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723 Los Angeles to Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

We had been on the Emerald Princess before, and enjoyed it. Since the last time it has been update and some areas remolded. Very nicely I might add. Biggest noticeable difference is the Market Place on the Lido deck. More open and bright, ... Read More
We had been on the Emerald Princess before, and enjoyed it. Since the last time it has been update and some areas remolded. Very nicely I might add. Biggest noticeable difference is the Market Place on the Lido deck. More open and bright, and the eating area seems larger and much nicer. We enjoyed the ports that we stopped at, all of them. On previous cruises there were some ports we did not enjoy. Our cabin was on the Lido deck, and it was so convenient to just walk down a hall and be out on the outside deck and close to the pools and Market Place. They also have a hamburger, hot dog, fries and chicken tacos eating place-all delish. Enjoy the open atrium area on deck 5,where they have the International Cafe and entertainment. You can get a salad, Panani, soup and desert while listening to music. The ports were lovely, warm and humid, but very enjoyable. Can't wait for our next cruise....... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Starting at embarkation sitting in an overcrowded hall for the better part of 3 hours - we were not off to a good start! No credible explanation from Princess; no bother to greet the arriving pxs when they finally made it on board. ... Read More
Starting at embarkation sitting in an overcrowded hall for the better part of 3 hours - we were not off to a good start! No credible explanation from Princess; no bother to greet the arriving pxs when they finally made it on board. Balcony stateroom was okay but was very shocked to find torn sheets and stained pillowcases on the bed (replaced 2 days later). Room steward was great as were a few bartenders and waiters, but the vast majority of staff were not engaged, sullen, and in a couple of cases - obnoxious! Food in all venues was pretty horrible for anyone with a palate (I only had 3 meals which were "good"). Buffet selection was the worst we have ever seen after being on multiple cruise lines. Restaurants were kind of dirty with the worst being the steakhouse where I accidentally knocked about 3/16" of dust off the railing beside our table - ick factor 10. Likewise I ruined a brand new shirt when I leaned against a bar railing and got a large brown stain for my efforts. For a so-called high end, large ship, the entertainment was, for the most part second rate, and most activities were pretty lame for an older crowd. Shore excursions offered by Princess were okayish, except for in Panama city where we had to stand in line for 1.5 hrs in the sweltering heat to get on a tender back to the ship without so much as a hint of concern from staff - it is a wonder some of the frailer people didn't collapse! At long last we come to disembarkation - it was a bit better than the start, but once again no one from Princess directing you where to go for transfers. We got lucky and chose the right line up. If they can do a reasonable job in ports of call, why can't they make the same effort for leaving? Is it because they no longer care about you? I would say so. We will never use Princess again - there are so many better cruise lines that they can't hold a candle to! Sure, it may be one bad experience, but they are supposed to have corporate standards, so we can only assume that this is what we can expect on other Princess ships too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise for the transit through the Pannama Canal. The commentary though out the cruise and in the canal was fantastic. Loved the Captains updates. We where very pleased with our inside cabin and twin beds. Our cabin ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the transit through the Pannama Canal. The commentary though out the cruise and in the canal was fantastic. Loved the Captains updates. We where very pleased with our inside cabin and twin beds. Our cabin steward was fantastic. The food on the other hand was mediocre at best. Beef was the the downfall each night it was served. I have never had a more boring prime rib. Could only finnish about 1/3rd of my NY strip. I love beef. Pancakes where ok. Mashed potatoes ok. Not enough veggies. Port were not bad but nothing I would want to go back to. Cartagena had the best food and architecture, I wish I could have enjoyed it, but the hawking street people where overwhelming. They would come at you two three four deep. You could not look at a building with out them thinking you were looking at them. Then they came at you. It was scary at times. Either get rid of these hawkers or Princess change port to Aruba, or Curacao. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Getting on the ship was terrible, people were waiting over 2 hours just to get inside the building. They were only letting in 2-3 people at a time. The overall appearance of the ship was good. The food in the upstairs buffet was not very ... Read More
Getting on the ship was terrible, people were waiting over 2 hours just to get inside the building. They were only letting in 2-3 people at a time. The overall appearance of the ship was good. The food in the upstairs buffet was not very good. The dinning room had 2-3 good nights to choose from and the rest were not so good of choices. It's a good thing they have salmon on the everyday side of the menu, which we had most of the time. The activities on board were limited, mostly trivia. Other activities were scheduled at the same time so you had to choose which one to go to.. Entertainment was poor. The ventriloquist was the highlight of the trip, very funny. Other were opera singers and musicians. The so called comedian thought that swearing was funny-it is just a turn off. The front end desk is no help if you have a problem. The trip thru the panama canal was to be the highlight of the trip. The photo guy made about 40 people mad when he moved them all away from the front rail of the ship so he could take a couple of photos to sell. Some had waited there over an hour just to get the best view going thru the locks and when made to move at the last minute they didn't have much of a view. It shows that princess cares more about money than passengers. Princess makes millions but still tries to make a couple of extra dollars by selling a couple of photos than about passengers who paid a lot extra to see the canal. The internet was good but the windows in a lot of public rooms were so dirty that is was hard to see through. Most of ports of call had nothing there, so the ship sold a lot of tours. I wouldn't take this ship thru the canal again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Pros: *Excellent service *Lots of fantastic entertainment *Deep swimming pools with chairs kept back. *Real professionally made pizza. *Lido often had quality 5 star food and a good selection. *MDR service and staff was ... Read More
Pros: *Excellent service *Lots of fantastic entertainment *Deep swimming pools with chairs kept back. *Real professionally made pizza. *Lido often had quality 5 star food and a good selection. *MDR service and staff was impeccable. Food was creative and served hot. Cons: *The ships layout is confusing. Even the staff got turned around. *Food in the MDR usually lacked quality cuts of meat. *'Unhappy Hour' still persists. No two for one drinks plus a dollar. *Good tables for two should be standard. The MDR's are poor and 'too crowded'. *Coffee is tepid, insipid coloured water! Who would serve that in Central America? *There are 4 pools. Only a smaller spa one is designated just for adults? *Shore excursion to the Masaya Volcano is a mistake; don't go. Closing Comments: Formal night is something to behold. There were people showing up wearing sweat pants and other apparel equally repulsive. It's amazing someone who wanted to experience fine dinning with table cloths, cutlery and service etc., would be that disrespectful. Putting the staff in a position to ask them to leave is awkward although, walking the plank should be justifiable. Special thanks to Pianist, Kory Simon. This artist is better than any super star. Special thanks to the Violinists; fabulous performances. Special thanks to Head Waiter, Valentine N. and the Professional MDR Staff. I've submitted this post in conjunction with listening to other experienced cruisers on the voyage who informed me that elegance is slipping on too many cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
First off if you are handicapped this ship is impossible to get down the corridors with a scooter or wheelchair once the housekeeping puts their carts out in morning which lasts all day .My wife needs a scooter to get around which we had ... Read More
First off if you are handicapped this ship is impossible to get down the corridors with a scooter or wheelchair once the housekeeping puts their carts out in morning which lasts all day .My wife needs a scooter to get around which we had to leave by the elevators until late at night after housekeeping was done ,which meant she had to walk from elevator area to room . I have never been on a ship with no couch in the cabin (12 SHIPS) which also made it difficult for my wife .Must get a mini suite ,I had a balcony .Ship was clean except their were stains on floor and chairs on the balcony also out there the fire sprinklers were so rusty on my balcony and my adjacent ones ,I hope they functional. Food dinner menu was limited .and unless you are Andrew Zimmerman you might enjoy the choices offered .Breakfast in dining room or buffet not impressive. Buffet was limited also with the 2 end hot tables ,one having same thing every lunch and diner ,the other end was what I call off the wall food .Entertainment first 2 nights same entertainer who was horrible , one of the others I walked out on ,some were ok but were repeated (15 day cruise ).Ship on certain decks is weird cannot get across directly .Tours of the cities were not all that informative and made stops at one or two shops as part of tour that your could purchase things and not go out on your own .My waiter Rexy and his assistant were probably the highlight of my cruise ,they sang and told jokes every night .I have taken 12 previous cruises (RC ,Celebrity & Carnival ) ,this was my my most costly and unfortunately my worst .Never Princess again. . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I had planned to take this cruise for years but she passed away in 2015 and only recently was I able to find my cruise mate and best friend. We had planned this for about six months, maybe with too high of hopes. From the ... Read More
My wife and I had planned to take this cruise for years but she passed away in 2015 and only recently was I able to find my cruise mate and best friend. We had planned this for about six months, maybe with too high of hopes. From the time we arrived at he ship it began; an extremely long wait with no place to sit down and virtually impossible to get to a rest room, a major issue with people 68 and 73 years old with disabilities and we had 'expedited boarding'; what a bad joke. once on the ship we experienced very poor service, extremely over-amplified music (and I use this term in its broadest sense), it was almost impossible to communicate with the representatives at the pursers desk due to the noise and then having to listen to 'hip-hop and rap' all over the ship and in the theater; a truly wonderful experience for all the senior citizens aboard. The club class dining was great service but the quality and selection of food on the menus has crashed since Carnival bought Princess. The ports and docking facilities were abysmal and I hope to never see them again except the Panama Canal which was a great experience. While exiting an 'automatic door' on deck 15, I was slammed on the outside of my left knee and when I reported the incident the security and medical departments could care less. We later heard from other passengers of at least three similar incidents at the same door. When I finally decided I should report the incident when I realized it could happen to others I was required to fill out a 'financial responsibility form' in medical, which I tore up and left there, spending the rest of the cruise in serious pain. The bed was uncomfortable and split into two parts at night. We notified the cabin steward and the pursers desk without any resolution. We also found what appeared to have come from someones nose stuck to the inside of the top sheet one night and the same the next night on the bed spread; totally disgusting. Leaving the ship was a nightmare, again long lines poor direction causing us to miss picking up our luggage before entering customs and having to contact an officer to go back and retrieve our bags; this has never happened in the thirteen cruises I've been on. We were extremely disappointed and even though I have 'platinum status' with Princess I doubt I'll go back again. Besides experiencing the new locks on the Panama Canal it was a waste of over $10,000.00 that we'll never get back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The only good thing about this cruise is the excellent crew it has. Room service was exceptional. All crew members were friendly and and did their work with an excellent attitude. Otherwise the ship did not offer free WiFi, and the ... Read More
The only good thing about this cruise is the excellent crew it has. Room service was exceptional. All crew members were friendly and and did their work with an excellent attitude. Otherwise the ship did not offer free WiFi, and the cost if was $19.99 per day. If you take your cellphone and use it on, or near the ship, the cost per call is $5.99 per minute. At no time was this mentioned by anyone on the boat, or by the Tour company. In my case, it resulted in extra charges to my cellphone for the amount of $545.00. which I believe is abusive and excessive, and the FCC should do something to disapprove this practice by the cruise lines. The food was at best, mediocre, even at their sit in restaurant. Entertainment was almost non-existent, program selection on TV was mostly their own channels, and a lot of old, and repeat movies.The port selection on .sojme cases was not the best ports. Charges for tours are about twice what local tours offer. The best por of call was San Juan, P.R. Overal, I do not recommend Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I'm loyal to Royal and wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise. I have been on about 40 cruises with Royal and this was by far the worst cruise I've been on. 1) Embarkation was delayed due to an unknown issue and the communication ... Read More
I'm loyal to Royal and wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise. I have been on about 40 cruises with Royal and this was by far the worst cruise I've been on. 1) Embarkation was delayed due to an unknown issue and the communication was non existent. The disembarkation from the ship was fine but waiting for an hour for our luggage to arrive at the airport was frustration 2) The ship is old but in general pretty good shape. 3) The cabin was fine and the room attendant did good job 4) Service in the main dining room was good but the food was poor, overcooked and mostly tasteless. It did get better as the cruise went on. Food in the Windjammer was poor, selection was very limited and seating cramped. Two meals at Chops were at best average. Rack of Lamb was tough, overcooked but the filet was good. 5) Entertainment was repetitive and of less than normal standard quality 6) Shore excursions were fine and entertaining 7) Thank God for Reynoldo the server in the Diamond lounge he was magnificent and kept the glasses full 8) We have 7 more cruises booked and hope this cruise was an fluke Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We arrived at 1pm and embarkation was smooth. However there were undisclosed problems getting some passengers from LAX to the ship, which delayed the sailaway for hours (until after dark).Disembarkation in NYC did not go well. Huge lines ... Read More
We arrived at 1pm and embarkation was smooth. However there were undisclosed problems getting some passengers from LAX to the ship, which delayed the sailaway for hours (until after dark).Disembarkation in NYC did not go well. Huge lines snaking around. I stood in line for an hour (was on a NCL bus tour/ transfer to JFK) with people coughing all around me. There was time for only one stop on the $99 tour due to the delay in us gettiing off. We were assembled at 8am in the theater and our bus didn't leave the port until 10am. Glad that our guide chose Ground Zero for the stop, though. This is another NCL ship subject to itinerary changes after final payment. It is too big to dock in Costa Rica. We were told that it had to do with silting in the harbor after a flood earlier in the year. After final payment, they dropped Costa Rica and added Acapulco. Also, they had to wait until extreme low tide to be able to pass under the Pacific side bridg of the Panama Canal. Hence the "daylight transit" started at 2am. Hygiene and illness were a problem on the ship. Early in the cruise no one was enforcing good sanitation in the buffet lines. After Guatemala (Day 11) they started with 'extra cleaning' which continued and ramped up throughout the cruise, to the point where for several days at the end they were at full-Noro levels of cleaning. They were attempting to keep the statistics below the threshold for special reporting. (We heard the intestinal illness was above 1% but less than 2%). There was also a nasty respiratory virus spreading. At nearly every port (and a few unscheduled, such as Huatulco and in the PC itself) there were medical evacuations and ambulances waiting. We usually arrived early enough in port that disembarkation wasn't delayed, but at one port we were late getting off. The Main Dining Room was mediocre with only a few menus that rotated through 20 days. Sometimes service was awful and sometimes it was okay. After we complained, we were "flagged" and then got put in the MDR sections with better servers. We also got comped a meal . The specialty restaurants were better for service and food, most of the time (we went 8 times). Cagneys was hit and miss. On the first night, the truffle fries were cold.Toward the end of the cruise during the Noro outbreak, they were full and service suffered. We were ticketed to see Jersey Boys, but our waiter didn't ask if we had a show, We sat for 15 minutes without seeing a waiter at all, and then it was another 30 minutes without even seeing the first starter. After calling over the maitre d' and explaining that we were going to miss the show if this continued, the service was rushed and we managed to gobble down 4 courses in an hour with 10 minutes to spare (we had allowed a total of two hours before show time). We found the best service (and food) at Le Bistro. We liked Los Lobos okay. Ocean Blue was good, but hard to get a seating. We didn't hear good things about Q so didn't go there. We went to Food Republic once (comp'd due to my complaining about the MDR). We noticed a lot of crew dining there (probably the only place to get sushi). Some of the plates were better than others. The scallop one was just plain strange. It isn't in the dining package. Most people don't eat at Los Lobos, but we thought the food was pretty good. Ocean Blue was good but difficult to get into, especially after the "extra cleaning" started and more people avoided the buffet. Thank goodness for the wonderful Indian food (BLD) in the buffet, at least I didn't starve. In the beginning they had pickled herring available but toward the end a lot of items went missing from the buffet. The only place you could get smoked salmon at breakfast was in the MDR. The Observation Lounge has limited hours for food service. The only 24/7 is Local, the buffet has limited late night food. Room service now has the upcharge except for limited continental breakfast. They were good about coming during the requested window (I must have been near the beginning of the rotation since the knock came a few minutes into the window). I had a midship balcony and it was fine, no problems at all. I would have liked a few drawers rather than all shelving. The cabin steward was great. Liked the single cup coffee maker. Requested my minifrig to be cleared on Day1. I kept skim milk, yogurt cups and snacks in there which came in handy during the Noro outbreak.You can find some smaller plates around the buffet and Observation Lounge (full sized plates are too big for the frig). The Observation Lounge is a nice space. Unfortunately the sheltered outdoor walking/viewing spaces are limited especially in the front of the ship which are blocked by private spaces. We also miss the public decks in the aft that you can find on other ships and cruise lines. Jersey Boys was excellent. It's easier to get into the later show. The Beatles were good. Six was okay. We only took one shore excursion (Acapulco) which went to Tres Palos and the Botanic Garden. It was advertised as "unguided" and an "Aviary visit" which was misleading. We did not visit an aviary by any English definition and there was a guide who kept tight rein on the group at the Botanic Garden. We complained and they gave us a minimal discount. I booked the NYC tour/transfer and as discussed above we only had one stop due to slow disembarkation. I would not travel on NCL Bliss again for 21 days. Maybe for 7 or 10, but 21 is too many even with 8 specialty dinners. It isn't worth putting up with the terrible dining room service. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I personally love all kinds of infrastructure. The Panama Canal has been in my bucket list for quite sometimes. Going for 21 days, coast to coast and through the Panama Canal locks, this is probably the best cruise in my opinion. The price ... Read More
I personally love all kinds of infrastructure. The Panama Canal has been in my bucket list for quite sometimes. Going for 21 days, coast to coast and through the Panama Canal locks, this is probably the best cruise in my opinion. The price was right. The ports of call were amazing. Since I knew most of the restaurant and bar staff on this ship from my last cruise to Alaska in May, my cruise went great and pleasant. We greeted each other like old friends. I was traveling alone and in a studio cabin. I have to say that this cabin is just right for me. It's so functional and comfortable. I wish I could take the bed home with me because it was so comfortable. My room attendant Ms. Chen was very accommodating. She works around my schedule because I sleep in until late afternoon. The front desk staff Mr. Jumphot was very competent. The 3 main dining rooms staff trying their best to seat everyone though the wait is long. The food was great and worth the wait. The bars staff were cheery and happy. My shore excursions were fabulous. If you are going this cruise, make sure you sign up for the excursion especially for Catagena and Antigua, Guatemala, you won't regret it. But sign up early because these two are the most popular tours and it filling up real quick. I didn't go to any of the shows because it was the repeat from my last Alaska cruise. But I truely enjoyed the live bands on this ship, The Familiar Stranger which is the island band from the Carribean and Siglo the band which everybody loves. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Things that were done right: 1. Staff from the top to the bottom were great. Friendly, fun, and helpful 2. Embarkation was smooth as butter. Wouldn't change a thing! 3. Loved the modern (but not ultra-modern) decor. 4. ... Read More
Things that were done right: 1. Staff from the top to the bottom were great. Friendly, fun, and helpful 2. Embarkation was smooth as butter. Wouldn't change a thing! 3. Loved the modern (but not ultra-modern) decor. 4. Always felt safe on the ship 5. Stateroom (balcony) was just right. Not too small and the bathroom was excellent. 6. Leaving and returning to ship on ports days was smooth 7. Atmosphere on the ship was calm and relaxing. No one lost their s***. 8. Easy to navigate ship because of signage. 9. Waterfront deck on deck 8 was my favourite location. Things that needed improvement: 1. Food at complimentary restaurants was average and rarely changed. The same menu day in and day out for the most part. Nothing excited me in the buffet. 2. There needs to be a snack joint on the ship other than the local that serves things like pizza, fries, donuts, coffee, etc during the transition times when restaurants are closed. 3. Inconsistent restaurant scheduling. All restaurants need to have a FIXED opening time to avoid confusion. The buffet should always open at 6:30 for breakfast and not flip flop depending on port/sea days. 4. The gym should be open 5 AM as many would like to get that done with early and to avoid larger crowds. 5. Internet access using the 250 minute plan was confusing for many (you have to logon and logoff). Sometimes, it said you were logged off and it continued to use minutes. I lost 98 minutes because of this. :( 6. I can't hear the Captain or Cruise director over the PA system in public areas. They need to increase volume or change the speaker system. 7. Inconsistent meal quality in the main dining room. Some meals were simply not good. When ordering a steak, the usually undercooked the meat. 8. Debarkation (at least in NY) was slow and tedious. Better to self-assist walk off and get a cab to the airport. 9. More strictly enforce hand washing at the buffet to avoid spread of GI infection (which happened on this sailing). 10. Some shore excursions were simply bus tours to shopping areas and not really historical/cultural as advertised (Cartagena/Santa Marta) 11. The Bliss theatre seating wasn't very comfortable as it slopes downwatd. The ambience is akin to a local movie theatre in the nineties. Could be more glamourous. 12. I would love to have people speak about the history/culture of every port we visit in a lecture style format 13. The go-karts were too regulated. You couldn't really get up to speed for long periods of time without the staff slowing us remotely. Only 10 minutes of racing and 20 minutes of prep. 14. Fabric on Atrium seats needs replacement. Obvious wear and tear for such a new ship. 15. This is difficult to change, but there is no open air forward facing deck for standard passengers. Only Haven guests get that. The observation lounge in nice but nothing beats being out in the open. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The Panama Canal was on my bucket list and when I was looking for a cruise that interested me I came across this one. I booked on impulse in 5 minutes. I was able to get off work, etc. So fate allowed us to go. Fantastic. We enjoyed the ... Read More
The Panama Canal was on my bucket list and when I was looking for a cruise that interested me I came across this one. I booked on impulse in 5 minutes. I was able to get off work, etc. So fate allowed us to go. Fantastic. We enjoyed the ports, the ship, food, everything. Good luck at the casino. Friendly group of passengers. Fantastic cruise staff. Went on a Luxury day sail and Snorkle in Cabo San Lucas and a Textile of the Highlands in Guatemala. Both were wonderful. I would recommend both excursions. Eco canoe in Columbia was boring, hot and we saw nothing worth seeing. We did several city tours that were nice, but not out of the ordinary. They were good for passengers with limited abilities to walk, etc like my mom who traveled with me. She is 80. The hike in Santa Marta was fun (I went without mom). The waterfall was nice and the swimming refreshing. The description needs to say you would walk in lots of water and should wear swimsuit and watershoes. Very good cruise. I would go again. It will be hard to go a shorter length of time. If you can swing the time off work, try a long cruise. I know I loved the time. I was allowed to unwind and relax. No pressure to do everthing in a week. Very rejuvinating. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
21 nights of pampering, relaxing, and just unwinding from the daily grind. The Bliss (Haven) is THE PERFECT way to do this. Plenty to do onboard. Stateroom was big enough (even for 3 weeks) so we didn’t get in each other’s way. ... Read More
21 nights of pampering, relaxing, and just unwinding from the daily grind. The Bliss (Haven) is THE PERFECT way to do this. Plenty to do onboard. Stateroom was big enough (even for 3 weeks) so we didn’t get in each other’s way. Specialty dining is always good (as are the main dining rooms) But the menus have changed since our last cruise so we probably bought more nights than we needed to. Smooth sailing, excellent staff (how do they remember all those new names?? ), good food and “adult libations”. The demographics of the passengers were not party animals, only a few kids...I didn’t think about it when booking... but now I’ve seen the light Most of the excursions were good (Cabo was a clear exception to that with the Lands end boat cruise... not worth doing) and some were most excellent (Aruba the Sunset Cruise... that had me finding my happy place Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We used NCL air/hotel arrangements and also transfers with great satisfaction. The Bliss is a very big ship, the biggest of NCL and also very recent, 2017. Very modern and luxurious it offers a lot of outdoor activities, as much for ... Read More
We used NCL air/hotel arrangements and also transfers with great satisfaction. The Bliss is a very big ship, the biggest of NCL and also very recent, 2017. Very modern and luxurious it offers a lot of outdoor activities, as much for children as for adults. The big-production shows were Broadway's quality. The food in all the restaurants was very good, even at the buffet, with a lot of delicious choices. Our account and reservations can be accessed directly from our TV and cell phone. The staff is always polite and helpful. The "Free Style" is very appreciated... no need for suit or tie, everywhere! On the other hand, big ships also means that it does not go under all bridges ... we had to pass under the bridge of Americas and also under the Broolkyn Bridge at low tide, that is to say 11PM and 3AM ... so saw nothing or almost nothing. The recent construction may also be responsable for lots of noises: in the Atlantic, with slightly rough waters, we heard creaks on the stairways and especially banging in our cabin, enough to prevent us from sleeping. Comedy shows where numerous, but with a very local humor, not international, so for non-US citizens, it is hard to follow. As for the restaurants, there are many, but we had to book in advance if we wanted to eat at a reasonable time, just like for the Jersey Boys and Six shows. And all these reservations, restaurants, shows and excursions, that we can do ourselves on TV, cell or tablet, they are not accessible on all these platforms ... some reservations appear only on one platform. There is no synchronization, which has forced us to recheck everything with guest services ... Overall, by bringing earplugs, making reservations before or very early in the cruise and using only the TV to check your account and book, you make a memorable cruise. We came back rested and very satisfied. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise because it covered many ports that have been on my bucket list, all within the same cruise. The embarkation in LA was a bit congested, and very difficult to hear any announcements regarding boarding groups, so people ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it covered many ports that have been on my bucket list, all within the same cruise. The embarkation in LA was a bit congested, and very difficult to hear any announcements regarding boarding groups, so people were confused as to where and when to get on board. The ship and my cabin were very good. Dining was good except the menus in the dining rooms never seemed to change. Got quite boring after about a week into the cruise. Specialty dining helped with the boredom, and the buffet was pretty good. Jersey Boys was excellent, but only offered 4 showings, so it was always very crowded. Ports and sea days were all well spaced and excursions offered were good. I found that the service was all top notch. All in all, very good cruise! I might not choose the very same cruise again, but I will definitely cruise with NCL again, as evidenced by the fact that I am Platinum status. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Great prices for the 21 day cruise. Ports of call were on my bucket list. Shows on the cruise were amazing. Appreciated the upgrade on my room. Great food choice and plenty of restaurants. Travelled with friends. Will cruise again and ... Read More
Great prices for the 21 day cruise. Ports of call were on my bucket list. Shows on the cruise were amazing. Appreciated the upgrade on my room. Great food choice and plenty of restaurants. Travelled with friends. Will cruise again and took advantage of the CruiseNext offer. Purchased $1000 worth of coupons for future salings and got a $500 credit immediately on my account. Staff and crew were fantastic. Shore excursions were super. Participated in some of the great activities they offered. Jersey Boys, Six, These Guys and the magician and the hypnotist were so good. As well as the Beatles and The Prohibition show. Harold at the Atrium bar always made sure we were looked after drink wise. Also the number of bars on the ship were great and fun when we did our bar crawl. The casino too was lots of fun and offered lots of poker or slot contests to participate in. This being my first cruise was absolutely amazing and one I will always remember. Only thing missing was popcorn. Something for every age and gender on the cruise. Information on the Panama Canal was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise for its length and itinerary. Week long cruises are just not long enough for me now that I'm retired and can cruise longer. I cruise solo a lot and NCL usually has the best solo prices, although I do not sail in ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its length and itinerary. Week long cruises are just not long enough for me now that I'm retired and can cruise longer. I cruise solo a lot and NCL usually has the best solo prices, although I do not sail in the solo cabins as I like a balcony. How about some solo balconies NCL? Embarkation: Embarkation went smoothly since I am Platinum Plus. Ship: The Bliss is a beautiful ship! The Observation Lounge is wonderful. It's so nice to have drinks and food available right in the lounge. Another nice area is the Waterfront with comfy seating outside. Spice H2O is another outdoor area for adults only. I love the libraries on ships and this ship did have one, however, there were also tables for games here as well which means it got noisy sometimes. I wish ships would have a separate room for people to play games. Lots of people like to play cards, mah jong, etc and have no where to play. Cabin: I was in cabin #10274 which was in a great location not too far from the aft elevators. The thing I liked most about my cabin was my coffee pot! There's nothing like a cup of coffee on the balcony in the morning. There were a few things I didn't like about the cabin. Why can't they have a CHAIR at the desk instead of a dreadfully uncomfortable stool? There also should be drawers in the desk. My bed was right next to the closet which makes it very difficult to get anything out of the closet. The room configuration on the Jewel class balcony rooms is much more user friendly. Dining: There was quite a large group of solos on this cruise. We were given a section of Savor, one of the MDRs, for dinner every night. We could go right to our section and bypass any lines. I also had 9 specialty dinners. My best dinner was at Ocean Blue. We had the best waiter! The food at Le Bistro and Cagney's was great as well. Dinner in La Cucina was good, but I was not allowed to order the T-bone steak with my Platinum Plus free dining coupon even though it was within the allowable price range. I thought the Platinum Plus free dining coupon was a reward for my loyal patronage of NCL, but to put such a ridiculous restriction on it made me feel like I wasn't valued for my patronage at all. I also had dinner at Q which was good and a lot of fun. My favorite place for breakfast and lunch was the Local. I think the food here is great. It sure beats fighting the crowds at the buffet (which I went to only once). I loved the carrot cake! Everything I had there was very good and the service was very good, too. Entertainment: NCL excels when it comes to entertainment. Jersey Boys was a WOW! It was an awesome show. I loved the Beatles group. Six was a great show, but maybe more for the girls than the guys. There were some great entertainers in the crew talent show. When do they find the time to rehearse? The entertainers in the various lounges were good as well. Service: I found the crew to be helpful and friendly. Ports: There were quite a few ports on his cruise so I won't cover all of them. I think my favorite was Puerto Quetzal. I took the NCL tour to Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old town is quite lovely with its colonial buildings and cobbled streets. Our tour included lunch in an old monastery which is now a hotel. Debarkation: What a mess! There just aren't enough Immigration agents to handle 4000 passengers. Overview: I loved this cruise! I loved the ship! I could do it again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Wanted to see the new Panama Canal - Crossing was great. I was impressed at the way this large ship could dock in port so easily. The sailing was very smooth and would be a great way for people afraid of getting sea sick to ... Read More
Wanted to see the new Panama Canal - Crossing was great. I was impressed at the way this large ship could dock in port so easily. The sailing was very smooth and would be a great way for people afraid of getting sea sick to start cruising, as there was very little rocking of the ship at all. The buffet dining set up was very efficient and streamlined and was easy to get to and there was never much waiting time. The elevators at front and back of ship made it easy to get arount the ship.. The dining rooms were nice but we had to ask for shared dining for four nights before we had someone to share with and we shared with that person only because we asked her to share with us. She was also at a table seated alone when we asked her to join us. On other nights we would stand around the entrance to the restaurants and ask other couples to share our table. We were on a Norwegian cruise to the Carribean in Nov 2018 and the staff on that ship were the greatest people for asking about sharing and making a real effort to join people at tables. It's nice to have someone different to talk to at meals and we met some great people and made some new friends but most of it was through our own offorts. The entertainment was very good . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge ... Read More
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge account. Mini Suite Room Design and Cleaning: we paid pricey for this MA class room 9 months before cruising, the design of room layout is not easy to move around and storage space is not enough. The shelf was broken and missing, the staff said, they can NOT repair it. entertainment: every show we went, we watched a lot guests left in the middle of program. most of the E-staff talk English in all kind of strange accent. food and restaurants: food is terrible in quality for freshness and the ways of prepared. The India Chief Chef maybe cook the way we are not used to it. Future Cruise: Again, bad English and worse Debarkation: at the Manhattan Term. all guests have to stand in line outside for 2 hours to get off the ship, this break the record not only for NCL, but for all the Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had not cruised for 15 years. The Panama Canal was always on our bucket list and, we booked this cruise rather hastily as the time and price were right. We had never cruised on NCL before and loved the amenities on the ship, the ... Read More
We had not cruised for 15 years. The Panama Canal was always on our bucket list and, we booked this cruise rather hastily as the time and price were right. We had never cruised on NCL before and loved the amenities on the ship, the freestyle dining and how hard the crew worked to keep the ship clean and us healthy. The food was excellent in both the complimentary dining and specialty restaurants. Entertainment (bands and shows) were superb. I commented to my husband and friend of 40-years that this was like a "Spring Break Cruise for Baby Boomers." Loved every minute of it and am thinking about the Mediterranean cruise in November 2020. Overall, the on-the ship experience was perfect. The transfer from LAX was not -- it took us 4 hours from the time our flight landed until we got on the ship. NCL agreed that they had communication issues between themselves and the transfer agent. They made a note to refund our $35 transfer fee on the last day of the cruise, but did not. Overall, this was just a speed bump. We were otherwise extremely pleased with the NCL experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Traveled with Norweijan 4 times prior to this cruise. First 2 were amazing! Second 2 did not deliver. This was the 3rd strike. Except for Margaritaville, the food was awful. Cagney's was the worst. Length of time at some sit down ... Read More
Traveled with Norweijan 4 times prior to this cruise. First 2 were amazing! Second 2 did not deliver. This was the 3rd strike. Except for Margaritaville, the food was awful. Cagney's was the worst. Length of time at some sit down restaurants was ridiculous. I had low expectations for the buffet, but they fell short anyway. Dried out proteins. Flavorless everything else. Ran out of foods the first week. There was little talent. The singer in Familiar Strangers can't sing anything but flat. And so loud that you can't eat in the restaurant above it. 6 comics, 3 hosts: host #3 was bad & 3 of the comics were really bad. 1 I did not see. Terrible averages. Games held by cruise staff were amazingly dull or stupid. Even the contestants didn't seem to understand what was going on. Why St. Maarten and Antigua are on the schedule is a mystery to me. Both fairly dull and not much to do in either. There are many other ports they could have offered. One last thought...I'm on vacation not a shopping spree. I hate having shopping shoved down my throat on a daily basis. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a 21 day cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, that was very disappointing. We have cruised a number of other lines before, this was our first on Norwegian. We were excited to go thru the Panama Canal, and the stops were all good, what ... Read More
This was a 21 day cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, that was very disappointing. We have cruised a number of other lines before, this was our first on Norwegian. We were excited to go thru the Panama Canal, and the stops were all good, what we expected. Careful with the excursions they provide, a number of them are just shopping stops, that you pay good money for. Our problems were mostly with the food on the ship, there was one restaurant that was good, that was at an additional fee, Cagney's Steakhouse. we ate at all the others as well. Even for the additional fees, they were not good. The buffet, was no better than an high school cafeteria's food, and the main dining rooms, not only was the food bad, but the service was even worse. To make it even worse, they did not care. One breakfast in the main dining room it took over 1 hour to get a basket of croissants, everyone else got there food but me, we asked three times, and no one even cared. Finally, just left. Balcony room on Deck 12 - was small but adequate, and room steward was good and very nice. Entertainment was good we saw Jersey Boys, Six, and a number of entertainers, All we good. If you are a smoker, you will be relegated to a small section in the Aft of the ship, not a lot of room for all the smokers, and if it rains you are in the rain. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were on a 21 day cruise from LA to Manhattan. Jersey Boys was the best show I have ever seen on the water so that is definitely worth seeing. Our balcony room was clean and comfortable. We got a bunch of the Free at Sea items. The ... Read More
We were on a 21 day cruise from LA to Manhattan. Jersey Boys was the best show I have ever seen on the water so that is definitely worth seeing. Our balcony room was clean and comfortable. We got a bunch of the Free at Sea items. The free drinks really cost $19.80 per person per day but it was still worth it given we drank more than 2 drinks a day. The specialty restaurants were good but I was very disappointed that even at Ocean Blue (their Seafood Restaurant) lobster was a $25 up-charge. I was on Royal Caribbean in January 2019 and the entire ship had free lobster in the main dining room. It felt like a slap in the face the NCL charged $25 in the specialty restaurant and lobster was never available in the main dining rooms. We were with another couple and it was disappointing that our waiters rarely knew who order what. The 24/7 "Local" restaurant was very nice, good food, even Buffalo Chicken wings. I wish I had known I could get a bag of laundry washed during the cruise for $20, I would have packed a lot less. I wish I would have known that the flights booked by NCL for me would not be known until about 30 days before the cruise and that even though we booked with people leaving from the same airport, that we would be on different flights. There were major issues with the transfer from LAX to the ship, it was very stressful, in the end NCL made it right. The price of the cruise dropped $200 per person after we booked, I specifically booked via NCL and was told they would honor any price drop ONCE. That was not the case, instead of giving us $400, we were given a $100 on board credit. I assumed we would be able to text each other and the other couple for free while on the ship. Nope, that is an up-charge on NCL. In the end we didn't bother. The 250 free minutes of WiFi was nice other than the WiFi on the ship was very slow ( Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hi all! Now that I’m back from my 28 days on the Bliss and trying to recuperate before our January adventure I’ll try to give some of my thoughts. First of all I had a fantastic time. This was a B2B sailing the first 21 days from LA ... Read More
Hi all! Now that I’m back from my 28 days on the Bliss and trying to recuperate before our January adventure I’ll try to give some of my thoughts. First of all I had a fantastic time. This was a B2B sailing the first 21 days from LA to NYC thru the Canal, then a 7 day roundtrip to Florida and the Bahamas. The first cruise had a very different atmosphere than the second. The first had an older average passenger age and about 3800 passengers with very few under 18, while last week being a holiday week was much younger with about 4800 passengers and 1000 under 18. So things were more laid back the first 21 days and much more hectic the last 7. I ate in most specialty restaurants. I did not go to Los Lobos and Food Republic. My favorites were Le Bistro, Cagney’s and Teppanyaki, though La Cucina and Q Smokehouse were also very good. On the first 21 days, even though I had reservations, because of the length of the cruise, most restaurants had walk up seating available, but a total different situation last week, all were booked solid all week. If you don’t have reservations for dinner yet you can still book as soon as you board. On my cruises on the fist day they had reservations set up in The Social on deck 6 and most times were available, but they go quick. Though I have seen complaints about service online, I did not feel it was bad. I always allow 2 hours for dinner in the specialty restaurants. I didn’t have a bad meal in the 28 days. I did not go the buffet much, only for a quick breakfast on some days. I had lunch in The Local, basically the same as O’Sheehan’s but there are some different items then I’ve seen before. As for the shows, Jersey Boys was my favorite (I saw it 3 times over the 28 days). It is an hour and 45 minutes long, starts out a little slow but then picks up and doesn’t stop. Doors open 30 minutes before show time and line started building up 15 minutes before that. The early show was more popular but from what I saw I think all the stand by line was able to get in, but if you want a good seat, make a reservation, again you can do that once you board if it shows as sold out online. I saw Six on my first leg. The singing was excellent and the production looked great, but I wasn’t thrilled with the story line, but that is just my opinion. There were many who thought it was excellent. It is not as long as Jersey Boys. It helps if you’re familiar with Henry the 8th and his 6 wives. The Beatle cover show in the Cavern was great. They do a few shows featuring songs form different years. No reservations are needed but it is a small venue and by 30 mins before show time most seats were tabken so come early. They also do a show in the theatre, again no reservations needed. I went to most of the later Levity Comedy shows in the Social. These need reservations and can only be made once onboard so book as you can, either in the Social or use the kiosks around the ship, again they fill up fast. They also have a stand by line. Besides Jersey Boys and Six in the main theatre (which only run 2 nights each) there was always another type of show each night. There was a singer, comedy hypnotist and magician act on other nights. The main pool is larger than I’ve seen on the Escape and Breakaway. Chairs were no problem on the first 21 days, but last week with the younger larger crowd it was busier, but I always saw chairs available. Of course many know I’m fond of my beer and spent time in the Brewhouse. On the first 21 days they had a singer doing requests, not Howling At The Moon, but since the Bliss doesn’t have it, it was fun. He sang and told jokes. It was pretty filled most nights he played. On nights when there was football he was off and they showed the games on TV. Last week he was off the ship and a new singer was there. He just sang with not much interactions with the passengers and it was not as busy, but the beer is still excellent. My favorites were the Stone IPA, Magic Hat #9, Newcastle Brown Ale, Hop Gun IPA and District Pale Ale. George and Sienna were behind the bar. I also spent a good deal of time at Maltings to enjoy some Jameson Caskmate with my New Castle. Sy, Jerome, Stephan and Mark were all great behind the bar. The Observation lounge on deck 15 is beautiful. Plenty of seats and couches to sit an relax. There is a small buffet for breakfast and lunch. There’s a large circular bar to enjoy and they have a piano singer there at night. The Q Smokehouse also has a bar and they feature country western singers during the evening. There was one tender port in the 28 days, Great Stirrup Cay. I had priority and was on the first tender but I heard from many that it was very disorganized and many could not get to the island until after 1:30 PM. Since we arrive at 11 and last tender back was 5:30 many were not happy. If you plan to use a tender check the kiosks or your room TV to book a tender (no tickets, just goes on your card) and book an early tender. If you have a shore excursion you’re supposed to have priority but I heard some complain that they still couldn’t get on early. I like to try to get to the gym in mornings. They have the same equipment as other ships. I like to use the elliptical, treadmill and stationary bike. I usually had no problem getting an elliptical or treadmill but they only had 1 stationary and 1 recumbent bike so it was hard to get one. They do have a separate spin room with many spin bikes (there is a charge when they do a spin class). On other ships you were not allowed to use them if not a class, but I did see people using them at other times, but I don’t like those bikes so I didn’t. I had an aft balcony for the first 21 days and a mini suite with my wife last week. The cabins were great and I had great stewards on both cruises. The casino has a separate smoking area that is closed off from the rest of the casino so not much smell of smoke. On the first 21 days the tables were not busy and the minimum dropped to $5, but last week it was a lot busier and the minimums were back to $10. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019

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