8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First time traveling on NCL we've done a few RC and last year a Costa. Always wanted to try NCL and this was the most brilliant itinerary. Ship was lovely and clean. We had an interior ocean view cabin biggest ocean view cabin ... Read More
First time traveling on NCL we've done a few RC and last year a Costa. Always wanted to try NCL and this was the most brilliant itinerary. Ship was lovely and clean. We had an interior ocean view cabin biggest ocean view cabin we've ever had with lots of storage. Big shower, sink area and toilet. Food onboard was all very good. The pub was great with fantastic chicken wings, pastrami sandwiches, bangers and mash and America cheesecake. This place was great when you didn't want to go up to the buffet. We went during the school holidays so the ship was sailing at full capacity at times the service in the dining room could be very slow - they did have a lot of staff but at times felt like they needed more. That said the staff worked incredibly hard and were always very accommodating and great with the kids. The entertainment team were great, shows, magician and violinist. The entertainment team were energetic and fun during sessions of bingo and the white party and again interacting with the kids they always seemed to have time for everyone. In general the ship is very relaxed and you more or less wear what you want, we enjoy dressing up so did on a few occasions and didn't feel out of place at all. Ports were brilliant. A little short at times but with only a week we get that you can't be in a place all day. Unfortunately due to weather conditions we couldn't go to Mykonos which was really upsetting at the time. We did ask for compensation but they explained that it states in the contract If they can't dock due to weather conditions there is no compensation. We did on 3 occasions arrive at our port of call early giving us more time. The only negative I would say is the need for tender tickets. As everyone wanted to get off early people were queuing as early as 6.30 am to get the first tender tickets you need these for Montenegro, Santorini and Mykonos. That said they did escort you off the ship very quickly. With the exception to Montenegro where we were an hour late due to port difficulties. As NCL come in last at Santorini the cable car queue was not busy at all and we were up in no time, it's also great as you don't leave till 10pm at this port. It's the last ship to leave. If you are traveling during the summer holidays you do need to expect a lot of queuing: for tenders, restaurants on the ship and generally in the ports of call. We knew to expect this so went with a laid back attitude. But if you don't like the queues would recommend going out of school holidays. Our girls absolutely loved it and didn't want to leave. We didn't use the kids club but it looked great fun. Since the renovation they have obviously taken off the yellow slides and splash zone for the kids. Which we didn't know about, we were disppaointed when we boarded and noticed that it had gone. All in all a great fun ship with very good food and brilliant ports of call. We didn't take any excursions with NCL but arranged our own that would be more fun for the kids. We rented Harley Electric Scooters in Corfu and really got round the whole town and even found te locals beaches - we really saw a lot. For Santorini we rented a four seater Buggy which again was a lot of fun we saw a lot of the island Oía and Fira. In Argostoli we took a brilliant electric boat and cruised the lagoon spotted sea turtles. We walked the wall in Dubrovnik at 8am - completely worth it you see the whole of the old town with beautiful views. Then walked the old town. If we had more time we would have kayaked as well the water was beautiful. Everything we did was great fun and kept us as cool as possible considering it was August. It was a great family holiday with beautiful destinations. Would definitely sail NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I wanted to visit the Greek Isles and this cruise ship had the best itinerary. A group of 13 booked this cruise. I was a bit concerned that it was an older ship from the NCL fleet but was extremely happy with the ship size, public areas ... Read More
I wanted to visit the Greek Isles and this cruise ship had the best itinerary. A group of 13 booked this cruise. I was a bit concerned that it was an older ship from the NCL fleet but was extremely happy with the ship size, public areas and very helpful and friendly staff. The ship never felt cramped like on the newer NCL mega ships. Many of the venues on the ship are used for different activities, games and entertainment. Not just one area like on the Escape or Getaway. This use of different areas makes the crowd spread out instead of cramming everyone into the Atrium like on mega ships. Also more elevators. The crew and room steward where friendly and always willing to help. Only negative is that the specialty restaurant- LeBristo- took three hours for the dining experience. The Versailles restaurant was very good. After doing many cruises on the NCL mega ships I was very pleasantly surprised at how relaxed the feeling of the ship was. I think it’s time to roll back to the smaller ships. Less cabins but more space for people! Our entire group was very happy with the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
My youngest niece said "Daddy, can we go to Venice?" and that started a domino effect of trip planning so that by the time we booked, there were a total of 15 people travelling, two extended families including three kids, two ... Read More
My youngest niece said "Daddy, can we go to Venice?" and that started a domino effect of trip planning so that by the time we booked, there were a total of 15 people travelling, two extended families including three kids, two teenagers, five adults and five seniors, two with limited mobility. Once we got to the terminal at the Port of Venice where NCL handlers expertly took care of my mom in her wheelchair, we were fine but it was a nightmare before that. Our privately booked wheelchair accessible vaporetto had to cancel because it was too rough to transfer my mother safely so we took the regular Alilaguna to the cruise terminal. We were shocked to find absolutely no porters or baggage trolleys at the pier and the embarkation was nearly a kilometre away in 40 degree heat! I left my folks and the luggage in the shade and went ahead with my sister's family to see if I could find a shuttle to the ship or at least a porter. No luck. The security guys said they couldn't help because of union rules. Finally, I waved a 20 Euro bill at a taxi stand and said, "I need HELP!" None of that was NCL's fault but it might have been nice if there had been an NCL employee stationed at that end of the terminal to radio for assistance. We were treated like royalty once we got the bags dropped off and into the VIP check-in area. Embarkation took approximately 20 minutes and we were on-board not long after that. Dining would have been a lot easier if our group would have split into more manageable groups of 4 or 5 because trying to arrange 15 people at one table was near impossible. Some of our group was pretty unreasonable regarding times because they didn't want to miss a show but Karin the Concierge did her best to coordinate with our needs. Again, that's on us, not on NCL. I didn't care where or with whom I sat, I just wanted to enjoy the great food. As suite guests, we visited Moderno every morning for breakfast and wow, left-over churrascaria filet mignon for my steak and eggs...YES, PLEASE!!!!!! That was the best part of my trip, hands down but all of the restaurants were good. Our fantastic butler was Rosevy and she was always bringing us plates of fresh fruit and replenishing our ice bucket and helping my mom! She would let herself in, quiet as a mouse and we would find all kinds of surprises and treats when we awoke from a nap! This was my first time staying in a suite and honestly, I would never have thought the extra cost compared to an inside cabin was worth it...but now, I'm a bit spoiled. Never having to wait in line to get on the ship was a really nice perk. *sigh* I'm just going to have to sell some vital organs or pray to the upgrade fairy for my next cruise. *sigh* Our group loved the Trivia activity many times every day and it became our gathering spot to check in with one another. I personally didn't attend any entertainment so I cannot comment but I was most often found floating in the pool. On the last day of the cruise, I purchased a day-pass for the Thermal Suites and spent several hours soaking, lounging and snoring in the relaxation room. oops, sorry about that! It was so much quieter than the pool area. Since we had such a large group, we organized private tours at most of the ports of call and that suited our needs. Santorini in particular was a beautiful port. My dad had a bit of difficulty but it was his choice to go ashore and he was a trooper! The cruise did make it clear that it would be challenging to get around. When it came time to disembark, we had absolutely no problems. The entire process was swift and easy. Overall, the Norwegian Star was the perfect venue for our Mediterranean Family Adventure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I enjoyed my cruise if I could change a couple of things- 1. Restaurant service was very slow. Over all the food was good. The cafe was always very crowded but the quickest way to get food.The first stop on the ship was very disappointing ... Read More
I enjoyed my cruise if I could change a couple of things- 1. Restaurant service was very slow. Over all the food was good. The cafe was always very crowded but the quickest way to get food.The first stop on the ship was very disappointing because the tender tickets they did not have enough for all passengers. We had to wait until tender #17 and staffing was very rude to the remaining passengers who were very frustrated. Many people didn’t understand the process. We didn’t get off the ship until 430 pm . Other ports went well over all.Spa services I enjoyed and the deck. Food was ok, we didn’t do any of the specialty restaurant. Drinks we enjoyed, the beverage package was worth having. Excursions we picked were good. We didn’t make any of the shows on this trip due to dinner at 830 and the shows were at 930, we didn’t leave the restaurants before 1030. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We loved the different ports of call so we could see a variety of islands and towns. Our room was fabulous, made even better by the attentive services of our room steward, Resley. We were however disappointed to find out that even though ... Read More
We loved the different ports of call so we could see a variety of islands and towns. Our room was fabulous, made even better by the attentive services of our room steward, Resley. We were however disappointed to find out that even though we had the ultimate beverage package that the drinks in the room were extra. No mention of this in the book in the room under mini bar - not even any pricing. The butler was of no use - waste of time and money. We enjoyed the ship overall - great crew and the other passengers were fun too. We would definitely go again, with NCL, maybe on a smaller ship so we could enjoy more personal service. The embarkation and disembarkation procedures were pretty flawless, which made it easy to manage our time. The Le Bistro restaurant was an excellent experience with very attentive waiters/waitresses. We only participated in one planned shore excursion, which was perfect for us as we like to do our own thing and explore the different venues ourselves, getting as far away from the tourist attractions as possible. These ports of call allowed us to do that - we took an excursion in Dubrovnik, which we were glad about as it would have been too much to do on our own. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise simply because of the Itinary. Been on many cruises with rcl and po.(why do people insist of asking how many cruises you’ve been on as soon as you start a conversation only to take over the conversation telling you ... Read More
We chose this cruise simply because of the Itinary. Been on many cruises with rcl and po.(why do people insist of asking how many cruises you’ve been on as soon as you start a conversation only to take over the conversation telling you all about THEIR cruises )..... Only room we could get was inside so decided we would try and upgrade on board, so straight to guest services as soon as onboard to be met with signs “cruise fully booked “ Went to room as we left Venice to be met with a thunderous sound in cabin. Phoned guest services they said we will send a supervisor , as I put phone down cabin boy knocked and during our chat said the noise will leave now as we enter open water. As we spoke it stopped ...I phone guest services and cancelled complaint (that was a mistake). All good for a few days then three day in at 6am we were awoken with a crashing and banging noise from next door (store room) phoned gs and ll went quiet after 10 mins.no reply to complaint was sent by phone message or letter to room.. The following morning at 6.15 the thunderous noise started again !! I put bow cam on and noticed that we were going into terminal and that side thrusters were working , phoned gs and complained and they sent a supervisor. He came and said nothing to do with him as he was housekeeping !, what a waste of time !, back to gs and lodged a complaint they said they will look into it and get back to me. Later that day we returned spoke to another person who said well we left you a message yesterday and you never came back to us ??? At this point I asked for the gs supervisor who came and listened as I told her there had been no communication either by phone or letter and that if there had we would not be wasting our holiday time. At this point without explanation as to what happened she offered us a change of room (as there was a medical emergency) $100 added to our account and Chocs and wine in room. We took that and on return to our room to pack there were 2 phone messages asking us to contact gs plus two letters doing the same (covering their backsides I think). Apparently they are were still investigating where the noise comes from !!!! With dozens of highly trained engineers on that ship a two minute phone call would give them the answer they need (side thrusters ) but something tells me they already know what the issue is and realise they should not be letting that room out EVER !!! The rest of cruise was great apart from entertainment which in comparison to other cruises was poor. Oh and if you go to Santorini do not walk up or down to the town from cruise terminal as you’ll experience poor donkeys climbing and descending that steep incline in terrible conditions you’ll also have to avoid them if you walk as they push you up against the wall !!! And ladies don’t wear open toe shoes if you choose to walk, it’s not nice between your toes if you know what I mean........... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise because of the killer itinerary - Dubrovnik, Montenegro, four Greek Isles, plus no days as sea. (We have cruised many times, so we pick cruises for the ports; at-sea days are boring for us.) Unfortunately, because of ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the killer itinerary - Dubrovnik, Montenegro, four Greek Isles, plus no days as sea. (We have cruised many times, so we pick cruises for the ports; at-sea days are boring for us.) Unfortunately, because of the Venice cruise ship crash a month or so before our cruise, three days before our cruise the portmaster rescheduled departures and arrivals to allow more time between each ship, meaning our cruise no longer had time for Montenegro (and NCL did nothing to compensate us for losing that port, which was disappointing). But the itinerary was still excellent. We were cruising during peak season (July/August) and had read the horror stories about how crowded every place was. Being ready for that helped set our expectations and be tolerant of that. Reading the stories on cruisecritic about chaotic disembarking for non-NCL shore excursions and freelance visits, since NCL offered a $50 discount on each port, we booked NCL excursions for every port. (Saving ~20% by getting the four-port package also decreased the cost.) This made disembarking very orderly and efficient. (Pro Tip: get to the theater a little early for the excursions and you'll be the first group out, which will make the lines shorter at each stop along the way.) All of our NCL shore excursions were great, with entertaining guides. (Surprising, the only Greek isle we were not familiar with, Kefalonia, was our favorite.) We only ate at the free places on the ship and, despite what others have said, found the food very acceptable and typical of our other cruises. (If you don't like something, it's all free - just get something else!) As others have also mentioned, the buffet is almost always busy, but we only had to share a table once. The shows in the theater were not bad. Paradis and the magician & contortionist were excellent, Vegas was pretty good and the dancing couple were okay. Except for a couple instances, we found the service to be excellent in all areas. When we complained about banging under our cabin one morning, guest services followed up a couple times to make sure it didn't reoccur, and sent some chocolate strawberries (which seems to be the go-to - we saw many other cabins getting these as well). So, despite the complaints others have listed, overall we found this to be a typically good cruise with a great itinerary (and if you get Montenegro with yours, I'm sure it will be even better). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I have never sail with Norwegian. I chose this cruise line because it was a 10 days Eastern Mediterranean cruise with every day a new port (mainly Greek Islands) Every port of call were great. Sailing Itinerary Date Port of ... Read More
I have never sail with Norwegian. I chose this cruise line because it was a 10 days Eastern Mediterranean cruise with every day a new port (mainly Greek Islands) Every port of call were great. Sailing Itinerary Date Port of Call Arrival Departure 07/18/2019 Venice/Italy -- -- 07/19/2019 Venice/Italy -- 04:00 PM 07/20/2019 Split 08:00 AM 05:00 PM 07/21/2019 Kotor 07:00 AM 05:00 PM 07/22/2019 Corfu 07:00 AM 04:00 PM 07/23/2019 Thira/Santorini 02:00 PM 10:00 PM 07/24/2019 Athens/Piraeus 07:00 AM 07:00 PM 07/25/2019 Mykonos 07:00 AM 03:00 PM 07/26/2019 Argostolion 09:00 AM 03:00 PM 07/27/2019 Dubrovnik 07:00 AM 01:00 PM I wish we had more time in Dubrovnik 2 days before arriving in Dubrovnik the time to spend there was change We arrived at 6am and left at 12pm We had a tour scheduled at 10am till 12am and we couldn'd do it. I had a tour planned everyday except in Mikonos We booked only 2 tours through the cruise line. Split and Athens. The rest through Viator. Booking the Best of Athens and its scenic coast tour was a good thinking. This tour left Athens and drove along the coast We visited the the temple of Apollo and had lunch in a taverna (food was good) then at around 2:15 we arrived at the Acropolis . There was no wait to get in and we had a nice and very knowledgeable tour guide. (when we came back to the ship, people told us that they had to wait 50 minutes at the entrance of the Acropolis just to get in as it was so crowed with people) The crew on this ship was great. Our inside cabin was good and clean and was very surprise that the bathroom was large. I will say that the food was average. On this cruise ship, there was no lobster night and baked Alaska. The buffet at lunch was the same thing everyday. We only use seat down at dinner and every time we requested a window seat, they gave it to us. The entertainment was just amazing. I was very surprise by the quality of the shows. The choreographer is truly gifted Embarkation was fine debarkation was not great. We arrived late in Venice Lucky our plane was for the next day. Onboard experience was fine We really didn't spend much time as every day we were a shore My husband loved that it was a casual cruise and he didn't have to bring a suit. He brought just some nice shirts OVERALL JUST A GREAT CRUISE Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The Norwegian ship is my favorite and its itinerary included Venice, Italy Croatia, and the Greek islands which were the places we wanted to visit. We traveled with my two teenage daughters- 17 and 19 years old and had Senior citizens- 3 ... Read More
The Norwegian ship is my favorite and its itinerary included Venice, Italy Croatia, and the Greek islands which were the places we wanted to visit. We traveled with my two teenage daughters- 17 and 19 years old and had Senior citizens- 3 with us (their grandparents and my aunt). We had 3 cabins. My daughters found the teenage entertainment lacking, however they are used to larger ships as "The Breakaway" and all of the activities-including slides. The ports of call were beautiful and we had excursions in almost all. We ate at 4 Specialty restaurants and liked 'Cagney's" the best- although my parents were disaapointed to order a bottle of wine and have a charge of $14 added because it was uncorked- this is something that Norwegian should not do to their guests who have paid so much to travel with them (they did complain at guest services, but were told it's Norwegian's policy). We did not have any freebies as alcohol or beverage packages- siocne we had the early bird balcony guarantee. It was a memorable vacation since all of those places were so breathtaking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We LOVE NCL, and cruise with them yearly. This is our 8th NCL cruise in 6 years, and it was fantastic. We met some wonderful people on the ship, and actually planned another NCL cruise to Japan with 4 of them! The ship was immaculate, and ... Read More
We LOVE NCL, and cruise with them yearly. This is our 8th NCL cruise in 6 years, and it was fantastic. We met some wonderful people on the ship, and actually planned another NCL cruise to Japan with 4 of them! The ship was immaculate, and the staff that we interacted with were wonderful. The issue with this particular cruise was actually the other passengers. Unfortunately there were no activities on the pool deck, and the music wasn't even all that loud. We met quite a lot of people and formed a pretty big group of smokers, and we didn't see the cruise staff until the 5th day of the cruise. When we finally pinned the assistant cruise director down, he informed us all that people were complaining about the noise and activities on the pool deck, so they cancelled them all. Isn't that simply ridiculous? In addition, there weren't many activities offered, which was disappointing. The shows were magnificent; NCL always scores big in that area. As for the food, that also left a lot to be desired. The buffet hours were much more limited on this cruise, and there were not many options. What was out there was quite bland, and lacked much flavor. Sadly they never did a Greek night, which was disappointing because it was a Greek Isles cruise. Half the buffet was closed most of the time, and the entire buffet was usually closed by 10 at night. O'Sheehan's was 24 hours, but at night they have a very limited menu. The spinach/artichoke dip was watery and flavorless, as were the nachos. The wings were great, as was the reuben and the roast beef sandwich. The food in the specialty restaurants was magnificent, as was Ginza. The excursions were a bit chaotic as well, as they had a new procedure on this ship. Everyone went to the theater as always, but they gave you a sticker there, and then once everyone showed up, they called the group to go down for the tour. People wouldn't stay out of the exits, and many people were late, which delayed everyone's excursions. The excursions were good, but the overall organization was very chaotic and stressful, especially when we believe that being early is being on time, and we had to wait up to 40 minutes for people who were late. That's just selfish and unfair. Another crazy thing that really disappointed me: YOU HAVE TO REQUEST TOWEL ANIMALS!!! What's that all about? I was so disappointed with this one. I didn't find out until day 6 that I had to request towel animals; I was told that people complain so they stopped it. Something else that was very strange: they only had one English movie channel, and they played sad, depressing movies like "Five Feet Apart," "Stay Human," and "Penguins." I know you're not there to watch TV, but really? Overall, we met some really wonderful people, and had a fabulous time. We booked another cruise with NCL to Japan, and are planning to book more, but we won't sail on the Star again. Every ship is different, and you live and learn. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
11-Day Venice, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greek Islands. Fantastic itinerary! Breathtaking views on excursions and when entering & leaving ports! Heartstopping sunsets! No "at sea" days! I can't say enough good ... Read More
11-Day Venice, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greek Islands. Fantastic itinerary! Breathtaking views on excursions and when entering & leaving ports! Heartstopping sunsets! No "at sea" days! I can't say enough good things about the Norwegian Star staff. Everywhere I went, I was greeted with a warm, genuine smile, an enthusiastic welcome (and hand sanitizer), people asking how my day was, people asking if they could help me with anything. The Norwegian Star staff really made my vacation special! Norwegian staff were were there to help every step of the way. This was my first cruise, so I was relieved that clear instructions were always provided (and repeated multiple times), and important notifications (such as time zone changes and tendering procedures) were provided both on a print flyer delivered to my cabin, and in announcements over the loudspeaker. Read the daily flyers! A wide variety of activities was offered at all times of day and night. There was something for everyone! Norwegian Star offered activities and facilities for all different age groups, for solo travelers as well as couples, and for morning persons as well as night owls. Embarkation, disembarkation, and transportation (the cruise line transfers) were seamless. Having never cruised before, I was grateful that the written disembarkation instructions--which were delivered to my cabin in advance--clearly explained everything I needed to know about disembarkation, luggage, customs, and the airport transfer. My room steward reminded me when I needed to set my clock forward/back and on the night before disembarkation he reminded me that my luggage needed to be placed outside my door for pick-up by 11pm. I took eight Norwegian shore excursions. There was a wide variety of excursions offered, whether you want to exercise (hike, bike, kayak), or have a cultural experience, or a food & wine experience, or a beach day, ... There was an excursion available to satisfy any preference. The excursions I took were enjoyable and informative, and the views were spectacular! The guides were enthusiastic and full of knowledge. The only downside is that sometimes the wait times (standing in line) were extremely long (Melissani and Drogarati Cave), and sometimes the driving times were very long (Athens and Its Scenic Coast) but I didn't mind at all, because the view out the bus window was spectacular in both cases, and after hiking around the Acropolis in the sun, time on the bus to rest my feet and enjoy a beautiful coastal view before the next stop was welcome! Specialty Dining Restaurants: Le Bistro was superb! (I dined there twice!) La Cucina The service was excellent, and my appetizer (spaghetti carbonara) was outstanding, but my entree (osso buco) was disappointing because it had a thick salty overpowering brown sauce. It didn't taste at all like the osso buco that I've had in nice Italian restaurants. Cagney's was very good (but I'm from a large metropolitan city, so I've had better). Moderno was merely so-so; I wouldn't go back there unless it were complimentary. Buffet: Breakfast was good, but lunch and dinner and dessert were awful. One huge complaint I have about the buffet is that the quality and variety of fruit was poor. It was the same 4 fruits every day: apples, oranges, bananas, and melons. I don't like any of those. I was expecting berries, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, passion fruit. There were NEVER ANY BERRIES or any interesting fruits. The buffet entrees were oversalted. There were some theme days, such as German Food Day, Asian Food Day, Italian Food Day, etc. (I was disappointed that there was no Greek food, anywhere, ever, given that this was a Greek Islands cruise.) Vegetarian dishes were always available. The carving station was always good. I tried one dessert, and it was so horrible that I never tried dessert from the buffet again. It looked like flourless chocolate cake, but it tasted like a mouthful of powdered sugar with a flattened gummy bear on top. Kids would love it, adults would be well advised to stick to the soft ice cream. Buffet Salad Bar: Good quality (fresh), but lacking variety. Every day the same offerings: lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, spicy cooked green beans, and chickpeas. I would like to see some spinach, arugula, fresh broccoli, ... some variety. One day they also had beets and black beans at the salad bar, and I was happy to see that! Aqua and Versailles (Main Dining Rooms): I ate 3 dinners in the main dining rooms. The food was okay, but never wowed me. On the other hand, I had some AMAZING appetizers and desserts in the main dining rooms: The grilled vegetables with herbed olive oil and goat cheese was brilliant! The chocolate lava cake (warm center) with ice cream and strawberry sauce was to die for! That was better than any of the desserts I had in the specialty restaurants! The server always asked whether I had any food allergies. Servers were attentive and friendly. I also noticed another gentleman (not a server) who was ubiquitous in the restaurants--I will refer to him as "The Perfectionist"--He would walk around discreetly (and quickly) picking up anything that a guest may have dropped on the floor, and he would look for and quietly correct any other imperfections in the service and/or the appearance of the restaurant. In other words, he was trying to ensure that all dining guests would have a flawless dining experience. Alcoholic Beverages: Red wine is too warm. The quality of the mixed alcoholic drinks was poor, for the most part. The Margarita and the Mai Tai that I ordered at Spice H2O -- on two different days -- tasted awful and they were so sweet that I couldn't drink them. I was expecting the Margarita to be made from fresh lime juice, not a glass full of margarita mix. Lesson learned. I had the same reaction to the Strawberry Caprihinia that I ordered at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. It tasted like a mix that came out of a cardboard carton. I was expecting a handcrafted cocktail. One tasty drink that I had on the cruise was the lavender martini at Gatsby's. Also, some of the frozen drinks were quite tasty (but weak): Try the Buschwacker and the BBC if you like frozen drinks. Not for dieters. Entertainment: The most fun entertainment (to my surprise) were the comical movie parodies performed in the Bliss Lounge by the cruise director and his staff, after each one of which, the cruise guests had to guess which movie was being comically reenacted. It was hilarious! I nearly fell out of my chair laughing multiple times! The event was called "Movie Sketch" or something like that. I almost didn't attend, but I'm so glad I did! I also enjoyed the aerialists, the tap dancers, and the guy who balanced the 65 pounds of stacked wine glasses. "Vegas! The Show" was okay. The magician was okay. Sports & Recreation: There is a walking/jogging track on the top deck, a fitness center, shuffleboard, golf, and a variety of other activities for those who want to stay fit. Cruise Director (on the July 7-18, 2019 Cruise): Listening to this guy was some of the BEST entertainment on the Norwegian Star! He was hilarious! Seriously, the cruise would not have been the same with a different cruise director. I don't recall his name, but he's Australian. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
All in all a great cruise, nice ship, great weather, good service and food. Ship is nicely refurbished and fairly clean. BUT: be prepared to pay extra for absolutely everything and even for nothing ($15pppd “Service fee” ... Read More
All in all a great cruise, nice ship, great weather, good service and food. Ship is nicely refurbished and fairly clean. BUT: be prepared to pay extra for absolutely everything and even for nothing ($15pppd “Service fee” whether you like it or not!). Alcohol is ludicrously expensive, whether you buy a package or not ($14 for a mojito, $45 for a double shot of whisky). They try kid you you’re getting special deals and discounts but with mark-ups in the region of 6000%, you’re being screwed regardless. And excursions are terrible, insanely expensive, generally lame, chaotic disembarkation and you get herded around like cattle. Ended up sitting in the theatre for an hour and were the very last tender to leave the ship on 2 occasions! Don’t bother, just get off and do your own thing. Also a real shame Norwegian are doing very little to reduce their plastic consumption. Cutting out plastic straws just doesn’t cut it when they’re handing out 10000 plastic cups on average per day! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation (and disembarkation) was very straight forward and we were on the ship within 15 minutes of arriving. The ship is in a good state of repair and is clean. It’s true, it is a little difficult to navigate your way around and ... Read More
Embarkation (and disembarkation) was very straight forward and we were on the ship within 15 minutes of arriving. The ship is in a good state of repair and is clean. It’s true, it is a little difficult to navigate your way around and it’s frustrating when you know where you want to go but can’t get there because there are no doors for passenger access. That aside, this is the quietest and smoothest ship I’ve ever been on - no vibration, no rumbles, no drone of engines. We had an inside cabin which had everything we needed - good storage; roomy shower; great hairdryer; plenty of mirrors. We had a drinks package and found all drinks to be of high quality and served with generosity. Food was also of good quality in all restaurants and it was especially good to have so many to choose from. We enjoyed having the dining package (for speciality restaurants) and we’re very pleasantly surprised at the degree of choice on offer as well as the quality of the food. Service was excellent across the board. All of the staff seemed relaxed and happy yet very focused on doing a good job. We didn’t once experience anyone trying to sell us anything. The dress code is SUPER casual. I didn’t wear any of the clothes I’d taken for the evening instead wearing the clothes I’d taken for the daytime. But that led to a very relaxed and casual atmosphere. We didn’t particularly care for the entertainment overall although we did enjoy ‘Paradis’. Maybe it was geared more towards families than adults (understandably) and so we found it to be a bit dull and amateurish. It was also disappointing that there was no bar at the bow of the ship with sea views or an open air bar at the stern of the ship (apart from Spice H20 which has limited seating and was quite enclosed with limited views). On this itinerary the ship didn’t stay long in most ports (just a few hours) which didn’t bother us especially but I know some people were a bit disappointed by that. The gym was quite poor as it had no sea view and was quite small. That said the equipment was all in good order. The jogging deck was very good as the outside edge of the deck was screened off especially for running whereas walkers took an inside track. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this trip because of the ports and the timing worked with my grown children's and grandchild"s schedules. We had adjoining balcony rooms on deck 10 (starboard) and my son had a balcony on 9( port) so a great view always ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the ports and the timing worked with my grown children's and grandchild"s schedules. We had adjoining balcony rooms on deck 10 (starboard) and my son had a balcony on 9( port) so a great view always available. We came in early to avoid flight problems and to have extra time in Venice. The hotel associated with the Cruise line (Crown Plaza Quartro del Altro)was nearer the airport but located right on the train line (30 min.ride) to Venice, thus allowing us 2 full days and evening in Venice. The transports from the airport and to and from the Star was effortless and smooth. People were there to help every step of the way. Embarking and Disembarking went like clockwork and transportation was seamless. We left Venice at Sunset and the view was stunning. We arrived back at Sunrise....no better lighting to see Venice from the ship. All of our excursions were better than I anticipated in the views and experience offered although more physically challenging than I was anticipating (but I am 70). Staff was always friendly and very professional. Housekeeping was very friendly and did a wonderful job of caring for our rooms and our request. Room service in the morning was very timely and delicious to enjoy on our balcony. Meals in the dining rooms was fun, fancy and very good. Specialty Dining was very fun and took our celebrations of birthdays to a very fun level...loved the cake. The Spa was never crowded, the thermal suite was always available and never crowded. I had a perfect manny/peddy on our last day that was so wonderful. My granddaughter loved the Kid's Splash Academy although it was a little hard to locate on the ship. Signage could be better in public areas in terms of Aft/Forward...a few more public clocks with ship time would be helpful too...but all in all we never missed a thing. And I won in the casino! Thank you NCL. Only real criticism is the Magician the first night was awful...#MeToo people....old man humor..no, no! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have done the majority of our cruising on DCL but as our boys aged we decided to try other cruise lines. We cruised the Med last summer with RC and we wanted to experience sailing the Adriatic and I especially wanted to experience ... Read More
We have done the majority of our cruising on DCL but as our boys aged we decided to try other cruise lines. We cruised the Med last summer with RC and we wanted to experience sailing the Adriatic and I especially wanted to experience Venice. After much research, NCL offered us the best itinerary. Port times were short but we did enjoy the variety of places we visited. We stayed at Hotel Villa Rosa for a few days before the cruise. It is a short walk to the train station and about a 30-minute total walk to the port. We didn't use the people mover and found the walk easy. (I did notice it is still a 10-minute walk from the people mover to the port.) Venice is not a large suitcase friendly city and we saw many tourists struggling to navigate the many bridges with large suitcases. We are a family of four (17 and 13-year-old boys) and we only travel with carry on luggage. This trip, including before and after the cruise was a total of 16 days (5 flights, 5 trains, 2 hostels, 3 hotels) so we have learned to pack light and travel with fewer hassles. We booked in an inside stateroom on deck 12. The room worked well for us. There was plenty of room for our luggage and the bathroom was roomy compared to some of the hostels we have stayed at. The location was a 30-second walk to the pool deck and the Garden Buffet. I do wish the in-cabin movie selection was better. I know most people do not intend to spend a lot of time in their rooms but we do enjoy watching a movie as a way to unwind after a long day. This is a great perk on DCL. The room steward kept our room clean and we had no issues. We did have him push together the bottom beds to make a queen size bed, but this does really limit space in the cabin. We did enjoy some of the entertainment. The comedian/magician was entertaining as well as the aerialists. We did not care for the Tango dancers or the "big production" shows and ended up not staying more than a few minutes. We did the trivia and other family activities offered and they were enjoyable. We did not visit the casino and never encounter much smoke. There is smoking allowed at the Sky High bar but we usually just grabbed a drink and moved on. The Garden Buffet was good but people tend to needlessly line-up. There are multiple buffet lanes but the lines at the first lanes were always long. *Pro tip* head to the port side of the buffet for more buffet lanes and more seating. We never had to wait for a table on the port side and the furthest buffet lane was always empty even the omelette station was no waiting. The service in the restaurants was hit or miss. Versaille was much better than Aqua. I did have to get the head waiter involved with our unacceptable service in Aqua. He did his best to take care of us the next evening. O'Sheehan's was a lesson in patience and they always seemed understaffed, but the food was good. It wasn't terrible service just not at the level we were expecting. There is only one pool but seven hot tubs. There are a lot of loungers and for those looking to sunbathe there was plenty of room but it may not have been on the pool deck. Disembarkation was very smooth and we did utilize self assist. We ate in the buffet and headed off the ship about 9:00 am. We walked to the train station to catch our 10:50 train to Milan. PORTS We found out after we boarded that our stop in Kotor was changed to Bar, Montenegro. I was super bummed about missing Kotor! The ship docked in Bar and port time was 4:30-9:30 pm. The dock is in an industrial area and passengers are shuttled to the city center. Bar is a regular city with not much to offer tourists, but they do have a beautiful church. Our plan was to find Avis and rent a car for a few hours. We never did find Avis but in a strange twist of fate we ended up renting a car from a resident and driving the 45 minutes to Budva. It was a nice drive and Budva was a quaint city with a walled old town to explore. We drove back to Bar and checked out the "Oldest Olive Tree" and dropped the car back off. We headed back to the city center and grabbed the shuttle back to the ship. Corfu 10-3:30 Dock We walked the 20-25 minutes to the Old Fortress. We climbed to the top to see the views. It was challenging since it was pretty hot, but the views were worth it. We then walked a short distance to a bar/restaurant named Imabari that offers a swimming area. We ordered a few drinks and enjoyed the water and the views. Around 2:30 we headed back to the ship. Santorini 2-9:30 Tender It was announced that tender tickets were going to be handed out starting at 11am in the Bliss lounge. I was worried about the tender process and I did not want to end up waiting for hours for a tender so I grabbed a book and headed to the Bliss lounge at 8:30. There was one other person waiting. The staff came by and said we didn't have to line up for tender tickets but we were completely content with waiting and soon the line grew pretty long. The crew started handing out the tender ticket at 10:40 and we got tender #1. By the time I left the lounge, they were on tender #5. We expected the tenders to start being called at 2 but we arrived early and the crew started calling tenders at 12:30. The process was very quick and the tenders held around 200 people. We were on that first tender. At the tender port, we took the high-speed boat to Oia. It was 15 Euros a person which included the boat, bus to Oia and then a bus to Thira. We had decided to do the 11km /6-mile walk to Thira from Oia. It was a tough hike that took about 3 hours but the scenery was beautiful. After we arrived in Thira we took in the sunset and then walked down the donkey trail to catch the 9:15 tender back to the ship. It was an amazing day! Mykonos 8-2:30 tender We took today easy and did not worry about getting on an early tender. We got on a tender around 9-9:30 and just walked along the water to the 5 windmills. We explored the area for a while and decided to check out Mykonos Brewing Company. It was a 20-minute walk from the main tourist area. The brewery was great. They offered a flight of 6 beers for 10 Euros. The beers were very fresh and the staff was friendly. We walked back to the tender pick up spot and got back on the ship. Argostoli, Kefalonia 9-2:30 Dock We rented a car from Thalassa Car rental. It was really smooth and they were waiting at the dock for us. We drove to Melissani cave and did the boat ride. We drove to Asos to climb to the Venetian castle ruins. The lookout for Myrtos beach is along the way and we stopped for some pictures. We ran into a road closure on the way back to Argostoli which added a little stress but we made it back at 2:20 and joined a long line of other passengers embarking. Dubrovnik, Croatia 7:30-12:30 pm Dock We were able to disembark around 7:15 and headed to the ATM at the port to get some local currency. We took the 275 Kuna (50 Euro) 1-hour panoramic cab tour. The prices are set by the local government so all cabs charge the same. The tour was great and included wonderful views of the walls and a brief history of Croatia. Our driver dropped us at the Pile Gate. I had bought tickets to walk the walls online to avoid the lines. Walking the walls is a great experience, but it was hot and bottled water along the walls was expensive. It took us about 90 minutes to complete the whole walk. We spent some time exploring a farmers market and around 11 decided to walk back to the port. The walk was easy and less than 3 miles. I heard from other passengers that the shuttle buses were very slow and traffic to and from the port was very heavy. There were 3 cruise ships in port when we were there. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this itinerary because we were celebrating a milestone birthday, it was out of Venice, and we hadn't been to the Greek Islands yet. The itinerary was fantastic and we really enjoyed each stop. With no at-sea days and ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because we were celebrating a milestone birthday, it was out of Venice, and we hadn't been to the Greek Islands yet. The itinerary was fantastic and we really enjoyed each stop. With no at-sea days and limited times at each stop, some may find it more rushed, but we thought it was great. Entertainment - The two productions were great, as were the aerial gymnasts. We did not attend the flamenco or magician shows. The Five O'Clock Somewhere bar was a good location for the karaoke, which they did every other night. For a European cruise it seemed odd that there was so much live Latin music. Also, the casino and gym are tiny - not big enough to support over 2,000 guests on the ship. Food - the quality of the food in the specialty restaurants were fantastic, and the service was good. We would rank them as Le Bistro the best, Cucina second, and Cagney's third best. We did not go to Moderno or Teppanyaki. We were not huge fans of the Ginza restaurant - it tasted like typical food you get from a local Chinese food restaurant. We did not go the main dining room or the buffet, so can't comment on those. Ship - seemed to be in good shape for an older ship. It never seemed overly packed (except in the Casino) and the H20 and pool areas is well designed with alot of space. The flow near the Spa/Gym seemed strange - we could never get there direct and it seemed like we were always walking through the buffet to get there. Service - the service was great throughout the cruise. The staff was always helpful and approachable. Overall, we would definitely sail the Star again and would do this itinerary again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this ship as it holds only 2,400, had recently been refurnished and went to Venice. We booked our own flight cheaper than Norwegian and stayed in Venice an extra day. We stayed at the Hotel Agli Artisti right by the train ... Read More
We chose this ship as it holds only 2,400, had recently been refurnished and went to Venice. We booked our own flight cheaper than Norwegian and stayed in Venice an extra day. We stayed at the Hotel Agli Artisti right by the train station and Plaza Roma. It is a 3 star clean nothing fancy but served the purpose. Took the people mover from Plaza Roma to the cruise ship and followed the white lines still lots of walking as our ship was the furthers away. Embarkation was a bit confusing as to where and what you should be doing. We had a sail away inside cabin which the ships assigned and were on the 8th floor front no problems. Room was small but quiet not much storage too many pillows on bed and no where to put them. Dining main buffet was okay for a quick breakfast or lunch lots of tables outside and inside. We are in Versailles main dining for dinner great food and service. No wait as we went right when they opened for the evening meal at 5:30pm. One night we ate at Aqua didn't enjoy as much too noisy and not as great as service but same menu as Versailles. We didn't do any specialty restaurants. Pool is small for amount of people lots of lounge chairs loud music playing all the time. Entertainment was hit and miss a couple of excellent production evenings and a couple of wipe outs like the tango dancers. Disembarkation was confusing but lucky we arrived early 1 1/2 hours and finally got off the time we were scheduled for. Service was great on ship. Only complaint I would have the times in port were short. Kotor was tendered and it was a disaster. The day before you line up for a number and we got group 12. First they do people taking tours then silver and platinum members and then the groups. You couldn't hear what group they were calling and where you should go and it took us 1 1/2 hours to get off. Each boat only holds 90 people. Kotor was only 3pm to 8pm so not a lot of time. Corfu took shuttle from boat to pier and then local bus for 1.50Euro and toured the old town via a walking tour. Santorini was tendered also more effecient as the boats heal 300 each. We took the ship tour of winery and Oia. Ship arrived 3 hours early so lost that time we could have been off the ship only there 2 to 10pm. Very crowded and busy waited over 1 hour for cable car to go down to port. Mykonos took ship shuttle to port gates and walked around took Sea Bus $2 euros to port. Argostolion walked around town very clean and new. Dubrovnik not much time there 7:30am to 1:30pm so took ship shuttle for $15 return to old town and walked around and took a glass bottom boat tour for 10Euro. We would sale Norwegian again love their food and ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Food and service at the Le Bistro was very poor. So much so that we complained and were offered a free return visit, but we chose to not even waste an evening trying again. On the other hand, Cagney's was excellent and we ate there ... Read More
Food and service at the Le Bistro was very poor. So much so that we complained and were offered a free return visit, but we chose to not even waste an evening trying again. On the other hand, Cagney's was excellent and we ate there twice. The "included" meals were maybe a small step above institutional...not much to brag about. The menu at the "Irish Pub" was very limited and, no surprise, the place was almost always a ghost town. Someone needs to look at what your typical "brew pub" in America looks like in terms of offerings and decor, and re-brand it accordingly, including a greatly expanded menu. For some specific feedback, I had the "Buffalo" wings; but they must have mixed the Buffalo Sause with the Asian Sause because they came sweet and syrupy (or maybe they're just the same sauce). The Fitness Center was maintained at too warm a temperature. The aerobic equipment was a cheap off-brand focused more on the electronics and display than quality of the equipment. Every piece I tried, I found the movement/body motion to be unnatural, and, due to their light weight, they couldn't hold-up to my rigorous activity level and 200 pound weight (wobbled wildly). One elliptical kept freezing and had to be restarted (power on/off) several times by the attendant. The process for calling excursions and getting your number stickers seemed to change every day. Made it difficult to be smart about where to sit and wait for our number to be called while minimizing unnecessary steps up and down the steep theater aisles. We purchased the four-excursion package which was advertised to offer 20% savings on those four, PLUS 20% off on any additional excursions purchased that cruise. The extra 20% off additional excursions was not reflected on our final bill and I had to go down to guest services right before disembarking to get it corrected. After a few phone calls, the agent adjusted the bill, but then could only give me a refund in USD cash...quite useless in Venice (why not back onto same credit card???). Bottom line is that I should not have had to ask for the discount; it should have been automatically applied. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my first cruise on Norwegian. I was looking to sail the Greek Isles for some time and wanted to marry it with a side trip to Venice. This one came up in my search so I jumped at the chance and booked it. Six friends traveled ... Read More
This was my first cruise on Norwegian. I was looking to sail the Greek Isles for some time and wanted to marry it with a side trip to Venice. This one came up in my search so I jumped at the chance and booked it. Six friends traveled together and we all had a wonderful time. The food in the dining rooms (Aqua, Versailles & O'Sheehan's) was great. I found the buffet lacking in variety. It was difficult to find a table on occasion, especially at peak times. The excursions were good but Kefalonia can use some tweaking. All of the Norwegian tour buses showed up at Melissani Lake at the same time and we waited in the hot sun for over an hour. The boat tour of the lake was cut from 20 minutes to 10 because of the large volume of tourists. Personally, I would skip Corfu and add more time to Dubrovnik. It was a pity that this port time was so short. So beautiful and so little time to experience it. The staff onboard were terrific - friendly, courteous and helpful. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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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