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The opportunity to go on our first trans-Atlantic cruise, on a brand new vessel, with our favourite cruise line was too much to refuse. All of our party were at work the day before the sailing, as we live in the UK and have visited Southampton on several occasions in the past, we travelled down on the morning of the cruise. A four hour car journey meant we were in plenty of time for the scrum of a Southampton check-in. The check-ins at Southampton always seem so hectic and disjointed, but passed quite smoothly once we squeezed up to a desk. A bit of advice, if needed, always check in on line, it really helps. Embarkation itself was very easy and passed with no problems. On boarding the Bliss we were a little taken aback, the ship is beautiful. Wide open spaces in the centre of the ship, flanked by great bars and eateries. I liked the way the second MDR had been split in two (Taste and Savor) and the great Mixx bar put in between them. The décor in parts of the ship is art deco or is it art nouveaux? I can never quite distinguish the two, very reminiscent of a liner from the 20's or 30's. The Casino seemed to take up the central portion of deck 7 along with the Local, with the theatre at the bow and the Manhattan Room aft. The piece de resistance was saved for deck 15 .The observation lounge is wonderful and with the front of the Garden Café looking down on it from deck 16 and then moving back through the ship on either side. The pool area was very similar to most pool areas on most cruise liners. The much vaunted go kart track and the laser tag were situated on Deck 18, with the Haven taking up most of deck 17. Thanks to a cheeky minimum bid we were upgraded from inside staterooms facing each other to adjoining balcony staterooms, all on deck 11 midship. Very close to the crew areas on the deck which did get a little bangy on occasion, but hey I got an upgrade for £55 each so I'm not going to complain too much. I thought the cabin was slightly narrower than cabins on other ships and the balcony was tiny but adequate, the bathroom was fine and the toilets seemed quieter than normal. The only real complaint was that our steward was not informed of our latitudes status, probably down to the late upgrade, and there was no bottle of water or fizzy wine. That's not strictly true, there was loads of water due to us being all inclusive, but none for us being Gold. A quick word with our steward and then guest services soon rectified the problem along with some chocolate strawberries courtesy of the Hotel Manager. We don't usually go for any of the Speciality Dining options so mostly ate in the MDR and occasionally in the buffet. The food was good, as it always seems to be. We tried Savor one evening, although it could have been Taste. Our travelling companions are more buffet orientated and raved about how good it was compared to other cruises they have been on, not that any of those were poor. We took in two shows. Havana! which wasn't really my sort of thing, and Jersey Boys which also isn't really my thing, shows aren't really my thing, but Jersey Boys was excellent, if a tad too long. NCL shows are usually very well performed, and these were no exception. Jersey Boys was up there with Priscilla on the Epic. Most of the time we entertained ourselves in the many bars. Particular favourites were Sugarcane Mojito and the District Brewhouse. We sometimes had a look at what was going on in the Atrium and these two things led to my only concerns about the ship. I don't think they're big enough. People were grabbing chairs from elsewhere so they could take in the entertainment on offer in the Atrium and the bars are all on the small size, most open out onto the Boardwalk but are only really utilised in really good weather. The ship coped well with the 2500 passengers aboard, but I'm not sure how it will fare with 4000. As usual the service was excellent, happy smiling faces from the crew, impromptu entertainment from the barstaff, left you with a good feel about the place. Room service breakfast was always on time and correct. It was good. We didn't really go for Port excursions but did pay for the Hop on Hop off Bus in Halifax. I think NCL must have a hook up with the local supplier because we bought the trip once ashore but it was charged to our rooms, missed the 10% discount but it was our own fault for not really taking much notice. So our first trans-Atlantic, would I do it again? Probably, I love sea days. Would I go on the Norwegian Bliss again? Absolutely

Pure Bliss

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by BaWBarmy

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2018
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
The opportunity to go on our first trans-Atlantic cruise, on a brand new vessel, with our favourite cruise line was too much to refuse.

All of our party were at work the day before the sailing, as we live in the UK and have visited Southampton on several occasions in the past, we travelled down on the morning of the cruise. A four hour car journey meant we were in plenty of time for the scrum of a Southampton check-in. The check-ins at Southampton always seem so hectic and disjointed, but passed quite smoothly once we squeezed up to a desk. A bit of advice, if needed, always check in on line, it really helps. Embarkation itself was very easy and passed with no problems.

On boarding the Bliss we were a little taken aback, the ship is beautiful. Wide open spaces in the centre of the ship, flanked by great bars and eateries. I liked the way the second MDR had been split in two (Taste and Savor) and the great Mixx bar put in between them. The décor in parts of the ship is art deco or is it art nouveaux? I can never quite distinguish the two, very reminiscent of a liner from the 20's or 30's. The Casino seemed to take up the central portion of deck 7 along with the Local, with the theatre at the bow and the Manhattan Room aft. The piece de resistance was saved for deck 15 .The observation lounge is wonderful and with the front of the Garden Café looking down on it from deck 16 and then moving back through the ship on either side. The pool area was very similar to most pool areas on most cruise liners. The much vaunted go kart track and the laser tag were situated on Deck 18, with the Haven taking up most of deck 17.

Thanks to a cheeky minimum bid we were upgraded from inside staterooms facing each other to adjoining balcony staterooms, all on deck 11 midship. Very close to the crew areas on the deck which did get a little bangy on occasion, but hey I got an upgrade for £55 each so I'm not going to complain too much. I thought the cabin was slightly narrower than cabins on other ships and the balcony was tiny but adequate, the bathroom was fine and the toilets seemed quieter than normal. The only real complaint was that our steward was not informed of our latitudes status, probably down to the late upgrade, and there was no bottle of water or fizzy wine. That's not strictly true, there was loads of water due to us being all inclusive, but none for us being Gold. A quick word with our steward and then guest services soon rectified the problem along with some chocolate strawberries courtesy of the Hotel Manager.

We don't usually go for any of the Speciality Dining options so mostly ate in the MDR and occasionally in the buffet. The food was good, as it always seems to be. We tried Savor one evening, although it could have been Taste. Our travelling companions are more buffet orientated and raved about how good it was compared to other cruises they have been on, not that any of those were poor. We took in two shows. Havana! which wasn't really my sort of thing, and Jersey Boys which also isn't really my thing, shows aren't really my thing, but Jersey Boys was excellent, if a tad too long. NCL shows are usually very well performed, and these were no exception. Jersey Boys was up there with Priscilla on the Epic.

Most of the time we entertained ourselves in the many bars. Particular favourites were Sugarcane Mojito and the District Brewhouse. We sometimes had a look at what was going on in the Atrium and these two things led to my only concerns about the ship. I don't think they're big enough. People were grabbing chairs from elsewhere so they could take in the entertainment on offer in the Atrium and the bars are all on the small size, most open out onto the Boardwalk but are only really utilised in really good weather. The ship coped well with the 2500 passengers aboard, but I'm not sure how it will fare with 4000.

As usual the service was excellent, happy smiling faces from the crew, impromptu entertainment from the barstaff, left you with a good feel about the place. Room service breakfast was always on time and correct. It was good.

We didn't really go for Port excursions but did pay for the Hop on Hop off Bus in Halifax. I think NCL must have a hook up with the local supplier because we bought the trip once ashore but it was charged to our rooms, missed the 10% discount but it was our own fault for not really taking much notice.

So our first trans-Atlantic, would I do it again? Probably, I love sea days. Would I go on the Norwegian Bliss again? Absolutely
BaWBarmy’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BD 11212
Narrow with a tiny balcony but comfortable and with plenty of storage space and a decent shower.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins