We used the Ramada Inn-Metarie in the New Orleans area for a Park,Cruise,Fly option on this extended 26 night trip. They were great. We stayed the night before and they took us to the Port, kept our vehicle safe without any extra charge and then picked us up at the airport and we stayed that night, all for normal room rates with great service.
It had been a few years since we last sailed on NCL. We were prepared for somewhat less personalized attention, but were pleasantly surprised to see that factor has improved, at least on the Star. We experienced mostly smooth seas crossing, only a couple of days were a little bumpy. The food was good. We ate in both of the Dining rooms, the buffet, the Blue Lagoon and also at the Pool area. We didn't find a need to try the "Specialty" restaurants. The entertainment in the theater was above average, especially considering that the "Ship Crew" performers were on their first time through a new performance package. The theater needs to repair quite a few of the seats, they tilt down too low in the front.
We were fortunate to have good weather most days, except Dover was a little wet/cold/windy. The Azores are really nice and we would like to return there. We had pre-arranged for an "Off Ship" tour with Ricardo of Amazing Tours in Ponta Delgada. He was excellent.
In Dover, we had prearranged on off-ship tour with Dover White Cliff Tours. It was O.K./Average. Richard the owner/guide took us to the country and several communities, but was weak in his ability to share about the area, etc. and when we stopped in the towns (Canterbury, etc.), he just put us out and we were on our own entirely.
In Helsingborg, we took a NCL tour of the countryside. The tour was good; however, our particular bus guide was weak. The lady on the other NCL bus was much better at sharing information during the stops, etc.
At Copenhagen, we just took a Hop on Hop Off bus with a Harbor Boat tour option and it was pretty good, especially the boat tour portion.
Anticipating some rough waters on the crossing, we chose an oceanview stateroom low and mid-ship on deck 5. It was very comfortable. The only "grumble" was that we were located directly below the "Art Auction" area and the walking corridor. The Art people used some 4-wheel dollies to move their stuff around at night and had one with a flat wheel. it made a lot of noise. For our next trip, we will move to the other side under one of the specialty restaurants to minimize the overhead noise.
We met some really nice people and enjoyed the cruise over to Europe. When we arrived at Copenhagen, we continued on with the ship for its "BALTIC" trip. I'll write another review for that portion.