54 Norwegian Star Asia Cruise Reviews

My hubby & I sailed aboard the Norwegian Star from Dubai with my mother in November. This was our 3rd cruise with the Star and we love her older decor and layout: wide decks that allow resting or walking and there is a jogging track on ... Read More
My hubby & I sailed aboard the Norwegian Star from Dubai with my mother in November. This was our 3rd cruise with the Star and we love her older decor and layout: wide decks that allow resting or walking and there is a jogging track on deck 12 too. For this cruise we booked a Family Suite on deck 11 which had two sleeping quarters, enough for 6 people, however it was just my husband and I in the main sleeping area and my mother in the smaller area with her own bathroom and loo! The cabin also had a table and 4 chairs, a 3 person sofa and TV and a balcony. The main bathroom has a separate shower, spa bath and loo. Each section has enough closet & drawer space. The Main bedroom has space under the bed for the suit cases and there were enough power sockets to charge cameras etc in the cabin. A coffee/tea machine was included(uses pods) and was well used by us all. Dining aboard the Star offers several complimentary dining choices: Market Cafe, Aqua and Versailes Dining Rooms, Poolside Buffets, Ginza and O'Sheehans Pub. There are also several specialty restaurants too, Moderno, Cagney's Steak House, Teppinyaki etc. I have yet to have a meal that I did not like - the menu choices are very good. The Stardust Theatre is where the entertainment happens - there is a show of some sort every night and all are well worth the time to see. The Shows with the Norwegian Dancers and Show Band are absolutely fantastic - great music, singing and dancing! We all found the service by the Norwegian staff to be of a very high standard especially Hanno our Conscierge, Joseph our Butler and Ferdinand our cabin steward. The cruise from Dubai stopped at ports in UAE, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia. The Shore Excursions we were able to complete were 'Level One' due to Mum's mobility issues however it would have been more pleasant if we stayed aboard except for the Highlights of Bombay Tour which was interesting and gave time to do a little sighseeing. I went to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage(Sri Lanka) by myself and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately none of the other excursions we did would encourage us to re-visit the countries we saw. The Ports we docked at were mostly 'industrial' and in poor repair and many Port authorities refused passengers permission to walk on the pier. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Returned last week from 21 day cruise on Norwegian Star, Dubai to Singapore. Attracted by an interesting itinerary sailing from Dubai, UAE/Oman, down the west cost of India, Sri Lanka, Phuket, Malaysia, to Singapore. Our inside midship ... Read More
Returned last week from 21 day cruise on Norwegian Star, Dubai to Singapore. Attracted by an interesting itinerary sailing from Dubai, UAE/Oman, down the west cost of India, Sri Lanka, Phuket, Malaysia, to Singapore. Our inside midship cabin was very comfortable and well situated. Having travelled with other shipping companies, this was the first line to not allow water to be brought back on board, even when water was bought from the ship or given as part of a shore excursion. We found the entertainment in the theatre was mainly very good. There was various artists playing/singing in other areas of the ship, however, this was usually too loud in the bars and lounges, which meant that it was impossible to carry out conversations with other cruisers, so in the evening the only quite areas were on deck. Ginzas restaurant was just above the piano bar and we had music and song bellowing up at us, hardly suitable when dining. Service was very good around the ship. Our cabin steward was excellent. Dining:- Market Café buffet was unattractively designed and noisy, more like a work's canteen. We like to dress smartly for evening dining and used Versailles and Aqua restaurants. Versailles in particular has a smart dress code, however, there were some diners who were quite unsuitably dressed, yet were not directed to another area to eat. Port & shore excursions:- Not at all happy with the lack of information before and when visiting the ports. Clearly the company kept cruisers in the dark in order to sell tours from the ship—which were expensive. We had some tours booked with the cruise line and some with other companies, but we could not plan our own days for exploring on our own as there was no or insufficient information. Yes there were taxis, however, not everyone, including ourselves, is happy to do this in a foreign country. The port at Abu Dhabi needed transport to exit port, taxi $10 or Big Bus which toured the city—but no concessionary bus to exit port. The Mangalore port is located , 10 km away from the main city. A shuttle bus dropped us off at a shopping mall in the centre. We paid for this and there was little else to do here. Kuala Lumpur was another container port. There was a complimentary shuttle to the port entrance but nothing there, just taxis. It takes at least an hour to reach the city and the traffic is very congested. We complained about the lack of information before arrival at the ports and the excuse given was that the cruise company hadn't done this itinerary before. This can be no excuse as representatives should have been sent to make discoveries months before the cruise itinerary was offered as cruise destinations. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise for the destinations, particularly India, as my husband had refused to go there, I was desperate to visit, so this was a good compromise, The Star is an older ship, with some of the advantages of it being smaller, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations, particularly India, as my husband had refused to go there, I was desperate to visit, so this was a good compromise, The Star is an older ship, with some of the advantages of it being smaller, some of the disadvantages of it being smaller. Hey ho, its for 21 nights, not for the rest of my life. We were in Cabin 11500. Right at the "pointy end" of the ship. I was a little worried about the possibility of anchor noise but heard none during the voyage. The cabin was a balcony (we booked a guarantee balcony so this was a little upgrade as they are on deck 8). It was perfectly adequate, although some of the storage is a little strange and because it was 21 days we could have done with a little more hanging space and some more drawers. However we managed and for a normal length cruise it was more than adequate. The suitcases went under the bed no problem, even though they are hard bodied ones, and our hand luggage trolley cases fit above the wardrobe space, still giving us room to put a few things like our winter coats etc on top of them. The room was beautifully taken care of by Ferdinand, who was a very pleasant young man, hard working and probably deserving of more salary than he gets, which was true of all of the crew. All members of staff, apart from one person on reception who needs to lighten up a little, were excellent. All cheerful, helpful and hard working. Some passengers could have done with remembering they were on holiday, however. What a group of moaning minnies. Every where we sat there were people complaining about something. If you want Cunard standards in the dining rooms and bars, then pay Cunard prices and off you go. I was more than happy with the freestyle dining options. I dressed up when I wanted to, and didn't when I was tired from a great day out. The entertainment in the show lounge was generally of high quality, although not always to my taste. The other entertainment ranged from excellent quality to "a bit Butlins". No one forces you to go and listen, you just move on to somewhere else if its isn't your thing. The main dining rooms were both well looked after by the staff. We were generally seated within 30 mins and were happy to wait at busier times. Love the pager system; it gives you a chance to go and have a cocktail while your table is prepared. The food is mass catering, mostly fairly dull but safe, and could do with some more seasoning and general flair, but there is little to complain about. It is what is to be expected and found like this on all cruise lines. The Asian restaurant was a welcome addition and we ate there a couple of times. The food and service was great but the menu is limited, which is a shame. Maybe on a 21 day cruise they could rotate a couple of menus. However, again nothing to complain about. Some people enjoy the predictability of this and so it is again, a choice to go or not to go. The Buffet was always busy and that was because the standard of the food was high on most occasions, although I don't understand the obsession with American Diner food, and didn't attend on those nights. Again my preference. I was impressed with the variety of food on the Asian nights, lots of different styles of Indian and Malaysian food. They also had a standard food station which offered Chinese and Indian style food every night, away from the main stations. Great idea. The food was generally well seasoned, not at all salty - in fact some of the food could have done with salt added at the cooking stage, such as pasta, rice and potatoes, which were verging on tasteless at times - however I suppose you have to cater for those who don't or cant have salt, and at least it could be added at the table, despite this not being the best way of doing things. All restaurants and bars ran out of different types of wine at times, which was disappointing. However, once they had called in at ports they were able to re-supply the bars. Being a smaller ship, maybe they don't have the storage space. Embarkation was interesting. We were picked up early from our hotel in Dubai and so were some of the first on the ship. The staff at the port were clearly inexperienced and so some information we could have done with at the start was not available. I had bought a bottle of gin to use when we got to Singapore. When I tried to hand it in to the staff at the port, I was treated like a criminal. Dear me. As it happens they didn't spot it in my bag and I had to point it out to them. I began to wish I hadn't bothered as it caused all sorts of issues. It was sorted in the end but really! Other than that issue, most times we disembarked, there was little problem, except for Phuket which was tender to shore. I have yet to find a cruise company which is able to cater for this in a timely fashion. The shore information provided by the cruise company was completely inadequate. This is true of all American Cruise Companies and they obviously play on the insecurities of a lot of their customers, who are fed on a daily diet of Fox News hysteria. Most cruises call into industrial ports unless they are in the Caribbean. This should be made more clear to those who normally dont cruise out of the USA. You are usually lucky if you dont have to dock miles away from the desired destination. I booked two excursions with the ship because of the currency situation in India, which was sprung on everyone at the last minute. As it happens, it was possible to get currency; at a poor exchange rate, but at least it was something. However, that was no excuse for the frankly awful tours that the company provided. Thank goodness I hadn't booked and paid for more than two. Go independently always, try Viator via Trip Advisor, but stop these cruise companies from providing some seriously over priced, under researched and inadequately guided tours. The ports on this trip were intended to be challenging. Some were fun, exciting and awe inspiring. Some were a bit dull, badly equipped to deal with so many people at once, or just too expensive to get from the port into somewhere worth visiting. Some were downright awful and should not be on any itinerary anywhere. Particularly Khasab and Fuijuirah, which were a complete waste of everyone's time and money. They should have had extra time elsewhere, such as Muscat and Mumbai. The shore teams need to up their game a lot as they provide little or no information on board. In particular, the currency situation in India was a nightmare for some. They provided no information at all regarding this. I was disappointed to discover that, despite us paying a considerable sum of money to obtain our Indian and Sri Lankan visas, there were people on board who, as long as they booked with the ship tours, had not had to have the visas at all. The cruise line needs to make up its mind about this and then treat everyone the same, or at least give everyone the option of having a visa or not, in a similar way to the trips to Russian ports do. Get a grip NCL. It appears that I have moaned a lot but really I have just provided a bit of constructive criticism so that the company can improve this itinerary. We had a great time. I would sail on Star again, although from what I can gather it might not be around for that long due to mechanical issues. I would recommend this itinerary to anyone, but would certainly advise that you make sure you have a drinks package as the individual prices of drinks were stunningly high and don't forget that as well as the price, there is an additional service charge added to each item you buy, whether it is alcohol, spa treatments or anything else. Make sure you do your research and prebook in most ports if you want to make the most of the destinations, particularly in India. Never get the first taxi you see at any port. We saved fortunes by walking or getting the shuttle bus away from the port and then haggling with drivers until you get a price you are prepared to pay - eg Langkawi - we wanted to go to the Sky Cab which is about 40 minutes away from the port by car. It cost us 40 Ringits (about £10) but the highest price we were quoted was $100 dollars. I would definitely sail with NCL again but would make sure I took my own advice. Thanks for a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Just got back from 21 day cruise on Norwegian Star Dubai to Singapore. Here are my thoughts and observations. 1. Great itinerary from Dubai, UAE/Oman, down the west cost of India, Sri Lanka. Malaysia, Phuket to Singapore 2. Smoking ... Read More
Just got back from 21 day cruise on Norwegian Star Dubai to Singapore. Here are my thoughts and observations. 1. Great itinerary from Dubai, UAE/Oman, down the west cost of India, Sri Lanka. Malaysia, Phuket to Singapore 2. Smoking allowed in the casino – seepage of smoke onto hallways and rooms. Very noticeable. 3. Ultimate Beverage package does not include water or specialty non-alcoholic coffees (no lattés. cappuccinos or expressos). There is no package that includes water or specialty coffees. 4. Buying water was USD27 for 6 bottles 5. We had a sea day between Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. However this was not necessary as Port Klang to Singapore is only 219 nautical miles – we basically jogged all the way to Singapore at 6 knots. It would have been very nice to have an overnight and day in Singapore, instead of being at sea. (too expensive to pay for extra day of docking in Singapore?) 6. Phuket tender was terrible. Had to “line up” to reserve a tender number – a fiasco. We had tender number 7 (out of 17) and it took us 2 hours to get to shore. It messed up our private tour. 7. Pet peeve – I know it is good policy to disinfect your hands before coming on board and before going into the dining areas. Visualize this – coming back from excursion. There is a lineup to get onto the ramp to the ship. Wet hand towels are offered while we’re in line (very nice). We get to the ramp, take out our room cards (In India, we also needed to turn in our landing card at most ports) for ID verification. 2 feet before we have to put the card into the card reader, an attendant wants to spray our hands. What were we supposed to do with the room card/landing card? Put it in our mouth, find a pocket etc. , while we rub the sanitizer in our hands and wait for it to dry, all the time slowing down the line. I asked them several times to spray our hands after the X-ray machine (not before) but they never changed the policy. 8. Room Steward was excellent. Always available 9. Entertainment was spotty. Their production cast and show bands and house band were excellent (Exotique was great). Imported groups, Ancora and Barricade Boys, were also very good. The rest were average or worse. 10. Specialty restaurants were good but nothing to write home about. Versailles and Aqua were adequate. Market Café buffet – nothing special. 11. Prime viewing locations for sailaways are usually the upper deck railings. Unfortunately, the running track is by that outermost railing – poor design We were a party of 8 and I don’t think anyone of us will be using NCL again. We didn’t like their business model - it is too chintzy Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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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