Norwegian Star Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Experience
7+ cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
11

5 out of 5

Fabulous fjords, even in May!

Sail Date: May 17, 2016

Reviewed: 6 months ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Inside

I have used this one cruise, through the fjords, as my "baseline" when checking for sales or special prices on various cruise websites.  I used to live in northern Germany, and spent weekends a lot in Copenhagen.  I had been to Oslo and Bergen, but never had seen the fjords.  This was one of the most beautiful trips I have ever made, to include Alaska and Glacier Bay, and the Canadian Rocky Mts.  We sailed from Copenhagen, so the first day out is at sea, which is nice, especially if you didn't book time in Copenhagen prior to the trip.  The shore excursions I chose were great.  I did the full day excursion out of Flam (pronounced like floam), which include train and then a coach.  In between we had lunch at the famous Stahlheim Hotel, with a million dollar Onesco view, from the terrace.  The only disappointment I had was that the land tour company doing NCL's land shore excursions booked 4 buses at that amazing hotel at the same time, which created a huge amount of confusion, and too little time at the hotel to really see the view and the hotel itself, not to mention that wonderful cuisine.  What I had understood that they were going to do was reverse the itinerary for that one day, so that 2 of the buses went by coach up and then train down.  That didn't happen.  But still it was a fabulous day, and the scenery is just amazing.  People in Scandinavia are lovely - open, friendly, and helpful.  This trip is probably better, as far as weather goes, in June, July and August.  But those are also peak times for tourists, and therefore there are more people at each port stop.  Personally, I loved the cold weather especially in Geiranger.  We saw everything from snow at 1500 meters to flowers blooming and warm weather, in Bergen.  The entertainment onboard was wonderful, to include 2 couples doing acrobatics from the Moscow Circus.  You normally would have to go to Russia to see that level of artistry, for acrobatics, to include flying.  This is a tour that is sometimes coupled with NCL's Baltics trip.  I have been to Russia several times, so I was happy with a couple of days on my own in Copenhagen, prior to the cruise.  I now want to do the longer cruise up to the North Cap!  NCL is shifting this fjords cruise to Hamburg, Germany, which is about the same distance south of the ports we visited.  I just hope the size of the ships for the fjords does not increase.  I would do this cruise again, but also feel Copenhagen is a better city than Hamburg, for tourism, prior or after the cruise.  As always, great service and food on board!!  I recommend this itinerary highly!!

Cabin / Stateroom
This was fine. I traveled alone, and given that I only sleep in a cabin, I see no point in spending a lot of money on a balcony. I am up and outside early, so I was fine with this room.
Children's Programs Honestly, I travel before school lets out because I am interested in a cruise for adults, and not kids.
Entertainment
The live musicians make a huge difference. The singers and dancers were great, and the band and pianist were super. The Moscow Circus performers were amazing.
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
For me, the buffets work best, as I am a diabetic, and can SEE what I am going to eat. Fabulous food!
Copenhagen, Denmark
I stayed at THE SQUARE HOTEL on the main square, that I could walk to, from the train station. I took a hop on, off bus on my free day there, and was able to see much of the city, even though most museums are closed on Mondays. Scandinavia is not inexpensive. Take the train into town and walk to this hotel. On the return, I stayed at QUALITY HOTEL AIRPORT DAN, and it was a 10 minute cab ride back to the airport. I hope shifting the port to Hamburg is as fun as hanging out in Copenhagen!
Alesund, Norway
Be sure to walk into town and see the Art Nouveau architecture!!!
Geiranger, Norway
Take the trip up to the mountain and then another stop, for amazing photos of the fjord!!
Flaam, Norway
Take the all-day shore excursion to include the train and a coach, and lunch at the Stahlheim Hotel, with an Onesco view of the mountains!! And there is a great pub, just near where the ship docks, and you can have a great beer!
Bergen, Norway
Check the weather before your trip. IF the weather is for rain on the day you are in port, opt OUT of the trip to the top of the mountain, and either do Grieg's house and the Stave Church, or simply walk around the historical area. It rains in Bergen a lot, and if the weather is overcast, the trip to the top of the mountain means you see nothing. I want to do the North Cap next!

Tip

If you can, request a room MID SHIP. There is less motion, and you are closer to the main elevators that take you to deck 7 and the buffet and pool on deck 12. My cabin this time was way far forward.



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