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Was excited for my first trip to South America and loved the itinerary! Visited some very remote areas and saw beautiful scenery. Especially loved the Glaciers, the penguins and the sea lions. Unfortunately, the experience on the ship was the disappointing part! It started with embarkation which was a disaster with long lines and frustrated guests. I’m platinum, which is supposed to afford me priority embarkation but all the way through, I was told to follow the crowd. No priority! Once on the ship, for the first 4 or 5 days, staff were serving guests at the garden café, rather than allow self-service at the buffet. I’m sure that this was to avoid possible contamination since the carona-virus is such an issue, and I appreciate their concern. However, the staff was doing a terrible job! They were obviously short staffed behind the counters and didn’t seem happy to be serving. It was extremely slow and often it was hard to find anyone to help! Of course, the cleanup staff was plentiful and several times I had to stop them from taking my plate and drinks while I was still eating! We also had 7 nights in the specialty dining and sometimes felt rushed there. I also received a voucher for a complimentary dinner for 2 at Cagney”s , and a friend who was using the dining package was allowed to order more courses that we were with the voucher which I thought was extremely tacky! We also booked all of our excursions through the ship and although expensive, most were good, although some of the guides were hard to understand. Also, tours were offered in Spanish or English, yet we often wound up with passengers in our group that spoke Spanish so the guides had to switch back and forth, making their speech more difficult to follow. Unfortunately, the Magdelena Penguin Reserve tour in Punta Arenas, which was $199 for 5 hours, was terrible!! We spent a total of 4 hours on a bus and a rickety old ferry, for 1 hour on the island with the penguins. During the 105 minutes each way on the ferry, there was nothing else to see. The lead guide talked for about 30 minutes then spent the remaining time in the navigation cabin on the ferry with the other 3 guides who were young college students. One of the girls stuck her head out and I tried to ask a few questions and she wasn’t able to answer much. I learned more about Punta Arenas on a later excursion at another port! After retuning to the ship I went to the shore excursion desk to complain and I was treated very rudely by the staff. I was told I would be given a “courtesy refund” but when I said my sister/roommate was also displeased, he said he would make out a report and get back to me. No response! So in the morning on the last day I returned and again was treated very poorly by another agent, and told it was still under review and they would call me with a decision at 8pm, after their desk was closed! I wrote a note to the general manager and finally received a call about 3:30pm that they were giving us a 20% discount. A little while later, my sister noticed on the NCL app that we were charged again for the excursion. So she went to the desk AGAIN was treated rudely also! He said we had received a credit for the first charge, which we did not see on the app. She asked for a copy of her bill so she could see the credit and he told her he did not do printing and rudely pointed to the finance desk which had a long line. Also, it turns out they only gave us an addition 10% since as status latitude members, we were already eligible for a 10% discount. I again wrote a note to the general manager and received no reply! I am currently a Platinum Latitudes member but feel that Norwegian has really gone down hill in the last year or so. The staff and the service are very poor!! Even management and Guest Services don't seem friendly or like they care if you have issues. I attribute this partly to the fact that tips are now prepaid, so the staff receives their money even if they don’t do a good job. While I have been leaning toward NCL over the last few years, I am becoming very unhappy with them and will have to start looking to start traveling other lines going forward.

Disappointing

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by Annedee

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2020
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Porthole Window
Was excited for my first trip to South America and loved the itinerary! Visited some very remote areas and saw beautiful scenery. Especially loved the Glaciers, the penguins and the sea lions.

Unfortunately, the experience on the ship was the disappointing part! It started with embarkation which was a disaster with long lines and frustrated guests. I’m platinum, which is supposed to afford me priority embarkation but all the way through, I was told to follow the crowd. No priority!

Once on the ship, for the first 4 or 5 days, staff were serving guests at the garden café, rather than allow self-service at the buffet. I’m sure that this was to avoid possible contamination since the carona-virus is such an issue, and I appreciate their concern. However, the staff was doing a terrible job! They were obviously short staffed behind the counters and didn’t seem happy to be serving. It was extremely slow and often it was hard to find anyone to help! Of course, the cleanup staff was plentiful and several times I had to stop them from taking my plate and drinks while I was still eating! We also had 7 nights in the specialty dining and sometimes felt rushed there. I also received a voucher for a complimentary dinner for 2 at Cagney”s , and a friend who was using the dining package was allowed to order more courses that we were with the voucher which I thought was extremely tacky!

We also booked all of our excursions through the ship and although expensive, most were good, although some of the guides were hard to understand. Also, tours were offered in Spanish or English, yet we often wound up with passengers in our group that spoke Spanish so the guides had to switch back and forth, making their speech more difficult to follow.

Unfortunately, the Magdelena Penguin Reserve tour in Punta Arenas, which was $199 for 5 hours, was terrible!! We spent a total of 4 hours on a bus and a rickety old ferry, for 1 hour on the island with the penguins. During the 105 minutes each way on the ferry, there was nothing else to see. The lead guide talked for about 30 minutes then spent the remaining time in the navigation cabin on the ferry with the other 3 guides who were young college students. One of the girls stuck her head out and I tried to ask a few questions and she wasn’t able to answer much. I learned more about Punta Arenas on a later excursion at another port!

After retuning to the ship I went to the shore excursion desk to complain and I was treated very rudely by the staff. I was told I would be given a “courtesy refund” but when I said my sister/roommate was also displeased, he said he would make out a report and get back to me. No response! So in the morning on the last day I returned and again was treated very poorly by another agent, and told it was still under review and they would call me with a decision at 8pm, after their desk was closed! I wrote a note to the general manager and finally received a call about 3:30pm that they were giving us a 20% discount. A little while later, my sister noticed on the NCL app that we were charged again for the excursion. So she went to the desk AGAIN was treated rudely also! He said we had received a credit for the first charge, which we did not see on the app. She asked for a copy of her bill so she could see the credit and he told her he did not do printing and rudely pointed to the finance desk which had a long line. Also, it turns out they only gave us an addition 10% since as status latitude members, we were already eligible for a 10% discount. I again wrote a note to the general manager and received no reply!

I am currently a Platinum Latitudes member but feel that Norwegian has really gone down hill in the last year or so. The staff and the service are very poor!! Even management and Guest Services don't seem friendly or like they care if you have issues. I attribute this partly to the fact that tips are now prepaid, so the staff receives their money even if they don’t do a good job. While I have been leaning toward NCL over the last few years, I am becoming very unhappy with them and will have to start looking to start traveling other lines going forward.
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Porthole Window
Cabin OG
Our room steward was very good, friendly and accommodating. He quickly learned our routine and was on top of everything!
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews