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Chris

Age: 51

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 14

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Star

Sailing Date: 2012-03-18

Itinerary: Tampa Honduras Belize Mexico

If you have cruised on ANY other cruise line except Carnival than this cruise line is not for you.

It's like Walmart and Best Western said "Lets get into the cruise business''.

They nickel and dime you to no end. EVERYTHING is extra. I overheard a passenger complain in the Spa that they wanted to charge him to use the bathroom!!! I kid you not!!

Things that other cruise lines give you are either not there or you get charged for it. There is a $25 fee for a lost pool towel. No bars of soap in the staterooms, they have soap dispensers like a public rest room. No Chocolate on the pillows at night etc..A lot of little things but if you have cruised on a nicer line you will notice it.

This cruise line is ALL about shopping onboard and off. This ship has the largest store I have ever seen. The day before a port call you get tons of fliers about what to buy in that port. I am sure NCL is getting a cut from them too.

The daily newsletter never had any information or history about the port itself.!! It would've been nice to get a history of the ports and also highlight some of the daily entertainment or perhaps the Captain. You never got to know the crew.

Food was hit or miss. The specialty restaurants were not bad but some you can not get a reservation for.(Very few tables) and also an extra cost to eat in them..!!

There are 2 main dining rooms, the ''Aqua"' was horrible, nice decor but food had zero taste. The Versailles was ok but like all the resturants the service is awful. It shows that the pre paid tipping does not get you good service. It is a tax really. The staff doesn't seem to have any real training. Most nights they never asked us if we wanted a drink before they asked for our food order.

The Buffet was mediocre at best. Same food day in, day out. Took a very long time for them to clean tables during peak times.

Freestyle dining is annoying. You still needed to make reservations for the main dining room or for the specialty restaurants is you had a large party. If you just showed up, there could be a wait. I definitely prefer having seatings where you have the same wait staff every night. They get to know your preferences and make you dining experience enjoyable.

Stateroom was the usual Balcony room. One thing that really is amazing, in this electronic world we live in there is only ONE 110v plug to charge anything. Real good planing there.

As I said above if you lose a towel you will be charged $25 for it. You only get 1 pool towel per person and you had to bring it to the pool and bring it back to your stateroom. You could get extra towels at the pool for a $25 deposit.

No bars of soap just a dipenser. No conditioner, Q-tips, etc...

I don't think I saw the steward 3 times in the week I was on board. He kept the room clean but there was no way to call him if you needed him and had to constantly ask for bottled water. Again pre-paid tipping is no good!!

This ship is starting to show 10 years of hard cruising, curtains dirty and ripped, carpets thin etc...

Shows were ok, nothing great although the last night was good.

There is a cruise director but very little in the way of activities during the cruise. My daughters tried the kids club but they plunked them down in front of a movie and left them there for 2 hours. They also have this silly rule that if they were old enough to check themselves in and out, they had to stay in there for a 2 hr minimum. If they wanted to leave earlier, parent had to be called to check them out.

Bingo was ok but very expensive compared to the prizes. Another profit center for NCL.

Even the daily news letter was useless. Nothing about what the ships shows were about or a description of the Ports or the daily activities etc... The Programing on the TV was very repetitive and 2nd rate movies at best. The movies shown in the ships theatre were second rate as well. They do not have a dedicated movie theatre but use the Stardust lounge on a big screen but the Picture was very blurry. $300 million ship and they can't get a clear movie picture..?

The Cave rafting in Belize was very cool but just know it is over an hour drive to get there. Don't go thru the ship, there are guys in the terminal that will hook you up on the same trip for half of what NCL wanted. Same vans, same Cave. The guides are very cool. You will get very wet. Great $10 buffet afterward.

The Zip-line in Costa Maya we booked thru the Ship. Again it is an hour drive to the Jungle, It left 40 minutes late and when we got there we waited well over an hour for the van to bring us into the jungle. We found out 70 minutes later the van broke down. When the other group ahead of us came out they looked very scared. They said the people running the show were not very capable. We got back onto the bus and took the hour ride back to the ship. A real waste of a day. They did refund our money. Big deal. Forget this event.

We went Para -Sailing in Cozumel again booked it on the dock, $65 a head after a little negotiation. Nice time.

Overall I think NCL is all about maximizing every dollar, without any thought about the passenger.

There just doesn't seem to be anybody in charge or anybody they really cares.

The morning we got off, we did the ''easy walk off '' the line wound around the ship 1 1/2 times, elevators crowded etc.. with nobody telling us what was going on. If they had called it by deck it would have made it much easier.

At the gangway the entire cruise staff was there to say goodbye, couldn't they have been spread out around the ship helping people?? A women on line with me said the had this same problem a year ago. So I guess NCL doesn't look to improve things.

Bottom line...

I think NCL counts on first time cruisers or people that have been on Carnival, because if you have been on a nicer ship you won't come back. Most of the people I talk to were not happy sailors.

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