We have just returned from a cruise to Alaska aboard the Norwegian Star. I was a little apprehensive as it is the first time we have used and American cruise line and read so many differing reports. However, I shouldn't have been concerned. Our cabin was a reasonable size and the balcony adequate, not that big but enough room to stretch out. The cabin and shower room spotless, very efficient staff. The shower room would be a little cramped if you were large as it was two small compartments, one for the toilet and the other for washbasin and shower. The soap and shampoo in dispensers on the wall. Our cabin staff added a little touch by making different towel animals every night when they turned down the bed.
The dining rooms were great, so much choice. The food was served hot and well presented. There was no pushing or shoving in the cafeteria which we found on our MSC cruise. For such a large ship the Star ran very efficiently. I am also hooked on freedom dining. Most people changed for the evening dinner but if you didn't want to dress up you didn't have to. So good if you were back from a trip you could take your time to dine. Only once did we have to wait but were given a pager and went for a drink until called, about 15 minute wait. The waiting staff were all friendly and more than helpful.
Plenty to do for days at sea, the main theatre shows were a bit disappointing, one evening they had comedy which did not appeal at all to the British audience. However, the last night was a spectacular show, I would say one of the best I have experienced at sea. There were also plenty of other singers and musicians dotted around the ship, who played different types of music from jazz to country and western, etc.
Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly and we had no problem with either of these.
Nothing is perfect and we were disappointed with the price of drinks which also added a tax every time you bought something. If you play bingo, which we don't, it will cost you 39 dollars for 4 games minimum. I did not like the hard sell of the Americans, the trips were very expensive , and i mentioned earlier our lovely towel animals. They even tried to see us a dvd showing us how to make these.
They advertise an indoor pool but there is a charge to use this as it is attached to the spa. Some of the restaurants also carry an extra charge.
Nevertheless I would go NCL again and would recommend them, food, cleanliness, comfort were as good if not better than other cruise lines we have travelled with.
I am considering cruise next year with another American line, Celebrity Eclipse, and would appreciate any comments. Are they also hard sell?