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Star 10/13 Review

Discussion in 'Norwegian Cruise Lines' started by Orcatek, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. Orcatek

    Orcatek Guest

    My review is ready for reading. Still not 100% happy with it, but heck, if I wait for that it will never be seen.

    Let me know what you'll think.

    It is kinda of a review/journal of our vacation. I tried to put a lot of things in that people always ask for like menus and copies of freestyle.

    Used links and thumbnails alot, so it you don't want to see all the pictures, the pages will load faster. Format is day by day and also a deck by deck of the ship.

    It is at www.orcatekweb.com - ISP is not best, but they are very cheap for large amounts of storage and bandwidth.

    It will be revised, and I may even put up some video once I get time to edit it down to size.
     
  2. Well two months have gone by since we last traveled on the Star thought some of our group would have made some comments. maybe they were like me and thought you did sucha great job how could we do any better. I really enjoyed your comments and concurred on many, but I had nothing to add and do hope all those who took the cruise after us enjoyed it as much as we did. it is really something when I look at your picture it seems that we liked the same. You said that your wife enjoyed the craft classes which I assumed you didn't partake, I was completely surprised at how may men joined our classes, even the Hula lessons. It was really nice to see all these guys making leis and even doing better then some of the surrounding females. And our males in our dance classes were a blast. I'm only bummed out that I the seas were so bad that on graduation day I couldn't make it too many hours in an confined area I guess. Kinda had too many hours on a rocking deck. I really didn't like the extra trip to Fanning Isaland I already knew just going from Hilo to Kona was going to be rough and to spend 2+ days and night on rough seas really wasn't my cup of tea, I really think this was not worth the trip, but because my Sis had never seen Hawaii I thought it would be worth it, but although I know the reason why it still doesn't make me to ever want to take this trip again, I did this trip on the old Independence in 82 and we saw more of the island and it was so much better, of course we didn't have the pretty things this ship had, but as far as I was concerned if it wasn't for the ship activities this cruise would have been miserable for me. I hardly got out ondeck,(in fact I never even got a sun tan ) getting to a meal was a chore and the service (personal/room) was not up to any of the cruises I have taken before, I didn't feel catered too, I fought for a table to eat, to sit by the pool when the weather allowed it, and the shows if I didn't plan to sit a table for at lease an hour before the show started then forget it. Well I'm complaining and I really didn't want to do this but I don't want to complain to the ship because I'm sure they are doing the best they can, but I did enjoy your review and you did a real good job, I would have said the same things but then I have issues too. I just thought some of our group would have said something and that is what I was waiting for, but then maybe they thought the same as me you did a good job and there wasn't anything we could add to except bitch like me. But thanks anyway I put your page in my favorites cause I like your style. A NCL Star traveler Barbara
     
  3. GregR

    GregR Guest

    We were on the Thanksgiving week cruise. I too had not posted any review or comments because your "<www.orcatekweb.com> " review is truly outstanding. I had a chance to read it before hand and re-read it afterwards. Anyone taking a cruise on this ship must read.

    We took this trip as an unplanned, last minute excursion. We couldn't pass up the bargain price. I have a new favorite cruise line. (But then I have no none favorites). To borrow a line from the Celebrity ads, NCL definitely "exceeded expectations".

    The Fanning Island portion points up the absurdity of the Jones Act, but actually was worthwhile. However, don't take this cruise to see the Hawaiian Islands. The 1200 mile jaunt south causes a short day Monday in Hilo and doesn't arrive back at Maui until 1:00 PM Friday afternoon. This is a big portion of a seven-day cruise. This trip works best if combined with at least an extra weeks' land based component on one or more of the islands. Take it for what it is and you will enjoy it. The ship is just one year old and is magnificent. (NCL does have ten and eleven day cruises on the NCL Wind that also goes to Fanning Island and provides more time in the Hawaiian Islands).

    There were free sightseeing shuttles to Lahina (on the opposite side of the island) on Maui. Free shopping shuttles were provided at all the Hawaiian island piers. As with Celebrity and RCCL, if you want any liquor in your stateroom you must pack it and bring it aboard in your checked luggage. They do a thorough check of carry on bags on boarding and will confiscate it. On board purchases of liquor is held until the last night. Once in the stateroom we left it out and it was not bothered by the room steward.

    The Free-Style meals, with no fixed time seating, was a new experience. It actually was pretty good. We didn't like the idea of the alacarte prices or surcharges. But that was no problem, because there are so many other "price included" choices. Two "main" dining rooms (Vesailles and Aqua), Endless Summer (Hawaiian), La Trattoria (Italian), Blue Lagoon (24 hr snack bar), 24 hour room service, inside and outside buffets, and pool side barbeques (weather permitting) all without charges. The ice cream cones from 2-5 PM, also no-charge. Many people were confused by all the choices and I think many thought they would be charged in some of the restaurants where there were no-charges. An easy way to figure it out is that all of the "extra-fee" restaurants are right together. They are on decks six and seven and connected by an inside staircase. I thought that not having assigned seating could lead to lines and waits, but it never did. I know that some had to wait for the main dining rooms on Thanksgiving, but that was the exception. We found a waitress team that we really liked in the Aqua dinning room and were able to request a table in their area for several dinners and breakfast on the last morning. One drawback of this system, is that you lose the advantage of having a waiter learn and cater to your special needs. Most tables are for two, four or six. There are larger tables, but they are usually taken by larger groups traveling together. At breakfast and lunch you are asked whether you would like to dine alone or with "company", but the opportunity to dine and meet others in the diningrooms is limited. The dinner hours run from 5:30 PM to midnight (last orders at 10:00 PM). One advantage is that you can have dinner early and then go back later for desert. If Espresso or Cappucinos are for you, they are available on the dinner menus without charge. We ran into a very few servers that were taking advantage of the automatic tipping policy and didn't provide good service. They were definitely the exception. The service was generally very good and very friendly.

    We normally like the fromal nights. However, this trip we decided we preferred the "Aloha casual dress". They did have one formal night and reserved the largest main dining room (The Versailles) for formal dining. It looked like there were quite a few that participated in this option. Many people dressed up on other nights also. With all the dinning and lounge choices there was a big variety of places to go. For those that care, there is no casino on this ship. Bingo yes, but no casino.

    In our group the oldest member was offered a wheel chair on boarding, which he accepted. The assigned crew member stayed with us all the way to the stateroom and was very helpful with the carry ons and suggestions for the cruise. A very nice touch. The boarding, tendering (at Fanning Island), immigration and all disembarking was well organized and efficient. On the final diembarkation, they actually allowed and encouraged people to stay in their staterooms if they chose. I slipped off early to go get the rental car and there was no problem doing so.

    The gym and spa facilities are exceptional. The gym is open 24 hours and had lots of equipment. I think there were 15 treadmills. The spa had a coed lap pool, two large hot tubs separate men's and women's sauna and steam rooms. All without charge.

    I do have to comment on the smoking problem. There is no smoking in any of the dining rooms or the main theatre and that is enforced. They have smoking and non-smoking sections in most of the public areas, but that was not enforced. There did not appear to be too many smokers on the ship. When we passed the Cigar lounge it was usually nearly empty. Unfortunately the smokers that were on board didn't have much respect or concern for the non-smokers. As usual a few can spoil things for many.

    The waters can be rough in the area during the winter months. Most did not have any problem, but If you do have any problem with motion sickness, be prepared. They lost a lot of glassware going into Maui and the waters returning from Fanning Island were "rocky". We also found out that we were the first cruise in three weeks that made it to Fanning Island. The previous two weeks had to turn back for medical emergencies. The only medical services available on Fanning Island is on the ship. Of course anyone can have a medical problem anywhere, but if you are at higher risk, this may not be the best cruise for you.

    Overall great ship. Great cruise. The food, service and amenities are all first class. We would do it again. But definitely combine it with a shore stay. I had only intended to add a few comments, but I got carried away. This might qualify for a review, so I will post It there also. But be sure to read the review at <www.orcatekweb.com>.
     
  4. GregR

    GregR Guest

    I tried to post the recommended review so it could be clicked, but it didn't work. Go to www.orcatekweb.com for a great review.
     

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