7 Day Cruise review Julie October 2018 Travel
7 Day Greek Isles Cruise with Norwegian Star, Sept 30 to Oct 7, 2018. We went with a group of about 135 from our church so did not personally research and select this cruise. However, we decided it would be a good fit for our family of 4 (two daughters ages 6 and 3) because of the relatively short length of the cruise, the on-board children's program (starting at age 3) and the ports.
The Norwegian Star was a medium sized ship compared to what we have been on with Royal Caribbean, however it had great amenities with a variety of restaurants, exvellent children's program and plenty of places you could relax and visit with friends and family. We loved our room, an ocean view mini-suite with a balcony. It was larger than our previous cruise room, having a full size tub and plenty of closet space. Our stops included Venice, Montenegro, Mykonos, Corfu, Santorini, Dubrovnik Croatia. All were beautiful!
Restaurants/ Bars and Food
We enjoyed a variety of group meals in Versailles restaurant; great service. The Garden cafe was our most common spot for quick, easy buffet style meals which worked well with a young family on the go. The Ginza Japanese restaurant was tasty but it was essential to get there early or there was a long wait.
Beached / Pools and Grounds
There was only one pool on the Norwegian Star - they have removed the children's slides that show up in some online searches. However there were not many children or swimmers on the ship such that we never had a problem accessing the pool. The water was quite chilly at times but the kids didn't mind. There were 6 hot tubs around the ship (2 adult only) which were great. My husband had a good time using the basketball courts daily and we spotted some having fun with the person size chess board
Kids + Entertainment
Our children loved "Splash Academy". They were in separate classes (3-5, 6-9). They had different themes each day and always wanted to stay longer when we arrived to puck them up. The program shut down at almost every meal time which wasn't always helpful but overall we made it work so that we still had some adult time and lots of family time. We caught a few shows in the evenings which included an illusionist, contortionist, and a musical. They were all very well done.
First World Problems + Tips and Tricks
One disappointment was that the cruise had to change the order of ports last minute which resulted in our ship not always being able to dock - for 3 of the 5 stops we had to take tender boats from the ship to the port. This was a challenge because 2000+ people seeking to fit into boats carrying 80 people at a time causes a lot of long lines. This required that people get a ticket for the tender at 6:30am each day which actually meant people camping out as early as 5am to get a decent spot in the line. That was not the most relaxing task on a vacation. Generally I do not believe this is an issue and is not something you can predict will happen when booking your trip. Best to just go with the flow.
We did excursions with our church group 3 of the 5 stops and those ended up being our favorite places. If you are busy with young children, going on an organized excursion is a treat as the time to plan and prepare may not always be an option and will limit your enjoyment in your destination.
What your overall Rating 5