January 2015 - Norwegian Star to Panama Canal, Central America
We loved the Panama Canal Cruise that left Miami on January 19 on the Norwegian Star. This is the second time that we have cruised on NCL and must say that they have done a great job of revamping their menu selections and quality in the main dining rooms. We expected to use the specialty restaurants 9 or 10 times during the 14 days, but the food was so good in Aqua and Versailles that we went there 10 of the 14 nights. Congratulations NCL! We noticed.
We are not giving 5 stars to this cruise for two reasons: The ports of call were just so so as were the offered excursions. Some updating and rethinking is needed here. The second reason is that my wife and I were totally put off by the never-ending sales pitches on NCL. No opportunity to inundate us with another sales pitch was missed. It gets to be really old when the smallest task means that you have to duck another pitch. Buying a can of Pringles in the gift shop...."have you signed up for our free emerald give away?" Waiting for the evening show....."how's everyone doing?" (yaaaahhhh!) "Come on, you can be louder than that." (YAAAHHHH!!) "That's better. Don't forget that we have our on board lottery tickets for sale." At some point, NCL needs to take a break on this stuff.
The ship was beautiful. The maintenance of the ship was observed and incredible. Staff was fantastic. Food was fantastic. We'll sail with NCL again, but we sure would like it more if they tone it down a little bit.