NCL Star thru Panama Canal 4/8-22 review & a SCARE!

Wow- where to begin? At the beginning? NCL bus transfer from LAX to port of Long Beach took over 2 hours to accomplish due to confusion of bus contractor. Oh well... Embarkation was long- wait here, go to next area and wait, then go to another room to wait. Again, oh well. NCL's tender-ticket process was a chaotic disaster. A lone female employee set up a podium in the Spinnaker lounge bar, and as soon as she pulled out the tickets she was surrounded & mobbed & yelled at with people pushing, cutting in, yelling etc... We had a forward mini-suite which was nice, although the pillows smelled bad like?!? The Star's pool area was the biggest disappointment with half the area taken up with 2 huge corkscrew slides that were always closed(?) No room for lounge chairs. We had the 4-meal dining pkg., and loved Cagney's, liked Teppanyaki, disliked Moderno, and was indifferent to La Cucina. There was a PROLONGED major "Listing" event while we were in LaCucina- it truly felt like we were tipping over, as looking out the window, the horizon went away, and all we saw was the water getting closer and closer. Even the staff freaked out! The main pool up on deck 12 emptied out, spilling water into the halls, causing some electrical short circuits, and dripping water to the floor below 12. Can you say Exciting? Our only NCL shore excursion was in Cartegena(hop on,Hop off bus) was also mediocre, the bus guide was literally running us through the walled city, with no time to stop, rest, or even shop, until he got us to his final destination- diamonds&emeralds International! Of course! Disembarkation was also painful, with delays and the NCL Transfer service took 2 hours of standing in a line waiting for a bus. We will NEVER step foot on the STAR again, and even though we done 4 NCL cruises, we are rethinking that too.

Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star

8 Answers

Wow!! Sounds like you had an adventurous cruise for sure. Hope you were able to enjoy your vacation despite the disappointments. Thanks for the review.

The, "PROLONGED major "Listing"" is something of a concern especially when it starts causing pool water from deck 12 to over flow and cause flooding on deck 11. Did they ever explain that via announcement or was there ever anything from the captain about this?

The capt. claimed "human error", but we heard the ship's Azipod/stabilizers are troublesome & unreliable. This was a 30 second tilt- seems like forever as everything slid off tables. And staff were scared!

I can understand the concern. One has to wonder when the staff start getting concerned. Glad no one got hurt with the listing. As for crowds and organizing, I would wonder if this was a new crew or a new itinerary that the crew was not used to so not quite adjusted to handle all that well. I hope you were still able to enjoy the vacation and look past the discomforts along the way. Focus has a lot to do with perception of something like a vacation and when the focus gets drawn to the negative points and away from the enjoyment it hurts the vacation. Unfortunately there are cases where too many negatives can jade our perception. You might try reaching out to NCL customer service with your feedback.


We are not jaded-Our focus was not on the negative- just reporting the relevant stuff that people should be aware of. Our focus is on the PORTS anyway. The ship is just a means to getting there comfortably. We cruised on 5 different cruise lines- NCL has had us on 4 occasions. We DO have certain realistic expectations however, and the Star was at the bottom of our NCL experiences, FWIW...

Glad to see you have a positive attitude. Hope you were able to calm the nerves of any first time cruisers you met.

Thanks for the feedback and comments. Happy cruising.

NCL is not my favorite cruise line , but I do cruise with them now and then


* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top