The Good and Bad about the Star to Mexico March 6, 2010: Norwegian Star Cruise Review by cmyers

Norwegian Star 4
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The Good and Bad about the Star to Mexico March 6, 2010

Sail Date: March 2010
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Our flight into LA was smooth and ZIPPY shuttle service was calling us before we landed and met us right out of baggage claim. Our driver Glen was pleasant - offered us water and made the trip to San Pedro smooth and easy. (We pre-booked and paid for the roundtrip service in advance).

We arrived at the Pier and were escorted to check-in for handicap (I had a transport chair due to a bum foot) and check in took only a matter of minutes. Others said they waited in lines for 90 minutes and longer. We walked on to the ship and everyone huddled around trying to figure out where to go as no one greeted us. We found our way to the main dining room for lunch and were promptly served, club sandwich for the grandaughter, salad for me and ribs for the hubby. After lunch we went to check out our balcony room on deck 10. The room was smaller then what we have had on other cruise lines and the bed took up the majority of the room. The bathroom was very nice with a separate shower, sink More area and toilet with a sliding door. The third bed was a very small sofa that fit one large person or two small people during the day. The cushions folded down at night to make the little bed right next to the big bed so their was no room in between them. My granddaughter complained that the bed was rock hard and not big enough for her. The main bed was very firm as well. We were amazed that we found places to store all of our belongings but the room has lots of storage space if you look for it. I highly recommend the over the door shoe organizer for little items. 3 people could not sit on the balcony but it fit 2 comfortably and it was very nice to have the fresh air. Balcony rooms have a small coffee pot that was great for my morning fix. There is no TV guide in your room or a menu on the 13" TV to tell you what is showing - repeats of one movie a day over and over again, CNN and NCL channels. I was very glad I brought my lap top and DVD's.

We could not find a quite spot to read on board since they moved the library and internet cafe to deck 9. (Hope this is temporary) The library was very small and noisy above an open atrium with piano music below.

NCL is very serious about bringing liquor onboard and will call you to the naughty room if found in your luggage. Hard alcohol is taken and if wine is found they either make you pay a $15 corkage fee to keep it, destroy it, or keep it for you until the end of your cruise. The line was very long to claim your luggage. Wine was about $9.50 a glass and drinks range from - $7.00 -$10.00. Before the cruise we were told about the Teen Passport Coupon book so we inquired about it at the Java cafe. For $34.50 you receive 20 coupons for non-alcoholic drinks (strawberry daiquiri, pina colada), smoothies, juice and soda. I think this is just for teens but we had no problem getting it, Maybe because of the GD being with us. We pre-ordered 2 bottles of wine from NCL events coordinator. 800-327-9020. You pick the wine you want from NCL Bon-voyage wine list and then call them with your credit card. We had a mix up with one of the bottles that was delivered to our stateroom but we didn't let it effect our cruise. It was better then trying to smuggle it.

The seas were very rocky leaving LA to Cabo and the weather was overcast with some rain so for the first two days I was very dizzy and light headed. They announced that the temp in Cabo was 79* so I had something to look forward to. The main pool area is small with only one large pool and two hot tubs on board that were always crowded. They have a pool slide for kids but it wasn't always open due to the weather and wind.

The kids club seemed to be having a lot of fun as we saw kids all over the ship dressed as princess and kings in outfits they made themselves. Too cute. The teen club had a large screen karaoke, a dance floor and their own internet access. Be careful if you have kids as the arcade games take your sea pass card, not coins and cost about $1.50 per game.

Activities were limited for free and when we found one we liked, so did everyone else, so arrive very early(1/2 hour) as space is limited especially in the new spinnaker lounge. They offer all kinds of alcohol tasting for$15, towel demonstration $9, tour of the ship $55pp, spinning class $12 and so on, but you are free to only do what ever floats your boat.

You can eat for free at the Market Cafe on deck 12, The Grill (when open) pool side, Ice cream bar by the kids club, Versailles MDR deck 7, Aqua MDR on deck 6, Room Service, and the Blue Lagoon Restaurant midship deck 8 for fish and chips, chicken fingers and really good wings. Popcorn is available at the Red Lion Pub, and peanut snacks at the bars but you have to ask for it.

Specialty restaurants with sur-charges: Le-Bistro $20pp $10 extra for specialty items, Teppanyaki $25pp,Ginza Asian Fusion/Sushi $15pp, Cagney's steak house $25, $10 extra for surf and turf, La Cucina Italian $15pp, Endless Summer Mexican $15pp. Le-Bistro was too gourmet for me but the Asian fusion (Ginza) for $15 was well worth the price. All you can eat sushi was very good. The BBQ rib appetizer is the best I ever had and the Green tea is wonderful. I had mooshu Pork (mushy mushrooms though) and The DG had kung pao chicken that was huge chunks of chicken a little spicy and exceptional. We did the murder mystery dinner for $20pp that was a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people. I was the murderer and almost blew it

The entertainment in the Stardust Theatre was hit and miss. The magician Bob Trunell was amazing, the Second City Comedy and the Chinese Cirque Pacific were our favorites. The other shows were kind of amateur with the cast being out of sinc with a lot of splits and flips. The Pub Crawl, White Hot Party, Newly Wed Game, and the Chocolate buffet were our favorite venues. The chocolate fountain at the chocolate buffet with fresh fruit was to die for - real Belgium chocolate. Lobster and Grouper was on the first night at sea in MDR and although small in size it was still very good, Steaks were always tender and ask for a baked potato if you want it as it's not on the menu. Coconut soufflE on the last night was very yummy in the MDR. The room service breakfast menu is continental style (juice, fruit, cereal, toast, beverage) but I wrote in ham and cheese omelet with bacon and got it every time. The food was good to excellent at all stations and restaurants. Pretzel rolls in the Market cafe were my favorite bread, soft and delicious. Less

Published 03/19/10

Cabin review: BA10626 Mid-Ship Balcony

The sofa bed was too small and way too hard for the third person, plus it was right next to the big bed so you couldn't move to get to the balcony once it was open. Bathrooms were great but we would have liked to have the extra room elsewhere. Storage was ample. Balcony for 2 is fine but does not accomdate a third person.

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Port and Shore Excursions

CABO: My husband got in line early to get us tender tickets to get off the ship to no avail. They called our number but not our color so we backed up by the hundreds in the hallways like cattle with no place to go. They only had two tenders running as three ships were in port. It took two hours to get off the ship and since time is limited in this port, tempers were flaring as people were missing their excursions. We finally got off the ship and were making our way out of the market when you get approached by several tour guides. I finally just stood still until someone approached me that spoke clear English. I negotiated a tour with Carlos for $10pp and told him he had to be our driver or no deal (they like to sell you the tour and then give you to a different driver). We saw him talking to a group of women so he could fill the van and we talked them into joining us. Carlos took us all over Cabo, to fancy hotels, churches, beaches and then to the Glass factory. He knew the artesians and had them make a glass fish for us start to finish, he even let everyone take a turn in blowing the glass through a pipe.

MAZATLAN: We decided not to do a ships tour again and to save the money for shopping and look for another English speaking tour guide,Juan Carlos Guzman. (he gave me his card). He had an air conditioned van with 7 other people in it for $20pp for 3 hours. Juan made fun of the phenomena open air golf carts lined up on the dock for tours. Our driver took us to one of the best shrimp restaurants in Mazatlan where we were serenaded through lunch then on to the Church of Immaculate Conception, beaches, photo opps, local craft markets for shopping, and then on to watch the cliff divers. He even dropped off a couple for 1 hour massages for $15 and told them he would come back and pick them up.

Read 496 Mazatlan Reviews

VALLARTA: A day on our own. We walked off the ship to Wal-mart and Sams club for batteries and snacks for the way home. Then on to the Malcolm Flea market for some souvenir shopping. We found that they didn’t like to barter as much here as in Mazatlan and would let you leave if you didn’t like the price. I would have bought more souvenirs in Mazatlan had I known. We met a couple at dinner that did the Ships Sierra Madre Expedition tour for $105pp that we wished we would have done as it seemed well worth the price for 7 hours and they all came back wearing war paint. The pirate ship adventure got good comments too. We did the canopy tour last time in Vallarta, parasailing, ATV’s on the beach so the Madre tour would have been different – maybe next time.

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