Same cruise line but what a marked difference between two ships. My wife and I, after using various other cruise lines, first cruised with NCL on the Jade last Christmas and New year, cruising the Western Mediterranean, this to us was a bad experience.
As we had already booked up on the Star for the Alaska cruise we were a bit concerned that things on the Star might be the same low quality. How wrong we were and thankfully things were much better with one exception.
Prior to the cruise we had flown into Calgary to experience the Rocky Mountaineer railway to Vancouver. After staying overnight in Vancouver we traveled down to Seattle and again stayed overnight before taking a taxi to the dock.
As we had plenty of time on our hands we decided to try to get on board a bit early ,as did others ,because the traffic and people unloading road side was a bit hectic. I grabbed a porter who knew the short cuts etc. and he took us to the check in area (well worth the $5 tip). We got into line with only about 20 people in front of us. At about 11.00 we were escorted to the latitudes check in desk for a very smooth process, given a card to join group 1 in a waiting area and eventually channeled on board at 1130. Having time to do so we went to the Versailles dinning room rather than what I call the "trough" self-service area (each to their own of course). We had a very nice lunch then looked round the ship and purchased a wine package, 6 bottles with 20% discount. At about 14.00 we went down to our cabin and at 15.30 to the lifeboat muster.
We had arranged to meet up with some of the cruise critic folk by the pool bar straight after muster.
Down to the cabin again we decided to freshen up intending to have an early 17.30 dinner in the Versailles then onward to the Stardust Theater for the show. AGH AGH no hot water. We eventually got a plumber to fix the problem but that made us very late for dinner consequently missing the show. Well things like that happen. Unfortunately the water problem reoccurred on Sunday so we called reception to deal with it and then went out to enjoy ourselves. Back to the cabin and onwards again to the Versailles.
Having ordered our food and had the main course served. We were descended upon by an assistant wanting to sell bookings in the specialty restaurants. That's really not clever NCL whilst people are eating. We purchased two specialty meal tickets one for a brunch in the Italian restaurant (bad move) and one for a dinner in the French restaurant (good move). So onto Monday and after a good day enjoying the boats facilities and entertainment we went down to our cabin to get our "glads" on for a meal in the French eating house.
AGH AGH no hot water!!!. Time now to be a bit firmer, went to reception and asked that the manager come down to the cabin to witness the luke warm state of the water which she did. Same plumber came so I asked him to check out another close by cabin. By this time I was gently insisting on a move to another cabin. Some time later we were offered another cabin. We changed the time on our dinner ticket and hurriedly packed our belongings and moved cabins. Bliss bliss hot water, and what's this slightly wider and much softer mattresses in a same grade cabin (good move). I suppose that it's all down to money so I'll have to smack my travel agents wrist for screwing NCL down so that they supplied a low quality cabin. Oh by the way the water problem cabin is number 4001, avoid it, the better one was 4579.
In total we ate four times in the French restaurant once in the Italian and the rest in the Versailles main dining room with some quick breakfasts, for early excursion starts, in the Blue Lagoon.
Overall we thought that the food was nothing special but acceptable in the Versailles ,although they could do with a greater choice lunch time menu .
Shore excursions arranged through NCL were very good with the final disembarkation and tour of Seattle being well arranged.
I did delight in being asked to lead the Bible study and worship for the crew in their wardroom late on Thursday night. God bless you all.