Well we’re back and and the cruise was a great trip. We thought a quick review of the cruise might help some our friends who have expressed they are going on the same cruise in mid June.
First, there are some financial surprises with this cruise. As we mentioned last week our primary out lay for the 4 night cruise was $1003 for the two of us, including tax, fees, an open bar and the base list price of the cruise. If your taking this cruise you should consider a few more costs that we missed in our original article.
First, Cuba requires a Visa. Don’t panic the cruise ship will get you your Cuba Visa at the terminal. The surprise for Charlene and I was the $75 Visa fee. That was a $150 hit we did not expect.
Second, to our amazement the service charge (gratuity) on this cruise is $20 a day, OUCH. for a whopping $40 a day for the two of us. The fee is not mandatory but if you don’t talk to the people at customer service it will be added to your bill at the end of the cruise.
That’s a total of another $160 in service charges and $150 in visa charges for a total of $310 worth of unexpected surprises at the end of the cruise.
Also in our original article we mentioned a $25 on board credit. We missed the “*” that said no on board credit for “guaranteed rooms”. Because we went with the least expensive “guaranteed room” we missed out on the $25 on board credit.
OK, that’s all the bad news. Here’s the good news. The Sky is a great cruise ship and the Sky’s staff is amazing. The food is first class, we ate most of the time in the formal dining room and every meal was excellent.
One of the draws to this cruise was the “open bar”. Charlene and I are wine drinkers and we have been disappointed in the past with the quality of the wines on “open bar” all-inclusive offers. The wine on the Sky was enjoyable, not great but two steps above what we had expected.
We only misbehaved once and that was on Great Stirrup Cay where we got a little too into the Pina Coladas. Whoops. In retrospect I think the $20 service fee was so high to cover the tips for the bartenders.
The two stop overs are in Havana and Stirrup Cay and both of these destinations are fun.
In conclusion the cost of the trip was more then we expected and the quality of the trip was more then expected, so we agree that this is still a fantastic way to get a taste of Cuba and relax for 4 days.
I hope this little update helps all of our friends that have expressed an interest in this cruise. When we last looked Norwegian is offering this cruise about once a week and the base prices are still very reasonable. Thanks for your support and if you go watch the Pina Coladas on Great Stirrup Cay, they are sneaky.
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