7 Tampa Holiday Cruise Reviews

Our family has not been on a cruise in 28 years - that one was arranged by a family member. Positives - staterooms were more spacious than I expected, we had 2 inside staterooms on the 8th floor. Staff very friendly, always said hello or ... Read More
Our family has not been on a cruise in 28 years - that one was arranged by a family member. Positives - staterooms were more spacious than I expected, we had 2 inside staterooms on the 8th floor. Staff very friendly, always said hello or acknowledged you on the ship. Negatives - FOOD was the biggest disappointment. Lack of variety overall - seemed like lunch items were re-hash of whatever was left over from the day before - just in a different sauce or form. Every single dessert served was inedible except the German chocolate cake which was only served the afternoon of departure. Desserts looked and tasted like styrofoam, airy, tasteless. Prime rib at Garden Cafe first and last night was reasonably good. A few of the salads were nice.Just huge lack of variety - never saw a shrimp, crab or lobster anything. Most of the on deck meals were cancelled due to wind - which was really not a strong wind. the two they did have were some of the better food served. Only saw grapefruit one day, otherwise cantaloupe, pineapple and honeydew cut fruit ever. yogurt in large dish looked so gloppy I did not even want to try it at breakfast. Excursions we booked on our own and saved about 75% over NCL prices and from what we saw and heard we had much better excursions than those who booked through the ship. Two best were BZ Cave tubing - loved Melvin our guide, great day, lunch was enjoyable, but bring a snack because you only eat at the very end of the day. Other great day was at YaYa Beach Club - club was OK, but it was Carolyn from Undertoe SUP (stand up paddle boards) and Simmone from the Yoga studio who was helping Carolyn who made our day. These two women were amazing they made our day in Mahahual - Costa Maya port the best day of the cruise! Everything you would want - smart, funny, kind, gracious, helpful, friendly. We (especially my sons 24, 22 and 19) had a blast with their lesson and just hanging out with them during the day. No they are not young 20 somethings but have this appeal that crosses generations. Simonne did an impromptu yoga session with me that was a real WOW experience, not just poses, very emotional, healing and something I never experienced before. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The enticing itinerary of Roatan, Cozumel and Costa Maya, was the reason we chose this cruise departing from Tampa. The port stops were lovely and we had some great excursions including cave tubing, zip lining from 9 platforms, horseback ... Read More
The enticing itinerary of Roatan, Cozumel and Costa Maya, was the reason we chose this cruise departing from Tampa. The port stops were lovely and we had some great excursions including cave tubing, zip lining from 9 platforms, horseback riding, fishing and shopping.The tour guides were very helpful and friendly. One caveat the 6 hour fishing excursion in Roatan is advertised as leaving from the dock as you disembark the ship. It did leave from a dock---- following a 1 hour bus ride to the opposite side of the island. This was clearly false advertisement. The ship on the other hand was a disappointment in several regards. The food in the breakfast and lunch buffet was uninspired, lacked variety and was mediocre. We ate breakfast in the main dining room hoping for better fare. We ordered eggs benedict and were served hard boiled eggs on luncheon ham with no Hollandaise sauce. The main dining room fare was better; excellent French onion soup, great rolls, decent entrees and a delicious turkey with dressing for Christmas day. The servers were very good. We dined in Chops where they had a delicious Forest Mushroom soup and excellent strip steak. The evening we dined in the Izumi specialty restaurant was disappointing and unacceptable. A couple had brought 2 children, one appeared to be around 18 months and the other age 3. The youngest screeched through dinner and the older attempted to climb the room divider as if he were on a playground, all the while the parents were oblivious to the disturbance they were making. Apparently RCL does not have any age standards in place for this specialty restaurant. The Solarium is designated as an adults only pool but there was no dedicated staff member to monitor this and children were in abundance. In general the ship public areas were clean and attractive, but the ship is aged and needs a redo. Also the public restrooms would benefit from more frequent cleaning. In summary, after having sailed on Celebrity and Holland America we expected more. We will not again sail on RCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
In 2013, we sailed on RCCL with the Freedom of the Seas for New Year's Eve and had a wonderful experience. Therefore, we booked the Brilliance of the Seas for New Year's this year and invited additional family members. The result ... Read More
In 2013, we sailed on RCCL with the Freedom of the Seas for New Year's Eve and had a wonderful experience. Therefore, we booked the Brilliance of the Seas for New Year's this year and invited additional family members. The result was a disappointment and we have ranked this our worst cruise of 13. I really hate being so down, but this just didn't meet expectations although most crew were working very hard. First some of the great things - The ladies playing classical music in the Centrum were very good, the guitarist in the Schooner lounge was out of this world and Clark in the pub next to the casino was very funny and enjoyable. Also, cha cha lesson in Centrum was very well done. Also, the chef for the chef's table was extremely personable. That is not worth the $7K spent. That concludes what was right with this cruise and they saved the day. The ship was noisy and overcrowded compared to the other 12 or 13 cruises we have taken on several different lines previously, many during holiday periods. The interior of the ship just seemed shabby and not quite clean even though it was clean, just cheap. The furniture in the stateroom was chipped and the room very small. Bed okay, shower pours out into bathroom floor due to poor design. The food was mediocre even though we spent 4 of 5 nights at specialty restaurants. Chops is over-priced for steak quality. We all had intestinal problems after eating in the Italian. Yes, it was that restaurant for certain. A couple of really big problems - holding my luggage because security believes I might have alcohol is treating me like I am in high school. First, I am 54 so this is only a revenue policy and second, the offending item was Murad toner and if I drank it, I would go blind as it states on the label - denatured alcohol is the base. I really do not need to pay to be treated without respect and it is not acceptable. No message from security (as Princess did one time when my husband had a questionable item). I thought my luggage had been left in port. The staff acted extremely stressed everywhere as it was clear to us they had to meet their revenue targets (including signs posted where we could view them). This was a stressed staff focused on revenue targets cruise. Yuch.... If this is the direction of cruising which I have loved, count me out. There are so many things that were wrong - rude purser desk staff, lack of activities, cleanliness, food terrible, not abiding by the 2 for 1 wine by the glass for our RCCL status, slow internet, not making ports on schedule, arriving in Tampa at 3 am and being awakened by train whistles and lights from port, captain unavailable during New Year's Eve Party. All items are little, but it just kept adding up. I would not recommend this ship. A complete switch from previous cruises on Jewel and Freedom which were delightful. And, fuel costs are down so really quite paid enough. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My family and I have been traveling with Royal Caribbean for several times and this was our first time on the Vision. It is probably also our last time on the Vision. The trip started in Tampa with an extremely long wait with little ... Read More
My family and I have been traveling with Royal Caribbean for several times and this was our first time on the Vision. It is probably also our last time on the Vision. The trip started in Tampa with an extremely long wait with little coordination of information on the part of those directing the incoming cruisers. We were told by the Sheriff personal while getting our luggage out of the cab to go to one door. At that door there was a line of over 50 feet of passengers before you even entered the building itself! After standing in line for quiet some time (at least 25-30 minutes) waiting to enter the building, out comes a man who tells all of us that we will now have to go to another entry that has a line probably over 100 feet long of people. Instead of telling those who were just arriving to go to the new line, he wanted everyone who had been standing in the line to now go to the line that was twice as long. It didn't happen. People let him know that they had been standing there and were not going to go to the back of another line to start all over again. Once inside the entry doors, we then waited at least 30-45 minutes before we were even allowed to go up the escalators to the check in area. Here we found that ALL the Diamond, Platinum, Gold etc. were all routed together into one line. There was no separate designation for those folks who have cruised enough to be treated with a little more customer service than those that were not in any of the above categories. This line took an additional 30-45 minutes. So far, we have been standing in lines well over an hour and have not even boarded the ship! Finally, we boarded the ship. We know that usually the cabins are not ready and that guest go to the dining areas when they first board a ship. The welcome staff as we stepped into the lobby are of the ship told us that the cabins were ready and we could take our carry ones to the rooms. We tried to do so and were met by a ship staff person at the elevator and told that the rooms were not ready. OK, we hadn't expected to go to our cabins anyway, so then we went to the dining area instead. That was the first of the mis-informaion. The Windjammer was about half full upon our arrival and I went to get a burger. There was a large empty bowl with a sign over it that said, sautéed mushrooms. I waited for a while for them to replenish the dish and when a member of the cooking staff came out, I asked if they were going to bring out more of the mushrooms. I was told that "we are all out of the mushrooms" and he removed the sign from over the empty dish. I thought this was very strange that the first serving of a new cruise and you are already out of an item on the buffet! The shortage of items not being replenished and the sight of empty bowls on the buffet in the Windjammer became a commonplace site for the next 7 days! Our family had two rooms. One room was the last before the elevators in one hallway and the other was the last of the rooms in the hall on the opposite side of the elevators. We had been told that the rooms would be opposite each other. Our family consisted of a man and wife in their 40's, a 5 year old boy and a 60 year old grandmother. With this arrangement of rooms being in two entirely different locations from each other, it did present difficulties/obstacles for watching over the little guy down if he wanted to go to one room or another. We could most definitely let him go from one room to another without an adult with him as he would have had to travel through the elevator area alone and out of our line of sight. I shared my room with the 5 year old and we had a very different experience than that of my daughter and her husband. Our Attendant came to meet us the first evening and at that time I asked him to bring some ice. He asked if I wanted it placed in the room daily and I said yes. The ice bucket was filled each day and our room was cleaned almost as soon as we left it. We were well supplied daily with shampoos and other such items one should expect to find in a room. We also had two bathrobes and our glasses were replenished as needed. Our Attendant provided exactly the service we had come to expect from Royal Caribbean. He unobtrusively provided for our cruise experience and made our trip enjoyable. We filled out a WOW card for him because of his good service as a Royal Caribbean Attendant. Unfortunately, my daughter and son in law did not have the same cabin service. They were not provided with robes, shampoo, ice and their room was not cleaned as well or fas promptly as ours. They are both Diamond travelers and have come to expect a certain standard from having traveled Royal Caribbean that was not forthcoming on this cruise. DINING AREAS WINDJAMMER Most days we ate in the Windjammer for breakfast. Since the 5 year old was with me for breakfast, I would go to the buffet for his food. Starting with our first full day on board, our 5 year old was lucky enough to be noticed by one of the servers, Olga Zmuravlyova who made a point of watching over him while I retrieved his cereal and milk. He is a very well behaved child who was just as happy to sit with the IPAD waiting for me, but it made me feel a lot safer knowing that she was keeping watch over him from the corner of her eye. She was in the Windjammer for the day 2-4 of the cruise and we made a point of sitting in her area each of those days. She was very friendly and a true ambassador for Royal Caribbean. We missed her on day 5 and later found out that her grandfather had died and she had needed to take a break for a day to collect herself. We ran into her her on day 6 in the Park Cafe and learned this information. We filled out a WOW card for her because she deserved it! The food in the Windjammer was adequate. It was not outstanding and the better items were frequently waiting to be replenished. Prime example of this was the day they had a Taco bar set up. The taco shells were there, the meat fillings were there, but there was Nothing in the bowls that should have held sufficient quantities of Guacamole, sour cream, chopped lettuce or tomatoes. Tacos without the condiments to put them together is a waste! People waited and waited for these items to arrive. The person who appeared to be the head chef was running around like a chicken with his head cut off and getting nothing out of his staff when it came to their doing their job. There was also very little gracious interaction between the cooking/serving staff and the passengers. The people behind the buffet tables who were restocking barely spoke to the passengers and acted like it was an imposition if you asked for anything not out on the buffet at that time. EXAMPLE: The little man had Fruitloops cereal most mornings, but one day there was none on the buffet area, I asked if they had any and the staff person opened the cabinet under the cereal area, took out a box, handed it to me and never said a word. I thanked him, but thought to myself, what if I had wanted more than one box? Shouldn't he have at least asked? Overall, the Windjammer was a place to go because it was open and you didn't have to wait for the food to be brought to you. Adequate at best. AQUARIUS DINING ROOM We had the early dinner (5:30) and were seated at table 218. Our waitstaff were good but slow. We were consistently one of the last tables to leave the dinning room each night. We had a table of 10 and shared it with a lovely family of 6. The family consisted of a mother and father, their two daughters and the daughters boyfriends. This was the first cruise for the two boyfriends and the second cruise for the rest of the family. It was their first on Royal Caribbean with Carnival having been their only previous cruise experience. Our waitstaff were pleasant, but did not make us feel that our cruise enjoyment was a priority for them. They did all those things that a waitstaff should do, but none of us ever made a real connection with either of them. I thought it was just my family till the last night at dinner and the other family mentioned it too. Our primary waiter made a point over and over of telling us about the survey we would be receiving after the cruise asking about our trip and how important it was to them that we "tell how good our service was." Unfortunately, the service was so middle of the road that I can't even tell you either of their names. I do remember that the server who brought the breadbasket and the drinks was named Carlos. For us not to remember the names of our servers after 7 days with them should let you know how memorable their interaction was with us. The food - was ok, nothing outstanding that I can say was memorable. Standard fare for a cruise ship dining room. In fact, I am a big fan of Escargot and the Escargot served was ok. I wasn't impressed the first night and tried to give it the benefit of a doubt and have it again the second night. Didn't go any further, because it didn't get any better. PARK CAFE Why in the world would you put the Park Cafe, which was the go to eating place when the Windjammer was closed in a location that required anyone eating there to have to walk through the adults only Solarium pool area? Families with small children were walking in and out of the area all the time that the Park Cafe was open. Adults who had gone to this area for peace and quite were inundated with teenagers who had their activity area right outside the Solarium and with small children coming into have a snack. Really? Who did this design? The food at the Park Cafe was very good. The Roast Beef sandwiches and the soups were very nice. The staff was efficient and there were no empty bowls waiting to be restocked. ROOM SERVICE I did get room service one night. It was the best steak sandwich I had! When I called, they told me that there would be about an hour wait, I said I had a 5 year old with me and didn't think it would work for me. They said they would take care of it and they had our food to us within 20 minutes! Fabulous service! The food was hot, the salad was cold and I was very happy with this Royal Caribbean service! I was so impressed with my sandwich, that I mentioned it at dinner the next night and both of the young couples at our table ordered it from room service during their stay and also raved about it! KUDOS! SHOWS & ENTERTAINMENT There wasn't a really big show. We have become used to bigger ships having Cabaret, Hairspray, etc. for shows...nothing like that on this ship. The shows were what I would class as B or C shows. The majority of the entertainment were standard ship board things....bingo (I don't play it), movies, casino (small, little variety and extremely smokey smelling - even thought I am usually at the blackjack tables every night, I only went down one night and couldn't stay.... it was so strongly smelling of smoke), piano bars, and the regular passenger involvement games. The Cruise Director appeared to have been around a long time, his sidekick Marvelous Marv was the primary visual guy. He lead a salsa dance class and did a good job...but never introduced his female partner nor had her interact other than with him. I am still not sure if she was a staff member or some one he had picked up the night before at the club. The entertainment staff did their jobs, but nothing to excite me or to expect to see them moving up into the bigger ship entertainment personnel. SHOPPING AND SOCIAL AREAS The shopping areas and the social areas (piano bars, sport bars, theaters, show venues etc. were all in odd places. The shopping areas on the bigger ships are prominently positioned and you know exactly were they are from the first few moments on board the ship. I stumbled on the shopping area after the third day. The theaters and other entertainment areas are oddly placed and none of them were big enough to really accommodate a large size gathering. EXAMPLE The salsa class was in an area so small that people were shoulder to shoulder. The PORTS OF CALL If you have ever taken a cruise, you have probably been to Cozumel. It is the same and has exactly the same things and vendor interaction as the last time you were there. Belize is another Cozumel. Just different name on the T-shirts. The one really cool thing in Belize was the dolphins right at the cruise site that you can interact with. This was a $20 excursion and anyone can watch it as it is right there in the port area. I really thought this was a good experience for the money. You might also want to wear your bathing suit on shore as there is a really nice swimming area in the middle of the shopping area that you and children will enjoy. You can even swim up to the bar that is attached to the pool and have a drink while being in the pool area. They also have loungers and massage tables in this area. Several folks had booked the trips to the ruins and the beach, but the weather was misting rain and most did not speak favorable of their experience. Our ship was turned away from the Grand Cayman port due to high seas. There were also 5 other ships turned away due to the waves being so high that the port closed for the day. The Captian made a point to communicate with the passengers that it was the port that had turned the ships away. She (YES, one of only 5 female Captains piloting a passenger cruise ship) said that she would steer us away from the waves until noon and then we would have to go back to the course for the trip. When the turn was made, you noticed the difference in the waves! DISEMBARKING We were #3 for departure and were scheduled to disembark at 8:30 AM. It was after 10:00 when our number was called and we were finally starting to disembark. We sat in the dining area inn deck 5 waiting for over an hour and a half while we overlooked the people being served breakfast in the dining area of deck 4. We did not have any waitstaff in our area and therefore no breakfast was served as we waited. I would have thought that if you are going to have people wait in a dining room and you are running well over an hour late in departure time, you would make an effort to have waitstaff feed them! OVERALL The weather could have been better (we had two good warm sunny days and five not very sunny or warm days) the waves kept the ship rocking and there were a few people who did get ill. The Captain announced that some people were having flu like symptoms and they post lots of info on keeping clean so as not to get ill. The food, entertainment and other portions of the cruise were adequate but certainly not up to the standards that anyone who has cruised on the bigger ships of Royal Caribbean has come to expect. Vision of the Sea was probably a big deal 20 years ago but if you have sailed on the the bigger and newer ships you would not be impressed.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We were on the Dawn over Christmas, Tampa to WCaribbean. After reading all the pretty dismal reviews, including one from someone who had actually CANCELLED their Dawn cruise due to all this negativity, we were more than pleasantly ... Read More
We were on the Dawn over Christmas, Tampa to WCaribbean. After reading all the pretty dismal reviews, including one from someone who had actually CANCELLED their Dawn cruise due to all this negativity, we were more than pleasantly surprised by most things we found on board. Embarkation was not too bad at all, although I realse this was made much better by the fact that our cruise date did not include pick ups in Cozumel. However, it was made worse by a bizarre situation at the cruise checkin desks, where non US citizens such as us from UK( although we had obviously already been admitted into the US via strict border control, ESTAs granted etc etc) still had to have their passports re-entered into some computer by someone slowly using "one-finger" typing for each passenger. This led to long queues at his workstation, holding up every other passenger in every check in queue! Surely, if this is necessary, it would be better to have a check-in desk, or two, just for non-US passengers. This would allow the others to board more quickly. I am sure the US passengers would be very happy! Our balcony cabin, 9192, was fine. Smallish, but lots of storage space. Bathroom tiny, separate wc behind a screen was miniscule! Looking at the size of some of the passengers, I can only imagine they were in large suites...no way would they get in the wc! Food..we ate mainly in Venetian, we cannot stand the "Zoo" that is the buffet, although the food selection looked good, specially at breakfast, to see fellow passengers pushing & shoving to pile their plates with bizarre food combinations is not my idea of a good time! This does not reflect on NCL, only on the passengers!! What greed some have. Freetime dining did not work well over Xmas, due to herds of people all wanting to eat at the same time. Lots of vouchers for free bubbly were given out by patient staff at the Venetian check in desk(Well done Gen!!) & buzzers used to the max. Teppanyaki was great, best steak all cruise(worst steak was Prime rib in Venetian, just inedible, although all other meals good there) Coffee & tea was poor (to our taste) everywhere, take your own & use the equipment provided in cabin! Le Bistro was adequate...no more, no less. We dine in France often..believe me,Le Bistro is not good standard French cuisine! No-one eats al-dente potatoes!! But the chef for Le Bistro obviously thinks they do!! Wouldnt go there again for a surcharge. Service was mainly good, especially in the Venetian, although we did feel it was a little false, with expectations of further tipping. Some were surly, but I suppose thats life, & happens anywhere! The Spa was great, well worth the extra cost. The jacuzzis were great, the pool a little cool, but welcome to escape the children. The on-deck hot-tub at the front of the ship, behind the Bimini Bar, was also a good find, really quiet most days, plus lots of sunbeds available there. Entertainment was good, Paul, the cruise director(a fellow Brit!) was excellent, although we felt sometimes his British humour may have gone straight over the heads of some passengers. We got totally fed up with the "shopping woman" wittering on constantly about buying diamonds, watches etc etc. We went to what we though would be an informative presentation about some ports, to find it was a Diamond Hard Sell...Thanks, but No Thanks! A little disappointed by the comedian Tim Kaminski, he relied very much on audience participation, but if that was poor(Wizard of Oz nigh!!!) then the whole show dragged on & was very flat. Second City were much better...impro at its cleverest. Bollywood was glitzy, we enjoyed it more than we had expected. So, all-in-all...a great value Xmas cruise! Well done NCL..this was our first cruise with you, we may well return!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This is my third cruise, but my first time on Norwegian. Previously it was Holland America. I was attracted to Norwegian by the free style approach, and that part of the cruise was wonderful. I traveled alone and found the balcony ... Read More
This is my third cruise, but my first time on Norwegian. Previously it was Holland America. I was attracted to Norwegian by the free style approach, and that part of the cruise was wonderful. I traveled alone and found the balcony room very tiny, but in good condition, although for a recently renovated ship I was surprised who antiquated the TV was. Even the ship's stations came in poorly. I did enjoy the cabin , but wonder how two people fit in it with their luggage. The food was HORRIBLE. I tried four of the specialty restaurants and found the Italian to be the only acceptable one. I first ate at Cagney's the steak house. The steak was so tough, even the waiter could not cut it using the seat knife. I returned it, and the second one came out only slightly better. They had to give me a special chefs knife to cut it, but that knife finally worked. The second night I tried the Bistro French restaurant. I ordered the duck. It was one tough bird! It was overdone, and I sent that one back. The third try was La Cucina, the Italian one. At least this was acceptable. The rib eye was nothing special, but compare to the other two, it was heaven. I then tried the Asian style Ginza. The sushi was watery from being improperly defrosted. The shrimp dish was also returned. I finally ate in the main dining room. The food was not much better, but at least I did not have to pay extra for it. On the possibility that Cagney's had an off night previously, I foolishly ate their again. This time the fillet was tough as shoe leather. The couple sitting next to me both returned their food. The entertainment was not much better. Only the last night finally was any good. The piano player's singing in the atrium was so bad that I had to leave the area.The carpeting in the hallways was worn and torn. For a ship that was supposed to have been recently renovated, there is no excuse for worn out torn carpeting. Finally, all the elevators has this terrible smell emanating from them. It was so bad that many of use walked the stairs rather than deal with that terrible smell. On the positive side, free style cruising was wonderful as was the staff. The staff was fabulous. The cabin was cleaned twice a day, and everyone was very helpful. They all made you seem like they were genuinely happy to help you. If food an overall ship quality are important to you this star does not shine. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
After having a fantastic freestyle cruise on Spirit of America in the Hawaiian Island I decided to go NCL for a second time when we went on a Christmas cruise. My big complaint about this cruise is basically - the ship! NCL really needs ... Read More
After having a fantastic freestyle cruise on Spirit of America in the Hawaiian Island I decided to go NCL for a second time when we went on a Christmas cruise. My big complaint about this cruise is basically - the ship! NCL really needs to refurbish The Star in every way. I could not believe this ship was only a little over 10 years old, so clearly it just has not been maintained in that 10 years. It was just plain tatty. The carpets were worn, pulled up and dirty. The walls, bannisters and most surroundings were in disrepair and worn. I thought the buffet looked little better then a high school cafeteria and every washroom I used on the ship, aside from my cabin, had doors that the locks were broken. It was a joke among us female passengers that you had to check for feet under the stalls to avoid walking in on someone. I have been on a number of ships at Christmas and have always been overwhelmed by how beautifully decorated they are. It would seem however that NCL thinks "Dollar Store" cardboard cutouts and paper garland is just fine. The nicest room on the ship, The Versailles Dining Room which could have looked amazing and enhanced everyones Christmas experience, was decorated with cheap, cardboard skateboarding elves. I think the cruise industry is one where posh, not tacky is the watchword for ship presentation but The Star obviously does not agree. We had a mini-suite, which was large, with a lovely balcony and bathroom, but again, all just seems, old, outdated and not maintained. We also treated ourselves to a spa day and although I have no complaints about the technicians treatment, the spa just is not up to snuff in relation to the costs. If I am going to pay high end prices, I don't want to be put into an old, thread worn robe that should have been retired 5 years ago. I did however think the food was good on the ship and had an amazing New Years Eve dinner at Cagney's. Service and food were both very good there. Service however did not match the food elsewhere on the ship. We ate 3 times in one of the two main dining rooms before switching to the 2nd dining room. Not only did freestyle seating not work but it was like a giant gong show every night. Even after waiting 45 minutes to be seated first night prompted us to make sure we had reservations the other nights, we always were waiting to be seated and felt like we were inconveniencing the dining room staff. In the Versailles we were not once asked if we even wanted a drink. The staff poured water in silence, asked for our meal order and basically did not say another word all evening. I have never been treated so coldly on a cruise by the wait staff. Service was definitely improved in The Aqua but only marginally. One of my cruise mates feeling was that NCL just wanted everyone to dine in one of there additional charge dining rooms and maybe that is indeed the case. All that being said and done however, my 2 companions and myself were determined to have a good time and what The Star did excel at, in my opinion, was entertainment. The shows were among the best I have ever seen on a cruise ship and the show band, Midnight Revue and Sean the Traveling Troubadour were outstanding. Also the Cruise Director and her staff tried very hard to make sure everyone was having a good time. Would I travel NCL again, probably not. There are just too many beautiful, well maintained, more modern ships out there to risk being on a second rate one. Yes the entertainment was good, but I love cruising because for a reasonable price I have always felt I was treated like I was special, whether in the lowliest of inside staterooms or a suite. NCL fails both at surroundings and service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click