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Norwegian Star Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,612 Reviews

The Star Shines Brightly!

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by FraudBroad

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2015
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

Background:

This cruise was a booking through CAS for a comped cruise. Nothing in life is free mind you…we paid to upgrade to a balcony (Cabin 10110) plus port charges and fees.

On this sailing was myself (49) and my sweet mamma (she’d kill me if I listed her age). She was gold (now platinum) and I’m platinum latitudes members. Our very first cruise was on the Starward in 1994.

I live in Chicago and my parents live in Ft. Myers so I flew into Ft Myers the evening of the 11th. Brave woman that I am I left my two teenaged daughters to fend for themselves in Chicago while I enjoyed some much needed R&R on the cruise. They didn’t get out of school until the 18th so they still had a lot to do before they could come down for the Christmas holiday!

My mamma and I left Ft. Myers at 8:30 Sunday morning for the two hour drive to Tampa. We made one short pit stop and were at the port by 10:45 in the morning. I’d pre-paid ($125) for valet parking which was the most brilliant thing I’ve ever done. We pulled right up where the porter came and took the bags from the trunk and we gave the keys to the valet. We checked in at the valet desk for a receipt then up the escalator we went for a short wait thru the security line.

Walked right up and checked in at the CAS desk. While we were checking in they began boarding the ship. By the time the agent was done we walked right onto the Star. Up to deck 13 and the Bier Garten for a Mimosa and our vacation had officially begun.

For lunch we were in Cagney’s at it was a bit of a letdown. My mamma had the French dip which was severely over cooked and I had the risotto which was way under cooked. That would be the last time we’d eat in Cagney’s for lunch. The service was slow and the waitress seemed quite overwhelmed.

After having already had two mimosas my mamma needed a nap so she went to the cabin as soon as it was ready (1:30). I spent a bit of time having another drink (gotta love that drink package) and wandering the ship to see the improvements that had been made during her most recent dry dock. The Star was all decked out for the holidays with beautiful trees and garland all around.

Our cabin was a balcony on deck ten and there’s only one word to describe it. Small….well maybe two words…very small. This was my fourth time on the Star. I’d sailed in an outside obstructed, SJ Family Suite and a mini suite on my previous sailings. The room was narrow and because of where the beds are placed due to the sliding glass doors for the balcony we did an intricate dance all week to get around each other. There was only about sixteen inches between the end of the bed and the wall. The outside obstructed I’d sailed in previously WITH my TWO kids had more room. Next time I’ll skip paying for the balcony upgrade!

Muster was at 3:30 outside on deck 7 and went rather quickly. We headed up to 12 for sail away but the music was so loud my mom wasn’t enjoying it. She returned to the cabin in hopes that our luggage had arrived so that she could unpack. I didn’t stay much longer and when I joined her in the cabin the luggage had just arrived. We both unpacked then walked around the ship a bit so that she could get acclimated.

We headed back on deck around 6:00 because we wanted to make sure we were able to see the ship sailing under the bridge. We finally did around 6:50 and we weren’t disappointed. If you ever sail out of Tampa make sure you’re on deck to go under the huge bridge!

Dinner was in La Cucina and was only so-so. We both only wanted a salad and split a pizza. The crust just wasn’t to our liking and neither was the sauce. No worries, we were on a cruise and knew that wouldn’t starve to death!

The rest of the evening was spent in the Casino and as we were both rather tired we headed to bed early around 10:00.

First sea day was busy. We started with a delicious breakfast in Moderno followed by morning trivia. We headed to the casino where we both participated in the slot tournament though neither of us qualified for the finals. The Cruise Critic Meet & Greet was held in La Cucina at 11:00 and as always the crew rolled out the red carpet. Ignacio, the Hotel Director, was so nice. Each and every time we ran into him that week he always greeted us with a big hug! It was also so fun to meet so many that we’d chatted with online before the cruise.

Lunch was in O’Sheehans where we split a ruben and the Italian fries. The sandwich was great…skip the fries!

Dinner that evening was in Cagney’s and it didn’t disappoint. We both had filets and they were cooked to perfection. The service was outstanding and we enjoyed ourselves immensely!

We only attended two shows and I honestly can’t remember which nights. We saw the comedian, Bud Anderson, who was outstanding. He’s a can’t miss! The other show was the Burt Bacharach show (for the life of me I can’t remember the name) and we both enjoyed it a great deal.

Tuesday we weren’t arriving in Roatan until 11:00 so after breakfast we hit up morning trivia then the casino for a bit before it was time to leave the ship. We were meeting a couple from our roll call as we’d both made reservations for the Bananarama beach resort. We met in the Java Café at 11:15 and headed right off the ship. The driver was right outside the gates to the port and we headed over to the beach.

This was my third time at Bananarama and it didn’t disappoint. The beach is beautiful, service is great and the vendors leave you alone. The only drawback this time was the weather was SUPER hot which would be the theme for the week. It was 88 degrees and 80% humidity without a lick of a breeze. Even with our chairs in the shade we were super-hot! We decided to head back to the ship a bit early and left around 3:00. Even with the heat we greatly enjoyed the day! I had a wonderful po-boy sandwich and mamma enjoyed a quesadilla before we left. Oh, and the Pina Coladas are wonderful!

That night we were in Le Bistro for dinner and had an outstanding meal. I enjoyed the puff pastry with seafood and mamma had the filet. For starters we had the salad and French onion soup. The service was amazing and we had a great time!

Wednesday was Belize and we had priority tender. We headed off the ship around 8:15. We didn’t have an excursions booked so we just shopped at the port and had a couple of drinks. We headed back to the tender a bit after 11:00 and that’s when things went downhill. We boarded the tender where we sat and waited for over 45 minutes in the sweltering heat. We asked repetedly when the tender was going to head back and were ignored each and every time. Needless to say we did finally make it back to the ship but the experience just reminded me how happy I’ll be when Harvest Cay opens and there’s no more tendering in Belize!

We hit up the buffet for lunch and then headed to the cabin for a shower and a nap!

Dinner that evening was in Moderno and it was once again amazing. The salad bar is sumptuous but the highlight for me is always the little cheese breads (pao de quejo). They are the BOMB!!!!

Thursday morning we arrived in my favorite port, Costa Maya. We grabbed a taxi and headed over to my favorite place, Tropicante. A restaurant located right on the beach owned by an ex pat, Steve. We’ve been there several times and always have a nice time. If you happen to go, don’t hesitate to try the chicken and sour cream enchiladas…to die for!!!!

Dinner that evening was back at Cagney’s and once again it was amazing….not one complaint!

Friday was Cozumel and we’d booked the Cozumel Bar Hop. Oh.my.goodness!!!! It was SO much fun! We met in front of Senor Frog’s right at the port and boarded a van with 14 others for a trip over to the other side of the island. We went to four different beach bars, all with amazing views of the water. We got a shot of a mixed drink at each bar and were given 55 minutes at each to hang out. At the second stop mamma and I tried some nachos that were to die for!! The whole day was a complete riot and on the return trip to the ship they turned up the music and we sang all the way back. It was one of the best tours we’d ever been on!!!!!!!!

Dinner that evening was in La Cucina and was much better than our first experience. Mamma had the sausage and pasta dish while I indulged with the chicken parm. Both were wonderful. The restaurant was a bit crowded so the service was a little slow but it was nice just to relax.

Saturday was spent doing last minute ship shopping for liquor and a bit more casino time. We did poorly during our last round of morning trivia but enjoyed ourselves none the less. Dinner that evening was in Moderno and again was outstanding. We retired early as we still had packing to do and were leaving the ship bright and early.

Disembarkation was the easiest we’ve ever experienced. I kid you not when I say we walked off the ship with our luggage at 8:00 and were in the car on our way home by 8:13. After the short drive home the first load of laundry was in by 10:45 and we were planning what we needed to get done before the holiday rush!

Our trip on the Star was wonderful! The food excellent and the service amazing!!! The entire crew was warm, welcoming and kind. I’d sailed Getaway in August and I have to admit I’m just not a fan of the bigger ships. This was my fourth time on the Star an she’s never disappointed. Looking forward to sailing her again in March!!!


FraudBroad's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB 10110

Our cabin was a balcony on deck ten and there’s only one word to describe it. Small….well maybe two words…very small. This was my fourth time on the Star. I’d sailed in an outside obstructed, SJ Family Suite and a mini suite on my previous sailings. The room was narrow and because of where the beds are placed due to the sliding glass doors for the balcony we did an intricate dance all week to get around each other. There was only about sixteen inches between the end of the bed and the wall. The outside obstructed I’d sailed in previously WITH my TWO kids had more room. Next time I’ll skip paying for the balcony upgrade!


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Cozumel

Bar far the BEST excursion we've ever taken! It's a CAN'T MISS!


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