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16 Night Panama Canal & Central America Cruise from Miami

16 Night Panama Canal & Central America Cruise from Miami

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Norwegian Bliss (Photo: Cruise Critic)
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Miami
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Curacao
  • Day 5
    Aruba
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Panama Canal
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Puerto Vallarta
  • Day 15
    Cabo San Lucas
  • Day 16
    Cruising
  • Day 17
    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

1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The pros: The Observation Lounge was a great feature. Terrific views out the front of the ship with 2 stories of windows, and views half way down both sides of the boat with lots of chairs, small tables and lounge chairs. This lounge ... Read More
The pros: The Observation Lounge was a great feature. Terrific views out the front of the ship with 2 stories of windows, and views half way down both sides of the boat with lots of chairs, small tables and lounge chairs. This lounge was much quieter than the often frantic and loud Atrium area, and less crowded than the buffet. There were beverages, salads, sandwiches, deserts available in this lounge, and there was entertainment in the evening by a piano singer. "The Local "restaurant (complimentary) on deck 7 was open 24 hours a day, and served breakfast, lunch and dinner. This was like eating in a Denny's (no white table cloths) but food was pretty good. "The Waterffont" - outdoor areas on deck 8 attached to restaurants. On our early May Alaskan cruise, this area wasn't used much because of the cold windy weather, but it would be great on a Caribbean cruise. The shower in the bathroom of the inside stateroom was well planned and spacious, but you had to run the water for quite a while before any hot water came out. The water slides were fun. One was almost terrifying, but still fun. They didn't have a lot of annoying announcements over the public address system. The Jersey Boys show in the theater was very good, but beware there was a lot of profanity in the show as they were striving for "reality". There were 3 comedians; 2 were very funny; one wasn't so funny. 2 out of 3 ain't bad! The Cons; "The Atrium" - this was the main gathering place on deck 6 for games, dancing classes, trivia games, and bands that also play in the bars. It was usually pretty frantic and loud in this area and the square shaped chairs that were in that area looked cool but were very uncomfortable. Also there wasn't food available close by except by going up 1 deck to 'The Local". Our inside cabin was very small. The only place to sit comfortably was on the bed. The safe was in the clothes closet and hard to get to if you had clothes hanging up. The mattress was very hard - they put an eggcrate mattress pad on to make it softer.. The food in the main dining rooms wasn't consistently good. I enjoyed salmon on 3 different nights, but my wife was disappointed in the chicken meals. They also didn't usually offer the "special' meals in the main dining rooms on the same night that they were being served in the buffet or The Local. We were disappointed in the lunch meals in the main dining rooms and usually ate lunch in The Local or the buffet. The service in the dining rooms was excellent. Some desserts were inconsistent. Some were very good; some not so good, The Havana show in the theater was only average. We left early. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I just returned from a 7 day Alaska Cruise on board the Bliss. Date of trip was 5/5-5/12. This is our 12th cruise and third on Norwegian. As with any vacation you get out of it what you put into it and we had a great time. ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a 7 day Alaska Cruise on board the Bliss. Date of trip was 5/5-5/12. This is our 12th cruise and third on Norwegian. As with any vacation you get out of it what you put into it and we had a great time. My goal was simply to return to Alaska and see a part of the state that we hadn't seen before. Decades ago I was stationed in the interior. Embarkation: All of our prior cruises departed Galveston or Miami, if you have had experience departing from these locations then you will find the terminal at Seattle is very different. We flew in the day before and visited the Museum of Flight located at Boeing Field. I'm a Air Force vet so this was a required stop. I highly recommend this visit. We then went to Pikes Market for dinner but bailed out because the place was packed with people. Be advised that if you travel in Seattle off of the main streets there appeared to be no stop signs on the side streets. The board process is very difficult because of what they have to work with in regards of space. Unloading and loading happens on the shoulder of the road which is a very busy street. We boarded on the first day of the season so we didn't have to contend with off loading passengers. We parked at the parking garage, then hiked across a sky bridge to the terminal. There is only one elevator from the bridge to the ground. Then we dropped off our bags and stood outside awaiting to enter, thankfully it wasn't raining. Checking in was very easy. The cruise itself was simply outstanding. Since it was early May we were prepared for rain, cold, snow, wind and sunshine. Our son who worked the local waters in the Coast Guard advised us that it was going to be really cold on deck with the wind and he was correct. Bring quality rain gear, don't believe the weather forecast. My goal was to see as much wildlife as possible. Bring binoculars that are at least 10x50 I found that power really worked well. Day one is a sea day so I spent it staring out at the water looking for whales. I saw a few that day but you have to be persistent. The Bliss is designed was Alaska. It has a very large observation lounge but get there early for the best seats. Next stop for Juneau. It rained and was cold. We visited the Glacier. I wasn't impressed as I thought the Glaciers in the interior are more impressive. Then off to Skagway and the Whitehorse train trip, again I wasn't thrilled. We walked around Skagway which was a lot of fun and had great pizza at the Northern Lights . I had fun people watching there. Then on to Glacier Bay. Its very hard to put into words that experience. Outstanding doesn't describe seeing the beauty you will see there. It was very overcast with light rain, but the sun came out as we came to the head of the bay. Our last stop was Ketchikan which is a beautiful town. It wasn't raining and it would have been warm enough to wear shorts it I had them. We took the trolley tour and saw some totem poles, again I wasn't really impressed. As to the excursions we went on, my review is based on having lived all the fun adventurous excursion activities when we lived in the interior so I didn't need to do that again. As I mentioned we have been on 12 different ships and 4 different cruise lines. The Bliss was the best experience we have had. The staff hotel staff and food staff were excellent, kind and attentive. Many times I heard them singing as they worked. The buffet was the best food I've eaten on a ship. They served prime beef twice. The dining room food was better then most of us eat at home and the service was five star. There are plenty of things to do on the Bliss from shows to eating to just watching the world go by. One nice thing was there weren't any photographers lurking waiting to take your picture. There are only two banks of elevators in the ship, forward and aft. We always used the aft bank and never had long wait times, however there was always a wait when trying to use the forward bank. We saw whales, sea otters, seals, orcas, bald eagles and one brown bear. I scanned the shore line and areas that had been clear cut looking for Bigfoot but to no avail. Looking for these creatures takes dedication and a bit of luck. I spent many hours just watch the water. If you see a lot of sea birds on the water then you will probably see a few whales. All you might see of a whale is a water spout but to me the time spent looking was worth it. I highly recommend the Bliss for a cruise to Alaska. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Wanted to take my husband on his first cruise and let him see Seattle and Alaska. Chose to go early in the season to beat crowds and save money. We were not specifically looking to take the Bliss, but we loved this ship. It is a beautiful ... Read More
Wanted to take my husband on his first cruise and let him see Seattle and Alaska. Chose to go early in the season to beat crowds and save money. We were not specifically looking to take the Bliss, but we loved this ship. It is a beautiful ship with great facilities in pristine condition. Service on the ship was consistently good, from steward to wait staff and everyone else. We appreciated the great service we received. Entertainment was also very good. We saw Britain’s Finest (Beatles cover band) twice because they were so good. They even look like the Beatles. The first couple of nights, they played early hits, and then played later songs a couple of times. They alternate between the Theater and the Cavern Club bar. Reservations are not accepted for any of the shows. We also saw Havana. The costumes, singing and dancing were good but the story was hard to follow. I don’t recommend it. Jersey Boys, on the other hand, was excellent. It is in the Theater, is offered several times during the cruise, and reservations are recommended. You can reserve online prior to the cruise, which is what we did. We also had fun in the casino playing slots. On the first day of the cruise, a guy next to us won $10,000! We probably came out a little bit ahead overall. Nice facility. We also tried Bingo a few times and it was entertaining but we didn’t win anything. Food was amazing! Our steak dinner at Cagney’s was our favorite but we also had great meals at Savor, Taste, Manhattan and The Local. Nice snack food was available on the observation deck. Buffet had a nice selection but there were glitches like cold food, no ice, etc. Embarking and disembarking were smooth. Cabins were ready when we boarded, which was nice. We walked off the ship with our own luggage. Long lines but we were still off the ship by 7:20. We enjoyed our mini-suite cabin, which made great use of space and of course provided a balcony for great views of the scenery. Last but not least, we loved our stops, which included Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria. In Juneau we went to the Mendenhall Glacier, which was beautiful, with nice hikes and an interesting visitor center with gift shop. It was rainy and a bit chilly so we went directly back to the ship afterwards, though we could have been dropped off downtown and taken a shuttle back. In Skagway, we booked a half-day tour to the Yukon through Frontier Excursions, which was excellent. Beautiful scenery and a funny and informative guide. Loved it. While we were told to meet near the pier, we found out we could be picked up downtown, so we walked into town and did a little shopping first...then took the tour and then got dropped off at the pier, though others opted to be dropped off downtown, which is only about a 10 minute walk from the pier. In Ketchikan, we did the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show and had a blast. The show is funny and engaging. We had time before the show to do some walking around and shopping. The show itself is about a 5 minute walk from the pier and lasts about an hour. Definitely recommend. We didn’t get to Victoria until night time the evening before our return to Seattle. We had booked a city tour but backed out since we knew we would have an early start the next day. We just walked off the ship. There’s not much right there except for two gift shops, so we just checked those out and then returned to the ship. We were told the walk into town would have been about 20 minutes, FYI, but there is a taxi stand in addition to tour offers. I should also mention we stayed in Seattle for two days prior to departure and really enjoyed it. Highlights included the Space Needle, Pike Place Market (with lunch one day at Lowell’s and another day at the Athenian), and a city tour through Tours Northwest. Read Less
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