Number of Cruises: 12
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Star
Sailing Date: June 4th, 2006
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Star Cruise Review
This was our 9th cruise on Norwegian and
2nd cruise to Alaska. Getting to the pier from the airport was simple and fast.
I pre-booked a ride for 6 thru Emerald City Shuttle Service (888-622-3400). We
started the boarding process at 11:45 and were in our cabin by 12:15. We ended
up with an inside cabin on the 4th deck, which turned out to be not so bad. Most
of the departures were from the 4th deck, it was quiet, not crowded and dark for
sleeping. We had traveled on the Jewel in January and found the Star to be
pretty much the same ship; clean, easy to navigate, and a very friendly staff.
Our only complaint would have to be that the Market Cafe closed much too early,
but there is a small 24 hour restaurant on the 7th deck (Blue Lagoon) which was
very handy for coffee for the late night and early morning.
The main dining room (Versailles) was open for lunch, which we found out too late…but did have a nice lunch in the 12th deck Market Café. We were sailing before we knew it and for the rest of the trip it was a very smooth ride. Cloudy, a little rain off and on all the way to Juneau.
In Juneau, we went to the Mendenhall Glacier and will recommend it for everyone to see. Postcard picture opportunities from every angle. It stopped raining and didn’t rain again for the rest of the trip.
Skagway was sunny and warm (well, being from Minnesota, it was warm). Don’t miss taking the train ride…...outstanding scenery and wonderful picture taking again. Of course there is lots of shopping to do there too.
Glacier Bay was the highlight of the trip. Our last trip there was all rain and cold weather. This time the sun was out and even though it was chilly, it was spectacular. Lots of calving from the glaciers, humpback whales, Orcas, seals, dolphins and sea otters. At times there were whales in every direction. What a humbling place to be with the animals, blue sky and all the snowcapped mountains.
We took the City Cultural Tour in Ketchikan. Very informative and a great chance to see many of the reproduced Totem Poles at the park and then see the antique ones at the museum. Great culture and craftsmanship went into their creation.
Victoria was a place we just walked around, went out on the pier to the lighthouse and sat and watched the sun setting with the mountains in the background.
A general review of the ship would have to be:
Clean, friendly, very smooth sailing. We ate mostly in the Versailles dining room. The food was good, not great, lobster night was the best meal (on the Jewel it was our worst meal) the food serving staff were very good but we didn’t find anyone that was outstanding. Our room was cleaned and taken care of very well. The shipboard events were standard cruise fare…Fun but the same old same old……
Our party of six thought the over all entertainment was a step down from what we’ve normally found on the Norwegian ships. Great magician, but a little self-serving in promoting himself. Good show band, Kim Doolittle, Stan Sykes were good. The Jean Ann Ryan company were probably the best dancers of all the shows we’ve seen, but the production numbers were not up the standards of what has been done on other ships that we’ve been on. Cirque Bijou on the Jewel was the best of the best, but the Cirque Pacific on the Star was lacking as a big production number and even boring at times.
Overall, we would go back in a heartbeat and we probably will. We’ve been on other cruise ships but we still think Norwegian is the way to go, mostly for the people and the Freestyle system. We plan on 2 or more cruises this coming winter with Norwegian and can’t wait to try the new ships coming online. Thanks for a wonder time Norwegian.