54 Norwegian Star Asia Cruise Reviews

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
This was our first experience of what we consider to be a long cruise. We booked because of the intended itinerary which was supposed to be Hong Kong, Tiwain, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore. However because of Propeller ... Read More
This was our first experience of what we consider to be a long cruise. We booked because of the intended itinerary which was supposed to be Hong Kong, Tiwain, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore. However because of Propeller problems we unable to do Tiwain or Cambodia which was a massive disappointment as I really wanted to see Hal long Bay and Co Suomi. Our one complaint is that the company were slow to let us the passengers aware of the situation. We flew into Hong Kong where we spent a couple of days exploring prior to embarking the Norwegian Star. This process was really smooth and well handled. Our balcony cabin was all we expected, spacious, clean and comfortable, Floria our Housekeeper was wonderful, always happy and willing to help. The food on this cruise ship is really excellent, we had a (6) Food Package so we were able to experience all the Specialist Restaurants, our favourite being La Bistro and Ginza . We didn't eat at the Buffet as its just not our thing but it certainly looked "good enough to eat". We used both Dining Rooms with Versailles being the one we liked best. But no matter where we ate it was all excellent, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. We also had the full Drinks Package so having a drink when and where we wanted was no problem. The range of drinks stocked is exceptional with an excellent selection of good wines. Our favourite bars were the Bier Garten which was on deck, large, sunny and welcoming, and Gatsby's Champagne Bar, relaxing, calm with decent piano music. I should mention that although this was Not Adult only there were never any problems, there are lots of "quiet" areas, and loads of places to sit and sunbathe away from the pool and the general noise of families having a good time. We did go to a couple of Shows and both were very good, we also did several port excursions and these could not be faulted. We disembarked in Singapore, another effortless procedure. So overall although disappointed with the itinerary change we thought this cruise amazing. The staff everywhere are there to please and please they most certainly do. I would recommend it very highly and am already planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Despite a rocky start with the changed itinerary, this turned out to be one of my favorite cruises. The ship was a very comfortable size, and some of the newer bars and restaurants made it more fun than other NCL ships I've been on. ... Read More
Despite a rocky start with the changed itinerary, this turned out to be one of my favorite cruises. The ship was a very comfortable size, and some of the newer bars and restaurants made it more fun than other NCL ships I've been on. (Five o'clock somewhere and the mojito bar in particular) Food was typical for NCL, not outstanding but tasty and safe. We missed out on Thailand, but the added port in Vietnam helped make the cruise more interesting. The offered excursions were mixed. As a whole, the tour guides were friendly and spoke good English. We had a couple hiccups. The street food one in Saigon let us look at street food, we just didn't get to try any. The crew was friendly and helped turn the initial disappointment to a great time. The shows weren't the best, but still really entertaining. There was a violinist who played every night that was by far the most talented performer I have encountered on a cruise ship before. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
It was not the staffs problem that the ship had propeller down - but they all remained happy and very helpful. I noticed people having a go at some of the waiters and bar staff about how slow the boat was and thought how ignorant of them - ... Read More
It was not the staffs problem that the ship had propeller down - but they all remained happy and very helpful. I noticed people having a go at some of the waiters and bar staff about how slow the boat was and thought how ignorant of them - it was not there fault. The food was good, the ship was beautifully clean at all times and the entertainment was good too. We loved the 5 o'clock somewhere bar where the singer was superb. I loved the fact that the Captain of the boat spoke to us every day and gave us an update - on a previous cruise that I had been on (not NCL) I would not even have known the captain was on board! My only complaint was that the internet which I paid for was extremely slow and I spent more time waiting to get on to a site then actually using the site! but saying that I can't wait for another cruise with NCL Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We had experienced one cruise previously, on the Jewel, so that is all I can compare to. Despite several itinerary changes due to a failed azipod drive, more days at sea, no Thai stop and no website excursions, we were still attracted ... Read More
We had experienced one cruise previously, on the Jewel, so that is all I can compare to. Despite several itinerary changes due to a failed azipod drive, more days at sea, no Thai stop and no website excursions, we were still attracted by the extra stop off days in Vietnam. After boarding we found in our cabin a list of excursions to choose. What looked like two days at Ho Chi Minh City was only actually 27 hours so we decided to do only the Mekong Delta tour, being the longest on offer. This was a long drive but interesting and worth the effort. We passed through the organised chaos of Ho Chi Minh City but did not stop. The Mekong Delta is a rural area had much to offer from a cultural perspective. We enjoyed the canals in traditional canoes, the floating markets to sample tropical fruits, visited local hand made confectionary and noodle traditional factories and had a very nice lunch at a nice resort. For the Na Trang and Da Nang stops I had booked private tours before the cruise due to nothing on the NCL website. Both destinations are great places to visit. The only problem with Na Trang is that the ship could not dock and we were tendered in from the middle of the harbour. Because we organised private tours we had to wait until the ships were tendered in first. So despite being first in line for tender tickets we were still had to wait for over 60 minutes. We used all the complementary restaurants during the cruise. Our favourite was the Ginza as we like Asian food and second was the Versailles which had well designed dishes and a nice atmosphere. The Market Cafe buffet had a good range of foods with healthy choices and quality was above average. All staff on board were polite and competent, except perhaps for Customer Services which I will mention in the Cabin Review. The main pool was all deep and not suitable for non-swimmers. The were two separate water slides which were popular with kids. All the four jacuzzi's temps were very hot and the air jets were unable to be switched off which made it unpleasant to stay in for long. There was a special children's pool right at the stern but we noticed the air to be contaminated by ships exhaust fumes and never saw one child there. The Spinnaker Lounge is at the stern and seems small and dark with few windows (compared with the same on the Jewel which faces fwd). Cocktails at all the bars were well made. The gym is also near the stern with few windows and no panoramic outlook as there was on the Jewel. This makes it a little claustrophobic and I only visited once. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Really not a lot to laud about NCL's Asia cruise on the Star. First, the Star itself is an antiquity, particularly when compared with any vessel in Royal Caribbean's fleet, and I'm being truly objective. The Star and the ... Read More
Really not a lot to laud about NCL's Asia cruise on the Star. First, the Star itself is an antiquity, particularly when compared with any vessel in Royal Caribbean's fleet, and I'm being truly objective. The Star and the Jewel are well below industry standard and NCL doesn't seem concerned a bit. We've cruised on the Star twice in the last three years and the Jewell once, to Alaska, last year. This will our last. This trip the ship experienced mechanical problems which resulted in NCL's cancelling the Thailand visit all together and adding an additional (and terrible stop) in Vietnam. All and all the stops were subpar at best. Tours booked through NCl, on this trip, have been disappointing, too. Three tours so far and in each case the tour guides were too difficult to understand. Their english skills are not up to standard. Although they were all very kind, the language barriers more often than not brought disappointment from those taking the tours. Perhaps this isn't entirely NCL's fault but it is their problem. Not stating that language barriers are problematic from the outset is unfair. NCL should be professional enough to mention to their customers that the language barrier at times can not be overcome. Our balcony is fine and kept, but it is very outdated and dark. When compared to Royal Caribbean, it's laughable. The Star's staff has been fine thus far, and the food is okay. We've dined at all the Star's restaurants and they've been fine or quite good each time. The Star's and NCL's entertainment is just okay but perhaps we're being unfair. Many people seem to enjoy them and we're seen same acts multiple times because we've cruised with NCL three times. It seems to us that they could limit the repeating performers. The Casino is a joke. It's not Vegas style in terms of rules and etiquette, and the Casino staff are amateurs, particularly management. For example, a man next to me was dealt a BLACKJACK and the dealer managed to misdeal herself (I'll spare you the details) and even so the Casino didn't honor the BLACKJACK, or our winning hands. It was shocking. Everybody at the table cashed out. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have cruised aboard the NCL Star before and this cruise had the usual friendly yet often terrible service. Even in the specialty restaurants NCL expected one server to serve our party of ten along with another table of 4, 6 or 8. It ... Read More
We have cruised aboard the NCL Star before and this cruise had the usual friendly yet often terrible service. Even in the specialty restaurants NCL expected one server to serve our party of ten along with another table of 4, 6 or 8. It is impossible for anyone to serve food to 14 to 18 people and keep up with demanding drinkers on the drink package. Dinners often lasted over 3 hours with no food coming in the first hour and no coffee or drinks at the end of the meal. The food service problem was helped by various complaints, the staff does improve if you want to spend your vacation complaining. La Cucina was terrible, Le Bistro just so, so, and Cagney's was good. The Versailles ran hot and cold, but the food selection was lacking, how about 5 different pasta entrees at one meal? The bigger problem was the lack of communication, lack of information and downright lies spread by the NCL home office. Some of our party of 10 was booked through travel agents and some through NCL direct. Some of us were notified when the ship broke down and the sailing date and ports were changed, and some of us were not. When the sailing date was changed a 2nd time, NONE of us were told, and we had a hell of a time getting aboard the ship based on the schedule NCL supplied. Note, I will never sail on NCL again without rechecking the sailing schedule the three days prior to sailing. When they have a change they blame the entire problem on your travel agent. If I were an agent I would NOT book NCL. They had NO excuse for failing to notify the passengers booked through NCL. They also gave out misinformation on the various visas required, saying they would supply same and failing to mention they would charge for this service. In addition, they charge 95 cents a minute for wifi that is the worst. Many in our party could not send or receive emails. I was able to get two emails out in just 19 minutes. We got fantastic wifi for free on the tour bus in Vietnam. Do not buy the NCL wifi. It's sad the crew tries so hard to help, but the experience is ruined by the home office. They should have a special desk for exotic locations, every time you have a question NCL takes forever to answer, as if they had never thought about the details before. The answer, after an hour or so on the phone, is often, ask your travel agent, who then has to call NCL and go through the wait and misinformation again. 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
We chose this cruise based solely on itinerary. We have a dozen cruises on NCL which we prefer because of its informality and its short, port heavy itineraries. And the food quality, presentation and choices have demonstrably improved ... Read More
We chose this cruise based solely on itinerary. We have a dozen cruises on NCL which we prefer because of its informality and its short, port heavy itineraries. And the food quality, presentation and choices have demonstrably improved over the recent past. So it was disappointing how NCL handled the engine failure on the Star that occurred 3 weeks prior to embarkation. The itinerary had to be revised as a result of the reduced speed to eliminate the Thai ports which were the highlight of the cruise. Many of the passengers, including us, had made plans for an overnight in Bangkok which required prepaid arrangements. In fact, without the Thai ports, the cruise was not worth our time or money. NCL refused our request to rebook a similar itinerary. And while they compensated the preceding cruise with generous cruise credits, our cruise was limited to a 20 percent credit on the fare, excluding port charges and taxes, hardly enough to cover the canceled Bangkok overnights. This led to a sour mood among the cruisers throughout the 11 day cruise. And the Star itself is a dated and poorly designed ship. The fitness room is located inside aft so you watch yourself in a mirror while working out. The spinnaker lounge is on 7th deck aft instead of 13th deck forward. And the buffet usually located on the 12th deck aft outside where you could eat a late breakfast and bask in the sun has been eliminated. There is no card room. But the crew did their best. The stage shows were entertaining. The revised port visits were interesting. And the Captain did his best to keep us informed of all the changes and defend the company. The food service was spotty. Many of the dishes were too salty. We noticed that smoked salmon was eliminated from the breakfast buffet. And the menus were somewhat misleading. For instance, I ordered caprese, described on the menu as a buffalo tomato slice with mozzarella which came on a cut up plum tomato with small pieces of mozzarella. The bistro menu has been slimmed down, it seemed. So, all in all, it was a very disappointing cruise on an old poorly designed cruise ship and not what we have come to expect from NCL. And we travelled a long way for a once in a lifetime itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Have cruised NCL several times before with few problems. Wanted to see Australia and New Zealand. The ship lost one of its two engines in early December. NCL never informed us of this. I found out from on line reviews. It continued ... Read More
Have cruised NCL several times before with few problems. Wanted to see Australia and New Zealand. The ship lost one of its two engines in early December. NCL never informed us of this. I found out from on line reviews. It continued to sail on one engine. Our Jan 16 cruise had two ports dropped. NCL hoped to fix it in Singapore on Jan 22. They say they fixed it. Some 32 hours later, a loud boom, and we were back to one engine. Forty hours later, they finally told us and cancelled 3 more ports, 2 of them in Australia. When NCL offered crap as compensation, and the captain said that he appreciated our understanding, a protest and near riot erupted. A spokesman from "corporate" was going to meet us. A salesman from Sydney showed up. We were given "future cruise credits" as compensation for missing half of our ports. NCL management sucks! We arrived in Sydney on Feb 6, in time to start the second leg of our cruise, with 3 ports dropped.. The Norwegian Star is probably the worst ship in the cruise business. It has a long list of failures. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We joined the ship in Hong Kong for a 21 night cruise. The itinerary was NOT what we had hoped for due to the azipod problems which was very disappointing. I am basing this review on the ship itself as that was very positive and we had ... Read More
We joined the ship in Hong Kong for a 21 night cruise. The itinerary was NOT what we had hoped for due to the azipod problems which was very disappointing. I am basing this review on the ship itself as that was very positive and we had a wonderful time onboard which given all the sea days was just as well ! The entertainment was great we went to just about all the shows and I have to say the Production Cast was the best I have seen. The visiting entertainers were varied and VERY good. Dining in the free and specialty restaurants was excellent food and service. The bars and public areas all good The crew were excellent great friendly service and they smiled and carried on which wasn't always easy among some disappointed passengers . I would happily travel with NCL again that was our 3rd cruise with them and I am hoping that Australia will love them as much as we do so we can see the Jewel and any other NCL ships visit us annually. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise for the new and exciting ports of call on the original itinerary. However, in Dec 2016, the NCL Star had one engine problem forcing them to drop Ho Chi Min City and Bangkok from the itinerary. We only found out about ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the new and exciting ports of call on the original itinerary. However, in Dec 2016, the NCL Star had one engine problem forcing them to drop Ho Chi Min City and Bangkok from the itinerary. We only found out about this by reading Cruise Critic This occurred after final payment and NCL would not give us a full refund to cancel the cruise, they only offered a $200 onboard credit per person. So we went on to the cruise and flew to Hong Kong a few days prior and then boarded the ship there and noticed the ship could make only 9-10 knots. After 2 sea days we made Na Trang, Vietnam, which was not nearly as interesting as Ho Chi Min City would have been. Then after another two sea days we made Singapore which is a beautiful modern city that was very interesting. We stayed overnight in Singapore to allow NCL to make engine repairs, which they did. We had two more sea days while we sped at 21 knots to Bali, Indonesia, which was a tender port. NCL Star's tendering operation allowed all of their tours to tender before others could tender which meant we had a three hour wait before we could get off the ship! To our surprise, a driver for the Ubud tour with Bali Sun Tours we booked thru Shore Excursions Group, was still there waiting for us and we had a nice "private" tour driving through the Bali "countryside" to visit the arts and crafts businesses in Ubud. After a shortened Bali tour, we got back in the huge line to tender back to the ship. As we sat down for dinner that evening as the ship is sailing out of Bali, the captain came on the PA and said that the other engine is now broken and they would have to drop three more ports of call from our itinerary (Komodo Island, Airlie Beach, and Brisbane), meaning a total of 5 out of 10 original ports would be skipped. And we didn't find out until later that NCL was only offering $250 per person plus a 50% future cruise credit for this itinerary change. The mood of most passengers instantly went downhill and an impromptu meeting of passengers in the atrium started a petition to NCL to reconsider their poor offer. I believe there were some youtube videos that show the action there. So now it took us three more sea days to make Darwin, Australia, and we were told by the captain that an NCL representative from Miami would come on board to hear the passenger complaints. However, when we get to Darwin, the NCL rep was from the Sydney office, and to be able to hear him, we had to skip leaving the ship early in Darwin. The NCL rep did say that he had no power to change the offer but he would listen to our concerns. He did get an ear full of complaints. And the next day, we got another offer from NCL that was a reimbursement of $500 per person (max $1000 per cabin) and a 100% future cruise credit (up to the cost of the current cruise less taxes and fees, etc). More passengers were happy with this offer, but we noted that we wished we had been able to cancel this cruise and recoup some of our travel expenses. Anyway, we did visit Darwin and took the Hop-on Hop-off bus and Darwin was a nice place to visit even though it was rather hot. One local in a downtown cafe told us that it was just a little warm. Then we had two sea days and then we ported "near" Cairns, near being at Yorkey's Knob where the slow tendering process began again. Originally, we had booked the NCL tour to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef at Airlie Beach, but NCL cancelled that tour, but since we had booked that one early, they set up another GBR snorkel tour at Cairns and I got to be one of about 80 passengers allowed to sign up for it. The tour's catamaran pulled right up to the Star and we boarded for an hour cruise to the GBR dive/snorkel site. The seas had some big swells so the barf bags were passed out. We were at the site about 5 hours and I made 2 long snorkel trips and made many underwater pictures but the site was not very colorful but it was very interesting and I'm glad I got to see it. I felt sorry for the other passengers that weren't allowed to make this tour. We had three more sea days after Cairns until we wound up into Sydney. The captain was anxious to get into Sydney early, so the sail in to Sydney Harbor occurred around 3am, so we skipped watching the sail-in. The Overseas Passenger Terminal is right in the middle of the Sydney harbor, so we had great views of the Opera House on one side and the Sydney Harbor Bridge on the other. We had been to Sydney before on another cruise, but it is one of our favorite places. We spent a couple of days there walking around "The Rocks" and visiting the Opera House before flying on to Auckland (for 3 days) and then back home to the US. The Norwegian Star is a decent ship if both engines are working. We had a "cove" balcony cabin on deck 8 forward and our cabin was decent sized and our steward kept it very clean. Our only complaint with the cabin design is that the cabinet shelves are on the inside of the closet making it very difficult to see and reach for things stored there. The bath space is good (similar to the Jade and Dawn). And the cove balcony seems to help keep the wind and sun from bother us too much. Since this was our fourth time on the Star, we had seen all of the cast shows but we were impressed by the Star's cast singers and dancers. We don't particularly care for Acrobatics, Aerialists, Magicians, which they had, but the singing acts they had were very good. The dance band, Exotique, in the Spinnaker Lounger, are great, especially when they do their Motown set. And the Melodic Trio in the Atrium are good at times. We think the food overall on the Star has gotten worse since our last cruise with them in June, 2016. The Versailles Dining room menu didn't have enough variety in their dishes and vegetables (but it was a 21-day cruise). Note the menu also had "paid" items like surf and turf which would cost you extra, which we think is another crass attempt by NCL to nickel and dime their passengers. It seemed that the service in the Versailles was very slow compared to other cruises, too. The buffet was unappetizing. We ate at O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill many times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, since the service there was much better. Thanks to our Platinum Latitudes status, we had a free meal in La Cucina Italian restaurant and Le Bistro French restaurant, and they were both good! If we had made all of our original ports of call, this would have been an exciting and interesting cruise. However, this was too many sea days on a ship we've sailed on too many times, and so I would have to give it a poor rating. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with ... Read More
We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with Norwegian for more than 25 years and have never been so disappointed with any cruise line as we were with the responses received from NCL regarding the problems on the cruises that was to be "our trip of a lifetime". It certainly was that but not for the right reasons. The ship broke but that was only half of the problem. The fact that Norwegian continued to sail a ship that they knew was broken was a huge problem and eventually caused the ultimate problem of being adrift at sea with no engines and having to be towed back to port. This could have been a disastrous situation had the ship gotten any further out into the Tasman Sea. They were lucky that the final breakdown happened only 77 miles from port and we were not in any rough seas. I honestly believe that Norwegian put my and all the passengers on the ship at risk by sailing a ship with a known problem and only one propulsion engine working. Ports were canceled on the first cruise and on the last cruise to New Zealand all ports were canceled. The NCL response to the passengers for this was the absolute poorest I have ever seen from a company and I am sure there will be litigation to come based on their attitude toward the passengers. The ship breaking and the missed ports might have been forgiven if the company attitude had been appropriate. Please DO NOT book any sailings on this ship - It is OLD and needs to be put to dry dock, there is no telling what could happen next. 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
We joined the ship in Hong Kong having selected this cruise as a special holiday to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. We had already been advised that two ports of call were cancelled because of an Azipod engine problem. When ... Read More
We joined the ship in Hong Kong having selected this cruise as a special holiday to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. We had already been advised that two ports of call were cancelled because of an Azipod engine problem. When coming back on board we at Bali we were told that three more stops were cancelled due to ongoing problems. The initial compensation offer was pathetic but was increased after the passengers almost mutinied. Although the offer was better it does not compensate for the loss of half of the scheduled stops. In all we spent 15 out of 21 days at sea, including two lots of 3 days. Since we left the ship in Sydney we have heard the second engine broke down while cruising from Melbourne to Hobart and she has had to be towed back to dry dock in Melbourne. As for things on the ship I must say the staff were excellent, always smiling and helpful. The food was OK but not as good as on other cruise lines we have used. Some of the shows were excellent while the others were, at best, average. Were it not for the future cruise credit that is included in the compensation package I would not consider booking with NCL ever again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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
This is my second review, but this time focusing on the tours. NCL did a great job putting together tour options in an effort to satisfy a variety of interests. I heard only a few gripes (and I'm not sure these folks would have been ... Read More
This is my second review, but this time focusing on the tours. NCL did a great job putting together tour options in an effort to satisfy a variety of interests. I heard only a few gripes (and I'm not sure these folks would have been happy with anything anyway.) This cruise started in Auckland, NZ and visited Bay of Islands. We stopped in Australia (Sidney, Port Kembla, Airlie Beach, Darwin, and Cairns), Indonesia (Komodo Island, Bali), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), and ended in Singapore. I selected NCL highlights tours in each port. Port Kembla was a wonderful surprise. The Star was the 4th ship to use this evolving tourist spot. The city came out in full force to help cruisers get around, including giving rides to see the area. We went there as part of an itinerary change that substituted Port Kembla for Brisbane. (See multiple reports of earlier Star engine problems the prior couple of months.) Feedback from cruisers was very positive. Rough seas made the Great Barrier Reef tours a bit dicey for some with some disappointment depending on the location. Just seeing the Australian locations was a reward all by itself. Some folks visited the inside of the Sidney Opera House and heard a little bit of the orchestra rehearsal! Great timing! I opted for the Sidney Harbor Cruise Tour and it was worth every penny! Besides anything in Australia, the visit to Komodo Island was memorable for the hot, sweaty walk and the huge Komodo Dragons we saw. The Bali Arts & Crafts tour included woodworking, bamboo carving, painting, and a visit to a batik manufacturer. The guide was very informative and offered great advice. I totally enjoyed the ride around Kuala Lumpur. Of all of the stops, I believe that this one was the richest in culture. NCL offered several Singapore tours that dropped folks leaving the ship hotel drop-off. They saw the entire island and feedback was great. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The ship visited some great ports. This was the second leg of a 57 day cruise on the Norwegian Star. Embarkation off the ship as a transit passengdr was very badly managed. We had the Internet package and as we expected from reviews, it ... Read More
The ship visited some great ports. This was the second leg of a 57 day cruise on the Norwegian Star. Embarkation off the ship as a transit passengdr was very badly managed. We had the Internet package and as we expected from reviews, it was very slow and many minutes wasting logging on. We missed quiet spaces like the lovely observation lounge we had on the Sun. People were often taking up seats in the food areas to play cards. Norwegian still allow ppl to save seats/loungers at the poolside by leaving their towels and books despite their rule that seats cannot be reserved for more than an hour which in itself is a ridiculouslyrics long time. The meals were generally very good but I would not recommend O'sheehans except for a couple of their specials and a late night drink. Our cabin steward Emil was awesome. He had an eye for detail and had everything in our cabin topped up before we ever had to ask. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise only for the ports of calls. We have had less than stellar experience with NCL in the past but thought we would try them again. Only to confirm our thoughts of NCL not the choice of cruise lines we would choose again. ... Read More
We chose this cruise only for the ports of calls. We have had less than stellar experience with NCL in the past but thought we would try them again. Only to confirm our thoughts of NCL not the choice of cruise lines we would choose again. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The port of calls were amazing. But the Star ship definitely has been neglected terribly. The food was edible but nothing to write home about. Our cabin was a bit old but clean. Rust spots on outside deck. Room steward was great. The meeting places such as the theater, all seats need to be replaced they were all slanting down towards the floor so you were sliding out of the chair constantly. Very uncomfortable and impossible to sit still for a 45 minute show. Shows were ok... again nothing to write home about. The bar tenders in all bars couldn't mix a drink properly if their life depended on it. We had the drink package for two. What a waste. The only drink your could get properly is if it was a straight shot, wine or beer in a bottle. HORRIBLE! We would not cruise with NCL again unless it was a to die for itinerary, and then we would definitely have to really decide is it worth it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Ports of call were interesting. However I felt there was not much information provided on the ports of call. There should be an information booth set up for every port of call. Info on taxis, car rentals, port tours (other than ship ... Read More
Ports of call were interesting. However I felt there was not much information provided on the ports of call. There should be an information booth set up for every port of call. Info on taxis, car rentals, port tours (other than ship tours) should be readily available. Front desk staff did their best to answer questions but they were really not knowledgeable of the ports of call. Indian Visa - should have been hi - lighted. Many people did not know they had to have a visa and were upset that they could not go into port. There were phone calls made from Norwegian the week before sailing but that was too late at that time to acquire a visa. We were fortunate enough to know that we had to have an Indian Visa but only because we made a phone call to Norwegian on another matter. Meals became repetitive after 2 weeks , however, our waiters (Leandrew and Fajar) compensated for that and went over and beyond our expectation with suggesting our meal selections. Their attention to our dining needs added to a great dining experience in the aqua restaurant - they catered to our every need!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose it purely for Itinerary not for the Norwegian Line itself.We have cruise 3 times with Norwegian and each time very disappointed .This for us was a very costly Cruise on a low budget Ship would not advice anyone to book other than ... Read More
We chose it purely for Itinerary not for the Norwegian Line itself.We have cruise 3 times with Norwegian and each time very disappointed .This for us was a very costly Cruise on a low budget Ship would not advice anyone to book other than great Itinerary. Norwegian need to look at no water policy and not allowing the 2 bottles of wine that all other Cruise Lines allow.They really nickel and dime you.Ships tours were crappy and very expensive people demanded money back and quite rightly so.Private Taxis are the way to go and quicker.In Mombai we took a coach tour and covered about 20 miles in four and half hours,friends took Taxi and covered everything in less time and money.The Buffet area called the market place was like a factory canteen and should be the next thing updated.The food was very repetitive and even in the Dining room no Lobster or Prawn cocktail and the Fish mainly served was Telapia a very cheap fish not good at all and always very dry unless they smothered a sauce on it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This ship is just not comfortable. Firstly our outside cabin was very small and required the double bed to be separated to have any room at all. Also there was no comfortable lounge in the cabin as there usually is, instead there was a ... Read More
This ship is just not comfortable. Firstly our outside cabin was very small and required the double bed to be separated to have any room at all. Also there was no comfortable lounge in the cabin as there usually is, instead there was a hard backed vinyl chair. You had to be quite agile to manage the constricted toilet. In summary too small and uncomfortable. Secondly the ship has no inside lounge areas to sit in comfort and just read a book. Such areas were ripped out and replaced with specialty restaurants and super expensive accommodation. Result is a very crowded feeling in the ship whenever the weather drives people indoors. The entertainment overall was second rate and front desk service indifferent. The only real positive on this ship was the food and restaurants, especially the Aqua and O'Sheehans bar. Finally they made a mistake with our final account which we are now told will take at least 6 weeks to coorect. We would not go with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Star. We are big fans of the freestyle dining and the options available to you. Food was always enjoyable either in the restaurants, buffet, Ginza or O'Sheehans. We enjoy being able to eat ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Star. We are big fans of the freestyle dining and the options available to you. Food was always enjoyable either in the restaurants, buffet, Ginza or O'Sheehans. We enjoy being able to eat when and where we feel like it. The crew were amazing. Always so helpful, friendly and going out of their way to ensure you were happy. Embarkation for us was fine as we were Gold customers but I do believe that some people queued for 3.5 hours, I'm guessing it's an issue for Singapore to deal with. We chose to do the majority of excursions through NCL, bearing in mind four ports were in India and we didn't want to risk the traffic. We did our own think in Colombo and of course got ripped off by the Tuk Tuk driver. Couldn't fault any of the excursions we did, we enjoyed them all. The ports were amazing and I hope NCL repeat this cruise as I would do it again and do different shore excursions. We only went to a few of the shows and those that we did we thoroughly enjoyed usually the guests artists. The gym was usually quite busy and most of the time I chose do walk up in the fresh air. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
A fantastic itinerary and a good deal via Imagine Cruising was why we chose NCL. After an excellent flight with Emirates and a pleasant stay in a Singapore hotel we went to the port to join the ship. Embarkation was a shambles as there ... Read More
A fantastic itinerary and a good deal via Imagine Cruising was why we chose NCL. After an excellent flight with Emirates and a pleasant stay in a Singapore hotel we went to the port to join the ship. Embarkation was a shambles as there were not enough check in staff on duty. It seemed that Suite passengers jumped the queue, fair enough, and regular customers did so only after reaching the end of line number one. A disappointing start to our first NCL cruise. We had a balcony stateroom on Deck 9 which was fine but the balcony area was very tired. The room was kept in an excellent state by the attendant. Breakfast in Versailles Restaurant was good but service was slow. The Market Cafe had a good selection on offer. Barbecue lunch by the pool was very good and again food in the Market Cafe was of good quality and there was a big choice. We ate in Aqua Restaurant at night but the standard fell as the cruise progressed and the menu was repetitive. For the final few nights we used O'Sheehans which is themed on a pub and this was fine although the only change in the menu was the special dish of the day. The staff on ship were good apart from the Customer Service Desk personnel who were arrogant, unhelpful and a waste of space. The bars were good and the only show we attended was Soul Sensation, a Motown tribute act who were brilliant. The tours were generally good but expensive. Joining a tour was chaotic as NCL staff did not enforce the exhortations of the excursion coordinator of to keep exits and gangways clear before leaving the ship to join the tour. NCL's water bottle policy was very unpopular with passengers. Disembarking the ship at the end of the cruise was awful. There was a crush on the stairways as 4 colour codes were told to leave the ship at the same time along with a shore exusions. Tempers became frayed and it was a bad end to the holiday. Summing up, NCL will not be our first choice in the future after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Reason for choosing this cruise:The cruise was March 9(Singapore)-March 27(Dubai). We choose this cruise because of the itinerary which was port intensive with only 5 sea days. This is a part of the world that we had not traveled and this ... Read More
Reason for choosing this cruise:The cruise was March 9(Singapore)-March 27(Dubai). We choose this cruise because of the itinerary which was port intensive with only 5 sea days. This is a part of the world that we had not traveled and this itinerary seemed an ideal way to sample a number of countries without a long term time and financial commitment. In this respect the cruise totally lived up to expectations as we visited 14 ports-including embarkation and disembarkation- that we had never visited before allowing us a small sample of what each place had to offer. Pre-embarkation: We engaged a private guide from Indie Singapore to give us a tour of Singapore pre-embarkation. The guide-Iris- was fabulous and through discussion the tour was tailored to our interests. She provided a fabulous walking tour featuring Little India, Kampong Glam and Chinatown as well as some historic colonial areas and the Marina Bay Sands area. Lunch at Hawkers with expert guidance on the best stalls was also a highlight. Embarkation:This took forever, this issue had been identified by previous reviewers and it appeared that little had improved, however NCL did provide chairs for the 2 hour plus wait that some people endured. In defense of NCL, after seeing their superb organization in getting passengers on/off the ship and dealing with boarding cards/visas I am led to conclude that the issues with Singapore embarkation are likely the responsibility of the Singapore government staff. Ports and Shore Excursions: NCL handling of immigration details at all of the ports was excellent and they proved adept at quickly adjusting when the 'rules' changed unexpectedly. While I heard considerable whining from some fellow cruisers I cannot fault NCL - we were not in Kansas! The shore excursions offered were standard cruise ship variety and priced similar to other cruise lines we have been on. We used ship provided excursions in 10 of 12 ports. Most of the excursions were excellent-possibly because we always seemed to 'win' the luck of the draw on guides- most in the excellent category. The detail provided by the shore excursion company was limited, they provided little in terms of estimated lengths of bus rides, actual distances to be walked, steps to be climbed, comments on 'terrain' etc. I suspect we are spoiled by the level of detail provided by Princess shore excursions. Also noticeably different from our experiences with Princess Shore Excursion desk was that there was NO information provided for independent travelers, NO maps, and clearly NO interest in providing any assistance. The message seemed to be - spend money with us or get lost! Ship: The Star has been refurbished recently and it shows. Lovely midsized ship that is very well maintained. There is an absence of quiet public areas to relax, it seems an inordinate amount of public space has been used for the 'specialty' restaurants. Liked the Atrium with band playing and seating in O'Sheehan's, at the coffee bar, and even in the internet cafe where you could sit and listen. Room and room steward: We we in a mini-suite which featured a reasonable sized balcony, the largest bathroom we had had on a cruise ship when staying in anything below suite level. The room steward was exceptional, one of the best if not the best, in 25 cruises on 6 different lines over the last 30+ years. Entertainment: pretty standard cruise line entertainment with a decent variety in guest performers, the 3 bands on board were all reasonably good and you could actually tell what songs they were playing/singing which is not always the case with cruise ship bands! Productions shows were below par compared to Princess, Celebrity and Celestyal. Dining: NCL's slogan is "No one does dining like Norwegian" - My comment is THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The food in the main dining rooms Versailles and Aqua, O'Sheehans, and Ginza ranged from awful to barely adequate with a handful of well prepared dishes. Food was of Inconsistent quality, often served at inappropriate temperature, NO attempt at 'presentation', lack of creativity in the menus, and all too frequent repetition of menu offerings. Service was rushed, courses came in seemingly random order. It appeared that they brought appetizers, soups and salads from the kitchen at the same time. If you had 2 'hot' dishes at least one was guaranteed to be served lukewarm. The tables were so crammed in that it was almost impossible for the waiter to serve and remove dishes appropriately- not sure that they had even been trained in appropriate serving etiquette. The pace can best be described as frenetic, it most certainly did not resemble a reasonable DINING pace. We have experienced various cruise lines version of 'open seating' in their main dining rooms and none had the issues of pacing experienced with NCL's Anytime Eating. Anytime Eating because it assuredly was NOT DINING! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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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