My husband and I both age 36, just went on the Star Mardi Gras week. It was my 1st time traveling on this line. We live only an hour drive southwest of New Orleans. So drive to the port was super easy and we knew to leave early to avoid all the Mardi Gras traffic coming into the city. Embarktation was very quick and we were on the ship by lunchtime.
Our stateroom wasn't ready but that was ok. We headed to the lido deck to grab some lunch while waiting. We still had our carryon bags with us making it difficult to carry plates, so my husband and I just ended up splitting a burger, hot dog and some fries. We just wanted a small something anyway to hold us up until dinner. We had dinner at the Italian specialty restarant the 1st night. We got the drink of the day at sailaway. They def don't skimp on the alcohol. But it was good. Got the pina coloda after and they poured the rum on top. I think it was the 1st time I ever felt anything off a pina colada. They had a barbecue on the lido right before sail off, but we didn't try it. was still full from lunch and we were still trying to hold off til dinner. It looked good. But I think with a ship sailing from New Orleans which in my opinion has the best food in the world, they should do a cajun section as well. Boiled seafood, gumbo and maybe some king cake since it was Mardi Gras would of been a nice touch.
Our stateroom was ready shortly after and it was nice. We had balcony room 9710. Bathroom was bigger than what I remember on Carnival and the Royal. toilet had a privacy space with a wall and shower was big enough for 2. Loved that. just wish the sofa was on the other side and the beds closer to the balcony. love hearing the waves every night and morning, it lulls me to sleep. Our TV was very very small, but you are rarely in your room watching TV. I mainly only used it right before bed to put me to sleep.
Italian specialty dining was outstanding. My fav meal on the ship. The breads with the 4 dipping oils they give you when you sit down was amazing. The calamari was also very good. My husband had the minestrone soup with italian sausage. He said was the best he ever had, with an excellent red sauce. I tried a bit and I agreed. I ordered the pizza as my main entree, excecting only a slice or 2. They brought me out a huge pie! It was thin crust which I love with yummy italian sausage and bacon. I only managed 2 small slices because I was getting really full. barely had room for dessert but forced myself. Had the chocolate torte which was really rich but yummy.
Other dining options we tried was Cagney's Steakhouse on Valentines night. It was ok but didn't wow me. The blue Hawaiian drink I ordered was the worse I ever tasted. They poured so much rum that it was all I could taste. It really over powered the drink. I only managed a couple sips and ended up getting a diet Pepsi. The crabcakes was good but very tiny. The lobster bisque was salty and mainly just cream. Only one small piece of lobster floating at the top. My ribeye was good but my husband said he had much better. But of course he has been to steak houses all over the United States and I haven't. My onion rings were overcooked and hard. Potato au gratin had too much parmesean taste to it and looked weird. Dessert sampler was very good though esp the brownie with macademia nuts.
We also tried the Le Bistro (French) on our last night. That was very good. 2nd fav meal of the trip. I had scones as a starter with 4 diff fillings that were really good. And an amazing salad with smoked duck and huge honey glazed pecans. For the main course my husband and I both had the pork tenderloin which was really yummy. best part was the dessert. we had the chocolate fondue for 2. So good that I am still thinking about it.
We had breakfast at the buffet most of the time. Only because it was fast on the port days when we had to hurry to get to our excursions. It was your typical buffet breakfast. eggs, omelet station, waffle station, pancakes, fresh fruit, pastries, grits, bacon, sausage etc... It was ok. Breakfast in the dining room was better but very limited menu. And it was the same every single day so you would get bored. I ate there for breakfast on our 1st sea day,last sea day and disembarkation. I had the blueberry pancakes twice which was very good and salmon benedict once which I didn't care for at all. We never got to eat lunch in the dining room. but the menu posted by the door also never changed, same the whole cruise. We had dinner every night in the main dining room except for the 3 times we did the specialty. It was ok, never had a bad meal, just nothing that blew me away. The menu wasn't too exciting. mainly asian and fish was always on it. Plus a page with the same menu items you could get every night such as steak, chicken. plus desserts that you could get every night. the desserts were also kind of boring. only ones that I really enjoyed was the bread pudding and the chocolate raspberry truffle cake. We missed the lobster they had the 1st night due to dining at the Italian specialty that night. but yet they wanted to charge you in the specialty restaurants if you wanted lobster. after paying a $25 cover charge, they shouldn't charge you anymore including lobster. We also tried blue Lagoon for lunch once. great chicken wings and spinach dip. Husband loved his fish and chips. It was my 1st time trying freestyle dining and it had its pros and cons. It gave us time to relax without having to rush to shower to get ready for dinner at a certain time. Only thing I missed was having table mates. I do like some meals with just my husband. but we loved meeting new people as well. we only had table mates for breakfast. And since we didn't have the same waitress/waiter every night, I missed the individual attention. But like I said pros and cons.
Public areas- they had 1 main pool which gets very crowded at peak times and nearly impossible to find a chair. They have 2 yellow twisty slides which I tried a few times like a big kid. I kept getting stuck on them and had to scoot myself down. Not fun at all. And no, I am not big at all. very average size. I love water slides and wish they had the waterworks water park on all their ships. Hot tubs were always packed and we only got to use it once. The kids had their own little water slide and pool/hot tub which looked nice. There was also an inside lap pool in the spa. I would of loved to use it esp when it was freezing cold on our last sea day. But didn't since you have to pay for it. The gym looked nice and even though I had all intentions on using it, never did. We did the pub crawl our 1st sea day which was fun. 5 diff drinks from 5 diff bars for $25 a person. worse drinks ever though. yuck. There was only one main lounge which was the spinnaker. We never lasted past 10 p.m. because husband was always wanting to turn in early. I would have loved to stay to see if it got more fun. Because they were playing mainly older people music and was full of mainly senior citizens. I am sure at midnight it would of got more fun and catered more to the 20-30 year age group. We made it to only 2 shows. Very good esp the second city show.
We had a great time on the Star and loved the ports. Of course it can always use room for improvement which I mentioned in the review. disembarkation was a breeze. And we managed to carry our own luggage off the ship. No spending an hour or more at the terminal looking at thousands of pieces of luggage, trying to find ours.
Belize was so beautiful. We rode the bus that took us to a little place to ride ATV 4 wheelers through the jungle. That was great and so much fun! and our tour guide held our camera and took lots of pics of us. just make sure you strip down to your bathing suit only, you will be a muddy mess. but they are showers to shower off afterward. after the ATV ride, we got on the bus again and they took us to another little place to do some cave tubing. It is a long 45 min hike through the jungle. So make sure you are in tip top shape, it is very tiring and very hot. I seen a lot of elderly people who were struggling. And make sure you wear your water shoes. The caves were very beautiful and the water was quite refreshing. very relaxing. after the cave tubing was over, you got on the bus again and they took you to a nice place for lunch. chicken tamale. It was Ash Wednesday and I cheated and ate meat. couldn't resist, it was very good. after lunch, we rode the bus back to the ship, and still had some time to do a little shopping.
My fav port we visited. It was so beautiful and breathtaking. We did the dolphin encounter with Anthony's. Beware that this is only an encounter and not an actual swim. I swam with the dolphins in Jamaica and this one being only an encounter was not nearly as good. They take you in waist deep water and don't let you bring your cameras to the very last 10 min. They gave us lessons and taught us about the dolphins. We were allowed to pet them, give belly rubs, etc.. When it came down to the kiss, the trainer only took pics with his own camera and not yours. So that you could buy the very overpriced pics in the gift shop after. It was very disorganized in the gift shop and very slow. My husband got so frustrated that we left before even viewing our pics. And the rest of the gift shop was very overpriced as well. $42 for a T Shirt? come on, crazy! After that was over, we boarded the bus again and they took us to the most beautiful beach I ever seen. Tabyana beach. Lunch was included burgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken, rice, beans and fresh fruit. and unlimited tea and lemonade. We also tried the bar which isn't included and got a couple of their signature drinks, tabyana mamas. so good. We relaxed on the beach the rest of the day and had a blast.