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The itinerary was truly spectacular. A "bucket list" for us and our traveling companions. For us, every port from Cyprus to Dubai was a new adventure, and even several ports in Italy and Greece offered new experiences. [The ports were Rome, Naples, Messina, Piraeus, Kakolon (Greece) Cyprus, Haifa (Israel) Aqaba (Jordan) Safaga (Egypt), passing through the Suez Canal, Salalah and Muscat (Oman) and Dubai. 21 days from October 30 to November 20, 2016.] [I praised several officers and wait staffers as well as our cabin steward] We enjoyed having a mini-suite, especially the relatively commodious bathroom, but closet space was at a premium and open shelving around the room should be replaced by drawers. The cruise trend is toward smaller balconies and our cabin fell right in line with a postage-sized balcony. The offering of bridge instruction and duplicate bridge play was a terrific plus. Steve and Donna did a great job and they attracted a large, enthusiastic group of both beginners and intermediate players. We purchased a four speciality restaurant dining package. Cagney's Steakhouse was wonderful, dining there twice. We also dined at Moderno, a thoroughly enjoyable and different dining experience, and at Le Bistro. We had differing opinions of Le Bistro. Having lived in New York most of our lives (and having taken a number of trips to Paris), we are especially conversant with "gourmet" French food. Le Bistro does not offer a "gourmet" experience and this was particularly disappointing. I won't spend the time critiquing each dish (ranging from quite good to awful). That said, service in each of these restaurants was very, very good. Also on the positive list was O'Sheehans and the Ginza restaurants, for the food and availability, not necessarily for the quality of service. What's a cruise ship without the dining experience comprised of food, service and ambiance? The quality of food was more than adequate, if somewhat repetitious and lacking in sophistication of preparation. Meat dishes were good and frequently offered, but fish dishes were inadequate both as to paucity of variety and frequency of offering. Food was often overly salted and occasionally greasy. We ate the majority of our meals in Versailles having dined once in Aqua which we likened to a high school cafeteria. The less said about the buffet the better (your huddled masses yearning to eat free), although neither better nor worse than any other cruise line. The decor in Versailles is not to my liking (it looks old and tired), and unfortunately the noise during dinner approaches a level that makes simple conversation at a table for four quite difficult. The real problem on the ship is the dining room service. Service is haphazard and appears to lack coordination between the servers and their assistants. This often leads to long waits between courses, or even a long wait before receiving the initial course, and food arriving not exactly as ordered for want of better communication. Better training would help alleviate this problem! Lastly, the uniforms worn by the servers are very unimpressive and often look sloppy -- more akin to dress for a Caribbean cruise. Why would a ship place its more expensive cabins (mini-suites) under the public areas where noise from these areas emanates day and night? We often heard noise from above throughout the night with some negative effect on our sleep. Our traveling companions with a mini-suite on the other side of the ship had similar complaints. Onboard entertainment is a very mixed bag ranging from the bizarre to the wonderful - the ridiculous to the sublime. On some occasions we would leave the theatre scratching our proverbial heads and muttering "Where did they find that?" On other occasions we would remain in the theatre giving an enthusiastic standing ovation to the marvelous singers, dancers and show band following a terrific production show. One minor quibble -- the sound level for the singers was often too loud and perhaps over modulated. Tintinnabulations: Why encourage passengers to purchase stock of NCL and then tell them after purchase that the on board credit is nonrefundable? Why is NCL the only cruise line, I think, that charges for room service? Why does NCL "nickel and dime" you (more like $5.00 and $10.00) with regard to bringing wine and/or water aboard. Other lines permit several bottles of wine and water to be brought aboard without charge. If you have an announced dress code policy in only two restaurants (Versailles and Le Bistro) at least enforce the policy. Shorts and flip-flops are not appropriate evenings attire. Lastly, you may wonder whether we enjoyed the cruise? Did the positives outweigh the negatives, the huzzahs top the disappointments? The answer is a resounding YES. The fabulous itinerary trumped all. m&pops P.S. We only took private tours which ranged from average to excellent.

Fabulous itinerary -- Mediocre Ship -- Norwegian Star

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by m&pops

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
The itinerary was truly spectacular. A "bucket list" for us and our traveling companions. For us, every port from Cyprus to Dubai was a new adventure, and even several ports in Italy and Greece offered new experiences. [The ports were Rome, Naples, Messina, Piraeus, Kakolon (Greece) Cyprus, Haifa (Israel) Aqaba (Jordan) Safaga (Egypt), passing through the Suez Canal, Salalah and Muscat (Oman) and Dubai. 21 days from October 30 to November 20, 2016.]

[I praised several officers and wait staffers as well as our cabin steward] We enjoyed having a mini-suite, especially the relatively commodious bathroom, but closet space was at a premium and open shelving around the room should be replaced by drawers. The cruise trend is toward smaller balconies and our cabin fell right in line with a postage-sized balcony.

The offering of bridge instruction and duplicate bridge play was a terrific plus. Steve and Donna did a great job and they attracted a large, enthusiastic group of both beginners and intermediate players.

We purchased a four speciality restaurant dining package. Cagney's Steakhouse was wonderful, dining there twice. We also dined at Moderno, a thoroughly enjoyable and different dining experience, and at Le Bistro. We had differing opinions of Le Bistro. Having lived in New York most of our lives (and having taken a number of trips to Paris), we are especially conversant with "gourmet" French food. Le Bistro does not offer a "gourmet" experience and this was particularly disappointing. I won't spend the time critiquing each dish (ranging from quite good to awful). That said, service in each of these restaurants was very, very good. Also on the positive list was O'Sheehans and the Ginza restaurants, for the food and availability, not necessarily for the quality of service.

What's a cruise ship without the dining experience comprised of food, service and ambiance? The quality of food was more than adequate, if somewhat repetitious and lacking in sophistication of preparation. Meat dishes were good and frequently offered, but fish dishes were inadequate both as to paucity of variety and frequency of offering. Food was often overly salted and occasionally greasy. We ate the majority of our meals in Versailles having dined once in Aqua which we likened to a high school cafeteria. The less said about the buffet the better (your huddled masses yearning to eat free), although neither better nor worse than any other cruise line. The decor in Versailles is not to my liking (it looks old and tired), and unfortunately the noise during dinner approaches a level that makes simple conversation at a table for four quite difficult. The real problem on the ship is the dining room service. Service is haphazard and appears to lack coordination between the servers and their assistants. This often leads to long waits between courses, or even a long wait before receiving the initial course, and food arriving not exactly as ordered for want of better communication. Better training would help alleviate this problem! Lastly, the uniforms worn by the servers are very unimpressive and often look sloppy -- more akin to dress for a Caribbean cruise.

Why would a ship place its more expensive cabins (mini-suites) under the public areas where noise from these areas emanates day and night? We often heard noise from above throughout the night with some negative effect on our sleep. Our traveling companions with a mini-suite on the other side of the ship had similar complaints.

Onboard entertainment is a very mixed bag ranging from the bizarre to the wonderful - the ridiculous to the sublime. On some occasions we would leave the theatre scratching our proverbial heads and muttering "Where did they find that?" On other occasions we would remain in the theatre giving an enthusiastic standing ovation to the marvelous singers, dancers and show band following a terrific production show. One minor quibble -- the sound level for the singers was often too loud and perhaps over modulated.

Tintinnabulations: Why encourage passengers to purchase stock of NCL and then tell them after purchase that the on board credit is nonrefundable? Why is NCL the only cruise line, I think, that charges for room service? Why does NCL "nickel and dime" you (more like $5.00 and $10.00) with regard to bringing wine and/or water aboard. Other lines permit several bottles of wine and water to be brought aboard without charge. If you have an announced dress code policy in only two restaurants (Versailles and Le Bistro) at least enforce the policy. Shorts and flip-flops are not appropriate evenings attire.

Lastly, you may wonder whether we enjoyed the cruise? Did the positives outweigh the negatives, the huzzahs top the disappointments? The answer is a resounding YES. The fabulous itinerary trumped all.

m&pops

P.S. We only took private tours which ranged from average to excellent.
m&pops’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11630
Our cabin steward was terrific and praised individually. Our mini-suite cabin is described above.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins