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Old November 24th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Default Norwegian Star - Cruise to Mexico from LA

Any comments?

We have seven choices on four cruise lines.... trying to narrow it down. Thanks.

P.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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What are your dates? We just returned Saturday from this cruise, and I think timing is important!
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Old November 26th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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We are shooting for January or February.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet
We are shooting for January or February.
Piglet, we did the Star in late SEpt, early Oct and for the most part it was a great cruise. Remember one thing, the Mexican Riv can be a little chilly the first couple of days at sea in Jan or Feb. Other than that I would give the Star a rating of 8 on a scale of 1-10. We had a couple things that I wasn't thrilled with but overall the food, itinerary and service were very good. What are your other considerations? If we knew that I think it would be easier to judge.

Nita :
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Old November 26th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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Default Dont do it!

Just got off the Norwegian Star this past Saturday(11/24). Never again! Worst, most expensive vacation ever!! The food was awful, the entertainment was horrible(except the magician and the Chinese Acrobats). The magician performed his last show on this cruise, so no telling what will replace him. You have to stand in line @ 6:30am to make dinner reservations for the following evening...even for the "free" restaurants. No reservation means that you have to eat at the buffet, which is not fit for a dog.

Do yourself a favor, chose any other cruise line or better yet, dont cruise at all. The only one in our party that enjoyed the cruise was our 10 year old boy. He doesnt mind eating bad pizza and mac/cheese every day and can roam the ship by himself and eat ice cream every day...a 10 year old's dream. We ended up paying $80-$120 every night for dinner at the better restaurants, because the "free" food was inedible. Total cost was app $1,000.00/day!!
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Old November 26th, 2007, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Dont do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbashaw
Just got off the Norwegian Star this past Saturday(11/24). Never again! Worst, most expensive vacation ever!! The food was awful, the entertainment was horrible(except the magician and the Chinese Acrobats). The magician performed his last show on this cruise, so no telling what will replace him. You have to stand in line @ 6:30am to make dinner reservations for the following evening...even for the "free" restaurants. No reservation means that you have to eat at the buffet, which is not fit for a dog.

Do yourself a favor, chose any other cruise line or better yet, dont cruise at all. The only one in our party that enjoyed the cruise was our 10 year old boy. He doesnt mind eating bad pizza and mac/cheese every day and can roam the ship by himself and eat ice cream every day...a 10 year old's dream. We ended up paying $80-$120 every night for dinner at the better restaurants, because the "free" food was inedible. Total cost was app $1,000.00/day!!
sorry, I don't know what Star you were on, but flip to one of the other boards and see what others are saying about the Star. I can't beleive things changed so fast in one month plus. We never waited a minute and ate from 6pm to 7pm every night. One night we ate at Endless sumner, yes, a reservation dining room, but no sur charge. I have cruised over 20 times, on all mass marketed lines except Princess and never had food much better than Endless Summer. R$1000.00 a day is very hard to believe unless you had a suite and jsut spent money anywhere you wanted. What about Blue Lagoon for lunch or late snacks, you call the food there awful? WHat cruise lines have you been on previously? As for 6:30am for the next day, we were on a sold out ship and found the best way to do the reservation thing was just to wait til about 10am. The crowds were gone and we only had one problem. We could not get reservations in the Italian restaurant. We tried the last nigh, just waited too long.

Food is subjective, but I do think you may be going a little overboard with your complaints,. Of course cruising thanksgiving week can be less than a positive experience. We have done it tiwice, never on NCL and never would we do it again.

Nita
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Old November 27th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Nita's comments on Thanksgiving week are exactly why I asked which week you're planning on traveling. CBA - I was on the same trip (returning this past Saturday, November 24), and aside from the sell-out crowd, with too many children booked, it was a great time for my husband, daughter, and me. We did have trouble getting into the surcharge restaurants, but we LOVED the Versailles, Aqua, and Endless Summer (all without surcharge), never went to the buffet (not our kind of thing), and also enjoyed Cagney's, with its surcharge & good beef.

Only two real complaints about the trip: the children who were allowed to run wild (sounds like the boy in your party was one of them), and the extra charge for fitness/yoga classes - I think these should be included in the cruise. To avoid the first problem, I would suggest that those who don't have to travel during school holidays avoid that time!!! Travel when the rest of us are at home. We spent approximately $3,000 total for the three of us on an 8-day trip; although we don't view this as a 'cheap' vacation, we have never done it for less money anywhere else...that's what it costs to travel. We also had room service a couple of times, when we were too tired for a restaurant meal - the menu is very limited, but it was fine.

We did not purchase shore excursions through NCL because of their expense. Instead, we booked our zip line canopy tour through shoretrips.com. We had cocktails every evening, my husband had wine with dinner, I had a massage in the spa (which I loved - ask for GRACE!), bought souvenirs in the ports (and took taxis), and we bought little things we needed like Advil, etc. in the Galleria shop - I thought their prices were very reasonable for being aboard ship. Several of our photos turned out well, so we spent about $130 on them, and received a leather folio & full-color, 8" x 10" photo of the ship (for buying three 8 x 10s.)

I realize that theatre is a matter of taste, however I must respectfully disagree with CBA's descripton of the shows. We all loved the Andrew Loyd Webber romantic songs show as well as Band on the Run. The young people who sing & dance in the Jean Ann Ryan Company are very talented, and I missed their voices in the Cirque Pacific show (since they just danced; the acrobats & jugglers from China were also featured.) I have a theatre background, and have been to many Broadway shows in New York (inlcuding as far back as The King and I revival with Yul Brenner and Annie with Sarah Jessica Parker). We now live in the LA area, and go to touring shows. The shows on NCL are very professional, very well done, and I think they rival professional theatre anywhere.

As a side note, my daughter decided that one of the beautiful young singers in the Jean Ann Ryan Company was her idol. My husband asked for a meeting, and the whole cast was kind enough to stay on stage to pose for a group photo with our daughter, and for individual photos with the young singer - thanks so much to the cast & April Kingman. April crocheted a hat for my daughter, which she left at reception as a good-bye gift. This was one of the highlights of the trip for our family. We found this sort of kindness in many of the crew members, and were very impressed with them.

Some notes to make your trip more enjoyable:
Get little bags of popcorn in the Red Lion to enjoy with your cocktail while you wait for the evening shows to begin.
We enjoyed the music of Jana in Gatsby's, in the evenings, very much.
Walk the promenade deck - Deck 7 - four times to log in 1.4 miles.
Attend Kathryn's shopping talks - sit in the front row to receive freebies. Find out from Kathryn where you can get your free charm bracelet in Puerto Vallarta, and your free charm in Cabo San Lucas (and additional free charms on future cruises).
Go to Cruise Director Ricky's line dancing class - he is a good teacher & the dancing is great.
Attend the Cha Cha lessons - they're given by two of the Jean Ann Ryan Company's cast members (they are ballroom dancers, and quite talented).

I'd be happy to address specific questions about this trip, if you have any.

Happy Cruising!
Katie
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Old November 27th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for all your responses. They are very helpful.

We hope to avoid the school breaks by going in January or February. We're leaving the kids home for this one.

I also have a theatre background, and am encouraged by your description of the shows being comparable to good professional theatre.

I've ruled out Carnival as I don't want to be on a floating frat party... so I'm trying to figure out the best cruise line for this trip.

Food is very subjective. I'm guessing even mediocre cruise ship food is probably going to be great by my standards. Although I'm no dog.

I'm interested in being ACTIVE on this vacation. I don't gamble, and I don't sit by the pool for 16 hours. I love yoga. I'm yet to find a ship that doesn't charge for yoga.

Thanks again.

P
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:20 AM
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Thanks Katie and Nita. Leaving this Sunday and was getting a little worried reading some of the posts. I know I will have a great time!
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Sandy,

Let's put it this way: we were a group of 21, most seasons travelers; there was one couple that did nothing but gripe about almost everything, a real downer in my estimation: another couple didn't say much, the other 17 had a good to totally outstanding time and loved the ship.
I usually ask everyone I come in contact with if they are having a good time or enjoying the ship, whatever. The last morning I did meet a family of 3, a couple in their early 40s with mom. they said the ship wasn't nearly as nice as the first time they cruised her, 5 years ago. I would guess not, she was close to new then. They did mention the food quality wasn't up to par, again, I agree. This is the same on every single line. Read any thread, be it Celebrity down to Carnival; everyone says the food isn't like 10 years ago, but the prices have remained somewhat similar, something has to give. Keeping this in mind most reviews on the Star are even mome positive than the one I posted on another board. You should have a great time.

Nita
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Dont do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbashaw
Just got off the Norwegian Star this past Saturday(11/24). Never again! Worst, most expensive vacation ever!! The food was awful, the entertainment was horrible(except the magician and the Chinese Acrobats). The magician performed his last show on this cruise, so no telling what will replace him. You have to stand in line @ 6:30am to make dinner reservations for the following evening...even for the "free" restaurants. No reservation means that you have to eat at the buffet, which is not fit for a dog.

Do yourself a favor, chose any other cruise line or better yet, dont cruise at all. The only one in our party that enjoyed the cruise was our 10 year old boy. He doesnt mind eating bad pizza and mac/cheese every day and can roam the ship by himself and eat ice cream every day...a 10 year old's dream. We ended up paying $80-$120 every night for dinner at the better restaurants, because the "free" food was inedible. Total cost was app $1,000.00/day!!
You know, after reading so many other reviews from people who were on the same ship and your comment above about choosing another line or maybe not cruising at all I have to ask you, was this your first cruise? It sounds like cruising just wasn't your thing. I have read a few reviews from people that did comment on the number of kids on the ship and the problems with getting reservations in the alternative restaurants, but overall everyone has written very positive comments. I also have to ask why you would have paid as much as $120 for one meal. The most expenisve thing is $30 and that is one alternative dining place only which offers 1/2 price for kids. If you are considering wine in that price, you would be paying for wine whether in a specialty dining room or the main dining rooms. If you paid that much each night how would you know the food in the main dining rooms was so bad, it appears you didn't eat there. Did you try Endless Summer or the Italian restaurant? I am sorry if it sounds like I am picking your comments apart, but I think you may have been exagerating a little. The food being bad, that is subjective and I am not going to question your opinion on that but some of what you are saying seems like, you just plain didn't like cruising. Of course your son had a great time, any 10 year old wandering around alone would have a good time I would think.

Nita
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Old December 5th, 2007, 10:28 PM
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Do NOT take the Norwegian Star to Mexico. I just got off on December 2. I cannot tell you all the horrible things that happened to us. First, we had dirty linens on our beds and stuffed under our bed. Then they never properly made the beds, we never got a top sheet just a duvet. The TV didnt't work, the safe broke twice and then if you want to have a photo of the growth in my coffee pot post a reply with your email address and I will send you.

Repeat cruisers were complaining left and right. Noisey cabins, noise because of work being done in and around the ship. Not due to passengers. Then the staff denied the work was being done, so our travel mates used their video camera to record the noise!

The food is good in the $15 restaurants but the Matre D's make you feel like crap regarding the reservations. You stand there in front of an empty restaurant, without a reservation, and they will not seat you unless you cause a scene. Why do you want to do this on your vacation? A cruise ship is supposed to treat you like a special person, right?

As for the Latitudes (frequent cruiser group) two members in our group are Latituds members and they complained twice about not being invited to the private events. Both times they were told it would not happen again. But they were never invited to any of the parties that they heard about after the fact.

The entertainment is a joke. We laughed at one of the dance reviews and just left. As for the movies, if you want to see the same 3-4 movies, both in your room or in their theater ALL WEEK LONG, well OK, then they have movies.

I could go on & on. The singing tour guide was quite a hoot too.

Go to an All Inclusive Resort.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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We have done the 7 day cruise twice on Royal caribbean Vision of the Seas and once on the 8 day cruise out of San Diego on the Carnival Spirit. While we enjoyed the main dining room food a touch better on the Vision and thought the entertainment was a notch better then the Spirit, we enjoyed the spirit ship much more and many more choices for the buffett as they have different stations each with different food including a deli station. The ship had many more areas to explore. What we really enjoyed was between 5 - 7, they set up a sushi station downstairs and you could get all you want made to order sushi and rolls for free. We would get a whole plate full and bring it back to our room and eat it on the balcony while the sun set.

Both ships are fine, but if I had only one choice and the price was basically the same, I'd choose Carnival.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peninsularoad
We have done the 7 day cruise twice on Royal caribbean Vision of the Seas and once on the 8 day cruise out of San Diego on the Carnival Spirit. While we enjoyed the main dining room food a touch better on the Vision and thought the entertainment was a notch better then the Spirit, we enjoyed the spirit ship much more and many more choices for the buffett as they have different stations each with different food including a deli station. The ship had many more areas to explore. What we really enjoyed was between 5 - 7, they set up a sushi station downstairs and you could get all you want made to order sushi and rolls for free. We would get a whole plate full and bring it back to our room and eat it on the balcony while the sun set.

Both ships are fine, but if I had only one choice and the price was basically the same, I'd choose Carnival.
Glad you liked your experience, but am not certain what this has to do with sailing on NCL

Nita
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