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Norwegian Bliss (Photo: Cruise Critic)
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Los Angeles
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cabo San Lucas
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Ensenada
  • Day 6
    Los Angeles

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

Sail Date: September 2019
This was my honeymoon cruise. I booked through NCL and was told I would be given a $50 shore excursion credit. When I got on the ship, I was told I didn't qualify. This put a damper on my honeymoon. It isn't the money, it is the ... Read More
This was my honeymoon cruise. I booked through NCL and was told I would be given a $50 shore excursion credit. When I got on the ship, I was told I didn't qualify. This put a damper on my honeymoon. It isn't the money, it is the principle of the matter. I was told to expect this perk but then denied it. I even asked if they would pull the tapes to check what I was promised. Guest services said they would be in touch on the ship, I never heard anything there and when I submitted a customer care ticket to NCL, I still haven't gotten a response. It just feels like I was misled. I always thought that Norwegian was supposed to be a higher-class company, but Carnival would have resolved it on the spot. I paid more because I wanted a beautiful honeymoon, but I didn't get what I envisioned. As far as the cruise itself, I read another person's review and I wanted to know what ship they were on...then I read they had Bulgari products and chocolate-dipped strawberries. I realized it had to be the Haven. So, unless you are willing to shell out a large sum of money, you will be treated differently. Here are my observations: Cons: 1. The cabin noise is awful. When we first got in our cabin, I thought we were under the swimming pool, then I figured out it was the toilets flushing that was making the noise. 2. The dining rooms are packed, even with reservations, we had to wait. They try to tempt you to get all your meals in the Garden area, but it is packed too and the food is subpar. Meat always overcooked and vegetables mushy. 3. Activities, when they are being held are always packed. Plan early or you won't get into anything. Luckily, I booked the shows before we got on board or we'd have missed out. We never were able to try out the racetrack. 4. As mentioned earlier, if you are in the Haven, you have additional perks. But I really expected them to do something for our honeymoon. We were given a card to take to the dining room, but we received nothing special. I was a little shocked. 5. The people on the ship really act like they don't want to be there. They look stressed as if they did something wrong, they were going to be fired. Made me feel like I was supporting a slave environment. 6. Photos - there just weren't a lot of opportunities for photos. 7. If you want premium food, you have to pay for it. At least Carnival puts lobster tail on the regular menu once during the cruise! 8. The ship's size is awful. The problem is just there are too many people on board and not enough resources put in place to deal with them. The Atrium was always packed. They pulled out aluminum chairs for people to sit on. Docking was awful. Packed elevators and long lines. When we got to BC there was a line that wrapped around the ship. We were late getting there and people who had excursions booked were anxious to get off. I still can't believe they put us in port at 8:00 at night for a three-hour docking. Just ridiculous. So, was it all bad, no, there were some good parts. So let's look at the Pros: 1. The ship itself is beautiful and elegantly done. The Observation Lounge is a treasure and should be enjoyed. 2. The views from the Garden Eatery tables are better than the ones in the dining room. 3. The shows were very good. Jersey Boys was great and so was Six. 4. You don't have the constant pressure to drink on the ship. No one will approach you trying to push the alcohol. 5. The ports were beautiful, (except for BC, we didn't do anything there because of the hour we got there.) Excursions were great. I highly suggest the gardens at Juneau and the train ride through the mountains at Skagway. It's long but has some beautiful sights. Make time to visit Seattle too. Pike's Place is awesome. Lots of great seafood and flowers aplenty! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
this was our first time cruising on a large ship. Because of the number of people on the ship, the cruise was not as pleasant as it could have been. spent a lot of time waiting for elevators and in lines at restaurants. Although there ... Read More
this was our first time cruising on a large ship. Because of the number of people on the ship, the cruise was not as pleasant as it could have been. spent a lot of time waiting for elevators and in lines at restaurants. Although there were a variety of restaurants most restaurants had the same menu and it was a matter of sitting in different restaurants to eat the same food. Many of the waitstaff seemed disorganized and less than friendly. Staff overall were impersonal and inaccessible Since the cruise was to Alaska, many of the outdoor special activities such as the racetrack and swimming pool we’re not usable. disembark meant at the end of the cruise was efficient. But one of our experiences disembarking for an excursion was a nightmare due to the crowds. We are glad we went for the experience of Alaska, but will cruise a smaller ship from now on. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
I decided to take vacations the last moment (needed a break from a stressful work assignment) so once I decided on the destination, an Alaska cruise, I got what was still available so it wasn't really a thorough choice. Some other ... Read More
I decided to take vacations the last moment (needed a break from a stressful work assignment) so once I decided on the destination, an Alaska cruise, I got what was still available so it wasn't really a thorough choice. Some other lines were selling out fast, the Norwegian Bliss still had a mini-suite (better accommodations were sold out) so I took it. This was my first cruise so I didn't know what to expect, but I was overall pleasantly surprised, with many ups, but also, there were a few downs. The good: the Norwegian Bliss is a very new ship, and it is tastefully decorated, with everything in top shape and working order. The service is unbelievable, with extremely friendly and helpful staff everywhere. We didn't have a single negative experience with the staff. We were impressed with how they were always willing to help, with a smile, and were very efficient, knowledgeable, and professional. The Norwegian Cruise Line must have an excellent training center for the staff! We felt pampered! Some of the food was surprisingly good. The La Cucina restaurant served one of the best Italian meals I've ever had, and I'm half-Italian (I'm a dual citizen of Italy and the United States), I know Italian cuisine very well. Food Republic was delicious with original items, very well-presented. Los Lobos was very tasty too, with Mexican food that benefits from a modern touch. The one meal we had at the complimentary Manhattan was excellent and almost as good as what we had in the paid specialty venues above. Breakfast at The Local was tasty and peaceful. The swimming pool area and the hot tubs were clean and pleasant, and never too crowded. The Observation Lounge is a very cool and relaxing space, and they have tasty snacks and a nice piano bar. I really enjoyed the cast of the musical Six (the other musical, Jersey Boys, I didn't attend because I had seen it already), and the Beatles cover band at The Cavern. A duo of Phillipino male pianist and female singer were excellent. The silent disco with earphones at the Social was cool. The bar that specializes in Mojitos was good too. The wine bar The Cellar was excellent, with very good tasting events, including lectures by a very knowledgeable sommelier. I've been studying and tasting wine for decades and still, he surprised me with some information that I didn't know. The stand-up comedians were very, very funny! My wife very much enjoyed the Spa. She had several treatments there, and found the staff to be competent, and with prices similar to what she pays elsewhere. I didn't frequent it. She also liked the Gym with Yoga and Aerobic classes. Gift shops were good; my wife gave me a beautiful Scuderia Ferrari watch and I gave her a nice necklace. These were both well-priced. Other guests were friendly, polite, and we had some nice conversations. Embarkation was easy and fast. Disembarkation, however, was rather slow, with long lines and long waiting times. The bad: The Norwegian Bliss, together with the similar Norwegian Joy, are two of the biggest ships in the business, and the elevators, 16 in total, were overwhelmed. Often, the elevators were full when they reached our deck, and we had to wait and wait for an opportunity to get in. This ship should have the double of the number of elevators they offer. It's a pity that obviously, this can't be changed. The architects should have planned it better: for a ship this size, add more elevators! Some of the food was rather mediocre. The two restaurants with the best reputation, Ocean Blue and Le Bistro, were paradoxically very weak. For example, I had a steak with five peppers at Le Bistro, and I had to abundantly add more pepper to get any flavor at all, and the meat was overcooked although I asked for medium rare. Again, I lived in Paris, France, for 5 years and I know French cuisine very well. Everything we had at Le Bistro was bland and a pale imitation of good French cooking. Ocean Blue was also rather unremarkable. We had better seafood in the other venues, as compared to this one that specializes in seafood. Weird. Two of the three main complimentary restaurants, Taste and Savor, were also very mediocre. The Garden Cafe serves a buffet, and the food there was rather unappealing as well, not to forget, it was very crowded and chaotic. A particular breakfast at Savor was almost disgusting, with a croissant with scrambled eggs that looked like it was microwaved, so mushy the croissant was, and Eggs Benedict that were pretty dry and chewy. Some of the live music was atrocious. First of all, the selection is geared towards Country and Pop, two genres I don't care for. There was absolutely no venue that played jazz. For a cruise line that is registered in the United States (as well as the Bahamas) and sails to and from mostly American cities (with the exception of Victoria, BC) with most guests being American, it is weird that they don't present at all the most quintessential American genre, jazz. I also enjoy classical music and there was none to be found. The blonde female pianist was terrible, often botching the musical lines. The rock band Blue 4, oh my God, they must be the worst I've ever heard! Slow, low energy, poor playing, and mediocre voices. I can't believe the cruise line can't find better musicians. As a matter of fact, in the talent show featuring members of the crew, there were two waiters who sang much better than most singers who were hired for the live music! It would be nice to have an indoor swimming pool for the cold weather. Apparently they do have one in The Haven, the upscale section of the ship, but it's only for the guests of that section, which was sold out when I booked my cruise. The shore excursions in general were expensive and not a good value. Some were enjoyable but others were rushed and confusing, including, it was hard to find the correct buses outside. Maybe it's the luck of the draw since there are so many options, but unfortunately some of the ones we picked weren't that great. We bought them from the cruise line website and later realized that the same excursions are offered elsewhere for much cheaper prices. Oh well, I guess next cruise I'll be smarter. A couple of them were good, though. The art auctions weren't good. We found most of the art being sold, to be very tacky. Funny enough, the one piece we liked inside the art venue, wasn't for sale; it was part of the permanent ship decor. So, overall, I'm pleased with the Norwegian Bliss, but I do think they need to hire better musicians, be a bit more even in terms of food quality, and it would be lovely to have more elevators and an indoor swimming pool, although these structural issues are set in stone and can't be changed. Read Less
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