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We've never been to Alaska and the opportunity to do so on a brand new mega-ship fell into our laps when chance had us attending a conference in Seattle the week before our cruise. It was a "no-brainer" and we booked a full 11 months prior to sailing. We knew that a balcony was a must and choose a midship mini-suite cabin (13-196). Well located, quiet and plenty of room for a couple. Not sure I could say that if we'd have had a 3rd or 4th traveling with us. The trip didn't disappoint, from the relatively smooth embarkation, the beautiful departure weather and the timely lunch, reservations and cabin availability. The ship is massive, but with our cabin location and the fact that we don't mind walking a few steps up and down, some of the elevator crowding is easily avoided. By the way, the aft elevators are often less crowded. The overall weather was good, little rain on excursion days, and generally gentle seas always helps! We never lacked for things to do, from shows to the casino, taking in the sights ashore or from the many vistas inside and out on the Bliss, the Thermal Suite in the Spa or simply lounging in our cabin or on our balcony. One minor annoyance and this is just me, a detail oriented retired military aviator. The ships channel on the in-cabin TV was poor. From the constant repetition of irrelevant info (international clock times/world view) getting the same amount of screen time as the ships present position and planned course against only semi-detailed maps not to mention that tomorrow's weather was always N/A. Come on NCL, you can certainly do better. Sorry, but this is stuff I do for a living, call me, I'll help you improve your info flow gratis. We enjoyed our fair share of the Ultimate Drink Package, well worth it as well as the 3 nights of Specialty Dining. Cagney's, La Cucina and Los Lobos didn't disappoint. But neither did the regular dining rooms Manhattan, Savor and Taste. We also had lunch a couple days after shore excursions in The Local and enjoyed the change of pace as well. Overall, we'd rate the Garden Cafe (buffet) as Good - Very Good. The food choices are enormous, but so are the crowds. Sometimes a particular item you're looking for on the buffet is only at one station, though for many items, they usually have two stations, so more searching at the buffet is necessary than really should be. Also, it tends to be difficult to find seating inside the buffet and there were only two of us. However, we always found seating in the covered outdoor areas directly adjacent to both sides of the buffet, so only mildly annoying. But, with 4,000+ passengers, not unexpected. Highly recommend the Thermal Suite in the Spa pass! We purchased this before the cruise, somewhat hesitant thinking it would be crowded. Anything but, it was never crowded, only one time in the six days (approx 15 hours) I spent in the Spa was it ever close to being crowded. I immensely enjoyed the vitality pool, steam room, sauna, salt room, rain shower and snow room along with the wonderfully relaxing kids free atmosphere and loungers. Havana was a fine show, Jersey Boys were excellent and we absolutely loved BeatleMania Live, both in the Cavern Club and in the Bliss Theater! Unfortunately, the Prohibition Musical was cancelled due to illness by some of the performers, but that's nothing that can be controlled. And yes, this grown man enjoyed a round of Laser Tag and some fun laps on the Go-Kart track! For those of you worried about the motion of the ocean, the Bliss was amazingly stable. Despite one day of 5 foot seas on our return, you could barely feel it and the gentle rocking probably helped with the many restful nights of sleep! We booked this trip looking to enjoy a nice relaxing vacation with some spectacular scenery and top-notch treatment and were not disappointed!! We would absolutely cruise on Norwegian again, absolutely do another Alaskan cruise and absolutely go on the Bliss again. Thanks for making our first long cruise and first Alaskan trip so blissful!

Awesome cruise, amazing sights, beautiful ship!

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by kuceramd

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We've never been to Alaska and the opportunity to do so on a brand new mega-ship fell into our laps when chance had us attending a conference in Seattle the week before our cruise. It was a "no-brainer" and we booked a full 11 months prior to sailing. We knew that a balcony was a must and choose a midship mini-suite cabin (13-196). Well located, quiet and plenty of room for a couple. Not sure I could say that if we'd have had a 3rd or 4th traveling with us.

The trip didn't disappoint, from the relatively smooth embarkation, the beautiful departure weather and the timely lunch, reservations and cabin availability. The ship is massive, but with our cabin location and the fact that we don't mind walking a few steps up and down, some of the elevator crowding is easily avoided. By the way, the aft elevators are often less crowded. The overall weather was good, little rain on excursion days, and generally gentle seas always helps! We never lacked for things to do, from shows to the casino, taking in the sights ashore or from the many vistas inside and out on the Bliss, the Thermal Suite in the Spa or simply lounging in our cabin or on our balcony.

One minor annoyance and this is just me, a detail oriented retired military aviator. The ships channel on the in-cabin TV was poor. From the constant repetition of irrelevant info (international clock times/world view) getting the same amount of screen time as the ships present position and planned course against only semi-detailed maps not to mention that tomorrow's weather was always N/A. Come on NCL, you can certainly do better. Sorry, but this is stuff I do for a living, call me, I'll help you improve your info flow gratis.

We enjoyed our fair share of the Ultimate Drink Package, well worth it as well as the 3 nights of Specialty Dining. Cagney's, La Cucina and Los Lobos didn't disappoint. But neither did the regular dining rooms Manhattan, Savor and Taste. We also had lunch a couple days after shore excursions in The Local and enjoyed the change of pace as well. Overall, we'd rate the Garden Cafe (buffet) as Good - Very Good. The food choices are enormous, but so are the crowds. Sometimes a particular item you're looking for on the buffet is only at one station, though for many items, they usually have two stations, so more searching at the buffet is necessary than really should be. Also, it tends to be difficult to find seating inside the buffet and there were only two of us. However, we always found seating in the covered outdoor areas directly adjacent to both sides of the buffet, so only mildly annoying. But, with 4,000+ passengers, not unexpected.

Highly recommend the Thermal Suite in the Spa pass! We purchased this before the cruise, somewhat hesitant thinking it would be crowded. Anything but, it was never crowded, only one time in the six days (approx 15 hours) I spent in the Spa was it ever close to being crowded. I immensely enjoyed the vitality pool, steam room, sauna, salt room, rain shower and snow room along with the wonderfully relaxing kids free atmosphere and loungers.

Havana was a fine show, Jersey Boys were excellent and we absolutely loved BeatleMania Live, both in the Cavern Club and in the Bliss Theater! Unfortunately, the Prohibition Musical was cancelled due to illness by some of the performers, but that's nothing that can be controlled. And yes, this grown man enjoyed a round of Laser Tag and some fun laps on the Go-Kart track! For those of you worried about the motion of the ocean, the Bliss was amazingly stable. Despite one day of 5 foot seas on our return, you could barely feel it and the gentle rocking probably helped with the many restful nights of sleep!

We booked this trip looking to enjoy a nice relaxing vacation with some spectacular scenery and top-notch treatment and were not disappointed!! We would absolutely cruise on Norwegian again, absolutely do another Alaskan cruise and absolutely go on the Bliss again. Thanks for making our first long cruise and first Alaskan trip so blissful!
kuceramd’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 13-196
Our cabin steward was very attentive and always kept a spotless cabin. How NCL manages this level of service is amazing. Seeing as how we were on an extended two week trip with nearly a week in Seattle at a conference pre-cruise, we had quite a bit of luggage. But with it just the two of us, the storage space in the closet and the number of quality wooden hangers (22?) were adequate. Lots of shelf space for your folded clothes, shoes, cameras, etc. The mini-suite bathroom was very spacious and storage drawers and shelves also greatly appreciated. We never lacked for anything in our cabin, it was a perfect size for a couple, quiet and amazingly free of motion. We never felt nor heard a thing in our cabin during any of the docking procedures the entire trip.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Mendenhall Glacier
    Nice tour, about 3.5 hours with 2.5 hours at the Mendenhall Glacier visitor center. This allows you lots of flexibility to hike almost any of the trails around the center, we did the short and easy Photo Point Trail along with the slightly harder and longer Nugget Falls Trail. Fairly easy for most mobile adults and children, many photo opportunities and still time to thoroughly explore the intriguing visitor center. On the way to and from the center, our engaging bus driver provided a humorous and interesting commentary on Juneau and some of it's history. This was a good low cost, high value tour.
    View All 889 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
  • City Tour
    We wanted to see some of the local area, but none of the offered excursions meshed with our schedule of Ketchikan City Kayaking, so we booked this local area tour on the pier. Great value ($55 ea), comfortable mini-bus for 10, saw wildlife, learned the local history and lifestyle challenges. Also stopped at Saxman Native village and included entry into Dolly's House on Creek Street. Excellent guide, highly recommend this 2+ hour tour.
    View All 58 City Tour Reviews
  • Kayaking
    Wanted to do something on the water, we really aren't that much of outdoor folks, so choose this for something different. It was awesome, but be prepared to do a lot of paddling. We probably covered 3+ miles in our 2 hours, started off in the harbor, Creek Street, then across the Tongass Narrows and halfway around the island before returning. Didn't see much marine life, but saw Eagles over by the island and just enjoyed being outdoors and being active. Thought we might be sore the next day, but this out of shape couple didn't even need a massage, LOL. Engaging guides, small group, only 8 of us in four kayaks plus the two guides in their individual kayaks. This tour will not disappoint, but unless you bring a Go-Pro type camera, don't expect to take many pictures.
    View All 56 Kayaking Reviews
  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    If you like riding trains with more of a vintage feel, enjoy some spectacular mountain scenery and aren't afraid of some of the heights, then you'll enjoy this excursion. But be forewarned, the advertised 3.5 hours turned out to be closer to 4.5. Not sure why, everything pretty much appeared to run smoothly and on time, so maybe just a typo as to the tour length. Many great photo opportunities, especially from the exterior platforms on both ends of your rail car. But be prepared, it does get noticeably chillier outside as you ascend from sea level to nearly 3,000 feet. A leisurely excursion as you primarily sit and take in the vistas!
    View All 1,105 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews