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Decided to take the family on a cruise during spring break, which was a little earlier than most, so we were able to get closer to off-season pricing. What was really exciting is that they had great deals when we booked on guaranteed oceanview rooms, which we've never tried. That was a real plus (ended up with picture windows), were able to see lots of good scenery, my daughter saw a group of dolphins looking out their stateroom, added a nice element we've never had with inside. Service on the ship was great, with a couple of exceptions I'll explain later. Room stewards and most dining experiences were great. Had the dining options on another ship, nice to see they were there as well. Pros: Loved the updated dining areas, such as O'Sheahan's and Ginza, in addition to the Main Dining Rooms and buffet. Didn't try the paid dining. Staff was very on top of things 95% of the time and very friendly First time in the Mexican Riviera, loved the itinerary and ports Oceanview! Had a Mexican cultural show that was amazing, acrobats were good as well. The communication features on the app were more than worth the $9.99/device. Huge plus. Staterooms had USB chargers, so easy for kids to keep devices charged. Cons: As I've read in other reviews, the layout of the ship is weird. It's because they added the newer dining and other amenities (which is absolutely worth it), but it was often hard to navigate the ship to get where you wanted to go (for example, not very direct entrance to kids club). Related, the main buffet area feels very cramped and doesn't hold many people. It doesn't need to with other options, but that's a problem. Needed a reservation for everything really quickly. For example, really hard to get into Ginza. Service in some dining areas was really slow. I think that they just had too many people for what they could handle. I would say overall felt very crowded. I've been on bigger ships that felt less crowded than this one. Lots of lines for the same things. I'm more conservative, but the music shows weren't to our taste, a little too frisky, glad we didn't take our daughter to the first one (skipped the second one). Didn't have some of the bells and whistles that my active kids would have liked (no splash pad, water slide, ice skating, basketball had a low net, things like that) For the app, didn't have a place to check the schedule for the kids. Also, could have had an option to get more detailed informaiton about an activity on the schedule, similar to the description seen in the print guide. Rough sea day on the way back, I hear that's normal. It's a cruise so I'm always going to enjoy it! I hope NCL could take some of this feedback and fix things (though some things they can't fix). I enjoyed it and would take this itinerary again. I would go on this ship if the price were right.

We Enjoyed Ourselves on NCL Star, Some Minor Issues

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by jas283a

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Picture Window
Decided to take the family on a cruise during spring break, which was a little earlier than most, so we were able to get closer to off-season pricing. What was really exciting is that they had great deals when we booked on guaranteed oceanview rooms, which we've never tried. That was a real plus (ended up with picture windows), were able to see lots of good scenery, my daughter saw a group of dolphins looking out their stateroom, added a nice element we've never had with inside. Service on the ship was great, with a couple of exceptions I'll explain later. Room stewards and most dining experiences were great. Had the dining options on another ship, nice to see they were there as well.

Pros: Loved the updated dining areas, such as O'Sheahan's and Ginza, in addition to the Main Dining Rooms and buffet. Didn't try the paid dining.

Staff was very on top of things 95% of the time and very friendly

First time in the Mexican Riviera, loved the itinerary and ports

Oceanview!

Had a Mexican cultural show that was amazing, acrobats were good as well.

The communication features on the app were more than worth the $9.99/device. Huge plus.

Staterooms had USB chargers, so easy for kids to keep devices charged.

Cons: As I've read in other reviews, the layout of the ship is weird. It's because they added the newer dining and other amenities (which is absolutely worth it), but it was often hard to navigate the ship to get where you wanted to go (for example, not very direct entrance to kids club).

Related, the main buffet area feels very cramped and doesn't hold many people. It doesn't need to with other options, but that's a problem.

Needed a reservation for everything really quickly. For example, really hard to get into Ginza.

Service in some dining areas was really slow. I think that they just had too many people for what they could handle.

I would say overall felt very crowded. I've been on bigger ships that felt less crowded than this one. Lots of lines for the same things.

I'm more conservative, but the music shows weren't to our taste, a little too frisky, glad we didn't take our daughter to the first one (skipped the second one).

Didn't have some of the bells and whistles that my active kids would have liked (no splash pad, water slide, ice skating, basketball had a low net, things like that)

For the app, didn't have a place to check the schedule for the kids. Also, could have had an option to get more detailed informaiton about an activity on the schedule, similar to the description seen in the print guide.

Rough sea day on the way back, I hear that's normal.

It's a cruise so I'm always going to enjoy it! I hope NCL could take some of this feedback and fix things (though some things they can't fix). I enjoyed it and would take this itinerary again. I would go on this ship if the price were right.
jas283a’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cabo San Lucas
    Went on the Buccaneer Queen for a 2 hour whale watching adventure on a pirate ship. Had the most awesome breakfast as part, plus drinks (don't drink alcohol, so it was delicious fruit smoothies). Had to hustle to get their on time, but was a blast once we got there. By far the highlight of our trip. Saw 6-7 whales, the crew was informative and amazing. Kids loved it, but even our teens who can be fickle liked it. Check it out, was soooo worth it (and a bit pricey but worth every penny, and still cheaper than the cruise excursions, they get you back in plenty of time). Everyone on our pirate ship had an absolute blast.
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  • Mazatlan
    Did a Stone Island beach "on the dock guy" tour. Included lunch and ferry. Beach part was fun, food was good but just a simple meal. Told us we had to be ready at 3:30, then was trying to leave at 2:30 while my wife yelled at me to get out of the water. Don't remember name of the place, was nothing special, did horseback riding with daughter, that was fun. Would go to downtown Mazatlan next time.
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  • Puerto Vallarta
    Took a tour with an "on the dock" guy. It was decent, but wasn't very flexible in meeting our family's needs, just went to his same spots he always does. Loved the town, but would do something different next time. Can't remember his name, was forgettable.
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