Norwegian Star - Alaska: Norwegian Star Cruise Review by lvsatman
Overall Member Rating
Norwegian Star - Alaska
We flew in Saturday night, as not wanting to take a chance of having flight issues the day of, and missing the boat, because as you know, every flight is always on time. We had Shuttle Express pick us up at the hotel near the airport. If you need transportation Shuttle Express was on time, and very nice to deal with, I would use them again. We got to pier 66 at 11:15am. They began boarding at 11:30am. We where in our rooms at 12:05pm. This entire process went much faster and smoother than I thought possible.
This is the only real complaint I have about the cruise. A More short day in Juneau and a full day in Skagway? Why? Unless you do one of the extremely expensive excursions in Skagway, all you need is about two hours to walk around and see the town. I really felt we got robbed by only spending a short day in Juno. Anyway, I highly recommend that you do all of your souvenir shopping in either Juneau or Skagway at the Great Alaskan T-shirt Company. In both ports, they are one of the first buildings you come across. The prices and wide selection really surprised me. You can get anything you might want to bring home at very good prices here. Juno & Victoria are the nicest ports on the cruise. Skagway was nice, but you spend way too much time there. Ketchikan is pretty much a fishing village with a lot of jewelry stores in it. Other than in Victoria, the ship docks within very easy walking distance of the tourist traps in each port. Victoria is within walking distance, but it is a bit of a hike. We took a cab each direction for $10.
Our entire group only did one. It was in Juneau, at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake. I dont eat Salmon, so I can only say what the others said. We all had a very good time, and the food was very good. When you get there, its not much to look at, but once inside the camp it is a pretty nice setting. I think it is in somewhat of an industrial park area. All the people in my group said the salmon was some of the best they have ever had, I had the chicken and ribs, which was very good also. The entire dinner is all you can eat.
In Skagway, my parents did the Best of Skagway tour. They take you on what looks to be a school bus and show you all of the highlights of the city. It lasts two hours. My parents both said it was very nice and they enjoyed it.
In Ketchikan, my parents did the lumberjack show. It is about a six-block walk from the ship to the show, and they do not have a shuttle. The show lasts about one hour. Again, they both aid they enjoyed it.
We where all very happy with the overall quality of the food on the ship. We ate at three of the specialty restaurants, Cagney's, Le Bistro and La Trattoria. Cagney's is worth the money, big time. Le Bistro was nice, but the menu is limited, and the portions small. La Trattoria was pretty good Italian, and best of all, you can wear jeans. We ate a lot at the Market Cafe, which is the buffet. Again, very happy with the quality of the food. We also ate at Versailles and Aqua. The chilled fruit soup they serve for lunch is very good. I do not recall one meal that we ate that anyone said they did not like what they had.
What can I say, it was top notch. There are so many employees that you literally cant spit without having someone ask you if you need anything. I have nothing but good things and praise all around for the entire crew. We had no bad experiences of any kind with anyone.
Overall, very nice. I was not thrilled with the way it is laid out though. Having to walk through a couple of the restaurants, while people are eating, to get where you need to go, is not a great idea. The pool deck is way to small. The day we sailed into Victoria it was pretty nice, and a lot of people went to the pool area. They have two really big slides that take up a lot of space. The pool itself is pretty small. I can only imagine how crowded it must get on the pool deck when the ship is in Mexico. The video arcade is a joke, they should take it out and expand the size of the kids club. It is very small and cramped, and doesnt have a very good or large selection of machines.
We had two balcony rooms, 8050 & 8052. They where about what I expected. The bathrooms where a little smaller than I would have liked. We had two adults and one child in our room, and once the turned down the room for the night, there was no room to move. If you only have two people, it is fine. If you have more, I highly recommend you move into a mini-suite.
My 12 year old son had a very good time. Every time we came to pick him up, he gave us that why are you here already look. I was pretty happy with the program and counselors. My only complaint is the size of the area that is dedicated for the kids, it is kind of small.
Again, very smooth process. We choose to be in the first color group called to leave. They called us at about 7:50am. We where off the ship, through customs, and at the airport by 8:45am. Again, we used Shuttle Express to get us from Pier 66 to the airport. Our entire group, plus 11 pieces of luggage was only $33. SeaTac was nowhere near as busy as I had been led to believe by other reviews. We where at the gate by 9:30am.
We all had a very good time. We saw a lot of whales from our balcony. It was colder than I thought it might be, and it rained at least a little every day except in Victoria. After reading all of the bad reviews that people left this past winter when the ship had its propeller problems, I was very concerned about the choice we made by booking with NCL. My travel agent also warned me about booking a cruise on the Motel 6 of cruise industry. I have no real complaints. Everything went as I had hoped it would. Our next cruise is with Disney, but we will book again on NCL. I hope this helps. This ship will still be in Alaska in 2007, but it will be sailing on Saturdays and going to Prince Rupert instead of Victoria. The new ship, I think the Pearl, will be sailing this itinerary. Less
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