Norwegian Star Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Deck Hand

Experience
2-3 cruises

Reviews
0

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0

2 out of 5

Disappointing!

Sail Date: August 01, 2011

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

The staterooms were very nice, most of the staff was very pleasant, and the shows were excellent, however we felt that we had to pay for too much once we were on the ship. On the last cruise we took with a different cruise line, the only thing we had to pay extra for was alcohol and soda, and there were a lot more options included, such as juice all day, coffee, and more places to eat that were included in our cruise fee, however on NCL we felt there was a lot that was not included in our fee that we had to pay extra for if we wanted it. For instance, the only cold drinks that were included all day were water and iced tea, we had to pay extra for juice unless it was at breakfast. When we were in the lounge for a show, we had to pay for coffee, which was free in the dining rooms and the buffet. Room service options were extremely limited, and we had to pay a fee if it was after midnight, or if we wanted pizza, which was something that was included in the buffet. We also felt that the quality of the food was lesser than what we experienced on our other cruise. Additionally, while we were dining in one of the main dining rooms, we were asked by 3 or 4 different staff members if we wanted to participate in a pub crawl that was going on the next day (which we had to pay extra for), and we had 2 other staff members come around and try to get us to make a reservation in one of the specialty restaurants (where we had to pay extra to eat). We did not appreciate being interrupted during our meal so that the staff could try to sell us something else. While there were many options for places to eat on the ship, only 5 were included in our cruise fee, while 7 required us to pay extra fees. The drink prices were rather high as well, with most mixed or frozen drinks being $8-$9 each and beer being $5-$6 each. We also had an issue with the toilet in our room not working properly. We understand that occasionally issues can occur, however, when going in to use 2 different public restrooms on the ship, the toilets had been overflowing and there was water on the floor, causing the toilets to be inoperable, not to mention the serious safety hazard for anyone that entered the restroom. As far as the excursions, we decided not to book any because they were very expensive. We did go see the lumberjack show on our own, which was the same price as listed on the excursion order form, however, while in Juneau, once we got off the ship, we decided to take a bus to see the glacier and walk the trails. The same exact excursion booked through NCL would have cost us $100 for two people, while we were able to pay $30 for the two of us once we got into town. The combination of all these things has made us decide to cruise with our previous cruise line next time instead of NCL, and I will not be recommending NCL to anyone I know looking to go on a cruise.

Pros: Shows, clean staterooms

Cons: Food quality, too many extra fees on the ship, staff could have been better

Recommends Norwegian Star? No.

Food and Dining
The quality and variety of the food was lacking. We had one good meal in one of the main dining rooms, while all the other meals were disappointing. There were far too many places to eat where you had to pay extra, especially when the food was not very good to begin with. The room service was also seriously lacking. On the room service menu there was a soup, two salads, pizza, and four sandwiches to choose from, and if you wanted to have pizza or eat after midnight (all the dining rooms and buffets closed at 11PM), you had to pay extra.
Ship Quality
The ship was large, although the layout was a little strange, where you had to walk through two restaurants to get to the other end of the ship, and getting to the staterooms was confusing since the hallways had lots of turns instead of being straight. At least there were lots of signs pointing you in the right direction. For the most part, the ship was clean, with the exception of some of the bathrooms as stated above. The other downside, was that you had to walk through the pool deck to get to other areas of the ship, like the buffet, and the deck was always very wet with lots of big puddles, and it was VERY slippery. Occasionally they would push the water off the deck, but not often enough, and I almost fell several times.
Service and Staff
The staff for the most part was friendly, although there were some staff members who seemed as though they did not want to be there. Our room steward was very nice and did a good job in our stateroom, but the other staff did nothing to go above and beyond. We did, however have many staff members come up to us throughout the cruise to try and sell us something else.
Cabin / Stateroom
The rooms were a decent size and were clean. We had a balcony room which was worth it to see the scenery as we went through the inside passage and by the glacier. The bathrooms were very small in the room. The toilet was separated from the sink area by a separate door, which seemed like a good idea, except that the toilet area was smaller than a phone booth and whenever you moved at all you hit your elbows on the door or the wall.
Entertainment
The shows in the theater were excellent, and there were always other activities and live music going on, however, the activities got repetitive after a couple of days, and there were lots of different things going on at the same time during the day, which meant you had to choose between the things you wanted to do, and miss out on a lot. There were a lot of BINGO sessions throughout the cruise, however, we never played because the prices were ridiculous! The minimum package was $39 for 4 games, which is twice as much as we pay to play BINGO at the casino near our house, for a fraction of the number of games.


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