Life is all about expectations. It is also about making choices and the risk/benefit ratio especially when it comes to spending money. Vacations are no different. Sometimes we hope that we'll be pleasantly surprised when we spend less for something by getting more. That is not the case as it applies to the Norwegian Star. The inverse is true. You pay less and get much less.
First to some good. The entertainment on this ship is very good. The onboard entertainment is first rate. The dancers and singers sing and dance their hearts out. The musical staff is simply superb. There is a drummer on board that I came to know as Glenn Paul. He is a consummate professional that outshines the "instrumentalist" that is brought on board. Glenn should be on Broadway or here in L.A.
Is there anything else good I can say? Gee, I wish so. But not. Oh yeah, the staterooms are nice and well cared for.
The Star itself is an old, tired boat that shows its age. I didn't think it was possible to kill artificial plants but the Star figured a way to do it. The fountain in the "Grand Atrium?" Doesn't work. Cleanliness? You won't find it here since carpets and furniture show their wear.
Since many come on cruises for the food, I'd recommend that you pack your own. The Market Cafe is simply awful. They kept running out of basics: coffee, milk, iced tea. You'd have to ask for cream cheese and other things. Cold hamburgers...the list goes on. Food in the dining rooms was just marginally better.
But the worst was the Cruise Director, Archie. the day we docked in Stockholm there was a marathon later in the day. Taxis and Buses stopped. Walking became difficult as streets closed and a security blanket was laid down. Archie said that he let everyone know in "three languages" that this was happening. Funny...many of the people who had a terrible time getting back to the boat must not speak any of those languages. We found the cruise staff more interested in the constant selling of lottery tickets than engaging with passengers or being helpful. These guys were the worst I have ever experienced.
Getting off the ship was easy and thankfully so. Expectations. The price you pay can sometimes be very expensive for what you really get. I should have learned that lesson by now!