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Norwegian Star Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2471 reviews
3 Awards

CANADIANS SAILING THE NORTHERN SEAS

Review for Norwegian Star to the British Isles & Western Europe
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HectorAmor
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Cabin
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2016
Cabin: Family Suite
View of Bergen, Norway from mountain top
View from top of lighthouse, Godoy Island, Alesund, Norway
Mountain view close up of downtown, Alesund, Norway
Close up of a Fiord on Faroe Island (Denmark)
Cathedral is tallest structure in Reykjavik, Iceland
Colourful houses in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland
Traffic cone demonstration on statue top, downtown Glasgow

This is my third Cruise Critic review, the previous ones were for Island Princess Mediterranean/Transatlantic passage from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale and the second one was on Celebrity Constellation, an Italy & Croatia Cruise round trip from Venice. As with them, what you will read expresses our personal experiences, feelings, sensations (as well as some advice), that you might agree with or not but most important is that we hope it helps you on your future cruises.

Please, for those interested in the review for the Family Suite Cabin #12026 its pros and cons and detailed comments and about the tours taken plus pictures, you should scroll down to the bottom of the review.

This was my second cruise on NCL Star, the first being way back in 2005, on an 8 day tour of the Mexican Riviera, round trip from LA. Comparing what I remember from my first cruise on the Star to this one, I could say that many areas were unchanged and others were changed in both positive and negative aspects. At any rate, this is what I experienced on this 2015 refurbished NCL Star.

Cabin Review

Family Suite

Cabin SJ

Family Suite (FS #12026) - We decided to book this 409 sq. ft. suite knowing that it did not have a balcony but the whole outside wall was floor to ceiling windows. The reason for that selection was because the itinerary and time of year of this cruise was with colder, windier weather, not the best situation under which to fully enjoy a balcony. The suite was square in shape, in which was located the bedroom, living room and four chair dining room set, where the Murphy bed is located; you could say that was a kind of open concept. There was a walk-in closet and a large dual sink bathroom with large shower stall and full bathtub.

* Pros. - The size of the suite and its amenities (e.g. fresh flowers, fruit basket, welcome bottle of champagne, daily delivery of sandwiches, cookies etc.) and a well-stocked expresso machine, plus a proper dining room table and chairs, and DVD player. For sure the storage space throughout was exceptional but there are a few caveats that I will talk about later on. Let’s not forget special invitations to the VIP Capitan cocktail reception, Wine and cheese reception, etc. as well as the availability of a Butler and a Concierge. Everything very good but…….

* Cons. - The walk-in closet is located on the way into the bathroom. There are two double door compartments on each side and the space in between is too narrow, room for only one person to access those compartments at which time it was impossible for anyone to access or leave the bathroom. The closets lack shelving, lots of hangers for sure but there were only two very high level shelves. The floor to ceiling window drapes (a bit tattered) were not wide enough to completely cover the windows. The sofa bed was in bad shape, sagging in the middle and was uncomfortable to relax on. Though there was a DVD player, the DVDs offered came at a price and the choice though wide was poor and out of date. The flat screen TV, high on the wall was large but the choice of programs was very poor; regardless that the ship was refurbished in 2015, the system was out of date and lacked interactive TV where you can access your accounts as well as, dining reservations or ordering room service.

* Butler services – For those ones who do not know what a Butler job is, simply put, he takes care of “almost” all of your needs, such as, packing or unpacking your luggage, shoe shine, taking care of any dry cleaning or laundry you sent out, prepare a bath (at your request) as bringing your order of breakfast, lunch or dinner & setting the table, etc., also bringing afternoon snacks; indeed some of those duties are very welcome but others could get a bit intrusive. It was no problem when we were off the ship having a Tour but during those sea days the ever present Butler could be a bit upsetting. So, for those who like to be attended to all the time, go for a Butler! Our Butler Jonathan (Philippines) was a very sympathetic and ready to please guy.

* Concierge – I am sure the majority of you know what a Concierge does, right? Maybe ours being for suite passengers was “extending” himself more? Possibly. But, in general every Concierge I’ve had did a good job and this one, whose name is Hanno (a 6’3” German) wasn’t an exception. Very good and fast on the restaurant reservations as much when for different reasons we had to change them for different times. The same about Tours and info delivered to your suite and the morning talks about the port we were to visit, giving lots of tips on what to do, where to go, etc. etc. Unfortunately he failed badly on two occasions; one happened during his talk on Glasgow, when his bias for the EU was unmistakable and the other when he misled us by not only downplaying Glasgow but saying we should all go to Edinburgh instead. All in all, he did a good job but it could’ve been done better; perhaps as his manner was truly “very German” it got in the way.

*Stateroom attendant – We were very lucky and happy with Raymund (Philippines), a very friendly and smiling guy who was ready and willing to attend to all our needs and requests. Everything delivered with good attitude and respect, leaving the suite, always, impeccable to the last detail. Really good!

Port Reviews

Copenhagen

It is a magnificent city with beautiful youth that deserves more attention and time to tour such places as Christiania, Nyhavn, Trivoli Gardens and so many museums

Bergen

* Bergen, Norway – Luckily the weather was perfect, sunny and warm. No tours were taken! On our own, happy and free! We decided to go with Hop on- Hop off city sightseeing + Mount Floyen funicular @ NOK 340 each (CC) highly recommended! The view from up there is spectacular and the meandering thru different park paths very enjoyable. There is a restaurant-bar up there so if you have the time, and the will, you can sit outdoors enjoying a glass of wine! Was very surprising to see how developed Bergen is, for whatever reason we had in mind something small? I guess we forgot it is Norway’s second largest city. Getting back down from the Mount we took “Hop On” towards the Fortress that is at the entrance to the harbour in Bergen. Very interesting and worth a visit, we decided to skip the Aquarium and went directly to the Fish Market (it was highly recommended but a disappointment for us). We ended up going to a popular outdoor restaurant that is THE place were locals go specially on sunny and warm days like the one we were having. Superb Chardonnay White (house wine!) and salmon w/fries! The place was bustling with very civilized and good looking people that made this first visit to Bergen, unforgettable. Its name, EGON Restaurant, it’s on a corner almost facing the Fish Market just down from the street that leads you to the funicular.

Alesund

* Alesund, Norway - This time with a Tour! Fortunately meeting at the dock. The one we took was named Spectacular outer islands (Giske & Godoy) that lasted 3 hours with an excellent Guide. Really was an eye opener because of the unbelievable amount of tunnels (and length!) connecting all the islands. One of them constructed before the UK-France Chunnel, in fact the technology developed for the Norway tunnels was used by the Anglo/French consortium that built the Chunnel a few years later. The visit to the oldest Lighthouse on the island was fantastic, with great views of the nearby islands and fjords plus the coffee and 3 tier Vanilla cake w/whipped cream was….mouth-watering!! But the best was still to come! Because we were taken to the top of Fjellstua mount that has even more spectacular panoramic views than from Bergen’s hill top. Not to be missed! One of the best tours on this cruise. Weather still good!!

Greenock (Glasgow)

Glasgow, Scotland – This time, it was on our own! The weather was one of the worst I experienced on any of the many cruise tours I’ve taken! Rain and cold winds, with gusts so strong that it was easy to lose your balance and end up on the ground, even leaving the ship down the gangway was a challenge. We agreed to share a taxi with an American couple from the Greenock port to downtown Glasgow. Total cost, 40 English pounds only cash accepted and took about 20 min. dropping us off down town at George Square. We went to the nearby Tourist Info and the girl who took care of our inquiries, suggested because of the weather, to take the Hop on Hop off as that was the only way for us to see as much as possible of Glasgow in so short a time. This advice was right on! And thanks to her we were able to see practically the whole city. Without a doubt Glasgow is beautiful and deserves another visit, in fact there’s so much to see that it would take another 3 full days. How wrong our Concierge was! We were thinking to have a talk with him about it but we decided, having already had a taste of his personality, not to bother. Ours was a great “self-guided-tour” which fitted best with the horrible weather conditions. Return to the ship was by train from Glasgow Central and the long and meandering walk from the Greenock Train Station to where NCL Star was docked was made tough but fun because of the strong and sudden gusts of wind that made us feel like we were flying!

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