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Sail Date: December 2017
Our first cruise was on the Norwegian Star for New Years 2018. The departure was from San Pedro which was a disappointment, don't plan extra time for siteseeing as there was not much to see and the restaurants where underwhelming. ... Read More
Our first cruise was on the Norwegian Star for New Years 2018. The departure was from San Pedro which was a disappointment, don't plan extra time for siteseeing as there was not much to see and the restaurants where underwhelming. Boarding the ship was so easy and quick, Norwegian was prepared and friendly staff pointed us all in the direction we needed to go. We went straight to O'Sheehans and had a great meal, the waiters were friendly and kept asking if that was all we wanted to order. Portion sizes are small but that allows for you to try lots of things, it is fun to be able to order multiple items from the menu, might as well try everything. We are a family of four, two adults and twins that are 18. We booked an inside room and I was worried after reading many reviews. The room was just fine though, loads of space for suitcases, lots of drawers and shelves for clothes, plenty of hangers so just unpack and settle in. You do have to be organized and tidy to keep the space from feeling small but if your family is comfortable together you will be just fine. We enjoyed Aqua and Versailles restaurants, menus were the same at both, the food was good and we tried new things every day. We always ordered extra desserts and appetizers and no one cares, so enjoy. We went to one special restaurant, Teppanyaki and paid extra, it was entertaining and the food was good but not so much better that is was worth an extra $150. Over all I think you will eat better food in your lifetime but there was lots to choose and if you don't like it just don't eat it. We ate lots and yet came home to only a two pound weight gain! The entertainment was tremendous! We saw almost every show and many of them we went to both times. Band On The Run was super!! Go see everything and enjoy the shows! Lots of seats available so you don't have to worry. We did one ship excursion in Cabo and we found two off ship tours. All the ports were amazing and safe. All the staff we encountered were tremendous and I loved the global representation!! Over all we will try Norwegian again but on a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
This was a New Year’s cruise on the Norwegian Star. I have concluded that NCL is worse than ever. The biggest issue for us was their much touted “Freestyle Dining”, which NCL alleges takes the stress out of dining. ... Read More
This was a New Year’s cruise on the Norwegian Star. I have concluded that NCL is worse than ever. The biggest issue for us was their much touted “Freestyle Dining”, which NCL alleges takes the stress out of dining. Nothing could be farther from the truth! With traditional dining, you have a set table at a set time every night; you’re always guaranteed a place to eat with the same waiter and assistant who quickly learn your preferences and serve you accordingly. Most (maybe all) ships also have specialty dining rooms where you can make a reservation for something different if you wish. With this freestyle dining nonsense, you get to stress every day about where you might find a place to eat that evening! At least in our case, the complimentary dining rooms could not be reserved except by large groups. Most premium dining rooms were fully booked for the week on the first day! Our tour package included dinner at 3 premium restaurants so we tried to make dinner reservations for the week shortly after we boarded. We had to do a lot of juggling to book three slots. We heard later that we were lucky to have done it so early; others failed to get the three. On the nights not in a premium restaurant, we had to show up at a restaurant, get a pager, and hang out somewhere until paged. I won’t do that at home; why would I expect to do it on a cruise?? Gatsby’s Lounge is located just outside of Le Bistro, one of the premium restaurants, and Le Bistro has a few tables outside of the restaurant proper; sort of a sidewalk café, so to speak. Immediately adjacent to that is the stage for the musicians in the Gatsby’s. That would be great if they played nice dinner music but is not so nice given the blaring music they offered! To compound the problem, Ginza, the Asian restaurant, overlooks Gatsby’s so people dining there are subject to the same noise. While some wait staff were good, others demonstrated a dreadful lack of training. For example, except when it is impossible to do otherwise, what competent waiter would reach in front of a guest’s face to serve another guest? It happened regularly! On most evenings, a very nice dance music played in the Atrium. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to dance. While there is a decent floor near the guest services desk, it was almost invariably crowded by the ship’s photographers. At best, a few people could cautiously dance at a time. On three separate mornings we were awakened in the wee hours by announcements in the cabin that should have been restricted to the public areas. Need I go on? Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Went with group of friends to celebrate New Years. We were awakened 5 of the 7 nights, between 1 and 3 AM, with announcements such as emergency stretcher crew to cabin #.. , a couple of times someone keyed on the microphone and then no ... Read More
Went with group of friends to celebrate New Years. We were awakened 5 of the 7 nights, between 1 and 3 AM, with announcements such as emergency stretcher crew to cabin #.. , a couple of times someone keyed on the microphone and then no announcement, etc. Then we were informed by letter that no announcements would be made in the rooms about tender service and guess what, they made three announcements. This was humorous at first, but quickly became annoying. Another concern was the salt level in food served everywhere. Entertainment was top notch. In fact, better than that on other cruise lines. Cabin was pretty standard, but loved the shower. It is far bigger than any I have been in on other cruise lines. Service by cabin steward, restaurant staff was excellent. Bar service was quite often slow, but there were a lot of people drinking. Husband loved that there were more flavorful beers ie an IPA on board. No other cruise line has had that. Wine list could be better. Barely passable. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Wanted to sail on Norwegian because of easy access in L.A. Ca, no need to fly into port. Wish I would have read the reviews before booking. The plus side of this Ship is, it's very clean, all restrooms, dining areas, and other places ... Read More
Wanted to sail on Norwegian because of easy access in L.A. Ca, no need to fly into port. Wish I would have read the reviews before booking. The plus side of this Ship is, it's very clean, all restrooms, dining areas, and other places (Spa, pool etc) were always kept clean. My Balcony Room was very clean and the Stateroom Steward did an excellent job. The Specialty Dining Restaurants were good, nothing spectacular, (Le Bistro, Cagney's and Teppanyaki)servings at Teppanyaki and Le Bistro were small. They had a craft class for 3 of the 7 days at sea. The craft class was nice, each a different project. The entertainment for the nightly evenings was good. This Ship is mainly kid/family oriented, not for single older adults. On the negative side, I paid for 3 days at the spa for 1 hour massage each day, thinking that I could use the spa and sauna before and after the massage. Nope!, Usually when I sail on other cruise lines, the use of the spa is included when booked for services at the spa. This ship charges an additional fee ($68) each day for use of spa and sauna. Also, I paid for bottled water on board as they would not allow guest to bring in their own bottled water. On embarkation everything went smooth, but on return, disembarkation was disorganized. They did not call the color of tags in the order it was listed. I will never sail this cruise line again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I have taken a ton of cruises and this was by far the worst. When we got to our room it was filthy. There was a dirty tooth pick on the ground, a dirty towel and it clearly had not been vacuumed. The boat if falling apart. Every public ... Read More
I have taken a ton of cruises and this was by far the worst. When we got to our room it was filthy. There was a dirty tooth pick on the ground, a dirty towel and it clearly had not been vacuumed. The boat if falling apart. Every public bathroom was over flowing. The boat is severely understaffed so the staff is running around and they look miserable to the service is terrible. I always felt like an inconvenience. We had to wait with a buzzer in order to have dinner every night and then we sat and waited to be served for over an hour. Honestly, I have done carnival cruises which are much less expensive and they are so much nicer. The food was terrible and my stomach was unhappy every day. We waited in line for everything all week. By the end of the trip we tried to expect the worst in regard to everything and then just be pleasantly surprised when anything was better than the worst. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I have cruised Princess twice and now Norwegian. I was really disappointed in the customer service I encountered on Norwegian from moment one. It really felt like the staff was not properly trained, or maybe they just don't care, nut ... Read More
I have cruised Princess twice and now Norwegian. I was really disappointed in the customer service I encountered on Norwegian from moment one. It really felt like the staff was not properly trained, or maybe they just don't care, nut never the less, it was a disappointment. You ask how to connect to wi-fi and they hand you a piece of paper. The internet cafe was rarely staffed to help as well. Half of O'Sheehan's was empty but they couldn't seat us because they didn't have any wait staff. A server in the Market Cafe spilled syrup on my husband's brand new sneakers and didn't even apologize. In fact, he didn't say anything at all. And their debarkation procedures were seriously flawed. I am glad I didn't see the dysfunction until we were getting off the boat because if there had been an actual emergency, I think I would have been on my own. You ask 10 different people where we were debarking and they gave 10 different answers. Really??? How can the staff not collectively know where people are supposed to get off the boat? There were some bright spots however. The entertainment and activities onboard were fantastic! Very exciting shows and beautiful productions. Also, my cabin steward was wonderful as well as the wait staff in the Aqua Main Dining Room. My stateroom with a balcony, was also very nice too. The food was pretty average and comparable to my prior cruises. Still deciding if I would take them again though. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
NCL did an outstanding job of boarding and the process was very smooth. Other cruise lines should take note of their efficiency in this area. Disembarkation seemed to be equally smooth. The NCL Star is an old ship and she needs a lot ... Read More
NCL did an outstanding job of boarding and the process was very smooth. Other cruise lines should take note of their efficiency in this area. Disembarkation seemed to be equally smooth. The NCL Star is an old ship and she needs a lot of attention. Everything was clean but definitely showing signs of age. The cabin was reasonable but just lacked anything to make you say WOW. We could hear people walking/running above us all day/night and we could clearly hear the discussions in neighboring cabins. The restaurants (both the complimentary and specialty) provided basic food that was acceptable but definitely not outstanding. In fairness, it wasn't much different than other cruises there just seemed to be much fewer choices. The biggest complaint we had here was our inability to get reservations at reasonable times (we had to eat at 8:15 and 9:30 pm two consecutive nights). The specialty restaurants couldn't accommodate large groups either. Make sure you make reservations prior to sailing or you'll be disappointed. Overall customer service was generally pretty poor. The staff just seemed tired and uninterested in most areas. The excursions were the highlight of the cruise. NCL offered a variety of choices at each port and we thoroughly enjoyed the places we visited. We took the sea lion tour in Puerto Vallarta and the outback and camel tour in Cabo. Both tours were first class from beginning to end. For the outback and camel tour, we started with a nature walk and learned a lot of fascinating info about the plants and wildlife indigenous to the area. We then met the camels and enjoyed a fun photo session with Louis the Camel. He was so cute! All of the beautiful camels that live on this property are RESCUED, not purchased. Each camel gets at least 3 days off per week and they roam the area completely unencumbered. They have a shelter area they can enter and leave at will and we saw some camels napping here. They receive food, shelter, medical care and lots of attention. They are free to go but who would leave such a great home? When you ride the camels on the beach (each camel has his own personalized saddle made just for him so it fits properly and is comfortable for him) they fly a drone overhead and make a very cool video. All of the photos and the videos are for sale at the end of the tour and they are worth every single penny. They provided an excellent lunch and the opportunity to try some of their own tequilas. Every one of them was delicious. Christian and Jeannette were the guides for our groups and both did an outstanding job. We loved this tour and would recommend it to everyone. The sea lion adventure was equally excellent. It was managed by the same parent company as the camel tour and we were impressed with the entire operation. At this location, as well as their others, the animals were all RESCUE. This company should be commended for their efforts towards humane treatment of animals. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We booked an inside cabin with a group travel company, over 300 were on our tour. We expected a small cabin, but we pleasantly surprised that the shower had a sliding door. We were in cabin 8521 near the front of the ship, and had no ... Read More
We booked an inside cabin with a group travel company, over 300 were on our tour. We expected a small cabin, but we pleasantly surprised that the shower had a sliding door. We were in cabin 8521 near the front of the ship, and had no problem from noise in other cabins. The musical groups in the different lounges were excellent. The shows spectacular, every one! Our biggest complaint-we were awoken many nights (I'm taking about 1:30 a.m.) with loud announcements in the cabin- i.e. "send a stretcher to cabin 1****" and a report of a missing passenger, After complaining to the front desk about the announcements disturbing our sleep, we were told it was a necessary safety procedure! I asked, why no other cruise line did this!! It is a great pity that this will stop us from booking again on NCL. The ship was lovely. A beautiful atrium and on our eighth deck, a delightful Irish Pub, overlooking the atrium. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
In most of the ship's venues, the staff seemed to be inattentive to guests. Some appeared to be bored while others appeared to be tired, distracted or as I indicated, simply inattentive Of course, there were several exceptions in which ... Read More
In most of the ship's venues, the staff seemed to be inattentive to guests. Some appeared to be bored while others appeared to be tired, distracted or as I indicated, simply inattentive Of course, there were several exceptions in which staff were indeed courteous, attentive and desirous to be helpful. Staff in the specialty restaurants were the exceptions. Little things in our cabin were annoying. For example, the t.v. remote had the markings worn out making it difficult to change channels or control the volume, the spindle on the toilet paper roll had worn pegs making the roll fall unless one took precautions, and the clock on the phone was almost impossible to read. On the positive side, the cabin (8696: a veranda cabin) made excellent use of space and had more than enough drawers, cubbies, etc. to store clothing and personal effects. Food: the buffet resembled a college dorm but the food was somewhat above average. The food in the specialty restaurants were excellent and in the complementary dining room just a bit above average. On the whole, all a bit, just a bit average or slightly above average cruise. Nonetheless, the cruise was a good value. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Contrary to another reviewer's view, I enjoyed our three specialty restaurant dinners in Moderno, Cagney's and Le Bistro. I found breakfasts in the buffet good while my wife did not. Lunches there were satisfactory. Two tries at ... Read More
Contrary to another reviewer's view, I enjoyed our three specialty restaurant dinners in Moderno, Cagney's and Le Bistro. I found breakfasts in the buffet good while my wife did not. Lunches there were satisfactory. Two tries at O'Sheehan's very disappointing. I'd recommend passing on it, but the bar on that deck was uncrowded and pleasant. We both found our three dinners in Agua to be an better experience than our one dinner in Versailles. I went to four shows but my wife didn't go at all. The shows were good. Embarkation was smooth but the disembarkation was the most pleasant that I've ever experience. Full breakfast buffet was available and we were able to stay in our stateroom rather than be shuttled to a public area until our disembarkation group was called. Finally, the ship tour, a booked excursion, was excellent. As entitled, I found this cruise an excellent value. Read Less
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