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31 Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

Went on this cruise as a last-minute alternative to ordinary overland trip to Norway. Exceptional value for my solo discount that is no longer avail in any future cruises. Emission of the ship was a considerable issue. To be more ... Read More
Went on this cruise as a last-minute alternative to ordinary overland trip to Norway. Exceptional value for my solo discount that is no longer avail in any future cruises. Emission of the ship was a considerable issue. To be more specific, it was the visible pollutants that apparently were not removed inside the chimney. That smoke ruined the view of Geiranger on an otherwise perfectly clear day. The Costa (and many other) ships ' soot were not quite as visible. The airy, daylight-filled grand atrium of the Star is stunning (becoming a rarity on NCL I reckon), but the top deck space desperately needs a redesign to improve layout - much of the original lounge space with great views has been converted to suites and extra rooms, leaving little public space overlooking the sea. The only way to appreciate the remarkable fjords without catching a cold is to grab a table at buffet restaurant or sitting on one of those benches along hallways on lower decks. Or, put on the windbreaker and layer clothing to brace the chill - forward top deck and promenade can occasionally be bearable. It might improve the experience to relocate children/teen area to expand the Lido restaurant into the aft top deck. While I did enjoy the aft promenade, integrating that part into Spinnaker Lounge could make more efficient use of the space. There might also be potential to add indoor space on aft deck 13. A cruise passenger asked when the ship had a makeover at the last day's Q&A - she was probably shocked to learn the Star received drydock facelift just in 2015. Cabin furniture need update urgently, as with the Market Cafe out-fit. But I liked the Art Deco design in certain public space, adding class to an otherwise hectic, crowded ship. Entertainment is generally good, exceptional attention to technical details for the flagship show towards end of cruise deserves high praise. But it was not for everyone's taste, esp for non-American audience. It's impossible to keep everyone happy for such a long, port-intensive cruise, however. There was no enrichment to speak of. All lectures. albeit informative to varying degrees, were designed to boost revenues - worse than my MSC that offered language lessons. The same revenue-hungry mindset was noticeable all over the place. Could be the new industry norm, but not what most people enjoyed. Game shows, bingo, dance class were most common during the day. Matinee shows were sparse on sea days. Art auctions were good for free champagne. The lizard work of Miro may still be there for a quick glimpse. Food was way better than what I expected and to my surprise, the Star team did Asian dishes generally well! Asian options are always avail in breakfast and main dining room. Breakfast options did not rotate. Variety in bakery items could have gone a long way. Service was attentive for most of the time. There was confusion over corkage fee but was sorted out after two days. Bring your own soda or sparkling water, while tea and water are free at buffet all day. Free juice in the morning is decent. North Cape cruises are somewhat an once-in-a-year event for NCL and many other mainstream lines, but if you do take one, beware satellite reception is bad beyond Arctic circle for obvious reason. You may get more Internet with a SIM card with consistent signal off the Norwegian coast than the onboard WiFi. Surf with Opera Mini when signal drops to 2G. In the end the cruise is worth solely for the itinerary. Hammerfast and Honningvag had little to offer, but the Lofoten was a gem that blended great view and seafood. Did not take any excursion except city transfers. Allow flexibility to do your own excursion esp for tender port. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I chose this cruise because it was to a part of the world I had always dreamed of seeing. There were 3 of us and we were taking advantage of 3/4 person is free. We also had the package of dining 3 nights free in a specialty restaurant, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was to a part of the world I had always dreamed of seeing. There were 3 of us and we were taking advantage of 3/4 person is free. We also had the package of dining 3 nights free in a specialty restaurant, $50 off of each port excursion & $100 on-board credit. The cruise was also at a special rate because it was near sailing time. Before we left we were upgraded to a Family Suite for $200 each for the three of us. Well worth the money because we had so much extra room. We arrived in Copenhagen and stayed at Crown Plaza Towers next to Fields Mall, the largest in Scandinavia. We took their free shuttle from airport to hotel. The taxi to pier the next day was 345 krona. Our driver took us on a bit of a sight-seeing tour of the downtown. We arrived at the pier before 11:00 a.m. and were not assigned priority boarding until we brought it to the attention of someone who immediately took us where we needed to be and we were escorted to Cagney's, having lunch within 15 minutes. The family suite was perfect, We arrived to the usual fresh flowers, champagne & fruit. Our butler was Christopher and he was so very accommodating and friendly.The beds were comfortable and were made private if one wished by drawing the curtains.We loved the floor-to-ceiling windows from which we enjoyed views of the fjords from the coziness of our suite. We ate at Cagneys almost every morning. Loved their eggs Benedict and fresh pastry and fruits buffet. Also ate at Azure, Versailles, La Cucina, O'Sheehan's & even had afternoon snacks in Market Cafe where we enjoyed the soft ice cream and fresh cookies. We liked all the food and can only complain that The Bistro needs to change its menu sometimes, O'Sheehan's needs to not leave sour kraut off its Reubens and Versailles needs to add something besides tuna to the tuna open-faced sandwich.The service was perfect in the dining areas, the staff friendly and welcoming. The hot tub was not as warm as we would have liked to offset the cold air on deck. Glad we had the robes from the suite as we left the pool area. The main thing that bothered us was that the ship carried MSNBC for 4 days along with British news and there after carried THREE British news stations and NO American news.They could offer no explanation as to why MSNBC disappeared. Would certainly sail with NCL again, especially if there have American news. We did not take part in any of the activities on-board other than the hot tub. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first cruise, so we did not know what to expect, but we are definitely going again. The best thing on board is the high quality and selection of the food. The service was fine and we never had to wait long. Sadly some drinks ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we did not know what to expect, but we are definitely going again. The best thing on board is the high quality and selection of the food. The service was fine and we never had to wait long. Sadly some drinks and soda tasted like chlorine, but the wine was great. The balcony cabin was fine and the staff real friendly and nice. The only disappointment: We booked a Shore excursion for a 4h hike in Geiranga, that was not worth the money as we could have walked to the waterfall on our own, not having to wait for the group all the time. We spend one night at the Casino which was great fun. All the ports are amazing. We enjoyed to walk up the Mountains where the views are amazing and in Bergen we went up to the Mountaintop with the Ulrik-lift. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I was on the Star in 2013 for a 9 day cruise to the Baltic’s and said I would never cruise NCL again. So while I was looking for my next trip, which would be to Norway, lo and behold which cruise company and ship come up with the best ... Read More
I was on the Star in 2013 for a 9 day cruise to the Baltic’s and said I would never cruise NCL again. So while I was looking for my next trip, which would be to Norway, lo and behold which cruise company and ship come up with the best itinerary going as well as a great price. NCL and the Star. I took it because, at the very least, I felt NCL did a phenomenal job of getting us on and off the boats in port and I really wanted that itinerary. Let me tell you, my experience this time around was great. Not that the last time was horrible. The ship was disappointing from unfinished balconies and workman in the room making the balconies unusable after painting (for several days). Then again, the ship isn’t known for the quality of its food. That much hadn’t changed but since both of us in the room weren’t planning on eating binges the quality of food didn’t affect us as much. Con: Room service now has a fee of $7.95. Apparently implemented a couple cruises before ours. That limited our use of the service. I will say when we did order, our order was huge and I used baggies I brought to save items like PB&J sandwiches and chips for the next day. It worked out pretty well. Con: Food is still so so. Con: The bed was really uncomfortable and lumpy. Our steward was great and brought us a couple of foam mattress pad toppers which helped a lot. We loved our steward. Pro: This time and last. The ship’s crew are outstanding. Pro: I ordered the room decorated and with a cake as I was taking my niece for her first trip to Europe. The room looked great and when the cake came, instead of the 10″ cake I was expecting, we got this huge, beautiful Bon Voyage cake. It was way too big but cool and we shared it with our steward. Pro: The itinerary was great. It even hit a place on my bucket list I never really expected to get to. Reine, Norway in the Lofoton Islands. Everyone should go there. Pro: We really loved the finale show in the theater on the last night. Pro: It’s easy to get around the ship and not overly crowded. Pro: Took our first shore excursions with the ship and they were each great. I was really surprised at how good they were. One was to Trollstigen and was an 8 hour bus tour. I really worried about how uncomfortable a trip that long would be as I have medical conditions that sitting for a long time can bring up. Turns out we stopped frequently at all the right locations and had a chance to walk around and take pics. Lunch was a great buffet where tables were all prepared for each bus as they came in. No trouble what so ever in getting a seat and food. Really enjoyed the excursions. I would have written reviews but by the time I got back they were no longer on the site to do so. If I remember, I will try next year when they open up on the NCL site. We rented cars at 3 ports and in 2 the cars were delivered to the dock for us. Don’t be afraid to drive and explore. It’s a blast. All in all this trip changed my mind about NCL and I will continue to use them although my next trip is with Royal Caribbean as they had the better itinerary for Christmas 2016. Sorry NCL. For me it’s all about the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This is our second cruise on NCL in as many years. We love the casual attire policy and the freestyle dining. Having cruised with HAL, Princess & RCCL multiple times, this is our favourite cruise line. We arrived into Copenhagen ... Read More
This is our second cruise on NCL in as many years. We love the casual attire policy and the freestyle dining. Having cruised with HAL, Princess & RCCL multiple times, this is our favourite cruise line. We arrived into Copenhagen after a long flight and checked into the Hilton Airport Hotel which was a very convenient (directly connected to the airport terminal) & pleasant hotel. The room was large by Danish standard (which we were to find out later post-cruise) and breakfast was a lovely spread. We took a taxi which was supposed to cost approx. 350DKK but as it was a public holiday, we ended up paying 500DKK. Embarkation was effortless as we were in a penthouse suite. We were met by our concierge, Hano, and escorted straight to Cagney's for lunch. A wonderful perk for suite guests, not having to jostle with the crowd at the lunch buffet. Afterwards we went to check out our aft-facing suite with wraparound balcony. It was a lovely size for 2 persons and the balcony though narrowish, had lovely views as we could walk around to the port side. There was a bottle of champagne in the ice bucket as a welcome onboard gift. Shortly afterwards, our butler Cipriano appeared with some canapes which became a daily treat. We had complimentary Ultimate dining package, unlimited beverage package as well as a generous onboard credit. We went up to the Bier Garten for drinks, it was a lovely sunny day. Unfortunately the cigarette smoke from neighbouring tables cut short our stay there. The sail off party featured some ten dancers with great lively music. The ship in general was smaller than what we are used to but that suit us fine especially since we were in an aft suite. We found the ship to be on par with the older RCCL ships like the Legend & Rhapsody. It was certainly similar to the Jade in terms of cleanliness & maintenance. DINING We ate in Aqua the first night and found the ambience & service a little underwhelming compared to the Jade. We were glad to have the Ultimate Dining Package for the specialty restaurants. Moderno Churrascaria Surprisingly good especially the lamb chops. Great friendly service, lots of interesting side dishes to complement the meat. Flip the card to green at the table to enjoy the great flow of different meats or red to indicate a little rest. Cagney's Steakhouse We enjoyed the dinner here even though we ate some breakfasts and lunches here as suite guests. Service was always friendly and the food of a good standard. Le Bistro Much touted in reviews but we were not enamoured to the small table for 2 which could barely contain all the plates & glasses. We were also squashed between 2 other tables which were barely arm's length away....Service started well but between the main course and dessert, our server could not be found for the longest time. We had another reservation which we cancelled and exchanged for La Cucina. that turned out to be a great decision. La Cucina We had not planned to dine here due to the average reviews but got a place at 9pm on our last night and it turned out to be one of the best dinners we had onboard. What a refreshing change from Le bistro. Here the restaurant was spacious, we had a lovely table by the window and the next table was a decent distance away. Our server, Alejandro, gave us top notch service and we cannot commend him enough. He addressed us by name (even asked how to pronounce them correctly), was attentive and kept coming in between courses to let us know that the next dish would be served shortly. He took pains to ensure that our orders were done correctly when we requested combinations not in the menu. The food was delicious and I would highly recommend this restaurant. Teppanyaki It was so difficult to get a reservation online at a decent time. However, Hano our concierge worked his magic & got us a dining spot at 7pm. The showmanship was brilliant and the chefs very amusing. Being Japanese foodies, we found the food average - a little too oily for our liking. Buffet Restaurant Some good offerings here at dinnertime - prime rib one night. We ate here a couple of lunchtimes when we returned from port and Cagney's was closed. Fairly good spread of average quality. Generally not difficult to find a table even when busy (unlike RCCL where we were hardpressed to find seating at peak times). O' Brien's 24 Hour Restaurant We went one day for an afternoon snack after returning from port. We were told no food was being served at that time as it was in between mealtimes. We decided to get drinks and wait the 15minutes till food was served. Despite the place being less than 20% occupied, we could not get service for 10 minutes. We caught the eye of one of 3 wait staff & thought he would soon come by to take our orders but no...he ignored us. We then started flailing our arms to catch the attention of the other 2 staff in our vicinity but they didn't see us !! The lady who seated us who was right across the huge restaurant saw us & came by. After explaining our exasperation, she remarked that the wait staff probably ignored us cos they thought we wanted to order food - what?!? At that we decided we have had enough....the buffalo wings we wanted could be ordered through our butler and enjoyed in our suite. Why bother with such lousy service. As we were walking out, the asst manager of the restaurant came up and apologised but we decided enough was enough. We got the wings in our suite 10 minutes after ordering them through our butler. The asst manager sent us chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of wine the next day to make up for our experience. It was akind and thoughtful gesture. ASIAN FUSION It was great to have this option but food standard was below par. The barbequed pork noodles I had was substandard - the pork was hard and dry, the noodles thick and chewy. The tapioca dessert was good and authentic. SHOWTIME The entire range of shows was the best at sea we have seen. The NCL dancers and singers were excellent and the singers could dance well. The shows were edgy and the choreography refreshing and mesmerising. The aerial ballet couple were simply outstanding.we enjoyed all the shows immensely. THE SUITE The aft-facing suite with the unending ocean view was fabulous. We enjoyed many hours of sitting on our recliners on the deck sipping coffee, reading a book and enjoying the canapes. We missed this on a couple of days when it rained in Norway. Gorgeous sunsets at close to midnight could be viewed straight out of our suite. PORTS We enjoyed all the ports immensely and found Norway such a beautiful place. All the ports were easily accessible simply by walking off the ship or in the case of Flam, just off the tender. We did our own bookings and tours. Alesund - we did the walk up the hill which was pleasantly shorter than expected. Great views of the town all the way.Nice shopping in town for souvenirs. Geiranger - we had booked the bus trip to Eaglesbend which was lovely. We also did the RIB tour in the afternoon which was awesome and highly recommended. This brought us to the waterfalls at close range and we could also see the disused farms high up in the cliffs. Flam - we did the Flamsbana on our own. Had booked from home for an early afternoon trip. Lovely and highly recommended. Bergen - raining non-stop but we just walked around the beautiful Bryggen harbourfront. Saw the old Hanseatic wooden houses, enjoyed the Fish Market and souvenir shopping. Free wifi was available at all the tourist offices in the ports. Many tourists and ship crew were crowding round the area for this. DISEMBARKATION All good things must come to an end. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at Cagney's before waiting for the suite disembarkation. We chose the late timing and got off at 9.30am. Straight to a taxi accompanied by our concierge and we were at our Copenhagen hotel 20 minutes later. POST CRUISE HOTEL We stayed at the First Mayfair which was very well located next to Tivoli gardens and the central train station. Very pleasant place but rooms were small (we understand this is common in Copenhagen). All in all a wonderful vacation. We are in love with Norway and will be planning to sail to the North Cape in the near future....with Norwegian of course! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The itinery was just too good to pass up,have been on several NCL cruises but you have to go to Norway with a cruise lines called Norwegian cruise lines! There were only 2 dates for a 7 day cruise to Norway and as this one co incided ... Read More
The itinery was just too good to pass up,have been on several NCL cruises but you have to go to Norway with a cruise lines called Norwegian cruise lines! There were only 2 dates for a 7 day cruise to Norway and as this one co incided with holidays I could take we sailed over whit bank holiday weekend. The weather was cool and rainy which put a bit of a dampener on things [pun intended] but was still a very enjoyable cruise. Sailing along the fiords meant was more like a river cruise with spectacular scenery most of the way instead of only when in and out of ports. Even on sunny sea day it wasn’t sunbathing weather so no problems with chair hogs on this cruise! We had a balcony cabin which was still worth it even if too cold to sit out there was still the benefit of floor to ceiling windows to admire the views. Food We had 2 complimentary meals as Platinum latitudes to be used in La Cucina, Le Bistro or Moderno. It was difficult to get reservations as most speciality restaurants were heavily booked by embarkation day. We got 6 pm reservations for La Cucina and Moderno. We preferred food and ambience at Modernos. Would I have dined there if hadn’t had vouchers? I doubt it as we are fine with the included restaurants. We ate one night with new found friends at Versailles but ate most meals at O sheehans .Breakfast at buffet and once at night. Drink We went for the corks and caps package at $44 per day plus 18% gratuity which was worth it for us especially if you go for higher price wines like pinot noir or prosecco. If only drinking beer it’s harder to make it worthwhile. The Ultimate Beverage Package was $59 per day plus gratuity or $55 per day if booked pre embarkation. If you drink cocktails or whisky brandy etc this is the one for you Wine packages where you buy several bottles wine for a 20% discount still available as well as buckets of beer where you buy 5 bottles and get 1 free Spa On this cool weather cruise the thermal spa pass at $129 for the week was great. It includes padded loungers that overlook the aft of ship with floor to ceiling windows. Also includes small swimming pool, Jacuzzi, therapy pool and sauna and steam room. Treatments are pricey but look out for spa special offers particularly on embarkation and port days There was only one issue we had with a stale cigarette smoke apparent several times when we opened the cabin door. We don't think it was caused by neighbours flouting smoking ban on balconies but a problem with air conditioning unit. Despite several complaints and visits by maintenance the problem was never resolved. Ports we stayed on board Alesund and Bergen as weather wasn't too good Geiranger booked online Mountain bus tour to Mount Dalsnibba which unfortunately road was closed by snow so had an alternative trip to 2 scenic viewpoints and a mountain lake Flam -a member of our roll call got 2 group bookings for 30 people each for the scenic Flam railway-we were on the same train as a large group of NCL shore excursioners who paid over $100 more for the same experience [OK they had waffles included at a hotel near the top but that makes it a very expensive waffle!] Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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