So as a newbie cruiser, I did my first NCL Sky's 4-day Miami to Bahamas Cruise. I have to say I enjoyed it so much, that I signed up for the promo for $100 credit promo if you place a $250 deposit on any NCL cruises redeemable at anytime within the next 4 years.
Tips! Warning, many people do get tipsy, I meant Tipsy. It's like a mega wedding celebration where 99% of people get drunk and continuous. Since I travelled alone and probably will most often to future cruises, to those who like traveling solo, Hooray! I never felt left out and even at the signature restaurants, dining by myself, with a bottle of wine, the crew staff were very attentive. Yes, I had my share of their signature cocktails and NCL's Le Bistro's Sidecar, was the best Sidecar I've ever had.
Tip: Don't forget to smile. Majority of people do smile back especially after a few alcohol. I think I probably only ran into 3 people who just didn't speak or smile back. Oh, well, life is too short.
Tip: Please cruisers, be nice to these Crew Staff. Majority of them, they're away 9 - 10 months at a time from their families only to make your vacation perfect! Yes, I got to do some small talk with them, and they work hard in rotations 10-12 hours a day most often and they rarely get to see beautiful port sceneries and excursions that we cruisers see and experience. One woman at Great Stirrup Cay had the nerve to say to the crew behind the bar that they're "Sharks!" Oh, boy, that didn't go so well. The crew was just doing their job. She made the comment because they were recommending a jumbo size pina colada for another $3 more instead of a small cup of $9. The crew leader straightened her up and she apologized, thank goodness.
Tip: Shows and entertainment. This ship could do better. I think what I mostly enjoyed was the comedy show on the first night and the last night. Other than that, some of the shows were cheesy. There were also some fun games for kids and adults alike. Speaking of adult game, there a Quest game. One quest was to find a woman with a real tattoo. Well, I have one except I wasn't wearing the right blouse just to show it off. The tattoo is on my right side of my back. The host of the game say, you will never see these people again, you need to show it. Just for that, Buddy, I didn't show it. I have more decency than you, Dude.
Tip: If you're taking this cruise, in Nassau, I found a local restaurant that serves real Caribbean/Jamaican food. It's called Pepper Pot grill, between Market and George Street. AWESOME!!! I walked in that restaurant, locals were having their lunch breaks, and I got nothing but looks and then smiles. The food was superb! I like exploring the local areas most often when I visit new places. I'm not much of a shopper. I only do shop when I know what to pick up, go to the store, buy and leave.
Tip: If you sign up for the satellite internet service at the Internet Cafe. I did sign up for the 30 minutes but guess what folks, just because the counter says 0 minutes left and you're still on the net, it won't disconnect and you will be charged an outrageous per minute rate that not in the plan. So just be very cautious.
Tip: The service charge at $12 per day allocated. I feel that I have to tip again even though I know I've given especially when the service is superb. It's actually not a bad idea to sign up for it to avoid overbudgeting.
Tip: I met 2 couples from Miami on the cruise that were willing to let me tag along. They happened to be sitting in the same row on the first night during the comedy show.
Tip: I like to dance at the clubs and I'm not sure if other ships have separate dance clubs for younger crowd. It's nice to go in the early part of the night but when the younger crowd invades the dance floor, oh, boy! No pun intended.
Tip: Beware of the papparazis (photographers are everywhere that work for the cruise ship). Pictures are to be purchased at $12.95 each, for 5 x 7 size. At this cruise, I was vigilant of the rude and I name him photo nazi. . Don't you dare take a photo of these photos on display so you don't have to purchase it. He will tell you off! Yikes!
Tip: On the last night, you have 2 options. Walk away option with your luggage or if you have transport service purchased in Miami, you will have to pack the night before, place luggage outside your door and they will pick it up to the terminal. You will be paged by your color coded tags, mine was orange, when you can disembark the ship.
Tip: TSA, hello Mr. TSA. Don't be so rude and commanding. Why was it a business of yours and so unusual for you that I was traveling alone. He had the nerve to ask me why I was on a cruise alone and to ask me 3 times. He needs to better pay attention to those people who might have planted seeds in their a$$, geez! My response: WHY NOT?! He let me go through after that.
Well, Cruisemates! You will be hearing from me again. Because this ain't going to be my last cruise. I look forward to hearing with all of you. My apologies in advance if I violated any posting policy.
Sounds wonderful. So glad you have discovered cruising!!
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog
Future Cruises: Carnival Triumph-Caribbean-7/28/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014, Navigator of the Seas-12/14/2013, Norwegian Jewel-1/3/2015, Emerald Princess-1/11/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/2/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/15/2015.