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Wilba - Answered a Question by Dunne (04 Jul 08 07:29)

I have sailed Star Cruise twice, Gemini & Virgo. Libra is the Ex NCL Norwegian Sea & I no experience on this particular ship. It's been 10 years since I last cruised with Star, but at the time the standard of food & service was exceptional, & would put many of the current 4* lines to shame. Do expect U.K. to be a 'minority' passenger group, with a prolific Chinese & Australian majority. Due to the age of Libra expect cabins to be smaller than the modern Megaliners of today & entertainment was typical of cruise ships in the Western world with some oriental themes thrown in. Star Cruise is now owned by a Malaysian Group who also now own NCL, so some of their practices may have changed since my cruises with them. One interesting fact, tipping was not allowed, yes you read that correctly, not even tipping 'not required', tipping was not allowed & reminders were printed most days in the daily cruise sheet. I wonder if that's changed now that NCL are part of the group? We throughly enjoyed Star but Virgo was only on it's 3rd cruise when we were on, so everything was sparkling new, & in 60 cruises, Star remains very high on our 'most memorable' list. Of course the itinerary has to be the overriding factor for this type of cruise, so don't expect the ship to be up to the standard of the modern 'Mega's', but from what I've read about Star on the Worldwide critic sites, food & service are still rated very highly. Hope this helps. Regards Wilba.

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BLYTH - Answered a Question by Dunne (04 Jul 08 12:16)

The ship is regared as ***+ and takes around 1,500 to 1,800 passengers. It has no outside baconies and the current is 110v. It entered service in 1988 so 20 years old. It has two previous names Seaward and Norwegian Sea, we sailed on it in the Caribbean in 1997 when it was the Seaward and liked the ship, it was about to go in for a refit and have an extra 300 rooms cabins and thereafter was to become the Norwegian Sea. I has two outside swimming pools and 2 whirlpools. We would not like it now as we love a balcony and it has none but don't let that put you off. The food and accommodation was good and the staff were very friendly, even the captain, but can't my comments are well dated.

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Wilba - Answered a Question by Dunne (04 Jul 08 18:18)

Hi! I wrote a lengthy response this morning about Star Cruise. It's probably gone to moderation awaiting approval. If it doesn't appear tomorrow I will rewrite it. so watch this space!!

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Wilba - Answered a Question by Dunne (05 Jul 08 08:14)

I have responded to this post 24 hours ago so if it appears again in similar format I apologise in advance. I have done two Star Cruises, in 99/00 on SS Gemini & SS Virgo & can honestly say they still stand out today among our most memorable cruise experiences. I have little knowledge of SS Libra other than it was formally Norwegian Sea & is now rated 3*+ by Berlitz. Food & service on Star were excellent & would put many of the current 4* lines of today in second place. Due to the age of Libra expect cabins to be smaller than the mega ships of today & Star ships are generally oriental theme in décor. Expect a large Chinese passenger contingent (obviously) & these ships are big favourites with the Aussies, & still get great reviews from them today on their cruise chat websites. Star are now owned by a Malaysian conglomerate who also now own NCL , so what has changed, if anything, since we cruised, I have no knowledge, other than what I’ve read. Going back to service, tipping was not allowed & I often wonder if this is still the case, particularly as NCL are now in the frame, a company who demands tips. This reminder of Tipping Not Allowed was printed most days in the daily song sheet & it goes to show that tipping & service have little or no relationship, as the service would outclass many of today’s mainstream lines. I would defiantly cruise again with Star & the only reason I have not, in the last few years is, their itinerary has changed little & most of their cruises are too short in duration for my needs. That said I still keep looking. Dunne, if you want anymore info on Star click on the comment button & I’ll do my best.

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Jones - Answered a Question by Dunne (14 Jul 08 22:05)

We cruised on the Libra out of Hong Kong in March. The ship may not be as luxurious as some of the other liners but the service and food were excellent. Be warned - is you choose the Chinese set menu, expect authentic Chinese. We enjoyed it but it is not to all European tastes. The cabins are quite small but adequate and the entertainment enjoyable. I even got to enjoy asian pop music! The ship was only half full and there were less than 20 Europeans on the ship. The bars were all but empty as it seems that although the asian cruisers enjoyed the entertainment none of them seemed to drink! We considered the Libra such good value we have booked on a cruise out of Singapore in November.

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