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Stealthdog

Live Updates NCL Star June 9-16

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Thank you Stealthdog.  You are a wealth of information.  Two more questions.

 

1) Regarding Santorini - we are planning to go to Santos Winery around 5pm and eating and wine tasting, then taking a taxi back to Fira around 8:00 pm or so.  Is that too late to get the cable cars down to the ship?  When we are there in September the Star will be the only ship in town that late so I'm hoping it won't take hours in line.

 

2) With disembarkation we have a train at 11:15 out of Mestre to Rome that Sunday. 

I had read NCL frowns on walk off with your luggage due to some port/elevator issues.  When Sunday comes would you give an update on how that process works.  Thank you again for the help.

 

 

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Thanks for this,doing this cruise Sept 29th. Just noticed no Michelob Ultra on drink menu......that was my usual drink,have o find a new one

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On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 1:51 PM, firstimer2009 said:

Thank you Stealthdog.  You are a wealth of information.  Two more questions.

 

1) Regarding Santorini - we are planning to go to Santos Winery around 5pm and eating and wine tasting, then taking a taxi back to Fira around 8:00 pm or so.  Is that too late to get the cable cars down to the ship?  When we are there in September the Star will be the only ship in town that late so I'm hoping it won't take hours in line.

 

2) With disembarkation we have a train at 11:15 out of Mestre to Rome that Sunday. 

I had read NCL frowns on walk off with your luggage due to some port/elevator issues.  When Sunday comes would you give an update on how that process works.  Thank you again for the help.

 

 

 

Hey, since your two questions are port related and not necessary the ship's, I can help:

 

1) with not knowing the date or time your ship will be in Santorini, or if there are other ships there on same day (and their times), I would say hopefully the Star will be the only ship there during the evening. If this is the case you should be fine! 

 

2) when we got off the ship (no early walk-off- don't need it) at around 9-9:15 am we just caught an available taxi (plentiful outside terminal) to go to Mestre. Fixed fare and only 15-20 mins ride! You should not have any worries! If you are too early to the station, pop into the station café and have delicious coffees (of whatever choice of yours) and delicious pastries. Sit at table and talk about the cruise or people-watch! 

 

We were on the Jade Oct 2014 Greek Isles out of Venice, and LOVED it.

 

Edited by bluesea777

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5 minutes ago, bluesea777 said:

 

Hey, since your two questions are port related and not necessary the ship's, I can help:

 

1) with not knowing the date or time your ship will be in Santorini, or if there are other ships there on same day (and their times), I would say hopefully the Star will be the only ship there during the evening. If this is the case you should be fine! 

 

2) when we got off the ship (no early walk-off- don't need it) at around 9-9:15 am we just caught an available taxi (plentiful outside terminal) to go to Mestre. Fixed fare and only 15-20 mins ride! You should not have any worries! If you are too early to the station, pop into the café and have delicious coffees (of whatever choice of yours) and delicious pastries. Sit at table and talk about the cruise or people-watch! 

 

We were on the Jade Oct 2014 Greek Isles out of Venice, and LOVED it.

 

Thank you!  I really stressed about taking the train out of Mestre versus St. Lucia but decided on Mestre in case it was raining or hot weather or whatever.  Thought it would be easier to take a taxi there then hauling bags to St Lucia.  And yes we love to hang out in train stations and eat and people watch.  Can't wait until September!

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2 minutes ago, firstimer2009 said:

Thank you!  I really stressed about taking the train out of Mestre versus St. Lucia but decided on Mestre in case it was raining or hot weather or whatever.  Thought it would be easier to take a taxi there then hauling bags to St Lucia.  And yes we love to hang out in train stations and eat and people watch.  Can't wait until September!

 

Funnily enough, we bought tickets to go to Milan from St. Lucia … when we arrived into Venice (St. Lucia) for a few days pre-cruise we were dismayed to see how much trouble we'd go thru if we went to St. Lucia when we disembarked the ship … so we decided to grab a taxi directly to Mestre and join the train there. It worked well and better as 1) we ain't spring chickens, and 2) we were hungover (those coffee and pastries helped - 2 rounds!!).

 

 

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Just now, bluesea777 said:

 

Hey, since your two questions are port related and not necessary the ship's, I can help:

 

1) with not knowing the date or time your ship will be in Santorini, or if there are other ships there on same day (and their times), I would say hopefully the Star will be the only ship there during the evening. If this is the case you should be fine! 

 

2) when we got off the ship (no early walk-off- don't need it) at around 9-9:15 am we just caught an available taxi (plentiful outside terminal) to go to Mestre. Fixed fare and only 15-20 mins ride! You should not have any worries! If you are too early to the station, pop into the station café and have delicious coffees (of whatever choice of yours) and delicious pastries. Sit at table and talk about the cruise or people-watch! 

 

We were on the Jade Oct 2014 Greek Isles out of Venice, and LOVED it.

 

 

When we left our ship in Venice a couple of weeks ago, there were no taxis available outside the terminal.  We had to walk to the port entrance (about 10 mins) before we were able to find a taxi on the street.  Allow as much time as possible.

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6 minutes ago, Say811 said:

Stealthdog, did you do any excursions in Mykonos, Argostoli or Dubrovnik?

 

Yes - I am almost out of range of land though.  I’ll post tomorrow when i get to Venice.

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On 6/13/2019 at 6:51 PM, firstimer2009 said:

Thank you Stealthdog.  You are a wealth of information.  Two more questions.

 

1) Regarding Santorini - we are planning to go to Santos Winery around 5pm and eating and wine tasting, then taking a taxi back to Fira around 8:00 pm or so.  Is that too late to get the cable cars down to the ship?  When we are there in September the Star will be the only ship in town that late so I'm hoping it won't take hours in line.

 

2) With disembarkation we have a train at 11:15 out of Mestre to Rome that Sunday. 

I had read NCL frowns on walk off with your luggage due to some port/elevator issues.  When Sunday comes would you give an update on how that process works.  Thank you again for the help.

 

 

 

1) there were three ships in port when we got there but only 2 later.  With two ships the lines for the cable car was about 1/4 line.  It looked like several hundred people waiting. People who took it said it was about an hour in line.  There are 2 sets of cable cars - each with 6 individual cars that fit 6 people in each.  So each trip can carry about 36 people.  I would check out the line and decide whether to wait or walk down the donkey steps. It took about 20 minutes to walk down the steps.

 

2) Disembarkation was a breeze.  Everyone leaves off the 7th deck and takes elevators down.  No issues with taking your own luggage if that is what you want to do.  We didn’t take ours but we saw some with their own luggage.  It was really easy picking up luggage too though.  You get off the elevator and enter a huge warehouse where they have the luggage separated by groups.  I’ll post the disembark information later.

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In Mykonos we did the Delos tour - birthplace of Artemis and Apollo.  It was a good tour - our guide was an archaeologist and did a great job. But a tour is not necessary because you can you can take the public water bus to Delos and buy the ticket to the ruins.

 

Delos was a real surprise.  The whole island is one archaeological ruin that they are restoring.  I think eventually it will rival Pompeii in its restoration.  There was enough time afterwards to walk through the downtown area.

 

i don’t think you can go wrong in Mykonos with whatever you choose to do.

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In Argostoli we did Cephalonian highights.   Well worth it and we would do it again.  Includes the underground lake and a trip to the north point of the island.  I think cephalonia was our favorite island.  We will definitely go back.  No need to do a cruise ship excursion here - you can hire a taxi to take you whoever you want.  I do recommend the highlights tour though.

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Dubrovnik was Venture Through Kings Landing. We would not book this again through NCL.  We would do a private tour instead.  It wasn’t horrible, but the private ones looked much more personalized instead of one tour guide walking 50 people through the city.  This was my second time to Dubrovnik - the first was 15 years ago before Game of Thrones.  It’s almost as packed as Santorini now so expect a lot of crowds and tourists.

 

The old town is about a 20 minutes bus/taxi ride from the pier.  If you don’t do a tour there is a pay for shuttle bus and taxis waiting for passengers on the pier.

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Thanks!!! We are doing Delos, the underground lake and cave, and GoT tour so these were super helpful!  Your pictures are so gorgeous...making me so excited!  It looks like you had a great trip and thanks again for all the info!

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On 6/8/2019 at 2:24 AM, CruisingWithoutOurKids said:

Look forward to your reviews! We leave next Friday for Venice and board the Star Sunday, June 16. This is our family trip celebrating our daughter's high school graduation / 18th birthday. She’s worried there won’t be anyone her age to hang out with, while our 8- year-old daughter is already looking forward to making friends at the pool and kids club. We’re staying at the Hilton pre-cruise, and JW Marriott post-cruise. Have fun! 

 

Bon voyage and have fun!  Watching your departure from San Marco Square.

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On 6/9/2019 at 8:09 PM, Jenjohncourt said:

Hope you have a fantastic cruise. We are going in August. I'm interested in hearing about the entertainment. Also, who is the Captain & cruise director? Thank you!!

 

The cruise director was Dave and assistant was Guido.  Dave from Australia and Guido from Australia.  Dave was very personable and took time to talk to us a few times.  Simba and Katarina with the entertainment team did a good job.  We knew both Guido and Simba from a previous sailing.

 

 We did some of the shows.  The two Russian aerial acrobats were fantastic.  There are two productions (Band on the Run and Paradis).  I liked Paradis better, but both were good.  My cruise was their first live performance.  We did not go to the Magician or Gaucho performances.  The performers always go to the 7th deck on the left side to give the guests and opportunity to speak with or take photographs with them.  The shows are only 45 minutes and start at 730 or 930.  Some nights there are only one show.

 

This was my first cruise with no sea days, so I skipped a lot of the things I normally do - did not do the trivia, bingo, or deal or no deal.  The musicians on board that gave performances at the atrium and bliss lounge were all pretty good.  There was karaoke every other night.  At any given time during the evening there were 2-3 different music performers around the ship.  

 

General tip on shows in the stardust - don’t sit in the first 4 rows.  The smoke machine is absurdly strong and blows well of the stage into the crowd in the first couple of rows.

 

I dont remember the captains name - he made no announcements - Dave made all announcements. I think the captain was German.

Edited by Stealthdog

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On 6/8/2019 at 2:30 AM, Say811 said:

Can’t wait for the updates...we are on this sailing on 6/23!  Most curious about shore excursions (did you book any with NCL??) and disembark process as I’ve been majorly stressing that our noon flight home is going to be tight.  

 

You should be fine.  They started disembarking at 740 (5 minutes early).  As time went on it seemed they were getting people off earlier than the posted time.  NCL provides the shuttles to the airport.  A noon flight should be easily manageable.  We had priority disembarkation, but it seemed like the process was really quick off the ship, getting luggage, and getting to transport.

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On 6/10/2019 at 2:41 PM, Jenjohncourt said:

Stealth dog,

THANK you so much for the fantastic update & pics. Looks like an excellent  start to a great cruise. Can't wait until my cruise in August.  Do you know anything about the beverage package upgrade that includes water & specialty coffee? 

Have a fun time & I look forward to hearing more. 

Cheers!

Jenny 🍾

 

Jenny - they were not pushing any upgrades and no one was trying to sell us anything.  We paid separately for a 24 pack of water.  They did have a spot in the atrium that sold coffees and deserts, but we never used it.  The coffee in the dining rooms is pretty weak though.  If there is an package upgrade I didn’t see it.  It may be worth it though for espresso and better coffees if you drink enough of that.

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On 6/11/2019 at 2:10 AM, paradiseawaitsme said:

Following.....Thank you for taking time out from your cruise.   We are on this ship October 3rd with this Itinerary and very excited.  Sister and I cruised the Epic from Barcelona last October but this will be our First time on a smaller ship(all “away ships so far) and first cruise my Son will be joining us on.  He is super excited for the Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik as most young adults are. 

 

Looking forward to your posts.  Have an awesome cruise!!!

 

Angela

 

Angela - I think your son would have a better experience with a private tour for the game of thrones vs the NCL tour.  If I could do it again, I’d do a private one through a third party.  The excursion group was just too large and I saw a ton of private tours with just 3-4 people.  Walking by them I could hear it was a lot more detailed, specific, and tailored to a small group. 

 

The production on the Star I thought was better than the Epic.  But, I missed the Howl at the Moon and Karaoke was not every night.

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