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7 Night Bahamas Cruise from New York

7 Night Bahamas Cruise from New York (Manhattan)

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Norwegian Bliss (Photo: Cruise Critic)
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Port Canaveral (Orlando)
  • Day 4
    Great Stirrup Cay
  • Day 5
    Nassau
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    New York (Manhattan)

Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Bliss - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Gorgeous ship with excellent food and lots of live music

Cons

Many of dining venues and activities cost extra

Bottom Line

A sophisticated ship that offers plenty of fun activities like go-karts and water slides


Cruise Reviews

As the title says, I felt that the ship was too large. I am accustomed to sailing on smaller ships, particularly the NCL Jewel class. The Bliss has twice the passenger capacity. Don't get me wrong, they did design it so that you ... Read More
As the title says, I felt that the ship was too large. I am accustomed to sailing on smaller ships, particularly the NCL Jewel class. The Bliss has twice the passenger capacity. Don't get me wrong, they did design it so that you didn't have overcrowding, in fact it felt less crowded than the smaller ships. This is due to being well planned out. More public space (observation lounge) and dining. I never had to search for a seat in the buffet or the "Pub" as I did on the smaller ships. The drawback was that I didn't see anybody more than once and didn't make any friends on this cruise. Embarkation was long, but that was just the queue for check in, no waiting around the terminal, pretty much a simple walk on to the ship after check in process. Our cabin was ready by about 2 pm and bags were there before dinner. The cabin was well positioned, just forward of the elevators and only 2 decks above the common areas. I only used "The Local" and the buffet for dining, but the selections were great, and I never had trouble getting a seat in the area I wanted. The Local overlooks the Atrium and can be noisy when there is an activity, but if you ask, you can usually get seated in the back, (Port forward) area which is much quieter. We saw the musical Six and I was entertained by it. Some of the other patrons were less than thrilled with it, so take that as it is. I also went to the "Happy Hour: The Musical" show. If nothing else, an affordable way to get drinks. But I did enjoy that show as well. A little risque for some perhaps, but you can sing along to some old tunes and there was some audience interaction. Our cabin steward (Wilson) was attentive to our needs and was prompt with servicing our cabin when we went to meals. (I turned on the service light when we left to let him know.) Leaving him a note in the card switch (just inside the door above the light switch, they use it to turn off the outlets inside the room when you are out.) is the easiest way to submit requests. No towel animals any more. They do leave a card in the switch, so you don't need to bring a spare to keep your devices charged, they just pull it part way out when they service the room. The "running track" was constantly blocked by too many chairs and people on that deck. Also the queues for the water slides overflowed into the area. I took two shore excursions. One in Puerto Vallarta, a low cost bus tour, that took us into old town to see the church, to a restaurant for lunch and a view, and for some shopping at a silver and opal shop, chocolate and cigar shop and the usual street hawkers. The other in Cabo San Lucas, a boat tour to see El Arco connecting to a bus tour to a scenic point and back to a glass blowing factory. Both tours were worth the price to see a slice of the culture and beauty of the areas. Disembarkation was more of a mess. We were in the 9 am group. I believe we were actually off the ship before 9:30. Our group was called at 8:30 but the standing around in the queue to leave was a very tough wait. Also, ALL of the public area restrooms were closed. We had to return to our cabin at 8:00 to use the restroom, but it had already been serviced, we used it anyway. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on this cruise for my play daughters birthday. Although the bliss is a beautiful ship the service sucked. i payed for specialty dinners for two. i try not to eat off of a buffet because l don’t eat meat nor anything cooked with ... Read More
I went on this cruise for my play daughters birthday. Although the bliss is a beautiful ship the service sucked. i payed for specialty dinners for two. i try not to eat off of a buffet because l don’t eat meat nor anything cooked with meat. i could not get any reservations at the seafood restaurant or any of the specialty restaurants . I was not informed in advanced that getting reservations was going to be so difficult. the last two days of the trip i was finally told to go to the restaurants and see if they could seat us. The seafood restaurant told us no but cagney’s was very caring and understood my dilemma. They also were able to make room for my daughter that is wheelchair bound. Cootos to cagney’s and the people that helped us. when all the other specialty restaurants told me no, they said no problem. The buffet food, i’ll just say for lunch and dinner was bread and salad for me. This is the first cruise i did not know my stewards name or who he or she was. i cruised for 7 days, the first two days my room was not made up at all. the third day it was after 6 and they came to make up my room and i wouldn’t let them because i traveled with three disabled adults that were going to sleep. Even though i asked that my room be made up no later than 6 the day before. AND THEY DID NOT MAKE ONE ANIMAL NOR DID THEY DO ANYTHING SPECIAL TO MAKE US FEEL WELCOME Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a fall break trip for the two of us, our two teenagers and our friends (married couple) that were experiencing their first cruise. Embarkation: Fair. Long line. But once at the counter it went quickly. They have keycards ... Read More
This was a fall break trip for the two of us, our two teenagers and our friends (married couple) that were experiencing their first cruise. Embarkation: Fair. Long line. But once at the counter it went quickly. They have keycards pre-printed and scan your passport photo for the photo they see when they scan your card. It took about 1.5 hours to get aboard the ship from when we got off the airport transfer. I already had a feeling that NCL doesn’t know how to handle big numbers at this stage of the cruise. Ship: Big, new and beautiful, with appropriate modern design features. Even though it’s large, it is fairly easy to navigate, with only a few dead-ends and hard-to-find places. The things that aren’t easy to find include the waterslide line locations and the mini-golf. Carpets in the hallways for cabins have fish to designate fore and aft, but the big inside areas don’t have any indicators, where I think they would be more helpful. There are many areas that have their own feel, and yet everything goes well together. The décor is beautiful and tasteful. Entertainment and pools: The pools close early (8pm!! Really?) and are very crowded on sea days. The lines for the water slides were brutal. I waited about 45 minutes for the drop slide, and that was about the shortest the line had been. It was also closed frequently, so I only got to do it once. The other waterslide had a slightly shorter line, but still at least 20 minutes wait time. There was an abundance of things to do, and we enjoyed some of the game shows and the trivia. Some of the game shows, though, were not done very well. They’re not polished, I think is the best way to explain it. Also, the trivia is done in the Atrium, and at times it was difficult to play because the Atrium Bar is loud, and some passengers found it fun to just shout out the answer while they were grabbing another drink and walking away. We didn’t get to do laser tag or the go-karts due to the reservation problems (more about this below), but our friends were able to get a reservation for two for the go-karts and they said they were a blast. I didn’t have the patience to try again to get a reservation or stand in the stand-by line. On our sailing they did the silent disco on two nights, and if you like music and/or dancing, you absolutely can’t miss this; it’s a ton of fun! The teen club got great reviews from our teens. The arcade is large and clean. Lots of games and activities for the kids and a final-night dinner in Manhattan. Cabins: I really liked the cabins. We had a standard balcony cabin, and the size was reasonable, with good storage. The bathroom is probably the best standard cabin I’ve been in. Cabin was only cleaned once a day. No turn-down service. But the cabin steward did introduce himself, and certainly worked hard. Dining: I really think that Norwegian is close to getting this right. It’s nice to have a range of restaurant choices from high-end down to buffet. Having a sports bar pub with great wings and the Q bbq restaurant is great. Teppanyaki was delicious. Unfortunately, it’s not really “freestyle” or easy to eat because of the reservations system (or even the fact that you need reservations). I guess I should mention the reservation problems. This was a systemic problem on this ship for us. It affected everything on the ship, ranging from dining to shows to laser tag. Somehow the reservation system “lost” most of our online reservations. We also made reservations from the kiosk right when we arrived on the ship, but most of the things were already booked. Further, the kiosk doesn’t print anything, so you are relying on the app to keep you informed of your reservations, but this also failed on this sailing. The lack of ability to spontaneously do something really detracts from the so-called “freestyle” cruising. This was compounded dramatically by the failures in the online reservation system, the kiosk system and the app to work together. Yes, it’s really that bad, and I’m not a person looking for something to complain about. Bars: The Bliss has a great selection of bars, and we really enjoyed them all. It’s nice that several of the bars have a selection of unique cocktails as opposed to a homogenous menu that’s the same at every single bar. The District Brewhouse craft brewery was a great place to have some good beers. The pool bar had some mediocre bartenders, but the Atrium Bar and Maltings Whiskey Bar both had excellent bartenders. All the other bartenders were at least good. The Observation Lounge is a great place to relax or to get a good drink. We enjoyed getting a light brunch (they have a small buffet selection) and a Bloody Mary more than once! Disembarkation: Bad. I know it’s difficult to get 4000 people off the ship in just a couple hours, but the bottleneck at customs creates a terribly long line. From the time our color group was called (after waiting an hour in the Atrium) to the time we boarded our transfer to LAX was just shy of 2 hours. All that time in a long, snaking line that went through Manhattan dining room to some crew areas, to finally getting off of the ship into the circus tent with 2000 of the other passengers still waiting (probably from at least an hour before..). It was straight up miserable. Service: This is a tough one to rate. Almost all of our service was very good, with nice employees really appearing to care about customer service. The difference is that in general the NCL Bliss is more casual than a Princess or Celebrity ship, so although the service is good and friendly, we found that we missed the extra class of service we are used to. Casino: Excellent. Easily the best casino at sea that I’ve been to. They have a lot of modern slot machines and a lot of table games. There is a Texas hold-em table with a real dealer and there were live money games and tournaments throughout the trip. The main portion of the casino is non-smoking, but there is also a large enclosed casino area for smokers which also had a lot of machines and table games. We didn’t get to see the Haven, nor did we do any spa days. We looked at the fitness center, and it was a bit crowded on day one, but then we decided we were walking enough to skip the gym. All in all, this cruise was a ton of fun, and we really enjoyed being on such a nice and new ship, but we found that the casual atmosphere sometimes went too far into the casual realm. It’s a little snobby but we missed things like the constantly clean cabin and turn down service. Between the casual atmosphere, the lines, the need for reservations, and the failures with the reservation system, I think we are unlikely to book another NCL cruise. I would probably recommend the cruise line for family cruising and for casual cruising if the price and itinerary are appealing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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