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1,100 Norwegian (NCL) Tampa Cruise Reviews

We have sailed with NCL on three separate occasions. East, West and Southern Caribbean. We long ago decided NCL was a 5 Star experience all the way. The booking staff wernt over and above our expectations. They were excellent. Well done ... Read More
We have sailed with NCL on three separate occasions. East, West and Southern Caribbean. We long ago decided NCL was a 5 Star experience all the way. The booking staff wernt over and above our expectations. They were excellent. Well done Susie. The incredible low price. My bank account always smiled and reminded me this was a very good choice. The cabins. Never too small. Our room was always very comfortable and we always felt warm and cozy. We were so happy with the inside and downstairs. Exactly what we asked for. One thing for sure we always had a good night's sleep. Breakfast delivered every morning to our cabin. Thank you NCL. What is important to me and what always impressed me is the very high standard NCL sets for itself. The very best of the food. NCL always has an excellent way of doing business. Especially when it comes to eating out. Our choice was simple. Pick from a number of fine dining restaurants. The menu was always so interesting. We made a different choice every single night. Not forgetting their famous Irish pub and enough said about the Guinness. My wife and I love the more relaxed atmosphere of NCL. It's always impresses me their come and go as you please. They call it Freestyle, I had never heard that phrase before our first cruise. Pure gold. Freestyle appears to be the mantra of all things NCL. Eat in, eat out, whenever you want off for a sleep, go sit at the pool. The upper deck & relaxation, drinky poo all day long. Morning, noon and night. Great outdoor music and ievery kind of style. All partying is included. Best of all and what I love about NCL is their unique philosophy '"It's all about you and we are honored to have you aboard" The staff work very, very hard to pamper each and every passenger. Remember they are always working. They are not your Facebook friend. Smile and they'll smile back. If time allows they will stay and chat. If you give or do the high five you get one. Be kind, always be respectfull remember to be patient. If you need a little cheer, need a kind word, heck thet would even tuck you in if it was allowed. Remember, happiness and good company is all included if you are willing to make the first move. We always appreciate that they are working far away from their family. Not one staff members are rich and yet they always make this poor Irishman feel like a millionaire. I'm like so many in this continent. A meat and two veg kind of fella. Yet for one week I'm allowed to feel well pleased with my lot in life. Another highlight of being on board any NCL ship is it's always worth the price in itself. It is also one of the things that keeps me and my family coming back to NCL. Listen to this... you can eat when you want, in whatever restaurant you want and best of all, you can sit wherever you want. We have met so many wonderful, kind people over a very enjoyable meal. It makes my wife and I feel that every meal aboard NCL is a special occasion. I understand that there are some folks who complain about their own experiences with NCL I respect that. For me it's zero complaints, many, many thanks. See you soon. Peter Grogan, Ontario Canada Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Over all the Norwegian Star is an excellent Ship The crew was very good and friendly. Food was excellent and entertainment was excellent. Cabin was clean and in excellent condition and temperature control was good The TV had a ... Read More
Over all the Norwegian Star is an excellent Ship The crew was very good and friendly. Food was excellent and entertainment was excellent. Cabin was clean and in excellent condition and temperature control was good The TV had a different current movie on every day. The music groups were good and the stage production staff was of the highest caliber. Our favorite music group was the Melodic Trio never tired of listening to them. The excursions available on the Star out of Tampa looked very interesting for active people. We took the limited mobility tour on Roatan Honduras. We saw a lot of the island and sampled the best rum cake ever. The guide could have known more about the history of the island and the engine on the bus didn't sound like it was going to make it but it did Overall we enjoyed the tour and the longest walk was to the bus from the ship. One thing we did not like about the ship was that the seating in the main theater was uncomfortable. The seats were over stuffed and tilted downward so you tended to slide off. To look at these seats you would think they were brand new but were not pleasant to sit in. One other thing we did not like was that the seating in the Garden Buffet was boring looked just like a high school cafeteria. One last thing we did not like was that the top deck viewing area was converted to villas ...great for a few.. bad for everyone else. Would not take this ship on Alaskan cruise as there is no sheltered forward looking viewing area. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my 4th NCL cruise and it was another fabulous vacation. I thought it would be tough to beat the last one on the Getaway, but the Star was terrific. The entertainment was the best of any cruise ship I've been on, as good as ... Read More
This was my 4th NCL cruise and it was another fabulous vacation. I thought it would be tough to beat the last one on the Getaway, but the Star was terrific. The entertainment was the best of any cruise ship I've been on, as good as any top show in Vegas. Bud Anderson was one of the funniest commedians I've ever seen. Friendly crew, fabulous food, immaculate ship, super entertainment and a lucky casino = great vacation. One negative - smoke in the casino was tough on the lungs. Great cruise. Did a lot of shopping. Loved Roatan pottery, bags in Belize, excellent shopping and drinks in Costa Maya and of course the shopping in Cozumel. Enjoyed Senor Frogs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I loved our annual birthday cruise. It was a wonderful vacation. The NCL Star is clean, well maintained and ship shape. The Port of Tampa was easy to get to and quick to embark and disembark. Valet parking was right there ... Read More
My wife and I loved our annual birthday cruise. It was a wonderful vacation. The NCL Star is clean, well maintained and ship shape. The Port of Tampa was easy to get to and quick to embark and disembark. Valet parking was right there and returned our car in minutes. Our suite was spacious and well appointed. We loved the upgraded restaurants and unlimited drinks. The crew and staff were professional, friendly and well trained. We enjoyed the shore excursions and the on board entertainment. We even did well in the Casino. Our only decision regarding next years cruise is which NCL cruise to take. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As a veteran cruiser with Carnival, I was excited to take my family of 5 on a Norwegian Cruise Line and see how it feels to "Cruise Like A Norwegian" and boy was I dissatisfied! We drove directly to Tampa from North Carolina ... Read More
As a veteran cruiser with Carnival, I was excited to take my family of 5 on a Norwegian Cruise Line and see how it feels to "Cruise Like A Norwegian" and boy was I dissatisfied! We drove directly to Tampa from North Carolina bursting with excitement to be on our 5th cruise and 1st with Norwegian. We cruised on the Norwegian Star for 7 days and hit the popular ports of Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. After going through the onboarding processes we found our room, 5120, an oceanview picture window cabin, and the first word out of both of my wife's and my mouth was "small". We took a spin standing still, got the logistics of the room down and the urge to use the potty hit me. Well, if I thought the room was small, the bathroom was even worse! I sat on the toilet, unable to close the partition and by the end of the cruise, my thigh had a nice red indentation from leaning on the partition wall. To dry off after the shower I had to step out into the room. IT WAS SMALL! We didn't let the size of the room get the best of us as this is a cruise ship and rooms are going to be small, the room was much smaller than we are used to with Carnival, but we were not willing to let the size of the room ruin the vacation. After our quick potty break and room tour, we met the rest of our party, Grandma and Grandpa, for lunch in the Market Cafe a.k.a the buffet on the 12th deck. The overall environment of the Market Cafe reminds one of a school cafeteria with tables, drink stations and poor quality food. We gathered our kids and ventured up to the buffet line where we were welcomed by nobody, unless you want to consider the cheap food options as your host. Our first pass included the fruit station which was filled with the least expensive fruit you can buy! Your cantaloupe, honeydew melons, apples, bananas, pears and the finest canned peaches money can buy (I'm sure). My kids were saddened to see the absence of such fruit as strawberries, blueberries and other "berry" fruits that we've become accustomed to eating on Carnival and at home. Drink options included the typical stuff, lemonade, unsweet tea, water and a few bagged juice options. The hot lunch options included burgers and hot dogs, beans, fries, spaghetti with a lovely canned sauce, etc. Cold lunch options were some sandwiches such as tuna and ham and cheese and fruit. After lunch we navigated the ship, found the camp and registered our 3 boys, and found the many wonderful dead ends that the Norwegian Star has to offer! This ship feels like the Winchester house and, what with all the rocking, a fun house all in one. The camp is on the 13th deck but can only be accessed through the market cafe by stairs or the most aft elevator, on lower decks there are 4 elevators but only 1 takes you to deck 13. It's quite fun to figure out which one goes to 13 on a busy elevator day, which is every day. My wife LOVES shopping on the ship and boy were we UNimpressed with the 2, yes count them 2, shops on board the Norwegian Star. Shop 1 includes your standard NCL branded gear, none of which we bought and shop 2 includes the jewelry, perfumes and cologne, and the pharmacy stuff. Yeah, woohoo... After we spent a couple of hours maneuvering around the ship we decided to meet grandma and grandpa for dinner in the Aqua dining room at 6 p.m. The decor is modern which turned off grandma and grandpa and the service we received turned off the entire table. The atmosphere was LOUD! There was no conversation at our table. I ordered the chef's special which was a "strip loin" steak. I have no idea what a "strip loin" steak is but I can tell you that it's cheap and quite tough. I also stuck with a glass of water which was refilled once in the 2.5 hours we were at dinner. Our first glasses of water took 5 minutes to receive, not too shabby, but the 2nd, and final glass, took 45 minutes to refill and nothing after. However, the table that ordered lots of liquor got lots of attention. My wife ordered a salmon which came with a half of a broccoli stalk, which I heard tasted like broccoli which believe it or not is a bonus. Day 2 was a day at sea. A day that we decided to take our 2 small children to the kid's pool at the very back of the ship. My wife and I did not dress to swim as we wanted to get an idea of how the pool is as we don't like swimming with or around a ton of people. My kids loved the water slides, but they didn't like all the falling they did! The floors of this area were slick and had nothing to grip. My youngest boy, 5 has bruises all over his back and my 6 year old slip and fell, hit his head and fell into the 2.5 foot pool with about a 3 foot drop. FUN! FUN! FUN! The only, ONLY good thing about this area for us was the hot tub which was a lower temperature for the kids. What we quickly learned on day 2 of our cruise was that the camps are only open for 3 hours before lunch, 2 hours between lunch and dinner and 3 hours after dinner. Each meal break was 2 hours. So, we had a lot of running around to pick kids up from camp because they close. Carnival's camp closes rarely, which is a great big difference and a bummer when you're trying to be on vacation. Day 3 was our first port day at Roatan, the port was fantastic! We had fun shopping and being shown around by locals working for tips. Our personal tour guide was a group of 3 young boys of about 10. I tipped them each $2 at the end of our day and they were delighted! However, before going out to Coxen Hole (Roatan's capital) we had breakfast at the Market Cafe which included the staples of bacon, sausage, the runniest scrambled eggs you'll ever look at (because you won't eat them) and your pancakes and French toasts. The coffee is the worst coffee you'll ever taste, I suspect because you can buy the decent coffee at their coffee bar on deck 7. After we enjoyed the day in Roatan, we returned to the ship for lunch which included some of the best leftover sides from the previous night's dinner, boy oh boy, we were so glad to see the old standards on the next day's buffet. (Sense the sarcasm?) The buffet food is slightly worse than Golden Corral but not as bad some something you'd pick up unwrapped in a gutter in NYC, however, if it's wrapped and in the gutter it may make a run for being better than the food on the Norwegian Star. Dinner was in the Versailles dining room which had Victorian decor and was their "dress up" night. As this is FREESTYLE dining, they won't call it formal night and it is totally optional. We did not participate but the food was the same pitiful mess, however our service was much better as served by waiters from the O'Sheean's Irish Pub in their polo shirts. We saw the show which was typical, a musical revue with leggy lady dancers and fit men twirling around. Day 4 was a day in Belize.. Which was downright scary. We spent about an hour or so in Belize and returned to our room since we couldn't venture out into Belize City without going through a stringent security check and I didn't feel like taking off my shorts. Back on the ship was an exact replay of day 3 with the exception of now my youngest doesn't want to go to camp, he'd rather sit in the room with Grandma and Grandpa. Camp must have been a terrible thing and by the end day 6, we abandoned the camp altogether. We decided to eat dinner in Versailles again. I showed up in a button up shirt and jean shorts, this is FREESTYLE cruising, after all. However, I was told that I had to change into pants, which is certainly not FREESTYLE and like I said before I didn't feel like taking off my shorts. So I begrudgingly change into khaki pants and return to my family who was seated and looking peckish from the lack of food because of the jungle gym type path I had to take to the 5th floor room. Versailles is on deck 6 but only accessible by a single elevator similar to the camp. But, the elevator doesn't go down to 5. Therefore, I had to go UP to 7 walk half the distance of the ship to go down to 5 and to my room. I then had to reverse the route to get back. After returning to the table, I noticed quite a few servers wearing the O'Sheean's Irish Pub green polo shirts.. I guess the dress code doesn't apply to their own staff. We decided to skip the show tonight and just go to bed to pass the time. Day 5, Costa Maya, a place we've been to before. Breakfast was the same disgusting stuff served daily. The port was excellent as we remembered. We swam in the sea and at the pool. A great day. Lunch was gross, dinner was at O'Sheean's and tasted similar to food. By this day, we noticed that every time we took the kids to camp, they had no idea who they were. They were still mispronouncing their names and our kids went to camp kicking and screaming, this night was the last night we took them to camp. My oldest still went to his camp, the 10-12 year old camp where he could sign himself in and out but he had to stay for 2 hours before signing out which is a strange policy, I think it's so that when the other parents drop off their kids they see a full camp. Day 6 was Cozumel, another familiar stop but at a different pier, which we also enjoyed. We did a bunch of shopping and enjoyed the best tasting Starbucks we've ever had. This may have been due to the utter crappiness of the coffee on ship. Breakfast again, gutter food, lunch was the same, dinner was at Ginza Noodle Bar which was actually enjoyable but our kids had to sit at a neighboring table. Every day of this trip we've heard about the Mojito drink special at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar on Deck 13, midship. A great deal, 6 flavored Mojitos for $15. However, the bar is non-existent except for the sign by the pay to eat restaurants Cagney's and Moderno. The bar is nowhere to be found. We watched the comedian that evening which was fine, however we couldn't order a drink because nobody asked us if we wanted a drink. Day 7, the 2nd day at sea started with the same old crap breakfast except someone figured out how to make scrambled eggs. However, my youngest son had a brick for a pancake which cracked and snapped when we bent it. YUM! Another lovely thing I found at breakfast was the fried rice from the noodle bar the night before. YUM AGAIN! By day 7, thankfully, my kids learned how to walk on a slippery surface and we enjoyed the kid slides and pools, the hot tub, etc. After dinner, another at Versailles (with pants), we decided to take the kids to a real treat, A MAGIC SHOW! ...which was performed by the cruise director. WOW! The tricks were old hat stuff and the kids asked to leave about 20 minutes into the show. We returned home which I felt like was a miracle based on how the cruise line operates. We had breakfast again at the Market Cafe and again, it was dismal. We disembarked which was surprisingly smooth which is probably because people are typically fighting to get off the ship by the last day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We've cruised many times on NCL and been satisfied. But, 4 years since the last NCL cruise, things have gone from good to terrible. Versailles dining room was great. Room steward and cabin was great (we had a mini suite). ... Read More
We've cruised many times on NCL and been satisfied. But, 4 years since the last NCL cruise, things have gone from good to terrible. Versailles dining room was great. Room steward and cabin was great (we had a mini suite). Entertainment was good for 4 of 7 nights (comedian, magician, aerialist). Irish pub was good. That's where things went bad. Public washrooms not clean Buffet, absolutely terrible....sad food, long lines (celebrity cruise ship designs far better), powdered eggs at breakfast OR long wait for fresh eggs because attendant had two pans on a small hot plate Bar service....don't get me going....they gave the ultimate Bev package but they get to save on booze by not serving around the pool (or minimally) and making you queue up at the bar (can you believe it!!!!) Ultimate beverage pack includes drinks to $11 but NO water bottles or specialty coffee....coffee in restaurants was terrible Pool level design.....NO lounge chairs in shade, only on upper level in scorching sun.....all area taken up by small tables and chairs If we had not already booked a cruise for this coming April on NCL we wouldn't be going back Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I have taken 30 cruises in 7 years. 25 on NCL. This was our first time on the Star, and will be the last on this ship.We are not snobs, nor wealthy expecting extravagant meals or entertainment so our comments will reflect ... Read More
My wife and I have taken 30 cruises in 7 years. 25 on NCL. This was our first time on the Star, and will be the last on this ship.We are not snobs, nor wealthy expecting extravagant meals or entertainment so our comments will reflect those issues that the Star gets a failing grade. We normally are very easy to please so this is my first complaint about a cruise. The offers this fall gave a choice of freebies, one of which was "free booze". That created a significant amount of loud, annoying and drunken behavior. We are all okay with enjoying drinks, but to get hammered from 9AM until late into the night was ridiculous. We took advantage of the 4 free meals which with the 2 we get as Platinum members meant 6 nights in the specialty restaurants. Overbooked, the reservations made were beyond 30-50 minutes late. Service was slow, not because of the the servers, but getting the meals from the kitchen created the problem. The food once served was excellent and surprisingly at the appropriate temperature. However, meals were taking upwards of 2 hours for completion. The overall crew was not overly friendly compared to other NCL ships where they were wonderful. NCL has decided to add $7.95 for room service, with the exception of a Continental breakfast. That is pure "nickel and diming". Our cabin steward though efficient, never introduced himself or said hello for 7 days!. The beds were like sleeping on concrete, and when we requested a foam "eggcrate" it was about 1/2 inch thick. The comedian was terrible and received only a few polite laughs. Casino was like a smokers paradise, with a choking haze. Disembarkation was very disorganized and took longer than the larger ships which have twice the passengers. NCL is better than this and to us NCL has been our preferred line, so we will give them another try. We also note that like ice cream, everyone has their favorite, so reviews that claim another line is "fantastic" may reflect their experiences and that is why you have many ships and carriers to choose. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 6th cruise with NCL and we have only cruised with NCL. Wife and I are in our mid 30's and have to save up for a year or more just to take a vacation. We are down to earth people and real about what we have to say. My ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise with NCL and we have only cruised with NCL. Wife and I are in our mid 30's and have to save up for a year or more just to take a vacation. We are down to earth people and real about what we have to say. My wife is gluten free so I will highlight that as well. We have had inside rooms, obstructed view, picture window & balcony rooms before - based upon cost of the room is how we decide on the room we get. We flew into Tampa 2 days early and stayed with family. They took us to the port which we have been to before - this is the 2nd sailing from Tampa that we have been on. Drop off and luggage to the porter and into the terminal we went. Embarkation was smooth. We passed through security in minutes and waited in line for about 20 minutes. It seemed to go slower than in past years - maybe because once you sail NCL you are Latitude members and everyone is now in that line. We are in the silver category and are now into Gold... I think... that line went just as slow from what we saw. They called our number about 10 minutes after check in and we were on board. We waked around the ship to check it out and then headed off to the buffet to grab a light lunch. It still amazes me to see people with a mountain of food piled onto a plate - like they have never seen it before or think it will be gone if they don't get it now. Headed to the pool deck to grab some ice cream for the wife - happy wife happy life. From there we went to the main dining room and found the Maitre D. Explained the food allergy and were able to preorder for that nights meal (and each night after that as well). Cabins were opened and we were allowed to head there and drop off what we didn't need. We had cabin 8062 which is coded as a guarantee obstructed view. When we initially booked it was just coded as obstructed view. The truth behind this cabin it's view is not really obstructed at all. There is a straight light of sight out of the window to the ocean or what you would see where you are at....there is no large life boat in the way. The issues of this room that we found are minor but are that it is above the promenade deck and we heard noise all the time (well when people were yelling) - one night it did keep us awake but nothing we could do about it. There are lights for the promenade deck and they will show around the curtains - it will not be 100% dark in this room at any point. Overall would we book this room again - NO. If you need a room with a window book it - because it is coded obstructed but really isn't obstructed - 8562 on the other side of the ship is the same way so book either of them. We would book an inside cabin over this room based upon cost only - The reason for us booking it was that it was the same cost as an inside room (with the NCL on board credit that we got). Deck 8 has a lot of turns for it's hallway as well - look on a deck map - I'd rather be on a different deck with a straight hallway. 8062 is next to 2 turns in a hallway and we only heard kids running once because the hallway is ramped next to this room. It has a great location for the stairs and elevator which is a huge plus for the room as well. Cabin TV - ok here is an improvement from the last time we cruised.... they are offering more current local (USA) TV and 2 movie channels.... I won't give it 5 stars yet because by day # 5 I had seen all the TV shows at least once - I've got to watch about 1 hour each night before I go to sleep - force of habit I guess - no one goes on a cruise to watch TV but don't repeat the same shows at the same time of the day. We left port on time and were on our way with no issues. We met some friends on the Bier Garden deck/bar. I noticed that the lines for drinks were long but I really took that as to be expected that first day especially in the first few hours. It took people about 10-15 minutes in this area to get 2 drinks and return to the tables where we were at. We dinned in Versailies 6 out of 7 nights. We tried Auqua one night for a change and found it to be louder than what we liked. Don't get us wrong you can still have a conversation and it could have been where we were seated - just seemed louder. We hit the buffet on sea days for lunch and also for breakfast - Breakfast is the best with made to order omelets. My wife had no issues with her gluten free needs - they were able to make almost everything in the main dinning rooms for her. I had steak twice just because it was that good... it was way larger and thicker that I expected and it was good... was it the best one that I have ever had - no, but it was still good. I'll go out on a limb here and say that I'm still impressed that a ship can cook this many meals for this many people. The food in the buffet is cafeteria style that was good as well - I think you really can't go in expecting too much. We did eat in O'Sheehan's 2 times and this is the only place that I have to say had me scratching my head. All the food is served in a mesh basket with the food sitting on paper. My wife being gluten free ordered the grilled chicken sandwich with no bun (just chicken). it arrived just fine and was cooked fine - but have you ever tried to cut a chicken breast in a mesh basket??? It really was a issue and she made more of a mess trying to cut it up - the paper basically was soaked and ripping as well - just bring a plate I was thinking - so my recommendation is to ask for a plate if you are gluten free and ordering chicken here. Again not a huge issue but someone in the back/front of the house isn't thinking and trying for more uniformed image of the food service than just being practical. We stopped in Honduras and went to a private beach/resort that is way on the east end of the island......we will let you try and find this gem of a spot (they do have a website) - we were the only 2 cruise line customers there that day and there were 3 ships in port that day. They offer about 10 day passes per day to cruise ship customers which never sell out. The cost was $190 total, included lunch and transportation (which is 1 hour each way - we had about 5 hours of beach time) Stop in Belize City was nothing really for us. We got off the ship to go a shore and walked around in the port and then back on the ship. We didn't spend a dollar on land and are okay with it. Glad to see that Belize City will be dropped in early 2016 as a stop for the new private island. Costa Maya was the best stop of all of them... we went to Maya Chan and can say WOW WOW WOW... we will be back again just because it was that good... their food was great and staff was even better... I drank way too much and loved it... so did the wife and she is not really a drinker. Food was gluten free and no worries here. Cozumel was the place that I disliked the most only because of the locals and just how pushy they are to make a sale. Even the Cozumel Fire Department setting up shop and asking for donations from the cruise line passengers gets to me - they have been there each time we are in port. It really is a pushy place and this is the one time that if you can book something with the ship I say do it. Even after passing by a shop/place the next shop - within hearing distance of the first one - trys the same thing to get you into the shop and sell you the same thing that they have hanging in there. Really is the locals killing this port because of how much they want to make a sale. There were 6 ships in port this day and it really didn't seem packed... but there were only 2 at our pier and 4 ships about 1-2 miles down the road. Sea days we used up our on board credit and played bingo... It was fun only because we never had to spend our own money on it - if I had to spend my money on it I wouldn't (The "Jackpots" that they offer are I bet rarely are won... I'm sure that someone has won it but rarely does a blackout happen in 47 numbers - most are in the mid up upper 50's or higher of numbers called - you bingo experts know what I'm saying). Same goes for the Deal or No Deal - wouldn't buy it personally. We did spend some time on the pool deck - we didn't see chair hogs but I'm sure they were there - we found places to sit with no issues. There were few teens and younger children on this cruise - those that were on the ship with us didn't seem to be breaking the rules or acting out of control. We did the trivia as much as we could and for going to enough sessions we got a free deck of NCL playing cards! I went to the casino and donated $25 (yea that's it for 7 days) - we did win a little initially but not enough to make us stop playing! We walked around in the shops and really didn't see anything we could not live with out. We did a few shows and while not great like Vegas it's a close second and was just fine for a cruise ship. We met a lady who on the 2nd day won $5000 on the scratch off ticket in the casino. She told me that she was asked by casino staff to not say anything and hold onto the ticket until the 6th day - so they obviously could sell more - is her story true? not sure but why would a little old lady tell me this while waiting to play bingo... only to let me know to save my own money I'm thinking. If that's the case NCL casino staff were in the wrong on this one in my opinion in asking her to not cash it in right away. The NCL Star is a good ship and the crew was great. I didn't see anything telling me otherwise. We haven't done the mega ships and at this time don't plan to. Disembarkation was longer than on past ships in my opinion or we caught it at a bad time... line was longer and weaved down a couple hallways - even thought they were still calling colored tags - we had opted to walk off on our own and maybe many others are choosing this more and more thus the longer line. Cab back to the airport cost us $30 ($27 + $3 tip). We didn't find anyone to split a cab but have done that in the past so save even a little more money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Overall a Great cruise. Made a few new friends. Cabin Stewart Candido - not sure if its 'ze we are a part of CC kept saying we are VIP and his service was EXCELLENT. Food was fine. Temperature was good so was the presentation. However ... Read More
Overall a Great cruise. Made a few new friends. Cabin Stewart Candido - not sure if its 'ze we are a part of CC kept saying we are VIP and his service was EXCELLENT. Food was fine. Temperature was good so was the presentation. However can easily see there are lots of cuts. LaCucina served warm fresh bread but no flavored oils but just olive oil and Balsamic. Not that its bad but sure did missing the awesome dipping oils. When asked for it. was told they stopped that a while ago( guess one of the cuts NCL was making to save $) Also they did not serve any Egg Benedict either in the buffet. On the other hand O'sheehans added more flavor of fresh chicken wings - Love the hot and sweet Thai wings..Now on the other hand Washy Washy needed some energy drink. Half the time they did not even sprayed on the hands.... Entertainment could not be called that - may be show to kill time. Was so so boring and the cruise director was the magician and the comedian.... sad.. Embarkation was Ok. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Accommodations were very nice, food good but they want your money! Just about everything costs extra. Bingo was expensive and short, nothing like at home. Not many prizes. The shows were excellent (free) and had fun. The pool area was ... Read More
Accommodations were very nice, food good but they want your money! Just about everything costs extra. Bingo was expensive and short, nothing like at home. Not many prizes. The shows were excellent (free) and had fun. The pool area was fun and the music awesome. If you want to enjoy the sun and relax, this is the place to be. They offer events with chances to win stuff in order to get to there to purchase items onboard (art, spa services, etc) or when you are in port (Diamonds International). Beware of this stuff. Can be costly. I've been on hold for one hour trying to get a list of charges during our cruise. They work hard to accomodate you while there but not afterwards. Overall I enjoyed the cruise. Just think A LOT before you make any purchases. Steward for us was AWESOME! If you purchase something make sure you declare even if they say you don't have to. Will save time when debarking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were on the December 6 cruise out of Tampa. Our experience echoed some of the good and bad comments below, but we heeded the words of the hotel director at the CC Meet and Greet and didn't just complain to each other, but ... Read More
We were on the December 6 cruise out of Tampa. Our experience echoed some of the good and bad comments below, but we heeded the words of the hotel director at the CC Meet and Greet and didn't just complain to each other, but approached Star staff to get our issues resolved. One issue that I've seen mentioned and was our experience also relates to bad waiter service in Aqua on the first night (our wine steward was good). I did feel like we were ignored by the waiter and had to fight to get her attention. So we went to Ginza the next night (not great Asian food). Frustrated, we asked the restaurant manager if we could get the same waiter, same table, same time every night - clearly, we're not big "Freestyle" fans. This was readily agreed to, and we really lucked up with Maja as our waiter. She was amazing and really made our cruise so much better. She was one of the best waiters we've ever had on any ship. And our room steward, Jenifer, was great also - we saw her several times a day and she was always very friendly. She dealt quickly with our few requests (foam mattress and extension cord). The vast majority of the staff we met were friendly and accommodating. There were some problems - even with the foam mattress, we both woke up sore every day, and we felt like the quality of the entertainment was lacking in comparison with other ships. We enjoyed the show band's lounge performances though. Speaking of lounges, I use that term loosely - it is a weirdly designed ship: there are very few real lounges compared with other ships. The Spinnaker is the same big-lounge you have on all ships, but the rest of the lounge spaces mostly seemed to be shoehorned in. And what's with not selling alcohol in the atrium lounge? If you wanted a glass of wine while listening to the music, you had to bring it from somewhere else. We had an inside cabin, which was small but serviceable. It was located on deck 12 forward, which was a very convenient location. Overall, we did get the future cruise deposits, so we do plan to cruise NCL again. The Star wasn't our favorite ship, but the crew worked hard to make it a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My first cruise - a present from my family as a combined big birthday present and beating cancer. My husband and I hadn't gotten away in years so we were looking forward to all the fabulous food and service we were told was ... Read More
My first cruise - a present from my family as a combined big birthday present and beating cancer. My husband and I hadn't gotten away in years so we were looking forward to all the fabulous food and service we were told was experienced on a cruise. We took the adult beverage package and I inquired through a phone call to Norwegian what do people to about bottled water. I was told to download an extrea luggage tag and tape to the case I could leave with the luggage. Didn't happen - my husband with a bad back - carried the case of water to our room. We were told by the person collecting the luggage that you have to buy Norwegian's water - he could not put it with the luggage. I did not make this up - I followed the directions received from Norwegian. Room was beautiful - balcony great. Couch was dirty - worn. We did find a receipt from the former occupant on the floor by the bed which gave me a bit of the skeeves. Our room steward - Jesus "Jess" was very accomodating. Loved the towel animals. No midnight buffets - dissapointment. No lobster - dissapointment. Loved the hamburger with pineapple at the pool and the food at the complimentary Ginza. We came back to room intense smell of smoke. We went to guest services where my husband was reprimanded for not calling from the room. We never were told what the outcome was. One bartender had attitude when getting drinks. He demanded the two room cards - one for me and my husband. Not nice. We are still waiting to hear back regarding the excursion in Belize from the snorkling adventure. Due to extreme current snorkling was not enjoyable. The guides kyacks capsized. Haven't heard about a refund. There was a definate language barrier with the staff. The assistant cruise directior - took us on the ship tour - at the spa he told the group the use of the whirlpool and steam room are complimentary. He left and the Madiera spa person took over and told us he is wrong there is a 139.00 fee for the week. Later on we saw him and we told him - he said yea I know its free on Carnival. Not that we would have used it but you make a mistake like that - he needed to offer that week complimentary. Also the chairs in the public rooms like the spinaker were so dirty. Will we cruise again - yes - on Norweigian - not sure. Will definately do more homework regarding food - Lobster! And I don't want to pay extra for it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I was concerned with everything I had read about the Star before going on the cruise but I decided I was going in with an open mind and whatever happened happened but I was going to have a good time regardless. I had nothing to worry ... Read More
I was concerned with everything I had read about the Star before going on the cruise but I decided I was going in with an open mind and whatever happened happened but I was going to have a good time regardless. I had nothing to worry about, in hindsight. The Star was the best cruise I've yet taken and considering it was our first on NCL, if it is any indication of how the line operates, I have flipped my loyalty from RCI to NCL. Was it perfect? Absolutely not. Our cabin steward kept our room clean but was never around and somehow kept forgetting to replenish towels but we didn't let such a small thing dampen our experience. The ship was spotless. In fact, it was the first thing I noticed when we got to the pier in Tampa. My last cruise was aboard Enchantment of the Seas which is only a few years older than the Star but yet she looked her age. The Star looks wonderful in comparison and the crew was constantly painting everyday we were in port. The interior was kept very clean as well- people always vacuuming and tidying up. The food was great, we had purchased the 4-night SDP and dined in Teppanyaki, Cagney's, Le Bistro and Moderno. All were good with the exception of Le Bistro where service was very slow (nearly two hours for dinner). We often dined at Market Cafe or O'Sheehan's during the day and found the food always fresh and service prompt. Ultimately, the food served everywhere aboard was as good if not better than what I had grown accustomed to on Royal. I did notice that the Fleet Executive Chef was aboard with us and don't know if his presence made an impact or not, but the food quality impressed me as I had always heard iffy things about NCL food. Which leads me to bar service. Honestly, it didn't seem any worse than any other cruise I've taken. The pool bar always has a wait (on any ship) but there were so many bartenders and they were working so hard all week they kept up well, IMO. With so many bars aboard, if you are waiting you just haven't found the 'go-to' bars yet! The crew was nearly universally friendly and all would acknowledge you as they passed, something I wasn't quite used to. Overall, as I said, this cruise flipped me and I purchased an FCC aboard and am currently looking for my next NCL cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were not apprehensive about out cruise on the Star. We just roll with whatever happens. We were SO pleased we took this ship. Our butler was Ceasar, our Concierge was Christopher and our room steward was Marvin, all top notch super ... Read More
We were not apprehensive about out cruise on the Star. We just roll with whatever happens. We were SO pleased we took this ship. Our butler was Ceasar, our Concierge was Christopher and our room steward was Marvin, all top notch super stars. Our Meet and Greet was incredible better than other lines. Coffee, tea, soda, cookies, and pastries. We met senior staff and they were there to answer any questions we had along with giving us their direct extensions! All of them said to let them know if there was an issue while ON the ship so it could be fixed. They do read cruise critic, but noted they can't fix a problem if they don't know about it. I agree. At times I think CC gets a bit negative, just my opinion. This is the first group of M&G in all our cruises that all seemed to just "click", we all got along, met easily and met many times during the cruise. My only regret is I lost e mail addresses, have no idea what I did with them, just hoping I'll hear from some of them. We had a great suite, 9006, we saved to be able to afford, but to do this for a once in a lifetime is truly worth it. Loved Cagney's and Le bistro, Tempanaki was good but I don't like rice, so must temper that comment, the other 10 diners stated it was great. The shrimp and scallops were excellent, hubby had the shrimp and lobster and agreed. After the first surge for drinks as there is on any cruise ship, getting a drink was easy and timely. Yep will be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This is my 10th cruise, 9th on Norwegian, and first on the Star. The newer ships are fantastic but the older ships do not disappoint! Embarkation was pretty easy. We arrived around 1:00 pm, so slightly on the later side, and while it ... Read More
This is my 10th cruise, 9th on Norwegian, and first on the Star. The newer ships are fantastic but the older ships do not disappoint! Embarkation was pretty easy. We arrived around 1:00 pm, so slightly on the later side, and while it was moved quickly there wasn't the normal organization I was lacking in what I'm used to (no separation between latitudes levels and VIP, etc..) Rooms were ready when we got on which is a plus for leaving bags and changing. All the employees on the cruise were fantastic. Each and every single one! No complaints from the staff. On the cruise boat w did some activities, played shuffleboard, the game shows were hysterical. Play the quest on the last day! As for the ports of call, it was: Roaton, Honduras: We took a private excursion with Victor Bodden. Private tour of the island, see the monkeys, and off shore snorkeling. It had rained the day before and all that morning so it was kind of foggy and the water was murky so you couldn't see that much on the island or snorkeling. The monkeys were super fun! They're little, small, fluffly balls that like sunflower seeds! Belize City, Belize: We did Butts Up Cave Tubing and ATVing. We were picked up at the port and then driven half way and then told we were going to be combined with another group and taken to a gas station where we waited for another bus. Once the other bus arrived we were squeezed in and taken to the ATV site. ATVing was super fun and probably not something legal in America. It's a predefined road in the jungle that is super muddy (my pants and shirt got ruined) and you need to be careful with the steam coming off the ATVs as we all got steam burned. After that we were put on another bus and taken to the cave tubing location. We were told to get off the bus and then waited until we were scolded for waiting around. We were told to put our stuff in a bus and that it would be okay and it would be safe (nothing was stolen and it was fine after all). Life jackets, helmets, and head lights were given to us and we carried our tube up a 15 minute walk where they pointed out various trees in the forest. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes. Once we were in the water it was slightly uneventful. The caves were beautiful but it was rather too dark and the water was freezing cold. The tour included a chicken tamale but they accidentally didn't have enough so they said the bar was open and we were allowed to have as much as we wanted on them. On the way back they had us go on 3 different buses to get back to the port. They asked for tips and claimed there were to be split with all tour guide. We gave tip but I hope they truly were. Probably not something I would do again. Costa Maya, Mexico: We did the Chocheben Extreme tour with Native Tours. This was my favorite tour of the whole cruise. Once you get off the boat and out of the port in Costa Maya you need to walk about two blocks to get to their office. Basically walk out to a mayan pyramid and turn left and it's another block from there. Once we were there we were taken to the Chocheben ruins and our tour guide Eddar did a fantastic job on educating us on them and all Mayan ruins in Mexico. Pretty cool to see. We had great weather as well. After the ruins we were taken to a resort for kayaking in a blue lagoon. Lunch was a traditional Maya chicken fajita with an open bar. We had a vegetarian in our party and they were given a cheese quesadilla with the rice and beans and carrots. Kayaking was super calm, water was fantastic and clear and warm. Beautiful relaxing day. The stores in the port are cool looking but haggle, haggle, haggle. We bought a necklace that they advertised for $500 for $90. Cozumel, Mexico: We got off the boat and took a taxi cab to San Juan beach. It was a Buccanos beach club resort. It looked like an old hotel where the rooms were no longer in service but the restaurant was open. For $30 it included round trip transportation, lounge chairs and umbrellas, and snorkeling gear. Once you entered the water all these different fish were everywhere to be seen. It was fantastic! I felt like I was swimming in an aquarium; so much more enjoyable than the snorkeling in Roatan. Lunch was probably a little on the pricey side from what we were used to but still quite reasonable. For $20 you can get 6 beers. My favorite shore day by far. Disembarkation was a long line. We did easy walk off. Other than waiting it was rather easy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
After booking our cruise several months ago we were met with some trepidation after reading CC reviews regarding the Norwegian Star. I am happy to say that our cruise was wonderful and that Norwegian, the officers and crew have their act ... Read More
After booking our cruise several months ago we were met with some trepidation after reading CC reviews regarding the Norwegian Star. I am happy to say that our cruise was wonderful and that Norwegian, the officers and crew have their act together. There are abundant taxis at the airport to take you to the ship for a fare of $25 per cab. Sign-in was a breeze. Plenty of food available upon boarding. The food was excellent in every restaurant we tried; the best of our previous 13 cruises on 5 different cruise lines. Other diners we spoke with expressed similar sentiments. Did not try the buffet. Service was also great with one exception where a longer wait than normal was experienced in Le Bistro. Although we took the opportunity to book all our dinner reservations online prior to departure, we learned all our prebookings were lost. As some other passengers experienced the same problem, verify that they exist upon boarding. Ship never appeared crowded. Stateroom located on deck 8 aft did reverberate with music from the lounge below but didn't ruin the trip as others have indicated. All shore activities were privately booked. The ports of call were below expectations, but all depends what you're seeking. You're sure to have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
WE chose this cruise because of the great deal. First time with Norwegian -- have 2 more booked. Cruised before with Carnival - loved it - but it was really nice to get away fro the all night "discos" and actually have a ... Read More
WE chose this cruise because of the great deal. First time with Norwegian -- have 2 more booked. Cruised before with Carnival - loved it - but it was really nice to get away fro the all night "discos" and actually have a vacation. Evening entertainment was good, lots to do, the only disappointing thing was the small/limited choice of food late in the evening....sometimes you just want a pizza! WE did our own excursions, we like wandering on our own and usually book a taxi to take us on a driving tour if we are not up for the walk. The adult only deck had a hot tub, no pool which was a little disappointing. However, there were not that many children on the ship so the main pool was comfortable if we needed a dip -- not too much splashing or screaming. The staff, as always, amazing people. We always thank them extra for spending months on a ship looking after us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We were kept in port the first night for propeller repair and had to return earlier to complete repairs on our departure date. Missed going through the Skyway Bridge at Sunset/Sunrise, which is spectacular. Due to propeller repair the ... Read More
We were kept in port the first night for propeller repair and had to return earlier to complete repairs on our departure date. Missed going through the Skyway Bridge at Sunset/Sunrise, which is spectacular. Due to propeller repair the entire port itinerary was changed along with excursion times. Some cruisers were complaining that they were unable to get the excursion that they had originally booked and those that booked their private excursion had to scramble. The Glass Bottom Boat & Snorkel in Costa Maya was extremely poor. We were told almost immediately that there was Hurricane Dean in August 2007 (170-200mph) that had destroyed most of the reef. The view from the Glass Bottom Boat was poor. The life vest that I was given had the top buckle broke (which was later replace with another one with the buckle missing), and by the time I extracted it from around my neck and re-adjusted my snorkel (personal snorkel) from the life vest --they were 75% done with the snorkeling. In my cabin #10595 you could hear the neighboring cabin occupants talk clearly + one individual had a cough, cough, cough++++ Reported to Guest Services and was told that they would send someone to speak to neighboring residents. This was not a volume problem--it is a cabin problem. I was told later by guest services that I could fill a complaint upon return. Great!! Had a wonderful cabin attendant!!!!! The food was not appropriately cooked for weight conscious people. Example: salmon had a white like sauce on it. Too much grease on the food--complained to captain of restaurant. Loved the open dining and views while dining were superb. The acrobat entertainment was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I have been on many cruises & this was by far the worst!!!! Let us start at the beginning.. We arrived at are time to get on ship.. First we waited 20 minutes in the sun. Then they let us inside to wait 2 more hours, before we ... Read More
I have been on many cruises & this was by far the worst!!!! Let us start at the beginning.. We arrived at are time to get on ship.. First we waited 20 minutes in the sun. Then they let us inside to wait 2 more hours, before we finally got on ship.. Once onboard at 2;45 we were famished!!! So we go to the buffet, they were closed for evac drill.. After drill ,NO FOOD till 5pm at buffet, they had one other option we tried, but it took 45 minutes to get fries.. The room was not as Brochure described!!! We had family of 4. It was shown 2 bunkbeds.. What we got was 1 bunkbed & a slideout bed, with a much smaller room.. We could not even view TV at night because the 1 bunk was almost against the TV.. The Food was probaly the biggest disaster!!!! THe buffet, I would combere it to a cheap buffet. Breakfast was OK.. Lunch was basicaly the same everyday.. Chicken, Pork, Fish. Maybe a different gravy, or sauce.. Also some type of sandwich. For dinner it was about the same.They tried to spice it up a bit, they did not succeed. Tex-mex night consisted of a taco bar ,some dry buritos & casadious.. first night out SUnday Nov29 TURKEY The dining rooms, I only talk the FREE dining!! They had 2 dining rooms that were included, all others you paid $18-30+gratuity Both dining rooms had exact same menu!!! The food was good, but not great..(i ordered a ceasar salad, it was dropped off & that was it. no ground pepper or grated cheese..) It reminded me more of a diner than a classy eatery..The staff were not friendly at all...I have been on many cruises,this was the worst by far, & every other cruise they have a LOBSTER dinner..Not this cruiseline Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Background.... I cruise at least 3 or 4 times a year for a week or more. This ship is terrible!!! I have cruised Norwegian twice this year before this cruise and cannot believe that not only did they ruin many folks vacations with ... Read More
Background.... I cruise at least 3 or 4 times a year for a week or more. This ship is terrible!!! I have cruised Norwegian twice this year before this cruise and cannot believe that not only did they ruin many folks vacations with their maintenance issues on this cruise..but i found out later that they outright lied when they said it had never happened before. it happens EVERY WEEK! the poor souls that boarded on Sunday when i disembarked and spent the first night in Tampa will not find out until this sat. that they are also spending the last night...in Tampa. I am sorry...but,I pay for a balcony so i can sit outside at night and look at the ocean and hear it when i sleep. my main enjoyment on cruises is my balcony and sitting in the sun near the pool and reading. good or bad..that's what i want out of a vacation. both of these things were not optimal on this cruise and I recommend if you did not book yet..do not book this ship even if it is free... in fact after this..i am deciding whether or not to cancel my 2 upcoming 2016 Norwegian cruises as now i feel the whole comp-any is untrustworthy.. they do this to folks every week...and say..it is the first time. so...first night we did not leave till about 3 am... my cabin had the smallest storage space of any ship i have sailed on. there is only one pool on this ship and it is noisy and full of belligerent drunks thanks to them extending the free drink package to inside cabins i guess. there were 2 major violent incidents on this cruise with drunks fighting and hitting each other. blood on deck? check. smoker? good luck...one little section on the pool deck that had seating...any other area outside..no seating.. and that little section was policed to make sure it did not grow even a foot into the open and empty section of deck...so people are crowded like animals into a tiny area when there was certainly room to make it a bit larger. no ashtray? deal. was told that folks keep taking them so they were short on ashtrays even enough for the tiny section.seriously? what do they cost? a couple bucks? best part of the ship was the crew...they were all top notch and wonderful except for the nasty guest services supervisor who told me when i complained to write the office and dismissed me like a was a small child. internet? A complete joke. I took the 200 dollar and change unlimited package as i have to be connected to my business. it does not work in port..so that was 2 nights i paid 30 bucks each for... and...even better..it logs you out every 20 minutes and then it can take an hour to log back on. on the way back...same thing... let us know that the "unexpected maintenance" required an early return to port. problem is..i found out on the last night..it happens every cruise...not unexpected at all...they are trying to avoid dry docking the ship for repairs until after the holidays. so last night was again spent in port. without working net. just so you know as i realize i sound like a negative Nancy..that this is the first bad review i have ever written about a ship and that i was very surprised as I loved Norwegian until last week. so once again...i would not take this ship again...even as a gift. my time is too valuable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Really disappointed in NCL on the Norwegian Star very recently. Just about everything was below the quality we've enjoyed on 5 other cruise lines, and also previously on NCL. I sense they have cut costs, applied the screws to ... Read More
Really disappointed in NCL on the Norwegian Star very recently. Just about everything was below the quality we've enjoyed on 5 other cruise lines, and also previously on NCL. I sense they have cut costs, applied the screws to extract revenue wherever possible - and done so while allowing staff performance to erode. That's a shame, because there are still some staff members who try hard. The cabin was smaller than others that we've had at the same price point and ship location. It had just one regular power outlet. Often it was extremely noisy from scraping, rumbling and dragging noises (nearby restaurant?) which persisted between 9.30 pm and 4.30 am when we'd prefer to be sleeping. It did, however, have a reasonable quality bathroom. The dining rooms (food and service) were really poor. Service was slow from inexperienced servers one of whom didn't speak English. On average, one in three dishes was inedible, one was disappointing, and one was just OK. We quickly abandoned the dining rooms for the upper deck buffets, which were fair-to-medium. I'd consider them worse than Carnival and all our other cruise experiences except for the coffee which was good. I also liked the ease-of-self-service at the beverage counters, where you sometimes see a crush of people on other ships. The entertainment had some good dancing, and I liked the comedian, but other shows disappointed. I did like that the views in the main theater were good from all the seats, though the seats themselves sometimes sloped down awkwardly (ship needs a refit?) The ship is showing its age, but is otherwise quite nice. However, they left port 14 hours late because of maintenance, and arrived back 7 hours early for the same reason - which I think might be something that's been going for a while - maybe without telling the passengers in advance(?) Shifting these to nighttime deprived us of some rather fine views of Tampa Bay, as well as resulted in rearrangement of the ship's ports-of-call - a nuisance when you have to reschedule shore visits with friends. NCL is applying a carry-on wine policy in which you pay $15 corkage on every bottle of wine or get it confiscated until you disembark. I really don't mind it if NCL wants to milk every passenger as much as it can, but would prefer to see this done consistently with their written policy so it's known ahead of time, and then I won't carry my wine to the ship and have to carry it home afterwards. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they have ratcheted down the policy beyond what their website states. When I questioned this with ship staff, I was surprised that most could not accurately quote the policy. When I called their 800-number from home, a Supervisor seemed to "get it" and asked to call me back the next day or the day after. I never heard from her again, and my voicemail went unanswered also. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
After arriving in a shuttle van to the Tampa Port, the horrible trip started from the get go. There was absolutely no employee around to ask where to I place my luggage and where does one check-in. Finally paying a porter to take my ... Read More
After arriving in a shuttle van to the Tampa Port, the horrible trip started from the get go. There was absolutely no employee around to ask where to I place my luggage and where does one check-in. Finally paying a porter to take my suitcase, I followed the crowd upstairs where I waited in line 2 1/2 hours for check-in. Please note I arrived in plenty of time for my check-in time and there was already approximately 200 persons in front of me. This ship should be overhauled or put into the scrap pile. It is old, old and the people working for the ship could care less about serving customers as they have already been paid their tip money. Norwegian requires that everyone pre-pay their tips. The so-called entertainment was a zero scale (who cares about a magician). Upon inquiring what brand name entertainment they were offering, I was told none and that only the actual ship board members perform -- horrible performances. Upon inquiring where the adult pool was, I was taken up to the 12th deck where a crew member pointed at a postage size pool. I said, no you do not understand as I want the adult pool -- he said that is it. What a joke as most other cruise ships have Olympic size pools and not a kiddie pool. It should also be pointed out that we were suppose to leave at 4.p.m. on Sunday and did not leave until 7 am the next morning due to maintenance on the engines. The customers should have been informed that we were going to be delayed and that they were switching the ports around that we were going to visit. In essence it was like checking into a floating hotel for the night and then leaving the next morning. What kind me concerned was that upon the return trip we were advised that they were getting in early so the engine work could be inspected (now one would expect this to have been done before leaving). At two of the ports, we had to use local tenders to get to the islands I cannot remember which island we visited but the tender we were in broke down three times. We were told it would take between 10-15 minutes to arrive at the shoreline. It took us 35 minutes due to the fact they get pouring coolant and oil into this beat up tender -- should not have been used in the first place. This cruise ship seemed only to care about the jewelry sales they were conducting each day. That is all one heard about was to buy, buy, buy. The buffet was simply horrible. Most of the items were indistinguishable. The only thing I ate off the buffet was oatmeal. I utilized the other choices where one was served better food. The best place to eat was Cagney's where the food was excellent. Please note Cagney's is one of the restaurants that you pay to eat at -- guess that is why the food was so good. I tried one time to eat at O'shehan's (forgive the spelling) and I ordered a tea, salad, and fish and chips. What I received was a cold platter of French fries and fish. Since I travelled by myself, I had to pay the single occupancy fee (highway robbery that should be discontinued). The only good part of the ship was the nice man who cleaned the room every day. He was very personable/friendly. The disembarkation was a disaster to the first degree. The call for those walking off was given and it was chaos. There was absolutely no one directing passengers getting off the elevators or coming down the steps that the line ended at the beginning of the ship. Envision a complete circle around the ship and that is how people were lined up. There were near breakout fights when people just cut in line as they were not aware of how the line ended. Please choose another ship as the Norwegian Star needs to be mothballed. Definitely would never go on another Norwegian cruise and will stick with Royal Caribbean who takes care of their passengers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Six of us booked the cruise just after Thanksgiving. We all were in balconies and we enjoyed them . The room steward was excellent. First of we had a delay due to repairs and did not even leave Tampa until early Monday morning. This ... Read More
Six of us booked the cruise just after Thanksgiving. We all were in balconies and we enjoyed them . The room steward was excellent. First of we had a delay due to repairs and did not even leave Tampa until early Monday morning. This means the casino was closed and beverages had an extra Florida tax added. The service in the dining rooms was poor. Very slow to get a wine steward until we complained to the matre D who quickly fixed that problem for the rest of the week. Restrooms were not well maintained-out of paper towels or toilet paper. We were happy to have a small coffee maker in the cabin but very unhappy to discover that if you order room service an 8% gratuity is added EACH time you order. We always loved to order coffee and juice to enjoy while we sat on the balcony each morning. Needless to say we did not use room service. A small thing, but really changed our enjoyment of our balcony. Ports were ok. We had been to all of them several times before. Music in the public areas was so poor we made fun of it. Not enjoyable. Bars were pretty boring and not open as often as we wished. Last night was a disappointment because we enjoy the casino. It closed very early because we got back to Tampa very early. So we lost 2 nights at sea out of 7 because we were in Tampa for repairs supposedly. The line dancing classes were a joke. One class only lasted 15 minutes. The other maybe 20 min. So why even go? I am not planning on future cruises with NCL. The free drink pkg is offered by other lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We took the cruise the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I've been on around 10 cruises, so this wasn't my first one. I'm 52, Husband is 62. First of all, I recommend using UBER to get to the port. The trip from airport was ... Read More
We took the cruise the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I've been on around 10 cruises, so this wasn't my first one. I'm 52, Husband is 62. First of all, I recommend using UBER to get to the port. The trip from airport was only $14 compared to the $25 the taxi's were charging. The day we arrived we got there early since we had a early flight. We were in group 3 to get on the ship. No problems getting registered. No lines when we got there since it was early. The ship did not leave port on Sunday as scheduled due to repair problems. So, our first night on the ship we were stuck in port. No casino, no free drinks with our drink card we received when we booked the cruise with the casino. So, needless to say we had to purchase our drinks the first night. Of course you are going to want to drink, it's your first night on the ship. We spent and extra $75 we didn't budget for that first night on drinks. I didn't get that wondering sleep while "cruising" that first night. The ports were all changed up, except for our stop in Belize on Wednesday. I do believe that they did cut one of our stops short of time too. I would have to double check. That is not really what I had a problem with though. I can deal with the change in days. Our room steward was excellent, he made us an anniversary cake out of towels one day, and decorated the room nicely for my husbands birthday. The staff in the casino when they finally opened were really nice too. Remembering my name pretty quickly. That always amazes me. The casino itself, is very small and VERY tight. Needs updated. Loved the look of the ship, very retro looking with lots of gold, the atrium was beautiful, especially when we returned from Cozumel, the ship was decorated for Christmas. Loved it. The shows were just OK, much better on the newer ships. Didn't find a lot to do. Maybe it was me. The new updates with the TV's with the schedule need to be updated more often. The White Hot party was moved to inside because of high winds. We checked out the TV to see if they were actually still having it, the TV still said it was at the pool deck. We went out there and people sitting out there told us they moved it. IT wouldn't have taken much to change it on the TV to WHERE they moved it. We heard it through the grapevine. We did go and one thing I do like to do is get the glowing cups. I didn't see anybody with them, so I asked at the bar, they said they might be out of them! WHAT?? how could they be out? One of the bartenders came back and said it would be $10, ok, yes I still wanted it. AS I was walking around with my cup, people were asking me where I got the cup. Somebody missed the boat on selling these. They should have had a table set up with them selling them. I don't know what they were thinking? They try to sell you everything else on the ship, why not push these too? That's one thing that bugs the crap out of me, is all the extra they try to push on you. I still love to cruise anyways. Come to the last day...I wasn't thinking that they would pull into port early since they delayed us leaving. WELL, I was wrong. The captain came on and said we would be pulling into Tampa around Midnight Saturday. They ended up closing the Casino at 9:45. Along with the bars inside the casino. That meant no more free drinks for us. Our last night at sea was cut short. NO staying up as late as possible playing in the casino and having our drinks trying to enjoy our last night on our vacation. So, instead of sleeping at sea on the last night, we were in port facing some bright lights of some sort of shipping plant or whatever it was. Not the balcony view I wanted to see on my last night at sea. So, that is the reason for my title. This was a 5-night cruise, not a 7-night. We were in port 2 of those 7 nights. I was so mad I wrote a letter and mailed it off to Norwegian. The only reason we sail on Norwegian is because our casino here in Pittsburgh uses them to give us "free" cruises. (not really free, we still pay). So, we will be going on another one next year. I just feel they owe everyone that took this cruise a credit for their next cruise, OR something! This was not right! I really feel for those that paid a retail price. I know I just paid for the port and taxes. But to pay $1200 for a 7-night cruise and didn't get what you paid for, they need to make it up to us. It wasn't our fault they didn't have the ship up to standard. This is the VERY first time I felt the need to write a review. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
You get what you pay for. Having said that I think that this cruise was fine for the price. I booked my cruise one month in advance solely because the rooms were discounted and had two additional perks, 3 & 4 sailed for free and the ... Read More
You get what you pay for. Having said that I think that this cruise was fine for the price. I booked my cruise one month in advance solely because the rooms were discounted and had two additional perks, 3 & 4 sailed for free and the ultimate beverage package was included. We had some great surprises and some disappointments, but all in all we had a good time. embarkation & disembarkation - embarkation was SLOW. We arrived around noon and the line zig zagged back and forth at least 6 times. We waited a very long time, but once we got to the front we were helped by a very nice lady. Disembarkation wasn't as bad. We opted to carry off our own luggage which still took about 30 minutes. We picked the freestyle disembarkation because I thought it would be quickest. Itinerary - the ship seems to be having some problems. we weren't able to leave on time because they were working on the ship. That caused our itinerary to be moved around. I had made most of my shore excursion reservations with outside company's so I had to try and change everything once we boarded the ship. not too big of a deal but slightly annoying. Also because we stayed in port all night we had to pay taxes on all of our drinks and the casinos didn't open. We still were able to make all of our ports of call, but because the ship was still having some problems we ended up back in port early. So again on our last night we had to pay taxes on our drinks and the casino closed early. Also I'm not exactly sure what was wrong with the boat, but we definitely ran into some rough seas and being in such a hurry to get back to port early may have effected how smoothly our ship sailed. I noticed a few sick people in the bathrooms and my group definitely had a hard time trying to sleep on our second to last night because of all the movement. cabin - our cabins, 9017 & 9015 were fine. Clean, neat and updated. I felt the bathroom was actually a bit larger than some I have experienced. Our cabin steward, Vivian was fabulous!!! My husband and I stayed in one cabin and my mother and two children stayed in the other. The cabins were set up beautifully and Vivian was more than helpful with any request we had. I asked that she put our towel animals in the children's room and she gave them extra every night. She kept our rooms very neat and always seemed so easy to find if I needed her for anything. Restaurants - we dined in several restaurants. Some servers were great and some not so great at all. I made all our dinner reservations online before our cruise. On our first night we went to the Aqua dining room and were told we didn't have any reservations at all. I will say the Matrie De was so accommodating and got us in right away and personally gave me his card and told me to call if I needed anything. The next day he sent chocolate covered strawberries to our cabin as an apology. Apology accepted! Cassius in Versialles was our favorite server by far. We learned to request him if we were eating dinner there and never had anything less than an amazing experience when he was our server. Getting a drink in the dining rooms definitely wasn't the easiest task. after the first night I learned to stop by a bar and bring a drink with me to dinner. Some nights it seemed like pulling teeth to get a drink in the dining rooms. I didn't expect that the two main dining rooms would serve the same menu every night. Every night there were the dinner staples that never changed and maybe 4 new entrees and the chefs special. My food was always good but nothing ever wowed me. I was hoping that they would serve different menus at the two restaurants and more variety. The buffets were good. Plenty of food and every night was a different theme, Asian night and Tex Mex were my kids favorites. Breakfast was the typical breakfast buffet. The line always seemed to move fairly quickly and the trays always seemed full which was nice. We tried the noodle bar at Ginza and weren't impressed at all. My husbands food came out cold, not warm but cold. We are at O'Sheenans twice once for a late night snack and once for lunch. The service here was the worst I found on the ship. Our first server greeted us and took forever to come back we asked a different waitress if we could order and she did take our order but it was clear she wasn't happy about it. Service was slow and hard to get soda 1 soda refil at lunch. Bars- I never waited for a server to come to me because of all the reviews I read before I went. I thought the lines at the bars moved quickly and the bartenders were very polite and efficient. I mostly used the bar at the pool and the casino and I never had a problem. I went to the beirgarden and 5'oclock somewhere once each and they were fine too. My drinks were always good and consistent. They make the drink of the day in big batches so I was pleased when I ordered Tuesday's drink of the day on Friday which the bartender made to order and it tasted the same. Splash Academy - fantastic!!! I couldn't keep my kids out of this place. They made a ton of new friends and the councelors, especially J Dawg, were awesome! The circus that they performed on the last day was adorable. All the kids were part of a circus act that they performed for an audience in the Stardust Theater. Each day had a theme and their last night was a pajama party! Shows & entertainment- we attended three shows, Paridis, Bud Anderson and Ian the cruise director and the magician. We enjoyed all three. They were all very different and entertaining in their own way. It honestly made me regret not going to the shows until the last three days! Darn! Live and learn. I loved the trio that played in the atrium most nights. They were great. We would sit in O'Sheenans and watch them from above. Their tribute to Elvis night was our favorite! Casino - we mostly play the slots and were there enough that a few attendants learned our names very quickly and were always very happy to greet us. Divine was so sweet to both my mother and I even when we were just walking through and not even playing! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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