Sail Date: March 2019
Never cruised the Pacific Mexican Riviera, so this 8-night trip that hit 4 hotspots was a great opportunity. Ship is okay, a little cramped but in good condition after a rehab about a year ago. Theatre shows and entertainers were great, ... Read More
Never cruised the Pacific Mexican Riviera, so this 8-night trip that hit 4 hotspots was a great opportunity. Ship is okay, a little cramped but in good condition after a rehab about a year ago. Theatre shows and entertainers were great, onboard music was lame - worst of any ship I've been on. Service was very good, much better than my previous NCL Getaway experience. The two main dining rooms are nothing special, glorified cafeterias, but with good food and plenty of choices. Service was uneven, but perfectly acceptable most of the time. Several specialty restaurants onboard, didnt hear any great buzz about any particular one. Swedish Captain was a hoot. Cabo San Lucas was the best stop - great whale watching this time of year. Puerta Vallarta and Mazatlan were fun, Ensenada much more beautiful and interesting than I anticipated. Had an inside cabin, deck 8 forward, great location. Quiet. Very small but didn't spend much time there. Bathroom decent size with great hot showers. I would take this ship again, but only for a good itinerary/price, not for the ship itself. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for a unique 8 day cruise to the Mexican Riviera that included a 4th port in Ensenada. Thar star is a great ship that was just updated in 2018. Every area of the ship is beautiful! This is our 3rd cruise with NCL and I ... Read More
We chose the cruise for a unique 8 day cruise to the Mexican Riviera that included a 4th port in Ensenada. Thar star is a great ship that was just updated in 2018. Every area of the ship is beautiful! This is our 3rd cruise with NCL and I rank this as the best overall. We loved the cabin and felt is was very roomy for two. The ports were all very nice and we had excursions at each port that were all fun. Our cabin steward Tan was the best one we have had yet! He was very prompt and never missed a beat going from the daily cleaning to the turn down at night. We enjoyed the shows and by far our favorite was "Band on the Run" but we saw some show every night and they were all good. The food was alright but I felt it had changed a bit from our last cruise. In fact a couple different servers in the specialty restaurants commented that there had been recent menu changes and some of the old items had been discontinued. The buffet was always good to have for breakfast but we never ate dinner there. You could always find a table relatively easy as well. I have to also mention that service was slower at almost all the restaurants that what we encountered on our other cruises.It wasn't bad but just caused us to miss the first show on three separate nights when we started at 5:30 PM. Our favorite excursions were Salsa Salsa and Luxury Beach Resort and well worth the money. One of our favorite things about NCL is the Thermal SPA areas and we bought the access again here. It is absolutely worth the money.We spent time there every day. It included a wet spa, dry spa separated in the women's and men's rooms and the shared pool and hot tubs. The quiet areas at the corners were great for reading and almost always vacant except a couple people.We also got a couple's warm stone message and it was awesome! For the first time we also enjoyed the pool area and the stair stepped pool levels were very nice. I am sold on NCL and will continue to sail with them and I highly recommend this ship and itinerary. Read Less
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Sail Date: February 2019
2/15/19 - 3/1/19 NCL Star Panama Canal Voyage Top screw ups 1. Free internet, ha ha, ha, 250 minute perk what doesn’t work properly or frequently; isn’t free or useful. Waits at Internet cafe could be as much as 60 minutes. ... Read More
2/15/19 - 3/1/19 NCL Star Panama Canal Voyage Top screw ups 1. Free internet, ha ha, ha, 250 minute perk what doesn’t work properly or frequently; isn’t free or useful. Waits at Internet cafe could be as much as 60 minutes. 2. Cable/internet stations FOX, MSNBC, BBC, were very frequently not available as is the case right now as I write this, Thursday, 2/28/19 beginning at 6:40 AM and continuing unabated at present. The Sunday, 2/24/19 Oscars was not shown. 3. You will pay $4.64 for a glass of soda if you do not elect a plan. However most of time Diet Sierra Mist was poured by can to glass not by fountain spray but only 50% of time would server give you the balance of the can; note: only Pepsi products are available but Pepsi No Sugar was not. 4. Watch out for catamaran whale watch from Cabo it’s run by children who seem more interested in loud music and serving you prodigious quantities of alcohol; but to be fair soft drinks and water are available and you paid for it all inside the ticket fee. Like a party boat for mid lifers. They considered a whale sighting to be a spout or the whale’s tail as they dive. Never closer than a 1000 meters. One of the kids is the Cetaecian expert he plays loud whale sounds and provides much inaccurate information about humpback whales. 5. Avoid the Garden Cafe at almost all costs; except for periods of time when large numbers of eaters are gone. All enjoyed slopping at the Garden Cafe trough. Soft pretzel nirvana! 6. Avoid all specialty dining except for steak at Cagneys. If steak is your thing; there’s plenty of burned meat odor and taste there for you! 7. Be aware of cultural anomalies among some of your fellow passengers; like their general aversion to order, inability to patiently wait in line for their turn and the need for necessary occasional silence when and where it’s called as a need!!!!! 8. When you arrive at NCL TERMINAL at the Miami cruise port carefully assess what the greeters for NCL are telling you to do as it may be sufficiently botched or confused that you won’t know what you heard. This was something I thought NCL had down but not on 2/15/19 9. NCL will send you color coded luggage tags for embark; but you HAVE TO ASK FOR THEM. Otherwise you’ll need 8 ft of tape and print out cutouts online and then attach them yourself. 10. All Ports of Call are at best marginal and depressed. Let’s face it if they were all St Barth’s it would be a lot more expensive and after all you get to see how the Canal works. 11. Disembarking on 3/1/19 was an exercise in futility; for 3 and 1/2 hours we waited 3 hours of it in line to get out of NCL terminal. No announcements of any kind were ever made and no explanation was ever made to explain the delay; no bathroom facilities were identified; there were a number of fatigued or ill older people who should have been treated better; best bet appeared to be to claim wheelchair access need with the requirement for NCL staff to push the chair; which allowed for express debarkation of the person in the chair and their entourage, which was often as many as 3 additional people blithely passing those waiting for hours in line. - [x] People with apparent disability, which I defined as being in a wheelchair or similar conveyance, were present on the ship in what appeared to be anecdotally but positively high numbers to their and NCL’s credit! What was not clear were the express rides which all wheelchairs seemed to get as described above. It was simply unfair as NCL had asked passengers, able bodied and otherwise, to declare their need for early debarkation to get to airports for early flights. These express rides were much later in the debarkation process. NCL needs to mend fences with CPB In Miami FL to get a better working relationship with them rather than the blame put on CPB for the line and delay by at least one NCL agent. CPB needs to be open to such negotiations and to work equally hard to reach agreement and reduce their mutual disagreement which VICTIMIZED ALL DEBARKING PASSENGERS and nobody else. I’m confident that all NCL and CPB staff were paid for their work. Right now I can’t see myself returning to NCL to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The location was the main reason. The trip was excellent, smooth sailing, very good shore excursions although some a little pricey. Food good in Steak restaurant, Ambiance could be much better in Italian Restaurant. O'Sheean's ... Read More
The location was the main reason. The trip was excellent, smooth sailing, very good shore excursions although some a little pricey. Food good in Steak restaurant, Ambiance could be much better in Italian Restaurant. O'Sheean's pub food pretty good but seemed pre-made in some cases. Entertainment was the best we have had on any of our cruises, including the guest performers and the cruise group and band. complimentary restaurants food, staff and setting were great. The Panama Canal day was very memorable and a must for everyone. It was interesting to learn of the real environmental preservation efforts of most of the central America countries. The people we met from these countries were genuinely caring of visitors. Enjoyed the trip to the artist town in Guatemala. The travel was quite lengthy but through different landscapes and economic areas. Suggest Norwegian continues to offer this trip. We will continue to cruise but maybe take a little break after May as we will have taken three cruises in 10 months. Will have Norwegian as first cruise company choice in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The Panama Canal has always been on our Bucket List. While we usually vacation at All Inclusives, we felt a cruise would be the best way to experience the Canal. As first-time cruisers, we began to wonder what we had gotten ourselves ... Read More
The Panama Canal has always been on our Bucket List. While we usually vacation at All Inclusives, we felt a cruise would be the best way to experience the Canal. As first-time cruisers, we began to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into: prairie folk committing to 14 nights on a ship!! We chose Norwegian for the FreeStyle cruising and were not disappointed. We enjoyed the more relaxed dress code and not having to commit to a specific time to eat. We are foodies so were excited when the Versailles restaurant offered a delicious menu which was only surpassed by the genuine friendliness and service provided by the wait staff. It’s a good thing we were there 14 days to be able to sample most of the menu! O’Sheehans was our favourite breakfast spot—open early, relaxing ambience and delicious bacon and eggs. The Theatre is not really our thing but we went to the early show the second night and were absolutely blown away! Better than anything we’ve paid for at home so we attended every show after that! The live band accompanying the events was amazing. The entertainment changed each night: hypnotist, singer, musical shows (on-board animation team was AMAZING!!), comedian etc. We did 5 shore excursions. While the NCL excursions may be pricier than on-shore options, they were some of the best we have experienced. Excellent transfer buses, guides were knowledgeable and passionate about their countries, safety was a big priority (TIP: Costa Rica: top-of-the-line safety on the zip-line and best excursion ever!!). Near the end of our trip, we sailed on the Luxury Yachts in Cabo San Lucas. It was a beautiful way to spend the day—14 people snorkelling and whale watching—a nice break from the bustle of the ship. If we could change anything, we would like to see more chairs available in the shade outside. It was quite hot sailing south, with most of the shade inside the ship! If you are a smoker, there are lots of places to smoke outside, so many that it was difficult to avoid if you are a non-smoker. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The Panama Canal has been on my bucket list for a while, and I really loved every bit of our cruise on NCL Star. I shared a balcony cabin with my sister, also an experienced cruiser; however, this was our first longer cruise (over 7 days) ... Read More
The Panama Canal has been on my bucket list for a while, and I really loved every bit of our cruise on NCL Star. I shared a balcony cabin with my sister, also an experienced cruiser; however, this was our first longer cruise (over 7 days) for both of us. The Star is looking spiffy after her recent drydock… décor looks fresh, color schemes up to date, seating in public spaces is (mostly) comfortable. She’s one of the smaller ships in the NCL fleet, so, we weren’t expecting the bells & whistles of a megaship. We still found plenty to like. Our cabin was about what we expected, size-wise: a bit snug, but room enough for both of us to completely unpack & hang up what needed hanging. The beds were reasonably comfortable. We both liked the USB ports that have been added to the bedside reading lamps. The bathroom is tight quarters, as expected (particularly the toilet cubicle,) but the shower is big enough to turn around in. Dining was very good in every venue we tried. We didn’t eat at the buffet for meals (just an occasional afternoon snack… they always had some nice things set out to make up a tea tray or an ersatz charcuterie plate.) The main dining rooms had a nice variety of entrees on the menu, with enough variation that we didn’t get bored by the end of the second week. The alternate venues wowed us! Of the specialty dining (we tried them all) we particularly liked Le Bistro & Teppanyaki, but it was all quite good. We also loved Ginza, the complimentary Asian restaurant, and would return two more times during the cruise. The activities & entertainment offered were varied, and we enjoyed the live music in the several venues around the ship. I particularly liked the production shows offered in the Stardust Theater – four shows over the course of the cruise – the show band is awesome! They would also perform in the smaller venues on non-show nights, and were terrific there, too. We also had the good fortune of having a guest lecturer on board, who gave several interesting talks in the afternoons on topics related to our Central American itinerary. I indulged in the thermal spa pass, and spent many pleasant hours there. Smaller ship means smaller spa… the steam room & sauna are tiny, but barely used, so it didn’t matter much. There are only seven of the heated tile loungers, but I think I only had to wait once. The crew of the Star is what really elevated the whole experience for us. Every single person we encountered was pleasant, helpful, and ready to treat us like rock stars. It amazes me how everyone you encounter (room steward, bartender, dining room hostess) is greeting you by name after about the third day. NCL is clearly doing something right, because the whole crew seems to be happy & energized to have the best cruise possible. After such a review, I hate to mention downsides… but there’s always a couple… The seating in Stardust Theater is awful, to put it simply. I guess it didn’t get the refurb during drydock. Many of the fold-down seats seem to be sagging. I found the bench seats in the balcony to be much more tolerable. Also, the live music is sometimes much too loud in small venues, particularly Gatsby’s (the midship bar on deck 6.) It was our favorite bar in the evenings, but we’d find ourselves avoiding it if there was an over-miked musician performing when we walked by. Overall, these very small glitches did nothing to diminish our overall enjoyment of the cruise. We loved the Canal experience & we’re glad we got to enjoy it aboard the Star. She’s a fine ship with a fine crew, and I’d sail her again anytime. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this because we always wanted to see the Panama Canal and the central America ports. Embarking was very quick. We arrived approx 11:45 and were on the ship by 12:15. Headed to O'Sheehan's bar for lunch and ... Read More
We chose this because we always wanted to see the Panama Canal and the central America ports. Embarking was very quick. We arrived approx 11:45 and were on the ship by 12:15. Headed to O'Sheehan's bar for lunch and beverage. Nice bar and good food. Great staff! Anytime dining allows you to dine here as well as the main dining rooms. Checked out the ship after that. The Start just had a major refurbishment so it looked great! Not to crazy about a few dead end areas when trying to get to a few places but we figured out out after time. Our rooms are ready before we left the port. Main dining areas were very nice. Service was very good and the food was good to very good. Staff was very good to excellent. Fine dining was very good to excellent a well as the service. Bars were great and service was very good even at the pool. They had a buffet at the pool daily. Entertainment was very good. Something for everyone. Our room was well laid out with many USB chargers. Best bathroom layout I've seen on cruise ships. Sliding doors on both shower and toilet area for privacy while the sink area can be used at the same time. Bed was very comfortable and the a.c. was efficient and quiet. Patio was big enough for 4 to sit but not lounge. Good size casino. Why do they still allow smoking in there? It's time to stop that practice. The gamblers will come back to gamble after they step out for a smoke. It's not like they can drive home. Health before profits! That goes for all cruise lines! The staff was excellent overall in all departments. Very happy, talkative, cheerful and helpful. By far NVL's biggest asset! We had a great time and weren't disappointed. I'll definitely cruise with NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This is our 1st cruise with Norwegian but we have cruised several times before. This was the longest cruise at 14 days however. We had been informed to Star had recently been renovated. Ship was very clean. Staff was efficient but not ... Read More
This is our 1st cruise with Norwegian but we have cruised several times before. This was the longest cruise at 14 days however. We had been informed to Star had recently been renovated. Ship was very clean. Staff was efficient but not very friendly. There were exceptions like Ivan our room steward. There were parts of the ship that should/could have had service but didn't - the front and back of the ship where sunbathers were. Not one waiter ever came by to ask if you wanted anything. Yes there are bars near by but you would have to leave your chair,etc. to go get something. Also no light snacks at any of the bars - spicy corn nuts at Gatsby and Sugar cane only. Eric in the Tiptop bar is very nice. There's only one casual dining room (Agua)where shorts are acceptable, all the rest require reservations,long pants/collared shirts and are either ala cart or specialty priced. We came on the cruise to relax and be casual. But I didn't come on a cruise to eat at a cafeteria which the upstairs buffet reminded me of. It was crowded and noisey. The specialty restaurants were very nice though - Le Bistro was excellent and so was the Moderno - a meat lover's dream. Gapo our waitperson there was wonderful. The salad bar at the Moderno was amazing. I would have been glad just to eat that. I have come to realize that I do not Asian fusion cooking. The Ginza was a complete disappointment. The sushi rice was not correct (too sweet) and the tuna texture appeared to have been frozen. I understand that we are on a ship and frozen fish would/might be required for health safety but then do not serve sushi to consumers that will know the difference. Or when we are in port buy local fresh fish from the area. That would have been exciting to try instead. O'Sheehans was a hit or miss. I ordered buffalo wings 2x's and they came to the table cold and overcooked both times. Have your waitstaff learn how to pour a pint of Guinness beer as well. It is different from regular beer. I should not have to tell them how to do it at a place called O'Sheehans! The Tradewinds shopping area had lovely clothing. Prices were actually quite reasonable in comparison to other cruise lines. Both a few items there. But the toiletry selections is very limited. You should expand it to include more things that people either forgot or ran out of . I bought some lovely earrings and lost a back - couldn't wear them because you didn't sell any replacement backs. No AA or AAA batteries or phone chargers. Another missed opportunity. We met 2 lovely couples from England and Australia on our cruise and being with them made any of our disappointments bearable. However, not sure if we will do Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We did the 14 day Panama Canal cruise from Miami to LA. I packed all the things that are essential for me. A clock radio, magnetic clips to hold the itinerary with excursions, dining reservation and the daily planner on the wall, flavored ... Read More
We did the 14 day Panama Canal cruise from Miami to LA. I packed all the things that are essential for me. A clock radio, magnetic clips to hold the itinerary with excursions, dining reservation and the daily planner on the wall, flavored creamer for my coffee. I took an extension cord for plugging in our devices but didn't need it because the suite had 2 outlets, backpack for excursions, my Yeti cup for putting drinks in (the sun melted the ice right away), & lots of lotions and hats. We left Thurs for Miami & stayed at the airport Ramada. Got on the shuttle to the port at about 11AM Fri and got there about 11:45. Embarkation was easy (I think it would have been even without a suite). We were taken to a room where we checked in and waited for our concierge (Suzanna) to take us for lunch in the Moderno. After that we were able to get into our room, 12530. Yes, the 12th floor forward rooms have no balcony and I thought I would miss that but I never did. I sat by the window all thru the panama canal & didn't miss a thing. I loved sitting by the windows. They bring a narrator on board & he explains everything (it comes thru the TV) and also the bow camera. I do wish though that our windows would have been cleaner. They were alittle spotty to take pictures. Our butler was Rex, he was very sweet. Most days I ate lunch in my room, I think the menu is different for suite guests. Everything, especially the cobb salad, was great. We also had breakfast in the room on excursion days. Brussell was our room stewart. He did a great job. We were on the 12th floor and only walked a few steps out to the pool. Chairs were always filled by at least 10 on sea days which we had 6 of, but we were usually able to find somewhere to sit. The shows were very good (the magician and the contourshonist were the best). The musical shows were great but very loud. For excursions we were always escorted of the boat by Suzanna which was really nice and also for disembarkation. She couldn't take us all the way to the front of the line for disembarkation but it really helped. I would have been angry if I would have had to wait in those long lines. Norwegian had told me I needed to book dinner reservations early before we went on the cruise, but Suzanna was not sure why they told me that because she would have taken care of it & also the excursions. We had been on the star in 2017 before the renovation. It is really beautiful now. They use paper straws now for the drinks, which is really great. All the bars were great. Friday at embarkation the pool deck bars were very slow but they improved a lot. We loved the Bliss lounge and the nighttime games and music, the grand atrium area is nice and has good snacks. We ate at Tempanaki which I think was our favorite. La Bistro twice, they had a T-bone special which we didn't care for but ate there another night and it was good, Moderno we liked a lot (don't eat much salad) Cagneys twice, soso, Ginza (which is free) very good, Aqua once, the tables were very close together & Versaiiles 3 or 4 times, very good. Aqua & Versailles have the same menu. We loved it. I could have stayed longer. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Main Entertainment was very good to excellent but entertainment in main areas of ship was awful. Food good with very good variety. Service good. Can’t prove it but food on shore excursions gave both of us Montezuma’s Revenge. ... Read More
Main Entertainment was very good to excellent but entertainment in main areas of ship was awful. Food good with very good variety. Service good. Can’t prove it but food on shore excursions gave both of us Montezuma’s Revenge. TV in room had very limited and intermittently unavailable programming. Tiny stateroom with no sitting area or sofa. Onboard activities very limited and too many tried to sell something or had fees. Game show hostesses were annoying with hard to understand Eastern European accents. Tiny pool. Limited common areas for relaxing. “Free” Ultimate Beverage Package a total rip-off. Mandatory $20 per person per day charge for gratuity. Very nice main theater. Smell of cigarette smoke in many public areas. Ship staff overall were very good. Chaotic process for finding ship sponsored (and other) location of transportation for shore excursions. Very elderly passengers. Median age definitely over 70. Probably over 75. Aerialists, Magician, Thomas John, Levena B Fox and production shows were excellent. Hypnotist not very good. Female Comedian very good. Good shore excursions. Many options for bars and restaurants although too many of them are an extra charge. Terrible smoking in casino kept me away. Captain was very informative and kept us on schedule. Limited seating in complimentary restaurants. Always a line and forced to wait. Too few tables for 2. Pressured to sit with others. Disembarkation was chaotic. Very long lines. Read Less
Norwegian Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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