Norwegian Star Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

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Experience
1 cruise (first)

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5 out of 5

Take this as your first cruise

Sail Date: July 02, 2011

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

For our first cruise, we loved our seven-day Norwegian Star cruise to Alaska. Our mid-ship balcony room was very convenient to get to either end of the ship (and you do that trek constantly), and as a room was compact but with a larger bed than we expected. We enjoyed the balcony a lot for the private viewpoint away from crowds, and our room attendant was efficient and sweet, making fancy towel-animals every night to greet us.

The best choice we made was to pay the add-on for unlimited use of the Barong Spa, with reclining jacuzzi, hot tub, lap pool, wet and dry saunas, and (the best) padded lounge chairs facing huge back-of-ship view windows. Best yet: few users meant heavenly quiet and a large space away from the crowds.

The restaurants were unexpectedly high-quality. Versailles became our favorite, but we used the fee-applies Cagney's Steakhouse for an extra-special anniversary dinner; La Cucina Italian, and Endless Summer, a TexMex place. For instant food the Market Cafe had endless and wide varieties of entrees, breads, fruits, desserts, and also hosted special food events (Chocolate Festival night!)

The ports we called at were well-equipped to receive us and off-loading was efficient. Excursion providers were stationed right off the boat; my favorite was being able to walk off the boat and get right onto the Skagway Railway which had a siding going specially near our boat.

For add-ons: I recommend the Mendenhall Glacier bus ride and the Skagway Railway trip.

Pros: Outstanding food - fresh, varied, well prepared and presented. Stateroom (balcony mid-ship) - a joy to stay in, loved the balcony views. Shipboard entertainment: unexpected delight. Don't miss opting for the Barong Spa.

Cons: Though the burgers on the top deck were convenient, the buns crumbled and it wasn't all that satisfying.

Recommends Norwegian Star? Yes!

Ship Quality
This ship is well-kept, very efficiently cleaned and sparkling fresh.
Food and Dining
We were continually delighted at the food quality, which continued in the main dining halls as well as in the specialty restaurants. But don't kid yourself: Since it's free, eat breakfast in the sit-down Versailles rather than the Market Cafe.
Cabin / Stateroom
We are used to a king-sized bed and were surprised at the good size of the bed in our stateroom. The bathroom was sparklingly clean, and each room has a free safe to store items in, although we didn't feel particular need to use it. I recommend getting a mid-ship room for the convenience of going either to the back (dining, spa) or front (Stardust Theater).
Service and Staff
Each staff member was courteous and wore on their tag the name of country they were from. I loved having a service team made up of such a wide variety of nationalities! Our cabin attendant was delightful, caring, and tended well to us (Go Ronald!)
Entertainment
The Stardust Theater is surprisingly large. We found the seats too narrow for us and enjoyed a hidden delight of the padded bench seats in the balconies. The shows we went to were entertaining (hypnosis show, aerial acrobats, etc) and were high quality. One afternoon it was just perfect to watch a Hollywood movie there too.
Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Ketchikan, Alaska
Get over to the Creek area - neat shops.
Don't Miss: take the Funicular (hillside elevator; $2) up to the Tuun Restaurant that locals enjoy.
Juneau, Alaska

Don't Miss: Take the City and (Mendenhall) Glacier trip, bought off-ship for $30
Skagway, Alaska
The Skagway Railway (3.5 hrs) is filled with awesome visual vistas and amazing history. Be sure to step out of the car onto the open-air areas during the trip!


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