We just returned from a 9 day NCL cruise and had a terrific time. We used to use NCL but had found it had gone downhill and switched lines. We booked because they offered a kids sail free promotion out of NYC which is a short drive for us.
I had very low expectations and everything except embarkation and debarkation exceeded them. The entertainment was excellant. The food and service very good. Kids club provided an excellant experience for the kids. Ship features and facilities were ranged from Good to Excellant. The cabin was smaller than average but very functional. New York is a great place to depart from and almost all our fellow passengers had arrived by car, train or bus. The staff from NCL was exceptionally responsive to our needs. The one thing I would say is that you do need to tell them what you want they are not mind readers and with freestyle cruising you will not usually get the same wait staff.
Our 4th port of call was samana which they dont list on More
cruise critic. It was our best trip. Go to Las Halitos unless you are unsteady on your feet. Get an excursion at the dock we paid 35 a person with Juan an american ex pat. Perhaps the most interesting trip in all of the Islands. Less
We did a snorkle / beach day at Little Bay. It is cheap and easy to access from ship. It is a good beach with safe swiming. But the snorkling is well below average. Fort Amsterdam was a worthwhile walk from the beach, historic and scenic. The snorkle required a 10 - 15 minute swim to approach the interesting area which had a platform and specific snorkle trail. Had a sunken submarine, helicopter and cannon, nice unusually but there are few fish and no reef on the swim. Obviously you need to be fit for the 45 minute swim with no resting spot. If I had it to do again I would book and all day boat trip even though it is big bucks.
Always a hit with many beautiful places to visit. Went to Sapphire Beach. Decent price after haggling with cab driver for a few minutes. Beach was good with amazing views to st. john and the BVI. Resteraunt, bar, beach chairs, snorkle shack. Snorkling was very good for shore snorkling but St. John and offshore reefs are worth the effort. But the beach was a good value for families. Much cheaper then Magins Beach and there are still live reefs and fish availible including rays.