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

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
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 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
We traveled with friends, late 30's with a nine year old- first timers on NCL. We were on our 5th NCL cruise, 7th overall. We are in our 40's with a 16 year old.We have cruised Alaska and Hawaii and the Caribbean, but never the ... Read More
We traveled with friends, late 30's with a nine year old- first timers on NCL. We were on our 5th NCL cruise, 7th overall. We are in our 40's with a 16 year old.We have cruised Alaska and Hawaii and the Caribbean, but never the Mexican Riviera. This was probably our least favorite cruise to date, for several reasons. Don't get me wrong, a bad day on a cruise is still better than any day at work:) We plan to continue cruising with NCL, but between the itinerary and Spring Break, we will plan differently in the future :) On a funny note, my dear husband got notification that one of his bags was in the naughty room :) We don't drink, so we didn't have a clue.. no bottles or even an iron. What could it be??? Turns out it was our power strip. DH had to work a little on this cruise, and was purchasing a generous internet plan to log on since he was starting with a new client this week. We have always taken a power strip in the past, no problem. WELL..... NOT ON THIS TRIP! He was told it was a fire hazard, and they took it for the week. When we told the guy in the internet cafe, he said he could get us a power strip without a surge protector, which he claimed was the problem. His comment about that was "they use a different kind of electricity on board, and the surge protector is the problem, not the power strip itself" HaHaHa! That one got a laugh all week from all our cruise critic friends who still had their power strip! BTW, we never did get a power strip to use either.Our ship normally has about 2,400 but on this cruise we had 2,800+. LOTS of college students, cramming the hot tubs so they were totally inaccessible for portions of the day. If you didn't get up early (while they were still sleeping off the night before), even the pools got really crowded. 9 year old LOVED the water slides, and used them a lot. Pools were clean and well maintained.Our 3 port days (2 in Cabo, 1 in PV) were warm and sunny, otherwise it was very windy, so between that and crowded pools/hot tubs we didn't spend tons of time on deck. Sometimes the band was great, other times it was AMAZINGLY LOUD!!! We enjoyed our balcony, except that we were right next door to major smokers who would smoke us back into our cabin. Not sure what the fix to that is, it was just a bummer. We did ask to have our balcony doors opened in port, and that never happened. Cabins were well maintained as well. Beds are HARD.. forgot to ask for egg shell foam. Note to self, will do that next cruise! Food was amazing all week. We ate mostly in Versailles, and got to know Nelson quite well. He was very funny! DH and I also went to Le Bistro once, and it was the best meal of the week! We often had dinner as a group of 6, and enjoyed the group time. Tables can vary, we learned early to ask to be reseated if they gave us a smaller round table. Because our cruise was so full, lots of the four tops were extended into round tables to seat 5 or 6, but that was very tight. The dining room was so loud on Wednesday night, Lobster night. Food was super good!! Deserts seemed plenty sweet, no complaints about not using enough sugar from me :)MOVE THE CHOCOLATE BUFFET TO AQUA!! It was horrible in the Marketplace buffet area. It was logistically hard to get in and out, and the desserts were just not that great! The desserts at dinner were much better. Maybe this was a victim of the Spring Break College Crowd... they were leaving with plates piled high, and then saw some of the same plated left behind on the other side of the buffet. Missed seeing the chocolate dipped strawberries. You could have someone handing those out one per person. Strawberries seemed to be at a premium, must be the price and # on board. All 6 of us went to the BEST OF ALL lunch. That was a disappointment, mostly due to them not being able to keep up with foods on the buffet, and inconsistent portions of items ordered off the fixed menu. The lunch is from 11:30-1:30. We went at noon, and for the most part got what we wanted. Those who went later probably had a harder time. By 12:30 the buffet was trashed, and they were out of desserts. Some of the items were not the best representation of those specialty restaurants. If this lunch had been on the 1st sea day, as a sampling menu, there would have been some restaurants I would never had gone to, and some that I would have wanted to go to several times.We booked our own excursions, based on reviews from cruise critic. All those went very well. We went whale watching with Ecotours in Cabo, DD went horseback riding through Johan and Saundra in Cabo, and we zip lined with Los Veranos Canopy Tours in PV. Staff is very accommodating, but starting to burn out on the Mexican Riviera run with the pulling of Mazatlan as a port of call. That was a docking port, leaving PV as the only port now where the ship docks. We were told that staff can't really make it into Cabo on the 2 days that the ship tenders due to work schedules and waiting until all passengers have gone ashore first. Maybe NCL should run a dedicated tender for employees... wouldn't bother me to know they did that. I think they need to be aware that this itinerary is burning out crew quickly. Despite that, they are a friendly bunch. Loved meeting all the officers, and at our Cruise Critic get together we were offered a bridge tour by Captain Gunnar. That was so much fun! I loved Niko from Finland, who gave us our bridge tour. Very nice, friendly and someday will make a great captain!Our DD, 16, didn't join in as many of the teen activities on this ship as on others. There were lots of extended families traveling, and the few times she went she said there were lots of cousins/siblings hanging out and they weren't as welcoming as other times. She did enjoy the movies, the balcony and the shows. Wait time to play ping pong/shuffleboard was just horrible. Most of the time she gave up. She did greatly enjoy karaoke. Wish there had been more time to do that.Our friend's 9 year old did not like the kid's club. The first time she went was free play, and there were so many kids, she was getting hit. I witnessed mass chaos when I walked by once. We did go back later to check it out, and it seemed calmer, but the damage was done. She didn't want to go back. The family activities weren't that great either. The decorate your own cupcake was crowded and there was no decorating to it, they were just given an iced cupcake and then the staff scooped toppings on top. They also went to an open Lego session in one of the conference rooms, and sat for 20 minutes waiting. No kid's crew staff showed up, and there were no Lego's at all. The crew seemed very overwhelmed in my opinion. They needed about 2 or 3 more counselors per age group to make it work!! I'm not sure our friends will want to cruise NCL again. They had been on a Disney cruise with family that works for Disney, and it was hard to compare the two.. this one just fell super short!The entertainment on board was very good. The final show did live up to it's hype. It was completely full! Doors opened 30 minutes before the show. Our friends waited at the doors 10 minutes before they opened,and when they opened all 6 of us went in and remained seated. This would not be the show to miss, or to try to have people hold seats! It was very good!We don't particularly like the Star. We are partial to Jewel class ships. This one was easy to navigate, but we like the layout of other ships. The Mexican Riviera itinerary is a real challenge right now, and one of the reasons this trip was not one of our favorites. Cabo is a beautiful port, but it would have been nice to split the visit, and go Monday and Wednesday with PV on Tuesday if that is logistically possible with the Ship's speed.Embarkation was really smooth, and Debarkation was a disaster!! We have always collected our luggage tags in advance, and only once did we do easy walk off (where you take all your luggage with you) because we lived in the home port city and had to get to church. This trip we had Green tags, with a call time of 9:10 and a Super Shuttle pick up at 10:00. Shouldn't have been a problem. Debarkation became freestyle as well. By the time they called our color green and we got in line it was 9:50, and by the time we got to our luggage at 10:15 all the suitcases except for our 9 and about a dozen others were gone. Over 1/2 the ship did walk off, which was called at 8:40. When I went up to one of the cruise director's staff to ask what we could do since it was already 9:45 and we had a pick up in 15 minutes he was very rude and sassy! I don't think they enforced who walked off when. We saw people go in the easy walk off line with only backpacks at 9:00. You can't tell me that's all they took on board. This is a major problem they need to fix in LA. By the time this ship docks after 2 and 1/2 days at sea, people are really ready to get on land! Plus with the added stress of LAX, it was crazy. I did make my flight:)Between the lack of ports, # of days at sea on a rough, windy, chilly Pacific and the sheer number on board due to Spring Break, we will not do this cruise again (if it's offered after this season anyway). We are looking into either the Baltics or Med for a 9 or 11 day cruise in 2013 as a graduation gift for our DD. Time to save up and start researching! Debbie, Tim and Alex Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
I do my best to research everything. I was looking for a great deal for Spring Break and I thought I found one when I found NCL Star cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Overall Pros: Nice meals in Aqua Restaurant. Cagney's is a MUST do. ... Read More
I do my best to research everything. I was looking for a great deal for Spring Break and I thought I found one when I found NCL Star cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Overall Pros: Nice meals in Aqua Restaurant. Cagney's is a MUST do. Overall Cons: We felt like they were always trying to sell something to us. Each show in the Stardust Theater started with a pitch to but Bingo or Raffle tickets. Buffet food was a 6 out of 10. Dishes served in the restaurants were small. Food often arrived warm, not hot. The entertainment was lacking. Not many activties to do. Cruise Director was nice, but lacked organized activties. EVERYTHING cost extra, even the deposit for a towel at the pool! Chocoholic Buffet was a joke. Having white cake with food coloring to create the illusion of diverse offerings was a stretch. They ran out of items within 30 minutes of the opening .Beds were terribly uncomfortable. Shows were lacking. Onboard Shopping was not diverse. Not much selection. Saturday Arrival: Check in was terrific. They employees were very nice and helpful. We checked in, in less than 30 minutes. - Bought Soda package; approx cost $72.00. - Made reservations for Pub Crawl, Cagney's Wine tasting, and excursions. Very easy!- Walked around and checked out different areas.Day 1: Sunday- Day at Sea. Library was nice. Freestyle Daily gave us a list of happenings on the ship. List was short. Went to Versailles Dining Room. Food was good, service was slow and not very attentive.Day 2: Arrive to Cabo San Lucas-Great destination. Had to be tendered to shore. Great weather. Lots to do in Cabo. Day 3: Cabo San Lucas- Did not go to Mazatlan due to violence. Nice to spend another day in a fabulous destination! Love the weather!!!! Day 4- Arrive to Puerto Vallarta- Another nice port to visit. Excursions expensive.Day 5: At SeaDay 6: At SeaDay 7: Back to LADisembarkation: Freestyle disembarkation will have you waiting a LONG time. Better to get a fixed time and have breakfast. Overall, we will not be cruising on NCL again. I have been on Royal Caribbean and Princess. Those are class acts. I don't want to feel like I'm an ATM. I want to relax and have a vacation! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Our group consisted of my daughter, wife and myself. This was are first experience with FreeStyle cruising on NCL, but not our first time cruising. We have cruised previously on Disney and Carnival. Embarkation went very smoothly, we ... Read More
Our group consisted of my daughter, wife and myself. This was are first experience with FreeStyle cruising on NCL, but not our first time cruising. We have cruised previously on Disney and Carnival. Embarkation went very smoothly, we arrived around 10:45am and there were about 50 people in front of us on the side we were told to go too. We got a boarding number 2 and was very excited we wouldn't have to wait long. About 11:40am they started boarding and we were on the ship before noon. We went straight to the buffet and it was already very busy. We found a table by the window and enjoyed our first meal on the ship. After lunch we explored the ship before we could get into our room. We found the layout of decks 6 and 7 to be confusing, but we eventually figured it out by the end of the week. We made dining reservations for Teppanyaki for Saturday night and Endless Summer for Thursday. Both of these meals were wonderful. Freestyle wasn't really to our liking, we tried Aqua and Versailles main dining room and weren't that impressed with the menu choices, so we ate one night at Teppanyaki and one night at Endless Summer, and the rest of the nights at Market Cafe. Both of the premium restaurants were very good, but had to pay extra. The food choices, quality, and temp were very good in the market cafe. But the two main dining rooms were a big disappointment, if you didn't get there before 6:00pm you would have to wait, service wasn't that good, and the food wasn't that good. We had a balcony room, we really enjoyed the balcony and it's location, but it was very tight for 3 people. Having cruised on Carnival and Disney, we had something to compare too, and thought NCL had the smallest rooms by quite a bit. On the other cruises, we had 4 in the room and didn't feel so squeezed. We never met our Cabin steward, and he didn't perform much better. Several times we shower in the afternoon before dinner and put our towels on the floor to be replaced. When we would get back, we found our dirty wet towels hung up on the door to be used again. Of course we had to call to get fresh towels. This happened at least 3 times. I know they are over worked, but come on. Bathroom was a nice size, loved the shower area. Storage was decient. But the sleeping area was extremely small and the sofa bed was the harder than a plain board. When sofa bed was out, you couldn't get to the balcony. Entertainment was very good, we enjoyed several nights, much better than Carnivals, but couldn't compare to Disney (no one can). Could have used more activities during the day, but we were still able to enjoy ourselves very much. We thought alcohol sales were pushed a little bit too much by the pool, plus they were VERY EXPENSIVE, so we tried to limit our consumption. We visited Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. This was a very good selection of ports and we love the sea days on the ship for relaxing. We booked all of our excursion on our own. Debarkation was a little slow to start, but once it started, it moved along. We were doing self debarkation and got in line about 8:05am, thinking we had a lot of time for our 9:00am pickup. The line rapped from one end of the ship to the other and back. Since the line didn't move at all for at least 25 minutes, we were starting to worry that we wouldn't make our pickup time. But the line did start to move slowing and we made it outside to our pickup spot by 8:57pm. Just made it, of course our ride wasn't there yet. Summary, this was our first NCL Freestyle cruise and we did have a wonderful time with our daughter, but I doubt we will take another NCL cruise again (won't say never). We like the set time dining and feel the service is much better on other cruise lines, we also thought we were nickel and dimed to death. Everything had an additional cost. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
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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