Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Star
Sailing Date: October 13th, 2007
Itinerary: Mexican Riveria
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Star Cruise Review
Recently concluded an 8 day Mexican
Riviera cruise. It had been 9 yrs since my last cruise, which had been on
Carnival. I was attracted to this cruise by the itinerary and the price.
I did not make the reservations for this cruise so I cannot comment on this process, but it seemed to go smoothly. The lady I was cruising with did not indicate any problems and was able to get all of our questions answered.
We drove to LA from Phoenix the day before embarking, which I would recommend. The parking and unloading process was fine (If you park, beware of parking under the light poles, birds, you know). The registration and boarding was professional and uneventful. Our luggage got to our room quickly and without a problem.
Food & Drink-
Norwegian features "freestyle dining" which we found to be wonderful. For people who are flexible, enjoy dining at off-peak hours, and do not want to share tables with other cruisers freestyle is terrific. We loved it. However, we can understand that it could be a pain if you need to dine at a specific time or have children or older travelers that need more of a set schedule. You may have to wait at peak dining hours, in fact we saw several lines outside Aqua at 6pm.
Reservations are required at the specialty restaurants, we tried Cagney's which we found good.We also tried the fusion restaurant, which we found outstanding. We were going to try Le Bistro, and in fact were seated there, but had a dispute about the up-charge and walked out. The reservation desk advertised 50% off the up-charge after 9pm. So we dined after 9pm. When we were given the menu, there was a regular selection, and a chef's tasting menu for two which was what we wanted to order. Well, the up-charge discount didn't apply to that item on the menu. While minor in amount, I felt it was deceptive and another way for the cruise line to "stick you" with another charge. So we left.
The food selections were adequate, but not as varied or consistent as I remembered on previous cruises. I think the freestyle dining limits the options. In our opinion the restaurants are comparable to good restaurants at home, but not top restaurants, as they are too inconsistent. We enjoyed the Blue Lagoon for snacks and light lunch. We did not understand the attraction of the Market Buffet, though it was usually very crowded.
We found the theater and entertainment very impressive. The theater was comfortable and the performances were top notch. Shawn Farquhar, the magician, is not to be missed. Our cruise director, Ricky Matthews, was also outstanding & entertaining.
The itinerary attracted us to this cruise but due to a tropical storm and a cargo boat in distress, our shore time was quite limited.
Acapulco was great, we hired a driver and explored on our own. The cliff divers were disappointing, though it's what everybody goes to see.
Had a great dinner at a restaurant overlooking the bay, Kookaburra. Romantic, and the best dinner of the week.
Ixhuatenjo- all shore excursions cancelled due to storm. Went to town for a short time, but streets were flooded. A bust.
Booked day at Las Caletas. Though a cloudy day there was no rain and the tour staff was great. Fun cruise, excellent lunch, tequila flowed, & we got to get off the boat and go to the beach. We thought this trip was worth price charged.
Cabo San Lucas-
Due to having to "stand-by" a cargo ship in distress, we missed our port call at Cabo. Very disappointing.
No offer of complimentary compensation, i.e. a free cocktail hour, waiver of the up-charge on restaurants for the night, or anything else to compensate. Even though it was out of their control, it would have been a nice gesture.
Ship was clean and cabin was great. We had mid-ship level 5, near almost everything but not too close to any noise, etc. Seemed to feel less ship movement in this part of the boat. We enjoyed the secluded hot tub at the front of the boat, which was undiscovered at the beginning of the cruise.
The cruise line has more ways than Disneyland to separate you from your money. While the cost of the cruise is a great value, there are many other ways to spend money, or not if you so choose.
Enjoyed the cruise very much, in fact signed up for another. Take a look at this freestyle cruising program if you like Norwegian and would cruise with them again, as I will.