I am leaving in 10 days for my first cruise. We are going to Alaska on the Star. I was so excited till I started reading all this stuff. Am I in for a shock or a great vacation?
Has anyone been on the star lately? Is the food, service as bad as what everyone is saying about the other ships? I don't understand the problem with the mandatory tipping, heck I would rather know how much I am going to spend before I leave then get hit it with it at the end of the trip. I had planned on giving extra to anyone who deserved it.
Help me understand, is all ships ran by NCL this bad??
first time cruiser
No I don't think all ships run by NCL are as bad as the POA.
Just a littlt less than a year ago I was on NCL Dawn (the sister ship to the star) and had a great time.
I am not a fan of NCL corporate or customer relations as I've had bad experience with them but the actual cruise on the Dawn was lovely.
You might want to go to the review page and look for reviews specific to the Star and that might cheer you up.
POA and the rest of the fleet are as different as apples and oranges I am guessing. We have cruised 6 times on NCL, never had a bad experience and have had mostly outstanding service, entertainment and itineraries. There have been a few exceptions.
Speaking from my experience on the Sky, I would say that the problems experienced by POA cruisers are NOT common to all NCL ships. I had a very good experience on the Sky.
Food and service were fine. If you are leaving soon - I don't think a mandatory service charge is in effect yet on all NCL ships. (Someone please correct me - if I am wrong).
When we were on the Sky, a service charge was charged to our account on a daily basis but you could remove all or part of it. Since we were overall quite satisfied with the service, we left it on the account. gardencat has some good advice - read some of the reviews of the Star in the reviews section.
I also have been on the Star sister ship the Dawn. Once in 2003 and had such a great time I went again in 2004. I just booked the Star myself for the Mexican Riviera in January. I gave extra tips to those who did a great job for us.
Have a great trip !!!!!! I look forward to your review.
The NCL Star and Dawn are tied for the first position in ratings thruout the fleet. The Star is a gorgeous ship, with a great crew, from over 60 nationalities. You will definitely enjoy it.
But in any case, always remember, you make what you want your vacation to be. No one else can tell you to be grumpy and hate everything
we were on an ncl cruise to bermuda in sept. the boat was old the services was fair, and the entire country went on strike for the entire time we were there. we were supposed to make 3 stops in bermuda, but we only made it to the furthest port from anything. ncl didn't do squat about it. they should have gotton busses or organized tours, but they said they couldn't do anything. well i am never going on sanothe ncl cruise line again and i will tell all who listen not to either go with someone else.
In all fairness NCL could do nothing if there was a strike. If the Bahamian government has no control over the labor force how can NCL. NCL has to use local people for the buses and the tours and if they are on strike they can't be used.
Was this last September?
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I understand it must have been upsetting to have your vacation spoiled in that way.
I have to agree with Mike that it sounds as if it was out of the control of NCL.
Did they try to do anything to make up for the disappointment? Organize more on board activities, give ship board credits or anything to help make you passengers feel better about the situation?
john, it is too bad your vacation was spoiled and yes, the ship that goes to Bermuda is older and small. The larger vessels can not cruised into Bermuda, that is why all the ones that do are smaller. As for the strike, no cruiseline can controll something like that or do much about it. Same goes for weather conditions. We have been on cruises where the weather has prevented us from going to some ports thus extra sea days with no extra activities planned. Both times this happened we were not on NCL by the way. There is only so much the cruise lines can do when unexpected situations occur.
I know up till now it has been small ships to Bermuda, but isn't Royal Caribbean planning on sending Voyager of the Seas there next year? I was on Voyager a few years ago and she is no small ship!
johnp, I , too, am sorry your vacation went awry. Just want to point out that none of the cruise lines would have been able to change what happened. Also, those things are probably covered in all of the cruise lines fine print (not responsible)........because it really is out of anyone's control. Here's hoping your next cruise is much better.
gardencat, you just gave me info I didn't know: thanks, if this is true I would assume they will tender in or maybe Bermuda is building better ports. This is great news for those who would love to do the Bermuda cruise but do not like smaller or older ships.
don't quote me on this because I'm not sure but I heard that the ports were never really too small but the port authoruty ( or whoever is in charge of these things) didn't want mega ships but now for some reason have changed their policy. As I said I just heard this but haven't checked it out so can't be sure. I'm pretty sure about the Voyager though because we were looking at maybe doing a family re-union type cruise on that ship and itinerary next year.
"gardencat, you just gave me info I didn't know: thanks"
Thank you for saying that. I'm still smarting from all ship trips comments the other day that some of us never contributed useful info.
Voyager will dock at Kings Wharf, which is the only port in Bermuda that can accomodate the ship. The QE2 has docked there in the past and I believe a Carnival ship made a few runs from NYC last year. Medium-sized ships must carefully navigate a narrow channel to dock in St. George and Hamilton.
Gardencat, I enjoy reading your posts on this board and missed you on the other board. Ignore Ship trip - she showed her true colors on this board - or should I say her sister's true colors, if you believe her denials...and I don't.
I don't quite believe the story either, but it was a weird interlude in any case.
I am interested in the larger ships going to Bermuda. It isn't going to happen for us this year as we couldn't get the family co-ordinated and now I've made other plans for my vacation dollars this year but for next year we might try again, and for the different age groups involved in a family thing like that, a large ship with lots of different activities might be best.
I've sailed the Celebrity Horizon twice to Bermuda. It's a great ship but has very limited activities compared to the NCL Dawn and Carnival Triumph - the other ships I've been on. I'm pretty excited about the Voyager cruises to Bermuda next year. Carnival also has the occasional cruise to Bermuda. I'd cruise NCL to Bermuda in a heartbeat if one of its newer ships made the run. I love the Dawn - it's children's pool/play area made me want to be a kid again. I have 1500 points accumulated on my NCL rewards card but decided against using them to take the Crown to Bermuda this summer after I saw her peeling and rusting exterior while she was docked at the NYPST. It's hard to believe the Dawn and the Crown are under common ownership. This is probably one of the reasons why people are so divided about NCL as its ships are not as standardized as the ships on other lines.
I've been on the Dawn and the Voyager. Both were great trips. I think the Voyager had more for teenage kids but that might be because I had my 12 year old son with me on that trip. He went ice skating. roller blading, played mini-golf etc. He meant to try the rock climbimg wall but ran out of time.
The Dawn was an adults only trip for us so I probably wasn't as aware of everything for the kids.
I think the shows on the Dawn were better when we went but as I said both trips were great and going to Bermuda on either of them would probablywork well for you.
I just read Basketballmom"s review of the Majesty, and she's sooooooooo right. The Majesty, though an older small ship by today's standards is fantastic.
There are no climbing walls, skating rinks, or golf courses. However, the entertainment and activities provide fun for all ages. If you desire a quiet relaxing cruise, this IS the ship for you.
When I sailed on May 2, from Boston to Bermuda, embarkation from the Latitudes line was a breeze. We were in our cabin within 45min of arriving at the pier. Our cabin, an outside on deck 7, was weensie but we knew that it would be.
The entire staff worked hard to make our cruise memorable. They were attentive, efficient, and friendly.
The dining experience in the main restaurants was positive. Entree's were well prepared and presented. The waits were not too long since we were willing to share.
The buffets were satisfactory when we wanted a quick meal. The seating up there was not enough. When the weather permitted, we took our plates out to the pool area.
I ask that all you naysayers who have had negative experiences with the POA, try the Majesty before NCL retires her.
You can cruise the same line multiple times on different ships and have differentr experiences - do not be afraid of what you read about one ship, espcially if you are not going to be on that ship.
I did a Celebrity cruise to Bermuda and did not like it the ship at all - it was a small old ship and we had problems with our assistant waiter. But those problems did NOT ruin my vacation - we tipped accordingly and felt oh so much better.
Our first Celebrity cruise has been on the Century - when the ship was brand new and it was a very large ship. I loved it and unfortunately, you kind of compare other ships to the first you are on, so while we have had other nice cruises, none so far have met up with the first experience. Yet none were so horrible we wouldn't go back.
Relax and enjoy the cruise! Bermuda has wonderful beaches, take advantage of the beach excursions.
Could you give a little more info on the type of activities available for teens? I know you already mentioned none of the big glitzy things like ice rinks etc. but do you remember what sort of activities they did provide?