Norwegian Star - Mexican Riviera: Norwegian Star Cruise Review by Bennett
Overall Member Rating
Norwegian Star - Mexican Riviera
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Embarkation We arrived at the San Pedro Harbor Berth 93 at 10:00 in the morning and you can start to check in at 10:30. After a few minutes of waiting we were the first in line to check-in. After getting our pictures taken and receiving our key cards we took the Red Car Trolley down to the museum and walked over to the San Pedro Brewery for lunch because you cant board the ship until 1:00. TIP: it is a good idea to arrive by 10:30 and check in because at 1:00 you bypass the long check-in line and can get right on the ship.
Ship The ship is beautiful. Very clean (which I like) and crew members everywhere. The only thing is that it is so big we got lost everyday. They do have signs with arrows pointing you in the right direction but you have to figure out which More way is forward and which way is aft (back of the boat.) It does get confusing, especially if you have had a lot to drink&
Entertainment Every day you are given a Freestyle Cruising Newsletter (Agenda) that tells you what is going on the following day. The entertainment was good but I would say more for the older crowd. They did have a magic show that was excellent and the Newlywed game made me laugh so hard you have to go to that. Bingo was a hit TIP: dont buy the papers. The only people that won on bingo bought the bingo machines you will see what I mean. Also, Karaoke was a lot of fun. We found good entertainment in the shuffle boards outside on the balconies have a few drinks and kick your partners butt& The casino was nice to us. We took $50.00 in and in a half hour we came out with $400.00. We played the $1.00 wheel of fortune.
Food The food on the ship wasnt all bad but nothing to write home about. We did eat at the Market Cafe (buffet) a lot because it was fast and easy. It is on the same deck as the pool so it was convenient. We did eat at Versailles (one of the free main restaurants) twice and the service was pretty slow, but the food was good. Its nice because you can order however much you want. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary and we ate at one of the specialty restaurants Cagneys Steak House and it was to die for. You pay a $20.00 cover charge per person and you can eat the whole menu if you opted. TIP: Out of 10 of the restaurants on board 4 of them I believe are specialty restaurants, which you have to pay a cover charge for. But I would suggest doing it at least once. They do have an ice cream parlor but the line is always long and it is in the back of the boat by the all the kids stuff.
Cabin We were on deck 10 in an inside room which was nice. We didnt feel the boat at all going south but we did heading back home. At night the cabin would creek a little but nothing you cant stand. The room has a lot of storage I thought and the bathroom was nice. The shower is separate and has room enough for two!! TIP: I would suggest bringing an air freshener (no ventilation), an extension cord (only one plug in the bathroom and one in the room not two in one outlet like at home only one outlet), hangers if you want to hang up all of your clothes (you only get about 10), and a clock (there is only one on the phone or on TV.) Also, dont expect an animal towel I had to ask for mine on the last night.
Excursions Our first port was in Acapulco and as soon as you get off of the boat you are hounded by taxi drivers. TIP: remember to bargain with everyone there, even the taxi drivers. If they tell you a price and it seems high keep walking, they will follow you and lower the price. Dont ever settle for what they say. We had Ricardo (taxi driver) take us around Acapulco. Our first stop was the flea market be prepared to be disgusted. The smell is horrendous and the filth will kill ya. You can get some good deals but you wont want to stay there long. You do have to pay to go potty and they roll your toilet paper for you (no sanitary nothing.) So I would say hold it if you can!! We did end up at a nice beach and we spent the afternoon parasailing and drinking Coronas. Be prepared that the kids will come up to you and try and sell you everything and whoever sells you beer will follow you around until youre done so they can have their bottles back. We ate lunch at Tacos and Beers and then ate dinner at El Zorrito and that was excellent. We now wish we would have done the bar hopping excursion that is offered on the ship. We heard from several people that that was fun. Our next port was Ixtapa and you have to tender in to that port (take life boat in) and that town is cute. It smells like fish but their flea market is pretty nice. We spent the day shopping and walking around. Very nice. Our next port was Puerto Vallarta and we enjoyed that town. We met up with Abraham (tour guide) and he took us around in his van. The streets are pretty much all one way (kind of scary). We went and had lunch at Senor Frogs and that was good. You have to go there fresh salsa. We shopped a little at the flea market then headed back. The next day was at Cabo and what a beautiful place. This was the best port. We had booked an excursion to go snorkeling at the Santa Maria Cove. We had to tender there too and our excursion was from 9:00 12:00 it was an open bar on the boat so we had a great time. After snorkeling we headed to Cabo Wabo. We wanted to have lunch there but the wait was over an hour and we didnt have a lot of time so we shopped then I got my hair braided by the senoritas and we headed back to the boat. I wish we had more time in Cabo. You can tell a lot of American dollars are spent there.
Disembarkation You are given colored tags and a time of when you will be called to disembark. Because we were on deck 10 our time was 10:30 which seemed like it took forever. I was ready to get off by then. The customs line was ridiculous but other then that, it was a breeze.
Summary Arrive early to the Harbor to avoid lines. Alcohol - We bought 7 18 packs of Bud Light and stuffed them in our bags before getting on the ship, well they confiscated 3 of them and we were able to get them back on the last day so my suggestion is to buy beer and liquor but put it in all different bags. This will get you by on the first few days at sea, than when you port you can buy all the liquor and beer you want and bring it back on. They dont care. For a 6-pack of Bud Light on the ship it costs $23.95 plus a 15% gratuity tip is automatically added to all alcoholic drinks. A mixed drink in a souvenir cup is $8.00 $9.00. I would suggest buying one cup then you can reuse it over and over and it is cheaper. Or you can get a regular glass for $5.00. Remember this it adds up. Dont shop on the ship until towards the end it gets cheaper. Pictures are taken everywhere you go by a professional and they cost a lot of money. I took my digital and went and took pictures of the pictures turned out good and saved me tons. If you dont plan on staying in your room a lot I think an inside stateroom is great. Remember to bargain with everyone at the Ports. You can usually cut their offer in half. At least eat at one of the specialty restaurants once. The Freestyle Cruising is great because you can eat when, where, and with whom you want. Loved it! The fitness center is very nice - be sure to take advantage of it but you have to wake early cause it gets busy. Take a lot of sunscreen and prepare for the humidity. Less