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I have mixed feelings about this cruise. I will relay my observations and let you draw you’re your own conclusions. I want to describe this cruise as a value-oriented get-away geared towards families who want to take the kids somewhere and not break the bank. There are good and bad points to this as a cruiser. The voyage has a charm of its own. I saw dads teaching their daughters chess, husbands working with their wives’ golf swing, and many, many couples walking the jogging track. The ports were not complex, you got off the ship, enjoyed the sun/warmth, walked around and got back on the boat. There was no real” Dress code” to speak of. I saw ball gowns next to shorts and no one intervened. Everyone just seemed kind of happy to, “get away”. On the other hand, there were issues. There are many things I can look past in a cruise experience. One thing I cannot look past is the indifference displayed by this staff towards the muster drill. I watched as this cruise staff displayed a disturbing indifference to the details of the muster drill. Passengers walked in and out during the drill. The drill started before all passengers were seated and paying attention. Passenger validation by the staff continued during the actual drill. I was in the Stardust theatre and it was pandemonium second only to embarkation. I am deeply troubled about this appearance of indifference on the staff’s part. I shudder to think what might have happened if there had been a real emergency on the ship. The food is very basic, good but straightforward. There are no snipped herbs, or freshly made green goddess dressing. While some people might miss this, it appears that the ship knows that their clientele wants readily identifiable food that is simple for themselves and their kids. That is what was delivered. The one meal I had in the Aqua restaurant was a disaster on many levels. I kept wanting to ask the staff if they had ever worked together? Food was cold, food was late, the pace of service was uneven. I had a completely different experience in the Versailles dining room (MDR). I had the most consistent, professional service experiences there. A big shout out to Carlos from the Philippines, he is the consummate professional. I felt completely taken care of when at his tables. I found the wine offerings to be uneven and had the single worst glass of sangria I have ever had. It was 11 dollars and was a flavorless 4 oz pour with an ounce of soda water and 1 teaspoon of chopped apple. I find frustrating the enforced gratuity model that NCL uses. I did not see my cabin steward for the first 48 hours that I was on board. I had to go downstairs to the front desk and ask for a daily activity sheet because one had not been delivered to my room the first night. While at the front desk I indicated that I have not see my cabin steward and would not know him/her if they ran into me. Subsequent to this, my cabin steward approached me and introduced themselves. Under the NCL model I must fully fund his gratuity. His work was substandard. I’m not sure if the lack of activities is a direct reflection on the Cruise Director or if the ship’s management had decided that their passenger cohort wants fewer activities? Many people complained about the costs of the bingo cards (25.00 to 300. On a cruise that costs not much more than that?) It was confusing. Possibly, that is by design but with two sea days on the front end, more activities would have kept the passengers happier. Disembarking was another example of management confusion. The captain was on the loudspeaker informing passengers that the ship had been cleared and we could start disembarking, however a couple of hundred people were already on the gangway headed toward customs and border patrol.…Hmmmmm I would take this cruise again if I were desperate to get some time away and/or sunshine and warmth. But I would know on the front end what to expect. ____________________________________________________________________ Pros 1. Observing families enjoying time together 2. Cheap Pilates/yoga classes (10/ea. When using class pass) 3. Free breakfast room service delivered between 630-10 a.m. 4. Passengers often assisted other passengers with mobility issues Cons 1. Chaotic embarkation/debarkation in the extreme 2. Lack of knowledge displayed by the passenger ushers at embarkation a. Example- designated embarkation person could not tell me where to find wheelchairs for passengers who needed assistance 3. Staff indifference to muster drill a. Example-muster drill beginning while passengers were still walking into Stardust lounge b. Example-passengers not participating in muster drill 4. Poor dining experience in Aqua restaurant, a. Example- food cold, long waits to be served, indifference and disorganization in wait staff 5. Enforced gratuities not reflected in staff actions a. Example-I didn’t not see my room steward for the first 48 hours. I had to go to Guest services and complain. I was informed that I should only expect to see them for room clean up in the morning, and “turn-down service” in the evening. 6. The cruise director could have a stronger activity program to engage passengers. a. Example- Many passengers remarked that there, “Wasn’t enough to do…” 7. Ship can only be reached via taxi or shuttle. 8. Difficulty hearing the shipboard announcements because the overhead sounds were not in the rooms, only in the hallway

Decide what you can overlook before you book this cruise

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by In need of Sun

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Trip Details
I have mixed feelings about this cruise. I will relay my observations and let you draw you’re your own conclusions. I want to describe this cruise as a value-oriented get-away geared towards families who want to take the kids somewhere and not break the bank. There are good and bad points to this as a cruiser.

The voyage has a charm of its own. I saw dads teaching their daughters chess, husbands working with their wives’ golf swing, and many, many couples walking the jogging track. The ports were not complex, you got off the ship, enjoyed the sun/warmth, walked around and got back on the boat. There was no real” Dress code” to speak of. I saw ball gowns next to shorts and no one intervened. Everyone just seemed kind of happy to, “get away”.

On the other hand, there were issues.

There are many things I can look past in a cruise experience. One thing I cannot look past is the indifference displayed by this staff towards the muster drill. I watched as this cruise staff displayed a disturbing indifference to the details of the muster drill. Passengers walked in and out during the drill. The drill started before all passengers were seated and paying attention. Passenger validation by the staff continued during the actual drill. I was in the Stardust theatre and it was pandemonium second only to embarkation. I am deeply troubled about this appearance of indifference on the staff’s part. I shudder to think what might have happened if there had been a real emergency on the ship.

The food is very basic, good but straightforward. There are no snipped herbs, or freshly made green goddess dressing. While some people might miss this, it appears that the ship knows that their clientele wants readily identifiable food that is simple for themselves and their kids. That is what was delivered.

The one meal I had in the Aqua restaurant was a disaster on many levels. I kept wanting to ask the staff if they had ever worked together? Food was cold, food was late, the pace of service was uneven. I had a completely different experience in the Versailles dining room (MDR). I had the most consistent, professional service experiences there. A big shout out to Carlos from the Philippines, he is the consummate professional. I felt completely taken care of when at his tables.

I found the wine offerings to be uneven and had the single worst glass of sangria I have ever had. It was 11 dollars and was a flavorless 4 oz pour with an ounce of soda water and 1 teaspoon of chopped apple.

I find frustrating the enforced gratuity model that NCL uses. I did not see my cabin steward for the first 48 hours that I was on board. I had to go downstairs to the front desk and ask for a daily activity sheet because one had not been delivered to my room the first night. While at the front desk I indicated that I have not see my cabin steward and would not know him/her if they ran into me. Subsequent to this, my cabin steward approached me and introduced themselves. Under the NCL model I must fully fund his gratuity. His work was substandard.

I’m not sure if the lack of activities is a direct reflection on the Cruise Director or if the ship’s management had decided that their passenger cohort wants fewer activities? Many people complained about the costs of the bingo cards (25.00 to 300. On a cruise that costs not much more than that?) It was confusing. Possibly, that is by design but with two sea days on the front end, more activities would have kept the passengers happier.

Disembarking was another example of management confusion. The captain was on the loudspeaker informing passengers that the ship had been cleared and we could start disembarking, however a couple of hundred people were already on the gangway headed toward customs and border patrol.…Hmmmmm

I would take this cruise again if I were desperate to get some time away and/or sunshine and warmth. But I would know on the front end what to expect.

____________________________________________________________________

Pros

1. Observing families enjoying time together

2. Cheap Pilates/yoga classes (10/ea. When using class pass)

3. Free breakfast room service delivered between 630-10 a.m.

4. Passengers often assisted other passengers with mobility issues

Cons

1. Chaotic embarkation/debarkation in the extreme

2. Lack of knowledge displayed by the passenger ushers at embarkation

a. Example- designated embarkation person could not tell me where to find wheelchairs for passengers who needed assistance

3. Staff indifference to muster drill

a. Example-muster drill beginning while passengers were still walking into Stardust lounge

b. Example-passengers not participating in muster drill

4. Poor dining experience in Aqua restaurant,

a. Example- food cold, long waits to be served, indifference and disorganization in wait staff

5. Enforced gratuities not reflected in staff actions

a. Example-I didn’t not see my room steward for the first 48 hours. I had to go to Guest services and complain. I was informed that I should only expect to see them for room clean up in the morning, and “turn-down service” in the evening.

6. The cruise director could have a stronger activity program to engage passengers.

a. Example- Many passengers remarked that there, “Wasn’t enough to do…”

7. Ship can only be reached via taxi or shuttle.

8. Difficulty hearing the shipboard announcements because the overhead sounds were not in the rooms, only in the hallway
In need of Sun’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IC Cabin 11503
The cabin was standard size and clean. The bed was comfortable, there was no outside noise and there were no plumbing issues. The shower is a walk in shower with a curtain. The water was always hot.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins