NCL Norwegian Star Cruise
The cruise ship Norwegian Star of NCL was first launched in 2001. It was later refurbished in 2010 with mostly cosmetic changes and addition of several cabins to increase the capacity. This 965-foot ship can now accommodate 2348 passengers on a double occupancy basis.
NCL Norwegian Star in Bermuda
Photo: nathanmac87, flickr, cc by 2.0
There are over 1,000 crews on board the ship to provide all kinds of services. The major highlights of the cruise includes the wide range of cabin and dining options. The ship has also significantly increased its onboard entertainment and activities.
Cabins or Staterooms
These are the cheapest cabins and have no ocean views. The 142 sq. ft. cabins have two beds that can be converted into a queen size bed for two. The seating area can be converted into bedding for additional two.
Ocean View Cabins
These cabins offer ocean view through window or port hole. Some have obstructed views. The 159 sq. ft. rooms have two beds that can convert into a queen size bed. Two more persons can be accommodated using additional bedding.
These rooms can accommodate three and ideal for a small family. The 203 sq. ft. rooms have two beds that be converted into a queen size bed and also a pull out sofa that can sleep one more. They have a floor to ceiling glass door that opens out into a nice private balcony. There are also aft facing balcony rooms that are slightly larger in size but have the same amenities.
All the standard rooms have closets and drawers, small fridge, TV, a desk with chair, mirror etc. They have split bathrooms with separate toilet and shower areas having sliding doors and a sink in between. Soap, shampoo and hand soaps are provided, all in pump bottles.
There are wide options here to pamper yourself to any level. The mini suites with balcony (283 sq. ft) offer separate sitting area, luxury bath with shower, two beds that can convert into a queen bed, additional bedding for two more persons, private balcony etc. The mid-ship suites have an advantage of easy access to all the facilities in the ship.
Family suites (409 sq. ft) with convertible queen bed, pull out sofa bed and additional bedding can sleep up to six persons. They have a separate dining space, wonderful view through large floor-to-ceiling glass windows, luxury bath with shower. All suites from Family Suites and upwards have concierge and butler service.
Penthouse suites with balcony (409 sq. ft) can sleep up to four with a queen bed and sofa bed. They additionally have a private balcony, a living and dining area. There are aft facing penthouse suites as well that are slightly smaller but have larger balconies with great views.
The 2-bedroom family suites with balcony (574 sq. ft.) can sleep up to five and ideal for a family. They additionally have a children's bedroom. The balconies are also larger.
Owner's Suites with double balconies (721 sq. ft) have king size beds and can sleep up to four persons. They additionally have an extra private balcony, a children's bedroom, mini bar, whirlpool tub etc. The Deluxe Owner's suites can sleep two more persons.
The 3-Bedroom 6,694 sq. ft. Villas are ultimate. They have three bedrooms with separate luxury bath with shower. Each room has King or Queen bed. There is a separate living room, dining room, private garden with hot tub, outdoor dining area, and a terrace. There is of course concierge and butler services.
Restaurant and Dining Options
Aqua - The Main Dining Room
This is the main dining room with 334 seats located mid ship. The meals are included in the cruise package. There are choices for light healthy meals as well.
Located on deck-7 and overlooking the Atrium, it serves light refreshments like burgers, sandwiches, chicken wings etc. It can accommodate 36 persons. Open 24 hours and food here is complimentary.
A traditional upscale steakhouse that can accommodate 108 persons. Cover charge of $25 per person applies.
Tex Mex menu like ribs and burritos. Located in the atrium. Has a bar with a stage for dancing. It can accommodate 136 persons. Cover charge of $10 per person applies.
Asian restaurant serving Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine as well as Asian fusion dishes. The restaurant accommodates 100. There is also a separate Sushi and Sashimi bar here that accommodates 20. Cover charge of $15 per person applies. A separate Teppanyaki room with a large table that can seat 12 at a time. You can sit and watch the food being prepared with great skills and served to you. Cover charge of $25 per person applies.
Restaurant serving classic French cuisine in a romantic setting. Accommodates 84. Cover charge of $20 per person applies.
Serves traditional Italian cuisine like pastas and pizzas. It's done up in a farmhouse or a village kitchen style. It can accommodate up to 96. Cover charge of $10 per person applies.
This is a dining space serving International cuisine. Accommodates 706 persons. The food included in the cruise package.
Another main dining room located at the aft and accommodates 491. Food is included in the cruise package.
Located on an open terrace having a Bavarian ambience. Accommodates 143.
Endless Summer Bar
Offers complimentary Tapas items when you buy drinks. It serves Latin/Tex-Mex dishes.
Gatsby's Champagne Bar
Great selections of Champagnes and Vodka. Grand wood finished decor with sofa seating offers an upscale and intimate ambience. It can seat 76 persons.
A coffee bar serving coffee, tea and snack items like pastries, cookies etc. It can seat 56 persons.
A large lounge with a full bar and a dance floor. Accommodates 504 persons.
It's located adjacent to the Cagney's Steakhouse. It's dark inside and overlooks the pool area. Seating provision for 63.
Star Club Casino Bar
Full bar and part of the Casino.
Red Lion Pub
Traditional English style pub offering draft beer, fish n' chips, pool table, large plasma TVs etc.
Topsiders Bar and Grill
Located near the Oasis pool. Can accommodate 534.
Barong Juice Bar
Offers wide range of fresh fruit juices and smoothies. It can accommodate 16.
Onboard Entertainment and Activities
Barong Fitness Center - full service Gym located on deck-12 at the aft and open from 6am to 11pm. Aerobics/fitness classes are offered.
Outdoor Volleyball / Basket ball court
Two golf driving nets
Six hot tubs, Jacuzzi and an indoor lap pool with thermal suit
Internet cafe with 50 seats
Jogging and Walking track
Mandara Spa - a full service spa and salon located on deck-11 offering wide range of treatments and services including facials and massages.
Planet Kids - A kids zone that offers art and crafts, movies, computer games, an indoor mini jungle gym etc.
Splash down kids pool - Rocket shaped slides, paddling pool and hot tubs for kids.
Star Club Casino - There are 158 slot machines. Other options include Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Poker and a bar. It can accommodate 371 persons.
Stardust Theatre - Opera House style auditorium spanning across three decks and offering Broadway and Vegas style shows that include magic, comedy, music and dance, visuals and more. It can accommodate 1037 persons.
Teen Club - It's located on deck-12 for teens to hang out and meet. It offers juke box, video wall, table for football etc. Video zone is located next to it. Accommodates 51.
The Galleria Shops - Departmental store offering wide range of branded products of all types.
Oasis Pool - The main pool with two hot tubs, and adjacent Topsiders Bar and Grill.
A Library and a Video zone
A wine cellar
Other Onboard Facilities and Services
Internet access in the rooms.
You can avail 24-hours room service in your cabins or suites.
With an additional cost ($5 per guest), you can also get a homemade pizza delivered to your room or any other place in the ship. This service is also available 24-hours. You will need to place the order over phone.
Cost that are outside the cruise deal
Watch out for these extra charges which are not covered in your basic cruise deal package:
As part of gratuity, the Norwegian Star adds $12 per person per day. For fitness classes and bar usage, the cruise line adds 15% gratuity. For Spa, gratuity is 18%.
There is a delivery charge on room service between mid-night and 5am.
Spa - While the Sauna and Steam rooms are complimentary, there is a $15 per day charge to use the Lap Pool, Jacuzzi and Hydro-pool.
There are cover charges for specialty restaurants (as mentioned under Restaurants and Dining Options).
Tap water, juice, coffee, iced and hot tea are the only free drinks on board.
You can not bring your own liquor on board other than limited quantity of wine in bottles. If you bring wine, there is a corkage fee.
There are no Laundromats on the ship, however they do offer dry cleaning services for a fee.
You can bring your own laptop or you can also rent one on board. It can come free with some internet access plans. There is a charge for internet service whether you use your own laptop or a rental.
For a child, only group sitting is available; evenings from 10 p.m. - 1 a.m.; in port from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Cost is $6 per child per hour.
Our overall review and opinion
The FreeStyle cruise allows a lot of flexibility in dining, entertainment and activities. You can dine any time and not at a fixed time of the day. Since there are lots of activities on board, this allows the guests to adjust the meal timings with the activities they plan. The FreeStyle concept also eliminates the need for any formal wear. The dress code in the cruise is casual most of the time, although some upscale restaurants may ask for cocktail wears.
Norwegian Star has put a lot of focus on children's and kids activities which is a great news for the families. In fact this ship is usually loaded with families and children.
The Star has a wide range of dining options. There are restaurants for almost all culinary taste, although most of them have cover charges.
The state rooms or the cabins in general have ample space. The balconies are quite spacious as well.
Some of the programs at the Stardust theater are really absorbing and are huge crowd pullers.
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