We had a great time on the Star. Embarkation was pain free and we were on board in a little over an hour. We went straight to the pool deck, as we were in the mood to party and didn't want to sit down to a long meal. The first thing we noticed was that the Market Cafe was more like a high school cafeteria than a dining area. Having only been on 2 prior cruises, both with Carnival, we (my wife and 2 daughters, 21 & 23)were a little disappointed with this, as the selection didn't seem to be as varied as Carnival's. This would become a theme for the early part of the trip.
The first night we all had dinner together in the Versailles. I ordered the lobster, which was better than I was led to believe from reading these boards, but still very skimpy. Since I wasn't that hungry it was more than sufficient.
After dinner we went to the Welcome aboard show, which wasn't really worth the time.
The first sea day we had our meet & greet, followed by the cabin crawl. The officers of the ship came by to say hello and invite us to the bridge tour. Unfortunately the tour was scheduled for the last day in Bermuda, which made us a "no-show". I hope no one was offended.
The rest of the cruise is starting to become a blur. We found the 70's show to be excellent. The main vocalist was terrific, and it was funny watching them trying to hide his lack of dancing skills. The all-girl show, I think it was called Shout, was awful. Couldn't wait to get out of there. The girls were all talented and sang together very well, but the show was boring. It was the only show we didn't like, and the last night show "Elements" is not to be missed. The other non-Broadway type shows were excellent, and for that the credit goes to the Cruise Director, Kyle. I've never before felt that the cruise director had any effect on my vacation, but this guy made a huge difference. He was extremely funny and very quick with a comeback, always managing to make us laugh. Then, after leaving him in the theater where he would come out and speak after a show, we'd find him at Spinnaker Lounge, singing in the 50's show (good singer),getting people to twist or line dance at the country-western show. I don't know when this guy slept, but he was a pro at his job.
After the first night, we never did make it back to Versailles, once we found out that we could have the same meal in about half the time at the Aqua. We found the food to be slightly inferior to Carnival, but in looking back, I don't think I ever ate anything I didn't like.
Bermuda was awesome. We went to Elbow Bay the first day, and that was perfect.
There was an old friendly man renting chairs and umbrellas ($10 ea.), and the beach was pretty quiet. I guess everyone had gone to Horseshoe Bay. We decided to go to Horseshoe the following day and it was gorgeous, but crowded. They weren't renting umbrellas because of the wind, which was originally a problem for me (skin cancer) but we managed to have a great time w/o one. The people at Horseshoe Bay (the tourists)were so friendly, it was hard to believe we were all mostly from the east coast. On our last day in Bermuda we went to Church Bay. This is another beautiful beach but it has some issues. There is no one there renting chairs or selling food, and no rest facilities. we made this best of it and collected some beach glass, but it was difficult to access the beach, and I wouldn't reccomend this beach to anyone with disability issues.
The girls had a great time in Bermuda,staying out until the wee hours both nights. This was great for them since there were about 200 college aged kids on board, and they all seemed to be hitting it off.
The on board entertainment was outstanding. Where we were used to seeing folk guitarists in the Atrium on Carnival, Norwegian had wonderfully trained musicians in theirs. We saw a classical guitarist playing with a flautist and pianist. The sound was so stirring that you had to stop and listen, if only for a moment. They also had a jazz band that performed there regularly, and were terrific. The bands on the pool deck were both excellent, one playing classic rock and the other an "island" band. Not that I minded when they took a break and the DJ played.
The only real complaint I have, other than the Market Cafe, is with the pool deck. The blue tiles really date the pool itself, though the pool was big and the water fairly deep. The slides, however, take up most of the open space and really didn't look like much fun. The deck seems very crowded and it was always hard to find a chair. On Carnival there's an adults only section that's very nice. It has nice chairs with pillows, hammocks, a pool and hot tubs. On the Star there was no shade, and the "adult" area was just a bunch of loungers on the front of the ship.
Overall we had a blast on the Star.