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Trip Report NCL Star 8/30 trip report

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Trip was an anniversary trip for two couples. My husband & I & friends had Annv. 1 wk. apart. They took a cruise 5 yrs. ago & invited us to go along. We cruised Alaska with another couple last year & talked about going back...didn't think it would be this soon!
AA out of DFW, nothing eventful. we went to find transport & as I had read here a Limo was the right way to go. My husband asked the shuttle co. for a price, it was $55 for 4 people. a Limo was $45! brainer!!
We were driven to The Moore downtown. Checked our bags & began to walk the area. We went to Pike Market & Ivar's Fish Bar for chowder.We than went to the Seattle Aqurium & rode the free "Trolley" until it was time to check in.
After some rest in the room we had dinner at the Crab Pot. A lot of fun & a lot of food!
DAY 2. We has breakfast at Lowell's in the Market & than picked up a car for the day. We drove to Mt Rainer, which we dubbed "Mt. Rainy er" We drove around in the fog & rain , but still had a lot of fun.Returned the car by 7PM & went back to The Moore to rest. We walked 1 blk. to the Virginia Inn for dinner..very good.
DAY 3. Breakfast at Lowell's again. Took the ferry to Banbridge Island. Walked around the island for a while & than had lunch at the Harbor Pub..again another great meal. Rode back to the mainland & to The Moore.We were tired and fell asleep without dinner (our friends walked to Ivar's for some more chowder).
DAY 4. Lowell's again!! Packed our things back in our luggage. We walked to the was only 6 blks. & all down hill. We were on the ship by 12 noon. Had lunch in Versailles. The banana soup was very good (thanks CC posters) I had the beef salad ..not good. The room was ready & we went to wait for our bags one by one they appeared. We & our friends asked the steward to open the partition on the balcony. After asking 3-4 times he opened it. Our beds were already together but our friends had to ask several times for the steward to put theirs together. The beds need something in the center to join them better, we & our friends noted you slip into the crack by morning.We went to the sail away BBQ, that wasn't..a BBQ I mean. It was just cold burgers & hot dogs. We all went to the Market Cafe (buffet). Food was OK , the bread pudding is really good.We went back to our rooms and rested until the "wecolme aboard" show. It was pretty good. We went to the Blue Lagoon for a snack. None of us liked it ...very greasy frozen, fried food. None of us went back to BL during the cruise. Note.. the stateroom (balcony was about the same size as the one we had on the Sun Princess ast year, a little better arranged).
DAY 5. We all went to the buffet for breakfast. My husband (Leo) signed up for the poker tournament. Leo & I went to Vasailles for lunch. Not very good. Met our friends at Market Cafe, had a snack & back to the room to rest.Tonight is Lobster night, my friend can;t wait! It was good but very small.To the comedy show & than bed.
DAY 6. Ketchikan. Fishing day. We hired a giude & boat. Leo caugth about 25 "trash" fish, which our guide killed & thew back. Between me & our friends we caught another 20 or so "trash" fish & 3 sharks. The guide took us back to town & we went shopping. Leo & I went to the murde mystery , fun!! Be prepared to act in character.
DAY 7. Juneau. We had booked a heli tour..cancelled for weather. Walked around & found a float plane to take us up...they cancelled for weather. Rode the bus to Mendanhall. Very nice, but no
heli tour.Left port at 1PM cruised up Endicott Arm,couldn't get very close ,but what we did see was beautiful.
DAY 7. Skagway. Rode the train up & a bus back down. Both very interesting a fun.It was really cold at the stop in Canada. Went back to Juneau. A lady who owned a shop told us that this was the first summer she can remember using her heat in her shop in July.Had dinner ..of sorts in the buffet. It has become clear that they do not make very many changes in the buffet menu, mostly the same each day! Saw the Temptation cover group in the was pretty good.
DAY 8. Prince Rupert. NCL needs to change this port from the schedule. There is NOTHING there. I had read on CC & fodors that the tours were pretty lame. Thank you..all that posted. We (Leo & I) had dinner at Aqua. Our friends slept. Our table mates (four ladies, 2 tours .really upset about the fact that they paid good money for not so good tours. The hightlight of one of their tours was driving past a homeowners heated driveway.).
DAY 9. Sea day. Laid around in bed. Leo played in a poker tournament again. He won 3rd place! We all decided we would not eat in either the dinning room or buffet..we had all had it! Well we weren't the only ones.We couidn't get res. anywhere. We went ahead & ate at Aqua. It was OK. The 3rd time I had steak there, it was a safe bet. It was almost empty. The buffet was totally empty. We all thought that the food was getting old for everyone.We than took in 2 shows. Can't remember the name of it, but it was the dance troup w/ the chinese acrobats. It was pretty good. Then we saw the comic, this was his adult show. He was a lot funnier tonight , his show was only 30 min. & could have been longer.Off to bed & finish packing. we were doing express disembarkment.
DAY 10. Off the ship. Had breakfast & waited for our group to be called. Stowed our bags with the concierge on the dock ($3 @ bag) Walked around the Market & than over to the monorail stop & rode it to the Seattle Center. We sat by the fountain & made some phone calls home. We walked over to the Scuplture Park at the waterfront. The views are breathtaking. Called our Limo driver from Wed., he had given us his card. Flight back home went really fast,we had TV this time.

Final immpressions: The trip was great, the company too. Weather could have been a little bit better, but we had already decided that we'd roll with the flow & make the best of everything no matter what the weather thew our way. Out steward was almost invisable. However, when our friends had trouble getting thier beds put together, they tipped him & walah! It was done right than. After that he was all over them with service. They gave him a good tip when we left. And we would have too, but it seemed he thought the gold mine was with them. Too much,bingo! They even close the curtain in the Spinnaker lounge when people are viewing the ocean to start the bingo game. We should have eaten at the pay rest. By the time we got sick of the food everyone else figured this out & we couldn't get in to one. The buffet needs some improvement, too much of the same food over & over again. The main dinning room is really average at best, not a lot of choices, we talked to several past NCL cruisers & they remarked that the quility had sliped with every NCL cruise they had taken. Two couple said they thought NCL brought the quility down so you would eat in the pay rest. And NCL .. Go back to Victoria or anywhere but Prince Rupert. We tried to be positive about it but there was no way. All the other cruisers were very dissapointed by it.Didn't use the spa. Nor did take any NCL excursions, booked our own.
Will we cruise NCL again.. most likely not. Mainly the service & the food. The entertainment was average. The food & service we experienced last year on the Sun Princess was far superior to this cruise. Will we cuise again?..yes.

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