Wonderful experience

Norwegian Star Cruise Review to South America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 11

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Norwegian Star

14 Night South America Eastbound (Santiago To Buenos Aires)

Sail date: February 15, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Star

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 9530

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Wonderful experience. Bucket list success. Highlights were the glaciers, Iguazu falls excursion out of Buenos Aires. Had a great cruise.


4 out of 5
Small industrial port with what appears to be a makeshift boarding facility but went smoothly enough.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
You don't cruise Norwegian for the food. I'm no gourmet so everything was just fine for my tastes. A more discerning "foodie" might not be impressed. Specialty restaurants were quite good but I wouldn't have paid the surcharge (a 5-meal specialty package came with the cruise deal).

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Not a mega-ship so didn't have the water slides, race track, etc. which we would not have used anyway.


3 out of 5
Entertainment overall was so-so. Again, not a huge ship so they surely have a smaller budget to work with. Nevertheless, it was adequate but not exceptional. Several of the lounge/bar performers were not very good but a few were quite good.

Children's Programs

No kids with us

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Overall service was very good. No complaints.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Good overall. I miss the cafeteria area on the back of deck 13 - the 2018 rehab converted this area to an adults-only bar. One of my favorite places on the NCL Pearl (sister ship) was that shaded stern area out of the wind for a casual breakfast or lunch.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Good layout, reasonable amount of room. Cabin servicing was good.

Ports of call

San Antonio, Chile

3 out of 5
Not really a port call - just embarkation point. Industrial dock with a makeshift passenger terminal. The eembarkation process was fine, though. No long waits or unneessary processes to go through.

Puerto Montt, Chile

4 out of 5
Wife and I did different excursions and both liked our experiences. Beautiful tour of the countryside (me) with quaint towns, waterfalls, mountains, lakes. The wife did a cooking oriented excursion that she really enjoyed.

Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

3 out of 5
Good stop, good excursion. Beautiful countryside.

Cruise Patagonic Channel

4 out of 5
Loved the fjords. Wonderful to just sit on the balcony and watch the scenery go by.

Cruise Chilean Fjords

4 out of 5
Loved the fjords. Wonderful to just sit on the balcony and watch the scenery go by.

Cruise Strait Of Magellan

4 out of 5
Beautiful landscape passing by.

Punta Arenas, Chile

4 out of 5
Took a ferry to Magallena Island to see the penguins. Ferry didn't look like much but it was fine - a smooth ride and we disembarked to the shore on a ramp that called to mind the allied invasion of Normandy (but without people shooting at you). They provided a decent "box lunch" in a reusable cloth bag (backpack) that became a souvenir. Lots of penguins as well as many many seagulls and some cormorants. Pretty lighthouse at the top of a hill on the island.

Cruise Beagle Channel

5 out of 5
Fantastic to see the glaciers from our balcony. If you are going eastbound, get a balcony on the port side (westbound be on the starboard side of the ship). A real highlight of the cruise.

Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina

4 out of 5
Excursion through TDF park was okay. Disappointed that we didn't get to dsee the end-of-the-world monument. "Wildlife cruise" was good. Went up close to islands near town that were covered with birds (a kind of cormorant that looks like a penguin from a distance (black and white) but flies and is more goose-like. Also went near sea lions and a small lighthouse.

Cruise Cape Horn

3 out of 5
They took the ship to the edge of Drake's passage mostly to say "we went there". This occurred for us early in the morning and the weather was bad so they stayed about 8 miles off the coast. Nothing to see except clouds, fog, and rough seas. Went back to bed.

Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

4 out of 5
More penguins. We took the shorter tour to lagoon bluff with only a short Land Rover ride over rough country. They're extending the road so Land Rovers won't be needed after this year. Lots of penguins (King and Gentoo) and you can get quite close. Tour included a snack at the little building near the beach. Attached "museum" is really just a gift shop. Some friends we met on the ship took the longer tour with over an hour in the 4X4 but I think we got the better deal - lower cost, less time just driving, less time being beat-up in the 4X4, and I think we saw more penguins.

Puerto Madryn, Argentina

3 out of 5
Did not do an excursion. Walked along the beach. An okay stop. All of the excursions are wildlife oriented and we'd seen enough penguins.

Montevideo, Uruguay

4 out of 5
We were warned about pickpockets and muggers so were a bit reluctant to go ashore. We did finally go ashore and had a pleasant walk through the old town area. Sunny Saturday and did not have any problems. Lots of street vendors (like a craft fair) but no hard-sell.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

5 out of 5
Highly recommend the Iguazu Falls excursion. A bit pricey but a highlight of the cruise. Fly 900 miles to Iquazu, bus to the park/falls. Lunch at a buffet followed by a couple miles of walkways around the falls. Spectacular. Breathtaking. Dinner at the park, bus to the airport, flight back to Buenos Aires. Got to the hotel about 11 PM. Fantastic day.


4 out of 5
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