A friend and I embarked on the Norwegian Star in July 2014. In Copenhagen we were escorted to our amazing suite and were smitten with it from the begining. It was family suite on deck 12 with ample room and privacy for two single women who like they own space! The highlight of the room was the window configuration...we had not only a view sidewise but also forward thanks to a cantileverd window (suite 12530). Our butler and concierge were wonderful, although we really did not have that many needs. However, it ws a gret pleasure to be able to pick up the phone, ask for a bottle of wine, and have it delivered in minutes! One of the highlights of the cruise was sitting in front of those windows watching the ship depart from the different ports...with the summer in the Baltic having almost 18 hours of sunlight, the vistas and colors were amazing.
The ports were excellent...all very interesting and easily accessible from the ship. Except for St. Petersburg, we made our own port arrangements and were happy with the on/off bus tours and the on/off boat tour in Stockholm. In each city we took the bus around to get a sense of the are, then had lunch/shopping in the old part of each city. Lots of fun and very interesting.
In St. Petersburg we had pre-booked a small group tour with Marina Wilson tours. We saw everything in St. Petersburg in two days at quite a clip! Our guide really went much too fast and we just skimmed so many wonderful places; however we did see it all in the two days! I would like to go back and do the tour at a more liesurely pace, but if I never do, I can say I saw a great deal of the city!
As to the ship...not such a great experience...except for the suite and butler and conceriege.
WE both have cruised before many times and we fould the ship to be difficult to navigate. Signage was not very good and we kept getting turned around and not able to find our way, even after 9 days at sea. The ship was definitely showing its age. We did try the complimentary restaurants on two occasions, but then opted for the speciality ones. There was a world of difference between the two...almost felt like it was part of the "business" plan to make the complimentary restaurants mediocre so we would spend the extra to go to the specialty ones.
We did not attend shows, go to bars, etc. because our room was such a haven so cannot speak to those amenities. The buffet was adequate for a light lunch.
All in all, a good value cruise, although the ship could use some updating. We could find very few areas to sit and read in a quiet place. I had been on the Breakway this winter and loved the wonderful lounge chairs on the decks with lots of privacy. This ship needs some of those comfy chairs!
So...all in all...great itinerary, pay for the suite (it is worth it), and put up with old rather worn out ship to visit amazing places.