When all was said and done, Star Cruises ended up - not unexpectedly - as the sole owner of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL).

Interpreting Star Cruises' statements, that was clearly what the Malaysia-based company intended all along. "The withdrawal of Carnival (Corporation) means we have achieved our original goal of full ownership," said Dato KT Lim, chairman of Star.

Carnival said it withdrew from the joint venture because Star had "clearly a different sense of how they wanted to run NCL, and being passive investors did not make a lot of sense to us."

By having Carnival join its takeover effort, Star avoided a bidding war over NCL. Thus, in the end Star outmaneuvered both NCL and Carnival.