My husband and I just returned from a Mexican Riviera cruise a week ago. We sailed on the NCL Star. Because of the tight economy, we saved some money and booked in inside cabin.
The Ship: For a ten year old ship, the Star is very nice. A few carpets could be replaced, but all in all it was in great condition. On the pool deck, the lounge chairs are on terraces which was nice. It was quite windy during the cruise. The best place was on Deck 13 at the very front of the boat. It was warm and not very windy.
Room: Our room was as inside cabin on Deck 10. They have painted the doors of the rooms on the starboard side of the ship one color and the port side another color. I sometimes get confused inside the ship, so this was very nice. On the room number plaque, they have put a wheel with the words "Welcome", "Do Not Disturb", "Turn Down Room", and "Make Up Room". It was a convenient way to communicate with the room steward. The bathroom seemed to be a little bigger than on the Carnival Dream which was nice, but the closet space was slightly smaller. The TV was very old, small, and had broken buttons. There was a safe and a mini-frigerator. The biggest issue I had was that the small desk in the room blocked my tiny isle around the foot of bed, so I had to crawl over the bed everytime I got in and out of bed. I have one big complaint about the linens. The bottom sheet was not fitted, it was a flat sheet they had tied knots in the corners off to try and keep it on the bed. It came off every night and drove me crazy.
Food: The buffet was great for a buffet. I thought they had a large variety of foods in the buffet. Most of the buffet staff were not very friendly. I never had any staff come around in the buffet to ask for drink orders. The desserts all around were disappointing to me. I didn't think they were very good. The ice cream and sherbet were the best. The chocoholic buffet was disappointing as well. We ate dinner in the main dinning rooms most evenings for dinner. The menu is the same for both dinning rooms. The Aqua was a little more low key and causual than the Versailles. We thought the service was a little better in the Aqua as well. The food presentation was like an everyday restaurant. I expected the food presentation to be more artistic. One night on the pool deck they had a beautiful fruit buffet with fruit carving and very unique food bouquets. We never ordered room service because we didn't want to eat on the bed. We did eat at the Endless Summer restaurant. The service was great. The food was ok, but not fabulous. We do not drink alcohol, so we bought a soda card for the cruise. They carry Pepsi brand soda including rootbeer and Mountain Dew. The bar staff and drink waiters around the ship almost always seemed put out when I ordered a soda. If you were in the lounge, theater, or on deck and I ordered a soda, they would either never come back with it, or they would bring it to me several minutes later never to return. It cost the two of us $100 for the week for the cards and I was disappointed with service. I know the waiters don't get an automatic tip with the soda, but come on we were paying $6/day for a few cans of soda.
Entertainment: One of the biggest pluses for me on a cruise is the after dinner entertainment. We went to all of the shows. I thought I would tell you about them.
Day 1 "Band on the Run": Medley of 70s music. It was entertaining, but not amazing.
Day 2 "Extreme Vegas": I was lead to believe that this show would be a mix of all sorts of Vegas acts. It really is magic and illusions show with some bad comedy. It was entertaining, just not what I expected.
Day 3 "Hyponotist": If you have seen one, it is the same. Funny though.
Day 4 "Shout! The Mod Musical": It was boring and not worth my time.
Day 5 "The Second City": Improve comedy, it was mostly scripted, but entertaining. The also did a Murder Mystery luncheon the 2nd day at sea which was great. I would recommend it. The food was good and the improve was great. They interacted with the crowd which was fun.
Day 6 "Elements": Fantastic combination of modern dance, aerial ballet, and magic. It was fantastic. You must go!! I was impressed.
Day 7: "Variety Show": This was a two part show. The first part was Justino and Daniela from Extreme Vegas juggling and hula hooping. The second part was the aerial ballet team from elements completing amazing balancing acts and more aerial ballet on scarfs. The second part was incredible.
We also went to many of the game shows and activities. The Newlywed-Not-So-Newlywed Game Show was pretty funny. The Quest Game Show was a little crazy and funny, but definitely for adult audiences only. The have a dance party where you are supposed to wear white which was fun. I actually got my husband to dance with me. The Bingo is fairly expensive and is electronic.