Returned last week from 21 day cruise on Norwegian Star, Dubai to Singapore. Attracted by an interesting itinerary sailing from Dubai, UAE/Oman, down the west cost of India, Sri Lanka, Phuket, Malaysia, to Singapore.
Our inside midship cabin was very comfortable and well situated.
Having travelled with other shipping companies, this was the first line to not allow water to be brought back on board, even when water was bought from the ship or given as part of a shore excursion.
We found the entertainment in the theatre was mainly very good. There was various artists playing/singing in other areas of the ship, however, this was usually too loud in the bars and lounges, which meant that it was impossible to carry out conversations with other cruisers, so in the evening the only quite areas were on deck. Ginzas restaurant was just above the piano bar and we had music and song bellowing up at us, hardly suitable when dining.
Service was very good around the ship. Our cabin steward was excellent.
Dining:- Market Café buffet was unattractively designed and noisy, more like a work's canteen.
We like to dress smartly for evening dining and used Versailles and Aqua restaurants. Versailles in particular has a smart dress code, however, there were some diners who were quite unsuitably dressed, yet were not directed to another area to eat.
Port & shore excursions:- Not at all happy with the lack of information before and when visiting the ports. Clearly the company kept cruisers in the dark in order to sell tours from the ship—which were expensive. We had some tours booked with the cruise line and some with other companies, but we could not plan our own days for exploring on our own as there was no or insufficient information. Yes there were taxis, however, not everyone, including ourselves, is happy to do this in a foreign country.
The port at Abu Dhabi needed transport to exit port, taxi $10 or Big Bus which toured the city—but no concessionary bus to exit port.
The Mangalore port is located , 10 km away from the main city. A shuttle bus dropped us off at a shopping mall in the centre. We paid for this and there was little else to do here.
Kuala Lumpur was another container port. There was a complimentary shuttle to the port entrance but nothing there, just taxis. It takes at least an hour to reach the city and the traffic is very congested.
We complained about the lack of information before arrival at the ports and the excuse given was that the cruise company hadn't done this itinerary before. This can be no excuse as representatives should have been sent to make discoveries months before the cruise itinerary was offered as cruise destinations.