Sail Date: April 2019
My second TA cruise and my second time on the Star. Huge improvement in ship decor and design with new additions like Spice H2O and Bliss lounge, refurbished Garden Cafe. I had an inside cabin on Deck 9. The 2018 Drydock provided as ... Read More
My second TA cruise and my second time on the Star. Huge improvement in ship decor and design with new additions like Spice H2O and Bliss lounge, refurbished Garden Cafe. I had an inside cabin on Deck 9. The 2018 Drydock provided as much needed face-lift on this 19 year old ship. I know the layout of this ship very well and really enjoyed most venues including the specialty restaurants Moderno, La Cucina and Le Bistro. 6 days at sea may not work for everyone, but it was exactly what I was wanted with no work emails or phone calls to return. Cutting the digital cord allowed me to completely relax. Ports were good, no complaints l had never been to Punto Del Gado or the Azores or Madeira and their beauty did not disappoint. Seville and Granada were wonderful trips, as Was Tarragona, our final port for debarkation. Entertainment was ok, not quite the calbre or as polished as on the bigger NCL ships, but not bad. Service was good to excellent in all dining venues, one exception was a Guest Services person who was a tad condescending when i asked to have a bar charge removed from a dining bill. I was charged for 6 glasses of wine when I had ordered just 2. I was a bit annoyed that i had to insist the charge was not accurate. I then had to revisit the same issue 2 more times to get the charge removed. Weather on our cruise was fantastic and the Atlantic was like glass. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Have always been a great believer and loyal fan of Norwegian but that is decreasing. First, I made reservations for four persons to go from Miami to Barcelona and that is what our first itinerary stated. At some point, the port of ... Read More
Have always been a great believer and loyal fan of Norwegian but that is decreasing. First, I made reservations for four persons to go from Miami to Barcelona and that is what our first itinerary stated. At some point, the port of disembarkation being Barcelona, was changed to Tarragona, Spain. We were never notified of the change but just happened to pull up a more current copy of the itinerary that now stated Tarragona instead of Barcelona. I called my NCL contact person and verified the change without any explanation of why the change. NCL arranged a transfer to Barcelona from Tarragona with more than a reasonable charge. Would we have not gone on the cruise if we knew that we were not departing in Barcelona. I am not sure. I am 80 years young and to get their "drink package", it would be an additional $1300 for a couple. Okay, don't take the drink package, which we didn't. Most of the people on the cruise were in my age bracket. We all (the ones that I talked to) fully agreed that the ship kept the temperature about refrigerator cold throughout the common areas of the ship. Very miserable. Some travel companies keep their repeat travelers very happy but NCL is not doing a very good job of that for our last few cruises. We belong to Latitudes but other than two dinners in one of the Specialty Dining Rooms, what is it worth to belong. The aisles in the Buffet (crowded beyond belief) were laid out by someone that had never been on much more than a row boat. Lastly, the staff of the Star, as have been on all of the other NCL ships, still a very great bunch of of people. All very friendly and helpful. One of the biggest reasons that we keep coming back to NCL. BUT, we are now starting to look at other cruise lines. MSC has given us credit for all of the points that have earned on NCL, We'll see what the future brings us. We are certainly not as loyal as we once were. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. ... Read More
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. Enjoyed a well appointed, clean and spacious cabin with a lovely picture window meticulously serviced by our gracious steward Johnson who provided an unsurpassed level of care. The ship was well maintained and seemed efficiently operated. Some service desk agents provided erroneous information about such information as provisions for obtaining currency from debit card charges resulting in wasted time. Many of the procedures of the service desk seemed overwrought and inefficient frequently resulting in unnecessarily long waits at the service desk . The only other mildly sour note for us was poorly coordinated disembarkation on the last day resulting in confrontations between flustered passengers. Overall, we were impressed with our first experience and plan to cruise again soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Staff was great...hands down. All of our interactions were wonderful and the other passengers had great stories to tell. The food was decent to good and we only ate in the main dining room and the buffet. I personally was caught off guard ... Read More
Staff was great...hands down. All of our interactions were wonderful and the other passengers had great stories to tell. The food was decent to good and we only ate in the main dining room and the buffet. I personally was caught off guard because the main dining room was actually enforcing the dress code. I've been on about 15 cruises and was pleasantly surprised by this, even though it affected me. What was my offense? I had on, what I would call, nice cloth flip flops. What I did find humorous was that my sneakers were acceptable. I am no "joe fashion" but I personally think my flips looked better. In any event, I was glad to finally see a main stream cruise line enforce their dress code. The ship lay out is horrible. I have noticed this on other NCL ships, Epic, but this was even worse. It was impossible sometimes to go from point A to B without going up and back down a floor. I have become fond of the ships with promenades down the middle and this was more like navigating a maze. The venues were nice, clean and staff friendly...once you found them. The coffee shop in the middle, I mean dead center, of the atrium was odd and required the band to play on their roof. The 5 O'Clock Somewhere bar was a transit/walk through area. It was rare to see someone stay more than ten minutes and it was used mostly as a walk way. Finally, the audio during the shows in the main theater was not good. The volume of the live band often superseded the vocals. I believe could easily be fixed and am not sure what it hasn't to date. The Cruise director, Dave, was outstanding and very funny. I am biased to self-deprecating humor and he excelled at it. Overall, it was a nice week. The ports of St. Thomas and Tortola need your money, so make sure you buy local when there. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
In general, we had a great time but the staff put a damper on our experience. The ship was nice, our room was clean. We did Excursions at all three stops and had a great time at all the stops. Now the Staff. Our steward barely talks to us ... Read More
In general, we had a great time but the staff put a damper on our experience. The ship was nice, our room was clean. We did Excursions at all three stops and had a great time at all the stops. Now the Staff. Our steward barely talks to us and never ask if we need anything or how was the room. Most of our dining experience was poor except at the Japanese restaurant. The waiters and waitress seem confused and not sure of them self. It took a long time to clear our dishes away. Very seldom anyone came around ask we need more drinks. The two best bar people were the Steak house. She went by the name as the Booze lady. She was on the money. She always made sure our drinks were full and she did some small talk with us. The other guy was at the Gatsby bar. Just like the booze lady, he knew how to interact with us. I would say 88% of the staff did not know how to interact with guest and they look very Timid. Like some other guest I talk to, we all said it look like this was the first time this crew work on the ship. This was the 1st time we went with Norwegian, been on Carvinal three times. Not sure I will give Norwegian another chance. The reason, this is my third-time writing a response. Yet no one from Norwegian would care to respond back to me?? Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband is not fond of large crowds so we mainly chose NCL Star because of the smaller capacity. It was also a plus that the interior had been newly renovated. The Star Atrium was impressive from the start. When we got to our room, ... Read More
My husband is not fond of large crowds so we mainly chose NCL Star because of the smaller capacity. It was also a plus that the interior had been newly renovated. The Star Atrium was impressive from the start. When we got to our room, it was better than expected. Comfortable bed and pillows, descent storage and nice bathroom, especially loved the shower head-good water pressure. We attended the nightly entertainment which was easily accessible and highly enjoyable. We also, liked the dining at leisure atmosphere and felt the food was very good. All staff seemed very nice and cordial. Our room was cleaned daily to our satisfaction. Being our first cruise together and only our second officialy vacation in nearly 15 years, we casually toured the ports and didn't try and fit too much in. Our main goal was a relaxing vacation and we feel we got exactly what we wanted. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
The itinerary was nice. The ship layout was very nice. The services... well.... here's my cruise... My flight down to FL was cancelled due to weather. yea, stuff happens. No problem, I purchased NCL travel insurance that ... Read More
The itinerary was nice. The ship layout was very nice. The services... well.... here's my cruise... My flight down to FL was cancelled due to weather. yea, stuff happens. No problem, I purchased NCL travel insurance that included travel interruption protection. Or so I thought. Since I didn't purchase my flight through NCL, as far as their insurance is concerned (or as far as that agent was concerned) my trip didn't actually start until I hit the ship. We did the amazing race and drive overnight to IND, flew on SW to Ft. Meyers, rented a car and drove to the port. We made it with an hour to spare. Boarding the ship was a breeze. It was perhaps the nicest boarding experience we have had in a long time. Thank you!!! We had as many days at sea as we had in ports. I like that, as we get to know more of the crew and we get to just relax and unwind. Our first excursion was an ECO hike on St. Johns to a remote beach where we were going to get to kayak, SUP, or just sit on the beach. We made it to the beach after a nice hike, but the amenities weren't there for us, they were there for us to rent. This is contrary to what the excursion description indicated. Still a nice boat ride to st johns, and a nice hike, and a nice beach. Next time, we will just take a ferry and do the hike on our own. Our second excursion was to "escape to jost van dyke". OMG, was that nice. A little costly, but I would do this again. we left the boat early, escaped, and hit a mostly empty beach just as the bars were opening, at 9am (yea, it was 5pm somewhere). Very enjoyable. The beach gets busier as the day goes on, so plan to get out around lunch time. Our third stop was in Nassau, Bahamas. We walked around a bit, but, not sure getting off the boat was really all that exciting other than it gave us a place to walk around without going in quarter mile circles on the ship. The ship was nice as it was recently remodeled. We are noticing a pattern on late season cruises, though. As you get past tax day, the crews seem to be getting tired. This is not just related to the STAR, as this is the third time in a row on different itineraries and ships that we noticed it. It is the little things like ordering a beverage at the pool bar and having to wait and watch as the bar-tender disciplines a member of the wait staff for borrowing an ice scoop. It was a public spectacle that shouldn't have happened, or I needed that drink so it wouldn't have mattered. We tried to buy CruiseNEXT deposits, as we usually do. We watched in horror at the treatment of the person in front of us. Surely, nobody can be so dense that they can't understand the program, but that customer was having a lot of issues, and the cruisenext rep had lost her patience. We asked if we could just leave the deposit purchase form that was filled out and signed. She grumped at us and said no, that she must go over all the program details and requirements and we can't just leave the order form. So, we left. We opted for the first time in many cruises to NOT purchase the CruiseNext. They are a good deal, but not if you have to deal with a grumpy person on your "cruise of a lifetime" just to get it. Maybe next time. We went to the OShehans bar and the bar tender there was as nice as he has been the entire cruise. Brought a smile to our faces even before he delivered our beverages. Always a pearl to be found if you look close enough and don't harbor an attitude. We had to travel lightly, so we did one load of laundry mid week. Last time it worked out great. This time, we got our clothes back with a blank laundry form, not the one we filled out with the item counts. Being the relatively retentive person I am, I saved a copy of the original. The basket was missing 3 shirts and there was no indication or explanation. So, if I hadn't saved my original, I would have no way to show what should be there. Seems to me that they had to know the shirts were missing, as they had the original laundry ticket. SO, why didn't they deliver the laundry with a note indicating that they misplaced 3 items and will be looking for them or will replace them in a day or two? This is a rather unethical way of doing a laundry business. Accidentally misplace a garment, then return the rest and hope nobody will notice. We ended up getting the garments back, but it took a discussion with the room steward and two calls to customer service. Our room was mostly clean when we moved in. Just a dirty coffee pot, dirty balcony(grossly dirty), and little half cigarettes in the tray under the coffee pot. I suspect is if from the prior tenant smoking shorties on the balcony (which is not allowed). No towel animals this time. Just basic service. Nice smile, though. We noticed on our final bill that we didn't get our Lattitudes discount on the excursions. That's ok. Grab a beverage (we did have the package, after all) and go wait to talk to the customer service person. The young man didn't even seem to know that NCL had a frequent traveler program called lattitudes. he read and re-read the flier we brought from our room and still had to talk to three different people. Nothing was resolved, and we were told to watch our online account and it should be fixed overnight. If not, stop back before getting off the ship. Well, we stopped back, and got the same treatment the morning of disembarkation. So far, no discount for the lattitudes member. So, remind me why I keep coming back? The specialty dining was very nice. Our favorites were Moderno, and Cagneys. Very nice. Good food. Nice relaxing environment. We do it every cruise and will continue. The buffet was nice as well. The only issue I had is that nothing was marked as to allergens, so it was difficult to pick through the offerings and not get something by accident. The crew were nice about it, however, not well informed. Can't cruiselines just put GF, DF, V and what ever other acronym applies to each food ID tag on the buffet? We survived. The food was very good on the buffet. If you couldn't do the specialty dining, there were still high quality options at the buffet. Disembarkation... on most cruises, this could be converted to a four letter word. On the Star, though, they have it down. It was perhaps the best experience we have ever had getting off the ship without waiting in lines that circle the ship twice. The cruise director and disembarkation staff should teach a class to the rest of the industry. Thank you for a very nice ending to our cruise. I would certainly cruise on the STAR again. I would do this itinerary again, but prior to the spring break/tax day timeframe. We have decided not to cruise the Caribbean after tax day in the future though. The staff is consistently burned out by the crazy spring break crowds that they have been dealing with. The staff are only human, so you can't expect 100% perfection. I think all cruise lines should look into how to get their staff relief in the last weeks of a busy stretch (like spring break). All in all, the cruise was ok, the entertainment was awesome, and most of the staff were amazing people. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
First time to Carribbean, … wanted some sea days. Night-prior hoteled over at Embassy in Miami airport, which was a disappointing experience. After taking Embassy's $10/pp transfer to the terminal, the trip started. ... Read More
First time to Carribbean, … wanted some sea days. Night-prior hoteled over at Embassy in Miami airport, which was a disappointing experience. After taking Embassy's $10/pp transfer to the terminal, the trip started. Embarkation went like clockwork. Don't know why NCL encouraged us to print out our 'documents', as they were never asked for or viewed by anyone other than us. NCL did it right on this ship, great crew, good balance of sea/shore time. Plenty of on-board activity available. Talented entertainment, especially the dancing. Cannot really fault anything in any meaningful way. A smaller and older ship, but well maintained and kept ship. Crew attentive and responsive to all requests. Would have preferred some shorter-duration Shore Excursion choices. Free-Style dining was a different plus for us, but we still made reservations at all the places we used. Had three specialty choices, and Moderno was the best. La Cuchina was a bit lacking (for our taste). We had included internet and drink package. We used in-room breakfast 4 out of 7 days, and only ate at the buffet on occasion. NCL has a different take on 'snack time', as it was a mini-buffet layout, and not extensively pure snacks like chips, pretzels, crackers, etc. Drink service was universally awesome. Overall, we would do NCL again. Disembarkation was a bit uneven...being out of the room at 8:30AM, and being encouraged to 'enjoy the ship', when most of 'the ship' was closed off, or access was limited. The shore transfer contractor 'SMS' needs to get their operation more organized, when it comes to signage and bus loading. (Would opt for a taxi next time). Luggage handling was like clockwork.. No apparent small-item shopping venue for thinks like candy, snacks, first aid items, etc., which seemed unusual, as Holland has such a shop.. The extra non-inclusive activity might be a little over the top for new cruisers. Art Auctions, luxury shopping, BINGO. Just smile and say no.. The soon-to-be-opening Miami NCL terminal B will be a welcomed replacement to the existing terminal, which has crowd/traffic pattern control limitations.. St. Thomas and Tortola were nice port calls, but the Nassau port call was short (6.5 hours), and the area of the cruise terminal is congested to the point of wondering why any cruise line would stop there... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought that it would be a nice relaxing cruise on a smaller ship. My wife and I have been on over twenty cruises, and are platinum members on NCL. We have previously sailed on NCL Epic, Escape, Bliss, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought that it would be a nice relaxing cruise on a smaller ship. My wife and I have been on over twenty cruises, and are platinum members on NCL. We have previously sailed on NCL Epic, Escape, Bliss, and Getaway. We have also sailed on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Carnival and Celebrity. I get so much information from all the people on Cruise Critics, I feel an obligation to submit a short review. EMBARKATION:Being platinum members we were supposed to have "priority check in." The customer service representative said that the person that was supposed to do the "priority check in" did not show up for work so we would have to go to the back of the line and check in with the other guests! That was a pretty telling expression of how NCL feels about their loyal customers! I asked why they didn't move one of the other check in host down to the priority check in and he said that there were more other guests than priority guests! THE SHIP: The ship is old,but in relatively good condition. Even though it has been recently refurbished, some things can not be changed. The overall layout and design of the ship speaks to it's age. Some of the "you can't get there from here" features remain from times past. It does not have the "WOW" factor of the more modern ships. STATEROOM: We were in an obstructed view outside stateroom. The storage space was ample, the most storage that we have had on any of the past 10 to 15 cruises. Room was well laid out. The bathroom was VERY small. Separate shower with a sliding glass door, and a separate toilet area with a sliding glass door. Each were on either side of the sink area. The steward did not clean our room on the fourth day, so we ended up getting our own ice and replacing the towels in our room from a cart that was in the hall. On another day, he did not replace the empty Kleenex in the bathroom, so my wife found him and told him that the Kleenex was empty and handed him the empty box. He said "OK" and handed her a new box and took the empty one, and never offered to put it into the dispenser. The next day as we were leaving our cabin, he handed us a "Cruise Hero Card" and a pen and asked us to fill it out! DINING: We ate at three of the specialty restaurants, Cagney's, Le Bistro and La Cucina. We have always enjoyed Cagney's on other ships and has become our favorite specialty restaurant, That was not the case on the Star, Steaks were never cooked properly, service was bad, We found Le Bistro to be OK, not any better or worse that any other ship. The surprise was La Cucina. The food was very good and the service was excellent. We ate one evening in the complimentary Ginza restaurant, and the food was very, very good, but the service was terrible. We had most breakfasts in the Versailles MDR and the food and service were good. We also ate one dinner in Versailles MDR, and both the food and service were very good. We ate a few times in the Garden Buffet for lunch and breakfast and the meals were the usual food variety. Overall, we were most impressed with the MDR and La Cucina for the service and food quality. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was very good. The show dancers and singers were awesome as was the acrobats.The overall entertainment we found to be better than on most ships. Bars: We had the UBP, and had a very difficult time getting service from most of the bars. We found that we got the best bar service while we were eating inside a restaurant.. Several of the bars do not open until around 5:00pm or later, leaving only a few bars open during the day. Also, the Atrium area is much smaller than on previous ships, and does not serve alcohol, only Starbucks coffee that is not included in the UBP. Disembarkation: What a mess! We do self assist walk off. We asked several different people at the Guest Services Desk as to the time and place and got a different answer each time. The Cruise Director stated in one of his informational announcements that the location of the gangway and departure times would be announced the date of departure.This never happened. I spoke to an officer at 5:30AM the morning of disembarkation, and he said that the self assist walk off would take place at the front of the ship near the Stardust Theater around 7:00AM. We were the first in line and so many people were told so many wrong locations and we got to hear all the stories as they eventually arrived at the correct location.We were able to disembark at about 7:45AM, and there was never an announcement made as to the time or location before we disembarked. EXCURSIONS/PORTS: We did not do any shore excursions as we have done most of them previously. We have been to each of the ports several times, bot enjoyed St Thomas the most. OVERALL: Overall it was a cruise and we were not working! A cruise is what you make of it. There was nothing "really" terrible, and other than the shows, nothing "really" spectacular either. It was a nice time away, and we got a good deal on the cruise so everything is good, however, I don't anticipate sailing on the Star again in the future. We enjoyed our time away, but we are glad to be back home. We are already excited about our upcoming cruise in November 2019. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on this cruise to celebrate our Anniversary and Birthdays. To make it special, we booked a suite and overall, we really had a wonderful time. To keep this short and sweet - the best highlights. - booking a suite is definitely ... Read More
We went on this cruise to celebrate our Anniversary and Birthdays. To make it special, we booked a suite and overall, we really had a wonderful time. To keep this short and sweet - the best highlights. - booking a suite is definitely worth it! From having a butler, a big room with a gorgeous balcony to having amazing perks like daily afternoon snacks, priority seating, embarkation and disembarkation. You have 2 specialty restaurants for breakfast and lunch daily. I don’t think we would cruise any other way now! - the best restaurants in our opinion we’re Ginza (complimentary) the food is amazing, The Steakhouse and Teppanyaki. If you’re staying in a suite, the room service is also excellent and not from the standard menu - the beds were really comfortable and I loved the Nespresso machine in the room - we paid for the premium internet package which was pricey and the internet was very very slow so we were not happy about that. - the service was slow at the restaurants however, the staff was so great it was still worth it It was a relaxing trip and just what we needed. Read Less
Norwegian Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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