NCL Star Mexican Riviera – Sink or Sail

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Every cruise has its positives and negatives, and one cruiser’s positive might be another’s negative. Since every sailing has different passengers, incidents on one sailing might not exist on another. Although we hope that our comments are objective, we know that since they reflect our preferences or tolerance level that whatever we say should be weighed appropriately. We have tried to offer solutions to any problems rather than simply pointing out what we felt were some of the minor drawbacks or annoyances of this cruise. Of course, we include select positives because there were so many of them that it would take forever to list them. Besides, positives don’t make good copy.

Sail (the positives)

  • Like the Freestyle Dining concept. We rarely had to wait for a table and when we did the line moved quickly.
  • Embarkation was quick with a special line for Latitudes members of every level.
  • The ship was clean.
  • Our room stewards were efficient.
  • There were more activities than we could ever participate in.
  • The Cooking Light menu was tasty.
  • Front reception was very helpful and pleasant.
  • Service was good, although sometimes painfully slow in Versailles.
  • The ship was very easy to navigate.

  • Sink – (The Negatives)

  • The mattress was worn. With the new Freestyle 2.0, the bedding is to be replaced.
  • Diapered kids in the hot tubs are absolutely disgusting. Maybe children should be forbidden from entering the tubs and the rules should be enforced. There are ample babysitting and child supervision services available.
  • Lecturers should be experts in their fields or have some knowledge of the subject matter.
    I attended the first half of the Maya and Aztec Civilization lecture. I left halfway through after hearing so much inaccurate information from the speaker. From his listed academic background, the best I could gather was that he has a degree in economics. That is perhaps the reason that he showed a photo of El Castillo and called it Uxmel (sic). He called another famous site Bompark. His dates and timelines were wrong and he actually claimed to know the reason for the Maya population decrease – clay. I am not sure where he got any of this information, but how sad for the people who thought they were going to a factual lecture about the Maya. I left before the start of the Aztec part of the program because I couldn’t bear to hear any more of his conjecture or revisionist history. Does NCL think that its passengers are ignorant? This same lecturer was to speak again but this time about the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. That must be when Columbus came and conquered Mexico. Anybody interested in the Maya Civilization should read something by Michael Coe.

  • We all need not be perfect in our pronunciation; however, the cruise director should be able to correctly pronounce cha-cha, sommelier and any other words that he uses in his announcements. Instructing passengers to mark “excellent” for everything on the evaluation form if you had fun on your cruise is rather presumptuous.
  • Disembarkation. When you return to San Pedro, you will go through immigration on the ship. This wouldn’t be so bad if they just organized the line better. On our cruise, they told us to use certain elevators and when we got off at that floor, we found the line up several flights of stairs. There didn’t seem to be any reason why they couldn’t organize the line so that it didn’t snake up the stairs.
  • The Star Theatre balcony isn’t really well-laid out for seeing the stage. If you want to be in the balcony, go early and find the few seats with a full view of the stage, otherwise, stay on the lower level.

    Most of these negatives can be easily worked around, not counting the bed. Even that didn’t seriously affect our enjoyment of this cruise.

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