Embarking in Los Angeles was very quick. We had a suite and were the first in line. We had arrived at the terminal about noon.They escorted us to the VIP lounge, sandwiches and cold drinks were available. We were given our room cards. Waited about 35-45 minutes with the other suite passengers, then escorted on board by our butler Henry.
Cagneys was not open for lunch, they said they had not been cleared yet, so we headed to the buffet, no big deal. Since we were on early, hardly anyone was there..
All the crew greeted us with a hello and how are you, each and every day.
We only attended one show(as we are not show goer's) It was the Vegas review-it was ok to good.
We did not feel you were hounded to buy anything from any store on board. Venues were set up in the atrium with goods for sale, we looked, but no pressure to buy. Attended a few of the jewelry seminars, informative. Attended the Martini tasting-I'm not a person who drinks very often, so after 6 martini's, I headed to cabin for a 3 hour nap..it was fun though..
The pools were nice, as were the hot tubs. Lots of folks using them.
There were plenty of non-smoking areas on the ship. Port side on deck 12 pool deck was smoking, as is your cabin, balcony and the casino. EVERYWHERE else is non-smoking..I We both smoke, but didn't have any problems with the rules. The casino at times was a bit smoky, even passing by it. If you are very sensitive to smoke, bypass the casino!
The public areas were beautiful and clean. We attended the Captain's cocktail party in Spinnaker, nice room, (not having been on Star before the renovation) we didn't mind the location. The space is large.
The shops were interesting to look through, merchandise was not unreasonably priced in my opinion. The jewelry shops were stunning to look through, some very high priced jewelry and some costume pieces were reasonable. I didn't go to buy jewelry, but did enjoy looking.
Food is all the venues was very good-Cagneys steakhouse for lunch and breakfast-superb!! Hubby is a buffet person, and wanted to go to Cagneys every day..The crab cakes benedict was to die for!
Did not use the Spa this trip.
Getting off back in LA was also very easy. As Canadians, we had to go thru immigration on board the ship. Our Butler had us meet in the Ginza restaurant, then we went down to La Cucina, talked one on one to immigration,no problems for us, then Henry the Butler, escorted us off with our luggage at about 8:15, before any color tag was ready to be called. We were out of the terminal within 10 minutes, and met our bus for the trip back to the airport.We were at the airport by 9:30 for our 12:45 flight..
Everyone going thru security had to walk thru the new full body scanner! Except folks who were handicapped. You still had to take off your shoes, and empty your pockets and off with the belts. It didn't seem to be a big deal.