Fodor’s Expert Review
Launched in 1999 for Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Sky was the first ever cruise ship to offer Internet service at sea. Restyled for service in Norwegian’s Hawaii division in 2004, the ship was renamed Pride of Aloha. When that venture was scaled back, the ship underwent a multimillion dollar renovation in 2008 and returned to Norwegian’s international fleet once again as Norwegian Sky.Read More
Norwegian Cruise Line hadn’t introduced many new ships in awhile at the time Norwegian Sky was launched and Norwegian Sun was on the drawing board, but it didn’t take long before they got the hang of it. With Freestyle cruising growing in popularity, the vessels moved into the forefront of the fleet with multiple restaurant choices, expansive casino, trendy spas, and more family- and kid-friendly facilities.
Rich wood tones and fabric colors prevail throughout. The Observation Lounge is a subdued spot for afternoon tea in a light, tropical setting with nothing to distract attention from the expansive views beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Internet café is large, and the nearby coffee bar is a delight. Sunshine pours into the atrium through an overhead skylight by day; at night it’s the ship’s glamorous hub of activity.
Norwegian Cruise Line set sail in 1966 with an entirely new concept—regularly scheduled Caribbean cruises from the then-obscure port of Miami. Good food and friendly service combined with value fares established the line as a winner for active adults and families. Innovative and forward-looking, Norwegian has been a cruise-industry leader for decades, and its fleet is as much at home worldwide as in the Caribbean. Several of the line’s ships cruise Alaska’s Inside Passage, including one of its newest, Norwegian Bliss.
Noted for top-quality entertainment, Norwegian combines action and high-energy activities as well as a variety of dining options in a casual, free-flowing atmosphere. Norwegian’s freestyle cruising signaled an end to rigid dining schedules and dress codes. Norwegian ships now offer a host of flexible dining options that allow passengers to eat in the main dining rooms or any of a number of à la carte and specialty restaurants at any time and with whom they please. The ships’ accommodations include some of the largest suites at sea, studio cabins for solo travelers, and a private ship-within-a-ship complex called The Haven, a more luxurious area with personalized service.
From a distance, most cruise ships look so similar that it’s often difficult to tell them apart, but Norwegian’s largest, modern ships stand out with their distinctive use of hull art. Each new ship is distinguished by murals extending from bow to midship.
- 11 passenger decks
- 4 specialty restaurants, 2 dining rooms, buffet, ice cream parlor, pizzeria
- Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator (some), DVD (some)
- 2 pools, children’s pool
- fitness classes, gym, hot tubs, sauna, spa, steam room
- 8 bars, casino, dance club, library, showroom, video game room
- children’s programs
- dry-cleaning, laundry service
- Internet terminal
- no-smoking cabins