We departed Dover on 6 October 2015 after a couple of weeks in Morocco and the Saraha. A nice change and we were glad to be on the Star. I made the mistake of attempting to move our cabins and we ended up in the forward section of deck 8 with an ocean view stateroom. This is not our first cruise, and it won't be our last on Norwegian. I should remind you that the placement of your stateroom above or below major entertainment areas should be a consideration when booking if you want a good nights sleep. Our stateroom was above the Stardust Theater but it wasn't an issue since we generally saw the first show, looked at other entertainment venues and went to our cabin after 10:00 pm.
Things I liked about this cruise: Embarkation - smooth, efficient and timely. Cabin - large enough for comfort and good storage overall. Cruise Director: This is the first time that I couldn't find fault with the Cruise Director - group of people who try so hard to be friendly, happy and your best buddy that they are more than annoying. Ian - the cruise guy on this trip was a helpful, informative, entertaining and genuine. Of all the times we interacted directly or indirectly through ship wide announcements, I never felt that he was forced or ingenuine. Kudos to Ian the Cruise Director. Dining: Very good to excellent dining choices of well seasoned and prepared dishes served by professionals. Stateroom Attendant: "Johnathan" was an excellent steward who kept our stateroom spotless and ship shape. He was friendly, accomodating and a credit to Norwegian. Entertainment - The show cast was very good and gave very entertaining shows throughout the crossing. I enjoyed the musicianship of the duo Touche, the solos of the pianist, guitarist and trombone player from the house band. The bass player was also very good.
Disappointing -the ship broke so we had to divert to Tampa without going to Miami. Having to depart the ship a day early was well done by US customs and the local Tampa staff, however the letter provided by the Star Captain and coordinating staff was less than adequate to the task of providing complete information to customers. Basically it was "You can stay or you can go by yourself and we won't tell you before we get to Tampa (and maybe afterwards) what all your options are." This can't be the only time an NCL ship has had a problem during a voyage, and there should have been a template available to who ever was providing the customers needed information and options a document with frequent updates. Two days of long lines at the customer service desks should have tipped off the cruise staff that they left too many issues unadressed. I suppose that the ship's administration was handicapped by what I believe is NCL's lack of administrative support, coordination, forward thinking and active corporate management. For me, I've enjoyed the ships, crews and entertainment of Norwegian Cruise Lines, but dread having to deal with their headquarters staff related issues. As an indication, the form for requesting an airline change fee is buried below layers of their web site, AND THE PROCEDURE WAS NEVER BRIEFED PRIOR TO DEBARKATION!!! Just a huge lack of complete communication, which I attribute to a less than adequate corporate headquarters staff.
Good sized ocean view with plenty of storage. Medium seas cause lots of noise and will keep you wondering if the ships bow is going to fall off. Not a bad stateroom for the money if the seas are calm.
Folks who took the excursions loved it. Nice town for walking around.