Beware of the blue dots and other tales from Star 6/10-6/17

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#1
NJ
976 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Just returned from our 1st cruise on Star. It was our 4th with NCL and our 30th cruise. We are platinum on RCCL, platinum on Princess, have sailed 5 times on Carnival, 4 on Celebrity and once on HAL. We are Mr and Mrs middle class in our late 50s who discovered the supreme pleasure of cruising 12 years ago. We have never had a suite and only had a balcony twice. On this sailing we were in a mid-ship balcony on deck 10. We knew from our previous experiences on NCL that the pool would be miserably small for the number of passengers onboard but never expected the small number of deck chairs. It was the worst we have ever seen! True, on most ships,unless you are the early bird, you will not score a chair poolside but you usually can find something somewhere if you perservere. There was simply nowhere near enough chairs for the passengers. We saw at least 100 people laying on their towels on the deck. To deal with the shortage, the security officer would put a blue dot on the towel or chair with the time and come back to see if the chair was still unoccupied. He would then remove the items. We saw a woman come back from the pool dripping wet only to find someone else in her chair and her stuff including her towel gone. DH got up to use the restroom and 3 minutes later there was a blue dot on his towel! I never saw the security guy place it there because my eyes were closed. The guy behind me told me. Our second day at sea was beautiful and by 9am all the chairs were filled with people. It wasn't a case of towels holding the chairs. Many of the chairs are broken as well. There are 2 slides that the kids as well as some of the adults enjoyed but they take up alot of the deck space. The kiddie pools on the back of the ship appeared clean and quite cute and the parents had plenty of room to sun themselves. OK Now on to the positives. Embarkation was quite smooth. We arrived a little later than planned (around 11:45) and were astounded over the number of cars on the pier already. There were only about 6 spaces left. The people who arrived later had to park on the next pier down. The parking area on pier 88 is shared with Disney Magic. We took all of our luggage down the elevater (huge) and were a little nervous when the people direcing us had big white Mickey hands on. We weren't quite sure if we were in the right spot, but we followed the signs to NCL on the right and the rest was a breeze! We were able to board right away so we headed to Versaille and had a relaxing lunch. That is one thing I truly like about NCL beause I hate the chaos st the buffet on embarkation day. The announcement came at 12:50 that the cabins were ready which was an unexpected surprise. We actually skipped desert because we we anxious to see our cabin.(Don't worry... we made up for it later!) We were relieved to see that Star is in good shape as several posts lead us to expect a tired aging ship. The hallways in the cabin areas are quite narrow which later proved to be problematic but they were clean, bright, and welcoming. We entered our cabin and peered out of the doorway and looked right at the space shuttle on the Intrepid! Turns out that the starboard (right) side was great. We sat on our balcony as we backed out and were able to see all the planes as well as the concord and the space shuttle easily. We then went up to deck 13 to take pictures of the skyline as we went down the Hudson and were able to get back to our balcony to have a front row seat to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Soon we were out at sea and everything opened. Our cruise had begun!
#2
Miami
4,508 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Thanks for the review. WOW, this is the first I have ever heard of enforcing the chair rule. There really must have been a huge shortage.
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#3
Atlanta
999 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Great news about the blue dots and taking back the sun decks from the chair hogs! I know it might not be right to think this way - but I do find a bit of pleasure imagining how disappointing, not to mention confusing, it must have been for some of those folks who set alarms and got up at 6:00 a.m. to "claim" a lounge chair only to come back 5 hours later and have their stuff gone and someone else in "their" lounger. Kudos to NCL for finally doing something about this problem!
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#4
386 Posts
Joined May 2006
We encountered the same on the Star the week before you. Only I never saw the blue dots. Just some security people. I think if they would just have the security people stationed between 7-10 a.m. they could avoid a lot of the chair hogging situation.

NCL - PLEASE do something about this situation. Having access to a deck chair on a cruise that has 4 sea days is pretty darn important!!!
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#5
San Diego, CA
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yay!

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#6
Carolina
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Love it!
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#7
San Diego, CA
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So happy that I might add a blue dot to my signature
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#8
Gilbert, Arizona
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Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by sdmike
So happy that I might add a blue dot to my signature
What a great idea to show our support!

You go NCL!
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#9
Long Island, NY
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Joined Jun 2007
.....sailed Carnival mostly before and that was always one thing that I hated on the cruise, the dreaded "chair hog". I never understood why they couldn't have done the same as NCL has started. Good Job NCL!

Now that one thing looks like it is getting fixed (which seemed to be the hardest), to fix broken/shortage of chairs, couldn't they bring some replacements on the ship when they get back to port?

wasiii
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#10
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This is a fantastic idea that I'm sure will be copied by other cruise lines.
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#12
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(sdmike, I stole your image for my signature. Thanks for the link!!)

OP, LOVE the thread title and your first bit! Would you mind throwing some carriage returns in the next post, as my eyes aren't too good with the solid block of small text?
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#13
Mijas Costa, Costa del Sol, Spain
974 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
I'm not a sun worshiper but must say it really annoys me when people claim sun bed space and then disappear for hours.
We're on the Star next June to the Baltic Capitals. Tracked the itinerary weather wise last week - rain virtually every day of the cruise So, doesn't look like the deck space will be too much of a problem for us!!
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#14
New York
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Joined May 2010
Thanks for the review

Good to hear they might be trying to address the issue.
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#15
Delaware
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Joined Jul 2011
I love it. Im glad NCL has finally come to address the issue. Sounds like they have been listeningt to their customers.

Think im going o have a T-shirt made that says

"Beware of the Blue Dot" and wear it on my next cruise
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#16
Clermont, FL
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Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by deladypilot
I love it. Im glad NCL has finally come to address the issue. Sounds like they have been listeningt to their customers.

Think im going o have a T-shirt made that says

"Beware of the Blue Dot" and wear it on my next cruise
I love it... might do the same thing for our star cruise in October.

I wonder if they are doing this fleet wide now or just on the star. Would be good to hear from others getting off recent sailings on the other ships.
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#17
5,372 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Esperanza7
I'm not a sun worshiper but must say it really annoys me when people claim sun bed space and then disappear for hours.
We're on the Star next June to the Baltic Capitals. Tracked the itinerary weather wise last week - rain virtually every day of the cruise So, doesn't look like the deck space will be too much of a problem for us!!
We were on the Sun in the Baltics and it was on the cooler side. On some days they even handed out blankets for people to lounge by the pool but there weren't too many people out there, you shouldn't have too many problems finding a lounger just about any time you want.
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#18
NJ
976 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Me again! Once we were out to sea, we went to see all the specialty restaurant menus that are on display at the reservation station on deck 7. To our surprise we were able to get into Teppanyaki. Since we saw people lined up to make reservations when we boarded, we figured it would be filled up. We ordered the Seafood Classic which was lobster, sea scallops and calamari. I don't like calamari so they happily substituted shrimp. We has a coupon from Facebook for a free bottle of wine which made the meal perfect! Great food and great entertainment! After a yummy desert, off we went for liquor tasting. Decided to definately pick up Gosling rum as my souvenier from Bermuda! The Welcome Aboard show was good but soooo many seats are broken. They tip down when you sit in them. Very disappointing as they looked like the upolstery is new. Guessing repairs weren't in the contract! Chairs are apparently not NCL's strong suite! Stopped at Gatsbys for a cocktail and found the popcorn at the Red Lion Pub. Yum! Listened to Kenny sing and then checked out the casino. Very smokey and I lost. Missed the South Beach Party but finally headed to bed quite satisfied and happy. We decided to sleep in the next morning.
#19
Miami
4,508 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by smilz
Me again! Once we were out to sea, we went to see all the specialty restaurant menus that are on display at the reservation station on deck 7. To our surprise we were able to get into Teppanyaki. Since we saw people lined up to make reservations when we boarded, we figured it would be filled up. We ordered the Seafood Classic which was lobster, sea scallops and calamari. I don't like calamari so they happily substituted shrimp. We has a coupon from Facebook for a free bottle of wine which made the meal perfect! Great food and great entertainment! After a yummy desert, off we went for liquor tasting. Decided to definately pick up Gosling rum as my souvenier from Bermuda! The Welcome Aboard show was good but soooo many seats are broken. They tip down when you sit in them. Very disappointing as they looked like the upolstery is new. Guessing repairs weren't in the contract! Chairs are apparently not NCL's strong suite! Stopped at Gatsbys for a cocktail and found the popcorn at the Red Lion Pub. Yum! Listened to Kenny sing and then checked out the casino. Very smokey and I lost. Missed the South Beach Party but finally headed to bed quite satisfied and happy. We decided to sleep in the next morning.
Love your short but to the point reviews
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#20
NYC
259 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by Esperanza7
I'm not a sun worshiper but must say it really annoys me when people claim sun bed space and then disappear for hours.
We're on the Star next June to the Baltic Capitals. Tracked the itinerary weather wise last week - rain virtually every day of the cruise So, doesn't look like the deck space will be too much of a problem for us!!

You might want to get a "spa pass" for your sailing. This entitles you to spa usage. The hot tubs, lap pool and quiet area IMO are the best kept secret onboard.

~La Princesa
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