The Star shows its age with spots of rust, worn out whatevers and older amenities. It is true that there is a wanna-be Spinnaker on deck 7 that is in fact window-less and the dance floor hardly qualifies as such. The Star lacks a Haven, Great outdoors, and the Bliss. Yup, all true, as is the fact The NCL Star granted us our best vacation ever!
Embarkation had a pretty bad start. The women at the Latitudes line were just rude. She said that we were not Latitudes members (we are silver latitudes, and just 1 point from gold) and we had to get in the other line. I then told her we also had a suite, and she informed us that there was an error that 9232 was not a suite. We went to the other line (only to avoid an argument) then we were sent back to the first line after 20 minutes. I told the woman we were sent back and she rolled her eyes at me (I may have rolled mine back at her). I proceeded to walk past her and a security guy came and looked at our e-docs and we were told to follow him. He apologized and led us to the security line. We spent 10 minutes there and were now in the very capable hands of Monica!
Monica is the best concierge at sea as far as I am concerned. She gave us some info and we were on the ship quickly. We went to Cagney's and had a wonderful lunch. Then we went off to our cabin, or should I say our paradise! 9232 is gorgeous as it is trimmed with dark wood and deep tones! The wrap-around balcony offered amazing views. Our Butler Maxi arrived very quickly and we showed him some problems with the balcony door and the bathroom. We then left to explore for about 30 minutes and by the time we came back the issues were resolved. Maxi the Butler "extraordinaire" was the the best butler we have ever had. He went above and beyond countless times. Some people do their jobs well, while there are those like Maxi who absolutely excel!
The drill was quick and informative. We went back to our balcony for some Moet and strawberries. We ate at Cagney's for dinner and then went to play at the casino. He won on slots and I won at 3 card. We came back to our room on our anniversary night to find we already had wonderful turn-down service and the room was impeccable! Pelom kept it that way the entire week. Guess what? Yup, the best cabin steward we had ever had! (Are you starting to see a theme...)
The next day we had a CC M&G, Latitudes party, and VIP party. We met all top officers 4x that day and were visible with cards to include phone numbers accessible the entire trip. Sean was the HD, and we had sailed with him last September on the Gem. We thought we were never going to have better service than we did on the Gem, but the Star was superior in this area. All of the staff seemed happier and more relaxed. No doubt it is the handiwork of Sean.
All week we had outstanding meals and service. There was just one exception to service, but it was remedied quickly. The casino did not carry Moet, but I asked Sean if they could send it there, and he took care of it. The dealers in the casino were helpful and gave gentle rule reminders. I am still kinda a newbie, so I required a little extra patience.
Iris at quest services was yet another example of a quality ship professional. Then there were all of the exceptional hostesses at Cagney's, Le Bistro and La Cuccina. The service in all of these restaurants was top notch! We had breakfast and lunch almost everyday at Cagney's or Maxi brought it to our cabin. We never ate in the MD, and we booked all SR's prior to sailing. Some things needed to be moved around due to the dailies, but Monica saw to it with ease and class.
I did see a lot of Bermuda due to the bus tour we took our first day in Bermuda. The second day I stayed on the ship as I was not walking well. I was hobbling around the Star a bit and taking pictures of the ship and guess who I saw and photographed sitting near the atrium...Mr. Kevin Sheehan himself. I really wanted to meet him, but he was busy in a meeting with the top officers. This was my biggest disappointment of the trip. I was sitting just a few feet from him and I did not get to say hello and thank you for all of my wonderful freestyle vacations. If you are reading this Mr. Sheehan, Hello and Thank You!
I had suffered a back injury prior to sailing, and walking was limited at times. Between Monica and Maxi I was very well taken care of. My husband left the ship to explore on his own a few times in Bermuda because I could not walk well enough to accompany him. Maxi and Monica both knew I was there alone and checked in with me and brought me meals, snacks and even made spa appointments and helped me get there. That is why the Star will always be my Sirius of NCL. It was not the Multi-level atrium, the gorgeous suite with the best wrap-around balcony, or even the wonderful meal we had at the Chef's table. It was the people and the service that they provided.
Our NCL Star cruise on May 20 was our best cruise ever! Monica, Maxi and Sean proved absolute dedication to outstanding customer service and quality control. This is what keeps us coming back to NCL!
Epic in January, and it can just not come fast enough!