1,029 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews

Chose for the itinerary plus the fact of being a new big ship Cabin 14th deck balcony had excellent views. TONS of storage and well designed spaces. Shower did however leak onto the floor. Decor was interesting, sophisticated. Has call ... Read More
Chose for the itinerary plus the fact of being a new big ship Cabin 14th deck balcony had excellent views. TONS of storage and well designed spaces. Shower did however leak onto the floor. Decor was interesting, sophisticated. Has call buttons to alert staff to make up rroom or do not disturb. Food was the star. EVERYWHERE you went the food was outstanding. Willing to even endure the buffet lines due to quality of the buffer, including excellent Indian and Asian dishes to rival any Asian restaurant. Main dining room very noisy unless you sat at one of the areas with a lower ceiling. We preferred the other two included restaurants TASTE and SAVOR which were essentially twins with slightly different color schemes. Food was consistently first class and varied every day. Went to BISTRO but service was so slow we missed seeing HAVANA show which only played 2 nites. Cagneys was just so so-food was cold and somewhat indifferent for the price. Japanese steak house could be fun depending on the energy of your chef but food was great. Cons-gym was tiny, entertainment cheesy except for the Jersey Boys and UPTOWN Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I was on the Panama Canal cruise in May 2018 as the ship was being moved over to the Pacific side of the world in order to do Alaska cruises this summer. This was my sixth cruise with Norwegian, and my 44th cruise overall. Even though ... Read More
I was on the Panama Canal cruise in May 2018 as the ship was being moved over to the Pacific side of the world in order to do Alaska cruises this summer. This was my sixth cruise with Norwegian, and my 44th cruise overall. Even though I've done more cruises with Carnival than any other cruise line, in recent years I've come to think of Norwegian as my cruise line of choice. It really seems to be the best fit for me, for numerous reasons which I'll try to expand on here. I was really impressed with the design of the Norwegian Bliss, and noticed numerous improvements over her sisters... Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, and Norwegian Breakaway. The most important improvement was the addition of the observation lounge at the front of the ship, and moving the buffet up to the front of the ship, too. This provides two fantastic indoor spaces where you can sit and enjoy great views ahead of the ship. We spent a LOT of time at these areas at the front of the ship, enjoying drinks, food, and fantastic views, without dealing with wind or any other kind of weather. The way NCL put a variety of comfortable seating in the observation lounge was absolutely brilliant. There is everything from chairs to couches and even super-comfortable loungers. Whoever designed the observation lounge hit a grand slam home run with this one. My only suggestion for future NCL ships would be to add a staircase at the very front of the ship, between the observation lounge and the buffet dining area. We frequently could not find an available table anywhere in the entire buffet restaurant and had to either settle for a table outside near the pool or down one level in the observation lounge. A staircase at the very front of the ship, connecting the observation lounge and the buffet restaurant, would lessen the seating shortage at the buffet restaurant. Another great improvement over the previous generation of ships was the addition of the go-kart racetrack, which really was a lot of fun. Some people complain about the $7 charge to ride the go-karts, and cite it as an example of nickel-and-diming by NCL. But I completely disagree, and understand that the small fee is necessary to prevent huge long lines that would occur if the go-kart were available at no extra charge. If I were in charge, I think the fee might be $5 instead of $7, and there would be no fee for Haven guests. Speaking of The Haven, even though I wasn't staying in The Haven on this particular cruise, I did get a tour... and I like the changes they've made over the previous generation of ships. The two-level lounge with views forward is a brilliant improvement. There were also some really nice improvements made to The Haven Sun Deck, including an improved arrangement for loungers and daybeds, and a really cool set of bar stools that looks over the bow of the ship and has spectacular views. I love the waterslides on Norwegian Bliss. There's only one vertical-drop waterslide, compared to two on the previous generation of ships... but one is enough... and there is a really cool waterslide where you sit on an inner tube and get a very gentle but fun ride that won't scare anyone, but everyone will enjoy. The vertical-drop waterslide is only for thrill seekers... it will scare the heck out of you, but it's also a lot of fun. Of all 44 cruises I've been on, the food and dining on Norwegian Bliss was the best match for my tastes. I've never enjoyed cruise ship food more than I did during this cruise. Not only was the buffet excellent, especially the breakfasts, which were the best I've ever had on a cruise ship... but I also enjoyed several good dinners in the Manhattan Room (one of several main dining rooms onboard, at no extra charge)... as well as the wide variety of specialty restaurants, including a couple of new ones that the previous generation of ships did not have. The best new specialty restaurant was Q, which is the Texas smokehouse. I loved the food I had at Q, and I hope this restaurant finds its way on to other NCL ships. Fantastic idea, perfectly executed. Well done, NCL! When I first heard they eliminated the Brazilian steakhouse in favor of a whole new restaurant idea, I was disappointed. I used to love the Brazilian steakhouses on the previous generation of ships. But Q was even better. I also enjoyed my meal at Los Lobos, the new Mexican food concept. Mexican food is so popular in California, where I live, that I'm glad to see NCL is starting to embrace it. They do need to take it even further, though... adding a Mexican station in their buffet at every lunch and dinner. I don't think NCL fully understands the popularity of Mexican food, but Los Lobos is a good step in the right direction. I also had good meals in La Cucina, Cagneys, and Margaritaville. Be aware that Cagneys is the most popular and that it's nearly impossible to get a reservation there unless you make your reservation from home, before the cruise. If you expect to just board the ship and then make a reservation at Cagneys, you will be disappointed. I love the idea of Margaritaville, but I think NCL needs to make a few adjustments. The extra fee they charge to eat there is WAY too high, and therefore the restaurant is under utilized. In other words, there are an awful lot of empty tables... which is a big waste, considering how overcrowded the buffet is. I know that it would not work to have no additional charge at Margaritaville... it would get too crowded... but they need to lower the extra charge significantly until they find the price point that will fill those seats at Margaritaville. Right now, it's just a waste of potential that there are so many empty seats there. Something that really surprised me during our cruise was how good the Internet connection was for downloading and uploading files. I create videos for YouTube, and normally I have to wait until I'm home to upload cruise videos... because the upload speeds on most cruise ships are dismally slow. But on Norwegian Bliss, I was uploading gigantic video files in a matter of a couple of minutes. I had never seen anything like that, even on Royal Caribbean, which uses an entirely different (and superior) kind of satellite network than all the other cruise lines do. Royal Caribbean's use of the O3B network gives them very low ping times, which means very little latency in the Internet connection, which means that when you use the Internet it feels very fast and responsive to your clicks. The system Norwegian uses doesn't offer the low latency and responsiveness that Royal Caribbean's system uses, but what it does offer is extremely fast upload and download speeds. So as you click things, it doesn't really respond that quickly to your clicks, but once you start it doing a big upload or download, that occurs extremely fast. That's great for someone like me who uploads and downloads big files. However, in order to take advantage of that, I did have to purchase the most expensive Internet plan that NCL offered, which cost $30 per day. Other lower priced plans are available, but they are limited to having access to only certain sites. For example, on the lower priced plans you CAN post to Facebook and Instagram, but not to YouTube. Also, the speeds are throttled... so even though NCL's network has tons of bandwidth, you don't get full advantage of it on the lower priced plans. On the $30 per day plan, I was quite impressed, though! So, if you absolutely need high speed Internet during your vacation, for some business reason, the $30 per day plan is the one that offers the super fast speeds needed for video conferencing and video uploads. Another thing that really impressed me about this cruise was how experienced and competent the crew was. NCL must have cherry picked their best crew members from the rest of their fleet to staff this new ship. These folks all seemed to really know what they were doing, even though this ship had just come out of the shipyard. Earlier this year, I did a cruise on the MSC Seaside, and at the time of my cruise the MSC Seaside staff had already had something like 6 or 7 previous cruises to work out some of the kinks in the learning curve... yet I still witnessed numerous examples of things that the crew just was not good at yet, and needed more time to learn and improve upon. On Norwegian Bliss, there had basically only been one previous cruise... the transatlantic... before our Panama Canal cruise. Yet this crew was impressive in how well they did everything. If I hadn't known it was really only their second cruise on this ship, I never would have known it from the crew's behavior. They seemed to know exactly what they were doing, and they performed extremely well. After 44 cruises, I can tell when things are going well and when they are not, and this crew did everything very well. Bravo! Embarkation was among the many smooth operations I witnessed... and I was absolutely FLABBERGASTED by how smooth the self assist disembarkation went. I had never seen any disembarkation go that smoothly in all of my cruises. The only reason I can think of to explain how that happened was that perhaps, since it was a 15-day cruise and a much older-than-usual group of passengers, there must have been far fewer passengers doing self assist disembarkation than usual, and more requiring the full service disembarkation. Because when we walked off the ship with all of our luggage, it was completely un-crowded and we made the quickest disembarkation we have ever made from a cruise ship. Entertainment was also excellent on the ship. I like the shows and all the music they had. I already mentioned that cruise I did a few months earlier on the MSC Seaside. Entertainment on that ship was a joke. I hated the entertainment on that ship. It was SO much better on Norwegian Bliss. Where MSC seemed to be trying to do their entertainment the cheapest way possible, it sure looked to me like Norwegian spent a ton of money on the various musical acts and other entertainers for this ship. There was such a large variety of entertainment acts... a little something for everyone... even something you almost never see on a cruise ship... a country music band. Not a cover band from the Phillipines trying to sing country songs with an accent... a genuine American country music band that was actually pretty darned good. And there was a cover band from the Phillipines, and a soul/Motown group, and a female headliner performing with the ship's band, and a female singer/comedian that was kind of like Weird Al on estrogen, and a Beatles tribute band, and a full-length broadway-style show about the Four Seasons, and more. It was impressive... how much money and effort NCL put in to entertainment on this ship. The comparison to what I saw on MSC Seaside made me laugh... NCL did such a better job at keeping me entertained! If you ever happen to do a Panama canal cruise, be sure to spend a lot of time looking in the water when the ship is off the coast of the southern portion of Mexico. I'm not talking about the Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta part of Mexico... I'm talking about the area much further south, such as near Acapulco, and even farther south than that. When your ship is in that area, keep an eye on the water. You will see an incredible amount of sea life such as turtles and sting rays... much more than you'll ever see on a Caribbean cruise or even a Mexican Riviera cruise. For the entire day we cruised off the coast off southern Mexico, we spent time on our balcony looking at the water, and we literally saw hundreds of green sea turtles. If you've sailed on previous NCL ships, you will notice that they've continued with their tradition of building an excellent thermal suite within the spa. It's one of my favorite features on NCL ships, and I always try to book a spa cabin or a Haven Spa Suite so that I'll have full access to the thermal suite at no additional charge. On the previous generation of NCL ships, the thermal suite was at the front of the ship. On this new ship, it's at the aft end, with a beautiful view of what's behind the ship. For this particular cruise, since it was 15-days and also since it was a brand new ship, the price of a Haven Spa Suite was just out of my reach... so I booked a spa mini suite instead. I can definitely recommend it! A mini suite gives you a much large bathroom and shower than you get in a regular balcony cabin... and the difference between a cramped shower and a shower roomy enough for two people makes a huge difference to me in how much I enjoy my overall cruise experience. I hate starting the day with a shower in a tiny, cramped shower! If you can afford a Haven Spa Suite, you really should go that way, though! They've made the Haven Spa Suites much bigger on this ship than they were on the previous generation. So, I give Norwegian Bliss my highest recommendation! This is the cruise ship you should sail on, if you want to see what the state-of-the-art looks like in cruise ship design. Since it's the newest ship in the fleet, NCL is charging the highest prices for the privilege of cruising on this ship. I thought it was worth it, but if money is tight for you, you may want to consider Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, or Norwegian Breakaway instead. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We did the initial Panama Canal cruise on this ship. As always I will keep it simple and do a Pros and Cons section below. The biggest issue we had on this cruise was the ports and the dining room foods. The buffet foods were great. ... Read More
We did the initial Panama Canal cruise on this ship. As always I will keep it simple and do a Pros and Cons section below. The biggest issue we had on this cruise was the ports and the dining room foods. The buffet foods were great. Seated dining not so much. PROS: The ship is amazing Great layout Excellent staff and customer service (Largely Filipino...this is huge) Buffet Food was excellent Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan were both pretty nice ports. The only ones that were decent. Nice variety of entertainment Great pools Plenty of variety of places to relax and get lost Havana the show. Very nice. Laundry bag full of dirty clothes washed for $19. Good deal. The District was a fantastic Brewery. Best ever on a cruise. Food Republic was excellent but no one was ever there. Too many specialty restaurants on this ship and most were not great. CONS: The Ports (Cartegena, Puntarenas should not be spots to stop. You have to take a minimum of a 90-120min ride to get anywhere even remotely interesting. The same could actually be said for Guatamala.) You are porting at Shipping Yards. Its bad. Real bad. The Seated Dining food: Average at best. You won't get any Crab or Lobster nights in these nicer restaurants either. They don't actually announce those nights, they just make them pop up in the Buffet at nights. We missed 2 out of 3 after finding out the next day. The Beatles experience: These guys are so out of sync and so out of tune they have no business being on this ship. It's really really bad. The bands like Siglo are much better. Excursion costs: $209 per person to take a ferry out to Tortuga Island in Costa Rica. The bus ride to the boat is 30 mins. The Boat ride is 2hrs!! Each way. Thats 5hrs of your day, gone. When we asked WHY the boat was going so slow we were told to save gas. With 40 people onboard paying $200 each, use your gas. Thats absurd. Norwegian iConceirge was a big selling point. Nice to be able to text with your people you are traveling with onboard. Except it didn't work and no one knew why or how to fix it. Specialty Restaurants are EXPENSIVE. $29 for steaks, $10 for sides etc...$30 for a teppenyaki PER PERSON. Whats the purpose of going on a cruise exactly? They charge for EVERYTHING: Go Carts $7 per person, Lazer Tag $5....why not charge to use the pool and slides? Dartboards, Suffleboard etc....they had them on the Getaway and they are greatly missed. Removing the Brazilian Steakhouse in exchange for Los Lobos was a big mistake. A boat should have a brazilian steakhouse, that was an epic addition on the Getaway that the Bliss deserves. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We flew in to Miami the day before the cruise and stayed at a hotel close to the airport and the port. Embarkation was a breeze but we were in The Haven so were escorted onto the ship as soon as we arrived at the port. We were taken ... Read More
We flew in to Miami the day before the cruise and stayed at a hotel close to the airport and the port. Embarkation was a breeze but we were in The Haven so were escorted onto the ship as soon as we arrived at the port. We were taken directly to the Haven lounge but our room was already ready so we dropped off our stuff and went to the Haven Restaurant for lunch. By the time we finished lunch and went back to our room, our luggage had arrived so we were able to unpack and relax a little bit before setting off to explore the ship. The ship is huge. Amazing but huge. We were still finding new places on the ship the day before we got off. Our cabin was fairly large and the balcony was nice size with 2 chairs and a table. We were on Deck 18 and could look down on the balconies in the Haven on Deck 17 which appeared to be larger and had a lounger and a chair and table. If we do this ship again we would book one of those cabins to get the larger balcony. We tried most of the specialty restaurants since we had the 4 meal dining package and 2 more as Platinum perks (Cagney's, Q's Texas BBQ, La Cucina, Los Lobos, Le Bistro and 4 of the complimentary ones - Manhattan, Savor, Taste and The Local). We were very pleased with the quality of the food and the level of service. Beyond our dining package we also tried The Local one day for lunch and the rest of the time we ate in the Haven Restaurant which was easily as good as or better than any of the other restaurants onboard. We were a little disappointed initially that the menu didn't vary at all but when we mentioned to the Haven restaurant manager that we would like a little more variety, the chef started including a daily special to the lunch and dinner offerings. Of the entertainment offered, we went to see Jersey Boys which was really good and Havana which we also enjoyed. The Beatles show was very disappointing both in quality of the performers and choice of songs. There are so many popular Beatles songs but they seemed to pick all the more obscure ones. The piano player was very good and very funny but seemed to operate more as a comic than a musician and never really sang any song all the way through. It was not a performance that you could sing along with, which is what we enjoyed on other cruises. The level of service we experienced was very high but again one would expect that in The Haven. And the butler, concierge and room steward didn't disappoint. We celebrated several special occasions during the cruise including our anniversary and the butler and room steward decorated our room with balloons and banners and made kissing towel swans with orchid flowers and set the table with white linens, crystal and orchid flowers and left us a really pretty cake. We took the following shore excursions: Puntarenas, Costa Rica A Real Coffee Experience, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala Macadamia Nut Farm, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Tequila, Tiles & Shopping and Los Angeles LA Overview/Farmers Market (ending at the airport). We really enjoyed each of the shore excursions and would highly recommend them. By taking the one in Los Angeles our disembarkation was really easy. Our luggage was taken off the ship very early and segregated in a smaller area in the terminal so was ready when we got off the ship and was really easy to find. The excursion itself helped pass the time until our flight much later in the evening. We would definitely sail on the Bliss again but would probably not do the Panama Canal cruise again. We enjoyed it once but feel no need to do that again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had wanted to do the Panama for years. Travel agent recommended this cruise on the new ship. We were not let down. We have travelled on most cruise lines but never Norwegian. The complementary dining rooms were great. Food service ... Read More
We had wanted to do the Panama for years. Travel agent recommended this cruise on the new ship. We were not let down. We have travelled on most cruise lines but never Norwegian. The complementary dining rooms were great. Food service and ambiance excellent. Music was great. The onboard rock band Siglo were outstanding. We had a drinks package and the drinks could not have been better. We had a balcony stateroom which was nearly the same as any other we have been on. The only criticism is that nearly all the clothing storage is on one side of the bed and that side is quite narrow. Also the door entry lock broke 4 times. I was disappointed that you had to buy a Spa package to use the sauna. The design of the ship means that you are forever finding nooks and crannies and small bars. The go carts were fantastic although poorly organised. The crew were exceptional. Embarkation and disembarkation was well organised at all times We will travel with Norwegian again Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Didnot explore Miami as we’re from SFL. Embark and disembark went smoothly. The NCL Bliss is beautiful and spacious. Loved the observation areas on Deck 15 and enjoyed the light buffet there for lunch. Comfy chaises and quiet place to ... Read More
Didnot explore Miami as we’re from SFL. Embark and disembark went smoothly. The NCL Bliss is beautiful and spacious. Loved the observation areas on Deck 15 and enjoyed the light buffet there for lunch. Comfy chaises and quiet place to read and watch the ocean. Manhattan and Local were our favorite places to eat dinner. Food was varied and good. Evening specials were good. Loved the Rachael sandwich at the local. Shows were excellent but be sure to reserve before you even get to the ship if possible. Deck 8 Waterfront was great for those wishing to get their steps in Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise was the 15 night initial repositioning leg from Miami to LA through the Panama Canal. May 10-25 2018. The ship is amazing. The luxury and decoration is top notch. The staff and other service workers were so nice, kind, ... Read More
This cruise was the 15 night initial repositioning leg from Miami to LA through the Panama Canal. May 10-25 2018. The ship is amazing. The luxury and decoration is top notch. The staff and other service workers were so nice, kind, professional. The food was the best I have ever eaten than any other cruise. (Except they didn't have a lobster night). I was impressed with the variety of food. There was foods of all kinds and nationalities, vegetarian, sugar-free, low-cal, etc. The entertainment was very high quality for a cruise ship - not the typical Las Vegas 'wannabe' type show. There were good comedians and also the Jersey Boys, Uptown, and Jeanine Carimielo were incredible. Havana was good but was in need of more 'pre-production, scripting, plot, etc.' (if you can say that for a live show) in order to have an actual story line. But the production itself was good. The Beatles impersonation group however was a bit disappointing. It was pretty clear that this was their first stint at sea. They appeared pretty nervous to be performing. Our hotel staff was wonderful. The room was cleaned every day at least twice and even three times sometimes. Nightly towel animals are a nice fun little touch as well. It is worth noting however, that NCL is more expensive than most other cruise lines. The additional fees for the Laser Tag, Race Track, bowling, and other on board activities can get costly and add up quickly. There is no mini golf, or sport court area. There are only two ping-ping tables. Also the Laser Tag is only open a couple hours in the evening and the deck completely locked up during the rest of the day. It would be nice that the deck at least could be open for browsing around for sight seeing on sea days. Note that a couple of the decks of the ship are for 'first-class' services only and require additional fees to access. (Think of first class vs coach class on an airplane) The Haven and Vibe decks require extra cost. The spa area is also contracted through a third party company and not directly with NCL and therefore requires additional fees to access. The spa area has a maximum of 120 people to access so when there are 4000 folks on board, it is important to get your reservations the first day. When purchasing your spa access, it is an all or nothing type of package. You purchase for every day of the cruise, you cannot purchase for a one day pass access. To have to pay extra for 90% of the restaurants also was unexpected, considering that they serve pretty much the same food as can be found in the main dining room and cafeteria buffet areas. When cruising on a ship of this caliber, the WiFi should simply be included as internet access is a necessity in today's world. The current cost is too expensive. If not, at least make the social connection package included. As for the fitness area -- it is much too small to accommodate 4000 people on board. Fitness machines were always occupied. Also the fact that there was additional cost to attend any of the spin class, aerobics, kick-boxing, etc. was not too pleasing. Additionally, it is worth noting that there is no locker room or changing area for the fitness area. No one wants to see 'sweaty bodies' walking through the other public areas to get back to their rooms to clean up. Reservations for all the shows could be better handled or explained prior to the cruise. To have to wait in line with several hundred people for a couple hours the first day just to reserve our 'shows' for the rest of the week caused most folks to have an initial sour attitude that was difficult to be around. Overall, however, we are quite happy with our cruise (once it got going after the first days hectic events) and the service we received. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
NCL BLISS. BEST CRUISE EVER ! Room Service better than FOUR SEASONS !!! Food outstanding, service incomparable. Ship new and Georgously decorated, encomporably appointed interiors with uncompareable attention to details! Crew and ... Read More
NCL BLISS. BEST CRUISE EVER ! Room Service better than FOUR SEASONS !!! Food outstanding, service incomparable. Ship new and Georgously decorated, encomporably appointed interiors with uncompareable attention to details! Crew and staff incomparable to any other. Ship easily handles large number of passengers with all the simultaneous events and activities to do. DINNING EXPERENCE WONDERFUL! NCL OUTDID THEMSELVES WITH DESIGN AND LAYOUT OF THE ENTIRE AREA OF THE SHIP. CONGRATULATIONS to all involved in her design and layout. Latest in THEATER DESIGN LAYOUT in audio and visual considerations for viewing and performances! The performers excel in this excellent in layout and consideration of performers challenges as the new enhancements augemented the performers experience to these enhancements!!! The observation deck with continuous food offerings enhancements felt like CONCERIGE LEVEL EXPERIENCES!!! Spa area well layed out and easily accessible elegantly stocked with all amenities!!! Totally wonderfully pampered and luxuriously!!! Every adult had smiles of approval at all times Just can’t say enough about the different dining experiences!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as it was going to Columbia, Costa Rica and Guatemala and Mexico. We spent the longest time to pick a cabin with a bath tub in a quiet area. From the moment we boarded the ship in Miami we knew we had made a big ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was going to Columbia, Costa Rica and Guatemala and Mexico. We spent the longest time to pick a cabin with a bath tub in a quiet area. From the moment we boarded the ship in Miami we knew we had made a big mistake. The cabin (so called mini suite) we had chosen and paid extra for a bath tub in fact had no tub. Also the cabin was so small compared to other mini suites we have traveled in. When we pointed this out we were told 'we got what we paid for'. We were so angry they finally changed our cabin for one with a bath. We were told it could be a little noisy so we should check it first. We went with a member of the crew. The cabin had a little noise but not bad and we asked is that as bad as it gets. 'Yes' was the reply. All went well to about 9.30pm when the whole cabin began to throb and we could not hear the TV. So again we complained. The next day we were moved to another cabin with noise but not as bad. The Bliss is a new vessel and one would think in this day and age sound proof cabins would be the norm. If we were going to another US port we would have got off. The food was disappointing even in the specialty restaurants. We had hoped the high light of the trip would have been to Tikal in Guatemala and we had booked the tour before leaving home as it was on a charter flight and when the flight was full that was it. This was the most expensive tour they had but reading the itinerary we thought it would be worth it. When we reached the site the itinerary stated a 3 mile walk in the rain forest to get to the main square of the Maya Ruins. During this walk we expected to get a feel of the Maya city. The walk did not happen and we only had an hour at the site before we were told to get back in the van. We paid well over $1000 each just to spend an hour at the most touristy part of the site and were robbed of the ambiance and surrounds of the main area. We were told there was no time for anything else but yet they still advertise this tour with the walk, knowing full well that it will not happen. The ship is too big, carrying over 4000 passengers. The queues that formed at peak times were difficult to bear. Those that needed the lifts had to wait for ages as when they stopped they were usually full. Some of the activities were very crude to say the least, especially in this time of the 'Me too' movement. We have a video that could cause a lot of trouble for the ship if we attached it to this review. Most of the crew were great. In summary, unless you are a die hard cruiser that likes to eat, drink and laze around we do not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
new ship seemed exciting, boarding in Miami good, a bit down hill from there. The ship is large with plenty of open spaces, clean as you would expect. The decor fine, food excellent in the buffet when you can get a seat to enjoy it, a bit ... Read More
new ship seemed exciting, boarding in Miami good, a bit down hill from there. The ship is large with plenty of open spaces, clean as you would expect. The decor fine, food excellent in the buffet when you can get a seat to enjoy it, a bit hard to find gluten free stuff though. food in main restaurant a bit strange at times ie: half a chicken and very little veg, then huge portions of beef again no veg to speak of, fish strangely on its own a bit of garnish, it seemed all or nothing. The cabin we had was an inside aft, well we had bunks over our bed so had to crawl around to get out of bed, the back of the bed has a lowdown metal rail feature so no comfy sit-ups in bed. The bathroom was just fine, not so the tiny closet that was so dark and dingy I found clothes I didn't know I had taken still clean when I unpacked. We were on a package that included 2 litres of water a day, well shock horror this was delivered in bulk on day one. If you don't drink it all they advise give it away or to the steward as they throw it away(disgusting waste) The entertainment was ok Jersey boys ok seen better, the Cavern and the Beetles tribute must have most of them turning in their graves seen better at Butlins. One thing we didn't know as first time NCL cruisers was to book shows within first day or so or miss out, we were not used to this so missed some shows we would have liked, Movies in the cabin were pay to view if you wanted to see anything decent, as was the go carts, laser tag etc. The service on board was pretty good with helpful cheerful staff. Some of the shore excursions were iffy like hop on hop off with no time to hop off or chance of getting another bus back to the ship. On the whole slightly disappointed but would give NCL another chance possibly on a smaller ship Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We were looking for a cruise in May that was going through the new Panama Canal and our travel agent suggested this one. We arrived at the embarkation port prior to the time they said their reception area would be open. We were allowed to ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise in May that was going through the new Panama Canal and our travel agent suggested this one. We arrived at the embarkation port prior to the time they said their reception area would be open. We were allowed to enter and walked through the registration process with almost no wait. We waited for about an hour upstairs and them were allowed on the ship. Were able to use our cabins much earlier than on other ships. I wear disappointed with the entertainment as there were multiple smaller venues and reservations were almost required. I thought we needed reservations for all the restaurants but found out the since we eat early we rarely had to wait. The food at all restaurants was good. Early in the trip the wait between courses was long, but as the days went by that was improved. Cabin Service was good but our cabin steward was either slower than normal or he had more cabins to serve. Most of the time the cabin was not cleaned up before noon. We were disappointed to find out that two ports pwere removed from the itinerary about two weeks before we left and one was added. The shore excursions were in general very good. Family traveling with us were disappointed that one excursion did not state that at the first stop at a beach the boat didn’t bring us to shore. The second stop did take us to shore. Also one stop required us to take a shuttle to the town we were supposed to dock at. And, the shuttle was $15 per person. When our party complained, in each case a refund of part of all of the fee was provided. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
NCL Bliss is okay and and we looked forward to the cruise (we were on the NCL Escape inaugural cruise from UK to Miami. Generally the staff was good. However, excess focus on revenue generation and penny-pinching (fake Equal and Splenda) ... Read More
NCL Bliss is okay and and we looked forward to the cruise (we were on the NCL Escape inaugural cruise from UK to Miami. Generally the staff was good. However, excess focus on revenue generation and penny-pinching (fake Equal and Splenda) diminished our cruise experience. Penny-pinching was evident in almost every aspect of NCLs operations. The mapping system and the passenger information screen were significantly less informative than other cruise lines (lots of "N/As" for categories that scrolled across the top of the screen). Generally, service quality. We were happy to provide numerous positive comment forms but, but the quality of service was inconsistent (we refrained from submitting negative comment cards). Our steward seemed to be disinterested and un-managed. His schedule to attend to our room varied a lot. We were unable to plan a day based on when the steward would be done with the room (or need to be in our room). Food was good but menus in the restaurants did not change sufficiently (some menus did not change for days). This is appears to be an effort to push people to "specialty" (additional charge) restaurants or the buffet. The buffet is good but poorly managed... very crowded. There were TOO MANY specialty restaurants. Stateroom size has been reduced. Our balcony stateroom was much smaller than the Escape. The restrooms have been redesigned and are nice. The closet is awkward and difficult to access. NCL has reduced the number of elevator banks from 3 to 2 (no elevators mid-ship). This created long wait periods and long walks to staterooms and other venues. It was frustrating the way NCL provided only partial information about seaports. Emphasis was on selling excursions and shopping at stores that partner with NCL NCL did not inform passengers of alternative touring opportunities (concealing information). Excursion presentations exaggerate tour content. Once a excursion was bought, passengers are informed excursions are provided by third parties. NCL goes on to disclaim responsibility and limit NCL liability. Entertainment was very good (with a few exceptions). The theater seems to be smaller and clearly less impressive than the Escape (or other contemporary cruise lines. Here again there are clear signs of the accountants having too much influence on design. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Selected this cruise based on being a brand new ship with thoughts that it would be a special memory standout. Was on the maiden voyage in May. Yes, it was in some respects. Let's review the pluses and minuses. PLUS SIDE: ... Read More
Selected this cruise based on being a brand new ship with thoughts that it would be a special memory standout. Was on the maiden voyage in May. Yes, it was in some respects. Let's review the pluses and minuses. PLUS SIDE: 1. Glamorous ship with all the whistles and bells of supposed modern technology 2. The Locals Pub and Grill : outstanding deli food and staff 3. Enjoyed the Margaritaville eatery. Small and well staffed for breakfast. 4. Spa very nice and spacious. 5. Language activity events- super (Russian. italian and Portuguese 6. Food acceptable in the dining room. 7. Waiting time for dining. none 8. Dining room staff good. 9. THE OBSERVATION lounge was super, comfy, snacks, view and a good staff. 10 Heard only good things about the Racecar track. 11 Specialty Restaurants: Excellent 12. Aft end of the ship with hot tubs and bar and small stage really cool MINUS SIDE 1. Deck 6: This is the so-called Atrium where a lot of activities are going on. There is also the Atrium Bar, Customer Service, Excursions, Different venues in center area Future cruises and Starbucks. There was so much noise coming from the different areas of this Atrium that Passenger Service has to shout to us to hear; Future Cruises were three people behind the counter who could not hear us; Starbucks was massive and why that big space is beyond me. There was noise from the bar. The elevators were near by and people were congregating around plus the center area had a lot going . No real room for dancing. Too much activity for such a small area. Sorry, but poor planning. 2. Entertainment: Just average. The comedians were hopeless and some of the well advertised venues were just OK. There were various singers and duos doing their routine from different entertainment areas. they did not change their routine when going from area to area so if you saw them once in a 14 day period and then again, it was the same song and dance. 3. Observation Lounge which is great but FREEZING COLD. We asked to turn the temp up but it went on deaf ears. 4. LIBRARY and Game Room Ridiculously small. they had some 4 tables for games or cards which everyone was on top of one another so you could not speak above a whisper. 5. Cruise Director: In our minds, he did not seem to mingle too much with the passengers. 6. Shops: Nice shops and pricey msde but no real bargains. 7. Cabins Balconies cabins a lot smaller than expected. Bathrooms good. Not too roomy in the bedroom area. Outside Balcony space nice. 8. Observation Lounge Despite telling people NOT to put bare feet on couches as well as putting feet on tables and chairs, they did this. It was not well monitored. 9. Entertainment: already commented. 10. Beatles show: Far too small a place to accommodate the audience. We tried to get in but did not want to be nose to nose and toes to toes and end up sick. 11. Deck Lounge chairs. Needs monitoring. People think they can keep the chairs an entire day by putting a book or magazine or towel on lounge chairs and then they disappear for hours not allowing anyone else to sit. Not a good thing. 12. Food handling I got sick at end of the cruise. Too many people touching food utensils to pick up food. There has to be a better way like having some staff serve people in the Buffet area. A constant issue on some cruise lines. 13. ELEVATORS. The elevators were not synced. Either they were all the way down or all the way up. Created wait lines. I think that gives you an idea as to some of the downsides, A lot of it can be handled by proper management on the ship , Some can't due to the way the ship is structured. We made the best of it and irt was our first cruise on NCL. Will we go again, thats the 64 dollar question. Thank you...... Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Omg where to start? Every detail on this ship is handcrafted awesomeness! We had a balcony room, so we had fantastic ocean views anytime, but when your in on the interior you could totally forget you were on a boat at all! A floating ... Read More
Omg where to start? Every detail on this ship is handcrafted awesomeness! We had a balcony room, so we had fantastic ocean views anytime, but when your in on the interior you could totally forget you were on a boat at all! A floating resort, it had so many options for dining, all of which were delicious! And a mega list of all the activities (for all ages!)that were going on was delivered every evening so you could plan what you wanted to do! The service was great! So polite, and there for anything you might need! Everything was super clean, and even though we were close to fully booked it didn't really feel crowded, a major plus for us! Over all best cruise I ever had! Definitly booking with them again! Oh and the best cheesecake I ever had was at Taste or Savor, (imagine peanut butter cup crumbles, with a fluffy cloud of delight on top!) and I have eaten a lot of cheesecake in my lifetime! The excursion list was great, would have like more time in Tikal, but they treated us like royalty the whole way on every branch of that excursion! Definitly reccomend the Las Caletas Hideaway for anyone who is a fan of luxury beach services, awesome food, great beach, fancy hammocks and great landscaping! Plus it was owned by the man who played Gandalf, from Lord of the Rings,so really in my mind it was Gandalf's Hideaway, pure awesomeness! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and wanted to experience a fairly new ship without all the dings and odors of other ships we have been on. This was a beutiful ship with a terrific service crew with the 3rd leg out of Miami going over ... Read More
My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and wanted to experience a fairly new ship without all the dings and odors of other ships we have been on. This was a beutiful ship with a terrific service crew with the 3rd leg out of Miami going over to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal. Neither of us have been through the Panama Canal before, so we were really looking forward to this cruise. Here are our thoughts regarding this adventure. I will start with the Pro's and follow up with the Con's needing some attention. Pro's: Like swimming pool seating Like the waterfront for walking Like the two swimming pools and depth from 5.7 to of 6.5 feet Like the shower and pressure Loved The Observation lounge and windows Liked the singing group Phil & Keisha Duo except Phil needs to cut back on the Elvis sets Liked the Atrium seating to view a gigantic video board and to watch entertainment The Teppanyaki restaurant was set up very well and the food was plentiful and delicious. The Teppanyaki cook could be a comedian he was that good Great view coming into Cartagena Columbia. Peacocks, monkeys, toucans and ant eaters were some of the animals experienced. Super plant growth near the port. I have to say, the electic go carts were fun and sturdy. My wife and I raced each other and she let me win. We came in 35 and 36 seconds respectfully. Cowboy is the bartender in the Caverns outside bar on the waterfront. Great bartender. Jim Badger was the Piano Player in the District House and was very good and funny. He will pick on people in the audience. The singer Jenene Caramelo was very very good in the theater. The embarkation was really fast and easy Con's: The Latitudes Club representative was non-existent. As Platinum members, we could not contact anyone to handle questions regarding benefits. There was a card in the room speaking of the benefits, but not an explanation as to how to receive them. For example, each member gets 30 minutes of free internet for their use. But to receive the free minutes, you need to go to the internet manager to have the minutes post to your account associated to your cabin. The line was a mile long to see the two internet people to turn on the minutes. It took all of thirty seconds of face time after standing in line for thirty minutes. Not cool. They could have a better way. Also, the ship was not using any of the NCL Apps that you may have on your electronic device. The internet manager indicated that it is coming, but not functional at this time. We had to go to the Nextcruise desk to get info on Captains Latitudes party and for reservations for behind the scenes tours. They do not make it easy for Latitude members. We went to sign up for the behind the scenes tour, but it was sold out and put our names on a waiting list after only being on the ship for two hours. Even though they advertise concierge service which would have been nice to make all of the reservations, it appears non-existent. Also No information on departure area for Latitude members. Not to be completely negative, I do appreciate the two specialty dining and laundry services for Platinum members which was presented on a card in the room. They pride themselves on the latest electronics, but they have a long way to go. The electronic boards in the Public Areas to make reservations did not respond very well while attempting to use it. We did make one dinner reservation before it locked up, but failed at other dinner reservations and entertainment reservations. The TV electronics were also poor to use as a way to make reservations or to view our calendar of events. The calendar only showed one shore excursion made at home before the cruise. It did not reflect dinner reservations once made. I can’t reinforce how far they are behind on usable technology for cruisers. There should be messaging to the cabins and a useable interactive TV to make reservations and communicate with departments. FreeStyle cruising has gotten very lose as to attire on this ship. It use to mean when you want to eat, not what you where to eat in dining areas. The chairs in the theater are very uncomfortable. Cagney’s Restaurant was disappointing. The pro’s include the tuna tartar was exceptional and the prime rib which they indicated was a pound, but it sure seemed larger than that. I left about a quarter of it because I could not finish it. It was very tender and tasty also. The con’s include mediocre busboy service, the mashed potatoes had too much garlic. The lobster bisque was very bland. The wine glasses were huge and when you ordered a wine selection, they brought an individual carafe which filled only the bottom of the glass. Also, the whipped butter they served with the bread was not that good. The outdoor speaker systems on the ship are awful. You could not hear messages when announced on the 8th deck as well as the pool area. Another con is not having the restaurant menu’s available on the TV so as to make decisions as to where to eat. In the main dining room, The Manhattan Room, they were crowded and seemed to borrow servers from other specialty restaurants. The reservation system on the TV’s indicate the restaurants are full, but when you look in, there appears to be plenty of room. People make reservations and then do not act on them I guess. Charge $5 for reservations not acted on to solve the problem of blanket reservations. We got a phone message that are specialty restaurant Ocean Blue will cost us an extra $18/person even though it was covered under are specialty restaurant package. That really sucked calling the day before our reservation to let us know it would cost more. We cancelled our reservation. The ventilation in the theater is bad. It does not move enough cool air for the large number of people, which I believe is about 700 people capacity. I know it seems like there are a lot of con's, but the pro's helped balance out the benefits of being on this cruise. By the way, the Panama Canal was cool, even if it took us all day to work our way through it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was the inaugural Panama Canal cruise. So we expected so much more! We have cruised with several other Cruise Lines. I and my wife had never been on a Norwegian Cruise Line before. However our daughter and family had. She influenced ... Read More
This was the inaugural Panama Canal cruise. So we expected so much more! We have cruised with several other Cruise Lines. I and my wife had never been on a Norwegian Cruise Line before. However our daughter and family had. She influenced us to join them. Too many people for that ship. The common areas were constantly crowded. The shows were good, if you were lucky enough to get in! The buffet? Horribly crowded with a total lack of seating. They closed sections of the serving lines way too soon. That forced you to go much further away and encounter even longer serving lines! Overall, I was very displeased with the operation of this ship and it's lack of foresight for handling the large crowds. Talking about lack of foresight they sure blew it selecting ports! Two ports were replaced/cancelled because the ship was not going to fit! A company this large could not know this beforehand? This my final time using NCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Food, restaurants, bars and service plus entrainment was just fabulous Ship is beautiful too Great time had by all going thru the Panama Canal. With a few tweaks in the atrium bar ( liking having some of the classes and games in ... Read More
Food, restaurants, bars and service plus entrainment was just fabulous Ship is beautiful too Great time had by all going thru the Panama Canal. With a few tweaks in the atrium bar ( liking having some of the classes and games in other rooms to take the crowd Down and noise level would be good. Also like the dancing in tropical dining room on Getaway, not in Manahatan room on Bliss. Need to put daily trivia sheets back in library. Small issues because I have to find something they can improve on. Also should not allow laying on couches and sleeping in lounge chairs in observation lounge and outside 657 ocean walk couches. The ship was at full compacity but never felt it. I would recommend this ship highly to anyone. The race card were lots of fun , did not do laser tag but heard it was such fun. They opened minuiture 5 hole mini golf course after we sailed for 5 days, which was fine. The water slides I was told , were really great and everyone seemed to enjoy them immensely. Cudos to NCL, the service and attention to detail was nothing short of 5 star at all the restaurants including the specialty restaurant . Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The Bliss is a new ship from Norwegian. We wanted to cruise through the Panama Canal from Florida to Los Angeles. The ship is huge and impressive. We had a balcony stateroom near the front of the ship which was convenient for going ... Read More
The Bliss is a new ship from Norwegian. We wanted to cruise through the Panama Canal from Florida to Los Angeles. The ship is huge and impressive. We had a balcony stateroom near the front of the ship which was convenient for going everywhere. Overall we had a nice time, the biggest criticism is the lack of activities planned for sea days. If we loved the pool or sun, I guess we would have been happier. The movies were old that they showed. They needed more to do. The food was very good but many times too exotic for my tastes. They had many extra restaurants onboard which charged. We only ate in one, and many nights we just ate upstairs in the cafe. Service was very good when we did eat in ship dining rooms. The excursions were typical for cruise ships. We were very lucky on one. We went to Antigua in Guatemala. We were on a bus quite near the Fuego Volcano. If it had been a couple of weeks later, I don't know what would have happened. We saw all the villages underneath the volcano. I now wonder how those poor people made out. The nicest port we went to was Puerto Vallarta in Mexicp. It was beautiful. We liked that excursion the most. The best thing about the cruise was the entertainment. The Jersey Boys show was first class and very well done. Also other acts were excellent. Our cabin steward kept the room nicely. He was very professional and friendly. This was the second time we have been on Norwegian. We are frequent cruisers with other ships and would go with them again for the right deal. I am not a fan of big ships so I would not return to the Bliss. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Nice ship, very different layout, not sure if I really like it. What I really do not like is the size of the suites they are super small. Bathroom have as well been reduced in size completely. I should mentioned we paid for a mini ... Read More
Nice ship, very different layout, not sure if I really like it. What I really do not like is the size of the suites they are super small. Bathroom have as well been reduced in size completely. I should mentioned we paid for a mini suite and boy this could not be minier. Closet space in the suite is increadably small it is so small that I cannot fit my cloth in it an I’m a man who travels very light, my wife is going crazy. We are forced to leave much of our clothes i the luggage. This in our 20 years of crusing has never happened. Very little counter space, almost none. Storage is very limited in the suites. Also they cut big time the morning room service, only coffee and very few items are included real breakfast has an additional fee now. Crew does not seem very happy, they all say good morning and so on just because they are told to do so, however, I see very long unhappy faces. Dinning expect to be in dinning room, the Manhattan, at least 2 hours, service very slow. All dinning areas are very crowded, it seems to me that there is not enough area to accommodate all the guess they put on this ship. I will never go on this ship again. Very very disappointed. I do not recommend this ship at all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
THESE ARE MY OPINIONS ON MY CRUISE. We vacation a couple times a year work permitting, so we know our stuff. this is our second NCL cruise and maybe our 20th or so cruise overall. we do like the freestyle come and go as you please, and ... Read More
THESE ARE MY OPINIONS ON MY CRUISE. We vacation a couple times a year work permitting, so we know our stuff. this is our second NCL cruise and maybe our 20th or so cruise overall. we do like the freestyle come and go as you please, and find we can pack less because we dont have to pack all the fancy clothes like on silversea. we are both in our early 50's and enjoy longer cruises and sea days. longer cruises typically have less children and an older crowd (most of the time). ok, so you know who we are. we arrived to the ship at about 11am more or less we stayed just a few minutes from port and were on board in less then an hour, and in our room to drop off the bags in no time. getting off in LA we had a car service, so at 7am we went for a quick last breakfast the driver called at 7:30 we were self baggage and off the ship by 7:45am and with no one in line for customs in the car by 8:05am. we live in los angeles so we were home by 9:15am they had two doors open on disembarkation and that early in the morning it all was smooth. we had a mid ship balcony on "the bump", 9878. our balcony was not angled but the 10th floor was. on the ship map it shows the balcony at an angled but IT WAS NOT. it was... bigger then our neighbors to the right though. the balcony was 64sqft, big! the one to the right was much smaller. the couch was near the window which we like so you can sit and look out with out having to always open the slider. we quickly put the two beds together and moved the side tables making the room "feel bigger". the desk/vanity area was a good size and what a great idea to add the hair dryer under the desk and out of the way. there are small coffee makers in the room was nice to brew a quick cup in the AM while getting ready or on port days. the pods used are small paper pods not the keurig type, and you can get as many pods as you want just ask. we stored our luggage under the bed and it fit fine, we both had a 26" and 22" spinner. there was lots of storage. under the couch there are two drawers, the desk had two areas of cubbies, two bed side tables, and the closest (which is very narrow, IMO). there's also 4 shelves in the bathroom and the space under the sink. so there was plenty for us. we chose 4 specialty restaurant meals and UBP for our package. we also pre paid tips, bought the spa pass and 6 extra specialty restaurant meals on line. all were printed on our cabin key. we are not big drinkers, per se, but like to try new drinks while on vacation makes things fun and not have to worry about the bill, so it works for us. i also pre booked all the dinner reservations over the phone. we tried ALL of the restaurants and WE really liked them all. the food in the specialty rest. were MUCH BETTER the the MDR. really there was nothing to complain about. drinks flowed the food was great. people were nice, most of the time. Q was great the portions are huge... too big really. we went twice and really loved both nights. nice that they crew actually welcome you back. the first night we had the big meat platte..THE PITMASTER. a mix of all the meats with corn bread and 4 small sides. very good. the meats were very tender and full of flavor. they also have 4 different kinds of BBQ sauce on the table that were fun to try. the second time we both had the grilled salmon. very moist and the citrus honey glaze added a little tang to it. we also tried a couple of the appetizers and sides. like i said the mains were huge but we really wanted to try some of the extra sides too. THEN... the sweets, OMG! way too big, like funny too big. between the two visits we had the pecan pie, with out the sauce, much different then what is served at the buffet, banana pudding and the chocolate brownie. WELL WORTH THE COST Le bistro, super. felt like a fancy rest. for the night. everyone got a little dressy which was nice. very personal service. there is a small bar within the rest which makes service quick. the bartender brought came and served the drinks. the meal was fresh served hot and the presentation was precise. we had the Veal and loup de mer. at the end of the meal the chef and hostess came around to the tables and spoke with everyone. WELL WORTH THE COST la cucina, we were here twice also. the food was very good both times, and the portions a good size. the first we both had appetizers, mains and dessert. the first night i had the osso bucco which had been slow cooked for hours and fall off the bone tender.. the sauce was rich and very flavorful. the second time we knew better and "tried" to order lighter, lol. i had a small arugula salad, the appetizer portion of the carbonara which was VERY hot, creamy and very rich. i added a little fresh ground pepper and it was perfection. so good the lady next to me ordered it. then we both had the spicy shrimp on linguine. the portion of pasta is huge, but very good, again hot and had a deep rich flavor. not some quick sauce. all of the desserts we had were very good. WELL WORTH THE COST Los Lobos, we came hungry here! we wanted to eat and were NOT let down. we had a great young indian waiter, Duri, that was just great. the three of us had a ball. we had started at the bar with mary having what ever she served us, then moved to our table and had spicy margaritas and shots(one each) just for fun. we had the table prepared guacamole and chips...fresh and tasty. the chips had a sprinkling of seasoning which was nice. we also had the hot queso appetizer which was good but too much of a good thing. i had the shredded pork, conchinita and DH had the fish both served hot tortillas beans rice and salsa. we live in los angeles and DH is mexican so we know mexican food, though not grandmas..it was very good. i want to say we had flan for dessert but i was in food coma by then and cant remember, or was it the coffee with kahlua? WELL WORTH THE COST cagneys, this is where if you had to pay a la cart you really make a killing. we both had appetizers. i had the wedge salad, and though not as cold and crisp as a "real" land based rest a fair attempt, DH had lump crab cake.the crab cake was NOT lump. we both had steaks of course "surf and turf" filets with large shrimp. a big 8oz steak and 4, i think, large shrimp. the steak was very tender and cooked to order, unlike the MDR. the meal took about 2 hours. we had cocktails and wine. we were in no hurry, which also makes me remember one thing, the staff always asked if you had a show to see so they could gauge your dinner. with appetizers, mains, sides, and desserts the bill if you will was way over $125 but of course we used our package and the bill was $0 WELL WORTH THE COST Teppanyaki, this is fun if you get the right chef. we went here twice! GO HUNGRY if you can. no matter what you order they always served extras. they suggest the filet and shrimp, asuka, which most get, and thats what i had both times. the filets are gigantic! everyone gets edamame, soup and a good seaweed salad... then comes fried rice and your selection. all cooked right there. it does get loud with three or four chefs cooking at once but thats the magic of it all. funny the fire alarm was set off once while we were there and the fire team came to check if we were all still alive or not...the first night we had drinks with dinner the second visit we had hot green tea with dinner. served in a nice glass tea pot. after dinner if you can they serve dessert. simple green tea cake or ice cream. WELL WORTH THE COST ocean blue, the menu has changed and is different and limited compared to the other ships in NCL. we went early in the cruise so the fresh seafood like oysters would be ... FRESH. we had champagne all night, and never had an empty glass. we shared oyseters to start, very fresh and yummy. then appetizers ahi sashimi very fresh and yummy & blue crab salad. i also had clams casino, not the classic preparation not great but ok. for the mains we had rigatoni pasta w/ crab and pan seared scallops. my dish the pasta was hot and served with big chucks of crab. it was rich and creamy. DH said his scallops were moist and had just a bit spicy. IMHO with the new limited menu worth a package but NOT worth the package and an upcharge. bring back the old menu and we'll be in business. the local(complementary). good spot for a quick bite but always busy. you can sit at a high top next to the bar or actually in the rest itself. either way good food. yummy chicken wings, fish and chips and the coney dog was a big hit. people seemed to really like the idea and the food. i know we did. a couple of days we just went for wings and a drink, then played video games right next door.. so that just leaves food republic.. at first i was sticker shocked, and confused on how to order, but with a large amount of OBC from our TA, NCL credit card and a $48 refund for a port that got removed were else were we gonna spend our $$$$ the cool cucumber cocktail "only served there" is very yummy and refreshing. we actually went just for cocktails and they were very nice about giving us a table with out ordering food one afternoon. the staff here is very nice, and the hostess a tall english women is very nice, always said hi and was glad to see were were coming back. on our last visit she "bought" dessert for us. you order on a tablet and swipe your cabin card to pay we had SEVERAL different picks the three times we were here. ok, the food..all small plates and for sharing dragon roll - good rock shrimp roll - good hamachi taquitos - very good, get two orders!!! bulgogi pani puri - served on fluffy little bread puffs - very good get two!!! firecracker shrimp - good goan chorizo scotch egg - good street fries - good idea could use more toppings, good flavor though if you like tamarind korean fried chicken - tenders with a slightly spicy asian sauce - good. the dumblings were all good salmon skewers - good we had to pay for all of this, and like i said this was three different trips, but one day we just stopped in for a sushi roll and cocktails before dinner the other nights we made a meal of it and were full!! TOTALLY WORTH IT!! EVEN ONCE!! we did not buy the vibe pass not interested but there is a bar up there on the public side and one of the bartenders, mary, is great. she keep the BBC's flowing on the hot south american days. and in the evenings mary is in the a-list bar mixing up cocktails all night. we had a blast in all the ports. im not sure why people are complaining about the ports. if you planned and knew what to do they were great ports. we booked all of our excursions with viator like we always do. the ships prices are way too much, and who wants to get stuck on those big buses with 40 or 50 people? too much for me. again this is my review. we had zip lining with a crocodile safari and lunch in costa rica a volcanic thermal spa day with pre booked facials & massages and lunch in guatemala a walking taco food tour in puerto vallarta and ATV's, tequila tasting and lunch in mazatlan ports were changed due to who knows what, but we could have cared less. no matter were we went we had a great time. in fact the Puerto vallarta day was switched but by the time i emailed the tour provider they had already knew and re booked our group for the correct day. several of us had chatted on cruise critic before the trip. the staff in the thermal spa worked their asses off to keep the place clean and slip free. the jets in the thermal pool (benches) didnt work but the rest did and very nice keep at about 98'. the saunas were hot and hotter, the salt room is a waste if i may say, and the snow room was as fun as hell. i stood there til my beard and eye lashes were frozen, and had a blast. i think people talk too much and some times very loud, but what can you do. for the most part i think it was money well spent. it was time away from the big crowds. the ship is great, we would love to book her again. we gave deposits on board so we could plan for the next one. the staff was super. SHOUT OUTS!!!!! indika - casion duri - los lobos mary - alist bar/VIBE jose - cruise staff didnt like havana (Pre booked over the phone) jersey boys, OK, BUT VERY LOUD (pre booked over the phone) everything else sold out. tried to book once on board, couldnt. DH booked the exercise package for $99 so he could take all the spinning classes. he said the bikes were great and they had really good spinning shoes too.the two guys in the gym were very helpful and always available. the other two classes advertised never took place not enough interest i guess. DH loved the gym. from what i saw it was pretty big. i saw more of the spa, lol. we loved the whole trip! NO COMPLAINTS HERE! thanks NCL and staff for a great time.see you soon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have done over 13 cruise on Princess but The Bliss the ship the crew and the food is over the top . The ship is so friendly you don,t even feel that you s sea the crew don,t know what to do for you .You feel like your traveling with ... Read More
We have done over 13 cruise on Princess but The Bliss the ship the crew and the food is over the top . The ship is so friendly you don,t even feel that you s sea the crew don,t know what to do for you .You feel like your traveling with family. I think princess may have loss us to NCL Bliss.We ate in 7 of the special restaurants great food. The buffet had so many different choices you didn,t know what to eat first salads Indian buffet ,orientall food , you name it it was there.The observation deck had about 4 stations were you could get small plate to eat breakfast,light lunch, light dinner.For the casino player many slots and table games also a nonsmoking area fully enclosed poor people that have to work there,i can see with the amount for players there they should make it total nonsmoking which would rather do smoke or gamble(fomer smoker) but again all I can say for NCL BLISS OMG OMG OMG Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The newest NCL Bliss was chosen to sail the Panama Canal itinerary. The NCL Bliss is a new ship however the decor is practically the same as the NCL Gateway and NCL Escape. Marketed heavily but no mention on the NCL website that ... Read More
The newest NCL Bliss was chosen to sail the Panama Canal itinerary. The NCL Bliss is a new ship however the decor is practically the same as the NCL Gateway and NCL Escape. Marketed heavily but no mention on the NCL website that there is a charge of $7 per Go-Kart Race and $5 per Laser Tag session. Both offerings were fun but the duration of each session is really short. In addition, there is no sports court for basketball/soccer but room was made for a Vibe Beach Club (Adults Only) with a fee for daily passes. Spa daily passes were not made available to purchase. Stateroom: Beds are really hard perhaps they have not been broken in yet. Balcony room continues to get smaller compared to NCL Escape, NCL Gateway, NCL Epic, NCL Pride of America. Limited TV channels, with no ESPN and other popular TV channels. Haven Lounge available only to, you guessed it, Haven guests. Restaurants: The Manhattan restaurant no longer plays live music like on previous ships (NCL Gateway and Escape) so the ambience is not the same. Cagney's Steakhouse food quality was excellent. Los Lobos (Mexican) limited menu items and not worth the use of a dinning plan. Q Texas Smokehouse food quality was great. Buffet: Fruit selection is limited. Itinerary was changed by NCL last minute removing one of the scheduled stops/ports of call which resulted in another sea day, however, no partial refund/credit was provided for the port fees for that specific port. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Cruise Critic On May 10, 2018 we sailed a 15 day Panama Canal Cruise from Miami to L.A.on the brand new Norwegian Bliss. On a 10 scale we would give the ship and experience a strong 9. This was our 47th cruise on various lines and this ... Read More
Cruise Critic On May 10, 2018 we sailed a 15 day Panama Canal Cruise from Miami to L.A.on the brand new Norwegian Bliss. On a 10 scale we would give the ship and experience a strong 9. This was our 47th cruise on various lines and this easily tied as our favorite. The ship is laid out perfectly with dining or a bar around every corner. The finishings are beautifully designed and placed well. The observation lounge is amazing with perfect viewing and comfortable loungers. The bar in the observation lounge and the A-list Bar have the best drinks and atmosphere. The observation lounge is huge with multiple mini food buffets. The Cavern Club bar on the Water Front was the perfect spot to visit and unwind after a day in port. At night you can listen to the Beetles and other bands outside on the Waterfront without battling the crowds in the venue. It is a very congested ship with 4,000 passengers. Staff for the most part were very friendly and accommodating, as anywhere there were exceptions. The complimentary 24 hr Local Bar and Grill has amazing wings, salads and burgers along with other great choices to choose from. The dining rooms were typical cruise fare and very good. The Tepanyaki was above average, Cagney’s was below average, Los Lobos below average, the Q was very good (serving food during the live music would be a definite plus). One of the highlights of the ship are the Water Front bars and alfresco dining venues with quiet and beautiful views. The buffet is large but food group stations are repeated several times so there’s not a lot of variety. But they have numerous omelet stations so never a wait. There’s a full service bar in the buffet, nice seating overlooking the observation lounge and every night they have a special entree served (steak, prime rib, Caribbean meat night, shrimp night etc .) Outside venues have heaters built into the covered ceilings for cold weather cruising. The shows were typical amazing productions. NCL does incredibly amazing entertainment. Havana, Jersey Boys and Uptown should not be missed. The Prohibition was fair but not worth the money. The comedy is produced by Levity and always had at least two adult shows and two family shows a night. This was our first time to cruise where complimentary reservations for everything were required. But it really is beneficial. (Specialty dining venues should be reserved at NCL.com 90 days before your cruise.)The broadway shows, Prohibition show, comedy, race cars, laser tag, specialty dining, all should have reservations which are easy to make. There’s a Box Office where they can be made in person, or touch screen kiosks using your ship card are located all around the ship or place reservations on the TV or phone in your room. DO THIS ASAP on the ship, they fill up fast. This will give you good seats. The way it works is passengers with reservations enter before the “Stand by line”. Get there early because 10 minutes before show time the standby line is opened for “no shows” or open seats. (Wish they would include the Beetles in this). They hold back 20% of the seats for the “stand by” line, so there’s always “walk up/standby” seats. Just about every time, everyone in the standby line got in but reservations got the good seats. Spice H2O is a fantastic place to relax on port days and amazing parties at night. Spice has a nice water structure with water jets and falls to cool off under. There won’t be enough time on 7 day sailings to experience everything, so prioritize your preferences. The rooms are improved with larger showers with plexi glass instead of shower curtains. There is now plenty of room under the beds to slide luggage under to free up floor space. The closet safes have lights in them, nice. Two USB ports on each side of the beds headboard. Refrigerator in each room. Nice hair dryer installed. TVs actually work with several interactive amenities (SMART TV). We didn’t have kids so no information on their programs but the kids aqua park at the pool was large with numerous interactive water devices. Race cars are a must for only $7, really neat. We didn’t do the laser tag. Now for the “needs improvement”. 1. They need to enforce lounger “hog” rules. Placing a towel and book on a lounger around the pools at 6:00am just so you can use it for a couple hours in the afternoon is rude. Too many passengers on the mega ships to allow this. 2. There was not enough waiters in the theater, pool areas or lounges. 3. Margueritaville at Sea is considered a specialty restaurant with a $14.95 per person cover charge to make sure you order a meals worth. This cover charge is applied toward the bill and assures that passengers don’t just order nachos or appetizer since it is $30 for two just to enter. It is designed to keep large crowds out looking for complimentary pool food. (it worked very few ever used it) The Local has good burgers and appetizers that are complimentary so there’s no need for Margaritavilles $14.95 PP cover charge. Food Republic is truly al la cart pricing and fantastic food and Margaritaville should be the same. 5. It would be nice to have a Starbucks Coffee vendor at the Garden Buffet bar and at the observation lounge bar. 6. The partitions along the exterior of the Cavern should be removed or made adjustable to facilitate viewing of the stage and venue from the Water Front tables and bar. 7. Spice H2O needs more tables and covered area. Nix the water feature. NCL hit it out of the park with the Bliss. It will make for the perfect Alaska cruise ship. Service was very good and typical of NCL standards. It’s a very big busy ship to keep you entertained. Numerous bars and areas to meet and socialize. The older passenger age group made for short nights, everything shuts down at midnight. But if your looking for the perfect relaxing cruise ship, the Bliss is it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The cruise was chosen by us due to the Panama Canal transit, which was a a highlight—from daylight to dark that particular day we had fascinating views from our balcony, and were blessed with blue skies. Since we live in the tropics in ... Read More
The cruise was chosen by us due to the Panama Canal transit, which was a a highlight—from daylight to dark that particular day we had fascinating views from our balcony, and were blessed with blue skies. Since we live in the tropics in Australia, the scenery in the five countries visited, six shore excursions, contained no surprises in regard to landscape, weather and crops, but the third-world life-style certainly was different. So the trip was educational. The mighty ship itself, with its well-trained and happy crew, catered for various age groups. On our anniversary, at the Italian restaurant, we were surprised with cake and candles and a song, which brought me to tears. We had made no particular arrangements for this. Very touching to have young people from Indonesia and the Philippines wishing us well... a most worthwhile trip to recall for many years... One low-light was queueing for an extended period for Box Office reservations for Jersey Boys (promoted heavily) before the ship even left Miami. We actually saw the show two weeks later, so why the rush before we were even at sea. Not a good beginning, but it improved...lots... Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chose this cruise because a tour agency was offering a great price for an escorted cruise package. Having someone else take care of the arrangements is a must when traveling with my elderly parent. Also, the itinerary was less port ... Read More
Chose this cruise because a tour agency was offering a great price for an escorted cruise package. Having someone else take care of the arrangements is a must when traveling with my elderly parent. Also, the itinerary was less port intensive with a sea day or two in between each port. If you have status with NCL, embarkation is always a breeze. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Port was a very different experience. It seemed that it took a while for the tour group to get called to start the walk down into the custom area. When we got there, we saw custom agents having to use cell phones to take photos of arrivals. Labor intensive to say the least, and the customs employees handled themselves very professionally. The exercise layout for the Bliss is a little strange. Deck 7 outside has the tenders/ life boats and it only goes partway up and down the side of the ship. Deck 8 is the waterfront that is split with chairs / lounges and walking area. It was thoughtful of the dining staff to provide coffee/hot water and pastries around the waterfront bar areas for the cruisers enjoying the outside scenery. The walking area does not go around the front of the ship so walkers have to cut through the inside of the ship to continue walking. The Atrium stairway was beautiful to look at but not very functional to walk down. Everyone was using it as a photo op, but it was precarious to walk down. The tube ride did not have enough water flowing because people noticed that mostly men only made it through the entire ride. Women (more clothing) barely made it up the first hill and most had to be rescued after sliding back down. The inflatable tube flume ride was fun but had to carry up the tandem raft. If you go, get the single inner tube because you ride faster and you can experience the clear Plexiglas and think you're going to fall. The casino is huge and certain machines were making people happy. There were two ATM/Voucher/Change machines in the casino. Used the machine to break my bigger bills but it was out of service after the fourth day, sucks. I loved the set up of the Locals Bar and Grill which overlooks the atrium area. Found myself up there many a nights listening to Phil and Keysha, who was my companion's favorite group! Also kudos to the staff, they provided excellent service around the whole area. There was one handicap gentleman who hanged out in the area and the staff helped him get to the bar chair for the entertainment. Also the bartenders were great performers and back up singers for the groups. And finally, there was this one guy who helped the elevators after the bliss theater show ended. He'd get the passengers on the elevators as soon as possible and help with directions. Great staff. If Silas and his staff were cloned, then NCL would have the best fleet entertainment division in the industry! Wii Dancing with Alex was fun. I know Alex will get assigned to be a cruise director on a ship soon. Hope to see Uptown and Jersey Boys preform again. We went to see Uptown each night they preformed and were wowed by their energy and musicality. Phil and Keysha had their ship groupies following them to the different venues. Read Less
Sail Date May 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

Find a Norwegian Bliss Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click