• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,207 Reviews

Wonderful trip through the Panama Canal

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by Bud Zomok

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom

What a wonderful trip. We started our adventure from Miami. We arrived a day early and spent the evening at the Romero Britto Gallery in Liberty Square. After a fun outdoor dinner we went back to our hotel filled with excitement for the next days boarding.

I had been told by other cruise passenger that the Miami Cruise port was a difficult port to deal with, long lines, difficult port personnel etc. So I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best.

As our Uber car dropped us tat the luggage area, a very kind and respectful person welcomed us, took our luggage and directed us to the correct entrance. Well this wasn't the experience I was expecting,

Next we looked up at the ship, starring at the waterline and then looking up and we continued looking up and up and up. This was the biggest ship we had ever seen. I remember thinking to myself how does this thing float. It was huge. At the very top we noticed a water slide that jetted out over the edge of the ship.

After having such a good experience with our luggage porter we walked into the terminal, (here's where I figured the problems would happen) again to my dismay there were folks waiting to direct us to the proper area to check in and within 15 minutes we were on our way to security and then onto the ship.

After hearing the stories about the port of Miami, I have to say this was the smoothest check in process we have ever experienced. Kudos to all in the cruise port.

As we boarded the ship the first thing we noticed was folks crowed around large touch screen TV's , all working feverishly to secure show reservations, or dinner reservations. Never having cruised with Norwegian I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but figured we should stand and watch for a bit. After a few minutes I realized these folks were trying to get the best dinners times, best show times etc. I said to my wife, I don't have any idea what times we want for anything yet and we decided it was our vacation and we'd let the chips fall as they may and we'd book later, after we sailed.

Our rooms were not yet ready so we ventured to the buffet area for a bite to eat. As we walked into the buffet, there were so many folks and an almost chaotic feeling in the area. For a moment I thought we had made a mistake booking on such a large cruise.

After we made our plates we tried looking for a place to sit and as I said earlier it was a bit chaotic, we must have had the OMG what have we done look on our faces as one of the staff members approached us and said if we wanted more seating the observation lounge was on floor below us. We thanked him and set off to find the observation lounge and hopefully seating.

Much to our surprise, not only was there seating but the chaos of upstairs was gone, replaced by floor to ceiling pictures windows looking out over the port, the water and the city in all directions. The lounge was huge, decorated in beautiful Shades of Black, Greys and Whites with beautiful hardwood flooring that looked like a path through a forest of tucked away sitting areas. As we made our way to the back of the lounge we were greeted by a very large center bar that had been designed to in no way block a view from any sitting positions. This was to become our favorite area and we spent many hours watching the view, talking to the wonderful wait staff, and exploring new drinks with the help the bartenders. Our favorite is the Mudslide, they are fantastic and each evening I'd enjoy a Grand Marnier as we watch the sun set.

Once our room was ready started our trek to find the room, as we were walking towards our room, our room Steward (said his name was V) greeted us and asked if we had any difficulty in finding our rooms. We said no, it was quite easy to find. He said this was the easiest ship to navigate, there are only two banks of elevators and once you are on the correct floor all we had to do follow the fish on the carpet, they were swimming towards the front of the ship.

Our room was very nice, about the size we had expected, with one exception, the closet. While long enough the depth of the closet is very small and coats hanging in the closet had to turn on the side in order for the closet to actually close.

The TV was, at first as a bit of a challenge, but once we figured it out we used it each day to plan our events.

We also figured how to schedule reservations for restaurants and shows. What we found interesting is we were able get the times and restaurants we wanted without having to work with the crazy scene that happened earlier in the day.

As each day progressed the ship felt less and less busy, and there were times when there were only a few dozen folks were in the observation lounge.

Food on the ship was wonderful, some of the best we've ever experienced. We very much enjoyed the freedom of being able to eat when we wanted. Deciding each day if we wished to eat early or late.

The excursions were done quite well, and we enjoyed each new adventure. Our favorite was the Zip line through the rain forest in Costa Rica.

When we had Sea Days, we enjoyed the activates offered throughout the ship as well as the Park West Art Gallery. Chris and his crew were wonderful. We ended up purchasing several items to add to our collections.

Passing through the Panama Canal was interesting to watch as this was the biggest cruise ship to have ever gone through the canal, and there was press, and drones that flew by the ship as we moved though the journey.

To sum the trip in a few words, it was wonderful. I would recommend this passage to anyone thinking of going through the canal.

The Bliss is a large ship that doesn't feel large, (after the first couple of hours) and there is so much to do.

We plan on doing this trip again in the future, but we'll go from LA to Miami.

Thank you for a great vacation and we look for many more vacations with Norwegian.

Bud and Lorraine

Bud Zomok's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts
Get tomorrow's price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BF 13722

Cabin was wonderful, bed is exceptional, bathroom is plenty large, area outside bathroom for make up application. The only concern is the depth of the closet. As I talked above.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Previous ReviewNext Review
Bud Zomok
2 Reviews Written
15 Helpful Votes
Never Miss a Deal!
Subscribe and Save
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

More Norwegian Bliss Reviews

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.