1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Our 7-day Mediterranean cruise was fantastic. We left from Venice after staying there overnight in August (HEAVY tourist season - glad we didn't stay longer). We checked in at like 11:30 (technically embarkation started at 12), gave ... Read More
Our 7-day Mediterranean cruise was fantastic. We left from Venice after staying there overnight in August (HEAVY tourist season - glad we didn't stay longer). We checked in at like 11:30 (technically embarkation started at 12), gave them our bags, then walked back to Venice to get lunch and spend a little more time there. I didn't expect things to be happening on the ship before we departed - would have been nice to know but it probably wouldn't have changed anything. Embarkation a few hours later was super quick and painless and our luggage was just arriving at our room which was nice. Disembarkation was similarly easy and relaxed because we had a train to catch to Florence at 11am and we got to stay onboard to enjoy one last breakfast (in a free restaurant). We had the Ultimate Beverage Package - a wonderful and key addition, and the 3-meal specialty dining, where we went to the French, Italian, and hibachi restaurants. The French one (the "fancy" one) was easily the best and nicest, though the other two also had good food and experiences. The bars on the top decks got SO crowded during the afternoons when the outside crowd was at its peak so you had to wait several minutes for whatever drink you wanted, no matter how simple or complex. I think it'd be nice if they could somehow figure ways to have an expedited line for simple drinks (beer, wine, premade/two-ingredient cocktails, etc). Despite making TONS of cocktails everyday, I give so much credit to the bartenders who were all really great and consistently provided great service with a smile. Same goes for all the servers and everybody else onboard - service and cheerfulness was amazing! Drinks would be quite expensive a la carte without the beverage package - I feel like we got our money's worth with quantity and variety, but even so, it would be a significantly worse experience without the beverage package, even if it may have even ended up slightly cheaper. The entertainment crew and nightly shows were all amazing and so fun and well done. We loved seeing the entertainment crew everyday across the ship and interacting with them in different activities. We did trivia a lot and for some reason it was very geography-based (I.e. which country/sea/etc. is the biggest/smallest/etc.) but I suppose they wanted to be accessible to all crowds, even if it wasn't super diverse of a trivia experience 1-2 times a day throughout the cruise. And it was still fun playing, especially with the great hosts. Easily my biggest gripe with the on-board experience was that I paid so much for the all-inclusive cruise and it felt like I was being sold on extras all cruise long, whether that be photos or CruiseNext deposits or the duty-free store or even bingo. Why not even offer a single free bingo for fun??? (I guess because it's obvious a lot of people will in fact pay for it...?) Don't even get me started on the "free" health or well-being seminars... After curiously staying for a seminar immediately following a raffle (the main way they rope you in), I regretted being guilted into staying for a 15-20 minute strong sales pitch for an expensive product by the fitness guru onboard. My only other main gripe was dining, specifically the chaos that was the main buffet dining hall and the unimpressive/occasional lack of vegetarian options. The Garden Cafe buffet was very big, but somehow not big enough. I can't entirely blame NCL for it (unless it's a ruse to sell more dining packages...?), but we very quickly learned that if we continued going there instead of the restaurants (even if just the free ones), we would have had a worse overall experience - not at all relaxing to eat at the buffet, even with the good selection and variety. And speaking of which, I expected the inclusivity and variety of the cruise to at least have strong vegetarian options (and hopefully even some vegan ones), but the latter would have been very difficult to do consistently and even the former seemed to be occasionally lacking, not necessarily in the buffet but notably in the restaurants. The only other thing to write about was shore excursions and we did one everyday through NCL, which definitely made it easier and more convenient. In fact one port call had to get cancelled due to weather and we immediately got refunded for our paid excursion, no effort necessary. All the excursions ranged from very good to really great, and the local tour guides were all great. There was a good variety of options and even though the tours were larger size than ideal (20-30+) and some ports (I'm looking at you Santorini) were really crowded, they still all ended up being great experiences. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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: 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
The NCL experience is why we keep coming back. The Greek Isles Cruise out of Venice did not disappoint. Although we had to skip the Montenegro port (due to the changes in Venice port), the remainder of the ports were amazing. There ... Read More
The NCL experience is why we keep coming back. The Greek Isles Cruise out of Venice did not disappoint. Although we had to skip the Montenegro port (due to the changes in Venice port), the remainder of the ports were amazing. There were NCL tours for all ages and abilities. Venture through Kings Landing fed our Game of Thrones fix. The Greece tours Best of Corfu, Greek Style Celebration - Opa! (Santorini) and Melissani, Meze & Ouzo (Argostoli) all were informative and includes the best food and fun. We have sailed on the Star previously (2012). We like the smaller ships, less passengers and easier to maneuver about the ship. The cabin was perfect for our needs. The steward took care of our needs. My wife hurt her should the day before embarkation. He ensured we had ice in our cabin at all times. The dining was wonderful. The restaurants, both included and specialty, have great menus, serve and ambiance. We used the buffet mainly for breakfast and lunch. Food allergies and needs were at the forefront in each dining spot. The only improvement would be reservations for specialty restaurants. They are not for spontaneous dining. From past experience, we knew the difficulties, so we booked ahead based on our excursion plans and ports. Whether the music through out the ship or shows in the theater, the entertainment was great. An improvement can be made for the theater shows. Once the shows started, guests continued to come in. It interfered with viewing. There didn’t seem to be enough NCL staff to monitor it. I would suggest no further entry once the show starts. Embarkation was fine. There was an hour delay in our hotel to port transfer. Unsure of the reason. It was raining in Venice, and we stood in the rain. Luckily, we brought an umbrella. Once inside, we moved through the line quite quickly. We filled out the short health questionnaire while on line. Disembarkation was quite easy as we had a post hotel stay. We automatically were set up. The latitudes rewards were also great...discounts for excursions, on board purchases and even a bottle of champagne in our cabin are all worth it. The spa was fabulous. Purchased the thermal spa passes...worth it! Next time may book spa cabins that have it included. Booked massages and acupuncture...the staff was professional and the services amazing. The acupuncture helped relieve my wife’s should injury. Would we go again? ABSOLUTELY. We already signed up for CruiseNext putting deposits on future cruises. 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
This is our second cruise with Norwegian and we will use them again, Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. This ship was updated and quite nice. Our cabin on deck 10 was great. Housekeeping was always pleasant and friendly. All ... Read More
This is our second cruise with Norwegian and we will use them again, Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. This ship was updated and quite nice. Our cabin on deck 10 was great. Housekeeping was always pleasant and friendly. All cruise staff appeared happy and friendly. Dining was excellent. All the restaurants we tried were great. Our favourite was LaBistro. Elegant. The entertainment was great for the most part. We Thoroughly enjoyed the dancers and aerialists. The destinations were beautiful. Each place had its own unique flair; for spectacular blues, stark whites, dark greens, breathtaking beaches etc. You need to watch as the ship goes through the fiords to Montenegro. Shore excursions were well worth it. We saw more locations the we would have on our own. Be careful of hop on hop off cruise excursion in Venice. The ship docks later there so we didn’t get to go to many of the stops because the hop on hop off ends too soon from when the ship docks. Overall I would recommend this cruise. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Our cruising buddies decided to Greece and asked us to go along - it ended up being 4 mature (well maybe not so mature) couples. We all flew into Venice a couple of days early to enjoy this amazing city. We stayed at a little hotel about 1 ... Read More
Our cruising buddies decided to Greece and asked us to go along - it ended up being 4 mature (well maybe not so mature) couples. We all flew into Venice a couple of days early to enjoy this amazing city. We stayed at a little hotel about 1 mile away from San Marcos Square - a nice, quiet place - but it was a little far to walk to meet our friends. Our friends stayed at a hotel right around the corner from the square - which was much better. Had a wonderful time in Venice before and after the cruise and would highly recommend getting there a few days early to enjoy the city. The ship is an older ship but well maintained - we had no issues with anything except my friend complaint about the awful WIFI connections on the ship (she works while away and its important to her to stay in touch) She purchased the regular WIFI package and when she complained to the customer service desk she was told that she should have purchased the upgraded WIFI package - which only the first 100 people receive and she was never told about - she asked them to upgrade her and they would not comply. In fact they never got back to her. Our cabin was fine - we had an Ocean View cabin which we usually get just to have a little light in the room - the other 3 couples had inside cabins and also had no complained. Our cabin stewardess was a sweet girl from China and she made sure our room was clean and made up every day. No towel animals but we did not ask for them and not sure if they still do them. We ate at the Aqua Dining room and never had to wait. My hubby and I had lunch in the other main dining room (which is larger) several time and service was great in both restaurants. One night we decided to try the Chinese Restaurant (no charge) and we all felt that it was not very good - but hey it was free so no loss. We did not use any pay for restaurants on this trip. We did not go to any shows since this was a 7 day cruise and we were in ports every day. Did go to the casino most nights - and did not win - but our friends won some money and enough casino credits to receive another free cruise. (we don't spend enough to qualify) The drink package (which was included in the cost of the cruise )was great - if you wanted a drink that went above the price allowed for the drinks you just paid the difference. I think I had one martini that went over and my charge was $3.00.. so no big deal. We booked 2 shore excursions thru NCL but one was cancelled by NCL - we changed ports and instead of going to Kotor, Montenegro we ended up in Bar Montenegro- could have skipped that port - we got off and walked around - it was hot and miserable. All other ports were great. In Corfu we took the Hop on Hop off bus and just drove around the island - there are some wonderful beaches along the way - highly recommend getting off the bus and having a dip in the ocean. In Santorini we took a ship tour because I had read that it was hard getting off the ship (it was a tender port) with 2300 people all attempting to get off at the same time. The tour took us on a boat to the other side of the Island and so we did not have to stand in line to take the cable car up. A drive around the beautiful Island and an hour stop at Oia - which was very crowded but had amazing views and great waffles for a snack. The Island of Mykonos ended up being our favorite Island - no tours needed - we walked and walked thru this quaint town and stopped and had a lovely lunch at one of the sea side restaurant. Argostoli was next - had never heard of this island but it ended up being second on our list of favorite islands. We walked to see the turtles in the ocean - we rented a peddle boat and went out to see them - what fun. We also ended up having lunch at an amazing Greek restaurant - nothing like fresh Greek Food when in Greece. I know that most people rush back to the ship to eat but we love trying out new food in different countries. So take your time and eat the food and drink the wine - it's an experience in itself. Last stop was Dubrovnik, Croatia. We took the shuttle to the town - got there early so it was not to busy and walked around this amazing town. Our friends went and walked around on the wall and said it was a great experience - we sat and had Croatian dessert and cappuccino.. Back to Venice for one more night and a long flight home. All in all a great cruise, and we would do it again - I think next time Spain is on the list. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Santorini has been on my bucket list for a while. We have never been to Europe before so I don't know how these ports compare but we absolutely loved it. We traveled from the U.S. as a couple. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Santorini has been on my bucket list for a while. We have never been to Europe before so I don't know how these ports compare but we absolutely loved it. We traveled from the U.S. as a couple. We went a couple of days early to explore Venice. Walked on foot the entire area and took a gondola ride....cheesy maybe, but sure saw some beautiful sights doing it. Had peach bellinis and pizza in the square...Piazza San Marco. The only Norwegian excursion we did was the hike in Kotor. Over 1,030 steps and Igor, our guide, was excellent. Kotor, Montenegro was very beautiful. Tendering took a bit but very much worth it. In Corfu, we took a taxi to the beach. I can't remember the name, but it was highly recommended by the locals. It had a restaurant and bar, was clean and beautiful and not too crowded. In Mykonos, we took a taxi to "Little Venice" and spent an easy day shopping and walking. Some friends we made on the boat said the ruins in Mykonos were awesome, so wish maybe we had done that too. Kephalonia was one of our favorites. Again, we took a private transfer, thru Trip Advisor actually, and went to Myrtos Beach, absolutely stunning. Not much there.....a little drink hut, chairs/umbrellas....but a scenic drive and fantastic day at the beach here. It was nice to get away from the crowds. In Santorini, we hired a private guide that took us from one end of the island to the other, from the Black sand beaches to Oia and everything in between. The ship arrived 2 hours early here and that was great for us, gave us time to have lunch and dinner here.....dinner at Remvi in Fira overlooking the caldera and watching the sunset. Not as crowded as I thought it would be. There are no words to describe how beautiful it was to me. Dubrovnik was our last stop and we did a Game of Thrones tour here thru Trip Advisor. The ship's tour was sold out. But I think it worked out better because there was only ten of us in this group and it was a lot easier to get around and see more. I do wish we had more time in Dubrovnik. This is the only port where I felt rushed. The ship leaves at 1:30 on this day. But still it is a beautiful place and worth seeing for sure! As far as the ship.....it was refurbished last year I was told. I thought the room was great and the main areas and restaurants were nice and clean. I am not too picky about the amenities and the food. Cruise ship food, to me, has never been just out of this world good. Its just ok. The drinks were good. As for music, we enjoyed Jason at the Five O'Clock somewhere bar and Dave at Gatsby's Piano bar. Our room steward did an excellent job too. Hardworking and friendly crew for sure! In fact, I only encountered ONE rude person the entire trip. The breakfast buffet area was really crowded some mornings and hard to find seating. I sat down at a table and a few minutes later a woman sits down and says she had saved that table with a rolled up silverware?!? Really? They have little baskets full of several sets of rolled up silverware on every table? How is that a sign that she had saved a table?! Anyway, I am a easy going person so I said no problem and left. Its vacation after all.....relax people. All in all, we loved this trip from start to finish. If you are extremely picky, have small children, or not in health/condition to get off the ship everyday and explore, then maybe this cruise won't appeal to you. We loved that the ship stopped at a different port every single day and we explored every minute we could! That is why we chose this cruise and it did not disappoint! I will add that we went on June 9th....the crowds were fine and it was pretty hot. I have heard July and August are super crowded. So I think June was a great time to go. I can't imagine if it had been way more crowded and hotter! Disembarking and embarking all went smoothly! No complaints here. 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
We choose this Cruise because of the Great itinerary and to Celebrate our 40th Anniversary! This was our First Time to Europe!!! Norwegian Star: Beautifully updated Ship! It looks Brand New with updated venues featured on the newer ... Read More
We choose this Cruise because of the Great itinerary and to Celebrate our 40th Anniversary! This was our First Time to Europe!!! Norwegian Star: Beautifully updated Ship! It looks Brand New with updated venues featured on the newer Norwegian Cruise Line Ships, such as SugarCane Mojito Bar, Spice H20 and Bliss. We enjoyed the Sky High Bar with a Great View of the Pool Deck. Spice H20 is located on the back of the ship, it is mostly covered which is Great if the weather is a bit rainy or chilly. Sugar Cane Mojito Bar for the BEST Mojitos!!! The Staff on this ship was Wonderful!!! Everyone was Friendly and went out of their way to please! Our Stateroom Steward was the Best, she was almost invisable, never intrusive but our cabin was always clean. All Dinners except one, we dined as a Group of 4, my husband & I and friends (couple) who were traveling with us. Complimentary Dining: Versailles, we enjoyed Dining in Versailles, Excellent Staff, they were always Happy to see us! Great Service! the Food was Excellent to Very Good and always nicely served & a Good Selection to choose from! Aqua the food and service were Very Good, we only dined there one evening because we liked the ambiance better in Versailles. O'Sheehan's was Great! Definite improved on the selection of food, getting served quickly and the food served at the right temperature. Wings served Hot & Freshly fried. Garden Cafe, we only ate there for Breakfast, it was a bit crowded due to everyone wanting to get off of the ship at the same time, the omelette stations always served us up a delicious omelette. We learned that the Chefs making omelettes in the morning were the Chefs from Teppenyaki! Specialty Dining: Cagney's, we dined here the first night of our Cruise. It was Amazing!!! I had Surf & Turf, Fillet Mignon with Grilled Shrimp. The Best meal I have ever had in Cagney's on any of the NCL Ships!!!! Wait Staff was Amazing!!! Moderno, Delicious meats, because I do not like rare meat, they gladly cooked my meat to order. The salad bar is my favorite part of this restaurant! Excellent Service!!! La Cucina, We enjoyed a Delicious meal & my favorite Italian Cheesecake for Dessert.! Also an Excellent waitstaff and service. Le Bistro, My Favorite Restaurant!!!! WE actually had dinner here twice. Once my Husband & I dined alone, it was our Anniversary Dinner, Service was Outstanding! I had my Favorite Wild Mushroom Soup, Crab Appetizer, Butter poached Shrimp & Profiteroles, Cream Puffs stuffed with Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled with warm chocolate sauce. WE also dined here with our friends. This time I had the French Onion Soup, and fish which was served filleted in a butter caper sauce that was delicious. For dessert I had the Creme Brulee. Everyone enjoyed their dinner! Service and Food was Excellent. Teppenyaki, Always entertaining and the Food was Delicious! The Chef made a Heart out of the rice for us!!!! This is where we learned the Chef also makes omelettes in the morning in Garden Cafe! We experienced Great Service, Great Food with an Excellent Wait Staff in all of the Restaurants, both Complimentary and Specialty!!!! The grand Atrium on the Star is Beautiful! Beautifully Decorated, High Ceiling with Glass Elevators, stairways that make a platform or "stage" for the Entertainment every afternoon & evenng, before and after dinner. This is where Tides, Guest Services, Shore Excursions, Cruise Next are located. Photo Gallery is off to one side. Margaritaville is on the other side. Entertainment, Great Entertainment with a different Show every night in the Stardust Theater! We missed Band on the Run but we did get to see Las Vegas, Paradis with Amazing Costumes, the Violinist, Ventriloquist, Singers, etc. There was always music in the Atrium, Pool Deck, Theme Parties in Spice H20, it was a Fun Cruise!!! Margaritaville mostly had a singer afternoons and evenings. Karaoke also! Embarkation was not smooth. WE embarked in Tarragona instead of Barcelona. I had booked this Cruise 18 months in advance and the embarkation port was Barcelona, about 6 months before sailing it changed to Tarragona. Tarragona is located about an hour away from Barcelona. We flew into Barcelona 2 days early and enjoyed the city and saw as many sights as we could. The morning of embarkation, we went back to the airport to catch our Transfer to Tarragona. We spent a lot of time waiting in line. We were told t be at the airport before 10am, they kept us standing in the airport until about 1:30. When we were finally called to board our bus to Tarragona, we were brough outside, we just missed boarding the bus. We found out what the hold up was. The bus held 50 people but everyone had brough so much luggage, they could only get about 30 people on each bus because they ran out of room to transport the luggage. Buses had to wait for an empty space to pull in to load passengers and luggage. It took a long time. Once we got to Tarragona, it was a long ride to the end of the Pier to Board the ship. Boarding was a little slow but not to bad. A tent was set up where we dropped off our luggage and went through screening, then we were allowed to board the ship. Once ont he ship we were directed to Aqua where we were checked in and given our Key Cards. I heard therere were alot of complaints from people who arrived by Taxi or Train who could not get down the pier. They were left outside of the Pier standing in the Hot Sun for hours! Debarkation was quick and easy. We stayed one night in Venice, wish we would have stayed longer! Flights from Newark to Barcelona & Venice to Newark were booked through Norwegian Cruise Line. Hotel in Venice as well as transfers were also booked through Norwegian Cruise Line. Just outside of Venice, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza Venezia Quartro a Nice Hotel with a very expansive Breakfast included. The Train station is lcoated right behind the hotel, a path connects the hotel to the train station. It was easy to get to the Airpor by shuttle from the hotel. It was a half hour train ride into Venice. Every Port was Amazing! Cannes we toured the French Riviera visiting Nice, Monaco & Eze Livorno driver took us to Pisa, Florence & Tuscany Civitavecchia driver took us to Rome, Coliseum, Vatican, etc Naples driver took us for a tour of the Amalfi Coast Santorini, Oia to see the blue domed churches & Fira Athens driver took us to Cape Sounion, Temple of Poseidon, Acropolis, Zeus Temple and many more Mykonos we walked in the old town area, saw the windmills and went to Platys Gialos Beach Argostoli we walked in the Harbor area, Drapano/De Bosset Stone Bridge, saw the sea Turtles, cab to Beautiful Plata Gialos Beach Kotor driver took us for a tour, Our Lady of the Rock Church and Old Town Dubrovnik NCL Land & Sea Excursion to the Old town. I highly recommend this excursion. A beautifully restored 100 year old boat picked us up at the Pier where our cruise ship was docked. We enjoyed about a 45 min boat ride to the Old Town of Dubrovnik. One hour guided walking tour and then about 2 hours on our own. We climbed the walls for Fantastic views of the Old City and Harbor! The smaller boat picked us up and took us back to our Cruise Ship! Venice stayed overnight to enjoy the city before flying home the next day I would definitely recommend this itinerary & Ship! It was a very busy itinerary, it is not for anyone who wants to just relax! Star is a beautiful Ship! Perfect for visiting so many PortsI Basically the whole ship was trying to disembark as soon as possible every morning to make the most of the time we had in Port. Our Captain did a Great Job, there were many days he got us into Port early so we would be able to disembark earlier than scheduled or at the very least on time. I definitely recommend and would Sail again on this or similiar itinerary with Norwegian Cruise Line, they did an Excellent job!!! It was a Trip to Remember!!!! Read Less
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
Sail Date: April 2019
In general, we had a great time but the staff put a damper on our experience. The ship was nice, our room was clean. We did Excursions at all three stops and had a great time at all the stops. Now the Staff. Our steward barely talks to us ... Read More
In general, we had a great time but the staff put a damper on our experience. The ship was nice, our room was clean. We did Excursions at all three stops and had a great time at all the stops. Now the Staff. Our steward barely talks to us and never ask if we need anything or how was the room. Most of our dining experience was poor except at the Japanese restaurant. The waiters and waitress seem confused and not sure of them self. It took a long time to clear our dishes away. Very seldom anyone came around ask we need more drinks. The two best bar people were the Steak house. She went by the name as the Booze lady. She was on the money. She always made sure our drinks were full and she did some small talk with us. The other guy was at the Gatsby bar. Just like the booze lady, he knew how to interact with us. I would say 88% of the staff did not know how to interact with guest and they look very Timid. Like some other guest I talk to, we all said it look like this was the first time this crew work on the ship. This was the 1st time we went with Norwegian, been on Carvinal three times. Not sure I will give Norwegian another chance. The reason, this is my third-time writing a response. Yet no one from Norwegian would care to respond back to me?? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on this cruise to celebrate our Anniversary and Birthdays. To make it special, we booked a suite and overall, we really had a wonderful time. To keep this short and sweet - the best highlights. - booking a suite is definitely ... Read More
We went on this cruise to celebrate our Anniversary and Birthdays. To make it special, we booked a suite and overall, we really had a wonderful time. To keep this short and sweet - the best highlights. - booking a suite is definitely worth it! From having a butler, a big room with a gorgeous balcony to having amazing perks like daily afternoon snacks, priority seating, embarkation and disembarkation. You have 2 specialty restaurants for breakfast and lunch daily. I don’t think we would cruise any other way now! - the best restaurants in our opinion we’re Ginza (complimentary) the food is amazing, The Steakhouse and Teppanyaki. If you’re staying in a suite, the room service is also excellent and not from the standard menu - the beds were really comfortable and I loved the Nespresso machine in the room - we paid for the premium internet package which was pricey and the internet was very very slow so we were not happy about that. - the service was slow at the restaurants however, the staff was so great it was still worth it It was a relaxing trip and just what we needed. Read Less
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband is not fond of large crowds so we mainly chose NCL Star because of the smaller capacity. It was also a plus that the interior had been newly renovated. The Star Atrium was impressive from the start. When we got to our room, ... Read More
My husband is not fond of large crowds so we mainly chose NCL Star because of the smaller capacity. It was also a plus that the interior had been newly renovated. The Star Atrium was impressive from the start. When we got to our room, it was better than expected. Comfortable bed and pillows, descent storage and nice bathroom, especially loved the shower head-good water pressure. We attended the nightly entertainment which was easily accessible and highly enjoyable. We also, liked the dining at leisure atmosphere and felt the food was very good. All staff seemed very nice and cordial. Our room was cleaned daily to our satisfaction. Being our first cruise together and only our second officialy vacation in nearly 15 years, we casually toured the ports and didn't try and fit too much in. Our main goal was a relaxing vacation and we feel we got exactly what we wanted. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I am a 40 something housewife and mother of 4 teens from central Virginia. We stayed the night before embarkation in Miami at the even hotel. It was a very nice hotel, and definitely catered to fitness minded people. It was decently ... Read More
I am a 40 something housewife and mother of 4 teens from central Virginia. We stayed the night before embarkation in Miami at the even hotel. It was a very nice hotel, and definitely catered to fitness minded people. It was decently priced, and not too far from downtown Miami and the cruise port. We got overcharged by a cab driver, know exactly where you want to go and use your own gps to keep track. While the Even Hotel was very nice, if I sail from miami again I will book a hotel in the downtown area. This was our first cruise, and it was only myself and my husband. Embarkation and disembarkation went well. Our room (balcony) was wonderful. Very clean, comfortable, and spacious. Even though the ship is older it was well maintained, and underwent an update last year. The food was very good, although I was hoping for things like lobster, and crab legs. We ate at Cagney's steakhouse (highly recommended, but expensive), and at Tappenyaki, that was lots of fun. There were several shows on board, but we didn't attend any. Loved all the raffles, won one of the best. The service was great from all the staff. There is only one public pool on board, and the activities for kids is limited. I think the ship is geared more towards couples (young and older), and families with teens (which was great for us). I enjoyed the intimacy of their private island (great stirrup cay) I wish we could've stayed longer. I didn't much care for Ocho Rios Jamaica. We didn't book any excursions for this port (I wish I had) we may have enjoyed it more. We basically only went shopping. Some of the merchants were way too aggressive, rude, and pushy. The only beach access was at the Margaritaville resort and you had to pay to go onto the beach (I don't know how much, we didn't go). It was also a fairly small beach area. I didn't always feel safe. Be very careful what cab's you choose. I fell in love with Georgetown, Grand Cayman. It's a beautiful island, and the water is so clear and clean. We booked the dolphin swim and sting ray bar. The dolphins seemed so happy and were a pleasure. I wish we could've seen more sting rays, but we saw quite a few. I was pleasantly surprised by Cozumel Mexico. It's beautiful there. We booked the speed boat, snorkel, beach. I was disappointed that we didn't go to a coral reef and we were only in the water for about 40 minutes, but the boat ride there and back was exhilarating, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The small resort area where we got in and out of the boats was nice. I was disappointed that we couldn't do anything at the beach at the resort, but overall it was a pleasant experience. Excellent shopping on the main road by the port (I wouldn't recommend venturing from the tourist area though). I wouldn't mind going again to all the destinations, perhaps I may enjoy Ocho Rios better with an excursion. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
First let me say we had an AMAZING 14 day cruise through the Panama Canal. Everyone from the baggage handlers to the Captain were warm, inviting and went over and above to ensure our bucket-list cruise was all we imagined it would be and ... Read More
First let me say we had an AMAZING 14 day cruise through the Panama Canal. Everyone from the baggage handlers to the Captain were warm, inviting and went over and above to ensure our bucket-list cruise was all we imagined it would be and more. NCL corporate on the other hand were HORRIBLE and need additional training and a means to correct actions, which are truly of their making, which affect their employees. I planned for close to a year to ensure my near 80 year old father’s bucket-list cruise through the Panama Canal was everything and more he could have imagined- and it was. I watched countless hours of YT videos on what to pack, what to expect and any precautions which would help us avoid any hiccups during our trip. I called and emailed our personal cruise consultant and Concierge MANY times before our cruise to ask questions and request any items due to my father’s health and to confirm all was done and nothing would missed off or forgotten to avoid any troubles later. I even went to far as to create a daily guide to help us remember what day it was and what the daily activities were to help us commeroate our time together and scoured over our paperwork before and to comply with all NCL required per our cruise documents to ensure our check-in process and our cruise went as smoothly as possible. My parents even paid for the extra travel insurance just to make sure if anything happened prior to or during our trip medically, we would have some peace of mind knowing we had options available to us for added peace of mind. For our cruise we opted for the prepaid gratuities so we made certain EVERYONE who was due money was paid their dues as they are the hardest working people on the seas. You see them in the sunrise breakfasts and the midnight buffets- they must be vampires cause they never seem to sleep from the baggage handlers and dishwashers to the Captain. Lol. My husband and I traveled with my soon to be 80 year old parents to help with baggage and flew literally across the country from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angels in one day. Every step along with way we were there to help with bags from the vehicle to the airport, gate to gate, airport to hotel and hotel to ship. If we were not there this trip of a lifetime would not have been possible. Everyone we met along the way was awesome- a little hectic but what vacations don’t have great stories to tell from memories made after right?? We purchased a two bedroom- two bath suite for our extended cruise and truly had a great vacation. Everyone from the wait staff who waited on us daily, Susi our Concierge and JonJon our butler were exemplary in helping make sure this was the time of our lives and we cannot say enough great things about them- KUDOS to them all. Our issue arose when representatives from each suite were called together to discuss how disembarkation would go and where to meet. It was at this meeting- during the last two sea days of our trip north of Cuba- that Susi let us know our butler was not covered under the gratuities paid which got an audible gasp in the room. Mind you, HOURS of research, emails & phone calls to NCL were made and videos were watched to avoid circumstances such as this from happening. During my research and even during their Shore Excurision presentation they mention at certain ports, “do NOT display obvious signs of wealth.” Which, to be honest, can apply to any street in any town in the US as well so no shade. Our issue is knowing we were told ALL our gratuities were prepaid under our cruise fare by NCL beforehand we all carried cash to tip our baggage handlers, tour guides, bus drivers and a little more if anyone went over and above and deserved a little more appreication than the standard allowed- not extra money which is truly rightly due those who were not covered as we were told by NCL ALL gratuities were already paid. We were absolutely aghast. We went to our room and quickly pooled all our remaining money we had left to give to him. We purposefully didn’t travel with a lot of extra cash as, who carries cash anymore let alone buckets full when everyone cautions you against doing so and being told they were already paid? When we got into the port of Miami, (Saturday) I emailed our personal cruise consultant immediately about what had happened. I was able to speak with her on Monday as she was out of the country as well and she assured me that as we elected to prepay our gratuities our butler, along with everyone else, was covered but to contact Guest Services and let her know of what they said. I just got off the phone with GS, Anthony (i), I believe was his name and he said Butlers were NOT covered by the gratuities we paid and there was nothing that could be done to rectify the matter and it stated in the seven pages of cruise documents he wasn’t covered. I didn’t have the cruise documents in front of me at the time but when I got home later that evening i went straight to them and in fact the butler was NOT mentioned in my cruise documents as I was told it was. This completely taints our entire wonderful vacation because we actually stiffed someone who absolutely positively deserved it the most and earned every last penny of the money during our cruise as we couldn’t be happier. We’re so upset and disappointed with NCL over this, we cannot even begin to properly express them. SHAME ON YOU NCL for doing this to us and well as to your employees. Shame. On. You. You have absolutely taken a wonderful trip of a lifetime and tainted it with a policy that even your own employees do not fully grasp and in turn cheating hard working employees out of hard their earned money without a means to rectify it?? SHAME ON YOU!! We have been looking for our butler on social media to figure out a means to wire them money via PayPal, Venmo etc they are truly due without success. We are just sick over this whole debacle and pray a solution can be found as this has caused us all unnecessary stress as a result. WONDERFUL cruise and staff - - HORRIBLE Corporate office policy!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We tried NCL for the first time as we found the itinerary from LA convenient as we live in Boise, Idaho. We have always cruised from the east coast but having moved to Boise, east coats cruising is too cost prohibitive. Leaving Boise ... Read More
We tried NCL for the first time as we found the itinerary from LA convenient as we live in Boise, Idaho. We have always cruised from the east coast but having moved to Boise, east coats cruising is too cost prohibitive. Leaving Boise on a 6am flight to LA, we were on the Star by 12:15pm. Embarkation was smooth. We had no special perks and had an ocean view cabin so we were surprised how quickly we were on board. The ship is lovely, easy to navigate around and all the public spaces were clean and bright. We had specialty dining three times during the week. La Cucina was our favorite, we ate their twice. Our waiter Sameer was excellent. On our second visit we were seated next to a two women who were having a loud and intrusive argument, I asked to be re-seated and it was done immediately. All the dining was wonderful. Whether at the Topsider for burgers, either of the main dining rooms or specialty dining. Bar service was very good. we got coffee and pastries each morning in our cabin. It was good, only once the coffee was undrinkable, it was so strong, otherwise the coffee around the ship was good. Entertainment was wonderful. The theater was not. The seats were broken and very uncomfortable. The recent refurbishment left the theater out and that was a big mistake. The condition and comfort of the theater was our only complaint. Shore excursions were way over priced. Even with the $50.00 per port excursion credit we got, we only did one the whole cruise. We did a walking tour of Puerto Vallarta that was very informative.. We took a $10.00 pp. glass bottom boat tour to the Arch and it was amazing. This was in Cabo. We did not leave the ship in Mazatlan. We got the Thermal Suite package which was wonderful but as the cruise went on it was so crowded we stopped going. it was billed as a quiet sanctuary but in the end it was too crowded. Our cabin steward was great. Efficient and unobtrusive. Our cabin was always clean. Sunny did a great job. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise was awesome. Im so glad I did it. Everything about it was smooth. To getting on, to getting off. No problems. Food was delicious in the buffet. And in the restaurants as well. Never a long wait to eat. My boyfriend and I went ... Read More
This cruise was awesome. Im so glad I did it. Everything about it was smooth. To getting on, to getting off. No problems. Food was delicious in the buffet. And in the restaurants as well. Never a long wait to eat. My boyfriend and I went to the gym, soaked up some sun went to see a movie. And a show. We even went to shore and did some excursions. But my favorite part was the casino. I will definitely sail Norwegian again. My cabin steward was Paul. He was very sweet. Very attentive. We needed some distilled water. He was on it. Had it in the room when we returned from dinner. Another thing we told him our names the first day and he remembered us the whole week. I did the seven day Mexican Rivera. Next I want the Norwegian Alaska Cruise. I can’t wait to set sail on my next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I took this cruise to the Mexican Rivera on March 9th. Embarkation was a breeze. We had a balcony cabin midship on 9. It was spacious and had enough storage for all our gear. Our steward was excellent as well. We made ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise to the Mexican Rivera on March 9th. Embarkation was a breeze. We had a balcony cabin midship on 9. It was spacious and had enough storage for all our gear. Our steward was excellent as well. We made reservations for all the restaurants before we left home. I highly recommend this because it is very difficult to get reservations, especially at the specialty restaurants, after you board. We ate at Cagney twice and La Cucina once. They both had excellent food and service. The other nights we ate in the lovely Versailles dining room. We sat in several different locations and received wonderful service and food each time. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Garden Cafe. The food and selection was very good but it was difficult to find a table. We had drinks at most of the bars and encountered very good service in all. The entertainment was outstanding in the theater. The musical numbers were fabulous, the magician and contortionist were amazing and the comedian was entertaining. The shows are at 7:30 and 9:30. We enjoyed the ports but were disappointed not to see any whales on our tour in Cabo. Disembarkation was easy as well. We opted to carry our own luggage off and breezed through customs in Los Angeles, ordered an UBER and were at the airport all within an hour. Overall this was a great cruise on a beautiful ship with a wonderful crew. 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
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this because we always wanted to see the Panama Canal and the central America ports. Embarking was very quick. We arrived approx 11:45 and were on the ship by 12:15. Headed to O'Sheehan's bar for lunch and ... Read More
We chose this because we always wanted to see the Panama Canal and the central America ports. Embarking was very quick. We arrived approx 11:45 and were on the ship by 12:15. Headed to O'Sheehan's bar for lunch and beverage. Nice bar and good food. Great staff! Anytime dining allows you to dine here as well as the main dining rooms. Checked out the ship after that. The Start just had a major refurbishment so it looked great! Not to crazy about a few dead end areas when trying to get to a few places but we figured out out after time. Our rooms are ready before we left the port. Main dining areas were very nice. Service was very good and the food was good to very good. Staff was very good to excellent. Fine dining was very good to excellent a well as the service. Bars were great and service was very good even at the pool. They had a buffet at the pool daily. Entertainment was very good. Something for everyone. Our room was well laid out with many USB chargers. Best bathroom layout I've seen on cruise ships. Sliding doors on both shower and toilet area for privacy while the sink area can be used at the same time. Bed was very comfortable and the a.c. was efficient and quiet. Patio was big enough for 4 to sit but not lounge. Good size casino. Why do they still allow smoking in there? It's time to stop that practice. The gamblers will come back to gamble after they step out for a smoke. It's not like they can drive home. Health before profits! That goes for all cruise lines! The staff was excellent overall in all departments. Very happy, talkative, cheerful and helpful. By far NVL's biggest asset! We had a great time and weren't disappointed. I'll definitely cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise for our 45th wedding anniversary. It was our first cruise ever and without a doubt it was 100 times better then we could have ever expected. From the moment we got on board every single person on staff ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for our 45th wedding anniversary. It was our first cruise ever and without a doubt it was 100 times better then we could have ever expected. From the moment we got on board every single person on staff could not have been any more helpful friendly and happy to see me. The garden buffet was very good for a quick bite to eat. Versalies restaurant was absolutely amazing for breakfast lunch or dinner probably our favorite. Aqua was great dining good food fantastic service. Ginza was very good Asian food. We really enjoyed OShehans for a 24 hr a day choice for eats and drinks. I cannot say enough about the wait staff at every restaurant and bar. Absolutely amazing experience! The ship itself was not too big and the perfect size for me. Although I can’t compare to any other. It was clean and all the public spaces were very beautiful. Karaoke at sea nights was my favorite thing at 5 o’clock somewhere bar. Absolutely the best time and the best people from all over. The nightly shows were very good and the theater was beautiful. We had a picture window stateroom and it was very adequate. On the third day when we returned to our stateroom it was decorated for our anniversary with champagne. Very nice surprise. We loved all of the ports and took an excursion at all but 1. All were well worth it. All in all a wonderful way to vacation. Already looking at another cruise to book. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose this cruise because of the destination - to make a full transit of the Panama Canal. Additionally, our travel agent was able to find us a pre-cruise option to go to the New Years Day 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the destination - to make a full transit of the Panama Canal. Additionally, our travel agent was able to find us a pre-cruise option to go to the New Years Day 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA prior to going on the cruise. The NCL Star was the perfect ship for us as we are very low - maintenance cruisers I guess. We did not want a big ship, we wanted to just relax and do what we wanted to do. So Free-Style Cursing on the NCL Star worked very well for us. Can't say enough good things on the just plain Excellent food, entertainment, accommodations we chose, or most importantly of all the service we received from the entire staff and crew. The shore excursions we choose were all very good and well worth the price we thought. However,we could see adding a port - of - call after the Panama Canal (we sailed west to east btw), and dropping one of the ports - of - call before going through the Canal. Having a stop in Panama itself would have been interesting. We did not travel with children, and were looking for a itinerary, ship and time of sailing that would not have a lot of kids on it. Yes, we would most certainly sail on Norwegian Cruise Lines again....and we will! 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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