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

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
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 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
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
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
Mexican Riviera Aboard the Norwegian Star - 4/23/11-4/30/11Group Info: Husband & Wife (age 50) and Daughter (age 12)Cabin Info: BA Balcony Cabin #10612 Mid Ship Deck10Day 1We arrived at the Berth 92 around 11:45 a.m., which is about ... Read More
Mexican Riviera Aboard the Norwegian Star - 4/23/11-4/30/11Group Info: Husband & Wife (age 50) and Daughter (age 12)Cabin Info: BA Balcony Cabin #10612 Mid Ship Deck10Day 1We arrived at the Berth 92 around 11:45 a.m., which is about an hour drive from our home in Chino Hills, CA. We hit a lot of traffic trying to disembark from the previous week's cruises. It wasn't too terrible and we were parked and walking into the Norwegian Cruise Terminal in less than 20 minutes. This was our 2nd cruise with Norwegian, so we were able to check in through a MUCH shorter line. We were checked in and on the Star before 12:30 p.m. We knew from previous cruises that the buffet is always the most crowded place to eat your first meal, so we opted for lunch at Versailles. We already knew that this is our favorite restaurant onboard and happens to be one of the two Main Dining Rooms. There was a good selection of items on the lunch menu. I enjoyed the fried calamari rings, my daughter really liked the eggplant that was presented much like Hummus, for our appetizers. Lunch was good and filling and the best part...it was peaceful and the service was awesome. By the time we finished we were able to go to our cabin, which was about 1:45 p.m. We love the balcony cabins midship on deck 10, so we were not disappointed. We were greeted by our Room Steward, Shaik, who was always close by for whatever we needed, most times before we got the chance to ask. Our luggage arrived soon after. We went exploring, registered our daughter in the Kids Club and returned to our cabin to change for dinner. We arrived about 5:45 p.m. at Versailles for dinner and were seated immediately at a table next to one of the large picture windows at the back of the ship. I enjoyed a baby shrimp cocktail (which is always available), a mixed endive salad, Grilled Mahi Mahi and Apricot Cream Cake and a taste of Chocolate Amaretto Bavarian Cream Cake. Both delicious. The service was great! Our ice tea and water glasses never went empty. Our waiter, Ernesto, was very friendly and attentive. After dinner, we dropped off our daughter at the Kids Club and went to explore some more, until we went to the Stardust Theater to see Band On the Run. The two key dancers, Luke and a very blonde girl, that I later learned was the dance captain, were very good. The rest looked tired and unrehearsed.Now let me break down the rest of the week by category:Embarkation: Painless and very quick. Being a Latitudes Member this time certainly helped. It is a shame that NCL will no longer be sailing to the Mexican Riviera out of Los Angeles after this next week.Cabin: Balcony Cabin midship on Deck 10. The cabin is laid out very well with plenty of storage for 3 people, if everyone picks up after themselves ;-). The bathroom is quite roomy with a separate door for the toilet and shower area. This speeds up getting ready in the morning and at night. The balcony has 2 large chairs, one reclining and a small table. I spent most nights out there reading at the end of the day. The bed and roll out couch were very comfy and I LOVE the crisp white sheets and duvets. There is safe that held ALL of our electronics and valuables. A small refrigerator is useful when you ask your Room Steward to empty it when you embark. There is a small vanity table with ample lighting, powerful blow dryer and extra plug for charging electronics. Each side of the large bed has a very bright light. A table and chair sit near the balcony under the TV. shelf. All in all the layout and amenities were great.Food: We really enjoy the service and ambience of Versailles for dinner, so we ate there every night. We had extremely attentive and friendly service from everyone, but we became very fond of Marjorie. Even if we weren't seated in her section, she would go out of her way to talk to us and bring us ice tea and apple juice for our daughter. I don't remember what I ate each night, but here are some of my favorite; (appetizers) Cauliflower Cheese Soup, Pear and Walnut Salad, Tortilla Soup, Nicoise Salad, Mozzarella & Tomato Salad, Fatoush; (entrees) Rock Lobster with Red Snapper, Grilled Mahi Mahi, Pan Seared Chicken, Grilled Flounder; (dessert) Apricot Cream Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Bavarian Cream Cake, Citrus Mouse and Raspberry Ice Cream. All of those items were served in Versailles. The Market Cafe has plenty of food to fill you up and keep you satisfied. We stopped there between meals for snacks. We LOVED the fresh French Fries at the poolside grill! And my husband enjoyed the burgers BBQ'd on deck each day, weather permitting. This cruise we ordered Room Service to be delivered every morning. You set out your order the night before and schedule it for the time you want it delivered between 6:30-10:00 a.m. You can choose from a variety of things; fresh fruit, cold cereals, hot cereals, dry or buttered toast, rolls, muffins, pastries, regular or decaf coffee, hot tea, regular or low fat milk and hot chocolate. We tipped the waiter that delivered it $2.00 and it was awesome to sit out on the balcony and enjoy breakfast each day.Pool: There is really only one main pool and it is set up very well with a stadium arrangement of lounge chairs and tables and chairs. Of course there are people that throw towels on several lounge chairs whether they need them or not. We had three people, but with a 12 year old busy on the water slides and in the pool most of the time, I didn't find it necessary to save a lounge chair for her. The pool has a "wave" pool action, which I really enjoyed and the water slides were kept open all day and the kids never tired of using them. We had great service from a waiter named, Dek, who not only was quick to bring us our bucket of cold beer, continue to refill the ice and lime, but when other waiters were hard to locate when we needed a bottle of beer opened, Dek gave us our own bottle opener to keep. Those small things really make a difference. We enjoyed two long days at the pool. One on the first day and then the second day in Cabo, we opted to stay on the ship and stay by the pool, which was great. The last two days of the cruise were very cold and windy, so we skipped the pool on those days, but others braved it out.Entertainment: The first night we saw Band on the Run. As I mentioned before there were only two reasons to stay and watch this entire show...the two lead dancers, Luke and the very blonde dance captain. The next show we saw was a combination of magic and aerial acrobatics. It was more entertaining, but not amazing. They debuted a new show called Angels, which we enjoyed very much and Elements on the last night of the cruise was a cross between Cirque Du Soleil and a magic show. It was my favorite!Excursions: Since we skipped Mazatlan, we spent two days in Cabo. The first day we went to the Cabo Adventuras for the Dolphin Encounter. Our daughter LOVED swimming with the dolphins. The next day in Cabo, we enjoyed the view of Cabo from the pool deck on the ship...AWESOME!!! FYI...the prices on souvenirs in Cabo are out of control. Prices are higher than Southern California. In Puerto Vallarta, we had booked the Mahahuitas & Yelapas excursion. Our first stop was a short snorkeling and kayaking trip to Mahahuitas. The plant life was so overgrown it was very difficult to see the marine life and it was a really short stop. When we returned to the catamaran lunch was served and the bar opened. The next stop was Yelapa. You could get off the boat in town and take a walk to the waterfall or you could stay on the boat and take the catamaran over to the beach. We chose to go to the beach. We were told which restaurant we could sit in front of for free and have access to the beach, chairs, umbrellas and bathrooms. Food and beverages were of course at our expense. What they don't tell you is that if you don't order food or drinks you are moved to less desirable spots on the beach and your umbrella is moved to someone buying food and drinks. My husband found out that if you go directly to the bartender to order beers it is $3.00 US each, but if you order them from the VERY aggressive waiters on the beach it is $4.00 US. The waiters are supposed to split the difference with the bartender but that doesn't happen. On the ride back to Puerto Vallarta the crew put on a show for us and they made sure we all had drinks. We have gone on the Las Caletas excursion before and should have stuck with that excursion this time.Kids Club: The staff in the Kids Club is great! The group our daughter was in, for ages 10-12, had a very small room in the Kids Club, so they were kept busy with activities around the ship. They played on the Sports Court, did scavenger hunts, had a pajama party, Easter Egg hunt and more.Disembarkation: We had picked up luggage tags that would give us a 9:30 exit time. We went to Versailles for breakfast went back to our cabin until about 9:00 a.m. and then waited on deck 7 until our color was called. It took us about an hour to get off the ship, get our luggage, go through customs and get out of the parking lot. Not bad!All in all, we enjoyed our 2nd cruise on the Norwegian Star. It is truly the staff that makes the ship/cruise so special. It makes us sad that Norwegian will no longer be doing the Mexican Riviera itinerary. But we would definitely cruise again with Norwegian wherever they are. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We boarded the NCL Star on April 23, 2011. The embarkation process was fast and easy but we quickly found out that we could not take a bottle of wine on board without paying corkage fees. The whole process was handled wrong but the port ... Read More
We boarded the NCL Star on April 23, 2011. The embarkation process was fast and easy but we quickly found out that we could not take a bottle of wine on board without paying corkage fees. The whole process was handled wrong but the port people are to blame for that. We originally sailed on the Star a few years ago to Alaska and didn't quite enjoy the ship as much as we thought we would. This time the Star was remodeled and looked like something we would enjoy. The price was less than $100 a day per person for a balcony room so we can't complain about that. Freestyle cruising is not for everyone and certainly not for my husband and I. The restaurants are all good and the food, overall, was good but average. We constantly had to wait 20-30 minutes for a table to eat in the dining room for dinner. Once inside we could see anywhere from 5-15 empty tables. I always got the feeling that the waiting would prompt us to try a specialty restaurant and pay the cover charge. Most of the time we would ask to talk with the Maitre' D and he would always seat us within a few minutes. When we would ask him why they are creating such a wait no one was able to give us a straight answer. Service was good for the most part but with freestyle cruising you never get to know anyone and the waiters never get to know you so they cannot anticipate your likes and dislikes. Also, we were never offered to share a table with anyone else and sometimes, in our experience, it's the best way to meet people and learn about what they did or discovered when in port. The one thing that bothered my husband the most was that the waiters never asked you if you wanted coffee or tea with your dessert. Once my husband would ask for coffee it was always pretty bitter. The best coffee was at the 24 hour restaurant on the 8th floor. Actually, that little place had the best food and service of all. Chicken wings and wanton soup were the best. The Endless Summer Mexican restaurant was also very good and for $10 a person cover charge you also got a Margarita. The buffet and lunch menu in the dining room, however, was always the same and after the 3rd day I was sick of everything. This is something NCL should really change up a bit because the same thing everyday becomes boring. Our Cabin was always clean and we never saw our cabin steward but the mirrors could have used a cleaning and the chairs were never dusted. I only noticed this because my husband placed his socks on a chair under the vanity and it was quite dusty. Also, our bed was always made but never with a bed cover. Personally, I don't like to sit on the bed with my clothes on so that was a bit awkward. The bathroom was larger and quite nice after the remodel. The TV in the room was very small though and we're used to flat screens on newer or updated ships so that was a little of a let down but not a big deal. The ship is a little awkward in layout but that could be just our taste. There was no real quiet place to read other than the library and the pool area was mainly for kids even though they had their own pool area. The worse part for me was that all the chairs were in the sun so there was very limited shade and a place to sit down. I later found out that there is a spa pool for adults only but it cost $119 per person for a week. That really upset me because I don't swim and there was nowhere I could go to use the pool. We saved a lot of money on our room but if we started to pay all these fees for the pool, the sauna, the restaurants then we would have paid the same amount of money for another ship like Princess or Royal. Basically it all comes down to a preference and our was not the freestyle cruising. Entertainment was the best part of the cruise. The magician and his wife were AMAZING as were the french aerialists. The last show, Extreme Vegas, was easily a million dollar show and so amazing to see and experience. Comparing the Star to some of the other ships we're cruised with it sadly doesn't compare. This is only our opinion though. With Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity you pay more for your cruise but everything like the pools, saunas, service and attention to detail is all included. The food is amazing anywhere you go and you get variety, always. One must figure out what is important while cruising and then make a decision on what cruise line to vacation with.Overall we relaxed and had a good time but that is all up to you. If you choose to be annoyed then you'll have a bad time and if you choose to let the things that bother you go then you'll have a good time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Thank you to the many cruise reviews that helped our experience wonderful. Embarkation was pretty normal (about 45 minutes) and the transfer from NCL was a good choice for us. The room was ready and we were on board enjoying the balcony by ... Read More
Thank you to the many cruise reviews that helped our experience wonderful. Embarkation was pretty normal (about 45 minutes) and the transfer from NCL was a good choice for us. The room was ready and we were on board enjoying the balcony by 2:00 pm. The free style cruising is probably something we won't do again as we really enjoy the service and extra attention that other cruise lines provide. The food was good in the dining rooms and the buffet was stocked with a variety of choices. We did enjoy the Blue Lagoon the 24 hour cafe on deck 8. It was just perfect for the afternoon pick me up. Thank you for the tip on the spa package for the week $150 per couple. We used the facilty everyday and sometimes stayed for hours. It was a perfect spot for whale watching as we were coming into Cabo. We low keyed the excursions this time as we are headed to the caribbean in June. Cabo did the Lands End boat tour. Probably should have just rented a glass bottom boat and let them take us out. Mazatlan we did the city tour. It was nice but we are way too active for this tour. Clff diver is nothing like Acapulco. But thanks to a review we did book the Mieretes Island Eco adventure in Puerto Vallarta. Fantastic, whales, good snorkeling, Kayaking through the caves. Great time. Disembarkation was not so great. We had a flight out at 1:00 so we decided to walk off as we didn't have many bags. Definitely should have gotten in line at 8:30 instead of 9:30. The line around the ship to get off took us 1 hour but the customs was quick and easy. Did the transfer back to the airport and as we were flying southwest and the first terminal we didn't have much of a wait in the bus. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Embarkation: Went very smooth, we did arrive early and since we were booked in a Suite we had a separate check-in area, however it did look like things were organized for people checking into other decks of the ship. This is the first ... Read More
Embarkation: Went very smooth, we did arrive early and since we were booked in a Suite we had a separate check-in area, however it did look like things were organized for people checking into other decks of the ship. This is the first cruise we took where we did not have to go through a check with Border Patrol, which was unusual and we expected it at Debarkation and did not have it then either, so we are hoping this indicates a change in how closed-loop cruises are processed. Public Areas: The ship herself was in nice shape, however it was obvious that they were still in the process of reconditioning the ship from Dry-Dock, we saw lots of blue tape where work was still being done and deck 12 forward (The old Spinnaker Lounge) was still blocked for access which did create some confusion if you wanted to go to deck 12 and were in a cabin in the forward section of the ship as you had to go to mid-ship to access deck 12 or go to deck 13 then walk back down to 12. The change to the Spinnaker Lounge was a large topic of discussion for a lot of cruisers. The new Spinnaker Lounge is starting to look more permanent but is still having some issues, like a burst pipe on the final Sea Day (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYvtF7z8EPM). The new Lounge itself does look good, but could use some additional work making it more comfortable. The Carousel Lounge and Martini Bar are permanently gone. The new Gift Shops look good and the move of the Blue Lagoon to share the space of the Endless Summer restaurant worked well. We did see several spots where ceiling panels were not properly secured because additional work was continuing and in some cases it did appear that there could have been a safety hazard. Meet & Greet: I organized the CC M&G for this trip and unfortunately we did not have as many people attend as we had hoped, however I do feel it was a good M&G. We had the officer visit the M&G and they did tell us that when the refurbishing is complete the Library will return to deck 13 where it had been. The other common rooms up there may not be returning and there will not be a bridge viewing area, although there are plans to do more tours of the bridge. Spa: While we did not use any of the major Spa services, we did pay for access to the Spa pool, hot tubs, and lounges. We felt the $75 per person was a fair charge for access to this area and gave us a nice quiet area to relax for a Spring Break cruise. Dining: The food in the Main Dining Room was great, we were not disappointed in any of the meals we had there and recommend that other cruisers utilize it. We were sorely disappointed in the specialty restaurants with the exception of Cagney's and Tappenyaki. With all the Specialty Restaurants charging an additional surcharge (with the exception of Blue Lagoon) to eat in them we expected the food and the service to be exceptional, sadly it was not. We ate in Endless Summer for the first night of the cruise and found the meat served to be tough and lukewarm. The "free" margarita's were about half the size of the normal drinks and had minimal alcohol in them. The meals at Cagney's (Both Breakfast & Lunch perks) and dinner were terrific. Because of the disappointing meal at Endless Summer we bypassed dinner at the other Specialty Restaurants but decided to do the "Best of All" meal at Ginza on the last sea day. Since this represented the "Best" of the other Specialty Restaurants it is a bad representative for them. Most of the food was served buffet style and was not the "Best" in this manner. The sushi left something to be desired and if we based our Sushi experience on this and what we saw when we passed Ginza in the evenings we would have been disappointed, as a $15 surcharge for the sushi is overpriced for what they were serving. We are able to feed 3 people at a local Sushi restaurant at home for $20 with a better selection then we saw at Ginza. Tappenyaki was terrific and how could it not be with a chef at the grill in front of you freshly preparing the meal. Sadly, if asked about the specialty restaurants on the Star we would recommend only Cagney's and Tappenyaki, telling people to save their money on the rest of them. Stateroom, Butler & Stewardess: The butler and Stewardess we had for the cruise were wonderful. They didn't disturb us and took care of the few things we needed with speed and efficiency. The stateroom itself was nice but we will not book a forward facing balcony again as we could not use our balcony comfortably for part of the cruise because of the wind from the ships movement we also had to secure the bulkhead whenever we were not using the balcony because the wind created a high pitched whistle through the door. Ports: Three ports of call, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. We did not schedule any excursions with the ship but booked them all online beforehand. In Cabo we booked with Joann and Sandra (http://cabosanlucastours.net) for the Lovers Beach Tour. The glass Bottom Boat we took to the beach looked like it needed some serious repair, the glass panels were leaking and the engine kept dying and had to be primed by the operator from a plastic container of fuel next to the engine. Unfortunately it looked like a lot of the boats being used in the harbor were in similar states but we did not personally inspect them. In Mazatlan we had scheduled a tour with one of Mazatlan Franks (http://www.mazatlan-frank.com) partners, we definitely got our money's worth and had an enjoyable tour of Mazatlan with stops for exploring, shopping, lunch and views. In Puerto Vallarta we again used one of Mazatlan Franks (http://www.mazatlan-frank.com/PVINDEX.html) partners. While we did not get the driver originally indicated, the driver we did get, "Chilli", gave us a wonderful tour with stops in locations other tourists were not visiting and background narration that was entertaining. Some of the spots we visited the van barely made it through the roads because of how tight the spots were but he navigated them like a pro. We highly recommend Mazatlan Frank and his partners for visits to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Entertainment: We attended the Second City performances and they were terrific, the Cirque Pacific performance started similar, if not the same as the Cirque Pacific performance from a cruise a few years ago on the Star, so we left right after it started as we didn't fully enjoy it the first time we had seen it. There were different performers playing throughout the ship and they were enjoyable. Teenage Activities: The activities on the ship for our teenage son and his friend kept them busy throughout the cruise. It was hard to get them to even join us for dinner. The only problem we had experienced with the activities is sometimes the activity had the kids roaming the ship, which was fine, but some of the kids tended to get a little rowdy while doing them, which could have disturbed other passengers. Disembarkation: Fast and easy, since there had not been a Border Crossing official on Embarkation we expected to have a line for them here and did not have one, found our bags and walked right out of the warehouse. Overall we did enjoy the cruise and the Star and will miss her when she moves to her new home in Tampa but we do feel the loss of the Original Spinnaker Lounge does affect her usability as a ship for touring Alaska. Hopefully NCL will see fit to place another ship in Los Angeles for Mexican Riviera Cruises after 2011, currently they have no plans to continue the MR cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 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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