8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a great itinerary to Alaska, and this was a good fit for us. We flew to Seattle for a few days prior to embarking, and explored the city first - would definitely recommend doing so if ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a great itinerary to Alaska, and this was a good fit for us. We flew to Seattle for a few days prior to embarking, and explored the city first - would definitely recommend doing so if you've never been there! Embarkation was one of the easiest experiences I've ever had with a cruise line - it was amazingly fast and we were seriously on the ship within 15-20 minutes of first handing over our luggage at the pier. This ship is beautiful. Several restaurants were open for lunch but we chose to explore the ship first, and then had no problem finding a seat in the Garden Cafe for the lunch buffet. We traveled with 2 of our teenage children, and while they've done the kid/teen programs on previous cruises, after the first night checking this program out, they chose to "go it on their own" - they just didn't feel it met their needs. (I think an age 13-17 range is tough, as my 17 year old hs senior didn't necessarily want to hang out with 13 year olds all week.). The food was very good on the ship, and the buffet was particularly good - better than most that we've experienced. It was hot, and fresh, and constantly refilled. The Local is really nice as well, open 24 hours and a great place to grab a burger, sandwich, or some wings. We ate there twice for breakfast as well, on the 2 days at sea when we didn't feel like getting up super early; it's open until 11 am for breakfast which was great. We tried Q's (a little disappointing, the chicken was pretty dry, which was sad because we had heard such great things!), and La Cucina which was excellent, and eating outside was such a plus! The main dining rooms were all very good, and although we booked reservations, the one night we ended up switching our plans around, we had no problems getting into Taste. The whole process was very easy and the hosts at each dining room are very friendly. On the days at sea, we did the Family Escape game which was tougher than we expected, but lots of fun! We also participated in trivia, Deal or No Deal, etc, in the Atrium. I'd really suggest getting more chairs in the Atrium - there are NOT enough seats and that's a big turnoff. 2 of us did the spa as well, which was the typical service for most ships, definitely nice, and my husband did an Alaskan beer tasting, which he really enjoyed. The itinerary itself was wonderful, and we were blessed with great weather for most of the trip. All in all, it was a great cruise; this was our first time with Norwegian but we'd definitely consider cruising with this line again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this Norwegian cruise when our local travel agent announced an Alaskan cruise last November and it was an item on our BUCKET LIST! I had never been on a cruise before so this was my first time. The ship is beautiful and it was a ... Read More
We chose this Norwegian cruise when our local travel agent announced an Alaskan cruise last November and it was an item on our BUCKET LIST! I had never been on a cruise before so this was my first time. The ship is beautiful and it was a delight sailing on our Alaskan adventure with Norwegian! Our balcony cabin was very comfortable and we enjoyed the ability to sit on the balcony and watch the sunrise each morning! Natalie our cabin steward was an absolute delight and was there to make sure we had all that we needed! We never met an unsmiling face from the entire staff - from the restaurant staff to the bar staff - they all just wanted to make sure you were having a great time! I had seen some reviews before we sailed that were not as complimentary of the staff - but all I can say they must have been on a different ship because our experiences were all positive! The food in the complimentary dining rooms was top notch and we never had to wait to be seated! You had choices of 6 or 7 entrees along with appetizers and salads and dessert - all included in the price of the cruise!!! My grilled salmon and shrimp ravolli in lobster cream sauce was very very tasty!! Breakfast in The Local was a morning treat for us. We took advantage of prepurchasing a 3 dinner dining package for the specialty restaurants on board. We really enjoyed the La Cucina Italian Restaurant (in spite of a rowdy family who kind of dominated the room) - in hindsight we should have taken the balcony seating! :-) My Sea Bass was great and the mushroom risotto was very rich and creamy!! Los Lobos was a very good Mexican Restaurant and my Carne Asada was fabulous. The Q - barbq was ok but the brisket needed more bark! Margaritaville was again ok but the key lime pie was the absolute best I have ever had!! Well worth it! We had a drink package and the bar staff was friendly and accomodating! From Mojitos, to Margaritas, to Mudslides, and the Bloody Marys in the Observation Deck were DELICIOUS!! Plus wine with any meal or just an afternoon treat! We especially enjoyed the Beatlemania performances that highlighted the group from beginning through Abbey Road! They were very good and it was complimentary! The Jersey Boys were just as great and again complimentary - these are performances you just should not miss! I would sail again on the BLISS in a heartbeat!! You should too! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First off, the review is solely my own experiences and majority of those that went with us on the Norwegian Bliss cruise ship. This is not a review of Alaska, which if i may say is one of the most beautiful and stunning wonder and only ... Read More
First off, the review is solely my own experiences and majority of those that went with us on the Norwegian Bliss cruise ship. This is not a review of Alaska, which if i may say is one of the most beautiful and stunning wonder and only true highlight of the trip. To be fair, i will break down the review in various categories. 1. Staff and services. The general staff and cabin teams are usually very friendly and they try to accommodate your specific needs. But their services are poorly handled and seems they are either inadequately staffed or trained to cover that amount of space. Although, our cabin staff was very friendly, we noticed for the 7 days we cruised on the ship, our sofa/bunkbeds were never made. Our sheets were made and both childrens beds were made, but the bunk bed was never made back into a sofa, therefore as small as the room was, there we never any space to sit or walk in our stateroom. (bear in mind, we were mid section stateroom with a balcony). Collectively as a group, which we had about 24 friends and family in about 7 rooms, all of us jokingly stated if we could count openly all our fingers (10) whether the entire ships staff were genuinely happy to be there and working. We all agreed that the happiest individual which genuinely was happy was the women at the entrance of the buffet which kept singing "washy, washy, hands are happy". 2. Ambiance and Atmosphere. I truly expected more out of a luxury class ship like "Bliss", after hearing about it in Elvis Duran morning show stating how great the ship was (very disappointed in the accuracy of their continuous propaganda of the ship), my expectations of the ship was with a high expectation. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed with the presentation of the ship. The official entrance for passenger to embark inside the ship was through a small walkway that enters through the casino. (seriously, who designs a ship whose grand entrance is inside a casino) Their center space which the Atrium is held has a massive screen where they show movies and entertainment. With the shear amount of people traveling between the Atrium, who can enjoy a good movie or comedy/talent show with all that noise. All the restaurants except Le Bistro looked like a $$ value restaurant and not a $$$ or $$$$ value manhattan style décor. (again with the exception of Le Bistro French restaurant). Of the 5 cruises I have been on, Royal Carribeans Allure series ships beats this ship in almost all categories. 3. Price and value For close to $5,500+ cost to a Stateroom with Balcony, I was extremely disappointed. The room was incredibly small and had absolutely no leg room to walk around. (Royal Carribbean and Disney Cruises have room to spare) But that is also probably because our room's sofa which converts to a bunk bed was never converted back to a sofa throughout the 7 days we were in the cruise. One of our friends which had a mini-suite and paid $7,300+ was extremely frustrated because their room was about the same size, with only the exception of a two vanity sink + tub (basically, the room size was the same and the bathroom was larger). Regarding extra spending, this cruise ship is a money pit. Everything cost extra, coffee, snacks, activities, it was unbelievable that practically anything worth anything would require your cruise key card to be charged. For the amount of money you need to spend on this ship, better to cruise on a more luxurious ship (ie: Disney or Royal Carribbean Allure series). 4. Entertainment and activities I recall Royal Carribbean Allure of the Sea had like 4 to 6 mini theaters for movies. Bliss has about 1 theater for movies and a Atrium that they show with the general crowd (I could be wrong, but I sure didn’t find any other activity for movies). I read somewhere that they have one of the largest casino for a cruise ship, but what they fail to understand is that if I want to only go to a large and grand casino, I definitely would not be on a cruise ship to indulge. (Las Vegas here I come). All of us were bored out of our minds. There were only two shows, Havana and Jersey Boys which most of us fell asleep on one of them (yes, no kidding and no back story). Jersey boys was definitely a winner and worthy of a Broadway play. The story was involving and truly wonderful to watch, so we deeply courage watching this one. They weren’t kidding when another review said to book your Race Car and Laser Tag as soon as you are onboard (ps: it cost $10 per game), we were onboard the boat about 1 hour after they started embarking and all the "sea" days were fully books. So you would be left for standby or odd times which nobody wants to take. After going multiple times and staying on standbys, both the Race cars and Laser tag games were definitely fun and worth the wait, but given the fact that it was limited space killed the fun. Their slides were very cool, only probably was, it was shut down many times or not open due to winds and the cold, so that was completely wasted. Although, for that one day we braved the chilly air, both slides were incredibly fund. 5. Food and dining. This one truly was shocking. We booked at least 4 days of specialized dining to try each of the venue. Only one word - "LeBistro". Disney and Royal Carribbean again had some truly gourmet dining experiences, but the Bliss was like a phlegm that was stuck on the back of your throat which you couldn’t get rid of (it sucks). We expected truly excellent food for specialized dining, but got at best mediocre experience. The LeBistro was the only dining experience that we can rate as 4+ stars. The décor, food and service was excellent in this restaurant. The fois gras was actually in the same class as Manhattan style French restaurants. If we knew then what I know how, we would have had 4 days of LeBistro. The buffet food at the garden was mediocre. Their seafood night was shrimp and mussels. We were expecting lobsters or crab legs, but I guess that was wishful thinking. (ps: we had crab legs and lobster with the other cruise ships RC and Disney). Last thing to note. All of this was balanced out by the fact that every excursion in Alaska was worth the trip. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had a wonderful cruise on the Bliss. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about our experience. I had read numerous negative comments about the Bliss prior to our trip that had us a little concerned. We found none of the negative ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on the Bliss. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about our experience. I had read numerous negative comments about the Bliss prior to our trip that had us a little concerned. We found none of the negative comments to be true in our case. In my opinion, the ship is like a 5-star Las Vegas resort (i.e. Wynn/Encore, Venetian/Palazzo). We had perfect weather...it didn't rain at all other than a few sprinkles as we cruised the Inside Passage one evening. We arrived at the port at noon and were able to board the ship immediately. By 1:00 pm, we had checked in, booked our dinner reservations, go kart, and show reservations. By 1:30 pm, we were in our room. We received our lugguage by 4:00 pm. Outstanding! Everything about the process was a breeze. We stayed in a mini-suite w/balcony. There were two of us so there was just enough room. The bed was firm and very comfortable. The a/c worked great (I'm always HOT!) I wouldn't recommend a mini-suite for more than two people. There was plenty of storage in the cabinets and closet. The bathroom is huge by cruise ship standards. We had a double sink, fabulous shower, and plenty of storage. We loved the balcony. I can't imagine cruising the Inside Passage without a balcony. It is a MUST!!! We purchased the WIFI package. We had excellent coverage throughout the 7 days. We lost the connection briefly on one day for about an hour. We dined mainly at Taste, The Manhattan Room, Savor, Margaritaville, Teppanyaki. We ate at the buffet twice. The food was good but the buffet was too crowded and there were too many people that had not the slightest idea what a manner is (i.e. people coughing and sneezing without covering their mouth/nose then handling the serving spoons, people eating off their plate while in line, etc.). Overall, I would rate the food on the Bliss with 4-4.5 stars and service 5 stars. We appreciated all the hand-sanitizing stations all over the ship!!! We ordered coffee via room service each morning at 6:30 am. (We didn't use the in-room coffee maker) It was always on time. Our favorite places on the ship: District Brew House has great atmosphere and views (and beer), Spice H20, the Observation Lounge, any lounge chair on any deck. The Observation Lounge is fabulous!!! We reserved our shore excursions prior to the cruise. We booked all excursions through NCL. We loved every single minute of our shore trips. There are so many activities on the ship each day. We could have filled up the day with fun activities if we had not chosen to book the shore excursions. There is always something going on for all ages. We had reservations for Havana the second night but canceled after talking to several people who had seen it the previous night and said they didn't enjoy it. Besides, we stayed up until 2 am and really weren't up to a show that evening. We saw Jersey Boys and 'The Beatles' at the Cavern Club. I've seen Jersey Boys in NYC and twice in Las Vegas. The production and cast on the ship was excellent. We had a blast at the Cavern Club. The Beatle group are fabulous! We also went to see Prohibition The Musical. It was good...not as good as Jersey Boys and The Beatles but still worth your time. We liked the casino and we actually had some great luck there. There is an enclosed smoking casino for those who smoke. We don't smoke and couldn't smell any smoke coming from the smoking area. The crew was fantastic! Every single crew member we encountered was friendly, helpful and professional. We used Port Valet. We left our bags outside our cabin at 9 pm and they picked them up and checked them at the airport in Seattle the following day. We disembarked at 7:30 am...the entire process took about 20 minutes. We were very pleased with the Port Valet service because it made sightseeing in Seattle very easy. We got to visit the space needle, the downtown market and the Chihuly museum before our 2 pm flight. We loved the Bliss and Alaska so much that we booked the same trip next year. We had a perfect trip! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a cruise for nine people in our party to celebrate birthdays and an anniversary. We couldn’t have picked a better cruise line or ship! What a fabulous surprise! The amenities, food and ship employees and service, as well as ... Read More
This was a cruise for nine people in our party to celebrate birthdays and an anniversary. We couldn’t have picked a better cruise line or ship! What a fabulous surprise! The amenities, food and ship employees and service, as well as the surroundings was 5 Star all the way! As this was my first cruise, I didn’t have anything to compare to but I must say I’ll probably have a much higher standard to gauge any other cruise line or ship for that matter. I was so spoiled by the service, quality of the food and things to do, that it is hard to come back to the real world! And it makes me want to go on another cruise in the next year or so. We were so well treated and I got to meet so many new people from around the world. The shows, art work, pools, food, observation deck, lounges, laser tag, go cart race track (who thinks these things up?!); whatever you wanted to experience was there. One of my most favorite things was learning about the artist who painted the ship (Wyland!); his conservation efforts, paintings and murals and watched his channel when in the stateroom every chance I could get! This man and artist is AMAZING! Amazing and so talented! My next cruise will probably be on the Bliss just because of this artist!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Onboard this cruise they had an interview With two gentlemen about how this ship is run, like a floating hotel. It is definitely more like a floating mall. If you want to buy jewelry, art & clothing or have your photograph taken Buy ... Read More
Onboard this cruise they had an interview With two gentlemen about how this ship is run, like a floating hotel. It is definitely more like a floating mall. If you want to buy jewelry, art & clothing or have your photograph taken Buy your own personal paid photographer, not just the regular photographers that are in other crew ships , this is the place for you. If you want to be nickeled and dimed for everything this is the place for you. A cruise is supposed to be all inclusive ( at least the majority) that was far from the case on the bliss. The add on packages that you have to pay additional for include water, soda, drinks, specialty dining, indoor pool, go carts, laser tag, select shows (Prohibition) and Video games. I’m sure there’s more but these are the things I know we paid extra for. When I first arrived on board I found out one of the things that can happen on this cruise and I tried to make sure I didn’t have to deal with it. When you have a child in your room they are automatically on your credit card they have a waiver that you can sign that says that you do not want your child to go over certain dollar amount but they don’t really enforce this because if your child happens to go over that dollar amount within the first hour such as going to the arcade they are not responsible because they only check daily. The only choice for us was to completely remove a credit card from my sons account so he was not able to charge anything. However there was seven games on his card that we were responsible for even though he wasn’t even supposed to have any access to our credit card. We did buy him the $70 package for select games ( not all) in the arcade because there was very little for him to do on the cruise. We usually make it a rule that my son is not allowed to play any kind of electronics when on vacation but I had to make an exception this time.Another boy in our group who is 15 and has been on many ships said this was the most boring he’s ever been on. On the last cruise I took, which was celebrity, you got smaller bottles of water that were free and if you wanted large bottles of Evian water you had to pay for them, which seems reasonable. This Bliss ship was one that was made for Alaska and I was on a cruise going to Alaska and if I wanted to go to an indoor pool I had to pay additional package for it. The amount of Chlorine that was in the outdoor pool made my husband sick and he could not wash his eyes out enough to stop the pain. We were so excited about the go carts and the laser tag when we booked, only to be informed after we purchased the cruise, there was going to be a charge for each which was annoying but we had to deal with it. When we get on the cruise we found out that it was completely sold out and we couldn’t use either of them. We were told we could go on standby which is going to take at least a half an hour to 45 minutes of our time but certainly did not guarantee us a spot and this was the case with almost everything on board the ship including every show. Everything had to be booked in advance and if you didn’t then you weren’t going to see it or you had to wait for a half an hour to 45 minutes on standby to do so. I don’t know about you but when I go on vacation I like to feel like I’m on vacation not like I’m at work where everything is planned. The activity level for the children I would say was about a 2. I told my nine-year-old son that he was about to go on the best vacation of his life. My son absolutely hates cruises now. They did offer clubs for different groups, my son is 9 he’s going to be 10 soon and he’s not a young 9. I asked that he be moved into the older group of 10 to 12 because the 6 to 9-year-old group had many young children, they said they did not allow that. Not such a big deal for me, my son only went once but there was another person on the cruise that had a 12-year-old child that was turning 13 a week after the cruise ended and they would not allow her to go into the older group so she was with 10 to 12-year-olds. Having said that basically you are sending your children to a daycare center everything being inside. They have added on laser tag and go carts which now is costing everyone on board additional money so now they no longer have the sporting area that they normally have for kids or other pools because the entire top deck is now being used by something that each member on the cruise is probably going to only enjoy once. The staff is by far the rudest, dullest and inconsiderate I have ever seen. I cannot believe this is a brand new ship and this is the way they treat guests. From the time I got on board and listened to a woman complain to a rude disintereseted “guest relations” rep about how she signed a waiver to not allow her child to spend over a certain amount of money, all the way to the end of the cruise when we had a member of our group fall on the stairs (which are dangerous)and asked for a copy of the report,which we were refused, It’s a constant reminder of how bad it really is. There was one woman on board that was in front of the buffet area that was absolutely wonderful and she sang a song for everybody “washy, washy” and made everyone smile but sadly she is the only memorable person on board. When I go on a cruise I expect that I will not be nickeled and dimed for everything, I will be treated with nothing but respect from all employees, my bartenders and waiters will be joyful playful and accommodating. I expect that I will have plenty to do and I will never be sitting in my room watching movies as all of us did at one point of the cruise. I expect that the largest ship should have more than 12 elevators in more than two outdoor pools and that they should have indoor pools that don’t cost additional money . I expect that if someone falls that employee will not walk by and say are you Are you OK but continue walking. I unfortunately could go on and on about this cruises faults but I really want to warn people to look into every single cost when booking Cruises these days. It is disheartening when you have a group of nine people and you each spent $2500 for a room to go on a vacation of a lifetime and come home frustrated and very disappointed. I have spoken to many people that have gone to Alaska on a cruise and it’s not Normal to return disappointed. Do yourself a favor and don’t book on the Norwegian bliss until they have corrected their errors. On a separate note visiting Alaska was a little bit different than I had expected. I probably watch way too much national geographic but I had expected to see tall glaciers and ice capped mountains. I am not sure if this cruise line goes to a different location than others but every port was pretty much the same there were mountains but everything was green. I assume because it’s the summer. We went on excursions through the cruise line but I highly recommend skipping that; Rent-A-Car and go see the countryside for the few hours that you are in each port. We went on a boat excursion that cost us $150 each for four people, $600.00 total. when we got off we rented a jeep for four people for $140 total and drove for four hours and saw the most amazing mountains (white capped), lakes, etc... When we got to British Columbia we rented a limo for $300 for five hours and saw everything that you could want to see. I’m not sure if there are other cruise lines that stay in the ports for longer than five hours but this was also a frustration as you had to get up very early in the morning get off of the ship go do your excursions come back have dinner basically ready to go to sleep, we were exhausted. That may just be the nature of the beast but you should know before you go. I really hope this review and the other reviews that you read about the bless help and I hope that people will see and the bliss will respond by making changes. It is not fair to go on what people call “a trip of a lifetime” and come home to write this kind of review. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I went on the NCL Bliss to Alaska. The ship was really nice and modern. I sailed on the NCL Escape twice and the epic once. Norwegian removed some classic features that other ships had. They got rid of the basketball/sports court, got ... Read More
I went on the NCL Bliss to Alaska. The ship was really nice and modern. I sailed on the NCL Escape twice and the epic once. Norwegian removed some classic features that other ships had. They got rid of the basketball/sports court, got rid of 4 holes of mini golf and made a small awkwardly placed mini golf course that appeared to be an after thought because it wasn't on the model in the observation lounge. They got rid of the bocce court. They removed the ropes course and put in the go karts that aren't free unlike the ropes course on previous ships. They charge you $10 are ride and you have to book reservations in advance. Same thing with the reservation for the lazer tag. The Garden Cafe is bigger than ever making it complicated to navigate. The specialty restaurants are amazing, but Taste, Savor, and the Manhattan room are horrible. the local is fine. The water slides are great and the jogging track is great. My main issue with the Bliss isn't what it has, but it is what NCL forgot. Now they charge you for activities that used to be free, and replaced classic activites that ships from 10 years ago have. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We have been Disney cruisers and wanted to try a a different cruise line for comparison. It was a mistake. It's all the little things that Disney does that make all the difference and justifies the so called price savings. Norwegian ... Read More
We have been Disney cruisers and wanted to try a a different cruise line for comparison. It was a mistake. It's all the little things that Disney does that make all the difference and justifies the so called price savings. Norwegian needs to really reassess how the observation deck on the Bliss is used. It should not be a place for people to sleep all over the couches with the comforters from there cabin as well as putting their nasty feet all over the furniture as well. There is no adult only part of this ship!!! Part of our party got very sick.... they ate at the what I call the food trough. Every one has access to handling food and reaching over food too much tong handling for me!!! The entertainment was fair. Jersey Boys was excellent, Havana was terrible walk out worthy but we stuck it out hoping it would end better it did not. The food at the complimentary restaurants was terrible we could not eat it. We tried twice and gave up. So we spent some money after using our three specialty restaurant upgrades but the money was well spent because dinner is an important part of our cruise experience but we don't really eat large breakfast or lunch. All that being said Alaska was amazing!!! The drink package that was a perk choice for our cruise was nice but not worth giving up Disney for. Authorine was our room attendant and she was absolutely amazing!!! She had the sweetest smile and song she was singing every time you saw her. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First of all, the Bliss is a beautiful ship. The chandelier in the middle of the ship is amazing, the rooms were very nice, the food was good, the entertainment was top notch, and the staff was very friendly. Since we had never been on ... Read More
First of all, the Bliss is a beautiful ship. The chandelier in the middle of the ship is amazing, the rooms were very nice, the food was good, the entertainment was top notch, and the staff was very friendly. Since we had never been on a cruise before we had no idea what to expect. We really should have been warned that the crowds would be a definite issue. The buffet is an absolute mad house that reminded us of feeding time at the zoo. Good luck not getting run over and having a plate of food spilled on you. It is VERY difficult to get a table as most of them are used as family living rooms for the day. The observation lounge is beautiful until the crowd shows up. People sleeping all over the lounge chairs and couches, small communes spring up all over the seating areas, and the few tables and chairs are taken by families with you children who let them run wild with no thought to anyone else who are bothered by the little angels. Honestly, the room looks like a cross between a flop house and an advertisement for the people of Wal Mart. Too bad. The room could be fantastic but soon it will be trashed. The Beatles shows are fantastic, Jersey Boys will have you dancing in the aisles, but Havana is terrible. I think it had a plot, but was unable to tell. Don't waste your time. The bars are very nice ranging from the very fancy (A List Bar) to the comfortable (The Local) to the very laid back (District Brew house). Our favorite was the District Brew house. The bartenders, Robert and Emina are fantastic. We loved going there for a relaxing drink and some good conversation. Overall, as nice as the ship is now, it's a shame that the class of people that were on the cruise with us will trash the place in short order. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The Norwegian Bliss was a great ship and the staff was wonderful. I traveled with my wife and two teenagers and we chose the Bliss because there would be plenty of activities for them. They loved the waterslides, the go cart, laser tag, ... Read More
The Norwegian Bliss was a great ship and the staff was wonderful. I traveled with my wife and two teenagers and we chose the Bliss because there would be plenty of activities for them. They loved the waterslides, the go cart, laser tag, comedy shows, the salt water pool, and the restaurants. The food was excellent in the complimentary dining rooms and the buffet wasn't bad. We saw other reviews about how crowded the ship gets, so we just avoided peak times for the buffet and other activities and we were fine. There really isn't enough capacity on the elevators, so we just took the stairs a lot and made it fun by racing up/down. The worst crowd was the evening we approached the glacier. People camp out in the observation lounge from the afternoon and the crowds are pretty bad. On our trip they opened up the bow of the ship so you could go outside and take pictures, which was really nice. The app was very helpful to book shows and restaurant reservations. I would highly recommend booking whatever you can before even getting on the ship. Even more options open up after sailing. Jersey Boys was amazing, while Havana was just so-so. Our favorite shore excursion was in Skagway where we went to the training camp for the sled dogs and actually got to ride on an ATV pulled by the dogs and meet puppies. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
1st time cruiser. Wanted to go on the best. From the moment I stepped on this wonder ship, I felt welcomed, every crewmate on the ship made me feel like I’m at family reunion. The atrium was such a fun place. Say hello to Yusof at the ... Read More
1st time cruiser. Wanted to go on the best. From the moment I stepped on this wonder ship, I felt welcomed, every crewmate on the ship made me feel like I’m at family reunion. The atrium was such a fun place. Say hello to Yusof at the bar!! Beatlemania live was far the best for me. (Hello George) Jersey Boys and the Prohibition was also a fun time. Food was great. Drinks were better! Just when we were getting around better, our cruise was almost over. :( cabin was great with our large balcony. I will sail again with NCL again. Never had a dull moment. NCL should be very proud of every crew members they have on staff. If all their ships run like the Bliss anyone would be happy with their choice of cruise lines. One more thing, Thank u for Neil on cruise critic. You also should be proud of him representing your company Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose Norwegian Bliss because it was the newest ship and it's sail date worked with my vacation days but I feel a little let down. I have sailed twice with Carnival and thought they were great. I decided to pay a little more and go ... Read More
I chose Norwegian Bliss because it was the newest ship and it's sail date worked with my vacation days but I feel a little let down. I have sailed twice with Carnival and thought they were great. I decided to pay a little more and go with Norwegian because I had heard such great things about them. After cruising with Norwegian, I think the food and entertainment was not as good as I have experienced with Carnival. In addition, I think the staff seemed overwhelmed /stressed at times and some things seemed a bit disorganized. One of the things that attracted me to the Bliss was a 180 degree observation deck lounge that is pictured on the website but it was not as I had anticipated. I hardly ever got to sit in that lounge because it felt like all four thousand guests were trying to sit or find seating in that lounge. Whole families stayed camped out on the loungers and tables all day. I even saw people bringing their bedding out to sleep on couches and loungers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The Bliss is a large ship, which means every activity is booked within the first two hours of arrival. The activities at the ports are also booked because it’s such a large ship. I wish I knew this before I booked. Not many activities ... Read More
The Bliss is a large ship, which means every activity is booked within the first two hours of arrival. The activities at the ports are also booked because it’s such a large ship. I wish I knew this before I booked. Not many activities for children and everything requires a reservation unless you want to wait 30 plus minutes in line! Staff give you the run around, don’t have answers to your questions and appear overworked. No one seems to have answers and they all give you different answers. Guest services has the worse customer service I have ever experienced! Waiters were nice and housekeeping was accommodating. These poor employees are under paid. NCL has many fees for activities that are typically included on other cruise ships. In the future we will be cruising with Disney or Royal. We have cruised with them many times and have always been satisfied. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because it was one of the newest ships, and with kids 10 and 12, has new things such as a Racetrack and Laser Tag on board. We've been to Alaska several times by cruise before (Disney Wonder being the last cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was one of the newest ships, and with kids 10 and 12, has new things such as a Racetrack and Laser Tag on board. We've been to Alaska several times by cruise before (Disney Wonder being the last cruise 2 years ago). We were not thrilled that not only were there so many people (4800 plus 1700 crew), everything got booked up literally within hours of getting on board. Our kids only could find one time slot for the race track (10:30 PM) and none for Laser Tag because of the number of people and availability. The same went for shows and the comedy club - too many people trying to get seats so we never did! Then there aren't enough elevators for all these people so you wait 10 minutes to get to another floor. Yes, no exaggeration. They definitely could be more organized - for instance telling you to go to the Theater to meet for an excursion off the ship at 7am, you walk down the stairs to the stage, they tell you to go back up now and walk around the theater and outside. This kept happening. Our daughter has many severe food allergies. We made arrangements a month in advance with their "Access Desk" which handles special requests for food, etc. We told them by email, fax, and phone of her list of allergies and they said it wouldn't be a problem. I called and confirmed the list two days prior to sailing. Again, said it's not a problem - just check with the restaurant supervisor before ordering. We did, and they didn't know of the list! They knew there "was a list", just didn't know what the allergies were. UGH! So frustrating. The first morning (Sunday) we went to the restaurant, spoke with the supervisor, and my daugher asked about a gluten, dairy, and egg free waffle. He went in the back, said he read the ingredients on the frozen packaging and it had no egg, wheat, or dairy. She ate the waffle, and within 15 minutes was in the bathroom throwing up with an allergic reaction. My wife had to give her allergy medication. She ended up seeing the ship's doctor, and the Assistant Maitre D came to the room and said all the waffles have Egg! From then forward, he said he would take care of her food orders personally, and he did! He saved the cruise for sure. Every meal - he asked her what she wanted, and they had it ready. He was great - his name is Koray. Definitely a great asset to NCL. As for the rooms, we had two - a balcony and an inside stateroom. They were both about the same in size - although the balcony room has a couch that can flip down to another bed, and a bunk can be lowered above it. Rooms are quiet and well appointed. Three US Plugs are located at the desk area by the phone - not by the bed so we brought extension cords for us to use. Storage under beds and under couch. Beds can be a queen or two twins divided, as we had in the interior room for our kids. Housekeeping is on point. They don't use the iConceirge texting system on this ship, so we couldnt' communicate with other family even if connected to ship WiFi. Had to purchase WiFi if you want it. That bummed us out. Even tried two way radios but didn't work due to ship size and steel. Restaurants are good, but as I say busy. Specialty ones get booked fast. Room service is free, but charges $7 to deliver. During the cruise they offered a discount on laundry of $20 for a big bag so that helps. Because the elevators are so busy, you really need to take stairs if it's only a couple flights. Overall, we had a good trip. Ship is more stable than others because of size. We liked the stop in Victoria - defintely a good itinerary and one we hadn't done before (this is our fifth Alaska Cruise). I'd say for famlies Disney is better. Less crowded, more to do for families, and better choices. Better kids club and solid staff. Disney has far less staff turnover than NCL from what everyone said. This ship was geared for the 55+ crowd with 26 bars, 17 restaurants and its own smoking room. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Booked as a last minute cruise. Was surprised they had balcony's a week before it left. But thought price was high. Embarkation: Got to Seattle port around 10:30, was on ship in 10 minutes. WE are CAS, and Platinum. Very ... Read More
Booked as a last minute cruise. Was surprised they had balcony's a week before it left. But thought price was high. Embarkation: Got to Seattle port around 10:30, was on ship in 10 minutes. WE are CAS, and Platinum. Very organized. Went to Local bar got a couple of drinks. Relaxed until 11:30 went to Local (is called O'Sheehans on other ships) for lunch, was good , I got chicken pot pie and DH got a burger. Cabin ready by 1:30, were in balcony 14856. was nice, but NO drawers. very odd only a small closet and shelves. Just threw underclothes and socks etc. on the shelves. Super heavy duvet on bed, We hate those things, no matter where cruise goes they have them, we have air as cold as it will go and we both sweat all night. of course air goes off in middle of night, have to turn it back on a couple of times. Asked cabin steward for a light blanket for bed he misunderstood and gave us 2 fleece blankets that you use for outside on balcony. Took off duvet, and used those, were okay. Everyday he took them off and put duvet back on, was kind of amusing. Dining: ate dinner only at specialty restaurants. Q Texas Smokehouse was fantastic, and nice and casual. jeans and t shirts were fine. Next favorite was Los Lobos Mexican. guacamole dip map fresh at table was the best! Ended up cancelling Le Bistro and booked smokehouse for another night, on dining plan, and paid ala carte for Los Lobos another night. la Cucina was okay. Husband wanted lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs, didn't have in an Italian restaurant. ODD. Buffet was okay for breakfast, found plenty to fill us up, Had to wait for people to leave tables though, and had to ask for table to be cleaned. Busboys would just walk by. Did NOT like buffet for lunch. went a couple of times and they were putting food out late, and nothing we were interested in eating. Entertainment: Jersey Boys was good, but by now everyone should know the story, Was a lot of swearing and F bombing. Would have enjoyed it more just having them sing all the songs. Walked out of Havana. same thing, storyline was terrible, and not good acting, Should just have had singers and dancers. Beatlmania was great. Saw them in the Cavern twice, Abbey Road days, Sergeant Pepper days, and in the theater one afternoon Early days. SIGLO was fantastic too. saw them in Cavern twice. Rock band. Didn't do go karts or laser tag. Didn't go to comedy clubs, swearing doesn't make you funny. District Brew house has Jim Badger on piano and engages with audience. Very fun, if you drink anything but beer, bring it with you. Excursions: Been to Alaska 9 times, booked Yukon excursion. Love it. Other ports just walked around and enjoyed ship with less people on it. Overall Ship: Observation lounge must be nice for people without balcony. They hangout there all day long, and hog loungers. I thought it was a HUGE waste of space. was super hot when sun was shining in thru windows. Stayed about 5 minutes, never went back. Ship is nice and new, seats in atrium are awful, you slide right out of them have a weird angle on the seats. Theater seats were hard as a rock after sitting in Jersey Boys for an hour and 40 minutes, my rear end was sore. Atrium is used for lots of games, Newlyweds, Deal or no Deal, Trivia etc. WAY too small and WAY TOO many people trying to see them. Would go on ship again, food was delicious and DH liked that. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First visit to Alaska, first time cruising, first time on Norweigian Cruiseline. Embarking- quite simple and efficient to get on ship. Would have been a nice touch to have a steward show us to the room or have a steward on the floor ... Read More
First visit to Alaska, first time cruising, first time on Norweigian Cruiseline. Embarking- quite simple and efficient to get on ship. Would have been a nice touch to have a steward show us to the room or have a steward on the floor to greet us and ask us if we have any questions. Steward did stop by said he couldn't help us right then (understandable as many were checking into rooms at that time) but didn't stop back. Hallways are narrow on boat- cleaning carts were always left in hall by our room to squeeze by (day and night). Has a mini-fridge but stocked with their items, I'm sure wildly expensive like most). Had a ocean-side cabin with a balcony for 2. Very nicely appointed room, very clean and new feeling. Bathroom was big enough. Enough storage for 2 persons for a week. Nice 32 inch flatscreen TV- though channels were quite limited and not always available (satellite connectivity). Granted you don't go on a cruise to watch TV! Did leave us towels at night folder in a variety of animal shapes. Very nice touch and got excited about what the next night's animal would be! Very, very large ship. 4k passengers on board. 18 floors. As many mentioned, elevators are crammed and at a premium. Had to walk steps many times, fortunately our room was somewhat in the middle. Lots of shopping, though very expensive. Could have been a nice diversion on those at sea days if it were priced a bit better. Wife would have bought a sweatshirt, Alaska cruise after all, but all they had were hooded sweatshirts. Very large Casino. Lost $50 in record time playing slots. Very tight. Didn't go back. Shows were generally good. Saw Jersey Boys which was excellent. A show called Havana which had good dancing, plot was pretty thin. A Beatles Review which was pretty good. Had a few other shows in the large atrium in the middle of the ship- singers, and audience participation game shows... pretty fun. Exercise facility wonderful. Didn't use pool or hot tub- too cold! Did use outdoor walking/jogging track which was fun. Bought an internet package for accessibility. Was quite expensive. Very hard to understand software that required you to log off twice otherwise kept chewing up your minutes. Through this mistake we, and many other irritated ship mates used up our minutes in the first day. Staff member who was VERY grumpy and the worst cast member on the cruise did give back some of the minutes after giving us a lecture. Happy vacation! There are some restaurants which are "premium" - not part of the package. Went to one of them and thought food was pretty good, service good. Tried other sit-down restaurants that were part of the package- was nice to have a quieter sit-down option rather than the large #'s using the buffett lines. in the restaurants generally reservations were acceptable. Menus didn't change much throughout the week and between the restaurants (those that were part of the package). Did use the Buffett lines which were all you can eat, throughout the day. Food was good. Choices fairly broad. Could seat where you wanted, not assigned like some cruise lines. Seating was relatively abundant, a little tougher to get by the windows. Excursions were fairly pricey used 3 offered thru the boat, one obtained independent from thee boat. Independently obtained excursion was a approximately $50 cheaper for a couple. Ones aligned with the cruise were good- prompt, easily accessed. Professional. Wildlife was not abundant for viewing. Saw parts of whales. Eagles interestingly perched on light poles. No bears. Enjoyed dogsled tour- our favorite. Well done. Overall, enjoyed our cruise. Thought value was pretty good, staff professional, entertainment pretty good. Ship was pretty. Food abundant. 7 evenings on board was plenty. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Inaugural cruise even though we had already cruised to Alaska several times, but this was a new experience. Although NCL handled embarkation and disembarkation fairly well, it confirmed in our minds that we prefer smaller ships with more ... Read More
Inaugural cruise even though we had already cruised to Alaska several times, but this was a new experience. Although NCL handled embarkation and disembarkation fairly well, it confirmed in our minds that we prefer smaller ships with more personalized service. We have a balcony suite so were very comfortable with beautiful views every day. The shore excursions were great especially the lumberjack log-rolling in Ketchikan. The Klondike experience reminded us of the hardships that the old 49ers had to endure just to find gold nuggets for only very few lucky ones. So in summary, good new ship, good service, excellent shore excursions, but disappointed that we did not see any calving glaciers like we did on prior trips. NCL does a very good job of presenting great Broadway entertainment shows. Food was above average but although the wrap around lounge with 360 degree views was a nice touch, it was abused by some passengers who considered the lounge to be an extension of their inside cabins and monopolized the spaces to the exclusion of other passengers - NCL please correct. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I had only been on one other cruise several years ago - the Med on the Ruby Princess. We chose this particular ship and destination because we were "invited" to a NCL cruise by a casino. Just a heads up, Southeast ... Read More
My husband and I had only been on one other cruise several years ago - the Med on the Ruby Princess. We chose this particular ship and destination because we were "invited" to a NCL cruise by a casino. Just a heads up, Southeast Alaska is pretty boring. Every day/port was the same. Embarkation in Seattle was organized and easy enough. The BEST thing though is when you disembark NCL will take your luggage to the airport for you for FREE so you can wander around Seattle without your bags prior to your flight home. The Bliss itself is huge - holds 4k people which is not a good thing. It was just plain crowded. Waiting for the elevators was a nightmare as was finding a table at the breakfast/lunch buffet. On the Bliss, the furnishings/decor in common areas are all quite nice. Great attention to detail by decorators. Their only misstep was the hideous chandelier in the center of the ship. We booked an ocean view cabin. It was small. There was about 8" to the wall on either side of the bed. If you had friends or family in other cabins come by to visit, they would have to sit on your bed as there were no chairs. There was adequate closet space but rather than shelves, drawers would have been much nicer. It was very clean! ALL staff were super nice and really seemed happy to be working on the ship. We both have graduate degrees but were confused regarding the myriad of extra charges and tip allocation. We learned the last day of the cruise that bartenders do not receive any of the daily per person fee ($15) charged to your room. Still not sure what the $7.95 "service charge" on every drink, cupcake, and slice of pizza covered. Also there was something about 20%. Your bill at the end of the cruise is like a hospital bill. You probably really do not want to bother with an itemized statement. Announcements were made via hallway speakers and were completely indecipherable from inside the cabin. The food was the biggest disappointment. On our Princess cruise, we canceled all our reservations at the specialty restaurants and ate nightly in the main dining room because the food was so good. Everyone dressed nicely and looked chic. Because the Bliss is so big, they have 3 separate dining rooms which is nice even though the food is the same in all three. The dishes all sounded good and had a nice presentation but was of poor quality and bland. We ended up spending more money eating in specialty restaurants which were much better. So they can prepare great meals but choose not to. If your idea of going out to eat is Applebee's or Olive Garden, then you will be satisfied with the complementary meals. Otherwise make reservations at the specialty restaurants. The very crowded buffet is actually pretty good. It is huge with a mammoth selection. The casino is large with many tables games and slots from which to choose. We did not go to any of the towel folding classes, game show re-enactments or 30 minute musicals so I cannot comment on their entertainment. NCL advertises "free style cruising". Unfortunately it appears many of the guests took that to mean "show up like you are going on a 30 hour Greyhound bus trip". The cruise was not a bad experience per se but I could not recommend Alaska as a destination, NCL or the Bliss specifically. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Destination (Alaska) was great, ship and state room were new and well equipped. Staff was great, always smiling and helpful, never pushing for gratuity. But they need to do something about the food - they highlight the flexibility compared ... Read More
Destination (Alaska) was great, ship and state room were new and well equipped. Staff was great, always smiling and helpful, never pushing for gratuity. But they need to do something about the food - they highlight the flexibility compared to other cruises, but really at the end of day pushing towards an average / crowded buffet a la Vegas while even their paying specialty restaurants are not the same quality as the main dining room in other cruises - that was really disappointing. Please aware that the race track + laser tag gets fully booked the first day, you need to reserve early. And most specialty restaurants got fully booked day 2. And only 2 elevator banks, most times too busy. They are packing too many people on this cruise ship, again more Vegas than Cruising experience. embarkation was very smooth thanks to 30 min windows, no line - disembarkation not so much as they pushed everybody out in a short time, long lines to get off. Read Less
Meh
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I took the cruise with my niece and her son. We choose the Bliss because of all the activities that it had to offer such as water slides, laser tag and go carts. We found out after booking and paying for the cruise that many ... Read More
My husband and I took the cruise with my niece and her son. We choose the Bliss because of all the activities that it had to offer such as water slides, laser tag and go carts. We found out after booking and paying for the cruise that many of the activities had extra charges and you needed reservations. with 4800 people it was difficult to get reservations. The ship was average, which was surprising because it was just finished last spring. One would think that there would be state of the art sound systems in the theater and other amenities, but it seemed like they stuck with an older design. A thing that was done well was the both the embarkation and disembarkation procedures. It was well done and didn't feel that you were tussling with 4800 passengers. Our Cabin (12722) was adequate and pretty much standard. It had a balcony allowing for awesome views of Alaska! Our steward was excellent and very attentive. Dining is very casual and the complimentary restaurants offered mediocre food. There were some good specialty (for fee) restaurants, such as Teppanaki, and Q. the Garden Cafe which was the buffet was always busy and at times hard to find a table. If you like Alcohol or soda get the expensive drink package. One Baileys over ice cost $35. One bight spot were the shows. Both Jersey Boys and Havana were great with a fantastic cast! The ports of call were all great and they offered a number of excursions (some are pricey). The one big disappointment was the trip into Tracey Arm Fjord. The Bliss is too bag to get close to the Dawes Glacier so to view of the glacier one needed binoculars. Overall it was great to spend time with family and being in Alaska was awesome, however the constant extra charges and large number of people on board was off putting and I have to say that we will opt for another cruise line with a smaller vessel in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was an awesome trip. Cruise Director Dan Dan and the Cruise staff had a number of fun activities and games (Dancing with the Stars, Newlywed Game, etc.) to keep us entertained at night. The shows were terrific with Jersey Boys ... Read More
This was an awesome trip. Cruise Director Dan Dan and the Cruise staff had a number of fun activities and games (Dancing with the Stars, Newlywed Game, etc.) to keep us entertained at night. The shows were terrific with Jersey Boys being the highlight. The other activities were fun but you do have to reserve times in order to take advantage of the go karts and laser tag. We were fortunate to avoid rainy weather which made our excursions much more enjoyable. It was in the 50s and 60s so you needed sweatshirts but not winter gear. The best excursion was river rafting in Juneau. The dining was outstanding and we especially enjoyed the Manhattan Room which was open seating but had beautiful views. There was a wide variety of options for paid dining and the Garden Cafe also had a lot to choose from. I would highly recommend the Bliss for your cruise vacation. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Food/Dining: As expected with all NCL ships, the food and dining options were fantastic. With the addition of Los Lobos at the expense of Moderno Churascaria was quite nice to see, as it shows variety between different ships in the ... Read More
Food/Dining: As expected with all NCL ships, the food and dining options were fantastic. With the addition of Los Lobos at the expense of Moderno Churascaria was quite nice to see, as it shows variety between different ships in the line. The introduction of the Q Smokehouse was great to see and we very much looked forward to eating there, although we thought the menu may need some little tweaks but the service was fantastic and very authentic to the theme. As usual Cagney’s, le Bistro and La Cucina etc. were up-to their usual standard with fabulous service and incredible food. As well as the complimentary dining options being as per usual, fantastic. Although I would like to see NCL work on changing up their restaurants more to different speciality restaurants more, perhaps an Indian specialty? Rooms: I got to experience both being in a Balcony suite and a Studio. With the suite there was certainly a noticeable increase in spaciousness. If this isn’t a huge concern to you, however, go for a regular balcony as the difference isn’t huge and the balcony is the same size. Staff: This was actually one of the best cruises in terms of our experiences with the staff. My room steward was probably thee best I have ever had; friendly, talkative and great at his job. Those in the poolside bars were brilliant and got to know you on a personal level which is always nice. A special shoutout to those at the CruiseNext Desk who were so friendly during the week and helpful in planning our future cruise destinations. Onboard Activities: The onboard activities were certainly different from usual ships I travel on. As of course most of them took place inside due to this being an Alaskan cruise (though the weather didn’t really bother us as we are Scottish). This caused a lot of congestion in and around the onboard activities especially in the atrium. I would have liked to have seen more outdoor activities in areas such as spice H20, instead of the very squashed Social Club. I was personally disappointed by there being no 18-25 meet ups as there usually is. We did however love the go karts, and thought it was well worth the charge. Ship Quality and Layout: With most of the NCL ships nowadays they all follow the same rough layout as the breakaway/getaway but of course each new ship has its on little differences. A big one we noticed was entourage and the arcade was moved from deck 17 to 5, which would have been a relief to many older passengers. Although the upper decks at the aft of the ship seems very confusing and compact due to the inclusion of the laser tag and gokarts which made it more difficult to move around in this area. The observation lounge (which we were very much looking forward to) came as a disappointment to us. As often the seats/couches were hogged by many fellow passengers, some who took a three person couch (sofa) to themselves in order to stretch their legs and go for a nap, many people we seen also took their shoes off on the ‘public seating areas’ which we found quite disgusting. Also many brought a large amount of food down from the cafe and made quite a mess of the lounge, in my opinion. The pool deck was actually very popular for us, as the weather did not bother us we had most of the deck (and the bar) to ourselves, and we made sure to take advantage of this. Also the atrium specifically was no where near big enough as many people gathered here because of the colder weather, and maybe they should have looked at expanding the size of the atrium in the bliss. As usual the cleanliness was of the highest standard onboard and the crew do an excellent job of upholding this. Embarkation/Disembarkation: I have cruised out of Miami, Tampa, Venice, Palma, New York and Honolulu before but none of these ports have came close to matching the quickness of the embarkation process of Seattle. We flew through the terminal and were on the ship in an instant. The same can’t be said for the disembarkation for us, although we understand we were at fault for our delays. We were schedule for priority disembarkation which began at 8am, but we seen no harm in exiting a few minutes before our time allocation. Big mistake, as we stupidly passed through customs without our baggage and were forced to wait outside in a large queue to get back into the terminal. The NCL staff member who was dealing with many aggressive passengers alone done a great job, but since he was working alone could only deal with one person at a time. This was an unfortunate end to a great cruise. Itinerary: Words can’t really describe Alaska so I’ll just reiterate what John Muir said in that once you go to Alaska “you’ll never be satisfied with any other place in the world for as long as you live” Main Pros: Scenery, empty pool deck and crew Main Cons: busy lower decks (resulting in slow elevators), lack of activities for young adults (especially the 18-21 age range) and no space in the observation lounge. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Let me be transparent, I didn't know whether to trust Cruise Critic. I even searched Google and Reddit to see others' experiences on whether this was even a legit website. This is not one of those puff piece reviews. This is a ... Read More
Let me be transparent, I didn't know whether to trust Cruise Critic. I even searched Google and Reddit to see others' experiences on whether this was even a legit website. This is not one of those puff piece reviews. This is a real review written by a guy who went on his first cruise with no set expectations. So here's the story: If Spirit Airlines ran a cruise ship, it would be the Norwegian Bliss. You get nickeled and dimed for literally everything. Want to play laser tag? That'll cost you. Go carts? That will cost you. Bowl in the mini bowling alley that we never saw/heard about until disembarking at the end? That will cost you. Honestly surprised the hot tubs and pool didn't cost you. The cabin was super small. My in-laws her cruised earlier this year with Carnival and said their stateroom was double the size of these. Technology is great, but when you need to leave your room key card in a slot by the main door to get any of the lights to come on, you've gone too far. Our cabin steward was unattentive at best. My wife requested additional pillows and towels multiple times. One day he took away our extra pillow. Never did show up with the towel, so we had to grab one off the maintenance cart. And they wanted $14.95 per person per day as a room service fee to pay him to do his job! If you get bad service, go to guest services to dispute this. You can only do it Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Otherwise you're stuck with it. For a family of 4 this would get pretty pricey. There isn't much to do onboard this ship. If you're there to get the ultimate drink package, have a blast, you'll enjoy this. If you are there to gamble, the casinos are right in the middle of the main decks, including a room for smokers that drifts into the main deck area. Wife has asthma, we tried to avoid but it was right in the middle of the ship (floors 6-8 middle). Jersey Boys was well done, but Havana was terrible - seemed like Havana cast was not synced up. So shows came out average. Theater seating also poor. Such a low grade as the seats go from balcony to the floor that you were almost assured to have someone's head in front of you, leaving you with an obstructed view. Especially if you sat in the handicapped section. Food wasn't great. I actually stopped eating onboard mid-cruise because the repetition of the food quit agreeing with me. Lunches don't change in the dining rooms, and the buffets are self-serve, rather than staff serve like at an all inclusive resort. Great opportunity to spread germs. Specialty restaurants were meh. Cagneys was overrated, porterhouse had a funny aftertaste. Old Fashioned they brought me was WAY too sweet, tasted like syrup. Never ordered another cocktail. Craft beer bar The District had disinterested bartenders. Even beers I knew didn't taste exactly right, Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA tasted watered down. Not sure how often the tap/lines got cleaned. Excursions were ok, but in talking with some folks I met onboard many of them found them cheaper by just signing up in town. One family did the dogsled experience in Skagway for $75/person CHEAPER than if they had booked through the cruise line. We also did not get nearly enough time in the ports. 5-6 hours most places. In the time it took to get an elevator (elderly in-laws and wife with asthma), there wasn't really enough time to truly explore these towns and excursions. Disembarking was a clusterf*ck. All week they hype Port Valet to transfer your bags directly from the ship to the airport. The airlines will even waive baggage fees. Wife and I asked 3 different people at guest service about this and got 3 completely different answers. None of those answers stated that you have to leave Saturday when you get back to Seattle. We were to leave Sunday, so apparently we didn't qualify. They waited until after we left the ship in Victoria the night before we got back to Seattle to inform us of this. It ultimately cost us about 7 hours of our time, waiting an hour and a half extra to disembark, getting to the hotel, renting a car, and then coming back to downtown, not to mention the extra time in the lines at the airport the next day. Guest services needs to get their story together. As I mentioned earlier, wife and I got different answers for same question when we talked to multiple people there (you start questioning it after it happens once). When my mother-in-law went down to question some items on her bill, the guest services girl called her a liar when MIL stated she had paid for gratuity and excursions up front. Terrible customer service experience with them. I spoke with at least 2 dozen people at random on this cruise through happenstance meetings. The overwhelming majority took this cruise because it was a new ship. They were disappointed like me. Many had children and remarked that there isn't a kid's club or daycare like some other ships offer. The other reviews hit this spot on. Kids are running wild all over this ship, no parental control in sight. Basically parents expected the crew to entertain their kids without nearly enough for children to do. Note for those who are handicapped or elderly. Hallways are very narrow outside staterooms, difficult for my mother in law to get her walker through them. Also, the gangway ramps in Skagway and Juneau, and even portions of Seattle were too steep. Who does this cruise line think takes cruises? Senior adults need better care and more options to disembark at ports with this cruise line. Thanks for taking the time to read. You work hard for the money you do have, or if you're paying for family to cruise together, you want the best experience for them. My advice, look elsewhere. Every person who told me they took this cruise because of the ship being new said in the next breath they wished they had done this with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife and I have taken 20+ cruises, most of them on Princess. Our favorite is Viking. In this case, neither would have been suitable. We took our children and grandchildren on an Alaska cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding ... Read More
My wife and I have taken 20+ cruises, most of them on Princess. Our favorite is Viking. In this case, neither would have been suitable. We took our children and grandchildren on an Alaska cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We were looking for a ship with a good itinerary and activities for adults and, particularly, for our grandchildren, aged 10-17. The Bliss is the real deal. First of all, the ship is brand new, and it has features not found on other ships (like a go-cart track). There are plenty of other activities for the kids (kids' club, arcade, etc.). Disney might be good for the younger age groups (we have done it), but for our grandchildren, this cruise was perfect. For adults, the entertainment was top notch (Jersey Boys!). For those who like it (I don't) there is a casino. Shopping opportunities are similar to other ships we have sailed. There are many dining opportunities, some at additional cost. The buffet (Garden Cafe) is crowded (with 4,000 passengers), but it is well set up to handle them. There are other free breakfast options (tip: try The Local or Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville). For dinner, there are many options, but the 3 free dinner venues (other than the buffet) are The Manhattan Room (a HUGE banquet hall), Taste or Savor. The latter two have a much nicer, quieter, relaxed ambiance. We also thought that the service was better. Nit picking: We found that the excursions and the photo services (an anniversary picture would have been nice) were more expensive than on Princess. Departing the ship for excursions was easy and well-organized. Tip of the week: Be sure to sign up for "Port Valet" if you are departing the ship directly to the airport. There is no charge for the service, and the next time you see your bags (after depositing them outside your cabin door) will be at the airport in your home town. Overall, this was a great trip. Our party of 9 all loved the Norwegian Bliss. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Although I'd been on 10+ cruises in the past, this was the first cruise in over 10 years. My former cruises had been on Royal Caribbean and Princess, but it has been so long that it is difficult to draw an objective comparison, but I ... Read More
Although I'd been on 10+ cruises in the past, this was the first cruise in over 10 years. My former cruises had been on Royal Caribbean and Princess, but it has been so long that it is difficult to draw an objective comparison, but I will do my best herein, as we relied heavily on reviews in making our selection, and hope that our review can help others make a decision as to how they invest their hard earned dollars and valuable vacation time. When making the selection for this cruise, we were initially deliberating between Celebrity and RCCL. The rationale behind choosing NCCL was that both the RCCL and Celebrity ships that were sailing in Alaska were aged, and many comments reflected that. So, we flipped a coin and opted for a brand new ship where we at least knew that our stateroom and the common areas would be in great condition. In this regard, we were happy with our decision. The stateroom was very comfortable, great decor, picture a W hotel or something in similar contemporary class. Very nice. Corridors and common areas maintain this high quality fit and finish. Dining was a mixed bag - while I appreciate the fact that NCL does the "freestyle" dining (no set dining times for everybody, can make reservations or just show up and get seated after a short or no-wait), i feel that this adversely affects the service experience. We opted for the upgraded dining, so we ate in the upgraded dining venues 4 of the 7 nights. Generally, these were very good, much like an on-land restaurant, one or two service members taking care of you, food very good. The main dining venues (Manhattan, Savor, Taste), however, left something to be desired. Not sure if it is part of the learning curve, first night jitters/scramble by staff, or what, but Manhattan was very disappointing. Staff that seats you wears a t-shirt from a different venue, then another person comes to fill water, then 3 or 4 people come by to take order, only to realize that 2 or 3 people preceded them and already did, then the order arrives and is messed up, very disappointing in comparison to my expectations and in comparison to what I can recall about my prior experiences. The food in these venues was OK - lunch here was extremely underwhelming, while dinner was mixed - a few good, a few not so good. It wasn't to the point of disgust by any means, I just expected better for the pricepoint of the cruise. The specialty restaurants far better. Another aspect about this freestyle dining, I seem to recall folks getting dressed up a little bit for dinner on past cruises - here on Bliss, we were dressed up nicely, while others in same dining room are wearing t-shirts, hoodies, and hats. Sort of cheapened the experience for me. Would be nice if there was some enforcement of the dress code. We opted for the Thermal Spa Package - this was awesome. We got a lot of use out of this, amazing views and very relaxing treat. We opted for the unlimited drink package, didn't go crazy, but I suspect we made out pretty well here with regards to cost/value on wine by the glass. We opted for the upgraded dining venues, very happy, had we been stuck in the main dining room with the underwhelming service and OK food, it would have made the NCL experience a poor one. Amenity spaces on ship are very nice, the observation lounge is pretty impressive, great place to spend happy hour and at-sea days. Shows and theater were EXTREMELY disappointing. I recall theaters on other ships that I've been on being pretty impressive, with a variety of booth and lounge seating, and a touch of warmth in the finishes. The theater on the Bliss is a notch below a high school auditorium - stadium seating wall to wall, very underwhelming. You also have to make a reservation for EVERYTHING, and everything sells out before you board. We're thankful we made reservations for dining and shore excursions and a few shows prior to boarding, but we also missed a lot of things we wanted to do (go carts, shows, etc) because they require reservations to participate or attend. I don't recall that from past cruises. There were a lot of kids and families, as to be expected, wasn't an issue for us traveling without kids. Overall, I would recommend this cruise to others, with the above expressions and recommendations (upgraded dining, thermal spa, mini-suite), but that said, I would like to compare and analyze the all-in cost and experience of this ship vs others that we shopped, whereby the food quality and service would have expectedly been better, and with better entertainment. The quality of the new ship helped offset some of these shortcomings. Read Less
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 4.1
Value For Money 3.5 3.5

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