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14 Night Transatlantic Cruise from New York

14 Night Transatlantic Cruise from New York (Manhattan)

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Norwegian Star
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Halifax
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Belfast
  • Day 10
    Dublin
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Le Havre
  • Day 13
    Cherbourg
  • Day 14
    Isle of Portland (England)
  • Day 15
    Southampton

Norwegian Star

Norwegian Star - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Refurbs have kept original Freestyle ship modern

Cons

Constant upcharges may turn some cruisers off

Bottom Line

Star provides some of Norwegian's most popular features, on a smaller ship


Cruise Reviews

South America on the Norwegian Star This trip was pretty fantastic! The smaller, older Norwegian ships are far preferable to the gigantic, crowded mega-ships, in my opinion! This is what we liked about our South American voyage on ... Read More
South America on the Norwegian Star This trip was pretty fantastic! The smaller, older Norwegian ships are far preferable to the gigantic, crowded mega-ships, in my opinion! This is what we liked about our South American voyage on the Star: (1) The ship was nicely quiet in most places. There was not annoying music playing in the hallways and public venues. (2) One lovely thing about the older ships is the window seats along the inside corridor on Deck 7. They were well used and seemed a good spot to spend some leisurely time. We also found plenty of other quiet sitting places throughout the ship. (3) Thanks for the USB ports by the beds! That made it so easy to charge phones. (4) I liked the Port Excursion talk and would have liked even more information about the locations we visited, such as the history of each port and some of the geography, etc. I'm not really interested in port shopping talks (which feel like advertising for specific places). (5) GREAT JOB on hiring the Manila Trio to perform in the Atrium. Every time I heard them I was so impressed by the lovely music they played. It was calm and soothing. (6) Thanks also for putting up the map of South America alongside the service desk in the hallway. Sure, one can look at the TV but it's so much easier to see the 'whole picture' when there is a large map to track the voyage. A TV picture is constantly shifting and does not have geographical details. I saw lots of people checking out the map. (7) We love the Captain's updates and information! Keep those coming. Our shore excursions in South America were incredible (for the most part). The difficult part of doing a shore excursion from a cruise ship is that one can venture only so far away from the port, because of the time involved in traveling farther away. Add to that the fact that sometimes in ports there were other cruise ships docking at the same time, and that’s a recipe for congestion at the most popular locations. We always select outings that have some element of walking or hiking, so that does reduce the numbers somewhat, but still almost everywhere we went there were crowds trying to see the same things we were. In Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, and Punta Arenas, we just walked the town – lots to see and some lovely coffee shops. The architecture in old town Montevideo is unique and charming. We absolutely loved our trek in the Falkland Islands! There were twelve of us in the group, with our two very knowledgeable guides, Eileen and Peter. The minivan dropped us off at shipwreck cove, and on our way around the peninsula, Eileen pointed out all the amazing (tiny) plants that make up the landscape. We also were lucky to see young penguins right in their burrows, and adults walking to and from the burrows and beach. It was an outstanding experience, about 3 ½ miles total, and I would recommend it to anyone. So much to see and absorb. In Ushuaia, we did a trek through the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Our group split into two smaller groups of about 20 people, and although we jostled with many other tours along the way, we did find some peaceful, beautiful spots with different kinds of wildlife, plants, and scenery. Again, our guide was so informative – she knew pretty much everything about the geology, geography, history, and biology of the area. In Punta Arenas we didn’t do an excursion, but just walked around the town. Unfortunately, it was another Sunday so we couldn’t find much open, but we did enjoy the sights and the town square, and the lookout from Cerro de la Cruz was beautiful. At Puerto Chacabuco, there isn’t a whole lot to see right in the very tiny town, so we took a quick tour of the area on the “Surroundings” bus tour. We had a bit of time to look around Puerto Aysen, and we got a lot of nice information from the guide about the sights in the area. Our Puerto Montt tour of lakes, Orsono Volcano, and Petrohue Falls was an all-day event, and the sights were absolutely spectacular. Again, we shared them with many other people, but that didn’t detract from the sheer amazingness of what we were seeing. Everything was breathtaking, and the people of Chile take such pride in their country. Our guide, Javier, descended from the Mapucha indigenous people, was a fount of information and a unique perspective on the history of Chile. Riding along on the bus, I was amazed to see bike lanes almost everywhere, and almost no litter on the roads (much less than at home). One of the coolest things we found in two ports (Stanley and Punta Arenas) was that close to the ship we could purchase postcards depicting local scenery, and stamps as well, and then mail them right there before reboarding the ship! I wish every port would do something like that. The ladies at the Stanley Post Office were some of the sweetest, most helpful people we met! The employees on board the ship do such a great job of taking care of everyone and being cheerful and friendly. One thing I noticed was that even when they were not interacting with guests, they were laughing and joking with each other. That shows real teamwork. There were so many wonderful people, and specific employees that we were grateful for included (1) First, at the embarkation desk in Buenos Aires, Daniela was just amazing - so friendly and helpful. Even though there was a lot of congestion and delay in the boarding process, due to factors probably not controllable by Norwegian, she was pleasant and made our check-in smooth. (2) Mr. Giovanni Villaruel, in the Versailles dining room, was outstanding. He was working so hard, and maintained a pleasant and helpful demeanor throughout our meal. (3) Mr. Parkash Parajuli in the Atrium Cafe was amazing. He remembered our coffee order every morning, and was unfailingly polite and friendly. We loved talking with him about Nepal. (4) Mr. Sizwe Satshu in the Garden Cafe was so sweet. He has the friendliest face and although he seemed shy, he was just adorable. (5) I enjoyed my massage by Ms. Reimichon Ronra, from Manipur. She was amazingly professional and capable. (6) Our server at Le Bistro, Ms. Donna Francial, was so lovely - accommodating and friendly. (7) Of course, our room steward, Mr. V. Raj, was in all ways outstanding! We felt his kind caring and lovely spirit in our all interactions, and enjoyed talking with him about life back home in India. (8) Last but by no means least, Mr. Francisco Bagasala, the executive sous chef. When we expressed our disappointment at the lack of vegetarian soup options, three times he brought us a special vegetarian soup prepared just for us in the Garden Cafe. He is a real treasure! And as with every adventure, there were things that we wished had been different. Oh, Norwegian, Norwegian, we thought you had our backs as far as vegetarian food was concerned, but on the Star we were only partly enthusiastic. There was a dearth of vegetarian choices in most restaurants. We went to the Teppanyaki for the meal that’s grilled right in front of you, and the chef did a good job of cooking our food before he started on the meat and seafood. It was very good, but not to die for. We also had a meal at Le Bistro, and (very surprisingly) the only vegetarian entrée was exactly the same as it has been at the Le Bistros on other Norwegian ships for the past five years. Mine was served slightly cold, and was in the end, disappointing. Dessert was good, though. And at the complimentary restaurants, they had the same pasta dishes as always (one fellow vegetarian that I met on the ship described it as, “If I eat any more fettucini Alfredo, I’m going to turn into a noodle”), and not very interesting daily alternatives. So mostly we ate at the buffet, which did have a pretty good selection. We love soup, and as noted above, they only had vegetarian soup twice on the whole voyage (other than the special ones Mr. Bagasala brought us). They did have Indian veggies and dal at lunches and dinners, not as tasty as what the Indian chefs on other ships had prepared, but we enjoyed it anyway. Also nice salads. But only rarely were there entrees that were designed for vegetarians. One curious thing about the buffet on the Star was the food labels. On other ships, we could count on the green labels signifying veg choices, and the brown indicating non-veg. This system was not followed at the Star buffet. Labeling was just whatever. We had to ask in almost every case. I splurged for a hot stone massage in the Spa this trip. I had not purchased the too-expensive spa pass. It was a great massage, but I was slightly miffed that having purchased this service, I was not allowed to use the sauna/relaxation room before or after the massage. Just get dressed and bye-bye. At every spa I have ever been to, a massage includes use of the facilities! This definitely needs to be remedied. The internet connection was slow, as it always is, and one has to be careful using minutes of a plan. For work, I had to connect in the Internet Café (didn’t bring a laptop), and was alarmed when I got a message that the “browser does not support” the work I was trying to do. The attendant said that it was a bare-bones system. Somehow I got it to work well enough, although slowly, to accomplish what I needed. So all in all, despite what could be improved, thanks to Norwegian and the crew of the Star, as well as all the great port personnel, who made our once-in-a-lifetime trip around Cape Horn memorable! Would I travel again on this ship? Yes, certainly. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Was excited for my first trip to South America and loved the itinerary! Visited some very remote areas and saw beautiful scenery. Especially loved the Glaciers, the penguins and the sea lions. Unfortunately, the experience on the ship ... Read More
Was excited for my first trip to South America and loved the itinerary! Visited some very remote areas and saw beautiful scenery. Especially loved the Glaciers, the penguins and the sea lions. Unfortunately, the experience on the ship was the disappointing part! It started with embarkation which was a disaster with long lines and frustrated guests. I’m platinum, which is supposed to afford me priority embarkation but all the way through, I was told to follow the crowd. No priority! Once on the ship, for the first 4 or 5 days, staff were serving guests at the garden café, rather than allow self-service at the buffet. I’m sure that this was to avoid possible contamination since the carona-virus is such an issue, and I appreciate their concern. However, the staff was doing a terrible job! They were obviously short staffed behind the counters and didn’t seem happy to be serving. It was extremely slow and often it was hard to find anyone to help! Of course, the cleanup staff was plentiful and several times I had to stop them from taking my plate and drinks while I was still eating! We also had 7 nights in the specialty dining and sometimes felt rushed there. I also received a voucher for a complimentary dinner for 2 at Cagney”s , and a friend who was using the dining package was allowed to order more courses that we were with the voucher which I thought was extremely tacky! We also booked all of our excursions through the ship and although expensive, most were good, although some of the guides were hard to understand. Also, tours were offered in Spanish or English, yet we often wound up with passengers in our group that spoke Spanish so the guides had to switch back and forth, making their speech more difficult to follow. Unfortunately, the Magdelena Penguin Reserve tour in Punta Arenas, which was $199 for 5 hours, was terrible!! We spent a total of 4 hours on a bus and a rickety old ferry, for 1 hour on the island with the penguins. During the 105 minutes each way on the ferry, there was nothing else to see. The lead guide talked for about 30 minutes then spent the remaining time in the navigation cabin on the ferry with the other 3 guides who were young college students. One of the girls stuck her head out and I tried to ask a few questions and she wasn’t able to answer much. I learned more about Punta Arenas on a later excursion at another port! After retuning to the ship I went to the shore excursion desk to complain and I was treated very rudely by the staff. I was told I would be given a “courtesy refund” but when I said my sister/roommate was also displeased, he said he would make out a report and get back to me. No response! So in the morning on the last day I returned and again was treated very poorly by another agent, and told it was still under review and they would call me with a decision at 8pm, after their desk was closed! I wrote a note to the general manager and finally received a call about 3:30pm that they were giving us a 20% discount. A little while later, my sister noticed on the NCL app that we were charged again for the excursion. So she went to the desk AGAIN was treated rudely also! He said we had received a credit for the first charge, which we did not see on the app. She asked for a copy of her bill so she could see the credit and he told her he did not do printing and rudely pointed to the finance desk which had a long line. Also, it turns out they only gave us an addition 10% since as status latitude members, we were already eligible for a 10% discount. I again wrote a note to the general manager and received no reply! I am currently a Platinum Latitudes member but feel that Norwegian has really gone down hill in the last year or so. The staff and the service are very poor!! Even management and Guest Services don't seem friendly or like they care if you have issues. I attribute this partly to the fact that tips are now prepaid, so the staff receives their money even if they don’t do a good job. While I have been leaning toward NCL over the last few years, I am becoming very unhappy with them and will have to start looking to start traveling other lines going forward. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Seeing Patagonia has been on my bucket llst for a while, and we had high expectations for this trip. We booked a year in advance, planned a week in Santiago before the cruise and a week after in Buenos Aires. In a word, everything was ... Read More
Seeing Patagonia has been on my bucket llst for a while, and we had high expectations for this trip. We booked a year in advance, planned a week in Santiago before the cruise and a week after in Buenos Aires. In a word, everything was AMAZING. This will be a long review wiih lots of recommendations. :-) We stayed at a lovely, family-run, small hotel in Santiago -- Hotel Mery. Highly recommended. The hotel provided a driver to pick us up at the airport. Juan Carlos was waiting for us at arrivals, and it was a pleasant ride to the hotel. He pointed out places of interest along the way. We did the Hop On/Hop Off bus, and I strongly recommend buying the two-day pass which gives you access to both routes and the funicular. We were lucky enough to be there for the opening night of the symphony, and we got to hear an amazing performance of Beethoven's Ninth. After a few days in the city, we wanted to get out into nature and hired Juan Carlos to drive us into the Andes on Thursday and to the port on Friday where we stayed overnight and boarded the Star on Saturday. He even stopped at an artisan village along the way -- Pomaire -- where we were able to buy some ceramics and have a typical lunch. Not much to do in San Antonio. We walked around the port and waited impatiently for the cruise. The Casino hotel was comfortable and convenient. Embarkation the next day was a breeze. We left the hotel at 11:30 and were in our cabin by 12:15! It helped being Latitudes Gold -- Platinum is better, but we still need nine more points. :-) Our cabin steward, I Made, was wonderful. We were in cabin 9712, portside eastbound. If you can afford it, definitely book port eastbound and starboard westbound to see the Chilean glaciers from the comfort of your balcony stateroom. We saw all the complaints about the Star posted by folks on a previous cruise. We had no mechanical problems and were fortunate with the weather. It's the luck of the draw with the weather. I'm not sure why people think the ship's captain can control the weather. The weather is unpredictable in this part of the world. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS Our first sea day, we had a Meet and Mingle, and it was great to meet other cruisers. The passengers on this cruise were a great international mix and lots of fun. We did a Viator Tour wtih GV Tours in Puerto Montt. I can't recommend them. There was no communication before the cruise/tour -- I had to call Chile and talk to them to confirm new times. The tour went to Osborno Volcano, Petrohue Falls, Frutillar, and Puerto Varas. Would have been cheaper and better to hire a taxi to go to the Falls and see the volcano. The two towns were just okay. I could have skipped. There were shopping areas, but we didn't really have enough time to shop. And lunch was an empanada eaten standing by the van with cups of wine and/or water. Forgettable In Puerto Chacabuco, we booked the nature walk with NCL. I had an independent tour booked but cancelled because the tour was supposed to be seven-and-a-half hours and we were only in port for six. The NCL tour was two hours late getting back to the ship, but because it was NCL, the ship waited. I was glad I changed booking and went with NCL. I'm sure the other trip was really shortened. Anyway, the NCL tour was nice. We never got to see wildlife -- even with the larger group being broken into groups of 20, wildlife was not going to sit still for 120 people walking through their habitat. Still, the flora and scenery was worth every step. The lunch and folkloric dancing was enjoyable. We wwre greeted with pisco sours, tables were set with salads and bottles of wine, soft drinks were available, and the meat was slowly roasting over hot coals. We didn't do any tours in Punta Arenas. It poured rain. We walked around town and found a cafe with wifi where we checked email and posted pictures. Sailing through the fjords and glaciers was awe-inspiring. We were lucky with weather -- Skies were clear, seas were relatively calm, In Ushuaia, I booked a small tour with Anan Turismo. Check out their Facebook page and/or email Giselle at ananturismo@gmail.com. It was awesome. They customized a tour for us to include short walks and lots of nature. Federico was waiting for us when we got off the ship, and we took off for Tierre del Fuego National Park. Federico loves the natural world and shared lots of information with us. There were four couples total, and half said it was their favorite port and best tour ever. In Stanley, we saw penguins from our balcony and swimming penguins from the tender. We took the $20 shuttle to Gypsy Cove and saw Magellan penguins and chicks. In Punta Tombo we took a tour arranged through shoreexcursions.com to see the penguins. It was 4-5 hours total in a mini-bus with about a dozen people and totally worth every single minute. There were thousands of Magellanic penguins, and we could walk among them. Again, we were very lucky because with a small tour, we were able to leave port quickly and were the second group at the penguin colony, so we had several hours to wander among the waddling cuties. No tours necessary in Montevideo -- we wanted around the old city and enjoyed the architecture and vibe. Disembarkation in Buenos Aires was well run and efficient. We found our luggage quickly and headed out to wait for our driver. We did the Hop On/Hop Off bus in Buenos Aires. While the bus is a good way to get around the city, the company really, really needs to invest in customer service training. THE SHIP The Star is the perfect size. We never had to wait in line for anything. The crew was absolutely exemplary. The food was good -- when the ship is feed more than 2,000 people, it's not going to prepare gourmet fare. But it was good. We ate at Le Bistro, Cagney's, Moderno, and La Cucina (part of our package) and in the Versailles Main Dining Room. We experienced no mechanical problems at all on this cruise. Smooth sailing all the way. We went to a couple shows -- the Pampas Devils -- which was informative and entertaining, and the Abbey Road Beatles tribute band -- which was great. We skipped the musician, the Vegas Revue, and the singer, but people seemed to like the shows. Moving seamlessly back and forth from English to Spanish to English, the cruise director Jeimy was good. Audience participation programs were fun. NCL did its usual pushing of things to buy, but it's easy to ignore the sales pitches and just enjoy your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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