CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star Hawaii June 22, 2003

This cruise was by far the best I have taken. From the stateroom, the ship, the ports, and the staff, everything would be rated excellent. I never got a crowded feeling on the Star even though the ship was sold out with over 2,000 passengers.

Although some reviewers did not like Fanning Island, we thought it as a great experience and are glad we made the visit. Where else can you see what Hawaii was like over a hundred years ago?

I suggest that you book your excursions in advance, as I did, through NCL. I noticed lines at the excursion desk each day. The other places that there was a line was for the formal portraits by the ship photographer.

Dining in the Versailles was far better than upstairs. The gourmet menu varied and the flaming deserts (even though not at your table) were great with a different one each night. In fact we never made it to any of the specialty dining rooms. On formal night, there was a wait so get there early to put your name on the list.

The ship is spotless and our room steward cleaned the stateroom twice a day with rubber gloves. He also made sure our ice bucket was always full in the refrigerator.

Our stateroom was port side mid-ship with a balcony. It was wonderful to wake in the morning and step out to see the sunrise or the view.

The layout of the stateroom appeared larger than the actual square footage. There was plenty of storage and closet space. The bags can fit easily under the bed.

Deck chairs were on first come first got basis so the prime ones around the pool get taken early. But I found that if you go forward on deck 12 there are more as well as another hot tub. Another area is the helipad in the stern that you can set out deck chairs.

If you are taking a lot of pictures, I would recommend you buy film in Hawaii (like at an ABC Store) and have it developed on the ship. The prices were very reasonable (about $3.99 roll). This way your photos will not get "washed out" like ours did by the airport screening x-rays.

Coffee drinkers should head for the Blue Lagoon (open 24 hours) to grab a cup. It is the best coffee on the ship. I was told it was because it is brewed fresh by the pot as opposed to the big urns. There are also paper cups so you can take it with you.

Oh, one last thing. On sailing night, there were music and hula dancers on the pier bidding us bon voyage. The ship then turns and goes past Waikiki. Don't get carried away and skip dinner in the Versailles (or Aqua) dinning room and miss the great Prime Rib.

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