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Norwegian Star Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,612 Reviews

NCL sails a broken ship until it finally died

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by dinc

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2017
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Aft-Facing Penthouse with Large Balcony

We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with Norwegian for more than 25 years and have never been so disappointed with any cruise line as we were with the responses received from NCL regarding the problems on the cruises that was to be "our trip of a lifetime". It certainly was that but not for the right reasons.

The ship broke but that was only half of the problem. The fact that Norwegian continued to sail a ship that they knew was broken was a huge problem and eventually caused the ultimate problem of being adrift at sea with no engines and having to be towed back to port. This could have been a disastrous situation had the ship gotten any further out into the Tasman Sea. They were lucky that the final breakdown happened only 77 miles from port and we were not in any rough seas. I honestly believe that Norwegian put my and all the passengers on the ship at risk by sailing a ship with a known problem and only one propulsion engine working.

Ports were canceled on the first cruise and on the last cruise to New Zealand all ports were canceled. The NCL response to the passengers for this was the absolute poorest I have ever seen from a company and I am sure there will be litigation to come based on their attitude toward the passengers. The ship breaking and the missed ports might have been forgiven if the company attitude had been appropriate.

Please DO NOT book any sailings on this ship - It is OLD and needs to be put to dry dock, there is no telling what could happen next.

dinc's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Aft-Facing Penthouse with Large Balcony
Cabin SF 9732

This cabin is on the very back of the boat so we had an excellent view of the waves from the propulsion engines and clearly saw when only one was working and again when it broke after being fixed in Singapore and the same side was broken. Then we awoke in the middle of the night to see that neither one of them was working. When they had only one working the noise and the shaking in the cabin were terrible and we had to remove all the glassware because of the shaking. There was also very loud 'bangs' every so often and the only thing we could find was a crew door on the floor above that evidently was being slammed to create the bangs, The chairs on the balcony were falling apart and the pads were so stained you had to put down a towel to sit on them. They were finally replaced after I complained to the Hotel Director at one of the NCL meetings but I worry about what cabin they switched them with since at that time several guests had already left the ship due to the problems.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Hong Kong

This was the beginning of the cruise and there were no pre-cruise packages offered for any excursions.

Bangkok (Laem Chabang)

This port was canceled and we did not get to go to Thailand which I consider terrible since we had saved and planned for over a year for the trip.


We actually took 2 excursions in Singapore since we arrived there early so they could try to fix the ship. The Evening Night Tour was excellent. The next day we took the Spirit of Singapore tour and it was so bad that the guide did not point out a single thing and we actually had to tell her what we were passing since we had just seen it the night before. Take the city tour that includes the boat trip not just the bus trip.

This was 2 1/2 hours on a very small bus to the temple and 2 1/2 hrs back back with no "convenience stops" on the way there or back. the way back had a 15 min stop in the middle of a road at a rice patty and anther 20 minutes at someone's home to see the outside only. If this had been my only impression of Bali I would never recommend the island to anyone. It was the Very Poor and Very dirty side of the island. I would not recommend this tour to anyone at any time.

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This was a small boat tour around the harbor directly from the ship and due to the low tide could not really get into any interesting parts of the harbor so we sailed back and forth across the harbor- very boring. After this 2 hr's there was to be a bus tour of the city highlights but once more NCL communication was down and there was no bus and no tour. We actually received a 50% refund on this tour because it was so bad.

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We met in the lounge at 8 and waited for our group to be called. Instead of calling one group at a time, Several groups were called at the same time and since we had to tender to shore we spent over 30 minutes in the back hall of deck 4 waiting to get on a tender to even get to shore. This tour was good but unfortunately, our was cut short because once we finally arrived on shore the buses were not there and we had to wait outside for over another 30 minutes to wait for the bus and then all we heard all day was "We have to get back to the ship on time" so we were rushed the entire tour. The actual tour was good and I am sure we would have enjoyed it more if we had been given the appropriate allotted time to enjoy it.

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