Just got back from 21 day cruise on Norwegian Star Dubai to Singapore. Here are my thoughts and observations.
1. Great itinerary from Dubai, UAE/Oman, down the west cost of India, Sri Lanka. Malaysia, Phuket to Singapore
2. Smoking allowed in the casino – seepage of smoke onto hallways and rooms. Very noticeable.
3. Ultimate Beverage package does not include water or specialty non-alcoholic coffees (no lattés. cappuccinos or expressos). There is no package that includes water or specialty coffees.
4. Buying water was USD27 for 6 bottles
5. We had a sea day between Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. However this was not necessary as Port Klang to Singapore is only 219 nautical miles – we basically jogged all the way to Singapore at 6 knots. It would have been very nice to have an overnight and day in Singapore, instead of being at sea. (too expensive to pay for extra day of docking in Singapore?)
6. Phuket tender was terrible. Had to “line up” to reserve a tender number – a fiasco. We had tender number 7 (out of 17) and it took us 2 hours to get to shore. It messed up our private tour.
7. Pet peeve – I know it is good policy to disinfect your hands before coming on board and before going into the dining areas. Visualize this – coming back from excursion. There is a lineup to get onto the ramp to the ship. Wet hand towels are offered while we’re in line (very nice). We get to the ramp, take out our room cards (In India, we also needed to turn in our landing card at most ports) for ID verification. 2 feet before we have to put the card into the card reader, an attendant wants to spray our hands. What were we supposed to do with the room card/landing card? Put it in our mouth, find a pocket etc. , while we rub the sanitizer in our hands and wait for it to dry, all the time slowing down the line. I asked them several times to spray our hands after the X-ray machine (not before) but they never changed the policy.
8. Room Steward was excellent. Always available
9. Entertainment was spotty. Their production cast and show bands and house band were excellent (Exotique was great). Imported groups, Ancora and Barricade Boys, were also very good. The rest were average or worse.
10. Specialty restaurants were good but nothing to write home about. Versailles and Aqua were adequate. Market Café buffet – nothing special.
11. Prime viewing locations for sailaways are usually the upper deck railings. Unfortunately, the running track is by that outermost railing – poor design
We were a party of 8 and I don’t think anyone of us will be using NCL again. We didn’t like their business model - it is too chintzy
Took own private tour.
Dhow dinner cruise was OK.
4x4 safari and BBQ in desert was touristy but still fun