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Cruise Critic On May 10, 2018 we sailed a 15 day Panama Canal Cruise from Miami to L.A.on the brand new Norwegian Bliss. On a 10 scale we would give the ship and experience a strong 9. This was our 47th cruise on various lines and this easily tied as our favorite. The ship is laid out perfectly with dining or a bar around every corner. The finishings are beautifully designed and placed well. The observation lounge is amazing with perfect viewing and comfortable loungers. The bar in the observation lounge and the A-list Bar have the best drinks and atmosphere. The observation lounge is huge with multiple mini food buffets. The Cavern Club bar on the Water Front was the perfect spot to visit and unwind after a day in port. At night you can listen to the Beetles and other bands outside on the Waterfront without battling the crowds in the venue. It is a very congested ship with 4,000 passengers. Staff for the most part were very friendly and accommodating, as anywhere there were exceptions. The complimentary 24 hr Local Bar and Grill has amazing wings, salads and burgers along with other great choices to choose from. The dining rooms were typical cruise fare and very good. The Tepanyaki was above average, Cagney’s was below average, Los Lobos below average, the Q was very good (serving food during the live music would be a definite plus). One of the highlights of the ship are the Water Front bars and alfresco dining venues with quiet and beautiful views. The buffet is large but food group stations are repeated several times so there’s not a lot of variety. But they have numerous omelet stations so never a wait. There’s a full service bar in the buffet, nice seating overlooking the observation lounge and every night they have a special entree served (steak, prime rib, Caribbean meat night, shrimp night etc .) Outside venues have heaters built into the covered ceilings for cold weather cruising. The shows were typical amazing productions. NCL does incredibly amazing entertainment. Havana, Jersey Boys and Uptown should not be missed. The Prohibition was fair but not worth the money. The comedy is produced by Levity and always had at least two adult shows and two family shows a night. This was our first time to cruise where complimentary reservations for everything were required. But it really is beneficial. (Specialty dining venues should be reserved at NCL.com 90 days before your cruise.)The broadway shows, Prohibition show, comedy, race cars, laser tag, specialty dining, all should have reservations which are easy to make. There’s a Box Office where they can be made in person, or touch screen kiosks using your ship card are located all around the ship or place reservations on the TV or phone in your room. DO THIS ASAP on the ship, they fill up fast. This will give you good seats. The way it works is passengers with reservations enter before the “Stand by line”. Get there early because 10 minutes before show time the standby line is opened for “no shows” or open seats. (Wish they would include the Beetles in this). They hold back 20% of the seats for the “stand by” line, so there’s always “walk up/standby” seats. Just about every time, everyone in the standby line got in but reservations got the good seats. Spice H2O is a fantastic place to relax on port days and amazing parties at night. Spice has a nice water structure with water jets and falls to cool off under. There won’t be enough time on 7 day sailings to experience everything, so prioritize your preferences. The rooms are improved with larger showers with plexi glass instead of shower curtains. There is now plenty of room under the beds to slide luggage under to free up floor space. The closet safes have lights in them, nice. Two USB ports on each side of the beds headboard. Refrigerator in each room. Nice hair dryer installed. TVs actually work with several interactive amenities (SMART TV). We didn’t have kids so no information on their programs but the kids aqua park at the pool was large with numerous interactive water devices. Race cars are a must for only $7, really neat. We didn’t do the laser tag. Now for the “needs improvement”. 1. They need to enforce lounger “hog” rules. Placing a towel and book on a lounger around the pools at 6:00am just so you can use it for a couple hours in the afternoon is rude. Too many passengers on the mega ships to allow this. 2. There was not enough waiters in the theater, pool areas or lounges. 3. Margueritaville at Sea is considered a specialty restaurant with a $14.95 per person cover charge to make sure you order a meals worth. This cover charge is applied toward the bill and assures that passengers don’t just order nachos or appetizer since it is $30 for two just to enter. It is designed to keep large crowds out looking for complimentary pool food. (it worked very few ever used it) The Local has good burgers and appetizers that are complimentary so there’s no need for Margaritavilles $14.95 PP cover charge. Food Republic is truly al la cart pricing and fantastic food and Margaritaville should be the same. 5. It would be nice to have a Starbucks Coffee vendor at the Garden Buffet bar and at the observation lounge bar. 6. The partitions along the exterior of the Cavern should be removed or made adjustable to facilitate viewing of the stage and venue from the Water Front tables and bar. 7. Spice H2O needs more tables and covered area. Nix the water feature. NCL hit it out of the park with the Bliss. It will make for the perfect Alaska cruise ship. Service was very good and typical of NCL standards. It’s a very big busy ship to keep you entertained. Numerous bars and areas to meet and socialize. The older passenger age group made for short nights, everything shuts down at midnight. But if your looking for the perfect relaxing cruise ship, the Bliss is it.

Beautiful ship

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by Snoopy2008

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Cruise Critic

On May 10, 2018 we sailed a 15 day Panama Canal Cruise from Miami to L.A.on the brand new Norwegian Bliss. On a 10 scale we would give the ship and experience a strong 9. This was our 47th cruise on various lines and this easily tied as our favorite. The ship is laid out perfectly with dining or a bar around every corner. The finishings are beautifully designed and placed well. The observation lounge is amazing with perfect viewing and comfortable loungers. The bar in the observation lounge and the A-list Bar have the best drinks and atmosphere. The observation lounge is huge with multiple mini food buffets. The Cavern Club bar on the Water Front was the perfect spot to visit and unwind after a day in port. At night you can listen to the Beetles and other bands outside on the Waterfront without battling the crowds in the venue. It is a very congested ship with 4,000 passengers. Staff for the most part were very friendly and accommodating, as anywhere there were exceptions.

The complimentary 24 hr Local Bar and Grill has amazing wings, salads and burgers along with other great choices to choose from. The dining rooms were typical cruise fare and very good. The Tepanyaki was above average, Cagney’s was below average, Los Lobos below average, the Q was very good (serving food during the live music would be a definite plus). One of the highlights of the ship are the Water Front bars and alfresco dining venues with quiet and beautiful views. The buffet is large but food group stations are repeated several times so there’s not a lot of variety. But they have numerous omelet stations so never a wait. There’s a full service bar in the buffet, nice seating overlooking the observation lounge and every night they have a special entree served (steak, prime rib, Caribbean meat night, shrimp night etc .) Outside venues have heaters built into the covered ceilings for cold weather cruising.

The shows were typical amazing productions. NCL does incredibly amazing entertainment. Havana, Jersey Boys and Uptown should not be missed. The Prohibition was fair but not worth the money. The comedy is produced by Levity and always had at least two adult shows and two family shows a night. This was our first time to cruise where complimentary reservations for everything were required. But it really is beneficial. (Specialty dining venues should be reserved at NCL.com 90 days before your cruise.)The broadway shows, Prohibition show, comedy, race cars, laser tag, specialty dining, all should have reservations which are easy to make. There’s a Box Office where they can be made in person, or touch screen kiosks using your ship card are located all around the ship or place reservations on the TV or phone in your room. DO THIS ASAP on the ship, they fill up fast. This will give you good seats. The way it works is passengers with reservations enter before the “Stand by line”. Get there early because 10 minutes before show time the standby line is opened for “no shows” or open seats. (Wish they would include the Beetles in this). They hold back 20% of the seats for the “stand by” line, so there’s always “walk up/standby” seats. Just about every time, everyone in the standby line got in but reservations got the good seats. Spice H2O is a fantastic place to relax on port days and amazing parties at night. Spice has a nice water structure with water jets and falls to cool off under. There won’t be enough time on 7 day sailings to experience everything, so prioritize your preferences.

The rooms are improved with larger showers with plexi glass instead of shower curtains. There is now plenty of room under the beds to slide luggage under to free up floor space. The closet safes have lights in them, nice. Two USB ports on each side of the beds headboard. Refrigerator in each room. Nice hair dryer installed. TVs actually work with several interactive amenities (SMART TV).

We didn’t have kids so no information on their programs but the kids aqua park at the pool was large with numerous interactive water devices. Race cars are a must for only $7, really neat. We didn’t do the laser tag.

Now for the “needs improvement”.

1. They need to enforce lounger “hog” rules. Placing a towel and book on a lounger around the pools at 6:00am just so you can use it for a couple hours in the afternoon is rude. Too many passengers on the mega ships to allow this.

2. There was not enough waiters in the theater, pool areas or lounges.

3. Margueritaville at Sea is considered a specialty restaurant with a $14.95 per person cover charge to make sure you order a meals worth. This cover charge is applied toward the bill and assures that passengers don’t just order nachos or appetizer since it is $30 for two just to enter. It is designed to keep large crowds out looking for complimentary pool food. (it worked very few ever used it) The Local has good burgers and appetizers that are complimentary so there’s no need for Margaritavilles $14.95 PP cover charge. Food Republic is truly al la cart pricing and fantastic food and Margaritaville should be the same.

5. It would be nice to have a Starbucks Coffee vendor at the Garden Buffet bar and at the observation lounge bar.

6. The partitions along the exterior of the Cavern should be removed or made adjustable to facilitate viewing of the stage and venue from the Water Front tables and bar.

7. Spice H2O needs more tables and covered area. Nix the water feature.

NCL hit it out of the park with the Bliss. It will make for the perfect Alaska cruise ship. Service was very good and typical of NCL standards. It’s a very big busy ship to keep you entertained. Numerous bars and areas to meet and socialize. The older passenger age group made for short nights, everything shuts down at midnight. But if your looking for the perfect relaxing cruise ship, the Bliss is it.
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