After our Thanksgiving week cruise on the Carnival Splendor was cancelled, we chose to get our money back and cruise with another line. Overall, we're very happy that we chose the NCL Star. The whole experience with Carnival's poor communications during the Splendor fiasco, we felt it would be better to cruise elsewhere.
We traveled with our 5 year old who had a great time. He spent most of his time in the Kid's club - that was always busy with kids and activities. Every night they had a theme and our son never wanted to be picked up. When he wasn't in the kid's club he had lots of fun on the water slides and the kid's pool area in the aft. Since this was the week before Easter, there were lots of kids on the ship - so he was always making new friends.
Not sure why people bring their teens on board - they seemed mostly bored and were typically wandering around in packs or sitting in the middle of stairwells. Also - not sure why they can't walk up the stairs one flight - they seemed to always be playing with the elevators.
Food was fine - saw lots of other reviews panning the food and waiter service. Overall, the buffet had a great selection - and lots of good Indian food and other ethnic dishes available. Not sure where the comments about selection come from - seemed to be always good variety and fresh food available. Main dining was OK - Versailles was better than Aqua in terms of food and service. We ate at Cagney's which was good and La Cucina which I thought was great. No problem ordering multiple appetizers or entrees at either.
Got to work out in the fitness center a few times which was typically busy. Good number of cardio machines and weights. No problems here.
Spent a bit of time in the casino too - I thought the dealers there were especially friendly and even had a couple of drinks on the house there. Payouts on slots seemed no worse than Vegas, and liked the variety of table games.
Ports were great. We were on the Las Caletas excursion in Puerto Vallerta which was great - lots to do there and a nice boat ride over. Only downside is not having any additional time to explore PV.
In Cabo, we took a water taxi tour of the rocks then was dropped over at Medano beach. Went to a store nearby and bought beers/sodas/snacks real cheap - hung out at the beach a while and had lunch nearby. Only downside is all the vendors on the beach - but a must is to get the fresh mango with chilli and lime juice - great deal for $4. For the 2nd day in Cabo - we took a water taxi to Lover's beach and hung out there for a while. The driver gave us a great deal and brought us to a store before to pick up drinks - again real cheap! I wish that on the ship they would provide more info about taking water taxis around - any info available had to do with paid excursions.
The last 2 days were at sea, and again enjoyable though a little on the chilly side.
Overall, we're glad we took NCL and kept busy everyday. Hope they come back to LA for more Mexican Riveria cruises. It's sad to see ships pulling out.