We left out of Tampa. We flew in the night before and stayed at the Hilton Garden - Westshore. It was a nice hotel. We arrived at the cruise terminal at about 11AM. We checked in shortly after that. They were very efficient. We waited a bit to get on the ship but I didn't think it was too bad.
We were immediately greeted by happy smiling faces of the Star staff. After getting on the ship we walked around to explore the ship. We decided to eat lunch at the Versailles per cruise critic recommendations. It was a nice relaxing lunch. Our luggage was delayed but I think it was because we brought a soft sided cooler with pop. I have sure it got searched. But then we were ready to go.
We had a balcony cabin on deck 10. I would highly recommend a balcony. I don't think I will ever cruise again without it. The room was an OK size. There seemed to be lots of storage.
Overall I would have to say I enjoyed the food. There were some item that did sound or look appetizing but then I didn't order them or eat them. So I enjoyed everything I ate. I especially liked the Vegetarian section on the buffet. It was Indian and was very good. I would have to say my favorite was the bread pudding with carmel sauce and the pretzel rolls at lunch.
I was very impressed with the entertainment. I really enjoyed Second City and Sharkbait. These were things I would pay for. The Star dancers were good. I didn't particularly enjoy the singer but I think that is just my preference as other people on board thought they were great. The assistant cruise director (Rico) was awesome. I saw him everywhere on ship and he was always engaged with the people on board.
All the crew members on board welcomed you with a smile and a hello. I mean every person whether it be the room steward or the ship officers. I don't remember everyone being so friendly on Carnival.
We stopped in Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. We did the Playa Mia cooking school in Cozumel. I would highly recommend it.
Overall we had a great time and I would cruise NCL again. I am not really sure what other people are complaining about. I believe you make it what you want. I didn't go in expecting 5 star food and service and my exceptions were met and even exceeded in some cases.