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luv2cruise53

Review of NCL Star Oct14-21 Bermuda

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I guess it's time I started this review. I was gonna make it a quickie but since I took so long I will do an in depth. First I will give you a quick synopsis of myself so you will know where I am coming from and can base your opinion on that. I am Kevin and I am 53 years old and I am from Boston. I lost my partner several years back and we were avid cruisers. Since then I have traveled with friends and family, however; I tried solo for the first time 3 years ago on the EPIC, in a solo cabin and really really liked it. My personality is rather strong so that when I travel with family or friends they tend to pick me as a leader. For instance: Kevin, where are we gonna go eat...I dunno, there are twelve restaurants ...go pick one. Where should we lie out on the deck...anywhere you can find a chair. Which show are we going to go to. Pick one....etc....and on and on. I am on vacation and don't want to make decisions so now I travel solo....LOL... I am aa 2 major graduate student in English and Historical Archives at University of Massachusetts Boston. I like being a student since there are no jobs anyways. I Travel exclusively on NCL so I cannot say what my experiences are say to RCI or a Carnival ship so I usually compare from one NCL to another. This review will be on the Star out of NYC to Bermuda for the week of October 14-21.

 

In order to save money on a flight and pre and post hotels I decided to try a NYC cruise for my first time. I would have sailed on the Dawn out of Boston but it had switched itineraries to Canada/new England by this time.

 

I booked last minute for the first time because I really wanted to get out of here for Bermuda, and the June 9th 2013 on The Breakaway which I booked a while back was too far away and my cruising mindset was screaming...BBBBBermuda.......For a solo cabin guaranteed inside I only paid 1025.00 with the port taxes. This sounds high but a solo price at regular booking would have been close to 2000.00. Anyways I ended up with a porthole so I think the guaranteed way to book can be a good shot if you do not care where your cabin is.

 

Stay tuned for embarkation day.

 

Kev:cool:

Edited by luv2cruise53

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Well its embarkation day and excitment was building. Ther was a hurricane brewing in the Caribbean, Raphael and it was forecast to pass over Bermuda on Tuesday night with winds of 75MPH so that was a new twist to this cruise. To be honest...and not morbid...it was rather exciting but I did not want to get closed out of port or miss days in Bermuda...but a few rolling swells never botherd me and I was ambivalent on Raphael...

 

I left Boston's South station on the 7:00 AM train and after an uneventful trip except for the rather hefty lady farting evry 5mins who was sitting in front of me...we arrived at Penn staion at 10:50 AM, me the farting lady and the other passengers.

 

I went up to 8th avenue with my one heavy bag ( I am a clothes monger and take 3 outfits per day...all co-ordinated and laid out in advance.) I hailed a taxi and told him....the port and 5 mins and $12.00 later he dropped me off across from the port. I said can't you take me in to the ship. He said no you just cross the street. I didn't believe him for a minute and figured he just wanted to grab some disembarking passengers who were everywhere. I settled my ass in for a long haul to the terminal and lo and behold....30 seconds later I was at the gate where longshoremen took my bag and pointed me to the elevator. Sorry mister taxi guy.

 

More to come in a minute...:D

 

Kev:cool:

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After I got off the elevator it was a quick walk to the NCL hostesses who checked my ticket...saw I was a Silver Latitudes and pointed me to a line a few feet away. I would say there was about twenty people in front of me and I figured it would go quick. I got in line and saw a line up front and to the right that said priority embarkation and I asked a hostess and she said it was for suites and Gold and Platinum so I shut up and dealt. It was only 10 minutes till I was in line to give my credit card and have my mug shot and get my key card.I was given a little card that was number 4 ( I was looking for a washy washy to spray the card cause God knows how many people were # 4 before me...but no luck)and shown to the seating pre-boarding area. So I got my picture taken and went to the pointed finger and ended up getting my picture taken again. I said I just got this 2 seconds ago. She said yeah but your too good looking not to go for 2 so vanity won out and I posed again.. I walked a few feet and found out I was in line for the GEM to Canada.....duh....not cute but stupid.....so I hoofed out again and found the seating area for the Star. In my own defense it was kind of confusing and I am cute and stupid at the same time LOL. I sat my ass in the chair and 2 seconds later a guy on a mic said we will now be boarding numbers 1-4....The lady next to me had 28. From inside the port to boarding the ship took 20 mins.....It was only 11:40 AM....In all my years of NCL cruising this was by far the easiest boarding I have ever had...and I got my pic taken twice no less.

 

On the Ship to come in a minute.:D

 

Kev:cool:

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I like your style and can't wait for more! Great entertainment for a Friday night!:)

Bluejai

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So I headed to the gangplank and just as I did the Sun came out. It had been rainy and cool all morning but now Sun, and Star. I had on Jeans and a long sleeve due to the weather so I was not feeling very cruisy but I endured and headed into deck 7. All I can say was it was quite ornate and rather breathtaking. The atrium reminded me of the Spirit but it went higher and was larger. Beautiful fountains and quite classy as all NCL ships tend to be. No glitz and Vegas like I am told carnival is famous for. I checked my room number on my boarding pass...again....like it was gonna mysteriously change from porthole 5520 to 12056 or something. I was way way up front in the furthest cabin up except some other poor room 1 up. The swells I expected were gonna be a ride like Splash Mountain. I hope the folks in front of me are not prone to seasickness.

 

I decided to skip the main dining room for lunch and opted for Blue Lagoon but when I went up the stairs one deck they were not open. I guess 24 hours does not mean 24 hours on embarkation day. Hostess told me only Buffet, Oasis grill and MDR. So I elevated myself in one of those glass suckers up to deck 12. Lots of confused passengers everywhere. We had one of those little and very helpful maps that was great because the Star is big and I was lost...again....and again...and again....I finally found the pool deck after taking a wrong turn and finding myself in front of room 12056....Spooky.....seriously....I turned around and went out to pool after passing through the buffet. Only half the stations were open and I found this unusual for embarkation but that would be the trend for the week.

 

Buffet was packed and looked unappetizing so hit the pool deck and found it to be quite small and crowded and it had 2 useless looking slides that tended to make it even worse. I walked around a bit and things opened up and got better on the other side which was rather cool with all these tiers and stuff that went up like 3 decks to the Bier Garten. On the Spirit the bier garten had food so I thought I might head up and check out the brats and veinerschnitzel....but no luck...only booze. But a great view of all the comings andd goings.

 

There was a large contingent of elderly people and no kids. I like the trade off...Apprently parents do not take the kids outta school so early into the year and the elderly know this so you get the vice versa effect. I think I like this better but that opinion may change.....I saw more wheelchairs and hoverrounds in 5 minutes than I did at an early bird dinner at my local all you can eat restaurant at 4:30.

 

Next Up....Lunch

 

Kev:cool:

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:cool:The Bier Garten was nice and the sun was out so I plopped onto a barstool and ordered a drink....A frozen Mudslide. I was surprised at both the amount of booze he poured and the price....$7.50. It may be mis remebering but it seems that the prices were cheaper than on previous cruises and of course the NCL bars do not use pre measure but rather free pour,...so once you tip a few times and find some favorite bars and servers you do quite well for your money.

 

Then....the famous...boo boooo booop followed by Welcome aboard the Beautiful Norwegian Star (It's always the Beautiful Norwegian Star...even later in the week in 30 foot swells and barf bags by the elevators you got......boo boooo boop... welcome aboard the beautiful Norwegian Star....Due to the fact that the reggae band just fell into the tidal pool we will be closing the top decks and after reviving the reggae band they will be playing in the atrium...minus the bass guitar palyer....) JK

 

Anyways you get the boooops and the Welcome and then some ggaggagraga your cruise director garrgggaggag At this time we are announcing that decks 4, 5 8, 9 and 10 cabins are now available. Shoot I said, I am on 12....oops...Yay my cabbin is ready and its 12:15 Very nice Beautiful Norwegian Star.

 

So I head down the elevator under the Bier garten and get to deck 5 and of course turn the wrong way and have to redux back to the other side. porthole 5502 is on the port side and I went to my cabin and found it to be quite nice. Lots of storage and the bed was pushed to a Queen and when I laid down on it I was in heaven....soft and comfy with attractive white comforter 4 lush pillows and dreamy sheets etc.... Bathroom was clean and roomy and the porthole was OK.( later in the week it would be a submarine porthole)

 

I heard some thumps and stuff outside and I opened the door and my luggage was there.

 

So I said hey Kev Booo Booo Boop, 12:30 and your in your room with luggage. Thank you Beautiful......

 

More to come

 

Kev:cool:

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So I dragged in my luggage and threw it on the big rubber pad on my bed and unpacked. After I put everything away I still had tons of storage and 15 hangers still left in the roomy closet. This ship had the best storage of any NCL ship I had been on to date. I turne don the little not flat svreen TV and saw that the weather temp was 72 degs so I changed into shorts and a tee, threw on the flip flops and checked out the channels. there was like 6 NCL dedicated channels with port and shopping etc...ESPN Fox and CNN News, Lifetime, and a classic and New Movie station. This weeks movies were the new Spiderman and Rock of ages and a couple more. I left my comfy cabin and headed back up to the pool deck with my camera. we were parked opposite the Gem and she was large....As I knew from research we were same length and tonnage, so I could get a sense of our size by looking at her and we were very big. I tried to snap a shot or two but when I pushed the on the little lens popped out and then in....push whir....in push ... whir...in. So it was either broke or batteries sucked. I just bought them, but from the $ Dollar store....Lesson...Do not buy batteries from the Dollar store.

 

So I went to Oasis Grill and checked out the offerings. They had some rolls, for hamburger and hot dogs that were surprisingly not stale....some Macaroni and potatoe salads and a grill with burgers and dogs, fries etc....The Burgers were very interesting..They had cheddar bacon...Hawaiian....and get this....Cheddar and pulled pork. I said, Kev you got to try this artery clogging pulled pork. Now wait.....It was delicious. Not dry...but big, juicy and Med and just a great burger. I would return again and again all week since I found the buffet....More on this later.

 

To be Continued

 

Kev:cool:

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Thank you for your review! Loving your writing style so far and can't wait to get on the star for our Christmas vacation!:)

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Loving your review! See my name? My husband calls me Boop! :D

Edited by boopsahoy

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Thoroughly enjoy your writing style and your views on different things, seems like we think alike! My only criticism (and I'm being sarcastic) is the one part of your review should come with a warning! I laughed soooo hard I nearly spit my coffee out. This has happened to me many times on airplanes, so I truly know where you're coming from!

"I left Boston's South station on the 7:00 AM train and after an uneventful trip except for the rather hefty lady farting evry 5mins who was sitting in front of me...we arrived at Penn staion at 10:50 AM, me the farting lady and the other passengers."

 

Maybe since you've visited Bermuda, the rest of us on the June 9th Breakaway sailing can ask you what we should do next! Just kidding of course ;)

 

Keep up the great work, can't wait to read about the rest of your trip!

Edited by Bella213

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So after I had my pulled pork burger I searched out where it was safe to smoke. (I know no good) Since last January's smoking ban in cabins NCL has been trying to find a happy medium. It was apparent on my March Spirit voyage they had not succeeded. Smoking was hapazard on outdoor decks and people were always complaining. Ashtrays were here there and everywhere and I felt like a pariah more often than not. But the Star seems to have solved this. The entire outside decks on the Port side are smoking permitted. The starboard sides are non-smoking. This is the same on the expansive wrap around promenade. The ashtrays were plentiful on the port side and non-exsistent on the starboard and the rules seemed stricly enforced. All passengers quickly got into the groove and there was not a single incident for me all week of disturbing others.

 

I sat under the alcove port side by the pool and people watched for a while and enjoyed seeing the rich mix of people, ages and cultures. After I guaged this for a while it seemed the age group ranged from mid 20's to 90's with no age group being heavier weighted than another.(ahem)

 

Anyways I was pleased to see that some of the more plus size people in power movers had enough space to carry three or 4 plates and drive so they wouldn't have to maneuver so many times to the buffet through the crowds. Kudos to the people mover manufacturers.

 

After my smoke I decided to take my trusty little map and tour the ship before the oft booped safety drill at 3:15 where they promised non-attendees would be flogged and the ship would essentially close.

 

Next up tour of the Star with pics from a great site.

 

Kev:cool:

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So with my map in hand I decided to tour and it seemed prudent to start in that glorious atrium as it seemed to be the focal point, so I moved around some people movers and through the packed buffet and elevated down in a glassie to Deck 7 and the atrium and main lobby.

 

1_lobby_above3-325x235.jpg

 

I took this pic from the glassie...Just kidding, these photos that follow are all on a site found at http://www.beyondships.com/NCLStar-Tour-1.html

 

But my story with the pics are better than theirs. As I said earlier my camera was pooped(not booped) out.

1_flowers17-208x286.jpg

 

Here is that fountain I saw as we walked in. There is one on each side of the elevator banks.

1_atrium_fountain-475x353.jpg

 

As I said, it was all quite classy and I think anyone who has any complaints about the Star should be traveling on Oceania at 10 grand a pop.(not poop)

1_guest_relations_4-448x332.jpg

 

The map seemed to say go towards the aft(It didn't really say that I just smelled popcorn so I headed that way)

 

Next up, The Red Lion pub and the Spinnaker Lounge.

 

Kev:cool:

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So I meandered around the confusing melee of passengers all lined up at reservation desks, wine desks, tour desks, soda pkg desks, etc and a short hop off the lobby by the customer service desk I found the Red Lion Pub. It wasn't large but it was really pub ambient and I thought it was well done and quite attractive. 2 large screens were available as well as a number of smaller ones but they all had the same game on, cause I think it was the only game channel they got.

 

4b_pub_4-415x306.jpg

 

I found the bar and plopped for another frozen mudslide. Again 7.50 and again delish.

4b_pub_22-420x310.jpg

 

One of the best things about cruising is you just pick up your glass But never on the pool deck...they give you plastic) and head on your way. I decided to go outside on the promenade and head to the aft Spinnaker Lounge. The promenade is large and covered, but seems open and it had a scaattering of lounging chairs and entrances to all the venues with artwork and pictures on the walls, nice touch. I particularly liked the beautiful pictures of large waves on the walls [sic] (like showing snakes on a plane on your air trip) and they would become more apropos later in the week.

 

The Spinnaker lounge was huge, and had all these swivel chairs with tables lined up that never changed. It had a screen and a stage and a dancefloor and a bar. It was multi-purpose room that would be used for all sorts of events, bingo's and seminars as well as ballroom dancing at 7:30 (senior early bird version of a disco) Game shows and finally a disco at the end of the night. It was well thought out but its must oft use tended to take away from a dedicated dance room and results were a less attended and less intimate club venue on the Star.

4e_spinnkaer-600x450.jpg

 

Next up, The forward venues on the Star

 

Kev:cool:

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I headed towards the lobby again having to pass through the Red Lion again, which I forgot to mention has a real old fashion popcorn maker that they constantly use and always fill up little bags for anyone...nice touch, in the afternoon happy hours they also have steamed hot dogs and nachos set up. I willed myself not to get another drink because I was booped 42 more times that the Safety drill was in 30 mins.

Once again in the lobby I marveled at the atrium glassies

1_atrium21-301x407.jpg

 

and kept going till I found the rather small shopping area. It seemed to lack some of the cruise clothing but I later found out there was another area that had more so this smallish area was supplemented by Ports of Call. They sold cigs so I bought a carton of Newport Box for 40.00 which was cheaper than Boston by 60%..ca ching.

 

3s_int_42-449x333.jpg

And Ports of Call which was in the Atrium

3s_ext_24-444x328.jpg

 

I kept moving after that mindful of the boops and had enough time to check out the 3 deck Stardust Theater.

 

Next, The Stardust

 

Kev

Edited by luv2cruise53

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I left Boston's South station on the 7:00 AM train and after an uneventful trip except for the rather hefty lady farting evry 5mins who was sitting in front of me...we arrived at Penn staion at 10:50 AM, me the farting lady and the other passengers.

 

ROFL...had to clean my laptop screen from the sip of tea I just lost!!!

 

There was a large contingent of elderly people and no kids. I like the trade off...Apprently parents do not take the kids outta school so early into the year and the elderly know this so you get the vice versa effect. I think I like this better but that opinion may change.....I saw more wheelchairs and hoverrounds in 5 minutes than I did at an early bird dinner at my local all you can eat restaurant at 4:30.

 

LOL :D

welcome aboard the beautiful Norwegian Star....Due to the fact that the reggae band just fell into the tidal pool we will be closing the top decks and after reviving the reggae band they will be playing in the atrium...minus the bass guitar palyer....) JK..Again, LOL!

And this is where the tea just about came out of my NOSE :eek:...

Anyways I was pleased to see that some of the more plus size people in power movers had enough space to carry three or 4 plates and drive so they wouldn't have to maneuver so many times to the buffet through the crowds. Kudos to the people mover manufacturers.

 

Enjoying your review immensely! The Star's Atrium is my favorite. :D

...will be draping laptop screen with clear plastic and holding off on liquids for the rest of your posts!!!;)

~Michele:)

 

 

 

 

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Thanks everyone

 

Michele you seem to get my satire and humor well as does all the other posters. Ipad and Bella are sailing with me on the Breakaway on June 9th and I see you are on the 23rd.

 

Good 4 us.

 

I will resume soon, Cant believe I am only on day 1 before muster...but I love to write and this is fun so I may not get many takers on the blog because it moves slow...but we can all have some fun.:D

 

Kev:cool:

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So I moved from the shops and a few yards down the road I came upon the Stardust Theater. It had closed glass doors that led to a corridor that was designed in Parisian Moulin Rouge...Rouge and all and it was eyescreaming. The decor may appear fun to some but I thought it was hideous and did not at all fit in with the classiness of the rest of the ship.It opened onto a large Broadway opera type house something akin to the Colonial theater in Boston. It looked like it held about 1000 people.

 

4e_theater_4_-496x369.jpg

 

I was at first somewhat impressed by its style and balconies but that quickly flew faster than the hefty lady on the train could pump em out.

The sightlines were good.

Drinks were not at all feasible as the servers could not get to any middle seats meaning with the sheer size and only 2 aisle (which everyone tries to get close to) all the middle seats require disturbing whole rows.) Between the disturbing and the many people movers blocking the aisles it was like a corn maze at Halloween.

The worst thing and one thing I have never seen on an NCL ship was that there were no tables,The Epic had cozy chairs and tables, There were no drink holders. The Spirit had drink holders. There was no point in putting your drink on the floor cause every time you stood up to squeeze someone by you kick it over.

 

Whoever designed this was a holy roller prohibition follower and the Star must lose a ton of money on the loss in income from drinks.

 

Rating: 2 out of 10.

 

lets move on...quickly....

 

Leaving from the Starboard side I headed down the corridor and soon came to a delightful area that more than made up for the nightmaredust:eek: theater

 

Next Up....The hidden 2nd atrium

 

Kevin:cool:

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Thanks everyone

 

Michele you seem to get my satire and humor well as does all the other posters. Ipad and Bella are sailing with me on the Breakaway on June 9th and I see you are on the 23rd.

 

Good 4 us.

 

I will resume soon, Cant believe I am only on day 1 before muster...but I love to write and this is fun so I may not get many takers on the blog because it moves slow...but we can all have some fun.:D

 

Kev:cool:

 

 

Don't forget...I am the "Lurker" on your 6/9/13 Breakaway board :D as well

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Don't forget...I am the "Lurker" on your 6/9/13 Breakaway board :D as well

 

Of course, now I remember, we have been trying to coopt you and take the kids out of school. Has your board picked up any. Ours is so organized and rather fun don't you think?

 

Kev:cool:

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So I meandered down the starboard corridor and then all of a sudden I hit this huge restaurant called Ginza, with Sushi and Teppanyaki as well. It was quite large and went from this corridor on the starboard all the way to Port side. I thought it was quite attractive as well.

 

5_ginza-535x399.jpg

 

Then just beyond I found the hidden atrium. It looked down on to level 6 with a grand staircase that led to a very comfortable 3 venue area. Here was the champagne bar, La Cucina, and le Bistro with an outdoor cafe as well to listen to the piano bar. The Star seems to have as many piano bars as the hefty lady had u know whats.

 

I proceeded down the grand staircase feelin like James Bond entering the Casino at Monte Carlo, shorts flip flops an all it still felt regal

1_forward_atrium2-359x481.jpg

 

The champagne bar was quite attractive if not a little too gold but it would soon become my favorite haunt, and they saved a barstool for me after the 2nd night. Pre dinner 7:00 is a great time to relax here.

 

4b_gatsby-600x450.jpg

 

Well I just got the final Boo Boooo Booop for Muster drill and so I scooted down the hall past the hideous Star... and headed down the stairs to toss my cigs.

 

Next up:The Muster(Safety Drill)

 

Kev:cool:

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Now by this time you know me so imagine my surprise when I headed up the stairs to deck 7 for the safety/muster. There were staff on the stairwells telling me tht J2 was mustering in the ...now wait...get this....hold....pause...The Stardust Theater. Yep the theater..I'm like how do we get the boats out of the theater. LOL. Actually on large ships they often do use venues for muster as we did on the Epic when I mustered in the Manhattan room, but the whole point is to know where to go in an emergency and if we had gone down I am sure there would have been more than a few of us heading for the Stardust.

 

So they had all these sections with signs where you crossed off your name and then had to struggle into the seats. Then after 20 minutes and all people were accounted for , airline style staff flooded the stage and aisles and did this life jacket demo. Now, and wait again...get this....they said...Thank you it is over.

 

Half an hour to get into seats and cross names and 4 minutes to see life vest...then buh by.:rolleyes:

 

Jeesh, I feel safer already....

 

Next up....Sailing Sailing Away.:cool:

 

 

Kev:D

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