Day 3 – NCL SKY 3-NIGHT MIAMI / KEY WEST / GREAT STIRRUP
This is the continuation of our live blogging series of The Ocean Traveler aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line “Sky.”
We last were here in September-2018, and had a fantastic time… and we’ve been wanting to come back ever since!
Great Stirrup Cay is one of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas; its fairly large at nearly 270 acres and is directly adjacent to Royal Caribbeans Perfect Day at Coco Cay. NCL purchased the island from Belcher Oil Company in the late-1970’s, developing it into “Great Stirrup Cay” for its passengers to kick back and relax!
At around 8:00am the tenders started to arrive at the Sky, positioned about a quarter mile from the private island. Due to our “excursion” we had planned, we had priority access to the tender, by passing the line and got right on. HINT– planning an early morning excursion will always get you priority tender access to getting on the island!
We took the short tender trip from the Sky directly over to the island and then headed over to our Cabana!
… and we did … nothing! Just rested and relaxation in our cabana.
The Cabana Cay area of the island is peaceful and away from the hustle and bustle of the main beach area. While its a lengthy walk, NCL does offer golf-cart transportation from the main area to Cabana Cay.
Upon arrival to our cabana, there was a large sofa and coffee table inside the cabana, along with a small refrigerator that was stocked full of bottled water.
A cabana attendant immediately welcomed us and offered us bar service, and then went over the amenities including lounge chairs, floating water mats, the menu for the adjacent food truck and where the restrooms were located.
After a restful nap (yes, it was about 9am – but it was time for a nap) we ventured down to the crystal clear ocean lagoon and floated around for some time in the cool Caribbean water.
Lunch time! We checked out the food truck which had a pretty good selection of tacos, pulled pork sandwich and deserts. We also walked down to the main food pavilion which offered pizza, ribs, chicken and burgers… and deserts (don’t judge, we did indulge).
After the mandatory 30-minutes out of water after eating (is that really a “thing”?) we ventured down to the ocean again, floating around for another couple of hours, discovering sea-life! Flounder fish were swimming all around us!
As the day wound down, we made the trek back to the main area of the island and then waited in a brief line to board the tender back to the NCL Sky.
All in all- we had a fantastic day at Great Stirrup Cay and hope to be back again soon!
Once we got back to the Sky, we headed up to our stateroom and got ready for the evening we made last minute reservation at La Cucina, the Italian restaurant and planned our evening out using the NCL mobile application.
The food at La Cucina was exceptional!
I ordered the Osso Buco was slow cooked, fall off the shank on top of perfectly prepared risotto.
My wife ordered a filet mignon with blue cheese ravioli.
For desert, we ordered the “Torta de Cioccolata e Lamponi” – a chocolate tart that was sooooooo fantastic that we may or may not have ordered a second.
After dinner, we headed down to the Bliss Ultra Lounge and listened to the live band, “The Party of 6” for about an hour.
Finally to end the evening, we found ourselves at the casino – playing craps for about an hour and a half. We walked away ahead (very rare for us) and ended the evening by packing our suitcases in preparation of disembarkation in the morning.
All in all- while it was a short 3-night cruise from Miami to Key West, Great Stirrup Cay and back to Miami – we had a fantastic, kid free long weekend!
NCL as always provides a great experience by way of service, ship cleanliness and upkeep and entertainment. While the Sky is not their newest ship, in fact, its one of their smallest and oldest ships currently sailing, the recent refurbishments made this equal to any other ship of similar we’ve been on in recent times.