June 2017 - Norwegian Star to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
We chose this cruise for the availabilty and itinery. About 5 years ago we did a Mediterranean Princess cruise (small ship) which was a wonderful experience. Excellent food and service and we did get a lot of excellent experience on the tours that we paid for. We were hoping to experience something similar. I will say that all the employees were very nice and everyone was working hard and the balcony stateroom was roomy. Unfortunately, all the other amenities that we paid so much for were terrible. Some examples: I called pre-cruise to reserve a table at one of the pay extra restaurants (Moderno) and was told to reserve a table for four as you can't get a table for three. I did. I did not realize until the meal that they would charge me for four, along with all of the added additional gratuity, even though there were only three of us. I felt scammed. We paid for four meals and only got three. At the Cagney steakhouse (extra but a la carte), both our medium rare and medium steaks were served well done. Honestly like shoe leather. When the steaks came the second time both were raw throughout and filled with so much gristle that they were inedible. I actually took pictures. The cafeteria was a poor cafeteria and the dining room food was typical of mass produced food and very tasteless. Ginza served us completely cold potstickers twice after they had obviously forgotten about us for a full 30 minutes. We did get the drink packages and had no issues or trouble ever getting drinks and soda. Be aware that you get no water and will still be charged for any water. Also you will need to buy bottled water (once off the ship) for any excursions. We did the ship shore tours and while they were decent, they were short for the price. We were concerned about missing the boat with a teen along but really should have risked it as the excursions were not worth the price even though the guides were nice and seemed knowledgeable. The sound equipment was broken every single tour and we wasted a lot of time exchanging and trying several to find a working set. We had thought our teen would be safe participating in their teen program, however, the teen program was unable to let the adults know when the teen left the program and was possibly roaming the boat. So we worried much of the time whether our teen was even there. Ours was luckily, however, I was not comfortable with the very lax monitoring and there were few organized activities.