MITSUGIRLYS BACK TO BELLY SKY CRUISE review and pictorial
Day 6: Last Day & getting off ship
So our final and last day of vacation has come to an end. It really didn't bother us when our Sun cruise came to an end knowing that we were going on the Sky right after that. I didn't get that "sad" feeling that I always get when it's time to leave a ship.
Now like I said before, being gone for 2 weeks straight and 2 cruises felt like a little too much to me. 7 days isn't enough, but 2 weeks (being actually gone a full 14 days even though it was a 7 day cruise combined with a 5 day cruise and days in between each) just felt like too much. I honestly couldn't wait to get home. As a matter of fact, Sakari jumped up and down when she knew for a fact that we were going home today. She said she was so excited to go home. So maybe next time we do an extended cruise, we'll try a 9 day southern cruise or something.
So I woke up sore with a stiff neck this morning. I swear these beds had to be the hardest bed I had ever slept on in my life and especially on any NCL ship.
Last night our soda was taken out of the fridge and the booze put back in and it locked up. Well, I still had several left over...so who ever got our room the next time, you are welcome for all the free soda.
Yes, it's the last day on the ship and guess what...we now have 3 towels again including the beach towels. Thanks...but you are a little too late.
I had my wake up call set for 7:30am and I was up at 7:25am. Hmmm, only 5 minutes earlier. I'm making improvements.
I headed for the shower and then upstairs to check out the situation. It was raining but thank goodness it was warm out. Someone tell me why it seems like every cruise I have done in the winter time, I come back to port in Miami or NOLA with rain that morning??
Back down to wake the family up and head to breakfast.
There was the normal runny eggs, but worse and uncooked bacon that squealed at me as I walked by. Thank goodness that I went over to the other side and found that it was a little more cooked on that side and worth the wait. The lines were EXTREMELY long and there was no place to sit to eat, even outside. We stood around with our plates in our hands until someone left a table and dove for the table before anyone else could get there. The problem was it was 2 tables put together, so could possibly fit up to 8-10 people, but there were only 2 chairs. Sakari was forced to stand and eat. It was only fair since she was the shortest and could reach the table the easiest standing.
When we were done eating, the kids took our seats so that they would have a place to eat and we ate in shifts.
We went outside to wait for them to finish eating and watched a Carnival ship pulling in.
Then we all headed back to the room to grab our belongings and down to the 6th floor to play the waiting game of them calling our tag color (9 am). They always seem to run early and at 8:50am, they were telling us to go.
I text MJS transportation to let them know we were getting off the ship at 9:06am.
He ask if we were past customs and I replied yes at 9:17am
At 9:19 he text me back saying he was delayed for 15 min, but was on his way.
At 9:38am he text again saying there was an accident on the freeway and traffic was slow, but he was headed our way now.
9:45am he text asking what time our flight was in FLL
9:46 he states he's in the express lane.
9:47 he states will be there at 10am and we will be to the airport by 10:20 at the latest. There's absolutely NO traffic on the way back.
(Meanwhile...note that I said it was raining. We were soaking wet, our luggage was soaking wet, there were puddles everywhere...which meant you were standing in them and your luggage was resting in them).
10am-he states he is 4 exits away. There's absolutely no traffic the other way I assure you.
10:02 he tells me to move to number 9 or 11 warehouse. Me...at this point I'm irritated at the time and tell him "NO, WE ARE AT 1, WE HAVE 9 PEOPLE IN OUR PARTY AND EACH HAVE 1-2 LUGGAGE. I'M NOT MOVING AND YOU CAN PICK US UP RIGHT HERE"
10:10am he text "I'm going into the tunnel"
10:15...he's no where in site. I'm pissed, I'm mentally drained, I'm now worried that we are going to miss our flight. I'm soaked and so are the kids and the rest of the family. I have watched everyone else get in their transportation rides and head out of here on time. I've had multiple vendors ask if we needed a ride and wheeled and dealed on pricing. I've had time to sit around and think about this...they know what time the ships come into port. They know what time they start letting us off. They knew what time our flight was out (you list it on the form when you request transportation) and ALL the other vendors are there waiting outside to pick up their customers and for some reason ours is not.
One guy had told us that he would do $15 pp (we were paying $11) and we told him no. He came back and said "ok $12 pp". Once again we said no. Another guy told us $100 for everyone. We turned him down.
It was now 10:18, 2 minutes away from the time our transportation promised we would be AT the airport and he's still not here. I'm considering the other offers at this time.
He finally comes back and says "Ok, we have a driver that is going there anyhow...we'll do all of you for $60. Me "Ok, let's go, we are probably missing our flight anyhow at this point."
He told us to come with him and we gathered our things and started walking across the street toward the garage area. The driver pulled up, put our luggage in and we were off. We were on the freeway before I got another text and phone call from the other driver letting me know he was there. Seriously??? I was so livid at this point I wouldn't even answer him.
Now this situation gets even worse as we go along.
It doesn't take long before we are pulling up to the airport. Then I start noticing it says "Miami airport". Oh just fricken great! I was really hoping he didn't think we were going to Miami airport for our flights and that's why they were only charging us $60 for all 9 of us.
Thanks goodness that wasn't the deal. He dropped off 2 passengers and we were on our way to FLL. Now I have to say this driver was SLOW in driving. He wasn't your normal taxi driver and stayed WAY behind anyone in front of him and was always pressing the breaks. Geesh. We were never going to make it. BTW, the MJS driver lied...there was bumper to bumper traffic all the way down the freeway.
We finally got there, paid him and seriously RAN inside with our luggage and got into the boarding pass line. We checked in real quick, printed the passes, early bird check in got us A56, 57 & 58 seats. We were hurrying to get through security and managed to get waved over to the quick line. We didn't have to take our shoes off, didn't have to have an ID for Sakari, computers didn't have to come out of our bags and it was fast! The kids were stuck in the long line and had to go through the entire process.
We ran to our boarding gate and they were already lining up to get on. I messaged the kids to let them know where we were at. Kolin & Courtney were in the long line. Kendra and family...well they were having their bags checked. Just great! Kolin & Courtney found us first but there was no site of Kendra and family.
We were called to get on the plane. While we were going down the tunnel, I hear someone yell "mom"...it was Kendra a few people behind me. She managed to actually get on before Kolin & Courtney because they let her go with the "family" boarding. LOL
We managed to get decent seats fairly close together and all was good in the neighborhood. It looks like we weren't missing our flight after all.
Since everything was good, we were all back to being calm and our goofy self.
At home I probably get a good 5-10 videos a day from Kendra doing funny things, singing and so on. I get goofy pictures and I send goofy ones back. Being on the plane would be no different.
Since we weren't actually sitting together, we just had to communicate in "our own way" as we always do.
I first receive a text from Kendra "licking her bf's face...without him knowing it of course"
I sent one back of me putting my finger in Kolins ear hole. He had been complaining that he had lost his ear gauge when we were at Melia. I told her I was holding the hole open for him on this flight. Of course he had no idea what we were doing and I just looked like an idiot with my finger in the air to normal people.
Daddy is oblivious as to what is transpiring and playing "flying fish" with Sakari and her wooden fish.
The game continues...funny faces
I tell daddy and Sakari to give Kendra a pose...you can tell it's mostly a girl thing...daddy had no clue, but Sakari sure did.
Kendra tells me the guys ears smell behind her.
Kendra tells me the guys ears smell behind her.
I turn around and look at Kolin and he has no idea what's going on and smiles while I was laughing my head off.
We did have a change of flights that day, but it wasn't a long delay. Maybe 45 minutes and we were on our way again.
It was time to land at home around 5:45pm and it was an eventful trip.
So...I actually made it to the end of this review in record time. What do you guys think?
Last but not least, my final thoughts on the Sky and a little comparison between the Sky and the Sun. :)
So my final thoughts on the Sky.
I actually liked the way the Sky looked and the decor and design. I probably liked it a little more than the Sun. I especially liked the area at the elevators encased in glass looking out at the pool deck. I also liked the remains of the Hawaii "stuff" around the ship and a few other differences around the ship.
The food was about the same as the Sun. With the buffet being so small, I just don't think that there's much room for a variety of items. I normally like the buffet a lot on the other ships, but this time, the Sky and the Sun just didn't cut it for me.
The service at the MDR on the Sky (and the Sun) was excellent. The last several cruises we have waited and waited forever in the MDR to get service, our food and drinks. This was a pleasant experience on both ships.
The rooms...I did not like the layout of this room with the couch at the end of the bed being the 3rd/4th person bed. Had we pulled it all the way out, there would have been no room to walk around it. The bathroom door was hard to shut (if it would shut at all) in our room and the closet door dragged the floor.
There is definitely NOT enough storage/closet space (at least for 3 people) on the Sky. The Sun was great for this...but the Sky lacks space. Thank goodness it was only for 4 days.
The showers...YIKES! We all now know about the SUPER SMALL round shower with the sticking shower curtain=the worse. Thank goodness I learned the trick about leaving the edges open (or the door) to keep this from happening. Also, the water pressure didn't pound on you on the Sky like it did the Sun.
I found the room steward service on the Sky to be one of the worse. Removing bath towels and beach towels when there were 3 people in the room??? I'm not sure what they were thinking, even after asking me how many people were in there. Them never giving us clean glasses and putting a clean lid on top of a dirty glass=unacceptable. Then we went down to only 1 glass on the 2nd day. Several times our trash was not emptied. Our ice bucket was not filled every day either. Oh, one thing I meant to take a picture of was the huge gap under our room door. At night, you could see all the light coming in (no need for a night light with this) and also hear people in the hallway.
The beds were probably the hardest beds I have ever slept on. I don't have the best circulation to begin with and after laying in these beds, I would wake up during the night with a body part asleep. I woke up once with a stiff neck. It was just the worse sleep I have had on a ship.
The safe was easy to work and much better than the Sun.
We found the Sky to be in much needed repair compared to the other NCL ships we've been on. We found broken toilet seats falling off in public areas, broken tiles and the ship just didn't seem as "up to par" and clean like the rest of the fleet. I know she's old, but so is the Sun and the Spirit and it didn't feel that way to me on those.
I did over hear a lady complaining to a worker in the casino about a sewage smell in the public restroom. I did not go investigate.
Where is the washy washy people? Have they done away with them? I have not seen them on the last several cruises really. They are a hit or miss and they don't say anything to you when they are there.
The Internet worked great and was just as fast as the Sun was. Excellent deal in my book.
This ship was PACKED IMO. There were lines for everything and people everywhere. No place to sit to eat at the buffet and a lot of times at the Great Outdoors.
The casino sucked...well, that's only because I didn't win big on this ship. :D Actually, I really didn't find any games that I really liked (and that's unusual for me).
I seriously hate that neither the Sun or the Sky has a 24/7 restaurant. I was completely missing the Blue Lagoon/O'Sheehans. :(
The kids club on this ship looked amazing. A lot better than the decor on the Sun. Bright and fun filled. However, the staff was not as friendly. I did like that they provided you with a "beeper" that you wore around your neck and you could also receive calls and talk using it. Awesome! Too bad the Sun hasn't adopted this procedure. I guess they just like to receive calls all day long while you walk from area to area on the ship.
One thing I would suggest for people without kids (and even for those with), don't book a room in the hall by the kids club. Not because the kids club is loud, but because when they have any activities outside the club, both going from and to the club they are chanting really loud. I provided videos of the times we ran into them on the ship. Those same chants they were doing in the videos are the same chants they did in the hallways...super loud.
I didn't like that the picture package was different than the other ships. On the other ships you can pick 10 pictures of ANY size for a set price. This ship, it was 5 pictures...but they had to be the SAME size.
Loved that they had the pasta/pizza bar for extra choices for lunch and also for breakfast. This is an added plus!!
The White Hot Party...just wasn't the same that we have experienced on the other ships. Since everyone seems to think that a 4 day cruise is a "party ship"...where was the party??? Because the White Hot party just was not hopping at all.
**Have you ever noticed how often they place Michael Jackson songs on the NCL ships?? Just wondering. We have noticed this with every cruise and laugh at it. I love Michael Jackson, but always have to laugh at the amount of times you'll hear songs over and over.***:p
So to close...I'm not a complainer. I see the best in things when I can. Was this a horrible ship? Absolutely not. When we got on her, I immediately liked her. Was it up to par with the rest of the fleet? No, but it didn't really sway me one way or the other about not liking her. If I had read this review and never sailed her would I? Yep, I still would. Like I have said before, I form my own opinions and like to see the best in every ship. She may have not been up to par and needed some repairs, but she was still a nice ship and we enjoyed her.
Was she a party ship? Psshhh, not when we were on her. It was crowded yes, but I wouldn't consider it a party ship. I didn't see anyone falling over drunk, acting inappropriate or out of line. It was just like being on any 7 day cruise.
Would I go on her again? Nope, probably not. I don't really like to repeat ships and now I have "been there, done that" and have no desire to do it again.
Now one last thing I do have to say. This was probably our least favorite ship and cruise ever. I have read multiple people that come on here with complaints about the worse cruise ever and missing ports and bad weather and everyone always says "suck it up, it's a cruise". I can honestly say that we have always had good weather during our cruise (maybe not sailaway or returning) and have always made it to our ports (with the exception of a private island back in the 90's), so I could honestly not relate to them. Well now I can. I have to say that I can now sympathize with those that have bad weather or miss a port. It truly sucks! Although it's still better to be cruising than at home working and such, it really does affect your entire cruise. Not in a really bad way, but to some extent. We had colder weather at Nassau, we had to skip Great Stirrup Cay (that I was so looking forward to) and it was cold and rainy. Yes, this DOES have some affect on the entire cruise and make it kinda a boo-hiss type of thing. It's just something you can't control, but it happens...and now it has happened to us. I guess this just gives me another excuse to head back on a cruise that goes to GSC. How's that for a quick recovery? :D
Ok, I still have a few of the NCL fleet to sail...I guess I'm off to some more planning. The Dawn is up next...5 more months and counting. :D
Thanks to everyone that stuck with me during both of these reviews. I really appreciate it and hope to sail with you guys some time in the future.