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TheTides

Star - 9 Night Greek Isles Review

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16 hours ago, forbjz said:

I have a question about money in Dubrovnik. Did they take Euros or did you have to change money?

 

 

Yes they will take Euros. Better yet they will also take credit cards.  We never needed to change currency which was a blessing.  Especially after our last ATM experience. 

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Final Day and summary:

 

I know its for most the last day of vacation, but if you can, watching the sail-in for venice is special.  We got up around 530 to watch us traverse the canals... only a few hours before MSC would crash into the riverboat!

 

We had an 11:15 flight back to the US, and since we had read horror stories about getting to the airport on time, we bought NCL transportation for 20 pp and did self disembarkation.  This process really couldn’t have been easier.  We walked off at 7:50, and were escorted on the bus at 8.  Once it filled up we were off to the airport.  The NCL representative walked us to our gate and wished us a safe journey home.  All in all it couldn’t have been easier, and a perfect way to end the trip.  

 

Final Thoughts

This was a really amazing cruise.  The nine night length is the perfect length, as you are able to dive deeper into an amazing area, and having a new port every day for us makes it even better.  The port times were great, as we were able to explore in-depth every port, but stil had enough time to relax on the ship as well.  The food was okay to great, but really didnt have too many dishes or meals that you were impressed by.  I think Celebrity does a better job overall on the food and specialty dining, but there is a beauty of freestyle dining in Europe which makes it great.  Our room steward was fantastic, service was hit or miss, but overall one of our best cruises thanks to such incredible ports, and the Star was a great way to go from place to place.  If NCL is listening PLEASE hire more servers and bartenders.... it should not take 45 minutes to get appetizers...  I am all for leisure dining but that shows how understaffed you really are.  Also please be more imaginative in food selections!  But for all who are planning to head to the Greek Isles GO. Honestly not only one of our favorite cruises but favorite cruises of all time.  Thank you all for joining me on this journey and if you have any questions left do not hesitate to ask!

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Thank you so much for the review.  I will be boarding the Star on 15th September.  You have helped me finalise some of my details.  

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Thank you for the wonderful review and beautiful pictures.  Also on a September sailing.  I'm more excited than ever.

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Thank you for the review! Looking at doing this cruise this November and this gets me very excited. For flights back, would you say that a 10:40am flight would be do able? That's the latest I can find without having to do an overnight layover somewhere. 

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1 minute ago, Jaclyn1945 said:

Thank you for the review! Looking at doing this cruise this November and this gets me very excited. For flights back, would you say that a 10:40am flight would be do able? That's the latest I can find without having to do an overnight layover somewhere. 

I did a similar itinerary and would advise an overnight if you cannot locate a later flight. 10:40am would be cutting it way too close especially if the airport is a significant distance from the cruise terminal. I wanted to fly home the day my cruise ended in Civitavecchia (6am)and I ended up regretting the decision as I had NCL booked me a flight that left at 11:50am from FCO. Because I had an NCL flight and transfer, I was able to get off the ship at 7am and the shuttle left closer to 7:30am so my nerves were on edge the entire morning worrying about missing my flight. I ended up catching it as the shuttle ride only took an hour (I was told 1.5 hours) but I would not wish that anxiety on anyone. Allow yourself at least 6 hours between arrival time at port and flight time. Book NCL airport transfer to get priority off the ship.

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I did a similar itinerary and would advise an overnight if you cannot locate a later flight. 10:40am would be cutting it way too close especially if the airport is a significant distance from the cruise terminal. I wanted to fly home the day my cruise ended in Civitavecchia (6am)and I ended up regretting the decision as I had NCL booked me a flight that left at 11:50am from FCO. Because I had an NCL flight and transfer, I was able to get off the ship at 7am and the shuttle left closer to 7:30am so my nerves were on edge the entire morning worrying about missing my flight. I ended up catching it as the shuttle ride only took an hour (I was told 1.5 hours) but I would not wish that anxiety on anyone. Allow yourself at least 6 hours between arrival time at port and flight time. Book NCL airport transfer to get priority off the ship.
The port is a 20 min cab ride from the airport. I know I should do the overnight, just would be nice to get home Sunday.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk

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30 minutes ago, Jaclyn1945 said:

The port is a 20 min cab ride from the airport. I know I should do the overnight, just would be nice to get home Sunday.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
 

Which port will you be disembarking the cruise? Venice? Things to keep in mind is that the time that the cruise arrives to the port isn't the time you'll be able to exit the ship (it has to clear the port authorities before anyone can exit the ship). Also, NCL has a priority system in terms of when people can exit so unless you have an airport transfer or some other priority, you might have a wait before you can get off the ship. Also, their could be a customs check (I was advised this but fortunately, did not have any customs inspections at Civitavecchia). Also, if your cruise involves a non-EU country (such as Croatia), there could be a border check (I didn't experience this and we did Dubrovnik ... Our last three port stops were in Italy). Also, not sure how easy it would be to hail a taxi once you are cleared to go. So many variables so I'd advise you to speak with NCL and the airline prior to booking the 10:40am flight. Best of luck to you. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jaclyn1945 said:

Thank you for the review! Looking at doing this cruise this November and this gets me very excited. For flights back, would you say that a 10:40am flight would be do able? That's the latest I can find without having to do an overnight layover somewhere. 

I think a 10:40 flight is absolutely doable.  We were in the airport by 8:30, and that will give you at least 2 hours to get to your gate.  I have read all these horror stories of the Venice airport, but out experience was extremely pleasant.  With that being said, you were only able to book NCL’s transportation if your flight was after 11.  I also am the type of person who shows up at the airport 45 minutes before the door shuts (pre-check), so feel very comfortable cutting it close.  Just wanted to put that frame of reference there!

Edited by TheTides

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I think that the big factor in the 'cutting it close' decisions is 'what would happen if you didn't make it?'

 

  • If it means you miss an important meeting
  • If missing the flight would make rebooking a very expensive option.  

 

then maybe it is not worth it.  If your insurance covers you, and your boss can schedule you an extra day of annual leave - it is worth the risk.  

 

I doubt that it would be worth it.  I am leaving Venice on a 9 pm flight and taking an extra day of leave because it was the only afternoon non-stop I could find.  I would have spent the whole trip worrying about the arrival time.  On reflection I should have stayed overnight and caught an early flight the next morning.  I thought about that option after I had booked my flight.   

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We actually are doing just that.  We arrive and have one more day/evening in Venice and leave at 11am the next morning.  I just didn't want the stress at the end of our wonderful vacation worrying about getting to the airport on time.  I wanted to just keep things low key to the very end.

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We set sail on the Star in 2 weeks. Cannot wait and thank you for the great review and all of the information. Couple questions.

A lot of the Norwegian material about the ports and the excursions mentions a requirement for not wearing shorts. Was this something that was enforced or is wearing shorts in the ports and on the excursions okay?

Do you need to pay for, or sign up for access to, use of H2O?

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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16 hours ago, michaelp68 said:

We set sail on the Star in 2 weeks. Cannot wait and thank you for the great review and all of the information. Couple questions.

A lot of the Norwegian material about the ports and the excursions mentions a requirement for not wearing shorts. Was this something that was enforced or is wearing shorts in the ports and on the excursions okay?

Do you need to pay for, or sign up for access to, use of H2O?

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

Great Questions!

 

1. Quite possibly you may need to wear pants.  With that being said, we wore shorts every day of our trip in Greece. (Pants in Venice, but it was in the 60’s). When we were in Rhodes, we had to cover our shoulders and legs to enter a certain Greek Orthodox Church, but they gave you the appropriate thing to wear at the entrance of the church!

 

2.  H20 is complimentary. Depending on where you are coming from, just head to the aft of the ship. This is also a great place to eat in the mornings as there was rarely anyone back here before 11 am.

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1 hour ago, TheTides said:

Great Questions!

 

1. Quite possibly you may need to wear pants.  With that being said, we wore shorts every day of our trip in Greece. (Pants in Venice, but it was in the 60’s). When we were in Rhodes, we had to cover our shoulders and legs to enter a certain Greek Orthodox Church, but they gave you the appropriate thing to wear at the entrance of the church!

 

2.  H20 is complimentary. Depending on where you are coming from, just head to the aft of the ship. This is also a great place to eat in the mornings as there was rarely anyone back here before 11 am.

I appreciate the information.  Thank you.

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enjoyed this report so much with all the pictures... I am now thinking Greece is somewhere I'd love to go....

Do you have pictures of your cabin? 

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Thanks for the Great review.  Going on the  October 6th Star out of Venice and you have given us a lot of info.  Your pictures were awesome.  Can't wait for this cruise!!

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On 6/11/2019 at 9:53 AM, George48 said:

We are on this cruise in September.  The water taxi sounds great.  Would you share how much and where you booked it.  Looking forward to September.

We are sailing also in September.  We have been to Venice twice before and I used the same service then - Motoscafi Venezia.  You purchase your ticket online before you arrive so one less thing to do before you get there.  Here is the website if you are interested - https://www.motoscafivenezia.it/en/

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Wonderful photos. One question about NCL Star, does it have the evening crepe station in the buffet?

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thank you for the wonderful review! We did a 7 day on the Star last October from Venice. We didn't have the same ports.

For those looking for a hotel in Venice, I would highly recommend Santa Chiara. It's on the water, right by the stop for the airport bus, and close to the train to get to the ship. Very delightful place.

 

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