Norwegian's most senior vessel, Norwegian Sky, has come out of an extended dry dock in Freeport with extensive changes and additions to public areas and staterooms. Sky may not be the biggest or flashiest ship in their fleet, but guest feedback remains positive, and after reading about some of the changes, including a Starbucks, sushi restaurant, revitalized staterooms, and more, she just may make it on to your "need to cruise" list.
The refurbishment is the most ambitious of all the efforts associated with the line's Norwegian Edge fleet revitalization program, and with her return to her homeport of Miami, those looking for three, four, and five night getaways can look forward to new venues, updated spaces, and completely redesigned staterooms and corridors.
“Last year was an exciting year with the record-breaking launch of Norwegian Bliss, the announcement of Norwegian Joy’s redeployment to the U.S. and the unveiling of four ships which benefited from our comprehensive Norwegian Edge® bow-to-stern refurbishment program,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are continuing the momentum and starting 2019 with the reintroduction of Norwegian Sky. She returned home to Miami unveiling new designs and experiences that showcase our dedication to providing guests with meaningful experiences across our fleet.”
In addition to every single food and beverage venue onboard being updated, eight new venues were introduced, including a pub-style eatery known as The Local Bar & Grill, classic Italian fare at La Cucina, Sugarcane Mojito Bar, and Topsiders pool side bar. Additionally, Sky now features Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge for those looking to stay up late. The morning after those lounge visits may be a little easier with the addition of a Starbucks licensed store. Brand new to not just Sky, but the entire Norwegian fleet is Pinnacle Lounge and Sushi Bar, which provides a relaxed but sophisticated place to enjoy sushi as well as views of the ocean from floor to ceiling windows throughout the venue.
No matter what type of stateroom you have there are upgrades in store while resting up, changing, or just enjoying the peace and quiet of your private space at sea. All 1,002 staterooms were upgraded with new flooring, artwork, furniture, lighting, decking, USB power stations, and televisions.
If you decide to take a trip on Sky, you'll find other enhancements apparent as soon as you step on board, with a completely new atrium and the addition of lounge seating. Heading outside, the pool area has also received new decking, additional canopies, and more.
Billy's Take on Sky's Upgrades
NCL has made it no secret that Sky continues to satisfy guests with her itineraries, complimentary alcoholic beverages, and classic feel. While they, like other lines, put a lot of focus on their largest and newest ships, it's great to see that Sky continues to feel the love. There should be no compromise to guest experience just because you're looking for a shorter sailing, and/or one that visits Cuba. Certainly this puts the line in good favor with locals as well, who represent a large number of cruisers on these short sailings. That in mind though, many first time cruisers dip their toe into the cruising waters with weekend sailings, and it's critical that lines understand they need to put their best foot forward on these ships.
It's been a couple years since we last sailed on Sky, but these new upgrades have us checking our calendar. A short trip to Great Stirrup Cay, NCL's private island, or even Havana, Cuba could be in store for us - and with all Sky sailings including drinks, it's not a very hard sell, though we'd like it even more if she homeported in Port Everglades. I guess we can't have it all, but this still sounds pretty great to us.
Take a look at photos of Norwegian Sky after her drydock, and let us know in the comments if she looks like she could be your home away from home for three to five nights.