1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Star
We always wanted to go through, a full transit, the Panama Canal. After much research we chose Norwegian Cruise Lines Star which had a cruise from Miami to Los Angeles. That was great for us because we only had to fly to Miami and ended up at our home port. In Miami we stayed at the Embassy Suites which was close to the airport and provided transportation to the dock. The hotel was nice but service was poor. Lots of excuses which for an established hotel was pretty bad. We couldn't get directions; no one knew where a Target was located and the restaurant was not only slow, but bad. Took more than an hour before our meal was served. Even the drinks we were given free to make up for the service took about a half hour to be served. Boarding the NCL Star was a bit tedious because the computers were down for a while. Our cabin, 12030, was ideally situated on a deck with fewer cabins. We chose this cabin because it was slightly larger than similar cabins. The cabin protruded a bit from the deck and we not only had a side view, but also a view towards the bridge and bow. We had the Ultimate Dining Package which provided us with numerous additional dining options instead of just the complimentary dining. Enjoyed Cagney's Steakhouse, La Cucina, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki the best. Ginza, the Asian restaurant was not good at all. It seemed as if they were trying to make Chinese food with non-Chinese/Asian ingredients. The worst was the Hoisin sauce which was literally brown gravy. Because we didn't care for Ginza we did not even bother to try the sushi bar which was in Ginza. The buffet on the pool deck had the best burgers. The ice cream bar was good too. Would have like to have had more of a variety of flavors. Mint chip would have been nice. Drinks on board were very good. Service from our room steward and butler was incredible. After a few days we had to tell them to stop bringing afternoon snacks which was fresh fruit, sandwiches, cookies and/or candy. The ship stopped at Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Hualtuco, Mexico; Acapulco, Mexico; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We were not interested in many of the shore excursions mainly because we wanted to sleep in and not leave at 8:00 a.m. We hired a taxi and driver in Cartagena to take us to the Old City and Fort. The driver was very knowledgeable and reliable. At the Panama Canal the ship picked up someone other than the pilot who provided excellent narration of the Canal transit. We took a shore excursion to see the cliff divers in Acapulco. We also took a Behind the Scenes Tour of the ship which we really enjoyed. Thought it was a nice touch to have cold drinks and cold wash cloths for when passengers returned to the ship after being ashore and also on the outside decks during the Panama Canal transit. The nightly entertainment was mostly good. We enjoyed comedian Tim Kaminski and a Four Seasons Tribute with George Solomon. George Solomon also had a show as a solo performer which was also very good. The shows/production numbers by the on board cast were terrible. It was not the performers who were very good. It was the concept and the productions. We heard the same negative comments from most of the people as they were leaving the shows. Also disappointed in the Melodic Trio who entertained in the Atrium. Every number they sang sounded the same - the same speed which was usually too slow and the same mumbling. It took a while to figure out what they were singing. English was not their first language and it seemed as if they were singing from phonetic cards on the music stands. We enjoyed the art seminars, dancing lessons, fitness center, spa, walking laps on the Promenade Deck and the pool. A few other things which could have been improved include updating information on the ship's channel. For instance, the posted pool temperatures remained the same the entire cruise and they were not. Also announcements when the ship actually was leaving a port would have been nice. ON the whole the positives clearly outweighed the few negatives. We were impressed by NCL's staff, attention to detail and cleanliness.

Had a Wonderful Trip. Wish It Was Longer.

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by ellenmm

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We always wanted to go through, a full transit, the Panama Canal.

After much research we chose Norwegian Cruise Lines Star which had a cruise from Miami to Los Angeles. That was great for us because we only had to fly to Miami and ended up at our home port. In Miami we stayed at the Embassy Suites which was close to the airport and provided transportation to the dock.

The hotel was nice but service was poor. Lots of excuses which for an established hotel was pretty bad. We couldn't get directions; no one knew where a Target was located and the restaurant was not only slow, but bad. Took more than an hour before our meal was served. Even the drinks we were given free to make up for the service took about a half hour to be served.

Boarding the NCL Star was a bit tedious because the computers were down for a while.

Our cabin, 12030, was ideally situated on a deck with fewer cabins. We chose this cabin because it was slightly larger than similar cabins. The cabin protruded a bit from the deck and we not only had a side view, but also a view towards the bridge and bow.

We had the Ultimate Dining Package which provided us with numerous additional dining options instead of just the complimentary dining.

Enjoyed Cagney's Steakhouse, La Cucina, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki the best. Ginza, the Asian restaurant was not good at all. It seemed as if they were trying to make Chinese food with non-Chinese/Asian ingredients. The worst was the Hoisin sauce which was literally brown gravy. Because we didn't care for Ginza we did not even bother to try the sushi bar which was in Ginza.

The buffet on the pool deck had the best burgers. The ice cream bar was good too. Would have like to have had more of a variety of flavors. Mint chip would have been nice.

Drinks on board were very good.

Service from our room steward and butler was incredible. After a few days we had to tell them to stop bringing afternoon snacks which was fresh fruit, sandwiches, cookies and/or candy.

The ship stopped at Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Hualtuco, Mexico; Acapulco, Mexico; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We were not interested in many of the shore excursions mainly because we wanted to sleep in and not leave at 8:00 a.m.

We hired a taxi and driver in Cartagena to take us to the Old City and Fort. The driver was very knowledgeable and reliable.

At the Panama Canal the ship picked up someone other than the pilot who provided excellent narration of the Canal transit.

We took a shore excursion to see the cliff divers in Acapulco. We also took a Behind the Scenes Tour of the ship which we really enjoyed.

Thought it was a nice touch to have cold drinks and cold wash cloths for when passengers returned to the ship after being ashore and also on the outside decks during the Panama Canal transit.

The nightly entertainment was mostly good. We enjoyed comedian Tim Kaminski and a Four Seasons Tribute with George Solomon. George Solomon also had a show as a solo performer which was also very good.

The shows/production numbers by the on board cast were terrible. It was not the performers who were very good. It was the concept and the productions. We heard the same negative comments from most of the people as they were leaving the shows.

Also disappointed in the Melodic Trio who entertained in the Atrium. Every number they sang sounded the same - the same speed which was usually too slow and the same mumbling. It took a while to figure out what they were singing. English was not their first language and it seemed as if they were singing from phonetic cards on the music stands.

We enjoyed the art seminars, dancing lessons, fitness center, spa, walking laps on the Promenade Deck and the pool.

A few other things which could have been improved include updating information on the ship's channel. For instance, the posted pool temperatures remained the same the entire cruise and they were not. Also announcements when the ship actually was leaving a port would have been nice.

ON the whole the positives clearly outweighed the few negatives.

We were impressed by NCL's staff, attention to detail and cleanliness.
ellenmm’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Star price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Family Suite
Cabin SJ 12030
Our cabin, 12030, was ideally situated on a deck with fewer cabins. We chose this cabin because it was slightly larger than similar cabins. The cabin protruded a bit from the deck and we not only had a side view, but also a view towards the bridge and bow.
The cabin was spacious. The bathroom was nicer than my bathroom at home. I appreciated the laundry line over the tub.
The ship's laundry and dry cleaning services were reasonably priced.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews