1,103 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews

To have fun but it turned out to be not so fun after all. We were a group of 13 (different staterooms) that cruised this ship from Miami on the 15th. The price we paid for the cruise and the facilities we got weren’t balancing. We ... Read More
To have fun but it turned out to be not so fun after all. We were a group of 13 (different staterooms) that cruised this ship from Miami on the 15th. The price we paid for the cruise and the facilities we got weren’t balancing. We felt everthing was nickeled n domed including including message and phone when that should be included for the $. We paid close to $5000. The reason we chose this ship was, a bunch of us turned 40 and wanted to celebrate together in a brand new cruise. As much as we loved the ship and it’s facilities, we were very disappointed with the cleanliness that was maintained in the cafe and observatory deck area with the bowls, cups and utensils. To our surprise they were dirty with food stuck on it. We were worried that we might get sick and to prove that 3 of us did get sick after all. when I complained about it, we were sent chocolate covered strawberries and cookies twice to our room???? Is that some sort of pacifying?? Coz none of our other friends got anything like that. On one of the excursion trips, one of my friend got severely injured and had to be brought back in a wheelchair. The cruise medical staff did help, but their reaction to this incident was, this has happened before and people haven’t gotten injured. It was the most bizarre response. Instead of fixing the problem, they were trying to justify. My friend is still in terrible pain even after 10 days. Lastly, The ship could never dock in Bahamas due to weather conditions. We were very disappointed as the kids were looking forward to spend a day at Atlantis. Instead , we got a credit of $22 per person for making it a sail day. We can never go to Bahamas for $88 as a family from California even in my dreams. How can the cruise department even come up with this ridiculous number? Now, we all have to make an exclusive trip to Bahamas just coz of this all the way from California and I don’t think we will be doing Norwegian again given this experience. We are very disappointed with this experience of the cruise. Our previous carnival cruise was much better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
What sold us was the Race Track - but we only had one chance to ride on the last sea day. For the money you are better served to look at the Royal Caribbean or Carnival Super ships. There us too much real estate dedicated to the Race ... Read More
What sold us was the Race Track - but we only had one chance to ride on the last sea day. For the money you are better served to look at the Royal Caribbean or Carnival Super ships. There us too much real estate dedicated to the Race Track. Don't jump on the gimmick. The food was good - our family enjoyed the complimentary vs the pay restaurants. The workers were kind. I was a little frustrated with the stateroom service because they never took the dirty dishes. We had friends on the aft balconies and they were furious - the Spice H20 bar in the back of the ship played music extremely late at night and vibrated the rooms 3 floors down. There is only 1 pool kids can swim in, and it is on top of the adult pool. There are only 2 pools. The pools are right by each other and the pool deck is extremely small. There is not enough pool seating. The adults only area is tiny - all the space taken by the race track. The shows were awful. They tried to do Jersey Boys and they just were not close. I was so surprised because on other NCL ships the Entertainment was so much better. The race track is ok - the ones on land are much more fun! The ship was not very "grande". Very basic decor. You can tell they had to do cut costs on the ship build. We missed the large atrium you see on a lot of ships. The BBQ place made some of us sick. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Wanted a relaxing, vacation before the Christmas holidays. The Norwegian Bliss offered great entertainment: Mark Klein, Comedy; Beatles Tribute; Jersey Boys: Havana: and always something fun going on in the Atrium area. The Observation ... Read More
Wanted a relaxing, vacation before the Christmas holidays. The Norwegian Bliss offered great entertainment: Mark Klein, Comedy; Beatles Tribute; Jersey Boys: Havana: and always something fun going on in the Atrium area. The Observation Room on Deck 15 was a quiet place to getaway and relax (at least for the first 2 days of the cruise, until it was "discovered"), and the Cruise Director, Silas was always his effervescent self, making everyone he met seem to be the ONLY one on the ship! I've sailed with Silas before on another Norwegian ship and he is 100% wonderful as a Cruise Director. Benjamin in the "Washy Washy" area made a mundane job seem fun, and a very important protocol memorable with his friendly manner and creative songs! The entire trip was a pleasure from embarkation to disembarking. Would go again in a minute without hesitation. Norwegian- my cruise line of choice! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
BACKGROUND: This was our 9th cruise, 8th NCL Cruise - and our 5th ship in the fleet. Also, this was our 3rd Christmas cruise in a row. I do extensive research before we leave, and read TONS of reviews. I always join our CC roll call ... Read More
BACKGROUND: This was our 9th cruise, 8th NCL Cruise - and our 5th ship in the fleet. Also, this was our 3rd Christmas cruise in a row. I do extensive research before we leave, and read TONS of reviews. I always join our CC roll call and any others I can find elsewhere on the Internet. This cruise I was the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet organizer, which I love doing. We traveled with 8 people total. I'm almost 50, married and our 22 year old daughter was with us. HOTEL: We arrived very late into FLL on Friday night, so we decided to stay at an airport hotel to get some sleep. We stayed at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport Holiday Inn. We were happy with everything about the hotel. Beautiful lobby, we had breakfast at Denny's across the street, nice rooms, great service. Our only piece of advice is for them to tighten up their logistics when it comes to their courtesy shuttle picking up folks at the airport. There were many people headed to the hotel, but it was very difficult to determine who had arrived at the curb first because there was no line. There were some raised voices and heated discussions among guests trying to figure out who had waited longer. Perhaps if the hotel gave out confirmation numbers or had a sign at the stop for folks to form a line, that would alleviate the stress. TRANSFERS: We decided to order an Uber/Lyft to take us to the Port of Miami from the hotel. I had been checking both apps and knew they were similarly priced. When we were ready to leave, I tried Uber, but there were none available, so I switched to Lyft. Within 2 minutes (literally) our driver arrived in a (surprise) Ford Explorer. Plenty of room for 3 of us and our 3 suit cases and 3 personal items. We were meeting our friends at the port. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the port at 10:30. Our luggage was pulled right from the car onto a cart, and we were through the terminal, security and check-in within 15 minutes start to finish. We stopped at the waiting area upstairs to meet our friends for our welcome-aboard photo (Matching t-shirts). We could have been on the ship before 11am! We ended up boarding before noon and watched many people breeze right through the waiting room on their way to boarding, too. SO smooth and easy. It is clear that they move lots of people in Miami. CABINS: We had two cabins - an inside cabin for my husband and I on Deck 11 within steps of the elevator. We LOVED the location. And the corridor was very quiet. Our room steward (Asha) was WONDERFUL. She took great care of us and kept our room well-supplied and looking great. She was always happy to see us and knew both our names every time. She was the best steward we have had in several cruises. We liked everything about our cabin with the exception of two storage issues: No drawers at all - storing socks, underwear and such was a pain! The other issue was the closet shelves faced sideways in the closet with no light in there. It was VERY difficult to stay organized and find items. On the other hand, the bathroom had more storage than we’ve ever seen! Our daughter was in a Studio cabin on Deck 11 and she loved it. We all wanted to take turns staying in there- laid out so nicely for one person. Well designed storage, plenty of plugs and charging ports, an oversized twin bed. Very nicely done and the virtual window was something she enjoyed. One downside for her was being able to hear sounds from surrounding cabins (snoring and puking, actually) even with her white noise machine on. It kind of bummed her out. MOBILE APP: We have paid for this app on 3 cruises. The first cruise we were very disappointed in it - we missed messages and it was unreliable. The second cruise we got it again because it was a big group of us and we knew we’d be on different schedules. The app had not improved much but we were better about opening our phones, opening the app and checking it more often. We never received alerts. On this cruise, the app had a facelift and we loved it. We could send photos, and actually call each other (or call cabins) using the app. Notifications came up more easily and with the group text feature we were able to keep everyone in the loop about meeting times and places. We loved it. ACTIVITIES: We love an active cruise. We join games, attend trivia, and usually take advantage of special features on ships. We found the Bliss to be pretty similar to other ships - with Silas as our cruise director (we’ve had him before) everything was fun. So, even though I’m going to point out some negatives, our OVERALL experience was excellent. Please, please, please stop using the Atrium for activities on ships! The customer service desks struggle to provide good service, there aren’t enough seats and it is VERY hard to have adult programming if there are kids floating in and out (or staying even though their parents have been advised about content). Go-Karts need some logistic changes. We used the video screen to make our reservation. There are two of us in our cabin, but we reserved for 4 people. We showed up 10 minutes early, made it right to the front of the line, then they looked down at our Crocs and said we needed sneakers. Your website does NOT say sneakers. It says Covered Shoes. Crocs are covered shoes in the opinions of many. So, 3 out of 4 of us ran back to cabin to change. We arrive back 5 minutes late, and they open our reservation for 4. They only allow the two people who are assigned to that cabin to load. So 2 of us watched. From start to finish, the process was 1h45m. That’s a LONG time to invest on a cruise. A child who couldn’t drive broke down 3 times, slowing their race until the last 4 laps seemed pointless. Just overall disappointing. We could never get reservations for Laser Tag. That was sad. :( What happened to Quest?? We MISS IT!!! Such a fun adult game and guessing because it would have to be in the Atrium might be the reason why it didn’t happen. Actually - any “Adult” entertainment was limited because of the atrium. There are MANY PEOPLE who are FINE WITH ADULT CONTENT AND HUMOR!! If you label/warn it as such, then stop backing down to those who complain! They can attend a different event!! We like that break from the routine at home. POOL CHAIRS: THANK you for the new policy! A large video screen at the pool said not to reserve chairs for more than an hour. Unattended chairs will be cleared of belongings and owners can pick them up at Deck 6. YES!! We loved watching unattended chairs (usually well more than an hour) get cleared off so folks could actually get seats. It was a little tricky for us when we went to the Go Kart track (see above) for 1 hour and 40 minutes (it should NEVER take that long) so we had to send folks in our group down in shifts to sit in our chairs to make sure they weren’t cleared. But, if they had, we would have understood. Next??!!? NCL needs to do the same in the Observatory because people save seats up there as well. We saw a few arguments over chairs while we were up there. SERVICE: Even before boarding, the CruiseNext rep came over to us in the waiting area to make sure we were okay (everyone was boarding and we were waiting for friends). He chatted with us for a while, answering questions, featuring the ship. I saw him ALL OVER the Bliss talking to passengers. He was awesome and exemplified the service we received all week. The bartenders are all amazing. Friendly and funny and engaging and efficient. Servers at all meals were great. They were attentive and kind, happy and accommodating. They would remember us if they saw us different days. The Muffin Girls were terrific! The only downside for me I’ve noticed on several ships and feel more confident in sharing. I don’t like watching the “managers” on duty in the dining rooms (any of them, really). They seem intense and intimidating. It does NOT seem like they trust the professional experts working under them. I will say that any time we wanted to ask for something that was forgotten or mixed up, we didn’t do it because we could see how hard the servers were working (Especially with the new iPad ordering system!!), so we didn’t want them to get in trouble. Anyways, in their zeal to make things “right” for the customers, those intense dining room managers are making it uneasy for all of us. Lighten up and Support Them instead of trying to catch them doing something wrong!! PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS: We only went on one excursion - Best of St. Thomas. LOVED the twisty turny bus ride up to Mountain Top. View was awesome even though it rained. Magens Bay was gorgeous and we walked far away from the drop off point for our 2 hours. When we arrived back at the downtown area, we EASILY found where we were to catch our shuttle back to ship (Other reviews complain about this). Their written and verbal communication were very clear. However, it was Christmas and we didn’t want to wait - so we shared a taxi with another couple and 10 of us paid $4 each to drive back on our own. Not NCL’s fault, just our preference (Like I said time on a cruise ship is precious!!). Tortola we only explored the area right off the ship - cute shops, about 60 minutes spent there. Nassau we are not fans of, so we got off ship (there were FIVE SHIPS IN PORT!) and took some photos. DINING: Using the screens not ideal for groups to get reservations (we were 8 people, 4 cabins). Waiting in reservation line on Day 1 was a long time. Great service and they helped us with everything, but a LONG wait. . Food in all restaurants was delicious. We made reservations at Los Lobos for appetizers and it was awesome. I would do that again - wish they opened a bit earlier for people like us who only want apps. Buffet improvements since last cruises - love the high tables and it was MUCH cleaner. We are NOT fans of the buffet on any ship because of the noise and the mixture of smells. ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed the shows. We wondered why the theater was so small (no balcony?) but it did not affect our experience (well, except we like to exit down at the first row to get out and couldn’t). We loved them. We spent a few nights with Jim Badger and laughed the night away and sang at the top of our lungs. He was great. Enjoyed the Prohibition - the girls did a great job and the drinks were fine. They hung out and talked to audience members for quite some time after. It would be SO MUCH EASIER if one cabin could reserve multiple numbers (and enter cabin numbers for everyone!!) all in one fell swoop. MEET & GREET: I’ve been to a bunch and organized a bunch. This one was a bit different - we were given mimosas and passed appetizers. Crew members mingled with us. I was given a mic to say hi and used it for everyone to introduce themselves. After, we did a slot pull and then followed it up with a Bar Crawl. It was fun. Wish more participated (so many more RSVP’d) but we still had lots of fun and Bliss staff treated us so well. DISEMBARKATION: Because I organized the Cruise Critic meet & greet, I was granted Priority disembarkation. We were off the ship and at the curb within 15 minutes. So easy. Highly recommend. SUMMARY - Other reviews frustrate me. Their reviews talk about only one pool.? There are two main pools (one with no kids) plus a splash area for kids and a grotto area in H2O. This was a Christmas cruise - so yes, more kids. But this year was fewer kids than last two years and we had a greater chance of finding space on our own without them on this ship if we wanted to. Decorations were fine - many trees (not just a few!!) and it was the PASSENGERS who dressed up and decorated their doors who upped the Christmas Spirit. We only encountered ONE staff member who was less than awesome. And yes, she was miserable (bartender). But the others we met were so good to us. Even with my critiques, this was my favorite ship, and we had a great cruise. You might find me stowed away on the Waterfront if you go check right now…. Mojito, anyone?? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon. We knew it was going to be over Christmas and anticipated it to be crowded but did not realize how crowded it would be. There were A TON of children. That being said, we knew there would be some ... Read More
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon. We knew it was going to be over Christmas and anticipated it to be crowded but did not realize how crowded it would be. There were A TON of children. That being said, we knew there would be some kids but we never realized there would be this many. Embarkation was very smooth. We had the first time slot (11:00 am). There was no line and we walked almost right on to the ship. We immediately went to find the spot to buy tickets for Vibe beach club and it was already sold out. I was so disappointed since this was our honeymoon and I figured it would be the best place to escape the children. There weren't even that many people on board and it was barely 11:00 am! I don't know how all the passes were gone so fast. We then went and signed up for lazer tag (these spots fill up fast) and the person who was taking the reservations was doing it on a piece of computer paper with a pencil and not on the computer. We later discovered he registered us for the wrong time and place ( racetrack at 5:30 instead of lazertag at 5:00). They ended up letting us do it but it was still aggravating. The pool bar was open and we had a drink and then some lunch at the garden café. There were announcements being made on the top deck but you couldn't hear them so we have no clue what time our room was ready. We decided to check and see around 2:00 pm and it was ready. Our luggage was delivered during the safety presentation (around 4:00 pm). Our cabin was nice (10880). It had a balcony and the bathroom was bigger than past cruise ships. Joseph was our room steward and he was great. We had him empty out the mini bar so we could use the fridge. The TV's were updated because you are supposed to use them to make some reservations for events such as the silent disco (also sold out on the first day) and the comedy clubs. At first, the ship seemed overwhelmingly large. I got the hang of it after the first day. We had the specialty dining package and ate at specialty restaurants on 4 nights. The best of all of them was Q. We had an appetizer and split the combo platter. It was DELICIOUS. We ate at Los Lobos on Christmas eve. It was just okay. We used the dining package so we were both entitled to an appetizer but only had one delivered. I tried one of the fancy specialty margaritas but it was not that good. I had the fish tacos and they were just okay. My husband had a burrito and he said it was good. The best part was the dessert. It was home made ice cream with dulce de leche sauce on it. I could have had ten of those. The service at Los Lobos was subpar. Christmas day we went on a snorkeling catamaran to St. Thomas. It was amazing. We booked the earlier time slot. The crew was amazing. We snorkeled and then were brought to a smaller island for some swimming and we were served painkillers on the way home. It was a great day! The best day of the whole week was our excursion to Jost Van Dyke. We took a catamaran over there (about 45 minute ride) and sat in the water all day drinking pain killers from the Soggy Dollar. They returned to pick us up and we got back to the boat with 15 minutes to spare. It was great. The Bahamas were unmemorable. The port was dirty and crowded. I was glad we didn't book anything that day because it was raining. I couldn't see spending almost $500 on Atlantis either. Cagneys on Christmas night was just okay. The waitress was super nice but obviously busy as it was Christmas. The food was good but it didn't blow me away. We ate at Taste one night and that was okay as well. The menu was the same pretty much the next night when we ate at the Manhattan room. We did eat at Teppanyaki one night and that was delicious. I was hoping for sushi as an appetizer but the only place, I was told, to get sushi on board is Food Republic. I went there one afternoon and they were closed. I returned to get some at 5:00 pm (dinner wasn't until 8:30 that night). It was good. The service was just okay. Aggie was our favorite person on board. We tipped him the first day and he never let us go thirsty every time we were at the pool. The Jersey Boys play was GREAT!! Definitely worth seeing but make sure you make your reservations ahead of time. This was the worst part for us: The people in the room next to us slammed the doors morning, noon and night. When we asked guest services to talk to them, it was never resolved. I think they had teenagers in the room but it was just so aggravating. One night, the door slammed 5 times at 1:00 am. It was very annoying. I am one of those dreaded smokers. The smoking on the ship was a problem. There was one spot ALL the way in the back of the boat (Spice H20). It took a while to walk there from the main pool deck. I know we are almost an extinct breed but it was ridiculous that was the only spot. You could also smoke in a small spot in the casino (closed room) but only when the ship was at sea. This was very disappointing as well. The last issue I had was that there were signs everywhere that say you cannot save lounge chairs. This was not the case. One morning I went upstairs at 7:30 am and almost all the chairs near the pool were gone. One couples chairs were held for over 4 hours before I saw them. It made me anxious every morning that I had to get upstairs for a chair before I would have to sit a mile away. The whole process needs to be looked at. One day they tagged chairs for people who they hadn't seen but only removed a few towels. It definitely wasn't enforced. All in all the cruise was good. We relaxed and had a few great days. I probably wouldn't go on a cruise with so many days at sea again (3 in total). There was a lot of down time and with so many people on board, it was hard to relax by the pool. I work for the schools so I can really only take time off during vacations so I anticipate the rest of my vacations will be filled with kids which is okay, I just wish there were more adults only sections. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We previously cruised on the getaway and had a blast so we chose to bliss for our family vacation so the kids could play in the arcade, do race cars and laser tag. However, the race cars and laser tag were sold out before getting on the ... Read More
We previously cruised on the getaway and had a blast so we chose to bliss for our family vacation so the kids could play in the arcade, do race cars and laser tag. However, the race cars and laser tag were sold out before getting on the ship which was very disappointing. For kids to play in the arcade, it’s better if they can play with cash, NOT the room key which is connected to our bank account. That’s so dangerous and after playing for less than an hour, we accrued over $200 in just the arcade. Sadly, our kids didn’t have any fun. Our daughter is 19 and didn’t find anything appealing and our 10 year old son wanted to do laser tag and race cars and couldn’t. In addition, we paid for the haven. We had access to the haven but our room was on the other side of the ship. Our butler was amazing and so were the bartenders at H20. We are going to try again with a family vacation with 8 people next December and do the Hawaii cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first cruise and planned for over a year for Christmas week 2018. Boarded in Miami and cruised St.Thomas, Tortola, and Bahamas. After exploring the ship on boarding day and eating at the buffet I thought we were in for a ... Read More
This was our first cruise and planned for over a year for Christmas week 2018. Boarded in Miami and cruised St.Thomas, Tortola, and Bahamas. After exploring the ship on boarding day and eating at the buffet I thought we were in for a week of our lives. On Sunday morning we woke fairly early to have our first pool day, to my disbelief there was barely a chair to be found. We found a couple chairs eventually in a shaded area far from the one pool. Yes, that is correct they have ONE pool! They advertise two but the second has toddlers in diapers connected to water park area for toddlers. So unless you have little ones or like to swim in diapers its not for you. The first pool I mentioned is about the same size as the pool in my backyard! There's no easy entrance to the pool, no swim up bar, but plenty of salt if you bring your margarita! I literally swam once in the entire week. The two slides are flawed as it takes 45 minutes in line to ride them. The extreme ride was designed so poorly that many riders actually don't make the apex and slide helplessly backward and need to be extracted by personnel. Needless to say I did not attempt this nor my two children as the wait and failure rate just didn't seem worth it. I will finish with this regarding the pool area, on day two I woke early to mark four chairs for my family with towels and clips and bags, as this is how it's done on cruises. Upon arrival later that morning my chairs were now down to two, my bag was missing, and I almost got into a fight. Wow! what a cruise dream! They have go carts and laser tag for kids if you can sign up in time. I'll be honest I still don't know what that means because we never had a chance to sign up because it was full every time someone tried! Yes, we spent 7 days on a cruise ship with two teens and they barely swam, used one slide twice, and never saw go carts or laser tag. In my opinion they should have left the carts and tag off the ship and build some real pools. On the positive side the food and drinks were very good. The three shows we saw were also very well done. The room was decent size and always clean. The employees do an amazing job and are always friendly. Unfortunately for us this was designed around my kids and nephews who left highly disappointed. I would not recommend this ship to anyone with children, actually I would not recommend this ship to anyone as the pool deck experience is horrific! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
To be fair, the cruise I went on was Christmas/Winter Break Week. But it may be typical for any cruise on that ship during any time the ship is packed with adults and 1,000 kids. Perhaps a not-so-popular week might be better. - My ... Read More
To be fair, the cruise I went on was Christmas/Winter Break Week. But it may be typical for any cruise on that ship during any time the ship is packed with adults and 1,000 kids. Perhaps a not-so-popular week might be better. - My daughter, son-in-law, and 9-year-old grandson paid for my wife and I to go on this cruise with them. Most things were fine. But the problem is that the Bliss tried to cram far too much "extras" (race track and laser tag) when it isn't set up to do those things right. Both venues are outdoor "weather permitting" and you must - must - must - reserve a specific time slot in advance, and there really aren't that many slots available for 4,000+ adult passengers and another 1,000 kids. Also the 700-seat theater was far too small for their "big production" shows (Jersey Boys, Havana) which only had 4 shows each. And the theater was "reserve seating" only.....with a standby line for any no-shows. - Needless to say, those "first on board" could - and many did - "hog" all the "reserve" seating and slots for ALL the shows and ALL the available track and laser tag slots very, very quickly. To my knowledge there was nothing to prevent the first 700 passengers to book up ALL the show seating and nothing to prevent the first 100 - 200 passengers from "hogging" ALL the race track and laser tag slots. And why not? "Weather permitting" means you SHOULD sign up for as many as you can.....and they are FUN.....which means "more than once." Yes, there is a fee for the race track and laser tag.....but its incidental when compared to everything else you pay for. - There was nothing more disappointing than to tell my grandson that he could not do the race track or the laser tag because all - ALL - the slots had already been reserved. - My advice? Avoid any disappointment. Skip the Bliss or any ship that has a "wow" venue that only a minority of the passengers are going to be able to use. The fact is that the race track and the laser tag are outdoor venues that took up deck space that could have (and perhaps should have) been used for more pools, hot tubs, sun decks, lounge chairs, and even a bar or water slide that more passengers could enjoy. - Even if you have absolutely no interest in the race track or laser tag, the deck space they took up meant it was much harder to find an open lounge chair on what open decks remained. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Booed this cruise two years ago. There were 22 of us in all and we were really looking forward to a memorable Christmas Cruise on the nearly brand new Norwegian Bliss. Overall the service was good, not awesome but good. Food in general ... Read More
Booed this cruise two years ago. There were 22 of us in all and we were really looking forward to a memorable Christmas Cruise on the nearly brand new Norwegian Bliss. Overall the service was good, not awesome but good. Food in general wasn’t very good, even in the cover charge venues. Dinner service in the Manhattan Room was painfully slow and woefully disorganized. Ship is already looking worn out, especially in the atrium; worn out furniture all over the place seemed disturbing for a ship not even a year old. I sprained my knee on Tortola and needed medical attention. Staff was for more concerned about being compensated than about caring for the patient. There was zero follow up despite a fairly severe injury and when I hobbled back to get the dressing changed after two days the first thing I got was “extra band-aids are $1.50 each.” Just WOW... charging for the go-carts and laser tag was off-putting as well. Internet which I paid nearly $400 for (I needed to work) was the worst I have ever had on any ship and the app they charge you $10 for never worked properly. Overall the one thing NCL does really, really well is nickel and dining you for absolutely everything. After three NCL cruises with each getting progressively worse we’re done. Princess and Celebrity are hands-down far superior in every way. I used to thing of NCL as on-par with Royal Caribbean but it’s really on the same level as Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship itself is lovely. Our cabin was clean and the shower pressure was excellent. We enjoyed the food and liquor as adults. We had many choices and appreciated the entertainment and variety of dining experiences. The challenges we ... Read More
The ship itself is lovely. Our cabin was clean and the shower pressure was excellent. We enjoyed the food and liquor as adults. We had many choices and appreciated the entertainment and variety of dining experiences. The challenges we faced were as follows: the kids had to be a certain weight and height to go on the water slide and use the go carts. This meant that an adult had to take my 12 year old on the go cart rather than have her independently enjoy this activity. She was not heavy enough to enjoy the water slide. We had to register for laser tag and go carting in advance, as well as pay for these in addition to the cost of the cruise each time we wanted to play. It was near impossible to get a time slot of out choosing for our children. Some families had signed up multiple times and it didn't allow us to get in at a time that was optimal for us. Our 9 year son was bored out of his mind not having a sport court to play on. The swimming pool for kids was 5'7 deep and had no shallow point for him to stand. The other option was the toddler park...clearly not an option for a child his age. Thee service from the staff was basically non-existent and I didn't feel that in any way they tried to make you feel that you were on a luxury vacation. We enjoyed out ports and did our own excursions. Overall I could't suggest this for a family with children that were younger than the drinking age as they would feel they were reaching into their pockets for everything, including the little arcade games around the ship to keep the kids busy. For adults only this is a really nice ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship is awesome, but he service and the staff is not. The really need to organize a little bit. One hour and half waiting time in karts, when I already had an appointment. See days at the restaurant, one hour wait, so I leave ... Read More
The ship is awesome, but he service and the staff is not. The really need to organize a little bit. One hour and half waiting time in karts, when I already had an appointment. See days at the restaurant, one hour wait, so I leave to the garden cafe, we have to seat in a 2 table, the 3 of us. No space. Disembarkation another mess, the started to "invited" the people on the garden cafe to get out the ship, but when we leave, another hour and half to get out. I dont understand why i can wait seated having a coffee.... The Teppy was the worst experience ever! I have 20 cruises with NCL, and all I can say is my little son is better chef than the real chef. He didn't sazonated the food, all overcooked, dry. I didn't eat, my time was 9, so I leave at 10.30 and went directly to the garden cafe, no food! I had a hot dog and french fries, all dress up in my Christmas gown... In the other hand, Le Bistro was awesome! La Cuccina excellent! And Los Lobos is the best by a mile! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our family, a group of 12, ranging in age from 15-87, cruised from Miami - St. Thomas - Tortola - Nassau over Christmas. This was our second cruise; last year we were on the Norwegian Getaway in the wester Carribbean. We prefer Norwegian ... Read More
Our family, a group of 12, ranging in age from 15-87, cruised from Miami - St. Thomas - Tortola - Nassau over Christmas. This was our second cruise; last year we were on the Norwegian Getaway in the wester Carribbean. We prefer Norwegian for their freestyle dining and the option to dress as casually or as formally as you would like. We enjoyed being able to spend time together each day as a large group for either a meal or a show. We only ate at the complimentary dining options-the Garden, Savor, Taste, Manhattan, the Local or Margaritaville (breakfast only). All were very good. We also enjoyed Havanna, Jersey Boys, the comedy show and Beattle Mania. The ship offered enough variety that we could also enjoy time in smaller groups at the various game shows in the Atrium, pool, comedy shows, Jim Badger piano entertainer (District Brewhouse), etc. Some of our group participated in a few different excursions and thoroughly enjoyed them: St. Thomas swimming with the sea lions and swimming/snorkeling at Trunk Bay on St. John's Island and our trip to Virgin Gorda and the Baths from Tortola. The tourist shopping at St. Thomas was pretty good, Tortola not so much, with the shops at Nassau being the best, most extensive. We opted to pay $9.95/person for the Norwegian app so that we could communicate amongst ourselves since our cabins were spread all over the ship. For those that downloaded the app before the ship left Miami this worked quite well. Trying to download on the ship after we departed Miami was very difficult. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip and this cruise ship, especially the observation lounge on 15 (great views, wonderful space and healthiest food options). Our only frustration is that you have to pay to use the Norwegian app and the internet. Would much, much rather they cut back on the abundance of food and provide the communication tools for free. We didn't have any luck finding good free internet at any of the ports on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Overall great cruise. Service was great considering the ship size and amount of passengers. Went as family with a 3 and almost 6 year old. Mid ship balcony cabin awesome with bunk bed for the kids, which was key. Food good to really ... Read More
Overall great cruise. Service was great considering the ship size and amount of passengers. Went as family with a 3 and almost 6 year old. Mid ship balcony cabin awesome with bunk bed for the kids, which was key. Food good to really good in main dining. Buffet was good enough with quality and selection. Mexican and tapanyaki were amazing, hated the steak house (was not the quality you'd expect from a cruise specialty dining.) Jersey boys was amazing, Havana good. Kids club was awesome and gave us a break. Aside from shows the poker game was good. Also for the kids the splash pad was a hit. Didn't get to go cart as they always booked up. There was never a dull moment! No regrets taking this baby for a ride. I'd just say that it's better for families. If you want quiet and higher service take a smaller ship and say hi to grand ma and grand pa. Oh and book your trip with as many perks so you don't have to whine about being nickled and dimed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Beautiful ship, but for the size, was a huge shortage in lounge chairs & only 1 pool. There were several jacuzzis, but chairs were always gone before 7am. Once you finally get a chair in the sun, then people open umbrellas so you’re ... Read More
Beautiful ship, but for the size, was a huge shortage in lounge chairs & only 1 pool. There were several jacuzzis, but chairs were always gone before 7am. Once you finally get a chair in the sun, then people open umbrellas so you’re no longer in the sun. Was very disappointed that a ship this size would be so lacking. On the other hand, solo organization was fabulous. Bianca made sure we always had great entertainment, group dinner reservations when we hadn’t made personal plans and she made sure we had a nice continental breakfast daily. Studios were great for some people. But having been a balcony cruiser in the past, the studio was a little tight for me. I made the choice based on what friends were doing for solo travel benefits. The observation lounge was very nice. Shows were great & the piano comedy bar was fun. Lots of choices in restaurants, but 3 restaurants had the same menu. Seemed kind of wierd. 2 restaurants lost our personal reservation. One was on Christmas Eve. Was disappointing. Friends enjoyed the race cars & spa package, but I was most interested in relaxation in the sun after a stressful year at work. Definitely not the cruise for that. Ship scores a big fat zero in that department. In the future will make another option. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had a medical emergency at sea that caused the ship to return to a port. It was domino affected later - late to the airport, missed flights etc. The captain was a super hero-he saved the persons life by making a difficult decision and ... Read More
We had a medical emergency at sea that caused the ship to return to a port. It was domino affected later - late to the airport, missed flights etc. The captain was a super hero-he saved the persons life by making a difficult decision and it was the right decision in my view. The ship is beautiful, the staff work very hard and are polite, responsive and do their best to provide services. The only issue I have is the nickle and diming. For example, for those who like to watch television at night ( especially those with young children ) movies cost $10 each! They do provide a few free movies and play them over and over and over and over and over again. When you spend almost $20k on a family cruise and find you have to pay extra for evening movies for the kids it really tarnishes a fabulous experience . Cabin cleaning and 'make-up" in my case was really not consistent and I think that was attributable to the staff person assigned to our room and not generally reflective of the entire ship. All-in-all it is a great ship and great service but they need to know WHEN TO TOP THE EXTRA FRIVOLOUS CHARGES. Again-the crew did a great job and saved a passenger's life while doing everything they could to mitigate the impact of the medical emergency on all of the passengers. All-in-all I give it an 8 out of 10. One point lost with the cabin make up and one lost from the silly TV charges. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I have cruised many time on NCL and have been very happy and I have recommended NCL to many folks. I will not recommend to anyone ever again. I am a Gold Member. Booked this cruise on the Bliss over a year ago as a gift to my husband, ... Read More
I have cruised many time on NCL and have been very happy and I have recommended NCL to many folks. I will not recommend to anyone ever again. I am a Gold Member. Booked this cruise on the Bliss over a year ago as a gift to my husband, son and his girlfriend. We were all looking forward to enjoying the shows, go karts, laser tag and the water slides. Boarding was simple and quick, even though the rooms were not ready as yet. Not a big deal as we could check the schedule of fun and exciting things available on the ship. Much to our disappointment ALL of the shows, go karts, laser tag were completely booked for the entire week before we got to our rooms! What a joke! As I stated, I have taken many cruises with NCL and had never had to make any on board reservations for shows or entertainment and never had any issues. I will not be cruising anytime in the future with NCL. The room steward was the best! The bar staff was worse and worse each day and couldn't be bothered. My son and his girlfriend are in mid to late 20's and business professionals that were rarely served from the bars (yes we all had the drink package as I purchased that when I booked). My husband and I are mid 50's and had a hard time getting drinks and ice water was always "forgotten". I would not recommend you waste your money on this vacation. I regret the over $9000.00 I spent on this trip. I should have donated the money and made a difference for a charity. Lesson learned. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Beautiful ship, way too many people. Good luck finding a lounger by the pool, a specialty reservation after Day 1, or a table in the garden cafe at breakfast. My recommendation would be to look at alternative Breakaway class ships while ... Read More
Beautiful ship, way too many people. Good luck finding a lounger by the pool, a specialty reservation after Day 1, or a table in the garden cafe at breakfast. My recommendation would be to look at alternative Breakaway class ships while the novelty of the Bliss wears off. Note, you will feel Nickle and Dimed to death on this ship. Things like bowling ($6 per person per game) go karts, laser tag, to name a few. Sorry, when we’re already spending $9k+ as a family of four I don’t need that type of feeing. Dining Thoughts Los Lobos is a nice addition, good food and service. Cagney’s was “off” but I’ll give them a slight pass as in the past it’s always been excellent. Portions on their sides have shrunk though and are no longer family style. Ocean Blue - Not a fan of the new menu but to each his own. Food Republic - Excellent La Cucina - Beat La Cucina experience we’ve ever had. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
All the staff is very friendly and polite. The restaurants served the best food, the staff sprayed your hands with sanitizer to avoid the Nuro virus, all around the ship you can find sanitizer containers. Washy washy everyday. The spa ... Read More
All the staff is very friendly and polite. The restaurants served the best food, the staff sprayed your hands with sanitizer to avoid the Nuro virus, all around the ship you can find sanitizer containers. Washy washy everyday. The spa with the sauna, salt room and cold room were refreshing. The shows were very entertaining . The room was comfortable, you learn to move around with someone else in the room. Look all around the room because their is extra space for clothes under the couch. Shopping is available at discounted prices on the ship. The person that took care of our cabin needs was the best, anything that we requested for the room, he ensured that we received it. The specialty dining was the best by far, the greatest. The toilet paper could be softer , the mattress could have been softer, but it is your own opinion whether you like soft or firm. You can request a softer mattress before your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this trip over the Christmas Holidays thinking that it would be special. Instead, it was absolutely terrible. The Food: They use low-quality products. Such products cannot result in good food. Quality and limited variety ... Read More
We booked this trip over the Christmas Holidays thinking that it would be special. Instead, it was absolutely terrible. The Food: They use low-quality products. Such products cannot result in good food. Quality and limited variety aside, food preparation was substandard. To make minestrone soup, they probably just dissolved some bouillon cubes in warm water. The cold cuts section looked like “delicatessen for people on food stamps”. How did they manage to develop a watermelon that’s not sweet? Personally, I prefer Italian and French cuisine to Indian food. I also like Chinese food. However, on this trip, I ate only Indian food because it was relatively speaking better than anything else. If not for that Indian food station my family and I would have nothing to eat. We tried their extra “specialty restaurants”: Cagney’s Steakhouse, Ocean Blue and Q. Of the three only the Q – Texas Grill was OK. The other two restaurants, although you pay extra money for it, serve the same chewy steak and the same tasteless fish. The service: All the service personnel was primarily from India and the Philippines. The service was polite, but there is nothing new about it. The entire Hospitality Industry had figured out some 20+ years ago that training people in how to be polite and cheerful are cheaper than buying quality food products. In my mind, the reason the food quality was so poor beside the substandard products was that Filipinos, unlike Chinese, Japanese or Thai are not known for being great cooks. Shortages: Allegedly, our cruise was fully booked. This may explain why all the specialty restaurants, all the entertainment shows and 99% of all other activities were sold out. However, if you come in person to the so-called “fully booked” restaurant they will sit you. While there, you will quickly notice that the restaurant is half empty. Shortage of cooks, perhaps? The Ship: Like us, most people wanted to book Bliss because it is a newly built ship. To me, it means no cockroaches and other bugs. But the boat is no frills, mind you. The floor covering is mostly linoleum and cheap carpets. Our stateroom was so cramped that there wasn’t enough room to open two small carryon suitcases. While the bathroom was small but sufficient, no magnifying mirror for shaving or makeup, no bar of soap, no shower cap, not even regimented 2 Q-tips. Forget it. It’s just the soap and the shampoo/conditioner dispensers. Our balcony was the smallest I have ever seen on a cruise ship. Commercial photography - Cheap Commercialism: We quickly discovered that their onboard photography studio owns the ship. All the traffic is centered on decks 6, 7 and 8 where the Customer Service, most restaurants and the entertainment are located. Every corner and every niche was populated with their photographers along with the lighting setups. Those photographers think that they own the ship. Consequently, if a fare-paying passenger would like to take a selfie with some of the ships Christmas decorations, or some ship stairway as the background, they are out of luck. We tried and were booted out. Incidentally, their onboard decorations are mediocre, to say the least. Chaos: We signed up for a snorkeling trip on St. Thomas. The minute you step on the pier you are lost. Their assistance of where to go and how to find the group you belong to was almost nonexistent. The same goes for checking out of the ship upon return to Miami. They put a lot of pressure on us to check out of our stateroom by 9 AM. However, when we’ve got to deck 6 for debarkation, we found a mile-long line. No wonder, the passengers for the next cruise were already waiting. The meat grinder must go on. We will never come back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship itself was great. The staff was tenacious at keeping it clean. Almost to the point that I had to use a new fork for each bite because they'd swoop in so quickly to take away anything dirty! Otherwise, things were just ... Read More
The ship itself was great. The staff was tenacious at keeping it clean. Almost to the point that I had to use a new fork for each bite because they'd swoop in so quickly to take away anything dirty! Otherwise, things were just "ok". We've been on a lot of cruise and this will probably be the least memorable. We had mixed results with dining room staff accommodating my daughter (8) who needs to be gluten free (celiac disease) - one person was great and raved about the GF cookies which he provided and she enjoyed... then the next day were told that the ship doesn't/didn't have GF cookies... obviously one of these people was misinformed but both spoke with absolute certainty, hopefully not the person who served her cookies. The ship ran out of GF bread for the last 2-3 days of the trip which was very disappointing and limiting for her. The kids club was ok. Our kids had fun but not to the point where they begged to go back like we experienced on prior cruises. The hours were limiting and especially frustrating when they would not allow new kids to checkin at certain times because some activity was underway. Our son (6) had a meltdown because the staff made a fuss to him about wearing flip flops vs. closed-toed shoes... a concern that was never mentioned to us parents. We went on one excursion which was pretty good. We didn't book other excursions through NCL because there wasn't much variety offered for families with young kids. Laser tag was a lot of fun but we got very little play time (10 minutes) for the price. Go karts were a neat experience but became a little frustrating because there wasn't room to pass the person in front of me who was going slow in the middle of the road. Never enough chairs on the pool deck but there was ample space for people everywhere else. The drink package was great and I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the bar staff filled orders for those of us who were pre-paid. On our prior NCL trip several year ago, it felt like we were constantly being aggressively up-sold on things which I was glad was not the case here. The steward took basic care of our room and exchanged towels but most of the time we had to prompt him for it. In 7 nights, we saw 1 towel animal. They seemed understaffed here. There was a medical emergency that resulted in our ship returning to port and delaying disembarkation by a few hours. The captain made the right decisions here and everything seemed to be handled as good as could be expected (though the impact to us personally was negligible) with clear and frequent communication as things evolved. All in all, it was a *good* trip but not great. If NCL has an amazing price on an itinerary that aligns with our schedule in the future, we might do a 3rd NCL cruise but we're looking at going back to Carnival for next year's trip as our experiences with them have felt more "special" even on much older ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Cruise Notes [15792] This was our 5th cruise - 1 carnival, 4 Norwegian [Sun, Pearl, Escape, Bliss] Pros :: Interior - Observation Lounge: Comfy and quiet, except for the front row (noise from Garden Cafe). Many many seats, ... Read More
Cruise Notes [15792] This was our 5th cruise - 1 carnival, 4 Norwegian [Sun, Pearl, Escape, Bliss] Pros :: Interior - Observation Lounge: Comfy and quiet, except for the front row (noise from Garden Cafe). Many many seats, everyone can see outside. Room: Our standard balcony room was essentially the same as the other ships we have been on. Maintenance had to come twice when the toilet would not flush. Activties: Go Carts had fun, nice cars, and a short wait time when we arrived at our appointment time. Glad to see that putt-putt was not missing. The water slides looked fun and the lines dind't seem overly long. Did not break into the budget to play laser tag, and it did not seem to be very busy at any time, even though it was also "sold out". Shows: Havana was good music, but no plot. Jersey Boys was probably the best show we've seen on a ship. Tried (and failed once) to see Beatlemania in the Cavern Club. Club is too small -- but a very good size to handle our small group (50 person) meetings. Open the shutters and pipe that music to the outside bar so that more people can enjoy. Outdoor decks: The deck 8 "Promenade" has a lot of outside, quiet. non-pool seating. Putting the hot tubs on the level above the pool is a great way to add access to water. The area outside the Vibe Club was a good quiet area to get away from the rowdier poolside crowd. The jumbotron at the pool was great for watching playoff football. Dining - Garden Cafe: Good variety, even Indian food. Best general lunch buffet we've seen so far, visited three different days. Ate twice at The Local - ok pub food, nothing exceptional. Cagney's was good, as always. Los Lobos had a huge amount of food per order. The menu at the Manhattan Room, and Taste/Savor were above average. The Q had adequate barbeque, a serviceable example of Americana for foreign travelers. Crepes at Coco's were a treat. Don't miss the macaroons at the Bake Shop. Cons: Dining: The chefs at Teppanyaki were overly loud, excessively banging metal objects - legitimate potential migraine triggers. Beware of Margaritaville - its $15-$18 per person, just to sit down. This was a huge waste of prime space on a ship that needs more room for hot tubs and deck chairs. Of course, it was empty most of the time. At the bars, with all of the free drink packages being sold, the staff are easily the most worn out and impatient on the ship. Indoors: Beware of getting a room midship, ESPECIALLY on Deck 15. You will be awake as long as there's something going on in the pool area (a party every night), and our bed was literally ~vibrating~ until after 11pm during the final night's party. Then, at 6am, be prepared to hear the deck chairs rattle your room again, as they are literally -thrown- back into place on deck. If you are lucky, you might even catch a whiff of smoky flavor from the Q. Outdoor decks: As others have mentioned - there's one sole tiny adult pool. The music at the pool is OBNOXIOUSLY loud. Lounge chairs are jammed so close together, you cannot access them from the sides - you have to climb onto them from the end. Dozens of people entertained themselves watching a majority of the water-tube riders fail to make the loop. Parents were freely allowing their kids into the hot tubs, instead of routing them to splash park. Logistics/Ambiance: Something is very deeply wrong with the scheduling and logistics on this ship. Or, perhaps they were short-staffed. Prior to leaving port, we could not get a reservation at Ocean Club. When a couple cancelled their reservation to dine with us elsewhere, on a different night. the system told them they had still dined there. When we ate at other restaurants that were listed as "fully booked" - Q, Cagney's, and Los Lobos, they were always FAR from capacity, over a 90+ minute span. The Brewhouse menu still had the Alaska taps listed, and did not have the All-Star souvenirs avaialble. We watched contestants in the Atrium events compete for $5 koozies and cupcakes, instead of $20 t-shirts and bottles of wine. These reservation snafus extended to the Vibe Club as well. A year ago, we had an amazing cruise - we were in the first 500 people on board, and raced down to get passes to Vibe Club. We had other friends and family get day passes to join us, to get a "VIP" experience. This trip, we had ther priorities, but we heard from other 2017 Escape / Vibe cruisers that the line "sold out" after the 16th person in line. We heard that there were only 40 passes sold. Every day when we looked, the club was no more than 1/3 full - we never saw 30 people there, even in the middle of a sunny at-sea day. When we tried to get day passes to visit with friends, we were told at Guest Services that "they don't do that on this ship". Most of the time, there were 20+ people in line at Guest Services throughout the cruise. If the Bliss management goal was to confuse and frustrate repeat cruisers, spiff the customer as little as possible, and cheapen the entire cruise experience - mission accomplished ! Still -- can't wait for our first Alaska cruise in July, and the Breakaway next January. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We were in the Haven...or what they call the Haven. We had a Deluxe Haven Suite with a large balcony on the back of the ship on Deck 15. The music was so loud from the outdoor nightclub 2 floors up, that we could not sleep at night. And ... Read More
We were in the Haven...or what they call the Haven. We had a Deluxe Haven Suite with a large balcony on the back of the ship on Deck 15. The music was so loud from the outdoor nightclub 2 floors up, that we could not sleep at night. And because we were on the back of the ship, we saw our Butler twice during the whole cruise. The room was the smallest "Deluxe Haven Suite" that I have ever been in. The only nice thing was the balcony. If you want to stay on the Haven level and want to have the benefits of staying in the Haven...then don't bother paying the rates and book your cabin on the back of the ship...it is definitely not worth the money if your cabin is not actually on the front of the ship in the Haven area. Save your money, or book a cabin in the actual Haven area on the front of the ship. The food in Food Republic was not all that great. We love Cagney's...best thing on the ship. Margaritaville is terrible...not worth the extra money. The new BBQ place, Q is awesome! My Husband enjoyed the Laser Tag...the go carts, not so much...we didn't do any of the shows because we go to bed early, and they have them too late for us. We never do any of the shore excursions because we have been to all of the ports before...so we usually do our own thing. We love St Thomas! Nassau is not so much fun...Atlantis (at least the Casino) is small and dirty, so we never get off the ship there...Tortola is nice...however, we did the Beach and Baths on Virgin Gorda...it was pretty, but not enough time on the beach, and not worth it in our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Received text/email Friday night saying cruise would be delayed due to Medical Emergency, not to show up until 1:00 p.m. Bliss actually arrived at 9:30 only 2 hours after scheduled. Specialty Restaurants we ate at : LaCucina although ... Read More
Received text/email Friday night saying cruise would be delayed due to Medical Emergency, not to show up until 1:00 p.m. Bliss actually arrived at 9:30 only 2 hours after scheduled. Specialty Restaurants we ate at : LaCucina although food was good , service wasn't. It was our waitress 2nd night working there. NCL should have had someone shadowing her. Was charged an extra dinner that took a day and a half to fix. LeBistro food very good , however they messed up my dinner , so all 4 of us waited an extremely long time. Cagney's was absolutely Fantastic from food to service. Bar service was good to very good and 3 great bartenders from the Escape (Rommel, Chocolate Cowboy and Bing) took good care of us. Observation Lounge is a great space. Spice H2O (adults only during day) was about 1/2 the size of the Escape and the smoke smell while in the bar area was very strong and got quite noisy due the very low ceiling. Vibe is much smaller than on the Escape also. Only sell about 50 passes now instead of 80. Although we had a very good cruise we liked the Escape better. Entertainment District Brew House Jim Badger ( Piano) was a blast. Jersey Boys -Great show, I've seen the Broadway play and the Bliss entertainers were fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
A COMPARISON OF 2 NEW SHIPS: NCL BLISS AND CELEBRITY EDGE Introduction My wife and I accompanied by another couple cruised the NCL Bliss round trip out of Miami January 5-12, 2019. The itinerary was 2 sea days, pier stops at ... Read More
A COMPARISON OF 2 NEW SHIPS: NCL BLISS AND CELEBRITY EDGE Introduction My wife and I accompanied by another couple cruised the NCL Bliss round trip out of Miami January 5-12, 2019. The itinerary was 2 sea days, pier stops at Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas, Tortola BVI, another sea day, a finally a stop at Nassau. Our Cabin was Category MC (Mid-ship Mini-suite with Balcony) located on Deck 10 having 207 sq. ft. and a 32 sq. ft. balcony. Following a 1-night stay at the Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale, we sailed the Celebrity Edge January 13-20 by ourselves round trip from Port Everglades. The itinerary was a first sea day, pier stops at San Juan, Tortola, and St. Maarten, followed by 2 more sea days. Our cabin was Category 1B Guaranteed (Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom on Deck 6 having 202 sq. ft. space and a 40 sq. ft balcony. Base cabin costs including taxes and port charges were nearly equivalent for both ships. Much has already been published about these ships individually which doesn’t need repeating here. Listed below are some basic comparative facts to orient the reader: Basic Information NCL Bliss Celebrity Edge Year Built Mid 2018 Late 2018 Capacity @ Dbl Occupancy 4004 2918 Tonnage 168,028 129,500 Length, ft 1094 1004 Beam, ft 136 128 Ship Crew 1716 1320 Cruise Critic Rating 4.0 expert/3.5 guest 4.5 Expert/3.0 guest Our reviews are based on the features we like to use and things we like to do when cruising. So it will not cover all aspects of cruising on these ships. For example, we have cruised 35 times now and have seen all the Caribbean islands, some like those on the above itineraries numerous times. Therefore, there will be no comments about shore excursions. Overall Impressions of Each Ship Both ships are beautiful in their own right, and we enjoyed both of them. The Bliss is about a third bigger on a capacity basis but you don’t get that impression when on board. Both the Bliss and the Edge feel like large ships to us. The Bliss is designed more classically with straight-through main deck plans and a central atrium with functions such as Guest Relations, Shore Excursions, Computer Room, Future Cruise Sales around the bottom floor. The Edge has a more contemporary design with the above functions on different decks which are not as easily accessible. The Edge feels like a glitzy hotel more than a cruise ship. It is interesting that the Cruise Critic expert rating for the Edge was higher than that of the Bliss, mainly due to the daring, stepout design. Guests did not share that opinion, and we feel some of the early guests were out of their comfort zone. This should change in time. The main new feature of the Bliss, which is absolutely fabulous to us, is the Exploration Lounge on Deck 15 which was designed to view their Alaskan itineraries. The step-out feature on the Edge is the Eden concept, which is located on decks 3-5 aft. More detail will be provided about these and other new features below. Boarding Process The Boarding process for the Bliss was satisfactory but not as smooth as for the Edge. With the Bliss after dropping off the luggage and passing through Security, we had to wait for an hour in a crowded room before being allowed to board the ship. A good bit of the delay was caused by the ship having to return to last port of Nassau to drop off a seriously ill passenger. The luggage did not arrive at the cabin until around 6 pm. One of our friends did not get his luggage until around 9 pm. For the Edge went over to the sparkling new Port Everglades terminal 25 around 9:30am and we were on the ship several hours later and had our luggage in our cabin by 1 pm. NCL offers a neat app where you can communicate with your friends over their WiFi system via phone or text message. Celebrity has a very useful App with your boarding passes, restaurant reservations, and itemized bill. Cabins There was sufficient but not excess room in either case. Both were very narrow passing by the bed. There were no drawers on the Bliss; rather, compartment slots. The TV in the Edge is larger but not movable, so it must be watched in bed. Both rooms have a small sofa, but the Edge sofa is lower and not really usable other than to lay the bed decorative pillows. Both rooms have a safe. The Bliss has a switch to tell the cabin attendant if you do not wish to be disturbed or are out of the room and want it made up. The Edge uses a magnetic card to attach to the outer door surface for this purpose. The Edge also has a master switch to control lighting and temperature as well as a connection box next to the dresser inside which plugs and USB cords are attached. The Edge bed was a king and felt better than the Bliss queen. Bathrooms on both ships are excellent with plenty of space. We had a problem with our balcony on the Edge. Window washer fluid drained through the semicircular porthole at night all over the chairs, table, and floor. A photo is attached. This is a design/maintenance flaw in our opinion. Specialty Restaurants This is an aspect of cruising that we really enjoy and use so we will spend more time discussing it here. On the Bliss we were provided a 3-meal perk, and we purchased an additional 4-night package before boarding so that we could enjoy these restaurants every night of the cruise with our friends. We could make reservations beforehand for each restaurant. It was more cumbersome on the Edge. We bought a 5-night package but Celebrity does not allow pre-booking before boarding. To us this is a real disadvantage to buying a package. Once on board we made a beeline to the Steakhouse to make reservations for the week. The line was long, and we had to settle for much later times that we prefer, but we did get reservations. We had dinner twice at Cagney’s steakhouse, twice at the Le Bistro, and one each at Teppenyaki Japanese, BBQ Smokehouse, and the Ocean Blue on Bliss. Also enjoyed a great burger lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. The best restaurant was Cagney’s, followed closely by Le Bistro and Teppenyaki. The latter was a lot of fun with the skill and comedy of the Japanese hibachi master combined with excellent filet and shrimp. The Ocean Blue seafood was a bit of a disappointment, especially taking into account the $12 per person upcharge. All in all , the array of specialty restaurants on Bliss is very good. The specialty restaurants on Edge kick it up another notch. Their steakhouse was one of the best we’ve eaten at, land or sea. Raw on Five Seafood was outstanding as well. The meal in Eden was remarkably different and really good. Le Petit Chef was entertaining with overhead projections of chefs and food onto the plate and table. The food was very good as well. The Rooftop Garden Grill was a very nice outdoor setting. We went there on the San Juan port day to avoid extremely windy conditions. The food was very good but not memorable like most of the other venues. We tried the Bistro for lunch and were rewarded with an excellent meal. Buffet Both ships have excellent buffet presentations. Quality and range of offerings were very good, perhaps better with the Indian and Oriental stations on Bliss. I went to the buffet each morning with my Yeti cups and brought back coffee, rolls, and occasionally muesli to the cabin. Edge had an outstanding ice cream station next to the buffet, and we rewarded ourselves with 2 scoops each day at lunch. The burger stand on the Edge, called The Mast Grill, was very good as well. Edge offers Hot tea, cappuccinos, and lattes at Café Al Bacio as well as pastries. There is a Starbuck’s in the Atrium on Bliss with is an optional extra. Theater and Evening Shows Bliss has a decided advantage in this category. The theater is much bigger and advance reservations are required, guaranteeing a seat and allowing an on-time arrival. The shows were high quality. Havana and especially the Jersey Boys were extremely well done with talented performers. The Edge theater by comparison was small. If you didn’t get there 30 minutes before showtime, forget about getting a seat. We saw Kaleidoscope and didn’t care for it as much. Common Areas Again, a big advantage to Bliss and the Observation Lounge. This covers the front third of the ship on deck 15 with panoramic views forward and to the side. It is nicely furnished with lounge chairs, many reclining, The front has a big bar and a band stage with tables and chairs. We often played bridge there during the afternoon. Cold buffet items are also served here continuously. You can sit and read there in comfort. There is nothing comparable on Edge. Limited seating on the martini bar area. We like to sit and have cocktails before dinner. The seats fill up around 5 pm. Eden has a wonderful bar as well as a café for breakfast and lunch. Dinner at Eden restaurant is on the lower level. Performers, mostly gymnastic types dressed in Sherwood Forest costumes, mill around and occasionally interact with guests. The whole setting is unique but takes some getting used to. Games We like to play bingo on sea days. Bliss has bingo but it’s getting too expensive. $69 for shared cards for 2. Edge has no bingo. Both ships have Trivia. Edge does some games on your hand-held device. Casinos are very nice on both ships. Bliss has a casino smoking room. Service The best trained personnel are used for these new ships, so service is very good in both cases. We found our cabin attendant to be better on the Edge. The Magic Carpet on Edge This novel feature is only on the Edge and rides on the starboard side with capability to position at levels 2, 5, 14, and 16. Its primary function seems to be a tender disembarkation station from deck 2. Since we had no tender stops on this cruise, we did not see it in action. The night we dined in Raw on 5 in port, it was positioned next to us. Very few guests used it since it was windy. It is designed to serve as a bar or eatery. Elevators The Edge elevators are larger, faster, and more responsive. Internet Both ships have a WiFi which they offer packages to use. Both offer an unlimited time option for one or more devices. The Edge package costs one-third that of Bliss and is faster. Beverage Package Upgrading the Classic beverage package to Premium on Celebrity made it comparable to NCL. However, water and cappuccino beverages were extra on Bliss. We enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, and both packages allow a $15 cap. All cocktails are included. Edge offered some notable quality bottles of wines at a big discount for dinner. Disembarkation Process worked well on Bliss, but we were going to a parked car at Miami to drive to next destination. Customs checkout worked well. They used facial recognition from our passport to check us through. Celebrity offered a first for us: valet luggage handling for $25 a bag. We put out our luggage the night before tagged with airport and flight #. We never saw it again until we reached our final destination of Houston. We highly recommend using this service. We walked off the ship carrying only our handheld bags. It was raining hard when we disembarked Edge at 8 am and we didn’t have to wheel the big luggage to the taxi stand 2 blocks away. Wildcat63 Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I picked this ship because it was new. While I wasn’t a fan of the overall layout; everything was accessible. I loved the racetrack and the fact that there is something for everyone. There are some great choices in restaurants and quite ... Read More
I picked this ship because it was new. While I wasn’t a fan of the overall layout; everything was accessible. I loved the racetrack and the fact that there is something for everyone. There are some great choices in restaurants and quite a few vegetarian friendly options as well. The service was pretty good and I enjoyed the observatory in level 15 for quiet time. It is so tucked away and really is a hidden gem on the ship. Additionally, I enjoyed the choices in entertainment. There were multiple options and times where you could go. I thought that this was great because you have the opportunity to plan your day out in advance. Overall I had a good experience. I plan to come back on this and hopefully do a longer sailing. 7 days is just too short to really enjoy it because there is so much to offer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 3.5 3.5

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