In May 2019, as part of our annual group travel event (Wakaholic Adventure), we boarded the Norwegian Sky from Miami Florida on a 4-Day Cruise to explore Havana, Cuba and the Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.
Here is a comprehensive review of my 4-Day Cruise Experience;
We arrived at the Norwegian Cruise Terminal, Port of Miami at 13:30. We tagged and dropped off our luggage, then proceeded to the counter to confirm check-in and pick up our key cards. Our Cruise departure time was 17:00.
Tips: To avoid any delay it is recommended that you check-in online and obtain your cruise boarding pass before your sailing day. Check-in opens up to two (2) months before your cruise date.
When you check-in online, you’ll have the option of selecting your preferred arrival time at the Terminal. You should arrive at this time to avoid any delay.
You are required to register your credit/debit card for payment of any additional services or shopping onboard. These services will be charged to your room and card. If you opt for cash payment, ensure you clear your bills before you disembark from the ship.
We boarded the ship and checked-in to our respective cabins. At 16:00 we all gathered at the assembly station for a mandatory lifeboat drill before we sailed.
The Norwegian Sky was well-equipped with bars & lounges, swimming pools, hot tubs, spa & salon/fitness center, kid’s corner, galleria shops, video arcade, casino, golf driving nets, basketball & volleyball court. It had a capacity of 2004 guests and over 800 crew members.
It was a freestyle cruising experience with no fixed dining times or preassigned seating, we could enjoy a wide selection of complimentary dining options when we wanted. We enjoyed the generous spread of complimentary dishes and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, networked with amazing people and had the time our lives.
We docked at Havana, Cuba early the next morning. We paid for shore excursions so we had an itinerary to follow.
Tips: Onboard shore excursion packages are usually pricey. Unless you are travelling solo, you may want to skip buying onboard packages especially if you are on a tight budget. You can always explore on your own – following your own itinerary.
We were a bit skeptical of exploring on our own especially with the requirement to deal with third-party tour providers that were OFAC-compliant. As a Nigerian passport holder, I’d rather err on the side of caution.
We did the Havana City Tour and the rum tasting tour where we learned about the origin and production of the famous Cuban rum. We also had lunch at a Cuban restaurant where we enjoyed local music, visited the Christ of Havana and the Fortezza San Carlos de la Cabana.
It was our day at sea. We departed Havana, Cuba en route to the Bahamas. We started our day working out at the gym, then breakfast and then we had a long list of activities to enjoy.
I attended the art exhibition, explored the Norwegian Sky Ship, enjoyed the pool-party and entertainment, cooled off in the Jacuzzi and connected with some of the most amazing people. It was my birthday eve and I took some time to sober-reflect on the past as well as my plans for the future. We also had an all-white, all-night party by the pool-side.
It was my birthday and I spent the day soaking up at the beach in the Great Stirrup Cay, the Bahamas; an unspoiled paradise of white sand beaches and pristine waters where colorful marine life inhabits the surrounding coral reefs.
We returned to the ship by evening to get ready for my birthday dinner. Dinner was served, and it was amazing. And then we danced the night away.
We returned to Miami by 6:00am and prepared to get off the ship. Disembarkation was seamless and took approximately 20 minutes. We took nothing but our memories with us. It was indeed a memorable cruise experience.