Launched in 2001, the 2,348-passenger Norwegian Star was the first NCL ship custom built for Freestyle Cruising, NCL's anti-traditionalist program that touts a plethora of dining, cabin and entertainment options.
The ship boasts 11 restaurants, including venues serving Tex-Mex, Japanese and French cuisine, and 8 bars and lounges (try the open-air Bier Garten). In line with the Freestyle mantra, public spaces range from intimate to exuberant, providing a variety of spots for activities and entertainment day and night. There are also tons of accommodation options, from standard inside cabins to the enormous 6,694-square-ft., three-bedroom Garden Villas.
Star was refurbished in February 2010 in Victoria, British Columbia. The two-week dry-dock focused mostly on cosmetic enhancements (carpets, upholstery, etc.) and engineering work, but the line also added a number of 54 cabins and suites, and enhanced Star's spaces for kids.
Norwegian Star Fellow Passengers
NCL's passengers run the broad spectrum of families with young kids to retirees who want a casual cruise experience at a reasonable cost. The average age of guests on the Star's eight-day Mexican Riviera cruise is mid-40's, but when the cruise starts on a Friday or Saturday, the number of children on board increases. The ship is ideal for families wanting to experience an Alaska itinerary, especially since it sails roundtrip from Seattle.
Norwegian Star Dress Code
Casual, casual, casual. There is one voluntary formal night for those who want to dress up, but most choose to leave their jewels and tuxes at home. The fancier restaurants (Bistro, SoHo Room) do lend themselves to cocktail attire, but the other dining spots only require resort casual. No shorts, swimsuits or tank tops are allowed in the restaurants after 5 p.m.
Norwegian Star Gratuity
Each passenger is automatically billed $12 per day, which supports an incentive program for the service staff. Passenger who prefer to tip individually can fill out a form at reception. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to fitness classes and bar drinks or 18 percent in the spa. For passengers using concierge and butler service, NCL recommends a gratuity "commensurate with the services rendered." The bill can be paid in cash or with credit cards or traveler's checks.
We just got back from our 7 day cruise on the NCL Star. We had a wonderful time with friends and family – we were a large group. We had so much fun it was the best cruise ever. However, my review will focus on the ship and its ...continue
We booked a Mexican Riviera 7 night cruise on the spur of the moment - sort of a "I'll gas up the car, you pack!" situation. It was a great decision.
We had never cruised with NCL, but found Freestyle Cruising to be very ...continue
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This is my family's 3rd cruise and the 1st cruise for the friends who traveled with us. Our previous cruises where in the Bahamas on the Disney Dream and the Western Caribbean on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas. Let me preface by saying that ...continue