37 Norwegian Star Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Mexican Riviera

Small group of friends cruising together made for a great time during Spring break. On board, there was plenty to do on the Star when or if we wanted. We found room in the hot tubs, especially enjoying the one in H20 Spice area. We ... Read More
Small group of friends cruising together made for a great time during Spring break. On board, there was plenty to do on the Star when or if we wanted. We found room in the hot tubs, especially enjoying the one in H20 Spice area. We had no trouble finding a lounge chair for sunning. We loved meeting up at Gatsby's for a cocktail and good music. (I love piano music!) We thoroughly enjoyed Cagney's, the Teppanyaki grill, and LeBistro, along with what we felt was special treatment in the Versailles dining room. I tried some new flavors and some different dishes that I wasn't familiar with and of course, I made sure to order seafood, especially seafood appetizers many times. Each port of call delivered warmth, fun and interesting sights, good food and beach time. We did not do any excursion as we just wanted to look around on our own and land at the local beach. Took a cab to town in Puerto Vallarta, a pulmonia in Mazatlan and water taxi in Cabo. NCL took care of the planning of our flights and transfers. Everything went smoothly including embarkation and debarkation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first time ever on a cruise. We got a great deal, so we ended up booking the family suite. It happened to come with a concierge and butler. We thought that was pretty cool, except the concierge was completely useless. He ... Read More
This was our first time ever on a cruise. We got a great deal, so we ended up booking the family suite. It happened to come with a concierge and butler. We thought that was pretty cool, except the concierge was completely useless. He booked 3 reservations for us and made huge mistakes on all of them. The butler was pretty great, he came when we called him, but otherwise he never called or popped in to check on us. It was obvious the staff on these cruise ships are super overworked. We saw some employees in multiple restaurants spanning 13+ hours throughout the day. They get about 5 hours of sleep per night and see their families every 8 months. I am not sure how I felt about that. The suite we stayed in was nice, but there were some things that were not the luxury suite it was sold to be on the site. The phone was so incredibly filthy, most of the curtains were ripped off their holders (they use curtains to divide out the "rooms" within the cabin), and the carpet had stains that looked to be quite old. Definitely not what I was expecting after paying $6000. We were charged $10/phone for the internet service to be able to communicate with one another while on the cruise, but the NCL app is SO incredibly bad that we ended up hardly using it at all. We will cruise again, but not sure we will dish out the extra money - doesnt seem like it was worth it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Decided to take the family on a cruise during spring break, which was a little earlier than most, so we were able to get closer to off-season pricing. What was really exciting is that they had great deals when we booked on guaranteed ... Read More
Decided to take the family on a cruise during spring break, which was a little earlier than most, so we were able to get closer to off-season pricing. What was really exciting is that they had great deals when we booked on guaranteed oceanview rooms, which we've never tried. That was a real plus (ended up with picture windows), were able to see lots of good scenery, my daughter saw a group of dolphins looking out their stateroom, added a nice element we've never had with inside. Service on the ship was great, with a couple of exceptions I'll explain later. Room stewards and most dining experiences were great. Had the dining options on another ship, nice to see they were there as well. Pros: Loved the updated dining areas, such as O'Sheahan's and Ginza, in addition to the Main Dining Rooms and buffet. Didn't try the paid dining. Staff was very on top of things 95% of the time and very friendly First time in the Mexican Riviera, loved the itinerary and ports Oceanview! Had a Mexican cultural show that was amazing, acrobats were good as well. The communication features on the app were more than worth the $9.99/device. Huge plus. Staterooms had USB chargers, so easy for kids to keep devices charged. Cons: As I've read in other reviews, the layout of the ship is weird. It's because they added the newer dining and other amenities (which is absolutely worth it), but it was often hard to navigate the ship to get where you wanted to go (for example, not very direct entrance to kids club). Related, the main buffet area feels very cramped and doesn't hold many people. It doesn't need to with other options, but that's a problem. Needed a reservation for everything really quickly. For example, really hard to get into Ginza. Service in some dining areas was really slow. I think that they just had too many people for what they could handle. I would say overall felt very crowded. I've been on bigger ships that felt less crowded than this one. Lots of lines for the same things. I'm more conservative, but the music shows weren't to our taste, a little too frisky, glad we didn't take our daughter to the first one (skipped the second one). Didn't have some of the bells and whistles that my active kids would have liked (no splash pad, water slide, ice skating, basketball had a low net, things like that) For the app, didn't have a place to check the schedule for the kids. Also, could have had an option to get more detailed informaiton about an activity on the schedule, similar to the description seen in the print guide. Rough sea day on the way back, I hear that's normal. It's a cruise so I'm always going to enjoy it! I hope NCL could take some of this feedback and fix things (though some things they can't fix). I enjoyed it and would take this itinerary again. I would go on this ship if the price were right. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my third sailing with Norwegian after cruising on the Escape and Getaway. I was a little worried that the ship would be too small and that there wouldn't be enough activities on board for our two teenagers. The teens had an ... Read More
This was my third sailing with Norwegian after cruising on the Escape and Getaway. I was a little worried that the ship would be too small and that there wouldn't be enough activities on board for our two teenagers. The teens had an amazing time at the Entourage Club and made a large group of friends that they hung out with the whole cruise. I found the Star to be a wonderful ship for many reasons. First off, embarkation out of the San Pedro port was VERY fast and so easy. The friendly staff on board the ship continually went above and beyond. Secondly, it never felt crowded to me. There were always lounge chairs available and never had to wait long at bars for drinks. In fact, waiters actually came around and took drink orders which is something we rarely experienced on the larger NCL ships. DINING (Gluten Free Perspective I'm going to start by saying that the dining was way better than the other competing cruise line that we've sailed on three times. I have a NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity) and it's always a worry that I'll experience symptoms while on vacation from accidental exposure. This was the BEST NCL experience I've had as a gluten free cruiser. Every evening they had a special diets coordinator named Valan come and meet me at dinner to take my order for the next evening. Usually on cruises they forget to do this or I have to make a special trip to MDR to place the order myself. I did not have to do this and Valan always knew where and when I was dining and found me to bring me the menu. We ate at Moderno, Sushi Bar, Teppanyaki and Le Bistro and I never had a problem ordering something that I liked. My youngest son celebrated his 15th birthday and they even made a special gluten free cake so that I could enjoy it as well. I never asked for this and it was such a thoughtful gesture. I had to eat lunch at the buffet a couple times but I just asked to speak to a chef and he pointed out all the options that were safe for me to eat. I never experienced any gluten exposure symptoms the entire cruise. Most of the Indian food options (except bread of course) were always safe and were very delicious! We did eat at the Topsiders Grill a couple times but I'd be careful if you are celiac as the mayo and condiments in open containers were definitely contaminated with bread. We just ate the burgers with lettuce and other veggie but again be careful if you are super sensitive as the tongs may come in contact with bread. We also ate at O'Sheehans for both lunch and breakfast. They do have gluten free bread if you ask but the hashbrowns are not GF friendly because of the fryers. My husband and boys are not gluten free but both my mother in law and myself are and we had no problems. Amost all requests were accommodated with ease. Food takes a little longer as it is prepared in the allergy free kitchen but it's always come out fresh and tasty. My husband is SUPER critical about food and a bit of a snob and he commented on how the food was really good on this ship and we only had a few things that were mediocre. ENTERTAINMENT and ACTIVITIES We enjoyed seeing most of the shows on board the Star. We saw Paradis, Band on the Run, a comedy act, and an Acrobatic show with a husband/wife team and their son. All shows were enjoyable and the costumes were incredible! We also did karaoke and merengue dance lessons. We enjoyed the live music throughout the ship. I did book a Thermal Spa pass at Mandera Spa. It was very uncrowded but a little small. I still enjoyed it but I didn't use it as much as I would have liked to. The gym is a little small and is missing equipment like kettle bells, slam balls and medicine balls that other ships have. It does have a lot of cardio equipment but the weight lifting area is so tiny and gets crowded. The group classes were a little pricey in my opinion. I personally don't feel $20 for a 30 minutes class is a very good deal but if you book a class pack (only offered on the first day) you would save money if this is something you are interested in attending more than 3 times during the week.They at least have a gym but it is not the nicest one I've used on a ship. I was happy to find out that they recently added a Spice H2O to this ship with two hot tubs. I liked that it was covered by an awning but if you wanted sun you could go up the stairs to the helicopter pad for lounge chairs. We also enjoyed the Sky High Bar at the top of the ship because you could listen to the music and enjoy the views. We went up here on a sea day with family traveling with us to play some card games. We enjoyed all the bars on the ship but we particularly we enjoyed Sky High, 5 O'Clock Somewhere and Bliss Ultra Lounge. We were disappointed that the Sugarcane Mojito bar had very limited hours and didn't open until 5:00 but you could order your drinks to go and take them with you to enjoy poolside. SERVICE Our cabin steward did a great job cleaning our room each morning and turning it down for us at night. We rarely saw him or talked to him and he really didn't go out of his way to introduce himself to us. This doesn't really bother me at all and is really just an observation and comparison from previous cruises where the steward went out of his way to talk to us. Our cruise director was Dingo Dave and he was a fun guy. I would see him around the ship and he came to our Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. They had a very entertaining Meet and Greet and all the officers introduced themselves and even gave us their numbers to reach them. They were all very funny and it was nice meeting other cruisers from this forum. As I mentioned earlier, the staff was very accommodating and friendly. We did run into two staff members (O'Sheehans and Versailles) at the end of the trip that were a little grumpy at first but after making small talk with them and joking around a little bit, they came around almost instantly and they were smiling and happy. The staff members all work so hard and I always give a little grace and extra smiles if they seem to be having a tough time. I can only imagine what they deal with on a daily basis. PORTS This was my first Mexican Rivera cruise and I enjoyed all of the ports. We don't typically book our excursions through the cruise line. We go through reputable outside websites and find the excursions less crowded, less expensive and more personable. We went to the Marriott in Puerto Vallarta for a day pass. It was only 650 pesos and 500 of those pesos go toward food and drink. It was a beautiful hotel and not too far from port maybe 10-15 minutes. In Mazatlan we booked a city tour and the guy gave us like an extra 2 hours! It was awesome. We went to Tabascos Beach Club in Cabo and it was uncrowded and they had 2 for 1 drinks for about 145 pesos. My in laws ordered breakfast and it was huge and they said it was delicious. We had the beef nachos and they were so good. I ended up getting an hour massage for $35 and my husband and son rented a jet ski for $40. You can totally haggle on prices with them. I would do this itinerary again because we enjoyed all these ports so much. SUMMARY The Star has had a brand new makeover and she delivers on friendly above and beyond service and a relaxed fun experience. If you want things like rock walls, water slides, mini golf and ropes courses then this would not be a good choice for you. If you want an uncrowded ship with relaxed activities, delicious food and friendly service the Star provides great value and an enjoyable smaller ship experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The Star may not be the biggest, newest or glitziest of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, but it is the Little Ship That Could! We found the crew to be positive, engaging, friendly, and accommodating from top to bottom. We attended the ... Read More
The Star may not be the biggest, newest or glitziest of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, but it is the Little Ship That Could! We found the crew to be positive, engaging, friendly, and accommodating from top to bottom. We attended the Meet and Greet given by the officers and heard from all of the major departments on board, all were very keen that we bring any concerns to them. I complimented the Food and Beverage lead about how they are now putting Vegetarian and Gluten Free symbols on the menus in the main dining rooms (which he told us was rolled out about 6 months ago), which was very helpful for our party. The buffet had all the food you could ever want, the two main dining rooms were elegant with adequate choices, the specialty restaurants provided that something extra in terms of food and service. Our cabin was large enough for the time we spent in it, and our room steward Joe was super sweet. Shore excursions were just what we wanted and needed. Never had to look too far to find an available lounge chair on deck, which has been an issue on previous cruises. The greatest compliment I could pay is that I would immediately get back on board and do it again. 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
We decided to do a group cruise for spring break and picked Norwegian, we have cruised on other cruiselines and decided to try this one. It was truly terrible. Dinner the first night there was no vegetarian option for me, the staff offered ... Read More
We decided to do a group cruise for spring break and picked Norwegian, we have cruised on other cruiselines and decided to try this one. It was truly terrible. Dinner the first night there was no vegetarian option for me, the staff offered a garden salad, then said he would have the manager speak with me. I sat through the appetizer watching everyone eat. She told me it was Easter dinner..this happened for other dinners as well.There was plumbing issues all cruise, the toilets would not flush and deck 5 flooded. We had to walk around a smelly carpet with fans in the hall. My 75 year old mother was in the closet cabin to the flood and they told her they would give her chocolates or a bottle of wine. She kept calling about the chocolates and they kept telling her it was already delivered, the last night they told her it was too late, I had to go to customer service and wait until they gave her what they promised. Another couple was there for the same thing and stated they had been on Norwegian 10 times and they would never sail with them again. The Ship was in poor condition, there are a lot of broken chairs in the theater. They said they were aware and the ship was going to dry dock and get repairs like they do every 5 years. (maybe they should fix things as they break?) There was a show Paradis that was disturbing and many people walked out. It did not say adult only but should have been, singing about threesomes was one thing but in the next dance they showed a guy slapping around a woman and trying to force himself on her. Our bills had a lot of charges that were not ours and were taken off when we brought it to their attention, customer service was the busiest place on the ship. Free activities were minimal, they counted listening to sales pitches as a fun free thing to do on a cruise. This was my first and last cruise on Norwegian. Never Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was my second time with ncl was my 16th Cruise. The food was slow to get out to us once it did it was barely lukewarm. I was in a sweet and had special place that I could have breakfast and lunch. When I ate there the food service was ... Read More
This was my second time with ncl was my 16th Cruise. The food was slow to get out to us once it did it was barely lukewarm. I was in a sweet and had special place that I could have breakfast and lunch. When I ate there the food service was great. It was how it should be in all the dining rooms. When we where on the pool deck there was 2 slide they where not open very much for the kids to play on. We were next to a Carnival ship at Port and there's like was open. People were going down it ours was closed and the kids wanted to go down it. It was just frustrating but I made the best of it and had a good time. Everyone on the boat was nice. There where slow to get you a drink or even ask you for a drink. I will not be going on this cruise line agine. The entertainment was good but the seats were horrible hurt my back felt like you were going to slide off them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
To start, let me just say this was my first cruise. So it’s difficult for me to give an accurate review when I really don’t have anything else to compare it to. That being said I can give facts of what happened and reading this you can ... Read More
To start, let me just say this was my first cruise. So it’s difficult for me to give an accurate review when I really don’t have anything else to compare it to. That being said I can give facts of what happened and reading this you can compare it to cruises you’ve been on. EMBARKING: We embarked from L.A. Luckily it was inside because after waiting 3 HOURS!.. we finally boarded the ship. There were only 2-3 people checking guests in and people were getting very upset. Nothing was done to get the lines moving. We were so late that we missed the safety demonstration and got dirty looks from people like we were late when in fact we were early to get in line. Once on the ship we ended up leaving late and did not receive our luggage until late that night. The ship Captain changed the itinerary several times switching the ports and the time allowed at the ports which got very frustrating, specially when inconsiderate people were late boarding at the ports which caused unnecessary delays. PORTS: The only port where we needed to board tenders was in Cabo San Lucas. That was a DISASTER! Soo unorganized. Stairwells were packed tight with people pushing and shoving. Most people we spoke with missed their excursions. The other ports went a lot more smooth and it was easy and quick getting off. We loved Puerto Vallarta and Mazaltan! It was sad we did not have more time however. EXCURSIONS: we booked through the ship which I suggest. It was nice to have everything planned, scheduled and guaranteed time getting back. In Puerto Vallarta we did a snorkeling , kayak and sail tour. It was way entertaining and so fun! In Mazaltan we did zip lining which was not as advertised. You think you’re guna be going into a jungle and repelling down a waterfall but in reality you zip line in the desert and then 15’ down a tree. That being said lunch was amazinggg and the tour guides we SO fun and helpful. They def made it worth it . ENTERTAINMENT: We only went to White Magic, Vegas, Paradis and the Comedian. Overall the entertainment was great! Comedian was HILARIOUS and the shows were great. Not too short not too long. The magician sucked , but the contortionist was amazing. Overall def lives the shows each night . POOL: Norwegian needs to do something about this. Pool was sooo small and filled with annoying kids. There’s only two adult hot tubs right next to each other right now to to the pool which was CONSTANTLY filled to capacity with the SAME drunk people that NEVER got out. So we never got to even sit in the hot tub. The pool chairs were covered in towels and “reserved” which is frowned upon every day which also sucked . Weather was colder than I expected which is out of anyone’s control. It was REALLY windy so the decks were closed a lot due to high winds. BARS: I can not stress enough... GET THE ULTIMATE BEVERAGE PACKAGE!!!! If you are going to drink anything .. at all... get it!! Sooo worth it ! That was really nice to go get drinks ... allll the time as much as you want. We tried all different kinds which was fun. We got to know the bartenders and tipping a $1 or $2 went a long way . RESTAURANTS: At first I was excited about trying different restaurants.... until I realized it was alllll the sammmme food. We got in INSTANTLY whenever we wanted to eat.. but then ended up waiting on average 40-60 min for food. It was cool ordering whatever and however much of anything you wanted. They brought out the appetizers with the food which is pet peeve of mine but we were always full. Desserts were actually amazing.. so good ! Main buffet isn’t open 24/7 which I was told by people that have cruised before is the best part so that kinda sucked. CABIN: We were towards the back of the boat on the 8th floor. I was worried that there would be a lot of noise being right above the Spiniker Lounge but I didn’t hear a thing. I noticed movement maybe one or two nights but overall it wasn’t bad . The room itself was actually awesome . Not big but not as small as I thought. It was cool having an ocean view window. It was always kept clean and we didn’t have any complaints at all . SERVICES: Gym was actually packed. Which surprised me. So I only went one morning. I work out 5-6days a week so it was nice taking a break. The Massage Spa was amazing. I’ve never had a massage so we did a couples massage and it felt great! Maybe only do one though. It’s way expensive and a little over priced. We got tricked into going again and ended up spending hundreds of dollars which we regret but it was still really nice. OVERALL: This was a fun experience and a decent first cruise. Like I said before it’s hard to compare when I haven’t been on any others. I don’t know if I’d cruise Norwegian again but it was fun. Definitely too many old people. I felt like I was in a retirement center the whole time. The news letters were FULL of activities all day long ...... buuuut those activities were dumb, boring and most costed money. Seriously? So we basically just walked around, ate, and played our card games. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Choose this cruise because the dates worked for us. First time on Norwegian but 9th cruise. Ship was ok but nothing amazing. Staff were usually friendly. Entertainment staff were ok - Jose was rude and condescending too younger ... Read More
Choose this cruise because the dates worked for us. First time on Norwegian but 9th cruise. Ship was ok but nothing amazing. Staff were usually friendly. Entertainment staff were ok - Jose was rude and condescending too younger cruisers during bingo - he needs more training. Some constructive to NCL. Your electronic app never matched actual paper copies. In today's age if you can't make it accurate don't offer it. Same on your official pages. O Sheehgans pub on deck did not offer menu items you promoted. But a great concept overlooking Atrium to people watch amd open 24 hours. What we did order was good. Atrium bar did not offer wine as you promoted - even as we cruised. Apparently it was discontinued a while ago. Not a big deal but again wrong info Never met room steward personally until day 3. He did bare minimum. Ladies public bathroooms always broken or onestall out of order or flooded. Our toilet rarely flushed in our cabin. Walls were thinner than other cruise ships for sure. Spinnakers lounge doubles as night club and being one floor above you heard it all. If I have alternative choices I will probably not choose Norwegian again Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was a family vacation and overall we had a lot of fun. We made the best of it even though there was a few downsides. The ship was really cold so we froze in the halls, eating areas and restaurants and we hadn't prepared for the ... Read More
This was a family vacation and overall we had a lot of fun. We made the best of it even though there was a few downsides. The ship was really cold so we froze in the halls, eating areas and restaurants and we hadn't prepared for the cooler weather as well. We explored all of the ship and enjoyed all the great entertainment which was wonderful. We felt there wasn't a lot for the teens to do. The cabin was smaller than planned we had planned 4 in our cabin but the 4th bed would have been in the middle of the floor which didn't make sense and wouldn't have been convenient so we ended up having one of our sons stay in grandmas cabin. But our housekeeper was amazing and very accommodating. We loved him! The food and service was great in all areas especially in the main restaurants but the service when sitting by pool decks REALLY LACKED. The best service we got was when we were in the 5 O'clock bar there was one server that was always helpful and attentive. When going on vacation you want to be served drinks not have to get up and go wait in line for 10-15 min. to get a drink. I would suggest more servers. We did have a server come by twice in the 2 days the sun was out but it took them 20 min. to bring back our drinks and cards which one time we were given back the wrong card with wrong name. The ports were great and we did one excursion, the prior one was cancelled so we went on a similar it was ok but really was sad we couldn't do the other one. Overall we had fun but will not go on Norwegian cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
For the most part this was a good value and fun cruise for myself and 2 younger boys. We did the carribean cruise 2 years ago on the Dawn and it didn’t seem to have the same exceptional service as before. Food was good not excellent and ... Read More
For the most part this was a good value and fun cruise for myself and 2 younger boys. We did the carribean cruise 2 years ago on the Dawn and it didn’t seem to have the same exceptional service as before. Food was good not excellent and overall experience was on par of what we expected. For the most part the serving and cabin attendees were good but some I would characterize as not the happiest group. The old cliche of service with a smile was not exemplified. We purchased the unlimited internet package that would allow streaming on Netflix. It was not worth it because most of the time the video glitched and had to be restarted. Obviously it could not keep up with the demands during peak times so the technology is not there yet. We took one excursion to a tequila tour which was not a genuine distillery but a front to sell over priced no name tequila. Also shuttling you back and forth to specific tile, leather and silver shops. The experience was somewhat underwhelming. We also ran into some mechanical problems with ship and had to be rerouted our ports of call in the reverse. I thought the crew and staff did a good job communicating and making a bad situation seem less as they were able get to all the ports and arrive back in LA on time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise and cruise line because they offered a good price, nice itinerary and some "free" items. We received $100 on board credit, 3 Special dinners and unlimited beverage package. The Unlimited Beverage package was ... Read More
We chose this cruise and cruise line because they offered a good price, nice itinerary and some "free" items. We received $100 on board credit, 3 Special dinners and unlimited beverage package. The Unlimited Beverage package was definitely worth the extra you had to pay in gratuities. The $100 on board credit was nice but the special dinners was worthless. We had to pay the gratuities up front (over $100) yet by the 3rd day of the 7 day cruise all reservations were full for EVERY special restaurants on board. I asked about a refund for the money I paid for the gratuity but was told too bad for me. The public bathrooms on the ship were often out of order, out of toilet paper or paper towel. The casino has no ventilation yet passengers are allowed to smoke in it. The smoke was so thick you could cut it! YUCK! The midship elevators did work correctly, often skipping floors. The staterooms are SMALL. I know that this is a ship and the rooms are smaller but compared to other cruise lines they were dinky!!! We arranged our transportation to and from the cruise terminal from the airport. We were charged $25 per person. Those that hadn't prepaid were only charged $20 by the bus driver at the airport and then by the ship!! The entertainment was passable, but not the best I have seen. Bingo was double what I have paid on other ships.All in all the ports were good, the food in the main dining room was awesome and our room steward rocked. Disembarkation was the biggest cluster mess I have ever seen!! Would I choose Norwegian again? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We originally chose this cruise because it was cheaper than Carnival, we wanted a 7 day cruise and didn't want to fly (we live in Arizona.) We took time in LA beforehand to explore the Jewish Holocaust Museum (we should have spent ... Read More
We originally chose this cruise because it was cheaper than Carnival, we wanted a 7 day cruise and didn't want to fly (we live in Arizona.) We took time in LA beforehand to explore the Jewish Holocaust Museum (we should have spent hours there), took a Warner Bros. tour (made for "Friends" and "Ellen" fans, though the Batman and Harry Potter parts were good), the Los Angeles Mormon Temple (amazingly peaceful grounds) and sampled some Indian food. It was a great day. Next time we will spend more time at the Museum as well as doing other things. Driving in LA is still crazy on Saturdays. Embarkation was smooth, but slower than other cruise lines. Disembarkation was not nearly as pleasant and took twice as long. They really need to figure this out. It was the longest and most confusing process of all our cruises. If I had to do it again, I would either be in line at 6:30AM or I would eat a leisurely breakfast and saunter off at 10AM. After eating for a week, I don't ever see us going back to Carnival. Except for Guy Fieri's. Instead, I had Paella at the deck party, from a 36 inch wok-type pot; impressive sight and the Paella was excellent. We had to go to Ginza twice, the food was so good. Breakfasts at Versailles are ok; better to choose from the wide variety at the buffet. Speaking of the buffet (we enjoyed it) there are too many passengers for the seating. We had to save a table with one member of the party while the others went to get their food. The omelet line was weird too. They had plates at both ends, so it was confusing where to line up. Aqua was Versailles with a different decor and our party couldn't come together on Teppanyaki, which some of us really wanted to experience. That isn't exactly right, as it is in a room within the Ginza restaurant, so we could hear a lot of what was going on, which was what fired us up to try it. We had two meals at O'Sheehan's and came to characterize it as "Carnival food." Again, not bashing on Carnival, and you might love them, but we felt the food was significantly better. An example is hash browns, which were flat tater tots. Not exactly inspiring. The potatoes O'Brien at the buffet were excellent. Cabin. It's a cabin. Unless you pop for a suite, the best part is sitting on the balcony enjoying the out of doors. Our 17 year old came along and he was right, the extra, fold-out bed was hard. Our excellent cabin steward arranged for some egg crate foam padding, which solved that. Ports: I love Mexico now more than ever. Everyone we talked to was warm and friendly, welcoming. I could do another cruise just to spend more time with the people. I see in comments that some are put off by street vendors, hawking their wares. Smiling, with a gentle shake of my head, I simply put out my hand, palm down and they understood I wasn't interested. Shore Excursions: Puerto Vallarta: We did the zipline adventure. Wow! It was great. There is about a quarter mile of climbing after the (hilarious) safety orientation to get to the first station and a few after that, but not bad. The restaurant served delicious food and the small zoo was great as well. We bought the video and photo package, which came out to about $75US. When we got home and put the DVD in, we had a blast watching. They put it to catchy music as well. It is a video of everyone that day, so it takes about 45 minutes for them to burn it. Mazatlan: We took the bus out to see several rural towns. Our guide was VERY informative, humorous and kind. We saw how Mexico helps the poor by putting up schools, with content beamed in from Mexico City. We had the chance to see how many things were made: decorative tile, cedar doors, sun-shaped clay figures and delicious cinnamon bread. We saw several beautiful churches, a rock symbolizing Queztalcoatl and had a good lunch of fajitas, topped off with banana cream pie. Cabo San Lucas. The glass in the “glass-bottom-boat” is more Plexiglass than glass, about 2 feet by 4 feet wide. I could see some fish, but it wasn’t like being in an aquarium. I didn’t expect how enjoyable motoring out to El Arco would be. We were also taken to the Pacific side to see all around it. We took a tour of the city (church, glass blowing factory-amazing) stores and a chance to look back on the city. It was enjoyable. Ship: Other than the top deck in front, there is no way to see forward. On other ships, there is a lounge/room where you see where you are going, away from the weather. The side seats in the theatre are only good if you are in front. Two of the shows we saw were fantastic and one was basically an audience-terrorizing, “I hate kids” show which did not end up as family friendly. I heard from another passenger, who saw the “adult” show that it was full of “F-words” and not funny. Hey, if that’s your gig, great. But to advertise things as family-friendly means that kids should be able to go without being bombarded with an advertisement for more salty stuff. iConcierge. The intent is good, but mostly eye-candy. The charges don't match actual. The activities don't match and there is no map of the ship. It is marginally better than Carnival's, but that isn't saying much. I would put it 3-4 years behind what we expect apps to be. We enjoyed it so much we put down deposits for future cruises. What made everything work was how nice the staff was. Every. Single. One. On some past cruises, everyone was nice, but in this case, it was universal. When I asked about working conditions, they said that they were treated well. It isn’t a piece of cake to be away from ones family for a long period of time, but they felt that the company did their best. To top it all off, Mouse, the teenager keep-kids-happy person was great with our son. Once he caught on, we didn’t see him much after that. He had a blast. Overall, impressed and Norwegian will be one of the cruise lines that we use. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I told my wife, who had never been on a cruise, that cruising is fun for several reasons: good to excellent food (and lots of it!), fun shows and activities, and night club style dancing. At least that's been my experience on both ... Read More
I told my wife, who had never been on a cruise, that cruising is fun for several reasons: good to excellent food (and lots of it!), fun shows and activities, and night club style dancing. At least that's been my experience on both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Not so with Norwegian. Our cruise was to the Mexican Riviera aboard the Norwegian Star. The ship itself was fine. Norwegian touts its 'freestyle cruising' as a way to entice customers. The difference? Other cruise lines offer early and late dinner seating, often at tables with guests you've never met. This offers the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends aboard ship. You have the same waiters with you every night, and you eat with the same people every night. You also pay gratuities at the end of the cruise by handing envelopes to the staff. You can eat at the buffets as well, but I found the former more enjoyable. With free-style cruising, on the other hand, you eat when you want, but it is rare that you eat at the same table with others. On the Star, there were other eating options besides at the buffets and main dining rooms. You could eat from numerous specialty eateries, but you paid more for the privilege. Gratuities are automatically added to your bill at the end of the cruise ($26/day for 2 people), regardless of whether on not you thought the service warranted it or not, or whether you even used the services or not. This was a nasty surprise at the end of our cruise. So why didn't my wife and I enjoy our cruise? Several reasons. 1. The food was mediocre at best. The menus in the main dining rooms were extensive, but the food was bland and often cold. We rarely ate a dinner in either Versailles or Aqua that we found particularly palatable. The buffets were equally uninspired. We often ate breakfast at the buffet, and like the main dining rooms, the food was mediocre. I always looked forward to the breakfasts on the other cruise lines I've been on; not this one. We were on a budget, so we didn't try the specialty restaurants, but I fear they may have been as bad as the other options. There was one exception: the crepe station. Unfortunately, that did not make up for the subpar dining option elsewhere. 2. The shows were basically a wash. On the one hand, the professional dancers were quite good, some of the best I've seen. The dance shows were inventive, entertaining, and lively. The other acts were either okay, or downright boring. On this cruise, a Russian couple performed feats of acrobatics on stage that were fun to watch, but what they did were things I've seen before. I kept wanting to shout, "Hey! What's up with Putin?!" I didn't, but only because my wife would have killed me. Besides the Russians, there were two comedians on board. Neither were very good. The first act featured a comic with a magic act (or was he a magician with a comedy act?). Either way, I found myself wondering what else I could have been doing. The other was a standup comic, and between the two, I nearly chuckled once. 3. The night club was a complete and utter disaster. My wife and I LOVE to dance. We enjoy popular music as well as hip hop, R&B, 70's, Latin, old school, and contemporary hits. I got her all excited about how fun dancing is on cruises. My fondest memories of cruising years ago was dancing every night until I couldn't stand up anymore. Well, not on this ship. The reason? The DJ. On this ship, the DJ (known as 'DJ Vibe') was an idiot. His idea of great dance music consisted of Pit Bull. I'm serious! This man played no less than 6 Pit Bull songs a night! Pit Bull in English, Pit Bull in Spanish, Pit Bull as lead, Pit Bull as back up. I couldn't believe it! He did this EVERY NIGHT!! No hip hop. None! No R&B. None! We did get lots of obscure Latin songs, but Pit Bull and Latin all night? I tried to get DJ Dummass to play something, ANYTHING else, but to no avail. I noticed others trying to do the same, but when they realized that the DJ was not going to play their requests, they left! The man did not know how to do his job. In fact, several people that I met in the night club had a theory: the DJ was so bad because he wanted to end the night early. This way he could get paid and go to bed! It's my story, and I'm sticking with it! In the past, I looked forward to dancing the night away and viewed the cruise night club as a great way to end each evening. Not so on this cruise. I don't believe I am overstating when I say that I think this DJ ruined our vacation. (As a side note, the cover band who came on before DJ Ineptitude was actually quite good. I don't usually enjoy dancing to bands, but this band was an exception. They are Exotique out of Atlanta, and they were terrific. Unfortunately, when they ended their set each night, the DJ would take over, and you know how that went). Five days later as I write this, I am still fuming at the thought of DJ Latrine screwing up our vacation! Grrrr. All this is to say, if you're looking for a cruise experience that you will enjoy, look elsewhere. I've never gone wrong with Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity is excellent (especially food-wise). I haven't tried Carnival or Princess, but I've heard good things about both. We'll see. I think the worst thing about this trip, the thing that really sticks in my craw, is that this was my wife's first cruise. In the future, I may find it difficult to convince her that there is MUCH better out there, but will she believe me? I sure hope so... Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We went on the Jewel last year to Alaska and absolutely loved it, we loved it so much we purchased 3 future cruises. Fast forward one year and we embark the Norwegian Star out of Los Angeled on the Mexican Riviera 7 day cruise. Horrible ... Read More
We went on the Jewel last year to Alaska and absolutely loved it, we loved it so much we purchased 3 future cruises. Fast forward one year and we embark the Norwegian Star out of Los Angeled on the Mexican Riviera 7 day cruise. Horrible service, unhappy wait staff (washy washy was dismal), crickety boat with a lot of maintenance issues, The worst comic I've ever seen (Rod Long) and a total lack of excitement. Seriously considering just losing the prepaid cruises at this point. 10% of the staff were a pleasure (Nino, the Teppanyaki chef was awesome and so was the staff there, room steward Jonathan was great and the dealer Darlon from St Lucia was a gem). Oh and to top it off the ice cream machine served watery ice cream the entire cruise. BOO STAR BOO Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We are a couple in our 50's and have cruised more than a dozen times on several lines (Celebrity, RCCL, NCL, Princess, Carnival). We both love cruising. My husband likes live music and I like to read and look at water. Not much into ... Read More
We are a couple in our 50's and have cruised more than a dozen times on several lines (Celebrity, RCCL, NCL, Princess, Carnival). We both love cruising. My husband likes live music and I like to read and look at water. Not much into activities, very low key and spontaneous. Since this particular cruise was leaving from L.A. and family members had the time off together, we decided to "go big" and invite our extended family of 8 adults and 4 kids to come along - on on what would be their first cruise. Many families were on board - that perhaps influenced a lot of what was so different about this experience for my DH and me - we have no kids, and tend to be late-birds, so we weren't accustomed to being in the public areas at the high-traffic hours, but this time we were traveling as a big family from 2-75. The ship was coming out of dry dock two weeks prior, and had some remodeling. Now there were some new venues as well as the separate "haven"-type area reserved for higher-paying customers on top deck. Disco now part of haven, I think? (Not sure about this, since we didn't have access...) Embarcation/debarcation - good systems in place. Clean, beautiful ship. Like any ship, an amazing technological wonder! Luggage handled quickly. Room steward was great and working all the time. Cabin comfortable. Love that NCL has coffeemakers in cabin! Guest services quick and helpful. Responsive to noise complaints we had with kids in cabin above us. Wifi quick and easy to sign on - if pricey. Food was good across the board, not great, but fine and food service available 24/7. Kids were happy with buffet. Free dining venues beautiful and food was good, service a bit slow but we were with family so we talked a lot through the delays. One night we were comped 2 bottles of wine because we had to wait so long for Aqua table for 12- very nice. Vegetarian options were a bit limited. Downside of ship: no outdoor eating patio - instead, spa/gym and kiddie area is at back of ship. I missed eating and hanging out for coffee and reading on back deck looking at wake of ship! Gym also faced interior walls - less pleasant than on ships where machines face windows. Otherwise beautiful ship. New bar venue "5 o'clock somewhere" still needs furnishing and staffing. Service crazy slow (see below). Entertainment: Party band "Exotique" was fantastic (saw them on another ship - yay!). Pool band also good. Good solo guitar player in bar. We didn't see any shows but heard good things. Show band did a couple of jazz sets and played well. Would be nice if there were more movies or tv shows on the video feed in cabins. Can't comment on cruise director or activities since we did so few, this cruise especially. Pool area is very obstructed with water slides. Kids complained they coudn't slide down - not enough water flowing. Very crowded every day. Mexican Riviera is on Pacific = cold water, cool breezes. No tropical evenings. I'm not a big pool person, and prefer my balcony, so can't compare much with other pool decks, but it felt extra crowded when I did go on deck, with tons of kids especially. This was spring break, so lots of kids - understandable. But this was now the only pool available. One of the reasons we chose this cruise over others in the same time frame were the perks offered: drink package, dining package, or onboard credit. Nice perks, and seems like NCL is competing with Celebrity's 3-2-1 promos. (We haven't cruised with Celebrity's promo perks - maybe the service has changed on those ships as it seemed to on Star this past spring break.) Being that the ship had been reconfigured, maybe people don't know their assignments and the systems aren't yet tightened. This seemed to be the case in Ginza, which is now a free dining venue. However, O'Sheehan's is a pub on deck 8 of Atrium, open 24/7, and seemed to be running very smoothly. Nice pub/fried type fare. Sad to say, it seemed like systems to handle new venues plus "unlimited" packages were NOT in place. Drink service was slow to nonexistent and we could wait up to 30 minutes to be approached by a waiter. After several of those experiences in different venues we ended up going up to the bar directly (along with lots of other passengers) to get drinks. Servers were sometimes wandering around but not serving, and there was only one bartender, generally. It also seemed like the unlimited drinks package was a hardship for servers, since they had to ring a separate ticket for each drink for each person. We asked ourselves: Is this a new business model? Call it "unlimited" but then make it hard/slow/inconvenient to get a drink? Is profit still being made even though service is awful? Is this the wave of the future? There was a big skew between expectation and delivery. Thinking cynically, if I were the bar manager of the ship, responsible for a big profit-making part of the cruise (liquor service) - and there were an "unlimited" promo on, I could make my bottom-line numbers look good if less drinks were poured. There's an inherent contradiction, perhaps, in offering these promos!? To be fair, however, when managers were approached, all problems were quickly solved. I think they need to develop a system and software to handle the accounting on the drinks packages. It was very clunky and obstructive. And figure out staffing in all the new venues. The rules of the drink package were also not articulated clearly anywhere on the website prior to departure, or in printed materials - and so it seemed weird when the guidelines had to be explained ad hoc by staff. Examples: doesn't apply to coffee, doesn't apply to room service, etc. None of those things is a problem, per se, but since nothing else was provided to let you know what you were choosing (as a perk) and ultimately getting on board, it felt more "limited" - which is a shame, since most of the cruise was great. Amazing how one thing can become very big. The unlimited dining packages seemed to get people into the specialty restaurants more than on other NCL cruises we've been on (POA, Jade, Sun, Star). However by the first night, EVERY venue was booked up from 5:30-9:30. So even though we would have happily paid the upcharge for one of the pay venues for a couple of special dinners, we weren't able. But the venues were all full... so again, maybe it's a brave new world of profit models? The per-diem tips did go up across the board for this cruise... I hope my various family members had a good time - they seemed to! It was great to have the chance to all be together. As soon as we recover financially, however, we will be booking another cruise. Maybe not this same ship, unless the itinerary and price is right! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We were on the March 29th sailing of the Star out of LA for the seven day Mexican Riviera cruise. This is my 17th cruise overall and my third on NCL. My wife, and two boys (ages 11 and 9) were with me and we all shared one cabin. We had a ... Read More
We were on the March 29th sailing of the Star out of LA for the seven day Mexican Riviera cruise. This is my 17th cruise overall and my third on NCL. My wife, and two boys (ages 11 and 9) were with me and we all shared one cabin. We had a good time on this cruise, but I will say that we had realistic expectations as to the product that NCL offers. I want to also preface this review with the fact that we paid an extremely cheap price for this cruise and we believe that we more than got our money worth. We left from the port of LA and getting on the ship was quite painless. We were on board within 25 minutes of arrival. Since the elevators were overcrowded, we tried to take the steps up to the buffet for lunch but the ship was a bit confusing and there were stairs that seemed to lead to nowhere from the atrium. Instead we found our room and went to drop off our stuff. The ship was in good shape as she just came out of dry dock a few weeks prior to our sailing. The carpets were new in many areas and she was kept very clean by the hardworking crew. The ship feels small however and there is a lack of comfortable common space to relax or sit comfortably. A word about the staterooms, they are SMALL! the rooms was a family inside, that was designed to accommodate four passengers, but the reality was that it barely could. The condition of the cabin was very good however and it was functional for what we needed. The big disappointment was the fact that their was only one bunk that folded up tot he ceiling, the fourth passenger was forced to sleep on a roll away wedged between the other lower beds. This made for an awkward sleeping arrangement and was a hassle as anyone that needed to leave the bed had to trample over the other people. Though it was not ideal, it worked. I would suggest that if you do have four guests you should get two rooms! We are a tight family and so we made things work and had a lot of laughs and bruises falling over each other! I will give the Star positive marks for the bathroom as it was well laid out and the shower was large with a sliding door. The Food- We found the food at the buffet to be just OK. I don't expect much from a cruise buffet, but I think for lunch they could do better. The selections were not great and sometimes they offered some odd dishes. The buffet was always overcrowded as well and finding a seat was at times very difficult. The breakfast buffet was OK, but still very crowded. The Grill out by the pool was really good for lunch and had good hotdogs and excellent Hamburgers! On sea days they also brought out huge BBQ grills and had some really good offerings of steak, chicken, fried rice, and pasta. We ate dinner all but one night in Aqua, the less formal dining room. We really enjoyed the food in here and the service was good as we were able to get the same table each night. Be sure to make a reservation as the tables fill up fast and then you will be forced to wait. The entrees were the largest portions I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. I eat really well, and even I pushed a few plates way! The appetizers were good and the salads were fair. We found the meat dishes to be pretty good, but sometimes the steaks were a bit tough. The real problem that NCL needs to address is the deserts! They were a very big disappointment! I don't understand how they can pull off some pretty complex dishes for the entree and screw up simple deserts. They were mostly tasteless and all seemed to lack any sweetness. The only desert that my not so picky kids would eat was the chocolate volcano cake. We did eat at Ginza one night and found the food to be very good. Some great noodle dishes and soups. We had lunch in the Versailles Dining room for lunch twice and it was really good! Try the shrimp burger on a pretzel bun! Entertainment- this was so so. The shows were just ok, and some of the entertainers were pretty good. The Ballet Folklorico was excellent however! The cruise director Ben was not the greatest but his staff did a great job. The kids club staff was overwhelmed with the amount of spring breakers on board so our kids stayed away from that. Ports: We have been to the Mex Riv many times as we live in So Cal. In Cabo we go to the local beach and relax,. In Mazatlan, we always take a cab to the El Cid Resort and hang out by their massive pool. As long as you order food and fdrink they let you stay all day! The pool has a waterslide and diving rock and my kids had a blast! Cheap beer and great food! In Puerto Vallarta, we always go downtown to the shops and then to the beach. We sit at the restaurant eating shrimp and beer while the kids go in the water and play. A nice way to spend the day! Disembarking was a breeze and before we knew it we were on the road home after a very nice vacation. All in all we had a very good time on this cruise! I do not prefer NCL, but again I think we got a decent value. I have never been on a cruise that I haven't enjoyed and this one did not disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our first cruise and we travelled with our son (15) and our daughter (14). We chose this cruise because the dates, embarkation port and NCL Freestyle concept all appealed to us. We were initially a little concerned that the STAR ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we travelled with our son (15) and our daughter (14). We chose this cruise because the dates, embarkation port and NCL Freestyle concept all appealed to us. We were initially a little concerned that the STAR was an older ship but this turned out to not be an issue as it was recently out of an overhaul period. In our opinion the ship was in very good shape. I have read quite a few reviews on Cruise Critic and I believe that the travellers attitude has a lot to do with how they will perceive the experience. I find it ridiculous that people get annoyed and complain about the little things. I won't call anyone out on this but keep this in mind when reading people's reviews. BOOKING: I booked using NCL's website and found it very easy to navigate. I was able to secure two inside cabins at a price which I was comfortable with. I am from Canada and something Canadian travellers always need to consider is the exchange rate between the Cdn dollar and the US dollar. This can have an impact of the "true" cost of the cruise. Be aware of your exchange rate your credit card company offers and what rate NCL may charge if billed in Cdn dollars. CABINS: We had two inside cabins. My wife and daughter booked in one and my son and I booked in the other. As your issued room key has your name and details printed on it and is used for on ship charges we needed to make arrangements to get extra key cards as we wanted the kids in one room and the adults in the other. Once on the ship it was very easy to get extra room keys from the customer service desk. There were no issues with having a 15 and 14 year old in one room together despite NCLs policy of an adult in each room. Our cabins were great, the were comfortable clean and well layed out. Yes they were small but we expected that. Close the door at any time of the day and turn out the lights, its dark...no way of knowing what time it is. A small night light and a travel clock would be a good suggestion. DINING: We found the food to be very good and certainly better than I was expecting. I can appreciate the challenge of feeding that many people with quality options quickly. NCL did this very well. The freestyle dinning concept is great and we explored many of the different restaurants on the ship all of which provided good options and fast service for us. BEVERAGES: Probably my only real complaint about the cruise. It always seemed to take a little longer than it should have to get a drink from the bar. Not sure if it was lack of bartending staff or if we just always went to the bar at the wrong time. SERVICE: All the NCL staff were friendly and very helpful. POOLS: They were always busy except days in port were the ship always emptied out of passengers. The adults only hot tub at the front of the ship was lukewarm at best. The hot tubs in the main pool area were a good temperature but these were always busy and during the day filled with young kids as well. SHORE EX: We did not book any of the ship's excursions but opted to just get off the ship and do our own thing. We had a good time and finding this to do and places to eat was fun and never a problem. TEEN CLUB: We signed our kids up for the teen club and they each spent a small amount of time there but I do not believe they found it all that interesting. NCL does try to put on events at the teen club to entertain, but it didn't really work for our kids. Not a problem though the kids still had a great time on the cruise. SUMMARY: We consider our first cruise a very good success and will definitely cruise again with NCL....probably without the kids next time!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was the second cruise I took with NCL. This time it was the NCL Star. There were several problems with the cruise that can be avoided, if you plan ahead. I was on the 11th floor, which is underneath the pool and dining area. ... Read More
This was the second cruise I took with NCL. This time it was the NCL Star. There were several problems with the cruise that can be avoided, if you plan ahead. I was on the 11th floor, which is underneath the pool and dining area. Big mistake. You can hear them roll their carts and people walking throughout the day. Maybe if you stay forward part of the boat, it would be fine. ULTIMATE DINNER PACKAGE. This package might be oversold, and it be impossible to get reservations to the restaurant you like to go to. I suggest not taking the packing and paying the surcharge. First night at the Steakhouse, it took 1 1/2 hours to get our food. It wasn't worth it. WARNING FOR CASINO PLAYERS: There is no independent governmental regulation of the type provided in Las Vegas by the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board to oversee cruise line Casinos. One day, they would not let me near the tables as they were setting up the tables for the games. I noticed no new cards were used. They reuse the same cards throughout the cruise. I saw a dealer resorting them after closing the table. Very strange. Why wouldn't they used new cards? Why wouldn't they allow me to set at the table while they were setting up the game? Cruise ships try to maximize their profit with the money they get from Casinos. I strongely suggest you just enjoy the trip, and gamble back in the states where it is regulated. ONBOARD LOTTERY - NOT WORTH PLAYING: This is a fleet wide lottery so all NCL ships are part of it (Not the pride of America). 1 in 5,461,512 odds of winning the jackpot. 5 numbers drawn from 60. Most ships draw at a different times and also a different set of numbers so if one ship draws at 10pm and the second draws at 11pm with both ships each having a winner then the prize would go to the ship that drew first. This is exactly how major lotteries operate currently but in a much shorter time frame. If two ships had a draw at exactly the same time and both ships had a winner then the prize would be split between both winners, very similar to how major lotteries operate across America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was my fourth cruise on NCL. I have always praised them for their service and professionalism on their ships. This time was different. This was the second cruise after the Star left dry dock. I'm not quite sure what was ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise on NCL. I have always praised them for their service and professionalism on their ships. This time was different. This was the second cruise after the Star left dry dock. I'm not quite sure what was accomplished in the dry dock, but nothing was noticeable. They built a new bar called 5 o'clock somewhere, but it wasn't finished until the cruise was almost completed. The check in at the dock was fine, but then it turned terrible. We had to wait two hours before our cabins were ready, which I have never seen before. We went to the bar for the Sail Away and they didn't have any Pina Colada mix. How is this possible? We were with a group of 114 people, mostly LGBT. We went to the Friends of Dorothy get together, and there was one bartender available the first night. We thought, fine, they didn't realize how many people would show up, but then next night was exactly the same. Every time we talked to an officer about the problems on the ship, they would say they were sorry, but they would not do anything to remedy the situation. We made reservations at the Italian Restaurant, which was a specialty restaurant that required an extra charge. The restaurant was not busy that night, but after one and a half hours, we still did not have our dinner. We complained to the Officer and of course were told he was sorry, but offered no remedy. When we finally did get our dinner, it was inedible. It looked like it had just come out of the microwave. We did have some enjoyable experiences at other restaurants, including Cagney's Steakhouse and the Brazilian Restaurant. One great experience was the cabin steward. He was very attentive to our needs, and was always available when we needed him. I have two other NCL cruises scheduled this year, and I am hopeful that this cruise was just a fluke, and the other cruises will be up to the standards I am used to on NCL. If not, I will surely not book any other cruises with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We had excellent weather, all of the embarkation and disembarkation procedures went very well. Everyone was polite and courteous. Sometimes there were soo many things going on, we found ourselves almost without time to eat, but we ... Read More
We had excellent weather, all of the embarkation and disembarkation procedures went very well. Everyone was polite and courteous. Sometimes there were soo many things going on, we found ourselves almost without time to eat, but we managed. Entertainment was very good. There were enough beach chairs to go around, which was nice and we enjoyed the view from the pool area. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Wow, amazing, awesome. Great food, great entertainment, and wonderful pot experiences. How they can make a fuul ship feel like theres plenty of room and activities for all is unbelievable. Service with a smile, and new friends , with life ... Read More
Wow, amazing, awesome. Great food, great entertainment, and wonderful pot experiences. How they can make a fuul ship feel like theres plenty of room and activities for all is unbelievable. Service with a smile, and new friends , with life long memories. Thats why you take vacations and crusing is one of those opportunities. They are minor areas that could or should be addressed, and hopefully they will deal with it. But wont stop me from going again! Hit the Office at Cabo, and spring break was a bikini cervesa feast, and Matazlan was georgous, and visited one of the most spiritual cathedral s in the city, not to mention seeing the cliff divers and lighthouse on the hill. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
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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