52 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles

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
I love the new bliss ship. The hard product is the best among all cruises I had taken . The touchscreen, water slide and racetrack are unique and certainly very appealing. However, I’m disappointed Bliss canceled the childcare ... Read More
I love the new bliss ship. The hard product is the best among all cruises I had taken . The touchscreen, water slide and racetrack are unique and certainly very appealing. However, I’m disappointed Bliss canceled the childcare program for children under the age 3 so we had to leave our 1 year old daughter at home. Also because the ship could accommodate 4000 plus people, there was always a long wait during normal dining hours at the dining rooms even with reservations. Other popular venues such as the Jersey Boys show and trace track were a torturous affair to attend. The food could use some improvement too. We stopped going to the sit down dining room altogether after day 3 on the cruise, not only because the long wait but also because the food lacks variety and didn’t taste authentic( the pad Thai tasted so weird I only took one bite). Overall The cuisine failed to compliment the dining decor it had hoped to capture. It certainly was lackluster and uninspiring in taste and presentation considering that it’s a new ship. I felt you were almost forced to eat at the specialty restaurants. Overall I think the hard product is very good however the soft product fell way short of expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We recently returned from our Norwegian Bliss cruise to the Mexican Rivera. These are our thoughts: 1. Embarkation was extremely efficient and quick. 2. Be prepared to wait for the elevators, which aren't conveniently located ... Read More
We recently returned from our Norwegian Bliss cruise to the Mexican Rivera. These are our thoughts: 1. Embarkation was extremely efficient and quick. 2. Be prepared to wait for the elevators, which aren't conveniently located if you are mid-ship. 3. By prepared to pay for things like: race car driving, laser tag, bowling, gelato, coco's, cabaret, etc. 4. The food in Savor and Taste were average at best. 5. We dined at: Cagney's, Le Bistro, The Cucina, Teppanyaki, and Ocean Blue. These restaurants were absolutely outstanding and we would HIGHLY recommend them. 6. The Garden Cafe was a go-to for breakfast and lunch. There was a nice variety of selections, and the food quality and taste were great. 7. The shows: Jersey Boys was Excellent. Six was Good. Happy Hour Prohibition was $39 and not worth it. You're served 5 mini-cocktails laced with sugar overload and the entertainment factor is something equivalent to a high school show production. The Cavern Club featuring the Beatles were good. The Comedy Shows were good. 2 of the 3 comedians were funny. The other was boring. 8. The ship is very large so be prepared to wait and wait and wait. 9. Reserve dining and entertainment quickly or it will be sold out. 10. We had the mini-suite with balcony. The bathroom was nicely equipped with a dual vanity and large shower. The room was spacious with very comfortable beds and pillows. We did not like the fact that you can't charge your phones if your not in the room. The electric shuts off if your Key Card is not inserted. 11. Cabin Steward and Cruise Director Team were very nice. Bar and Dining- with the exception of speciality dining and washy washy team- were not very friendly at all. 12. We took three excursions: Luxury Sailing with Snorkeling in Cabo- was awesome. Private Beach Resort in Mazatlan- Outstanding. City Tour of Puerto Vallarta- Avoid. 13. The Norwegian Bliss is the 10 largest ship in the world, so just be prepared for large crowds who are impatient. Norwegian does a great job of trying to make as much seating available and to ensure spots like the Garden Cafe do have plenty of stations. If you meet someone, the chances of running into them again is unlikely. 14. There are plenty of places onboard to get a drink. There are bars nearly everywhere. Don't expect a straw, plastic or paper, which makes drinking a frozen drink difficult. 15. The food in Savor/Taste were just average. We dined once for breakfast and once for dinner. 16. Use the NCL app when you get onboard. It's a great resource. 17. Use your stateroom TV to reserve shows, specialty dining, onboard activities, and shore excursions. It's much more convenient. 18. There was a medical incident onboard and the team reacted quickly and professionally. It was reassuring. 19. The onboard activities were engaging and fun. We really enjoyed them. 20. You get the impression that NCL is always trying to sell you something. 21. I yearn for the days when you can buy a package and EVERYTHING is included. The Deluxe Beverage package did not include water/soda/Starbucks. 22. Norwegian Bliss does have their Disembarking to a science. It was efficient and organized. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and there is some room for improvement. We wish the staff were more friendly. We sailed on Royal Caribbean in February and that team were so awesome even after a 8 month stint. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on this cruise with my boyfriend and his family. Staff were great, and overall very attentive. The food was generally not good. The best food was at the buffet. While staff at the restaurants were very accommodating, the food did ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my boyfriend and his family. Staff were great, and overall very attentive. The food was generally not good. The best food was at the buffet. While staff at the restaurants were very accommodating, the food did not live up to our expectations for being on a "luxury" cruise. Service at the restaurants that required an upcharge was mediocre at best. Staterooms were modern and very clean. The shows that we went to see (Six and Jersey Boys) were both excellent. The observation lounge and promenade were great places. The shore excursions were well-organized and a lot of fun, although our last excursion to Cabo was time limited because it was turning into an "at sea" day. I would definitely do an NCL cruise again, but with more realistic expectations. Not sure if it was really worth the money that I paid. Overall, it was definitely a positive experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Bliss is an amazing ship. Lots to do with kids and adults. The pools are very close together and always very busy. There are many options for dinning for every meal of the day, even in the middle of the night. The food is great we ... Read More
The Bliss is an amazing ship. Lots to do with kids and adults. The pools are very close together and always very busy. There are many options for dinning for every meal of the day, even in the middle of the night. The food is great we never had a bad meal. The buffet was different every day with a large amount to choose from. Cagney's Steakhouse was amazing. Everything we ordered was cooked perfectly and was delicious. La Coucina was our next favorite. The waiter explained everything on the menu. The food was amazing. We really love the free style dinning it gave us a chance to try almost every place to eat on the ship. I recommend getting the dinning package upgrade to try different resturants at a very reasonable price. We truly enjoyed the experience. All of the ships employees are great, very friendly, helpful, and funny. The balcony room is great. We loved being out there enjoying the views. It was peaceful and relaxing. The bed are comfortable. There is extra storage under the sofa. The bathroom had plenty of space for all of our things. The closet had plenty of hangers for our close and the steward asked if we needed more. We loved the coffee maker in the room. It was great for making hot chocolate at night and sitting on the balcony. My daughter lover the large mirror with sitting stool to get ready. It had great lighting she said. It was very convenient so that two people can get ready at the same time. I highly recommend the Stone Island excursion in Mazatlan. The people were amazing, the food was great, the views were stunning. The activities were wondering. There was so much to do and alot of them were included in the package. Everything else was a very reasonable price to do. We loved our guides. The Mexican Fiesta & Lunch excursion in Puerto Vallarta was fun and full of information. Our guide Victor was great and very funny. The Tequila factory was amazing alot of free tequila tasting. The lunch was good and the entertainment was great. The tour around the city before we returned to the ship was great. Alot of stops and alot of sightseeing. We would recommend this. Both of these excursions were well priced for what we got. Not very exspensive at all. AVOID AT ALL COST THE EL ARCO, SCENIC STOP AND GLASS BLOWING IN CABO!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the WORST excursion we have ever been on. The guide would only talk about how poor his country was, how they need and rely on our tips. How the government treats its people so badly, and if you have money then you will be fine. The driver went so slow it was only supposed to be a 3 hour excursion and it ened up being 4 and a half one. With no food or drinks. Not even somewhere to buy something. We were only at the glass blowing demonstration for 5 minutes and the guide kept jumping infront of the demonstration. Even the glass blower himself was getting frustrated. All the guide kept saying was dont forget to tip him. He needs it to feed his family. The glass blown stuff you can purchase was way over priced and was just ok. When we finally got back we had 30 minutes to run back to the tender boat to get to the ship before we left port. The guide and driver took to long there was no time to do anything. We wished we never booked this excursion and never wasted our money. AVOID AT ALL COST. Overall this was a great vacation. We loved Norwegian so much we booked another vacation with them for next year. If you are planning another cruise. Make sure you go to the cruise next desk while on board to book it. They have great offers and are very helpful and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise because of the ship, especially because of the newly designed Haven and it did not disappoint us. Overall there was a lot to do and many places to go, we didn't have a change to experience all, as there were so ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the ship, especially because of the newly designed Haven and it did not disappoint us. Overall there was a lot to do and many places to go, we didn't have a change to experience all, as there were so many things to do. The Waterfront is a great concept, we had dinner outside in Los Lobos and the food, ambiance and service were excellent, try the table-side guacamole! The avocado ice cream was not a favorite of us, but everything else was delicious. Also had drinks on the Mojito bar outside several times. The breakfast foods in the buffet were good selection, but we felt that hot foods were not hot at all, by the time you would get to your table the food would be cold. The Haven court yard, sundeck, lounge and restaurant were excellent with top of the line service and food, the fillet mignon in the Heaven restaurant was better than in Gagney's. The personnel in Haven would greet you by your name and remember your preferences, I have a gluten intolerance and it was always addressed properly, they would provide gluten freed bread and adjust dishes to be gluten free. Our Concierge Hanno and our butler were super attentive and took care of everything from room service deliveries, Racetrack reservations to shore excursions. Casino was also nice with good selection of slots, wished there would have been more Video poker game variations. VP machines had a decent pay tables for a cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is our 2nd Norwegian cruise with our kids. Our first one, 3 years ago on the Getaway, was fantastic. We stayed in the Haven in the 2 bedroom family villa and EVERY part of the cruise was fantastic! This cruise, we board to find a ... Read More
This is our 2nd Norwegian cruise with our kids. Our first one, 3 years ago on the Getaway, was fantastic. We stayed in the Haven in the 2 bedroom family villa and EVERY part of the cruise was fantastic! This cruise, we board to find a sign entering the Haven Sun Deck that only those 16 and over were permitted. That is completely ridiculous. First of all, there is ZERO communication on that while booking on NCL.com. There is NOTHING that states that children will not be allowed on the sun deck. On our Getaway ship, we spend numerous hours up there with our kids. This cruise...we basically were put in the Haven Pool deck which had the retractable roof closed, 90% of the time. "How was your time in the sun? We didn't get to be in the sun, but we did stay in a Holiday Innn Express!" Unacceptable. Why...WHY would you have 2 areas of the ship, the Vibe and Spice2O, be adults only and then have the Haven Sun Deck to be the same when there is a 2 bedroom FAMILY villa in the Haven? It is ridiculous. There are 2 separate areas of the ship that allow adults only to "get away from" the kids/noise. That makes no sense at all. If those in the Haven want a complete adult only experience...they have 2 options. We paid MORE than a couple that stays in the Haven, and did NOT get to have all of the amenities as they did. Let that sink in for a second. We specifically pay to have that part of the ship. To not be in the crowded area. To spend that kind of money only to be told we have to go to the public area of the ship if we want to lay in the sun with our kids (ages 13/11/8). Secondly, this ship has NO sports complex. Sure, it has a race track...but our kids couldn't do it because they were too short. The 2 big slides...tall enough, but not 99 pounds...so the ONLY slide they could do was the big one. From the getaway, where they could do 3 slides, ropes course, rock wall, spider slide, jump ball, 18 hole putt putt course, this was a complete disappointment. Now, this was my fault for not checking to see if there was not a sports complex, or at least something else for them to do. This second issue, is definitely my fault. The Bliss/Joy/Encore are obviously more for adults. Hey but the Bliss does have a 5 hole putt putt course!! Yes...sarcasm. Lastly, we brought our concerns our concierge the first night. He said that he was going to get back to us first thing next day (Monday). Monday, at sea, came and went with no communication, and a wasted day of not being able to be on the sun deck. Long story short, we talked with the Assistant GM of the Bliss, and he basically told us, too bad, that is NCL corporate decision...which, he was right. He just cannot make that decision to override the stupid decisions that corporate boards/execs make. Sadly, I have been cruising for over 30 years. My first cruise was when I was 10 years old on the SS Norway. Since then, my favorite vacation has always been a cruise, and an NCL cruise. No longer. There are way too many options, especially from Royal Caribbean, to continue to cruise with a line that discriminates against children, yet charges the same/more for those families to not be able to utilize all the amenities offered to those who choose to pay more for the Haven. On the final day the cruise decided to give us a discount on a future cruise. First off, we are taking a family trip to Italy next year, so we will not be cruising. But why would we choose to cruise again with NCL when our kids cannot go to the sun deck? Regretfully, my love for NCL cruises are done. This was a terrible way to end it, but there was nothing done to try to accommodate what they did not inform us of before the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My younger son turns 13 in October 2019 and wanted to go to the Splash Academy one last time before he is "too old" as his birthday gift. So, we booked this cruise when we were on NCL Escape in November 2018. Again, we learned ... Read More
My younger son turns 13 in October 2019 and wanted to go to the Splash Academy one last time before he is "too old" as his birthday gift. So, we booked this cruise when we were on NCL Escape in November 2018. Again, we learned from the same mistake, never booked our cruise too early as NCL will drop their price dramatically as they cannot sell their rooms during the regular periods of the year. However, we still love the NCL shows although there are lesser and lesser available. The crew members are still hardworking and most of them are very good! We still love them! Drinks are still good and NCL is still kids friendly! Overall, as a regular NCL cruiser, I am disappointed with NCL on their arrangments on the food they served. They only serve Lobster at the Ocean Blue and Caney's now, and they are not as good as other ships. The crab cakes at Q were too salty, so did the scallops at the Teppys. The lunch's menu at the two "sit-down" restaurants have not been changed during the entire 7-day-cruise. The only good thing is "The Local" still serves good Burgers, but the chefs could not hold the qualities of the wings that they served. My wife and I are both agreed that it is time for us to start sailing with other cruise lines and stat building our membership-tier.​ Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I enjoyed certain aspects of the boat but I will definitely say that people should understand that the boat is huge and there are a ton of people going on vacation with you. Almost everywhere you go there will be a crowd. The service at ... Read More
I enjoyed certain aspects of the boat but I will definitely say that people should understand that the boat is huge and there are a ton of people going on vacation with you. Almost everywhere you go there will be a crowd. The service at the specialty restaurants was probably my favorite experience. Other smaller eateries and smaller areas were way too crowded. I would recommend taking one of Norwegians smaller ships if you want that personalized feel. Me and my wife’s room was barely cleaned. Never came back to the room with the towel animals or anything. The staff seemed worn down and tired a day into the cruise. Some of the cameras on board don’t work. We went to the race track and had an amazing time just to find out that the camera system didn’t work so we wouldn’t be getting any footage of a great moment we had on the ship. Also if you get sea sick be prepared for the journey back to port. The captain does not take his time and tons of people were sea sick and vomiting everywhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Im a cruise lover... been on about 8 cruises and this is my second time on NCL.. last NCL before this one was in 2016 and I could really really really see feel and taste their departure from elegance and comfort to mediocrity... Crowded ... Read More
Im a cruise lover... been on about 8 cruises and this is my second time on NCL.. last NCL before this one was in 2016 and I could really really really see feel and taste their departure from elegance and comfort to mediocrity... Crowded as all heck!! They had the 3rd and 4th passenger sail free promotion going on and it absolutely packed that ship to the brim. Every show sold out by day two, every restaurant sold out by day three.. nowhere to just chill. The kids club was 20-30 min just to check in and then another 20-30 min to check kids out. It felt like being at the local shopping mall December 23rd the entire week.. everywhere. Every place. To get a drink was 10 min at any bar minimum. And the worst part was the crew.. they all had this sense of exhaustion on them. What a shame. I will never sail NCL again. So much different than 2016. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
From the time we step onboard, everything was all in order. There was little chaos on elevators and passages due to people are lost or don’t know what to do or where to go. But the crew was very helpful in all ways possible to help out. ... Read More
From the time we step onboard, everything was all in order. There was little chaos on elevators and passages due to people are lost or don’t know what to do or where to go. But the crew was very helpful in all ways possible to help out. The foods are amazingly well organized. The crew made sure that all guests are enjoying each meal. The restaurants are very well maintained and crews assigned are ready to serve all guests. The mustering drill is very chaotic. It took so much time to muster all guests. There should be a better way to fix this issue. If there is a real situation, there might not be enough time to save someone’s life. It took about 40 minutes to fill the theatre where our group has to muster. It takes about 10 minutes before hypothermia set in to someone. Every crew were very responsive and courteous. They know what they are doing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
4th cruise on NCL. 6th overall. Prior on Sky, Gem and Getaway. Big fans of the Freestyle cruising. Had the beverage package and 3 meals at specialty dining included in the fare. THE GOOD Beautiful stunning new ship with top ... Read More
4th cruise on NCL. 6th overall. Prior on Sky, Gem and Getaway. Big fans of the Freestyle cruising. Had the beverage package and 3 meals at specialty dining included in the fare. THE GOOD Beautiful stunning new ship with top notch technology. We had 250 min of WIFI and I had little/no issues accessing it. Opted for the texting/calling onboard and it came in handy a few times. Any issues, visit the desk at the internet café in the atrium. Embarkation was super quick. We were supposed to be there between 10-1030a. Ended up arriving closer to 11a. Check in was quick and were given boarding number 19. I think they were at 6 when we sat down. Waited maybe 10-15 min and then they called all people waiting to board. Disembarkation was a bit slower. Our flight was later so we waited towards the end and walked off. There was probably a couple hundred people behind us. It took us probably an hour or so to get thru the line. We overheard many people who missed their flights. I wouldn't book a flight before noon. Kids (9-12) both enjoyed Splash Academy. One time we tried to drop off the 9-year-old and they were full. That surprised me a bit. Cabin was wonderful. We had a mini suite balcony (10234). I haven’t had a week of good sleep like that in a long time. We had 4 people in the room and it was big enough. No noise issues. No issues with motion as opposed to sitting in the Obs Lounge. Cabin steward – Mohammad was great. I enjoyed the conversations I had with him learning about him and his family. For the limited times we were in the cabin, the movies they had running were impressive late runs movies. Kids appreciated that while we got ready or rested. Week’s worth of dining and I think there was only one meal I had that wasn’t very good (Steak on the classic menu in the Manhattan Room). It was edible, just not good. All the other meals were great. We dined at Cagney’s (excellent), Teppyanaki (Moises was great, steak was tender and juicy, server was quick with the drinks, tablemates were fun with the Saki Bombs) and Le Bistro (server was a bit snooty but was that for ambience?). Very happy with meals/service in Taste/Savor. Other memorable plates for me were the Spinach Caesar Salad, Pizza/Egg White and spinach omelet in the buffet, Caprese snack in the Obs Lounge. For breakfast, they had tasty hash browns, but it seemed like they were only available in one place on the buffet. Why is that? Everything else could be found in numerous locations. Side note, the omelet bars are also able to make regular fried eggs (over medium, sunny side up, etc). Daughter loved having Starbucks on board. Soda seemed flat. Loved the District Brewhouse. Found George and found my beer. By the end of the cruise, I would walk in and he knew what I wanted. Observation Lounge was an interesting place. Wonderful place to go and relax and have a drink/light snacks. It felt like a comfortable living room. I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with people eating in my living room. My expectations for Jersey Boys and Six were very low – honestly had no interest in seeing either. I was blown away with both shows. So glad that they replaced Havana with Six. Even my 12-year-old, who I thought would have been bored with Jersey Boys, really got into it. The scene changes were impressive. Well done. If you don’t have any interest in seeing either because “it just isn’t your thing”, please give it a try. I cannot stress this enough. Give it a try. I almost missed out on it because it just didn’t sound appealing. Comedians – Quincy and Flip – were very funny. I appreciated the Carnival jokes. The other guy was unmemorable. Go carts were fun. My 9-year-old was questionable on the height (probably a half inch off the requirement). We tried to push him thru and I regret doing that. He couldn’t control the go cart and was removed from the track. The 12 year enjoyed it but wasn’t overly eager to do it again. Kids enjoyed laser tag – they did it once in the day and once at night. It is an open top venue. I was told it is better at night. Waterslides were fun. The tube one was fun but short. The drop slide was fun but seemed like only 50% of the riders made it over the first loop resulting in longer waits as the had to check both escape hatches. I would call that a design flaw. I don’t remember the drop slides on the Getaway having that issue. The Caliente party was fun. The Cruise Director staff did a great job getting everyone pumped up. One of the staff danced with a little girl (probably 2-3 years old) for a long time. It was a cute interaction. THE BAD Had some stress when we first got on as we needed to reserve go carts/laser tag/shows/restaurants/etc. Sort of went against your Freestyle Cruising concept which we are big fans of. We were able to reserve a few things before the cruise. Seemed like we had to modify or change reservations 2 or 3 times while on the cruise. I had to visit the desk to confirm what I had reserved. Just got a little confusing and complicated. I would be nice if we could just walk up and do these things when we are ready to do them. Ok, if I had to be super picky, I guess I wish I could have had more time in ports. We were cutting it close in Cabo (arriving at the tender boat line like 5 min before 2pm) only to find a massive line. Elevators were always busy so I opted to take the stairs 95% of the time. Good way to burn all the beer and buffet pizza. The ping pong tables on outside of the ship were unplayable due to the winds. The ones on the inside were usable. Bar service at times was slow. I am guessing it is because NCL is giving away more beverage packages. Most attentive service was in the District though. FINAL THOUGHTS On the first day, I witnessed a guy (lets call him Richard, or Dick for short) barking demands at George in the District. “Turn on the Mets Game” George explained they did not have it. “Get me a Harp or Stella” George explained they did not have it and offered an alternative. “Get me the alternative”. It was poured and had some head on it (as beers do). “Scrape the head off”. Unbelievable. The thing that disgusted me the most about this cruise is the way the passengers treated the crew. A simple please, thank you, smile, good morning go a long way. Please keep this in mind when you read reviews. Surely the man that needed his beer scraped is also on here writing. Side note – I saw that man later in a hallway propped up against a wall unable to find his room. Don't be like Dick. Ha. Go and have a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We cruise once or twice a year usually on Princess or Carnival, the reason we decided to go on Norwegian is because we wanted to try out a new ship and since Bliss is a brand new ship it made our decision very easy. Embarkation: We ... Read More
We cruise once or twice a year usually on Princess or Carnival, the reason we decided to go on Norwegian is because we wanted to try out a new ship and since Bliss is a brand new ship it made our decision very easy. Embarkation: We were traveling with two children 3 and 11 months so we had a stroller. Bliss only has 16 elevators on average about 10 elevators less then any other ship we've been on with less passengers so to get on and off the ship or between the floors every-time took very long time and was very frustrating. Dining: The garden buffet had a good selection but several times we've encountered food to be under cooked. Dining rooms took forever to get your food (we were a party of 9) but still it should take hours to eat. Special dining were the worst, not only it took forever to get your food but we got food poisoning TWICE in two separate restaurants (not just couple of us but the entire party). When my kid was trowing up the next morning the manager approached us took our information but nothing came of it. Service: Through out our years of cruising the service on Bliss was horrible. Not sure if crew is overworked or there is something else going on but they were rude, unresponsive and service was just slow. It is like you were asking them for a favor every-time. On-board Experience: EVERYTHING IS EXTRA on the ship, I was surprised that the water slides were free since they were charging for everything, also if you wanted to go to some shows or restaurant you had to reserve ahead of time. The first day we got on the boat everything was already reserved and we had to get on a waiting list for most of the activities. Also there is not that much open/roaming areas on the ship, it seems that they tried to put as many state rooms on the ship as possible. Cabin: Was ok, smaller then on other ships, had a nice size bathroom but i wish the closet was designed different. It was right next to the couch and getting to it was tough. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on this cruise for my play daughters birthday. Although the bliss is a beautiful ship the service sucked. i payed for specialty dinners for two. i try not to eat off of a buffet because l don’t eat meat nor anything cooked with ... Read More
I went on this cruise for my play daughters birthday. Although the bliss is a beautiful ship the service sucked. i payed for specialty dinners for two. i try not to eat off of a buffet because l don’t eat meat nor anything cooked with meat. i could not get any reservations at the seafood restaurant or any of the specialty restaurants . I was not informed in advanced that getting reservations was going to be so difficult. the last two days of the trip i was finally told to go to the restaurants and see if they could seat us. The seafood restaurant told us no but cagney’s was very caring and understood my dilemma. They also were able to make room for my daughter that is wheelchair bound. Cootos to cagney’s and the people that helped us. when all the other specialty restaurants told me no, they said no problem. The buffet food, i’ll just say for lunch and dinner was bread and salad for me. This is the first cruise i did not know my stewards name or who he or she was. i cruised for 7 days, the first two days my room was not made up at all. the third day it was after 6 and they came to make up my room and i wouldn’t let them because i traveled with three disabled adults that were going to sleep. Even though i asked that my room be made up no later than 6 the day before. AND THEY DID NOT MAKE ONE ANIMAL NOR DID THEY DO ANYTHING SPECIAL TO MAKE US FEEL WELCOME Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Right number of days, right destinations we were looking for. Large newer ship that smoothly cut through some rough seas. Staff was excelent in all venues, including resturants, bars. With the free drink package, took full advantage of ... Read More
Right number of days, right destinations we were looking for. Large newer ship that smoothly cut through some rough seas. Staff was excelent in all venues, including resturants, bars. With the free drink package, took full advantage of all the bars all over the ship (about 20 I believe); a great give away by Norwegian that will keep me coming back. Same applies for the included specialty dinning package, which allowed us to eat gormet stile food that we otherwise might not have. Booked excursion for 1st port, felt like a cow in a herd of cattle. Everthing was rushed, and over priced my taste. In the next two ports we made deal with local taxi's. told them what we wanted to do and let them advise as to where to go; best decision all cruise! Beach, food, drink, and more beach-fun for all. Overall, great experiance, good value on a vaction, so much so we booked another, lol. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and my two children (ages 8 and 4) came on this cruise as an extension of a California Disney vacation. We were looking forward to a relaxing spring break family vacation, and certainly expected a similar experience to our prior 6 ... Read More
My wife and my two children (ages 8 and 4) came on this cruise as an extension of a California Disney vacation. We were looking forward to a relaxing spring break family vacation, and certainly expected a similar experience to our prior 6 cruise experiences with other companies. You will be extremely disappointed. This is not a family cruise. Staff is largely ignorant of any cruise activity or procedure, the children activity center is opened odd limited hours, which in turn limits your own ability to book any adult time. The ship is crowded and ill-designed — be ready to wait long lines at any eatery or elevator — the food of poor quality unless you are paying for it. Cabin is smaller than Disney but ok. Very disappointed with our experience and especially for the kids. I will not travel in this boat again. I wish I had read more of the other reviews before I booked it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
All activities on the ship required reservations that you needed to make prior to the cruise which we never were made aware of. The employees were miserable and had the worst customer service skills. The kids splash academy was full and ... Read More
All activities on the ship required reservations that you needed to make prior to the cruise which we never were made aware of. The employees were miserable and had the worst customer service skills. The kids splash academy was full and couldnt take anymore kids as it was a first come first serve basis. Everything costed extra, only food was included. Shows, go carts , arcade and many more things were all extra but they were all full. This ship was beautiful but the experience and sercice was horrible. I will never go on another Norwegian cruise. The pool had little to no entertainment and it was packed with only one pool for families to use. I would highly recommend a Royal Caribbean cruise over this one anyday. To top the cruise off my 10 year had access to charge to his room 1500. On the arcade and the cruise line never flagged the account or notified us .When i found out about charges there corporate office in Miami argued with me stating it was my responsibility to pay the amount. Please safe yourself the headache and disappointment do not go on this ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise for our sisters cruise because the port and sail date fit our needs. Ship was beautiful and large. Embarkation was easy and fast, onboard by 11:15am. Disembarkation was equally easy. Some of the staff were cranky ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our sisters cruise because the port and sail date fit our needs. Ship was beautiful and large. Embarkation was easy and fast, onboard by 11:15am. Disembarkation was equally easy. Some of the staff were cranky and seemed tired. Elevators were over crowded but it was a good excuse to take the stairs for extra calories burned. Specialty restaurants were very good but buffet was choppy. Public bathrooms in the area of the pool could be cleaner. Singers onboard were the best I’ve seen. Really liked Susan and Siglo. Views and atmosphere from the observation lounge were lovely. This is the first time taking a different cruise line other than celebrity in many years, and would have to say even though I had a great cruise celebrity is still my choice. This ship is for passengers with children for sure, celebrity is for people that would really like to avoid tons of kids. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
BAD: Hot tub from 2decks above balcony was over flowing on my friends balcony Room near ours (hard for me to believe this never happened before. Crew was very good trying to take care of it but she never was able to even sit on her ... Read More
BAD: Hot tub from 2decks above balcony was over flowing on my friends balcony Room near ours (hard for me to believe this never happened before. Crew was very good trying to take care of it but she never was able to even sit on her balcony for fear of getting chlorine hot tub water all over them) Terrible and it was pouring at times Clumps of bacon at breakfast on the haven restaurant. The assistant Maitre-D (Garry Velez) was mortified and spoke to the chef.. They were very nice but even on the last day - clumps of bacon again. I would expect more from the Haven Cagneys Restaurant waited 1 hour 40 minutes for main course dinner. We had apps first and that came out in a timely fashion but wait was horrible - we did say something and they apologized sveral times. The smoke alarm in the cooking area was going off for a good 10-15 minutes - we did tell then about that as well and it was finally shut off Were they not going to shut it off hadn't we said something. Steak was a thin porterhouse like u get at sizzler. I would expect more from a specialty restaurant we have to pay for. Food at haven for my friends daughter plain pasta was ice cold but plate was hot. We have video of it. It was a joke the rest of the cruise. Again this was in the Haven restaurant and we did make the chef and Garry aware. AGAIN, they apologized. Lamb chops were ice cold in the haven restaurant, AGAIN - I don't know whats going on up there but it definalety was not great this time. Very disappointing for us. Light in closet in master room of 2 bedroom suite constantly stayed on. They replaced bulb and the door is the issue not the bulb. This happened in her room and ours. They fixed it finally after the 4th day and after my husband put tape on the door every night Toilet in kids room not flushing. Broken. Told them on 2nd day - this was in room 17110 - by the last day, that toilet still had a delay flush No hot water in master bath last 4 days of cruise. This was my friends room. Spoke to numerous people Who said they fixed it and they clearly did not. Complained every day about it On Mazatlán port day we stayed on ship. No one in haven pool area to change towels on chairs. No pool towels available. Had to complain in order for someone to fix it. Refrigerator in our room was constantly leaking they had to keep cleaning it. Fixed by 6th day When you get out of haven hot tub, everyone been cutting or bruising themselves by the artwork above it. The bottom sticks out above the staircase the way it is situated. My husband left shoulder was bruised because of it. We booked 8 people go karts - double - so all 8 of us can ride together - its only 4 times around the track on doubles and 8 on singles. Not only was it $9.95 per ride but when we got there we were told one car was broken so only 6 of us could ride together we were disappointed but it was still fun. I would rather a ship that has a sports complex like basketball etc for the kids. GOOD: Winshor Baslan - was our stateroom steward. He was excellent. Even better than the butler. Tried to take care of all the issues for us as well. Knew my kids by name, made amazing animals for us with the towels. He was even better than we had last year on the Escape Haven. Just the nicest person Q Restaurant was our best night - no complaints. Food was good. Service was great. Music and entertainment were on point. Great night Shows - Havana and Jersey Boys were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Choose the ship due to look and activities available. There was never a dull or boring moment on board, my grandson had the best time he is 3 years old but was trying just about everything, we mini golfed, he went swimming, he went to ... Read More
Choose the ship due to look and activities available. There was never a dull or boring moment on board, my grandson had the best time he is 3 years old but was trying just about everything, we mini golfed, he went swimming, he went to splash academy, we listened to music, went to see Jersey Boys, watched movies and just had a great experience. cannot wait to do it again. The crew was very attentive and just amazing, the food was unbelievable especially the day had Jamaican food. My grandson and daughter made new friends. My grandson loved all the attention he as getting from the crew. I would recommend this ship to friends and family members. Norwegian Cruise line is the best line I have been on so far. This was our 3rd time on NCL and cannot wait to do it again. Claudia from Canada. Dining was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were looking for a west coast cruise for the family. This was our first time on Norwegian. The bliss is a beautiful new ship and never seemed really crowded even though it holds 5,000 passengers. The smaller complimentary restaurants ... Read More
We were looking for a west coast cruise for the family. This was our first time on Norwegian. The bliss is a beautiful new ship and never seemed really crowded even though it holds 5,000 passengers. The smaller complimentary restaurants (Taste and Savor) were much more warm and inviting than the Manhattan. The food and service was great in all the restaurants and the garden buffet. We didn’t try any of the specialty restaurants although we heard great things about cagneys steak house. We weren’t really impressed with puerto Vallarta. Did an excursion to stone island beach in mazatlan which was actually nice. All the alcohol you could drink. Cabo was our favorite and we will probably go back by plane. Saw jersey boys and it was fabulous. They aren’t kidding when they saw broadway productions. Also tried the go carts which was pretty cool knowing you are on a ship in the middle of the ocean. All in all a great cruise. And we were amazed at the speed they got us on and off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I used to love Norwegian. The Epic was my first cruise and I went on several after that before trying Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. One thing I always loved about Norwegian was the value. That has all changed. Now everything costs ... Read More
I used to love Norwegian. The Epic was my first cruise and I went on several after that before trying Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. One thing I always loved about Norwegian was the value. That has all changed. Now everything costs more. Margaritaville has a hamburger I like. When I was on the Breakaway a few years ago I went to Margaritaville every day for lunch. It was like $12 per person. Kind of high but reasonable. Now it’s $15 with a 20% gratuity so that is $18. That hamburger is not an $18 hamburger and lunch for 2 people is not worth $36 and that does not include drinks! All of the specialty dining is more expensive and a la carte. Dinner at La Cucina used to be $14.95 on the Getaway. Now if you get a 4 course meal you are talking $30 to $40. Olive Garden is 10x better than La Cucina and I can get dinner for 2 people for less than $40. NCL wants me to spend nearly $80 for 2 people? They are out of their mind! And one night we got the prosciutto pizza to share. It was a cheese pizza with 5 small pieces of prosciutto. It was not an $18 pizza. I get pizza every Friday from Papa Johns or Donatos and I pay less and get more. Cagney’s used to be a special night; a great filet with delicious sides. This cruise I got an 8 oz filet and it was cooked perfectly but had zero flavor. The chef didn’t even put salt and pepper on it. Luckily I used one of my dining plan vouchers otherwise that steak was $30+. I can get a beautiful filet for $22 locally, put a delicious rub on it, and after 2 hours in my sous vide I have a steak Norwegian would be begging me for. The only positive thing I can say is that I ate in Taste for lunch and dinner because I was tired of paying for food and the food was just as good as the specialty restaurants and the service was 10x better. The servers were very quick and attentive whereas we waited 5 to 15 minutes for the servers in the specialty restaurants to bring us anything. Deck 17 is an epic failure! The doors are not automatic. In order to open the sliding doors, you have to physically touch a sensor. I have limited mobility and I have very limited reach. I could not physically touch the sensor. I tried to use a short dressing stick that I carry to press elevator buttons but the sensors were capacitive so the only way to activate the sensor and open the door was to use an actual human touch. Touch sensors are absolutely and ridiculously stupid! To make matters worse the button is not always in the center of the door. Sometimes it’s on the wall. Has NCL ever met a handicap person with mobility issues? I don’t think they have. We don’t all have full use of our arms. Note: Celebrity ships have similar buttons you have to touch to open doors but their buttons work with my dressing stick. Smart! But wait, there’s more. Have you ever tried to maneuver a 3 wheeled scooter down the length of the ship with beach chairs on either side? If you haven’t let me tell you it’s not an easy thing to do. Now add some wind breakers in the middle and you have a near impossible situation. Now one must try to maneuver around beach chairs and a divider. I have no idea why these wind breakers were installed in the first place. The best part about sitting on the top deck is the ability to stare out at the ocean and have the wind cool you off from the hot sun. If someone doesn’t want wind they can go to deck 16 or the Spice H2O deck. Wind breakers are absolutely and ridiculously stupid! Note: On Celebrity ships there is a walkway at least 10 feet wide all the way down the ship. That means if someone is standing I can go around them. There is also enough room for 2 lanes of traffic. Smart! The Getaway, Breakaway, and Bliss have 28 inches of walkway. That means if I am on my scooter I can’t turn around, people have to stand on beach chairs so I can pass, and the traffic is one way. Stupid! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First things first getting on the boat felt eternal. And our walker-talkies were taken from us. No where did it say we were not able to take them aboard. Once on the boat the balcony room storage was way less then on carnivals. Having to ... Read More
First things first getting on the boat felt eternal. And our walker-talkies were taken from us. No where did it say we were not able to take them aboard. Once on the boat the balcony room storage was way less then on carnivals. Having to hustle from line to line just to book shows dinning and laser tags/go karting was a pain. The days and times that would work for us and the size family of 5 was almost impossible to coordinate. Free styling is not freeing at all. Wait times to have dinner was eternal. My boys did not in any why like the hr and a half long service. The whole cruise was a constant wait game. There were so many floors of rooms and not enough social areas to socialize. The observatory was the only place and many people made it clear children were not wanted around. If I can’t drop them off at the club and the only place open is the pool which was a see of people with no open area available. Were else am I to have family time with my family. The atrium was super small and everyone fighting for seating. That place was out of the question. The elevators where never empty 3 had to pass by before there was even enough room to get on one. And going down or up 10 or so floors with children was not in any way doable. Many of the staff were in a constant rush and had little pacientes if you didn’t understand the way they ran things you were quickly pushed aside and having to help you was a strain on them. Food was very bland and nothing called our attention, even the deserts were flavorless. The kids club was alway at capacity and there were times my boys were not accepted in. If they were accepted having to wait 30 min to drop off or even pick up was a given. Shows were not that interesting and we were only accommodated the late times and our kids were grouchy with tired ness by then. If we had any hope of seeing an earlier time we had to wait in the stand by line to see if we were allowed space in. Once again waiting in lines. The buffet was a war zone of people fighting for seating and yet again waiting in long lines for food. With children we tend to not get off on the ports me and my husband have traveled to these ports in the past and knew what to expect. We however did get off on Puerto Vallarta the one excursion we did do we do not recommend. Do not do Puerto Vallarta city sites. The guide lost 12 people in the group and we were afraid to relax thinking he was going to take off to the next stop with out us. We had to keep a constant eye on him to not be left behind. Room service is not free $7 charge and they always always made a mistake and were very rude on the phone. Not a relaxing vacation what so ever. I will never recommend this company nor will we be returning customers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Let me start off by saying I work with the public on a daily basis. I WAS happy to see the wash stations at the buffet entrances. With that said, my mom and I both got terrible colds about the third day into our what was suppose to be a ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I work with the public on a daily basis. I WAS happy to see the wash stations at the buffet entrances. With that said, my mom and I both got terrible colds about the third day into our what was suppose to be a wonderful mother daughter trip. I haven't been sick in four years, terrible coincidents, possibly. OR..maybe there were too many germ breeding children. Had we have known that it was California's spring break we would have picked a different week. I got so sick I was very close to calling the doctor on the ship. I had to cancel my massage the last day because I was coughing so hard there was no way I could've laid flat on my back. Beyond being sick, there was absolutely no reprimand by your staff what so ever. Kids running into people because of lack of supervision. Screaming and belching in the buffet dining hall. Incessantly running up and down the hallways of the rooms the ENTIRE week. There was a complete lack of respect for the people that paid a lot of money that wanted a relaxing cruise. It was the farthest thing from relaxing. I've been on both Royal Caribbean and Carnival and I've never experienced THAT many kids. They were being so abnoxious at one point I was looking forward to getting home. I shouldn't be thinking that on a wonderful mother/daughter trip, right? Everytime we'd find a nice cozy spot to curl up with our books on the observation deck there would be a group of kids, with absolutely NO adults, come sit near us being loud, making a scene, totally distracting, and VERY disrespectful. That seemed to being a common denominator throughout the whole week. Kids being very disrespectful with no parental supervision. I think this will be my first and last Norwegian cruise unfortunately. Way too many kids! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 4.5 N/A
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.0
Value for Money 3.5 N/A

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