My review of the Norweigan Star
General impression of the Star is that it is nice but small. Our cabin was 8088, mid-ship. Going past cabins 8116 and 8118 had a smell of sewer gas all week. Our steward was fine, we had the towel animals, etc. One day I was waiting for my husband to come back and took a shower w/o locking cabin door. I heard noise and thought it was him. The next thing that happened was the steward opened the bathroom door! Not a great experience for either one of us. It was an honest mistake, but I don't know how he didn't hear me in the shower. He apologized every time we saw him, and it was embarrassing for both of us.
We never used the pool, but my kids and spouse used the gym and seemed to think it was ok.
Casino was ok, we got the $50 for $25 vouchers and had no trouble using them from http://slotplaycoupons.com.
Entertainment was great. Cruise director funny, I loved listening to Mr. Motown and Dr. Scott Lewis the hypnotist was wonderful. The aerialist act was amazing, they got a standing ovation! The only one we didn't care for was the magic act, was kind of hokey. The Stardust Theater where the shows are offered is very small and sometimes there was only 1 show per night. If you didn't get there early you didn't get a seat.
Dining rooms and food. We had only sailed with Carnival before this cruise. IMHO Carnival wins here, hands down. The included dining rooms are very small and we had to wait for a long time to get in. I feel they deliberately keep it this way to encourage you to go to the paying restaurants. We are retired and living on a fixed income and did not want to spend our money this way. The menu offer much less than I was accustomed to on Carnival. Was surprised to see that there was neither Crème Brulee nor Baked Alaska offered at all on this cruise! The servers were great and did their best to keep up. Some nights you would wait 25 minutes after your appetizer till you got your main meal, others it would come right away.
We ate lunch and breakfast in the buffet restaurants. They had a great selection and were really careful to be sure that no germs could spread. Each time you walked into these restaurants they sprayed your hands with a disinfectant. Seats were hard to come by and I often felt like I was back in high school looking for a table to eat at. This necessitated us having one person to scope out the dining room and wait at a table until someone else came along. Didn't make for a peaceful, enjoyable mealtime together.
We found the prices in Alaska for shopping were amazingly low. Prince Rupert had much higher prices.
Here is a day by day synopsis:
Embarkation on Saturday was a breeze. We got there early and dropped our things off and went to Pikes Market to look around.
Sunday was a sea day and it rained and was real foggy for most of the day. Captain blew the fog horn many times.
Monday we were in Ketchikan. We did the canoe and nature trail. We saw a bear on the way to the lake. Unfortunately it poured this day as well. It was a great excursion and had some beautiful scenery.
Tuesday was Juneau and it rained a lot again! We went to the glacier and the glacier gardens and Salmon hatchery. Was another great excursion as we saw and learned a lot.
Wednesday was Skagway. We did the White Pass Railway. Great scenery, but I felt that 3 ½ hours would be too long, that 2 ½ hours would be just great. Unfortunately, the train in front of us had engine problems and it ended up being 5 ½ hours. This didn't leave us too much time to shop or do other things. This also caused us to leave port late. We did cruise into the Tracy Arm Fjord that evening and it was beautiful to see the glacier there and surprising to see all the big ice chunks flowing around you.
Thursday we were in Prince Rupert Sound. Did another nature walk and had a beautiful day. Guide said it was the best day of the whole summer and the only day there was no rain!
Friday was a nice sea day and the weather was great.