7 Norwegian Star Asia Cruise Reviews

My hubby & I sailed aboard the Norwegian Star from Dubai with my mother in November. This was our 3rd cruise with the Star and we love her older decor and layout: wide decks that allow resting or walking and there is a jogging track on ... Read More
My hubby & I sailed aboard the Norwegian Star from Dubai with my mother in November. This was our 3rd cruise with the Star and we love her older decor and layout: wide decks that allow resting or walking and there is a jogging track on deck 12 too. For this cruise we booked a Family Suite on deck 11 which had two sleeping quarters, enough for 6 people, however it was just my husband and I in the main sleeping area and my mother in the smaller area with her own bathroom and loo! The cabin also had a table and 4 chairs, a 3 person sofa and TV and a balcony. The main bathroom has a separate shower, spa bath and loo. Each section has enough closet & drawer space. The Main bedroom has space under the bed for the suit cases and there were enough power sockets to charge cameras etc in the cabin. A coffee/tea machine was included(uses pods) and was well used by us all. Dining aboard the Star offers several complimentary dining choices: Market Cafe, Aqua and Versailes Dining Rooms, Poolside Buffets, Ginza and O'Sheehans Pub. There are also several specialty restaurants too, Moderno, Cagney's Steak House, Teppinyaki etc. I have yet to have a meal that I did not like - the menu choices are very good. The Stardust Theatre is where the entertainment happens - there is a show of some sort every night and all are well worth the time to see. The Shows with the Norwegian Dancers and Show Band are absolutely fantastic - great music, singing and dancing! We all found the service by the Norwegian staff to be of a very high standard especially Hanno our Conscierge, Joseph our Butler and Ferdinand our cabin steward. The cruise from Dubai stopped at ports in UAE, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia. The Shore Excursions we were able to complete were 'Level One' due to Mum's mobility issues however it would have been more pleasant if we stayed aboard except for the Highlights of Bombay Tour which was interesting and gave time to do a little sighseeing. I went to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage(Sri Lanka) by myself and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately none of the other excursions we did would encourage us to re-visit the countries we saw. The Ports we docked at were mostly 'industrial' and in poor repair and many Port authorities refused passengers permission to walk on the pier. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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
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
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
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 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
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
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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