Sail Date: July 01, 2013 Ship: Norwegian Star Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Singles/Friends Reviewed: 4 years ago
I had a wonderful time on this ship\, but I am a seasoned cruiser with about a dozen sailings under my belt\, so I can only give it 3 stars\, all areas considered (deck plan\, maintenance\, dining\, crew/service\, activities). Keep that in mind as you read my review; I may be a little more critical than most because I have a large basis for comparison. For the overall value\, I had a very good experience.
For the price of the cabins\, you really can't go wrong -- prices dropped to a base price of $400 per interior cabin a few weeks before the 9 day cruise set sail. That's unbeatable. I booked long before that\, so wasn't quite able to capture that deal\, but if you're able to book fairly last-minute\, you can't beat the price.
I'm not a fan of the \"Freestyle\" dining concept. I dont like much structure in my day when Im cruising\, but I do like to have a consistent meal period to which I am assigned and do not have to wait in line. I like being able to sit with other guests and meet people. I was sailing by myself\, so it was a disappointment to be seated at a table for two by myself every time. I will probably not sail with Norwegian again based on this.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
Be prepared to wait in line at the main dining rooms...even if you have reservations. The staff (at every dining room) was too overwhelmed to provide customized service. The Freestyle dining concept is responsible for this. The food itself was okay at Versailles and Aqua (the two main dining rooms). Nothing really blew my mind\, which is strange because I took this trip as R&R from Afghanistan; Id have thought everything would have tasted remarkable. Now\, the calamari at La Cucina (the Italian specialty restaurant)\, blew me away.
The Market Caf (grand buffet) had a wonderful\, quality selection\, but it was horribly set-up with no direction to the lines. I felt like I was in The Hunger Gamespeople everywhere\, cutting in front of me\, foraging for food like it was the last meal theyd have for days. It was too hecticI avoided it at all costs. They only had half of the buffet set-up much of the time\, which concentrated the riffraff.
3 out of 5
Very fun\, international recreation staff.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
As with all cruise ships Ive been on\, there are exceptional crew members. The room stewards and recreation staff stand out the most on this one so sweet and professional. I made great friends with the Park West Gallery staff as well. Most of the crew was very friendly; however\, on other ships I've been on\, ALL crew members are amazingly friendly. That said\, one of the engine room personnel was very inappropriately too friendly with me in the Spinnaker Lounge the first evening I was on board. He kept propositioning me to have a week-long relationship with him on board. It was terribly unwelcomed and met the extreme of unprofessionalism.
Id have expected more from the service at the specialty restaurants seeing as how the passenger to crew ratio was much better. There were no instances of \"going above and beyond\" in any of the service areas\, although the Spa staff was really sweet. My massage therapist gave me several extra minutes on the table. Moody Reception staff.
3 out of 5
The ship definitely looks a little worn in both public places and inside the cabins. Cleanliness was spot-on though. The crew works SO hard to keep everything shiny and spotless.
The layout was not my favorite. I couldn't seem to catch my bearings. I was on the 8th floor; to get from one end to the other\, you have to walk through The Blue Lagoon restaurant\, which is a little awkward if you're just coming in from the pool.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
I was upgraded to an Obstructed Oceanview\, which was a really nice gesture\, but quite honestly an Interior room would have been better. In the Baltic\, the sun is out most of the night...my body would have benefitted from pitch darkness at night.
Pros: Ports of Call; Room Service; Recreation Staff
Cons: Freestyle Dining; Inconsistent Customer Service
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