8 Norwegian Star Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Asia

We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with ... Read More
We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with Norwegian for more than 25 years and have never been so disappointed with any cruise line as we were with the responses received from NCL regarding the problems on the cruises that was to be "our trip of a lifetime". It certainly was that but not for the right reasons. The ship broke but that was only half of the problem. The fact that Norwegian continued to sail a ship that they knew was broken was a huge problem and eventually caused the ultimate problem of being adrift at sea with no engines and having to be towed back to port. This could have been a disastrous situation had the ship gotten any further out into the Tasman Sea. They were lucky that the final breakdown happened only 77 miles from port and we were not in any rough seas. I honestly believe that Norwegian put my and all the passengers on the ship at risk by sailing a ship with a known problem and only one propulsion engine working. Ports were canceled on the first cruise and on the last cruise to New Zealand all ports were canceled. The NCL response to the passengers for this was the absolute poorest I have ever seen from a company and I am sure there will be litigation to come based on their attitude toward the passengers. The ship breaking and the missed ports might have been forgiven if the company attitude had been appropriate. Please DO NOT book any sailings on this ship - It is OLD and needs to be put to dry dock, there is no telling what could happen next. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
1. They changed the itinerary twice due to mechanical problems, which caused us to lose money on hotels. Thailand, which was the highlight of the cruise, was cancelled. 2. Prior to leaving we called about visas and both Norwegian and ... Read More
1. They changed the itinerary twice due to mechanical problems, which caused us to lose money on hotels. Thailand, which was the highlight of the cruise, was cancelled. 2. Prior to leaving we called about visas and both Norwegian and Visa Central employees and websites provided wrong information. The employees on the cruise did not want to take responsibility for misinformation. 3. Poor quality food. Tasteless. If you'd like to lose weight you should go on this cruise. 4. There should have been more activities. I was a bit bored on sea days. 5. This was my first cruise and I was very disappointed by the experience, especially with the visa issues. It was in very poor taste for them to not take responsibility for what was written not their website. Their employees are poorly trained and don't really seem to know much about what they are selling. The highlights of the trip were the shore excursions, which we booked privately. Many passengers complained about the excursions provided by Norwegian. I will never travel with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Really not a lot to laud about NCL's Asia cruise on the Star. First, the Star itself is an antiquity, particularly when compared with any vessel in Royal Caribbean's fleet, and I'm being truly objective. The Star and the ... Read More
Really not a lot to laud about NCL's Asia cruise on the Star. First, the Star itself is an antiquity, particularly when compared with any vessel in Royal Caribbean's fleet, and I'm being truly objective. The Star and the Jewel are well below industry standard and NCL doesn't seem concerned a bit. We've cruised on the Star twice in the last three years and the Jewell once, to Alaska, last year. This will our last. This trip the ship experienced mechanical problems which resulted in NCL's cancelling the Thailand visit all together and adding an additional (and terrible stop) in Vietnam. All and all the stops were subpar at best. Tours booked through NCl, on this trip, have been disappointing, too. Three tours so far and in each case the tour guides were too difficult to understand. Their english skills are not up to standard. Although they were all very kind, the language barriers more often than not brought disappointment from those taking the tours. Perhaps this isn't entirely NCL's fault but it is their problem. Not stating that language barriers are problematic from the outset is unfair. NCL should be professional enough to mention to their customers that the language barrier at times can not be overcome. Our balcony is fine and kept, but it is very outdated and dark. When compared to Royal Caribbean, it's laughable. The Star's staff has been fine thus far, and the food is okay. We've dined at all the Star's restaurants and they've been fine or quite good each time. The Star's and NCL's entertainment is just okay but perhaps we're being unfair. Many people seem to enjoy them and we're seen same acts multiple times because we've cruised with NCL three times. It seems to us that they could limit the repeating performers. The Casino is a joke. It's not Vegas style in terms of rules and etiquette, and the Casino staff are amateurs, particularly management. For example, a man next to me was dealt a BLACKJACK and the dealer managed to misdeal herself (I'll spare you the details) and even so the Casino didn't honor the BLACKJACK, or our winning hands. It was shocking. Everybody at the table cashed out. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
First time cruiser so did not know what to expect. Arrived in Hong Kong to Commence Holiday on the 19th was informed of major itinerary changes due to propulsion problems on the 21st even though NCL knew of issues over a week prior. Too ... Read More
First time cruiser so did not know what to expect. Arrived in Hong Kong to Commence Holiday on the 19th was informed of major itinerary changes due to propulsion problems on the 21st even though NCL knew of issues over a week prior. Too later to cancel any holiday plan without an expense. 4 destinations were removed and an additional 5 days at sea were added. Also lost 5 star hotel night stay in Bangkok which we could have changed or cancelled if we were informed as we should have been before the 17th by NCL. Not a good start as we were already questioning the integrity of the company before we even got on the ship. NCL will provide a 50% discount on the cruise and a 50% discount on a future cruise (must be within 12 months) which I will not be taking up. When looking at back at the experience a 100% refund would have been more appropriate. The experience on the boat was mixed the good points amazing food and the majority of the staff were lovely. Not so good points was poor entertainment during the day especially considering how many extra days at sea we were given. At times children and teens were running riot all over the boat especially in pool and dining areas. Services that would have filled my time nicely were available such as spa and massage treatments but they were so overpriced that I did not have any. Ports were all very far away from the few city destinations we stopped in in Ho Chi Min and Bangkok. Many of our interactions with other passengers also involved exchanging feelings of dissatisfaction about the way things were handled. For my first cruise not many good things to say. Would I do another cruise? Never say never but never with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We had planned on a large family reunion and had focused our search in the south-east Asia region. Living in Canada, none of us had ever travelled to this part of the world due to the very lengthy flight to get there. NCL had advertised ... Read More
We had planned on a large family reunion and had focused our search in the south-east Asia region. Living in Canada, none of us had ever travelled to this part of the world due to the very lengthy flight to get there. NCL had advertised an itinerary that was quite frankly exceptional, as it would be touching upon nine ports. Based on this itinerary, we booked the cruise more than a year in advance. Also based on the itinerary and dates, we had booked all the flights and several independent shore excursions. People had booked off vacation time. Our sense of anticipation grew as the travel date got closer. However, just four days prior to our departure, we were informed that the ship has some mechanical issues, specifically one of the azipods was disabled. In order to offset the ship's reduced speed, they deleted four ports and we would have to spend many more days at sea. This was extremely short notice, especially since the azipod issue was known to NCL several weeks in advance. They offered a compensation of 50% refund and a 50% credit for a future cruise (as long as it was taken within a year). This may have been fine for someone who hadn't booked so far in advance was travelling in a small group. However, the logistics of a family reunion are difficult to try and redo again and they didn't recognize the degree to which they compromised our travel plans. I understand that mechanical problems can happen to any ship, regardless of cruise line. My bigger frustration with NCL is their customer service (or lack of). I have been diligently trying to talk to management on the ship as well as reach senior customer management personnel at their head office. However, they continue to exploit their bureaucracy and hide behind front-line telephone operators. They haven't answered any of my questions, but submit vague statements such as "we understand your concern and we can't do anything for you". A true service oriented company would have had their senior management reach out to me and better understand my concerns and try to address them in a more individual manner. At least they would have better articulated their reasons for reaching certain conclusions. I have lost all trust with NCL as they have lost what it means to empathize and properly deal with customers. As a result, it is unlikely that I will ever travel with them again, regardless of the 50% discount they are providing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We are currently living in Asia and wanted to "sample" the travel options available and this cruise was the perfect solution. Our family loves cruising, there's something for everyone. This particular cruise offered a good ... Read More
We are currently living in Asia and wanted to "sample" the travel options available and this cruise was the perfect solution. Our family loves cruising, there's something for everyone. This particular cruise offered a good mix of traditional sightseeing and adventure tours, which made it more appealing to our children, or at least the original itinerary was. Unfortunately the Azipod (part of the propulsion system) broke on the sailing prior to ours and it required custom parts to repair, which impacted that cruise and our cruise. I fully understand that these things happen; ships are mechanical and such things break. Furthermore, I have found the NCl compensation package to be quite generous. My problem was, and remains, with their lack of communication. I discovered that there was an itinerary change from a third party tour operator approximately 6 days prior to sailing. My NCL account had no notification, nor did my travel agent. In fact, the NCL website was still selling excursions online to ports we were no longer going too. That is not only bad business, it's flirting with fraudulent. I been on two other NCL cruises with no issues and enjoyed both but their complete mishandling of this cruise will prevent me from seeking out their cruises in the future. Now that's out of the way, here's the low down on the ship: We were in connecting ocean view cabins and it was perfect for our family of 5. The interior door allowed for free access to both cabins and greatly improved my experience. We have younger children and my husband and I usually have to split up, but not this time. Plus, there was no confusion over which key opened which cabin, etc. Loved the connecting rooms. Our cabin attendant, Sesato, was awesome. He built a special bond with our youngest son, it was very cute. Even though I'm sure Sesato was very busy, he took the time to talk to Connor and truly went above and beyond. The boys all enjoyed the cruise, the food, pool, and the splash academy, although the older two were less excited. This is our third (Spirit, Jade, and Star) NCL cruise and it seems all of the youth activities are the same. They all do the SAME circus at the end and that was disappointing. If NCL wants families to return, it's advisable to inject some variety to the youth programs. I actually prefer to have the same waitstaff each night, so we "forced" that by making the same reservation each night and throughly enjoyed that. Thomas was always ready with a recommendation and could read our boys' minds. The food was fantastic. The only complaint is that they didn't have chicken tenders available at the 24 restaurant or the buffet. We all know that's kid crack, it should be readily available; not just in the two main dining rooms. We used Buffalo Tours for private excursions and can't recommend them enough!! They were flawless in handling the TWO major schedule changes from NCL and even tried to refund part of our previous payment, because the new tours were slightly less expensive. We rarely participate in ship excursions. Too many people. Hong Kong is perpetually under construction. Our favorite thing there was Disney. Well worth the trip if you have time. Although it does look very cool at night. Hoi An, Vietnam, is still up and coming. Don't bother with the tailors there. It's all a big hustle. The street food is better than the sit down places. Be prepared for scooter chaos. Saigon, was nuts. We went to a cricket farm and the Chi Chu tunnels though and enjoyed both of those. They are outside the city. The city itself is very crowded and difficult to move about. There's no good public transport and the traffic is horrid. That being said, there are many historical sites that are worth seeing, it was just a lot for the kids to handle. Thailand was my favorite. We only went to Bangkok. Ko Samu was cancelled. We went to the temples and grand palace on day, markets on the next. We went to a market outside of town where they set up on the train tracks and then pull everything off when the train comes. It was pretty cool. We tried local fruits and street food (we love street food). The last stop was Singapore. I wasn't overly impressed. Everyone told us to go to Santosa Island but we didn't have time. The city is very space-aged in it's architecture, which is it's best trait, in my opinion. Overall, had we gone on the original itinerary, I think it would have been awesome. Would I go again on a 14 day cruise that was at sea 9 days? No. But if you book ANY cruise on the Star- be forewarned: The Azipod on the Star has broken several times since it came out of dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I had expected this cruise to have a few surprises, with it being as far as I know the first Asia cruise for NCL. But I also expected the norm as far as great service, food, shows, etc. We got both of those. Boarding in Singapore ... Read More
I had expected this cruise to have a few surprises, with it being as far as I know the first Asia cruise for NCL. But I also expected the norm as far as great service, food, shows, etc. We got both of those. Boarding in Singapore was a breeze, less than half hour from arrival to a nice lunch in Moderno's. Although I did hear some folks had problems, I can only speak for our group of eight. Then it was to our rooms. So far it had been like our other cruises, perfect. Then a surprise, a Azipod had malfunction and having to move the ship from the pier to allow another ship scheduled to take our place we remained overnight in Singapore harbor. The following day we returned to the pier, we(my family) had just spent three nights in Singapore so our group stayed aboard during this. I'm sure quite a few people enjoyed the extra time in Singapore. Mean while the ship's engineering department was not enjoying there stay in Singapore. I'm guessing at that, but I will also add I'm a retired sailor. So the decision was made for us to go but we could only go at a reduced rate of speed. So between the reduced speed and the extra time spent in Singapore and the necessity of getting to Hong Kong on schedule the schedule had to change. So the two port visits to Thailand got cut. And to jump ahead due to rough weather a port in Viet Nam was cut eventually as well. Which was a disappointment, to be sure. But to us Norwegian made up for it. With a one hundred percent refund. This money was in my checking account by time we reached Hong Kong. And a fifty percent of this cruise per person base fare credit towards a new cruise booked within the next twelve months. So for us the first and second person in each of our berths was 4k and then the kids were $700 each. So each of the number 1's and 2's each received a 2k credit towards a new booking (if booked within 12 months) each of the kids number 3 and 4 received $350. All eight (all family) have booked for next year. And we are also bringing more of the family next time as well. As I sit here writing this I realized what a great company Norwegian is. After having a "eventful" cruise with them we are booking away and bringing more of my family. Everybody (maybe not kids) knows things happen so I'm not surprised but for then to smooth it over to the point where I'm bringing more of my family. I'm impressed with that. Of coarse it's not just that "smoothing" over that got us to book again it's the sum of all parts. For the entire NCL Star crew thank you for a great trip. For Hannon and Chris thank you two. Can't wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was my second cruise with Norwegian. We went to the cruise terminal in Singapore around 2 PM and had to wait in line for 3.5 hours before we could check in. It was chaos and the people that were doing the boarding were not really ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Norwegian. We went to the cruise terminal in Singapore around 2 PM and had to wait in line for 3.5 hours before we could check in. It was chaos and the people that were doing the boarding were not really qualified. I hear that some people had to wait over 4-5 hours before they could board the ship. We bought visa for Vietnam since we wanted to go ashore in Phu My (Vietnam). And payed 69 $ per person. Why we could not get these on board is a mystery since this is procedure on other cruise lines. We ended up staying in Singapore a few more days due to "electrical problems" and some expert had to be flown in. However I later foud out one of the engines broke down and we were not told. Read all about it here : http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2016/12/articles/power-loss-1/ncls-norwegian-star-stuck-in-singapore/ Anyway, due to this delay in Singapore our itinerary was changed and we ended up skipping 2 ports in Thailand and 2 in Vietnam. We bought the Vietnam visa to stop at Phu My or Nha Trang but both were cancelled. A new port in Vietnam (Chan May) was added but it was an industrial port and there was nothing to do there. There were some tours planned but the port was hours aways from any tourist location. And the tours were expensive. We decided to stay on board. I then went to reclaim the money paid for the visa which would not be a problem, so I was told. A few days later I went to check and was suddenly told that I should have returned the visa BEFORE we stopped at Chan May. And I was not "on the list". Whatever that means. Obviously the visa were not used and there was NO announcement stating we had to cancel the visa before we reached Chan May. So I still do not know why NCL refused to refund me the money for the visa. Other than that I was not on some list. Sanya was the last port of call before Hong Kong but we intended only to go ashore in Laem Chabang and Phu My and also skipped Sanya because of the costs of the tours. When we asked other people that went ashore we were told it was not worth the money. So we ended up staying aboard the whole cruise and were glad when we reached Hong Kong. Positive notes : - It was announced very quickly that everybody would get their money back and a 50% discount on future cruises. I understand that engine problems can occur but just tell the truth and don't say something vague as "some electrical issue". -The food in the buffet restaurant was ok. The food in places like O' Sheehan's Bar & Grill and Versailles was good. - Staff mostly well trained, doing great work, especially in the Market Place (buffet) where it can be busy and hectic. Negative notes : - Indian staff in the buffet area was overal adequate and polite. Some minor irritation when I went to get a drink, came back and found my table cleaned and some other people sitting there. All in the 30 seconds it took to get a drink. This happened a few times. One time I left plenty of food on the plate and some full drinks at the table to get some fruit, just to indicate that I had not finished eating and guess what..... Also I was almost knocked over by one of the staff in the dining area and he just kept on walking like nothing happened. An apology would be nice. Staff overall good attitude but a few need better training on people skills. - We decided to give the service fee directly to the people that were in charge of our floor before leaving. It was not hunderds of dollars and there was a clear disappointment and I even regretted leaving anything at all. - The on board activities mostly uneventful. I mean you can only do so much paperfolding and trivia. But the crew did try to arrange for plenty of activities. Only a few shows in the Stardust Theater were worth going to. The rest was mediocre. - Customer service was ok, could be better. When I asked to cancel the service charge of $13.50 a day I was told it was possible but got the evil eye. Lady was clearly NOT happy with that. - Bad internet connection : I bought an internet packaget of 250 minutes for 125$. Internet was so slow all the time. Even before you could open a website minutes passed consuming most of your internet time, just waiting for pages to load. Verby bad service. Not worth paying for this. There is no reason why the internet should be that slow on the ship. Probably a cheap satellite connection and the speed gets throttled by NCL. High Speed internet is promised but it is more like low speed : https://www.ncl.com/eu/en/press-releases/norwegian-cruise-line-holdings-deliver-high-speed-wifi-across-companys-three-brands - So we were glad to go disembark in Hong Kong. Senior staff was standing at the exit having fun and laughing but not paying attention at all to the people leaving or even saying goodbye. They were too busy with themselves I guess. They were thinking they did a great job on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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