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We are Platinum Level Latitudes members and are big NCL fans. It is "our" cruise line -- our first choice when planning cruises. Unfortunately, if our most recent cruise on the NCL Star had been our first NCL cruise, we would never book them again. When booking our cruise 14 months in advance (when there was large pool of rooms to choose from) our NCL Personal Cruise Consultant suggested 8 Aft as a "great location". She didn't mention that the room she booked us into is directly over the Spinnaker Lounge's stage and subject to LOUD late night music. When I say LOUD I mean as in we could hear the words to every song, everything that the MC said, and even the winning raffle ticket numbers! My husband is hearing impaired and could hear everything clearly after removing his hearing aides. We had sailed the Star twice before and the Spinnaker was in the forward part of the ship. Because we'd sailed on the Star we thought we knew the ship and thus neglected (our mistake) to look at the deck map when booking. Aft has always been a good choice for us. Important lesson: ALWAYS look at the deck maps before booking; you never know when a ship may have been reconfigured since your last sailing. Many people on 8 Aft endured many sleepless nights on this cruise. We were offered a "sleeping room" where we could sleep at night, but keep our cabin, but if I wanted to carry my toiletries back and forth I'd book a KOA campsite! Moving to a new room was not an option because they would be occupied during future legs of our back-to-back trip. The Star staff is well aware of the problem, but has adopted a defeated, "we can't do anything and you should have not booked that room" attitude. If you like to party at night, 8 Aft is a good location, but if you are an early-to-bed kind of person, avoid 8 Aft on the Star. Also know that 8 Mid is subject to noise from the Atrium -- music in the evening and Blue Lagoon noise in the early AM. Sadly, the service in most of the restaurants was unbelievably BAD this cruise. We'd order coffee or milk and half the time never got it. Often after drinking my iced tea, instead of refilling my glass, the wait staff would just pick up my empty glass and take it away without asking if I'd like something else to drink. Water often wasn't delivered until halfway through our meal. Orders were routinely incorrect or incomplete. Routinely half the table would be served and the remaining people would be left sitting for 20-30 minutes with no food -- people either ate in "shifts" or those who had been served were polite and let their food get cold. We spoke to several officers and supervisors about these problems throughout the cruise and it didn't improve. My husband frequently ordered a cheeseburger for lunch in Versailles or Blue Lagoon and none were delivered as ordered until the last day of the cruise -- they finally got it right after 41 days of errors and ommisions! In Versailles ketchup is never delivered with hamburger and french fries even when asked for as part of the order. We always had to ask for it (again) when the meal was delivered and then it was often forgotten or delivery was so delayed our meal was stone cold. We wholeheartedly support NCL's daily gratuity charge, but meal service was so bad on this cruise, we asked that the wait staff gratuity portion of the charge be removed from our bill and then personally tipped the few wait staff who had given us good service (we also wrote "Hero" cards for those few). NCL has provided us years of outstanding service, so we hope this is just a problem with the Star and not a new trend for the whole line.

Avoid 8 Aft rooms if you like to sleep!

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by Munchkinstutu

Trip Details
We are Platinum Level Latitudes members and are big NCL fans. It is "our" cruise line -- our first choice when planning cruises. Unfortunately, if our most recent cruise on the NCL Star had been our first NCL cruise, we would never book them again.
When booking our cruise 14 months in advance (when there was large pool of rooms to choose from) our NCL Personal Cruise Consultant suggested 8 Aft as a "great location". She didn't mention that the room she booked us into is directly over the Spinnaker Lounge's stage and subject to LOUD late night music. When I say LOUD I mean as in we could hear the words to every song, everything that the MC said, and even the winning raffle ticket numbers! My husband is hearing impaired and could hear everything clearly after removing his hearing aides.
We had sailed the Star twice before and the Spinnaker was in the forward part of the ship. Because we'd sailed on the Star we thought we knew the ship and thus neglected (our mistake) to look at the deck map when booking. Aft has always been a good choice for us. Important lesson: ALWAYS look at the deck maps before booking; you never know when a ship may have been reconfigured since your last sailing. Many people on 8 Aft endured many sleepless nights on this cruise. We were offered a "sleeping room" where we could sleep at night, but keep our cabin, but if I wanted to carry my toiletries back and forth I'd book a KOA campsite! Moving to a new room was not an option because they would be occupied during future legs of our back-to-back trip. The Star staff is well aware of the problem, but has adopted a defeated, "we can't do anything and you should have not booked that room" attitude.
If you like to party at night, 8 Aft is a good location, but if you are an early-to-bed kind of person, avoid 8 Aft on the Star. Also know that 8 Mid is subject to noise from the Atrium -- music in the evening and Blue Lagoon noise in the early AM.
Sadly, the service in most of the restaurants was unbelievably BAD this cruise. We'd order coffee or milk and half the time never got it. Often after drinking my iced tea, instead of refilling my glass, the wait staff would just pick up my empty glass and take it away without asking if I'd like something else to drink. Water often wasn't delivered until halfway through our meal. Orders were routinely incorrect or incomplete. Routinely half the table would be served and the remaining people would be left sitting for 20-30 minutes with no food -- people either ate in "shifts" or those who had been served were polite and let their food get cold. We spoke to several officers and supervisors about these problems throughout the cruise and it didn't improve. My husband frequently ordered a cheeseburger for lunch in Versailles or Blue Lagoon and none were delivered as ordered until the last day of the cruise -- they finally got it right after 41 days of errors and ommisions! In Versailles ketchup is never delivered with hamburger and french fries even when asked for as part of the order. We always had to ask for it (again) when the meal was delivered and then it was often forgotten or delivery was so delayed our meal was stone cold.
We wholeheartedly support NCL's daily gratuity charge, but meal service was so bad on this cruise, we asked that the wait staff gratuity portion of the charge be removed from our bill and then personally tipped the few wait staff who had given us good service (we also wrote "Hero" cards for those few).
NCL has provided us years of outstanding service, so we hope this is just a problem with the Star and not a new trend for the whole line.
Munchkinstutu’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IC
When booking our cruise 14 months in advance (when there was large pool of rooms to choose from) our NCL Personal Cruise Consultant suggested 8 Aft as a "great location". She didn't mention that the room she booked us into is directly over the Spinnaker Lounge's stage and subject to LOUD late night music. When I say LOUD I mean as in we could hear the words to every song, everything that the MC said, and even the winning raffle ticket numbers! My husband is hearing impaired and could hear everything clearly after removing his hearing aides. We had sailed the Star twice before and the Spinnaker was in the forward part of the ship. Because we'd sailed on the Star we thought we knew the ship and thus neglected (our mistake) to look at the deck map when booking. Aft has always been a good choice for us. Important lesson: ALWAYS look at the deck maps before booking; you never know when a ship may have been reconfigured since your last sailing. Many people on 8 Aft endured many sleepless nights on this cruise. We were offered a "sleeping room" where we could sleep at night, but keep our cabin, but if I wanted to carry my toiletries back and forth I'd book a KOA campsite! Moving to a new room was not an option because they would be occupied during future legs of our back-to-back trip. The Star staff is well aware of the problem, but has adopted a defeated, "we can't do anything and you should have not booked that room" attitude. If you like to party at night, 8 Aft is a good location, but if you are an early-to-bed kind of person, avoid 8 Aft on the Star. Also know that 8 Mid is subject to noise from the Atrium -- music in the evening and Blue Lagoon noise in the early AM.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Photography Tour
    Belfast was added to our itinerary to make up for the ports we missed due to bad weather, and we are very grateful for an opportunity to see how Northern Ireland has recovered and rebuilt from “the Troubles” that plagued both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the 70’s and 80’s (actually for centuries before, but in modern times it was the 70’s and 80’s). Lee knew much about the political unrest as he worked in Ireland during that time. Our Scenic Ards Peninsula tour included a stop in Donaghadee a seaside village and home to Grace Neill’s a famous pub dating back to 1611 where we enjoyed Irish Coffee before walking down to the lighthouse built in 1836. We also enjoyed a tour of the ruins of the Cistercian Abbey at Greyabbey.
    View All 1 Photography Tour Reviews
  • Bergen
    Bergen, Norway is a sweet port that is so easy to walk around. We just enjoyed the day walking in the main district and exploring. If we go back there again, we will definitely do the Funicular (a train/tram up to the top of the mountain) and/or a fjords cruise. We didn’t do those this time because we’d planned on doing them in the next port Aalesund, Norway.
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  • Copenhagen
    Copenhagen is a wonderful port. Do plan on spending a few days there before or after your cruise. The Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus is a great way to see this very friendly and easy to navigate city. Be sure to do a canal cruise.
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  • City Tour
    After a drive around downtown Dublin where Lee, we then headed out into the Irish Countryside with stops in Enniskerry, the Glencree Centre (a retreat for peace building between people from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), lunch at Lynham’s of Laraugh (established 1776) and a visit to the ruins of Glendalough Abbey. Seeing places that date back before our country was even born or at the time of the American Revolution makes us realize what a young country we are in the worldwide scheme of things. Beautiful countryside, lots of history, and a great lunch!
    View All 38 City Tour Reviews
  • Island tour
    Vallarta Adventures does such a great job! We cruised on their catamaran to Las Marietas Islands enjoying coffee, juice and banana bread. The Captain spotted the first whale of the season and took the time to make sure everyone got to see the whale (we saw more later) and dolphins who we swimming with him. We then stopped and swam through a cave to a beautiful beach they called "Secret Beach" -- a lot of fun, but oh so crowded so this is not an excursion for those who are a bit claustraphobic. Our next stop was for snorkeling, kayaking, or bird watching (your choice). After we were all on-board a very good deli lunch was served while the crew entertained us with singing and dancing.
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  • Skyway Hike
    We enjoyed this easy, relatively flat hike through the rain forest where our guide did an excellent job of explaining what we were seeing. The hike included walking over three skyway bridges. Great scenary and photo ops.
    View All 10 Skyway Hike Reviews
  • Golden Circle
    If you have just one day in Reykjvick, this is the tour you will want to do. We got an excellent overview of the country's geothermal activity and could see many steam vents all over as we drove through the countryside. Our first stop was Haukadalur a site with over 80 active geysers, hot springs, steam vents and mud pots. Then it was off to Gulfass Waterfall which is similar to America and Canada's Niagara Falls (smaller than Niagara, but still very big). A highlight of the day was straddling the American and Eurasian tectonic plates at Pingvellir -- very interesting!
    View All 109 Golden Circle Reviews