12 Norwegian Star Asia Cruise Reviews

I apologize for the long winded review!! It was a whirlwind trip. We booked this cruise at the last minute ... as the Star Princess FLOATED in the Indian Ocean without any propulsion. LOL For those of you that don't know this story, ... Read More
I apologize for the long winded review!! It was a whirlwind trip. We booked this cruise at the last minute ... as the Star Princess FLOATED in the Indian Ocean without any propulsion. LOL For those of you that don't know this story, BOTH Azipods on the Norwegian Star lost propulsion and the ship floated at sea for several days, before being pulled / tugged into Melbourne Australia where the Azipods were replaced. That apparently is a completely different story. ha Anyway - we had no intention of going on this cruise. It was one of life's little "gifts". I suspect they lost quite a few passengers during the engine trouble. I think a number of people cancelled and disembarked. Anyway - I got a last minute email with a great price. A deal I could not refuse. We had always wanted to go to India - but didn't know where to start - and this itinerary looked amazing. So we took a gamble! Hoping and praying that by the time we embarked in Singapore, the ship would be in tip top shape. It was a bit nerve wracking to say the least (from booking until boarding) but once we were on board the ship, this cruise was AMAZING. The ship had been very well tended to while in dry dock in Melbourne. Everything was spiffed up. Fresh paint everywhere. Everything was squeaky clean, and the engines were smooth as silk :) I do believe this was the smoothest sailing we have ever been on. Most days, you couldn't tell we were moving! The itinerary was unbelievable. We would do this cruise again 10 more times. We were both like 5 year old kids at Disneyland. Every port was exhilarating. 13 ports in 18 days. We were completely exhausted, but over the moon happy. My feet hurt from walking and my cheeks hurt from smiling. We have traveled to many Asian countries (just about all) but we had not been to India and Sri Lanka. I don't know what I was expecting. But those two countries were nothing like I expected, in the BEST WAY POSSIBLE. The people were FABULOUS. The food was amazing. Everyone was so kind and welcoming. Nothing at all like the notion I had preconceived in my mind. I was prepared for disgusting. It was not disgusting - at all. The food was great. We chose nice looking places to snack and ate with the locals. (not from street carts) We were not overwhelmed with poverty and begging. (but that doesn't bother me) I am so grateful to be where I am, I am happy to help this one and that one. Anyway!! We loved every stop. We had four ports of call in India, and every stop was unbelievable. Cochin (Kerala) Goa, Mangalore, and Mumbai. We did Cruise Critic tours in Kerala and Mumbai and hailed a cab in Goa and Mangalore. I was so sad to leave India. Yes, we will go back!! But the place that surprised us the most was Colombo, Sri Lanka. About a week before we left for Singapore, I found a tour guide online that responded to my email right away and gave me a VERY good price. He even called us again before we left the US to confirm. Very professional. There was very little information available about Colombo, so he was also another little "gift" on this trip. Since Colombo is not listed on the Cruise Critic drop down menu of ports, I am leaving his information in my review. I hope this helps some folks stopping in Colombo. The driver/guide's name is Dilhan. His company is Dilhan's Awesome Adventures. His site is http://www.DilhansAwesomeAdventures.com. Oh my gosh, we had the MOST amazing day in Sri Lanka with Dilhan. Way too much to tell. We had no Sri Lankan money with us, and he happily bought us lunch and ice cream. Back at the port, we paid for the tour and tipped him (a small amount) but he would not take the money for lunch. He was very gracious and kind. The ship offered 3 tours in Colombo (I think) and we went to every place that was on the ships tours, and a lot more for about 1/3 the price. LOL. If anyone's ship is stopping in Colombo, Sri Lanka, you need to contact this guy. He's amazing. I was sad to read the negative reviews about Oman and Fujairah, as that was not our experience AT ALL. We had a total blast in every single port. We took Cruise Critic tours again in Oman and got a cab in Fujairah. All three days were wonderful. In Oman, the Oman private guard at the Sultan's private restaurant (near the Opera house) opened up the restaurant for us to take a peek and photos! Unbelievable. I have such amazing memories. Abu Dhabi was difficult (thanks to Big Bus) lol. But Dubai was fabulous. This cruise was absolutely the most memorable cruise of our life and we are blessed to have done 54 cruises so far ~ YES!! ~100% ~ if I ever find this sailing again, I hope to be first in line. If you have the chance to do this itinerary, don't think twice, Pretend you're 25 and go!! You can rest when you get back home. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Star. We are big fans of the freestyle dining and the options available to you. Food was always enjoyable either in the restaurants, buffet, Ginza or O'Sheehans. We enjoy being able to eat ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Star. We are big fans of the freestyle dining and the options available to you. Food was always enjoyable either in the restaurants, buffet, Ginza or O'Sheehans. We enjoy being able to eat when and where we feel like it. The crew were amazing. Always so helpful, friendly and going out of their way to ensure you were happy. Embarkation for us was fine as we were Gold customers but I do believe that some people queued for 3.5 hours, I'm guessing it's an issue for Singapore to deal with. We chose to do the majority of excursions through NCL, bearing in mind four ports were in India and we didn't want to risk the traffic. We did our own think in Colombo and of course got ripped off by the Tuk Tuk driver. Couldn't fault any of the excursions we did, we enjoyed them all. The ports were amazing and I hope NCL repeat this cruise as I would do it again and do different shore excursions. We only went to a few of the shows and those that we did we thoroughly enjoyed usually the guests artists. The gym was usually quite busy and most of the time I chose do walk up in the fresh air. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. we have cruised with ncl before but not on the star, this was a smaller ship for us. The whole experience was fantastic. The itinerary was one of the best we have had, we loved all the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. we have cruised with ncl before but not on the star, this was a smaller ship for us. The whole experience was fantastic. The itinerary was one of the best we have had, we loved all the places we went to especially Colombo, Malaysia and India. The ship was very nice, had plenty to do. The entertainment was really good especially in the theatre and the spinnaker in the evenings.The staff were all so friendly. The food was fantastic, there are so many places you can go and eat and they were all good. Special thank you to Michael who looked after us at the pool side bar and to our cabin boy. We meet so many lovely people especially those who were on our roll call on cruise critic. It was one of our best holidays. We would definitely cruise again with ncl and the star Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and we were not disappointed. Crew was friendly, hard working, and made us feel like valued guests. There were many included food venues which served delicious and varied menus. We especially liked ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and we were not disappointed. Crew was friendly, hard working, and made us feel like valued guests. There were many included food venues which served delicious and varied menus. We especially liked O'Sheehans for lunch, although nothing could top the food we received as suite guests in Moderno! The meats and salads were particularly good with excellent flavors and seasonings. Entertainment was super, especially the crew talent show and the crew recognition night. We liked the ship layout and public areas. Elevators were never a problem for us. Didn't miss the lack of flowers or newspapers on board. Our concierge, Hanno, was very helpful and made the whole cruise enjoyable. We felt we got our moneys worth from being in a suite. We chose the special 3-day tour to the Taj Mahal and is was worth every penny. Well organized with a quality hotel. Got to spend many hours in Agra. Ship tours were as good as any we've taken on other cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This is my second review, but this time focusing on the tours. NCL did a great job putting together tour options in an effort to satisfy a variety of interests. I heard only a few gripes (and I'm not sure these folks would have been ... Read More
This is my second review, but this time focusing on the tours. NCL did a great job putting together tour options in an effort to satisfy a variety of interests. I heard only a few gripes (and I'm not sure these folks would have been happy with anything anyway.) This cruise started in Auckland, NZ and visited Bay of Islands. We stopped in Australia (Sidney, Port Kembla, Airlie Beach, Darwin, and Cairns), Indonesia (Komodo Island, Bali), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), and ended in Singapore. I selected NCL highlights tours in each port. Port Kembla was a wonderful surprise. The Star was the 4th ship to use this evolving tourist spot. The city came out in full force to help cruisers get around, including giving rides to see the area. We went there as part of an itinerary change that substituted Port Kembla for Brisbane. (See multiple reports of earlier Star engine problems the prior couple of months.) Feedback from cruisers was very positive. Rough seas made the Great Barrier Reef tours a bit dicey for some with some disappointment depending on the location. Just seeing the Australian locations was a reward all by itself. Some folks visited the inside of the Sidney Opera House and heard a little bit of the orchestra rehearsal! Great timing! I opted for the Sidney Harbor Cruise Tour and it was worth every penny! Besides anything in Australia, the visit to Komodo Island was memorable for the hot, sweaty walk and the huge Komodo Dragons we saw. The Bali Arts & Crafts tour included woodworking, bamboo carving, painting, and a visit to a batik manufacturer. The guide was very informative and offered great advice. I totally enjoyed the ride around Kuala Lumpur. Of all of the stops, I believe that this one was the richest in culture. NCL offered several Singapore tours that dropped folks leaving the ship hotel drop-off. They saw the entire island and feedback was great. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We joined the ship in Hong Kong for a 21 night cruise. The itinerary was NOT what we had hoped for due to the azipod problems which was very disappointing. I am basing this review on the ship itself as that was very positive and we had ... Read More
We joined the ship in Hong Kong for a 21 night cruise. The itinerary was NOT what we had hoped for due to the azipod problems which was very disappointing. I am basing this review on the ship itself as that was very positive and we had a wonderful time onboard which given all the sea days was just as well ! The entertainment was great we went to just about all the shows and I have to say the Production Cast was the best I have seen. The visiting entertainers were varied and VERY good. Dining in the free and specialty restaurants was excellent food and service. The bars and public areas all good The crew were excellent great friendly service and they smiled and carried on which wasn't always easy among some disappointed passengers . I would happily travel with NCL again that was our 3rd cruise with them and I am hoping that Australia will love them as much as we do so we can see the Jewel and any other NCL ships visit us annually. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
It was not the staffs problem that the ship had propeller down - but they all remained happy and very helpful. I noticed people having a go at some of the waiters and bar staff about how slow the boat was and thought how ignorant of them - ... Read More
It was not the staffs problem that the ship had propeller down - but they all remained happy and very helpful. I noticed people having a go at some of the waiters and bar staff about how slow the boat was and thought how ignorant of them - it was not there fault. The food was good, the ship was beautifully clean at all times and the entertainment was good too. We loved the 5 o'clock somewhere bar where the singer was superb. I loved the fact that the Captain of the boat spoke to us every day and gave us an update - on a previous cruise that I had been on (not NCL) I would not even have known the captain was on board! My only complaint was that the internet which I paid for was extremely slow and I spent more time waiting to get on to a site then actually using the site! but saying that I can't wait for another cruise with NCL Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Despite a rocky start with the changed itinerary, this turned out to be one of my favorite cruises. The ship was a very comfortable size, and some of the newer bars and restaurants made it more fun than other NCL ships I've been on. ... Read More
Despite a rocky start with the changed itinerary, this turned out to be one of my favorite cruises. The ship was a very comfortable size, and some of the newer bars and restaurants made it more fun than other NCL ships I've been on. (Five o'clock somewhere and the mojito bar in particular) Food was typical for NCL, not outstanding but tasty and safe. We missed out on Thailand, but the added port in Vietnam helped make the cruise more interesting. The offered excursions were mixed. As a whole, the tour guides were friendly and spoke good English. We had a couple hiccups. The street food one in Saigon let us look at street food, we just didn't get to try any. The crew was friendly and helped turn the initial disappointment to a great time. The shows weren't the best, but still really entertaining. There was a violinist who played every night that was by far the most talented performer I have encountered on a cruise ship before. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first experience of what we consider to be a long cruise. We booked because of the intended itinerary which was supposed to be Hong Kong, Tiwain, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore. However because of Propeller ... Read More
This was our first experience of what we consider to be a long cruise. We booked because of the intended itinerary which was supposed to be Hong Kong, Tiwain, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore. However because of Propeller problems we unable to do Tiwain or Cambodia which was a massive disappointment as I really wanted to see Hal long Bay and Co Suomi. Our one complaint is that the company were slow to let us the passengers aware of the situation. We flew into Hong Kong where we spent a couple of days exploring prior to embarking the Norwegian Star. This process was really smooth and well handled. Our balcony cabin was all we expected, spacious, clean and comfortable, Floria our Housekeeper was wonderful, always happy and willing to help. The food on this cruise ship is really excellent, we had a (6) Food Package so we were able to experience all the Specialist Restaurants, our favourite being La Bistro and Ginza . We didn't eat at the Buffet as its just not our thing but it certainly looked "good enough to eat". We used both Dining Rooms with Versailles being the one we liked best. But no matter where we ate it was all excellent, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. We also had the full Drinks Package so having a drink when and where we wanted was no problem. The range of drinks stocked is exceptional with an excellent selection of good wines. Our favourite bars were the Bier Garten which was on deck, large, sunny and welcoming, and Gatsby's Champagne Bar, relaxing, calm with decent piano music. I should mention that although this was Not Adult only there were never any problems, there are lots of "quiet" areas, and loads of places to sit and sunbathe away from the pool and the general noise of families having a good time. We did go to a couple of Shows and both were very good, we also did several port excursions and these could not be faulted. We disembarked in Singapore, another effortless procedure. So overall although disappointed with the itinerary change we thought this cruise amazing. The staff everywhere are there to please and please they most certainly do. I would recommend it very highly and am already planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Went on a land tour of China before embarking on the cruise from Hong Kong and found out about the propulsion problem while in China. Upset at first but decided to make the best of it. Yes some ports had to be deleted and itinerary ... Read More
Went on a land tour of China before embarking on the cruise from Hong Kong and found out about the propulsion problem while in China. Upset at first but decided to make the best of it. Yes some ports had to be deleted and itinerary changed, but the crew (I mean everybody) made us feel at home and kept us informed of the progress of the ship's problem. NCL gave us a nice incentive to make the trip; we even booked our next with the Star on the Adriatic. Food was delicious everywhere, and we simply had a great time. I should say we always choose to have a great time. When you choose to you usually have others around you wanting to feel the same and staff wanting to go the extra mile. I would recommend NCL to everybody, and the Star was terrific. Embarkation took a couple of minutes, the outside balcony (level 9) was comfortable, entertainment was really entertaining, and my wife is enjoying Tai Chi now. Thank you NCL for making this compromised trip enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I had expected this cruise to have a few surprises, with it being as far as I know the first Asia cruise for NCL. But I also expected the norm as far as great service, food, shows, etc. We got both of those. Boarding in Singapore ... Read More
I had expected this cruise to have a few surprises, with it being as far as I know the first Asia cruise for NCL. But I also expected the norm as far as great service, food, shows, etc. We got both of those. Boarding in Singapore was a breeze, less than half hour from arrival to a nice lunch in Moderno's. Although I did hear some folks had problems, I can only speak for our group of eight. Then it was to our rooms. So far it had been like our other cruises, perfect. Then a surprise, a Azipod had malfunction and having to move the ship from the pier to allow another ship scheduled to take our place we remained overnight in Singapore harbor. The following day we returned to the pier, we(my family) had just spent three nights in Singapore so our group stayed aboard during this. I'm sure quite a few people enjoyed the extra time in Singapore. Mean while the ship's engineering department was not enjoying there stay in Singapore. I'm guessing at that, but I will also add I'm a retired sailor. So the decision was made for us to go but we could only go at a reduced rate of speed. So between the reduced speed and the extra time spent in Singapore and the necessity of getting to Hong Kong on schedule the schedule had to change. So the two port visits to Thailand got cut. And to jump ahead due to rough weather a port in Viet Nam was cut eventually as well. Which was a disappointment, to be sure. But to us Norwegian made up for it. With a one hundred percent refund. This money was in my checking account by time we reached Hong Kong. And a fifty percent of this cruise per person base fare credit towards a new cruise booked within the next twelve months. So for us the first and second person in each of our berths was 4k and then the kids were $700 each. So each of the number 1's and 2's each received a 2k credit towards a new booking (if booked within 12 months) each of the kids number 3 and 4 received $350. All eight (all family) have booked for next year. And we are also bringing more of the family next time as well. As I sit here writing this I realized what a great company Norwegian is. After having a "eventful" cruise with them we are booking away and bringing more of my family. Everybody (maybe not kids) knows things happen so I'm not surprised but for then to smooth it over to the point where I'm bringing more of my family. I'm impressed with that. Of coarse it's not just that "smoothing" over that got us to book again it's the sum of all parts. For the entire NCL Star crew thank you for a great trip. For Hannon and Chris thank you two. Can't wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I'm struck by how many things cruisecritic reviewers find to complain about, not just on cruises in general but in particular, on the Norwegian Star's new itinerary from Dubai to Singapore and on to Hong Kong. My wife and I ... Read More
I'm struck by how many things cruisecritic reviewers find to complain about, not just on cruises in general but in particular, on the Norwegian Star's new itinerary from Dubai to Singapore and on to Hong Kong. My wife and I signed up for the eleven days from Singapore to Hong Kong, and were on the whole more than satisfied. Sure, there were problems, but the captain and crew did their best to solve them. The ship didn't sink, nor even run aground. Thanks to washy-washy, no epidemic laid the passengers low. This was our fourth cruise on NCL, and we'll happily sail with this company again. We were upgraded, supposedly, from a starboard balcony to an aft-facing one on Deck 8. Disaster! Cabin 8176 is directly over the night club. As we prepared to retire around 23:00, it was as if the band was playing, loudly, at the foot of the bed. I went down to the reception desk in the atrium and angrily complained. Cindy from China promptly and efficiently got us moved to a starboard balcony cabin on Deck 9. In my view, no one should ever be assigned to Cabin 8176 unless they're 20-something party people or stone-deaf senior citizens. We were supposed to sail on a Sunday evening, but were in fact delayed about 50 hours. Engine trouble. The Captain announced that specialists needed to be flown in from Europe and America. The engine never did get fixed, so that the ship's speed was reduced by about half, causing us to miss the two ports of call in Thailand, as well as Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Most regrettable, though severe monsoon flooding might have botched the Thai shore excursions anyway. But then came a letter from the Captain saying that on account of these troubles, the basic fare for the cruise would be refunded for every passenger. To me, that seemed more than fair. Mildly boring days at sea became a lot more tolerable, once we knew they were free, Improvising the itinerary, the ship docked at Chan May in Vietnam, where shore excursions were available to Da Nang to the south or Hue to the north. It rained heavily all day, but hey, what an opportunity! We had an excellent guide on our trip to Hue, saw mile after mile of rice paddies, a royal burial garden, and the imperial palace. A tasty, more than adequate pho lunch had been hastily arranged at a first-rate hotel. Then came the port of Sanya, China, as originally scheduled. The shore excursions were something of a rip-off, but even so, gave a chance to see something of the city and the magnificent mountain park overlooking it. We arrived in Hong Kong on schedule -- disappointed that the cruise did not turn out as promised, but satisfied with NCL's generous attempts to make the best of it. Meanwhile, there was excellent food in the main dining room, Versailles. One has to admire how the chefs shift day by day from one cuisine to another, so that every day's menu is new and fresh. We tried Aqua, the other main dining room, and Ginza, the Asian one. Ginza was superb, Aqua not so much. We went to the buffet only for breakfast, finding it crowded and noisy. We were satisfied enough with the regular eateries that we never felt the need to pay extra at the specialty restaurants. The nightly entertainment we found consistently watchable and listenable, and occasionally really excellent. A Russian husband and wife performed sensual acrobatics that took my breath away. A group of American guys from Hong Kong sang a capella in English and Cantonese -- awesome!. Meanwhile a Filipino trio crooned nightly in the atrium, and a couple of talented women, violin and cello, played classics in a bar (I was wishing for still more classical music). Our steward, a chap named Kiran who hailed from Goa, was friendly and efficient. Like the other stewards, he shaped a towel into a different animal every night: kind of silly, but you can't help but smile. Alas for the best laid plans of mice and men. There are always surprises on planet earth. I was impressed with how the captain and crew of the NCL Star adapted to the surprises of this cruise. Thanks to all of them. Read Less
Sail Date December 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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