After 10+ cruises, all being on Carnival except this last one on NCL Star. We were concerned about the flu epidemic because my husband has RA. Our fears were put to rest immediately. There were staff members with spray hand sanitizers at every turn. Also automatic hand cleaner dispensers everywhere you looked.
Now for other positive points on NCL Star. Beautiful ship. Good buffet food, More staff than Carnival. They were all so pleasant and full of personality. I was really impressed. Now for the comparison. . Food in dining rooms: Carnival has more choices and in my opinion better food. Only one specialty restaurant which is the steak house and it is more expensive but very good. On NCL Star we also ate in one of the specialty restaurants, the La Cacina, and Italian food place (there are 5 to choose from reasonably priced) There was no Italian red wine available and no one was knowledgeable about the wine list. All the food was in Alfredo sauce and only spaghetti was in red sauce.
Was very disappointed in service and food. Everything from bingo to gift shops were much higher on NCL so we did not buy anything. Entertainment on NCL was not great in my opinion. Carnival is better. Not very good discounts in the spa on NCL either. So hopefully I have given you something to think about when trying to decide on either of these cruise lines.
Very expensive shopping at Port shops. If you exit and go around back to "flea market" prices are better BUT not very nice or clean. To the left behind the port is a restaurant and I am sorry I cannot think of name but I believe it was the first one on the left. Their ceviche' was excellent and really good food and old beer.
Also I would not take a tour out of town. Too dangerous. Carnival will tell you this but NCL did not.
Great excursion. Was told a little rough but there was and 80+ lady along wwith her middle aged daughter and she did fine. Took a bus about 20 min oout to the jeep location and was given instructions how to drive the jeeps (2 people to a jeep). We were given helmets (disinfected) Scarfs to wear over our face if so desired, sprayed for insects and away we went with a leader in front and a guy following in back. There were about a dozen of us. Rode through the jungle area and then down the beach. They even let us stop and look for sea shells and gave us each a bottle of cold water. We then ended at ab little resort area with huts, a bar and we could =swim or just relax about an hour.
Excursion desk told us there would be no swimming so we did not take our suits. So if you go wear a swimming suit. The crew was great, fun to talk to and met our every need. A very pleasurable excursion. Note that if you want more than tow ro a vehicle I heard the dune buggy was fun also. Only saw beautiful wild parrots and iguanas on this trip. Would do it again though.
Carnival's port is a little cheaper than NCL. Both are very nice and modern and clean. Everything though is a lot higher than it used to be. Watch your liquor prices. You may spend $18.00 for a bottle of Tequila but look further and you will find it for 2 bottles for $18.00. This is in the NCL port. Do not eat at Jeanies. Food not good and beer not cold. Just like Cardinal port better.
We took a tour van with 6 of us that circled the island. I was not too impressed but being our first time their we thought we would get a feel for the place. Some of it is very impoverished as you may expect. But then went to West Bay Beach and had a great time. Clean beach. Cabana bed, lounge chairs and water was beautiful. Also good snorkeling. We also went para sailing here with "Robert" and got it for $100.00 for the two of us and they harnessed us together. It was an awesome experience and easy. We will go to Roatan again and if you go look for a tour van and ask for Juan. Nicest man we ever met on a cruise.