Norwegian Star Cruise Review by kiwibor: Relaxing transatlantic
Overall Member Rating
We are a couple in our mid 60's, and this was our 4th transatlantic cruise - our 3rd with NCL, but first cruise on the Star. When we arrived at the Copenhagen airport, we decided to purchase 24 hour city passes ($15 per day, per person) in order to use public transportation during our 3 day stay in Copenhagen prior to the cruise. It is less confusing to purchase tickets at the ticket counter (near airport exit) than to purchase them from a kiosk. The tickets are good for 24 hours from the time you first stamp them, and the public transportation system is wonderful - clean with frequent departures from all stops (you can pre-plan your use of the public transportation using the Rejseplanen website). It was a very easy trip into town via the Metro, with one change to a bus to reach our destination, the Hotel Maritime. It is in a great location and a 5 minute walk to Nyhaven. As a previous post noted, it is about $85 for taxis from airport to hotel, and then to pier from hotel. We were More
able to get to the pier via public transporation also, so purchasing the city passes was a big savings for us. It is about a 12-15 minute walk to the ship from the drop off point at the pier, but unless it is raining, it's a very easy walk.
Embarkation was a quick and easy process - we arrived at the ship at 2:30 and were on board within 20 minutes. We had a mini suite, which was spacious with a balcony that was literally 2x the size of the balcony we had on the Carnival Breeze last year. Since we enjoy spending time on the balcony, it was lovely to have so much room. Though the cabin was large, it seemed to have less storage space than any of the 3 other NCL ships we were on. Since we each had a 22" suitcase and a backpack, there was ample room for our things, but if you don't pack light you'll have a bit of a challenge finding room for all of your clothes. The bathroom was large, with a deep tub. However, there was little storage space in the bathroom - just one small shelf over the sink. Hardly enough room for lotions and potions, etc.
The food was typical cruise food - either you like it or you don't, so I won't go into detail about the food except for one thing, i.e. the 24/7 "gourmet" pizza for $5 delivered to one's cabin (or anywhere else on the ship). The "gourmet" pizza was the same as the lukewarm cardboard pizza served in the Market Cafe, though it had 3x as much cheese and was served very HOT. I can't imagine that anyone over the age of 12 could eat this pizza and enjoy it. If NCL is serving this pizza on the Breakaway, no self-respecting New Yorker would eat it, much less pay for it. We ordered a "gourmet" pizza to eat on our balcony when leaving port in Ponta Delgada, Azores (our only port). Although I was starved after a long day in port, the pizza was so unappetizing that I only ate 2 slices, my traveling companion only ate one slice. Forewarned is forearmed - unless you enjoy mediocre pizza, there is no point in ordering the NCL "gourmet" pizza.
The entertainment in the Stardust Theatre in the evenings was very good, though I think it was simply "repositioning" entertainment for our cruise only for the most part. "Elements" is probably a staple for upcoming cruises. Quite an extravaganza, but I didn't particularly care for it. It was interesting, but not my cup of tea. No need to rush to get an aisle seat in the theatre, as most of them are in very bad condition and slant down at such an angle that it is not possible to sit in them comfortably. Perhaps this problem will be corrected now that the ship is back in a U.S. homeport for the season. The seats were well staggered and I rarely had a problem viewing the stage even though I am short.
The Star has a well stocked library, which was much appreciated. The ship is a bit old, but fairly well kept. The service on board varied, but was never poor.
When we got to Miami we elected to chose self disembarkation - with not much luggage we always chose that option. We noted that the luggage area at the pier was well organized. It took nearly 50 minutes to get off the ship and into a cab as the customs line was rather slow. We spent two nights in Miami Beach at the Riu, which we LOVED - right on the beach with beautiful grounds.
Overall, we were very pleased with our cabin & the cruise. We've learned to book 14-15 months before sailing to get the best cabin price, and feel that the value we received was extraordinary for this cruise. We find NCL a good fit for our cruising needs. Not formal, excellent value, and something on board for everyone. I've already booked my next NCL cruise and purchased a future cruise certificate while on the Star (can't beat getting $100 off your on-board expenses simply for buying a $250 future cruise certificate). Less
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