Year Started: 1966
Ships in Fleet: 13
Summary: With the recent introduction of new ships the third biggest cruise company in the world. Free-style cruising, elaborate dining options and surprisingly good entertainment.
Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Mediterranean Western
Good for: Teens. Seniors. Group.
Regions:Eastern Seaboard, Caribbean, Bermuda
Good for: Value for Money. Children`s Programs. Singles.
Regions:Caribbean, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Eastern Seaboard
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean
Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.
Good for: Group. Singles. Families.
Good for: Teens. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Caribbean, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Western, Mexico
Regions:Alaska, Caribbean, Inland Waterways, West Coast
Good for: Families. Value for Money. Teens.
Good for: Value for Money. Overall Service. Disabled Travelers.
About us. 57/62 year old semi-retired professionals. Our 36th cruises, 12th on NCL and 4th on the Sun. This was our second cruise to the Baltic, the first being on the NCL Dream in 2004. Not terribly fussy, pretty laid back. We were travelling with 10 friends, some of my review may reference their critique of events we missed.
Embarkation - Port of Dover This was our second sailing from Dover and they have a new terminal since our 2004 sailing. The terminal is modern and well laid out. The staff was very friendly and efficient. From the time we entered the door to key card in hand was about 20 minutes. Boarding began at 11:40 although rooms were not ready. In the past a bag check area was available for dropping your carry ons but it was not available this time. Lunch was served in the buffet and the Seven Seas dining room opened at 12:30, which we chose and had a nice relaxing start to our cruise. About the time we were finishing up our coffee it was announced that rooms were ready.
The Ship The interior is done inNCL's typical understated style and is filled with bronze colored woods, brass and bronzy colored granite. In places the interior seemed somewhat stark but overall it is a sleek and elegant ship no glitz or neon. The atrium area is a bit on the small side and the panoramic elevators are oddly shaped (kind of keyhole shaped, narrow at the entrance, ballooning out toward the rear), which made for difficulty in loading and offloading.There are a lot of elevators on this ship and they seemed to run more quickly than on most. The central staircases are of the typical spiral type, making attractive places for photos. Several bars, the Internet cafe and customer service areas all rim the atrium. Hallways are nearly devoid of artwork; the artworks in the stairways were large florals, with a different flower for each floor (if it's poppies, I must be near the cabin!).
Dining There are two main dining rooms, appointed primarily with two- and four-person tables. They are easily rearranged for larger groups. The Seven Seas dining room is on the stern, so it has windows on three sides allowing for many window tables. There were no booths, just tables (although some tables had unusual center legs, making it difficult to cross your legs). The Four Seasons dining room is also on deck 5 and more central. The menu is the same in each dining room.
The buffet was well laid out and only the beverage area was weird. The ice dispenser was in the center rather than at the beginning near the glassware. The omelet and waffle stations were in a separate location - Pacific Heights which is on the opposite side of the elevators from the buffet. Pacific Heights is a much less crowded area for breakfast but the only serve the above items, along with coffee, tea and o.j. If you want other items for breakfast you can walk over to the buffet and return with them. It is necessary to wear a shirt and shoes in the buffet. An outside buffet area serves nearly identical fare, plus hot dogs and hamburgers. Its seating area was on the stern - a very pleasant spot where you could dine in your bathing suit. You do need to pass through the indoor buffet to get there, but you didn't need to be fully dressed if you were just passing through. There is a complimentary ice cream bar off the pool area which was open most of the time. The ice cream bar, Sprinkles, has soft ice cream in vanilla and chocolate and scoop ice cream in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry as well as a sherbet which varies each day. They only serve cones, so if you want a dish of ice cream grab a cup from the nearby drink station and they will put it in that.
Several specialty restaurants were available such as a tapas bar, sushi bar, Japanese, Italian, and French restaurant and a steak house. All but the tapas bar and Pacific Heights required an additional fee. Pacific Heights is a lighter fare/health conscious restaurant and no additional cost applies. The "pay" restaurants require reservations and the cost is from $15-$30. There was no 50% reduction for early dining on this sailing. On the two final sea days there were specialty lunches. An Indian cuisine and a jazz brunch. Both were $15 and well worth it.
Spa The spa, off the pool area, had a large assortment of exercise equipment. Several exercise classes were available for a fee. The spa is operated by the Mandara company, and thus operates much like those on other lines. The steam room and saunas were small but free, which is a pleasant return as they had been charging for the steam and sauna. The showers in the spa were much more spacious than the cabin showers and had liquid soap and shampoo available. The showers had transparent doors which might give bashful folks a problem. For those who find the cabin showers too confining, go to the spa.
The spa offers the usual spa treatments along with acupuncture and tooth whitening.
Entertainment The theater seats were high-backed, which created a bit of a problem for short people like me who had to crane a bit to see above the back. Seating down front was much more comfortable. There were two levels to the theater, and several poles created partial obstructions.
I thought the music was lacking on this cruise. There was a pianist who played nightly in one of the lounges. In the Observation Lounge there was a rotation of a DJ, a Latin singing group and the Sun Orchestra for dancing at various times. The main band played a wide variety of musical styles but most of it was geared to a much younger crowd than us so we didn't hang around long for them. On previous cruises there was usually a couple who did nice mellow music for dancing or easy conversation and there was no such couple on this cruise.
Lounges There were several lounges, and the Observation Lounge on Deck 12 at the bow provides a beautiful, sweeping view. It is a nice place to hide away during the day and read, as it did not seem to be used much. It is nicely appointed with rattan furniture and a medium size dance floor. Dazzles is more centrally located and has a larger dance floor and many activities e.g. game shows, art auctions were held there. A champagne bar adjoins the atrium as does a coffee bar. The Sports Bar on Deck 12 had many TV screens and served 22 types of beer. It is a great place to view the world and serves complimentary chips and salsa and guacamole each evening. It is open from 5P to 5AM for pizza and pasta.
The pool area has two pools divided by a raised area of four Jacuzzis. The pool water is salt water. Walking decks are the promenade, with 3-1/2 laps per mile and festive murals all the way around; and the sports deck, which has a padded walking surface but requires something like 12 laps to the mile. The promenade deck is the boat deck so it is covered walking while the sports deck is sunny.
Casino The casino is well laid out and has the usual variety of slots, video poker and table games. There are quite a few penny and nickel machines, a goodly number of quarter and the balance are 50 cents through $5. There are video poker machines ranging from penny to $1. Table games are craps, blackjack, roulette, Let it Ride, Caribbean Stud, Baccarat and Texas Hold-em. There is also a separate poker room for Texas Holdem. Service was prompt and courteous. The usual blackjack and slots tournaments were held throughout the cruise and I believe there was a poker tourney too but I'm not positive. The slots now use paper tickets so I found that to be a welcomed change.
Cabin Ours was an interior II cabin on Deck 9. Storage was more than ample. The desk area had one electrical outlet which was the only one in the cabin. A refrigerator, TV, were standard. The bathroom has a circular shower with a curtain held snugly in place by vertical rods in the curtain. Six storage shelves were provided. There is a real toilet paper holder (so the tissue does not fly off the holder with use), a wall mounted hair dryer, and an outlet for electric razors. The shower has normal single handle controls and an adjustable-height shower head. Liquid soap and shampoo dispensers were in the shower. The bedding is the typical NCL duvet and quality cotton. Robes and coffee makers have been removed from interior cabins but as we were gold members I had requested them prior to cruising and they were there on arrival.
Our cabin was 9311, an interior due to budget limitations on this sailing, plus the itinerary did not make it seem as though a balcony would be money well spent. The white nights also bother my husband a bit, so a nice dark inside cabin was perfect for those 10 PM sunsets and 5 AM sunrises. Our cabin was next to an A/C Room which meant we had no neighbors on one side and it was very quiet.
Entertainment We did not take in any shows other than the Celtic flutist who was fabulous and one of the production shows, Cirque something, which was not to our liking and we left before it was over. We had seen a Cirque production on another ship but this one lacked any true acrobatics and the music and costuming seemed very thrown together. Our travelling companions went to quite a few of the shows and found them okay, but nothing to rave about. Being such a long cruise, many of the evenings were filled with cruiser participation shows such as talent, dancing with the stars and an employee talent show.
The usual game shows, bingo and poolside activities were offered. The ship also has a mesh enclosed basketball court, ping-pong area, and golf driving range and shuffleboard.
In the library the usual board games were available for checkout, and bridge gatherings were held. Friends of Bill and Friends of Dorothy had regurlarly posted meetings. A Veterans meeting was scheduled this time which my husband always enjoys.
Food The quality was a bit better than most other ships, but that is such a matter of personal taste that it is hard to judge. The menus seem to have been revamped along with the new "Whatever" advertising program. In the past I've thought menu descriptions a bit confusing and this time they were a bit abbreviated but the food quality had improved considerably since our trip last October on the Star. We had dinner at the buffet one evening when we were too pooped to read a menu. I always enjoy the chilled soups and only one disappointed me.
Aside from the jazz brunch we did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants that required additional costs. We enjoyed tapas in Las Ramblas, and the menu changed each night. Pacific Heights has the same menu each night and does require reservations even though it is free. An Indian meal was offered for lunch on one of the sea days for $15. One of our friends went and said it was very good.
Wine service was handled by the waiters and went smoothly. There was no wine program available unless you are a Latitudes member; then you could buy five and get one free.
Thankfully, there was no nightly entertainment by dancing waiters, and the dress code was enforced. The Sun now allows nice jeans in the dining room but I saw a few people turned away for shorts and no ball caps were visible either. Buffet food was the usual fare, of good quality and available from about 6 am to midnight. Food was also available at times in the casino. Room service is available 24 hours and is free but you should tip the waiter.
Cleanliness The ship was the cleanest I've ever been on. Hand sanitizing was strictly enforced at embarkations and at all buffet lines and restaurant entrances. They've even added one to the glass elevators, which seemed ridiculous, especially since the kids who "lived" in the elevators had a good time triggering the dispenser and making a puddle on the floor.
Although this ship is due for dry dock in January, it does not look as though it's been years since refurbishment. With very few exceptions the ship is in excellent shape.
Staff One of the friendliest staff I've encountered. They all seemed particularly adept at remembering names throughout the week - a nice touch. I cannot say I encountered a single rude or indifferent staff member.
Disembarking NCL has an express system whereby if you carry all your luggage off yourself, you can be in the first group off the ship. Quite a few people seemed to opt for this. We were off the ship by 6:05 a.m. Unlike the US, there is no immigration or customs at the pier - just walk off and you're done. Those guests with luggage were assigned a color by their flight times. You could wait in your cabin until your color was called, although they did ask that you vacate your cabin by 9:00 a.m.
This and That Tips are added to your account automatically unless you request otherwise.
Security was very good. They seem to have gotten absolutely rabid about liquor smuggling as well as irons, so attempt it at your own risk.
You can request an iron and ironing board from the reception desk. You are allowed to keep it 3 hours.
Photographers: Almost invisible! The photography staff was available for formal photos and as always at the pier, but they were not in your face every time you turned around.
Announcements were kept to a minimum.
There was no captain's party for everyone. Just a Latitude's party which was at 1 pm on a sea day. There was a separate captain's party for silver, gold and platinum members. There were only 12 people in attendance so we had a senior officer per person! It was held in Las Ramblas and billed as wine and cheese but you could order whatever beverage you liked.
Drinks were of good quality and volume but the prices are that of a high end hotel/restaurant.
Passengers were a middle aged crowd with quite a few younger folks. There were 900 children on board, according to one of the officers, but it did not seem as though there were that many since they were pretty well behaved. I did notice that the TechStyles room (near the internet cafe) had a sign on it for families with children 2 and under. There was an assortment of toys for younger children in a nice indoor play area. It was hard to judge the ethnic mix of the cruisers but I'd say 50% of the cruisers were anglo. There were quite a few Spaniards and Romanians Announcements were made in English, German, Spanish and French. During the muster drill another language was used but I cannot remember what it was.
It is no longer necessary to bring your life vest to the muster drill.
Movies on the TV were available in multiple languages. Several entertainment and cultural programs were done in Spanish as well as English.
Money exchange is available but the rates are not good, so you are better off even at the airport! A local ATM is actually your bet bet. We found that Euros and US dollars worked everywhere.
As for Internet access, the ship has about 10 stations available.. Per-minute use was 75 cents and packages were available including wireless. Phone service is available from your cabin for $7.95/minute.
The jewelry shop onboard is a Columbian Emeralds shop.
There is no longer creamer on the tables in the dining rooms - it is milk. If you want cream, ask for it and they will bring you a pile of single serving creamer. This is a pet peeve of mine since I use a lot of cream and it looks so tacky, not to mention they were difficult to open.
You can buy a future cruise certificate which is a good deal if you plan to cruise in the next 4 years. You pay $250 for a certificate which will act as your deposit for the entire cabin (unless you are in suites or above)when you book a cruise within 4 years. As an incentive you are given an immediate $100 OBC.
Ports of Call We arranged our own tours for all but one port, but I will provide what information I have based on others reports. Copenhagen - we docked in Free Port, which is the further port from downtown. It is about a 20 minute walk to the other pier. Both Hoho lines pick up at the pier. We used City Sightseeing and found that contrary to reports on CM, the buses do not accept credit cards, only euros. I have forgotten how much it was, but you can find that information on their website. We got off downtown, walked around and did a canal tour with Nette (?) tours for $3/person. He took US, euros, pounds - whatever you had. The tour was an hour and very informative. A great deal in our opinion. Be sure to have a few small denomination dollars or euros in case you need to use a public restroom. The attendant will give you change if you have small denominations.
To return to the ship you need to transfer to a line not shown on the internet map - the blue line. The main lines of the Hoho's drop you at the area near the mermaid statue (who is currently vacationing in China) and then the blue bus takes you back to the ship. The blue bus is not marked and does not look like the standard hoho, which picked you up at the pier so you will need to ask various bus drivers if they are the blue line driver. Two of our group did a segway tour and had a blast. They highly recommend it. You can find them on the internet.
Warnemunde. We took the train to Rostock and had a fabulous day walking about. We lucked in to a choral presentation at the huge church with the astronomical clock and it was indeed a treat. We dined at the market on sausage and apple streudel and had a grand meal on the cheap. We took the ferry back to Rostock and since there was a huge boat festival that day we sailed amidst tall sailing ships, pirate ships, Chinese junks, and boats of all flavors. What a treat. Half our group did a tour to Berlin and found the 12 hour day long but enjoyed their trip. The 3 hour each way drive did not seem like fun to me.
Tallin. There is no need to do a tour here. The walk from the ship to old town is about 15 minutes. The reception desk will give you maps of town if you need them (this was true of Rostock too). We used Rick Steve's book and walking guide, which has always served us well. The streets here are very rocky and steep so if you have mobility issues it could be a problem. Second to St. Petersburg, Tallin was everyone's favorite port.St. Petersburg. We arranged for a private tour with Anastasia Tours and had a spectacular time. There was no comparison to our previous visit when we used ship excursions. An articulate, educated guide, nice quick dining, complete flexibility and topped off the first day with a canal tour, champagne and chocolate. The tour per person for both days total came to $5 less than one day on a ship's tour. I cannot recommend this option highly enough to you.
The weather was very warm, the news said it was the highest temps in 1,000 years, and since none of the buildings are air conditioned it got pretty warm. But even on our previous trip I would remind people about the a/c and advise you to leave your heavier clothes on the bus. The palaces and Hermitage get very warm with all those people in them. You are not allowed to bring back packs or water into the palaces or museums. You can take photos but in the Hermitage you cannot use a flash. Local merchants would take USDs except in gift shops in the churches. Our guide had rubles she would swap for our purchases there.
Helsinki. The only place we did a ship's tour to PourVoo (pronounced PourVoe) It was a nice ride in the countryside to a cute little town, with a cute little church and then to see a few of the more popular sites in town but not worth $160. Although, lunch was very, very nice.
Stockholm. We anchored at Nynsham and as we had been to Stockholm before and were tired we decided to stay onboard. A delightfully, relaxing day. They use the life boats for tenders and it takes 10 minutes to reach shore. The drive into Stockholm is one hour if you have an excursion. I got mixed answers on why NCL has chosen to dock this far out and finally got the bottom line from one of the officers who said, they really don't know. It is a corporate office decision and they do not tell them why - just where. Everyone I talked to enjoyed their visit to Stockholm but felt they were terribly rushed and quite frustrated with the experience since some of them had only 45 minutes at the Vasa and 30 minutes to shop or eat or whatever.
Next year NCL is doing this sailing out of Copenhagen rather than Dover and maybe it will allow more time in Stockholm.
London. We arrived three days early to tour London. One of our group is a Brit and gave us the insiders tour. Fortunately we were there on a Sunday which allowed us to go to the Chelsey Street Flower Market, which was absolutely fabulous. Then off to Curry Lane (I think it was called) - block after block of Indian food vendors and restaurants. We had a grand Indian meal. We got to take in choral evensong at Westminster, which was breath taking. On the way to Dover, our private bus stopped at Canterbury Cathedral so we could go to 8 am mass and tour the church. Spectacular.
We had arranged for First Choice Minibus to pick us up at LHR, take us to the Holiday Inn Express Victoria. On Tuesday he transferred us to the port via Canterbury then fetched us at disembarking at whisked us off to LHR. Very curteous and much cheaper than the NCL transfers. Not the cheapest way to travel, by far, but with a group it made it quite affordable. With 12 people all transportation came to $94/per person.
Overall: I would gladly recommend this cruise and ship to anyone.
rooms very tiny compared to other ships but more costly, they made an error in billing and want make a refund this happened to three other couples that i know about. there is no personal contact, you can't get intouch with a person only letters and e-mails then they don't respond, it want be a company that we take our next cruise with in fact i would never use them in the future.
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star by Lanore Alaska July 31, 2010
This is great for multi-generational family groups. The excursions were guided by knowledgable and enthusiastic leaders. Our favorite was the Prince Rupert Canoe and Rain Forest Walk, hosted by local Native Canadians. The canoe and rain gear were brand new, it was fun and the "snacks" were the freshest crab possible and fry bread! The catamaran to the Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Arm was great and we saw whales on the way from Juneau.
However, since the ship goes most of the way (just not as close to the glacier) it may not be worth $200 to some people. The White Pass Railroad in Skagway was worth it (we were lucky with great weather) and interesting, even though I favor more active activities and we liked Skagway and had spicy Thai food there.
Where else can you visit a Sarah Palin store? In Juneau we had great weather to the Mendenhall Glacier Float which was also fun. The Tatoosh kayak trip in Ketchikan was peaceful and we saw bald eagles very close up. The ship personnel were friendly and unbelievably patient.
Thefood gave a nice variety and I am a vegetarian. The soups in the Versailles room was surprisingly sophisticated and delicious, as were the desserts.Of course, to serve so many people, many dishes were on the bland side. If you really like coffee, bring your own instant-it is that bad! Same with the Lipton tea. The fitness center had decent equipment and was not too busy. The library had a good selection and easy access. We used the meeting rooms, which were convenient and nice. For the launch party, the volume is pretty high, so for that and the fairly thin cabin walls, ear plugs are helpful. This was my first cruise and I would go again.
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star by Bruce Pederson Alaska July 24, 2010
Booked early, with suggestions of up grade 4th cruise on NCL, booked 5 staterooms 15 people Put on deck 5, given no up grade, no pepsi, nothing for a $12,000 booking
Our cruise group was 8 friends who have travelled extesnivly over the years. The ship, as many previous reviewers have mentioned, is a floating hotel. We had an outside stateroom with a balcony, and the room was average in size. We liked having the balcony to sit and watch the islands.
The food was good. The buffet was better then average, and the night they had prime ride was as good as some of the food I've eaten here in Kansas City! Many good choices, and the breakfast was wonderful.We had breakfast in the 50' diner, and it was fun and not crowded at all. Evening dinner at the dress up dinner(men are requested to wear slacks), the service was OK and the food was average.
The staff was mostly American, and were polite and friendly. Our cabin steward was just OK, and we missed a few turn downs for our bed after having dinner.
The evening's events were good. Second City was on board, and had some very funny skits, and were on stage 3 nights during the week. A group singing the 4 Seasons's songs were very good. The cruise directorwas just OK, and was informative in terms of events going on daily.
As far as the 4 islands, I think that the packages that NCL offered were OK, but we decided to do our own arrangements, since there was a large group involved. Renting cars proved to be worthwhile, as we could come and go at our own pace. The trip we took through the cruise was the helicopter tour, as well as the luau which was very good and entertaining. There were several local artists and venders selling their wares when we arrived, and for those who wee looking for unusual souvenirs,this was the place to find them. The dinner and dancing were much better then what I had imagined, and considering they do this evemt three times a week, I don't know how they keep up the enegy.
Having taken this same trip 4 years ago, I had concerns, but I was pleasantly surprised how smooth it all went. I was expecting the 'Griswald Hawaii vaction' but I'm glad to say it was a whole lot better! It was a fun and relaxing vacation.
The NCL Epic. The ship itself is quite nice. The shows were very good. Blue man Group and Cirque Dreams are terrific. The Ice Bar is "cool"
However- The staff and service leaves much to be desired. This was my first and last NCL cruise. i have been on 6 cruises prior to this one. Even Carnival puts the service on the Epic to shame. let's start at the top. The cruise director-silas-is a joke-I never saw him except on the ship's tv channel cavorting with other crew members on the Adults Only Spice h20 deck.
The cabin steward was a ghost. Did not even see him for the first three days. Our room keys never worker properly-oh by the way you have to put a key in a slotby the door or nothing works. it would have been nice if some one told us about that. there was no sign.
The freestyle concept works well in theory, however since tips are automatically billed to your room the service personal have ABSOLUTELY NO INCENTIVE to provide anything that even remotely come close to decent service.
If NCL expct customers to pay top dollarand get this level of service, they will be out of business vvery quickly.
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star by Jenny Tran Alaska July 3, 2010
My significant other and I have been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
Norwegian Star is the worst cruise experience we have had.
The Norwegian way - "Service-teamwork and yes lead to excellence." and "You're free to whatever! " is a total joke! I've never heard so many no's with bad attitude in my life! and you're not free to whatever because they have a full on itinerary, so if you wanted to do something you better have a watch on you to make sure you don't miss it... most of time... one time shows only! Unless it's a function to buy something... horrible, horrible, horrible!!!!!!
They have this thing, they call it FREESTYLE cruising. This just means that it is an all-inclusive trip. What they don't tell you is that, unlike the other cruise lines... There are only two restaurant that serve the same thing and a buffet that is included. The other 5 restaurants are not and you have to pay anywhere between $10- $30 a meal to get decent food. This is on top of the $800.00 you are payingfor over cooked, luke warm to cold food everyday.
The service was not good. Other than our super friendly house cleaning service. The waiters/ waitresses, customer service, and well... anyone else were always giving you bad looks, and pushing you to buy a drink from the bar or get something extra... I'm talking constant pressure, every second. This is because that they are under paid and you get charged an extra 15% for gratuity which they live off of. They are everywhere! At the " free entertainment" , casino, etc. They also wear different hats and work 16 hour days it seems... the same guy that was at the pool, at 10 am, was serving me at noon, and then was "entertaining me" at 10 pm!
You also get charged an extra $12 a day each person for gratuity. They also encourage and recommend that you give them extra! yaaaaay!
I went on the 7 day Alaska trip and other then the beautiful view. Everything else was so mediocre.
oh by the way, other than breakfast. The only free drink included in your all-inclusive trip is tap water.
My wife and I just returned from a 7 day cruise to the Bahamas on the Jewel, and to be quite frank, we were somewhat disappointed. Having cruised on Holland America, Celebrity, Princess and Royal Carribean, it is obvious that NCL is not in the same league. The attention to detail that we had come to expect was lacking. When we first entered our minisuite balcony cabin, my wife noticed that the area adjacent to the couch and desk had not been vacuumed or cleaned. There were several "items" that she picked up and placed in t he trash can. There were very few lounge chairs on the pool deck in shaded areas. If you wanted to protect yourself from the sun (and it was hot) shaded areas with lounge chairs were hard to come by. My brother-in-law jogged regularly each morning. He advised that he passed the same dirty glasses sitting next to the jogging track for three days. For those "mature" travelers, be prepared to be in the presence of many, many children, and unfortunately, many parents seemed to believe that it was not their responsibilty to maintain controlof their young ones. This was particularly disturbing on the night that my wife and I visited Cagney's Steakhouse, one of the several restaurants that required an additional $25 fee to eat there. Several tables over were two couples with their four children, ages 5-6. The children were allowed to scream and play during the entire course of our dinner, and no one, ship staff included, ever attempted to ask that they be made to behave.
Overall, I would rate that cruise and ship a "4" at best. If you want first class service and attention to detail, stick with Celebrity, Princess or Holland America. I would suspect that Carnival might even be a better value.
My husband and I just returned yesterday from a 7night 8day cruise from New York to Cape Caveneral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau. I am comparing this cruise to our last year's cruise on Carnival.
We were on Deck 10 Balcony stateroom which was smaller than Carnival. The food (main dining room and buffet) was just O.K. Menu was limited. The speciality resturant (Cagney's Steakhouse) was a disappointment. My husband's steak was not as good as the steak served in the main dining room and the 1 1/2 lobster (which was advertised) was not available, I was given 2 small lobster tails, at an additional charge, besides the $25 charge- not worth the extra money. Carnival's food was better. The day we were supposed to go to the private island the weather was very windy so the Captain announced for safety reasons with the tenders(boats to take you back and forth from the ship to the island) we would go directly to Nassau for two days. The casino is a ripoff - the staff are not qualified. Do not enter the slot and blackjack tournaments. Carnival, again, wins. On a scale from1 - 10 I would rate this cruise 5.
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star by elaine dickson Alaska May 15, 2010
What a mess of a ship design. In creating 14 new restaurants ( at a cost) virtually all of the public spaces have been taken away and there is not one place to sit with a drink and look out the window a6t the gorgeous Alaska Scenery. To make matters worse, they have leased out the top deck round observation lounge to a spa and only there will you have access to those panoramic windows where passengers used to pass the day. In order to do this it costs $150 per couple and there are only 12 lounges and several chairs. It is sheer idiocy.
At the back of the ship where other ships have a place for lounges and tables & chairs to look aft with the shelter of the ship behind you, this ship has built a children's playground which was virtually empty every time I passed by. The Norweigan Star is ill equiped to do Alaska and I would sail ANY other ship before this one.
On the plus side, their dining room is particularly beautiful, the fooddecent, the entertainment okay.