We arrived in Tampa the day before and stayed at the Residence Inn downtown. They had a free breakfast and schuttle to the port. We scheduled the schuttle for an 11:00am ride to the port but it was very late. The driver said the ships arrived around the same time due to the high winds making it chaotoc and him late.
Emarkation was the worst DH and I had experienced but I did not blame NCL for it but the fact of The Coast Guard going on board for an inspection and the high winds causing the gangplank to dislodge and having to be reset.
This was our first freestyle cruise. We arrived at the Versailles dining room Sunday night and found a large crowd and a long wait so we went to The Acqua dining room. The menu and food are the same. The decor is the difference. Aqua is modern and Versailles is traditional. Monday night the same delays and crowds at Versailles and we again ate at Aqua. We found this frustrating and DH said we won't do NCL again. But the crowds started thinning out on Tuesday and we also got more savy about free style so then were able to eat at Versailles when we wanted.
We found the food to be very good no matter where we ate on the ship. We did one specialty restaurant ( Le Bistro) and also found it very good. It was the night The Star had their Chocolate Buffet which I caught the tail end. What I had was good. Next time I will go earlier to get the chocolate glass with champagne and strawberries.
The minor problems we had were dealt with quickly by the Customer Service desk personnel. In fact, we found all the staff friendly and responsible to our needs and quick to solve any issues.
The ship is older but I only saw one small area where the carpet was worn. I actually like the balcony on this ship better than the one I had on another line last year which was newer. That was because The Star balcony was more private. Last year the newer style balcony we had was stair stepped and you could see others and also be seen by them.
I entertainment on the Star was excellent. We saw The Second City Comedy group, Angels by Cirque de Soleil. Their production of "Shout" had "mod" women who could reallllly sing and took me back to the songs of my youth.
In the end we found the cruise relaxing and enjoyable and we would do NCL again.