November 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Star
Scuba diver's delight
All things considered, we really enjoyed ourselves--how can you not spend a week on a ship in sunny and 80 degree weather and not have fun? But having said that, there were a few issues---regarding itinerary, we chose this simply because it fit our time and port of departure parameters. Other than that, we were okay with the ports of call. Cozumel we've been to before and at least it's a city with interesting things to see and safe enough to walk between port and town. Plus, there are several beach clubs along the way where you can stop for a cold drink. As for the other 3 ports, you may as well decide on what excursion you're doing 'cause there ain't nothin' to do in the ports...Costa Maya is essentially a fake town. It is simply a cruise ship port. The people made a shopping district with pools and bars right off the port so you can walk off the ship and relax, but no beach here, just pools. Your alternative is the to take a $2 taxi to the Malecon area with all the beach clubs and sit on the beach. For $25US we drank beer and ate tacos on a relatively nice beach---but watch out for the people trying to sell you stuff. All.Day.Long. Roatan --well, the cruise ship screwed up our excursion reservation so we rented a car and drove around. Nothing to see or do unless you want to sit at a beach or scuba dive. Again, new port and can't walk to any town--take a taxi, rent a car...it wasn't really worth it. And Belize City--well, when to city police told us we shouldn't walk any where and we should take a taxi, we decided to turn around and catch the ferry to Caye Caulker ($25USpp) where we ended up at a great bar (Lazy Lizard) and restaurant (Fantasy Dining). As for the ship--nicest people serving all the time. They seem short-handed since we frequently had to wait to be served, but ya got nowhere to go, so....it was good. Enjoyed all the dining rooms, great menus, great food. The thing that really ticked us off was the change to the itinerary. We were supposed to leave at 4pm Sunday. Previous reviews dating back to October and before had this same situation: we were told they had to work on the propulsion system and we would have to stay in port while they worked on it. We didn't leave til 6 or 7 am on Monday. Those extra 14+ hours in port we were charged tax on all our drinks and the casino was closed. Great. We had a 16 hour view of a fuel depot. That was nice. Not. Then, on the way back, the same "propulsion" situation required us to get back early---we arrived back in port over 8 hours ahead of time---and then couldn't leave the ship, they closed the casino, there was no more entertainment ...and we were charged tax again on our drinks. The $50 or whatever ain't gonna kill us, but seeing as this has been happening for months, I fail to see why Norwegian hasn't just taken the ship out of service for a week and fixed the dang problem. Instead our 8 day, 7 night cruise , we lost a day in port in Tampa. With no compensation from NCL. Stinks. Had fun, but plan for excursions and be prepared for sitting in port.