1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We went to Alaska - amazing! My biggest complaint about Norwegian is the extra cost for EVERYTHING! Specialty dining, laser tag, race car, BINGO, deal or no deal and many more things had an extra cost. Also, there was not enough seating ... Read More
We went to Alaska - amazing! My biggest complaint about Norwegian is the extra cost for EVERYTHING! Specialty dining, laser tag, race car, BINGO, deal or no deal and many more things had an extra cost. Also, there was not enough seating in the Atrium for the shows (which were fantastic - we miss you Dan-Dan!) The staff was excellent. The service was great. The food was pretty good for the most part. There were SO MANY choices in the Garden Buffet! We did two excursions through the ship. The white pass train ride was ok, but wish we had done something different on the way back. The scenery was beautiful, but boring after a while. We also did the Musher's Dog Sled Camp - loved it! The kids loved it! That was the highlight of our trip. We did an excursion outside of the ship which was ok - whale watching & crab feast. The crabs were delicious. The whale watching was beautiful, but if you're looking for a Seaworld show, this will not be it. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my first experience on a Norwegian cruise and was unsure what to expect after reading the negative reviews on this site. Although I was somewhat concerned about the negative reviews, my inclination was to consider that the Bliss ... Read More
This was my first experience on a Norwegian cruise and was unsure what to expect after reading the negative reviews on this site. Although I was somewhat concerned about the negative reviews, my inclination was to consider that the Bliss was a brand new ship and there might have been some kinks to work out during the initial voyages. Perhaps these travelers who did not have a good experience with this ship were unfortunate not to have waited until the crew was familiar with the new vessel. The Bad (or what some see as the bad): The first thing to address is the elevator situation. Yes, it is true that there were certain times (e.g. 6:00 p.m., 8:30 a.m., or just before or after arriving at a port) when it could be a challenge to get an elevator that was not completely filled. That said, we never waited more than two or three elevator cars before we were able to find one that was not unreasonably crowded. If you plan your trips to the upper decks or the disembarkation deck with the knowledge that there are 4,000 other passengers on-board, you can avoid most of the trouble with the elevators as described by others. Another trick was to use the aft elevators, which were usually much less crowded than those at mid-ship. You should be aware that, at least on deck 10 where our cabin was located, not all of the decks allow access to both elevator banks from the staterooms. Thus, whenever we were going to or from our stateroom, we were limited to only the mid-ship elevators. I would consider this a minor inconvenience at worst and definitely not such a problem that I would not consider a future cruise on the Bliss. Since there are so many other passengers, it could be trouble getting reservations to shows or restaurants for large parties. It is best to plan ahead and make reservations as soon as you get on-board, or earlier if possible. That said, we did not make reservations for the race cars and were able to get right on without any wait by choosing a time that was not busy (right after they opened in the morning). If you think you can wait until the last minute to make a reservation at the most popular time, it isn't going to happen. Also large groups can be a problem for the restaurants, but we found that this can be managed by breaking a large party in to a few smaller parties. Then, they will generally make room for you even if you do not have reservations. Again, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by choosing times that are off-peak. Something that some might consider a "bad" is that NCL has designed the ship with families in mind, so you can expect some children to be around. Occasional strollers made the elevator situation somewhat worse, but again, not a very big deal. We did not notice any children running around the ship unattended, misbehaving, or causing other passengers to not enjoy their cruise. NCL provides a bunch of things for kids to do, so the idea that they allow children to run wild on the ship is simply untrue. Clearly, the negative reviewers in this regard would be happier on a line like Princess who caters more to adult travelers than families with small kids. The Good: There was a lot to like about the Bliss. The buffet is huge and there were usually redundant stations so you could get custom-ordered food like omelettes relatively fast. Did I mention that the food on this ship was outstanding? Well, it was. We ate at four of the specialty restaurants with our favorite being Teppanyaki. We also very much enjoyed Cagney's, but all of them were very good. The standard dining rooms (Taste and Savor) were also excellent and were pretty much what you would expect from a cruise dining room. The menu selections were not as extensive as I have seen on other ships, but they made up for lack of variety in the quality of the food. Even the buffet, which carried many of the same main courses and most of the same deserts offered in the dining rooms, was excellent. Nobody objected to us taking french fries or ice-cream back to our stateroom to eat while watching T.V. at night. One thing some might not like is that you cannot get a soda to drink with your meal unless you get it from the bar. There is a full bar integrated into the buffet, so it isn't really inconvenient, but there is no table beverage service for drinks as there is on some other ships. I chose to stick to water or iced-tea, which are self-serve at the buffet along with coffee, milk, and juice, depending upon the time of day. Although my wife and I did not take advantage of many of the on-ship amenities like the water slides or the laser-tag, they are available and others in our large party seemed to enjoy them. I did not attend any of the shows, so I can't offer any opinion about those. As usual, we opted to do our shore excursioning on our own and not book anything through NCL. Overall, our experience was excellent and I would consider another cruise on the Bliss in the future. The large number of passengers is only an issue during muster and possibly disembarkation, but it was not the big deal others are making of it unless you are a very impatient person. This is a great ship for people who want to take their children on a cruise with them and have stuff for them to do. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this ship because it was brand new, and had the Alaska ports we were looking for. There is not one thing negative I can say about this ship. I read many complaints about having to wait 15 minutes for an elevator. Not true. Several ... Read More
Chose this ship because it was brand new, and had the Alaska ports we were looking for. There is not one thing negative I can say about this ship. I read many complaints about having to wait 15 minutes for an elevator. Not true. Several times we were actually on alone, and never waited more than 7 minutes which to some seems like an eternity. Room cleanliness was second to none, and our steward Joseph on Deck 10 couldn't have been nicer, or happier. We had the dining package, and Cagney's, Q, Le Bistro, and La Cucina were our choices, and all four could not have been any better. Staff, food, and presentation were superb. The entire ship staff was always smiling, and you could tell they really enjoyed their job, and interacting with the guests. The whole shore excursion process was amazing on how getting everyone off the ship, onto the right bus, or boat was a major feat but you would never know it. Checking in process took a total of 18 minutes. Our room was very well appointed, and a larger bathroom than on most ships. Beautiful new ship with great amenities. I will be booking this again for next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
One of the main reasons we chose this cruise was because of the supposed cigar lounge. The cigar lounge was TERRIBLE!!! No ventilation it was SMALL! There was a sign saying no cigarette smokers allowed and yet the place was full of them! ... Read More
One of the main reasons we chose this cruise was because of the supposed cigar lounge. The cigar lounge was TERRIBLE!!! No ventilation it was SMALL! There was a sign saying no cigarette smokers allowed and yet the place was full of them! We complained to the attendant and he told us he wasn’t going to make them leave. Also the last day of the cruise the gift shops and the casino closed at 11:30 am and did not open for the remainder of the cruise. All the restaurants were very good except the Q. They tried to get us to eat everything on the menu. My wife had the brisket she said it was very good! I had the pulled pork is was kind of mushy. The shows Havana and Jersey Boys we great!! Best part of the cruise!! All in all a good cruise but if you are going to relax and smoke some good cigars you need to find another cruise line! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The new ship is beautiful, with many dining options, and gorgeous spaces. The crew is wonderful and attentive, and Dan Dan the cruise director and his group were very funny and entertaining. The food is above average in most restaurants, ... Read More
The new ship is beautiful, with many dining options, and gorgeous spaces. The crew is wonderful and attentive, and Dan Dan the cruise director and his group were very funny and entertaining. The food is above average in most restaurants, but the specialty restaurants should have more vegetarian options for those people who want to enjoy them with their vegetarian spouses. That being said, maybe because this was an Alaskan cruise and many outdoor spaces were not used in the evenings due to colder weather/wind, the venue spaces were really too small for the number of people onboard. They do try to schedule things in different places, but the popular activities you had to arrive WAY in advance if you had any hope of seeing or participating. The observation lounge was gorgeous, and would have been a great place to hang out, except for the people who would literally take the best seating and stay there for hours, if not all day. They would leave their stuff to get something to eat, or go to the bathroom, but otherwise monopolized the space. In the entire 7 days, we had zero opportunities to use the lounge chairs in the space except for one morning at 5:30 AM before an excursion. I am not sure how they should do it, but there needs to be a time limit on the use of these areas/and or the best seating, so others get the opportunity to utilize the space. Maybe use your room key for access, and start charging after a certain amount of time? Also the same in the hot tubs. In Spice H20, one group stayed in the hot tub for over 4 hours (we kept checking). The new Food Republic looked good, but was very expensive when there were so many other good options on board for free. we never saw anyone in there, day or night. Ocean Blue was a HUGE disappointment. The seafood selections were few, and the halibut I had was tasteless. The one TINY piece of lobster and crab on the plate was overdone and chewy. The fish was dry. Our party's scallops were inedible. The appetizers were good, but very unimaginative. For the upcharge, I expected a lot more than average to below average seafood. There definitely should have been an Alaskan King Crab option since we were in Alaska, but no crab or lobster was ever offered onboard, even at seafood night at the buffet. Plenty of shrimp, mussells, and clams, but no lobster or crab. Would not recommend Ocean Blue at all, even if the did away with the upcharge. It's just not worth it. We had better fish in the complimentary dining room. A large part of the upper deck of the ship is taken up with the go-karts, laser tag, and slides. The slides were fun. The putt-putt golf was laughable, and difficult to find. The go-karts were dangerous, as they let small children, and teenagers/preteens with no driving experience to race around at 30 mph. I met several people that had been injured by getting hit by these kids. One man had a broken tailbone, and had to be taken to a hospital in Skagway. They need to have a kids only time with much slower speeds, and allow only licensed drivers at other time. Also, the price went from $5 to $10, which is absurd, and they allowed people to book multiple time slots at once, so most spaces were taken by the time we left port. Overall, a huge amount of space was take up for pay for play sports that was unusable by many passengers. Kids were allowed to run rampant, and many younger children were in the adult pool even with the stated age limit. Also, not enough dancing/music past 10 pm. Since most of the day is taken over by kids, more nighttime activities for adults only would have been welcome. For an Alaskan cruise, which should be more sedate, I would probably choose another, more adult cruiseline. The rooms were great, as was the service and crew. With some adjustments, this could be a really great ship and experience. I gave public rooms an average rating because of the overcrowding, and the fitness and recreation a poor rating because of the cost and lack of space. Nobody should have to pay $20 for a yoga class on a cruise; it should be included or at the most $5. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The Norwegian Bliss is a new ship and is a sight to behold. However, my family and I were not overly impressed with our experience. The staff was hard working but not overly friendly. Having cruised other lines in the past, this crew ... Read More
The Norwegian Bliss is a new ship and is a sight to behold. However, my family and I were not overly impressed with our experience. The staff was hard working but not overly friendly. Having cruised other lines in the past, this crew seemed to be less friendly than what we have previously experienced. On the Bliss, they only offer entertainment for a few evenings. There is not a show every night. We found ourselves having to scramble to find something to do at night. When I asked if I could book a show twice, I was told flatly "no". The Jersey Boys is a heck of a show. It was extremely well done and my entire family loved it. The Beatles group is also first class entertainment. My youngest son had our entire family attending every Beatles performance and it was solid entertainment. We were also booked for a comedy show but they canceled the show the night we were scheduled to attend. The musical Havana was well acted and a great effort was given by all but it was not very entertaining. We tried to book a time to ride the go carts but in 7 days, we could never book this event. It was always booked. If you want to ride the go carts, book when you get on the ship. Speaking of booking, when I boarded the ship, I had to wait in line for over an hour to book dinner plans and entertainment. The Bliss did not have enough to do during days when we were out at sea. Many of the events they did offer cost money One of the big upsides was the food. The food was very good. Also, the shore excursions were very good as well. The Mendenhall Glacier canoe trip was incredible as was the halibut fishing trip. Alaska is an incredible trip to take. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We cruised out of Seattle, What a beautiful port city to set sail from. So much to see with Pikes Place Market and the Space Needle. We boarded the ship on the first available option which got us on board around 11:30. We didn’t leave ... Read More
We cruised out of Seattle, What a beautiful port city to set sail from. So much to see with Pikes Place Market and the Space Needle. We boarded the ship on the first available option which got us on board around 11:30. We didn’t leave port until 4:00, but I would highly suggest getting on early. We went straight to deck 15 which is the observation loung. The space is opulent and the views are spectacular. They have managed to proved every traveler with their own nook, that makes you feel like you are in your own den or library. There are overstuffed lounging chairs, leather couches with end tables and lamps. It is an area where families can congregate and review the day or play games or couples can find a cozy corner and feel like you have found your own romantic view. This was the best part of this ship. We had a mid-suite mini room with a balcony. The room has very clean decor with greys and dark blue. The bed was comfy, the bathroom was really nice with a double sink and step in shower. There is no private room for the toilet, so if you are shy, the double sink may not help lol. The dining options are abundant, from the Garden Cafe, to the included Manhattan Room, Taste and Savoy. We found that we couldn’t quit get to some these as easily as we would have hoped as some offered different meals that they were available for. (Some were opened for breakfast and not lunch and sometime just dinner). The upscale or pay for restaurants that we chose were very good. We ate at Los Lobos, Q, and Cagney’s. Los Lobos had great Mexican food with guacamole made at your table. We very much enjoyed their selections and the food and service were very good. Q was ok. I was kind of confused about the decor. It was from extreme country, to a rock stage with pink and blue lights and a bar that looked like it was from Vegas. The food was true BBQ and well done. It was plated on a metal tray? I had crab cakes and had to ask for a different sauce because their paring was a disgusting pimento and cheese sauce, (wait what??). I can’t say enough about Cagney’s. Perfect decor, exceptional service, food perfection. I could eat their every night! Their truffle mashed potatoes...umami! The guest service phone desk epically failed us. We called to change our reservations for Cagney’s because my husband was sick. They said they were booked for future reservations. Went to the Cagney’s desk, they said no problem and set us up for the next day. Asked the guest service desk if we could do the port service delivery option even though we missed the paperwork turn in by a day. The guest service desk said NO, you missed the window. Went to the desk, no problem??? Had to get internet service because of a family emergency back home (fires in northern CA effecting our home an our family’s home). No offer to make any kind of concessions. We loved the ports and did the Mendenhall Glacier in Juno and the train in Skagway. The Glacier was amazing but the bus ride was highly overpriced and the train in Skagway was a beautiful ride but again expensive. The ship is radiant, beautifully arranged and decorated. The Waterfront with the outside seating for the restaurants is a perfect escape to get the breeze on your face, relaxe and a whole different way to experience the ships views. This trip defiantly caters to family. We went on the Norwegian Pearl last year. The Bliss with all of its beauty and stunning observation deck was beyond amazing, but there were just to many people. Elevators were crowded, the buffet was like hoarding cattle and I just like that our cabin and balcony were larger on the Pearl. Would we go back, probably not. Would I suggest it to others, yes, but I would warn them of the crowds. This new class of ship is defiantly a must visit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because I had always wanted to go to Alaska and since I am a solo traveler, I thought this would be the easiest way to see Alaska. A little bit about me - I am a woman in her 30s who lives in NYC, travels solo, and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had always wanted to go to Alaska and since I am a solo traveler, I thought this would be the easiest way to see Alaska. A little bit about me - I am a woman in her 30s who lives in NYC, travels solo, and usually takes land trips to Europe. I am not a bigger cruiser but have been on two other cruises before with Carnival. Pre-Cruise On the advice of my co-worker, who loves to cruise, I booked dinners and shows in advance. I was only able to get the 10:30 show reservations because apparently booking two months before is not early enough. I never ended up going to the shows because I was still on NYC time and it was just too late for me. Seattle I flew to Seattle a day early because I had never been to Seattle before and wanted to leave enough time before my cruise. I stayed at a hotel near the Space Needle. This area looks like it was probably a seedy area at one time that is now being gentrified by Amazon. However, you feel about it, Amazon has brought in hip restaurants and shops so there is a lot of places to eat around here. I had good ramen across the street from Amazon's The Spheres. Of course Pike Place market was a tourist trap and worried about pickpockets, I didn't spend much time there. Embarkation The next day, I took the hotel shuttle to the pier. We left the hotel at 12 noon and I was on the ship probably by 12:30. Embarkation was very easy and fast. The rooms were not ready until about 2 p.m. and bags were delivered shortly thereafter. Room I stayed in a studio room intended for a single person. I would say most of the people who stayed in these rooms appeared to be traveling with other people but just wanted their own rooms. They did not appear to be solo travelers. The room was not bad during the day but at night when I turned the light off, I felt like I was sleeping in a coffin. I would wake up on the verge of having a panic attack so I had to sleep with the tv on and the shade of the faux window open so it wasn't so dark and oppressive. The first night it got hot in the room and I had to call someone to come and fix the air conditioning because the warmth combined with the coffin feel was making me feel claustrophobic. Needless to say, I did not sleep well during the cruise and would not stay in one of these rooms again. In addition, people kept slamming the doors at night - clearly they aren't used to living in apartments - and since I went to bed early as I was on NYC time, I kept being woken up by slamming doors. Gym On sea days, the gym was mobbed. You have to sign up for spin, yoga or other classes as soon as you get on the ship as they book up right away. I found this annoying because how do I know if I want to go to spin class five days from now at 9 a.m.? There was also an additional charge for the classes. I managed to book a boot camp class that was allegedly $20 for one hour. However, when the instructor came, he said it was only half an hour. There were also about four Cuban people in the class who insisted on talking really loudly in Spanish to each other the entire class. It was really odd. Observation Lounge Since my room was basically a coffin, I spent most of my time in the observation lounge. On sea days in the morning it was virtually impossible to find a seat and I would sit outside on the deck. But after lunch it usually emptied out. Yes, there were people napping on the couches or lounge chairs but it didn't bother me. Those cabins are so small that there is really nowhere for people to go. However, I did not appreciate people taking their socks off and lounging with their bare feet. No one wants to see a person's gnarly feet! I also found that there were constantly hordes of pre-teens running around the observation lounge screaming on the tops of their lungs. The observation lounge was a place people were using to read or nap and so the screaming was obnoxious. The pre-teens and kids were also constantly running up and down the cruise ship stairs. Food I thought the food was good. I ate in the dinning rooms for the most part and enjoyed the food. I ate at the buffet a few times but it was always so loud and crowded that I preferred dining in the dining rooms, which were quieter and more relaxing. Excursions In Ketchikan, I did a sea kayaking tour. I enjoyed the tour - we got to see whales and sea lions. The company would not let us go out in our own kayaks so I had to share a kayak with a stranger but it worked out OK. I only had a little bit of time after sea kayaking to explore the town before I had to get back on the ship. In Juneau I did a hiking excursion, which was a my favorite. There was even less time in Juneau and had to go back to the ship immediately after. Skagway was probably my favorite stop. So pretty. It reminded me of being in Yosemite. I did the Klondike biking excursion, which was least favorite excursion. They drove us up a highway and then we biked down this highway on mountain bikes. The road was so steep and we were going so fast that I was was just concentrating on not losing control of my bike. There was no opportunity to look around at the scenery so what was the point? Note that I am an experienced biker and this was probably the scariest bike ride I have ever been on. In Victoria I paid to take the shuttle into town and then walked around for a bit. There was not a lot of time. I did have a chance to walk along the water when I came back to the ship and that was really nice. Things to Do on the Ship Basically, there was nothing to do on the ship. All the activities were activities in which Norwegian is trying to sell you something - ugly art, crappy jewelry, etc. Most people seemed to spend sea days hanging out drinking all day. Some started their drinking as early as 10 a.m. On sea days, I spent the entire day reading. There was far too much down time on the ship for me. I was starting to go stir crazy and at the end, was desperate to get off the ship. In Victoria, I got panicky when I thought about having to get back on the ship again. In Seattle, I was one of the first people off the ship and was grateful to be back on land. Overall Overall, I am glad I got to see some of Alaska and Seattle because I had always wanted to go to these places. However, if I was going to do it again, I would fly to Alaska and then sale on Princess south so I can stop more places in Alaska and spend less time on the ship. I would not sail Norwegian again because they nickle and dime you for everything and I don't like that I have to book every detail of my trip months in advance. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Overall, while the ship is very large, the crew did an amazing job getting everyone off and on the ship without over crowding. Entertainment was fantastic but was limited to a couple of night each so not sure everyone got to see the ... Read More
Overall, while the ship is very large, the crew did an amazing job getting everyone off and on the ship without over crowding. Entertainment was fantastic but was limited to a couple of night each so not sure everyone got to see the productions do to passenger numbers. Go carting and laser tag suffered the same problem. If you want to do these activities, I suggest you get to the ship as early as possible and stand in the unduly long lines to book these activities. They cannot be done pre-board. Food quality was very good including the specialty dining other than Cagney's. We had a very large party of 28 folks that went with us and NO one liked the steak quality there. Very disappointing as this should be one of the easiest meals to prepare. Mini-suites are nice and large, especially the bathroom areas which are sort of lacking in most normal cabin areas. Our biggest disappointment were ourcabin rooms in the 9798 and 9800 area of the ship on Deck 9 (we booked a total of five rooms just for our family). These rooms are directly above the Cavern bar area and the noise from the live bands was almost deafening and there was no rest to be had. We went to customer service on three occasions and the band would tone the sound down for a set or two, then right back to full on. DO NOT take these rooms. You will be sorry and after a couple of days will know every tune in the bands mix. Norwegian has to do something to fix this problem. Insulation, acoustics or sound volume or all three. Moved the toddler that was with us to our rooms on other side of ship so he could get some much needed rest. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This is our 11th cruise but first on NCL since 1997. Our very first cruise experience was on the NCL Seaward for our honeymoon over 20 years ago! Since then we have tried all the other cruise lines but haven't gone back to NCL ... Read More
This is our 11th cruise but first on NCL since 1997. Our very first cruise experience was on the NCL Seaward for our honeymoon over 20 years ago! Since then we have tried all the other cruise lines but haven't gone back to NCL until now! Embarkation Day We dropped our pup off at the boarding kennel around 8am and started our 2.5 hour drive down to Seattle from Vancouver BC. We arrived at Republic Parking on Wall St. around 11am after making a quick stop at Walmart for some Bonine which is not available in Canada. :) Parking was $147 USD for seven days. I had requested a 12-12:30 boarding time but we decided to get there a little earlier after reading reviews about how all the activities were getting taken up by late afternoon on the first day. We decided to take our own luggage on the ship. Our largest luggage was 18.5 W x 26 L x 10 H. The person at the front entrance to the embarkation area was hesitant to let us through saying the luggage was borderline in term of size . He did warn us that security may send us back. We took our chances and make it through security ok. We were on board within 15mins. Fastest embarkation ever after 11 cruises. Activities Once on board we went straight to the kiosk and reserved our laser tag and race track sessions. We were able to get two sessions of laser tag reserved and one race track session on Saturday.. By Monday,, most of the slots were on standby only. Our first session of the laser tag was in the afternoon at 4pm. It was hot and bright so hard to see the controls on the guns. Our second session which was scheduled for 9pm on Thursday was cancelled due to poor weather , it was the one day that we received a bit of rain and even though most sessions ran all day , ours was cancelled. We also went the Silent party which was quite funny and entertaining. Escape the Big Top is a puzzle challenge not escape room. I couldn't find info on this before hand and expected an escape room but it's really nine or ten groups of 8-10 players that try to solve a mystery using the clues placed in the restaurant where the game is played. Cabin We had an inside cabin on deck 11 for me, my husband and my teen daughter. it was a tight squeeze but not horrible. NCL did a good job of utilizing all the avail space in the cabin. Of course in hindsight , I wished I had chosen a balcony. We were offered the upgrade program but with a brand new ship that was sold out , we didn't think our bid would get us a balcony. The bid we submitted was $350 canadian per person and it was in the "good" range and we received the decline email on the Thursday before the departure day. Dining There were hits and misses. This review is for the complimentary dining venues. Lunch menu in the dining rooms were the same all week. We were a little disappointed with that. The Local was pretty good if you enjoy pub food. Dinner in the dining room was average. Some days were awesome and had a great variety of food but one day the dishes were not edible. I ordered the Hawaiian pork belly and it was awful. My daughter's Asian noodle salad was made with udon noodles which not a good choice because it ended up being mushy . However another night, she had pad thai and it was awesome. There was no lobster and I think we missed crab legs in the buffet but no crab legs in the main dining rooms all week. Prime rib was available twice during the week . I think Sunday and Friday ? We went to Coco's twice and enjoyed their crepes and hot chocolate and the Bake Shop macarons were yummy . Public Rooms As others have mentioned, the Observation Lounge was almost always full and lots of folks did sleep on the chaise and without socks. But I guess when no one regulates it then people will continue to do it. We still enjoyed the lounge. But our favourite spot is the Waterfront. We loved it there! The weather was great all week with the exception of one day so we took advantage of it. The waterfront was definitely underutilized by most folks except on glacier day. It was packed hours in advance LOL . We chose the port side b/c it received the most sun and we got the best views. We saw whales after leaving Ketchikan and seals near Dawes glacier. Service Our room attendant was awesome. Erwin was so approachable and friendly and his towel animals were the best! The dining room servers for the most part was friendly and upbeat. The washy washy folks at the Garden Buffet were too funny and I don't think I will ever forget to washy washy happy happy smiley smiley. I think NCL really wanted feedback on how these first Alaska cruises . Pam and John from Hotel services stopped to chat with us and wanted to know how we felt from embarkation to food to our cabin services. After we chatted, they sent up chocolate dipped strawberries as a thank you for the feedback. Ports Ketchikan we just walked around the port. It was a very very warm day so we decided to go back on the ship early and enjoy the pool and sun. Juneau - since it was a short time in port but we still wanted to see Mendenhall Glacier we decided to rent a car. The cost from Avis was $108 USD taxes included. I called Evergreen taxi as well for a quote and they quoted $35 each way but have to pay an additional $17 per person on top for park fees and additional service charges. Since the cost would almost be the same we decided on renting so we can stop in town before coming back to the AJ dock. Skagway - we booked the Musher's camp excursions through Alaska Shore Excursions since it was a cheaper than booking through NCL. We paid $133 per person. It was fun to meet the puppies and learn about mushing. Our guide Jason was very informative and gave us time to get some awesome photos at certain viewpoints along the way. Entertainment We had reservations for both Jersey Boys and iHavana. We arrived approx 1/2 hour before the show started and was able to get very good seats. People were flowing in close to showtime and seats were available but if you have a large group then might be hard to get seat together. For Jersey Boys, they had a section roped off the Haven folks but not many showed up . The shows were good. I enjoyed Jersey Boys and there is a lot of cursing as expected . Disembarkation It wasn't as quick as embarkation but still went pretty quick. We took our own luggage off the ship and went to line up to leave around 8:15. The line was long and snaked around the Local restaurant . The confusing part were people who were waiting for the luggage tag to be called were sitting in the local while people in line were crowded around them. NCL should have just told those folks to wait in other areas instead I'm sure it wasn't fun for them either. Misses This was brought up in previous reviews but the atrium was really really loud when they had activities. I guess it made it easy for people to join in if they wanted to so I can see why they would do that. It was also very crowded there b/c guest services, onboard credits, shore excursion/port info and dining reservations were all on the same level next to each other in the atrium. This miss is for husband. The only flavours of ice cream in the main dining venues is chocolate, vanilla and strawberry whereas the buffet had eight different flavours in two separate stations The dining should have had at least one speciality flavour each night and not just the boring ones. Anyhow, that was my hubby's beef. LOL This miss is not really an NCL problem but just people in general. Our neighbors constantly slammed their doors enough to actually move the walls. I have no idea why they needed to slam it that hard. Also kids were running up and down the halls at midnight. or up and down the stairs throughout the day. Another pet peeve was families who decided sitting on the stairs to chat is the best place. They would sit and take up the entire width of the stairs then laugh before moving for us to walk by. hmmm. Conclusion We had a great time with NCL in Alaska. We had great weather all week with the exception of our last sea day (see pics) but that didn't hamper our experience. The Bliss is a beautiful ship and the crew is amazing. We will definitely consider cruising again with NCL in the future (even tho our next cruise will be on RCCL's Symphony :) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second Alaska cruise but our first ever on Norwegian so we were anxious to see what would be different and/or better. The ship is beautiful and we liked the layout. It was easy to get around and the way finding indicators were ... Read More
This was our second Alaska cruise but our first ever on Norwegian so we were anxious to see what would be different and/or better. The ship is beautiful and we liked the layout. It was easy to get around and the way finding indicators were very helpful for the first day or two. The observation deck is a great place to spend some time and just relax while watching the world go by plus they have a bar and serve snacks. You will visit and pass through the area known as 6-7-8 many times to get to the restaurants, casino, bars, shopping, etc. I wasn't too impressed with the shopping area it forced too many people to share a small space and it always felt crowded. I like the promenade style shopping areas better. The food was great we ate at Cagney's , Q (the BBQ restaurant), Teppanyaki, Margaritaville, the Garden Cafe buffet, and the Local. We never ventured in to the 3 main complementary restaurants. The buffet had it's staple entrees and sides and would throw in specialty foods on different evenings (seafood, BBQ, steak night, etc.) The only time it ever felt crowded was on embarkation day which was to be expected. If you get a chance to try out Gelato make sure you do. A great place for a dessert and an espresso. The shows were great. Jersey Boys was easily the best and it was awesome. Havana Nights was also very good. Make sure you book them in advance before you ever board the ship. It can be tough to get a seat if you don't. We didn't try and visit the other entertainment. You need to make reservations for everything and after the first couple of days on board it can be tough. We only did one shore excursion this time since we had done several when we went the first time. We did the Takshanuk Trail ride on Kawasaki mules out of Skagway. You get on the fast ferry to Haines where it's just a shot bus ride to your destination. The views from along the trail were beautiful. It had been a few days since they had any rain so it was a little dusty but it didn't take away from the fun. The Humidor cigar lounge is TERRIBLE. Easily the worst cigar lounge I have ever been in. It's very small and it's overrun by cigarette smokers even though there is a sign stating they are not allowed and the staff will not ask them to leave. The ventilation system is non-existent or if they have one it's a very poor system because it doesn't seem to do anything. I would have to air out my clothes overnight on the balcony chairs. I have been in Connoisseur cigar lounges on other ships and it was truly an enjoyable experience especially after a great meal and with an adult beverage in hand. Their ventilation systems were so effective you rarely saw any smoke hanging in the air and you didn't reek of stale smoke when you came out. NCL needs to fix this or just do away with it. The staff on the ship were always very polite and very helpful. My face would hurt if I smiled as much as they do. We had a great time and I would recommend this cruise to anyone. As with any cruise you can be as active and all-out as you want to be or you can just chill and have a very relaxing time. My all-out days are far behind me so I enjoy the more relaxed pace. We didn't go for the race cars or laser tag but lots of people did and you will need to reserve a time slot if you want to try it and you need to do it as early as you can if you are interested. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked this cruise a year in advance with life-long friends to celebrate our 30th anniversary and their 25th. We live about 1500 miles apart now, but we got together last year and booked the cruise on speaker phone to assure we were ... Read More
We booked this cruise a year in advance with life-long friends to celebrate our 30th anniversary and their 25th. We live about 1500 miles apart now, but we got together last year and booked the cruise on speaker phone to assure we were getting the rooms, etc we wanted for this special occasion. We booked connecting rooms with the NCL phone rep, and these were confirmed in emails, etc. When we boarded, we found out we were at opposite ends of the ship, both parties adjoining with strangers. Customer service on the ship told us there was nothing they could do to attempt to remedy the problem and after getting the run around between representatives, we were offered $100 for our “inconvenience”. This was the trip of a lifetime to Alaska for both parties, for which we paid close to $6000 per couple, before excursions. We had booked specifically with NCL and had turned down all room upgrade opportunities, so we could be together, yet we were met by a basically no one cared attitude, which we were told came from corporate. In addition to this issue, there were others that marred this trip. We felt much of the entertainment was of poor quality, compared to other cruise lines. The Havana musical, was performed with a good deal of inappropriate language and unfortunately, the actors presented with what sounded like Russian accents, taking away from the Hispanic setting story line. The Levity Comedy duo, also had difficulty with such dry humor, and appeared to fall flat with the audience when grouped together. The Jersey Boys musical included wonderful singers, but again, the use of inappropriate language really stood out. Our stateroom also presented difficulty as there was an odd, round steel support beam directly outside our door, making entrance and egress difficult due to its poor engineering. The ship itself, although brand new, was plain and contained very little art or other decorations you would expect to see on a ship of this caliber. I point this out as this type of “eye candy” has always been a big part of the overall presentation on all our previous cruises with Royal Caribbean. This lack of visual interest made for an overall dull on board experience. The electronics and energy saving devices on board, although commendable, such as needing to insert your room key in a slot to keep the lights on in the cabin, the manner in which to increase the water temperature and/or pressure in the shower, or even the buttons required to access the public restroom spaces around the ship, were a bit of a mystery and not at all explained. If you weren’t familiar with travel outside of the US, these aspects could be confusing. At one point, I found myself yelling directions through the door of one of the public use restrooms in order to help a gentleman who was stuck inside and could not navigate his way out. In another instance, while on the observation area, a fire alarm went off and continued to blare for at least 15 minutes. No one communicated what to do or what was happening, just the high pitched sound. When asked, we were told that this happens “all the time” by the wait staff serving drinks. In that same observation room, there were sofas and chairs that are used by everyone onboard, dirty feet/shoes, food, and drink droppings included. When we booked, we choose the beverage package that included alcholic drinks, for which we prepaid all gratuities, and yet, we were charged for beer tastings, an additional tax while in Seattle waters, and then when we asked for glasses of water with which toreturn to our cabin, had bartenders on more than a couple occasions who rolled their eyes or handed them to us with an attitude. On Royal Caribbean, all the staff has always been engaging, friendly, and easily accessible. On the Bliss, some staff often appeared bothered or put out. The room steward did not converse with us other than hello, and in the evening would come to the room while we were getting ready for dinner and ask if we were “leaving yet”, causing us to feel rushed. The activities that were advertised, such as the go carts and laser tag, were immediately booked with no available spots open, and as a result, we were unable to participate. Also, extra onboard fees applied for these activities. Other activities with extra on board fees, such as the painting and wine tastings, also had long wait lists, making them inaccessible. Games, such as bingo and deal/no deal also required extra payment. Perhaps the most bothersome situation we encountered was encountered second hand, and I mention it because it may help families with special needs children as they plan their vacations. In a conversation with a young military service member, traveling with his family, which included a young son with autism, the father revealed that he and his wife had not been able to use the child care on board because they were not allowed to walk their special needs son into the child care area, as was their routine at home, because that was against NCL rules. Really? An accommodation couldn’t be made to meet the needs of a child with autism so that he could feel comfortable in a new setting? All the father wanted to do was walk his child into the room, get him settled, and then leave. As a result, this young man and his wife were unable to participate in the adult activities/shows throughout their cruise vacation. These issues are just some of the things that made our first cruise with NCL, our last cruise with NCL. We have experienced at least 5 previous Royal Caribbean cruises, with the last being just three months prior to this NCL cruise. We thought we would try something new. Truly, there was no comparison. The beauty of the Royal Caribbean ships, the friendly engaging staff, the caliber of their entertainment, as well as the value of their prices and amenities, far outshine anything we experienced last week on our NCL Bliss cruise. Although we thoroughly enjoyed the shore excursions and the knowledgeable guides, as well as the opportunity to see Alaska, we were so disappointed that we did so with NCL. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Prior to sailing with NCL, we had cruised with Carnival, Disney and Royal Caribbean. There are typically 5-9 of us that cruise together and due to our busy schedules, we enjoy spending our vacations together. There are up to 8 adults and ... Read More
Prior to sailing with NCL, we had cruised with Carnival, Disney and Royal Caribbean. There are typically 5-9 of us that cruise together and due to our busy schedules, we enjoy spending our vacations together. There are up to 8 adults and one child (now 6), if that helps in understading the age demographics. I am the primary "planner" and coordinate most of our travel arrangements, activities, etc. I'll try to separate my review into sections below. Booking: We originally had a cruise booked for June and due to a schedulign conflict had to change it. Something happened and when we switched the date, one of the cabins didn't get moved. When we called to let NCL know, the room next to us was not open and the 4th cabin had to be 3 cabins down. It's not a huge deal but it stinks that we couldn't be together. We were all also celbrating anniversaries and mentioned that on the phone. The person we spoke to said she was putting that in the system and I thought she said we would get a little something special either in our cabins or at dinner... My parents did get a little postcard saying "Happy Anniversary" or whatever but we didn't get anything of that nature and I know no one got anything special at dinner. It was also a bit of a pain when I would call and try to do something for all of our reservations. I wish there were a way I could do something for everyone on my end since I was an authorized person on everyone's account (if that makes sense). If reservations are linked and I am authorized, it should be easier to do something for all of us. Pre-Cruise: Although this isn't related to NCL or the Bliss, I thought I would add.. We stayed at "The Actic Club" A Doubletree Hotel by Hilton in Seattle prior to our cruise and it was great. The staff was wonderful, food in "Juno" is good and the hotel is beautiful. If someone is looking for a hotel to stay at, I would recommend it. I believe they can help arrange transportation for you as well (for a fee) but we used Sabra Limo and were very pleased. Embarkation: We had an 11-11:30am check-in time and embarkation was VERY smooth. We were all impressed. There is also coffee, water, etc. in the waiting area... very nice! Crew: The crew was absolutely amazing. Everyone was so kind and seemed like they genuinely wanted to help. The RC cruise we were on had staff that exhibited the exact opposite so yes, there are rude crew members on cruise ships. There was only one person at Guest Services that I encountered that was anywhere near rude on NCL and I think he was just stressed due to the volume of people they were trying to help. My daughter had lost her ship card and I just wanted to ask him if I needed to stand in the line that the others waiting to turn in their Canadian declaration papework/VISA or whatever that paper was called. He wouldn't even let me get the sentence out to ask and kept interuppting me, telling me to go get in line. The gentleman that helped me about 30 minutes later (after I almost missed my entire lunch with my family), was very kind though. "Ray", our room steward was SUPER nice. We really liked him. Shows/Entertainment: Granted the last 2 cruises I've been on were Disney and RCCL's Allure, which had Oceanaira, ABBA's Mamma Mia, etc. but the shows on this ship were very much lacking, in my opinion. Prohibition was pretty good but that was an additional $32 per person and only those 16 and older could go. Jersey Boys was alright but didn't have that "WOW" factor. Havana was just a hot mess (again, just my opinion). Most of us left that show early on. The storyline felt sloppy and hectic. Our daughter enjoyed the canvas painting class but it was always at 10am and we only made it to one of them due to breakfast. I wish the time would have been more convenient and/or it would have been offered at different times. You also have to have reservations for all of the shows, need to be there like 45 minutes before to get in line to get good seats and if you aren't there 15 minutes before, they give your seats away. What is the point in having reservations? Additionally, only some of the times/seats open prior to sailing so it's VERY aggravating if you are a planner and trying to coordinate everything before you go, especially for several people. If you don't get something before you sail, you have to go somewhere (like the "Q" on my sailing"), stand in line for about 30 minutes and hope they have availability for what you want to sign up for... lugging along your carry-on, etc. all the while. It's extremely frustrating. This is in addition to any dining reservations you need to make. More on that below. Ship: The ship is beautiful and pretty well laid out. There are several areas to just hang out and so many "hidden" places that groups like ours could just go chill, have a few drinks and talk. The District Brew House became our favorite. Fitness/Gym: We had plans of taking yoga on this cruise but that changed quickly. We did a tour of the spa area and asked about the yoga classes. The gentleman showing us around introduced us to a guy that apparently did the yoga classes and he was a bit of a jerk to to guy showing us around. He seemed like one of those "tough guy" types that liked to kind of intimidate people. We didn't care for him. My husband did end up going to the gym on one of the sea days and said the gym was a little lacking compared to the other ships we've been on. I guess that's a matter of opinion though. He is more into lifting free weights though so maybe their selection there was just not that great. Food/Dining: Honestly, we were dissapointed here. Some of us are sort of "food snobs" and look forward to great food on cruises. Others in our group have pretty basic requests and are fine with chicken and spaghetti. If it gives you an idea here, my aunt shared my 6 year old's dinner at Ocean Blue. Of corse she still ordered a regular dinner and was charged the "upcharge". She asked is she could just get chicken and was told she could not. That is why she ended up sharing my daughter's meal. We've had better food in the main dining room of the other ships we were on than we did in the Specialty DIning Rooms we ate at on this ship (Ocean Blue, Cagney's and LaCucina). Cagney's was our favorite of the 3. We were sad that we didn't see lobster 1 time on this ship too. I don't understand the upcharge for the Ocean Blue either. We chose the "Free" specilaty dining package as one of our "free" items but we had to pay an additional fee to eat at Ocean Blue becuase it is a "Premium Speciality" Dining area? That just doesn't make sense... AND... NO LOBSTER TAIL? Reservations are difficult to make as well. Only 25% of their seats to some places are open before sailing. More than likely, you will have to go stand in like somewhere (for us, it was "The Social"), and coordinate a time/place, etc. that will work for everyone in your party that is available. Keep in mind that you will also need to do this for your entertainment/shows or you probably will nto be getting in to a show. However, that is in another venue and is yet another line. AsI mentioned earlier, you also have youir carry-on, child, etc. in tow. Additional Fees: None of us were happy about the service charge being automatically applied with no ability to adjust it until you are either on the ship or after you get off. You can "dispute" the chare. We like to adjust this a bit and tip out to staff members that really helped us. In addition to the service fee, we had the convenience fee or whatever, added to our cruise fare for the "free" beverage package. So, right there, we have something like $500 im additional charges/fees. I like to tip people, I just don't like feeling forced to tip people before they've even helped me. Debarkation: This was a bit confusing,in my opinion. Our luggage tag was purple (the one we got on with). One of the colors for the luggage tags to get off was purple as well. Some in my crew thought this automatically meant we get off at 9:00am but that's not the case. You had to get new tags. Afterthoughts/Conclusion: In summary, I will say that the ship was beautiful, staff was wonderful, food was OK and shows were lacking. We are looking to take a New England cruise in the next couple of years. I am not sure which line we will sail next but I had such a hard time getting this one arranged and NCL made all the dinners and shows so stressful to set-up that I don't know that they would be my first choice. It may sound like a minor thing but again, when you're trying to organize for that many people, it can be a challenge. If you don't want to plan and are OK with that uncertainty, it may not be an issue for you. Overall, I did like NCL and would sail them again, there were just the things I've mentioned that really could be improved. Some of us want everything arranged and done before we go so we don't have to think about anything else once we get on the ship, Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My husband and I choose this cruise as it was the high graduation gift to our twins ( boy/girl). None of us had ever been to Alaska, and the twins had never been on a cruise before. He found the Bliss back in February while looking on the ... Read More
My husband and I choose this cruise as it was the high graduation gift to our twins ( boy/girl). None of us had ever been to Alaska, and the twins had never been on a cruise before. He found the Bliss back in February while looking on the internet and we discussed it as a family. The ship was beautiful and all the staff I can't say enough nice things about. It was so fun to return to our cabins at night to see what our steward created with the towels and loved the various animals. The food is fantastic in all the restaurants and we really enjoyed the shows Havana and Jersey Boys. I have seen Jersey Boys five times now with the fifth being on the Bliss, and thought the cast on the ship did an excellent job! The go karts were fun to ride and all the various activities offered will keep you busy! We utilized the fitness center as well and liked the variety of workout equipment. Striving for excellence is definitely reflected on this ship and another thing that impressed us is the diligence of the hand sanitizing upon boarding the ship, entering all dining areas, going off the ship for shore excursions and upon returning . Both of us are health care professionals ( MD and RN) and give this ship a high rating in infection control! We thought the Germ Star take off of the Star Wars Death Star for a motion activated hand sanitizer was creative in addition to staff having a squirt bottle and loved hearing "Washy Washy Happy Happy" along with songs made up about hand washing as we entered The Garden restaurant. We lucked out with the weather as well and had no rain from arriving the day before in Seattle to arriving back in Seattle after the cruise. We will definitely sail on this ship again someday! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We did this cruise to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Had our two sons and family with us. It was hard to get reservations in specialty restaurants. Impossible to book prior to cruise. Was successful after we boarded but lines were ... Read More
We did this cruise to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Had our two sons and family with us. It was hard to get reservations in specialty restaurants. Impossible to book prior to cruise. Was successful after we boarded but lines were ridiculously long and spaces limited. The Bliss is a beautiful ship but very big and it was easy to get lost. No personal deck maps seemed to be available. Juneau stop needs to be longer. Skip Victoria. Kind of a buzzkill. And it was $15 per person to get a shuttle from ship to town. Two miles each way too far to walk for most. Nothing much to see either. Upcharges for some adult events are expensive—i.e. $20 per person for wine tasting even with purchased adult bev pkg. The observation deck on the Bliss is fabulous for viewing the seas and for whale watching. We enjoyed three of the specialty restaurants. Cagney’s, Le Bistro, and Q Texas Smokehouse. The food was delicious in all three. However, I wish they would have areas of adult seating available so that those of us without children did not have to endure crying and loud kids. Also Q’s advertises music and dancing, which did not happen. Disappointed at that. It was a fun cruise. Good service. Getting on and off the ship was easier than expected. The seven days just went by too fast. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our Norwegian Bliss Alaskan cruise experience! It was our first cruise and we can't imagine if there is anything better than this. Lots of smiles from everyone we met along the way beginning at embarkation to ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our Norwegian Bliss Alaskan cruise experience! It was our first cruise and we can't imagine if there is anything better than this. Lots of smiles from everyone we met along the way beginning at embarkation to end. We had one of the best mid-ship mini-suite balcony cabins located on the 15th deck so perfectly close to the observation deck and one floor walk-up to the main dining room. Excellent variety of cuisine in each of the dining facilities including the observation deck, main dining buffet, complimentary restaurants and additional fine dining choices. Entertainment and activities galore! We especially loved the Beatles at the cavern and their show two shows in the Bliss theater. Oh what a night with the Jersey Boys who were absolutely fabulous! Great choices in the casino, and activities such as deal or no deal, bingo and others too numerous to mention. What an experience to be had at the race track; wanted to do paintball but our timing was off. Wish we could have done a little more fabulous duty free tax free shopping and have a last chance at the casino. The fitness room included everything needed, and the spa was an excellent choice. The amazing diversity of nationalities of all the people who serviced our cabin and facilities made our stay so pleasant! We chuckle hearing their voices "washy, washy, happy, happy' every time we entered the dining rooms. Loved going through and viewing the glaciers and a chance to see a whale or two along the way. Our offshore excursions at each port was well-organized and we always made it back to the ship on time. Especially enjoyed the wilderness exploration and all you-can-eat crab fest in Ketchikan. We enjoyed our first time cruise experience so much that we would not hesitate to book a future cruise on the Norwegian Bliss again! Thank you everyone!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The ship and the ports were all very nice. We had a great time - there was 15 of us. Enjoyed Jersey Boys, Havana, Beattles tribute band; and SIGLO. The games in the Atrium were fun to watch. The weather was wonderful at all the ports, ... Read More
The ship and the ports were all very nice. We had a great time - there was 15 of us. Enjoyed Jersey Boys, Havana, Beattles tribute band; and SIGLO. The games in the Atrium were fun to watch. The weather was wonderful at all the ports, it was a little cold on sail days. H20 and The Cavern outdoor bars were really nice - even when it was chilly because the staff was wonderful - Ruel and Samuel are the BEST bartenders. I wish they could be on every cruise I go on. The restaurants we went to were all wonderful - food was great. We went to Teppenyaki; La Cucina; Q; Ocean Blue; The Manhattan Room; Taste and the Garden Café. The staff at all of them were very friendly and helpful. We got room service a couple days - it was also very good and nice to have on port days while getting ready. I would highly recommend the Alaska cruise on the Bliss. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
After reading the negative reviews prior to our departure I was quite nervous for our family's first cruise and wondering if we made a mistake booking on such a big new ship. I'm generally inclined to be critical. However, this ... Read More
After reading the negative reviews prior to our departure I was quite nervous for our family's first cruise and wondering if we made a mistake booking on such a big new ship. I'm generally inclined to be critical. However, this cruise couldn't have been a better experience from start to finish. Yes, there are a lot of people. No, it's not all inclusive, but no one ever said it was. I traveled with my husband (with mobility issues) and two teenagers (17 and 19 years old). Details & maybe a few tips: -Initial, final and port embarkations & debarkations were smooth, quick and easy. Port valet (luggage sent from the ship to final destination) for final disembarkation is the BEST! -We had connecting balcony staterooms on 9 aft and they were perfect. Our room steward did an excellent job keeping our room clean and tidy. I've seen plenty of complaints about the elevators. If you haven't booked yet, try to book a room in the back half of the ship and use the aft elevators and you'll have no problems; or if you can walk to the aft elevators during busy times. -We chose the specialty dining and unlimited open bar options for our "free at sea." Very happy with both. We made our restaurant reservations in advance, as advised by our planner. We didn't have a bad meal in any restaurant, including the buffet and the complimentary restaurants. We NEVER had to wait and were NEVER rushed in Manhattan, Taste or Savor. We did room service for breakfast a few of the days when we had early excursions and we were very happy with this service. Drinks were delicious and service was available and fast at numerous bars throughout the boat. We found the selection of cocktails, beers and wines to be great. Service in all of the establishments was friendly and accommodating. I will second, third and fourth the annoyance at off-brand sweetners but NCL may have gotten the message as I started to see real "Sweet N Low" appear later in the week. -Amenities & Onboard--book your laser tag and go-karts upon embarkation day and you'll get reservations. We chose a late embarkation time and still had no problem. Entertainment is good. It's not broadway but it's solid and entertaining and they're working their butts off for us. We loved The District and entertainer Jim Badger--lots of fun! No problems finding space on the pool deck. Very comfortable seating for hanging out and viewing on Deck 8 ("The Waterfront"). We were able to get seating in the Observation Lounge whenever we frequented it. Activities and instructions were clearly communicated all week long by the captain and cruise director. -We did two excursions through NCL--Wilderness Exploration & Crab Feast in Ketchikan and Mendenhall Glacier Explorer in Juneau. Both excellent. First was completely guided. Glacier was mainly transportation with good commentary on the bus, and then explore on your own. We privately booked excursions in Skagway, Victoria and Seattle. -The gym was quite crowded on the days at sea. The weather on these two particular days was not great so I'm sure this contributed to the crowding. However, I got great workouts by walking (Deck 8 is good for this) and doing lots of stairs. This was also a good way to explore the ship. I returned the same weight as I was when I departed so I'll call that a win :). Again, all in all, a fabulous family vacation! Gleaming new ship, great service from all the crew, delish food and drinks, and the spectacular sights of Alaska. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I am a first time cruiser and this cruise basically deterred me away from future cruises. I would like to start with saying our housekeeping gentleman was by far the nicest on the ship!! I would have to agree with other reviews where the ... Read More
I am a first time cruiser and this cruise basically deterred me away from future cruises. I would like to start with saying our housekeeping gentleman was by far the nicest on the ship!! I would have to agree with other reviews where the bar staff was not very friendly which seemed very odd to me. I also was very upset that they nickel and dimed everything!!! The cruise was not cheap to book and then any activities were an extra charge, you want to bowl $6, you want to use the race track that’s like $10, you want to laser rage that’s about $12. Also there is a fee to go to specialty restaurants. The main buffet in my opinion did not offer much of a variety they should of had special nights ( like italian, Mexican, bbq. They did offer seafood but did not offer crab legs and being on an Alaskan cruise I feel like they should of.) Having to make reservations for all they shows also cuts down on what you can do during you cruise, I found that a little annoying especially because by time you were trying to book everything was taken. The adults only section of the ship needs a lot of work!! Very boring up there, there was a bar a smoking section, some lounge chairs, some shower looking thing, and two hot tubs. They should have had some entertainment up there and it should be open till at least midnight! Kids basically did whatever they wanted almost zero supervision which to me seemed insane!! The ship has no where to get drinks 24/7 which was annoying, also they need to implement more then one location for eating 24/7! Read Less
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
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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