An Amazing Vacation: Norwegian Star Cruise Review by acciofirebolt29

Norwegian Star 5
Member Since 2010
8 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

An Amazing Vacation

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
I had read a few reviews of the Star before booking the cruise but still booked because the price was right. I was a little worried but it turned out that my worries were unfounded. The only cruise line I have been on prior to this trip was Carnival and I was not impressed.

Embarkation was so easy. We arrived at about 1:45 pm and we walked right up to check in and were on the ship within 10 minutes of arriving at the port. Side Note: we used Memorial Park and Fly to park our car. I cannot recommend them enough. HALF the price of parking at the port and they transferred you in a really comfy bus to and from the port. There is no reason to pay over $100 to park your car at the port. There is also no reason to get to the ship so early that you have to stand in line for 30 min. to an hour to check in. Get to the port after 1:30 pm and make your life a lot easier. In the port, the employees were dancing to the music and really genuinely seemed to enjoy their jobs. In prior cruises, More I felt like I was committing a crime by daring to even approach an agent. Not here, it was a fun festive atmosphere before stepping on board.

Once aboard, we went to our room and checked it out. I have to say, the rooms themselves were much smaller than Carnival, but the bathrooms were much larger and really well appointed and nice. They angled the toilet so that, if you are tall or larger in stature, your legs are rammed into a wall when you sit on the toilet. The shower was a walk in shower with a removable shower head. It was a little smaller for someone tall and big but it was doable.

The crew was amazing. The bar tenders, servers, entertainment, bussers etc. I cannot say enough good things about these people. When I got off the ship, I felt like I was leaving family. On the first night I met a nice server in the casino (jimmy de la cruz was his name) and didn't see him again until the last night on the ship and he called me by my first name. This amazed me but it was par for the course on this cruise. Gunther in the Red Lion Pub was so sweet and always welcomed us with a smile and a big hug goodbye on the last day on the ship.

The cruise director and her assistance were just awesome. Beantown Brian, Oriel, Sana, Andreas, Juicy and Crazy Christine were so much fun. They ran the events on the ship. Trivia, game shows, dance lessons, and karaoke were a blast. We were never bored!!! The shows were hit and miss, the singers were incredible. The shows "Shout! A Mod Musical" and "Band on the Run" are not to be missed. One of the performers named Erika has an incredible voice. I could sit and listen to her sing all day. The Second City comedy troop was also very funny. The aerialist Duo Amaury was amazing. But the magician was so boring. He did the same trick (put someone in something and make them disappear) over and over again. My suggestion to the entertainment people is to use their vocalists in more of the shows. Two shows with them was not enough. I would have loved to have seen a Broadway tribute type show with these singers. On Carnival, they did that but the singers are terrible. I would love to have heard Erika singing something from West Side Story or Wicked.

The food was another pleasant surprise. Anyone complaining about the food quality need only look to Carnival for the worst food on the seas. Norwegians food was really great. Not the greatest, but much better than I really expected. The buffet always changed from day to day, with some standards remaining the same. They actually had GOOD pizza and interesting sandwiches. One of the best things was that every night from about 8 til 10 pm, they had a chef out on the deck making fresh crepes with any filling you wanted. They were sooo freaking good that we went almost every night to have one. Norwegian has THE BEST cheesecake on the planet in the Aqua restaurant. If your a cheesecake fan, please do not miss having a piece.

The only specialty restaurant we ate at was La Cucina and it was not that great. I cannot recommend this place. I don't know about the other specialities but I had much better food in the buffet and Aqua and see no reason why I would try another specialty again. Its not worth the extra money. I had chicken parm in la cucina. The chicken was ok but the past was hard and the sauce was weird. The next night we went to Aqua and they had Eggplant Parm. one of my table mates ordered it and we shared it and it was phenomenal. The sauce was perfect and the noodles were well done.

Departure and port days were very easy as well. The longest we waited to exit the boat was when we had to tender and that was mainly because the couple in front of us was using walkers and had to walk down these stairs to get into the tender boat.

Now onto the negatives. The rooms were really too small. Once we had our two large suitcases in the room, it was really hard to move around. When the beds are pushed together, there is no room for the person sleeping on the bathroom side of the bed to walk. This means if that person had to go to the bathroom, they would have to slide down to the end of the bed to get off the bed. This would surely wake the other person up. Luckily, we wanted the beds separated and once they were that issue was resolves. Still the rooms could be bigger.

Another negative is that all the public seating areas are rather uncomfortable if you are larger in stature. It is like they tried to find the tiniest seats in the world and filled the public areas with them. Even the theater seats were horrible if you are someone with larger hips. Carnival had large chase lounges you could stretch out on. Even the couches that were on the ship were made to be very short in width. The theater was the worst, they had chairs up high but even those were tight and small. So a warning, if your even 50 lbs over weight be prepared to not be the most comfortable in the public areas.

Leaving on a positive, my fave part of the cruise ship is the top front of the ship. The view is amazing and at night with no clouds the stars are breathtaking. The Star has a jacuzzi at the top front of their ship. This was just such a great idea. So wonderful to relax in a jacuzzi with that view. Less

Published 12/15/11

Cabin review: IA11107 Mid-Ship Inside

We were in room 11107. Really close to the Atrium elevators in the center of the ship. Inside stateroom. Very small room. If the beds are pushed together you can forget about using one half the side of the room unless you want to climb over the bed to get to it. Closets were great. Bathroom was larger than any I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The toilet was angled so that your legs didn't press against the wall. The showed was large enough with a nice removable shower head. Fixtures were really nice and it looked like the room and bathrooms had just been redone.

Read All Mid-Ship Inside (IA) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

This port is really interesting because you tender into a huge shopping complex with food and bars. You could really have a good time just in the port if you didnt not want to do an excursion. For myself personally, I would prefer a more adventurous time. We did the Old Belize River Tour and Altun Ha. It was a really good time. The Boat was comforntable, like a speed boat that slows down and becomes more of a tour boat. We got to see monkeys, crocs, iguana, manatees, and lots of birds. Then we had a nice lunch of rice and beans and chicken. It wasnt bad, but it wasnt the best either. Then we took a bus to Altun Ha Mayan Ruins. We toured the area and then got to climb on some of the ruins. The view is magnificent from the top but it is a tough climb. If you have height issues or issues with climbing this is still a good tour, just dont climb the ruins.

When it came to finding things to do that are right at the port, this is the stop for you. What a wonderful port of call. Lots of shopping, restaurants, a pool and swim up pool bar (the pool is free) and they even have entertainment within the complex. It is an excellent port. We rented a golf cart for $40 for 4 people for 2 hours and headed out of the port shopping area to the town of Mahahual which takes about 15 minutes to get too on the golf cart. There we found the Maya Bar, right on the beach. What a gorgeous beach this is. Palm trees, restaurant seating on the beach, comfy lounge chairs and hammocks are waiting for you to relax in. There are lots of other restaurants along the same road that Maya Bar is on, so you have choices, but Maya Bar was recommended to us and we really liked it. The food was AMAZING. It was good fun to take the golf cart, it allowed for some good pics. There is a lighthouse on the way to Mahahual as well. Really good time at this excursion. Better than I expected.
Read 1769 Costa Maya Reviews

The port has a huge mall that you basically walk off the boat into. Beyond that, we took a cab $50 there and back for 4 people, to the other side of the island. Found an amazing beach called Chen Rio (or Playa Chen Rio) with a restaurant and snorkling equipment and spent the day there. The snorkling was not the best, I heard, but it was my first time and I enjoyed it. Lots of fish and coral. It was interesting because the water was so clear and amazingly warm for December. We had chips and salsa and guacamole in their restaurant. It was a great day.
Read 5492 Cozumel Reviews

I have rated this as a 3 because I had two different experiences at this port that I have to look at as a whole. Roatan is quite a scary place once your beyond the small shop area that is right off the cruise dock. This is not something that can be fixed except by the cruise lines pouring more money into building onto the shops that are already there. It does appear that this is happening right now as construction was happening in December when I was there. However, we got off the boat earlier than necessary for our booked excursion and became bored rather quickly with the surrounding area. We tried to venture out on foot but we quickly turned and came back because it was really dirty and the men in the area trying to get you to purchase something or use their cab were pushy and scary. Also they want to charge way to much when we did find someone that seemed trustworthy enough to ask to take us on a 30 min tour of the town by cab. They wanted $60 which was rediculous when you compare to the cab rides we got in other ports. Now for the good stuff, we had an excursion to Gumbalimba park. Once that excursion was under way, things improved drastically. I cannot recommend enough to book a cruise line approved excursion at this port. Even a simple guided tour of the town would be recommended. Do not venture off on your own. The excursion to Gumbalimba was wonderful. We took a bus up the mountain side, we got some incredible views. The tour itself was good as well. We got to hold monkeys and parrots. We went over a bridge to monkey island. The cave portion left much to be desired. The tour guide had far to much to say that not many people cared to hear about. There is a pool and a beach at Gumbalimba. Overall, if I had not done an excursion, I would have hated this port.
Read 2447 Roatan Reviews

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Member Since 2010
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