6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose as it was close to home. Were in Alberta and Seattle is about a 1.5 hour plane ride away. Our sons are turning 18 soon and one of them wanted to do the teen club again as he gets so much out of them. This was no different as ... Read More
We chose as it was close to home. Were in Alberta and Seattle is about a 1.5 hour plane ride away. Our sons are turning 18 soon and one of them wanted to do the teen club again as he gets so much out of them. This was no different as he really enjoyed entourage and the teens that were there. Food was average to be honest. Best meal I had was at lunch in the garden cage. Lots of variety and tastefull. Worst meal was at Cagneys. I blame that on me as I'm not a beef eater so I had the fried seafood platter which was not that great. We had a mid inside cabin and it was great. Off the elevator and the inside cabins are right there. Turn left or right to your room. Enough space for 2 for sure. Enough storage for sure. Bed a bit hard. My wife asked and was given a foam pad which did the trick. I wish the shower had a setting so you could concentrate the spray to get into those areas where you need a blast of water. Other than that, would book a mid inside again. Entertainment was top notch. Siglo, the cover rock band was excellent. As was Beatlemania and Jersey Boys. Comedy shows were good as well. Cruise staff do a good job. Service staff were excellent. One major thing I hated was on the first day where you had to book restaurants, shows and the go carts. Its a bit of joke actually. Be prepared. We never was able to get on the go-carts. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We live in Seattle, so primarily picked this cruise because of the departure port and itinerary as well as the fact that it was a brand new mega-ship with exciting amenities (go-kart race track, laser tag). We very much enjoyed the ... Read More
We live in Seattle, so primarily picked this cruise because of the departure port and itinerary as well as the fact that it was a brand new mega-ship with exciting amenities (go-kart race track, laser tag). We very much enjoyed the cruise overall, largely due to the awesome scenery of south-east Alaska and the fact that we had fantastic weather throughout. The main drawback was, perhaps surprisingly, the ship itself. We've been on several cruises before (different lines, itineraries etc..) and this one felt more crowded on-board compared to the others. It seems that the ratio of amenity capacity to number of passengers was lower than ideal. This showed mainly in the fact that the most popular attractions on the ship were overbooked and, as a result, unavailable. There is an interactive booking system throughout the ship to make reservations for the various specialty restaurants and other attractions such as the race track and laser tag. All of these were completely booked for the entire duration of the cruise before we even left Seattle! Given how aggressively Norwegian markets the amenities of this ship, it felt a little like false advertising to us. In the future we will definitely pay more attention to these things. Just because a ship technically has certain amenities doesn't mean that they are available to each guest, even if you're willing to pay extra. The other negative was the variety and quality of the food. Compared to all other cruises we've taken in the past, this one fell short. The buffet area is large (it's a very big ship), but many of the individual stations repeated themselves, so that it felt like they had just put 3 identical buffets in a row. Otherwise the ship was what you'd expect from a new, modern cruise ship: it was new and modern, but no real stand-out features. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this ship for our family of 10 because it was new and it offered an itinerary that we wanted. It came down to Princess vs NCL and the appeal of a new ship won out. This was our 1st NCL cruise. Getting on and off the ship was easy ... Read More
We chose this ship for our family of 10 because it was new and it offered an itinerary that we wanted. It came down to Princess vs NCL and the appeal of a new ship won out. This was our 1st NCL cruise. Getting on and off the ship was easy and quick. The "freestyle" cruising that NCL advertise's was accurate only if you planned to eat at the complementary restaurants for every meal which pretty much had the exact same menu every day for the entire cruise. Anything else (shows, go carts, laser tag, specialty dining etc) all needed to be reserved well in advance or risk not getting to experience them at all. Our group never did get to do the go carts or lazer tag despite trying to book them starting at 1pm on the day we boarded...they book up fast as do the shows and specialty restaurants). I'll add that the promotion of up to 5 amenities "for free" is a little deceptive. For example, we selected the $50/cabin/port discount but found most all of the tours booked directly with the tour company or through Costco were much more than $50 cheaper than the same exact tours booked through NCL so we did not get much value out of this one. Food and service in the specialty restaurants Cagney's, Tappi & Los Lobos was great...of course for an extra cost even though we also selected the specialty dining package as one of our free perks we had to still pay a service fee. Guest services was great and our balcony cabins worked well for us...really appreciated the large showers in the cabins! We saw two shows, Havanna (mixed reviews) and Jersey Boys (really well done but could have skipped the "F" bombs that added nothing and the cigaret smoke that made its way from the stage to the front rows). Laundry special for $19.95 was a great offering that we took advantage of. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
New ship, Breakaway class, Alaska. Inside Passage. Stunning scenery. There was no dancing floor in Manhattan Room although we were told repeated when we called that there will be. Throughout the ship, the little floor they had at night ... Read More
New ship, Breakaway class, Alaska. Inside Passage. Stunning scenery. There was no dancing floor in Manhattan Room although we were told repeated when we called that there will be. Throughout the ship, the little floor they had at night clubs were often covered by tables. The atrium was the last place left and unfit for packing in over 100 dancers. We were most disappointed because we sailed three times on the Breakaway and once on the Escape, both with Manhattan Room for dinner dancing. Food, identical menu to other NCL ships, but clearly better prepared or better delivered. A very pleasant surprise. Having chowder on observation deck most of the time was a great improvement. The observation deck was designed as numerous connected living rooms. This is a great feature for privacy and access to view. Service in general was great. room was clean and quiet but small. Shower was adequate and enjoyable. We did not get to see the glacier because of ice problems on the water inlet. Weather was in the 80F and sunny week. People the week before, rainy and colder, had no ice problem. Did see six humpback whales on whale watching. Best photos from smaller boats. Having the Garden Cafe now in the front of the ship is super confusing for us. However, it makes it possible to bring food down from it to the observation room easily. Seating hard to come by often in the Garden Cafe. Diners there often aggressive because of this. Bliss and Escape each added a floor of rooms without adding service support capacity, hence both led to overcrowding. Cannot recommend these ships! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose the cruise because our friends had never been to Alaska, so it was a first Alaskan for them. Our 2nd. And we chose this ship because it was brand new. We've been on 25 cruises so far: mostly Disney & Carnival. Some ... Read More
We chose the cruise because our friends had never been to Alaska, so it was a first Alaskan for them. Our 2nd. And we chose this ship because it was brand new. We've been on 25 cruises so far: mostly Disney & Carnival. Some Royal and NCL. Pros: Ship itself is beautiful, modern and colorful. The entertainment is equal to Disney as far as quality. We were very impressed. The Cruise Director, Silas, was the best we've ever seen out of all the cruises we've taken. The restaurants were beautiful, great themes, lots of choices. The Garden Cafe was one of the best buffets I've ever seen on a cruise ship. Spacious and lots of choices for everyone. Entertainment was a lot of fun, different game shows than I've seen on other ships. The Jersey Boys is an amazing show, that was our 3rd time seeing it, its a must! Also the Cavern Club, Beatlemania Band was so much fun. They played at least 4-5 different shows during the week. They also held movies on their large hi-def screen in their atrium, approx. 4 times during the week, some in the afternoon, some in the evening. They had Coco & Zootopia, also, The Commuter and Justice League. The spa was absolutely beautiful and relaxing, best to use it first thing in the morning when its quiet. During the day it will get busy. The staff was superb and very helpful. Dale in the Hair Salon was the best! We didn't go on the excursions this time because we've been to these 3 Alaskan ports before. However, we did get off the ship and there is always something wonderful to see in Alaska. Victoria, BC is also stunning. If possible, book your excursions in the 2nd half of the day. You'll be able to enjoy quiet time on the ship when everyone gets off and use the spa when no one is around. Overall, Service is better than it was in the past on NCL. Most servers and bartenders are very attentive and went out of their way to get to know the passengers. All of these items I've mentioned in this area, I give them a solid 5 out of 5. Cons: Pricing - nickle and diming as you've seen on other posts I'm sure. Bliss boasts its Race Track & Laser Tag, there are fees for these items. With their "Free" Drink or Dining Packages you still have to pay gratuities, other companies that offer Free, its truly Free. Even while we're in port, the drinks are charged tax, it ended up being approx $1 drink. It just all adds up, NCL could have just covered this. Internet - pricing is much higher than other cruises and the service is not better. During busy times you'd get bumped out. Many people complained about the internet. Lines were very long at the internet desk, so much to the point that they're only there 2 hours at a time and they didn't get to everyone to help then, they mention you'd have to come back when they open back up. That's poor service and frustrating to say the least! Cabin Steward - I'm sure it was just ours, he was very nice, but we could tell he was newer or needed more training. We'd have to tell him we needed items that were obvious, more soap, more lotion. Not the end of the world, just more training is needed. Elevators - only 2 elevator banks instead of 3. So depending on where you're located on the ship it could be quite a walk, again not the end of the world, but you needed to leave yourself about 15 mins of travel time to get from point a to point b, between the walking and then waiting for elevators. Guest Service - could have handled a few things better, when needing certain help with the internet they just turned everyone around a made them go to the internet desk, but there is only 1 person working that desk or they're closed. Training should be given to Guest Services so they can help during busy times. Guest Rooms - while they're new they're smaller than other ships. We'll purchase anywhere from inside to outside category, usually about 200 sq ft. On Carnival we'll buy an inside and it will be 220 sq ft with couch and porthole. On Disney we'll have an inside from 180 to 200 sq ft and will have also a couch area in room. With NCL they only provide couches to rooms that are classified balcony or higher. They're balcony and mini suites are very small rooms, nothing special. This cruise was the most we've paid and room size received the least. This Cons area overall receives a 3.5 out of 5 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
The food in the specialty restaurant were very good. Except the Smoke House"Q". We have been on 20 plus cruises on Norwegian, this was by far the worst food we ever had, Not edible. The ribs were greasy, the pull pork was a pile ... Read More
The food in the specialty restaurant were very good. Except the Smoke House"Q". We have been on 20 plus cruises on Norwegian, this was by far the worst food we ever had, Not edible. The ribs were greasy, the pull pork was a pile of pink mess. Service in all the restaurants were first rate.I'll never know why they replaced Maderino with Q?! The entertainment was not up to par with other cruises. Havana was terrible we walked out, and the comedian"s were flat out not funny. Jersey Boy's we saw Twice! We Always go to the Thermal Spa which we enjoy. The jets in the big pool were not working! on a New Ship!! We complained and they said the knew it! Why not tell us!! The game shows are always funny and fun to watch. People will say anything! My wife has MS, so we did not do any walking site seeing tours, but the "handicap" tours the people went out of their way to make her comfortable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Not worth the cost. We have been latitude members for >8 years. We have been on >7 NCL cruises. Won’t be going on another..... 1) They doubled the number of rooms and revenue but not the amenities so everything was packed and ... Read More
Not worth the cost. We have been latitude members for >8 years. We have been on >7 NCL cruises. Won’t be going on another..... 1) They doubled the number of rooms and revenue but not the amenities so everything was packed and loud and sold out. 2) those great things they show for the ship, like race track or laser tag, aren’t free. We took one $159 excursion had one drink each a day and still had a $800 bill 3) your free dining package you can’t use because all of the speciality restaurant were full within an hour of being on the ship It’s sad. We have been on >7 ncl cruises but won’t we going on another. We started with them because of their freestyle way of cruising now, you have to schedule everything because of the Number of people on the boat versus what’s available to do and they charge for at least 2/3 of everything and by that I mean there’s either an upfront fee like for painting classes wine tasting go carts laser tag or they say it’s a free seminar but the bottom line is they’re trying to sell you something. Even the spa you spent $250 on a spa treatment and the masseuse is pushing you to buy skin care products to the point you have to be rude to say no . Bottom line they have lost sight of what made them amazing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
To start, the Bliss his a big ship. Getting from place to place can be a bit of an adventure if you need to use the elevators at peak times. Be ready for a long wait. Our stateroom was nice, we had a large oceanview window. Our steward was ... Read More
To start, the Bliss his a big ship. Getting from place to place can be a bit of an adventure if you need to use the elevators at peak times. Be ready for a long wait. Our stateroom was nice, we had a large oceanview window. Our steward was wonderful, she always kept our room nice and fresh. Each day we look forward to the towel animal she had created for us. We ended up eating at the many sit down restaurants instead of the buffet style cafes. The TASTE, SAVOR, AND MANHATTAN ROOM were every bit as good as the specialty restaurants It seems to be very difficult to find seating in the Garden Cafe because many passengers would use to tables for viewing scenery for hours rather than giving them up so people could have a place to eat. The Observation Lounge was the most disappointing. Passengers get up early to place belonging on the couches and chairs to mark out their territory for the day. Often times you would observe passengers sleeping on the couches and chase lounges for most of the day, not allowing others to sit down and enjoy the scenery. Really! All the staterooms have bed, if want to sleep, sleep in your bed and allow other passengers to enjoy the views. I really thing that Norwegian needs to look into this as I have seen several negative reviews on this subject. This is not going to encourage travelers to book the Bliss if they can't find a place to eat in the Garden Cafe or enjoy the views from the Observation Lounge. We basically booked all of our diner reservations, shows and excursions before the cruise, so this was not a problem for us. Those who did not, found it could be very difficult to to sign up for many of the activities. Jersey Boys was great and the theater is a wonderful place to take in a show. One of my biggest disappointments was the Go Karts. I made my reservations as soon as we got on the ship, however, the person that took our reservations canceled my time slot when I my wife made reservations for the both of us to go on the double karts, so I only was able to ride the go karts one time in the 7 days we were on the cruise. This like many, activities were booked up before the first day. The best excursion was the White Pass Yukon Railway. The views are awesome! You can't describe it. We also enjoyed the Whale watching in Juneau and were not disappointed. The only thing I would do different is take one of the longer excursions, as you spend a lot of time trying to find exactly where the whales are being sited. The Nature Sanctuary excursion was a disappointed. All they had was one eagle and some redtail hawks. The rainforest hike was interesting but you can see the same thing on the Mendenhall Glacier excursion and also see a real glacier! If you want to see eagles up close, Juneau had plenty of them flying around the pier, so you don't have to pay to see them! It would be wise to plan out each port. There are many excursions to choose from that can be purchased on and off the cruise ship. If you are just going to walk around Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan be ready to see Jewelry Store and T-Shirt shops for the most part. So in conclusion, to avoid stress and disappointment, plan ahead. Make all of your activity, dinner, show and excursion reservations before or as soon as you board the Bliss. Be ready for full elevators, no available seating at peak times at the Garden Cafe and Observation Lounge and have a great time. Alaska is beautiful! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I fell in love with Norwegian Cruise Lines when I went on the Breakaway a few years ago. When they announced the Bliss was going to Alaska it took all but 5 minutes for me to decide that I was going to experience Bliss. There are no words ... Read More
I fell in love with Norwegian Cruise Lines when I went on the Breakaway a few years ago. When they announced the Bliss was going to Alaska it took all but 5 minutes for me to decide that I was going to experience Bliss. There are no words that could experience how wonderful my experience was on the Bliss. The best part was the observation lounge. (I wish it was the entire 15th floor). If you didn't get there early it was hard to find a seat. My family and I (32 of us) took turns occupying a section so we always had a place. Embarkation and Debarkation ran smoothly. We didn't encounter any issues. You will need your passport and eDOCs so don't leave home without it. The staff on the Bliss was excellent. My stateroom steward Clifford was accommodating and took the time to learn my name!! If you get him you are sure to have a good cabin experience. I love the "Free at Sea" promotion. It gives me the opportunity to try things that I would otherwise not be able to afford. I got the specialty dining package and the unlimited drink package. I believe that Bliss has 16 bars and lounges. I never went without a drink!!! They didn't mind making the drinks stronger if I requested it. They aimed to please. I love Cagney's Steakhouse. I hate that they got rid of the Tomahawk steak. I was looking forward to eating it. The porterhouse steak was a good substitute. It was cooked to order and tender. Don't judge me, but I flaked out on the shows. My family says they were decent though. Unfortunately, none of them said they were must sees. My BIGGEST issue issue is that the shows, race track, and laser tag reservations sold out on the first day. You could try to go on a waitlist, but its not guaranteed that you will get to experience them. So book AS SOON AS YOU GET ON THE SHIP. I think that they should do the entertainment like Six Flags does. Get in line and wait your turn. It would keep people from being frustrated. Shore Excursions: Put money aside to go on the White Pass Railway in Skagway. It's amazing. I did the $244 tour that included a scenic drive into Yukon. It was well worth the extra money to experience that beauty. I went whale watching in Juneau and YES I saw whales. All the ports had great shore excursions. I recommend that you purchase from Norwegian. We purchased shore excursions in Ketchikan and Victoria when we got off the ship and the experience was not the same as the NCL sanctioned tours. This was my second time cruising to Alaska. I went on Princess in September the first time and had a horrible time. It rained 90% of the time. The best time to experience Alaska is in the first week of July and of course on the BLISS!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Words cannot describe how happy we were with this NCL cruise. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. Certainly as vacations go it is the best I've ever experienced. And I have had some really good ones! I absolutely ... Read More
Words cannot describe how happy we were with this NCL cruise. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. Certainly as vacations go it is the best I've ever experienced. And I have had some really good ones! I absolutely recommend this cruise and NCL cruise line if you are looking to see Alaska. Everything was first rate from the excursions offered to the amenities, food, ship, and people. Were there hiccups? Of course. But many of those were because we were first time cruisers. A few pieces of advice I'd offer for first timers is to fully use you Personal Cruise Consultant assigned to you. Use him/her for everything. We did not take full advantage and had some struggles. But even with the struggles the voyage and destinations were so awe-inspiring and fun, the few issues seemed minor and did not merit further thought. Some other advice I'd offer is don't pinch pennies on the excursions. Not to be free with other peoples money, but even if you splurge a bit on one of the excursions offered, do it. A sea plane to the Misty Fjord or landing on the Mendenhall Glacier in a helicopter will be the highlight of your trip. Finally, plan for an extra day in Seattle if possible. There is a lot to see there! If I had anything negative to say it would be that there are a number of activities, entertainment, and such on the ship which cost "extra." Here's the deal, we were able to stay busy and have fun without many of those because there is so much to do. A couple of things we did do were the thermal spa package and the go karts just so we could say we did it. That was pretty fun actually. We also paid to have water bottles in our cabin and did the soda package. That was money well spent for us. So budget for those things you think are important, take full advantage of everything offered as part of your cruise package, and accept that there will always be a hiccup or two.... and you will have the time of your life! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was my husband and I first cruise and we are so happy that we chose this brand new ship Norwegian Bliss. This ship is absolutely beautiful. There were so many activities and entertainment to choose from (comedy show, musical shows ... Read More
This was my husband and I first cruise and we are so happy that we chose this brand new ship Norwegian Bliss. This ship is absolutely beautiful. There were so many activities and entertainment to choose from (comedy show, musical shows like Jersey Boys and Havana, dancing st the nightclub) we were never bored. There are also a variety of dining options from eating at the Buffet or dining at their specialty restaurants you will definitely be satisfied. We chose a cabin with a balcony so that we could just sit outside and relax and also enjoy the view. Our cabin was always clean (thanks to our cabin steward). The service provided by the staff of NCL were excellent, not one employee we encountered was rude, they were always kind and helpful. We stopped at several ports to explore the towns and the disembarkation and embarkation went smoothly. Overall we had an amazing time and we would definitely book a cruise with NCL in the near future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We loved cruising Alaska a few years ago on the Norwegian Star and wanted to go back again on NCL's newest ship. This ship was absolutely beautiful and offered lots of things to do for our various age groups in our party. The ... Read More
We loved cruising Alaska a few years ago on the Norwegian Star and wanted to go back again on NCL's newest ship. This ship was absolutely beautiful and offered lots of things to do for our various age groups in our party. The Savor/Taste dining rooms offered wonderful meals that didn't seem redundant and no one had any complaints of meals served except for one snafu at breakfast which was remedied pretty quickly. The reservation system for the specialty restaurants and shows was not user friendly and unfortunately a lot of other cruisers would book multiple reservations and take up the space so that others couldn't get a reservation. I'm hoping that NCL will do something with the software that will prevent the same group to book several restaurants for the same night and then of course just go to one of them. We tried walking into two restaurants where there were plenty of tables open but they were unable to even seat two of us because of reservations that no one showed up to. They have a policy of holding for 30 minutes after the reservation. We were able to eat at Ocean Blue and that was fantastic as well as the Sushi restaurant which we found out was not part of the upgrade package but the food was very tasty. The observation lounge is amazing! It was unfortunate that some cruisers thought it was their own personal sleeping lounge and also it was very sad to see how some people would leave their plates/glasses and leftover food just sitting on the furniture. I think NCL will have their work cut out for them keeping it as beautiful as it was on the first day. We had a mid-ship balcony room and boy have they gotten smaller!! There is considerably less storage and it's definitely a dance to get past each other in the room. The non-smoking casino was fun, my Mom and Aunt really had fun playing the penny slots and it has the fastest bar service if you're in need of a drink. The race track looked like fun, a few of our party were able to get a reservation for that and they had a good time. Kind of a once and done thing though. The slides were fun to watch and again a few of our party enjoyed them on the warmer days. The show Jersey Boys is a must! The reservations were another stickler but we were all finally able to see the show few of us on one night and a few on another. Actually all the shows were great, from our group someone saw each one of them and all gave good reviews. There is an adult area with a hot tub and lounge on the aft deck which was nice but some still tried to bring along their children. I went to the buffet twice, it's not really my thing but it offered many varieties and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Please stop at the mojito bar and let the "chocolate cowboy" (check out his face book page) make you a drink. He's a great bartender and has the gift of gab with everyone. We did get a couple's massage which was nice and although I thought the automatic gratuity a little excessive it was a very nice spa. The put-put game behind the race track is fun although a little awkward to get to since the starting area is near the "haven" entrance only so you have to walk through the course to get to the start. The shops are pretty small and offer the standard items wasn't really wowed by anything. The photo shop needs more staff, we always had at least a 10-15 minute wait even though they have all these computers that you can log into to order your prints. Our group did several cruise excursions and they were very nice and provided good information about the areas we visited. We did private tours in Skagway and Ketchikan that were a lot of fun also. Our cabin service was okay, again I think they need more staff for such a large ship. Others in our group had fantastic service some had just okay service. We had a mixture of cabins from deck 10/12 and 15 inside, window, balcony and mini suite. All were decorated very nice and except for window cabin (12700) everyone thought they were much smaller than other ships. So pack efficiently! We were very fortunate to have perfect sunny weather everyday so all those cold weather clothes stayed in the luggage under the bed. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We just returned from our 7 Day Alaskan Cruise that departed from Seattle.(June 30th-July 7th) This was our 1st cruise & we were excited to be on this new huge ship! Did I mention the ship is HUGE - 17 total decks, 4000+ passengers ... Read More
We just returned from our 7 Day Alaskan Cruise that departed from Seattle.(June 30th-July 7th) This was our 1st cruise & we were excited to be on this new huge ship! Did I mention the ship is HUGE - 17 total decks, 4000+ passengers & 1700 crew. The ship was nice & clean but there were more downsides than up. We booked a family ocean view cabin & we were actually pleasantly surprised by the amount of room. 1 Queen size bed, 1 roll-away bed & 1 "sofa" that converted to a bed, as well as 2 large closets & a decent size bathroom. Good for 2 adults & 2 teenagers. As far as the dining options go - the Garden Cafe was terrible. Same food served for every meal, with "special themed dinners some evenings". It was all cafeteria/mass produced food & good luck finding a table. We also ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants - Teppanyaki - entertainment was good, food ok. Ocean Blue - seafood. This was a cruise to Alaska so we expected Alaskan Crab legs, lobster, anything but the normal seafood you could get anywhere. None on the menu. 3rd Dinner - Cagney's steakhouse. My husband loves his filet mignon - he said it was good but not memorable. I got the seafood platter & it was just a ton of breading & no seafood. We were excited for the Go Cart race track & Laser tag only to find out that it is an extra charge & if you didn't make reservations before the cruise, you could get in a standby line to see if anything opened up! Seriously - after what we paid for the cruise itself & to spend more time in a line - no thanks! Pool/Hot Tubs - There is 1 small salt-water pool for 4000 passengers. The water is so salty that my husband & kids went in once & said their eyes stung so bad they wouldn't go in again. There are 4 tiny hot tubs in the main pool area & 2 in the adult area. The days that were really cold (most of them while in Alaska) the little kids (Ages 4-12) used it as a swimming pool, goggles & all. If you enjoy sitting butt to butt with a complete stranger than you will enjoy it. The sign clearly states no one under the age of 16, without an accompanying adult, & no more than 10 people in at a time. It was never monitored & parents would drop their kid, go to the bar & check back in an hour! The entertainment shows were also completely booked, & again you could show up 10 minutes early, stand in line at stand-by and you might get a seat. The ports were great but no where near enough time in each one. Could have skipped Victoria - over-priced & nothing to see. Whale Watching in Juneau (Juneau Whale Watching) was the highlight of our trip! The best part of our time on the cruise ship was getting to know our Room Steward Ven! He always had a friendly smile, would pop out of another room when you went by just to say hello & ask how your day was & we came back to a different fun towel animal every night. This man works 8 months straight on the ship, away from his wife & 3 kids and cleans up after passenger after passenger & I never once saw him not smiling. Bottom line if you like cafeteria food, waiting in line for EVERYTHING - elevators, food, getting on the ship, getting off the ship, playing bingo, hanging out in noisy crowded bars, and playing weird game shows then this is for you & it will be money well spent. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
First time on the Norwegian, First time to Alaska, but 7th time on a large cruise ship. My review may be skewed as we booked the Haven Spa Suite, so it could have been a different experience from most. Though the Spa Suites did costs ... Read More
First time on the Norwegian, First time to Alaska, but 7th time on a large cruise ship. My review may be skewed as we booked the Haven Spa Suite, so it could have been a different experience from most. Though the Spa Suites did costs over USD10K for the whole 7-day cruise, which is more expensive than I would have preferred, but I heard great things about it and wanted to try it. Ship - Large ship for sure that accommodates over 4,500 guests. And you really can feel that it was crowded, so long elevator waits, crowded pools, crowded Jacuzzi, and the following - For the complaints about elevator waits, I feel you. This did not help when the left and right bank elevator call buttons are separate, so there would be many times doors open and no one came in. No idea why those call buttons are separate - For those who complained about non-existing availability for specialty restaurants , I feel your pain too. I didn't book any, as I thought that in my previous experience with Celebrity, Oceania and Princess, that you can just book within the first few days and there are always space - and I was so wrong this this ship. Every single specialty restaurant (other than Smokehouse and the Mexican Restaurant) was booked up before the ship even departed (well, there was availability on the early seating at Victoria, but considering the boat docks in Victoria at 4pm, a 6pm dinner reservation means you have no time to visit this amazing city). But I would suggest standby, it worked two times out of the three times, and we had amazing meals at Teppanyaki and Ocean Blue. Tried standing by at the last night, but everything was full due to most guest returning late from Victoria as it was a very late departure and arrival port. - For those who complained about the non-existing availability about go-cart rides, I feel your pain too. They were all booked up by 6pm embarkation day. I ended up going standby which was fine. Being a Haven guest also allowed me priority entry so that helped out one time. - For those that complained about the crowded pools and Jacuzzi, yes it's true. But it could be a good sign as it means weather is amazing. We were very lucky with sunny weather during the entire 7-day cruise, including Ketchikan which was supposedly the rainst capital in US, and very hot and fine weather in Skagway. But as Haven guests, there was three dedicated Jacuzzi and a small courtyard pool, and there were barely anyone in the beautiful and quiet outdoor Jacuzzi and sundeck, while the main pool would be crowded, noisy from the entertainment line-ups and 10 or more people sitting in the 3-4 Jacuzzi each. - For those complained about the crowded observation lounges and how people were sleeping on it occupying prime spaces, I saw that too, despite daily messages on the daily program asking guests to refrain from placing feet on chairs. Though to be fair, it was a very large space spanning at probably over 10,000 square feet of prime top-floor space below the buffet, with very comfortable seating, and light meals buffet and a full service bar, and we were wow-ed by this factor. These are some of the benefits for Haven guests and this is my review of it - Dedicated courtyard and sundeck and Jacuzzi (amazing) - Dedicated Haven restaurant (upgraded cuisine with greatest service and hosts, thought it gets a bit boring with the same menu every-day, and we would dine at the Manhattan room for the extra variety) - Dedicated concierge (phone calls picked up quickly and you could ask them anything while on the way to the restaurant) - Dedicated butler (amazing we well, as she would help us with our laundry, placing evening canapes at our suite every-night and handling special requests. The only special request I made was I would love some chocolate chip cookies and a jug of ice tea every night, as the buffet doesn't have chocolate chip cookies every-day or would run out), and every night, I would see a tray of cookies, brownies and chocolate covered strawberries at the table, and that was so amazing) - Priority embarkation and disembarkation (this was very important as we had this dedicated lounge for check-in, which was equipped with sofas, snacks, juices and water and a host would guide us from check-in to the elevators. Though note that they don't escort you up to your room, so you will still need to wait for the elevator yourselves). Disembarkation was also very smooth. You wait at the Haven lounge at your leisure, and they would bring you in small groups to the service elevator all the way down to the gangway, and you would exit the ship with zero wait, and I saw reviews that others have waited long times to disembark). Haven bags collection is also in a dedicated area closer to the exits and placed on tables for easy repacking). They also had priority signage to get on the ship on other ports, but in practical sense, these lines are used by anyone) - Dedicated areas for shows in the Bliss Theater. This was so useful as well. They would block off 5 rows of seats on the left side of the theater, with hosts checking your key-cards in order to be seated. We usually arrive at shows 5 minutes before it starts and that area would be pretty empty while the rest of the theater were quite full. A tip is that they release those seats to everyone else, so you could get some great aisle seats by coming into that section 3 minutes prior to show starting. - Priority wait listing for specialty restaurants (didn't seem like it worked as nothing cleared for us) Overall, I loved the Haven aspect of the cruise ship. It went above and beyond to what I had expected and I would go on this ship again. Entertainment and Activities - Havena and Jersey Boys had great production value, beautiful scenes, dancers, custoume changes, and were 75-90 minutes each in two seatings in two days. Note that it would not appeal to young children (which there were plenty of due to a summer cruise) as it was quite adult themed. - I wish they would have more shows that would feature more younger, pop and contemporary songs though. I didn't grow up with the Jersey boys (or Four Seasons) generation so I didn't know a single song that was performed. - Loved the activity at the Atrium.. they were hilarious and really worth watching. Though note that some of them aren't kids-friendly. Let's say it involved balloon humping, simulated sex, lap dances, stripping .. but all in good fun and humor and very entertaining. Those audience participated shows entertained me way more than the Broadway production shows. - As a fitness class junkie, I loved how they have dedicated spinning rooms. However, I would have loved to see more fitness classes in the evenings, as well as additional spinning classes. The evening stretches was quite short at 30 minutes and I think most would prefer if it was longer. Due to the large size of this ship, it also seemed like the two trainers were busy most of the times with private consultation and clients, and I could feel they were busy all the time. Service - Top notch service from most staff, but I do agree with some of the reviews I saw of bartenders that were difficult to fetch in bars, or forgotten orders in restaurants etc. Unlimited alcoholic beverage was one of the chosen perks for most guests and I'm sure it is quite popular. - All of the Haven staff members are amazing, remembers name personally and order preferences. Overall, I would return on a Norwegian Cruise if I booked a Haven room. I would have chosen another cruise line if I wasn't booked in that category, due to the above listed reasons. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I had heard pretty good things about NCL, but during our trip, there were far too many negatives. I would have a very hard time sailing this cruise line ever again. I used the port valet service to supposedly get my bag safely from the ... Read More
I had heard pretty good things about NCL, but during our trip, there were far too many negatives. I would have a very hard time sailing this cruise line ever again. I used the port valet service to supposedly get my bag safely from the port of Seattle to the airport. My bag never arrived at my final destination and was a nightmare of an experience trying to find it. I never did get my bag and no one had any clue how to locate it. I was even hung up on by a gentleman name Jason (part of the port staff). I am so deeply upset and disappointed by the lack of communication and how the process was handled. The system is seriously flawed and this is unacceptable. Also- not impressed with any of the food on this cruise line. They sell you on a “freestyle cruise experience”, but it was just too standard and there were no special experiences or good dining choices. All of the meals tasted like they were being mass produced. In regards to the activities & onboard entertainment - The fact that you have to sign up for everything and reserve in a hectic panic when you first get on board, makes cruising so unenjoyable. If you did not sign up right away, then you missed the opportunity to do all of the activities (Laser tag, go karts, shows, dining times, etc.) Because the boat was fairly new, everything was in good condition - well decorated boat. The rooms were standard. We had a mini-suite with balcony (connecting rooms). It was nice to be close to our other family members on board. The bathrooms were larger than other ships we have been on, so that was a nice feature. I do think the beverage package is worth it on the cruise- this was our first time having done that, and I think it was a good value. We were overall very disappointed. We miss the good old days of cruising, with a slightly smaller ship, and more of a personalized experience! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We've never been to Alaska and the opportunity to do so on a brand new mega-ship fell into our laps when chance had us attending a conference in Seattle the week before our cruise. It was a "no-brainer" and we booked a full ... Read More
We've never been to Alaska and the opportunity to do so on a brand new mega-ship fell into our laps when chance had us attending a conference in Seattle the week before our cruise. It was a "no-brainer" and we booked a full 11 months prior to sailing. We knew that a balcony was a must and choose a midship mini-suite cabin (13-196). Well located, quiet and plenty of room for a couple. Not sure I could say that if we'd have had a 3rd or 4th traveling with us. The trip didn't disappoint, from the relatively smooth embarkation, the beautiful departure weather and the timely lunch, reservations and cabin availability. The ship is massive, but with our cabin location and the fact that we don't mind walking a few steps up and down, some of the elevator crowding is easily avoided. By the way, the aft elevators are often less crowded. The overall weather was good, little rain on excursion days, and generally gentle seas always helps! We never lacked for things to do, from shows to the casino, taking in the sights ashore or from the many vistas inside and out on the Bliss, the Thermal Suite in the Spa or simply lounging in our cabin or on our balcony. One minor annoyance and this is just me, a detail oriented retired military aviator. The ships channel on the in-cabin TV was poor. From the constant repetition of irrelevant info (international clock times/world view) getting the same amount of screen time as the ships present position and planned course against only semi-detailed maps not to mention that tomorrow's weather was always N/A. Come on NCL, you can certainly do better. Sorry, but this is stuff I do for a living, call me, I'll help you improve your info flow gratis. We enjoyed our fair share of the Ultimate Drink Package, well worth it as well as the 3 nights of Specialty Dining. Cagney's, La Cucina and Los Lobos didn't disappoint. But neither did the regular dining rooms Manhattan, Savor and Taste. We also had lunch a couple days after shore excursions in The Local and enjoyed the change of pace as well. Overall, we'd rate the Garden Cafe (buffet) as Good - Very Good. The food choices are enormous, but so are the crowds. Sometimes a particular item you're looking for on the buffet is only at one station, though for many items, they usually have two stations, so more searching at the buffet is necessary than really should be. Also, it tends to be difficult to find seating inside the buffet and there were only two of us. However, we always found seating in the covered outdoor areas directly adjacent to both sides of the buffet, so only mildly annoying. But, with 4,000+ passengers, not unexpected. Highly recommend the Thermal Suite in the Spa pass! We purchased this before the cruise, somewhat hesitant thinking it would be crowded. Anything but, it was never crowded, only one time in the six days (approx 15 hours) I spent in the Spa was it ever close to being crowded. I immensely enjoyed the vitality pool, steam room, sauna, salt room, rain shower and snow room along with the wonderfully relaxing kids free atmosphere and loungers. Havana was a fine show, Jersey Boys were excellent and we absolutely loved BeatleMania Live, both in the Cavern Club and in the Bliss Theater! Unfortunately, the Prohibition Musical was cancelled due to illness by some of the performers, but that's nothing that can be controlled. And yes, this grown man enjoyed a round of Laser Tag and some fun laps on the Go-Kart track! For those of you worried about the motion of the ocean, the Bliss was amazingly stable. Despite one day of 5 foot seas on our return, you could barely feel it and the gentle rocking probably helped with the many restful nights of sleep! We booked this trip looking to enjoy a nice relaxing vacation with some spectacular scenery and top-notch treatment and were not disappointed!! We would absolutely cruise on Norwegian again, absolutely do another Alaskan cruise and absolutely go on the Bliss again. Thanks for making our first long cruise and first Alaskan trip so blissful! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have done several cruises with Holland America and Royal Caribbean so this is not our first experience cruising. The ship is very big and beautiful, but bigger is not better. The ship is new, big and very clean. Everything is ... Read More
We have done several cruises with Holland America and Royal Caribbean so this is not our first experience cruising. The ship is very big and beautiful, but bigger is not better. The ship is new, big and very clean. Everything is spotless and they were constantly cleaning. Way too many people on the ship. The buffet was very crowded and almost impossible to find a table in the mornings. The large observation deck was beautiful, but on the days the ship was at sea, it was a zoo - very crowded, all seats were taken and families with kids running around playing and making lots of noise. Not very blissful. It's unfortunate as the observation deck is a beautiful spot, just the only place to hang out with a view on days at sea other than your room. Another major problem we encountered is that everything was booked on the first day of the cruise - the race track and laser tag that they heavily promote, were both booked all week by the afternoon of the first day. And there is a charge to do both if you were lucky enough to get a reservation. The speciality restaurants were also booked for the week on the first day. Of course we didn't know this until we tried to book some dinners on the 2nd day of the cruise and could not. I felt we were constantly charged and up charged. My wife got a massage at the spa one day and couldn't use the spa area afterwards with paying another fee. Really? Finally, the time in each port was short. We felt rushed to get off, do an activity and then make it back in time to stand in the lines to rebound. And the last night of the cruise, we were in Victoria from 4-10pm. Not good if you wanted to have a nice group dinner on the last night. Unless you wanted to miss one of the 4 ports. Overall a beautiful ship, but way too crowded and too many extra cost across the board. Would not recommend the Bliss. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Ship has 4000 guests and only 2 sets of elevators = very long waits for elevators. Buffet and theater both located on front of ship with observation deck = very crowded and long waits. Handicap access was poor for those individuals ... Read More
Ship has 4000 guests and only 2 sets of elevators = very long waits for elevators. Buffet and theater both located on front of ship with observation deck = very crowded and long waits. Handicap access was poor for those individuals with long lines for elevators it made travel almost impossible during peak times. Ports leave time 1:00pm was very short stays in port...then only buffet open...no seated dining = very long buffet lines and no seating available. Theater was way too small, had to have reservations for shows with very limited showtimes. Even after standing in line for 30min we were denied entrance to show due to not having a reservation = very poor. Extra charges for gocarts and laser tag take away from having the option of these...they should be included. Too many extra charge dining areas...could utilize some of this space for open complimentary dining. Food staff and service was EXCELLENT!. Bar service and staff was EXCELLENT! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a bucket list check- off, fantasy vacation for our family.We had a group of 8 people. 6 adults and 2 children. We started our journey from Florida, which is a 3 hour time difference. We stayed at Seattle Marriott Bellevue hotel, ... Read More
This was a bucket list check- off, fantasy vacation for our family.We had a group of 8 people. 6 adults and 2 children. We started our journey from Florida, which is a 3 hour time difference. We stayed at Seattle Marriott Bellevue hotel, which I booked through hotwire for 135 per night. The hotel was located in the Bellevue city district. I feel the hotel would be better suited for business meetings. We were all hungry when we arrived and decided to eat at the hotel restaurant. The waitstaff was kind, but the food was overpriced and not great. When we awoke in the morning we anticipated a continental breakfast, they did not offer one. Bellevue was a very clean and beautiful city, but expensive. The hotel did not offer a shuttle to the airport or the dock. We took an uber ride to the dock, our driver was very nice and told us a lot about the city and living in Washington. We arrived at the pier around 0800. We were able to check our bags at that time, but we could not check-in until 1000. I liked that we didn't have to drag our suitcases around until check-in. We dined at a small coffee shop on the corner of the street across from the ship that offered Korean inspired breakfast dishes. It was good and the only restaurant I saw open close enough to walk with a 5 and 8 year old. We walked around the pier and looked at the ship from the outside. We were able to get some great pictures in front of the artwork of the Bliss. When we were getting ready to embark an elderly woman tripped and fell face down on the cement while on her way to check her bag. Norwegian staff was quick to help her and a medic came to address her needs. Embarkation went smoothly. We are all balcony rooms and still got in at around 1030. We explored the decks. 6,7,8 are the main ones for activities. On all the walls are screens for ordering or directions, and in the bottom right hand corner of the screen also has the time, which is important because clocks are scarce. This was also helpful, as the time zones changed twice while we aboard the ship. We ordered a game of laser tag. Later in our room we ordered race track for my husband and grandson. They had a double go kart ride for kids and adults from 5-6. I ordered the specialty dining, spa and shows before the cruise. The Garden cafe had a good mix of food choices. Indian, Asian, American, seafood, etc... unique desserts were included with each dining time in the Garden Cafe. We got to our cabin around 1330. Our luggage didn't arrive until around 1800. The cabin had the bathroom to the right, couch, and then bed by the sliding glass door. The bathroom had one sink and a glass shower stall. We had plenty of room to move. My husband is 6'2" and I'm 5'3". I put my clothes in the drawer under the couch and hung dresses in the closet. There is room underneath the bed to slide the suitcases. My husband lived out of his suitcase and closet. The other drawer had pillows and blanket for the couch. Our room was clean and comfortable. Our room steward was excellent. We ate dinner at Teppanyaki. Good show and large portions of Japanese food. They take a photo while you are eating and have it ready at the end of service. We checked out the observation lounge. Nice, large viewing windows, lounge chairs and seating throughout the area. A small buffet is offered. Soup sandwiches, some desserts and drinks. The ship is crowded, but there are places to be alone. The second day at sea we used the spa. My husband would workout and use the spa. I loved the relaxation pool with the jets. I liked the heated tile loungers too.I did some of the organized classes when I could. I would get sweets at the bake shop from time to time. The grand kids went to the kids club and loved it. The morning time for kids club is free play time, but each evening there was a different theme. They had a pajama party, superheros, pirates, and jungle circus practice for the big performance. They also had a white themed dance party for the kids, they could wear all white or florescent and glow under the black lights. The circus performance for the kids took place in the main theater and was the highlight of their time. My grandchildren were a tiger (five years) and a plate spinner (eight years). We had a cruise critic meet and mingle in the District brew house at noon. NCL provided champagne, mimosas, snacks of spring rolls, chicken, puff pastries with assorted toppings. The cruise director Silas Cook and other officers met us. They provided entertainment and a good time. After the meeting we did a slot pull at 1400. It was fun! 14 of us put money in one slot machine and took turns playing it. Kristie was the most lucky and we were able to break even. We had dinner at the Manhattan room, there isn't dancing in this one. Good food and great service. I saw Havana, it was interesting. The actors and dancers were good and professional, but the script seemed off and pieced together oddly. It was difficult to follow. On the 3rd day we arrived in Ketchican. We went off the ship two hours before our excursion and had a chance to explore the city. The town shops were quaint and had the best prices of all the excursion stops. We did the canoe ride and rain forest in Ketchikan. The views were spectacular. We got a history of the area and were able to enjoy a relaxed canoe ride. We stopped at a small cooking hut and enjoyed a wonderful lunch of home made jam with bread, salmon spread on bread, and a delicious clam chowder. They even gave us coffee and hot chocolate, all cooked over an open fire. Our guide took us on a nature walk through the Ketchikan rain forest where we learned about the native plants and their medicinal properties. On the way back we all had a blast racing the other canoe, and experienced some of Ketchikan's famous rainy weather as we docked. The grand kids had a ball paddling.We did laser tag that evening when we returned. It was a workout and fun. You could recharge if someone killed you to play some more. We ate at Le Bistro. Good food, but small portions, good service. We snacked at the garden cafe too. On the 4th day, we did whale watching through Juneau Whale Watch. It was my husbands favorite excursion. Our naturalist and ship captain were Alaska natives and offered us interesting facts about the area and were very knowledgeable about the whales and the glaciers. We saw four whales, sea lions, pilot dolphins, and bald eagles. Just the views were worth the trip. It was truly breathtaking and the boat ride was exhilarating. We cruised the glacier that night and ate at the Manhattan. On our 5th day, Skagway, Alaska, we did Mushers camp. It was a 1/2 hour ride in a bus and then 1/2 in a jeep to get to the dog carts. The ride was short. One loop around the camp. Then we had a talk on the races that happened. A short time to play with the dogs and pups. The guides were great and informative. The mushers were all professional racers and had participated in either the Jr. Iditarod or the actual race and the dogs were also professional racers. We wished we could have had more time to interact with the dogs and puppies. Then back on the jeep to the bus. That night we ate at Cagney's. My son got the Porterhouse and ate it all. It is a huge steak! Nice dinner and service. 6th day, more spa, arcade room, casino, and eating. We ate at the Local sometimes for lunch and had the chicken wings, and sandwiches. At noon, there was a past guess party at the District brew house. They gave us different beers and finger foods. It was a nice selection and the staff came and spoke to us from the different departments of the ship. I saw the "Beatles", fun show and good singing. Dinner was at the Manhattan. Food at the Manhattan room was always good and there was a good selection. We saw the Jersey boys. Excellent show! Good story line and singing. 7th day, Victoria we didn't book anything and walked to the pier, nice playground and food shops around pier. Good music and acts throughout the ship. I saw Camille Rae sing, she was good. Jim Badger was good. Tatiana was good. Duo Rika was good. The guy sang Elvis great, but had an accent when speaking. My family said they liked the comedy show. They had movies in the Atrium and game shows there. We would get yummy snacks in our room from the hotel director Mark Maeling and Jovo Sekulovic. We would get invites to various things happening aboard the ship. Something for everyone. We had a Seattle excursion on disembarkation day. They had us check our luggage the night before and we went to the theater the day of at 0800. We went through customs and the luggage was separate waiting for us on the other side of the custom building. The bus for the tour was the next stop. Disembarkation went smoothly. The Seattle tour took us to the Space Needle. We all had to pee waiting in line to go up and there are no bathrooms until you get to the top, so go before you go up! We were a bit disappointed that the space needle seemed to be under construction, but the views were still spectacular. Next stop was Pike Place market. This was a fun touristy stop, but it was so crowded and crazy that it was hard to take it all in. We did get some really fun souvenirs to take back with us. The tour guide was funny and informative. We were dropped off at the airport from the Seattle Tour. We were in staterooms 11210, 11214, 11222. Somethings that could be improved are the times in port and NCL's texting app. I would like to go again. Best cruise ever! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We took the Norwegian Bliss to Alaska one week ago June 23-30, 2018. We chose this ship because it was a new ship and it was my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary, and mine and my husband's 50th birthdays so we thought this would be ... Read More
We took the Norwegian Bliss to Alaska one week ago June 23-30, 2018. We chose this ship because it was a new ship and it was my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary, and mine and my husband's 50th birthdays so we thought this would be a great way to celebrate all the 50 events. We have cruised several times on Carnival as well as Royal Caribbean, so this was our first time on Norwegian. Norwegian proved to be very underwhelming compared to our other cruise experiences and I certainly expected more from a brand new ship and considering the cost was nearly double I definitely expected more for my money. First off, we had a balcony cabin which we had requested, and our cabin was located directly next to my parents and my sister's cabin. When we booked this cruise we told our cruise representative that we specifically wanted balcony cabins next to each other so that we could open up the balconies and all be connected together. We like to sit outside and enjoy the scenery and our morning coffee, which is something we have done on our previous cruises. We were assured by our cruise representative that this would not be a problem. When we arrived on the ship we were told that Norwegian does not allow for the balconies to be opened up and connected, they cited this was due to a fire safety issue. However, the balconies were clearly made to open up, they were just locked, and Norwegian refused to open them so we were unable to enjoy our typical outside scenery and morning coffee together as a family as we had done in the past on other ships. Management of the entertainment on the ship was terrible. We had been checking our online NCL account to book our entertainment early since February. We were never allowed to book anything but the Jersey Boys prior to arriving on the ship. The day we boarded, within an hour of boarding, all of the shows were completely sold out, both complimentary shows and those with fees. Part of this is because the ship only offers four showings of each show per week...on a ship with 4,000 guests. Definitely not enough showings. So Prohibition, the Comedy Show, and Havana were all sold out within an hour of arriving on the ship and we were unable to see any of the shows other than the Jersey Boys which was a good show but a shortened version of the broadway hit. Be prepared to pay on this cruise. Everything is very very expensive. Bingo was $50 to $75 dollars a day to play. The Go Kart Race Cars are $10, Laser Tag is $10. The only thing that was free was mini golf which was 5 holes and nothing to get excited about. Alcohol was ridiculous, as it is on most ships, cheapest drinks started at $10 per drink and went up to $15/$16 dollars per drink depending on what you ordered. Water was $6.00 a bottle and a 20% gratuity and service fee was added to every purchase. They had several places on the ship to eat including some specialty restaurants which were al-a-cart and expensive. We did eat at three of the specialty restaurants and were very underwhelmed particularly considering the cost. The ship also offers several what they call complimentary places to eat such as the dining rooms and the garden cafe which is buffet style. I found the food in the dining rooms to be just so so compared to other cruises and was definitely disappointed in the choices and selections offered. In the past on other cruises, there were always a variety of times and locations you could get food, everything from regular dining to midnight buffets, this was not so on the Bliss. The dining rooms, the garden cafe and specialty restaurants were closed by 9:30 each night. Room service was available 24 hours a day but they charged a $7.50 delivery charge each time you ordered. And even though room service was available 24 hours a day, you couldn't get coffee delivered before 6:30 a.m. in the morning. Service on the cruise was OK. When we first arrived on the ship my sister's room was still in the process of being cleaned so we left to explore the ship. When we came back her room still had cleaning supplies that had been left in the room and the coffee cups were dirty and looked like they had just been wiped off and placed next to the coffee maker, as they had coffee stains in the bottom of the cups. The ship charges you $14.50 per person per day, this fee is to cover tipping for everything on the ship, so we did not provide any additional tips at the end. There is a safe in the room to keep your valuables, which we did use everyday with the exception of the last morning when we were getting ready to leave the ship. We packed our remaining items up and cleaned out the safe and then went to grab a quick bite to eat before leaving the ship that morning. I had left my purse in the room inside the closet with the door closed while we were gone to breakfast. After breakfast we came back and grabbed our luggage and began the disembarkation process. It wasn't until we got back home that I noticed that $300 dollars was missing from my wallet. Now I hate to place blame on our room attendant, but he was the only person who had access to our room that morning besides us. Prior to that my wallet and purse were with me or locked in the safe the entire trip. So yes my fault for not leaving it locked in the safe until the very end, but I didn't want to forget anything so I had cleaned out the safe. Not a great way to end what should have been a great trip. While Alaska was absolutely stunning and I would love to go back again, I cannot recommend Norwegian or the Bliss. Save your money and try Princess or Royal Caribbean both of which have excellent ratings for cruising. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
After sailing in the Haven last year on the Norwegian Epic, we couldn’t wait to do another cruise and have the perks that made the greater cost of the Haven, worth every Penny. Sadly for a multitude of reasons, the Haven on the Bliss, ... Read More
After sailing in the Haven last year on the Norwegian Epic, we couldn’t wait to do another cruise and have the perks that made the greater cost of the Haven, worth every Penny. Sadly for a multitude of reasons, the Haven on the Bliss, left us feeling foolish for spending $25,000 for 1 less room, and a lot less amenities. Here is the comparison to the Epic. To Start the Haven pool is smaller, and is now being used by substantially more Haven rooms. Instead of a larger pool, they chose to make a seating area I. 6 inches of water, which no one utilized. In addition they eliminated 1 hot tub in the pool area. I was told that there were 2 hot tubs on the 19th floor, where anyone under 16 wouldn’t be allowed. A ridiculous rule, since there is no bar in the area. The observation lounge is indeed beautiful, with 1 major flaw: Due to the Blue and White Swirl carpeting, reflecting off the glass it reasonably hard to observe anything. The food in the observation lounge usually consisted of Marshmallows, Peanut M&M’s, Gummy Bears, Macaroons, and Cold Water with orange slices, while the Non-Haven observation lounge on the 15th floor had a wide variety of actual food. As always the food and service in the Haven Restaurant was really great. However trying to get a preferred reservation at any specialty restaurants was impossible. On the Epic it was never a problem. On the Epic, we were escorted off the ship for excursions, and had a separate Haven entrance at every port. On the Bliss they never had either service. In total we waited over 3 hours in line getting back on the ship. Again if I wasn’t paying an extraordinary amount of money, this isn’t an issue. The water slides, Race Course, and Laser Tag, all of which Norwegian publicized heavily for the Bliss, had limited hours, due to the fact that there weren’t enough staff to man them effectively. So many kids and adults on the ship, never got to do any of those activities during the entire week. With the itinerary consisting of almost 3 full days at sea, there simply wasn’t, enough to do on the Bliss, that was actually available. When we asked about the lack of amenities on the Bliss that we experienced on The Epic, we were simply told, “we don’t do that here”. Since there isn’t a separate fitness center in the Bliss Haven, why isn’t the Spa included for Haven Guests? So simply put we spent twice as much money for a 2 Bedroom Family Suite, on the Bliss, and basically had 75% less amenities than we did on the Epic. When we left the Epic, we felt that staying in the Haven was something that we would always try to do, but after leaving the Bliss I felt like we got cheated, and I doubt that we would ever book a Haven Suite again. I would search for another Cruise line that offers equitable amenities. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Other family members chose the ship and cruise and I went along with the group. What is particular irritating is the constant charges appearing on the room bill as fees and services which should be explained when booking, not when you are ... Read More
Other family members chose the ship and cruise and I went along with the group. What is particular irritating is the constant charges appearing on the room bill as fees and services which should be explained when booking, not when you are held captive for the next 7 days. The cabin was clean and neat, the bed was comfortable and our steward was outstanding, could not have been more kind and respectful. I understand the bigger the boat, the bigger the crowds, but there has to be something done about the elevators and the wait times. Why have upscale restaurants? why up charge to eat better? I understand that there are different types of people or class of people, but this seems more like taking more money from captive audience. I do recommend the japanese restaurant Tappanaki and Q the bbq restaurant, the food was very good. Be prepared to spend a lot on excursions, some were reasonable, but going to Alaska, it is also a seasonal port so I am sure the locals have a lot to do with the prices. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Am I the only one that wasn't impressed by this ship? Did no one else notice every last inch of the ship was maximized for passenger cabin space? On such a large ship, there were only a few small double or triple volume spaces - no ... Read More
Am I the only one that wasn't impressed by this ship? Did no one else notice every last inch of the ship was maximized for passenger cabin space? On such a large ship, there were only a few small double or triple volume spaces - no one felt claustrophobic? I'll start with the cons first: -Sailing the inside passage with such a large ship resulted in shorter port stays (due to the tide schedule to not leave us stranded on the bottom of the canal). It also kept us from entering interesting areas like Glacier Bay bc the ship was simply too large. We did stop at one glacier that mustve been at least a mile away. The ship did three 360 degree rotations so everyone could get a chance to take their pictures. Not recommended for first time Alaskan travelers who want to see more. Great for travelers who just want to feel the Alaskan scenery go by - it IS beautiful. -Small public spaces - while the Bliss had a LOT of themed public areas, I did not feel there was a single grand space as you see in the same size (or even smaller) RCCL ships. All public spaces were single volume, low ceilings. It felt as if it were limited by a small ship structure, when in fact NCL prioritized cabin spaces. It looks like a huge apartment building on water, and in fact, feels like it as well inside. -Not enough elevators for so many passengers. 16 total if I remember correctly in two banks, but 4 of them are on a separate request panel because it goes one more floor higher. That means most people end up requesting either 6 or 2 per bank. And for those who press all buttons to request all 8 elevators, inevitably one set of elevators go to waste when they arrive. -Cruise Terminal in Seattle isn't designed to offload megaships like this. Some people waited up to 45 min to get off the ship, and that was after a 1 hour hold by CBP bc of overcrowding. -Most activities are booked on the first day, ie Go Kart, Laser Tag, etc. The good news is that its likely you can sweet talk someone giving you some open spaces. Worked every time. -I felt main dining room food was mediocre. Good menu, but food seemed precooked and plated. Five star service but three star food. -Specialty restaurants, La Cucina and Ocean Blue were the best for us. Ocean Blue has an extra $18 charge per person with the package. They don't tell you before hand, I'm sure its in some fine print somewhere but be warned. -Photography - typically we buy lots of photos from the cruise. When reviewing our photos at the end of the trip, we noticed how horribly over edited/over processed the images were. So terrible. It looked like we all had plastic surgery. Pros: -Service - Very friendly staff for the most part. Maitre D Daniel O. stood out the most. He had some sushi custom made for my son, found us in the Garden Cafe, and hand delivered it. Turns out he had a 3 yr old back at home too. -Ship Quality - Nice fit and finish to the interior of the ship. Good use of materials, and everything worked as designed. Some creaking/flexing during rougher waters, but nothing out of the ordinary. We did have some plumbing noise for a couple of days, but that went away before we decided to call someone about it. Themed public areas are really well designed. -SPLASH ACADEMY - My 3 yo had a great time down at Splash. Their security procedures and friendly staff made it really easy to drop off our child. There were some kids that were a bit shy, resisted going in, but it seems like everyone comes out happy. They even bring the kids on "field trips" around the ship, singing and dancing along the way. Good way to socialize the kids. At the end of the cruise, they have a big performance on the main stage, very nicely done. -Ocean Blue Restaurant - I have to bring this up again bc it was really a quality restaurant. Service was excellent and food was even better. A must try. We would've dined here 3 times in 7 days but we couldn't get seats on the last day. Bummer! Conclusion: While it seems like some people really enjoyed this ship, I feel a bit shorted on the public spaces of the ship. The huge marketing on the stop deck features distracted the reality of the interior. It is really a streamlined ship to maximize profit through high occupancy levels and upcharges with specialty restaurants (not to mention you have to reserve theater entertainment). While I didn't feel the Bliss maximized my Alaska experience, I think it would be worse in the Caribbean with the handful of swimming pools, and demand surge for outdoor activities which was already hard enough to book in cold Alaska. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is the second NCL we have done. Last year we did the Epic and it was really fabulous! We did Haven both times and the difference was huge. The Bliss has an indoor pool in haven but it was still very cold and kids could stay in it for ... Read More
This is the second NCL we have done. Last year we did the Epic and it was really fabulous! We did Haven both times and the difference was huge. The Bliss has an indoor pool in haven but it was still very cold and kids could stay in it for 5 minutes before jumping into the hot tub that had 15 other kids in it. Only one hot tub kids could use. In rainy windy times we would sneak up to the deck 16 years or older and let them use the hot tub as their own private pool. However last day at sea the closed all the hot tubs for maintenance? We complained and said why close them on a day at sea? Day 1 all restaurants, race track and laser tag booked. We complained and overheard them say an extra 1,000 people on board and they sold too many dining packages for incentives. Kids in boat were crying because some did not get a chance to race or laser tag. It was often closed because of weather anyways. We were able through haven to secure 1 race track per person and 1 laser tag. Haven amenities same dessert in observation lounge never changed once, who wants dessert at 3:00 with cocktails? Went to 15th floor to get food. Haven staff was ok, we tip at end of cruise, cocktail servers seemed only driven by tips to help you. Upcharged for a drinks in haven, same drinks we could get at maltings whiskey bar on beverage package. Haven restaurant was a joke- better food anywhere else in ship. Epic was much better- same menu too! The port times are rediciouus never enough time off the boat I have seen other cruise port times and much better. Bliss seems to have gotten the worst port spots as well. No expedited on board off board for haven guests. I think they did once in Victoria. Juneau it took 30mins in line to get back on ship. Security man closed the line and started to take pictures of the line saying it was a joke. Manhattan had the best staff! Faster service and best food. You should have those people in the Haven. The buffet was the same food over and over. Splash academy was ok- we used it once. My kids got to ride the slide on last day before Victoria when the weather was ok. This ship is not designed for Alaska weather and outdoor activity. The walk out boardwalk was rarely used as it was too cold. Epic in Europe was half the price and twice the fun. Bliss has some kinks to work out. All in all I would not recommend this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have always wanted to cruise to Alaska but wanted to wait until my kids would be old enough to appreciate/enjoy the scenery and excursions. We decided to book our cruise for June 2018 to celebrate my 40th birthday and our oldest ... Read More
I have always wanted to cruise to Alaska but wanted to wait until my kids would be old enough to appreciate/enjoy the scenery and excursions. We decided to book our cruise for June 2018 to celebrate my 40th birthday and our oldest daughter's high school graduation. (Our younger kids would be 6 and 7.) We researched cruise options and chose the Norwegian Bliss because the ship was going to be BRAND new and the price was very fair for a family of 5. A few of our favorite things: -The Splash Academy (kids club) was WONDERFUL! The staff and activities were fun and engaging- our little kids (ages 6 and 7) loved it! They even put on a circus the last sea day in the big theater- Adorable! I would say it blew Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas kids' club out of the water and was very close to DCL's kids' programs. -The ports were all very different and offered something fun and exciting. In Ketchikan we saw a Lumberjack show and toured totem poles at Bight Park. In Juneau we went on a whale watch and visited a beautiful glacier park. In Skagway we met the sled dogs (and puppies!) and panned for gold. These were all chosen with the help of our kids and booked in advance. In Victoria, we hired a private driver (found him at the port) and drove out to Butchart Gardens which was just beautiful- even the kids loved it! -The ship is just beautiful! It is clean, modern and well-designed. A few things we did not love: -We missed out on many activities on board bc we were unaware of how quickly they would "sell out". We never got to try the laser tag or go-carts. Comedy shows were completely gone and the only show tickets (Jersey Boys and Havana) we could get were at 10:30 at night- too late for us (and the kids' care cost $ after 10:30). -The Observation Lounge is reminiscent of the pool deck on a Caribbean cruise- people reserve chairs and park there all day making it near impossible to enjoy as an un-planned activity. -Our 17 year old daughter had a great time and met tons of friends. However, the planned program for kids her age was disappointing and she felt they really didn't want the older teens there. (This is the opinion of a teenager so take that for what it is....) In the end, it was one of our very favorite family vacations! We loved the ship, the ports, the excursions and were even lucky to get gorgeous, clear weather! Alaska may be the most beautiful and picturesque designations I have ever been to! Our son (8) is ready to do it all over again....and we just might! 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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