1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Star
We took a cruise on the NCL Star in early February, 2018 from LA to Miami. We choose this cruise because of the length, ports, trip through the Panama Canal, and value. The ship was in good shape and the service was very good. Our mini-suite on deck 11 provided nice space for the 14-day cruise. The room had lots of storage “cubbies” over the closet, desk, and by the door. The safe was over the door and very accessible. The bathroom (with tub) was roomy with sliding doors for the tub and toilet areas. The closet (too close to the side of the bed) was difficult to navigate, but the light behind the hanger was a nice feature. It would have been nice to have had a small light over the desk as it tended to be dark sometimes there. The couch was very hard and the bottom seat tended to slide when sat upon. The balcony was large. There was only one 110v outlet with the others being 220v European type. One of these had a US type connector into which a 110v US plug could be used for digital devices. The TV was rather small and offered limited channels and the remote did not work well. The food was good (4 out of 5), and we didn’t note that any passengers went hungry! There were lots of choices of where and what to eat with little wait time except for early evenings when the sit-down restaurants were crowded and didn’t take reservations. The bread was not notable except for the pretzel rolls which were good. The scones at afternoon tea were a surprise and nice touch. We ate twice at two of the premium specialty restaurants. The French restaurant was good, but the rib-eye steak at the Italian restaurant was tough and other food there was a disappointment from what we experienced several years ago on the NCL Eclipse. The entertainment in the theater was good. Entertainment in the other areas ranged from the very good 6-piece stage band to just above Karaoke quality in some other areas. There was only one area to dance when ship photographers “hogging” up open spaces and walkways. From the Panama Canal to the north of Cuba, we had over two days with Very Rough seas (up to 18 feet) and one night the winds gusted to over 45 knots (52 MPH). Seas got up to 27 feet which the ship called High Seas! The ship handled this well and it really wasn’t too bad though the barf bags were out and some activities were cancelled. The fitness center was well cone. The phone app, Norwegian IConcierge, was very limited and did not connect with my iPad. I had to keep signing on when using it, and 4 pieces of information were required each time ( 3 too many )! The information was rather limited in comparison with one I used last summer on a Baltic cruise on Princess. I understand the app is being replaced on all NCL ships this year. The items for sale in some of the shops seemed rather limited. No bug spray was available for excursions in tropical areas when it was advised to use spray. T-shirts were very limited in sizes large and above which was surprising considering the size of the demographics on cruises ships! Of course the rare gemstone, Tanzanite, (found on cruise ships) was readily available. The excursions booked through NCL were generally very good except for some in Cartagena, Columbia (Scenic Cartagena and City Views with a Carriage Ride) where the guide spoke English with a heavy accent that they couldn’t be understood. Also, the guides didn’t adequately prepare participants with what was happening so preparations and plans could not adequately be made for purchases and time. The cruise was generally well organized except for an emergency crew drill scheduled at the same time excursions were mustering to leave the ship. Embarkation was very organized and one had choices as to leaving the ship. Interesting fact: it cost over $475,000 for our ship to go through the canal!

Good cruise, Good value!

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by venture-21

Trip Details
We took a cruise on the NCL Star in early February, 2018 from LA to Miami. We choose this cruise because of the length, ports, trip through the Panama Canal, and value. The ship was in good shape and the service was very good. Our mini-suite on deck 11 provided nice space for the 14-day cruise. The room had lots of storage “cubbies” over the closet, desk, and by the door. The safe was over the door and very accessible. The bathroom (with tub) was roomy with sliding doors for the tub and toilet areas. The closet (too close to the side of the bed) was difficult to navigate, but the light behind the hanger was a nice feature. It would have been nice to have had a small light over the desk as it tended to be dark sometimes there. The couch was very hard and the bottom seat tended to slide when sat upon. The balcony was large. There was only one 110v outlet with the others being 220v European type. One of these had a US type connector into which a 110v US plug could be used for digital devices. The TV was rather small and offered limited channels and the remote did not work well. The food was good (4 out of 5), and we didn’t note that any passengers went hungry! There were lots of choices of where and what to eat with little wait time except for early evenings when the sit-down restaurants were crowded and didn’t take reservations. The bread was not notable except for the pretzel rolls which were good. The scones at afternoon tea were a surprise and nice touch. We ate twice at two of the premium specialty restaurants. The French restaurant was good, but the rib-eye steak at the Italian restaurant was tough and other food there was a disappointment from what we experienced several years ago on the NCL Eclipse. The entertainment in the theater was good. Entertainment in the other areas ranged from the very good 6-piece stage band to just above Karaoke quality in some other areas. There was only one area to dance when ship photographers “hogging” up open spaces and walkways. From the Panama Canal to the north of Cuba, we had over two days with Very Rough seas (up to 18 feet) and one night the winds gusted to over 45 knots (52 MPH). Seas got up to 27 feet which the ship called High Seas! The ship handled this well and it really wasn’t too bad though the barf bags were out and some activities were cancelled. The fitness center was well cone. The phone app, Norwegian IConcierge, was very limited and did not connect with my iPad. I had to keep signing on when using it, and 4 pieces of information were required each time ( 3 too many )! The information was rather limited in comparison with one I used last summer on a Baltic cruise on Princess. I understand the app is being replaced on all NCL ships this year. The items for sale in some of the shops seemed rather limited. No bug spray was available for excursions in tropical areas when it was advised to use spray. T-shirts were very limited in sizes large and above which was surprising considering the size of the demographics on cruises ships! Of course the rare gemstone, Tanzanite, (found on cruise ships) was readily available. The excursions booked through NCL were generally very good except for some in Cartagena, Columbia (Scenic Cartagena and City Views with a Carriage Ride) where the guide spoke English with a heavy accent that they couldn’t be understood. Also, the guides didn’t adequately prepare participants with what was happening so preparations and plans could not adequately be made for purchases and time. The cruise was generally well organized except for an emergency crew drill scheduled at the same time excursions were mustering to leave the ship. Embarkation was very organized and one had choices as to leaving the ship. Interesting fact: it cost over $475,000 for our ship to go through the canal!
venture-21’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Star price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11098
Our mini-suite on deck 11 provided nice space for the 14-day cruise. The room had lots of storage “cubbies” over the closet, desk, and by the door. The safe was over the door and very accessible. The bathroom (with tub) was roomy with sliding doors for the tub and toilet areas. The closet (too close to the side of the bed) was difficult to navigate, but the light behind the hanger was a nice feature. It would have been nice to have had a small light over the desk as it tended to be dark sometimes there. The couch was very hard and the bottom seat tended to slide when sat upon. The balcony was large. There was only one 110v outlet with the others being 220v European type. One of these had a US type connector into which a 110v US plug could be used for digital devices. The TV was rather small and offered limited channels and the remote did not work well.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Acapulco
    Well organized and saw lots of sights. Good value. The mountain top and chapel provided a great views of the city and bay.
    View All 13,002 Acapulco Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Acapulco Cruise Port Review
  • Whale Watching
    Boat and service was excellent. The guide was great and provided much information. Drinks, water, and snacks were provided. We saw many whales.
    View All 74 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    This was not a good value and less than expected. The quality of spoken English of the guide was such that he could not be understood. He also did not prepare us for what we were about to see and do. The first stop to the San Felipe fortress was only for 20 minutes and only enough time to look up and take photos. We did not have time to go in. The next stop, the Las Bovedas Artisan Center, had a lot of small shops and we were told to stay around booth 18. Though a guide from another tour told everyone prices would be 50% off list and I heard a sales person in the shop quite such a price for coffee, when I tried to purchase the coffee at that price I was told by the cashier that I was mistaken and did not hear correctly. They also wanted a dollar to go to the toilet! I quickly left and went to other shops where I was able to purchase coffee at a more reasonable price. They didn't charge me to go to the toilet. We then went to the walled city for a walking tour and some free time. Had we known about that and the shopping available at the beginning of the tour, we would have waited to shop. Also, we were not provided an orientation to what to see here and did not use our time as well as we could. The bus ride showed us some interesting sites, but overall we were not given good advice by the ship personnel as to the tour. One at the ship, we went to the area just outside the ship and shopped and looked at the birds and animals.
    View All 13,002 Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Port Review
  • Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
    Antigua on Your own was a good tour and value. Guide was easy to understand and provided good information (except didn't tell about Casa Santa Domingo which we already knew about). We did the things the guide said and spent most of our time at Casa Santa Domingo which is beautify and ate a great meal there.
    View All 299 Puerto Quetzal (Antigua) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Puerto Quetzal (Antigua) Cruise Port Review
  • Rainforest Tour
    The rain forest part was OK but other than the suspension bridges and some views was not that great as there was not much to see in the forest - not animals or birds. The hike was difficult for a few and a man fell and had to be carried out by a friend. We were warned it was a level 3 but it seems few read the warnings! The man that fell had recent knee surgery and should not have selected this excursion!
    View All 25 Rainforest Tour Reviews
  • Tarcoles River
    The tour and guide was good. The river boat was very good with animals. The snack, drinks and shipping was good.
    View All 40 Tarcoles River Reviews