31 Los Angeles to Mexican Riviera Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews

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
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
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 had a great time on the cruise. We arrived around 10 am to check in and so were one of the first to get on the ship. Prior to getting on the escalators, there was a desk to reserver for the specialty dining rooms so we were able to ... Read More
We had a great time on the cruise. We arrived around 10 am to check in and so were one of the first to get on the ship. Prior to getting on the escalators, there was a desk to reserver for the specialty dining rooms so we were able to make reservations without waiting at all. Getting on was very simple and after checking out our room, we headed down to 6th floor to make reservations for the shows and go-carts. We waited about 10 minutes. Disembarkation was very well organized and we walked off with our luggage and it took us about 20 min without waiting much in line. The ship was very clean and beautiful. We laid out in the Spice H2O area and never had a problem finding lounge chairs. We tried the family slide but did not try the big slide as we saw at least 3 people getting stuck in the middle of the slide. They need to fix that slide. We tried the go-carts and had a blast except they slowed my husband's cart because he was going too fast.. We ate at Food Republic twice. They had the best kimchee fried rice and we are experts. The waiter there was also very helpful. We also tried Cagney's which was great and Ocean Blue which was also very good. We did not enjoy Le Bistro as much. The buffet had excellent Indian food and we were able to always find seats. We ate at the dining room once and it was okay. Great Desserts. The entertainment was outstanding. We saw Six twice, Jersey Boys Twice, and saw the Beatles show multiple times. The comedians were also pretty funny. The main thing that we had a problem with was the excursions. The Puerto Vallerta jungle tour was a joke. We walked on a road for about 15 minutes and then were stuck at the place for over an hour waiting for others who did zip lining which was not supposed to be part of the package. This is when we got bitten by chiggers. I had bug spray but it did not help at all. The tour guide should not have allowed the zip liners to keep us waiting. 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
The ship is outstanding. Every area has a different but cohesive design so the ship never was monotonous and always had something to discover. We had reservations at one restaurant that I didn’t know was there until I found it that ... Read More
The ship is outstanding. Every area has a different but cohesive design so the ship never was monotonous and always had something to discover. We had reservations at one restaurant that I didn’t know was there until I found it that final night. Always a myriad of events to pique an interest. The food was good - only one meal was amazing (Cagney’s). The water slides were fun as was laser tag and go carting on the ship top. The room was well designed and had plenty of storage. Staff was pretty much always friendly and made you feel welcome. Only two cons pool(s) area could be a bit larger. Kids club needs to be both larger and have a second string support staff to assist when busy. One night there was a 45 minute line and the hostess and server at the restaurant had a bit of an attitude when the entire party hadn’t arrived on time. Other wise it was a fantastic trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a fall break trip for the two of us, our two teenagers and our friends (married couple) that were experiencing their first cruise. Embarkation: Fair. Long line. But once at the counter it went quickly. They have keycards ... Read More
This was a fall break trip for the two of us, our two teenagers and our friends (married couple) that were experiencing their first cruise. Embarkation: Fair. Long line. But once at the counter it went quickly. They have keycards pre-printed and scan your passport photo for the photo they see when they scan your card. It took about 1.5 hours to get aboard the ship from when we got off the airport transfer. I already had a feeling that NCL doesn’t know how to handle big numbers at this stage of the cruise. Ship: Big, new and beautiful, with appropriate modern design features. Even though it’s large, it is fairly easy to navigate, with only a few dead-ends and hard-to-find places. The things that aren’t easy to find include the waterslide line locations and the mini-golf. Carpets in the hallways for cabins have fish to designate fore and aft, but the big inside areas don’t have any indicators, where I think they would be more helpful. There are many areas that have their own feel, and yet everything goes well together. The décor is beautiful and tasteful. Entertainment and pools: The pools close early (8pm!! Really?) and are very crowded on sea days. The lines for the water slides were brutal. I waited about 45 minutes for the drop slide, and that was about the shortest the line had been. It was also closed frequently, so I only got to do it once. The other waterslide had a slightly shorter line, but still at least 20 minutes wait time. There was an abundance of things to do, and we enjoyed some of the game shows and the trivia. Some of the game shows, though, were not done very well. They’re not polished, I think is the best way to explain it. Also, the trivia is done in the Atrium, and at times it was difficult to play because the Atrium Bar is loud, and some passengers found it fun to just shout out the answer while they were grabbing another drink and walking away. We didn’t get to do laser tag or the go-karts due to the reservation problems (more about this below), but our friends were able to get a reservation for two for the go-karts and they said they were a blast. I didn’t have the patience to try again to get a reservation or stand in the stand-by line. On our sailing they did the silent disco on two nights, and if you like music and/or dancing, you absolutely can’t miss this; it’s a ton of fun! The teen club got great reviews from our teens. The arcade is large and clean. Lots of games and activities for the kids and a final-night dinner in Manhattan. Cabins: I really liked the cabins. We had a standard balcony cabin, and the size was reasonable, with good storage. The bathroom is probably the best standard cabin I’ve been in. Cabin was only cleaned once a day. No turn-down service. But the cabin steward did introduce himself, and certainly worked hard. Dining: I really think that Norwegian is close to getting this right. It’s nice to have a range of restaurant choices from high-end down to buffet. Having a sports bar pub with great wings and the Q bbq restaurant is great. Teppanyaki was delicious. Unfortunately, it’s not really “freestyle” or easy to eat because of the reservations system (or even the fact that you need reservations). I guess I should mention the reservation problems. This was a systemic problem on this ship for us. It affected everything on the ship, ranging from dining to shows to laser tag. Somehow the reservation system “lost” most of our online reservations. We also made reservations from the kiosk right when we arrived on the ship, but most of the things were already booked. Further, the kiosk doesn’t print anything, so you are relying on the app to keep you informed of your reservations, but this also failed on this sailing. The lack of ability to spontaneously do something really detracts from the so-called “freestyle” cruising. This was compounded dramatically by the failures in the online reservation system, the kiosk system and the app to work together. Yes, it’s really that bad, and I’m not a person looking for something to complain about. Bars: The Bliss has a great selection of bars, and we really enjoyed them all. It’s nice that several of the bars have a selection of unique cocktails as opposed to a homogenous menu that’s the same at every single bar. The District Brewhouse craft brewery was a great place to have some good beers. The pool bar had some mediocre bartenders, but the Atrium Bar and Maltings Whiskey Bar both had excellent bartenders. All the other bartenders were at least good. The Observation Lounge is a great place to relax or to get a good drink. We enjoyed getting a light brunch (they have a small buffet selection) and a Bloody Mary more than once! Disembarkation: Bad. I know it’s difficult to get 4000 people off the ship in just a couple hours, but the bottleneck at customs creates a terribly long line. From the time our color group was called (after waiting an hour in the Atrium) to the time we boarded our transfer to LAX was just shy of 2 hours. All that time in a long, snaking line that went through Manhattan dining room to some crew areas, to finally getting off of the ship into the circus tent with 2000 of the other passengers still waiting (probably from at least an hour before..). It was straight up miserable. Service: This is a tough one to rate. Almost all of our service was very good, with nice employees really appearing to care about customer service. The difference is that in general the NCL Bliss is more casual than a Princess or Celebrity ship, so although the service is good and friendly, we found that we missed the extra class of service we are used to. Casino: Excellent. Easily the best casino at sea that I’ve been to. They have a lot of modern slot machines and a lot of table games. There is a Texas hold-em table with a real dealer and there were live money games and tournaments throughout the trip. The main portion of the casino is non-smoking, but there is also a large enclosed casino area for smokers which also had a lot of machines and table games. We didn’t get to see the Haven, nor did we do any spa days. We looked at the fitness center, and it was a bit crowded on day one, but then we decided we were walking enough to skip the gym. All in all, this cruise was a ton of fun, and we really enjoyed being on such a nice and new ship, but we found that the casual atmosphere sometimes went too far into the casual realm. It’s a little snobby but we missed things like the constantly clean cabin and turn down service. Between the casual atmosphere, the lines, the need for reservations, and the failures with the reservation system, I think we are unlikely to book another NCL cruise. I would probably recommend the cruise line for family cruising and for casual cruising if the price and itinerary are appealing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
As the title says, I felt that the ship was too large. I am accustomed to sailing on smaller ships, particularly the NCL Jewel class. The Bliss has twice the passenger capacity. Don't get me wrong, they did design it so that you ... Read More
As the title says, I felt that the ship was too large. I am accustomed to sailing on smaller ships, particularly the NCL Jewel class. The Bliss has twice the passenger capacity. Don't get me wrong, they did design it so that you didn't have overcrowding, in fact it felt less crowded than the smaller ships. This is due to being well planned out. More public space (observation lounge) and dining. I never had to search for a seat in the buffet or the "Pub" as I did on the smaller ships. The drawback was that I didn't see anybody more than once and didn't make any friends on this cruise. Embarkation was long, but that was just the queue for check in, no waiting around the terminal, pretty much a simple walk on to the ship after check in process. Our cabin was ready by about 2 pm and bags were there before dinner. The cabin was well positioned, just forward of the elevators and only 2 decks above the common areas. I only used "The Local" and the buffet for dining, but the selections were great, and I never had trouble getting a seat in the area I wanted. The Local overlooks the Atrium and can be noisy when there is an activity, but if you ask, you can usually get seated in the back, (Port forward) area which is much quieter. We saw the musical Six and I was entertained by it. Some of the other patrons were less than thrilled with it, so take that as it is. I also went to the "Happy Hour: The Musical" show. If nothing else, an affordable way to get drinks. But I did enjoy that show as well. A little risque for some perhaps, but you can sing along to some old tunes and there was some audience interaction. Our cabin steward (Wilson) was attentive to our needs and was prompt with servicing our cabin when we went to meals. (I turned on the service light when we left to let him know.) Leaving him a note in the card switch (just inside the door above the light switch, they use it to turn off the outlets inside the room when you are out.) is the easiest way to submit requests. No towel animals any more. They do leave a card in the switch, so you don't need to bring a spare to keep your devices charged, they just pull it part way out when they service the room. The "running track" was constantly blocked by too many chairs and people on that deck. Also the queues for the water slides overflowed into the area. I took two shore excursions. One in Puerto Vallarta, a low cost bus tour, that took us into old town to see the church, to a restaurant for lunch and a view, and for some shopping at a silver and opal shop, chocolate and cigar shop and the usual street hawkers. The other in Cabo San Lucas, a boat tour to see El Arco connecting to a bus tour to a scenic point and back to a glass blowing factory. Both tours were worth the price to see a slice of the culture and beauty of the areas. Disembarkation was more of a mess. We were in the 9 am group. I believe we were actually off the ship before 9:30. Our group was called at 8:30 but the standing around in the queue to leave was a very tough wait. Also, ALL of the public area restrooms were closed. We had to return to our cabin at 8:00 to use the restroom, but it had already been serviced, we used it anyway. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We booked the April 28 Pacific Coastal in October 2018. Then my husband suggested doing this Mexican Riviera cruise on the Bliss so we could experience a B2B. We cruised on the Bliss for its first Pacific Coastal last September and said ... Read More
We booked the April 28 Pacific Coastal in October 2018. Then my husband suggested doing this Mexican Riviera cruise on the Bliss so we could experience a B2B. We cruised on the Bliss for its first Pacific Coastal last September and said that we would love to cruise on her in hot sunny weather and this was our opportunity. Since we booked a sailaway inside cabin only a month prior to the cruise, we had few flights to choose from and flew from YVR to LAX on the day of the cruise for the first time. We booked the NCL transfer from LAX to the pier. As it turned out, we arrived before noon and were on the first bus to the pier, arriving shortly after 1 p.m. The embarkation line was short at that point and with Platinum status we were aboard shortly thereafter. The sailaway inside cabin had been assigned the day after booking. We were already booked in a sailaway balcony for the Pacific Coastal on deck 13 forward, and our sailaway inside on this cruise was also deck 13 forward. We became very familiar with the long walk to these cabins, but other than that, no problems with location. Our cabin was a "family inside" and it was difficult to imagine four people in that cabin. The main issue was storage, as the closet is not large and shelves are few. The side table (with shelves) from my husband's side of the bed wouldn't fit between the bed and the wall so we put it into the closet and used it for shelving. Love the little shelf above the head of the bed and the USB ports, this was perfect for charging phones, batteries and devices. Well thought-out. The bathroom was exactly the same as in our balcony cabin, plenty of room. Our steward was very attentive, he introduced himself when we arrived, asked if we wanted ice (which we did, in the evening) and was always polite, cheerful and engaged when we met him in the hallways. We had two complimentary dining venues with Platinum status and chose Le Bistro and La Cucina. Both meals were perfect. For La Cucina we ate on the waterfront after our day at Puerto Vallarta. We were at LeBistro on our final night of the cruise, fairly late, and enjoyed speaking with a cast member of Jersey Boys and the assistant production mgr who persuaded us to book Prohibition on our next cruise. Jersey Boys is incredibly well done. I said to my husband and the cast member that we met that I almost forgot that I was watching entertainment on a cruise ship, I felt that I was sitting in a land-based theater, everything was so perfect - the moves, the music, the sound, etc. Britain's Finest was exactly that, we went to every performance that our schedule allowed on both cruises, front row if we could. Enjoyed it so much! We did this itinerary on the Star in March 2018 so we only booked an excursion in PV, rather inexpensive $25/person, which was a tour of old town, but unfortunately ended up at a restaurant up in the hills away from town, where we paid for our meals (some folks were unprepared for this). This as it was not mentioned in the description. In fact, the description mentioned a final stop in the Zona Romantica and we didn't go there at all. The beginning of the excursion was not well-led, as the large group almost ended up crossing the street to Walmart because our guide was nowhere to be found. On the Star last year, NCL used Tropical Tours for all the excursions we went on, and those guides and drivers were excellent! This year's tour was not. In Mazatlan, we did our own thing, had a pulmonia driver take us to the Starbucks in the Golden Zone and drop us off, then we walked back along the Malecon to Old Town where we got another pulmonia back to the ship. An awesome day! We are a couple in our 50's travelling on our own. We expected Spring Break to be over, but were told SoCal had spring break at that time. Many local families on board, we avoided the buffet which had many families with strollers and teenagers on their own. We ate at Taste and Savor for lunch every day, we don't really care for the same menu at lunch every day. We had a few dinners at Manhattan Room, we arrived when it opened, but found it very slow. Most large groups book tables here and if they are being served, it seemed everything else slowed down. We relaxed quite often in the Observation Lounge and enjoyed everything about it, especially the bar in the evening, the bartenders are awesome, especially Genie! We did the Platinum ship tour and enjoyed it very much, loved meeting the production manager, she was great. We did a Carnival cruise with family this year and noticed the difference in the entertainment, dining experience, service, the list goes on. We hope that NCL doesn't try to cut corners to the level of a Carnival experience, we much prefer NCL freestyle. We love the Bliss and the itinerary and would do it again. We also love the Jewel class. Looking forward to another cruise on NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because we traveled on the Jewel 2 years ago and heard about a new boat being built. We love this route as it's an easy one for us to make work and 7 days is just about the perfect cruise length for me. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we traveled on the Jewel 2 years ago and heard about a new boat being built. We love this route as it's an easy one for us to make work and 7 days is just about the perfect cruise length for me. The boat was definitely fresh and new but didn't have that WOW factor we were expecting. Our balcony stateroom had to be the smallest one we've ever had, on NCL and other lines. There seemed to be space wasted in the stateroom, in the name of decorating? The sliding door out to the balcony was framed in oddly, making for stubbed toes! There was a lot of movement (we were on Deck 14), even on days when the ocean was very calm. With that movement came lots of cracks and snaps and noises all night long. I can't imagine being on this boat in really bad weather! The dining rooms were very elegant. The food was good but not spectacular. The entertainment was fun but nothing special, other than the Beatles cover band in the Cavern. Staff was very friendly and mostly attentive. There were a couple of very slow servers but you'd find that anywhere! I was amazed at how they could remember our names and what we were drinking almost immediately! Also, there was a bit of a communication problem at times due to the noise at the pool, or in the atrium at game times and the fact that most workers didn't speak great English. Will we travel with NFL again? Most likely yes, just not on this boat! 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
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
We had sailed on the NCL Getaway last year so we knew what we were getting into; however, this was during Spring Break time and the ship was very crowded. We are a senior couple and have pretty much decided that if the ship has a water ... Read More
We had sailed on the NCL Getaway last year so we knew what we were getting into; however, this was during Spring Break time and the ship was very crowded. We are a senior couple and have pretty much decided that if the ship has a water slide and race track on the upper deck that it probably wasn't for us. With that being said, the ship is beautiful. Because it is so new everything is great. We both felt the entertainment was below par, and again, because it was during spring break we couldn't get into some shows because they were booked long before we got on the ship. We like to collect art so we went to several art auctions, as well as some specialty dining experiences. We have been on this cruise with other ships so we are very familair with the ports, so we picked this cruise more for the ship and not the ports. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
About me and my style of cruising: This was my 11th cruise. I am a single gay Gent and usually sail solo. I work long, hard hours and live a clean and healthy lifestyle 50 weeks of the year. But on my vacation, I like to swing from the ... Read More
About me and my style of cruising: This was my 11th cruise. I am a single gay Gent and usually sail solo. I work long, hard hours and live a clean and healthy lifestyle 50 weeks of the year. But on my vacation, I like to swing from the chandeliers and act as though there is no tomorrow as I party, dance, drink and get to know fun new people. This I did on the Bliss with extreme ease and the utmost of joy! Loved the ship, my fellow passengers, the events on board, the food, the ocean and, of course, Mexico itself (especially P.V.) and being there for dia de los muertos. I would rather do nothing else than sail the ocean on these fantastic machines. The ship is, of course, beautiful! There was a very good vibe on board, with fun passengers, lots of dancing and fun activities. The ship is decorated and laid out beautifully. Always lots to do. There were several fun deck parties at night with energized people that went on much longer than what I have experienced on other ships. The nightclub on this ship is called The Social, and I was very pleased with the overall atmosphere and layout. While small, I would call it intimate rather than over crowded. Good music and a great crowd of people that liked to party into the early hours. There was an LGBT get together every night @ 7 in the observation lounge. It was mostly well attended and very worthwhile. These always prove to be a great way for a solo traveler to meet lots of new and interesting folks. If you are shy about these things, don't be. Just go and grab yourself a seat, smile and say hi. Always plenty of couples there too. Silent disco-- Fun, fun, fun! Don’t miss this. Although you aren’t speaking to people, it is a very social event because you are moving around amongst all the people and, in order to receive the music, you are required to dance in a proximity that makes it personal, but not too. And the number of folks present was just about right. Neat! As for the pools and sun decks: Like many, I enjoy lying out in the sun and swimming. For a ship this size, the main pool area and deck above are way, way too small for this many people. Chair hogging is definitely a problem here. The aft sunning area is also small and doesn’t even have a pool. One pool?!? Yes, there are out-of-the way places where you might find a spot, but most people like to be closer to the music and fun. I liked that they provided beach balls in the pool. That got people having fun hitting them back and forth. And I personally like that the pool is too deep to stand in because I like to swim/tread water and I always had plenty of space amongst all those people to do that. Regarding the food, I take most of my meals in the buffet. Out of the 11 floating troughs I have experienced through the years, I would rate this buffet about average. The number of dishes and variety is lacking. For my taste, they could have replaced the Indian section with something much better and, thereby, improved the variety. Tastiness was overall good, but meat was usually dry, in fact I think that was the driest salmon I have ever had. Salad bar was always fresh and delicious. The buffet was never overly crowded and I never had to wait in line to serve myself some food--Very good flow. Despite what I have often read, I could always find a seat, even a very good seat in the front of the buffet which looks out onto the huge window of the observation lounge below. Most fellow sailors, having buffet bodies, just don't want to walk far from the food troughs. If you like the lido deck burger grill on most ships, you may be sadly disappointed here. Burgers are self serve inside the buffet and were the worst I have ever had on a ship. Pizza was ok. I also dined at Food Republic three times. Food was simply delicious (except for cod skewers) and, for me, well worth the price. Hostess is very good and extremely warm and friendly. Wait staff at Food Republic, however, is lacking attentiveness and are somewhat cold and unfriendly in manner. They also didn’t seem to recognize me on my third visit. And when I wanted to bring my two half rolls back to my room for later, server looked at me as though I was crazy. It was wonderful to have Margarita Ville open for buffet breakfast. Most don't know about it, so I mostly had the place to myself. Muesli was delicious. Since the elevators are often maligned, I wanted to offer my quick take: People are very impatient. This is a ship, people. I heard folks gripping more than once that, “Oh my god, we have to stop at EVERY floor????” Come on now! I actually think these elevators are above average in speed when compared to other ships I have been on. On embarkation, I didn’t wait more than a few seconds and never had to wait for more than a minute of so. I suspect most of these complaints are from people who always head for the elevator right when a show or event is let out. Here are some things that could definitely use improvement: I enjoy experiencing the live music on ships. In this department, this ship is seriously lacking. I did not experience any of the production shows, but did sample all of the live bands playing at the different venues, a there are a good number of them. Most of the singers were rather amateurish. The Beatles band was just ok, but the Cavern is a complete joke. Even if you get there early to stand, don’t plan on seeing anything. Ventilation is inadequate--Could not even breathe with the air so hot and stuffy in there. I know they played in the main theater once, but I would suggest they move the other Beatle shows to the Main Atrium, where there is a huge amount of standing and viewing space. Instead the Atrium hosted acts in the evening that left much to be desired. There were two very good live bands that deserve special mention: The Greg White Jr. Band that played at Q and Familiar Strangers that played on the pool deck. Stateroom power for A\C is weak and the shower hot water was never really hot, day or night. I don't like the upper decks of this ship. It's all about go-carts, laser tag, and exclusive haven areas-- Very poor in my book. One of the things I fell in love with on my first cruise was just being outside and having wonderful 360 degree views of the sea. Especially love having an outside forward view with no glass in front of my face. Here, there certainly is not that. In fact, there are no outside forward looking views for us non-haven peasants. There is that in the observation lounge, but it’s inside with glass in front of your face and A/c air in your lungs. Bartenders are the most unfriendly bunch I have ever experienced on my 11 cruises, especially the bartender at the outside bar that has “Oct 31” painted on the wall. Love that bar, but ended up avoiding it because of him. Very grumpy, non-sociable and more interested in completing paper work than providing prompt service. Maybe he'd be better in a loud bar that doesn't require friendliness. Most bartenders I encountered couldn't provide a smile, much less a hello. It’s more like… “what do you want, you’re bugging me?” The exception is the Serbian gentleman who works at the observation lounge bar-- very nice and efficient. It was often difficult to get a drink. I know there were the maximum bartenders possible at the night club, but the observation lounge could easily accommodate more staff. Multiple events going on in there with two bartenders and a half hour wait for a drink. I had a super duper time on this trip and would recommend it wholeheartedly. Thank you Bliss, Love you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We are a family with young children (ages 6 and 12). My son (age 12) is special needs and we were booked in a HA stateroom (5136). This is our 15th cruise, our first time with NCL! We have mainly sailed with Disney and have done a few ... Read More
We are a family with young children (ages 6 and 12). My son (age 12) is special needs and we were booked in a HA stateroom (5136). This is our 15th cruise, our first time with NCL! We have mainly sailed with Disney and have done a few cruises with RCCL and Carnival. Embarkation/Disembarkation - We arrived at the port around 1 pm and because our son is special needs and is in a wheelchair, we were attended to and take care of quite well. Both embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze for us. Cabin - for an HA room that fits 4, you only have ONE cabin choice onboard the Bliss - a family oceanview stateroom. The room was very spacious and had lots of storage space. Beds were comfortable and our stateroom host was very attentive and friendly. This room is by the service/crew elevator and there are a lot of noise coming from that area. In general, noises here and there do NOT bother us but I can see how it can be an issue to others who are more sensitive to sound. Entertainment - Only saw Jersey Boys and it was PHENOMENAL!!! Do not take young children to this show as it is not exactly kid friendly (due to language). The cast was outstanding and amazingly talented. It's a must see in my opinion. Live bands onboard were also very very good. We enjoyed hanging out at the atrium or at The Local listening to them perform. Kids Club - my daughter (age 6) loved and enjoyed her time at the Splash Academy. She went almost every day - an hour or two during the day/night. Counselors were very friendly and the activities were fun and enticing. Specialty Dining - we had a 3 meal package and dined at Cagney's, Teppanyaki, and Los Lobos - all were EXCELLENT!!! Food was great, service was great, everything was well prepared and everyone went above and beyond. Definitely one of the highlights of our cruise! Cruise Staff - 90% were friendly, helpful, and had smiles on their faces willing to help and assist you. Out of the 15 cruises we've done, I would rank this as the 2nd most friendly staffed ship. We had a person or two here and there that never said hi but then again, you will always have that on ANY cruise you go on. For the most part, the staff was fabulous. Laser Tag/Go Kart - AWESOME!!! If you really stop to think that you are doing these activities ON A SHIP, in the MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN - that in itself is AMAZING! While $9.95 isn't necessarily a lot of money to charge to experience it, I'm a bit disappointed that NCL decided to even charge at all. We don't pay to go ice skating, rock climbing, zip lining on any of RCCLs ships nor does Carnival charge to go on their Sky Ride. I just feel that these should have been complimentary. Arcade - we purchased the unlimited arcade pass for 1 person. I believe it was $56 total for 7 days if purchased prior to the cruise and it was WELL WORTH IT!!! Although only valid to use on games with a GREEN slot, my daughter took advantage and played Mario Kart (by The Local) at least 25 times every day. Racing games, basketball, air hockey, and shooting games in the Arcade are also eligible under the unlimited pass (all are coded GREEN). Now let's get on the CONS.... 1. FAMILY pool (right next to the kids splash area) is 5 feet 7 inches deep! You will rarely see anyone in that pool for the simple reason that NOBODY wants to RELAX in the pool by TREADING WATER! Why NCL did not put a shallow area in that pools is crazy to me. Most people would like to take a dip in the pool and be able to stand up in it while enjoying a drink and soaking in the sun. No one wants to be treading water while trying to sip a cocktail. 2. Big screen TV by the pool - plays NCL commercials 90% of the time. On the last night of the cruise, they did play ONE movie. Why not play a movie on the screen multiple times a day?! Having NCL commercials on that big screen majority of the time is such a waste in my opinion. 3. This is our biggest complaint of all - the ELEVATORS!!! Our room was on deck 5, the buffet and pool deck (which we often go to) are both on deck 16. The climb up or down from 5 to 16 and vice versa would often take FOREVER. The elevator would practically stop at every floor!!! The elevators are always crowded and full of people!!!! There is NO A/C in the elevators so you are there cramped and sweating. This was the top complaint among majority of cruisers in our sailing. Everyone was talking about the elevators! OVERALL... Yes, we would sail on NCL again. Yes, we would sail on the Bliss again. The ship is beautiful and though I am not so much into art, I was really intrigued and quite fascinated by the art displayed onboard - cool and very unique!!! Feel free to ask any questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you =) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My singles group was on this cruise ship. NOT good for large groups because dining is all over the ship in smaller venues, so it could not meet our group needs, we were 450 people. Pricing was inconsistent, I bought about a year before the ... Read More
My singles group was on this cruise ship. NOT good for large groups because dining is all over the ship in smaller venues, so it could not meet our group needs, we were 450 people. Pricing was inconsistent, I bought about a year before the cruise with way over inflated pricing and was never told that others (found out later) paid about 45% less!! Internet service was poor according to many including myself. The food: Buffet was usually decent, sometimes excellent. The main dining rooms offer the same meals every night to entice you to purchase dining from a specialty restaurant.....which was pretty good, ended up dining at the French restaurant and Cagneys, very good. Drinks were usually watered down I hear unless you cash tip the same bartender over and over. Some NICE features though, overall. If you SMOKE, you will not be happy, very few places to smoke plus ( I loved this) if you go to the casino, they have a CLOSED OFF ROOM to gamble separated from the rest of the casino, in effect, smoke free gambling! Vegas should learn a few things from them. We all know that smoking kills and nobody should be subjected to 2nd hand smoke, ever. So for this, I give NCL kudos! Yes, heard some complaining from people who smoked. Too bad, sorry, I hate smoking. The Go Karts looked like fun but I could not get to it. Dining in the main room could be better. Cabins are VERY small unless you get a suite, so beware! The mini suite bathroom was built for handicap people so the bathroom was LARGE but not enough places to put things. So I rated a 3. Jersy Boys show was great and the Beatles cover band, well, I liked it but i've seen MUCH better Beatle cover bands. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise due to port proximity to our home state of Arizona. This is an incredibly large ship with a lot to do. Overall, or experience was very good. We had two big "singles" groups on board & struggled in getting ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to port proximity to our home state of Arizona. This is an incredibly large ship with a lot to do. Overall, or experience was very good. We had two big "singles" groups on board & struggled in getting reservations for dinner. Only availability was either at 5pm or 9pm. This made it difficult for my elderly parents. The staff was not as friendly as I have experienced on previous cruises. Felt like I was bothering them at times when ordering drinks or asking questions. The individual that checked us in at port made some mistakes & did not load our credit card information for both cabins we were occupying. This made us have to go to Customer Relations in the main lobby. The individual that assisted us barely even looked up at us as he completed the necessary changes. Was a bit uncomfortable with it all being my elderly father was the one having to go through having his picture retaken at that time. Luckily my father has a good sense of humor stating "I think he has had a bad day." The ship bars, for the most part, were incredibly busy. The bar tenders manning the bars by the pool area rarely smiled. It was definitely not a pleasant experience getting your drinks from them as has been on other cruises. While I would recommend NCL for cruises, overall, this cruise was not as great an experience as previous cruises I have taken with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Wanted to try new ship. Perfer Pearl to this. Dining staff not friendly. Communication lacking. Smokers beware, only one area besides casino, top deck in the back unless it is closed for private party, then you have to go to the very front ... Read More
Wanted to try new ship. Perfer Pearl to this. Dining staff not friendly. Communication lacking. Smokers beware, only one area besides casino, top deck in the back unless it is closed for private party, then you have to go to the very front of the ship. Definitely did a lot of walking on the ship to go anywhere. There were several large groups 700+ in 4 different groups, and those were catered to. I am sure they all had a great time, while leaving the rest of us out. Communication was the biggest issue. Most of staff didn't speak english, so didn't understand a question. Ship announcements were very hard to understand. Yes, the Bliss is a big beautiful ship. Too bad the staff wasn't as great. The "free" dining was the same (except the buffet) menu, just a different setting. The Local was by far the best in service and comfort. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Hurricane caused the itinerary change from Mexican Riviera to San Francisco, San Diego, and Ensenada, ports that are all "home" so we stayed onboard. It was still a lot of fun. We're used to much smaller ships and so ... Read More
Hurricane caused the itinerary change from Mexican Riviera to San Francisco, San Diego, and Ensenada, ports that are all "home" so we stayed onboard. It was still a lot of fun. We're used to much smaller ships and so enjoyed all the activities and entertainment available on the Bliss. There was a very heterogenous mix of ages from children to seniors and there were many activities for everyone. Being smashed into elevators was unpleasant, but the elevators were fast and numerous so it was tolerable. Events in the atrium were also crowded but it still was possible to find a seat or view from the upper level. The pool area was crowded but we didn't go there. Otherwise, the ship is designed so that the large number of guests are spread out and it doesn't seem too packed. All the restaurants have attractive dividers so the rooms seem much smaller than their actual size. Service was always speedy. You had to make it very clear if you didn't want to be rushed through a meal. Wait staff became much friendlier when they weren't so busy. All in all, it is a lovely ship and we had a very good time. A week is long enough, though. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have cruised NCL in the past and have always had a pleasurable experience. We were on the Pearl Christmas 2012 in the aft facing penthouse and on the Dawn during NYE 2013 and stayed in the two bedroom family suite. This year on The ... Read More
We have cruised NCL in the past and have always had a pleasurable experience. We were on the Pearl Christmas 2012 in the aft facing penthouse and on the Dawn during NYE 2013 and stayed in the two bedroom family suite. This year on The Bliss we booked early enough to stay in a Haven Courtyard Penthouse on deck 18. We sailed the week of october 20, 2018 and unfortunately were rerouted away from mexico due to hurricane Willa. We sailed to San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada. I live in Las Vegas and didnt bother getting off the ship in any of the ports. Id love a do over. The NCL Haven experience is lovely. There were only a few things i would change. I think the breakfast time in the Haven Restaurant should end later than 10 oclock in port and 1030 at sea. I think 11:00-11:30 would be much more reasonable. We sometimes felt rushed by the wait staff if we walked in at 9:45 in port or 10:15 at sea. It became annoying after a while and forced us down to the buffet which was fine but its certainly not the Haven. The dinner menu in the Haven Restaurant never changed but the food was amazing. It woukd be nice if they had even one more alternate menu just to change it up The courtyard penthouse was just ok. Not sure why they are still using carpeting on a brand new ship. The Haven bar was great! Drew and Glen are top shelf bartenders and it was obvious that they are extremely talented at their craft. I did wish that the Haven Bar stayed open later although I realize that these two guys can’t work 24 hours a day. Embarking and disembarking was great as it was in the past having booked the suites on the other NCL ships. The speciality restaurants were the same as the other ships with some additions. Here’s what we tried. Cagneys was as good as i remembered and certainly worth reserving. We actually ate there twice since we werent charged for the awful meal at Le Bistro (I've eaten there on the other two ships and didn't like it and still dont - skip it), and we had one more left in our 3 UDP. I found cagneys to be very very loud. Our first Waitress was scatterbrained, but our second one made up for it a few days later. La Cucina was good as expected. Overall, with the exception of Le Bistro the food all over thr ship was amazing. The crepes at Coco’s were insane as was the chocolate. I found the elevators on the ship to be extremely slow. I thought the casino games were great although i felt the casino was too spread out. Its located at the top of the steps on deck 7. Pay outs were great which was surprising for a cruise ship. Overall it was a great trip and i would definitely sail the Bliss again but only in the Haven. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so chose to go on this cruise with my daughter for a final bonding time together. We had a wonderful time engaging in the dance classes, cardio fitness classes, miniature golf, ping pong, ... Read More
I was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so chose to go on this cruise with my daughter for a final bonding time together. We had a wonderful time engaging in the dance classes, cardio fitness classes, miniature golf, ping pong, and other activities. The Havana and Jersey Boys shows were fantastic! I was amazed at how much the lead singer sounded like the real Frankie Valle. The comedy shows were excellent, and we laughed until our sides were in stitches as we watched the two crew members try to make the chocolate rum cake with the chef. Food in the restaurants and buffet was wonderful, even though it was too much for my sensitive stomach. And the stateroom was superb, as we were treated to towel animals on our beds each evening. Unfortunately, our route was re-directed for safety purposes, due to the category 5 hurricane off the Mexican coast. Now, I desire more than ever to re-do the cruise to see the Mexican Riviera that I missed. If I can, I hope to get in one last cruise and complete that wish on my bucket list. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this ship because we live in the area and there aren't too much cruises outside of the Ensenada booze cruise. We learned of this brand new ship on the Mexican Riviera and have had good experiences with Norwegian in the past ... Read More
We chose this ship because we live in the area and there aren't too much cruises outside of the Ensenada booze cruise. We learned of this brand new ship on the Mexican Riviera and have had good experiences with Norwegian in the past so we booked this months before. We stayed in the Haven Aft-Facing Balcony Penthouse room. It had a living room and bedroom with 2 bathrooms. My mom and her husband stayed in a balcony stateroom that I never visited but she said it was fine. Between the 2 rooms we had 4 kids, 3 12 year olds and 1 3 year old. The kids slept in between rooms but most nights in our Haven room we had my 3 year old and 2 of the 12 year olds who slept on the fold out bed. It was enough space for us since cruise rooms are typically tight. The balcony of this room is amazing. It's huge and the view can't be beat. Every port we sailed out of, we would hang out on the balcony as we sailed off. In the mornings when we would dock, I watched the boat get tied up. We had access to the Haven lounge which was on the other side of the boat so we didn't go often but it was nice. Everyone was nice in there. We're in our 30's, seemed most of the people were older. It was quiet in there but good place to relax if you want one. It was nice to be able to board early and get off first using the Haven but outside of that, it wasn't a huge thing. We had a butler named Charlie who was assigned to us. We didn't use him too much but he was nice enough. We didn't have a room service button, we just called Charlie. I don't know if the value we paid to add to the Haven outside of the bigger room was worth it. The kids club onboard is AMAZING. My 3 year old wanted to be there any time she could. She is still talking about it days later. They re do the room and theme every morning and afternoon. The staff is very nice and I can't say enough about how great it was. We didn't find a ton of stuff to do at night. It seemed like the average age onboard was older than us. The night parties were older people which is much different than the Ensenada cruise. We ended up at the Local most night watching whatever was happening below which wasn't usually too entertaining but it was nice to enjoy the free kids club and get some adult time. The casino was OK. Most of the machines sucked $20's in quickly. It is spaced out kinda weird where there aren't groups of machines, they have a lot of them in the walkway. The drinks at the casino bar are stronger than anywhere else. We drank a lot on the boat and never felt drunk. I assume they water down the drinks because most people have the drink package and they don't want everyone wasted. I did not see one person acting up the entire cruise. The only specialty restaurant we visited was Q, the BBQ place. We didn't go until the last night of the cruise and by then we were over the dining room food and buffet. The food was very good. The buffet as all ships has a lot of the same stuff. The food was okay. We ate in the main dining room a few times and it was also OK. The rotisserie chicken they have every night was very good. I didn't do the race cars or laser tag but the kids did and they had a good time. I did the water slide that has the tube which was very fun. The one water slide that goes off the side of the boat that looks crazy, it seems like people weren't getting all the way through. It's supposed to have you fall down then shoot you up and people were getting stuck mid-slide. I did one of these slides on the Norwegian Getaway, once was enough for me. Overall, the ship is big and beautiful and a great time. I recommend it, especially if you have children. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I only sail NCL and chose this ship to be in the newest haven! The ship was decorated beautifully. I especially loved the obaervation room in the haven and the haven restaurant! The shows were so much fun and the Jersey boys was my ... Read More
I only sail NCL and chose this ship to be in the newest haven! The ship was decorated beautifully. I especially loved the obaervation room in the haven and the haven restaurant! The shows were so much fun and the Jersey boys was my favorite. Entertainment in general was outstanding and never had a dull moment. The go carts were an AWESOME experience on this ship, I just wish i could take a picture or had my pic taken being on them. Service was great in most restaurants. I have traveled the haven before and the service on the sun deck was lacking. Most of the time waited 45 minutes for drinks or had to go down two floors to the bar in my bathing suit just get my own drinks myself. They put two new servers up in the haven who had no clue what they were doing or even that there was a frozen coctail menu. We had to ask for our own lunch menus and when we got the food it was cold. They never set up an umbrella for us and were not attentive at all. The two bartenders in the haven bar were so friendly and really made a connection with us. Silas was the best cruise director I EVER had. He was everywhere and always made a point to stop and talk to us. He clearly loves his job and is amazing at it! The haven restaurant has always amazing food. Los lobos was the worst dinner I had on the ship but Cagney’s is always the best food and service as well as tappenyaki. We did explore LA before the cruise and did a Hollywood celebrity homes tour and walked around the walk of fame. The ports were very nice. The horse back riding excursion was my least favorite in Puerto Vallerta. They gave me (a healthy 30 year old) the oldest and slowest horse to ride back, which had to be pulled by an older gentleman. This meant that I couldn’t even control the horse on my own. When we were walking back, very slowly, the gentleman pulling my horse started peeing in front of me as he was walking through the trail. I was also separated from the rest of my party because my horse was so much slower. The best of Mazatlán was a lovely excursion as well as the Cabo resort. Obviously NCl is my favorite cruise line and I also have the Haven booked again on the Epic in April. I will definitely go again!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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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