1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star, 9/18/10 Stateroom 5628 For eight months after we booked this cruise we wondered how much fun we would have. The answer is we couldn't of had a better time and we were not disappointed. We arrived in Seattle the day before the cruise and bought a pre-cruise package through NCL which turned out to be a good decision because not only was our room ready at noon, but we found out the next morning that our luggage with the NCL tags attached would be taken to the pier ahead of our bus and it would be at our cabin door by 3:00 PM. Our bus arrived at noon and we were on our way to stand in line at the pier. I think the process went fairly quickly since over 2000 people are trying to do the same thing. There are enough NCL people around to guide you and give information. After going through security, filling out the health form, checking in and getting the embarkation picture taken, we were sitting down at the Versailles and eating by 1:30 PM. I would recommend going to the Meet and Greet arranged by a CC member from your cruise but supported by NCL. We met and befriended a number of other CC members and met some of the directors of the Star. They answered questions and assured us to tell them about any problem we might encounter since they can't fix it if they don't know about the problem. Luckily we didn't have any issues. Here are our views on the Star - Free Restaurants- The Versailles, Aqua (evenings only) Blue Lagoon, Market Cafe, and pool buffet were more than adequate to satisfy anytime eating. The food was good and we never had to wait for a table for two at the times we ate - early. Pay Restaurants - We loved Le Bistro, it is worth the extra surcharge, liked Cagney's and Endless Summer. Again no problem getting seated. Crew - We were impressed at how pleasant and how eager to please the passengers they were. Each one we encountered was pleasant and seemed to enjoy the conversation. They did their jobs efficiently and always had a smile on their face in front of the passengers. We talked to almost every category of crew from the Cruise Director and her staff to the servers, bartenders and stewards. Oceanview Room - We were on the fifth deck midship and loved the location. Would we have loved a suite? Yes, but we could not afford that. The bathroom is laid out with a sink in the middle and glass doors on either side with the shower on one side and the toilet on the other. We used an over the door shoe organizer to handle the toiletries we used frequently. We liked the fifth deck because it was close to the restaurants, atrium, theater and casino. Since the elevators were usually busy we could always walk up two decks and walk down any number of them. That became our unspoken rule of thumb while going about the ship. We both thought the bed was comfortable, the layout of the room was OK for us, which was bed under the window with a small side table on either side. The closet was opposite the bathroom with lots of hanging space and drawers and the desk was on the other side of the room. At the end of the closet was a mini desk area with a small TV on a shelf. Also on the closet side was more drawers and a mini refrigerator. We put all the expensive items from the frig into an unused drawer so we wouldn't use them and then used the frig for the beer we bought in the bucket. Our suitcases did fit under the bed and we used one of them for dirty clothes. The stewards were very friendly and took care of our room two times a day. We always had ice in the room and I only asked for it once, but then they knew we would use lots of ice. We couldn't ever hear the neighbors so the walls are quite soundproof. In fact we thought one room was empty and realized someone was there only when we saw the luggage outside the door on the last night. Entertainment - We thought the shows in the Stardust Theater were very entertaining. Our favorite was Kenny Byrd, the ventriloquist. He was very funny and would pick people in the crowd to come on stage. We were glad he didn't pick us! We live in the Midwest, so we have no experience with Broadway shows and limited experience with Vegas shows but in our opinion the shows on ship were great. They had a Frankie Valli Tribute, 70's band show, Kenny Byrd, Second City Comedy and dancers with Chinese acrobats. We also saw the welcome aboard show, a crew talent show and a finale with some funny skits. There was various music around the ship in various places and at various times- just look at your Freestyle Daily. We liked Stan Skyes at Gatsby's Bar. The Spinnaker Lounge had lots of adult shows starting after 10:30PM like the Not So Newlywed Game, Karaoke Idol and Dancing With the Stars (crew). We never went to one, but they are replayed on the ship's TV channel. Ports - The ports the Star visits are very nice quaint towns. We liked them in this order. First is Skagway. The shopkeepers that we talked to were very interesting to talk to and shared their experiences on living all year in Alaska or if they were there just for the cruising season. The Gold Rush Visitors Center was very interesting with some exhibits, posters and maps to look at. The half hour movie was put together very nicely. Of course the best excursion in Skagway is the White Pass Railroad. There are several different length of trips. We took the 3 ½ hour trip and since we booked with NCL (only $9 difference), we got to board right at the pier. We were lucky enough to have a nice sunny day and could see lots of lovely scenery. Next is Ketchikan. The shopkeepers were very friendly especially in the Creek Street area. We just shopped and then did some people watching while having drinks and appetizers at the Fish Pirate Saloon. Third is Juneau. This port took more time to disembark and the busing system into town seemed confusing. We only shopped in Juneau, but there didn't seem to be as many locals keeping shops and most of them were more business like an not as friendly. The best thing was that the Alaska Shirt Company had everything half off since it was end of the season. Last was Prince Rupert. We never got off the ship because like Juneau it was hard to get off the ship and by the time we felt like going it started to rain. The passengers coming back said we didn't miss much because the ship arrived at 4:00 PM and most shops didn't stay open late. What we tried to avoid after experiencing: Elevators - They are very slow and they get backed up fast and the people waiting are unaware that they are blocking the stairways. Art Auction - We got tired of walking into the area. It is right in the middle of a main hallway and the workers blocked the hallways moving the art into the Aqua for the talks and auctions. Buffet - We never found a time that the buffet wasn't busy and the way the tables are laid out makes it easy for one small group to use room for six to ten people. We went one time for lunch around 3:00 PM and there was barely a table for just the two of us and the lines were closed getting ready for dinner. We thought that keeping one line open while they were changing the other line could work, then they could get that line changed over to dinner. Maybe then the buffet wouldn't be so busy. We did find that when the weather was good enough we could use the pool buffet, which is more or less picnic food with more room to sit and eat. Casino - We knew we wouldn't win much at the casino, but we tried it anyway. We both could use one coupon each once a day that gave us $20 play for $10. Thank goodness we printed enough for four or five days. We thought the casino was too smoky and too warm for us so we left before too many people filled the room. TIP- instead of using the ATM for cash ($8.50 charge) go to the cashier and ask for money and charge it to your sea pass card (no charge). Getting off at ports - We aren't sure why disembarking was so different at each port, but since we didn't have any early excursions we waited until the crowd got smaller, but even then it could be over an hour waiting. Thoughts about NCL pushing sales - We never felt any pressure to buy anything extra on the ship. From the Photo Gallery, Bingo, Pull-Tabs, to pay restaurants, drinks and the Gallery Shops. We never felt funny saying no to buying anything extra. That includes us sitting in a bar area for almost three hours listening to the music and people watching and the only thing we ordered was three beers and two ice waters. Finally, disembarking on the final day was very organized. Thinking that over 2000 people are leaving is overwhelming. The colored tag system works very well. Staff are placed around the 7th deck informing the passengers where to go and answering questions. We sat in the Atrium and watched the people leave since we had a post cruise hotel package and were the last group to leave. For the most part people were very orderly and patient leaving the ship. We got to leave a little early because everything was going smoothly. We located our bags arranged downstairs in the terminal by the color tags given out the day before. Again there are many NCL port people around to answer questions. Since we left the ship early our bus wasn't there (of course), so all the brown tag people stayed together and amid the confusion of many busses and taxis and next weeks passengers arriving we were finally picked up about 10:30 AM. Again we were glad we bought our hotel package from NCL because our room was ready before noon. I'm happy that the hotels booked through NCL worked out so well. I sat and checked online last March to see which would be a better deal, booking a hotel ourselves or through NCL. I think I made the right decision because our price included the transfers to and from the pier, baggage handling, tipping the handlers and all room taxes. TIP - If you stay at Holiday Inn Sea-Tac and want to go into town, use the Link Light Rail for $2.50 each way. All you have to do is go out the Lobby door, walk towards the street, turn left and look for the over the street walkway that is less than a block ahead. There is a stairway or an elevator to take you up to the level. Once you cross over the street the ticket station is easily seen and you can be at the Westlake Center in less than a half and hour. It is an easy walk down to the Wharf, Pikes Place, Downtown shopping or the Space Needle. So in conclusion our cruise was tremendous. We are impressed with all the organizing that goes into running a cruise ship and from our experience how smoothly everything did go. We will be planning another cruise on NCL as soon as possible.

Great Cruise

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by dow cruiser

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2010
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
Norwegian Star, 9/18/10 Stateroom 5628
For eight months after we booked this cruise we wondered how much fun we would have. The answer is we couldn't of had a better time and we were not disappointed.
We arrived in Seattle the day before the cruise and bought a pre-cruise package through NCL which turned out to be a good decision because not only was our room ready at noon, but we found out the next morning that our luggage with the NCL tags attached would be taken to the pier ahead of our bus and it would be at our cabin door by 3:00 PM. Our bus arrived at noon and we were on our way to stand in line at the pier. I think the process went fairly quickly since over 2000 people are trying to do the same thing. There are enough NCL people around to guide you and give information. After going through security, filling out the health form, checking in and getting the embarkation picture taken, we were sitting down at the Versailles and eating by 1:30 PM.
I would recommend going to the Meet and Greet arranged by a CC member from your cruise but supported by NCL. We met and befriended a number of other CC members and met some of the directors of the Star. They answered questions and assured us to tell them about any problem we might encounter since they can't fix it if they don't know about the problem. Luckily we didn't have any issues. Here are our views on the Star -
Free Restaurants- The Versailles, Aqua (evenings only) Blue Lagoon, Market Cafe, and pool buffet were more than adequate to satisfy anytime eating. The food was good and we never had to wait for a table for two at the times we ate - early.
Pay Restaurants - We loved Le Bistro, it is worth the extra surcharge, liked Cagney's and Endless Summer. Again no problem getting seated.
Crew - We were impressed at how pleasant and how eager to please the passengers they were. Each one we encountered was pleasant and seemed to enjoy the conversation. They did their jobs efficiently and always had a smile on their face in front of the passengers. We talked to almost every category of crew from the Cruise Director and her staff to the servers, bartenders and stewards.
Oceanview Room - We were on the fifth deck midship and loved the location. Would we have loved a suite? Yes, but we could not afford that. The bathroom is laid out with a sink in the middle and glass doors on either side with the shower on one side and the toilet on the other. We used an over the door shoe organizer to handle the toiletries we used frequently. We liked the fifth deck because it was close to the restaurants, atrium, theater and casino. Since the elevators were usually busy we could always walk up two decks and walk down any number of them. That became our unspoken rule of thumb while going about the ship. We both thought the bed was comfortable, the layout of the room was OK for us, which was bed under the window with a small side table on either side. The closet was opposite the bathroom with lots of hanging space and drawers and the desk was on the other side of the room. At the end of the closet was a mini desk area with a small TV on a shelf. Also on the closet side was more drawers and a mini refrigerator. We put all the expensive items from the frig into an unused drawer so we wouldn't use them and then used the frig for the beer we bought in the bucket. Our suitcases did fit under the bed and we used one of them for dirty clothes. The stewards were very friendly and took care of our room two times a day. We always had ice in the room and I only asked for it once, but then they knew we would use lots of ice. We couldn't ever hear the neighbors so the walls are quite soundproof. In fact we thought one room was empty and realized someone was there only when we saw the luggage outside the door on the last night.
Entertainment - We thought the shows in the Stardust Theater were very entertaining. Our favorite was Kenny Byrd, the ventriloquist. He was very funny and would pick people in the crowd to come on stage. We were glad he didn't pick us! We live in the Midwest, so we have no experience with Broadway shows and limited experience with Vegas shows but in our opinion the shows on ship were great. They had a Frankie Valli Tribute, 70's band show, Kenny Byrd, Second City Comedy and dancers with Chinese acrobats. We also saw the welcome aboard show, a crew talent show and a finale with some funny skits. There was various music around the ship in various places and at various times- just look at your Freestyle Daily. We liked Stan Skyes at Gatsby's Bar. The Spinnaker Lounge had lots of adult shows starting after 10:30PM like the Not So Newlywed Game, Karaoke Idol and Dancing With the Stars (crew). We never went to one, but they are replayed on the ship's TV channel.
Ports - The ports the Star visits are very nice quaint towns. We liked them in this order. First is Skagway. The shopkeepers that we talked to were very interesting to talk to and shared their experiences on living all year in Alaska or if they were there just for the cruising season. The Gold Rush Visitors Center was very interesting with some exhibits, posters and maps to look at. The half hour movie was put together very nicely. Of course the best excursion in Skagway is the White Pass Railroad. There are several different length of trips. We took the 3 ½ hour trip and since we booked with NCL (only $9 difference), we got to board right at the pier. We were lucky enough to have a nice sunny day and could see lots of lovely scenery. Next is Ketchikan. The shopkeepers were very friendly especially in the Creek Street area. We just shopped and then did some people watching while having drinks and appetizers at the Fish Pirate Saloon. Third is Juneau. This port took more time to disembark and the busing system into town seemed confusing. We only shopped in Juneau, but there didn't seem to be as many locals keeping shops and most of them were more business like an not as friendly. The best thing was that the Alaska Shirt Company had everything half off since it was end of the season. Last was Prince Rupert. We never got off the ship because like Juneau it was hard to get off the ship and by the time we felt like going it started to rain. The passengers coming back said we didn't miss much because the ship arrived at 4:00 PM and most shops didn't stay open late.
What we tried to avoid after experiencing:
Elevators - They are very slow and they get backed up fast and the people waiting are unaware that they are blocking the stairways.
Art Auction - We got tired of walking into the area. It is right in the middle of a main hallway and the workers blocked the hallways moving the art into the Aqua for the talks and auctions.
Buffet - We never found a time that the buffet wasn't busy and the way the tables are laid out makes it easy for one small group to use room for six to ten people. We went one time for lunch around 3:00 PM and there was barely a table for just the two of us and the lines were closed getting ready for dinner. We thought that keeping one line open while they were changing the other line could work, then they could get that line changed over to dinner. Maybe then the buffet wouldn't be so busy. We did find that when the weather was good enough we could use the pool buffet, which is more or less picnic food with more room to sit and eat.
Casino - We knew we wouldn't win much at the casino, but we tried it anyway. We both could use one coupon each once a day that gave us $20 play for $10. Thank goodness we printed enough for four or five days. We thought the casino was too smoky and too warm for us so we left before too many people filled the room. TIP- instead of using the ATM for cash ($8.50 charge) go to the cashier and ask for money and charge it to your sea pass card (no charge).
Getting off at ports - We aren't sure why disembarking was so different at each port, but since we didn't have any early excursions we waited until the crowd got smaller, but even then it could be over an hour waiting.
Thoughts about NCL pushing sales - We never felt any pressure to buy anything extra on the ship. From the Photo Gallery, Bingo, Pull-Tabs, to pay restaurants, drinks and the Gallery Shops. We never felt funny saying no to buying anything extra. That includes us sitting in a bar area for almost three hours listening to the music and people watching and the only thing we ordered was three beers and two ice waters.
Finally, disembarking on the final day was very organized. Thinking that over 2000 people are leaving is overwhelming. The colored tag system works very well. Staff are placed around the 7th deck informing the passengers where to go and answering questions. We sat in the Atrium and watched the people leave since we had a post cruise hotel package and were the last group to leave. For the most part people were very orderly and patient leaving the ship. We got to leave a little early because everything was going smoothly. We located our bags arranged downstairs in the terminal by the color tags given out the day before. Again there are many NCL port people around to answer questions. Since we left the ship early our bus wasn't there (of course), so all the brown tag people stayed together and amid the confusion of many busses and taxis and next weeks passengers arriving we were finally picked up about 10:30 AM. Again we were glad we bought our hotel package from NCL because our room was ready before noon. I'm happy that the hotels booked through NCL worked out so well. I sat and checked online last March to see which would be a better deal, booking a hotel ourselves or through NCL. I think I made the right decision because our price included the transfers to and from the pier, baggage handling, tipping the handlers and all room taxes.
TIP - If you stay at Holiday Inn Sea-Tac and want to go into town, use the Link Light Rail for $2.50 each way. All you have to do is go out the Lobby door, walk towards the street, turn left and look for the over the street walkway that is less than a block ahead. There is a stairway or an elevator to take you up to the level. Once you cross over the street the ticket station is easily seen and you can be at the Westlake Center in less than a half and hour. It is an easy walk down to the Wharf, Pikes Place, Downtown shopping or the Space Needle.
So in conclusion our cruise was tremendous. We are impressed with all the organizing that goes into running a cruise ship and from our experience how smoothly everything did go. We will be planning another cruise on NCL as soon as possible.
dow cruiser’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Star price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OB 5628
Lots of storage area, good location, bathroom laid out nicely, never heard people next door, window was nice to look out
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins