2 Norwegian Star Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Alaska

I have done 5 other NCL cruises and 16 cruises in total. I would think twice again, before I go on an older ship. It made the difference from a good cruise v a great cruise. I went with one of my friends, this cruise is not geared to ... Read More
I have done 5 other NCL cruises and 16 cruises in total. I would think twice again, before I go on an older ship. It made the difference from a good cruise v a great cruise. I went with one of my friends, this cruise is not geared to singles. It caters to an mature audience. I am over 50 but not quite at the retired stage. I enjoy more activity and nightlife. This ship does not really offer this. There were some younger folks but in general the vast majority were 70-80's. Go for the ports. The value of this ship is not very good as they charge a lot of money to sail and offer a tired ship, limited entertainment and fair quality food, the ship should be retired. IN GENERAL LIMITED QUALITY AND QUANTITY EMBARKATION: I must say the people who work at the port of Seattle were rude and abrupt. It was the worst embarkation I have experienced. The time to board took about 45 minutes. Not good not bad. As I am a previous guest on NCL we are supposed to receive priority boarding. Based on the time we waited in line It made no difference being a prior guest v 1st time traveler. Lesson get in the shortest line! LUGGAGE: we received our luggage in a reasonable and timely manner and I have no concerns or issues to report. SHIP: The Norwegian Star is an older ship. It was last refurbished in 2010 (according to NCL) While it is fairly new refurb do not let that fool you it is an older ship and in desperate need of maintenance. Toilets backed up all over the ship, the odor was awful. Window film peeled, pieces of cork flooring needed replacement and quite frankly needed another refurb. FOOD: Stick to the main dining rooms, Versailles being better than aqua, Food choices are limited, food quality while fresh, taste was good, appetizers were tastier than the main entrees. Menu offers limited change nightly. service was good but not great. BUFFETS: limited choices of food, limited quantities, food was generally overcooked and looked better than it tasted. quality was similar to a Golden Coral Buffet. Not as many choices. Deserts were small, they put less out at a time. Service was good in the buffets, they were generally quick to clean tables. Sometimes took food away before you could finish it. (kind of annoying) FOOD AND SERVICE OVERALL: Were generally good but never great. Of course likes and dislikes differ for us all I can only comment on my past cruises experiences. ROOM: I stayed in Mini Suite, based on other cruise lines and past cruises this particular mini suite was smaller than past mini suites I have stayed in. But the room Steward was fabulous. The room always clean. CREW: In general the crew was very cheerful and eager to do their jobs. They do a great job despite long hours and thankless cruisers. SHOWS: A couple of the shows were downright awful,the humor was tatselss and insulting and not necessary. A couple of the hsows were better and enjoyable. I am far from a prude but if you are going to have an adult show then list it as such in the program. The talent was fair ENTERTAINMENT/MUSIC: This cruise gets an older crowd. If you are looking for late nights I do not think it will be on this ship. There were numerous older people with walkers and canes. The music gears toward and older crowd shutting out people who want to hear top-40 and dance. Nothing much happended after 12 am and the casino closed early on a couple nights as no one came to gamble. TOURS : take any one you can afford Alaska is wonderful see anything you can and you will not lose. PORTS OF CALL: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Prince Rupert CA All of these ports were enjoyable. The scenery is incredible, the air is clean the water calm and glasslike and the mountains and scenery on the way knock your socks off. Saw Ididarod Dogs, Saw the mendehall glacier, incredible. What ever you chose I think is a good choice. did not here one bad word. DIS-EMBARKATION: Went very easy, I did a "walkoff". Worth dragging the luggage. You get off fast, do not have to find your luggage. Well worth the labor. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My spouse and I cruised with the Star May 9 to May 16 from Seattle visiting Ketchikan, Juneu, Skagway, and Prince Rupert.  This is our 4th cruise, but the first with Norwegian.  All of our three previous cruises were with Carnival which ... Read More
My spouse and I cruised with the Star May 9 to May 16 from Seattle visiting Ketchikan, Juneu, Skagway, and Prince Rupert.  This is our 4th cruise, but the first with Norwegian.  All of our three previous cruises were with Carnival which we thoroughly enjoyed.  The reason why we chose a different cruise line this time around is solely to try a new experience and to compare.  I find that cruising so often with the same cruise line takes out the variety fbecause Carnival tends to repeat it's shows (even though I cruised on three different ships), activities, and even menus.Sadly, my experience with the Norwegian Star was very disappointing.  They did not meet my standards and I felt that they do not have the need to impress their cruisers.  Oh, the ship is beautiful inside and out, but unfortunately that is not the only reason why I go on a cruise.My first clue that this cruise would be substandard was upon embarkation.  The lady helping us did not know what she was doing!!!  A 10 minute process took 45 minutes.  I will give her credit though because she kept that sweet smile on her face the whole time along with a continuous verbalization of apologies because she was new.  Note to NCL's management:  Train your staff well before leaving them alone on the counter with customers.  This is the first impression your cruisers will have of you, make it shine.Upon entry to the ship, I was impressed.  The ship as I said was beautiful!!!Until I hit the buffet.  Cafeteria style seating.  Does not reak of class (so unlike Carnival).  Reminds me of a hospital cafeteria with an ocean view.  Then I saw the food and I almost wanted to weap.  I'll be honest, my main focus on the buffet is the carving station and the dessert.  What is on the carving statiion?  Chicken!!!   The dessert?  Cookies!!!  These are items I could pick up at my local grocery store for six bucks.  So I thought to myself, well it's the first day, maybe it will get better.  Sadly to say it never did.  They had chicken on that carving board every single day of the week.  All different flavors though..., lemon pepper, barbeque, jerked and so on and so forth.  If Ralph's Market has a cruiseline, this would be it.  Oh, the desert??  Sometimes they would bring out their chocolate fountain and you can dip your marshmallow, melons, and I highly recommend dipping the banana to hide that it's all beaten up.  Let me just tell you what you would get at Carnival ok?  At the carving station would be roast beef, pork loins, high end steaks, lamb, turkey, prime rib, other wise known as "not your everyday supermarket meats".  I never once saw chicken on the carving board on any of my three cruises with them.  Carnival's dessert would be all different kinds of tasty pies, chocolate mousse, cakes, some cookies, my personal favorite napoleons, all different kinds of pastries you would not even see at a specialty bakery.  To be bombarded with chicken and chocolate chip cookies on this cruise is almost disgusting.  Let me add on this portion one particular thing you will not see on Carnival...,the Star's staff would be on the buffet line with you.  The line is already long and you see that you are following a staff.  Because this is how special you are with Norwegian.  Well, that's just the buffet though.  Ofcourse they have their freestyle dining.  If you don't want to pay a surcharge go to the Versaille or Aqua main dining room.  These two always has the same menu.  They have their staples like sirloin steak etc. and they have their specialties which differs everyday.  I never met a carbonara I did not like until I tried Norwegian's take on it.  I also think that their food is either too salty or too bland depending on your choice of cooking light or regular meals. Let's move on.  Activities.  Oh, Bingo, Bingo, and more Bingo.  I hope you like Bingo!!!  They also have that scratcher they sell for $5.00 each.  Each night from the beginning to the end of the cruise 5 guys would go to the front of the theater trying to sell them to you with the promotion of "only for tonight, you would get one ticket free"  Each night they have that promotion.  I don't know how idiotic they think their cruisers are not to get that their promo price is actually the normal price.  They have their variety shows, comedy, magic, song and dance.  Pretty good.  Yeah, except that girl balancing herself on that guy.  By the fifth show you just want to shout, "enough already!!!"Another complaint.  I booked my cruise with Priceline (which by the way I would like to post a shout out to readers to beware of), and I had a small problem with not being able to claim their special promotion of in-room credit.  I showed my receipt to the Star's finance representative and he declined to give it to me saying that this matter is between me and Priceline.  So I asked if I could use their phone so I could call Priceline and settle the matter.  He allowed me to but every two minutes he would look at me with a questioning glance of "how much longer?'  Note to NCL's manaagement:  Stop making your staff pay for the customer's phone bill.  This is the only explanation I can come up with of his behavior.  I certainly did not see a line behind me.At this time, I still have not settled that small matter of being able to claim my $100.00 in room credit Priceline promised.  Wish me luck on that one huh???Regarding Priceline.  Beware on booking your trip through this company.  As soon as you are booked with them, you are on your own.  You will be placed on hold for the longest time when you call with a problem, and if you try the e-mail route, you will have a better chance of having your letter to Santa answered.Alaska is a wonderful destination.  Beautiful.  Great experience.I have so much more to say but is running out of space.  Let me summarize.  If you are a first time cruiser and does not have a standard to live up to, go for this cruise because your next cruises could only get better from this one.  If you are on a diet, do this cruise.  The only way positive thing I could say about the food is that it is edible. 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Sail Date May 2009
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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