2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was our 10th cruise in as many years, always in a top suite on the ship. 8 of the cruises were on Carnival. This was our 2nd on NCL. On the ship there is only ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was our 10th cruise in as many years, always in a top suite on the ship. 8 of the cruises were on Carnival. This was our 2nd on NCL. On the ship there is only one stateroom class higher...the 3 bedroom garden villa. This room is actually on the bridge wing on the starboard side. It commands amazing floor to ceiling views looking FORWARD which is a nice change. It actually feels like you're flying low when you are moving. Be aware though that there is no balcony or exterior access so it can still feel a little confined. When we arrived to our room, we found all of the blinds drawn shut which gave a first impression of the space being much smaller than expected. I pulled them all up and the room quickly heated to an unpleasant level. The air conditioning could not keep up with the heat coming off of the glass. The room steward came in and I asked about getting the AC looked at and he said "well, the blinds are all open". OF COURSE the blinds are all open. Why else would one give up a balcony and pay quite a bit of money for the room? They did eventually get someone in to adjust the AC and it worked, but it was an odd way of replying to the concern. A moment about "free at sea". We booked early and a top level suite and we awarded all 5 offers. The premium beverages package was very nice to have! We are not huge drinkers but it was nice not to think about signing for every drink ordered. The free internet is only 240 minutes and we were upsold for another ~$130 to get actual free internet. Free shore excursions means ONE $50 credit per STATEROOM per port. As most of the excursions were $120-$200 per PERSON, the excursions were not exactly free. Free specialty dining was valid for 3 nights out of 7, also a bit misleading. Free 3rd and 4th guests...we didn't take advantage of. Seems generous. The ship's food was not great. The buffet food was the worst we've ever had. The steakhouse food was decent but the lighting was very bright and setting was very loud. It was not the ambiance you'd expect from an ala carte restaurant with shorelike pricing. The Teppan restaurant was the best on the ship and the chefs were very entertaining, better than many on land. Otherwise the food was ranging between fair to moderate. I'm pretty sure there was hamburger helper being served at the buffet. The food on Carnival was actually better than on this NCL ship. The only thing that saved the food was that suite guests are offered to dine in the steakhouse for breakfast and lunch complimentary. It was nice to sit and have breakfast prepared for you...good food at that. Breakfast was also accompanied by a very nice buffet and fresh squeezed juices. Entertainment on the ship was also sadly lacking compared to the lower perceived Carnival line. There is no comedy club. There was one show a night in which the performers seemed tired. My wife is a choreographer by trade, so this is always something we check out. They were just going through the motions. TV did not offer any pay per view options like Carnival, and at least half of the channels were commercials to drive business for the ship. There was one movie channel, and a few news channels. We actually like to get a really nice room and spend time enjoying it away from the crowds on deck so a little better entertainment options would have been appreciated. The itinerary was nice. The list of ports was perfect. On our particular cruise they cancelled our call to Mykonos, which was very disappointing. It was to be the highlight of our trip and I had planned to surprise my wife with some upscale shopping for an anniversary gift. The captain said there were 70kt winds and they could not tender people to shore. I'm no meteorologist, but I'm pretty sure there were no low level hurricanes outside:) It was bumpy but feasible, which brings me to my final gripe (sorry). When we left port in Venice there were 4 ships docked from various cruise lines. We found on this cruise that they all follow the same itinerary and call on the same ports on the same days. They follow each other around like glorified buses, often traveling together with just a couple miles of separation. What this does for the clients is creates a logjam at each port of call. When multiple boats land in port at the same time and all offload their clients simultaneously, the services become scarce and the wait times become long for attractions. Couple this with what I perceive to be short durations at each port (leaving at 12:30 or 2:30 pm at times) and it's impactful to the guests. For instance, in Santorini it was very crowded and we waited 45 minutes to take a picture at a lookout spot. Locals told me that in a few hours it would be vacant. Why not stagger the ships a bit? Here is my takeaway on the NCL vs Carnival. Carnival is less expensive. Carnival has better food if you're willing to pay for it. Carnival has more and better entertainment. NCL has fewer children and is a little more mellow. NCL offers substantial perks if you are a suite guest to elevate the experience such as priority debarkation in ports, special dining for breakfast and lunch, etc. My opinion is that if traveling with family, Carnival wins. If traveling as a couple(s) it's a toss up and NCL may be the winner. I will concede that my wife and I are a tough audience but please accept this honest review as consideration of your future cruise plans if your goal is to pull out all of the stops. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Liked the stops on this cruise, but didn't realise they were so short. Some were tendered and they took forever to get people off with waits up to four hours! Not good when you only have a short time somewhere. Restaurants were ... Read More
Liked the stops on this cruise, but didn't realise they were so short. Some were tendered and they took forever to get people off with waits up to four hours! Not good when you only have a short time somewhere. Restaurants were a shambles, very long queues all the time, service poor and always luke warm food. Food was very limited in choice, particularly if you have dietary requirements. One of our group is coeliac and it was very difficult at times. Think they like you to hate queuing, so you book specialist restaurant which are overpriced and food no better. Best meal we had all week was Teppanyaki - at least food was hot. Theatre entertainment was poor, not a lively ship. We had a suite which helped and that was nice. Cabin staff were really good. Some of the bar staff were plain rude. The staff on board need training, no doubt about it. The overall package onboard is mediocre and it doesn’t seem like they care at all. So, although we had a good time, we would not choose NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because of the port of calls. Croatia Montenegro and the Greek Islands with Athens. The star was recently refurbished, thankfully but you can still see its age... our room for one. The star is a mid range to ship and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the port of calls. Croatia Montenegro and the Greek Islands with Athens. The star was recently refurbished, thankfully but you can still see its age... our room for one. The star is a mid range to ship and we definitely noticed a difference compared to much larger ships. It was nice not having so many people on board. Also, on larger ships they would ask everyone to be back 2 hrs prior to sailing. The Star only require 30 min giving more shore time. The drinks were good. The food was average at best. Specialty restaurants were better. Service was hit or miss. I coined a phrase that it was faux 5 star service. Meaning everyone acted very professional and pleasant but you didn’t always get what you asked for or things were forgotten. Still waiting for my Caesar salad. The entertainment on board was NOT good. Basically the same two bands for 11 days. And they were not very good... did I mention that. Also the pool snack bar served the same food for 11 days. Hot dogs and hamburgers. Yes you could go inside to the cafe but really... 11 days of no change. They couldn’t have switched it up and had anything else?!! Tacos, pizza, chicken anything. I never want to see another hot dog. He kids and teen club were great. Our kids loved it and met friends from all over. Our room porter was great. The ports of call weee great. Some lines and crowds but if you do your research you can circumvent most of it. Look for the side streets and find cheap wine and food. Even though the ship wasn’t the best for us I would do it again in a heartbeat. . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We were really excited to take this trip and were partially disappointed with our overall experience. The service by the staff was exceptional. We did opt for one of the Penthouse suites and were treated very well. However there were a few ... Read More
We were really excited to take this trip and were partially disappointed with our overall experience. The service by the staff was exceptional. We did opt for one of the Penthouse suites and were treated very well. However there were a few things that really disappointed us. To start with the food was not good at all. We have cruised on other lines such as Royal Caribbean and had a phenomenal restaurant experience. But the food on this ship was less than average. We couldn’t wait to get off the ship at the ports so we could eat some good food. Please keep in mind that I’m not that picky when it comes to food. In fact we were excited to eat at Burger King in the airport on our way back. So if your going on a cruise to experience great food...look elsewhere. The second thing that was mildly disappointing was there isn’t that much to do on this ship when you think of what cruise ships offer today. The theater shows were very well done and we enjoyed them very much. Also the shore excursion staff was great and we enjoyed the tours they provided but you don’t get that much time in ports compared to other trips we have taken. We had somewhere between 5-7 hours and other cruises provided a longer shore excursion experience. Probably the thing that was most irritating was the additional charge that we were surprised by at the end of our trip. We had prepaid for all of our charges and then we also paid both our butler and cleaning person a generous tip. But NCL also charged us $18 per person per day to provide tips to all of their crew that typically don’t get tips for their service. I don’t know why NCL is supplementing their payroll by charging passengers an additional $250,000-300,000 per cruise but that was ridiculous for a total crew count of 1,100 members. We have never been charged this fee on other cruise lines when you prepay your tips already. After spending over $8,000 for two people, we felt that the experience should have been better. Sorry to say but it’s back to Royal Caribbean or some other line for us. NCL is off the list. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Grade for cruise "C" would only pick NCL if Princess/RCCL/Disney didn't have similar line up, passable but bottom of the pack. Picked the Star for the port lineup; 6 ports in 7 days, can't beat that ( Kotor, ... Read More
Grade for cruise "C" would only pick NCL if Princess/RCCL/Disney didn't have similar line up, passable but bottom of the pack. Picked the Star for the port lineup; 6 ports in 7 days, can't beat that ( Kotor, Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Argostoli, and Dubrovnick Loved the Freestyle dining and on ship good service was very good and low upsell, get high ratings for this! Sadly found the food in buffet as well as the complimentary 2 main dining rooms below average in all respects for lunch/dinner. Breakfast was solid, but limited choices compared to Princess, hard to mess up breakfast. Did two specialty restuarants and they were solid, but if I had to pay would say they were only as good as main dining on Princess, but with more personal service, so luckily they were free, LOL DIY tours at Kotur, Corfu, Mykonos, Argostoli and Dubronvick, did NCL Ultimate Santorini to avoid the crazy tendering if you don't have a tour, was still a mess but at least got to see the big things. Standard overpriced cruise line tours but few options at this port, give that tour a "B" rating. Tendering at Kotur got an F ( two hours for tendering ticket #3, seriously broken with too few tender boats for such a large ship ). Entertainment: Two of the three rotating bands were good/average and one was simply terrible! The dancing team was good, but terrible choregraphed for their three shows. The magician while award winning was boring, we walked out twice, werent the only ones either, he needs to get some input and up his game. Entertainment wasn't a highlight, but lucky we didn't take it for it, nor cruise for the entertainment or we'd be really sad. Fitness center was solid and fully equipped, no complaints here. Disembarkation: F, who tries to disembark 2800 people thru a single gangway, we must have waited in the line almost an hour to get off and almost missed our flight home, broken system here, no excuses, they need to fix this! Overall like I said "C" due to food, entertainment, and tendering, but get good marks for port lineup and great crew and minimal upsell. Like the freestyle ambience sadly NCL needs to improve their food and fix their tendering and disembarkation and maybe we'd look at them as first choice for another cruise! 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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I wanted to join my niece and her husband in getting a taste of Europe and experiencing some places we never been to before. Having been on many NCL cruises before and having booked the Butler/Concierge level suite we were ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to join my niece and her husband in getting a taste of Europe and experiencing some places we never been to before. Having been on many NCL cruises before and having booked the Butler/Concierge level suite we were expecting a much better experience than what we had. Now don't get me wrong, when it came to the average crew member all I can offer is high praise. The butler Randy, Room Steward Wesley, Maria who tended bar, The Sommelier in Cagney's to name just a few) were spectacular. It is people like this who make we want to continue to cruise NCL as they each went above and beyond my expectations and made a great vacation for us. The room was average, decent size, but far smaller than the forward suite we had on our Alaskan Cruise. I would've rated this cruise higher except for the following reasons: 1. From around January of the year of the cruise, I was calling NCL weekly trying to get them to book me into their hotel in Barcelona. I kept getting told that they were not yet available and try in another week. This went on through September when suddenly I'm told there must've been a computer glitch because now they are completely booked up and I had to find my own place to stay. 2. Found my own place to stay, then one afternoon my wife says she happened to look at the NCL site and noticed that we are no longer at Barcelona, but it was changed to Terragona for embarkation and Monaco was removed as a port and replaced with Cannes. Again, this in itself is not a problem as I understand that port changes are something Cruise lines can and will do at times. The problem I have is with NCLs lack of communication, I should not have had to stumble across this but should have been contacted with this information and be available to answer questions I may have about the changes. 3. Transport to Terragona Spain was around $250 via cab, fortunately I accidentally discovered that NCL had a bus transport from the airport to Terragona, again, this is something that should have been communicated to everyone and not something found out on accident 4. My bus was to leave at 10:30, people were leaving before me and when I asked I was informed that my bus hadn't arrived yet. I didn't leave the airport until Noon that day and almost missed the bus because the staff were leaving and never told the group I was in that it was for our bus. I ran after one of them and she admitted that this was the bus we were to be on. 5. People were loading their own luggage and getting on the bus before they should've, there was insufficient luggage space and some people were removed from the bus because their luggage never got on. Add to this a couple hour bus ride to Terragona and waiting first in a huge traffic line to the port, followed by a huge people line to the port. And from what I could see, there were porters grabbing bags from people way at the end of the line and getting them ahead of everyone else. These were not disabled people. 6. Butler level rooms had always come with some perks such as priority dining, shore excursion reservations to name a few. We turned in our choices for excursions early evening the day of embarkation only to be informed that 4 of our choices were booked and we would be put on a waiting list. 7. Susanna, the concierge was a very gruff individual and was not always very friendly and even heard to tell a passenger, "don't you understand english", of all the crew members she was the only one I noticed to have an attitude. 8. Teppanyaki Chef we had almost speared a lady sitting with us with a two pronged fork while doing his routine and after dropping a couple of other things he lost the little bit of humor he had and just did his best to try and get through the rest of the serving. 9. Rome excursion, Hop on, Hop off we were informed to go once completely around by bus and then determine what we wanted to see to get an idea when to get back to the bus back to the port. Traffic was so bad, there was not an opportunity to go somewhere once we made one complete trip. We should've been informed to pick one thing we absolutely wanted to see, go there, walk to other places and if necessary take a cab back. Others commented on spending a large amount of money on some of the Rome excursions and being extremely disappointed. I know Rome is a big draw, but perhaps this could've been a port skipped to alleviate some of the congestion. 10. Gone are the days of lobster fest and all you can eat, for that matter Cagney's didn't even offer a lobster tail add on as they had in the past, now surf and turf is steak with a few shrimp. I mentioned the people who made the cruise special as well as the problems encountered. The Ports overall were nice, some like Kotor Montenegro, Argostoli, Santorini were breathtakingly beautiful. Athens was fantastic, Pompeii amazing. Problem was 1 sea day and different port each day. While I like having a different port each day, it isn't so great when you can't even spend at least 8-10 hours at the port, far too rushed. Better this was a 13 or 14 night cruise and have more time or remove one of the ports. I've done 6 cruises with NCL so far, 2 with Carnival, 1 with the Disney Big Red Boat, 1 with Princess and 1 with Regent. With the exception of Regent, NCL was definitely the best choice from the others. I have to say though, that I'm leaning toward Regent for my next cruise even though NCL also sails there. When we first started cruising with them, NCL was all about doing everything they could to exceed our expectations, now they just seem more interested in how many gimmicks they can come up with to get your money without giving them any overhead (just look at all the pushing for pull tabs and ship lottery tickets). NCL go back to treating your customers well, you push that into your employees, most of whom are amazing, get the rest on board by at the very least, improving your communication. 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
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
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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are health conscious vegans and one of us has a gluten allergy. In January 2019 we sailed aboard the Princess Regal on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. We went with relatives which didn’t give us much time for us to enjoy being on ... Read More
We are health conscious vegans and one of us has a gluten allergy. In January 2019 we sailed aboard the Princess Regal on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. We went with relatives which didn’t give us much time for us to enjoy being on the boat or for relaxing. We needed another cruise and fast! However, we had limited funds having just cruised. We choose a 14 day repositioning cruise on the Norwegian Star which departed Los Angeles and sailed through the Panama Canal with Miami being it’s destination. We went on “the cheap” getting an interior cabin which we do not mind because the darkness helps us sleep longer and better. To save money we used the "Let Us Choose" option where Norwegian selects a cabin for you. The ports of call ranged down the Western Mexican coast, with stops in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, passage through the Canal and last stop in Columbia before heading to Miami. We did not take any tours since we had seen Mexico on other cruises and enjoy having the ship to ourselves when others are ashore. The Star had a historian give several lectures on the Panama Canal history and someone narrated during our passage through the Canal. Both were very nice. Traveling as vegans (avoid foods containing meat or products from animals), always poses a challenge. On the Princess Regal the Main Dining Room offered a vegan menu each night and gladly adjusted for gluten intolerance. The Princess had assigned seating and dinner times which worked well for us. Our waiter became familiar with our special needs and things flowed very smoothly. The Princess morning buffet had mixed greens as well as beans and several types of breakfast grains. They also had non-dairy options on the buffet. The labels above each buffet item had a “V” if it contained no animal products and /or a “GF“ if not made with wheat gluten. On the Norwegian Star, the buffet selection was more limited and we frequently went to the main dining room if we wanted something “green” in the morning. No dish on the buffet had identification as to whether it was vegan or gluten free. Non-dairy and/or gluten free items were available upon request but often took a while to get from the buffet staff. The Norwegian Star has a Free Style approach to dinner. We explained our special dietary needs to the restaurant manager and he introduced us to their special diet coordinator. He was great! At first, we would tell him what we desired for dinner but later just gave him the freedom to create meals with the chefs. The meals were very good and exciting to see what we would get that evening. However, with Free Style dining, you never knew how crowded the restaurant would be at any given time and most of the time we had a new waiter who was unfamiliar with us and our diet. English was not spoken well by some waiters so explaining each night that we had a special meal became tedious. Some nights meals took a very long time to prepare particularly if the restaurant was unexpectedly crowded. The Princess approach with an assigned waiter, assigned dinner time and vegan menu was much more efficient and pleasant for us. The entertainment on the Norwegian Star in our opinion was not as good as some other ships we have been on, however, one show by the ship's production cast was outstanding and among the best I have seen. The Star’s exercise room and decks for walking were superior to many other ships. We enjoyed the Star’s indoor movie theaters rather than the Princess ship design which features an outdoor screen for that “drive-in theater” experience. Overall we achieved our goal of being able to enjoy leisure time at sea and remain healthy. It was a good cruise but from our perspective it could have been better with a few simple changes by Norwegian. It was our first experience with Norwegian so we do not know if our experience is representative of other Norwegian ships or cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Choose for the Panama Canal crossing. The entertainment was good overall. The meals were medium good but not noteworthy. We ate in buffet, both main dining rooms and 3 specialty restaurants. Only Cagney's was worth the money. ... Read More
Choose for the Panama Canal crossing. The entertainment was good overall. The meals were medium good but not noteworthy. We ate in buffet, both main dining rooms and 3 specialty restaurants. Only Cagney's was worth the money. Desserts with the exception of ice cream were uniformly disappointing. The shops devoted too much space to high end jewelry and perfume (money makers?) and nothing to makeup or sundries or candy. Liked the shore excursions we took and fond them very enjoyable. Staff was very friendly. Enjoyed cruise director Dave and the Captain too. the hypnotist/comedian was not anyone I would want to see again. Jennifer Fair was delightful once again. the production band and cast did a very good job. Atrium music bounced up to the internet cafe and was deafening! acoustic issue. Although recently refurbished, The Star seemed drab and and the decor old. Overall we had a good time but are unlikely to choose another NCL cruise unless family or friends invite us to sail with them. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Before I even boarded the ship my information and onboard picture were changed with another passenger. I went to board the ship and had a womans picture show up on there computer. I had to stand in a long line to have it retaken. When I ... Read More
Before I even boarded the ship my information and onboard picture were changed with another passenger. I went to board the ship and had a womans picture show up on there computer. I had to stand in a long line to have it retaken. When I tryed to log into the wifi service I once again found myself in a long line to find out there was another person's birth date listed in my information once again. I took this cruise because my nephew was getting married onboard NCL took great care of there wedding! But this is not a cruise line for me. When you get on board they make the drinks way to strong and make up for it by under poring towards the end of the cruise. What is so hard to make a consistent drink? my room was 11110 and my cabin steward would come around 1pm and 8:30pm if he did come by the room. Only cabin steward I never tipped on a cruise because he never did anything. I left the room ten times cleaner then NCL can get it! If I was not with my family I would have flown home from the first port. The food was good but just in the buffet. My trips to the dinning rooms left me hungry and heading up to get something I could eat. They sent a review e-mail to me but never ask why I didn't like there cruise. This is a cruise line for younger people that haven't been on the better cruise lines! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Cruise Director Dingo Dave was great, and is team is outstanding also. The entertainment was fabulous. The best part of the cruise. The comedian was great. Specialty Dining was good also. I think that if your going to have free style ... Read More
Cruise Director Dingo Dave was great, and is team is outstanding also. The entertainment was fabulous. The best part of the cruise. The comedian was great. Specialty Dining was good also. I think that if your going to have free style dining you should allow others to sit at the tables to because there was lots of empty seats one night and they was handing out pagers and you should at least ask guest if they mind if they would mind if others could sit with them.. I didn't like that. The Japanese steak house was my favorite the chefs were very entertaining during the cooking and the presentation of the food was great and the food tasted wonderful. Not sure why but no towel animals were put out on the beds could be cut back on the ships or this may only be done in rooms with children only. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We traveled with our 3 children for spring break on this ship. The ship was clean and comfortable. The food, drinks and service were average. The staff varied from attentive to average. We ate at 3 specialty restaurants, Cagney's ... Read More
We traveled with our 3 children for spring break on this ship. The ship was clean and comfortable. The food, drinks and service were average. The staff varied from attentive to average. We ate at 3 specialty restaurants, Cagney's (3.5-4*), Le Bistro (3*) and Moderno Churrascaria (3*). If we went on this cruise again the only one of the 3 that I would consider paying extra to dine at again may be Cagney's. I don't think that any of them are much better than the main dining room. We ate twice at O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill. The food was below average (2*) both times, average (2.5-3*) service. The buffet food was average, good selection and well maintained. The entertainment onboard was very good. We all enjoyed the nightly shows in the main theater. Our children enjoyed the cruise but they did occasionally get bored. I think they would have enjoyed a ship with more activities appropriate for young teens. The cabins were well maintained and clean. Embarkation and disembarkation were well run and efficient. Overall I would give this cruise a 3.5* and would go on this ship again if the intinerary and price met our needs. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Third cruise on Norwegian, 24th cruise overall. Our first cruise on Norwegian was on the Jewel. We had more problems on that cruise than we ever had on board a ship but so enjoyed the ship and the food that we cruised on the Bliss last ... Read More
Third cruise on Norwegian, 24th cruise overall. Our first cruise on Norwegian was on the Jewel. We had more problems on that cruise than we ever had on board a ship but so enjoyed the ship and the food that we cruised on the Bliss last October. Only problem with the Bliss was embarkation but the onboard experience was wonderful in every respect. This quickly became my favorite ship. Food and entertainment was great. So for this reason we booked the Star which is smaller than the Bliss and about the size of the Jewel. Because I know that Norwegian has small rooms in the oceanview category (which is what we usually book), we booked a balcony room (smaller than most other cruise lines' balcony rooms). Found food to be mediocre in buffet with limited variety (particularly in area of vegetables/potatoes). Temperature of food was adequate. We ate exclusively in the Versailles dining room fro dinner and this was a step up from the buffet in terms of food quality, but not by much. The best complimentary food to be found, in my opinion, was at O'Sheehan's, the 24 hour pub restaurant. Unfortunately, they have discontinued the fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce which I used to love at O'Sheehan's. Maybe to many other people loved them too and Norwegian decided they were spending too much money on them. Norwegian is also the only cruise line that does not allow you to bring your own soda pop on board. They want to be sure you either buy theirs at $4.25 a can or buy the unlimited soda package which is exorbitant unless you and your partner drink tons of soda a day. The specialty restaurants which you pay an extra fee for have always been good, particularly Cagney's steakhouse. We did not east at any of the speciality restaurants this trip but heard others comment that they were good on the Star as well. Entertainment was very good. There were three different production/review main theater shows with singing, choreography set and costume changes which were excellent. My wife and I enjoy these type of shows and these were right up there with some of the best we have seen. There was a husband and wife magician/contortionist act. The magician part husband was standard magic/illusion fare but the wife's ability to contort her body was astonishing and unique. Really incredible! There was a comedian who did different accents and dialects and was funny and entertaining. In the lounges there were guitarists/singers, a pianist singer and the Melodic Trio who sang and played instruments. Musically, there was adequate variety to find something to enjoy. My wife and I seldom do excursions nor do we book cruises for the itinerary. We book cruises to be on the ship for a certain length of time, relax, forget about everything and be pampered and taken care of. For this reason, I do not comment on ports. I only review the internal ship experience in terms of the four things that are important to my wife and myself: food, entertainment, comfort and service. I have already commented on food and entertainment. See my review of the cabin below in regard to comfort. With only one exception, service was outstanding. The crew members were friendly, accommodating, helpful and could not be nicer. They worked harder than most of us would ever want to. The one exception was this. I was supposed to get an onboard credit as part of the package I booked. On the second day, when I got a print out of my account, I remarked to the lady at guest services that I did not see the credit on my statement. She checked and said it was not in their computer. She asked me if I had some documentation showing that I was entitled to it. I did in my room. She asked me to bring it back to guest services so they could verify. As i had the documentation and thought this was a glitch that would be easily fixed, I waited until the next day rather than going up to my room right then and getting it.The next day I went down to guest services with my documentation and provided to a young man on duty who, as I was to learn, should probably not be in any kind of customer service job. The young reiterated that it was not in their computer. I reiterated that I was already aware of that which is why I brought the documentation to him, per the instructions I received from the woman at guest services the day before. I told him that I was aware he did not have the power to correct this buit surely there was a senior officer who did, maybe the captain if necessary, and I had the proof I was entitled to it right there in black and white. He went into a room in back, was there for a while and then came out with several sheets of paper. He started to explain to me that I had received an upgraded room ( same type of room I paid for but in what the cruise line considered a better location on the ship) from Norwegian and implied that either my credit had been absorbed by the upgrade which I did not ask for and could care less about, or that I should be so happy that I received an upgrade on my room I should forget about the onboard credit. I told him this had nothing to do with my issue and started to get a little steamed that he seemed to want to talk me out of pursuing this problem. He kept showing me on the pieces of paper saying, "this is what you paid for your room and THIS is what the room you are in goes for. Look at the difference!" I finally was screaming at him saying," I don't care!!! Get me on board credit that I payed for and I am entitled to." he mumbled that he would start an inquiry. I asked loudly when I would get an answer about my onboard credit. He hesitantly said tomorrow night. So he took an issue that I had mild concern about and exploded it into a huge conflict where I was very disgruntled, determined to do everything I could on social media to turn people away from cruising with Norwegian. I was in a very bad mood all through the night until the next day complaining to my poor wife and telling her all the ideas I had for waging war and getting even with Norwegian, making sure that I would cost them many times what they would have given me in onboard credit. The next day I went back down to guest services where I encountered yet another woman at the guest services desk. I explained everything that had happened to date and again showed my documentation. She was very nice, understood the situation immediately and explained to me (unlike the jerk I encountered the evening before) that the credit was to have come from my travel agency, not NCL and for whatever reason, they had not received it yet. There was an inquiry that had been sent to NCL's home office in Miami but in the meantime she arranged a ship to shore phone call to my travel agent so I could take with him about the issue. I spoke with him and he did not know why it hadn't gotten to NCL as everything from his end showed that it should have but he told me in the event it did not arrive in the next few days, get a print out of my onboard account from NCL and he would send me a check for the credit amount. This was all it took to set the matter at rest and could have done by the jerk, instead of aggravating a guest. I received the credit the next day. When I got home I got an e-mail from my agent in which he told me that I was not the only one who had this issue and his what not the only travel agency it happened to. Some snafu occurred with NCL. OK, so I have vented. Back to the ship. The public areas were pleasantly decorated and very clean and well cared for. There was one swimming pool on board and a numebr of hot tubs in different location. I did not use the fitness center but my wife did and said it was fine. The library on board (one of my wife's major interest) was quite extensive for a ship's library. If you like to read on board, you will enjoy this library. There is also an internet cafe on the 9th deck which overlooks the atrium. There are a few tables for playing games. Unless one wished to use the eating tables in the buffet or around the pool, the ship really lacks tables to play games, do jigsaw puzzles or any kind of writing or paperwork other than the few in the internet cafe. I probably will never sail on the Star again as it had to many deficits for me personally. The food was not as good as on the other two NCL ships I sailed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This is our 1st cruise with Norwegian but we have cruised several times before. This was the longest cruise at 14 days however. We had been informed to Star had recently been renovated. Ship was very clean. Staff was efficient but not ... Read More
This is our 1st cruise with Norwegian but we have cruised several times before. This was the longest cruise at 14 days however. We had been informed to Star had recently been renovated. Ship was very clean. Staff was efficient but not very friendly. There were exceptions like Ivan our room steward. There were parts of the ship that should/could have had service but didn't - the front and back of the ship where sunbathers were. Not one waiter ever came by to ask if you wanted anything. Yes there are bars near by but you would have to leave your chair,etc. to go get something. Also no light snacks at any of the bars - spicy corn nuts at Gatsby and Sugar cane only. Eric in the Tiptop bar is very nice. There's only one casual dining room (Agua)where shorts are acceptable, all the rest require reservations,long pants/collared shirts and are either ala cart or specialty priced. We came on the cruise to relax and be casual. But I didn't come on a cruise to eat at a cafeteria which the upstairs buffet reminded me of. It was crowded and noisey. The specialty restaurants were very nice though - Le Bistro was excellent and so was the Moderno - a meat lover's dream. Gapo our waitperson there was wonderful. The salad bar at the Moderno was amazing. I would have been glad just to eat that. I have come to realize that I do not Asian fusion cooking. The Ginza was a complete disappointment. The sushi rice was not correct (too sweet) and the tuna texture appeared to have been frozen. I understand that we are on a ship and frozen fish would/might be required for health safety but then do not serve sushi to consumers that will know the difference. Or when we are in port buy local fresh fish from the area. That would have been exciting to try instead. O'Sheehans was a hit or miss. I ordered buffalo wings 2x's and they came to the table cold and overcooked both times. Have your waitstaff learn how to pour a pint of Guinness beer as well. It is different from regular beer. I should not have to tell them how to do it at a place called O'Sheehans! The Tradewinds shopping area had lovely clothing. Prices were actually quite reasonable in comparison to other cruise lines. Both a few items there. But the toiletry selections is very limited. You should expand it to include more things that people either forgot or ran out of . I bought some lovely earrings and lost a back - couldn't wear them because you didn't sell any replacement backs. No AA or AAA batteries or phone chargers. Another missed opportunity. We met 2 lovely couples from England and Australia on our cruise and being with them made any of our disappointments bearable. However, not sure if we will do Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Main Entertainment was very good to excellent but entertainment in main areas of ship was awful. Food good with very good variety. Service good. Can’t prove it but food on shore excursions gave both of us Montezuma’s Revenge. ... Read More
Main Entertainment was very good to excellent but entertainment in main areas of ship was awful. Food good with very good variety. Service good. Can’t prove it but food on shore excursions gave both of us Montezuma’s Revenge. TV in room had very limited and intermittently unavailable programming. Tiny stateroom with no sitting area or sofa. Onboard activities very limited and too many tried to sell something or had fees. Game show hostesses were annoying with hard to understand Eastern European accents. Tiny pool. Limited common areas for relaxing. “Free” Ultimate Beverage Package a total rip-off. Mandatory $20 per person per day charge for gratuity. Very nice main theater. Smell of cigarette smoke in many public areas. Ship staff overall were very good. Chaotic process for finding ship sponsored (and other) location of transportation for shore excursions. Very elderly passengers. Median age definitely over 70. Probably over 75. Aerialists, Magician, Thomas John, Levena B Fox and production shows were excellent. Hypnotist not very good. Female Comedian very good. Good shore excursions. Many options for bars and restaurants although too many of them are an extra charge. Terrible smoking in casino kept me away. Captain was very informative and kept us on schedule. Limited seating in complimentary restaurants. Always a line and forced to wait. Too few tables for 2. Pressured to sit with others. Disembarkation was chaotic. Very long lines. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for the destination (the Panama Canal) and the season (February when it was -32C at home. We booked just 2 weeks before sail date and booked a guaranteed balcony cabin. We did not get to pick our cabin. I never ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destination (the Panama Canal) and the season (February when it was -32C at home. We booked just 2 weeks before sail date and booked a guaranteed balcony cabin. We did not get to pick our cabin. I never actually was told the cabin number by Norwegian. I found it somewhat hidden in the cruise docs. Meanwhile, I was getting emails asking me to bid on upgrades. I found this extremely annoying. It felt like they were selling off better cabins that might have been mine. I hate the feeling that I am being charged as much as possible for every little thing Norwegian charges for its specialty restaurant ($30US per person) and does not seem to have enough seating in its general dining rooms for everyone who wants to eat there. We were asked to take a pager and wait 45 to 60 minutes for a table. The Ginza Oriental dining room is very small. We managed a table once in the 14 days. There was always a line up. It isn't really that good. I also hate that I paid $5US for a bottle of water and they won't let you bring water from shore claiming security issues. We found the staff were excellent. They were always smiling and helpful. The main dining room staff, Versaille, seemed the most most harassed and over worked and least cheerful. I have some concern with the buffet restaurant were almost everything is self-serve with poor quality tongs. I saw people give up trying to grab sausages with thick plastic tongs and use their fingers. I also saw a passenger take a pair of better tongs with her from a shrimp dish and use them on the rest of the buffet possibly contaminating the whole buffet for anyone who has a seafood allergy. We found most of the food rather bland, very salty and rather boring. There were somewhat spicy curries on the buffet but they were there every day. I found the entertainment was mainly louder than it was good. The DJ and the Latin group were able to drive me from the pool area. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to sail through the canal. The price and dates worked out for us. We have sailed on numerous cruise lines. The star was average, nothing exceptional. We scheduled offshore activities through the internet. Meals were fine, ... Read More
We wanted to sail through the canal. The price and dates worked out for us. We have sailed on numerous cruise lines. The star was average, nothing exceptional. We scheduled offshore activities through the internet. Meals were fine, but no lobster meal anywhere. Entertainment was nothing exceptional. Usual activities onboard. Good narration through the canal. Music was loud, hard to find a quiet place. Not many children aboard. Accommodating layout. We would probably choose a different cruise line next time. We had some great shore excursions, but did not purchase any through the ship. Good choice of ports, some concerns with tender service. In tendered ports, be sure to sign up early, as gold and platinum cruisers get preference. If you have scheduled excursions off the ship, you may need to call ahead if seas are choppy, as tenders are limited. Overall this cruise was acceptable, great experience, going through the cana!. 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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