Star Dec 1 – 14 Trip Report with some pics

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 11:21 PM.
#21
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by katyjeka
Looking forward to the rest of your review. Quick question, do you know how many kids were on the cruise? Thanks
I couldn't give you a number but there weren't many kids at all. There were a lot of senior citizens like me on this 14 day cruise.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#22
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
December 2nd a full day at sea.
The morning dawned with mostly cloudy skies and very windy but the temperature was nice and warm. After a leisurely breakfast at the Market Place buffet we took a walk on the promenade deck. I love the promenade on deck 7 of the Star because it runs completely around the ship. Apparently when the ship was refurbished in 2015 the murals on deck seven were painted over, I missed seeing them. I think they made the ship seem more festive compared to the plain white walls that are now on deck 7.
The current look of the walls at the rear of the promenade deck 7.


This is what it looked like in 2014 before the refurbishment.


The wind was strong enough that it chased us back in after just one loop around the ship. We decided to go up to O’Sheehan’s for some coffee and tea. We took a couple of stools in the area that overlooked the atrium. It was then that I noticed the Master and Commander of the Star and he seemed to be having a coffee klatch with two other ship’s officers. I guess all is well with the ship if no one needs to be up in the wheelhouse steering the ship. There’s probably an app on his smartphone for controlling the ship anyway.


When the Trade Winds shops opened we went there to see if they sold swimming suits. Yes they carried men’s swimsuits but at $40 I decided to wait and think about how badly I wanted or needed a swimsuit.

At 11:00 AM we headed to the La Cucina restaurant for our Cruise Critic roll call Meet & Mingle. It was very well attended and many thanks to Dianne (mains_dream) for setting up the Meet & Mingle. NCL provided some refreshments and introduced some of the ship’s officers to us.
On the right in the photo is the Cruise Director Tom Hopkins.


After the meeting I tried calling Mark using the IConcierge App but that didn’t work and then I couldn’t get a text to go through either. IConcierge was a waste of money in my opinion. We never could call each other and texting was spotty at best. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact I had an Android phone and he had an IPhone. IConcierge is a good idea but the current app as it pertains to the Star sure isn’t ready for prime time.

We ended up bumping into June and Mark at the Java Café a little later anyway. At the time there wasn’t anyone standing in line over at the excursion desk so the four of us walked over and booked our excursions for the rest of our cruise.

We ate a late lunch by the pool choosing to get burgers, hot dogs, and fries from the grill. For some unknown reason there were no napkins with silverware anywhere to be found. I got up and went inside to the buffet and was met with the same shortage. Fortunately as I headed back out on deck a crew member showed up with the tableware. This was the only day of the cruise that this shortage happened.

After lunch we went our separate ways agreeing to meet in the Spinnaker Lounge for the evening trivia at 5 PM. I decided I would probably need a swimsuit at some point during the cruise so we headed back down to the shops to buy one. It turned out the Nautica brand suits were on sale so I was able to buy one for 20 bucks.

June and Mark joined us in the Spinnaker for the trivia contest that was supposed to begin at 5 PM. Trivia was very popular on this cruise and some of the passengers took the contest very seriously. This first night of the cruise the trivia started 20 minutes late and the natives were getting restless.


Thanks to the concierge that is available to Haven and suite passengers, Mark and June had made dinner reservations for all of our evening meals, including those in the complimentary restaurants. We had 7:30 reservations for the Versailles dining room this night. Dinner in the complimentary restaurants was always good to very good.

After dinner we went to the theater for the show What the World Needs Now. It featured the music of Burt Bacharach and the NCL cast of singers and dancers. I thought the production was very good but if you’re not a fan of this genre of music you might want to pass.

After the show we said goodnight to June and Mark and headed back to our cabin. We had a towel elephant awaiting our arrival.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#23
36 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
I too was on this cruise. I thought Captain Matias was the best, I really enjoyed his daily updates.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
December 2017, Norwegian Star, Miami to Los Angeles
August 2017, Celebrity Equinox, Eastern Caribbean from Miami
April 2017, Norwegian Dawn, New Orleans to Boston
January 2017, Norwegian Sky, Bahamas from Miami
October 2016, Norwegian Jade, Tampa from Barcelona
April 2016, Norwegian Jade, Barcelona from Houston
October 2015, Norwegian Getaway, Caribbean from Miami
October 2012, Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas, Caribbean from Galveston
December 2011, Carnival Triumph, Caribbean from Galveston
November 2010, Holland America Ryndam, Caribbean from Tampa
October 1974, Union Castle Windsor, Port Elizabeth from Southampton
December 1973, P&O Canberra, Caribbean from Southampton
July 1973, Union Castle Pendennis, Southampton from Port Elizabeth
December 1972, Union Castle Reina del Mar, South America from Cape Town
June 1972, Union Castle Pendennis, Cape Town from Port Elizabeth
#24
Sammamish, WA
175 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
We had problems with the iConcierge app as well. Calls never worked and we had a kill and restart the app to get texting to work.

Trivia looks a lot more popular on your cruise than on ours. The only time we had a room that packed was when we were stuck in fog waiting to get to get to port and disembark and there was nothing else to do.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norwegian Star Venice Review - Oct 8-15 2017
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...highlight=star
#25
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
December 3rd a sea day
Normally I wake up just before dawn but this morning I didn’t wake up until 7 AM and the sun was shining brightly. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day at sea.

We went to O’Sheehan’s for breakfast and I ordered the Express breakfast. It didn’t take long for the food to be served so I guess that’s why they call it the Express. The food was hot but the bowl it came in was RED HOT and the server used a towel to put the bowl on the table. My guess is they prepare the food ahead of time and when someone orders the Express it’s put in a piping hot oven to heat it up.


The breakfast menu at O'Sheehan's restaurant.


After eating we took a stroll on the promenade deck. The promenade deck was very popular with those who walk for exercise every day. There was rarely anyone using the jogging track on deck 13.

After our walk we went inside to talk to the cashier about our onboard account. I had tried to use IConcierge to check our onboard account a number of times but it continued to show “account not available” which made no sense since we had purchased excursions and my swimsuit. It turned out our onboard account was in my wife’s name so it didn’t show up on my phone. Oh well, we would just do without account access. When we had cruised on the Epic the cabins were equipped with interactive TV’s so you could check your account, dinner reservations, etc. That was one of the few things I liked about the Epic.

Our next stop was the Internet Café on deck 9 because we were having problems buying the Internet using my tablet. I guess I wasn’t the only one because there were quite a few people waiting to talk to the Internet manager. While waiting in the line I was able to connect and buy the 250 minute package ($125.00). Yea, I don't have to wait in the line after all.


Our next stop was the Bier Garden on deck 13 where I planned to start my day with a healthy beverage. June and Mark were sitting in the Bier Garden when we arrived. Mark said he texted me with IConcierge but I didn’t respond. When I checked my phone I didn’t have any messages from him. Funny thing, while we were chatting with them suddenly Mark’s text message finally came in on IConcierge. Nope, that app didn’t work very well on the Star. My healthy drink this morning was a Bloody Mary. It came with fruits and vegetable...what could be healthier?


We ate lunch in the Market Cafe buffet with June and Mark. I thought the buffet food was very good with a plenty of choices that should have pleased just about anyone. Finding a place to sit in the Market Cafe during peak times can be a challenge though.

After lunch we found a table on deck 12 by the pool and played the game Left Right Center for a couple of hours. L,R,C is a simple game that requires no thinking but it’s fun to play. I think we had a few bushwackers while we played the game so not needing to use your brain was a bonus. After having a few drinks just determining right from left became a challenge.


Later in the afternoon we said goodbye and set up a meeting time in the Mojito Sugarcane bar for pre-dinner drinks. We had reservations at 7:30 for dinner in the Moderno restaurant.

When we returned to our cabin there was a health questionnaire for Nicaragua that each of us to fill out and return to Guest Services. All guests had to fill out the form regardless of whether they planned to go ashore or not.


The Moderno restaurant was very good with some hits and misses with the meats. The small salad bar was awesome and had some great selections on it. Almost like a gourmet salad bar. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of it.

The entertainment in the theater was the hypnotist Brenda Kaye. Her show was funny but I thought the 30 minutes it took to select the subjects and then put them in a hypnotic state took too long and was somewhat boring. We sat in the balcony for this show because Mark is a tall man and there is more legroom in the balcony. There isn’t much leg room in the regular seating in the theater and the seats are lower to the floor. The theater seating could use a serious makeover. More about the theater in my next post.

After the show we went back to our cabin and called it a night. No towel animal for us tonight.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#26
Anchorage, AK
24 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
Enjoying your report. My wife and I will be on the Star in 21 days. Excitement is building.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature






October 2003- Disney Wonder (Bahamas)
June 2007- HAL Westerdam (Eastern Mediterranean)
October 2008- RC Vision of the Seas (Mexican Riviera)
March 2010- Carnival Conquest (Western Caribbean)
December 2010- Carnival Ecstasy (Western Caribbean)
September 2011- Viking Emerald (Imperials Jewels of China)
April 2013- NCL Gem (Eastern Caribbean)
January 2014- NCL Sky (Bahamas)
April 2015- Disney Magic (Caribbean)
January 2016- Disney Wonder (Repositioning Galveston to San Juan)
January 2016- Disney Wonder (Southern Caribbean)
January 2016- Disney Dream (Bahamas)
April 2016- Viking Tor (Danube Waltz)
September 2016- NCL Star (Baltic Capitals)
January 2017- NCL Dawn (Western Caribbean)
September 2017- Disney Magic (Mediterranean)
September 2017- Disney Magic (WB Transatlantic)
#27
St. Louis, MO
868 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
I'm thoroughly enjoying your review and am so glad you're writing a detailed report.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2016 - August - Viking Grand European with pre-cruise Amsterdam
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2392860
2015 - July - Grand Princess Alaska cruise tour
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2243510
2014 - August - Viking Sun Rhine Getaway
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2094179
2011 - September - Louis Majesty Greek Island Cruise
2009 - March - MS Giselle Nile Cruise
#28
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
MY COMPLAINT ABOUT THE THEATER

While the theater looks very nice at first glance a closer look reveals that the seating is in pretty bad shape. Some of the seats slope downward which makes it very uncomfortable to sit in for any length of time. There were more than just a few seats like this.


Because of Mark’s long legs we sat in the balcony for the extra leg room almost every night we attended a show. I was shocked to see the condition of one of the seats there. I can’t believe they couldn’t at least put some red tape over the torn fabric.


Even some of the backs of the theater seats were separating.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#29
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by Vacation1964
I am enjoying this report and looking forward to reading about your trip. We will be on the Star and headed to the Panama Canal on February 16. I will appreciate any hints and recommendations you provide about the cruise.
The first couple of days on a ship it’s confusing which way to turn when you get off the elevator to head to your cabin. Here’s a tip for anyone going on the Star. On the first day remember the color of your cabin door. When you get off the elevator look to see the color of the cabin doors, the port side doors are a different color than the starboard side doors.

All the cabin doors on the Port side are red.


All the cabin doors on the Starboard side are blue.


Another tip that most folks already know about, the fish in the carpet swim to the front of the ship, except for the red one that swims to the rear.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#30
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
December 4th Cartagena, Columbia

We were approaching Cartagena just before 7 AM. The Fort of San Fernando de Bocahica on the island of Tierra Bomba is one of the first interesting sights to greet you as you approach Cartagena.


There was a lot of boating activity in the area near the fort and a lot of fishermen in very small boats and canoes. This guy was my kind of fisherman.


As our ship slowly maneuvered to the pier, the Caribbean Princess was already in port and unloading passengers for the waiting tour buses.


We went to the buffet at 7:30 and it was already a madhouse of people with long lines everywhere. We were lucky to find a seat after going through the buffet line.

Our excursion today was the Chiva Party Bus. Originally we thought about booking the Hop on Hop off Bus excursion but according to the description the party bus made a lot of stops at interesting places plus while we were on the bus we would be drinking, clapping, singing, and enjoying live music. It only cost $10 more per person so we booked the party bus.

We had a meeting time on the pier at 9:20 AM for our excursion. I’m one of those people who can’t be late for anything so we were off the ship and on the party bus by 8:45. Getting on the party bus wasn’t the easiest thing to do since there were no steps. Instead the driver and tour guide had little portable steps for passengers to use. Even so the space between the bus seats made it difficult for people like me with a big butt to get in. I know I should lose weight but that’s really hard to do. I’m currently on a seafood diet…I see food and I eat it. Yeah Yeah, I know it's an old joke.
Here's a picture of the steps used to get into the bus.


True to the description we had three musicians onboard the bus, one with an accordion, one with a bongo drum, and one with an instrument that looked like a fancy cheese grater that he rubbed with a stick. Our tour guide Fernando did a great job keeping everyone in a party mood and the music was very festive. Each row of seats had a bottle of rum, a bottle of coke, and a bottle of water. These items were replenished as necessary. Yes, this really was a party bus. A photo of our fellow partyers.


After singing our way through the streets of Cartagena our first stop was the San Felipe Fortress. We only had 15 minutes at this stop so that was enough time to take a couple of pictures of the fort from the street. That was also just enough time for the 50 or so vendors to hawk their wares. A picture of the fortress.


Continued in my next post.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#31
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
We had seen San Felipe on our first Panama Canal cruise so my wife didn’t bother getting off the bus. She thought she would be safe from the vendors. Not so, when I returned to the bus I discovered she had purchased three necklaces made of Columbian silver for $20. I think Columbian silver is code for copper covered with silver paint, LOL.


Back on the bus we were partying through the streets again. The traffic was incredibly heavy and I think it was mentioned that this was a national religious holiday. As we drove through the city I was surprised to see how many houses and businesses had bars over the doors and windows. Apparently even religious statues have to be kept under lock and key.


Our next stop was Santa Calaina’s Bastion where Fernando gave everyone a little history of the fort and taught everyone to sing a song and dance in a circle. We didn’t get much of a chance to actually tour the bastion.


While we were at this stop I took a picture of the Chiva bus. You can see why old fat people like me needed the portable steps to get in.


We did a lot of driving around Cartagena but we didn’t make as many photo stops as was mentioned in the cruise excursion description. Our final stop was a small shopping mall where we had the opportunity to buy jewelry or more souvenirs. Just before departing this stop everyone was given a free empanada.

We were returned to the ship just after noon. While this was a good excursion I was disappointed we didn’t make more stops. In hind sight I would do the Hop on Hop off bus.

After eating lunch in O’Sheehan’s we went to our cabin to chill out for the afternoon. This was a relatively short port of call with the all aboard at 1:30 PM. By one o’clock the pier was crowded with passengers returning to the ship.


We met up with June and Mark again in the Spinnaker Lounge for the 5:30 trivia game. We actually answered 13 of 20 questions right which is pretty good for our group. After trivia we headed to Gatsby’s for drinks before dinner. We had reservations at the Ginza restaurant tonight. Tea for Two was the entertainment in Gatsby’s when we arrived. Tea for Two is two women playing string instruments, a violin and a cello, and they are incredibly talented. The music they played ranged from classical to rock depending on which venue on the ship they were performing in.


The food at the Ginza restaurant was very good but the service was incredibly slow. After dinner we took in the 9:30 show at the theater. Tonight’s entertainment was a juggler. I was hoping for a juggler who incorporated comedy into his juggling act but this was not the case. I found his performance somewhat boring.

After the show we went back to our cabin. We did have a towel animal tonight but I failed to take a picture so I don’t remember what it was.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#32
Calif. USA
2,990 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
I am loving your review. I sail on the Star on March 2. I am happy to see the pictures inside the ship. Especially the wine bar. I was curious where it was located because on the deck plans it is listed in what's on the deck but isn't on the actual deck plan. Thanks for the review.

Candi
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Tropicale 1/86
Carnival Jubilee 7/92
Carnival Holiday 5/93
Carnival Jubilee 6/96
Carnival Ecstasy 4/02
Carnival Elation 2/03
Carnival Pride 2/04
Carnival Ecstasy 5/04
RCCL Vision of the Seas 1/05
Carnival Spirit 1/06
RCCL Serenade of the Seas 10/06
Carnival Pride 2/07
Carnival Elation 10/07
Carnival Elation 10/08 BTB 10/27 and 10/31 Halloween Cruise
Carnival Paradise 5/09
Radiance of the Seas 12/09
Elation 03/10
Sapphire Princess 1/14
Crown Princess 12/6/14
Crown Princess 12/5/15
Norwegian Jewel 10/19/16
Grand Princess 03/25/2017
Carnival Miracle 11/25/2017

#33
Citrus Heights, CA United States
3,938 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Oakman58, I kept yelling down the hall to my DH about each funny thing you wrote. I think he got tired of me...LOL. We are looking into either the full-transit Panama Canal or Transatlantic in 2019. The Star was my pick as we loved sailing on this ship but it is his birthday we will be celebrating so he is the one that will actually pick. The Star is just the right size for us. We are retired folk too.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


NCL Canceled Our Pearl October 1, 2018, Cruise!
NCL Epic ~ Europe, Mediterranean 7/17
Carnival Inspiration ~ Mexico 7/16
NCL Jade ~ Western Caribbean 4/16
Carnival Inspiration ~ Mexico 7/15
NCL Star ~ Mexico 3/15
Carnival Imagination ~ Mexico 7/14
NCL Pearl ~ Alaska 5/13
NCL Epic ~ Western Caribbean 4/11
NCL Majesty ~ Bermuda 5/09
Carnival Paradise ~ Mexico 5/08
RCC Monarch of the Seas ~ 7/07
Coral Princess ~ Panama Canal 4/06
Sapphire Princess ~ Mexican Riviera 12/05
Carnival Paradise ~ Mexico 7/05
NCL Majesty ~ Bermuda 5/04
NCL Wind ~ Hawaii 4/03
Carnival Tropicale ~ Southern Caribbean 5/93
#34
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by Linda the Book Lover
Oakman58, I kept yelling down the hall to my DH about each funny thing you wrote. I think he got tired of me...LOL. We are looking into either the full-transit Panama Canal or Transatlantic in 2019. The Star was my pick as we loved sailing on this ship but it is his birthday we will be celebrating so he is the one that will actually pick. The Star is just the right size for us. We are retired folk too.

Thanks for taking the time to read my trip report. I’m not a fan of the big ships either Linda. My favorite ship is the Jade because it’s about the same size as the Star and it has a forward facing Spinnaker Lounge on deck 13 with a lot of windows. I also love The Great Outdoors at the rear of deck 12. It’s a great place to have a meal when weather permits.

Joyce and I have a 4 day cruise booked on the Jade for January 22nd. We are going on this cruise with two other couples. One couple has never been on a cruise, the wife has always wanted to try a cruise while the husband doesn’t want to cruise at all. Apparently she finally won the argument. This should be an interesting cruise for us.

It will probably be tomorrow before I get a chance to post the next day of our trip which was the transit of the Panama Canal. I’ll probably put a lot of pictures in that post.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#35
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by candigirl41
I am loving your review. I sail on the Star on March 2. I am happy to see the pictures inside the ship. Especially the wine bar. I was curious where it was located because on the deck plans it is listed in what's on the deck but isn't on the actual deck plan. Thanks for the review.

Candi
Thank you Candi and thanks to everyone else that is following along.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#36
Sammamish, WA
175 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by candigirl41
I am happy to see the pictures inside the ship. Especially the wine bar. I was curious where it was located because on the deck plans it is listed in what's on the deck but isn't on the actual deck plan.

Candi
It is next to Gatsbys and Le Bistro on deck 6 but when we sailed the Star this past fall I never saw it open. We are really into wine and were looking forward to it as well. Hopefully you have better luck.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norwegian Star Venice Review - Oct 8-15 2017
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...highlight=star
#37
Kansas City
361 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Enjoying your review and pictures. Looking forward to your Panama Canal day details. Great tips as we are sailing on the same itinerary February 16th. Thanks for sharing!
#38
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Because each post is limited to 6 pictures I will have to use 4 separate posts to show all the photos for the canal crossing.

December 5th Panama Canal Full Transit

We woke up early to very overcast skies. This was the one day I hoped to have perfect weather but it certainly didn’t look promising.


The buffet opened early today at 6 AM so we went up for an early breakfast. I love eggs benedict and was thrilled they were offered on the buffet every morning of our cruise and they were almost always perfectly done. I’m always amazed when people complain about food on cruise ships.

The Master and Commander opened the bow of the ship on deck 8 to passengers so they could get a good view as we passed through the locks. After eating our breakfast we took a walk to deck 8 to see if there were many people out there yet. All the best viewing spots were already taken so we didn’t stay long and headed back to our balcony cabin.


From our balcony we had a good view of the channel that serves the new Agua Clara locks. The Caribbean Princess was already entering one of the locks. You can barely she her in the first photo of the two channels. I used my long zoom lens to get the picture of her in the second photo.




If we ever do another Panama Canal cruise I’ll be sure to book one of the larger ships so we can see the difference between the two locking systems. I don’t believe locomotives are used in the new lock system so I doubt it is as interesting as the original locks we would be going through today.

Tug boats came alongside the Star to assist the ship when she entered the staging area of the locking system. I think it was just before 9AM as we approached the locks.


As we were waiting to enter the the first of the Gatun locks the Tequila Sunrise tanker, far left in the photo, was exiting the locks and heading to the Atlantic Ocean. In the photo if you look at the ship behind the Tequila Sunrise you can see how much higher the next tanker is sitting in one of the locks behind her. There is an amazing difference in water levels in the locking system.


Continued in my next Post.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#39
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Canal continued.

As we approached the first lock, the locomotives were standing by waiting to tie their lines to the ship to assist in holding her in the middle of the locks.


There is also a retractable one lane bridge over the canal before the first lock at Gatun. I didn’t realize this until I saw a bus drive across it.


Here’s a picture of that bridge by the locking gates.


While the Star was in the first of the Gatun Locks, Mark and June called us and invited us to their forward facing cabin. They didn’t have to ask twice, I think we were ringing their doorbell before they had a chance to hang up the phone.

We were just entering the middle lock when we walked out onto their balcony. Wow, they had a spacious balcony and a great view of the locks.

This is a photo as the Star entered the middle lock.


It’s hard to tell from the photo but deck 8 was well below the top of the lock wall when we entered.


Once the lock was filled with water the gate opened. Again it's hard to tell from the photo but deck 8 was now considerably higher than the lock wall.


Continued in my next post.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles
#40
900 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Canal Transit Continued.

As we departed the last Gatun lock we could see the Caribbean Princess at anchor in Gatun Lake. Since she was at anchor I assume she was only doing a partial transit but I could be wrong.


The four of us ate lunch in the Versailles dining room. I ordered the Salmon Burger that came with waffle potatoes. The Salmon Burger was very good but my waffle potatoes were actually curly French fries. I think something was lost in translation. LOL.

Later in the afternoon as we cruised toward the Pedro Miguel lock the sun came out and heated things up. Fortunately Mark and June’s balcony was in the shade so we were quite comfortable as we enjoyed the view.


I was very envious of their suite and the size of their balcony.


While we were cruising in the canal I went down to deck 8 and took a picture of my wife, Mark, and June with their adult beverages. My wife is in the left side of the photo.


This next picture is where the canal splits and the channel on the right takes large tankers to the new Cocoli lock.


As we approached the Pedro Miguel lock a tanker in the other channel passed us heading toward the Cocoli lock. It’s the ship with the red hull in the far right of the photo.


Continued in my next post.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2017 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2577896
2016 Norwegian Epic E. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=epic
2016 Norwegian Jade W. Caribbean http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...highlight=jade
2015 Norwegian Dawn W. Caribbean
2014 Norwegian Star Panama Canal full transit http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2130707
2011 Carnival Valor W. Caribbean
2009 MS Giselle Nile River Cruise
2005 RCI Rhapsody of the Seas W. Car bbean

Future cruises:
2018 NCL Jade 4 day Cozumel
2018 NCL Jade British Isles