Just back from our 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise onboard the NCL Star. This was only our 2nd cruise, our first (and last) on NCL. We had a balcony cabin, port side, slightly aft. Our previous cruise was on Princess.
Let me start by saying that we are definitely NOT cruise experts. I was excited by the amount of "good" reviews I had heard from co-workers and friends. We were disappointed pretty quickly. Things seemed fairly disorganized from the start. We quickly interpreted "Freestyle" to mean "figure it out yourself" - front desk staff gave consistently inconsistent information. It also felt like we were getting "nickel & dimed" to death.
I'll start with the positive: the service was excellent! From the cabin stewards to the food workers, and everyone in between - every single person we encountered greeted us with a smile, a kind word & eye contact. Common areas were kept clean and tidy. The ports were beautiful, the excursions were good.
food was less than enthusing. We did not care for the selection in the dining rooms. The buffet served the same thing every morning, and it was comparable to cafeteria food. The afternoon & evening selection varied but same general things. The desserts lacked flavor. Blue Lagoon was a nice change from the ordinary. One night we went to Endless Summer, and it was WELL WORTH the the $10pp cover charge. The food here was outstanding, four courses and a free margarita. We didn't try any of the other specialty restaurants.
Entertainment during the day was nearly absent for the "younger" crowd. It seemed like they could have utilized the theater to show movies on more than one day (port day, Mazatlan, which we skipped.) There were more things to do in the evenings after dinner.
Our cabin was small, the balcony itself small, and the bed rock hard. We asked for an egg crate after the first night, which helped only a little bit. Again, the service was quick & we got what we needed (an iron & ironing board) very quickly.
When all was said & done, the vacation served it's purpose in providing relaxation and celebration of my husband's 40th birthday. Overall, I would give it a "C+" rating. However, we won't be returning customers for NCL. Less
Whale watching excursion (independent of the boat), paid $25pp and $1pp "pier fee". They took us out for about 2hrs, 15 minutes. Went to Los Arcos, Lovers Beach, and saw multiple blue & gray whales, and a baby humpback whale.