8 Norwegian Star Cruise Reviews for Group and Theme Cruises to Mexican Riviera

We stayed in the Deluxe Owners Suite. Our butler and housekeeping were top notch and need to be recognized as such. The concierge on the other hand completely abandoned her job when it came to my family and I. We had 3 of the 4 Deluxe ... Read More
We stayed in the Deluxe Owners Suite. Our butler and housekeeping were top notch and need to be recognized as such. The concierge on the other hand completely abandoned her job when it came to my family and I. We had 3 of the 4 Deluxe Owners Suites and 3 other VIP rooms. Our group had a total of 11 rooms in the ship. One of the perks with the Deluxe Owners Suites is dinner reservations. Because NCL offered 3 days of ultimate dinning as a incentive perk to sell rooms on the ship they overwhelmed the premium restaurants on the ship, so my family and I who had purchased a total of 8 days of udp not only couldn't get into the restaurants, we left the ship with three unused udp dinners. All ports we visited were spectacular and fun. A "veterans" activity was in the schedule, it was at the 5 o'clock somewhere bar, the whole event was left to the veterans to manage. It was a very much missed opportunity. 4 of people in my group are coordinators for military reunions and all agreed NCL'S venue defiantly does not support any consideration when planning any reunions. I will say all the veterans made the best of the time. There was no assistance or help getting off the ship. In the past we have sailed in the Havens and Garden Villas and always could depend on our concierge, the ball was seriously dropped on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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
Do not cruise this company. The second cruise with them I had taken. My toilet overflowed from day one repeatedly and they did not change our room. My personal belongings being ruined and they did not replace. We were forced to sleep in ... Read More
Do not cruise this company. The second cruise with them I had taken. My toilet overflowed from day one repeatedly and they did not change our room. My personal belongings being ruined and they did not replace. We were forced to sleep in a sewer smelling room for 8 days. They said they would refund us at the end of the cruise but instead they have us a 100 dollar credit and said that was enough compensation. The food was horrific, it was worse then airplane food, so much of it was unedible, we couldn’t bare to eat it most of the time. The ship was so filthy and so packed full of people. Bathrooms were disgusting, pool was nasty and jacuzzis unsanitary, as well as all of them being cold. I can not believe they did not refund anything after this experience. Do not waste your money, try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I have mixed feelings about this cruise. I will relay my observations and let you draw you’re your own conclusions. I want to describe this cruise as a value-oriented get-away geared towards families who want to take the kids ... Read More
I have mixed feelings about this cruise. I will relay my observations and let you draw you’re your own conclusions. I want to describe this cruise as a value-oriented get-away geared towards families who want to take the kids somewhere and not break the bank. There are good and bad points to this as a cruiser. The voyage has a charm of its own. I saw dads teaching their daughters chess, husbands working with their wives’ golf swing, and many, many couples walking the jogging track. The ports were not complex, you got off the ship, enjoyed the sun/warmth, walked around and got back on the boat. There was no real” Dress code” to speak of. I saw ball gowns next to shorts and no one intervened. Everyone just seemed kind of happy to, “get away”. On the other hand, there were issues. There are many things I can look past in a cruise experience. One thing I cannot look past is the indifference displayed by this staff towards the muster drill. I watched as this cruise staff displayed a disturbing indifference to the details of the muster drill. Passengers walked in and out during the drill. The drill started before all passengers were seated and paying attention. Passenger validation by the staff continued during the actual drill. I was in the Stardust theatre and it was pandemonium second only to embarkation. I am deeply troubled about this appearance of indifference on the staff’s part. I shudder to think what might have happened if there had been a real emergency on the ship. The food is very basic, good but straightforward. There are no snipped herbs, or freshly made green goddess dressing. While some people might miss this, it appears that the ship knows that their clientele wants readily identifiable food that is simple for themselves and their kids. That is what was delivered. The one meal I had in the Aqua restaurant was a disaster on many levels. I kept wanting to ask the staff if they had ever worked together? Food was cold, food was late, the pace of service was uneven. I had a completely different experience in the Versailles dining room (MDR). I had the most consistent, professional service experiences there. A big shout out to Carlos from the Philippines, he is the consummate professional. I felt completely taken care of when at his tables. I found the wine offerings to be uneven and had the single worst glass of sangria I have ever had. It was 11 dollars and was a flavorless 4 oz pour with an ounce of soda water and 1 teaspoon of chopped apple. I find frustrating the enforced gratuity model that NCL uses. I did not see my cabin steward for the first 48 hours that I was on board. I had to go downstairs to the front desk and ask for a daily activity sheet because one had not been delivered to my room the first night. While at the front desk I indicated that I have not see my cabin steward and would not know him/her if they ran into me. Subsequent to this, my cabin steward approached me and introduced themselves. Under the NCL model I must fully fund his gratuity. His work was substandard. I’m not sure if the lack of activities is a direct reflection on the Cruise Director or if the ship’s management had decided that their passenger cohort wants fewer activities? Many people complained about the costs of the bingo cards (25.00 to 300. On a cruise that costs not much more than that?) It was confusing. Possibly, that is by design but with two sea days on the front end, more activities would have kept the passengers happier. Disembarking was another example of management confusion. The captain was on the loudspeaker informing passengers that the ship had been cleared and we could start disembarking, however a couple of hundred people were already on the gangway headed toward customs and border patrol.…Hmmmmm I would take this cruise again if I were desperate to get some time away and/or sunshine and warmth. But I would know on the front end what to expect. ____________________________________________________________________ Pros 1. Observing families enjoying time together 2. Cheap Pilates/yoga classes (10/ea. When using class pass) 3. Free breakfast room service delivered between 630-10 a.m. 4. Passengers often assisted other passengers with mobility issues Cons 1. Chaotic embarkation/debarkation in the extreme 2. Lack of knowledge displayed by the passenger ushers at embarkation a. Example- designated embarkation person could not tell me where to find wheelchairs for passengers who needed assistance 3. Staff indifference to muster drill a. Example-muster drill beginning while passengers were still walking into Stardust lounge b. Example-passengers not participating in muster drill 4. Poor dining experience in Aqua restaurant, a. Example- food cold, long waits to be served, indifference and disorganization in wait staff 5. Enforced gratuities not reflected in staff actions a. Example-I didn’t not see my room steward for the first 48 hours. I had to go to Guest services and complain. I was informed that I should only expect to see them for room clean up in the morning, and “turn-down service” in the evening. 6. The cruise director could have a stronger activity program to engage passengers. a. Example- Many passengers remarked that there, “Wasn’t enough to do…” 7. Ship can only be reached via taxi or shuttle. 8. Difficulty hearing the shipboard announcements because the overhead sounds were not in the rooms, only in the hallway Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Decided to take this cruise with my husband as I love to cruise and love Mexico but my husband hadn't experienced either. Talked my best friend, her boyfriend and my parents into joining us and we were all very disappointed. The food ... Read More
Decided to take this cruise with my husband as I love to cruise and love Mexico but my husband hadn't experienced either. Talked my best friend, her boyfriend and my parents into joining us and we were all very disappointed. The food left a lot to be desired, the service was worse than a diner in the main dining rooms. (Stale chips, bread, wrong temperature of the meat, drinks never filled) luckily we paid for a dining package and the steakhouse and french restaurant were great. The buffet closed late night with the only dining option being a 24 hour pub that was awful in service and food. There were extra charges on our account that took days and numerous attempts to get help before they we're fixed. There were ship issues changing the port schedule which I understand can happen. However, they cancelled an excursion last minute after they had said was going to happen the night before, with no attempt to find an alternative. Overall definitely not my best cruise, we won't be back on this ship. I did answer their feedback questionnaire and waited over a week to write this review as I had hoped they would want to make it right. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
NCL did an outstanding job of boarding and the process was very smooth. Other cruise lines should take note of their efficiency in this area. Disembarkation seemed to be equally smooth. The NCL Star is an old ship and she needs a lot ... Read More
NCL did an outstanding job of boarding and the process was very smooth. Other cruise lines should take note of their efficiency in this area. Disembarkation seemed to be equally smooth. The NCL Star is an old ship and she needs a lot of attention. Everything was clean but definitely showing signs of age. The cabin was reasonable but just lacked anything to make you say WOW. We could hear people walking/running above us all day/night and we could clearly hear the discussions in neighboring cabins. The restaurants (both the complimentary and specialty) provided basic food that was acceptable but definitely not outstanding. In fairness, it wasn't much different than other cruises there just seemed to be much fewer choices. The biggest complaint we had here was our inability to get reservations at reasonable times (we had to eat at 8:15 and 9:30 pm two consecutive nights). The specialty restaurants couldn't accommodate large groups either. Make sure you make reservations prior to sailing or you'll be disappointed. Overall customer service was generally pretty poor. The staff just seemed tired and uninterested in most areas. The excursions were the highlight of the cruise. NCL offered a variety of choices at each port and we thoroughly enjoyed the places we visited. We took the sea lion tour in Puerto Vallarta and the outback and camel tour in Cabo. Both tours were first class from beginning to end. For the outback and camel tour, we started with a nature walk and learned a lot of fascinating info about the plants and wildlife indigenous to the area. We then met the camels and enjoyed a fun photo session with Louis the Camel. He was so cute! All of the beautiful camels that live on this property are RESCUED, not purchased. Each camel gets at least 3 days off per week and they roam the area completely unencumbered. They have a shelter area they can enter and leave at will and we saw some camels napping here. They receive food, shelter, medical care and lots of attention. They are free to go but who would leave such a great home? When you ride the camels on the beach (each camel has his own personalized saddle made just for him so it fits properly and is comfortable for him) they fly a drone overhead and make a very cool video. All of the photos and the videos are for sale at the end of the tour and they are worth every single penny. They provided an excellent lunch and the opportunity to try some of their own tequilas. Every one of them was delicious. Christian and Jeannette were the guides for our groups and both did an outstanding job. We loved this tour and would recommend it to everyone. The sea lion adventure was equally excellent. It was managed by the same parent company as the camel tour and we were impressed with the entire operation. At this location, as well as their others, the animals were all RESCUE. This company should be commended for their efforts towards humane treatment of animals. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The main dining room is nice. The buffet upstair on the Deck 12 was so-so, few choices to pick to eat. Almost every morning, they serve the same meals. Some of my friends got food poison from the buffet. Not impressed with what they were ... Read More
The main dining room is nice. The buffet upstair on the Deck 12 was so-so, few choices to pick to eat. Almost every morning, they serve the same meals. Some of my friends got food poison from the buffet. Not impressed with what they were serving compare to other cruises I had been on. One cruise's buffet was 4x bigger and had more choices. The theater seats need to be replaced! Many of them made us feel like the cushions were about to give up and slided down onto the floor. No place to put our drinks down. No cup holder in the arms or nothing. The entertainments in the theater were alright, some of them I already saw before. One of the nights, they had a magic show. I caught a several mistakes. This guy need more practices. The pool up on Deck 12 was good but the smoking area in Forward section made me to leave this area after a few minutes. NCL should put smoking area in AFT section instead. Casino was full of cigarette smokes, YUCK! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My husband and I, along with three other couples, just completed the 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Norwegian Star. This was our 7th cruise on NCL and the second or third cruise for the other couples. We have been on the Wind ... Read More
My husband and I, along with three other couples, just completed the 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Norwegian Star. This was our 7th cruise on NCL and the second or third cruise for the other couples. We have been on the Wind three times, and the Dream, Sky and Pearl once each. Check-in, Embarkation and Disembarkation: We drove to the port, since we live only about 6 hours away. A porter took our bags immediately. Embarkation was a breeze; everyone in our group was a Latitudes member, and the processing went very quickly. After checking in, we went to a waiting area and listened for our number to be called, which took perhaps 5 minutes. Upon stepping on board, we were greeted with a cheery "Welcome aboard," a smile, and a glass of champagne. It was quite early, probably about 12:30 when we boarded, so our rooms were not ready. A crewmember asked us if we would like to store our carry-on bags while we went to have a bite to eat, and we agreed that was a good idea. There was a room where we could check in our bags until our rooms were available. Then he took us to the Versailles Dining Room, where we ate a delightful lunch. The cold Banana and Mango soup was to die for! After lunch, we were able to occupy our rooms. Our bags were delivered very soon after we arrived in our rooms, so we settled in a bit, awaiting our departure from San Pedro. At the end of the cruise, we put our bags outside the door like everyone else. Since we were driving, we felt no rush to get off the ship, so we got the yellow tags, which allowed us to stay aboard until 10. We actually were ready to go at 9:30. After leaving the ship, we claimed our luggage, turned in our Customs forms, loaded the car and we were on our way before we knew it. It went very smoothly. Rooms: The rooms are very adequate, but of course, not spacious. We had a BC balcony room near the bow on Deck 9. We were able to stow everything away, and with a little extra effort, to keep things from getting cluttered. The bathrooms have three separate areas; one with the toilet, one with a sink, and a shower that is large enough to move around in and pick up the soap if you drop it. There are lots of hooks to hang robes, shopping bags, cameras, and other items, and the closet has shelves as well as hanging space, certainly enough space for a 7-day cruise. The balconies have two chairs and a small table. The refrigerator and cabinet are stocked with soft drinks, liquor and water, although we did not consume any of the items in the room. The beds were extremely comfortable. Dining: We ate in four of the "surcharge" restaurants - Cagney's, La Trattoria, Ginza, and Endless Summer. We found the food and the service to be excellent in these restaurants. The meals were served in a leisurely pace, leaving time to fully enjoy each course. Paying a surcharge does rub us the wrong way a bit, but all cruise lines are going to this type of service. Nothing is "all-inclusive" any more. But if you can pretend that you are just going out to dinner at home, you will find these restaurants to be an enjoyable experience and a good value. The two "Main" restaurants, Versailles and Aqua, are also very good, but the portions are very small. You may order more, if you wish, but most are not inclined to do that. The service is fine, although the staff is not quite as attentive as in the "surcharge" venues. Our waitress for our first lunch, Jonifa, was very personable and friendly, and we sought her out for dinner that night at the Endless Summer. We ate a few meals at the Market Cafe, Blue Lagoon, and the Grill on the pool deck. These are fine if you (1) want to stay in your swimming suit and not get dressed, (2) are in a hurry, or (3) have slept too late to eat in either of the Main dining rooms, which close at 9 a.m. We tried to avoid these places after the first couple of days. The Market Cafe is often crowded and full of children. The Blue Lagoon is located in a place where everyone is walking through, and the only meal we tried to eat at the Grill was the Mexican dinner one evening, and we found it to be really sub-standard. On the other hand, the hamburgers being cooked there during the day smelled wonderful, but we did not get a chance to try them. As a general rule, I would recommend the Main dining rooms for most meals and the "surcharge" restaurants a few times during your cruise. Entertainment: We attended two of the three Jean Ann Ryan productions, and they were wonderful. The Chinese All-Star Acrobats were amazing. The crew show on the last full day was very good, and the finale, "Fountains," was hysterical. We had befriended some of the Cruise Director staff, and it was really fun to see them performing in this last act. The lounges all had some sort of musician or musical group each evening, and all of the ones we saw were very enjoyable. There was a folk singer in Gatsby's who was excellent. Second City put on shows on a couple of evenings, as well as conducting an NCL-U class in comedy. The earlier show is fairly "tame" and we understand the late show is a bit more "adult" humor, although we heard it was not really terribly "adult." They are a very talented group, and we enjoyed them on the one evening we attended their show. In addition, there were other entertainers, a magician, a ventriloquist, but we did not see them. Karaoke was offered most nights. It was fun for a while, but then some younger singers took the stage and I guess we just are not able to fully appreciate their music. This is the fourth NCL cruise we have been on that offered karaoke, and it was by far the worst karaoke we have encountered. There were several in our group who participate in karaoke when we are at home, but we found the karaoke on this ship not to our liking. Shore Excursions: My husband and I did not do any shore excursions. Two of the other couples did book the Whale Watching in Cabo, and although they did see whales and other sea life on the tour, they saw whales much closer from the ship. Most of the time in the ports, we found a taxi van and driver at the dock, and for a very reasonable fee, they gave us a tour of what they thought we would like to see, along with stopping anywhere we wanted to stop. We found this to be well worth the money, and will do this in the future. Spa/Fitness: None of us took advantage of either the Spa or the Fitness Center. Shame on us!! The Spa looked lovely, and the Fitness Center was very well equipped. Families and Children: We were all older couples, ranging from the early 60's to the early 80's, and did not have any children along. Public Rooms: The public rooms on the "Star" are very nice. Our particular favorite was the Spinnaker Lounge, up top and up front. We had a preferred bartender there, Jose from Peru, and he was very good to us. The public areas are well-maintained. Occasionally we found a rest room that was out of soap, but those times were few. Service: For the most part, the service was very good, from the cheerful greeting when we boarded until we disembarked. We had only one waiter who seemed to be having a bad day, and one waitress in Ginza who was probably not as familiar with the procedures as she should have been. Otherwise, the service was excellent. We had towel animals on our beds on three evenings. Our room steward got our rooms made up very promptly in the morning and turned down in time for our return in the evening, even if we returned to our cabin early. We had absolutely no complaints about any of the service on board, and found the restaurant staff and bar staff in particular to be particularly accommodating. Value: We have always felt that NCL has given us good value for our money. They may not pamper you quite as much as some of the other lines, but they do not charge you quite as much, either. We have always had a great time on our NCL cruises, and have never felt like our cruise was not worth what we paid for it. The "surcharge" restaurants have increased both in number and in their surcharges since our last cruise 18 months ago, and that was disappointing; on our last cruise on the Pearl, the Latin/Tapas and Italian restaurants did not charge a surcharge, and this time they did. Some of the surcharges have gone up $5 per person since then, although some have remained the same. The "service charge" put on your bill every day has also increased from $10 per day per person to $12. We were very happy to be refunded our Fuel Surcharge in the form of on-board credit. Future Cruises: We have booked the Panama Canal repositioning cruise on the Pearl in September for a rather large group, and we are looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date January 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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