Just a brief comment on the Norwegian Star. We had some amount of question on what to expect before our 12/15/04 cruise based on the varied reviews that we had read. We have been on 30 some cruises, mostly Royal Caribbean and Celebrity with a mix of other lines. If you removed all the NCL "logo," you wouldn't have known which line you were on. It was a beautiful ship with super activities going on all the time!
The gym had a nice schedule of classes at various times during the day, (with a separate room for the classes), and many of them were free of charge.
We were a large number (12 of us) and the staff at the Versailles Dining Room gave us a standing dinner reservation so that we could all sit together without a wait. This was arranged, by the way, at the restaurant upon boarding. We cancelled it a couple of nights to try other restaurants with no problem. We found the food to be varied and good, much the same as the main dining room on most of our other cruises. We were traveling with 2 two-year-olds and the staff was excellent, beyond the call of duty, in helping us out at every turn, also in meeting our specific needs. The fact that we had different waiters serving us, rather than one for the entire trip, did not seem to make a difference in their level of attentiveness.
There was free food to be found on the ship at any time of the day or night. The Blue Lagoon always had delicious "walk by" pound cake slices, the 7th floor coffee bar had yummy cookies and pastries, although there was a charge for the coffees, and there was an ongoing spot for ice cream, just to name a few.
The shows were fine with a couple of different shows to attend each night, each one usually with two different show times, plus the usual late night party ('60s, '70s etc.).
A few negatives. Embarkation was extremely slow, but we came at a very crowded time. The standard cabin seemed smaller than usual, with less drawer space. Also, the ship "felt" very crowded which it was (it was a full sailing)! We did not, though, have waits with anything except embarkation and disembarkation----plan for a long disembarkation in LA!!! We did notice that there was a wait for the Versailles Dining Room the first couple of nights. We were always able to get seats for the shows, although they were also crowded.
All in all, if you enjoy the 90,000 ton type of Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Princess ships you should not be at all disappointed with this one----another terrific ship!