We decided to take a March cruise with the family, and the prices for this NCL couldn't be beat. We have sailed NCL before with Holland being our favorite. We came in with low expectations, and NCL exceeded all our expectations. I wouldn't hesitate to cruise the Star again if the price was right.
We sailed from Nola and embarkation was a breeze. Our cabin was a pleasant surprise. We had booked an Obstructed View, but realistically it was full ocean. The room was immaculately clean, and we especially loved the split shower/toilet area. It was a definite plus from other lines we've sailed. (RCL, Holland, & Disney). We were pleasantly surprised with the bed comfort, linen quality, and pillows. We do like fine mattresses and pillows, and we slept extremely well. The setup for the kids is a little awkward with a trundle next to the queen, but it worked for us just fine. Our steward was the best we've had on any of our cruises. Our room experience far exceeded our expectations.
We dined in both specialty restaurants and main dining rooms. We are foodies, and we didn't find the food to be good in the main dining rooms. They tried hard, presentation was good, but flavor was bland and lacking. This is typical of every ship we've been on except for Holland for MDR, so we were not surprised. Pass on the lobster, steak, and prime rib. The specialty restaurants really shined. We loved LeBistro, Cagneys, and the Teppenaki/Sushi. They were of quality as any fine dining in the city. When we return, we will most definitely book specialty restaurants nightly. The buffet was surprisingly good as well. They do have an outdoor grill by the pool which was okay too.
Activities and shows on board were good. The pool area has a great sun deck with numerous chairs. They have a lovely quiet area on Deck 12 forward with an adult hot tub. It has a more luxurious feel if you're looking for an adult only space. Waiters were plentiful and friendly. We spent time in the casino with table games, and we found games to be generous. We are not show people, but we did attend several shows. And they were really good! We had mixed feelings about the kids club. My youngest son, 7, loved the kids club, and they did a tremendous job with the younger kiddos. My older son, 11 1/2, was bored and only went once. The tween group met in a meeting room on the other side of the ship, and it seemed lacking for his age group. He spent most of his time on the basketball court.
We had a bad luck of weather, and it rained every day but 1! But we still had a tremendous time. We visited PezQuadro beach club in Costa Maya, took a water taxi to Caye Caulker in Belize, and visited Bananarama in Belize. All were incredible and we arranged them ourselves rather than a formal excursion. I would highly recommend getting the first tender in Belize! It was almost 11am by the time we actually got off the ship, so get your tickets early! We did take the last tender back and it was no problem.
The Star shines when it comes to customer service. This ship did give the best customer service we've had on a cruise. So kudos to you, NCL. The Star is not the newest ship with all the bells and whistles, but it is good. And the staff makes up for the rest. This is not a high end ship or line, but there were little luxuries that were just enough. It was perfect for our family. If the price were right, we wouldn't hesitate to travel NCL again.