12 Norwegian Star Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

Where do I begin? We booked nearly last minute and was told there was a possibility for an upgrade. We paid for an outside cabin and got one with a completely obstructed view, as a life boat was directly put the window. We asked if we ... Read More
Where do I begin? We booked nearly last minute and was told there was a possibility for an upgrade. We paid for an outside cabin and got one with a completely obstructed view, as a life boat was directly put the window. We asked if we could pay for an upgrade to a balcony and were told to keep coming back the next day. After 3 days we gave up. However, they did upgrade 2 from winning Bingo! They just didn't want us to move. The ship was ok. The food was better than I expected. We ate several lunches in O'Sheehan's and it was good. The Aqua dining room was to way to go. Also ate there several times. However, the weather wasn't the best most of the way and, unfortunately, there was no solarium. Every other ship on which we have been (Royal, Celebrity or Princess) had a solarium. On bad weather days, there was nowhere to go! One day we read in the library just to get out of the room. The excursions were decent, albeit pricey, as they all are on cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This is my third Cruise Critic review, the previous ones were for Island Princess Mediterranean/Transatlantic passage from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale and the second one was on Celebrity Constellation, an Italy & Croatia Cruise round trip ... Read More
This is my third Cruise Critic review, the previous ones were for Island Princess Mediterranean/Transatlantic passage from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale and the second one was on Celebrity Constellation, an Italy & Croatia Cruise round trip from Venice. As with them, what you will read expresses our personal experiences, feelings, sensations (as well as some advice), that you might agree with or not but most important is that we hope it helps you on your future cruises. Please, for those interested in the review for the Family Suite Cabin #12026 its pros and cons and detailed comments and about the tours taken plus pictures, you should scroll down to the bottom of the review. This was my second cruise on NCL Star, the first being way back in 2005, on an 8 day tour of the Mexican Riviera, round trip from LA. Comparing what I remember from my first cruise on the Star to this one, I could say that many areas were unchanged and others were changed in both positive and negative aspects. At any rate, this is what I experienced on this 2015 refurbished NCL Star. In general the ship is very well kept and the public areas are always clean and tidy. * Library, regardless the size of the ship it is an extremely small area that was easily filled up with people who stayed in place for hours at a time, leaving no room for anyone else. * Lounges - Gatsby, nice atmosphere but the service was practically non-existent. Unfortunately this nice atmosphere was altered and disturbed by an extremely loud ‘piano man’ singer who was there every night with the same songs which made conversation impossible unless you screamed at each other, so it was not an enjoyable place. At the same time his strong voice disturbed the tranquility of those having dinner at any of the surrounding restaurants such as La Cucina, Le Bistro and one deck above, Teppanyaki and Ginza. - Sugarcane Mojito Bar, deck 13 was very small but quiet. It is a good waiting area for either Moderno or Cagney’s. By the way, the mojito was so so. If you want the real thing try to go to La Botica del Mojito in Havana, Cuba, that was the place that Ernest Hemingway made famous. - The 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar location is non-descript and a sort of after-thought, in other words it has no personality besides being in a thoroughfare route. - The Spinnaker Lounge deserves special mention for serving the best ever straight up Vodka martini on this or any other cruise, perhaps as it was offered during the Captain’s VIP cocktail reception?? Anyway it was most welcome. Restaurants – complimentary – *Main dining rooms at Versailles and Aqua had varied menus and waiting times seldom occurred. Food was served hot and quite fast. Of the two, in my opinion the most relaxing one was Aqua perhaps because of the dimmer lighting levels and a friendlier layout. * Ginza Asian Dining Room was most disappointing. The noodle dishes are soup, so unless you like soup, forget about it. Though service was prompt and good. * O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill on some occasions was a life saver, it was a welcome change from all other eating spots. But the food was not always good nor hot. In general, the fare is not healthy. *Market Café Buffet as usual was chaotic during sea days so best to avoid that area and eat elsewhere. The food in general was mediocre and the sweets were pathetic. Wine or bar service was not easily available though you can go to the side bar and do it yourself. The open deck * BBQ at the Top Siders Bar and Grill was a failure perhaps due to cold and windy weather that made the paella very cold (uneatable) and the chicken and sausage were both overcooked. Specialty Restaurants -* La Cucina - Italian restaurant that was staffed by 99% from the Philippines or surrounding areas. The service was inconsistent, something to be blamed on the manager for lack of training and supervision of their staff. The food was good to mediocre. * Le Bistro’s - Food is by far the best of all the specialty ones because of the quality and wide variety of choices. The atmosphere is very tranquil and soothing except for the sounds filtering in from Gatsby’s (described above) and the service is very knowledgeable, friendly and prompt. Cagney’s Steakhouse – It was very good and is highly recommended for food and service. It would have been much better with a more spacious table arrangement. *Moderno Brazilian Churrascaria - In which you can find the Mojito Bar, like Cagney’s it would have been much better in a much larger setting. The food was superb, the Caipirinhas were excellent and the service, led by the Assistant Manager Denis Pierre were superb. Maître D’ Denis was an outstanding example of constant attention to detail and to all the needs of the diners. He was really “one of a kind” and never in all my extensive travels have I met someone like him. * Teppanyaki – This Japanese restaurant was unfortunately a big disappointment. The featured drinks were a wet blanket for the meal, arriving late and far too sweet. The cooking presentation was more of a fun show for the two cooks than for the diners. The soup was cold and the fried rice was a flop. The fillet mignon regardless our request for medium rare, was overcooked as was the chicken. The minimalist desert was most forgettable. Put it bluntly, this specialty restaurant is overpriced. Don’t bother going unless you like to be entertained by amateur comedians who do not have the right skills for cooking that type of cuisine. Service was quite amateurish. I remember very well the previous Teppanyaki I’ve been, it was on the NCL Jade in 2014 and that was really outstanding with two authentic Japanese chefs doing the preparation and the show given was done with much class and respect. *Sushi & Sake looked authentic, especially the conveyer belt; we didn’t sample the fare thou. Suite Guests have the option of taking breakfast and lunch in the Moderno restaurant. Having already mentioned how small this restaurant is, the most disconcerting thing was that the menu for both meals (breakfast & lunch) never altered during all 14 days of the cruise. This prompted us to eat there only once in a while. Room service - Although free for Suite guests, was most disappointing. Breakfast was very bad so we only had it once. The coffee was pitiful (thank God the suite had an excellent espresso machine) and the orange juice was coloured water. Diner room service was ordered twice, the first and last nights of the cruise and both were mediocre. I can only feel sorry for the non-suite passengers who now have to pay a $7.95 delivery charge. Front Desk Staff. They were very friendly, speedy and efficient with all of our enquiries and various requests. Casino. Surprisingly, smoking is permitted throughout and having to pass through the Casino was quite an annoying experience. Entertainment. The entertainment at the Stardust Theatre was in general excellent with the exception of the magician who was a joke. There was an exceptional string quartet playing in the Grand Atrium. The Gatsby’s piano man has already been adversely commented on above. There were a couple of Argentinian Tango shows that in general were ok but the male dancers didn’t have the appropriate posture and figure to do that dance in the way I remember seeing it done in Buenos Aires, it was unfortunate because when the dancers have the figure and share a magic between them, the Tango becomes one of the most exciting spectacles to enjoy. Game shows in the Spinnaker Lounge or Stardust Theatre that feature passengers were pitiful. Grown up people making fun of themselves in front of hundreds of passengers just to get a miserable bottle of bubbly was very painful to see. Fitness Center. Uninviting, very well equipped, but too small a room for so much equipment plus no windows no views; kind of dark. Family Suite (FS #12026) - We decided to book this 409 sq. ft. suite knowing that it did not have a balcony but the whole outside wall was floor to ceiling windows. The reason for that selection was because the itinerary and time of year of this cruise was with colder, windier weather, not the best situation under which to fully enjoy a balcony. The suite was square in shape, in which was located the bedroom, living room and four chair dining room set, where the Murphy bed is located; you could say that was a kind of open concept. There was a walk-in closet and a large dual sink bathroom with large shower stall and full bathtub. Pros. The size of the suite and its amenities (e.g. fresh flowers, fruit basket, welcome bottle of champagne, daily delivery of sandwiches, cookies etc.) and a well-stocked expresso machine, plus a proper dining room table and chairs, and DVD player. For sure the storage space throughout was exceptional but there are a few caveats that I will talk about later on. Let’s not forget special invitations to the VIP Capitan cocktail reception, Wine and cheese reception, etc. as well as the availability of a Butler and a Concierge. Everything very good but……. Cons. The walk-in closet is located on the way into the bathroom. There are two double door compartments on each side and the space in between is too narrow, room for only one person to access those compartments at which time it was impossible for anyone to access or leave the bathroom. The closets lack shelving, lots of hangers for sure but there were only two very high level shelves. The floor to ceiling window drapes (a bit tattered) were not wide enough to completely cover the windows. The sofa bed was in bad shape, sagging in the middle and was uncomfortable to relax on. Though there was a DVD player, the DVDs offered came at a price and the choice though wide was poor and out of date. The flat screen TV, high on the wall was large but the choice of programs was very poor; regardless that the ship was refurbished in 2015, the system was out of date and lacked interactive TV where you can access your accounts as well as, dining reservations or ordering room service. * Butler services – For those ones who do not know what a Butler job is, simply put, he takes care of “almost” all of your needs, such as, packing or unpacking your luggage, shoe shine, taking care of any dry cleaning or laundry you sent out, prepare a bath (at your request) as bringing your order of breakfast, lunch or dinner & setting the table, etc., also bringing afternoon snacks; indeed some of those duties are very welcome but others could get a bit intrusive. It was no problem when we were off the ship having a Tour but during those sea days the ever present Butler could be a bit upsetting. So, for those who like to be attended to all the time, go for a Butler! Our Butler Jonathan (Philippines) was a very sympathetic and ready to please guy. * Concierge – I am sure the majority of you know what a Concierge does, right? Maybe ours being for suite passengers was “extending” himself more? Possibly. But, in general every Concierge I’ve had did a good job and this one, whose name is Hanno (a 6’3” German) wasn’t an exception. Very good and fast on the restaurant reservations as much when for different reasons we had to change them for different times. The same about Tours and info delivered to your suite and the morning talks about the port we were to visit, giving lots of tips on what to do, where to go, etc. etc. Unfortunately he failed badly on two occasions; one happened during his talk on Glasgow, when his bias for the EU was unmistakable and the other when he misled us by not only downplaying Glasgow but saying we should all go to Edinburgh instead. All in all, he did a good job but it could’ve been done better; perhaps as his manner was truly “very German” it got in the way. *Stateroom attendant – We were very lucky and happy with Raymund (Philippines), a very friendly and smiling guy who was ready and willing to attend to all our needs and requests. Everything delivered with good attitude and respect, leaving the suite, always, impeccable to the last detail. Really good! Tours – They are expensive? Yes, but not all of them, it is a question to choose the right one that in general will be those that take you around the city or town that when you have chosen that particular cruise, was because the ship was docking in or nearby that city or town you “always” wanted to visit. Many people, because of the advertising on the ship get excited about other towns that are far from the dock and for sure, those are more expensive. Before giving details on the tours taken I would like to say a few things about the how the boarding process was done on the NCL Star. They have two different ways to do it: a) gathering at the dock or b) at the Stardust Theater and that spot was the worst in every aspect. It was outrageous to see “grown up” people, running and pushing their way down corridors and staircases to get to their buses; it was too much to take and that was the primary reason why we were always trying to avoid tours. ** First port we docked * Bergen, Norway – Luckily the weather was perfect, sunny and warm. No tours were taken! On our own, happy and free! We decided to go with Hop on- Hop off city sightseeing + Mount Floyen funicular @ NOK 340 each (CC) highly recommended! The view from up there is spectacular and the meandering thru different park paths very enjoyable. There is a restaurant-bar up there so if you have the time, and the will, you can sit outdoors enjoying a glass of wine! Was very surprising to see how developed Bergen is, for whatever reason we had in mind something small? I guess we forgot it is Norway’s second largest city. Getting back down from the Mount we took “Hop On” towards the Fortress that is at the entrance to the harbour in Bergen. Very interesting and worth a visit, we decided to skip the Aquarium and went directly to the Fish Market (it was highly recommended but a disappointment for us). We ended up going to a popular outdoor restaurant that is THE place were locals go specially on sunny and warm days like the one we were having. Superb Chardonnay White (house wine!) and salmon w/fries! The place was bustling with very civilized and good looking people that made this first visit to Bergen, unforgettable. Its name, EGON Restaurant, it’s on a corner almost facing the Fish Market just down from the street that leads you to the funicular. ** Second port * Alesund, Norway - This time with a Tour! Fortunately meeting at the dock. The one we took was named Spectacular outer islands (Giske & Godoy) that lasted 3 hours with an excellent Guide. Really was an eye opener because of the unbelievable amount of tunnels (and length!) connecting all the islands. One of them constructed before the UK-France Chunnel, in fact the technology developed for the Norway tunnels was used by the Anglo/French consortium that built the Chunnel a few years later. The visit to the oldest Lighthouse on the island was fantastic, with great views of the nearby islands and fjords plus the coffee and 3 tier Vanilla cake w/whipped cream was….mouth-watering!! But the best was still to come! Because we were taken to the top of Fjellstua mount that has even more spectacular panoramic views than from Bergen’s hill top. Not to be missed! One of the best tours on this cruise. Weather still good!! ** Third port * Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland – There was only one Tour and we couldn’t get in regardless of the efforts of our Concierge. We could’ve gone ashore on our own but the weather wasn’t good at all, we did not like it that we had to go by tenders and from the ship the place looked barren and very sombre. So we enjoyed our port day on board a very quiet, uncrowded ship. ** Fourth port * Thorshavn, Faroe Islands – We took a tour and again met at the dock- Scenery of Northern Eysturoy that lasted 4.5 hours; the Guide was good but a bit heavy talking about his family and their problems. Regardless it was another very interesting tour, traversing more tunnels and stunning vistas of the surrounding islands. After going throughout many islands, islets, tunnels intertwined with stop overs for photos, driving along the length of several fjords etc. we stopped at a hill side Inn for good home-made pancakes, rhubarb marmalade and coffee and then headed back to the ship. ** Fifth port * Reykjavik, Iceland – Unfortunately the meeting area was in the Stardust Theatre and as expected, mayhem! Tour taken was Scenic Reykjavik that took only 2.5 hours but was done very professionally and that was why we were able to visit so much of the city and its outskirts. Many impressive, new buildings such as the Concert Hall & Conference Center or the tallest in the city, a Benedictine Church with a very difficult name, Hallgrims Kirkja (kirkja means church) with a very ascetic, expansive interior. Reykjavik it is a very colourful city with a very distinctive architecture; was a pity that the weather was getting nasty, mostly cloudy with very strong, cold winds. No doubt it is a place to visit with more time and better weather! Very good Tour. ** Sixth port * Glasgow, Scotland – This time, it was on our own! The weather was one of the worst I experienced on any of the many cruise tours I’ve taken! Rain and cold winds, with gusts so strong that it was easy to lose your balance and end up on the ground, even leaving the ship down the gangway was a challenge. We agreed to share a taxi with an American couple from the Greenock port to downtown Glasgow. Total cost, 40 English pounds only cash accepted and took about 20 min. dropping us off down town at George Square. We went to the nearby Tourist Info and the girl who took care of our inquiries, suggested because of the weather, to take the Hop on Hop off as that was the only way for us to see as much as possible of Glasgow in so short a time. This advice was right on! And thanks to her we were able to see practically the whole city. Without a doubt Glasgow is beautiful and deserves another visit, in fact there’s so much to see that it would take another 3 full days. How wrong our Concierge was! We were thinking to have a talk with him about it but we decided, having already had a taste of his personality, not to bother. Ours was a great “self-guided-tour” which fitted best with the horrible weather conditions. Return to the ship was by train from Glasgow Central and the long and meandering walk from the Greenock Train Station to where NCL Star was docked was made tough but fun because of the strong and sudden gusts of wind that made us feel like we were flying! ** Seventh port * Dublin, Ireland – Last port of call for this Cruise! Again the meeting point was the Stardust Theater but this time knowing that it was our last, we decided to have fun with people’s behaviour. The tour taken was Dublin Highlights that lasted for 3 .5 hours. Dublin is a sensational city, full of impressive buildings covering many historical periods and the star of it all, being Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Its interior is a masterpiece, really awesome and it seemed more of a museum than a cathedral. Also, not to be missed was Trinity College and its famous Library that houses the Book of Kells (entrance fee) another outstanding art piece. Luckily the weather that morning was sunny and warmish so we decided to stay on in town at the end of the tour. By the way, the Tour Guide Kate was superb. We had a fantastic lunch at Oscar’s Bar and Kitchen across from Merrion Square where you can see the famous statue of Oscar Wilde relaxing on a rock and looking towards his house where he leaved for many years. We completed our tour with a visit to the magnificent National Gallery of Ireland (free) just nearby on Clare St. Shuttle to the ship was 5 euros each. Great Tour, great day and the perfect way to finish this memorable Cruise on the NCL Star. Thank you for your patience and attention! It took a lot of work and time but gave me the chance to relive many happy and fanny moments; what about the bad ones? They are already out of mind! Till my review next March with Oceania Cruise Line, that for sure will be shorter!! And that’s a promise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I set up some specifics for the agent and what I got was this trip. I guess everything was based on selling as much as possible. What I missed most onboard was a small armchair in my room. There were no chair onboard where you could just ... Read More
I set up some specifics for the agent and what I got was this trip. I guess everything was based on selling as much as possible. What I missed most onboard was a small armchair in my room. There were no chair onboard where you could just sit without having to buy something. Buy, buy, buy that seemed to be the motto. The free caffee was not good. I gues about 20% of the food was made onboard. The rest was junk. There was chaos whenever some had to go on excursion. We all had to gather in the theatre and people had to go in and out of their seat and rows. Smaller groups and elsewhere had been so much better. Also the guides were absolutely horrible. I think I could have done much better myself. The captain the the crew w get some were wonderful but get some professionels to the excursions etc. I do not recommend NCL to others. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Awful ship. Cabins are extremely small and worn out. Mold growing in shower and could not turn around in incredible small bathroom. Room steward never cleaned the room. Started dirty and stayed that way. Food is the worse I've ... Read More
Awful ship. Cabins are extremely small and worn out. Mold growing in shower and could not turn around in incredible small bathroom. Room steward never cleaned the room. Started dirty and stayed that way. Food is the worse I've ever had on a cruise and I've gone on 30+. I actually lost weight on this cruise! Entertainment is the same old worn out shows and everything else cost extra. If you still want to do this cruise because it is a great itinerary then book your own excursions. The ncl excursion are costly and not very good. We cancelled our last two and booked our own after having bad experiences on the first five. Had great private ones in Scotland and Ireland. This ones a expensive cruise and I wish I'd chosen a different cruise line. I've learned my lessen. No more NCL cruises. I did complain about the excursions at the desk and their remedy was a 20% discount on one. That was a $60. Credit on two people and the excursions were over $2000 but the main issue was not really enjoying our day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise for the port stops it would be making, we wanted to see Norway, but not exclusively, and my husband really wanted to go to Iceland too. I had read some awful reviews about the Norwegian Star, terrible service, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the port stops it would be making, we wanted to see Norway, but not exclusively, and my husband really wanted to go to Iceland too. I had read some awful reviews about the Norwegian Star, terrible service, no bartenders to wait on you, grumpy employees on the ship, the ship looking very worn, mediocre food. Let me just say, this was the most upbeat crew we'd ever encountered on any cruise line that we went on! Also what we found out was, if you asked for something, you got it, period! Didn't really think the ship looked worn, and we never encountered a grumpy employee! I will say this, the food in Aqua and in the main dining room, was not that great. We ate several meals in Cagneys, it was always wonderful! Also ate in the Moderno, and enjoyed the food there a lot too, plus their salad bar was outstanding! Would highly recommend going to Teppanyaki, the show was so much fun, best ever, along with the delicious food! They often had this wonderful barbecue pool side, and we always enjoyed the food there, barbecued chicken, sausages, rice, paella,veggies, all quite good, and nice to get away from the crowds out there too. Big disappointment with the food when it came to LaCucina! And it's really too bad that they don't bring around a antipasto cart like some of the other cruise ships do in the Italian restaurant. Besides the food, probably the reason we may not cruise again on this line was the lack of itinerary while we were on the ship. We talked to several other cruisers and they agreed. Lectures from weather specialists, or oceanographers would have been so appreciated. Some of the game shows they did, were kind of dumb. We did enjoy the casino on several evenings, and out of the 14 nights on the show, there were really only 3 shows we didn't like, especially the magician, he was annoying! The ports were fantastic! Absolutely loved Norway, scenery around every corner was gorgeous, and we really lucked out with warm weather for September! Iceland is vast and interesting; Scotland was green and fairy tale quaint; Dublin was lively and fun. Had no idea what to expect for the Shetland Islands, and although it was windy there, the town was full of character and quaint, we both loved it there. The Faroe Islands just didn't offer that much, we mainly walked into town there, and took one of the bus lines for free around the island, it just didn't have the charm all the other places had. We were in cabin 9588, all the accommodations there I felt were fine, but just be aware that whenever the ship has to tender into port, you are right near where they lower the tenders down, and around 6am, it gets very noisy in the room while they are doing this. They actually only tendered once, for the Shetland Islands. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had wanted to do this trip for years and when we saw the trip we booked almost 12 months in advance as we were cruising in the Caribbean. We started with a 5 day stay in Copenhagen at a beautiful small hotel. We met cruisers who had ... Read More
We had wanted to do this trip for years and when we saw the trip we booked almost 12 months in advance as we were cruising in the Caribbean. We started with a 5 day stay in Copenhagen at a beautiful small hotel. We met cruisers who had disembarked from the Baltic Cruise days earlier who keyed us in about the NCL Star. This ship is not a jumbo type, maybe 2000 passengers. We embarked at Copenhagen's newer Cruise ship port on the 24th of September. Next stop Rotterdam, Holland. This is the home of the Hague. We missed our chance to go to Delft on a tour and went instead to Gouda (pronounced how da), known for cheese. We loved the architecture of the old towns but were amazed by the architecture which is all post WW2 in Rotterdam. Portland, England was great the guides always are interesting and joke about their "English". We toured to Stone Henge and to Salisbury Cathedral where I saw one of the original remaining copies of the Magna Carta.The seas were too rough to allow tendering into Falmouth and delayed an attempt of HM Royal Navy Rescue to remove a sick passenger and his family. Then on to Cork, Ireland and the fantastic Blarney Castle. The positioning required to "kiss the Blarney Stone" was on your back and suspended with assistance. That was more than I needed.The gift shop had great ice cream and scones tho. Dublin, Ireland we went to a country area known for its ancient partial ruins of early churches from the Crusades period. Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO word Heritage site was interesting with the unusual rock formations. Invergordon Scotland we toured the countryside which was very nice. Newhaven Port we toured Edinburgh and saw the Castle as well as the University. We disembarked at Dover, England. That was a beautiful site as we came into the port of the very White Cliffs of Dover. As part of out exit and transfer we toured Cantebury and its famous Cathedral. The history and architecture overall made my cruise what I wanted it to be. I was unaware until halfway thru the cruise of the Ultimate Dining benefit we had. We had 2 free bottles of wine in 2 specialty dining rooms already and found a very helpful and professional waiter in the Versailles dining room which was one of the main sit down dining rooms, so it was a difficult decision to go to a specialty dining room. We ate at the Bistro (French), Cagney's Steak House, Teppanyaki the Japanese Hibachi grill, and observed the Moderno Brazillian Steak house. Being mostly vegetarian, Moderno was definately out. My surprises were the delivery to the cabin of Baguettes to accompany my cheese from Gouda and while speaking with a wait staff person in the cafe at breakfast, I was asked about whether I liked the food. I asked about the name of a food that was similar to some served the night before. It was Indian and I could not recall the proper name. Cabin # please? This man was in charge of special meals and on our last night we got that served in addition to our appetizers. Fortunately our favorite waiters, assistant waiters, and staff were able to share in this fine meal. They really want to please you however they can and do a great job for me. There were a few glitches with the relatively new staff in the activities department and coordinating with the port services. Many people were outright angry with the staff without questioning the reason for the delays. Customs takes their own time to clear the ship and the worst was Cobb Island or Cork where we also had to surrender our passports as we had left the European Union. We also had a small security blockage as we attempted to leave the ship which made all tours almost 2 hours late, although the ship did not leave until two hours after we were due to leave. This happened 2 times where we were delayed off and on the ship. They always will wait for you within reason. The tendering as we arrived in Scotland was also slow because of the port. We arrived 1 hour early but the customs/ clearance agent was late to arrive so we were again delayed. Disembarking was a challange because of the tours and people getting rides out of Dover. It appeared more disorganized than it really was. 2000 people trying to be the first on or off is slow. Baggage being removed from the ship by cranes is slow. For all of the griping and anger, people need to read the rules, familiarize themselves with what is provided and where their cabin is before they choose the cruise line. When on vacation I want to leave that noise behind. Believe that the staff on ship or in port is doing the best they can or know how. I have not only used NCL but do not want to think about my experience with other companies much less tell every one else what it was like out of courtesy to them. The horror stories are not associated with this company. So to each their own. Quitely please. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
NCL doesn't offer this itinerary often, so when I saw it I canvassed my friends and relatives for a travel partner. My sister-in-law came with me--her first cruise ever. We had a blast. The ports! Embarked in Copenhagen, then stopped ... Read More
NCL doesn't offer this itinerary often, so when I saw it I canvassed my friends and relatives for a travel partner. My sister-in-law came with me--her first cruise ever. We had a blast. The ports! Embarked in Copenhagen, then stopped at Amsterdam, southern England (Stone Hinge), County Cork (Blarney Castle), Dublin (Guinness warehouse), Belfast (Giant's Causeway), Inverness, Edinburg, then debarked in London. It was awesome. Who could not love this trip? We are patient, middle-aged women who do not mind all the "hurry up and wait" that comes with a cruise. Why not let the cruise line worry about your excursions? We chose excursions that included plenty of free time for shopping, eating, etc., and that was the perfect balance for us. The only disappointment was that the sea was too rough for the tenders to be used at one of the ports in southern England, giving us a total of three sea days which we found rather boring. We were absolutely happy with the food quality and choices in the included restaurants and felt no need to pay more at the upcharge restaurants. We enjoyed getting our nightly sangria and listening to the various bands and checking out the shows. The service in our cabin and the restaurants was great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This itinerary includes departure from Copenhagen, Denmark, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, England (Portland, Falmouth, and Dover), Ireland (Cork, Dublin, and Belfast) and Scotland (Invergordon and Edinburgh). This was our 2nd embarkation at ... Read More
This itinerary includes departure from Copenhagen, Denmark, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, England (Portland, Falmouth, and Dover), Ireland (Cork, Dublin, and Belfast) and Scotland (Invergordon and Edinburgh). This was our 2nd embarkation at Copenhagen. Take the train from the airport to the Central Train Station near Tivoli Gardens to save an expensive cab fare. There are several hotels in this area (we recommend the Comfort Inn Vesterboro which is 2 blocks from the train station). Embarkation is easy here! The Norwegian Star is a delightful ship (2400 passengers n 1000+ crew). Our 2nd time on this ship. We found the ship upgraded and remodeled just since last year. The main dining rooms are spacious, friendly, and excellent quality and food choices with little to no wait. The Market Buffet is a great option for diversity (every night is a different theme) and all you can eat! Our inside cabin was perfect for our 12 night cruise. After all, we were so busy we only slept there! For smokers, the Star is very friendly with the port side of decks 12 and 7 being smoker friendly. Plenty of seating available in these areas, too. The entertainment level has been stepped up a notch and the new show, Paradis, is a visual delight with great music and energy. The juggling show put on by John Nation was also very good, as were the aerialists, too. Although we were busy every day on port shore excursions, for those who stay on the ship, there is sooo much to do! The cruise staff does a great job keeping people involved n engaged. Shore excursions are well worth the money! So many choices, it was hard to choose. Don't spend money on the excursions that include lunch unless you want chicken five ways. Bring an energy bar, grab a drink, and spend your time and money enjoying the amazing cities and countryside! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Started off finding that our fridge was plugged into the ONLY 110 outlet in our room. Our room steward tried to get something done, when he was not able he loaned us his own personal power strip from his room. From there it went totally ... Read More
Started off finding that our fridge was plugged into the ONLY 110 outlet in our room. Our room steward tried to get something done, when he was not able he loaned us his own personal power strip from his room. From there it went totally down hill. The 2 sit down dining rooms have the worst service. Seems as they when you know you are going to get your gratuity money you could care less about service. I am not one of those people that needs to be waited on hand and foot or catered to BUT... after being seated we waited about 15 minutes before anyone came to our table to give us a menu, they poured water only after we asked for it. They then took our order, when they brought that food that was the last time we saw them until someone came to clear that table. No refills on water, no asking how our meal was. We tried both dining rooms, with the same result. We went more than once so it was not just a one night thing. One night I had ordered pork belly and it was so over cooked that I could not even cut it. It was so hard that it was like a piece of PVC pipe. It was totally uneatable and of because they did not come back until they wanted to clear our table they did not know. She did offer to get my something else, but why everyone else had finished eating. We did try to get someone's attention but since they won't make eye contact that was pointless. Passport turn in day was a nightmare, 1.5 hours in line. They also had all the EU passengers in line when they did not have to have their passports checked nor were they collected. Tender day was another nightmare. They started running the tenders 15-20 minutes early, that would have been fine but people were not ready. They then started loading all the tenders with the excursion passengers. Instead of doing 4 of the 6 tenders for excursions and the other 2 for passengers that just wanted off the ship to do their own thing. They even said that they had an extra tender from town. However, we saw that pull up and it left without filling and we never saw it again. So many of us sat on the boat and did not get into town until 2.5-3 hours after they started running the tenders. Not good when the last tender was running at 4:30. They have entertainment playing in the main area on deck 7 but the only place you can sit is in the coffee bar or the restaurant. One night my Mother was in the restaurant, we had ordered some tea and dessert. My husband and I left about 7:45 she stayed to listen to their last set when they returned at 8:15, the restaurant staff continued badger her "nicely" until she left. Once even the manager came and asked her why she was sitting in that area. It was very interesting as we moved the next night to the internet café and we say many people sitting in that area "just listening" not ordering. The other thing that I found interesting was that their Daily program that tells you what is going on for the day really is worthless. When there was a port day it didn't tell you anything about the port, there was no map, they didn't tell you the currency of the country. I know these things but what about the people that did not? There were many more things, but I am sure that I have taken up enough of everyone time. For those that have cruised NCL and have never had these problems, that is wonderful, I am grateful that you have had a good time. This was our first NCL cruise, I know that sometimes a cruise line has a bad cruise and it is not represent the whole line. Many people had our same experience, and many were first time NCL cruisers, who like us will not be back. We will stick with Celebrity and RCL Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Never fun to be overrun by the ship staff both in corridors on ship and for shuttle seating. The trickery of "free draws" leading you believe they are giving away the jewelry item you are guessing the size of then discovering ... Read More
Never fun to be overrun by the ship staff both in corridors on ship and for shuttle seating. The trickery of "free draws" leading you believe they are giving away the jewelry item you are guessing the size of then discovering it's actually a bottle of perfume -well, draw your own conclusion there. Of high note is the staffer comment in an incredulous voice as cruisers expressed being duped was, "did you actually think Norwegian was giving away a 7500.00 ring?" Market buffet food was always cold and there seems to be no way to get cruisers to be germ considerate. We are told to hold our out our hands for a spray they call "washy washy" then we watch as passengers use their fingers and eat off platters in buffet line and cough into their hands then grab the handles. Yes, regardless of the amount of times people are told not to refill their own containers that they have mouthed it continued to happen each and every day. On sea days ppl used the buffet tables for games and relaxation never astute enough to realize it's meal time and seating is limited. Cruisers used the window seats to raise up their feet and lounge while leaving their footwear in the corridor walkways. Gratuity was an additional 18% not the 15 listed by another cruiser. We were instructed at the final bingo/cruise giveaway that the only answer we were to provide about our satisfaction for the cruise was "excellent'. The shows on board were not worth going to and the singing often painful. Missed a night of a ridiculous "game" where men were blindfolded with a spouted water bottle between there legs and directed to squeeze their thighs to deposit the water into their partners bowl on her lap. Ug, need I say more. A few of our stops were firsts for the cruise line and things didn't go all that smoothly. We missed a port and were offered free bingo in lieu. Food was good at Cagneys and Teppenyaki, otherwise kind of sad. There was a pay coffee shop on Deck 7 but good luck getting to enjoy your coffee there as guests not using that service take up the seats anyway. This cruise the word freestyle seems synonymous with sloppy. Rarely was anyone dressed nicely and often you saw runners and jeans in the main dining room. There was definitely not enough knowledge of the ports and the cruise line could benefit from knowing something other than saying "talk to shore excursions". Finally, I had phoned the cruise line in advance to request a few specific vegetables be delivered at each sit down meal. It sounded so seamless on the phone in advance but the reality was something else. I would explain to hostess, then explain to waiter, then get a thimble of cucumber or told they had run out of red pepper. One fellow lectured me about how I needed to tell each hostess and waiter each time I sat down then asked what he could do for me so I had him deliver the red pepper to the room. It simply didn't go smoothly more than twice on the 12 days. One day at Sea our waitress in O'Sheehans was absolutely rude to us and even reached over to our table to grab our condiments as we were eating to give to another table. I had to let her know we still needed those. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I like the size of the Star, we were on it last year in the Baltic also. I love the SPA. The food is fairly good with rather slow service in the main dining room. I am not a buffet fan so only wandered up there occasionally where the ... Read More
I like the size of the Star, we were on it last year in the Baltic also. I love the SPA. The food is fairly good with rather slow service in the main dining room. I am not a buffet fan so only wandered up there occasionally where the food selection was actually much better. The staff on the ship is good and they were all looking forward to getting back to Florida. Seemed most of them were due for time off. The shows were not so hot and I skipped them as I usually do. The casino was fun although they took my favorite machine out. I can recommend the Star for the Spa and how easy it is to get around. There were six of us traveling together and I am sure they all had a good time. We started off in a Obstructed cabin - really OBSTRUCTED and after five days had to move to a balcony for our sanity.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Never Again: $10,000 down the drain! The Norwegian Star Icelandic Cruise was awful. My wife and I chose this cruise for our honeymoon vacation, expecting it to be a fun-filled, romantic adventure. We booked a balcony suite and also ... Read More
Never Again: $10,000 down the drain! The Norwegian Star Icelandic Cruise was awful. My wife and I chose this cruise for our honeymoon vacation, expecting it to be a fun-filled, romantic adventure. We booked a balcony suite and also purchased a handful of cruise excursions. Between the $1200 in outrageous keycard charges ($12.00 charge per card per day), plus fees, our trip rounded out to be something around $10,000. When we arrived on the ship in Copenhagen we were shocked to experience a ship in need of repair. The carpets were stained, dirty, and smelled of either urine or a heavy cleaning solution. There was what looked like dried blood on our balcony, mold in our bathroom, and our bedding was stained. Mind you, we booked one of the nicer, more expensive, staterooms. Also we ordered a queen-size bed in our room. What we got were two twin beds pushed together with a giant gap in the center. I’m sure it’s obvious that this causes problems on a honeymoon vacation. If you are planning to book a NCL cruise, I suggest you bring your own air mattress as the beds there were not only hard, they were lumpy and outrageously uncomfortable. Soldiers in war are more comfortable in their cots than a we were in the NCL bed. The atmosphere My wife and I are 26 years old and were easily the youngest couple on board as guests. The average age of the ship was near death and the ships itinerary was geared towards them. Itinerary included “Look 10 Years Younger,” “Arthritis Pain Solutions,” “Pain Management,” and “Wrinkle Remedy” workshops and seminars, Bridge Tournaments, “Frank Sinatra Tune Trivia,” and “Knitting & Crochet Socials”. The amount of things to do on the ship as a young active person were slim to none. The ship did have lounges and bars but watching 70 year old people play Nintendo Wii or cards wasn’t our idea of fun. Most of the lounges were empty leaving my wife and I to sit and watch as shocked (and clearly distressed) performers played songs from the 1940s for us. The highlight of my time on board was walking around with my wife, taking photos of things that were “closed” or down for “maintenance.” The ship had outdoor shuffleboard, pools, hot tubs, bars, basketball courts, golf ranges, etc. but they were all closed for 12 out of the 14 days on board. They were being repainted, sanded, and varnished, etc. leaving my wife and me to do absolutely nothing. When the outdoor area wasn’t closed we decided to go outside and watch as staff sanded and painted the floors of the ship. The smell was awful and the noise was worse. The main activity we did was watch the one English movie channel available to us in our stateroom. Sadly, it was also the only channel with a ‘fuzzy’ garbled picture (which might have made our older cruise guests feel as though experiencing a blast from the past - bunny ear antenna style). The English movie channel also only played the same four movies on loop and I can now recite the dialogue to each and every one of those movies by heart. I will be posting photos of all of the things listed above. The Food We thought it would be exciting to try all the different restaurants and buffets on board. We were sorely disappointed. Some dining options were $15-$30 a person, leading us to believe the food would be better than what was served in the buffet. Unfortunately I paid more money to eat the same exact food. Example being: The market café (buffet) had piles of terrible roasted chicken that I could take as I please. The paid for dining options would give you a single tiny piece of that same roasted chicken. All of the food on board tasted the same. It tasted like frozen TV dinners that were reheated. All of it was soft and mushy, with minimal salt or seasoning to cater to the elderly that we had on board. The extent of “sugar free” options led us to believe we were actual on a diabetics-only cruise. Everything tasted the same and used the same sauces. Ribs, Chicken, Lamb, Meatballs - all tasted the same. I stopped eating halfway through my dinner one evening when my wife pointed out that the Chinese lo mein on my plate was obviously made from the previous days’ spaghetti noodles. Awful. The ship boasts a large variety of cuisines, but none were made with authentic ingredients: for example, the same rice was used in Indian, Chinese, Mexican and American dishes. The only saving grace was the sushi bar at Ginza (which was always empty). The sushi chef there was incredible and saved our stomachs from eating tasteless mush all day. For celebrating a honeymoon, it was awful. The Drinks For a Cruise with destinations that are considered some of the best brewing countries in the world, I expected to have good beer on board. Listing cheap American beer such as Budweiser, Coors, etc. as Imports is an outrage. The beer selection was dreadful and expensive. The mixed drinks were ‘ok’ at best and seemed to be made by inexperience bartenders. If I am sitting at an empty lounge with my wife, it should not take 15 plus minutes to order a Vodka 7up. The Experience This trip was supposed to be a relaxing, fun, enjoyable experience with my wife on our HONEYMOON. This was the worst trip I have ever had and would rather have spent it back at work (she agrees). The majority of staff treat you like you are a child or hard of hearing. I am an educated human being and having the staff chase me down saying “WASHY WASHY” as they drench my hands in un-labled bottles of “sanitizer” 5 times a day (not an exaggeration) was demeaning. Strangely, despite the seemingly obsessive need to “WASHY WASHY” my hands, the rest of the ship was filthy (and smelled). Secondly, the amount of inappropriate looks we received from the other passengers was insulting. My wife and I are a mixed race couple and the amount of dirty, disapproving looks was hurtful. I am on my honeymoon with my wife and I don’t need hundreds of old white couples giving us reproving looks as I eat with my wife or walk down a hallway with her. We are quiet, polite, and keep to ourselves. On the one occasion I ventured out into one of the common areas of the ship to pick up a pamphlet, I was yelled at by an outraged man accusing me of being young and cutting a line that I wasn’t even in. Finding a place to sit on the ship during the day was impossible. The elderly would sit in the same chair all day in the cafes, common areas, library, etc. They would fall asleep, and put all of their belongings on six chairs taking up an entire table. If we tried to take a leisurely stroll around the ship, we found ourselves thwarted by the aforementioned ship maintenance. In multiple cases, entire stairwells were roped off, making it extremely difficult, sometimes impossible, to navigate the ship or enjoy leisure time on board. I hate to think what might have happened if an emergency arose. 1200 people rushing to the exits only to find they need to find a different set of stairs in order to get to safety. Porting and Excursions Seeing different countries was a plus but did come with many issues. When we first booked the trips, the descriptions were slightly different from when we got our tickets. For example, a pub tour sounds like you are seeing multiple pubs around the city and drinking at each one. In reality, it was actually seeing many government buildings and stopping in a bar at the end of the trip for the tiniest sample glass of beer you have ever seen only to be rushed out minutes later. Most excursions came with a disclaimer saying “Make sure you are able bodied as this trip contains WALKING”. Really!? Secondly, we had some stormy weather at sea which caused some cancellations of two ports. My wife and I had originally booked the cruise BECAUSE of those two locations. NCL refunded us our $100 excursion, but what about the ports? We paid all this money to see part of Norway and the Faroe Islands and now it’s canceled? Overall the NCL advertising is misleading. They advertise grand theater shows when in reality it’s a terrible juggler who clearly not find could work anywhere else. They advertise great fresh food that is clearly microwaved. They advertise an amazing ship that should be condemned. The Itinerary is unacceptable to anybody under 75 years of age. Most days nothing was happening and the only thing we had to look forward to was an awful art auction to grab more of your money. Staff can’t handle simple passport checks and meeting times for excursions never happen when they are supposed to. The trip should be called “we take all of your savings for a terrible experience and then we try to scam you every second on board”. NCL has absolutely ruined my honeymoon and the beginning of my marriage with my wife. Thank you for showing young people that NCL is no place for them.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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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