4 Los Angeles to Panama Canal & Central America Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews

From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge ... Read More
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge account. Mini Suite Room Design and Cleaning: we paid pricey for this MA class room 9 months before cruising, the design of room layout is not easy to move around and storage space is not enough. The shelf was broken and missing, the staff said, they can NOT repair it. entertainment: every show we went, we watched a lot guests left in the middle of program. most of the E-staff talk English in all kind of strange accent. food and restaurants: food is terrible in quality for freshness and the ways of prepared. The India Chief Chef maybe cook the way we are not used to it. Future Cruise: Again, bad English and worse Debarkation: at the Manhattan Term. all guests have to stand in line outside for 2 hours to get off the ship, this break the record not only for NCL, but for all the Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Friends were going on this cruise and I wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was a three week cruise and we were looking forward to a memorable trip with friends. The Cabin was nice except for the bed. The Platform bed was very poor. You ... Read More
Friends were going on this cruise and I wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was a three week cruise and we were looking forward to a memorable trip with friends. The Cabin was nice except for the bed. The Platform bed was very poor. You could feel the woven platform when you laid on the mattress. The steward had to install a bed board and mattress topper before the mattress was tolerable, not great but acceptable. The balcony and full size shower were fine. The food ran from A+ to atrocious. This varied from day to day and meal to meal. It made no sense. Perfect example was the omelet station at breakfast. They cooked the omelet in oil, not butter. No milk in the eggs to create a fluffy texture. The veggies were not cooked. They were just laid onto the eggs when the eggs were done. POOR! At the Asian soup station for lunch they stopped using the traditional rice noodles and started using wheat noodles. Completely different taste and not Asian. The last week of the cruise the ramekin of cottage cheese at breakfast shrank in size each day. Bananas were almost never on the breakfast buffet. I have never seen this before on any cruise. I had to special request to get a banana. The entertainment in general was good although some of the performers should have chosen another career. One comedian was so bad that his half hour performance did not get a laugh from the entire theater. One female singer was off key for the entire performance. Who reviews these entertainers before hiring them? Disembarkation was bad, to say the least. I have a mobility problem and was denied to get into a disability short line to go through customs. We had booked the entire cruise and flights through NCL. We docked in NYC and found that our departure flight had been booked through LaGuardia. LaGuardia has been under construction for a couple of years and is a MESS. NCL neglected it's duty by booking flights out of that airport. They could have booked us out of Newark or Kennedy which do not have construction problems like LaGuardia. Over all the bad out weighed the good on NCL. We will never travel on NCL ever again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a 21 day cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, that was very disappointing. We have cruised a number of other lines before, this was our first on Norwegian. We were excited to go thru the Panama Canal, and the stops were all good, what ... Read More
This was a 21 day cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, that was very disappointing. We have cruised a number of other lines before, this was our first on Norwegian. We were excited to go thru the Panama Canal, and the stops were all good, what we expected. Careful with the excursions they provide, a number of them are just shopping stops, that you pay good money for. Our problems were mostly with the food on the ship, there was one restaurant that was good, that was at an additional fee, Cagney's Steakhouse. we ate at all the others as well. Even for the additional fees, they were not good. The buffet, was no better than an high school cafeteria's food, and the main dining rooms, not only was the food bad, but the service was even worse. To make it even worse, they did not care. One breakfast in the main dining room it took over 1 hour to get a basket of croissants, everyone else got there food but me, we asked three times, and no one even cared. Finally, just left. Balcony room on Deck 12 - was small but adequate, and room steward was good and very nice. Entertainment was good we saw Jersey Boys, Six, and a number of entertainers, All we good. If you are a smoker, you will be relegated to a small section in the Aft of the ship, not a lot of room for all the smokers, and if it rains you are in the rain. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is a smokers alert- Norwegian Bliss Nov. 3rd Panama Canal cruise. Prior to booking I was advised I could smoke on Deck 17 at the Spice Bar, In the humidor lounge, and somewhere at the pool area. I smoke mini cigars which are ... Read More
This is a smokers alert- Norwegian Bliss Nov. 3rd Panama Canal cruise. Prior to booking I was advised I could smoke on Deck 17 at the Spice Bar, In the humidor lounge, and somewhere at the pool area. I smoke mini cigars which are slightly larger than a cigarette. Arrival at LAS airport and awaiting transfer (prepaid) of the shuttle. We waited and waited and after an hour finally saw a woman with a blue scarf (no signage just a blue scarf) a gentlemen advised me he too was waiting an that I should speak to the woman with the blue scarf. I was advised that we were waiting for one more couple and the shuttle bus had been called. An hour after that I was told there were more customers arriving on different flights and that the bus had been called. Three and a half hours later – you read that right – a bus finally arrived and we were told it would be about a thirty minute drive to the port. The ride was uneventful but the three and a half hour wait started telling me this isn't right. Chaos upon arrival- no one tells you what is going on. Where are the bags, do they take them, do I, or where to check in. Checking in wasn't bad except there is no information available. Cabin #14796, Balcony; OK room, shower could use an enlargement but was acceptable. Room was fine, midships, except for at night the band playing at the pool area was loud in the room. Cleaning staff was excellent, friendly, and always asking if there was anything he could do. “Z “ Bags don't arrive till late at night the first night- wasn't use to that type of service. This is probably due to it being a large ship with 4000 guests. With no luggage to unpack it was time for lunch and a snack. Learned where the Cafe is, front of ship. Had an acceptable meal and headed off for a smoke at the rear of the ship. It's a long walk when you are unfamiliar with the ship. You get used to it! Upon arrival I was advised that I could only smoke cigars in the Humidor. I promptly went to guest services and asked for a complete refund at the first port. After a discussion I was advised that I could also smoke at the Spice Bar on deck 17 by guest services but there is no smoking at the pool area. I thought I would be ok with that until the arrival at the spice bar located behind Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville. I asked for a Bailys coffee at the bar. No! They don't have coffee at the bar. They advised to go to Buffets and get a coffee and then bring it to the bar. (I should do that?) Yes! Drink in hand I was further told I could only smoke on the Starboard side of the ship in an area no bigger than 12' x 35'. I thought I would be ok with that until other smokers showed up. I went to sit at a small table approx 24” in diameter and there were about 5 tables there each with about 5 chairs at each. Note- when we started the first day there were three umbrellas in this area. Three days into the cruise there were only two umbrellas. There is a covered area in which to smoke approx 12'x20' the rest is open or semi covered by umbrellas. Note- remember there are 4000 people on this ship. Another problem is that the starboard side railing is covered by sheets of glass or plastic with spaces in between them so that wind blows extremely forceful through the slats. ( hmmmm- creating cigarette ash to blow off a lit cigarette....fire hazard....naaaahhhhh! This ship was designed for Alaska waters and I don't think it would be pleasant to smoke in a cold climate with no wind protection. At the table the four ashtrays on the table were full of cigarettes. I complained to guest services that I don't clean ashtrays- this was taken care of and was acceptable for the rest of the cruise with one exception which I'll mention later. It got crowded as people learned where you can smoke- Humidor, Spice and the CASINO!!! Casino- smoking of cigarettes is allowed. Cigars-NO. People complained that if you didn't have money in a machine you couldn't smoke.-I don't know! I do find it odd that you couldn't smoke in the casino if the casino was closed-all ashtrays removed while in ports after all it is a smoking area but I guess you have to pay money to smoke there. The spice area holds approx 40 people maximum and they couldn't open up the entire deck area for some unknown reason. Rumor was it's a rule-Captain doesn't like smokers- Seems to me the non smokers have numerous bars they can attend but smokers are herded to an area the size of a cabin. On top of that the non smokers utilized the smokers rest room- It was comical watching some of them hold their nose as they walked by to open the rest room door- PS there is a bathroom on the non smoking side but they didn't use that one!!! I think you get the idea so far. It is now standing room only. A person of authority assured me the reason for the small smoking area was to prevent fire hazards. A travel agent aboard stated that all cruise lines are doing away with smoking. Appears so! I would say it is a beautiful ship except for all the walking one has to do especially since the elevators are always on the wrong floor and when you do get one it was usually full- to the stariways. What I found odd was that since it is a new ship what was a lot of the paneling on the walls coming buckling- front of the Cave/Cavern by the humidor. In the humidor and numerous other places. I guess someone didn't tag out the ship before taking possession from the factory. Guest speaker for canal trip was good- however on his first day the theater was packed full. Went to the atrium and you have to hear people complaining at guest services a few feet away from the speaker----- this also works in reverse- speaking to guest services you can't hear employees due to they always have music or show going on in the atrium area. Need sound walls installed. At guest services I stated this noise wouldn't be a problem if the speaker was on the TV in the rooms. The next day it was on the TV- problem solved. Back to the cafe- another design flaw- no where near enough seats. You get your food in a line and people are picking a piece of food and tasting it in front of the serving area. I was shown an area that is not crowded. Get your food and take it to the table towards the pool area. Set your food down and go way back to get a beverage, etc. Food is edible but I noticed that the India cafe area is hardly used. Manhattan room- excellent service the first night- then it went downhill from slow to bad. Food quality was fine. No charge. La cucina Italian? I don't think so- no lasagna, no eggplant $$ Cagneys steakhouse excellent. $$ This was a repositioning cruise- the ports were the worst. We always docked in the commercial parts of the ports. They charge for a bus ride to the towns. Seems petty to me- I your taking me somewhere at least have some service available. Due to 4000 people NCL needs a lot of work in this area. If you can't handle it hire more people or get out of the business. Even people that paid for tours advised that it was so disorganized that they got refunds. NCL- this is not good business sense. At Puntenaras we had to pay $15 PP to get to town. The HAL docked about 100' from where our bus dropped us off. Hmmmmm! THE OTHER SHOE DROPS- So I finish dinner and go to smoke on deck 17 in what I was now calling the CAGE! I am told that the area is closing in 15 minutes for a special party. OK- where do I smoke! Told to go to deck 19 top of the ship behind to smokestacks. I go to deck 19- couldn't find an elevator with 19 on it but finally did – there is only one elevator to 19. Talk about an unsafe area to smoke- on deck 19 the wind is howling. There is no wind protection, the bar is closed, no ashtrays, and no cover-overhead. There is however an NCL rep standing there that didn't have a clue about anything. Back to guest services- The complaint is written down a refunds due. I had it with NCL.... I was told that the bar did open- it was too windy- and ash trays were on hand after my complaining. Should never have happened. None of this was in the brochure. I suggest that any smokers avoid this ship. I have numerous cruises with NCL and this one has caused me to seek other cruise lines. As for non smokers who like large crowds, lines at dining areas, unavailable show tickets, disorganization of the highest level from getting to the ship and from the ship, terrible fill in ports with no transportation unless you $$$$. I further suggest that NCL reads this article- It could help but then again, maybe not! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.0
Value For Money 3.5 3.5

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