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Norwegian Star Cruise Review by North Ogden Cruiser

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Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star
Member Name: North Ogden Cruiser
Cruise Date: December 2010
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Cabin Category: BA
Cabin Number: 9658
Booking Method: Local Travel Agency
See More About: Norwegian Star Cruise Reviews | Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews | NCL Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 5.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 4.0
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 5.0
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Star Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Star Deck Plans
Wonderful experience
The Norweigan Star is a wonderful ship: beautiful decor, nice layout, very clean and modern, pleasant to the eye and to the heart.

Can't say enough about how hard every crew staff member (room stewards, cruise director, wait staff in dining areas, entertainers, EVERY staff member) greets you with a smile, is willing to go out of his or her way to accommodate your needs. Wow!

Our balcony cabin seemed a little small but was totally adequate and comfortable. Bed was very comfortable. Air conditioning worked nicely.

Food was very, very good. We really liked the "freestyle cruising" which allows one to eat when and where they choose. And the invited option of sitting with new friends at the dinner tables was wonderful. Gave us the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful couples that otherwise we would not have met. This was an unanticipated and delightful aspect of "freestyle cruising."

With two minor exceptions, the entertainment was absolutely delightful. Immensely enjoyed our evenings in the theater.

I would highly recommend a Panama Canal cruise that visits Cartegena as opposed to Aruba.

Our shore excursions: We did Cartegena City Tour and Folkloric Show. Highly recommend. (Warning: Cartegena even in December is unbelievably, miserably hot and humid. Have a hand fan with you.)

For the cruise through the Panama Canal (if your traveling Miami - Los Angeles), be on the Port side of the ship for the best views, including seeing the little jewel on the hillside of the New Mormon (LDS) Temple in Panama. Going the other direction, I would recommend booking a balcony cabin on the starboard side. And, yes, the Panama Canal cruise is one that merits a balcony cabin to enjoy the full thrill of this engineering marvel.

In Puntarenas, Costa Rica we did the Poas Volcano tour. A big mistake. Most of the tour time was a long, long bus ride on a very winding road. One passenger threw up all over the bus due to motion sickness. Then we get to the volcano for our 30 minutes visit and it is fogged in. Tour guide admitted that three-quarters of the time he takes groups up there, you can't see anything due to the fog. Friends who did Canopy Forest, or Zip Line, or River float loved their experiences.

In Huatulco we did the Crocodile Eco tour and it was very nice. From talking to others, all the NCL shore excursions in Huatulco were well enjoyed.

In Acapulco we did the city tour with cliff divers. It was okay. Friends walked around shopping areas on their own and then hired a private taxi to take them to the cliff divers and to see the taxi driver's recommended sites. A lot cheaper and they seemed just as happy as any who paid for NCL excursions.

In Cabo San Lucas we did the bus tour that included the glass blowing factory. It was a wonderful bus ride into the country that really showed off this beautiful area of Mexico. Immensely enjoyed this tour.

One complaint I have with NCL is that the Norweigan Star was a floating Art auction and Jewelry store. Their on-board shopping consultant, TV announcements, and flyers left in the room really market their shopping opportunities. This irritated me. Also the shopping excursion director on board who guided us to the "NCL approved jewelry stores" at the various ports of call failed to mention that these stores pay NCL for the connection. In Huatulco for example we found the same jewelry in a non-approved store sandwiched between two NCL approved store somewhat cheaper.

Bottom line: Beautiful shop, nice itinerary, unbelievable accommodating and smiley staff everywhere, good food, happy memories. Highly recommend the Norweigan Star and this itinerary.


Publication Date: 12/30/10
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