Norwegian Star Cruise Review by Xertes
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Mexican Riviera
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Found food to be mediocre in buffet with limited variety (particularly in area of vegetables/potatoes). Temperature of food was adequate. We ate exclusively in the Versailles dining room fro dinner and this was a step up from the buffet in terms of food quality, but not by much. The best complimentary food to be found, in my opinion, was at O'Sheehan's, the 24 hour pub restaurant. Unfortunately, they have discontinued the fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce which I used to love at O'Sheehan's. Maybe to many other people loved them too and Norwegian decided they were spending too much money on them. Norwegian is also the only cruise line that does not allow you to bring your own soda pop on board. They want to be sure you either buy theirs at $4.25 a can or buy the unlimited soda package which is exorbitant unless you and your partner drink tons of soda a day. The specialty restaurants which you pay an extra fee for have always been good, particularly Cagney's steakhouse. We did not east at any of the speciality restaurants this trip but heard others comment that they were good on the Star as well.
Entertainment was very good. There were three different production/review main theater shows with singing, choreography set and costume changes which were excellent. My wife and I enjoy these type of shows and these were right up there with some of the best we have seen. There was a husband and wife magician/contortionist act. The magician part husband was standard magic/illusion fare but the wife's ability to contort her body was astonishing and unique. Really incredible! There was a comedian who did different accents and dialects and was funny and entertaining. In the lounges there were guitarists/singers, a pianist singer and the Melodic Trio who sang and played instruments.
Musically, there was adequate variety to find something to enjoy.
My wife and I seldom do excursions nor do we book cruises for the itinerary. We book cruises to be on the ship for a certain length of time, relax, forget about everything and be pampered and taken care of. For this reason, I do not comment on ports. I only review the internal ship experience in terms of the four things that are important to my wife and myself: food, entertainment, comfort and service. I have already commented on food and entertainment. See my review of the cabin below in regard to comfort.
With only one exception, service was outstanding. The crew members were friendly, accommodating, helpful and could not be nicer. They worked harder than most of us would ever want to. The one exception was this. I was supposed to get an onboard credit as part of the package I booked. On the second day, when I got a print out of my account, I remarked to the lady at guest services that I did not see the credit on my statement. She checked and said it was not in their computer. She asked me if I had some documentation showing that I was entitled to it. I did in my room. She asked me to bring it back to guest services so they could verify. As i had the documentation and thought this was a glitch that would be easily fixed, I waited until the next day rather than going up to my room right then and getting it.The next day I went down to guest services with my documentation and provided to a young man on duty who, as I was to learn, should probably not be in any kind of customer service job. The young reiterated that it was not in their computer. I reiterated that I was already aware of that which is why I brought the documentation to him, per the instructions I received from the woman at guest services the day before. I told him that I was aware he did not have the power to correct this buit surely there was a senior officer who did, maybe the captain if necessary, and I had the proof I was entitled to it right there in black and white. He went into a room in back, was there for a while and then came out with several sheets of paper. He started to explain to me that I had received an upgraded room ( same type of room I paid for but in what the cruise line considered a better location on the ship) from Norwegian and implied that either my credit had been absorbed by the upgrade which I did not ask for and could care less about, or that I should be so happy that I received an upgrade on my room I should forget about the onboard credit. I told him this had nothing to do with my issue and started to get a little steamed that he seemed to want to talk me out of pursuing this problem. He kept showing me on the pieces of paper saying, "this is what you paid for your room and THIS is what the room you are in goes for. Look at the difference!" I finally was screaming at him saying," I don't care!!! Get me on board credit that I payed for and I am entitled to." he mumbled that he would start an inquiry. I asked loudly when I would get an answer about my onboard credit. He hesitantly said tomorrow night. So he took an issue that I had mild concern about and exploded it into a huge conflict where I was very disgruntled, determined to do everything I could on social media to turn people away from cruising with Norwegian. I was in a very bad mood all through the night until the next day complaining to my poor wife and telling her all the ideas I had for waging war and getting even with Norwegian, making sure that I would cost them many times what they would have given me in onboard credit.
The next day I went back down to guest services where I encountered yet another woman at the guest services desk. I explained everything that had happened to date and again showed my documentation. She was very nice, understood the situation immediately and explained to me (unlike the jerk I encountered the evening before) that the credit was to have come from my travel agency, not NCL and for whatever reason, they had not received it yet. There was an inquiry that had been sent to NCL's home office in Miami but in the meantime she arranged a ship to shore phone call to my travel agent so I could take with him about the issue. I spoke with him and he did not know why it hadn't gotten to NCL as everything from his end showed that it should have but he told me in the event it did not arrive in the next few days, get a print out of my onboard account from NCL and he would send me a check for the credit amount. This was all it took to set the matter at rest and could have done by the jerk, instead of aggravating a guest. I received the credit the next day. When I got home I got an e-mail from my agent in which he told me that I was not the only one who had this issue and his what not the only travel agency it happened to. Some snafu occurred with NCL.
OK, so I have vented. Back to the ship. The public areas were pleasantly decorated and very clean and well cared for. There was one swimming pool on board and a numebr of hot tubs in different location. I did not use the fitness center but my wife did and said it was fine. The library on board (one of my wife's major interest) was quite extensive for a ship's library. If you like to read on board, you will enjoy this library. There is also an internet cafe on the 9th deck which overlooks the atrium. There are a few tables for playing games. Unless one wished to use the eating tables in the buffet or around the pool, the ship really lacks tables to play games, do jigsaw puzzles or any kind of writing or paperwork other than the few in the internet cafe.
I probably will never sail on the Star again as it had to many deficits for me personally. The food was not as good as on the other two NCL ships I sailed.
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Room steward, Anna, was the best we ever had. She was amazing and worth every penny she was being paid and more. Could not do enough fopr us or any opf the other guests she was serving. And always with a smile and good cheer.