7 Norwegian Star Alaska Cruise Reviews

We (my husband and I) cruised with the NCL Star to Alaska in July 2011. This was our 5th cruise (2nd Alaskan), the first cruise we've done with NCL. I was a bit skeptical to book based on reviews, but the cruise fit our schedule and ... Read More
We (my husband and I) cruised with the NCL Star to Alaska in July 2011. This was our 5th cruise (2nd Alaskan), the first cruise we've done with NCL. I was a bit skeptical to book based on reviews, but the cruise fit our schedule and how bad could a cruise be right? Our experiences with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess had all been generally positive and we expected the same from NCL. Basically, NCL ruined our cruising experience for us and we probably won't cruise again for a while. Quite an accomplishment since we LOVED cruising before this. Embarkation - We arrived at Pier 66 in Seattle at around 12:30. We should have turned around and gone back home the minute we saw the chaos at the pier. This is the first time that I've seen such a horrid line at embarkation (if you can even call it a line) and it was representative of the disorganization that we would experience for the rest of our cruise. People everywhere, NCL agents screaming at everyone (I thought they were supposed to be nice?!), then you finally get in the building to drop off your luggage and about 4 different "lines" become one big mess as everyone tries to drop off their luggage on one belt. Yes, they had 1 single luggage belt. Then you get through that and go through security and another line for check-in. It probably took us over 1 1/2 hours to get on the ship. And from the minute you get on board, the selling begins. They stand right at the door with menus for all the specialty restaurants and try to get you to make reservations immediately. This is the first cruise I've been on where it feels like there are salespeople everywhere. Yeah, I realize that you have to pay for stuff on any cruise, but they wanted you to pay for EVERYTHING (really, $5 for 24 hour pizza or a surcharge if you dined in the free restaurant after midnight?). I guess "freestyle" cruising means "pay for anything that is actually worth doing". Each day, you would get your itinerary and items marked with an asterisk meant they had an extra charge. About 1/2 of the activities had an asterisk - basically the ones that actually sounded interesting. Food - Generally...disgusting. And we aren't super picky eaters or hard to please. We've actually loved the food on our cruises in the past. The buffet was gross, every single time we tried it. It's also super crowded and chaotic. We tried to eat at Aqua and Versailles when possible because my husband is against paying an extra surcharge for restaurants on a cruise ship. The menu was basically the same every day with a few specials that involved things like ravioli and some sort of fish dish. We were on an Alaskan cruise, where was the seafood??? They seriously never did a crab night or anything that I've seen on other cruises. Everything was underwhelming. The only things that were okay were the spaghetti carbonara (but how could you mess up pasta), the corned beef hash during breakfast, the corn chowder (on the lunch menu), and that was pretty much it. My husband got the ribeye a few times and liked it once, but not the other times. There was really nothing else worth mentioning, which is pretty sad considering we ate here for the majority of our meals. Desserts weren't even good and we ended up eating ice cream most of the time. We did try Endless Summer (the tex-mex restaurant - $10 surcharge per person). After sitting there for 20 minutes, someone finally came by to take our order. The table next to us sat for over 30 minutes and got up to leave before anyone came over. The nachos were the same as in the buffet. The fajitas were incredibly salty. Skip this restaurant...it wouldn't even be worth it if they paid you $10 to go. Cagney's (steakhouse - $25 surcharge per person) was the only good part of the dining experience. The crab cakes are really good, the shrimp cocktail was just okay, clam chowder and lobster bisque were okay, ribeye with bearnaise sauce was delicious, crab legs were good ($8 additional charge) and brownie for dessert was really good. We ended up having to spend about $68 for a restaurant that we finally liked. Service - Absolutely horrible. From the cabin stewards to restaurant staff, this was really the most ridiculous part of the whole cruise. Finished your glass of water? Forget anyone actually ever refilling it for you. You'll have to go thirsty instead. Want to order some food? Please wait for at least 15 minutes before anyone will even approach your table. One night, someone at the table near us dropped their napkin. On any other cruise, this would have been picked up by the staff in 2 seconds. It sat on the floor for the whole 1 1/2 hours that we were in the dining room (yes, it took that long for any meal we had - including breakfast). The staff will walk in front of you and cut you off instead of letting you pass. Without even a sorry or excuse me. Still in the room when the cabin steward comes by? No turn down service for you. They will just hand you your itinerary and never come back. Seriously, did NCL forget to train their staff??? They were seriously downright rude. So basically, I paid them a $12 per person auto-gratuity to be rude to me. Entertainment - Or lack of. Really, if you didn't want to pay for it, there wasn't much to do on the ship compared to other cruises we've been on. The only bright spot in the whole cruise was that their nightly shows (at least the ones we attended) were pretty good. Elements, Second City and the game shows were good. You just had to arrive like 30 minutes early to get a seat or you would end up just standing by the door with like 30 other people all trying to squeeze in to see. I don't know why these were so crowded all the time. They clearly didn't think about building the rooms for the number of people on the ship. Cabin - This may be the only thing NCL has going for it. They had a glass sliding door instead of the shower curtain. And the cabin and bathroom seemed bigger than other ships. Ports - Warning: every time you want to get off or on the ship, expect there to be chaos, lack of any sort of lines and complete disorganization (similar to embarkation). It's never take so long to get off and on a ship. Ketchikan - We booked the salmon sport fishing excursion through the ship and really enjoyed it. Also, go to Burger Queen after for the halibut burger and onion rings (one of the best things we ate our whole cruise). Juneau - They cancelled our helicopter glacier trek booked through the ship because of weather. We signed up for the Taku Glacier Lodge. We got out about 30-60 minutes late cause NCL couldn't count the number of people and somehow overbooked for the number of planes they had. Then they tried to kick some people off. Then it turned out there was room on the plane. More chaos. Taku Lodge itself is pretty, but not $320 per person pretty. Skagway - Glacier Point Wilderness Safari. Could have done without the 1 1/2 hour boat ride each way to Glacier Point. The canoeing to the glacier was cool. Go to Skagway Fish Company and get the alaskan king crab and fried halibut. Best meal of the cruise. Prince Rupert - We booked ourselves with Palmerville Adventures which include a float plane to the grizzly bear sanctuary. After we were done seeing the grizzlies(about 2 1/2 hours into the tour), we saw the cruise line's shore excursion just coming in jam packed with people and no time to see anything. No way they made it back to the ship in time. Basically, NCL ruined our cruising experience for us and we probably won't cruise again for a while. Quite an accomplishment since we LOVED cruising before this. Service, food, organization were all horrendous. I don't generally get seasick, but I was sick pretty much the whole time (even taking medicine) because they were trying to speed up the whole time to make up for being late leaving ports. It was so bad I didn't even want to go to the free cruise bingo because, even a free cruise, wouldn't persuade me to go with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
The ship: This ship is dated. We had a penthouse suite. The balcony decking and handrails are warn, splintered, dried out and faded. The suite is dark and laid out in a peculiar fashion making it awkward to get to the bathroom and main ... Read More
The ship: This ship is dated. We had a penthouse suite. The balcony decking and handrails are warn, splintered, dried out and faded. The suite is dark and laid out in a peculiar fashion making it awkward to get to the bathroom and main closet. Although a queen bed is advertised, a king was furnished. It was not comfortable however. Reading light in the cabin is insufficient. Although the view from the balcony, overlooking the aft of the ship, is terrific, the noise from the propellers is very loud. We were with another couple and could not find a public place to sit down and relax or read. All the space has apparently been consumed by specialty restaurants. This was the biggest problem with this ship. The food: The penthouse comes with the privilege of breakfast and lunch in Cagney's restaurant which is outstanding. The food and service is great here although the menu does not change during the cruise. Buffet food is "slop". Of our 10 or so meals in the public dining rooms, very few of our orders were correct with missing or incorrect dishes served. The service staff was not friendly, the dining rooms noisy and had a typical wait for seating during dinner hours. Food in the "pay per dine" restaurants was a cut above and highly recommended, though costly. We did not have to wait for seating in these. Room service sandwiches were good but typically missing the chips and pickles that were advertised. The penthouse came with a chilled bottle of sparkling wine on arrival and a evening plate of goodies which was nice. Tips: Watch out for the $12/day per person added to your bill for tips. These can be eliminated but the staff will belittle you when attempting to eliminate them in favor of manual tips for those staff members deserving. Ports of Call: The ship docked, no tenders, in all ports. The off and on were handled well. The Alaska ports are great and good for self walking tours. There isn't much to see in Port Rupert, BC however. Fitness/Spa There was no attendant in the fitness area, nobody to answer questions. The sauna and steam room required an additional $99 much to my disappointment. Entertainment: The women in our party walked out on all stage entertainment except for the acrobatic dancing. They judged it very poor. Cabin Service: The Butler and cabin attendants were very good, friendly and efficient. Overall Impression: The ship is dated, small, confining and in need for balcony maintenance for a major cruise line. The freestyle dining is good, though expensive, if you stick to the pay per meal restaurants. Would we cruise NCL again, no! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
I have not ever been on a cruise before and did not know what to expect but friends always mentioned fabulous food. I have to say I was completely let down in this department on the Star. The food went from unremarkable to downright awful. ... Read More
I have not ever been on a cruise before and did not know what to expect but friends always mentioned fabulous food. I have to say I was completely let down in this department on the Star. The food went from unremarkable to downright awful. And forget freestyle. The one time my mom and I requested to have breakfast together, just the two of us, we were told we would have to wait. Then told several times - " you're sharing, right?" Until we just said yes. And did. Then, I got served cold pancakes. The Market Cafe was always so crowded it was hard to get a meal there. The time in Alaska was so wonderful! I wouldn't have missed it for anything, But I really hope never to be stuck on cruise ship again. Our cabin was very nice but Deck 10 was under construction, had a very bad smell and was loud. Amazing trip to Misty Fjords in a sea plane. Check out Saxman Totem poles, too. Awesome shopping and Annabelle's Restaurant with blue cheese crusted halibut is wonderful!. Whale watching - just can't say enough good things about the Scania! So much fun!!! The only thing I can say is wish we had all day there....would go back in a heartbeat!!! Chilikoot Tour Bus up and White Pass Train down. Fascinating history and scenery. Wonderful shopping and great beer at Bonanza Grill. My first train ride except at the zoo. Loved it!!!!! Would give it a zero if I could. No scenery, nothing of note or interest. What in the world? Why in the world?Ridiculous! Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
I just finished my cruise from Seattle to Alaska and back on the NCL Star. To keep the review short, I will NEVER EVER do a cruise with NCL EVER AGAIN!!!! This was my 1st cruise. The advertisements about "free style cruising" ... Read More
I just finished my cruise from Seattle to Alaska and back on the NCL Star. To keep the review short, I will NEVER EVER do a cruise with NCL EVER AGAIN!!!! This was my 1st cruise. The advertisements about "free style cruising" seem very attractive to young adults, like myself and my wife. The advertisement spoke of fine dining, relax atmosphere, and romantic nights. All I can say is that, all the advertisement was Bull, which, by the way describes the food on this cruise. It is so bad, that I would not feed it to my dog!!! To put NCL Star's food into perspective, I would like to compare it to Las Vegas. If you've been to Vegas, you've seen buffets from $5.99-$39.99. Let's say that NCL's food was worse than the $5.99 buffet. First off, the Aqua and Versaille "restaurant" share the same kitchen. Though our first 2 nights were good, the rest of the meals were horrible. Everything tasted of frozen food piled on with salt. Chicken was dried. Lamb had no taste. Fish tasted rancid. Eggs were always overcooked, and to top it all up, you have to wait inline and in many instances, wait 1hr before being served your shitty meal. This describes the "restaurants" of Aqua and Versailles on the boat. Though both have great decor, the food is just plain BAD!!! One bright point is that the deserts were always good to very good. So hats off to the pastry chef, and the toilet bowl for the rest. As for the buffet, all I can say is that the Aqua and Versaille, as terrible as they were, seem like gourmet food compare to the garbage that they serve here. Absolutely NOTHING was good here, EVER. If you like fried frozen dinner for food, this is the place for you. The Blue Lagoon, likewise, was not any better. The fancy restaurants of Le Bistro and Soho were much better. These restaurants require $15-$25 surcharge, and the food is generally pretty good. For the price, it is worth the value. Service tended to be good and fast, and you avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, they don't open for breakfast and lunch (I think). Still after forking over $1000 for the cruise per person, paying even more for dinner just doesn't seem right. I would have gladly paid $150 on another cruiseline for hassle free cruise experience. Overall, if you're FIVE (age), FIFTY-FIVE (age), or Family, then you might find this cruise bearable. I mean, I am assuming that food at nursing homes and cafeteria food at school may seem comparable to NCL Star's food. BTW ages 5 and 55 dominate this NCL Star cruise to Alaska. If you're in your 30s, you'll definitely feel out of place, and NCL does nothing to make you feel comfortable. If you enjoy decent to good food for your cruise, you should stay away from the NCL Star. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
As a first time cruiser I was very excited to go to Alaska. We where celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary and looking forward to a wonderful time. We flew out of Ontario Airport in California on Alaska Airlines. My wife requires ... Read More
As a first time cruiser I was very excited to go to Alaska. We where celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary and looking forward to a wonderful time. We flew out of Ontario Airport in California on Alaska Airlines. My wife requires wheelchair assistance as she cannot walk very far easily and on the trip out had wonderful help. I had booked us a limo service to take us from SEATAC to our hotel, the Marriott Waterfront, with Classic Town Car Service and for $45 each way is worth the money. The Marriott only had rooms in the concierge level and I will book this again as the service is wonderful. Our room was great overlooking the bay with a small balcony but we where able to see the 4th of July fireworks from our room and that was nice. The bellman assisted us with our luggage walking across the street to the cruise terminal and this is where the fun stopped! The person that was checking us in for the cruise could not handle my wife's passport and green card without assistance and it took 30 minutes just to get checked in. We finally get on board and we are directed to the Market Cafe to wait for our cabin to be ready. This is the buffet? Please let it be because it's the first day of the cruise and they are a little rushed. But sadly no the cold "hot" food, flavorless, stale bread, and little variety is what was on the menu the two other times we tried it. Our cabin was larger than I expected but we packed way too much and did not have room for all of our clothes. We took advantage of the pressing service for the first day and it was reasonably priced. Now I have to say my wife and I enjoy eating out in restaurants and we where eagerly anticipating the great food everyone raved about on cruise ships. We where bitterly disappointed along the way. We found the food in the specialty restaurants Cagney's and Ginza to be only fair and not worth even the cover charge. My rib eye was boneless and not very flavor full and my wife, for an additional charge, had the surf and turf with a very tough lobster tail. Ginza was ok but I would not return if it was in my home town. We did get good food and service in Le Bistro and Soho, but they could not make up for the rest of the food on the rest of the trip. The free dining rooms where overcrowded with food that would be sent back in a Denny's. Now the room service was the real joker. My wife loves room service, her idea of roughing it is a hotel without room service. The room service is limited to cold cereal in the morning and omelet, come on people no bacon, no sausage, and we are going to Alaska, how about at least oatmeal. Lunch and dinner are even worse 5 cold sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers. You cannot even get the food that is being served in the dinning rooms. The shore excursions where very expensive, our first trip the crab boat in Ketchikan, I would highly recommend to any fan of Deadliest Catch, with Captain Dave and Kiwi. We had a great trip on there boat and the bald eagles where fantastic. My wife was not feeling well in Juneau so we where out the money for our whale watching tour. The Skagway train ride was pretty good and we went to the Salmon Bake in Liarsville that was way better than the food on the ship. We did meet a couple in Skagway that was raving about the food on Princess so we will try that next time. We will definitely go on a cruise again, but you will never ever catch me on Norwegian Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
My husband, two teenage children, my mother and myself have been planning this cruise for 4 or 5 months. My mom has been on numerous cruises, my husband and I have been on one other cruise. This was my children's( ages 13 and 17) ... Read More
My husband, two teenage children, my mother and myself have been planning this cruise for 4 or 5 months. My mom has been on numerous cruises, my husband and I have been on one other cruise. This was my children's( ages 13 and 17) first cruise. We flew from Phoenix, AZ to Seattle, WA on Southwest Airlines. We arrived on 5/30/08 and stayed at the Radisson right across the street from Sea/Tac Airport. The hotel was very nice and comfortable. The staff were very accommodating and I would highly recommend this hotel. We embarked the NCL Star on 5/31/08 around 1:00 pm. The line for embarkment was long and we had to go through many check points. The woman who checked my husband, son and myself in was new and did was not able to answer any of our questions. She also switched the picture of my husband and my son in the computer for their ship card. This proved to be a major inconvenience as we had to have their pictures retaken three more times and finally had to have new cards issued because the initial problem could not be corrected. Upon arriving on the ship, I went immediately to the customer service counter to place a cash deposit into my account as I did not want to provide NCL with my VISA card. Upon finding out that NCL would be taking $10.00 per day of my cash to cover the "daily service charges", I elected not to give them any cash. I decided, if I wanted to purchase something, I would give them cash as the need arose. The man who we dealt with at the customer service counter was very unpleasant and "snotty" to us. Suffice it to say, we were not impressed so far. We then decided to go eat at the Market Cafe. Let's just say it was not impressive. The food was not appealing and there was absolutely no where to sit. The glasses for getting drinks were maybe a six ounce size and the handle on the coffee cups were so small that my husband could not fit his finger through. Our stateroom was small as expected. The bathroom was very small. My husband, son and I shared one room nd my daughter and mother shared another room. We are all thin people and still the bathrooms were very cramped. I have no idea how anyone who is larger could possibly fit into those bathroom. Our stateroom was satisfactory in terms of the bedding and decor. There was very little room in terms of storage however. On the evening of our first night we went to the Aqua room for dinner. Read below for more info on the service and the food. Our first issues is with regard to the service aboard the Star. It was non existent. The crew were rude and basically ignored us. In the Aqua dining room, on the first night of the cruise, we waited for over 15 minutes before anyone filled our water glasses. We waited another 20 minutes before anyone brought us the iced teas we had ordered. The meal service was extremely slow as it took over two and a half hours for our complete meal to be served. The following evening we went to the Aqua and our experience was worse. We asked four times for iced teas. We only received our iced teas after asking the Maitre d to get it for us. The staff act as though we are bothering them. They would not make eye contact with us and they certainly were not friendly or accommodating. After the second night of having such bad service, my husband and I went to the front desk in the lobby and asked if we could please eat at the Versailles dining room even though we had only brought jeans and had absolutely no dress clothes. Monica called us later that day and informed us that she had spoken to the Maitre d in the Versailles and that he said we could have dinner in that dining room. When we went to the Versailles that evening we were quite surprised to find that most of the diners in Versailles for the diner service were wearing jeans. We ate primarily in Versailles for breakfast, lunch and dinner after the second night. The service in Versailles was better then in the Aqua and we actually had two servers, each at different times, that were actually friendly. But for the most part, the service was below average. Personally, I could not wait to get off the ship to eat. When we would eat at restaurants in the different port cities, the service we received there was what I would consider "normal" but in light of the service on the Star, the service in the port cities restaurants seemed extraordinary. Second, the food aboard the ship was unsatisfactory. By the time we would receive our meal, the hot food was cold and the cold food was warm. The first night at Aqua, I ordered a steak, which I could not cut. The steak was of the quality that one would get at Denny's. I sent the steak back and did not reorder another main dish. My daughter received chicken nuggets from Versailles at lunch one day and they were so hard she could not bite into them. We found hairs and pieces of shell in our food at various times. The lobster tail we ordered one evening was less then 3 inches and was so tough we could not eat it. The scallops were smaller then the size of a dime in diameter. The meal portions were also quite small. I ordered hash browns one morning and they were smaller then the size of a credit card. If you ordered something with shrimp, you would only get one or two in your dish. I'm quite sure that the "crab" served in certain dishes was not real crab. The food was not well seasoned and was bland. The bread that is served before the meal was stale and hard as a rock. Desserts were usually good, as were the soups. Room service was okay as long as you didn't order the tuna melt. The bread was so hard you could hardly bite into it. Room service generally took 45 minutes or longer to receive. The Market Cafe was disgusting. I had a salad one day and put "ranch" dressing on top. When I took my first bite, I started gagging and spit out the food into my napkin. The "ranch" dressing was like rotten mayonnaise. The iced machines in the Market Cafe rarely had ice in them. The food in the Market Cafe was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The Market Cafe makes the "HomeTown Buffet" look like a 5 star dining establishment and I am not kidding or exaggerating. We only got water and iced tea from the Blue Lagoon as the food there didn't look very appetizing. We were not willing to pay additional to eat in the cover charge restaurants, so we were only able to eat at Versailles, Aqua, the Market Cafe, the Blue Lagoon and room service. For a ship with over 2000 passengers, it seems quite odd to only have 4 places to eat that are no charge. As far as the children's activities, my kids mainly played ping pong and watched tv in the room. My 13 year old son said that the teen center was lame as did the friends that he met. The only purpose that the teen center served was as a meeting place for the kids to group together and then move onto a different area. My son did say that the woman who was in charge of the teen center was very nice and tried to get activities started for the teens. My 17 year old daughter found a friend and had nothing to do with the teen center. She spent most of her time playing ping pong, watching tv in the stateroom or in the warm jacuzzi. She quit eating aboard the ship by the fourth day and after being home for a day, she still has no appetite. The food on the ship made her nauseous and she is still repulsed by food two days after getting off the ship. As for the entertainment, the Chinese acrobats were good and everything else was mediocre at best. Many activities were cancelled due to the weather. I found it rather interesting that for all of the day s on the cruise, most of which were very cold, the pool was open. The final day, we had nicer, warmer weather and the pool was netted of and closed. We did not do any of the NCL shore excursions. We went into each of the towns and really enjoyed each of them. Alaska is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately the best place was Juneau and that was the one port where we had the least amount of time to stay onshore. We had to be back by 12:30 pm that day. We choose to do the "Express Checkout" which means we take our own baggage off the ship from 8:00 to 8:30 am. We really had no problems with the disembarkment other then that we could not wait to get off of that ship. All five of us could not wait to get off of that ship for good. It was such a relief for the cruise to be over. Once we disembarked, we took a shuttle back to the Radisson, checked in and then went to tour Seattle with a friend who lived there. We went to Pike's Market which was fabulous and then ate lunch at the Crab Pot which was also fabulous. We toured Seattle for a few more hours then went back to the hotel for the night. We flew out of Sea/Tac around noon on Sunday 6/8/08. Seattle was hands down the best part of our vacation. There were so may issues that I cannot begin to express them all and quite frankly, having had to go through the experience "live and in person," I really don't want to have to rehash it all over again. Suffice it to say the experience we had was liken to shopping at the Dollar Store. The only difference being that when you buy something at the Dollar Store you know what you are getting. With NCL, you expect to receive something of value and in turn receive nothing more than junk. Even the people at the Dollar Store look at you, greet you and are friendly to you. It is abundantly obvious that NCL does not care. EVERYONE that we spoke to onboard that ship was unhappy with the cruise. Most were very happy with the ports and Alaska in general, but no one was pleased with the ship. The poor service was consistent and not a one or two time occurrence. Being treated with respect was rare and honestly only happened 5 or 6 time during the entire 7 day cruise. During the course of the cruise my mom, made an appointment to speak with someone from "higher up" as our previous complaints had fallen on deaf ears. On the evening of our 4th or 5th night, we had a meeting in the "Conference Room" with the Hotel Director and the Executive Housekeeper, both gave us their business cards. I'm not sure why Hal was at the meeting as none of our complaints had been about housekeeping. At a later point in the meeting, a gentleman came in, he was the Head of the Food and Beverage Service. That man did not give us his card as the other men had. We discussed the problems that we had encountered and even presented the Head of Food and Beverage with the chicken nuggets that had been served to my daughter earlier that afternoon. In general, the meeting was a waste of time. It did not seem like these men cared about our issues. They humored us, but ultimately sold us their companies "line." Later that night, each of our staterooms received a plate of chocolate covered strawberries (10 total) and the next evening we were "comped" a dinner at the Italian restaurant and given a bottle of wine at dinner. None of which could possibly make up for what had happened. The level of incompetency on the ship was incredible. You could ask 5 different crew members the same question and get 5 different answers. My son and husband had to redo their ship card id pictures three separate times because the staff kept mixing up their pictures in the computer. I did not give NCL my VISA card to use as the deposit because I didn't trust them and it turns out I was right. Two people we met aboard the ship had had over $500.00 charged to their cards and those charges were not from their personal purchases. As stated before, nobody that we spoke to was happy about the ship. Everyone that we personally spoke with, was extremely angry about the service and the food. Disappointment was the theme and the consensus for us and our fellow passengers. Most everyone thoroughly enjoyed Alaska and the beautiful scenery. My mom spoke with and received the business card of a husband and wife who are travel agents. They were very unhappy with the cruise as well. They said they had been on over thirty cruises and had never experienced such bad service and terrible food. They could not believe how bad things were aboard the Star. Suffice it to say, we will not be back to the Star or NCL for that matter. I would never recommend NCL to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
This was our 10th cruise, (My sister, my husband and I) we usually sail with Royal Caribbean or Princess. This was our first and LAST cruise with NCL. We booked a Penthouse Suite which was the only wonderful thing about this cruise. We ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise, (My sister, my husband and I) we usually sail with Royal Caribbean or Princess. This was our first and LAST cruise with NCL. We booked a Penthouse Suite which was the only wonderful thing about this cruise. We had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and butler service. The suite was gorgeous. The master bathroom has a large jacuzzi tub, with a large picture window so you can watch the sea go by while taking a bubble bath. Also has a TV if you prefer to watch that. My husband loved it. Our butler was "Roel" and he was fabulous. All you had to do was ask and he did just about everything for us. Even went down to the gift shop and picked up our liquor for us that we had purchased the last day of the cruise. My sister had booked 3 shore excursions in advance - this was her dream vacation. Every single excursion was cancelled. First we had booked the River Raft and that was cancelled. So we were able to change that to the Float Plane ride over the glaciers. We were glad we did - this is an amazing ride and I would recommend it to everyone. She had also booked the Helicopter/dog sled in Skagway. She was originally booked for 7:30 a.m. They cancelled that one. Then they moved her to the 1:00 time. It started to rain alittle, and got very windy, so they cancelled that one. Only to find out later - that they let some people go at about 2:00 after all - and never contacted her to tell her. This was not fair. She booked the Salmon bake in Prince Rupert, but the engine blew a gasket or something on the way there - so we were delayed getting in by about an hour - so that excursion was cancelled. Very disappointing. We did get VIP passes to the Chocolate Buffet since we had the Penthouse Suite. That was very nice. We were let in about 20 minutes before everybody else - and didn't have to wait in the line that was 1/2 way through the ship. We never would have waited in that line. We ate mainly in the Versailles dining room - which was average at best. If you are looking for gourmet food, like Princess or Royal serve, do not go on NCL. We never ate at the main buffet - it was disgusting! Dirty plastic tables and chairs, food was very unappetizing, and total chaos. The Blue Lagoon is a joke, we hated to even have to walk through it to get to the main dining room. We did pay to eat at Cagney's one night and that was very good. And the service was totally different from the main dining room. The waiters in the main room were constantly talking amongst themselves, and almost completely ignoring the fact that YOU are the paying customer. They get their automatic $10 fee taking out of your account, so I guess there is no need to be pleasant while serving you. They were downright rude at times. We also ate at La Trattoria, which was good. But it was actually the main buffet - curtained off at the end, and they put table clothes on the dirty plastic tables to hide them. Clever uh? The entertainment on the ship was worthless. They did offer alot of activities, trying to keep people busy due to the fact that you cannot sit outside by the pool while cruising Alaska. We went to the wine tasting, which was OK - but they charge $15, and all the other cruise lines only charge $10, and offer alot more wine to taste. The casino is very large, but I had absolutely no luck what so ever. I only play the slots and I couldn't win anything. All and all, we were very disappointed with NCL and will never go back. Hated the free style dining. They only people we met were at the Captains party, and we did get together with them a few times during the week for dinner. They also disliked the free style dining - it's too hard to meet other people. We plan to go back to Alaska so that perhaps my sister can actually GO ON a shore excursion next time! But we definitely will not be going on NCL. Any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
Norwegian Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 4.0

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