12 Norwegian Star Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the amazing itinerary. We started in Dubai and traveled to Fujairah, two ports in Oman, Jordan, two ports in Egypt, overnight in Israel, Crete, Croatia, and overnight in Venice. Our 20 night leg was part ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the amazing itinerary. We started in Dubai and traveled to Fujairah, two ports in Oman, Jordan, two ports in Egypt, overnight in Israel, Crete, Croatia, and overnight in Venice. Our 20 night leg was part of the Star's world cruise. Check-in in Dubai was a breeze and cabins were ready by 1 PM and luggage was delivered by 3 PM. I loved the Star! She is a medium size ship (about 2300 passengers) and reminds me of what a cruise ship should be. The newer, larger ships lack the style and class of these older ships. The Versailles Dining Room was classy and inviting, not sterile. The Atrium had glitz. Well, you get the idea. We had a mini-suite. Yes, the décor was a little tired, but it was a nice, clean cabin. I loved the coffee pot in our cabin. It was great to have coffee on the balcony when I got up. The bathroom was great. We had a tub with shower and I love those shower doors as opposed to those pesky shower curtains. The shelving in the closet was awkward as your hanging garments blocked them off. If you like Fox News, you'd be happy with the news channel, however, I think CNN would be a much better choice for news. We had some great meals on the Star, but the very best were the burgers at O'Sheehan's! They were great burgers and O'Sheehan's is open 24 hours. We had dinner 3 times at Cagney's, once at Tepanyaki, once at Moderno, once at Le Bistro, and once at La Cucina. I liked Cagney's the best, but they were all very good. I usually had breakfast at the buffet. The food was great, except for the soft ice cream which was awful, but it was like eating in a high school cafeteria. The tables were way too close and there was a lack of any kind of décor. Dinners were usually at Versailles or Aqua and both were quite lovely. The food in these restaurants was very good. I do miss lobster night and those shrimp cocktails. We didn't go to all the shows, but the ones we did go to were very good. The Star's in-house singers and dancers were excellent. There was a lot of real talent there. The crew on the Star were just wonderful! They were friendly and attentive. We had excellent service in the restaurants and our room steward was the greatest. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose NCL Star for the Ports of Call we had never been with them again, the boarding process in Singapore was ridiculous we waited 5 1/2 hours (boarded 4.30) to get on the ship it seemed that nobody knew what they were doing we were ... Read More
We chose NCL Star for the Ports of Call we had never been with them again, the boarding process in Singapore was ridiculous we waited 5 1/2 hours (boarded 4.30) to get on the ship it seemed that nobody knew what they were doing we were only offered water while we were waiting and once we were on the ship we went to get some food only to tell us that things were being closed down for the mandatory drill. We had an inside cabin which was very small and it was for four people with bunk fixed to the wall service in our room was excellent and always made up and nothing was too much trouble. The dining experiences were Ok the only Specialty Restaurant that was good was Cagney's, desserts need to be looked at as there were only ever two that were good. Entertainment was a hit and miss no good for repeat back to back cruises. NCL are very disorganized with disembarking for Ports of Call and our experience when in Israel was ridiculous as NCL were holding (Private tour passengers) for 2 hours and their own ship tours were allowed off early, shore excursions are extremely expensive and chose to do our own throughout the cruise and had an amazing time. Staff were helpful and friendly and always there to help. We had a bad experience in the shops and the sales assistance did not tell us the correct price when we were going to purchase a special item. Overall the experience was average. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Suez Canal transit was the motivating factor. Loved the idea of going to eight countries with unique culture, fantastic sights and great history. We highly recommend this type of itinerary to others. This was our second visit to Dubai, and ... Read More
Suez Canal transit was the motivating factor. Loved the idea of going to eight countries with unique culture, fantastic sights and great history. We highly recommend this type of itinerary to others. This was our second visit to Dubai, and was able to refresh our memories. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth as guests staying in Suites get special service. Ship was clean and comfortable, however shows its age. Services was very good particularly in dining rooms. We took private tours ,and felt safe and welcomed in every Port of Call. Over night stay in Haifa enabled us to explore public transportation ie use the train. This was a great experience. Families were traveling to celebrate Passover with friends and relatives. We were able to be in Milan on Easter Sunday following a brief stay on the ship in Venice. While in UAE and Oman people should visit the Souk to get the true experience of shopping in Gulf Counties. Delighted to have had the experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The ITINERARY, places we wanted to visit. Rich in culture and history. Reason for choosing this cruise:The cruise was March 9(Singapore)-April 16 (Venice). We choose this cruise because of the itinerary which was port intensive with ... Read More
The ITINERARY, places we wanted to visit. Rich in culture and history. Reason for choosing this cruise:The cruise was March 9(Singapore)-April 16 (Venice). We choose this cruise because of the itinerary which was port intensive with only 112 sea days. This is a part of the world that we had not traveled and this itinerary seemed an ideal way to see a number of countries. In this respect the cruise totally lived up to expectations as we visited 22 ports-including embarkation and disembarkation- that we had never visited before allowing us a small sample of what each place had to offer. Pre-embarkation: Singapore, we did on our own riding the subway all over, easy peesy. featuring Little India, Kampong Glam and Chinatown as well as some historic colonial areas and the Marina Bay Sands area. Lunch at Hawkers stalls was also a highlight. Embarkation:This took forever, this issue had been identified by previous reviewers and it appeared that little had improved, however NCL did provide chairs for the 2 hour plus wait that some people endured. In defense of NCL, after seeing their superb organization in getting passengers on/off the ship and dealing with boarding cards/visas I am led to conclude that the issues with Singapore embarkation are likely the responsibility of the Singapore government. Ports and Shore Excursions: NCL handling of immigration details at all of the ports was excellent and they proved adept at quickly adjusting when the 'rules' changed unexpectedly. While I heard considerable whining from some fellow cruisers I cannot fault NCL - we were not in Kansas! The shore excursions offered were standard cruise ship variety and priced similar to other cruise lines we have been on. We used ship provided excursions in 2 ports. Because of security reasons.! Ship: The Star has been refurbished recently and it shows. Lovely midsized ship that is very well maintained. There is a lack of quiet public areas to relax, it seems an inordinate amount of public space has been used for the 'specialty' restaurants. Liked the Atrium with band playing (very loud) and seating in O'Sheehan's, at the coffee bar, and even in the internet cafe where you could not have a conversation unless you shouted. Room and room steward: We were in two rooms ocean view and balcony. The room steward was exceptional, one of the best if not the best, in 25 cruises on 6 different lines over the years. Entertainment: pretty standard cruise line entertainment with a decent variety in guest performers, the 3 bands on board were all reasonably good and you could actually tell what songs they were playing/singing which is not always the case with cruise ship bands! Productions shows were below par compared to Princess and Celebrity Dining: NCL's slogan is "No one does dining like Norwegian" - I would hope not!! The food in the main dining rooms Versailles and Aqua, O'Sheehans, and Ginza ranged from awful to barely eatable. Service was rushed, . The tables were so crammed in that it was almost impossible for the waiter to serve and remove dishes. The pace can best be described as frenetic, it most certainly did not resemble a reasonable DINING pace. We have experienced various cruise lines version of 'open seating' in their main dining rooms and none had the issues of pacing experienced with NCL's Anytime Eating. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This is such a tatty old ship! So disappointed! Embark action was a joke!! Took hours..then when we finally got on board the restaurants and bars all closed for the safety briefing..I appreciation that the briefing is essential but so is ... Read More
This is such a tatty old ship! So disappointed! Embark action was a joke!! Took hours..then when we finally got on board the restaurants and bars all closed for the safety briefing..I appreciation that the briefing is essential but so is getting water when the temp is 33 degrees! Poor hygiene and poor standards. Public bathrooms blocked and overflowing everywhere and then out of order for days! Tray of Chemicals left on floor of public bathroom for whole cruise...surely not company policy...Reported to guest services but it was never removed! Nobody was very happy at all the working container terminals we had to walk through when we got off in many of the stops! We felt the cruise had too many stops in the Middle East..a few destinations had absiloutely nothing of interest to do! Most people were back on the ship by lunch time! Buffet food was actually very good but evening restaurant menus were regularly repeated! Most of the entertainment was VERY POOR! The permanent onboard entertainment were shockingly bad! The guest acts were much better! The Barricade Boys and Michelle were fabulous!! On a positive note.. plenty of sunbeds on sea days! Staff all did the best they could considering the state of the ship! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
What a wonderful itinerary, and bolstered by our last NCL experience on Epic we booked the Star for the Singapore to Dubai leg. Many of our fellow cruisers had been on the previous legs dogged by the Azipod failures and some were staying ... Read More
What a wonderful itinerary, and bolstered by our last NCL experience on Epic we booked the Star for the Singapore to Dubai leg. Many of our fellow cruisers had been on the previous legs dogged by the Azipod failures and some were staying on after we departed. As usual a highlight of the cruise was the fellow cruisers, a very international bunch this time. We enjoyed the freestyle ambience and took advantage of the free drinks package this time. Cabin - inside 5573 - was fine although the cupboard space was tight, our cabin steward good. The majority of our catering experience were good, waiting staff atentive and professional. Indeed all staff interactions were good apart from Guest Servces who were universally poor. Entertainment was good to average, some excellent acts such as the Barricade Boys but also some very average. The onboard entertainers were young and enthusiastic. Some negatives. Boarding was OK but the check-in staff member mistakenly associated my photo with my wifes card and vice-versa. When we boarded this was detected immediately but could not be corrected, so we had to visit Guest Services for two more cards. Later a drinks waiter told me my card was not working, but at dinner we had no issues ordering drinks so assumed the problem was fixed. Disembarking in Port Klang neither of our cards worked. So we had to get two more cards. Later that day my wife received her landing card for Phuket. Her name had been mispelt. On contacting Guest Services we were told that a new landing card would be delivered to our cabin. It never came. On caliing Guest Services again we were told that they had run out of landing cards. We adapted the original landing card and were able to get off with little difficulty. However, we had to get another cabin card for my wife to correct her name. At no time did anyone in Guest Services say 'sorry' and the final interaction suggested it was my wife's fault that she had had to have so many cards. Re disembarkation - on three occasions there were announcements by the Captain and Cruise Director that the ship had docked and all passengers could disembark. Most passengers then had to wait whilst those who were on NCL tours could get off first. This included pasengers with gold and platinum status who should have had priority, but regardless was at best a waste of time and worst very dangerous as it meant stairs and corridors were blocked with passengers unable to disembark. On final disembarkation matters reached a crisis when there was a general call for disembarkation at 8:30 - all colours were called simulatenously. The risk of crowded stairwells and corridors was obvious to anyone who has cruised before. At mid-ship the queue went from deck 4 to deck 9 stairs. Had there been an incident on the ship at that time the danger would have been potentially catastrophic. Management on this ship never learned from their mistakes. There were other issues with Guest Services but our attitude on cruises is to go with the flow and the vast majority of our interactions with staff generally were good - the waitress in the Spinnaker bar in the afternoons was particularly good and Janice in Versailles. The bars were good, food good as usual - our only disappointment was when we paid to use Le Bistro which was crowded and noisy and the food no better than the main restaurants. Having said that it was clear that there were many passengers with onboard credit earned from the previous cruise leg issues so all of the fee restaurants were being used more like the free one's as passengers struggled to use their credits! We never had trouble getting a seat in the Stardust Theatre (unlike our experience on the Epic) and as stated the entertainment was generally good, on occasion excellent. Most of the cruise director's team were good, the quizzes were fun. Not much to do on a rainy day though - little imagination by the cruise director. For us this cruise was all about the intinerary though. Singapore, Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Penang, Phuket, Colombo, Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Mumbai, Muscat and Abu Dhabi were all very interesting and good, some better than others. Fujairah and Khasab were not so good, and due to flights we had litle time in Dubai. We organised most of our shore excursions through cruise critic but noted the NCL tours were extremely expensive this time. We will definitely cruise with NCL again but do feel that there needs to be an investigation into the management of this ship and that there needs to be a major overhaul of 'Guest Services' on this ship, I would suggest breaking the group up and assigning them to other ships. Our score below for service relates to Guest Services and is not a criticism of other services onboard. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because of the ports, 29 ports plus 3 repeat ports. One port was changed but another was substituted, the captain was very generous to all the passengers who boarded in Auckland, New Zealand. Because of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports, 29 ports plus 3 repeat ports. One port was changed but another was substituted, the captain was very generous to all the passengers who boarded in Auckland, New Zealand. Because of the ship's previous problems and the one port change they gave us a 25% cruise credit and $500.00 cash onboard credit. We were luckly that in the 57 days on board we did not have any rough seas or bad weather. The food on board was average but there were plently of options and the Versailes restaurant alway had plenty of choices and a exceptional breakfast. The specialty restaurants were also very well adorned and the food was excellent . The service at the front desk was excellent as were all the staff we interacted with. The tours were mixed but when in this part of the world you have to realize that some of the standards are different. That being said some of the tours were very excellent and highly recommended and I would do them over if I had the chance. All of the tour guides did their best, some exceeded expectations. The ship maybe older, but it is very functional. The shows were much better than some of the other cruises we have been on, and they varied the shows as much as possible. The cruise entertainment staff also did a excellent job. We travelled on the Star once before, but the ship had a refit so many of the areas were different so it was like a different ship to us. We feel that we got fair value for our money and we will be sailing with Norwegian again. We see other people complaining about trivial things instead of making the best of the trip. All the staff did their best to accommodate the passengers within their limits. The only major problem that I seen was that people did not have Visa's, but both my wife and myself went online and checked ourselves before we left and when you are going on such a trip part of the responsibility is for the traveller to check themselves. Even though our travel agent did his due diligence we still follow up ourselves. Our avdice to everyone is to do your homework also. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We went with friends who chose this cruise as they liked the itinerary, in particular, India. We found the public areas too crowded & too noisy. I guess you get what you pay for & this "Freestyle" cruise was obviously ... Read More
We went with friends who chose this cruise as they liked the itinerary, in particular, India. We found the public areas too crowded & too noisy. I guess you get what you pay for & this "Freestyle" cruise was obviously not a good choice for us. The 3 NCL excursions we took in India were very poor. In Mumbai, we arrived at what, for us would have been the highlight, the Museum to be told that we had only 15 mins there. On another excursion, the promised refreshments never appeared & in the "Artisan Village" half of the artisans, who were supposed to be demonstrating their crafts, were absent. The promised "demonstration of how to put on a sari" consisted of the tour guide just throwing a sari over his shoulder, whilst we were travelling back on the coach - no-one could see anyway - pathetic! We realise that this was the first time NCL had visited these particular Indian ports, but one wonders how much research had been done on the quality of the excursions here. Some of the guides English was poor & difficult to understand. Also, had the time taken to reach the places on the itinerary (due to the appalling traffic congestion in Mumbai) been taken into account when planning the excursions? There were a lot of passengers badly affected by a respiratory "bug"/virus infection. The ships medical centre appeared totally inadequate & the staff there were obviously overwhelmed & unable to cope with the numbers who were seriously affected & had to be transferred off the ship in various ports. With such a high percentage of passengers sneezing & coughing, it was surprising that no public announcements were made advising passengers to wash their hands more often, to cover their noses & mouths when sneezing & coughing & to remain in their cabins if affected, in order to minimise the spread of disease. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The Star is a beautiful ship, and the price could not be beaten. We booked a guaranteed-rate oceanview cabin, which meant that Norwegian picked the room. Previous experience suggested that, for my wife and me, a balcony was not useful as ... Read More
The Star is a beautiful ship, and the price could not be beaten. We booked a guaranteed-rate oceanview cabin, which meant that Norwegian picked the room. Previous experience suggested that, for my wife and me, a balcony was not useful as we don't smoke and we prefer to eat in a dining venue. We received a cabin containing a queen bed and space to walk a few steps, with a porthole rather than a picture window. It had a great shower, with hot water always available instantly and good water pressure. The cabin was serviced at least twice per day, and was maintained spotlessly (although we had to request sheet changes). We ate in the two main dining rooms and the buffet, and were consistently pleased with the food (although the use of frozen fish when we are going to seaports almost daily was a puzzling disappointment). The service in the dining rooms was excellent and we appreciated the Freestyle policy that meant we could get a table for two at any time without a reservation. However, the meals came very slowly, particularly in Versailles. When we didn't want to devote two hours to dinner, we went to the excellent buffet. The one disadvantage of the latter is that it was usually impossible to tell what was in the dishes, whereas in the dining rooms I could check whether ingredients to which I am allergic were included. I did experience adverse reactions twice. I suggest that Norwegian label the buffet dishes and provide nutrition information. Ideally that information could be posted somewhere in advance to aid diners in choosing what and where to eat. We tried the Chinese restaurant once, and my Chinese-born wife pronounced the dishes unsatisfactory. We never ate in the restaurants that required a surcharge, not only because of my inherent cheapness, but also because we reasoned that they are limited by the same availability of fresh ingredients as the main venues. We appreciated the presentation of 45-50 minutes of live entertainment nightly, and took full advantage, The entertainment varied in quality. The house band and cast of singers and dancers were excellent. Unfortunately, the cast only appeared in 4 shows. So guest acts were imported for the other nights. I suggest that Norwegian abandon comedians, as they were not very funny and verbal humor does not play well across a culturally diverse audience. I enjoyed the singers and the magician; the acrobats did amazing things but ten minutes is enough. We are not big on game shows or gambling, but we do like to play ping-pong and electronic games. The ping-pong tables were overcrowded on sea days, and the Wii was difficult to get going without help. We would have liked to try other games such as foosball. Perhaps there could be an adult game room as well as one for kids (which was underutilized because there were few children or teenagers on this sailing. The primary attraction that drew us to this cruise was the set of Middle Eastern ports. Bucket-list venues were Luxor, Petra, and Dubai; they lived up to their billing. The Pyramids were also on my list, but we didn't get to see them because undisclosed security issues induced Norwegian to cancel the Port Said stop. Oddly, the line was still advertising the original itinerary even after they had determined to skip northern Egypt. We also found the two ports in a country I knew little about, Oman, to be quite interesting. I would return to that country if it did not require an excruciatingly long flight from California. We stayed a couple of days in Rome (prior to the trip) and Dubai (after the trip). Both embarkation and debarkation went smoothly; we exercised the option to take our bags off ourselves. (Remember to get some local currency at the airport or port.) I was struck by the similarity between the old cities of Jerusalem and Dubai, which were both new to me. Subtract the religious differences and costumes, and one can see traditional marketplaces, streets that look like alleyways to me, and the same architecture and building materials. I was also struck by how easy it was for use to communicate everywhere the ship went. We could easily converse with people we encountered on the streets. It seems as though English is now being taught throughout Europe and the Middle East. I have one question for Norwegian. Why did they check to see if we brought water on board every time we returned from an excursion? I do not believe this was a security issue; rather, they were trying to force passengers to buy the ship's very expensive bottled water. This is a losing battle in any event, as passengers got drinking water from the buffet despite signs forbidding the practice of filling bottles there, Why not just accept that North Americans don't like to pay for water and provide guilt-free dispensers? Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
It is difficult to give an objective critique because my husband and I lucked out and spent 21 days in a gorgeous penthouse suite with butler and all the perks. (We usually stay in a regular balcony cabin). That being said, we were very ... Read More
It is difficult to give an objective critique because my husband and I lucked out and spent 21 days in a gorgeous penthouse suite with butler and all the perks. (We usually stay in a regular balcony cabin). That being said, we were very impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of all of the crew and staff. We have taken more than ten cruises on many different cruise lines and I don't think I have come across better and friendlier service. My husband particularly liked not having to get dressed up for dinner; I liked the pool which was long enough to swim laps. Overall the entertainment was good. The food is above average and there are so many restaurants from which to choose that we decided not to pay extra for the four a la carte restaurants. We only signed up for one excursion with the Ship, preferring to go independently or on one of the Roll Call excursions which were more fairly priced. The interior design is more Scandinavian/modern than traditional/warm but that's a matter of personal taste. I would certainly recommend NCL--we had a fabulous time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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

Find a Norwegian Star Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click