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Overall, this cruise was a good value. My first time with NCL, and we booked because of the ports, all of which we wanted to see. However, after making the trip, I would easily trade Tallin, or even Helsinki for an extra day in St. Petersburg. We upgraded our stateroom so we had some amenities and privileges that I thought made the trip a better experience, and for anyone with a little extra spending money, I would recommend the upgrade. The food was hit and miss. The Versailles dining room (with its cheesy decor) was a dissappointment on the two occasions we ate there. Service seemed rushed, chaotic, confused, and the food was not as good as Aqua (even though food is supposed to be the same for both dining rooms). I think the major factor that affected food quality and service was the time we ate. The later we ate, the worse the food and the poorer the service. Market Cafe was a good alternative. We only ate at one speciality restaurants, Cagney's, which was a very nice experience and good value. Evening entertainment was hit and miss. Beatles group was good, Paradis (last night's show) was excellent, and the acrobats were very good. Except for the last night's Paradis show, the variety shows were not very good. The cruise director, Ian, tries too hard (ditch the joke of the night routine). The Spinnaker nightclub is okay, and the musice group on this cruise (Musique, or something like that) was excellent, but didn't play late enough into the evening. The DJ needs to (a) mix up his music a little better; and (b) learn to play a slow song once in a while as some of us still like to dance close on occasion. Our stateroom was nice (aft facing suite) but our steward was not as up to par and we had to ask a couple of times to have the room cleaned (again). Strangely, they were doing work on our balcony as the cruise got under way, creating a dust and debris problem, but it was stopped when we complained. We didn't really participate in the on-board entertainment (game shows, Bingo, etc), so don't have anything to say about that, but the gym was adequate and the staff was friendly.  

Good value; hits and misses

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by wolfg

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2014
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Aft-Facing Balcony
Overall, this cruise was a good value. My first time with NCL, and we booked because of the ports, all of which we wanted to see. However, after making the trip, I would easily trade Tallin, or even Helsinki for an extra day in St. Petersburg. We upgraded our stateroom so we had some amenities and privileges that I thought made the trip a better experience, and for anyone with a little extra spending money, I would recommend the upgrade.
The food was hit and miss. The Versailles dining room (with its cheesy decor) was a dissappointment on the two occasions we ate there. Service seemed rushed, chaotic, confused, and the food was not as good as Aqua (even though food is supposed to be the same for both dining rooms). I think the major factor that affected food quality and service was the time we ate. The later we ate, the worse the food and the poorer the service. Market Cafe was a good alternative. We only ate at one speciality restaurants, Cagney's, which was a very nice experience and good value.
Evening entertainment was hit and miss. Beatles group was good, Paradis (last night's show) was excellent, and the acrobats were very good. Except for the last night's Paradis show, the variety shows were not very good. The cruise director, Ian, tries too hard (ditch the joke of the night routine). The Spinnaker nightclub is okay, and the musice group on this cruise (Musique, or something like that) was excellent, but didn't play late enough into the evening. The DJ needs to (a) mix up his music a little better; and (b) learn to play a slow song once in a while as some of us still like to dance close on occasion.
Our stateroom was nice (aft facing suite) but our steward was not as up to par and we had to ask a couple of times to have the room cleaned (again). Strangely, they were doing work on our balcony as the cruise got under way, creating a dust and debris problem, but it was stopped when we complained.
We didn't really participate in the on-board entertainment (game shows, Bingo, etc), so don't have anything to say about that, but the gym was adequate and the staff was friendly.
 
wolfg’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Aft-Facing Balcony
Cabin B1 10228
Stateroom itself was excellent. Enjoyed the larger than normal room and the aft facing larger than normal balcony which was especially nice while sailing through the Swedish Archipelago. Our steward needed some reminding about cleaning the room on occasion, but our butler (Cipriano) and our concierge (Omar) were excellent.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Schwerin Castle
    We skipped the Rostock/Warnemunde stock tours and rented a car through Sixt and hot-tailed to Schwerin for lunch and the Castle tour) and then Lubeck which we were able to do (comfortably) with time to spare and a two hour guided tour (won't give you the guide's name as he was not very good). It was a fun and interesting experience and the car rental was easy as pie (we booked on line) and got a terrific Audi. The whole trip cost about 130 euros which included the gas fill up at the end of the trip. We even got an English speaking GPS system that was a life saver.
    View All 23 Schwerin Castle Reviews
  • City Tour
    The only excursion worth discussing is St. Petersburg as the others are mostly short, one day visits that barely give you time for a quickie visit. We used an independent tour agency for the St. P. port. Using an agency is a necessity for St. P because of the visa issues and problems. Best Guides was are agency of choice, and I can't recommend them highly enough. Professional, attentive, responsive and worked with our small five person group for a custom created tour at a price well below the ship's published rates. We had a 14 hour first day and a 9 hour second day. We did the folk song/dance show in the first evening and the agency provided a late night drive through St. P. Our guide was Svetlana and would suggest you try and get her as her knowledge of the City is excellent as is her English. We did a few different things, including a visit to the Grand Synagouge (nice change of pace to the Orthodox Churches we were seeing), and the Erarta Museum (contemporary art).
    View All 345 City Tour Reviews