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NCL - Norwegian Star Repositioning Cruise May 1 - 4, 2007 Los Angeles, Astoria, Vancouver BC Overview Three of us took a repositioning cruise aboard the NCL Norwegian Star in May, 2007. Overall I would say that this was a good value, and a nice short-week (Tuesday - Friday) getaway. Embarkation This was very smooth. Arriving by shuttle from the airport at about 12:00 PM there was really no line, and the process was quick and painless. Fill out the online registration form beforehand to help expedite things. Your luggage can be handed to a porter and will be delivered to your cabin. Cabins are generally not ready till a bit later, but just go and enjoy lunch. Hint.... You'll be told that the Market Cafe is open for lunch, but you can also go to the Versailles restaurant with the gloriously large picture window looking out the stern of the ship, and a lot fewer people. Cabin Very clean, and efficiently laid out. I had sprung for a balcony, and although it was a bit chilly to spend much time outside when the ship was moving, it was wonderful to have the full "picture window" to look out over the ocean. There is quite a bit of storage space, but the cabin is a bit smaller than then one which I had on Carnival, but certainly adequate. As others have noted on these boards, having a shower stall with a sliding partition, as opposed to a hanging curtain, is really nice. The toilet stall is a bit small, but hopefully not somewhere you'll be spending a lot of time! Hint... There is an electrical outlet in both the cabin and the bathroom, so you can charge two electrical devices at once. If you have more than that, then the oft-recommended power strip is worthwhile. Crew Very nice, and very accommodating. However, as others have also noted, you will be frequently pestered to buy drinks when in the lounges. Also, my friends had a massage and were disappointed when their very enjoyable experience ended with a sales pitch for other products. Information could be a bit sporadic at times, for instance we were told to wait for announcement for the gangway to be opened in Astoria, but the announcement was never made and people only found out the gangway was open by looking down to see others disembarking. Also, on the final day we were told by staff at reception that we had to be off by 9:45 AM, but read the newsletter and found that we did not have to leave till 12:00 PM. Entertainment The Jean Ann Ryan Company's "Band on the Run" show was an excellent high-energy dance show, especially impressive since they were dancing on a rolling deck! The late night "adult comedy" show wasn't worth the time, and we actually thought that the comedians were audience members who had been called up on stage to help. The magic and comedy of Matt Marcy was fun. Hint….. They offer a "murder mystery" and it was even free! You gather in the cinema, are organized into teams and "solve" the crime over dinner in the Versailles or Aqua restaurant. Watch for this in the Freestyle Daily, or ask about it at reception. They don't advertise it heavily, since only 120 people can participate. Dining I really enjoyed the free-style dining. Cagney's (the steak place) was worth the extra $20 ($30 if you order the surf and turf), and was surprisingly not busy when we went there at 6:30 PM, though it had been a port day, and it was "formal night" [but you don't have to dress up if you don't want to] so people were probably eating later. Reservations are definitely recommended. You can make them for that day, or the next night but no further ahead than that. The Versailles Restaurant was also nice (no extra charge). Food was good, but if you're a high-end "foodie," you may not be satisfied. They are very flexible though about choices from the menu (if you'd like to make an appetizer into a main course, etc) and the service was quick. Market Cafe is a good place for a quicker breakfast, though the Versailles is nice for a served meal. Hint….. the port side of the Market Cafe is often quieter, so its worth walking around the corner. Dress codes….. Casual is the order of the days, but jeans are not allowed for the evening meals. You'll fit in best at night in casual slacks and a nice shirt. Jackets and ties are fine if you'd like, but definitely not mandatory. Lounges The emphasis is on colorful, light, decorating schemes. The emphasis is also definitely on selling…… In the Havana Club the server had no idea about cigars, which was disappointing since we wanted to learn more about them. Basically she was there to sell you what you pointed to. Matches and a cigar cutter were not even offered. On the other hand, the server in the martini bar knew a lot about martinis and was very knowledgeable. All alcoholic drinks come with a 15% tip added. I guess you could fight this at every turn, but it is supposed to be a vacation. I saw that they had a “Credit Desk” next to reception, so I don’t know if you could do a wholesale reversal of tips on drink purchases if you felt so inclined. The Red Lion Pub was a bit disappointing since it is basically in a hallway, and has more of a sports-bar atmosphere than that of a British pub. Disembarkation From this, and a previous cruise, I’ve learned that you definitely don’t want to plan for an early flight when leaving a cruise. Three cruise ships arrived at the same time at Canada Place in Vancouver, and very few Customs agents were assigned. The ship arrived around 9:30 AM, and we didn’t disembark till around 12:00 since we didn’t want to wait in long lines. We had chosen “express disembarkation” since we all had rolling luggage and we were staying in town for the night, so it really did not make much difference to us. The lines were huge so we just stayed in the cabin and enjoyed reading and watching the harbor go by till the lines died down. Had to feel sorry for some friends who were transferring to another ship for the one-night cruise to Seattle and so ended up going through long lines to get off, and yet more lines to get on board their next ship. With 6,000 people (2,000 per ship boarding and 2,000 unloading) the place was very packed and no taxis were to be seen. Although it would be tempting to have another night on a ship, and for a low cost by all reports, the lines probably don’t make it worthwhile. Final Thoughts I’d rate this experience as being above Carnival, but not as high end as Holland America. I think the Repo Cruise is good value for money, but be warned that you will hear the phrase “It’s a short cruise, so we’re not doing that” for certain things (such as the chocoholic – midnight buffet). The galleria (on board shop) had starting putting out all of their Alaska souvenirs, so you get the feeling that you’re on a transition trip. I assume Mexican souvenirs will be available when they do the trip back in the Fall! Overall, a nice getaway on a beautiful ship.

Norwegian Star - Pacific Coastal

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by Smokeyham

Trip Details
NCL - Norwegian Star Repositioning Cruise May 1 - 4, 2007 Los Angeles, Astoria, Vancouver BC
Overview Three of us took a repositioning cruise aboard the NCL Norwegian Star in May, 2007. Overall I would say that this was a good value, and a nice short-week (Tuesday - Friday) getaway.
Embarkation This was very smooth. Arriving by shuttle from the airport at about 12:00 PM there was really no line, and the process was quick and painless. Fill out the online registration form beforehand to help expedite things.
Your luggage can be handed to a porter and will be delivered to your cabin. Cabins are generally not ready till a bit later, but just go and enjoy lunch. Hint.... You'll be told that the Market Cafe is open for lunch, but you can also go to the Versailles restaurant with the gloriously large picture window looking out the stern of the ship, and a lot fewer people.
Cabin Very clean, and efficiently laid out. I had sprung for a balcony, and although it was a bit chilly to spend much time outside when the ship was moving, it was wonderful to have the full "picture window" to look out over the ocean.
There is quite a bit of storage space, but the cabin is a bit smaller than then one which I had on Carnival, but certainly adequate. As others have noted on these boards, having a shower stall with a sliding partition, as opposed to a hanging curtain, is really nice. The toilet stall is a bit small, but hopefully not somewhere you'll be spending a lot of time!
Hint... There is an electrical outlet in both the cabin and the bathroom, so you can charge two electrical devices at once. If you have more than that, then the oft-recommended power strip is worthwhile.
Crew Very nice, and very accommodating. However, as others have also noted, you will be frequently pestered to buy drinks when in the lounges. Also, my friends had a massage and were disappointed when their very enjoyable experience ended with a sales pitch for other products.
Information could be a bit sporadic at times, for instance we were told to wait for announcement for the gangway to be opened in Astoria, but the announcement was never made and people only found out the gangway was open by looking down to see others disembarking. Also, on the final day we were told by staff at reception that we had to be off by 9:45 AM, but read the newsletter and found that we did not have to leave till 12:00 PM.
Entertainment The Jean Ann Ryan Company's "Band on the Run" show was an excellent high-energy dance show, especially impressive since they were dancing on a rolling deck!
The late night "adult comedy" show wasn't worth the time, and we actually thought that the comedians were audience members who had been called up on stage to help.
The magic and comedy of Matt Marcy was fun.
Hint….. They offer a "murder mystery" and it was even free! You gather in the cinema, are organized into teams and "solve" the crime over dinner in the Versailles or Aqua restaurant. Watch for this in the Freestyle Daily, or ask about it at reception. They don't advertise it heavily, since only 120 people can participate.
Dining I really enjoyed the free-style dining. Cagney's (the steak place) was worth the extra $20 ($30 if you order the surf and turf), and was surprisingly not busy when we went there at 6:30 PM, though it had been a port day, and it was "formal night" [but you don't have to dress up if you don't want to] so people were probably eating later. Reservations are definitely recommended. You can make them for that day, or the next night but no further ahead than that.
The Versailles Restaurant was also nice (no extra charge). Food was good, but if you're a high-end "foodie," you may not be satisfied. They are very flexible though about choices from the menu (if you'd like to make an appetizer into a main course, etc) and the service was quick.
Market Cafe is a good place for a quicker breakfast, though the Versailles is nice for a served meal. Hint….. the port side of the Market Cafe is often quieter, so its worth walking around the corner.
Dress codes….. Casual is the order of the days, but jeans are not allowed for the evening meals. You'll fit in best at night in casual slacks and a nice shirt. Jackets and ties are fine if you'd like, but definitely not mandatory.
Lounges The emphasis is on colorful, light, decorating schemes. The emphasis is also definitely on selling…… In the Havana Club the server had no idea about cigars, which was disappointing since we wanted to learn more about them. Basically she was there to sell you what you pointed to. Matches and a cigar cutter were not even offered. On the other hand, the server in the martini bar knew a lot about martinis and was very knowledgeable.
All alcoholic drinks come with a 15% tip added. I guess you could fight this at every turn, but it is supposed to be a vacation. I saw that they had a “Credit Desk” next to reception, so I don’t know if you could do a wholesale reversal of tips on drink purchases if you felt so inclined.
The Red Lion Pub was a bit disappointing since it is basically in a hallway, and has more of a sports-bar atmosphere than that of a British pub.
Disembarkation From this, and a previous cruise, I’ve learned that you definitely don’t want to plan for an early flight when leaving a cruise. Three cruise ships arrived at the same time at Canada Place in Vancouver, and very few Customs agents were assigned. The ship arrived around 9:30 AM, and we didn’t disembark till around 12:00 since we didn’t want to wait in long lines.
We had chosen “express disembarkation” since we all had rolling luggage and we were staying in town for the night, so it really did not make much difference to us. The lines were huge so we just stayed in the cabin and enjoyed reading and watching the harbor go by till the lines died down.
Had to feel sorry for some friends who were transferring to another ship for the one-night cruise to Seattle and so ended up going through long lines to get off, and yet more lines to get on board their next ship. With 6,000 people (2,000 per ship boarding and 2,000 unloading) the place was very packed and no taxis were to be seen. Although it would be tempting to have another night on a ship, and for a low cost by all reports, the lines probably don’t make it worthwhile.
Final Thoughts I’d rate this experience as being above Carnival, but not as high end as Holland America. I think the Repo Cruise is good value for money, but be warned that you will hear the phrase “It’s a short cruise, so we’re not doing that” for certain things (such as the chocoholic – midnight buffet). The galleria (on board shop) had starting putting out all of their Alaska souvenirs, so you get the feeling that you’re on a transition trip. I assume Mexican souvenirs will be available when they do the trip back in the Fall!
Overall, a nice getaway on a beautiful ship.
Smokeyham’s Full Rating Summary
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