1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Panama Canal & Central America Cruises
  4. Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

1 Copenhagen to Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

We are Platinum Level Latitudes members and are big NCL fans. It is "our" cruise line -- our first choice when planning cruises. Unfortunately, if our most recent cruise on the NCL Star had been our first NCL cruise, we would ... Read More
We are Platinum Level Latitudes members and are big NCL fans. It is "our" cruise line -- our first choice when planning cruises. Unfortunately, if our most recent cruise on the NCL Star had been our first NCL cruise, we would never book them again. When booking our cruise 14 months in advance (when there was large pool of rooms to choose from) our NCL Personal Cruise Consultant suggested 8 Aft as a "great location". She didn't mention that the room she booked us into is directly over the Spinnaker Lounge's stage and subject to LOUD late night music. When I say LOUD I mean as in we could hear the words to every song, everything that the MC said, and even the winning raffle ticket numbers! My husband is hearing impaired and could hear everything clearly after removing his hearing aides. We had sailed the Star twice before and the Spinnaker was in the forward part of the ship. Because we'd sailed on the Star we thought we knew the ship and thus neglected (our mistake) to look at the deck map when booking. Aft has always been a good choice for us. Important lesson: ALWAYS look at the deck maps before booking; you never know when a ship may have been reconfigured since your last sailing. Many people on 8 Aft endured many sleepless nights on this cruise. We were offered a "sleeping room" where we could sleep at night, but keep our cabin, but if I wanted to carry my toiletries back and forth I'd book a KOA campsite! Moving to a new room was not an option because they would be occupied during future legs of our back-to-back trip. The Star staff is well aware of the problem, but has adopted a defeated, "we can't do anything and you should have not booked that room" attitude. If you like to party at night, 8 Aft is a good location, but if you are an early-to-bed kind of person, avoid 8 Aft on the Star. Also know that 8 Mid is subject to noise from the Atrium -- music in the evening and Blue Lagoon noise in the early AM. Sadly, the service in most of the restaurants was unbelievably BAD this cruise. We'd order coffee or milk and half the time never got it. Often after drinking my iced tea, instead of refilling my glass, the wait staff would just pick up my empty glass and take it away without asking if I'd like something else to drink. Water often wasn't delivered until halfway through our meal. Orders were routinely incorrect or incomplete. Routinely half the table would be served and the remaining people would be left sitting for 20-30 minutes with no food -- people either ate in "shifts" or those who had been served were polite and let their food get cold. We spoke to several officers and supervisors about these problems throughout the cruise and it didn't improve. My husband frequently ordered a cheeseburger for lunch in Versailles or Blue Lagoon and none were delivered as ordered until the last day of the cruise -- they finally got it right after 41 days of errors and ommisions! In Versailles ketchup is never delivered with hamburger and french fries even when asked for as part of the order. We always had to ask for it (again) when the meal was delivered and then it was often forgotten or delivery was so delayed our meal was stone cold. We wholeheartedly support NCL's daily gratuity charge, but meal service was so bad on this cruise, we asked that the wait staff gratuity portion of the charge be removed from our bill and then personally tipped the few wait staff who had given us good service (we also wrote "Hero" cards for those few). NCL has provided us years of outstanding service, so we hope this is just a problem with the Star and not a new trend for the whole line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click