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We are a couple in our mid 40's and we went on the Norwegian Star for the destination (Panama canal). We have sailed 12 times so far with most of the main stream companies. It was our first time on Norwegian and we knew we were going on an older ship so my review is based on that. Embarkation in LA was long and painful, we had to wait in line outside to drop our luggage for over 30 min and another endless line of over an hour to get our card once inside. So total we had to be standing in line for over 1:30 hrs. Not so bad for us being in our 40's but we could see some seniors having a rough time. In short not enough staff to handle the whole process in a reasonable time. After we were allowed onboard we found the ship to be in fairly good shape but it is really in need of a major refit. Chairs and seats everywhere are worn out and some broken for an exemple. Our cabin was the smallest we ever had if I compare with all the other inside we had in the past. It was clean and efficient despite being small and our steward (Intan) was very good and always attentive. Our cabin was 5629 and was beside a crew only area room or accès to an elevator. Noise coming from there and banging on pipes and walls was present almost every night with some peak that were frustrating. The cabins are not well insulated to prevent noise. We still managed to sleep and relax in between the noise on the other hand. Food was just OK with some hit or miss but I was able to find something good every day. In Versailles the complimentary venue we had some very meals and others were not good. It happened many times that the food was way too salty on certain dishes and we reported it to the staff. Steaks were very good and cooked to perfection on the other hand. Staff in Versailles was also hit or miss. We had very attentive staff on certain nights and bad ones on others. Lack of Attention To Details was obvious with the ones who just did not care. Some others made us feel like kings so it was always odd to predict. In short food was ok but bellow the cruise industry Average. Hey NCL you should know that your market is very competitive and I think you should take mesures accordingly. We went in 3 speciality restaurants and all of them were good but for some extra $. Steaks at cage yes were awesome so was the hot stone experience at la Ginza. Tepaniaki was also excellent. I think the food and service are bellow average in the comp venues simply to draw you in the speciality restaurants. Buffet was ok to good and did the job for brake fast and lunch. We like over 1600 other guests had the all inclusive beverage package. We were always able to get drinks and it was not a problem anywhere. By the way I think this free perk is the only reason why this cruise was sold out. Came with a 400$ service fee for the 2 of us. I would like to believe that all that money is going in the staff pocket but I can only speculate. Not including the water bottles is also something I had never seen for such a package. Was always included on 2other cruise lines where I did it. Again bellow average in my book. Our itinerary was central America and Panama canal full transit. We wanted to do that and every port was ok beside the port of Corinth in Nicaragua. We were supposed to go to San Juan del sur but could not go because of strong winds. NCL should never take another passenger in Corinto since it is a real dump and 3rd world city at it's best! Entertainment in the main theater was always very good with a superb cast of singers and dancers. Musicians in bars and venues were not good and again bellow the industry standards. Cruise director Mandy from UK was the most invisible of all the cruise We have been on. We never saw her doing animation or directing events beside presenting entertainers in main theatre and saying good bye at the end of their show. From my experience she is not getting the cruisers in the mood of having a good time and having a good laugh. Maybe it has something with a lot of people getting the beverage package for free so why bother? There is no point keeping a party going if you do not get additional revenues from drinks that is usually associated with that.... A few nights we had dancing party's in the spinnaker lounge. Sometimes she came and was dancing. After 45 min band stops in a snap while everyone is having a good time. DJ comes on with a totally different and weird music resulting in emptying the places with Mandy running for her cabin! It happened 3 times before my eyes I could not believe it. Never saw such thing on other lines. All in all every cruise is a great vacation and I will always be enjoying that. That cruise was just ok and showed some bad and not so bad things but like I said NCL is just not in the game and offers something that is way bellow the INDUSTRY STANDARDS like I said earlier.. I do not know how long they can keep doing that. Will I cruise with NCL again? The answer is No, not with what is available out there. Arturo in Gatsby bar, Jasmine, Jennifer and Bo in Versailles were awesome at their job and I want to tip my hat to them. Same for Intan who was looking after our cabin.

Good vacation but below average ship and company

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by erickg2004

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are a couple in our mid 40's and we went on the Norwegian Star for the destination (Panama canal). We have sailed 12 times so far with most of the main stream companies. It was our first time on Norwegian and we knew we were going on an older ship so my review is based on that. Embarkation in LA was long and painful, we had to wait in line outside to drop our luggage for over 30 min and another endless line of over an hour to get our card once inside. So total we had to be standing in line for over 1:30 hrs. Not so bad for us being in our 40's but we could see some seniors having a rough time. In short not enough staff to handle the whole process in a reasonable time. After we were allowed onboard we found the ship to be in fairly good shape but it is really in need of a major refit. Chairs and seats everywhere are worn out and some broken for an exemple. Our cabin was the smallest we ever had if I compare with all the other inside we had in the past. It was clean and efficient despite being small and our steward (Intan) was very good and always attentive. Our cabin was 5629 and was beside a crew only area room or accès to an elevator. Noise coming from there and banging on pipes and walls was present almost every night with some peak that were frustrating. The cabins are not well insulated to prevent noise. We still managed to sleep and relax in between the noise on the other hand. Food was just OK with some hit or miss but I was able to find something good every day. In Versailles the complimentary venue we had some very meals and others were not good. It happened many times that the food was way too salty on certain dishes and we reported it to the staff. Steaks were very good and cooked to perfection on the other hand. Staff in Versailles was also hit or miss. We had very attentive staff on certain nights and bad ones on others. Lack of Attention To Details was obvious with the ones who just did not care. Some others made us feel like kings so it was always odd to predict. In short food was ok but bellow the cruise industry Average. Hey NCL you should know that your market is very competitive and I think you should take mesures accordingly.

We went in 3 speciality restaurants and all of them were good but for some extra $. Steaks at cage yes were awesome so was the hot stone experience at la Ginza. Tepaniaki was also excellent. I think the food and service are bellow average in the comp venues simply to draw you in the speciality restaurants. Buffet was ok to good and did the job for brake fast and lunch.

We like over 1600 other guests had the all inclusive beverage package. We were always able to get drinks and it was not a problem anywhere. By the way I think this free perk is the only reason why this cruise was sold out. Came with a 400$ service fee for the 2 of us. I would like to believe that all that money is going in the staff pocket but I can only speculate. Not including the water bottles is also something I had never seen for such a package. Was always included on 2other cruise lines where I did it. Again bellow average in my book.

Our itinerary was central America and Panama canal full transit. We wanted to do that and every port was ok beside the port of Corinth in Nicaragua. We were supposed to go to San Juan del sur but could not go because of strong winds. NCL should never take another passenger in Corinto since it is a real dump and 3rd world city at it's best!

Entertainment in the main theater was always very good with a superb cast of singers and dancers. Musicians in bars and venues were not good and again bellow the industry standards. Cruise director Mandy from UK was the most invisible of all the cruise We have been on. We never saw her doing animation or directing events beside presenting entertainers in main theatre and saying good bye at the end of their show. From my experience she is not getting the cruisers in the mood of having a good time and having a good laugh. Maybe it has something with a lot of people getting the beverage package for free so why bother? There is no point keeping a party going if you do not get additional revenues from drinks that is usually associated with that.... A few nights we had dancing party's in the spinnaker lounge. Sometimes she came and was dancing. After 45 min band stops in a snap while everyone is having a good time. DJ comes on with a totally different and weird music resulting in emptying the places with Mandy running for her cabin!

It happened 3 times before my eyes I could not believe it. Never saw such thing on other lines. All in all every cruise is a great vacation and I will always be enjoying that. That cruise was just ok and showed some bad and not so bad things but like I said NCL is just not in the game and offers something that is way bellow the INDUSTRY STANDARDS like I said earlier.. I do not know how long they can keep doing that. Will I cruise with NCL again? The answer is No, not with what is available out there.

Arturo in Gatsby bar, Jasmine, Jennifer and Bo in Versailles were awesome at their job and I want to tip my hat to them. Same for Intan who was looking after our cabin.
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside
Cabin IE 5629
Small. Clean but noisy from staff work and banging on floor and pipes
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins