Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by bnwarren
- Sail Date: July 2018
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Spa Balcony Stateroom
A very different experience than the layout of Royal's more recent ships. Aside from the observation lounge, there was no big "wow" on board. No major central area or otherwise unique design that blows you away. However, everything was impeccably decorated, it was incredibly clean, and the attention to detail was tremendous. From the dark wood colors used in the staterooms, the artwork in the cabin hallways, the choice of furniture all over the ship, to the decorations in the bars and various venues, NCL paid great attention to detail. It gives the feel of a luxurious ship, more so than any ship I have ever experienced. And with a megaship, especially after reading previous reviews, I was very worried about feeling crowded. For us however, we never felt that was the case. With 30 bars (brew house, observation lounge, maltings, and cavern were some of our favorites) and tons of dining areas and other small venues, there were tons of nooks and crannies to escape to. As with any ship, one of the keys is avoiding peak times, whether it be activities or food. If you did this, the ship felt downright intimate.
Although there were no big "wow" elements I'll touch on a few highlights from our perspective.
Observation Lounge - Beautiful space that's unlike anything on any other ship. Great bar, great food (smaller bites), overall great atmosphere. The one issue is certainly the amount of people who turn the area into their second bedroom. By the end of the trip it's a bit absurd, and certainly something NCL needs to address.
Spa - Although not everyone may have access, for those that do, here's a wow. Best spa I've seen on a ship. Outstanding all around, and the heated loungers looking out over Alaska were serious.
Casino - If there's a better one on a ship please let me know. The sealed off smoking casino made the rest of the larger casino so much more enjoyable. Great decorating, friendly atmosphere and lots of action.
Food - Best overall food quality by a wide margin. Tons of choices throughout the ship, and with the Free at Sea promotion, too easy to enjoy some specialty options. Although it's BBQ and may seem an odd choice, we really thought Q was elite when it came to the quality of the food in comparison to good versions of that type of food you would normally find at a restaurant. Don't get me wrong, Cagney's is nice, but there are tons of great steakhouses in the world. Q was the most noticeably outstanding in comparison to its peers among restaurants we tried. But again, overall the food was fantastic. They certainly have a good pastry chef on board because their pastelitos and other pastries were great.
Laser Tag - Wife and I tried both the laser tag and the go karts. Again, we did both late at night on off hours, and again, there was absolutely zero wait. Between the two, we thought the laser tag was more fun and certainly more bang for your buck. But hey, give both a shot if you can.
Overall, the Bliss is an elegant ship, with tons to do. For Alaska, we thought it was perfect. The Bliss brings an elegance and quality that matches the serenity of its surroundings, the calmness of the waters, and the brilliance of the glaciers and wildlife.
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