Norwegian Star Cruise Review by MDLaden: D+
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
This was my first (and most probably last) experience on Norwegian. We sailed the Panama Canal (MIA-LAX) and overall I would grade the experience a D+. The crew and staff are friendly enough, but the ship seemed understaffed for what they were attempting to accomplish...which was the absolute and hyper control of food service. I agree with the position that ship and it's crew need to "help" the guests keep a sanitized environment. I also understand that this particular ship had been a recent victim of a Norovirus outbreak. But I feel that the disinfectant protocols employed by Norwegian were extreme and sadly it detracted from our experience. I also feel that the extreme measures negatively impacted service levels giving a feeling that the ship was woefully understaffed.
Entering each dining area, all guest's hands are doused with alcohol from a spray bottle held by a crew member saying, "Washie-washie!" Once in the buffet area guests are not allowed to come in contact with More anything including plates/silverware, salt & pepper, or any of the spoons or tongs for serving the food. All beverages had to be dispensed by crew which created long lines in the buffet area. In the main dining area (poor training) servers NEVER asked if you might like salt & pepper with your meal and the salt and pepper grinders were only at the crew's serving station. For 12 consecutive nights we had to flag down a server for salt & pepper. On several occasions for lunch and dinner we went "off peak" and we were immediately seated and then waited almost 15 minutes before someone approached our table. Bread baskets were also not allowed on tables and bread was only offered to dinners once. The bowls at the buffet for salad and ice cream were always steaming hot (fresh out of the dishwasher) instead of chilled or room temp. I can understand once or twice...but it was every time I asked for salad...I finally gave up on salad.
The continuous disinfecting of the railings inside the ship on the stairwells has made them very sticky. You could also see visible film all over the stateroom doors and elevators.
The ship only has one main pool and one of the four hot tubs was in disrepair. Seating in the pool area was at a premium because most people left a towel or book on the chair...deck stewards do not enforce NCL's "no reserving" policy by removing unattended articles.
As I mentioned earlier, the crew and staff we very friendly for the most part...but in my humble and unqualified opinion they were overly restrictive and short-staffed. Less
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