1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Star
Chose this cruise based primarily on the Itinerary and a very reasonable fare. Our experiences with the cruise were very good but based on how Norwegian corporate treats it’s staff and guests I will likely not be booking another cruise with them. First the Positives: Beautiful Ship – older but beautiful ship that is well maintained. You can tell that the staff took great pride in the star and it showed in the general upkeep of this medium sized vessel. Excellent Service on board – the ship crew worked tirelessly to make our experience memorable. No matter where on the ship, we could count on staff to greet us with a good morning or good evening. Issues such as noise complaints were handled promptly and professionally Food – the quality and quantity (obviously) of food was varied and excellent. I’m not sure why some of these other guests were criticizing the dishes. The specialty restaurants featured a great variety from fine cuts of marinated meats to jumbo shrimp and scallops to sushi. The garden buffet had a large variety of many meat and veggie dishes. Often there were themed nights such as “seafood” and “Asian” which added more variety. Despite the huge number of mouths to feed and need guests, restaurant staff always provided service with a smile. Now the Key Negatives: Early Departures at some Ports - some of the ports along the adriatic had some very aggressive departure times. This is especially true of some of the more beautiful ports including Dubrovnik (left at noon) and Argostoli ( left at 2pm). It left me with an unsatisfying feeling. In fairness to NCL, this was clearly posted on the travel websites before booking the cruise so it's not like we weren't warned. Embarkation – As noted by other guests on this cruise. The embarkation from the port of Tarragona was a disaster. There was poor communication by Norwegian’s central office on where guests should board that transports to the ship. On the morning of the cruise, hundreds of guests coming from international flights from the US, Canada and the UK were delayed by several hours waiting for the transports to arrive. When airport dispatchers located the transports, they initially refused to let us on supposedly because we were not at the correct pick up point!?! Of course NCL never told us where this rendez-vous point should be. Arrival at the cruise pier in Tarragona wasn't much better as the tiny pier was not designed to handle so many large vehicles. The embarkation resembled more of a war-zone than a happy vacation moment with no one seemingly having any ideas on how to organize the already tired and cranky passengers. When we complained to the ship’s guest services, they acknowledged the mistake but could offer us only a refund on the service charges. I refused this because it punishes the wrong people, namely the international crew that worked so hard to make our experience pleasant and rely on these charges to supplement their low wages. I found this short-sighted and greedy on the part of the cruise company. When I called NCL Guest relations after our return to the US, they basically politley ignored our complaint. It is a shame really, because what would be a great cruise experience was ruined by the arrogance and incompetence of the Corporate office in Miami. I know that mistakes can be made, but when you handle them by ripping off the most marginalized in your labor force (i.e. the international crew staff that work for weeks on end), well that to me is disgusting. Based on how they handles this one major issue, I doubt that I'll be taking another Norwegian ship again.

Excellent Ship but with Very Poor Communications from Corporate

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by CruiseAndSchmooze

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Family Oceanview Picture Window
Chose this cruise based primarily on the Itinerary and a very reasonable fare. Our experiences with the cruise were very good but based on how Norwegian corporate treats it’s staff and guests I will likely not be booking another cruise with them.

First the Positives:

Beautiful Ship – older but beautiful ship that is well maintained. You can tell that the staff took great pride in the star and it showed in the general upkeep of this medium sized vessel.

Excellent Service on board – the ship crew worked tirelessly to make our experience memorable. No matter where on the ship, we could count on staff to greet us with a good morning or good evening. Issues such as noise complaints were handled promptly and professionally

Food – the quality and quantity (obviously) of food was varied and excellent. I’m not sure why some of these other guests were criticizing the dishes. The specialty restaurants featured a great variety from fine cuts of marinated meats to jumbo shrimp and scallops to sushi. The garden buffet had a large variety of many meat and veggie dishes. Often there were themed nights such as “seafood” and “Asian” which added more variety. Despite the huge number of mouths to feed and need guests, restaurant staff always provided service with a smile.

Now the Key Negatives:

Early Departures at some Ports - some of the ports along the adriatic had some very aggressive departure times. This is especially true of some of the more beautiful ports including Dubrovnik (left at noon) and Argostoli ( left at 2pm). It left me with an unsatisfying feeling. In fairness to NCL, this was clearly posted on the travel websites before booking the cruise so it's not like we weren't warned.

Embarkation – As noted by other guests on this cruise. The embarkation from the port of Tarragona was a disaster. There was poor communication by Norwegian’s central office on where guests should board that transports to the ship. On the morning of the cruise, hundreds of guests coming from international flights from the US, Canada and the UK were delayed by several hours waiting for the transports to arrive. When airport dispatchers located the transports, they initially refused to let us on supposedly because we were not at the correct pick up point!?! Of course NCL never told us where this rendez-vous point should be. Arrival at the cruise pier in Tarragona wasn't much better as the tiny pier was not designed to handle so many large vehicles. The embarkation resembled more of a war-zone than a happy vacation moment with no one seemingly having any ideas on how to organize the already tired and cranky passengers. When we complained to the ship’s guest services, they acknowledged the mistake but could offer us only a refund on the service charges. I refused this because it punishes the wrong people, namely the international crew that worked so hard to make our experience pleasant and rely on these charges to supplement their low wages. I found this short-sighted and greedy on the part of the cruise company. When I called NCL Guest relations after our return to the US, they basically politley ignored our complaint.

It is a shame really, because what would be a great cruise experience was ruined by the arrogance and incompetence of the Corporate office in Miami. I know that mistakes can be made, but when you handle them by ripping off the most marginalized in your labor force (i.e. the international crew staff that work for weeks on end), well that to me is disgusting. Based on how they handles this one major issue, I doubt that I'll be taking another Norwegian ship again.
CruiseAndSchmooze’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Star price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Family Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin O1 5518
Comfy, but the walls between rooms were a little thin. If your neighbors are party-animals, it can be quite problematic.
Deck 6 Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews