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We were on the March 29th sailing of the Star out of LA for the seven day Mexican Riviera cruise. This is my 17th cruise overall and my third on NCL. My wife, and two boys (ages 11 and 9) were with me and we all shared one cabin. We had a good time on this cruise, but I will say that we had realistic expectations as to the product that NCL offers. I want to also preface this review with the fact that we paid an extremely cheap price for this cruise and we believe that we more than got our money worth. We left from the port of LA and getting on the ship was quite painless. We were on board within 25 minutes of arrival. Since the elevators were overcrowded, we tried to take the steps up to the buffet for lunch but the ship was a bit confusing and there were stairs that seemed to lead to nowhere from the atrium. Instead we found our room and went to drop off our stuff. The ship was in good shape as she just came out of dry dock a few weeks prior to our sailing. The carpets were new in many areas and she was kept very clean by the hardworking crew. The ship feels small however and there is a lack of comfortable common space to relax or sit comfortably. A word about the staterooms, they are SMALL! the rooms was a family inside, that was designed to accommodate four passengers, but the reality was that it barely could. The condition of the cabin was very good however and it was functional for what we needed. The big disappointment was the fact that their was only one bunk that folded up tot he ceiling, the fourth passenger was forced to sleep on a roll away wedged between the other lower beds. This made for an awkward sleeping arrangement and was a hassle as anyone that needed to leave the bed had to trample over the other people. Though it was not ideal, it worked. I would suggest that if you do have four guests you should get two rooms! We are a tight family and so we made things work and had a lot of laughs and bruises falling over each other! I will give the Star positive marks for the bathroom as it was well laid out and the shower was large with a sliding door. The Food- We found the food at the buffet to be just OK. I don't expect much from a cruise buffet, but I think for lunch they could do better. The selections were not great and sometimes they offered some odd dishes. The buffet was always overcrowded as well and finding a seat was at times very difficult. The breakfast buffet was OK, but still very crowded. The Grill out by the pool was really good for lunch and had good hotdogs and excellent Hamburgers! On sea days they also brought out huge BBQ grills and had some really good offerings of steak, chicken, fried rice, and pasta. We ate dinner all but one night in Aqua, the less formal dining room. We really enjoyed the food in here and the service was good as we were able to get the same table each night. Be sure to make a reservation as the tables fill up fast and then you will be forced to wait. The entrees were the largest portions I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. I eat really well, and even I pushed a few plates way! The appetizers were good and the salads were fair. We found the meat dishes to be pretty good, but sometimes the steaks were a bit tough. The real problem that NCL needs to address is the deserts! They were a very big disappointment! I don't understand how they can pull off some pretty complex dishes for the entree and screw up simple deserts. They were mostly tasteless and all seemed to lack any sweetness. The only desert that my not so picky kids would eat was the chocolate volcano cake. We did eat at Ginza one night and found the food to be very good. Some great noodle dishes and soups. We had lunch in the Versailles Dining room for lunch twice and it was really good! Try the shrimp burger on a pretzel bun! Entertainment- this was so so. The shows were just ok, and some of the entertainers were pretty good. The Ballet Folklorico was excellent however! The cruise director Ben was not the greatest but his staff did a great job. The kids club staff was overwhelmed with the amount of spring breakers on board so our kids stayed away from that. Ports: We have been to the Mex Riv many times as we live in So Cal. In Cabo we go to the local beach and relax,. In Mazatlan, we always take a cab to the El Cid Resort and hang out by their massive pool. As long as you order food and fdrink they let you stay all day! The pool has a waterslide and diving rock and my kids had a blast! Cheap beer and great food! In Puerto Vallarta, we always go downtown to the shops and then to the beach. We sit at the restaurant eating shrimp and beer while the kids go in the water and play. A nice way to spend the day! Disembarking was a breeze and before we knew it we were on the road home after a very nice vacation. All in all we had a very good time on this cruise! I do not prefer NCL, but again I think we got a decent value. I have never been on a cruise that I haven't enjoyed and this one did not disappoint.

Overall good time on the NCL Star

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by mr. godfredo

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
We were on the March 29th sailing of the Star out of LA for the seven day Mexican Riviera cruise. This is my 17th cruise overall and my third on NCL. My wife, and two boys (ages 11 and 9) were with me and we all shared one cabin. We had a good time on this cruise, but I will say that we had realistic expectations as to the product that NCL offers. I want to also preface this review with the fact that we paid an extremely cheap price for this cruise and we believe that we more than got our money worth.

We left from the port of LA and getting on the ship was quite painless. We were on board within 25 minutes of arrival. Since the elevators were overcrowded, we tried to take the steps up to the buffet for lunch but the ship was a bit confusing and there were stairs that seemed to lead to nowhere from the atrium. Instead we found our room and went to drop off our stuff.

The ship was in good shape as she just came out of dry dock a few weeks prior to our sailing. The carpets were new in many areas and she was kept very clean by the hardworking crew. The ship feels small however and there is a lack of comfortable common space to relax or sit comfortably.

A word about the staterooms, they are SMALL! the rooms was a family inside, that was designed to accommodate four passengers, but the reality was that it barely could. The condition of the cabin was very good however and it was functional for what we needed. The big disappointment was the fact that their was only one bunk that folded up tot he ceiling, the fourth passenger was forced to sleep on a roll away wedged between the other lower beds. This made for an awkward sleeping arrangement and was a hassle as anyone that needed to leave the bed had to trample over the other people. Though it was not ideal, it worked. I would suggest that if you do have four guests you should get two rooms! We are a tight family and so we made things work and had a lot of laughs and bruises falling over each other! I will give the Star positive marks for the bathroom as it was well laid out and the shower was large with a sliding door.

The Food- We found the food at the buffet to be just OK. I don't expect much from a cruise buffet, but I think for lunch they could do better. The selections were not great and sometimes they offered some odd dishes. The buffet was always overcrowded as well and finding a seat was at times very difficult. The breakfast buffet was OK, but still very crowded. The Grill out by the pool was really good for lunch and had good hotdogs and excellent Hamburgers! On sea days they also brought out huge BBQ grills and had some really good offerings of steak, chicken, fried rice, and pasta. We ate dinner all but one night in Aqua, the less formal dining room. We really enjoyed the food in here and the service was good as we were able to get the same table each night. Be sure to make a reservation as the tables fill up fast and then you will be forced to wait. The entrees were the largest portions I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. I eat really well, and even I pushed a few plates way! The appetizers were good and the salads were fair. We found the meat dishes to be pretty good, but sometimes the steaks were a bit tough. The real problem that NCL needs to address is the deserts! They were a very big disappointment! I don't understand how they can pull off some pretty complex dishes for the entree and screw up simple deserts. They were mostly tasteless and all seemed to lack any sweetness. The only desert that my not so picky kids would eat was the chocolate volcano cake. We did eat at Ginza one night and found the food to be very good. Some great noodle dishes and soups. We had lunch in the Versailles Dining room for lunch twice and it was really good! Try the shrimp burger on a pretzel bun!

Entertainment- this was so so. The shows were just ok, and some of the entertainers were pretty good. The Ballet Folklorico was excellent however! The cruise director Ben was not the greatest but his staff did a great job. The kids club staff was overwhelmed with the amount of spring breakers on board so our kids stayed away from that.

Ports: We have been to the Mex Riv many times as we live in So Cal. In Cabo we go to the local beach and relax,. In Mazatlan, we always take a cab to the El Cid Resort and hang out by their massive pool. As long as you order food and fdrink they let you stay all day! The pool has a waterslide and diving rock and my kids had a blast! Cheap beer and great food! In Puerto Vallarta, we always go downtown to the shops and then to the beach. We sit at the restaurant eating shrimp and beer while the kids go in the water and play. A nice way to spend the day!

Disembarking was a breeze and before we knew it we were on the road home after a very nice vacation.

All in all we had a very good time on this cruise! I do not prefer NCL, but again I think we got a decent value. I have never been on a cruise that I haven't enjoyed and this one did not disappoint.
mr. godfredo’s Full Rating Summary
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