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Norwegian Star Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,612 Reviews

NCL ruined my honeymoon

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by a123n

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2019
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Family Balcony

When we arrived on board it was complete chaos, I was shocked. There was a lineup wrapping around the main level of the ship interfering with the passages to the gangway, due to all the number of complaints.

People were yelling, crying, and were utterly miserable. No smiles or laughter to be seen or heard from both staff and guests.

When approaching the Customer Service desk the staff would act as if they had no idea in the world why people were upset, "can you tell me what your issue is?" How much time do you have NCL?!?!?!?!?

We didn't want our first minutes onboard spent in such a negative environment, after all it was our honeymoon. We politely asked for a complaint number, which the agent was refusing to give to us! We had to take a harsher and firmer tone in order to get the proper forms to fill out.

When we raised concerns about our cancelled ports and excursions, we were directed to the shore excursion desk. Honestly it was insulting, we were treated as if we were stupid sheep. Go stand in another line for two hours to get NO WHERE! After all this wasted time we were informed that no refunds or credits would occur onboard and it would have to go through head office in Miami.

We got a phone call from NCL the day before our trip advising to check our email account, we did, and it was just two emails trying to up-sale their onboard packages. We DID NOT receive notification of any itinerary changes or missed ports.

I spent a full year planning, researching, and corresponding with locals at each port to ensure our honeymoon was perfection. I am glad I did this as NCL provides no information about any ports on board. Only information given about the ports was in regards to weather, disembark, and embarking times (which were changed last minute each day).

If you like surprises, expect a surprise each time your disembark - as you never know whether or not your shuttle is free or charged to your room.

Our cruise went from 1 day at sea to 3. The compensation was $100 onboard credit and 20% off of our next cruise. Like I would ever give my money or time to this company again!!!

Instead of going to the port, Kotor, we were informed we would be making a mechanical stop in Bar for 2 hours. I curiously asked the Customer Service agent what should we do in 2 hours time. She informed that its a very scenic view from the boat as we were not permitted to get off. We arrived to Bar at night, all we saw were some lights and darkness. We literally sat in the water for two hours outside of Bar and then sailed onward. Sadly, we were then two hours late arriving to our port the following day. Pointless and completely avoidable.

Our original itinerary involved us having 92 hours in port. We ended up with 61.75 hours inland. That is 33% of our trip lost.

Naples was supposed to be a 10 hour day, got cut to 6 hours.

Rome was supposed to be 12 hours, got cut to 9 hours.

We lost Kotor and Santorini and nothing was given to replace it.

One of our excursions were cancelled since we were no longer docking in Kotor. We paid $211.54 DOLLARS and got back an onboard credit. Which we found very difficult to use as most things were sold out within hours, due to the chaos that welcomed us onboard.

Looking at other people's posts while we had days at sea, I came to learn through Cruise Critic that there had been mechanical errors for the two cruises prior to ours (dating back to October 2019). The fact none of this had been disclosed until last minute is absolutely disgusting and despicable.

NCL whoever is at the head of your helm must be a narcissistic con-artist who enjoys robbing people of their time, hard earned money, and dignity.

Staff did not manage issues at all. Staff appeared to not know or honestly did not know anything. Performances were just mediocre on most occasions. There were maybe 3 decent evening performances on a 12 day cruise.

The TV channels were not appropriate for all ages and/or repetitive. One day my husband and I actually watched a TV show were two teenagers were smoking heroine or crack. I didn't know which drug since it was in another language.

The days at sea were money agenda pushing itineraries. Most activities involved an additional fee or your ears being tortured. The Asian trio band singing Elvis, Beatles, Journey, etc with accents was just avoidable and the drum track was pitiful. The musicians that were actually good had awful sound staging and tone. I recommend ear plugs or save yourself the money and stay in your room. Trust me, your not missing out on anything.

Room service. We never once had our toilet cleaned in a 12 day period. We found bedding bundled in a bag beneath our bed. Our queen bed was two singles pushed together and constantly slid apart, because of the serve winds and rocking the boat made. Vacuuming happened very infrequently. We never received any recognition for being on a honeymoon. Not looking for much, maybe a card and a cute folded towel. There was never a folded towel.

Same staff ALWAYS working, I truely feel bad for them. When staff are overworked and get no breaks, quality will suffer. We had a meal package and even the food in those restaurants was okay at best.

Finally, as for a romantic cruise it was nothing of the sort. The only romance we had is what the two of us have always shared as a couple. NCL did nothing to enhance our experience or to create romantic opportunities. The only noteworthy moments we had are due to things we had planned and researched on our own.

All that was being promoted was drinking, gambling, buying artwork, buying more cruises, buying cheap overpriced jewelry, buying handbags from that were on-trend two years ago.

I could go on forever, but long story short avoid this god awful cruise line. Avoid the Star. Avoid NCL. And if anyone who works for NCL is reading this, consider actually repairing the ship before frauding more people into giving you their money.

a123n's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony

Room was spacious for two people.

American and European outlets.

Pivioting TV, desk, coffee maker, mini bar

Shower with clothing line

Queen bed was two singles pushed together.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Large bus without bathrooms. Stopped frequently at different sites. Guide was informative, gave ear phones for everyone to listen to her, provided useful direction. Pace of the walking tour was slow and painful. When booking were told we would be a group of 15-30. We were a group of 50.

View All 390 Acropolis Reviews
Private Tour

Our day in port got cut short so we lost half of our day.

Our driver and personal guides did everything in their power to give us the full experience. We felt rushed but enjoyed everything we could.

View All 96 Private Tour Reviews
Cinque Terre

Crammed on a small bus that fit 21 people. Back row sat 4 people shoulder to shoulder. The bus was so hot that the windows fogged up and you couldn't see anything. Our driver blew the clutch and another bus had to come to replace ours.

Our guide informed that NCL should not be booking this excursion at this time of year as all locals, shops, and restaurants are closed. Thankfully, we found 3 places that were open. Had we known we were travelling 4 hours for just a view in the city and for fogged windows on a crammed bus, we would have gone to Pisa or Florence.

View All 99 Cinque Terre Reviews
Sea Kayaking

They cancelled the port and they cancelled the cruise

View All 7 Sea Kayaking Reviews

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