Norwegian Star Cruise Review by DC Traveller: Enjoyed Our First Transatlantic
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Enjoyed Our First Transatlantic
My husband and I decided to return from our two week independent travel in Germany via a transatlantic cruise rather than a grueling transatlantic flight. It was a good decision. We flew into Copenhagen the day before our cruise and after a $50 taxi ride checked into the Clarion Collection Hotel Neptune. The location was terrific (one block from Nyhaven), our room was clean and comfortable, and both dinner and breakfast were included with our room. We thought it was a good value, and our taxi to the pier was less expensive at about $35.
We arrived at the pier just after 11:00 and found the check-in process to be well-organized. We were onboard within about 45 minutes, were able to drop our carry-on luggage in our stateroom, and were sitting in the Versailles Dining Room by 12:30 to enjoy a civilized lunch.
Our stateroom, a mini-suite, was aft on Deck 11. It was spacious, bright, and clean. Our balcony was inviting and got lots of use over the course of the cruise. We More found the bed to be very comfortable, but the sofa in the sitting area was hard as a rock. We appreciated the heavy curtain which could be pulled closed to separate the bed area from the sitting area. There was plenty of storage; however, the shelving in the closet was poorly designed. To access the shelves, one had to reach in to the side of the hanging clothing. It was awkward. Our bathroom was large (for a cruise ship), and we liked the sliding door to close off the toilet area. We were never disturbed by noise from our neighbors. Occasionally I could hear a cart rumble through above the bathroom, but it was never a bother.
The food on the Star was about what we expected after reading previous reviews. It ranged from OK to excellent, with most things being in the "good" category. I never had a problem finding something I enjoyed in any of the venues we tried. We had the majority of our dinners in Aqua. The noise level in that room was more conducive for conversation, and the service seemed a little faster. We had some meals (but no dinners) in the Market Cafe. There was a good variety of food there, but the chaos didn't appeal to me. We had a couple of good breakfasts in Blue Lagoon. While our dinner in Le Bistro was quite good, I don't think it justified the $20 per person upcharge.
We really enjoyed the entertainment on the Star, with the exception of Second City. That show just didn't connect with us. While I had read about broken seats in the Stardust Theater, I could not believe just how many seats are unusable. It's a disgrace.
As most other reviewers have noted, the service on the Star is outstanding. Every request we made was met, and with a smile. All the staff were friendly and gracious.
My big concern on our first transatlantic cruise was the weather. While this is completely a matter of chance, we did just fine. We did experience rough seas our first full sea day in the North Atlantic and there were a couple of days when the outside decks were closed for at least part of the day due to high winds, but we never felt motion sickness. We did some zig-zag walking down the hallways and it made dancing "interesting" at times, but never interfered with our having a good time. I also wondered if we would get bored with so many sea days, but we fell into a routine of attending events, walking laps on the deck, and meeting shipboard friends. We never were at a loss for something to do, when we wanted something to do. The weather warmed up enough the last several days of the cruise to enjoy poolside sunning, shuffleboard, and even a dip in the pool. Another pre-cruise worry that proved groundless was cigarette smoke making our balcony unusable. We never had one whiff of smoke on our balcony.
We would certainly be happy to take a transatlantic cruise in the future, and would be happy to sail again on the Norwegian Star. Less
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