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Norwegian Star Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2474 reviews
3 Awards

Smooth seas for a Transatlantic and Baltic on the Norwegian Star

Review for Norwegian Star to the Baltic Sea
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10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: May 2014

We've done a number of cruises--primarily Celebrity or Holland America in the past--but have decided that NCL has moved onto our new "preferred" cruise company list. We had read some rather critical reviews about the Star and the Trans-Atlantic itinerary, but the price was too good to pass up. We usually travel with another couple with similar interests, and we select a cruise based on the ports and price. We book veranda staterooms because we feel it's worth the extra cost to be able to have a comfortable space to enjoy breakfast in our room, read a good book, or just relax--and we love being able to step out onto our veranda to watch our ship come into port. Our stateroom was a little smaller than ones on Holland America, Celebrity, or Carnival but it was certainly adequate, and the bathroom was actually better with a "real" sliding door for the shower and an additional sliding door to separate the toilet area from the rest of the bathroom if you wanted. The veranda was a little smaller also but still adequate for two chairs and a little table. We had adequate storage and closet space although it could have been arranged more conveniently. Our cabin attendant was very attentive and provided us with a foam "topper" for our bed upon request--and our room was always clean. Being from Seattle, we appreciate having at least decent coffee, so we were thrilled that our stateroom had a little 4-cup coffee pot for our use. We have found "cruise ship coffee" to be consistently awful, so we used it every day with coffee we brought from home and found that it saved us a ton of money from visiting the ship's coffee bar.

We were a little hesitant about NCL's "open dining" policy since we enjoy the relationship with our "server" and expected that waiting for a table would be annoying. NCL has two main dining rooms--the Aqua and the Versailles--both with fairly lenient dress codes--AND a number of alternative restaurant choices. We chose the Versailles for almost ever dinner since we preferred the slightly more formal environment over the Aqua--although the menus were quite similar. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table, and the hostess made every effort to seat us in the area of the dining room--and with the server we preferred--whenever possible. One side of their menu included "anytime choices" that didn't vary--soups, salads, and entrees--while the other side of the menu changed daily. We had no problem finding things that we liked, and the food always arrived appropriately hot--which has sometimes been "hit-or-miss" on other cruises. Being on the Star for 23 days--14 of them being on the Transatlantic portion--we wondered if we'd find the food less than appealing, but felt that NCL did a good job with maintaining quality and variety.

The buffet area was an exceptionally good option for breakfast since their variety was generally amazing--always lots of fruit available and there was rarely a significant wait for their omelet station or difficulty finding a place to sit--and they were able to accommodate a lot of people in a short amount of time. The choices for lunch were also good and changed from day-to-day. There were other food service areas that served a nice variety of foods for lunch--such as the BBQ area by the pool. We generally felt that the food available without an extra service charge was good enough that we weren't motivated to spend a lot "extra" at the many alternative restaurants. We did make reservations for their special "jazz" brunch on one of the sea days which was very good with wonderful menu selections and was worth the extra $15 per person. We also visited the Brazilian Churrascaria to celebrate a birthday--$20 per person, but was worth the extra charge because of the unlimited amount of meat provided.

Cabin Review

Our stateroom was mid-ship--just opposite the main elevators/stairway. We had some concerns about potential noise but it was virtually never a problem. And we were very convenient to everything we wanted to do and areas of the ship that we tended to visit.

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