I have done 5 other NCL cruises and 16 cruises in total. I would think twice again, before I go on an older ship. It made the difference from a good cruise v a great cruise. I went with one of my friends, this cruise is not geared to singles. It caters to an mature audience. I am over 50 but not quite at the retired stage. I enjoy more activity and nightlife. This ship does not really offer this. There were some younger folks but in general the vast majority were 70-80's. Go for the ports. The value of this ship is not very good as they charge a lot of money to sail and offer a tired ship, limited entertainment and fair quality food, the ship should be retired. IN GENERAL LIMITED QUALITY AND QUANTITY
EMBARKATION: I must say the people who work at the port of Seattle were rude and abrupt. It was the worst embarkation I have experienced. The time to board took about 45 minutes. Not good not bad. As I am a previous guest on NCL we are supposed to receive priority boarding. Based on the time we waited in line It made no difference being a prior guest v 1st time traveler. Lesson get in the shortest line!
LUGGAGE: we received our luggage in a reasonable and timely manner and I have no concerns or issues to report.
SHIP: The Norwegian Star is an older ship. It was last refurbished in 2010 (according to NCL) While it is fairly new refurb do not let that fool you it is an older ship and in desperate need of maintenance. Toilets backed up all over the ship, the odor was awful. Window film peeled, pieces of cork flooring needed replacement and quite frankly needed another refurb.
FOOD: Stick to the main dining rooms, Versailles being better than aqua, Food choices are limited, food quality while fresh, taste was good, appetizers were tastier than the main entrees. Menu offers limited change nightly. service was good but not great.
BUFFETS: limited choices of food, limited quantities, food was generally overcooked and looked better than it tasted. quality was similar to a Golden Coral Buffet. Not as many choices. Deserts were small, they put less out at a time. Service was good in the buffets, they were generally quick to clean tables. Sometimes took food away before you could finish it. (kind of annoying)
FOOD AND SERVICE OVERALL: Were generally good but never great. Of course likes and dislikes differ for us all I can only comment on my past cruises experiences.
ROOM: I stayed in Mini Suite, based on other cruise lines and past cruises this particular mini suite was smaller than past mini suites I have stayed in. But the room Steward was fabulous. The room always clean.
CREW: In general the crew was very cheerful and eager to do their jobs. They do a great job despite long hours and thankless cruisers.
SHOWS: A couple of the shows were downright awful,the humor was tatselss and insulting and not necessary. A couple of the hsows were better and enjoyable. I am far from a prude but if you are going to have an adult show then list it as such in the program. The talent was fair
ENTERTAINMENT/MUSIC: This cruise gets an older crowd. If you are looking for late nights I do not think it will be on this ship. There were numerous older people with walkers and canes. The music gears toward and older crowd shutting out people who want to hear top-40 and dance. Nothing much happended after 12 am and the casino closed early on a couple nights as no one came to gamble.
TOURS : take any one you can afford Alaska is wonderful see anything you can and you will not lose.
PORTS OF CALL: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Prince Rupert CA
All of these ports were enjoyable. The scenery is incredible, the air is clean the water calm and glasslike and the mountains and scenery on the way knock your socks off. Saw Ididarod Dogs, Saw the mendehall glacier, incredible. What ever you chose I think is a good choice. did not here one bad word.
DIS-EMBARKATION: Went very easy, I did a "walkoff". Worth dragging the luggage. You get off fast, do not have to find your luggage. Well worth the labor.
Would only go back to Seattle if I had to. Did not like the city- very dirty Lots of gangs hanging on corners.
Port staff was very rude. They barked orders at us like we were prisoners instead of customers. If you did not move fast enough they barked more. Not impressed with Seattle or their workers. Took longer than anticipated to get on ship. Good thing they did not have batons and handcuffs.