205 Los Angeles Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews

We arrived at 1pm and embarkation was smooth. However there were undisclosed problems getting some passengers from LAX to the ship, which delayed the sailaway for hours (until after dark).Disembarkation in NYC did not go well. Huge lines ... Read More
We arrived at 1pm and embarkation was smooth. However there were undisclosed problems getting some passengers from LAX to the ship, which delayed the sailaway for hours (until after dark).Disembarkation in NYC did not go well. Huge lines snaking around. I stood in line for an hour (was on a NCL bus tour/ transfer to JFK) with people coughing all around me. There was time for only one stop on the $99 tour due to the delay in us gettiing off. We were assembled at 8am in the theater and our bus didn't leave the port until 10am. Glad that our guide chose Ground Zero for the stop, though. This is another NCL ship subject to itinerary changes after final payment. It is too big to dock in Costa Rica. We were told that it had to do with silting in the harbor after a flood earlier in the year. After final payment, they dropped Costa Rica and added Acapulco. Also, they had to wait until extreme low tide to be able to pass under the Pacific side bridg of the Panama Canal. Hence the "daylight transit" started at 2am. Hygiene and illness were a problem on the ship. Early in the cruise no one was enforcing good sanitation in the buffet lines. After Guatemala (Day 11) they started with 'extra cleaning' which continued and ramped up throughout the cruise, to the point where for several days at the end they were at full-Noro levels of cleaning. They were attempting to keep the statistics below the threshold for special reporting. (We heard the intestinal illness was above 1% but less than 2%). There was also a nasty respiratory virus spreading. At nearly every port (and a few unscheduled, such as Huatulco and in the PC itself) there were medical evacuations and ambulances waiting. We usually arrived early enough in port that disembarkation wasn't delayed, but at one port we were late getting off. The Main Dining Room was mediocre with only a few menus that rotated through 20 days. Sometimes service was awful and sometimes it was okay. After we complained, we were "flagged" and then got put in the MDR sections with better servers. We also got comped a meal . The specialty restaurants were better for service and food, most of the time (we went 8 times). Cagneys was hit and miss. On the first night, the truffle fries were cold.Toward the end of the cruise during the Noro outbreak, they were full and service suffered. We were ticketed to see Jersey Boys, but our waiter didn't ask if we had a show, We sat for 15 minutes without seeing a waiter at all, and then it was another 30 minutes without even seeing the first starter. After calling over the maitre d' and explaining that we were going to miss the show if this continued, the service was rushed and we managed to gobble down 4 courses in an hour with 10 minutes to spare (we had allowed a total of two hours before show time). We found the best service (and food) at Le Bistro. We liked Los Lobos okay. Ocean Blue was good, but hard to get a seating. We didn't hear good things about Q so didn't go there. We went to Food Republic once (comp'd due to my complaining about the MDR). We noticed a lot of crew dining there (probably the only place to get sushi). Some of the plates were better than others. The scallop one was just plain strange. It isn't in the dining package. Most people don't eat at Los Lobos, but we thought the food was pretty good. Ocean Blue was good but difficult to get into, especially after the "extra cleaning" started and more people avoided the buffet. Thank goodness for the wonderful Indian food (BLD) in the buffet, at least I didn't starve. In the beginning they had pickled herring available but toward the end a lot of items went missing from the buffet. The only place you could get smoked salmon at breakfast was in the MDR. The Observation Lounge has limited hours for food service. The only 24/7 is Local, the buffet has limited late night food. Room service now has the upcharge except for limited continental breakfast. They were good about coming during the requested window (I must have been near the beginning of the rotation since the knock came a few minutes into the window). I had a midship balcony and it was fine, no problems at all. I would have liked a few drawers rather than all shelving. The cabin steward was great. Liked the single cup coffee maker. Requested my minifrig to be cleared on Day1. I kept skim milk, yogurt cups and snacks in there which came in handy during the Noro outbreak.You can find some smaller plates around the buffet and Observation Lounge (full sized plates are too big for the frig). The Observation Lounge is a nice space. Unfortunately the sheltered outdoor walking/viewing spaces are limited especially in the front of the ship which are blocked by private spaces. We also miss the public decks in the aft that you can find on other ships and cruise lines. Jersey Boys was excellent. It's easier to get into the later show. The Beatles were good. Six was okay. We only took one shore excursion (Acapulco) which went to Tres Palos and the Botanic Garden. It was advertised as "unguided" and an "Aviary visit" which was misleading. We did not visit an aviary by any English definition and there was a guide who kept tight rein on the group at the Botanic Garden. We complained and they gave us a minimal discount. I booked the NYC tour/transfer and as discussed above we only had one stop due to slow disembarkation. I would not travel on NCL Bliss again for 21 days. Maybe for 7 or 10, but 21 is too many even with 8 specialty dinners. It isn't worth putting up with the terrible dining room service. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I personally love all kinds of infrastructure. The Panama Canal has been in my bucket list for quite sometimes. Going for 21 days, coast to coast and through the Panama Canal locks, this is probably the best cruise in my opinion. The price ... Read More
I personally love all kinds of infrastructure. The Panama Canal has been in my bucket list for quite sometimes. Going for 21 days, coast to coast and through the Panama Canal locks, this is probably the best cruise in my opinion. The price was right. The ports of call were amazing. Since I knew most of the restaurant and bar staff on this ship from my last cruise to Alaska in May, my cruise went great and pleasant. We greeted each other like old friends. I was traveling alone and in a studio cabin. I have to say that this cabin is just right for me. It's so functional and comfortable. I wish I could take the bed home with me because it was so comfortable. My room attendant Ms. Chen was very accommodating. She works around my schedule because I sleep in until late afternoon. The front desk staff Mr. Jumphot was very competent. The 3 main dining rooms staff trying their best to seat everyone though the wait is long. The food was great and worth the wait. The bars staff were cheery and happy. My shore excursions were fabulous. If you are going this cruise, make sure you sign up for the excursion especially for Catagena and Antigua, Guatemala, you won't regret it. But sign up early because these two are the most popular tours and it filling up real quick. I didn't go to any of the shows because it was the repeat from my last Alaska cruise. But I truely enjoyed the live bands on this ship, The Familiar Stranger which is the island band from the Carribean and Siglo the band which everybody loves. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Things that were done right: 1. Staff from the top to the bottom were great. Friendly, fun, and helpful 2. Embarkation was smooth as butter. Wouldn't change a thing! 3. Loved the modern (but not ultra-modern) decor. 4. ... Read More
Things that were done right: 1. Staff from the top to the bottom were great. Friendly, fun, and helpful 2. Embarkation was smooth as butter. Wouldn't change a thing! 3. Loved the modern (but not ultra-modern) decor. 4. Always felt safe on the ship 5. Stateroom (balcony) was just right. Not too small and the bathroom was excellent. 6. Leaving and returning to ship on ports days was smooth 7. Atmosphere on the ship was calm and relaxing. No one lost their s***. 8. Easy to navigate ship because of signage. 9. Waterfront deck on deck 8 was my favourite location. Things that needed improvement: 1. Food at complimentary restaurants was average and rarely changed. The same menu day in and day out for the most part. Nothing excited me in the buffet. 2. There needs to be a snack joint on the ship other than the local that serves things like pizza, fries, donuts, coffee, etc during the transition times when restaurants are closed. 3. Inconsistent restaurant scheduling. All restaurants need to have a FIXED opening time to avoid confusion. The buffet should always open at 6:30 for breakfast and not flip flop depending on port/sea days. 4. The gym should be open 5 AM as many would like to get that done with early and to avoid larger crowds. 5. Internet access using the 250 minute plan was confusing for many (you have to logon and logoff). Sometimes, it said you were logged off and it continued to use minutes. I lost 98 minutes because of this. :( 6. I can't hear the Captain or Cruise director over the PA system in public areas. They need to increase volume or change the speaker system. 7. Inconsistent meal quality in the main dining room. Some meals were simply not good. When ordering a steak, the usually undercooked the meat. 8. Debarkation (at least in NY) was slow and tedious. Better to self-assist walk off and get a cab to the airport. 9. More strictly enforce hand washing at the buffet to avoid spread of GI infection (which happened on this sailing). 10. Some shore excursions were simply bus tours to shopping areas and not really historical/cultural as advertised (Cartagena/Santa Marta) 11. The Bliss theatre seating wasn't very comfortable as it slopes downwatd. The ambience is akin to a local movie theatre in the nineties. Could be more glamourous. 12. I would love to have people speak about the history/culture of every port we visit in a lecture style format 13. The go-karts were too regulated. You couldn't really get up to speed for long periods of time without the staff slowing us remotely. Only 10 minutes of racing and 20 minutes of prep. 14. Fabric on Atrium seats needs replacement. Obvious wear and tear for such a new ship. 15. This is difficult to change, but there is no open air forward facing deck for standard passengers. Only Haven guests get that. The observation lounge in nice but nothing beats being out in the open. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The Panama Canal was on my bucket list and when I was looking for a cruise that interested me I came across this one. I booked on impulse in 5 minutes. I was able to get off work, etc. So fate allowed us to go. Fantastic. We enjoyed the ... Read More
The Panama Canal was on my bucket list and when I was looking for a cruise that interested me I came across this one. I booked on impulse in 5 minutes. I was able to get off work, etc. So fate allowed us to go. Fantastic. We enjoyed the ports, the ship, food, everything. Good luck at the casino. Friendly group of passengers. Fantastic cruise staff. Went on a Luxury day sail and Snorkle in Cabo San Lucas and a Textile of the Highlands in Guatemala. Both were wonderful. I would recommend both excursions. Eco canoe in Columbia was boring, hot and we saw nothing worth seeing. We did several city tours that were nice, but not out of the ordinary. They were good for passengers with limited abilities to walk, etc like my mom who traveled with me. She is 80. The hike in Santa Marta was fun (I went without mom). The waterfall was nice and the swimming refreshing. The description needs to say you would walk in lots of water and should wear swimsuit and watershoes. Very good cruise. I would go again. It will be hard to go a shorter length of time. If you can swing the time off work, try a long cruise. I know I loved the time. I was allowed to unwind and relax. No pressure to do everthing in a week. Very rejuvinating. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
21 nights of pampering, relaxing, and just unwinding from the daily grind. The Bliss (Haven) is THE PERFECT way to do this. Plenty to do onboard. Stateroom was big enough (even for 3 weeks) so we didn’t get in each other’s way. ... Read More
21 nights of pampering, relaxing, and just unwinding from the daily grind. The Bliss (Haven) is THE PERFECT way to do this. Plenty to do onboard. Stateroom was big enough (even for 3 weeks) so we didn’t get in each other’s way. Specialty dining is always good (as are the main dining rooms) But the menus have changed since our last cruise so we probably bought more nights than we needed to. Smooth sailing, excellent staff (how do they remember all those new names?? ), good food and “adult libations”. The demographics of the passengers were not party animals, only a few kids...I didn’t think about it when booking... but now I’ve seen the light Most of the excursions were good (Cabo was a clear exception to that with the Lands end boat cruise... not worth doing) and some were most excellent (Aruba the Sunset Cruise... that had me finding my happy place Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We used NCL air/hotel arrangements and also transfers with great satisfaction. The Bliss is a very big ship, the biggest of NCL and also very recent, 2017. Very modern and luxurious it offers a lot of outdoor activities, as much for ... Read More
We used NCL air/hotel arrangements and also transfers with great satisfaction. The Bliss is a very big ship, the biggest of NCL and also very recent, 2017. Very modern and luxurious it offers a lot of outdoor activities, as much for children as for adults. The big-production shows were Broadway's quality. The food in all the restaurants was very good, even at the buffet, with a lot of delicious choices. Our account and reservations can be accessed directly from our TV and cell phone. The staff is always polite and helpful. The "Free Style" is very appreciated... no need for suit or tie, everywhere! On the other hand, big ships also means that it does not go under all bridges ... we had to pass under the bridge of Americas and also under the Broolkyn Bridge at low tide, that is to say 11PM and 3AM ... so saw nothing or almost nothing. The recent construction may also be responsable for lots of noises: in the Atlantic, with slightly rough waters, we heard creaks on the stairways and especially banging in our cabin, enough to prevent us from sleeping. Comedy shows where numerous, but with a very local humor, not international, so for non-US citizens, it is hard to follow. As for the restaurants, there are many, but we had to book in advance if we wanted to eat at a reasonable time, just like for the Jersey Boys and Six shows. And all these reservations, restaurants, shows and excursions, that we can do ourselves on TV, cell or tablet, they are not accessible on all these platforms ... some reservations appear only on one platform. There is no synchronization, which has forced us to recheck everything with guest services ... Overall, by bringing earplugs, making reservations before or very early in the cruise and using only the TV to check your account and book, you make a memorable cruise. We came back rested and very satisfied. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise because it covered many ports that have been on my bucket list, all within the same cruise. The embarkation in LA was a bit congested, and very difficult to hear any announcements regarding boarding groups, so people ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it covered many ports that have been on my bucket list, all within the same cruise. The embarkation in LA was a bit congested, and very difficult to hear any announcements regarding boarding groups, so people were confused as to where and when to get on board. The ship and my cabin were very good. Dining was good except the menus in the dining rooms never seemed to change. Got quite boring after about a week into the cruise. Specialty dining helped with the boredom, and the buffet was pretty good. Jersey Boys was excellent, but only offered 4 showings, so it was always very crowded. Ports and sea days were all well spaced and excursions offered were good. I found that the service was all top notch. All in all, very good cruise! I might not choose the very same cruise again, but I will definitely cruise with NCL again, as evidenced by the fact that I am Platinum status. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Great prices for the 21 day cruise. Ports of call were on my bucket list. Shows on the cruise were amazing. Appreciated the upgrade on my room. Great food choice and plenty of restaurants. Travelled with friends. Will cruise again and ... Read More
Great prices for the 21 day cruise. Ports of call were on my bucket list. Shows on the cruise were amazing. Appreciated the upgrade on my room. Great food choice and plenty of restaurants. Travelled with friends. Will cruise again and took advantage of the CruiseNext offer. Purchased $1000 worth of coupons for future salings and got a $500 credit immediately on my account. Staff and crew were fantastic. Shore excursions were super. Participated in some of the great activities they offered. Jersey Boys, Six, These Guys and the magician and the hypnotist were so good. As well as the Beatles and The Prohibition show. Harold at the Atrium bar always made sure we were looked after drink wise. Also the number of bars on the ship were great and fun when we did our bar crawl. The casino too was lots of fun and offered lots of poker or slot contests to participate in. This being my first cruise was absolutely amazing and one I will always remember. Only thing missing was popcorn. Something for every age and gender on the cruise. Information on the Panama Canal was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise for its length and itinerary. Week long cruises are just not long enough for me now that I'm retired and can cruise longer. I cruise solo a lot and NCL usually has the best solo prices, although I do not sail in ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its length and itinerary. Week long cruises are just not long enough for me now that I'm retired and can cruise longer. I cruise solo a lot and NCL usually has the best solo prices, although I do not sail in the solo cabins as I like a balcony. How about some solo balconies NCL? Embarkation: Embarkation went smoothly since I am Platinum Plus. Ship: The Bliss is a beautiful ship! The Observation Lounge is wonderful. It's so nice to have drinks and food available right in the lounge. Another nice area is the Waterfront with comfy seating outside. Spice H2O is another outdoor area for adults only. I love the libraries on ships and this ship did have one, however, there were also tables for games here as well which means it got noisy sometimes. I wish ships would have a separate room for people to play games. Lots of people like to play cards, mah jong, etc and have no where to play. Cabin: I was in cabin #10274 which was in a great location not too far from the aft elevators. The thing I liked most about my cabin was my coffee pot! There's nothing like a cup of coffee on the balcony in the morning. There were a few things I didn't like about the cabin. Why can't they have a CHAIR at the desk instead of a dreadfully uncomfortable stool? There also should be drawers in the desk. My bed was right next to the closet which makes it very difficult to get anything out of the closet. The room configuration on the Jewel class balcony rooms is much more user friendly. Dining: There was quite a large group of solos on this cruise. We were given a section of Savor, one of the MDRs, for dinner every night. We could go right to our section and bypass any lines. I also had 9 specialty dinners. My best dinner was at Ocean Blue. We had the best waiter! The food at Le Bistro and Cagney's was great as well. Dinner in La Cucina was good, but I was not allowed to order the T-bone steak with my Platinum Plus free dining coupon even though it was within the allowable price range. I thought the Platinum Plus free dining coupon was a reward for my loyal patronage of NCL, but to put such a ridiculous restriction on it made me feel like I wasn't valued for my patronage at all. I also had dinner at Q which was good and a lot of fun. My favorite place for breakfast and lunch was the Local. I think the food here is great. It sure beats fighting the crowds at the buffet (which I went to only once). I loved the carrot cake! Everything I had there was very good and the service was very good, too. Entertainment: NCL excels when it comes to entertainment. Jersey Boys was a WOW! It was an awesome show. I loved the Beatles group. Six was a great show, but maybe more for the girls than the guys. There were some great entertainers in the crew talent show. When do they find the time to rehearse? The entertainers in the various lounges were good as well. Service: I found the crew to be helpful and friendly. Ports: There were quite a few ports on his cruise so I won't cover all of them. I think my favorite was Puerto Quetzal. I took the NCL tour to Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old town is quite lovely with its colonial buildings and cobbled streets. Our tour included lunch in an old monastery which is now a hotel. Debarkation: What a mess! There just aren't enough Immigration agents to handle 4000 passengers. Overview: I loved this cruise! I loved the ship! I could do it again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Wanted to see the new Panama Canal - Crossing was great. I was impressed at the way this large ship could dock in port so easily. The sailing was very smooth and would be a great way for people afraid of getting sea sick to ... Read More
Wanted to see the new Panama Canal - Crossing was great. I was impressed at the way this large ship could dock in port so easily. The sailing was very smooth and would be a great way for people afraid of getting sea sick to start cruising, as there was very little rocking of the ship at all. The buffet dining set up was very efficient and streamlined and was easy to get to and there was never much waiting time. The elevators at front and back of ship made it easy to get arount the ship.. The dining rooms were nice but we had to ask for shared dining for four nights before we had someone to share with and we shared with that person only because we asked her to share with us. She was also at a table seated alone when we asked her to join us. On other nights we would stand around the entrance to the restaurants and ask other couples to share our table. We were on a Norwegian cruise to the Carribean in Nov 2018 and the staff on that ship were the greatest people for asking about sharing and making a real effort to join people at tables. It's nice to have someone different to talk to at meals and we met some great people and made some new friends but most of it was through our own offorts. The entertainment was very good . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge ... Read More
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge account. Mini Suite Room Design and Cleaning: we paid pricey for this MA class room 9 months before cruising, the design of room layout is not easy to move around and storage space is not enough. The shelf was broken and missing, the staff said, they can NOT repair it. entertainment: every show we went, we watched a lot guests left in the middle of program. most of the E-staff talk English in all kind of strange accent. food and restaurants: food is terrible in quality for freshness and the ways of prepared. The India Chief Chef maybe cook the way we are not used to it. Future Cruise: Again, bad English and worse Debarkation: at the Manhattan Term. all guests have to stand in line outside for 2 hours to get off the ship, this break the record not only for NCL, but for all the Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Friends were going on this cruise and I wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was a three week cruise and we were looking forward to a memorable trip with friends. The Cabin was nice except for the bed. The Platform bed was very poor. You ... Read More
Friends were going on this cruise and I wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was a three week cruise and we were looking forward to a memorable trip with friends. The Cabin was nice except for the bed. The Platform bed was very poor. You could feel the woven platform when you laid on the mattress. The steward had to install a bed board and mattress topper before the mattress was tolerable, not great but acceptable. The balcony and full size shower were fine. The food ran from A+ to atrocious. This varied from day to day and meal to meal. It made no sense. Perfect example was the omelet station at breakfast. They cooked the omelet in oil, not butter. No milk in the eggs to create a fluffy texture. The veggies were not cooked. They were just laid onto the eggs when the eggs were done. POOR! At the Asian soup station for lunch they stopped using the traditional rice noodles and started using wheat noodles. Completely different taste and not Asian. The last week of the cruise the ramekin of cottage cheese at breakfast shrank in size each day. Bananas were almost never on the breakfast buffet. I have never seen this before on any cruise. I had to special request to get a banana. The entertainment in general was good although some of the performers should have chosen another career. One comedian was so bad that his half hour performance did not get a laugh from the entire theater. One female singer was off key for the entire performance. Who reviews these entertainers before hiring them? Disembarkation was bad, to say the least. I have a mobility problem and was denied to get into a disability short line to go through customs. We had booked the entire cruise and flights through NCL. We docked in NYC and found that our departure flight had been booked through LaGuardia. LaGuardia has been under construction for a couple of years and is a MESS. NCL neglected it's duty by booking flights out of that airport. They could have booked us out of Newark or Kennedy which do not have construction problems like LaGuardia. Over all the bad out weighed the good on NCL. We will never travel on NCL ever again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had not cruised for 15 years. The Panama Canal was always on our bucket list and, we booked this cruise rather hastily as the time and price were right. We had never cruised on NCL before and loved the amenities on the ship, the ... Read More
We had not cruised for 15 years. The Panama Canal was always on our bucket list and, we booked this cruise rather hastily as the time and price were right. We had never cruised on NCL before and loved the amenities on the ship, the freestyle dining and how hard the crew worked to keep the ship clean and us healthy. The food was excellent in both the complimentary dining and specialty restaurants. Entertainment (bands and shows) were superb. I commented to my husband and friend of 40-years that this was like a "Spring Break Cruise for Baby Boomers." Loved every minute of it and am thinking about the Mediterranean cruise in November 2020. Overall, the on-the ship experience was perfect. The transfer from LAX was not -- it took us 4 hours from the time our flight landed until we got on the ship. NCL agreed that they had communication issues between themselves and the transfer agent. They made a note to refund our $35 transfer fee on the last day of the cruise, but did not. Overall, this was just a speed bump. We were otherwise extremely pleased with the NCL experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Traveled with Norweijan 4 times prior to this cruise. First 2 were amazing! Second 2 did not deliver. This was the 3rd strike. Except for Margaritaville, the food was awful. Cagney's was the worst. Length of time at some sit down ... Read More
Traveled with Norweijan 4 times prior to this cruise. First 2 were amazing! Second 2 did not deliver. This was the 3rd strike. Except for Margaritaville, the food was awful. Cagney's was the worst. Length of time at some sit down restaurants was ridiculous. I had low expectations for the buffet, but they fell short anyway. Dried out proteins. Flavorless everything else. Ran out of foods the first week. There was little talent. The singer in Familiar Strangers can't sing anything but flat. And so loud that you can't eat in the restaurant above it. 6 comics, 3 hosts: host #3 was bad & 3 of the comics were really bad. 1 I did not see. Terrible averages. Games held by cruise staff were amazingly dull or stupid. Even the contestants didn't seem to understand what was going on. Why St. Maarten and Antigua are on the schedule is a mystery to me. Both fairly dull and not much to do in either. There are many other ports they could have offered. One last thought...I'm on vacation not a shopping spree. I hate having shopping shoved down my throat on a daily basis. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a 21 day cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, that was very disappointing. We have cruised a number of other lines before, this was our first on Norwegian. We were excited to go thru the Panama Canal, and the stops were all good, what ... Read More
This was a 21 day cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, that was very disappointing. We have cruised a number of other lines before, this was our first on Norwegian. We were excited to go thru the Panama Canal, and the stops were all good, what we expected. Careful with the excursions they provide, a number of them are just shopping stops, that you pay good money for. Our problems were mostly with the food on the ship, there was one restaurant that was good, that was at an additional fee, Cagney's Steakhouse. we ate at all the others as well. Even for the additional fees, they were not good. The buffet, was no better than an high school cafeteria's food, and the main dining rooms, not only was the food bad, but the service was even worse. To make it even worse, they did not care. One breakfast in the main dining room it took over 1 hour to get a basket of croissants, everyone else got there food but me, we asked three times, and no one even cared. Finally, just left. Balcony room on Deck 12 - was small but adequate, and room steward was good and very nice. Entertainment was good we saw Jersey Boys, Six, and a number of entertainers, All we good. If you are a smoker, you will be relegated to a small section in the Aft of the ship, not a lot of room for all the smokers, and if it rains you are in the rain. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were on a 21 day cruise from LA to Manhattan. Jersey Boys was the best show I have ever seen on the water so that is definitely worth seeing. Our balcony room was clean and comfortable. We got a bunch of the Free at Sea items. The ... Read More
We were on a 21 day cruise from LA to Manhattan. Jersey Boys was the best show I have ever seen on the water so that is definitely worth seeing. Our balcony room was clean and comfortable. We got a bunch of the Free at Sea items. The free drinks really cost $19.80 per person per day but it was still worth it given we drank more than 2 drinks a day. The specialty restaurants were good but I was very disappointed that even at Ocean Blue (their Seafood Restaurant) lobster was a $25 up-charge. I was on Royal Caribbean in January 2019 and the entire ship had free lobster in the main dining room. It felt like a slap in the face the NCL charged $25 in the specialty restaurant and lobster was never available in the main dining rooms. We were with another couple and it was disappointing that our waiters rarely knew who order what. The 24/7 "Local" restaurant was very nice, good food, even Buffalo Chicken wings. I wish I had known I could get a bag of laundry washed during the cruise for $20, I would have packed a lot less. I wish I would have known that the flights booked by NCL for me would not be known until about 30 days before the cruise and that even though we booked with people leaving from the same airport, that we would be on different flights. There were major issues with the transfer from LAX to the ship, it was very stressful, in the end NCL made it right. The price of the cruise dropped $200 per person after we booked, I specifically booked via NCL and was told they would honor any price drop ONCE. That was not the case, instead of giving us $400, we were given a $100 on board credit. I assumed we would be able to text each other and the other couple for free while on the ship. Nope, that is an up-charge on NCL. In the end we didn't bother. The 250 free minutes of WiFi was nice other than the WiFi on the ship was very slow ( Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hi all! Now that I’m back from my 28 days on the Bliss and trying to recuperate before our January adventure I’ll try to give some of my thoughts. First of all I had a fantastic time. This was a B2B sailing the first 21 days from LA ... Read More
Hi all! Now that I’m back from my 28 days on the Bliss and trying to recuperate before our January adventure I’ll try to give some of my thoughts. First of all I had a fantastic time. This was a B2B sailing the first 21 days from LA to NYC thru the Canal, then a 7 day roundtrip to Florida and the Bahamas. The first cruise had a very different atmosphere than the second. The first had an older average passenger age and about 3800 passengers with very few under 18, while last week being a holiday week was much younger with about 4800 passengers and 1000 under 18. So things were more laid back the first 21 days and much more hectic the last 7. I ate in most specialty restaurants. I did not go to Los Lobos and Food Republic. My favorites were Le Bistro, Cagney’s and Teppanyaki, though La Cucina and Q Smokehouse were also very good. On the first 21 days, even though I had reservations, because of the length of the cruise, most restaurants had walk up seating available, but a total different situation last week, all were booked solid all week. If you don’t have reservations for dinner yet you can still book as soon as you board. On my cruises on the fist day they had reservations set up in The Social on deck 6 and most times were available, but they go quick. Though I have seen complaints about service online, I did not feel it was bad. I always allow 2 hours for dinner in the specialty restaurants. I didn’t have a bad meal in the 28 days. I did not go the buffet much, only for a quick breakfast on some days. I had lunch in The Local, basically the same as O’Sheehan’s but there are some different items then I’ve seen before. As for the shows, Jersey Boys was my favorite (I saw it 3 times over the 28 days). It is an hour and 45 minutes long, starts out a little slow but then picks up and doesn’t stop. Doors open 30 minutes before show time and line started building up 15 minutes before that. The early show was more popular but from what I saw I think all the stand by line was able to get in, but if you want a good seat, make a reservation, again you can do that once you board if it shows as sold out online. I saw Six on my first leg. The singing was excellent and the production looked great, but I wasn’t thrilled with the story line, but that is just my opinion. There were many who thought it was excellent. It is not as long as Jersey Boys. It helps if you’re familiar with Henry the 8th and his 6 wives. The Beatle cover show in the Cavern was great. They do a few shows featuring songs form different years. No reservations are needed but it is a small venue and by 30 mins before show time most seats were tabken so come early. They also do a show in the theatre, again no reservations needed. I went to most of the later Levity Comedy shows in the Social. These need reservations and can only be made once onboard so book as you can, either in the Social or use the kiosks around the ship, again they fill up fast. They also have a stand by line. Besides Jersey Boys and Six in the main theatre (which only run 2 nights each) there was always another type of show each night. There was a singer, comedy hypnotist and magician act on other nights. The main pool is larger than I’ve seen on the Escape and Breakaway. Chairs were no problem on the first 21 days, but last week with the younger larger crowd it was busier, but I always saw chairs available. Of course many know I’m fond of my beer and spent time in the Brewhouse. On the first 21 days they had a singer doing requests, not Howling At The Moon, but since the Bliss doesn’t have it, it was fun. He sang and told jokes. It was pretty filled most nights he played. On nights when there was football he was off and they showed the games on TV. Last week he was off the ship and a new singer was there. He just sang with not much interactions with the passengers and it was not as busy, but the beer is still excellent. My favorites were the Stone IPA, Magic Hat #9, Newcastle Brown Ale, Hop Gun IPA and District Pale Ale. George and Sienna were behind the bar. I also spent a good deal of time at Maltings to enjoy some Jameson Caskmate with my New Castle. Sy, Jerome, Stephan and Mark were all great behind the bar. The Observation lounge on deck 15 is beautiful. Plenty of seats and couches to sit an relax. There is a small buffet for breakfast and lunch. There’s a large circular bar to enjoy and they have a piano singer there at night. The Q Smokehouse also has a bar and they feature country western singers during the evening. There was one tender port in the 28 days, Great Stirrup Cay. I had priority and was on the first tender but I heard from many that it was very disorganized and many could not get to the island until after 1:30 PM. Since we arrive at 11 and last tender back was 5:30 many were not happy. If you plan to use a tender check the kiosks or your room TV to book a tender (no tickets, just goes on your card) and book an early tender. If you have a shore excursion you’re supposed to have priority but I heard some complain that they still couldn’t get on early. I like to try to get to the gym in mornings. They have the same equipment as other ships. I like to use the elliptical, treadmill and stationary bike. I usually had no problem getting an elliptical or treadmill but they only had 1 stationary and 1 recumbent bike so it was hard to get one. They do have a separate spin room with many spin bikes (there is a charge when they do a spin class). On other ships you were not allowed to use them if not a class, but I did see people using them at other times, but I don’t like those bikes so I didn’t. I had an aft balcony for the first 21 days and a mini suite with my wife last week. The cabins were great and I had great stewards on both cruises. The casino has a separate smoking area that is closed off from the rest of the casino so not much smell of smoke. On the first 21 days the tables were not busy and the minimum dropped to $5, but last week it was a lot busier and the minimums were back to $10. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I booked this trip at the last minute because 1) The Panama Canal was on my list and 2) I had an unexpected long opening in my calendar. First Norwegian cruise for me. Generally lovely ship except for the disappointingly small and only ... Read More
I booked this trip at the last minute because 1) The Panama Canal was on my list and 2) I had an unexpected long opening in my calendar. First Norwegian cruise for me. Generally lovely ship except for the disappointingly small and only pool for non-Haven guests. Staff were generally very accommodating, curiously though, the entertainment staff and cruise director had an "attitude" I did not appreciate. Stateroom was comfy. Steward was terrific! Beverages are way overpriced (captive audience). Food was OK. Recommend eating at Taste and Savory whenever able - food is cooked to order rather than eating in "The Bay of Pigs" (main buffet style dining facility which gets a little old on long trip and is not the best at enforcing guest hand hygiene). With the exception of a few shows (hypnotist, Jersey Boys), I did not care for most of the evening entertainment - just not my style. Sound systems in the smaller venues were very loud, inhibiting ability to talk w/ other guests. However, when ship's captain needed to make an announcement, we could NOT hear these well in the common areas. Shore excursions were mixed - I had low expectations so was OK. Lecturer on Panama Canal was helpful; very limited other educational opps on this trip. While my review is critical, I paid a discounted fare because I booked so late and had a great time. I would travel w/ Norwegian again. Enjoy!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We recently returned from a cruise on board the Norwegian Bliss. We had been on Norwegian once before about 9 years ago, and were shocked at how downhill they have gone. We have cruised with many other cruise lines in the last several ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise on board the Norwegian Bliss. We had been on Norwegian once before about 9 years ago, and were shocked at how downhill they have gone. We have cruised with many other cruise lines in the last several years and there are some things that Norwegian do to exploit their customers that differ from other cruise lines. I believe these are things somebody considering a Norwegian cruise needs to be aware of. I list some of them below. There are more. (i) Surely the most expensive drink prices on the high seas. In 2019 you will pay USD 8.40 for a small bottle of Heineken or Stella, after adding in compulsory 20% gratuity. The cheapest glass of chardonnay available on board will set you back USD 10.80. A bottle of Matua Sauvignon Blanc, which you can buy for about USD 7 at home, will cost you USD 44.40 (thats USD 37 + 20%). Furthermore, there are no happy hours of any kind. Other cruise lines have lower beverage prices to start with, but also have happy hours every day with substantial discounts. (ii) You will pay an additional USD 7.95 "convenience charge" every time you order anything from room service. I have never seen any other cruise line charge a fee for room service. (iii) You will pay USD5 plus 20% gratuity for a bottle of drinking water. The water in cabins out of taps isn't suitable for drinking. Every other cruise line we have been on provided bottled water to cabins each day for no charge. You cannot simply go ashore and buy water and bring it to your cabin - it will be confiscated at the gangway as if it were wine or liquor. There were self service water dispensers in the garden cafe on level 16 of the Norwegian Bliss but there were signs saying you were not allowed to fill water bottles there. We ended up bringing on an empty water bottle each at a port (we discovered empty bottles are okay to bring through security). When we went to the garden cafe we would take our water bottles to our table. We would bring cups of water to the table and tip them into our bottles until they were full. (iv) the specialty restaurants are very expensive. On other cruise lines, they recognise that you have already paid for the meal in your cruise fare and just add a surcharge of about USD15 to USD20 per person for eating in the specialty restaurants. On Bliss they make you pay prices you would pay in an expensive restaurant at home, and the food is mediocre anyway (thats feedback from other passengers - we chose not to eat there). For example, a meal in the Teppanaki restaurant will cost you an extra USD 46.80 per person on top of what you have already paid for food in your cruise fare. A rib eye steak in Cagneys will cost you US$32 plus $3 for sauce plus $6 for each side plus 20% gratuity. Thats US$56.40 if you want potato and some vegetable with your steak. (v) movies in your cabin are pay per view. I can't remember seeing pay per view movies on any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this cruise because of a previous extremely incredible cruise experience. This cruise aboard the Bliss was unsatisfactory. We had very few servers and experiences that met our previous expectations. Too many people with ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of a previous extremely incredible cruise experience. This cruise aboard the Bliss was unsatisfactory. We had very few servers and experiences that met our previous expectations. Too many people with stomach flus and respiratory flus. Dining rooms and buffet never changed food options/menus the entire 3 weeks. It was monotonous. Food was ordinary even in specialty dining. Tender process was tedious and somewhat insulting. Disembarkment was a nightmare On a personal note...I miss the towel animals and chocolates in the evening Not enough elevators to service the amount of people on board. Some staff were rude and didn’t seem to really care. For example, if you’re going to say good morning to cruisers at least look them in the eye and pretend to mean it. This happened a few times but not with stewards, servers, or hosts. There were a few servers, bar tenders, and stewards that made us feel great Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
ship was new and beautiful. Staff seemed poorly trained, especially restaurants. 3 Main dinning rooms had very mediocre food and poor and slow service. Specialty restaurants were wonderful, great food and staff. Bars and bar staff (very ... Read More
ship was new and beautiful. Staff seemed poorly trained, especially restaurants. 3 Main dinning rooms had very mediocre food and poor and slow service. Specialty restaurants were wonderful, great food and staff. Bars and bar staff (very well trained) were wonderful. Buffet was disappointing compared to a dozen other cruises I have been on. Rooms (mini-suite) was very nice and bathroom was the best I have ever had on a cruise. Two production shows ( SIX and JERSEY BOYS) were terrific but other theatre shows were just average and the theatre was too small for the crowd (passengers were turned away at each performance). Went on 8 shore excursions and was happy with all of them. The Casino was excellent and very large with a great variety of games. I would NOT RECCOMEND this ship if you are primarily interested in food or entertainment or good service, but since the ship itself was beautiful maybe NCL will get their act together in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I booked a cabin facing forwards at the front of the ship underneath the captain's bridge to give me the best possible view of the canal. The cabin was quite spacious with plenty of storage space, and perfectly adequate for my needs. ... Read More
I booked a cabin facing forwards at the front of the ship underneath the captain's bridge to give me the best possible view of the canal. The cabin was quite spacious with plenty of storage space, and perfectly adequate for my needs. Considering the number of passengers embarkation went quite smoothly. I used all the dining areas with the exception of the speciality ones. The self service garden cafe was well stocked with a good choice of food at all meal times. I used this and the Manhatten Room,Savor and Taste restaurants mainly in the evenings. Although there was usually a queue at all 3 they operated a call system which would let you know when your table was available. Usually within 15 minutes, and this worked very well.The food and service was usually good but some members of the serving staff looked disinterested and needed a course in public relations. I used the smaller restaurants Savor and Taste only 2/3 times but the service especially in the morning was dreadful and I waited sometimes for nearly 30 mins to be served and so reverted to the self service garden cafe. The entertainment was excellent but all did get quite full and you had to book early or queue up hoping to get a seat. The public rooms were all well furbished and quite spacious although they could do with a lot more seating in the atrium.The observation room was very spacious. The shore excursions were very varied and well organised considering the number of passengers on board, but all the ones I went on did call at specific shops such as jewellers, silversmiths and the like to entice you to buy. Although I did not use the fitness or recreation facilities because of my age they all looked quite well fitted out for those that did. Disembarkation in New York was a disaster area, because of the passenger numbers and slowness of the American immigration system. I waited about 3 hours to clear this, most of the time in a huge winding queue, with the result that I missed my pre- booked taxi to the airport who had given up on me and I had to make alternative arrangements. Overall I did enjoy the cruise, although the number of passengers did cause problems at times and I would prefer smaller ships in the future. Having said all that one thing marred the whole cruise and that was the so called "Daylight Transit of The Panama Canal" which was anything but. Being a civil engineer I chose this cruise to admire the effort and work that had gone into its construction.The cruise was widely advertised as a daytime transit of the canal, but in the event we entered the canal after midnight and arrived in Lake Gatun early in the morning where we moored up for about 2 hours to pass the time, with only one lock left to pass through. The canal is unlit apart from the locks, and to expect passengers to stay up all night is inconsiderate and not practical,not to mention a waste of the money I spent on the cruise. The captain stated that it was because of the tides but these can be predicted years in advance and the itinerary adjusted accordingly. Rumours on the ship indicated that it is cheaper to transit the canal overnight than during the day and was merely a cost saving exercise on the part of NCL, at the passengers expense, and ignoring the advertised details. On complaining to NCL on my return, I just received an obvious standard reply to say they can alter the ports of call if they wish, but this was far more than a port of call and was an important highlight of the cruise.In my opinion it could be considered a breach of contract. So beware ! Reading reports of other NCL cruises this sort of thing in missing out important parts, or ports, has happened before on other cruises, with a general lack of consideration for the passengers, whilst NCL hide behind the small print. I would have to be very careful before I booked similar cruises with them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I predicate any review with a caveat. Not everyone likes the same experiences and I come to most experiences skewed by the fact that I live in the Las Vegas area, where entertainment and food service are highly competitive and demand ... Read More
I predicate any review with a caveat. Not everyone likes the same experiences and I come to most experiences skewed by the fact that I live in the Las Vegas area, where entertainment and food service are highly competitive and demand excellence. I try to weigh this bias in while reviewing and realize not everyone is subject to the variety and expertise in the areas as one who lives in a recognized entertainment capital of the World. So, I will not nitpick in my cons, but mention only those drawbacks I find extraordinary. With that out of the way, let's begin. Let me first say that this was my first NCL experience. My resume sports twenty cruises, but the lion's share is on Royal Caribbean. My wife and I wanted to see if "freestyle" cruising was for us. A one week cruise on NCL's Bliss, sailing out of Los Angeles, a mere one hour plane ride away, seemed like a good beginning to what we hoped would lead to many more cruises with Norwegian. After watching several reviews, we decided on a Spa Mini Suite to take advantage of the thermal spa suite. Having visited each of the ports on our itinerary, we decided to spend the entire week on the ship and sample as many of the restaurants as we could. Before looking at the pros and cons, let me begin with an overall review of the Bliss. This is a beautiful ship with so much going on it is nearly impossible to get it all in with just one week. If an active cruise is your thing, you will be certainly satisfied on the Bliss. Now, to the list. I like to finish with the pros, so let's start with five glaring cons, not in any particular order. Cons: 1. Food...Although I found some outstanding dishes around the ship, I'd classify most dishes as not bad, just lacking flavor. I found myself tasting many dishes and just coming to the conclusion that it didn't offend and was filling. Believe me when I say, the meal packages will not leave you hungry. Most meals included two appetizers, one main, two sides and a dessert. I ate at seven different restaurants plus the buffet, so I covered quite a bit in one week. I did not visit the main dining rooms so I'll hold judgement and assume they were at or above buffet quality. The best experience I had was at Le Bistro, where all of the dishes shined. My worst experience was certainly at the usually highly regarded Cagney's steak restaurant, closely followed by Los Lobos. If you've had Cagney's before, and I haven't, although most I asked said it was not to be missed, you might want to miss this one on the Bliss. There are just some things you come to expect in a finer restaurant, and Cagney's on the Bliss fell far short. Let me just mention a few things. I enjoy my filet with a Gorgonzola crust. I know, it's a little odd, but steak restaurants all know how to do it. I asked for this and was told they could do a blue cheese crust, but not Gorgonzola. The waiter didn't seem to understand what Gorgonzola is. Anyway, when delivered, there was no crust at all. I asked about the blue cheese and he kindly went back to the kitchen and brought out a side of blue cheese crumbles. I spoke to the manager about it and asked him if he knew what I was talking about. He even told me how it was cooked to form the crust. He offered to take it back and fix it, but I was just frustrated at this point and against a window of time so I just ate the steak with some microwaved blue cheese on top. I need to also add I couldn't eat my two sides. Their definition of cream corn is whole corn kernels in a milk broth. The potatoes au gratin came clumped together in one piece. But check this out. My wife's wine glass had a hole in it...not a crack...not a broken off piece, but a hole you could stick your finger through. She didn't see it and wine poured all over her when she tilted back the glass. How does a glass make it to the table with a big gaping hole. Just don't do the cheesecake. It's flavorless. The multi-layered cake is the best choice. I could add a few more tasteless dishes but I think you get it. For a better filet, visit Le Bistro or even the Teppanyaki restaurant. Los Lobos Mexican restaurant was also pretty tasteless. I have to say I am used to great Mexican food, having lived once in Albuquerque, but I also know the minimal requirements to pass for tasty Mexican food. Los Lobos did not meet this minimum. As to the other restaurants I visited, they were all filling with hits and misses. La Cucina had some tasty spicy shrimp appetizer, but how do they get away with being an Italian restaurant without meatballs? I opted for another filet and it was rather dry. As to the buffet, I thought the breakfast buffet was average, but there was one dish I had to repeat a few times, the Bananas Foster French Toast or Waffle. I haven't seen this on other ships and it was, IMO, to die for. If I travel again on the Bliss, I will skip the specialty restaurants and dine mostly between the buffet and the main dining room. The money saved here can go toward one of my pros, the Thermal Suite. 2. Cabins...I suppose I'm spoiled by junior suites on Royal, but I was under-impressed with the spa mini suite. Gone is the walk-in closet of a stepped-down suite I'm used to. In its place is a closet pinned against one side of the bed. There are no drawers, ambient light nor outlets next to the bed. Royal is lax here too, but the walk-in closet light provides a nice night light over the door. I should mention that the cabin did provide a USB outlet on each side of the bed. IMO, the long couch just isn't needed. I would rather have seen two chairs and a small table. The balcony was one of the smallest I've had in awhile, and that includes standard Royal balconies. I would have expected a larger balcony from a mini-suite. It appears it's all about the included Thermal Spa, but the cost simply doesn't justify the increase in price without extra amenities. As to the noise? It's the worst I've ever had due to these mini-suites being directly under the pool deck. The cabin we had, 15782, was so close to the band on deck 16, my wife could repeat the words from the songs while she tried to take a nap. IMO, stay far away from cabin 15782. As to service, I didn't even see our cabin steward until the fifth day. For some reason, he just couldn't get his timing down on when we were in and out. I have a recommendation here. They have the buttons for privacy and clean room. I would have those tied in with the steward's stations. And while we're on these buttons, let me say I am not a fan of the card in the slot for power idea. I wish that would go away. NCL Bliss has it. Finally, the mini-fridge is too small to fit in a plate from any dining room, so don't bring your food back unless you get a small plate. I tried every which way to get it to fit by moving cans and little bottles around to the point of being charged for a can I never used. 3. The App...I could also add this to the pros because when it worked, it was well worth the $9.95 to stay in contact with all your friends. This eliminates the classic walkie-talkie. It's just that often I found my texts not being received for as much as 30 minutes later. My advice would be to add something I can't believe they forgot...Information on ship-wide opening and closing times. It's in the daily planner, but not on the App. I would think this would be an easy extra page to add. Finally, although it's nice to see your activities you booked each day, any time I had more than one, I could only pull up the first one. Maybe I was doing something wrong and if anyone has some advice, please help. So, I won't say this is a total con, just needs improvement. 4. The Racetrack...This will be a huge pro if you have kids or even adults who are a kid at heart. The ONLY way to participate here is to buy the unlimited pass. There is no way you're riding without a reservation, and even in the off season I cruised in, they were well gone early on. I hate having to plan a ride four days from now at 3pm, and limiting my drinking all day to ride that one time. With the pricey unlimited pass, you could just walk up and get in the queue before you start drinking. 5. Ship Embarkation...I'm not going to hold this entirely on NCL. Perhaps the confusion was the LA port's staff as well. A Few More Minor Cons...The ship had a strange vibration at times. It wasn't the usual sway we all know, but a almost popcorn popping shake that even woke me up one night. I didn't care for the theatre seats in that they were slanted down and the drink cup holder cut into your arms. The staff seemed over-worked and I only remember 2 or 3 bars where the staff was happy and interactive. I study the cleaners as well and they were never aware they should always present a positive attitude. Don't get me wrong, there were some staff that were happy, but they were new in their contract. NCL has an eight month contract with zero days off. That's extreme. If I'm wrong about this, it's because that's what they told me and maybe it weighed into their attitude. Pros: I know the cons seemed a lot, but they were far less than all the pros of this ship. I think the pros and cons I write about here will be biased toward your cruising style. Many of the cons can be avoided just by doing some good research and adjusting my cons by simply doing something like picking a quieter room. It's just that I am highly disappointed in a ship having a mini-suite so loud and so small. I am highly disappointed in such a supposedly high quality steak restaurant failing on simple instructions. That being said, let's look at five pros so outstanding, it might be all you need to cruise on this ship... 1. The Observation Lounge...I've been told this area is so spectacular, quiet and serene, that this makes booking the Haven, if some privacy away from crowds is your Haven reason, unnecessary. IMO, this is correct. I spent many mornings there with a cup of coffee in my hand watching the Sun rise. There's a small continental breakfast there as well, and the muffins are delicious. This ship should be high on your list of options for an Alaskan cruise. I've cruised New Zealand, Norway and Santorini. I would have loved this view on those cruises. 2. The Thermal Spa...Do not miss out on this. There's a warm pool with thermal jets that alleviated any back pain I had. There's also saunas, a steam room, a salt room, and even a snow room. It really changes the entire cruise when you spend an hour or two in this massive area early in the day. PLEASE try it. 3. The Drink Package...Simply put, I loved it. The drinks were great and they serve two at a time if you want with no number limit. Also, if 19 bars isn't enough for you, you might need help. Note, the package is VERY expensive. You must get this included as a free at sea. It needs to be your first and maybe only choice if you drink. 4. Entertainment...Check it out, I saw The Beatles at the Cavern Club and Jersey Boys in the theatre all the same night. I only wish the seats had been better. But don't act yet, look what else you get. The drinks at Prohibition, five of them, were tasty and strong, just like the musical. I didn't see Six, but I heard it was great. Siglo, the rock band, sounded JUST LIKE PINK FLOYD. Those guys were awesome. The piano players were top notch and the Reggae band jammed. Add to this, the first Country Music venue I've seen at sea and it's tough to decide what to do each night. There's also tons of activities going on. NCL knows what they're doing with this. 5. The Waterfront...What a great idea. They hide the life rafts below and give you an almost complete wraparound walking area with scattered bars and dining outside. This should be on every ship. I'm used to a lower deck walking area on Royal, but there's nothing going on like on the Bliss. I loved this area and I think you will too. Some other pros I liked...Karaoke in the Cavern Club was fantastic. The large screen at the Atrium is great for Wii and movies each day. The Local is a restaurant bar open 24 hours a day. I don't believe I've seen this on any Royal ship, Carnival or Celebrity I've cruised. On Royal, you're lucky to find some pizza or muffins at most. On NCL Bliss, you can order the entire menu at the Local. Imagine fish and chips at four in the morning. That's freestyle to the max. I also loved that the sales areas don't take up all the walking room on the floor. Finally, I don't know if it's the port or the ship, but the vibe was young and energetic. The Halloween party was fantastic and lots of people dressed up. Things I didn't get to: Coco's Chocolates, Night Club, Comedy at the Comedy Club, Race Cars, Laser Tag, Slides, Main Pool, Main Dining Rooms, Q Texas Smokehouse, The Haven. Maybe it's because one week just isn't enough, but some of these things got missed because I simply fell in love with the Thermal Suite and spent a lot of time there. So, one final caveat to my review. You could love all the things I missed and have a completely different cruise. I guess what I'm saying is...It really is freestyle, and with so much to do, you will certainly find your groove. I hope I was able to help. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We recently took the 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Norwegian Bliss with our 3 year old son. We have cruised with him before (Disney in 2017 to the Bahamas) and wanted to try another cruise line this time around. I did all of my ... Read More
We recently took the 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Norwegian Bliss with our 3 year old son. We have cruised with him before (Disney in 2017 to the Bahamas) and wanted to try another cruise line this time around. I did all of my cruise homework including pouring over reviews all over the internet but I still had a ton of questions. Here's what I think you should know and hopefully will hlep you on your vacay adventure. So first and foremost this was a great cruise- I have some criticisms but they are constructive and this is no way a BAD cruise! We had a lot of fun as a family but there are a few things that I did notice could be better. So we had an ocean view cabin on the 5th deck. 5164 to be exact. The room was a good size for us and I surprisingly liked the bed (it is on the harder side) but I hated the placement. Right when you walk in the room there is the bathroom on the right side and just past that, boom, the bed, with literally a 2 ft space to walk between the wall and bed to get to the couch and rest of the room. Not the end of the world but definitely made things feel more cramped. That said the room has a ton of storage, large bathroom, really small fridge that is stocked with overpriced sodas and mini bottles of liquor so beware! There is a hairdryer but no iron. The cruise line will lauder your clothes and iron them for you but it is insanely overpriced. I started to run out of shirts for my son so yes I did do some hand washing (there is a clothes line in the bathroom hanging over the bathtub) lol...the cruise line charges PER PIECE for laundry service and PER PIECE for ironing. Crazy. Disney had a laundry room with ironing board for our use for free so that was definitely something I missed. Ok so moving on to the Soda Package - you might be considering buying this $65 unlimited adult and teen soda package, but don't. Its not worth it. Paying individually will equal less, unless you slam like 5 sodas a day. The sodas in the fridge are not covered in your soda package, the sodas on room service are not covered and there is no soda served in the Garde Café which is the buffet. The only places you can get your unlimited Soda is at the sit down restaurants- either the free ones (Taste, Savor and The Local) or the specialty ones. I think total my husband got the chance to get like 6 sodas. So those translated to $10 sodas. Never again lol. Now for the Daycare. I honestly whish I could tell you more about this but I cant because my son refused to even go in. So the Daycare is located on the 5th floor and they are a drop in center. When they are full, they are full. You have to wait outside until someone comes to get their child for yours to go in. Disney lets you reserves ahead of time so you can plan out shows, dinners etc. But the kicker is they would not let you walk your child into the actual center. When dropping off, parents are not allowed into the actual play area, so you take your kid to a lobby, check them in and then someone comes out and these little doors open and your child is supposed to walk into a hallway with some person they don't know. So there we were with about 3 other sets of parents trying to goad our toddlers into going with the workers and yeah...no dice. I honestly cant say I blame them. 3 year old me probably would have been cool off that too. Not to keep comparing but Disney lets you walk your kids in and then do the old slip a'roo out the door. Adopting this style would help out parents a lot I think, but I also get why they don't allow people in too so. So assuming your toddler does not want to go into the unknown that is the Daycare then what to do with your toddler? Well the truth is...theres not much to do at all besides walk around, watch TV, and go into the pool. The pool area for kids is relatively small and I wasn't super impressed. Same for the pool that kids can go in. The race cars, golf and laser tag are an up charge and obviously not something you can do with your toddler. There is an arcade that you pay like $1.50-$3 per game for but that gets old too. Since you will be on sea for a few days make sure to pack some of your kids favorite smaller toys (this also comes in handy for embarkation day which can be a long time in line), books, crayons, cars, dolls whatever...because for us we basically had nothing until our first port day when we stocked up on cars, guitars, moroccas, xylophones you name it. My 3 yr old was a one man banda by the end of the day in Puerto Vallarta. If your child is still in diapers/pullups don't forget to take something on port days that you can change him on, a towel, blanket whatever...there are just not many places to change them at all. I suggest doing Mazatlán and Cabo on your own. In Mazatlán you can get the same tour of the city that they offer as an excursion on the cruise line for half of the cost by going with one of the guys that will rush you when you get to the cruise port. Im not gonna lie... I was scared to go around Mazatlán...but I talked to the guy who ended up being our tour guide and was straight up with him about my fear and he completely understood. In the end we did go with him and he took us all around, the cathedral, the cliff divers, the golden zone and then to a hotel where if you bought an item from the menu let you use their beachfront facility, towels, chairs, pools, bathrooms etc. It was pretty awesome and ended up being my favorite port day. Also....if you are looking to bring back some traditional Mexican items I suggest doing it from Mazatlán, there is shopping at the cruise terminal there so you don't even have to go far. Its cheaper there and they have so much more beautiful items at this port. I was so mad at myself for not shopping more there thinking that Cabo would have the same stuff. Not true...and even so Cabo was way more expensive. Speaking of Cabo...since having a little one pretty much vetos snorkeling, day drinking, and ziplining for you, your options are a but more limited. We ended up going on our own that day and walking their boardwalk area. Its about a 30 min walk to Medano Beach. You just follow the board walk and it will deliver you directly to the beach. Once there its the same kind of set up as Mazatlán, beach front hotels offer you the ability to use their towels, chairs and services for a head charge. We paid $20 to say as long as we wanted. Our Cabo day was pretty short so be sure to time out everything factoring in the walk back and the tend trip time as well. Oh and if you are new like I was...tendering is when a little boat picks you up from the cruise ship which is parked off of the dock in Cabo since they have no actual cruise port. For this reason I don't suggest you take a huge stroller! We took an umbrella stroller and since the boat was rocking crazy that morning I am so glad we did. Finally I will say that there is not a really huge store on the ship, there is a small gift shop with a ton of alcohol and basic sundries but not one toy or child like thing lol..So yeah...I hope this helps you and I hope you got some clarity! The Bliss is a big beautiful ship that is really trying to do its best to incorporate families but by and large is still I think more friendly to solo travelers, childless travelers, and travelers that like to drink and late night party lol....If you really want a kid friendly trip through and through...Im pretty sure you know what line will deliver that less adulty feel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Excellent cruise! We were on a family vacation and there was 15 of us. From babies to great grandma on the trip we had a large range in ages. Embarkation was fairly easy considering the size of the ship and # of passengers they have to ... Read More
Excellent cruise! We were on a family vacation and there was 15 of us. From babies to great grandma on the trip we had a large range in ages. Embarkation was fairly easy considering the size of the ship and # of passengers they have to screen. There was a surprise US Coast Guard inspection which delayed departure by about an hour. Disembarkation was a little more chaotic and somewhat disorganized. Once we arrived at the deck for disembarking there was little direction from NCL and no staff to point people in the correct direction. A lot of people in a small space. The ship is magnificent, it is huge and it even though there’s close to 4K passengers it never felt crowded. The kids had a great time enjoying all the activities but spent most of the their time in the water (pool, slides). We get it, ship is designed for Alaska cruises so more indoor than outdoor but even so the kids had a great time. Reservations a must specially if your a large group but honestly we didn’t have too many issues. Food was average to good, nothing to write home about. Only complaint was the lengthy wait at Taste or Savor for food to be served. We saw Jersey Boys and it was excellent! I think NCL definitely does a better job than most in this department. The live music was also great throughout the week. We were onboard the week of Halloween and I do have to say that was a great time being onboard for Halloween. They do a great job of entertaining the little ones all the way to the adults with the different activities that day. We also enjoyed the comedy shows. Silent disco was way too short only lasted like 45 min. Service was hit or miss everyday. Mostly hit but minor hiccups here and there. You can definitely tell which crew members care and which ones want to get off at the next opportunity. Overall everyone really enjoyed their time on the Bliss. Would we pick the ship again? Maybe with a smaller group. Will we cruise NCL again? Definitely, we really love the freestyle motto this cruise line offers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.0
Value For Money 3.5 3.5

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