3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I wanted to experience a new ship that offered 27 dining opportunities and lots of entertainment. This was our seventh trip to Alaska and our 6th cruise. We wanted to embark from Seattle as all of our earlier cruises had sailed from ... Read More
I wanted to experience a new ship that offered 27 dining opportunities and lots of entertainment. This was our seventh trip to Alaska and our 6th cruise. We wanted to embark from Seattle as all of our earlier cruises had sailed from Whittier. The Bliss is a beautiful new ship with lots of activities for families and children. Being a couple in their seventies, we really prefer quieter surroundings. So we booked a suite in the Haven area. This decision saved our cruise! The ship has all of their game shows and contests in the Atrium area of the ship, two deck open area. It was extremely loud! It was nice to go back to my Haven! The ship has a race track, lager tag, two huge water slides, and a children’s water park area which everyone seemed to enjoy very much. They had excellent entertainment such as Broadway show “The Jersey Boys” and “Havana”, along with good entertainment in the lounge areas. We ate at the optional dining venues, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Teppanaki, Los Lobos and Q. We also ate at the Haven restaurant. It was the best food I have experienced on a cruise ship before. Our cabin was beautiful as was the whole ship. We had wonderful and polite service everywhere we went on the ship. I would sail the ship again but only in the Haven area. This ship is built for families, singles and active people. They will love it! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The embarkation from Seattle was excellent and went smooth. Boarding the vessel was easy and the port was amazing. After boarding the ship, we immediately proceeded to the Q Restaurant to make reservations for Laser Tag and the Go-Carts. ... Read More
The embarkation from Seattle was excellent and went smooth. Boarding the vessel was easy and the port was amazing. After boarding the ship, we immediately proceeded to the Q Restaurant to make reservations for Laser Tag and the Go-Carts. The process was slow and unorganized. The individual that took our reservations wrote them in pencil on a piece of paper. I made 4 reservations that morning. Later it was discovered that one of the reservations was not entered at all and two of the others were input for the wrong time. Trying to change these once we set sail was not easy and we ended up only attending two of the 4 scheduled events. We were not charged for the events not attended, but, the hassle was still annoying. This started the trip off with a poor experience and I found that, in general, the reservations systems on the ship were inadequate. We also had made dinner reservations for the Manhattan Room for 4 nights (in advance) for 5:30 with 10 people. The first two nights, when we entered the dining hall, they attempted to sit us at 8 top tables because they were not ready for our group (both nights we arrived on time) and we ended up standing in the middle of the dining hall waiting for our table, because they attempted to seat us. We ended up going to another restaurant which was much more accommodating (Taste). In addition, I asked at the customer service desk about a "back of house tour". I were not any tours of that sort on board. My 11 year old is fascinated by cruise ships and their operations, I thought that would be an excellent experience for her. A day or so later, I saw a sheet listing a tour like I requested, I went to ask about the tour and was told it was full, but I could be put on a waiting list. I was never notified either way about the tour, so we didn't end up getting to tale advantage of the opportunity. The "HERO Cards" are also tacky when handed out by wait staff at dinner. Our first two evenings, the staff handed us pens and the cards to fill out for them, they even wrote their names on them. This was a great introduction to the system, and a good way to recognize good customer service, but when an individual hands them to you, it becomes less authentic and genuine, and more of a task. I refused to complete the ones handed to us unless there was exceptional service. At times, I requested cards from employees that I thought deserved them, but the way that they are distributed needs to be reviewed. The onboard services were good and a very clean ship. Employees were very helpful and accommodating (for the most part). Because of the size and offerings, it feels a bit institutionalized and generic. There were a lot of options available, which was excellent, but at the same time, it may be a bit too much for the staff to handle. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Been on over 12 cruises among NCL, Royal, Carnival, and Princess. Wife and I were very excited for this Alaska adventure and I was eager to see how NCL did with the Bliss. Overall, it was a tremendous vacation and the ship was ... Read More
Been on over 12 cruises among NCL, Royal, Carnival, and Princess. Wife and I were very excited for this Alaska adventure and I was eager to see how NCL did with the Bliss. Overall, it was a tremendous vacation and the ship was beautifully done. Ship A very different experience than the layout of Royal's more recent ships. Aside from the observation lounge, there was no big "wow" on board. No major central area or otherwise unique design that blows you away. However, everything was impeccably decorated, it was incredibly clean, and the attention to detail was tremendous. From the dark wood colors used in the staterooms, the artwork in the cabin hallways, the choice of furniture all over the ship, to the decorations in the bars and various venues, NCL paid great attention to detail. It gives the feel of a luxurious ship, more so than any ship I have ever experienced. And with a megaship, especially after reading previous reviews, I was very worried about feeling crowded. For us however, we never felt that was the case. With 30 bars (brew house, observation lounge, maltings, and cavern were some of our favorites) and tons of dining areas and other small venues, there were tons of nooks and crannies to escape to. As with any ship, one of the keys is avoiding peak times, whether it be activities or food. If you did this, the ship felt downright intimate. Although there were no big "wow" elements I'll touch on a few highlights from our perspective. Observation Lounge - Beautiful space that's unlike anything on any other ship. Great bar, great food (smaller bites), overall great atmosphere. The one issue is certainly the amount of people who turn the area into their second bedroom. By the end of the trip it's a bit absurd, and certainly something NCL needs to address. Spa - Although not everyone may have access, for those that do, here's a wow. Best spa I've seen on a ship. Outstanding all around, and the heated loungers looking out over Alaska were serious. Casino - If there's a better one on a ship please let me know. The sealed off smoking casino made the rest of the larger casino so much more enjoyable. Great decorating, friendly atmosphere and lots of action. Food - Best overall food quality by a wide margin. Tons of choices throughout the ship, and with the Free at Sea promotion, too easy to enjoy some specialty options. Although it's BBQ and may seem an odd choice, we really thought Q was elite when it came to the quality of the food in comparison to good versions of that type of food you would normally find at a restaurant. Don't get me wrong, Cagney's is nice, but there are tons of great steakhouses in the world. Q was the most noticeably outstanding in comparison to its peers among restaurants we tried. But again, overall the food was fantastic. They certainly have a good pastry chef on board because their pastelitos and other pastries were great. Laser Tag - Wife and I tried both the laser tag and the go karts. Again, we did both late at night on off hours, and again, there was absolutely zero wait. Between the two, we thought the laser tag was more fun and certainly more bang for your buck. But hey, give both a shot if you can. Overall, the Bliss is an elegant ship, with tons to do. For Alaska, we thought it was perfect. The Bliss brings an elegance and quality that matches the serenity of its surroundings, the calmness of the waters, and the brilliance of the glaciers and wildlife. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had a nice cruise. Alaska is amazing! Definitely would go again, but here are a few things to know before you cruise on The Bliss to Alaska. We (4 people) flew from the east coast the day before the cruise and took a connecting ... Read More
We had a nice cruise. Alaska is amazing! Definitely would go again, but here are a few things to know before you cruise on The Bliss to Alaska. We (4 people) flew from the east coast the day before the cruise and took a connecting flight. Not a good idea! Our first flight was delayed, and we almost missed our connecting flight. All flights later that day and the next morning were full. I highly recommend flying direct. That stress was not good for a start of a vacation! However, we did make the flight and so did our luggage. Once in Seattle, boarding the ship took no time at all. It was super easy! When you check in you receive a card to get in your room, and you also use it to make all your purchases on ship. Lots of people had lanyards to wear around their neck to carry the card with them at all times. They also take cash in the casino, or you can use your room card. We had two balcony rooms mid ship on 12th floor. The room was nice and clean. Our steward never came up to us to introduce himself. I had to introduce myself to him and ask him his name. He was nice, but I rarely saw him. Our large suitcases fit perfectly under the bed. There were only two sets of 8 elevators, so it can be a wait for an elevator at certain times, like right after a show or right before we left a port. Download the Norwegian app for The Bliss, before you lose wifi, if you want to text or call each other while on ship. Its $9.99 for the duration of cruise. You do not need to pay for wifi if you just want to communicate with each other on the ship. On the app it will tell you what you booked and activities that are going on each day. You can also look up your account and what you have charged to your room. If you do not have the app, they also leave a paper in your room each day telling you what is going on the next day on the ship. We had some AT&T cell coverage in Alaska when we docked. If you are just now planning this cruise, I highly recommend you book your restaurants and excursions ahead of time. Norwegian told me you can cancel up to two days before cruise and get a full refund. So book early, and if you change your mind you can cancel 2 days before, but I would check with Norwegian first. Restaurants are a must to book early. If not, you will be standing in line as soon as you board the ship and that is no fun. They fill up fast. I was not able to get the Japanese Steak House before cruise, but I did within the first hour on the ship. We had the "pick two" package. We picked the beverages and restaurants (3 restaurants). The Garden Cafe was the large buffet food room at no additional charge. Lots of choices to satisfy any person for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The specialty restaurants are definitely worth it. The food was very good, service kinda slow. At the Garden Cafe you have juice (orange, cranberry and apple) and water included, no additional charge. This is where we would fill up our water bottles. The French restaurant LE BISTRO was our favorite and the steak was really good and the Japanese Steak house TEPPANYAKI was entertaining and good. Each restaurant will ask you if you have any allergies or specialty diets. We don't, but I thought it was nice that they asked. About two weeks before cruise I booked the Thermal Suite Pass for Spa for duration of cruise. THAT WAS THE BEST MONEY SPENT! I believe I paid $250 per person for duration of cruise. On board it was $300. We were told by people working in the spa that they only sell 120 passes. With over 4000 passengers on this ship, that was a great place to escape and relax. Only adults 18 and over allowed in the spa area. They have an indoor heated pool, sauna, steam room, snow room, salt room, heated loungers, lockers, showers, water and views that were endless. It is open until 10pm every day, except the last night it closes at 8pm. On the ship we enjoyed the District Brew House. The 4 sample beers (flight) were an extra charge with the adult beverage package. Later we decided it would have been better to just order 4 large beers for no additional charge, since we had the adult beverage package. The Observation Lounge had beautiful views. We never had a problem getting a chair with a view, but people do save seats which can be annoying. Most mornings we would get our breakfast at the Garden Cafe and walk down one floor to the Observation Lounge to a more quiet and peaceful setting. Our first port was Ketchikan and we got off the ship and just walked around. We saw several Eagles. Lots of touristy shops. In Juneau we went on the Mendenhall Glacier by helicopter & guided walk. Walk is a loose term. We probably walked ten feet and talked about the glacier and the water you can drink from the stream. They have you wear slip on boots over your shoes. I recommend just wearing tennis shoes, not hiking or snow boots for this reason. They DO allow cameras and phones, but all bags must be locked up back at the Building. The guides were very funny and knowledgable. The helicopter is thrilling and feels at times like a rollercoaster. We got lucky and had beautiful weather. We were comfortable in a fleece jacket, gloves and beanie because it is windy. We felt it was worth the money. If you are not interested in Helicopters, we met other people on the ship that went on the Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer. They left right before the ship departed from Juneau and The Bliss met up with them later near the glacier. However, they were able to get MUCH closer to the Dawes glacier and they saw whales, seals, and watched the glacier break and fall. A "must do" if I go back. In Skagway we decided to take the White Pass Scenic Railway 3.5 hours. Before the train ride, we walked to town. It's a ten to 15 minute walk to town. Again lots of touristy shops, some restaurants, but packed. We came back to the boat and ate before going on the train ride at 12:40pm. There are snacks offered on the train half way up the mountain, but expensive, so I recommend bringing a snack if you haven't eatten. They do pass out water for no charge, but we brought our own. The train does have bathrooms. We sat on the left side going up, and I'm glad we did. However, when the train turns around they make you switch sides to give other people a chance. There was no AC, but comfortable once the train gets moving. It is not that interesting until you get near the top and the views are amazing. Many people fell asleep and the young children became bored. The smell of diesel comes in through the windows depending on how close you are to the engine. On the ship, we saw Jersey Boys. It was ok. We went to 10pm show and I was pretty tired. The shows and activities in the atrium with Dan Dan and the Cruise Staff were more entertaining but you had to arrive early to get a chair. Victoria was our last stop. We walked around and had lunch. You can take the bus for $11 each person round trip to town (take your credit card), or you can take a taxi which I heard was cheaper. Beautiful little town. We ate lunch on the water. They did not take American Express, but did take VISA. Lots of nice restaurants to choose from and flowers everywhere. Some friends we met on the cruise went on a whale watch in Victoria and said most of the people got sick. During the last night and the last day of the cruise, we did not have access to the casino or the shops. They all shut down for the rest of the cruise. That was disappointing because we wanted to buy a gift in the gift shop, so buy early. Getting off the ship on the last day took no time at all, maybe 15-20 minutes from when we left our room. We decided to take our luggage with us and walk off first thing in the morning after we docked. That was fast and convenient. Overall it was a wonderful ship and lots to do or just relax. Alaska was amazing and I wish we had more time there.One last thing I want to mention: bring an empty water bottle, flip flops for the spa or pool, a lanyard for your room card, and download the app before getting on the ship! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose the Bliss due to the go karts. We are a racing family and booked in November of 2017 before they decided to advertise there was a 10.00 per ride charge! Suddenly, there was a fee and reservations for this are mandatory, ... Read More
We chose the Bliss due to the go karts. We are a racing family and booked in November of 2017 before they decided to advertise there was a 10.00 per ride charge! Suddenly, there was a fee and reservations for this are mandatory, available on board. We had no luck in getting a reservation as they filled up in the first hour. I gave a crew member 20 bucks and he got us on. Still charged us the 10.00 per person to our room. Bottom line, if you're going for the karts, don't! They are not worth it! Slow and controlled by the crew. Most of the time you're at an idle. Never got to do the laser tag. SOLD OUT! Too many people! Rumor on board was, it wasn't worth it anyway. Booking: Started out well. Seems affordable compared to a Disney (what we usually cruise) but all the nickel and diming adds up to be just as much as Disney with half the customer service! Most of the booking agents were rude and not very educated on the ship or the excursions. I had one really good call. She was very informative but I could never reach her again. You get who you get. My "cruise consultant" was a fast talker and never let us speak. I always called in and got someone else. Meal and Drink Plans: Ehh! Meal plan is ok for specialty restaraunts. If you can get a reservation for one. I did this early so I was lucky enough to get 2 reservations. The plan is for 3 so we got aced out of one of them. Drink package is good but I seriously think once they know you have it, they never come back to provide drink service. You have to chase someone down. Dosen't include coffee, sodas in mixed drinks. You pay for those in your drinks. Ridiculous! Cabin: Average. We had a balcony. Bigger bathroom than most. Embarkation: Decent, some crew knew what they were doing, some did not. Excursions: This ship is so big, they seem to spend shorter periods at port than any others. Somethng to do with the tide as crew mwmber told us. So, if you want to do any shopping, don't book an excursion. You won't have time for both! You wont! Waterslide coaster: You must be 100 pounds to ride it. Our kids were bummed. Arcade: Absolutely overpriced. We spent over $600.00. Adds up quick! Shows. Good shows! Havana and Jersey boys. NOT FOR KIDS! Many passengers were upset they could not get a reservation for either. Very crowded ship! Casino, $25.00 minimuns at prime time. OUCH! Food and Restaurants: Very nice food! Didn't have a bad meal. Good job here. All areas were very crowded. Book all your reservations months in advance! We were late to dinner one night in a main dinding room and the hostess was very rude to us. Yea, on a cruise ship? I'm used to the "whatever you need" service. Not here! Q steakhouse. Out of this world food and service! Joseph was the best man on board! Thanks Joseph! Teppanyaki: One of us got sick on that place. It wasnt ery good. The ship is very clean. The workers are friendly! The higher ranking crew all had attitudes. RUDE. Poor service and instruction. Can't be easy with 4000 people on one boat. But again, no comparrison to a Disney cruise where you are treated like royalty from start to finish. I wouldn't pay the tips ahead of time again. I'd wait to see how your service is and reward the good ones nicely! On day 4 of 8 they are already leaving instructions in your cabin how to dis-embark on your last day. Feels like they are ready to get you out and load on the new group half way trhough. These notes were bumming the kids out. :( Also, they constantly are working you to book your next cruise at this point. We hit amazing weather! We could be outside all day in shorts. The inside viewing areas are slammed with people camping out for the day. Passengers were getting grumpy with each other. Not pleasant. Overall a 3 rating. Beautiful ship but too many people. I think the size is mainly due to the extra cabins. Not necessarily more common areas than any other ship. If you are going to book he Bliss, book everything on board as fast as you possibly can ahead of your sail date!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
An Alaskan cruise was on our bucket list and when a few couples from our neighborhood said they were going, we jumped at the chance to go. We loved the idea of a brand new boat and were glad we were going with 11 other couples. The ... Read More
An Alaskan cruise was on our bucket list and when a few couples from our neighborhood said they were going, we jumped at the chance to go. We loved the idea of a brand new boat and were glad we were going with 11 other couples. The embarkation process was very easy and we were on the boat in less than 15 from dropping off our bags which was about noon. Since our mini suite wasn't ready, we started in at the bar. We had the unlimited beverage package. Excellent choice. We were able to try different drinks during the cruise and it was nice knowing there would be no "sticker" shock at the end. We knew we wanted to see Prohibition and reservations weren't allowed until on board so that was our first task. What a hassle and stressful time. I wish I would have known about the "I" touch screens earlier. These are located throughout the ship and you can use them to see about reservations (more about that later) and what is happening that day. Very good feature on the boat. Our group also had the Specialty Dining Package. We ate at Teppankaki, Le Bistro, and Ocean Blue. Our food was very good. Even though we had the package, there was a nominal charge to eat at Ocean Blue. I will say I was glad to have the package because the prices for the specialty dining was very pricey and probably wouldn't have tried them otherwise. The complimentary dining food was good, The buffet had a good variety although finding a place to sit was stressful at times. There are no food options by the pool just bars. So everyone has to come inside the the buffet. Seems like a design flaw. You need burgers, pizza, and sandwiches poolside to relieve the buffet line. The entertainment on the ship was good. We saw Havana-just ok, Jersey Boys-very good, comedians-just so so, and Prohibition-excellent. We have been on other ships and spend lots of time in the comedy club. This comedy club was very disappointing. You had to have reservations for every show and there weren't many options. The go-karts and laser tag required reservations (and other activities as well) plus they cost $10 a pop to do. When the "I" touch were realized, we made go-kart reservations. By 1:00 on embarkation day, they only times available to reserve was the last day of the cruise. Frustrating especially since everyone really enjoyed them and would have loved to do them again. We wondered if just walking up anytime if we could have gotten onto the track. Excursions. We booked ours when we made our initial reservations. We did the Nature Walk, Raptor, Center in Ketchican. Don't bother. All the guide wanted to do was sing country songs to us and tell us he goes into his meditation room to find an answer about the rainforest. We did have time to explore Ketchican after the excursion and enjoyed it. Juneau we did Mendenhall Glacier and Gardens. The gardens were awesome and the story of the owner and his vision was great. The Glacier was ok. Unless you take the Nugget Trail, you won't be close to the glacier at all. The negative part of the day was our dock was two miles from the city center. They did have shuttles to take you there but we were in port such a short time there was no time to explore the city. We did see trams in the downtown area and would have loved to have done those but we had 15 minutes before All Aboard after our excursion. Skagway we did the train ride. Excellent and highly recommended. After that we walked around town. It is about 6 blocks from the pier but not a hard walk. Victoria we chose not to do anything. Again not much time in town and the excursions took all of it. We did walked the long pier next to the boats and that was enjoyable. We had a mini suite. We always get suites when we cruise. This suite wasn't up to par with others we have had. The configuration was cramped. The bathroom was great, especially the shower. The observation deck was the absolute best thing on the ship. We spent much of our time there since it was too cold/foggy for us to be by the pool. Having a bar and the light breakfast/lunch in there was great. This was our 7th cruise (first with NCL)so we feel we kinda know the lay of the land. We were disappointed with the process of reservations for everything, most everything costing extra, no mid ship elevators, and way too many "Closed for private functions" With most everything requiring a reservation, it didn't allow for spur of the moment changes or even repeat experiences. Just stress. Vacations should be relaxing. This wasn't that relaxing. Would we go again on a NCL? No Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We saw the activities and itineraries, so we decided to try this ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went amazingly.(note that we were in the Haven). The cabin was amazing, as was the food.(especially Coco's). As for the ... Read More
We saw the activities and itineraries, so we decided to try this ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went amazingly.(note that we were in the Haven). The cabin was amazing, as was the food.(especially Coco's). As for the entertainment, the shows weren't that great, but the laser tag and go kart were amazing. The people in the haven were extremely polite and cordial, and the haven area in general was splendid. I thought the ports and shore excursions were great; in Ketchikan, we visited George Inlet lodge to eat crabs. We also saw a ton of bald eagles. In Juneau, the Mendenhall glacier was fabulous, as was Nugget Falls. Up in Skagway, the White Pass and Yukon Rail landscape was like that of Lord of the Rings. In Victoria, at Butchart Gardens, the air was fresh and the garden was well laid out. We went with one kid and he loved it! If given the choice, I would go on the ship in the same room again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
55 family members ages 5-86 having once in lifetime experience and wonderful family interactions with no drama. Something to do for everyone in every age bracket. Food was good...not exceleent. some areas were too croppwded and service ... Read More
55 family members ages 5-86 having once in lifetime experience and wonderful family interactions with no drama. Something to do for everyone in every age bracket. Food was good...not exceleent. some areas were too croppwded and service very slow. Jersy Boys Show outstanding...everty age group enjoyed it. Beatles show toooo crowded and theatre is not right atmosphere for the show. Getting on boat was smooth but too far to walk for elderly. Also at the ports the distance is a lot of walking till you get to a shuttle or the town. Photograohy people did great job on family shot. Ship did not really have quiet space to meet for a family gathering that required privacy. Being able to take the shiop up to the Dawes Glacier was breathtaking and so glad we had wonderful weather the enire trip. Even did sun bathing around hot tubs. Plan another trip to Bermuda in the spring. (BTW...well managed for a large ship but prefer those under 2500 passengers). Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We went on Alaskan cruise with 4 other couples. It was the greatest experience to see how Mother Nature evolved over 1000’s of years. A picture of a glacier does it no justice. The beautiful wildlife is beyond anyone’s expectations. ... Read More
We went on Alaskan cruise with 4 other couples. It was the greatest experience to see how Mother Nature evolved over 1000’s of years. A picture of a glacier does it no justice. The beautiful wildlife is beyond anyone’s expectations. NCL Bliss was designed just for Alaska and they did a fantastic job. The 15 th floor observation deck is wonderful for viewing all that Alaska has to offer. I would recommend NCL to anyone. Have done 7 Cruise’s with no regrets. The entertainment on board was outstanding, Jersey Boys was as good as a Broadway production. The musical Havana will be Broadway bound for sure. The Bliss is a floating city in it self. Every meal was better than the last. We did a few specialty restaurants and their Steak House was excellent.I would recommend the dinning package just for this reason. I also recommend the spa package if you like to relax and pamper yourself. Remember your in Alaska and the weather really isn’t pool friendly. Do try and ride the Go Karts!! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I choose the Bliss to Alaska because I have sailed on Norwegian many times and really like it. I am very disappointed in this ship especially for what we paid for it. First, the entertainment was very subpar. I am not a prude but the ... Read More
I choose the Bliss to Alaska because I have sailed on Norwegian many times and really like it. I am very disappointed in this ship especially for what we paid for it. First, the entertainment was very subpar. I am not a prude but the language in Jersey Boys is totally uncalled for, especially with the majority of people sailing in their 70’s and 80”s. The Havana show was lack luster. And, you had to make reservations for EVERYTHING and most things were sold out. Totally uncalled for. Plus, you had to pay extra to see one of their shows. The observation deck was fantastic and the bar staff was excellent. This area provided a great view of the Alaskan scenery. It seemed that all NCL wants to do is sell you something. And, the activities to do were very boring. You even had to make reservations for the go kart track and laser tag which there were no spots left. Spa was way overpriced. Cabin staff were very accommodating. And, the staff was very accommodating and helpful for handicapped individuals. I will sail Norwegian again but no ton the Bliss. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This review was sent directly to Norwegian as well. Some background: My 84 year old mother booked this trip for her four children and their spouses (10 of us in total) as a last special family vacation. All but two in the group are ... Read More
This review was sent directly to Norwegian as well. Some background: My 84 year old mother booked this trip for her four children and their spouses (10 of us in total) as a last special family vacation. All but two in the group are over 60, all are retired. My mother has 200 plus days at sea and my wife and I have at least 150 days at sea now with several other cruise lines, so we all pretty much know the ropes and our way around a ship. The new Bliss was supposed to be a huge step up in cruise ships with numerous new amenities and with all the media hype, that is why my mother choose NCL over Princess and was willing to pay thousands of dollars more for the total package. None of us are not hard to please and generally we all just go along with whatever comes our way, but considering what was paid and expected, this was not the best experience or value. So why did I rate my overall experience as “fair” in response to your survey: First - you booked our cruise at a significantly higher rate than comparable cruises to the same destinations. When she was booking the cruise, I reminded my mother that we should all get senior discounts and that two of us were eligible for veteran’s discounts or cabin credits. She told me then that you had denied all senior discounts/cabin credits and disabled veteran qualifications for this particular ship. I personally contacted Norwegian Customer Service about it in writing and was promised a response within a few business days. What I got was a call from an unintelligible oriental woman about two weeks before we sailed saying something to the effect that my concern had been forwarded somewhere. We still have not received any contact or resolution from anyone at NCL. You over charged for shore excursions. I say this because six of the ten of us have sailed to Alaska within the past few years on different cruise lines and took some of the same excursions. You also required that we pay months advance. No other cruise line has ever done that to us. You advertised a go-cart track and a laser tag game that were both completely booked by the first morning and remained so for the duration of the cruise. We were told we could stand in line each day on the happen stance that someone might not show up. We tried for 5 weeks in advance of the cruise to sign up for shows which should have been not only free, but also “first come – first served”. Those too were completely booked and none of us could reserve anything except The Jersey Boys, so that was the only show we saw. (On a side note: The Jersey Boys were absolutely phenomenal!) Our cabin steward was a total no show for the duration of the cruise. On the third day out we ran out of tissues and called House Keeping. The person that brought them to us turned out to be our steward. He knocked, introduced himself, handed us the tissues and then turned and left. About 5 seconds. That was the entirety of our association with the cabin steward, though he did maintain the room satisfactorily. While we are on the subject of the cabin, they are small and cramped, the beds are hard and uncomfortable and your closets do not accommodate the standard hangers which we brought from home for our formal clothing. The dining rooms were nice and a couple even had large windows which made the experience nicer when you managed to get a window seat. Steaks/carved meats in the buffet and The Manhattan dining room were horrid, tough and gristly every single time we ordered them. This was not just me, but voiced by every person in the group of ten. The Garden Buffet was generally an acceptable place to eat with tasty food and a nice variety, though several times we had to take our meals back to the room because there was absolutely no seating available anywhere in the vicinity of the dining room. The best meals were served in the Specialty dining rooms, though every single meal we took on the ship with the exception of the Garden Buffet took two full hours from the time we sat down until the dessert was served. We could never understand why service was so slow. The only time we were ever offered coffee before, during or after our meal was in the Le Bistro. Otherwise, the wait staff never came around so we could ask and we had to flag them down for refills on things like iced tea though they refilled water without request. Alcohol was grossly overpriced on this ship and since we did not choose the unlimited drink option, we had few. Also, the value of your bingo and slot tournaments was pitiful based on the prize money. Enough said there. In general, the new Bliss is an average appearing ship with basic amenities available without reservations. We have sailed on several new inaugural ships with both Carnival and Princess. Their ships add sparkle and glamour to their décor. They also provide enough elevators to move passengers between decks without excessive waiting. Where are the Bliss elevators? You have only two banks of elevators on this massive ship carrying up to 4,000 passengers. Even Carnival has four additional glass elevators in the atriums of their larger ships. The Bliss was clean and well run; the staff was friendly and polite. I am sorry to have vented so much, but our week on your new ship was somewhat disappointing and my mother now wishes she would have booked us on Princess. It is unlikely we will recommend NCL to our friends or other family members based upon our experience and the poor value provided. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise, though we usually cruise smaller, higher end ships like Viking Ocean and Oceania’s newer ships because we wanted to take younger grandchildren and their parents to see the glaciers while they still exist, on a ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise, though we usually cruise smaller, higher end ships like Viking Ocean and Oceania’s newer ships because we wanted to take younger grandchildren and their parents to see the glaciers while they still exist, on a ship that would be fun for the kids, age 9,8,7 & 6. We booked a Haven Penthouse suite aft with a huge balcony so all could enjoy and put the others in balcony cabins right next door (or so we thought). First “untruth: they moved one cabin up 3 decks without notification until we got the paperwork, and by then the cabin we had actually booked was gone. Next THREE different people told us that even though we had the beverage package we couldn’t use the minibar without paying extra (mind you, our little suite cost $10,000 more than the balcony cabins). BUT, they said 3 times, your butler can bring you drinks for free. WRONG! You have to pay for those drinks. Next, the 3rd person in your expensive suite (or the other cabins) gets NONE of the “freebies.” They forgot to mention that detail. The list of Haven Suite amenities lists binoculars. No binoculars on the Bliss, even though it clearly states there are. When we asked, they said (and I’m serious),”There are no binoculars anywhere on the Bliss....but you can purchase them at one of the stores”. Seriously, and from several people we asked. We had no binoculars except borrowed from our son-in-law. I use a small Travelscoot because I am partially handicapped. There is not ONE sharp edge anywhere on it. On every cruise we’ve gone on in the past 5 years, it’s so small that I always drove it right into our suite. These doorways are too small, so we had to fold it up and carry it in every time. The second day, someone left two scratches on the door (clearly made by a sharp edged something which we didn’t have). Down come these two burly security dudes, wanting to inspect our scooter and making my husband show them how he folded it up and came in and out,...twice. Next, my husband visited the medical folks because he had scraped his arm on a suitcase zipper somehow and the bandaids we brought just didn’t do the job. Out comes security again, telling him he had to go back to the cabin and demonstrate how this happened BEFORE they would give him the bandage he needed. He refused to go until his arm was treated. Then the goons came to the suite, made him take the suitcase out from under the bed, and took photographs of the suitcase, my husband, and his SHOES. So welcoming. Also not mentioned, the prepaid gratuities, not cheap at $17.50 a day per person, do not get shared at all with your butler or the concierge because they serve only the suites. So for them to get anything, you must personally pay them a gratuity. Your beverage package that you purchase - it covers drinks and wine up to $15, which is fine, but does NOT cover espresso or cappuccino, which actually cost less. And that free room service you get with your Haven suite is NOT free for the third person. I could go on about nickle and diming you for all the fun activities, but I’ll stop with the negative stuff. The ship is truly beautiful. The Mexican and Italian specialty restaurants were truly wonderful, and the service was terrific. The main dining rooms, both regular and Haven, were adequate, nothing more. Jersey Boys was SENSATIONAL. Havana, not so much. The only excursion we did through the ship was the sled dog experience and it was really great for the kids. We made our own arrangements for other excursions. Our butler, Lanie was really terrific and made our trip much more enjoyable. My husband, because of his wonderful Naval career, got a personal bridge tour and they really took a lot of time with him, both the Captain and the second in command, swapping sea stories. Would we sail Norwegian again? Never. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
So here I am, an experienced cruiser, and I loved every cruise I’ve ever been on (about 15-18) and I usually go on royal, carnival and princess. All spectacular. I went on the Norwegian bliss and I am absolutely appalled and so ... Read More
So here I am, an experienced cruiser, and I loved every cruise I’ve ever been on (about 15-18) and I usually go on royal, carnival and princess. All spectacular. I went on the Norwegian bliss and I am absolutely appalled and so absolutely furious at everything about this cruise. And I plan to post this everywhere I can in hopes people will see it so changes are made because everyone was so disappointed and kind of blown away at the lack of respect, preparedness, understanding and professionalism on this boat. I wanna tell everyone about my time on the Norwegian bliss leaving from Seattle going to 4 stops in Alaska and last one in Canada. I’m sorry if this is all over but I started in my notepad on day 1 with one bullet and made it to 10 by the last day and just chatting with other passengers seeing their agreeing with me on everything. So here it goes we had a party of 45 of us, with the group coordinated being someone that worked for Norwegian. She was a true monster, I will not say names but she bullied us and hung up on us constantly when she didn’t like a question we had and it was too much work for her, constantly asking if we could just find the e-mail rather than her open her computer up because it’s ‘too much’.. she would huff and puff on the phone.. gives no insight as to where we can get things done just would hang up the phone... we were all scared to say something because we were afraid she would sabotage our trip (yeah that bad) First day on, Was told as bartender was making my drink while I was tapping my card to music while bobbing my head, singing that tapping my card irritates him and that I will be *motions ‘your out’ signal* even tho I get it is irritating , I’m a bartender as well but who says that!!! I would NEVER tap my card in that kinda way but if someone does tell them nicely... anyway, that was the first hour on the boat. We got the drinking package, most bars we went to (the atrium, one on pool deck just to name a few) no one smiled or talked to us while getting drinks just pointed at us to get our order and really only talked to each other for the first day or two. After that they got very nice, I guess a lot of people complained because a lot of people were talking about rude service on the smoking deck... Now to smokers. SMOKERS HAVE NO RIGHTS. Was the motto of all the smokers the whole boat, not just my group. they only have two smoking sections... and one is a cigar lounge indoors with minimal ventilation so the room is hot boxed with cigarette smoke and it’s really not fair to anyone ,cigar smokers or cigarette smokers... the other deck is 17 which is a really nice adult outdoor lounge type thing first day was closed for a reserved event.. a wedding perhaps or a birthday but it was closed to everyone on the ship so everyone had to cram in this 10 chair cigar lounge as they never made the promised “announcement” over the speaker where the temporary smoking section would be. Also little pieces of black soot was flying from the smoke stacks and staining everyone’s white clothes on deck 17 .. people complained and they closed it down during dAy 4 or so to have it cleaned and they redirected us to deck 19 that time. There was not a time when the guest service deck was wrapped around the lounge, At the end of the trip, you had to go get your own luggage tags at desk because of the minimal time our room was made up. On the ship there are lights on your door with switches to indicate what you would like them to do with your room. They say ‘make up room, do not disturb’ and ‘at home’. In order to keep your lights on, you must insert card into a slot... automatically the ‘at home’ light will come on so they know not to make up your room. You also can not charge your electronics whenever, unless your seapass card is inserted in the slot so you may not charge electronics while you’re not in room because you need your seapass around the boat. You can’t keep lights on while you are not in the cabin which is fine, who cares. We were rarely ever in our room the whole time.. just to sleep and then come and go and being in 15 or so cruises we know they clean your room once if not twice a day, they cleaned our room 3 times the whole time(even with ‘makeup room’ sign indicated)... all 3 times leaving dirty cups, plates, old bottles in the room. Keeping trash on dresser just organizing it. Threw my stuffed animal and neck pillow in my dirty laundry pile on the floor. Now onto the elevators.... there are 12 on this whole boat. Front and back and none in the middle. Like I said, as an experienced cruiser, you know everyone uses the elevators. The stairs were completely crowded. By day 2-3 everyone completely gave up on trying to use to completely crowded elevators. Took 20 min to get an elevator and when you got one it was completely full. My elderly grandparents couldn’t walk up and down the stairs and were forced to because of the unbelievably long wait for elevators. So on the ship you need a reservation for everything, absolutely everything... silent disco, comedy club, broadway shows, laser tag, go carts, fine dining restaurants... everything was “booked up” the go karts had zero availability and there was never anyone on them ... same with shows. And out of every cruise this was the most expensive we paid for And they still nickel and dime you.. $8 for go karts $ for laser tag $ for some shows $ For painting. Seems as people made reservations then didn’t show so a lot of people didn’t get to do much. Luckily we walked past silent disco and just said screw it and walked in.. they let us in even though everyone said it was ‘booked but we can wait in standby’ the silent disco was trash. Fast songs were slowed down and slowed songs were sped up so everyone was dancin the same tempo.. which takes the fun out of silent disco. Also they stopped and made every dance to Macarena, Cupid shuffle, just overplayed dance music and you could not change the station. Let me start this paragraph positive, THE FOOD IS EXCELLENT!!! And there was that... one night while sitting in the manhattan, we got appetizers then took a couple bites of our apps and soups and ran up to go look at a glacier we were pAssing, we came back several minutes later to our food all gone, barely eaten. She brought us our food again but Was constantly taking unfinished drinks and rushing us onto our next order. There was no sAil away parties but that’s just a minuscule complaint aside to all the others... this cruise was dreadful, the vibe was absolutely terrible solely caused by the staff then traveled over to passengers. It had potential to be great (aside from the elevators) the rude wait staff, omelet makers in the morning, bartenders, security guard was just sad. I forgot my card at the bar and instead of a “you forgot your card” I got a “oh so you want to leave your card here... or you gonna take it???” Called out to me rudely as I walked away. Family was in the hot tub and I sat on a little soap box looking thing off the side of the hot tub to talk to them and there was no sign that said don’t sit and it wasn’t dangerous to sit there, looked like you can hang towels off it .. I’m not sure what it was used for exactly just a wooden box and I sat on it and instead of asking me to get off I got “you really think it’s a good idea to sit there? You think that’s safe.. they tell me when your not safe *points at camera* so get off” everyone of us just looked around at each other like what the hell just happened???? Sorry if this lacks punctuation but if I didn’t write it asap I would’ve never done it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my 2nd NCL cruise and my 6th cruise overall. Embarkation went relatively smoothly. Took about 25 minutes from curb to ship. My wife and I had a standard interior cabin. It was extremely functional but did lack storage space. ... Read More
This was my 2nd NCL cruise and my 6th cruise overall. Embarkation went relatively smoothly. Took about 25 minutes from curb to ship. My wife and I had a standard interior cabin. It was extremely functional but did lack storage space. There were absolutely no dresser/cabinet drawers for clothes storage, just one modest sized closet so my wife lived out of her suitcase. Make sure you don’t bring a jumbo suitcase that doesn’t fit under the bed, otherwise your space will decrease even more. There are two usb chargers by the bed that are convenient for charging phones/kindles/etc. Also included are the safe, phone and tv which were all functionally easy to navigate. The bathroom, unlike the bedroom, seemed to have a slightly better than average size feel with a glass shower that seemed slightly bigger than other showers I have had on cruises. For two people there was plenty of room for our toiletries. Due to our specialty dining package we were able to eat at most of the restaurants on the ship: Complimentary restaurants of Taste, Savor and Manhattan room are the Main Dining Rooms (MDRs) and are all similar in service and menus, just a little different ambiance. I found the service on par with what I have come to expect from NCL, friendly and professional but not overtly warm like other cruise lines. Unlike with a standard dining time, you end up getting different wait staff unless you specifically request someone. The freestyle dining is extremely convenient for two people but when you dine with more than 4 people I’d advise making reservations if you plan on eating during peak dinner times otherwise you could wait for 20-30 minutes for a table to open. The food at the MDRs was hit or miss, some great tasting options, some just ok and some blah. This isn’t a problem though because if you do not like a specific dish, you can always order a second option which the staff is happy to bring you. The Local is the 24 hour complimentary restaurant that serves pub style food. The food is ok and the menu is limited but serviceable. Service is again professional and friendly. The Garden Cafe (buffet) had plenty of food options but I didn’t find anything at the buffet that was spectacular. My favorite part of the buffet was the fact that they had multiple egg/omelet stations that would cook your eggs to order. The buffet crowds could be overwhelming during peak food times and made it difficult at times to find a seat. If you get desperate you can ask staff and they will assist you in finding a place (we needed to do this once). Observation lounge also had a mini buffet which was usable for snacks. We were also able to try Le Bistro, Cagneys, and La Cucina as part of the dining package. You MUST make reservations before you set sail or immediately upon arrival at the ship or you will probably get locked out. Food quality in the specialty restaurants on NCL never disappoints. It also shows that you need to pay for quality when you can taste the difference in the tiramisu from La Cucina compared to the MDRs. A few critiques for the specialty restaurants compared to my other NCL experience 2 years ago on the Escape. Service was not even close to as good. At Le Bistro the waitress actually pushed for extra gratuity (which I always give but didn’t appreciate it being forced). At Cagneys the person in charge with wine disappeared on us twice to the point I had to ask for him to be hunted down. I think one time that he disappeared it was due to the fact that he personally had to find glasses to serve dessert wine so it wasn’t necessarily his fault, but whatever the reason, they were uncommonly large wait times. Finally in La Cucina our server did actually disappear to the point I had to ask for help from someone else regarding closing out the check and storing the purchased wine during dinner. To summarize, food quality 5 out of 5, service 2 out of 5. Maybe we just had an off week with the staff. We also tried Cocos. Espressos and desserts were both good and the servers were extremely warm and friendly. Although not an extremely busy place, if you want a quality dessert or espresso it is worth the experience. Entertainment and Activities I find NCL does a fantastic job with quality but there can be a problem due to crowds. If you don’t make reservations when you first get on the ship (or before) you will miss out on a lot. We didn’t get to experience the racetrack or laser tag as they were booked solid after day 2. The two shows (again make reservations) of Havana and Jersey Boys were fantastic quality, just a little below broadway quality. The Beatles show I enjoyed and thought they did the band justice. When they play at the Cavern Club, get their 30 minutes early otherwise you will not get a seat. One person in our group has special needs and went to a bunch of the ship activities (trivia, dance parties, game shows) and the crew was fantastic for them. The person always felt welcomed and involved. It was a pleasure to see the person so happy. The crew and cruise director were amazing. Although this was an Alaskan Cruise I must say during Caribbean cruises this ship will have the same problem as the Escape with deck space/pool space. With the Haven taking up a good piece of the ship, the rest of the pool deck will be overwhelmed on Caribbean sea days. I highly suggest if you find crowds and noise to be a problem to purchase a thermal suite pass. Observation Lounge I must say was a fantastic outside the box idea that works. Bliss takes up prime cabin space to dedicate a huge area of the 15th floor to an observation lounge with food and drinks served. People play cards and board games, listen to live music, read books and fall asleep in this relaxing public area. It was always in use. Thermal suite! My favorite part about NCL. For $200 a person pre cruise you can purchase a week pass at the thermal suite. It gives you access to a quiet area with floor to ceiling windows across the back of the ship, your own hot tub, your own heated pool, cushioned and heated chairs, sauna, steam room, salt room, cold room, etc. It makes my cruise. As for the Casino, NCL finally solved the problem plaguing all cruise ships, the smoke emanating into the public areas. On the Bliss the smoking section is completely sealed off in its own room and even walking by the room itself the smell of smoke is minimal. Fantastic job. Truthfully the only area with a smell problem to public walking areas is in 6,7,8 by the restaurant Ocean Blue which for some reason doesn’t have a solid wall so the whole area smells like fish. Ports - Alaskan Cruise was definitely unique with their ports and what you experience. Also you must have more clothes for this cruise then almost any other because of the different environments. You need shorts and short sleeves in Seattle, bathing suits if you want to try the pool or have a thermal suite pass, pants and short sleeve depending on the weather, long sleeve shirts and jackets for some areas in Alaska. Just something to keep in mind. You will get wet in Ketchikan as it will always rain but it was not a heavy rain for us. More of a misty rain. We only did the lumberjack show which was fun. That said any excursion I heard was quality, just can be pricey. Juneau was my favorite port on the trip. So many bald eagles on the trip from town to Mendenhall glacier. The glacier was pretty cool to see but the star of the trip was the waterfall which you can practically walk up to and almost touch (1-2 mile hike). The waterfall makes you feel how powerful Mother Nature can be. If you feel up to it, you can pay to be flown on top of the glacier. Everyone who did raved about the experience. In Skagway we did the train excursion. It was an amazing experience to take a train from sea level to 3000 feet in the air to the summit. In July it was cold at the summit and it was pretty amazing to see the walking path miners took to the summit and picture how they survived. Victoria was a pretty town. Ship gets there late (4 PM) so although the souvenir shops are open, not everything stays open for the cruise tourists. It is worth taking a walk around or going to the gardens. To summarize my experience, I found the room small but serviceable, food quality ok to great but food service below average at the specialty restaurants, and entertainment great but you need to make reservations otherwise you will lose out on experiences. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My family of four (15 and 13 year old) cruised on the Bliss in July. The embarkation process was very well organized and went smoothly. The ship was beautiful and immucaulate. As soon as we got on board we ran to book the race track and ... Read More
My family of four (15 and 13 year old) cruised on the Bliss in July. The embarkation process was very well organized and went smoothly. The ship was beautiful and immucaulate. As soon as we got on board we ran to book the race track and laser tag , they have these convenient kiosks on every floor where you can book activities, we found an empty kiosk two floors up and had no problem booking a go cart ride and laser tag. We were only allowed to book one at a time , we were able to ride the race track a total of 5 times as we went standby . (There’s a standby line for those who can’t book a reservation). The laser tag was fully booked and we only could play one game . Both were really fun . My only complaint was the charge , $10 a ride per person for the race track and $5 a person for laser tag , I paid $6,500 for this cruise I felt NCL was nickeling and diming us with these charges. I didn’t think it was necessary to charge for the main attraction on the ship. We booked a balcony on deck 13 and it was fine, not a lot of room for a family of four but it was fine we had bunk beds for the kids. The Dining was good, food was good nothing amazing (no lobster night ) but it was good , I never had a long wait for the main restaurants and always found a table at the buffet. I didn’t try any of the specialty restaurants that had an extra charge, there were more extra charge restaurants than included restaurants which was very annoying. The entertainment was good, Jersey Boys was excellent and Havana was good. The ports and excursions I booked through the cruise was also good very well organized , not a lot of time in each port , I felt a little rushed. It was a little chilly so having the observation room was nice , we saw whales while sailing toward the glaciers, It was very difficult to get a seat in the room, people claimed their chairs early and didn’t move. The staff and service was excellent , the workers really worked hard , everyone was friendly and efficient . For a trip to Alaska I thought there should of been an indoor pool and some more indoor activities, I sailed RCL Athem of the seas and they had an indoor pool, indoor sports plex with bumper cars that were not an extra charge , I feel due to the cold and rainy weather in Alaska maybe NCL should of had these accommodations. You really only had 2 days where you could sit by the pool , the Bliss did not have enough hot tubs , they were always packed. I’ve been on several cruises , this was my 3rd NCL cruise , I go back and forth with RCL and NCL, I find NCL is getting a little cheesy with all the extra charges , I had the drink package but it didn’t include the fresh OJ at breakfast or cappuccinos after dinner . Too many extra charges , I noticed the kids arcade games that were $1 or $2 a game last year are now $1.20 to $2.10 a game , really they had to increase an arcade game by 10 to 20 cents ? I definitely felt nickeled and dimed on this ship . I would recommend the ship , we had a great time but it’s not an all inclusive I felt once I paid my $6,500 most things should of been included. Alaska is beautiful, the scenery is just amazing , we saw lots of whales from our balcony and while eating at the buffet. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I recommend that you should not take the cruise The elevators Take You To every floor for no reason. I also had to wait 45 minutes to go on the go carts even though I had a reservation. Also when we went to the buffet there was barley ... Read More
I recommend that you should not take the cruise The elevators Take You To every floor for no reason. I also had to wait 45 minutes to go on the go carts even though I had a reservation. Also when we went to the buffet there was barley any seating. Also in the buffet they would say to you washy washy and handsanitise you. People also got stuck on the slide and banned. The compotions were always getting canceled. It was too cold to do anything. There were a lot of good things like the food was good, the swimming and slides were fun. The shows were good too. I liked the tepenaki, the mini golf, the ports, and the fancy dinners. The behind the scenes tour, and the comedy was good too. But in the end I don’t think that you should do this Cruise. Ps Seattle was my favorite port Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We started our vacation three days before our departure in Seattle. We took the 10 hour tour to Mt Rainier which was magnificent. The other two days we toured the must see attractions like the Space Needle, the Monorail and Pike's ... Read More
We started our vacation three days before our departure in Seattle. We took the 10 hour tour to Mt Rainier which was magnificent. The other two days we toured the must see attractions like the Space Needle, the Monorail and Pike's Market. One of my favorite places was Chihuly Garden and Glass. The glass exhibits were beautiful and nothing like I've ever seen. We even took the Underground Tour which was just OK but somewhat interesting. The embarkation and disembarkation was really smooth compared to a cruise that we took two years ago (MSC). The food was good with the exception of Q Texas Smokehouse. We had 6 people at our table with no one being impressed. The cornbread had jalapenos in it...I asked the waitress if there was a choice of NO jalapenos for people who didn't want them. The sides given were not edible, were only little samples and not good choices. There were no drinks that I could get without alcohol that weren't loaded with sugar. I know it's vacation but I couldn't put my health at risk by having too much sugar. Also I was amazed at the red needle boxes in our room and in restrooms on the ship. The first excursion (Ketchikan) was unorganized. We couldn't find anyone to help us navigate where we needed to go...very frustrating in the rain. The remainder of the excursions were better organized. I was disappointed that we could not used the Mt Roberts Tram portion of our excursion. I was looking forward to photographing the view. I loved the Observation Deck. It was a great place to meet people and just watch the beautiful scenery. I preferred it to the small intimate places on the ship like the Sugarcane Mojito Bar or the Brew House. The entertainment was the best that I have ever experienced...LOVED Britain's Finest Band. Our last day we had a red eye flight home and had prepared a tour of two wineries and a Chocolate Factory with a stop at Snoqualmie Falls. I loved Seattle and our Alaskan cities and Victoria BC. I would love to go again but to a different section of Alaska. Let me know when that is possible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
My sister and I had a great cruise. We arrived in Seattle two days before and toured Seattle before the cruise. It was a great start to our vacation. Out hotel concierge was helpful getting is to the port. The Bliss is a new ship and ... Read More
My sister and I had a great cruise. We arrived in Seattle two days before and toured Seattle before the cruise. It was a great start to our vacation. Out hotel concierge was helpful getting is to the port. The Bliss is a new ship and very clean and nice. The balcony cabin was wonderful. I would opt for a balcony again. The food was wonderful no matter where we ate. All the employees were great. We were treated like royalty. We booked our excursions through Shore Excursions. They did a good job, and we saved money with them, but I believe you get what you pay for. I think we would have had better excursions using Norwegian excursions. The pool areas were fantastic. The tube looked like it would have been a lot of fun. The race cars looked like a lot of fun. We enjoyed the mini golf. There were lots of things to do on this ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had only sailed on Royal Caribbean in the past and we were excited to get on a brand new ship and go to Alaska. The ship is nice but not the nicest one we had been on. The cabins were also nice, but again nothing special. Had an ... Read More
We had only sailed on Royal Caribbean in the past and we were excited to get on a brand new ship and go to Alaska. The ship is nice but not the nicest one we had been on. The cabins were also nice, but again nothing special. Had an adjoining balcony room with the rest of the family which was nice except for the fact that the balconies were unable to be opened up without the divider between them. The food in the free dining areas was ok. We ate at the Cafe exactly twice and was disappointed both times, not so much because of the food, but because it was so crowded everytime we were there. Great selection of different foods in the cafe, but the quality was just ok- nothing really special. My theory is they are trying to appeal to everyone and doing it just OK. I am not a fan of freestyle dining but I understand the appeal of it for lots of people. The speciality restaurants that we went to were well worth the extra money. Ocean Blue was very very good, the Italian restaurant did a great job, but do not miss La Bistro (French cuisine). Spend the extra money, avoid the hordes of humanity and enjoy the speciality restaurants. The main dining rooms (Taste, Savor, and The Manhatten Room) all offer the same menu- see which one is least crowded and go there. Lots of entertainment on board. Dont miss the race track- worth the wait. Cruise staff was great. Lots of events in the atrium, which gets very very crowded. Come early to get a seat. On board shopping is pretty standard. Understand what you are looking for and comparative shop before you buy. Lots of watches and jewelry. Know your prices before you buy it though. This is pretty standard with all cruises though. Bought the unlimited wifi package. Coverage was ok. Slow speeds and drops were common. Excursions are worth the money. Dont miss Mendenhall glacier and nugget falls. Shopping out in town was ok. Recommend NOT going with the stores they recommend. Go to the other smaller shops for the best deals. Big plus for the sights of Alaska, but disappointed by the shear number of passengers. Would rather have gone on a smaller more intimate ship. In summary- great ship, mediocre food from the free restaurants great food in the specialty restaurants, lots of activities, nice staterooms, way too crowded. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This is going to be very long and detailed. This was our first cruise as a family and the first NCL cruise for my husband and myself. It had been more than 20 years since we’d been on one (his was a Carnival and mine was a Royal ... Read More
This is going to be very long and detailed. This was our first cruise as a family and the first NCL cruise for my husband and myself. It had been more than 20 years since we’d been on one (his was a Carnival and mine was a Royal Caribbean). I stressed a LOT over the plans and ‘what was going to happen’ since I am stress prone and there wasn’t much information out there. I am writing this all down to help anyone else with the same sorts of questions or whomever just wants to “know how it is going to go down.” We arrived in Seattle a day early so we couldn’t take advantage of the shuttle to the ship, but we found one at our hotel we could pay for. Once arriving at the dock, there was a LOT of people and I was pretty overwhelmed, but everything went fairly smoothly. We had to dump our big suitcases there with the staff (which I was unaware of). We did not get our bags until after 8 PM. We could have gone swimming had we brought our suits or something in our backpacks, so you should plan accordingly. We got our keycards right away. It said ‘soda’ on them as we bought the soda package. This package was pretty unnecessary, as they have lots of delicious lemonade and juices there for you all the time at the Garden Buffet area and also on the Observation deck. To get your pop you have to go to any bar and ask for pop. This is annoying because this is not where you get your food. Nobody even asked to see our cards for pop either, I’m not suggesting you cheat the system, I’m just saying everyone was very nice and trusting and didn’t make you feel like a underling. Back to the keycards. These are necessary for turning the lights and outlets in your room. You put them in the slot and then the stuff in the room works-it’s a pretty nifty idea, and then it also lights up a little thing outside your door that says, “I’m home.” There are also buttons you can push for ‘do not disturb’ and ‘make up room.’ Very high tech and fancy haha! We had ordered water packages (three in total) as I have issues drinking tap water (makes me sick). Turns out, the lemonade and other drinks were from cartons so I didn’t have to worry about getting sick and didn’t really need all that water we ordered. I have a very sensitive tummy, and I did not get sick one time on board. This was huge for me! When you order in restaurants the staff always asks if you have a food allergy to worry about. This was very nice, although not anything that pertains to us. Before leaving, I read reviews saying that the food was bad. Well, I disagree. The food was really good and really plentiful. The buffet was excellent-although could be very busy at times, it was sometimes hard to find a seat. It was also hard to navigate on occasion, this was mostly do to the ‘Buffet Zombies’ I liked to call them. These are people that are so fixated on their food that they are actually staring at their plates and eating off of them as they are surfing the buffet looking for more food. It was fairly disgusting and aggravating, and I do not apologize for chucking a few dirty looks (even though they didn’t see them since they were staring at their food). The food in the Savor and Taste, I do believe had the same menu-not 100% on that but it felt that way. The Manhattan was so nice and fancy I had to double check that it was complimentary. Haha! I asked the waiter if we could come back or if we only got one chance. He laughed and said, “you come back tomorrow.” One of our waiters even did a few magic tricks for us-he was FABULOUS! They do push the sanitation on you, you will hear ‘Washy Washy’ as they squirt your hands with antibacterial stuff, some places also have sinks if you prefer to wash your hands the real way as I do. Our room was 15768. This was fairly near the elevator so I was worried about noise. Honestly, considering how many people were on board (we had a full ship) it wasn’t bad. I did have my earplugs and slept like a baby. Not sure I could have slept without them, as we are from the country and only hear owls, raccoons and coyotes at night. I thought our bed was VERY comfortable, and slept better there than at home! We had two older kids with us (the extra bed came out of the ceiling-the room steward comes and puts it down for you) and they both slept well also. The balcony was PERFECT! I would have liked a lower seated chair like an Adirondack because the railing was right at my eye level so I had to hunker down or stand to view things-and view things you do! We saw tons of humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, mola mola and dolphins right from our balcony! The room was far more spacious than I thought it would be with room for our luggage under the bed and lots of room for our toiletries in the bathroom. Romel was our room steward and he was absolutely fantastic. Always on the ball and was our super hero when we needed some laundry done ASAP after a dogsled mishap haha! The shower gets its very own paragraph. My 16-year-old daughter was the first to take a shower. My husband and I could only share a look of confusion as we heard her randomly giggle in there. When she finally got out I asked her what was so funny. She told me that I had to take my own shower to find out. Haha! Turns out, the shower is REALLY NICE. I don’t want to spoil your surprise, so skip the rest of this paragraph if you like little surprises. The shower head is detachable (which I love) and has different settings for rain, massage or rain and massage. It also has little squirty things that squirt your legs and feet if you want. We NEVER ran out of hot water and the water got nice and hot. We are currently redoing our bathroom at home, and this is the kind of system we are going to get now haha! The Observation Deck was fairly quiet the first day and a half. Then, people started to realize it existed and then it was completely busy the whole time (unless you are like me and get up at 4 AM). This is where having a balcony really came in handy. Plus, viewing from the Observation Deck is nice, but it is not conducive to taking photos with the glare. Also, if you are kind enough to share a fabulous whale sighting with those around you (fins slapping water and tail flukes) everyone will crowd around you and bounce your chair so your video doesn’t turn out. It was really lovely in there, and the chairs were so comfortable. I wish they had a few more of these decks spread around the ship as well as different seating though to seat more folks. That would have made a huge difference. There is an aft viewing deck. I cannot remember the name of it. BUT little kids are not allowed there at certain times, which is AWESOME. There was never anybody in it, probably because it was off the beaten path and looked exclusive. Let us now talk about the different things to do on board. You need to book these things as SOON AS YOU BOARD THE SHIP if you haven’t already booked them online (some you actually can’t book online). Go to Deck 6 right away and book your shows or game things!!! We spoke to people who were bummed as they never got to book them!! Escape Room-we weren’t sure we wanted to do this but are so glad we gave it a try, it was a LOT of fun! Go Carts-these were pretty fun, and if I was a teenage boy I would have totally bought the unlimited pass and spent most of my time there! Haha! Laser Tag-I admit, I REALLY got into this. My son is a Marine and my husband is a Soldier so I was very proud to hear my son say, “Mom, you really got tactical!” Jergen and the rest of the staff were AMAZINGLY awesome. They made sure we totally understood the guns so that we could have the best experience possible, and if I could have stayed for the rest of the trip, I may have done just that! haha! Havana I could have done without, my whole family went to that and my son refused to go to Jersey Boys after that but my daughter, the ever-dutiful daughter went with because she knew I’d love for her to go. The three of us LOVED Jersey Boys! There weren’t enough ping-pong tables. A few families hogged them all the time so we didn’t even bother trying to play. The pools were really small, one was warmish one was coolish-so everyone was piled into the warmish one. The hot tubs were always full. The water slides were VERY fun. There is one you go down in tubes (either single or double and the DO WEIGH YOU). The slide that launches you like a human torpedo has a minimum weight of 99 pounds (which my daughter literally JUST MADE). I was PETRIFIED to do it as you stand there and the floor drops and you fall down the slide, but I did try. I was wearing an old lady swim suit (I have upper thigh self confidence issues) and wound up getting stuck. A little hatch opened up and a man was peering at me. I asked, “Is it over?” He said, “For you it is” hahahahaha! OMG I had to walk the walk of shame as everyone was staring at me bahahah! I ran (walked briskly since no running is allowed) right back up determined to do it all the way this time. I was informed that my suit had too much friction-he promised it wasn’t my weight which was 124. I tucked that bad boy up and went for round two. Stuck again. Hahaha! It was so much fun, but I was not meant to complete it. My daughter had no issues. Some other random facts: Empty chairs around the sundeck and pool area were scarce. There were loads of empty chairs always stacked up but not in use though, which I found a bit obnoxious. The arcade was for teens only. Sad, because I am the air-hockey champion and I’d have loved to play! My husband got very seasick on a salmon fishing trip a few months prior to our cruise. I was petrified he would be ill on the ship. I bought wrist bands (you can get them in the medical aisle at Walmart) that are for nausea as well as Dramamine, and he did well. He wore the bands the whole time and needed Dramamine the first day and the second to last day. He got sleepy but not sick. YEAH! Book your excursions through the cruise ship-it is really organized if you do. They will have your tickets in your room when you get there (or give them to you if you buy them on board-but I suggest booking online before you leave as some sell out). The tickets will have a meeting time and place on them and from there they direct you what to do. DO NOT STRESS ABOUT THIS-it is very well organized and there are NOT huge swarms of people getting off the ship (EXCEPT IN VICTORIA-I will explain this later). There are people holding sings with your excursion name out on the dock (or just after) and they take you where you need to go and bring you back. This is a stress-free thing, so relax. You really can dress up or down. We are not dressy up people so that was fabulous. People really dressed all over the board on the ship-you will feel comfortable with whatever you choose to wear. There were a decent amount of little kids-but not too bad. Some of the ones there though REALLY screamed-amazing how one screaming kid can ruin over a hundred people’s afternoon. Not sure why you would bring teeny kids on a cruise, but whatever. There were a decent amount of teens, and honestly, I was expecting to see a lot of bad behavior but I didn’t. Well done teenagers of the Bliss! You get two thumbs up from me! If you want a fun little sign on your door-make a fun magnet to bring with. I’m so glad I thought to do that, we made up shirts and a sign for our door. You may want a lanyard and clear folder thing for your key card if you don’t typically have pockets and don’t want to wear a fanny pack or purse. We didn’t, but lots of people did. I had written up an itinerary at home with the days we would be on board so I could keep it all organized. They don’t write down your show times or anything, so you need to remember that. Bring a REAL watch-the kind you can manually set. My phone and fitbit got wonky on the time due to being in airplane mode and we went through a time change so I it got confusing at times. Everyone had told me it was mostly warmish in Alaska at this time of year. Ok, so it was pretty stinking cold-and raining. Haha! Luckily, our first stop was Ketchikan and they had loads of hoodies and jackets for REALLY CHEAP! When you go through the glacier area, be ready to see whales and amazing sights. Park yourself where you can see so you don’t miss a thing! Wi-fi- doesn’t always work in port for some reason, and even if you log out it doesn’t always think you logged out. The woman running it was very accusatory when mentioning this. I’m not an idiot and know to log out but she accused me of not doing so. Probably the only rude person on the ship….but in her defense, she is bombarded with people that don’t understand technology so, I sort of can understand. Siglo (a band) and Phil (Elvis impersonator) were our favorite entertainers on the ship. My daughter and I tried to see as much of Siglo as we could! The gym was nice, my daughter used the treadmills-I would have liked some boxing equipment but I survived. The track was in a strange location. Nobody respected the track lines and those poor runners were really dodging people. The elevators were always busy. We used the stairs as much as possible, to allow for more room on them for those that needed them. Not much wildlife variation on the costal regions. I was expecting to see moose, elk and other creatures and was amazed at the lack of animals. It was very interesting and I loved learning about the costal region. Our excursions: Ketchikan: (the town is RIGHT THERE by the dock) Canoe and Rainforest Hike-this was a very nice time. Our guide was very knowledgeable and it was so fun learning so many things about the forest and the plants. It was raining on us, they had lots of raingear and we had a blast even though it was pouring. Juneau: (you need a shuttle to down) Helicopter and Dogsled. This is a must do. You go to Mattenhal Glacier, Shaynee was our musher and she actually raced her dogs in the Iditerod. She was so sweet and gave us lots of really awesome information! I was scared to get on the helicopter, my first time, but it was really awesome! Skagway: (a decent walk to town, but totally doable) Bike, hike and float. The bike ride takes you through a cemetery where you get lots of fun information. I am SO GLAD we did this tour. It was raining again, and they provided rain gear if you wanted it. They don’t explain what you really do on the site, so I was leery. You get to eat some berries (if they are in season) and learn so many fun facts about the area-I had no idea how cool Skagway was! The hike was FANTASTIC! Up a mountain and down to where you float down the river! The river float was really nice too, as it gives you a nice chance to see eagle nests and take some photos from a different perspective. Alyssa was very knowledgeable, I plied her with tons of questions and she was able to answer all of them! Victoria: If you ask me, this is a pointless stop. It is more of an ‘afterthought’ and I actually feel like it was a complete dud. First of all, there is hardly any time, and second of all there are very few excursion because Victoria is pretty stupid. We did the Buchart Gardens and Victoria tour. WHAT A MESS. A swarm of people all got off the ship at the same time doing the same excursion. The bus was so packed that my family couldn’t sit together on the bus ride that never seemed to end. LOTS of information from the tour guide, but it was BORING. Not his fault, he was great, it is just a boring place haha! Seriously, it was like an hour and a half on this bus, with a very nice stranger and I just wanted it to end. It ended in a very lovely garden, but by this time we were so annoyed that we just wanted to be back on the ship and looking for whales off our balcony. If I had it to do over, we would have stayed on board for sure and just enjoyed the view or pool to ourselves. We went with the Port Vallet when leaving the ship. How wonderful that choice was. They took our luggage the night before (so it is imperative you have a carryon for the items you will use in the morning), they give you your boarding passes and luggage tags for the plane, bring your luggage to the airport and give you stickers to wear so you can feel all fancy with your ‘Port Vallet’ sticker and then you can get off the ship at the earlier time (from 6:45 AM to 8 AM). Once you get off, there is a desk that you can buy shuttle tickets to the airport-which was very painless. We got right on a shuttle and were at the airport with plenty (too much time) for our 11:40 flight out. I have blogged about this where I will be adding more photos-I shot in RAW and it will take me days to get them all ready to go. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I will start off with a couple of positives. For the size of this ship, the boarding process was effortless. Once we arrived at the terminal, we were on the ship within 15 minutes. The food was really good at every spot. I didn't find ... Read More
I will start off with a couple of positives. For the size of this ship, the boarding process was effortless. Once we arrived at the terminal, we were on the ship within 15 minutes. The food was really good at every spot. I didn't find anything I didn't like. I had the drink package and so did my husband. They allowed you to get two drinks at a time which was really nice because seating in the public places was very limited. The beds and pillows were very comfortable. Ok now for the negative. I have been on 20+ cruises. Mostly on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Carnival. I am a smoker. There was absolutely not enough space for smokers. There was a 3ft by 10ft section on the back deck on floor 17. It was always crowded and no place to sit. The smoke stacks were spewing debris which were staining your clothes. The first day they closed this for a private function for 2 hours leaving you with nothing but an even smaller place to smoke, the cigar bar. They were kicking the smokers out because it was meant for cigars but that didn't last long with this group. The other place was the casino which was only open while sailing also with poor ventilation. One of the specialty restaurants, Ocean Blue, was located on deck 7 in the middle of the ship between two bars. It was a busy area of for entertainment and shops. All you smelt was seafood (which I like) but it was very off putting for most. That's something they should relocate. Also most ships take pictures off to the side or on the stairs but no not NCL. They did theirs in the main walk ways of each busy levels constantly stopping traffic. Like I said I had the alcohol drink package. I could get wine, beers, hard liquor, soda and juices but a bottle of water I had to pay for. This infuriated me to no end. One night I was in the night club late and decided to get some filtered water out of the machine before I went bed. They locked the doors to the buffet and dissembled the water machine and juice machine located on the pool deck. I was livid. I found most of the bartenders and deck help very rude. You would say "Good Morning" passing by and nothing. The bartenders would just walk up to you and stand there waiting for you to talk. I never experienced this on any other cruise. They are always up beat and really make your vacation special. Not here. Granted we were heading to Alaska but there were no sail away parties and very little entertainment on the pool deck at all. The infamous White Party that NCL always promotes was nowhere to be found. They never listed it in any of the daily schedules. We were also told they do a cowboy theme as well, never saw that announced either. I heard that you had to make reservations ahead of time but it really is ridiculous when everything is sold out and yet when you go there it's half empty. Not to mention that you have to pay for laser tag and go carts. On Royal Caribbean zip-line, flow-rider and much more....all FREE! Although Alaska was breath taking I would suggest a different cruise line. If you do chose this ship here's a tip....any card work in the light slot so you can still charge your electronics while you are out of your room. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first time cruising NCL, we usually cruise RCCL. (We actually sailed on the S.S. Norway, which was an NCL ship, but a completely different experience almost 20 years ago.) Pre-cruise - Traveled to Seattle (SEATAC) the ... Read More
This was our first time cruising NCL, we usually cruise RCCL. (We actually sailed on the S.S. Norway, which was an NCL ship, but a completely different experience almost 20 years ago.) Pre-cruise - Traveled to Seattle (SEATAC) the afternoon before departure and used the light rail rather than UBER/taxi to get downtown. (Some people might have difficulty with the long walk to the train from the luggage pick up area.) This only cost $6, so was a very easy way to get into town. Train was almost full, but still room for my husband and I and 4 small/medium suitcases. Not many people get on between the airport and downtown Seattle so shouldn’t be a problem even if it is almost full when you board the train. Got off the train at Westlake for a short walk to the Mayflower Park Hotel. ($215) Great service at the hotel and great location. Just a few blocks walk to the Public Market, a lot of restaurants and shopping nearby and access to the monorail. They offer $10/pp? shuttle to the pier. (NCL had given us an option of a "check-in" time, so I selected 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. Should have realized that regardless of what NCL said, there was no way that I would be getting on the ship any earlier than the typical 11:30 - 12:00 time frame.) Because of this, we skipped the shuttle - the earliest they offered was 11:00 a.m.? and we took a cab. Only would have been a few dollars, but the traffic line to drop us off was jammed because of the trucks loaded with ship's supplies trying to turn into port. I believe had we arrived at our usual 11:00 a.m. time, these trucks would not have caused as much of a problem, but am not sure about this. We ended up getting out of the cab 1 block north and walking the last block to the Terminal. Terminal - different than anything we had experienced. NCL reps didn't seem to be very organized (maybe still too focused on getting people off the ship.) Looked around for porters (there are none!) and asked three NCL staff where to drop off luggage. Finally got a straight answer and was directed to the far south end of the terminal (perhaps where our taxi driver would have dropped us off?) You walk a short distance and take your luggage up to the door yourself and hand it directly to the staff loading the carts to be put on the ship. This might be a Seattle Port issue and not an NCL issue, but much prefer dropping my bags right at curbside as in my other cruises. 9:30 a.m. - Once inside the terminal, check-in was extremely quick, but we were then sent to a waiting room to sit for two hours. Was assigned Group 5, even though we were some of the first people there. (Probably, Haven, Suites, Latitudes Higher level, and Handicap groups ahead of us.) Boarding started for our group at 11:30 a.m. and we were on the ship in minutes. Handicap room (assigned to us randomly) 9924 was huge with a big balcony. Room steward was great, just one of those types that you never saw. I missed interacting with him, but he kept the room clean and responded to all of my notes. You get pool towels in the room - can check out blankets on the pool deck to use on your balcony. First Day – First experience with staff members that didn’t have the correct information. Unfortunately, not the last. Asked 3 or 4 staff members where we could sign up for the Race Track and Laser Tag. Was given incorrect information several times and finally found our way to one of the Kiosks located near the elevators. A few "seasoned" travelers standing there with lists in hand, booking their activities for the week. We had booked specialty restaurants and main shows online almost 90 days before, but you had to book the Comedy Shows, Laser Tag, and Race Track at the Kiosks. Talked to quite a few disappointed families on board that did not know to book the minute they boarded and to board early. By sail away, most, if not all of the reservations for the week were full. Make this a priority, especially if your kids are looking forward to those activities. The Garden Cafe (Buffet) was a madhouse, as expected on embarkation day, ate at “The Local” - great food all week and good choice when other venues are crowded. Talked to several large groups/families - they had problems all week and were never able to find a seat in the Garden Cafe. Had to eat all of their meals in the dining room due to no tables being available, and no seating for larger groups. This was one area where I think NCL is overwhelmed by the number of people on the ship. RCCL (ALLURE) always seemed to be able to find a seat. Entertainment - Did not book the Comedy Shows right away. After the opening night preview show, where they presented a short preview of each comedian and show, we tried to book the Comedy Shows, but it was too late. The Comedy Shows always had a huge "standby" line and we never were able to get into those - think the venue might be too small for the number of people on the ship. Though the Main Theater is only one level, the "standby" lines in the main theater seemed to always be able to accommodate people because of "no shows." Enjoyed "Jersey Boys" but "Havana" was only so-so, a lot of people left early. (Very comfortable seating in the theater!) Cavern Club - VERY POPULAR - "Siglo" group plays covers, and was actually better than the Beatles impersonators. Unfortunately - very small venue - standing room only for every show and uncomfortably crowded. Don't know how early you would have to get there to enjoy the music - maybe an hour? Hope that NCL moves these to a larger location or expands the venue if possible. Typical Cruise Director run game shows, etc. People seemed to enjoy these quite a bit. This did crowd the Atrium area quite a bit. Deal or No Deal, etc. Played the "Escape" game one day - Teams of 10 people, 45 minutes, was a lot of fun. You solve puzzles to figure out a solution to the game. This was held in the "Q" restaurant - large venue, rarely full for the country music band, maybe they should move the Cavern Club in here. Ports - Always smooth disembarkation at the ports - NCL does a great job with this. Shore Excursions - Ketchikan - Rib Boat - very rough ride - more than expected because of the sea conditions - (take that into consideration if you choose this.) Tour operator threw fish to some eagles and they dived down right next to the boat. Very exciting. Didn't realize that eagles were going to become as common as pigeons by the end of the trip. ha ha Didn't see any other wildlife, but still had fun and enjoyed the scenery. Thought the prices were better at this port than the others, but very little time to shop/sightsee because of the excursions and short port times. Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier Canoe - great excursion, approx. a 16 person canoe, paddled to the Mendenhall Glacier and a waterfall. A lot of work, but worth it. Plan to get wet. They have you paddle right near the base of the waterfall - what a rush! Tracy Arm Fiord Cruise - best excursion I've ever done. $249 and worth every penny. You leave the ship as it is leaving port and then rejoin the ship at the glacier later in the evening. You are able to go places that the ship doesn't go, AND get extremely close to the glacier. Saw whales, seals, otters, and was up close and personal to the glacier to see it calving. Skagway - Chilcoot Eagle Preserve Float - paid as much for this as for the Tracy Arm cruise and it was my least favorite. 45 minute ferry ride, 20 minute van ride, for a short time on the river, then another van ride and ferry ride back to the ship. Saw eagles, but nothing else. (We were too early for the salmon, and hence the bears) Too much travel for too little time on the river. Victoria - Whale Watching - great excursion - saw a lot of orcas up close. Guest Services - Had a very hard time communicating with them - on other ships, usually staffed by people that speak very clearly and are good communicators - not the case here. Very strong accents, hard to understand and several people traveling with us given wrong information about luggage, disembarkation, etc. Similar to what we experienced when we first got on the ship. I know they sent their "best" to man this new ship, so this was very confusing to me. Also given wrong information about access to the bow – was told by three crew members to use deck 8 doors forward, but this is only open on Juneau/Glacier cruising. Specialty Restaurants - Had the Dining Package - picked Teppanyaki - great experience with our table chef and very good food. Other tables did not seem to be enjoying as much; Cagney's - good meal, not fantastic; Cucina's - good meal, not fantastic. Not the tip-top service that I would have expected at these, but still good service except for getting drinks refilled. Main Dining Rooms - good food at all three - a notch up from NCCL in my opinion. Service was a notch down. I guess I miss the rapport with the same waiter every night. Did enjoy being able to walk in anytime that we wanted. Drink service was poor at ALL restaurants, including specialty, if you were not drinking alcohol. Almost never asked if we wanted more water, tea, etc. Casino - GREAT having a non-smoking casino AND my husband won a cruise! Slots seemed a little "looser" than RCCL. VERY FEW waiters offering drink service. Race Track - I posted a "warning" about this on the NCL boards - too much to post here. Laser Tag - Staff seemed disorganized and it took 45 minutes to check in, but really enjoyed the session, even though it was only 2 - 5 minute? sessions. Safety/Cleanliness - Haven't been on RCCL in two years, but NCL sure seems to have taken the cleanliness/hand washing to a whole new level. Never have been sprayed with sanitizer as much as I have on this ship. Also the safety drill was extremely thorough - a step up from RCCL in my opinion. Photography – Compared to RCCL, VERY FEW photographers roaming around the ship and bothering you to take your picture. This was a plus for me, but might not be for others that enjoy the photo ops. Disembarkation - Did the Self-Carry because our flight was too early to take advantage of the Luggage Valet. Off the ship in minutes. Was told that we our flight was too early to book the bus transportation to the airport, but were offered this for $20 each as soon as we disembarked and took advantage of this. Overall - Spent more than we ever have on another cruise, both for the fare and excursions, but that might be Alaska and not just NCL. A lot of kids onboard, probably because of the waterslides, race track, and laser tag, but unfortunately for them, not very many opportunities to use these venues. Didn't experience as many problems as others with the overcrowding because we stayed on our AFT Balcony a lot. Felt that the Bliss wasn’t really worth the extra money, but still a great trip - will visit Alaska again (maybe a little later when the salmon are running and more opportunity to see bears, etc.. My opinion, NCL has the advantage in dining whenever you want to, and a little better food, but RCCL is better at handling large groups of people onboard, and seems like a "friendlier" cruise overall. Will be cruising NCL on the Escape for our free cruise in November and it will be interesting to compare experiences. Will probably give NCL another try for an interesting itinerary. 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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Alaska was our bucket list. We booked far in advance and were so excited. My husband and I traveled from Arkansas w our 12 year old and my in laws. Our stateroom with balcony was very clean and spacious. Our stewardess was wonderful. The ... Read More
Alaska was our bucket list. We booked far in advance and were so excited. My husband and I traveled from Arkansas w our 12 year old and my in laws. Our stateroom with balcony was very clean and spacious. Our stewardess was wonderful. The cruise in a nutshell was terrible. Incredibly crowded. Specialty dining, go carts, laser tag, and spa needed a reservation.. that could not be booked until on board. Once getting to our room spa was booked up, laser tag booked. Laser tag.. addtiontal cost. Go carts the only reservation available was 1030 at night.. $10pp.. too cold to swim.. shows were not kid friendly.. lots of cussing.. if you are not a gambler, kareokeer or heavy drinker this cruise is not for you. The activities on board included napkin folding and towel folding classes... let that sink in... $10,000 cruise with additional $400+ just for entertainment. $6 a game to bowl $2-$3 for arcade games. Juneau and Victoria were the only ports worth seeing. In Juneau we did a float plane and it was amazing. Burchart gardens in Victoria are stunning. Disney cruise next time and what I recommend for SURE! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have enjoyed every cruise I have taken, but I was extremely disappointed in the Norwegian Bliss and will never take a Norwegian cruise again. It was one difficult thing after another. First of all, each day, the elevators were ... Read More
I have enjoyed every cruise I have taken, but I was extremely disappointed in the Norwegian Bliss and will never take a Norwegian cruise again. It was one difficult thing after another. First of all, each day, the elevators were overcrowded, it took a long time to use them, and people were cramped in them like sardines. Second, you could not find a place to sit in the buffet deck—it was ALWAYS crowded. Third, the reservations for go-cart racing, laser tag, and restaurants were a joke because they had all booked up the first day, so no walk-ins could attend. Due to unusual delays, many who had already reserved had long waits in line, up to an hour and a half. These were advertised as some of the special features for their new ship, and they were not accessible to most guests. Fourth, there was no structure/organization for embarkation and during the the first day drill, an announcement was made, no one knew where to go, and instructions were unclear. Fifth, disembarkation was a mess, again, with no clear instructions and instead of disembarking by certain times for certain decks, guests left when they wanted, again causing overcrowding. Sixth, some of the staff were happy and had smiles, but most were tired and frustrated, with very few smiles, not always providing the best service. They did not go out of their way to please us because they were so tired and frustrated with the lack of direction and overcrowding of guests. Seventh, WiFi and on-ship texting was not accessible and many people were waiting at guest services for a fix during the first few days. Eighth, most of the trivia/dancing/games took place in the Atrium where people were always looking for a place to sit due to constant overcrowding. They should have had these events in the theater where enough seating was available. Finally, you had to place an electronic card in your room at all times in order to keep the lights on and charge cell phones. If you forgot to take out the card, you would get locked in the room. Everything was a task. When you are on a cruise, it should be easy going and RELAXING, but this cruise was stressful and frustrating. There were some positives. Havana, Jersey Boys, and the comedy shows were awesome. The buffet food was tasty with many options. The rooms were spacious with nice configurations. However, again, the negatives outweighed the positives. Norwegian should know better—they have been around for a long time. I do not recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The Norwegian Bliss-less I should have known that this experience was going to be atrocious when the booking and check in process was so terrible. Our two kids are 12 and 15 and very shy. One of my concerns was them being allowed to be ... Read More
The Norwegian Bliss-less I should have known that this experience was going to be atrocious when the booking and check in process was so terrible. Our two kids are 12 and 15 and very shy. One of my concerns was them being allowed to be in the same club (our prior experience with Disney allowed them to be). One of the Norwegian reps assured me they would be able to be in the same club so I went ahead with the booking. Onboard we found out that they are NOT allowed to be in the same club. Another reason we wanted the kids to be together was that the NCL app does not allow anyone less than 14 to use it so the 12 year old couldn’t communicate with us if she needed but could contact us if she was with her brother. The club manager assured me she would be able to call our app anytime she wanted. She went once and asked a counselor to let her call us but the counselor WOULDN’T let her. Instead, the counselor called the kids' room asking us to pick her up instead of reaching us with the app we PAID EXTRA for (see below). We got her an hour later and she wouldn’t go back. We had to pay almost $10 each phone to communicate onboard and the app worked 3/5 times. Either the notification wasn’t going through (even though the notification was turned on) or you could see you got a message but when you opened it up to see the message there was no message. The internet options were vague and my husband purchased a 50 minute usage thinking it was for 50 minutes total but didn’t realize it was a continuous 50 minutes so he used it up in the shower (and this was $100!). There were too many people onboard. We couldn’t see a show, sit to eat dinner or enjoy any of the things on board because they were all booked up. WE ATE IN OUR ROOM FOR BREAKFAST almost every day. People were reserving rows of seats in the observation lounge and in the theatre and were not told by staff it was not allowed. Also in this regard, people were smoking in the Cavern Club but the waiter serving them drinks didn’t kick them out! We were able to get a seat at Savor one evening but it took 2 hours to eat. I accidentally spilled my water and informed the waiter but he turned away and ignored me and went ahead to serve two tables. The assistant plopped down two napkins 20 minutes later and we had to clean it up ourselves. It took 40 minutes to get the kids sodas after asking 3 different people. And we were asked by three separate people if the $2.50 upcharge was ok for the wine we chose. We barely saw the actual waiter. Being busy on the ship is no excuse – you know how many people are on there and need to staff it appropriately. The next day someone sent chocolate covered strawberries to our kids' room (12 and 15 as above) with a creepy message from a male asking if they received the strawberries without mention of what they were for. I had to wait 15 minutes in guest relations line (because there was always a line) to make sure some creep wasn’t trying anything funny with our kids and found out it was an apology about the dinner. Seriously? We tried il Bistro with not much success. The waitress had no idea what a sommelier was when I asked her to speak to about someone about pairing wine with the escargot. The bartender came and bluntly just asked what I wanted to drink. The scallops were inedible – like rubber. Note that this restaurant was not complimentary and we had to pay extra. We left our bag at the Whiskey bar one evening so we checked with guest services to see if anyone turned it in. They said no. I asked the next day just in case and it had been there the ENTIRE time but the first person didn’t even look. Overall, this was the worse experience of my life, put a ton of stress on our family, and ruined our entire summer. As a follow-up, the only way to leave a complaint is an online process. I did this and received an email apologizing and was offered a free "welcome aboard" package on our next trip, which is a joke because I will NEVER sail with Norwegian again. I called Guest relations trying to speak with someone about the response and was on hold for 20 minutes just to get transferred to a voicemail. Please share and stay away from Norwegian. 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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