We had wanted to do this trip for years and when we saw the trip we booked almost 12 months in advance as we were cruising in the Caribbean.
We started with a 5 day stay in Copenhagen at a beautiful small hotel. We met cruisers who had disembarked from the Baltic Cruise days earlier who keyed us in about the NCL Star. This ship is not a jumbo type, maybe 2000 passengers. We embarked at Copenhagen's newer Cruise ship port on the 24th of September. Next stop Rotterdam, Holland. This is the home of the Hague. We missed our chance to go to Delft on a tour and went instead to Gouda (pronounced how da), known for cheese. We loved the architecture of the old towns but were amazed by the architecture which is all post WW2 in Rotterdam.
Portland, England was great the guides always are interesting and joke about their "English". We toured to Stone Henge and to Salisbury Cathedral where I saw one of the original remaining copies of the Magna Carta.The seas were too rough to allow tendering into Falmouth and delayed an attempt of HM Royal Navy Rescue to remove a sick passenger and his family. Then on to Cork, Ireland and the fantastic Blarney Castle. The positioning required to "kiss the Blarney Stone" was on your back and suspended with assistance. That was more than I needed.The gift shop had great ice cream and scones tho.
Dublin, Ireland we went to a country area known for its ancient partial ruins of early churches from the Crusades period. Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO word Heritage site was interesting with the unusual rock formations. Invergordon Scotland we toured the countryside which was very nice. Newhaven Port we toured Edinburgh and saw the Castle as well as the University. We disembarked at Dover, England. That was a beautiful site as we came into the port of the very White Cliffs of Dover. As part of out exit and transfer we toured Cantebury and its famous Cathedral. The history and architecture overall made my cruise what I wanted it to be.
I was unaware until halfway thru the cruise of the Ultimate Dining benefit we had. We had 2 free bottles of wine in 2 specialty dining rooms already and found a very helpful and professional waiter in the Versailles dining room which was one of the main sit down dining rooms, so it was a difficult decision to go to a specialty dining room. We ate at the Bistro (French), Cagney's Steak House, Teppanyaki the Japanese Hibachi grill, and observed the Moderno Brazillian Steak house. Being mostly vegetarian, Moderno was definately out. My surprises were the delivery to the cabin of Baguettes to accompany my cheese from Gouda and while speaking with a wait staff person in the cafe at breakfast, I was asked about whether I liked the food. I asked about the name of a food that was similar to some served the night before. It was Indian and I could not recall the proper name. Cabin # please? This man was in charge of special meals and on our last night we got that served in addition to our appetizers. Fortunately our favorite waiters, assistant waiters, and staff were able to share in this fine meal. They really want to please you however they can and do a great job for me.
There were a few glitches with the relatively new staff in the activities department and coordinating with the port services. Many people were outright angry with the staff without questioning the reason for the delays. Customs takes their own time to clear the ship and the worst was Cobb Island or Cork where we also had to surrender our passports as we had left the European Union. We also had a small security blockage as we attempted to leave the ship which made all tours almost 2 hours late, although the ship did not leave until two hours after we were due to leave. This happened 2 times where we were delayed off and on the ship. They always will wait for you within reason. The tendering as we arrived in Scotland was also slow because of the port. We arrived 1 hour early but the customs/ clearance agent was late to arrive so we were again delayed. Disembarking was a challange because of the tours and people getting rides out of Dover. It appeared more disorganized than it really was. 2000 people trying to be the first on or off is slow. Baggage being removed from the ship by cranes is slow.
For all of the griping and anger, people need to read the rules, familiarize themselves with what is provided and where their cabin is before they choose the cruise line. When on vacation I want to leave that noise behind. Believe that the staff on ship or in port is doing the best they can or know how. I have not only used NCL but do not want to think about my experience with other companies much less tell every one else what it was like out of courtesy to them. The horror stories are not associated with this company. So to each their own. Quitely please.
This cabin is orward and on the port side. Fairly close to one of the entrances to the Stardust Theater.
We have only twice used the 5th deck. This was because of the tendency of the North Sea and North Atlantic to be a bit rocky. The sea was but we were not. Looking at the "blood moon" from that window at 1:30am to 3:30 am was perfect, even with the fairly high waves.
Every Cabin we have been in, our cabins and Family cabins has 3 outlets dedicated to TV, hairdryer, and cube Refrig, There is also one in the bedroom at the desk or vanity which serves either a US style plug or Mid and Southern European 2 prong plug. This cabin had the ability to fit 3 beds but we were 2. The cabin is really designed for sleeping and changing/showering. Cabin clean, and close enough to the Theatre to worry us but blissfully quiet except for the noisy neighbors whooping it up in the hallway next to the room. They quickly acknowledged the very late hour and quieted. The cabin attendant was extremely helpful, suggesting things to do and areas to go to for views of the ports . Even as we arrived in the darkness he was spot on.