Norwegian Star Cruise Review to Alaska

Deck Hand

Experience
2-3 cruises

Reviews
0

Helpful Vote
1

1 out of 5

Dreadful experience.

Sail Date: July 01, 2007

Reviewed: 9 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Balcony

Returned July 15 from a Norwegian cruise to Alaska on the Norwegian Pearl. The ship is beautifully appointed and our stateroom with a balcony was very nice. This ship, however, with freestyle cruising is not a good choice for Alaska. The speciality restaurants are only open in the evening from 5-5:30 to 10:00 and can accomodate a very limited number of people (35 to 40). The ship dining facility accomodates approximately 400. After waiting 30 minutes for a table the first night we realized you had to have reservations in order to eat at any of the sit down-serve you dining areas. Reservations are taken only 24 hours in advance - and we were unable to book reservations at any of the speciality restaurants except one. We even set our alarm to wake up to start trying to make reservations at 7:00 a.m. - and were still told all reservations were full. The cafeteria and main dining are the only places in Alaska to eat - outside dining was not available due to the cold. They do not have heat lamps outside. We saw people standing up to eat, seniors walking around with their food on the seat of their walkers trying to find a place to sit down. Trying to feed 2,500 people breakfast between the hours of 7-9 just doesn't work when there is no outside place to sit - and no outside restaurants. The staff were as accomodating as they could possibly be.

Pros: View from our deck

Cons: eating arrangements - not good in Alaska. Speciality restaurants do not open until 5:00-5:30 p.m. and sit a very limited amount of people. Shis is not prepared to accomodate 2,500 people eating inside in Alaska.

Recommends Norwegian Star? No.

Food and Dining
A regular cruise ship has two seatings - accomodating 1/2 the passengers in a dining room for each sitting. This cruise ship does not have a large dining area - and wish speciality restaurants only open in the evening - with limited seating available only with reservations - we found ourselves eating at the cafeteria. The advertisement "eat what you want, when you want" is absolutely not true. I do not understand why they don't have the speciality restaurants open for lunch and dinner - especially in Alaska. Dining became a major hassel and a most unpleasant experience. You hit the cafeteria running trying to find a table - watching people eat so you could grab a table as they left. In the meantime the people with you got in line. When they returned - then the person holding the table got to get in line. We were unable to dine as a couple or group because of this. Reservations are a must-at every restaurant on the ship with the exception of the cafeteria.
Entertainment
We did not feel they had enough diversity during the day. You are confined mostly inside the ship as it is cold and raining outside. If this ship were in warm weather - perfect - but not enough to keep us occupied during the long days - and again, dining was a chore and not something we looked forward to each day. Actuallly went out to dinner on our return home just to have someone serve us.
Ship Quality
Cleanliness was a huge part of this trip and we appreciated all the cruise line was doing to make sure people stayed healthy.
Service and Staff
The crew on this ship were most accomodating - however, we were aware of their displeasure at how it was operated. This ship - or freestyle cruising - is not a good fit for Alaska. They are simply unprepared to feed the passengers in a timely manner - and the staff took the brunt of this.
Cabin / Stateroom
We had a room with a balcony and we could not have been happier with the room. The balconies can be opened to adjoining ones - we had three in a row affording us gorgeous view when in port and in Glacier Bay. The doors are closed during sailing.


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