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8 Night Bahamas Cruise from New York

8 Night Bahamas Cruise from New York (Manhattan)

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Norwegian Bliss (Photo: Cruise Critic)
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Port Canaveral (Orlando)
  • Day 4
    Port Canaveral (Orlando)
  • Day 5
    Great Stirrup Cay
  • Day 6
    Nassau
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    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

2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
After boarding ship and going to our cabin the very first thing we saw was a used condom on the balcony. Then the hangers were piled on the closet floor and a used bar of soap from the previous guest was left in the shower. Those were ... Read More
After boarding ship and going to our cabin the very first thing we saw was a used condom on the balcony. Then the hangers were piled on the closet floor and a used bar of soap from the previous guest was left in the shower. Those were the main things in addition to some other minor issues,,, We understand things happen and were expecting the staff to immediately handle the situation, but 12 and 15 year old children still don't understand why or what a condom is doing in our cabin. Not happy at all. Once housekeeping was called and given a chance to correct the issues the steward supervisor said someone would come clean it and just walked away. I asked him to take the condom with him, but he just left. Then I went to the guest services desk and after a 19 minute wait were greeted by the housekeeping supervisor who said they will get there to clean the room again soon. That day there were no considerations made and there was no sense of urgency to correct. Worst of all there was no closure, empathy, nor follow-up from management. It was not until the third day of our vacation that I asked about the issue at the front desk and if there was closure. Unfortunately, it took e showing the photos and the likelihood that 'd share an honest review online that I finally got the attention. In my opinion, there is not must that can be done to correct the condom found on the balcony by our children. GiGi, assistant Housekeeping Manager offered a $100 obc which we declined and they posted anyway. This was our third Norwegian cruise Getaway 2016 and Escape 2017 (RCL Oasis was 2018). Not a great start to our annual vacation. Overall, the vacation was good and even the worst cruise experience can be a great vacation. 7 great sunrises and 6 great sunsets... Friday night sunset was missed due to a dinner reservation and late departure from Nassau. The "waterfront" deck is one our favorite parts of the ship. Entertainment was good overall: Havana was "ok", Jersey Boys was very good, Hypnotist Richard Barker was awesome, and the music around the ship was good as well. Dining was "average" a best: service better than expected and food quality hit or miss. The buffet and main dining rooms were good/average food quality. The premium dining in Le Bistro and La Cucina were great. Unfortunately, Cagneys was again a bit of a let down :( It seems like there have been cuts on food costs and quality has suffered a bit. Ports and excursions were as expected. Eighth time to St Tomas and our first excursion to Megans Bay. Tortola was or third time and just walked around town a bit. Nassau has one of the prettiest sail in and away, but usually we stay on the ship in Bahamas :) Our kids 15 and 12 were very excited about the go-carts and laser tag. Unfortunately, the week passes were sold out before the sail away. We paid for a couple laps around the racetrack, but at $10 per person per 5-7 minutes was not a good value in their opinion (or mine since I paid). The real estate used for racetracks and laser tag was a sacrifice of other areas which were omitted or cut back. We will not likely choose another cruise with either go-carts or laser tag. I guess to wrap up this review, stuff happens. Sometimes people are disgusting and leave used condoms on balconies. When I purchased / reserved our seven day cruise I put my trust in Norwegian Cruise Line and their ability to clean up after disgusting people's behaviors. The worst thing about the whole thing is the lack of response, empathy, or care. Hopefully, this review and others may affect change with Norwegian and the way they handle future situations. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to see what Norwegian was like and we were not disappointed. Between the tow of us, we have probably cruised 15 times on other lines, but never this one. The ship's layout was the best I have seen with things spread out ... Read More
We wanted to see what Norwegian was like and we were not disappointed. Between the tow of us, we have probably cruised 15 times on other lines, but never this one. The ship's layout was the best I have seen with things spread out enough that there was not that much congestion, even with over 4,000 people on the boat. There seemed like there was a different themed bar/lounge tucked into every corner. Each with it's own special drinks. While the boat seemed geared more towards adults to me there was still a ton of things for the kids to do. (The Go-Karts were awesome). It was also easy to see that cleanliness was important. "Washy Washy" was a common phrase heard where crew member had bottles of disinfectant to clean hands with before the buffet or getting back on the ship. There were some slight negatives....scheduling the go-karts/laser tag was almost impossible. It was all filled up the first day before everyone was on the ship. I was lucky enough to get a go-kart slot, no dice on the laser tag. Also, the cabin could have used some more storage space. While Jersey Boys was incredible, and Prohibition was awesome... Havana sucked. There seemed no point to it and was boring. Embarkation was just ok. Flew in to Ft. L and then had to sit around for an hour to wait for a bus. Seemed like an excessive wait, especially seeing other cruise lines take multiple groups of people. Getting off the boat was a nightmare as no one listened to the colors being called and messed the system up. Also, the number of people getting out on deck at 6:00 am and reserving chairs.... to not com back until after 9:00 was ridiculous. There was no enforcement of the advertised 30 minute rule at all. However, we were able to find a spot, just out of the way and only partial sun. Read Less
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Sail Date: March 2019
Boarding and Vibe beach club passes: We were novices to NCL so didn’t know what to expect. We knew the ship was sold out. Also none of our upgrade requests were accepted so we knew ship would be crowded. I had read about the Vibe and we ... Read More
Boarding and Vibe beach club passes: We were novices to NCL so didn’t know what to expect. We knew the ship was sold out. Also none of our upgrade requests were accepted so we knew ship would be crowded. I had read about the Vibe and we decided to try to get passes. The Vibe is a private deck area with a dedicated bar, snacks, hot tubs and cabanas. There are also dedicated attendants. We knew the pool decks would be insanely crowded as this week is spring break for a number of groups. So we decided to try for the Vibe at 200$ per person. We were not provided a boarding time at on-line check in time. But we had heard that was irrelevant and so getting a Vibe pass would be all related to ones time getting on the ship and getting a low group boarding number. Thus we did not use ship transfers and arrived to the terminal on our own early. We showed up at 9. Everyone there was pretty much doing the same thing. I’d say there were about 20 people in front of us. People were “well behaved” lol until security. Then it was a mad dash- we tried to check in as quickly as possible then ran up the escalator to get our boarding number. The agent gave us one of 2 remaining boarding group 1 cards. From there a line formed early on to wait for boarding even though boarding would not be until 11. People were pushing and shoving to be closest to the boarding door. The security guard moved everyone away from that door, and then people were upset since they had been lining up. Security guard threatened to call police. People moved back. I noticed a family who was not group 1 boarding tried to board with group 1. Etc etc it was chaotic. Then - the doors opened. There was an almost stampede. People ran to guest services. We were among the first and were told Vibe sold out. But then we hung around there a bit and a couple of people changed their minds so we got in by the skin of our teeth. The Bliss is a bit of a problem for vibe as this ship was built for Alaska. So the outdoor deck size is less of an issue for an Alaskan cruise. But for the Caribbean??? Smaller deck space meant that there were only 80 vibe spaces available. And I’m pretty sure one “representative” per group meant that one person could buy a bunch of passes. I think passes should be capped at 4 per individual but that’s not what happened. On top of it, Haven guests could already buy these passes before non Haven guests boarded and they did (based on what we saw.) The vibe itself is really nice. There are 6-7 cabanas and pool chaises laid out in 2’s. There’s a private hot tub and bar. There’s a limited menu and they bring around fresh drinks and fruit skewers. It’s very similar to the private Haven area (it’s actually immediately adjacent but there’s a door for Haven access which remains closed) except they have a white terry cloth covers on the chairs in the Haven. Price was 209 per person each for a lounge chair and 489 for a cabana for 2. The waiters kept key cards upon entry. At one point there were about 9-10 Green key cards (identify Haven guest) versus my orange card as a minisuite guest. Haven guests do get priority boarding so simply needed to ask for vibe passes upon boarding. I’m not sure I agree with that as they have their own private area. But that’s what happened. Also I’m not sure if loyalty status with Norwegian would provide a green key card. Mike from the Vibe was excellent and took care of us very well. Rooms: we had a mid-ship mini suite for 2. I honestly found the room rather small. Balcony also small. Rooms modern and had the necessities. Bathroom was nice and had shampoo plus conditioner (2 in 1) so glad I brought my own conditioner. We were on deck 11, 3 floors above the waterfront (outdoor promenade). The waterfront is noisy at night so we could not leave our balcony door open until after 11 or so at night. Dining: Day 1- Manhattan. We booked a reserved time for all dinners given the sold out status. From what I saw we were wise. Not sure how “any time” dining works on a sold out ship. Lots of people were waiting to be seated for dinner. So book a time and go.... or not go but probably a better idea to at least have a booked time in my opinion. Day 1: embarkation. We booked manhattan dining room (complimentary) and food was pretty good. Service also good. We also ate at the garden cafe for lunch which was good and we especially liked the Indian food and rotisserie chicken. Day 2: at sea. Booked le Bistro specialty restaurant. This restaurant has an upcharge but 3 specialty restaurants were included with our booking. I found the servers a bit uptight. When we entered they would not seat us unless everyone was there. My daughter was a bit late so they were only going to seat us if we gave up her place. Eventually they relaxed and said they’d seat us, but at a table without any view. They then sat us at a good table and we had a very nice meal. Again, like embarkation, it took a bit of work and persistence. Day 3: at sea. Los Lobos - mexican specialty restaurant for upcharge- this was a group event, so not sure if it was the regular menu. It was very good as well and excellent service. Thanks to Karl who went above and beyond. We write out cards to thank him. Day 4: st Thomas- always an excellent port stop. Great shopping and sightseeing. la Cucina Italian specialty restaurant for upcharge (again included with our booking). This was excellent. Really really good. Service started off rocky as they were trying to rush us but once we established that wasn’t going to happen we had an excellent meal. We met the chefs who were very kind. And this restaurant has an outdoor patio on the waterfront (deck 8) so we ate outside, and we were able to watch as the ship was departing St Thomas port. Beautiful sunset. Just a wonderful setting. Day 5: Tortola. This island was very primitive and it seemed in the middle of no where, and that not much was there. There was a huge cost to go to the beach. 50$ return US for 2- but we paid it. The place was devastated by the hurricane and there were still upended yachts in the waters that had not been claimed. 2 cruise ships a day go to Tortola. The beach was perfect but I would have preferred a different port. Taste dining room for supper was really delicious. Shrimp dish had 6 huge tiger shrimp and the beef short rib was really nice too. Jersey boys show- was surprisingly good. Was 2 hours long and was much better than I expected. Day 6: at sea. Taste dining room for lunch was lovely. They had very nice selections and yummy peanut butter cheesecake. Dinner at Manhattan restaurant was very good once again. Day 7: Nassau and Cagney Steakhouse There were 5 ships in Nassau so it was very chaotic getting off the ship. Line to return to ship was also long. Cagney was really really good. Excellent meal for main courses. Desserts were not so great. Re: specialty dining. We did not see the communication to book these in advance to avoid disappointment. By the time we knew we were supposed to book it was very difficult getting reservations. At guest services on arrival, there were restaurant representatives that booked at the dining. And unlike online, all the restaurants, laser tag the go karts could be reserved. With the ship at capacity it was definitely a good idea to reserve immediately on boarding to avoid disappointment. There are people who were upset with not being quick enough. We were able to move around reservations once on board but this required immediate attention. Reservations were otherwise filled for the week except for Los Lobos. The spa - is beautiful. The view of ocean is gorgeous and the pools are unreal- like being in the ocean. Based on Turkish baths. There is one hot tub like area where there is a honest to goodness tide and sound of the ocean. Water rises and falls and pulls you along with it. Just beautiful. Highly recommend getting a weekly pass for about 225$. On board a daily pass is 60$ so it makes more sense to buy the weekly pass in advance. We went every night at around 8 pm. Not crowded at all then. Such a relaxing area at the front of the ship with full views and floor to ceiling windows. Observation lounge- deck 15. Not to be missed. It’s absolutely a stunning place for coffee, snacks, or a drink from their bar in the evening. Gorgeous room! Staff on Norwegian by in large very very good. Most greeted us only with smiles. You do feel on this ship that you are being constantly charged - so you need to be careful with what you’re charging etc, Norwegian has lots to offer for kids (water park) and entertainment. So that’s good. But at capacity it would be very difficult to find ones own space without the Vibe Beach club pass. My kids loved the laser tag and I did go karting once and wish that I hadn’t!! It’s not for those who don’t want to race. I did the inner tube water slide once which was great. Did not do the drop water slide one. Internet on board- unlimited did work, but there were limits on browsing and attachments. I messaging for iPhones worked. Could not otherwise text. We didn’t know about the 9.95 messaging service that you could do through the Norwegian App and had we know that definitely would have used that service. Overall: very good cruise. Now that I understand how Norwegian works I would do a few things differently the next time and try and cruise off peak. Read Less
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