about my last cruise on the Sky)

 

 

We (my husband and I) just returned for our second NCL cruise. It was a short, spur of the moment, 3 day cruise on the Sky out of Miami on February 6th. I wanted to write to tell you what a great time we had.

 

Our trip started out perfectly with on-time flights (these days THAT is a big deal!). We flew in to Miami from Maine. This little cruise was just to give us a much needed break from the snow and cold. We flew in a day early (because we are seasoned cruisers and understand that this is imperative) and stayed at the Biscayne Bay Marriott. We awoke the morning of the cruise to see the ships all docked at the port right from our window, and the excitement began.

 

We checked out of the Marriott at 11:30 am. With NO exaggeration, we were ON the Sky, with our complimentary champagne in hand 20 minutes later, at 11:50! Flabbergasted is how I felt at that moment. I have never had such a flawless embarkation in my life and I am afraid that now I may be spoiled and expect this on all future cruises!

 

Our first surprise after the easy check-in, was while walking down the ramp to get on the ship, who stood there but my absolute all time favorite Cruise Director EVER, Darin! Our very first Norwegian cruise was aboard the Spirit (a repositioning cruise out of NY in Nov ‘07) and Darin was the cruise director on that sailing. He entertained us non stop on that 15 day cruise and we loved him. There is a fine balance in being a great Cruise Director and he has found it. We have had one or two that were a bit too timid but more of them are way over the top loud and silly. Darin is just perfect. Our happiness at seeing him was huge. To top off our joy, he actually made a point of stopping to talk to us and we reminisced a little about that fabulous repositioning cruise back in ‘07. Darin did recall the cruise, and us as we were part of a very large group of Cruise Critic members who were on that sailing. He took the time to chat with us for a while and we then got on the ship elated because we hadn’t even yet boarded and we were already having a great time.

 

The nice gesture of being greeted with a glass of champagne is an amazing touch…something so small means quite a lot. All these little touches make a cruise line excellent. We wandered around the ship, as we always do upon embarkation in order to familiarize ourselves with the layout. We know that the ship is old but we found her looking quite nice and she was very easy to maneuver. We were greeted with smiling faces from every crew member we came upon. I love to cruise…I don’t mean that in a mild way either…I am seriously passionate about it. I am at my happiest when I am on a cruise ship and even after the numerous cruising we have done, I still get just as elated as I did the very first time I set foot on a cruise ship. It never gets old for me…and within 10 minutes of being on the Star…seeing Darin, and being greeted by all these amazing crew members in such a great way I literally had tears of joy (I know this sounds dramatic but it’s true)

 

So, for the 3 days we were on this ship, things remained this excellent. Since we booked this as a last minute thing (and we already have 3 other cruises booked for 2009; two of which are on NCL) we booked an inexpensive interior cabin guarantee. We wound up getting a cabin (6107) on the Oslo Deck. I have to say that I LOVED this little area. Our cabin steward was adorable and she and her assistant introduced themselves to us and I am very sorry that I forgot her name. She made sure to ask us of we had any requests and told us that is we needed anything, just to ask her. We don’t usually require much from our cabin stewards while cruising as we like to spend little time in the cabin (especially if we have an interior cabin!) but it was very much noticed by us that she did make a point of letting us know that she was there if we did need anything. I am deeply upset with myself for forgetting the cabin attendants names. We once had a cruise on Celebrity and the cabins each had little name plates on the desk with the name of the cabin steward. This is a LOVELY idea and I would love to see NCL do this. To be honest, there are time when I am introduced to crew members and don’t recall their names because there are times I can’t even pronounce their names!! It would be very nice to be able to have the little name plates out so I could at least be reminded of the cabin stewards name during my stay. I hate trying to stare at their chests to see name tags!!

 

Our cabin was always kept clean. We had a towel animal one night…yes, I walked in to the cabin, and I saw the towel animal and couldn’t help but smile~ HUGE…then proceeded to laugh at myself for getting excited over a towel animal. Again, even after numerous cruises, the small things are what make me happy.

 

We made reservations for one dinner at Cagney’s and one in Le Bistro. Both were excellent. The food was amazing in taste and presentation, the pace of the dinner was perfect. Both times, the wait staff was superb, but I wanted to give special thanks to our wait staff in LeBistro. Malvin was our head waiter. We loved him. He was excellent. His assistant was also fabulous (as well as absolutely beautiful) but again, I didn’t jot down her name so I have forgotten it. I can’t even begin to tell you how they added to our dining experience.

 

On our last evening aboard we had reservations in the Italian Restaurant but wound up cancelling them and eating in the main dining room. Again, we were not disappointed. Our server, (I think her name was Geraldine), was absolutely excellent. We were happy with the service especially due to the fact that while on the Spirit back in ‘07, we found service in the main dining rooms (NOT the surcharge restaurants) to be a little lacking. There seemed to be 100% improvement.

 

After our last dinner on the ship, as I was walking back to the cabin, already feeling my PCD starting to sink in, we opened the cabin door and found an NCL beach tote filled with NCL stuff and a note from Darin. What a NICE gesture!

In a 3 day period, we went from being miserable with winter-cabin-fever to relaxed and feeling absolutely wonderful and pampered all because of the crew members. NCL crew members are what make NCL our favorite cruise line. I was a die hard CCL fanatic and I still love ANY cruise, any time, but I have to say after the two NCL cruises we have taken, the crew has TOTALLY won us over. Our debarkation was also flawless. I LOVE how you could choose your own debark time…how cool is that?? We chose the last one, scheduled for about 9:30. (I hate getting off the ship!!) We were literally off the ship in EIGHT minutes FLAT! I always thought you couldn’t have a perfect cruise…I guess I was wrong.

 

Before I end this ‘novel’ (and I apologize but I wanted you to understand just how much I enjoyed this cruise) I wanted to also put in a good word for our “Bar Waiter of the Cruise” award!! Victor was fabulous and took care of our beverage needs for the 3 days on the ship. He was attentive, making sure we always had a glass with something in it and ice if it was needed. Getting pampered like this is nothing short of bliss. You can’t come off a ship after being treated that specially and not feel amazing. I am happy to say that I will be boarding the NCL Star on 3/14 and I will be on another repo cruise on November 1st on The Dawn with another VERY large Cruise Critic Group. You have no idea how I look forward to each of these sailings.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh...just in case people think my review is too good to be true, I do have one small complaint. The weather wasn't that great. :p

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Oh, I forgot to mention something about The Quest on this sailing :eek: We laughed SO frickin hard. Darin asked for the usual: men to run up with TWO bras on their heads. One girl just took off her shirt and her bra....boobs floppin all over the place. The room was in hysterics.

Darin saw this as an opportunity to 'kick thing up a notch' so he and the comedian that was on board for this sailing started asking for lap dances and stuff....it was great. At one point, Darin had the comedian sit in a chair and asked for women to come up and flash him. The girl who had taken off her top earlier, was the first to run up on the stage. She was running very fast while pulling her shirt off again, tripped and FLEW into the comedian's lap! He later said, "All I saw was two huge missles coming at me!"

 

This girl's team did win by the way. :p

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Oh, I forgot to mention something about The Quest on this sailing :eek: We laughed SO frickin hard. Darin asked for the usual: men to run up with TWO bras on their heads. One girl just took off her shirt and her bra....boobs floppin all over the place. The room was in hysterics.

Darin saw this as an opportunity to 'kick thing up a notch' so he and the comedian that was on board for this sailing started asking for lap dances and stuff....it was great. At one point, Darin had the comedian sit in a chair and asked for women to come up and flash him. The girl who had taken off her top earlier, was the first to run up on the stage. She was running very fast while pulling her shirt off again, tripped and FLEW into the comedian's lap! He later said, "All I saw was two huge missles coming at me!"

 

This girl's team did win by the way. :p

Sounds like a great trip !! Thanks for the review..:)

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Sounds like a great trip !! Thanks for the review..:)

 

Thanks :)

 

I just remembered that I should note that the cabin we were in had very little in the way of storage space. It was fine for this 3 day cruise but if this ship ever does any longer itineraries, storage (at least for the interior cabins) may be an issue.

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Thanks for the review. I am glad you had a such a wonderful time, but I also bet you are a " glass half full" kind of gal:) I smiled the whole time I was reading. I hope you bring all of your good cruise karma to the Star next month!

I am..which means after many reviews there are people who probably disregard my reviews at this point because I seldon have anything to complain about.

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Halos, I enjoyed your review and cannot wait for my upcoming Sky cruise. To get more attention, your review could have read more like this :D :

 

We had to leave for the cruise a day early because you know the ship would leave without us if we ran into any little problems on our way down.

 

It took until noon to get on the ship and then they gave us a glass of champagne. You would think they would at least give us an umbrella drink instead of champagne. Things went downhill from here. We had the same cruise director as our last trip and he just seemed to want to talk about that other cruise. By the time I finished my champagne, I was in tears, which set the tone for the rest of the cruise.

 

I can't remember the names of most of the crew because they were too hard to pronounce. I think they should all use names like Joe & Bob & Ann for our convenience. Our stateroom was miniscule and did not have any storage at all. To top that off, we only had one towel animal.

 

The entertainment was obscene, with women running all over the ship with no shirts on. I plan to file a lawsuit as soon as I get home.

 

We had to eat in the specialty restaurants because on our last cruise the service was horrible. This time the weather was lousy, and the Captain didn't even bother to try to find the sun. When it came time to disembark, we got off so fast it was like they threw us off the ship. I will never cruise NCL again.

 

 

:D:D:D

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We were on the 4 day cruise right after your cruise. While nothing in this life is perfect, I will say that no other ship offers the value we received. Carnival's 3 day cruise for one is more than I paid for a 4 day for two on the Sky. While there are no frills, the ship was clean and the food adequate.

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Halos, I enjoyed your review and cannot wait for my upcoming Sky cruise. To get more attention, your review could have read more like this :D :

 

We had to leave for the cruise a day early because you know the ship would leave without us if we ran into any little problems on our way down.

 

It took until noon to get on the ship and then they gave us a glass of champagne. You would think they would at least give us an umbrella drink instead of champagne. Things went downhill from here. We had the same cruise director as our last trip and he just seemed to want to talk about that other cruise. By the time I finished my champagne, I was in tears, which set the tone for the rest of the cruise.

 

I can't remember the names of most of the crew because they were too hard to pronounce. I think they should all use names like Joe & Bob & Ann for our convenience. Our stateroom was miniscule and did not have any storage at all. To top that off, we only had one towel animal.

 

The entertainment was obscene, with women running all over the ship with no shirts on. I plan to file a lawsuit as soon as I get home.

 

We had to eat in the specialty restaurants because on our last cruise the service was horrible. This time the weather was lousy, and the Captain didn't even bother to try to find the sun. When it came time to disembark, we got off so fast it was like they threw us off the ship. I will never cruise NCL again.

 

 

:D:D:D

 

LMAO!

I was away for a few days so I didn't see this until just now. I have to say that you are probably right!! It is so un-cruise-critic of someone to post anything without mention of a law suit!! what was I thinking??? :p

 

Seriously, thanks for the laugh!!

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By any chance did you do the Romance package? If so, do you remember when the cake and sparkling wine party was?

 

Do you remember what time the shows were?

 

Great review! I'll be on the Sky on March 6 for a 3-nighter. I'm getting excited!

 

I'm so sorry I can't help you with the romance package...been married 26 years, so we don't do romance packages LOL!!

 

I can't tell you much about the shows...we missed them. I can give you show times and any other info that can be found in the Dailies because I kept them

 

The first night was CARNAVAL ESPECTACULAR (Dazzles Night club 9:45)

 

2nd Night: Soul Rockin' Nights (Stardust Theater 8:30)

Newlywed/Not-so Newlywed Game (Stardust theater 9:45)

NCL White Hot Night (poolside 10:30)

 

3rd night: Stardust Comedy Show with Tim Kaminski (Stardust Theater 8:30)

Quest: (outrigger Lounge 10:00)

Farewell Toga Party (Dazzles 10:45)

 

 

We were on the 4 day cruise right after your cruise. While nothing in this life is perfect, I will say that no other ship offers the value we received. Carnival's 3 day cruise for one is more than I paid for a 4 day for two on the Sky. While there are no frills, the ship was clean and the food adequate.

 

 

I love carnival...I really do. But my last short cruise on CCL was NOT anything like my longer CCL cruises. It was a 5 day on the Fantasy and I was a bit disappointed in the entire cruise. It wasn't awful by any means but it was definitely the very least favorite of the 10 cruises I have taken.

I swore after that cruise I would never take another short one.

:rolleyes: never say never.

This 3 day on the Sky redeemed my faith in the short cruise. :)

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Just a quick question about your waiter Malvin. By any chance was he from the Filipino gentleman. The reason why I ask was he was our head waiter last year on the Carnival Legend. And was just curious.

 

yes, he was Filipino...but maybe that's a popular name there, like John is here. ;)

He was very attentive. His wife was also on the ship (she was also wait staff) She was working in the Italian place. We actually had a reservation there for th elast night, but cancelled it and ate in the regular dining room.

I was under the impression that they had been with NCL a while (but maybe I'm wrong??)

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yes, he was Filipino...but maybe that's a popular name there, like John is here. ;)

He was very attentive. His wife was also on the ship (she was also wait staff) She was working in the Italian place. We actually had a reservation there for th elast night, but cancelled it and ate in the regular dining room.

I was under the impression that they had been with NCL a while (but maybe I'm wrong??)

 

I am attempting to attach his picture. The Malvin on Carnival also had his wife working on the cruise. We are leaving on the Carnival Miracle in May and my son was hoping he was on that boat (long shot at best)

 

293732797_SHIP031.jpg.3ab52ff6724e15135713f08fbcea392c.jpg

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I am attempting to attach his picture. The Malvin on Carnival also had his wife working on the cruise. We are leaving on the Carnival Miracle in May and my son was hoping he was on that boat (long shot at best)

 

[ATTACH]108933[/ATTACH]

 

OMG! LOL :D I think it is him!! How funny is that???

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So it is him. He was great. He made my son's trip. Malvin always had a little suprise for him for dinner. Whether it was a little animal made out of a napkin or making him look like a bank robber with a napkin mask. Granted nothing really major, but he was genuine. And he took the timeto make a 5 year old feel special.

 

Thanks

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So it is him. He was great. He made my son's trip. Malvin always had a little suprise for him for dinner. Whether it was a little animal made out of a napkin or making him look like a bank robber with a napkin mask. Granted nothing really major, but he was genuine. And he took the timeto make a 5 year old feel special.

 

Thanks

 

He has a little (girl, I believe) himself...that's probably why he was so good with your son. :) It's nice when someone makes your child's cruise special.

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There have been many positive reviews of the Sky recently. Its amazing how this ship stank in Hawaii as the Pride of Aloha with an American crew, and how wonderful this ship is in Miami with an International crew.

 

 

It's sad that it didn't make it in Hawaii.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello fellow Mainer - we are looking at the 3-night cruise on the Sky. Great rates for a last minute deal. We are a bit leary about NCL since we have always sailed Carnival but it's great to read reviews from those who have done both. One of the postive things with the Sky is the open dining. Did you have any issues, etc.,?

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Thanks for the great review of the Sky. We're scheduled for the 3 day cruise in July and it was mainly scheduled to use up a credit we have since we are doing a different big vacation this year. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it all and now can't wait! We last cruised on the Majesty last year to Bermuda and while it truly is a "no frills" ship, we enjoyed the crew, the food and, of course, Bermuda!

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