We used the Ramada Inn-Metarie in the New Orleans area for a Park,Cruise,Fly option on this extended 26 night trip. They were great. We stayed the night before and they took us to the Port, kept our vehicle safe without any extra charge and then picked us up at the airport and we stayed that night, all for normal room rates with great service.
It had been a few years since we last sailed on NCL. We were prepared for somewhat less personalized attention, but were pleasantly surprised to see that factor has improved, at least on the Star. We experienced mostly smooth seas crossing, only a couple of days were a little bumpy. The food was good. We ate in both of the Dining rooms, the buffet, the Blue Lagoon and also at the Pool area. We didn't find a need to try the "Specialty" restaurants. The entertainment in the theater was above average, especially considering that the "Ship Crew" performers were on their first time through a new performance package. The theater needs to repair quite a few of the seats, they tilt down too low in the front.
We were fortunate to have good weather most days, except Dover was a little wet/cold/windy. The Azores are really nice and we would like to return there. We had pre-arranged for an "Off Ship" tour with Ricardo of Amazing Tours in Ponta Delgada. He was excellent.
Our cabin functioned very well for us. We used the drop down upper bunk as a storage space for our large rolling duffle bags and our coats, etc. The cabin was in good condition and kept very clean by our cabin steward. This location was convenient to the two main elevators allowing easy access to wherever we needed to go.