219 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews

Took NCL Bliss from Miami to British and US Virgin Islands then to Nassau. No where I wanted to really go but heard it was all about the new ship. We found the cabins lovely, especially the comfortable bed and large shower. The ship is ... Read More
Took NCL Bliss from Miami to British and US Virgin Islands then to Nassau. No where I wanted to really go but heard it was all about the new ship. We found the cabins lovely, especially the comfortable bed and large shower. The ship is designed for Alaska, not a Caribbean cruise. Thr pool area is way too small for the size of the ship and the chairs are uncomfortable and tightly packed. The regular restaurants were average at best. Service was poor. Attention to detail non existent. Most of the specialty restaurants except the Italian one were much better.....the French and Seafood ones were excellent and worth the $$$. Drinks on the ship were poorly made and very inconsistent. They can't make an old fashioned as many tries as I gave them! Shows varied -- Jersey Boys was very good, Havana was weak as was the comedian we saw. Loved the enclosed observation deck when weather turned bad but for most of trip it was a waste...unless you're in Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Overall it was a good cruise I'll give a quick recap of pros and cons then go into more detail. I was sailing with my family - kids 12 & 10 and my brothers family - kids 22 & 17 so we had all age ranges! Pros: *Nice ship ... Read More
Overall it was a good cruise I'll give a quick recap of pros and cons then go into more detail. I was sailing with my family - kids 12 & 10 and my brothers family - kids 22 & 17 so we had all age ranges! Pros: *Nice ship - Public bathrooms always clean and plenty of them *Cabin was always cleaned - never ran into cabin steward *Food was great *The Local was great for lunch *Lots of activities - there was always something to do trivia, game shows, bingo, port talks, music *Jersey Boys and Comedians were fantastic! * Embarkation process was smooth Cons: *Dinner in main dining rooms takes 1 1/2- 2 hours *Activities that cost extra - racetrack ($10/8 laps), laser tag($10/2 five min games), arcade, bingo ($50), Deal or no Deal game show ($25), bowling ($6/game) *Need to schedule activities *Can't put set amount of money on kids cards - card was either open or not *Elevators always crowded and always having to wait for them *This particular itinerary I didn't care for - St Thomas, Tortola, Nassau *Disembarkation process and airport transfer long Ship - ship is beautiful and big! we didn't even get to all the venues but was plenty of options. It was always clean - they did a great job of always cleaning the railings etc. Plenty of public restrooms - you can always find one and they were always clean. My only complaint is because it is so big, its crowded. Some events/activities were standing room only, it seemed you always had to wait for an elevator - if you can take the stair I recommend you do so. Deck chairs are hard to come by on at sea days unless you get out there early. the water slides - the tube slide was a lot of fun - highly recommend that but on sea days you will have to wait in line so plan to go on right when it opens or "off times" . The drop slide - well I tried it but got stuck!! I had two layers (bottoms) on my bathing suit and it created too much drag that I didn't quite make it back up the turn! Thankfully I saw someone else get stuck first so I didn't freak out when it started saying "emergency - emergency" while I was in the tube!! There is an escape hatch and they are right there to let you out! My husband did make it through but only did it once - so was OK - one of those things you want to try once at least. the kids splash area - my younger son loved this area - probably just as much as the pool! I did like that they had the adult only pool at one end of the deck and the family pool at the other - that way I could be there with my kids but could go in the adult pool while still being in same place with them. The kids pool also had a life guard on duty which was nice - again my kids are old enough and can swim but was nice that I didn't have to be watching them every minute. Our cabin was always cleaned/turned down when we were out - which was nice - our cabin steward (Secor - not sure if I'm spelling his name right!) was available - we did see him in hallways and he made a point to say good morning etc and when we needed something he was always available. he left us some great towel animals that the kids loved! Food - can't say enough, the food was great - plenty of options, always stocked. The buffet was always good, plenty of options and always stocked - we always found a table but sometimes it was busier than others. Only time it was a problem was the first day but that is expected as its the only place open and everyone was there - specially since it was raining when we embarked. The main dining rooms - we tried them all - food was good in all of them, plenty of daily selections as well as standard items so always something good. The décor is a little different in all so its just a matter of what you like but food in all was great. the service was a little slow - when we had a party of 8 I understood why it took 1 1/2 hours but even when only 4-5 of us it was taking 1 1/2 - 2 hours - just ridiculous - so make sure you plan enough time if you have a show that night. We ate "early" too at 5:30 so not sure why it took so long. The Local is a restaurant that is free and I would highly recommend - the wings were great! it was a nice pub type feel and a nice change from buffet or main dining room Only did one specialty restaurant - that is the Tappenaki - it was good but considering it cost extra I wouldn't do it again - the food in the main dining rooms were just as good so why pay if you don't have too. A couple in my party did have the specialty dining package and said the other restaurants weren't that great either with the exception of the Steakhouse - I don't know the name but they ended up going there twice it was so good. We had the drink package - was well worth it. I would recommend when sitting for a show or something you get your drinks and bring in with you as they seemed to be short on wait staff in those venues - service was great when you got it, its just a matter of if you got it. Activities - lets start with what I liked - there was a large variety of things going on - something for everyone! I felt like I couldn't get to everything I wanted as there was so much to do. I loved the game show type activities - some cost money (bingo and deal or no deal) but others did not and were fun to watch. The race track - kids and husband loved it, I thought was OK but I probably would say the same thing about it at home. Cost was $10 for 8 laps - not a great value but fun to say you've done. Biggest drawback is that you have to schedule your time to go - there is no queue - you have to sign up on the first day! It is also weather dependent so we signed up for two of our at sea days to make sure we got in at least once - we were able to go twice and since I had more than 24 hours notice I was able to cancel my spot on the second day. since you didn't know what would be going on ahead of time you had to schedule and hope you didn't miss some other activity you really wanted to do. Laser tag - was a lot of fun! cost was $10 for 2 five minute games. You are put on teams of 8-10 people. I would highly recommend doing this activity but it does have the same drawbacks as the racetrack - you have to schedule your time to go - there is no queue - you have to sign up on the first day! It is also weather dependent - so I recommend signing up for more than one day incase you get rained out as it will be booked up after that first day. Note - both racetrack and laser tag - you sign up when you first get on the ship - (why they don't allow this online I don't know) but it is not done at the racetrack or laser tag - you do it on deck 8 - when you first get on - go there - they will have a line for these two activities as well as lines for shows. Also you must have closed toe shoes with full heal - basically sneaker type shoes - someone in our party did not have that and they were not allowed to participate. the Arcade - parents beware!! the kids are going to want to play in the arcade and they can easily wrack up the charges when its $1-$2/game. My biggest complaint though is that I couldn't just load money on their cards. My kids received Norwegian gift cards for Christmas and although I could add the $25 to each of their cards, their cards were open so if they went over that amount we then had to pay! The don't close the cards until they reconcile at night - if they are over - they close the account and send you a bill! I've been on other cruises where I could put $25 on their cards and if a game cost $2 and they didn't have enough left they were done - much prefer that as its easy to get carried away! To me, they do this just to suck you into paying more as they know kids won't easily be able to keep track of how much they spent. Next time I'll tell the kids ahead of time - no arcade - not worth it plus there was mini golf, ping pong, water slides, splash area and the pool to keep them occupied for "free"! Entertainment - again most of the entertainment was great!! My only real complaint is you had to sign up on the ship for the comedians however I did find most everyone, if not all, in the stand by lines made it into the shows. The Jersey Boys - this was a great show! I wish I had went both nights! Great performance! Definitely a don't miss!! Havana - I did not enjoy this show - it was just the Latin dancing and singing no real story line (from what I hear as we didn't stay for whole thing) We left after the first number as we could tell it was not for us - my kids (boys) did not like it from the beginning. Comedians - they were great! we saw the family friendly shows and the adult only shows - all were good! Seeing the same comedian twice, you did get some of the same jokes but for the most part the show was completely different so worth checking out more than once. They also did a game show on the last night in the Q restaurant - that was definitely worth checking out too! Britains Finest - Beatles cover band - they were terrific! We didn't catch them until the last night in the theater but I'm glad we didn't miss them! I only regret we didn't make sure we saw them in the Cavern venue as I think it would be great in a smaller venue too! If you like Beatles music definitely make sure you don't miss this show! Splash Academy - my youngest only went once to this but had fun - the other times he wanted to go conflicted with some of our other activities. My older son unfortunately was a couple months shy of 13 so couldn't go to the teen room which I think he would like and didn't want to hang out with the 10-12 group in Splash Academy so that was a little disappointing. My niece, 17, enjoyed the teen room activities - they did scavenger hunts and other stuff around the ship that I wish my older son could have participated in. Only complaint on Splash Academy - the kids can sign themselves out but only after 2 hours - which is another reason why my older son didn't even try it - cuz if he didn't like it he would have been stuck there for 2 hours. Embarkation went smooth - we got there around 10 - was able to move right through but did have to sit in waiting area for about 30 minutes before boarding but that was no big deal. The only thing I wish they instructed more on where to go to sign up for the racetrack etc - if you didn't ask you didn't know. Disembarkation - was smooth in that they got you right off the ship but I felt like once you got off the ship the service ended! I needed to use the bathroom but was not allowed to in the port building - I had to exit - walk a couple blocks to the other end of the street where they had a port o potty trailer set up that was absolutely disgusting! Make sure you go before you get off the ship!! The transfer line to the airport was ridiculous too - we usually uber but did the transfer to stay with the others in our party - that was a mistake - I think we stood outside in the sun for an hour before getting on a bus. I highly recommend using uber/taxi service and if you have a large party schedule a shuttle bus pick up time before you leave! Itinerary - what I didn't like about the itinerary was our last day was at port so we had to pack up after we got back - I prefer to have a sea day as my last day so I don't feel so rushed to get packed up. The islands we stopped at were just OK too. St. Thomas - I've been to several time - yes they have good shopping but if not looking for that then just OK. We did an excursion through the cruise ship - Coral Ocean World and Coki Beach - the aquarium as OK - been to better ones but still fun but the beach was great! we brought our own snorkel stuff and there was plenty of fish to see! There was a place to rent snorkel stuff too. I understand you can take a taxi to this beach to save money but I also read reviews that the ride takes 25 mins and you don't want to miss you ship so if you take taxi on your own make sure you do leave plenty of time to get back to the ship. Tortola - was my first time to this island - was nice - very little shopping by the port but still managed to get a little in before we went off for the day. We got on an open air bus for $16 per person round trip - it took us to the beach and back (buses ran every hour so just have to plan enough to catch one back in time) The beach was nice but not a lot of fish or stuff to see with snorkel gear. But was still fun beach day. Make sure you have cash - beach chairs cost about $20/2 chairs w/umbrella - was worth it to keep all our stuff from getting too sandy. Nassau - not my favorite island - next time if I hit this island I will just plan to stay on the ship and enjoy it while everyone else gets off. They do have shopping area - normal jewelry shops but also a straw market when you can barter for souvenir/trinkets - which I would avoid if possible unless you really like that kind of thing. With kids its awful as they try to put stuff in their hands and get them to agree to buy something - I have no problem saying no and walking away regardless if they try to do this! I make sure my kids know before we go - don't touch anything and if you want something you tell me don't talk to them!! We were supposed to do an independent excursion on this island but it got cancelled due to rough seas the night before. I completely understand this but I was completely pissed off that we wasted 40 mins waiting for them. It was beautiful weather out so not like it would have been obvious that it was canceled so I had to find a phone to use to call and find out they had sent me an email cancelling it. Now how am I supposed to get an email when I'm on the cruise?? they knew I was coming in on the cruise - they could and should have sent someone to the port to meet us at the designated time to say it was cancelled. For this reason I would NOT RECOMMEND Bay West Adventures. We ended up going over to the public beach - it is within walking distance but not the nicest of beaches - small so crowded but very rocky in the water! we needed to keep our water shoes on! not the nice sandy beaches like in Tortola or St Thomas. This was our first Norwegian cruise, I would try another Norwegian cruise but I don't think I would do the Bliss again - I prefer a smaller ship so not as crowded. Best tip for with kids - make sure you know how much you are going to allow them to spend on arcade etc before you go to set their expectations. Had I been able to only put a set dollar amount on their cards would have been fine but since I couldn't - next time I'll say no to the whole thing - there are plenty of free activities to do that you don't need to waste the money in the arcade. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
In one week they only have 2 shows in the Theater, a 3rd show in the theater was basically a repeat of a short length show that is run in one of the smaller lounges each evening. 3 restaurants with the identical menus. You might ... Read More
In one week they only have 2 shows in the Theater, a 3rd show in the theater was basically a repeat of a short length show that is run in one of the smaller lounges each evening. 3 restaurants with the identical menus. You might consider they would have a different theme dinner in each restaurant - not so. The meals were generally good & in most cases service was good with some exceptions with filling water glasses was poor. It seemed the waiter staff had more tables to serve than normal causing on this cruise not the best service we are familiar with. Our stateroom was small which was located on the 15th floor & happened to be across from a large crew workroom that had carts rolling in & out starting around 7AM & a vacuum running between 7-8AM. On sea days 2 side by side lounge chairs were hard to find around the pool but with 4,000 passengers on board that is to be expected. The pool size for this large cruise ship was very small & on sea days was very crowded. The bar service around the pool we found was good. Guest Services (on the ship) were very helpful vs our Travel Agent & who the travel agent booked this cruise with. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We cruised on the Bliss having been on the Getaway and Escape previously which were enjoyable - I have done 10+ cruises overall on various different lines. NCL is our first choice for cruising due to the Ultimate Beverage Package which ... Read More
We cruised on the Bliss having been on the Getaway and Escape previously which were enjoyable - I have done 10+ cruises overall on various different lines. NCL is our first choice for cruising due to the Ultimate Beverage Package which is a very valuable 'perk' if you pay for a specific grade of Cabin The ship itself is very clean and tidy - Although the layout of many things are questionable. I understand the Bliss is destined to cruise Alaska which could explain the repositioning of the Jacuzzi/Hot Tubs to Deck 17 instead of Poolside. They were extremely exposed to strong winds. There is hardly any shade on any part of any Pool deck - Two very small canopies which resemble leaves. Not sure what the thinking here is - Maybe NCL want people to rotate more and not occupy sun loungers all day? Entertainment we felt was very poor - We have enjoyed Howl at The Moon on previous NCL cruises which was always full to capacity and no adequate replacement has been provided. The scheduling of events was often head scratching - Activity A would finish at 22:00 and Activity B would start at 23:00 - Many headed back to their cabins early as there was nothing much to do in between. Having been on 10+ cruises I have become accustomed to feeling like a Cruise Director has been cloned multiple times. They seem to pop up just about everywhere! We spotted our CD once (for about 45 mins) during the entire week and we participated in most of the activities offered. Comedians onboard were OK - Clinton Jackson was the most memorable. Activities - We managed to participate in the Go Karts and the Laser Tag which are very innovative and well delivered. Dining - This was regular cruise ship standard - Good enough but tempting you to try a speciality dining venue. The buffet was well stocked with options to keep everyone happy. Food Republic was excellent. No complaints in this department. Staff - I was shocked on more than one occasion by the abrupt manner of staff all over the ship. Room Steward, Bar Tenders and Waiters all got involved and we were often made to feel uncomfortable. A group of 6+ people all had to show their face at the bar before being served drinks which were already included under the UBP. This slowed service down. I boarded with every intention of renewing my 'Cruise Next' scheme but didn't feel it was appropriate as I will likely look elsewhere for my next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife & I have just finished our very first cruise with NCL. We actually chose this cruise because swapping some unused Timeshare credits for a balcony cabin on a brand new ship that was sailing to the Eastern Caribbean in January, ... Read More
My wife & I have just finished our very first cruise with NCL. We actually chose this cruise because swapping some unused Timeshare credits for a balcony cabin on a brand new ship that was sailing to the Eastern Caribbean in January, seemed like a wonderful idea. Firstly, the boarding procedure at Miami was smooth & seamless. We had spent a few days at Pompano Beach close to Fort Lauderdale prior to the cruise and had rented a car from Enterprise. When we returned the car, we were delighted to find that Enterprise (also National & Alamo) provide a free shuttle bus from MIA to the cruise port - what a bonus. We went straight into check in from the bus and onto the ship. Our first impression of the ship was it was very busy & noisy (entering through the casino did not help alleviate this impression). After a short walk around and a trip to the buffet, it was announced that all cabins were ready for occupation. Our cabin (10268) was a standard mid-ship balcony cabin. First impressions were that it was very nice and by the end of the cruise we could find no real complaints. The bathroom was functional and the shower was excellent. We drank the water from the faucet every day and our cabin stewart (Bart) was pleasant, friendly and efficient. We are simple people to please and our request for a bucket of ice (twice a day) was fulfilled to perfection. After settling in we began a quick tour of the ship. The Bliss is a very beautiful ship with wonderful artwork. The room hallways have a relaxing ambiance about them whilst the common areas of the ship are tastefully decorated. I preferred this to the new HAL Koningsdam on which we sailed twice last year. Included in our trip was the Ultimate Beverage Package and the No Service Charge Package. As non-drinkers the UBP was wasted on us. We later found out that NCL are including the UBP with almost every cruise they sell - and it showed. A large proportion of our fellow cruisers seemed to be in a constant state of merriment or intoxication. This was most evident around the pool area where blasting loud music was ongoing from after breakfast until dusk. If you are thinking of cruising on this ship and want a quiet, peaceful cruise, then look elsewhere. Having cruised with Carnival previously on 2 occasions, the Carnival cruises were like a Sunday School outing compared to this. If you like loud Hip-Hop or Rap music, then this is the cruise for you. If you want a quiet dip in a pool or hot tub then forget the NCL Bliss. The main pool is 6' 8" deep all around. It was a salt water pool with nowhere to stand up which meant having to tread water or hold on to the side when not swimming. Despite the Caribbean sunshine, the pool was not that warm. Also you will be lucky to find a space around the pool as loungers seemed to be reserved with towels and personal belongings from the moment it opened. Although we didn't try the water slides, we heard a few people telling others that they had become stuck in the slides and had to be rescued. The kiddie pool was reasonably busy and seemed colder than the main pool. Without purchasing a Haven Package, you are limited to this one area for a cool swim. There are other areas for hot tubs (Spice H2o) but they were ALWAYS crowded as well. Having just mentioned the Haven Package, we did bid $450 per person for the Haven upgrade. Our bid was unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that we ever cruised NCL again, I would make certain that we cruised in a Haven cabin. Because of the enormous amount of space assigned to Haven guests (and the location of that space), I actually felt like a 2nd class citizen on this ship. Good forward viewing locations are extremely limited on the Bliss. The Haven has its own pool area (which couldn't possibly have been as busy as the main pool), its own main dining room etc. Dining on the Bliss was inconsistent. We ate twice in the Manhatten dining room. The first time we had a quiet corner location and the second we were right in the middle amongst young families. The rest of the time we ate in either Savor or Taste. We loved this concept of dining. Eating here was more of an elegant dining experience as opposed to cafeteria style. The food was better than I had been led to believe and some dishes were excellent. The soups were often lacking taste and I would recommend avoiding them. Salads and other appetizers were quite good. Main courses varied from excellent to just OK. A weakness with Taste and Savor is that the luncheon menu did not vary for the whole week. The Garden Buffet was spotlessly clean and served typical buffet fayre. Two exceptions were the brisket and suckling pork meats which were to die for. Both were knockout. Desserts are my wife's favorite part of meals and she was disappointed by them. We did not try any specialty restaurants (we never do as the MDR food is usually good enough for us) but other cruisers we talked with said that the specialty restaurants were either great or poor. Entertainment on the Bliss was again inconsistent. Many seemed to enjoy the game show style of entertainment found in the Atrium area but for us the highlight of the entertainment was the Broadway version of the hit musical "Jersey Boys". We had pre-reserved spaces for the first performance on Wednesday evening. Even with a guaranteed spot, we wanted a good seat (which is on a first come basis) so we began lining up about 45 minutes before the show started. We selected seats about 7 rows in the middle from the stage. Talk about lucking out. "Frankie Valli" was looking and singing directly to us. We enjoyed the show so much that we waited in the standby line the next night and again got great seats off to the side. Both shows were full. This, however is another problem on the Bliss. You really need to pre-book entertainment as soon as you can. Friends told us that they couldn't get slots to ride the Go-Carts and their grandkids were bitterly disappointed. The other entertainment that was outstanding was the Beatles tribute band. We saw them once in a small and very crowded Cavern Club and again on the main stage on Friday night. Other venues were a little bigger than the Cavern but would still get crowded. The Country band, the comedians and the two other bands were alright. We, personally, did not enjoy the musical "Havanna" although it was well produced with good scenery, sound and lighting. We were first time visitors to the three ports of call on this cruise (St. Thomas, Tortola & Nassau). Overall, I was disappointed. Tortola was a giant building site following a devastating hit by the hurricane. The other two were a constant badgering by vendors. Personally not our cup of tea. Finally the complaint that seemed to irritate people the most - the elevators. There is a back bank of 8, and a front bank of 8. Both have 4 elevators either side of the hallway. You have to press the call buttons on both sides to get both sides of elevators to work. Finally when an elevator arrives you find yourself stopping at multiple floors because all the call buttons have been pressed. Then, at busy times, you get into elevators going in the wrong direction, because it is quicker to go down when you want to go up because elevators often arrive full to the brim. Even though the Bliss is a beautiful ship, we felt that it is way too crowded with very few opportunities to escape the hoards and find a quiet place. NCL seem to have a dedicated group of followers but, for us, this cruise was the first with NCL and will probably be the last. Next up is a Transatlantic on the Celebrity Silhouette in April. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is a beautiful ship, a feast for the eyes. The artwork is tastefully designed and located. We enjoyed the beauty of the ship and some very nice amenities. The Observation lounge on Deck 15 is perfect to have a bite to eat, a ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship, a feast for the eyes. The artwork is tastefully designed and located. We enjoyed the beauty of the ship and some very nice amenities. The Observation lounge on Deck 15 is perfect to have a bite to eat, a cocktail, and enjoy the view from the front of the ship. Quiet too. The adult area (H20, deck 17) was a nice getaway as well; also Margaritaville on deck 17 for awesome cocktails. I have listed details of good and bad in my opinion of the ship. It has so many options for food and entertainment - a plus - but a minus is that lots of the food is ala carte; and you have to be proactive to get into the entertainment venues. Make reservations for dining, go carts, entertainment, etc., as soon as you get on the ship. You can always cancel but you can't always get reservations later. Even if the venues are complimentary, they usually need reservations! There are "Stand by" lines for the entertainment so you can get in if people don't show up - but don't count on it especially if it is a popular event. We had a balcony cabin which was a decent size with a real door on the shower. The bedding is very nice, the pillows and duvet were so soft and comfy I didn't want to get out of bed in the mornings. Tip: There were extra pillows under the couch. The balcony had two chairs and a little table. Be advised if you want to order room service breakfast to enjoy on your deck, it is an extra $7.50 charge. The pool, and other common areas appeared to be the same size as smaller ships, but the population onboard has increased. This made for crowded common areas. Pool lounges were reserved early and abandoned for hours in spite of the "30 minute maximum" that was NOT ENFORCED by staff. There needs to be a way to monitor the use of lounges or a fee paid for use. The Garden Cafe was so crowded that it was hard to obtain food and a place to sit. The main dining rooms and Garden Cafe food was substandard. However, Margaritaville and the Local had good dining options away from the crowds. My husband paid for the spa but was unable to find a quiet place after using the sauna because of loud talkers in the heated lounge and hot tub area (even carrying beer bottles with them). He reported these incidents for three days with no action performed by staff. Our cabin steward was excellent, he always filled the ice bucket (two times a day!) and made up the room and didn't bother us. He also left cute towel animals on the bed. Ocean Blue and La Cucina were the best restaurants (up charge). Ocean Blue - The lobster was excellent and service (I believe our server was Melani) was amazing. A dinner companion raved about the steak - and said it was better than the steak at Cagney's Steakhouse. We made reservations when we boarded, but wanted to return later during the cruise because the food was so good but they were booked up. La Cucina - Great Italian. We also tried to make reservations for a return dining experience, but they were booked. We even asked to take out a pizza or order it and eat at the Cellars (Wine bar next door) and purchase wine (it is that good) but were told all we could get at the Cellars was calamari or antipasti, and no take out. Hmmm, the Cellars was never crowded - adding pizza could really increase business. The pizza at the Garden Cafe couldn't compete with La Cucina. Cagney's Steakhouse - I'd go to Ocean Blue instead. I ordered petit filet, it was okay but not juicy (even though medium rare) and had very little flavor. The rest of the table said their food was okay too but not spectacular. We purchased the "ultimate" alcohol beverage package but found that unlike on other cruise ships we were unable to pay to upgrade the package to include top shelf alcohol. If we wanted top shelf we had to pay the difference between the max of $15 on the alcohol package and the list price on the menu. The prices were inflated. Some liquor by the glass was $29! We managed to use our prepaid alcohol package for some decent liquor - Tito's vodka; Jameson Cask Mates whisky; the only good scotch offered on the package is Monkey Shoulders; Woodford Reserve (only if you order "their Old Fashioned" - if you order it any other way, it is an up-charge). Hendrick's gin is an up-charge. The best bars we found are Maltings (near the Cigar Lounge), Margaritaville (17th deck) and the bar between Los Lobos and Cagney's restaurants - they make Grasshoppers at this bar. There isn't a martini bar on the ship that we could find but you can order them at some of the better bars. The miniature golf course did not appear on any material or on the directory list (elevator). I had seen it listed somewhere but couldn't remember where. We found it when we saw it from the go cart area. It is only 5 holes but it was fun. No attendant so people had to go to the end and pick up balls and clubs then walk through the course to the front. This made it difficult for those playing the course but everyone was nice about it. My husband did the go carts and he had a lot of fun - definitely recommend! Again make reservations as soon as you board the ship. The Jersey Boys was Broadway quality. I can't say enough about how great the performances were. What a treat. The comic Clinton Jackson was so funny and surprisingly clean! We really enjoyed both of these entertainment features. The observation deck is a great place to relax. There is a small buffet and bar areas where you can enjoy the view from the front. It is there for the Alaska cruise but it is just as nice for Caribbean. It took us three days but we finally found H20, the adult lounge area. It had a water fall feature to cool you off, but unlike the Epic it did not have a pool. There is a bar at H20 but no food. It would have been nice to have an adult pool in the H20 area - and a food service. The Epic has a small cafe and pool and it was so nice to have a quiet place for adulting. The main pools (one allegedly for adults) was so crowded and frantic and over loud with the "music" and other entertainment/games that it was not a place to relax. A great place for the younger set I am sure - but the problem still exists regarding finding a lounge chair. Signage could be improved in the cabin hallways to indicate which way to the elevators. The fish on the carpet helped to orient us to the front and back of the ship but help in directions to the elevators with signs strategically located would be appreciated. The cigar lounge is very nice and located near Maltings bar so it was convenient to get a cocktail and then have a smoke in the lounge. Thank you for the signage forbidding cigarettes. The casino has an enclosed area for smokers but cigar smokers are not allowed. Why? The casino is pleasant and there are several options for gambling. The minimum for table games seemed to be lowered later in the cruise. The 3-card poker was $10 minimum but changed to $5. There are lots of slot machines as well. Itinerary: St. Thomas, Tortola, Nassau. We went on ship excursions in Tortola and Nassau. St. Thomas - We've been here several times. We planned to take the ferry to St. John and go to Trunk Bay but changed our minds and shopped with our friends. We had lunch at Cafe Amici, a little outdoor seating cafe that we have visited before. Cold beer, decent food. Tortola - Discover Tortola by land and sea. We started out on buses and drove up to the mountains around winding roads (pretty narrow!) but the views were spectacular and since we have never been on this island it was fun seeing it this way. After the bus ride we boarded a boat to cruise around the island and enjoyed rum punch. It was a nice excursion. Nassau - We decided to take the excursion to Atlantis since we have never been there. The bus took us to the hotel/resort and then we were on our own. We went to the beach first (towels and lounge chairs were complimentary). It is a beautiful beach, white soft sand and turquoise water. After we had enough of the beach, we walked back to the hotel and saw the aquariums. The private beach area is beautiful as well as the grounds. Inside, the hotel is dated. It looks like it needs TLC. It is still a grand hotel and there are some great glass works including an amazing Chihuly. All in all it was fun. The ship is gorgeous but huge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Norwegian Cruise Lines overall are a great time. The smaller ships will be my only choice from now on. They are more accommodating to those of us that don't want to feel like second class, if we choose to smoke. The Bliss makes those ... Read More
Norwegian Cruise Lines overall are a great time. The smaller ships will be my only choice from now on. They are more accommodating to those of us that don't want to feel like second class, if we choose to smoke. The Bliss makes those of us that do smoke feel like we are not welcome. There are only two spots on the Bliss that you can smoke, a room in the casino, when the casino is open and a small area on level 17 aft. So if you smoke DO NOT PICK THE BLISS! The entertainment and food was top notch. The Jersey Boys show was as good as the one that ran in Las Vegas for many years. The Havana show was an awesome show as well. Hopefully Norwegian will take a look at how they make those of us that smoke feel and change how they treat those of us that smoke. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Overall the Bliss was a nice ship but like many things there were pros and cons. Pros: * My family enjoyed the two shows we attended, Havana and Jersey Boys. Be sure to make your reservations as soon as you board of ahead of ... Read More
Overall the Bliss was a nice ship but like many things there were pros and cons. Pros: * My family enjoyed the two shows we attended, Havana and Jersey Boys. Be sure to make your reservations as soon as you board of ahead of boarding where possible * We enjoyed the laser tag battle as well as the racetrack. If I recall the laser tag battle had 2 rounds of 5 minutes each. My team won both rounds so I don't know if there is a third if the score is tied. Regardless, it was long enough and a fun time. Racetrack is around 10 minutes long, we typically got in 8 to 9 laps each race. Cart seating (for a single cart) worked even for a big guy like me (6'2", 300 lbs) which is something I get anxious about at times. Buy any packages before you board the ship, they may "run out" before you get to the counter once you board. Again make your reservations once you get on board so you get your preferred time * Specialty dining food was especially good at Los Lobos and Teppenyaki. Cagney's was good but not great. We had bought the specialty dining package for 3 restaurants and felt it was worth it. * Unlimited drink package and beverage package worked well and we didn't feel like we were being constantly questioned about every drink. Cons: * Schedule, schedule, schedule. Everything is regimented. Reservations for specialty dining, reservations for laser tag, racetrack, shows, on top of any shore excursions made this the most time bound cruise I've ever taken. I'm a planner by nature so usually I like knowing what is what but I just felt like I never had time to just do whatever whenever. If you don't like all the reservations then plan to do less and miss a few things. * Excursion disembarkation - on our last port (Nassau) the ship docked at 12 noon, and our excursion was 12:30p. They closed off decks 4 (gangway deck) and the deck above it, deck 5 for some reason - forcing massive lines to form and snake through deck 6, which is normally fairly populated anyways due to the atrium. We made it to our excursion in time, but had to really powerwalk down one of the longest piers in the Caribbean. * Food in dining rooms was fair. Not great, not bad. Fairly bland, and not a huge variety of cuisines. No steak and lobster nights that we saw, although to be fair it may have happened on a night when we were specialty dining. * Buffet food was, well buffet food. Didn't seem like there were any active cooking stations like where you could get Chinese food made to order and so forth. * Time changes not well publicized. I so happens noticed that at one point before reaching Tortola a note in the newsletter stating time was changing one hour forward. Many guests did not get the memo and missed shows and other reservations. Time changed back again after St. Thomas, seemed a little more well known second time * Staff seemed to be henpecked by supervisors. general atmosphere didn't seem as lighthearted as I've seen on other cruises * Stateroom was nice in general, but closest is at end of couch/bed, and in our case since we had 4 in our room, we use the flip down bunk making it difficult to access the closet. * King bed but was pretty much hard as a board and not comfortable. * Bathroom was decent, while the plexiglass type shower enclosure looks nice and was functional, it made the space between the toilet, the counter on the right and the shower plexi on the left fairly small and uncomfortable for a large person. Would have preferred a shower curtain personally for more flexibility in the space. * Balcony was of average size, but the two deck chairs were not comfortable and neither reclined at all. * Noise from deck parties was pretty obnoxious until about midnight. If you go to bed early or don't want to hear it, recommend booking lower deck cabin. We were deck 14 mid-ship. * Lastly, and I hate to say it, we personally witnessed violence on board and I heard of another incident afterwards. My wife and I witnessed a man destroy a electronic paper towel dispenser with a large water bottle after the door to the bathroom he was in was opened. Shocked both me and my wife, thankfully the water bottle that became a projectile missed hitting my wife. Reported it to security, who knows what happened next. Other incident that I heard from a witness was that a man punched one of the crew when they sprayed his hands with hand cleaning solution that they used whenever anyone was entering the buffet areas. I guess it can happen on any ship and one of this size probably happens more than I would normally be aware of, but seemed like there was over reliance on cameras and less on human security personnel. Definitely would say there were more supervisors in the dining rooms nagging servers than security personnel. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The bliss is a beautiful ship. The staff are amazing. This ship is great for Alaskan cruises. It is not the greatest for travelling the carribean. Not alot of outdoor areas. Pool is disappointing. Could not swim in it. There was always ... Read More
The bliss is a beautiful ship. The staff are amazing. This ship is great for Alaskan cruises. It is not the greatest for travelling the carribean. Not alot of outdoor areas. Pool is disappointing. Could not swim in it. There was always too many people sitting around it to get into it. It was like one big sitting bar. It is 6 feet deep also. This is not good for someone who wants to go I to the water and be able to touch bottom. No shallow end. This ship is not well designed for 4000 plus passengers. Long wait for elevators etc. We did not use the race track or laser tag. I did hear they were booked fast. We did enjoy ourselves. This was our first cruise. If we were to cruise again we will look for a smaller vessel. We enjoyed our vacation. Thank you Norwegian for your amazing staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I did a back-to-back cruise on the Norwegian Bliss. (Jan 5 thru Jan 19). The ship is absolutely beautiful. The Observation Lounge on the 15th floor is magnificent. It's not well advertised and many thought it was off-limits which ... Read More
I did a back-to-back cruise on the Norwegian Bliss. (Jan 5 thru Jan 19). The ship is absolutely beautiful. The Observation Lounge on the 15th floor is magnificent. It's not well advertised and many thought it was off-limits which was great for those of us who frequented the area. The food in the Manhattan Room, Taste, and Savor was very good. I am not a buffet person and did not even venture there during the 14 days. Entertainment was sub-optimal. They featured Jersey Boys and Havana. Jersey Boys was better than Havana but I like flashier shows. The comedians, Allison Weber, Flip Schultz and Jim McDonald were very good. Beatlemania was absolutely superb but space was very limited in The Cavern. The show in the theater was on the last night. The entertainment was limited. There were no magic shows. I've seen the show Elements on the other Norwegian ships which was breathtaking but nothing like this on the Bliss. The biggest disappointment with both the entertainment and specialty dining was the reservations. The shows were filled on the first evening of the cruise. I kept this in mind for the 2nd cruise and as soon as I returned on the ship I made reservations. I'm not sure why there has to be reservations for the Bliss theater productions. Many people make reservations for the shows but then don't go. There is always a "standby" line which gives that NY Broadway appearance but everyone gets in. Get rid of the reservations for entertainment and make it first-come-first-served venue. Even with reservations, people started to line up an hour before the shows which was just crazy. Restrooms were at a premium. For a brand new latest state of the art ships, there seemed to have been no planning for restrooms. There were 2 sets of restrooms on floors 6,7,8 on the far ends and 1 additional on Deck 6. There were none near the Atrium or the Casino where there were lots of folks gathered. The Casino had a huge room for smokers but the smoke poured out of the area into the other areas. Smoking areas were limited so you did see massive amounts of smokers using the casino to smoke in. This was an improvement over the other ships but I still think smoking within the ship should be excluded. The smoking area had a different variety of slot machines that were not available in the non-smoking areas. The sun deck area was overcrowded and not enough lounge chairs. The race car area took away a huge amount of prime sun deck space. Service was outstanding from all the staff. There seemed to have been a shortage of staff in many areas. The staff that were there are greatly overworked and not given much time to rest and sleep. I'm not sure why cruise ships treat their staff so poorly. I can't say enough about the outstanding job these men and women do. I'm glad I took the cruise on the Bliss but I won't be back. I'll stick to the EPIC or Breakaway or Getaway. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First off, any cruise is a good cruise. We had a very enjoyable cruise on the Bliss. The ship is beautiful. The bar staff, wait staff, shore excursion and guest services staff were all friendly and helpful. We were originally booked on the ... Read More
First off, any cruise is a good cruise. We had a very enjoyable cruise on the Bliss. The ship is beautiful. The bar staff, wait staff, shore excursion and guest services staff were all friendly and helpful. We were originally booked on the Synchrony of the Seas for this week and switched to the Bliss for the Thermal Spa Suite. It was well worth it. Cagney’s, The District Brewhouse, Observation Lounge and the Spa Thermal Suites were excellent. The reason for the average rating follow. There is not enough space for the passengers onboard. I don’t use the casino and having it placed in the middle of the ship in the public traffic area is a poor design (kudos for the enclosed smoking area, it does help). The Atrium as an event venue is awful, the Taste and Savor dining room and bar area create a block in the passage of people on the deck. The Haven, Vibe, Laser rag and Racetrack take to much of the sun/pool deck space and seem to be under utilized areas. There is no room to walk. Pool is to small for the size of the ship. The adult area, Spice H2O, should not be the smoking area on the ship. There needs to be a place for adults to go and have a relaxing, smoke free sea day. The jogging/walking track is very small and is blocked by chairs and people during the day. The outdoor seating for the specialty restaurants is very under utilized and could be used for something else. We had a spa balcony cabin and it was very small and cramped. The elevator call system needs to be reprogrammed, it is very inefficient. We did NCL excursions in Tortola and Miami. Escape to Jost Van Dyke in Tortola on the Rebel Yell was absolutely beautiful and would definitely do it again. In Miami we did the Everglades air boat tour and it was fantastic. I would highly recommend both. Overall, we had a great cruise but will probably will not cruise on this Bliss again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We took this trip for my daughters 21st birthday, she turned 21 on the day we sat sail 1-12-2019. What a way to celebrate your 21st right.....Hold On.. We love Norwegian. We have been on 5 cruises with them. Each one better ... Read More
We took this trip for my daughters 21st birthday, she turned 21 on the day we sat sail 1-12-2019. What a way to celebrate your 21st right.....Hold On.. We love Norwegian. We have been on 5 cruises with them. Each one better then the last...Until now!!! Ship was nice, big, plenty of space, never felt over crowded, except at the pool. The staff was not the same friendly staff as as you would expect from Norwegian. At times it felt as if we were bothering them. From little things like a cup of ice at dinner, or the ketchup is empty can we get another. Sometimes we would never see the staff again after we asked for something. Just strange. One of the big complaints I had was, one day at sea, we had our towels on chairs , at the pool, on the upstairs deck, and a staff member came to me and said that he was going to remove our towels because the chairs we had, were not being used? I explained to him that my family was in the pool. He made me call my family from the pool, to come sit in the chairs, so his supervisor could see that I wasn't just saving them for someone. He told me he got a complaint from a guest that the 5 seats were empty for a long time and she wanted a chair. So I guess every time you want to go to the pool, hot tub, bathroom, bar, eat, you must give up your chair? Now everyone know don't come up to the pool at 11am and expect to find a seat. It not going to happen. Then there was the go carts. They advertise a 1 day pass( unlimited rides) for $29.95. When I went to purchases it they told me they were not selling that pass on this cruise? Then why is it advertised on the web site? When I asked The woman she said, just because. Nice answer. She said they sold the weekly pass for $199.95 but they sold out? When my Son and his friends went to ride them that night the were just doing a walk on (No reservation) they got there at 8pm, the staff asked if they had a reservation they said no, they made them wait 40min to ride. NOT ONE PERSON CAME UP THERE TO RIDE WHILE THE 4 OF THEM WAITED. UNREAL. Staff told them reservations come first. There are a few other things but this is getting long. Just beware of this ship if you do go on it.. Ship is good...STAFF NEEDS WORK. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our son & family had sailed NCL in the Caribbean and were pleased. We sailed NCL for the first time in Europe on the Star and we were very pleased with the cruise (albeit we were in a suite). Given the pre cruise hype for this new ... Read More
Our son & family had sailed NCL in the Caribbean and were pleased. We sailed NCL for the first time in Europe on the Star and we were very pleased with the cruise (albeit we were in a suite). Given the pre cruise hype for this new ship we were very disappointed. First thing we noticed were the low ceilings everywhere. We thought cruise lines had long ago progressed beyond those of the earlier days, when dining rooms and common areas were claustrophobic. The result is "noise", noise everywhere. There's no where for the sound to do but down. With 4000 passengers, elevators are always packed, especially when there are only 2 banks of elevators, fore & aft. No midship bank. Only 1 small adult pool? Seriously? Perhaps it's because the race car track which is almost impossible to book once on board, takes up a huge portion of the aft section of the ship. The observation lounge on deck 15 is a major positive and has light food service as well. We had a balcony but it was a postage stamp with 2 uncomfortable deck chairs and no room to stretch out. The price was high considering we had only 1 perk (internet) & $100 cabin credit. Drinks without the package including tax & tip were $12. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Cruise Notes [15792] This was our 5th cruise - 1 carnival, 4 Norwegian [Sun, Pearl, Escape, Bliss] Pros :: Interior - Observation Lounge: Comfy and quiet, except for the front row (noise from Garden Cafe). Many many seats, ... Read More
Cruise Notes [15792] This was our 5th cruise - 1 carnival, 4 Norwegian [Sun, Pearl, Escape, Bliss] Pros :: Interior - Observation Lounge: Comfy and quiet, except for the front row (noise from Garden Cafe). Many many seats, everyone can see outside. Room: Our standard balcony room was essentially the same as the other ships we have been on. Maintenance had to come twice when the toilet would not flush. Activties: Go Carts had fun, nice cars, and a short wait time when we arrived at our appointment time. Glad to see that putt-putt was not missing. The water slides looked fun and the lines dind't seem overly long. Did not break into the budget to play laser tag, and it did not seem to be very busy at any time, even though it was also "sold out". Shows: Havana was good music, but no plot. Jersey Boys was probably the best show we've seen on a ship. Tried (and failed once) to see Beatlemania in the Cavern Club. Club is too small -- but a very good size to handle our small group (50 person) meetings. Open the shutters and pipe that music to the outside bar so that more people can enjoy. Outdoor decks: The deck 8 "Promenade" has a lot of outside, quiet. non-pool seating. Putting the hot tubs on the level above the pool is a great way to add access to water. The area outside the Vibe Club was a good quiet area to get away from the rowdier poolside crowd. The jumbotron at the pool was great for watching playoff football. Dining - Garden Cafe: Good variety, even Indian food. Best general lunch buffet we've seen so far, visited three different days. Ate twice at The Local - ok pub food, nothing exceptional. Cagney's was good, as always. Los Lobos had a huge amount of food per order. The menu at the Manhattan Room, and Taste/Savor were above average. The Q had adequate barbeque, a serviceable example of Americana for foreign travelers. Crepes at Coco's were a treat. Don't miss the macaroons at the Bake Shop. Cons: Dining: The chefs at Teppanyaki were overly loud, excessively banging metal objects - legitimate potential migraine triggers. Beware of Margaritaville - its $15-$18 per person, just to sit down. This was a huge waste of prime space on a ship that needs more room for hot tubs and deck chairs. Of course, it was empty most of the time. At the bars, with all of the free drink packages being sold, the staff are easily the most worn out and impatient on the ship. Indoors: Beware of getting a room midship, ESPECIALLY on Deck 15. You will be awake as long as there's something going on in the pool area (a party every night), and our bed was literally ~vibrating~ until after 11pm during the final night's party. Then, at 6am, be prepared to hear the deck chairs rattle your room again, as they are literally -thrown- back into place on deck. If you are lucky, you might even catch a whiff of smoky flavor from the Q. Outdoor decks: As others have mentioned - there's one sole tiny adult pool. The music at the pool is OBNOXIOUSLY loud. Lounge chairs are jammed so close together, you cannot access them from the sides - you have to climb onto them from the end. Dozens of people entertained themselves watching a majority of the water-tube riders fail to make the loop. Parents were freely allowing their kids into the hot tubs, instead of routing them to splash park. Logistics/Ambiance: Something is very deeply wrong with the scheduling and logistics on this ship. Or, perhaps they were short-staffed. Prior to leaving port, we could not get a reservation at Ocean Club. When a couple cancelled their reservation to dine with us elsewhere, on a different night. the system told them they had still dined there. When we ate at other restaurants that were listed as "fully booked" - Q, Cagney's, and Los Lobos, they were always FAR from capacity, over a 90+ minute span. The Brewhouse menu still had the Alaska taps listed, and did not have the All-Star souvenirs avaialble. We watched contestants in the Atrium events compete for $5 koozies and cupcakes, instead of $20 t-shirts and bottles of wine. These reservation snafus extended to the Vibe Club as well. A year ago, we had an amazing cruise - we were in the first 500 people on board, and raced down to get passes to Vibe Club. We had other friends and family get day passes to join us, to get a "VIP" experience. This trip, we had ther priorities, but we heard from other 2017 Escape / Vibe cruisers that the line "sold out" after the 16th person in line. We heard that there were only 40 passes sold. Every day when we looked, the club was no more than 1/3 full - we never saw 30 people there, even in the middle of a sunny at-sea day. When we tried to get day passes to visit with friends, we were told at Guest Services that "they don't do that on this ship". Most of the time, there were 20+ people in line at Guest Services throughout the cruise. If the Bliss management goal was to confuse and frustrate repeat cruisers, spiff the customer as little as possible, and cheapen the entire cruise experience - mission accomplished ! Still -- can't wait for our first Alaska cruise in July, and the Breakaway next January. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have cruised many times with other cruise lines and this was our first time with NCL and we were not impressed with NCL and the service provided for the price they charge. The food was nothing special and the specialty restaurants ... Read More
We have cruised many times with other cruise lines and this was our first time with NCL and we were not impressed with NCL and the service provided for the price they charge. The food was nothing special and the specialty restaurants were not worth the price, thankfully we had them included in our package otherwise I would have been very upset having to pay the additional charge. Typically when on cruises it is the time to enjoy the main dining rooms and try foods that you might not have other-wised tried. NCL did not offer anything worth trying. The staff in my opinion were very rude in the dining room and were more worried about getting you in and out quickly. Only once did a staff member give us a recommendation for dinner. We did the buffet for breakfast a few mornings and not one staff member said hello or asked if they could clear our dishes. They would just come to the table, grab them and move on. The noise level from staff dropping pots and pans in the back was ridiculous, it was not something that occurred once, it was multiple times on multiple days. The entertainment was good however the venues were not planned appropriately. Many overlapped and were in small spaces and did not accommodate the large crowds. Same with the hot tubs on board. They were small and held 8 people at most and there were only 6 for the general cruisers to use. The balcony room was fine, did not feel that the room staff came in as much as we are used to with other cruise lines. Again walking the halls to the cabin very few staff members acknowledge our presences. Unfortunately, I believe our first NCL cruise will be our last NCL cruise. The quality and service provided was not worth the cost. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was a family get-together for 17 folks spread between New York, Texas and Florida. Most of us have cruised previously. The ship was absolutely beautiful and the staff did an amazing job keeping it looking new around the clock. The ... Read More
This was a family get-together for 17 folks spread between New York, Texas and Florida. Most of us have cruised previously. The ship was absolutely beautiful and the staff did an amazing job keeping it looking new around the clock. The majority of the staff were all very friendly and seemed excited to welcome us wherever we went. Embarkation went smooth without any inconveniences. The staff welcomed us on board and the ship staff were friendly and pointed us to where we needed to go. Getting on and off of the ship at the ports of call was just a stress free and the final disembarkation went better than expected. The biggest complaints that we had about this cruise seem minimal but were enough for the majority of our group to pledge not to cruise with NCL again. -Of our group of 17, there were 6 smokers. Cigarette smoking is huddled to an area of about 60 square feet. In one place. This ship has roughly 4400 passengers. There is a smoking area in the casino that can be used if you are gambling. No confusion between cigarette and cigar smoking in the cigar bar as cigarettes were no welcome there either. -Even with the beverage package, the only place that you can get drinks is a bar. Not crazy about having to send children to a bar to get a Pepsi. Other ships we have been on had soft drink machines that were available around the clock (as opposed to the bars closing at 11PM). -We had breakfast and a couple of dinners in the dining area and found the service to be horrible and the food not much better. While 17 is a large crowd to serve, there were only 6 at breakfast. Still poor service. -The hibachi grill, while a little pricey, was fantastic. The food was delicious and the service was outstanding. Attempts to make reservations for shows proved to be difficult and, when successful, the shows were somewhat long and had lots of empty seats. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My spouse and I like NCL and wanted to try out the new ship the Bliss! The ship itself is gorgeous! The observation lounge is well appointed with food options there. The bar staff was great especially the “chocolate cowboy “ in the ... Read More
My spouse and I like NCL and wanted to try out the new ship the Bliss! The ship itself is gorgeous! The observation lounge is well appointed with food options there. The bar staff was great especially the “chocolate cowboy “ in the mojito bar! He greeted every customer by name and knew their drink after waiting on them the first time! The new restaurants were okay. I probably would not choose to eat there again ( Los Lobos and Q) The parties were the same tired songs and dances, it’s like the movie ground hog’s day same old same old!! The DJ only played rock, fist pumping, head banging and Latin music! The night club was filled with intoxicated people spilling their drinks all over the dance floor creating a hazard and lawsuit waiting to happen with s slip and fall!! Another hazard was small children unattended at buffet trying to reach hot food off counter that they are not tall enough to see what is actually on counter!! The game shows were the same from ship to ship with same questions. Get real and someone be original!!!! The comedians were horrible especially the host ... very sad. The photography staff was funnier than the comedians were.. SMH NCL has threre newer ships going to the same tired islands.. St Thomas, Bahamas.... really!!!!! If they insist on going to the Bahamas then please go to NCL’s private island!! Please change your itinerary NCL to include different islands for the newer ships coming out. Go to Aruba!! The ship itself was clean, and nice looking and most staff were friendly and engaging!! The cruise director was friendly, funny and out and about the ship every day!!! NCL needs to change up their itineraries, get a better DJ, change up theme parties and DJ to add all genres to parties and night club scene. Set and enforce drinking on dance floor while fist pumping to the sane music, add better comedians and enforce a minimum age in children to service themselves at buffet area. NCL safety and cleanliness should be your first priority. Lastly the muster drill was a joke. They had about 100 people stuffed in the small space by the cavern bar for this “very important requirement “!! So people did not pay attention at all . Maybe they could have s way for passengers to watch on video and after maybe scan card at beginning and end on presentation in your own cabin. That would help alleviate the mass exit from the drill as a whole in some small places!! Hopefully someone at NCL actually read and move for changes on these beautiful vessels!! On a positive note the race track cars were great but they missed an opportunity to have pics taken on Racetrack!! Money pit the doir!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The ship itself was great. The staff was tenacious at keeping it clean. Almost to the point that I had to use a new fork for each bite because they'd swoop in so quickly to take away anything dirty! Otherwise, things were just ... Read More
The ship itself was great. The staff was tenacious at keeping it clean. Almost to the point that I had to use a new fork for each bite because they'd swoop in so quickly to take away anything dirty! Otherwise, things were just "ok". We've been on a lot of cruise and this will probably be the least memorable. We had mixed results with dining room staff accommodating my daughter (8) who needs to be gluten free (celiac disease) - one person was great and raved about the GF cookies which he provided and she enjoyed... then the next day were told that the ship doesn't/didn't have GF cookies... obviously one of these people was misinformed but both spoke with absolute certainty, hopefully not the person who served her cookies. The ship ran out of GF bread for the last 2-3 days of the trip which was very disappointing and limiting for her. The kids club was ok. Our kids had fun but not to the point where they begged to go back like we experienced on prior cruises. The hours were limiting and especially frustrating when they would not allow new kids to checkin at certain times because some activity was underway. Our son (6) had a meltdown because the staff made a fuss to him about wearing flip flops vs. closed-toed shoes... a concern that was never mentioned to us parents. We went on one excursion which was pretty good. We didn't book other excursions through NCL because there wasn't much variety offered for families with young kids. Laser tag was a lot of fun but we got very little play time (10 minutes) for the price. Go karts were a neat experience but became a little frustrating because there wasn't room to pass the person in front of me who was going slow in the middle of the road. Never enough chairs on the pool deck but there was ample space for people everywhere else. The drink package was great and I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the bar staff filled orders for those of us who were pre-paid. On our prior NCL trip several year ago, it felt like we were constantly being aggressively up-sold on things which I was glad was not the case here. The steward took basic care of our room and exchanged towels but most of the time we had to prompt him for it. In 7 nights, we saw 1 towel animal. They seemed understaffed here. There was a medical emergency that resulted in our ship returning to port and delaying disembarkation by a few hours. The captain made the right decisions here and everything seemed to be handled as good as could be expected (though the impact to us personally was negligible) with clear and frequent communication as things evolved. All in all, it was a *good* trip but not great. If NCL has an amazing price on an itinerary that aligns with our schedule in the future, we might do a 3rd NCL cruise but we're looking at going back to Carnival for next year's trip as our experiences with them have felt more "special" even on much older ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
To be fair, the cruise I went on was Christmas/Winter Break Week. But it may be typical for any cruise on that ship during any time the ship is packed with adults and 1,000 kids. Perhaps a not-so-popular week might be better. - My ... Read More
To be fair, the cruise I went on was Christmas/Winter Break Week. But it may be typical for any cruise on that ship during any time the ship is packed with adults and 1,000 kids. Perhaps a not-so-popular week might be better. - My daughter, son-in-law, and 9-year-old grandson paid for my wife and I to go on this cruise with them. Most things were fine. But the problem is that the Bliss tried to cram far too much "extras" (race track and laser tag) when it isn't set up to do those things right. Both venues are outdoor "weather permitting" and you must - must - must - reserve a specific time slot in advance, and there really aren't that many slots available for 4,000+ adult passengers and another 1,000 kids. Also the 700-seat theater was far too small for their "big production" shows (Jersey Boys, Havana) which only had 4 shows each. And the theater was "reserve seating" only.....with a standby line for any no-shows. - Needless to say, those "first on board" could - and many did - "hog" all the "reserve" seating and slots for ALL the shows and ALL the available track and laser tag slots very, very quickly. To my knowledge there was nothing to prevent the first 700 passengers to book up ALL the show seating and nothing to prevent the first 100 - 200 passengers from "hogging" ALL the race track and laser tag slots. And why not? "Weather permitting" means you SHOULD sign up for as many as you can.....and they are FUN.....which means "more than once." Yes, there is a fee for the race track and laser tag.....but its incidental when compared to everything else you pay for. - There was nothing more disappointing than to tell my grandson that he could not do the race track or the laser tag because all - ALL - the slots had already been reserved. - My advice? Avoid any disappointment. Skip the Bliss or any ship that has a "wow" venue that only a minority of the passengers are going to be able to use. The fact is that the race track and the laser tag are outdoor venues that took up deck space that could have (and perhaps should have) been used for more pools, hot tubs, sun decks, lounge chairs, and even a bar or water slide that more passengers could enjoy. - Even if you have absolutely no interest in the race track or laser tag, the deck space they took up meant it was much harder to find an open lounge chair on what open decks remained. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Booed this cruise two years ago. There were 22 of us in all and we were really looking forward to a memorable Christmas Cruise on the nearly brand new Norwegian Bliss. Overall the service was good, not awesome but good. Food in general ... Read More
Booed this cruise two years ago. There were 22 of us in all and we were really looking forward to a memorable Christmas Cruise on the nearly brand new Norwegian Bliss. Overall the service was good, not awesome but good. Food in general wasn’t very good, even in the cover charge venues. Dinner service in the Manhattan Room was painfully slow and woefully disorganized. Ship is already looking worn out, especially in the atrium; worn out furniture all over the place seemed disturbing for a ship not even a year old. I sprained my knee on Tortola and needed medical attention. Staff was for more concerned about being compensated than about caring for the patient. There was zero follow up despite a fairly severe injury and when I hobbled back to get the dressing changed after two days the first thing I got was “extra band-aids are $1.50 each.” Just WOW... charging for the go-carts and laser tag was off-putting as well. Internet which I paid nearly $400 for (I needed to work) was the worst I have ever had on any ship and the app they charge you $10 for never worked properly. Overall the one thing NCL does really, really well is nickel and dining you for absolutely everything. After three NCL cruises with each getting progressively worse we’re done. Princess and Celebrity are hands-down far superior in every way. I used to thing of NCL as on-par with Royal Caribbean but it’s really on the same level as Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship itself is lovely. Our cabin was clean and the shower pressure was excellent. We enjoyed the food and liquor as adults. We had many choices and appreciated the entertainment and variety of dining experiences. The challenges we ... Read More
The ship itself is lovely. Our cabin was clean and the shower pressure was excellent. We enjoyed the food and liquor as adults. We had many choices and appreciated the entertainment and variety of dining experiences. The challenges we faced were as follows: the kids had to be a certain weight and height to go on the water slide and use the go carts. This meant that an adult had to take my 12 year old on the go cart rather than have her independently enjoy this activity. She was not heavy enough to enjoy the water slide. We had to register for laser tag and go carting in advance, as well as pay for these in addition to the cost of the cruise each time we wanted to play. It was near impossible to get a time slot of out choosing for our children. Some families had signed up multiple times and it didn't allow us to get in at a time that was optimal for us. Our 9 year son was bored out of his mind not having a sport court to play on. The swimming pool for kids was 5'7 deep and had no shallow point for him to stand. The other option was the toddler park...clearly not an option for a child his age. Thee service from the staff was basically non-existent and I didn't feel that in any way they tried to make you feel that you were on a luxury vacation. We enjoyed out ports and did our own excursions. Overall I could't suggest this for a family with children that were younger than the drinking age as they would feel they were reaching into their pockets for everything, including the little arcade games around the ship to keep the kids busy. For adults only this is a really nice ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Beautiful ship, but for the size, was a huge shortage in lounge chairs & only 1 pool. There were several jacuzzis, but chairs were always gone before 7am. Once you finally get a chair in the sun, then people open umbrellas so you’re ... Read More
Beautiful ship, but for the size, was a huge shortage in lounge chairs & only 1 pool. There were several jacuzzis, but chairs were always gone before 7am. Once you finally get a chair in the sun, then people open umbrellas so you’re no longer in the sun. Was very disappointed that a ship this size would be so lacking. On the other hand, solo organization was fabulous. Bianca made sure we always had great entertainment, group dinner reservations when we hadn’t made personal plans and she made sure we had a nice continental breakfast daily. Studios were great for some people. But having been a balcony cruiser in the past, the studio was a little tight for me. I made the choice based on what friends were doing for solo travel benefits. The observation lounge was very nice. Shows were great & the piano comedy bar was fun. Lots of choices in restaurants, but 3 restaurants had the same menu. Seemed kind of wierd. 2 restaurants lost our personal reservation. One was on Christmas Eve. Was disappointing. Friends enjoyed the race cars & spa package, but I was most interested in relaxation in the sun after a stressful year at work. Definitely not the cruise for that. Ship scores a big fat zero in that department. In the future will make another option. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We recently went on this cruise ship from Miami to the Caribbean. Embarkation was pretty good. The disembarkation was a long line, disorganized. The ship is nice. It's huge and there are TONS of people. A lot of people on our cruise ... Read More
We recently went on this cruise ship from Miami to the Caribbean. Embarkation was pretty good. The disembarkation was a long line, disorganized. The ship is nice. It's huge and there are TONS of people. A lot of people on our cruise were very rude. Over crowded elevators, drunken idiots disrespecting the facilities, talking loudly in quiet areas. The cabin was ok, pretty small even though we had a balcony. The entertainment and activities were not really much we were interested in. The things we wanted to do with our kids costed us extra. $10 per kid, per game for laser tag and also for go karts. Long lines for the waterslide. Overcrowded bars and pool deck. This cruise line seems to nickel and dime you for EVERYTHING. The internet barely worked and was crazy expensive. BEWARE parents-They also charge $15 per DAY per child for an additional housekeeping fee. You can have it removed at the end of the week, but you have to visit guest services to do so. Again, long line. We only did one excursion, Blue Lagoon Island in the Bahamas. It was nice. Cost was reasonable. We saw Havana and Jersey Boys. Both were good shows. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This ship is too big. This was our third cruise with Norwegian (past cruises on Getaway and Escape). We were disappointed that Spice H2O was cut to half the size on the other ships to accommodate the loading area of the "race ... Read More
This ship is too big. This was our third cruise with Norwegian (past cruises on Getaway and Escape). We were disappointed that Spice H2O was cut to half the size on the other ships to accommodate the loading area of the "race track" (the racing was pathetic, speed controlled by NCL employee and only a 3 or 4 laps, no room for passing).The Glow party became the Family Glow party and lasted one hour after which the DJ packed up his equipment and went elsewhere.We were also a little put off by the race track and laser tag taking up one whole deck. they took out the free activities and replaced them with revenue producing ones. I would rather have the ropes course, climbing wall, and basketball court rather then having to pay for the rather pathetic race track and rarely open laser tag. Other than that the crew and food were excellent. We ate at Q twice and it was probably the beast BBQ I have had. They are changing the drink menus also (no more Mango Meltdowns) and a lot of trainee bartenders that don't know anything beyond the basic mixed drinks. Christmas decorations were pretty, but blocked the view of the atrium from above, which is where we usually watch the shows from. The port at Nassau was awful, three other mega ships in port with us, excursions were rushed and crowded, not worth the time or expense, St. Thomas and Tortola were ok, but I don't think we will ever go on this itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The Ship was nice looking, at first it seemed smaller on the inside than other cruiselines we've experienced. But we realized that it had more social areas, which was a big plus side as it did not feel overcrowded although it was ... Read More
The Ship was nice looking, at first it seemed smaller on the inside than other cruiselines we've experienced. But we realized that it had more social areas, which was a big plus side as it did not feel overcrowded although it was fully booked. There were no big lineups and things moved fast so we could enjoy our vacation instead of waiting in line all the time. One thing we liked was that with an all inclusive alcohol beverage package, they stopped handing us a receipt to sign everytime we ordered a drink. We liked not feeling pressured or cheap if we didn't leave a tip on the paper for each beverage which actually made us want to hand out a dollar or two once in a while to show appreciation of good, friendly service. It would be great however, if cruiselines could introduce a no additional tipping policy all together as in resorts such as Sandals. Keep in mind that the daily gratuity that is shared amongst all employees is $14.50 USD per person AND we are charged additional 20% on any dining, single drinks and beverage packages when purchased (even if its included in the cruise cost, the 20% is added as if the entire package was paid for). Note the Ultimate beverage package does not include bottled water which we found ridiculous. So we had to buy a water package of 6 x 1 ltr bottles for $17 USD. The activities were fun. We took advantage of the go karts (awesome) and lazer tag (lame). We kept pretty busy overall so did not get a chance to try the water slides, but they did look like fun. We saw Jersey Boys which was ok. The piano/comedy guy from New York (i think his name was Bill) in their Brewehouse Pub was a funny and interactive show every night that we enjoyed. The food in the specialty dining was overall very good (we very much liked the Steakhouse and the Japanese, the Texas Q was tasty but very fatty meat) and the food in the main restaurants were acceptable. As for the menus in the main restaurants they were a few notches below Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity. Therefore we were disappointed in the menus of the main (no extra cost) restaurants. The normal daily quick eat buffet was pretty good and had lots of delicious choices. Also an advantage was that there was always something open to eat at any time of the day. And this was the first ship on which we could find chicken wings (which are a favorite for us) at their pub called Locals. The dress code is definitely downscaled on the Norwegian Bliss in their dining room restaurants (note this excludes the pubs and main buffet which are more lenient on all ships that we know). Some people were still dressed up but we saw alot of other people going to diner in jeans, shorts and ball caps, which to us diminishes the classiness a nice restaurant. The party entertainment in the evenings were similar to other cruiselines, and it was good dancing. There were different options on where to "party", depending on what type of music one prefers. The overall entertainment during the day, although had the regular "game show" and such, was otherwise nothing compared to what we could find on Royal Caribbean when the staff dresses up and dances and interacts with hundreds of people in the middle of the ship (I'm thinking of their disco party, their Dreamworks character parade for kids, etc.). Norwegian had none of this. Since you are not allowed to bring irons on board, we appreciated that we could borrow one at no extra cost, by calling guest services. We may return on Norwegian, knowing more of the expected differences, but because of the dining room menus, the downgraded dress code, smaller stateroom, lower grade entertainment and having to purchase bottled water even with a beverage package, our favorite cruiseline remains #1 Royal Caribbean then Celebrity and Princess are pretty much at par and Norwegian comes after. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
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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