1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Star
Random thoughts from our 3/29/15 sailing on the NCL Star: This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 21st overall. Have sailed with most of the major cruise lines, including two around the world cruises. Parking at the San Pedro pier very easy and convenient, but expensive ($112 for the week). We had considered the Crown Princess which had an identical itinerary (Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta), but reports of the norovirus being prevalent on that ship spooked us. Embarkation was quick and easy…made easier because we were allowed to go into the Latitudes line as Silver members. Took us 5 minutes. We had 3 bottles of wine in our suitcase, which they confiscated. Had to pay $15 corkage ransom to get them back. I asked the check-in lady if any body ever shows up without their proper documentation (passports, etc.) and she says it happens all the time. Mini suite ok…just a bigger version of a regular balcony cabin with a bigger bathroom. But having the extra room was nice. Big balcony. It had brand new mattresses as a result of the dry dock. Closet not very well designed…too close to the bed and hard to get to the shelves inside. TV channels aren’t very good, not a very good variety, and the TV remote didn’t work very well. Too many light switches in the cabin…hard to figure out what switches turn on what lights. Bring a travel clock. The only clock in the room was on the phone, and it was very hard to read (not lit). Not very many clocks around the ship. We chose to turn off our cell phone service during the cruise. Sprint charges international roaming rates, and had warned us that some people come home to $500+ cell phone bills, mostly from data. Even though it was available and working, we did not choose to use the IConcierge app…didn’t really feel we had a need for it. The results of the Star’s dry dock were fantastic. The ship was in very good shape. Had heard they spent $25+ million on it. They were not doing any additional work during our cruise. The new photo center looks like an Apple store. But didn’t care for the new bar – 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar…too sterile. Gatsby’s, Mojito, and O’Sheehans bars are much better. Because the ship is a little bit older than most, it has sort of a “Classic” feel with wood trim, etc. Not a big fan of the Freestyle “dress code”, too many people under dressed…tank tops, crappy shorts, etc. And too many tattoos. Not a fun sight when you’re trying to enjoy a meal. Ship easy to get around…after the second day we had all the shortcuts nailed down. Tip: if you have to get from one end of the ship to the other, go down the stateroom hallway expressways (decks 8-11), instead of trying to navigate through the public areas. Our cabin – 11108 on the starboard side was nice…could sit out on the balcony and watch the sunsets on the way down to Mexico. Our cabin was close to the stairs and elevator…very convenient. All the ship’s personnel, especially the room stewards, were very friendly. We ate at our dinners entirely at the Specialty restaurants. Had the UDP. We had booked them all about two months before the cruise, and got into all the restaurants we wanted at the times we wanted. If you wait to book until you board, it may be too late for some of the restaurants, especially Teppanyaki, which can only hold 12 people. There was no 18% service charge added to our restaurant bills, nor were we charged an extra $10 for the lobster at Le Bistro. In hindsight, I probably would’ve chosen the UBP instead, so I wouldn’t have to worry about the money I was spending on drinks. As it turned out, I spent a little more than $240 on drinks…the cost of two UDPs…so about a wash. Bars were always busy. I saw on more than one occasion people waiting 5-10 minutes to get a drink. The bartenders need extra help. With the exception of Ginza and O’Sheehans, the food was excellent in all the restaurants: Teppanyaki, Cagney’s, Le Bistro, La Cucina, and Moderno. Ginza not so great…very bland food. You can do better at your local Chinese restaurant. O’Sheehan’s simply didn’t have good food…not very tasty and poorly prepared. Cagney’s was our favorite. Even if you have to spend $30 pp, it’s worth it. Le Bistro also worth going to….enjoyed the lobster and the chocolate fondue. Ate at Versailles for breakfast and lunch a few times…food was very good…especially the French toast. Chocolate/orange mousse desert was scrumptious. Cheescake was a little mushy. Service at the restaurants was quick. Compared to some other posts that I’ve read here, dinners didn’t take 2-3 hours…only 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours max for us…very little waiting. Most shows were good…lots of song and dance, comedian, and magician/comedian. “Band on the Run” during the second night was just OK. Latitudes perks I don’t think are very valuable…a couple of wine and cheese parties, a pin, some discounts, and a mini chocolate on your pillow every night. Can’t they do more? As a result of the dry dock, the fitness center had brand new equipment throughout, new floor, etc. It was very nice, and very uncrowded. Cabo San Lucas port….not sure how we got them, but group #1 tender tickets magically appeared under our door. (maybe because we’re silver Latitudes members?) Cabo tenders were crowded but efficient. Saw Mexican military patrol boats in every one of the harbors…were they there to protect us / prevent an incident? Not a whole lot of activities on board compared to other cruises we’ve been on…actually got bored during some sea days. Never understood the obsession with shopping for watches and jewelry on a cruise ship. Why is this so popular? Overall a good cruise…my kids (15, 17) enjoyed it very much. Good way to spend time with the family.

NCL Star - A Good Ship, A Good Time

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by Shawn5

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2015
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
Random thoughts from our 3/29/15 sailing on the NCL Star:

This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 21st overall. Have sailed with most of the major cruise lines, including two around the world cruises.

Parking at the San Pedro pier very easy and convenient, but expensive ($112 for the week).

We had considered the Crown Princess which had an identical itinerary (Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta), but reports of the norovirus being prevalent on that ship spooked us.

Embarkation was quick and easy…made easier because we were allowed to go into the Latitudes line as Silver members. Took us 5 minutes.

We had 3 bottles of wine in our suitcase, which they confiscated. Had to pay $15 corkage ransom to get them back.

I asked the check-in lady if any body ever shows up without their proper documentation (passports, etc.) and she says it happens all the time.

Mini suite ok…just a bigger version of a regular balcony cabin with a bigger bathroom. But having the extra room was nice. Big balcony. It had brand new mattresses as a result of the dry dock.

Closet not very well designed…too close to the bed and hard to get to the shelves inside.

TV channels aren’t very good, not a very good variety, and the TV remote didn’t work very well.

Too many light switches in the cabin…hard to figure out what switches turn on what lights.

Bring a travel clock. The only clock in the room was on the phone, and it was very hard to read (not lit). Not very many clocks around the ship.

We chose to turn off our cell phone service during the cruise. Sprint charges international roaming rates, and had warned us that some people come home to $500+ cell phone bills, mostly from data.

Even though it was available and working, we did not choose to use the IConcierge app…didn’t really feel we had a need for it.

The results of the Star’s dry dock were fantastic. The ship was in very good shape. Had heard they spent $25+ million on it. They were not doing any additional work during our cruise. The new photo center looks like an Apple store. But didn’t care for the new bar – 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar…too sterile. Gatsby’s, Mojito, and O’Sheehans bars are much better.

Because the ship is a little bit older than most, it has sort of a “Classic” feel with wood trim, etc.

Not a big fan of the Freestyle “dress code”, too many people under dressed…tank tops, crappy shorts, etc. And too many tattoos. Not a fun sight when you’re trying to enjoy a meal.

Ship easy to get around…after the second day we had all the shortcuts nailed down. Tip: if you have to get from one end of the ship to the other, go down the stateroom hallway expressways (decks 8-11), instead of trying to navigate through the public areas.

Our cabin – 11108 on the starboard side was nice…could sit out on the balcony and watch the sunsets on the way down to Mexico.

Our cabin was close to the stairs and elevator…very convenient.

All the ship’s personnel, especially the room stewards, were very friendly.

We ate at our dinners entirely at the Specialty restaurants. Had the UDP. We had booked them all about two months before the cruise, and got into all the restaurants we wanted at the times we wanted. If you wait to book until you board, it may be too late for some of the restaurants, especially Teppanyaki, which can only hold 12 people.

There was no 18% service charge added to our restaurant bills, nor were we charged an extra $10 for the lobster at Le Bistro.

In hindsight, I probably would’ve chosen the UBP instead, so I wouldn’t have to worry about the money I was spending on drinks. As it turned out, I spent a little more than $240 on drinks…the cost of two UDPs…so about a wash.

Bars were always busy. I saw on more than one occasion people waiting 5-10 minutes to get a drink. The bartenders need extra help.

With the exception of Ginza and O’Sheehans, the food was excellent in all the restaurants: Teppanyaki, Cagney’s, Le Bistro, La Cucina, and Moderno. Ginza not so great…very bland food. You can do better at your local Chinese restaurant. O’Sheehan’s simply didn’t have good food…not very tasty and poorly prepared.

Cagney’s was our favorite. Even if you have to spend $30 pp, it’s worth it. Le Bistro also worth going to….enjoyed the lobster and the chocolate fondue.

Ate at Versailles for breakfast and lunch a few times…food was very good…especially the French toast. Chocolate/orange mousse desert was scrumptious. Cheescake was a little mushy.

Service at the restaurants was quick. Compared to some other posts that I’ve read here, dinners didn’t take 2-3 hours…only 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours max for us…very little waiting.

Most shows were good…lots of song and dance, comedian, and magician/comedian. “Band on the Run” during the second night was just OK.

Latitudes perks I don’t think are very valuable…a couple of wine and cheese parties, a pin, some discounts, and a mini chocolate on your pillow every night. Can’t they do more?

As a result of the dry dock, the fitness center had brand new equipment throughout, new floor, etc. It was very nice, and very uncrowded.

Cabo San Lucas port….not sure how we got them, but group #1 tender tickets magically appeared under our door. (maybe because we’re silver Latitudes members?) Cabo tenders were crowded but efficient.

Saw Mexican military patrol boats in every one of the harbors…were they there to protect us / prevent an incident?

Not a whole lot of activities on board compared to other cruises we’ve been on…actually got bored during some sea days.

Never understood the obsession with shopping for watches and jewelry on a cruise ship. Why is this so popular?

Overall a good cruise…my kids (15, 17) enjoyed it very much. Good way to spend time with the family.
Shawn5’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Star price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MX 11108
Mini suite ok…just a bigger version of a regular balcony cabin with a bigger bathroom. But having the extra room was nice. Big balcony. It had brand new mattresses as a result of the dry dock.

Lots of wood...very classic feel.

Closet not very well designed…too close to the bed and hard to get to the shelves inside.

TV channels aren’t very good, not a very good variety, and the TV remote didn’t work very well.

Too many light switches in the cabin…hard to figure out what switches turn on what lights.

Water pressure not great, but adequate.

Bring a travel clock. The only clock in the room was on the phone, and it was very hard to read, and not lit. Not very many clocks around the ship.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins