Sail Date: March 2019
My husband & I always cruise on NCL because we have never been disappointed. This time we choose the Mexican Riviera onboard the Star. The crew works so hard to keep the ship so clean & well cared for. Although the food is slightly ... Read More
My husband & I always cruise on NCL because we have never been disappointed. This time we choose the Mexican Riviera onboard the Star. The crew works so hard to keep the ship so clean & well cared for. Although the food is slightly above average the specialty restaurants are fantastic. A balcony room gives limited storage but we usually overpack ! The ports were very nice ....... much nicer than the Caribbean ports. Service was above & beyond from the bars, pool area & food areas. This ship was just refurbished in 2018 & is transformed back to the way ships used to be with the glass elevators in the atrium & is a very beautiful atmosphere. I did miss a bar in the lobby but there is one located just around the corner. The atrium is a much quieter area on this ship with a Starbucks & seating for listening to the musical entertainment. Very enjoyable trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Third cruise on Norwegian, 24th cruise overall. Our first cruise on Norwegian was on the Jewel. We had more problems on that cruise than we ever had on board a ship but so enjoyed the ship and the food that we cruised on the Bliss last ... Read More
Third cruise on Norwegian, 24th cruise overall. Our first cruise on Norwegian was on the Jewel. We had more problems on that cruise than we ever had on board a ship but so enjoyed the ship and the food that we cruised on the Bliss last October. Only problem with the Bliss was embarkation but the onboard experience was wonderful in every respect. This quickly became my favorite ship. Food and entertainment was great. So for this reason we booked the Star which is smaller than the Bliss and about the size of the Jewel. Because I know that Norwegian has small rooms in the oceanview category (which is what we usually book), we booked a balcony room (smaller than most other cruise lines' balcony rooms). Found food to be mediocre in buffet with limited variety (particularly in area of vegetables/potatoes). Temperature of food was adequate. We ate exclusively in the Versailles dining room fro dinner and this was a step up from the buffet in terms of food quality, but not by much. The best complimentary food to be found, in my opinion, was at O'Sheehan's, the 24 hour pub restaurant. Unfortunately, they have discontinued the fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce which I used to love at O'Sheehan's. Maybe to many other people loved them too and Norwegian decided they were spending too much money on them. Norwegian is also the only cruise line that does not allow you to bring your own soda pop on board. They want to be sure you either buy theirs at $4.25 a can or buy the unlimited soda package which is exorbitant unless you and your partner drink tons of soda a day. The specialty restaurants which you pay an extra fee for have always been good, particularly Cagney's steakhouse. We did not east at any of the speciality restaurants this trip but heard others comment that they were good on the Star as well. Entertainment was very good. There were three different production/review main theater shows with singing, choreography set and costume changes which were excellent. My wife and I enjoy these type of shows and these were right up there with some of the best we have seen. There was a husband and wife magician/contortionist act. The magician part husband was standard magic/illusion fare but the wife's ability to contort her body was astonishing and unique. Really incredible! There was a comedian who did different accents and dialects and was funny and entertaining. In the lounges there were guitarists/singers, a pianist singer and the Melodic Trio who sang and played instruments. Musically, there was adequate variety to find something to enjoy. My wife and I seldom do excursions nor do we book cruises for the itinerary. We book cruises to be on the ship for a certain length of time, relax, forget about everything and be pampered and taken care of. For this reason, I do not comment on ports. I only review the internal ship experience in terms of the four things that are important to my wife and myself: food, entertainment, comfort and service. I have already commented on food and entertainment. See my review of the cabin below in regard to comfort. With only one exception, service was outstanding. The crew members were friendly, accommodating, helpful and could not be nicer. They worked harder than most of us would ever want to. The one exception was this. I was supposed to get an onboard credit as part of the package I booked. On the second day, when I got a print out of my account, I remarked to the lady at guest services that I did not see the credit on my statement. She checked and said it was not in their computer. She asked me if I had some documentation showing that I was entitled to it. I did in my room. She asked me to bring it back to guest services so they could verify. As i had the documentation and thought this was a glitch that would be easily fixed, I waited until the next day rather than going up to my room right then and getting it.The next day I went down to guest services with my documentation and provided to a young man on duty who, as I was to learn, should probably not be in any kind of customer service job. The young reiterated that it was not in their computer. I reiterated that I was already aware of that which is why I brought the documentation to him, per the instructions I received from the woman at guest services the day before. I told him that I was aware he did not have the power to correct this buit surely there was a senior officer who did, maybe the captain if necessary, and I had the proof I was entitled to it right there in black and white. He went into a room in back, was there for a while and then came out with several sheets of paper. He started to explain to me that I had received an upgraded room ( same type of room I paid for but in what the cruise line considered a better location on the ship) from Norwegian and implied that either my credit had been absorbed by the upgrade which I did not ask for and could care less about, or that I should be so happy that I received an upgrade on my room I should forget about the onboard credit. I told him this had nothing to do with my issue and started to get a little steamed that he seemed to want to talk me out of pursuing this problem. He kept showing me on the pieces of paper saying, "this is what you paid for your room and THIS is what the room you are in goes for. Look at the difference!" I finally was screaming at him saying," I don't care!!! Get me on board credit that I payed for and I am entitled to." he mumbled that he would start an inquiry. I asked loudly when I would get an answer about my onboard credit. He hesitantly said tomorrow night. So he took an issue that I had mild concern about and exploded it into a huge conflict where I was very disgruntled, determined to do everything I could on social media to turn people away from cruising with Norwegian. I was in a very bad mood all through the night until the next day complaining to my poor wife and telling her all the ideas I had for waging war and getting even with Norwegian, making sure that I would cost them many times what they would have given me in onboard credit. The next day I went back down to guest services where I encountered yet another woman at the guest services desk. I explained everything that had happened to date and again showed my documentation. She was very nice, understood the situation immediately and explained to me (unlike the jerk I encountered the evening before) that the credit was to have come from my travel agency, not NCL and for whatever reason, they had not received it yet. There was an inquiry that had been sent to NCL's home office in Miami but in the meantime she arranged a ship to shore phone call to my travel agent so I could take with him about the issue. I spoke with him and he did not know why it hadn't gotten to NCL as everything from his end showed that it should have but he told me in the event it did not arrive in the next few days, get a print out of my onboard account from NCL and he would send me a check for the credit amount. This was all it took to set the matter at rest and could have done by the jerk, instead of aggravating a guest. I received the credit the next day. When I got home I got an e-mail from my agent in which he told me that I was not the only one who had this issue and his what not the only travel agency it happened to. Some snafu occurred with NCL. OK, so I have vented. Back to the ship. The public areas were pleasantly decorated and very clean and well cared for. There was one swimming pool on board and a numebr of hot tubs in different location. I did not use the fitness center but my wife did and said it was fine. The library on board (one of my wife's major interest) was quite extensive for a ship's library. If you like to read on board, you will enjoy this library. There is also an internet cafe on the 9th deck which overlooks the atrium. There are a few tables for playing games. Unless one wished to use the eating tables in the buffet or around the pool, the ship really lacks tables to play games, do jigsaw puzzles or any kind of writing or paperwork other than the few in the internet cafe. I probably will never sail on the Star again as it had to many deficits for me personally. The food was not as good as on the other two NCL ships I sailed. Read Less
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Sail Date: March 2019
While I've cruised the Mexican Riviera frequently, it is still attractive due to San Pedro being relatively close to home, the attractiveness of the NCL Star, and the service provided to suite guests. As usual, the weather was ... Read More
While I've cruised the Mexican Riviera frequently, it is still attractive due to San Pedro being relatively close to home, the attractiveness of the NCL Star, and the service provided to suite guests. As usual, the weather was excellent. As usual, the port of call where about what I expected. Walking is Mazatlan is fun even though, on this cruise, Carnival was happening and the waterfront was cluttered with beer stands...fortunately I walked there before the festivities had begun. Service for suite guests was excellent. Embarkation wasn't quick but the ship had just returned from cruising the Panama Canal so the clearance process was probably showed by that. Disembarking was an absolute breeze. We were back at LAX before 10 a.m.! Our concierge, Suzana, was her usual pleasant, efficient self. As was Randy R. our butler and Geoffrey our cabin steward. Randy kept us supplied with any requests including plenty of peanut M&M's (which I "want" but don't "need"). Service and food for the morning meal in Moderno and lunch in Cagney's were consistently excellent. We ate at specialty restaurants most evenings (5 out of 8) and they were all very good also. We had a billing issue in Le Bistro which was corrected after I complained but that was the only real glitch in the restaurant area. We were lucky enough to dine with the Staff Captain, Mikkos, who was both charming and interesting. Platinum Plus does have its benefits. That meal was in Aqua where we ate twice. We also had one meal in Versailles. All those experiences were very good to excellent also. The family suite (12010) was roomy enough and comfortable. It was nice to have a good sized balcony--one chaise lounge, two chairs and a small table. The only issues were an inoperative slider lock and apparent rust damage on the balcony. The shows in the theater were entertaining. The thermal suite was very good also. We had to get the temperature reduced on the jacuzzi though--on the first day it was suitable for cooking lobsters but not for soaking people. The new thermal loungers are good and there are two side rooms to hide in when folks are yammering. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Never cruised the Pacific Mexican Riviera, so this 8-night trip that hit 4 hotspots was a great opportunity. Ship is okay, a little cramped but in good condition after a rehab about a year ago. Theatre shows and entertainers were great, ... Read More
Never cruised the Pacific Mexican Riviera, so this 8-night trip that hit 4 hotspots was a great opportunity. Ship is okay, a little cramped but in good condition after a rehab about a year ago. Theatre shows and entertainers were great, onboard music was lame - worst of any ship I've been on. Service was very good, much better than my previous NCL Getaway experience. The two main dining rooms are nothing special, glorified cafeterias, but with good food and plenty of choices. Service was uneven, but perfectly acceptable most of the time. Several specialty restaurants onboard, didnt hear any great buzz about any particular one. Swedish Captain was a hoot. Cabo San Lucas was the best stop - great whale watching this time of year. Puerta Vallarta and Mazatlan were fun, Ensenada much more beautiful and interesting than I anticipated. Had an inside cabin, deck 8 forward, great location. Quiet. Very small but didn't spend much time there. Bathroom decent size with great hot showers. I would take this ship again, but only for a good itinerary/price, not for the ship itself. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for a unique 8 day cruise to the Mexican Riviera that included a 4th port in Ensenada. Thar star is a great ship that was just updated in 2018. Every area of the ship is beautiful! This is our 3rd cruise with NCL and I ... Read More
We chose the cruise for a unique 8 day cruise to the Mexican Riviera that included a 4th port in Ensenada. Thar star is a great ship that was just updated in 2018. Every area of the ship is beautiful! This is our 3rd cruise with NCL and I rank this as the best overall. We loved the cabin and felt is was very roomy for two. The ports were all very nice and we had excursions at each port that were all fun. Our cabin steward Tan was the best one we have had yet! He was very prompt and never missed a beat going from the daily cleaning to the turn down at night. We enjoyed the shows and by far our favorite was "Band on the Run" but we saw some show every night and they were all good. The food was alright but I felt it had changed a bit from our last cruise. In fact a couple different servers in the specialty restaurants commented that there had been recent menu changes and some of the old items had been discontinued. The buffet was always good to have for breakfast but we never ate dinner there. You could always find a table relatively easy as well. I have to also mention that service was slower at almost all the restaurants that what we encountered on our other cruises.It wasn't bad but just caused us to miss the first show on three separate nights when we started at 5:30 PM. Our favorite excursions were Salsa Salsa and Luxury Beach Resort and well worth the money. One of our favorite things about NCL is the Thermal SPA areas and we bought the access again here. It is absolutely worth the money.We spent time there every day. It included a wet spa, dry spa separated in the women's and men's rooms and the shared pool and hot tubs. The quiet areas at the corners were great for reading and almost always vacant except a couple people.We also got a couple's warm stone message and it was awesome! For the first time we also enjoyed the pool area and the stair stepped pool levels were very nice. I am sold on NCL and will continue to sail with them and I highly recommend this ship and itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
2/15/19 - 3/1/19 NCL Star Panama Canal Voyage Top screw ups 1. Free internet, ha ha, ha, 250 minute perk what doesn’t work properly or frequently; isn’t free or useful. Waits at Internet cafe could be as much as 60 minutes. ... Read More
2/15/19 - 3/1/19 NCL Star Panama Canal Voyage Top screw ups 1. Free internet, ha ha, ha, 250 minute perk what doesn’t work properly or frequently; isn’t free or useful. Waits at Internet cafe could be as much as 60 minutes. 2. Cable/internet stations FOX, MSNBC, BBC, were very frequently not available as is the case right now as I write this, Thursday, 2/28/19 beginning at 6:40 AM and continuing unabated at present. The Sunday, 2/24/19 Oscars was not shown. 3. You will pay $4.64 for a glass of soda if you do not elect a plan. However most of time Diet Sierra Mist was poured by can to glass not by fountain spray but only 50% of time would server give you the balance of the can; note: only Pepsi products are available but Pepsi No Sugar was not. 4. Watch out for catamaran whale watch from Cabo it’s run by children who seem more interested in loud music and serving you prodigious quantities of alcohol; but to be fair soft drinks and water are available and you paid for it all inside the ticket fee. Like a party boat for mid lifers. They considered a whale sighting to be a spout or the whale’s tail as they dive. Never closer than a 1000 meters. One of the kids is the Cetaecian expert he plays loud whale sounds and provides much inaccurate information about humpback whales. 5. Avoid the Garden Cafe at almost all costs; except for periods of time when large numbers of eaters are gone. All enjoyed slopping at the Garden Cafe trough. Soft pretzel nirvana! 6. Avoid all specialty dining except for steak at Cagneys. If steak is your thing; there’s plenty of burned meat odor and taste there for you! 7. Be aware of cultural anomalies among some of your fellow passengers; like their general aversion to order, inability to patiently wait in line for their turn and the need for necessary occasional silence when and where it’s called as a need!!!!! 8. When you arrive at NCL TERMINAL at the Miami cruise port carefully assess what the greeters for NCL are telling you to do as it may be sufficiently botched or confused that you won’t know what you heard. This was something I thought NCL had down but not on 2/15/19 9. NCL will send you color coded luggage tags for embark; but you HAVE TO ASK FOR THEM. Otherwise you’ll need 8 ft of tape and print out cutouts online and then attach them yourself. 10. All Ports of Call are at best marginal and depressed. Let’s face it if they were all St Barth’s it would be a lot more expensive and after all you get to see how the Canal works. 11. Disembarking on 3/1/19 was an exercise in futility; for 3 and 1/2 hours we waited 3 hours of it in line to get out of NCL terminal. No announcements of any kind were ever made and no explanation was ever made to explain the delay; no bathroom facilities were identified; there were a number of fatigued or ill older people who should have been treated better; best bet appeared to be to claim wheelchair access need with the requirement for NCL staff to push the chair; which allowed for express debarkation of the person in the chair and their entourage, which was often as many as 3 additional people blithely passing those waiting for hours in line. - [x] People with apparent disability, which I defined as being in a wheelchair or similar conveyance, were present on the ship in what appeared to be anecdotally but positively high numbers to their and NCL’s credit! What was not clear were the express rides which all wheelchairs seemed to get as described above. It was simply unfair as NCL had asked passengers, able bodied and otherwise, to declare their need for early debarkation to get to airports for early flights. These express rides were much later in the debarkation process. NCL needs to mend fences with CPB In Miami FL to get a better working relationship with them rather than the blame put on CPB for the line and delay by at least one NCL agent. CPB needs to be open to such negotiations and to work equally hard to reach agreement and reduce their mutual disagreement which VICTIMIZED ALL DEBARKING PASSENGERS and nobody else. I’m confident that all NCL and CPB staff were paid for their work. Right now I can’t see myself returning to NCL to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The location was the main reason. The trip was excellent, smooth sailing, very good shore excursions although some a little pricey. Food good in Steak restaurant, Ambiance could be much better in Italian Restaurant. O'Sheean's ... Read More
The location was the main reason. The trip was excellent, smooth sailing, very good shore excursions although some a little pricey. Food good in Steak restaurant, Ambiance could be much better in Italian Restaurant. O'Sheean's pub food pretty good but seemed pre-made in some cases. Entertainment was the best we have had on any of our cruises, including the guest performers and the cruise group and band. complimentary restaurants food, staff and setting were great. The Panama Canal day was very memorable and a must for everyone. It was interesting to learn of the real environmental preservation efforts of most of the central America countries. The people we met from these countries were genuinely caring of visitors. Enjoyed the trip to the artist town in Guatemala. The travel was quite lengthy but through different landscapes and economic areas. Suggest Norwegian continues to offer this trip. We will continue to cruise but maybe take a little break after May as we will have taken three cruises in 10 months. Will have Norwegian as first cruise company choice in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The Panama Canal has always been on our Bucket List. While we usually vacation at All Inclusives, we felt a cruise would be the best way to experience the Canal. As first-time cruisers, we began to wonder what we had gotten ourselves ... Read More
The Panama Canal has always been on our Bucket List. While we usually vacation at All Inclusives, we felt a cruise would be the best way to experience the Canal. As first-time cruisers, we began to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into: prairie folk committing to 14 nights on a ship!! We chose Norwegian for the FreeStyle cruising and were not disappointed. We enjoyed the more relaxed dress code and not having to commit to a specific time to eat. We are foodies so were excited when the Versailles restaurant offered a delicious menu which was only surpassed by the genuine friendliness and service provided by the wait staff. It’s a good thing we were there 14 days to be able to sample most of the menu! O’Sheehans was our favourite breakfast spot—open early, relaxing ambience and delicious bacon and eggs. The Theatre is not really our thing but we went to the early show the second night and were absolutely blown away! Better than anything we’ve paid for at home so we attended every show after that! The live band accompanying the events was amazing. The entertainment changed each night: hypnotist, singer, musical shows (on-board animation team was AMAZING!!), comedian etc. We did 5 shore excursions. While the NCL excursions may be pricier than on-shore options, they were some of the best we have experienced. Excellent transfer buses, guides were knowledgeable and passionate about their countries, safety was a big priority (TIP: Costa Rica: top-of-the-line safety on the zip-line and best excursion ever!!). Near the end of our trip, we sailed on the Luxury Yachts in Cabo San Lucas. It was a beautiful way to spend the day—14 people snorkelling and whale watching—a nice break from the bustle of the ship. If we could change anything, we would like to see more chairs available in the shade outside. It was quite hot sailing south, with most of the shade inside the ship! If you are a smoker, there are lots of places to smoke outside, so many that it was difficult to avoid if you are a non-smoker. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The Panama Canal has been on my bucket list for a while, and I really loved every bit of our cruise on NCL Star. I shared a balcony cabin with my sister, also an experienced cruiser; however, this was our first longer cruise (over 7 days) ... Read More
The Panama Canal has been on my bucket list for a while, and I really loved every bit of our cruise on NCL Star. I shared a balcony cabin with my sister, also an experienced cruiser; however, this was our first longer cruise (over 7 days) for both of us. The Star is looking spiffy after her recent drydock… décor looks fresh, color schemes up to date, seating in public spaces is (mostly) comfortable. She’s one of the smaller ships in the NCL fleet, so, we weren’t expecting the bells & whistles of a megaship. We still found plenty to like. Our cabin was about what we expected, size-wise: a bit snug, but room enough for both of us to completely unpack & hang up what needed hanging. The beds were reasonably comfortable. We both liked the USB ports that have been added to the bedside reading lamps. The bathroom is tight quarters, as expected (particularly the toilet cubicle,) but the shower is big enough to turn around in. Dining was very good in every venue we tried. We didn’t eat at the buffet for meals (just an occasional afternoon snack… they always had some nice things set out to make up a tea tray or an ersatz charcuterie plate.) The main dining rooms had a nice variety of entrees on the menu, with enough variation that we didn’t get bored by the end of the second week. The alternate venues wowed us! Of the specialty dining (we tried them all) we particularly liked Le Bistro & Teppanyaki, but it was all quite good. We also loved Ginza, the complimentary Asian restaurant, and would return two more times during the cruise. The activities & entertainment offered were varied, and we enjoyed the live music in the several venues around the ship. I particularly liked the production shows offered in the Stardust Theater – four shows over the course of the cruise – the show band is awesome! They would also perform in the smaller venues on non-show nights, and were terrific there, too. We also had the good fortune of having a guest lecturer on board, who gave several interesting talks in the afternoons on topics related to our Central American itinerary. I indulged in the thermal spa pass, and spent many pleasant hours there. Smaller ship means smaller spa… the steam room & sauna are tiny, but barely used, so it didn’t matter much. There are only seven of the heated tile loungers, but I think I only had to wait once. The crew of the Star is what really elevated the whole experience for us. Every single person we encountered was pleasant, helpful, and ready to treat us like rock stars. It amazes me how everyone you encounter (room steward, bartender, dining room hostess) is greeting you by name after about the third day. NCL is clearly doing something right, because the whole crew seems to be happy & energized to have the best cruise possible. After such a review, I hate to mention downsides… but there’s always a couple… The seating in Stardust Theater is awful, to put it simply. I guess it didn’t get the refurb during drydock. Many of the fold-down seats seem to be sagging. I found the bench seats in the balcony to be much more tolerable. Also, the live music is sometimes much too loud in small venues, particularly Gatsby’s (the midship bar on deck 6.) It was our favorite bar in the evenings, but we’d find ourselves avoiding it if there was an over-miked musician performing when we walked by. Overall, these very small glitches did nothing to diminish our overall enjoyment of the cruise. We loved the Canal experience & we’re glad we got to enjoy it aboard the Star. She’s a fine ship with a fine crew, and I’d sail her again anytime. 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
Norwegian Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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