103 Norwegian Star Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

I chose the cruise for the low price. and I also did the follow-on cruise from Miami to Chile. As I've come to expect, more of the ship was given over to "pay extra" venues. And the food continues to go downhill. In four ... Read More
I chose the cruise for the low price. and I also did the follow-on cruise from Miami to Chile. As I've come to expect, more of the ship was given over to "pay extra" venues. And the food continues to go downhill. In four weeks there was never prime rib. Of course no lobster, but even shrimp and crab were very scarce. They are cutting corners wherever possible. But the main issue is them cutting out or changing ports and offering no compensation. Their communication about that was horrible. They are arrogant and secretive about all such decisions. Rumors abounded about mechanical problems with the ship. They were never addressed. I suspect that something they couldn't or didn't want to fix accounted for our port changes. Mum was the word. Don't tell the passengers anything was the policy. NCL really has become awful. It seems the business plan is to squeeze every last dollar out of every passenger and cut every cost. Profit this year is all that matters. They no longer care about long-term customer satisfaction. Hey, we'll all die off soon and they'll attract new customers with low prices. They are the Spirit Airlines of the sea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were planning on a trip to Barcelona for week and decided to try a transatlantic experience. Barcelona is great city and we had a great week. Having read previous reviews, we realized that the Star was an older ship that had a ... Read More
We were planning on a trip to Barcelona for week and decided to try a transatlantic experience. Barcelona is great city and we had a great week. Having read previous reviews, we realized that the Star was an older ship that had a refurbishment, so we knew it wouldn't be perfect. All in all, it's not one of the best, but it is pretty good ship. We had a mini suite which had a couple of nice features including a full size bath tub which was very nice. The cabin was a good size. The bed was bit too firm. The sofa was like sitting on a rock. I've never understood why NCL hasn't made these couches more comfortable for daily use. We like to spend some time in the cabin and a more comfortable couch would have made all the difference! Our cabin location was on deck 11, under the pool deck. A bit of noise in the early mornings from pool deck furniture being moved around, but not a deal breaker. The glass on the balcony is getting pretty old. Not as clear as you'd find on a newer ship. Our cabin attendant Ricardo was amazing. He did a great job and we were very lucky to have had him look after us. The majority of the crew were great as well. Very friendly ser Food was average. Celebrity was much better. This was our first experience with freestyle dinning and it was a good idea. Points to NCL for coming up with this concept. The buffet was average, but the staff were really good. There are very few areas on the ship where you could go and sit for an hour or two of relative quiet to read or just relax. The other thing that was annoying was the additional 20% tip you were charged every time you ordered a drink. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem paying the daily tips and giving our cabin attendant a well deserved extra tip, but the 20% gratuity on every drink is stupid. No, we didn't get a drink package and I'm okay in paying for drinks as you go. To get your money's worth out of the drink package, you'd have to be a borderline alcoholic. Just being honest folks! The ports of call were nice. The one downer was losing our last port in the Azores due to weather. They stopped in the Bahamas at the NCL Island which was a disappointment. An extra day in Madeira would have been much better. We like doing our own thing instead of paying for excursions, so can't comment on the ones provided for by NCL. This was our first time on NCL. We had sailed on MSC and Celebrity before this one. Would we do it again? Probably not. Maybe Holland America next time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Where was middle management? So many issues with poor service and no one handling basic issues. It seemed like there is a complete lack of basic hospitality-service training. Here are but a few things to mention: -honey packets so ... Read More
Where was middle management? So many issues with poor service and no one handling basic issues. It seemed like there is a complete lack of basic hospitality-service training. Here are but a few things to mention: -honey packets so sticky in Garden Cafe each day, you have to wash your hands after handling. I told a woman in uniform...yet same sticky situation every day after -salt grinders that didn't work at all in Aqua. They gave me 5 different ones-just so I could have salt. I bet they still don't work. -listening to the sound of silverware being thrown toward the dishwasher while seated in Aqua. So loud. Why are the kitchen doors propped open to the dining room? -Versaille-all the cabinet doors in center seating area were left open. Messy look to a supposedly fine-dining space -waiters who ask you each time if you want more water. "Excuse me miss, do you want more water?" Just fill the water glass-it's standard service. -waiters who say "excuse me miss" when they are behind you and bringing the food. Just approach the table and put the plate down. Why should a diner have to respond to the waiter behind them bringing food? -waiters who wanted me to move aside so they could put the plate down, when they could have easily approached from my left (serve from the left) and placed the dish without disturbing the conversation -3 types of french fries served on lunch menu is Versailles, but the kind you're supposed to get with your order are not what you get -items as described on menu rarely what you receive -shrimp burger in Versaille-undercooked, Who can tolerate undercooked shrimp? Health hazard -Fish ceviche on Great Stirrup Cay also raw-but not in a ceviche way. Should look white from chemical cooking by lime juice, That fish was clear-not white. so not ceviche -loud noises everywhere. The LOUDEST experiences all the time. Art auction so loud we can't talk in Ginza. Central are bands so loud that working in internet cafe is impossible. -internet cafe-"Cafe"? There's no food there-just noise. Why is there no quiet space to work if one needs to? -internet cafe- no outlets near the tables. I actually needed to plug in my computer! -strong smell of cigarette smoke in fitness center and on back deck-clearly coming from Crew deck below -games in Library are standards from the 1970's. So antiquated. Chutes and Ladders, Checkers, Chess. ugh! Invest a few hundred dollars in updated games -invest $500 quarterly on several copies of best sellers for the library. Why not offer a "good read" as an experience? It'd be so cheap and so easy to do -Ginza-so far from anything remotely Japanese. Seaweed salad came with a creamy dressing (?). Supposedly there was a Sake Bar advertised, but when we asked for a Sake Menu the server said there were just 2 kinds(?) One was "creamy". Creamy sake(?) -Music-the worst! Heavy metal music every day by the pool. Heavy metal is not a very popular musical choice, especially for the cruising population. I had to leave the deck every day when they started. The other band that intro'd every song they sang- and they sang them poorly. They chose a Pat Boone song. The DJ had no sense of energizing the crowd. The first night I ventured to Bliss he was playing a song from the movie Grease. I never bothered to go back. On the deck-people want to hear rhythms and dance beats or tropical vacation music. He'd ruin a vibe as soon as he stumbled on one. Playing Elvis' "Why Do Fool's Rush In" is an end-the night song, not a keep-this-vibe-going song. So many missed opportunities for the slightest bit of energy and entertainment -cocktail waiters that never offer you a drink. The entire 2 weeks I was on the ship, only one time did a server approach me to suggest I order a drink. In 2 weeks-only once! This is just a short list of issues the cruise line should work on. Training, motivation, and initiative seem to be severely lacking. I came away thinking at least I didn't gain weight, because the food was pretty bad and service was so annoying. And I didn't spend money, because there was little impetus to buy anything onboard. Is that what corporate wants to read? I doubt it. It really wouldn't take much to make this a better experience. But does anybody care? Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife has taught Kindergarten for 39 years. She only had only item on her bucket -- to take repositioning cruise just to experience doing something that isn't in the high seasons: summer, Christmas, Easter. Norwegian was ... Read More
My wife has taught Kindergarten for 39 years. She only had only item on her bucket -- to take repositioning cruise just to experience doing something that isn't in the high seasons: summer, Christmas, Easter. Norwegian was the obvious choice -- it puts more effort into adding some interesting ports of call at one end of a transatlantic crossing, and the price was the most competitive. So, this cruise had stops in Spain and Madeira. Because of rough seas in the Azores, we couldn't pull in there; we took a more southern route to Miami. Our only big disappointment was that Norwegian chose to substitute that port with a second last day stop at their own island in the Bahamas. We think they could have been more creative: how about an extra night in Madeira, a stop in the Canary Islands, or a "real" port in the Caribbean? We were really happy with the cruise. For us, food is number one on a cruise. Perhaps we were a little nervous knowing how much Norwegian promotes specialty dining. But, the main dining room Versailles was where we spent most of our time for meals since we enjoyed just about everything. The staff were incredible, and if we were patient, we could often get seated in a section with the same waiters -- something we enjoy in getting to know people better. Norwegian doesn't offer the most expensive choices -- prime rib and lobster and some other seafood -- in the "free" restaurants; yet the quality of food is great. It is served hot (even something like fish and chips). The recipes are tasty. I have yet to be on any cruise ship that can make a decent pastry or pie crust; therefore, I wasn't surprised that those kinds of food related items were not all that great. We have been on about 8 cruises with other cruise lines in the same price category -- and we can say Norwegian has the best entertainment in the main theatre. No corny musical reviews. The productions with singers and dancers were more sophisticated. And for the other nights with specialty acts, the comedians, acrobats, singers, violinist, magician were all top notch -- standing ovations each time. The show band, in whole or individually, played in other venues. They were really personable and allowed us to get to know them. The Star also featured other musical individuals or groups throughout the 14 days. We had heard that Norwegian was the "nickel and dime" cruise. Certainly, you get charged for more things than on other cruises. With the emphasis on specialty dining, we tried a three night package. In our view, they are not worth the $80 per couple per night upcharge; but it seemed as if they were popular. I think some people had them somehow included as part of their initial purchase for the cruise. Booze is expensive. No deals like a 5 or 7 bottle wine package. $9 for a draft beer seems steep. The specialty drinks at a minimum of $11 were not always prepared properly. And, it is a little annoying that in order to use the For us, the real pleasure of a cruise is getting to know the people who serve us. They are so hard working and dedicated, in spite of being so separated from their families for 8 months at a time. We wish Norwegian could give them more opportunity to somehow connect more regularly with their loved ones back home. If anyone gets an opportunity to be served by these people, you will feel special indeed: Room stewards Mohamed Rosidik, and Angel Ramirez, Dining room waiters Dora Xiao Joe Yang and Ericson Nasol; Wine Steward Roshan Mathias; Dining room attendant Johnson Miranda; Hostesses Ksenija and Maricris; Maitre D' Jasime; Spa attendant Jessica DeGraca. We will definitely cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cruised on the Norwegian Star several years ago and really enjoyed the experience on a mid size ship. The cruise itself was pure pleasure with wonderful food and service and great entertainment. The staff did everything in their power to ... Read More
Cruised on the Norwegian Star several years ago and really enjoyed the experience on a mid size ship. The cruise itself was pure pleasure with wonderful food and service and great entertainment. The staff did everything in their power to insure that their guests had a great time. The entertainment package provided was first rate and especially enjoyed the big band musical presentations. Since this was a repositioning cruise there were many and varied presentations and social activities. The only low point of the cruise was the embarkation process which was a total horror show. Total disorganization was the order of the day and compared with other cruise lines Norwegian rates a distant last place. That was the only negative for the entire cruise experience. One other added note was the selection of Cadiz as a port stop. It was my first time in this beautiful and charming city and a high point of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The timeline fit well for us and the price was great. The food in the dining rooms was mostly tasty, but not always hot. The service seemed to be a bit better in the Aqua restaurant, and Aqua was less noisy. You did not need to make ... Read More
The timeline fit well for us and the price was great. The food in the dining rooms was mostly tasty, but not always hot. The service seemed to be a bit better in the Aqua restaurant, and Aqua was less noisy. You did not need to make reservations, but you could if you wanted to. We did not try any a la carte restaurants, and we heard mixed reviews from those that did. We were treated to dinner with the officers (we put our name in a "hat" and they chose us), and we enjoyed it very much. The gala night was not well advertised, so we missed it. The cinnamon buns are not as good as Holland America (those of you that have enjoyed HAL cinnamon buns know what I mean). The buffet served scones with cream and jam around 3 pm for tea. We enjoy classical music, and there was very little of it, but we did enjoy the violinist from Poland. The evening entertainment was good with a good variety including comedian, magician, contortionist, gymnast, acrobatics, Adele impersonator, violinist, the Norwegian star orchestra, singers, and dancers. Robert was a gifted pianist which we also enjoyed in the Gatsby lounge. The daytime or sea day entertainment was a bit lacking unless you liked art auctions, bingo, casino activities, or trivia.I did enjoy the odd lecture from a geologist, and sometimes they showed a movie in the theater. There are many seminars available to promote their spa services or to purchase their health products. There is a library, and board games are available there to use. There is no puzzle room, but there is an internet cafe. The photo area is very modern. You can check your photos on one of the many computers, or they have a binder for each cabin where you can check out the printed photos. The photographers were very good at their work. The gym has no change room or showers. It is located at the back of the ship and is quite dark. I appreciated the morning stretch and ab classes in the morning, however the room got very crowded some mornings. There are no animal towels in your cabin, no bathrobes, no chocolates on your pillow. There was a mini fridge and mini bar in our room. This was a bare bones cruise compared to some other ships that we have been on, but overall, we enjoyed ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We just completed our first Transatlantic Crossing on the Norwegian Star. It was a fabulous trip...and even in November the weather was fantastic...in the hot tub every day. The Star is an older ship but a crew was wonderful. The best ... Read More
We just completed our first Transatlantic Crossing on the Norwegian Star. It was a fabulous trip...and even in November the weather was fantastic...in the hot tub every day. The Star is an older ship but a crew was wonderful. The best port call was Madeira....Due to a storm, we missed the port call at the Azores but they more than made up for it with a final day port call at their private island, Great Stirrup Cay....a gorgeous sunny day on the beach was perfect to close out the cruise. We did mainly upgraded dining...so the food was great. We particularly loved the Sushi bar. And our meals that we did in Aqua and Versailles were very good. The one show we attended was the Las Vegas review which we first class...great story along with awesome choreography and music. Our cabin steward, Charles, was very attentive. The bar staff (Marcello, Tiger, Matt, Jamie, and Mohammed) were very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I like the organization of exterior public spaces. Most outward facing railing is composed of evenly spaced vertically oriented glass panels. Panels range in height from four to eight feet. All panels are about a foot wide and every gap ... Read More
I like the organization of exterior public spaces. Most outward facing railing is composed of evenly spaced vertically oriented glass panels. Panels range in height from four to eight feet. All panels are about a foot wide and every gap between those panes is about 3 inches. It serves perfectly it’s intended perfectly in three ways. First, you can see everything. They may get a bit obscured with sea spray, but that just means that the spray is not on you. Second, they foil wind. Though forty knot wind was making the rigging howl, behind this screen I felt only a breeze. Finally the gaps between the panels are just the right size for a camera. Most of the topside around the midship swimming pool is chaise lounge sized tiers. It’s easy to navigate with a plate full of food and there is plenty of space for everybody. I like the complimentary restaurant meals. They were consistently well prepared. The portions were consistently well prepared and small, which is as it should be. If you need a larger meal, you simply order more courses. For example, I ordered five scallop appetizer courses, and skipped the entree. A major shortcoming that I found for the Star is that it lacks a public quiet interior space with a view of the sea. All those seeking an interior space to pull threads or read or play card are banished to artificially lit cave like places. On the Star, all the interior, sunny comfortable places serve the purpose of dining, drinking and watching sports. This shortcoming could be easily remedied by eliminating one of the upper mid-ship specialty restaurants or eliminate the interior portion of the “owners suite” or eliminating a half dozen cabins fwd of the library on deck 12. I did not like the access to the main dining room, Versaille, located at the rear of the ship. The room can seat probably 500 and is beautifully decorated. It’s well lit in the evenings. The problem is the entrance. The Access is gained by descending a stair from deck 7 down to the dining room floor on Deck 6. Midway down the flight is a landing that serves as the entrance to the room, and is where the maitre-de sorts party sizes and assigns tables. The stairs from the Maitre-de to the floor are ornate and inside the room. It makes for a very dramatic entrance, however for those guests who cannot take stairs very easily the only way in is via a single elevator shaft. What I mean is that on deck seven, directly adjacent to the dining room entry stairwell, is a bank of four elevator shafts serving Deck seven thru thirteen. Only one of those four shafts goes down to the floor level of the Versaille. To add to the insult, those shafts do not serve stateroom decks five or four either. For residents on those decks, travel to the Versaille dining room always requires a trip to deck seven. From the floor of the restaurant, decks five and four cannot be accessed directly by stairwell either. I did not like the Stardust Theatre. I’ve sat in stadiums with more comfortable seating than the orchestra seats. Many are broken. All are uncomfortable. In the current configuration all stalls seating must be accessed via two central aisles. Seating on the extreme right and left of the theatre extend straight to the walls. As human nature dictates aisle seating is taken first and the theatre filles progressively outward toward the walls. Because there is no aisle access at the extremes, much standing and jockeying is forced upon those seated at the aisle. If three or so dozen seats were removed from next to the walls to create additional aisles, human traffic would flow much more smoothly. The upper “box” seating is more comfortable. The “box” seating is a set of two heavily cushioned benches where the railings are composed of a series of glass panels. From the outermost, front, box bench the view of the stage is adequate. The second row view is not. In order to view the stage one must stand, which I was compelled to do because the ships steady dance troupe put on was wonderful. The live musical entertainment was too loud. Music for a sober mid-day crowd should not be louder than normal conversation. Mid day and sunny afternoons before an audience of middle aged and older adults is not a setting where entertainment should make itself the center of attention. Nor inside the atrium during dinner hours. At these times, in these places, musicians purpose is simply to set a mood. “Loud” is for the “not so sober” crowds later in the evening. For those of us that take care to wear ear protection when working with power tools, being exposed to the Star’s musical entertainment is (was) counterproductive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise to cross the Atlantic. Cabin was nice. Service was somewhat lacking. Food on the buffet was on par with other cruise lines, but dining room food was very poor. No steak and lobster, not even once. No dress up night or ... Read More
Chose this cruise to cross the Atlantic. Cabin was nice. Service was somewhat lacking. Food on the buffet was on par with other cruise lines, but dining room food was very poor. No steak and lobster, not even once. No dress up night or even a Captains dinner. I would compare the cruise to traveling in coach on a discount airline. Not one of the crew ever called us by our name. Entertainment for the most part was top notch. Nowhere onboard to buy a bottled drink (i.e. gatoraid), only in the bars. Even the restaurants that you had to pay for were average at best. Purchased the transfer for leaving the ship, going to the airport. Disembarkation was late, took more than an hour to load each bus, then the process started over. After standing in line for more than an hour, had to take a taxi to make our flight. Will not cruise on NCL again Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise because my husband had never been on a cruise before. That may sound crazy but I knew if I'd picked a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean he would have thought it far too hectic and would have said 'no more'; ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my husband had never been on a cruise before. That may sound crazy but I knew if I'd picked a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean he would have thought it far too hectic and would have said 'no more'; the six days at sea just relaxing was the perfect introduction to cruising. We are from Ontario but have a place in Florida on the Gulf coast. We decided to leave our car in Gulfport and do a one-way only rental to get to Miami port. It was very reasonable and easy to get to the ship since the car rental company had numerous shuttles to the port. Not having to leave our vehicle in long time parking was another plus. Embarkation was smooth and in no time we were sitting in O'Sheehan's having Shepherd's Pie and enjoying a glass of wine. After lunch we did a cursory exploration of the ship while waiting for our stateroom. I've never been on NCL before but even without experiencing the Star pre-refurbishment I have to say based on older images of the pool area, the removal of the slides has vastly improved the vibe. I liked the layout of the ship, its smaller size and the fact you can walk the perimeter on one deck. Our starboard balcony stateroom was near the aft on deck 9. The size was agreeable, the beds comfortable, and it had plenty of storage for our belonging in the closet, in the drawers and under the bed. The bathroom was laid out well. Everything was in perfect working order. We brought a universal plug to increase versatility for using our tablets and phones. We asked our room steward, who was low key and very efficient to remove the bar contents since we had brought our own wine. We don't care about towel animals and won't judge a person's ability to do their job based on the lack thereof. I think they are overworked enough without the added burden of providing towel animals for our entertainment. Being fairly small the only thing I was a little disappointed in was the haze on the glass balcony spoiling my view. But not to fear! A scrubbie and some cleaner got rid of it pretty quick! When we booked we got all the freebies: the specialty restaurants, the drinks package, the strawberries, wine, and internet. I figured because we were on a 15 day cruise I'd purchase an additional 4 specialty restaurant packages so we could alternate between the specialty restaurants and the regular dining venues but decided we wouldn't purchase anymore since it's really a lot of food. We were pleasantly surprised by the food in the regular dining venues. Everything we ate was very good and I loved having breakfast in Versailles and getting perfectly cooked poached eggs and properly brewed tea. With the exception of a tough as shoe leather steak which was traded in for a better entree and some mashed potatoes the consistency of glue we enjoyed the food. We didn't go to all the performances in the theatre but the ones we did go to we enjoyed, especially the Barricade Boys. There were quite a few bands playing around the ship and on the whole they were quite good but one band near the pool had a female singer who was always off-key. I found they were heavily geared to salsa or Spanish music which may have been due to the final destination. I would have liked to hear more jazz. The ports were wonderful. With the exception of the Hop On Hop On buses, we didn't do any excursions, just strolled around the ports, perusing the stores and enjoying the architecture, the gardens, and leisurely lunches. We stayed an extra three days in Barcelona and fell in love with the place. We are planning to do this cruise again next year so we can stay longer in Barcelona. I'd like to say the crowning moment was a smooth disembarkation but that would be a lie. It was smooth going until you got off the ship into a chaotic scene. Huge lineups for non-existent taxis. Lineups for pre-ordered private hire cars or mini buses that couldn't get into the port because of the buses NCL organized for a price. No one knew what the hell was going on. Every person you spoke to who seemed to be in charge gave you conflicting advice: you could walk out of the port, you couldn't walk out of the port, it was forbidden to walk out the port, it was Tarragona's fault, there weren't enough cabs, etc, etc. etc. One police officer I spoke to said the whole debacle was the fault of NCL because they had made no provisions for their passengers to leave the port. Eventually, after an ominous change from sheer frustration to outward anger to their predicaments, the police officer advised that Tarragona was going to provide buses, free of charge, to move out all these people who had been waiting for hours. People missed their train connections, their flights, endured uncomfortable conditions, and NCL staff who refused to get off the ship to talk to passengers. It was pretty shocking. And a quick review of the schedule for cruise ships to dock at Tarragona for 2019 and 2020 shows that they regularly host cruise ships, some much bigger than ours, and have been doing so for a while but in CONJUNCTION with cruise lines who obviously know what the limitations of the port are (industrial) and plan accordingly. I am very disappointed in this introduction to NCL. I am even more disappointed in their continued lack of acknowledgement for this egregious oversight, choosing to take the cowards way out and blame it solely on the port. Not cool, NCL. 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Sail Date April 2019
It was a glorious error that I ended up on this cruise ship! I had the most amazing time on this Transatlantic cruise from Miami’s to Spain. The passengers were friendly, considerate and there was no drama. The staff focused on our ... Read More
It was a glorious error that I ended up on this cruise ship! I had the most amazing time on this Transatlantic cruise from Miami’s to Spain. The passengers were friendly, considerate and there was no drama. The staff focused on our happiness, wellbeing and safety. The entertainment onboard was fun and engaging. The show on the last few nights were memorable. The sailing over the transatlantic was so smooth and we were always on time or even earlier than promised at the ports. The food onboard was delicious (Buffett and specialty restaurants), the selections were varied, the distinctions for adult and family entertainment/venues were clear and followed. I greatly enjoyed my time aboard the Norwegian Star. The veterans group was the best group of folks. I made new friends and the staff was amazing. I feel like they were a part of my family! Would cruise with them again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I sailed on NCL's April 27 repositioning cruise from Miami to Tarragona. Overall, I had a great time. The cabin, dining room, bar and entertainment staff were all great other than the customer service desk, internet desk and ... Read More
I sailed on NCL's April 27 repositioning cruise from Miami to Tarragona. Overall, I had a great time. The cabin, dining room, bar and entertainment staff were all great other than the customer service desk, internet desk and excursion staff. The latter three categories got the brunt of passenger problems and showed the strain. They were brusk and unhelpful. One more negative: Disembarkation was a nightmare. Originally the cruise was to end in Barcelona. A few months before departure NCL changed the end to Tarragona, 40 or so miles south on the Spanish coast (without notifying people, there were a number of unhappy passengers who had booked hotels in Barcelona). Tarragona is fairly small and didn't have near enough taxis to accommodate a couple of thousand people in the space of a couple of hours. NCL appeared to think its responsibility ended when you got to the bottom of the gangway. There you were in a line (more a scrum) of a few hundred people jostling for a ride into town. It took about an hour and a half to get a cab. NCL earned a lot of dissatisfaction that morning. On to the good. Staff: The cabin steward was pretty much perfect. Whatever you might want seemed to appear before you thought to ask. He went so far as to straighten a pair of shoes I'd thrown in a corner. The restaurants and bars had great service with a smile. The exception was O'Sheehan's, the restaurant, not the bar. The servers were slow and made a number of mistakes in orders. Food: The food was good not great for the most part with the exception, again, of O'Sheehan's which put out pretty bad food. The main dining rooms were on a par with most chain white table cloths restaurants. The buffet? Well it was a buffet, that about says it. Great omelets though. It could get a bit crowded during the mealtime rushes. I ate at the Sushi bar, great; Cagney's, very good; the Asian restaurant whose name escapes me, good and, Le Bistro, excellent. Reservation times were honored; but, the restaurants were never overcrowded, I never had to wait for a table. Internet: I know most people don't care about internet on a cruise. Unfortunately, I need internet to work, even on vacation. The internet was barely adequate and quit working on the last two sea days before getting to the Azores. No notice from NCL as to why it was out or when it would come back on. After twenty minutes standing in line I learned that someone in Miami forgot to "tune" a satellite. And the internet never worked in Spice H2O which is a shame as the area is a really nice place to relax and have a coffee or a glass of wine. Latitude check in: None that I could find. Activities: There were a bunch, none of which interested me. Ports/excursions: I booked one excursion through NCL in Cadiz to the "White Villages" which are about an hour away. The scenery was great, the guide, not so much. Her English was not very good and she spoke it very fast, although that really didn't matter as she set a pace that left most of the, let's call us no longer young, group twenty or so yards away from her so that we couldn't hear what she said anyway. I enjoyed wandering around all of the ports through great architectural neighborhoods, stopping for a cappuccino or glass of wine. Food and drink at the cafes and restaurants was dirt cheap by American standards. Drink packages: You'd have to drink from breakfast until going to bed to make the cost of a drink package pay off (well maybe not quite that much). But, if you get one of the higher priced packages and get it as a perk, the $20 a day mandatory tip is a pretty good deal if you look at it as the cost of the drinks and a tip. I'm mostly a wine drinker and while the offerings weren't great, they were quite drinkable. The backbars looked to have most of the "top shelf" liquors you would expect. Entertainment: The primetime acts/shows that I saw were all very good. The lounge and pool deck singers and musicians were okay. NCL app: It worked nicely, showing what you have spent, what the entertainment schedule for the day was and what reservations you had. iMessage, for those with an iPhone, worked well. A couple of other things: I was apprehensive about the ship being crowded as it was sold out, or close to it. Other than in the buffet, I never felt crowded. I'd say the median age of passengers was mid to late sixties. If you are young and looking for some nightlife, you might want to stay away from a transatlantic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was appealing and it had good value. We did not have time to explore Miami before we left, but we had been there before and found it to be a nice city if you can handle high humidity. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was appealing and it had good value. We did not have time to explore Miami before we left, but we had been there before and found it to be a nice city if you can handle high humidity. Embarkation went fairly smoothly. We were on the ship by 12 enjoying our first cocktail of the cruise. On the other hand, disembarkation was a complete nightmare. It was the worst experience we have EVER had leaving a ship. The original, final port was supposed to be Barcelona. However, at some point in time, the final destination was changed to Tarragona with Barcelona in parenthesis, which on other cruises indicates an alternate name for the same city or a city located close at hand. Ex. Thira (Santorini) The reason our ship was shunted to Tarragona, which as it turns out, was more than an hour away from Barcelona, was because Norwegian had also scheduled the Epic, a mega ship with our EXACT itinerary. GRRRR! Just hours away from Epic, the Jade was also scheduled & appeared in port at least once with us. That meant a mad scramble for cabs and overcrowding in historic sites and eateries. Also, the Epic was so monstrous, that Barcelona could not accommodate both ships. That meant, our ship was dumped at an industrial port with no clue how to process passengers through immigration. It was a mad house. We couldn't leave on foot because of security. We waited for our own charter bus they wouldn't let in, because all the ship's shuttle buses had priority. (Norwegian had offered to "help" people get to Barcelona for a mere $30 pp. via their shuttles.) While trying to exit the ship, crew members had been given conflicting information about how to direct people and there was an area where 2 different lines were snaking in opposite directions. In short, it was an awful experience and by the time we got our pre-reserved ride, we arrived in Barcelona 5 hours later. This disembarkation fiasco and the double booking of other Norwegian ships at the same ports, will be at the forefront of our minds when considering whether to sail with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our first transatlantic cruise! Originally scheduled to reach Barcelona but was diverted to Tarragona. Weather during the crossing was fabulous. Sunshine, warm temps and smooth seas. The Star was refurbished last year and was is great ... Read More
Our first transatlantic cruise! Originally scheduled to reach Barcelona but was diverted to Tarragona. Weather during the crossing was fabulous. Sunshine, warm temps and smooth seas. The Star was refurbished last year and was is great shape. Crew was wonderful. Entertainment ranged from great to hohum. Food was up to NCL standard. Ports were great. Could easily use NCL or go on your own. The Roman theatre in Cartagena should not be missed. The nightmare began when we disembarked. We were warned that Tarragona was a small town with limited taxis and to allow extra time. We were not told that Tarragona is an industrial port and not equipped to handle cruise ships. First, the gang plank was extremely steep and dangerous for people with mobility issues and trying to carry off luggage. Then we got into the taxi line with 2000 other people only to learn there were only 5 taxis servicing the pier. There was no pedestrian walkway and the pier was lined coal and other industrial materials so it wasn’t safe to walk off. We waited 3 hours before they finally got a bus to start taking us to the city center and then we walked about 3 blocks to the train station where we had to buy new tickets since we missed our train. We thought allowing 3 hours was reasonable for a 2.8km trip. We never saw an NCL staff person of any authority on the pier accessing the situation. I don’t know how elderly or people with mobility issues endured this situation. It was such a shame to end such a wonderful cruise at such a horrible port. Avoid Tarragona. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
While the cruise itself was pretty good, the total mess up be NCL of the disembarkment killed all the joy we had. 2 1/2 hours to get a taxi because guest services on the ship told us they would be at the port so we didn’t need to ... Read More
While the cruise itself was pretty good, the total mess up be NCL of the disembarkment killed all the joy we had. 2 1/2 hours to get a taxi because guest services on the ship told us they would be at the port so we didn’t need to schedule one. That was a joke. It was our first cruise and maybe our last. Everything we did on board they wanted money to give us the information we were supposed to get in the seminar. I.e., how to increase your metabolism. Teas to heal the body. Bingo etc. the ports were nice as we booked excursions at each. We did find out we could have picked someone at port for the same excursion at half the price. Go figure! The shows were ok. A few better than the rest. And you couldn’t swim in the pool the water was to cold for us. The only issue with the room was the size. Had to squeeze by to get to the other side of the bed. And the toilet area was a joke. We had a mid ship balcony on the 10th floor. Well good thing we didn’t put down a deposit for another cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because it was sailing across the Atlantic. Neither of us had ever partaken of a cruise before. It exceeded all our expectations. As first time cruisers we were completely at a loss what to do, where to go, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was sailing across the Atlantic. Neither of us had ever partaken of a cruise before. It exceeded all our expectations. As first time cruisers we were completely at a loss what to do, where to go, procedure once we boarded the Star. Although staff at the passageway door, no real instructions provided not even when we asked. Some sort of orientation session would have been nice for the few of us who had never cruised before. 99% of the time the staff was fantastic doing everything they could to ensure we had the best time of our lives. The only negative related to staff was the information/customer service desk. We learned quickly that if you asked a question, even about important stuff (lost items, disembarkation/customs procedures) the answer would be different with each staff person you asked. Dining was incredible. So much variety and so well prepared and tasty even at the buffet, the available restaurants were icing on the cake. Ginza was our only disappointment. Tried it twice. Food not bad, just not very good compared to everywhere else. Loved the crossing best of all. Ideal port/shore excursion scenario for us would be to alternate shore days with sea days. Enjoyed the shore excursions on the islands immensely. Soon realized that one could have just as rich a shore experience on our own at mainland ports without the extra expense of booking a tour and without the 'forced shopping' stops as one person put it. The entertainment each night was spectacular. Such talent on the production team (singers, dancers, musicians) as well as the guest performers. The musicians who performed on a daily basis throughout the ship varied in style and ability. The best by far was Duo 4:40. It showed by the audience they drew. No matter the venue they played at, it was always packed. All in all a wonderful, marvelous experience that went far about our expectations. Definitely go for it!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My second TA cruise and my second time on the Star. Huge improvement in ship decor and design with new additions like Spice H2O and Bliss lounge, refurbished Garden Cafe. I had an inside cabin on Deck 9. The 2018 Drydock provided as ... Read More
My second TA cruise and my second time on the Star. Huge improvement in ship decor and design with new additions like Spice H2O and Bliss lounge, refurbished Garden Cafe. I had an inside cabin on Deck 9. The 2018 Drydock provided as much needed face-lift on this 19 year old ship. I know the layout of this ship very well and really enjoyed most venues including the specialty restaurants Moderno, La Cucina and Le Bistro. 6 days at sea may not work for everyone, but it was exactly what I was wanted with no work emails or phone calls to return. Cutting the digital cord allowed me to completely relax. Ports were good, no complaints l had never been to Punto Del Gado or the Azores or Madeira and their beauty did not disappoint. Seville and Granada were wonderful trips, as Was Tarragona, our final port for debarkation. Entertainment was ok, not quite the calbre or as polished as on the bigger NCL ships, but not bad. Service was good to excellent in all dining venues, one exception was a Guest Services person who was a tad condescending when i asked to have a bar charge removed from a dining bill. I was charged for 6 glasses of wine when I had ordered just 2. I was a bit annoyed that i had to insist the charge was not accurate. I then had to revisit the same issue 2 more times to get the charge removed. Weather on our cruise was fantastic and the Atlantic was like glass. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Have always been a great believer and loyal fan of Norwegian but that is decreasing. First, I made reservations for four persons to go from Miami to Barcelona and that is what our first itinerary stated. At some point, the port of ... Read More
Have always been a great believer and loyal fan of Norwegian but that is decreasing. First, I made reservations for four persons to go from Miami to Barcelona and that is what our first itinerary stated. At some point, the port of disembarkation being Barcelona, was changed to Tarragona, Spain. We were never notified of the change but just happened to pull up a more current copy of the itinerary that now stated Tarragona instead of Barcelona. I called my NCL contact person and verified the change without any explanation of why the change. NCL arranged a transfer to Barcelona from Tarragona with more than a reasonable charge. Would we have not gone on the cruise if we knew that we were not departing in Barcelona. I am not sure. I am 80 years young and to get their "drink package", it would be an additional $1300 for a couple. Okay, don't take the drink package, which we didn't. Most of the people on the cruise were in my age bracket. We all (the ones that I talked to) fully agreed that the ship kept the temperature about refrigerator cold throughout the common areas of the ship. Very miserable. Some travel companies keep their repeat travelers very happy but NCL is not doing a very good job of that for our last few cruises. We belong to Latitudes but other than two dinners in one of the Specialty Dining Rooms, what is it worth to belong. The aisles in the Buffet (crowded beyond belief) were laid out by someone that had never been on much more than a row boat. Lastly, the staff of the Star, as have been on all of the other NCL ships, still a very great bunch of of people. All very friendly and helpful. One of the biggest reasons that we keep coming back to NCL. BUT, we are now starting to look at other cruise lines. MSC has given us credit for all of the points that have earned on NCL, We'll see what the future brings us. We are certainly not as loyal as we once were. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. ... Read More
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. Enjoyed a well appointed, clean and spacious cabin with a lovely picture window meticulously serviced by our gracious steward Johnson who provided an unsurpassed level of care. The ship was well maintained and seemed efficiently operated. Some service desk agents provided erroneous information about such information as provisions for obtaining currency from debit card charges resulting in wasted time. Many of the procedures of the service desk seemed overwrought and inefficient frequently resulting in unnecessarily long waits at the service desk . The only other mildly sour note for us was poorly coordinated disembarkation on the last day resulting in confrontations between flustered passengers. Overall, we were impressed with our first experience and plan to cruise again soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
i cruised on this ship november 2018 shortly after it came out of its dry dock from rome to miami, the ship had to change one of it's crankshafts for one of its engines, this worked out great since we had 2 1/2 days in spain we missed ... Read More
i cruised on this ship november 2018 shortly after it came out of its dry dock from rome to miami, the ship had to change one of it's crankshafts for one of its engines, this worked out great since we had 2 1/2 days in spain we missed the next island because of a storm but it was worth being in Spain that length of time, ncl did a great job with the dry dock, i liked that they took out the kids play area in the back of the ship and turned it into a adult retreat area, the bigger ships are better suited for families this ship is great for adults. the food was good and the speciality restaurants were great, looking forwards to my next cruise on this class of ship, if you have kids i recommend the bigger ships. the rooms have a newer feel to them, had a great cruise and the weather was very nice on the crossing Ate in the main restaurants and the staff was very good, we found the food to be good but ncl needs to take a course from celebrity cruises on how to make onion soup, but the other soups were very good, for my next cruise I will buy the specialty restaurants coupons again it was nice to break things up going to the higher end restaurants plus the food was excellent, I stayed away from the cafeteria as much as I could it wasn’t bad but I enjoyed o’Sheehan’s more As I mentioned this ship is more of an adult feel to it similar to celebrity’s mid size ships which I really like also, no slides around the main pool many hot tubs around the ship, has I mentioned families with kids or teens do the bigger ships ncl focused on making the larger ship family friendly I also like that balconies are smoke free it’s safer and nice to sit outside enjoying the scenery, i really like ncl I wish they would make the casinos smoke free like celebrity cruises but I found it wasn’t real bad but you do smell it when around the area, on the larger ships I tend to stay away from certain restaurants because of the smoking This cruise with the staff we had and the group I was with makes it one of my top cruises and with the ship redone it feels like a celebrity ship on steroids also they usually have things to do people in my group enjoyed stretching,yoga,dancing,etc while I enjoyed the balcony with a good book or going to the main theatre for a movie Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This fall my husband and I traveled from Rome to Miami on a repositioning cruise on the Norwegian Star. We had traveled on the Star before and had not liked the layout of the ship because it lacked quiet bar areas for reading and viewing ... Read More
This fall my husband and I traveled from Rome to Miami on a repositioning cruise on the Norwegian Star. We had traveled on the Star before and had not liked the layout of the ship because it lacked quiet bar areas for reading and viewing the ocean. Norwegian touted a complete renovation of this ship so we thought we would give it another try. Quiet space was harder than ever to come by. More of the spaces had been converted into villas and suites for the wealthier clientele. Every time we found a quiet place, once of the crew would start up a game of something which drove us out. We have been latitudes club members for years and my husband was looking forward to at least receiving his silver pin on this cruise. We found out they have eliminated most of the little perks that used to be there for members. The member party was really a sales pitch for future cruises (kind of like when they try to sell you condos.) The one port we had never been to was Madeira. That port was cancelled because they had to spend extra nights in Barcelona on a major engine repair. I understand the engine repair is for our safety. The part that bothered us was that the Captain lied to us and told us there was rough weather in Madeira and that was the reason we could not go there. Any fool can google the weather these days and know he was covering up the fact that our ship needed further inspection before we hit the Atlantic. It seemed that Norwegian had changed many policies and turned them into sales pitches and additional fees of various types. I am a gold member of latitudes (which means nothing, except I can get a bag of laundry done for half the price...big deal). There are many other cruise lines that value their customers and I am going to change ships and find them in the future! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our friends who we cruise with every couple of years suggested this cruise and we loved the itinerary and wanted to try the Star. We did this cruise back to back with the Caribbean cruise after this one. Embarkation in Civvi was very ... Read More
Our friends who we cruise with every couple of years suggested this cruise and we loved the itinerary and wanted to try the Star. We did this cruise back to back with the Caribbean cruise after this one. Embarkation in Civvi was very easy; we were not in the suites waiting area long at all, the concierge basically said welcome, and a butler came by and escorted us onto the ship. He took us to Moderno for lunch where all the suite passengers can eat lunch. After a nice leisurely lunch we went to our suite. We loved O'Sheehan's. Always friendly and never seemed too busy. The chicken wings are great. We ate at Ginza a couple of times and were pleased. Service was excellent, food hot. I was wishing there was a wider selection of sushi. Moderno was very good. Again slow the first time around. Second time much, much better. Lots of things to choose from and very good meat. Teppanyaki was outstanding. The show was fun, the food melted in your mouth. Service was good except the first time a waiter kept yelling in my ear (I couldn't hear because the chefs were singing). I'm not a fan of the cake for dessert but the green tea ice cream is really good! Cagney's was very good; melt in your mouth steaks. The second time I ate there, however, I literally walked out of the place because I had already waited an hour for my entree. The third visit they were extremely attentive and the service was very good. LeBistro was off the chain wonderful. It remains my favorite place to eat on NCL. The Garden Cafe was mostly cafeteria food quality. One night my friend wanted a quick dessert and they had closed 15 minutes early. I enjoyed the "deck food" burgers, hot dogs, fresh fruit and the like on sea days. The pool was nice, a little chilly at first but fine after that. There are 4 hot tubs on deck with varying temperatures. Suite passengers can eat in Moderno for breakfast and Cagney's for lunch. Moderno brought one of my cruise mates a cold waffle. Service was slow. Once we found a waiter we liked, Dennis, we had quick service and great food. Cagney's for lunch was very good and service better. I went to the spa one time for a pedicure. It was fine, the lady was engaging and friendly. Of course she tried to sell me everything in there, but I did not want anything but a pedicure. Activities and entertainment were so-so. I ran into the cruise director (Simon) only twice; once at the VIP party and once in the Atrium. He was very friendly but otherwise the only time we ever heard him was on the loudspeaker every day. Cruise staff was not to be found. Later on I was told because of the weather, the staff was mostly in Bliss Lounge. This was weather-related; our first few days out of Barcelona were chilly. I did not attend any shows. I cannot speak for them firsthand. Our cruise mates were very happy with the shows. The casino is fine, played 3 card and blackjack. The dealers were friendly and a lot of fun. I am a smoker, and on this cruise, the smoking area on deck 12 was sadly neglected, a lot of full ashtrays. It became apparent toward the end of the cruise that someone got spoken to, because it sure was kept clean the last few days! You may smoke on deck 12 portside, deck 13 at Sky High Bar, and on deck 7 outside of 5 O'Clock somewhere. Our concierge was the best we have ever had; Suzanna. She walked on deck every day and made sure to stop and say hi, ask how you were doing and if you needed anything. When restaurant reservations were confused, she would straighten those out right away (my fault, not hers). She had not seen me for a day or so and actually left a voice mail to see how I was doing. That woman is the hardest working concierge I have ever encountered. Our butler was Loy, he was amazing also. If you needed so much as a bowl of potato chips, he was right on that and happy to deliver. The stateroom attendant was Artie. Our room was sparkling clean all of the time. And for you towel animal fans, he never missed a night of leaving one on the bed. We got an extra night in Barcelona, because of heavy weather to our west. We took advantage of that and got to go into town and spend time milling around and eating some great food. We had to skip Portugal because of the weather, which is understandable. Our shore excursion in St. Maarten was very good, we had a very informative and friendly guide on our way to the airport to watch the planes. Disembarkation in Miami was easy for suite passengers and more difficult for non-suite passengers. The ship not only had to go through customs, but a CDC inspection and a USGC inspection. Many crew members had to be up at 3:30 AM for immigration. Many were blaming NCL for this. This was not NCL's fault. This was the United States Government. I definitely would sail the Star again. My humble opinion is that there was a young, inexperienced crew working in the dining venues, they seemed very overwhelmed and tired. I'm sure this will improve. I do not cruise for the food itself, I cruise for the cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Poor food in garden buffet lukecold & over salted told chef he did not care.Booked ocean view port hole covered NO ocean view do not pay for ocean view in the bow on deck 4.Shore excursions staff not very good.Toid staff captain all he ... Read More
Poor food in garden buffet lukecold & over salted told chef he did not care.Booked ocean view port hole covered NO ocean view do not pay for ocean view in the bow on deck 4.Shore excursions staff not very good.Toid staff captain all he keep saying do not tell head office.Entertainment excellent all the performers very good. Good shows & lounge entertainment all so very good. Guest serve staff all very good & out to help the guest.Staff in O'Sheehan's are the best the food was hot perhaps the cooks in the garden buffet can learn how to look after guests.Disembarkation was very disorderly only just got to the airport in time .Summary have sailed with NCL on a few of there ships all have been very good but the Norwegian Star is not one I will sail on.I will be on a cruise in the new year but after the Star I do not think it will be with NCL.Overall ship was tide. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Due to weather we missed one port which could not be avoided I guess. Disappointed with entertainment. Production company and Russian arial act only decent evening entertainment. Lady violinist should have had prime time and put juggler, ... Read More
Due to weather we missed one port which could not be avoided I guess. Disappointed with entertainment. Production company and Russian arial act only decent evening entertainment. Lady violinist should have had prime time and put juggler, hypnotist, magic act and others during afternoon. Producers need to watch America’s Got Talent and recruit entertainers as what we saw was amateurish. Miss crew talent night. Passenger talent night was a joke and waste of time. Food has gone way downhill in dining room. Crew on NCL continues to be outstanding. Not a prob there. Really enjoyed having lectures. Would recommend having lecturers with a little more depth and not so much fluff. Transit to Miami was a little hairy trying to find. Disembarkation in Miami was a nightmare and we almost missed our flight after allowing four hours to get off and to airport. The problem was blamed on Miami customs. We thought ship was totally refurbished but evidently not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was 20th cruise, only 3rd with NCL. We booked this particular cruise as we wanted a relaxing getaway, and this cruise was a great deal, with an itinerary we wanted. ( transatlantic). This is the first cruise review I’ve wrote, I ... Read More
This was 20th cruise, only 3rd with NCL. We booked this particular cruise as we wanted a relaxing getaway, and this cruise was a great deal, with an itinerary we wanted. ( transatlantic). This is the first cruise review I’ve wrote, I wanted to write a review as I just read a Very negative review of this same cruise stating it was disgusting etc. My spouse and I had no complaints about this cruise whatsoever, it was a good cruise. The star had been recently remodeled, and it looked great! Every thing was clean, and new. Food was great, we enjoyed the majority of everything we tried. We only ate at free options, and we’re very happy. Embarkation was nice and smooth, disembarkation was wrough due to customs holding the ship up. However this is very common in Miami and to be expected. Not once did I think it was the ships fault, but I know many passengers were upset. Service was good as expected, never incountered a non friendly staff member. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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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