Is The Norwegian Star A Good Cruise for Teens?
We are so excited to introduce our newest guest contributor, Zane Mustafa! Who better to let us know what they love most about traveling than the kids? Zane is a 15-year-old freshman and it is safe to say he is on his way to becoming the next trusted source in food and travel. Welcome, Zane!
Checking in from my Spring Break vacation to Mexico aboard The Norwegian Star! I’m Zane, a 15-year-old freshman and I love the traveling lifestyle. I have been lucky enough to have had the chance to go on five amazing, yet different cruises throughout my lifetime. This includes visits to many destinations in Europe, The Caribbean, and Mexico. Traveling along with me are always my crazy older and younger brothers and my two wonderful parents.
The Ship 🛳
To start off, my family and I view cruises as a great alternative to just visiting a location because it gives you the chance to enjoy so many things. The fun of visiting multiple different destinations while having a home base to eat, sleep, and be entertained makes it great for families. Considering I have been on two of the largest, most luxurious, and activity-filled cruises, The Oasis Of The Seas and the Allure Of The Seas, I was not expecting this ship to be filled with all the amenities that those two ships contained (which ended up leaving me with more downtime than I expected.)
Most of the time there were enough activities to keep me busy such as playing games at the sports deck, working out at the gym, watching interesting shows at the lounge. But my absolute favorite pastime was stuffing my face with food at the buffet! Some shows that I enjoyed watching with my family were magic, comedy, and game shows that the audience gets a chance to take part in. There was a good amount of children on the ship during my particular visit because it was around the time of spring break for many schools.
When first seeing the staterooms they looked very small even for a cruise ship. Using the bathroom was definitely difficult at times because I’m relatively tall (over 6 feet,) and the shower and toilet rooms were claustrophobic at times. I recommend when cruising, to upgrade your room to include a balcony. It is definitely worth the upgrade because of accessibility to natural light and the relaxation of having an ocean view and the calming sound that comes with it.
My dad ended up regretting not paying extra for a balcony. Because we were late on the booking of our rooms, we resulted in having two separate rooms for our family, which wasn’t as bad as I thought. One reason that didn’t bother me too much, but did bother my brothers, was the choppy and rocky sailing we experienced at times. It seemed to be caused by the cooler weather and larger waves during the last few days of the cruise.
And be ready to unplug. There’s no WiFi or data at sea unless you pay for the overpriced package which is annoying at times; however, a nice break from social media can lead to more family bonding and ended up not bothering us after all.
Food, food, and more food! 🥘🌮
Anyone that has been on a cruise knows how much food is available, and how important it is to enjoy your journey with fantastic dining. Being someone who loves trying new foods, and is very involved with the taste and health factors of the foods I eat, I can say that the available dining experience on The Norwegian Star was good, but nothing super great like some of the other cruises I have been on.
The dining room had mediocre food that matched their service. Waiters and waitresses had very bland personalities and it seemed as if they just wanted to finish their job and get out. The specialty dining experience was definitely a step or two up from the dining room. Our family’s favorite specialty dining restaurant was the French restaurant, Le Bistro. We had an excellent waitress and I got to enjoy dishes I love such as escargot, scallops, and duck.
Not so surprisingly, the buffet was where I spent roughly 90% of my vacation at, eating about 27 omelets and 15 crepes per day (joking.) In all seriousness, I went to the buffet at least 3 times a day to satisfy the insatiable hunger of my growing body, which ended up being a better experience than the dining room as well.
The Norwegian Star included three different ports that are part of the Mexican Riviera; Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. This order we visited the ports was also how each stop fared from my favorite to least favorite. After almost 3 days at sea, we arrived at Puerto Vallarta. We had planned to go on the Puerto Vallarta Outdoor Zipline Adventure which was personally my absolute favorite experience I’ve had on any vacation I can remember.
It all started with a speed boat ride to a beautiful cove. We saw amazing wildlife and immediately noticed the culture and incredible views. My family took a military jeep through the jungle and hills until we arrived at the mule station. This is where we got on our mules and made our way up to the first zip line. I thought there would only be one zip line followed by rappelling down a waterfall, but I was pleasantly surprised. The zip lines, waterfalls, and water slides just kept coming!
There were more than seven zip lines and other activities on the property! After sliding down the largest water slide in all of Mexico, we stopped for some lunch. Here we were able to dine on fruit, juice, chips, and the best quesadillas you will ever taste. The rest of the time we spent at a playground. But it wasn’t an ordinary playground. This one had activities like archery, a dunk tank, and even an electric bull.
We hadn’t made any plans for Mazatlan which was our next stop. And it actually turned out great! We went on a local tour to see different attractions around the area. There were lots of ocean views and high cliffs where we got to see cliff divers leap into the ocean. It ended with a lunch on the beach and a family beach day.
Cabo San Lucas
If you are interested in water activities, Cabo San Lucas is the place to check out! We took a speed boat to a snorkeling location which also had kayaking and paddle boarding.
On the speedboat back, we encountered humpback whales and sea turtles which was a relaxing and a memorable moment. We then toured the famous arch and even found sea lions relaxing on some rocks.
Conclusion: So Is This One of The Best Cruises for Kids?
Would I cruise the Norwegian Star again? If I had the opportunity to repeat my experiences no doubt in my mind I would. Cruising with family is an exciting and memorable adventure that I have to recommend for all families to try.
Do you like to cruise?
We would love to know more about your experience. Share your tips, recommendations, and memories in our comment section below. This helps fellow members of The JetSet Family community decide the best fit for them. Let us know what you liked most, or if you have any questions about cruising aboard The Norwegian Star.
Disclaimer: On occasion, contributors of The JetSet Family are invited to experience gifted products and services. This practice does not hinder the influencers’ point of view. Our descriptions accurately reflect our feelings. The JetSet Family only shares things we genuinely love and believe worthy of being featured.