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Norwegian Star Seattle to Alaska

Discussion in 'Norwegian Cruise Lines' started by bettyT, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. bettyT

    bettyT Guest

    I am SO excited...this June my family is taking our first cruise on the Star from Seattle to Alaska. There will be five of us: me, my husband, my 10yr old son, 13yr old daughter and my mom. I've booked an AB Penthouse for the five of us. I realize I have a lot of research to do so please forgive my naive questions but I'm just wondering about your experiences on this cruise, this ship and perhaps even this type of of cabin.

    I'm a bit nervous that we'll be cramped into this cabin but it was really what we could afford. We'll make do and still have fun but ANY advice is truly appreciated.

    Also any advice on excursions and traveling with kids would be great.

    All in all, I really could benefit from any wisdom you could pass on!

    Thanks SO much in advance...

    bettyT
     
  2. Betty, our family of 8 took this same trip in 2004. We had 3 separate rooms so I can't help you with the penthouse but I'm sure you'll do fine. If you google ncl star ab penthouse you'll find lots of photos and reviews that might help you. My main concern is that you will skimp on shore excursions due to the high expense (they're expensive, even if you book them on your own and don't go through the ship's excursions). PLEASE DON'T SKIMP! Alaska is so majestically beautiful and while you're there you need to do all you can! We did opt out of one excursion we really wanted to do due to the expense for 8 of us and that was the plane tours over the fjords and glaciers. Hubby and I decided we'd do that when we were there by ourselves someday! We whale watched with Captain Larry of orca enterprises in Juneau. This was a favorite of all of my kids as well as us adults. In Skagway, we chose to rent a car and drive up to Emerald Lake. It was a nice drive into Yukon Territory and Emerald Lake is beautiful but it was very foggy that day. Our other option in Skagway was the train ride which gets rave ratings but again, expense was the factor. We saved a lot of $ by planning excursions on our own. Son & Hubby went salmon fishing while the rest of us did the Lumberjack show in Ketchikan. The show was very enjoyable but more of a theme park type show than authentic. The lumberjacks are really talented though. As far as the ship goes, we were very pleased with our experience. My then 13 yo daughter enjoyed the NCL teen group and still corresponds with some other teens she met. For that age, it's a loosely organized and watched group...they can come and go as they please. I was slightly uncomfortable with that but we did encourage her to stay with some in the group and not be by herself. My then 5 yo LOVED the kids crew and the activities they did. The Glacier Bay day was AWESOME! Have a great time! Oh, and be sure and get on the Roll Call lists on the cruise discussion boards for the cruise you're going on. You'll make new friends and might even be able to split costs to save you $ on shore excursions for a larger group.
     
  3. Grayson Ram

    Grayson Ram Guest

    BettyT,

    My family is also going on the Star in June (23rd) and this will be our first NCL and first Alaskan Cruise. We have been to Nassau twice before on Disney, but I am more excited about this one than ever before. The pictures I've seen are awesome. We are planning to take the Mendenhall Glacier River Float in Juneau and the White Pass Rail ride in Skagway. Hope to get in a Salmon Bake somewhere as well.

    Cabins are small regardless of the level you get and you can always say you wish you had more space, but you'll manage and you'll find that you aren't in it much anyway.

    Have a great trip. Don't forget your camera and binoculars!

    Grayson Ram
     
  4. I agree, cabins on any ship are small and NCL has ones that are not that large, they are similar to Princess and RCI. Carnival, Disney and HAL offer larger ones. That being said, you really don't spend much time in the cabin and we all have to do what fits into our budget. Just go and enjoy. It is a wondeful experience.

    NMnita
     
  5. bettyT

    bettyT Guest

    Thanks everyone for the kind replies! Grayson, we'll be on the 23rd cruise as well! I think I'm in denial about how soon this is coming up.
    Those excursions look great. I'm still having a problem deciding what to do in Ketchikan. I'm not sure my mom can handle a float plane excursion and they're so expensive! Any suggestions? I'm sure I'll have more questions as the cruise draws nearer...Thanks again!

    Beth
     
  6. Grayson Ram

    Grayson Ram Guest

    Beth,

    We've been searching for something to do in Ketchikan as well. We've decided to take the "duck" tour (amphibious bus/boat). We went on the one in Miami and really enjoyed it. It's not too expensive and it's a way to see the town by land and water. The guide in Miami was informative and entertaining and we are hoping for the same this time. It's lasts about 90 minutes which allows time to do other things. We've signed up for the 8:00 slot. I've been told by a previous Alaskan cruiser that the totem pole exhibit is within walking distance from the ship and not necessary to book a tour. Still looking to do something in Prince Rupert. Maybe whale-watching.

    Just over a month...can't wait.

    Grayson Ram from Georgia
     
  7. rram1234

    rram1234 Guest

    betty, just got off the star yesterday and was in an ab penthouse cabin, send me your email address and i will send you pictures of the cabin, its absolutely wonderful, we loved it
     
  8. bettyT

    bettyT Guest

    Hi! Thank you kindly! I'm so glad you enjoyed yourselves. I'm getting so excited! Email: bettytowne@gmail.com

    Thanks again!

    Beth:D
     
  9. rram1234

    rram1234 Guest

    pics are sent, was almost in tears thinking of might be enjoying my cabin and butler tonite
     
  10. susanm

    susanm Guest

    Hi, All:

    We're about to embark on our first-ever cruise on the NCL Star to Alaska on 6/30 with our young daughters (aged 4 and 6). We're splurging on the AB Penthouse (11th deck - starboard forward location). For those of you that have been, this unit allegedly has a "separate children's room" - does anyone know what that means? How big are these rooms? How high are the balcony railings (are they safe for young kids)? How are the kids activities? How was the weather? We're really looking forward to the trip, but don't really know what to expect. We've heard good things about NCL and are really looking forward to the "freestyle" situation. Any advice/feedback is welcome. Thanks!

    Susan
     
  11. bettyT

    bettyT Guest

    Hi Susan, We will be in an AB Penthouse very close to yours from the 23-30th. The kids' room is a separate bedroom with a fold out double bed and and upper bunk that folds out from the wall. Not sure about the railing height on the balcony, though. Here's a website with photos of a very similar room (if not the same!) on the Star. Maybe it will help:

    http://travel.webshots.com/album/350879718fPWnzv?track_pagetag=/page/photo/travel/cruises&track_action=/ViewActions/FullAlbum



    Good luck! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time!

    Beth
     
  12. susanm

    susanm Guest

    Thanks, Beth - this is really helpful! The room looks fabulous (as does the rest of the ship) and I really like the bathroom!

    Have fun on your trip, too!

    Susan
     
  13. Can't wait to hear how the cruise went. Nita
     
  14. susanm

    susanm Guest

    We're packing as we speak and will post a review upon return - can't wait! We sail on 6/30.
     
  15. susanm

    susanm Guest

    We're just back and everything was just AWESOME! The ship was fabulous, service outstanding, and scenery was breathtaking. Our AB penthouse worked out terrifically. Our kids had a great time in the kids club, pool and hot tub. We were sorry to see the trip end. The only "issue" was inability to make dinner reservations in the specialty restaurants, but we neglected to plan in advance. We ended up in Versailles and Aqua most nights - both were very good. We also had great weather - no rain and bright sun and warmth in Juneau. We'll definitely be back on another NCL cruise.
     
  16. Thanks Susan,

    The reservation thing seems to be a no win one. When freestyle first started the used the same plan they now use and the complaint was "we can't get reservations" Of course if you want the earliest time or very late it is a little easier. With so many comments NCL switched to make as many as you want as soon as you board the ship. I personally loved this idea. DH and I made reservations for 3 restaurants the day we got on the Jewel. Last spring (well a year ago) DD and I did the same but actually chose four restaurants. WEll, cruisers started complaining, saying making reservations the first day defeat "freesyle" concept so NCL went back to the original plan. That was about 3 or 4 months ago. Now many are saying, they can't get reservation. Who knows the answer and I am glad you enjoyed yourselves. We can hardly wait.
    Nita
     

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