We really enjoyed this cruise with the Panama Canal crossing being the feature.
This was our second cruise with Norwegian so we knew their free style cruising system and feel it suits our style. The Star is a ageing ship and in areas it shows but overall it is still in pretty good condition.
This cruise was featured by a concerted effort by the crew to prevent the spread of the dreaded stomach virus. It was in evidence on the previous cruise to ours so embarkation was delayed as they were attempting to wipe every surface.
This had a major impact on eating in the buffet. There were always queues while the staff served every item of food. It really slowed up the system. To us it appeared that there was an intentional effort to restrict food options in the buffet to encourage people into the restaurants. We ended up eating most of our meals in Versailles and Aqua and one only in the paid restaurants (Le Bistro). This was an excellent experience with the food options varied, and well presented. The service couldn't be faulted. High standard and always cheery and polite.
Like most cruises, the price of drinks was high( and there was a compulsory gratuity-15%). On our first cruise with NCL there was a regular happy hour and this proved to be a lively and friendly place to meet. Unfortunately there was only one happy hour this cruise and we felt that this new policy took away from an opportunity to meet fellow cruisers. Also the Red Loin ( the pub) was generally empty.
All in all, we had a good time and enjoyed the ports. We also appreciated the efforts by the crew to prevent the stomach bug as at the same time one major ship had to return to port with reportedly 700 sick passengers. The crew's hard work was rewarded by no obvious sickness among the passengers.
The shows were of a high standard with Elements and Oh what a Night being the stand outs. There was also real variety from singing, comedians, magic and dancing. The theatre was usually full so I feel that this was a good indicator of popularity.
I feel that Norwegian put on a good cruise and we will certainly consider them in the future..