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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Hi Teamies! Just back from the Bliss and want to get down my thoughts while they're still fresh. Embarkation - this was a breeze for us. I don't know about other parties ... we parked at the Bell structure across the ... Read More
Hi Teamies! Just back from the Bliss and want to get down my thoughts while they're still fresh. Embarkation - this was a breeze for us. I don't know about other parties ... we parked at the Bell structure across the street. About 150 for the week. If you don't want to use the elevator, park on level 5. You go across a sky bridge and you're literally at the port. You'll drop of your luggage in one line and then enter in the other. We were on the ship quite quickly. Think we took no more than an hour for the whole process. I didn't make it to the pier until around 1030 ish, No use coming earlier for us. After boarding, we went straight to deck 6 (Q restaturant) and signed up for Go Karts and Laser Tag. IMO Laser tag was MUCH funner. The Karts are okay ... seats are VERY narrow, so if you're a little chub (like me) it'll be tight. Laser Tag though, WAY fun. After signing up for those activities, we went to Splash Academy and Entourage. My boys are 10 and didn't like the Academy. Maybe best for younger kids, not 5th graders. My daughter didn't like Entourage because she's a loner. I tried to get her to participate, but no ... another factor, her cousin who was 3 months shy of 13 could not enter. No exceptions are made to the rules. Period. No waivers, nothing. So the cousins just hung out without the clubs. Arcade .... listen closely. On the first two days they offered a promo of a 70.00 UNLIMITED games. I wish I would have understood this ... I would have signed up in a heartbeat. That's 10.00 a day for UNLIMITED arcade. My boys loved this space and there are cool games/VR. I really encourage this if your kids like stuff like this. There are prizes and candy. Remember, the first and second day only. Food. Ugh ... the food was just terrific. I don't want to cook now that I'm home. ha ha ha. I really loved the buffet. I ate Indian food every day. Loved the Asian station and the hummus area, too. there are just SO MANY choices. You really can't go wrong. Everything is delicious. We at at Ocean Blue as well and it was very good. We paid for Food Republic .... not part of the plan. I enjoyed it. It's a lot of fusion food. The Dragon Roll was great. I didn't get a chance to try any other restaurants. I'm sure it would have been good, though... We had the unlimited beverage package. It's no lie that I drank every day ... all day. ha ha ha. The hidden gem is the Atrium bar. Alberto and Candize are RIDICULOUSLY amazing bartenders. I truly can't say enough about them. Best bar on ship. Tell them I said "hi". The Ship is just beautiful. I loved the decor. Our room was very large (family stateroom with ocean view). TONS of storage. Unpacked all the luggage and put it on under the bed. Bathroom had double sink and a full tub. I thought it was ample and very comfortable. Beds are firm. I was okay with that, and generally slept well. Blackout curtains are VERY dark. Wow ... I lost track of time. ha ha ha. The ship is too big for me, I think. It's a little overwhelming coming from a smaller ship a few years ago. You WILL wait for elevators, but it's not horrible as others say. I guess it depends on what kind of person you are. Just take it easy ... you're on vacation after all. If it's 5 floors or less ... just take the stairs. Otherwise just be patient. Doi. TV was lame. This area sucked for me. When I was in the room, I just wanted to watch 'normal' TV. It's not that simple. They have some news channels then the rest is some weird 'movie' channels. You never knew what would play next unless it gave you a small notification at the bottom of the screen. It would be nice if it was more 'DirecTV' style, if you know what I mean. And why do you have to pay for movies on the PPV. that's stupid. Just let us watch stuff, you know? this area was a low point. Not unbearable or anything, just could be better. We didn't do any excursions. Just walked around and stuff. I don't understand why there are so many jewelry shops. Oh well. Victoria has a small museum called 'Miniature World'. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Debarkation was super easy. We do the carry your own stuff off ... so when we were ready, we just walked off. Done. Went back to the van and drove away. I enjoyed this cruise very much! I've been on NCL, Disney and RCL. I really like NCL. Better than Disney for the food and now Disney has a real contender with the children's offerings. I'll probably go for a smaller ship next time. I hope this review is helpful. Take it easy! Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First the Good: The staff on the Bliss is wonderful, every single staff member we encountered was very pleasant and genuinely seemed happy to help. Service in restaurants, hotels and any where you go in general lately seems to be ... Read More
First the Good: The staff on the Bliss is wonderful, every single staff member we encountered was very pleasant and genuinely seemed happy to help. Service in restaurants, hotels and any where you go in general lately seems to be very poor, so it was almost unusual to receive great service from all of the staff. Embarkation was quick and easy. 15 minutes from the street to the ship, and very organized. We did arrive at 11:45 for a 12pm embarkation. The food at the free buffet had a lot of options including fresh and healthy ones, a variety of very flavorful salads, and a salad bar, lots of fresh fruit, and better then average buffet food. The cabin (interior cabin) was pretty small but functional, the bed was comfortable, there was a good amount of storage space, little shelves in places that turned out to be very convenient, TV was a little small but overall nice cabin. The Bad: Overcrowding is a problem on this ship. There is only one buffet, and finding a table is never possible. 10 or 15 people hover nearby the tables with plates of food and as soon as someone makes any movement to get up, they rush in with plates and try to secure the table. There are far, far too few tables for the hundreds or thousands of people being served, and no organization of any kind. Many people who are not even eating occupy the tables for hours, since the views are nice, and no staff is involved in helping seat people, it is every man for himself. You felt bad for large families standing around with 4 or 5 kids holding plates of food and no where to eat, knowing they spent $10,000 to be here. Completely unacceptable. Eventually many people take their food to other parts of the ship or back to their cabin to eat. There should probably be another buffet at the other end of the ship and a much, much larger seating area. The same thing happens with finding a seat in the observation deck. There are many comfortable chairs, but getting one is near impossible. Many people set up camp for the day and have their group protect multiple seats while they come and go, and getting a seat requires hovering nearby and pouncing as soon as one becomes available. Other than the observation deck there are not a lot of great options indoors to sit by a window and relax. Which is a challenge on an Alaska cruise, where sitting outside is only an option for short periods of time. The alcohol policy is confusing. You are not allowed to bring alcohol on the ship, but the drinks they serve for $15 have almost no alcohol in them. We had 2 drinks and smelled alcohol in them, but did not taste any, and were completely sober. If we cant buy (actual) alcohol, or bring any on board, you basically can not drink. (You can buy beer however, but only in certain parts of the ship. (You are allowed to bring wine onboard, which you will be charged for $15 per bottle. Your wine will be confiscated from your luggage, and you can pick it up at a designated location on the ship and sign a form accepting the charges.) So it is a challenge to drink on this ship to say the least. You can also buy bottles of alcohol from a gift shop onboard, but you cant take them out of the store, you have to pick them up at the end of the cruise. Why sell it in the first place. Who would want to buy a bottle of alcohol to carry off the ship when you already have all your luggage to carry around, when you could simply buy it at your destination. The ship is beautiful but there is really not much to do. The shows are not any good, there are no activities other than race cars which were fully booked and unavailable before the ship left port, a swimming pool which is unusable on Alaska cruises, a tiny arcade, and a laser tag we didnt try. The only activities for kids is the one kids area, which always has a 20 minute line to get in. And there are no activities at all for people 21-40. The 50+ crowd seems to enjoy the lounge singers and terrible comedians after they have had a few drinks. The gym was nice, better than what you get in a nice hotel. Plenty of machines, new and good condition, but again, hard to get anything unless you hover, pounce.) Basically by the end of day one we were considering the other things we could have done with $5000, (including long list of add on fees and charges, mandatory 20% tips, $10 text app which is the only method of communication on the ship, $200 for internet which works half the time, etc) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We were a family of 10. My parents, my sister and her family and my family. We had 4 kids, ages 15,17, 18 and 21. Most of what we experienced with the Bliss was great! I had read a bunch of reviews before going that were full of ... Read More
We were a family of 10. My parents, my sister and her family and my family. We had 4 kids, ages 15,17, 18 and 21. Most of what we experienced with the Bliss was great! I had read a bunch of reviews before going that were full of complaints so I was a little nervous. I had no reason to be! I found that most of the complaints I read were either wrong or exaggerated and I think the people posting them were either too picky/critical or just plain stupid. For example, I read a complaint that they didnt know it was seafood night at the buffet and missed it. There were signs everywhere! But if you werent paying attention, you might have missed them. That is not NCL's fault though! I also read complaints that the buffet was so crowded that people had to stand up while eating. I found that certain times it was mobbed, like just after leaving a port and everyone was starved. However, most of the time it was at a normal level of crowdedness and I never, ever saw someone having to stand up to eat. There were tables outside, near the pool as well. The food on board was a bit inconsistent. We had some absolutely fabulous meals and some meals that were just mediocre. They try to offer some variety with old standbys at each venue. In the buffet, certain things you will find there daily, like burgers, fresh melon, and lo mein, while they switch up other areas so you can always find something new. The main dining rooms, Taste, Savour and Manhatten are actually the same restaurant with 3 locations, so you will not miss out on anything by going to the same one each night. On the left side of the menu are 1/2 dozen or so classic entrees that are there daily and on the right side of the menu are entrees that change every day. Same thing with the appetizers, some where there every single day, others were switched out daily. So you had plenty of choices and didnt have to repeat a meal if you didnt want to! We had a blast doing the race cars and the laser tag, but were a little pissed at the cost, which had risen to $10 each from $5 when the Bliss first started sailing a few months ago. Get reserved the very first thing when you get on the ship because they do book up fast! We found the comedians and Havana to be good, but not great. We really loved the production of Jersey Boys though! It was excellent!! Even the kids loved it! We participated in a lot of the trivia games and other game shows and had blast. One, that had people doing silly challenges, like try to get a cracker from your forehead to your mouth without hands, had us in stitches! We played the slots a bit, but really loved the quarter pushers in the casino. They need more of them though! There were only 5, and there was often a wait to get to a machine. Our whole family could play on one machine, taking turns, for hours of fun entertainment. We had 5 cabins for our group, 4 inside cabins and 1 balcony cabin. We spent a lot of time in my parents room, hanging out on the balcony, which was great. But if you dont have a balcony, the observation deck upstairs is beautiful! There are couches and chaise lounges and it is a great place to hang out and read or play a board game. The sides are much less crowded than the end. They offer some light meals up there, including afternoon tea, but I never made it there during a meal time, even though I wanted to. I purchased the Romance Package for my parents and myself. We had roses in our room that were still beautiful at the end of the week, the best chocolate covered strawberries I ever had and a bottle of champagne the first day. The canapes were not so hot, but the tea service delivered to our room was wonderful and abundant. We shared with our kids and still couldnt eat it all! It also came with dinner at La Cuchina. We had a marvelous time at La Cuchina! Dinner included one appetizer, one pasta, one entree and one dessert per person. It also included a bottle of wine per couple. I highly recommend sitting outside. They have overhead heaters and give you blankets to keep you warm while you dine! The food was excellent, and our server, Sameer, was the best! It was a great evening! My family did only 2 excursions, the Bering Sea Fisherman Tour, which was EXCELLENT, and the Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour, which as also EXCELLENT. At Mendenhall we started to hike to the falls and encountered a BEAR on one side of the path!! She was on one side so everyone passed her as far away as possible on the other side of the path, about 5 feet away. Everyone was quiet and respectful, so she didnt care about us and kept digging for grubs and then she clambered up the mountain away from us. Totally amazing! The ship goes by Sawyer Glacier the afternoon after visiting Juneau and that was stunning! The ship goes up to the glacier then makes a counter clockwise 180 degree turn to leave, so if you happen to be on the Starboard (right side) side of the ship you will get a full on face forward view of this magnificent glacier. In Skagway we had planned on doing the train, but ended up just going into town. My 21 year old wanted to gold pan and there was a shop called the Back Alley Rock Shop on 5th ave. They charged $24 for one pan. They truck in their paydirt, so it is real, but pepper it with 4-5 gold flakes to make sure you will find some gold. Most people take about 45 minutes to pan, but my son took 2 hours to pan that paydirt and found 15 flakes of gold. He was sooo happy! Victoria is beautiful, but just walking around gets a little boring. I would recommend going to the BC Museum, which you can see from the waterfront, or the miniature museum which is attached to the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Alternatively, you can walk down the waterfront and rent a kayak from either Victoria Kayaks or from Ocean river (farther up the waterfront, by China Town). But be aware, last rental is allowed to leave at 6pm. We showed up at 6:05 and they wouldnt let us go out. If you plan to spend any time in Seattle, before or after the cruise, I would recommend the city pass. It gave us plenty to do with a bargain price tag. The space needle, MoPop and Chihuly glass museum are clustered together for one visit. The harbor tour and aquarium are also right by each other and very close to Pike Market as well. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Chose this cruise line for the freestyle, casual set up. Really worked for us. Overall a good experience. The service was superb and very professional. The cabin was well appointed - lots of well thought out storage. The staff ... Read More
Chose this cruise line for the freestyle, casual set up. Really worked for us. Overall a good experience. The service was superb and very professional. The cabin was well appointed - lots of well thought out storage. The staff visited the cabins twice a day to ensure everything was in order. Some food concerns, although most was very good. All the food had way too much salt. Went to a few of the specialty restaurants. In Cagney's the lobster bisque was bad tomato soup with two tough pieces of lobster. In Teppanyaki, the scallops were inedible rubber and the chef didn't even register that nobody ate them nor did he offer anything else. The Garden Buffet was lovely - lots of choices and had late night snacks. There was not enough time in most of the ports to see the town if you also did excursions. Bingo was fun but way overpriced. Was difficult to get into some of the entertainment. Way too much focus on selling stuff on board and in ports. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first "real resort type" vacation and our first cruise. We were not disappointed! We booked months ago and counted down until we left. It was easy to update everything on the website (not as easy to cancel ... Read More
This was our first "real resort type" vacation and our first cruise. We were not disappointed! We booked months ago and counted down until we left. It was easy to update everything on the website (not as easy to cancel things) the service was impeccable, the cleanliness amazing. On a boat of 4000 guests, it did not feel crowded at all. The only time we had congestion of people was in the Garden Cafe Buffet and the day we disembarked. But getting at table at any of the complimentary restaurants was never a problem. We had previously booked the Specialty dining (Le Bistro, Teppanyaki and Cagney's).... these were ALL Wonderful! We were bummed we missed out on the Comedy Club. It booked up pretty quick and the stand by waiting didn't match up with our schedule. Once on board, make sure you book anything else you need to! We didn't have a reservation for the Race Track either, but we went at a slow time and we were able to get on. I am a "larger" person and the crew was very accommodating and nice to me. Cruising the Glacier Bay was serene. It made having a balcony all the more worth while. We plan to do it again and bring our kids next time. My only regret is I didn't pack my binoculars Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have cruised NCL 7 times previously and would rate each one 5 stars. This ship is beautiful and probably should stay in a warmer climate so that the guests could enjoy all the out door amenities. Instead, there were 4000 passengers ... Read More
We have cruised NCL 7 times previously and would rate each one 5 stars. This ship is beautiful and probably should stay in a warmer climate so that the guests could enjoy all the out door amenities. Instead, there were 4000 passengers indoors making for long lines, crowded areas and noisy. Many of the venues (activities, shows, specialty restaurants) were booked solid. Many of the staff seemed to be overcome by so many people. The mini-suites (with large balconies) are well appointed. The shower is large as opposed to a regular balcony stateroom. While the balcony is large (two chairs, table and two reclining lounge chairs) there is no over hang above to protect you from rain - or from the balconies above. Our cruise 3 years ago on the Pearl was a delight and would do it again. Also, the first, and last, time I will cruise in the months of May-August. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Anniversaries for many family members , Alaska is beautiful, new ship Is so pretty . Elevators were not bad. The staff goes over and above to wait on you and give you what you want . They are amazing . They work very very hard . I was ... Read More
Anniversaries for many family members , Alaska is beautiful, new ship Is so pretty . Elevators were not bad. The staff goes over and above to wait on you and give you what you want . They are amazing . They work very very hard . I was always giving them an extra few dollars here and there because they did all the drinks and food to perfection. I prefer the regular restaurants over special dining with the exception of Cagney and Oysters in the Ocean Blue. Make sure you go the buffet as they have very good food and amazingly g choices . I liked the spa however the pool water was a tad too hot almost like a hot tub. But many people were loving it. Embarkation was a breeze. Drink package top shelf liquor... amazing. If you go to Alaska my family loved the planes, helicopters and 4x4 excursions and we are all over 50. First minute on board we went right into the adult only pool. Salt water. Waiter service. 5 dollars tip and my god I was waited on like a princess! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise was chosen to wrap up a convention held in Seattle. It was our (wife and I) 24th year wedding anniversary and much need time away from the hustle and bustle of real life tensions. The room had great views; the weather was ... Read More
This cruise was chosen to wrap up a convention held in Seattle. It was our (wife and I) 24th year wedding anniversary and much need time away from the hustle and bustle of real life tensions. The room had great views; the weather was super, temperatures were cool and brisk at night a much-needed change from the hot weather. Food and entertainment were very lovely many choices, buy the drink package as they bartenders are true mixologists. Views in Alaska were breathtaking, we took no shore excursions, and take in the sights at our leisure. We have no regrets about not making any tours as our friends did not offer much more than what we saw on our own for a lot less. We would love to travel again with Norwegian, in fact, we booked thru travel next onboard the ship and saved substantially. Last, a suggestion is to take the time and utilize their website to learn as much as you can before leaving port, as the internet and app they provide are very glitchy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The ship, the crew, and the management made this trip of a lifetime the most wonderful experience we could ask for. Our state room was perfect and our steward, Lowell made sure it was neat and clean. He even made sure we has a towel ... Read More
The ship, the crew, and the management made this trip of a lifetime the most wonderful experience we could ask for. Our state room was perfect and our steward, Lowell made sure it was neat and clean. He even made sure we has a towel animal on our bed each night. The dining was very good, with our maitra' de, Bosco, in Savor made sure everything was perfect. We were overwhelmed by the wonderful service. Every morning my husband would open the drapes to our state room balcony and it looked like a post card floating by. The trip was beautiful. The shore excursions were very entertaining and we would so go again to experience Alaska this way. The ports were beautiful and we wish there could have been more time in all of them. The people of Alaska made us feel so welcome and part of their community. If you ever have the chance to take this trip on the Bliss, it it well worth it. I would go again tomorrow! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
New ship very spacious and beautiful.no need for extra storage or outlets. Your cabin has plenty of both. Always something planned during the day and evening so if u don't choose excursions you can stay busy. I recommend ultimate ... Read More
New ship very spacious and beautiful.no need for extra storage or outlets. Your cabin has plenty of both. Always something planned during the day and evening so if u don't choose excursions you can stay busy. I recommend ultimate beverage package. Well worth it drinks cost could easily get away from you if not.Complimentary food venues above average. Especially Local 24/7. Great place for breakfast or late nite burgers. Buffet was just ok. Average food and seating can be difficult. Specialty dining as Fantastic. La Cucina and OMG Cagneys. Blue Ocean huge disappointment as we even paid extra to dine here. Very pretentious and food so salty we could not eat it. Poor selection as well.big thumbs down. Excursions went very smoothly and were very accurate description. This was our first cruise and think we would probably do another as we really enjoyed ourselves. We would defiantly recommend Norwegian Bliss to anyone. 5 stars. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My cruise (which I gave as a gift to two members of my family) began with my VIP suite being flooded (which is no ones fault) - we were moved over 6 hours later to another suite that was not cleaned (toilet still had someone else's ... Read More
My cruise (which I gave as a gift to two members of my family) began with my VIP suite being flooded (which is no ones fault) - we were moved over 6 hours later to another suite that was not cleaned (toilet still had someone else's bm left in it). Our package included a butler - which we never met or sawtthe entire week. We moved our own luggage to the new room, unpacked our luggage. We were seated late for scheduled dinner which caused us to miss a show in which we had tickets. This was just the first day - it did not get better. The only fun portion of this trip was the train ride in Alaska. I was embarrassed and highly disappointed, I wanted to give my family a present that wouldn't forget. I guess I sure did. This is my 22nd cruise and my last. This was their first cruise and their last. $25,000 disappointment. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
That’s what my grandparents used to call a place, usually a restaurant, that ripped you off. That expression befits our experience on the Bliss. Let’s start with the cons: They nickel and dime you to death. For example, bottled ... Read More
That’s what my grandparents used to call a place, usually a restaurant, that ripped you off. That expression befits our experience on the Bliss. Let’s start with the cons: They nickel and dime you to death. For example, bottled water was not included and very expensive as part of the separate water package; soda was also not included and had its own expensive package; there was a $15 corkage fee for each bottle of wine and champagne we brought on board, even if you drank in your own stateroom; exorbitant individual drink prices without the also exorbitant, $800+ beverage package. There were simply too many add-ons required to enjoy yourself. Norwegian is just a tad too enterprising for our tastes. There was an inconveniently long wait for elevators. They have eight elevators both forward and aft, but they don’t seem to be enough to accommodate 4300 passengers. Little to no native Alaskan food, except for salmon, and some of it was apparently Atlantic. Cable channels not available for significant part of the cruise. Would have been nice if they had given us bathrobes for the room the way Azamara did for our Mediterranean cruise in May. Would also have been nice if they cooked up the fish that we caught on one of their own excursions like Princess apparently does. Relatively short port stops, I strongly suspect to force you to buy their often exorbitant excursions, which are the only ones guaranteed to get you back in time for their quick departures. They stayed at sea far too long, especially for Victoria, where they only gave us about five hours, not nearly enough time to get to see a pretty magnificent city. Pros: The buffet food was pretty good for buffet food, particularly the lamb chops on the grill night. They even cooked a couple of sirloin steaks to order (medium rare, of course). A little disappointing they did not have any of the typical premium foods they have on most of these cruise lines like crab or lobster. Also, they might as well take the fried chicken off the menu at their Savor restaurant (hopefully they don’t have it at their other restaurants). It was positively awful. Food and housekeeping service are good; Comedy and crew staff entertainment were very funny; Ship was new and clean. On balance, it was only an average experience relative to the many other good cruise lines I have taken. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The ship is awesome, but too big for me. Elevators were always busy and took FOREVER to move to your floor. The food was just ok. Had better on RC or Carnival. Too many dining areas that cost more money. Felt like we were nickled and ... Read More
The ship is awesome, but too big for me. Elevators were always busy and took FOREVER to move to your floor. The food was just ok. Had better on RC or Carnival. Too many dining areas that cost more money. Felt like we were nickled and dinmed. Garden spot was ALWAYS packed, I felt like a vulture waiting for a table to open up. The atrium was way undersized for the events they schedule there not enough seating for the amount of people that show up for the events. The shows were great. Jersey Boys, Beatles Live, and Havana were great. Refused to pay for a show that offered drinks when we already had the UBP. It is my opinion a boat this big needs to stay in warm weather climates. Too cold to swim day or night for most. Now as for the bars well they all were great. Staff and drinks were top notch. Our favorite was the mojito bar. Bong, Cowboy and the tall bartender were great. Had a blast talking with them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Decided to cruise (first time) as an extended family with 10 people--grandkids to grandparents, age range 3-80. Did Alaska, inside passage, mid-August on the Bliss. For my family of 4 (included 16y/o and 11 y/o), we chose a balcony ... Read More
Decided to cruise (first time) as an extended family with 10 people--grandkids to grandparents, age range 3-80. Did Alaska, inside passage, mid-August on the Bliss. For my family of 4 (included 16y/o and 11 y/o), we chose a balcony stateroom plus an interior stateroom. This was ~$10,000 just for the two staterooms ($6K + $4K, respectively). Onboard costs came to $4,000: mostly for shore excursions at 3 Alaska ports, 5 spa appointments, and the daily 'service fee' (4 people x 7 days); also did one 'upgrade restaurant' meal at Margaritaville. Lots of small fees like movie rental ($10 per movie in the cabin--really, NCL?), go-karts ($10 per ride), Starbucks (around same prices as on land), ice cream, etc. Lots of these little hidden fees, so be careful! With airfare and one extra night in Seattle, for our family of (4), this vacation cost us around $17,000. If we had all crammed into one cabin, we could have saved ~$4,000, but it would have been a bit uncomfortable. And if we had just walked around town without doing the excursions (or just taken our chances and booked them at the port), that would have saved a lot, also. But then we could have missed out on experiencing the amazing outdoors in Alaska (we did snorkeling [see Ketchikan snorkeling; it was great!], fishing, and kayaking). So this cruise certainly can be done for less than $17K for a family of four, but if you did it like us, it gets very expensive, very quickly. * Ship: First time on a cruise, so nothing to compare to, but was clean, with a lot of variety. You should know that the kid activities that drew us in (go-kart track, laser tag) were booked up quick. Boarded ship a bit after noon, and luckily got some go-kart times for each of the kids, but the laser tag was already booked solid and they never got to do that. Elevators often had a queue and took a while to get between floors (ended up mostly using stairs when not with grandparents or the little kids). Getting off/on at ports was very fast, but final disembarking was a zoo (elevators packed, long lines on gangways). Gym was nice, but super-packed in mornings not in port! And the spin classes also sold out (surprise, there is a fee!) by the time we looked into them. The observation lounge was beautiful (comfortable chairs, panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, bar) and highly recommended as great place to hang out, play card games, etc., though packed in daytime hours. If you choose this ship, just be prepared to fight the crowds... * Cabins: Balcony was great. Efficient storage, nice shower, USB ports by beds, comfortable mattress. Inner room was likewise just fine. Super friendly/helpful cabin steward! * Dining: Mostly did the complementary dining, which was solid. Not superb, but solid. Service was somewhat variable--many outstanding wait staff, a few mediocre/poor. The specialty restaurants looked great, but for a family of four would have gotten pretty expensive, and most were booked solid, so even if we would have wanted to go, we couldn't have gotten reservations while on the ship (I suggest booking prior to getting on the ship if you want to do this). * Ports: My biggest complaint was the limited time on shore. 6 hours in Juneau? No time to really explore the towns. I'm told NCL is the only line that splits its time in Juneau--one ship comes in half the day, another ship comes in the other half. So you mostly see Alaska from the water. It's gorgeous, but you'll spend more time 'looking' than 'doing'. We all liked Alaska, but for our particular family, this was a pretty poor value for the *incredibly* (for us, at least) high price tag. Our goal was to spend a vacation where grandparents and grandkids could spend time together. If I had it to do again, I think I would favor renting a large VRBO in a resort town (whether at a beach or in the mountains) and coming together for dinner (perhaps with a private chef) and evening time as a family. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is one of those huge new ships where they have made the staterooms much smaller so they can cram as many people on board as they possibly can. As a result, the buffet was always crowded and noisy and there was never a place to sit. ... Read More
This is one of those huge new ships where they have made the staterooms much smaller so they can cram as many people on board as they possibly can. As a result, the buffet was always crowded and noisy and there was never a place to sit. It was very difficult to find a seat in the Observation Lounge. They do not allow you to bring any liquid on board, even in cans, so I was stuck with Pepsi products, which I do not like. I was assured there would be almond milk on board, but they ran out on the fifth day. There was literally less than a foot of space between our bed and the closet. And a narrower stateroom also means a narrower balcony. On the other hand, the professional entertainment was stellar, particularly their production of Jersey Boys. The food was good no matter where we dined. The staff was universally friendly and helpful. We loved the itinerary. Bottom line, I would cruise this line again, but I would look for one of the smaller and older ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have several cruise experience and this is my first one with NCL. After reading all the praise about the Haven I had a high expectation. This cruise however turned out to be quite disappointing. First of all, I must say the ship is ... Read More
I have several cruise experience and this is my first one with NCL. After reading all the praise about the Haven I had a high expectation. This cruise however turned out to be quite disappointing. First of all, I must say the ship is truly beautiful, the aft Haven cabin we stayed at was gorgeous. The aft balcony was huge with very nice view at back of ship, we enjoyed the balcony the most throughout the cruise. Layout of cabin and bathrooms were great and the bed + linens was so heavenly comfortable. I think that's the best part about being in the Haven class. OK we were expecting some luxury over the top service on board. It was nothing like that, nothing similar to a 5 star hotel on land. Concierge staff was courteous, professional, but cold. They answered your questions and booked your stuff like robots. At some point their eyes looked away while still replying to you. They didn't look genuine and you wouldn't feel comfortable asking more questions. Yes they helped us get in racetrack, laser tag, and dinners, but that's about it. I mean shouldn't such service (booking things) a part of concierge's job of any class on any ship and since when it became a luxury? Butler and restaurant staff were all very helpful and friendly but at the same time did nothing spectacular. Lost something? Butler said sorry you have to go line up at 6/F guest service and get it from Lost & Found yourself because you would need to sign something... emmm.. maybe you could have brought the lost item to me PLUS the form for me to sign?? Can we pick some dishes from other specialty (or not) restaurants while dining at Haven restaurant? Waiter said, sorry no that's something you need to make a 2 day prior request. Well how about something easy like an ice-cream? I saw some great sorbet downstairs at the buffet earlier and how about getting a scoop for dessert while dining at Haven restaurant? Waiter said, no sorry that's not something they would do, no one gets food other than the things on this menu .... How about asking butler to unpack? Butler said, sorry no I can only "help" you do it while you are there.... And there are three of us in a room, how about a third lounge bed at balcony? Steward said, sorry only an extra bed without cushion is available so one of us will have to sleep on hard wicker. And please help to get into a fully booked tour? Concierge said, yes sure I'll put you priority on the wait list -- but wouldn't bother to notify the result (which we couldn't get in) until I called to ask the night before. So in general I wasn't impressed with Haven's so-called concierge / perks, I mean if we weren't allowed to make these requests then honestly I don't think I need a butler or in a Haven room at all. No-lines guest services and early disembarkation was good but it doesn't worth $4000 more pp. And the Haven exclusive deck? Nope never used it because of the cold weather. And then the nickel and dime.... We dined at Le Bistro one night and the photographer came to take pictures. We weren't prepare to buy any pictures but since he politely asked we just politely posed. After dinner as soon as we stepped out of the restaurant, the photographer rushed out handing us several large R8 sized finished pictures and asked us to buy - at the hallway. That totally reminded me of street hawkers in Rome where they trick tourists by quickly cut out the food product before the tourist confirms to buy so tourist has no chance to back out. Anyone with thinner skin would have paid at that point, to me I just felt a lack of class. And when I was paying for the bill at Le Bistro, the waitress stood right next to me, deliberately pointing at the tablet and said "this is where you click to pay additional gratuity, 10%, 15%, or more, and then you sign here". And she stood right there watched me, eyes on the tablet, gave me pressure while I did it. Again, another tactic to make people give in by creating embarrassment. I mean I pay what I'm willing to but not under pressure. Besides, 20% gratuity was already paid when I opt for the dining package. I cannot believe this unpleasantness happened on a cruise ship, fortunately only once at Le Bistro. And then the horrible food.... NCL has been very cheap at food / ingredient choice. There was no lobster tail anywhere on the ship even at Ocean's Blue / Haven. The prime ribs were of very low grade - blend and chewy. The food in Haven restaurant although much better than all other restaurants on the ship was only good but not great. Its quality was not even comparable to the Blu on Celebrity cruises. And they didn't change menu for the entire 7 day cruise, why? so to make you go eat crappy food somewhere else and let them save more $. In general, the food in specialty restaurants was mediocre, not worth the money. Food Republic served OK sushi but the mochi dessert was horrible. Teppanyaki was the worst, I've uploaded a pic of the fillet mignon - it was so chewy and looked bad you couldn't tell if it was beef or tofu in soy sauce. Ocean Blue was not worth extra charge, no fancy ingredients, mainly fish dishes unless you really into oysters which was not exceptionally tasty / fresh. Buffet was OK, much better than I expected and there were a lot of varieties. And then the crowds.... Yes the ship was crowded but I was always able to find a small table in buffet during lunch hour on a sea day. And I never felt the need to wait too long for an elevator. But I agree with others that sailing Bliss to Alaska is somewhat a waste with so much outdoor space and no one using it. That probably explains why many cruise lines deploy only older ships (with less outdoor facilities) to Alaskan routes. When there was a new nice ship like Bliss made available to Alaska people couldn't wait to get on it , until one day they realize they paid a high price for something they didn't have chance to really enjoy (like the signature slides etc.) Finally the entertainment .... Jersey boys was good, Haviana was not. Game shows at Atrium was awesome - something that I will miss on NCL. Day time during sea days was boring, nothing to do at all. It was too cold on deck so we expected more indoor entertainment. Internet reception was OK except in the evening when there was constant server errors. Conclusion .... Will I cruise with NCL again? Maybe, but definitely not Haven. To me, Haven maybe worth $2000 more (than mini suite) per person but not crazy $4000. I didn't feel value for money there. A few months ago I booked a Junior Suite with Celebrity's newest ship the Edge - a 10 day itinerary to Europe, drinks and wifi included WITHOUT extra gratuity, and its cost is only similar to what I paid for this Haven cruise to 7-day Alaska! If you open your eyes and compare you will see that your $6000 is more worthwhile spending on other lines such as Oceania, Crystal, Celebrity etc. where you get true luxury, classier service and much better food. I'll avoid NCL in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as it was a new ship a year or more in advance. We were with 12 other relatives and friends. the ship itself is beautiful. The cruise staff was fabulous and deserve a mention (except for a table waiter in the District ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a new ship a year or more in advance. We were with 12 other relatives and friends. the ship itself is beautiful. The cruise staff was fabulous and deserve a mention (except for a table waiter in the District bar.) We have cruised multiple times on RCI, princess, celebrity and seabourn in the past Embarkation in seattle: was effortless Debarkation in seattle: there was a slow, long line circling around the atrium, didn't move. I don't know what went wrong. Elevators: not enough elevators but everyone knew this by now and the stairs where quite busy during meal times. ports: debarkation was effortless Stateroom: we booked a mini suite with extended balcony. The bed was bit hard but comfortable after a long day in port. the extra space of the mini suite was given to the bathroom. I loved that. the large walk in shower had a waterfall shower head with a second detachable shower nozzle, double sinks, large mirror and plenty of storage and a shelf. the bedroom/sitting area was just a little wider than the usual size of a balcony stateroom. the extra large balcony was roomy with a table and two chairs and two lounge chairs. However, you really don't use the balcony in Alaska as it is too cold to sit out there while sailing. there is plenty of room for your unpacked clothes. The closet had lots of hangers. You have to be creative when cruising and use the cabinets that you normally would not use at home for folded clothes. Our huge suitcases fit under the bed. The room steward kept the room tidy. all needed toiletries were was supplied. There were towel animals on the bed each night. I wish i could have that room every time we cruised. It was perfect. Buffet Food: good choices and dishes. when i was there, there was italian food, indian station, salads, grilled food, carving stations or stews, fish, vegetables etc. since i don't eat desserts, i can't comment on them. However, there were NO tables NO chairs NO space from 12-2 (i can't comment about dinner time.) if you don't want to use the buffet food handles, you could make a meal out of a specialty salad made for you, carved meats and never have to touch a food handle. pizza was so-so. There were no berries or summer fruits in the fruit section. PS don't bring your food to the district bar to eat or the waiter there, who could not be bothered to clean the table when people leave, will yell at you for bringing food from the buffet. The Local-- seemed popular. ate breakfast there once and never went back. Main Dining Room, Savor and Taste all have the same menu. We went to the MDR and Taste. We enjoyed the food. You could always find something to eat on the menus. Service was great no matter which restaurant we attended. The MDR has a fabulous view. However, i did enjoy the service at the taste the most. It felt like we were at a specialty restaurant. awesome. There is no indoor pool or retractable roof for the pools (yes there is a small indoor spa pool but you have to pay an extra 250 or more for the week to use it to get wet). There is very little outdoor space to use while sailing to alaska as it is usually chilly. So all >4000 people who were on the cruise were indoors. this made for crowded conditions everywhere, whether it was a show or a meal. The most annoying thing about this cruise is the reservation system. I wanted to purchase specialty restaurant package for three nights we were eating at the regular restaurants (we had 4 specialty restaurants included with our package). However we could not make reservations beforehand as they had all been taken. we were told that we would have to wait to get on the ship to see if we could get a reservation, but alas we could not cancel the package if we could not get the reservations on the ship. Hmmm. we canceled that package right then and there. Another reservation snafu..... We had reservations for Cagneys @ 5:30pm followed by reservations for the Jersey Boys @7:30. The restaurant ran slow. We did not get out until 7:20. they let the standby line into the show at 7:15 despite us having reservations at 7:30. What is the sense of having reservation if you can't show up 10 minutes prior to the show??????????? there were no seats. We left. The Havana show had good singers and costumes and i enjoyed the performance. The show had the same vibe as the Jersey boys. Our group loved the Beatlemania in the theater on our last day at sea. We laughed with the comedian one night. I would suggest decreasing the length of time of all the shows and let them be offered more frequently. specialty restaurants: Cagney's steak restaurant-everything was delicious. Wait staff were great. Los Lobos. We had a great dinner at this Mexican restaurant. It was delicious. loved the tomatillo sauce. Le bistro. French restaurant. Lamb chops were delicious. Ocean Blue: needs help. i ordered the from the hot appetizer menu-- broiled oysters, crab meat, creamed spinach, with gruyere cheese. The oyster was RAW. Now i don't eat raw shellfish. When i called over the waiter/maitre'd I was told that is the way it was supposed to be. really? Wrong. it is listed as HOT appetizer as i reread the menu. Next we ordered the halibut. it was dry, dry, dry. there were 14 of us eating at various tables and we all had the same review of the haliubut. We would not go back. ps it required a double specialty payment if you chose this restaurant as one of your restaurants. It is not worth going to even if it was free. Observation Lounge: On sea days during the day, we would meet up with our group as it is a great meeting place. Kudos the the bartenders who work that bar. the observation lounge was one of my favorite places on the ship. After dinner we would relax there listening to a piano player who had a beautiful voice. it was so enjoyable to watch the Alaskan shores and the occasional whale or sea otter as the sun set (late sunset in alaska). PS there is a little sign at the observation lounge's front glass window near the bottom which states no shoes on the furniture. This is a walking path outside the specialty restaurants on 8. There is an outdoor bar, and lots of great places to sit also. We had the premium drink package which great. The bars are cozy with music playing at the mojito bar and the observation lounge at night. The A bar is sharp looking. Whiskey bar had interesting cocktails. It is difficult sign onto the internet service. The instruction are simple once you know them. if you walk to the internet area (which is only open at intermittent hours arrgghh), there is a sign on the TV which tells you how. why this instructions are not in your room, i have no idea. The premium internet did NOT work as advertised. i could not text photos or stream netflix on an iphone X on their wifi. You can use the facebook messenger or whatsapp for sending photos. Sometimes, i would lose my connection. Don't pay for the premium. you are not getting what they advertise. the woman working in the internet area was lovely and helpful. Other comments: -No smoke in the casino-Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!! However, the smell of the cigar smoke wafted down the hall of the ship whenever the sliding door opened to that area. it was nasty. -There was a sense of an extra charges everywhere on the ship. -there are "a la carte" prices for specialty restaurants if you did not book in advance!!! -there was a Prohibition show charge even if you had a drink package. now we are starting to pay for shows?? -after the two main shows (havana and jersey boys), there were no other theater productions -your ultimate drink package does not include bottled water. nor are u allowed to bring it on the ship. -now to be more "green",they have done away with straws. So do they give you a reusable drink cup to be more green? No. -when i was on the cruise for a while when a sudden charge for >$300 appeared on a charge notification. i questioned the specialty restaurant i had just left. no, it was not them. i went to guest relations. ncl charged this amount on your charge card before you spend it. it happened again later in the week. Ports: Ketchikan: we did the helicopter tour in ketchikan flying the mountain goat. It was our first time in a helicopter. the experience was fabulous. we did this early in the morning. when we got off an hour and a half later, we went into town to the stream where we saw hundreds of salmon some waiting to go upstream and some falling down stream. i was told it was the best day of the year to be in ketchikan to see the salmon. Juneau: we did the mendhall glacier and whale watching. i enjoyed both and would recommend this ship excursion. Skagway: we did the 4x4 Takshunuk mountain tour. You ride an open 4x4 up a mountain via upin turns enjoying the scenery and a great rustic lunch. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Embarkation was easy peasy - we were on the ship by 11:30. Disembarkation was equally easy. No issues here. Our cabin was forward facing 13700, family oceanview. We were pleasantly surprised at just how large this family cabin actually ... Read More
Embarkation was easy peasy - we were on the ship by 11:30. Disembarkation was equally easy. No issues here. Our cabin was forward facing 13700, family oceanview. We were pleasantly surprised at just how large this family cabin actually was. We were able to utilize the window and saw whales toward the end of the week. Dining - we only dined in Savor, Taste and Manhattan for dinners, but have no complaints at all on these venues. The food was spot on. Delicious each evening. Plenty of options to choose from. Food always hot, and service in the MDR's always top notch. Entertainment - Havana, Beatles, and Jersey Boys all fantastic onboard entertainment. Our children ages 8 and 10 also enjoyed the shows (we warned them that Jersey Boys would have some foul language). They enjoyed joining us for the shows. Service - amazing everywhere on the ship - no complaints! Ports of call - Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway all fantastic ports (we did excursions on these ports); Victoria was beautiful, we walked around the downtown/China town areas at this port, but enjoyed it just the same. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Our children wished to take an Alaskan cruise with our grandchildren and chose NCL because of the exceptional prior experiences they had enjoyed when we took them on several Christmas cruises from Miami. When we were asked to join them we ... Read More
Our children wished to take an Alaskan cruise with our grandchildren and chose NCL because of the exceptional prior experiences they had enjoyed when we took them on several Christmas cruises from Miami. When we were asked to join them we of course agreed. The ship was brand new and spotless which certainly contributed to our enjoyment but it was the world-class service provided by the entire staff that truly made the difference from cruises we have taken on any other cruise line. At every possible interaction we found caring individuals who not only extended every possible courtesy but also took it upon themselves to make certain that they had done everything possible to make the cruise a problem-free experience. The food was good and the ship's staff flawlessly accommodated special dietary needs. The entertainment and shipboard activities were good and the grandchildren especially loved both the go carts and the laser tag facility. The casino was the largest and best operated we have found on any cruise ship. Embarkation and disembarkation was flawless and remarkable for a ship of that size. My wife and I cruise fairly often and have achieved top level status on several cruise lines but we have never received the personalized service and attention that once again was provided by the staff of the NCL Bliss. And we are looking forward to another cruise on the Bliss at the end of this year/ Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First time with NCL, but cruised dozens of times with others. The food was terrible....everywhere! We tried the Garden Buffet several times. The food was barely warm to cool. I guess this forced us to the specialty restaurants, which ... Read More
First time with NCL, but cruised dozens of times with others. The food was terrible....everywhere! We tried the Garden Buffet several times. The food was barely warm to cool. I guess this forced us to the specialty restaurants, which were also disappointing. Considering we were on an Alaskan cruise, it was next to impossible to find fresh, hot seafood! I was told, “If you want fresh salmon, good luck.” The one entree I had was SO over cooked and dry...ughhh. The crowds, the kids running around unsupervised and the overall feeling of just being another buck to pay for this new ship was overwhelming. With the Ultimate Beverage Package, you can’t get even a small bottle of Perrier or Pelligrino, but you can have up to $15 of liquor!! The casino was NOT paying out to anyone! Spent over $6k!! We will never endure this misery again to be treated like cattle. 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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