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I think the title says it all: there were some great views and ports with equally not-so-great service and food on the NCL Star to Alaska. I'll start at the beginning with embarkation. Embarkation: Line after line after line. I have never had to wait in so many lines in my life. First you have to wait in line to drop your luggage off then you have to wait in another line to go through security and lastly a line to check-in and get your room card. It took about 1 ½ hours to get through all the lines. Once on board it was time to eat! The Food: The food, for the most part, was mediocre. Most of the food in the Market Cafe and in the two main dining rooms was cold and tasted old. Breakfast was horrible! It was the same food every day. Bland, frozen pancakes and waffles, potatoes so dry you practically choke on them and cold muffins. I don't think I ate a single thing in the cafe that was actually hot. Room service breakfast wasn't too bad, although you couldn't get anything hot; only cereal and fruit. The variety of food at lunch was better, but again most of it was cold. We ate dinner in two specialty restaurants: Teppanyaki and La Cucina. It is worth the extra fee to visit the specialty restaurants. The food is a lot better, it's served hot, and the service is better. The food in the main dining rooms was ok but the service was terrible. The highlight of the food was the chocolate buffet. It was excellent!!! Service: This was some of the worst service I have ever received and this was my 6th cruise. Most of the staff acted as if they would rather be anywhere else than there serving you. Most had sullen looks and were not quick to offer help of any kind. This was most apparent in the two main dining rooms. There was usually a wait to be seated and then once you were seated it was at least 10 minutes before anyone even came over to your table to take your order. Dinner was usually 1 ½ to 2 hour affair because it took so long to get each course. Just forget dessert-they were disgusting!!!! That said, service in the specialty restaurants was quick, attentive, and friendly. The room steward was also very friendly except that I found a flip-flop under the bed and a make-up compact under the dresser (from the previous guests), so she wasn't a very thorough cleaner. The Room: We had a mini-suite which is about the size of a regular balcony stateroom on Carnival. The main bed was pretty comfortable but the second bed (pulled out from the couch) was hard as a rock. I did ask for a foam pad to put on it which did make the bed a little more comfortable. There were three adults in the room and it was cramped. It was nice to have a tub and not just a shower. The location of the mini-suites is not ideal. It is on deck 11 right under the main deck with the pool and hot tubs. A lot of noise from above at all times of day. The Ports: In Ketchikan, we did the duck tour which was fun and informative. Very reasonably priced. In Juneau, we did the tour of Juneau with visits to Mendenhall Glacier and the Salmon Hatchery. Tour was great but the ship does not spend enough time in Juneau. By the time the tour was over, there wasn't time to do anything else. It also didn't help that we were not docked at the prime spot near the Mt. Roberts Tramway and all of the shops. It was quite a walk from the dock to get to these attractions. In Skagway we did the White Pass and Yukon Railway. It is a little pricey, but well worth the money. A must see!! We did not book an excursion in Prince Rupert and I must say that I have yet to figure out why any ship would dock there. It is very small and there is absolutely nothing to do. We saw the entire town by foot in 1 hour. There is a little shopping area (read: 3 stores) near the dock with specialty (expensive) merchandise. There is a mall but don't waste your time. It is nearly empty. Debarkation: Very easy. No problems whatsoever. Final Words: While I loved visiting Alaska, I would advise people to choose a different company to cruise with. The food and service are not that great and they money you to death!! Almost nothing is included in the cruise fare. All of the classes they offer on board (they call them NCL "U") cost extra and if you want to use the indoor hot tub and pool? Yep, that's extra too!! You have to buy a $99 Spa pass to use these facilities.

Beautiful views and poor service on the NCL Star

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by Sailorgirl222

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2010
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
I think the title says it all: there were some great views and ports with equally not-so-great service and food on the NCL Star to Alaska. I'll start at the beginning with embarkation.
Embarkation: Line after line after line. I have never had to wait in so many lines in my life. First you have to wait in line to drop your luggage off then you have to wait in another line to go through security and lastly a line to check-in and get your room card. It took about 1 ½ hours to get through all the lines. Once on board it was time to eat!
The Food: The food, for the most part, was mediocre. Most of the food in the Market Cafe and in the two main dining rooms was cold and tasted old. Breakfast was horrible! It was the same food every day. Bland, frozen pancakes and waffles, potatoes so dry you practically choke on them and cold muffins. I don't think I ate a single thing in the cafe that was actually hot. Room service breakfast wasn't too bad, although you couldn't get anything hot; only cereal and fruit. The variety of food at lunch was better, but again most of it was cold. We ate dinner in two specialty restaurants: Teppanyaki and La Cucina. It is worth the extra fee to visit the specialty restaurants. The food is a lot better, it's served hot, and the service is better. The food in the main dining rooms was ok but the service was terrible. The highlight of the food was the chocolate buffet. It was excellent!!!
Service: This was some of the worst service I have ever received and this was my 6th cruise. Most of the staff acted as if they would rather be anywhere else than there serving you. Most had sullen looks and were not quick to offer help of any kind. This was most apparent in the two main dining rooms. There was usually a wait to be seated and then once you were seated it was at least 10 minutes before anyone even came over to your table to take your order. Dinner was usually 1 ½ to 2 hour affair because it took so long to get each course. Just forget dessert-they were disgusting!!!! That said, service in the specialty restaurants was quick, attentive, and friendly. The room steward was also very friendly except that I found a flip-flop under the bed and a make-up compact under the dresser (from the previous guests), so she wasn't a very thorough cleaner.
The Room: We had a mini-suite which is about the size of a regular balcony stateroom on Carnival. The main bed was pretty comfortable but the second bed (pulled out from the couch) was hard as a rock. I did ask for a foam pad to put on it which did make the bed a little more comfortable. There were three adults in the room and it was cramped. It was nice to have a tub and not just a shower. The location of the mini-suites is not ideal. It is on deck 11 right under the main deck with the pool and hot tubs. A lot of noise from above at all times of day.
The Ports: In Ketchikan, we did the duck tour which was fun and informative. Very reasonably priced. In Juneau, we did the tour of Juneau with visits to Mendenhall Glacier and the Salmon Hatchery. Tour was great but the ship does not spend enough time in Juneau. By the time the tour was over, there wasn't time to do anything else. It also didn't help that we were not docked at the prime spot near the Mt. Roberts Tramway and all of the shops. It was quite a walk from the dock to get to these attractions. In Skagway we did the White Pass and Yukon Railway. It is a little pricey, but well worth the money. A must see!! We did not book an excursion in Prince Rupert and I must say that I have yet to figure out why any ship would dock there. It is very small and there is absolutely nothing to do. We saw the entire town by foot in 1 hour. There is a little shopping area (read: 3 stores) near the dock with specialty (expensive) merchandise. There is a mall but don't waste your time. It is nearly empty.
Debarkation: Very easy. No problems whatsoever.
Final Words: While I loved visiting Alaska, I would advise people to choose a different company to cruise with. The food and service are not that great and they money you to death!! Almost nothing is included in the cruise fare. All of the classes they offer on board (they call them NCL "U") cost extra and if you want to use the indoor hot tub and pool? Yep, that's extra too!! You have to buy a $99 Spa pass to use these facilities.
Sailorgirl222’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11076
Great view but noise from the pool deck at all day and night.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins