216 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews

8 days was better than a 7 day cruise and a New Ship. Balcony cabin deck 14 mid ship. Balcony very small - no table and NO draws - all cubies - not one draw in the cabin - I found the staff to be fine and cabin attendant Roman was great. ... Read More
8 days was better than a 7 day cruise and a New Ship. Balcony cabin deck 14 mid ship. Balcony very small - no table and NO draws - all cubies - not one draw in the cabin - I found the staff to be fine and cabin attendant Roman was great. Spec restaurants - Tappanyani and La Cuchina were great - A bit windy if you eat outside - Cagney - service was good 1st time, 2nd time was awful - La Bistro - No lobster, no 4 mushroom soup as in the past - Food was very good. Cabin - very small for a balcony - bathroom shower is great. Jersey Boys very good - Havana Not so much - Late Night Probition - also very good but at $39.98 per person a bit pricey. $49 or $69 to play bingo - My wife won the full card bingo and prize was under $476.00 really cheap prizes for the amount they charge. Ship is beautiful - Observation lounge is crowded on sea days. Used the rear elevators mostly and had no real long wait times. Buffet food was pretty good and nice variety. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I originally chose this cruise as we live on the West Coast and thought this would be a great way to experience NCL's newest ship. Regarding the ship, it is truly beautiful and provides a multitude of restaurant and ... Read More
My wife and I originally chose this cruise as we live on the West Coast and thought this would be a great way to experience NCL's newest ship. Regarding the ship, it is truly beautiful and provides a multitude of restaurant and entertainment options. The ship and, for the most part, the crew did not disappoint. This review is primarily centered on the itinerary itself, as there were many drawbacks that were not disclosed by NCL at the time we reserved our cabin. For us, the coastal or "repositioning" cruise is a great way to just enjoy the ship and not worry about needing to reserve a bunch of shore excursions. With the Bliss being so new, we felt we could just enjoy the ship for this quick, 6-day cruise. The issues that we encountered deal primarily with both Canadian and US regulations and are not the result of any policies adopted by NCL. However, I think all potential cruisers for this itinerary should be aware of its limitations. First off, be aware that the ship will leave Vancouver in the middle of the night - there is no traditional sail-away party. My wife and I have found this is a great way to set the tone for the cruise - music, dancing, and tropical beverages. Secondly, and I'm not going to be able to quote the exact regulation, but when a ship is in a Canadian port, there is a limit to the number of bars that can be open on the ship (I believe that the regulation is one bar per deck). For anyone who has sailed on a mega ship, you understand that there are multiple bars and lounges on various decks. I realize that this may not be a big deal for many people, but when you reserve a cruise on a ship like the Bliss, you do not expect there to be limitations on where and what you can drink. Beverages that would be available in the District Brew House or the Mojito Bar are not available for two days. In some restaurants (Food Republic and Margaritaville in our instance), the wait staff had to go fill our beverage order at another location, slowing down the service and limiting the choices. Secondly, US Immigration. We were not aware that we would lose half a day in San Francisco because all of the passengers and crew needed to exit the ship in San Francisco to pass through US Immigration. The process started at approximately 9 AM, and we were allowed back on the ship at approximately 1:30 or 2:00 PM. However, once we re-boarded at 2 PM, most venues and services were shut down as the crew was still going through immigration. Services and venues began to open up around 4 PM. Again, this may not matter to most people, especially if you wanted to spend the day in San Francisco and/or go on an excursion, but if you planned to stay and enjoy the ship, it makes a big difference. Lastly, we did observe some reluctance of the crew to enforce rules. Examples include children being in bar areas of certain lounges (and including H2O Spice, and including children actually sitting at the Mondavi wine bar) and tours that included children and babies in strollers going through the Thermal Suite (not on embarkation day, which is normal, but on day 4). Anyway, I would go on the Bliss again but would not choose this itinerary - just too many drawbacks and not enough of an opportunity to just relax and enjoy the ship. I'm sure many people had better or different experiences, but thought I'd share mine as someone who has been on a number of NCL cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I'm a platinum member of NCL and been over 12 cruises with the line. I'm a supporter and was looking forward to the Bliss and booked the year before it came out. Four thousand people is a lot to tackle and per the previous ... Read More
I'm a platinum member of NCL and been over 12 cruises with the line. I'm a supporter and was looking forward to the Bliss and booked the year before it came out. Four thousand people is a lot to tackle and per the previous reviews the elevators especially forward take a long time usually a 5 minute or 10 minute wait. Specialty restaurants where i ate every nite are very good maybe not as good as others I've been on but the biggest problem is the lack of training as well as communication regarding wheelchair accessibility. I walk with a cane and when we got off the ship in San Francisco I got off with the last group since I was told to do so and yet there was an hour and a quarter wait in a circular line to get off the ship and no mention of where wheelchairs would be and embarkation was fine with the wheelchair but disembarkation was an issue as when I arrived to the theater with 45 minutes before the time I needed to get off the ship and there were 9 wheelchairs before mine- was a lot of disorganization .I decided to walk off the ship on my own as I knew I would miss the bus to the airport Etc. A lot of training needs to be done with the staff as I met a lot of blank stares when I ask ed questions as well as their inability to master the iPad which was used to order for the menu. Seems like many staff members boarded the ship right before embarkation in Vancouver. Usually an awesome experience with NCL but Bliss is a work in progress. It's a beautiful new appointed ship but more attention needs to be paid to the details and training and the cruise director plus the assistant dynamic is a little weird and you never saw them on board the ship just on the TV Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Our daughter, who is blind and has a Seeing Eye dog, completed her doctorate in Law and Advocacy in June and this trip was her “reward”. We had a balcony cabn guaranty and was upgraded to a mid-ship balcony. With taxes, fees, ... Read More
Our daughter, who is blind and has a Seeing Eye dog, completed her doctorate in Law and Advocacy in June and this trip was her “reward”. We had a balcony cabn guaranty and was upgraded to a mid-ship balcony. With taxes, fees, promotions and on board credits we paid $700 apiece for the 7 day trip up the inside passage of Alaska with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria BC. The Bliss is a beautiful ship but the design elements leave me scratching my head. A LOT of black and white, gray and white, black and gray, etc. It seemed to leave a dismal and sad feeling in many venues. The farics on the chairs (like in the Atrium) were stained and many had tears an holes (after only 5 months!). Embarkation was smooth and easy. Arrived at 12:30 pm and was all unpacked by 1:00 pm. Loved the Garden Buffet stations. They were spread out and had little to no lines build up. We had the restaurant package so we ate in 8 of the on board venues and found them all above average. A few points of contention. The Observation Lounge is wonderful. Great soups and sandwiches, wonderful views. However, approximately 30-40 people each day confiscated the couches to sleep! Along with that comes the snoring, flatulence and bad breath. It was totally disgusting. I think they should ban sleeping in the Observation Lounge all together. You have a room...sleep there! The production of Jersey Boys was well done but for the life of me I can’t figure out why the writers used such filthy language. Several familes took their kids and left along with a few elderly people. The other shows did not appeal to us at all and we did not attend. The daily schedule was a bit monotonous. Same old, same old. The ports were great and had lots of choices for participation in activities. Disembarkation hit a snag with immigration and was delayed almost an hour. We probably will not return to the Bliss. 4,000 people is just too many for our liking. 900-1200 is more our style. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I have cruised with NCL 6x prior and had a lovely experience on each one, but I think this one is too much. The Bliss is like shopping at Walmart in West Texas on payday. Too many people clambering to get from point “A” to “B” it ... Read More
I have cruised with NCL 6x prior and had a lovely experience on each one, but I think this one is too much. The Bliss is like shopping at Walmart in West Texas on payday. Too many people clambering to get from point “A” to “B” it was exhausting. Embarking was a breeze ( I had a Haven suite), but the butler service was non-existent. It was ridiculous to have to ask for ice. I just don’t think it wasn’t worth the extra money. We couldn’t get one of the closets closed because it wasn’t deep enough. We had to angle the hangers just right. The food was extraordinary at the restaurants and the service there was awesome. Yet when we went to the Haven restaurant for breakfast 10 minutes before end of breakfast we were turned away and told to go to another venue. I told the staff it was chaos there and was treated like I wasn’t believed. We went and it was chaos. The buffet was just too much. There are too many people to make you comfortable. I just think that NCL has over achieved to the point they forget the passengers by presenting the big, bad and extraordinary. I don’t believe bigger is better. Sometimes less is more. I will not cruise the Bliss again. I will seek out something a little less obnoxious. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Chose this cruise because of prior experience with NCL, and wanted an Alaska cruise. Also brand new ship... Scroll to the bottom if you don't want to read all of this for the recap. Dining: The general dining rooms were about ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of prior experience with NCL, and wanted an Alaska cruise. Also brand new ship... Scroll to the bottom if you don't want to read all of this for the recap. Dining: The general dining rooms were about the worst we've bad (which really surprised us - NCL has historically been very good). We ate once in Taste and once in Savor. The service was terrible, the wait staff were outright miserable at best, and rude at worst. The food was literally worse than the buffet (which we didn't use except right after embarkation). We purposefully chose specialty and ala-cart restaurants (maybe that's by design?) where the service was great, and the food amazing. DO NOT miss Food Republic on this ship. By far the best food aboard. Our culinary schedule was: - Day 1: Taste (never again - thought we would go across the hall to Savor next, but...) - Day 2: Savor (never again) - Day 3: Le Bistro (5/5 - very good food, good service) - Day 4: Ocean Blue (5/5 - outstanding food & service) - Day 5: Food Republic (5/5 - by far the best food and service onboard) - Day 6: Food Republic (same as above) - Day 7: La Cucina (5/5 - outstanding food, very good service) Entertainment: - Havana was ok. Well choreographed, and the music was good but overall, just ok. - Jersey Boys was unbelievable. The music was absolutely spot-on, and the production was broadway level good. Absolute must see. - Prohibition was very very good, and very funny. Totally recommended. - Beatlemania wasn't advertised, but played a one show only on day 6 in the theater. It was very good. Excursions: Ketchikan: The Mendenhall Glacier is not to be missed. Quite a bit of walking here, but take the time to go down the Falls trail. I would avoid the Gardens & Glacier tour - we spent WAY too much time at the gardens, and not nearly enough time at the glacier. Skagway: DO NOT miss the Yukon BUS tour in Skagway. Everyone we spoke to was disappointed in the train excursions - and the bus tour was amazing. SO glad we took this one. Onboard: We took the Behind the Scenes tour. I was very disappointed in this tour. On both Carnival and on Royal Caribbean, the BtS tours took you onto the bridge for (limited) conversations with officers and a description of the stations, navigation, basically anything you wanted to know that didn't involve security. This tour was laundry, kitchens, backstage all hotel operations - nothing else. Our tour guide was VERY unprepared, and really was quite a disappointment for $80pp. Ports: Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway - all made sense for an Alaska cruise. We could NOT figure out the Vancouver stop. We were there for quite a long time, and there is NOTHING to do there. We missed the glacier cruise day due to a life/death medical emergency but aside from that, all good. Overall: Disappointed that this is an NCL product. Was very excited about the 'mega ship' experience on NCL based on prior NCL cruises. This ship was gorgeous. The service (with the exceptions noted above) was the worst we've been on - and even Carnival did better here. The crew really was miserable, and in many cases (Atrium bar, Observation bar, dining rooms, buffet) outright rude to guests. The cruise director was completely absent, except for on TV; and the onboard activities were, well, meh. Internet service onboard was atrocious. We paid for Premium streaming unlimited service, and could barely get text messages in/out for most of the time. Additionally, many of the WiFi access points onboard didn't work properly, so depending where on the ship you were, there was no access at all. NCL has a LOT to do to get this ship together. It's a billion dollar investment, and somewhere along the line, the staff onboard have forgotten that without us, there's no jobs for them. I don't want to end on a negative, so I will say this: the Alaska cruise was a bucket list item for my wife and I. I wouldn't take this trip on any other ship; and we REALLY did enjoy ourselves. Hopefully someone at NCL reads this and takes some action, because this truly is a gorgeous ship, and it's a gorgeous itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The excursions offered by the ship are extremely expensive compared with the offers you can get by other sites, there`s much better price and service if you get an excursion by your own. The attention at the front desk is rough and make ... Read More
The excursions offered by the ship are extremely expensive compared with the offers you can get by other sites, there`s much better price and service if you get an excursion by your own. The attention at the front desk is rough and make you feel like they are making you the favor attending you, besides that there`s few people attending so the process is very slow, you could spend a lot of time in the line. I bought credit through the app and que web site and at the end didn`t appear the complete amount I purchased. And the most important thing, the day of the cruise through the glacier, they advise that due medical emergency of one of the passengers has to be canceled. It`s understandable the importance of a human life, however, as a guest that finds out the main day that one of the main attractions will be cancel without receiving an alternative, and when we went to complain about that at guest services, they treated us wasn`t very hostile without giving any kind of useful information. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The good: It is a really nice new ship. Everything everywhere is immaculate. Small rooms, but clean. Our balcony was the smallest ever. Embarcation was quick and easy. Debarcation was a disaster. Maximum patience needed. Very ... Read More
The good: It is a really nice new ship. Everything everywhere is immaculate. Small rooms, but clean. Our balcony was the smallest ever. Embarcation was quick and easy. Debarcation was a disaster. Maximum patience needed. Very disorganized. Everyone I talked to agreed that the food was just OK, nothing special, not as good as any other cruise they’d been on. BUT.... there are many “specialty” venue$ if you want. Didn’t try any so can’t comment. There was no lobster or crab night. No fillet mignon. No midnight buffet with the carvings. Nothing special except the up-sells. The evening shows were quite different than any we’ve ever seen. They had 2 big productions; Havana and Jersey Boys alternating throughout the week. Once you’ve seen both, the only other after dinner choices were very small, get there EARLY, overcrowded venues. Overall the impression was up-sell everything. From the website and app, it’s all about selling more more more. Then there is a 20% surcharge on EVERYTHING. NOW FOR THE BIG ITEM.... the ELEVATORS. By the end of the cruise everyone was sooooo sick of standing in line trying to get on already full elevators. Many resorted to getting on any elevator going the wrong way knowing eventually they’d get to their floor, which only compounded the problem. And it is a problem, a big one. This was our first NCL, having been on all the others, and it was our least favorite. Alaska was amazing, NCL Bliss, not so much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
...the printed info that you are given is misleading. There are different food packages that you can purchase. The printed info you recieve will suggest you have many more options for "free" or covered places to eat than you ... Read More
...the printed info that you are given is misleading. There are different food packages that you can purchase. The printed info you recieve will suggest you have many more options for "free" or covered places to eat than you actually have. You'll sit down, order, then find out, opps this place isn't covered by your package even tho it says it is on your info page. Also, on our cruise, there was a medical emergency. Someone fell down some stairs. The Captain announced that he was going to forego going through the glacier fields (which was the main highlight that most passengers were looking forward to) in order to get to Juneau a few hours sooner. What I and every passingger that I talked to wondered why they didn't helicopter the person to a hospital. Especially when you are asked to purchase additional insurance to cover being helicoptered for a medical emergency. Finally, Jersey Boys was great! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise because I liked the idea of a larger ship going to Alaska. We visited the Space Needle and Pikes Place Market in Seattle and had a great time. Embarkation went quickly and smoothly, although debarkation was the total ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the idea of a larger ship going to Alaska. We visited the Space Needle and Pikes Place Market in Seattle and had a great time. Embarkation went quickly and smoothly, although debarkation was the total opposite-a complete mess!!!! It took over an hour to get off of the boat. Even though Bliss is a larger boat, it felt much smaller, and there was very little to do compared to other cruise lines. Only 2 shows were available to book before the cruise, and the rest were completely booked when we boarded at 1200 noon, as were the best excursions. We did book independent excursions on shore and had a great time. All loungers in the observation lounge were aways " reserved" with towels and unavailable, although unoccupied. Always hard finding seating in buffet for our group. Room attendant was awesome!!!! NCCL never again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise with the help of my travel agent, mostly because I wanted to go to Alaska and because the ship is very new. I arrived to Seattle in the early evening the night before the cruise since I have been to Seattle ... Read More
I chose this cruise with the help of my travel agent, mostly because I wanted to go to Alaska and because the ship is very new. I arrived to Seattle in the early evening the night before the cruise since I have been to Seattle previously. I stayed at an airport hotel and had their shuttle return me to the terminal in the morning to get my pre-purchased cruise transfer. I found the embarkation process very overwhelming. I had to check in about 3 times just to get to the waiting area at the airport terminal. Seating option is to sit on a freezing cold cement bench until your shuttle boarding number is called. Signage is poor. The entire process is poor. The ship is beautiful. There are many activities; however, only about half of them are included. Talk about nickel and diming. Since this was my first cruise, I couldn't help but compare it to the all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean which are a one-stop shop. Yes, it is possible to not partake of any additional activities at a cost, but sometimes there is just not anything else going on and you are on vacation, so you cave in. My cabin was a balcony room towards the front of the ship. I had heard that mid-ship is better for stability; however, most of the cruise was smooth water. It was very clean, and staff are very responsive, but they do not anticipate your needs the way that they do at the all-inclusives in the Caribbean. I asked for a mattress topper for my mattress upon arrival and it was provided which was a nice benefit. I give high marks to entertainment and activities. I thought they did a great job with those. I also found that most of the staff seemed very robotic and not particularly happy looking. There were, of course, exceptions such as cabin stewards and waitstaff; however, any employees working at any type of desk never smiled or were personable. They made me feel like a number. Ports and shore excursions were the highlight of the trip. Would I go again? Not sure. If so, I would want to try a different cruise line for a comparison. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I cruised to Alaska, from Seattle, the first week of September 2018. We (well, I) splurged and booked a room in the Haven section (floor 17). This review will address both Haven and overall experience, but my rating scores ... Read More
My husband and I cruised to Alaska, from Seattle, the first week of September 2018. We (well, I) splurged and booked a room in the Haven section (floor 17). This review will address both Haven and overall experience, but my rating scores will be for Haven which did offer a priority for activities. Before the details, the most significant areas of opportunity for NCL Bliss: - Water, Seltzer, Coffee/Tea water is not included in the Unlimited Drink Package - Haven Suites are all toward the front of the boat leading to feeling a lot of movement - Buffet area (Garden Cafe) is overcrowded for every meal; overflow is sent to Observation lounge that doesn't have tables - Go-Cart track/Laser Tag have a cost associated and require a reservation. Go Cart track 'trianing' and wait time - with a reservation - was 50 minutes. After finally getting on the track, operators intentionally slow people down because so many guests are inexperienced / poor drivers. Ruins the experience for everyone. - Elevators really do take a very long time and the amount of disabled patrons with their scooters take up space. - Ports & Ship push jewelry, watches, and terrible artwork 24/7 Now to the detailed review: The Haven pricing is steep, even without the 'Spa' room option. The decor is beautiful, the bed is very comfortable, the amenities are great (high end soaps, the most comfortable bathrobe in existence, fresh flower arrangements, full-size bathtub). The lighting around the room and in the ceiling really is beautiful and, while our balcony size was standard, there were wicker-type chairs with comfortable padding. The butler & room steward were also wonderful, but I'm assuming this may be somewhat unique because we were in the Haven; bigger tips. The dedicated 'front desk' for Haven, while a great notion, was always lined up with people or - there was no one there at all. The Haven bar also was very slow and always had enough people to add to the slowness. The Haven restaurant upstairs was beautiful with huge windows. White linen tablecloths; very formal feeling. Service, while nice, was incredibly slow for every meal - and the same is true for every restaurant on the ship. The food was good - not high-end dining good, but good. Chicken was salty, food delivered at different times, charging extra for Coffee and Juice (even with purchased of the Unlimited Drink package). It felt a bit too formal for every meal, but was quiet and nice to be there without dealing with a crowd of people. The buffet area, Garden Cafe, really had a ton of food options so while you would have to deal with seating issues, the food was generally pretty good. The paid restaurants were subpar. We ate at "Q" BBQ, Cagney's Steakhouse, and Teppanyaki. Q BBQ's food was terrible and was the place we experienced the slowest service (while it was nearly empty at 6:00 p.m.). Cagney's also had very poor service and the food was sub par - don't expect a Morton's or Ruth Chris, it's more Longhorn. Teppanyaki, while slow, offered the best food. The Haven offers their own observation lounge with large windows, luxury seating, an upstairs 'library' type area and small snack area. I'm still astounded that a designer signed off on this area - the carpet patterns reflect off of the slanted windows making it impossible to take a nice photo. In addition, the metal window frames are large and block line of sight for anyone that is 5'2 to 5'8 - really poor design for an 'observation area'. The rest of the ship, while designed beautifully, didn't seem designed for Alaska cruising contrary to their marketing. The pool deck was awesome, yet even in 60F weather w/ wind, it wasn't practical. Outside seating for the restaurants also seemed odd and weren't use throughout our stay. The atrium, which was toward the center of the ship, was always overcrowded with insufficient seating. The entertainment was ok, nothing spectacular. We saw Jersey Boys & Havana - both were nice, but the waiter/bar service before the show was poor. There are no hand rails for the stairs, so older people that would get up during the show struggled to get up the stairs. The staff entertainment was poor - the cruise director was annoying, his 'sidekick' was also bizarre. The other activity leads were cocky, made rude comments to guests and just made it feel like they couldn't wait to be done with their day. The Mandarin Spa - I scheduled a 75 minute standard Swedish massage. No bathrobe offered, a thin sheet to cover, they referred to me by my middle name the entire time, and a masseuse that was unskilled. When needing to shower to remove oil from session, she became angry and challenged me; wouldn't offer me a robe or guide me to the locker area to shower, dress, etc. I've been to many spas, please save your money and research a spa in one of the ports and spend your money there. The gym - actually - was fantastic. Really big and plenty of equipment. I wish I could give a rating for the gym alone - 5 stars. The ports: Ketchikan - Juneau - Skagway - Victoria; they were beautiful, but the time in port for most were short with Victoria being the most ridiculous 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Do not book excursions through the ship; they tend to be about 20% more. If you can, book in advance through TripAdvisor or went you get off the ship. The port stores have been inundated with terrible jewelry shops, try to avoid and explore on your own if you can. Victoria, while it had a really beautiful downtown, required a paid shuttle ($13pp/round trip) if you weren't up to walking for 30 minutes from the dock. A shame that with all of the money spent you still had to pay for this. Overall, our trip to Alaska was a once in a lifetime adventure and the views of the mountain, glaciers, and wildlife were like looking at a magazine. We took full advantage of every port, met some amazing Alaskans, explored the ship, and dodged the constant flood of marketing material left in our stateroom every evening. The Haven, while comfortable and beautiful, wasn't worth the premium price. If you're a bit older and wealthy, the Haven & the Bliss will be ok for you and you'll have a great time. If you're younger and are budgeting to spend $8k on a vacation, don't spend it on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship is huge, but Norwegian does a great job of breaking up nearly all experiences (dining, etc) so that you don't feel that you are on a huge ship with over 5000 people. Disembarkation, which is poorly organized, is the one time ... Read More
The ship is huge, but Norwegian does a great job of breaking up nearly all experiences (dining, etc) so that you don't feel that you are on a huge ship with over 5000 people. Disembarkation, which is poorly organized, is the one time you will feel how many people are on this ship. Freestyle experience is quite good -- many great foods available in the open dining areas (cafeteria style) with FANTASTIC Indian food available breakfast-lunch-dinner. Sit down regular dining is good. Specialty dining (Japanese steak house Teppanyaki, Cagney's Steak House, Los Lobos mexican) all very good food. Service, as far as drinks go, at specialty restaurants, is only good at Cagney's. Sit down regular service restaurants (Taste, Savor, Manhattan) drink service is pretty poor. In Garden Cafe (cafeteria/Lido dining) -- there is only one bar and it is at the far end. This area is also the ONLY place to get soft drinks (truly poor design!!). Also very bad choices -- pepsi products only. Very disappointing. Deck 15 Observation -- nice bar, and very nice afternoon tea -- but again, you have to walk to the very front area to get sodas. Poor design. While the tea food choices are great, the actual tea offerings (mediocre to poor Liptons only) are pathetic. Balcony rooms comfortable with great bathroom. Wonderful staff in Garden Cafe (especially the Taste of India), deck 10 housekeeping (Fernando) plus some good folks throughout the ship. Truly poor music choices in BBQ specialty place (Country - awful). And, appalling choices in music on upper deck -- extremely loud and no way to sit on your own balcony or to go to sleep at a reasonable hour with your balcony door open without being blasted with annoying Country or Salsa music. No music should be played where patrons cannot get away from it while cruising scenic views -- nor after 10 pm. I would have liked to spend time on the deck -- but even during daytimes --and even when music choices were good -- simply too loud. Shows (Havana, Jersey Boys, crew Talent Show) were all quite good. Such a shame that we don't get enough time in ports to explore them properly. Why even dock at Victoria after 4:30pm? Cruising after/during Labor Day cut down on excessive children. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Pluses: The very well designed studio cabin with sufficient storage and a window with a live-camera to the outside, which kept the cabin from descending into pitch darkness. The Observation Lounge was also very well designed, with ... Read More
Pluses: The very well designed studio cabin with sufficient storage and a window with a live-camera to the outside, which kept the cabin from descending into pitch darkness. The Observation Lounge was also very well designed, with lovely decor and nice buffet areas, and sufficient (usually) seating for all. Jersey Boys was great. The cupcakes, gelato, and crepes in the specialty dessert restaurants were very good, though quite expensive. Cabin, restaurant, and other staff was pleasant and efficient. Excursions I can recommend are the railway ride in Skagway (tremendous) and the Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast in Ketchican (the crab really was the best I'd ever had). The Local Restaurant has tasty food, and is open 24 hours. Loved using the free Port Valet service when disembarking – highly recommend that. Really appreciated having my onboard billing available to view on my cabin TV, and having the Norwegian app that let us text each other on board for $10.00 (per person) for the week. We found that this worked very well. Negatives: The décor in the elevator areas, in the atrium, and in the theater. Ghastly. Shockingly plain, almost depressingly so. Looked like something severely in need of updating...despite being only 3 or so months old. This alone would definitely keep me from sailing this ship again, though the restaurants tried a little harder to be pleasant looking, with sufficient color and pattern to keep things interesting. The food was, on the whole, disappointing. Of note here are the "fruit" beverages offered in the buffet, which were completely tasteless. Wasn't impressed by anything in the buffet, including the lack of seating for large groups, and the lack of staff to assist at your table. (I'm used to ships that have roving wait staff to fetch you coffee, etc., while you're at your table.) Food at Q was not great, though I love the idea of all the small sides that came with my entrée. Wish so much that we had been able to reserve more speciality dining and entertainment online before the cruise, including the comedy shows. To have had our itinerary in place before we embarked would have helped keep us calm and ensured that we'd be able to take full advantage of our Dining perk (we couldn't...). Wish this particular cruise had gone through Glacier Bay. We were supposed to have sailed up Tracy Arm, but the weather was too foggy and we had to turn back, we didn't see any glaciers or large icebergs. Your mileage may vary in this regard. Also disappointing was the "solarium," which was small and uncovered. Though I didn't use the general pool area, it too looked small and plain. And these areas committed a cardinal cruising sin: their deck chairs do not have arms. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
we picked this cruise because it was the newest ship and it had go carts and laser tag, which we thought was going to be awesome for my husband and 17 year old to do. we booked it Nov.2017 for Aug,25, 2018. come to find out they charged ... Read More
we picked this cruise because it was the newest ship and it had go carts and laser tag, which we thought was going to be awesome for my husband and 17 year old to do. we booked it Nov.2017 for Aug,25, 2018. come to find out they charged extra for these and there was no mention of it before hand. also when they did try and go there was no reservations and had to stand in stand by line and it took them like 2 hours to ride once. WE also booked it because we live in Seattle and didn't have to pay for air fare. The ship is beautiful but when you have a lot of people that means more crowds at the activities etc. My 8 year did not like the splash academy and would not go back to it. My 17 year old never went into entourage. also no map of ship showing all activities. we found out there was bowling on last day. I just felt there wasn't enough family friendly activities or shows, food was pretty good.. We love going to the LOCAL. plus too many kids in hot tubs. also never been on cruise where you had to book your show times ahead of time, no mention of this either before cruise. We felt this was one cruise that my kids were bored, and we felt nickel and dimed!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We traveled in a balcony cabin as a family 2 adults + 2 children 13/16. As Austrian we got the UDP for the adults + soda, coffee and juices for the children. As our last trip was with the oasis of the seas in the Caribbean I will compare ... Read More
We traveled in a balcony cabin as a family 2 adults + 2 children 13/16. As Austrian we got the UDP for the adults + soda, coffee and juices for the children. As our last trip was with the oasis of the seas in the Caribbean I will compare the ships from time to time Overall we had a good time! The good: -Cabin and balcony was large (even compared with oasis of the seas), modern and clean -The Jersey boys were fantastic. Much better then I thought! A real surprise! -Food was flawless ; even we just used the complimentary dinging venues. Taste was great, The local was also really good, the mesa style buffet was rich on options but much too noisy for a relaxed eating -The service-staff (especially the bartenders and waiters) was fast and responsive. We hardly ever had to wait at a bar for our drinks -embarkation was smooth and fast - no lines at all -The pools were heated and used by the crowd on most days! -Laser Tag and racing itself (not the reservation of them) was great and worth the money! The ok'ish: -Observatory Lounge was nice and spacious. Most times we got a place there after looking a bit. But there were families occupied the front loungers by sleeping for hours (I was able to see the same family 2 according days at the exact location). For me it seemed as if some people booked a cheap cabin and decided to stay in the observatory lounge. The lounge itself was also somewhat noisy at the front. The view was great and the windows and loungers were still clean -Compared to Oasis of the seas the free style concept comes with some drawbacks (at least in my opinion). As we had each day other restaurant times, we got seated on different locations and met another waiter every day. So there was no option to get used to each other. On oasis for example we had the same waiter team the whole cruise and they did even magic tricks for the kids which they really enjoyed. But I understand that this is of course just my taste (Also I did not like the shorts and tees lots of the crowd wore at dinner - dressing this way seemed simply not right for the location in my view) -The ship developed some movement on sea days if the weather was not 100% sunny (which may often be the situation in Alaska). Compared to the oasis it seemed to me as if the movement was much more at the bliss. Cant say it it's the ship or the itinerary The awful: -Their reservation system is not working. Right after getting onboard we were not able to book Racing /Laser tag by their touch screens or via app. Both of them exited the bookings without an error. So we had to wait a long line to do the reservations (instead of having a good first time) -The reservations got multiply times canceled because of bad weather as these are open air attractions. I'd say wind and rain in Alaska should not be a real surprise for a ship build for Alaska -Regarding bad weather conditions - I'm not talking of hurricanes or thunderstorms... As the laser tag was closed during port hours i had a reservation right after leaving the port. The weather was sunny and there was near no wind. People were wearing shirts and tees or even bathing suites at the pool deck. After we left the port, the now moving ship resulted in some wind. This was the "bad weather" which led to one cancellation of the open air laser tag. The other day the ship bumped a little bit at the waves - another cancellation. -I had to re book them again by myself via the box office (another line) instead of getting this done by their attraction staff after telling me my the reservation got canceled -We were not able to see tracy arms or the glacier because of a really foggy condition. I understand that the ship has to turn in order to move safe BUT this also should be something not too unlikely so for a ship build for Alaska I would at least expect some other option/itinerary/offer if one of the main attractions gets canceled. Simply not going there is a little bit a too easy solution for this. They could have done (for example) a free movie (maybe a 3D) showing the itinerary to compensate it a little bit. -They charge for nearly everything - even the bowling location. We had the UDP and all service charges prepaid, but we still had to pay (little but still) taxes in Washington sea areas. Of course the taxes had to be paid but why at all they don't include these taxes also in the UDP? Royal Caribbean does this! As the expense on taxes are really low (10% of drink prices or so) it is more a needless trouble than anything else -disembarkation was like waiting in a really, really, long line for almost 45 min. I wonder why the embarkation was so perfect and disembarkation was a cruel? -The waterfront area (the outside seating of bars and restaurants on deck 8) had heating stripes at the ceiling which were activated on most days but as the ceiling was high and the side to the sea was totally open most of the heat disappeared to the sea without use. I just wonder why they decided to use heating stripes at the ceiling and not at the walls or pillars. So the waterfront area was just not used most of the times - in my opinion a clear design flaw for a ship build for Alaska -Unless you pay for heaven you will have no outside deck view to the front. Finally, and to summarize: We had a good time, but this ship is not build for Alaska! At least not in such a way they try to tell us! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the cruise because of the show Jersey Boys. The show was wonderful. All of the entertainment on the ship was excellent. The ship was clean and well staffed but the staff often had language difficulties. Overall, the price for ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the show Jersey Boys. The show was wonderful. All of the entertainment on the ship was excellent. The ship was clean and well staffed but the staff often had language difficulties. Overall, the price for the cruise, compared to the quality of the cruise, was too much. We have traveled to Australia for two and a half weeks for less than this cruise cost us. We felt like we were nickled and dimed to death by the cruise line. There was an additional fee for the go karts and one of the theatre shows. The dining was rather disappointing. There was a large selection of food in the cafeteria with the buffet, but the food was usually just warm and the quality was mediocre. There was not a restaurant that served brunch. The Mexican specialty restaurant was awful and overpriced. The steak and BBQ restaurants were pricey but excellent. The beverage package was the best deal for the money on the ship. Don't waste your money on the water package, the ship's water is just as good as the bottled water. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
1. Smoky around Casino and Cigar lounge Folks in the Cigar lounge put a pillow to block the glass door from closing. As a result, others walked by the general area inside the deck or around the ocean front walkway. The ... Read More
1. Smoky around Casino and Cigar lounge Folks in the Cigar lounge put a pillow to block the glass door from closing. As a result, others walked by the general area inside the deck or around the ocean front walkway. The automatic glass door separating smoking and non-smoking area in Casino opened frequently. As a result, cigarette smoke just permeated the casino area. 2. Inconsiderate and illegal smoking in the cabin balcony People were not supposed to smoke in their stateroom balcony, but someone did. It totally ruined our enjoyment to sit outside. And there was no mean to complain about it since it was really difficult to tell which cabin the smoke originated. Very unpleasant. 3. Dinning - shortage of lunch and breakfast choices There were not enough places that serves lunch and breakfast. Especially during the Port day and departure time is 1:00 pm. Guest did not have enough time to eat in town; most people just headed back to the ship a bit early to get lunch. As a result, very very crowded. 4. Clueless and poor customer support The customer support area almost always had a long queue and the staff were not helpful. They were not familiar with any daily activities or anything happening on the ship. I tried to ask them question on 3 occasions and all futile. A passenger queued up behind me overheard my question and gave me better answer than the staff. 5. Entertainment: fee-based vs. free on-board activities. 80% of the on-board activities were fee-based (more than $30 per person) and NOT free. The information was not available from the App, or info LCD monitors. One would have to show up at the spots and realized that it was not free. 6. Fitness - very crowded free yoga class There was one free morning yoga class. Because it was free, the class was so packed and almost stifled. A paid class was about $20 which was reasonable, except the instructor did not come across as a certified yoga instructor. Also there was nothing to clean the yoga mat after use. A bit gross. In general, we had a good family vacation. I do highly recommended making reservation in advance for dinner, shows and excursions. It would ease some of stress of waiting in line. Dinner package helped but 50/50 chances of getting the reservations to the desired restaurants a reasonable meal time. -F Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I went on the NCL Bliss to Alaska. The ship was really nice and modern. I sailed on the NCL Escape twice and the epic once. Norwegian removed some classic features that other ships had. They got rid of the basketball/sports court, got ... Read More
I went on the NCL Bliss to Alaska. The ship was really nice and modern. I sailed on the NCL Escape twice and the epic once. Norwegian removed some classic features that other ships had. They got rid of the basketball/sports court, got rid of 4 holes of mini golf and made a small awkwardly placed mini golf course that appeared to be an after thought because it wasn't on the model in the observation lounge. They got rid of the bocce court. They removed the ropes course and put in the go karts that aren't free unlike the ropes course on previous ships. They charge you $10 are ride and you have to book reservations in advance. Same thing with the reservation for the lazer tag. The Garden Cafe is bigger than ever making it complicated to navigate. The specialty restaurants are amazing, but Taste, Savor, and the Manhattan room are horrible. the local is fine. The water slides are great and the jogging track is great. My main issue with the Bliss isn't what it has, but it is what NCL forgot. Now they charge you for activities that used to be free, and replaced classic activites that ships from 10 years ago have. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have been Disney cruisers and wanted to try a a different cruise line for comparison. It was a mistake. It's all the little things that Disney does that make all the difference and justifies the so called price savings. Norwegian ... Read More
We have been Disney cruisers and wanted to try a a different cruise line for comparison. It was a mistake. It's all the little things that Disney does that make all the difference and justifies the so called price savings. Norwegian needs to really reassess how the observation deck on the Bliss is used. It should not be a place for people to sleep all over the couches with the comforters from there cabin as well as putting their nasty feet all over the furniture as well. There is no adult only part of this ship!!! Part of our party got very sick.... they ate at the what I call the food trough. Every one has access to handling food and reaching over food too much tong handling for me!!! The entertainment was fair. Jersey Boys was excellent, Havana was terrible walk out worthy but we stuck it out hoping it would end better it did not. The food at the complimentary restaurants was terrible we could not eat it. We tried twice and gave up. So we spent some money after using our three specialty restaurant upgrades but the money was well spent because dinner is an important part of our cruise experience but we don't really eat large breakfast or lunch. All that being said Alaska was amazing!!! The drink package that was a perk choice for our cruise was nice but not worth giving up Disney for. Authorine was our room attendant and she was absolutely amazing!!! She had the sweetest smile and song she was singing every time you saw her. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First of all, the Bliss is a beautiful ship. The chandelier in the middle of the ship is amazing, the rooms were very nice, the food was good, the entertainment was top notch, and the staff was very friendly. Since we had never been on ... Read More
First of all, the Bliss is a beautiful ship. The chandelier in the middle of the ship is amazing, the rooms were very nice, the food was good, the entertainment was top notch, and the staff was very friendly. Since we had never been on a cruise before we had no idea what to expect. We really should have been warned that the crowds would be a definite issue. The buffet is an absolute mad house that reminded us of feeding time at the zoo. Good luck not getting run over and having a plate of food spilled on you. It is VERY difficult to get a table as most of them are used as family living rooms for the day. The observation lounge is beautiful until the crowd shows up. People sleeping all over the lounge chairs and couches, small communes spring up all over the seating areas, and the few tables and chairs are taken by families with you children who let them run wild with no thought to anyone else who are bothered by the little angels. Honestly, the room looks like a cross between a flop house and an advertisement for the people of Wal Mart. Too bad. The room could be fantastic but soon it will be trashed. The Beatles shows are fantastic, Jersey Boys will have you dancing in the aisles, but Havana is terrible. I think it had a plot, but was unable to tell. Don't waste your time. The bars are very nice ranging from the very fancy (A List Bar) to the comfortable (The Local) to the very laid back (District Brew house). Our favorite was the District Brew house. The bartenders, Robert and Emina are fantastic. We loved going there for a relaxing drink and some good conversation. Overall, as nice as the ship is now, it's a shame that the class of people that were on the cruise with us will trash the place in short order. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose Norwegian Bliss because it was the newest ship and it's sail date worked with my vacation days but I feel a little let down. I have sailed twice with Carnival and thought they were great. I decided to pay a little more and go ... Read More
I chose Norwegian Bliss because it was the newest ship and it's sail date worked with my vacation days but I feel a little let down. I have sailed twice with Carnival and thought they were great. I decided to pay a little more and go with Norwegian because I had heard such great things about them. After cruising with Norwegian, I think the food and entertainment was not as good as I have experienced with Carnival. In addition, I think the staff seemed overwhelmed /stressed at times and some things seemed a bit disorganized. One of the things that attracted me to the Bliss was a 180 degree observation deck lounge that is pictured on the website but it was not as I had anticipated. I hardly ever got to sit in that lounge because it felt like all four thousand guests were trying to sit or find seating in that lounge. Whole families stayed camped out on the loungers and tables all day. I even saw people bringing their bedding out to sleep on couches and loungers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because it was one of the newest ships, and with kids 10 and 12, has new things such as a Racetrack and Laser Tag on board. We've been to Alaska several times by cruise before (Disney Wonder being the last cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was one of the newest ships, and with kids 10 and 12, has new things such as a Racetrack and Laser Tag on board. We've been to Alaska several times by cruise before (Disney Wonder being the last cruise 2 years ago). We were not thrilled that not only were there so many people (4800 plus 1700 crew), everything got booked up literally within hours of getting on board. Our kids only could find one time slot for the race track (10:30 PM) and none for Laser Tag because of the number of people and availability. The same went for shows and the comedy club - too many people trying to get seats so we never did! Then there aren't enough elevators for all these people so you wait 10 minutes to get to another floor. Yes, no exaggeration. They definitely could be more organized - for instance telling you to go to the Theater to meet for an excursion off the ship at 7am, you walk down the stairs to the stage, they tell you to go back up now and walk around the theater and outside. This kept happening. Our daughter has many severe food allergies. We made arrangements a month in advance with their "Access Desk" which handles special requests for food, etc. We told them by email, fax, and phone of her list of allergies and they said it wouldn't be a problem. I called and confirmed the list two days prior to sailing. Again, said it's not a problem - just check with the restaurant supervisor before ordering. We did, and they didn't know of the list! They knew there "was a list", just didn't know what the allergies were. UGH! So frustrating. The first morning (Sunday) we went to the restaurant, spoke with the supervisor, and my daugher asked about a gluten, dairy, and egg free waffle. He went in the back, said he read the ingredients on the frozen packaging and it had no egg, wheat, or dairy. She ate the waffle, and within 15 minutes was in the bathroom throwing up with an allergic reaction. My wife had to give her allergy medication. She ended up seeing the ship's doctor, and the Assistant Maitre D came to the room and said all the waffles have Egg! From then forward, he said he would take care of her food orders personally, and he did! He saved the cruise for sure. Every meal - he asked her what she wanted, and they had it ready. He was great - his name is Koray. Definitely a great asset to NCL. As for the rooms, we had two - a balcony and an inside stateroom. They were both about the same in size - although the balcony room has a couch that can flip down to another bed, and a bunk can be lowered above it. Rooms are quiet and well appointed. Three US Plugs are located at the desk area by the phone - not by the bed so we brought extension cords for us to use. Storage under beds and under couch. Beds can be a queen or two twins divided, as we had in the interior room for our kids. Housekeeping is on point. They don't use the iConceirge texting system on this ship, so we couldnt' communicate with other family even if connected to ship WiFi. Had to purchase WiFi if you want it. That bummed us out. Even tried two way radios but didn't work due to ship size and steel. Restaurants are good, but as I say busy. Specialty ones get booked fast. Room service is free, but charges $7 to deliver. During the cruise they offered a discount on laundry of $20 for a big bag so that helps. Because the elevators are so busy, you really need to take stairs if it's only a couple flights. Overall, we had a good trip. Ship is more stable than others because of size. We liked the stop in Victoria - defintely a good itinerary and one we hadn't done before (this is our fifth Alaska Cruise). I'd say for famlies Disney is better. Less crowded, more to do for families, and better choices. Better kids club and solid staff. Disney has far less staff turnover than NCL from what everyone said. This ship was geared for the 55+ crowd with 26 bars, 17 restaurants and its own smoking room. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband and I had only been on one other cruise several years ago - the Med on the Ruby Princess. We chose this particular ship and destination because we were "invited" to a NCL cruise by a casino. Just a heads up, Southeast ... Read More
My husband and I had only been on one other cruise several years ago - the Med on the Ruby Princess. We chose this particular ship and destination because we were "invited" to a NCL cruise by a casino. Just a heads up, Southeast Alaska is pretty boring. Every day/port was the same. Embarkation in Seattle was organized and easy enough. The BEST thing though is when you disembark NCL will take your luggage to the airport for you for FREE so you can wander around Seattle without your bags prior to your flight home. The Bliss itself is huge - holds 4k people which is not a good thing. It was just plain crowded. Waiting for the elevators was a nightmare as was finding a table at the breakfast/lunch buffet. On the Bliss, the furnishings/decor in common areas are all quite nice. Great attention to detail by decorators. Their only misstep was the hideous chandelier in the center of the ship. We booked an ocean view cabin. It was small. There was about 8" to the wall on either side of the bed. If you had friends or family in other cabins come by to visit, they would have to sit on your bed as there were no chairs. There was adequate closet space but rather than shelves, drawers would have been much nicer. It was very clean! ALL staff were super nice and really seemed happy to be working on the ship. We both have graduate degrees but were confused regarding the myriad of extra charges and tip allocation. We learned the last day of the cruise that bartenders do not receive any of the daily per person fee ($15) charged to your room. Still not sure what the $7.95 "service charge" on every drink, cupcake, and slice of pizza covered. Also there was something about 20%. Your bill at the end of the cruise is like a hospital bill. You probably really do not want to bother with an itemized statement. Announcements were made via hallway speakers and were completely indecipherable from inside the cabin. The food was the biggest disappointment. On our Princess cruise, we canceled all our reservations at the specialty restaurants and ate nightly in the main dining room because the food was so good. Everyone dressed nicely and looked chic. Because the Bliss is so big, they have 3 separate dining rooms which is nice even though the food is the same in all three. The dishes all sounded good and had a nice presentation but was of poor quality and bland. We ended up spending more money eating in specialty restaurants which were much better. So they can prepare great meals but choose not to. If your idea of going out to eat is Applebee's or Olive Garden, then you will be satisfied with the complementary meals. Otherwise make reservations at the specialty restaurants. The very crowded buffet is actually pretty good. It is huge with a mammoth selection. The casino is large with many tables games and slots from which to choose. We did not go to any of the towel folding classes, game show re-enactments or 30 minute musicals so I cannot comment on their entertainment. NCL advertises "free style cruising". Unfortunately it appears many of the guests took that to mean "show up like you are going on a 30 hour Greyhound bus trip". The cruise was not a bad experience per se but I could not recommend Alaska as a destination, NCL or the Bliss specifically. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Destination (Alaska) was great, ship and state room were new and well equipped. Staff was great, always smiling and helpful, never pushing for gratuity. But they need to do something about the food - they highlight the flexibility compared ... Read More
Destination (Alaska) was great, ship and state room were new and well equipped. Staff was great, always smiling and helpful, never pushing for gratuity. But they need to do something about the food - they highlight the flexibility compared to other cruises, but really at the end of day pushing towards an average / crowded buffet a la Vegas while even their paying specialty restaurants are not the same quality as the main dining room in other cruises - that was really disappointing. Please aware that the race track + laser tag gets fully booked the first day, you need to reserve early. And most specialty restaurants got fully booked day 2. And only 2 elevator banks, most times too busy. They are packing too many people on this cruise ship, again more Vegas than Cruising experience. embarkation was very smooth thanks to 30 min windows, no line - disembarkation not so much as they pushed everybody out in a short time, long lines to get off. Read Less
Sail Date August 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 3.9
Family 3.5 3.9
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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