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Belfair Belle's Sister

Returned from 7/25 Cruise STAR

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Everything went well for us on this trip. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Went so quickly couldn't remember how I usually hate both experiences. NCL had a lot of staff assisting passengers at both points. We thought the food was very good as well as the service. Ate in the resturants included with the cruise. I'm not fond of buffets so mainly ate in the main dining area including La Trattoria. Aqua was open as well as the Market Buffet when we arrived on the ship. We chose the Aqua and it was a very lovely beginning to the cruise. Most people had chosen the buffet! We never waited in line for the restaurants but we are early eaters. Unfortunately couldn't stay awake for the chocolate buffet!

 

No problems waiting in line on returning to the ship from the excursions. A little bit of a wait when leaving in groups.

 

The only "bad weather" day was in Juneau. It rained all afternoon but didn't spoil our fun at the Mendenhall Glacier or the rainforest. The Butchert Gardens in Victoria are beautiful and the fireworks display was magnificient. However, very crowded!!! Wish we had more time in the various ports.

 

The entertainment was excellent especially the 3 major productions! We enjoyed an entertainer who came on the ship in Skagway. His name is Steve Hites and does a show late afternoon. He calls himself an Alaskan saloon singer. He has performed at the Red Dog in Juneau. There are many activities. However, I did hear one complaint that there wasn't enough to do.

 

We had a balcony room and saw many whales on the way in to Juneau. Also, Glacier Bay is quite an experience. Experienced calving of the glacier at least 5 times.

 

I now have the "post cruise blues"!! Any questions please ask! Bon Voyage to the future cruisers on the STAR to Alaska!

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Belfair Belle's Sister,

Thanks so much for posting your review! I'm getting so excited - we leave August 29 and so glad to hear everyone is having such a wonderful time! We too have a balcony room and looking forward to the possiblity of seeing whales and other wildlife.

 

What time did you arrive in Juneau? Did you use the spa or fitness facilities at all? What were they like?

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We arrived in Juneau at noon. They tendered for 2 hrs. and then docked after that time. The weather in the AM was very nice and we even ate lunch on deck. As we were about to leave the ship the rains came. Be sure to pack some ponchos or raincoat.

 

I did not use the spa but my husband went to the pool and hot tub there. He enjoyed it thoroughly and even met one of the couples from the show who told him about their experiences on the ship. Be sure to get a tour of the spa on your first day onboard. They have many types of services and of course can even enter the drawings for some free services. Through the week they are always offering specials at the spa. Hope you enjoy it!

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Belfair Belle's Sister, Thanks so much for your review. We leave this week-end!! I wanted to ask you if there was an entertainer called Jane Powell who performed on the ship? Did you dock or tender in Ketchikan? What about docking in Victoria? How much was the shuttles to town? Thanks for the info.

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Yes, Jane L. Powell entertained twice. Once during the week and on Sat. at about 4:30 PM before docking at Victoria.

 

We tendered in Ketchican and were right in town so a shuttle wasn't necessary. If you are on a pre-arranged tour you do not need to pick up a tender ticket. We took a tour to Saxman Village so the bus picked us up right after we left the ship and returned us downtown to do a little shopping. (A short block to the dock).There are city buses available however, I'm not sure of the cost. I might add that the walk up the gangway from the tender is very steep and my husband and I both commented that a person who has a difficult time walking would have trouble. It would be difficult in a wheelchair but I'm sure that the NCL staff would be of assistance. There were a number of people on the ship in motorized carts and I saw the staff picking one up to load it on a tender for a passenger.

 

We also docked in Victoria. Again we had a tour and picked us up at the dock. Not sure of the cost of a shuttle or cab. If you prefer to go to Butchart Gardens I would recommend taking the ship's tours as there is quite a bit of traffic and if you get in a traffic jam the ship is not going to wait for you! There are horse drawn carriages too right after disembarking the ship. Don't know the cost.

 

There are shuttles in Skagway and the cost is $1.50. Really not that far to the town. For a walker not really bad.

 

In Juneau the shuttles to town are complimentary.

 

I would also like to thank everyone who wrote previously about the STAR because it helped us tremendously with the little tips we picked up.Anything else?

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I was on the July 18th Starcruise and my husband and I spent lots of time at the spa - the facilities are wonderful. We both had several massages plus I had a facial. Be warned, services are not cheap but well worth what you spend. The indoor pool is great because children are not allowed. There are also two hot tubs that are child free! The spa is located at the stern of the ship and is totally glassed in so the views are beautiful.

Liz

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Belfair Belle's Sister: Thank you so much for your detailed information. It is very helpful. I'm glad you had a great trip!

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Hi Sis!

 

I agree with you on all your comments. Great ship, great food, great fun!

 

Belfair Belle (aka "Winter Texan")

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I am considering this ship for next year. Is there a casino onboard? I read somewhere that they were converting to add one. What was there to do for teens? Do they have a decent hang out room?

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