Sail Date: May 2019
Food was pretty bad, Exception was the Brazilian restaurant which was excellent. Was in a suite and had the beverage package but was forced to buy bottled water. NCL charges 3x more for the water than Carnival does. Their Bingo was $39 for ... Read More
Food was pretty bad, Exception was the Brazilian restaurant which was excellent. Was in a suite and had the beverage package but was forced to buy bottled water. NCL charges 3x more for the water than Carnival does. Their Bingo was $39 for 3 games. My estimate there was 100 plus people playing. It's only 3 games and $400 in total prize money for the 3 games was given out NCL was making $4,000+ a session on the games. Room steward and butler were great and overall all the employees on the ship were friendly and efficient at their jobs. Kudos to the O'Sheenesy sic bar staff. Their wings were excellent btw. Bought an Invicta watch at their 70% off sale. Got home and checked Amazon and they had it for 40% off the ships price. My fault for not doing due diligence. Had an aft facing penthouse and the cabin was great. However I felt I got nickled and dimed to death on this cruise. But the cabin and the itinerary was great. Booked my own tours which saved me a ton of money over the ships price. This however is my swan song for cruising. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Overall a great experience. The itinerary was excellent, we booked excursions at most ports and had good experiences. The ship is very nice after its recent renovations. State room had enough space and storage for 2 over packers. We were ... Read More
Overall a great experience. The itinerary was excellent, we booked excursions at most ports and had good experiences. The ship is very nice after its recent renovations. State room had enough space and storage for 2 over packers. We were unsure about the "privasea" balcony we had but it was not an issue, it only slightly reduces the size of the opening and we used our balcony every day. The flexibility to dine at any time, at any of the many restaurants, and on our own (2 people) or with others if we wanted to was great as this was our biggest complaint on our last cruise. We will definitely only be cruising with this type of set up in the future, we don't like having a set time and group of strangers to dine with every day. Entertainment on board was excellent, we went to most of the shows and loved them all. There was always activities to keep us busy if we wanted too, even at pots where we stayed on the shit. Lots of bars to choose from. Service was great and the staff were all friendly and helpful. We will be sailing with Norwegian again! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary and birthday celebration. It would give us a "taste" of Spain beginning in Barcelona, Cannes France, Florence, Naples, Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, Argostoli, ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary and birthday celebration. It would give us a "taste" of Spain beginning in Barcelona, Cannes France, Florence, Naples, Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, Argostoli, Dubrovnik, and ending in Venus. We added extra time up front in Barcelona on our own and at the end in Venus, not booked through Norwegian. With only one day at sea we knew it would be an ambitious trip, but we are very fit seniors and looked forward to the adventure. We had a very rough beginning. Our port was changed from Barcelona to Taragona so when we discovered that the port would be 105 Kilometers from our hotel in Barcelona to the new port we would have to choose how we would get there. Norwegian announced the change in January. Our Agent in the states advised us a bus would be available from the Barcelona airport for $55. The cost was later changed to $30. We paid for a taxi from our Hotel to the airport. The embarkation process problem came when Norwegian's contracted bus company failed miserably to provide enough busses for the number of passengers that needed to be transported. What should have been an easy 1-2 hour event turned into a 6 hour event. We were herded from the main level in the airport to the lower level after the crowds gathering were so large they had to be moved out of the way. The wait continued till busses began to arrive, groups were called, only there were hundreds more passengers than the busses arriving could handle. Once our group was finally called there was no assistance with bags, we all did our own loading and unloading. Once we finally arrived at the port our bus was held in line for another 1/2 hour. Then another hour in line waiting to board. Our balcony room was clean, but showing some age, and that surprised us since the Starr underwent a refurb the year before. Our cabin steward was excellent. The beds were uncomfortable and linens were just average. The main dining room was lovely and we enjoyed the anytime dining. However, the dress code was never enforced….men came in with shorts and t-shirts. We scheduled 4 specialty dinners and they were all very good. Waiters were all well trained. Highly suggest you try Moderno, the salad bar alone was amazing, let alone the selections of meats presented in the Brazilian manner. The café was pretty standard and we used it only for a quick breakfast or lunch. The entertainment offered something for everyone. The stage shows were all different and offered a good selection of talent from the Ancora Vocal group, a violinist, magic show, Vegas variety show, and ventriloquist. The bars, main atrium, and poolside all offered different selections throughout the day and evening some better than others. Staging for shore excursions left much to be desired as well. There were delays in port for different reasons, weather, other ship traffic, etc. Crowds gathered in the main theater waiting for the call to busses or tenders. The staff attempted to keep things moving, but the shear numbers especially in larger ports was problematic. Rome was the worst example, you can't do anything about mother nature, but when the harbor is crowded with 6 huge cruise ships coming in there were more delays waiting on busses, delays for where excursions were transported, delays at the Vatican even with priority tickets, and people on tours who had a hard time keeping up with the required walking. It was not enjoyable....perhaps we waited to long into season and we've vowed never again. In Cannes, people that were expecting to go to Montecarlo were presented with last minute changes to how far into town the buses could take them due to traffic patterns for the races. Many were booked in Dubrovnik for a Cable car excursion and it had been shut down for over 6 weeks. Political, was the only explanation. No prior announcements were made, we found out the day we were to go. We would not go on this cruise again. It served a purpose for us to see locations in Europe neither of us have ever been to. We don't cruise often, but Norwegian was only average in our mind, so we would think twice about this line again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose this Cruise because of the Great itinerary and to Celebrate our 40th Anniversary! This was our First Time to Europe!!! Norwegian Star: Beautifully updated Ship! It looks Brand New with updated venues featured on the newer ... Read More
We choose this Cruise because of the Great itinerary and to Celebrate our 40th Anniversary! This was our First Time to Europe!!! Norwegian Star: Beautifully updated Ship! It looks Brand New with updated venues featured on the newer Norwegian Cruise Line Ships, such as SugarCane Mojito Bar, Spice H20 and Bliss. We enjoyed the Sky High Bar with a Great View of the Pool Deck. Spice H20 is located on the back of the ship, it is mostly covered which is Great if the weather is a bit rainy or chilly. Sugar Cane Mojito Bar for the BEST Mojitos!!! The Staff on this ship was Wonderful!!! Everyone was Friendly and went out of their way to please! Our Stateroom Steward was the Best, she was almost invisable, never intrusive but our cabin was always clean. All Dinners except one, we dined as a Group of 4, my husband & I and friends (couple) who were traveling with us. Complimentary Dining: Versailles, we enjoyed Dining in Versailles, Excellent Staff, they were always Happy to see us! Great Service! the Food was Excellent to Very Good and always nicely served & a Good Selection to choose from! Aqua the food and service were Very Good, we only dined there one evening because we liked the ambiance better in Versailles. O'Sheehan's was Great! Definite improved on the selection of food, getting served quickly and the food served at the right temperature. Wings served Hot & Freshly fried. Garden Cafe, we only ate there for Breakfast, it was a bit crowded due to everyone wanting to get off of the ship at the same time, the omelette stations always served us up a delicious omelette. We learned that the Chefs making omelettes in the morning were the Chefs from Teppenyaki! Specialty Dining: Cagney's, we dined here the first night of our Cruise. It was Amazing!!! I had Surf & Turf, Fillet Mignon with Grilled Shrimp. The Best meal I have ever had in Cagney's on any of the NCL Ships!!!! Wait Staff was Amazing!!! Moderno, Delicious meats, because I do not like rare meat, they gladly cooked my meat to order. The salad bar is my favorite part of this restaurant! Excellent Service!!! La Cucina, We enjoyed a Delicious meal & my favorite Italian Cheesecake for Dessert.! Also an Excellent waitstaff and service. Le Bistro, My Favorite Restaurant!!!! WE actually had dinner here twice. Once my Husband & I dined alone, it was our Anniversary Dinner, Service was Outstanding! I had my Favorite Wild Mushroom Soup, Crab Appetizer, Butter poached Shrimp & Profiteroles, Cream Puffs stuffed with Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled with warm chocolate sauce. WE also dined here with our friends. This time I had the French Onion Soup, and fish which was served filleted in a butter caper sauce that was delicious. For dessert I had the Creme Brulee. Everyone enjoyed their dinner! Service and Food was Excellent. Teppenyaki, Always entertaining and the Food was Delicious! The Chef made a Heart out of the rice for us!!!! This is where we learned the Chef also makes omelettes in the morning in Garden Cafe! We experienced Great Service, Great Food with an Excellent Wait Staff in all of the Restaurants, both Complimentary and Specialty!!!! The grand Atrium on the Star is Beautiful! Beautifully Decorated, High Ceiling with Glass Elevators, stairways that make a platform or "stage" for the Entertainment every afternoon & evenng, before and after dinner. This is where Tides, Guest Services, Shore Excursions, Cruise Next are located. Photo Gallery is off to one side. Margaritaville is on the other side. Entertainment, Great Entertainment with a different Show every night in the Stardust Theater! We missed Band on the Run but we did get to see Las Vegas, Paradis with Amazing Costumes, the Violinist, Ventriloquist, Singers, etc. There was always music in the Atrium, Pool Deck, Theme Parties in Spice H20, it was a Fun Cruise!!! Margaritaville mostly had a singer afternoons and evenings. Karaoke also! Embarkation was not smooth. WE embarked in Tarragona instead of Barcelona. I had booked this Cruise 18 months in advance and the embarkation port was Barcelona, about 6 months before sailing it changed to Tarragona. Tarragona is located about an hour away from Barcelona. We flew into Barcelona 2 days early and enjoyed the city and saw as many sights as we could. The morning of embarkation, we went back to the airport to catch our Transfer to Tarragona. We spent a lot of time waiting in line. We were told t be at the airport before 10am, they kept us standing in the airport until about 1:30. When we were finally called to board our bus to Tarragona, we were brough outside, we just missed boarding the bus. We found out what the hold up was. The bus held 50 people but everyone had brough so much luggage, they could only get about 30 people on each bus because they ran out of room to transport the luggage. Buses had to wait for an empty space to pull in to load passengers and luggage. It took a long time. Once we got to Tarragona, it was a long ride to the end of the Pier to Board the ship. Boarding was a little slow but not to bad. A tent was set up where we dropped off our luggage and went through screening, then we were allowed to board the ship. Once ont he ship we were directed to Aqua where we were checked in and given our Key Cards. I heard therere were alot of complaints from people who arrived by Taxi or Train who could not get down the pier. They were left outside of the Pier standing in the Hot Sun for hours! Debarkation was quick and easy. We stayed one night in Venice, wish we would have stayed longer! Flights from Newark to Barcelona & Venice to Newark were booked through Norwegian Cruise Line. Hotel in Venice as well as transfers were also booked through Norwegian Cruise Line. Just outside of Venice, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza Venezia Quartro a Nice Hotel with a very expansive Breakfast included. The Train station is lcoated right behind the hotel, a path connects the hotel to the train station. It was easy to get to the Airpor by shuttle from the hotel. It was a half hour train ride into Venice. Every Port was Amazing! Cannes we toured the French Riviera visiting Nice, Monaco & Eze Livorno driver took us to Pisa, Florence & Tuscany Civitavecchia driver took us to Rome, Coliseum, Vatican, etc Naples driver took us for a tour of the Amalfi Coast Santorini, Oia to see the blue domed churches & Fira Athens driver took us to Cape Sounion, Temple of Poseidon, Acropolis, Zeus Temple and many more Mykonos we walked in the old town area, saw the windmills and went to Platys Gialos Beach Argostoli we walked in the Harbor area, Drapano/De Bosset Stone Bridge, saw the sea Turtles, cab to Beautiful Plata Gialos Beach Kotor driver took us for a tour, Our Lady of the Rock Church and Old Town Dubrovnik NCL Land & Sea Excursion to the Old town. I highly recommend this excursion. A beautifully restored 100 year old boat picked us up at the Pier where our cruise ship was docked. We enjoyed about a 45 min boat ride to the Old Town of Dubrovnik. One hour guided walking tour and then about 2 hours on our own. We climbed the walls for Fantastic views of the Old City and Harbor! The smaller boat picked us up and took us back to our Cruise Ship! Venice stayed overnight to enjoy the city before flying home the next day I would definitely recommend this itinerary & Ship! It was a very busy itinerary, it is not for anyone who wants to just relax! Star is a beautiful Ship! Perfect for visiting so many PortsI Basically the whole ship was trying to disembark as soon as possible every morning to make the most of the time we had in Port. Our Captain did a Great Job, there were many days he got us into Port early so we would be able to disembark earlier than scheduled or at the very least on time. I definitely recommend and would Sail again on this or similiar itinerary with Norwegian Cruise Line, they did an Excellent job!!! It was a Trip to Remember!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Just back from the repositioning of Star from Miami to Terragonna and stayed for Terragonna to Venice. (Actually April 27 - May 24) The restaurant servers seriously needed training. I am now 4 days short of Platinum plus and was ... Read More
Just back from the repositioning of Star from Miami to Terragonna and stayed for Terragonna to Venice. (Actually April 27 - May 24) The restaurant servers seriously needed training. I am now 4 days short of Platinum plus and was shocked by the lack of training. Normally an experienced server has a 2nd person they are training as they serve. Not this time. I had servers pouring water so high above glass it poured all around the glass .... 3 times. Didn't bother the server at all. Consistently servers could not remember what was ordered and had to ask for repeats and be corrected. Could not remember who ordered what when serving. This happened repeatedly in all restaurants. Even the paid restaurants which ought to have most skilled servers. Also, those did not have their own bar tenders and they had to go out to a very busy bar and take a long time to get drinks. Shore excursions were consistently mishandled. Not close to up to par of NCL on prior cruises. Port planning was extremely poor. Many on NCL for first time were commenting they would never do NCL again. I had to ask them to not judge NCL by this poorly managed ship. They blamed ports, which was very bad cause NCL ought to know their ports by now. Rome was a complete disaster for everyone. Not everyone had been properly notified of the change to Terragonna. The ticket management of the shore excursions were very bad. worst was for the White Houses tour. Told to meet on pier. Nobody on pier. Some had walked all along pier to outside the building and were waiting there. My friend and I were stopped from going into building and sent back to gangway. This time we found someone with a clipboard ... no sign. Had not been there before. Walking back she gets stopped by bus driver on other side of fence where we had been refused before. Now we form two lines there. 1 for our excursion and 2nd for a different excursion. She never goes to get people who had gone out front .... they just kind of discover the buses on their own and manage to come back to form lines. It was a total mess. Her attitude sucked. If you travel with a buddy credits only go on the first named passenger. It is a mess to get it sorted out. My buddy was listed first..... I am the stockholder. Hard to get my stockholder credit on the right accounts even though printouts had said I would have them. Took emails to corporate. Oh, and on a back to back they treat it as a single cruise and hard to get the freebie onboards for 2nd cruise. Don't wast a freebie on the credit per port for excursions. Two people can't do anything for $50 total. Our cabin stewards were great .... although 1st cabin always moved my nightgown to other person's bed. 2nd cabin guy (Joe) was much better. 8162 should remove the wall between sink counter and toilet. It just makes the space choppy and smaller. Other than that it is a really nice oceanview. On the TA the bridge instructor was great. Kept my bridge buddy happy. The passenger dance for the passenger show was taught by Naomie and she is an awesome dance captain. The singing was by Dominique. Shorter than the dance, 1st day of practice had no singing. Short song had first half done by 3 people ... all others only got to do last half of song. I am used to Choir getting 3 songs and all sing. Very disappointed. Production shows are great. Aerlists are great. Barricade (former Les Mis singers) were great, wish they were kept on so I could hear them again 2nd cruise. Internet is right above Atrium and sometimes the noise from music in atrium was too loud to try to do Internet (and connectivity was bad and guy running it unskilled). Trivia was consistently fun ... although Simba got irritating with his pride and insistence on poor pronunciation. Educators are not fond of people unwilling to learn. Prizes were so bad that we didn't even bother going to get them after 2nd cruise. Kudos to the frequency with which NCL has Karaoke... consistently popular. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise based primarily on the Itinerary and a very reasonable fare. Our experiences with the cruise were very good but based on how Norwegian corporate treats it’s staff and guests I will likely not be booking another cruise ... Read More
Chose this cruise based primarily on the Itinerary and a very reasonable fare. Our experiences with the cruise were very good but based on how Norwegian corporate treats it’s staff and guests I will likely not be booking another cruise with them. First the Positives: Beautiful Ship – older but beautiful ship that is well maintained. You can tell that the staff took great pride in the star and it showed in the general upkeep of this medium sized vessel. Excellent Service on board – the ship crew worked tirelessly to make our experience memorable. No matter where on the ship, we could count on staff to greet us with a good morning or good evening. Issues such as noise complaints were handled promptly and professionally Food – the quality and quantity (obviously) of food was varied and excellent. I’m not sure why some of these other guests were criticizing the dishes. The specialty restaurants featured a great variety from fine cuts of marinated meats to jumbo shrimp and scallops to sushi. The garden buffet had a large variety of many meat and veggie dishes. Often there were themed nights such as “seafood” and “Asian” which added more variety. Despite the huge number of mouths to feed and need guests, restaurant staff always provided service with a smile. Now the Key Negatives: Early Departures at some Ports - some of the ports along the adriatic had some very aggressive departure times. This is especially true of some of the more beautiful ports including Dubrovnik (left at noon) and Argostoli ( left at 2pm). It left me with an unsatisfying feeling. In fairness to NCL, this was clearly posted on the travel websites before booking the cruise so it's not like we weren't warned. Embarkation – As noted by other guests on this cruise. The embarkation from the port of Tarragona was a disaster. There was poor communication by Norwegian’s central office on where guests should board that transports to the ship. On the morning of the cruise, hundreds of guests coming from international flights from the US, Canada and the UK were delayed by several hours waiting for the transports to arrive. When airport dispatchers located the transports, they initially refused to let us on supposedly because we were not at the correct pick up point!?! Of course NCL never told us where this rendez-vous point should be. Arrival at the cruise pier in Tarragona wasn't much better as the tiny pier was not designed to handle so many large vehicles. The embarkation resembled more of a war-zone than a happy vacation moment with no one seemingly having any ideas on how to organize the already tired and cranky passengers. When we complained to the ship’s guest services, they acknowledged the mistake but could offer us only a refund on the service charges. I refused this because it punishes the wrong people, namely the international crew that worked so hard to make our experience pleasant and rely on these charges to supplement their low wages. I found this short-sighted and greedy on the part of the cruise company. When I called NCL Guest relations after our return to the US, they basically politley ignored our complaint. It is a shame really, because what would be a great cruise experience was ruined by the arrogance and incompetence of the Corporate office in Miami. I know that mistakes can be made, but when you handle them by ripping off the most marginalized in your labor force (i.e. the international crew staff that work for weeks on end), well that to me is disgusting. Based on how they handles this one major issue, I doubt that I'll be taking another Norwegian ship again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was appealing and it had good value. We did not have time to explore Miami before we left, but we had been there before and found it to be a nice city if you can handle high humidity. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was appealing and it had good value. We did not have time to explore Miami before we left, but we had been there before and found it to be a nice city if you can handle high humidity. Embarkation went fairly smoothly. We were on the ship by 12 enjoying our first cocktail of the cruise. On the other hand, disembarkation was a complete nightmare. It was the worst experience we have EVER had leaving a ship. The original, final port was supposed to be Barcelona. However, at some point in time, the final destination was changed to Tarragona with Barcelona in parenthesis, which on other cruises indicates an alternate name for the same city or a city located close at hand. Ex. Thira (Santorini) The reason our ship was shunted to Tarragona, which as it turns out, was more than an hour away from Barcelona, was because Norwegian had also scheduled the Epic, a mega ship with our EXACT itinerary. GRRRR! Just hours away from Epic, the Jade was also scheduled & appeared in port at least once with us. That meant a mad scramble for cabs and overcrowding in historic sites and eateries. Also, the Epic was so monstrous, that Barcelona could not accommodate both ships. That meant, our ship was dumped at an industrial port with no clue how to process passengers through immigration. It was a mad house. We couldn't leave on foot because of security. We waited for our own charter bus they wouldn't let in, because all the ship's shuttle buses had priority. (Norwegian had offered to "help" people get to Barcelona for a mere $30 pp. via their shuttles.) While trying to exit the ship, crew members had been given conflicting information about how to direct people and there was an area where 2 different lines were snaking in opposite directions. In short, it was an awful experience and by the time we got our pre-reserved ride, we arrived in Barcelona 5 hours later. This disembarkation fiasco and the double booking of other Norwegian ships at the same ports, will be at the forefront of our minds when considering whether to sail with Norwegian again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because my husband had never been on a cruise before. That may sound crazy but I knew if I'd picked a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean he would have thought it far too hectic and would have said 'no more'; ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my husband had never been on a cruise before. That may sound crazy but I knew if I'd picked a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean he would have thought it far too hectic and would have said 'no more'; the six days at sea just relaxing was the perfect introduction to cruising. We are from Ontario but have a place in Florida on the Gulf coast. We decided to leave our car in Gulfport and do a one-way only rental to get to Miami port. It was very reasonable and easy to get to the ship since the car rental company had numerous shuttles to the port. Not having to leave our vehicle in long time parking was another plus. Embarkation was smooth and in no time we were sitting in O'Sheehan's having Shepherd's Pie and enjoying a glass of wine. After lunch we did a cursory exploration of the ship while waiting for our stateroom. I've never been on NCL before but even without experiencing the Star pre-refurbishment I have to say based on older images of the pool area, the removal of the slides has vastly improved the vibe. I liked the layout of the ship, its smaller size and the fact you can walk the perimeter on one deck. Our starboard balcony stateroom was near the aft on deck 9. The size was agreeable, the beds comfortable, and it had plenty of storage for our belonging in the closet, in the drawers and under the bed. The bathroom was laid out well. Everything was in perfect working order. We brought a universal plug to increase versatility for using our tablets and phones. We asked our room steward, who was low key and very efficient to remove the bar contents since we had brought our own wine. We don't care about towel animals and won't judge a person's ability to do their job based on the lack thereof. I think they are overworked enough without the added burden of providing towel animals for our entertainment. Being fairly small the only thing I was a little disappointed in was the haze on the glass balcony spoiling my view. But not to fear! A scrubbie and some cleaner got rid of it pretty quick! When we booked we got all the freebies: the specialty restaurants, the drinks package, the strawberries, wine, and internet. I figured because we were on a 15 day cruise I'd purchase an additional 4 specialty restaurant packages so we could alternate between the specialty restaurants and the regular dining venues but decided we wouldn't purchase anymore since it's really a lot of food. We were pleasantly surprised by the food in the regular dining venues. Everything we ate was very good and I loved having breakfast in Versailles and getting perfectly cooked poached eggs and properly brewed tea. With the exception of a tough as shoe leather steak which was traded in for a better entree and some mashed potatoes the consistency of glue we enjoyed the food. We didn't go to all the performances in the theatre but the ones we did go to we enjoyed, especially the Barricade Boys. There were quite a few bands playing around the ship and on the whole they were quite good but one band near the pool had a female singer who was always off-key. I found they were heavily geared to salsa or Spanish music which may have been due to the final destination. I would have liked to hear more jazz. The ports were wonderful. With the exception of the Hop On Hop On buses, we didn't do any excursions, just strolled around the ports, perusing the stores and enjoying the architecture, the gardens, and leisurely lunches. We stayed an extra three days in Barcelona and fell in love with the place. We are planning to do this cruise again next year so we can stay longer in Barcelona. I'd like to say the crowning moment was a smooth disembarkation but that would be a lie. It was smooth going until you got off the ship into a chaotic scene. Huge lineups for non-existent taxis. Lineups for pre-ordered private hire cars or mini buses that couldn't get into the port because of the buses NCL organized for a price. No one knew what the hell was going on. Every person you spoke to who seemed to be in charge gave you conflicting advice: you could walk out of the port, you couldn't walk out of the port, it was forbidden to walk out the port, it was Tarragona's fault, there weren't enough cabs, etc, etc. etc. One police officer I spoke to said the whole debacle was the fault of NCL because they had made no provisions for their passengers to leave the port. Eventually, after an ominous change from sheer frustration to outward anger to their predicaments, the police officer advised that Tarragona was going to provide buses, free of charge, to move out all these people who had been waiting for hours. People missed their train connections, their flights, endured uncomfortable conditions, and NCL staff who refused to get off the ship to talk to passengers. It was pretty shocking. And a quick review of the schedule for cruise ships to dock at Tarragona for 2019 and 2020 shows that they regularly host cruise ships, some much bigger than ours, and have been doing so for a while but in CONJUNCTION with cruise lines who obviously know what the limitations of the port are (industrial) and plan accordingly. I am very disappointed in this introduction to NCL. I am even more disappointed in their continued lack of acknowledgement for this egregious oversight, choosing to take the cowards way out and blame it solely on the port. Not cool, NCL. 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Sail Date: April 2019
It was a glorious error that I ended up on this cruise ship! I had the most amazing time on this Transatlantic cruise from Miami’s to Spain. The passengers were friendly, considerate and there was no drama. The staff focused on our ... Read More
It was a glorious error that I ended up on this cruise ship! I had the most amazing time on this Transatlantic cruise from Miami’s to Spain. The passengers were friendly, considerate and there was no drama. The staff focused on our happiness, wellbeing and safety. The entertainment onboard was fun and engaging. The show on the last few nights were memorable. The sailing over the transatlantic was so smooth and we were always on time or even earlier than promised at the ports. The food onboard was delicious (Buffett and specialty restaurants), the selections were varied, the distinctions for adult and family entertainment/venues were clear and followed. I greatly enjoyed my time aboard the Norwegian Star. The veterans group was the best group of folks. I made new friends and the staff was amazing. I feel like they were a part of my family! Would cruise with them again in a heartbeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
While the cruise itself was pretty good, the total mess up be NCL of the disembarkment killed all the joy we had. 2 1/2 hours to get a taxi because guest services on the ship told us they would be at the port so we didn’t need to ... Read More
While the cruise itself was pretty good, the total mess up be NCL of the disembarkment killed all the joy we had. 2 1/2 hours to get a taxi because guest services on the ship told us they would be at the port so we didn’t need to schedule one. That was a joke. It was our first cruise and maybe our last. Everything we did on board they wanted money to give us the information we were supposed to get in the seminar. I.e., how to increase your metabolism. Teas to heal the body. Bingo etc. the ports were nice as we booked excursions at each. We did find out we could have picked someone at port for the same excursion at half the price. Go figure! The shows were ok. A few better than the rest. And you couldn’t swim in the pool the water was to cold for us. The only issue with the room was the size. Had to squeeze by to get to the other side of the bed. And the toilet area was a joke. We had a mid ship balcony on the 10th floor. Well good thing we didn’t put down a deposit for another cruise!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
I sailed on NCL's April 27 repositioning cruise from Miami to Tarragona. Overall, I had a great time. The cabin, dining room, bar and entertainment staff were all great other than the customer service desk, internet desk and ... Read More
I sailed on NCL's April 27 repositioning cruise from Miami to Tarragona. Overall, I had a great time. The cabin, dining room, bar and entertainment staff were all great other than the customer service desk, internet desk and excursion staff. The latter three categories got the brunt of passenger problems and showed the strain. They were brusk and unhelpful. One more negative: Disembarkation was a nightmare. Originally the cruise was to end in Barcelona. A few months before departure NCL changed the end to Tarragona, 40 or so miles south on the Spanish coast (without notifying people, there were a number of unhappy passengers who had booked hotels in Barcelona). Tarragona is fairly small and didn't have near enough taxis to accommodate a couple of thousand people in the space of a couple of hours. NCL appeared to think its responsibility ended when you got to the bottom of the gangway. There you were in a line (more a scrum) of a few hundred people jostling for a ride into town. It took about an hour and a half to get a cab. NCL earned a lot of dissatisfaction that morning. On to the good. Staff: The cabin steward was pretty much perfect. Whatever you might want seemed to appear before you thought to ask. He went so far as to straighten a pair of shoes I'd thrown in a corner. The restaurants and bars had great service with a smile. The exception was O'Sheehan's, the restaurant, not the bar. The servers were slow and made a number of mistakes in orders. Food: The food was good not great for the most part with the exception, again, of O'Sheehan's which put out pretty bad food. The main dining rooms were on a par with most chain white table cloths restaurants. The buffet? Well it was a buffet, that about says it. Great omelets though. It could get a bit crowded during the mealtime rushes. I ate at the Sushi bar, great; Cagney's, very good; the Asian restaurant whose name escapes me, good and, Le Bistro, excellent. Reservation times were honored; but, the restaurants were never overcrowded, I never had to wait for a table. Internet: I know most people don't care about internet on a cruise. Unfortunately, I need internet to work, even on vacation. The internet was barely adequate and quit working on the last two sea days before getting to the Azores. No notice from NCL as to why it was out or when it would come back on. After twenty minutes standing in line I learned that someone in Miami forgot to "tune" a satellite. And the internet never worked in Spice H2O which is a shame as the area is a really nice place to relax and have a coffee or a glass of wine. Latitude check in: None that I could find. Activities: There were a bunch, none of which interested me. Ports/excursions: I booked one excursion through NCL in Cadiz to the "White Villages" which are about an hour away. The scenery was great, the guide, not so much. Her English was not very good and she spoke it very fast, although that really didn't matter as she set a pace that left most of the, let's call us no longer young, group twenty or so yards away from her so that we couldn't hear what she said anyway. I enjoyed wandering around all of the ports through great architectural neighborhoods, stopping for a cappuccino or glass of wine. Food and drink at the cafes and restaurants was dirt cheap by American standards. Drink packages: You'd have to drink from breakfast until going to bed to make the cost of a drink package pay off (well maybe not quite that much). But, if you get one of the higher priced packages and get it as a perk, the $20 a day mandatory tip is a pretty good deal if you look at it as the cost of the drinks and a tip. I'm mostly a wine drinker and while the offerings weren't great, they were quite drinkable. The backbars looked to have most of the "top shelf" liquors you would expect. Entertainment: The primetime acts/shows that I saw were all very good. The lounge and pool deck singers and musicians were okay. NCL app: It worked nicely, showing what you have spent, what the entertainment schedule for the day was and what reservations you had. iMessage, for those with an iPhone, worked well. A couple of other things: I was apprehensive about the ship being crowded as it was sold out, or close to it. Other than in the buffet, I never felt crowded. I'd say the median age of passengers was mid to late sixties. If you are young and looking for some nightlife, you might want to stay away from a transatlantic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it was sailing across the Atlantic. Neither of us had ever partaken of a cruise before. It exceeded all our expectations. As first time cruisers we were completely at a loss what to do, where to go, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was sailing across the Atlantic. Neither of us had ever partaken of a cruise before. It exceeded all our expectations. As first time cruisers we were completely at a loss what to do, where to go, procedure once we boarded the Star. Although staff at the passageway door, no real instructions provided not even when we asked. Some sort of orientation session would have been nice for the few of us who had never cruised before. 99% of the time the staff was fantastic doing everything they could to ensure we had the best time of our lives. The only negative related to staff was the information/customer service desk. We learned quickly that if you asked a question, even about important stuff (lost items, disembarkation/customs procedures) the answer would be different with each staff person you asked. Dining was incredible. So much variety and so well prepared and tasty even at the buffet, the available restaurants were icing on the cake. Ginza was our only disappointment. Tried it twice. Food not bad, just not very good compared to everywhere else. Loved the crossing best of all. Ideal port/shore excursion scenario for us would be to alternate shore days with sea days. Enjoyed the shore excursions on the islands immensely. Soon realized that one could have just as rich a shore experience on our own at mainland ports without the extra expense of booking a tour and without the 'forced shopping' stops as one person put it. The entertainment each night was spectacular. Such talent on the production team (singers, dancers, musicians) as well as the guest performers. The musicians who performed on a daily basis throughout the ship varied in style and ability. The best by far was Duo 4:40. It showed by the audience they drew. No matter the venue they played at, it was always packed. All in all a wonderful, marvelous experience that went far about our expectations. Definitely go for it!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our first transatlantic cruise! Originally scheduled to reach Barcelona but was diverted to Tarragona. Weather during the crossing was fabulous. Sunshine, warm temps and smooth seas. The Star was refurbished last year and was is great ... Read More
Our first transatlantic cruise! Originally scheduled to reach Barcelona but was diverted to Tarragona. Weather during the crossing was fabulous. Sunshine, warm temps and smooth seas. The Star was refurbished last year and was is great shape. Crew was wonderful. Entertainment ranged from great to hohum. Food was up to NCL standard. Ports were great. Could easily use NCL or go on your own. The Roman theatre in Cartagena should not be missed. The nightmare began when we disembarked. We were warned that Tarragona was a small town with limited taxis and to allow extra time. We were not told that Tarragona is an industrial port and not equipped to handle cruise ships. First, the gang plank was extremely steep and dangerous for people with mobility issues and trying to carry off luggage. Then we got into the taxi line with 2000 other people only to learn there were only 5 taxis servicing the pier. There was no pedestrian walkway and the pier was lined coal and other industrial materials so it wasn’t safe to walk off. We waited 3 hours before they finally got a bus to start taking us to the city center and then we walked about 3 blocks to the train station where we had to buy new tickets since we missed our train. We thought allowing 3 hours was reasonable for a 2.8km trip. We never saw an NCL staff person of any authority on the pier accessing the situation. I don’t know how elderly or people with mobility issues endured this situation. It was such a shame to end such a wonderful cruise at such a horrible port. Avoid Tarragona. 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
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
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
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
We choose this piticular cruise at the last minute due to our original cruise the Oasis of the Seas had got cancelled due to major damage. Thank God for Ashley Bennington @ ashley@jcotravel.com. She was able to within minutes get us on ... Read More
We choose this piticular cruise at the last minute due to our original cruise the Oasis of the Seas had got cancelled due to major damage. Thank God for Ashley Bennington @ ashley@jcotravel.com. She was able to within minutes get us on the Star less than one week prior to sailing. Honestly was a little worried about this ship due to the last minutes booking, size and activity. What an amazing suprise. Beautiful ship, decent activities, excellent ports of call and fantastic state room. A couple of what I will call disappointments. 1 we did not get one animal towels (I know we are adults with older kids) it's just a cruise thing we where looking forward to. 2. At the Versailles restaurant they had a dress code. Button shirt, slacks, and no flip flops. My wife sadly did not bring any dress shoes. They however never said a word to us (wore flip flops, and dressy shorts). Three times we saw three different groups of African Americans being told to leave because of flip flops. Actually that had on the dressest ones I have ever seen. This was not ok to us one bit.. May have just been coincidence, but it was a weird feeling and Def not fair. 3. There Def is room for a Howl at the Moon dualing piano lounge (Club Bliss) also could have booked an couple adult comedian. Other than that... Awesome cruise, great food and the kids made yet again friends for life. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our TA chose it for us and it was a perfect fit for a first time cruiser. We went on the NCL Star from April 13-20th from Miami for a 7 day Caribbean cruise. Shuttle from airport to dock: easy to hail a van for 4 adults, $27-$30 ... Read More
Our TA chose it for us and it was a perfect fit for a first time cruiser. We went on the NCL Star from April 13-20th from Miami for a 7 day Caribbean cruise. Shuttle from airport to dock: easy to hail a van for 4 adults, $27-$30 Check in: efficient and fairly quick given how many people there were First impression after stepping into the main lobby: Wow! Some may think it's slightly dated compared to newer ships, but we had nothing to compare it to and thought it was amazing Main pool area: plenty of seating/lounging. Bar was always busy, but never had to wait long for a drink, good level of music always playing so you could still talk to each other Inside mid-ship stateroom: great for 2 people, super clean but would get a balcony or window next time On-board activities: Dingo Dave was the cruise director and had the energy and enthusiasm of a person with 10 Red Bulls in them! There were so many activities to do, and the ones that seemed dumb (extreme napkin folding) were hilarious. Bingo, Deal or No Deal, 55 to win, Newlywed Game...so many more Evenings: If you could make it past 8pm from everything else! 80's party, white hot party etc. Wanted to see the comedian, but the lounge was packed...should have been in the theatre. Shows at the theatre: beyond what I was expecting, all of them were fantastic with a very talented cast Food: -Poolside (topsiders), good food when it was busy b/c it was fresh -Buffet was hot and fresh, lines moved quick even during busy times, tables can be challenging to find for 4 people -O'Sheehans...wings wings and more wings! Sit down service was sometimes slow. -Versailles, way too many tables, service was very quick and food was just ok -Cagney's (steakhouse), very good -Moderno's (Brazilian), holy meat sweats and delicious -Teppanyaki (Japanese), hands down our favourite! They were entertaining and the food was fantastic Bars: all great service and tried almost every mixed drink they had on the menu, 5'oclock somewhere bar needed to scale back a bit on their alcohol...sometimes too much of a good thing isn't that good. Excursions: Great Stirrup Cay, Ocho Rios, Caymen Islands, Cozumel...we didn't book any excursions, instead we just walked around or took a taxi to see a few sites Overall First Time Experience: clean ship, great food, plenty of activities, wonderful staff, good customer service, and our cabin steward was amazing! And yes, we've already planned for our next one! Read Less
Norwegian Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 4.0

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