6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Wanted 2 of our grandchildren to have the Alaskan adventure. Chose the NCL -Bliss, because of the activities & new. Before I get into the negative, I would like to say it was a beautiful ship, food was very good, & staff was ... Read More
Wanted 2 of our grandchildren to have the Alaskan adventure. Chose the NCL -Bliss, because of the activities & new. Before I get into the negative, I would like to say it was a beautiful ship, food was very good, & staff was pleasant. I would also like to mention my husband & I have cruised a lot, (over 40 cruises, different cruise lines). We are Latitude Members (Silver) with NCL. (World travelers), so kinda know what I'm talking about. On the Latitude note-we received NOTHING, let me repeat NOTHING for this status, No invite to any parties, nor any extra perks Wine/or Champ. brought to our room. Very unhappy about this. Because my travel agent mention in her cabin instructions that the beds were to be put together, well, NCL didn't want to do that because my husband & I use different last names,(I was an Exec. for a Co.& chose NOT to change my name) & that there were children in the room. our 2 grandchildren & we've been married over 20 yrs). You must SIGN up for everything as soon as you step foot on the ship..if not, you won't do anything. The evening entertainment is first come. Specialty Dinners..I booked & PAID for in Feb. were filled up thru the cruise, so I spoke with the Sp. Dinner head person, & 2 hrs.later she gave me times & reserv. Everything cost $$ to do, this I knew, but things were filled up the 2nd morning of the cruise. nothing available. Before the cruise I had asked many questions, & the answers I received were different when on the ship. I have more to say, just ran out of room. Very Disappointed with NCL - Bliss. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The NCL Bliss is a gorgeous ship. The common areas, theater, bars, casinos, cabins, pool area, clubs, all of it are excellent. However, NCL has a lot of issues to work out. * Spa capacity to thermal suite is limited to 120 passengers ... Read More
The NCL Bliss is a gorgeous ship. The common areas, theater, bars, casinos, cabins, pool area, clubs, all of it are excellent. However, NCL has a lot of issues to work out. * Spa capacity to thermal suite is limited to 120 passengers required to buy one week passes, which are sold out pretty much by the time the ship pushes off the dock. That means less than 3% of passengers can get access to the sauna, steam room, cold room, salt room, etc etc. * The Garden Cafe (ship buffet) on deck 16 was commonly out of seating. * The fitness center only had 18 yoga slots, which also required a full cruise pass of 3 sessions. Otherwise you would have to go on the stand by list. * We could not get into the shows we wanted to see (Happy Hour Prohibition / Beatles Live). Happy Hour Prohibition was sold out before 1:30 PM (before the ship pushed off the dock) and the Beatles Live in the Cavern was always filled to capacity. * Many of the onboard activities were filled to capacity with hopelessly large groups of people waiting standby. * There were hardly any quiet areas on the ship. The ship's library was by far the worst one I've ever been in and was an outlier on the quality of other areas on the ship. * We had a long blonde hair baked into a roll in our meal at Ocean Blue. The staff did what they could, but it cast a pall over the meal to say the least. * In Juneau the ship had to dock away from downtown. This required thousands of passengers to be shuttled by bus, even many of those with planned activities to the city center. There simply wasn't enough buses/road capacity to do this efficiently. For the return trip by an hour before onboard time the line was so hopeless long throngs of passengers elected to walk back. Realistically, you only have 4 hours in Juneau if you use the provided shuttle - so be aware. * Elevators were frequently filled to capacity. We used the stairs mainly but for disabled passengers, the elderly and those with luggage it caused a lot of issues. Pro-tip - go to midship elevators, they were generally better. On return from shore excursions walk up to deck 5, go to the opposite end of the ship elevators - they will be a near express back to your deck. * We never heard our neighbors from our cabin, but this is the first cruise ship I've been on where I could hear the people walking in their cabin on deck 15 above us. Maybe someone heavy? Don't judge this for the whole ship as I can only speak for our cabin. * The first day guest services was utterly overwhelmed, both at the deck and on the phone. The staffing level wasn't appropriate. * We were lucky to get into our restaurants of choice for our meal package - but we heard from other guests they were not so lucky. Again, no capacity. Not a first time cruiser - so I know a lot of the tricks. Reserve as much as possible in advance (only 30% of seating for activities made available prior to the cruise). Don't walk, run to the reservation desks. Use the kiosks when available. We did all this to no avail. I don't know how NCL can fix some of these issues - but they have kinks to work out. As for tips on the ship: * Ocean Blue is amazing - best meal we had on the ship. Highly encourage you going there. Outstanding wine list * Portions at the restaurants we ate at, as well as the main dining room are human sized. One exception, portions at La Cucina are HUGE. Not a complaint, just a pro-tip, we both ordered salads as a starter and an appetizer to share at La Cucina and we could have shared one salad and not had the appetizer. * For dinner we would go to Manhattan outside of our meal plan. We were able to just walk up for dinner every time, it was quiet, excellent service, food and menu. If you don't want to wait or deal with crowds at the Garden Cafe it is a great choice and the service is impeccable. * The pool area was lightly used despite good weather and relatively warm conditions for Alaska. The pool deck could almost be called quiet most of the time. I never saw one person go down the slides! Pools are heated and vary in temp from 70 to 95 degrees. Don't be a wuss, use the pools! * On deck 8 you can do a walk on the outer deck around roughly 3/4 of the ship. It is actually less crowded than the single lane jogging track on deck 17. * There is a light breakfast and lunch in the Observation Deck on deck 15. Additionally you can get your meal at the Garden Cafe on deck 16, and walk down one flight of stairs. One of the nicest areas of the ship. * Margaritaville has free coffee/tea/etc. and danishes during breakfast in the AM. There is literally no one there, it is almost all outside (covered) with amazing views. If you don't want all you can eat bacon, or just want to sip a second cup of coffee a great place to go. * Only one bar (including for soft drinks) in the Garden Cafe - so if you have kids with the drink package be aware! * Even if you're not there for a romantic trip, book the Romance Package. It is a steal for $!69. For $169 you get a bottle of champagne a 6 huge chocolate covered strawberries at the start of the cruise. On the second day you get canapes delivered to your room. You get dinner at La Cucina with a bottle of wine with dinner (book it right away!!!!). You also get tea service on the day of your choice. Book tea service on Friday (last full day of cruise before Victoria). The tray of pastries, cookies, etc. is HUGE. You'll never finish it. We put a note to please keep on it and had it for our breakfast on Saturday AM, avoiding the crush of last day diners in the Garden Cafe. I simply took the pots provided and refilled with hot water and coffee. You also get an 8 X 10 photo with the package. When you add it all up, it is a great value. Oh, the tea service, could easily cover a family of 4. * Book everything you can before you get on the ship. If you can't it is best to divide and conquer. One go to dinner reservations and one go to the box office. For dinner have your days and times already planned if you want to go to the upscale restaurants. Cagneys, Le Bistro, and La Cucina will fill fast. There will be some relief when the weather gets warmer and outside seating becomes more accessible. Same with the box office, have your coordinated list. If you want to use the thermal suite in the spa be aware there are no day passes (regardless of the marketing material) you must buy for the whole week. If that isn't an issue RUN to the spa and buy your passes right away. * If you want a quiet place to talk or relax, the Deck 15 observation deck is likely better, further away from the bar. The library is serious weak sauce from a facilities stand point. * Really doesn't matter port or starboard side for view. You'll have it coming or going. Starboard is better heading north, port is better heading south. * In port your cell phone is going to be basically useless if you're in the ship. Too much metal. You'll need to be on deck or close to windows to make a cell call (meh, that's with all ships). * For activities or entertainment with no advanced reservations, show up early, think 20 to 30 minutes early. If you don't you most likely won't be able to participate. 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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