Baltic Capitals on NCL Star 6/3/13 - 6/12/13: Norwegian Star Cruise Review by gra2172

Norwegian Star 3
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Baltic Capitals on NCL Star 6/3/13 - 6/12/13

Sail Date: June 2013
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Copenhagen
The star is a great ship with lots of potential.

Our flight was delayed by 4 hours and the staff waited for us at the airport even though it was beyond the 2 hour boarding limit. I cant appreciate NCL enough for that.
The plus side of being delayed is that there is no line at the counter. Also, they are putting everything away so there are no cheesy pictures. If you like that then thats a negative, but we always try to sneak past.

Service is fantastic. They really try their best to make your trip the best it can be. Our room attendant was always helpful and friendly. Everyone we talked to was smiling and helpful..except..
The girl at the excursion desk. Her name tag said she was from the US and she really is not a good representative for my country. She was aloof and not interested in helping us all that much. We were trying to decide on which St Petersburg tour to take and she basically shrugged her shoulders. We ended More up with a terrible tour.

The shows were pretty good. We missed the magic show on the first day because our excursion was like 13 hours, but caught the others. With the exception of "shout", which we walked out on along with quite a few others, (The guy next to me fell asleep) they were all really good. Elements was the best. Last night of the cruise and they had a cirque type show. You shouldn't miss it if you ever get to see it,

Heres my least favorite part of the cruise. The free food was at best mediocre and at worst inedible. We rarely had something that we said "hey, thats really good". I place the blame squarely on Executive chef Andreas Sommerfeld. He's just awful and needs replaced. A chef who has passion will lead his team to great food regardless of what he's got to cook with. We saw him cook on the grill by the pool and I just wanted to take the tongs and show him how its done. He put precooked and hot (it was steaming with black skin) chicken on the grill. This does nothing except make dried out chicken. I get that it has to cook quick for lots of people, but thats just unacceptable. There are better ways.

The buffet itself has a HUGE amount of potential. Compared to the other ships layout, there is a lot of space for all kinds of different ideas. So what do they do? Only use part of it and repeat the food. At any given point a large section of the buffet had nothing on it.
The worst part of the buffet was that they reused food and leftovers A LOT. There were times when they took the leftovers of leftovers and made a "country pie". That was the worst. I enjoy shepherds pie, but not when its a leftover mess.

Every single meal had beef cubes and rice. I say beef cubes because they called them something different every time. Like they were fooling anyone. It was beef cubes. Not Lamb, veal, or any other kind of meat that they said it was. It was the same thing every time.

The best part of the buffet? The seating. No other ship Ive been on has this many seats. It goes from one side of the ship to the other. I was thrilled when I saw this as its always my biggest complaint, but after the awful food the seating was my favorite thing.

The main dining rooms were generally good, but you have to be careful when you order. For example, if you want a medium steak, order it rare. Forget getting it rare. You are most likely to get a well done and probably dry steak if you eave it up to them or order it medium.

We did eat at LeBistro, and it was really fantastic. But, since its a paid restaurant, we cant eat there every night. So I cant really say if its always good. But what we did experience definitely makes us want to eat there again on a future cruise.

Overall Id take a star cruise again, but Im leery of it because I cant say if it'll be any better.
2.5 stars.

Published 06/16/13

Cabin review: ID8565 Inside

I had a sideways cabin in a great location. We have discovered that sideways cabins appear to have more space. I liked it enough that I have booked the same cabin on my next cruise.

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