Thursday, January 13, 2022

Cruising During Omicron: My Norwegian Dawn Experience

 I returned this morning from an 11 night Southern Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Dawn. Before embarking, our group reviewed the current information and the pros and cons. Norwegian offered us a future cruise credit if we wanted to cancel. I knew there was a good chance some ports would deny entry. We decided to go forward with the cruise and just be flexible.

Well, flexibility was needed. On our 2nd day, we received notice that San Juan, St Thomas, St Lucia, and Antigua were canceled. That left Puerto Plata and St Kitts from our original itinerary. They added a half-day in St Maarten, Barbados, and a half- day in Tortola.

It ended up that St Kitts denied entry. Tortola and Barbados only allowed guests with cruise line excursions to disembark. Thankfully, we had booked excursions in both places. We did a whole island tour in Barbados and visited Virgin Gorda Baths in Tortola. Both tours were great.

Even knowing we had to be flexible, it was still disappointing to miss out on the ports we were excited to visit again.

The other area COVID seemed to impact was the main stage entertainment. We didn't have a stage production show. One was scheduled and abruptly canceled. My theory is that some of the entertainment team had to be placed in quarantine. It was also our first cruise without a deck party or production show. The entertainment we did love was the live music. Upgrade as the best cruise ship band I've encountered in over 60 cruises. They could jam out to every type of music.

Even with the changes, we had a good time Here's some of the highlights:

New Port: Puerto Plata

It's always fun to visit a new port. This port area opened December 15th. I love all the little shops and pool area.

New resort visit: Sunscape Puerto Plata

I also got a chance to tour Sunscape Puerto Plata. It's a value resort on one of the nice beaches in Puerto Plata with a large pool.

Great Cabin
We booked a Club Class Balcony and loved the extra space and larger balcony.

Excellent Specialty Dining
We booked a promo that included four specialty dinners. We also had two more free specialty dinners from being platinum so we got to try all the restaurants. Surprisingly, my favorite was Teppanyaki.

So, do I recommend cruising right now?

If you are going on a Caribbean cruise and the ports will make or break your vacation, I suggest postponing. It's difficult to know which ships will be allowed to dock in which islands. The decision is made ship by ship based on the current COVID numbers on board and in the country.

If you are happy to be on the ship enjoying the food, entertainment, and ocean views, then I say go for it. Just know you have to be flexible.

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