We looked hard at finding the best Ports available during Spring Break. There was one leaving Puerto Rico, but decided that that was too complicated to travel to PR then Cruise.
Therefore, we tried Miami and NCL Dawn. Normally we leave out of Galveston and Cruise Carnival. We were somewhat apprehensive based on some of the reviews we saw, but these were all put to rest when we saw the quality of the staff first hand.
Samana DR. Beautiful. We took the excursion to the Cayo Levantado. Absolutely Beautiful. Samana itself has more Coconut trees than you will see anywhere, they are impressive. Beach was white sandy and if you love Volleyball, this is a great place to play.
Been to Samana before on a land vacation, los Terranas is the general area. It has alot to offer in diversity. People are pleasant and engaging. DR is known for Merengue dancing. Cayo Levantado did not have any dancing, but there was some locals playing native rhythms. Something about native percussions and rhythms that put you in a frame of mind that you just gotta have a nice tropical drink and take in all the beauty.
St. Thomas US Virgin Island (charlotte amalie) - the shopping capital of the Caribbean! Lots of shops with anything you can imagine. First class merchandise too. However, My wife and daughter went shopping, I freelanced to St. Johns - A little scary not going on the Cruise excursion, but in retrospect would not go any other way. Met some locals that were more than happy to give tips and clues to how to get the excursion done.
Trunk Bay was a Top 5 Beach in the World. Breathtaking. No Volleyball though. really good snorkeling.
When got back to ship, my daughter announced she wanted her ears pierced in St Thomas and I cannot believe I agreed to this. The Tattoo shop near the Ship was very world renown and professional about it. St Thomas, St John was amazing we go great pictures.
British Virgin Island - Tortola - another great destination. We took the whole family on a freelance excursion to British Virgin Gorda to see the Baths. What an adventure. I recommend this highly. Great Hike - not difficult at all. The Beach opens like a postcard after getting through the Rocks - Caves.
Last Stop was the Bahamas - Great stirrup Cay. We just had to have a Bahama Mama in the Bahamas. Not a light weight drink. snorkeling was not good - too many jelly fish. Anyway I am not sure what they were I caught one in a glass to get a closer observation. Strange critter - it was very clear and see through and looked like a tube - not what you would think a jelly fish would look like.
This beach had the best Volley Ball of the tour.
My wife walked 2 miles to the lighthouse, many people do this - she reported that when you get there there is snorkeling to a small island formation that people were saying was pretty good.
The Norwegian Dawn - The entertainment was very good. We meet many of the dancers - they are from all over the world. They are actually some of the best I have ever seen. The Last show - Bollywood was world Class. Standing ovation big time.
We sing Karaoke so we usually keeped ourselves entertained.
Food - It was refreshing to see a cruise that was not all about food. I mean, there was some great food, but the freestyle was really great because we were able to meat so many more people in so short of time - just bouncing around all the restaurants. Great Sushi, French and Cagney's (steak house) was really good.
Fitness Center - the Best i have ever seen. The girls joined the algae diet regime. We all went to some of the free classes - very educational. Lots of Free Weights and Cardio Machines.
Didn't go there that much. It is just too hard to focus on fitness when you are on a cruise IMO.
Very Organized - Nice Staff - Highly recommend.
They kept saying vacation of a lifetime, I guess I will remember this one very fondly!