Everyone probably knows the azipod issues previously suffered by the Star. They did cause a lot of worry and stress leading up to the cruise. Fortunately, our cruise was problem free. Our major problem was a lack of Australian visa for embarkation in Auckland. We were not told by travel agent that it was required and ended up in a 4 hr line to get one online. What really made the problem stressful was the behavior and attitude of the Star's hotel director who was in charge of the embarkation process. I overheard a conversation between him and another passenger in the same situation as us. The gentleman was very civil, but could not get the hotel director to do more to alleviate the situation. Then, he spread a panic stating there was no guarantee we would get on the ship if everyone did not finish the visa process in time. He also refused to contact captain to make aware of the situation. It all worked out when they finally freed up more computers, but believe many people were really upset and frazzled.
After that things were great. Every other crew member was fabulous and this was the strength of the Star. It is an older ship, but in decent shape. Buffet was a little tired in the evening, but Ginza was a great alternative. Main dining rooms were fine with meals from good to excellent with fine service. cabin steward Mark was the best we have had in our nearly 30 cruises. Comedians were hysterical. We didn't see many of the other shows. Beirgarden and our favorite bar waiter Sunshine were super and we spent most evenings there since we were blessed with great weather for rainy season. We did some ports on our own, but the NCL excursions we took were excellent. Booked for itinerary and it didn't disappoint. As I stated once we got on board we were treated like royalty. Love NCL's casual freestyle approach. There is a reason we have cruised often with NCL.
Being an older ship has some advantages, slightly larger balcony and bathroom.....very functional
Shuttle to town, stunning area particularly during sailaway
Spent 3 days here prior to boarding...great city and surrounding area
Walked it ourselves
Fabulous, lots of crocs, lots of jumps,..eagles ,kites buffaloes
Amazing railroad and animal areas