This is a review about Norwegian, not the Star especially. Because of mechanical issues, it was said, a Nov. 10-22 cruise from Venice to Barcelona, had too many changes. We started with ONE at-sea day and ended up with THREE. NCL dropped Kotor, Montenegro and Santorini, Greece, precisely why most of us went! This was a big blow. And the changes were advised one day before we left Venice, so no returns or changes could be made. To add insult to injury, various times at port were pared back considerably. For example, we wanted to travel to Florence on our own from the Livorno port. NCL's advertised day was 7 am. to 7 pm so a four hour RT trip to Florence was tight but doable. The night before, the day changed to a 5:30 return so we weren't comfortable going at all. Various days were pared back like this, not just this one. Morning departure times are often later than the docking time. All of us book based on these things. Taken together, this is actually unethical. Compensation for the port changes was $100 to be used on the ship, again after most had bought their wine/internet/whatever packages. Two more surprises: The food was not the general standard; it was definitely lower. I had to ask for salmon when I didn't see it anywhere (they put it on the menu one night thereafter). And the programming was subpar. I think there were two (what I'd call) real "production" shows over 12 days' time. I've never been able to understand why programming can't include some interesting lectures or presentations about some aspect of the country we visit, it's history, or anything of interest. Cruise participants would happily host these things gratis. Does NCL realize there are smart people on these ships? Other thoughts: A movie each night/day? Ted Talks, or discussions about this or that subject, there are thousands of possibilities. It would be so easy and is always resisted in favor of the lowest common denominator offerings. In the end, the staff always knocks themselves out to please and that, along with the wonderful cities and sights we saw, redeemed the journey. I have concerns, though, about returning to Norwegian.
OK, no American news or programming on TV.