Just returned from Miami to LA Panama cruise on the Star. We have sailed with NCL many times but this was our first time on the Star. We cannot recommend this ship. Perhaps our experience was colored by the fact there was a Norovirus outbreak on the cruise before ours. Our entire cruise (14 days) was under extreme public health hazard control standards. This meant no coffee makers in rooms, no ice buckets (no ice), no self service of any food or drink item , waitstaff wearing latex gloves when handling plates or glasses, no self service in buffet, no chocolate buffet, waiting inline for staff to first put ice in glass and then to another line for filling of liquid. We were told it would be for only 4-5 days. When we had dinner with a ship officer, he let it slip that they actually intended to maintain this for the entire cruise.
Quality of food in buffet was poor. Blue Lagoon and MDR had better quality of food. The climate for this cruise is very hot and humid. It was a More
challenge to get a glass of ice water. The staff wanted to sell only the bottled water, especially around the pool area.
The average age of the passengers doing this long of a cruise is much older than other cruises. This reflects in the lack od nighttime activity on the ship.
The Star is scheduled for dry dock next year and it is sorely needed. Hopefully it will include a complete overhaul of the galleys and buffet dining areas. I have seen better cafeterias in hospitals and high schools. The Stars buffet dining areas are totally depressing and the only public space for many passengers to spend the day playing cards or board games.
The on air channel for the information from the bridge is broken. Everyday the ships time is N/A. The pools are ALWAYS listed as the same temp. The maps to show our progress always showed we were still in Colombia. Again, this may be on this list for repairs. Also, they should repair the giant dent in the AFT portion of the ship. Wonder how it happened.?
Our embarkation was a nightmare. We had to discard our water bottles at check in and then were held for 5 hours in terminal without chairs, water and a locked Ladies Restroom.
Many of the elderly were not able to stand for the duration and had to try and sit on the floor. Many looked ill. We were not told of the reason of the delay. We were told there was an inspection taking place of the terminal. It was actually of the ship, we found out later.
We would do this itinery again, just never on the Star. Less
Norwegian Star Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America