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Raiderhater

Review from 3-1 NCL Star

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Cruise Review for NCL STAR 3-1-06 8 day Mexican Riviera Cruise

This is our 1st cruise we are a couple in our early 30's

2-27-06

In our group is us and my friend and his wife who are on their honeymoon they had a room down 2 doors from us. Also MY DW’s parents had a suite on deck 11. Her mom has ALS and Dad wanted to take her on a Mexican Riviera cruise. Her caretaker also came with them. We met her parents in the Parking Lot at the Terminal.

We drove to San Diego today for our pre-cruise stuff. We checked into Comfort Inn in La Mesa for 2 days and hang out around Sea Port village on Monday night. On Tuesday we saw old town San Diego and also the USS Midway. We drove up to LA on Wednesday and made great time.

Embarkation:

We arrived at the cruise terminal around 11:15 and had to come back later because the ship was late getting in. We then drove to a park about 2 miles from the Pier and we just talked and played games on our palms and I made those last minute phone calls to people before we headed back to the Pier. We came back around 1:00pm and we were on the ship by 1:45pm. It was a pretty smooth process I thought. If you did not receive Luggage Tags they will provide them for you Just take your e-docs with you and they had a big sharpie and wrote your last name and stateroom number on the tag. We got our luggage right after the lifeboat drill.

Stateroom:

We are on the 4th deck in #4583. Small room but very nice for changing clothes and sleeping and downtime. We did get Towel animals on the next to last night on our bed when we got back from the show. We got chocolate on our pillows every night from Eric and Randi

Food

Overall the food was great in both dining rooms. We mostly ate dinner in the Aqua with our favorite Waiter Devin from Jamaica. We did eat at the buffet for breakfast and lunch and I will say the food there was average for the couple of times we did the Market Cafe. We did do a few of the specialty restaurants and I will say Ginza for the price was overrated to what I can get down the street from home. The Endless Summer and La Trattoria for dinner were about a 8 for the meals we had. Service was great and the food was average to me. We did not eat at Soho, Cangeys, and Le Bistro as these are 3 other cover charge priced restaurants. The best service we had was from Devin in both dining rooms for breakfast and lunch in the Versailles and dinner in the Aqua. When you come here for a week we eat like a king and queen. The funny part is I love to eat and with all the walking we did on and off the ship I actually lost 2 pounds and I ate like every couple of hours. . As for snacks there is free Ice Cream at the Juice Bar and free Grill food at the pool on deck 12 in the afternoon. The best meal of the trip was Teppanyaki on deck 7 in Ginza, It’s just like Bennihana in the states and for only $12.00 a person for an average combo and entertainment from our 2 chefs.

Shows and Entertainment:

The shows and entertainment are wonderful and get a 9 from me. The only downside to this is the Seats in the StarDust Theater are all on a slope and it feels that you are going to slide out of your seat and onto the floor. The best seats are on balcony level where the seats are normal like a chair and couch like seats. We managed to see most shows and our favorite was Dave Heenan a comedian from NY. We saw him 3 times with the last 2 being in our favorite lounge the Spinnaker Lounge on Deck 12. Fame was good and the Circus Pacific show was good.

We also saw family feud and the newly wed game was very entertaining. Lots of different activities everyday from Ice-carving to arts and crafts. Also all the movies played in the Cinema are on your TV in your room on channels 4-5. Sports fans also have ESPN on channel 6. There is a casino on deck 6 for those who like to gamble while the ship is out at sea.

Ports:

Manzanillo was our 1st port and from what I heard on the message boards there was not much to see in town unless you took a taxi to the beaches about 20 minutes from dock. We decided to stay on the ship and have lunch with DW parents and enjoyed visiting with them. My friends who did decide to go into town were not impressed and were back on the ship 90 minutes later. I figured if you did a shore Excursion here you were happy. After Dry-dock the original Itinerary resumes with Acapulco and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa. We did receive a $100.00 credit per room for the revised Itinerary which we used on photos.

Puerto Vallarta:

Here we took a Van downtown with other people at $3.00 a person and we went shopping. DW had to get a Hard Rock Polo Shirt and we had lunch at Senor Frogs. Walked back through town along the bay and took a cab to Wal-Mart bought some bottled water and walked 10 minutes back to the ship across the main road.

Mazatlan:

Here we took a cab to the Golden Zone spend about 90 minutes walking around town took a taxi back to the ship and saw cliff divers on the way back.

Cabo San Lucas:

Here in Cabo every ship has to tender in to the dock area. Here we hired a taxi for $60.00 for 2 hours and the 5 of us DW and her parents and DW’s Mom’s nurse and me. He drove us around town and showed us different resorts and homes and downtown Cabo and we even stopped at a glass blowing factory. Came back to the Tender Dock and back to the ship. We all had to be back by 1:00 in the afternoon .

Overall the ports were fun to walk around and see things and get some exercise and some photos here and there which I will post later on Webshots for you all to see. We want to do the same ship for Alaska later this year and would like to do this same cruise again with the original ports. The last day in a half the sea was pretty rough heading back up the coast to LA We noticed a lot of people were getting Sick. FYI Take ginger pills with you and you will not have any problems at all. If any of you have questions feel free to e-mail me at brettski0725@yahoo.com and I will answer your questions. Please put NCL Star in the subject line.

Disembarkation:

This was a total mess to us. We chose to do the express walk off. The way this works is that you have to carry all of your luggage off the ship and have independent transportation. We got up at 6 went to the buffet for breakfast and stayed in our rooms until Customs cleared the ship. Around 8:15 we were cleared to go. The big mess was if you are on the lower decks you have to go up to deck 7 and the gangway. People who did not open their ears came all the way down to deck 4 like the 4 ports to get off the ship that means the people on deck 4 and deck 5 never could get on the elevators right away. We finally told people this is where you get off and we got on and they were not happy at all. Right after we had gotten on the elevator the announcement came on again and the people who just got off could not get back in right away. There was a pretty big line to get off the ship. People up on the decks were just laughing at us as we just moved slowly towards the terminal. I think they have been there before. Next time we will just hang out on the deck and watch everyone go through what we did.

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IMO you should have got off at all of the Ports, even though Manzanillo looks like a working port which it is. There are some beautiful beaches just 15-20 minutes away. We were with a group and most agreed this was one of the best ports because of the beach we went to. The pay resruraunts were well worth the money, Le Bistro was excellent as was Cagneys. I think Cabo was way to short and it would be nice to spend a late evening in one of the ports. yes waiting to disembark is the best as the lines and excursions have left,but if i had my own car there i might have lrft early also. Have fun in Alaska, we will be doing that one next year.

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Thanks for posting a review. I printed it out to read later when I have time.

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Nice review thanks for all the details. Let us know when you have your pictures posted.

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Hi....interesting reading all the reviews of the ship that we were on also...all in all it was fine....not as upscale as Princess....the only real fault I had is my wife and I like to swim in the pool and it was unheated for the whole trip...warmed up some in Man and Pv but was hardly over 75 degrees...I asked one of the crew and they said it was an unheated pool...????....pity those on the Alaska run then....the last day the pool was closed and even the spa pool was closed...oh well....

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Thanks for the review. Always interested in others opinions of the Star as this will be out first cruise this October.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to post.

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