Sail Date: March 2019
Boarding and Vibe beach club passes: We were novices to NCL so didn’t know what to expect. We knew the ship was sold out. Also none of our upgrade requests were accepted so we knew ship would be crowded. I had read about the Vibe and we ... Read More
Boarding and Vibe beach club passes: We were novices to NCL so didn’t know what to expect. We knew the ship was sold out. Also none of our upgrade requests were accepted so we knew ship would be crowded. I had read about the Vibe and we decided to try to get passes. The Vibe is a private deck area with a dedicated bar, snacks, hot tubs and cabanas. There are also dedicated attendants. We knew the pool decks would be insanely crowded as this week is spring break for a number of groups. So we decided to try for the Vibe at 200$ per person. We were not provided a boarding time at on-line check in time. But we had heard that was irrelevant and so getting a Vibe pass would be all related to ones time getting on the ship and getting a low group boarding number. Thus we did not use ship transfers and arrived to the terminal on our own early. We showed up at 9. Everyone there was pretty much doing the same thing. I’d say there were about 20 people in front of us. People were “well behaved” lol until security. Then it was a mad dash- we tried to check in as quickly as possible then ran up the escalator to get our boarding number. The agent gave us one of 2 remaining boarding group 1 cards. From there a line formed early on to wait for boarding even though boarding would not be until 11. People were pushing and shoving to be closest to the boarding door. The security guard moved everyone away from that door, and then people were upset since they had been lining up. Security guard threatened to call police. People moved back. I noticed a family who was not group 1 boarding tried to board with group 1. Etc etc it was chaotic. Then - the doors opened. There was an almost stampede. People ran to guest services. We were among the first and were told Vibe sold out. But then we hung around there a bit and a couple of people changed their minds so we got in by the skin of our teeth. The Bliss is a bit of a problem for vibe as this ship was built for Alaska. So the outdoor deck size is less of an issue for an Alaskan cruise. But for the Caribbean??? Smaller deck space meant that there were only 80 vibe spaces available. And I’m pretty sure one “representative” per group meant that one person could buy a bunch of passes. I think passes should be capped at 4 per individual but that’s not what happened. On top of it, Haven guests could already buy these passes before non Haven guests boarded and they did (based on what we saw.) The vibe itself is really nice. There are 6-7 cabanas and pool chaises laid out in 2’s. There’s a private hot tub and bar. There’s a limited menu and they bring around fresh drinks and fruit skewers. It’s very similar to the private Haven area (it’s actually immediately adjacent but there’s a door for Haven access which remains closed) except they have a white terry cloth covers on the chairs in the Haven. Price was 209 per person each for a lounge chair and 489 for a cabana for 2. The waiters kept key cards upon entry. At one point there were about 9-10 Green key cards (identify Haven guest) versus my orange card as a minisuite guest. Haven guests do get priority boarding so simply needed to ask for vibe passes upon boarding. I’m not sure I agree with that as they have their own private area. But that’s what happened. Also I’m not sure if loyalty status with Norwegian would provide a green key card. Mike from the Vibe was excellent and took care of us very well. Rooms: we had a mid-ship mini suite for 2. I honestly found the room rather small. Balcony also small. Rooms modern and had the necessities. Bathroom was nice and had shampoo plus conditioner (2 in 1) so glad I brought my own conditioner. We were on deck 11, 3 floors above the waterfront (outdoor promenade). The waterfront is noisy at night so we could not leave our balcony door open until after 11 or so at night. Dining: Day 1- Manhattan. We booked a reserved time for all dinners given the sold out status. From what I saw we were wise. Not sure how “any time” dining works on a sold out ship. Lots of people were waiting to be seated for dinner. So book a time and go.... or not go but probably a better idea to at least have a booked time in my opinion. Day 1: embarkation. We booked manhattan dining room (complimentary) and food was pretty good. Service also good. We also ate at the garden cafe for lunch which was good and we especially liked the Indian food and rotisserie chicken. Day 2: at sea. Booked le Bistro specialty restaurant. This restaurant has an upcharge but 3 specialty restaurants were included with our booking. I found the servers a bit uptight. When we entered they would not seat us unless everyone was there. My daughter was a bit late so they were only going to seat us if we gave up her place. Eventually they relaxed and said they’d seat us, but at a table without any view. They then sat us at a good table and we had a very nice meal. Again, like embarkation, it took a bit of work and persistence. Day 3: at sea. Los Lobos - mexican specialty restaurant for upcharge- this was a group event, so not sure if it was the regular menu. It was very good as well and excellent service. Thanks to Karl who went above and beyond. We write out cards to thank him. Day 4: st Thomas- always an excellent port stop. Great shopping and sightseeing. la Cucina Italian specialty restaurant for upcharge (again included with our booking). This was excellent. Really really good. Service started off rocky as they were trying to rush us but once we established that wasn’t going to happen we had an excellent meal. We met the chefs who were very kind. And this restaurant has an outdoor patio on the waterfront (deck 8) so we ate outside, and we were able to watch as the ship was departing St Thomas port. Beautiful sunset. Just a wonderful setting. Day 5: Tortola. This island was very primitive and it seemed in the middle of no where, and that not much was there. There was a huge cost to go to the beach. 50$ return US for 2- but we paid it. The place was devastated by the hurricane and there were still upended yachts in the waters that had not been claimed. 2 cruise ships a day go to Tortola. The beach was perfect but I would have preferred a different port. Taste dining room for supper was really delicious. Shrimp dish had 6 huge tiger shrimp and the beef short rib was really nice too. Jersey boys show- was surprisingly good. Was 2 hours long and was much better than I expected. Day 6: at sea. Taste dining room for lunch was lovely. They had very nice selections and yummy peanut butter cheesecake. Dinner at Manhattan restaurant was very good once again. Day 7: Nassau and Cagney Steakhouse There were 5 ships in Nassau so it was very chaotic getting off the ship. Line to return to ship was also long. Cagney was really really good. Excellent meal for main courses. Desserts were not so great. Re: specialty dining. We did not see the communication to book these in advance to avoid disappointment. By the time we knew we were supposed to book it was very difficult getting reservations. At guest services on arrival, there were restaurant representatives that booked at the dining. And unlike online, all the restaurants, laser tag the go karts could be reserved. With the ship at capacity it was definitely a good idea to reserve immediately on boarding to avoid disappointment. There are people who were upset with not being quick enough. We were able to move around reservations once on board but this required immediate attention. Reservations were otherwise filled for the week except for Los Lobos. The spa - is beautiful. The view of ocean is gorgeous and the pools are unreal- like being in the ocean. Based on Turkish baths. There is one hot tub like area where there is a honest to goodness tide and sound of the ocean. Water rises and falls and pulls you along with it. Just beautiful. Highly recommend getting a weekly pass for about 225$. On board a daily pass is 60$ so it makes more sense to buy the weekly pass in advance. We went every night at around 8 pm. Not crowded at all then. Such a relaxing area at the front of the ship with full views and floor to ceiling windows. Observation lounge- deck 15. Not to be missed. It’s absolutely a stunning place for coffee, snacks, or a drink from their bar in the evening. Gorgeous room! Staff on Norwegian by in large very very good. Most greeted us only with smiles. You do feel on this ship that you are being constantly charged - so you need to be careful with what you’re charging etc, Norwegian has lots to offer for kids (water park) and entertainment. So that’s good. But at capacity it would be very difficult to find ones own space without the Vibe Beach club pass. My kids loved the laser tag and I did go karting once and wish that I hadn’t!! It’s not for those who don’t want to race. I did the inner tube water slide once which was great. Did not do the drop water slide one. Internet on board- unlimited did work, but there were limits on browsing and attachments. I messaging for iPhones worked. Could not otherwise text. We didn’t know about the 9.95 messaging service that you could do through the Norwegian App and had we know that definitely would have used that service. Overall: very good cruise. Now that I understand how Norwegian works I would do a few things differently the next time and try and cruise off peak. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to see what Norwegian was like and we were not disappointed. Between the tow of us, we have probably cruised 15 times on other lines, but never this one. The ship's layout was the best I have seen with things spread out ... Read More
We wanted to see what Norwegian was like and we were not disappointed. Between the tow of us, we have probably cruised 15 times on other lines, but never this one. The ship's layout was the best I have seen with things spread out enough that there was not that much congestion, even with over 4,000 people on the boat. There seemed like there was a different themed bar/lounge tucked into every corner. Each with it's own special drinks. While the boat seemed geared more towards adults to me there was still a ton of things for the kids to do. (The Go-Karts were awesome). It was also easy to see that cleanliness was important. "Washy Washy" was a common phrase heard where crew member had bottles of disinfectant to clean hands with before the buffet or getting back on the ship. There were some slight negatives....scheduling the go-karts/laser tag was almost impossible. It was all filled up the first day before everyone was on the ship. I was lucky enough to get a go-kart slot, no dice on the laser tag. Also, the cabin could have used some more storage space. While Jersey Boys was incredible, and Prohibition was awesome... Havana sucked. There seemed no point to it and was boring. Embarkation was just ok. Flew in to Ft. L and then had to sit around for an hour to wait for a bus. Seemed like an excessive wait, especially seeing other cruise lines take multiple groups of people. Getting off the boat was a nightmare as no one listened to the colors being called and messed the system up. Also, the number of people getting out on deck at 6:00 am and reserving chairs.... to not com back until after 9:00 was ridiculous. There was no enforcement of the advertised 30 minute rule at all. However, we were able to find a spot, just out of the way and only partial sun. Read Less
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I have cruised on Carnival, RCL and Celbrity this was our first time on NCL, we both agreed it was our best cruise to date. The entertainment, food, dinning options, restaurants, bars, exercise facility and staff were great. We ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised on Carnival, RCL and Celbrity this was our first time on NCL, we both agreed it was our best cruise to date. The entertainment, food, dinning options, restaurants, bars, exercise facility and staff were great. We dined at Teppanyaki, La Cucina and Cagney's. Our favorite was La Cucina, we enjoyed the presentation at Teppanyaki, the filets we had at Cagney's were ok. Main dinning room meals were great and had a nice selection. The buffet meant expectations and unlike other ships we never had a problem finding seats. We had lunch at The Local twice, and again were not disappointed. Bliss is an amazing ship, its big but very easy to get around on. By every elevator is a touch screen where you can get directions to any venue on the ship as well as a list of the days activities. The ship accommodates the number of guests well, while some venues were crowded it wasn't overwhelming. Our aft section cabin was 12292, a bit small but comfortable, the balcony was a little larger since it was on the beginning of the bump and slightly facing aft. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and fast. Our next cruise will be on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Last minute booking. Booked with Sunwing ......got a package deal...flight, cruise and transfers. With this option you don’t receive any of the free Norwegian perks but we were able to get a flight! The ship is great...brand new. ... Read More
Last minute booking. Booked with Sunwing ......got a package deal...flight, cruise and transfers. With this option you don’t receive any of the free Norwegian perks but we were able to get a flight! The ship is great...brand new. The ship is huge....4000 passengers. I think I would go for a bit smaller ship next cruise so the pool area wouldn’t be so congested. On our last night we had dinner in The Bistro.....what a fabulous restaurant.....the meals were amazing! We went to Jersey Boys.....first rate show! Seven days is just not enough to experience everything the ship has to offer. The ship has a lot of specialty restaurants.......great meals but more up charges. Unfortunately you don’t get to spend much time at the ports. We went to the Virgin Gorda baths. Awesome experience......fabulous beaches! We did a tour of St. Thomas and Magens Bay Beach. This tour was disappointing......just went to mountain top.....try to get you to spend at the tourist trap......very hurried Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We had friends going on this cruise so we joined them. It was our first cruise. I loved sitting out on the balcony at night you could see so many stars. The food was great. We did have to wait a long time at Cagney's, they gave us ... Read More
We had friends going on this cruise so we joined them. It was our first cruise. I loved sitting out on the balcony at night you could see so many stars. The food was great. We did have to wait a long time at Cagney's, they gave us extra drinks to compensate. There is always something to do on ship. We didn't do some activities we wanted to as we were still at another activity. Warning! Don't have beads in your hair if you want to do the waterslide! LOL Actually the only thing that upset me was the smoking area. On the aft sundeck you are squeezed into a small area when they could have made half the deck smoking. The bar could even be on the non-smoking side. I know there will be backlash to the smoking area, but just asking for a little room to move and not having people squished in like sardines in a can. All said we had a great time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation was very easy arrived in Miami seaport at 11:15 and we were on the boat by 11:40. Went grab a bite at buffet, while quite large I found the layout very confusing and had no type of order where food was we only ended up doing ... Read More
Embarkation was very easy arrived in Miami seaport at 11:15 and we were on the boat by 11:40. Went grab a bite at buffet, while quite large I found the layout very confusing and had no type of order where food was we only ended up doing lunches here and we did one dinner since they had a seafood night. For our specialty restaurants we did Cagney's, Teppanyaki and La Cucina. All were excellent. The rest of the nights we tried each of the dining rooms and had great service and really good meals. We reserved Jersey Boys and Havana and saw the Beatles 1st time at Cavern Club the 2nd time they performed in theatre both shows were very good. Only Cons I really found was the pool area, way overcrowded you need to be a early riser because loungers are taken and multiple are taken we saw one man each morning reserve 6 loungers for his family and they wouldn't come until 11 then disappear again and come back at 12 or 1. Also it seems they do not monitor the 1/2 hour rule that they post on screen. The crowd at sea days by the pool is quite busy and they hold a lot of the activities by adult pool so if you want to swim be prepared to use kiddie pool. They also do not watch people laying around pool using e cigarettes we had people in front of us and on side of us a couple of times during the weak using them they were not enforcing them to go smoke in smoking area. Other than not loving the buffet area and the pool we had a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We were excited to cruise on the Bliss, it is a beautiful ship, the biggest problem I felt was there is not even close to enough room at the pool or the H2O deck for sunning. Unless you went down at 6am to secure chairs, we were not ... Read More
We were excited to cruise on the Bliss, it is a beautiful ship, the biggest problem I felt was there is not even close to enough room at the pool or the H2O deck for sunning. Unless you went down at 6am to secure chairs, we were not getting one. So if you like the pool area, make sure your an early riser. The crew were good, no one being memorable enough to even mention unfortunately. This is a great cruise for a more relaxing time, it's just hard to get to a lot of the fun spots (like the atrium) and get seats, they seemed to always have fun events going on, just nowhere to sit. We had a balcony room which was wonderful, and the food in all the restaurants was also fabulous. Overall, I was very happy on the trip, next time I think I would pick a smaller ship with less people Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
So I cruise NCL quite often, in fact earned a status upgrade from platinum too platinum plus on this trip. Which means I'll get 2 Champaign, 2 water, and 60 minutes of internet in May on my next trip. So what did NCL do right ... Read More
So I cruise NCL quite often, in fact earned a status upgrade from platinum too platinum plus on this trip. Which means I'll get 2 Champaign, 2 water, and 60 minutes of internet in May on my next trip. So what did NCL do right on thus ship. It is beautiful, comfortable and all designed in all the common areas. With a few exceptions. The main donning rooms are similarly located, and the garden cafe as well. A very new addition is the observation lounge, which has the feel of the haven and comfort of your living room. It also provides able early morning continental service for the early riser. The pool deck it a little too crowded like their last 2/3 ships Escape and Getaway, I preferred the Epic for that. But the rooms are nicer on this ship. The one concern I do have is they cut out several bathroom facilities and the remaining ones are smaller, so after the show or leaving dinner you'll have to walk. A return to headliner entertainment was a bonus. Jersey boys was exceptional. The Casino had moved all smoking into an enclosed area, even thoughI didn't smoke out was one of the areas I could find s seat to play. The humidor room has a no cigarette policy they enforce. Which is good because on the getaway it was always too Smokey. I happened to be blessed enough with a suite on thus last trip, but looked in on other rooms and they are tight but not skimpy. Food was great except I was disappointed with La Cuchina due to menu changes, and the Seafood Restaurant Ocean Blue failed to meet a minimum acceptability rating from me. The rest were excellent. O'Sheehan's is called THE Local and is otherwise the same. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I just got back from 7 days on the Bliss. No boat is perfect so I gave it a 4, but I can't figure out why some others rate it so low. I've sailed Disney, and RC, and this is my first Norwegian. The crew was as friendly as any ... Read More
I just got back from 7 days on the Bliss. No boat is perfect so I gave it a 4, but I can't figure out why some others rate it so low. I've sailed Disney, and RC, and this is my first Norwegian. The crew was as friendly as any other. The food was good in the main dining rooms, and what you'd expect in the buffet. I didn't book any specialty, and didn't see a need to. (I'm not a foodie, so if you are you may feel differently) If you want to use the gokarts, laser tag, or see a show, then book them as soon as you get on. This was my first MegaShip and I only felt the crowd in a few places. The ship was designed for Alaska, so the adult pool area is really too small for a sunny cruise. The kids pool and the water slides were not crowded at all. If you can stand to be away from the pool the area on deck 19 port side outside Vibe Beach Club has a hot tub, plenty of loungers, a bar and washrooms. And it's not busy. Gems of the Bliss are the Observation Lounge, and the Deck 8 walkway. Why don't more people have breakfast and lunch in the Observation Lounge? If do eat in the buffet, go to the front to sit. It's the same view as the Observation Lounge and there are always tables. If you want to just go for a relaxing walk then go to deck 8. Room was on deck 9 by the stairs and it was good. No noise at all. I'm average size, but I don't know how larger lads deal with the shower, I guess the rounded shape helps... I went into this worried about the size of the ship and the reviews about the surly crew. Neither were an issue. If you have a trip coming up, relax and enjoy yourself. I you are thinking of pulling the trigger on an Alaska cruise on the Bliss, it will be a great experience if you do. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Here is my review of the Norwegian Bliss. I just sailed in February. For anyone who has sailed the Getaway or the Escape, the Bliss is very similar. She is quite large and beautiful. Some changes from the Escape-Ocean Blue is back ... Read More
Here is my review of the Norwegian Bliss. I just sailed in February. For anyone who has sailed the Getaway or the Escape, the Bliss is very similar. She is quite large and beautiful. Some changes from the Escape-Ocean Blue is back (never tried), Moderno is gone (never tired but friends had like it a lot) and BBQ and Mexican restaurants have been added. I knew there was an observation lounge-but was not prepared for how expansive and amazing it is. It is has a wow-factor. Also, if you find yourself looking for a place to enjoy conversation and cocktails without live music (as I had that issue at every bar on a sailing of the Epic in 2018), the observation lounge would be a great place to head. Also, good for playing cards or board games-has its own bar too. Embarkation was ok-NCL did not seem prepared for its Plantinum+, as it did not have the special check in area ready and never came to pick up the Platinum+ for boarding (as I was later told is the normal process). Also, things have gotten out of hand with so many items needing to be purchased onboard or reserved onboard (dining, passes, laser tag/go cart bookings). NCL needs a new process before someone gets hurt trying to get onboard to reserve dinners, book a spa pass, etc. Personally, I suggest letting people buy online and hiking the prices for passes. I had lunch day 1 at Taste-delicious! Love their fish n chips (also great at the Local (pub)). My cabin (a studio cabin) was nice. They have shrunk the beds to what essentially feels like a twin. This is a deal breaker for me. I do not feel any adult should have to sleep in a twin. After my sailings on the Encore next year, I can’t see myself sailing the Bliss or Encore unless I can avoid the studios or they replace the beds with adult-appropriate beds. Reportedly, some had complained they need more room to move around (seems as if NCL is catering to the aging). The studios now have virtual windows showing outside. Mine did not work for part of the sailing-no big deal to me. I would rather they bring back the mood lighting available on the Escape. The Studio corridor was also very wood decor-versus more neon and colorful like the prior ships’ studio corridors. My steward was good-no complaints. Food-La Cucina was good-enjoyed a ravioli meal. Cagneys was great-filet was amazing. The main dining room menus have changed slightly-not too impressed. Very upset that they dropped the Chicken Parm-that should be an every day option. Garden Café and Pub were both good-especially the pizza and fish n chips. Entertainment-this is still an area NCL where lets me down. I feel they cater to an older crowd. I did not see Jersey Boys but a friend around my age (30s), had not enjoyed it and those who I’ve heard give it good reviews have been older. This is a theme I’ve noted over the years (ex: Million Dollar Quartet). Someday, NCL may start catering to their 40s and below cruisers. I did not get to any comedy shows (which I regret). NCL has a new app (which appears good)-but did not allow me to see which comedian I was booking-so that is something they need to work out. That said, I wish I’d made time for the comedy-usually enjoyable. Next cruise! Deal or No Deal was fun-as usual. The free cruise giveaway has been reduced to 5-day cruise (raffled off at Bingo)-disappointing and probably not worth missing tanning time to enter. Even 7-days is not enough! The Bliss has added laser tag and go carts-which to me is space that should be used for more sundeck chairs. Plus, it attracts children-not a demographic important to me. Spice H20 appears slightly smaller. The hot tubs by the pool have been moved to the deck above the pool on this ship. There appeared to be two adult pools (honestly I spent no time by the pools as that chaos is not something I enjoy). I do think putting the hot tubs on 17 makes the deck that people walk/jog on a bit too wet. White Hot Glow Party is no more. I did not check out its replacement (Caliente?). I hope they bring the white glow party back by popular demand. Overall, staff were amazing, as usual! Love Maltings Bar and my friends seem to really like the Mojito bar. I made new friends-courtesy of the solo program. Observation lounge is massive and a beauty. Can’t wait to cruise again! Read Less
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 3.5 0.0

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