1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because the date fit with a Celebrity cruise the week before, and we are Latitudes Platinum members. We were anxious to try out NCL's newest ship. My review is brief; please excuse this if you were looking for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the date fit with a Celebrity cruise the week before, and we are Latitudes Platinum members. We were anxious to try out NCL's newest ship. My review is brief; please excuse this if you were looking for a more detailed description. We aren't sun worshippers, preferring instead to find quiet places on the ship to read or stare out at the ocean. And just as well, because the pool area was mobbed most of the day. My favorite part of this whole ship was the Observation Lounge...it's clear this ship was designed for Alaska cruising...loads of great space up there, including a large bar area. And usually quite busy with the "non-pool" crowd. They serve a cold breakfast and light lunch buffet as well as tea time offerings in the afternoon. We ate most dinners in Taste. The main dining room, Manhattan, was almost like a cavernous dining hall with all the tables in long rows....not very inviting. Taste and Savor looked more intimate and quieter. The food was average; nothing really outstanding, but I was quite happy to not be cooking or washing up. Our servers may have been stretched too thin...we often had to ask for a wine or water refill. The Garden Cafe had plenty of choices...good job up there. We used the gym several times, plenty of equipment to choose from. DO NOT MISS the "Jersey Boys" show. The lead singer here sounded exactly like Frankie Valle...a very professional and polished show...the best cruise show we've ever seen...and this was cruise #28 for us. We also signed up for the silent disco. We had great fun with this on Celebrity cruises, so we were looking forward to trying this on NCL. But not to be. On Celebrity your headphones have 3 channels of music to pick from on your headphones and you can switch from one to another. But on NCL you put on headphones and have to be underneath a particular part of the ceiling to hear that type of music...we didn't stay long. We had booked all our dinners/shows/comedians early, but I think that most people who hadn't booked these were able to get into any show by standing on the "Standby" line. We only saw our cabin steward twice, but the cabin was always in top shape...thank you, Mark. And every NCL staff member we came across always had a friendly hello....a great crew! All in all, we enjoyed the cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Our first family cruise. Boat was a small city, lots to do, way too much food. Very smooth, it didn’t feel like we were on a boat. Destinations were great but the excursions booked through the cruise were fair. Very expensive for ... Read More
Our first family cruise. Boat was a small city, lots to do, way too much food. Very smooth, it didn’t feel like we were on a boat. Destinations were great but the excursions booked through the cruise were fair. Very expensive for what actually happened. We would have saved a lot of $ if we had planned excursions ourselves and had some freedom on timing. We seemed to spend more time in queues or shuttles than we did at the actual excursion point. We purchased WiFi but coverage was iffy at best. Crew was the definition of great service and friendliness. They definitely wanted people to enjoy themselves. We also visited folks in the Haven, which appeared to be a big leap in luxury. Entertainment was great and abundant, we were never lacking for something to do. Which was good because the pools were lame for a boat of this size. Read Less
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This is my 3rd NCL cruise. We cruised on the Breakaway last year. We wanted to try the newest and largest ship. The Bliss is exactly like the Breakaway. Everything is in the same place, same restaurants. The Bliss is larger with smaller ... Read More
This is my 3rd NCL cruise. We cruised on the Breakaway last year. We wanted to try the newest and largest ship. The Bliss is exactly like the Breakaway. Everything is in the same place, same restaurants. The Bliss is larger with smaller pools. On sea days you couldn't even hardly walk around on the deck because they have the chairs literally on top of each other. Horrible for cruises to Caribbean or warm destinations. The buffet had the same food every day with a couple of additions. We ate in main dining room and food was awful. Cagney's was the saving grace. Bar staff was rude. We had a mini suite. The only difference was a bathroom with 2 sinks and great shower. We never saw our cabin steward. Go carts were fun but make sure you make reservation on 1st day. Jersey Boys was awesome. I am over NCL. They offer the best "deals" as far as drink package, speciality dining, ect... But you get what you pay for. The ship is beautiful, there were just no big surprises. We are over NCL Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
February 16, 2019 Norwegian Bliss If your idea of a cruise is sunning by the pool all day than you should look for another ship. The pool and surrounding area is very small for a ship this size. There are some small areas that you ... Read More
February 16, 2019 Norwegian Bliss If your idea of a cruise is sunning by the pool all day than you should look for another ship. The pool and surrounding area is very small for a ship this size. There are some small areas that you could seek out to catch the sun that are away from the pool and rousing music but you better get there early. However, this ship has so much more to offer than a swimming pool. We chose the Bliss for our three children and their families because of the many options for children. Our grandchildren range from 13 months to 18 years and there was something for all of them. The youngest was able to run around in the Guppies room and play without hearing the words “don’t touch”. Parents must be in attendance here. The 4 year old enjoyed the Splash Academy with its many activities. This is a no parent zone where you drop your child off and pick them up at a desired time. You are given a list of activities throughout the day so you can choose what your child might be interested in. They even have evening hours so parents can enjoy a show or a quiet meal. They issue pagers to the parents in case a problem should arise. Another area for these ages is the Kids Splash Park. This has water guns, waterfall, buckets that fill and dump, even a mini water slide. Also in this area is a swimming pool, 5’7” deep, just for the younger set. They provide foam flotation vests in three sizes. As far as food, all venues have a selection of kid friendly foods, mac’n cheese, hot dogs, chicken fingers, etc. Even room service has peanut and jelly sandwiches. Milk, lemonade, and juices are available all the time along with soft serve ice cream. High chairs are available in all dining venues. One thing that should be noted is the portable crib. We were assured when we booked that the crib would fit in a standard balcony room. Well, it did but you can’t get around it. In order for the parents to get to the bathroom, they had to crawl over the sleeping 4 yr. old on the couch. A family room would be a better choice. Unfortunately, I don’t think they have those with an adjoining room. The adjoining room was nice so when the children were sleeping, the parents could hang out in our room. We had three teens in our group who tend to be introverts but ended up participating in many activities. The Entourage is the teen club which is open all day for activities and video games. They even have late night hours where they can interact with other teens in a safe environment. No parents are allowed here. The race track and laser tag were a big hit along with the hot tubs and water slides. One slide is a fast moving vertical drop and the other is tamer where you go through on an inner tube. Other activities they enjoyed were, silent disco, escape room, video arcade room (arcade and bowling alley also in The Local) comedy show (the kid friendly one) and age appropriate movies in the theater or on the big screen by the pool. Board games can be found in the library which also had tables to play on. The Local (open 24/7) was a favorite hangout for burgers and fries or wings and of course the buffet had something for everyone. One teen discovered he loved the Indian cuisine. And then we had our 18 year old. There was a meet and greet at night in the H20 for the 18 to 25 set. She enjoyed the dancing, tried her luck in the casino and even sampled some beer and wine with a waiver signed by her parents. Of course she could go to all the adult shows and activities. She felt very grown up. At first the parents were hesitant to let the children go off on their own but after a day or two, they felt comfortable with it as long as they checked in once in a while. (The texting app was a life saver for all of us to keep in touch.) This left the adults free to enjoy a mountain of activities. If you are bored on this ship you are not trying very hard. There is a large screen in the atrium where they have games and activities during the day. This high energy area has comfortable chairs and a bar. Another area where they have music and games is the pool area. Here are two bars and the buffet. H20 on the back of the ship has hot tubs and is an adult only area along with The Vibe where your lounge chair is reserved for a fee. There are food demonstrations, educational talks, bingo, port information, wine/beer/whiskey tastings, etc. So much, it was hard to fit it all in. Because there was so much to do, the ship never felt crowded except in the pool area. Even the elevators were not a problem after the first day. That was just during the day. At night you had two Broadway shows and a musical, comedy shows (three different comedians) in The Social, line dancing in Q’s, Beatles music (3 different shows and a combined one on Friday) in the Cavern Club. There are family friendly activities in addition to adult only. Yes, most of it is reservations only which is an inconvenience but there are standby lines and if you can’t get in, there is plenty more to do. There is music in many of the bars and adult movies in the theater or on the screen by the pool. The hot tubs are open until 10:00pm. OK, you are tired of the music and high energy activities and you just want peace and quiet. The Boardwalk has couches and overstuffed chairs. All you hear is the ocean. Or, there is the Observation Lounge. This place is amazing. It is beautifully decorated with couches and padded lounges and is very quiet. It is on the bow of the ship on deck 15 so has wonderful views. You can read or just sit and enjoy the view. Beware, the ocean is mesmerizing and many people can be found sleeping. It has its own bar and a light buffet with a continental breakfast and salads and sandwiches for lunch. In the evening there is piano music. Dining can be almost stressful because of all the choices. The buffet always has a little of everything with different specials every night. There are two complete buffet areas. Each has stations for drinks, salads, dessert, specialty and hot items so you don’t have to stand in a long line to get the one thing you want. They are designed to minimize as much contamination as possible. Seating is around these stations in tables, booths and high tops. All seats have a wonderful view and there is some seating outside. There is soft serve and hard ice cream, milk, tea, coffee, lemonade and a kiwi strawberry drink. They do have hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner with about an hour in between when they are shut down for the change over. If you hit the buffet when it is closed you can go to The Local which never closes. Here you sit and order from a limited menu. I would call this comfort food. Turkey pot pie, burgers/hotdogs, wings, mac’n cheese, grilled cheese, fish and chips, etc. They have a prime rib special that is excellent. There are three main dining rooms that also have certain hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner is a 2 hour affair but breakfast and lunch has faster service. Taste and Savor are small, more intimate venues right across from each other with a bar in between. You do not need reservations but if there is a wait at one, chances are good you can sit right down in the other. If you like a larger venue The Manhattan is for you. All have the same menu coming out of the same kitchen but different every night. All of this is complimentary. If that wasn’t enough for you, they have specialty dining which most have an ala carte charge for. This is nice because you only pay for what you want. For instance, you could drop in for some sushi at The Republic, or dessert at Le Bistro. We have eaten at three of these. Q”s is BBQ with country music. We can vouch for the deep fried okra, ribs and brisket. You receive small cups of potato salad, beans and coleslaw as sides. The Italian and French restaurants were good with the French being our favorite. The Dover Sole and rack of lamb were excellent. The Italian was just OK with the appetizers of calamari and shrimp ravioli better than the entrees. Japanese, seafood and Mexican are other choices. Margaritaville was probably the least used venue. The bake shop, chocolate shop and gelato were good for snacks. And of course Starbucks cups could be found everywhere on the ship. Again, there are so many options that none of them seemed crowded. We had five balcony rooms on deck 14, port side. Two sets were adjoining. The beds were setup with either two twins or pushed together as one. The third person slept on the couch and the fourth had a bed folding down out of the ceiling over the couch with a ladder which the room steward needed to lower every night or you could leave it setup all the time. The bedding was kept in drawers under the couch. We really appreciated the couch as a comfortable place to sit while watching TV or just relaxing. The storage space was ample. We found that the cloth folding boxes you can purchase at a dollar store came in handy for socks etc. as there are no drawers, just shelves. There was plenty of room under the bed for suitcases. The TV has the NCL channel where you can book entertainment, check your account or get the schedule of daily activities. It also has the major news channels and movies including G rated family movies. One awkward area was the closet. It was so close to the bed that you could hardly reach anything off the floor. They also had those annoying wooden hangers that in order to remove them you have to guide the top thru this little hole. So, if that bothers you as much as it does me, bring your own hangers. In order for the lights to work you were expected to put your cruise card in the slot by the door. We found that a used gift card or motel key card could be used instead. All outlets were connected so if you wanted to charge something while you were out, you needed to leave that motel card in so you could use your cruise card for other things. Lighting was very good. There were bright lights overhead and next to the bed. There were also reading lights next to the bed and USB ports. There was soft lighting around the headboard we used at night when we watched TV. We did find a soft nightlight came in handy for finding your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The only electrical outlets were across from the couch next to the coffee pot. This would have been sufficient except that three of us used C-pap machines that needed to be plugged in next to our beds at night. We had to jump extension cords moving around in the room. There should be an outlet next to the bed. The bathroom was the largest and best designed that we have ever had on a cruise ship. You could actually bend over in the shower. It had a hand held shower head and shampoo and shower jell dispensers. There was a hand soap and Kleenex dispenser by the sink and they supplied a small tube of body lotion. There was storage under the sink and shelves along the wall. The fridge was a problem. It was full of liquor, pop and water for a fee, not included in the drink package. It was so full my daughter could not get the babies milk in there. Why would you put liquor in a room with kids? Our room steward put up a fuss about taking it out so we just put everything in a bag and stuck it under the bed. The mini bar should be an option, not forced on you and should be removed upon request. There are lights outside your door that you can indicate “do not disturb”, “make up room” or “at home” for your room steward. With the exception of the closet, it was a very well designed room. The service in all the dining, activities, and entertainment venues were excellent. Everyone was cheerful , helpful and seemed to enjoyed their job. There were a couple areas where communication could have been better. The texting app was very confusing and took some time and lots of questions until one of us figured it out and taught the rest. I pre-purchased the WiFi package but couldn’t get on so I went to guest services and there was someone standing there helping to do just that. She explained it and handed me an instruction sheet but it was for purchasing a package, so I ended up buying another package to get on. I never did figure out how to use the internet café computers. They keep asking you to buy minutes. WiFi worked best in the common areas. I used up 20 minutes trying to connect to the server from our room. Port information was another area where communication could have been better. The announcement in the morning might have been made but not everyone hears those in their room. You have to be in a common area or hallway to hear. The fact that we needed picture ID in St. Thomas was not known until we got to the gang plank, then you had to go back to your room for it. It should have been put in the Dailies along with taxi and weather information. Embarkation went smoothly but communication was poor. After we were given our cruise card we were on our own to figure out what came next. There should have been personnel along the way explaining about the holding area. We were given a card with a number on it but no explanation as to what it was for. Disembarkation was worse. We were given a color which they called when it was time for us to leave the ship. We left at that time and everyone spilled outside with no direction. Come to find out the people who were to use a taxi or other transportation were to go one way, transfers to Ft. Lauderdale airport another and Miami airport another. No one told us a thing. We had to search out a person in a yellow vest to find where to go. Oh yes, there was not a bus in sight. There must have been a couple hundred people standing in the sun for 45 min. before a bus showed up. We should never have been instructed to leave the ship until they had transportation ready. At the very least have a shaded area for us to wait. Also, at no time did anyone ask us if we had a prepaid transfer. There were a few problem areas on the Bliss. The Guest Services and Excursion desk is right next to the big screen and stage for activities and music. There is always something going on and is very loud. So loud that you cannot be heard at these two desks. One person in our group had to be taken into an office to be heard in order to settle a credit card problem. Another area is the casino. It takes up about 1/3 of Deck 7 and you have to walk right thru it to get to the elevators. Even though it has a smoking room it all smells of cigarette smoke. Another thing that does not make sense is the sliding doors. They have them in certain areas to conserve energy. This would be great if they were motion activated so as not to spread germs but they are not. You have to press an area on the wall to activate them. My husband and I are loyal Princess customers and have been on 14 cruises with them so we could not help but compare to NCL. We liked our cabin better on the Bliss along with the food and entertainment. The Bliss was much more family friendly with more activities and food options for kids. Service was very good too but they need to work on their communications. Princess is much better with communications. Even though we are not new to cruising, many times we were confused how things worked on the Bliss. Most of the Princess ships have two pools, one inside and one out. Both are larger than the one on the Bliss. We have noticed that Princess has been falling behind in the food and entertainment areas. Service has lost a lot lately too. There seems to be a lot of staff that appear to rather be somewhere else on Princess ships. We would love to sail again with NCL. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have been reading reviews of the NCL Bliss and am a little shocked at what I'm reading. I haven't written a review on this site but thought it was important. I'm assuming the bad reviews are from people who need every ... Read More
I have been reading reviews of the NCL Bliss and am a little shocked at what I'm reading. I haven't written a review on this site but thought it was important. I'm assuming the bad reviews are from people who need every little whim taken care of and can't do anything for themselves. Let me say the ship itself was beautiful. I have been on a few cruises before and this was by far the best one. I went with my two daughters (10 and 14), husband, another family with two kids and my sister and brother-in-law. We all had balcony rooms, which for 4 were small but they always are unless you want to pay a lot more. Rooms were spotless and everything we needed our steward got us ASAP. The decor on the ship is classy and beautiful. Nothing tacky here. As far as things to do there was never a dull moment, unless you wanted it. They had containt stuff going on until at least midnight and after that a few bars stayed open. I couldn't do everything I want to! Adults saw Jersey Boys and it was amazing!! We saw Havana as a family and it was great! We all also saw the family comedians, Beatles show and many other bands and "game shows" around the ship. My kids loved them all. The younger kids went to the kids club quite a bit and really enjoyed it. The teens enjoyed their club but actually ended up hanging out with us a lot. The food was very good. Something for everyone! Although, I will admit it sucks that some of the best restaurants you had to pay for. We stuck mainly to the free restaurants and buffet and only went to one speciality dinner. Also, I never had a hard time getting a drink. Maybe I had to wait a minute or two at the very busy bars but nothing crazy. Get the free drink package if it's offered! It is well worth it. We met some people that didn't and their bar bill was insane. We drank everyday, all day (very slowly) and never had to pay for a drink once. It includes pretty much every drink you could want, most were perfect - more strong than weak. *Go to The District, look for Carlo, best waiter ever!!!!* Getting on and off the ship at the ports was a breeze! So was debarking the ship at the end of our cruise. Couldn't have asked for better. The last thing I have to say is about the staff. I can't believe people have any thing negative to say about them. They work their asses off. 7 days a week, 10-14 hours a day for 8 months straight! They are always upbeat and smiling and seem to be willing to help in anyway. If you had a problem with them you might want to take a look at yourself! This was an expensive cruise but for what we got along with the incredible memories I'm so glad we did it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our second cruise on the Bliss in just over six months, and the ship itself is still gorgeous. The staff was excellent, as always, and the room was comfy. It's just a few nit-picks that drop the cruise from excellent to very ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Bliss in just over six months, and the ship itself is still gorgeous. The staff was excellent, as always, and the room was comfy. It's just a few nit-picks that drop the cruise from excellent to very good. Some have nothing to do with the ship, they are actually about Norwegian itself, but it reflects on the ship. First, the cruise fares are through the roof. This is going to put everyone's expectations higher, so it is easier to fail. Secondly, Norwegian changed the UBP just before we sailed, and moved one of our friend's drinks of choice into the excluded range. So, while it didn't directly affect me, I heard about one of our friends potentially having to pay $4 per drink while on a all-included drinks plan and I had to think "What else are they going to change before we sail?" A company should not cause angst in customers paying to relax. On to the ship - we had a mini suite with an extended balcony (cabin 8726), and most of the extended size went to the balcony itself. Compared to the handicap balcony we had last time, this room was cramped. There was storage but no drawers, which was strange. There is plenty of suitcase storage under the bed. The bathroom was large and I liked the shower. The balcony is large, but it is narrow and long, so it is like looking down a tunnel to the sea. It does have room for a table and chairs and two loungers. The way the ship is shaped, most of the balcony is open to the decks above, so if you look up, you will see people looking down at you. Wave. Dining was good - we had the dining package for three nights and two Platinum Plus dinners, so we were pretty much covered for the week. We had dinner at Cagney's twice, Teppenyaki, Le Bistro, Los Lobos and Q. Cagney's and Le Bistro are still my favorites and are consistent. Teppenyaki is fun and the food is good - plus they will make combinations for you that aren't on the menu. Los Lobos is pretty decent Tex-Mex food. Q is decent but the portion sizes are small for the prices and very small if you are going to call yourself "Texas BBQ." I don't know of another place that cuts the meat off the bone on beef ribs. The beef ribs were decent but the portions were tiny. We enjoyed Food Republic once but it was never open again while we were ready to eat. The hours are very limited which is strange for a venue that takes up that much space and has a dedicated (it seems) staff. We had lunch at Margaritaville twice. I can't stand the pricing options but the food is good. The burgers are really tasty and the nachos are good, but the idea of each person getting an appetizer, a main and a dessert at a bar makes no sense. My wife got the nachos as an appetizer and couldn't finish her meal. I don't understand why it is not just ala carte. Their hours are limited, as well. This was the "mega ship" Eastern itinerary - St Thomas, Tortola and Nassau. We had two sea days out and a sea day in between Tortola and Nassau, so there was plenty of time to explore the ship. St Thomas and Tortola are still recovering from the hurricanes, but are making progress. We did the KonTiki excursion in St Thomas and it was a lot of fun, including a decent amount of time at Honeymoon Beach. We just wandered in Tortola, which was a mix of finding fun shops and depressing from the still-boarded up buildings. We didn't get off the ship in Nassau - and apparently weren't alone. Why don't they go to GSC? Archie was one of the best room stewards we have ever had. He always seemed to appear when we needed something, and every request was handled quickly. My wife needed a egg crate topper for the bed to help with her back, and it was installed quickly. There are no AC outlets near the bed. Each bedside lamp has a USB port but no outlet. If you have a CPAP or other device, bring an extension cord. The outlets are on the wall by the desk on the other side of the room. Embarkation was smooth, and we were onboard rather quickly. We arrived at the port about 11am. Cabins were ready just after 1pm, which is usual. Disembarkation went smoothly, as well. I was not wild about the itinerary, but we wanted to sail the Bliss again, since our first sailing was in Alaska, so we didn't have much ship time. It is a beautiful ship. The Observation Lounge was a great addition - especially for those of us who miss the Spinnaker Lounge on the Jewel-class. However, it is as subject to chair hogs as the pool deck, and people go there to sleep. I have a feeling most of the nappers are the ones who sail inside cabins "because we're never in our room", so they camp out in the lounge. It does give the effect of a high-quality homeless shelter at times. The snacks there are very tasty and the views are excellent, even if someone is sleeping between you and the window. Beware on the photography! The photos taken in the restaurants are now sold separately, they are not part of any photo package. So, when the photographer takes your group photo in Cagney's, it will be printed and presented to you before your meal ends. You can buy it or not - but that's your only chance to purchase it. This seems like a rip-off especially since my wife had pre-purchased a photo package and those weren't included. So, I am beginning to understand the "nickel and dime" refrains from other passengers. I did enjoy the cruise, but a Norwegian cruise is not the value is was a couple of years ago. This is the first ship where I did feel really claustrophobic - when we left Jersey Boys (an excellent show), the mobs of people between the theater and the Local (needs a new menu) were a bit overwhelming. I do think I prefer smaller ships. I would sail the Bliss again for the features I like because they are more than the features I don't like. However, it would have to be a lower price point to make up for the extra charges. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Myself, my husband, my 4 year old daughter and my 15 month old son went on this cruise as part of a large 15 person family cruise. We got rooms next to each other and it was really great we could get an adjoining room with my parents so ... Read More
Myself, my husband, my 4 year old daughter and my 15 month old son went on this cruise as part of a large 15 person family cruise. We got rooms next to each other and it was really great we could get an adjoining room with my parents so they could help with the kids. My nieces and nephews were older, all being in middle school or high school. There was plenty to do for all ages. My 4 year old enjoyed the Splash Academy, the splash pad, pool, and water slides. I liked the variety of dining options. We ate mostly at the buffet with the kids but the food was really good and they had lots of options. We were able to get a couple nights away from the kids and my husband and I ate at Los Lobos and saw Jersey Boys, both were great. Overall the service was good but the only places we had trouble was with the bartenders at one of the pool bars (the one closest to the family pool) and our room steward. When I went up to the pool bar to get a drink I probably stood there for 10 minutes waiting to get served before I left, sick of being ignored. I went right over to the Waves bar across the sun deck and got a drink in like two seconds. Our room steward wasn't very attentive. We asked him the first day to take all the things out of the mini fridge because we didn't want our kids to get in there where there was liquor. We also wanted to keep milk and snacks in there for our kids but there was no room with all the mini bar stuff they stock it with. We kept reminding him day after day but he never did remove the stuff. Then he seemed annoyed that he couldn't get into our room to clean it when he wanted. My 15 month old would take a nap around 10am around the time when he wanted to clean the room. And then at night we would start he bedtime process with the kids around 5:30pm when he wanted to do his turndown service. So he told us one day that he HAD to enter our room the next day almost like we were keeping him from coming into our room. As for shore excursions, we booked the Coral World Ocean Park through Norwegian. It's a great place to go with small children and the 2 hours they give you at the park is plenty. They even stayed a little longer so people could go to the sea lion show. On Tortola we ended up going to Cane Garden Bay beach but on our own. The group taxis are lined up at the port when you get off the ship. At the end of the dock there is also an information booth where you can get a map of the island and advice on what beach to go to etc. The taxi to Cane Garden Bay was $8 pp each way and it was easy to get one to take you back to the ship too. We were also told that there would be free texting on board the ship using Norwegian's app. When we got on the ship it was very complicated to set up and it took a while before it worked but when it did it was very useful when you have to communicate with other people you are traveling with on the ship. There are two pools on the sun deck, one for just adults and the other is called a family pool. They were both the same size and depth...5' 7". I figured the family pool might be more shallow for the little kids. I am 5' 8" so i could bearly touch and it made it hard to swim with my 4 year old. They should have made one end 3' and then had a deep end. We also booked transfers from the airport before the cruise and to the airportafter the cruise. The tranfer from the airport to the port went great. The transfer afterward however was a disaster. They rushed us all off the ship but had no buses waiting for us. As a result, hundreds of people were left standing in front of the cruise terminal with all their luggage in the hot sun for over 45 minutes waiting for buses to arrive. We were the last group to disembark but we saw other colors there that got off sooner that were still waiting for their transfer. No one out there could tell us what was going on. They should have this down like clockwork because they do it every weekend. Overall I would recommend the Bliss, my husband and I would want to try it without kids next time :) I would have loved to have spent more time in the observation lounge, it's a must see. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
First of all I need to apologize to a fellow cruise critic member, Kevin,(I don't recall his handle) for us missing the meet and greet he arranged. Being only our second time cruising and my brothers first we lost track of time on ... Read More
First of all I need to apologize to a fellow cruise critic member, Kevin,(I don't recall his handle) for us missing the meet and greet he arranged. Being only our second time cruising and my brothers first we lost track of time on Sunday and missed the gathering, so we're sorry Kevin if you read this! Now on to the review, a bit about us, we are both in our early 50's and my brother and sister in law are early/mid 60's. We are from mid Maine and they are from northeast Vermont so we needed some sun and warmth! Embarkation was smooth, we arrived at the port around 11am and I think we were on the ship by noon-ish so not bad overall. We proceeded to the Social to make reservations for Go Karts while they were still available. While we were in there I noticed the sign for the Vibe Beach Club passes already sold out. Obviously this is a perk for the multiple cruise folks that get to board first, oh well maybe someday! Once we made reservations we went to get our first drink and explore the ship, all we could do is say WOW, this ship is beautiful and huge, especially for us newbies! Our cabin was available to drop our things off around 130pm or so and we went to check them out. We had balcony cabin 11854 and my brother had 11852.They were just the right size for two of us, we didn't feel cramped and had plenty of storage. We were part of the Casinos at Sea program so we had a bottle of champagne and our players cards in the cabin when we arrived, nice touch! The players cards were put to good use over the course of the cruise and we donated to the next possible winners! On to Dining, I made reservations in advance of the cruise for the Manhattan room, Los Lobos, Teppanyaki, and La Cucina (for Valentine's Day of course). Out of the 4 Teppanyaki was the best, hands down, it was excellent and our chef was entertaining. We also ate at the Garden Cafe' a few times for quick bites and had room service for breakfast one morning. Food was good overall and the specialty dining rooms were above average except for La Cucina which was a bit on the blah side, not at all what we expected but still ok. The only entertainment group we saw was the Beatles tribute band in the Cavern and they did a great job. I was surprised however that it was so short, maybe 45 minutes tops and only 1 set. The Go Karts were fun just be prepared to wait for a bit to get on the track, even with reservations. But you're on vacation so time is supposed to be irrelevant right? As many have said already, the pool area is BUSY on nice days and getting a chair will be impossible unless you are there to claim your spot very early in the morning. We did a couple excursions in St Thomas, the Legendary Kon Tiki tour and the Skyride to Paradise Point. The Kon Tiki tour and beach stop is a must, very fun and free rum punch, can't beat that. Views from Paradise point are amazing, it overlooks the whole port area. In Tortola we just did a 2 hour island tour with a local company at the pier for $20 per person, it's worth it. This island is still trying to get back on its feet since hurricane Irma. The devistation was unbelievable and being closed to cruise ships for a year really hurt the locals. It is sad to see but hopefully now that people are coming back they can continue to rebuild and flourish. In Nassau we just walked around the area near the pier and did not do any excursions. If we end up going back to Nassau on another cruise we will definitely find an excursion that takes us away from that area, way too many people trying to pull you into their shops. One thing I have to say about this ship and it's staff, AWESOME! We made friends with a few of the staff members, Rossi in the Cavern, Satya and Danny at the Skyline bar, and the two bartenders at Sugarcane (I cannot recall their names). These guys were the best so make sure you visit them in you cruise on the Bliss. I guess that is long winded enough so I will end with this. This was our first NCL cruise and I will definitely cruise with them again. Beautiful ship, great, accomodating staff. A word(ok a few words) to all that complain about the service and the "poor attitudes of the staff" maybe they are not the problem. Remember, you are on VACATION along with 4000 other folks, be PATIENT, they will not run out of food or drinks, you'll survive, trust me. If you are rude to the staff do you really expect them to be especially nice to you???? Think about it, seriously. We witnessed a lot of unnecessarily rude people, really too bad people have to act this way, life is too short not to enjoy it! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My first cruise was the Eastern Caribbean in 1989 on Carnival Cruise Line Jubilee. This makes my 10th Year’s Anniversary of cruising. I wanted to go back to my first cruise to celebrate my anniversary. I enjoy cruising with NORWEGIAN ... Read More
My first cruise was the Eastern Caribbean in 1989 on Carnival Cruise Line Jubilee. This makes my 10th Year’s Anniversary of cruising. I wanted to go back to my first cruise to celebrate my anniversary. I enjoy cruising with NORWEGIAN Cruise line, i got a special invation to the Officers Wine and Dine Dinner.and a invation to a special Anniversary Social Event. I wanted to go on their new ship the Bliss .That is a beautiful ship, the employees, food, entertainment and service was excellent. When I call the service desk to ask for something it was done or deliver right away. What I like about that ship to is they have a Starbucks Coffee and lots of hot tubs on the ship. The Casino had all the up-to-date Slot Machines, race car track, bowling lane, Laser tag. What I didn’t like was you had to put your room key down into a slot on the wall behind you entire door in order for the lights and Electric plugs to work in your room. Overall I rate my Cruise as A A A A A. I would like to go on this ship again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We were torn between the Getaway and this ship simply because of pricing and dates.We felt the Bliss was on the expensive side but needed to accommodate certain days that we had to be back for work. We also chose this cruise because we ... Read More
We were torn between the Getaway and this ship simply because of pricing and dates.We felt the Bliss was on the expensive side but needed to accommodate certain days that we had to be back for work. We also chose this cruise because we were interested in the go carts/laser tag/water slides and the experience of being on a new ship. We were hoping for a stellar experience with the price we paid and worked so hard to save for. Embarkation was very smooth and easy. We got to the ship around 12:15, and our rooms were ready by 1:30, and got our bags around 6-7pm. Our cabin- We were on deck 14. The entire cruise it was very difficult to get an elevator, so maybe we would have preferred a lower deck, but we were very close to the pool and buffet. We felt the cabin service was good overall. Our cabin steward was nice and always checked in to see if we were ok. All of our towels were always generously replenished. My only small complaint was that I wish he would take the dirty plates and cups out of our room and change the garbage more when he came in to make the bed (maybe there's some rule about that I was unaware of). We had a balcony room in which we received through the upgrade advantage request for $550 more than our oceanview. I felt this was a perfect size and the USB ports next to the bed were very convenient. There was a good amount of storage for sure, just not much room for your suitcases if you were utilizing the sofa as a bed. The showers were roomy and amazing. Perfect temperature and pressure. Very impressed with that. The water bottle package 12 1L bottles for 27.95 was well worth it. The TV doesn't have many channels, just news and movie channels that played the same thing over and over. Movies are $9.95, a bit steep for us. Also, a tip for NCL, put more food menu options on the TV, to save everyone a bit more time. Wifi- We had a 250 minute internet package. I was not happy with it. Half the time it would take 10 minutes to just log in so we were unsure if the minutes were being used (they were), which ate up most of the plan. Not worth the money, would not do it again. Pool deck- We tried SO hard to not nip pick things and take things as they were, as we read prior reviews. However, the one thing that was the most disappointing of all, was that you had to be up by 7AM to go get pool chairs. Everyone is very aggressive about getting a chair, and if you aren't out early enough, you probably aren't going to get a chair. Oh and the 30 minute rule? Definitely not enforced at all. To me, vacation isn't waking up at 7am to fight someone to get a chair. Needs to be a better system. Also, once you're there at 7am, they don't play any music until 11. They don't even play any movies on the big screen during the day, like they did on my RC cruise. They should play something to keep the vibe while people are stuck there guarding their chairs. Also, another very frustrating thing was that the DJ and the band played the same exact songs every. single. day. Always classic rock, the same song literally like clock work. I don't think the band knew any other songs honestly. I would have hope for some reggae or more pop or more upbeat. Bar Service- The drinks all over the cruise were AMAZING. We never felt they were watered down and everything was delicious, even the drinks that were on tap. The waiters at the pool were great and very attentive. We had the ultimate beverage package and it was WELL worth it!! Although you couldn't get a bottle of wine with it, there were virtually no limitations and you could go to any bar all over the cruise. The District has a wide variety of beers, and a great vibe, one of our favorites. The food- The food at the Garden buffet and dining rooms was edible. It wasn't great. The food at The Local was way better. I did not see lobster on this ship once. However, at the specialty restaurants, it was phenomenal! Teppanyaki is a must do. The best hibachi place we've ever been to hands down. We also loved Cagneys, great steak. Q was ok, my brisket was a bit dry and the portions were small. Food republic was fair, the sushi was sub par. A little upsetting that was the only place with sushi. Le Bistro blew every restaurant I've ever been to completely out of the water. AMAZING! Also, one of the best meals I had on the ship was the fish tacos from Margaritaville! Entertainment- The go carts and laser tag were awesome! Definitely worth the $. We loved the video arcade and the casino was a perfect size. Havana was not our cup of tea. Jersey boys was more than excellent! We didn't find the music to be good anywhere on the ship, however we kept missing the Beatles cover band. I had an issue with the spa, which I won't go into detail on, but I would not recommend any one spends their time or money on. All a scam to sell you on their products. Overall the entertainment on this ship was fair. Excursions- In St. Thomas we went zip lining. It was fine. Too many people in the group so it took FOREVER to get everyone off and on the lines. It was annoying when you are paying so much and only had so little time. Our tour guides (Emmett and BJ) were great. Very knowledgeable and fun. The shipwreck museum right when you get off the ship was very cool and fun, also. In Tortola- We did the escape to Jost Van Dyke. This was our favorite part of the whole cruise, a must do!! The boat to get there was fun and the employees were very nice and accommodating. Worth every cent. In Bahamas- We went to Atlantis Aquaventure. It was a great time, but not something I'd do again. We waited forever to get off the ship, and it was a bit disorganized getting to Atlantis. I would either book privately, or just spend the day shopping at the port and get back on the ship and go on slides and to the pool and have lunch for free. Overall, we had a good time. You got what you paid for, basically. There's a lot you have to pay more for. There were a few situations that we had to have a discussion with guest services about, and they rectified the situation properly, which we appreciated. So, if you have any issues I'd suggest discussing with guest services, it is a new ship and they will have hiccups. Again, we don't like to nip pick, but I write this review so others booking this ship are aware of these things, and have a more informed decision of what to spend their money on. Read Less
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 3.5 0.0

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