I've heard that if you go to Alaska it will grab you and you will return. And so I did return. I was taking this cruise with 3 family members and my first problem was choosing a cabin. I worked with my NCL cruise consultant and looked at a range of possibilities. The only thing I requested was no trundle bed as I did not want wall to wall beds. The consultant recommended an inside room with two lower beds and two pullmans. We were placed on the 12 deck and assured this would be fine as we were on a new deck-the Star had been refurbished-and so would have a new cabin. Keep in mind I had told the consultant I would book up to a mini suite. The cabin was horrific. We are a close family and get along well, or thanks to the close quarters, we would have murdered each other. You could not get dressed or do anything if all four were in the cabin. We ended up using the library as a "living room" and as each got dressed, they left and met up in the library. In addition to being the smallest cabin I've ever had, it was ugly. Dull brown walls, no color.
Let's get to other things than the cabin. As the Star had demolished its' Spinnaker with it's huge glass windows over the bow, I had done so much homework for the cruise, I took out Spa passes for my family and we spent wonderful hours sitting on lounges watching the incredible beauty of Alaska pass by.
The Star itself was very well kept, very clean and I thought wonderful. We loved the main dining rooms and although NCL has changed their menus to mostly the same choices every night,they do have some new selections nightly. All the food was tasty and well presented. We ate in Le Bistro two nights as we are Platinum members and receive dinner for two free in this restaurant as part of the Latitudes member perks. The Blue Lagoon was also very good for breakfast and we enjoyed the quiet in the mornings.
As far as activities, we did a couple of trivia competitions and saw most of the nightly shows. We loved Elements and Band on the Run. Also the hypnotist was so good, we also attended two additional sessions he held in the daytime. I like the entertainment on NCL and find their ensemble shows very good.
I'll review the ports later, which is really the heart of why we did this cruise.
I hate to add another negative but feel I have to as NCL needs to be more careful on which crew member to put in a supervisory position. We all went to the lifeboat practise. We were greeted by a crew member who wanted us to go down stairs in the Stardust lounge. I asked if my 77 year old handicapped friend could stay in an available chair near the entrance and not have to go down the stairs. Well, she didn't move fast enough and when I told him she had a hearing problem, he stated "She hears what she wants to hear". My friend was very embarrassed and upset. We did speak to an officer who said he would deal with the problem, but this was not a good way to start a cruise.
To sum up, even with some problems, we enjoyed the cruise, the ports and each other. I will continue to prefer NCL as I love the free style dining and I must note, that NCL always responds to problems quickly and with a good attitude. I also must add, the care that NCL took with my 77 year old friend in embarking and disembarking was commendable.
If anyone reading this is thinking about an Alaskan cruise, do it!! It is memorable and NCL does it well.