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Norwegian Star

5 1
3.3
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Price: $     Size: L     Refurbished: 6 yrs ago    

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What people said about this ship:

"The Star was impressive with dining rooms, bars and entertainment areas for all people." in 47 reviews.

"The specialty restaurants were top quality( but the extra pricing was a bit annoying)." in 6 reviews.

"The cruise director was perfectly 'corny ' as he should be..Loved the many choices of Jacuzzis." in 30 reviews.




1052 reviews from our community




CK63
Purser

4 out of 5
4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Great way to see Mexico without packing the bags

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 29, 2015

The Norwegian Star Mexican Riviera trip is a fun trip for families.  On a tight budget, we chose to get an inside stateroom, and you need to feel comfortable being very cozy with your family for a full week.  That works well for us, but is a caution to others. The food was average, yet prolific. Our kids loved that they could eat 24-7! The staff was excellent.  Great personalities and lots of attention.  The boat was in a bit of disrepair.  As we were given the "go ahead to the staterooms" sign, there were still dirty dishes in the hallways and just in general noticed several broken chairs, doors, etc. etc. The itinerary was awesome.  It was so great to get to see three cities in Mexico in one week, without packing and schlepping.   We are microbrew fans, and there simply were not any to be found.  That was a bit of a bummer, and with family members dairy free, we might suggest to Norwegian that at least a few of their plentiful food options address that need.  I was a bit worried about so many "sea" days, but Norwegian did an outstanding job of entertaining (and very high quality) shows, activities for our family and many things to keep us fully entertained.  It was a good, solid family vacation.  Not too high end or luxurious, but certainly a good value and incredible memories. 

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4 out of 5
4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Fun Family Cruise to Mexico

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 29, 2015

The cruise was a lot of fun for our family - three boys ranging from 7 to 15 years old.  Ports were great, ship was just the right size.  The ship seemed to be VERY quiet after dinner, which left the parents with little to do some nights, but it's better than some ships where you can't find ANYWHERE for five minutes of quiet, I guess.

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jfsharon
Purser

2 out of 5
2 star
2 star
empty star
empty star
empty star

poor

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 22, 2015

Too many kids, too loud & constant brain dead music. Needed ear plugs to sleep. Food good, service spotty. Out of cranberry juice 2 days from end of cruise...Sad

Manilla Trio excellent group.  Not enough places for people to get away from kids,music...AngryTwo lifeboats/ tenders had engine trouble on first trip to Cabo..Good thing we weren't 500 miles at sea in  emergency..Nervous....2 elevators shut down when people trying to disembark was stupid.Angry

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4 out of 5
4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Get a balcony! See the sites!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 22, 2015

The balcony for us was worth the extra cost. We spent every morning reading the days events and planning our day and we finished each day by watching the sunset, before heading out for the evenings activities. Salsa/Salsa was fun. Kayaking amazing and Yelapa was a great excursion. - - Watch out for service fees. We tipped the staff through out the cruise to only learn later that they tack on $12.50 per day per person for the same purpose.

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2 out of 5
2 star
2 star
empty star
empty star
empty star

Bad experience! Never booking through Priceline AGAIN or CRUISING with NCL AGAIN

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 22, 2015

First off we purchased a family suite. My 16 and 17 year old were expected to sleep in the same bed. We complained so they seperated the main bed for the kids then my husband and I had to sleep on the couch hide-a-bed, totally uncomfortable, and we even had seperate blankets. The 2 blankets they gave us barely covered 1 person! I purchased the birthday package for my moms birthday it showed up 5 days early, complaining once again, they offered to give her chocolate covered strawberries on the correct date. Of course they still couldnt get it right it showed up the very next day! The cruise ship was constantly running out of supplies such as limes for corona and margarita mix.This is a Mexican Riveria cruise "HELLO" .I have cruise with Carnival 5 times before trying NCL I can honestly say I will never cruise NCL again

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ubazame
Purser

2 out of 5
2 star
2 star
empty star
empty star
empty star

NCL doesn't seem to care anymore

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 22, 2015

Having cruised on NCL many times before and having been extremely happy with their ships, I was honestly shocked by this cruise experience.  I had been on this Mexican Riviera NCL cruise 3 times before and love the itinerary, but I won't do this one again. It was a bad omen on boarding when the lines to check in got confused and we had to wait extra time for that, and then our key cards didn't work and we had to wait in line for customer service with a lot of other people whose key cards didn't work.  Our room steward would forget to give us ice so we had to get our own, but the most annoying thing was one night around 11 pm while we were relaxing in bed, he came to our door and insisted that he had to change out all our pillows!  He would not take no for an answer and we had to get up and exchange all our pillows - it was just weird and very intrusive. The closest elevators to our stateroom only worked half the time - they worked a little better after they were closed for repair half a day but there was always one that wouldn't stop at our floor!  NCL has specialty restaurants that they advertise continually in a daily newsletter and on computer screens around the ship - but unfortunately they were completely booked (except for Chinese and Sushi Bar) for the entire cruise so we were only taunted by their presence.  When I asked if there was any chance of getting in, I was told "No, the smart people booked reservations online before the cruise."  They had nice flat screen TVs in the rooms and they had 2 movie channels showing some good movies, but when we tried to watch one, it wasn't there - and when we asked about it, we were told "It tells you right at the top of the schedule that it is subject to change without notice."  Then there was the NCL Rewards Party we were invited to:  We showed up, something else was happening in the room, so we went to the Rewards director to ask about it.  We were told it had been rescheduled for the night before and everyone had been sent a notice.  When we said we never got a notice, we were told "Yes you did, look in your papers and I'm sure you'll find it there!"  And he turned away. Really? The list of problems we encountered was endless - from the NCL ship app that did not work, to the cancelled exercise classes (the 24 year old instructor "hurt his back" and had to take a few days off), to the insane waiting in line to get off the ship at Cabo (why didn't they just call one group at a time? - that is the purpose of having the different groups to begin with).  But the sad thing was that no one would apologize for any problem - no one seemed to care. Most of the crew seemed unhappy and most of the smiles where we saw them were totally forced.  The only really good memory I have on that ship was when the sushi chef came over to me when he saw that the server could not understand what I was asking for (Soft shell crab - not a roll, just by itself).  He smiled and said "Fried OK?" and immediately prepared me the most deliciously spiced fried crab ever!  He prepared excellent sushi, sashimi, and nigiri consistently - we ate there 3 nights. That's the way cruising is supposed to be - only you are supposed to find that service more places than just the sushi bar.

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JimandThomas
Third Mate

3 out of 5
3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

Maintenance on the Mexican Riviera with Norwegian Star

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 22, 2015

In this review I'm not going to talk about our experiences while in the ports, but rather keep it focused on the Norwegian Star experience.  The embarkation process was pretty easy and painless.  We arrived at the port in San Pedro (Los Angeles) at about 12:30pm and only had to wait in line for about 10-15 minutes before we got ourselves all checked in.  We had the cruise line take our large pieces of luggage for us (a total of three pieces) and they were in our cabin about an hour after check-in.  We set sail right on time at 4:00pm!

Overall our stateroom, room 9726 (aft, with a balcony), was clean and nicely appointed.  There were three of us in the stateroom, my husband and I, and our 8 year old daughter.  The two single beds were already pushed together, and each night our steward opened up the sofa and made up the bed for our daughter.  Prior to our cruise the Star was in dry-dock in Portland, OR for regular maintenance and they replaced the carpet in all of the staterooms and in all of the common areas, so this certainly added to the overall cleanliness of the ship.  Our stateroom steward(s) were outstanding.  The first time we ran into him, which was at the elevators, he introduced himself and knew all of our names (they take your photos at check-in so he must've had access to those through their computer system).  Each and every time we saw him he always greeted us by name, and if our daughter wasn't with us, then he would always ask where she was and how she was enjoying herself.  After the first full day our stateroom steward became familiar with our routines and very promptly had our stateroom made up and cleaned first thing in the morning, and always provided us with turn-down service while we were at dinner!  The staterooms have adequate storage for two people, but with three of us in the stateroom it was a little tight, but we made it work by storing our empty suitcases under the beds rather than in the closets.  It's been about 12 years since I've been on a cruise, and I found the bathrooms on the Norwegian Star to be quite spacious for cruise ship bathrooms.  There was a decent size vanity/sink area, with storage below and above for your various toiletries, etc.  The shower is to your right, which was a good size and was equipped with shampoo and body soap.  Norwegian uses dispensers in the shower (and one next to the sink) to cut down on all of those little plastic bottles -- certainly better for the environment.  The toilet is to the left of the sink, and again didn't feel cramped to us.  There are dividers for the toilet and shower, but they don't provide 100% privacy!  The air conditioning/heating unit worked extremely well, was easy to operate, and always quiet.  Most nights we slept with the balcony slider open about a foot so we could hear the ocean!

Overall I found the crew/staff to be pleasant, although it felt like a lot of the employees were either new to Norwegian and/or new to the Star because we didn't have a very good track record of them being able to answer some basic questions, or to go above and beyond to get the answer(s) for us.  The restaurant staff always seemed to be on their game, and we found that the restaurants were always well staffed so the service was always good to excellent.  Most of our evening dining we did in Aqua because they were more relaxed with the dress code for dinner (you could wear shorts!), whereas in Versailles you had to wear long pants and a proper shirt (no t-shirts allowed).  But for sit-down breakfast and lunch in Versailles you could definitely wear shorts and be more casual.  For breakfast we generally went to the Market Cafe on deck 12.  In the main restaurants we ran into some confusion when it came time to seating, but this was always rectified quickly by the host/hostess.  Again, I think this was due to new employees on board.  The food was good and the portions weren't overwhelming.  If you had a special request, especially at dinner, they seemed more than willing to accommodate you.  For example, our daughter ordered from their kid's menu which meant everything came with french fries, but we always asked for a side of steamed vegetables and there was never a problem.  I will say that overall we found the food to be salty (high sodium), which they likely do to make everything taste better and so you will consume more beverages -- luckily, we had the ultimate beverage package, which we put to good use!

I was disappointed with the majority of the bar staff.  I didn't find them to be friendly and/or courteous at all, with only a couple of exceptions.  There were several times when we had to wait 15-20 minutes just to order a drink, and that wasn't because there were a ton of people ahead of us, but because the bartender was just slow or preoccupied in doing something else.  This was evident at the Oasis Bar (at the main pool - deck 12), O'Sheenan's (deck 8), and in Spinnaker's Lounge (deck 7), which was primarily with the wait staff.  I never felt properly greeted, and no one seemed to crack a smile...the complete opposite of the restaurant staff!  The two exceptions were one bartender at the Bier Garten (deck 13 that overlooks the pool) who greeted us and asked how we were doing and made us excellent drinks, and also at Gatsby's (deck 6) where the wait staff was always very prompt and courteous, and the bartender always seemed to be on his game and made excellent cocktails as well.

The whole time we were sailing there was ongoing maintenance happening on the ship -- likely left over from when the ship was dry-docked.  This became an inconvenience because certain common traffic areas (deck 7) would be taped off, or limited access was provided, or you just heard constant hammering and drilling (this reminded me of being in the dentist office, which isn't my idea of a vacation!).  The "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere" bar/lounge (deck 7) was closed the entire trip and being worked on except for the final night when they finally opened it (I think this used to be the Sports Bar/Pub).  Again, there was a lot of noise going on in that general area, especially if you were walking on the promenade deck.

The three shows we saw in the Stardust Theatre were quite good.  It seemed the shows got better as the week went on.  We enjoyed some of the fun and entertaining game show type of events in the Spinnaker Lounger (Deal or No Deal, and the Newlywed, Not So Newlywed games).  We didn't go to any of the bingo games, but they always seemed well attended.  We also didn't go to the Casino, which on the couple of occasions that we found ourselves in that vicinity there was plenty of action going on and LOTS of cigarette smoke too!

We didn't dine in any of the specialty restaurants, but one night we were able to get into Ginza -- the Japanese/Chinese restaurant (deck 7) that is included in your fare with a few dishes that have an add-on price of $10 each, but otherwise there was no additional charge.  You can't make a reservation at Ginza, so either get there right after they open, or plan on dining after 7:30pm, if you don't want to wait 20-30 minutes for a table.

Because we had our 8 year old daughter with us we took full advantage of the Kid's Club, or as they call it, the Splash Academy (although they don't take your children to the kid's pool area at all....hmmmmm, odd they would call it "Splash" then!).  Anyway, the staff was always very pleasant and friendly, and they seem to have a lot of activities for the children to keep them occupied and to tire them out!

One area of the ship that we found disappointing was the Oasis Pool, which was mainly due to the decor.  They have it decorated in very bright orange and green, with lighted palm tree lights on deck 13, which only a few of these lights seemed to be in working order (this was one of the maintenance projects while we were sailing).  Compared to the rest of the ship, this area didn't seem like it belonged -- I felt we were on an entirely different substandard cruise.  I guess the best word to describe the Oasis Pool is "tacky!"  Also, the slides they have, which we didn't try, aren't sloped enough so it didn't look like most people, from kids to adults, were able to slide all the way down without pushing themselves along.  I'm just not sure how that is supposed to be fun!

Our first port, Cabo San Lucas, the ship had to tender so we had to take tender boats back and forth to the ship.  If you were going into port that day then you had to get a "tender ticket" on deck 9.  This wasn't very well publicized, so we saw a lot of people confused about the tender process.  Our tender # was 9, out of 22, and we didn't get to leave the ship until almost 1:00pm!  We were leaving the port at 6:00pm that day. There seemed to be a lot of confusion with the crew on the tender process, or they didn't have enough tender boats operating, or both.  If you had an excursion booked then you are automatically on one of the earlier tender boats, so no worries there.

The disembarkation process in LA couldn't have been easier.  We got back to LA a little early, and if you are willing to take all of your own luggage (which we did) then you can be the first to disembark at about 7:30am, or anytime at your convenience.  We were one of the first people off of the ship at 7:30am, and were in our car in the port parking lot by 8:00am!  It couldn't have been easier!

All in all the cruise was enjoyable and relaxing for us, but I wish the overall service from the crew was better and more consistent, and that there wasn't any maintenance going on while on board!!!

Happy Cruising! Thomas

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sgarcia
Purser

5 out of 5
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star

Fun vacation

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 22, 2015

There was a nice selection of food.  Good variety of entertainment, they had a hypnotist, singers, dancers, and acrobats.  My bathroom had a sliding door instead of a shower curtain which prevented water from sliding out.

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4 out of 5
4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Nice ship, just renovated

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 17, 2015

Enjoyed our cruise to Cabo, but not really a fan of "freestyle dining". We'd never tried it before, and decided that we missed the opportunity to get to know other couples. When you arrive for dinner, if you're just a couple, you'll be seated at a table for two unless you have other couples you're dining with. Also not a big fan of the menus in the 2 main dining rooms. We ate at Aqua one night and Versailles one night. The rest of the time we ate in the buffet, which we loved - it had something every night that my husband (who has a limited diet) could eat.

The entertainment was great - really enjoyed the shows every night.

We went on the Up Close Whale Watching excursion and it was fantasic! We saw mama & baby whales playing (the babies gave us quite the show) and we stayed just far enough away to be respectful but not so far that we couldn't see.

We also went on the El Arco and glass blowing excursion. If you're not really interested in glass blowing, you can skip this, and if you do one trip out on the water, they all stop by El Arco. They did have a great boat with a snack bar, though. I preferred the whale watching, and they got closer to El Arco and the seals, and had a marine biologist on board. 

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3 out of 5
3 star
3 star
3 star
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empty star

Somewhat disappointed

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Star | Sail Date: Mar 17, 2015

The entertainment was exceptional and the staff was, for the most part, attentive and friendly; however, the food quality was poor - including specialty dining, meat was overcooked and cold. Main dining room service was slow for all aspects and food quality was poor, desert options tasted awful, hot items were cold, cold items were melted, all items tasted old/expired. Bar staff often had a poor attitude. Buffet staff was cleaning up/taking away food prior to all customers going through the line as well as prior to the scheduled closing time followed by a bad attitude when asked to leave it for upcoming customers. I know this is not the standard for NCL as I was impressed by overall experience when I took my last cruise, although this was many years ago now, perhaps quality has changed. My main concern and disappointment was with food quality and service staff.

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More about Norwegian Star


Features and Amenities

Explore 26 features and amenities on this ship.

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Cabins

Norwegian Star has 1173 cabins and 33 categories. Explore each cabin type and read cabin reviews from the community.

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Deck Plans

Explore the 15 decks including cabins and venues for each deck.

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Popular tips for Norwegian Star.


Make sure your cabin isn't directly below a bar - loud noises so little sleep. They did change our cabin eventually (after several days) . Not an upgrade and gave us free dinner at one of their specialty restaurants where we found the staff to be especially rude and inattentive.

coal189
Second Mate

Check the deck plan thoroughly before you book a cabin. If you book over the phone be sure to have the deck plan in front of you while they are offering you cabins so you can be sure of the location before you commit. Avoid being under the buffet, any other loud venue, or near the casino (smoke).

coal189
Second Mate

Save your receipts from when you order drinks from servers around the pool. You may not recognize the name of the bar on your statement at the end of the week, as you did not go to the bar directly to order the drink. This saves headaches in case there is a purchase on your account that looks fishy.

Roll Calls


Norwegian Star

7 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail Date: Nov 01, 2015

Ship Name: Norwegian Star


17 Ship Mate app members

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Norwegian Star

7 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail Date: Oct 25, 2015

Ship Name: Norwegian Star


15 Ship Mate app members

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Norwegian Star

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Sail Date: Oct 19, 2015

Ship Name: Norwegian Star


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