If there is one port where an excursion is highly recommended on this itinerary, it is today. Samana is a tiny village—so small that only one shop is on the port shopping list—yet nearby are wonderful beaches and ecological treasures. Mel chose a Caves & Mangroves Exploration tour, which is just a bit too much sun for me, so my day was spent relaxing on board all morning and a bit of wandering ashore in the afternoon. For beach lovers, the excursion to nearby Cayo Levantado is well worthwhile. The private beach property is beautifully maintained and features arts and crafts shops, water toys for rent, and a delightful folkloric show.
In addition to being wonderfully laid back, NCL cruises have always featured some of the finest entertainment at sea. Last night was a treat in the Stardust Theater starring Oh What A Night! in a tribute concert to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. While their banter was a bit corny, their singing and choreography were outstanding. Another passenger who’s seen “Jersey Boys” commented that the tribute artists last night were even better than the performers in the musical. Oh What A Night's rendition of “Grease” brought the audience to their feet. And we learned some Four Season trivia, for instance they recorded the song “Silence is Golden” before it was made a hit by the Tremeloes, but it was on the flip side of “Rag Doll” and took a while to be discovered by The Four Seasons’ fans. To end the show, we were treated to a surprise as one of the performers announced it was going to be a special night for one couple in the theater, at which time he handed the microphone to a young man who went down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend. And, yes—she said yes. For them, it was most definitely “Oh What A Night!”
We’ve easily fallen in step with “Freestyle” dining and chose the Indigo Restaurant, one of the two main dining rooms on board, for dinner last night. A combination of filet and lamb was an excellent choice and we were impressed with the quality of the food and the service. About the only negative was the noise level—it’s spring break and there are 2,933 passengers on board, with about 900 of them under 18. Teenage voices tend to travel when they are having a good time.
Tonight we are looking forward to dinner in the specialty restaurant Teppanyaki, which is dinner-and-a-show in itself as the chefs prepare your order right in front of you. Aboard Norwegian Pearl, it’s a must-do dinner and we are glad we made our reservations as soon as possible.