Norwegian Star Cruise Review by chankahon
- Sail Date: June 2016
- Destination: Norwegian Fjords
- Cabin Type: Family Inside
Emission of the ship was a considerable issue. To be more specific, it was the visible pollutants that apparently were not removed inside the chimney. That smoke ruined the view of Geiranger on an otherwise perfectly clear day. The Costa (and many other) ships ' soot were not quite as visible.
The airy, daylight-filled grand atrium of the Star is stunning (becoming a rarity on NCL I reckon), but the top deck space desperately needs a redesign to improve layout - much of the original lounge space with great views has been converted to suites and extra rooms, leaving little public space overlooking the sea.
The only way to appreciate the remarkable fjords without catching a cold is to grab a table at buffet restaurant or sitting on one of those benches along hallways on lower decks. Or, put on the windbreaker and layer clothing to brace the chill - forward top deck and promenade can occasionally be bearable.
It might improve the experience to relocate children/teen area to expand the Lido restaurant into the aft top deck. While I did enjoy the aft promenade, integrating that part into Spinnaker Lounge could make more efficient use of the space. There might also be potential to add indoor space on aft deck 13.
A cruise passenger asked when the ship had a makeover at the last day's Q&A - she was probably shocked to learn the Star received drydock facelift just in 2015. Cabin furniture need update urgently, as with the Market Cafe out-fit. But I liked the Art Deco design in certain public space, adding class to an otherwise hectic, crowded ship.
Entertainment is generally good, exceptional attention to technical details for the flagship show towards end of cruise deserves high praise. But it was not for everyone's taste, esp for non-American audience. It's impossible to keep everyone happy for such a long, port-intensive cruise, however.
There was no enrichment to speak of. All lectures. albeit informative to varying degrees, were designed to boost revenues - worse than my MSC that offered language lessons. The same revenue-hungry mindset was noticeable all over the place. Could be the new industry norm, but not what most people enjoyed.
Game shows, bingo, dance class were most common during the day. Matinee shows were sparse on sea days. Art auctions were good for free champagne. The lizard work of Miro may still be there for a quick glimpse.
Food was way better than what I expected and to my surprise, the Star team did Asian dishes generally well! Asian options are always avail in breakfast and main dining room. Breakfast options did not rotate. Variety in bakery items could have gone a long way.
Service was attentive for most of the time. There was confusion over corkage fee but was sorted out after two days. Bring your own soda or sparkling water, while tea and water are free at buffet all day. Free juice in the morning is decent.
North Cape cruises are somewhat an once-in-a-year event for NCL and many other mainstream lines, but if you do take one, beware satellite reception is bad beyond Arctic circle for obvious reason. You may get more Internet with a SIM card with consistent signal off the Norwegian coast than the onboard WiFi. Surf with Opera Mini when signal drops to 2G.
In the end the cruise is worth solely for the itinerary. Hammerfast and Honningvag had little to offer, but the Lofoten was a gem that blended great view and seafood. Did not take any excursion except city transfers. Allow flexibility to do your own excursion esp for tender port.
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One of the sockets on makeup table was UK/Singapore/Hong Kong three-pin. The sole European continental two-pin socket outside toilet was behind TV. Bathroom is large. Bow TV camera and the navigation info channel were technologies from the 90s.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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