5 Norwegian Star Cruise Reviews for Gay & Lesbian Cruises to Mexican Riviera

Just wanted to get away for New Years.....we had taken several NCL cruises in the past so we felt comfortable choosing them again. We like cruising because we like to be pampered and enjoy some nice meals while we relax. We usually boook ... Read More
Just wanted to get away for New Years.....we had taken several NCL cruises in the past so we felt comfortable choosing them again. We like cruising because we like to be pampered and enjoy some nice meals while we relax. We usually boook suites in the Haven just for these reasons. NCL totally dropped the ball on this cruise..... My wife was horrified at the spa.....a woman was assigned to her who had never done a massage in her life.....she burped in my wifes ear every 2 minutes....when she asked to speak to a manager, she was avoided for 3 days and then told that there was nothing that could be done. We went to the buffets that were lacking any flavor or variety.....nobody was putting any extra effort into anything !!!! We tried to go to O'Sheehans for a "break" and were served wings with feathers still on them......we pointed this out to our server who looked at us strange and asked us when we expected her to do about it !!!! The specialty restaurants were just not up to par......we have dined at these restaurants SO many times in the past and we know what its SUPPOSED to be like......its just as if nobody cares anymore...... Thank God we already knew the Haven concierge from a previous NCL cruise to Italy....if not for her and our butler, this would have been even MORE of a nightmare. I believe that NCL came up with a great idea for their freestyle cruising....and that this gave them a lot of business.....unfortunately, they are now obviously resting on past laurels. I sent in all of this (and more) on a survey and nobody from NCL responded..... At this point, I really dont expect them to and we will probably cancel our Fall Foliage cruise with them for later this year..... Absolutely no fun involved at all when you are looking more forward to getting home than being on the cruise !!!!! At least when I got home, I only had my wife yelling at me....on the cruise, I had to deal with the "bingo-mama" and the other "entertainment staff" that was clearly more comfortable questioning the perceptions of the passengers rather than trying to address any possible problems..... At least I was happy to get home to my own toilet.....lol......the one in our cabin would spit the toilet water back up at the person sitting there every 2 minutes......never asked for a bidet....??? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I chose this cruise because I cruise this week every year because of scheduling of my work. I also wanted to see how the refurbishment of the Star went. I can say this our Cabin had new carpet and lots of new charging stations that are ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I cruise this week every year because of scheduling of my work. I also wanted to see how the refurbishment of the Star went. I can say this our Cabin had new carpet and lots of new charging stations that are fantastic. I was a bit concerned that we had a "Priv-a-sea" balcony in Cabin 10008. It however was a great option because I really like the wind barrier that it created and made my experience a nice one.I did notice that service in Speciality dining venues La Cucina, Cagneys and were rather slow without explanation. The food was ok except for the long waits between courses, Entertainment was topnotch and made me enjoy our nights out. Service in our stateroom was exceptional and our Steward was very attentive. The ports of Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta were great! We chose shore excursion for City of Cabo Discover the town of Todos Santos. It is Great choice with great history and good food. For Puerto Vallarta we went on the Tropical Jungle River Walking tour and it was a great way to escape busy PV. For Mazatlan we chose Sierra Madre Country Tour and loved the old town of Copola. The one thing that NCL really screwed up was Embarkation and debarkation. This left a bad impression coming on and leaving the ship. It would seem that a lack of communication for both events was evident. Fixing these events could otherwise make this a five star cruise for me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Great service and choices. Very pleasant experience. Excursions had good variety and well done. Hatch next to our room was not secure during first 2 days of cruise and kept us up at night. Twice we never received an iron ... Read More
Great service and choices. Very pleasant experience. Excursions had good variety and well done. Hatch next to our room was not secure during first 2 days of cruise and kept us up at night. Twice we never received an iron and ironing board after numerous calls. The dancers and singers were very good. I thought the shows were well done. Food was very good, and could fit any appetite or size. Or any location such as poolside, etc. The restaurants were awesome, and the specialty restaurants were great! Bartenders were sometimes slow and the lines could be long. Also at times they were a bit snippy. It was my first cruise, and overall it was a great experience. We are looking to repeat and bring our kids next time. We asked several parents and they were quite happy and the kids were very happy. I will be more careful in our cabin selection however. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My first-ever cruise was on board NCL's Norwegian Star, leaving from Los Angeles with stops at Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. I had always wanted to go on a cruise but was put off by the formal nature of most of them. ... Read More
My first-ever cruise was on board NCL's Norwegian Star, leaving from Los Angeles with stops at Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. I had always wanted to go on a cruise but was put off by the formal nature of most of them. I'm not the dress-up kind of guy nor do I like to be put into forced social situations. I wanted a cruise vacation where I could do what I wanted, when I wanted it. Fortunately, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) provided the perfect solution. I went with a friend of mine and we decided on NCL's 7-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera, leaving from Los Angeles (in part because my friend lived in the L.A. area for many years). NCL's Freestyle Cruise environment was exactly what both of us were looking for and we definitely appreciated the freedom during our cruise. The Norwegian Star is definitely an excellent ship for a first-time cruise. Colourfully decorated both inside and out, the ship helped create a fun atmosphere with its modern feel and hotel-like environment. I especially appreciated the many paintings and murals displayed on the walls of the corridors. One thing I had heard prior to the cruise was that inside cabins tend to be small, even for just two people. I didn't know what to expect when we first entered our cabin (8501) but immediately was pleasantly surprised. The cabin was well-laid out and made efficient use of its space. Neither me or my friend felt cramped at all. The bathroom area also was a pleasant surprise. It was laid out in a very efficient manner and neither or us had any trouble moving around or attending to our personal needs. The shower was quite spacious actually for a small cabin. Another positive experience was the food on-board. Some people have written criticisms of the food on the Star but neither myself or my friend found this to be true. The least I could say about the food was that the desserts were ordinary with little to make them stand out. However, they were still tasty. The main food was actually excellent in every restaurant or dining area we visited. The salad vegetables were very fresh, even on the last day of the cruise. The menu items were reasonably varied and very delicious. I also commend NCL for providing items that were low-fat and low-sugar as I am mildly diabetic. The outdoor pool area of the Star consists of a central pool area, flanked on either side by hot tubs. In back of the pool is a stage where entertainment was presented each afternoon. Water slides were located on either side of this stage. The sunning area was a series of stepped decks with lounge chairs to lie out on in the sun. Everything was colourful and festive and provided a positive happy atmosphere for passengers to enjoy the time in the sun or in the water. This area also included buffets, a couple of bars and a BBQ area which was very convenient. During the cruise, both me and my friend used the fitness centre. If I have to make any criticism of the Star's facilities, it would here. There were a few weight machines (some of which were more difficult to use than what I am used to at my gym), a rowing machine, a lot of treadmills and some dumb-bell weights. We were disappointed that there were no bar-bell weights available. However, we did make the most of what was available, including some time on the Star's outside jogging track (a 400 metre marked off ring of the ship's outer deck). We were able to put in the exercise we wanted. We just would have liked more choice. One attraction on the Star both me and my friend really liked was the Spinnaker Lounge. We found a number of different activities available here, especially the late-night dance parties presented after midnight. There was a good sized dance floor available and the fist-pumping music was really great. We spent several nights at the Spinnaker taking in all the fun. We didn't find all of the entertainment options to our liking, however, the two that we did attend were really enjoyable. The first was the crew show that showcased some of the musical and dancing talent of the Star's crew members. Although not entertainment professionals, the featured crew members were very entertaining and always gave their all. Some of them even rivaled the professional entertainment. The one professional evening show we attended was called "Elements" and was a visual and music presentation with the motif of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. With magic and acrobatics, it resembled something Cirque de Soleil might have presented. It was an excellent show and I would definitely see it again if given the chance. Another area that we had some concern about prior to the cruise was the logistics (embarkment, disembarkation, etc.). We'd heard that sometimes these procedures are long and complicated. We did not find this to be the case. We made sure to be at the Port of Los Angeles at noon on departure day so that we could avoid any last minute confusion. Our check-in at the Port was very smooth and with no problems. It was done in roughly 15 minutes. Our wait time to board the Star was also about the same time. In no time, we were in the Market Place Dining area, having our first on-ship meal. Disembarkation at the ports of call was straight-forward as we were all pre-cleared into Mexico. The final disembarkation at the end of the cruise was a little longer and slower but also not too difficult. As soon as we left the ship, we both were already wishing we could do it again. In fact, my friend has already put down a deposit on his next cruise with NCL. The only major logistical change I would suggest to NCL is more use of computerized receipts. Several of the bars and specialty restaurants already used these which speeded up adding charges to your tab. However, certain things like deposits on beer buckets or beach towels were hand-written and time consuming. Also, the staff responsible for these hand-written receipts seemed not to totally have a handle on these. My friend had small hassles with having the deposit charges removed from his tab for a beer bucket because of the hand-written receipt system in use. NCL should seriously consider computerizing everything on board so that a quick electronic receipt can be generated and searched quickly when necessary. One nice thing about the cruise was simply when we took it. Since it was during Spring Break, the ship had a lot of younger college students on board and this lead to a vibrancy and festivity that were both unexpected and welcome. The students knew how to have a good time and still remained behaved. There was no rowdiness at all, just lots of good times happening. It created a nice happy atmosphere that seemed to spread to all of the passengers, young and older. Another positive here was the NCL seems to be gay-friendly. The Star held a "Friends of Dorothy" gathering in the Star Lounge every night at 6:30 pm and this was advertised in the daily ship's newsletter. It's nice to see this kind of support from a cruise line. All in all, cruising on the NCL Norwegian Star made for a great first-time cruise experience. I hope there will be another similar one in my future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
This was a fantastic cruise experience for my partner and I. My partner has been on cruises before. This was my first and I was expecting the worst (I'm prone to sea sickness!). The NCL staff were wonderful! We flew into Long ... Read More
This was a fantastic cruise experience for my partner and I. My partner has been on cruises before. This was my first and I was expecting the worst (I'm prone to sea sickness!). The NCL staff were wonderful! We flew into Long Beach and took a taxi to San Pedro Harbor. Once we go there, we were greeted by friendly baggage collectors. Since this was my first cruise, I was a little hesitant about letting my luggage go! I was quickly reassured. The check-in process was a little long but it was still pretty easy! It was especially warm in LA that day and so the heat was difficult to deal with when starting a vacation. We received our key cards and boarded the ship. It was beautiful. We walked around and headed up the deck. We were greeted with drinks (of course they were not free but I was on vacation and I didn't care!) and music and food! We had drinks and walked around to get familiar with the layout of the deck area. We went to our room to drop off our stuff and unpack before the ship left port. We had a balcony room which was nice. I really enjoyed being able to open the door and have a nice breeze come in. The room was small but cozy. It was spotless! The bathroom was tight but functional. I've seen smaller hotel rooms and bathrooms in Europe! The food was good too. Since we had a balcony room, we were given an option to eat in a special dining room with full table service. We liked that we had that option. There were so many choices for each meal. We did the buffet for dinner one night but otherwise we ate lunch and dinner in each of the specialty restaurants. The service was fantastic. Everyone was nice and addressed us very formally. That was a little weird. We were told that since we were on vacation, we should just relax and let them pamper us. That they did! We visited Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. In Cabo, we tendered to the pier. The tendering process was a little disorganized but again, we were on vacation so it wasn't like there was a big rush to get off of the boat. Cabo was nice but very touristy. We opted to no to an excursion and so we just walked around the pier area and had a nice lunch at Cabo Wabo. They had the best burritos! Mazatlan was okay to. We disembarked and went on a sea kayaking tour. That was a blast! My partner and I had drinks all afternoon relaxing on the hammock and watching the beautiful teal water. Puerto Vallarta was nice too. We did a tequila tour which as informative and we got to sample 6 different varieties of tequila. Wow! The only problem we had was the airconditioning went out in Cabo San Lucas. This NCL Star had just finished the Alaska cruise season and we were on the first Mexican Riviera cruise. I guess the mussels that were stuck to the bottom of the ship didn't like the warm waters in Mexico and dropped off of the boat and got sucked into the cooling system. They were able to resolve that problem while we were on port and so there was only a little inconvenience. I've read that some people didn't like the buffet but hey, it's a buffet! There were so many different place to eat that it didn't matter. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants and didn't mind the nominal surcharges. Afterall, where else can you spend $15 per person and order everything on the menu? We did that in a couple of restaurants so that we could try a little of everything! The wait staff encouraged it and so we did it! I really enjoyed the cruise experience! There's so much to do. As a gay couple, we were surprised to find that there were others on the cruise too. There, in fact, were a great diversity of people on the boat from all over the world. Activity wise, there's so much to do. We really were not a loss for things to do! If you wanted to do something, you could find it. If you wanted to do nothing, then you can also do just that, NOTHING. I had a blast. We are already planning our next cruise with NCL in 2009!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
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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