In full disclosure, this was my third NCL cruise in less than 12 months; Jade, Epic and now the Star. After the Epic...5,000 passengers plus... I didn't think I would ever go on an NCL again. Yet as fate would have it, I found myself in Copengagen, Denmark boarding the Star on June 16, 2014. Inside cabin.
The ports were all fun and beautiful! I could go on for hours here, but just recommend....do your homework and enjoy. One recommedation....Prior to leaving the states, consider booking a two day tour service in St Petersbug with a Russian tour company. They will handle getting your visa. I did a tour with the NCL, but learned you can cover all....or most...of the sights with a private tour company for about half the cost. Keep in mind....unless you book a tour with the ship or a private tour company in advance,,,,you will not be going into St. Petersburg. It requires a Visa.
Checking in, I had to report my luggage failed to arrive in Copenhagen's airport! I know. And though it never made it, the guest services staff was very helpful during the entire cruise; calling the airport, trying to figure out which port they could deliver my luggage, if it came in, keeping me updated. They gave me some bathroom supplies, a t-shirt and free laundry! Which was all greatly appreciated. Recommendation here, make sure to buy travelers insurance....which I did. BTW - my bag finally arrived in Copenhagen three days after the cruise ended!
Overall excellent! The cruise director, a slinder British fellow, was really genuine! He came across as bright, funny and yet a humble individual. Pushing all the Star's services, including the casino...but in a "you will have fun" way... As opposed to a more insulting pushy way. Always having plenty of time to listen to every passengers praises and suggestions, making each feel important!
The inside cabin was really perfect. I was expecting a small cabin, but it was perfect. The cabin steward, though mostly quite, was attentive and prompt. The shower, bathroom, bed, etc...perfect.
The food was, cruise food. Nothing spectacular, but nothing terrible either. Ate at the main dining room each night and he buffet for breakfast and lunch. Did eat at the Japanesse speciality restaurant one night, and it is always the best....regardless of the ship.
The Star's theater performances were as good, if not better, than any other cruise I have taken. The Star's cruise entertainment dancers and singers we amazingly professional....like a broadway show quality. Their voices, skits and performances where spot on each night they performed in the main theater. The other theater performances were excellent as well. A young man, wife and childer performing a very entertaining show with acrobatic skills. A lady with an amazing voice and personality. A man skilled percussionist. Oh, least I forget, the four young men who performed brilliantly favorite songs. Backing up all these entertainers, the band....simply amazing talent there. The ship other on-board entertainers were in line with most cruise ship entertainment individuals. A jazz pianist, who did a great job and three guys on strings (guitar/bass) who were entertaining and capable. Of course, the end show...with all the crew coming out...was good!
Pool and hot tubs.
The Baltics can be a bit cool, depending where you are coming from, so I didn't do a lot of pool. But I did do a lot do the hot tubs. One or two seemed broken. How in the world any staff member would allow a hot tub to be broken on a Baltic cruise is beyond my understanding. Yet it happen. (To be honest, seems like it happens on most cruises....or the water is t hot enough!). One, was just a tricky switch, which I figured out and it worked great...even hot enough!
Very adequate and never too busy!
Never used, but wondered why the steam rooms and saunas are reserved for paying spa customers. This is the first time I ever heard of this type of policy!
Money....it changes at almost very port. Gets some Euros and they will do the calculations.
Overall a wonderful cruise...ports, ship and staff. One last story. When entering the dining room, on the first day, the matradee recognized me from a December cruise on the Jade! I know....what a memory! Again, a mature staff that does not hesitate to assist you. (OK, sometimes you run into a less mature staff, who is learning, who can't understand your question or doesn't know the answer...but even they try to be helpful!)
Please excuse any typo's or errors. Using my iPad! Hope this help.....and hope you go this summer! Warm (relatively speaking) and fun!