Last October, I was able to embark on a dream cruise around the United Kingdom onboard one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s oldest ships, Norwegian Star.
This voyage quickly became one of my favorite cruises, and it was largely due to the great itinerary and awesome ship.
I sailed with fellow Cruise.Blog writer Allie, who agreed that Norwegian Star is also now one of her favorite cruise experiences!
Norwegian Star is one of the oldest ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, being built in 2001. Despite its 20+ year age, Norwegian Star was recently refurbished in 2021, bringing it up to modern standards and ensuring it will last for many cruises into the future.
Norwegian Star measures 91,740 gross registered tons and is capable of accommodating up to 2,348 guests at double capacity. The ship spans 965 feet in overall length and employs 1,031 crew members onboard.
Here are 10 reasons why I wouldn't hesitate to book another cruise onboard the ship and why you should consider one, too!
#10 - Comfortable And Modern Staterooms
(These older staterooms have been expertly refurbished and are comfortable)
Something that I appreciated about Norwegian Star was just how comfortable and modern the staterooms were. We stayed in the most affordable category of stateroom onboard: the standard inside stateroom.
This room had a surprising amount of space, plenty of storage, and modern amenities. For a longer sailing, this room was perfect for two people.
I appreciated how modern the bathroom was as well. The shower comprised of a sliding door, which can be somewhat rare onboard older cruise ships. Additionally, there was plenty of counter and shelf space for us to store toiletries throughout our sailing.
I also enjoyed the two desk areas, which came in handy for storage and getting ready each morning of the cruise. We felt that our room was the perfect home at sea and provided the perfect place to sleep and relax during our cruise.
Guests will find all the modern amenities they can expect onboard any newer cruise ship, such as a refrigerator and several European and US outlets.
#9 - Main Dining Experiences
The main dining onboard Norwegian Star was different than any other Norwegian ship I have been on so far. There are two main dining restaurants onboard, as well as several other complimentary dining venues.
The two main dining restaurants provide their own unique style and atmosphere for guests to enjoy.
At the Versailles, guests will be emerged into the world of French and Parisian style. We greatly enjoyed this main dining room and ate here several times throughout our 10-day sailing.
The second main dining restaurant is called Aqua.
Aqua has a more modern and sophisticated design and atmosphere than Versailles and offers a more intimate dining experience that is similar to a fancy restaurant, whereas Versailles is a beautiful space reminiscent of a classy large dining room.
I appreciated how different these two dining venues are, as they give guests more variety. I also appreciated that menus were the same each night in both restaurants. This ensures that no guest is missing out, regardless of which main dining venue they're at.
Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the main dining restaurants onboard. It is important to check Norwegian’s Freestyle Daily, the onboard ship schedule for the exact times when the two restaurants will be open.
We enjoyed all of our meals onboard Norwegian Star, and I was thoroughly impressed with how tasty the food was!
#8 - Six Complimentary Dining Options
(Entrance to complimentary Ginza)
Something that we enjoyed about Norwegian Star was the six complimentary dining locations onboard.
Most Norwegian Cruise Line ships have around three to four complimentary dining locations; therefore, six on Norwegian Star is more than usual!
The six complimentary dining locations onboard the Norwegian Star include the Versailles dining room, Aqua dining room, Ginza Asian restaurant, Garden Cafe buffet, and Topsider's Bar & Grill.
Our personal favorite complimentary dining locations onboard were Versailles and Ginza Asian.
I appreciated the presence of the Ginza, as many newer NCL vessels do not always have a complimentary Asian restaurant onboard.
#7 - Lots of Outdoor Space To Take In Views
On our sailing onboard Norwegian Star, we cruised around the United Kingdom and British Isles. This means there were plenty of opportunities for some stunning ocean views. Thankfully, there were a plethora of outdoor areas to them all in!
Norwegian Star has a great jogging and walking track and area that wraps around the entire top deck of the ship. This is an ideal place for a stroll during the sunrise while sailing past exciting destinations.
Additionally, the wrap-around Deck on 7 is another place to take in impressive views and scenery. Each day of our cruise onboard, we went to Deck 7 to see the ship sail away from the shore and wave goodbye to each port.
Another great place for guests to enjoy the outdoors while onboard is the Spice H2O bar and lounge, an adult-only escape.
Additionally, guests can relax by the expansive pool or pick one of the six hot tubs onboard to unwind in.
Located on Deck 12, guests will find the main pool deck onboard the Norwegian Star. The main pool has two hot tubs that are located near Topsider's Bar & Grill.
There is no shortage of outdoor areas onboard Norwegian Star, and I am sure that all passengers will easily discover their new favorite spot during their cruise!
#6 - Classic Bars And Lounges
Guests who are fans of NCL will be happy to find that some of the cruise line’s classic bars can be found onboard.
One of my personal favorites is the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. This bar is common onboard many NCL ships, such as the Breakaway Plus Class vessels. The Sugarcane Mojito Bar is where passengers can sample many different types of the classic cocktail, as well as a unique mojito flight.
Additionally, guests will be able to find the Spice H2O venue, which, in addition to providing great outdoor and ocean views, is also a classic lounge and bar area.
For those who enjoy a good dram of whiskey, a stop by the Proof Whiskey Bar onboard the Norwegian Star is a must. It offers both handcrafted cocktails and classic librations.
(Dance party in the Bliss Ultra Lounge onboard Norwegian Star)
Another great bar and lounge onboard is the Bliss Ultra Lounge. This venue is a great spot for nightlife, live music, and onboard entertainment.
#5 - Easy To Navigate
Norwegian Cruise Line has proved again and again that they are a key player in the cruise line industry. Norwegian Star, while an older ship of 20+ years, has been recently refurbished, making it a modern and suitable choice for an exciting cruise vacation.
One of the things that I discovered about the ship was just how easy it is to navigate. There is a lot to see and explore onboard Norwegian Star. Yet, this smaller ship is easy for guests to navigate and get around during their cruise.
Some of the largest ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet can seem intimidating in their large size, whereas Norwegian Star is a manageable smaller size that can be perfect for a longer and port-intensive cruise itinerary.
#4 - Affordable Sailings
We were originally drawn to the Norwegian Star when we were browsing the available Northern European cruise itineraries.
Norwegian Cruise Line is rare in that they offer sailings to the Northern European region during off-seasons, such as fall and winter. Oftentimes, these off-season sailings are cheaper and can be booked at a more affordable price.
For our 10-night cruise around the British Isles, we paid $3,000 for two people. This price included the cruise, airfare roundtrip from the United States, and taxes and fees. Relatively speaking, this is a great price for a European vacation with airfare!
(There is great complimentary entertainment onboard the Norwegian Star, including some impressive variety acts)
Norwegian Star is an older ship, and this plays into the more affordable pricing of its sailings. For this reason, I always recommend taking a look at an older cruise ship, as they may have the best itineraries at the best prices!
#3 - Seven Specialty Dining Options
For guests who wish to elevate their dining experiences, they will not have to look far.
Onboard Norwegian Star, guests can choose from seven different specialty dining venues. These specialty dining restaurants include Moderno Churrascaria, La Cucina, Atrium Cafe (serving Starbucks coffee), Cagney’s Steakhouse, Le Bistro, Sushi, and Teppanyaki.
These specialty restaurants all cost an additional charge to eat at. Some of these restaurants charge a la carte, while others such as the Teppanyaki restaurant charge a flat cover.
Norwegian Cruise Line is known for their onboard specialty dining, and it is encouraging to see great specialty options on one of their older ships.
#2 - Good Option For Multi-Generational Cruise
Norwegian Cruise Line prides itself on being able to offer a cruise experience that is great for everyone. This extends to every member of the family.
Personally, I think that Norwegian Star could be a good option for a multi-generational cruise vacation. While the ship does not have all the bright and shiny amenities as some of its newest ships, Norwegian Star does have things onboard that can make for a great cruise for the whole family.
Onboard Norwegian Star, guests can find youth programming that's divided into three different groups: Guppies, Splash Academy, and Entourage. These clubs cater to children from the ages of 6 months to 17 years.
Guppies is an open play area designed for young children of 6 months to 3 years, whereas Splash Academy is a drop-off program for children of 4 years to 12 years. Finally, Entourage is a teen club designed for passengers 12 to 17 years of age.
These kids' clubs allow the youngest cruisers to engage in fun activities alongside other children their age and make new friends.
Norwegian Star is an easily manageable size, has great complimentary dining options, an excellent selection of itinerary types, and many different types of staterooms onboard. All of these reasons make this ship a great contender for a multi-generational family cruise vacation.
#1 - Awesome Itineraries
As I have stated several times, Norwegian Star is one of my favorite NCL ships for the great itineraries it offers.
Currently, Norwegian Star sails to the following destinations: the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, and Transatlantic Sailings. Many of the places that Norwegian Star visits are rare among cruise lines.
Guests can visit many awesome places on one cruise with Norwegian Star. For this reason, this older ship should be considered for your next sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line.
After our 10-day sailing onboard Norwegian Star, we came to love and admire this older ship
While this ship is old, its recent refurbishment has made it quite modern, and combined with an awesome cruise itinerary, this ship quickly became one of our favorite cruise experiences with Norwegian Cruise Line!