I am sure most other reviews for this cruise will complain about the embarkation. Fist let me say this was the first time any ship had left from the new terminal in New Orleans and there was a definite learning curve. Halfway thru the loading the gangplank broke and loading was stopped for about two hours. I made it to the ship before and as a result my rating will be higher as I got to watch from the ship side the people stuck inside the terminal as I enjoyed the food. In addition the river is about eight feet lower then normal and as a result the loading of all supplies required a special fork lift. Therefore we left port about four hours late.
Once we finally got going the Star began to shine. The food was generally good but not great. I ate one night at Moderno and that was excellent. I heard several people say to stay away from Cagney's so I did. I did not eat at the other specialty restaurants but they were getting good reviews form the other guests. I ate breakfast at the cafeteria having an omelet and dinner was at Versyle. The best part there were not any lines at any restaurant and the line at the omelet station was never more then two or three people.
The show are getting old. I have been on four Norwegian Cruises and have seen the same shows on all four. I think the show are good but they need to get some new entertainers and change the dance routines. They did announce one show has brand new the last night but by that time I was getting tired of the same old shows so I stayed away.
The hot water tank broke on the fifth day and it took about 24 hours to get it fixed. It has been a long time since I had a cold shower. They opened the bar for free that night and most the guests didn't seem to care from the point forward. It was fixed the following day and there was no further incidents.
Disembarkation went without any problems. They started early around 7:10 and since we carried our own suitcases off we were at the airport checking on an early flight at 8:15 AM. I have never been able to leave a ship that fast before.
The best part of the Star is the service. This was my second trip on the Star and both times I have observed more supervisor's on this ship then on any other Norwegiancruise ship I have been on. As a result the service is excellent.
The cabin was excellent and I am very fussy. I could find no dust anywhere not even under the television. I agree they need to update the small televisions but I do not go on a cruise to watch television so I didn't really bother me. I do wish they would stop allowing smoking on the balconies since I had to but up with a smoker in the cabin next to me who seemed to be smoking all the time.
I booked tours with private tour operators online for each stop and had no issues at all. In each case the cost was at least half of what Norwegian was charging. At each stop we had to leave the port area to find our tour but they were always waiting and this was not a major problem as we figured we saved over $500.00 by doing our trips this way.
My wife and I both agree that we prefer the Norwegian Star to the other cruise ships we have been on with Norwegian. This ship is smaller then the others but both the service and food is better and most important you do not have long lines at the restaurants or when entering or leaving the ship at the ports of call. When going to Belize we got a tender without any wait despite the fact we were not on a ship tour.
After having been on most the different ships in the Norwegian fleet, except the Epic which is simply to big for my tastes, I would recommend the Star to all other ships in the Norwegian fleet.