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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
6th Norwegin Cruise and most likely our last. We have enjoyed every one of our Cruises but it seems like service and food has gone down hill fast. My personal thought is way to many freebies and they are not able to accommodate all the ... Read More
6th Norwegin Cruise and most likely our last. We have enjoyed every one of our Cruises but it seems like service and food has gone down hill fast. My personal thought is way to many freebies and they are not able to accommodate all the Specialty Resturant reservations. Thankfully this not being our first rodeo I was aware of being able to book on line many days before sailing so we were able to dine at desired times, but everyday there were numerous complaints about not being able to get into the Specialty Restaurant. We have eaten in the Specialty Restaurants on every cruise and always enjoyed every bite of the driven lobster!! There was not a bite of lobster to be had in any Specialty Restaurant and very small portions. When asked why the answer was “not on the menus any more”. My thought is to many people not paying for the Specialty Restaurants equals no Lobster and small portions and very many unhappy customers. There are not enough seats in the buffet and the wait staff in the Complementary Restaurants are rude! Very sad to see my favorite cruise line going down hill Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We went with my in-laws and our family. The ship is very clean - much cleaner than the last Royal Carribbean ship we were on. I suppose all these norovirus incidents have them on edge. Whenever you enter the buffet dining halls, they ... Read More
We went with my in-laws and our family. The ship is very clean - much cleaner than the last Royal Carribbean ship we were on. I suppose all these norovirus incidents have them on edge. Whenever you enter the buffet dining halls, they have "washy washy" attendents squirt hand sanitizer on your hands. Good idea to prevent cross contamination. I also notice they promptly cleared away used plates, were constantly wiping down areas, etc. The ship just looked clean. Also bathrooms (at least the mens) seemed clean. The speciality restaurants were really just a waste of time. The steakhouse was terrible. I ordered lamb chops. They came out overdone and tough. Service was mind numbing slow. The pacing of the courses - well there was no pacing. It was chaos. Servers didn't know how to properly serve. They'd reach across two people to serve dishes and clear dishes away. Imaine you're having a conversation and some waiter sticks his arm across your face, blocking you from the person you're conversing with. It didn't help that the waiters were mostly Indian heritage and with a surprisingly poor command of the English language. Serve from the left, clear from the right is a tradition that is clearly NOT observed. To top it off when we ordered coffee and desert, the coffee came first and was barely lukewarm by the time the desert came out (after we inquired several times). This place is advertised as a high end steakhouse. I've been to high end steakhouses. This is NOT a high end steakhouse and I'd be embarrassed if I were taking someone out for the evening here as a host. BTW the steakhouse kitchen is shared with the Brazilian restaurant. It's almost comical watching the waiters crash into each other as they jockey to get the food out to their respective restaurants. We also tried LaCuccina, the Italian restaurant. Here to food was much better. It's not Napa Valley/San Francisco North Beach good by any means. But it's not Olive Garden either. Unfortunately it took the waiter over 30 minutes to take our order after we sat down. And we had to retrieve our own menus so we could figure out what to order. Had we not asked for all the food to come out as soon as it was available we would have been late for the evening show. The French restaurant was the best of the lot. It was a very small venue so the service was good. The pacing was good and the food was decent. The coffee at both the French and Italian restaurants was excellent. It's several steps above what you get at the buffet and the other venues. There are two main dining halls - Versaille and Aqua. Since this is so-called "freestyle cruising" you can choose what time to eat. We had pre-booked all our meal times online prior to the cruise .Good thing because if you wait until you get on board, good luck finding a good time to eat. The restaurants all told us it was not possible to change the reservation times as everything was sold out. Aqua is the fancier of the two dining halls and it is smaller. There was a frustrating long line to check in at the maitre d. Check in to the dining hall was a painfully slow process. And the restaurants were definitely not full. Service again was painfully slow. Water glasses were never refilled. They always wanted to take the kids orders first because those orders come from somewhere else. The food was all over the place. Some dishes were good. Others were just meh or too salty. Versaille was just ok for dinner. Avoid it for lunch. The selection is terrible and you waste a lot of time with the slow service. Except for the French restaurant, the maitre d's at the restaurant venues were by and large distant and not friendly. In fact I noticed much of the ship's staff were just not all that friendly. I suppose the mandatory per person tip that has already been charged to your credit card contributes to this. There is no carrot in front of these horses. We actually preferred the buffet at Topsiders most of all. Here the staff was very pleasant and affable. The food is generally good if you kind of pick and choose. It's not table side service but hey, at least they keep clearing dishes and wiping everything down. The pasta and omlette station cooks are very pleasant and friendly. The deserts are just as good as those at the specialty restaurants. OK, enough about the food. Our balcony cabin was decent. The ship is older but has been refurbishes. The rooms are tight but well kept. I liked the fact that our showerhead was not one of those miserly water saving types. Our room attendant was awesome. The entertainment was the highlight of the cruise. These are excellent shows - as good as those I've paid good money for tickets to. The live musical theater, magic illusion, and acrobat shows were all excellent. It felt like we had Broadway tickets every night. And this is coming from someone who goes to a lot of shows. We did not partake in any excursions, preferring to stay onboard with the kids when the ship was at port. I didn't care for any of the excursion packages offered. All in all it was a relaxing, enjoyable vacation. I heartedly recommend NCL but if you do take this cruise, skip the speciality dining except for the French restaurant. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I moved this summer from PA to CA. I started a business in North Hollywood and needed a break. So, we decided to take a gamble on a West Coast Cruise out of LA. Wow, what a good decision that was! The embarkation was flawless and fast. ... Read More
I moved this summer from PA to CA. I started a business in North Hollywood and needed a break. So, we decided to take a gamble on a West Coast Cruise out of LA. Wow, what a good decision that was! The embarkation was flawless and fast. I was amazed at how easy it was compared to New York. We drove right to the port, parked there, were met by a guy with a luggage cart before we even crossed the street, breezed through security and onto the ship. We ate in the Versaillles Main Dining Room for lunch, and had a great waiter that earned my first Hero Card of the Cruise. All of the food in the main dining room was excellent, as was Cagney's. However, I was very disappointed in the La Cocina Specialty Restaurant. The meatballs were horrible, the pasta undercooked, and the temperature of the food was mildly hot. I complained to our waiter and he did take meatballs off the check. I also made note of our experience on a comment card. The dinner was on Christmas Eve, so it was really disappointing since that has always been a very special dinner in my family. Additionally, I would not have booked it for Christmas Eve had I known that there was to be a special dinner in the main dining room. I mourned not having turkey that I know would have been better because their pasta was better than the specialty La Cocina's over-priced, undercooked pasta. Our waiter was also annoying at La Cocina. He kept getting confused in directing as to what our certificate entitled us to. That was really the sole negative food experience. I hope they correct the options to allow the rewards people to have anything on the menu, rather than making me pay extra for tiny meatballs and shrimp pasta. That did not make me feel good, especially on Christmas Eve. It would be very helpful for the weekly menu to be given to the people in charge of specialty dining reservations to improve dining choices, on the first day of the cruise. Now the good news: our cabin was clean, our steward was pretty good (he forgot to take my laundry...probably misunderstood us). We only had an inside cabin, but I did not mind it at all, shower had great pressure and we don't overpack. Now the better news: I Loved the casino. I didn't win, but the casino staff smiled, were friendly, and joked. The managers even laughed! I will like going to this ship's casino in the future. Lots of people won jackpots; next time, perhaps I will get lucky. The really lucky people were the passengers. The talent was really good; I actually participated in one show and stayed for the entirety of almost all I went to. That says quite a bit. I especially liked the two acrobats! The best, I saved for last: the officers on this ship were engaging, visible, and the bar manager was named my personal hero of the cruise. When I made a request, his response was: "Consider it done." He really was a nice guy, and a pleasure to talk with as well. He actually had a funny fishing story! I have been cruising with NCL for 34 years, and the captain of this ship was the FIRST captain that made an announcement thanking the entire staff, telling them that the passengers had provided positive comments and feedback regarding the service on the Star. He also mentioned how dear the ship was to him, personally. That message was just another reason I will continue to be an NCL loyalist. I WANT to be on a ship that the captain loves, and the crew certainly deserved his praise. My husband and I always talk up the staff of NCL when we recruit future cruisers, and we have recruited many, many friends and people we meet over the years. I look forward to bringing my grandchildren on this ship. I won't be afraid they will get lost! Anyway, I love the Breakaway, The Gem, The Pearl, and the former ships that no lomger are sailing with NCL. I have sailed with Carnival, Holland America, Royal Carribean and Princess, but never on any line other than NCL for more than one cruise. Best in Value and Service. Dining room has really improved, but respectfully, I would suggest rethinking clean and comfy. surcharges to "guests" of specialty restaurants. It's just bad form. Overall, I was very happy and look forward to our next cruise.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Highly recommend this cruise: Pros. Food....meals in all dining areas were great. Most of our party are vegan and NCL went above and beyond to accommodate them. Even made special vegan meals. All restuarants are open to special ... Read More
Highly recommend this cruise: Pros. Food....meals in all dining areas were great. Most of our party are vegan and NCL went above and beyond to accommodate them. Even made special vegan meals. All restuarants are open to special requests. They have vegan patties that are not on menu. Irish Pub was a fave...they would leave chicken off fajitas. We ate there a lot. I read a lot of terrible reviews about the buffet but we had no issues. It was clean and food was good...for a buffet. The only problem was during busy times, they ran out of certain dishes. Staff......was very friendly and helpful. The only exception was in jewerly boutique. Staff was not friendly. I bought a ring thinking it was a size 5 but it was a 6. I am sure the seller knew but wanted to make the sale. We purchased extra photos on our last night and the staff said they would be delivered to our cabin after the shop closed at 11 pm. By 11:02, it was hanging on our door. Very pleased. Embarkation and debarkation......were fantastic. Quickest debarkation ever. Ports: Puerto Vallarta. We hired a driver on our own which was perfect. He gave the 7 of of us a two hour tour for 100.00 total. Much cheaper than ncl excursion. His name is Juan and he is known as Juan and Only. He is around 60 years old. Highly recommend. Mazatlan...two of us did the Salsa, salsa excursion. A lot of fun with plenty of food and drinks. The rest of our party did their own walking tour. We all had a great time. Cabo.....several of us took the snorkeling excursion. They enjoyed it but would recommend not eating a big breakfast. It was an hour boat ride, water was a little rough and people were vomiting in the water. The rest of us walked around Cabo but would recommend booking a tour because the port area is so commercialized. Next time we will book a tour. Prices are good at port on most things.... but we purchased Tequila that turned out to be more expensive than at home. So know your prices. Drink package....was fantastic. We purchased package from Costco which included the drink package. It was great. We had no issues and every drink we ordered was included. My only recommendation is to stop by Guest Services every other day to get a copy of your bill. It is so much easier than waiting until the last day. We had no issues. Cons: public restrooms were usually dirty and/or out of order. It is not convenient to go to the cabin just for a bathroom. Deserts were terrible. Such a surprise but deserts were bad. All cake deserts were dry like prepackaged goods. Very disappointed. Overall it was very good and we would go again . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was the first cruise I have ever taken and it will be the last thanks to NCL. The food was horrible. The buffet was down right inedible at time. The worst was the nacho cheese that was just colored water, not even flavored. Who ... Read More
This was the first cruise I have ever taken and it will be the last thanks to NCL. The food was horrible. The buffet was down right inedible at time. The worst was the nacho cheese that was just colored water, not even flavored. Who was ever in charge of the buffet should be made to eat that nacho cheese as punishment. The juices were heavily watered down to save on money and all the buns for anything were stale. The service (with the exception of a handful) was horrible. It seemed the crew was tired and overworked and just didn't care. Ask a question and you got, "I don't know" and no desire to find out. Service in the specialty restaurants were slow as they always seemed to be understaffed. If you wanted something you had to pull it out of them as they would never check or follow up. The beds were ungodly rock hard and brutally hurt after a couple nights, a egg crate foam pad helped but still not comfortable. Another example of poor service, we wanted to take our desserts back to our room so we asked for them to go. We were told they would have to use room service for a $7.95 fee. We had the Ultimate Drink Package which included all soda and alcoholic beverages. They would pour a can of pop in a cup for you but since we had the package they couldn't give us the can. And of course the mini bar cans of soda they charge you for even with the package. Everyone always says the food and services on cruises is wonderful, well not on NCL's Star. My fiance is a platinum member and is supposed to get expedited embarkation, ya, we waited over an hour in line. I guess even the platinum members dont count either. The public rest rooms were seldom clean with water on the floors quite often from over flowing toilets. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
we have been on 18 cruises and have platinum status with norwegian . we have used the star twice before (hawaii and alaska). the boarding process can not be described. 2 1/2 hours in LA to board. the excuse was staff had called out sick ... Read More
we have been on 18 cruises and have platinum status with norwegian . we have used the star twice before (hawaii and alaska). the boarding process can not be described. 2 1/2 hours in LA to board. the excuse was staff had called out sick and temps were hired. the computers were down. I am a platinum member..i know where my line is supposed to be. except it wasn't. we were put in a line with 200 people in front of us with no direction. went to find a supervisor who agreed and asked who put us there? so we get moved to a shorter line. only to see the lady who is now checking people in is the same lady who was putting people in wrong lines. our room (8052) was opened when we got there but the refrigerator was partially stocked; there were no greeting documents nor the wine and strawberrys. we asked steward who just shrugged and said if you were supposed to get it they would be there. we took pictures of the mini to prove we didn't drink them (those little suckers are expensive.) the service in la chachina was disgustingly slow. my son had a salad on the counter which we all stared at for 45 minutes. when we asked waiter he said he didn't order one. son said he did. when waiter rechecked order he agreed salad was ordered. Yes, they are "maybe little things_ but they add up. I would not rebook star again. I want to be treated like an appreciated customer...not another problem for the night staff. The only explanation for the neglect is this was a training crew. room was acceptable but we often had to chase down towels. all in all...rate a 3 out of 10. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
got a call from NCL representative about expiring deposit so picked a local port. was assigned cabin 8001 by NCL. Very noisy when coming into port there was a generator that started about 630 or 7 and 330 when we came into LA. also for ... Read More
got a call from NCL representative about expiring deposit so picked a local port. was assigned cabin 8001 by NCL. Very noisy when coming into port there was a generator that started about 630 or 7 and 330 when we came into LA. also for what ever reason the guest in the adjoining cabin never stayed there and the hangers in the empty closet were banging all night at sea--staff dod try to resolve this but then on the second sea day with the rough seas the closet doors would come open and bang and with no one there to fix it we had to wait until the next day to get it resolved--just a strange situation Staff members were pleasant enough though early on the dining room personnel seemed to be unfamiliar with the menu and were somewhat disorganized--seemed that there were less staff overall so the personal attention was lacking and it was difficult to get recognition if something was required after food was delivered. Ate mostly in the Aqua about the same time an was seated in the same section--after the 1st 2 nights there were different servers each time. Did not go to any specialty restaurants as the ala carte pricing was off putting and did not want a 3 meal package. What was the point of scheduling a time to check in when we were in line for 1 1/2 hours Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This is the first time we cruised the west coast. It was great. The staff was attentive and the rooms was clean and attended to efficiently. There did seems to be some “disconnect” with some of the restaurant staff...we ... Read More
This is the first time we cruised the west coast. It was great. The staff was attentive and the rooms was clean and attended to efficiently. There did seems to be some “disconnect” with some of the restaurant staff...we observed some mix ups and puzzling moments, but it did not affect out cruise experience. There did not seem to be as much variety at the buffet as on previous cruises. When we embarked....with our level we were to be escorted on...a staff member was directed to walk with us and she had no idea of what she was supposed to do and just walked with us and did not allow us to proceed to a restaurant or place to sit and wait until the rooms were ready. We could have and would have done this on our own...without an escort. * since there is no where to comment on this....we are at a level where we get sparkling wine on our cruises. WHY CAN’ T WE TRADE THE WINE FOR BOTTLED WATER as we do not drink wine. This goes for any and all cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
I loved every single thing about Norweigen. The ease of boarding the ship was amazing. Try to spend a little extra for a suite, its worth it. You get your own butler who caters to your every need. You get free room service, and ... Read More
I loved every single thing about Norweigen. The ease of boarding the ship was amazing. Try to spend a little extra for a suite, its worth it. You get your own butler who caters to your every need. You get free room service, and priority everything! Every day we got back to our room there was another surprise. It was Christmas so 1 day there was a gingerbread house, one day there were chocolate covered strawberries, and more We did 1 Shore Excursion through the ship called Vallarta Adventures outdoor ziplinig. This was amazing! The most fun I ever had. I was a little worried because I'm 50 and I don't exercise so I wasn't sure if it would be too much for me. Trust me Do this off shore excursion. This was a trip of a lifetime and I cant wait to go back! It was in Puerto Vallarta. Read Less
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