We took a Panama cruise in December last on the Star and a Mexico cruise the year before, also on the Star. We like the ship, good food, entertainment, and staff. We would cruise on her again. A few things on the Panama cruise were a little bit disappointing, for instance the hot tubs were down the entire time, we could not get an honest answer why. The salt water pool was good (there is only one though),the buffet can get a little crowded as there is only one entrance/exit, unlike the Jewel and Pearl etc. We only ate the occasional lunch in the buffet.
Even though the ship is very clean she is getting a little worn and could use a little TLC. They are I think, fixing the engine problem while in Vancouver.
Not sure about any negative comments you have heard, as I said we would take a cruise on her anytime.