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Drove ourselves from our Treasure Coast home. Arranged parking through Premiere Parking - Port of Miami, a 12-15 minute shuttle to / from the port. (8300 NW 7 Ave, 877-809-3009) Could not have made a better choice. About 10 minutes after arrivial at the embarkation terminal, I realized I no longer had my wallet. With one phone call to Premiere and providing a physical description of our driver, we were told to stay put; they would call back within 30 minutes. They did, and to my astonishment, they located my wallet on the shuttle and returned it to me on their next trip to the port...EVERYTHING WAS INTACT--NOTHING WAS MISSING OR DISTURBED. Thank you, Premiere! Boarding process was fast and efficient. We had been told that we would be permitted on board between 12:30 and 1:00. Believe it or not, by 1:05 we were on board and led to deck 4, mid-ship, the atrium area. Before actually stepping into the lobby area, a crew mate asked our name, and, lo and behold, we heard, "May I introduce the Hough family." We turned the corner and were greeted by two columns of 8-10 crew who applauded our coming aboard. We were blown away. Arriving at our cabin 5133, port side aft, we were greeted by our stateroom host - Nerissa Weir a most congeniel, efficient aid who took care of our every need and offered a suggestion or two daily which was most appreciated. Dining was a unique experience. We were assigned to Parrot Cay dining room the first night. Our server, Emiel Romasanta, and our assistant server, Manolo Santana were absolutely fastiduous in the service to us throughout the week. They took their time to provide excellent meal suggestions and answered all our questions and even accomodated our dining whims. What was neat was that they then served us the next night at Triton, a bit more upscale room and menu, and Animator's Palate, Triton the next, and back to Parrot Cay for our last evening's meal and disembarkation morning breakfast. One would be lucky to have Emeil and Romalo as your servers. Being a couple of retirees, we cannot provide information regarding the children's club. Suffice it to say, from what we did observe, kids are really made to feel really important. The atrium's square footage may seem small by comparison to atrium areas on other ships...but look at it from the eyes of a 3' - 4' tall youngster and the space is comfy. Our deck 5, for example, is where the nursery and Oceaneer Club (slightly older kids) and Oceaneer Lab (older yet kids) are located. At 6' tall I could reach up and palm the ceiling with both hands...again a size perspective perfect for children to feel a little more grown up. Breakfast and Lunch buffets: avoid them. Choose instead to eat in sit down, wait staff served restaurants. The Wonder's buffets lack variety, the tempreture of the food is tepid at beat. The specialty egg station we didn't even find until being funneled through one of the four buffet lines. At that were one to want freshly prepared eggs or omlettes, there is no breakfast meats, unless one were to go back through the buffet lines. DO SAMPLE THE CROSSAINTS AND DANISH, WONDER-FUL. Though toast and bagels one could play shuffleboard with them. UNLIMITED FRUIT AND SOFT DRINKS, THROUGHOUT THE CRUISE. With the exception of pizza, there is really no late evening or night time food. Really missed the cheese platter seletions and burgers / hot dogs / fries we have had access to "up on the pool decks" of virtually every other cruise ship (7) we have been on. On board entertainment: the BEST we've ever had - in variety of shows (4 different broadway-like productions: All Aboard, Let the Magic Begin!; Toy Story The Musical;The Golden Mickeys; and Disney DREAMS An Enchanted Classic) and talent. Plus one evening's main entertainte was Mike Price, an engaging comedian / juggler. In fact, we enjoyed his juggling so much we sought him out at two other performances. Disembarkation was the most casual and efficient of every cruise we've been on. Every aspect of people movement and control was done with exceptional Disney efficiency. (with the exception of the - to be expected - lengthy lines of kiddies with parents for Disney Character portraits. But then again, isn't that to be expected?!)

So Many Memorable Firsts--WOW!!!

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by ghough

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
Drove ourselves from our Treasure Coast home. Arranged parking through Premiere Parking - Port of Miami, a 12-15 minute shuttle to / from the port. (8300 NW 7 Ave, 877-809-3009) Could not have made a better choice. About 10 minutes after arrivial at the embarkation terminal, I realized I no longer had my wallet. With one phone call to Premiere and providing a physical description of our driver, we were told to stay put; they would call back within 30 minutes. They did, and to my astonishment, they located my wallet on the shuttle and returned it to me on their next trip to the port...EVERYTHING WAS INTACT--NOTHING WAS MISSING OR DISTURBED. Thank you, Premiere!
Boarding process was fast and efficient. We had been told that we would be permitted on board between 12:30 and 1:00. Believe it or not, by 1:05 we were on board and led to deck 4, mid-ship, the atrium area. Before actually stepping into the lobby area, a crew mate asked our name, and, lo and behold, we heard, "May I introduce the Hough family." We turned the corner and were greeted by two columns of 8-10 crew who applauded our coming aboard. We were blown away. Arriving at our cabin 5133, port side aft, we were greeted by our stateroom host - Nerissa Weir a most congeniel, efficient aid who took care of our every need and offered a suggestion or two daily which was most appreciated. Dining was a unique experience. We were assigned to Parrot Cay dining room the first night. Our server, Emiel Romasanta, and our assistant server, Manolo Santana were absolutely fastiduous in the service to us throughout the week. They took their time to provide excellent meal suggestions and answered all our questions and even accomodated our dining whims. What was neat was that they then served us the next night at Triton, a bit more upscale room and menu, and Animator's Palate, Triton the next, and back to Parrot Cay for our last evening's meal and disembarkation morning breakfast. One would be lucky to have Emeil and Romalo as your servers.
Being a couple of retirees, we cannot provide information regarding the children's club. Suffice it to say, from what we did observe, kids are really made to feel really important. The atrium's square footage may seem small by comparison to atrium areas on other ships...but look at it from the eyes of a 3' - 4' tall youngster and the space is comfy. Our deck 5, for example, is where the nursery and Oceaneer Club (slightly older kids) and Oceaneer Lab (older yet kids) are located. At 6' tall I could reach up and palm the ceiling with both hands...again a size perspective perfect for children to feel a little more grown up. Breakfast and Lunch buffets: avoid them. Choose instead to eat in sit down, wait staff served restaurants. The Wonder's buffets lack variety, the tempreture of the food is tepid at beat. The specialty egg station we didn't even find until being funneled through one of the four buffet lines. At that were one to want freshly prepared eggs or omlettes, there is no breakfast meats, unless one were to go back through the buffet lines. DO SAMPLE THE CROSSAINTS AND DANISH, WONDER-FUL. Though toast and bagels one could play shuffleboard with them. UNLIMITED FRUIT AND SOFT DRINKS, THROUGHOUT THE CRUISE. With the exception of pizza, there is really no late evening or night time food. Really missed the cheese platter seletions and burgers / hot dogs / fries we have had access to "up on the pool decks" of virtually every other cruise ship (7) we have been on. On board entertainment: the BEST we've ever had - in variety of shows (4 different broadway-like productions: All Aboard, Let the Magic Begin!; Toy Story The Musical;The Golden Mickeys; and Disney DREAMS An Enchanted Classic) and talent. Plus one evening's main entertainte was Mike Price, an engaging comedian / juggler. In fact, we enjoyed his juggling so much we sought him out at two other performances. Disembarkation was the most casual and efficient of every cruise we've been on. Every aspect of people movement and control was done with exceptional Disney efficiency. (with the exception of the - to be expected - lengthy lines of kiddies with parents for Disney Character portraits. But then again, isn't that to be expected?!)
ghough’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 8076
Nearly perfect cabin. Yes we did look out onto a life boat; but above it we did have about 16-20" of starboard viewing. Very, very quiet entire voyage!! The best bathroom layout we've seen. To the left a large shower with sliding smoked-glass door. To the far right the toilet, again with a privacy sliding panel. In the center was the sink with plenty of shelf space above, counter space on either side of the sink and a full-width shelf beneath. A nice desk with large mirror. To the right were three stacked drawers and two shelves above the desk extension. NOTE: There is only one electrical outlet. Bring a surge strip of 6 plugs for all your charging needs. We had a large closet with appx. 15 hangers, a shelf below and floor space beneath. There were another three drawers. OH, we each had large suitcases: they DID fit easily beneath the beds--which were quite comfortable. We had a nice sized refrigerator (we just put all of their stocked items in the top cabinet shelf during the trip. Our cabin steward, Jaime, saw to our every need, from two wine glasses by mid-day, every day and fresh ice twice daily in addition to the cutest towel animals and mints each evening. Just one deck above the wrap around Promenade, Deck 8 was quirky--no walking down endless hallways--see deck plan. Through it mid-ship area it is right above the Grand Atrium and features the Blue Lagoon 24 hour restaurant with menu items (fantastic chicken wings, delicious tomato soup, and PB&J from the kid's menu to give you a peanut butter fix) and the Moderno Churrascaria speciality restaurant (think Texas de Brazil) which was delicious from appetizers through desert.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Fort San Diego
    We chose the ACAS1011: Highlights, Shopping, and La Quebrada Cliff Divers, a 5 hour excursion. This actually was the most impressive part of today's excursion. Javier, our local guide, provided lively narrative filled with past and present information about his Acapulco. The group on our bus then went our own ways: we were dropped off with Javier to explore Museo Historico de Acapulco at Fuerte de San Diego. This is a must for history buffs. The 16th century fort, in the shape of a perfect pentagram now serves to detail Acapulco's lineage from its earliest Indian inhabitants to the nation's independence from Spain in 1821. The fort and its various themed rooms depicting the area's history is magnificently maintained. Lastly, it it withih a 5-10 leisurely walk back to the cruise terminal. Don't miss out on this wonderful picture of Acapulco's stories past.
    View All 6 Fort San Diego Reviews
  • Harbor Cruise
    Excursion: Cabo San Lucas CSLS 0611 Deluxe Coastal Cruise & Whale Watching Cruise 2 1/2 hrs. on board the catamaran CABO MAR. We slipped almost silently from a berth near the northernmost part of the harbor sorth and west through the harbor, viewing all the marine activity along the Cabo marina, past Senor Frogs, and a miriad of T-Shirt, hat, cigar, souvenirs and pharmaceuticals, and all the excursion vessels: sail boats, a semi-submarine, 100 plus passenger catamarans (of which the Cabo Mar, at 150 passengers, is one of the largest vessels,) and deep sea fishing vessels, kayaks, and PWCs to reach the welcoming waters of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortes). Neither the sea, nor the crew could have been more hospitable.
    View All 16 Harbor Cruise Reviews
  • Hotel Los Flamingos
    We chose the ACAS1011: Highlights, Shopping, and La Quebrada Cliff Divers, a 5 hour excursion. Then we went to Johnny (Tarzan) Weissmuller’s former home Las Flamingos Hotel on what we were told is the highest cliff in Acapulco. Upon walking up the driveway we entered the photogallery with pictures of Weissmuller, John Wayne, and other celebrities. This property is Weissmuller's last home and today serves as a shrine or tribute to him.Today rooms are available to tourists. We were offered free beer, soft drinks, restrooms. We hung out for about 30 minutes on his patios high above the Pacific Ocean before boarding our bus for a trip east through the Diamante (new Acapulco).
    View All 3 Hotel Los Flamingos Reviews
  • Quebrada Cliff Divers
    We chose the ACAS1011: Highlights, Shopping, and La Quebrada Cliff Divers, a 5 hour excursion. Very interesting bus tour through Old Acapulco to La Quebrada to view 7 cliff divers "do their thing," and then return through the 200 or so viewers. As three passed us, we gladly gave them a donation, and the young man to whom my wife gave our donation gladly posed with her for a photo. We chose a location fairly near the level of the two blue shrines. This worked perfectly (and saved us an additional 75-80' stair descent--and return climb) as I was able to record the divers climb the rock face from the waterline to the shrines at the pinnacle. I can't imagine how bummed I would be had I craned my neck from the lowest viewing position, arguably the best, for an hour. From where we were, at the top most view area, almost eye level with the shrines, I was able to record each of the dives, even the one involving three men diving simultaneously from the moment of the dive all the way to splashdown. Our GoPro footage and 400mm photos are wonderful. For two solo dives, one tandem dive, and one 3-man dive, one hour duration....there was a lot of waiting time while the divers each did their preparations. BUT, DON'T MISS IT...IT AIN'T LIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE SEEN ON TV.
    View All 21 Quebrada Cliff Divers Reviews
  • The Arch (El Arco) & Lover's Beach
    Excursion: Cabo San Lucas CSLS 0611 Deluxe Coastal Cruise & Whale Watching Cruise 2 1/2 hrs. on board the150 PASSENGER CATAMARAN CABO MAR. Try getting on among the first of your fellow passengers, go straight to the top deck and forward. By sitting facing forward rather than towards the stern, you've an excellent vantage from which to lean upon the forward railing--AND YOUR LAP, LEGS, AND FEET are in the shade. After leaving the marina just several hundred feet from where our NCL STAR's tender dropped us, we rode right past our home for two weeks to our starboard side and within minutes we passed quietly through the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortes) to view the lovely Lover's Beach. Moments later we were passing huge rock formations rising from the sea and serving today as a lounging area for upwards to 40 noisy, honking sea lions. Moments later it was the sea birds perched high on their jagged, rocky crags. Then, as if it were peering around the corner was El Arco, the much photographed southernmost point of land before turning west and north (in our case) into the Pacific Ocean...and the back side of Lover's Beach, which on the ocean side is called Divorce Beach. The Cabo Mar crew was splendid in passing among us numerous times offering free Rum Punches, Margaritas, colas, and water. Later, as the voyage was winding down, we were offered bags of potato chips and cookies. Neither the sea, nor the crew nor the whales could have been more hospitable.
    View All 26 The Arch (El Arco) & Lover's Beach Reviews
  • Tram Through Rainforest
    Aerial Tram & Zip line Adventure (PASS3411) began by boarding a 44 passenger Mercedes Benz Marcopolo Marvi Motor Coach. More info can be obtained at www.transportesmarvi.com. Our principal guide was Israel, a delightfully engaging 24-year old, very professional member of the travel host industry. On our appx. 1 1/2 hr drive to the Ecological preserve at the Rain Forest Adventure -Costa Rica, Israel provided a lively lecture / discussion about Puntarenas, The Caldera region answering directly questions we tossed his way. His pride was clear when discussing Costa Rica's educational system and (Medical) Social Security. After being carefully fitted into out harnesses, helmets (IF YOU HAVE A GOPRO CAMERA, TELL THEM...THEY DO HAVE A FEW HELMETS WITH MOUNTS ON THEM!!), and gloves, we then were paired off in 8s and assigned another guide for the gondola trip (30 minutes) to the top of the mountain, during which time he spoke about the flower and fauna, and Costa Rica's ecological efforts to preserve the Rain Forest.
    View All 23 Tram Through Rainforest Reviews
  • Whale Watching
    Excursion: Cabo San Lucas CSLS 0611 Deluxe Coastal Cruise & Whale Watching Cruise 2 1/2 hrs. on board the150 PASSENGER CATAMARAN CABO MAR. Try getting on among the first of your fellow passengers, go straight to the top deck and forward. By sitting facing forward rather than towards the stern, you've an excellent vantage from which to lean upon the forward railing--AND YOUR LAP, LEGS, AND FEET are in the shade. The crew was splendid in passing among us numerous times offering free Rum Punches, Margaritas, colas, and water. Later, as the voyage was winding down, we were offered bags of potato chips and cookies. Neither the sea, nor the crew nor the whales could have been more hospitable. Our trip was Feb 27, near the end of, but clearly during the much anticipated whale migration from their birthing home to points north. In editing my pictures for our DVD of our trip, I had to trash over 50-70 pics of whales surfacing, rolling, breathing and slipping beneath the surface. Trust them when they say that from _____ month to March, expect to see whales. WHAT A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.
    View All 74 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Zip-Lining
    Aerial Tram & Zip line Adventure (PASS3411). Once we departed the trams high in the canopy of the forest, we were ready to begin the 10 platform zip lining experience. IT SHOULD BE NOTED HERE that from the moment we arrived at the part, THE EMPLOYEES TOOK OUR SAFETY AND ENJOYMENT VERY SERIOUSLY. In time we could see in their faces the enjoyment they were receiving from our safe experience and adventure of a lifetime. After the first 7 runs there was a pause for a complementary bottle of water to hydrate as we walked quite a downhill distance before we did the final three runs. (We had worn clothing and sneakers we could discard, having read that everything would be muddy beyond reuse. This being February, and their dry season, we just came back wearing our pride and a lot of sweat.) After completing the 10 run, we were again met by our guide who led us on a 45 minute narrated nature walk. Then it was time for a very tasty Costa Rican buffet lunch and relaxation for close to an hour before our 1 1/2 hour narrated return to Puntarenas.
    View All 31 Zip-Lining Reviews
  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    DO NOT BE CONCERNED YOU WON'T FIND TAXI SERVICE ( yellow or white) BACK TO THE SHIP from your sightseeing in Cartagena. We took the approved white taxi (drivers all wear light blue shirts emblazoned with TAXI TAXI TAXI all over them. Ship to Clock Tower inside the first gate (the perfect landmark) was $20US for the cab, be it one passenger or four, still $20. Though we thought it very peculial, our driver asked for no money upon reaching the Old Town, our destination. Rather, he asked how long we'd be...we replied, about 3 hours. As it was about 10AM, we agreed we'd meet at 1PM. We got back from our sightseeing about 12:45--there was our driver, right at the base of the clock tower. It was he that approached us. It wasn't until we saw his cab, no. 248, that we "recognized him." NOT THE SAME STORY WE HEARD ABOUT THE HOP ON, HOP OFF BUSES. Wait times can average 45 to 90 minutes depending on traffic which mid-morning, late afternoons can be amazingly chaotic. Oh, research on line ahead of time for a walking map of Cartegena's Old City. Nothing you will be given on board is readable. And there is no chamber of commerce-like info booth inside the "terminal" Be prepared to play the gringo,a la touristas. Hawkers of all sorts from hats and headwear, to sunglasses (bought a pair of Ray Bans for $5US) are very good at what they do, as are the cabbies and tour guides. What is very common are the cabbies who will spend 2, 3, 4 hours with you, even separating from you only to meet up with you later…expecting no payment until you return to your ship. The Cartegenians (?) are warm and considerate of us, their guests. We even had a Policia with whom we were having communication difficulties. He actually stopped a car, had the driver roll down his window. He proceeded to ask this driver, "Donde esta el Museo de Oro?" To my broken Spanish, he told us in his best broken English how to get to the gold museum.Walk a straight line from the Old City gate past the Clock Tower to the Calle de la Inquisicion. Continue westward to Simon Bolivar Park which is dominated by his statue on horseback.Goal 2--just west from Plaza de Bolivar is the Museo Historico Cartegena , #33-46 within which is the Palacio de la Inquisicion, well worth the visit at $7.00 per senior adult.By now you are probably needing a potty break. We were correct in assuming there would be "Banos" when we accidentally walked past the Biblioteca (library) Bartolone Calvo. At the corner of Calle De la Inquisicion and Plaza De Bolivar.Upon disembarking Cartegena (you'll likely have arrived in the pre dawn) around 3-4 PM, if you like photo ops, be on the Promenade, deck 7 of the Norwegian Star, your ship will pass quite close to the easternmost point of metropolitan / residential area surrounded on 3 sides by water. Then after 30-40 minutes of heavily forested land, you'll pass a quaint 'village' of fewer than several hundred low-rise buildings, quite a few of which line the water's edge. Then we were back at landless sea heading for tomorrow's 8-hour transit of the Panama Canal.
    View All 719 Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Miami
    Our NCL shuttle from Ft. Lauderdale airport's baggage area, Terminal 1, was flawless. We were on their documents and within just several minutes wait we were led to the waiting buses and delivered right to the Port of Miami terminal. From 7 past cruises history, we were boarded as promptly as possible considering there were nearly 2,500 passengers wishing to board within a several hour window. Our 4 PM departure was delayed nearly 3 hours. It should be noted that upon conclusion of our cruise, the STAR was sailing on to a 16 day refitting and refurbishment...the delay was allegedly for the loading of 200 skids of materials specific to the overhaul. However, the delay did not hinder prompt boarding, and all passenger services went on without a hitch. Overall, a great embarkation.
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