9 Norwegian Star Asia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the variety of ports. When we discovered in December that 2 ports had been discontinued due to propulsion system failure. We (2 couples) immediately requested a cancellation refund as we were concerned about ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the variety of ports. When we discovered in December that 2 ports had been discontinued due to propulsion system failure. We (2 couples) immediately requested a cancellation refund as we were concerned about cancellation of additional ports and safety if the ship should lose power. Despite 3 requests, we were denied and forced to sail. The December 10th cruise received a 100% refund and 50% future cruise credit. The 22nd sailing were offered a 100% refund, 50% future credit. January 5, a 20% refund. We received a laughable $200. Cabin credit. As feared, January 26th, we were advised 3 additional ports were cancelled. including Brisbane where we were to disembark. We were summarily given an additional $800. Per cabin. Through continued passenger pressure requesting a full refund, Norwegian Cruise Line Corporate Office made a final offer of 100% future cruise credit which we find unacceptable. Precedents were set on past cruises. The offer comes with extraordinary restrictive conditions. We simply want a refund of the amount paid for the cruise. Five of Ten Ports cancelled... No assistance from NCL other than the use of 4 computers and 1 telephone line, maximum 8 hours a day for 5 days, 2000 plus passengers! On one of the 2 ports left, Darwin, we were were forced to spend our time in a shipboard meeting arranged by NCL and the afternoon in a mall, advising friends of our non arrival, cancelling car rental, rescheduling accommodation arrival, arranging transportation to Sydney Airport and flights back to the Gold Coast, no financial compensation. The front desk and customer service staff were ill informed, rude and were actually found to be purposely providing incorrect information. The captain blatantly lied, stating the ship was safe and absolutely would not lose power. NCL has continued to board unwary passengers on a compromised ship. Our concerns about the Norwegian Star were confirmed when all engines failed 70 miles from Melbourne, drifted 2 days before being towed to port. With this event we hope that NCL will now acknowledge our anxiety and justified concerns by offering a realistic refund. Despite the pressure of extra sea days and anxious passengers, all staff, Cabin, Dining Room, Casino, Pool, Restaurant, provided friendly, professional service. Our cabin was comfortable, drink service was prompt, we enjoyed the specialty dining and onboard entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia were areas we were very interested in seeing. NCL had problems early December but would not cancel cruises in order to fix the problem instead ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia were areas we were very interested in seeing. NCL had problems early December but would not cancel cruises in order to fix the problem instead they failed to notify passengers of loss of ports before we entered the terminal to board ship. Problems increased as we sailed. After only 3 ports they had additional problems with ship and they canceled 3 more ports. So they had canceled 5 of 10 ports. Their compensation was $500 per person for up to 2 people in a cabin and 1/2 next cruise within 12 months. This was wrong. Dining was okay but have had better. Crew and staff did their best considering the angry passengers. Entertainment was okay. Our cabin, balcony on deck 10 was smallest we have had in quite a while. Did not trust the ships seaworthiness. Embarkation absolutely the worst we have ever experienced--this was our 14th cruise. NCL is on my no cruise list. Hope their bottom line is better than our cruise experience with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
1. They changed the itinerary twice due to mechanical problems, which caused us to lose money on hotels. Thailand, which was the highlight of the cruise, was cancelled. 2. Prior to leaving we called about visas and both Norwegian and ... Read More
1. They changed the itinerary twice due to mechanical problems, which caused us to lose money on hotels. Thailand, which was the highlight of the cruise, was cancelled. 2. Prior to leaving we called about visas and both Norwegian and Visa Central employees and websites provided wrong information. The employees on the cruise did not want to take responsibility for misinformation. 3. Poor quality food. Tasteless. If you'd like to lose weight you should go on this cruise. 4. There should have been more activities. I was a bit bored on sea days. 5. This was my first cruise and I was very disappointed by the experience, especially with the visa issues. It was in very poor taste for them to not take responsibility for what was written not their website. Their employees are poorly trained and don't really seem to know much about what they are selling. The highlights of the trip were the shore excursions, which we booked privately. Many passengers complained about the excursions provided by Norwegian. I will never travel with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was the worst cruise ever-saved up my leave to take this break-Hong Kong to Singapore (22 Dec16-6Jan17)-itinerary changed several times 1st informed morning of cruise but already in Hong Kong-only 2 ports visited between above ... Read More
This was the worst cruise ever-saved up my leave to take this break-Hong Kong to Singapore (22 Dec16-6Jan17)-itinerary changed several times 1st informed morning of cruise but already in Hong Kong-only 2 ports visited between above ports-ship's azipod propulsion system failed losing power-same issue 18mths previously reported by fellow passenger-19 Feb17 ship stranded off Melbourne coast heading to NZ with same issue-so much for fixing issue: http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/travel-troubles/89291043/norwegian-star-cruise-ship-breaks-down-near-australia .Treat the passengers and crew dreadfully-promised 50%refund +50%for another cruise-still waiting for refund-no apology on ship-no ships porter to take cases to cabin -self-service and no direction of where cabin situated-cabin good but found dirty underwear in draws-complained and night porter removed said items with gloves but did not clean it-then tried to blame the cabin porter for not doing his job!!- thermal spa treatment is a joke-nothing but 2 chlorinated pools with bubbles-lap pool was only up to knees one end and mid body other end-3 arm flips and you are at end of lap pool-sit outside if you want to sweat as steam room did not work for most of the sea days-reported this sometimes 5x in the hour but problem often not rectified and never offered refund for inconvenience. Non-smokers beware- smokers are everywhere-don't stick to designated areas-if you report this takes crew so long to attend that the smokers have finished cigar/fag or moved on or no penalty if caught.If you buy water from ship to take off shore note that they wont let you bring it back on even though they have sold it to you in the first place! Cant manage dietary requirements well even though they were aware of these prior to us boarding. Very disappointed with menu-same for 14days so if dietary issues, virtually zero choices-asked for several vegetarian options but not able to provide in restaurant although they did have in the McDonalds style cafe.Couldn't choose where one sat for meals in restaurants only in the McDonalds café. Evening entertainment very average at best and little options available.Crew & passengers were kept in dark regarding ships' issue but no apology made during 14 dy cruise or letters in cabins for guest on arrival. During cruise did not berth near the cities but in commercial docks with no facilities around. This meant additional taxi rides of up to 2.5hrs each way to reach the city before starting to sight sea-told this was so ship could be fixed-obviously never happened. Shore excursions are very expensive and say they are taking you to places others don't go-don't believe, others do take you to wherever you want to go and they are often much cheaper! No apology for those of us, having booked short excursions independently of ship, for ports which we later did not stop at. Asked to be dropped off at the Orchard hotel in Singapore but told I had to book the shore excursion of US$109 to do so-lies the hotel provides a free shuttle bus from the ship. No help with asking for directions or costs of transport or free services available at the port. Overall a very unimpressed and upsettingv14days with most days at sea because of reduced speed (sea days decrease my sea tolerance)-sick for 3 days including 1 day in port.Would ALWAYS RECOMMEND AVOIDING this ship or its sister ships given the way they operate unless you are a smoker-SMOKERS RULE even around children!..so much for all the health warnings regarding smoking and smoking related illnesses. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We had planned on a large family reunion and had focused our search in the south-east Asia region. Living in Canada, none of us had ever travelled to this part of the world due to the very lengthy flight to get there. NCL had advertised ... Read More
We had planned on a large family reunion and had focused our search in the south-east Asia region. Living in Canada, none of us had ever travelled to this part of the world due to the very lengthy flight to get there. NCL had advertised an itinerary that was quite frankly exceptional, as it would be touching upon nine ports. Based on this itinerary, we booked the cruise more than a year in advance. Also based on the itinerary and dates, we had booked all the flights and several independent shore excursions. People had booked off vacation time. Our sense of anticipation grew as the travel date got closer. However, just four days prior to our departure, we were informed that the ship has some mechanical issues, specifically one of the azipods was disabled. In order to offset the ship's reduced speed, they deleted four ports and we would have to spend many more days at sea. This was extremely short notice, especially since the azipod issue was known to NCL several weeks in advance. They offered a compensation of 50% refund and a 50% credit for a future cruise (as long as it was taken within a year). This may have been fine for someone who hadn't booked so far in advance was travelling in a small group. However, the logistics of a family reunion are difficult to try and redo again and they didn't recognize the degree to which they compromised our travel plans. I understand that mechanical problems can happen to any ship, regardless of cruise line. My bigger frustration with NCL is their customer service (or lack of). I have been diligently trying to talk to management on the ship as well as reach senior customer management personnel at their head office. However, they continue to exploit their bureaucracy and hide behind front-line telephone operators. They haven't answered any of my questions, but submit vague statements such as "we understand your concern and we can't do anything for you". A true service oriented company would have had their senior management reach out to me and better understand my concerns and try to address them in a more individual manner. At least they would have better articulated their reasons for reaching certain conclusions. I have lost all trust with NCL as they have lost what it means to empathize and properly deal with customers. As a result, it is unlikely that I will ever travel with them again, regardless of the 50% discount they are providing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First time cruiser so did not know what to expect. Arrived in Hong Kong to Commence Holiday on the 19th was informed of major itinerary changes due to propulsion problems on the 21st even though NCL knew of issues over a week prior. Too ... Read More
First time cruiser so did not know what to expect. Arrived in Hong Kong to Commence Holiday on the 19th was informed of major itinerary changes due to propulsion problems on the 21st even though NCL knew of issues over a week prior. Too later to cancel any holiday plan without an expense. 4 destinations were removed and an additional 5 days at sea were added. Also lost 5 star hotel night stay in Bangkok which we could have changed or cancelled if we were informed as we should have been before the 17th by NCL. Not a good start as we were already questioning the integrity of the company before we even got on the ship. NCL will provide a 50% discount on the cruise and a 50% discount on a future cruise (must be within 12 months) which I will not be taking up. When looking at back at the experience a 100% refund would have been more appropriate. The experience on the boat was mixed the good points amazing food and the majority of the staff were lovely. Not so good points was poor entertainment during the day especially considering how many extra days at sea we were given. At times children and teens were running riot all over the boat especially in pool and dining areas. Services that would have filled my time nicely were available such as spa and massage treatments but they were so overpriced that I did not have any. Ports were all very far away from the few city destinations we stopped in in Ho Chi Min and Bangkok. Many of our interactions with other passengers also involved exchanging feelings of dissatisfaction about the way things were handled. For my first cruise not many good things to say. Would I do another cruise? Never say never but never with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The Norwegian Star had propulsion problems. According to Cruise Critic reviews, this happened in October also, but I don't know. When I read about the problems on Wednesday, December 14, I called Norwegian Cruise line and was told ... Read More
The Norwegian Star had propulsion problems. According to Cruise Critic reviews, this happened in October also, but I don't know. When I read about the problems on Wednesday, December 14, I called Norwegian Cruise line and was told nothing was wrong. December 16, they emailed one person in our party (not everyone) telling them exactly what I read about the change in itinerary. So five days before sailing, we were given the choice of not going and receiving a full refund, or going and receiving a 50% refund. We chose the 50% refund and going because we already paid for visas, airfare, etc. and couldn't get that money back. The itinerary changed five more times beginning on the day of our arrival. The original itinerary had 10 days at ports in six countries with five days at sea. The final itinerary had five days at port at three countries with ten days at sea. We docked at Singapore at 9:30 pm the night before we were to finish the cruise at 7:25 a.m. so I am not counting Singapore because we weren't able to see any of it but the airport. *They didn't change on-board entertainment to fit the new itinerary, so they showed movies while we were docked and only showed one movie during the ten days at sea. *They didn't arrange for dock space for the changed itinerary so although we were supposed to be able to leave the ship at 3pm, we weren't able to dock until 5:30 pm, missing some shore excursions *They didn't offer more things to do even though we were stuck on the ship. *They didn't offer discounts on shore excursions or on-board entertainment even though we were in ports longer so they could fix the ship. They had 2000 passengers bored and complaining, and didn't seem to try to be flexible and change on-board activities to fit the changes in itinerary. It was a big WASTE of money and time. Ratting explaination - Cabin furniture didn't fit the space (had to climb over the bed to get in bed) + Dining spaces were clean and comfortable - There weren't enough enrichment activities or entertainment - Pool too small - Not enough deck chairs in shaded areas (on deck 7) - Theater seats need replacing, they all slope from wear. + Service was generally excellent except for the sports bar. - There were not enough people working at the front desk so always a long wait. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Okay - here goes. I never actually review cruises on this site. I usually use it for planning group excursions and meeting other critics etc. But, this cruise was so terrible, I felt I had to review it. Let me set the scene by telling ... Read More
Okay - here goes. I never actually review cruises on this site. I usually use it for planning group excursions and meeting other critics etc. But, this cruise was so terrible, I felt I had to review it. Let me set the scene by telling you I am a Gold Latitudes Member, cruise critic and exclusive NCL cruiser (with the exception of one cruise). Let's start from the beginning.... Embarkation in Singapore was THE WORST I have ever been through. I am a Gold Latitudes member so I was in the gold/platinum line and what should have been a 20 min procedure took 1 1/2 hours. It was so long standing still that the lady in line in front of me fainted and my husband caught her on the way down! Next to me in the Silver Latitudes line I was told it was a 2 1/2hr wait and in the ordinary line I heard first-hand reports of people waiting 4 HOURS! I honestly did a quick time and it was taking about 20 mins per group in the gold/platinum line. The captain apologised for this in his announcement and said that it was due to "greater than expected number of people wanting Vietnam visas" which was a lie because that part of the process was a 2 second signature on a form. Once on the ship, a few hours after what should have been our leaving time, the captain announced there was an "issue" with one of the engines and that as long as they could fix it by 2am, we would still get to Koh Samui on time. My husband and I got up to go to the bathroom at about 1am and felt the ship moving (and therefore assumed we were on our way) but then found out all that had happened was they moved us to the Singapore Bay to allow another ship to take its allocated berth. We spent the first 'sea day' in the Bay of Singapore and went back into the port that night. The engine had failed and we were told they were flying in experts from USA and Europe to fix it, so we had some hope we may still get back on track. Little did we know that the experts weren't being flown in to fix the engine, they were being flown in to certify that it was safe to continue the cruise on one engine. We were issued a 'new itinerary' which had a whole 3 ports (one completely new which I had made no plans for) and were offered via announcement from the captain "A full refund plus 50% off your next cruise" which made it a lot easier to take. However, once we investigated the 50% off the next cruise, we soon realised that it was 50% of what we paid on THIS cruise towards another cruise which, while still a generous offer, was not the expectation created by the captain in his announcement. Some people got the cruise for about $800 and so were bitterly disappointed in their $400 towards another cruise! I am not denying that this was still a good offer, but they set expectations in that announcement and when we found out the truth we started to doubt the honesty of NCL. When we got back into Singapore, NCL told people they were welcome to leave the ship if they desired, but that NCL would not be paying for their flights etc if they did go. We just went into Singapore for the day and had another look, used the wifi at the port to cancel all our tours and got back on that night. What we didn't realise is that apparently approx 10% of the ship disembarked. As a result about 100 people (who I assumed were at the front desk demanding perks) were upgraded to better rooms!! I was told it was for free by people who were speaking to those upgraded. One guy was travelling with his son and got his son his own room! Considering the atrocious room we had (cabin feedback below), I was FURIOUS that being a Gold latitudes member and a cruise critic obviously meant nothing when they were handing out upgrades. We went to the desk to see if there was even another inside state room we could have and the front desk staff were so infuriatingly smug and condescending!!! I couldn't believe the way in which they treated us! I wasn't being rude or angry when I asked! I was perfectly friendly and pleasant. The rest of the trip basically consisted of us rolling back and forth in the South China Sea for about 7 days straight. Our stop in Nha Trang was cancelled due to weather (devastating but totally understandable give the weather!) so that left only 2 ports. The night before Nha Trang was so rocky that I did not sleep the entire night. Apparently a lot of people were very sick. We arrived at Chan May (near Hoi An and Hue) in Vietnam late one afternoon. Luckily for us, we honeymooned in Hoi An and had the contact details of a driver who we texted from the ship to come get us. Luckily they turned on the Maritime network so we could text! We paid him $100 USD for a return trip to Hoi An, but because it was an unexpected stop and super expensive wifi on the ship, other people had to either book a ridiculously overpriced ships tour which spent the majority of the time in museums and shops, or take a local taxi which we heard people paid $150 USD ONE WAY! I thought considering it was an unexpected stop, the ship would put on a shuttle in and out of Hoi An, but the Shore Excursion staff smugly told me that wasn't happening (this is before I thought to contact our driver). The people who went on the ships tours were scathing in their comments on how poor they were. I found the shore excursion staff as condescending as the front desk staff. I heard several stories of them lying about situations to get you to book the ships tours. Sanya was an absolute debacle! We got Chinese visas and therefore didn't need the ships tour to go ashore (although we heard later that was a lie from Shore Excursions too and apparently as long as you arrived by ship to Sanya and were leaving within 72hrs you didn't need a visa at all! One guy confirmed this with the Chinese immigration staff!). However, in true NCL style, they gave full preference to those on ships tours and told us we could only get our passports back at 9am (docking time!). NCL underestimated the amount of Chinese citizens on the ship and the queue to get our passports was mammoth!!! The floor we were getting the passports on was the same floor as the gangway and as a result there was an enormous crowd of people on that floor squashed together and very unhappy! I took a photo of the crowd but it doesn't do it justice. It took a good 2 hours to get off the ship and through immigration and once we saw what a disappointing place it was, we got back on the ship a few hours later. NCL made every excuse under the sun about the delay (and even called the Chinese government corrupt etc) but everyone said the same, that it was a 2-way street and a 2-part process and NCL handing out passports at docking time was ridiculous! One lady said to me (in line waiting to get out to Sanya) that it should be called "NWL" - "Norwegian Waiting Line" for all the times we queued and waited for them to get their act together. On the second last day (day before docking) NCL decided they would offer to pay people out their account balances in CASH (USD only) so there were huge lines of people settling bills and trying to get their cash paid. At some stage, they ran out of money and then just offered the usual cheque. What annoyed me was, as with everything else on this cruise, the staff gave inconsistent information and incorrect information. Being from Australia, a payment in USD cash is useless to us and we wanted the amount to be paid in USD onto a special credit card we have which has an excellent exchange rate. We were told by one Italian Manager that this was not possible, that NCL would send us a cheque in USD and if we wanted anything differently we would have to call the Australian NCL office and request it. When we got home, we found the amount was paid onto that credit card already. Not a big deal but it highlights the distinct lack of knowledge of the staff and inconsistencies being told (we discussed with other Australians and they had been told something completely different). Disembarkation was a breeze. Here is the crux of what I want to say about this cruise... The engine failing was a preventable event. I know this because I am a maintenance engineer and I know what a critical piece of plant the engine is for a cruise ship. My husband was a bit more forgiving of this event, but I know this was purely their mistake and for that I am furious because we went on this cruise purely for the itinerary. The cruise refund does not compensate for the $4,000 we spent on flights/transfers/accom either side of the cruise in order to do the cruise, or lost deposits on our private tours. Despite this, the cruise was defined by how this event was handled - and in my opinion it was not handled well at all. We were treated DISGRACEFULLY by all management staff constantly. They spoke condescendingly and smugly with every question or request we had. Information was not consistent or correct. Everyone was told something different and most of the time what we were told was not true. Being a Gold Latitudes member and cruise critic means absolutely nothing to NCL but demanding perks at the front desk obviously gets rewarded. If you are not taking a ships tour, they don't give two hoots about you, and the staff at the shore excursions aren't completely honest in an attempt to scare you into taking a ships tour. I am extremely disappointed in how this cruise was handled. I have cruised exclusively with NCL for 6 cruises in a row now, but it will take an enormous amount to get me to give them my money again after this. Even with a '50%' credit. Congratulations, NCL in 50 years of sailing and congratulations in delivering the worst holiday of my life. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The ship broke down in Singapour and the staff instead of being super gentle with the customers, most of the crew were horrible, from the customer service agent to the supervisor and manager. I will not go back to any Norwegian ship ... Read More
The ship broke down in Singapour and the staff instead of being super gentle with the customers, most of the crew were horrible, from the customer service agent to the supervisor and manager. I will not go back to any Norwegian ship again. PD: My grandma got sick and one night at the cruise hospital the bill was $8,000. Forget it.It It was very irresponsible that the company knew that the ship was broken with one motor and we were 6 nights in a row in the ocean because we were working with only half the power. Now I need to work 3 more years to pay for the hospital care which was over priced. We choose a room for 4 people and there was no space for the 4 beds and the luggage. One bed was literally in the middle of the entrance of the cabin, so they had to built and bring down the 4th bed everyday so we could walk through the cabin. 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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