My husband and I stayed at the Holiday Inn in Metairie, LA the evening before. They have a stay,cruise and park plan which includes shuttle pickup to and from the Julia Street Port. Our embarkment was painless. We were onboard ship and eating at Versailles Restaurant before 12:30pm. The staterooms were announced as ready before we left our table. We spend the afternoon exploring the new ship(to us),and finally relaxed in our balcony stateroom. Our safety meeting was at 4:30 and our biggest problem of the day was finding our assembly station. It was M1 inside the Aqua restaurant midship. We expected everyone to assemble outside on deck. We shared a table with 2 other couples for our evening dinner at Versailles. The free style dining was wonderful. There was never any waiting for us, party of 2, and we usually shared a table. There were so many interesting couples on this cruise. We took in the evening entertainment led by cruise director, Kyle, in the Stardust theater. I was not impressed with the seating arrangments of this theater compared with the Spirit, but I did get used to it by the end of the cruise. The first night was the least impressive of the evening entertainment, but it improved as the week went along.
I must jump ahead to the closing night entertainment in the Stardust. It is Elements, a combination of all of the entertainers! It is an amazing performance. Please don't miss it! Plus Kyle, your cruise director, had an amazing send off with the crew there to say goodbye.
Our week was a blur of activities, meeting new people, enjoying excursions and, of course, eating delicious foods! We did not eat in any of the extra fee restaurants. We were very happy with the food selections at the Versailles or Aqua. Sunday night is surf and turf, so don't miss that one! Delicious!
We had breakfast at the buffet every morning. The omelet stations are all on the starboard side. I missed them the first morning, but not from then on. Very fast service with made to order eggs.
Excursions: Costa Maya was a dolphin swim, Great! Plenty of time for a walk around the port area. Belize City was Alta Hun, a long ride there but still good cultural experience. Roatan was the Tabayna beach! Great place, and excellent water experience, a massage on the beach also top notch! Cozamel was the Mayan ruins and beach break. Our favorite this year! Our guide, Bianca really knew her material. The wind and weather did not cooperate to get in the water, but we did walk along the water and find some souveniors. She gave a narration on the complete bus ride. The ruins were small, but yet unique. It was an amazing location.
As I said Cozumel had high winds. At the port, Kyle, the cruise director, had moved the welcome back aboard party from the top deck to the port. What began with a dj and 8-10 activity people singing and dancing, ended up with 40+ crew members lining the dock, dancing, clapping, singing, and passing out pure jello shots. We could hear and watch the activity from our portside balcony. The NCL sister ship, Dawn, was docked alongside, and sure made for a great afternoon party! I don't know WHERE those employees got their energy! The fun went on for at least 2 hours. I will always remember that afternoon and Kyle, even Sean, the hotel director, was there passing out chilled cloths, water and jello shots. Non alcoholic, but great fun!
I would definitely do a repeat on the NCL Star, like we did with the NCL Spirit!
Disembarkment was painless as well. We chose to walk off with our own luggage.
We were at the Julia Street terminal in time to meet the Cajun Encounters shuttle bus back to the Holiday Inn by 8:15am. I hope everyone has great cruising like this one! I haven't even started to talk about our cabin steward or the cleaniliness of our room. Great again!