Pretty darn good cruise: Norwegian Star Cruise Review by rgelb1
Overall Member Rating
Pretty darn good cruise
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
The ship was pretty nice and large - biggest I've been on so far. Generally everything was pretty clean and the crew was super nice (as on all cruises I've been on). The room was adequate - smallish, but considering what I paid and what I've seen on other cruise lines - it was exactly what I expected. At night when laying in bed and everything is quiet, you can hear a bit of creaking but absolutely nothing that will keep you awake.
The food was pretty nice. I've read some reviews that complained that the food was the same over and over again. Well, that is sort of true: the buffet was exactly the same every day. However, there are so many things in the buffet that you can eat something unique every day. The fancier (but free) restaurants (Aqua and Versaille) have a menu with 2 sides. Left side contains entrees that are available every day and the right side has a number of dishes that More are unique to that day. All in all, I loved the food. Can't complain. My better half, who is an expert in chocolates (expert at eating them, that is), thought the the Chocoholic buffet was better on Carnival. I can't tell though - to me chocolates are chocolates.
At every entry point to a restaurant they have a crew member waiting to spray your hands with a disinfectant. This was, no doubt, in response to various reports of people getting sick on various Caribbean cruises. I liked it - disinfectant smelled nice and fresh.
We took excursions at each of the three ports. In Cabo San Lucas we took the Land's End Boat Tour. It was $29 per person and was an absolute waste of time and money. Land's End is the Arc and some spectacular looking rocks at the very end of the Baja peninsula (thus Land's End). If you want to see it for free, just park yourself at the Market Cafe for breakfast because the ship will pass the landmark on the way to the port. That is pretty much the excursion. There is a better alternative. The local water taxis will do that for $10 but also so much more. They'll take you around and give you a tour, but also optionally drop you off at the adjacent Lover's beach (there is also a Divorce beach - stay away from that). You then tell the driver when you want to be picked up and they do. The water taxis also have a glass bottom so you see really nice fish.
In Mazatlan we took the old city walking tour which was instructional - nothing awesome, but worth the money - got to see a bit of old mexico. Ended up going to the beach - the water was exceptional.
In Puerta Vallarta, we took the Yelapa & Majahuitas excursion which included a snorkeling and a trip to a village. The trip to the village took about 1 hour. We did some snorkeling but there wasn't a whole lot of fish. Regardless it was fun anyway because the crew also provided kayaks and standup paddleboards. Then they took us to the waterfall - it's not niagara falls, but it's picturesque nonetheless. After that we all chilled out at the beach, some of us in the shade. It was incredibly relaxing. On the ride back, the crew was relentless at entertaining us. They were hilarious and that alone was worth the price of the ticket.
The entertainment on the ship was pretty reasonable with a single exception. The first 5 days, unless you are into dancing at a disco, the entertainment ended at 10 pm. They didn't have a single stand-up comedian (as I've seen on other ships). They have the Second City Comedy Troupe on the ship (who are actually funny) - I am not sure why they are not used more. At earlier times the ship featured acrobatic shows by Dmitriy and Marina - these Russians were beyond amazing - they should be performing in much bigger venues - they are that good. Same goes for magician shows by Sander and Alison - some of the tricks were so inexplicable that I am still stunned several days later. Beyond that the ship, presented 3 Variety shows - I am not really into it, so I am a bad person to judge. The 1st two were pretty good and the last one was pretty spectacular. Still I would have rather prefer laughing than watching performers sing and dance.
The ship had a good number of activities that kept us pretty busy throughout the day.
Overall, I'd give the cruise 4 out of 5. If they had some entertainment after 10pm - they would get a perfect 5. Less
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