54 Norwegian Star Asia Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
We picked this repositioning cruise because of the fantastic itinerary...Dubai to Singapore, via India & yes, it was great! Not so good was our mini suite, painstakingly chosen to try & avoid the noise from Deck 12 above. Sadly, ... Read More
We picked this repositioning cruise because of the fantastic itinerary...Dubai to Singapore, via India & yes, it was great! Not so good was our mini suite, painstakingly chosen to try & avoid the noise from Deck 12 above. Sadly, 11578 & I would suspect all the suites in that vicinity, was not ideal. All day & well into the evening we had the sounds of scrapping chairs & footsteps loudly above us! Worst of all though was the deck chairs being put out between 3.30 & 4.30am every morning & they weren't quiet about it! It is hard to know where on Deck 11 you could escape this noise as right beside the pool area was the main Market Café which would make for its own problems if you were underneath it. We did talk with a couple who were in a mini suite right at the front of the ship & they reported it was quiet. The suite itself was not huge & was showing signs of age & wear & tear, definitely due for a serious revamp! Storage was okay but not as efficient as other cruise ships we have been on. Other reviews mention the dark wardrobe & the main storage shelves tugged away in there & yes, this is a pain! There are only 2 draws in the cabin for storage. Having the extra space with the little seating area & sofa was great as was the bath & separate toilet in the bathroom. Food onboard was fantastic with lots of variety & great flavours! The entertainment was also wonderful & we loved the nightly shows. Our steward was lovely & one of the highlights of the cruise was coming back in the evenings to find out what towel animal he had left. All in all a good cruise but not incredible. The Star must be due for renovation surely, most of the public areas, particularly Market Café & the toilets around the ship were old, dated & in the case of the toilets pretty disgusting at times! After being on Celebrity's Equinox last year & their attention to detail & cleanliness, this was a little underpar! Please be wary of the mini suites on Deck 11 (that's the only place they are), the noise from above is horrendous & doesn't make for a relaxing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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
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
This was my second cruise with Norwegian. We went to the cruise terminal in Singapore around 2 PM and had to wait in line for 3.5 hours before we could check in. It was chaos and the people that were doing the boarding were not really ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Norwegian. We went to the cruise terminal in Singapore around 2 PM and had to wait in line for 3.5 hours before we could check in. It was chaos and the people that were doing the boarding were not really qualified. I hear that some people had to wait over 4-5 hours before they could board the ship. We bought visa for Vietnam since we wanted to go ashore in Phu My (Vietnam). And payed 69 $ per person. Why we could not get these on board is a mystery since this is procedure on other cruise lines. We ended up staying in Singapore a few more days due to "electrical problems" and some expert had to be flown in. However I later foud out one of the engines broke down and we were not told. Read all about it here : http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2016/12/articles/power-loss-1/ncls-norwegian-star-stuck-in-singapore/ Anyway, due to this delay in Singapore our itinerary was changed and we ended up skipping 2 ports in Thailand and 2 in Vietnam. We bought the Vietnam visa to stop at Phu My or Nha Trang but both were cancelled. A new port in Vietnam (Chan May) was added but it was an industrial port and there was nothing to do there. There were some tours planned but the port was hours aways from any tourist location. And the tours were expensive. We decided to stay on board. I then went to reclaim the money paid for the visa which would not be a problem, so I was told. A few days later I went to check and was suddenly told that I should have returned the visa BEFORE we stopped at Chan May. And I was not "on the list". Whatever that means. Obviously the visa were not used and there was NO announcement stating we had to cancel the visa before we reached Chan May. So I still do not know why NCL refused to refund me the money for the visa. Other than that I was not on some list. Sanya was the last port of call before Hong Kong but we intended only to go ashore in Laem Chabang and Phu My and also skipped Sanya because of the costs of the tours. When we asked other people that went ashore we were told it was not worth the money. So we ended up staying aboard the whole cruise and were glad when we reached Hong Kong. Positive notes : - It was announced very quickly that everybody would get their money back and a 50% discount on future cruises. I understand that engine problems can occur but just tell the truth and don't say something vague as "some electrical issue". -The food in the buffet restaurant was ok. The food in places like O' Sheehan's Bar & Grill and Versailles was good. - Staff mostly well trained, doing great work, especially in the Market Place (buffet) where it can be busy and hectic. Negative notes : - Indian staff in the buffet area was overal adequate and polite. Some minor irritation when I went to get a drink, came back and found my table cleaned and some other people sitting there. All in the 30 seconds it took to get a drink. This happened a few times. One time I left plenty of food on the plate and some full drinks at the table to get some fruit, just to indicate that I had not finished eating and guess what..... Also I was almost knocked over by one of the staff in the dining area and he just kept on walking like nothing happened. An apology would be nice. Staff overall good attitude but a few need better training on people skills. - We decided to give the service fee directly to the people that were in charge of our floor before leaving. It was not hunderds of dollars and there was a clear disappointment and I even regretted leaving anything at all. - The on board activities mostly uneventful. I mean you can only do so much paperfolding and trivia. But the crew did try to arrange for plenty of activities. Only a few shows in the Stardust Theater were worth going to. The rest was mediocre. - Customer service was ok, could be better. When I asked to cancel the service charge of $13.50 a day I was told it was possible but got the evil eye. Lady was clearly NOT happy with that. - Bad internet connection : I bought an internet packaget of 250 minutes for 125$. Internet was so slow all the time. Even before you could open a website minutes passed consuming most of your internet time, just waiting for pages to load. Verby bad service. Not worth paying for this. There is no reason why the internet should be that slow on the ship. Probably a cheap satellite connection and the speed gets throttled by NCL. High Speed internet is promised but it is more like low speed : https://www.ncl.com/eu/en/press-releases/norwegian-cruise-line-holdings-deliver-high-speed-wifi-across-companys-three-brands - So we were glad to go disembark in Hong Kong. Senior staff was standing at the exit having fun and laughing but not paying attention at all to the people leaving or even saying goodbye. They were too busy with themselves I guess. They were thinking they did a great job on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We flew all the way from New York for this cruise, which was supposed to take us from Singapore to Hong Kong, via numerous stops in Thailand and Vietnam. Instead, the ship lost an azipod as we were pulling out of Singapore. (For all we ... Read More
We flew all the way from New York for this cruise, which was supposed to take us from Singapore to Hong Kong, via numerous stops in Thailand and Vietnam. Instead, the ship lost an azipod as we were pulling out of Singapore. (For all we know, the azipod may have been on the blink before we boarded!!) We spent three days in the harbor within sight of Singapore. Then the ship finally continued at a snail pace and lost its berthing reservations at all the major stops. We stopped at Hue, Vietnam -- not scheduled and not a stop I would have chosen. Then Sanya China. That was it. We were onboard all that time with irate, disappointed passengers who had spent a fortune to get to the ship for this "cruise of a lifetime." Not one apology from the Captain. The crew member who maintained my cabin did a fine job. The bartenders at Gatsby's were lovely and attentive, especially given the circumstances. But the cruise ... this ship has had mechanical problems for a long time. A cruise after we left actually got stuck with NO ENGINES AT ALL off the coast of Australia. 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
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
First time wth NCL, but done many cruises before. Not a good start with the azipod issue and went from 7 ports to only 3. Extremely disappointing especially as we did not go to the ports we all really wanted to go to. However, we decided ... Read More
First time wth NCL, but done many cruises before. Not a good start with the azipod issue and went from 7 ports to only 3. Extremely disappointing especially as we did not go to the ports we all really wanted to go to. However, we decided to go ahead with the cruise and glad we did. The ship itself is old and creaky especially at night when trying to sleep, but it is still beautiful and has many lovely areas. Cabins. Had a balcony cabin and it had everything we needed. Quite small compared to some cabins we have had but it was fine and very clean. Entertainment. Fantastic shows by the entertainment team, some of the best we have ever seen on a ship. Plenty of different bands and singers to suit most tastes. Great NYE party on deck. Only thing missing was some comedy and perhaps a piano entertainer. Staff. Very friendly staff. However did not find guest services helpful nor the shore excursion staff who told me different things about the refunds for our excursions that were cancelled. Still have not got my money back now !! Ports. Did Hue which was fine, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh, the latter two were excellent. Food. Brillant food in the dining room, the Brazilian restaurant and the buffet. Osheehans was ok. Good things about NCL. There are a few things that NCL do really well and we really liked compared to other cruise lines. E.g.-loved 'washy washy' -made you want to wash your hands ! Like the layout out of the market cafe, easy to navigate, plenty of tables and liked that there was cutlery and sauce on the tables ready for you. Also liked the BBQs on sea days and the paella and seafood on offer then too. Not so good things about NCL. - should stop guests entering the theatre when the shows have started. Having a constant stream of people arriving late and interrupting your viewing is annoying and rude and should not happen. The safety drill was shocking. I have never seen anything like it. Half the boat did not bother doing it and they allowed movement on and off the ship whilst it happened. We were on the deck and everyone was talking and we could not hear or see the demonstration. Very very poor. Shore excursions - first ship I have been on where they do excursions by putting everyone in the theatre and then you have to get your sticker on the way out. We had a delay on one exursion as we all had to wait for all the buses, if they did it the normal way by numbering you with your bus as you went in, it would be more effective and quicker. Just a suggestion! The salon, had my hair cut and not only was it the most expensive haircut of my life at $90 but was the worst. Looks like it has been hacked to pieces. Never again. Overall a good cruise although I'm still awaiting for my shore excursion refund and my refund for half the cruise back as promised. I hope the delay in this and the poor communication I have received so far from NCL, will not damper too much my thoughts on what was, a good cruise despite the itinary changes. 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
We chose this cruise as it went to some interesting places which we would not otherwise have traveled to such as Taiwan and Cambodia and also because my husband had been to Vietnam but I had not. Unfortunately due to Azipod problems on ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it went to some interesting places which we would not otherwise have traveled to such as Taiwan and Cambodia and also because my husband had been to Vietnam but I had not. Unfortunately due to Azipod problems on the ship our itinerary was modified and we only got to visit Chan May and Phy My in Vietnam and Laem Chabang in Thailand but received a generous discount in lieu of this. Overall the cruise was good. Embarkation was a bit of a shambles. We had arrived early in the morning so had to wait for check-in at 11am which was fine as we had expected this. Check-in went smoothly however once checked in we could not board the ship as it was not ready. This resulted in a significant amount of people all waiting to board and although we had been given numbered sections to board by many people disregarded this and the ground staff did not enforce it well. I would have been happier to wait a bit longer for check-in to open if we could have walked straight from there to boarding thus eliminating the long queues at security. Once on board the staff looked after us well. The service in the restaurants was great and cabin service was also excellent. Food in the complimentary restaurants was a little bland for us but that is to be expected with so many tastes to accommodate. We didn't try any of the specialist restaurants as the variety in the main dining rooms suited us. The layout of the ship is different to others we have been on and one disappointment was that there was no lounge at the front of the ship where you could relax and have a view outside but the lounges and bars were good and well placed around the ship. The entertainment on the ship was excellent and we attended most of the shows. Good variety of acts and also good variety of entertainment in the bars. Of note were the two ladies playing the violin and cello in lounges around the ship who were exceptional. Pools were nice with our favourite being the spa pool situated up the front of the ship giving you a view of where you were going. Main pool was a bit cold for us but we did venture in on one day which was particularly hot. As mentioned earlier we only got to three ports. Something to note with this itinerary (in particular our three ports) is that the boat docks a long way from the city at industrial ports so there is nothing at or close to the port to look at. Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok are both 2 hours drive from the port. We booked a tour of Hoi An which gave us some time to ourselves and we enjoyed looking around the old town and markets. We also booked 'on your own' tours of Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok which gave us 5-6 hours in each city to look around. Shore excursions were easy to book and you were off and onto the buses reasonably efficiently. Overall we really enjoyed it despite the missed ports and extra days at sea. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We picked the cruise on the Norwegian Star from Hong Kong to Singapore on the 22nd December because it included both Christmas and New Year. We arrived in Hong Kong a few days prior to this and then a day before embarking found out the ... Read More
We picked the cruise on the Norwegian Star from Hong Kong to Singapore on the 22nd December because it included both Christmas and New Year. We arrived in Hong Kong a few days prior to this and then a day before embarking found out the ship had mechanical problems and the itineray had been changed cutting out 4 ports. These I may add where the ones We wanted to visit..We had the option to cancel and get "full refund" or go ahead and get a full 50% off and both options included 50% off another cruise. Well there seems to be a big mix up here. Some People had money in Their account only to have most taken out. Some nothing and up to now and We only have 1/2 off it.. No crew seemed to know what was happening as They hadn't been informed.. A lot of People lost money booking and cancelling overnight accommodation for overnight stays. We also expected to have Christmas day at sea but not so, on an 8 hour excursion Vietnam. New Year mixed up too. As for the rest. Crew were great. Food in the specialty restaurants fantastic. We got the package and the alcohol one too. . Ship could do with a face lift and move the kiddies pool away from the back of the ship an d make it a bar/atrium area. Kids do not care about the view. On saying all of this We were lucky enough to win the second Bingo on day 4 and got upgraded from Our 5th deck window cabin to a suite on deck 12. It was well worth My only ever feeling a bit nausous that high up. I would not sail on that particular ship again. Not because of the problems but of the way it was handled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was the third cruise we have taken aboard the Norwegian Star. We like its relatively smaller size compared to newer ships. Engine problems that occurred during the cruise prior to ours forced the cancellation of stops in Taiwan, ... Read More
This was the third cruise we have taken aboard the Norwegian Star. We like its relatively smaller size compared to newer ships. Engine problems that occurred during the cruise prior to ours forced the cancellation of stops in Taiwan, Hanoi, Cambodia, and one of two ports in Thailand, because the ship had to sail more slowly than normal. Norwegian offered a 50% refund of the base price and a 50% credit on a future cruise (if taken in the next twelve months). The extra days at sea were relaxing and the weather was great throughout the cruise. Service was excellent as always and the crew very pleasant. Although disappointing that we didn't see everything that was originally scheduled, we enjoyed spending a few days prior to embarkation in Hong Kong and a few days after the cruise in Singapore. We like cruising on Norwegian and look forward to our next cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We are currently living in Asia and wanted to "sample" the travel options available and this cruise was the perfect solution. Our family loves cruising, there's something for everyone. This particular cruise offered a good ... Read More
We are currently living in Asia and wanted to "sample" the travel options available and this cruise was the perfect solution. Our family loves cruising, there's something for everyone. This particular cruise offered a good mix of traditional sightseeing and adventure tours, which made it more appealing to our children, or at least the original itinerary was. Unfortunately the Azipod (part of the propulsion system) broke on the sailing prior to ours and it required custom parts to repair, which impacted that cruise and our cruise. I fully understand that these things happen; ships are mechanical and such things break. Furthermore, I have found the NCl compensation package to be quite generous. My problem was, and remains, with their lack of communication. I discovered that there was an itinerary change from a third party tour operator approximately 6 days prior to sailing. My NCL account had no notification, nor did my travel agent. In fact, the NCL website was still selling excursions online to ports we were no longer going too. That is not only bad business, it's flirting with fraudulent. I been on two other NCL cruises with no issues and enjoyed both but their complete mishandling of this cruise will prevent me from seeking out their cruises in the future. Now that's out of the way, here's the low down on the ship: We were in connecting ocean view cabins and it was perfect for our family of 5. The interior door allowed for free access to both cabins and greatly improved my experience. We have younger children and my husband and I usually have to split up, but not this time. Plus, there was no confusion over which key opened which cabin, etc. Loved the connecting rooms. Our cabin attendant, Sesato, was awesome. He built a special bond with our youngest son, it was very cute. Even though I'm sure Sesato was very busy, he took the time to talk to Connor and truly went above and beyond. The boys all enjoyed the cruise, the food, pool, and the splash academy, although the older two were less excited. This is our third (Spirit, Jade, and Star) NCL cruise and it seems all of the youth activities are the same. They all do the SAME circus at the end and that was disappointing. If NCL wants families to return, it's advisable to inject some variety to the youth programs. I actually prefer to have the same waitstaff each night, so we "forced" that by making the same reservation each night and throughly enjoyed that. Thomas was always ready with a recommendation and could read our boys' minds. The food was fantastic. The only complaint is that they didn't have chicken tenders available at the 24 restaurant or the buffet. We all know that's kid crack, it should be readily available; not just in the two main dining rooms. We used Buffalo Tours for private excursions and can't recommend them enough!! They were flawless in handling the TWO major schedule changes from NCL and even tried to refund part of our previous payment, because the new tours were slightly less expensive. We rarely participate in ship excursions. Too many people. Hong Kong is perpetually under construction. Our favorite thing there was Disney. Well worth the trip if you have time. Although it does look very cool at night. Hoi An, Vietnam, is still up and coming. Don't bother with the tailors there. It's all a big hustle. The street food is better than the sit down places. Be prepared for scooter chaos. Saigon, was nuts. We went to a cricket farm and the Chi Chu tunnels though and enjoyed both of those. They are outside the city. The city itself is very crowded and difficult to move about. There's no good public transport and the traffic is horrid. That being said, there are many historical sites that are worth seeing, it was just a lot for the kids to handle. Thailand was my favorite. We only went to Bangkok. Ko Samu was cancelled. We went to the temples and grand palace on day, markets on the next. We went to a market outside of town where they set up on the train tracks and then pull everything off when the train comes. It was pretty cool. We tried local fruits and street food (we love street food). The last stop was Singapore. I wasn't overly impressed. Everyone told us to go to Santosa Island but we didn't have time. The city is very space-aged in it's architecture, which is it's best trait, in my opinion. Overall, had we gone on the original itinerary, I think it would have been awesome. Would I go again on a 14 day cruise that was at sea 9 days? No. But if you book ANY cruise on the Star- be forewarned: The Azipod on the Star has broken several times since it came out of dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise because of the great ports it was to visit. There was to be 4 ports we had not been to and this was a winner for us. So excited NCL coming to Australia on a more regular basis.Unfortunately the ship had Azipod ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great ports it was to visit. There was to be 4 ports we had not been to and this was a winner for us. So excited NCL coming to Australia on a more regular basis.Unfortunately the ship had Azipod problems and the 4 ports that we were looking forward to were all cancelled which was disappointing but NCL more then fairly compensated passengers and we still had a great holiday. The mood amongst some of the other passengers was a bit negative which was painful. The staff overall were fantastic, very friendly and always obliging.The food at all venues was as good as any other cruise we have been on (24) Enjoyed the entertainment and thought the production group was excellent. Our cabin steward was amazing...He looked after like us royalty and made our holiday that much more special. A special mention to the Cruise Next Specialist Sherry.She was inundated with passengers trying to sort out their next cruise to use the 50% credit and made her self available more then would be expected. She was very helpful with our questions and gave us the correct information when the chinese whispers were running wild through the ship. 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
The Norwegian Star cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore 22th of December suffered from itinerary changes because of a broken Azipod. The communication from NCL was totally insufficient when it was already known from the forums that the ship ... Read More
The Norwegian Star cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore 22th of December suffered from itinerary changes because of a broken Azipod. The communication from NCL was totally insufficient when it was already known from the forums that the ship will never make the original itinerary. The email came through the TA first couple of days before the cruise. The next changes were waiting when embarking the ship. The itinerary was changed once again during the cruise. Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Sihanoukville in Campodia and Koh Samui in Thailand were left out but the ship instead stayed extra overnight in Phu My and made stops in Chan May and overnight in Laem Chabang. We would have never chosen the new itinerary while it was boring with too many sea days. The 50 % payback and 50 % future cruise credit made it still tolerable. The embarkation in Hong Kong went super smoothly as we were practically the only passengers in the cruise terminal around 4 pm. In the ship our luggages were already waiting outside the cabin. From the cruise program we noticed surprisingly that the evacuation drill was in half an hour. Just made it. The ship was still to sail first in the next day. The balcony cabins are rather small and outdated. The table by the balcony is outmost terrible. The bed was though very comfortable and the bath functional enough. Our cabin steward Jennifer was really good as we like the stewards that are not too pushy and social. She made us an unbelievable collection of towel animals and always remember the nightly latitudes guests chocolates. Market Cafe, the buffet on board, must be the ugliest on the seven seas. The beverage stations in the middle really doesn´t help. We would wait to see something like this place as a eatery for the workers in a factory, no offense for the industrial workers. The variety of the dishes was minimal and the quality seldom met our expectations. The lunch was always the same. The dinner buffet tried to have some theme nights. The service was though efficient and the used plates were cleaned up quickly. The cruise was not full and it was always quite easy to find a table. The two main dining rooms serve the same menu. It was always easy to get a table anytime, probably while the cruise was not full. The waiters were efficient and professional but why the hurry? We are not going anywhere. We usually have two appetizers and a main course, sometimes even a main course as the second course. This seems to be impossible to understand. Maybe it is the American way to get all the food at the same time but as we are used to more European style dining we find it rather strange. Why the waiter is standing by my table with the next plate in hand while I have not finished the previous one? I am sorry to say but we find this rather rude. This is though not only a problem in NCL. The quality of the food is mediocre but the portion certainly are big. The food was too often served lukewarm. The menu is a bit confusing while there are some dishes there every day, just in the other order. The lava cake and the chocolate volcano by the are the same dessert. The special restaurant onboard there lacking the "special" what they usually have on the other cruise lines or even NCL before. We noticed no difference in the service and mostly the food was nothing special. It would be ridiculous to pay the "a la carte" prices and the only way to enjoy the dinner is to have the dining package. Le bistro was nothing special. The soups were normal. I don´t eat any meat but fish is alright. The main course salmon was totally the same as served almost every day in the main dining with the same strange liquid potato smash or soupy beans made for the people with no teeth. La Cucina has lost the last bit of its charm when they change the menu. The service was bad and the atmosphere nonchalant. Cagney´s was a disappointment. The shrimp cocktail is the same you get in the main dining room in the other cruise lines. The salad with parmesan (wow?) and oversweet dressing was strange. My friend needed even to send the steak back while it was inedible, my fish was a bit better than other where. All the special restaurants have the same couple of wines by the glass as every other bar in the ship. Not even one "special" wine. The only way to get some other wine in NCL is to buy the whole bottle. The pool area is rather small and some parts were always under maintenance. The two yellow waterslides are really too much and they ruin the area. The Topsiders bar has practically no comfortable seating. The beer garden on the other end is a bit strange. They had some extra beer selection but was mostly doing frozen drinks as every other pool bar in the ships. No pretzels or anything resemblance to a German beer garten. The solarium part in the front misses the stairs. If you want to go from lower level to the only whirlpool you will need to walk quite a round. In the back of the outside deck is "a quiet zone" that here means a helipad and is located just by the kids corner which takes the best place from the outside deck where there would be a perfect place for a sunset bar. Do they really need to have to zones for the children as the main pool with the slides practically is a children pool as well? Because of the slides, the main pool falls also in the category of the most ugliest on the seven seas. The grand atrium is surprisingly impressive but why there is no bar or at least bar service? The best place and practically the whole seating area is Java Cafe which serves only costly special coffees. If somebody wanted a aperative, they were asked to get their drinks elsewhere. When the worker was alone there, he of course showed no interest in getting other drinks for the guest. The other guy sometimes working there probably had nothing else to do so he sometimes even got the drinks. Most of the evenings people were just sitting there with no coffees or drinks. This area appealed mostly the elderly public probably because of the peculiar Philippine trio playing old American country classics or something in that style. The O´Sheenans pub share the view to the Atrium and to the Philippine Trio. The bar staff was stressed out. The eatery side was tops 1/6 full on any night. We had there a lunch one day but unfortunately we don´t get the idea of this "comfort food" or pub food however you call it as it means hot dogs and hamburgers. Really? Are they not the same as are in the pool grill. The new 5 o´clock somewhere bar goes also in the category the most ugliest bar on the seven seas. Why the uncomfortable chairs made for outside seating? Why the sport screen on the other end and the "stage" with a bad guitarist or even the string duo playing classical or, what was the most shocking, karaoke? Some special drinks were served in a plastic cup as in the pool area. Spinnaker lounge would be a great place if it was meant to be retro chic but I am afraid it is the original "night club" from the seventies. Although the ship is built in the 2000´s. The ultimate white party and other ultimate things NCL likes to praise were organized in this sad vague venue. The results were no more that ultimate. Even the normal guest/crew dancing contest that usually is a bit entertainment lost a lot in this venue, although the losers lounge video inserts were genuinely funny. Gatsbys seemed to be the only decent bar to sit at the evenings. The program was always the same. First the string duo followed by Lisa playing Piano. She was though quite amusing in her own style. The martinis were good although you need to be friend with the bartenders and the waiters while the Norwegian ultimate beverage package is quite far from ultimate. You can still get in this bar the Cosmopolitan with normal vodka and a appletini with normal vodka instead of the "special " cosmopolitan and "special" apple martini that are in the menu but not included in the package. The espresso martini was though not to replace by any so we even paid the difference couple of times. Back to the "ultimate" beverage package. We understand the package often given as a free perk may not be able to include everything but please don´t call it ultimate. It is almost a crime to charge extra 6 USD for a bottle of distilled water. We rather like the Celebrity Cruise style there they have two packages the other one including also all martinis, bottled water and special coffees. If you want to have those in your package you can buy an upgrade. Everybody can choose what they prefer. The production shows were rather good and certainly the singers and the dancers the most professional we have ever seen on the cruise ships. It was nice for a change to see adult dancers instead of the young girls and boys trying to manage the choreography or trying to be sexy. We are not a big fans of acrobats but on this ship they were also very high standard. It was nice to watch a show when you needed not to think how they can evacuate this poor thing from the ship when he/she is going to fall any second. The show with lady changing clothes and "dancing" with the guy "dancing" in funny costumes and doing acrobatics were like the ones from the country side high school shows. Chan May, Phu My and Laem Chabang are industrial ports and there is totally nothing to do in there. We realized first onboard that the ship is not going to Danang although it has a port but to a tiny forgotten place called Chan May. The passport officer (really, no corruption?) sold us a taxi to Hue. The place was really not worth visiting. In Phu My we have bought a country side excursion from the ship while there was nothing else to do in the first day. The ship arrived at 3 pm but was cleared first after 4.30 pm with strange explanations from the captain who certainly was not a born talent to make the PAs. We cancelled the excursion while the sun set already in 5.30 and we thought there is no use to sit in the bus looking at a dark countryside. Next day we have booked a private car to take us to Saigon. Of course we needed to change the date while the itinerary kept on changing. We could never find the driver although he probably were outside the gate. We figured this out later from the emails from the company. He just knew no English nor could held a paper with our name. We took instead a taxi which turned out to be cheaper. Ho Minh City was nice to see but nothing special. By the way, why the excursions from the ships always start at 7.30 or 8 am? We had a nice quiet breakfast and took the taxi at 10 pm and could perfectly do everything. Laem Chabang is two hours bus ride from Bangkok. We would actually not call this port Bangkok anymore but who are we to say. We have visited Bangkok several times so we took the shuttle bus to Pattaya and a taxi back while there was nothing to do in Pattaya for 8 hours. The beach is rather small and otherwise it is a place for older gentlemen coming without female companion but searching for one or English party people. Obviously we were neither. The NCL resembles the new cheap airlines there you need to pay extra for everything, to have a luggage or to get even a glass of water. The crew in Star was though especially professional and relaxed compared to other Norwegian ships we have sailed. Once in the Pearl most of them did not even recognize the difference between red and white wine. Don´t wait any ultimate or luxury in Star, it is just Norwegian. It is alright as long as you know what can wait for. We were prepared to this and although it felt sometimes strange had a good time. And believe it or not, have booked a future NCL cruise with our credits. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
After several cruises on Celebrity we decided to try NCL for my wifes birthday. We had just sailed a very similar itinerary on X Millenium for Xmas and NYE. Our concerns started several weeks before the cruise when we read about the ... Read More
After several cruises on Celebrity we decided to try NCL for my wifes birthday. We had just sailed a very similar itinerary on X Millenium for Xmas and NYE. Our concerns started several weeks before the cruise when we read about the azipod/propulsion issues. The cruises before ours were also affected and those passengers received compensation of 150% and then 100% (in various formats) while ours only received 20% with NO option to cancel. The 2 Thailand stops were removed and an extra Vietnam stop was added.The most concerning issue was the way NCL handled this, they refused to provide any information about the ship problems, no option to cancel, refused to give updated information and even worse were usually hostile and downright rude on both the telephone and on email. In the week leading up to the cruise we received 3 different itinerary changes from our TA and all of these differed to what other passengers were reporting on our Rollcall. On embarkation our itinerary changed again and this had a major bearing on our plans to see more of Singapore and be able to contact relatives about an operation one was having. Our TA (the largest online) called us as we were boarding the ship to tell us of the new itinerary - they were clearly embarrassed with what NCL was doing. Interestingly, the captain joined the ship on our cruise and was quite forthright in stating the ship should have been dry docked. Embarkation was average, it took about an hour or so. I am not sure how much of this is NCL and how much is the Singapore port. The ridiculous water policy of NCL was also causing havoc as people were buying 1 or 2 bottles at the port (it is over 30c in Singapore) only for it to be confiscated. Once onboard we went straight to guest relations and they were great, they let us call our relatives to get an update and took a record of what had happened with head office. We decided to move on from the problems and have a good time and this is exactly what we had while onboard. We decided to not go ashore at any port as we had cancelled all our private arrangements with the itinerary problems and refused to give NCL anymore money especially as they would not give the partial refund until post cruise. The ship is quite old but a good size, it takes a bit of getting used to in terms of navigating as it does not flow smoothly, you often have to change floors and then return to your original floor in a different location to get to your destination. Most passengers referred to it as a maze. The decor reminded us of Las Vegas, it is a bit gaudy but it matches the fun, freestyle atmosphere they are trying for. It was very different to the classical designs we have found on most other ships. We loved the promenade deck, the atrium, all the little seats in the public areas, the various bars and activities but did not like the pool area (too smoky and not enough loungers in shady areas) especially all the slides (made it feel cramped and they have a kids pool anyway). We hated the uncomfortable theatre. Our cabin was an OV with picture window. It was a different layout then normal and felt cramped with the 2 desks and the extra bed mount. The bed was great and very comfortable. There was plenty of storage but don't like the shelves hidden in the closet. Loved the shower and bathroom design. Dining - large amount of options. Loved the casual atmosphere of Aqua (and the ship in general), liked the design of Versailles. There was a lot of meal choices but the food quality was average at best. Service was very good. The best aspect of the ship is the choice and we loved dining in Osheehans especially for breakfast and lunch; Ginza was a nice alternative as well. The buffet feels like a school canteen and we don't like the lack of an outdoor area adjoining the buffet. Food was reasonable with plenty of choice. Bars - we had the UBP which was great from an alcohol perspective but terrible for anything else, this is the most expensive package we have seen and it doesn't include water, coffee, canned soft drinks, juices etc. We felt it was poor value overall. Bar service was mostly excellent with plenty of table service in most venues, I don't like the concept of pre made cocktails but they were always prepared to make fresh ones when we asked. There was a good selection of most alcoholic beverages with the exception of wine which was very limited and of a very low level the ones that were included. Entertainment - we loved all the activities and the staff who ran them (special shout out to Tiara and Natasha). We did them all, trivia, puzzles, shuffleboard, wii games, game shows etc ... it was a lot of fun. Shows - we hated the theatre, it was cramped and difficult to get seats with everyone on the aisles and there is nowhere to put your drinks. The stage was clearly too small for the production shows with the dancers lacking space. The productions singers were the worst we have heard. The production shows were average (with the exception of the last one). We loved the crew talent show. The professional acts were mostly good with the comedian a standout, the one singer was average and the rest were circus style acts mostly of good quality. Service on the ship was mostly outstanding which is impressive considering all the problems the ship has had. We were disappointed that they wanted money for upgrades considering the ship was only 3/4 full and with the itinerary problems and poor compensation they could have used this better in these one off circumstances. Ports - we have been to all these places before and chose to not get off. Most of our friends were disappointed as places like Sanya and Nah Trang have little to offer; Saigon and Danang ports are miles from the port. We only heard negative feedback relating to NCL shore excursions with buses breaking down, lack of time at venues, poor seating at shows etc being regular feedback - not to mention the high prices. Overall, it felt like NCL was going out of their way to nickel and dime to try and recuperate their losses from the recent sailings. There were no onboard discounts to try and make up for all the problems. We still had a good time and enjoyed trying a different cruise line. We would consider using NCL again due to the onboard experience but their head office behaviour certainly doesn't help so it will more than likely come down to price compared to our usual lines. 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
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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