This cruise was sort of rescheduled from the Norwegian Joy back in January 2021 which was canceled, then we switched to the Gem sailing out of the Dominican Republic, which was itself canceled, whereupon we switched to the Joy and then it was replaced by the Gem. To be honest, with all that's been going on in the world, we didn't know if this cruise would sail, either. We got our COVID test two days before the cruise just to be on the safe side, then were tested again prior to embarkation. That was a little annoying just due to the long lines (and nowhere to sit, despite the very large room where testing took place). Nonetheless, after getting our negative tests, off we went to the ship. We had a lovely cruise and the crew could not have been nicer, more helpful and just generally positive all of the time. So many people we could thank, but we have to single out Ulysses, our amazing cabin steward, Yaz and Dexter at the Topsider Bar, Jasmin Alicaway and her husband who is the Executive Chef, Rhea (who chatted with us at dinner at Cagney's), Darren (washy washy, happy happy!), Jhesrel in the spa, and on and on. Great food, we loved the ship (it was much nicer than I thought), excellent drinks, etc. We only went to one show, Duo Quintessence, I think was the name. They were an amazing American/British acrobatic duo who are partners in real life (so cool!). I enjoyed the two sea days and we had a blast doing the catamaran snorkel tour on St Thomas. All in all, we were very impressed with NCL and bought 8 CruiseNext certificates so our next adventure awaits.
Wonderful cabin, more storage space than we could use, really liked the bathroom with the separate toilet area. TV had limited options but we don't watch lots of TV on vacation, anyway. Great balcony with more room than I'd anticipated. Our cabin steward Ulysses was absolutely wonderful. Also enjoyed the free sparking wine and complimentary laundry service.
Not a whole lot to do there, but we enjoyed just relaxing near the beach, swimming and having drinks. The food was really spectacular, far more variety than I could have possibly imagined. Drinks were great, too. We opted not to do any excursions that day and the cabanas/villas were too expensive, in my opinion.
Nassau was just OK. The downtown area is a bit sad at the moment, with a number of buildings either in disrepair or nearly collapsing. It just seemed grungy. We were disappointed that the ice cream parlor was closed and so was the spa where we'd hoped to get a foot massage. We ended up just walking around and doing a little shopping. Stores were nice and they were VERY insistent on wearing masks. If we had to do it over again, we would have gone straight to Junkanoo Beach. We heard from other cruisers that it was lovely. It was also very hot and humid so not the best day to just walk around.
San Juan was great, although we did not do an excursion there (the walking and culinary tour we wanted was sold out), we did enjoy walking around old San Juan and getting a foot treatment + free sangria at Anam Spa and Bar. We also found some great deals at the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet right by the pier.
Fantastic day at St Thomas, our last visit was in 2013 and it poured rain. This time was nicer, it was hot but we really enjoyed the big catamaran tour and snorkeling/swimming. Saw some beautiful fish, including parrot fish and barracudas, plus a very friendly sea turtle. Water was crystal clear. The crew onboard the Cruazan were absolutely awesome. Poured great drinks including delicious rum punch, and I have to say the best part was chatting with other passengers on Water Island (I think it's called Honeymoon Beach). Great day!!