Our cruise was from Oct 13-27, 2013. We departed Miami 3 hours late. The reason we were given was because of trouble getting on "stores". Instead of going down the east coat of Mexico/West Coat of Cuba as advertised before hand, we went down the East Coast of Cuba. No big deal, just a deviation we weren't informed of.
Cabin: We had a mini-suite and the cabin size was just ok. The toilet smelled like urine from the first day. Not sure why, but I think it's because of the vacuum design. The light went out in the shower which was quickly fixed but the slow drain in the sink took two attempts to fix. The closet design was really poor. Two doors open to the hanger area, with two useless, flip-up shelves. To the left were shelves for non-hanging clothes but there was NO LIGHT in the closet which made it impossible to find things without the use of a flashlight. It was mere luck I brought this flashlight along that hung from the clothes pole: http://tinyurl.com/3xnkvhl otherwise, I'd had to pull the clothes out to see what they were. The bed was two twins pushed together to make a queen size. There was a huge lump in the middle where they came together and another huge lump in the middle of my rock-hard side. The pillows smelled like dirty clothes/sweat and I don't think my cabin steward changed the bed during the two week cruise. The couch/futon was rock hard and would not stay in the couch position when two of us sat on it. It wanted to slide out into futon mode. The balcony furniture was adequate although the small table wobbled and was sketchy for holding a drink. The balcony railing was missing a bolt holding the wood rail to the metal post. Rust was pervasive in the balcony area. The refrigerator was stocked stuff we didn't use so we moved them on the shelf above the refrigerator. When we moved them we noticed the red wine bottle had been emptied, the screw top screwed back down and replaced in the refrigerator. We pointed this out to our cabin steward but are waiting to see if they try to charge us for that, so be advised this can happen to you too. On the day before debarkation, we pulled our suitcases from under the bed to find:
1. A used ladies razor.
2. A woman's pony tail tie.
3. Enough dust/dirt that you couldn't see what color the carpet is.
It would be nice if they would vacuum under the beds between cruises. This was incredibly disgusting and goes along with the non-changing of the linen for two weeks and sweatty smelling pillows.
Crew: The crew was friendly and accommodating as with most cruise lines. The Cruise Director was overly friendly whenever we'd see her. It was obviously fake. I appreciated the daily updates from the Captain relative to the weather especially since Hurricane/Tropical Storm Raymond was nearby. One thing that was particularly offensive to me was whenever we'd enter the cafeteria (Market Cafe') the crew member with the spray sanitizer would say "WASHIE WASHIE". With the Philipino crew, we knew English was their second language but to say this EVERY TIME we came into the cafeteria, was degrading to the crew member and I don't think they were aware of it. The caucasian, over 60 crowd, seemed to enjoy it.
Ports of Call: We enjoyed Hualtulco MX the most. Not as "touristy" as the rest. All the ports were good. The only gripe I have is the use of Lifeboats as Tender boats in Cabo San Lucas. These boats were enclosed, packed full and had no ventilation. Although reassuring that these boats worked, NCL needs to contract with local entities to use something other than lifeboats as tenders.
On-Board Entertainment: A few shows were excellent: Shout! The Mod Musical as well as the Gaucho from South America...both of these shows were incredibly good. I got up and walked out on the Magician and Second City Comedians. I was surprised how bad Second City was. On the NCL Epic in February, SCC were outstanding. I guess it's just what group you get? The Casino had just about everything a gambler could ask for. The Red Lion Pub had something going on nearly all the time and was fun. The band out by the pool, i don't recall their name, was very good. The gym facilities were outstanding. I work out every day and didn't miss a chance on the cruise either! The only thing they could improve upon there is to have a crew member there to give you a towel and bottle of water like on NCL Epic.
Would I cruise with NCL again?
Yes, but only because I prepaid $250 for the next cruise the first night on board the ship to get the $100 cabin credit. I'll also be sure to NOT go on a ship that's as old as the Star.