Just back from the repositioning of Star from Miami to Terragonna and stayed for Terragonna to Venice. (Actually April 27 - May 24)
The restaurant servers seriously needed training. I am now 4 days short of Platinum plus and was shocked by the lack of training. Normally an experienced server has a 2nd person they are training as they serve. Not this time. I had servers pouring water so high above glass it poured all around the glass .... 3 times. Didn't bother the server at all. Consistently servers could not remember what was ordered and had to ask for repeats and be corrected. Could not remember who ordered what when serving. This happened repeatedly in all restaurants. Even the paid restaurants which ought to have most skilled servers. Also, those did not have their own bar tenders and they had to go out to a very busy bar and take a long time to get drinks.
Shore excursions were consistently mishandled. Not close to up to par of NCL on prior cruises. Port planning was extremely poor. Many on NCL for first time were commenting they would never do NCL again. I had to ask them to not judge NCL by this poorly managed ship. They blamed ports, which was very bad cause NCL ought to know their ports by now. Rome was a complete disaster for everyone. Not everyone had been properly notified of the change to Terragonna. The ticket management of the shore excursions were very bad. worst was for the White Houses tour. Told to meet on pier. Nobody on pier. Some had walked all along pier to outside the building and were waiting there. My friend and I were stopped from going into building and sent back to gangway. This time we found someone with a clipboard ... no sign. Had not been there before. Walking back she gets stopped by bus driver on other side of fence where we had been refused before. Now we form two lines there. 1 for our excursion and 2nd for a different excursion. She never goes to get people who had gone out front .... they just kind of discover the buses on their own and manage to come back to form lines. It was a total mess. Her attitude sucked.
If you travel with a buddy credits only go on the first named passenger. It is a mess to get it sorted out. My buddy was listed first..... I am the stockholder. Hard to get my stockholder credit on the right accounts even though printouts had said I would have them. Took emails to corporate. Oh, and on a back to back they treat it as a single cruise and hard to get the freebie onboards for 2nd cruise. Don't wast a freebie on the credit per port for excursions. Two people can't do anything for $50 total.
Our cabin stewards were great .... although 1st cabin always moved my nightgown to other person's bed. 2nd cabin guy (Joe) was much better.
8162 should remove the wall between sink counter and toilet. It just makes the space choppy and smaller. Other than that it is a really nice oceanview.
On the TA the bridge instructor was great. Kept my bridge buddy happy. The passenger dance for the passenger show was taught by Naomie and she is an awesome dance captain. The singing was by Dominique. Shorter than the dance, 1st day of practice had no singing. Short song had first half done by 3 people ... all others only got to do last half of song. I am used to Choir getting 3 songs and all sing. Very disappointed.
Production shows are great. Aerlists are great. Barricade (former Les Mis singers) were great, wish they were kept on so I could hear them again 2nd cruise. Internet is right above Atrium and sometimes the noise from music in atrium was too loud to try to do Internet (and connectivity was bad and guy running it unskilled).
Trivia was consistently fun ... although Simba got irritating with his pride and insistence on poor pronunciation. Educators are not fond of people unwilling to learn. Prizes were so bad that we didn't even bother going to get them after 2nd cruise.
Kudos to the frequency with which NCL has Karaoke... consistently popular.
Got this cabin with a bid to upgrade in last weeks before cruise. It was located right above Bliss, but never a noise problem. Very convenient to Bliss, 5'Oclock Somewhere, O'Sheehan's and Buffet. 3 in cabin and enough room. 4th bed under one of the beds used up storage. Wish it wasn't there. But, we figured out that we could put the 2 side tables closer together to pull the bed under the pullman out further so that person could sit on side of bed when pullman down. Works for 3 people in cabin. Don't recommend this cabin for 4 people as the 4th bed would make a solid wall of the 3 beds plus the pullman. Great window with totally unobstructed view. Relatively close to aft elevator. Bathroom would be better if wall was removed from between sink and toilet.
We could consistently slightly hear people in cabins either side.
Joe was a great cabin attendant.
There is a little train at the port that will drive you around the town to see the sights 1 time. Be patient with the headphones. Took forever and had to turn volume way up to hear. Most had given up on headphones. Was nice intro. Then walked about and shopped and ate. Had excellent lazagne and found truffle oil
Wanted to do Cinque Terre but it was booked full. Never notified that we did not get off the waiting list. They should have notified us.
Prior cruise I have done train to Florence on my own and it was great.
Pompeii, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Located by people on our CruiseCritic board. It was an awesome tour. Great driver; Great tourguide of Pompeii. Learned a lot about Pompeii. Beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast. Delicious lunch and Lemon gelato at Sorrento. Enjoyable visit to LemonJello factory.View All 96 Private Tour Reviews
Nice beach. Got to go snorkeling. Not much to see. Nice drive from one side of island to the other.
Seats 10 plus driver motorboat. Viator and TripAdvisor ... we got ours from Viator.
Quite a ride slapping the water. 1st stop lady of the rock. Great story of how the fisherman created the rock over time and added the church. Not much to see. Then on out through mixed weather to the 3 submarine hiding tunnels from WWII. Then on to the 'grotto' ... oh, no ... did not look like we could get in there... not enough space between water and top of cave.... EEEk we made it. Now can see there is another opening other end .... Water so clear. managed to have 3 boats in cave at same time. Got to see prison island now sold to private person on way to/from ... since no snorkle we stopped at a seaside village for 20 minutes. Very fun day ... just very bumpy ride.
Only disappointment was that the water was too cold for them to let us snorkel.... but inside the cave (not really a grotto) the water was very clear and it didn't look like there would be anything to see anywaysView All undefined undefined Reviews
Very short time in port. Had bought the shuttle to port ticket but 1 of us could not go. Other one and I decided to at least go ashore. Decided to take the shuttle in and right back out without getting off. It ended up being a nice tour of Dubrovnick. Got to see the neighborhoods and the castle and the downtown.... and right back to ship.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Nice stop at winery for 3 samples of win and nice appetizers. No tour of place. Souviners for sale. Lots of driving around then on to Oia. Could not tell the difference between this place and town at top of Cable car. Just narrow and very crowded walk ways past tons of souviner shops. Highly overrated tour. However, we were in port for 2pm to 8pm so unlike 3 prior cruises the line for cable car down was not overly long.View All 110 Oia Wine Tasting Reviews