September 2007 Destination:
Mexican Riviera Embarkation:
My husband and I travelled for the first time with NCL on the Norwegian Star, embarking in Vancouver and taking 2 cruises really. One was Vancouver to Los Angeles and the 2nd leg was the 8 day Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera. We left September 23rd and returned to LA on October 8th.We have taken a dozen other cruises with Celerity and Royal Caribbean. I must say embarkation was a breeze, the easiest we ever experienced. First the positives. Norwegian Star is a remarkably stable ship and we felt little sway or movement even in force 7 winds. The Star glides along beautifully. We had a lovely suite at midship and the room was very nice. The public rooms were well appointed and opulent and the pools lovely and the pool decks spacious. We made good use of the Barong Spa indoor pool for a fee and we enjoyed the thalossotherapy pool and private hot tub. The greatest ship experience was the music. My my my. Stan Sykes is a gentleman who is "Mr. Motown" on the Star and headlines the More
Carousel Lounge nearly every night. He is pure energy and dynamite and plays al the standard Motown classics plus other tunes and takes requests as well. WE danced the night away, the highlight being the "electric slide" the last night of the cruise heading back to LA. There was a special funk and blues review in the Spinnaker Lounge with Stan headlining with the Star house bandand it was fantastic. The dance band Luna was most enjoyable and did a 50's and 60's sock hop, a 70's night etc etc. Very nice dance music. There were various venues for music, a four person group Harmonious Melodies that played nightly in he main atrium area and piano players et al.I never read anything about the music on these boards so I thought I would do it. On to to other things: freestyle cruising. We really do prefer the more formal style of cruising, we found out. The Endless Summer tex-mex was our choice for 7 out of 14 days. It had a god menu and presentation. The main dining room Versailles was hit and miss for dinners, mostly miss, although we always had a tale for 2 and the breakfast there were good. The 24 hour Blue Lagoon had yummy wonton soup and asian noodles and fried rice. Several nights we skipped dinner altogether and tried rom service which was a disappointment. We don't cruise to eat but we would have liked a little better fare. The ports were a treat. We saw the Titanic exhibit in Victoria BC, shopped in rainy Seattle, walked around Chinatown and visited the Apple Super Store in San Francisco, stayed on the ship in LA. We kayaked in Acapulco, visited the Krystal hotel in Puerto Vallarta (always a favorite port) roamed around little shops in Ixtapa and spent the day dodging the heat in Cabo san Lucas. All in all we had a great time but freestyle is not for us again. There were little things here and there, untidy public areas, wet floors and no tp in the washrooms, glass bottles left by the pools and hot tubs, a very limited selection at the Market Cafe buffet daily, we did not eat there even one time in 14 days. The drinking water in the ship was amazing and the photography staff took some excellent photos. Would I encourage anyone to travel NCL? Sure, if they like a luxurious ship with anytime dining and so-so food, why not? Less
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