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We had first cruised on Norwegian in Feb. 2016 on a Caribbean cruise. We had a suite on the Dawn,which was great and that probably affected our decision to join this cruise on her sister ship. There could not have been a bigger difference between the quality of the onboard experience. This ship and its staff were a disappointment at every level. The serving staff were anything but pleasant and appeared extremely unhappy in their jobs. There were exceptions, of course, but it doesn't take many bad apples to spoil the barrel. We had a balcony cabin that was the smallest I've ever seen on a ship. The leader of our group, who upgraded to a suite at the rear of the ship even had a cabin that I would equate to our last balcony room on Celebrity...nothing like a suite at all. By far, the quality and choices of food were our biggest complaint. The buffet was like pigs at the trough and we avoided that one like the plague. The other sit-down restaurants that did not charge a premium had a fixed menu that was mediocre. Even recipes for standard entrees that one would think no one could screw up were bastardized to the point they were nearly inedible (think chicken cordon bleu). The premium pay-per-plate restaurants were better, but by no great margin. We were served the worst lobster I think we've had anywhere in their steak house, and the Brazilian restaurant cooked their meats to a dried-up fare-thee-well. The elevators on the ship were a constant pain. It seemed as if they were running only half the elevators in each of the 3 banks and they took forever, being packed to the gills when they did finally show up. We did a lot of stair waking. Excursions were booked with 3rd party providers and the ports we visited were great, but at a pace that was almost too jam-packed for a real relaxing experience. On the bright side, the ship arrived promptly as advertised at all ports and with the exception of the elevators, embarking / disembarking was a breeze. The Free At Sea drink program is the best, and the bar staff was much better than the restaurant staff. I think this will probably be our last ride with Norwegian.

Great itinerary, disappointing boat

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by WB Kelso

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We had first cruised on Norwegian in Feb. 2016 on a Caribbean cruise. We had a suite on the Dawn,which was great and that probably affected our decision to join this cruise on her sister ship. There could not have been a bigger difference between the quality of the onboard experience. This ship and its staff were a disappointment at every level. The serving staff were anything but pleasant and appeared extremely unhappy in their jobs. There were exceptions, of course, but it doesn't take many bad apples to spoil the barrel.

We had a balcony cabin that was the smallest I've ever seen on a ship. The leader of our group, who upgraded to a suite at the rear of the ship even had a cabin that I would equate to our last balcony room on Celebrity...nothing like a suite at all. By far, the quality and choices of food were our biggest complaint. The buffet was like pigs at the trough and we avoided that one like the plague. The other sit-down restaurants that did not charge a premium had a fixed menu that was mediocre. Even recipes for standard entrees that one would think no one could screw up were bastardized to the point they were nearly inedible (think chicken cordon bleu). The premium pay-per-plate restaurants were better, but by no great margin. We were served the worst lobster I think we've had anywhere in their steak house, and the Brazilian restaurant cooked their meats to a dried-up fare-thee-well.

The elevators on the ship were a constant pain. It seemed as if they were running only half the elevators in each of the 3 banks and they took forever, being packed to the gills when they did finally show up. We did a lot of stair waking. Excursions were booked with 3rd party providers and the ports we visited were great, but at a pace that was almost too jam-packed for a real relaxing experience. On the bright side, the ship arrived promptly as advertised at all ports and with the exception of the elevators, embarking / disembarking was a breeze. The Free At Sea drink program is the best, and the bar staff was much better than the restaurant staff. I think this will probably be our last ride with Norwegian.
WB Kelso’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB 10206
Clean, but small. Impossible to pass 2 people in the aisle off the end of the bed. Stateroom steward very nice.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Copenhagen
    We went in 3 days prior to the cruise to see the sights on our own. We stayed at the airport Hilton only because we got a great deal on the room. Turns out the location is ideal for airport arrival/departure and getting the local trains, metro and busses. We needed the first day just to recover from the flight from the US and spent it riding the transit system just to figure out how to get around. We had purchased the 3 day Cpoenhagen Card and I highly recommend it. It provides access to almost all of the sights, attractions and transit systems at no additional charge. During our stay we visited Nyhaven and its quaint sidewalk cafes and canal. We went to the Rosenborg Castle, Christianborg Palace, Tivoli Gardens, and a canal tour, all highly recommended. The best restaurant we found serving authentic Danish food was Karlas, over by Tivoli Gardens.
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  • Helsinki
    We just booked the Hop-On / Hop-off bus for this one and had a look around. The city center was a large market place that was interesting.
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  • Berlin
    A fairly long bus ride from Rostock to Berlin, we saw the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, Potsdamer Platz, for lunch. Good tour, and the guide was very informative.
    View All 86 Berlin Reviews
  • Private Tour
    We had the extreme privilege of being guided on our tour by a young man named Mikhail whose day job is actually as an art historian at the Hermitage. It was a 2 day tour jam-packed each day with 8 hours of information from this brilliant man on all the antiquities and history of Peterhof, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Fountain Park, Tsars Village, Catherine Palace, the Hermitage Museum WOW!, and Church of the Spilt Blood. Outstanding tour. How we lucked out getting Mikhail as our guide I'll never know.
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  • Stockholm
    Our objective was to see the Vasa. As it's across the harbor, the best way to get to it is to get the Hop-0on / Hop-off boat at the cruise terminal over to the other side. The Vasa is great, and afterward, walking around the port is very nice. The cruise into and out of port is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking you will ever see.
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  • Tallinn
    This one is walkable from the port. A quaint medieval town, but no outstanding pieces of history to see
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