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NCL Star

Discussion in 'Norwegian Cruise Lines' started by oakleygirl, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. oakleygirl

    oakleygirl Guest

    Hi all of my new friends! We are heading out of LA on NCL Star one week from today! Yeah us. I am interested in others experiences and also how much all of the other costs add up...how much are drinks? Also we have a stateroom with a window, but it is an H, is that just a little round window thang? We are way excited, may have something to do with the six feet of snow:daisy Thanks!
     
  2. nmnita

    nmnita Guest

    Well we have our share of snow here as well and it is pretty darn cold, wish I was back on a ship. The Star (we were on her about 4 months ago is in great shape for a middle aged gal.

    I don't remember if H is a port hole or full window but it doesn't make much difference. Make sure you try the "Endless Summer" Mexican restaurant. There is no extra charge but you will need reservations. Being raised in So Cal, living many years in TX and now NM I don't think of it as real Mexican food, but it certainly is good and we had great service.

    drinks are not cheap: $5.95 for a basic cocktail like scotch and water. I think the least expensive martini is about 6.to and that is with absolute vodka. Make sure you specify the booze, otherwise you will get a more expensive brand at a higher price. They add 15% to all drinks. Wine starts at about $6.50 per glass or $30 per bottle. I don't drink beer so can't help there. If you drink soft drinks and can find away, bring it on the ship with you.

    Everyone has their own idea about how much they feel they can spend on a ship, but we usually end up spending about $50 to $75 per person per day including the auto tip and allowing a little for gambling. It is too late now, but we usually order a bar set up in our room prior to sailing. This has to be done 2 weeks before your sail date.

    If you have anymore questions let me know, I will try to answer them.

    Have a great cruise.

    Nita
     
  3. oakleygirl

    oakleygirl Guest

    Thanks Nita! I have read a number of reviews and some of them are down right nasty, but that never stopped us before. We love to travel and because we are nice, go figure, we get great service and people are nice to us.....Did you go on any excursions? We were too late booking and would like to book some on our own. What do you think about the bad reviews, are people often looking for a reduction in their fare?
     
  4. nmnita

    nmnita Guest

    you know, I never quite know how to take the negative reviews: someone said, a few days ago and I think it may have been on this board: NCL is not a first rate cruise line but still a wonderful experience. I think he may have hit on something. This is not to put NCL down by any means, but they are not trying to compete with the luxury liners or even HAL. The line has a niche which appeals to the mid America type of cruiser, the people who want choices, are not looking to be pampered at every corner. The newer ships are every bit as nice and offer lots of activities but are still designed for those who are looking for relaxation, good food but maybe not gourmet quality, who want night life, and yet not a total party atmosphere. The complaints often come from those who expect a different experience. This isn't to say, the complaints are not always justified, I just think too many are too nit picky.

    For us NCL is at the top of the list, many of my clients feel the same, others prefer a more upscale experience.

    As for excursions, one we loved but it may be too late is booking with Rosie in Acapulco. I may be able to find her email address or you can go to CruiseCritic and look under ports a call.

    We did the beach thing on our own in Z, took a ferry over to the beach. In Cabo you may want to think about Lovers beach. PV, I have no idea, We just went downtown, did a little shopping and hopped a double decker bus for a short tour of the city.

    Hope this helps some.

    Nita
     
  5. oakleygirl

    oakleygirl Guest

    Thanks Nita, we have been to a number of fairly fancy hotels, spas, resorts you name it. Some times I have found the luxury thang to be pretty well, much more fraught with problems then if we just go to our local restaurant. I look forward to the Star. I hope the pool is accessible. If not I will buy the indoor pool arrangement. We are adventurers that's for sure. I will write about our experiences when we get back in two weeks. From this vantage point, anywhere where the actual sun is visible and you can get from point a to b without 3/4 length snow boots, is good in my book, catch us in February, and we are pretty easy to please.
     
  6. oakleygirl

    oakleygirl Guest

    Hi friends, have been off the puter for almost 8 days!!!!! We head into LA tomorrow at the end of our cruise:( We have had a blast. I will fill in on all the details when I get back home. We have enjoyed the freestyle eating and plan to cruise for the rest of our lives.
     
  7. nmnita

    nmnita Guest

    Great news Oakley,, I can't wait to hear all you have to say.

    Nita
     
  8. oakleygirl

    oakleygirl Guest

    I will move this to reviews as well, but I want to say a few key things as well. It took us twenty minutes from the time my sister dropped us off at the pier to walk into our room, our room was ready, I think we got on around 1:30 for a 4pm leave from the port of LA. We disembarked out late (light blue) and it took us 35 minutes to get through customs and back to my sister's car. So I guess whatever problem existed before on the pier are not there. I particularly loved the officer who welcomed us all back to the us, he was standing at the bottom of the escalator, little sunshine on a day when we just wanted to get back on the ship. When we embarked, as I said, we were in our room, ready in about 20 minutes, didn't want to waste a moment of time and went up to the 12th floor, where the fiesta was beginning. There was a band and a BBQ (the band was singing "All night long") and it was absolutely fun. The weather had been really warm in LA (we left on the 12th of Feb) so we were ready to roll.

    I try not to write reviews in my head when we travel, but it happens, and also could preclude some of the fabulous times we have when we have not a clue where we are going or what we will encounter....that being said, here were my observations and experiences on the Star (I kissed her each morning)....

    She is huge, the interior is very nice. Our room was on the 4th floor, a porthole window, which was just fine for us. We took a look at the suites on the 11th floor today, and they are very pretty, I would rather spend my money on the trip than the room, but hey, that's me. The room was small but certainly not unpleasant..nice shower, good shampoo, no conditioner, don't know about the soap because I brought my own. We didn't spend a bunch of time in the room, but the beds can be joined into a queen. Today we watched old movies on the TV before we disembarked, it is small but comfortable, and very clean. There is a mini bar that has a bunch of minis, bear and soda in it....they didn't check it everyday and we pretty much cleaned it out (except for the liqueurs) and the tab was around $84, so if you don't want to use it do what other people do and have them take the stuff out when you get there. Money wasn't a biggy for us on this trip, but you can easily cruise with NCL and pay close to your booking fees, (don't drink alcohol, gambel, go to spa, or anything where there is a charge) there is a $10 a day service fee, so for us it was $160. for the two of us. We read about it, it's all over their advertising etc etc. And any drink you order has a 15% gratuity fee added. They say it everywhere, in the meeting etc, etc, but still there was a girl who was absolutely not nice this morning because she didn't read the brochures...net.....letters you sign. You pay it, we didn't pay more than was added on our check....15% gratuity was kind of nice and relaxing, not to worry about it. (Service.....see tomorrow)

    The ride was smooth, until the last couple of days when you could feel the water move, but HELLO you are on a ship, nothing dramatic.
    The outdoor pool is about a two thirds of an Olympic size, you can still do laps, we were there in the middle of February and there were only a handful of kids on board, on the nice days the pool fills up fairly quickly, but you can still get laps in in the morning. I had a body scrub and facial, very nice and no more expensive than we pay here....check their specials. We loved wandering around the ship, there is always something going on.

    The food.....We tend to get pretty excited about going on excursions or our own adventures, so basic food works fine when we are away from home. So we ate at the main cafe on 12 or pool side all of which was OK, ....the high point was the Indian curry they had yesterday, and a mean chili you can put in their taco set up. Outside of that, there is a good selection, just nothing that jumps out at you. We did eat at Soho and thought that was exceptional, and Versailles for breakfast, salmon and spinich Benedict, hot good coffee, yum.... so that is this update, for the evening.....there will be more installments, including a fairly hilarious act that Denny and his group did for us the day before we left......stay tuned.
     
  9. oakleygirl

    oakleygirl Guest

    OK, new day...it's snowing (td), The first night we sailed someone on the ship got pretty sick and the Captain decided that there was no alternative but to take them into the hospital in Puerta Vallerta, not knowing this we were kinda surprised to see the lights of the harbor. A small boat came out and picked up the patient and we were on our way. They do have a Helli pad on deck, but I am not sure how that all works. So, our little trip cost us about four hours of Acapulco time, we really just wanted to watch the sun go down at Los Flamingos, most people just took it in stride. We caught a cab in Acapulco and made it in time for an amazing sunset and cocktail. I have to say, although not completely necessary, it is helpful that I speak Spanish, easier to negotiate a deal. We slept well, no side trips. Ixtapa/Z was the next day, we did not book an excursion, just took a lancha to Las Gatas and sat down at Ophelia's. Now that was a blast, great food, good swimming incredible view, almost missed the last water taxi back to the ship. The service on the ship was always good. Some of the staff is friendlier than others, like the guy in the bar above the pool, Hernaldo? he was really funny and nice. Some of the staff seemed reserved, but certainly not unpleasant. I always said good morning, etc....some of them looked a little surprised, but happy that I noticed. We had the special valentines dinner (additional $90 for two, included wine) and we had about three wait staff to each of us, yummy! Reservations are something you should definitely look into, because the restaurants really do fill up fast, we just didn't care all that too terribly much so only ate in Versailles (?) once. PV is kind of a strange stop, we lucked out and wound up taking a cab to El Eden, off the beaten path, good food, and good view of small villages in Mexico. Getting off at each port was easy. Even though the 4th floor rooms are less expensive, it is very handy for disembarking (same floor). When we embarked in Cabo there were just a huge # of us, also from another ship, and it really went fast, they brought on other water taxis so when one was full another was waiting. Cabo was just fine, we had an excursion booked, met in the theater to hook up with others in our group and took a water taxi to the pier. The excursion was fine, but right now, if you are thinking of snorkeling without a wet suit, check the water temps. It was around 65 degrees, I was OK and the snorkeling was good, but I had to get out. The rest of the excursion as I said was fine, I think we could have taken the $180 it cost us and done something else. The guide was very nice, I guess Cabo and all the development, and I mean huge development didn't impress me all that much, next time we need to investigate where to go.

    The freestyle traveling worked for us. If you want a who's who and what are they wearing experience this is not for you. However we have been there and....well been that. I like the hairy leg competition, cracked me up. The comedy shows were good. We just wanted to turn around and go back! Let me know if anyone has questions. I am a newbie, but a pro in my newbieness:phone
     
  10. oakleygirl

    oakleygirl Guest

    I ment Otilios in Las Gatas, not Ophilias.
     
  11. uppitycats

    uppitycats Guest

    Sounds like you had a lovely time...and a good week to be away from the upper midwest, at least! I woke up this morning to a balmy minus-25 degrees BELOW zero....and my husband has spent the last two days shovelling snow off the roof of the house...not good.

    I'm not real interested in the part of the world where you cruised...but "warm" sounds nice about now. :)

    We're sailing on the Jewel in October...
     
  12. PFOX

    PFOX Guest

    WHAT IS THE INDOOR POOL ARRANGEMENT?
     
  13. oakleygirl

    oakleygirl Guest

    There is a spa on the ship, I can't remember which floor. There is an indoor pool, hot tub (probably sauna and steam room), as I recall towels are provided, the spa has a salon etc etc. Anyway, you can use the indoor pool for an extra charge I thought it was $15, but then they quoted us something more like $20. The pool does not look to be olympic size, but definately swimable. I swam in the outdoor pool a number of times and didn't use the indoor facilities. The outdoor pool was pretty cold the first day out. I guess they had just switched the water out, but it got warmer as the days went by. Hit it first thing in the am and you can do laps (about 3/4 the size of an olympic. Any other questions let me know. I am a self proclaimed first time expert (that means if I don't know it, I'll just look it up here)!:wave
     

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