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Norwegian Star Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2467 reviews
3 Awards

Slow Boat From China - NCL Star - HK to Sydney - 1/16/17

Review for Norwegian Star to Asia
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bamaguy
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2017
Cabin: Balcony

We chose this cruise for the new and exciting ports of call on the original itinerary. However, in Dec 2016, the NCL Star had one engine problem forcing them to drop Ho Chi Min City and Bangkok from the itinerary. We only found out about this by reading Cruise Critic This occurred after final payment and NCL would not give us a full refund to cancel the cruise, they only offered a $200 onboard credit per person. So we went on to the cruise and flew to Hong Kong a few days prior and then boarded the ship there and noticed the ship could make only 9-10 knots. After 2 sea days we made Na Trang, Vietnam, which was not nearly as interesting as Ho Chi Min City would have been.

Then after another two sea days we made Singapore which is a beautiful modern city that was very interesting. We stayed overnight in Singapore to allow NCL to make engine repairs, which they did. We had two more sea days while we sped at 21 knots to Bali, Indonesia, which was a tender port. NCL Star's tendering operation allowed all of their tours to tender before others could tender which meant we had a three hour wait before we could get off the ship! To our surprise, a driver for the Ubud tour with Bali Sun Tours we booked thru Shore Excursions Group, was still there waiting for us and we had a nice "private" tour driving through the Bali "countryside" to visit the arts and crafts businesses in Ubud. After a shortened Bali tour, we got back in the huge line to tender back to the ship.

As we sat down for dinner that evening as the ship is sailing out of Bali, the captain came on the PA and said that the other engine is now broken and they would have to drop three more ports of call from our itinerary (Komodo Island, Airlie Beach, and Brisbane), meaning a total of 5 out of 10 original ports would be skipped. And we didn't find out until later that NCL was only offering $250 per person plus a 50% future cruise credit for this itinerary change. The mood of most passengers instantly went downhill and an impromptu meeting of passengers in the atrium started a petition to NCL to reconsider their poor offer. I believe there were some youtube videos that show the action there.

Cabin Review

Balcony

Cabin BX

The cabin was a standard balcony cabin size with a "cove" balcony. Bath size is fine with a bigger shower area than some ships. Storage shelves open into the closet and not into the cabin which is a pain. Our bed was firm which we like. The cabin has a small refrigerator stocked with items for sale, we hardly used it.

Port Reviews

Hong Kong

We took the Hop-on Hop-off bus in Hong Kong from the Central Wharf area and it was a nice way to get an overview of HK. We just toured the main island and then walked to some places of interest in the Causeway Bay area. It was easy to ride the subways when we needed it.

Bangkok (Laem Chabang)

Since this port was removed from our itinerary for this cruise, we have no report for Bangkok. We would have used a tour from Shore Excursions Group.

Singapore

We used the Big Bus tours (HoHo) and rode around Singapore to see the sights. Very clean and very new looking. We enjoyed visiting Singapore.

Darwin

We used the Darwin HoHo bus to sightsee the town and some countryside. Then we walked a bit in the downtown area and stopped in a cafe. Other than the heat, it was very pleasant.

Brisbane

This port was missed due to the NCL Star's engine problems, so we didn't stop there and we have no idea how nice Brisbane is.

Sydney (Australia)

We disembarked at Sydney and stayed at the Park Hyatt just a few hundred feet away from the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Great views of the bridge and Opera house!!

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