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Garry Ashby

Age: 66

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 30

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Star

Sailing Date: 2011-04-23

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera

Our overall experience was not what we have become accustomed to from other cruise lines. We missed having the opportunity to establish a rapport with the dining room wait staff as we were never seated in the same area of the dinining room. The concept of "Freestyle" is interpreted with widely varied results We observed a couple fresh from the swimming pool (yes, dripping) in the Atrium Bistro at 8PM on "Dress Up or Not " night. The atmosphere was extremely casual and, although most likely well suited to a family with children, was not our style. Thoughout the cruise we were relentlessly approached to sign up for extra cost options (Specialty Dining, raffle tickets, photos,etc.). Although the embarcation process was well run and fairly quick and hassle free, disembarcation was terrible. It took 1 hour and twenty minutes to get from our cabin to out of the terminal. We will most likely not choose NCL in the future, not because it was very bad but because it was very different.

The variety, quality, preparation and presentation of meals in the main dining room was outstanding ! My only negative was that occassionally the food (especially soups) was not very hot. The wait staff was harried and sometimes inefficient. Special requests , although aknowledged, were often forgotten. The food was varied and well prepared in the buffet but the press of people and the cacophonous noise level was beyond our acceptance level. We took most of our meals in the main dining room or the pool side buffet (which was excellant). We did not utilize any of the alternative dining venues, of which there were many.

Our balcony stateroom (BB) on deck nine was adequate and utilized space efficiently. The bathroom layout was especially accomodating. I liked the glass shower door, as opposed to plastic curtains. Cleanliness was not a strong point, i.e, a little mold in the shower, a past guest's shoe under the bed, water spots, streaks on the window/patio door, and very dirty balcony foor. Our door latch plate was loose which resulted in our cabin being left unlocked twice, it took three days to get in repaired.The cabin attendant was cheerful but not exceptionally thorough. In the evening there was no one to whom we could address problems such as our frequent lack of a breakfast cards to hang on the door. On two occassions, our drink glasses were placed back on the ice bucket tray DIRTY ! One night, at approx. 10PM, we tried to contact room service for more than 20 minutes without sucess.

The cruise staff presented a wide variety of activities. There was no shortage of things to do. The main theater was well designed (seating about 1100 ) with great effects and lighting. Entertainment was first rate thoughout. Dancers, musicians, and vocalist were exceptionally good. The keyboard musician , who performed in many forums (accompanist to singers, pianist in jazz group, etc) was most likely the best I have ever seen. We greatly missed not having a nice bar (ala Wheel House Bar or Crow's Nest) to have drinks and/or dance.

We did not partake of any excursions

We have cruised this intinerary several times but the elimination of some of the ports (for security reasons) limited the overall experience. We were informed by the ship's master that NCL was quitting the Mexican Riviers after our cruise.

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